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Hancock County, Ohio
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GEORGE WHITEFIELD NORRIS
-Mr. Norris is a resident farmer of Cass township, and was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, on the 27th of July, 1846. Six years later he removed with his parents to Hancock county, since which time he has been a continuous resident. He was brought up on a farm, where he engaged in the occupations incident to his environment, receiving an ordinary school education. When our country was threatened by internal disturbances, in the troublous times of the Civil war, Mr. Norris, though a mere boy, was exceedingly anxious to engage in the defense of the Union. His age, however, was a bar to the active expression of his loyalty until the year 1864, when he enlisted as a member of Company F, of the Forty-seventh Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a private soldier. In this company he served until the time of his honorable discharge at the close, of the war, participating in all the service that fell to the lot of his command. Returning to the pursuits of peace, he engaged in farming, and has since then been a member of that honorable class which is proud to number among its members such men as Washington, Jefferson and many other of the prominent men of this country. December 21, 1870, he led to the matrimonial altar Miss Sarah A., daughter of Alexander and Catherine Baker, who is a woman of superior attainments and during all of these years has been a true helpmate to her husband. She is a native of Hancock county, having been born in Cass township February 2, 1849. Her grandfather on the maternal side was one of the pioneers of the county, the name of John H. Eckert appearing in the handwriting of President Andrew Jackson on the original patent to the farm on which she and her husband now reside. Mr. Norris and his wife have cultivated this farm since 1870. Its ninety acres consist of most valuable soil, and contain one gas well. Mr. Norris is a Republican in politics, has held the office of township trustee, and at the date of the present writing is the honored treasurer of the township. Fraternally, he affiliates with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a worthy member of Stoker Post, No. 54, of the Grand Army of the Republic. Alexander M. Norris, now deceased, the father of our subject, was born in Harford county, Maryland, September 17, 1808. As was the custom in that early day, he was apprenticed to a trade, and became an expert and skilled worker in leather, following for a number of years the particular branch of the trade known as shoemaking. In 1835 he emigrated to Fairfield county, Ohio, and in 1852 removed to Hancock county, where he abandoned the trade of his early life and began a career as an agriculturist. Here he purchased at various times lands amounting to two hundred and twenty acres. He became a man in good circumstances before he died. He was a man of fine judgment, honest, industrious, and respected by his neighbors, among whom he had considerable influence. Politically he was a Republican, though he was not given to taking part in the public life of the community. He was married twice, first to Mary J., the daughter of John Norris, in 1837. By this union there were six children, four of whom grew to maturity, and three still living: Mary F. Elizabeth A.; and Sarah J. The mother died in 1844, and for his second wife Mr. Norris chose Maria, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stone, the second marriage following close upon the death of the mother of his children because of their helpless condition. The second marriage was consummated in 1845, and to this union were born five children, three of whom are now living, George W.; David L.; and Annie R. Mrs. Maria Norris was a native of Virginia, having been born November 23, 1811. She died in June, 1892, her husband, Alexander M., dying in September 1898. Mr. and Mrs. George W. Norris have three children: John N., Belle and George D. Mr. Norris owns two hundred and fifty acres of fine land on which there are now four oil wells. [Source: Centennial Biographical history of Hancock County, Ohio, New York :: Lewis Pub. Co., 1903]


WILLIAM F. NOWLAN, farmer, P. O. Rawson, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, March 2, 1825, son of Thomas D. and Margaret Nowlan, natives of England, who emigrated to Nova Scotia, and from there moved to Ohio. Thomas D. Nowlan settled in Union Township, this county, in 1840. He was a carpenter by trade, and worked on canal work in the eastern part of this State; also put up many buildings in this county. His wife died in Rawson in May, 1878, and be in December following, in his eighty-third year. William F. Nowlan, the subject of this sketch, remained with his parents until his marriage with Miss Sarah Ann Troxing, November 11, 1849. She died June 8, 1850, leaving one child, Sarah, now deceased. August 21, 1851, Mr. Nowlan was again united in marriage, this time with Mary Lanning, and to this union were born the following named children: David, La Fayette (deceased), Thomas, Malinda, Andrew and Mary. Mr. Nolan located where he now resides in 1864. He served from October. 1864, to July, 1865, as a soldier in the Sixty-second Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry; was in the Army of the James, and took part in the closing campaigns of the war in Virginia, earning a record as a brave and faithful soldier, always ready for the discharge of duty. Mr. Nowlan has a fine farm of eighty acres of well improved land. He is one of the pioneers of this county, and a highly respected citizen of Eagle Township. [History of Hancock Co, Chicago: Warner Beers & Co., 1886]


