RALEY, JAMES - deceased, one of the hardy pioneers who performed his part in converting Belmont County from an unbroken wilderness into a country of rich farms, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1756. When a young man, he went to Frederick County, Virginia, where he married Rachel Steer, a daughter of James and Abigail Steer of the same place. After five children had been born to them, they removed to what was then the Northwest Territory, purchasing from the government a farm in the northern part of Pease township, Belmont County, choosing a spot on a sunny hillside near a never-failing spring of water. Here James Raley followed blacksmithing and with the help of his family soon cut off enough of the timber to till the soil and raise crops, and in a few years had a plentiful supply of the comforts of life. Their sugar was made from the maple trees, their clothing from the flax they raised, and the wool from their sheep. The forests had to be cleared away before crops could be raised, but in common with other pioneers they toiled bravely on and soon were rewarded by a good living. Both James and Rachel Raley lived to an advanced age in the full possession of their faculties, and were buried in a near-by Friends' burying ground, where rest the remains of all their children except one. The farm remained in the family for 86 years and is now in possession of Edgar Berry. They were through life consistent and valued members of the Society of Friends. Of their children, who were 10 in number, several died before reaching maturity. Among those who grew to manhood and womanhood were: Asa; Hannah, who married John Howard, by whom she had 10 children, of which number, one is now living, their descendants mostly being located in Iowa; Ann, who married Thomas Hirst, and is survived by a son who lives in Whittier, California, her descendants mostly being located in California and Arizona; Joseph, who married Sally Fowler, but died without issue; and Rachel, the youngest daughter, who married Daniel Atkinson, and left three children - Mary, who married Evan Beitler of Cowles, Nebraska; Ruth, wife of John Thomas Packer, of Marietta, Iowa; and William, who married Catherine Williams and lives near Pleasant Grove, Ohio.
Asa Raley was born in 1797 and grew to be one of the substantial men of Pease township, Belmont County. In 1826, he married Asenath Hirst, a daughter of David Hirst. The latter, a son of John and Mary Hirst, was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, in 1761, and in 1796 was joined in marriage with Ann Smith, a daughter of Thomas and Rachel Smith. In 1815 they removed to Ohio, living two years at Mount Pleasant, Jefferson County, nine years at Colerain, Belmont County, and the rest of their lives at Flushing, Belmont County. They reared a large family of children, the descendants of whom are settled in the West with the exception of a few who remain in Belmont County. These children were: Thomas, John, Israel, Asenath, Rachel, Mary, Smith and Hannah. Smith Hirst, the last survivor of the family, died at Colerain in 1898, aged nearly 90 years, leaving no family. They were consistent and useful members of the orthodox branch of the Society of Friends, and firm in their adherence to the doctrines held by them as a society.
To Asa and Asenath (Hirst) Raley were born the following offspring: David H., who lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Dr. J. Newton, who lives in Reading, Lyon County, Kansas; Mary H., wife of Edward Stratton of Salem, Ohio; Martha R., married to Joseph Russell, afterward to Gibson Binns (both now deceased), of Colerain, Ohio; Rachel R., wife of Jacob Maule of Colerain, Ohio; and Elizabeth and Melissa A., who are unmarried. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RAMSEY, GEORGE LAWRENCE, M.D., is a leading physician of York township, Belmont County, Ohio, and a prominent representative of one of the old and honored pioneer families of the county. Dr. Ramsey was born in Mead township in 1872, being the eldest of the nine children born to his parents, William and Amanda (Helpbringer) Ramsey, most highly esteemed residents of Mead township.
The early ancestral history of the Ramsey family reaches back to Ireland, in which land the great-grandfather of Dr. Ramsey was born in 1772. In 1790 he immigrated to Washington County, Pennsylvania, where he married a Miss Falconer, and in 1818 removed to Belmont County, Ohio, as one of the first settlers of Smith township. He left a family of six sons and one daughter, namely: David, John, Samuel, Abram, Allen, Aaron F., and Nellie.
Allen Ramsey, the grandfather of Dr. Ramsey, was born May 28, 1811, and married Mary Thornborough, in Washington township, Belmont County. The Thornborough family originated in England, the grandmother being a daughter of William and Matilda (Lazenby) Thornborough, who came to America and settled in Belmont County about 1818 and followed an agricultural life in Washington township until death. Mrs. Allen Ramsey died December 1, 1902, at the age of 86 years.
There were six children in the family of William and Amanda (Helpbringer) Ramsey, that grew to maturity, namely: William J., Ellis C., Newell M., Mary T., who married John W. Muster; Eva L., and George Lawrence.
Dr. Ramsey obtained his primary education in the common schools in the vicinity of his birthplace, and as early as the age of 14 years decided upon his life work, thereafter directing his study and reading to that end. When prepared for college, he entered the Ohio Medical University at Columbus, Ohio, graduating with much credit, on April 5, 1898. His first location for practice was at Batesville, Noble County, where he remained until the spring of 1901, when he settled at Powhatan Point, purchasing there his fine property on the turnpike, and owns one of the handsomest homes in this select neighborhood.
On March 20, 1900, Dr. Ramsey was married to Luella V. Wilson, a young lady of Charleston, West Virginia, and one child, Newell Wilson, was born to this union, in this county. Dr. Ramsey's fraternal connection is with the Knights of Pythias, of Batesville, and he also belongs to the Belmont County Medical Association. Like all his family, the Doctor is a strong supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and continues attached to the Methodist Church, in which he was carefully reared by an excellent mother. Dr. Ramsey sustains the most cordial relations with his brother practitioners, and his ability and skill have been very generally recognized by the community. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RAMSEY, JOHN A., one of the prominent and successful business men of Key, Belmont County, Ohio, who is engaged in farming and stock dealing and also handling the leading makes of farm machinery, was born in 1860, in Mead township, being a son of Allen and Mary (Thornborough) Ramsey. Our subject's mother was born in England, but was brought to Ohio when but 18 months old by her father, William Thornborough, who entered land on what is known as the Ramsey Ridge, and which is now the property of Abram Ramsey. Extended mention of Allen Ramsey and other members of the family will be found on other pages of this work.
John A. Ramsey was reared on the home farm and remained there, assisting in the work and attending school, until he reached manhood. A trip through the great West about this time was a most excellent method of education; during his 18 months of absence, he visited almost all of the Western States and Territories, spent six months at Portland, Oregon, and saw many phases of life and living which, perhaps, made him all the more satisfied with the advantages and opportunities offered in Belmont County. Mr. Ramsey is a large land owner, among his possessions being a valuable farm of 200 acres in the vicinity of Key, and his elegant residence in this town. For the past two years he has been handling machinery and is extensively engaged in dealing in stock.
In 1891 Mr. Ramsey was married to Minnie A. DeLong, who was born in 1870, in Mead township, and four children have been born to this union, namely: Bertha, born April 27, 1895, died April 29, 1895; Gladys, born July 4, 1896; Lena Valletta, born July 31, 1898; and Carrie Wanita, born January 12, 1900. Mrs. Ramsey belongs to a prominent county family. Her father, Adam DeLong, was born in Belmont County, June 14, 1827, and died December 26, 1899, being a son of Jonathan DeLong, a native of Pennsylvania, of German ancestry. In young manhood Adam DeLong moved to Washington County, Ohio, and during his 10 years of residence there married Mary Ann Flowers, who is a beloved member of Mr. Ramsey's household. After leaving his farm in Washington County, Mr. DeLong lived for a time in Businessburg, removing to Belmont town some seven years prior to his death. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. DeLong were: Tirzah, who died October 26, 1861, aged nine years; John T., who is a farmer near Danbury, Nebraska, married Annie McHenry of Illinois, and four of their six children survive; Harriet S., who is the widow of William Irwin, who died in 1902, resides at Shadyside, with two sons and three daughters; Samuel M., who married Levada Keyser, lives near Anvil, Ohio; Alvaretta, who married James Hart, resides at Belmont and has four sons; Ida M., who married O.S. Hall, died one year later, in 1892; Robert H.; Minnie A., who became Mrs. Ramsey, was born May 19, 1870; and William A., who resides at Belmont, engaged as a salesman - he married Dora Gregg and has two sons. As this family was one of the early ones of the county, more extended mention is interesting.
Jonathan DeLong was born April 25, 1796, in Pennsylvania, and was the first of the family to locate in Belmont County, about 1812. He died February 5, 1868, owning at one time 320 acres of timber land in Mead township. His children were: Rachel, born July 17, 1816, married Robert Watt, and both died at their home near Jacobsburg; Andrew, born October 15, 1817, married Catherine Phillips and they died near Businessburg; Jacob, born July 1, 1819, moved to Washington County, and there married a Miss Hoover and still survives; John, born July 2, 1821, married a Miss Hoover, and died in Washington County; Samuel, born October 21, 1823, married Margaret Scott and they live in Indiana; Catherine, born May 1, 1825, married a Mr. Wiley and they live in Washington County; Adam, born June 14, 1827; Sabina, named for her mother, born October 1, 1830, married William Kirkpatrick and they live in Washington County; Jonathan C., born April 7, 1833, died in Washington County; and Martin Luther, born August 4, 1836, married Christiana Trimble and they reside near Lewis' Mills, in Belmont County.
