Van Wert County, Ohio
Jacob F. Ackom, of Harrison township, Van Wert county, Ohio, was born in Marion county, Ohio, April 29, 1841. His father, Peter Ackom, was born near Darmstadt, Germany, was a tailor by trade, and was a soldier in the German army, attaining the rank of captain. While in the army he married Margaret Rudle, who bore him seven children, six of whom are still living, viz: Jacob F., Mary, Catherine, Peter, Margaret and Elizabeth. In 1834 Mr. Ackom came to America and located in Marion county, Ohio, on fifty-one acres of land, which he sold in 1859, and then came to Van Wert county and bought 110 acres, of which eighty acres are in Harrison township and thirty acres in Pleasant township. This land he improved and cultivated until his death, which occurred in 1868, at the age of sixty-seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Ackom were members of the German Reform church, in which he was an elder, and in politics he was a democrat.
Jacob F. Ackom was about eighteen years of age when he came to Van Wert county with his father. May 15, 1862, he married Miss Rebecca Baxter, daughter of Thomas and Nancy (Suddeth) Baxter, who are both now deceased. He enlisted, first, in an independent company, state guards, and was mustered into the United States service at Camp Cleveland, Ohio, in May, 1864, for the term of 100 days, but served until honorably discharged in September, 1864, as commissary sergeant.
On his return home he resumed his trade as carpenter, and for four years lived in Van Wert. He bought his present farm in 1870. It then comprised sixteen acres only, but he has since increased it to fifty-four acres, and improved it with substantial buildings, constructed with his own hands. In 1869, also, he engaged in the undertaking business, which he successfully conducted for sixteen years. He has also devoted considerable attention to the insurance business, and for two terms has been a director in the Farmers' Mutual Aid association of Van Wert county. The union of Mr. Ackom with Rebecca Baxter has been blessed with four children, viz: Rosecranz S., John J. (who died at the age of two years), Nettie A. and Dora, wife of John Snyder, of Harrison township. The eldest, Rosecranz S., has been school-teacher for seven years. He married Eliza Pruden, who has borne him five children. Mr. and Mrs. Ackom are members of the Baptist church, and in politics Mr. Ackom is a republican. He is a member of Capper post, G.A.R., of Convoy, and for two terms held the position of quartermaster, and is also a member of the grange, of which he has served as master for four years. He and his devoted wife are greatly respected by the citizens of Harrison and adjoining townships, not only for their intelligence and morality, but for their patriotism, which was made manifest by the young wife when her newly-made husband volunteered to aid in the suppression of the Rebellion. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Ackom--Elias Suddeth--lived to the remarkable age of 113 years, dying in Harrison county, Ohio, and his eleven children also attained an extraordinary longevity. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by Kristin Vaughn]
Jerry Agler, a prosperous young general merchant at Abanaka post-office, Van Wert county, Ohio, was born on his father's farm in Willshire township, April 8, 1860, and comes from a pioneer Buckeye family, his great-grandfather, Peter Agler, a native of Pennsylvania, having settled in Stark county, Ohio, in a very early day. Jeremiah Agler, a son of Peter, was also a native of the Keystone state, was still a young man when he came to Ohio with his parents and located in Stark county, where the later married Mrs. Mary Putnam, daughter of John and Betsey Putnam, also natives of Pennsylvania. In 1837, Jeremiah and his wife came to Van Wert county, which was then an unbounded wilderness, with but two or three cabins in Liberty township, where he settled and hewed out a farm from the wild woods, and became a citizen of considerable note and a hunter of great renown. He was a democrat in politics and served two terms as township trustee; in religion he believed with the United Brethren in Christ, and was a charter member of the congregation in Liberty township; his death took place in 1872, and his widow was eighty-two years old on the 14th day of February, 1895. Timothy Agler, son of Jeremiah and father of our subject, was born in Stark county, Ohio, March 3, 1834, and was reared on his father's farm. In September, 1864, he enlisted in company A, Fifteenth Ohio volunteer infantry, and was honorably discharged in June, 1865. His marriage took place February 8, 1855, with Elizabeth Brewer, daughter of Mathias Brewer, the result of the union being the following children: Jeremiah, Charles, Lillie, McCoy and Ira. After his marriage he settled on the farm now occupied by our subject, and here lost his wife November 25, 1893.
Jerry Agler, the subject proper of this sketch, was first married, in 1881, to Ida Moor, daughter of Isaac Moor, to which marriage one child--Roland--was born; the mother died May 29, 1883, and the second marriage of Mr. Agler took place September 18, 1885, with Cora Shaffer, daughter of L.B. and Elizabeth (King) Shaffer, of Liberty township, and this union has been blessed with three children, viz: Robby, Blanche and Carrie M. In 1886 Mr. Alger began in mercantile business at Abanaka, where he since carried on a most prosperous and remunerative trade, his stock, which has just been invoiced, amounting to over $2,400. He also owns a neat little farm of twenty-two acres in the township, and a pleasant village residence, all made through his own labor and industry. In politics Mr. Agler is a democrat, and in religion both he and wife worship with United Brethren in Christ. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by Kristin Vaughn]
Joseph Agler, the subject of this biography, is an enterprising farmer of Liberty township, and one of the substantial citizens of the community in which he resides, he is of German descent paternally, and from his mother he inherits the characteristics of the English. His great-grandfather came to America from England in colonial times, and settled in Pennsylvania, but afterward returned to the old country, where his death occurred. William Agler, grandfather of Joseph, was born in England, but early came to America, settling in one of the eastern states, where he was living at the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, in which struggle he took part, serving seven years. After remaining in Pennsylvania until his marriage with Miss Mary Fox, he immigrated to Stark county, Ohio, being one of the pioneers that led the van of civilization into that part of the Buckeye state. William Agler entered 160 acres of land, made a fine farm, and was one of the substantial men of the community which he assisted in founding; he and wife both died in the county of Stark.
Conrad Agler, son of William Agler and father of the subject of this biography, was a Pennsylvanian by birth and a farmer by occupation. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Wagner, daughter of Valentine Wagner, became the mother of the following children in the order named: Mary, Ann, Matilda, Katie, Valentine, William, Jane, John, Charlotte, Sarah, Joseph, Elizabeth, and Minerva. After a residence of a few years in Stark county, Conrad and Margaret Agler, about the year 1841, moved to the county of Van Wert, and purchased a farm in Liberty township. Mr. and Mrs. Agler were devout members of the Lutheran church and in politics he was an old-line whig.
Joseph Agler was born in Stark county, Ohio, August 1, 1835. He was reared to agriculture, has given his attention to the same all his life, and is now a prominent farmer of the township of Liberty, Van Wert county. His life has been one of great activity, and he has never known what it was to eat the bread of idleness. The improvements upon his place, all of which are in first-class condition, bespeak for its owner a thorough knowledge of farming, and he is a true believer in the dignity of his calling. Mr. Agler, was married October 17, 1856, to Susan Neiford, daughter of George and Mary (Swank) Neiford, and to this union the following children in the order named have been born: Conrad, died at the age of twenty-two; Charity, wife of George Johnson; Nancy, wife of Alonzo Smith; Willis, who married Ida Walters. The sons, Isaac and Frank, are also married, the former to Louisa Voltz and the latter to Ida F. Humrickhouse. The parents of Mrs. Agler were born and married in Pennsylvania, and in an early day moved to Stark county, Ohio, thence the county of Van Wert, where they resided
until death parted them from this world for a better place. Mrs. Agler's parents were believers in the Dunkard church, of which they were members, and Mr. Neiford died leaving his wife in good surroundings, although the family of children consisted of twelve. There are eight of these living and four dead. The names of the dead sisters and brothers were Lydia, Samuel, Mahala and Johnnie; those that are living are James, who is married to Polly Wagers; Mary, to Jerry Swigart; Sallie, to Peter Putnam; Susan, to Joseph Agler, the subject of this sketch; Nancy, to David King; Elizabeth, to John Agler; William, to Maria Anders; George, to Libbie Roberts; Samuel was married to Polly Rush. In politics George Neiford, the father of Agler, was a democrat. Mr. and Mrs. Agler are glad to say they are the father and mother of seven children and grandparents of fifteen. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by Kristin Vaughn]
John Aiken, a well-known lumber dealer of Scott, Union township, Van Wert county, Ohio, was born in Washington county, Pa., in 1830, and is a son of James Aiken, who was also a native of Washington county, and was born in 1801; the father of James, George Aiken, was born in Cork county, Ireland, and was reared a farmer; while still a young man he came to America, located in Pennsylvania, served in the war of 1812, and probably held a captain's commission. He lived through four score years, and died in Pennsylvania about the year 1840.
James Aiken was reared on the home farm in Pennsylvania, and was also instructed in the trade of carpentry, following the latter chiefly for a livelihood. About the year 1827 he married Miss Jane Scott, who was born in Washington county, Pa., in 1805, and was a daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Mullen) Scott, this marriage resulting in the birth of the following children, beside John, our subject: Elizabeth, deceased wife of Samuel Kilbreth, of Washington county, Ohio; Martha, deceased wife of Henry Spence, of Jefferson county; Jane, wife of John Roberts, of Harrison county; Robert and James, both farmers of Jefferson county; Benton, a soldier, deceased; Josiah, deceased; Alexander, who died from a wound received in the late war, and Coe, who was killed in a railroad accident.
Robert Scott, father of Mrs. Jane Aiken, was also a native of Pennsylvania, of Scotch ancestry, was a farmer and was an early pioneer of Carroll county, Ohio, where he died in 1833. Mrs. Elizabeth (Mullen) Scott was also of Scottish descent and a native of the Keystone state. Mrs. Jane Aiken, a strict member of the Presbyterian church, died in 1863, in Jefferson county, Ohio, whither she had come with husband shortly after marriage. James Aiken was a strong advocate of the principles of the democratic party, was a pioneer of Jefferson county, Ohio, where he became quite prominent, and died in 1883, in the faith of the Presbyterian church, of which he had been a life-long member.
John Aiken, our subject, was reared in Jefferson county, Ohio, and there learned the trade of wagon-making. In 1851 he married Miss Martha J. Trainer, a native of Lancaster county and born in 1828--a daughter of John and Esther (Holmes) Trainer. To this union were born the following children: Ida, now Mrs. Edward Shefler, of Rush county, Ind.; James, a farmer of Allen county, Ind.; Martha J., wife of Wallace Beard, residing near Fort Wayne, Ind.; Mary J., married to Erastus Wilson, of Huntington county, Ind.; Annie, wife of Eli Larimer, of Fort Wayne; Edwin, in the saw-mill and lumber business at Scott, Ohio, and John H., Jr., an attorney at Fort Wayne, Ind. Mr. and Mrs. Trainer, parents of Mrs. Aiken, were born near the city of Cork, Ireland, and came to America in 1823, locating on a farm in Lancaster county, Pa., whence, about 1835, they came to Ohio and first located in Jefferson county, whence they moved to Allen county, Ind., where the mother died in 1881 and the father in 1884. Their children were named as follows: William, deceased; Mary, deceased wife of John McClave, of Indiana; John, attorney of Steubenville, Ohio; Nancy, deceased wife of Abner Kelsey; Robert, deceased, and Mrs. Aiken.
