Auglaize County, Ohio
GERMAN TOWN - Pages 158 to 161
John F. Barth
John F. Barth was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1800, and came to Baltimore, Md., in 1836, where he remained about four years, when he came to New Bremen and settled on sec. 6, German township. Here, with his wife and four children, he commenced the building of a home in the woods, and remained upon the old farm until 1865. He reared a family of ten children, six of whom are still living.
Wm. Barth, a son of the above, was born in 1840, in German Township, and still occupies the old homestead of his father. His family consists of three children, one son and two daughters.
Honorable Charles Boesel was born in Bavaria, February, 1814, and came to Baltimore, June 24, 1833. From Baltimore he came by way of Pittsburg and Cincinnati to Bremen. During the ensuing five years he was engaged at boot and shoe making, until 1838, when he opened a store of general supplies, with which he was connected during the next thirty years. A few years since he entered the banking business, in which he is still engaged. He has at different periods held important elective and appointive offices. Starting as clerk of Bremen when the voting population did not exceed fifteen, he became commissioner of Mercer County in 1840, and served two terms. At about the same time was appointed postmaster, in which capacity he served nine years. From 1851 to 1854 was superintendent of Miami and Erie Canal. From 1861 to 1865 was representative of Auglaize County in General Assembly, and again was State Senator from 1867 to 1871. He is now a member of the State Board of Charities.
J. H. Bosche
J. H. Bosche was born in Hanover, April, 1831, and came to America in 1844. After spending two years in Cincinnati he came to Bremen in 1846, where he was engaged as clerk in a general produce store until 1852, when he went to Montezuma, Ohio, and engaged in the merchandise trade, but returned to Bremen after an absence of two years, where he has since been engaged in mercantile pursuits. Since 1856 he has been engaged in the pork and grain trade in connection with many other enterprises.
Dr. Wm. A. Havemann
Dr. Wm. A. Havemann was born in Saxony in 1811, and came to St. Louis in 1837, where he remained about a year. He then started to Mexico, but only went as far as Independence where the caravan failed, and he came back to Louisville, Ky. He remained here until 1840, when he came to Bremen, where he still resides. In 1841 he married Miss Mary Oberwitte, and has raised a family of six children, all of whom are still living.
J. H. Mesloh
Hon. J. H. Mesloh was one of the earliest settlers of the Bremen community, and came from Hanover in 1830. His grandson, our subject, was born Nov. 17, 1841, one month after the death of his father. At the death of his mother, in his sixth year, he passed under the protection of his grandparents. At the age of sixteen he entered school at Springfield, Ohio, but on completion of his education returned to Bremen. In 1864 he entered the hardware business, in which he is still engaged.
He was married September 29, 1869, to Miss Minnie Boesel, of Bremen. After holding several local offices of trust he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1873, and re-elected in 1875. Has been one of the most enterprising citizens of Bremen, and has labored in interest of all improvements. His family consists of wife and five children.
Barnhart H. Mohrmann
Barnhart H. Mohrmann was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1795. He came to Cincinnati in 1831, and remained in that city about one year; He then moved to New Bremen. When he came to America his family consisted of his wife and one son, whose name is Harman Henry Mohrmann. His wife died in 1837, and in the same year he married Miss Elizabeth Schrader, who only lived about one year. In 1840 Mr. Mohrmann married Magdalene Paul, with whom he lived for a period of thirty years, when both died, Dec. 22, 1870. Mr. Mohrmann was an honest, upright citizen, and by his untiring industry and economy accumulated a considerable amount of property. Harman H. Mohrmann now lives in section 11, German township, on the farm formerly owned by his father. His wife was born in Germany, and came to America in 1853, their marriage occurring the same year. They have two children, a son and a daughter, aged respectively nineteen and sixteen. Mr. Mohrmann and his family have won the respect of the people in the town near which they have so long lived.
WM. Wiemeyer was born March 1, 1815, in Kirchspielbelin, Osuabruck, Hanover, and came to the United States in 1834.
On arrival in this country proceeded directly to Clarke County, and settled near Springfield. In 1836 he came to Bremen and became a contractor on the canal then constructing through this county. He was thus engaged until the opening of navigation, when he procured a boat, which he operated until about 1845. At this time his brother Christopher entered into partnership and assumed the position of captain of the boat. Our subject then gave his attention to the home business, consisting of an extensive trade in general merchandise and produce. While thus engaged he also conducted heavy operations as grain and hog dealer, which he continued until his brother's death, which occurred in 1849. At this period the boat was sold, but really remained in the service of Mr. Wiemeyer, whose trade was fully equal to the capacity of the boat. The present brick warehouse and a pork packing house in Bremen are monuments of his industry and enterprise, as he was the founder of both. He continued in connection with these enterprises until his death, which occurred April 19, 1858. He reared a family of eight children, five of whom are living, and named as follows: J. Fred W., W. F., Katie, Annie, and Sofa. Mrs. Wiemeyer still occupies the old home in New Bremen.
Albert Zehnkuhl was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1792 He came to Ohio in 1832, and settled in, German township. He moved to New Bremen in 1841, where he still resides. He kept hotel in New Bremen for about twenty four years. At the time Mr. Zehnkuhl came to America his family consisted of his wife and five children, of which only two are now living. Mrs. Zehnkuhl died in January, 1879, and the same year Mr. Zehnkuhl married Minnie Ketler; two children are the result of this second union. Mr. Zehnkuhl is eighty years old, and has a remarkably good memory; he quotes dates quite readily of incidents that happened many years ago.
ST MARYS - Pages 150 to 153
R. R. Barrington
R. R. Barrington was born in Ireland in 1797, and came to the United States in 1818; first locating at Piqua, and coming to St. Marys in 1822. In January, 1824, he married Mary Armstrong. Mrs. Barrington came with her parents to St. Marys in 1818. Their family consisted of six children. Mr. Barrington died in 1869, and Mrs. Barrington in 1871.
John Blew was born in Champaign County, Ohio, in 1820, and came with his father to this county in June, 1824, and settled in St. Marys. His mother came to the county in 1818, and was present when the treaty was made with the Indians at that place. Mr. Blew had sixteen horses stolen by the Indians which he never recovered. He relates the means by which he obtained his first gun. An Indian having died in the neighborhood, was not buried, but his body was placed in a tree. Here his gun and bow and arrows were placed by his side. In the course of time the gun fell to the ground, where it was found by Mr. Blew. He was well acquainted with John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, who planted a nursery on the farm of Mr. Dowty, now owned by Michael Cabal. Mr. Blew refers to those as the days in which "coon" fur supplied the place of wool, and was manipulated by the spinning wheels and knitting needles of the women.
Henry L. Brandenburg
Henry L. Brandenburg was born in Maryland in 1805. He first settled in Montgomery County in 1815, removing to St. Marys in 1883. He married Elizabeth Benner in 1837, raising a family of three children, two of whom are still living. He is at present living with his daughter, Mrs. Hagerman. Mr. Brandenburg being one of the early settlers, commenced life in the woods, doing much of his work in the night, by the light of a burning brush heap.
Samuel R. Giddens
Samuel R. Giddens was born in Northamptonshire, England, in 1814, and came to the United States in 1837, and to St. Marys in 1839. He has served as overseer of the Miami Canal since 1844. In 1842 he married Jane Kirtin and has raised a family of four children. He has served as township trustee during a long period of years.
Christopher Graber was born in Germany in 1798, came to America in 1829. He entered 120 acres of land and settled near New Bremen. His family consisted of wife and four children; they were among the first settlers of that part of the township. Mr. Graber died in 1862.
John Hawthorn was born in Ireland in 1790, and came to the United States in 1811, locating first in Pennsylvania. Came to St. Marys in 1824, where he resided the remainder of his life. He was engaged in boating between St. Marys and Fort Wayne for a number of years. He was an esteemed member of the Masonic fraternity. He raised a family of ten children, six of whom survive. In the death of Mr. Hawthorn, which occurred January, 1877, the poor lost a friend, as he was ever sympathetic and liberal.
