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 47 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 47 of 83)
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regards him as among its most valued citizens, for
he has ever borne his part in the support of all its

• ^ # P •

r EWIS GECKELER, deceased. Among the
I O prominent agriculturists born across the
seas, and who brought to this country
those characteristics which made them successful
here, is the subject of this sketch, formerly one of
the influential residents of Dover Township, Tus-
carawas County. He was born December 22, 1828,
in Wurtemberg, Germany, and a. year after at-
tain'ng his majority, decided to try his fortunes in
the New World, and emigrated hither.

Soon after arriving in this countrj', young Lewis
made his way to this county and located at Na-
varre, where he was employed to drive a stage.
He was very economical in his habits and, saving
liis earnings, several years later purchased his first
farm, which consisted of eighty acres. To this he
added one hundred and fifteen acres as time
progressed, besides owning several lots in Zoar
Station, four houses at A'alle^- Junction, and a
valuable piece of jn'Oiicrty in New Philadelphia.
He was likewise the possessor of one hundred and
forty-six acres in Stark County, which in point
of improvement one of the best in that section.
This wide-awake business man accumulated his
vast property entirely tlirough his unaided efforts,
as when he landed in America he had to borrow
the money to [lay his passage througli to Navarre.
He was a Lutheran in religion, and served his
congregation in the oflice of Trustee for some
time. He was universally pt)piilar with all who
knew him, and at the time of his decease, February
21, 1893, was serving his second term as Director
of the infirmary. His death was a great shock to

his family and friends, and occurred very sud-
denly, while on a visit to the inflrmary.

The original of this sketch was twice married,
his first union being with Anna Grove, who bore
the following-named children: William, John,
Lewis, Emma, Fred, Louisa, George, Margaret A.,
Charles and Henry. The wife and mother died in
April, 1872, and in October of that yeai* Mr.
Geckeler chose for his second companion Emeline
Grove, a sister of his first wife. To them were
born two children, Mary M. and Lorin Lewis.
Mrs. Geckeler, who is a devoted member of the
Lutheran Church, is the daughter of George M. Mid
Sarah (Rider) Grove, natives, respectively, of Lan-
caster and Westmoreland Counties, Pa. The family
is of German origin, and almost without excep-
■tion its members were Lutherans in religion and
Democrats in politics.

Mr. Grove was born on the 22d of September,
1802, and when a lad fourteen years of age ac-
companied his parents on their removal to this
state, locating with them in Stark County. They
were among the earliest settlers in that locality
and passed the remainder of their lives in tilling
the soil within its confines. George M. Grove
afterward removed to. this county and was identi-
fied with the pioneer settlers of Lawrence Town-
ship, where he entered a tract of two hundred and
twenty acres of land from the Government and
immediatel3' commenced the arduous task of clear-
ing and improving the same. On this estate he
resided until the day of his death, which occur-
red at the advanced age of eighty-five years. He
was prosperous in all his undertakings and left his
family a snug fortune. He too was a regular at-
tendant at and a devoted member of the Lutheran
Church. His wife died February 24, 1891, aged
eighty-seven years. Their union resulted in the
birth of eleven children, of whom seven grew to
mature years.

Mr. Geckeler passed through all the pioneer ex-
[)eriences which fell to the lot of early settlers in
Ohio, and whdre once were forests and a thick un-
dergrowth of brush, are now waving fields of grain
or the rustling corn, which great transformation he
helped to bring about. He was truly a self-made
man, having risen from the lowest rounds of life,



financially considered, to a measure of success and
prosperity. He always fulfilled the duties of citi-
zenship in a faithful manner, and throughout his
entire life was a highly esteemed resident of the
county, and by his integrity and genial friendli-
ness made hosts of friends.

iT^ LEXANDER F. AGNES is a well known
/ — \ stock-dealer and agriculturist of Warren
Township. He owns a good homestead,
comprising two hundred and sixty-two acres situ-
ated in the northwestern part of the township.
Since 1871 he has manufactured a remedj' known
as the Agnes Lung and Bronchitis Liniment and
Cholera Balsam, which has a ready sale in this por-
tion of the state, and has won more than a local
reputation. The proprietor keeps several agents
on the road, and makes a good income from the
sale of this justly esteemed and valuable medicine.

