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Samuel James Bateson


Samuel J. Bateson

Samuel James Bateson was born in Perry County, OH on March 3, 1836, the son of William and Rebecca (Miner) Bateson.

As a boy, he moved with his parents to Walnut Twp., Fairfield County, OH, near Millersport. Later, as an adult, he bought farmland that his son Fred developed as beachfront property on Buckeye Lake, OH. The beach today is named for the family -- "Bateson Beach."

Samuel married Emeline Keller (1839-1874), whose name also has been given as "Stewart."  Their children were Catherine May Hite, Frederick Bateson, Elizabeth Bateson, Rebecca Viola Hupp, Mary Bateson and John Bateson.

The Newark Daily Advocate said Samuel was considered "one of the best known residents along Buckeye Lake for many years. He was a successful trapper and fisherman, and was known to hundreds of  people who annually visited the lake."


Five generations

Tragically, Emeline died as a young wife and mother, at the age of 35, on Nov. 25, 1874, in the Thornville area.  Details are not known, and a search of a local newspaper provided no obituary.

Shortly before his mother died in 1914, a five-generation photo was taken, seen here.  Sam and his mother are seated.  In the back, left to right, are Samuel's son Frederick Bateson, great-grandbaby Mildred (Bugh) McNaghten and granddaughter Bertha (Bateson) Bugh.

The Batesons lived along Shell Beach Road near Thornville. The farm originally stretched down to the lakeshore. 

A newspaper article states that Samuel's son Fred "was a lifelong resident of the lake vicinity and one of the early dealers in real estate for summer homes in the locality. Bateson Beach was developed from farm land which had been in the Bateson family for several generations and when the addition was plotted, it was sold to a number of Columbus residents."

Buckeye Lake is about eight miles from end to end.  It was a popular area for summer cottages and tourists and was often featured over the years in postcard views.

In about 1906, Samuel retired from farming and outdoors work and resided at son Fred's home near Shell Beach at Buckeye Lake.


Bateson properties along Buckeye Lake (circled), 1876
Atlas of Fairfield County, Ohio



Surrounded by family

Daughter Rebecca and her husband W.E. Hupp presented Samuel with a family Bible in March 1910.  In this Bible are recorded names and dates of family members and friends.

Sam is seen at left, seated, on the porch of son Fred's home at Buckeye Lake, surrounded by his family of children and grandchildren. 

Seen at right: sleepy Thornville, around the turn of the century.


Thornville, Ohio

On Oct. 17, 1914, Sam went outside his house, saying he was going outside to milk the cows, but collapsed of a cerebral hemorrhage and died instantly.  The Daily Advocate said that "He had been in his usual good health and was about the house and yard during the day and shortly after supper walked out upon the porch where his dead body was found later by a granddaughter, his son being absent from home at the time."

He was buried at the Union Baptist Cemetery near his wife and mother, but the graves are unmarked.

A longtime friend of the family was famed Ohio artist and historian John J. Barsotti, who won many awards for his paintings of outdoor scenes. He loved to listen to the Batesons talk about their family history, and may have known more than the family itself. In a 1980 interview, later published in the Ohio Historical Society's Timeline Magazine, he said:

In most places [I've traveled], I was able to know people native to the land, some of them of pioneer stock.... The important thing to me was the association with a variety of people, interesting and colorful, who were worth knowing. From the old ones I learned much about the past; with the people of my generation and younger, I shared the present.


Postcard view of cottages along Buckeye Lake


Copyright 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2018 Mark A. Miner