Henry M. Helm
Henry M. Helm was born in Virginia in 1798. He married Angeline Spanklin in 1819, and after residing in Kentucky and southern Ohio, came to St. Marys in the spring of 1827. He was elected justice of the peace in 1831, and received his commission from Duncan McArthur. He was commissioned captain of militia by Allen Trimble in 1828. He was a carpenter by trade, and possessed great genius. At that time Dayton was the nearest milling point, but Mr. Helm one day went to the river, and finding two very hard stones, took them home, dressed them, and constructed a handmill, which served the purposes of himself and neighbors. His family consisted of three children, all still living. Mrs. Helm died in 1827 and Mr. Helm, March 15, 1875.
Henry Henke was born in Hanover, Germany, September 26, 1812, where he resided until his twenty-seventh year, when he came to St. Marys Township, this county, where he has since resided. In July, 1843, he married Louisa Stroaffer. They have reared a family of nine children, all of whom are still living.
Frederick Koop was born in Hanover, Germany, January 14, 1801, and came to Cincinnati in 1831, where he lived nearly four years, when he came to St. Marys Township and settled in section 33. He built a hotel on his farm on the St. Marys and New Bremen road, which he conducted eighteen years. The old building still stands, a landmark of the pioneer times. He reared a family of ten children, eight of whom are still living. Mr. K. is still in enjoyment of good health, and has by industry acquired a good home, and merits in his age the good name his neighbors so willingly accord him.
Thomas McKee was born in 1801. He settled in St. Marys township about 1824-25, on section 10. He married Anna Reynolds in 1827, and died December, 1875, leaving a family of seven children, four by the first, and three by the last marriage.
Samuel R. Mott
Hon. Samuel R. Mott was born in Knox County, Ohio, January 26, 1818, and came to St. Marys in 1833, learned the mason trade, at which he worked until 1836, when he volunteered with a company to go to Texas, where he served until July, 1837. After his return he worked at his trade until 1840, when he entered upon the study of law with his brother, G. N. Mott, now of California. In 1842 opened a law office in St. Marys, was married the next year, and at the annual election was chosen prosecuting attorney. In 1846 he entered the mercantile business, and at the organization of this county in 1848, was elected to the Ohio Legislature from Allen, Auglaize, and Mercer counties. In 1861 entered the army as captain of Company E, twentieth regiment, in the three months service. Again he entered the thirty-first regiment as captain of Company C, but after one year was appointed colonel of the one hundred and eighteenth regiment, in which capacity he served until February, 1804, when on the advice of Surgeon W. H. Phillips, of Kenton, he resigned on account of failing health. He is still engaged in the profession of law.
Edward M. Phelps
Judge Edward M. Phelps was born in Woodbury, Litchfield County, Conn., Nov. 13, 1813. In 1833 he graduated at Kenyon College, and in 1836 moved to St. Marys, Ohio. In 1838 he was elected Treasurer of Mercer County, which office he retained until 1844. From 1855 to 1859 he was a member of the Ohio Senate from this district. In May, 1869, he became Judge of the Common Pleas Court, which position he retained until May, 1879. He has thus been one of the most influential citizens, as well as one of the earliest settlers of the county. He still resides at St. Marys, and is engaged in the practice of law.
James Phillips was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 16, 1811. He came to Ohio and located at St. Marys in 1844, where he has since lived with the exception of two years, he worked at silver smithing in Piqua, Ohio. He married Sarah E. Helm. Their family consisted of six children, two of whom are still living, viz., Josephine and Sarah.
Hon. Wm. Sawyer commenced work as a blacksmith's apprentice in Dayton in 1816, when fifteen years of age. After learning the trade he worked at Dayton and Grand Rapids, Michigan, but in 1829 came to Miamisburg, O., and established himself in business. During his residence here he served five terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, and became Speaker of the House during 1835-6. In 1838 and 1840 he was a candidate for Congress, but was defeated by Patrick G. Goode. In 1843 he moved to St. Marys, and the next year was elected to Congress and reelected in 1846. In 1850 he served as member of the Constitutional Convention, and in Oct. 1855, was elected to the House of Representatives from Auglaize County. The same year he was appointed Receiver of the Land Office for the Ottertail District of Minnesota by President Pierce, and reappointed by President Buchanan, and served until the inauguration of President Lincoln. In 1869 he was appointed a Trustee of the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College by Governor Hayes. He also served as Mayor and Justice of the Peace in St. Marys during a long series of years.
Henry Smith was born in Delaware. He came from Hamilton County, Ohio, to St. Marys Township in 1820-21. He married Elizabeth Hinkle, and raised a family of eight children, all of whom were born in the township except one. They are all residents of the county.
Thomas S. Sturgeon
Thomas S. Sturgeon was born in Pennsylvania in 1803. His parents removed to Miami County in 1819. In 1829 he married Mary D. Ross, and moved to this county in January, 1830, and settled in St. Marys. After eighteen months he moved to his land adjoining town, where he resided until his death in May, 1875. Mrs. Sturgeon died in December, 1868. Three of the children still occupy the old homestead. Previous to his death, Mr. Sturgeon erected a very fine farm residence, which he lived to enjoy but a short time. When he arrived in this township it was almost a wilderness, inhabited by Indians, while his capital amounted to fifty cents. Under these circumstances he knew the hardships and difficulties incident to pioneer life. During his entire life he enjoyed the respect of all with whom he came in contact.
WAPAKANETA TOWNSHIP - Pages 124 to 139
Gen. Geo. W. Andrews
Gen. Geo. W. Andrews was born in Medina, Orleans County, New York, Sept. 1, 1825. He is the son of Joel and Anne (Lewis) Andrews. His father was a Quaker, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits. His grandfather, on the maternal side, John Lewis, was a major in the Revolutionary army, and was a descendant of the Lewis family of Rhode Island, who, as Baptists, took a prominent part in the religious controversies of the Roger Williams' period. The earlier culture of the General was received at the Quaker institution, "Nine Partners College," in Duchess County, New York, and in Oberlin University, of Ohio. At the age of eighteen, he began the study of law at Granville, Licking County, and in 1845 was admitted to the bar at Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio. He subsequently entered the practice of his profession at Lima, Allen County, and was at once elected prosecuting attorney. During his stay of three years at this place, he established and edited the "Lima Argus" with marked ability. In 1848, he came to Wapakoneta, and established the "Auglaize Republican". The same year he was elected prosecuting attorney, and was re-elected in 1850. In 1856, he was elected to the lower branch of the Legislature, and was re-elected in 1858 and 1860. In 1861, at the request of Governor Dennison, he left the Legislature, and returned home, and within two days raised a company of volunteers, and entered the service with the commission of captain. He was afterward successively promoted to the rank of major, lieutenant-colonel, colonel, and brevet brigadier-general. In 1864 he left the service, after an honorable career as a soldier, and resumed the practice of his profession. In 1873 he was elected to the State Senate, and upon the organization was made chairman of the committees on " Judiciary" and on "Military Affairs," and a member of the committees on "Public Works," "Fees and Salaries," "Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home," and "Privileges and Elections." He has been a distinguished member of the bar, and has conducted to successful issues many important cases, while, as an official, he has a record free from blemish; having often, under difficult circumstances, labored successfully for the interests of his constituency, and the welfare of the general community. In 1875 he was re-elected to the Senate. He is still engaged in the practice of his profession at Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Benjamin M. Baker
Benjamin M. Baker was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1802. He married Sevilla Poe in 1825, and moved to Dochouquet township in 1834. He built the second house on Two Mile Creek north of Wapakoneta. They have raised a family of eight children, four of whom are still living. When he came here his nearest neighbor was James Cheney, who lived about three and a half miles distant. Mr. Baker has lived to see what was a wild swampy country well improved by draining, clearing, and road construction. He has now retired from active life.
