A. E. Hough J. W. Klise.

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

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spot where they were so long in use, curious relics of a past and out-
grown usefulness. Charles A. Welsheimer was only nine years old
when his parents settled at Greenfield and may be said to have been
brought up in a mill, as from boyhood he was associated with his
father continuously with the exception of a few years spent in the
lumber business in Kentucky. Welsheimer & Son was the firm in
charge for a long time of the old Greenfield mills, which later became
the Island Grove mill and elevator company. Since his father's
retirement in 1891, Charles A. Welsheimer has been sole proprietor
of this well known concern and does business on an extensive scale.
He manufactures the famous Arbutus brand of flour, which is very
popular, and his trade extends throughout southern Ohio. Under
his father and himself improvements were added from time to time so
as to keep abreast of the latest inventions and processes and the capac-
ity of the mill at present is fifty barrels of flour per day.* In 1880
Mr. Welsheimer was married to Martha Ellen, daughter of John
Hall, of Greenfield, by whom he has four children, Ruby, Walter,
Annie and Mabel, the first two employed in the mill with their
father. Mr. Welsheimer is a member of the Royal Areanimi and
the Woodmen of the World.



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 599

Joseph West, notable among the early settlers of this region of
Ohio, was the ancestor of a considerable number of the prominent
people of Highland and adjacent counties. He was a descendant of a
progenitor who came from, England in the early colonial days, and
settled in Maryland and afterward moved to Virginia, establishing a
family, of which one of the most famous members was Benjamin
West, known alike in Europe and America for his genius as a
painter. Joseph was married in Virginia to a Miss Ballinger, and
in the year 1801 came with his family, in a party including his
brothers John and Benjamin and their families, and settled four
miles west of Sinking Spring, at Beech Flats. He became widely
known among the pioneer inhabitants, and accumulated a consider-
able estate. His family included eight children: James, Joseph,
John, Benjamin, Isaac, Pleasant, Hugh and a daughter.

James West^ an ancestor in the line traced in thi& sketch, son of
Joseph, the pioneer, married Rebecca Nichols, a native of Virginia,
and had eight children: Lucinda, Isaac, Benjamin, Sallie, Samp-
son, Matilda, Xathan and Martha. He was a successful farmer in
Brush Creek township for many years, dying at the age of seventy
years. Some lime after his death his widow and the family bought
the farm now owned by the West heirs in Washington township, and
she made that her home until her death at the age of eighty-three
years.

Xathan M., one of the sons of James and Rebecca West, married
Lucinda Ballentine, daughter of John W. Ballentine, of Scotch
descent, and reared a family of six children, of whom the survivors
are notable among the people of Highland county today. Nathan M.
West devoted his life to farming,' and his success and evident intelli-
gence and good judgment made him an authority among his
neighbors. His character was above reproach, and he was held in
high regard for his unfailing honesty and integrity. As a young man
he united with the Christian church, of which he was ever a faithful
supporter. Unfortunately his life was comparatively brief, and he
passed away at the age of forty-five years, leaving the mother to care
for the children, a duty which she performed with such success that
great credit is due to her. This worthy lady is yet living at the age
of fifty-five years, is a devoted member of the Methodist church, and
loved by a wide circle of friends and relatives. Their children are :
Harlan, deceased ; Matilda, wife of S. W. Spargur, of Washington
township; Thomas J., Robert B., and Ellis E., of Berrysville, and
Nathan M., a dentist at Sinking Spring.

Thomas J., the eldest son, surviving, and the head of the well-
known firm of West Brothers, general merchants at Berrysville, was
bom September 20, 1872, on the home farm, and received his educa-
tion in the district school and at Lebanon and Sardinia, Ohio. He
began his manhood career as a teacher at the Paint schools, which he



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510



THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.



organized as a graded school, and remained with as principal until
18D9, Avhen he embarked in his present business as a merchant. Mr.
West is making an enviable reputation as a straightforward and suc-
cessful business man, and his high standing among the people of the
township is showoi by his election to the office of to\mship treasurer,
which he now holds, lie is a member of the lodge of Knights of
Pythias at Belfast, and a Democrat in politics, like his ancestors. In
early manhood he was married to Bernice, daughter of Isaac and
Amanda Harper, and granddaughter of Julia Iliggins, a well-known
pioneer of the county. They have one child, Lois Evangeline.