The birth of our subject occurred March 21,
1846, in France. His paternal grandfather, Fran-
cis Agnes, a native of the same land, reared a laigc
family, and four of the number came to the United
States, namely: Leonard, who died in Massijlon,
Ohio; Alexander, who lives near Beach City,
Franklin Township, this county; Joseph; and Ad-
eline Verner, of Sciota County, Ohio. In 1849
Francis Agnes, with his wife and four children,
started for the United States, but was shipwrecked
and landed in Ireland. Resuming their journey
later, on account of storms and bad weather it was
still three months before they landed in New York
City. From there they proceeded by beat to Buf-
falo, and thence by lake and canal to Massillon, this
state. Here Francis Agnes bought thirty-five acres
of land in Franklin Township, where he died prior
to the War of the Rebellion, his wife surviving
him some two years.

The parents of our subject were Joseph and Jo-
sephine (Penot) Agnes, likewise natives of France.
The lormer is still living, andis now seventy-five
years of age. For many years he worked on the

construction of the Ft. Wayne Railroad, being su-
perintendent of a gang of men who were supply-
ing wood and water for the trains. In this way
he accumulated some money, which he invested in
forty acres of land, and subsequently became the
owner of sixt^'-three acres more. He also owned
two dwellings in Navarre, where he has lived for
ten years past. A Democrat in politics, he has never
desired or accepted official honors. To himself
and wife were born ten children, namely: Alex-
ander F.; Adam J.; Xavier; Charles, living on the
old homestead; Jennie, now Mrs. Henry Biddle;
Lizzie, deceased; Mary, the wife of Fred Richen-
bach; Joseph, of Mansfield, this state; Leona, who
died in Ireland, at the age of one year; and Aimuel,
who died at Wooster, Wayne County, this state.
Mrs. Josephine Agnes is one of the two daughters
of John Penot, whose wife died in France, and
who came to the United States in 1849, dying in
Navarre, Stark Couniy, where the father now re-
sides. His other daughter, Sophia, became the
wife of Alexander Agnes. Mrs. Josephine Agnes
died in 1886, aged sixty-five years.

The boyhood of our subject was passed on a
farm, and he continued to live with his parents
until twenty-one years of age. Then, starting out
to make his own livelihood, he chopped cord wood
during the first winter, and after spending the fol-
lowing season in working on a farm, he went to
Portsmouth and husked corn until he obtained a
situation in a rolling-mill of that city, where he
was employed for three anda-half years. Return-
ing to Franklin Township, he worked the next
summer on a farm, and then rented a place near
Dundee, which he operated for Uuec years. In
1873 he bought sixty-three acres of land of Joseph
Kuhns in Franklin Township, which place he sold
on the expiration of three years.

In 1886 Mr. Agnes leased a mill at Beach City
and ran the same for three years and a-half, when
he sold his lease for $600. The next year he spent
in running the Wilmont Mill, after which he put
up a building at Bcuch City, and engaged in farm-
ing a place of one hundred and four acres, which
he had purchased in that locality. Later, selling
out his farm and buildings, he invested the pro-
ceeds in one hundred and fifteen acres in Wayne



Township, which he still owns. Here he lived for
five years, or until 1888, when he moved to New
Cumberland, and there remodeled a mill, and in
1891 put in modern raachinerj'. After selling out
a half-interest in the mill he traded the remain-
der, in March, 1892, to Robert Campbell for a farm
of two hundred and sixty-two acres, which place
is now his home. The farm is well improved and
is a valuable place.

In March, 1873, our subject married Melinda
Wellet, who was born in this county, and is one of
four daughters and four sons of Benjamin Wellet,
who was a native of Pennsylvania, and of German
origin. He was a cooper by trade, and passed his
last years in Sandy ville, Oliio. In 1875 death
called the devoted wife of our subject from his
side at the early age of twenty-two years and seven
months. She left one child, a daughter, Emma.
Mrs. Agnes was reared in the faith of the German
Baptist or Dunkard Church, but after her marriage
became identified with the Roman Catiiolic Church,
which is the faith of her husband, the subject of
this sketch.


eHRISTIAN FOX. Probably no resident of
Tuscarawas County is better deserving of
representation in this volume than Chris-
tian Fox, who is one of the oldest pioneers with-
in its confines. Although retired from the arduous
duties of life, he is still living on his fine estate in
York Township. He has pursued a course in life
which has resulted in securing for him the hearty
respect of all those who know him, and has given
him a proud rank among the farmers and land-
owners of this section.