Daniel Bitler was born in Pennsylvania in 1783. He married Elizabeth Clevenstine in 1806. Their family consisted of ten children. In 1832 they came to Franklin County, Ohio, from there to St. Johns in 1834. Mr. Bitler died Feb. 7, 1840; and Mrs. Bitler, July, 1851. Samuel Bitler, the youngest member of the above-mentioned family, was born October, 1829, and was five years old when his father came to this county. His education was received in a cabin school. In 1848 he married Susanna Colman, who died in April, 1855. The following year he married Vastia Bailey, who died in 1871, leaving three children who still survive. He married Augusta Mayer, his present wife, in 1871. In 1855 he opened a store in St. Johns. This business, in connection with stock dealing, was conducted until 1862, when he entered the army, where he continued until the close of the war. In 1865 he moved to Wapakoneta and engaged in the milling and grain business during the four following years. On Jan. 1, 1870, he entered the banking business, in which he is still engaged. He is also a stockholder in the Wapakoneta Spoke and Wheel Manufacturing Company.
L. N. Blume
Mr. L. N. Blume was born at St. Johns, Auglaize Co; Ohio, June 21, 1845, removing from thence for the purpose of attending school to the town of Wapakoneta, the county seat of said county, where he has ever since resided. It may with truth be said that Mr. B. is to the manner born. At the early age of seventeen Mr. B. embarked in mercantile affairs, which he has pursued with energy and diligence up to the present, meeting with the measures of success which is a sure reward to those who with industry and economy adhere to a calling.
During leisure moments, and whilst engaged in business affairs, and having a laudable desire for self-improvement, Mr. B. commenced the study of the law, to which profession he became a member in the course of two years, being the only one admitted out of a class of three, his preceptor being the Hon. W. Y. M. Layton, deceased. At a time when business enterprise was at a low ebb, Mr. Blume's efforts largely contributed to the organization of the Wapakoneta Spoke and Wheel Co., of which he became a charter member; this corporation being one of the most important manufacturing interests in said city, whose wares are sold throughout the entire country.
Mr. Blume at the age of twenty-two was elected City Clerk, to which position he was re-elected four successive terms. He is now serving his second term as a member of the Board of Education, serving as Clerk of said Board.
Mr. Blume was married to Miss H. C. Sallada in the year 1866.
Reverend David Bobp
Reverend David Bobp was born in Pennsylvania in 1809, and came to this county in 1837, when he entered the land on which he now lives. He devoted the greater portion of his life to the work of the ministry, but declining health compelled him to relinquish this position. He still acts however in the capacity of a local minister. He has officiated at 95 marriages, and preached perhaps as many funeral sermons as any man in the county.
John C. Bothe
John C. Bothe, to whom reference is already made as one of the earliest business men of Wapakoneta, was born in Prussia Dec. 23, 1807, and came to the United States in 1823, stopping first at Baltimore, from which place he soon proceeded to Dayton, O., where he was employed as a clerk until 1833, when he came to Wapakoneta. Here he purchased two town lots, after which he went back as far as Sidney, where he located about a year in the interest of his Dayton employers. He was next sent by the same firm to Wapakoneta to conduct a branch house, with which he was identified until 1835, when he visited Europe, and on his return the following year he established himself in the dry goods business at this place. In 1860 he built a warehouse and became an extensive grain dealer, in which business he continued until 1875, when he retired from active business. In 1878 he again visited Europe, returning the same year. After a long and active business career, in which he was associated with the public enterprises of the town and county, he has thrown aside business responsibilities and leads a retired life in Wapakoneta.
George W. Burke
George W. Burke was born in Virginia in 1815, and came to this township in 1832, which was before the Indians left the reservation. At this date there were no laid-out roads in the township. The land where he now lives, in section 9, was so wet and swampy that he would not have given a dollar for the whole section. At this period he could only find twelve families in the township. He married Margaret, daughter of John Morris, Esq., in 1841, and has reared a family of twelve children, of whom eight are still living.
Wm. Craft was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1819, and came to Butler County, Ohio, in 1826. From there he came to this county in 1835, and lived in Pusheta Township the ensuing four years. He then went to Piqua to learn a trade, and returned to Wapakoneta in 1840 and opened a wagon shop. He continued in this business until 1852, when he commenced working at the carpenter trade, which he followed the ensuing eleven years. In 1803 he moved to his farm, where he still resides. In 1842 he married Theresa Hammel, who died in 1S52. In 1856 he married Elizabeth Hattis. He has reared ten children, eight of whom are still living. His land borders on Wapakoneta, his residence being within the corporation. His wagon shop was the first one in the town, and he knows of one wagon now in use, built by him in 1842. When he came to Wapakoneta it had a population of about twenty-five. He was appointed county commissioner in the spring of 1876 to fill vacancy arising by the death of C. Heisler, and in autumn of same year was elected to fill the unexpired term of one year. In 1877 was elected for the full term, in which capacity he still serves.
C. P. Davis
C. P. Davis was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1833. His father was a prominent Democrat in that district, of which this county was then a part. He was an elector on the Democratic Presidential ticket of 1840. Our subject's first instruction in the printing business was received in the Empire office in Dayton, Ohio, which he entered May 1, 1846. Commencing at the bottom of the ladder, as devil, he continued through 1849 and 1850, and completed his course in James's book establishment in Cincinnati. He next printed the Union County Tribune for the proprietor, Hon. C. S. Hamilton, then a member of the Ohio Constitutional Convention. Leaving Marysville, we next find him at his old home at Dayton, engaged with two other printers in editing and publishing the Daily City Item, a paper which earned such popularity that it acquired the largest circulation of the city papers, which gave it the T. O. advertising. Selling out in 1852, he shortly afterward went to St. Marys, this county, and engaged in the grocery and confectionery business, but withdrew in 1854, and crossed the plains to California, spending about live months on the way. Here he tried his luck in the mines, but found it less profitable than printing. After a year or so, he, with a junior partner, purchased the Mariposa Democrat. In 1858 he sold out to his partner and returned to Ohio by the way of the Isthmus. In the winter of 1858 he became manager of the Dayton Daily Empire, with which he was connected until Nov. 1860. In 1859 he married a daughter of Anthony Dicker, of Wapakoneta, Ohio. After severing his connection with the Empire, he came to Wapakoneta, with the expectation of purchasing the Democrat, but failing in this, he engaged in the hardware business, and built up a large and growing trade. In 1869, he was elected clerk of the courts, on the Democratic ticket, and served nine years and three months, having received the third-term nomination without opposition. In 1875, he purchased a half interest in the Democrat, and in 1876, he purchased the interest of his partner, the late Robert McMurray.
George Delong was born in Ross County, O., and settled in this township as early as 1833. At that time the cry of the panther and wolf was heard almost every night. Mr. Delong has done much to improve the county, and still lives on his farm, surrounded by the comforts of life.
O. T. Dicker
O. T. Dicker was born in Prussia June 2, 1827, and came with his parents to Wapakoneta when eleven years of age. Here he learned the tanner trade with his father, and worked at this business about six years, when he went to New Bremen and accepted a clerkship. This position he held about three years, when he took charge of a boat, which he managed until 1848, when he returned to Wapakoneta and entered the mercantile business, in which he is still engaged. He was also in the livery business from 1864 to 1880. He has been township treasurer two terms, and has served as councilman several years.
David Edmiston was born in Tennessee in 1793, and married Mary Porter in 1820. Mrs. Edmiston died in 1828. He married Jane Beattie about a year later, and came to this county in 1834. Joseph E., his oldest son, is now living on land which his father obtained from the government. He was fourteen years old when he came to this county. He married Catharine Howell in 1846. Their family consists of eight children.
"Capt." John Elliott was one of the earliest settlers at Wapakoneta. He was for many years Government blacksmith under Col. John Johnston, the then Indian agent at that place. Johnston's successor, James B. Gardner, removed Mr. Elliott from his position, refused to settle with him, and ordered him off the reservation, and "confiscated" his cabin, garden, and tools, etc., and sent him away poor with a large family. Elliott applied to the Government through Gen. Cass, who refused relief, saying that there was no "precedent" for it.
