Elisha Farnham and His Grandson Otis Abbott Fuller, Proprietors of Farnham, Fuller, and South Ridge Mills

Elisha Farnham

Elisha Farnham was of Puritan origin. His father  and grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War. He was born in Hampton, Connecticut on June 8, 1806, the sixth in a family of ten children. His parents were Thomas and Abigail Farnham. He acquired a good common school education. Since he was the oldest son, he had to go to work early to help support the family. He learned the machinists trade and was a skillful workman. In the fall of 1830, he packed his worldly possessions in a knapsack and came to Conneaut, settling on land by Conneaut Creek.

After the completion of his education he entered a machine shop in Pittsburg, and coming to Ohio about the year of 1825, journeying by stage from Pittsburg, he with Thomas Gibson bought the mill which had been built years before by a Mr. Jones. In time Elisha Farnham bought his partner’s interest in the enterprise, and also built in 1841 the mill now owned by Mr. O. Fuller.

 Before 1878 the dam for this mill was some distance further up the stream than at present, the overflow compelling a change of location, and the son Patrick erected two new dams in 1878, and these are still in use, as is also the mill, the only one now operated by waterpower on Conneaut creek.

Mr. Farnham married first Mary A. Ring of Conneaut, Ohio, on November 14, 1833.  She died August 11, 1849. She is buried in Farnham Cemetery. On January 30, 1850, he was married to Mrs. Harriet A. Sanborn. The children who were all born from his first marriage were:

D. Alphonso, born Jun3 5, 1835. He married Sophia Brooks. He was a soldier in the Union Army during the Rebellion, and he died while in the service on January 22, 1862.  He is buried in Farnham Cemetery.

Flora, born June 12, 1837, married popular sheriff T.S. Young.

Elisha Farnham gave his attention to his mills, consisting of grist, saw and carding mills, and during a number of years he also filled the office of justice of the peace and was a supervisor and a member of the school board. His politics were Republican, and he had fraternal relations with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. During the Civil war period he was connected with the “underground railroad,” and was an intimate friend of Ben Wade and of J. R. Giddings. At the time of his marriage he lived across the road from the present home of his son Patrick, and later built the house in which this son now lives.

His children were:

P. Henry born November 14, 1838.  Married May Mallory and lives in Conneaut.

May, born February 27, 1841, married Martin Reals.

Lydia E., born May 30, 1843, married C.L. Fuller, who is drowned in Lake Erie.

Emily, born September 21, 1847 married Waller B. Boss.

Mr. Farnham held many positions of trust and was for many years a township officer He was not only a worthy citizen but an obliging neighbor and an intelligent husband and father.

History of the Western Reserve, Volume 2 By Harriet Taylor Upton, Harry Gardner Cutler, Page 985

Grandson Otis Abbott Fuller, Sr. carries on the farnham milling tradition

Otis Abbott Fuller, Sr.



Prominent among the agricultural residents of Conneaut Township is numbered Otis Fuller, a member of a family which was founded in the community many years ago by Wesley Fuller who came from New York. He was the father of Asa; Maria; and Wellington. Asa Fuller was probably born in the East, about the year 1813 and he came with his parents to Ohio and landed in North Ridge. He always lived on a farm of which he owned several and his death occurred in 1885 when he had reached the age of 70 years.

His wife, nee Mary Ann Haviland, from Ohio died about three years later. Their family numbered the following children:

Cornell G. mentioned below. Omer, who died of typhoid fever just before his marriage was to take place; John W., who first married Emma Abbott and afterwards Julia Tinker Benton and he lives in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Willis a. married Effie Hardie and is a lumberman in Pierpont Township.

Vernon A. Whose first wife was Mary Hayward by whom he had one child. And his second wife Celia Hanson, by whom he had six children, lives in Port Huron, Michigan.

Herbert E married Ella Crosby and died in Houston, Texas.

Cornell G. Fuller was born in Monroe Township, Ashtabula County, Ohio, July 12, 1842 and he lived with his grandparents until his marriage on January 9, 1864 to Lydia E. Farnham who was born March 30, 1844. The children of this union are Otis A. and Jessie O, but the daughter died very young.

After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Fuller moved to Sheffield Township, where the husband worked in the lumber business. Their home was afterward in Michigan for about three years and there Mr.  Fuller was drowned in Lake Huron while transporting lumber. This sad event occurring on September 20, 1875. He was a Republican in his political affiliation and Mrs. Fuller is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Otis A. Fuller of the above family was born in Sheffield, Ohio on December 5, 1864 and his district school training was supplemented by study in the high schools of Titusville, Pennsylvania and Jefferson, Ohio. He lived with his grandparents in Kelloggsville before his marriage and moved with them to Conneaut.

He was engaged in operating the mill which was built by his grandfather Elisha Farnham in 1841.This is the only mill now in the Conneaut stream operated by waterpower. Years ago there were several water power mills in this stream. The mill contains four turbines and was formerly operated by a tub or scroll wheel.

Mr. Fuller married, March 21, 1884, Lila E. Goldsmith, who was born in Conneaut September 19, 1866.

Their children are:  Leila E. who married Clarence Leffenwell, engaged in the wholesale fruit business in Cleveland; Bessie W., a  bookkeeper at the creamery in Conneaut; Willis A. on the farm with his father; Cornell G., attending the Conneaut High School; Robert Lee, attending the District Schools, and Otis Abbott. Mr. Fuller, a Republican, has served his county  as a supervisor. He is a member of the American Insurance Union, of the Odd Fellows Fraternity and of the Lone Star Order of the Grange.  Mrs. Fuller is a member of the Baptist Church.

History of the Western Reserve, Volume 2.  Harriet Taylor Upton  Chicago:  Lewis Publishing Company, 1910

Otis Abbott Fuller

(The son of Lydia E. Farnham and Cornell Fuller)

Born:  December 5, 1864 in Conneaut, Ohio

He died January 13, 1959

Died in Columbia, South Carolina

Buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Conneaut

His father was Cornell Goldsmith Fuller

His spouse Lila Goldsmith Fuller

Children:  Leila E Fuller Leffingwell

Robert Lee Fuller

Bessie Johnson

Willis Arthur Fuller

Otis Abbot Fuller, Jr.

Otis’s wife was Lila Goldsmith Fuller. Captain Leverett Barker Goldsmith (1871-1943) was her brother.

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