W. O. Absher.

Portrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States online

. (page 19 of 76)
Online LibraryW. O. AbsherPortrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 19 of 76)
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In the above-named year, .Mr. Kaufman came to
Bellefontaine, where he has since resided. He has
a beautiful home in this city, where he is enjoying
the pleasures of a charming domestic life. He
still owns his farm in Harrison Township, which
consists of four hun<lred and eight acres, and i>
under thorough tillage. The estate bears a full
line of adtquale improvements, and produces a
ijood store of the various cro[)s, to the raising of
which it is devoted. Jlr. Kaufman, while residing
upon his farm, devoted consideraljlc attention to
breeding stock, in which branch (jf ai^riculture
he was very successful.

The original of this sketch was (.'lerk of llairi-



son Township for ten or fifteen yeai-s. He also
served as School Director for a long time, was As-
sessor, Real-estate Appraiser, and Director of the
County Infirmary for eighteen years. It will be
thus seen that he is one of the most prominent
residents of the county, and has hosts of friends
throughout this section. He joined the Masonic
fraternity in 1836. and is to-day the oldest Mason
in Logan County, and the only charter member

Mr. and JIi-s. Kaufman have a family of three
s(ins and four daughters: Silas, Francis, William,
Casander K., Kmezetta, Alice and Katie. William
is a very prominent architect in Pittsburgh, Pa.,
and drew the plans for the handsome Methodist
Kpiscopal Church in this city. The family are all
members of that denomination, where they are re-
garded as among it;; most etlicicnt members.


L. HOFFMANN. From the very earliest ages
the art of preparing the compounds that
arrest and remove pain and heal the sick
has been regarded as among the highest of
human functions, and thus it is that so much in-
terest and importance attach to the calling of the
druggist in our own day. Among the leading and
most reliable memljers of the pharmaceutical pro-
fession in the count3- may be named Mr. J. L.
Hoffmann. This gentleman was born in Piqua.Ohio,
(in the 2i>th of April, 1841), and he inherits the
sturdy, honest blood of German ancestors.

His father, John P. Hoffmann, was born in Sax-
ony, Germany, and there followed the occupation
of a brewer. In 1847, about three years after his
marriage, he took pa.'^sage at Hamburg for America,
and after being nine weeks on the oce.an. landed
in the harbor of New York City. He came direct
to Findlay. Ohio, and from there by wagon to
Piqua. passing through a very new and wild
country on the trip. He worked at his trade as

brewer for some time, but later bought a small
farm and branched out as an agriculturist. His
death occuned in 1880, when fifty-eight years of
•age. He was a Lutheran in religion. His wife,
whose name was formerly Anna M. Schneyer, was
a native of Saxony, Germany, and she is now a
resident of Piqua, Ohio. She also holds member-
ship in the Lutheran Church.

.1. L. Hoffmann is the elder (if two children.
His sister, JLiry E., married Charles \Vuod. and
resides in Piqua. Our subject attended the puiili(;
schools of his native town during his boyhood
days, and when sixteen years of age began clerk-
ing in a dry-goods store in Piqua. Later, he clerked
in a grocery store, and in 1869 he entered a drug
store as clerk, remaining there three years. In
1872, he went to Cincinnati, clerked in a drug
store there for a short time, and in the fall of that
year he came to New Bremen, where lie purchased
a drug stock and started out in business for him-
self. Five j'ears later, he moved into the building
he now occupies,a two-story brick, fronting AYasb-
ington Street, where he carries a stock of fresh,
pure drugs and chemicals, toilet articles, perfum-
ery, druggist's sundries, etc.

In the fall of 1872, he was united in marriage
to Miss Anna M, Koester, a native of Piqua, Ohio,
and the daughter of John Koester, who was born
in Hanover, Germany, and who came to America
and located at Piqua, where he became a prominent
citizen. He is now in the grocery business there,
and h.as met with much success. The mother is also
living. To Mr. and Mrs. Hoffmann have been born
four interesting children: John A., Lillie, John L.
and George Walter. Mr. Hoffmann casts his vote
with the Republican party, in whose principles
and practices he h.as unbounded faith, and he takes
a leading and influential part in all political affairs.
He has been a delegate to county conventions,
and IS a hard worker for his party. Socially, he
is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the
I ndependent Order of Odd Fellows, being Treasurer
of the last-named organization.

In 1886, he and Mr. Negust erected a grain ele-
vator and dealt in grain until the fall of 1887,
when our subjeet sold his interest to Jay it Co.
He owns stock in the New Bremen Tri-County



Fair Associnlinn. ami i> a memlHT of tlie Ohio
Slati' Pliarraai-outioal Association, boinsr rtirres-
poiulout for Aii!il:u7.o County. Tliis association lio
jointvl in 18#i.

