from Family History by C. C. Randolph
William Baylis Randolph . . .was
born in Prince William county, Virginia, in 1778, and died
in Columbiana county, Ohio, in 1863. His death was caused
by a severe cold.
When he was three years old his parents . moved to Jefferson county, Kentucky. Shortly afterwards his mother and little brother were killed by the
Indians, and his father took him back to Virginia, to his
Uncle William Baylis, with whom he lived until he was
of age to learn a trade. When he was ten years old he
had a white swelling in his heel, which made him a
cripple for life.
He learned the stone mason trade, and
learned to talk Dutch from some of the masons he worked
with. The man he served his apprenticeship with for
three years to learn his trade was named William Gillum,
and the agreement was that grandfather was to have
fifty dollars and a freedom suit of clothes when the time
was up. Gillum would not do as he had agreed to, and as grandfather kept asking him for the money and
clothes, he made up his mind one day to whip grandfather at a blacksmith shop. Grandfather, though a cripple, was active and threw Gillum down and his face was
cut by some cinders. The men at the shop interferred
and would not let them fight, because grandfather was
a cripple. Gillum then started to whip all of grandfather's relations. His uncles were old Revolutionary
soldiers and they drew knives on Gillum. He then attacked Jack Baylis, a cousin of grandfather's, who was
only eighteen years old. He would not fight until cornered up in a store, when he sprang at Gillum and
knocked him down. Gillum got up and said, "You do very
well for a boy, but I will learn you something." Jack
Baylis said, "Let me alone, for I know now that I can
whip you." Gillum came at him again and was knocked down and so kicked and bruised that he never got over
it, dying about a year afterwards.
Jack Baylis was the son of William Baylis. He was
somewhat inclined to be wild. He organized a company
to go to the War of 1812, and the company was named
The Yellow Boys, but we are not certain whether they
went to the front.
In the summer of 1805 grandfather married Lydia
Lupton, who was born in 1777, and died in 1829. About
this time he visited southern Ohio in search of land.
One night his feet were badly frozen. Another time he
staid (sic) all night with a Dutchman, whose wife told her husband in Dutch to trade their blind horse to the stranger
next morning. In the morning when the man wanted to
trade horses grandfather said: "I must try riding your
horse." He rode him into a brush heap, and then told
the man in Dutch what his wife had told him the night
before. The man said, "Why did you not tell us you
Grandfather hated the institution of
slavery, and in the fall of 1805 he and his bride moved
from Virginia to Lisbon, Ohio, where they arrived with
seventy-five cents in money and a set of mason's tools.
They located soon after on the old Randolph homestead,
four miles west of Lisbon, which cost them $1.25 per
acre and an immense amount of labor to clear part of it.
Part of this land now belong to Peter Willard. Grandfather worked at his trade much of the time building
old-fashioned fire places and chimneys for the settlers.
They endured many hardships. At one time they had
nothing but beans in the house to eat. One day a wolf
chased the cow and she ran and put her head in the door
of the log house. One morning at three o'clock grandfather started to [the] mill with a sack of corn on his shoulder.
As he was crossing the West Fork of Beaver a panther
screamed in a thicket near him. His dog, which was half wolf, would not go near it. It was killed by hunters
When he was working at his trade in Hanover
he dreamed one night that his wife was lost in the
woods. He went to sleep and dreamed the same thing
a second time and a third time. He then borrowed a
mule and went home. His wife had got lost while hunting the cows. She heard the wolves howl around her and
at last she heard a dog bark and wandered up Cold Run
creek, to where Charles Mason lived, and they brought
Grandfather and a friend once bought a drove of
sheep in southern Ohio. They wanted to move them on
Sunday, but there was a very strict Presbyterian deacon
living on the road, whom they were afraid might stop
them, as the Sunday law was strict. Grandfather said,
"We will fix the Deacon." When they got near his house
he had his friend tie up his head and hang onto his saddle as though he was very sick. When the old Deacon
came out grandfather left his friend behind and rode
ahead of the sheep. The old Deacon said: "I want you
to understand this is the Lord's day." Grandfather said,
I know it is, but nobody on the road will keep us over
Sunday, but we knew you were such a good man you
would keep us. The reason that nobody will keep us is
because my friend and partner is taking the smallpox.
The old Deacon began to back off and yell, "Don't come
near me; you can't stop here; you will have to go on;
you can't stop here." And they went on, as ordered, and
were glad to get away from the Deacon, and he seemed
glad to see them go.
In 1824 there was what was called "The Great Hail-
storm." Very large hail fell and many trees were blown
down. Grandfather was out in a field and started to the
house as the storm commenced; the wind caught and
blew him along. He measured his tracks the next day
in the plowed ground and found that in some places he
had taken eighteen feet at a step.
In the time of slavery grandfather, and father, too, helped to carry on what
was called the "Underground Railroad." They helped
slaves to escape from the South to Canada.
taught school In Virginia, and here also. He was well
known all over the county, and some of his comic
speeches were long remembered in the neighborhood.
Long before the Rebellion he had predicted that slavery
would cause this country to be soaked in blood.
very feeble for some years before his death. He remembered seeing his father kill the two Indians the time his
mother and little brother were killed, and used to tell
the story to father and Uncle John.
When he was young
he used to hunt coons in Virginia with a pack of dogs
and a negro boy. One night the dogs treed a wildcat
and he thought it was a coon. The boy climbed up and
shook the wildcat off a limb. It and the dogs rolled over
and over in their fight, and in trying to get out of their
way grandfather fell backwards over a log and wildcat
and dogs rolled over him before he could get up. The
Grandfather was raised in the Church
of England, but died a member of no church. Two years
after his first wife's death he married the writer's grandmother, Deborah Carroll. He made but one trip back
to Virginia from this state. Burn's "Highland Mary" was
his favorite poem. He rests in Woodsdale cemetery.
Grandfather had one half-sister and one half-brother,
besides the boy killed by the Indians.
The father of William B. Randolph was Thompson
Randolph, who was the son of John and Anne Randolph.
He was born May 30th, 1746, and died in 1826.