NAYLOR, DAVID K. : DAVID K. NAYLOR, a farmer of Colerain township, was born in Smithfield township, Jefferson county, May 28, 1818, son of A. G. and Ruth (Hammond) Naylor. The father was born in Maryland, son of John Naylor, also of Maryland, and came to Ohio in 1812, and settled in Smithfield when it was in its infancy. He bought several farms and gave to all his sons. He was a slave holder in Maryland, but on coming to Ohio set them free. He had in his family nine children, five boys, our subject's father being the youngest. The mother was a daughter of George and Deborah (Hutton) Hammond, natives of Virginia, and was of Irish descent, and in 1811 settled in Smithfield township, where he remained until death. The grandparents on both sides were very strict Quakers. Our subject was raised in Smithfield township, received a common school education, beginning in the old log school-house. He first began life by working in a stone quarry. He afterward traveled in the mercantile business for five years, and then established a store in York where he afterward lost all he had formerly
made. In 1852 he married Margaret Smith, daughter of Ephraim and Elizabeth (Parkinson) Smith. Of their six children, three are now living. Elizabeth, Ida M. and Harry A. The mother was born in Belmont county, where she lived till her death, September 24, 1879. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is also a member of the same church. After he lost his property in York, he removed to Belmont county, and was then fifty dollars worse off than nothing, but by hard work and good management he has done well, and now owns ninety-two acres of good land, which is well improved, with good and substantial buildings. He served two years as justice of the peace and resigned his office. He is a thorough-going farmer and a worthy citizen. "History of the Upper Ohio Valley" Vol. II, 1890.
NEFF, ANDREW JAMES, who owns several fine farms in Belmont County, Ohio, resides upon the home farm in section 17, Pultney township, where his birth took place in 1850. His life has practically been spent upon that place. This farm contains 214 acres, is finely improved with handsome residence, substantial barns, granaries, etc. The house itself was built by Mr. Neff's father in 1842, but many of the improvements have been added by our subject. In addition, our subject owns a 137-acre farm in the valley south, and a 120-acre tract in Mead township, in all about 500 acres. Most of this land is under lease, but the home farm is operated by Mr. Neff, who makes a specialty of raising fine fruits, especially peaches. Some attention is also paid to stock raising and a glimpse into his stock pens and pastures reveals the presence of some choice breeds.
Andrew J. Neff is a son of Andrew, Sr., and Jane (Alexander) Neff. His mother was a daughter of Robert Alexander, one of the pioneer settlers of Belmont County. He was a blacksmith by trade and was an expert workman in that line, conducting for many years a shop near St. Clairsville Junction. He purchased a farm in that vicinity, and cleared much of the land himself. Subject's father also followed agricultural pursuits and further mention is made of his life in the more complete history of the Neff family given in another part of this volume. He had three sons, John W., a resident of Richland township; Alexander, of Pultney township, and Andrew James, the subject of this narrative.
Andrew J. Neff attended public school in his native township and also a private institution of learning near Bethel. His life has been devoted almost wholly to farming in its various branches, and success has met his efforts. He is the proud possessor of the ancestral homestead, which he obtained by purchasing the interest of the other heirs. His marriage with Mary A. Brannen, a daughter of Joseph and Harriet (Shahan) Brannen, of Pultney township, has resulted in four children. Two of these died young - one an infant yet unnamed, and the other, Charles A., who was seven months old at the time of his death. The surviving children are Herbert B. and Hazel J. The former is attending commercial college in Bellaire and the latter is a student in the St. Clairsville schools. Mrs. Neff's parents were among the early settlers in Pultney township and are still highly esteemed residents of that community.
In politics Mr. Neff is a faithful advocate of the Democratic party. He takes a becoming interest in both national and municipal issues. He is largely concerned in various business organizations in his section and at the present time is serving in an official capacity for several. He stands well in social and religious circles, being an active member of the Bethel Presbyterian Church. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NEFF, ALEXANDER, who has extensive business interests in Pultney township, Belmont County, Ohio, is also largely engaged in agricultural pursuits, being located on a fine farm near Neff's siding and post office. He is a native of this township, the date of his birth being February 11, 1848, and is a son of Andrew and Jane (Alexander) Neff.
Andrew Neff was born in 1808 and died in 1852. He was a large farmer and stockman and at the time of his death owned some 800 acres of land. He married Jane Alexander, a daughter of Robert Alexander, the Alexanders being one of the first families of Pultney township. She was born in 1814 and died in 1883. Our subject is one of three sons, his two brothers being: John W., who is largely interested in the lumber business and is located on a farm near Neff's; and Andrew J., who owns and resides upon the old home farm in Pultney township.
Alexander Neff was reared and resided on his father's farm until 1883, when he purchased the farm of James Dixon, the first white child born in Pultney township, and here he has since made his home. He owns about 430 acres of land, all of which is devoted to general farming and stock raising. He has erected a comfortable home and good, substantial out-buildings, and has made all the important improvements upon the place. In addition to farming he is engaged in merchandising and in the lumber and coal business. He is president of the Standard Stone & Brick Company, and president of the Neff Coal Mining Company, of which John W. Neff is vice-president, A.J. Neff treasurer, and Franklin Neff, secretary. In April, 1901, Alexander Neff sold the Standard mine to the Empire Coal Company, which operates it as the Empire No. 6. The Neff Coal Mining Company owns about 1,500 acres of coal land. The lumber business of Mr. Neff includes the handling of brick, plaster and all other building materials, doing a large amount of contract work. In all his different enterprises he handles from 20 to 40 men. He is vice-president of the Enterprise Telephone Company, and of the Ohio Valley Milling Company. His office is now at Neff's, but will soon be moved to St. Clairsville Junction.
Mr. Neff was united in marriage with Elizabeth J. Wallace, of Utica, Licking County, Ohio. In politics he is a Democrat. He has been an elder in Coal Brook Presbyterian Church since 1875. He is a man of the highest type and enjoys the friendship of everyone. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NEFF, JOHN W. - capitalist, planing-mill owner, coal operator and farmer, is prominent in each line and is one of the leading men of Belmont County. His large and well-cultivated farm, comprising 288 acres, is located nine miles south of St. Clairsville, and is one of the most valuable tracts of land in Richland township.
Mr. Neff is a son of Belmont County, born in 1846, in Pultney township, his parents Andrew and Jane (Alexander) Neff, also being natives of the same township. The father died in the old home in 1852, having been a successful farmer through life, a member of the Democratic party, and long connected with the Presbyterian Church. The mother was a daughter of Robert Alexander, and she died in 1883, at the age of 68 years, a most consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. Robert Alexander's wife was a Miss Dixon. The three children born to our subject's parents were: John W., Alexander and Andrew J.
