ISRAEL, J.C. - a well-known agriculturist residing in section 2, Kirkwood township, Belmont County, Ohio, was born on his present farm December 21, 1833. He is a son of Robert and Mary (Taylor) Israel, and grandson of John Israel, who was a civil engineer and laid out the town of Sewellsville.
John Israel was born in England and came to the United States at an early age, settling in Maryland. He came to Ohio in 1801, and with his brother-in-law, Nicholas Gazaway, entered section 2, Kirkwood township, in partnership, this farm having since remained in possession of the family. On account of ill health he took a trip to the West Indies, and returned much benefited, but soon after died. His wife, Rachel Clary, died on the home farm at the age of 82 years. They had a family of 12 children, 11 of whom grew to maturity, but all have now passed away.
Robert Israel was born on the home farm in 1806, and lived there until he retired from active business, then moved to Morristown, where he died in 1891. He was a farmer and stock raiser and for a period of 20 years was a trustee of his township. He was a member and elder of the Christian Church in Morristown. He was an ardent Whig and later a Republican, favoring a vigorous prosecution of the Civil War. He married Mary Taylor, whose father, Noble Taylor, was one of the best known men and largest land owners in the county at the time of his death, about the middle of the 19th century. Mrs. Israel was born in 1810 and died in 1858. To this union were born the following children: Sarah E., born in 1831 and died in 1868, was the wife of John M. Dickerson; J.C.; Noble J., born in 1836 and died in 1889; Clarissa A., wife of John M. Dickerson, resides in Muskingum County; and Joseph H., who died in 1876.
J.C. Israel received his education in the district schools and has lived on the home farm all his life. With his brother, Noble J., he entered the army under General Brooks and was called out to repel the Rebels, who sought to invade the Northern States from Canada. They were in the service a period of 17 months and were with the regiment at Cleveland during Morgan's raid, and were sent as guards on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Our subject has some 363 acres of land, all well improved and underlaid with coal. He raises stock and grain, his land averaging from 50 to 75 bushels of corn to the acre. He has never had to buy grain with which to feed his stock. He has served as land appraiser, was township assessor two years, and school director 12 years. He was county commissioner six years, beginning in 1885, and acted in that capacity during the construction of the county buildings.
In 1856 Mr. Israel was joined in marriage with Elizabeth A. Pryor, by whom he had one child, who died in infancy. Mrs. Israel died in February, 1858, at the age of 22 years, and in 1860 he formed a second union with Sarah E. Skaggs, who died in 1869, leaving three children: E.L., a farmer in Union township, who married Ella Landers and has four children - Roy, Hobart, Dewey and Lillian; Mattie, a twin of E.L., who died at the age of six months; and Robert, a pharmacist of Morristown, who married Mattie McCarrahan and has two children - John B. and Abbie. In 1871 Mr. Israel married Maria G. Gregg, a daughter of Steven C. Gregg, county commission for many years, and they have two sons, Emmet G., of Oklahoma, who married Kate Hill, and Albert, of Texas. Religiously our subject is an elder and member of the Christian Church. He is probably the oldest Republican in the county, although not the oldest man. . ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
JEPSON, GEORGE -- a leading merchant of St. Clairsville, Belmont County, Ohio, was born August 28, 1839, and is a son of John and Hannah (Hunt) Jepson, both natives of Lancastershire, England.
John Jepson was born in 1794, and with his family came to America in 1825. He settled in Utica, New York, where he followed his trade as a weaver until 1835. He then came to Belmont County, where he was engaged in farming until 1844. He then started a grocery store in St. Clairsville which he conducted until 1880. His death occurred in 1884.
George Jepson worked in his father's store until 1862, when he enlisted in Company B, 98th Reg. Ohio Vol. Inf. After serving three months, he was detached for duty in the adjutant general's office, where he remained until his discharge June 1, 1865, at Washington, D.C. Upon his return home, Mr. Jepson resumed the grocery business at St. Clairsville, where he has since continued, with uninterrupted success. He is one of the most substantial business men of the community.
In 1871, Mr. Jepson was united in marriage with Rebecca E. Grove, by whom he has two children - Nellie and Lucy. Mr. Jepson has been president of the First National Bank of St. Clairsville for three years. He has also been a director in that institution over 25 years. The subject of this sketch is a member of Drummond Post, No. 203, G.A.R. His family unite in worshipping at the First Presbyterian Church, of St. Clairsville. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
JOHNSON, JAMES, deceased, who during his life was a prosperous farmer in Pultney township, Belmont County, Ohio, was born November 29, 1823, and died in 1892. He was a son of John and Jane (Gordon) Johnson and a grandson of William and Margaret (Giffen) Johnson.
William Johnson was a native of Ireland, and located on Short Creek near Wheeling, (West) Virginia, where he lived until the time of his death. About 1795 he was united in marriage with Martha Giffen, of Scotch nativity, and they had two sons, John and James. John Johnson, subject's father, was born in Virginia in 1800, and resided in his native place until his mother married John Allen, of Belmont County, Ohio, whither the family removed. They located on a farm on High Ridge, in Pultney township, and in time John Johnson accumulated a large amount of land.
