The man who painted “Yankee Doodle - the Spirit of `76” was Archibald “Arch” Willard who was born in 1836 and raised in the town of Bedford, Ohio …population in 1840: about 1,600. It was decreasing over the years as many of its residents went West. By the time the War between the States erupted (1861) a scant 1,100 folks remained yet Bedford still sent 280 young men into the Service. 

* * * The Spirit of `76 * * *

One of its famous sons was Joshua Stoddard (1814- 1902) the man who invented the steam calliope that was used on Mississippi Paddle Boats.
Stoddard developed the calliope in 1855 at his factory in Worcester, MA and an ordinance was passed prohibiting it being played within the city limits as it could be heard from over 5 miles away. 

A work in progress, am finding more "tidbits' as I go along.

   In Bedford, located on the Cleveland-Pittsburg Pike, during the 1830's the Willards prospered. The eldest son Samuel Rose Willard (1791-1876)  married Margaret Trotter (1801-1858) and became the pastor of the Church. They had 6 children of which, Archibald, was born in 1836.


From this small town came the connections of connections to several world-renown people and things such as:

   After the dinner there were toasts, songs, and the salutes of muskets. With a loud "hurrah" the men fired up their cannon "Old Continental" a bit too much. It came loose from its stand, shot up like a rocket, and came crashing down on the table with all the dinnerware... much to the ladies' chagrin.
   The men offered up another toast and another loud "hurrah!"

The Willards originally came from Shrewsbury Massachusetts (just east of Worcester) and Colonel Samuel Willard (1746-1788) came to Pawlett VT along with his wife Sarah Stark (1746-1834) and five sons and two daughters. He built the old red grist mill and served at the end of the French & Indian War. By 1820 Pawlett boasted a population of 2100 

  Wellington had been founded in 1818 by four men from Massachusetts who treked the old Indian trails through the wilderness to set up their homes.
   On the Fourth of July 1826 Wellington's 36 founding families celebrated the country's 50th anniversary at the town's meeting grounds. The ladies set up a table of their finest foods to be enjoyed by all as the Declaration of Independence was read.

   "Arch" was well-known in town for his habit of his humorous drawings on anything with a flat surface. He was witness to the 1st telegraph wire being installed in 1847 through Bedford, the railroad line that followed the Old Pike in 1854 and when the line led into Cleveland and points West he followed it to Wellington, Ohio as early as 1857 where he used his talents to decorate carriages. His work was much coveted even more than the carriages themselves.  

As the Great Migration west began several familes from Pawlett made the journey across New York even before the Erie Canal was opened in 1825. Colonel Willard's oldest son Jonathan (1770-1858) married Abigail Rose (1777-1808) the daughter of Major Robert Rose (1738-1800) and brought his young family to Messina, New York and into Bedford, Ohio.


Honus Wagner          Halle Berry                          The Steamboat Calliope

It would become the trademark of the Barnum and Bailey Circus when it came through town and probably with some others before as Hackaliah Bailey (1775-1845) was the first showman to put a circus on the road. He toured “Old Bet,” the first elephant in America in 1808. P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) had sold tickets to the show as a youth in Connecticut and joined the troupe after his American Museum in New York had been burned during the American Civil War.

and our Passion of Passions...