A. E. Hough J. W. Klise.

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

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old age of seventy-six years, and left at his death (July 10, 1845) a
large family. By his marriage to Amy McMannes he had nine chil-
dren, and by a second marriage to Xancy Overman, three. They
were: Catherine, bom September 21, 1793, married James Grady;
Sarah, bom August 27, 1795, married John Cooper; Aaron, bom
Xovember 5, 1797 ; Hannah, bom April 7, 1800, married Xelson
Taylor; Isaac, bom February 10, 1802; John, l)orn February 14,
1804; Tshniael, bom November 12, 1806; Amy, lx)m May 9, 1809,
married Eli Overman; Charlotte, bom October 11, 1811, married
Joseph Craig; Martha, bom October 10, 1827; ^lary, lx)m Septem-
ber 3, 1829, married John Marsh; Elizal)eth, born January 23,
1833. The greater part of the family lived and died near Rains-
boro, and Mrs. Mary Marsh is now the only survivor. The village
of Raiuvsboro was laid off on the farm of George Rains October 15,
1830, the surveyors being Garrett Copes and David Davis, and the
first business enterprise there was the grocery of Aaron Rains, in the
second house built in the town. He continued in business until
1867. The third house was built by John Rains in June, 1831, and
was used by him as the first tavern. It is yet standing.

The mother of Mrs. ilary L. McXarv was a granddaughter of
Obadiah Overman, a native of Green Brier county, Ya., who moved



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. '393

from Randolph county, if. C, with his wife, Martha Mills, and
three children, to Paint township. Highland county, in June, 1805.
There he lived until his death in October, 1841, at the age of ninety-
three years, five months and sixteen days. His son, Isaac Overman,
horn in 1787, died October, 1823, married Nancy Harbor in High-
land coimty in 1807, who was bom January 22, 1792, in Mont-
gomery county, Va., came to Highland county in 1804, and died
April 30, 1881. Their children were Enos, born February 1, 1808,
married Elizabeth Graybill; Eli, born 1809, married Amy Eains;
Rachel, born December 18, 1810, married Samuel Rittenhouse;
Rebecca, bom July 19, 1812, married John Rains; Elijah, bom
May, 1814, married Rebecca Spargur; Rhoda, bom November 9,
1815, married Charles Copes; Nancy, bom 1817, died July 23,
1845; Isaac, born 1819, married Elizabeth Wilburn; Sarah Ann,
born March 11, 1821, married George Craighead; and three who
died in infancy.

John W. McNicol, one of the prosperous farmers in the eastern
part of Penn township, is descended from a Scottish family whose
first representatives reached central Ohio about the middle of the
nineteenth century. James, son of Robert and Jane (Aitkin)
McXicol, was born in Sterlingshire, Scotland, in 1801, and in early
manhood married Katharine, daughter of Hugh and Janel (Mitchell)
Campbell, who resided on the Isle of Skye. After his marriage
James lived some time in his native country and in 1851 emigrated
to Highland county where he spent the remainder of his days and
died in 1874. His children were Robert, John, Jane Margaret,
Kate, "Ellen and Hugh. Robert McXicol, eldest of the children, was
torn in Scotland October 20, 1828, and was consequently about
twenty-three years of a^e when his parents reached Ohio. March
21, 1858, he was married to Elizabeth L. I^averton, member of one
of the oldest families in Penn township. Her grandfather, Solomon.
Leaverton, was a native of Maryland and first came to Highland
county in 1806, but spent some years in Xorth Carolina, where he
married Lettie Thompson, and returned to Ohio in 1817. John F.
Leaverton, third in age of his eleven children, was born in Guilford
county, Xorth Carolina, in 1812, and five years later came with his
father to Highland county, where he became a leading farmer in
Penn township. He married Sally Ann Wright, by whom he had
fourteen children, including Elizabeth L., who became the wife oi
Robert McXicol. The latter learned the shoemaker's trade, which
lie followed until well advanced in years. He was esteemed in the
community where he lived, both as a man and a citizen. His chil-
dren, ten in number, were James, John W., Sallie, Kittie, Hugh,
Robert, Ella, Lizzie, Vena and Etta. John W. McXicol, second of
the family, was bom in Penn township, Highland county, Ohio,



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394 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

October 15, 1860, and has devoted his whole life to agricultural pur-
suits. The farm on which he resides is situated in the eastern part
of Penn township and he ranks as one of the representative farmers
in that section of Highland county. By industry and good manage-
ment he has achieved a fair measure of prosperity and is surroimded
bv all the comforts of a pleasant rural home. December 29, 1881^
he was married to Clara Ella, daughter of I. E. and Mary (Mc Will-
iams) Johnson, of Highland county, by whom he has three children :
Ernest, bom October 20, 1882; Vena,'bom February 15, 1886; and
Robert, bom September 21, 1890. Mr. McXicol is a member of the
order of Knights of Pythias.

