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Gallia County, Ohio

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Biographies
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Thomas Urwin

Was born in Falling Rock, West Virginia, July 15, 1850. His parents are John and Elner (Baker) Urwin, who came to this county in 1815. The subject of this sketch is engaged in mining and a general laborer. He came to this county in 1852. His postoffice address is Bush's Mills, Gallia county, Ohio.




Mons. Francis Valodin

The subject of this sketch was one who, despite an entire want of education, struggled successfully in the pursuit of wealth, until he was one of the most extensive land-owners, and by far the wealthiest man in the French grant.
He was born in 1765, and at the age of twenty-six, secreted himself on one of the American-bound vessels which brought the French emigrants from Havre de Grace. On their arrival at Alexandria he was sold to a hotel proprietor for one year, to pay his passage, at the end of which time he came to Gallipolis. He remained here until the distribution of lands at the French grant, when he accepted his portion about one mile below Haverhill, where he continued to reside, accumulating a large amount of property. He was a shrewd man of enterprise, and died August 8th, 1826, in the sixty-first year of his age.
[SOURCE: History of Gallia County: Containing A Condensed History of the County; Biographical Sketches; General Statistics, Miscellaneous Matters, &c; James P. Averill; Hardestty & Co., Publishers, Chicago and Toledo. 1882. St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Gallipolis, Ohio)]



Joseph Vanden
Joseph Vanden whose correct name is Vanden-bemden, was born in Amsterdam, Holland, April 1st, 1787. When four years of age he came to Philadelphia, and after a two years’ residence in that moral city, he landed in the aggregation of log-cabins known then as Gallipolis. The heavy primeval forest encircled the clearing, and the new Dutch arrivals found themselves among French, who had deserted their trans-continental homes for the same reasons – political unpleasantness.
The little colony was not quite three years of age when he came, and he lived to see the iron rail wind down the beautiful valley of the Chicmauga, and the iron horse puff and blow where the deer had lived a retired life in its sylvan home, and the Indian held undisputed sway. Three of his father’s brothers had leaned on the block, and their gory heads been carried off in baskets, and here he had cast his lot in a country where the law has never claimed but one neck in its whole history, that of James Lane in 1817.
In the war of 1812, Joseph Vanden placed himself at the head the first company of patriots that volunteered in defence [sic] of liberty and independence. Not until the last clash of arms had echoed did the active young Dutchman come home and hang up his rifle and pouch over the broad mantlepiece [sic]. On June 15th, 1815, he wedded Mary Randall, the lassie of his choice, and merry flew the feet over the puncheon floor in honor of the occasion; and it was the day when Blucher and Wellington became heroes and Napoleon met his defeat at Waterloo.
His life from this time was peaceful in the pursuit of home comforts. He was an intimate friend of Col. Robert Safford, the subject of a former sketch. He stood upon the bank and hailed the first steamboat that appeared upon the Ohio river, with gaping wonder. He was deputy-sheriff in 1817, at the time when James Lane, the only man ever executed in the county, was hung. The first president who obtained his vote was James Madison, and the last was the lamented James A. Garfield. He died Monday evening, may 16th, 1881, aged 94 years, and left a large family of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
[SOURCE: History of Gallia County: Containing A Condensed History of the County; Biographical Sketches; General Statistics, Miscellaneous Matters, &c; James P. Averill; Hardestty & Co., Publishers, Chicago and Toledo. 1882. St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Gallipolis, Ohio)]