When Mr. Neff began his planing-mill operations in 1880, the machinery was erected in his barn; in 1883 his great new mill was ready for the expansion which had taken place in the business, which is now the most extensive in its line in the county. The many articles manufactured at his plant include such as the following: Siding, flooring, molding, brackets, casing, ceiling, window and door frames, farm ladders, step ladders, water troughs, sleds, telephone brackets, porch columns, fence pickets, paper roofing, Carey's roofing, lining paper, deadening felt, shingles, lath, lime, plaster, doors, windows, transoms, wire cloth, fence, wood pumps, Myers' pumps and hay tools, spraying pumps, roller doors, track and hangers, pulleys, rope (3/4 inch and under), hinges, locks and catches, nails, oil and paints, ochre, white lead and roof coating. To meet further demands, Mr. Neff is building another plant at Neff's siding. Another of his enterprises, the Neff Coal Company, is located just below. Mr. Neff is interested in the Shadyside Real Estate & Improvement Company, in various lots and enterprises in Bellaire, and is also a stockholder in the Dollar Savings Bank of Bellaire.
In 1873, Mr. Neff was married to Mary E. McKelvey, a daughter of Samuel and Lucinda (Creamer) McKelvey. She was born in Mead township, Belmont County, in 1847. Four children were born to this union, namely: Lizzie E., who married Frank Mellott; Harry A., who married Dora Schramm, daughter of Jacob Schramm; Andrew; and Oliver. The religious connection of the family is with the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Neff is a man of business stability and integrity and is regarded with feelings of the highest esteem throughout Belmont County. Mr. Neff was one of the promoters of the Enterprise Telephone Company, and has been a director in the organization since its incorporation. In connection with his many other enterprises, he is also successfully engaged in the fruit-growing industry, making a specialty of plums and small fruit. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NEFF, JOHN A.. SR., a prominent farmer and large land holder of Richland township, Belmont County, Ohio, is well and favorably known as a business man and estimable citizen. The birth of Mr. Neff took place in 1823 in the home in which he now lives, situated four miles southwest of St. Clairsville.
Henry Neff, the father of John A., was born in Allegany County, Maryland, and died in Ohio in 1830 at the age of 51 years. In 1810 he came to Belmont County and located on this farm on which his son now owns - the west half of section 13, comprising 320 acres. Henry Neff was of German descent. He displayed his loyalty to his country during the War of 1812, serving during its continuance and being with Hull at the time of his surrender. After the closing of this incident in the country's history, he returned to his farm and resumed agricultural pursuits. He belonged to the Lutheran Church, as did his ancestors. In public affairs he took some interest; was a Democrat in politics, and served as constable. The mother of our subject was Elizabeth Blocher, who was born in Cumberland, Maryland, and died in 1879 at the age of 80 years. She also was of German descent, and a consistent and worthy member of the Lutheran Church. These parents had three children, namely, George, John A. and Sarah Jane - our subject being the only survivor.
John A. Neff worked in youth on his father's farm and attended the country schools and later learned the brickmaking trade. He has put up a number of kilns in the county and has made the bricks used by his neighbors in building, and also for school houses in the vicinity. For many years he has confined his energies to the operation and management of his large estate. In 1851 he married Elizabeth Giffen, who was born in Belmont County, Ohio, in 1830, a daughter of Alexander and Mary Giffen, and they had a family of seven children born to them, the survivors being: Harriet E., who married J.N. Frazier and lives at Martin's Ferry; Albert, who married Martha Girard, a daughter of William and Elizabeth Girard, has five children, Pearl O., Harry A., Dale E., Myrtle E. and John W., and is a blacksmith by trade, engaged also in farming on a place adjoining the homestead, and Emmet M., who resides on the homestead. Mr. Neff and family belong to the Methodist Church. He has been somewhat prominent in township affairs, has very acceptably filled the office of township trustee, and is identified with the Democratic party.
Mr. Neff has been identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1844. He has served in the capacity of steward, class leader and superintendent of Sunday-school. When Rev. M. Foutz was assigned to the Morristown charge he was unable, on account of failing health, to maintain the attendance of the once-filled church of Morristown. The members gradually drifted into other churches, and in a short time it was evident that some one would have to exert an influence to keep the church together. Mr. Neff, being a class leader, took the matter in hand, held meetings in the Warnock school house, and finally when the latter privilege was denied, those members who had followed his leadership determined to build a church. The present Methodist Episcopal Church building of Warnock was the final result. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NEFF, PETER - a representative of one of Belmont County's oldest and most prominent families, is engaged in farming in Pultney township near the farm on which he was born, August 28, 1822.
Peter Neff is a son of George and Margaret (Helm) Neff, who came to Pultney township from near Baltimore, Maryland, as early as the spring of 1806. George Neff owned a farm, but followed blacksmithing, being one of the first to follow that trade in the county. They were parents of the following children: Jacob, Andrew, Henry, Mary, George, Hannah, John, Peter and Elizabeth.
Jacob Neff, who was born December 18, 1806, was married to Mary Owen, June 17, 1830. He lived and died in Richland township. Andrew, born November 24, 1808, was married to Jane Alexander, April 1, 1845, Henry, born July 30, 1811, is the oldest of the family now living. He was married to Matilda A. Hall on October 15, 1844. Mary, born July 30, 1813, is now deceased. George, born February 20, 1815, was married March 6, 1849, to Sarah Bucher, who died in June, 1900. He resides on his farm near Neff's siding. For a period of 60 years he conducted the sawmill now operated by his son, Franklin, it having been built in 1832. He has six children, as follows: John B., who is vice-president and general manager of a large fruit exchange in California; Enoch, who is a physician of St. Joseph, Missouri; George, who died at the age of two years; Margaret E., who died in 1882, at the age of 26 years; Franklin, born in 1858, is a civil engineer, manages his father's farm, is interested in coal and manufacturing enterprises and is secretary and treasurer of the Standard Stone & Brick Company - he was married in 1891 to Mary E. Hall, a daughter of William Hall of Pultney township; and Mary S., who married James S. Culverhouse of Cadiz. Hannah, the sixth child of George and Margaret (Helm) Neff, was born August 1, 1817, and was married October 15, 1840, to James T. Scott. John, deceased, was born January 19, 1820. Elizabeth, who was born August 29, 1825, married Enoch D. Crawford, October 21, 1852.
Peter Neff is living on a farm which formed a part of the old homestead, and his fine brick residence is but a short distance from the place where he was born, although a new house stands on the old site. He follows general farming and has a great deal of pasture land, raising thoroughbred stock.
