Seth Hinshaw

Seth Hinshaw – (1818 – 1906) – He was the son of Benjamin H. and Annas (Bowman) Hinshaw.  Seth was a farmer and engaged in team hauling as a young man and later was a merchant in Greensboro.  He married Sarah Gregg on March 29, 1838.[1]  They had six children. He and Sarah were strong Quakers.  Sarah was a teacher and taught in Hancock, Wayne and Henry counties.[2]

Seth was a member of a local committee in Greensboro involved in the first Women’s Rights Convention held in Dublin, Indiana in October 1851.  Greensboro was a center of anti-slavery activity.  It was a permanent station on the “underground railroad”.  This system transported slaves fleeing bondage to freedom, usually in Canada.  The acknowledged leader of this group of abolitionists was Seth Hinshaw.  Seth allowed his home to be used as a meeting place for anti-slavery advocates.  The famed Negro abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, visited Indiana and Seth defied public opinion and prejudice and kept Douglass at his home.  Seth owned a store in which he would only sell products produced by free labor.  He would not sell products made by slave labor.  On occasions when customers would complain about his prices being higher than some competitors, Seth would reply, “That will test thy conscience, whether it is worth anything or not.”

About 1838 he purchased eighty acres of land in the woods in Henry County, which he cleared and farmed.  With a great deal of hard work he added two additional eighty-acre tracts.  In 1862 he erected a house in Greensboro and retired from the active pursuit of agriculture.[3] 

Seth was an ardent Republican.  He cast his first presidential ballot for William H. Harrison and in his younger days was very active in the campaign work of his party.  He was elected and served as one of three trustees of his township and acted several times in the capacity of Supervisor.  As Supervisor he superintended the construction of three schoolhouses.[4]

Sarah died on August 10, 1882.  He then married Martha Beeson on November 18, 1883.[5]  Seth died on December 31, 1906.

[1] Index of Indiana Marriages Through 1850

[2] Biography of Seth Hinshaw from History of Henry County, Indiana, B. F. Bowen, 1920

[3] Biography of Seth Hinshaw from History of Henry County, Indiana, B. F. Bowen, 1920

[4] Biography of Seth Hinshaw from History of Henry County, Indiana, B. F. Bowen, 1920

[5] Henry County, Indiana Index to Marriage Records, Book 1 Vol. 2, 1850-1920

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Written by Bob Krepps  © 2001 all rights reserved.  Permission granted to copy for personal & non-commercial purposes only.

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