Jesse Allen is a prosperous farmer of Fairfield county, having more than three hundred acres of land in Amanda township. His is a valuable farm, attractive and pleasant in appearance, owing to the well kept condition of buildings and fields. He was born March 14, 1839, near Royalton, Ohio, and comes of an old New England family. The following we copy from "Pioneer Period and Pioneer People" of Fairfield county, published by C. M. S. Wiseman: "The Allen family has been prominent in Fairfield county for one hundred years. The pioneer, Dr. Silas Allen, was a man of education and character, and his descendants were numerous, and throughout their long career have maintained the reputation of their distinguished ancestors. Samuel Allen (the first) came to America from Bridgewater. Somerset county, England, in 1620, and settled in Braintree, Massachusetts. His wife's name was Ann, but we can not give the surname. Their son, Samuel (the second) was born in 1632. A daughter, Sarah, was born in 1639 and married Joseph Standish, a son of Miles Standish, of the Mayflower. This Samuel (the second) married Sarah Partridge. Their son, Samuel (the third) was born in 1660. He married Rebecca Carey in 1685. Their son, Samuel (the fourth), was born in 1686. Their son, Timothy, was born in 1691 and was the grandfather of General Ethan Allen, of Revolutionary fame. Rebecca died in 1697 and Samuel (the third) married Mary Alden, a daughter of Joseph, a son of Captain John Alden, made famous by Longfellow in Miles Standish, and the first man to land on Plymouth Rock. To this union were born children, namely: Joseph, in 1701; Benjamin, in 1702; Mary, in 1704; Rebecca, in 1706; Mathew, in 1708; and Seth, in 1710. This family about the year 1727 moved to Connecticut and settled at Norwich. Later they moved to Canterbury, Connecticut. At Norwich Joseph Allen married Rebecca Fuller, of Preston. Their son, Barnabus, was born February 24, 1729, at Norwich. Barnabus married Elizabeth Fuller, daughter of Randolph Fuller, in 1752. Their son, Silas, was born in 1754. He was educated and studied medicine. He married Mary Cleveland, daughter of Samuel Cleveland, May 16, 1776. She was a fourth cousin of Moses Cleveland, the founder of the city of Cleveland, Ohio. She was also related to Grover Cleveland's ancestors. Soon after their marriage, with others of their family, Dr. Allen and wife moved to Middletown, Vermont. Their children were: Samuel, Jared, Rebecca, Anna, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Annie, Jedadiah, who was born in 1781; and Whiting in 1782.
In the year 1800 Dr. Silas Allen with family and others, in all, forty, left Middletown, Connecticut, for the west, intending to go as far west as the Mississippi river. Arriving at Fairfield county, they found the country on Toby creek inviting and they concluded to remain there and became permanent settlers. In course of time Whiting and Benjamin Allen moved with families to Delaware county, Ohio, where they were prosperous and representative. Whiting Allen married Mahitable Searle, one of a family of the forty emigrants mentioned. A descendant of this Searle family married a daughter of George Ewing of Iowa City, Iowa, and resides there in charge of a newspaper. Amos S. Thomas, of Lancaster, Ohio, is a great-grandson of Whiting Allen. Mrs. Evira Meeker was a daughter of Lemuel Allen and died aged ninety-three. Dr. Silas Allen lived a useful life in his new home, reared and established a family, and at the age of seventy-one years, September 7, 1825, died. His body lies buried at Royalton.