Mr. Elliott concluded to go and see President Jackson. He went, found no difficulty in getting an interview with the President, and told him who he was, that he was the second man who set foot on the British shore at Maiden, Canada, in the war of 1812, and President Jackson became interested in him, and inquired what brought him to Washington. Mr. Elliott told him of the treatment he had experienced from Gardner. Gen. Jackson lent a willing ear. He rose, took his hat and cane, and, merely saying, "Go with me, Mr. Elliott," walked down to the War Office "Gen. Cass, this is Mr. Elliott, of Ohio," said Gen. Jackson; "audit his claim, and pay it. Good morning, sir." Nothing more was said. "Sit down Mr. Elliott," said the Secretary. In about twenty minutes the account was hunted out, Mr. Elliott had a warrant upon the treasury for his money, and was soon on his way home rejoicing.
Mr. Elliott had a family of eleven children, one of whom, Thomas, went west with the Shawnees in 1832, acting as interpreter, and died at Shawnee, Kansas, in 1849.
A number of Mr. Elliott's descendants still reside in this vicinity, and are much respected. He died at St. Marys, May 3, 1859, at an advanced age.
George Emerick was born in Pennsylvania in 1808, and while a boy came to Butler County, Ohio. There he married Mary Sarvir, and in 1835 came to Wapakoneta and entered one hundred and sixty acres in sec. 36, on which land he resided the remainder of his life. His family consisted of eight children, of whom seven survive. Jonathan, one of the sons, now owns the old homestead, a view of which appears in this work. Mr. Emerick died in November, 1867.
Andrew Fisher was born in Baden, Germany, in 1817, and came to the United States with his father in 1832. In 1834 he came to Pasheta township, where he lived until 1S52, when he came to Duchouquet Township and settled in the woods. He married Miss Armbruster in 1847. They reared a family of twelve children, of whom eleven survive. Mr. F. remembers when his mother ground their corn on a coffee mill.
Andrew Freyman, a son of John M. Freyman, came with his father to this township in 1833. He was then fourteen years of age, and is still living on the old homestead. He relates the following incident touching his father. Wishing to secure assistance to raise a cabin, he went out to call upon his neighbors, and becoming lost he wandered about till dark, when he saw a light which guided him to the house of Mr. Bodkin, where Bodkin Station now stands. He further relates that he and his sister, now Mrs. Wintzer, would chop wood and clear land as successfully as two men.
John M. Freyman
John M. Freyman was born in Bavaria in 1771, and came with his father to the United States in 1828, and to this township in 1833. He here entered land in section 33. Mr. Freyman died in 1863 and Mrs. Freyman in 1869. George F., the youngest of the family, was born in Pennsylvania in 1828, married Elizabeth Hiebner in 1855, and purchased the farm on which he now lives in 1867. This land, on the Auglaize River in section 21, was once the home of a noted Indian chief who was buried on the place. There is still an apple orchard which was planted by the Indians. Mr. F. remembers eating apples from this
orchard in 1834. He also remembers being lost in the timber, and after wandering nearly a whole day he found an Indian cabin, and the Indian conducted him to near his own home.
Judge Hamaker was born in Dauphin Co., Pa., June 6, 1813. He remained at home, working on the farm until 18 years of age, when he went to learn the milling trade, and settled in Dayton, Ohio, in 1839, where he taught school several terms. In 1840 he married Miss Susan Randall, of Dayton, Ohio. He was candidate for Auditor of Montgomery Co. in 1850, when C. L. Vallandigham was candidate for the Legislature from the same county. At the election both were defeated, and the next year Mr. H. settled in St. Mary's, this county, where he taught school, and became deputy collector on the canal. In 1866 he was elected Probate Judge, in which office he served twelve years. At the April election of 1880, he was elected a justice of the peace, and Mayor of the village of Wapakoneta, where he resided since his election as Probate Judge.
Ambrose Harvey was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1779. He married Rebecca Highland in 1829, and moved to St. Johns in 1830. There were no white settlers near here at this time, the first Mrs. Harvey remembers seeing was Mr. Richardson. Mr. Harvey died in 1865. Mrs. Harvey is still living with her son's widow, and is, perhaps, the only person in the township who was married and living here as early as 1830.
Dr. G. W. Holbrook
Dr. G. W. Holbrook is justly considered one of the pioneers and builders of Auglaize County and Wapakoneta, having settled here early in the spring of 1834. He was born in Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, Sept. 12, 1808, in that portion of said county bordering on Lake Ontario which subsequently constituted Wayne County. At the age of eighteen he abandoned home and commenced the study of medicine and surgery in the office of Dr. Win. Robinson, of Palmyra, one of the most distinguished physicians and surgeons in western New York. After pursuing the usual four years course of study, attending the lectures at the medical department of the University he graduated in 1831, receiving the medical degree from the Regents of the University of New York. In the autumn of 1832 he came to Ohio and commenced the practice of his profession at Lockbourne, Franklin County, where he remained a short time, but after travelling over most of the Western States he finally located at Wapakoneta, where he still resides. At that period there were but about 150 inhabitants in the town. The day after his arrival he entered his professional career, having been called to visit the family of John Tarn, who owned and lived on the half section of land of which a part now constitutes the land of Milton Tarn. Here he continued the practice of his profession about twenty years, when he retired, and turned over his office, library, instruments, and medicines to Dr. J. H. Nichols, whom he had adopted when a boy of fourteen, and gave him his education, and finally his practice. Dr. Holbrook has ever been public spirited, and identified himself with all improvements for the benefit of town or county. He first suggested the erection of Auglaize County, having originated and mapped it out in 1846, when he submitted the map to Col. Van Horne, Robert J. Skinner, and others. Col. Van Horne pronounced the project "visionary," but added, "there is no telling what this Yankee Doctor may accomplish!" The Doctor did accomplish much, and the erection of the county may, perhaps, be considered the most important achievement of his life. This work is a monument to his energy and enterprise, as is shown by the effort he put forth in this project. He attended the sessions of the Ohio Legislature while the bill for the erection of the county was under consideration. In the session of 1846 the bill passed the House, but failed in the Senate; the next year it failed, but Feb 13, 1848, the bill passed and Auglaize County took a place on the State map. The Doctor sacrificed his personal and family interests by this expenditure of time and money, for the journals of the Ohio Legislature show he was in Columbus devoting his whole energy to this undertaking during the sessions of 1846, 7, and 8. The journals also show that at one time he was arrested on a charge of bribing a member of the House, but at the trial by the House he was honorably acquitted and fully vindicated. The same Legislature gave him a hearty endorsement by electing him to the office of Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, which position he retained until the office was superseded by that of the Probate Court under the new Constitution. He has been an active worker in behalf of all improvements, and especially has he labored for railroads through the county. The Ohio and Penna. R. R. bill was even engrossed, to pass through Kenton, Wapakoneta, and St. Marys, and thence toward Chicago; but the citizens of St. Marys opposed the road; it was defeated, and running north of the county, passed through Lima. In this enterprise our subject was deeply interested. At that time the Charter Act of the Dayton and Michigan R. R. was before the Legislature. The charter only called for a road terminating at Sidney, and the Doctor wrote to Senator Myers and others of Toledo, to have it taken up and chartered through to Toledo. Myers in his letter of thanks said the reason he had not inserted in the charter the clause "passing through to Toledo" was "that he thought the country too new to undertake an enterprise of such magnitude." The Doctor labored and contributed largely of his means to make this enterprise a success, and acting with Col. Andrews as agents, they raised about $75,000 toward the construction of the road. The Company took property on stock subscription, and he deeded several improved lots, for one of which he received $800 in stock, while in a short time the same property sold for $2000. The other property advanced in the same ratio. The Doctor became one of the directors of the road, and at one time held about $10,000 in stock, which he was afterward compelled to sell at from fifteen to twenty cents on the dollar. The success of this railroad project has been the cause of the growth of the town. This untiring zeal in the advancement of the county has caused our subject to be considered one of the most enterprising and public spirited of our citizens.
Geo. C. Johnston
Geo. C. Johnston, a resident of Piqua, opened a store or trading post, in 1829, about where the spoke and wheel establishment of Bitler & Co. now stands; and the same year Joseph Parks, then the United States Interpreter, also had a stock of goods; his store was near the old council house on Anglaize Street. At that time the venerable French gentleman, Francis Duchouquet, former interpreter of the Shawnees, resided there and on the ground on which the former residence of Hon. Geo. W. Andrews stands.
