A. E. Hough J. W. Klise.

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

. (page 61 of 63)
Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 61 of 63)
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the state and has been a dealer for more than half a century. As
"Uncle Billy'' White he is familiar in stock circles throughout Ohio
and adjacent states, and though now eighty years old he still buys
and sells with the shrewdness and energy of his youthful days. Will-
iam White, though bom in Brown, was reared in Adams county, his
father was Joseph White and his mother was Margaret (Spear)
White, old pioneers of Brown county, Ohio. It is in the territory
extending from Flemingsburg, Ky., to Washington Court House,



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Biographical sketches. 517

Ohio, that William White gained his reputation as a lumber manu-
facturer and stockdealer. He married Jane Dobbins Edgington,
daughter of Jacob and Mary Edgington and granddaughter of Rev.
Robert Dobbins, a noted minister of his day who established the first
Methodist Protestant church in his part of the state. The nine chil-
dren resulting from this union are all living. Mary M. married
James Cockerill, of Fayette county, Ohio; Robert is a hay-dealer in
Greenfield ; Annie is the wife of Joel Ard, of St. Louis; Emma L. is
at home ; Joseph R, C resides in Fayette county ; Lizzie is the wife
of Dr. A. A. Ilyer, of Buena, Vista, Ohio; Jacob E. White, of Green-
field ; Charles L., of Idaho; and Jessie S., wife of J. C. Long, a busi-
ness man of Wellston, Ohio. Jacob E. White, seventh in order of
the children, was bom at Winchester, Adams county, Ohio, in 1863,
and spent his early yeai's partly in Hillsboro and partly in Fayette
county. His boyhood was passed on tlie farm and he had only such
educational advantages as are afforded by the common country
schools. He was eighteen years old when he settled in Greenfield
and some time after his arrival was devoted to attendance at the Nor-
mal school in that town. It was in 1890 that the happy thought
struck him of going into the dairy business. Poorly equipped as he
was at the start, lacking skill as well as capital, his three poor cows
have grown almost as rapidly as Jonah's miraculous gourd, until we
see before us the neat Spring Grove dairy with its elegant appoint-
ment and complement of **lowing herds." Mr. White pays no atten-
tion to politics or other matters that might distract his attention
from the business for which he is so well qualified, but finds relaxa-
tion on the social side by membership and occasional attendance with
McClain lodge. Knights of Pythias.

Robert W. White, the energetic and prosperous hay and grain mer-
chant of Greenfield, comes of an old Virginia family which was w^ell
represented in the early pioneer struggles of Ohio. Grandfather
Joseph White settled in Adams county among the first and bore his
share in the hardships, dangers and privations incident to the period
of original occupation. His son, William White, became a very-
prominent stock dealer of Adams county, his business covering a
wade scope of country and making him known throughout Ohio and
neighboring states. His wife, Jane D. Edgington, descended from
an ancestry distinguished in affairs both of church and state. Her
father was Jacob Edgington and her mother a daughter of the cele-
brated Robert Dobbins, one of the founders of the Methodist Prot-
estant church, representative of Fayette county in the legislature
for two terms, and an evangelist of great renown. Grandfather
Edgington took part in the early Indian wars w^hich were such a
dramatic and dreaded feature of the period embracing the occupa-
tion and settlement of the Xorthwest territory. Robert W., son of



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518 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

William and Jane (Edgington) White, was born at Winchester,
Adains county, Ohio, and was reared to manhood in his native place.
Later he was engaged for some time in farming in Fayette county
and in 1884 came to Greenfield where he embarked in the creamery
business. Four years later this was given up and he became a dealer
in hay, straw, corn and other grains. He began on a small scale,
but the business grew by degrees until it has assumed large propor-
tions, the buying, baling, handling and shipping employing the labor
of many people. He now ships to many different points in widely
different parts of the country and is doing a prosperous business.
August 6, 1891, he was married to Matte, daughter of Thomas Moon,
one of the old settlers on Walnut creek in Highland county. Mr.
Whiter is a Jeffersonian Democrat of the old school and a member of
the order of Odd Fellows. He is popular not only in business but
in the social circle, as he is a man of kindly disposition and obser\'ant
of all the rules of hospitality.