At the breaking out of the Civil war, our subject gave up his trade and purchased a farm in Allen county, Ind., near Fort Wayne, and for twenty-eight years was prominently identified with the agricultural and other interests of that county. In 1890 he disposed of his property in Indiana and came to Scott, Van Wert county, Ohio, engaged in the lumber business in company with his son Edwin, and has since been doing an active and prosperous trade. In religion Mr. Aiken is a pious and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is a trustee and to the support of which he freely contributes of his means; he is also a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is, beside, town treasurer. He is an upright gentleman, whose integrity no one has ever disputed, and has the entire confidence and respect of his neighbors as a successful and pious man and useful citizen. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by Kristin Vaughn]
William Albright, a well-known and prominent farmer of Pleasant township, Van Wert county, Ohio, is descended from Dutch ancestors, his grandfather, Henry Albright, having emigrated from Holland to the United States a number of years prior to the beginning of the present century. Henry Albright was born in 1758, became a resident of the new world when a young man, settling in Pennsylvania, of which state he was a pioneer; his death occurred in 1811. John Albright, son of the above, and father of the subject, was born in Schuylkill county, Pa., in 1792, grew to manhood in his native state and at the age of nineteen entered the army and served with credit in the war of 1812. He held a captain's commission while in the army and for services rendered subsequently received from the government a land grant, which he afterward laid in Wells county, Ind., and Van Wert county, Ohio.
In 1859 John Albright disposed of his interest in Fairfield county, to which part of Ohio he moved about the year 1814 in company with a younger brother and sister, and came to the county of Van Wert, where he purchased a large tract of unimproved land. Many years previously he had become proficient as a veterinary surgeon, and after locating in Van Wert county followed that profession in connection with farming. He was quite successful in his business enterprises and accumulated a comfortable competence, the greater part of which consisted of real estate, which afterward increased greatly in value.
He married, in 1818, Hannah, daughter of Adam Wagoner of Fairfield county, who bore him the following children in the order named: Jacob, John, George, Henry, Lena, Daniel, Isaac and Samuel. Mrs. Albright died in 1836, and later Mr. Albright entered into the marriage relation with Eliza, daughter of Daniel and Hannah Gearheart, to which union were born five children, namely: Eli, Mrs. Catherine Spencer, William, Mrs. Victorine Baltzell and Josiah S. Mrs. Hannah Albright was born about the year 1806, in Fairfield county, where her parents settled in an early day, moving there from Maryland. She was a member of the German Reform church and departed this life on the 5th day of March, 1873. Mr. Albright was also a member of the same denomination and gave liberally of his means to the support of the church and to all other causes tending to advance the moral well-being of the community. A commendable trait of Mr. Albright was his benevolence, and no one in need of assistance ever applied to him in vain. In politics he was an old-line whig, and later a republican. This excellent man was accidentally killed by the falling of a tree in January, 1861.
William Albright, whose name introduces this sketch, is a native of Ohio, born in the county of Fairfield in 1840, being the second son of John and Eliza (Gearheart) Albright, above mentioned. In his boyhood years he attended at intervals such schools as the country at that time afforded, and at the age of seventeen accompanied his parents to Van Wert county, where he assisted his father in clearing the farm and fitting the soil for cultivation. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, to which he has always given his attention, and in which his success has indeed been encouraging, he being at this time the owner of a good farm and a comfortable share of this world's goods. In 1863, in Van Wert county, Mr. Albright was united in marriage with Martha J. Rowland, daughter of John and Ann (Marshall) Rowland--the parents early settlers of this part of the state. To Mr. and Mrs. Albright have been born the following children: Magdalene, Irene, deceased; Lovell, Victorine, deceased; William L., Ferre, Hattie and Charles. Mrs. Albright was born in Van Wert county, September 2, 1845; her
father is a native of the county of Harrison, Ohio, born in the year of 1811, became a resident of the county of Van Wert in 1837, and resided here until 1869, at which time he emigrated to Kansas, where he still lives. Mr. Albright is a practical and successful farmer, a useful citizen of the community, and enjoys the respect of his fellow-man. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and stands high in the local lodge to which he belongs. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by Kristin Vaughn]
FRANCIS M. ALLEN, a successful farmer and well known citizen of Pleasant township, Van Wert county, is a son of Joseph and Nancy J. Allen, natives of Perry county, Ohio. The father was born May 7, 1823, and was descended from an old English family, representatives of which settled in Virginia in an early day, and also in Kentucky, of one or the other of which states the subject's grandfather was a native. Grandfather Allen spent his early life in Virginia, and about 1820 emigrated to Ohio, settling in Perry county, where he followed the occupation of farming, and where he also spent the remainder of his days. He married in Virginia and reared a family of six children, whose names are as follows: George, James, Joseph, Sarah, Betsy and Eliza.
Joseph Allen, father of Francis M., was reared and educated in Perry county, where, early in life, he selected agricultural pursuits as his occupation. He was united in marriage, in March, 1844, to Nancy J. Stultz, daughter of David and Mary (Philson) Stultz, who bore him the following children: Nathaniel S. of Portland, Ore.; Francis M. whose name appears at the head of this sketch; Greenburry W., an attorney of Portland, Ore.; Lydia A., died in childhood; Mary M. and William F., who, at this time, lives on the old home farm. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Allen lived two years in Perry county, and in 1846 moved to the county of Allen, locating on a farm which he had previously purchased. It is a fact worthy of note that Mr. Allen made his first trip to his purchase in Allen county on foot, and erected a small cabin in a dense forest for the reception of his young family, which came later. Mr. Allen was a man of great industry, developed a good farm, and was identified with the agricultural interests of Allen county for a period of eighteen years. Desiring more territory for his increasing family, Mr. Allen, in 1863, sold his farm and moved to the county of Van Wert and purchased a tract of land in Pleasant township, all but a few acres of which was at that time covered with a native forest. He cleared and improved this place until it ranked among the best cultivated farms in Pleasant township, or Van Wert county, and by successful management succeeded in accumulating a reasonable amount of this world's goods. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, to the success of which he contributed liberally of his means, and no man in the community stood higher is the estimation of the people than he. His death, which occurred in December, 1891, was a loss not only to his family and immediate friends, but to the community in which he resided as well.
Mrs. Nancy J. Allen was born February 10, 1825, of Dutch English ancestry, her parents being among the earliest pioneers of Perry county. She was left an orphan at the age of ten years, and afterward made her home with an uncle, George Stultz, until her marriage at the date above mentioned. She is still living, having reached the alloted age of three score and ten years, possesses, in a reasonable degree, her faculties physical and mental, and makes her home with her son on the old homestead in Pleasant township. She is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and has been for many years, and her daily. life exemplifies the religion which she professes.
Francis M. Allen, second son of Joseph and Nancy J. Allen, is a native of Allen county, Ohio, and dates his birth from January 28, 1848. Like that of the majority of farmer boys his early life was uneventful, and he grew to manhood, assisting his father, and attending in the meantime the common schools of his neighborhood. On attaining his majority, he selected agriculture for his occupation and has followed the same with success and financial profit ever since. In October, 1869, he was united in marriage with Mary L. Troup, daughter of Philip and Sarah (Balyeat) Troup, of Van Wert. Mrs. Allen was born September 24, 1851, in Richland county, Ohio, was a true helpmate to her husband, a consistent member of the Baptist church, and died in October, 1875. She was the mother of three children, viz: Ida V., wife Aaron Smith, of Union township; Harriet A., deceased; and Orlin F. Mr. Allen's second marriage was solemnized, in 1886, with Eliza J. Balyeat, daughter of Aaron and Martha (Larue) Balyeat, the union being blessed with the birth of four children: Lawrence Russell, Francis Larue, Harry Earl, and Marietta. The mother of these children was born in Van Wert county, May 23, 1851. (See sketch of Balyeat family.)
In 1876, Mr. Allen purchased his present beautiful home two miles west of the city of Van Wert, where he is living the life of a successful and progressive farmer. He takes an active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of his community, and it is a compliment well deserved to class him with the representative men of the county of Van Wert. Mrs. Allen is an active member of the Baptist church, and with her husband belongs to Pleasant grange, No. 399.
William F. Allen, also a son of Joseph and Nancy J. Allen, was born in Allen county, Ohio, in November, 1860, and received his education in the common schools of the county of Van Wert, which he attended at intervals during the years of his minority. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, has always followed the farmer's vocation, and now resides on the old homestead, which he cultivates, looking after the interest of his mother in her old age. In March, 1881, he married Harriet Sidel, daughter of James and Elizabeth (Juven) Sidel, and his home is brightened by the presence of three children, Claud W., Perry J. J. and Margaret J. Mrs. Allen was born September 24, 1862, in Fairfield county, Ohio. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
HARRISON L. ALLEN, who has carried on a prosperous farm of 120 acres in Liberty township, Van Wert county, Ohio, since 1880, was born in Erie county, Ohio, December 27, 1841. His grandfather, Samuel Allen, was of Scotch descent, was born in Connecticut, was reared a farmer, and on reaching man's estate settled near Oriskany Falls, Oneida county, N. Y., where his son Ransom Allen, the father of our subject, was born December 17, 1813. Ransom Allen there married Laura Reynor, moved to Erie county, Ohio, and was there engaged in farming until his death, which took place in January, 1877, his wife dying October 19, the following year.
Harrison L. Allen was born and reared in Erie county, Ohio, where he attended Milan Normal college, after which he taught school two years. April 19, 1861, he enlisted in company E, Seventh Ohio volunteer infantry, and saw service in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. At Cedar Mountain he sustained a severe flesh wound in his nether left limb, and at Chancellorsville was captured, but was soon exchanged. In the fight at Ringgold, Ga., Mr. Allen, with his regiment, took a most gallant part, thirteen out of fourteen of the officers being killed or wounded, and the slaughter of privates being in proportion. Mr. Allen was also in all the main battles of the famous Atlanta campaign, and was honorably discharged July 6, 1864. Mr. Allen found an opportunity, however, during the civil struggle, to get married, which important event took place October 17, 1863, in Erie county, Ohio, to Statira Quayle, daughter of John and Cordelia (Hollister) Quayle. Mr. Quayle was a shoemaker by trade, had long been identified with the interests of Erie county, Ohio, and on his farm his death took place in March, 1876. On this property, however, his widow still resides. He was a leading Methodist and in politics was a republican. The family of John and Cordelia (Hollister) Quayle consisted of the following children, named in order of birth: William, Ashley (deceased) Cecilia, Catherine, Sophronia, Statira, John, Charles, Francis and James, the last three deceased.
