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 29 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 29 of 83)
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section forming the soulliwcst corner of Franklin
Township. Tliis was school land, which had not
yet been surveyed, and tlie title to the same was not
obtained from tlie Government until fifteen years
later, when the farm was sold at public sale. Mr.
Bair died on his homestead September 24, 1826,
aged sixty-two years and four months, and his
wife, who survived iiiin until December 1, 1842,
died in her seventy-eighth year.

Leonard Bair, Jr., was born in Pennsylvania,
and was married, in 1809, to .Ahiry Detter. In the
fall of 1817 he removed to Franklin Township,
some four or live years after his father's settle-
ment tiiere. He Iniiit a cabin near tiie center of
lot 17, whicli lies junt north of liie quarter-section
taken up by his faliicr. The family of Leonard
and Mary Bair comprised sixteen children, of whom
fifteen reached mature years, namely: Jacob, John,

Susannah, Leonard, Mary, Philip, Elizabeth, Anna,
Jonas, Catherine, Sarah, Keziah, Esther and Leah
(twins), and Benjamin. Tlie father of tiiese children
died November 23, 1869, aged fifty-Qve years, six
months and eight days. His wife died when nearly
eighty-two years of age, January 11, 1874.

Jacob Bair, whose name heads this sketch, was
born in Pennsylvania in 1810, and has spent seven-
ty-seven years on the farm he now owns and ooeu-
pies. In the manner common to boys who lived on
the frontier before railroads and other essentials to
modern life had been brought into operation, bis
life was passed until he had reached his majority.
He well remembers when matches, heating stoves,
street cars, percussion locks and breech-loading
arms, iron bridges, etc., had not yet been thought
of. In spite of all these things lacking, and many
others which now seem necessary to comfort,
life was pleasant, though many difUculties and
privations fell to their lot. At the age of tweniy-
one Mr. Bair married Miss Mary, daughter of
Henry and Elizabeth (Houk) Sliffe, who came to
this county and settled in Sugar Creek Township
before tlie advent of our subject's grandfather
Bair. Eleven cliildren of this marriage lived to
grow up, and one d,ied in infancy. Benjamin mar-
ried Minerva Cieley. They have three children,
Ella, Mary and Nina. Simon, who' married Sarah
Rosenbury, has two children, William and Pearly.
Susannah became the wife of John T. Showalter,
of Shanosville. Jacob, a soldier in the Union
army, offered up his life for the cause of freedom.
Lydia is now Mrs. John J. Dorsey, of Davis
County, I lid. George, whose home is in Mansfleld
(as is also that of his eldest brother), has three chil-
dren, Kaliili W., Dwiglit and Nola, by his marriage
witli Mary Foutz. William wedded l|Jary Baum-
gaitner, and has tliree children, Clark, Clarence
and Mary Blanche; he is now a resident of Clinton
County, Midi. Franklin cliose for his wife Miss
Annie, daughter of Isaac Kurtz, of this township,
and tlicy have three sons, Ross, Louis and Kay.
Leah is Mrs. Lafayette Myers, of Dover Township.
Sarah E. became the wife of Henry Bowers, a well
known attorney of New Philadelphia, and they
have the following children: Roy, Charles, Jessie,
Leah and Russell. Jerome married Alice, daughter



of John and Jane (Adams) Cummins, old settlers
of Tuscarawas County. The two brotliers, Franklin
and Jerome, with their families, are living on the
old homestead. The wife of oursubjpit was called
from this life April 2.3, 1886, at the age of sixt} -
nine years, eleven months and twenty-two days.
The home of Jacob Bair was erected by himself,
.•IS were also his barns and other farm buildings,
which now stand on the south side of the farm.
The soil is rich, and yields abundant crops each
year to the fortunate owner. Though now eighty-
four years of age, Jacob Bair is strong and active,
his figure is erect, his sight and heo are almost

perfect, and his fourscore years rest lightly upon
him. In conversation he is very interesting, and
has entertaining anecdotes to relate of his c.t'.,
experiences as a [)ioiieer. His life has always beun
upright and honorable, and he has many true

DAVID lUIMMHLL is one of liie oldest
and most respected pioneers of Tiiscaniw.is
County. Ilis father moved to the town of
New Philadelphia in the year 1810. and was one of
the founders of the i)rosiierity and civilizatif)n
which have made this count}- rniilv high among.
the others of the Buckeye Stale. For about
forli'-five years the gentleman whose name lieads
this sketch has resided on the farm wliich he owns,
and which is situated on section Id. (Josheii 'JYwii-