Silas S. Wliite, attorney and justice of the peace at Sinking
Springs, is a grandson of Benjamin White, a native of Vermont,
bom in 1809, who was for many years a prominent resident of Clay
township. Benjamin White was a ship carpenter by trade, an active
and influential man and a member of the Campbellite church. In
early manhood he settled in Hamilton county and bought a large
tract of land, and later moved to Clay township and acquired a farm.
His wife was Lucinda Stratton, of Pennsylvania-German descent,
and they had thirteen children: John, William, David, Lewis (of
Brown county, Ohio), Catherine, Columbus, Marshall, Frank, Letty,
Sarah, Sanford, Samantha and Mary, all except Lewis being
deceased. Five of the sons were gallant soldiers of the Union in
1861-65, serving for more than four ye-ars each. David E. WTiite,
bom in Clay towTiship, December 18, 1840, enlisted in Company K
of the Twelfth regiment Ohio infantry, mustered in at Hillsboro,
and throughout the war he shared the record of that gallant com-
mand, participating in numerous battles and skirmishes, and serving
in all four years, five months and twenty-three days. He was mus-
tered out as first sersreant of his company. After the war he made
his home at Mount Orab, Brown county, and married Sarah Keeth-
ler, a native of Brown county. After 1895 they resided at Sinking
Springs. He was a contractor for many years, and furnished most of
the ties and some other material for the construction of the old (''hil-
licothe & Eastern railroad. He was honored with local officevS, and
in every way was a man of prominence and hi2:h character. On
December 27, 1901, while trying to catch the railroad train at Green-
field he was knocke<l from the trestle and drowned in the creek, an
accident that caused great sorrow to his family and many friends.
Ilis widow survives him, and three children : Silas S., Joseph H.,



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 519

and Rebecca, vnfe of A. Cummings, of Mount Orab. Silas S. was
bom August 19, 1866, at Mount Orab, was reared there, and in early
manhood began the study of law with White & Young, of George-
town. Removing to Indiana, he was admitted to the bar there, and
practiced for some time in the courts. After his marriage! to Jennie
Cummings, of Brown county, he lived at Mount Orab four years and
then removed to Sinking Springs, where he continues in the general
practice, and fills the office of justice of the peace, in which he is
now sefrving the second term. While living in Sterling township.
Brown county, he was honored with various township offi.ces. He is
one of the influential men of the county, and is now a member of the
central committee of his party, the Democratic Five children have
been bom to Mr. and Mrs. White — ^Harry, Hazel, Lester, George E.,
and Blanche,

Mrs. Maria O. (Brouse) Whittell, of Liberty township, is
descended from a pioneer who came to Ohio in the early part of the
nineteenth century. Lewis Brouse was of Virginia nativity and
married Mary Riner of the same state, with whom and several chil-
dren he migrated to Highland county, where? he took part in the
hardships of the early settlement and founded one of the enduring
families. Of his nine children two survive, these being Mrs. Rosa
Anderson of Hillsboro and Charles W. Brouse of Henderson county,
111. Another son, John Andrew Brouse, was bom in Virginia,
April 30, 1816, and came with' his parents on the journey from the
Old Dominion to the western wilds. In 1843 he was married to
Catharine, daughter of John and Catharine (Lane) Holmes, natives
of New Jersey, who were among the early arrivals from the east in
Highland county. The six children of John A. and Catharinei
Brouse were John, Frank, Wesley, Maria, Emma and Charley.
Maria C. Brouse, eldest of the daughters, was bom in Highland
coiyity, Ohio, June 23, 1850, and as she grew to womanhood received
the customary commion school education. July 5, 1888, she was
married to Thomas M. Whittell, a native of Scotland, bom in 1836,
who accompanied his parents to Xew York city at the age of twelve
years. The parents soon became dissatisfied with America and re-
turned to Scotland, leaving Thomas and his brother James to shift
for themselves. The brothers soon parted and Thomas drifted to
Pennsylvania where he secured work on a farm and grew to man-
hood. By hard work and close application to his books he not only
laid up money but also acquired a reasonable education. Hearing
of the advantages of farming in the Ohio valley, he left Pennsyl-
vania and subsequently located in Highland county, where he was
destined to spend the rest of his days. He was a man of high moral
character, addicted to no bad habits, and a consistent member of the
Methodist church. He started life penniless and by dint of indus-



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520 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

try and perseverance liad accumulated considerable property. It is
to be hoped that those of his descendants who may read these pages
in after years \vill find something in the life of this worthy man to
encourage them to emulate his name in every way possible. In 1878,
he purchased a fine farm of 120 acres in Liberty towoiship west of
Hillsboro, where he resided until his death, which occurred Janu-
ary 27, 1898. On this place his wndow resides with her two chil-
dren: Koy, bom May 30, 1890, and Florence, bom January 2, 1893,
both of w4iom are attending school. Since her husband's death Mrs.
Whittell has superintended the business affairs of the estate with
good judgment and is much esteemed in her neighborhood both as a
woman and a citizen.

