RENFREW, Alexander

Alexander Renfrew came from Union county, Pennsylvania, where he was born August 18, 1801, to Coshocton county in 1826, and remained therein until his death on his farm in Keene township, February 13, 1872. He married Miss Carnahan in 1833, who with three children survives him. Starting in life with little, he, by a life of industry and frugality, amassed a very considerable estate. Public life had little attractions, and his record is that of a quiet citizen, a successful farmer, and a busy man, manifesting the virtues of domestic and business life.

["Historical Collection of Coshocton County, Ohio 1764-1876" William E Hunt; Cincinnati, Robert Clark & CO: printers, 1876 — Submitted by FOFG]


James Renfrew, one of the earliest merchants in Coshocton county, and for a few years county treasurer, and otherwise connected with public affairs, was born at Lisburn, county Antrim, Ireland, in 1767. He brought to America a healthy body, a strong mind, and a little of this world's goods, which were steadily increased until his death. He commenced keeping store in Coshocton about 1815. In 1820, while in Pittsburg, whither he was in the habit of going for goods, he married Mrs. Johnson, a widowed sister of old Fr. Kerr, of the A. R. Presbyterian church in that city. The children of this woman found in Mr. Renfrew a most worthy step-father. he was an admirable counselor and helper while living, and a generous friend when dying. Both himself and his wife were most zealous Presbyterians, and sought to have all connected with them honor the Lord. Beside the Johnsons (John, Jos. K., and Wm.), Robert Hay was an object of Mr. Renfrew's interest and business training, and always spoke in highest terms of him. Wm. Renfrew (quite prominent as a merchant and otherwise) and James Renfreq, Jr., were children of Mr. Renfrew by a connection formed priot to coming to Coshocton. He had no children by the widow Johnson. Mr Renfrew died in 1832, being in his sixty-fifth year.

["Historical Collection of Coshocton County, Ohio 1764-1876" William E Hunt; Cincinnati, Robert Clark & CO: printers, 1876 — Submitted by FOFG]


James Le Retilley was born in the Isle of Guernsey, in 1788. He came to this country in 1806, settling in Guernsey county, where was a settlement of people from the island of the same name. Removing to Muskingum county, at a point about ten miles below Coshocton, he engaged in the manufacture of salt, along with George Bagnall. They made about six bushels a day at three dollars a bushel, or exchanged a bushel for twelve bushels of wheat. There salt was carried to remote points, some of it by canoes and pirogues up the Killbuck almost to Wooster. In 1825, the Kanawha and lower Muskingum salt coming into the market, largely rendered the business of Retilley & Bagnall unprofitable, and they removed to Caldersburg (Roscoe). Retilley and William Wood set up a dry-goods store (in a log-cabin), the first in the place. After a few years Wood retired, and the firm became Bagnell & Retilley, and for years was very prominent in trade circles, doing a very large business.

Mr. Retilley was one of the associate judges of the county, and an active adherent of the Methodist church in Roscoe. He died in December, 1850, aged sixty-two years. He was twice married. He second wife (the daughter of T. Emerson of Keene), now resides in Granville. His descendants are still well known in the land.

["Historical Collection of Coshocton County, Ohio 1764-1876" William E Hunt; Cincinnati, Robert Clark & CO: printers, 1876 — Submitted by FOFG]


Richmond, John, Oxford township; merchant and farmer; post office, Evansburgh, Ohio; son of Edward and Martha (Nott) Richmond; was born March 1, 1817, in Salina, New York. He came to this state with his parents in 1822 and located in Morgan county. His parents formerly came from Vermont. While in Salina his father was engaged in the salt trade. He also sold goods. After they came to Morgan county he was engaged in the carpenter trade. Mr. Richmond came to this county with his parents in June 1824, and located on the banks of the Walhonding six miles above Roscoe. In 1826, they moved to Roscoe. Mr. Richmond's father was engaged as a stone-cutter, and boarded hands engaged in the construction of the Walhonding canal. In June, 1828 the family moved to Oxford township and engaged in the building of the Ohio canal. Mrs. Richmond's mother died in March, 1829. His father kept tavern and a station on the Ohio canal from that time up to his death in 1846.

