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 53 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 53 of 83)
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day. He served as Township Trustee, and in pol-
itics was a Democrat. Socially he was a member
of the Masonic fraternity, and was also identified
with the Odd Fellows. His death occurred No-
vember 22, 1890.

The first wife of Jolin Laughlin was Elizabeth,
the daughter of Jacob Pifer. Three children were
born of their union, namely: Laura A., now the
wife of Samuel Moore, of Stark Count3'; Dories-
key, who became the wife of David Furney; and
Julius H., who served in the late war, and now
lives in Anderson County, Kan. The second wife
of John Laughlin was Miss Maiy Furney, and of
her four children two, James and Harriet, died
while young, while John W. and Mary M. are still
living. The mother, who was born in Bedford
County, Pa., July 25, 1819, is still living. She
is a daughter of Philip and Catherine (Wymer)



PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



Fuincj', natives of Frederick County, Md., in
which state they were married. Later they be-
came inhabitants of Bedford County, Pa., but in
IS.'^e removed to Burlington, Iowa, taking tliree
months to make the journc'3\ Returning to Sandy
Township, Mr. Finney bought two hundred acres
of land, the place where our subject now resides.
This land he improved, but sold out, removing to
Sandyville, and still later bought two hundred
acres of land near Zoar. The last years of his
wife were passed in Sandyville, where her death
occurred at the age of sixty-three years. - Mr.
Furney,who was a soldier in the War of 1812, was
a Democrat in politics, and a Lutlieran in religious
belief. He died January C, 1866, at the extreme
old age of ninety-one years and eleven months.
His father, Frederick Furne}-, a native of Ireland,
came to the United States in early life, settling in
Maryland, in which state his death occurred. In
his family were six children, namely: John, Peter,
Abram, Philip, Margaret and Mary. Mrs. Mary
F. Laughlin is one of ten children. John, who
served ten years in the late war, died in Magno-
lia, Ohio; Samuel died in Pennsylvania; David,
who was a soldier during the war, died in Sand}'
Township; Daniel died at JMineral Point; Adam
died in Muskingum County, tliis state; Elizabeth
became the wife of Peter Wymer; .Sarah, who
became Mrs. Brown, died in Pennsylvania; Cath-
erine, who became Mrs. Binkley, also died in the
Keystone State; and Ann died unmarried. Mrs.
Laxighlin is a member of tlie Lutheran denomina-
tion.

John "W. Laughlin, whose name heads this arti-
cle, was born in June, 1857, and was brought up
on a farm. He received a district-school educa-
tion, and assisted his father in the work of the
farm until he arrived at his majority, when he
began to make his own way in the world. After
his marriage, he removed to his present home-
stead. This is a part of liis father's old farm.
The latter was very successful as a sheep-grower,
and at the time of his (ic:ith Ills estate comprised
four hundred and eighty-live ;K'i-e?. Our subject
is a practical agriculturist, who possesses an ener-
getic and industrious spirit, whicii is rapidly work-
ing out for him a goodly fortune. He is now de-



riving a large income from his new coal mine, and
meditates greater enterprises for the future. Al-
ways a most filial son, he has manifested his devo-
tion to his father's memory by erecting over his
last resting-place a beautiful monument, wliich
cost over $1,000.

Marcli 1, 1882, Mr. Laughlin married Miss
Rachel, daughter of Uriah and Nancy A. (Sparks)
Gordon. Six children have come to bless their
home, four sons and two daughters, who, in the
order of their birth, are named as follows: John
M., Margaret A., William T., Jacob G., Rachel B.
and Abraham P.

On political questions of the day, our subject is
identified with the Democratic party, and never
fails to cast his ballot for its nominees and in sup-
port of its principles. Fraternally he is a member
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.



ISAIAH FISHER is one of the most intelligent,
progressive and enterprising of the native-
born citizens of Tuscarawas County. Though
\oung in years, but few men of his calling have
been more successful than he, as he is already one
of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of Dover
Township. He makes his home on the farm for-
merly owned by his father, and is carrying on the
business of its cultivation in a profitable manner.

Mr. Fisher was born in the above township Jan-
uary 23, 1863, and is the son of Mathias Fisher,
whose birth occurred in Beaver County, Pa. The
latter came to Tuscarawas County as early as 1832,
locating immediately in Dover Township, where
he became the owner of a good farm, which is now
in the possession of our subject. The father was
born December 29, 1825, and departed this life
March 14, 1894.

