The Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Ohio

Organized January 8, 1895

Orlando Wesley Aldrich

March 30, 1840 – October 24, 1924

– 1st President , Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Ohio –

Mr. Aldrich was born in Clarence, Erie County, New York, the son of Sidney Aldrich and Lydia A. York .

Sidney Aldrich was from Framlingham, Suffolk County, England and lived in Erie County until 1864 when he moved to Jackson County, Michigan. Lydia York was the daughter of Stephen York and Elizabeth Brown and was born in Clarence, Erie County, New York.

Orlando Aldrich was a veteran of the Civil War, having enlisted as a Private in Company D, 14th Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry on May 17, 1861 in Albany, New York. He served with distinction and was promoted on February 18, 1862 to the rank of Corporal. Aldrich saw action in the Battles of Antietam, Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg. He was discharged in Utica, New York on May 22, 1863.

After the War of the Rebellion, Mr. Aldrich embarked upon an academic career and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1869, with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1875 and a Doctor of Civil Law in 1881. He took  a Doctor of Laws degree from Albert University of Belleville, Ontario in 1877.

He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1870 and taught as a professor of philosophy at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1877 and 1878 and as a professor of law from 1876 to 1881. He was the editor of the Weekly Jurist of Bloomington, Illinois and edited the first American edition of Anson on Contacts, an English work of high authority. He prepared the supplemental volume of Ohio Statutes from 1880 to 1885 and wrote an article on elections in the first edition of the American Encyclopedia of Law – consisting of two hundred double columned pages. He was professor of law at Ohio State University from 1892 to 1897.

Among his many accomplishments are: first president of the Worthington, Clintonville & Columbus Street Railway Company; president of the Ohio State Interurban Railway Association; secretary of the Columbus, Delaware & Marion Electric Railway; president of the Columbus Horticultural Society, vice president of the Ohio State Horticultural Society. At the Ohio Centennial in 1888 he was made an honorary commissioner for Franklin County.

Orlando Wesley Aldrich married Roselin G. Jewell at Hudson, Illinois on October 28, 1863. She died May 30, 1877 leaving two children: Edgar S. Aldrich who graduated from Ohio State University in 1898 as an electrical engineer and Mrs. Harry E. Clum of Columbus.

Mr. Aldrich married again on July 24, 1878 to Mrs. Sarah Ann Taylor (Coulter) of Vandalia, Illinois who was born December 31, 1841 in Coshocton County, Ohio and died July 25, 1910 in Franklin County, Ohio. Their son, Wesley Richard Aldrich graduated from Ohio State University and studied law.
– Fraternal and Patriotic Associations –

First President of the War of 1812 Society in the State of Ohio; Vice President General of the General Society of the War of 1812; Seventh President Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution; member of the Benjamin Franklin Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution; Commander of the Elias J. Beers Post # 575 of the Grand Army of the Republic; Judge Advocate for the Department of Ohio Grand Army of the Republic; member of the Union Veteran Legion Encampment # 78; Master of the New England Lodge # 4 of the Free and Accepted Masons; member of the Mount Vernon Commandery Knights  Templar and member of Aladdin Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

Stephen York –

Mr. Aldrich’s War of 1812 ancestor was his maternal grandfather Stephen York, who was in Captain J. P. Spencer’s Company of the New York Militia and saw action in the Battle of Fort Erie. He had been drafted into the Canadian Militia but ran away to the States.

His parents resided near Lundy’s Lane and his grandmother saw the battle from her house. Her husband was the man who gave information to Brigadier General Jacob J. Brown which resulted in the capture of a British spy. This became known to the authorities and they had to fly to the south and their farm was confiscated.

Robert York –

Robert York, maternal great grandfather and father of Stephen York, was in Captain McGregor’s Company of the New Hampshire Continental Line during the Revolutionary War.

Asahel Franklin –

Another Revolutionary War ancestor was maternal great grandfather Asahel Franklin who was under the command of General John Stark and saw action at the Battle of Bennington, Vermont.  Mr. Franklin was a nephew of Benjamin Franklin.

Aldrich’s grandmother was eleven years old at the time and saw the battle from her father’s house.


A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1901. Pages 280 – 282.

Membership application to the War of 1812 Society in the State of Ohio dated January 8, 1895.

Membership application to the Ohio Society Sons of the American Revolution dated April 25, 1893.

Military file for Corporal Orlando W. Aldrich from the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

Pension File for service in the Civil War for Orlando W. Aldrich from the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

Obituary, Orlando W. Aldrich, October 25, 1924, Columbus Evening Dispatch newspaper, Columbus, Ohio. Pages 1 and 2.

Members Reference Calendar

November 2020