Charlestown NH Farmer, Inventor, Barbed Wire King: Joseph Farwell Glidden (1813-1906)

Joseph F. Glidden, King of Barbed Wire.

Joseph F. Glidden, King of Barbed Wire. Courtesy Illinois Digital Archives

What happened when the cow jumped over a barbed wire fence? Utter catastrophe! This poor joke is a lead into today’s blog story, about the potentate of wire fences–a Charlestown NH native named Joseph Farwell Glidden. Sometimes called “devil’s rope,” it was composed of a twisted wire that included a pointed barb, efficient for enclosing larger livestock. Mr. Glidden didn’t invent the first barbed wire, he simply invented and patented a new version and along with it a method to mass produced miles of it. He made a fortune.

The Rockford Republic newspaper of Rockford, Illinois dated 19 October 1906 probably relates the best and most comprehensive explanation of this invention: “Uncle Joe Glidden located in Ogle County in 1840 where he was a member of the Mt. Morris colony and where his first wife died in 1843. Shortly after he moved to DeKalb and was known to all pioneer residents of the county who teamed to Chicago, as Joe Glidden’s was one of the regular stopping places on the trip.

Throughout the length and breadth of Illinois three men are known as the patriarchs of an invention that has fenced almost every civilized nation in the world. One of these men is Joseph F. Glidden who has criss-crossed the globe with strands of barbed wire. Another of these men helped him when it was needed. The other fought his invention in legal battles that cost in court and attorney fees more than $100,000. The former is Isaac Ellwood and the latter is Jacob Haish.

To Joseph F. Glidden will always be given the credit of inventing a fence with a bevel pointed barb, but it was still another man who suggested the idea of keeping stock away by sharp points fastened on wire. The name of this man was [Henry] Rose and he had shown his invention at a county fair back in 1872. Rose had driven some brads through a wooden block two inches square. Then he stapled the block on a wire and suspended it between posts.

It was Joseph F. Glidden, who seeing Rose’s block bards, said at once that the barb should be fixed to the wire direct and it was he who acted on this idea by making a fence with the barb fastened to the wire.

Rose had taken out a patent on his wire, and by a simple precaution he could have headed Glidden off. He neglected to specify the character of the barb as to its points. Glidden obtained the sharp point by butting the wire bevel shape and in his patent he covered the idea so effectual that neither the word bevel nor the idea could be used by any other inventor in the world. It is related that at one time thirty-four different manufacturing concerns were paying royalties on the use of the word bevel used in connection with a barb wire.

Harry F. Condon, also an inventor and who has been associated with Mr. Glidden in a number of farm inventions, says that the latter got the idea of twisting the wire by mere accident. He was carrying a length of the wire over his premises when it became tangled and twisted and it was found that the twists were holding the barbs about the proper distance from each other. It is also related by Mr. Condon that the first length of wire that was purposely twisted was so treated by fastening one end to an oak tree and the other to the treadle end of a grindstone shaft. Glidden found that he could not hold the wire and turn the stone so he called his wife, who looked after the stone while her husband looked after the wire.

In the meantime Isaac L. Ellwood a hardware merchant who also had been trying to invent a barbed fence by cutting sharp points on a flat strip of steel was appealed to by “Uncle Joe” to help him push the idea. Mrs. Ellwood had seen Glidden’s fence and she told her husband that Glidden had the best of him. So when “Uncle Joe” made his proposition to the hardware man the altter on the advice of his wife accepted his proposition. The two went to Washington and while the two inventors were standing on the floor of the patent office the patent was issued to Joseph F. Glidden. It was the first and only one in which the word bevel figured and this little word effectually headed off all other inventors, the salient point in an invention that filled the coffers of the inventors.

Even after the two men had the manufacture of barbed wire grasped in their own hands, it was an uphill job to get it started. There were few men with money willing to risk it on the contrivance, but finally $5,000 was raised and a rough shop was put up in DeKalb.