The maiden name of our subject's mother was
Catherine Mumma, daughter of Martin Murama.
By her union with the senior Mr. Fisher she be-
came the mother of three children, those besides
our subject being Benjamin F., an agriculturist



PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD,



397



living in Goshen Townsbip, and Martin, who is
now deceased. Isaiah received a good education
in the district school, improTing every leisure mo-
ment in study, and is to-day well informed, pos-
sessing intelligent views on all topics of inter-
est. He received a thorough training in farm
work by his honored father, and on the lalter's
decease fell heir to the old homestead. The place
contains one hundred and fifty acres under excel-
lent tillage and is made to yield abundant harvests
each year.

When ready to establish a home of his own, Mr.
Fisher was married, December 24, 1885, to Miss
Clara, daughter of Adam and Catherine (Weible)
Schear. Mrs. Fisher is also a native of this coun-
ty, and was born February 24, 1864. By her \mion
with our subject she has become the mother of the
following children: Mary Catherine, born Decem-
ber 19, 1887; John Wesley, March 31, 1891; and
Ruth Isabelle, born May 3, 1893. The parents are
members in good standing of the United Brethren
Church and contribute liberally toward its support.

The father of our subject was very much re-
spected in the community in whicli he lived, and
died firm in the faith of the United Brethren
Church. During the latter years of his life he
lived retired and enjoyed to the fullest extent the
result of his earlier years of toil.



3^+^§



JESSE ALEXANDER. The homestead owned
and occupied by the subject of this sketch
is one of the most desirable and attractive
within the limits of Guernsey County. It is
pleasantly located on section 5, AVheeling Town-
ship, and embellished with a substantial residence
and farm buildings of. ample' proportions. The
place indicates in a marked manner the hand of
thrift and industry, and portrays to even the cas-
ual observer the fact that it is the abode of those
who belong to an old and distinguished family.

Our subject is a native of this state, and was
born in Coshocton County, September 5, 1847.



He is the son of Thomas and Barbara (Frederick)
Alexander, the former of whom was born in Ire-
land in 1815, being the son of John Alexander.
Thomas died March 30, 1894. His father, the
grandfather of our subject, was also born in the
Emerald Isle, whence he emigrated in a very early
day to the United States, and spent the rest of his
life in Londonderry, Harrison County, this state,
engaged in farm pursuits. The mother of our.
subject was born in Pennsylvania, in the year
1820, and is still living, making her home in Plain-
field, in Coshocton Cofint^-, Ohio. She was the
daughter of Jacob and Christina Frederick, na-
tives of Germany. They took up their abode in
the Keystone State on landing on American soil,
and after making their home there for a while, re-
moved to Coshocton County, this state, and there-
after spent their time in cultivating the soil of this
fertile region.

Thomas and Barbara (Frederick) Alexander
were united in marriage in the above county, and to
them were born ten children, seven sons and three
daughters, viz.: Mary, the wife of Samuel Dayton,
a farmer of Jackson County, Kan.; Jacob, deceased ;
John, who was killed while serving his country
during the late war; Adam, engaged in farming in
Liberty Township, Guernsey County; Jesse, of this
sketch; Christina F., now the wife of Thomas Fer-
brache, also an agriculturist of prominence in Lib-
erty Township; James, living in the city of Cam-
bridge; George W., residing on his estate near
Plainfield, Ohio; Marion, working at his trade of
carpenter and also cultivating a good farm in Kan-
sas; and Lizzie, the wife of Victor Lewis, a resi-
dent of Plainfield, Ohio. The father of our sub-
ject was a wagon-inaker by trade, but in addition
to working at this business carried on the opera-
tion of his farm and also ran a saw mill with
profit. He made his advent into Guernse}' Coun-
ty in 1861, but lived here only a short time, when
he removed to Phiinlield, and there spent the re-
maining years of his life.

Jesse Alexander was given such an education as
could be obtained in the schools of the district, and
remaining at home until attaining mature years,
he thus gained a thorough understanding of farm
pursuits. He was married, in 1870, to Rachel A.



