Henry James Lee.

Portrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p online

. (page 10 of 83)
Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 10 of 83)
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a Republican in politics, and on that ticket was
elected Director of the County Infirmary, which
position he has filled in a most creditable manner
since 1866.

^"V AMUEL M. BELL. A trr
^j the farming lands of Gu(

raveler through
luernsey County
nil observe with pleasure that the signs
of i)rosperity are on every side, and the well im-
proved farms far outnumber those which are neg-
lected. Tlie liighly improved farm of the gentle-
man whose name introduces this sketch will attract
the nolice of the visitor. It is located on section
19, Adams Township, and when it came into his
possession only thirty-five acres were cleared.

A native of this county, our subject was born
March 26, 1836, and is the son of George and
Elizabeth (Mehaffey) Bell. Tiie father was of

German descent, and was born on the east side of
the Allegheny Mountains, in Pennsylvania. His
parents died when he was young, and George and
one of his brothers had to look elsewhere for
homes. One day they were put one in each
end of a big sack, which was thrown over the back
of a packhorse, and conveyed across the mount-
ains to their future home. Our subject remained
with the people who reared him until attaining
his majority, and so kind did he find his foster-
parents, that wlien he left them he stole a smaller
brother, John, from the people with whom the
latter was living, and placed him in the home he
himself was leaving.

George Bell emigrated to this state at an early
date, and entered land in Guernsey County, while it
was almost in its primitive state, and wolves howled
througli its trackless forests. He had left in Penn-
sylvania all his brothers, of whom there were five,
and his four sisters. His brother William, some
time later, came West and settled on a farm wliich
he had purchased in Muskingum County, tliis
state. Some time later the two brothers returned
to the Keystone State on a visit to their relatives,
and while there AVilliam started alone to see some
brothers who lived at. a distance, but was never
heard from afterwards. Robert lived and died in
Alleghany City, Pa.; Samuel was a farmer by oc-
cupation, and spent his entire life in the Keystone
State; John, who was also a farmer, died in the above
state, where he also followed carpentering and was
a speculator in oil to some extent; James came
to this state after having passed many years as
captain of a steamboat, and, purchasing a farm, was
engaged in its cultivation until his death, which
was occasioned by a runaway team in Morgan
County. Of tiie girls, tliree of the four married
and lived and died in Pennsylvania.

When starting out in life for himself, George
Ik'll came to Guernsey County, and was variously
employed until establishing a home of his own.
He married Miss Elizabeth Mehaffey, and the
young couple immediately settled upon a tract of
eighty acres of wild land. On this Mr. Bell had
previously erected a rude log cabin, and in it lived
with his wife for several years, without even a
floor to the hut. He spent his time in clearing



and improving liis tract, and as his means would
allow added to it, until he became the proprietor
of five hundred and ninety-three acres of as fine
land as can be found in the county. This record
is remarkable, when we learn tiiat he started out
without a dollar, and his wealth had been accumu-
lated through the exercise of his own energies and
the help which was given him by his good wife.
He died October 5, 1865, aged sixty-eight years.
His wife survived him eleven years, dying October
31, 1876, aged seventy-three years.

The parental household included nine children,
namely: Margaret, who married J' h Wilson,
and died in Iowa some years after her marriage,
aged forty-nine; Mary, now deceased; Elizabeth,
who makes her home in Adams Township, tliis
county; John, living on the old homestead, un-
married; Samuel, of this sketch, who was the next
in order of birth; Sarah, who died when young;
George, who moved to Missouri, where he is still
living, engaged in farming; and Jane, who makes
her home on the old place, which is also the abid-
ing-place of William. George served during the
late war in the one hundred days' service.

The original of this sketch remained under the
parental roof until thirty-five years of age, in the
mean time aiding his father to carry on liis large
estate. During these j-ears he received a thurough
training in agricultural affairs, and was also given
a fair education in the common scltools. He
married in 1872 to Miss Margaret, daugiiter of Hugh
and Jane (Cox) Woodburn, soon after wliicii event
he purchased the place upon which he is now resid-
ing. It included then about thirty-five acres of
land which was cleared, and was adorned with a
rude log cabin and primitive stable. He immedi-
ately set himself to the arduous task of improv-
ing the place, and has made of it a well cultivated
and productive farm. Like his brother George, he
also served in the one hundred days' service dur-
ing the Civil War.