Peter Neff was married November 20, 1852, to Eliza Jane Thompson, who died August 2, 1896, leaving two children: Clarence W., and Ada. Clarence W. was born December 25, 1853, and actively manages our subject's farm of 326 acres. He married Mary Bell McKelvey, October 20, 1876, and has two children: Alva Meades and Ada Luella. Ada, who was born March 23, 1857, was married October 25, 1876, to Thomas McKelvey, who resides near Bethel station, by whom she has two children: Clarence, who is with the Charles Arnold drug company of Bellaire, and May, who is at home. In politics, Mr. Neff is a Democrat. He is a member of the Coal Brook Presbyterian Church. His son Clarence W. and the latter's wife belong to the Belmont United Presbyterian Church. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NEFF, THEODORE, one of the best known citizens and business men of Belmont County, Ohio, maintains an office at No. 3184 Union street, Bellaire, and conducts the largest fire, life, accident, tornado and wind-storm insurance business in the county. He is a native of this county, having been born in York township, October 15, 1851, and is a son of George and Martha (Williams) Neff.
The Neff or Neife family originally came from Switzerland, locating in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Conrad Neff, grandfather of our subject, a native of Maryland, with two brothers, John and George, started overland for Missouri in 1797. Upon arriving at Wheeling, (West) Virginia, the wife of Conrad Neff was taken sick and died. John Neff proceeded to Missouri, but George remained with Conrad. With their families they crossed the river and located a few miles from Bridgeport, in Belmont County, where they entered land. The numerous representatives of the Neff family, so widely known in Belmont County, are all descended from these hardy pioneers. By his first wife Conrad Neff had two children. He formed a second union in 1802 or 1803 with Elizabeth Feeley, by whom he had ten children, among them being the father of our subject. Of the twelve children of whom he was father, all lived to reach the age of seventy years, and one of them, Benjamin, is now residing in Pultney township, being past eighty years of age.
George Neff was born three miles east of St. Clairsville in 1809, and died December 18, 1884. He followed the occupation of farming, and during most of his life resided near Captina Creek. He married Martha Williams, who was born in 1811 in one of the first houses built in Bridgeport, and died in September, 1878. She was a daughter of Ezra Williams, who was born in County Cork, Ireland, and came to this country at an early day.
Theodore Neff's boyhood days were spent in York township, where he lived until he passed the age of 35 years. In 1901 he purchased his present home farm, a part of the Jacob Rodefer farm, on the hill overlooking many miles of the Ohio Valley and the cities of Wheeling and Bellaire. Here he will soon have laid out and suitably set with trees a park to be known as Neff's Grandview Park, which will be a valuable addition to the city of Bellaire. A means of transportation will be provided to convey people up and down the bluff, and the view being one of unsurpassed beauty, it will be a very popular place. Mr. Neff owns five farms in Belmont County, and for many years has engaged in growing vegetables and raising thoroughbred stock and fowls of all kinds. He is a Democrat in politics, but has accepted of no offices except assessor of York township, in which capacity he served two terms. He and his son, Edney, are members of Ionic Lodge, No. 438, F. & A.M. On his farm is located an abundance of splendid molding sand, for the removal and exportation of which the Belmont Sand Company was organized. The pits contain sands of every grade, for heavy and light molding, building, and for plastering and bricklaying. The company controls the large pits on Mr. Neff's farm and others in the county, and supply sand for the local market and for many large corporations in other parts of the country, including the Pennsylvania Railroad. At the present time about 100 tons per day are taken from the pits and loaded on cars. In the near future up-to-date machinery, probably electrical, will be installed to reduce to a minimum the expense of loading and digging. Ochre is also found conveniently and will later be developed. Mr. Neff has been the prime mover in various business enterprises, notable among which is the Enterprise Enamel Company, of which he purchased the first shares of stock.
Five different business concerns have their office and headquarters at No. 3184 Union street, the office of Mr. Neff. Following is a brief sketch of each:
The Belmont Electric Light & Power Company was organized in 1899 by Theodore Neff, J.B. Watt, John T. Flynn, J.A. Green, and Thomas E. Shelly. J.A. Green is president; H.A. Neff, secretary and manager, and five of the organizers are directors. The plant is located on Monroe street, between 35th and 36th streets, and supplies light and power for the city.
The Neff Real Estate & Investment Company was organized and chartered under the laws of Ohio in the spring of 1902 by Theodore Neff, John W. Neff, Harry A. Neff, Thomas B. McKelvey, and J.O. McKelvey, these men constituting the board of directors. The officers are: T.B. McKelvey, president; Harry A. Neff, secretary; and E.D. Neff, treasurer. An extensive business has been done toward improving the city and suburbs, especially at Shadyside, where free excursions are run by the company and many lots have been sold for residence and speculative purposes. The prospects of the suburb for a home site are bright.
The Enterprise Telephone Company has over sixty phones in use, besides centrals, accommodating a large number of farms and business houses. The suburban line operates through St. Joe, McClainsville, Neff's siding, Bald Knob, etc., with central at Valonia and branches to Dillie's Bottom, and central at Key, with branches among farmers. It has central exchange with the National and Ohio Valley companies at Bellaire. Robert McKelvey is president; William Unterzuber, vice-president; Franklin Neff, secretary; and J.O. McKelvey, treasurer. Among the directors are William Ramsey, Samuel White, John W. Neff, Alexander Neff and Dr. Korell of Key.
The Eastern Ohio Milling Company was recently incorporated for the purpose of milling, dealing in feed and the wholesale grocery business. The officers are: George O. Robinson, president; Morris Elikan, vice-president; and J.P. Clutter, secretary and treasurer. The office will be at the old Ault Mill, which will be remodeled and equipped. The directors of the company include Alexander Neff and H.A. Neff.
December 4, 1878, Theodore Neff was united in marriage with Nancy J. McKelvey of Mead township, and they have three children, namely, Edney D., aged 22 years, who has for the past five years engaged in the insurance business with his father; Jacob H., who is 18 years old and lives at home, and Carrie L., aged 16 years. Religiously the family attends the U.P. Church. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NEGUS, OLIVER S., a prominent farmer residing two miles northwest of Colerain, in Colerain township, Belmont County, Ohio, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, October 30, 1847, and is a son of Caleb B. and Eliza J. (Branson) Negus.
Caleb B. Negus was born in Pennsylvania, December 5, 1819, and came to Ohio, where he successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits, becoming widely known over Jefferson and Belmont counties. He was an enthusiastic Abolitionist and earnestly advocated the cause. His death occurred December 13, 1853. He was married March 9, 1843, to Eliza J. Branson, who was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, December 1, 1812, and they had five children, as follows: Rachel E., who died at the age of 35 years; Amasa L., who also died at the age of 35; Oliver S.; Anna B., who died at the age of 22, and Plummer B., who died at the age of five years. After the death of her husband Mrs. Negus formed a second union with Jonathan Fawcett of Columbiana County, Ohio, and after their marriage they lived in Colerain township, this county. Mrs. Fawcett, who lived for some years at the home of our subject, died at Martin's Ferry while on a visit August 10, 1889.