For the first four years after their marriage Mr. and Mr. Allen lived in Iroquois county, Ill., whence they returned to Erie county, Ohio, and then, in 1880, came to Van Wert county and took possession of their present farm, which has since been improved by a farm dwelling and a substantial barn. In politics Mr. Allen is a stanch republican, and in 1884 was elected a county commissioner of Van Wert and gave every satisfaction in the performance of the duties of the office; in 1888 he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the same position.
Mr. Allen is an honored member of the G. A. R. and he and wife are devout members of the Methodist church. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Allen are named Tad E., Earnest R., Frank and Kittie M.—Earnest R. being a successful school teacher. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
RICHARD ALLINGHAM, Jr., a well known contractor and builder of Van Wert, was born in Lancaster, Fairfield county, Ohio, January 26, 1854. His parents, Richard and Anna (Knight) Allingham, were born in Kent, England, the former of May 15, 1808, and the latter in 1812. They were married in 1830, and came to America in 1840, locating in Lancaster, Ohio, and became the parents of twelve children, all of whom are now deceased, with the exception of our subject, and Frank, a brickmason of Van Wert. Richard, the father, was a nurseryman, and as such was an assistant at Lancaster until 1860, when he moved to Campbell county, Ky., where he was employed in his calling until 1881, when he had the misfortune to lose his eyesight, and made his home with his sons in Van Wert until death, September 15, 1895. In religion he was a Presbyterian, and in politics a republican.
Richard Allingham, Jr., was six years old when the family went to Kentucky, where he was reared until he reached the age of seventeen, when he went to Toledo, Ohio, where, for some time, he worked as a brickmason; later he worked at his trade in Defiance, Ohio, and at Portland and at Fort Wayne, Ind. In June, 1874, he came to Van Wert, and here he has since been engaged at his trade and in successfully contracting and building until the present time. August 3, 1882, he married, in Van Wert, Miss Sarah O'Day, who was born in Fayette county, Ohio, June 4, 1858, and is a daughter of James and Nancy (Beatty) O'Day, also natives of this state. The fruit of this union has been five children, viz: William (deceased), Maud, Earl, Richard and Hugh L. Mr. Allingham has made himself very popular since his residence in Van Wert, has built up a good trade, and as a republican has been elected a member of the city council, in which office he is now serving his third! term. He is an active member of the Abenaki tribe, No. 77, Improved Order of Red Men, and in religion he and wife are consistent and devoted members of the Lutheran church. He owns a neat residence at the corner of Walnut and First streets, and he and family are held in high regard by their neighbors, as well as by the community at large. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
DANIEL ALSPACH, deceased, paternal grandfather of Jeremiah J. and Oliver O. Alspach, was born in Berks county, Pa., May 15, 1792, and was of German parentage. At the age of ten years he was brought to Ohio by his parents, who located in Fairfield county, and there he learned the carpenter's trade. December 20, 1814, he married Miss Elizabeth Runkle, who was born in Rockingham county, Va., January 11, 1797, of Virginia parentage, but of German descent. Elizabeth was also brought, when young, to Fairfield county, Ohio, by her parents. To the union of Daniel and Elizabeth were born fourteen children in the following order: Elizabeth, died in infancy; Amos, a retired farmer of Wells county, Ind.; Jesse, deceased; Abraham B., an old settler of Van Wert county, Ohio; Nancy, widow of Jacob Richmond, of Perry county; Christine, deceased; Moses, deceased; Jeremiah, farmer, of Licking county; Henry K., farmer of Perry county; DeLeslie, who died in infancy, Samuel, farmer of Perry county; Joel, Reform minister, of Illinois; Sophia, wife of John Castanian, farmer of Wyandot county, and Daniel, who died in infancy. After his marriage Daniel Alspach settled in Jefferson township, Fairfield county, where he followed his trade as carpenter until 1825, when he bought a farm, which he cleared up from the woods and resided on for five years; in 1830 he sold and moved to Perry county, where he bought another farm, and on this he made his home until his death, which occurred April 5, 1839; his widow survived until June 21, 1878, and both were consistent members of the Reform church. Abraham B. Alspach, one of the old settlers of Ridge township, Van Wert county, and a son of Daniel and Elizabeth Alpach, was born August 28, 1820, in Bloom township, Fairfield county, was reared in Perry county, and June 4, 1846, married Eliza Biemer, a native of the county and of German descent. To this union were born six children, viz: Mary, who died in infancy; Arlo, who died of diphtheria at the age of six years; Clara E., widow of Edward Long and now the wife of John McDonald, a miller of Fairfield county; Viola, wife of William Neel, of Perry county; Mary Eliza, wife of Henry McDonald, a miller of Van Wert, and Daniel H., a farmer of Van Wert county. After his marriage, Abraham B. Alspach farmed until 1883, when he came to Van Wert county and bought his present home. Here his wife died January 6, 1885, and in March of the same year Mr. Alspach married Mrs. Phebe C. (DeCamp) Melchi, daughter of John and Lydia C. (Williams) DeCamp, natives of New Jersey and of French descent. Mrs. Phebe C. Alspach was born in Van Wert county December 2, 1844, and became the mother of three children by her first husband—Frances, Charles and John; and of two children by Mr. Alspach— Abraham Guy, now nine years old, and Bessie Caroline, aged seven years. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
OLIVER O. ALSPACH, manager of John H. Kauke's extensive hardware store, on the northeast corner of Main and Washington streets, Van Wert, Ohio, is a native of Perry county, Ohio, was born November 24, 1857, and is a son of Jesse and Eva (Long) Alspach. The father, Jesse Alspach, son of Daniel Alspach, was also a native of Perry county, born in 1813, was a farmer, and died in Thorn township, Perry county, in 1863, the father of five children, viz: Benjamin, Elizabeth, Jeremiah, Allen and Oliver O. The mother of these children died in May, 1874, a member of the German Reform church, to which her husband also belonged.
Oliver O. Alspach remained on the home farm and attended the schools of the county until 1877, and then passed two years in Delaware college; returning to Perry county, he was employed as a clerk in a hardware store in Thornville until June, 1887, when he went to Lima, Ohio, and clerked in the hardware store of W. K. Boone & Co. until February 6, 1888, and then came to Van Wert, and for one year was manager for the J. H. Kauke Hardware company; he then served as clerk and bookkeeper until the spring of 1892, when he resumed the position of manager of the business, which covers about $40,000 per annum.
The salesroom and warehouse comprise three floors, and the stock consists chiefly of builders' and other heavy hardware, cutlery and glass, and is handled by four salesmen and our subject.
The marriage of Mr. Alspach took place in Perry county, Ohio, October 17, 1882, to Miss Sarah C. Rissler, a native of Fairfield county, Ohio, born September 18, 1864, and a daughter of Thomas J. and Melissa (Martin) Rissler, the fruit of this union being one child—Jesse Raymond—born August 12, 1889. Mr. and Mrs. Alspach are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Politically he is a democrat, and fraternally is a commandery Mason. He is also president of the Fraternal Building & Loan association, has charge of a fine farm of 120 acres in Ridge township, and also of the Kauke mansion, and he has in every respect shown himself to be worthy of the confidence reposed in him. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by Kristin Vaughn]
WILLIAM ALSPACH, one of the well-known citizens and farmers of Washington township, Van Wert county, Ohio, living two miles west from Delphos, in section No. 22, is a native of Ohio, having been born in Marion township, Allen county, June 13, 1851. His parents were Elias and Mary M. (Palmer) Alspach, both natives of America, the father having been born in Fairfield county, Ohio, and the mother in Berkeley county, Virginia. Sebastian Alspach, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Pennsylvania, and was an early settler of Ohio. Elias and Mary M. Alspach were married in Perry county, Ohio, and then came to Allen county, and located in Marion township, about one mile from Delphos. In August, 1851, he moved to Washington township, Van Wert county, where he purchased a quarter of a section of land, the same being the place where our subject now lives, and here lived and followed farming until his death which occurred December 24, 1884, in his sixty-sixth year. His widow is still living, and makes her home with our subject. To these parents eight children have been born, all of whom are now living except next to the eldest. The children were named as follows: Sebastian, now a citizen of Lima; Christian, deceased; Charles, farmer of Washington township, Van Wert county; Christiana, now the wife of G. H. Mallon, of Chicago; Serepta, now the wife of D. S. Carpenter, a farmer of Washington township; William; Mary E., wife of Louis Irick, of Delphos; Lucy, the wife of A. E. Klinger, of Wood county, Ohio.
William Alspach was reared on the farm in Washington township, attended the district schools, and secured a good education. He remained on the home farm until about a year before his father died, and then moved on fifty acres he had purchased, which adjoined the old farm. After his father's death the homestead was sold and our subject bought it in, and then moved back upon it and has since resided there and followed farming. He now owns a fine farm of 157 acres in section No. 22, all under fence and all improved.
Mr. Alspach was first married in 1875 to Mary Clark, who was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, and is the daughter of Emanuel Clark; To this union four children were born, as follows: Valerie, Thomas, Earnest, and Fredick. His first wife died February 26, 1887, and he next married, November 28, 1888, Mrs. Ella Seitz, to which union two children have been born—Marion and Loren. Mr. Alspach has been a leading citizen of this township, and has been quite active. He was for some time engaged in the sawmill and stone quarry business, but has sold out his interests. He is a member of the democratic party, and for four years served as trustee of Washington township, making an able officer. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
HENRY ALTHOEN, the leading hardware merchant of Willshire, Van Wert county, Ohio, was born in Bavaria, Germany, June 2, 1839, a son of Philip and Lucetta (Morvilius) Althoen. Philip Althoen, also a native of Bavaria, was a tailor by trade, and carried on an extensive business in his own country. There were born to his marriage two children, Henry and Philipena, of whom the eldest is our subject. The mother died in her native land, but her father, who had previously crossed the ocean alone for the purpose of selecting a home in the United States for him and family, was seized with yellow fever and died near New Orleans. Both parents were devoted adherents of the Lutheran church.