To Mr. and Mrs. Bell there have been born four
children, viz.: Maude, who is the wife of Oscar
Oliver; Anna, who married Robert Jirls, and lives
in Muskingum County, tliis slate; George; and
one who died in infancy. In his political views
Mr. Bell is a straightforward Republican, and takes

great pride in the success of the grand old part3\
He is very influential in the ranks in his neighbor-
hood, and on numerous occasions has been sent as
a delegate to the county conventions. He has
held the office of Township Trustee, and during
his incumbency thereof gave full satisfaction to
the people.


T7> DWARD B. WESTAFER, holding the re-

l C) sponsible position of Commissioiier'of Tus-
carawas County, is a native of this state,
and was born in Rush Township, December 25,
1843. He is the son of Henry and Susan (Har-
mon) Westafer, the former of whom was born in
this county, September 12, 1807. He is still liv-
ing, making his home with ills children.

The paternal grandfather of our subject, by
name Conrad Westafer, came from his native Ger-
many to this country in an early day, locating
first in Pennsylvania, whence he later came to
Oiiio and made his home on a tract of land near
Gnadenhutten. His son Henry was alio an agri-
culturist, and during the construction of the Ohio
Canal was employed thereon, of which fact he is
very proud. He is a strong Democrat in politics,
and during his earlier years was very active in
public affairs. The Methodist Episcopal Church
finds in him one of its most earnest and consistent
members. He is a man greatly honored by all who
know him, and many true friends greet him in
his comings and goings about the streets of the

Tlie mother of our subject was born in Lancaster
County, Pa., and came to this state many years
.ago with her parents. She, too, was a member of
the Methodist Church, in tlic faith of which she
passed away in 1868, greatly mourned. She had
become tlic mother of ten children, seven of whom
grew to mature 3-ears. Tliej^ are: Eli, a resident
of Cleveland, this state; Susan, the wife of John
Tracy; Salina, now Mrs. Peleg AVardell, living in
Iowa; Lorana, who married Joseph Browning, and



makes ber home in Dennison, this state; Washing-
ton H. a farmer near Tracy; Edward B., of this
sketch, and Stephen C, a farmer living in Nebraska.

The early life of Mr. Westafer was spent in aid-
ing his father in carrying on the home farm and in
attendance at the district school. When twenty
years of age he enlisted in the Union army, Ma}-
1, 1864, in Uhrichsville, as a member of Company
E, One Hundred and Sixty-first Ohio Infantry, and
was mustered into service at Camp Chase. The
regiment was soon afterward ordered to the front,
operating most of the time in the Shenandoah Val-
ley. The first engagement in which our subject
palrticipated was near Harper's Ferry, at which
time he was under the command of General Sigel.
In September, 1864. he was mustered out and
returned home.

When fully recuperated from his array life, our
subject entered the mercantile establishment of his
brother in Tracy, Ohio, in the capacity of clerk.
He remained only a twelvemonth, however, when
we again find him on the home farm. He tilled
the soil for his father that year and then rented a
tract in Mill Township, which he worked for about
three years with fair success. Returning at the
end of that time to the old home, he assumed the
management of the place until 1873.

In the above year Mr. Westafer embarked in
a business at Tracy which he carried on for about
■ four years in partnership with his brother Eli, dur-
ing that period building up a. large and profitable
trade. He subsequently purchased one hundred
acres of the homestead in Rush Township, and
later a sixty-five acre tract adjoining, which he
operated until 1889. That year he was elected
County Commissioner, and so well did he discliarge
the duties of the position that on the expiration
of his term of office he was re-elected.

In the fall of the following year our subject
moved into the city, having previously erected a
residence on North Broadway. He was married,
August 24, 1865, to Miss Olive Roth, daughter of
John Hawk, of Indiana. Their union has been
blessed by the birth of five children. Both Mr.
and Mrs. Westafer are members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and in his political affiliations
the former is a Democrat. He has always taken a

very .active part in public affairs and is known as
an adept politician.

Mr. Westafer still retains possession of his farm,
which is acknowledged to be one of the finest in
the county. It is thoroughly improved, and contains
a substantial dwelling and all the buildings neces-
sary for the storing of grain and the shelter of
stock. In social affairs he is prominent, belonging
to Mystic Tie Lodge of Uhrichsville; Cyrus Chap-
ter No. 114, at the same place; and Commandery
No. 51. He is also a Knight of Pj'thias, holding
membership with Relief Lodge No. 257, at Gna-
denhutten. As an ex-soldier he belongs to Welch
Post No. 222, G. A. R.

