A. E. Hough J. W. Klise.

The county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... online

. (page 27 of 63)
Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 27 of 63)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


of th^ Sixtieth r^ment, as it was paroled and mustered out of the
service in October, the majority of its members re-enlisting in other
organizations and serving gallantly until the close of the war. After
his release from service at Chicago, Mr. Barrere returned home and
resumed his occupation of farming. In 1863 he was married to
Albertine Washburn, a native of Adams county and daughter of Dr.
Joseph and Elizabeth Washburn, the former a practicing physician
at New Market for many years. Shortly after his marriage, Mr.
Barrere again went to the front as a member of Company A, One
Hundred and Sixty-eighth regiment Ohio national guard. June 11,
1864, this regiment was engaged in a severe battle near Cynthiana,
Ky., in whidb it fought well but suffered severe loss in killed and
wounded, besides the capture of two hundred and eighty of its mem-
bers. The latter, however, were only held a short time as prisoners
and later did guard duty at Cincinnati until discharged from the
service in September. Mr. Barrere again returned home, where he
spent two years and removed to Douglas county, 111. He lived in
that state seven years and then came back to Ohio, locating perma-
nently on part of the old homestead farm where he has since resided.
Mr. Barrere is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and a
comrade in Hillsboro post, No. 205, Grand Army of the Republic.
Mr. and Mrs. Barrere have had nine children whose names are as
follows: Elvin V., employee of the Hillsboro postoffice; Malissa,
wife of Joseph Miller, county recorder; Joseph W., of New Market;
Willoughby, guard and teacher at the Mansfield Reformatory;
Edna B., wife of Rev. E. L. HoUingsworth ; Nelson, of New Mar-
ket ; James A. ; Lucretia, deceased, and Charles. James A. and
Charles are at home.

Capt David M. Barrett, commander of a company in the famous
Eighty-ninth Ohio regiment during the civil war and quite promi-
nent for years in politics and business, is descended from one of
those sturdy pioneer families which were identified with Highland
in the first years of its existence as a county. The founder was
Richard Barrett who brought his family in wagons from their old
home near Winchester, Va., to the Ohio and down that river on flat
boats and again overland by team until they arrived in the confines
of Highland county in 1807. He located in Paint township where



Digitized by



Google



236 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

he bought 150 acres of land at $8.00 per acre, manufactured the
necessary material and built the brick house which is still standing
on the place as one of the landmarks of "ye olden times." Richard
Barrett was a member of the Society of Friends, that historic organ-
ization which became famous as the advocate of peace and brotherly
love and the uncompromising foe of slavery. He was conspicuous
as one of the workers in the Quaker community of Highland county,
helped erect a building for worship and was one of the most influen-
tial leaders of his people. His death occurred March 20, 1844, at
the age of eighty-three, and that of his wife June 6, 1833, at the age
of seventy-one years. The names and dates of birth of their chil-
dren are thus recorded in the family Bible : Rebekah, 1778 ; Elea-
nora, 1779; Lydia, 1791; Phebe, 179^; Sarah, 1796; Rachel, 1798;
Sydney, 1800 ; Amy, 1802 ; Richard L., 1805. The latter, who was
bom in Virginia, was about two years old when the family arrived
at their Ohio home. In early manhood he married Sarah D.
Mitchell, a native of Kentucky, whose parents had settled in the
neighborhood of the Barretts in Paint township. Her father, David
Mitchell, served as a soldier in the war of 1812. Richard L, and
Sarah D. Barrett had seven children, of whom Maria, Rosana,
Eleanora and Sarah J. are dead. The three living are David M.,
Elizabeth A.; widow of Andrew Platter, and Richard C, who lives
in Clinton county, Ohio. The second wife of Richard J. Barrett
was Mary J. Wiley, by whom he had six children: Henry C, the
eldest, enlisted in the Twelfth r^ment Ohio cavalry and was killed
in the service; Lydia married William Wyer and died afterward;
John is a resident of Paint township ; Emma is the wife of A. B.
Milner; Mary is now Mrs. Merton Wallace of Liberty township;
Edmund is a resident of Missouri. The father of these children
died at his home in Paint township November 23, 1877, iji his sev-
enty-second year. David M. Barrett, who was the third of the first
family of children, was bom in Paint township, Highland county,
Ohio, October 27, 1829. He was reared on the old homestead and
remained there engaged in stock-dealing until his marriage to
Sally A. Weyer, which occurred September 25, 1855. The next
three years were devoted to the management of a store at New
Petersburg and in the spring of 1858 he purchased the mill prop-
erty on the Rocky fork of Paint creek with whiph his name was so
long associated. These mills, the first in Highland county, were
built by Jesse Baldwin on Factory branch of Rocky fork in 1805
or 1806 and proved to be an extensive and successful undertaking.
The plant comprised not only a sawmill and grist-mill, but a card-
ing and fulling mill and, after 1820, a woolen mill. Later, Mr.
Baldwin abandoned the old structures and built another below the
mouth of the branch on Rocky fork, where the present mills are.
Subsequently the property passed into the ownership of Dr. Boyd^