Oliver S. Negus was educated at the Friends' Boarding School at Mount Pleasant, Ohio, and after his school days were over took to farming, an occupation he has followed throughout life. He has one of the most beautiful homes on the Cadiz Pike, two miles northwest of Colerain, being located on the old Archie Majors estate. He owns 94 acres, all of which is underlaid with coal. He also engages in dairying to some extent. He was at one time trustee of Colerain township and was commissioner of the Colerain & Martin's Ferry Pike from its inception until he resigned. He is one of the reliable and substantial citizens of the county, and is everywhere held in the highest esteem.
November 1, 1876, Mr. Negus was united in marriage with Deborah Steer, who comes of one of the most respected families of this section. She is a daughter of Israel and Rebecca (Bracken) Steer, granddaughter of James and Ruth (Wilson) Steer, and great-granddaughter of James and Abigail (Edgerton) Steer. James, the great-grandfather, came from Virginia in 1812 with his family and located in Colerain township, Belmont County, Ohio, where he died in 1819. James Steer, grandfather of Mrs. Negus, accompanied his father to Ohio in 1812 and located in section 12, range 3. He was married in 1819 and lived on his home farm until his death, in 1874, at the advanced age of 93 years. He was only of the early type of pioneers who settled in the then new State and suffered untold hardships and deprivations in converting a wilderness into improved farming land. He and his wife were parents of seven children, as follows: Israel; Abigail, who died at the age of 75 years, was the wife of Jonathan Scofield; Martha, wife of Jehu Bailey, died at the age of 70 years; Rachel, wife of Joseph P. Lupton, is deceased; James, of Barnesville, Ohio; Nathan, of Colerain, and Joseph, who died at the age of three years. Israel Steer was educated in the common school and at Mount Pleasant Friends' Boarding School, and has been a farmer all his life. He has been an extensive land owner at times, and at present owns 150 acres, which is underlaid with coal. October 31, 1844, he was united in marriage with Rebecca Bracken, who was born in Ohio, April 10, 1825, and died September 3, 1901. To them were born seven children, as follows: Lindley B., who married Hannah Penrose, resides in Colerain township; Deborah, wife of our subject; Elisha, who married Ellen Gilbert, is a prosperous farmer; Phoebe died at the age of 47 years; Sina, wife of James Walton, of Warren township; Wilson J., who resides on the old home farm in Colerain township, and Sarah, who was a teacher for several years in the seminary of the church. Mr. Steer is a broad-minded and liberal thinking man and is wide awake to the interests of the community.
Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Negus, namely: Anna B.; Albert, a graduate of Wheeling Business College; Mary R., a graduate of the Friends' Boarding School at Barnesville; Laura E., Sarah D. and Wilson A. The parents and children are all members of Short Creek Monthly Meeting, of which their parents were also members. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NEININGER, FRED, mayor of the city of Bridgeport, has led a wonderfully active life in business affairs all over his township and county. He is engaged in the butcher business in Bridgeport, being the oldest in that business in town, and is a stockholder in the Hide & Tallow Association, and in the Union Opera House of Bridgeport, Ohio.
Our subject is a son of John and Lucia (Gaus) Neininger, and was born June 15, 1857, claiming Wheeling, West Virginia, as his birthplace. His father and mother were natives of Germany and emigrated to the United States and conducted a hotel at Wheeling. In 1865 John settled in Bridgeport, and started in business as a grocer and later embarked in the wholesale liquor business in which he continued until his death at the age of forty-five years, in 1871. His wife has now reached the age of sixty-nine years and is still numbered among the inhabitants of Bridgeport. She and her husband had five children, our subject being the second. They are: Emma, now the wife of Elias Williams, of Wellsville, Ohio; Fred (subject); Bertha, now Mrs. Fred Delman, of Bridgeport; Joseph, working in the mills at Columbus, Ohio; and Louis, who died at the early age of twenty years.
Fred Neininger received his education in the schools of Bridgeport, and at the close of those delightful days learned the trade of a butcher, and worked as a journeyman for thirteen years. He them embarked in the butcher business in Bridgeport and was for six years president of the Wheeling Butchers' Protective Association. He is a charter member of the Hide & Tallow Association, and interested in many other business enterprises.
September 5, 1878, our subject was united in marriage with Louisa Cedars, a native of Germany, and they have five children, viz.: Lucia, a bookkeeper and typewriter; Eva, a member of the class of 1902 of the Bridgeport High School; Fred, Dora M. and Ada. The entire family are members of the English Lutheran Church, and attend services regularly.
Mr. Neininger is a Democrat in politics and takes a lively interest in township and county affairs. In 1892 he was elected councilman, and his service in this line was so satisfactory that in 1894 he was re-elected. In 1896 he was elected to the position of treasurer, and served with credit until 1898, when he became a candidate for mayor of Bridgeport and was elected, serving until the close of the nineteenth century, and was re-elected to start the new century. While fulfilling his duties as treasurer he ran for county commissioner on the Democratic ticket, and ran 1028 votes ahead of the ticket. All the Republicans elected had a majority of 1600 with the exception of the opponent of our subject who had only 412 majority and this alone speaks well for our subject's popularity not only with the Democrats, but likewise with the Republicans.
In fraternal circles Mr. Neininger is a member of the Knights of Pythias and also affiliates with the Elks. He is a progressive and up-to-date man and evidently believes firmly in twentieth century progress. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NELSON, MORDECAI, a well-known railroad man and an esteemed citizen of Bellaire, Ohio, was born in Pultney township, one mile west of this city, in 1842. He is a son of Joseph and Theresa (Wheatley) Nelson, the former of whom was of Irish birth and parentage.
Joseph Nelson, the father of Mordecai, came to the United States when but a small boy, with his parents, who located at West Liberty, Ohio County, (West) Virginia, and when he had reached maturity he removed to Belmont County, Ohio, in 1811, just following his marriage, and located on the farm where his son, our subject, was born. Here he carried on farming all his life, dying in 1851, aged 61 years, his widow surviving until 1876, dying when over 75 years. Seven children were born to Joseph and Theresa Nelson, three of whom, including our subject, are living, namely: Mrs. Elizabeth Hopkins, who remains on the home farm; and Joseph C., who is time-keeper for the National Cash Register Company, at Dayton, Ohio, where he has a family. The members of the family who have passed away are: Mrs. E.R. Gill; Mrs. George Mertz; John, who died 14 years ago; Robert, who died in 1884; and Isaac, who died in Nebraska in 1892 - his two sons still reside in Nebraska.
Until the age of 21 years our subject remained at home, occupied with agricultural pursuits, receiving his education in the public schools. About two months after reaching his majority, he entered the employ of the C. & P. Railroad as fireman, between Bellaire and Pittsburg, and five years later, in 1868, he was promoted to the position of engineer, and has served as such continuously ever since. He is fortunate in having a short and pleasant run between Bellaire and Martin's Ferry, as this enables him to enjoy home life, which, in this case, is appreciated, as he is devoted to his home and family. Since 1878 this home has been located at No. 3632 Guernsey street, Mr. Nelson having purchased it at that time.