The original of this sketch was born in the above
townshii), Octobei- 22, 1829, and is the son of Leo-
pold and Elizabeth (Kuhn) Fox, natives of Prus-
sia, who emigrated to the United States many
years ago, first settling in Pennsylvania. In the
year 1824, however, they again took up the line
of march and came to this county, making this
section tlieir home until their decease. The father

passed away in 1842, at the age of sixty years,
while the good wife survived until 1863, when she,
too, departed this life.

The parental household included four children,
three sons and one daughter, those besides our
subject being Elizabeth, now deceased; Leopold, a
farmer of York Township, this county; and John,
who is also engaged as an agriculturist in Col-
orado. The parents gave their children the best
advantages for obtaining an education which the
early times afforded, and were they living at the
present time would have every reason to bo proud
of their success in life and the prominent positions
which they occupy. They were faithful and high-
ly esteemed members of the German Reformed
Church, and in their death the community, as well
as the church, lost two of its most valued members.
In politics Leopold Fox was a stanch Democrat,
being much interested in politics, and in every-
tliing which would in any way advance the wel-
fare of his community.

The marriage of our subject, which occurred in
1852, was with Miss Elizabeth Ofifholder, who was
born in Switzerland in 1835. She was the daugh-
ter of Daniel and Lizzie (Kaiserman) Offliolder,
natives of Germany, vho emigrated to America in
an early day. By her union with our subject there
wer^e born the following children: Elizabeth, the'
wife of Emeil Hawk, who makes her homein Dover,
this state; John, engaged in managing the old
iiomestead; Mary, tiie wife of John Raver, an agri-
culturist of York Township; Kittle A., now Mrs.
George Graif, whose husband is a farmer of Goshen
Township; Emma, wife of Mrs. John Lewis, who
is engaged in farm pursuits in Dover Township;
Lydia, at home; Joseph, a prominent phj'sician of
New Philadelphia; and Christian, a farmer in Mis-

The original of this sketch was reared on the
farm where he is at present residing, making his
home with his parents until their decease, when he
purchased the interest in the estate of the other
heirs, and is now its sole proprietor. The farm in-
cludes two hundred broad acres, well supplied with
all the necessary barns and outbuildings, besides a
substantia! residence. Mr. Fox secured his educa-
tion in one of the old-time schoolhouses, built of



logs, with greased-paper windows, puncheon floor,
and blab desks built around the room, at which the
scholars stood up to write. To the itnowledge
thus gained he has added by reading, his desire
being to keep himself well posted regarding cur-
rent events and topics of general interest.

In politics Mr. Fox is a Democrat, and takes
much interest in aflfairs of public importance. He
has served as School Director for four years, and
was Township Trustee for a period of ten years.
He is a public-spirited man, and one who delights
in advancing both his own interest and those of
his neighbors. To-day he ranks among the wealtliy
and influential agriculturists of the county, and
is surrounded by all the comforts of life, proving
the truth of the old assertion that industry will
win in the race for fortune and position.


NATIIAN M. McCUKARY. This county is
pre-eminently one of comfortable rural
homes. The soil being wonderfully fer-
tile, and the facilities for market excellent, a great
many agriculturists secure a competence by the
cultivation of a moderate acreage. One of the
successful farmers of Fairfield Township is Nathan
M. McCreary, who operates a finely-tilled farm on
section 3. In addition to cultivating tlic soil, he
breeds Poland-China hogs.

Mr. McCreary was born on section 2 of this
township, July 10, 1827, and is the son of John
and Margaret (Slutts) McCreary. His father was
born in Virginia, July 22, 1769, of parents who
came from Ireland in an early day and were mar-
ried many years after their arrival in the New
World. John McCreary started out in life poor
in purse, and when leaving home went to Red
Stone, locating on the Monongahela River. While
living there he made seven trips to New Orleans
in order to trade, and on five different occasions
walked the entire distance home. On one of these
journeys he was piloted over the fall, for whicli

he was compelled to pay $25. This being quite a
severe lesson, he was on the lookout thereafter, and
fell into no more such traps.

