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 55 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 55 of 83)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

farming, and throughout his entire life cultivated
the soil with great success. When the war between
the United States and England broke out in 1812,
he enlisted and fought for the second independ-
ence of America. His regiment was under the
command of Gen. William Henry Harrison, and
participated in many of the important and liard-
fought battles of that period, among which were
the battles at Ft. Meigs and Norfolk, at which lat-
ter place General Ross was prevented from land-
ing his soldiers.

When peace was restored the father of our sub-
ject returned to Virginia, and spent the follow-

ing three or four years in traveling witliin its
confines. About this time he was married, and
traded his farm for property in Oliio. Coming
hither, he located near New Philadelphia, and after
'a year's residence on his estate, disposed of it to
good advantage and returned to the Old Domin-
ion. There he followed teaming for some six years,
at the expiration of which time he again came
West, this time taking up his abode in Noble
County. There he purchased a valuable tract of
land, and for thirty years was engaged in agricult-
ural pursuits. He became one of the most influ-
ential and prominent citizens of the county, and
was held in the highest esteem by all who knew
him. When advanced in years he sold his prop-
erty in Noble County and bought land in Ross
County, upon which he was living at the time of
his decease, in 1862.

The maiden name of our subject's mother was
Nancy Worley. Slie was of French extraction, her
father having come to the United States with Gen-
eral LaFayette, and with him cast his lot with the
Continental army. Her union with Jacob Ringer
was blessed by the birth of eight children, of whom
we make tlie following mention: Betsey is the
widow of Samuel McVej', and is residing in Mon-
roe County^ this state; Lydia is deceased; Mary
married Jolin Rush, and departed this life in 1862;
Alpheus, of this sketch, was the next in order of
birth; Joseph died in 1867; Jacob enlisted in the
Sixty-ninth Ohio Infantry during the late war,
and was killed upon the battlefield of Pittsburg
Landing; Susan became the wife of Vincent Mor-
gan, anil died in 1872; Samuel, who also fouglit
as a Union soldier, was a member of the Sixty-sixth
Ohio Infantry, Army of the Cumberland, and was
under Sherman on his march to tlie sea, and on its
completion inarched with his regiment to Wash-
ington and participated in the Grand Review.

Alpheus Ringer, our subject, was reared on his
father's fine estate, where he received thorough
training in all the details connected with its man-
agement, and during dull seasons of farm work
attended tlie district school. He was very ambi-
tious to gain a good education, and being studious
and making the best of his limited opportunities,
he became well informed in all the branches taught.


At the age of nineteen years he started out in life
for himself. He had the youthful curiosity to go
to Zanesville to witness the execution of Solomon
Shoemaker, a homicide, and so deep was the im-
pression then made upon liim of the wickedness
which predominates in man's nature, that death
alone can remove it.

A twelvemonth later Mr. Ringer went to the
city of Cincinnati, and obtained a position as
cjerk on a boat bound for New Orleans to dispose
of its cargo of pork. This trip sliaped his future
life. While there he visited the old battlefield on
which General Jackson fought, and stored much
.useful information gained from this historical city.
He plied flie river for some two years, and was
thus given the opportunity of witnessing the hor-
rible treatment to which the slaves were subjected
during those times. Thus early in life he became
imbued with Abolition principles. The imparting
of his knowledge of southern abuses on his return
home was the signal for a complete change of
sentiment by his entire family, and during the war
which followed thoy were enabled in many ways
to aid the Union cause.

January 13, 1848, Mr. Ringer was united in mar-
riage with Miss Margaret Stoneburner, a native of
Loudoun County, Va. The young couple at once
took up their abode in Noble County on rented
land, and for three years followed agricultural
pursuits with fair success. They then came to
Guernsey County, where our subject purchased a
farm near Georgetown. This he sold after one
year's residence upon it, and became the possessor
of a fine property in Knox Township. Here he
was living when the news that Ft. Sumter had
been fired upon flew like wildfire over the country.
His patriotism was "aroused, and, like all good
citizens of the North, he war 'ndignant at the en-
croachments of the Confederates upon the country
over which floated the Stars and Stripes, for which
his father and grandfather had fought. He at
once volunteered his services,and in August, 1861,
enlisted in Company G, Sixty-second Ohio Infant-
ry, for three years. The regiment was in camp at
Zanesville when they were ordered to Cumberland,
Md., and there joined the Army of the Potomac.
Mr. Ringer participated in some of the noted bat-

tles of the Civil War, among which were Cherry
Run, Hancock, Martinsburg, Manchester, Winches-
ter, Ft. Republic, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Suffolk,
Blackwater, Charleston (S. C.) and Ft. Wagoner.
At the last-named place he was wounded, and on
account of other disabilities was compelled to leave
the service, although having been recommended
for promotion as a commissioned oflRcer. He was
at that time Sergeant of his company.