Henry Althoen, subject of this sketch, attended school in his native country until seventeen years of age, when he came to America, and until 1865 labored as a mechanic and conducted an undertaking business for the purpose of accumulating sufficient money with which to begin his present extensive enterprise, which he established in 1873. He now owns a large brick store building in Willshire, supplied with one of the largest and most complete lines of hardware in the county; in addition to this store, he has two large warehouses, filled with wagons and agriculture implements, as diversified and complete as his hardware stock. The marriage of Mr. Althoen took place, June 29, 1866, to Miss Anna E., daughter of Philip Hill, and to this marriage have been born the following children: Lucetta, Otto and Carl, all deceased; Annie, Minnie, Edward (deceased), Loretta M. and Freddie. In politics Mr. Althoen is strongly democratic. He is now filling his second term as township treasurer, has been a councilman fifteen years, and has filled a number of minor offices. He is liberal in his religious views, while his wife is a consistent member of the Baptist church, which, as well as the other churches, is freely aided by Mr. Althoen in a pecuniary way. Fraternally, Mr. Althoen is a member of lodge No. 43, A. F. & A. M., and also of the Willshire lodge of the I. O. O. F. His residence is one of the handsomest two-story brick dwellings in Willshire, and his surroundings, social and domestic, are all that man can desire. Mr. Althoen is indeed the ''architect of his own fortune," as he was alone and penniless when reaching Cincinnati on his first coming to this country, and his wealth, now summing up to $50,000, has all been gained through the exercises of his own sound judgment, and the practice of industry and economy. He is public spirited and liberal in all things—especially in his contributions to all projects conceived and designed for the advancement of the township and county. As a friend of education he is earnest and sincere, and has seen to it that the members of his own family have had the benefits of all the advantages for instruction available. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
JESSE W. BAIRD, a well known citizen of Van Wert, was born in Beaver my county, Pa., November 11, 1842. His father was James Baird and died in 1872. His mother, Margaret (Warwick) Baird, was born in 1813 and is still living in Jennings township, Van Wert county. Jesse Baird, our subject, when but nine years of age was brought by his father to Jennings township, Van Wert county, where Mr. Baird was reared by one of the pioneers of that township, as at that time there were no roads save those that were blazed through the woods, and not a school-house nor church was in the township. It was here in the woods that Mr. Baird secured his early training in industry and economy, which has guided his steps to a great extent through life. He attended the district schools during the winter seasons, taking the advantage of the best means at hand, and, being of a studious disposition and having a retentive mind, laid by the usual fund of knowledge it was possible to obtain in those days. He worked on his father's farm until June, 1862, when he answered his country's call for troops and enlisted in the Eighty-first Ohio volunteer infantry, and served until peace was declared, taking part in eighteen general engagements, also the siege of Atlanta, and marched with Sherman to the sea and from there through the Carolinas to peace, coming out with three gunshot wounds.
After the war was over Mr. Baird returned to Jennings township and went upon a farm, and has since purchased a farm near Van Wert. On October 23, 1872 he married Mary E. Bush who was born in Fayette county, Ohio, on June 6, 1855 and had come to Jennings township with her parents when she was quite young. Her father R. E. Bush is still living in Jennings township; her mother, Elizabeth (Powell) Bush, died in 1888. After his marriage Mr. Baird continued on his farm until 1877, when he gave way to the allurements of a political career and entered the arena, having been nominated for the office of county recorder on the democratic ticket. After a lively campaign he was elected by a majority of 100. In 1890 he was re-nominated and elected by the next largest majority ever given to any candidate on the democratic ticket in the county. His second term expired in 1893 and he retired from the arena, but still retains his interest in politics. He lives in Van Wert, visiting frequently his fine farm, which is only two miles from town. His family consists of four bright amiable children: Margaret Elizabeth, who is the wife of Frank P. Edson, who was until recently deputy
county auditor and whose sketch will appear elsewhere in this volume; Effie Elmira, Wilda Thurman and James Richard. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
JUDGE ALONZO BAKER, deceased was born in Marion, Ohio, December 31, 1828, and when a child was brought by his parents to Lima, Allen County, Ohio, where he was reared to manhood, when he returned to Marion and was married to a Miss Peters. Soon after his marriage he came to Van Wert (in 1851), and here engaged in the dry-goods business and general trade until the call for volunteers to subdue the late Rebellion, when he entered the service, on the call for one-hundred day men, as major of the One Hundred and Thirty-sixty Ohio national guard (One Hundred and Thirty-second Ohio volunteer infantry). On his return he was appointed collector of internal revenue, which office he held until it was abolished, when he again entered the dry-goods trade, in which he continued for a few years, and then bought an interest in the Van Wert Foundry and Machine works, where he filled the position of book-keeper. He sold his interest in this concern in order to be able to perform the duties pertaining to the office of probate judge, to which he was elected in 1872 and re-elected in 1875, and for which position he was re-nominated some ten days before his demise - the republican party, of which he was a most ardent as well as active member, being convinced, as was the general public, that he was the "right man in the right place." The death of Judge Baker was caused by hemorrhage of the stomach and took place September 9, 1878, at the comparatively early age of forty-nine years, eight months and nine days. He left behind to mourn his loss, a wife and four daughters, beside an innumerable host of friends. Judge Baker was a Lutheran in religion, and fraternally was an Odd Fellow. There was never a whisper of Scandal uttered or breathed by all as a patriotic and useful citizen and an upright judge.
THE BALYEAT FAMILY is of French origin, and the earliest authentic mention of the name is traceable as far back as the year 481, at which time it appears that one Balliet, as originally pronounced, was an officer on the army of King Ludwig of France. The offspring of this Balliet lived in the southern part of France, and many years later the name appears to have been closely interwoven with the history of the Huguenots. Among those who escaped the massacre of St. Bartholomew was one Jacob Balliet, who, with his family and others as unfortunate, but equally as fortunate, was obliged to travel in a single season over 800 miles until they reached a Protestant village by the name of Schaltbaugh, province of Salm, where he found refuge from his relentless persecutors. Here the family lived until the aforesaid province again came under the control of France, when the former massacre was repeated, a number of the Balliets falling victims, while others escaped, making their way to different countries of Europe and to America. As early as the year 1738 Paul and Joseph Balliet, grandsons of the aforesaid Jacob, came to America from the province of Alsace and settled in Pennsylvania, the descendants of the former locating in what was then Whitehall county, and those of the latter in what has since been known as the county of Northumberland.
From the most reliable information obtainable, it appears that the above Josept Balyeat, as the name was afterward spelled, became the progenitor of that branch of the family of the United States to which the families of Van Wert county belongs. One of the direct descendants of Joseph, if not his son, was Leonard Balyeat, who was born in Pennsylvania February 27, 1758, and who reared a family consisting of the following-named children: John, Stephen, Leonard, Daniel, Eve, Joseph, George, Henry, Jonas, Jacob and David. From what can be learned of the Balyeats during the early history of the family in the United States, they all appear to have been men of unusual physical vigor, with strong, well-knit bodies, while their morality and integrity, inherited from a deeply religious and highly honored ancestry, have been reproduced in their descendants down to the present time.
Jonas Balyeat, ninth in order of birth of the above-mentioned children of Leonard Balyeat, was born February 27, 1798, in Pennsylvania, and came west to Ohio as early as the year 1820, settling in Richland county, but seven and a half miles east of Mansfield, where he became a large land owner. He married Catherine Hum, and raised a large family, eighteen children in all, whose names are as follows: David, died in 1892; Jacob, a resident of Van Wert county; Abraham, ex-county treasurer, died shortly after elected to that office; Jonathan, a farmer near Middlebury, Ind.; Sarah, the deceased wife of Philip Troup; Aaron, a retired citizen of Van Wert; Eliza, wife of Aaron Hoover; John, deceased, aged five years; Moses, a resident of La Grange, Ind.; Joseph, deceased; Phoebe, the wife of Philip Troup; Benjamin, who enlisted in the ninety-day service in the late war and died at Point Lookout; Joshua and Caleb, twins, both deceased; Emanuel, farmer in Harrison township; Reuben; Mary, the wife of John Patterson, and Marquis De Lafayette, deceased.
The parents of this large family were well known and highly respected people of Richland county, and for moral worth and the upbuilding of the community, none stood higher. They were both active members of the Baptist church from early life and reared their large 'family under the influence of the church of their choice, and they all followed in later years their early teaching. Mr. and Mrs. Balyeat lived to an extended longevity, and died respectively at the ages of eighty-nine years and eighty years. Mr. Balyeat was a whig in politics and took an active part in the same, .although not an office seeker; he was one of the liberal contributors to all public enterprises, and none took a deeper interest in matters educational than he and his most worthy companion. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
ABRAHAM BALYEAT, deceased, late a popular citizen of Van Wert county, and third son of Jonas and Catherine Balyeat, was born August 22, 1823, in the county of Richland. He was reared to manhood in his native county, attended the country schools and the Granville academy, and in 1846 became a resident of Van Wert county, locating in the township of Harrison, where he purchased eighty acres of land. To his original purchase he made additions from time to time until he became the possessor of over 400 acres, a part of which he afterward divided among his children, retaining for himself a farm of 240 acres which was his home until the time of his death.
Mr. Balyeat was one of the daring spirits who went overland, in 1850, to the gold fields of California, where for two years he sought a fortune in the mines, meeting with only fair success in the venture. Returning to Van Wert county, he resumed the pursuit of agriculture, which he followed with most encouraging results until his death; he also taught school for a number of years, and his success in educational work is attested by the fact of his having been employed for many successive terms in the same locality.
On the 13th of May, 1852, Mr. Balyeat and Sarah Slater, who was born November 26, 1829, in Pennsylvania, entered into the marriage relation, a union that resulted in the birth of the following children: Oscar A., attorney of Van Wert; Mariette, deceased; Leonidas, who lives on the home place; John S., of Kansas; Stephen, traveling salesman; Frank, of Pleasant township; Sherman, business man of Van Wert, member of the mercantile firm of J. F. Sidle & Co.; Charles, salesman in the clothing store of H. Davies, of Van Wert, and Orah, wife of J. A. McCoy. In the above children have been reproduced the many noble traits of their parents, and their lives reflect credit on a family noted so long for its many virtues.
In many respects Abraham Balyeat was much more than an ordinary man, honorable and upright in all his dealings, and as a neighbor and citizen none stood higher in the estimation of the public than he. From his youth he endeavored to shape his life according to the principles of morality, which insure good citizenship, and his example should encourage every aspiring youth to feel that whatever the future has in store, perseverance, with a conscientious regard for truth, will inevitably win a just reward. His life never deviated from the rigid rule of honor that ought to govern every true man; in religion he was a Baptist.
Mr. Balyeat was elected to the office of county commissioner and served for three years, and was also for three years a director of the county infirmary, and was further honored by being elected treasurer of Van Wert county, which office he was not permitted to assume, owing to his death, which occurred six weeks before the time for taking charge of the same. He died suddenly on July 25, 1881. He also served his country during the late Rebellion as second lieutenant in company I of the One Hundred and Thirty-ninth Ohio volunteer infantry.