Militia put up barbed wire, Rhode Island riots; Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection

Militia put up barbed wire, Rhode Island riots; Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection

Glidden and Ellwood got their wire from a Massachusetts firm, Washburn & Moen, at Worcester, and they put on the barbs at DeKalb. The Worcester firm got so many orders for wire that they became curious as to what the Illinois men were doing with it and Washburn was sent out to DeKalb to find out. It was then, so it is related that Washburn approached Glidden with a proposition to buy his interest. Glidden is said to have sold for $60,000 cash and a royalty of 25 cents per hundred pounds of barbed wire that would be manufactured. It is asserted in DeKalb that notwithstanding the fact that this royalty was reduced until it was as low as 5 cents a hundred, Glidden was paid before the patent expired in 1892 more than $1,000,000.

Before either Glidden or Ellwood had made barbed wire, so it is told, Jacob Haish had not only made it but sold it. But he had neglected to patent his invention. He twisted an S barb on a single wire which was of different shape from the Glidden barb. The fight between Haish and the other inventors took place after the American Steel and Wire Company had acquired the interest of both Glidden and Ellwood. It is told that Haish, while he neglected to patent his barb, had invented an automatic machine for putting the barb on the wire, and this he covered with a patent at once, giving him a powerful advantage in making the wire fence. Despite the fact that there was some kind of an agreement by which the Glidden crowd should use the machine in consideration of Haish being permitted to go on making his wire unmolsted, there finally arose a dispute that carried the whole controversy into the courts and made it one of the most expensive pieces of litigation in the history of patent infringements.

DeKalb wire is being shipped away from DeKalb today by the tainload. More than $5,000,000 is invested in machinery and buildings engaged in its manufacture. It is shipped to every country in the world. It figured extensively in both the Boer and Russo-Japanese wars, being used to construct barriers between contending armies. It came from the mind still clear at the age of 93 years, the man who told you that it was the result of studying how to equip a wire that “would turn a critter.” — Oregon Republican.

When Joseph F. Glidden died the Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth MN) of 13 October 1906 printed the following: “Joseph F. Glidden who invented barbed wire fence, is dead. Unfortunately, his invention survives and possesses a most distressing, clothes-tearing, hide-rendering activity.”

There was a bit of controversy following Mr. Glidden’s death as evidenced by this article in the 26 October 1906 Morning Star newspaper of Rockford IL. “DE KALB. Oct 25–The will of Joseph F. Glidden, the inventor of barb wire and one of the most prominent and respected citizens of De Kalb county, who died last week, has been filed for probate in the De Kalb county court. His estate was much smaller than the general estimates. According to the valuation placed in it in the petition for probate of the will, the estate amounts to only about $170,000.

Mr. Glidden had always been generous with his property and had given at various time considerable sums to his daughter, who died last spring. Twelve years ago he executed a bond to convey to his daughter and her husband, William Bush of Chicago, several thousand acres of land in Texas worth at that time about $500,000 and Mr. Glidden stated that in 1894 the property had increased in value to one million dollars, when Mr. Bush prevailed upon his wife to allow Mr. Glidden to make a deed thereof to Bush only, and Bush now holds the property.

GIVES FREE HOSPITAL–The sum of $22,000 is set aside for building and grounds and an endowment fund of $5,000 is provided to create two free wards, one of which shall be known as the Lucinda Warne Glidden room, the other as the Elva Glidden Bush room, these apartments being named for the wife and daughter of the testator.

The grounds and buildings are to be conveyed to a board of trustees. Already there is considerable litigation promised for the estate. There is now filed in the circuit court a suit against William H. Bush of Chicago, the son-in-law of the testator. In this case it is alleged that Mr. Bush by misrepresentations, just before the death of his wife, Elva Glidden Bush, prevailed on Mr. Glidden to deed to him the Glidden hotel property in DeKalb, valued at $75,000. Mr. Glidden himself started the suit to recover the property.

*Additional Reading*

Joseph E. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center

Teaching with Documents: Glidden’s Patent for Barbed Wire

Barb fence : its utility, efficiency and economy : a book for the farmer, the gardener and the country gentleman / manufacturers for the United States, Washburn & Moen Manufacturing Co., Worcester, Mass. ; I.L. Ellwood & Co., De Kalb, Ill.