Digitized by



Google



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 237

who enlarged and improved the saw- and grist-mills. Dr. Boyd
gave them to his son, J. Milton Boyd, who sold them to Captain^
Barrett, who in the year 1860 tore down, the old buildings and
erected much better ones in their place. He remained in charge
of the woolen mills, which manufactured a superior article of cloth,
for more than thirty-six years. In 1862, he raised a company of
soldiers for the Union army of which he was elected captain and
which subsequently became part of the Eighty-ninth regiment Ohio
volunteer infantry. The first great battle in which Capt. David M.
Barrett took part as commander of Company I was the famous
engagement at Chickamauga, September 19, 1863. During thq
afternoon of the 20th, the Eighty-ninth went into the hottest of the
fight; and, with the Twenty-first Ohio and Twenty-second Michi-
gan, held its position against fearful odds until dark, when they
were surrounded and all captured. Captain Barrett was now in for
a round of experiences in those awful dens of starvation and torture
called the ^^Southern prison pens." He was first taken to the notor-
ious Libby prison at Richmond, Va., where he was held about eight
months, and subsequently spent more or less time for several months
at Danville, Augusta, Macon, Charleston and Columbia. While at
Charlotte, N. C, he and two companions bribed a sentinel and
escaped from prison, but after five weeks were taken sick and recap-
tured. Captain Barrett's terms in prison at different places amounted
in all to eighteen months and during much of the time he was sub-
jected to hunger, filth and every privation calculated to make life
miserable. At the close of the war he was released and returned
home, where he resumed his industrious and busy life as miller,
manufacturer, farmer, stockraiser and general man of affairs. In
fact few men have had so many "irons in the fire" as Captain Bar-
rett, but he has managed to keep everything going and in all his
multifarious activities has discharged the obligations with credit to
himself and satisfaction to others. In 1865 he was elected repre-
sentative frgm Highland county in the state legislature, was again
elected in 1883 and re-elected in 1885. In 1885 he was appointed
a member of the board of state asylum trustees at Athens, and served
as president of the board until he resigned. In 1889 he was a mem-
ber of the state board of equalization, and during the following year
was superintendent of the Boys' Industrial school, which position
he resumed in 1893 and held for eight years. He served three years
as township assessor and was member of the board of education for
about twenty years. He also held the position of township clerk.
Captain Barrett has been connected with the Masonic fraternity
since 1850 and holds membership in Hillsboro lodge, !N"o. 58. He
is a member of the Loyal Legion and one of the most honored com-
rades of Trimble post, Grand Army of the Eepublic, of which he is
commander. Captain Barrett has for many years been extensively



Digitized by



GcKDgle



238 THE COUNTY OP HIGHLAND.

engaged in the live stock industry and owns at present seven hundred
acres of land, his holdings formerly amounting to one thousand
acres. He has eight children : Cora M., wife of J. B. Davis ;
Eichard B., in the federal service at Cincinnati, O. ; Horace M., in
charge of his father's mill; Morgan, manager of a mill at Bain-
bridge; Newton R., in charge of the farm; Sarah N., wife of J. A.
Head of Hillsboro ; Jesse C. and Elizabeth, wife of Kalph Smith of
Denver, Colorado. Captain Barrett is a member of the Methodist
Episcopal church and has held various official positions in connec-
tion therewith. Sally A., the wife of Capt Barrett, died July 21st,
1901.