Albert M. Mackerly, former mayor of Greenfield, Ohio, and prom-
inent in law and polities, comes of a family of ingenious mechan-
ics and inventors whose skill and industry were important factors in
the early development of Highland county. In tlie first decade of
the nineteenth century Michael Mackerly was a prosperous iron foim-
dry man in Morris county, Xew Jersey. He enlisted for the War
of 1812 and when he retume<l home after considerable absence found
that his partner, who had been left in charge of the business, had
absconded and taken with him most of the property. Sorely disap-
pointed and disgusted wdth this treachery, Michael Mackerly sold
what was left for $500 in gold, which he invested in horses and
wagons with a view of leaving the scene of his calamities to seek a
new home in the western wilderness. His objective point was the
White AVater valley of Indiana, but on the journey through Ohio in
1816 one of his horses died after reacliing the then small settlement
of Greenfield, which misfortune compelled an alteration of plans.
Abandoning tlie design of going farther west^ ^lichael Mackerly set-
tle<l Avith his wdfe and nine children on Paint creek, at a point five
miles south of Greenfield. He purchased eighty-two acres of land,
paying for it five dollars per acre, and on this farm he passed the
remainder of his days. His sons, being mechanics of unusual abil-
ity and energ\% naturally desired to put their constructive talents to
good use and for tliis purpose they built a mill for grinding com
and also an establishment for manufacturing wagons and other
vehicles. This enterprise, so useful and so much needed in the new
country, was conducted for years by the Mackerly boys under the
lead of Benjamin, the eldest and most ingenious of this talented
family. Benjamin Mackerly, for many years a familiar figure in
the county's industrial affairs, is deserving of much more than a
passing notice. A mechanic of rare skill and ingenuity, he invented
many valuable labor-saving devices, upon several of which he se-
cured patents. His attention was turned to the application of atmos-
pheric pressure to use upon car and machinery brakes, and his pat-
ents, which were the first of this kind, and cover all the points sub-



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BIOGRAPHICAL oKETCHES. 395

sequently claimed by Westinghouse and other later inventions, with
the exception of the idea of direct pressure. He also invented and
patented the principle of the horse tread-mill, and it was in the
endeavor to regulate the motion of this that he discovered the brake.
As has so often been the case with mechanical geniuses, the practical
and pecuniary benefit of Benjamin Mackerly's work was largely
reaped by others. He was early employed by manufacturer James,
first in putting in machinery at his furnace in BroAvn county, and '
afterward to perform a similar* duty at tlie Rapids Forge establish-
ment, then building on Paint creek. Several of Benjamin's brothers
became men of note and influence in their communities. Elisha
Mackerly, the second son in order of birth, was for many years a
merchant at Xew Petersburg, where he ended his days. Louis and
Michael Mackerly engaged in the manufacture of wheeled vehicles
at Rainsboro and became famous for the excellence of their work.
They turned out the first buggy built in Highland county and in
ten years made three hundred and ten of these vehicles, all of ele-
gant design and superior workmanship. At a later period, Michael
Mackerly was engaged, for many years, in merchandising, and subse-
quently embarked in sawmilling and carriage manufacturing at
South Salemi, of which town he served as postmaster and died in
1895. Of the children of Michael Mackerly, Sr., Henry was for
several years engaged in the clothing business at Greenfield ; Lucinda
married Dr. John Wilson of Washington Court House, Ohio ; Mary
M. became the wife of James Douglass, the w'ell known farmer of
Madison township ; Emily M. is the wife of Judge Alfred S. Dickey,
and Sarah, now Mrs. Xorman, is living in Xew Jersey. Albert M.
Mackerly, second child in order of birth of Michael Mackerly, Jr.,
w^as born and bred in Highland county, and obtained superior edu-
cational advantages as he grew to manhood. After attending the
excellent academy at South Salem he entered Miami university at
Oxford, Ohio, where he was given a diploma entitling him to the
degree of A. B. and A. M. The following two years were devoted
to study of the law in the office of Judgq- Alfred Dickey, afterw^ard
completed under the tutelage of Hon. Henry L. Dickey, who repre-
sented the old Sixth district in Congress for two terms. Subse-
quently, Mr. Mackerly matriculated in the law department of the
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and was graduated as B. L.
wath the class of 1875. In 1877, he entered upon the practice of
his profession at Greenfield and two years later was admitted to
practice in the United States court at Cincinnati. In addition to
his law practice, Mr. Mackerly has been interested in the real estate
business in association with Mr. Caldwell. He has been active in
politics and popular with his party associates. In 1892 he was
elected mayor of Greenfield and served two years ; was again elected
in 1898 and reelected in 1900; and at the last general election was



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396 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

a candidate for the Ohio state senate on the Democratic ticket In
1894 Mr. Mackerly was married to Mrs. Ella Bell, a popular and
accomplished lady of Greenfield. He is a member of the Presby-
terian church at South Salem and of the Knights of Pythias frater-
nity.