Robert B. West^ another member of the firm of West Brothers,
w^as reared at the old homest<:*ad and educated in the district school.
He married Asenath llatt, a native of Liberty township, and they
began housekeeping at the old home, where they yet reside. Their
home has been blessed with one child, a son. Mr. West is a member
of the Metliodist church and of the Knights of Pythias, and in poli-
tics is a Prohibitionist.

Ellis E., the third meinlx^r of the firm of West Brodiers, was edu-
cated in the district school and at Lynchburg, and before going into
business taught school for two terms in the Buckley district. He is
a member of the Modem Woodmen of America, at Berrysville, and a
Republican.

Rolx^rt R. West, proprietor of the noted Spring Hill farm, east
of Hillsboro, and for thirty-five years a well-kno\vn breeder of re^s-
tered cattle, is connected by a direct line of ancestry with the men
who helped organize Highland county. His grandfather, John West,
was one of four brothers w4io came from Virginia at the beginning
of the last century and joined his fortune with the little army then
engaged in the settlement of Ohio. He tarried two years in Ross
county, three in Fayetto and then located permanently on a farm
of 212 acres which he purchased in Paint township. Highland county.
He was a fine specimen of the type of western pioneers. Six feet two
inches tall, of erect carriage and athletic mold, firm in flesh and
capable of enduring the greatest hardships, John West lived ninety-
five years and enjoyed excellent health to the day of his death. Hp
did much for the! public goo<l by helping lay out the roads, establish
schools and assist other agencies of civilization. He helped organize
the first Disciples' church and donated land for the erection of a
house of worship on his farm, being active all his life in religious,
educational and charitable work. His wife was a fit companion for
such a man, being a woman of strength both in mind and body, a
good mother and good housekeeper, who enjoyed unusual health until
the close of her earthly career at the age of ninety-three years. This
venerable couple reared a family of nine children all of whom, with
one exception, grew^ to maturity and themselves became the parents



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.



511



of numerous offspring. The list of those dead includes George, Isaac,
Jackson and Andrew ; iVinos lives in Iowa ; Hulda is the wife of
Harrison Weyer; Sarah married Jacob Tominson and Catherine is
the wife of Frederick Bumgamer, of Samantha. Allen P. West, the
fourth in age of the family, was horn in Paint township, Highland
county, Ohio, December 9, 1821, grew up on his father's farm and
spent sixty years of his life at that place. He married Isabelle,
daughticr of Robert Patterson of ^larshall township, by whom he had
four children ; Cyrus, a resident of Fayette county ; Robert R. ;
Sallie, wdfe of Iliden Ervin, of Washiugton Court House; and Mary,
wife of Charles Haynes of Hillsboro. In 1881 the parents removed to
Washington Court House, Ohio, where they are living in retirement.
Their son, Robert R. West, was Iwrn in Marshall tow^lship, Highland
county, Ohio, on the farm adjoining his present place of residence,
Xorember 25, 1848. Besides the usual ex|)erience in the common
schools of the district he spent one year at the college in Lebanon,
Ohio. September 18, 1872, he was married to Ella, daughter of
Sajuuel and Mary Lyle, of Liberty township. iVfter this event, he
moved to an adjoining farm of 300 acres, where he spent seven years
and then returned to the old homestead, where he has since remained.
Mr. West owns a large amount of land, consisting of 765 acres in the
home place, a farm of 105 acres near Boston and another of 205
acres in Liberty township. His father had long been an extensive
breeder and dealer in Shorthorn cattle and he has followed in his
footsteps with an enlargement of the business and increased success.
For thirty-five years he has been engaged in raising thoroughbred
registered cattle and occupies a front ranjc ainong Ohio breeders of
the famous strain knowTi as the Shorthorn. His place, eight miles
east of Hillsboro, is famous for its nmnerous springs, from which
circumstance his stock have derived the name of "The Spring Hill
Herd,'' and by this title are known far and wide among fanciers of
fine cattle. Mr. and Mrs. West have four children: lioscoe is a
farmer in Liberty township ; Harry has a sawTuill at Leesburg ; Annie
and Mary are at home*. Like his forefathers for generations, Mr.
W^est is a believer in the doctrines taught by the Disciples' Church
and is a member of the local congregation of that denomination.