The parents of David Kuinmell were George and
Catherine (.Stittier) Kummell, natives of Pennsyl-
vania. The father w.as a carpenter by trade, and
devoted his attention to his chosen cilling until
shortly- before his death, which occurred in 1828.
His wife, Catherine, coiUiiuicd to dwell in New
Philadelphia until 18.54, when sIil' icinoved tn Illi-
nois. Her death occurred in that slate in 18GG,
when she was about sixty-eight years of age. Seven
children were born lo (ieoigc Uiimmc-ll. and were
as follows: Frederick, whose home is in ^'irginia;

David, who is the next in order of birth; George,
now deceased; John, whose home is in Iowa; Maiy
A., deceased; Henry, of Michigan; and William,
formerly a farmir of Iowa, but now ))assed to his
final resting-place.

The birth of David Rummell occurred at New
Phil.adelphia, December 20, 1816. AVhen in his
fifteenth 3'ear lie began learning the carpenter's
trade, which he followed industriously for the suc-
ceeding nineteen years of his life. He was thrifty
and persevering, and in this time managed to save
a large sum of money, which he invested in a farm
of one hundred acres in 1850. This place, which
is still his homo, he has added to until his farm
now numiicrs two Iiuiidred and fifty -six acres. Its
value has been increased by judicious improve-
ments, until it is considered one of the best in the
lovvnslii|). Mr. Rummell is a practical business man
and thoroughly equipped as an agriculturist. Dur-
ing the last few years he has resigned some of the
more active cares of the farm to his son, but is
well preserved both in body and mind, though
considerably over the threescore years and ten al-
lotted to man.

In 1812 Mr. Riininiell married Catherine Casebeer,
u 111! was liorn m this county, and who was a daugh-
ter of .lacob and Elizabeth (Knisely) Casebeer.
The latter were among the first to locate in New
Philadcl|)hia, onl\" two families having preceded
them — those of John Kni.sely, father of Elizabeth
Casebeer. and George Stiffler, our subject's grand-
fatlio''. Mr. and Mrs. Rummell became the par-
ents of two children: Alvin. now a resident of New
Philadelphia; and Martha, Mrs. Rambo, of Topeka,
Kan. His first wife having died, our subject was
married in 1848 to Miss Ann Casebeer, a sister of
the former Mrs. Rummell. Eight children have
been born to David and Ann Riiinmell: George,
who is a resident of Goslioii Township, as is also
his next younger brother. John; Lnllior, Mary and
Elizabeth, still at home; Noltie, now the wife of
K\mcv Loggct. a fanner of t'ai'roil Cnuiily. Ohio;
.I.-UM.b. .lecease.l; and W.-iIUt. who lives in Cal-

Tliougli the advanlagvs of
ediK-aUoiial way were exticm.
iiiell, while serving as School

i-ly (lays i
lite.l. Mr.

, period



of twelve years, did cveivtliing in his power to
inciease the facilities afforded the children of this
day, and used his influence in procuring for them
tlie hest schools and teachers. Though frequently
asked to accept local otfices, he has uniformly re-
fused to serve in such capacities, preferring to give
his attention to his business affairs. In politics he
is an ally of the Democratic party. In company
with his wife and others of his family, he has for
years held membership with the Methodist Episco-
pal Church, and has always freely donated of his
means for the erection of schools and churches.


HENRY B. LAFFER, one of the native
sons of Sandy Township, is still living
within its borders. He operates a valua-
ble farm, but gives his main attention to mercan-
tile pursuits, and for upwards of thirty years he
has conducted a general store.

The paternal grandfather of our subject w.as
Henry Laffer, son of Bartholomew Laflfer, who was
of German origin, and with his family removed
from Pennsylvania to New Philadelphia in the early
part of this century, and in 1812 came to Sandy-
ville. The grandfather, in company with a neigh-
bor by the name of Wright, defended two Indians
who were in prison when a company of men from
Wayne cafme with the avowed intention of killing
the redmcn. This did not nieet with a sense of
justice in the sturdy old (lioneer for some reason,
and he was obstinate in the stand he took for their
protection. He owned and iini)roved about one
thousand :icrcs of land at Sandyville, of which
place he was the founder. He made the first plat
of llie village, and built tlie first mill constructed
in the northern jiart of Tuscarawas County. For
a short lime he also ran a store. He was known
as M.ijor l/iffer because of his military service dur-
ing the War of KS12, when lie furnished supplies
to the army A man of prominence in the com-
munity, he was elected to represent this district in

the Stjite Legislature, and was in Columbus when
he was taken sick in 1834. He returned home and
soon afterward passed away, at the age of fifty-
four years. To himself and wife, Mary, were born
fifteen children, six of whom grew to manhood and
womanhood, namely: John, Susan, Margaret, Char-
lotte, Mar}- and Ann.

