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Frederick Prentice of OH & MI

Frederick Prentice of Ohio and Michigan
Is he the father of Joseph Prentice who married Mary Lee?
Winter 1999 and Revised: 4 Nov 2011

1. Frederick Prentice, is the son of Joseph Prentice and Eleanor Nichols and a descendant of Valentine Prentice. Frederick was b. 6 Dec 1822 in Port Lawrence, OH[1] and d. 19 Apr 1913 in Jackson, MI[2]. He is interred in Willow Cem., Oregon, Lucas, OH[2]. Frederick appears in the 1850 and 1860 census for Oregon, Lucas, OH.

Frederick's father, Joseph, died about 1835 when Frederick was about 13. Without any formal schooling, he became an enterprising business man. Brought up among the Indians, and one having been his nurse, he was proficient in their language and became an interpreter for Indian Agents and traders; that, with hunting and fishing, help to support his family.

At age 18, in 1840, Frederick began supplying the Toledo market and river steamboats with wood and lumber. In 1849 he built a steam saw mill just below Bridge Street which he operated for a number of years. In 1857 he had some financial reverses but overscame them and later moved to New York City.

Frederick married, first, Mary Ann Hicks, 8 May 1842, in Oregon, Lucas, OH[2]. She was b. 10 Mar 1823 and d. 17 Jan 1844[3]. (per Census in Willow Cem., Oregon, Lucas, OH.) Children:

  1. Joseph H.[2] Prentice. Born, circa 1842, in MI[2]. Census: 1850, in Oregon, Lucas, OH. Census: 1860, in Oregon, Lucas, OH. He married Henrietta Fisher 13 Dec 1869 per Lucas Co. Courthouse records.

    There is a possibility that he might be the father of Joseph Prentice of Iowa who is discussed in the Winter 1999 issue because:

    1. Although Joseph was born in MI according to the 1850 census, his father was born in OH and had returned to OH to live by 1850 and it might be that the 1900 census erred in saying that the orphanage Joseph's father was born in Ohio. (See Fn. 1)
    2. Joseph, of Iowa, named a son Fred (or Frederick), and
    3. Joseph, of Iowa, named another son Charles, as did this Joseph's father, Frederick. (see below).

Frederick married[4], second, Sarah Ann Mattocks, 3 Jan 1844[2]. She was b. 25 Nov 1823 and d. 1 Jun 1853. Burial in Willow Cem., Oregon, Lucas, OH. Children:

  1. Mary Edla Prentice. Born, circa 1844[2], in MI. Burial in Willow Cem., Oregon, Lucas Co., OH. Census: 1850, in Oregon, Lucas, OH. Census: 1860, in Oregon, Lucas, OH. A posting on PrenticeNet by Andrew Rose on 31 Oct 2011 reads as follows:

    Re Frederick Prentice [1822-1913] & his daughter Mary Edla Prentice [1844-1943], later Mrs Robert Nicol of New York, originally from Toledo,Ohio. I'm the great-great-nephew (by marriage) of Mary (Mollie) Prentice, who married Robert Nicol [1831-1879] in New York 1871. Briefly, Frederick (son of Joseph Prentice, an 'Ohio Pioneer') was an early oil millionaire, owned brownstone quarries, and had numerous business interests in various US states. Robert Nicol, a 'capable Scot', made his fortune in NY. The marriage was childless and Mollie, a 'grande dame' latterly of Park Avenue NY, used her long widowhood to support charitable causes in NY. Her name appears frequently in the NYT social pages 1890 to 1942. I have some family papers which mention the Prentice connection, but would like to know of any published obituaries for either Frederick or Mary and details of their respective estates. Both buried in Willow Cemetery, Lucas County, Ohio. Andrew Rose

Frederick married, third, Mary S., before 1853. She was b. c. 1828, in NY[2]. (per Census: 1860, in Oregon, Lucas, OH.) Children:

  1. Frederick Prentice Jr., b. c. 1853, in OH (per Census: 1860, in Oregon, Lucas, OH.). From the Venango County Historical Society website, it appears that, on 30 March 1885 Frederick A[sic] Prentice of Franklin, well-known oil producer and lumberman, was killed at Guyandette, West Virginia, by the accidental discharge of his revolver per www.venango.pa-com/oildeaths.html. .
  2. Charles A. Prentice, b. c. 1855, in OH (per Census: 1860, in Oregon, Lucas, OH.). In a letter written on 10 May 1877 from Hotel France, Nice, Robert Nicol states that 'Mollie [Mary Edla Prentice, Charles' half sister] is out (with her [half] brother Charlie who came from Naples to meet us)...' per Andrew Rose, email, 4 Noc 2011.
                           NOTES AND REFERENCES

  [1] Patricia Prentice, email, patprentice @ novagate.com; Jim Riley.
  [2] Jim Riley, 10 Aug 1998 and 18 Oct 1999.
  [3] Jim Hicks, 10 Aug 1998.
  [4] VR says 1844, but probably 1845 because of double dating.


Fn. 1: Imaginary conversation where orphanage authorities ask Joseph, then about 10-13 years old, where his father was born:

  • Well, Joseph, where was your father born?
  • Gosh, I'm not sure, but I think that both my grandfather and father were born in Ohio.
  • All right, we'll put that down in the orphanage records.

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