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Clarissa Benedict

Born Born 4 Sept 1796   North Salem, NY
Married Married 9 Apr 1820 Hallet Gallup Norwalk, OH
Died Died 11 Jan 1878   Norwalk, OH



  • Hallet Gallup: born 1 May 1796 in Kingston, PA son of William Gallup and Freelove Hathaway; married Clarissa Benedict on 9 April 1820 in Norwalk, OH; died 11 Jul 1877 in Norwalk, OH.


  1. Cathrine Gallup; Female; Born: 29 Dec 1820, Norwalk, Huron, OH; Died: Jun 1880
  2. Maria Gallup; Female; Born: 29 Sept 1822, Norwalk, Huron, OH; Died: 23 Nov 1906
  3. Ellen Eliza Gallup; Female; Born: 1824, Norwalk, Huron, OH; Died: 31 Mar 1833
  4. Carrol Gallup; Male; Born: 24 Dec 1826, Norwalk, Huron, OH; Died: 11 Nov 1908
  5. Sarah Gallup; Female; Born: 12 Aug 1829, Norwalk, Huron, OH; Died: 28 Apr 1918
  6. Lydia Ann Gallup; Female; Born: 1832, Norwalk, Huron, OH; Died: 15 Mar 1833
  7. Caleb Hathaway Gallup; Male; Born: 10 May 1834, Norwalk, Huron, OH; Married (1) Kate Vredenburgh, (2) Helen Glover; Died: 16 Oct 1915
  8. Elizabeth Frances Gallup; Female; Born: 01 Apr 1837, Norwalk, Huron, OH; Died: 23 Feb 1916

Portrait of Clarissa Benedict Gallup

Clarissa Benedict Gallup

_This portrait of Clarissa Benedict Gallup is from The Firelands Pioneer, December 1899, p. 541.

The Life of Clarissa Benedict Gallup

The Early Years

Clarissa Benedict was born in North Salem, New York in 1796, the first-born of Platt and Sally Benedict. Although she spent much of her childhood and youth in Danbury, Connecticut, she and her family also lived for a time in New York City. [1]

In 1817, Clarissa accompanied her parents, three brothers, and sister to the Firelands in northern Ohio. After a long and arduous journey, they arrived at their new home on a sand ridge, where her parents founded the town of Norwalk. [2]

A photograph taken later in life shows a woman with regular features and a kindly expression. Contemporary accounts described her as comely and compassionate. [3]

Mary Ann Morse, who attended school with Clarissa's siblings, Jonas and Eliza Ann Benedict, recalled that Clarissa Benedict came down to watch with and take care of my mother, who was very sick. I looked upon her as some superior being, for I had never seen young ladies much, and she was so gentle and lovely that she won my heart at once. [4]

After moving so much as a child, the trek into the wilderness probably was not as wrenching for Clarissa as we might expect; certainly better than it was for some young women that left lifelong friends as well as family. Still, the adventure must have been trying for someone Clarissa’s age.

Life on the frontier differed greatly from that in settled communities of Connecticut. The first winter must have been especially hard, alone with her family on the sand ridge more than a mile from the nearest neighbor.

However, starting in the spring of 1818, a community began to take shape in Norwalk and opportunities for entertainment became available. Young men indulged in skating and swimming-races, foot races, huskings and shooting matches; gallantly accompanying the pretty girls in spring to the sugar camp, or in autumn along the river banks and hills to gather in the yearly supply of nuts and wild fruits. The more advanced and dignified indulged in hunting, fishing, cabin raisings, chopping matches, and rolling bees.

Women, young and old, found diversion and companionship while participating in the more elevated pastime of quilting, sewing bees, pumpkin pearings, singing schools and sleigh riding.

Young men and women found these meetings a good place to get acquainted, and many of these liaisons blossomed into romance. Perhaps it was at one of these events that Clarissa Benedict met her beau. [5]


In 1818, the Gallup brothers, William and Hallet, came from Avery to Norwalk when the County Seat moved there. They were cabinetmakers, originally from Pennsylvania.

