by Elizabeth Windle Chappell
Sleeper, one of the prominent pioneers of Tippecanoe
County, was a native of New York, born in Otsego County,
July 29, 1806, a son of Samuel and Patience (Burroughs)
Sleeper. His parents were born near Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania; and in their youth they accompanied
their parents to Ostego County, New York, where they
were later married. To this union were born nine
children; five boys and four girls, of whom Buddell was
the next youngest child. In 1810, they left New
York and moved to Northampton County, Pennsylvania,
where they lived seven years. They then moved to
Clarke County, Ohio, where our subject grew to manhood.
Source: A History of Farmers
Institute Monthly Meeting of Friends and Its Community
by Nellie Taylor Raub
received only limited advantages for obtaining an
education. He attended, when a child, the
subscription schools; but by studying at home in his
leisure hours, he became well informed on general topics
and acquired a fair business education. When he
was twelve years old, he began working on the farm
and was thus employed in addition to working at the
carpenter's trade, until manhood.
married January 2, 1833, to Elizabeth (Hendricks)
Welch, who was born in North Carolina, July 22,
1802, a daughter of Samuel and Chloe
(Hendricks)Welch who had moved to Ohio in 1815,
locating in Warren County. Buddell and his
wife remained in Ohio two years, and during this
time, their eldest daughter, Martha, was born.
In the autumn of 1835, he and his brother, Jacob,
and brother-in-law, Seth Williams, removed with
their families to Tippecanoe County. Buddell
settled upon a farm near Farmers Institute, where
the remainder of his active life was spent.
Buddell and Elizabeth Sleeper had four daughters:
Martha, wife of Allen Jay; Mary E., wife of Isaac E.
Windle; Sarah, wife of Benjamin Hollingsworth; and
Hannah C., wife of Job Osborn. His brother, Jacob
died in 1840, his wife have preceded him in death the
year before; so our subject and his wife reared their
two children, Chloe Ann and Isaiah
settling in Indiana, Buddell and his brother, Jacob,
together bought 1100 acres of land paying $4 an
acre. He added to his original purchase until his
homestead contained 400 acres of improved land. He
was also owner of about 700 acres in other tracts and
about 1000 acres of improved land in Mahaska County,
Iowa. His property was acquired by hard work and
good management. He always paid cash for his land,
never giving his note for any of it.
was a great reader, and lover of plants and
animals. In his well-kept garden were many rare
and beautiful old-fashioned flowers. He enjoyed
telling the grandchildren of beavers, muskrats, wolves
and bears that he had trapped in his earlier days.
A big bear trap and other traps in his work shop
evidenced the truth of his stories.
the pre-civil war days, Buddell was the leader in the
enterprise known as the Underground Railroad. Many
fleeing slaves from the South were secreted in his home
and taken on to the North in the dark hours of night, to
freedom. This night work was often the duty of
Isaiah Sleeper who made his home at Buddell Sleeper's.
Buddell Sleeper and his wife, Elizabeth, were birthright
Friends. They sat at the head of the meeting:
Buddell on the men's side; Elizabeth, on the
women's. They were of the old conservative stock,
wore the plain clothes, and spoke the plain language;
but they were reasonable and agreeable in allowing the
younger generation to adopt new costumes. They
were active in the growth of the church and were the
first to organize a Scripture School and foremost in
promoting a school for higher education. The death
of Buddell Sleeper occurred February 21, 1888, aged 81
yrs. and 6 months; and the death of his wife, Elizabeth,
February 4, 1889, aged 86 years and 5 months.