398



PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



Bell, who was born in this county, April 4, 1853,
and was the daughter of George and Elizabeth
(Stage) Bell. Her father was born in Ireland in
1821, and was in turn the son of James and Isa-
bella (Carus) Bell, also natives of the P^merald Isle,
who crossed the ocean in 1823 and became resi-
dents of Guernsey County. The mother of Mrs.
Alexander was born in this county in 1827, and was
the daughter of Jacob and Sarah Stage, natives of
New YorK State. They took up the line of march
to this state in a very early day, and were among
the first to locate in Guernsey County. To George
and Elizabeth Bell tiiere were born nine children,
foUr sons and five daughters. Sarah R. is the
wife of William Thompson, and they reside in Lib-
erty Township; Rachel A. married our subject;
James is engaged in the mercantile business at
Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; William is living in Cam-
bridge; Jennie is now the wife of Jasper Adair,
and lives in this county; Dora married Elsworth
Patterson, of this county; Elmma became the wife
of AVilliam Patterson, and also makes her home
within the bounds of Guernsey County; and John
and Martin are at home in Jefferson Township, this
county, where their parents are engaged in farm-
ing quite extensively.

Mr. and Mrs. Alexander have had born to them
a large family, numbering thirteen children, of
whom we make the following mention: Marion E.
is living in Kansas; Viola is the wife of William
Black, and lives at Cambridge; Lemuel is also in
Kansas; Edward, Rankin and Bessie are at home;
Minnie is deceased; and Elizabeth R., Ethel, Mary,
Harland, Alma H. and Rollie are still under the
parental roof.

Mr. Alexander served as a Union soldier during
the late war, enlisting when a lad of seventeen in
Company H, Fifth Ohio Infantry, and remaining in
active service with his regiment until the establish-
ment of peace. He then returned home and resid-
ed with his [larcnts for a year after reaching his
majority, when he began to make his own way in
the world. His first employment was in a sawmill,
where he worked for about seven montiis, and the
winter following was engaged in mining coal. Not
liking this kind of work, he soon abandoned it
and worked for farmers until 1867, the year in



which he purchased a tract of his own. This he
optrated for two years, and, having a good offer,
sold it and for the ensuing eighteen months owned
and operated salt works in Liberty. At the expi-
ration of that time he disposed of his interest in
this business and bought eighty acres of land
which adjoins his present homestead. The latter
is a fine tract, comprising two hundred and twen-
ty acres, bearing all the valuable improvements
usually found upon the estate of a wide-awake and
progressive farmer.

Mr. Alexander is very prominent in his neigh-
borhood and has been prevailed upon by his friends
to fill the offices of Township Trustee and Treas-
urer. He has always been greatly interested in
school affairs, which fact has led him to serve on
tl»€ School Board. In politics he is non-partisan;
casting his vole for the best man, regardless of
party lines.



i^^



JOHN G. GECKELER, a successful gen-
eral agriculturist and well known contractor,
is an energetic and representative'citizen, re-
siding in Sandy Township, where he owns an
excellent farm of seventy-eight acres, under a high
state of cultivation. He is a native of Tuscarawas
County, and was botn near Strasburg, in Dover
Township, March 29, 1855, to Lewis and Ann
(Grove) Geekeler.

Grandfather Ludwich Geekeler was a farmer and
lived and died in his native Germany. He reared
five sons to mature years, of whom Lewis and
Frederick came to the United States. The former
was born in Wurtembcrg December 22, 1828, and
one year after attaining his majority decided to
try his fortunes in the United States. Embarking
on a vessel, he was landed in New York City after
a tedious voyagp of forty days. He at once lo-
cated in Navarre, this state, and was employed in
driving stages from that place to Waynesburg for
two years. After that he worked a farm for a time
near Bolivar, in which place he was married, and
then moved with his bride on rented property near



PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



399



Strasburg. Tliis they operated for a time, and
then took possession of another tract near Dover,
living upon it for two years. In 1859 they made
their home on another rented farm situated near
Zoar Station, and two years later purchased sev-
enty-six acres east of that place. This proved a
very profitable investment, and in 1871 Lewis
Geckeler was enabled to add to this one hundred
and thirty acres, wiiicli, with another small acre-
age, aggregated two hundred and twenly-one acres.
He prospered as time advanced, and to his already
large possessions added a farm of one hundred
and forty-seven acres in Stark County, this state,
besides valuable real estate in New Philadelphia,
Zoar Station and Valley Junction. It is due to
liim to state that he wasasclf-inado man as regards
education and finance, as his oi)portunities for at-
tending school were ver^' limited, and when he
landed in this country he had to borrow the mone}'
to pay his way to this state. He always manifested
0. lively interest in the success of the Democratic
party, whose ticket he at all time voted, lie was
never an olHce-seeker, but was honored by his fel-
low-citizens witli llie positions of Trustee and
Treasurer of his township, and at his deatli, Febru-
ary 21, 1893, was serving his second term as Direc-
tor of the Infirmary. He was a conscientious mem-
ber of the Lutheran Churcli and was a liberal con-
tributor to its support.