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum

The descendants of Charles Glidden of Portsmouth and Exeter, New Hampshire, compiled by George Walter Chamberlain, edited by Lucia Glidden Strong. Published as a memorial to her father and mother, by George W. Chamberlain and Lucia M. Glidden Strong, Boston MA, 1925

Ancestry of Edward Wales Blake and Clarissa Matilda Glidden with ninety allied families, by Edith (Bartlett) Sumner, Los Angeles, 1948

History of Clarendon from 1810 to 1888 / by David Sturges Copeland.
by Copeland, David Sturges.Published 1889

===== GENEALOGY OF JOSEPH FARNUM GLIDDEN =====

Charles Glidden, son of Richard & Dorothy (?) Glidden, b. 1632 in Buckland, Devon, England and d. 6 June 1707 in Exeter NH. He married 7 April 1658 to Eunice Shore, dau of Sampson & Abigail (Benson) Shore. She was b. 1638-40 in England and died 6 June 1707 in NH. 6 children. They arrived in the American colonies by 1660 as their first child was born here in 1659, and the second in Boston MA in 1661. They removed to Portsmouth NH then called Strawbery Banke, in the northeast section near the Piscataqua River. In 1662 he was a witness to a document in Kittery Maine. At the town meeting of Portsmouth 3-1-1664 he was chosen Constable. In 1665 he signed the Declaration for Massachusetts government. In 1665 along with John Clark was listed among those who subscribed for the support of Rev. Joshua Moody. He was a blacksmith by trade. About 1667-1668 he sold his home stall in Portsmouth to Richard Martyn, and moved to the section of Exeter that is now New Market, and became a planter. In 1673 “Charles Gleeden” and six others were admonished for not frequenting the public worship of God on the Lord’s days…His name is second on a list of 64 Exeter men who “tooke the oath of Allegance to his majestie…” He is on the Exeter tax list of 1680 and 1684. In 1686 he received an innholder’s license. In 1690 he signed the general petition of New Hampshire Inhabitants (to Massachusetts) for a separate government.
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Children of Charles & Eunice (Shore) Glidden:
1. Abigail Glidden, b. 11 Feb 1659 in Biddeford England, no further record
2. Susannah Glidden, b. 16 Nov 1661 Boston MA, no further record
3. +Richard Glidden, b. 1665
4. Joseph Glidden, possibly a son; b. 1668, d. 24 Nov 1700 Boston age about 32 years (Copps Hill Epitaphs); m. Jane — and had 2 ch; she m2d) 1708 Christopher Marvin
5. John Glidden, b. abt 1670, d. before 17 May 1718 in Exeter NH; m. c1695 to Elizabeth Ladd, daughter of Nathaniel. 3-6 children.