Mr. Ringer was honorably discharged in Decem-
ber, 1863, and on returning home again took up the
peaceful pursuits of farm life as soon as his health
was restored. In 1865 he sold the farm before men-
tioned, and bought the estate which he now owns
and occupies in Adams Township. This comprises
eighty acres, admirably improved, and the eye of
the passer-by is at once attracted to the set of neat
and substantial buildings which adorns the place.
Mr. Ringer has been very successful in his life
work, and is one of the progressive and represen-
tative farmers of this section.

As a matter of coarse, our subject is a stanch Re-
publican in polities, and takes great interest in the
success of his party. He has been prominently
before the people of this county as Trustee and As-
sessor of his township, and has filled many of the
minor offlees with satisfaction to all concerned.
He is a member in good standing of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and throughout the neighbor-
hood is held in high esteem.

To Mr. and Mrs. Alpheus Ringer there has been
granted a famil}' of twelve children, of whom Ja-
cob, the eldest of the household, is a wealthy
farmer of this county, and is also a teacher of con-
siderable note. He is a man of fine education,
having graduated at Delaware (Ohio) College and
the college at Muskingum. Sarah, the next in
order of birth, became the wife of Robert Rice, and
died in Adams Township, Guernsey County, in
1884. J. Sylvester is also deceased. Thomas B.
is a very talented musician, and is engaged in
teaching music in the public schools of Cambridge;
he, too, is a graduate of Muskingum College. Jo-
seph and Alice died while our subject was in the
army. John W., now a practicing physician of
Byesville, Guernsey County, completed his literary
education in the Muskingum College, and received



his diploma to practice from the Michigan Uni-
yersity at Ann Arbor, where he studied for three
years. Alpheus W., who was also carrying op his
medical studies in the Ann Arbor College, where
he graduated, died there a few days afterward,
and before his diploma reached him. Hannah, the
wife of Samuel Work, is residing in Newark, this
state; she is likewise a college graduate, and has
received a musical education. Charles E., a stu-
dent of Muskingum College, graduated as a chem-
ist and is keeping a drug store at Byesville. Etta
M., now Mrs. William Camp, also gained her edu-
cation in the Muskingum College; and Claud R. is
at home with his parents. As has been seen, our
subject takes great interest in the cause of educa-
tion, and gave his children the best advantages for
gaining a thorough knowledge of books. He has
carved out his own career, and .is a self-made man
can be held up to the pfesent generation as an ex-
ample of what can be accomplished in this coun-
try by pluck, honesty and perseverance.

FRANK S. SPENCER. Like many of the
representative and much esteemed citizens
of Guernsey County, Mr. Spencer is a na-
tive thereof, having been born in Millwood Town-
ship, February' 5, 1841. His parents were Asa and
Phebe E. (Piggott) Spencer, the former of whom
was born in Belmont County, March 28, 1807, and
the latter December 14, 1809, in the same county.
The father departed this life May 8, 1876, but liis
good wife still survives, making her home with
Frank S. Spencer, at Spencer's Station.

The paternal grandparents of our subject wore
Nathan and Ann (Smith) Spencor, natives of Lou-
doun County, Va., whence they emigrated to Ohio
about 1805, locating in Belmont County. Nathan
was a farmer by occupation, and therefore lost no
lime in entering a tract of land from the Govern-
ment, in the cultivation of which he was very
juccessful. He was a strong Abolitionist, and was

compelled to leave his native state on account of
having expressed his opinions very freely on this
subject. Of the children of Nathan and Ann Spen-
cer, David died September 25, 1858, aged fifty-
seven years; Betsey, born about the year 1791, is
also deceased; Jonathan, born in 1793, is likewise
dead, as is also Samuel, born in January, 1795;
Mercy died in Whiteside County, 111., in 1851;
Abner died in December, 1861; Sarah died in Law-
rence County, Ohio, in 1881; Phebe and Mary are
also deceased; Asa died in the year 1876; Jonas is
deceased; and Rachel died in 1881. The father
of this large family died June 28, 1833, while his
good wife preceded him to the better land by a
few months, having passed away April 20 of that
year. The former was born July 16, 1767, and the
latter October 29, 1770.