Since the death of Mr. Balyeat, his widow has managed the estate, which she divided among the children in 1893. She is a woman of most excellent judgment and a devout member of the Baptist church, and her home at this time is in the city of Van Wert. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
JACOB BALYEAT, second son of Jonas and Catherine Balyeat, was born in Richland county, Ohio, April 30, 1821, and there remained until his twenty-third year, assisting his father on the farm and attending such schools as the county afforded, in the meantime leaving the parental fireside; he went to the city of Mansfield, where he remained two months, and while there learned the shoemaker's trade. He married, in May, 1844, Frances Thomas, daughter of Michael and Elizabeth Thomas. Subsequently about 1847, Mr. Balyeat moved his family to Van Wert county, settling in Pleasant township, where he opened a farm.
Mr. and Mrs. Balyeat knew not what it was to eat the bread of idleness, and the first few years in their new home were fraught with hardships and privations, before which many people of less determination would have shrunk appalled. Mr. Balyeat states that he was obliged to go a long distance in order to obtain breadstuffs, beside encountering many other difficulties incident to life in a new country of which the present generation has no adequate conception. With an energy born of a determination to succeed, he prosecuted his labors vigorously and in due season saw the reward of his persistent toil in a beautiful country home, where he is passing the declining years of a long and useful life. Mr. Balyeat's integrity has never been questioned, and his high sense of honor and fair treatment of his fellow-men have for years been proverbial in the county, Mr. and Mrs. Balyeat, have a family consisting of the following children: Jonas; Philip; Amanda Ellen, wife of S. M. Gilliland; Melvin; Michael T.; Mary L., wife of Greenberry Sommerset; Anna, wife of Samuel Gilliland; Frances, who married J. J. Vorp; Luman, and Viola deceased. The parents of Mrs. Balyeat, Michael and Elizabeth Thomas, had twelve children namely; Mrs. Sarah Balyeat, deceased; Jonathan; Elizabeth, deceased; Philip; Michael; George, deceased; Nancy; George; John; Katie, deceased; Mary; and Isaac, deceased. Both of above parents died in Ashland county.
Mr. Balyeat is a republican and owns 178 acres of land in Ridge township, where he located in 1861.
MOSES BALYEAT, a representative citizen of La Grange, Ind., and the ninth child of Jonas Balyeat, was born November 27, 1831, in Richland county, Ohio, where he grew to manhood. He was reared upon his father's farm, and received his education in the common schools, remaining under the parental roof until his majority. Then he began life on his own account as a farmer, having chosen that as his life calling. He married, in July, 1852, Miss Eliza Hershey, daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Harnly) Hershey, both of German extraction.
Mr. Balyeat soon after his marriage removed to Ashland county, Ohio, remaining there until the spring of 1865, when he located in Van Wert county. Late in the fall of the same year he removed to Elkhart county, Ind., purchasing land near Middlebury and there he resided until the spring of 1870, when he sold his land and located near LaGrange, where be followed agricultural life until 1887. Then he sold his farm and removed to LaGrange, where for the past six years he has been court bailiff and janitor of the court house.
Early in life Mr. Balyeat identified himself with the Baptists, and ever since then has been a leading member of his church, that is for more than fifty years. His wife was also a member of the same church for many years, having joined in 1858. Mr. Balyeat cast his first presidential vote, and last democratic vote, for Franklin Pierce, in 1852, having since that time been a consistent and strong republican. He also voted for Jonn Sherman in his first race for congress. Thus it may almost be said that he has been a life-long republican.
Mr. and Mrs. Balyeat became the parents of six daughters, viz: Lydia R., wife of Samuel B. Smith; Hulda H., deceased wife of D. D. D. Free; Catherine G., wife of William Wert; Mary, wife of J. W. Pownall; Lida; and Grace M., wife of J. L. Wallace. The mother of these children died June 27, 1892, aged sixty years. Mr. Balyeat is a good citizen, and a charitable, kind-hearted man, and has the respect and good will of all that know him.
Jonathan Balyeat, son of Jonas Balyeat, was born in Richland county, Ohio, in 1823, and was reared to manhood on the home farm. His education was obtained in the schools of the day, and by private reading and study. Upon attaining his majority he made the wise choice of agriculture as his life work, and while yet a young man, married Miss Margaret Gates, of Richland county, to which marriage there were born eight children, as follows: Alcesta, John W., Catherine, Marion, Anna, Walter A., Edmond A. and Frank. Mr. Balyeat removed to Van Wert county in 1848, thus becoming one of the early pioneers of that county. There he resided until 1865, when he removed to Elkhart county, Ind., where he has lived ever since, and where he has long been known as one of the leading citizens of his township and county. In politics he has always been a republican and in religion a Baptist, being looked upon by his fellow churchmen as a pillar in the church.
OSCAR ADDISON BALYEAT, attorney at law and ex-mayor of Van Wert, is the son of Abraham and Sarah Balyeat and was born in the county of Van Wert April 30, 1853. His early school experience embraced the studies pertaining to the educational course prescribed by the common schools, and at the age of nineteen he began teaching. His success in educational work is fairly evinced by his frequent employment as instructor in the same locality, and for a period of eleven years he had charge of schools in his own and neighboring townships. In March, 1882, Mr. Balyeat became assistant in the Patrons' warehouse in Van Wert, and six months later was promoted superintendent of the same, discharging the duties of the latter position most efficiently for one year. In October, 1883, he was chosen deputy clerk of the Van Wert courts, in which capacity he continued over six years, or until the spring of 1890.
In April, 1890, Mr. Balyeat was elected, on the republican ticket, mayor of Van Wert, defeating his competitor by the largest majority ever received by a candidate for that office in the city, and so ably did he discharge his official functions that, at the ensuing election, he was reelected to the same position, which he filled most acceptably to all concerned for a period of four years. On leaving the mayoralty, Mr. Balyeat began the study of law in the office of H. G. Richie, of Van Wert, and is now giving his entire attention to the legal profession, in which he has already made commendable progress. He has always taken an active interest in politics and is one of the republican leaders in Van Wert county. He is a shrewd politician, and the success of his party in several hotly contested campaigns has been largely due to his advice and skillful management, and at this time he holds the responsible position of chairman of the county central committee.
Personally Mr. Balyeat is quite popular and he has been solicitous to do everything within his power to promote the best interests of the place of his residence; he is regarded as a useful citizen and esteemed as a clever, genial gentleman. Fraternally he belongs to the K.of P., in which he has held high official position; he is also prominently identified with the I. O. R. M.
Mr. Balyeat was married November 16, 1882, to Lottie E. Redrup, daughter of James and Ann (Phelps) Redrup, of Richland county, Ohio. Mrs. Balyeat was born in the county of Richland, August 20, 1862, is the mother of three children—Ira G., Eva, and Forest S.—and is prominent in society work, both in the church and lodge. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by FOFG]
S. J. BALYEAT, of Pleasant township, Van Wert county, was born in Ashland county, Ohio, in 1851, a son of David and Sarah (Thomas) Balyeat) the former a native of Pennsylvania, and a son of Jonas Balyeat, whose genealogy is to be found with that of the Balyeat family, in adjacent parts of this volume.
David Balyeat, eldest son of Jonas, was reared a frontier farmer and was educated in the schools of Richland county, Ohio. In 1841 he married Sarah Thomas, and to this union were born the following children: Lavina, who died in infancy; Elizabeth, wife of N. S. Allen, of Oregon; Reuben, of Oklahoma; S. J., subject of this sketch; Alfred I., on the home farm; Emma, deceased wife of Mr. Langthon Wiseman, of Van Wert county, Ohio; Clinton and Addison, both deceased. After marriage David Balyeat lived for ten years on a farm he had purchased in Ashland county, and was esteemed a highly useful citizen as well as successful farmer; in 1852 he sold his place and came to Van Wert county and purchased a farm in Pleasant township (on which his son, Alfred L., still makes his home), on which he lived and labored until his death, which occurred November 9, 1891, being followed to the grave by his estimable wife February 17, 1894. In politics Mr. Balyeat was a vigorous republican, by which party he was elected to nearly all the local offices within its gift, and he was ever faithful and upright in the performance of every duty. In religion, both Mr. and Mrs. Balyeat were members of Baptist church, and their lives were consistent with their professions. Mr. Balyeat was one of the progressive and enterprising citizens of his time and had the confidence and esteem of all who knew him, and his work tells the story of a well-spent life.
S. J. Balyeat, like his ancestors, was reared to agricultural pursuits, and began his school studies in a log school-house, and continuing his lessons until they were terminated in the modern frame that replaced the old log structure. His marriage took place, in 1878, to Mary Leslie, daughter of George and Nancy (Henderson) Leslie, and born in Van Wert county, in 1857; here she became a successful and popular school-teacher for four years previous to her marriage. To this union have been born five children, viz: Carl, who died in infancy; Vernon, Clyde, Georgia Glee and Doyt. Mr. and Mrs. Balyeat are both devout members of the Baptist church, in which Mr. Balyeat is more than ordinarily interested, and in politics Mr. Balyeat is a stanch republican.
In 1882 Mr. Balyeat purchased his present home in Pleasant township, where he is a prominent and successful farmer and where he and family are regarded as among the best and most useful and respected residents of the county.
Alfred I. Balyeat, the third son born to David and Sarah Balyeat, was born February 18, 1854, was educated in the county schools and at Ada, Ohio, and for two years was himself a school-teacher. In 1879 he married Sivella M. Snyder, who was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, November 19, 1858, a daughter of Fred and Margaret (Myres) Snyder, and this union was blessed with two children, Dennis and Gertrude. Fred Snyder, the father of Mrs. Balyeat, was a native of Pennsylvania, and in 1865 brought his family to Van Wert county and settled in Harrison township, where he still resides. His daughter Sivella was reared in strict accordance with the Baptist faith, and was married to Mr. Balyeat in her twenty-second year. This lady died February 9, 1888, deeply mourned by her family and friends, and in 1891 Mr. Balyeat married Sarah Smith, daughter of Peter and Catherine (Stucker) Smith, and this union has resulted in the birth of one child—Viola May. The mother of the babe was born in Van Wert county, January 1, 1864, her parents being natives of Holmes county, Ohio, but early settlers of Van Wert county. Both Mr. and Mrs. Balyeat are members of the Baptist church, in which they take a deep interest and for which they do much active work. In politics Mr. Balyeat is a strong republican and works hard for its success. He is a member of grange No. 399, and has all his life been identified with agricultural interests, and all his life also has been passed an the old homestead, with the exception of three years following his marriage. His social standing is unsurpassed by any other resident of his township. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
A. J. BROWN, a prominent citizen of Van Wert, and an ex-soldier of the Union army, was born June 8, 1845. He is a son of John Brown, who was born in 1810, near Wheeling, Va. (now W. Va.), and at an early age learned the blacksmith trade, at which he worked for several years. He was a soldier in the war with Mexico. In 1830 he was married to Miss Jerusha Symcox, of Ohio. In this same year he settled in Medina county, Ohio, where he still followed his trade, that of a blacksmith, with most gratifying success. He and his wife were the parents of the following children: Peter, Louisa J., George W., Jefferson, Rauslina, Benjamin, Nelson, A. J., R. R., and Harrison - six of whom are dead. All were married but three. Those that are living are as follows: Peter, Louisa, J. A. J., R. R., and Harrison. John Brown was a democrat in politics, and he was a member of the Christian church. He was a hard-working, honest and successful man, and at the time of his death, in 1855, he left his family in comfortable circumstances. His wife survived until 1886.