John Laflfer, the father of Henry B., was born
May 11, 1806, in Pennsylvania or New Philadel-
phia, Ohio (it is not certain which), and was called
to his final rest August 28, 1868. He owned about
three hundred acres at Sandyville, and in addition
to operating this tract of land ran the mill which
had been built by his father. He was a member
of the militia at one time, and was popularly
knDwn as "Colonel," on account of his services then
rendered. In politics he was a Whig, and in later
years a Republican. Religiously he was identified
with the Methodist Churcli. His wife, in maiden-
hood Jane Barton, bore him ten children, four of
whom died in childhood. Those who survived
are: Henry B.; J. M., a druggist of Akron, Ohio;
Mary, Mrs. Raflf, who has since passed away;
Elizabeth, the wife of Joseph Dunbar; Angeline,
Mrs. Barnett, deceased; and Eliza J., Mrs. McBride,
also deceased. The friother of these children died
November 6, 1849. The second wife of John
Laflfer w.as the widow of George Fogle. The ma-
ternal grandparents of our subject were natives of
Ireland, and came to the United States in the early
part of this century.

Henry B. Laflfer was born in Sandyville, October
11,1833. He was early inured to the duties of
farm life, and spent his youth as country boys usu.
ally do, his time being divided between attend-
ing the district school and lending such assist-
ance as was in his power to his father. He con-
tinued to live at home until 1854, when he started
out to hew his own way. He bought one hundred
and thirty acres of land, which he cultivated for
some nine years, when, a favorable opportunity
oflfering, he sold out, and from that lime onward
has been mainly interested in commercial lines.
The small farm where is located his family resi-
dence comprises twenty-two acres.

July 2, 1854, Henry Laflfer married Miss Emily
Cams, who was born in Pike Township, Stark



Count3', in Ma^', 1835. IIci- iiaicnts, .Tolui and
Mary (Fislier) Cams, had tliiee children, namely:
Emily, Andrew and IMaigaret. Hoth parents were
twice married. John Cams was at one time an
extensive landowner, owning upwards of one thou-
sand acres.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Laffer has been
blessed with six ciiildren, one of whom has been
called from the shores of time. Klmer, the eldest
surviving, married a Miss Inglcman, and now lives
in Anderson County, Kan.; John married Miss
Flora, of Mineral Point; Laura is the wife of James
D. Cable, of Stark County; Minnie .he wife of
Elmer Benson; and Emma, the youngest, resides
witL her parents. Clara, the first-born of the fam-
ily, died when five years of age. Though for yn" s
Mrs. Laffer was a member of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church, she now adheres to the Lutheran

In former years Mr. Laffer was identified with
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but is not
now a member of any secret society. In politics
he is a stalwart Republican, and always uses his
ballot in favor of his party nominees. A man of
uprightness and integrity, just and honorable in
his dealings with all, he merits the high respect in
which ho is held by his friends and neighbors.

which has crowned the efforts of our subject
shows conclusively that he is one of the
shrewdest and most intelligent of the resi-
dents of Jefferson Township, Guernsey County.
He is a man of much practical business talent and
financial ability, and his valuable property is a
standing monument to his energy. He, in com-
pany with his brother James M., has a mercan-
tile establishment in Clio, Jefferson Township,
Guernsey County, and is also interested in breed-
ing full-blooded Morgan horses, having in his
"Colonel Nelson," who never had a

day's training and can show a 2:50 gait. It is one
of the best bred animals in the country, and stands
fifteen and three-fourths hands Jiigh.

Abraham and Mary C. (Patterson) Armstrong,
parents of our subject, were among the earliest
settlers in the county. The mother is still living,
aged eighty-five years, and the reader will find her
biography ou another page in this volume. Jere-
miah P. Armstrong was born February 28, 1850,
and was given such an education as could be ob-
tained in the district school. When twenty-four
years of age he was married, August 13, 1874, to
Miss M. Agnes McConnell, who died after giving
birth to a daughter, Blanche, who now makes her
home with her maternal grandparents, who took
charge of her when she was a babe of ten days.
The wife and mother passed away June 18, 1877,
at the age of thirty years.