-^^^[email protected]*@l^^^*

County is justly' proud of her native-born
citizens, who are honorably bearing their
share in sustaining her interests and extend-
ing her wealth. Among these is the subject of this
biographical review, who is engaged in farming on
section 24, Jefferson Township, and is one of the
most progressive and enlightened farmers. His es-
tate, which comprises one hundred acres, is placed
under substantial improvements, the fields are well
tilled, and a neat set of farm buildings adorns the

Mr. Armstrong was born January 13, 1847, in
Cambridge, but was reared on the farm of his
grandfather, John Armstrong, in Jefferson Town-
ship, until thirteen years of age, when he went to
live with his father, and assisted in the flouring-
mill which the latter owned on section 24, Jeffer-
son Township, and which was kept running day
and night through the busy season. His attend-
ance at school vyas limited to a few months in each
year, but on becoming his own miister, in 1868, he
determined to become well educated, and with the
little money which he possessed entered Muskin-
gum College, carrying on his studies in that institu-
tion for one term. The tuition he next received



was at the normal at Cambridge, and on leaving
there he was given a certificate to teach. This oc-
cupation he followed only a short time, however,
as September 2, 1869, he was married, and there-
after gave his attention to milling, which business
occupied his entire attention for fifteen years. At
the end of that time he sold his interest in the mill,
and gave his whole attention to farming. The
lady whom our subject married was Martha R., a
daughter of Andrew and Nancy B. Clark, of Cen-
tre Township, this county. She was born in Jeffer-
son Township, Guernsey County, February 7, 1849,
and in girlhood was given the privilege of a good
education. After her union with Mr. Armstrong,
the young couple located at Guernsey Mill, where
their nine children were born, namely: Mary B.,
William R., Addie L., Martha E., John C, Abraham
C, Harry O., Charles 0. and Ira P.

The parents of Mrs. Armstrong came from Penn-
sylvania. Andrew Clark, the father, was a son of
William and Elizabeth (Baird) Clark, who emi-
grated to Ohio from Washington County, Pa.,
about 1815, and located in Jefferson Township
about 1817. Andrew Clark was born in Jefferson
Township, September 23, 1820. Nancy B., his wife,
was born in Liberty Township, this county, Octo-
ber 10, 1821, and was married August 25, 1846,
after which she and her husband located in Jeffer-
son Township, where their children, Eliza Ann,
Sarah Jane and Martha Rebecca (Mrs. Armstrong),
were born.

The great-grandparents of John W. Armstrong,
Abraham and Florence Armstrong, who established
this branch of the family in America, were natives
of Scotland and Ireland, respectivelj'. The great-
grandmother came to Guernsey County at au early
date, probably about 1813, aud is buried in Pleas-
ant Hill Cemetery in this township. The grand-
father and grandmother, John and Susannah Arm-
strong, in 1813 moved to section 24, .Jefferson
Township, where the grandfather died in 1852,
and the grandmother in 1870. The former built
a gristmill in 1815, and operated it in addition to
carrying on a farm. The old mill has been twice
re-built, the last time in 1850.

The father of our subject, Abraham Armstrong,
was born March 2, 1810, in Pennsylvania. He was

well educated, and for" a number of years engaged
in teaching school, after which he succeeded his
father in the milling and farming business. In
1844 he was elected Auditor of Guernsey Count}',
and in 1871 was elected to the Legislature, serving
in that position for two terms. November 4, 1845,
he married Miss Elizabeth Walker, who was a
daughter of James Walker, and was born May 20,
1820, in Allegheny County, Pa. She died within
two years of her marriage, leaving one child, John
Walker, our subject, an infant of three weeks.
He was at once taken into the home of his grand-
parents, John and Susannah Armstrong, who reared
him until the age of thirteen, as above stated. This
old couple were pioneers of the county, and en-
tered the land from the Government which the
family now occupies.

Our subject has been prominent in public affairs
of his township, and the confidence which is re-
posed in him is shown by the fact that he served
in the capacity of Township Clerk, Treasurer and
Justice of the Peace. In 1890 he was elected
Census-taker of Jefferson Township, and is now
Notaiy Public. He is a working member of the
United Presbyterian Church, to which his wife and
six children also belong.