The brothers lost their father in 1807 when Hallet was only ten years old. He lived with an uncle in Philadelphia for six years and then joined the army during the War of 1812, serving under Harrison in the artillery on an expedition through northern Ohio. From shore, he heard the sound of guns during Perry’s victory over the British in the Battle of Put-in-Bay, and afterwards saw wrecks of British vessels along the shore.

Hallet liked what he saw in northern Ohio. After the war, he moved with his brother to Avery, determined to make his fortune. After moving to Norwalk from Avery in 1818, Hallet quickly became involved in the life of the village and the county. In 1819, he became County Collector of Taxes, a thankless and dangerous job, especially in the northwest part of the county.

Because of his involvement in the political and social life of the village of Norwalk, he became acquainted with the Benedict family. He took a fancy to Clarissa, and in the end won her heart. In 1820, they married and built a house on the corner of Foster and East Main where they raised eight children. [6]

Hallet used his experience as a carpenter to go into the construction business, erecting many of the public buildings in Norwalk. He was an inventive man, constructing many useful machines and becoming involved in various manufacturing ventures, to include one producing chairs in a barn on Foster Avenue. [7]

Final Years

Clarissa and Hallet did not always get along. She spent much of her time in her parents' home and in 1836 moved there with her younger children. In 1843, she received land from her brother David Mead Benedict at his death.

In 1846, Hallet persuaded Clarissa to return home, but two years later she moved back to her parent's house where she lived the remainder of her life. [8]

Clarissa was a pillar of the community, especially in her support of the Episcopal Church, which her parents founded soon after arriving in Norwalk. She died January 11, 1878 at the age of 81 years, 4 months, and 7 days. [9]


  1. Location of Clarissa Benedict’s birthplace is from her obituary in The Firelands Pioneer, July 1878, pp. 103-4.
  2. The Benedict family's trip to the Firelands and founding of Norwalk, OH is described in "Memoirs of Townships - Norwalk" by Platt Benedict, The Firelands Pioneer, May 1859, p. 17.
  3. Portrait of Clarissa Benedict is in The Firelands Pioneer, December 1899, p. 541.
  4. Description of Clarissa Benedict as a young woman are from “Recollections of Northern Ohio,” by Mrs. John Kennan, The Firelands Pioneer, October 1896, p. 85.
  5. Diversions for men and women on the frontier are described in The Firelands Pioneer, June 1858, p. 6
  6. Descriptions of the birth, early life and marriage of Hallet & Clarissa Gallup are from their obituaries in The Firelands Pioneer, July 1878, pp. 103-4. Other details are from “Norwalk, Its Men and Women, and Some of the Girls I have Met,” by William Wickham, The Firelands Pioneer, December 1918, pp. 2110-11.
  7. Hallet Gallup's business dealings are described in “Did You Know,” by James H. Williams, The Firelands Pioneer, June 1937, p. 172.
  8. From "Clarissa Gallup vs Hallett Gallup - Divorce," Records of the Court of Common Pleas, Huron County, OH, 21 Sep 1847.
  9. Clarissa’s later life and death are described in her obituary in The Firelands Pioneer, July 1878, pp. 103-4.


1850 US FEDERAL CENSUS: STATE or TERRITORY: OH COUNTY: Huron DIVISION: Norwalk Township REEL NO: M432-697 PAGE NO: 6b REFERENCE: Enumerated on the 17th of July, 1850 by A. Raymond * Benedict, Platt, age 75, male, farmer, b CT

  • Benedict, Sarah, age 72, female, b CT
  • Gallup, Clarissa, age 52. value of real estate: 8000, b CT
  • Gallup, Mariah, age 24, female, value of real estate: 50, b OH
  • Gallup, Elizabeth, age 13, female, b OH

1850 US FEDERAL CENSUS: STATE or TERRITORY: OH COUNTY: Huron DIVISION: Norwalk Township REEL NO: M432-697 PAGE NO: 10a REFERENCE: Enumerated on the 18th of July, 1850 by A. Raymond

  • Gallup, Hallet; age 54; Male; Farmer; valuation 1,200; birthplace Pa.
  • Gallup, Catharine; age 28; Female; birthplace Ohio
  • Gallup, Carrol; age 28; Male; Farmer; valuation 800; birthplace Ohio
  • Gallup, Caleb; age 16; Male; Farmer; birthplace Ohio

