Susannah Perrin Cullen
Seth Cullen, was born on June 21, 1819 at Great Hale near Boston, Lincolnshire, England. He had ten siblings (thank you to Jim Cullen of Sandusky,OH, for setting me straight on this): an older sister, Anne ( August 3, 1817); younger brother Enos (April 8, 1821-1870); younger sister, Sarah, (1823-1912); Charlotte Gratrix (1824-1826), George (1827 -1890) who owned the Good Intent beer house on Church Lane in Friskney, Lincolnshire; a second Charlotte Gratrix (1830-?); Jemima Augusta (1832-?); Betsy Elvina (1834-1852); Harriet Agnes (1836-1893); and Charles Frederick (1841-?). Seth and Enos emigrated to the United States in 1840, a year after Seth joined the Wesleyan Methodist 'society' in England. While Enos settled in Sandusky, Seth moved to Maumee, Ohio where he worked as a mason, according to census records. Seth joined the Methodist Episcopal church in Maumee in 1841, and became licensed to preach in 1842. In May of 1843, he married Susannah Perrin, who was born December 1, 1826, in River John, Picton County, Nova Scotia. Her family emigrated to Ohio from Canada in 1837. She was the fourth of nine children. Two of her brothers were killed serving the Union during the Civil War. James H. Perrin served in the 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and died of his wounds the day after the battle of Jonesboro, GA, on September 1, 1864. He is buried in Marietta, GA. Susannah's brother Benjamin served with the 9th Louisiana Colored during the Civil War and died on July 27, 1865. One brother, David H. Perrin, survived his service during the War, dying in December, 1918.
In 1861 the couple moved to Napoleon, Ohio and in 1873, they moved to a farm in Paulding, Ohio, where they resided for the rest of their lives. According to his obituary, Seth "through the many years until old age, faithfully served the church where duty called." I recall my grandmother, Helen Cullen, telling me back in 1989 when she had some long reminiscences with me, that he was a "devil," I suppose of the very stern, implacable variety that seemed to arise in some called to the ministry back in those days (and even sometimes now....)
Seth and Susannah had 8 daughters and one son, my great grandfather, W.H. Cullen. According to a genealogist who searched the records, the children born to the Cullens were: Frances Charlotte ("Lottie"), born June 3, 1845; Miranda, born 1846; Elizabeth was born in 1849; Marian, born in 1851; Helen Agnes, April 18, 1853; Ada, April 16, 1847; Ava, December 19, 1862; William Henry ("WH"), February 4, 1864 and Leora May ("Ora"), October 8, 1870, when Susannah was 44 years old.
Marian died when she was 11 years old and another, Miranda, who married George Hildred of Napoleon, Ohio, died on July 5, 1893. Elizabeth married M.E. Heller, of Napoleon, in 1868 where they resided. But by 1905, Elizabeth was perhaps a widow and living, in Porto Rico [sic per Susannah Perrin Cullen's newspaper obituary]. Frances Charlotte married John L. Halter of Napoleon, Ohio around 1870. Ada married Henry Hullinger and they lived in Andrews, Indiana. Helen married James Parmalee Gasser on December 25, 1872 and they lived in Paulding. Leora married Ira Betts in 1905 and they moved to Michigan after the deaths of her parents, living in Lansing, Saginaw and Munising. Ava was over 40 years old when she married Clark Mead, after the death of her mother, and she raised Clark's three children from a prior marriage. And my great grandfather, W.H., married Lulu Huston in 1892.
In the old real estate books of Paulding there is a Cullen Addition, which was platted from Seth's farm. Seth and Susannah's home was about two blocks from the W.H. Cullen homestead on North Williams. Here are Seth and Susan with 6 of their children from a photo on a Cullen genealogy website (Elizabeth Heller appears to be missing, according to the accompanying text--many thanks to Jean Scherer of Toledo, Ohio and Jim Cullen for providing these photos):
Susannah (who eventually shortened her name to Susan, but I love her full name) died on December 16, 1905. According to the handwritten memorial of her funeral, the songs sung by the choir at her service were, "One Sweetly Solemn Thought," "Nearer My God to Thee," and "My Jesus as Thou Wilt." Pall bearers were Frank A Roberts, E.E. Bugher, J. Kirakofe, O. Morrow, J. Kuoedler, and F. Atwell. One of the newspaper obituaries that her son, WH Cullen, my great grandfather, saved, was from the Paulding Democrat. It reads in a Victorian manner, with flowery phrases to describe what were considered important details of death at the time, and to a readership for whom death was commonplace, in a way that it is not today:
People of Paulding were shocked last Saturday morning when the news was circulated that Mrs. Cullen, one of the best known pioneer ladies of the town had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.
When Mrs. Cullen failed to arise at her usual hour that morning members of her family investigated and found her sleeping the sleep that knows no waking. She had passed away but a short time before discovery as her body had not yet taken on the death chill. She laid with features calm and peaceful, as if there had been no struggle and evidently she had unconsciously passed from the mortal to the inmmortal sleep.
Mrs. Cullen was one of the Mothers of Israel. Her character was one of the kind that all admire, pure, sweet, holy, a christian of life long service and devotion. She united with the M.E. church in 1842 and has ever been earnest and consistent in the service of the Master. The Paulding congregation will miss the gentle and helpful influence which she has for so many years exerted.
Here is the Memorial Record of her funeral:
Seth was quite deaf towards the end of his life and it was so significant that it was noted that Aunt Bebe found it difficult to know her grandfather as a result. Seth died a year and a half later on August 26, 1907. He has a similar Memorial, but only two songs are listed for the service: "Nearer My God to Thee," and "Tis Finished." Flower donations were fewer as well. Pallbearers were Messrs Roberts, Atwell, Dunathen, Kericoff (one wonders if the spelling is a deviation from Kirakofe above), Crain, and Morrow. Both were buried in the Live Oak Cemetery in Paulding.