Martin Kantner was born in Pennsylvania in 1810, and came from Montgomery to this county in 1834. He and his father had been here in 1832, and sowed some wheat before the land was put on the market. The following winter John attended the land sale and purchased their land in Pusheta township, to which he moved the next spring. Martin came later, as above noted, and still lives on his original land purchase.
A. M. Kuhn
A. M. Kuhn was born Nov. 30, 1842, at Galion, Crawford County, Ohio. His father, the Rev. Andrew Kuhn, was a pioneer preacher in the early history of Ohio. On account of failing health, he removed to Wapakoneta in January, 1858, to engage in business, in which his boys might secure a practical experience. Early in the year 1859, at the age of seventeen, the subject of this sketch began the study of telegraphy, and in July of the same year was appointed telegraph operator at Wapakoneta station, assisting his father in the express and railroad office. In March, 1802, at the death of his father, he received the appointment of express and railroad agent, which position he resigned in October, 1879, after a continuous and acceptable service of over twenty years.
In addition to the station business, Mr. Kuhn, with his brother Rufus, in the years 1865-7, engaged in the purchase and shipment of grain at Wapakoneta. In 1868, through the unfortunate speculations of his brother, then residing in New York, for whom he had endorsed largely, his entire property was swallowed up. By close attention to business and the exercise of economy these losses have been regained.
In the year 1873 Mr. Kuhn became one of the original stockholders in the Wapakoneta Spoke and Wheel Company. In 1875 the business of this company had increased to such an extent that it became necessary that one of the stockholders should assume personal control of its books and correspondence, together with the general management of its business; and being one of the executive committee of three into whose hands the affairs of the company had been entrusted by the stockholders, Mr. Kuhn received the appointment of General Manager, and since his resignation of railway duties, gives his entire attention to the business of the Wheel Company, the largest and most important manufactory in the county.
John Lowry and family came to this township in 1835. The family consisted of four children. He first settled on the farm now owned by his son Samuel. Mr. L. died in 1847, since which his widow has resided with her son at the old homestead.
C. C. Marshall
Hon. C. C. Marshall, one of the early pioneers of this county, but now of Delphos, Allen County, Ohio, says: "The first mail route was established in the year 1827 from Piqua to Defiance, the service to commence Jan. 1, 1828. Honorable Samuel Marshall, late of Shelby County, Ohio, who was the third settler in that county, was the contractor at the commencement of the service. An elder brother, and father of R. D. Marshall of Dayton, Ohio, carried the mail from Jan. 1, 1828, to September, 1829, when I commenced and continued until Dec. 31, 1831. That was before Allen County was organized, and the mail route was by way of Fort Amanda, and from there on the west side of the Auglaize River to Defiance, with only three offices, viz., Hardin, Shelby County, Waupaughkonnetta, then Allen County, and Sugar Grove, Putnam County; to the latter two, the only offices in those counties, the mail went one week and returned the next. Robert Broderick was the first postmaster at Wapakoneta. He resigned in 1829, and Capt. John Elliott, the old government blacksmith, was appointed his successor.
G. W. McClintock
G. W. McClintock was born in Ireland Feb. 28, 1821, and at the age of ten years came with his parents to New Brunswick. Here he lived several years, and married Miss Margaret Steen, when in 1842 he came to Miami County, Ohio. Here he remained until 1848, when he moved to this county, and located on the farm he now occupies. Here he built a cabin in the timber, and commenced clearing the land. In 1851 his wife died, leaving six small children. Two years later he married Mrs. Elizabeth Barr, by whom he had eight children. Of the fourteen children ten are still living, of whom all are married except two sons and one daughter.
Samuel Moyer was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, in 1813, and came to this county in 1834. Two years later he married Catharine Delong. Their family consists of three sons and four daughters, all living in this township. There is perhaps no other man in the county who has cleared as much land, as he thinks he has cleared 200 acres with his own hands.
N. A. Murdock
N. A. Murdock settled in 1823 in St. Marys Township with his parents, where he resided until 1863, when he went to Cridersville where he is still in business.
Andrew W. Overholser
Andrew W. Overholser was born in Virginia in 1811; married Angeline Northcott in 1834, and moved to the farm where they now live in the fall of 1837. On their first arrival they prepared a temporary shelter until they could build a cabin. During all these early days they suffered all the privations and hardships which attend a life in a new country, undertaken without a dollar in hand. Under these circumstances Mr. Overholser worked from home as much as possible, earning fifty cents per day; while corn, on which they depended for bread, sold at seventy-five cents per bushel. Mrs. Overholser contributed her full share of labor upon the home farm by assisting her husband in all kinds of labor. The fruits of this toil and hardship, supplemented by economy, may be seen in the pleasant home with which they are provided, the two palatial residences they possess in Lima, and the general prosperity by which they are surrounded.
Philip Pfaff was born in Prussia in 1804, and came to the United States in 1832. After living at Baltimore, Maryland, and Columbiana County, Ohio, about a year each, he came to this township January, 1835, and entered the land now owned by his daughter, Paulina Kohler. Mr. and Mrs. Pfaff are now residing in the old homestead where they have lived during a period of forty-five years. They have reared a family of three children, being Lewis Pfaff, Mary Naumberg, and Paulina Kohler. Mr. P. became a citizen of the United States as soon as the laws would permit, and has ever taken pride in his adopted country, and cherishes the convictions that a republic like our own is far preferable to monarchy. He was engaged on the canal during its construction at the rate of $12.00 per month, payable in State script, the cash value of which was one-half its face value. Those were days which perhaps more fully justified complaint because of hard times and low wages, than the present period. After a life of severe toil and privation, these old folks deserve that their remaining years be one day of sunshine whose lustre shall dissipate the clouds of a whole past life.
Quaker Mission - Thomas Harvey
There was a Quaker mission four miles south on the Piqua road, Thomas Harvey and wife in charge; they were from Warren County, Ohio. There were generally about twenty or thirty Shawnee children in attendance. I was present in the old council house at the signing of the treaty by Blackhoof, Wayweleapy, Henry Clay, and others of the Waupaughkonnetta and Hog Creek Reservations, ceding all their rights to lands in Ohio, and James B. Gardner, Commissioner for the United States; and the next year I saw them bid adieu to their old homes in Ohio and leave for their far western homes.
Wm. Richardson was born in Montgomery County, Va., in 1765. At the age of about seventeen he shouldered his musket to fight the Indians, and was on the skirmish line during a year or two of the Revolutionary War. He was a cousin of Anthony Wayne, their mothers having been Mattie and Nancy Hiddens. In 1812 he entered the army, with which he served during the war with the exception of two or three months. In 1784 he married Mary Adney, who died in 1811. In 1815 he married Catharine Millhouse, a sister of Barbary Dillbone, who, with her husband, had been shot by three Indians. Mr. Richardson avenged the death of Mr. and Mrs. Dillbone, by shooting the three Indian murderers.
Adam Richie was born in Virginia in 1801; married Mollie Spitzer in 1824; moved to this county ten years later, and settled where he now lives in section 8. Mr. Richie cleared his own land, as he entered it while it was all timber. Mrs. Richie died in 1852. He afterwards married Nancy Sprague. They have reared four children, three of whom survive. Mr. Richie, now seventy eight years old, is hale and hearty, and working upon his farm just as he did during his younger days.
George Romshe, son of the above (Justus Romshe), was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, Nov. 2, 1827, and came with his parents to this township. He and a sister, who lives at Springfield, are the only survivors of his father's family. He now occupies the old homestead of his father. In 1850 he married Mary McClintock, who came from Ireland in 1848. Mr. Romshe's first purchase of land consisted of twenty acres, which he bought in 1852 from John Everett for $120. His second piece was also twenty acres, purchased in 1856. Today he and his children represent six hundred and forty acres in Duchouquet and Logan townships, all joining, although not in a regular body. He was elected township trustee in 1879, and re-elected in 1880. His family consisted of ten children, of whom five sons and one daughter are still living.
