A. E. Hough J. W. Klise.

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

. (page 48 of 63)
Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 48 of 63)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


note that the first threshing machine brought into Highland county
was set up on his farm. After many years of peaceful and happy
life, this worthy pioneer and his wife passed away, and w^ere laid to
rest where tliey began their labors as clearors of the forest Their
children, John, Stephen, James, William and Amos, and Delilah^
are also all deceased. John MolDcrly, the eldest, was a boy of some
years wheni the family came to Ohio, and he aided in building the
first house raised at Hillsboro. For many years he was actively
identified with the promotion of the interests of the city with which
he was thus early associ^,ted. Marrying Elizabeth Fenner, a native
of Pennsylvania, in early manhood, he made his home on a farm on
the Wilmington road near Hillsboro, where he lived until the death
of his w^ife, passing the remainder of his days with his son, Rezin W.
Of his ten children, Frederick, William, John, Eezii^ W., Caleb,.
Sarah, Rachel, Maria, Delilah and Mary A., all are dead but Kezin
W. and Mary A., the last named being the widow of George BrowTi,
of Mount Oreb. Rezin W. Moberly was bom at the Liberty town-
ship home December 27, 1821, was educated in the district schools,
and after spending some of the early years of manhood at home, in
1847 bought a place of 105 acres in Clay township, for about $2.60^
an acre, of William Scott He was busied in clearing and working
this farm, living in a small log house, for two years, and then he
bought the farmi of 130 acres where he now lives. Following this
purchase he married Elizabeth J. Roberts, daughter of Abraham and
Elizabeth Roberts, an estimable lady who was also a native of High-
land county, who died in 1898 and is buried in Buford. Eight
children have been born to them: John A., a resident of Brown
county ; George, at the old home ; William, of Clay township ; Clin-
ton and Mary J., deceased ; Rachel, wife of George Mink ; Ellen B.,
wife of Lee Barley, of Clay township, and Lulu, wife of Greorge
Weaver, of Buford. Rezin W. Moberly has long been considered
one of the leading citizens of Clay township, enterprising, intelligent
and trustworthy. He has held many of the official positions of the
township, some of them a great many years ; for a considerable num-
ber of years he actively conducted aj general store near his home, and
he has been active in the w^ork of the grange, holding the office of
treasurer for a long time. He has been an extensive land owner,
and at one time had seven hundred acres, part of which he has divided
among his children. In farming and stock raising he has been suc-
cessful, giving considerable attention to Shorthorn cattle and Poland
China hogs.



Digitized by



Google



410 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

Christopher C. Moberly, of Clay township, a well-known farmer
and veteran of the civil w^ar, is a great-grandson of Rezin Moberly,
a worthy pioneer of Highland county whose life is described in the
foregoing sketch. His father was Frederick, eldest son of John
Moberly (of whom mention has also been made), and he was the eld-
est son of Rezin Moberly. Frederick Moberly was bom in Liberty
township in 1812, was educated in the subscription schools of his
day, and in 1834 was married to Lydia Husey, also a native of Lib-
erty township, and daughter of Christopher Husey. Following this
event he built a hewed log house on 120 acres of forest land in Clay
township, and there he and his wife began their toilsome work of
redeeming the land from the wuldness of nature, and rearing for
lives of usefulness the eight children that w^ere given them in the
course of their early married life. The father lived to the age of
sixty-three years, the mother to fifty-seven. Three of their children,
Mary, Jane and Emma, the youngest, are dead, but besides the sulv
ject of this sketch, John F. resides in the state of Washington ; James
in Clay township; Charles A. in Buford, and Cyrus F. on the old
homestead. Christopher C. Moberly was bom on the homesteadj
November 17, 1836, and received his education in the common
schools. When the war with the South broke out he promptly
offered his services in behalf of his country, and was mustered in at
Hillsboro, in October, 1861, as a private soldier in Company B of
the Sixtieth regiment Ohio infantry. After sometime in camp at
Camp Mitchell and on guard duty at Gallipolis, Mr. Moberly and
his comrades moved into West Virginia, and engaged in the cam-
paign in the Kanawha and Shenandoah valleys, participating in the
active campaign of the spring of 1862 against the famous Stonewall
Jackson. Among the engagements in which he took part were those
at Cotton Town, Mt Jackson and Cross Keys. Later in the year,
during the Maryland campaign, he and his regiment were stationed
at Harper's Ferry, and were there surrendered to General Jackson,
September 15th. Being at once paroled they went to Annapolis,
Md., and from there sent to Chicago, where they were finally mus-
tered out. This closed his experience in war, and he returned to
his home and resumed farming. On January 12, 1864, he was
married to Louisa J. Wood, a native of Danville, Highland county,
and they began housekeeping in Brown county. Two years later
they bought the fifty acres in Clay township where Mr. Moberly now
lives, to which he has since added enough to make 105 acres. In
1802 they moved to Hillsboro, and two /ears later to Buford, where
Mrs. Moberly died Xovember 3, 1893. Since then he has occupied
his farm home, continuing to give his attention to general agricul-
ture and the raising of Shorthorn cattle and other fancy stock. He
has been honored with several township oflSces, is a member of the
Buford camp of the Grand Army of the Republic, and of the Meth-