Capt. Richard Glidden, son of Charles & Eunice (Shore) Glidden, was b. 1660-1665 in Portsmouth NH, and d. 5 Oct 1728 in Exeter NH. He married 7 Apr 1658 to Sarah Gilman, prob daughter of Charles Gilman. She b. 25 Feb 1667 and d. 24 Jan 1712. She was alive in 1734 being called a widow. Per the book, “Ancestry of Edward Wales Blake and Clarissa Matilda Glidden by Edith B. Sumner, 1948”:Richard was Captain of the New Hampshire forces in 1688 and 1696 and is called Captain in the town records. He signed the New Hampshire petition to the Crown in 1692, asking for equal privileges with Massachusetts. The town of Exeter granted him two fifty-acre lots in 1698. He was a member of the First Church of Exeter…and he signed its covenant in 1698. He served as a highway surveyor in 1699. Other records call him a planter in 1708 and husbandman in 1710. He and Sarah were witnesses of a will in 1717, and he administered his brother John’s estate in 1718. In 1725 he was granted another fifty-acre lot. By his will of 10-18-1727, Andrew, Joseph and Charles had already received their portions; Richard was to have half the home place; Benjamin and Jonathan were to have 50 acres or 50 pounds apiece; Josiah to have a comfortable maintenance; John to have the other half of the home place, and he to pay the daughters each 10 pounds; his “well loved wife” was to have the house and all his lands during his lifetime. In 1734 Sarah, then a widow conveyed a part of the home place in Exeter to her son Richard Jr., the deed witnessed by Cartee Gilman and Joseph and Elizabeth Scribner. Richard Junior was the executor of his father’s estate.
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Children of Richard & Sarah (Gilman) Glidden:
1. Andrew Glidden 1688-1727; m. abt 1709 Lydia Folsom, dau of Ephraim
2. Joseph Glidden 1694-1761; cordwainer; m1) Mary Smart; m2) Dorcas (Rollins) Bennett
3. Charles Glidden, c1690-1727; m. Abigail Jones
4. Richard Glidden, b c1692, d. c1755 Brentwood NH; m. Elizabeth Smart
5. Benjamin Glidden 1694-1739; cordwainer; m. Mary Wedgwood, dau of John
6. +Jonathan Glidden b. 1696
7. Josiah Glidden 1698-1727; died unmarried
8. John Glidden c1700-living 1749 in Deerfield NH
9. Susannah Glidden, m before Oct 1727 to — Woodman
10. Elizabeth Glidden 1700-1739, unmarried in 1727
11. Sarah Glidden, twin 1702, unmarried in 1727

Jonathan Glidden, son of Richard & Sarah (Gilman) Glidden, b. 1696 in Epping or Exeter NH, and d. 1797 in Unity NH. He married 31 Dec 1729 in Greenland NH to Margaret Bean, dau of Jeremiah & Ruth (Johnson) Bean. She was b. 1700/1701 in Exeter NH, and d. after 1756 in Epping NH. [some info from book, Ancestry of Edward Wales Blake and Clarissa Matilda Glidden, by Edith Bartlett Sumner, 1948]. The first record is in a list of men whom Capt. John Gilman had omitted in his muster roll of 1725: “Jona Glidden, 16 days L1:2:10.” By his father’s will 1727 he was to receive fifty acres of land or L10. After his marriage in 1729 there is nothing until 1-15-1741 when he was one of the men of the northwest part of Exeter who signed a petition to the governor, council and house of representatives of New Hampshire to be incorporated as the parish of Epping. In 1747 he was one of the petitioners for a meeting house in Epping, in which town he lived until 1753. He was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Brentwood NH prior to 10-21-1756 when the records of Amesbury MA show that he withdrew. In 1765 he signed a petition in Nottingham NH for a separate parish because “many of the petitioners live eight and ten miles form the meeting house.” It was probably then that he went to Deerfield NH where he lived until 1768. He took an active part in the organization of the town, being chosen assessor at the first town meeting held in 1766 [unless this was his son Jonathan]. A letter written by his great-grandson, Colonel Ezra Jones Glidden at the age of seventy-nine says in part: “He was very advanced when he came to Unity [N.H.]. He lived to be 101 years old; was an excellent drummer, and at the age of 100 beat the drum at Charlestown on Regimental Muster Day. Six sons came to Unity from Deerfield, Kingston, and other towns in that section of New Hampshire, my grandfather [Jonathan-4], being the pioneer…Much of the records of early Unity are in my grandfather’s writing. That record says that he was born in 1732…” The last record of Margaret is her signature as witness to a sale of land by her husband to James Norris in 1756 for L1000. In the old cemetery on West road in Unity stands a gravestone: “Jonathan Glidden | died about 1820 | aged over 100 years | his wife Molly Pottle | died about 1800, aged 75 years.” This stone was erected many years after the dates inscribed upon it and cannot be considered true to facts.
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Children of John & Margaret (Bean) Glidden:
1. Jeremiah Glidden, b near Epping c1730, d. Unity NH c1807. Quaker, refused to sign the association test 1776; m. Mehitable –; 8 or 9 children
2. Jonathan Glidden 1732-1818; removed from Exeter to Deerfield 1768, then to Unity NH in 1773
3. Mary Glidden 1735-1819; died Readfield Maine; m. 1756 in Kingston NH to Ithiel Gordon, son of Daniel; 10 children
4. +Simeon Glidden, b. 1745 Epping NH
5. Margaret Glidden 1753-1822; m 1775 James Ladd of Deerfield NH.
6. Richard Glidden 1734-1819; resided in Deerfield NH 1765, in Unity NH 1775, and died Charlestown MA [resided there 1779-1819]; Quaker, refused to sign Association Test in 1776
7. Andrew Glidden 1737-1805, died Unity NH; signed Association Test in Gilmanton NH; m. c1774 to Maria –. 11 children.
8. Joseph Glidden 1751-1836, died Barret VT; signed Association Test 1776; m. c 1779 Sarah Whittier, dau of Reuben. She b 1756, d 1850; 10 children