Mr. Ramsey is identified with the Republican party. Formerly he was connected with the Farmers' Alliance movement and has always been deeply interested in agricultural advancement. With his family he belongs to the Methodist Church at Jacobsburg. As an upright and honorable citizen, Mr. Ramsey enjoys the esteem of his fellow citizens. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RAMSAY, George E.: GEORGE E. RAMSAY is a prominent agriculturist of Powhatan, Belmont Co., Ohio. He is a son of Aaron and Nancy Ramsay (of whom mention is made elsewhere). Mr. Ramsay first saw the light of day November 12, 1861. His early boyhood was spent in the public schools of Powhatan, later he attended the St. Francis college in Cambria county, Penn. Here he remained one year. Returning from college his father gave him a tract of land situated near the old homestead; here he has put his best energies and experience, and the result is a great credit to his abilities. His particular attention is paid to the cultivation of wheat, of which he raises large crops. His marriage to Miss Lizzie Sanford was solemnized September 11, 1884. Mrs. Ramsay was born September 17, 1863, and is the daughter of David Sanford. One daughter has been born into their happy home; Edna Browning, whose birth occurred February 3, 1887. Mr. Ramsay is a Mason, and both he and wife are active communicants of the Methodist Episcopal church. "History of the Upper Ohio Valley" Vol. II, 1890
RAMSAY, SAMUEL - one of the largest land owners and substantial citizens of York township, Belmont County, Ohio, was born April 11, 1842, and is a son of Abraham and Sarah (Maloney) Ramsay.
Abraham Ramsay was born in 1807 and was a son of Thomas Ramsay, a native of Ireland, whose people were wealthy linen manufacturers there. Thomas Ramsay came to America about 1795 and married a Miss Falconer in Pennsylvania. He accumulated considerable property in Washington County, Pennsylvania, but through injudiciously going security lost quite heavily. He came to Belmont County about 1812, locating in the woods in the southeastern part of the county, on Moore's Run. He worked some on the National Road. He and his wife were parents of 10 children, as follows: Abraham, father of our subject; Samuel, Allen, David, Aaron, John, Margaret, Nancy, Jennie and Elizabeth.
Abraham Ramsay resided near and at Jacobsburg until his death in 1886, at which time he owned about 1,000 acres of land, mainly in Smith township. He married Sarah Maloney, who was born in Pennsylvania, and married in Belmont County, where she died about 1888. To this union were born the following children: Thomas, deceased; David, deceased; John, who resides near our subject, but in Washington township; Abraham, who also lives in Washington township; Samuel; Nancy (Taylor), of Smith township; Elizabeth (Riley), of Mead township; Aaron, of Smith township; and Allen, deceased. Two children died in infancy.
Samuel Ramsay resided in Washington township until he was 10 years of age, removing then with his parents to Smith township. He purchased his present home farm in York township about 1878, and was married in Guernsey County. He and his wife began housekeeping on this farm and except two or three years spent in Smith township have since made it their home. The farm, which was covered with stone, timber and underbrush, has been greatly improved and is now very valuable farming land. Mr. Ramsay manages the work on the farm and is an extensive sheep man, as was his father, handling from 300 to 500 head of sheep. He owns 375 acres in York township, besides two farms, containing 243 acres, in Washington and Mead townships.
Samuel Ramsay was joined in marriage with Susanna Mendenhall, a daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Mendenhall, both of whom reside near Salesville, Guernsey County, Ohio. Mrs. Ramsay was born in Noble County, Ohio, April 10, 1852, and as a result of her union with our subject has had the following children: Thomas Abraham, of Washington township, who married Cora Kittlewell and has three sons; Samuel Oliver, living in Mead township, married a Miss Fraley; Annie A. (Trigg), whose husband is a blacksmith at Jacobsburg; Delphi Odessa (Devaul), whose husband is a farmer and sawmill man of Smith township; Lela L., who is single and lives at home; Carrie Golda, who is also single; Edna Loretta, who attends school at Jacobsburg; Lewis, who is at home and assists his father; Sarah Rebecca, who is deceased, and Emma Ethel and Joseph, who died in infancy. Politically Mr. Ramsay cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln for President, and has voted the Republican ticket ever since. In religious attachment, he and his family are Methodists and attend church at Jacobsburg. . ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RAMSEY, WILLIAM, one of the prominent and substantial farmers of Mead township, Belmont County, Ohio, belongs to an old-established family of State and county, whose members are well known through their several communities as leading and representative citizens. The birth of William Ramsey took place December 24, 1844, in Washington township, Belmont County, and his parents were Allen and Mary (Thornborough) Ramsey, the latter of whom was born in England about 1816, a daughter of William and Matilda (Lazenby) Thornborough. The Thornborough family came to America and settled in Belmont County about 1818, entered land in Washington township, and resided there the balance of their lives, Mr. Thornborough dying about 1845, his widow surviving until 1882.
The founder of the Ramsey family in Belmont County was Thomas Ramsey, a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, who immigrated to Washington County, Pennsylvania, about 1790, at the age of 18 years, married there a member of the Falconer family, and moved with his children to Smith township, Belmont County, Ohio, in 1818, and there lived for the rest of his life, leaving these sons: David, John, Samuel, Abram, Allen, and Aaron F.
Allen Ramsey, the fifth son of Thomas Ramsey, was born May 28, 1811, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and was brought by his father to Belmont County in 1818. His marriage to Mary Thornborough took place in Washington township, Belmont County, where he resided a number of years, his last days, however, being spent in Mead township, where he died July 19, 1887. His venerable widow still survives, at the age of 86 years, a resident of Key station, Mead township. The children of Allen Ramsey and wife were: Elizabeth, who married William Thompson, resides in Mead township and has a large family; Thomas H., who is a farmer near our subject; Louisa, who died young; Nancy Jane, who is Mrs. Devol, resides in York township; William, who is the subject of this biography; George, who was a resident of Mead township, died at the age of 19 years; Eleanor, who died at the age of 18 years; Matilda A., who married David Little, resides at Glencoe; Louisa, who married John Harvey, resides at Bellaire; and John A., who is a farmer and also a merchant residing at Key station.
William Ramsey was mainly reared in Mead township, where his schooling was obtained, and he remained on the home farm until he was 26 years old. After marriage he located in the southwestern part of Mead township, purchasing the Taylor farm, and has devoted his attention to general farming and the raising of standard sheep and cattle. His herd of Shorthorn cattle ranks with the best in the State. Mr. Ramsey operates 266 acres and has what may well be termed a model farm. In 1892 he erected his handsome residence, and all of the surroundings have an air of thrift and prosperity.
On September 5, 1870, Mr. Ramsey was married to Amanda Helpbringer, who was born in Smith township in 1850, and a family of nine children has been born to them: Dr. George L., a prominent physician of Powhatan Point; Lura V., who died September 1, 1898, aged 23 years; Clara, who died at the age of three years; William John, born in 1878, resides at home; Arthur Allen, who died at the age of three years; Mary F., who married John W. Muster, resides with her father, her two children being Lura Beatrice and Eugene Ralph; Ellis E., born March 29, 1886, and Newell M., aged 12 years, and Eva A., aged 10 years, are at home. All of these children have been given excellent educational advantages and have been well fitted for the responsibilities of life.
Mr. Ramsey is a Republican in his political adherence, and has capably and frequently served in many of the township offices, at present being a member of the School Board. The family belong to the Methodist Church at Jacobsburg, a pleasant town reached by a short drive. Mr. Ramsey lives near enough to thus enjoy both town and country benefits. In addition to being a man of integrity, Mr. Ramsey also has the reputation of being a most genial and hospitable host. Although now one of the substantial men of the township, he began far down the ladder, his success being almost entirely due to his own efforts. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
REAM, John O. : John O. Ream, of Berlin, is a great-grandson of Michael Ream, who was a manufacturer of hats in Berlin, Pennsylvania, moving thence to Berlin, Ohio, where he passed the remainder of his life, his death occurring at an advanced age.
Joseph Ream, son of Michael Ream, was born November 23, 1800, at Berlin, where he followed his trade of hatter. He was a Democrat. He married, about 1822, Elizabeth Zorn, born August 31, 1802, and their children were: Sarah, widow of Peter Zimmerman, lives in Stoystown; Charles, of Berlin, married Mary Shaffer, and after her death Emma Rhodes; William, of Boswell, married Mary Meyers, and after her death the widow of Henry Penrod; Philip, of Portland, Oregon, married Lydia Black; Daniel, married Catharine Bill, and after her death Lizzie Horner, and died in 1904, aged seventy-five; Catharine died in 1905, aged seventy-three, wife of Philip Coleman; Barbara died in infancy; Michael, of whom later; Joseph, killed in the battle of Gettysburg; Jane, widow of Joseph Imhoff, lives in Berlin; Jacob, of Berlin, married Elizabeth Snyder, and after her death Harriet Gumbert. By a remarkable coincidence the father and mother of this family expired on the same day, November 26, 1863.
Michael Ream, son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Zorn) Ream, was born November 5, 1834, and learned the carpenter's trade, being for twenty years thereafter engaged in erecting buildings in Somerset county, In 1862 he was married, and the following day--August 20--enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Forty-second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. While engaged in helping to build one of the forts erected for the defense of Washington, he was injured by a falling tree, and was subsequently transferred to the One Hundred and Ninth Company, Second Battalion, Invalid Corps. At the close of the war he was honorably discharged. After his return home Michael engaged in farming near Berlin, and in 1890 entered into partnership with his son, John O., first in meat dealing and afterward in the livery business. In 1898 he sold his interest, and is now leading a retired life at Berlin. His residence, built in 1902, is in the eastern part of the town, and is a very attractive, pleasant home. He is a Prohibitionist and a member and trustee of the United Evangelical church.