Justus Romshe came from Germany to this township in 1838, and purchased seventy-five acres of land from J. C. Bothe for $400. After the payment of the land he had but $15 left as his year's capital. He first secured work on the canal at Troy, and continued at this work while the canal was constructing through this county. Mrs. Romshe did a large portion of the farm work at home, often carrying grain to the Wapakoneta mills upon her head. She met her death Sept. 1, 1854, by falling from a load of ashes on the home farm. Mr. Romshe died Oct. 12, 1879.
M. N. Shaw
M. N. Shaw, son of Neal Shaw, came with his father to this township in 1832. This being previous to the removal of the Indians, he refers to that event as the most beautiful scene he ever witnessed. He distinctly remembers the chief, Joseph Parks, who had charge of the tribe. The money on this occasion was conveyed in a wagon drawn by four fine horses, richly caparisoned. A white man named Thomas Elliott was the driver. He accompanied the Indians to Kansas, where he married the chief's daughter. About 28 years later their son visited his father's people at Wapakoneta, but could not be induced to associate with the young people of the town. He was perhaps the last descendant of the tribe who visited the old home. The parting scene when the Indians took leave of the few whites was solemn and affecting. When he came to Wapakoneta it contained but three white families, among whom was Peter Hammel, who had been a trader among the Indians for twenty years prior to this time. He has been told by the Indians that the grave of the chief Wapakoneta is on the site now occupied by the residence of D. Kritzer or Mr. Happ.
Neal Shaw, the father of William H. Shaw, came to this township in 1833. William H. was born in Virginia in 1807, and came here in 1834. He married Elizabeth Lurton in 1837. Their family consisted of ten children. He still resides on the land he first purchased near Cridersville. His father was, perhaps, the first white settler in the northern part of the township. The road leading from Wapakoneta to Lima was opened after he came to the township. He was the teacher of the first schools in the neighborhood. John Alexander was the first minister he heard preach in the neighborhood. Mr. Shaw has held different township offices, and is now justice of the peace, and, although advanced in years, is still active in the management of his farm and office.
James H. Skinner
James H. Skinner, son of Robert J. Skinner, was born in 1822, in Dayton, Ohio. He moved with his parents to Piqua in 1830, and to Wapakoneta in 1832. At the age of seventeen he helped to lay out the Miami Canal in the vicinity of St. Marys. He was postmaster of Wapakoneta while he was yet quite young, and afterwards kept a grocery until the spring of 1852, when he sold out and went to California, where he stayed during 1852 and 1853. Mr. Skinner returned in 1854, and was ticket agent at Delphos in 1855. In 1856 he was a cattle dealer, and in 1857 he worked in the office of the Auditor of Auglaize County. He was elected Recorder in 1860, and re-elected in 1863. After his second term had expired in 1866 he went into the banking business, and he continued in that business until his death, which occurred on the 6th of November, 1818.
Robert J. Skinner
Robert J. Skinner was among the early and most respected citizens of Wapakoneta, who established the first Democratic paper published in Dayton, Ohio, the first number of which was issued in December, 1816. This paper was continued by him until 1830, in which year he removed to Piqua, and established in that town the first Democratic press. In 1832, having received the appointment from President Jackson of Receiver of the United States Land Office, at Wapakoneta, he moved his family to that town, and continued a resident of the place until June. 1849; when, being on a visit with part of his family at the house of a married daughter in Dayton, himself, wife, daughter, and son, composing all the visitors, were attacked with the cholera which prevailed in the city at the time, and, during one week, the four died of the disease. Mr. Skinner was a man of positive character, of great enterprise, and a most useful citizen. He represented Montgomery Co., of which Allen County formed a part, in the General Assembly, at the sessions of 1828-29.
Some of the residents of Wapakoneta, about the time Mr. Skinner became a citizen of the place, were Col. T. B. Van Horn, Register of Land Office, Peter Hammel (a French Indian trader), Captain John Elliott, who was an officer at Hull's surrender, and had been a number of years Government black-smith at Wapakoneta, Jeremiah Ayres, Cummings & Mathers, Samuel Case, James Elliott, and H. B. Thorn.
John Tam was born in Virginia, and came to Wapakoneta from Fairfield County in 1832. He purchased forty acres of land on the present site of Wapakoneta, but selling this he located on Blackhoof Creek in section 24. He reared a family of seven children, of whom but two, Milton and his sister Mary Klingerman, are still living. The latter is now in Iowa. Milton, the only one left in this county, was born in 1836. His father died in 1845, and was buried upon his own land.
J. H. Timmermeister
J. H. Timmermeister, the son of Wilhelm and Clara Timmermeister, was born in Hanover Province (near Osnabruck), Germany, April 13, 1831. He started to learn the tinning trade in the spring of 1845, and served an apprenticeship of four years from that date. After the four years had expired, he worked at his trade until July 9, 1851, when he started for the United States. He arrived at New York in September, and remained in that city for about four years. During that time he was occupied a part of the time at his trade and a part of the time in selling goods. Mr. Timmermeister came to Wapakoneta July 15, 1855, and was soon engaged as a clerk in the store of 0. T. Dieker, where he remained until the spring of 1859, when he commenced business for himself under the name of J. H. Timmermeister & Go. He was married to Miss Caroline Machetanz on the 22d of August of the same year (1859). In 1862 the firm of J. H. Timmermeister & Co. was changed to J. H. Timmermeister, and he has been doing a prosperous business up to the present time, his store being the leading business house in this place.
Alexander Henry Trimble
Alexander Henry Trimble was born in Westmoreland Co., Pa., Oct. 22, 1817. His father died when he was but six weeks old. He remained with his mother until his fifteenth year, when he was engaged as a clerk in a dry goods store by his cousin at Wooster, Ohio. In the spring of 1841 he married Miss Charlotte E. Granger, of Rochester, New York; by this union six children were born, three sons and three daughters.
The first four years after his marriage they lived in Wooster, after which they moved to St. Marys, Mercer County, Ohio, where Mr. Trimble engaged in mercantile business. In 1849 he was elected Mayor of the village, and two years later was elected Auditor of Auglaize County, which office he held six years, and was elected Probate Judge of the county in 1858, and was re-elected in 1861 by an increased majority, as he was favorably known to almost every man in the county. He had occupied positions of honor and trust, and was always found worthy.
Mr. Trimble became a member of the Presbyterian Church of Wapakoneta in 1851, and continued to be a faithful member during the remainder of his life. He was one of the foremost in contributing money and time for the erection of the Presbyterian Church of this place, as with all other good works. He was a man of excellent judgment, and his opinion was wide sought. But death called him early to rest on the 19th day of September, 1864, in the forty-sixth year of his age, in the prime of life; but such a life never ends as long as children and grandchildren live to walk in its echoes. Such men can walk fearlessly and confidingly down into the great future to meet whatever awaits them there.
Adam Winemiller was born in Germany in 1796, and came to the United States in 1832, locating first in Butler County, Ohio, where he remained until he came to this county. He reared a family of seven children. George, the second son, is now living on the old homestead. Mr. Winemiller died in 1863.
William Bitler was born near Reading, Pa., Feb. 22, 1807. His parents removed to Schuylkill County, Pa., in 1812. He married Miss Rebecca Snyder Feb. 27, 1828, and came to Franklin County, Ohio, Jan. 23, 1832. Two years later he came to this county, and settled at St. Johns. His wife died Aug. 14, 1857, and he was remarried Feb. 9, 1865, to Rosa A. Bechdolt. He was mail agent in this and Logan Counties from 1847 till 1872. The exposure incident to mail carrying in a new country unprovided with roads told fearfully upon his health, as he contracted the rheumatism in a violent form, by which he has been confined to his bed for a period of three months consecutively. In 1869 he erected the "Bitler House" in St. Johns, which he and his estimable wife has rendered not only a stopping place but a pleasant home for their guests. Mr. Bitler's family by first wife consisted of three sons and six daughters, named Christian, Arthur, Samuel, Mary (deceased), Hannah, Lucy A., Almira, Elizabeth (both deceased), and HaMeliala; by his present wife one stepson, E. W. Parker, and two daughters, Aurora Belle (deceased), and Dora May.