A. H. NICHOLS, photographer, Findlay, was born in Eaton County, Mich. January 24, 1849, son of Hiram B. and Lemira L. (Cheney) Nichols, natives of New York State. After receiving a good education, our subject went into the studio of his uncle, A. M. Cheney, of Charlotte, Mich, with whom he completed his studies in photography and afterward remained as a partner in the business for over three years. In 1876 Mr. Nichols established himself in his profession, in Findlay, where he has since been favorably known. He married in Findlay Clara C. Sheffield, and they have one son, Lynn Sheffield. Our subject and wife attend the services of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has always given a cordial support to measures tending the city's development, and, although averse to holding public office, has served the city with credit in her councils. In politics he is a Democrat. [History of Hancock Co, Chicago: Warner Beers & Co., 1886]


JOSEPH NEWELL, farmer, P. O. Findlay, was born in Shenandoah County, Va., July 20, 1809, and was brought to Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1812, by his parents, Thomas and Barbara Newell, former of whom died in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1815, the latter then coming to Jackson Township, this county, in 1835, with one son, Joseph, and three daughters: Sarah, wife of Isaac Morrison; Elizabeth, wife of Adam Hey, and Salome, wife of Samuel Moffitt. Mrs. Newell afterward moved to Illinois, whore she died in 1860, aged seventy-three years. Our subject was united in marriage, in 1835, with Miss Barbara Bibler, of Fairfield County, Ohio, and came to Jackson Township, this county, the following year, entering 160 acres of land. Their children are Mrs. Harriet Douty, Mrs. Asenath Altman, Joseph P., Mrs. Minerva Oman, Mrs. Emma Peterman, Louisa and Mrs. Sarah Morgan. Mr. Newell is an earnest and conscientious Republican. He has filled the office of township trustee for six years; is one of the representative pioneers and influential citizens of his township. Our subject is strictly a self-made man, having earned every dollar he owns, and has given his children a good start in life. He and wife are members of the Methodist Church. [History of Hancock Co, Chicago: Warner Beers & Co., 1886]


JOSEPH P. NEWELL, farmer, P. O. Findlay, was born May 27, 1842, in Jackson Township, this county, son of the pioneer Joseph Newell. Our subject was reared on the farm of his father, and attended the schools of the home district. He spent four months in 1864 as a soldier in Company A, One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiment Ohio National Guards, which was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and took part in the Virginia campaigns. He was mustered out with his regiment, leaving an honorable record as a brave and faithful soldier always ready for duty. Returning home he resumed his occupation of farming, and January 29, 1865, was united in marriage with Miss Mary A. Elsea, daughter of Moses Elsea. Since their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Newell have resided in Jackson Township, this county. In 1866 he purchased of Judge D. J. Corey a farm of 160 acres, which he still owns. In 1877 he purchased the homestead farm which his father had entered from the Government, and here he has resided ever since. He has been industrious and successful in life and has acquired a fine property of 320 acres in all. To our subject and wife were born three children: Amanda E., Clara A. and Joseph Grant (deceased). Amanda E. prepared herself for the profession of teaching and has taught very successfully three terms in Jackson and Eagle Townships, this county. Mr. Newell is a Republican in politics; takes a deep interest in public affairs, and is one of the leading farmers and a representative citizen of Jackson Township. [History of Hancock Co, Chicago: Warner Beers & Co., 1886]




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