The mother of our subject was the dauguier of
John and Eleanor (Flummer) Piggott, and was
born in Belmont County, December 14, 1809. Her
father was a native of Loudoun County, Va., while
lier mother was born in Lancaster County, Pa.
They emigrated to the Buckeye State in 1804 and
1807, respectively, and after their marriage had
born to tiiem two children, Phebe, and Eli, who
now resides in St. Clairsville, Belmont County, at
the age of seventy-eight years.

Asa Spencer remained at home with his parents
on the farm until the time of his marriage, which
occurred February 27, 1833. The young couple
resided in Belmont County for the following year,
and April 13 took up their abode in Guernsey
Couut3-, locating on the farm now owned and oc-
cupied by their son, our subject. They moved
into the house which stands there in 1838, and in it
their eight ciiildren were bom. Ellen P., tlie eld-
est, born October 1. 1835, is the wife of Phincas
C. Cowgill and the mother of four children. Ann,
now deceased, was born November 20, 1837, and
married E. V. Shipley; she left at her death, Jan-
uary 27, 1892, six children. Our subject was the
third in order of birth. Harry L., born December
30, 1842, married Mary E. Payne, and to them w.as
granted a family of three children. John, born
March 27, 1845, married Lydia Frame, by whom
he had one daughter, and on the death of his wife
chose for his second companion Ellen Moore.



Amos, born April 28, 1848, munied Anna Kinsey,
and to them have been born six cliildren. Nathan,
born October 22, 1850, is the husband of Estella
Lafler; and Melissa, born August 30, 1853, is the
•wife of Justus G. Roberts and tlie mother of six

Franli S. was educated in the schools tauglit in
the vicinity of his home, and also aided during
the busy seasons in the farm work. On the out-
break of the Civil War, and when the cry re-
sounded throughout the States for volunteers, he
enlisted, August 30, 1861, in Company H, One
Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio Infantry, under
Colonel Ball. While in the service, he partici-
pated in the following-named hard-fought engage-
ments: Ft. Royal, Shenandoah River, Winchester,
Wapping Heights, Brandy Station, Locust Grove,
Wilderness, Cross Roads, Spottsylvania C. H., which
latter conflict lasted for seven days, and the battle
of Cold Harbor, which followed, consuming nine
days. Next occurred the Oglits at Bermuda Hun-
dred, Petersburg, Monocacy (Md.), Snicker's Gap,
Charleston, Smithfleld, Fisher's Hill, Mt. Jackson,
Newmarket, Cedar Creek, Kernstown, and capture
of Sailor's Run. Mr. Spencer was wounded, Sep-
tember 19, 1864, in the left shoulder by a piece of
shell at Opequan. This injury caused him to be ab-
sent from roll-call for eight days, which, with a
furlough of twenty days on another occasion, was
the only time during his long service that he was
not in his place in the ranks of his company.

Mr. Spencer was mustered out June 26, 1865,
and discharged at Camp Ch.ase July 1. He imme-
diately returned home, and, as soon as he was suf-
ficiently recuperated, resumed his labors on the
farm. November 3 of that year he was married
to Miss Rachel N. Lee, who was born October 14,
1841. She was the daughter of John and Eliza-
beth (Benson) Lee, natives of Maryland, whence
they removed to this state in 1840,settling at once
in Guernsey County. To them were born ten chil-
dren. Harriet A. was the wife of Linley Hall, and
died in 1877, leaving two children, Elmer and Si-
las R.; Levi, who was born October 14, 1839, mar-
ried Narcissa Redd, and to them have come three
children, Alden, J. Burlin and Edgar; Rachel N.
is the wife of our subject; John E. was born

in the year 1843, and died in 1852; Martha E.,
also deceased, was the wife of William Greer, and
left one son, Edward E.; Sabilla is deceased; Em-
ily died in infancy; Phebe Eleanor, born March
29, 1855, is the wife of Anson Mead and has five
children, Mary P., Blaine, Forrest, Elizabeth and
Hazel; Sarah is the wife of James C. Bureher, and
has one son, Charles; and Eliza J., the wife of Hez-
ekiah Thomas, has three children, Lottie L., Hat-
tic and Mattie.