The West family, of Penn towTiship, made its first appearance in
Highland county about the year 1840. It originated with Eber West,
who was born in 1770 in AU^heny county, Md., married Sarah
Roland and removed with her to Pennsylvania, where he died in 1838.
His son John was bom December 17, 1797, and in 1840 migrated
to Ohio with his mother, who died in Highland county December 16,
1848. John West was married to Elizabeth, daughter of John
Randels, who belonged to that element in our nationality colloquially
denominated "Pennsylvania Dutch." John West died near New



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512 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

Market September 3, 1861, and his wife passed away on the Baker
farm in Penn township August 1, 1857, aged fifty-si^ years. The
'Children resulting from their union were Isaac A., Jeremiah, Sarah
(Yates) Enos, Belinda who died aged thirteen, Margaret who died
at twenty-one, John and James Madison. Isaac Alfred West, eldest
of the above mentioned children, was bom October 8, 1825, and was
consequently about fifteen years old when his parents settled in High-
land county. He rose to a position of influence and was much
respected in his community. For fifteen years he was justice of the
peace in Penn township and held the office of county assessor.
Xovember 25, 1845, he was married to Eliza Jane, daughter of
William and Margaret (Art) Woolums, the former bom in Fleming
county, Kentucky, March 19, 1822. The children of Isaac and Jane
West were Sarah E., who married L. D. Crute and died Jime 28,
1872 ; William Alfred, a farmer of Liberty township ; Isaac Newton,
a machinist at Dayton ; Charles P., a hardware merchant at Chilli-
cothe; Samuel T., farming in Penn township; Wilson W., a farmer
living near Samantha; Franklin M., sketched more fully below; and
Edward, proprietor of a restaurant at Kingston, Ross county.
Frank M. West, next to the yoxmgest of the children, was born in
Highland county, Ohio, Xovember 9, 1860, grew up on the farm and
spent most of his adult life in mercantile pursuits. October 26, 1884,
he was married to Rachel, daughter of John and Rachel (Starr)
Kerns, who located in Samantha at an early date in the county^s
history. Rachel was born November 17, 1861, near her present
home. The children of Frank M. and Rachel West are Howard G.,
bora May 28, 1885 ; Lucy, bqrn December 15, 1886, is attending the
Hillsboro high school; Georgia M., bom July 23, 1888, and di^ in
1890. Starling and Overton, twins, were bom April 1, 1891. Mr.
West became a merchant at Samantha in 1884 and continued in that
business until his death, which occurred November 5, 1899. Like his
f atlier before him he enjoyed general respect and was a man of influ-
ence and prominence in that part of the county where his lot was
cast Besides the store building at Samantha, Mrs. West owns 108
acres of farm land and a comfortable residence, being highly esteemed
in the social circle to which she belongs.

Samuel T. West, one of the energetic farmers of Penn township,
is a member of the. family bearing his name which is sketched in
some detail in this volume. They came originally from the famous
"eastem shore" of Maryland to Pennsylvania, and thence in 1840 to
Ohio, the first emigrants in Highland county being John West, his
children and his mother. From John's marriage with Elizabeth
Randels a large family resulted and these in turn by fruitful mar^
riages so increased the name of West that it became a very familiar
one in Highland county. Isaac West, eldest of the children of John



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 513

and Elizabeth, was especially influential not only in spreading the
family name by his offspring but by the prominence and popularity
he acquired in the community. Samuel T. West, one of his sons,
was bom in Liberty township, January 25, 1855, and went through
the usual experiences of a farmer's boy as to work and education.
He has devoted his whole life to agricultural pursuits and enjoys the
reputation of being both an intelligent and industrious tiller of the
soil. In January, 1900, he purchased a farm of one hundred acres
four and one-half miles north of Hillsboro, to which he afterward
added sixteen acres of new ground, and this place promises to become
a model farm under the skillful management and progressive culti-
vation of Mr. West. November 24, 1886, he was married to
Kate B., daughter of William and Wilhelmina (Mundel) Boelzner,
natives of Grermany who came to America in 1849. Besides Mrs.
West, the other children of the Boelzner family were Philip, who
died when thirty-nine years old; William, a farmer and miller at
Fairview; Rose, deceased, who married Frank Ludwick, formerly
of Kansas and later Oklahoma; Sophia, for many years a teacher;
Amelia, wife of Nathaniel Roush, resident south of Fairview.
During her girlhood and young womanhood Mrs. West taught school
a number of years and gained high rank as a successful educator.
The children of Samuel T.^ and Kate B. West are Ray Eliza, bom
September 24, 1887 ; an infant daughter, born June 23, 1892, died
June 29, 1892, unnamed; and K'ina Fay, born August 9, 1894.
Mr. West has inherited those strong and social qualities of his father
which gain and hold friends, and as a result he enjoys the esteem of
all his neighbors.