JOSEPH PENIX, a well-to-do and enterpris-
ing farmer of Franklin Township, has owned
his' well improved homestead for the past
thirteen years. This farm, known as the
Jonas Bair Place, con tains ninety-one acres of land,
well adapted for general agricultural purposes.
The name which our subject bears is variously
spelled by other members of the family, the usual
form being Peuniek, and tlie founder of this branch
in America was a native of Ireland.

The earliest ancestors of whom our subject has
authentic record are his grandparents, James and
Matilda Penix. Their son William was born in
1827, in Navarre, Stark County, this state. In his



early days he drove a team, and later learned the
carpenter's trade. .Soon after rcncliing his majority'
lie turned his attention to farming, in wliicii he
made a distinct success. At the age of twenty-
three years he married Sopliia King, daugliter of
Michael King, who was one of the early settlers in
the vicinity of Beach City. Soon after his mar-
riage William Penix leased a farm south of Sugar
Creek Falls, on the Slrasburg Road. There he lived
for five years and then for eleven 3'ears resided near
Winesburg. For some time he was a resident of
Wayne Township, but Tinally removed to Franklin
Township, settling on lot 16, range 3, and here he
?pent the remainder of his life. lie owned one
hundred and twenty-nine acres in his lioine place
and sixty-eight acres in Wa^'ne Township. At his
demise, which occurred February 4, 1892, he was
nearly sixty-live years of age. His son Harvey
now owns the old homestead. The house was
built in 1840 and was rebuilt by the late owner.

William and Sophia Penix had ten children.
Franklin died at the age of twenty-two years; Lu-
cinda is a resident of Winfield Township; Alfred
lives with his brother Harvey; Joseph is the next
in order of birth, and the others are Charles and
William. Wesley, a son of William Penix by his
second marri.age, is now living in Clinton County,
Mich., and married Lovina Stephens. The other
children of this union were Sarah, Watson and
Francis, all of whom died in infancy. Harvey

married OUie, a daughter of Elijah and Susan
(Shutt) Gurber, and has one daughter, Gertrude
Delia, who is now the wife of William Hurst, of
New Philadelphia. William Penix was a Repub-
lican in politics, but was not interested as an of-
fice-holder. Religiously he was a member of the
United Brethren Church. He enjoyed the friend-
ship and respect of his neighbors, among whom he
bore an enviable reputation for honesty and up-
rightness of character.

Joseph Penix in his boyhood received common-
school advantages, and during the same period be-
came intimately acquainted with agricultural pur-
suits. After reaching his majority he continued
for some years to live with his father. In 1882
he purchased his present farm, on which he has
made substantial improvements. His large barn
was destroyed by lightning, and in its place the
owner has erected a handsome and well arranged
structure on modern plans. It is 38x68 feet In
dimensions and supplied with all conveniences.
In politics Mr. Penix is an ally of the Republican
party, and to the best of his ability endeavors to
discharge the duties of citizenship.

November 20, 1881, Joseph Penix married Mary
E. Smith, a daughter of John P. and Catherine
(Shroy) Smith, old residents of Wayne Township.
Mr. and Mrs. Penix are members qt the United
Brethren Church, and are active in all benevolent




JOHN NAGELY is the proprietor of the lead-
ing planing-mill and lumber-yards of New
Philadelphia. To the progress and growth
of this place he has added to no small ex-
tent, and is accounted one of her most worthy citi-
zens. The business which he conducts is constant-
ly increasing in volume, and the firm of which he
is a member is held to be one of the substantial
ones of the state.

Tlie birthplace of our subject was in the canton
of Berne, Switzerland, and the date of the event
February 12, 1832. His father, Casper Nagely, a
native of the same place, and a son of Melchoir
Nagely, was a farmer by occupation, and a promi-
nent man in the community wherein he dwelt.
He had been educated in the schools of Guttanen,
and followed teaching to a certain extent success-
fully. At one time he served as Town Clerk of
Guttanen, in which place his death occurred in
the year 1858. His wife, whose maiden name was
Catherine Streuo, survived her husband but a few
years. They were both devoted members of the
Reformed Church, and were well known for their
noble characters. Of their six children, Casper was
the eldest; our subject was next in order of birth,
and the others were Catherine, Margaret, Mag-
dalena and Vcrena. Margaret and Catherine are-