There have been born to our subject and his
wife three children. Cora, born June 7, 1868, is
the wife of David Cowden, to whon) she was mar-
ried September 1", 1891, and now has a son, Paul,
born January 9, 1894; Warren L., born January
29, 1875, is at home; and one died in infancy un-

' Mr. Spencer is a member of the Methodist Church,
while his wife is a member of the Friends' Church.
In politics the former is a Republican, and cast bis
first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. He
is a member of General Lander's Post No. 468,
G. A. R., of Quaker City. He has served in the
capacity of Township Trustee and School Direc-
tor, in both of which positions he gave entire sat-
isfaction. He laid out and platted Spencer's Sta-
tion in 1892, and in many other ways, has aided
in the upbuilding of this portion of the county.
He carries on general farming, and is regarded as
one of the most substantial citizens of this com-

£)# P — •

HUGH A. McCREARY is one of the sub-
stantial and infiueiitial farmers of Guern-
sey County, living on one of the finest
estates on section 18, Centre Township. It com-
prises two hundred and forty-three acres of land
(over two hundred of which are under an excellent
state of improvement, with a fine orchard of apple
and peach trees), and is known to the people of
this vicinity as Mud Run Farm.

The original of this sketch was born April 16,
1844, to James and Margaret (Laughlin) McCreary,



who were the parents of four children. The other
members of tiie household were Ilulda E., born in
September, 1838; John L., whose birth occurred in
June, 1841, and William. Jolin L., the eldest son,
fought as a soldier during the late war, as a mem-
ber of Company B,' First Ohio Infantry, and was
mustered into service in August, 1861. While o£f
duty, he, with others of his regiment, was engaged
in washing the horses in Clifton, Tenn., when the
animal he was riding sank, and both horse and sol-
dier were drowned.

When a youth of eighteen years Hugh Mc-
Creary left home and made his way to Idaho,
where he remained for a time working in the gold
mines, and later sought for this precious metal in
Montana. He was fairly successful in this venture,
and in 1865 returned home and for the following
twenty years was occupied in buying and shipping
live stock to Baltimore and otlier eastern markets.
On abandoning this industry he l)egan farming,
and is now operating what is known as tiie Mud
Run Farm, an estate very valuable in all its ap-
pointments. This Mr. McCreary manages in a
most profitable manner, deriving a handsome in-
come from the soil. For a period of five yeais he
has been the owner of a sawmill in this vicinity.

Our subject has been very popular and influen-
tial in public life and fur two years was Assessor
of his township. He is a member in good stand-
ing of the Presbyterian Church, and is active in all
good works in his neighborhood. He was married,
December 20, 1870, to Miss Martha McKelvey,
daughter of Robert and.Mar^' (Eaton) McKelvey,
and to them was born a family of four children.
John L., the eldest, was born April 8, 1872, and is
now a student at Muskingum College, at New
Concord, this state; Mary R., born April 4, 1874,
is also attending the above institution; Robert C.
was born March 23, 187G; James II., born Septem-
ber 20, 1878, is now attending school. The wife
and mother departed this life May 11, 1882, and
the lady whom our subject chose for his second
companion was Sadie E. McConnell, their mar-
riage being celebrated September 23, 1884. She
was born December 31, 1853, and is the daugh-
ter of Thomas and Lucinda (Smith) McConnell.
The father was born in Washington Countv, Pa.,

in January, 1809, and the mother's birth oc-
curred in this county, near Washington, March 20,
1819. The children born of the second union of
our subject are Ethel M., born August 27, 1885;
Walter H., May 18, 1888; Thomas W., June 29,
1890, and Dwiglit, who was born July 31, 1892,
and died May 13 of the following year.


JOHN DOERSCHUK is classed among the
intelligent, keen and thoroughly wide-a-wake
business men of Shanesville, where he has
extensive interests. For many years a teacher
in tlie public schools, he also taught vocal music,
and is widely and favorably known throughout
tlie entire county. He is a native of this locality,
having been born in Goshen Township, two miles
east of New Philadelphia, January 1, 1841. His
parents were Jacob and Christina (Rinner) Doer-
schuk, natives of Bavaria, where they were greatly
honored for their upright lives, and the worthy
manner in which they trained their children to
occupy useful stations in life.