John Johnson first married Jane Gordon, the mother of our subject; she was a native of Maryland. Three children blessed their union: Martha, widow of Rev. J.Y. Ashenhurst; James, our subject, and William, who was accidentally drowned in Wheeling Creek while bathing. The mother of these children died in 1825, and several years later their father was united in marriage with Nancy Pattison, of West Virginia. She died in 1854, and a second time subject's father mourned the loss of a companion. About 1859 he contracted a third marriage, this time with Mrs. Nancy (Nichol) McGaw, who died in 1899.
James Johnson spent his early life attending school, and later followed the fortunes of a farmer. December 31, 1850, he married Nancy Gordon, who was born in Belmont County March 16, 1829, being a daughter of James and Martha (Nichol) Gordon. Mrs. Johnson still survives her husband. Her mother was a native of Ireland and was brought to this country by her parents when young. James Gordon was born in Maryland, and his father was a native of Scotland.
Mrs. Johnson still conducts the farm on High Ridge, in Pultney township, where her husband's death took place. The farm contains 180 acres and is well improved, containing a comfortable house and good buildings. She is the mother of six children, most of whom reside in the same township. Their names are William A., James G., Martha J., John A., A. Ross, and Elmer N. William A. Johnson resides on the home farm with his mother. He married Sarah Sophia Cook, who was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa. While still a child she removed with her parents to Washington County, Pennsylvania, and later came to Belmont County, Ohio, where the past 35 years of her life have been spent. She and her husband have seven children, namely: James Harry, Anna May, a twin sister to Nannie Belle, the latter being deceased; John Cook, deceased; Elmer Roy, Leslie Gordon, and George Orville.
James G. Johnson resides principally at home. Martha J. married James Wise, of Pultney township, and they have two children, Philip and Nancy Laura. John A. Johnson also resides in Pultney township. He has been twice married. His first wife was Mary McCloy, a Pennsylvanian by birth. She died in 1899, and John A. contracted a second marriage, this time with Margaret Patterson. A. Ross Johnson is a resident of Linesville, Pennsylvania. He also has been twice married. His first wife was Margaret Johnson, and after her demise Hannah Johnson became his wife. Elmer W. Johnson died at the age of 27 years.
Mrs. Johnson deserves great credit for her judicial management of the farm, and she is one of the most highly esteemed ladies in the community. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
JONES, J.W. -- senior member of the prominent general contracting firm of Jones & McGraw, of Bellaire, Ohio, and one of the leading and representative residents of the city, was born in Moundsville, Marshall County, West Virginia, where he was reared to agricultural pursuits and acquired a good common-school education. Coming to Bellaire to select an avocation, he chose that of carriage-making, which he followed for some three years, later entering the planing mill of Carroll & Armstrong. This mill was subsequently burned and was replaced by the present mill of DuBois & McCoy. Our subject worked for a few months in Wheeling for the firm of Armstrong & Cohen, and then entered the firm of DuBois & McCoy in Bellaire and continued there until 1885.
In the latter year Mr. Jones took a trip to the West, making it both a business and social journey, and looked over the country at and in the vicinity of Leavenworth, Kansas, and Platte City, Missouri, but found no attractions in the way of business opportunities to excel those offered by Bellaire, Ohio. Returning to this city, he entered into contracting about 1888 and formed a partnership with J.H. McGraw, the firm being exclusively building contractors, and for the past few years has done more work in that line than all others combined. They constantly employ from 16 to 30 men and on large contracts many more, some of their work being the most extensive and substantial ever done in this city. Among the handsome and stately residences which this firm has erected in Bellaire may be noted those of James T. Kelley, J.C. Tallman, William Siddall and Harry McDonald. In the building of the Fifth Ward Hose House, the Carroll Building and the remodeling of the Buckeye Building, their work deserved and received universal commendation. This firm erected with very noticeable and creditable celerity the building known as the Columbia Theater, upon which work was commenced December 1, and was opened for business early in March, notwithstanding inclement weather during the greater part of the time. The contractors employed in this work as many as 60 men at one time, and its completeness and appearance has done much to still further emphasize their just claim as leading contractors. Another of the attractive examples of the work of the firm is the modern and comfortable residence of Mr. Jones, located at No. 3752 Tallman avenue, in which he has established his business office also.