A. J. Brown, the subject of this sketch, was born in Medina county, Ohio, and during his earlier life worked at general labor of various kinds. He was a patriot when the war of the Rebellion broke out, and enlisted, October 15, 1861, in company G, Ninth Michigan volunteer infantry. His fate was to see much hard fighting, and to suffer wounds at the hands of the enemy several different times. He fought in the battle of Pittsburg Landing, April 3 - 7, 1862; of Murfreesboro, Tenn., July 13, 1862; Lavergne, Tenn., December 27, 1862; Stone River, December 29-31, 1862; Chickamauga, September 17-20, 1863; Missionary Ridge, November 25, 1863; Rocky Faced Ridge, May 8, 1864; Resaca, May 14, 1864; Dallas, Ga., May 27, 1864; Chattahoochee river, July 5-6, 1864; siege of Atlanta, July 22, and August 25, 1864, and Jonesboro, Ga., September 1, 1864. At Pittsburg Landing he was wounded by a musket ball, which he still carries in his body, and on August 25, before Atlanta, he was wounded in the thigh. On July 26, 1864, he was wounded in the breast, and on August 13 he was sent to the hospital, where he remained seven months. He was discharged at Jackson, Mich., December 19, 1865, and is now receiving a pension of $10 per month.
After the war was over he located in Van Wert county, where he learned the carpenter's trade, which he has followed ever since with unusual success. He was married in December, 1866, to Miss Mary Brenner, of Van Wert, Ohio, by whom he has had the following children: William, Frank, Stella, Frederick, Kate, Eddie, Harry, Ordie, Sylvia, Thomas. All of this family are living but William, and all are single but Stella, who married J. Edwards. Mr. Brown is a republican in politics and a Presbyterian in religion. He is a man of great liberality in his views, and is charitable with his means. He is living in a beautiful home in Van Wert, surrounded by many warm-hearted friends.
Mary A Brenner, wife of Mr. Brown, was born July 10, 1845. Her father, George Brenner, was born in Pennsylvania, and at an early age learned the cooper trade, which trade he followed during his entire life. He married Elizabeth Snyder, of Pennsylvania, by whom he had the following children: Sarah, Kittie, Emanuel, deceased; Lydia, and Mary A. The latter two are married and have families. Mr. Brenner died April 9, 1870, and Mrs. Brenner died in 1877. She was a member of the Lutheran church, and was a most excellent woman in every way. Mr. Brenner was also a member of the Lutheran church, was a republican in politics, and was a very liberal and charitable man. Mary A. Brenner was born in Holmes county, Ohio, but was living in Wayne county when she met and married Mr. Brown. She is a member of the Lutheran church, and is a most excellent woman, wife and mother. Mr. Brown is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of the Grand Army of the Republic, and of the Patriotic Order Sons of America. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
CARL H. BROWN, Deputy postmaster of Van Wert, Ohio, is a son of Norman K. and Jennie (Sims) Brown, and was born in the town of Van Wert, Ohio, June 17, 1864. Maj. Norman K. Brown was born in Pennsylvania, but early in life was brought to Van Wert, by his parents, Samuel S. and Eleanor (Smith) Brown, who engaged in the keeping of the Pioneer hotel; Norman assisted in the post-office and was also interested in the mercantile business for years; he entered the army as a private and was promoted to the rank of major, before discharged, and after the Civil war was closed became one of the editorial staff of the Van Wert Times, a position which he held at the time of his death, in October, 1881. His marriage to Jennie Sims took place at Van Wert and by this union he became the father of five children. The mother of these children died in 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Brown were quite prominent in the social circles of Van Wert, and Mr. Brown was well known among the leading business men. He was a gentleman of more than ordinary intelligence and information, and was an honored member of the Masonic fraternity, the I. O. R. M. and the I. O. O. F.
Carl H. Brown, our subject, was but six years of age when he lost his mother, when he was placed under the fostering care of his maternal grandmother until he was twelve years old; he then went to live with T. B. Barrick, at Daisy, a small county post-office in Van Wert county, and while with this gentleman acted as his assistant in the post-office from 1878 and 1883, when he returned to Van Wert and here was employed as clerk for a year; for another year he was engaged in teaching school; then clerked for Mr. Barrick next acted as deputy postmaster under John Shaw for three years; then went into the grocery business and at the end of two years sold his interest and accepted a position as traveling salesman for the Central School Supply house of Chicago, with whom he remained until 1894, in the meantime having been rapidly promoted to the front as one of the firm's most expert salesman; he then again became deputy postmaster of Van Wert, with J. E. Montgomery. The public has seldom and as such he enjoys the confidence of all with whom he is brought in contact.
The marriage of Mr. Brown took place in Van Wert, in August, 1885, to Miss Emma G. Longfellow, daughter of Rev. J. M. Longfellow, two children being the result of the union - Donald V. and Naomi Blanche. The parents are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics the father is a democrat. They reside in their neat residence on Middle street and are surrounded by a pleasant circle of friends and acquaintances, by whom they are held in the highest esteem. Mr. Brown is a pleasant gentleman and an obliging official, well qualified by experience for the duties of the important position he holds, in which he has given entire satisfaction to the public since his incumbency, through familiarity with all its intricacies and details. As a citizen and official, Mr. Brown stands at the head of Van Wert's most honored residents. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
PROF. ELLSWORTH BROWN, principal of the high school of Ohio City, and son of Benjamin and Lucinda Brown, was born near Willshire, Van Wert county, Ohio, June 4, 1866. The father was born in what is now Morrow county, then a part of the county of Richland, December 25, 1837, being the son of Payne T. Brown, a native of New York, who immigrated to Ohio about 1830, settling in Richland county. Payne T. Brown was of Scotch descent, a republican in politics, and for many years an active member of the Christian church. He married Elizabeth Vanator, and reared the following children: Henry; Benjamin; Mary Emeline, wife of Henry Trimby; Sarah, widow of Thomas Stone; George W., Rebecca, widow of George Dittmer; Martin; Payne T.; Susan, and Thomas. The mother of these children is still living, at a ripe old age; the father departed this life in 1872.
Benjamin Brown, father of the subject, was reared a farmer, and in 1859 married Lucinda Major, daughter of Joshua and Harriet (Gulick) Major, a union blessed with the birth of the following children: Rosa, deceased wife of A. A. Ayres; George W., a farmer, residing in Tennessee; Benjamin, professor of elocution and oratory at Bethany college, Va.; Ellsworth, the subject of this sketch; Inez, a teacher in Willshire and Maud, who is also engaged in school work. Benjamin Brown and wife are well known residents near the town of Willshire, where they are highly respected. Mr. Brown served in the late war, in the Forty-second Ohio infantry, until the close of the same, his period of enlistment having extended from 1863 to the latter part of 1865. In politics he was originally a republican, but of late years has been a supporter of the prohibition party. He and wife are members of the Christian church.
Joshua Major, father of Mrs. Benjamin Brown, settled in Adams county, Ind., when a young man, and lived there until 1874, when he emigrated to Henry county, Mo., where his death occurred in 1886; his wife, Harriet Gulick, daughter of John Gulick, was born in Romney, Va., and became the mother of the following children: John E., Lucinda, Melissa, Charles, Mrs. Eliza Kilmer, Mrs. Belle Curtis, Dalton, Henry, Davis W. and Mrs. Emma Alfter.
The immediate subject of this sketch laid the foundation of his literary education in the common schools of Willshire township, and attended two years at the Van Wert high school, and at the early age of sixteen began teaching, his first term being in district No. 4, Willshire township. Subsequently, he taught in Pleasant township and Ohio City, three years in the latter place, and then, actuated by a laudable desire to increase his literary knowledge, entered the Western Ohio Normal school, from which he was graduated at the end of two years. On completing his course, Prof. Brown was chosen a member of the faculty of the aforesaid institution, but continued in that capacity for only a limited period, resigning in 1889, in order to engage in educational work in the south. He accepted a professorship in an academy at Oak Grove, Ga., and taught successfully for less than a year, and then resigned to accept the superintendency of the public schools of Flovilla, Ga., which position he retained for four consecutive terms.
On the 7th day of August, 1890, Prof. Brown entered into the marriage relation with Miss Calla Hoffman, daughter of Christian and Margaret Hoffman. (For sketch of Mrs. Brown's parents, see biography of Christian Hoffman.) Mrs. Brown was born December 26, 1868, in Van Wert county, attended the country schools, and later graduated from the Western Ohio normal at Middlepoint, Ohio, completing her course in 1891, after her marriage. Mrs. Brown taught in the Ohio City schools before her marriage and for two years was assistant to her husband in the high school in Flovilla. Prof. Brown and Mrs. Brown have three children - Minnie Lea, Fawn and Allen DeWitt. Mr. Brown was elected superintendent of the Ohio City schools in September, 1892, and has discharged the duties of this position in the capable and most satisfactory manner ever since. In August, 1894, he was appointed member of the county board of school examiners for three years, and since that time has done much toward supplying the schools of the county with a superior class of teachers. He is an enthusiast in his profession, keeps fully abreast of the times, and has before him a most promising future. He is a member of the Methodist church, in which he holds the office of trustee, and in politics is a republican. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
JOHN B. BROWN, one of the most enterprising farmers of Pleasant township, Van Wert county, Ohio, was born in Miamisburg, Montgomery county, December 7, 1849, and is a son of William and Mary (Baum) Brown. William Brown, father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania February 14, 1810, of German descent; he was reared a farmer and also learned the saddler's trade; about 1833 he became a boatman on the Schuylkill river, and four years later came to Ohio, located in Montgomery county, where he worked by the month in a distillery, and about 1838 married Mary Baum, who was born in the county named October 26, 1821, of Pennsylvania-Dutch parentage. Her parents settled in Montgomery county, Ohio, about the year 1820, where the father bought and cleared up a farm, and later ran a distillery until his death, in 1849, a member of the Lutheran church and in politics a democrat. He had served in the war of 1812 under Gen. Anthony Wayne, and was in every sense a useful citizen.