Mrs. Richmond was married March 3, 1836 to Miss Elizabeth Reed, of this county. They became the parents of six children, viz: Catherine A., George U., John E., Mary E., James J. and William H. Mr. Richmond had followed boating from his boyhood until he married. He then purchased a boat and followed boating for fifteen years During that time he was also engaged in the dry goods and grain business. In April 1850, Mr. Richmond started on an overland journey to California, as captain of a company of fifteen men. They were on the road four months and fifteen days. While in California he was engaged in mining and trading. He returned by vessel July 5, 1852, via Panama. Mrs. Richmond died in February 1852. He married November 28, 1852 Miss Elizabeth Higbee, daughter of J. C. Higbee, Esq. They became the parents of five children, Viz: Elizabeth N., Jesse F., Charles H., Francis A., and Lottie C. His wife died in June 1864. His third marriage took place in January 1865 to Mary J. McClain, of this county. Mr. Richmond has been engaged in farming and mercantile business. He has amassed a fortune. Staring in the world a poor boy, meeting reverses after reverses, he nevertheless by his own honest labor accumulated a fortune. He has always worked hard, and has been regarded as honest and upright in his dealings, thereby gaining the esteem of all who knew him. He operates largely in grain and wool. He owns a splendid farm of over 600 acres, a dry goods store, a ware-house, and town property in the town of Orange. Mr. Richmond had two sons who served In he rebellion. James J. was a member of Company C., Fifty-first Regiment, O. V. I. He died at Green Lake, Texas and was buried there. John E. was a member of Company H. Eighty-eighth Regiment, O.V. I. He served three months, and was then discharged on account of sickness.

[SOURCE: History of Coshocton County, Ohio 1740-1881- Biographical Sketches. p-774 — Submitted by Dale White]

RICKETTS, Benjamin

Benjamin Ricketts was born near Cumberland, Maryland. Learning of his trade as a hatter in that town, he afterward opened a shop at Marietta; still later, had one in Zanesville. Giving up his shop, he set up a store in West Zanesville. He commenced selling goods in Coshocton in 1818, and in the spring of 1820, brought the family to town. His successful prosecution of business was most clearly apparent in the accumulations attending it. He became a large land-holder and well-known citizen.

He served one term as county commissioner. He and the opposing candidate were "tied" on the vote, and by the lot the office devolved upon Mr. Ricketts. He was never much enamored of public office, and, it is understood, never held any except this one.

His church connection was with the Methodist Episcopalians.

Like many, indeed nearly or quite all, of the successful and prominent men of Coshocton county, Mr Ricketts was greatly aided in all his life's work by his wife, who, at the good old age of nearly eighty-five years, is still living in Coshocton. She was from Hampshire county, Virginia; was married when about sixteen years of age, in 1807.

Mr Ricketts died July 1, 1857. His descendants and connections are many, and few families have been better known "in the gates" than his.

["Historical Collection of Coshocton County, Ohio 1764-1876" William E Hunt; Cincinnati, Robert Clark & CO: printers, 1876 — Submitted by FOFG]


James Robinson came with his father's family into the locality now known as Franklin township, Coshocton county, then the Northwestern territory, in 1801. He was born in Clarksburg, Harrison county, Virginia, in 1787. He served one term as associate judge, and two terms in the legislature; but he seems to have taken most interest in his broad acres, and to have been chiefly famed as a large land-holder and enterprising farmer. He was also very actively interested in the Methodist Episcopal church, being chiefly instrumental in the planting of the Bethany church, where his descendants still worship. He died May 7, 1856.

["Historical Collection of Coshocton County, Ohio 1764-1876" William E Hunt; Cincinnati, Robert Clark & CO: printers, 1876 — Submitted by FOFG]

RUE, Thomas L.

Thomas L. Rue, appointed as clerk of the court in 1811, and candidate for the legislature in 1814, was the oldest son of Rev. Joseph Rue, of Pennington, New Jersey-a well known Presbyterian minister. He came to Coshocton county in 1811; a littler later went to New Orleans, coming back the overland route. He married Miss Fulton, and for some years gave himself to the management of a large tract of land (since known as the Rickett's lands) near Coshocton, acquired by that alliance. Afterward he was engaged in trade with C. Van Kirk. He died in Roscoe, February 17, 1871 (aged eight-eight years), at the house of Dr. M. Johnson, who has married his only child. He was a brother of Joseph W. Rue.

["Historical Collections of Coshocton County, Ohio", 1876 - SW — Sub by FoFG]

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