1823-1838 Georgetown, Ohio
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TIMELINE: Ulysses Grant in Georgetown, Ohio
Years are often approximate, as many accounts vary.
We try to pick the most reliable.
In 1823, Jesse Grant moved to Georgetown, Ohio and built a brick residence at [present address] 219 East Grant Avenue, above. He added additions in 1825 and 1828.*
By 1830, Jesse Grant owned about 50 acres of land a mile away from Georgetown. He used the land for firewood, and for the bark-mill in his tannery. When Ulysses was not more than eight, although he was too young to pack cordwood, he hauled the wood after it was packed in a 2-horse wagon. He would return to the woods the same day for another delivery.
“In my early days, every one labored more or less, in the region where my youth was spent, and more in proportion to their private means….While my father carried on the manufacture of leather and worked at the trade himself, he owned and tilled considerable land. I detested the trade, preferring almost any other labor; but I was fond of agriculture, and of all employment in which horses were used. We had, among other lands, fifty acres of forest within a mile of the village. In the fall of the year choppers were employed to cut enough wood to last a twelve-month. When I was seven or eight years of age, I began hauling all the wood used in the house and shops. I could not load it on the wagons, of course, at that time, but I could drive, and the choppers would load, and some one at the house unload. When about eleven years old, I was strong enough to hold a plough. From that age until seventeen I did all the work done with horses, such as breaking up the land, furrowing, ploughing corn and potatoes, bringing in the crops when harvested, hauling all the wood, besides tending two or three horses, a cow or two, and sawing wood for stoves, etc., while still attending school. For this I was compensated by the fact that there was never any scolding or punishing by my parents; no objection to rational enjoyments, such as fishing, going to the creek a mile away to swim in summer, taking a horse and visiting my grandparents in the adjoining county, fifteen miles off, skating on the ice in winter, or taking a horse and sleigh when there was snow on the ground.”
– Memoirs, by Ulysses S. Grant, 1885
Jesse Grant’s tannery in Georgetown, Ohio, across the street from the Grant house. The open shed stretched 100 feet to the side.
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Neighborhood School Georgetown, Ohio
John D. White had the subscription school on South Water Street in Georgetown from 1828-1839 where Ulysses went to school. Ulysses started when he was 6 years old, White’s first year in business. His sons, Carr B. White and Chilton A. White, went to the school, and were two of Ulysses earliest friends.
Ulysses first year of school was within sight of the Grant residence, on what is now East Grant Avenue, Georgetown, Ohio. The Grant house and tannery were at the bottom of the hill. Thereafter, except for a year at school in Maysville, Kentucky and a year at school in Ripley, Ohio, Grant attended John White’s subscription school on South Water Street, Georgetown, a few blocks away from their home.
“My father was, from my earliest recollection, in comfortable circumstances, considering the times, his place of residence, and the community in which he lived. Mindful of his own lack of facilities for acquiring an education, his greatest desire in maturer years was for the education of his children. Consequently, as stated before, I never missed a quarter from school from the time I was old enough to attend till the time of leaving home. This did not exempt me from labor.
“My life in Georgetown was uneventful. From the age of five or six until seventeen, I attended the subscription schools of the village, except during the winters of 1836-7 and 1838-9…”
– Memoirs, by Ulysses S. Grant, 1885
**Coolidge, Louis Arthur, Ulysses S. Grant, pg. 10-12.
Wilson, James Harrison and Dana, Charles Anderson, The Life of Ulysses S. Grant
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