John Baum, maternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Maryland in 1792, a son of Jacob and Margaret (Carsley) Baum, also natives of Maryland and parents of the following children: Martin, who ran the first steamboat on the Ohio river; Jacob, John, Joseph, George, Betsey, Mrs. Polly Roberts, Mrs. Barbara Smith, and Mrs. Susan Smith - all now deceased. Jacob Baum, father of subject's mother, came to Ohio in 1800, located in Hamilton county but made several removals, and finally settled in Montgomery county, 1806, and entered 530 acres of land, receiving deed from President Monroe in 1813. His death took place in 1832, a member of the Reform church. John Baum was but six years of age when brought to Ohio, was reared a farmer, and married Rebecca Elzer, daughter of Andrew and Margaret (Kimmel) Elzer, and a native of Pennsylvania, and to this union were born five children, viz: Mrs. Catherine Hoff, deceased; Mary, mother of subject; Mrs. Sarah McDowell, deceased; George, of Pleasant township, and Ellen, wife of Henry Hoffman, farmer of Montgomery county, Ohio. John Baum had also been a soldier under Gen. Wayne at Greenville and Fort Recovery. After his marriage he passed the remainder of his life on his farm near Miamisburg, dying in 1849; his widow died in 1865. The children born to the marriage of William Brown and Mary Baum were six in number and were named as follows: Catherine, wife of E. Summers, of Montgomery county, Ohio; Martin, in Van Wert; Sarah, deceased; John B., subject of this sketch; Mrs. Amos Dilts, of Van Wert, and George, of Montgomery county. William Brown died in Brookville, Ohio, in November, 1886, a member of the Lutheran church, an Odd Fellow, and in politics a democrat.
John B. Brown, the subject of this sketch, was educated in the common schools of Montgomery county and reared to farming. June 1, 1881, he married Henrietta Eckfeld, daughter of John and Catherine (Gehres) Eckfeld, the former of whom was born in Germany in 1823, learned the carpenter's trade, was married in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, about 1851; Catherine Gehres was born in Germany November 19, 1828, came to Wayne county, Ohio, when eight years old, arriving with her parents, after having passed ninety-eight days on the ocean, and is now the mother if six children, viz; Elizabeth, wife of Martin Brown; Abraham, of Fostoria; Lewis, deceased at seven years of age; Henrietta, wife of our subject; Esther, wife of M. H.. Standish, and John. Henrietta Eckfeld was born in Harrison township, Van Wert county, Ohio, and was educated in the union school. She has borne her husband five children, as follows: Catherine, in 1883; William, January 13, 1886; Elizabeth, June 1, 1889; Leah, March 2, 1891, and Carl (deceased), August 7, 1894. John Eckfeld was a soldier in the Civil war; he was a Freemason, and died June 6, 1889. John B. Brown, at the time of his marriage, returned to Montgomery county, remained until the following fall, then moved to Marion, Ind., where he farmed until February, 1883, when he purchased his present home, which is now one of the finest farms in the township. Mr. Brown is very prominent as an Odd Fellow, in politics is a democrat, and is highly respected as a citizen and neighbor. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
MARTIN BROWN, of the firm of Brown & Barrick, Van Wert, Ohio, is the eighth child of Payne T. and Elizabeth (Vanator) Brown. Payne T. Brown was born in the state of New York. Upon reaching majority he followed the tide of emigration and came west, settling in Morrow county, Ohio. Here he entered a tract of eighty acres of land, made a clearing, and sowed and reaped and by frugality acquired in competency and reared his family. In politics he was an old-line whig, and died, honored and respected, in October, 1872. His widow is a native of Ohio, a daughter of James Vanator, one of the early pioneers of Morrow county, and still resides upon the old homestead, loved and respected by all who known her, at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. To the union of this worthy couple were born twelve children, as follows: Mary; Sarah A., wife of Thomas Stone; Henry, deceased; Benjamin; Emeline, wife of Henry Timby; Rebecca, widow of George Doltmer; George W.; Martin; Payne; Susanna; Marion, deceased, and Thomas, deceased.
Martin Brown the subject of this biography, was born on his father's farm in Morrow county, Ohio, June 19, 1844. He received such education as could be obtained in a district school in the early pioneer days. While still in his teens, he left the paternal roof and sought a change in Van Wert county. Here he worked for a time on a farm owned by his father, near Willshire. On reaching his majority, he was employed as clerk for some yeas in Wilshire, and later he located near Rockford, on a farm.
In the year 1875 he settled in Van Wert and established himself in the livery business, which he carried on successfully until 1881. In 1883 he located in Willshire where he established and conducted a general store for a considerable time, when he disposed of his business, and engaged in the agricultural implement trade until 1892. In this year he established his present livery business. His first wife was Mrs. Frank Work, who died in 1873. Two children were born of this union, and both died in infancy. His second marriage occurred, in 1877, with Miss Maud Graham. She died in 1882. For his third wife Mr. Brown espoused Miss Hattie Parks. To this marriage have been born the following family: Carl, Maude, Ora, one who died in infancy and Coil. In his political views Mr. Brown is a republican. He is also a member in good standing of Van Wert lodge, No. 218, F. and A. M. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
ABRAHAM BURCAW, an old settler and a successful farmer of Ridge township, Van Wert county, is a native of Millville, Butler county, Ohio, born March 21, 1825, and one of the nine children of William and Hannah (Kitchen) Burcaw, viz: Margaret, wife of William Bealer; Ellen, deceased wife of the late William Johnson; George, who was a soldier in the Mexican war and also in the war of the Rebellion, and who died of lung fever after the close of the latter war; Abraham, the subject of this sketch; Sarah, wife of James Smith, of Butler county; Hannah, married to Scott Inlow; John, of Butler county, and two that died in infancy. The parents of both ended their days in Butler county.
Abraham Burcaw began working out while yet a lad, receiving as compensation his board and clothing. He had been able to save a little money, however, by the time he was married, September 18, 1852, to Miss Sarah Ann Smelser, who was born October 15, 1831, a daughter of Abraham and Julia (Howard) Smelser, natives of Virginia, who came to Ohio and located in Butler county after the birth of their third child, but died in Tippecanoe county, Ind., whither they had removed rather late in life. Their family comprised the following-named children: Caroline, wife of Adam Kissinger; Louis; Robert, deceased; Sarah Ann, now Mrs. Burcaw; Jessie killed by a falling tree at the age of nine years; Elizabeth wife of William Dill; Abraham, of Mercer county, Ohio; Pleasant, married, and Jemima, twin sister of Pleasant and widow of George Johnson; Nancy Jane, wife of Aaron Sellenberger; Joseph, of Topeka, Kans.; John of Kansas, and Hannah, wife of William Goodwin. In 1856 Abraham Burcaw, with his wife and two children, came to Van Wert county and located on a farm across the line from Delphos, Allen county, on which he resided for eight years, and then moved to York township, Van Wert county, where he lived until 1874, when he bought his present farm, part of which is situate in Ridge township and part in York township. He has sub-divided much of his land, distributing several fine farms among his children, and still owns a farm in Ridge township and sixty acres in York township. His children were born and named in the following order: Robert; Sarah Elizabeth, wife of Sylvester Palmer; William Lewis; Mary Jane, wife of William Walters; Delilah, who died in childhood; Amy Caroline, who died an infant; Martha Ellen, wife of William Mager; Abraham Lincoln; Amos Allen and Cary Franklin - ten in all. Mrs. Burcaw has been a consistent member of the Lutheran church since girlhood, and has trained her children well in morality; Mr. Burcaw has made a success of agriculture, and has won many sincere and warm friends since his residence in Ridge township. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
HENRY BUTLER, one of the most enterprising citizens of Van Wert, Ohio, is a native of England, was born February 12, 1839, near Newark Nottinghamshire, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Kirk) Butler, both natives of the same shire, where they were married. John Butler, from 1845 until his death, was a dealer at Manchester in grain, flour, produce, etc., and was a well educated gentleman. He was a Methodist in his religion and in politics was a liberal, and took great interest in all public affairs. They were the parents of nine children, named as follows: John; George, deceased; Henry, the subject of this sketch; Edwin, Elizabeth, William, Thomas and two that died young.
Henry Butler was but ten years of age when he left his native land in company with an uncle, William Clayworth, and July 3, 1849, landed in New York, but shortly afterward came to Ohio, and until October resided in Zanesville, when the two came to Van Wert and remained together until our subject reached the age of eighteen years, although during this interval our subject had passed a year or two with a cousin in Huntington county, Ind. On his final settlement in Van Wert, Henry Butler was employed in railroading until the breaking out of the late Civil war, when he enlisted, April 17, 1861, in company E, Fifteenth Ohio volunteer infantry, for three months, and after the expiration of his term returned to Van Wert and engaged in handling cooperage until 1863, when he enlisted in company K, Eighty-eighth Ohio volunteers, under Capt. W. T. Davis, for the term of three years, or during the war. He was assigned to guard duty at Camp Chase, where he remained until his honorable discharge in August, 1865, and again returned to Van Wert, where he became connected with Senator Meredith in the manufacture of staves and heading, though in a short time J. S. Brumback bought out the interest of Mr. Meredith, and the firm became H. Butler & Co., and from August, 1865, until 1869, there was in interchange of several partners. In the last-named year the business was closed at Van Wert, and in 1890 Mr. Butler transferred the factory to Celina, Mercer county, Ohio, where, in the partnership with A. L. Doran, he turns out from 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 staves per annum and heading in proportionate quantities. Mr. Butler owns much valuable real estate in the city of Van Wert, and also property in Ohio City, which town was laid out by himself and J. S. Brumback, the banker, and Lester Patterson.
Mr. Butler is a republican in politics and cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. He has served his fellow citizens of Van Wert as councilman for two years, was one of the water-works trustees, and has been a member of the park commissioners since the organization of the board; he was also appointed city treasurer in January, 1895. He was one of the promoters of the Cincinnati, Jackson & Mackinaw railroad, and with J. S. Brumback, J. M. C. Marble and Lester Patterson, took the contract for building the first ten miles of the road, of which he became the president in 1879, and retained the position three years. Mr. Butler is also secretary at Van Wert for the Manitou Beach association, on Devil's Lake, Mich.
Devil's Lake is a body of the purest water, five miles in length by two in breadth. It has an average depth of twenty-five feet; its greatest depth is about ninety feet. At Manitou Beach the increase in depth is very gradual, so that - and more especially as the bottom of the lake here is of clear white sand - the Beach is a favorite bathing place. Even children may bathe with safety, and boat to their hearts' content. The water of the lake is supplied not by surface drainage, but by a number of springs, some of them very large, in the bottom of the lake. There is an outlet but no inlet. It is, in fact, a genuine "spring lake" of such pure and clear water, that the fisherman sees the white sand gleaming fifteen feet below his canoe, as it rises and falls with the waves. The lake abounds in fish, such as black bass, perch and pickerel; and in both spring and fall is frequented by large numbers of wild ducks. Wild geese also are to be found on it in season; and quail and pheasants are common in the surrounding country.