Reuben P. Barrett, quite prominent in the business affairs and
public life of Leesburg, is descended from one of the pioneers who
made the first beginnings of civilization in Fairfield township. His
great grandfather, Jonathan Barrett, made his appearance in 1805,
the same year in. which Highland county was organized, purchased a
place on Hardin's creek and there proceeded to make a 'settlement
after the true backwoods style. He bought the land from Nathaniel
Pope, the first settler of the township, and built his cabin on the
spot which lodg afterward was occupied as a residence by Josel
Wright, the Quaker preacher. Along with Jonathan came his
brother Richard and his brother-in-law, Henry Cowgill, all from
Virginia and later on prominent in the development of that part of
the county. Jonathan Barrett reared a family of six children, Ben-
jamin, Jesse, Ellis, Levi, Rachel and Lydia, all long since dead, the
last survivor being Rachel, who married J. Ladd and died in Penn
township. Benjamin Barrett, oldest son of Jonathan, -vyas bom in
Virginia and well grown before his father's migration to Ohio.
Like all the family connection he was a member of the Friends
church and became quite prominent in the affairs of that religious
denomination. He was also successful as a farmer and influential
in the public life and general development of the towilship. Ben-
jamin Barrett married Ruth Slaughter, also a native of Virginia,
and had fifteen children, many of whom stood around his bedside at
the time of his death in 1880. Among them was his son, John Bar-
rett, who was bom in Highland county in 1832, and still resides on
his country estate near the old homestead in Fairfield township. He
is the father of Reuben P. Barrett, who was bom in Highland county
in 1859, and during his whole life has been identified with the busi-
ness interests of Leesburg. He has served as supervisor and mem-
ber of the board of education and in July, 1897, was appointed
postmaster by President McKinley. He is interested in the com-
mercial elevator at Leesburg, and a member of lodge No. 78, Free
and Accepted Masons of that city. His wife is Phoebe, daughter of
Allen Johnson, of Leesburg, and descendant of a family that emi-



Digitized by



Google



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 239

grated from Virginia in an early period of the county's history.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Barrett are Maud, Augusta, Georgia,
Hubert and Louise.

Hannibal A. Beeson, M. D., one of the oldest medical practi-
tioners of Highland county and long prominent in professional cir-
cles, is descended from pioneer people of the best ancestral stock.
His father, Dr. Ruel Beeson, was bom in Highland county in 1811,
of Korth Carolina parentage, and conmienced the practice of medi-
cine at Leesbui^ in 1833. Later he engaged in the mercantile busi-
ness, became prominent in politics as a Whig and was elected to the
state senate in 1848, but declined a renomination. He was con-
spicuous as a temperance advocate, in advocacy of the construction
of the railroad through Leesburg and later was an uncompromising
friend of the Union during the civil war. After the cessation of
hostilities he spent much time in traveling and died April 15, 1877.
He married Martha Johnson, who came with her parents from Vii>
ginia to Ohio in the early part of 1800. Their son, Dr. H. A. Bee-
son, was bom at Leesburg, Highland county, in 1841, and was given
a good education in the common schools, the Salem academy and the
Wesleyan university at Delaware, Ohio. After a course of study
in the office of a prominent physician he entered the United States
navy in 1862 as surgeon's steward, and was assigned to duty with
the mortar fleet under Farragut, and later under Admiral Porter.
At the time the surrender at Appomattox put an end to the war, Dr.
Beeson was serving as an assistant surgeon under Admiral Lee.
Considering his youth and lack of professional medical training at
that time, his record of service during the civil war is quite remark-
able and decidedly creditable to his efficiency and fitness for high
responsibilities. After the war he returned home and assisted his
father on the farm until 1876, when he entered Miami college, took
a full course in the medical department, and was graduated with
honor in the class of 1879. After a year spent in Cincinnati
devoted to study in a postrgraduate course, Dr. Beeson located in his
native town of Leesburg where he has since made his home and head-
quarters. He is now one of the oldest physicians in continuous prac-
tice at that point and one of the most popular, standing high both in
his profession and among the people. He was appointed medical
examiner for the United States pension department, and has served
three terms in that responsible position. He was influential in the
organization of the Southern Ohio Medical society, and has had the
honor of being president of that body. Dr. Beeson is also a con-
spicuous member of the International Society of Psychic Research,
which includes many of the most eminent and learned people in the
world. Another organization to which he belongs is the Ohio
society for the prevention and cure of tuberculosis. Altogether the



Digitized by



Google



240 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

Doctor's life has been one of useful activities for the l^enefit of his
fellow men by the spread of mental and social culture and all those
things which, in the language of Matthew Arnold, "make for right-
eousness." He enjoys a large practice in his native town and the
general esteem of the people of his community who have known him
from earliest childhood. In 1865, Dr. Beeson was married to Eliza-
beth T. Anderson, an accomplished lady of Highland county, whose
parents were members of an old Virginia family of high standing.