HCinnAI.n FINI.AY has given full proof
of the value of his citizenship, not only l>y
liis patriotic conduct as a brave and ami-
pet'ont soldier during the trying times of
the rebellion, but also by his coui-se since the war
closed as a practical farmer who has helped to in-
cre.isc theagricultural interestsof Auglaize County,
thus adding to iti wealth and importance, by his
hard but well-directed lalioi-s in the improvement
of his farm, which lies on section 27. Salem Town-

Mr. Finlay w.as born in Medina C'niuity, Sept-
ember ii. lSo9, and is a representative of one of
the pioneer families of the State. Ilis father, Wi 11-
iam Finl:«y, w:ib a native of Ireland, boru in tli:it
country in ISU. He was a son of Adam Finlay.
who brouglit his family to America in 1823, and be-
airae a pioneer family of Wayne County, this Slate.
He had followed the trade of a weaver in Ireland.
He lived to be nearly ninety-nine years old.

William Finl.ay w.os one of seven children, and
he was twelve years old when the family emigrated
to America. He grew up amid pioneer scenes, and
in due time began life for himself .as a farmer, be-
comina t'..e proprietor of a good farm on the line
Ixjlween Medina and Wayne Counties, which he
developed into one of the l>est farms in the neigh-
borhood, working hard to accomplish his purpose.
15y his untimely death in 1872. caused by a tree
falling on him while he was in the wfx^ds, his com-
munity wa.- deprived of a citizen who was greatly
respected. He was a Presbyterian, and stanch in the
faith of his fathers. His wife w;is S:irali Ferguson.
and both she and her parent-S were natives of
Pennsylvania. She departed this life in !><(!:!.

The subject of this notice is the second of a
familv of ten children, of whom Ihree are deceased.

He received n very good education in the district
schools, which he attended until lie was twentv
years old. he being an apt seliolai- and fond of his
studies, lie remained an inmate of tlio parental
home until he arrived at that age, helping his father
in his farm work when he was not at school. In
March, I86l), he began his independent career,
leaving his native place and coming to Auglaize
County to seek a situation as a farm hand, at which
employment he was engaged two and a half years.
In .Vngust, 1802, he enlisted in Company K, One
Hundred and Eighteenth Ohio Infantry, and not
long after was lighting side by side with other of
the noble sons of this State that slie sent to the
fiont to do their (iuty in defending the Stars and
Strijies. lie went out with his regiment, and came
home witli it at the close of the war, having in the
meantime experienced in a full measure many of
the hardships and trials of a soldier's life in its
various phases. The One Hundred and Eighteenth
Ohio spent the first six months of active service
in Kentucky, where our subject did scout duty
with others of his comrades. The next move was
to Eastern Tennessee, where they were with Gen.
I'lUrnside. and did gallant service at the siege of
Knoxville. The regiment won a fine reputation
for it.-i lighting qualities, making itself very useful
all through the Atlanta eaini)aign that followed.
and made its mark in the battle of Fianklin and
in numerous other engagements with the enemy.
The w.ar was at length brought to a close and our
subject and his fellow-soldiers gladly laid down
their arms at Salisbury, N. C, where they were
mustered out, receiving their final discharge at
Cleveland .July 9, 18G,i.

When he left the army, Mr. Finlay returned to
Auglaiae Count}', and purch.asing his present farm
in .Salem Township, has been pros|)erously engaged
in farming and in raising stock ever since. He
has one hundred and forty acres of choice farming
land, and nearly all of it has been eleare<l and
pl.aeed in a. high slate of cultivation Ijy his luue-
milting toil, and he can now take life more easily,
with a g(K)d income to place its comforts and en-
joyments within his reach. He has erected neat
and commodious buildings on his farm, and li.is
everything in a fine condition. He llnds a good



source of profit in the stock of various kinds that
lie raises, having well-selected breeds, which always
command a ready sale. Mrs. Finl.iy is also a prop-
ertj'owner, having sixty acres of fine land on sec-
tion 26.

Mr. Finl.iy was first married in 1867 to Miss
Samantha McMilne, a native of Pennsylvania.
Their wedded life thougli happy was brief, as !Mrs.
Finlay died in 1870, leaving one child, Ida, now
the wife of Gus .'^ears, of Spencerville. Our sub-
ject was again married in 1871, taking as his wife
Mr,«. Eliza J. I.ongworth, nee 3Iork, a native of
Faj-ette County. Three children have been born
to them : Frances, deceased ; ^Martha R. an d Mary E.

Mr. Finlaj-'s military record is commemorated
by his membership with the Grand Army of the
Republic, and he h.as further social relations with
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with
the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association. In poli-
ties, he is a f.aithful Republican. His religious
views find expression in the creed of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, of which both he and his wife
are highly esteemed members, and he h.as been
Steward thereof for several years, always taking a
deep inteiest in church matters and in all things
tliat will in anv wav benefit the CDUinuuiitv.