Digitized by



Google



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 41I

odist church, and in politics is a Republican. Three children are
living: Oliver I^., of Cincinnati; Herbert L., at home, and Clyde,
residing at New Orleans, La.

John D. Moberly, a well known farmer and stock man of Clay
township, is a great-grandson of Rexin Moberly, a native of Virginia
who was conspicuous among the pioneer settlers of Highland county.
The facts of the career of this ancestor and of his son, John Moberly,
through whom J. D. Moberly is descended, is given in a sketch fore-
going. They were pioneers worthy of remembrance, and their de-
scendants are among the best people of this region. The second son
of John Moberly, as has been noted, was William, born October 24,
1815, at the farm homJe in Liberty township. William Mol)erly
removed to Clay township in early manhood, and married Nancy
Tygart, also a native of Highland county, of an old family. Making
his home in a log cabin on 121 acres of wild land that he bought, he
began the work of clearing away the forest, as a forerunneT of the
present magnificent agricultural development of the county. His
first wife died after giving birth to one child, Louisa J., who is now
the wife of H. G. Fite, of BrowTi county, and subsequently Mr.
Moberly was married to Harriet Foreman, daughter of John and
Nellie Foreman. She was also a native of the county. William
Moberly continued his work as a farmer, living upon the same place,
but enlarged his holdings until he w^as the owner of over four hun-
dred acres, and as time passed replaced his early home with modem
buildings. He was a very prosperous man, was active in politics as
a Democrat, contributed generously to religious enterprises, and was
known all over the county as a mam deserving of esteem and confi-
dence. He passed away at eighty-one years of age, but his w^idow
is yet living at Mount Orab. They had four children, J. D., W. H.,
Sarah E., \vife of X. Irons, of Brown county, and Luella, wdfe of
T. J. Sprinkle, of Brown county. J.. D. Moberly was bom on the
farm adjoining his present home in Clay towmship, January 9, 1845,
was reared at home and educated in the district school imtil eighteen
years of age, and then, it being the period of the civil war, he went
to Cincinnati and obtained employment in the government service
as a teamster. He was regularly enlisted, and after two months at
Cincinnati, w^ent to the front with the company of Captain Douglas,
and took part in the battle of Lavergne, Tefnn. Then, his time of
enlistment having expired, he w^as honorably discharged and came
home, but soon af tenv^ard re-enlisted in Company G- of the Hundred
and Ninety-second Ohio volunteer infantry, which was mustered in
at Columbus. With this regiment he went to Virginia, and was on
duty during the closing months of the war, finally being mustered out
with his comrades at Winchester, Va., September 1, 1865. He
returned at once to his farm home upon the conclusion of this honor-



Digitized by



Google



412 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

able service for the country, and resumed his former occupation, and
presently was happily married to Rachel E. Brown, a native of Clin-
ton county, Ohio. Ever since they have made their home at the
present residence, prospering in their undertakings and adding
improvements and comforts as the years rolled by. Their home has
been blessed Avith three children, two of whom — Elva and Frank —
have died. Anna, the third, is the wife of T. S. Evans, of Dayton,
Ohio. They have also reared their granddaughter, Goldie M.
Puckett. Mr. Moberly has given much attention to the breeding of
OxforddoAvn sheep, and Duroc and Jersey swine, in addition to
farming, and has been an extensive dealer in live st>ock lie is a
member of the camp of tlie Grand Army of the Republic at Buford,
and of the Christian church, and is a Republican in politics.