The marriage of Mr. Jones was to a daughter of ex-Mayor Strahl, of Bellaire, and the three children born to this union were Edith, Nellie and Frank. The eldest daughter married William Siddall, who is master mechanic at the steel works; they have one daughter, Ella, and reside on Harrison street in Bellaire. In politics Mr. Jones is identified with the Republican party, and he is fraternally connected with the Knights of Pythias, Arlington Division, No. 92, Uniform Rank. In religious views he is attached to the Methodist Church. Mr. Jones is widely known in Bellaire, it having been his home since 1873, and is held in high esteem as an upright, public spirited man and a leading representative of one of the most important lines of industry in the city. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
JOHNSON, JOHN C. - who conducts a farm in Richmond township, Belmont County, Ohio, has various other business interests and is one of the substantial men of his vicinity. He is a native of this county, born in Colerain township, October 23, 1850, and is a son of Robert Johnson. His grandfather, George Johnson, was a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, and came to this country when a young man, settling near Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
Robert Johnson was born at Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, October 14, 1813, and died December 17, 1884. He came to Belmont County in 1840, locating first in Pease township and then in Colerain township where he died. He also resided in Harrison County for a period of 17 years. He was a coal miner, well digger and riverman, in addition to which he engaged in farming a part of the time. He was a member of the Methodist Church all his life, as were his parents before him. Prior to the war he was a Democrat, and then changed his political allegiance to the Republican party. He married Emily Dowell, who was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and died in 1855, at the age of 37 years. They had nine children, as follows: David, Eliza A., Tillie J., William and Daniel, all of whom are deceased; George, who lives in Harrison County; John C., subject of this sketch; Edward; and one who died in infancy.
John C. Johnson has employed most of his time in buying and selling options on coal land, disposing of 2,100 acres in this manner in 1901 at a goodly profit, and still has some 1,900 to dispose of. He is a coal miner and worked for some time in the mines of Belmont County, in the mines at Streator, Illinois, and at other places. He worked on a farm during his early life, and in 1898 purchased the Kinter farm of 234 acres, which he is now successfully operating.
June 26, 1878, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage with Rebecca Ella Robison, a daughter of John and Lydia Robison. Mrs. Robison is now living at the age of 93 years, is hale and hearty, and every indication points to her reaching the century mark. Mrs. Johnson was born in Harrison County, August 28, 1853. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have been blessed with eight children, as follows: Anna May; Frederick; Cora Belle; Mary Elva; Asa Jay; Clara Emma; and two who died young. Our subject is a Republican in politics, and is serving his second term on the School Board. He and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
JUDKINS, JAMES A., M.D., A leading citizen of Barnesville, Ohio, is found in Dr. James A. Judkins, a prominent physician and surgeon, and a worthy representative of a name long respected in the commercial and social circles of this city.
The birth of Dr. Judkins occurred in 1842, in Barnesville, Ohio, and he was one of a family of three children born to Jesse and Eliza (Bailey) Judkins. The father was born in North Carolina, in 1799, and accompanied his parents to Barnesville in 1808. His father was a physician, and a Friend in religious belief. The mother was a daughter of James and Jane Bailey, and was born in York County, Pennsylvania. In his early life, Jesse Judkins was engaged in farming, but later he became a merchant, and carried on an extensive business in Barnesville for many years.
Dr. Judkins attended the common schools of Barnesville, and began the study of medicine under the direction of his predecessor, Dr. E. Williams, in the same office he now occupies. He graduated from the Ohio Medical College, of Cincinnati, in the class of 1866. He was in partnership with Dr. E. Williams, his preceptor, until 1881, after which he remained alone until he associated with him his son, William L. Judkins, who graduated in 1892, from Oberlin College, and later, entered the University of Pennsylvania, from the medical department of which he graduated in the class of 1894. For many years the skill and ability of the subject of this sketch have been generally recognized by the citizens of Barnesville and vicinity, and he has easily held the position of the leading practitioner.
On October 2, 1867, Dr. James A. Judkins was united in marriage with Marietta V. Lewis, and two children born to this union still survive, namely: Dr. William L. and Mary Edna. The family is identified with the Methodist Church, in which it has always been one of the most highly valued. Fraternally, the Doctor is a member of the Knights of Pythias. Politically, he is a staunch Republican. He belongs to the Belmont County Medical Society. Dr. Judkins, on account of his extensive experience, is often called into consultation with brother practitioners, with whom he enjoys the most cordial relations. He is highly esteemed in Barnesville and occupies an enviable position, socially and professionally. Since its organization, he has been one of the directors of the People's National Bank. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
JUDKINS, WILLIAM L., M.D., a prominent physician of Barnesville, Ohio, who is associated in practice with his father, Dr. J.A. Judkins, was born in Barnesville. His mother, Marietta (Lewis) Judkins, was also born there. The medical profession has been an attractive one to the Judkins family, and the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Dr. Carolus Judkins, was a pioneer settler in Barnesville, in 1809.
The birth of Dr. William L. Judkins took place November 9, 1868. He acquired his primary education in the common schools of his native city, and then entered Oberlin College, from which he graduated in 1891. His medical reading has been done under the tutorship of his father, who is a leading physician of Belmont County. After quitting Oberlin, he entered the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1894. He entered into partnership with his father, the firm name being J.A. Judkins & Son, and has shown every indication of becoming as noted in the profession as his father. Politically, he is one of the leading young Republicans of the city. Fraternally, he is connected with the Knights of Pythias.
On September 12, 1899, Dr. Judkins married Blanche McKeever, a daughter of Elliot McKeever, of Moline, Illinois. One daughter, Esther, resulted from this union. Dr. Judkins takes an active interest in civic affairs, and since the spring of 1901 has been a member of the City Council. Both he and his wife are highly connected, and are leaders in the city's social life. Both are valued members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]