Charles S. Bell, prominent for over forty-three years in the manu-
facturing industries of Hillsboro and one of the most public-spirited
citizens of the community, is of Maryland ancestry which dates in
that state from a period anterior to the Revolution. At that early
day David Bell had taken up land in the region around Cumberland
where he pursued the quiet occupation of farming and reared his
family. Among his children was a son named David R., who
married Nancy Bradley and by her became the father of the subject
of this sketch. Charles S. Bell was bom at Cumberland, Md., Feb-
ruary 7, 1829, and at the age of fifteen years went to Pittsburg to
learn the founder's trade. After mastering the details of this busi-
ness, he spent some years working at various establishments in Cin-
cinnati, Springfield and Dayton, during which time he perfected
his knowledge of the trade. In January, 1858, Mr. Bell purchased
a small plant which had been run by other parties in Hillsboro about
three years on Beech street below the present site of the Baltimore &
Ohio railroad depot. He carried it on there eight years, with many
enlargements and improvements, but eventually bought seven acres
of ground near the Hillsboro depot, on which the large factory
buildings covering about one acre of ground were erected in 1889-90.
The company, of which Mr. Bell is the head, does an extensive busi-
ness in the manufacture of bells and various kinds of farm machin-
ery. More bells, forty pounds and upwards in weight, mostly for
farms and schools, are said to be turned out here than at any other
factory in America. In 1880 Mr. Bell employed about twenty
hands, but at present gives work to at least one hundred and fifty
people. Attention is devoted to the manufacture of sugar cane and
feed-grinding machines much in demand throughout the West^ and a
machine called the "tortillera," used in Mexico for crushing the
hominy of which a popular cake is made, is turned out in large num-
bers at the Bell establishments The plant as it stands represents
the investment of a lai^ amount of capital and a very extensive busi-
ness is done over a wide area of country, both national and interna-
tional. It is and long has been one of the cherished institutions of
Hillsboro and the founder is regarded as one of the city's benefactors.
In 1895 Mr. Bell built the Bell opera house at a cost of $40,000.
He also erected the building occupied by the McKeehan-Hiestand



Digitized by



Google



BIOGRAPHICAL. SKETCHES. 241

Grocery company in 1892 and became largely interested in the stock
of that company. He is vice-president and one of the largest stock-
holders in the Merchants' National bank and a partner in the hard-
ware firm known as the John A. McCoppin & Co. Aside from his
regular business, Mr. Bell has had much to do with the public affairs
of the city and has been one of the factors in its growth and develop-
ment He served for twenty-one years on the Hillsboro school
board and devoted much time and attention to the important subject
of education. As a member of the city council for many years, the
community had the benefit of his business experience and ripe judg-
ment in all matters affecting municipal improvements. Besides
these, Mr. Bell has held numerous other places of trust, and what-
ever duty was devolved upon him, in any of the relations of life, he
always discharged the same with a conscientious fidelity to the pub-
lic welfare. In 1851 Mr. Bell was married to Mary L. Roberts, by
whom he has had five children. Charles E., the eldest, is inter-
ested in the C. S. Bell company ; Alice M. is the wife of L. B. Boyd,
another member of the foundry firix>; John died in 1891; Cora E.
and May are at home.

Joseph G. Bell, the well known hardware merchant and implement
dealer of Hillsboro, comes of one of the old families of Highland
county. The founder in this part of Ohio was George Bell, who was
bom in Virginia in 1780, located in Brush Creek township in 1812
and died in 1876 after he had reached the ninety-sixth year of his
age. He first married a Miss May and to this union was bom one
child named Mary, now the widow of Andrew Milbum, deceased, and
about 1820 he espoused Mary Frump, by whom he had a numerous
family of children as follows: John, who died in Brush Creek in
1900 ; George, now a resident of Quenemo, Kas. ; Sampson, living in
Illinois ; Andrew, formerly a merchant at Jeffersonville, Ohio, who
died in 1878; Ruth, ^vife of Andrew Sams, of Rainsborough ; Mar-
garet, wife of William Sylvester, of Cynthiana, Ohio; and three
daughters who married and moved to the West. Joseph Bell, now a
resident of Brush Creek to^vnship and second of the children, was
bom in Brush Creek township. Highland county, Ohio, in 1831, and
was married in 1856 to Susannah, daughter of Peter Grorman. The
latter was son and namesake of a Virginian, bom in 1777, and an
emigrant to Brush Creek township in 1803. The second of the name,
and father of Susannah, was bom in 1809, married Christina Hies-
tand, and died in 1899. The children of Joseph and Susannah (Gor-
man) Bell were Mary C, wife of John Fisher, a farmer near New
Petersburg; Alice D., wife of Frank Hiser, a farmer residing near
Marshall; George P., a teacher and merchant who died in 1889,
aged twenty-eight years; Margaret^ who died in 1883. at the age of
HвАФ 16



