Gershom Hayden Damon
b.18 May 1829 Chesterfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States
d.7 Feb 1896 Medina, Medina, Ohio, United States
m. 1 Jul 1827
m. 14 NOV 1848
Facts and Events
Reverend G. Hayden Damon, a Free Will Baptist Minister, was born in 1829. Having an ambition to preach the Gospel, he went through Hillsdale college in Michigan, then returned to Hinkley. In 1848 he married Cynthia A. Finch, of Granger. For a time he taught school and then for some years served Free Will Baptist churches. He was a man of very high character, always neatly dressed, and ever a gentleman. He understood bookkeeping, and such was his influence throughout the northern part of the county that Pancoast, who had been prosecuting attorney and (who had) organized a bank in Medina of which he was cashier, engaged Damon to act as assistant. The oldest inhabitants of the county will recall how Pancoast finally ran away with the deposits of the bank, and while he was never apprehended and brought back to answer for his crime, he became a noted criminal in the West, and came to a bad end. When it became known that the bank had been looted, and Pancoast was gone, naturally it was believed that Mr. Damon must have been in some way responsible for the loss to the many depositors. Law suits were commenced against the directors by those who had lost their money, when Hayden Damon was called to testify in court as to what he knew about he operator of the bank. When the litigation was over, all suspicion toward him vanished, as everybody was thoroughly satisfied he was absolutely innocent. In confirmation of this fact, he was later twice elected Medina County Treasurer.
He became known the latter part of his life as the "Marrying Parson," while he resided in Medina. For several years before his disease, at about 70, he was bookkeeper for the Holloware Works. He was beloved by all of his relatives and held in high esteem by the citizens of the county. He organized the "Damon Reunion".---A.R. Webber.
Letter to S.S. Jocelyn - October 4, 1859
Rev G. H. Damon to Simeon Smith Jocelyn October 4, 1859
Hillsdale College Oct. 4, 1859 Br. S. S. Jocelyn New York
Dear Brother, Yours came to hand yesterday and I haste to reply. It was unlooked for by me somewhat. Some weeks ago I wrote to Br. Fee that I had concluded not to engage in the Kentucky mission at present. I do not know as I gave to him or now have any good reason for not accepting the honor you have conferred upon me. The only objection I can now offer is that I am very much attached to home and home privileges And with due respect to those at home I can but think of the words of our Savior. “He that loveth these more than me is not worthy of me.” My circumstances are such that I need to engage in some business and nothing would please me more than that to which you have appointed me. My heart beats to work for God and benefit my fellow man. And if you answer the following queries satisfactory (which I presume you will do) I will engage in the work and will start as soon as I receive an answer to this. Think me not avaricious or that I harbor a thought that the association would not pay me, but let me ask in kindness. What are the terms of my payment and how reliable as to promptness. Could you help me in advance. if so how much and am I to understand that you bear my expenses or am I to bear my own expenses out of the salary. This would make some difference in the inducement and what is necessary for an outfit. At what place shall I stop and who will be there to give me orders, etc. Please give me all the particulars. I should be glad to accept the appointment if all is satisfactory, which I presume will be. Mrs. Damon will not go now with me. I suppose there is nothing that we could both work at for you such as teaching school in union. Please inform me and much oblige a Br. in Christ.
P.S. Proff. Whipple is now in Mass. attending General Conference.
Direct as before, G.H. Damon
P.S. We have no family. We should be glad to go together if she could be of any benefit or service to anyone. G.H. Damon
Letter to S.S. Jocelyn - December 9, 1859
Rev G. H. Damon to Simeon Smith Jocelyn December 9, 1859
Hinckley Dec. 9, 1859 Rev. S. S. Jocelyn New York
Dear Br., Yours of the 25th inst. were duly received and gladly read. You will observe that I have left Ky. I did it rather reluctantly I must confess but thought it best under the circumstances. I reached home on the 7th inst. or this place where my wife and friends are. I was quite well suited with the people in the neighborhood where I stopped in Ky. but there was so much excitement which I had not been accustomed to and then the nature of it was such as to make it very unpleasant for me to remain longer. I did not fear any immediate danger. This was not why I left. It was reported in Germantown that the abolitionists were going to set fire to the town and they went to work and organized a military company and had a patrol out for a number of nights watching the town and frightened the people some of them very much. And it seemed and was really so that it was all the talk by the people there and it appeared as though it would be almost impossible to accomplish anything religiously under the present excitement. And my own feelings were such that I could not seemingly muster courage and faith enough to justify an attempt to stay and labor, and not withstanding We know that nothing is impossible with God yet much depends on our own faith and zeal. And I did not want to stay without I really felt as though something could be done. Well these are my views in part. And I might add that it would be an important item to have my wife with me on many accounts. And I returned hoping that the way might open at some future day when I shall again go to Ky. with my companion and make it a field of labor for a year or a number of years perhaps. I was there four Sabbaths. Br. Emerick one as I wrote you before. The average attendance I should judge was about twenty perhaps more. Usually in the forenoon some thirty or forty would be present and not so many in the afternoon. They were quite attentive to the truth and the church would manifest any interest in sustaining regular preaching. I am confident my going there will encourage the church and hope and pray it will do great good. I have no employment definitely before me at present. If you have any suggestions to offer in reference to labor in Northern Ohio for six or eight weeks or in Mich. about the first of Feb. or whatever you have to say I would be glad to hear and receive. And if I can do anything for you on a small salary I will cheerfully do it until I see how matters shape in Ky. And if I can ____ myself so as to go there with my wife if it should appear desirable do so. I could have some books from Dr. Weid to sell if I wanted and tracts to distribute. He cashed my draft you sent me for which I thank you and him. Br. Emirick did not definitely invite me to his field of labor. He said there was great need of laborers there and great good could be done by the Association in sending help there. He is a good Br. I think and will do good wherever he goes. I would be glad for you to send me the American Missionary and what is right you shall receive. Please direct to Hinckley, Medina, Ohio (also the magazine.)
From your Br. in Christ, yours truly, G.H. Damon