The father of our subject had saved about ^l,-
400 on tliese trips to and from the Crescent City,
and concluded to invest some of his surplus capi-
tal in land. Coming to Ohio, he entered a tract on
section 28, Warren Township, Tuscarawas County,
on which he erected a little log cabin on the north
branch of Indian Creek. In this he resided for a
time and cleared six acres from its original wild-
ness, whicli was the first pretense at improvement
that had been made in the township. He was soon
after rendered a poor man by the failure of parties
to whom he had loaned the greater part of his
earnings after making the first payment on his
land. Being thus unable to meet further notes
due, he advertised his land for sale, and on dis-
posing o-f it entered a quarter-section on section
2, Fairfield Township. This was about 1806, and
June 7, ten years later, he entered from the Gov-
ernment the tract on section 3 where our subject
makes his home at present. He worked industri-
ously to improve both farms, in which undertak-
ing he was more than ordinarily successful. He
de[jarted this life on section 2, April 29, 1857,
firm in the faith of the Cumberland Presbyterian
Church, of which he was a member. He was a
powerfully built man, six feet in height, and of a
determined spirit. He was very active in politics,
and voted with the Democratic party.

John McCreary in early life learned the trade
of a millwright, which, although he did not fol-
low it, proved of great assistance' to him at the
time of his erection of a mill in Warren Township.
Just such an enterprise was needed and greatly-
appreciated by the farmers, who were not com-
pelled to haul their grain to the larger cities to
have it prepared for making bread stuffs. He was
on friendly terms with the Indians, and in all his
dealings with them never had any trouble.

The parents of our subject were married about
1809, and to them was granted a family of ten
children. Catharine married Michael KoUar, and
on his death became the wife of Isaac Sparks, who
is also deceased. Slid departed this life December
31, 1894, in Boone County, Iowa. James died


near Gnadenliutten, December 3, 1873. Rosanna
became the wife of George Fisher, and departed
this life at Bolivar. Sarali A., Mrs. Henry Sparks,
died in Warren Township. .John died in 1894, on
the home farm. Reason passed away in Owen
County, Ind.; and William is a resident of the
above place. Tlie mother of this family is an act-
ive member of the Methodist Church, with which
all her children were connected, and James and
AVilliam were for many years Class-leaders.

Nathan M. McCreary was given a common-
school education, and remained at home working
for his father until attaining his majority. In
■1856, in company with his brother John, he pur-
chased the quarter-section of land on which he is
now living, and moving upon the tract they kept
"bachelor's hall" for two years. Then, purchasing
his brother's interest in the place, with one hun-
dred and sixty-four .acres which he had entered in
Owen County, Ind., he became its sole proprietor
and has ever since been engaged in its improve-
ment. He erected all suitable structures neces-
sary for the storage of grain and shelter of stock,
but November 26, 1893, suffered a severe loss by
the burning of his barn and contents. This catas-
trophe deprived him of Ave horses, eight head of
cattle and several hundred bushels of wheat, to-
gether witli many valuable farm implements, the
total value of which was $3,000, with an insurance
of $950. He immediately erected another large
barn, which is well arranged. Mr. McCreary de-
votes considerable attention to breeding Poland-
China swine, and has some very fine specimens of
this particular blood; and also thoroughbred Jer-
sey cattle.

February 22, 1855, the subject of this sketch
and Miss Margaret Scarlett, of Jefferson County,
tliis state, were united in marriage. Tlie lady was
the daugliter of George and Nancy (Slutts) Scar-
lott, and on the paternal side is of Irish descent.
She was an active worker in the Methodist Church,
and it was hugely through the good example
which she set that our subject was brought into
the church. She died May 8, 1881, and October
9 of that year Mr. McCreary married Mrs. Ellen,
widow of William Frase, of Wayne County-. Mrs.
McCreary was born in that county December 7,

1839, and was the daughter of David and Elizabeth
(Wiley) Huston, natives, respectively, of Washing-
ton County, Pa., and Virginia. Her father was a
shoemaker, and died in MedinaCounty, Ohio, hav-
ing removed hither in early manhood. His family
included twelve children, of wliom three sons and
four daugliters grew to manhood and womanhood.
Mr. Huston married for his second wife Emeline
Shively, who bore him three children. Only one
of this family is living, a son.