The father of our subject was twice married.
His first union resulted in the birth of eleven chil-
dren, of whom those who grew to mature years,
besides our subject, were William, a resident of
Stark County; Lewis, whose deatli took place at
Canal Dover; Fred, living in Independence, Kan.,
where he is engaged in the shoe business; George,
Charles, Henr}', Emma, Louisa and Anna. Lewis
Geckeler's second union was with Emeline Grove,
sister of liis first wife, and to them were born Mary
and Loren L. She was the daughter of George
and Sarah (Rider) Grove, earl 3' settlers of this
county.

The original of this sketch was reared to farm
life, and in the winter season carried on his studies
in the district school. On attaining his majority he
apprenticed himself to learn the trade of a carpen-
ter, working in the employ of one man for a period



of thirteen years. For the past three j'ears, how-
ever, he has been engaged in contracting, building
some of the best residences in the neighborhood.

In tlie spring of 1887 Mr. Geckeler moved to his
present fine farm in Sandy Townsiiip, on which
he lias made many improvements in the way of
substantial buildings. In his political opinions he
is a Democrat, casting his vote and influence in
favor of that party. He is truly a self-made man,
and by his honorable and upriglit career has won
many friends and has tlie higli regard of all with
whom he is brouglit in contact.

Mr. Geckeler and Mary Weidman were united
in marriage January 1, 1880. This lady was bora
in vSand3' Township, near Saudyville. and is the
daughter of Frederick and Magdalene (Beck) Weid-
man, natives of Germany, wlience they emigrated
to this country. She wag one in a family of four
sons and two daugliters. Her brother Fred served
as a soldier during the late war, and is now de-
ceased; Charles is a farmer near New Philadelphia;
John is living in Stark County; William is de-
ceased; and Soi)hia is the widow of John Bordner.
To our suliject and iiis estimable wife have been born
three children: Fremont E., who died when nine
months old, and Cora May and Oscar Victor. The
l)areiits are excellent members of the Lutheran
Church, and have always been liberal in their sup-
port of Gospel work.



-— - -~©#^



WILBERT T. SECREST. Among tlie
prominent young business men of Cam-
bridge, whose high reputation and ma-
terial prosperity came as the reward of unusual
natural abilities industriousl}- applied, is our sub-
ject, who is at present conducting a fine business in
the grocery line and commands a large patronage.
He is public-spirited and progicssive, and takes an
active interest in all that pertains to the welfare of
the community, using his influence for its benefit.

A native of this state, Mr. Secrest was born in
Noble County, the date of his birth being No vein-



400



PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



ber 9, 18G6. His parents were Simon and Sarah
(Trellis) Secl■e^l, hotli natives of Ohio. Tlic par-
ental family inchuletl ten children, of whom
the original of this sketch was the eldest. His
brother Jacob Jj. is residing in Oldham, where he
is engaged in the grocery business; Charles T. is
living ."t Point Pleasant, and is occupied in the
mines at that pl.^ce; Ethan A. is an agriculturist of
Buffalo Townshiii; Harry is teaching school; Em-
mett is attending school at Barberton, Ohio,
and is also learning the drug business, under the
instruction of his uncle at that place; Dwight M.,
Pearl, lvul)y and Fletcher are at home with their
parents.

Wilberi T. remained under the parental roof
until a year bcldii' ix'acliiiig his yiajority, when
he went to Mt. /.ion :iiid uslalilislied a store of gen-
eral merchandise. This he conducted for three
years, and then, sellii;g to .J. S. Secrest, a distant
relative, he purchased tlie stock of goods for-
merly owned by Mrs. Dyson, of Point Pleasant. Of
this he was the proprietor for the same length of
time, and after disposing of his interest in the
business to Secrest A Spade he came to this city
and opened up a grocery store on the west side of
the Cleveland & Marietta tracks. Occupying that
stand for two years, at the end of that time he
moved to his piesent location in the Priaulx Build-
ing, which is one of the finest blocks in the city.
jNIr. Secrest carries a full line of staple and fancy
groceries, which lie retails at jiopular prices, and
thus commands a large trade from the best resi-
dents of the city. He is fair in all his dealings,
prompt in filling orders, and is classed among the
wide-awake and competent ^oung business men of
the place.

