Profile of Henry C. Hedges of Mansfield from historical Ohio book in 1891

start of henry's entry in book Profile of Henry C. Hedges of Mansfield (with helpful details about extended family, including General James) from historical Ohio book in 1891.


"Henry C. Hedges," The biographical cyclopædia and portrait gallery with an historical sketch of the state of Ohio, volume 5. 1891 (Western Biographical Publishing Company, Cincinnati, OH), pages 1262-1263 (

Transcript [formatting added]

HEDGES, HENRY C., Mansfield, a distinguished lawyer, was born in that city, December 28th, 1831.

  • His father's name was Ellzey Hedges, who was born in Virginia, the youngest of nine brothers and two sisters.
    • His paternal grandfather, Charles Hedges, was born in the eastern part of Virginia, and settled at an early day in West Virginia.
    • His mother was Rebeka Hedges, (which was also her maiden name).

Of his father's brothers, Gen. James Hedges was

  • a captain in the U.S.A., and served in the war of 1812, under General Harrison;
  • was a surveyor by profession, and was in the employ of the Government as such, both prior to and after the war of 1812. He entered the lands on which the city of Mansfield is built, and afterward laid out the city.
  • He was for many terms — 1817, ‘18, '21, '22, ‘23, ‘24, ‘25, ‘27, '29, a member of the lower house in the General Assembly of Ohio.

Another brother, Josiah Hedges, first settled at St. Clairsville, Ohio, then at Mansfield, and was the proprietor of the lands where the city of Tiffin is now located, and subsequently laid out that city.

The father of the subject of this sketch, Ellzey Hedges, [end page 1262] left his father's home in Virginia and became associated in business with his brothers, Josiah and James, first at St. Clairsville, and afterward at Mansfield. At Mansfield he married his wife, Harriet, whose parents were associated with Gen. James Hedges in the early settlement of the town. The children of Ellzey and Harriet Hedges were eleven in number, seven boys and four girls — ten of whom grew up to manhood and womanhood. The father died in 1865, and the mother in 1883.

As a boy, Henry C. Hedges was sent to such schools as were organized, and in 1844-5, was under the care and tuition of Lorin Andrews, then conducting an academy at Ashland, Ohio. Lorin Andrews afterward was president of Kenyon College, and colonel of the 4th Ohio Volunteers in the war of the rebellion. Being prepared for college, he attended Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio, and was graduated from that institution in 1850, and in 1853 received the degree of A. M.

In the fall of 1850 he entered the law office of C. T. and John Sherman, of Mansfield, Ohio. The senior of his law preceptors afterward became judge of the U. S. District Court for the northern district of Ohio, and the junior member is Senator John Sherman — sketches of whom may be found elsewhere in the volumes of this work. On admission to the bar in 1854, Mr. Hedges became associated with his preceptors in the practice of his profession at Mansfield, and has continued to reside in that city up to the present time.

While at college, and in fact while at the academy, he was strongly inclined to fit himself for the profession of a teacher, and up to and until after graduation he had no different purpose in view, and the way opened out very auspiciously for such an occupation in a western State: but at the request of his parents, who were loth to have him go to the new western country, a different direction was given to his life.

Mr. Hedges did not serve in the ranks in the late Rebellion, but had two brothers in the army during the entire time; he, however, rendered efficient service at home, and was by no means an inactive or indifferent observer, but an active and effective worker, raising recruits, making speeches for the cause, and doing all in his power to promote the welfare of the Union. He also served as a member of the military committee for Richland County, under the administration of Governor Tod.

Upon attaining his majority, and at the next election, he was elected a member of the Board of Education of Mansfield, and served consecutively twenty-one years.

In 1867 he was appointed register in bankruptcy for the northern district of Ohio, and continued in office during the time the bankrupt act was in force. In 1880-1 he was a member of the State Board of Equalization of Ohio, and was vice-president of the same.

Living in a county strongly Democratic, and politically opposed to the Democratic party, only when the county had been assigned to districts in which the dominant party was at disadvantage have the Republicans of Richland County had much opportunity for political promotion.

  • In October, 1864, Mr. Hedges was the candidate of the Republican party for State senator, in the Richland and Ashland senatorial district, and reduced the Democratic majority over three hundred.
  • In 1884 he was the nominee of the same party for Congress, in the then 14th district, which ordinarily gave seventeen hundred Democratic majority, and was defeated by less than seven hundred.
  • He was a member of the National Republican Convention which renominated Mr. Lincoln in 1864, and a member of the National Republican Convention which nominated James A. Garfield for the presidency, and again of the convention in 1888 which nominated General Benjamin Harrison.

In 1854 he became an Odd Fellow, and a member of Mansfield Lodge, No. 79; in 1877-8 was the grand master of the I.O.O.F. of Ohio. In 1879 he was a grand representative to the Sovereign Grand Lodge, I.O.O.F., and has served continuously since, and attended the session of 1888 at Los Angeles, California. For four years he was a member of the judiciary committee, and for five years chairman of the legislative committee.

His parents were members of the communion of the M. E. Church, and, being raised and educated in that faith, he is a member of that church in Mansfield.

Mr. Hedges was married in December, 1856, to Lucretia Zimmerman, of Mansfield, and together they have found it the joy of their lives to go on doing what their hands find to do, and to be content.

Mr. Hedges has gained wide distinction as a lawyer, and his standing throughout has been that of an exemplary gentleman.