'jl' OIIN B. COWGILL. ( >ne of the most prom-
I inent and well-to-do agriculturists of Zane
j^l I Township. Logan County, Ohio, who is as
'A^j/' conspicuous for his progress and enterprise
as for his intelligence and ability, isho whose name
is at the head of this sketch. He has one of the
neatest and coziest rural homes and one of the
finest farms in the county, the house standing back
from the pike about a quarter of a mile, and three
miles south and east of 'West Middleburgh.

Tlie grandfather of Mr. Cowgill, .John Cowgill.
was a native of that grand old State, Virginia, and
left that .State for Ohio nt a very early date. lie
was one of the very firet settlers of Zane Township,
and he fulhiwed :ii.'ricultiii:ii puuuils there, clear-

ing the land and making possible the pleasant
homes of to-day. On this farm, he passed the re-
mainder of his d.ays. Ilis son, Elisha Cowgill, f.a-
ther of our subject, was born in Columbiana
County, Ohio, and was brought to Logan County
by his parents when about a year old. Hero he
was married to Miss Mary Bishop, a native of Lo-
gan County, and a daughter of John Bishop, who
was a Virginian and one of tlie early pioneers of
Logan County. After marriage, Mr. and Mrs.
Cowgill settled in L'nion County-, but the father
died in Log.an County when seventy-eight years of
age. The mother is still living and resides on
a good farm west of that of her son, John B.
Cowgill Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs.
Cowgill, six daughters .ind four sons; nine grew to
j'cars of discretion, and five are living at the pres-
ent time.

Our subject was born in l'nion County, Allen
Township, Ohio, September 15, 1835. being the
fourth child and eldest son of the .above-men-
tioned children. He remained under the parental
roof until 1864, when he hastened to the defense
of an imperiled county, and enlisted in Company
K, One Hundred and Thirty-second Ohio Infan-
try. He was in service about four months and was
discharged on the 10th of September, 1864, after-
ward returning to Union County, where he re-
mained with his parents until marriage. On the
14th of April, 1867, he married Miss Anna Sharp.
daughter of John and Alcy (Bowker) Sharp, and
afterward located in Logan County, the same
township, where he remained two yeai-s. From
there, he removed to L'nion County, made his
home there eight }eai-s and then located on the
farm where he now lives. He has met with unusual
success in all his enterprises and is well known as
a substantial man and a representative citizen.

He has a farm of two hundred and five acres in
Zane Township, this counts, eighty acres in I'liicm
Count}- just .across the line, and is actively lugaged
in farming and stock-raising. His son has the
pl.ice rented and does most of tlie farininir. Mr.
Cowgill built his present residence in 1881 at a
cost of 52,000, and everything about the place in-
dicates a thrifty and progressive owner. He ha>
a fine barn. 50x10 feet, erected in 18,su. .Mr. Cow-

rOKTli.Vrr and lUOGIi^VPlUCAL recoiid.

gill IS .H KopublicAU in politics and his fii-st Prosi-
(lonlial vote w;u> c:i*t for A. l.im-oln. Ho i>:i luom-
bor of llio >lotho<li>t Kpisi-op:»I CUuroli. i> Mowni^l
in the s;»uie :mu1 w:is Supoiintoinlrnt v( llio Niiii-
ilav-schix>l for some time, lie i.- aetivo in all re-
lii:ious matters and is a lil'enil eontiibiitoi to tins
cUnroh. Two ehild|-en were born of lli^ niarriai:e.
Klislia .lohn and Marv A., both inoiniiu-nt vouml:
people of their neiglitK>rhood.

ENNIS DENNY. The agrieultui.nl pari of
the conitnunity is its bone and sinew, from
which come the strength and vigor neces-
sary to carry ou the affairs of manuf.icture, com-
merce and State. AVhen the farming peojilc arc
composed of men and women of cour.age, enter-
prise, intelligence and integrity, prosperity will at-
tend all departments of activity, and thi.- i~ pio-
eminently the case in I.ogan County.

