Peter Stuckey

Meet Peter Stuckey — Farmer and Craftsman


Historic Wagon

Peter Stuckey arrived in America from Alsace Lorraine, France in 1837 with his wife Catherine (Yoder) and children Catherine, Peter and Anna. His sisters and their husbands, Peter and Maryann (Stuckey) Short and Daniel and Catherine (Stuckey) Short, arrived that same year. Three years earlier, their father Pierre Stuckey had immigrated with Peter's younger siblings. All of these families settled in what was then Brady Township, Williams County, Ohio. By the time of the 1840 Census, each family had purchased land and settled into their respective homes.

In those early years, Peter struggled to create a new life for his family. The tall trees of the forest had to be cleared and the swampland had to be drained. Slowly this pioneer family began to prosper. The homestead, located two miles west and one mile north of Archbold, began to take on a settled appearance. In 1850, Peter had real estate valued at $700. Ten years later his property worth increased to $6,800 and his personal estate was valued at $880.

Now that the land was cleared and the older children were able to help with the farming, Peter was able to turn his hand to a trade that would bring additional revenue for his family. He had probably gained his wagonmaking skills while still in Alsace, and now he had time to put these skills to good use. Peter opened a wagon shop on his farm and probably supplied wagons and did repairs for surrounding farmers. According to great-grandson, Peter Graber, Peter Stuckey specialized "in a narrow wheel which pulled easier in the mud of the swampland." Information in the 1870 Census shows that Peter had continued to prosper, with real estate valued at $8,400 and a personal estate value of $2,000.

Peter Stuckey lived to be 84 years old, dying in 1892. In his lifetime, he saw changes from subsistence farming where life was a daily struggle to a time where it was possible to be a farmer, but also to own a small business and perhaps even enjoy a little leisure time. This same story is true of many of the other settlers in the Great Black Swamp.