Mr. Ream married, August 19, 1862, Mary, born October 26, 1838, daughter of John and Eve (Zerfoss) Shaffer, the former a farmer of Somerset township and a Democrat. He and his wife were members of the Lutheran church. Their daughter Mary was educated in the public schools. Mrs. Shaffer lived to be ninety-one and her husband passed away at the age of ninety-two. The family of Michael and Mary Ream consists of the following children: Irvin, born April 14, 1865, Democrat, married Belinda Snyder and has six children; Susan B., born November 13, 1866, deceased; Darley Alice, born February 1, 1868, member of United Evangelical church, married Herbert Strawn, and after his death Milton Landis, four children by first marriage and two by second; John O., of whom later; Mary E., born October 26, 1871, member of United Evangelical church, wife of Nevin Allfather, of Berlin, has three children; Hiram L., born March 26, 1874, of Berlin, Republican, married Gertrude Urhardt, has three children; Florence, born October 13, 1875, member of United Evangelical church, wife of Franklin Zorn, of Berlin, has three children; Cloyd Sylvester, born September 30, 1877, at home, Democrat; Lucy E., born December 4, 1880, member of United Evangelical church, wife of John Groff, clerk in Groff's Department Store, Berlin, has one child. All these children were educated in the township and Berlin schools. The mother of the family is a member of the Lutheran church.
John O. Ream, son of Michael and Mary (Shaffer) Ream, was born September 20, 1869, near Berlin, in Brothers Valley township, where he received his education in the common schools, afterward attending the Berlin Normal school. He worked on his father's farm until the age of twenty, when he went to Mount Savage, Maryland, and there learned the business of a butcher under the instruction of Joseph Snyder. In 1890 he returned to Berlin and entered into partnership with his father, opening a meat market and restaurant under the firm name of Ream & Son. This connection was maintained eight years and the business prospered. In 1895 the firm added to their establishment a livery stable, which has proved a very good investment, and in 1898 Mr. Ream purchased his father's interest, thus becoming sole owner. In 1903 he erected a modern bakery, which was successful from the start and gives constant work to the men employed there. In addition to supplying the town daily with meats and bakery products, the wagons make daily trips to the mines and surrounding villages. The livery business has grown to large proportions, requiring from fifteen to twenty horses to meet the demands. The restaurant was abandoned some time ago, and the grocery market is now in process of closing. The market is situated on Berlin's main street and has recently been enlarged and refitted. There Mr. Ream has his office and transacts the business of his different enterprises, which are all in a flourishing condition. He owns the Knepper farm of two hundred acres, near Berlin. This estate is partially worked, but is used chiefly as a stock farm, where Mr. Ream fattens the cattle which he has purchased elsewhere by the carload for the retail trade. He also owns and rents a two-story brick residence adjoining his market property. The bakery is situated in the east part of the town and is a residence and bakery combined.
Mr. Ream has served the town three years as auditor, and for three terms has been councilman of the borough. He belongs to Berlin Post, Sons of Veterans, and is a Democrat in politics. He is a member and trustee of the Lutheran church and also a teacher in the Sunday school. He is unmarried." History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania" Bedford County by E. Howard Blackburn; Somerset County by William H. Welfley; v.3, Pub. The Lewis Publishing Company, New York/Chicago 1906, pg. 207-209
The Virginia line of Rectors has quite a history. A group of 13 families were brought over by Governor Spottswood of Virginia from Nassau-Siegen, Germany to form the Germanna colony in Fauquier Co., Va. The original Rector was Hans Jacob Richter/Rector who married Elizabeth Fischbach. The had children: John, Henry, Harmon, Jacob.
Henry Rector was born about 1715 in Fauquier Co., Va. and died June 24, 1799, Fauquier Co. He married Nancy Ann Robinson, daughter of William & Catherine Taylor Robinson. Their children: Mary, John R., Catherine, Dianah, Agnes, Jacob, Hannah, Nancy Ann, Moses R., Elijah, Spencer, Winifred.
Elijah Rector was born about 1763 Fauquier Co., Va. and died July 1828, St. Clairsville, Belmont Co., Oh. Married Margaret Ann Cochran, daughter of Nathaniel & Eleanor Gilmore Cochran on Dec. 25, 1794 Fauquier Co., Va. Children: John, Susan, William Henry, Catherine Ann.
Elijah moved his family to Ohio in 1809 where they stayed for 2 years in St. Clairsville. The village at that time only had 300 inhabitants. Elijah later bought 160 acres ten miles West of St. Clairsville where both he & his wife spent their lives. The land was poor and hilly and covered with timber and rocks.
Marriage of Elijah's children:
John married Rebecca Wilson
Susan married Elijah Galloway
Wm. Henry married Ann Perkins
Catherine Ann married Levi Salmans
Of these children, my line of descent is through Catherine Ann and Levi Salmans. Catherine Ann was born May 3 1810 St. Clairsville, Oh., died Aug 1 1880, Larned, Ks. Levi Reed Salmans was born Oct 3, 1809, Oh., died Apr. 10 1870 in Il.
William Henry Rector was a very interesting and adventurous character. He was born Dec. 4, 1806 Fauquier Co., Va., died Mar. 13, 1890, Sonoma Co., Ca. He married Ann Perkins, an orphan, Aug. 23, 1827 Fauquier Co., Va. She was born Feb. 1806 Del., and died Dec. 24, 1891, Ca.
William Henry continued working the family farm for awhile until he turned it over to his brother John. He moved to Elkhart, In. where he furniture. He became a merchant at Benton, In. until that venture fell apart. William's sense of adventure took over and after hearing of lands to the West, he loaded his family onto a flat boat and in the flood waters in the spring of 1839, floated down a wide creek until he came to So. Bend, In. They then unloaded the boat, put everything, including the boat, on wagons and sent them to a lake which is the head waters of the Kankakee River, which runs westward more than 200 miles until it runs in to the Illinois River, which in turn, empties into the Mississippi. At the lake, the boat with all their belongings was launched again. The boat was sold and passage was bought on a steamer for St. Louis, Mo. At St. Louis, another steamer was taken up the Missouri River to Independence, Mo. where they settled for a time. Wm. built a saw mill there, then traded his interest in the mill for 80 acres of land near Independence. He was in several other enterprises over the next few years, including building an engine for the mills at the Shawnee Indian Mission, Shawnee, Ks.
In the year of 1845, Wm. Henry sold his farm to go West. With a family of six children and his wife and another young man to help drive a wagon, they set off to catch up with a caravan that had earlier left Independence. They had two wagons with oxen teams and a horse drawn buggy. [From Personal Family Research - Submitted by Ann Baughman]
REECE, GEORGE W., who is engaged in a real estate and loan business at Martin's Ferry, Belmont County, Ohio, is one of the active and enterprising citizens to which this section owes much of its recent wonderful growth.
The birth of Mr. Reece took place on July 27, 1847, a son of George W. and Sarah (Hill) Reece, the latter of whom was the thirteenth child born to Thomas and Sarah Hill, her advent into the world being in mid-ocean, on a sailing vessel, between England and America, this vessel being 90 days overdue on account of adverse winds. George W. Reece, the father of our subject, was a blacksmith by trade and was employed at the Barnes Glass Works at what was then known as "Ritchie-town," but which is now included in the corporate limits of Wheeling. Later he located at the point now known as Benwood and there started into business for himself. He was known over a wide extent of country as an expert in his trade, and owners of horses would come long distances in order that he should shoe their valuable animals. Mr. Reece was also known for his genial manner and his place of business was a favorite resort for the better class, who there discussed matters of general interest while they were confident that he was doing work in his line in the most skilled manner. After Mr. Reece gave up his business at this place and went to Wheeling, his many friends were distressed to learn that he there succumbed to the cholera, in 1849. His was one of the most virulent cases, being fatal in a few hours. This was remarkable, as he was a man of such strength and agility, that he could run and jump over a horse or seat himself so nimbly beside a rider that he would not be noticed for some time. He was regarded as the leader of athletic sports in his locality, which were then of the most innocent nature, consisting principally of tests of skill for the enjoyment of others, no speculation being attached to the contests. Although he was not a church member, he was a man who lived an exemplary life. He accompanied his wife to the Methodist Church, with which she was connected. His wife died of cholera two days prior to his death.
Our subject was not much over two years of age when his father died and he was the youngest member of a family of five children, named as follows: John E., Eliza J., Mary F., an infant, deceased, and George W. John E., who resides at Lazearville, West Virginia, where he is postmaster, served three years as a drummer in the 1st Reg., Virginia Vol. Inf., was captured at Moorefield, Virginia, kept in Libby Prison over 90 days and then returned home; Eliza J., who is the widow of Mitchell Reagan, is a trained nurse; Mary F., who died at the age of 43 years, was the wife of Rev. F. Byrnes, of the Disciples' Church.
George W. Reece acquired his education in the schools in his neighborhood and worked around the coal mines in West Virginia until 1882 and then worked in a grocery which was known as the "Drover's Home," located at North Benwood. He later became interested in it. In the flood of February 8, 1884, all he had accumulated was swept away, and he then came to Martin's Ferry. For a few years he worked at the carpenter trade, then embarked in the confectionery business and in 1892 became interested in real estate and loans, a business he has followed ever since. For over a year he dealt exclusively in Ohio and West Virginia coal and timber lands. He is now the president and director of the Uneeda Tool & Machine Works, of Martin's Ferry, and has done much in the interest of this and other city industries.
The marriage of Mr. Reece took place on October 24, 1872, to Grizzella J. Riggle, a native of West Virginia, a daughter of Amos Riggle. Both of her parents are deceased. The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Reece are: Jacob, who resides at Zanesville, Ohio; Elizabeth (Mrs. Rev. Ravenscroft), who resides in Missouri; David, who resides in Colorado; Lavina, who is Mrs. Harry Patterson, of McMechen, West Virginia; Emma (Mrs. Dalby Marple), who died in 1900; Florence (Mrs. Charles Kirby), who died about 1890; and Margaret (Mrs. James Thomas), who resides in Wheeling. Mrs. Reece is a very useful member of the Presbyterian Church, belongs to the religious order of that body known as the King's Daughters, is a member of the Home Missionary Society and is active in the ladies' social and church organizations in the city. Mr. Reece is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and a liberal supporter of its benevolent and missionary enterprises. His fraternal connection is with the American Order of United Workmen, in which he has passed all the chairs. He takes no active interest in politics, beyond voting the Republican ticket, but in all other matters pertaining to civic life he is interested and ever ready with his efforts. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
REED, JOHN K., an extensive farmer in Warren township, Belmont County, Ohio, and one of the substantial, prominent and representative citizens of the county, was born in Warren township, June 27, 1827, a son of James P. and Sarah (Kent) Reed.
