Tradition has it that on the 10th day of January in 1737* a bitter wind blew down from the north on Litchfield, Connecticut, piling snow into drifts so deep that only the roofs of the backwoods hamlet could be seen. Wolves howled all that night in the surrounding timber, town dogs replied in kind, and Mary Baker Allen gave birth to a son, her first child.
If Joseph, the father, brought out the steelyards to weigh the boy, it is not of record, but he did his best to give the infant a proper start in life. He gave him the ancient Hebrew name Ethan, signifying firmness, staunchness, strength.
Names counted for a good deal in those days, and Joe Allen was a man who had a fancy for names. He had need of them. He was at home a good deal, and seven children followed Ethan in fairly regular order. Although Joe Allen was highly critical of certain teachings in the Old Testament, he had a liking for some of its men and women, and with the advent of a new child, he simply took down his Bible and contemplated the many biographies therein. He named Ethan____________________