Henry Robbins Baldwin
(1867 – 1918)

In the Youngstown Vindicator on April 26, 1918 were the obituary and the adjacent picture of Mr. Baldwin who died on the previous day following a 4 year illness of diabetes. The obituary said he was a son of Homer and Laura N. Robbins Baldwin, both descendents of distinguished old pioneer families of the Western Reserve. What the newspaper did not mention was that Henry’s father owned and operated two successful flour mills in Youngstown. His Diamond Mill, located on Market Street a few blocks from the Public Square, had been equipped in 1866 with the machinery removed from H. K. Morse’s unsuccessful grist mill operations on the east side of Yellow Creek next to the Riverside Cemetery.

Henry Baldwin’s obituary continued as follows; “The great-great-grandfather of the deceased was a brother of the illustrious Moses Cleveland (sic) who founded the Forest City. For the past 15 years Mr. Baldwin had devoted practically all his time to his favorite hobby, looking up pedigrees and writing family histories, and had gained quite an enviable reputation as to his ability along that line”. Reading between the lines we can assume that Henry profited from his family’s milling operations and had no need to work. We know as a fact that Mr. Baldwin in pursuit of his hobby visited every cemetery in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. The Youngstown Public Library on Wick Ave. has 34 books of handwritten cemetery, war, church, court, personal, and miscellaneous data gathered during his short lifetime. These handwritten notebooks have been edited by dedicated librarians and are now found neatly typed and indexed in 48 volumes displayed on the library’s reference shelves. Henry’s genealogical efforts are greatly appreciated today by all persons who attempt to trace their ancestors who lived more than a hundred years ago and are now buried somewhere in the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys. In the Baldwin Genealogical Records you will find family names with dates of births and deaths.

In his notebooks you will find that every tombstone in every cemetery has been listed. What a valuable tool this has been! Many of the inscriptions that were once on the tombstones a hundred years ago have now been eroded away and are illegible. This is especially true today in the cemetery next to the Poland Presbyterian Church where the inscriptions on many old sandstone monuments can not be read. We owe much to this man who the Vindicator described as, “A man of high ideals and strong character, deeply and keenly interested in the welfare of those about him”.

Henry R. Baldwin was survived by his two brothers, William H. Baldwin of Poland and Benjamin N. Baldwin of Youngstown. His funeral services were conducted at his residence located at 44 Illinois Avenue, Youngstown, on Saturday, April 27, 1918. He was interred with his father and mother near the entrance to the Oak Hill Cemetery on a hill overlooking downtown Youngstown.