James H. Coleman
James H. Coleman was born in Kentucky Jan. 14, 1791. When he was about fourteen months old his parents came to Warren County, Ohio. When he had attained the age of twenty-two he moved to Shelby County, where he remained fifteen years, and then came to this county, where he has since resided, with the exception of about eleven years spent in Logan County. He is now one of the oldest settlers of this county, is the oldest man in Clay township, and one of the oldest settlers of this part of the State, as this is his eighty third year of residence within its limits. He was the first justice of the peace of this township, which office he held twenty four years; was county commissioner a part of one term, after which he was elected to same office, receiving the unanimous vote of his township. This is the only case of unanimity at an election in this township.
S. S. Coleman
S. S. Coleman was born in Shelby County, Ohio, April 1, 1823, and at the age of eleven years came with his parents to this county, where he has since resided, with the exception of two years in Allen County and one season in Kansas. He married Miss Nancy A. Copeland Dec. 21, 1844. They have reared a family of five children, all of whom still reside in this county except one daughter, who is in Kansas. Mrs. Coleman died March 21, 1863, and the following September Mr. Coleman married Elizabeth Hanson of Ross County who is still living-
Hugh Elliott was born in Washington County, Pa., Nov. 17, 1812, and in his sixteenth year came to this State with his father, who settled in Knox County. In 1838 he came to this county, and until recently resided in Union township, but of late has occupied his farm in Clay township. This farm of two hundred and ninety-two acres was offered to his two sons fourteen years ago, but they refused to accept it, believing it to be worthless. Today it is considered one of the best farms in the township, and could be sold at fifty dollars per acre. Mr. Elliott has engaged in stock raising in connection with farming, and has by severe toil and good management provided for himself and children good homes.
Wm. Lusk, son of Charles and Anna Lusk, was born in Virginia July 14, 1817, and when about eighteen years of age came with his parents to this county. He had very limited educational opportunities in the old State, and here it fell to his share to work rather than attend school. The father was a strict temperance man, and the son became likewise an advocate of sobriety, and notwithstanding the influences by which he was surrounded during his youth when liquor was a factor in the fields, he is able to say he never has used intoxicating liquor during his whole life. In 1833 he united with the M. E. Church and in 1859 was licensed as a local minister, which relation he still sustains. From 1839 to 1845 he lived in Missouri, but he returned here at the latter date, where he has since remained. He has a large tract of well-improved land, just west of St. Johns, and has recently erected a very fine frame residence, an illustration of which appears in this volume. He is now giving especial attention to the sheep and cattle.
Asa Martin was born in Clinton County, Ohio, Jan. 15, 1822, where he remained until 1836, when he came to this township, where he has since resided. In 1844 he married Miss Hannah Coleman. They have reared a family of fifteen children, of whom thirteen are still living. Mr. Martin, with other pioneers, has carved from the wilderness, by hard labor, a productive farm and pleasant home.
Robert Moore was born in Champaign County, this State, March 11, 1820. When he had attained his tenth year his parents moved to Union County, where he remained until Oct. 2, 1849, when he came to Clay Township, where he still resides. At that time the land he occupied was a tract of wet timber land, considered almost worthless, because of the apparent impossibility of drainage; but by persistent, application a quarter section has been reclaimed, and by drainage has been transformed from a marsh into a highly productive farm. Mr. Moore was married in Union County to Miss Mary M. Castle in 1842. They have reared a family of twelve children, named Isabella E., Mary E., Malinda F., William J., Louisa J., Erneline C, Lydia A., John D., James W., Millie A., Maria A., and Peter Lincoln. Of these one son and four daughters are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Moore have attained a fair age, and are still in enjoyment of health and strength.
John Rogers was born in Orange County, New York, Oct. 20, 1800. His parents subsequently moved to Sussex County, New Jersey, and finally to Licking County, Ohio, in 1814. In 1821 he went to Richland County, Ohio, and shortly afterward married Miss Mary Hadley of Mt. Vernon. In the autumn of 1833 he came to Auglaize County and settled on the site of the Black Hoof Village, when he became one of the two original proprietors and founders of St. Johns. Two years later Clay township was organized, and at the first election he was chosen trustee of the township. He afterwards held the office of justice of the peace. His wife died about 1841, and ten years later he married Mrs. Nancy a Bechdalt, nee Coleman, who with his seven children survives him. To the development of the community he contributed his full share; and having attained his eightieth year, he laid down the burden of cares and years April 30, 1880, and embraced that rest which awaits even the restless. He was thus closely associated with the village and township, having assisted in the founding of both, and continued identified with them during a period of nearly half a century.
This township was organized in 1836 from Wayne Township, and is in the southeast part of the county. In this township heads two of the important rivers of the State, the Miami and Scioto. About one-fourth of the township is prairie or black muck, and it is only a few years since it was covered with water, and only good for duck shooting. The Muchanippe Creek, the head of the Miami, was deepened, and drains much of this land which was considered worthless; it is now as good as any in the county, and the balance of the township is a gravel clay loam, excellent for wheat and corn. There is one gravel road passing through this township from Roundhead to Wapakoneta. The following names are some of the early settlers of this township: Bazil Day, John C. Hurley, Joseph Cline, William Black, Daniel Black, R. L. G. Means, John McLean, Alanson Earl. The village of New Hampshire, situated in this township, was laid out by John Kindle in 1836, and was given its name by Mrs. Kindle. The town plat covers sixteen acres of ground. The first store was started by Hiram North; Orin North built the first steam mill; this was followed by J. J. Hutchinson with a store. The village now has two hotels, two stores, two blacksmith shops, one grocery store, and grist and saw-mill, and one physician (IS. J. Pollock), one M. E. Church, and one Baptist Church.
James Burdin was born in Clinton County, Ohio. He came to Auglaize County about 1832, and settled in Duchouquet Township, raised a family of two children, one still living, viz., W. H. H. Burdin, Esq., of Goshen Township. Mr. Burdin died March, 1850. W. H. H. Burdin was a prisoner of war about fifteen months, and was one of the men placed under the fire of the Union guns at Charleston for the protection of the city.
John Conley was born in Ireland in 1808, and came to America while young. He learned the stonemason trade, superintended the building of some of the arches on the Miami Canal in Shelby County. Married Eliza Marshall in 1838. He came to Auglaize County in 1839, and died in 1860, leaving his wife and six children. His widow died in 1876. Both are buried in the Goshen Township cemetery. Henry and Alphonso are now residents of the old homestead in Goshen township.
Alanson Earl was born in Canada in 1813, was brought by his parents to the United States the same year; he came to Logan County, Ohio, in 1815, from thence to Clark County, where he remained until 1832, at which time he came to Allen, now Auglaize County, and settled in what is now Goshen Township. He married Rachel Day 1833; they raised a family of eight children, seven still living. We can give but little of Mr. Earl's early history, only as we can gather it from others. He died in 1867, Mrs. Earl having died in 1853. There were but few settlers in the eastern part of the county when Mr. Earl went to Wapakoneta to enter his land. He started from where Mr. Elsworth lived, on the section line where the Waynesfield and Wapakoneta pike is now located. Then followed the section line by a blaze on the trees to where he struck the Lima and Wapakoneta road, there not being a road in the neighborhood. J. S. Earl, son of the above, is perhaps the oldest male resident of Goshen township.
Judge John McLean was born in Bedford County, Pa., in 1809. He went to Richland County, Ohio, in 1833, and married Mary Cobean in 1837, moving immediately afterward to Goshen Township, Auglaize County. They raised a family of four children, two boys and two girls, of whom are still living John G., in New Hampshire, and Mellissa Earl, who occupies the old homestead, with whom Mrs. McLean now lives. Robert A. died in the army in 1863. Sarah E. died in 1862. Mr. McLean was one of the earliest settlers of this township. He was elected associate judge for the county after its first organization, which office he filled until the new constitution abolished the office. He died May 5th, 1875.