In 1870 Mr. Nelson married Annie E., a daughter of Thomas Anderson, of Ohio County, West Virginia, and three children were born to them, namely: Edna May, who died at the age of 16 years; Alice Lulu, and William E. In politics Mr. Nelson has always been a Republican, his father having been an old line Whig. Our subject is serving his fifth term of three years each as a member of the city water board of Bellaire. Since 1865 he has been a Mason, and belongs to Bellaire Lodge, No. 267, and Bellaire Chapter. In 1870, at Allegheny, he joined the order of B. of L.E., and belongs to Wellsville Division, No. 170.
As citizen and business man, as well as an attendant of the services of the Christian Church, of which his family are members, Mr. Nelson has so lived as to gain the regard of his fellow citizens, and he is able to number among his warm personal friends a large proportion of the leading men of Bellaire and vicinity. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NELSON, R. SMILEY, proprietor of the United States Dairy, conducts the leading business in that line in Bellaire, Ohio. He was born in Pultney township in 1856, is a son of Matthew G. and Mary Ann (Keyser) Nelson, and grandson of Robert and Mary (McGregor) Nelson.
Robert Nelson was a native of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and located in Belmont County in 1812, purchasing at that time a 160-acre farm in section 25, Pultney township. He cleared this farm and upon it followed agricultural pursuits up to the time of his death, March 5, 1857. He was 69 years and six months old at the time of his death. His wife survived him for many years, and only two of her children lived to witness her death, which occurred November 21, 1881, she being in her 86th year. Eight children were born to her and her husband, namely, John, Robert, Elizabeth, Matthew G., Thomas, Alexander, Benjamin Franklin and Margaret.
John Nelson was born in 1819, and died in 1902 in Illinois. Robert resides on the old home farm in Pultney township. He was born October 8, 1822, and married in 1849 Emeline Cummings, a daughter of Joseph and Anne (Prescott) Cummings. His wife was a native of Kennebec County, Maine, born in 1825. They have five children, as follows: Helen, wife of Warren Holgate, a ranchman of Manhattan, Montana; Annie; Edwin, a merchant in the State of Maine; Frank, who resides in Pultney township, and Margaret, wife of Rev. Ashbel Lane of Fremont, Ohio.
Elizabeth Nelson was born in 1825 and died soon after her marriage with Edward Gill.
Thomas Nelson was born in 1829 and died in 1859.
Alexander Nelson was born in March, 1831, and during his active life was a physician and surgeon at Martin's Ferry. He died in 1874.
Benjamin Franklin Nelson was born in 1835 and followed mercantile life in Bellaire until cut off by death in 1864.
Margaret Nelson was born in 1837. She married John Hinkel and passed to her final rest in 1867.
Matthew G. Nelson, the father of our subject, was born January 28, 1827, in Pultney township. He followed farming and died in 1871, but two months before his 45th birthday. His widow is still living, being now 79 years old. She resides with our subject. Five children were born to her and her husband. Of these, two, Ella and William, died young. One daughter, Lizzie, resides in Pultney township with our subject, while Frank K., our subject's only brother, has a family and resides on Wheeling Island, being an employee of the Aetna Standard Mill.
We now take up the life of our subject, R. Smiley Nelson. He was reared on his father's farm in Pultney township, and during his youth he attended Rock Hill School. He followed in the footsteps of the grandfather and father and confined himself to agricultural pursuits until about eight years ago. At that time he believed he saw a good business opening, and his effort during the intervening years have proved the correctness of his judgment.
He established the United States Dairy at Bellaire and does a thriving business in that prosperous city. He runs two wagons, which cover regular routes daily, and about 100 gallons of milk and cream are required to supply regular customers. Mr. Nelson keeps 40 good milch cows, many of them thoroughbreds - Jersey, Holstein and Durham breeds. The constant attention of four men is required to handle the business, which is conducted on a well-paying business.
Mr. Nelson has a finely improved farm. His residence is large and comfortable, while many other convenient buildings are found on his place.
His marriage with Cordelia H. Robinson resulted in the birth of three daughters and one son. The latter, John G., drives one of his father's milk wagons. The other children, Gara, Estella and Rachel, are also at home. Politically, Mr. Nelson is a staunch Republican. He is public spirited and charitable. He is a member of Rock Hill Presbyterian Church. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NEWLAND, ISAAC, mayor of the city of Martin's Ferry, Belmont County, Ohio, justice of the peace, a leader in the contracting and building trade, and a progressive, public-spirited citizen, was born in Kirkwood, a suburb of Bridgeport, on December 29, 1841.
The parents of Mayor Newland were John K. and Jane M. (Sims) Newland, both of whom were born in New York and married in Wetzel County, (West) Virginia, coming to Belmont County, Ohio, in 1837. Mr. Newland opened the first lumber yards in Belmont County, locating them in Bridgeport, and did an immense lumber business for many years all over the county, in which he became well known and relied upon. Mr. Newland's knowledge of lumber was complete and although he dealt in it individually, he also at times had partners, and one of these was John Nelson, an old and esteemed resident. Mr. Newland was connected by bonds of friendship with such men as Ebenezer Zane and with the latter was interested in many progressive enterprises for the development of Belmont County. His death occurred in 1867, at the age of 66 years, a member of the Christian Church, in Wheeling. His widow passed away in 1881 at the age of 68 years, a woman of character and virtue, one who bravely endured the privations of pioneer life.
The family moved to Martin's Ferry in the spring of 1857. Mr. Newland purchased farming land from Noah Zane, a son of Daniel, and here he made a vineyard, having some 40 acres in grapes. This vineyard was rented by our subject and his brother from the father, and in the early spring of 1869 the vines promised well. However, a terrific hailstorm on May 29th of that year tore down the vines and destroyed all hope of grapes. In the following year, however, this loss was made up, as during 1870 the family picked and sold 65 tons from the rested vines, at $100 a ton. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Newland were: William, Archimedes, A.D., Isaac, John K., Mary and Jennie.
The primary education of Mayor Newland was acquired in his native place, and later he entered the public school in Martin's Ferry. After finishing his education he began to farm and operate the vineyard and garden on the home place. From these rural and peaceful employments he was aroused by President Lincoln's call for troops, and in April, 1861, enlisted for a four-month's service. At its close the men were paid in full, and he received his pay in gold, at the old Rhodes Hotel, in Bridgeport. After a visit at home he re-enlisted, first entering Capt. Frank Buell's battalion, but later was transferred to the 11th Ohio Cavalry, and his command was sent to fight the Indians in the Western territories. Prior to this he had participated in the battle of Cross Keys and other engagements, in West Virginia, and his later service consumed two and one-half years, making his full term four and two-third years. During his Western service the duty was principally to keep open the road for the Overland Mail to California. During his residence in these regions he met Buffalo Bill, whose name is well known in this and other countries, and he also belonged to the party that accompanied the Grand Duke Alexis when, during his visit to the United States, he shot buffalo through our Western lands. Mayor Newland assisted in taking about 700 Indian ponies on the Little Big Horn, near where the brave General Custer met death in 1876. Later these ponies were sold, at Fort Laramie, by the government. During all his perilous service, our subject was never wounded or taken prisoner.
