Darke County, Ohio
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Genealogy and History




Darke county has been signally favored in the personnel and character of her professional men, and in that most exacting of all professions, medicine and surgery, a notable representative is he whose name appears above. Dr. Anderson, who holds distinctive prestige as a physician and surgeon of marked ability in his profession and as a man of sterling characteristics in all the relations of life, maintains his residence and office in Greenville, from which headquarters his practice ramifies throughout the county, while he is frequently called into consultation by his professional confreres at points more or less distantly located. He is a native of the Buckeye state, having been born in Montgomery county on the 15th of January, 1850, the son of John and Mary (Hulse) Anderson. The father was a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of Ohio. After their marriage they settled in Montgomery county, this state, where they remained until 1863, when the family removed to Darke county and settled upon a farm, which continued to be the home of the hon-ored parents until death released them from their labors,-the father passing away in November, 1869, in the forty-eighth year of his age, while the mother survived but a short time after their removal to this county, her demise taking place in 1864.
The paternal grandparents of the Doctor were James and Ruth (McCahan) Anderson, the former born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in April, 1792, the latter in January, 1800. His paternal great-grand-parents were Irish and lived about twenty miles from Dublin, where all of their children but James were born. They emigrated to the new world in 1791. The maternal great-grandfather of our subject was Patrick McCahan, also a native of the Emerald Isle, and his wife, who bore the maiden name of Sarah Green, was a near relative of General Nathaniel Greene, of Revolutionary fame.
Dr. Anderson passed the first twelve years of his life in Montgomery county, accompanying his parents upon their removal to Darke county in 1863. Thus he spent part of his youth upon the farm, growing strong in mind and body under this sturdy discipline, supplemented by his attendance at the district schools, in the vicinity of his home. His father was appreciative of the advantages of broader education and the young man was encouraged in his aspirations to seek a wider field of endeavor in preparing for the battle of life. He matriculated as a student in the Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio, where he prepared himself for pedagogic work, which has served as the stepping stone for so many of our leading professional men, and after being duly fortified in this line he devoted himself to teaching for one winter in the district schools and for two winters in the village of Ansonia. In the meanwhile he had formulated specific plans for his future life work, and, having decided to prepare himself for the medical profession, began a course of reading under the preceptorage of Dr. Hooven, a well-known physician of Dayton, Ohio, later prosecuting his studies and clinical work in the Miami Medical College, at Cincinnati, where he graduated as a member of the class of 1874. He immediately entered upon the practice of his profession at Ansonia, Darke county, where he remained until 1888, when he removed to Greenville, the county seat, having been elected to the office of probate judge, as the nominee of the Democratic party. He assumed the duties of this important and exacting office February 9, 1888, and after serving with signal ability and impartiality for his term of three years was chosen as his own successor and continued his effective administration of the office for a further three years. At the expiration of his second term the Doctor prepared to again devote himself to his regular professional work, which he had but held in temporary abeyance. In order to thoroughly reinforce himself for his duties he went to New York city, where he completed a postgraduate course at the New York Post Graduate Medical School. Returning to Greenville he entered into a professional alliance with Dr. D. Robeson, under the firm name of Robeson & Anderson, engaging in general practice. His success has been the diametrical result of his ability and personal popularity and he is known as one of the able physicians and surgeons of the state, being a close and indefatigable student and ever keeping abreast of the advances made in his profession. The Doctor is a member of the Darke County Medical Society and also of the State and National Medical Associations, in whose work he maintains an active interest. He served two years as a physician to the Darke County Children's Home and is a member of the soldiers' relief committee of the county and a member of the Greenville city school board.
In politics the Doctor is a stanch Democrat and has been an active worker in the cause. Fraternally his allegiance is given to the time-honored order of Freemasons, in which he holds membership in Ansonia Lodge, No. 488, A. F. & A. M., and Greenville Chapter, R. A. M., while he is also identified with Ansonia Lodge, No. 605, I. O. O. F., and the Knights of Pythias, being distinctly popular in each of these organizations, to which he gives as much of his time as is possible in the midst of the exactions of his professional work.
On the 29th of September, 1875, Dr. Anderson was united in marriage to Miss Ollie Tullis, daughter of Milton and Sarah Tullis, of Ansonia, and of this union one son has been born, John M.., a young man of much intellectuality and strength of character, who is now a student in the celebrated Rush Medical College, in Chicago, where he is preparing to follow the profession to so marked success.
[Source: "A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio" Evansville, Ind., 1900 - tr. by K.T.]