James II. Wickersham, a merchant at Greenfield, trustee of Madi-
son township, and altogether quite a busy and prominent citizen,
though a native of Pike was reared in the county of Highland. The
family is one of the oldest in America, as Thomas Wickersham came
over with William, Penn on his second voyage and became part of
the famous band who settled Pennsylvania. From this parent stem
sprang the nmnerous progeny which eventually spread to most of
the states of the Union and some of w^hom took part in the pioneer
development of the central West. Isaac Wickersham, founder of the
Ohio branch, came from Pennsylvania at an early day and first set-
tled at Eaton, but later located in Highland county w^here he engaged
in the woolen manufacture. The Wickershams of different genera-
tions conducted woolen mills on Rocky Fork creek for eighty-five
years, being both pioneers and patriarchs in the business. Samuel
Wickersham, son of Isaac, was employed in this industry during the
whole of his long life, which v^eis one of continuous activity and devo-
tion to patriotic principles. He belonged to the old guard of Aboli-
tionists, helped to conduct the underground^ railroad and fought the
institution of slavery from start to finish. He married Sarah Core>
of Pike county, by whom he had four children. Of those, Isaac M.
Wickersham served two years of the civil w^ar as a member of Com-
pany F, Second Ohio heavy artillery, and afterward became a pros-
perous farmer in Iowa, Joel C. Wickersham, brother of the fore-
going, is engaged in the general mercantile business of Clinton
county and prominent in political circles. Mary E., the only daugh-
ter, is tlie wife of Abraham Grove of Westboro, Ohio. James H.
Wickersham, eldest of the children, was bom in Pike county, Ohio,
April 19, 1844, but was brought to Highland county in his early
years and there educated. In 1863 he enlisted in Company F,
Second Ohio heavy -artillery, and accompanied this command during
its subsequent campaigns in Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama and Ten-
nessee. He was mustered out of the service at Nashville, Tenn.,



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 52 1

September 1, 1865, returned home directly and resumed his work in
the woolen mills. He was so engaged for many years after the war,
until changed conditions made the local wool manufacture unprofit-
able, and when this point was reached Mr. Wickersham abandoned
it for other pursuits. For some years past he has been in the wool,
fuel, grain and feed business at Greenfield, and has been actively
identified with the life and development of Greenfield in all depart-
ments, taking a hand in every movement of consequence that is
started. He lends a hand in politics when the contests are exciting,
is a master Mason, member of the Royal Arcanmn and one of the
comrades in Gibson post, Ko. 180, Grand Army of the Republic, of
which he has ser\'ed as officer of the day for eight or ten years. He
is also a member of the official board of the Methodist Episcopal
church at Greenfield and one of the trustees of iladison township.
Altogether he is a very industrious as well as an enterprising and
popular citizen and one whose influence is always felt on the right
side of every good cause. In 1867 he was married to Mary V.,
daughter of Thomas and Cecelia Russell, memliers of old Virginia
families and the union has been blessed by the birth of eight chil-
dren, three of whora^ are living. Frank T. Wickersham, the eldest
of these, about twelve years ago founded the Greenfield Republican
or the Tri-County Xews, which he conducted imtil 1901 when he
disposed of it and became part owner of the Daily Xews, published
at Lima, Ohio. Of the two daughters, Estella E. is the wife of
E. W. Emery, of Greenfield, and Elsie May is at home.

John Wilkin, veteran of the civil war and well-to-do farmer of
Xew Market township, is descended from a pioneer family who came
from Virginia and settled in Highland county in 1801. Among
their numerous descendants was Eli Wilkin, bom about 1818, who
married Catherine Rhodes and by her had twelve children, of whom
nine grew to maturity. One of these children was John Wilkin,
bom in New Market township. Highland county, Ohio, July 2, 1846,
on the farm where he now resides. As he grew up he attended the
neighborhood schools and later the high school at Hillsboro, and on
reaching maturity he helped manage the farm in association with
his father. The latter died in 1898 in the eightieth y.ear of his age.
February 1, 1864, Mr. Wilkin enlisted in Company C, Thirteenth
regiment Ohio volunteer cavalry, which was mustered into service
at Camp Chase early in May and soon after joined the army of the
Potomac. It was first assigned to the Ninth army corps and served
awhile as infantry, later being furnished horses and converted into
cavalry. Mr. Wilkin took part with his command in the engage-
ments at Poplar Grove church. Hatcher's Run, Dinwiddle Court
House, Petersville, Farmville', and the other fighting that marked
the "beginning of the end.'' He was present at the ''grand finale"