Eli Martin, deserving of note among the enterprising and suc-
cessful farmers of AVhite Oak to^vnship, was born in that township,
December 25, 1854, on the farm now owned by his father, William
Martin. The latter was bom June 21, 1816, son of Andrew Martin,
one of the pioneers of Highland county, whose descendants are now
numbered among the most worthy people of the region. William
Martin was reared in the pioneer home and educated in the log school
house of his day, and in early manhood was married to Abigail Gib-
ler, also a native of Highland county. They had their home upon
a farmi of 128 acres in AMiite Oak township until the death of the
mother in 1861. A few years later, having married a second time,
to Elizabeth Roberts, Mr. Martin moved to Concord township, where
he is still living, at the age of eighty-six years, one of the oldest of
the survivors of the early days, a devoted member of the United
Brethren church, and held in high esteem by the many who recall
his many years of prominence and influence in the affairs of the
towTiship. lie had twelve children by his first marriage — James,
living in BrowTi county ; Daniel, deceased ; Millie, of Adams county ;
Cynthia, of BrowTi county; Sarah, deceased; Mollie and Josie, of
Fayette county ; Rilda, of White Oak township ; Martha, of ilowrys-
town ; Eli, the subject of this sketch ; William, living on the old
homestead, and Henry, in Fayette county. Eli Martin was reared
at the White Oak township homestead, and educated in the district
school. In early manhood he was married to Ella Hicks, daus:hter
of AVilson and Rachel Hicks, respected and well-known early settlers,
and the young couple l)egan their married life in Concord township.
Two years later they moved to White Oak towTiship, and in 1894 he
bought the fann of sixty acres where they now live. Three children
have IxH^n l)orn to them — Denver C, (^arlis W., and Glenn, all living
at home. Mr. ^Martin is a valued citizen, he and his wife are mem-
bei*s of the Christian church, and he is a member of the Knights of
Pythias and in politics a Democrat^ like his father. In 1902 he
held tlie office of assessor for White Oak township.

E<lgar J. ilartin, M. D., a popular young physician of Greenfield,
Ohio, comes of a family which for four generations has had repre-
sentatives in the medical profession. His father, grandfather and
great>grandfatlier were all doctors of eminence. The first mentioned,
the late Dr. A. J. ^lartin, was for years one of the leading physi-
cians of Wilmington, Ohio. He was educated at Xorwalk and was



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 397

graduated as M. D. at the Cleveland Medical college in 1859. He
located without delay in Wilmington, and, with the exception of one
year while he was A\dtli the Seventy-ninth Ohio regiment during the
Civil war, he was in continuous practice until his death in 1898. His
son, E. J. Martin, inherited the family predilection for medicine
and lost no time in preparing himself for the profession. He was
born in Clinton county and educated in the public schools of Wil-
mington. Witli this literary equipment he entered the Medical col-
lege of Ohio and by diligent attendance and close study received his
diploma as M. D. in 1889. Immediately after graduation. Dr.
Martin located in Cincinnati, where he practiced five years, during
most of that time being assistant surg^eon of the Baltimore & Ohio
Southwestern railroad company. In 1894, he took up his residence
at Greenfield, where he has since remained \Wth a widening patron-
age and increasing prospects of success.