In social affair- our suliject belongs to the
Knights of Pythias, in wliicli order he takes a piom-
inent part. The Mt■lhodi^t I■:pi^eopal Church re-
gards him as one of it> most valued members, and
to the sui)|iort of the congregation in L'ambridge
he is a lilieral contributor. In liis political views
lie is a stanch Republican, and is everywiiere re-
garded as a man of good judgment and strict
morality.

The lady to whom Mr. Secrest was married
January 16, 1887, was Ida, daughter of William



and Sarah Young, natives of Noble County, Ohio.
Mrs. Secrest was born April .27, 1868, in Noble
County, and by her union with our subject has be-
come the mother of two children: Hattie, who died
at the age of five months; and Laura, who will be
four years old in July, 1805.



.^^111^,



^gllll^"



■^



OSCAR V. WELLS, attorney-at-law in Fair-
view, has gained an enviable reputation
for his legal ability, sound judgment and
sterling integrity. During the years that be has
practiced before the Bar of Ohio, he has become
eminent as a counselor, often in cases involving
interests of great magnitude, and has acquired
more than local renown on account of his schol-
arly attainments, his thorough knowledge of law
and his devotion to the interests of his clients.

Mr. Wells was born in Noble County, this state.
May 10, 1861, and is the son of John and Ann E.
(Finley) Wells, also n.ttives of the above county.
The father was the son of James and Mary (Scar-
borough) Wells, both of whom were born in Fay-
ette County, Pa. There the grandfather departed
this life in 1851, and three years later his widow
and the younger members of the family came to
Ohio and located in Noble Count3-, where Mrs. Mary
Wells died in 1864. John Wells, our subject's
father, was the tenth in order of birth of his fam-
il.y. In the year 1860 he married Ann E. Finley,
and they continued to make their home in Noble
County until 1873, when they removed to Oxford
Township, Guernsey County, where the father had
purchased a farm, to the cultivation of which he
thereafter gave his undivided time and attention.

The subject of this sketch was the eldest of the
parental family of six children, of whom Homer
A. is engaged in business in Cambridge, this state;
Cora F. is the wife of William Turke, also of Cam-
bridge; and the remainder are Jessie M., Joseph D.
and Minnie D., at home.

Oscar V. Wells received his literary education



PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



in tlie excellent institutions of Fairview, and on
leaving school began studying law under the in-
struction of Judge J. N. Campbell and F. L. Rose-
mond, and later witli Judge Nathan II. Barber.
He was admitted to the Bar to practice in 1886,
and since that time has resided in Fairview, where
he has built up an excellent and paying patronage.
For several years he has been Secretary of the Pen-
nyroyal Re-union, held in Oxford Townsiiip. Mr.
Wells was married August 6, 18'J1, to Mary, daugh-
ter of James and Nancy (Hutchison') Wallace.
The lady was born August 17, 18G9, in Guernsey
County, where she was given a fine education, and
is the possessor of many accomplishments.

In politics our subject is a stanch Democrat, and
in religious affairs he holds membership with the
Methodist Episcopal Chuicii. He has always been
an active and public-spirited citizen, faithful to
her interests, and ag an attorney has not a supe-
rior in the county. Mr. Wells has held various
offices in the village and township, and twice ran
for Prosecuting Attorney of the county against
great odds in favor of his opponent.



T7> LMER E. VORHIES, M. D., is a graduate
r O of the Starling Medical College, and, in
addition to his general medical practice,
makes a specialty of surgical cases, in which he has
had a wide and successful experience. He is one
of the leading young citizens of Cambiidge, and
is a leader in local Republican circles.

Born at Sarahsville, Ohio, Julj^ 12, 1864, our
subject is a son of Peter and JIary (Williams)
Vorhies. The former was born in Mt. Epliraim,
this state, in 1830, and is a son of Aaron 1?., a
native of New Jersey. The latter's father was a
native of Germany. At an early day Aaron Vor-
hies entered land and built a sawmill on Opossum
Creek, in what was then Guernsey County, now
Noble Couni,^', and in that neighborhood contin-
ued to dwell until his death. He was much inter-
ested in the construction of the Baltimore &
Ohio Railroad, and personally invested $1,000 in
18



the enterprise. He had a large family, comprising
sixteen children.

Peter Vorhies was brouglit up on a farm, and at
the age of eighteen years began teaching school,
being tluis employed until he was past his major-
ity. After his marriage he rented a farm, which
he cultivated for three years, his time being em-
ployed during the winter in teaching. In 1854 he
bought a farm near Chaseville, Noble County, and
this he operated until 1868. He was a Justice of
the Peace for one term during this period. For
the next three years he farmed a place comprising



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 53 of 83)