To Mr. and Mrs. McCreary there have been
born two children: Margaret LuelIa,born March 29,
1883; and John E.,who was born December 9, 1884,
and died when a year and three months old. Mrs.
McCreary had one daughter by her first marriage,
Alice. She is a member of the Methodist Church,
with which denomination her husband has been
connected since 1857. He takes an active part in
all religious work and has been Class-loader in his
congregation for forty years. It is scarcely neces-
sary to add that he is held in high repute by the
residents of Fairfield Township (which lie has
served in the capacity of Trustee), on account of
his excellent character, business ability and pleas-
ing qualities. He was a Democrat in politics up
to 1864, since whic^l time, however, he has voted
for Republican candidates.


JOB PARRY, for the past nine years a re-
spected resident of Lore City, was for years
an industrious and successful agriculturist
of Guernsey County. He was born in Har-
rison County, this state, five miles west of Cadiz,
August 1, 1818, and has spent his entire life in
the Buckeye State.

The name Parry is of Welsh origin, and is a
variation of tlie form Ap Harry, son of Harry.
In 1701 the progenitor of the family in America
left Wales and settled in the United States, on
what is known as Apple Pie Ridge, a spur of the
Pennsylvania Mountains, which runs into Virginia.
He became a successful farmer, and several genera-



tions of his descendants lived in the same section
of country. Our subject's paternal ficrandfatlier,
who bore the Christian name of Llewellyn, was
also an agriculturist.

John Parry, the father of our subject, was a
native of Pennsylvania, and when twenty-seven
years of age emigrated to this state. Ho died in
1871, at tlie age of seventy-four years. Four years
after taking up his abode in this stale, he was mar-
ried, at Cadiz, to Rachel Gitchel, who died at the
age of sixty-three years. Their eldest child, Ruan-
nah, died at the age of twenty-two years. Han-
nah was killed by a runaway team in 1831, wlien
in her nineteenth year. Thomas, the next in order
of birth, married Ruth Bailey, and after her
death, wedded Mariam Williams. Job is the sub-
ject of this sketch. David married Rachel Will-
iams. John died at the age of eighteen years.
Eliza married Albert Perkins; and Rachel is un-
married. At the time of his death, John Parry
owned two hundred and forty acres of land, which
he had acquired by his industry and economy.

The boyhood of our subject was passed in toil,
early and late, on the old homestead. He had but
verj' meager advantages for obtaing an education,
as he only attended school some six days. Though
he is now master of " the three R's," and a man of
practical intelligence and information, he learned
it all after he was past his twenty-first year. As
his future companion and helpmate, he chose
Asenalh Hall, a most estimable and worthy lad3',
who assisted liiin in every possible way and helped
hiai with his studies. She became the mother of
twelve children, namely: Eliza .Tane, who mar-
ried John Webster, and has six cliildren; Sarah,
who became the wife of Isaac Day; Phuibe, who
wedded James Bailey, and became tlic mother of
three children; Rachel, who became the wife of
William Bryant, and has four children; Elizabeth,
who married David GrifHn,and has three children;
Letitia, wife of William Lloyd, and mother of
tliree children; Asa, who married Sarah Bailey,
and has three children; and live who died before

Immediately after his marriage, Job Parry went
to work with energy as a f.armer, and saved $100
from his first crop. His first venture was on a

forty-acre tract of land, located four miles south
of fjuaker City. A few years later he bought one
Inmdied .and eighty acres on Leatherwood Creek,
where he continued to make his home for twentj-
years, during which tune he made substantial and
valuable improvements on the place. In 1874 he
removed to Barnesville, where he lived for four-
teen years, renting his farm for $.500 in cash per

In November, 1883, Mrs. Asenath H. Parry was
called to her final rest. The following year Mr.
Parry married Miss Mary Broom, from whom he
was legally separated a year and a-half later.
March 27, 1886, he married his present wife, Mary,
who was the widow of James Dollison, of Lore
City. For tlie past seven years Mr. Parry has
been a faithful and consistent member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, as has also his wife.
Politicall}' he is an advocate of the Republican
part}' principles.

i^^ AVID STONEBROOK is one of the hon-

I J ored old residents of Tuscarawas County,
and for the past eight years has dwelt at
Blakes Mills. Here he owns ten acres of good land,
on which he erected a comfortable home, and en-
gaged in market-gardening. Prior to this he lived
for many years in Salem Township, within the
limits of which occurred his birth, July 17, 1840.

Daniel" Stonebrook, the father of our subject,
was born in Pennsylvania, March 12, 1817. There
he married Sarah Yingling, likewise of the Key-
stone State. At an early day he came to this coun-

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 47 of 83)