Spencer D. West, of Rainsboro, treasurer of Paint township, is
a descendant of William We¬Іt, a native of Maine, who came to High-
land county about 1830. His son, William, located in Loveland,
Hamilton county, and died there in 1896. Another son, Albert,
bom in Marshall township in 1831, was educated in the district
school, and in early manhood married Mary W., daughter of John
Spargur, one of the prominent settlers of Paint township. They
had eight children : John, now in Alaska ; Sarah, who died at the
age of twenty-two years ; Olive, residing at Springfield ; Spencer D.,
subject of this sketch; Schultz, in Alaska; Chauncey, who died at
twenty-three years; and Jesse and Cyrus, formerly of Seattle, Wash.,
but now in Alaska. Spencer D. West was born April 18, 1860,
received a common-school education, and since his youth has been
actively and successfully engaged in farming. His home, two miles
east of Rainsboro, is an attractive one, on a farm of 145 acres, which
is fertile and well kept He is known and esteemed, not only through-
out iis township, but the county, and while serving his neighbors as
H-33



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514 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

township treasurer was honored with the Republican nomination for
county commissioner in 1901, but, though he received a flattering
support, the ticket was defeated. Mr. West was married Febru-
ary 19, 1882, to Emma, daughter of Alfred and Catherine (Simbro)
Shipton, and they have the following named children : Xellie, wife
of Clem Wise, farming on the West place ; Katie and Orville, at
home, and James, who died in childhood. Mrs. West's father^s fam-
ily came from Pennsylvania to Paint township about 1830. She
w^as bom February 24, 18G4, and is one of six children, the others
being Nancy, w^ho died in girlhood; Mary E., wife of James Pea-
body, who owns a farm adjoining that of Mr. West; Granville H.,
who died in youth ; John, farming, near Raimboro, and Emma.

Mrs. Mary S. Weyer, a woman of prominence in the religious and
social, as well as the business life of Leesburg, Ohio, now resident on
her coimtry estate near that town, is of lineage both ancient and hon-
orable. The family to which she belongs is of Xorth Carolina
extraction, her great-grandfather John Sanders being its most distin-
guished representative in that state during the eighteenth century.
We find his son, Thomas M. Sanders, among those who established
the infant colony in what is now Fairfield township, Highland
county, during the first decade of the nineteenth century. It is only
necessary to glance over the first crude records to see that Thomas M.
Sanders was one of the important men and figured conspicuously in
the early history of the township. In 1807 he was elected clerk and
re-elected in the following year; in 1810 he was chosen house
appraiser and next year w^as given his old position as clerk in addi-
tion to the duties of appraiser. His son Nathaniel was also for many
years a man of influence in the community, taking an active interest
in the affairs of town and towTiship until the time of his death, which
occurred in 1889 at his handsome estate east of Leesburg. He
married Maria Heller, who came with her parents from Virginia to
Highland county many years ago and died at her husband's home
in 1876. IsTathaniel and Maria (Heller) Sanders were the parents
of Mrs. Mary S. Weyer, who has proven a worthy descendant of a
notable ancestry by her superior accomplishments and aptitude for
business. In her girlhood, after the usual attendance at the com-
mon schools, she was sent to the seminary at Xenia, Ohio, for the
purpose of receiving a thorough finishing. Her tastes, as well as
talents fitting her for educational work, she took up with ardor into
the profession of teaching, and was thus engaged at Leesburg for
eight years subsequent to her departure from college. She proved
to be one of the most successful as well as one of the most popular of
the lady teachers, exhibiting ability both for imparting knowledge
and maintaining discipline. Aside from her public duties, she found
time for self-culture and for participation in public movements of a



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 515

philanthropic or educational character. She is a member both of
the home and foreign Mission societies, and lends encouragement to
the cause of brotherly love by participation in the work of the Altru-
istic society. She was one of the moving spirits in the establishment
of the Farmers' and Merchants bank at Leesburg in 1901 and became
a heavy stockholder in that institution. In 1891 she was married
to William O. Weyer and at present resides on her farm near Lees-
burg, occupying her attention with business affairs and the require-
ments of social duties.