The father of our subject, James P. Reed, was a son of John Reed, one of a family of eight children. John Reed, with his family, migrated to Belmont County, Ohio, from Loudoun County, Virginia, in 1802, settling so far in the timber that he was obliged to cut a road from Barnesville to his farm, four miles west of that settlement. He cleared up a farm of 133 acres in Warren township, and upon that tract James P. Reed was reared from the age of one year. He lived until 1886, aged 84 years, a man respected by his neighbors and much beloved by his family. The Reeds were indeed pioneers coming to Warren township while it was nothing but a wilderness, with scarcely any sign of civilization in the way of highways, schools or churches. The mother of our subject also was a daughter of a pioneer William Kent, formerly of Wills Creek, Noble County, Ohio, where he was a large and successful farmer.
John K. Reed grew up on his father's farm and attended the district schools. From assisting his father he gradually began to accumulate land of his own to cultivate, and the large farm he now owns is one of the very best in Warren township. It contains 108 acres of well-improved land, partly located in sections 25 and 26, his comfortable residence being in the former. An air of thrift pervades the place and gives testimony to the excellent methods pursued by the owner of these fertile acres and attractive buildings.
The first marriage of Mr. Reed was to Martha Price, a daughter of Nelson Price, in February, 1850, and three children were born to this union, the one survivor being Mrs. Dora J. Blakemore, whose husband is one of the progressive business men of Barnesville. The second marriage of Mr. Reed took place April 11, 1896, to Anna Griffen, the accomplished daughter of Douglas Griffen. Both Mr. and Mrs. Reed are consistent members of the Methodist Church, and life his father, he is identified with the Democratic party. Mr. Reed is justly regarded as one of the county's most substantial citizens, and has been one of the directors of the People's National Bank of Barnesville ever since its organization. His character is one of integrity, and in all enterprises looking to the growth and development of Belmont County, he has taken a deep interest. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RICHARDS, J. MELVIN, secretary and superintendent of the Epworth Park Chautauqua Assembly, at Bethesda, Ohio, is a leading and representative citizen of Belmont County. Mr. Richards was born in Wheeling, (West) Virginia, October 7, 1834, and is a son of James and Mary (Hurford) Richards, the former of whom was a native of Newton, Massachusetts, and the latter of Pennsylvania.
James Richards located in Wheeling in 1821, in his 15th year, at a time when the greater number of the houses were of log construction and there were neither railroad nor steamboat transportation facilities. By trade he was a machinist and was also a natural mechanic, filling many important positions in the growing town. Few men took a more active interest in the fostering of the Methodist Church, and he was the organizer of at least three churches of that denomination in the vicinity of Wheeling, and was one of the leading members of the First Methodist Church of the city, which was then located on the site of the present 4th street edifice. Believing that every member should have a working place in the church, he did much missionary work, his efforts always being to extend the influences of religion and education. His death occurred at Wheeling, in 1854, at the age of 48 years. His widow survived him a great many years, passing away in May, 1902, the last survivor of the old First Methodist Church congregation. Her 90 years had silvered her hair and left many traces of advanced age, but they had not quenched her interest in the church which had been to her such a living interest in its struggling days. But a short time prior to her death, she sent to the authorities the church data, including names of ministers and congregation, and conditions of that early time, and received from the official board a letter thanking her for her valuable additions to the church history. She was widely known as "Aunt Polly Richards," and was one of the most valued workers as long as physical strength was given her. Her house was always open to the itinerant preachers of those pioneer days, and multitudes shared the hospitality of her home and enjoyed the fruits of her Christian influence. She was converted in youth and filled more than half a century with her best Christian influences. It seemed as if she had a peculiar fitness for all lines of church work on account of a sympathetic nature and a loving heart. In a deeply religious and happy home seven children were born, the subject of this sketch being the eldest.
J. Melvin Richards obtained an excellent education in the public schools of Wheeling, and later entered into an establishment to learn the trade of plumbing, gas fitting, steam fitting and brass work, and later became foreman and superintendent of the shops of Dillon, Thompson & Company, remaining with them until his enlistment for service in the Civil War.
The record of our subject during the continuance of the war, from 1862 until he was honorably mustered out on June 27, 1865, deserves even more extended mention than can be made in the limits of a sketch of the present description. As an authentic account of one of the most gallant survivors of the War of the Rebellion, we take the liberty of herein inscribing the same from the records of Battery D, from the archives on file in Washington, D.C.
"J. Melvin Richards helped to organize, and enlisted as a private in, Battery D (Carlin's Battery), 1st West Virginia Light Artillery, August 19, 1862. Mustered as senior 2nd lieutenant, August 20. Promoted 1st lieutenant, March 26, 1864. Served in R.R. District, Department of the Ohio, with Gen. R.H. Milroy. In Middle Department, and Department of Upper Potomac, in 8th Army Corps; in Department of West Virginia; and in Reserve Artillery Department, to June, 1865.
"Service - Expedition on Cheat and Allegheny Mountain to Crab Bottom and Monterey; march to Beverly and Webster on special expedition; on duty at New Creek; expedition to Petersburg, Winchester and Strasburg, Virginia; battle of Winchester and Carter's Woods; special duty at Wheeling and New Creek and Hancock, Maryland; Gen. Sigel's expedition in the Shenandoah Valley and the battle of New Market; Hunter's expedition to Lynchburg; skirmish at Harrisonburg, Virginia; battle of Piedmont, Virginia; destruction of military stores at Staunton, Virginia; destruction of Military Institute at Lexington, Virginia; skirmishes at Otter Creek, Diamond Hill, Liberty, Buckhannon; battle of Lynchburg, Virginia; operations in vicinity of Bufort's Gap and Mason's Creek, and on detached duty, by section and battery, at various stages of the war, and at various times and places as the exigencies of the service demanded.
"Made prisoner of war June 21, 1864; imprisoned at Lynchburg, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina (under fire); Columbia, South Carolina; Charlotte and Goldsborough, North Carolina; and, after nearly nine months' imprisonment was paroled at Wilmington, North Carolina, March, 1865. Honorably mustered out June 27, 1865."
This is a record of which our subject, family, friends and fellow-citizens may be justly proud. It is however a difficult matter to associate the present dignified, genial and active church worker with the gallant, dashing officer, except that in both cases may be recognized those attributes which belong to true nobility of character - self-possession, energy, poise and perseverance in the battle for the right.
After the close of the war, our subject was one of those remarkable men which our country has not ceased to honor, who quietly returned to peaceful avocations and took up the lines temporarily laid down. With the same firm he resumed his work in plumbing and gas and steam fitting, becoming a member of the firm of Dillon, Thompson & Company; but he soon found that his long service, with its imprisonment, had made inroads upon his health, and with reluctance on both sides he severed the connection of years. For several succeeding years he was employed in the general delivery department of the Wheeling Post Office, later embarking in an agency business, in which he remained until 1888, when he first became interested in the work at Bethesda, Ohio. Although he came here first for a period of rest, he soon after became identified with the work of the Epworth Park Assembly, resulting in his engagement as superintendent, a position he has acceptably filled for the past 12 years. The beautiful grounds of the Chautauqua Assembly, with the attractive improvements, have during this time been under his care and management, and as a practical workman, he has planned and executed with an eye of the most efficiency and with the greatest economy, and the results is one of the most delightful retreats in Belmont County.
The marriage of Mr. Richards took place in August, 1863, to Emeline White, of Marshall County, West Virginia. She was a woman of Christian virtue, devoted to the Methodist Church. Her death occurred in 1879, at the age of 45 years. The second marriage of our subject was in 1893, to Sarah Eliza Baron, of Bellaire, Ohio, a most estimable, educated, cultured lady, who is an able assistant to her husband in every department of church work and the promotion of the intellectual and social life of the Epworth Park Assembly. Mr. Richards is gifted with a very fine voice and for a score of years was connected with the Methodist Church choir in Wheeling. The two children born to our subject were Olive W. and Wilma B., the former of whom passed away in her 21st year and the latter at the age of seven years. Fraternally, Mr. Richards is an advanced Odd Fellow, being a past grand in that order, and he is also a valued member of the Grand Army of the Republic. He has been a life-long Republican until the campaign of 1884, since which date he has voted with the Prohibition party. He has been one of the greatest factors in Bethesda's prosperity and his enthusiastic spirit, which communicates itself to others, shows he is just as much in his right place now as he was in front of the enemy's guns in the "sixties." ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RICHMOND, WILLIAM F., who is successfully engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business in Barnesville, Ohio, was born on June 9, 1867, in Zanesville, Ohio, and is one of a family of 13 children born to his parents, Matthias and Anna (Taylor) Richmond. Matthias Richmond was a glass worker in Zanesville, and continued in that line as long as he lived.
William F. Richmond received an excellent common-school education in Zanesville, where he was engaged in business. Later he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and on September 3, 1901, located in Barnesville. Mr. Richmond handles a great deal of valuable property in both city and country; buys, sells and exchanges, makes loans, and also represents many of the leading insurance companies. His honorable methods, as well as close and careful attention to business, have gained him the confidence of the public, and he bids fair to become one of the leading men in his line in this part of the county.