Upon his return to Ohio, Mayor Newland engaged in building and contracting, making a specialty of school buildings, although many handsome residences in this vicinity testify to his skill as a builder. In May, 1900, Mayor Newland was elected justice of the peace, and the duties of this position made it necessary for him to withdraw from other activity. Although he had been an interested Republican, he has never been a politician in the sense of an office seeker, and the office of mayor was given him by appreciative friends and fellow-citizens.
Mayor Newland returned from the army in August, 1866, and in the fall of the same year was married to Laura Moore, a native of this county, a daughter of James and Anna Moore, who came to Ohio from New York. Mr. Moore was a native of England, an old resident of Belmont County, and at one time owned a large woolen factory.
The five children born to Mayor Newland and wife were: Frank, who died at the age of 18 months; Hally B., a contractor in Martin's Ferry, who married a Miss Burney, has two children - John K., and Gene; Annie, who married Robert Harper, resides in Pittsburg and has one son - Richard; Mary, who died at the age of one year; and Margaret, who is a student in the High School. [Source: "Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NEWMAN, J. G. : One of the highly cultivated and therefore productive farms of Somerset county, located in the town of Listie, is the property of J. G. Newman, who was born in Addison township, Somerset county, Pennsylvania, May 11, 1855, a descendant of an English and Irish ancestry. He attended the common schools in the vicinity of his home, completing his studies one month after attaining his majority. He began his active career as a farmer, which occupation he followed up to the year 1899, when he assumed the management of a general store at Listie, continuing the same for a period of two and a half years, and then disposing of the stock in order to purchase the farm on which he now resides in the town of Listie. He is a member of the Reformed church, and since attaining his majority has cast his vote for the candidates of the Democratic party. On February 8, 1877, Mr. Newman married Ellen J. Baker, born December 19, 1855, daughter of Levi and Mary Baker, and two children were the issue of this union: 1. George A., born August 20, 1878, in Addison township, Somerset county; he received his education in the common schools of his native county, and gained a lucrative livelihood by following the occupations of stonemason and farmer; in the fall of the year he devoted his attention to threshing. December 27, 1905, he started working for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company as fireman, which position he still holds. He is a Democrat in politics. He married, October 31, 1899, Clara E. Walker, born June 22, 1882, in Milford, Somerset county, daughter of Bernard J. and Martha Ann Walker, and they are the parents of three children: Walter W., born September 6, 1901; Vinnie May, born November 16, 1903, and Deelda Fern, born September 17, 1905. 2. Vinnie M., born December 15, 1879,in Addison township, Somerset county. On March 8, 1898, she became the wife of John H. Schrock, a merchant of Baltimore, Maryland, in which city they reside, and they are the parents of two children: Dewey, born August 13, 1899, and George A., born September 5, 1901. Mrs. Ellen G. Newman, wife of J. G. Newman, died October 4, 1903." 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. 335/6
NICHOL, W.A. a well known jeweler, of St. Clairsville, Ohio, was born in that city, February 20, 1879, and is a son of Clark C. and Mary (Campbell) Nichol.
All that is known of the ancestry of the Nichol family, in the direct line of the subject of this biography, is recorded as follows: Thomas Nichol, of County Derry, Ireland, was one of seven brothers who came from Scotland at a time of persecution. He married Isabelle Cooke, and their son, John, who married Martha Love, lived in the same house, which was known as Nichol's Hill.
John Nichol (2), son of John and Martha (Love) Nichol, was born in 1763, and was the great-great-grandparent of W.A. Nichol. He married Anna Woodburn, who was born in County Derry, Ireland, in 1763, and was a daughter of William Woodburn, of Churchtown, County Derry. This marriage was solemnized by the Rev. Mr. Brizzle, July 9, 1784, and the union resulted in the birth of 14 children, the oldest child - Mary - having been born May 11, 1785, and Thomas, the youngest child, having been born May 6, 1805. John Nichol and his wife came to this country in 1789. They first settled in Cumberland, and later, in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. They came to Belmont County, Ohio, in 1800, where John died in 1829, and his wife in 1857. Their fourth child, and oldest son, William Nichol, was born in 1789, and died in 1885. His wife, Harriet Mitchell, was born in 1789, and died in 1870. They were the great-grandparents of the subject of this sketch, and had eight children. Hon. Thomas M. Nichol, the oldest of these eight children, and the grandfather of W.A. Nichol, was a well known man of his day. He married Margaret Creamer, and they had eight children, the oldest being Clark C. Nichol, the father of W.A. This remarkable family, the descendants of John and Anna (Woodburn) Nichol, assembled at the St. Clairsville Fair Grounds in 1889, to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the Nichol family in America. At the time of the reunion, there had been 94 grandchildren, 57 of whom were living; 366 great-grandchildren, 300 of whom are living; 428 great-great-grandchildren, 388 of whom are living; and 32 great-great-great grandchildren, all of whom at that date were alive. The above shows a grand total of 935, a most remarkable record.
Clark C. Nichol was born in Belmont County, near Uniontown, and has been a farmer of this county for a number of years. He served as school director for 25 years, and was a prominent factor in educational circles. He married Mary Campbell, also a native of Belmont County. She has three brothers - William, of Lucas County, Iowa; John, of Harrison County, Ohio, and George, of Belmont County, Ohio, all of whom are engaged in farming. The subject of this sketch is one of three children, the others being: Jessie, who died February 27, 1892; and Lulu, who is attending school.
W.A. Nichol attended the public schools of his native town, and then learned the jeweler's business. He clerked in a jewelry store for two months, and then bought a half interest. Later he purchased the entire business of the late George Brown, which was established in 1841. He has met with splendid success, and carries a full and handsome line of jewelry and jewelers' supplies. Mr. Nichol is greatly interested in the welfare of the people in his community, and is always ready to assist in any public enterprise. He stands high both in a mercantile and social way, and is one of the rising young business men of St. Clairsville. Mr. Nichol was united in marriage June 4, 1902, to Blanche Hartley, of St. Clairsville, Ohio. Mr. Nichol is a member of the United Presbyterian Church, of St. Clairsville. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NICHOL, WILLIAM -- a representative farmer of Belmont County, Ohio, has a fine home in section 2, Pultney township, and devotes much time to stock raising. He is a descendant of one of the pioneer families of Belmont County, and was born April 24, 1830, on McMechen's Creek, near Stewartsville, in Richland township.
