Ohio History Journal

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Emilius Oviatt Randall

Emilius Oviatt Randall.            103






Emilius O. Randall had the inestimable advantage of being

well-born. Not by inheritance of the muniments of wealth or

caste or rank, but through the influences of forebears whose

chief purposes in life, and whose aspirations and achievements,

were within the sphere of the intellectual and spiritual. They

were Americans more than a century before Bunker Hill, and

were among the founders of New England, of whom Longfellow

wrote: "God sifted three kingdoms to find the seed for this

planting." Through six generations his ancestors justified this

saying. They helped to bear the burdens of the forefathers;

theirs was the Heroic Age of American history. It was the era

when the first forests were felled and the virgin soil was tilled;

when the conquests of nature and the Indian went hand in hand;

when the French invader was driven out; and greater than all,

when popular government was established, and a new Nation

given to mankind. The Randalls and the Oviatts did their full

share of all this, and in the later days of peace they pioneered

to a western land to lay the foundation of homes of culture and

refinement. They preached the Word and they taught in the col-

leges and schools of the new land. They brought with them the

sturdy New England character sifted through generations of

hardships and tribulations.

This was Randall's heritage - a gift from God that he pre-

served throughout his ife. He never compromised it. Beneath

his gentle exterior, which he wore as a velvet glove, he grasped

the moral side of every question with a grip of steel. It was the

operation of his New England conscience which he inherited

from his Puritan ancestors. He had the robust qualities of

steadfastness of purpose and firmness of thought. He encour-

aged no conflict in deciding between right and wrong, he toler-

ated no debate of expediency; he simply and quietly, but quickly

and immovably took the side of right. Thus, as he thought in

his soul, so he was in his life - clean and straight, and free from

hypocrisy and guile. The meaner vices of life never even cast