William S. Moore, proprietor of the Hotel Kramer, at Hillsboro,
is one of t^e popular landlords of Highland county and during an
experience of some years has shown that he is master of the problem
of public entertainment. He is a native of the good old county of
Pike, and a son of Sailesbury and Mary S. (Eager) Moore, well
known citizens of that part of Ohio. In 1894, Mr. Moore engaged
in the business of drilling water-wells and followed that occupation
about six years. Having an inclination for catering to the "inner
wants'^ of man, he determined to turn this talent to good account by
entering into the hotel business regularly. With this end in view
he secured control of the Central House at Leesburg and in 1900
took charge as proprietor of that hostelry. About two years later,
desiring a larger field, Mr. Moore came to Hillsboro and in February,
1902, opened the Hotel Kramer. Under his good management this
house came to the front at once as a place where good entertainment
could be obtained at reasonable rates, and has steadily gained in its
hold on the traveling public. Owing to its favorable location on
West Main street, near the business center of Hillsboro, the Hotd
Kramer seems destined to become one of the most popular of the
city's resorts.

The Morrow Family: — John Morrow was an old revolutionary
soldier, who took part in the battle of Trenton, a few years later
sought a home in the wilderness of Kentucky and afterward moved
to the White Water valley of Indiana, where he died in 1826. His
son Alexander, who was bom May 2, 1783, subsequently made his
way to Ohio and in 1812 found a location near Greenfield in the
coimty of Highland. The war fever was strong at that time in cen-
tral Ohio and soon after his arrival Alexander Morrow went to the
front to do his part toward fighting the British. In December, 1815,
after his return from the army, he was married to Polly Coffey, a
typical pione€fr woman and daughter of one of the notable characters



Digitized by



Google



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 413

of that day. Her father, John Coffey, who came from Pennsylvania
la 1800, was the keeper of the first tavern opened at Greenfield, then
a very small settlemnt of crude log cabins. This primitive but gen-
uine '^Coffey House" was built of hewed logs, was two stories in
height, and twenty-t^vo by thirty feet on the ground. Though not
as sho^vy as the modem French '^coffee-house" of our large ca^Vitals,
the tavern at Greenfield was a veritable oasis in the desert at the time
of its inception and furnished appetizing means for many a hungry
traveler before advancing civilization brought better accoimnoda-
tions. Besides filling the important role of ''mine host," John Coffey
was also the first justice of the peace elected in Madison township,
and between feeding the public and enforcing the law^ was a man of
weight in the infant community. Polly Coffey, his daughter, was
bom February 1, 1796, lived over sixty-one years after her wedding,
and passed away from the scenes of earth April 3, 1877. By her
marriage with Alexander Morrow there were five children who
reached maturity: Ruth E., wife of Hugh Beatty; Margaret, wife
of Robert McCalpin; John and James P., the latter still residing
in Greenfield, and William Alexander. The latter was born May 18,
1826, and after residing four years in Chillicothe, came to HillsbcAro
in 1860, embarked in the business of photography and followed that
occupation for many years. January 8, 1852, he was married to
Harriet L., daughter of Abner Taylor, member of one of the well
known pioneer families. William Alexander and Harriet (Taylor)
Morrow became the parents of the following named children:
Otway C, of Hillsboro ; John Franklin, who died in Texas at the age
of thirty ; Minnie R., wife of D. T. Larrimore, a druggist of l^ew
York city; William A., queensware merchant of Hillsboro; Jennie
T., wife of William S. Conrad, with the McKeehan & Hiestand com-
pany ; Lizzie B., a dressmaker in Covington, Ky. ; George D., doing
contract work for a ^N'ew York firm ; Bertie, died in infancy ; Lucie,
a milliner in Cincinnati ; and Sadie, wife of Fred McClure, billing
clerk for C. S. Bell & Co. Otway C. Morrow, eldest born of the
above, after finishing his education in the city schools, was engaged
for several years as a clerk in tlie mercantile business at Hillsboro.
In 1880 he became manager for a queensware house in Cincinnati,
but returned to Hillsboro in 1887 to accept a partnership with the
McKeehan & Hiestand company, of which he is at present secretary
and treasurer. tTune 19, 1884, he w^as united in wedlock with Anna J.
Leyden, a lady of the best social connections in Cincinnati. Her
parents were members of prominent families in Ireland and emi-
grated to America in the early part of the nineteenth century. Mr.
and Mrs. Morrow's only child, Curry Levden, was bom November
^1, 1897. "^ ^ J