April 3, 1884, our subject was married to Jliss
Anice AUender, daughter of George and Margaret
(Adams) AUender, who was born January 30, 1862,
in Jefferson Township. The lad^' was one in a
family of four children born to her parents, of
whom William P. is at home. George M. is en-
gaged in the oil business in West Virginia; and
Louella, born December 1, 1870, married Wilbert
Bonnell October 31, 1894. Mrs. Armstrong has
two half-brothers and one half-sister, viz.: John
A., David A. and Grace J.

By his marriage witli Miss AUender, Mr. Aim-
strong has become the father of five children:
Alvin P., born December 30, 1884; Edna G., June
6, 1887; Nancy M., June 20, 1889; Mary L., Oc-
tober 9, 1891; and George Clyde, January 31,
1895. George AUender, the father of Mrs. Arm-
strong, was born April 27, 1819, in Penns3ivania,
and was first married to .Jane Anderson, who be-
came the mother of five children, two of whom
died in infancy. John A., born July 3, 1851, mar-
ried Miss Lavinna IMoore, December 12, 1878, and
their children are named, respcctivelj-, Eleanor,
Wilber, Grace and Jennie. David A., the second
child, was born M.ay 30, 1853, and chose for his wife
Miss Maggie McKahan, their marriage occurring
April 15, 1871. Their children are Waltei- G., Ida
E., Blanche, liobert F., and George M. and i\Iargaret
Grace, twins. Grace J. AUender was born April



1, 1855. The second maniage of ]Mr. AUender
united him with Miss Adams, wiio was the daugh-
ter of John and Jane (McGuffey) Adams, natives
of tlie Emerald Isle.

Mr. Armstrong worked for seven years in a
(louring-niill, and is therefore thoroughly compe-
tent to superintend every department in this line
of work. He has held the [josition of Trustee of
his township for two terms, and would have been
the incumbent for a longer time, but he refused to
serve, owing to his business interests requiring his
entire time and attention. He is a member of tlic
United Presbyterian Church, with which iiis wife is
also connected. Mr. Armstrong is a Republican in
politics and is greatly honored by all who know

JAC015 MEYER. ,hi. The agricultural regions
of America have given a foothold to many
a poor young man who by reason of his de-
termination to succeed, his industrious hab-
its and his quick appreciation of favorable circum-
stances, has overtaken Dame Fortune and won his
crown. One of this class residing in Warwick
Township is the gentleman above named, who is
now numbered among the solid men of his town-
ship, in which he commenced his career at the bot-
tom round of the ladder. He is living retired
upon his estate of two hundred and forty-six and
one-half acres of finely cultivated land,u[)on which
stands a good set of farm buildings.

A native of Pennsylvania, our subject was born
in Berks County, September 20, 1823. He is the
son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Miller) Meyer, also
natives of the Keystone State. They were well-
to-do and respected people of their locality, and
both passed avvuy In the year 1854, the father aged
sixty-five years, and the mother when threescore and
ten. They became the [larents of eleven chihiren,
as follows: Elizabeth, Susan, Esther, Tina, Hannah,
Samuel, Elizabeth (the second of the name), Will-

iam, Jacob (of this sketch), Sarah and John. All
are deceased with the exception of our subject and

Mr. and Mrs. Meyer made settlement in this
township in 1843, and were classed among its best
residents up to the time of their death. They were
farmers by occupation, and although in limited
circumstances, gave their children the best advan-
tages for securing educations that the locality and
times afforded. They were excellent members of
the Lutheran Church, and active in all good works.

Our subject was trained to a thorough knowl-
edge of farm pursuits, and remained under the pa-
rental roof until ready to establish a home of liis
own. In 1847 he was married to Miss Julia Siron,
who died seven years later, when in her twenty-
seventh year. Their family included a daughter,
Eliza A., who is also deceased. The following
year Mr. Meyer chose for his second companion
Mrs. Susanna B. Siron, the widow of William Si-
ron. She was born in Tuscarawas County in 1827,
and was the daughter of John and Rebecca (Fair-
land) Borway, whose family comprised four chil-
dren, of whom she was the youngest. Her only
surviving brother is John, residing in Rush Town-
ship, Tuscarawas County, George and Edward be-
ing deceased.

To our subject and his estimable wife were born
seven children. Frank, the eldest, is engaged in
farming in Warwick Township; Elizabeth is de-
ceased; Alice is the wife of E. Munnich, a miner
of the above township; Annie married H. Eickel,
and makes her home in Trenton, this state; Jacob
is living on a portion of the old homestead; and
Dollie and Clara are deceased.