In 1890 Mr. Richmond married Minnie A. Hammond, a daughter of Adam Hammond, both of whom are natives of Ohio. Two children have been born to this union - Loren and Elson. Mr. Richmond is a member of the Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias, and is popular in both orders. He and wife are leading and valued members of the Methodist Church, and their active interest in shown in the benevolent and charitable work of that denomination.
Among the insurance companies which are represented by Mr. Richmond are those covering life, fire, accident, plate glass, boilers and live stock. He also acts for the Fidelity Bond Company. His pleasant and courteous manner makes many friends, while his expeditious and efficient mode of conducting his transactions has given him a high business standing in the city and vicinity. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RIDER, JACOB -- of Martin's Ferry, Ohio, his antecedents, descendants and a short sketch of his life. George Rider, his great-grandfather, was born on the Rhine in Germany and died at the age of 106 years. Our subject's grandfather, John Rider, was born in Germany. He came to the colony of the infant United States before the Revolutionary War and settled on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He removed to Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, where he wooed and married Margaret Engle. From Northumberland County they removed by wagon to Red Stone, now Brownsville, Pennsylvania, on the Monongahela River. Here they sold their horses and wagons and purchased a flatboat, on which they stored their goods and started to float down the Monongahela to the Ohio. The first stop they made was at Steubenville, where they remained a short time, while the husband went out through the country to select a home. Not being satisfied, they continued their way as far as Wheeling Creek, where they sold the boat and shipped their goods back to Steubenville, securing land near where the town of Richmond, Jefferson County, now stands. They remained there several years, then removed to Athens County, Ohio, where they both died, the husband at 97 years and the wife at 96 years of age.
George Rider, the father of the subject of our sketch, was the third son of John and Margaret (Engle) Rider. He was born October 6, 1793, in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and was 13 years of age when his parents settled in Jefferson County, Ohio. He became an expert blacksmith and made edged tools of all kinds. At the age of 21 he married Catherine Culp, whose age was 20 years. Miss Culp was born July 19, 1794, in Preston County, (West) Virginia, and they began married life near Richmond, Jefferson County, Ohio. Mr. Rider served in the War of 1812 under General Harrison. He died in Jewett, Ohio, in his 87th year, and his wife died in her 86th year in Jefferson, Ohio. This couple were parents of 10 children, as follows: John, born March 13, 1815, who moved to California in 1852 and died in Sacramento in 1901; Jacob, the subject of this sketch, who was born July 25, 1816, in New Richmond, Jefferson County, Ohio, and was the first male child born in the village; Sarah, born November 25, 1819, died December 10, 1858; Margaret, born July 30, 1822, died January 16, 1901; David, born December 19, 1824, who is now a retired merchant at Jefferson, Harrison County, Ohio; Emanuel, born March 16, 1827, who is now a retired farmer living at Des Moines, Iowa; Thomas, born October 8, 1829, who is a farmer near Cadiz, Ohio; George, born November 24, 1832, who is now living in De Witt, Iowa; Andrew, born February 10, 1837, who is manager of the Ohio Cultivator Works at Bellevue, Ohio; and Lewis, born November 14, 1839, who is now living in Kirkville, Missouri - one of his daughters is the wife of Dr. Still, a son of Dr. Still, the father of osteopathy.
Baltzer Culp, the maternal grandfather of Jacob Rider, was born in Germany and came to the United States before the Revolutionary War, during which struggle he served for several months as teamster under General Washington. He died in Jefferson County, Ohio, at the age of 93 years.
Jacob Rider began his apprenticeship at carpenter work when a lad of 15 and followed the trade in Steubenville and Wellsville until he moved to Martinsville (now known as Martin's Ferry), on Saturday, July 29, 1836, having come from Steubenville on the steamer "Post Boy." It was a boat about 20 feet wide, 60 feet long and one deck high. It was a side-wheeler and was at that time considered a very nice passenger boat. Martinsville was then a village consisting of First and Second streets, from Washington street to Walnut street. Thirty-six families constituted the population. He first began working for William J. Lewis, making furniture and coffins. He next worked for John Harris at the furniture business.
Jacob Rider and Lois E. Dunn were married September 7, 1837, and began housekeeping in a small frame house which stood on the west side of Second street, a short distance below where the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad passenger station now stands and across the street from the residence of Joseph L. Stephens, at present occupied by Samuel Heaton as a blacksmith shop. His home adjoined the residence of W.C. Howells, the birth place of the famous author, William Dean Howells. The Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad Company purchased all the property on the west side of Second street from Locust street to Walnut street, and the buildings above mentioned were removed. Mr. Rider then purchased the property on which he now resides at the corner of Third and Locust streets. He built a workshop on part of the lot and followed his trade making patterns, furniture and coffins until the beginning of the War of the Rebellion, when he removed with his family to Wheeling. There he engaged in the foundry business, and in 1862 made the pattern for the famous Burnside Heating Stove, which is now used in every State in the Union. Near the close of the war he returned to Martin's Ferry, and in 1866 located at New Martinsville, West Virginia, where he engaged in the manufacture of shingles. He later returned to his old home in Martin's Ferry, where he has since resided. Mr. Rider with his wife in 1836 united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has since been a faithful member. He has been trustee of the church for more than 40 years and now enjoys the honor of being the only honorary member of the board the church ever created in Martin's Ferry. He has always been strictly temperate in his habits and is now enjoying the fruits of a perfect and clean life.
Lois E. (Dunn) Rider, the wife of Jacob Rider, was the daughter of Robert and Sarah Dunn, who came from Stamford, Connecticut, during the Revolutionary War and settled in Hancock County, (West) Virginia. Her father died at the age of 37 years and her mother at the age of 73 years. Mrs. Rider was born November 18, 1817, in Hancock County, Virginia, and died in Martin's Ferry, Ohio, December 14, 1896. She was the first child in her neighborhood to yield to the temptation of eating a tomato, then known as the "Jerusalem apple," and considered to be poisonous. Her parents were so badly frightened they sent for a physician, fearing she would die. The result of her experience soon spread abroad and others became bold enough to risk their lives in the same way. Tomatoes soon became one of the standard vegetables. Mrs. Rider was a woman of sterling qualities. She united with the Methodist Episcopal Church at an early age and was a very pious Christian woman. She was a great sufferer during the last 20 years of her life, and the last 15 years was a helpless paralytic, but bore her trouble with Christian fortitude. Mr. and Mrs. Rider were parents of five children, all living, as follows: John Stephen, born May 21, 1840, who is now engaged in the real estate business in Sterling, Rice County, Kansas; George Edwin, born December 14, 1847, who is engaged in the foundry business at Kansas City, Missouri; Rev. William Harper, born February 3, 1853, who is pastor of a Methodist Episcopal Church at Minneapolis, Minnesota; Sarah K., born July 11, 1855, who is the wife of Rev. C.B. Henthorne, presiding elder of the West Philadelphia District of the East Ohio Conference, and Eugene Henry, born November 18, 1858, who is secretary and treasurer of the Stanton Heater Company of Martin's Ferry, Ohio. Jacob and Lois E. (Dunn) Rider were grandparents of 19 children and great-grandparents of eight children. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RIETZ, JACOB, a prominent merchant at the corner of 37th and Noble streets, is one of the oldest grocers who has carried on a continuous business in the city of Bellaire, having started here in 1878. During all this time his business dealings have been marked by the strictest honesty and highest integrity. In directing affairs of the city he has been honored with a place in the Council and in other ways favored by his fellow citizens. He was born in Germany in 1841 and is a son of Jacob Rietz, Sr.
The elder Mr. Rietz came to this country from Germany in 1846, and coming directly to Ohio, settled upon a farm in Washington County, near Lowell. For ten years he carried on a flourishing industry, deriving from his labors large profits. At the end of this time, possessed of considerable means, he went to Lowell and opened a sawmill, of which he also made a success. He died in 1894 at the age of 79 years. He had three children, two sons and one daughter.
Jacob Rietz, Jr., was about five years old when his parents came to this country, and received his education mainly in the common schools of Washington County. In early life he entered his father's mill in Lowell and there worked for some time. With an eye to something better, however, in 1874 he came to Bellaire and secured a position in the B. & O. R.R. shops. Giving good satisfaction, he remained here for three years. Then, seeing a good opening for a grocery store in the growing community, and having laid aside a small sum of money, he secured a building and put in a moderate stock of goods. Wise management and good service enabled him to succeed, and he continued the business, increasing from time to time his stock of goods to keep apace with the growing demands of the community. In 1883 he erected the store where he has since carried on his trade. It is a large double building, and he uses the rear as a residence. He keeps in his store a complete line of staple and fancy groceries, and also handles produce and general provisions. His trade is a large one and highly profitable.
Mr. Rietz married a Miss Schramm of Washington County, Ohio, who has two brothers now residing in Bellaire. To Mr. and Mrs. Rietz have been born three children, Albert, now in business with his father, is married and has one child. Lena married Charles Kaiser, of Bellaire, and they have four children. William has a position in the Dollar Savings Bank of Bellaire.
Mr. Rietz is especially influential in the public affairs of his city and has served the Fourth Ward for six years in the City Council. In politics he is usually a Democrat, but somewhat independent. Fraternally he affiliates with the I.O.O.F. He belongs to the German Reform Church. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RILEY, JOHN W. -- a member of the firm of S.D. & J.W. Riley, extensive fruit growers, packers and shippers, resides on his farm just out of St. Clairsville, in Richland township. He was born in this township in 1864, and is a son of Richard L. and Mary (Keyser) Riley. His grandfather, Richard Riley, was a bound apprentice in his early days, and running away from his master, located in Wheeling when that city was known as Fort Henry. He later came to Belmont County, Ohio, and settled in Mead township, where he died July 21, 1863, at the age of eighty-seven years.