Ensign Simeon Glidden, son of Jonathan & Margaret (Bean) Glidden, b. 1745 in Epping or Exeter NH, and d. 1833 in Unity NH. He married 19 October 1767 in Hawke (now Danville) NH to Rebecca Smith. She was b abt 1749, and d. 31 March 1818 in Unity NH [New Hampshire Patriot newspaper]. She and her hsuband were buried in the old cemetery on West Road in Unity NH. He was a selectman of Unity 11 Sep 1775 (NH Town Papers, 7:776). He signed the Association Test in 1776. He was Engisn of the Ninth Company raised in Unity 15 March 1775 (Hurd’s History of SUllivan County, p 384). In 1790 Simeon GLidden of Unity was listed as head of a family consisting of four males over 16 years, one male under 16, and six females (NH Census 1790). He appears among the inhabitants of Unity who petitioned the NH Legislature 2 Dec 1790, the 24 Nov 1791 and 28 Apr 1794 (NH Town Papers, 13: 503, 584, 585). In the last named petition he was described as an inhabitant of the west part of Unity. The History of Clarendon (NY) from 1810 to 1888, page 139 states: “Simeon Glidden Sr., came on to the old homestead now occupied by William Hines, as we have stated, in 1814, as a looker-over, and with his family soon after, where he lived until he closed up his earth-book. His house was of the rude, log pattern, and stood where now the mansion of William Hines….”
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Children of Simeon & Rebecca (Smith) Glidden:
1. Simeon Glidden, b. 14 May 1769 in Deerfield NH, d. 10 Sep 1831 in Clarendon, Orleans Co NY. He m. Sarah Carpenter. One child: Sarah Carpenter Glidden. The History of Clarendon (NY) states: “Simeon Glidden Jr. and wife at first lived in a log-house near the southwest corner of the present yard of their son Simeon, where a few apple-trees may be seen that speak of some seventy years ago. Osmer and Clark were born in this house. The present frame-house was built by Simeon Glidden Jr. in 1835 and Orrin Packard and Leonard Nay worked for eighteen dollars per month on this house. The masons were Prindle and Oliver Harper. Glidden built a kiln to dry his lumber, which came from Portage. The house cost fourteen hundred dollars, and all the work was done by hand, and, with the one lately occupied by William S. Glidden, on the West Glidden road, were considered the best houses in town. Lucy, the wife of Simeon Glidden, had a codfish hook, which her father had used on the banks of Newfoundland, to hang her turkeys and pigs on before the fire-place, when roasting, and this may be seen even now. [the book continues for a bit].
2. Jacob Glidden, b. 9 July 1771
3. Mary Glidden, b abt 1773; m. 23 Feb 1802 Joseph Farwell Jr of Unity. She died a widow in Unity NH 2 Nov 1813 age 30 years leaving an only daughter then 11 years old
4. Jeremiah Glidden, b 2 Feb 1774 in Deerfield NH, d. 1854 Panama NY; m. Joanna Chase; had one son: Daniel Chase Glidden (1806-1875)
5. Eunis/Eunice Glidden, b. 3 April 1776; m. 1796 Francis Chase, son of Dea. Abner & Joanna (Moody) Chase of Unity. He was b. 2 July 1772 and d. 6 Nov 1850. She died 13 Apr 1863 no children.
6. Rebecca Glidden, b. 10 July 1778
7. +David Glidden, b. 14 Feb 1780
8. Hannah Glidden, b. 19 Oct 1785; m. 27 Oct 1805 Elisha Huntley
9. Betsy Glidden, b. 8 Aug 1788; d 20 Sep 1813 in Unity NH age 25 years. Her inscription in the Old Cemetery calls her dau of Simeon and Rebecca
10. Moley Glidden, b. 19 June 1793
11. Holley Glidden, b 19 Aug 1794; m. 1 Sep 1816 in Unity NH to Ruth Moore