Digitized by



Google



242 THE COUNTY OP HIGHLAND.

twenty ; Nanie Ann, living with her father; the subject of this sketch ;
Grant M., who died in 1891 when twenty years old; Lilly May, wife
of Carter Barrett, a farmer at Quenemo, Kas. ; Ida Pearl, at home ;
and Foster H. G., who graduated at Lebanon Collie in 1901.
Joseph G. Bell, fifth of the above enumerated children, was bom in
Highland county, Ohio, April 16, 1868, and grew up with the deter-
mination of fitting himself as a teacher. With this end in view, he
attended the Normal college at Lebanon, Ohio, and after a full course
was graduated by that institution in the class of 1885. He then
entered the educational field and followed the profession of teaching
for twelve consecutive years. At the November election in 1897, Mr.
Bell was a candidate for the ofiice of clerk of courts and subsequently
formed a partnership with his opponent, J. H. WilliamB, in the hard-
ware business. The firm of Williams & Bell continued until the in-
terest of the senior partner was purchased by C F. Underwood, and
January 1, 1902, Mr. Bell became sole proprietor of the Hillsboro
implement store at Court and Short streets. August 25, 1896, he
was married to Lelia, daughter of 0. F. Underwood, who owns a large
farm near New Vienna where his parents were among the early
settlers.

John Bennett, infirmary director of Highland county, besides being
a most excellent citizen in all respects, enjoys the distinction of being
one of four brothers who each served three or more years in the Union
army. Their grandfather, Isaac Bennett, who took part in the battle
of New Orleans in 1815, was a Pennsylvania farmer of the olden
times, used to run flatboats from Pittsburg to New Orleans during
the navigation season and did a prosperous business in this line before
the days of steamfboating. With an eye to profitable investments,
he made a trip to Highland county, Ohio, at a very early date, and
bought a large amount of land in Liberty township, which was sub-
sequently divided between his sons. He remained in Pennsylvania
until about 1850 when^ he removed to Missouri and there spent the
remainder of his life. Isaac and Jennie Bennett had six children,
Campbell, Isaac, John, Phebe, Jane, and Nancy, all long since
deceased. Campbell Bennett was bom in Fayette county. Pa., mar-
ried Sarah Smith, and about 1840 came to Highland county, where
he settled on land inherited from his father. In 1847 he purchased
a farm in Haraer township, on which he lived until 1877, when he
removed to Danville and served as postmaster. At the expiration of
his term he returned to the farm where he passed away at the age
of seventy-eight years, his wife having died in 1874. Of their seven
children, George, Joseph and Eleanor are deceased, the living being
Jacob, of Lincoln, Neb.; Francis M., of Kansas; John, subject t)f
this sketch ; and Henry, of Haraer township. John Bennett^ fifth of
the children, was bom in Highland county, Ohio, on the farm now



Digitized by



Google



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 243

owned by Ira Hiestand, January 1, 1846, and was consequefntly a
little over fifteen years of age when the guns at Sumter electrified
the nation. There was no more patriotic family than that of the
Bennetts, the yoimger members of which furnished four recruits for
different commands in the Union army. John Bennett, when seven-
teen years old, enlisted in Company G, Eleventh regiment, Ohio vol-
unteer cavalry, which did valuable service during its term of service.
After a brief campaign against Morgan, the command was sent to
Fort Leavenworth, Kas., and from there across the plains to Fort
Laramie, Wyo. They wintered at that point and later had many
fierce skirmishes with the Indian tribes who had been stirred up to
hostility by agents of the Confederacy. The Federal cavalry was
kept very busy holding the savages in check and in one of the numer-
ous fights Mr. Bennett had a horse shot imder him, though fortunate
enough to escape serious personal injury. The Eleventh regiment re-
mained in that wild country for three years, and in July, 1866, were
sent to Leavenworth and thence to Columbus, Ohio, where they were
mustered out Jacob Bennett, second of the brothers in order of



Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 27 of 63)