Guest Column: War of 1812: Hudson's most charitable soldier
by Gwendolyn Mayer
Hudson Library and Historical Society Archivist
Editor's note: The Hudson Library and Historical Society is commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 with a series of profiles of Hudson men who served in the war, written by Hudson Library and Historical Society Archivist Gwendolyn Mayer.
If one were to declare an award honoring one of the most charitable soldiers from Hudson it would have to be Zina Post (1774-1865), veteran of the War of 1812.
In 1804 at the age of 30, Zina, along with his younger brother Henry (1783-1877), arrived in Hudson from Saybrook, Conn., sharing a horse between them. In just a year, Zina acquired land in the northern part of Hudson Township, established his farm and soon after built a log home on the property. He met and married Marena Kellogg (1790-1877) in 1808.
Zina and Henry, along with Zina's three brothers-in-law, Eben Pease (1788-1816), Benjamin Oviatt (1799-1848) and John Oviatt (1767-1827), were all drafted to serve in the War of 1812. The Post brothers were under the command of Hudson's Captain of the Militia, Amos Lusk (1773-1813).
During his service, Zina saw action at the Battle of Fort Meigs (April 28 to May 9, 1813). If a soldier could not fulfill his tour of duty, he could hire a substitute to serve in his place. Zina served a short period of time and then hired a substitute for the remainder of his service. This created a financial burden for Zina and his wife, Marena, who each worked two jobs to pay for the substitute.
While her husband was off at war, Marena tended to their several children at home. During that time, alarms were raised on two different occasions when it was thought that General William Hull had surrendered and the British were about to invade the area. Each time Marena and other family members hid their household goods and food staples in hollow trees in the woods near to their farm.
The Zina Post family was known for never allowing anyone to leave their humble home hungry. They also sheltered many travelers as the main road of travel from Pittsburgh to Cleveland was located out their front door.
Marena also worked tirelessly through the Disciples Church to aid the disadvantaged of the community.
Zina was said to refuse offers of great sums of money for his large yield of wheat harvested during a time of significant crop failure, explaining to potential buyers that he had many poor and sick neighbors without much to eat and wanted to save his wheat to share with them.
Zina lived to the age of 90, dying at the end of the Civil War in 1865. Marena followed Zina to the grave in 1877.