WILLIAM J. BIRELEY was born in Frederick county, Maryland, in 1812, and died suddenly in Adams township, Darke county, Ohio, several years ago. He was the son of John and Barbara Bireley. John was born in the first county above named and Barbara was born in Hagerstown, Maryland. Her maiden name was Brindle. The grandfather, John Bireley, was born in Saxony and emigrated to this country before the Revolutionary war. The grandmother was from Wurtemberg, Germany, and also came to this country prior to the Revolutionary war. Mr. Bireley's father came to Lancaster, Ohio, in the spring of 1822 and in the fall following went to Montgomery county, where he lived until his death, which occurred in 1827. Mr. Bireley, the subject of this sketch, came to Darke County, Oct. 15, 1830, and located in Greenville. He carried on the boot and shoe business for William Martin, Sr., and continued with him about five months, when he returned to his mother, in Montgomery county, where he remained until 1833, when, on January 24th, of the same year, he was united in marriage with Elizabeth Martin, daughter of Christopher and Elizabeth Martin, Sr. The were born at Sewickley, Pennsylvania, came to Ohio in 1814, and located in Butler county in 1815, settling about five miles east of Greenville. After raising a large family of children they moved to Greenville, where they lived and died. Mr. Bireley, in May, 1833, came back to Greenville and entered upon the manufacture of earthenware, which occupation he followed for twenty-eight years, doing an extensive business. He then bought a farm of one hundred and fifty acres, one mile out of the corporation of Greenville, and in 1851 he moved his family to this farm. In 1858 he sold this farm and bought another, five miles east of Greenville, upon which several quarries of limestone were located. He engaged in the manufacture of lime and continued at this business until January, 1880, when he rented the place to Martin Smith and Emanuel Hershey for five years, receiving four hundred dollars yearly, or two thousand dollars for the five years. In 1870 Mr. Bireley moved from the farm into Greenville, where he resided for a number of years, or until the expiration of the above lease, when he moved back on the farm, where he resided at the time of his death, and where his widow now resides with her daughters, Mary R.
Mr. Bireley was the father of ten children, seven of whom are now living: Henry R., Elizabeth E., William W., Barbara C., Harry H., Wade G., all married and settled in life, and Mary R., the youngest, who remains at home with her mother. Mr. Bireley united with the Methodist Episcopal church in 1835, lived a consistent Christian life and the record he has left here upon the pages of time is surely a worthy example for a future generations to follow.
[Source: "A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio" Evansville, Ind., 1900 - tr. by K.T.]

Harvey H. Bireley was born in Greenville, Darke county, February 22, 1844, and is the fourth son of William J. and Elizabeth Bireley. His great-grandfather was born in Wittenburg, Germany, was a tanner by trade and emigrated to the United States, locating in Maryland, near Hagerstown, where he spent his remaining days. His son, John, the grandfather of our subject, was born in that locality and was reared to manhood under the parental roof. He learned the trades of tanner and shoemaker and later engaged in the manufacture of paper, also owning and operating a flourmill. He married Barbara Brindle, and unto them were born eleven children, one of whom, William J. Bireley, became the father of our subject. He was born April 3, 1812, in the family home in Maryland, but his parents removed to Liberty, Montgomery county, Ohio, during his early youth. There he learned the shoemaker's trade, and he was wont to relate with pride that on his thirteenth birthday he made complete the largest pair of shoes manufactured. (We regret to say that the name of the man who wore the shoes is forgotten!) On the death of his father the support of the family devolved upon William J. Bireley and his mother, so that his educational advantages were limited to about three months' study in the schools. Being of a studious nature, however, he supplemented his school training by extensive reading and observation, and possessing an observing eye and retentive memory he became a well informed man.
In 1832 he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Martin, who was born November 19, 1812, a daughter of Christopher and Elizabeth (Laurimore) Martin, both of whom were natives of Maryland. To Mr. and Mrs. Bireley were born ten children, namely: Ira J., deceased; Anna E.; Henry P.; William W.; Harvey H.; Barbara C.; Rebecca, who died in infancy; Wade G.; Margaret, who died in infancy; and Mary R.
In 1833 William J. Bireley came with his family to Darke county, locating at Greenville, where he built a pottery, which he operated until 1856. In 1859 he bought a farm in Adams township and commenced the manufacture of lime, continuing in that enterprise until 1862, when he returned to Greenville. During his six years' residence there he dealt in lime and cement and then returned to his farm, where he remained until his life's labors were ended in death, October 9, 1888. His widow is still living on the old homestead, at the advanced age of eighty-eight years.