Jedadiah Allen, the fourth son of Dr. Silas and Mary (Cleveland) Allen, and the grandfather of our subject, was born in Vermont, and at an early age came with his parents to Ohio, locating upon a farm in Amanda township, Fairfield county, that is now occupied by our subject. Here he lived and died devoting his energies to agricultural pursuits, engaging in stock raising on a very extensive scale. He was not only very successful but was also one of the most prominent and influential men of the community. He died at Royalton on the 5th of September, 1856, many friends mourning his loss while the community chronicled the death of one of its leading representatives. He married Sarah Bull about 1803 and the children born to them were: Rachel, born 1809; Howard, born 1811; and Lyman, born 1813, Rachel became the wife of Thomas Reber and died near Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
The parents of our subject were Howard and Sarah (Leist) Allen, the latter a daughter of John Leist. The former was born in Amanda township, Fairfield county, and throughout his life devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits. He died at the comparatively early age of thirty-eight years. He was quite prosperous and left his family in comfortable circumstances. He held membership in the Methodist church. His widow survived him for many years, passing away on the 25th of June, 1895, at the ripe old age of eighty-eight years, eleven months and six days. She was the mother of seven children, of whom one died in infancy, while four are yet living. Jesse Allen was reared upon the old family homestead, his youth being passed in a manner similar to that of most boys of the period. He obtained his education in the common schools of the district. His father died when the son was only five years of age and Jesse Allen then assisted his mother in the work of the home farm until he had attained his majority. He then started out upon an independent business career and was employed as a farm hand by the month for two years. He afterward purchased the farm of Thomas Reber, in Amanda township, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, for which he paid nine thousand five hundred dollars, and soon afterward he sold this property for thirteen thousand five hundred dollars. He next purchased the property upon which he now lives, comprising one hundred and eighty-six acres, the price being fifteen thousand dollars. He added to this until he now has over three hundred acres of land under a very high state of cultivation. Many improvements upon this farm are an indication of his enterprise, capable management and progressive spirit. His is indeed one of the model places of the county and as the years pass it approaches more nearly to perfection. He also owns a number of village lots in Royalton. His time and attention have always been given to general farming and stock raising and his thorough understanding of the business, his adaptation of improved methods to his work, and his unfaltering industry have brought to him very gratifying prosperity. At the time of the Civil war Mr. Allen joined the army in 1864. as a member of Company I, One Hundred and Fifty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, for one hundred days' service, and was mustered out at Zanesville on the expiration of his term. In his political views he is a Republican and while firmly endorsing the principles of the party has never been an office seeker, although he has held a few minor positions. A prominent and consistent member of the Methodist church, for a number of years he has been one of its trustees. No history of Mr. Allen could be complete without mention of his estimable wife. He was married on the 30th of December 1869, to Elizabeth P. Strayer, who was born in Royalton, Ohio, a daughter of Abram and Ellen M. (Cross) Strayer. Her father was a native of Pennsylvania and came to Ohio during the pioneer epoch in its history, locating in Royalton, where he established a mercantile store and carried on business along that line for many years. His death occurred in Royalton September 19, 1866, when he was aged fifty-seven years, nine months and twenty-five days. His widow survived him for a long period, passing away in 1902, at the very advanced age of eighty-eight years. In their family were eight children, four of whom are yet living. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Allen have been born but two children: Viola, born December 13, 1871, in Royalton, is now the wife of Leroy G. Silbaugh. They were married September 17, 1895, by the Rev. S. D. Priest. Mr. Silbaugh is an attorney-at-law and the present mayor of the city of Lancaster. They have two sons, Allen and John.
Ralph Allen, the only son of our subject, was born in Royalton, August 3, 1873, and now resides with his parents, carrying on the old home farm. He is justly recognized as one of the progressive and enterprising young business men of the county.
Ira Ashbrook was born in Amanda township upon a farm noted for its well kept appearance, being an indication of his careful supervision and progressive methods of farming. His birth occurred May 16, 1856, and he represents an old Virginia family that was established in Fairfield county when this section of the state was but just emerging from primitive conditions. His paternal grandfather, William Ashbrook, was a native of Virginia, and in that state wedded Permelia Peters, who was also born in the Old Dominion. Thinking that he might provide a better home for his family and more readily acquire a comfortable living in the newer districts of the west he left his Virginia home and came to Ohio, Fairfield county being his destination. He settled in Amanda township, acquiring a tract of wild, unimproved land, and at once began clearing away the timber in order to cultivate the fields. As the years passed his labors bore to him good crops and his financial resources were increased. His home was in Amanda township. There, throughout his remaining days, he carried on agricultural pursuits, but he was called to his final rest at the comparatively early age of forty-five years. His wife, however, long survived him and reached the extreme old age of ninety-two years. Among their children was William Ashbrook, the father of our subject, whose birth occurred here on the old family homestead. He too became a farmer. Early in life he became familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. As the years passed more and more of the farm work developed upon him. He continued to make his home in Fairfield county until 1885, when he removed to Pickaway county, spending his last days in Ashville. He departed this life about two years ago and the community lost one of its honored and esteemed citizens, a man who was ever on the side of progress and improvement. He never sought or desired office, but was content to do his duty as a private citizen. His political support was given to the Republican party and he strongly endorsed its principles as best calculated to serve the interests of the nation. He was supporter of the Baptist church and his example was in many respects a noble one. He married Nancy Hedges and her death occurred about twelve years ago. She was born in Pickaway county and was a devoted wife and mother. In the family were seven children, the subject of this review being the sixth in order of birth.