Capt. David Glidden, son of Simeon & Rebecca (Smith) Glidden, b. 14 Feb 1780 in Unity, Sullivan Co. NH and d. December 1848 in DeKalb IL. He m. 17 Feb 1811 in Charlestown, Sullivan Co. NH to Polly Hurd, dau of Stephen & Abigail (Glidden) Hurd. She was b. 28 Dec 1789 in Newport, Sullivan Co. NH, and died 23 Sep 1877 She taught school before 1819 in the log schoolshouse where Aurin Glidden’s house was later situated on Byron Street in Clarendon. Capt. David paid a poll tax in Unity NH in 1806 and 1807 and moved to Clarendon, Orleans Co. NY about 1815. He was a pioneer in the West, and captain of the 31st Regiment of Militia in Gennessee County 1819 (NY Military Records, 2039). They are buried in Fairview Cemetery, DeKalb IL [Some info from The descendants of Charles Glidden of Portsmouth, by George W. Chamberlain and Lucia M. Glidden Strong, Boston MA 1925].
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1850 US Census > DeKalb > DeKalb
Mary Glidden 61 F NH
Joseph Glidden 38 M NH
Willard Glidden 28 M NY
Abigal Glidden 24 F NY
Stephen Glidden 22 M NY
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Children of David & Polly (Hurd) Glidden:
1. +Joseph Farwell Glidden, b. 18 January 1813 in Charlestown NH
2. Betsey Glidden, b at Clarendon NY 29 March 1816; m. Clarendon NY 4 May 1836 James Robinson who d. at Mt. Morris about 1845. She d. abt 1878 at De Kalb IL. Children: (1) son buried in Clarendon NY; (2) Edgar Robinson b c1838, d. abt 1887 St. Louis MO; he m. abt 1867 Springfield IL to Marietta Hamlin who d. at De Kalb IL in June 1922; (3) Ithamer Robinson, b. Clarendon NY 1938; d. in Austin IL 1915. He m. at DeKalb c1867 Rachel Robinson. She married 2nd) Levi Howard.
3. Eunice Glidden, b Clarendon NY; died 25 September 1845, age 25 yrs 10 months 15 days, unmarriedburied at Plainview Cemetery, Mount Morris IL.
4. Josiah Willard Glidden, b. 7 July 1822 in Clarendon, Orleans Co. NY, d. 1876 in a farm accident; m. 1857 in Chicago IL to Mary Powell McConnell. She b 182- and d. 1909 and had 5 children; “the poet of Clarendon.” — his dau was Annie Laurie Glidden, niece buried with his brother Joseph F.’s family.
https://archive.org/details/AnnieInField-
5. Abigail Glidden, b abt 1826, d. abt 1885 in De Kalb IL, unmarried
6. Stephen Glidden, b 1825 in Buffalo NY

Likeness of Joseph F. Glidden from Portrait and biographical album of DeKalb County, Illinois : containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county : together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States : also containing a history of the county, from its earliest settlement to the present time; Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1885

Likeness of Joseph F. Glidden from Portrait and biographical album of DeKalb County, Illinois : containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county : together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States : also containing a history of the county, from its earliest settlement to the present time; Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1885