John iVllen Martin, a well-to-do fanner of Marshall township and
veteran of the Civil war, comes of one of the old families of Il/igh-
land county. His grandparents were AVilliam and Xancy (Mason)
ilartin, Pennsylvanians who came to Ohio in 1820 and located in
Highland county and reared the following named cliildren : Keziah,
Hannah, AVilliam, Xancy and Mary Ann. William Martin, junior^
was bom in Pennsylvania, January 2 (J, 1811, and married Mary
Ann, daughter of Jacob and Sarah (McKnight) Moyers. The chil-
dren of this union wei*e: Clarissa, Avho married C^hristopher C.
Underwood and died in 1891 : Ann Eliza, who married W^illiam C.
Fenner and died in 1902 ; John A., subject of tliis sketch ; Wilson
Howell, who was taken prisoner during the civil war and confined at
Libby and Danville, dying at the latter place ; Sarah Jane, wife of
Jacob W. Lucas, who resides near St. Joseph, Mo. ; Joseph Perry,
died at the age of thirty-two; Lydia V., the wife of Theodore F.
Brown, of Washington Court House ; and Luella, wife of James T.
Miller, a farmer of Marshall to^\Tiship. !Mrs. [Martin, the venerable
mother of these children, was bom February 28, 1818, now resides
wath her daughter, Mrs. Luella Miller, and is approaching her nine-
tieth year. John Allen Martin, the third in order of the children,
was bom at the parental home in Highland county, April 4, 1838,
and as he grew up learned the business of farming which he has
followed all his life. In July, 1863, he enlisted in Company A,
Second regiment Ohio heavy artillery', with which he remained until
mustered out of the service in August, 1865. Wliile serving with
this battery, Mr. Martin took part in the battle at Strawberry Plains
and other minor engagements during the campaigns in East Ten-
nessee. Since the war he has been engaged in farming, has served
as trustee of Marshall toAvnship several terms and performed tJie
duties of director of schools. Xovember 7, 1861, he was married



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398 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

to Eineline Tedrow, by whom he had two children: Carrie Kate,
wiie of Lewis Bevan, of ^Missouri, and Elizabeth Delia, w^ife of G. M.
Ansbach, of Iowa. Their mother dying, Mr. Martin was married
August 22, 1872, to Celinda Bell. Their children are: Eva M.,
at home ; Anna Belle, died in infancy ; Luella, teacher in the public
schools ; Charles Chenowith, also a teacher ; Cora Emma, died in in-
fancy; William BrowTi, Clara and John Joseph at home. Mrs.
Martin is a daughter of Thomas Bell, who came to this country from
England when twenty-two years old, and married Susan Montgom-
ery. Their children, brothers and sisters of Mrs. !Martin are:
Andrew S. Bell, a farmer and dairyman of Madison county ; Xelson,
who died in the Union army ; John, a Union soldier who died after
the war ; and Eva, wife of Caleb B. Lucas of St Joseph, Mo. The
half sisters of Mrs. Martin are Lacy, w^idow of Robert Thomas, and
Elizabeth, resident of Madison county.

Martin Luther Mattliews, secretary of tlie Farmers Mutual Fire
Insurance Association, of Greenfield, O., is a man who deserves well
both as a neighbor and citizen. Ilis father, James D. Matthews, was
one of the old settlers of Concord township, Ross county, of which
he serv^ed as assessor, 'and was identified with the agricultural inter-
est of that community for many years. In 1880 he retired from
active business and removed to Greenfield, where he lived until his
death, which occurred in 1806. He married Mary A. Wilson, of
Ross county, by whom he had three children. James H. Matthews,
the eldest of these, was in the business of photography at Greensburg,
Ind., and died in Indianapolis in 1898. William E., youngest of
the family, has been engaged in the shoe manufacturing business at
Lancaster, Ohio. l\rartin L. Matthews was born and reared in Ross
county, Ohio, educate<l at the South Salem Academy and afterward
taught school nine years. In 1888 he located at Greenfield and em-
barked in the creamery business, but after one year a disastrous fire,
which completely destroyed the equipment, put an end to his ambi-
tion in this direction, and he resumed his veterinary practice. In
1897, he was elected to the ofiice of justice of the peace and two years
later was chosen secretary of the Farmers Mutual fire insurance asso-
ciation, which has a capital of $2,000,000.00. He also has the
agency for a numl>er of insurance companies doing business in
adjoining counties wdtli Greenfield as his headquarters. The associ-
ation of w^hich he is secretary does business in ten townships, four
of which are in Fayette county, three in Ross and three in Highland
counties. ^Mr. Matthews is a man of many talents and manages to
make himself useful in many ways. Among his other accomplish-
ments is his skill in veterinary surgery, in which department of med-
ical science he has considerable reputation. He lends a hand in poli-
tics and is generally in the thick of the fray when a heated political



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 399

campaign is in progress, and does what he can to suppress any form
of dishonesty and lawlessness by acting as secretary for the Anti-
Hors€f-Thief detective association. Though he has met his full share
of financial reverses, he is not to be discouraged but conies up again
undaunted to continue the battle of life. In 1874 he was married to
Catherine M., daughter of William Long, of Ross county, and they
have an only child, Jennie A. Matthews. The family are communi-
cants of the First Presbyterian church, in Greenfield, of wdiich Mr.
Matthews has for some years been deacon.