R. L. G. Means
R. L. G. Means was born in Coshocton, Ohio, in 1811; was taken to Virginia when less than two years of age. His father and mother both died while he was very young. He has no recollection of them. He returned to Coshocton with his uncle, Ephraim Means, with whom he lived until he was twenty one years of age. He then went to Newark, Licking County, Ohio, remained there about two years, when he came to Champaign County, where he remained up to the time of his removal to this county. He married Sally North, May, 1834. After paying the minister two dollars, his worldly possessions only amounted to seventy-five cents, besides owing for his wedding clothes. Mr. Means now commenced the battle of life in earnest. With liabilities of about twelve or fifteen dollars, and assets seventy five cents, he took a contract of splitting rails at thirty-three cents per hundred, and renting land until his debts were paid, and he had a balance of sixty five dollars left. He then borrowed forty dollars and came to Allen now Auglaize County, and entered eighty acres of land in the fall of 1835. He moved on his land in the spring of 1836, without a dollar, and an indebtedness of forty dollars on his land.
Jonathan Dawson came to this township with his father at the age of 13. He was deprived of early educational advantages, but by close application to study at home, he prepared himself for teaching, which he followed during ten succeeding years. He served as justice of the peace during a period of nine years. He still resides on the land originally entered in Wayne Township.
Joseph H. Dawson, Jr.
Jos. H. Dawson, Jr., was born in Trumbull County in 1815, and came to Allen County in 1835, and lived with his uncle, Isaac Dawson, who had come to the county the preceding year. His first farm consisted of the northeast quarter of Sec. 6, now owned by Alex. Kerr. In 1843 he married Maria Moore. They raised a family of eight children, three of whom are still living, viz., Elisha F., Mary Ann, and Chas. H. Mrs. Dawson died in 1865, since which time Mr. Dawson has resided with his sons in the old home.
Joseph Dawson, Sr.
Joseph Dawson, Sr., came from Trumbull County to Allen County in the spring of 1836. His family consisted of nine sons and one daughter, of whom John R., Joseph, Isaac, Jonathan, Newton, and Lewis are still residents of Wayne township. Their first neighbors in the new settlement were Daniel Ellsworth, Samuel McPherson, John Perry, Allen Gilmore, Samuel Felger, and Isaac Dawson. Mr. Dawson entered 1500 acres of land within Wayne township, and afterward entered 200 acres more. He died at the old home in 1865, at the advanced age of 83 years.
Newton Dawson was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, Jan. 1st, 1825. He came to Wayne Township in 1836, when eleven years of age. In March, 1852, he married Mary Kaufman, by whom he had six children, two still living. In the same year he moved to the farm on which he now lives. His wife died May, 1863. In 1865 he married Frances Landes, by whom he has also six children. Mr. Dawson, although young when he came to this county, has realized the hardships of pioneer life, having helped to clear his father's farm, afterward clearing his own. He owns two hundred acres of land under a good state of cultivation. Mr. Dawson taught district school several terms, but has devoted his life principally to farming and stock raising.
Allen Gilmore was born in Allegheny County, Penna. He came to Auglaize County about 1833, and settled in the northwestern corner of Wayne township. The family consisted of six children, five of whom are now living, viz., Mary J., Sylvania, David, Livonia, and John A. James A. was killed in the army at Knoxville. Tenn. The old homestead is now owned by David and John. Allen Gilmore was one of the first justices of the peace, and held the office for a number of years. A laughable circumstance is told of the manner in which justice or law was meted out to offenders, or the strictness to which they adhered to the letter of the law. A man complained that an ox yoke had been stolen; he complained to the squire, and wanted the offender arrested. The squire searched the statutes, but could not find ox yoke mentioned, so would give no warrant for the arrest of the offender.
Mrs. Ellen Gossard was born in Ross County, Ohio, in 1828, and came with her father, Moses Ross, to Auglaize County, Ohio, in 1834. She married Philip Gossard in 1851, and raised a family of four children. Her parents were among the first settlers in Wayne Township. Her husband enlisted in the 183rd regiment O. V. I., in 1864, was wounded, and died at Franklin. Since her husband's death Mrs. Gossard has controlled the home farm. When her husband died there was an indebtedness of $1200 on the land, which she has paid. Her boys were too young to be of much service on the farm. She did the work of a man, viz., plowing, binding wheat, etc., until her boys were old enough to take charge of the farm.
Samuel Lowman was born in Virginia, in 1807. His parents moved to Champaign County, Ohio, when he was 14 years old. He married Mary A. Plummer of Clarke County, Ohio. In 1834, he entered a piece of land in Wayne township in this county, which township was at that time a portion of Allen County, between places called the "Devil's half acre," and "Devil's backbone," in early times. The former place was named so on account of the swampy nature of the land, over which an extensive log bridge was built. The latter name was given to a narrow, gravelly ridge, one-half mile in length, and only of sufficient width for a road. He built a log house, and being one of the first settlers, his house was a stopping place for travelers.
David Myers was born in Belmont County, Ohio, in 1805; went from there to Licking County, where he married Susan Jordon, in 1841. He moved to Auglaize County the same year, and settled in Wayne Township. His wife died in 1852. He married Elizabeth A. Stow in 1853, raising a family of nine children, five by the former, and four by the later marriage. Mr. Myers's farm consists of two hundred and forty acres, on which he first settled. He has retired from business, leaving the farm in charge of his children.
Byrd Richardson was born in Montgomery County, Va., in 1809. He married Nancy Smiles, and moved to Shelby County, Ohio, in 1830, then moved to St. Johns, this county, in 1831. When they first came to St. Johns, the Indians were still on their reservation. Mrs. Richardson tells us that she has stayed many nights in the cabins with the Indians, has seen the stakes where it was said they tortured their prisoners. The Chief Blackhoof was buried on Mr. Richardson's farm. All the white people she can remember living near St. Johns, at that time, was James Coleman, Henry Princehouse, and John Rogers. The Indians left for their western homes the ensuing year. Mrs. Richardson could relate many singular incidents connected with the early history, had we the space to give them. They moved to Union Township in 1833; from there to Wayne Township in the spring of 1834, built a rail pen, and lived in it for six months, when they moved into their house. Mr. Richardson died in 1871. Mrs. Richardson raised a family of seven children, one son and six daughters. The son and one daughter died, leaving five daughters still living in Auglaize County. The father of Mr. Richardson lived to be one hundred and ten years of age, he having come to this county in 1830. Mrs. Richardson still lives on the farm to which she first moved, and says her happiest days were those she spent among the Indians, and in the woods. She thinks the people were more honest and sociable than now. She says her husband made rails for twenty-five cents per hundred, and boarded himself.
John Ridley was born in 1794, in Vermont. He married Sarah Myers in 1824, in Licking County, Ohio; moved to Auglaize County in 1837, with a family of seven children. He moved into the woods in the spring, and camped out all summer, and in the fall built himself a cabin. They had neither bedstead nor table for several months. They peeled bark, laid it on the ground to answer the purpose of a bedstead, and laid clapboards across two logs for a table. Such were the accommodations they had to offer strangers; nevertheless, they were quite happy. Mr. Ridley died in the year 1849. Mrs. Ridley, after remaining a widow some seven years, married Levi Mix, with whom she lived nearly twenty years. He died in 1875. She now resides with her daughter, Mrs. Winegardner, in Waynesfield, and is in her seventy-ninth year, but is quite active for a lady of her age.
Henry Whetstone was born in Huntington County, Pa., in 1809. He came with his father to Richland County, Ohio, in 1815, and married Mary Serrels in 1837, one child being born to them, Mathew. Mrs. Whetstone died in 1838. In 1841 Mr. Whetstone married Margaret Flemming, near Winsor, Richland County. They moved to Auglaize County in 1843 on the farm on which he now resides. Mr. Whetstone was elected township trustee the second year after he came; also filled the office of township treasurer for a number of years. He is a millwright by trade, having worked at that business for a number of years. He is now seventy years of age; has retired from the active duties of life.
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