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February 27, 1986


Pix #1 - This house at 819 N. Union St. was originally built to be the parsonage of an early Methodist church in Risdon, but later became the home of Dr. D.J. Doe and suceeding Does. It is now owned and habited by Mr. and Mrs. Rober E. Doe, a descendent.

Pix #2 - Elmer Ellsworth Doe author of the book "The Descendents of Nicholas Doe 1631-1917"

Author's Note: This is the first of several articles about the Doe family, and the house at 819 N. Union St., where Mr. and Mrs. Roger E. Doe live. The history of the Does is contained in a book of 375 pages, the information for it collected and published in 1917 by Elmer Ellsworth Doe. Here is an interesting article for genealogists.

Countless numbers of Fostorians have been past the house at 819 N. Union St. never knowing that it has been owned by various members of the Doe family whose roots go back to the early years of this country...even traceable to the Does in Europe...and furthermore, that Roger E. Doe, well-known in Fostoria, is a part of that notable family and has owned and lived in that house since 1954.


I was initially informed about a book "The Descendents of Nicholas Doe - 1631-1917", by Roger J. Doe, 161 Summit Street, grandson of the Does who reside at 819 N. Union. It was just a random conversation in which he told me just enough about the history of the family to stir my interest and prompt me to ask if I could borrow the book. It was later that I learned that his grandfather had one of the books too, and that they "almost" guard them (the books) with their life.

More recently, I spent some time with Roger E. Doe, learning about the house, the family and was honored by being allowed to borrow his book, for extraction of information about the family.

So, here's the report about the house and family, through the courtesy and help of Roger E. Doe, one of those descendents and from many excerpts from the book.


The house at 819 was originally built to serve as the Methodist church parsonage when a church was built in the village of Risdon. The church was probably the building which was erected on summit Street, later to become a school, located where Faith Tabernacle is today...making it relatively close to the parsonage.

Roger E. Doe, residing there now, knows that complete records are on file in the Seneca County Courthouse detailing dates and early owners of the property, but his physical condition has prohibited his climbing the stairs to gather and assemble that data.


Dr. Daniel J. Doe, seventh generation of the family lived in the house, and had his office there. The doctor's "shingle" informing Fostorians back then where to find him, has been preserved by the family and is presently possessed by Roger E. It could not be copied satisfactorily to use with this article. Later the house became the property of Horatio Doe, one of the doctor's sons.

Roger E. Doe, present owner and resident, purchased the house in 1954 from Vernon Harold Pittman, a great grandson of Dr. D.J. Doe, through the marriage of his son Volney Hubert Doe to Charlotte Arnold, who in turn had a daughter Myrta Alma, who married Pittman.

Without the records from the courthouse, it is unknown when the house was built, but it was in the early days of the village of Risdon, consequently the house is easily over 100 years old.


The wooden beams supporting the house are hewn logs, cut from the forest surrounding Risdon. The flooring is 1 1/8 inch tongue and groove poplar. The interior wood trim is all sycamore and was probably hand-made.

The size of the house is deceiving from outward appearances. It contains nine rooms...two bedrooms on the first floor and four on the second, plus living room, dining room, kitchen and bath.

Roger Doe, having been in the construction and building business for many years, has kept the house in excellent condition. It is worthy of being named a Heritage Home or a Historic Ohio Homestead.

The accompanying photo of the house will provide an exterior view of the fascinating house which has stood there so unobtrusively for so many years, providing home and shleter for a noble family with many talents, many of whom have been honored for their achievements...some of whom will be presented later in this article.


The Does still living in this area, in addition to Roger E. on North Union Street are: Roger J. Doe, Summit Street; Mrs. Josephine Wilcox, Good Shepherd Home; Mrs. Carl (Fannie) Carson, Lytle Street; Mrs. Oscar (Marguerite) Sanders, North Poplar Street; Lloyd E. Doe, East Tiffin Street; Mrs. David (Kathleen) Aken, Laurel Drive; John Doe, Findlay, and Ruth Ann Sturnbel, Carey.


(Copied from The Fostoria Weekly News, at the time of Dr. Doe's death)

Dr. Daniel J. Doe, was born Feb. 8, 1801, to Jacob and Sarah Thurston Jones of Rumney, N.H., part of a family of 13 children; his birth at a time when parents thought it no disgrace to have a large family, but like the ancient Hebrews deemed it an honor.

His father a thrifty farmer, and Daniel along with the other sons was trained up on the farm, acquiring habits of industry, economy and promptness.

Inheriting a somewhat delicate constitution, his parents not considering him strong enough to work on the farm, determined to give him an education. Accordingly, Daniel was fitted up in his plain home-spun clothes, and sent away to Haverhill, N.H.


Daniel continued his schooling, working on the farm, and teaching until he was prepared to enter Dartsmouth College, where he graduated in 1827, in a class of 31, with highest honors in his class.

He commenced practice of medicine at Bridgewater N.H., and continued at Rumney and Meredith Center, N.H.; New York City; Peru; and Fremont Ohio.

In 1854, Dr. Doe and his family moved to Fostoria from Fremont, but after then practiced his profession very little on account of impaired health.

He died Jan. 26, 1869 and was buried in Fostoria Fountain Cemetery.

Dr. Daniel J. Doe first married Sarah Riggs on Nov. 12 1830, she died Aug. 14 1831. By his second wife, Lydia Ann Roberts, he had six children: Horatio W. Born Oct. 27, 1834; Sarah Cecilia, born Oct. 20, 1836; Harriet I., born Jan. 17, 1839; Chauncey A., born at Rumney N.H. June 18, 1841; Volney Hubert, born Aug. 30, 1843; Roger Stanley, Born Fostoria May 29, 1855.

The Doe family burial plot at Fostoria Fountain cemetery is marked by a large monument in the original part of the cemetery. Buried on the plot are Dr. Doe and his second wife Lydia Ann; Sarah Cecilia, daughter; Horatio W., son and Harriet Doe Gear, daughter.

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