Saturday, September 22, 2018

Mrs. Sophia Sprague

This daguerreotype of Mrs. Sophia Sprague was created by R.E. Weeks in his Sandusky studio in 1857. Sophia Patrick was born in Madison County, New York in 1798. She married Nehemiah Sprague in the mid-1820s in the state of New York, and they had a large family that included seven children. Mr. Sprague died in 1848, leaving Sophia to support the children by herself. By 1860 she was residing in Sandusky, Ohio, with several of her children. An article which appeared in volume four of the Firelands Pioneer describes her experience as a single mother.

Seven bodies to clothe and feed, seven minds to train and educate, was no small task for a woman, but she was equal to it and performed her work well. One by one they arrived at man and womanhood and were married, but until that time she provided them all a home and her work in that direction was not completed until there were none to look after. From that time on she found a comfortable home with those she had brought through trials and hardships from childhood to man and womanhood. Two of her daughters, Elizabeth and Sophia, married, one in 1853 and one in 1856, and moved to Ohio and to that state she followed them, with the rest of her children, in 1856; since that time she has resided in Sandusky. As long as any of her children remained unmarried, she kept her own home for them; when they were all gone and her duty done to them, she took up her abode with the children to whom she had been so faithful.
At the age of 83, Sophia Sprague displayed an embroidered lace handkerchief at the Erie County Fair. She also displayed a quilt at the fair which she had done in the style of the double Irish chain. The quilt was awarded as a premium. You can read much more about the Erie County Fair of 1880 in September 24, 1880 issue of the Sandusky Register, on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.  

Mrs. Sophia Sprague died on November 19, 1886, at the age of 89. She was survived by four daughters and one son. Mrs. Sprague was buried at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. Her brother, Dr. Spicer Patrick, was the first speaker of the house for the new state of West Virginia.

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