Richard L. Riley, father of our subject, was born in Mead township in 1821, and died in 1883. He was a farmer and fruit grower, and was a very successful business man. Religiously, he was a member of the Presbyterian Church. He was a Democrat in politics. He married Mary Keyser, who was born near Quincy, Belmont County, in 1823, and died in 1889. She, too, was a member of the Presbyterian Church. She was an invalid at the time of the great cyclone of 1887, and with her two sons was in its midst. Our subject was struck by a falling evergreen tree and his ankle fractured, incapacitating him from any work for a period of six months. Six children were born to Richard L. Riley, and his wife, namely: Isaac M., deceased; Samuel D., who is in the fruit business with John W.; Richard J., superintendent of the Niehart gold and silver mine at Niehart, Montana; Elizabeth J., who married William L. Callin, of Wheeling, West Virginia; Nancy K., who is housekeeper for her brothers; and John W.
John W. Riley is a member of the firm of S.D. & J.W. Riley, fruit growers, and lives on a farm of 40 acres adjoining the west corporation line of St. Clairsville. This property is devoted mainly to the growth of a variety of fruit. He and his brothers and sisters own an individual interest in the estate of his father, and also own a farm of 110 acres four and one-half miles east of St. Clairsville. They have a very successful business, both being men of good ability, and are reckoned among the substantial citizens of the community.
John W. Riley is a member of St. Clairsville Lodge, No. 698, K. of P., and is county deputy of the order. He is a Democrat in politics, and in religious views is a Presbyterian. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RITNER, Robert Elwood: My father Robert Elwood Ritner, was born on August 17, 1915 in Bridgeport, Ohio (Belmont County) to Milton (who is elsewhere mis-named 'Hilton' on some genealogy sites) Ritner and Virginia "Virgie" Wilkinson. Robert was one of six children including Wilma Elizabeth, John Wayne, William Albert, Roy Nelson and Harry Milton. Harry died at the last part of WWII in Okinawa a few days before he would have come home. Robert married Dorothy Alice Sacher on December 27, 1952 and had 4 children Maryellen Ritner Brown, b.12/23/53, Robert Louis Ritner, b. 1/14/55, Alison Marie Ritner McFadden, b. 4/6/58, and myself, William Bradley Ritner, b.10/3/59. Son-William Bradley Ritner
ROBERTS, J.C., residing at No. 419 Washington street, Martin's Ferry, has for 20 years occupied the position of sheet roller in the rolling mill of this city, exercising the same perserverance and determination in regular work that he previously exhibited as a soldier in the War of the Rebellion. He was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, September 22, 1847, and is a son of E.W. and Emily (Cook) Roberts.
E.W. Roberts was one of the first sheet rollers in this country, and followed this occupation for the most part throughout his business life. Late in years he settled in Sharon, Pennsylvania, where he was engaged at his trade for the rest of his life. He died July 23, 1872, at the age of 62. During his young manhood he married Emily Cook. She survived her husband, dying in 1879 in her 63rd year. A pleasing woman, spiritually minded, and gifted with the most charming feminine traits, she won the friendship of all who knew her. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts had ten children - the first died in Pittsburg at the age of 13 years; three died young, Ruth, Anna and Joanna, who were twins, and Joseph; the fifth never married; Elizabeth, now the widow of Charles Ulp, resides at No. 116 South Penn street, Wheeling Island. The other children are Louisa, who has never married; John C.; William S., an iron worker for the past 11 years, and Emma, who married Baldwin Chew, and has since died at the age of 47. Mr. Roberts was a liberal supporter of the Baptist Church. His wife belonged to the Methodist Church.
J.C. Roberts procured his education at Niles, Ohio, where it was his privilege to be a schoolmate of William McKinley, our late President. As boys they were intimately associated, played mumblety-peg together and other childish games. Later in life they both served their State as soldiers in the Civil War. It was in September, 1861, in Company G, 19th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., that Mr. Roberts enlisted. Entering the Army of the Cumberland, he with his regiment fought at Shiloh, April 6 and 7, 1862; at Perryville, Kentucky, October 8, 1862; at Stone River, Tennessee, January 2, 1863; and at Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, 1863. He also took part in the closing battles of the war, was in the Atlanta campaign, and fought at Franklin and Nashville under General Thomas. His first enlistment expired near the close of 1862, and on January 1, 1863, he again re-enlisted, serving in all four years and two months. He was mustered out in November, 1865. In the battle of Stone River, Tennessee, he was appointed one of a force to guard a train of ammunition and provisions, which the Rebels were determined to possess if possible. The struggle was a fierce one, and the Southern cavalry did succeed in capturing the train and taking prisoners of the guard, Mr. Roberts among them; but half an hour later the captain of the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment, with his cavalry, retook both the train and the prisoners. Mr. Roberts was wounded with buckshot once during the war, and not having the hurt attended to until the next day, suffered considerable pain, but no serious injury resulted from the mishap. Considering the severe fighting in which he was engaged, his escape was almost miraculous. Out of 101 men who first enlisted in his company, only three returned from the war, and he was one of the three. Since the war Mr. Roberts has been engaged steadily in the rolling-mill business. In 1882 he took a position as a sheet roller in a mill at Martin's Ferry, and, giving excellent satisfaction, he has remained here ever since.
Mr. Roberts has never married, but gives his time mainly to his business and to society. He belongs to the Elks and to the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel & Tin Workers, and has served as an officer in each society. As a Civil War veteran he belongs to the G.A.R. He possesses much force of character and makes a success of whatever he undertakes. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
ROBINSON, GEORGE O., one of the most successful business men and manufacturers of Belmont County, has been a resident of the county since 1864. He was born in Wheeling, (West) Virginia, in 1852, and is a son of John R. Robinson, who was for many years identified with the iron and steel interests of Wheeling.
George O. Robinson was practically reared in Belmont County, and his first business experience was in market gardening on McMechen's Creek, following that occupation for a period of eight years. He then embarked in the ice business, to which he later added the coal and brick business, and in the latter branch he still continues. He is one of the large real estate owners of the county, being interested in various tracts of land in Pultney township, much of it close to the city of Bellaire. All is arable land and most of it is under lease for coal and other purposes. Among his holdings are a half interest in 206 acres adjoining the city limits, 19 acres on McMechen's Creek in the suburbs of Bellaire, and about 40 acres at Georgetown, a part of the old home farm, and a half interest in a 100-acre tract, a part of which is in the city limits. Mr. Robinson's main attention is given to the brick business and his real estate interests. He is vice-president and general manager of the Standard Stone & Brick Company, which was started in May, 1901, the plant being located at McClainville, on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. It is a modern plant in all its appointments and gives employment to some 55 men, having a capacity of 50,000 bricks per day. It is under the superintendence of his son, John Howard Robinson. Alexander Neff is president of the company; George O. Robinson, vice-president and general manager; and Franklin Neff, secretary and treasurer. The plant is located about three miles west of Bellaire and during the first year of its existence turned out 6,000,000 bricks. They operate a sandstone quarry in connection, and a fine quality of building stone is furnished to the surrounding county. The office of the plant is located on 23rd street, between Belmont and Guernsey streets, in Bellaire.
Mr. Robinson is president of the Eastern Ohio Milling Company, and a director in the First National Bank of Bellaire, Ohio.
Mr. Robinson was united in marriage with Emma L. Thompson of Belmont County, and they have the following children: John Howard, superintendent of the Standard Stone & Brick Company, who resides at Georgetown, where he has a small farm - he married Daisy Bohill, and they have two children, Dorothy and Grace; Lulu and Mary, who are attending the seminary at Washington, Pennsylvania; Frank, who attends school; George, also attending school; and Ada. Owing to better educational facilities at Washington, Pennsylvania, Mr. Robinson moved his family to that city, although all his business interests are in Belmont County. In politics, he is a strong Republican. He is a Mason, and in religious belief is a Presbyterian. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
ROBINSON, JOHN R., who was for many years prominently identified with the steel and iron interests of Wheeling, West Virginia, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 21, 1829, and is a son of Henry Robinson.
Henry Robinson was born in England and came to this country as a young man. He was a physician and surgeon by profession and during his lifetime traveled extensively in this country. His wife was born by the River Tweed in Scotland and came to this country in her girlhood.
John R. Robinson was reared mainly in New York City, and when a boy came to Pittsburg, where he met the young lady who was to be his wife in after years. He returned to New York and remained until he was nineteen years of age, when he again located in Pittsburg, being married the year following to Sarah Jane Oxley, who was of English-Irish parentage, but born in Scotland. He entered the rolling mill in that city and later continued in that work in Wheeling. He was engaged in the Belmont Mill, then with Norton, Bailey & Company, and later with Bailey, Woodward & Company. He made the first heat of iron ever made in the LaBelle Mills in that city, and later was twice made manager of the plant. He went to Harrisburg, Pa., and managed the Chesapeake Iron Works during 1870 and 1871, then returned to the LaBelle as manager. He bought a farm in Pultney township, Belmont County, Ohio, upon which he located with his family. He continued in the steel business until 1891, since which time he has been retired and has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Cordelia Nelson of Pultney township.
