In 1881, James W. Fulton was a retired farmer who lived four miles east of Urbana, in Urbana Township, close to its border with Union Township, on the way to Union township’s village of Mutual (or Little Texas as it was once called.) It is fortunate that a small biography of Fulton was written by W.B. Ogden and published in The History of Champaign County to tell us the beginning of the story.
According to Ogden in 1881, “Men who have lived thirty-eight years in a county surely may be classed among the pioneers, and especially when their record for good citizenship is excelled by none. Such a man is Mr. Fulton, who was born in (Loudoun County) Virginia, and before he reached manhood came to this county. His parents, David P. and Jane Fulton, came in the fall of 1842 and purchased the farm now owned by our subject (“then” James W. Fulton and “now” his descendents.)
“The farm was tolerably well improved at the time (of purchase in 1842), although the large buildings that now add so much to its beauty were afterward added by David (James’ father). Eight (of David’s) children came with them to Ohio—James W., Robert C., David C., Charles E., Sarah M., Jennie E., Joseph and Henry P. Charles, David and Henry (by 1881) are no longer living. (David’s son) Robert is now (in 1881) engaged in the practice of law in Columbus, while Charles and Henry had (proudly) both been admitted to the bar prior to their death. The father, David Fulton, died in 1865. His widow making her home among her children, has now reached the ripe old age of 76 years, (and lived until and still enjoys fair health, with an unimpaired mind (in 1881.) James was born in 1822, and, after coming to Champaign County with his family, in 1849, was married to Miss Annie Flick, of Clark Co. Her parents, Jacob and Catherine Flick, have been residents of that county for more than half a century, and their family sketch will be found in the history of Clark Co. James and his wife Annie were the parents of three daughters. Two only are living (in 1881)—Catharine J. and Mary N., Catharine being the wife of Charles Laycock, and Mary wedded M. G. McWilliams. Mr. Laycock resides near his father-in-law, and takes charge of the farm, and Mr. McWilliams also lives near. (Third daughter) Fanny E. Fulton was born March 17, 1853, and was a cultured lady, enjoying in society a high position, beloved by her classmates, and possessed of those characteristics that win friends everywhere. She died in her 17th year, leaving behind a wealth of love and affection.
“James W. Fulton takes life easy, having plenty to keep himself and his wife, and lives in a style characteristic of his purse. He has always enjoyed a good reputation among his neighbors, and has been ever ready to assist in promoting the interests of society. We are pleased to give him a place among the many splendid men of his township of Urbana, who are so well represented in history, and whose memory can thus be perpetuated while time shall last.”
Printed in 1881 by Beers Publishing, this biography tells us of the beginnings of this family farm that is still being farmed by yet other family members. Their name is not Fulton as “Then” but their genealogy tracks forward to the now family.
James W. Fulton’s farm “White Hall” was illustrated in the 1874 Atlas of Champaign County so we know what it looked like “then” and it was described as located 4 miles east of Urbana, Ohio. The home still stands in the same place at the now address of 2819 East State Route 29, Urbana, Ohio. Believe or not they are all related from James and Annie Fulton to daughter Catharine Fulton Laycock to her daughter Annie Laycock Stallsmith to her daughter Alice Stallsmith Terry. The farm is owned and operated by the Fulton bloodline in the Terry family. Youngest grandson of Alice Terry, Mike Terry and his wife live at White Hall, while his parents Roger and Shirley Terry live just to the west and his uncle and aunt, Lewis and Carol, live just to the east. Now the entire Terry family is active in farm and community affairs as the Fultons were then, some on the farm and some nearby.
Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Society.