Ira Ashbrook spent his early boyhood days in a manner not unusual to most boys of that period. He enjoyed the pleasures of the playground, performed the duties of the schoolroom and assisted in the work of cultivating field and meadow on the old homestead farm. To his father he gave the benefit of his services until he had attained his majority, when he started out in life on his own account. In 1882 he rented a farm which he cultivated for two years, and then purchased the place whereon he was born, a tract of one hundred and thirty-two acres. Many improvements here found are the visible evidences of his progressive spirit and his life of activity. He is well known as a progressive agriculturist and his reliability in all trade transactions, and his course is dominated by an unflagging industry. In 1882 occurred the marriage of Mr. Ashbrook and Miss Ida Ann Hutchins, of Amanda township, a daughter of Amos Hutchins, who is one of the highly esteemed citizens of Fairfield county. He makes his home upon a farm in Amanda township, and it was in this township that his birth occurred January 11, 1834. His parents were John and Rebecca (Dysinger) Hutchins, the former born in Maryland, whence he came to Ohio at an early day, locating in Amanda township, Fairfield county. Here he engaged in farming and stockraising, and throughout the remainder of his life made his home in Amanda township, but three years ago he was called to his final rest. He held the office of township treasurer for several years and was a leading and influential citizen, worthy of the highest regard of his fellow men. He became the owner of four hundred and seventy-five acres of land, all of which he placed under cultivation. His political support was given the Democracy. His wife passed away some years previous to the death of her husband. She was a native of Fairfield county and a daughter of George Dysinger, one of the honored and pioneer settlers of this portion of the state. Amos Hutchins was one of a family of six children, four of whom are yet living. He has also resided in Fairfield county and to the public school system he is indebted for the educational privileges which he enjoyed. His farm training was received under his father's direction on the old family homestead, and there he remained until a short time before attaining his majority, when he started out in life upon his own account. He had no capital with which to purchase land and for a number of years he rented a farm, but at length, having acquired a considerable sum of money, he purchased one hundred and seventy-five acres of land, upon which he erected a large brick dwelling house in 1882. He also made other substantial improvements, and his is now one of the model country homes of this portion of the state. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Democracy, but the honors and emoluments of office have had no attraction for him. Amos Hutchins married Lavina Phillips, a daughter of Daniel Phillips, of Pickaway county, a prominent and progressive farmer, who died there at an advanced age. Mrs. Hutchins died upon the old home place in 1883. She was a member of the Lutheran church, to which Mr. Hutchins also belongs, and in her family life she was a most kind and considerate wife and mother, finding her greatest happiness in promoting the welfare and comfort of her husband and children. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hutchins were born six children: Henry died at the age of sixteen years. Vallandingham died at the age of eighteen years. Charles, a resident farmer of Licking county, Ohio, married Minnie Williamson, of Amanda township, a daughter of Jabez and Rebecca J. (Harrison) Williamson. They had four children: Hazel, Homer, Ida Ethel and Mary. Ida is the wife of Ira Ashbrook, the subject of this review. Isaac resides upon the old home place, devoting his energies to farming. John is associated with his brother in agricultural pursuits. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Ashbrook has been blessed with four children: Edna L., Agnes B., Florence M. and A. Raymond, all of whom were born on the old home farm and are still with their parents. Mr. Ashbrook gives his political support to the Republican party, and keeps well informed on the issues and questions of the day, but has never been an office seeker. He supports the Lutheran church and his hearty cooperation is given to all measures that are for the general good. His name is a synonym for integrity in business affairs, and throughout the county of his nativity wherever he is known he is greatly esteemed for his sterling worth and high moral character.