Mr. Robinson and his wife became parents of ten children, as follows: Janet, George O., Edgar Sutton, Elmer, Irving, Winfield Scott, William Wright, Clarence, Cordelia A. and Sadie. Janet married and moved to Mississippi, where she died. George O. was formerly superintendent of the Bellaire Brick Works. Edgar Sutton, a Presbyterian minister at Oxford, Ohio, has been in the ministry since 25 years of age, receiving his education at Washington-Jefferson College; he married a daughter of Captain Smith of Mead township and has four children, Dora, who is in an educational institution in North Carolina, Alice, who is an artist, Edna and Andrew. Elmer, who was a druggist at Bellaire, married a daughter of Captain Smith; both he and his wife are dead, and their two children, John and Eleanor, reside with their grandfather, Capt. Andrew Smith. Irving died at the age of eight months. Winfield Scott, deceased, was a dentist and practiced for a time at Bridgeport, Ohio, and later at Trinidad, Colorado, then returned home and died about 1885. William Wright, secretary of the Elwood Glass Company of Indiana, married a Miss Adams of Belmont County, and they have one child. Clarence is a brick contractor of Bellaire, Ohio. Cordelia A., wife of R. Smiley Nelson, a dairyman of Pultney township, has four children, John Gordon, Sarah G., Estella May and Rachel Elizabeth. Sadie is the wife of John Futhey, a dairyman of Mead township - they have five children, John, Robert, Hannah, Sarah and James. In politics our subject has always been a Republican, casting his first vote for John C. Fremont. Fraternally he was at one time a member of I.O.O.F. He and his family are members of the Presbyterian Church. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
ROBITZER, CHARLES M., the junior member of the firm of Williams & Robitzer, flour, feed, meal and grain millers, of Barnesville, Ohio, is one of the progressive, energetic and successful young business men of this city. The birth of Mr. Robitzer occurred January 5, 1875, in Kentucky. He is a son of Frederick and Louisa D.H. (Hinkey) Robitzer. Our subject's mother died the same year that he was born.
Frederick Robitzer was born in Germany and came when a young man in the early "fifties" to the United States, where he followed the trade of a painter. Landing in New York, he went from there to Cincinnati and thence to Kentucky, and moved after the death of his wife to Terre Haute, Indiana, where he now resides. Mr. and Mrs. Robitzer had a family of eight children, five of whom survive.
Charles M. Robitzer was the youngest of his parents' family, and never knew a mother's tender care. His mental training was obtained in the common schools. He early developed business instincts, and in his endeavor to become a wage earner and to assist his father, learned the barber's trade. As he grew to manhood, however, his inclinations led him to become a millwright, and when the occasion presented itself he became deeply interested in the milling business.
In 1881 the firm of Carter, Beardmore & Wiesiner built a large flouring mill on lots 63 and 64 in Barnesville, which it operated for several years. Subsequently, the mill became the property of John Wiesiner, who disposed of it to Mr. Bonnell. On February 14, 1894, Mr. Bonnell lost the mill by fire, and afterward partially replaced it. W.H. Bentley and E.E. McKeever completed the work. The death of the latter in 1897 and of the former in 1898 placed the property in the hands of their respective widows, by whom it was leased for a short time to R.G. Hogue. On February 24, 1900, this property, known as the City Mill, was purchased by the young firm of Williams & Robitzer. Since that time the business has prospered and has continually advanced in importance. Much rebuilding and remodeling was necessary in order to place the plant in first-class condition, and new machinery was installed at a cost of $2,000. The entire plant has a valuation of from $12,000 to $15,000, and it has a capacity of 75 barrels per day. All modern methods of milling are in use, and the product is held to be entirely satisfactory by the citizens of Barnesville and the farmers in the vicinity. The business methods of the firm are also of an honest and fair character, and personally its members are men of integrity.
On June 3, 1902, Mr. Robitzer was united in marriage with Pearl I. Dye, the accomplished daughter of Thompson W. Dye, who is a well known mechanic. The subject of this sketch and his wife are valued members of the Presbyterian Church. Fraternally Mr. Robitzer is a Mason. Politically he acts with the Republican party. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RODEWIG, CHARLES W., mayor of the city of Bellaire, Belmont County, Ohio, was born in Bellaire in November, 1862, being a son of Frederick and Margaret (Luckhard) Rodewig, the latter of whom was born 63 years ago in Hesse, Germany, and is now a beloved and honored resident at the home of her son, H.P. Rodewig.
Frederick Rodewig, the father of Mayor Rodewig, was born near Hanover, Germany, where he learned the trade of willow worker, becoming a designer and maker of fancy chairs and other articles. At one time he exhibited some of his work at a fair in Wheeling. However, Mr. Rodewig was obliged to give up his employment on account of impaired health, resulting from the sedentary occupation. In 1854 he located in Bellaire, and here engaged in a bakery business, which he successfully conducted until about 1887, when he retired from active business life. Mr. Rodewig became a prominent and influential man in Bellaire, was made receiver for the old street car line, and was active in securing the present electric service. He was one of the originators of the old line, and also of the gas plant, and later was a stockholder in the gas and electric light company. For nine years he was a member of the Board of Education and for four years was city treasurer, also serving for several years as councilman from the Third Ward. The handsome business block at No. 3137 Belmont street was erected by him. In politics he was a Democrat. During the period that he was a member of the School Board, a number of the commodious school buildings which adorn the city were erected. A family of seven sons came to him and his wife, viz.: August, who is in the employ of the Cleveland, Lorain & Wheeling Railway Company, at Bridgeport; Fred, who is a clerk in his brother's furniture store; Charles W.; Henry P., who is a furniture merchant in Bellaire; John, who is a clerk in the above-named business; and Edward and George, both connected with the glass works, the latter being a member of the Trade Assembly.
The present presiding city officer of Bellaire, Charles W. Rodewig, the subject of this sketch, has been connected with the business life of this city since attaining his majority. He assisted his father in the bakery business until 1889, was an efficient member of the police force, engaged in the furniture business for some years, became prominent in Democratic politics, and in April, 1902, was elected mayor of the city. He has justified the expectations of his friends in making a fine officer, and, judging the future by the past, Bellaire will have a clean, honest administration, in which its citizens can take pride.
The first marriage of Mayor Rodewig was to Lena Glaser, who at decease left one daughter, Clara M., a graduate of the Bellaire schools, and although but 18 years of age, a cadet on the teacher's list. The second marriage of Mayor Rodewig was to Elizabeth Ludwig, and they have two children, namely: Blanche and Carl W. The family are German Lutherans. Socially our subject belongs to the Belmont Turnverein, the Knights of Pythias, and the B.P.O.E., and he also belongs to the Chemical Company of the volunteer fire department. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
ROGERS, DR. WILLIAM N., enjoys a lucrative business in his chosen profession, in the city of Bellaire, Belmont County, Ohio. His success is due to his own qualifications and determination. His birth occurred at Concord, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, October 2, 1871. He did not reside in that place many years, but removed to Media, Delaware County, Pa., and remained there until 1900.
William N. Rogers became a student of the common schools of Media, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the High School there in 1889, standing well to the front of his class. His best efforts were spent in learning the printer's trade for the next few years, and he worked at this until September, of the year 1894, economizing in every way as he had determined to become a physician and surgeon. He accordingly became enrolled among the students at Hahnemann Medical College, a homeopathic institution of Philadelphia, and finished his course in good time, graduating May 12, 1898, well equipped for his chosen work.
However, the Spanish-American War then occupied the attention of many of the best citizens and the month following his graduation in 1898 he entered the 1st U.S. Volunteer Engineers and served in the Porto Rican campaign till late in the fall, when he again returned to his profession. From July, 1899, until February 1, 1900, he was employed as junior surgeon of the visiting staff of the out-patient department of Hahnemann Hospital, receiving a very fine surgical training in this way after which he removed to Bellaire, Ohio, and has both office and residence located at No. 1923 Belmont street. He has met with most pleasing success since his residence there, has identified himself with the interests of township and county and now numbers his friends by the score. He is examiner for the Western & Southern Life Insurance Company of this district, is secretary of the Ohio Valley Homeopathic Medical Society, and is vice-president of the West Virginia State Homeopathic Medical Society.
In fraternal circles Dr. Rogers is a past officer of Garfield Lodge, No. 94, Knights of Pythias, of Pennsylvania. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
ROSENGRANT, THOMAS S., M.D. The medical profession is worthily represented in Barnesville, Ohio, by men of ability, great skill and trained experience, and prominent among these is Thomas S. Rosengrant, who was born in Oxford township, Guernsey County, Ohio, and was one of a family of seven children of George L. and Deborah (Wilkins) Rosengrant. The former was born and reared in Guernsey County, Ohio, where he became an extensive farmer and where he still resides. The mother of Dr. Rosengrant died in 1881.
The early life of the Doctor was spent on his father's farm, where he born January 25, 1857. Here, among rural surroundings, he attained manhood and acquired a good common-school education. This was supplemented by a course in Scio College, from which institution he graduated with great credit. His reading of medicine was followed under the direction of Dr. James E. Taylor, of Richmond, Indiana, preparatory to his entrance into Starling Medical College at Columbus, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1883. Dr. Rosengrant then took a post-graduate course in medicine and surgery at the Chicago Medical College and at the Medico-Chirurgical College of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He acquired experience by attending the hospitals of these cities, and, when prepared to begin his life work, settled in Barnesville, Ohio, July 9, 1900. Although his residence has been but a short one in this city, it has been one of encouragement and success, his capacity having been recognized both by the public and his brother practitioners.
Dr. Rosengrant married Ada E. Jones, a daughter of William Jones, of Belmont County. The Doctor is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Odd Fellows, and is highly valued in his association with the Ohio State Medical Association and the American Medical Association. His political connection is with the Republican party, and he is actively interested in the success of its measures and the spread of its principles. With his wife he belongs to the Methodist Church, to which he liberally contributes. His offices are located in the Bradfield Block in Barnesville, one of the most convenient and appropriate situations for a rising young physician. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
ROTHERMUND, HENRY M., a well-known contractor and builder of Martin's Ferry, Ohio, is located at No. 239 6th street, was born at Warnock's station, Belmont County, Ohio, December 17, 1857, being a son of Augustus and Hannah (Specht) Rothermund.