Thomas Nichol, the great-great-grandfather of our subject, was a native of County Derry, Ireland. He was a descendant of one of seven brothers who sought refuge in that country, fleeing from Scotland on account of religious persecutions. He married Isabelle Cooke, and their son, John Nichol, lived in the same home on Nichol's Hill. John Nichol married Martha Love. Their son, John Nichol, married Anna Woodburn, and with his wife immigrated to the United States in 1789. They first settled in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, but subsequently removed to Westmoreland County in the same State. About the year 1800 they moved farther west and located in Colerain township, Belmont County, Ohio. Their son, William Nichol, Sr., was the father of our subject.
William Nichol, Sr., was born in 1789 and died in 1855. He married Harriet Mitchell, who was born in 1789 and died in 1870, many years after the death of her husband. Numerous children were born to this worthy couple, our subject being the youngest one of the six who lived to mature years. Other members of the family are: Thomas M., Nancy, John, Jemima Jane and Harriet. Thomas M. Nichol was born in 1817 and died in September, 1896, at Uniontown, Wheeling township. He married Margaret Creamer, whose death occurred a few months previous to that of her husband, during February of the same year. They reared a family of six sons and one daughter, who for the most part have their residences in Wheeling township. Nancy Nichol was born in 1818, and June 1, 1898, marks the date of her death. She was twice married, and is survived by two sons and one daughter. Her first husband was William McGaw, and her second, John Johnson. John Nichol was born in 1820. His death took place in 1888. His widow, whose maiden name was Jean Robb, is still living, being at the present writing a resident of Monmouth, Illinois. Jemima Jane Nichol was born in 1825 and is also a resident of Monmouth, Illinois. She married James Boyd, deceased since 1878, and she has three daughters, all of whom are residents of Illinois. Harriet Nichol was born in June, 1827, and died quite recently, August 20, 1902. She was the wife of T.J. King of Richland township.
William Nichol was reared and educated in his native township, which continued to be his home until October, 1872, when he purchased his present home in Pultney township, previously known as the Kelsey farm. This farm is finely located and contains 115 acres. Mr. Nichol has added many substantial improvements to the place, and his home farm is conceded by many to be among the finest in the county. In addition, he owns another fine farm in Richland township, near Franklin station, which he leases.
September 16, 1858, our subject was united in marriage with Nancy Neff of Richland township, where her birth took place in 1839. Six children blessed this union, as follows: Isaiah, Minnie E., Mary N., Dorcas Anne, Elmer W. and Della Rhea. Isaiah was born July 10, 1859. He married Ella Alexander of St. Clairsville Junction, Ohio, and they have two children, Maggie Estella, born September 23, 1888, and Mary Alta, born September 14, 1890. Minnie E. was born August 6, 1862, and resides at home, as do also her sisters, Mary N. born in August, 1865, and Della Rhea, born February 7, 1883, and her brother, Elmer W., who was born September 9, 1876. Dorcas Anne was born October 13, 1870. She married Rev. E.M. Thompson of Crawfordsville, Iowa, and they have one child, Helen Frances, whose birth occurred January 20, 1901.
In politics Mr. Nichol is a firm Democrat and does all he can in a legitimate way to advance the interests of that party. He and his wife have the good will and respect of all who know them and are faithful members of the United Presbyterian Church. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]
NORRIS, OTHO P. -- cashier of the People's National Bank of Barnesville, Ohio, has been connected with that institution since its organization in 1883, and during his long term of service he has made a record that has been unusually satisfactory to his directors. Mr. Norris was born on the 8th of March, 1859, in Belmont County, Ohio, and is one of a family of six children born to Dr. Otho Norris and his wife, Rachel (Barlow) Norris, both of whom are deceased.
Dr. Otho Norris was one of Belmont County's most promising physicians. His useful career was terminated by his death in 1859, and many of the older residents of the county recall to mind his useful deeds and lofty character.
Otho P. Norris spent his boyhood's days chiefly in Morristown, where he received his primary education. This was supplemented by a thorough course in Muskingum College, from which he was graduated in 1881. The following year was spent in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1882 he located in Barnesville, engaging at that time in the real estate and insurance business in the office of his brother, Perry E. Norris.
In 1883 he entered the People's National Bank as teller, and has been with that successful institution ever since, being elected cashier of the bank in 1895. It is pertinent in this connection to notice that more than a half million dollars have been added to the resources of the bank since he assumed the cashiership seven years ago, the addition being due largely to his energy, thorough equipment and experience.
November 16, 1887, our subject was united in marriage to Kate Shannon Bradfield, the accomplished daughter of the late John Bradfield, formerly one of Barnesville's most illustrious citizens, and whose biography appears elsewhere in this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Norris have one daughter, Anna B.
In fraternal circles our subject is identified with the Knights of Pythias, and in local educational affairs he has given freely of his services, having been closely identified with the management of the public schools for many years. In politics he is a Republican, but he has never sought publicity in an official capacity. [Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio and Representative Citizens. Publ. Biographical Publishing Co. - Chicago, Illinois - 1903 - Submitted by Linda Blue Dietz]
OGLE, General Alexander Sr. : General Alexander Ogle, Sr., was born in or near Baltimore, in 1767, and settled in Somerset county about 1790, his first place of residence being at Stoyestown, where he kept a store and tavern. A few years later he removed to Somerset, and for a time at least kept a tavern. A man of commanding presence and of great force of character, he became the foremost and most influential citizen of the county. This was recognized both at home and abroad. Entering public life, he represented the county eight times in the Assembly, and the district one or more terms in the State Senate. He was also once a member of Congress. Twice under appointment of the governor he held the offices of prothonotary, clerk of the courts, register and recorder. In the military organization of the state he held every rank from captain to major-general. He was the acknowledged great man of the world in which he lived. The region of country which gave him his theatre, and the people who formed the cast of the company for the drama of his life were in such keeping with him as if they had been made for him and he for them. He owed to the schools nothing but reading and writing in his mother tongue and a knowledge of the simple rules of arithmetic, but was none the less equal to any emergency in affairs, and was never nonplusssed by any defect of education. In one of his speeches in the legislature he designated his constituency as being "The Frosty Sons of Thunder"--an appellation that was proudly adopted by them, and by it the people of Somerset county are known, not only in their own state, but in every other state between it and the "Golden Gate." From among these "Frosty Sons of Thunder" have gone forth men whose fame is not circumscribed by the lines of their native state. General Ogle died in 1832. (For a more extended sketch of General Ogle the reader is referred to "The Enchanted Beauty," a volume of sketches by Dr. William Elder.)"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. 549
OLDHAM, Joseph : Joseph Oldham, of Shade township, Somerset county, is a great-grandson of Thomas Oldham, who came from England in 1768 and settled in Philadelphia, subsequently moving to Adams county. He married a Blackburn and their family consisted of three children: William, mentioned at length herein after; Thomas, born in 1782, married ______ McCreary; and Alice, born in 1784, wife of Aaron Frazier.