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522 THE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox and tlius put an
end to the great civil war. Mr. Wilkin was released from service
by an honorable discharge August 10, 18G5, widi the rank of cor-
poral, and lost no time in returning to his Ohio home. He resumed
the occupation of farming and in course of time became possessed
of ninety acres of land on which he now resides and carries on gen-
eral agriculture. In 1896 he was married to Mrs. Rebecca Roush,
widoAv of Xoah Roush, by whom she had six children : Sophronia,
Nora Zella (deceased), Mittie, James and Cletus W. Mr. Wilkin is
a member of the Reformed church and of Robert Russell post, Xo.
630, Grand Army of the Republic, in which he has held the position
of adjutant By his marriage with ^Irs. Roush there has been one
child, Wilfred H.

Samuel Wilkin, of Hamer township, an extensive farmer, manu-
facturer, and breeder of live stock, comes of a highly honorable ances-
try which runs back to the earliest pioneer days. They were origin-
ally Virginians and came from that historic section of the state
known as the Shenandoah valley, arriving in Ohio territory when it
was still a hunting ground for roving bands of Indians. The grand-
father of Mr. Wilkin, whose name was William, was one of the most
prosperous farmers of his day and accumulated a large amount of
property. He married Rebecca Windle and by her had a family of
eight children, Pd;er, Joseph, Sarah, Eli, Elizabeth, William, Ann
and George, all now dead except the last mentioned, who lives in
Hamer township. William Wilkin was cut off from his usefulness
in the prime of life and after his death the widow continued to man-
age the farm and look after the welfare of her large family. Joseph
Wilkin, second of the children in age, was bom in New Market
township in 1816, and in early manhood married Xancy, daughter
of Allen and Elizabeth Roush, of Highland county. He located on
a place in Union township where he lived imtil 1855, when he pur-
chased a farm of 123 acres in Hamer township. To this he removed
and there spent the remainder of his days, passing away in 1887 at
the age of seventy-one, his wife surviving until some years later. Of
their six children, Elizabeth, Allen and Augustus have died; Sam-
uel is the subject of this sketch ; Rel^cca J. is the wife of Lewis
Orebaugh, of Hamer township; and Joseph F. is a minister of the
Methodist Episcopal church. Samuel Wilkin, second of the chil-
dren, was bom in Union township, Highland county, Ohio, Septem-
ber 8, 1843, and remained at home until he reached his majority.
About that time he married Roseannh, daughter of George X. and
Mary (Pugh) Webster, of Dodson township, and located there on a
small tract of land, where he spent the five following years. He then
removed to a farm in Hamer township given to him by his father,
where he now resides, adding to the property and greatly improving



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 523

it from year to year since he took possession. In 1882 he began the
manufacture of tile, which he has since continued* in partnership
with his son Dallas imder the firm name of Samuel Wilkin & Son.
They use the latest and best improved machinery and do business
on an extensive scale. As a farmer and stockraiser Mr. Wilkin has
no superior in the township. His real estate holdings now consist
of about 437 acres of the best quality of land, w^hich is kept in highly
improved condition and is cultivated by up-to-date methods. In
1891 he constructed a handsome brick residence, which has all the
modem improvements and conveniences, and both in size and quality
is superior to anything of the kind in the township. In fact every-
thing on and about this model farm indicates skillful and progressive
management, as the buildings and equipments of all kinds are neat
and attractive and always kept in prime condition. Mr. Wilkin
takes a just pride in his splendid Poland-China and Berkshire hogs,
of which he has long been an extensive breeder and shipper, and he
€njoys a high reputation in this department of the live-stock indus-
try. He has found time from his farm and other business to fulfill
all the duties of a good citizen, being especially interested in educa-
tional and religious work. He held the position of school director
for nine consecutive years, and during the whole of his adult life has
been a member of the Christian church and one of its most enthusias-
tic workers. His marriage has been blessed with fourteen children,
in the order of their birth as follows : Lewella M., the wife of S. R.
Kidd, of Dodson township, and mother of three children, Almira,
Anna F. and Samuel K. ; Augustus E., who lives in Hamer town-
ship, married Lizzie Fawley and has had five children, those living
being Dorotha I., Arnold and Hugh X. ; Dallas O., in business with
his father, who married Jennie Hawthorn and has had three chil-
dren, Orpha, Xancy and Hilda (deceased) ; William F., of Hamer
township, who married Susan Duvall and has two children living,
Gladys and an infant, and one dead; Joseph N., in Hamer township,
who married Lucy J. Stroup, their children being Xorma R. and
Paul; Cora M., who married J. X. Dollinger, of Dodson town^ship,
and has three children, Eliza1>eth L, Lotta M. and Anna A. ;
Greorge R., in Hamer township, who married Hattie E. Williams,
and have one child, Edgar Franklin; Samuel B., who married Myr-
tle McKamey, and lives in Dodson township; Xancy N., !Mary J.,
and Henry, with their parents; John A., who was killed in 1900
when eleven years old by being nm over by a loaded wagon ; Everett
Louis, who died in 1892 at the age of two years and eight months;
and Rosa O., the youngest of this interesting family.