G. J. Mayerhoefer, the energetic and popular pastor of St. Mary's
(Roman Catholic) church at Ilillsboro, though he has only been a
resident of the parish a few years, has already gained distinction as
a progressive and resourceful man both in affairs spiritual and secu-
lar. As the name would imply he is of German lineage, his parents
being George J. and Anna Eve (Haidt) Mayerhoefer, who came
from the fatherland and settled in Cincinnati about the' middle of
the nineteenth century. Father Mayerhoefer was born in Cincin-
nati, July 24, 1871, and after he reached suitable age entered the
excellent parochial schools of St Francis de Sales, on AValnut Hills
in his native city. At the age of fourteen he matriculated at the
famous Xotre Dame university, of South Bend, Ind., and spent the
next four years in passing through the various grades of its elaborate
curriculum. Thus equipped with a fine classical education, the
young student entered Mt Saint Mark's seminary at Cincinnati and
took a thorough course in philosophy and theology at that popular
institution. All this long and arduous study was but the prelim-
inary to entrance into holy orders, and Father Mayerhoefer's ordi-
nation to the priesthood took place June 19, 1894, as he was nearing
the twenty-third year of his age. From that time for nearly six
years he was assistant pastor at St LawTcnce church in Cincinnati,
and April 26, 1900, was transferred to the parish of Hillsboro where
he has since remained. Father Mayerhoefer now has spiritual care
over nearly one himdred families, Avith whom he is quite popular in
his pastoral relations, and his business ability has been thoroughly
demonstrated by the tact and energy with which he put through the
erection of the extensive additions to St Mary's church. As St
Mary's was established in 1852, it Avill complete its semi-centennial
of existence in 1902, and it is the intention to dedicate the remodeled
structure at that time with a celebration in the nature of a golden
jubilee.

John A. Mercer, M. D., a popular physician of Rainsboro and
conspicuous in connection wuth various fraternal orders, is an Indi-
anian by birth and of Irish parent^e. His father, Thomas Mercer,
who was bom in county Down, crossed the ocean in 1833 when a



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400 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

boy seven years old, with his parents, who made their first home in
Pennsylvania. This, however, was but temporary, as after a few
years they removed to Baltimore and from there went first to Illinois,
then to Iowa, where they died. Their son Thomas remained at home
until he was about nineteen years of age, when he engaged in school
teaching and followed that occupation ten or twelve years. He then
entered the ministry of the United Presbyterian church, his first
charge being in Indiana and the second at Jackson, Ohio. In tiie
latter place he married Rebecca J., daughter of Archibald Hunter,
and of Pennsylvanian nativity. The first housekeeping done by the
noAvly wedde<l couple was in Clinton county, Ind., but later they
returned to Jackson, Ohio, and spent four years in that city. The
next move was to Decatur, in Brown coimty, Ohio, where ten years
were pasvsed, after which Mr. Mercer took up his residence in Adams
county, where he still lives in retirement. Of his six children three,
Margaret E., Mary .T. and Emma B. are dead, the latter being
droAvned at five years of age while crossing a stream in Indiana with
her parents. The three living are John A., AVilliam U., a physician
at Raymond, 111., and Thomas H., a resident of Adams county.
John A. Mercer, eldest of the living children, was bom in Clinton
county, Ind., April 25, 181)0, and remained at home until he began
the study of medicine with Dr. A. Ellison, of Duncansville, Ohio.
He attended lectures hoth in Cincinnati and Ivouisville, Ky., being
given a diploma by the ^ledical college in the latter city with the
class of ISSS. After graduating, T)r. fiercer first located at Wake-
field, in Pike county, Ohio, but before the year was out came to
Rainsboro where ho has since practiced his profession. Dr. ^Mercer
is quite prominent in the fraternal orders, having filled every chair
in Odd Fellowship, all the offic*es of the Knights of Pythias besides
l)eing representative to the grand lodge two years, and has occupied
several chairs in the Masonic lodge. Ilfr holds membership in the
following orders: Rainslxiro lodge, Xo. 453, Knights of Pythias;
Xew Petersburg lodge, Xo. 211, Inde})endent Order of Odd Fellows;
Greenfield Blue lodge, Xo. 818, Greenfield chapter, Xo. 133, Hills-
lx>ro council, Xo. 1(5, and Highland commandery, Xo. 31, in Free
Masonry; and Greenfield lo<lge, Xo. 717, Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks. Dr. Mercer married Edith B., daughtei* of Dr. D. X.



Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 46 of 63)