John Nagely 's early years were passed quietly
under the parental roof. He was given good edu-
cational advantages up to his seventeenth year.
At that time he began learning the trade of cabi-
net-making at Burgdorf, where he spent four years.
Subsequently he pursued his vocation and also en-
gaged in farming more or less. While learning

his trade he attended night school, and there ob-
tained a practical business training. Believing
that the New World afforded bettor opportunities
for a young man of perseverance. Mr. Nagely set
sail for the United States. Arriving at his destina-
tion. New York City, in 1861, he at once proceed-
ed westward to Sullivan County, N. Y., where he
spent about a year and a-half.

In the fall of 1862 our subject first came to
New Philadelphia, and as the war was in progress,
he found but little to do in the line of his trade.
Until 1865 he worked at various employments,
then taking up his former calling. For a few
years he was foreman of the Champion Planing-
mills, and in 1870 was admitted as a partner in
the concern. Later he sold out his interest in the
business, and was again given the position of fore-
man. In this capacity he served until 1878, when
he purchased an interest in the mill. In 1880, in
company with William H. Criswell, he bought out
the other partners, and continued to operate the
mill until the death of M'r. Criswell in 1888. For
a short time Mr. Nagely then conducted the busi-
ness alone. In January, 1892, his son, Charles A.,
was admitted to the firm, which has since been
known as John Nagely & Son.

July 4, 1861, our subject married Elizabeth Von
Bergen, wiio was a native of the same town as her
husband, and who made the journey to the United
States the year of her marriage. Her parents were
John and Barbara Von Bergen, whose early lives
were passed in the canton of Berne, Switzerland.
The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs.
Nagely: John W., who wedded Mary Hochstetler,
daughter of Cornelius Hochstetler, and is foreman



in the mill for his father; Charles A., who mar-
ried Anna M., daughter of James B. Waddington,
residents of Rosemoud, III.; Wi'liam 11. , a resident
of Uhriobsvil!e; En:ma K., the wife of William II.
McCiillough, of Cambridge, Ohio; Lena L., wife
of John Hammond, of New Comerstown; and Flora,
Edward and Walter. The older members of the
family are all connected with the Reformed Church.

Fraternally Mr. Nagely, together with his sons
John and Charles, is a member of Schoenbrun
Lodge No. 430, 1. O. O. F. He uses his right of
franchise in favor of the Democratic party. The
firm of John Nagely & Son has a general planing-
•mill for the manufacture of sash, doors, mould-
ings and similar lines. They are also contractors
and builders, and afford employment to some fifty
men. A large and well selected stock of shingles,
lumber, lath and other building material is con-
stantly kept on hand, and the business transacted
by them is proving very lucrative. Their sujjplies
are purchased in all parts of the Union, and the
products of their mill are shipped to many points
outside .of this immediate vicinity.

Charles A. Nagely, the son of our subject, be-
sides being an Odd Fellow, belongs to the follow-
ing-named orders: Philadelphia Council No. 390,
R. A.; Lodge No. 69, A. O. U. AV.; Court No.
1540, L 0. F.; and the German Relief Society. His
wife is the granddaughter of Henry Zimmerman, an
early settler of Tuscarawas County, who died April
30, 1884. A member of the Lutheran Church, she
is ever ready to assist in the support of the good
work in which this religious body is engaged.

^ y bridge, is one of the most prominent men
of southern Ohio, and for many years has
been engaged in the practice of law in the district,
circuit, state and supreme courts of Oiiio and the
United States. He was admitted to practice before
the Supreme Court of the United States upon the
motion of the late President Garfield, then Con-
gressman. Politically he has been prominently

identified with the Republican party for a number
of years, but has never been a candidate for office
since 1865, except for Congress. However, he has
frequently served as a delegate to national con-
ventions. All movements which have been started
with a view to benefiting this locality he has
warmly supported. In the spring of 1872 he was
instrumental in the organization of the Guernsey
National Bank, of which he was at once tendered
the presidency, a position which he has since held.
Being elected to fill the unexpired term of Jona-
than T. Updegraff, of the Sixteenth District, in
the Forty-seventh Congress, he so ably represented
his constituents that he was re-elected to the For-

Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 10 of 83)