John Varney
Is proprietor of the Varney House, Rio Grande, Ohio. He was formerly connected with the St. Wendel Hotel, of Gallipolis. Mr. Varney was born in Jackson county, Ohio, April 1, 1810. His parents are Jedediah and Hannah (Hines) Varney. His father is deceased; his mother still resides in this county, coming here in 1812, during the war. John Varney and Susanna Rawson were married in Gallia county, December 24, 1846; she was born in this county, December 25, 1823. The following are their children: Mary E. J., born March 5, 1849, resides in Gallia county; Sarah L., March 8, 1850, resides in this county; Lydia S., August 25, 1852, resides in this county; Charles F., November 4, 1855, resides in this county; Julia E., May 1, 1857, resides in Vinton county, Ohio; John W., deceased; Ella N., July 26, 1862, resides in Gallia county, Ohio; Kate R., deceased. The parents of Mrs. Varney are James and Mary (Cline) Rawson. Her father is deceased. Her mother settled in this county in 1816, and still continues to reside here. Mr. Varney filled the office of trustee in Raccoon township for two terms, and he was elected justice of the peace in the same township October 7, 1876, for three years. The date of his arrival in this county was 1822. He is a farmer beside attending to his hotel. His postoffice address is Rio Grande, Gallia county, Ohio. [SOURCE: History of Gallia County: Containing A Condensed History of the County; Biographical Sketches; General Statistics, Miscellaneous Matters, &c; James P. Averill; Hardesty & CO., Publishers, Chicago and Toledo. 1882.]


Jacob Vaughn
Was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, December 20, 1814. His father, Thomas Vaughn, was born in the State of Pennsylvania, September 2, 1787, and died at his home in Jackson county, Ohio, March 7, 1871, aged 83 years, 6 months and 5 days. He volunteered as a private soldier in the war of 1812, under the command of General Harrison, and he was in the charge at Fort Meigs under the command of Colonel Dudley. He continued with the command until the British and Indians were reinforced, surrounding and overpowering Colonel Dudley, and capturing him and nearly all of his men. Mr. Vaughn was present when the great Indian chief, Tecumseh, was killed. After his return to his native State he married Rebecca Dunham, a native of the same State, and moved to Jackson county, Ohio, in 1822. He there bought the farm which he occupied the remainder of his life. He was one of the associate judges of Jackson county for about seventeen years, and filled various offices of trust for nearly forty years, always attending to their duties with promptness and accuracy. His wife died November 29, 1846. They were parents of ten children, seven boys and three girls, all, with one exception, Samuel, who died December 4, 1849, are now living. Judge Vaughn was a strong believer in the Christin religion, a good citizen, a kind neighbor, and a very affectionate father, and in his death the family and the community lost a true friend. Jacob Vaughn was married, in Jackson county, Ohio, February 19, 1839, to Julia A. Fowler, who is a native of Monongahela county, West Virginia, born March 24, 1820. She is mother of the following children: Thomas, born November 27, 1839, died September 26, 1863; Mary A. (Ratekin), February 3, 1843, resides in Richardson county, Nebraska; John F., February 23, 1846, resides in this county; James W., April 2, 1849, resides in this county; Margaret J. (Wilcox), August 17, 1852, resides in this county; Susan C. (Hanger), March 9, 1854, resides in this county; Sarah M. (Glassburn), September 5, 1857, resides in this county; Amanda C. (Kelly), November 29, 1859, resides in this county; Phebe J., July 14, 1862, resides at home; Cynthia A., October 1, 1863, resides at home. The parents of Mrs. Vaughn are Nehemiah and Mary (Thomson) Fowler, settlers of Gallia county in 1864. Mr. Vaughn had two sons in the late war. John F. enlisted in 1863, in the 79th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served to the close of the war. Thomas was a member of a militia regiment, and was called into service at the time of Morgan's raid into Ohio. Mr. Vaughn is a farmer residing in Raccoon township. His address is Tycoon postoffice, Gallia county, Ohio. [SOURCE: "History of Gallia County: Containing A Condensed History of the County; Biographical Sketches; General Statistics, Miscellaneous Matters, &c"; James P. Averill; Hardesty & Co., Publishers, Chicago and Toledo. 1882]