Grandfather Jacob Doerschuk was born in Rock-
enhausen, Bavaria, Germany, where he was a black-
smith by trade. He was the fatlier of four sons,
of whom Jacob was the only one to come to tlie
United Slates. The latter was also born in Rook-
enhausen, October 4, 1815. He learned the busi-
ness of iiailmaking in his native land, and in 1837,
after a voyage of over forty days, was landed in
New York City. From the metropolis, he made
his way by river and canal to Buffalo, thence to
Cleveland, Ohio, and from that place came to New
Philadelphia. He afterward worked for a few
months at his trade near Mt. Tabor, and when
ready to change his location, moved to Zoar
Station. While there he met and was married to
Miss Riniier. A man called David Stiffler having
erected a shop there, he worked for him for five
j'cais, when he severed his interests in that line,
and, purchasing one hundred acres of land one



and one-lialf miles from New Philadelphia, fol-
lowed the life of an agricultuiist, in connection
with carrying on his trade. He was prosperous in
all that he did after coming to America, and so
managed his affairs that he became very wealthy.
He improved his first purcliase in a thorough man-
ner, and later made three additions to it, making
an estate comprising two hundred and fort^-two
acres. This was made more valuable by the erec-
tion thereon of suitable buildings of every descrip-
tion, and was regarded as one of tiie finest pieces
of property in the state. Mr. Doerschuk landed
in the New Woild without means, and what he be-
•came the possessor of was the result of his own
labors. He died July 29, 1886. He was very
prominent in public affairs, and served as School
Director for seven or eiglit years, and was also
one of the Directors of the Infirmary. A Demo-
crat in politics, he was very liberal in his views,
and in local elections cast his vote for tiie man
who in his judgment would best discharge the
duties of the office. Active iu religious affairs, he
was regarded as one of the most valued members
of the German Reformed Church, in which he
served as Polder for many years.

Jacob and Christina Doerschuk reared a family
of eight children, of whom we make tlie following
mention: John of this sketch was the eldest; Jacob
is living in Claj' Cit3', Ind.; Catherine Is the wife
of Godfrey Schoch; Valentine is living on the old
homestead; Henry is a resident of Canton, this
state; Louisa is at home; and Frank and Calvin
are residents of Terre Haute, Ind., and are engaged
as blacksmiths.

The mother of our subject was born in Hohen-
ollen, Bavaria, Germany, and was the daughter of
Jacob Rinner, also a native of the Fatherland. Siie
is still living, at the age of seventy-eight years.
Her father emigrated to the United States about
1841, and, finding his way to this state, was en-
gaged as a teamster at Zoar Station. After the de-
cease of his wife, he lived with Mrs. Doerschuk
until his decease, which occurred October 2, 1882.
He was born April 3, 1788, in Germany. Like all
German youths, he was compelled to join the
army, and entering the ranks in 1808, served for
live years under Napoleon Bonaparte. He was a

member of the Reformed Church. His family in-
cluded four daughters, of whom Mrs. Doerschuk
was the eldest but one. The others were Margaret,
Charlotte and Catherine. Christina came to Amer-
ica with an uncle in 1836, and located with him in
the then hamlet of New Philadelphia. She was
very active in church work, and aided her husband
greatly in attaining his iiigh standing in the com-

The original of this sketch was given the oppor-
tunity of gaining a fine education, completing his
studies in the high school. When nineteen years
old he was given a certificate to teach, and for
twenty-two consecutive years taught, first in the
common and later in the normal school. His first
school brought him $96 for the term, $90 of which
he gave his father to help pay for the home place.
He employed his time during the summer season
in teaciiing vocal music, and, being thoroughly
drilled in this art, has had fine classes ever since.
He has taught throughout this and adjoining coun-
ties, and meets with great success wherever he
spends a term.

December 25, 1871, Mr. Doerschuk was married
to Mary Zahner, and the following year they lo-
cated in Shanesville, where lie taught school for
some time. While at Zoar Station he became in-
terested in a printing-office, and after locating in
this place in 1878 established the Shanesville
News, a bright, newsy paper, which he conducted
for six years. Although not now engaged in pub-
lishing this sheet, Mr. Doerschuk still continues his
job-printing department, and also takes orders in
bindery work. His office is well equipped fortius
special line and the work he turns out never fails
to give satisfaction.

In the year 1886 our subject established the Ex-
change Bank. It is one of the reliable institutions
of the county, and is largely patronized bj- the
farmers and business men of this locality. Mr.
Doerschuk was connected with the foundry at
this place for four years, but since severing his in-
terest with the company has given his undivided
attention to his personal business, which is very

Always active in church work, Mr. Doerschuk
has been Sunday-school Superintendent for twentj'-


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 55 of 83)