Augustus Rothermund, the father of our subject, was born in Germany and there learned the building trade. In 1852 he came to America, and joined his brother, Frederick, who was already located at Wheeling, (West) Virginia. There he followed his trade and did much of his building and contracting in Bridgeport and Martin's Ferry. His work was of a character that advertised him and he became well known through the county. His death occurred at the age of 69 years, his wife having passed away previously in her 48th year. Both parents of our subject were consistent and worthy members of the German Lutheran Church. A family of nine children was born to them, as follows: William, who died when 40 years of age; Henry M.; Charles, who is a partner with Henry M., and resides in Martin's Ferry; Lewis, deceased, lived but 26 years, but was a prominent man in Martin's Ferry, being a leading grocer, and president of the City Council at the time of his death; Hannah (Mrs. Moore) lives in Martin's Ferry; August (1), deceased; August, who does the plastering for this brothers' contract buildings; Caroline, who is deceased; and Louisa, who died at the age of six years from lockjaw.
Our subject obtained his education in the public schools at Martin's Ferry, beginning at the age of 16 years to learn his trade with his father, working thus until 23 years old, and then started independently in the same business. Mr. Rothermund has a skill in his work not possessed by all contractors and builders. He acts so honestly with the public that he has gained the full confidence of the people of Martin's Ferry and Bridgeport. He has done much of the work in both cities and has plastered as many as 78 buildings in one year. There is one peculiarity about our subject, and that is that if he thinks he cannot finish work in the specified time he will not undertake the job, and in this way the public has grown to trust his word and to secure his services if possible. He carries all the best trade in his locality, and takes a just pride in its completeness. Mr. Rothermund is one of the directors in the German Savings Bank and owns much property of a valuable nature through the city, having at least six acres divided into building lots. Although he is no politician, he votes with the Democratic party, but refuses all tenders of office.
Mr. Rothermund was married July 17, 1882, to Minnie Seabright, a native of this county and a daughter of Charles and Louisa Seabright, both deceased. The three children born to this union are: Pearl Elizabeth, Lewis Carl and Elwood William. The religious connection of the family is with the German Lutheran Church. Our subject is a very enterprising and public-spirited man and is very highly regarded in Martin's Ferry, for his integrity of character and good citizenship. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
ROWLES, TYSON C., well known as one of the successful farmers and leading citizens of Somerset township, Belmont County, was born in 1832, in Colerain township, and has been a resident of the former township since 1882.
The father of our subject was Azariah Rowles, who was born in 1796, in Maryland, and died in Belmont County, in 1846. In 1822 he came to Belmont County and settled in Colerain township, and his death occurred in Smith township. By trade he was a cooper, but he also engaged in farming. He was drafted into the service during the War of 1812 and was a soldier for a time at Baltimore. In politics he was a Whig. Mr. Rowles was reared a Friend, but he lost his birthright by marrying outside the Society without making proper acknowledgement. The mother of our subject was Sarah Hendrickson, who was born in New Jersey, and who died at the age of 61 years, in 1868. She was a consistent member of the Methodist Church and a woman of most admirable qualities. A family of eight children was born to Azariah and Sarah (Hendrickson) Rowles, as follows: Hezekiah, who lives in Knox County, Illinois; Mary, who died young; Elizabeth, who is the widow of William Workman; Thomas J., deceased, who was a soldier during the Civil War, from Belmont County; Nathan H., of Bellaire, who was an officer, with rank of captain, in the 170th Reg., Ohio National Guard, during the Civil War; Tyson C., of this sketch; Elihu B., who was a member of the 15th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., during the Civil War and lost his life for his country, in the battle of Altoona, in Sherman's campaign, in 1864; and Nancy E., who is the widow of Elmer Clifford, of Wheeling.
Tyson C. Rowles was educated in the public schools and for a considerable period, in young manhood, was engaged in teaching in Belmont County, teaching for six years in Barnesville. He afterwards engaged in the tanning business at Barnesville, conducting this industry for 10 years. In 1882 he removed to Somerset township and located in section 19, where he most successfully operates a farm of 160 acres. In politics he is a Democrat. Mr. Rowles has most efficiently filled the offices of trustee and land appraiser and enjoys the reputation of being one of the township's most upright officials.
In 1861 Mr. Rowles was married to Eliza B. Mackall, who was born in Barnesville in 1837, and is a daughter of Benjamin and Mary Mackall. She is a lady of Christian virtues and a most consistent member of the Methodist Church. Fraternally, Mr. Rowles is a Mason, belonging to the local lodge. As a citizen and as a neighbor, he is held in high esteem in Somerset township. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RUMBACH, CONRAD -- has for the past 30 years been a business man of Bellaire, and has also exerted no small influence in the conduct of its public affairs, serving for some time as president of the City Council. About a year ago he severed his connection with the large wholesale wine house with which he had for some time been connected, and is now living practically retired.
Mr. Rumbach was born in Switzerland and there resided until he was 16 years of age. Preparatory to a business in life he learned during this period the printer's and typesetter's trade, which, by the way, he had but little occasion for use in later years. Upon leaving his native land he came directly to this country and located at Weston, Lewis County, West Virginia. After a short residence there, however, he secured a lucrative position with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company and moved to Grafton, in the same State. Though succeeding in his work, he decided after some time to engage in business by himself, and opened a hotel and barroom in Grafton. He continued in this line for some years. Finally, disposing of this business, in 1872 he moved to Bellaire, Ohio, and there about a year later opened a billiard room and café. A knowledge of men and shrewd financial management enabled him to make this new enterprise a success in every way, and for 19 years he continued it. Then, in 1892, in company with S. Wimmer, he purchased the large building at No. 3219 Union street and engaged in the wholesale wine and liquor business. This enterprise was the largest and most profitable one he ever undertook, but in spite of this fact in June, 1901, he discontinued it, and retired from active participation in business. He has invested in real estate, which he rents to good advantage to various concerns, and is interested in other enterprises.
Some years ago Mr. Rumbach married Mercy Ryfe, of Switzerland. She died in 1901, and he has since married Mrs. Kittie Maul, a widow, who has one son - John B. Maul, now a clerk in the employ of the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad Company. The family reside at No. 222 33rd street.
As a man of marked business ability and decision of character, Mr. Rumbach has won the confidence of all who know him. He is also popular with his fellow citizens, and has served the Third Ward in the City Council for four years, being made president of that body in 1901. Fraternally he belongs to the K. of P., the B.P.O.E. and the Turners, and has been a prominent member of the I.O.O.F. for the past 22 years. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
RUPPEL, William Henry : William H. Ruppel, whose career as a lawyer has been distinguished by sterling character, a display of comprehensive knowledge of the law and a steady devotion to the best interests of his clients, and who has achieved the highest success at the bar of Somerset county, was born at Frostburg, Maryland, May 13, 1849, a son of Christian and Mary (Holtsieder) Ruppel. Christian Ruppel was a native of Germany, from whence he came to the United States about the year 1841. The family resided in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, but was temporarily living in Maryland when William Henry was born. His mother, who was a daughter of Frederick Holtsieder, died when her baby was three months old and the child was then taken to Somerset county and brought up at Wellersburg.
William H. Ruppel first attended the common schools, and later was a student in normal schools and was under private tutors. For thirteen terms he served in the capacity of teacher, spending the time in Mineral county, West Virginia, and in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, his last school having been located in Berlin, Somerset county. He then became a student in the law office of General Coffroth and was admitted to practice November 26, 1872. He at once formed a partnership with Mr. Coffroth, which has continued until the present time. The firm occupies two large offices on the main street in the town of Somerset, which are heated with hot water, lighted by gas machines operated on the premises, and a large vault is connected with the rear room. Since he has been in partnership with Mr. Coffroth he has, to a great extent, been the working member of the firm, as his partner's political interests have necessarily absorbed a large portion of his time. His practice has covered almost every department of the profession, and he has won many important cases. He was one of the counsel for the defense of the Nicely brothers, and has participated in various civil cases and criminal trials with marked success, being noted for the clearness of his presentation and the force of his arguments.
Mr. Ruppel has been a follower of the Democratic standard, and, although he has never held any political office, has been quite active in party work during presidential campaigns. He served as delegate to the Pennsylvania Democratic state convention which nominated Mr. Singerly for governor, and judge, but Mr. Ruppel declined to press his candidacy, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his private practice. In 1901 he was the Democratic nominee for president judge of the county. At the election the Republican state ticket carried the county by a majority of 3,825, and Mr. Ruppel was defeated by only 295 votes. He is a member of the Lutheran church and for many years was superintendent of the Sunday school at Somerset. For thirty-two years he was leader of the church choir and orchestra, and has always taken a deep interest in everything pertaining to musical advancement. For many years he has been president of the Lutheran Sunday School Association of Somerset county, has served as a member of the board of directors of the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and is now a director of Susquehanna University at Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Formerly he was active as a Good Templar, participating in the transactions of the state and other conventions, and at one time was grand worthy counselor of the grand lodge. Mr. Ruppel has traveled extensively throughout the United States and is thoroughly conversant with the places of note and interest in his adopted state, and well informed on current topics and general news.
Mr. Ruppel married, December 19, 1872, Clara Heffley, daughter of John and Elizabeth Heffley, and one child was born to them, Ella Mildred, who died at the age of three years. Mrs. Ruppel died April 14, 1891. On October 25, 1898, Mr. Ruppel married Minerva Covode, daughter of Dr. Joseph and Lydia (Griffith) Cavode. Mr. Ruppel and his wife occupy a handsome and commodious residence on Main street, Somerset, which he completed in 1883." History of Bedford and Somerset Counties, Pennsylvania" Bedford County by E. Howard Blackburn; Somerset County by William H. Welfley; v.3, Pub. The Lewis Publishing Company, New York/Chicago 1906, pg. 66-68