JIMMY FAGERBURG                                                                                                                                       DICK GARFIELD
     INACTIVE AT THIS TIME                                                                                                                      
Sorry that I didn't get a newsletter out in December 2004, I was swamped here at home and also was helping my son in the Orlando, FL area where 3 hurricanes hit him last summer/fall. A lot of damage to building and trees. He had over 50 trees blown over on his property, with some of them landing on fences and breaking them down. Haven't had much activity on the family this past month or so, but expect it to pick up now that the holidays are over. Want to let you know that I have gone thru generations 1 thru 6 updating DOB, DOD, spouses, burial sites and spelling of names that were furnished to me by Charlotte Holbrook. By looking back through some of my old mail, I see where a gentleman from Ohio, states that about 1/3 of all Garfields are descended from Henri the First, King of France, who lived from 1005 to 1060. If anybody has any more information on this please let me know and I will share it with the readers. Maybe our UK Garfields can check some of that out. I also heard from a lady who is a cousin to both Priness Diana and Winston Churchill, along with her royalty research she also does research on the Presidents of United States. She says that she has information that might be of interest to our search. It is through people like her, other researchers and family that we learn about our family history. Keep that information coming and I'll keep posting it. Thanks, everybody, see you next month.  Dick


It looks for sure that we will be having a workshop the first 2 weeks in August this summer at Lawnfield, President Garfield Home, in Mentor, OH. Will be working on a wall hanging family tree, starting with the President's line first, then if time permints  will branch out from there. Will have more information next month, but will be looking for volunteers to help in whatever way they can.


In 1867, the Western Reserve Historical Society was founded to preserve and present the history of all of the people of northeast Ohio. Today, it is the largest privately supported regional historical society in the nation. The reason we're called the Western Reserve Historical Society instead of the Cleveland or Northeast Ohio Historical Society has to do with how the area was settled. When the original colonies of the United States were formed, most of the western borders were left blank, since the settlers didn't know how far west the land went. If you look at a map, you'll notice that northern Ohio is exactly west of Connecticut, so we were originally part of the state of Connecticut. In 1786, the State of Connecticut gave up its claims to Western lands of the United States, except for a portion of northeastern Ohio known as the Connecticut Western Reserve. Later, the land was sold to the Connecticut Land Company, which surveyed and settled the region, but the name Connecticut Western Reserve - or just Western Reserve - continued to be used to describe the northeastern section of Ohio. 

James A. Garfield
    1831 - 1881

In 1843, James is twelve years old and beginning to do a lot of work around the farm, he drives cattle, carries wood, hoes the potatoes and corn, builds fire and does whatever his little hands can find to do. In winter the children go to the village-school, and are fast acquiring the rudiments of knowledge.
There mother helps them with their lessons, the district school only lasts for a few months in winter, and often the weather is so inclement the children cannot go out. Then their mother teaches them herself in front of the open fire-place. James has two books that are of the greatest interest to him. Weem's "Life of Marion" and Grimshaw's "Napoleon". He use to tell his mother that when he gets to be a man, he was going to be a soldier.
James, and his brother Thomas, got caught whspering in school one day and the teacher sends them home. Thomas hangs around the school, but James runs right home and then right back again. When he comes into the room the teacher says: "James, I thought I sent you home"  "Yes, ma'am you did, I went home and I just got back" He was allowed to stay.
At about 16 James packed a few cloths in a bundle, and placing them on a stick across his shoulders, like the kids in the books he read and set out on foot for Cleveland to get a job on a sea-going ship. After he failed being hired on as a shiphand on an ocean ship he took a job on "The Evening Star" whose captain was Amos Letcher whose boat traveled the Ohio Canal. His job was as a tow driver of a team of horses, the horses names were Kit and Nance, and was said to be the best team on the tow path. On his first trip he fell overboard 14 times, and he couldn't swim a stroke, an aid to fish him out was not always forthcoming. After he left the canal and went home, James was laid up for over six month with malaria, he still wanted to go to sea, but his  mother argued that he had better attend school for a time and get well enough to resume severe labor, and be able to teach school in the winter. At 17, James, and Wm. Boynton (his cousin), and Orrin H. Judd went to Chester, on March 6th, 1849 and rented a room to attend a high school known as Geauga Seminary. Lucretia Randolph, (his future wife) a quiet, studious girl, at 17 years of age also was attending the Seminary.
James, continued schooling by working winters as a teacher, saving his money and working evenings and Saturadays at whatever work he could find. In 1851 he decided to go on with his education at a new school, (Eclectic Institute) established by the Disciples (of his own denomination) the year before at Hiram, Ohio in Portage County, a crossroads village, twelve miles from any town or railroad.

Next month will continue with his education and living in Hiram, Ohio.

(Information received from the book: Life and Public Service of General James A. Garfield, by William  Ralston Balch, copyrighted fall of 1881)

This December newsletter I received from Jerry Johnson about 2 days after I sent out our newsletter.

Finally, we have frozen hard ground here after a mud season I would normally expect in late March. Hello from Garfield Farm! Of course with frozen ground comes freezing water so out come the electric deicers for the animals' water tanks. This summer's installation of underground
waterlines is making the chores easier than dragging hoses everywhere.

It is that time of year when a year end appeal goes out to all our friends so I need volunteers to come by Friday December 17 beginning at 9 am to help stuff and seal the letters to all our friends. Although we have heard from a number of our friends already, I still send this end of year update out so we can plan for 2005. As a non-profit that has no regular tax support like many public museums, we have to find every penny from friends who believe in the mission here. I am also planning a mailing to our
township residents, as support from one's own backyard is the key to any successful effort. I can't tell what the general giving climate is like yet though I am sure nationally no large gains are expected for 2004. As the 1999-2001 work we did to make it possible to buy the Mongerson Farm in 2002,
softened the down swing in donations nationally that the country experienced in 2002 and 2003.

For 2005 to be a year of progress we need to keep our Talent Fund strong and add to the Save Our Barns Fund that will begin the work for restoring the buildings. Phase 1 will include archaeological investigation, documentary and archive analysis, drawings of as is conditions of the structures,
stabilizationof any foundations or beams and roof repair, not to mention the usual surprises
that crop up when doing restoration. That will be a $300,000 fund for Phase1.

The mailing to our friends will also have them consider the long term future of the farm- an endowment fund, Garfield Farm Forever, supported by bequests and donations will best guarantee the museum's mission of education.

Well Thomas and Meegan are awaiting our next tasks so that is all for now.

Jerry Johnson, Down on the Farm.