Digitized by



Google



414 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

Thomas MuUenix, notable among the settlers soon after the war of
1812 in the vicinity of Hillsboro, was bom in Jefferson county, Va.^
in 1791, one of six children, of Williaan Mullenix, a native of Eng-
land, who married there and came to America with his wife soon
after the war of the Revolution. The six children were Nathan,
Thomas, Harry, Jack, and two daughters. The mother died in Vir-
ginia, and the father in later years joined his son Thomas in High-
land coimty and died here. Thomas was married in Virginia to
Ellen Pulse, a native of the same state, and they b^an their married
life in Virginia, but in 1817 came west and established a pioneer
home on one hundred acres of wdld land that he bought in Liberty
township, about t\vo miles from Hillsboro. There, Thomas Mullenix
reared a family of eleven children, and lived to the age of seventy-
five years, his wife surviving to past ninety. Their children were
David, deceased; Mary, wddow of D. Dunn, of Taylorsville ; Lewis,
deceased ; William H., of Washington township ; Thomas, of Belfast,
Ohio ; John, of Iowa ; Rebecca, wife of Hugh Shepard, of Hillsboro ;
Henry, of Liberty to\vnship; ALartlia, widow of George Spicard, of
Hlinois; Sarah E. and Jacob, deceased. William II., for many
years a worthy citizen of Highland county, was born in Liberty town-
ship, April 24, 1818, and in early manhood married Ellen Higgins,
daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Higgins. They made their home
on tlie original Mullenix farm for twenty years, then spent a year
in Iowa, and after that in Liberty to\\'nship until 184(3, when the
wife died, after which he made his home in W^ashington township.
For sixty-four years he has been a member of tlie Methodist church.
The children bom to these parents were" Margaret and Samantha,^
deceased; H. E., of Washingtx>n township; Clara, living in Kansas;
Paulina, deceased; Jacob, of Clinton county; and Mary E. and
Thomas, deceased. H. E. Mullenix was lx>rn in Liberty toAvnship,
Xovember 13, 1847, received his education in the district school and
married Sina Carlisle, a native of Washington touTiship, daughter
of John and Mima Carlisle. They began their married life in Clin-
ton county, Ohio, afterward lived for twelve years in Missouri, and
then returned to Washington township, where he bought a farm and
now oAvns 122 acres. He is a man of influence in the community,
has served as a member of the school board, and is the present trustee
of the toAVTiship; is a Republican in politics, and a member of the
Methodist church. His children living are, Ilarley, Harrv^, Alpha,
and Jesse. One, Marie, is deceased.

Wilson H. Mullenix, an enterprising and popular citizen of Wash-
ington township, was born January 1, 1861, son of Thomas A. Mul-
lenix. W. H. Mullenix was reared at home and educated in the dis-
trict school and Hillsboro high school, and when eighteen years of
age he engaged in teaching in the public schools. J^ater he was mar-



Digitized by



Google



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 415

ried to Sarah E. Woods, a native of Washington township, and
daughter of John and Mai*y E. Woods, and they began housekeeping
in Washington township, on the farm now owned by Dennis Collins.
Five years later they removed to Eolsom, where Mr. Mullenix em-
barked in business as a general merdiant. He still conducts this
store, which is one of tlie most popular in the region, is postmaster,
and continues to teach school, an occupation which he has followed
with much success for seventeen years. He is also the owner of a
farm of thirty acres, and devotes considerable attention to the raising
of live stock of all kinds. He is a member of the Methodist Epis-
copal church, and of the Knights of Pythias lodge at Belfast. Hih
family includes three children : Sigel W., Everett P., and James H.

Charles C. Muhlbach, the popular market gardener of New Mar-
ket and one of the most energetic and enterprising of its citizens,
though a native of another state, has long been identified with the
interests of Highland county. His father, Christian Muhlbach, a
native of Wertemberg, Germany, came to America in company with
four brothers, and shortly after his arrival married Caroline Hau-
tica, a lady of French descent then living in Brown county, Ohio,
and went with his bride to Iowa. He was a harness-maker and fol-
lowed that trade until the civil war broke out, when he enlisted as a
soldier in the Union army. After the war he died at the Soldiers'
Home in Dayton, Ohio. His only son, Charles C. Muhlbach, was
bom in Louisa county, Iowa, June 8, 1858, and by the death of his
mother in 1859 was left an orphan when only eight months old. He
was adopted by a fanuly named Shearing, living near Cincinnati,
and while with them lost all the toes on both feet as the result of
freezing. Subsequently he was taken care of by a family of
Shakers at Whitewater, where he remained six or eight years and
later worked some time for A. B. Hay at Mount Airy. March 11,
1880, Mr. Muhlbach came to Highland county and bought fifteen
acres of land near Xew Market, where he has since resided. He is a
gardener and gi'ower of small fruits, his business in that line being
the most extensive in the county ; has prospered and become one of
the most useful and enterprising citizens of his locality. His activ*
ties extend to connection with the political, business, social and relig-
ious life of the community, being always at the front in movements
to advance growth and development. He early saw the benefits to
be derived from rural mail delivery and was a prime mover in get-
ting the first route established in Highland county. He has held ^^e
following positions: township trustee, chairman of the executive
committee of the Highland coimty Sunday school association, local
director of schools, secretary Farmers' institute for two terms, char-
ter member of Hillsboro Mutual fire insurance company, and direc-
tor and member of the executive board of the same, and jury