Harvey H. Bireley spent his early childhood in the city of his birth. In the year 1852 his father purchased the Henry House farm, situated on the Fort Jefferson pike. Among his schoolmates were John and Marion Harper, J. M. Craig, Elizabeth Craig Stephenson, George and Elias Westfall, John, William and Dan Studebaker, James and Isaac Arnold and others. Among his school teachers were D. H. R. Jobes, J. T. Martz, George Martz, John Shepherd and others. During his early years as a student, grammar was looked upon with disfavor and was not taught, but Mr. Bireley's father took an active interest in matters of education and through his efforts a night class for the purpose of studying grammar was formed, with George H. Martz as instructor. Kirkham's grammar was the text book, and once or twice each week during the entire winter the class met and made rapid progress. From that period grammar was taken up as one of the regular studies of the curriculum.
While the Bireley family lived upon the home farm they carried on the work of improvement. There were many clumps of willows growing upon the place, and, wishing that he might cultivate the land, the father made what was called a "harpoon," to which he attached two yoke of oxen and soon there were enormous piles of the willows ready for the torch. In grubbing up those trees Mr. Bireley of this review received his first lesson at driving oxen, and he drove oxen as long as that farm was owned by his father. The son learned that the best way to treat dumb animals was to be kind to them and such a course he has ever followed.
On the 4th of August, 1862, Mr. Bireley enlisted as a musician in Company G, Forty-fourth Ohio Infantry, and the regiment joined the Army of Kentucky. In August, 1862, it became a part of Burnside's command, and on the 17th of that month started on the march to Knoxville, Tennessee, a distance of two hundred and four miles. The regiment to which Mr. Bireley belonged was the first to enter the city. They were besieged from October until the 7th of December, when General Sherman raised the siege and the troops proceeded to Strawberry Plains, where they engaged and defeated the enemy. They had received neither clothing nor rations from the government during the siege and had been forced to live upon half rations of bran and cornmeal during a part of the time. The Forty-fourth Ohio veteranized on the 1st of January, 1864, and returned over the same march of two hundred and four miles in the dead of winter, suffering many hardships and discomforts. They were obliged to forage for supplies and slept where night overtook them without other shelter than a "dog tent." In February they received their first change of clothing since the preceding August. They were granted a thirty-days furlough, and on their return, in May, 1864, they were mustered in as the Eighth Ohio Veteran Volunteer Cavalry and were sent to Virginia under the command of Colonel Owens. Subsequently they were transferred to General Phil Sheridan's command in the Shenandoah valley. The band of which Mr. Bireley was a member was commanded by Sheridan to listen for the signal of the gun, and when they heard it they were to play a national air at double-quick time. The signal was given and the band, stationed between two batteries, struck up Yankee Doodle and the refrain was caught up and echoed by the men along the entire line of five miles, and under the inspiring notes of the music the memorable charge of Cedar Creek was made. On the 11th of January, 1865, Mr. Bireley was captured at Beverly, West Virginia, by the troops of General Rosser. He and his fellow prisoners were taken to Charleston, Virginia, and then to Libby prison, where they were exchanged February 15, 1865. Mr. Bireley weighed one hundred and fifty-two pounds when captured and one hundred and fifteen pounds when released! They returned to Camp Chase and received a thirty-days furlough, on the expiration of which time our subject with his command was discharged, May 30, 1865.
Returning to his father's farm our subject engaged in the manufacture of lime for two years. In 1867, feeling the need of a more thorough business training, he took a commercial course in the Bryant & Stratton College at Indianapolis. On the 25th of August of that year he was united in marriage to Henrietta V. Weills, who was born May 9, 1850, the eldest daughter of Rev. Solomon and Lydia (Shaffer) Weills. To Mr. and Mrs. Bireley have been born five children-Bessie, Ira, Alma, Agnes and Sylvia. The son died in infancy.
After his marriage Mr. Bireley removed to Tippecanoe City, where he was employed by Ford & Company in a wheel factory for six years. From there he went to Columbus Grove and engaged in the confectionery business for two years, after which he removed to Painter's Creek, in Franklin township, Darke county. He has been engaged in general merchandising for seventeen years at this place, conducting a profitable store. He served seven years as township treasurer, for six years as justice of the peace and for twelve years as postmaster. In politics he is a Republican and since 1873 he has been a member of the Odd Fellows society, belonging to both the subordinate lodge and the encampment. He is also a member of Dan Williams Post, G. A. R., of Pleasant Hill. He and his wife are members of the Methodist church.
[Source: "A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio" Evansville, Ind., 1900 - tr. by K.T.]


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