Madeira’s first teacher had several occupations

By Regina Villiers.  Originally published July 19, 1995 in The Suburban Life, added September 12, 2014.

Daniel S. Hosbrook II and his wife, Viola, relax on the Hosbrook farm.  He was the grandson of the first teacher.  Daniel II and Viola were the grandparents of Cleo Hosbrook.

Daniel S. Hosbrook II and his wife, Viola, relax on the Hosbrook farm. He was the grandson of the first teacher. Daniel II and Viola were the grandparents of Cleo Hosbrook.


After John Hosbrook died in a snowstorm in 1798, little is known about where his widow, Lydia, and his four children lived for a time.  Perhaps they lived with the oldest son, Archibald, who by then was grown up.  Or maybe they stayed with Kitchel relatives in Hamilton County.

Lydia lived until June 1822.  She and three of the children are memorialized on a stone in Laurel Cemetery in Madisonville, where many of the Madeira Hosbrooks are buried.  It isn’t known where she was originally buried, or if her body was actually moved to the Laurel location.

John and Lydia had four children.  The two daughters never married.  Neither lived to be old.

Archibald, the oldest son, married and moved in succession to Champaign County, Warren County, Darke County and Montgomery county.

Not much is known about Archibald’s life.  He’s listed on one record as being a weaver.  He served briefly in the War of 1812.  He died in Verona in 1847 and is buried in Ithica Cemetery in Darke County.

On the other hand, Daniel S. Hosbrook, the younger son of John and Lydia, is celebrated in story and myth by Madeira residents interested in history.  From him all the Madeira Hosbrooks descended.

It isn’t known for sure what the “S” stood for in his name.  It’s thought that his middle name was either Soloman or Shipman.

Daniel was 13 years old when his father died.  He was a resourceful lad who hunted his own opportunities and made the most of them.

He was also bright and intelligent.  At that time there were no public schools so his mother, Lydia, taught him in the beginning.  He obtained books at an early age and started educating himself and preparing himself to be a schoolteacher.

In the book, “Suburban Homes” by Richard Nelson, published in 1874, Nelson quotes a Mrs. Druce, then 72 years old, who claimed to have been a student of Daniel Hosbrook in the first school in Madeira.

In 1807, Daniel bought 50 acres of land in the area that is now Madeira.  He felled the trees, cleared the brush, and built a cabin on the property.  Daniel lived on that land for the rest of his life.

His land was located where the streets of North Mingo, South Mingo and Shewango now lie, and it adjoined the original Hosbrook farm.  Daniel bought the land from his future father-in-law, Daniel Bates.  He helped to pay for the land with his earnings from teaching school.

A story has been perpetuated through the years about Daniel’s teaching career.

One morning when he arrived at school, his students were all inside and had blocked the door, barring his way.  Before he could enter they told him he’d have to buy his way in with cider and apples.

But Daniel was a bit too smart for them.  He merely climbed to the roof and blocked the chimney.  The smoke couldn’t escape and forced the rebellious students to come coughing and snorting from the building.

Daniel did, it’s said, treat the students to cider and apples anyway.

Daniel S. Hosbrook served in the War of 1812 as a captain in the Mills Regiment.  A diary written by a member of the unit gives a good account of the movement and activities of the unit.

In addition to being Madeira’s first teacher, Daniel had other occupations.  He was a surveyor and he became the county surveyor for Hamilton County twice, in 1817 and in 1820.

Daniel also got into politics and was active in politics all his life.  He served as sheriff of Hamilton County for one year.  As sheriff, he had to deliver prisoners to Columbus by horseback.

He also served three terms as a state representative in the Ohio legislature.

There are no photographs of Daniel S. Hosbrook.  The only knowledge of his physical appearance is that he was blind in one eye.

Daniel had married Eunice Bates in 1808 and they had 10 children.  Of their five sons, three moved to Indiana.  Two of them, John L. and Mahlon, stayed on in Madeira.  All the modern-day Hosbrooks as we know them sprang from John L.

There seems to be a longevity gene in the Hosbrook family.  Many of them lived to be quite old.  Daniel was no exception.  He died on Nov. 22, 1868.  He is buried in Laurel Cemetery in Madisonville, under a huge marble monument.

His wife, Eunice, outlived him by four years.  She died in 1872 and is also buried in Laurel Cemetery.