In Homer, for a term of years, lived the Claflin family, out of whose loins came those two women of strange, inexplicable career, then known as Victoria and Tennie C. Claflin-the one now Lady Bidulph Martin, and the other Lady Frances Cook, and Viscountess of Montserrat as well, who live today in London in great wealth and high social distinction. No one could have anticipated such an outcome for two poor girls from a small Ohio village.
A lady of high respectability, now living in Newark, who was a school-mate with the daughters, and a neighbor breathing the same Homeric air, upon whom we called for information, said to us: "The parents were originally, I believe, from Pennsylvania, the children born in Homer. The father went by the name of Buck Claflin. He was a lawyer in a small way, and owned a saw-mill. The mother was a German woman and a religious enthusiast. At revivals she was accustomed to walk up and down the aisle of the Methodist Church, of which she was a member, clap her hands, and shout, 'Alleluiah!' At other times she dropped down on her knees in her garden and prayed in tones that went out over the neighborhood. This was about the year 1852. The children were curiously named-Queen Victoria, Utica Vantitia, Tennessee Celeste; a baby that died Odessa Malvina, and two sons respectively Malden and Hebron. The last became a cancer doctor, traveled, and placarded the towns as Judge Hebron, the great cancer doctor. Victoria was then about 14 and Tennessee about 8 years old. There was nothing especially marked in these girls in intellectuality, that I could discover. The family were considered queer, slip-shod set; never did anything like other people. To illustrate: They used sometimes to send to our house for milk; instead of a bucket, they brought a green glass flask, which provoked my mother, who found it difficult to pour milk through a nozzle. The family were disliked exceedingly, when there came a castastrophe-the saw-mill, which had been insured, was burned. How the fire originated was a mystery. Upon this, the clamor against them became so strong that one night they left the town."
Another and a good authority, writing to us from Homer, says:
"Buck Claflin and family came from Pennsylvania about the year 1844. He was a man of much native genius, and became postmaster at Homer, and built a large, splendid grist-mill, and his daughters
Historical Collections of Ohio, Vol 2, by Henry Howe. (pub 1888)