2011-10-05 / Front Page

Woman Named "Archbold" Visits

by David Pugh
Buckeye Staff Writer

Frances Leidy Frances Leidy A woman whose family background includes several Archbolds visited Archbold, Ohio, for the first time recently.

Frances Archbold Hufty Leidy visited Archbold, Monday, Sept. 19, stopping at the office of this newspaper.

Leidy said she learned of Archbold’s existence years ago at a family reunion, but had never taken time to visit the town.

Then, while returning to her home in West Chester, Pa., from a business trip in Canada, she convinced a fellow businessman she was traveling with to drive down the west side of Lake Erie, to see Archbold.

The Archbold Name

Leidy traced the Archbold in her name to her greatgreat grandfather, Israel Archbold, an itinerant Methodist minister.

He and his wife, the former Frances Dana, had several children, one of whom was her great-grandfather, John Dustin Archbold.

Leidy said all the Archbolds lived in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, “which meant the family was involved in oil.”

And involved they were. Her great-grandfather, John Dustin Archbold, was recruited by John D. Rockefeller, founder of the Standard Oil Company.

He would become the second president of the massive oil company until the United States Supreme Court ordered it broken into more than 30 smaller companies in 1911.

John Dustin Archbold died in 1916.

In 1925, her grandfather, John Foster Archbold, one of John Dustin’s children, established the John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville, Ga., in honor of his father.

Leidy’s uncle, Richard Archbold, was a philanthropist, zoologist, and aviator who undertook several scientifi c expeditions to New Guinea in the 1930s.

At the start of World War II, Richard Archbold started the Archbold Biological Station, which today covers close to 9,000 acres in southcentral Florida.

The station is a research center, concentrating on preserving and studying the Florida scrub ecosystem, which is highly threatened.

Leidy’s mother, Frances Archbold Hufty, assumed leadership of Archbold Expeditions, the parent organization of the research station, after Richard’s death in 1976.

Frances led Archbold Expeditions through the expansion of the research station. She was involved in other civic and scientific endeavors. She died in 2010.

Archbold, Ohio

No one knows the exact origin of the Archbold, Ohio name. Some say it was named for a railroad engineer named “Archbald.” Another version said it was named for two railroad engineers, “Arch” and “Bald.”

Reportedly, the second “a” was changed to an “o,” because a local postmaster decided it was easier to work with.

Leidy said, “Whatever the town was named for, it’s fun to know there are a lot of Archbolds around.”

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