Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CUTLER, Ephraim, pioneer, born in Edgarton, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, in 1767; died in Ames-town, Ohio, in 1853. His early life was spent in Connecticut on a farm, where he acquired knowledge of mathematics and surveying. In 1788 he was appointed agent of the Ohio Company, and soon afterward engaged in mercantile business until 1794. Finding his ventures unprofitable, he removed to Ohio, where he had an interest in some land. His journey thither required more than three months, and was delayed by privations, adventure, and sickness. On his arrival in Ohio, Governor St. Clair appointed him judge of quarter sessions and judge of common pleas. In 1797 Judge Cutler exchanged his possessions for an estate in the township of Ames, where he spent the remainder of his life. He erected a log cabin in the wilderness, planted a few acres of corn, and re-assumed the duties of his judgeship, periodically making his way through the wilds to Marietta to attend court. He says that during seven years, in which he served in three courts, his "dividend was not sufficient, but in a single instance, to pay the weekly board." He early interested himself in education, and stimulated the people of Ames and Dover townships to establish a public library. The necessary funds were obtained by the sale of furs procured by native hunters. This is thought to have been the first incorporated public library in the west. Toward the close of his life Judge Cutler wrote: " More than sixty individuals have grown to maturity within this circle, two have become professors in Colleges, three are ministers of the gospel, one of them a bishop, at the head of them Thomas Ewing, several judges of courts, and one general." His last public service was in 1839 as a delegate to the Whig convention at Harrisburg. He was the author of a "History of the First Settlement of Amestown in Athens County, Ohio," and "The First Settlement of Athens County," etc., both published in Hildreth's "Pioneer Settlers."
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