The Whisler family, long and favorably known in Highland
county, is of Southwestern Pennsylvania origin and dates its iSrst
establishment in this section in the third decade of the last century.
Its first representative in Highland county was Moses, one of several
sons of Henry Whisler, \vho was bom in 1813 and twenty years
later came to Ohio, locating three miles southwest of Hillsboro.
After a residence there of about five years he removed to New Mar-
ket, where he lived over forty years and died in 1883. Moses
Whisler's first wife was Hannah Vance, member of a pioneer family,
who bore him six children, of whom three are living: Henry, a
practicing physician at New Antioch, Ohio; Abraham, member of
the same profession in California; and Charlotte, wife of J. M.
Chaney of Highland county. The father's second marriage was to
Phoebe Dunn, daughter of pioneer parents in Highland county, and
this union resulted in the birth of four children: Ella, wife of
Kev. R. W. King, a minister of the gospel resident in Oregon;
Lewis, a railroad employe at Laporte, Col. ; Charles F., of Hills-
boro ; and Ida M., wife of George Prime, who is farming two miles
soutii of Hillsboro. Moses Whisler was married for the third time
to Emiline Hetherington, by whom he had five children. Charges F.
Whisler, third of the second family of children, was born in New
Market, Highland county, Ohio, January 15, 1859, and, owing to
the fact that his father owned a grist and sawmill, he naturally
drifted into that line of business. At an early age he began dealing
in lumber and in 1890 opened a wholesale establishment at Hills-
boro, where he has built up a large trade. Mr. Whisler owns an
extensive mill in the city and purchases the product of several other
mills, which he ships to all parts of southern Ohio and some to more
distant markets. He has prospered, and in 1895 erected a hand-
some residence on West street, opposite the Baptist church, having
his lumber office in the rear of his dwelling house. May 28, 1885,
Mr. Whisler was married to Clara, daughter of Thomas McOon-
naughey, of Highland county, who lived but two years after the
union. August 27, 1895, Mr. Whisler took a second wife in the per-
son of Belle Amett, of New Market, by whom he has one daughter,
Helen A., bom February 22, 1897. Mr. Whisler's religious affilia-



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516 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

tions are with the Baptists and he is a member of the church of that
denomination at Hillsboro.

Jacob E. White, the popular proprietor of the celebrated Spring
Grove dairy and stock farm, near Greenfield, has achieved a phe-
nomenal success in a comparatively short time in his chosen calling.
The people of Greenfield and vicinity regard this dairy as one of
their institutions and the owner receives in full measure the credit
due him who supplies the masses with pure and wholesome food. It
has scarcely been twelve years since Mr. White opened business with
three cows and a few cheap utensils as his sole quipment for running
a dairy. Today he has over one hundred head of stock, mostly pure
bred registered Jerseys of the choicest and costliest strain, and an
establishment which in the completeness of its facilities and thor-
oughness of its equipment yields to no other in the state of its class.
In these twelve years of active business Mr. White has risen from
obscurity to the position of one the best known dairymen in the great
agricultural state of Ohio. He has long been a member of the Ohio
Dairymen's association, whose meetings he attends regularly and
whose proceedings are frequently enlivened and illuminated by his
pertinent remarks and suggestions based upon the experience and
dose observation of a practical dairyman. Mr. White may be prop-
erly described as up-to-date in every particular. He subscribes to
the most advanced dairy periodicals, studies closely all publications
of the Agricultural department and other authorities on the subject,
and keeps in close touch with the progressive and thinking men who
are in his line of work. In other words, it is his aim and ambition
to keep abreast of the best thought of the age in what has now become
a scientifically conducted industry of vital importance to the coun-
try's resources and welfare and involving hundreds of millions of
capital. Mr. White uses only the most improved and efficient dairy
appliances, and acts on the belief that if the motto "Cleanliness is
next to Godliness" be true as a general proposition, it is especially
true in all that relates to dairv'ing. The cleanness of his methods
and richness of his milk have proved such winning cards as to cap-
ture all Greenfield for his customers and spread his fame over the
state. Mr. White came naturally by his fondness for breeding and
handling cattle, as his father is one of the best known stockmen in



Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 60 of 63)