1860 US Federal Census: Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio; Roll: M653_991; Page: 211; Image: 55. 5Jun1860

  • Gallups, Clarissa, age 63, female, value of real estate: 10,000, personal: 9000, b CT
  • Gallups, Catherine, age 39, female, dressmaker, value of personal: 1500, b OH
  • Gallups, Maria, age 36, female, value of personal: 1500, b OH
  • Gallups, Caleb, age 26, male, attorney at law, value of real estate: 1000, personal: 1000, b OH
  • Gallups, Lizzie, age 22, female, value of personal: 1500, b OH
  • Benedict, Platt, age 85, male, value of personal: 9500, b CT
  • Benedict, Lovina, age 65, female, value of personal: 700, b VT
  • Schaeffer, Minnie, age 20, female, servant, b. Ohio
  • Considine, E., male, age 15, b. Ohio, student

1870 US FEDERAL CENUS: Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Roll: M593_1225; Page: 461; Image: 444.

  • Clara Gallup; Norwalk, Huron, OH; age 70; born abt 1800, Connecticut; Female; occup. keeping house; real estate value 22,000; personal value 800
  • Catharine Gallup; Norwalk, Huron, OH; age 40; born abt 1830, Ohio; Female
  • Lizzie Gallup; Norwalk, Huron, OH; age 30; born abt 1840, Ohio; Female
  • Eliza Benedict; age 70; born Vermont; sister
  • Ann Donavon; age 31; born Ireland; female; domestic servant

1870 US FEDERAL CENSUS: Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Roll: M593_1225; Page: 466; Image: 454.

  • Hallet Gallup; Norwalk, Huron, OH; age 74; born abt 1796, Pennsylvania; Male; occup. Farmer; real estate value 12,000; personal value 1,000
  • Carrol Gallup; Norwalk, Huron, OH; age 43; born abt 1827, Ohio; Male

Family Search Records (LDS)

LDS 458113, Hallet Gallup; Male; Birth:01 MAY 1796,Kingston, Luzerne, Pennsylvania; Parents: Father: William Gallup; Mother: Freelove Hathaway; Marriages: Spouse: Clarrisa Benedict,09 APR 1820, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio

LDS 458113, Clarrisa Benedict: Female; Birth:04 SEP 1796, North Sales, Westchester, New York; Parents: Father: Platt Benedict, Mother: :Sarah De Forest; Marriages: Spouse: Hallet Gallup 09 APR 1820,Norwalk, Huron, Ohio

Family Group Record

Husband: Hallet Gallup; Birth: 01 MAY 1796; Kingston, Luzerne, Pennsylvania; Marriage: 09 APR 1820, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio Father: William Gallup; Mother: Freelove Hathaway; Wife: Clarrisa Benedict: Birth: 04 SEP 1796, North Sales, , Westchester, New York; Marriage: 09 APR 1820, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Father: Platt Benedict; Mother: Sarah De Forest


  • Cathrine Gallup; Female; Birth: 29 DEC 1820, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Death: JUN 1880
  • Maria Gallup; Female; Birth: 29 SEP 1822, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Death: 23 NOV 1906
  • Ellen Eliza Gallup; Female; Birth: 1824, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Death:
  • Carrol Gallup; Female; Birth: 24 DEC 1826, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Death: 11 NOV 1908
  • Sarah Gallup; Female; Birth: 12 AUG 1829, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Death: 28 APR 1918
  • Lydia Ann Gallup; Female; Birth: 1832, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Death:
  • Caleb Hathaway Gallup; Male; Birth: 10 MAY 1834, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Death: 16 OCT 1915
  • Elizabeth Frances Gallup; Female; Birth: 01 APR 1837, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio; Death: 23 FEB 1916


  • The Genealogy of the Benedicts in America, by Henry Marvin Benedict, Volume I, pp. 373-383.

  • Family History: Wickham, Benedict, Preston & Deaver, by Agnes & Harriott Wickham, edited by Dave Barton, 2006 (unpublished)

  • The Firelands Pioneer, published by the Firelands Historical Society, 1857-1939.

-- DaveBarton - 25 Mar 2009
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