Mons. Antoine Claude Vincent
Mons. Antoine Claude Vincent was one who came with the first settlers in 1791. With him came M. Antionme, with whom he joined himself, upon his arrival, in the jewelry business; but the trade not being especially adapted to a new country, Antione started in a boat for New Orleans, with all their combined stock in trade, to establish business, whither his partner was soon to follow. When near the Big Sandy he was killed and all the goods were lost. Mons. Vincent, upon learning the fate of his companion and the loss of all his worldly goods, with pluck and energy, started to curve his fortune anew. He had studied and nearly learned the English language on his passage across the ocean, and commenced teaching school, raised chickens and gardened. He went to Marietta to study, after a time, and married in 1799. In a passage from Marietta to Belpre, in a canoe, he nearly lost his life by falling overboard and freezing, but recovered under the care of physicians at Gallipolis, although he was left in a crippled condition. He moved to the grant in 1801, where he continued to reside, although he made frequent trips to Gallipolis to visit friends, always going on foot.
His life was full of incidents. While at Marietta, and still unmarried, Louis Phillippe, then Duke of Orleans, came to this country incognito, and stopping at Marietta, became strongly attached to Mons. Vincent and urged him to accompany him to New Orleans and share his fortunes, but he could not be prevailed upon to go. When, in 1830, Louis Phillippe was seated upon the throne of France, Mons. Vincent regretted that he had not been more easily influenced. He was a gentleman of culture, refinement and education, and was greatly respected here. A sketch of his life would make an interesting volume. He died August 22d, 1846, aged nearly 74 years.
[SOURCE: History of Gallia County: Containing A Condensed History of the County; Biographical Sketches; General Statistics, Miscellaneous Matters, &c; James P. Averill; Hardestty & Co., Publishers, Chicago and Toledo. 1882. St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Gallipolis, Ohio)]



Hon. Samuel Finley Vinton
Hon. Samuel Finley Vinton was born at South Hadley, September 25, 1792. In 1814 he graduated at Williams’ College, and commenced studying law with hon. Stephen T. Hosmer, of Connecticut. He was admitted to the bar in 1816, and soon proceeded to the young and growing State of Ohio, establishing himself in the practice of law at Gallipolis, where, at the end of a year, he was enjoying an extensive business. He soon became well and favorably known as a man of unusual ability and integrity, and without solicitation or effort of his own, became nominated by the Whig party for Congress, in the autumn of 1822, and elected by a glittering majority. He remained member of Congress until 1837, when he voluntarily withdrew from public life. During this long period of fourteen years’ service, several important measures were originated and carried through by him, and he was looked upon as a leader of his party in the House.
After a retirement of six years, he was again, in 1843, chosen a member of Congress, where he remained until 1851, when he again voluntarily withdres from active public life. Mr. Vinton was Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, where he rendered his country most excellent service. He proved himself a patriot in the broadest sense – caring far more that the many measures which he originated and perfected should be of value to the country that that his own name should be known or mentioned in their connection.
In September, 1846, the venerable ex-President, John Quincy Adams, said of Hon. S. F. Vinton, that he "knew him well; he was a man of decided ability; very few, if any, in Congress, were his superiors; when he spoke, it was too good effect; he was a man – not only of talents, but of integrity."
The Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, in a speech in the House of Representatives, March 3, 1880, thus speaks of him: "Samuel F. Vinton, of Ohio, whose acquaintance with the rules, great prudence and sound judgment, rendered him, perhaps, the most prominent leader on the Whig side."
After retirement from public life, Mr. Vinton resided continually (with the exception of one year, when he was chosen the first President of the Clevland & Toledo Railroad), in Washington, where he died May 11, 1862, after a few days’ illness.
In June, 1824, Mr. Vinton married Romaine Madeleine Bureau, who died the last of May, 1831. They had two children: John who died when very young, and Madeleine Sarah, who still survives, the widow of the late Admiral Dahlgren. Mr. Vinton’s last request was that his mains might rest beside those of his beloved wife, in Gallipolis cemetery, where they now lie, and on the lot is a granite monument, placed there by his fond daughter, Mrs. Dahlgren, bearing the inscription, "Bureau—Vinton."
[SOURCE: History of Gallia County: Containing A Condensed History of the County; Biographical Sketches; General Statistics, Miscellaneous Matters, &c; James P. Averill; Hardestty & Co., Publishers, Chicago and Toledo. 1882. St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Gallipolis, Ohio)]


 



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