William Oldham, son of Thomas and ______ (Blackburn) Oldham, was born in 1781 in Adams county, and in 1825 moved from Bedford county to Shade township, where he purchased two hundred and fifty acres of land at fifty cents an acre, paying for it by hunting wolves. He was an expert hunter, once shooting seven wolves in one day. After killing six he took a torch, went into the den, drove out the seventh and shot it. Mr. Oldham, assisted by a neighbor, once killed nine deer in one day. On one occasion he saw a large black bear in the woods, and, creeping within ten rods of it, leveled his rifle and fired. The bear ran directly toward the hunter, going several rods behind him, and then, turning sharply round, came toward him. Mr. Oldham began to climb a tree, the bear pursuing, and just as he reached the tree dropping dead, to the great relief of the hunter.
The first sawmill in Somerset county was built by Mr. Oldham in 1833. He did all the work with a broadax, using no sawed timber or boards in its construction. Thenceforth he engaged in the lumber business. He also built a gristmill, and in 1840 erected the Rockingham furnace, the second in the township. It was not, however, a success, and he returned to farming and lumbering for the remainder of his life. He was a Democrat and a member of the Society of Friends.
Mr. Oldham married, about 1806, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Calathan, and their children were: 1. Thomas, born about 1810, married Elizabeth Bone and had five children. 2. Rebecca, born in 1812, wife of John Elison [sic], had six children, one of whom, John, died in the army in 1860. 3. Polly, born in 1816, wife of Charles Wilson, had four children, one of whom, ______ Heninger, had seven children. 6. Hettie, born in 1820, wife of William Cardif, had six children. 7. William, mentioned at length hereinafter. 8. Elizabeth, twin to William born September 9, 1822, wife of Nathan Miller, had six children. 9. John, born in 1824, married ______ McGrew had six children. 10. Jethro, born in 1826, married Sarah Barder [sic], had four children. The death of Mr. Oldham occurred in 1854.
William Oldham, son of William and Elizabeth (Calathan) Oldham, was born September 9, 1822, in Napier township, Bedford county, and settled on the farm he now occupies. He served two terms as supervisor of the township. He is a Democrat and an orthodox member of the Society of Friends. Mr. Oldham married, April 12, 1847, Mary, daughter of Samuel Berkebile, and they were the parents of the following children: 1. Emily, born April 12, 1849, wife of Jacob Hight [sic]. 2. Joseph, mentioned at length hereinafter. 3. Nathan, born April 7, 1852, married Clara Kuhns, had one child. 4. Marian, born November 25, 1853, wife of ______ Crum, had eight children. 5. Harrison, born April 7, 1855, married Hannah Rodgers, had six children. 6. Rebecca, born March 15, 1857, wife of George Laton, has two children.
Joseph Oldham, son of William and Mary (Berkebile) Oldham, was born September 2, 1850, and is a farmer, living on and owning the old homestead. He is a Democrat and a member of the Christian church. Mr. Oldham married a daughter of ______ Berkebile and the following are their children: 1. William E., born January 16, 1876, married Lizzie Herthrew, has three children. 2. Alda, born June 13, 1878, wife of Harris Lambert, has two children. 3. Frank J., born October 28, 188?, married Jennie Smith, has one child. 4. J. Hite, born February 21, 1883. 5. Harold A., born May 28, 1884. 6. George C., born July 17, 1889."
I will fill in some of these blanks for this bio. since they are some of 'my gang' and the info. is at my fingertips - this info. is not part of the published biography.
Para. 1: Thomas Oldham, who came from England, married Rebecca Blackburn. Thomas, born in 1782, married Hannah McCreary.
Para. 2: William...son of Thomas and Rebecca (Blackburn) Oldham...
Para 4: Rebecca...1812..wife of John Allison... John, 1824...married Elizabeth Rebecca McGrew... Jethro...1826..married Sarah Border Para 5: Emily...born...1849...wife of Jacob A. Hite... I show the 'Marian, born 1853' as Miriam, wife of Jesse Crum.
Para 6: Joseph Oldham...1850...married Minerva Berkebile... [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. 410/11]
ORR, JOSEPH A., a well-known agriculturist of Richland township, Belmont County, Ohio, lives on his farm of 100 acres four miles south of St. Clairsville. His birth occurred in 1851, and he is a native of the farm which he now calls his own.
The Orr family is of Scotch-Irish descent. Our subject's grandfather, Charles Orr, was a native of Pennsylvania and was a soldier of the Revolution. His father, William Orr, emigrated to the United States from Scotland.
James Orr, father of Joseph A., was born July 22, 1796, in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and followed farming as a vocation. His residence in Belmont County dated from 1830 when he came here and settled on the farm now owned by our subject in Richland township. He was a wheelwright by trade, and was considered an expert at the business, making Belmont County the center of his operations for a number of years previous to engaging in farming. At the time of his death, in September, 1887, he had accumulated considerable property and was looked upon as a representative citizen of the county. He was a Democrat until 1856, and then became a Republican, being at all times strongly in favor of abolition of slavery. He was married May 19, 1835, to Jane Stitt, who was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, May 8, 1806, being a daughter of John and Mary (Chambers) Stitt. John Stitt was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, January 17, 1778, and came to the Northwest Territory in 1798. He was a son of John and Jane (McElroy) Stitt, both natives of Ireland. He was married March 2, 1805, to Mary Chambers, and came with his family to Belmont County, March 17, 1818, where he lived until his death, April 14, 1863. Mary (Chambers) Stitt was born in Ireland in 1780, and with her parents, Alexander and Rachel (Mays) Chambers, came to this country in 1808, settling in Jefferson County, Ohio. Both Mr. and Mrs. Orr were United Presbyterians in religious faith and were members of the United Presbyterian Church at St. Clairsville during their lifetime. James Orr's death took place September 22, 1887, but his widow survived him until December 11, 1896. The names of their seven children are as follows: Mary A., John, Eliza J., all deceased; and William S., Rachel C., James N., and Joseph. John served in the Civil War as a member of Company F, 15th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., and died July 2, 1863, at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, having been in the hospital a short time previous to his death; he now lies buried in the National Cemetery at Murfreesboro. James N. married Sarah M. Gordon, a daughter of David and Jane (Dickey) Gordon, the former of whom was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church and lived in Virginia, and they have a family of five children, namely: Harry G., Charles W., deceased; Frank L., Mary E., and Thomas T. James N. Orr is a carpenter by trade and a good workman. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and lives in New Philadelphia.
Joseph A. and his brother, William S., who live together, are Republicans in their political views. Mr. Orr has a well-tilled farm and thoroughly understands farming in all its details. In religion he is a member of the United Presbyterian Church. With the other members of the family, he attends services at St. Clairsville regularly. ["Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens", edited by A.T. McKelvey, 1903 - Tr. by K. Mohler]