Digitized by



Google



416 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

commissioner of the county. On the religious side, Mr. MuhlbacU
is a deacon in the Presbyterian church, has been Sunday school
teacher for tvventy-one years and two years president of the local
Christian Endeavor society, and is now president of the county
Christian Endeavor Union. He is a member of all branches of tha
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and has served five years as
district deputy grandmaster ; holds membership in the Sons of Vetr
eraris. Ancient Order United Workmen at Ilillsboro, and Golden
Ridge grange at Xew Market His first wife was Sarah E. Murry,
by w^hom he had two children : Carrie, wife of E. Austin, and Mat-
tie, at school in Westerville, Ohio. Their mother died in 1886, and
Mr. Muhlbach was married later to Rebecca, daughter of James and
Catherine Diven, of Highland county. The four children of this
union are Bessie, Elsie, George and Lucile.

The ^lurphy family, so long and favorably known in Highland
county by the prominent connection of its members with public and
business affairs, is of Irish origin and honorable lineage. Hugh
Murphy was bom in County Down, Ireland, March 5, 1756, and
when about twenty-six years old, at the port of Xewry went on boardt
a vessel called ^^The Three Brothers,'' bound for America. After
the usual long and tedious voyage of sailing ships in those days, ho
landed at Philadelphia in January, 1783, and a few days later had
the privilege of witnessing a great historic event — General Wash-
ington reviewing his troops fresh from the achievement of American
independence. The young Irishman made his way to Virginia, where
in 1790 he married Mary Beatty. Ten years later he removed to
Fayette county, Penn. From that region he migrated in the late
fall of 1816 to Ohio, where he went into business, reared his children
and passed away June 5, 1842. Hugh Murphy had a son named
John, who was bom in Loudoun county, Va., Xovember 17, 1793,
and was consequently about twenty-three years old when his parents
came to the western country. About 1820, John Murphy settled a
short distance east of Russell Station in Highland county, on the
fann subsequently owned by the Rev. Mr. Armstead. He married
Xancy, daughter of John White, who was bom in 1806 at the resi-
dence of her parents near Xew Petersburg, and lived until the com-
pletion of her eighty-seventh year, long surviving her husband, who
passed away January 10, 1845. The list of their children, taken
from the family records, is here given : Susannah, bom December
14, 1828, married George W. Pitzer in May, 1847, and died in
1862; Hugh, bom March 7, 1830, died April 15, 1901; Andrew
Beatty, bora October 14, 1831, died April 2, 1900; Daniel, bom
January 1, 1833; Martha J., bom June 22, 1834, was married in
1856 to George C Pitzer, dean of the St. Louis Medical coll^re, and
died in 1891; Francis Ifarion, bom Febmary 24, 1836; Samuel



Digitized by



Google



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 417

Lewis, born March 22, 1840, died in infancy; Mary J., bom Octo-
ber 5, 1841, was married June 11, 18C8, to John G. Bayless, present
postmaster of Lynchburg; John W., born July 7, 1844, is a practic-
ing physician at Cuba, Clinton county, Ohio. Daniel Murphy is
one of the most prominent and popular of the citizens of Lynchburg.
He began surveying in early manhood and has followed that useful
calling for more than forty years. He was elected auditor of High-
land county in 1868 and filled that office two terms of two years each,
ending in 1873. He has enjoyed practically all the honors that his
town had to confer, being elected to the offices of clerk, councilman
and mayor, and also clerk of the township. All his elections, too,
were obtained in a to\vn and township w^here the natural political
majority was averse to the party to which Mr. Murphy belonged.
He served as a soldier during the civil war wdth the Eighty-eighth
Ohio regiment, and later was given a commission as lieutenant in
the Twenty-seventh TJ. S. C. T. regiment. He has long been con-



Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 48 of 63)