When Noah Huckins married Ellen Victorine Adams in 1866, he was connecting himself to one of the pioneer families of the village. Amos Adams, Ellen’s paternal grandfather, was born in Massachusetts in 1766 and one of the first settlers of Wellington. He brought his wife Hulduh and ten of their twelve living children into the wilderness of northern Ohio in 1823. The Adamses were founding members of Wellington’s Congregational Church, where Amos served as a deacon, for which he was ever-after referred to as Deacon Adams.
The eldest son of the family, also called Amos, was the first groom in Wellington when he married Electa Howk. In a 1901 edition of the The Wellington Enterprise, Mrs. S.K. Laundon offered a lengthy article on pioneer women in the town and wrote about “The First Marriage.” She dated the wedding 1822, but offered this amusing anecdote: “As the story goes Miss Howk was so ambitious to claim the honor of being Wellington’s first bride, that when the rumor reached her ears that others were like minded, she hastened the happy day, and the wedding gown and supper were dispensed with” (9-4-1901, pg. 5). I haven’t been able to find any corroborating evidence for this story, but genealogical records do show that 30-year-old Amos married Electa Howk in Wellington; he died in 1857 and the couple had no children.
Deacon Amos Adams purchased an extensive tract of land north of what is now the town center. He bought separate farms for four of his sons and eventually left his own farm to his youngest son, Gideon Wright Adams. The family erected a house ca. 1830 with bricks “made from yellow clay dug from the land a little north and east of the house. The pond the excavating created was still there” when the house was sold out of the family in the 1940s (Robert Walden Notebook, #A69). The Adams homestead was quite possibly the first brick residence erected in Wellington and stood for more than 180 years before it was demolished in 2012.
Gideon Adams married Bertia Hull Slocum in 1836. According to Mrs. Laundon, “Bertha [sic] Slocum came with her mother from Warren, Connecticut, to Sullivan, Ohio, in 1835. Soon after, while visiting her cousin, Mrs. Joel Talcot, in Wellington, she met her future husband, Gideon W. Adams. They were married at Sullivan, October, 1836, and came at once to Wellington to live in the Adams’ homestead, where they spent the remainder of their lives.” Gideon and Bertia had seven children, all but one female. They have the most marvelous collection of names I have come across in my research: Helen Jeannette; Celestia Blinn; Ellen Victorine; Alice Gertrude; Anna Hortense; Ermina Fowler; and Erwin Wright.
Ermina Fowler Adams became Noah Huckins’ second wife after the death of her older sister, Ellen. She and Erwin Wright Adams were twins born in 1849. It was Erwin who sold his sister the land on which 600 North Main Street was constructed. (As I mentioned in my first post on Noah Huckins, all the land around Lincoln Street is still known today as the Adams Addition; Adams Street is the road just south of Lincoln.) By the time the Italianate was built and the Huckinses were its occupants, Gideon Adams had died and Erwin Wright Adams was the owner of the brick family homestead. I often wondered why Noah Huckins chose to build on North Main Street, when so many of the town’s businessmen were erecting fine homes on South Main Street. Proximity to his wife’s family may have been the motivation; the Adams house and the Huckins house were about two minutes walk from one another, straight down the main street in town.
Erwin Wright Adams was a druggist in Wellington for many years. He entered into the business as a junior partner in a firm called Wooster & Adams, which opened in 1879. The shopfront was located at what is now 123 West Herrick Avenue (then called “Liberty street”), which is currently occupied by a chiropractor’s office. Erwin eventually took over full ownership of the drug store when Arthur Wooster moved to California. He ran it until 1917, when he sold out to his own junior partner, E. R. Lehman. I have not been able to locate any photographs of the store while it was in operation, but a large and ornate wooden display case from the business is now housed in the Southern Lorain County Historical Society, also known as “The Spirit of ’76” Museum.
Erwin died in 1929 and his widow, Mary Emma Mallory Adams (1855-1943), was the last member of the family to occupy the brick homestead. According to Robert Walden, “Desiring to live nearer to the Congregational church [at 140 South Main Street] so that she could participate in more of its activities, she rented an apartment from Dr. Harlan Dudley at 126 South Main street and sold her house” (#A69). The Adams homestead was later used as a nursing home and then opened as a teen center in the late 1970s, before being converted into an apartment building.
Deacon Amos and Huldah Adams, as well as their oldest son Amos and his wife Electa Howk Adams, are all buried in Wellington’s small “Old” or “Pioneer” Cemetery, located on West Herrick Avenue. Gideon and Bertia Adams, along with six of their seven children, are buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Wellington. It is a testament to how deeply connected Noah Huckins was to this family that they share a common burial plot and joint headstone.