When commencing life on his own responsibil-
it3', Mr. Meyer leased a farm wliich he worked to
good advantage for two years, when lie was en-
abled to make a purchase of twenty-five acres.
This tract he cultivated for eighteen months, and
being offered a good price for it, sold out and be-
came the owner of forty acres in the same localit}'.
This was in his possession for five ^ears, when he
traded it and paid 81,600 in money for one hun-
dred acres of what is now the old homestead. He
has always been very successful in all his under-
takings, and being a wide-awake and progressive



agriculturist, made good use of all the latest im-
proveirents in the way of macluncry and farm
implements, and increased his acreage, until to-
day he is one of the large land-owners of the
county. Financially speaking lie is a self-made
man, having begun his career in life with nootlier
capital than that embraced in his brain, his will-
power and his physicul ability.

Mr. Meyer, politically, is one of the most intelli-
gent supporters of the Democratic party in this
vicinity. He lias always taken an active part in
public affairs, and lias served in tlio position of
Township Supervisor and also as a mtmbcr of tlie
School Board. He is an lionest, upright ir.an, a
consistent member of the Lutheran Church, of
which he is Deacon, and is well and favoraiily
known in the count}' where tlie best years of liis
life have been spent.

Tuscarawas County w.asand is tiie hoTne of
quite a number of men who were thrown
upon tlieir own resources at an early age, and
wliose natural aptness and energy were developed
and strengthened by contact with the world, re-
sulting in making tlieir lives more than ordinarily
successful in worldly prosperity and in winning re-
spect. Among this number was Hon. Simi)Son
Harmouiit, of Canal Dover, who not only obtained
a competency, but won an honorable i-ecord in
legislative halls and as a pi-ivato citizen. He was
long influential in tlie social and political life of
his state, and was a potent factor in advancing its
commerce, agriculture and material- interests gen-
erally. For many years a resident of Canal Do-
ver, lie departed this life November 14, 1891,
mourned by a large circle of friends and acquaint-

The paternal ancet^tois of oui' subject were Hu-
guenots, and were driven by the religious persecu-
tions of the sixteenth century from France into

Holland, and thence followed the fortunes of the
Prince of Orange into Ireland. On bis mother's
side he was of .Scotcli origin, his ancestors having
settled in County Londonderry, and participated
in the defense of that city at the famous siege of
1689. Tlie motiier, wliose maiden name was Eliza-
beth Simpson, was tlie daughter of William Simp-
son, of the town of Coleraine, where her birth took

Tlie parents of our suljject were united in mar-
riage January 15, 1805, and the following year
boarded a vessel which conveyed them to the
United States, landing in Philadelphia in Decem-
ber, 1806. They made that city their home until
1835, when we find them located with their family
in Tusearaw.13 County, where the father died in
March, 1842. His good wife survived him many
years, passing away in .January, 1870.

In political affiliation Simpson Harmount was
always a Democrat, and held many positions of
tiust and responsibility, in the discharge of the
duties of whiclihe exhibited an inflexible integrity
of cliaracter which early secured for him the en-
tire confidence of tlie people. In 1849, soon after
attaining liis majority, he was appointed Collector
of Tolls on the Ohio Canal at this place, by the
State Board of Public Works, and was the efficient
incumbent of that position for a period of four
years. Later he served the people of Tuscarawas
Count}' as their Treasurer, and likewise represented
the Eiglitecntii Senatorial District, comprising the
counties of Cosliocton and Tuscarawas, in the
Oliio Senate. His great popularity is also indicat-
ed by the f.act that he served from Januaiy, 1869,
to the time of his death as a member of the Ohio
State Board of Agriculture, and during four j'ears
of tlie time was its Treasurer. His record was that
of a man interested in public improvements, lib-
eral in liis views regarding appropriations, but
averse to extravagance or fraud. Mr. Harmount
was admitted to tiie Bar in 1872, and was at once
recognized by the profession as one of its leading

The marriage of the Hon. Simpson Harmount
and Sliss Isabella Noble was celebrated August 17,
1858. Tlic lady w.as tiie daugliter of Thomas
Noble, of Stark County, tliis state. Mrs. liar-



mount was born in Westmoreland County-, Eng-
land, February 1, 1833, and was brought to Amer-
ica by her parents on their emigration the same
year. Mr. Noble located on a farm in Stark Coun-
ty, which still remains in the possession of the

To our subject and his estimable wife there was
born a family of three ■daughters, bearing the re-
spective names of Elizabeth S., Isabella N. and
Anna L. The latter died in infancy. The wife
and motlier departed tliis life December 9, 18G3.
Mr. Harmount was a gentleman of very refined

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 29 of 83)