Joseph Farwell Glidden, son of David & Polly (Hurd) Glidden, b. 18 January 1813 in Charlestown, New Hampshire, and died 9 October 1906 in DeKalb IL. Glidden grew up on his father’s farms in New Hampshire and (later) New York State. Glidden attended Middlebury Academy in Genesee Co NY and a seminary at Lima, NY, then taught school for several years before returning to his father’s farm (1834–42) in Clarenden Orleans county, N.Y. He married 1st) 1837 at Clarendon NY to to Clarissa Foster, and about 1843 the couple bought a farm in De Kalb, Illinois. Glidden’s two sons and Clarissa later died in an epidemic, and Clarissa herself died in childbirth in Mt. Morris IL May 1846. She is buried in Plainview Cemetery, Mount Morris IL. He married 2nd) 6 October 1850 in Kane IL to Lucinda Warne, daughter of Henry Warne an early settler in Kane County IL. She was b 29 Nov 1826 in NJ, and d. 28 Oct 1895 in Chicago IL. In 1900 living in DeKalb Township, DeKalb Co. Illinois, a widower. In 1874 along with Joseph Ellwood he founded the Barb Fence Company and began to manufacture his patented fencing. After selling his share of the company in 1876 he invested in several properties including a mill, hotel (Glidden House) and local newspaper. He was owner of the De Kalb Roller Mills, vice president of the De Kalb National Bank, and

Likeness of Lucinda (Warne) Glidden from Portrait and biographical album of DeKalb County, Illinois : containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county : together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States : also containing a history of the county, from its earliest settlement to the present time; Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1885

Likeness of Lucinda (Warne) Glidden from Portrait and biographical album of DeKalb County, Illinois : containing full-page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county : together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States : also containing a history of the county, from its earliest settlement to the present time; Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1885

director of the North Western Railroad from 1867. In 1852 he was elected sheriff in DeKalb Co. IL, and he served as county supervisor in his town several times. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. The town of Glidden, Carroll Co. Iowa was named in his honor. [He is the subject of this blog post]
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1860 US Census > ILL > DeKalb > DeKalb
Joseph F. Glidden M. 45 NY
Lucinda Glidden F 33 NJ
Elvira F. Glidden F 9 IL
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Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago IL) newspaper, 29 October 1895
DEATHS. GLIDDEN–At the home of her daughter, Mrs. William H. Bush, No. 606 North State Street, Lucinda Warne, wife of Joseph F. GLidden. Funeral at De Kalb Ill at 2 o’clock Wednesday.
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Children of Joseph F. & Clarissa (Foster) Glidden:
1. Virgil Glidden, died young
2. Homer Glidden, died young
3. Clarissa Glidden, b. at Mt. Morris IL, d. there 28 May 1847, 11 months 27 days
Child of Joseph F. & Lucinda (Warne) Glidden:
4. Elva Frances “Elvira” Glidden, b. 29 Dec 1851 DeKalb IL, and d. 19 May 1906. She m. William Henry Bush.

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2 Responses to Charlestown NH Farmer, Inventor, Barbed Wire King: Joseph Farwell Glidden (1813-1906)

  1. D.dunlop says:

    I am Interested in learning about Glidden relatives in NH.

  2. Elenora (Mahoney) Glidden says:

    Ralph Joseph Glidden is a 5th generation son of Charles Glidden of, Maine, USA. Charles came to New Brunswick, Canada as a disbanded soldier in 1812, married Margaret LeBreton about 1830 in Tracadie, NB and lived out his life in the village of Pokemouche, NB. We cannot locate a marriage or death certificate for him in NB. His first son, John b.1830 went to the GASPE Coast of Quebec in 1840’s and died there early 1900. It is possible that Charles spent his last days with his son John. The Glidden Family there, operated Funeral Homes in the area since early 1900. (Gledden/Gleaton/Gleeton) a variety of spellings. We believe Charles to be the son of Gideon Glidden born 1755, New Market, New Hampshire, USA and Hannah ? born 1763. We would appreciate any information regarding Charles’ childhood home and family.
    Thank You from Ralph Glidden, in Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada.

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