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With the coming of Fletcher's mill the town began to grow in earnest. In 1837 lots were laid out and Martinsburg was renamed Bruin. ZERA BEATTY SHEPARD built its first house. Shepard was a shoemaker and occupied the house as a dwelling and shop.16 He was married to MARY ANN SEDWICK, W. T. Sedwick's sister.17 W. T. Sedwick also built a mill on the creek and, later, a foundry.18
One can easily imagine young George growing to manhood in this budding and closely-knit rural community: attending church and school on his grandparents' farm, being taught by his mother's cousin at the one-room schoolhouse that his grandfather had built as the family's first home, wearing shoes made by his uncle, and plowing the fields with a plow forged at his father's foundry.
As a young man, in 1850, seventeen-year-old George was still at home and was occupied as a painter.19 By the same year, JUDSON CANFIELD HALSTEAD and his wife MARY LUCINDA DAVIDSON and their three young daughters had moved into the area from Ohio. The Halstead household also included their niece, Melinda.20
MELINDA C. HALSTEAD was born January 14, 1834 and raised in northeastern Ohio in Johnston Twp, Trumbell Co.21 She was the daughter of JACOB HALSTEAD, JR. (20 September 1809-4 February 1853)22 and ANNA PARKER ( ? - ? ).23 What prompted her to take up residence with her uncle and what brought them to Bruin is unknown. Their addition to the Bruin
16 Waterman, Watkins, 408.
17 This relationship is commonly acknowledged within the family. Unfortunately, no legal proof of this relationship exists and the Thomas Manning Sedwick family bible has been lost (see Sedwick, Semi-centennial sermon, 6). The T. M. Sedwick family is recorded, however, in the DAR application papers of Mrs. Pearl Thomas Foster. Zera Shepard's esteem in the family is witnessed by the name of one of W.T. and Eliza's children, Joshua Shepard Sedwick.
18 Waterman, Watkins, 409.
19 U.S. Census, 1850, Parker Twp., Butler Co., Pa., N.A., roll 760: 366, line 4, dwelling 900, family 909.
20 U.S. Census, 1850, Parker Twp., Butler Co., Pa., N.A., roll 760: 362, line 2, dwelling 841, family 842.
21 Calculated from Death Register, Appendix A, which states that she died July 1, 1856 aged 22 years, 5 months and 16 days.
22 Birth date: Records of the Reformed Church of New Paltz, NY, 221. Death date: William Leon Halstead, The story of the Halsteads of the United States. [no page]
23 See Trumbell Co., Ohio Deed Book 82: 228 of 1857 which confirms this. Jacob Halstead, Jr. was the son of Jacob Halstead, Sr. and Charity Van Aken. Jacob, Sr. had been a private in the Ulster Co. (NY) Militia in the Revolution. The Halstead farm in Johnson made up part of the Western Reserve. Anna Parker was the daughter of David Parker and Elizabeth Van Aken. David was also a Revolutionary veteran who moved his family to Trumbell County. It is also interesting to note that Jacob Halstead, Jr. and his wife, Anna Parker, were first cousins--their mothers were sisters.
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