MANITOU BEACH is at the southwestern end of Devil's Lake, at the point where the main line of the Cincinnati, Jackson & Mackinaw railroad touches the lake, and lies between the railroad and the famous grove at Manitou Beach. Its obvious advantages led to is being selected as the site for a summer village in 1887. In 1888 sufficient land for the purposes was obtained and this new village was laid out carefully. No special effort has been made to sell the lots, the syndicate preferring to wait, for a short time, the effect of the growing popularity of Devil's Lake. In June of 1889 the village contained but three houses and now about forty, of which twenty-five are tasteful cottages, built by those whom the local reputation of Devil's Lake at once attracted when the most desirable part of it became easily accessible. The streets of the town, already graded, are sixty-six and 100 feet in width, and are lined with shade trees. The land rolls slightly, affording easy, natural drainage, and a number of charming sites for cottages. The railway depot, telegraph and express officers are within easy walk of all the cottages. Of this delightful village, as has been intimated, Mr. Butler is the founder, A. L. Doran, of Celina, holding a half interest.
Mr. Butler was first married, March 1, 1866, at Van Wert to Elizabeth Fouty, a native of Marion county, Ohio, and a daughter of Isaac and Grace Fouty, and the fruits of this union were two children - Edwin V. and Emma M. Mrs. Butler was called to her heavenly home in March, 1882. For his second mate Mr. Butler chose Mrs. Eva M. Clark, daughter of Dr. William Smith. Mr. Butler is a Mason of the thirty-second degree and socially he is the center of an extended circle of acquaintances. In 1872 he made a trip to England on a visit to his old home, but soon returned more favorably impressed with his home in the new world than ever before. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Tr. by G.T. Transcription Team]
WALLACE ABIJAH JOHNSON
A resident of Colorado since 1889, Wallace A. Johnson, of Saguache county, has during the last fifteen years been actively engaged in the various industries carried on in the locality of his residence, and has shown himself to be a far-seeing and resourceful man, never without employment of importance, and always at the front in projects for the improvement of the region and the advantage of its people. He has capacity for carrying on affairs of magnitude, and in a sparsely settled region, as this was when he came here, such men are of especial value. Mr. Johnson was born near Van Wert, Ohio, on September 13, 1859, and is the son of Joseph H. and Mary A. (Goodwin) Johnson, who were born and reared in Ohio and lived in Iowa form 1861 to 1889, part of the time in Polk county and the remainder at Garden Grove in Decatur county. In April 1889, they came to Colorado, and until 1892 lived in Saguache county, then moved to Rio Grande county, where they resided eight years, returning to Saguache in 1900. The father was a farmer and school teacher in Ohio, but in Iowa and Colorado he gave his whole attention to ranching and raising stock. He is an unwavering Republican in politics, and a progressive man in all matters of local improvement. Of the nine children in the family Alice and Frederick have died, and Wallace A., Mrs. Charles S. Dick, Frank, Flora, Mrs. Andrew Gemmill, Davis B. and Nerva are living. Wallace obtained his education in the public schools and in two terms at the graded schools of Iowa Center. The necessity for his labor on the homestead limited his opportunities, but enabled him to form early in life habits of industry and self-reliance. In 1879 he formed a partnership with his father to carry on the farming interests of the family, and this continued until 1890. For a year thereafter he was engaged in saw-mill work, and during this period he aided in building the Gotthelf store at Saguache. From 1891 to 1893 he was associated with the Gotthelf Mercantile Company, and in the latter year he bought the stage line between Saguache and Villagrove, and operated it in partnership with his brother Frank. In the spring of 1894 he sold his interest to his brother and returned to his former connection with the Gotthelf Mercantile Company, with which he continued in the same capacity until April 1898, when he became a full partner with Isaac Gotthelf in the cattle industry, and to this he has since given his exclusive attention, together with the ranching interests connected with it. Their ranch comprises twelve hundred acres and is located near the town of Saguache. The business is carried on extensive, Mr. Johnson being an exceptionally fine judge of cattle, and a manager of a high order of capacity and vigor. In political matters he loyally supports the Republican arty from earnest conviction, and never withholds his efficient services when the party needs them. He has served many years as chairman of its local committees. After the nomination of the late President McKinley in 1896, he remained true to is faith, and was the only firm and unyielding Republican in the county. He is a third-degree Freemason, a self-made and prosperous man, and a prominent citizen, everywhere known and very popular in all portions of the county. On November 22, 1881, he united in marriage with Miss Hannah Quayle, a native of the Isle of Man. They have had six children, three of whom died in infancy, and a son named Frank L. was killed by lighting on June 21, 1900. The living children are their sons Curt and Charles. (Source: Progressive Men of Western Colorado, Publ 1905. Transcribed by Richard Ramos)
MRS. MAGDALENA STEMPFLEY, widow of the late Nicholas Stempfley, is a native of Switzerland, born in the city of Berne, in the year 1828. Her father, John Schoeyer, also a native of Switzerland, where he was born in the year of 1800, and where he spent his youth and early manhood, was united in marriage, in 1826, to Christina Stempfley—daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Schiller) Stempfley. Four children resulted from this union— Magdalena, Christian, of New Philadelphia, and Rosanna, wife of Peter Tschenbern, also of New Philadelphia. In 1847, having in the meantime brought his family to America, Mr. Schoeyer located in Tuscarawas county, where he spent the remaining years of his life, dying in 1875. His wife was born in Switzerland in 1798, was a life-long member of the Reform church, lived a useful life, and died, in the Christian faith, in 1848. Mrs. Magdalena Stempfley, the subject of this sketch, attended the schools of her native country, in her youth, and in 1847 was brought by her parents to the United States, and on the 16th day of January, 1855, became the wife of Nicholas Stempfley. He was born November l6, 1826, in the canton of Berne, Switzerland, and the names of his parents were Benedict and Magdalena (Craig) Stempfley. After attending school for some time in his native land, Mr. Stempfley there learned the trade of sawyer, and about the year 1847 came to the United States, stopping in Tuscarawas county, where, for some time, he found employment as a farm laborer. Later he purchased a farm upon which he lived until 1865, when he disposed of the same and invested his means in a tract of woodland, in Van Wert county, to which he soon afterward moved his family. The task of clearing this land was by no means an easy one, but by dint of constant labor he succeeded in removing the forest growth, and lived to see his place one of the best cultivated and valuable farms in Pleasant township. Mr. Stempfley was a self-made man, and began the battle of life with no capital save his own strong arm and a determination to succeed. Politically he was a democrat, worshiped with the Reform church, and in his death, which occurred on the 29th of November, 1889, the community lost one of its most valued citizens. The following are the names of the children of Nicholas and Magdalena Stempfley: Mary E., wife of Peter Hoverman; Caroline, wife of Martin Lindermuth; Emma A., wife of George Roder; Tilda; Christena, wife of Eugene Lewis; Victoria T. M., wife of Charles Gerhiser; Seymour, deceased; and James N. Mrs. Stempfley has for years been interested in the success of the Reform church, to which she belongs, and her life in the community has wielded a potent influence for good upon all with whom she has come in contact; she has done well her part in the rearing of her family, and has been rewarded by the words of her children as they rise up to call her blessed. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - KT - Sub by FoFG]
The record of a busy life, a successful life, must ever prove found in interest and profit as scanned by the student who would learn of the intrinsic essence of individuality, who would attempt an analysis of character and trace back to the fountain-head the widely diverging channels which mark the onward flow, the constantly augmentive process, if we may be permitted the phrase, of such individuality.
All human achievements, all human weal or woe--in short, all things within the mental ken--are but mirrored back from the composite individuality of those who have lived. "The proper study of mankind is man," said Pope, and aside from this, in its broader sense, what base of study and information have we? In entering a memoir to one who has played well his part in life and who has ended his earthly career with a full quota of honors and tangible rewards does biography exercise its highest function, and in this connection we may well take satisfaction in adverting to the life history of this honored pioneer of the city of Van Wert.
The subject of this review was one of the best known and most prominent business men of Van Wert for a course of many years, having been intimately concerned in all that concerned the development and material prosperity of the community and having here conducted a mercantile enterprise which was representative in that line of industry. He was born in Snyder county, Pa., July 10, 1819, securing a common-school education, and in his youth being apprenticed to learn the trade of chair-making, to which he devoted his attention for a number of years in his native state. In 1839 he removed to Ashland county, Ohio, and there engaged in the business of his trade, continuing in this line of enterprise, at this point, for five years. He then located at Ashland, in Crawford county, where he secured employment as a salesman in a dry-goods store, retaining this incumbency for seven years. The year of 1852 represents the date of our subject's advent in Van Wert, and upon his arrival here he became associated with the industrial activities of the place by engaging in the chair and furniture business, in which he continued for some time, and then entered the employ of Judge A.W. Baker, with whom he remained, in a clerical capacity, until he formed a partnership with Alonzo Conant, in the mercantile business, which association continued for a number of years, after which Mr. Swineford engaged in business for himself. Locating at the corner of Main and Washington streets, he there engaged in the grocery business and continued this enterprise most successfully for a long period of years and until the time of his death, securing a representative patronage and retaining the confidence and good will of the entire community. He was a man of scrupulous honor and integrity, was careful and conservative in his business methods, and was animated by a broad spirit of humanity and charity. Distinctly individual and with strong and well defined convictions, he never swerved from the strict path of that which he considered his duty, but against him there has never been charged an unkindly deed or a disregard of the rights of others. When this honored pioneer was summoned into the eternal, on November 30, 1874, the community mourned the loss of a valuable citizen, and an honest and noble man. To him came a full measure of success in the material affairs of life, and this none could be begrudging. He was one of the original stockholders of the First National bank of Van Wert, and for many years served as a member of its board of directors, and as vice-president.
In political adherency, Mr. Swineford was an uncompromising republican, but the extraction of his active business affairs rendered it inexpedient for him to aspire to political preferment, though it must be said that he ever manifested a signal reluctance to securing notoriety in any way, and had no desire to become a candidate for public office.
December 22, 1840, was solemnized the marriage of the honored subject to Miss Rachael Clayburg, daughter of Isaac Clayburg, of Ashland, Ohio, he having been a native of York county, Pa. Mrs. Swineford was born in that county of the old Keystone state and accompanied her father on his emigration to Ashland county, Ohio, where Mr. Clayburg attained prestige as one of the pioneer settlers and most honored citizens of that section. Mr. and Mrs. Swineford became the parents of five children, viz: Benjamin C.; Lawrence R.; Mary A.; wife of Orlando D. Swartout, of Van Wert, and Charles M., whose death occurred in infancy, and Henry, deceased. Mrs. Swineford survives her husband and lives to hold in perpetual regard and honor the memory of the one whose name she bears and who represented in his domestic life the truest virtues and the utmost devotion to those who place dependence upon him. High upon the scroll of the honored pioneers of Van Wert will ever be inscribed the name of Simeon Swineford. ["A Portrait and biographical record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio...", Chicago: A.W. Bowen & Co., 1896 - Submitted by Kristin Vaughn]