Alleniah F. Williams, a prosperous farmer of Brush Ci:eek town-
ship, is a grandson of one of the early settlers of Jackson township,
Elias Williams. The latter Avas a native of Rockingham county.



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524 THfE COUNTY OF HIGHLAND.

Va., born in 1789, came to Highland county when about ten years
old, and resided here until his death which occurred on February 25,
1838. In early manhood Elias Williams married Christina Coun-
tryman, also a native of Rockingham county, Va., bom about 1790,
died August 25, 1879. They began housekeeping in Jackson town-
ship, buying a tract of wild land. Their children were Polly, John,
Eli, Xancy, Elizabeth, Henr^^, Anna, Eliza and Levi.. John Will-
iams, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Jackson town-
ship June 6, 1807, and married Elizabeth Duncan, a native of
Jackson township and daughter of Alexander Duncan. After sev-
eral years they moved to Adams county, where Mr. Williams engaged
in mercantile business at May Hill, and from there they returned to
the vicinity of Belfast, and later moved to Brush Creek township.
John Williams had four children by his first wife: John, deceased;
Sanford, deceased; Mary, wife of John W. Tener, of Belfast, and
one that died young. After the death of their mother he married
her sister, Mary, and they had ten children: Elizabeth, wife of
J. M. Suiter, of Harriet postoffice; Susan, Eliza, and Amanda,
deceased ; Ellen, wife of L. B. Coss, of Kansas ; Alleniah F. ; Agnes,
wife of John Koger, of Paint township ; Martha, wife of C. P. Dun-
lap, of Greene county; Thomas, deceased, and Anna, wife of John
Dunlap, of Greene county. The father lived to the age of eighty-
six years, and his second wife survives him, at ninety years, and very
sprightly for that great age. Alleniah F. Williams, bom in Jack-
son township, June 7, 1847, received his education in the district
school and the high school at Hillsboro, and in early manhood for
four years was employed as a nurseryman. Afterward he was-
twelve years engaged in the profession of teaching, doing excellent
work in the schools of his township. He married Iza R. Turner,
bom and reared on the farm where they now live, and except for the
first year of their married life, they have made their home on the old
Turner homestead, where they own 338 acres of land. Mr. Williams
has made most of the improvements on the place, making it one of
the most attractive of the region. He gives attention to the faising
of live stock as well as farming, is a member of the grange of
Patrons of Husbandry, in religious affiliation is an Universalist,
and in politics a Democrat Among his neighbors he is held in high
esteem. Five children have been bom to him and wife — Spees, liv-
ing in Colorado; Laura A., deceased; Inis V., Carlton T., and
Grace D.

James A. Williams, veteran of the civil war and trustee of Lib-
erty township, is one of the most progressive and enterprising of
Highland county's many bright farmers. He is highly esteemed
both as a citizen and a neighbor, keeps abreast of the times in all
lines of useful information and is ever ready to put a shoulder to*



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 525

the wheel in any worthy cause. He is a descendant of one of those
sturdy old Quaker families who were driven out of North Carolina
by their detestation of the hated institution of slavery. William
Williams, son of Isaac, was born in Xorth Carolina in 1774, and in



Online LibraryA. E. Hough J. W. KliseThe county of Highland: a history of Highland County, Ohio, from the ... → online text (page 61 of 63)