Like many of the valued citizens of Fairfield county, Henry Balthaser came to OhioFrom Pennsylvania, taking up his abode in Fairfield county at an early age. He now resides in Clear Creek township, where he owns and occupies ninety-one acres of rich farm land just south of the village of Amanda . He was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, October 13, 1832, and is a respresentive of one of the old families of that locality. His paternal grandfather, Henry Balthaser, lived and died in Berks county, being a well known farmer and a prominent man there. The father of our subject, Henry Balthaser, was born in Berks county, learning the carpenter’s trade and following that vocation throughout his residence in Pennsylvania, and after coming to Fairfield county he engaged in the operation of a sawmill and also devoted a portion of his time to agricultural pursuits. For a number of years he continued the manufacture of lumber. He put all of the improvements upon his farm and there made a good home for himself and family, living at that place until his death, which occurred when he was eighty-two years of age. He passed away on the anniversary of his birth, which occurred on the 22nd of January, 1803. He held membership in the Lutheran church and his life was permeated by honorable principles and Christian teachings. In politics he was a Democrat but he never aspired to office, preferring that his attention should be given to his business interests, in which he prospered. He was an advocate of all that tended to improve the community along social, intellectual and moral lines. His worth as a citizen was widely recognized. He married Sarah Warner, who was also born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, and there lived until coming to Ohio with her husband. Both were members of the Lutheran church. Mrs. Balthaser survived her husband but a short time, passing away on the old homestead, June 25, 1886. She was the mother of eight children, five of whom are now living, the subject of this review being the second in order of birth. In taking up the personal history of Henry Balthaser, whose name introduces this record of one who is widely and favorably known. He has always lived upon the home farm in Clear Creek township and many of the improvements there are the visible evidence of his life of industry and earnest toil. He has erected a new and modern residence which is an attractive feature in the landscape and other equipments upon the farm have been secured through his efforts. He has always engaged in the cultivation of the soil and to some extent has carried on stock raising and as the years have passed his labors have annually added something to his income until now he is one of the substantial and well-to-do citizens of this community.
In 1857 Mr. Balthaser was untied in marriage to Miss Susanna Kessler, who was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, a daughter of Michael and Eliza Ann (Shabbel) Kessler. Her father was a carpenter by trade, and removing to Clear Creek township, Fairfieldcounty, carried on work along that line for a number of years. He afterward became a resident of Illinoiswhere he died at an advanced age. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Balthaser have been born twelve children, of whom eleven are now living. Theodore, who resides in Amanda, was employed as engineer in the grain elevator. He married Nettie Crites, and their children are- Ollie, Eva, and Adolph. Elizabeth is the wife of David Barr, a farmer of Amanda township and they have two children- Bertie and Mary. Peter resides in Columbus ,Ohio, where he is employed as a street car conductor. He married Effie Griffith and they have five children – Rome, Merril, Ruth, May and Fred. Joseph resides in Amanda township where he follows farming. He wedded Etta Weimer. Ella is the wife of John Sultz, a resident farmer of Fairfield county. Annie is the wife of john Campbell, of Madisontownship and they have one son Raymond. Frank is employed on the farm of Mr. Campbell. He married Mattie Hamby, who died two years ago.. Charles resides in Amanda, Ohio , and is operating the home farm of his father. He married Ella Shaeffer. Chancy resides in Amanda township and is employed on the railroad. He married Anna Thomas. Harry is living at home. Welby is a minister of the United Brethren church, now located in Athens county, Ohio. He wedded Miss Dixon. Fanny died at the age of nineteen years. All of the children were born in Clear Creek township and educated in the schools here. The family is one of the prominence in the community, the various members occupying creditable positions and in social circles, enjoying high regard by reason of sterling worth. From the age of six years down to the present time Henry Balthaser has made his home in Fairfield county and the history of pioneer life is therefore familiar to him through actual experience, and as the years have passed, as a valued citizen he has borne his part in the work of public progress and improvement. His labors too in the business world have been effective and have brought to him creditable success, making him one of the prosperous and well-to-do farmers of Clear Creek township. [Source: A Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Ohio , Illustrated By S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, S.J. Clarke; 1902 – Pgs 347-349 - Submitted by L. Dietz]
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