Mr. Denny is one of the most prdniinonl
farmers in McArthur Township, I.ogan County,
Ohio, and is a man highly esteemed and respected
in the community. He w.^s originally from South
Charleston. Clarke County, Ohio, born on the Ttli
of February, l?3o, and the son of .John ami J.u-
cinda (.James) Denny, natives of Alleghany
County. I'a., and Ohio respectively. The grand-
father, Dennis Denny, was a native of County
Donesal, Ireland, and came to America shortly
after the Kevolutionary War. He located on Coal
Hill, where Alleghany City now stands, and tliere
tilled the soil for some time. In the year 1816,
he moved to Warren County, Ohio, then two
years later to Clarke County, and settled near
.S.>uth Charle:-ton. He bouglil Government laml.
settled in the woods, and Ixcame prominently idi'u-
tified with the farming interests of the count}'.
There his death occurred. He was a member of
the Catholic Church. He married Miss Eunice
Mcl-au2hlin, a native of Ireland, who had come
to .\inerica wiieu a young girl, and to llii= union

were born two d.aughters and one .son: .John,

M;u\ .\. and S.irah. Mi-s. l)enny was a mon\ber
of Iho ( atholic Churrh for many years, but in
the latter part of her life slir became a >Iotli-

The father of our subject followed the orcu-
palion to which he had been reared, faiining, .-md
was f(.iurteeu years of age when he canu' to ( )hio.
The family made the trip in a wagon and first set-
tled in Warren County. Eater, they removed to
Clarke County, and there found plenty of Indians,
ah-io many wild animals, but Mr. Denny cared little
for hunting, .\fter growing to mature years, he
bought out the heirs to his father's farm and
made his lioiiie there until 1837, when he settled
on the farm in this county on the 30tli of Maich,
of that year. Tlie eounlry was wild and unset-
•tlcd. neighbor^ were few and scattering, and there
was but (Mie farm between his place and the
county farm. But fifteen acres were cleared then,
and only a few log buildings had been erected
when he bought the farm. He was a hard worker,
an excellent farmer and stock-de.aler, and a man
whose estini:ible (jualities of mind and heart won
many friends. At the time of his death, which
occurred on the 2.'Jth of September, 1889, he was
the owner of two liundred and forty acres of land
and a most comforUdile and pleasant home. 'There
was no belter judge of stock in the county than
Ml. Deiinv, and he wrus an extensive stock-dealer.
He was a very strict Methodist and always took
an active interest in church nialters. lie wa> a
liberal contributor to the su|iporl of llu^ church
and was Steward for fifty year.i. In politics, he
was a Whig, later a Republican, and. |iievioiis to
the war, wa.s a strong Abolitionist. His marriage
resulted in the birth of six children, but only two
grew to mature yeai-s: .James, deceased; Dennis,
.Sarah; Richard. .John and Levi, deceased. The
mother of these children died in 181,i. She was
a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
.Vfter her death, the father married Miss Rebecca
Robert-son, a native of Ohio, who died two years
later. Our subject's maternal grandfather, Rich-
ard .James, was a native of Virginia, but came to
Ohio in IHOO. and settled in Warren Counly. The
journey wa-S made by team and through an alnic;st



unbroken wilderness. A number of years later,
he removed to Clarke County, Ohio. He was in the
War of 1812, and assisted in building a block
house in Richland Tovvnsliip, this county, on what
is now the farm of A. C. McClure. He was a
farmer and developed a fine tract of land in Clarke
County, but later sold out and went to Crawford
County, III., where he resided with his son until
liis death, when eightj'-threc years of age. His
wife lived to be ninety-eiglit years of age. The
.James family was of Welsh descent

Dennis Denny, the subject of this sketch, re-
ceived his scholastic training in the primitive log
schoolhouse of pioneer days, and the first one he
entered had the open fire-place, slab seats with pin
legs, and for a writing-desk a board placed on
pegs driven into the wall served the purpose. He
assisted liis father on the farm, and in 1852 he
entered the Ohio Wes]e3'an University, at Dela-
ware, where he took select studies for two years.
After finishing, he returned home and assisted in
agricultural pursuits until the breaking out of the
Civil War. On the 24th of August, 1861, he en-
listed in Company G, First Ohio Infantry, was
mustered in near Da\ton, Ohio, and placed in the
Army of the Cumberland. He served three years. I
He first went to Louibville, Ky., and his first en- i
gagement was at Pittsburgh Landing. Afterward
he was at Stone River, Perrysville Chattanooga, .
Chickamauga, Missionary Rulge, siege of Knox-
ville, Resaca. Buzzard's Roost, and all the en-
gagements on that campaign. He w.as mustered \
out on the 7th of September, 186-1, at Columbus,
Ohio. Our subject went out as a private and w,is
made Sergeant at Camp Cornin. Later, he was I
promoted to the Second Lieutenancy at Pittsburgh •
Landing and First Lieutenant at Nashville, Tenn. ;
He carried himself through that bloody epoch of
history in a manner to win the admiration of his
comrades and superior otticers.

Returning home, our subject w.is married, on
the 30th of March, 1865. to Miss Sarah A. Nichols,
a native of .'^helby County, Ohio, born April 5,
1812. The fruits of this union have been four
children, three of whom are living: John W., Lu- ,
cinda D. and Nellie B. The first and hist are
students in the Ohio WcsK-yaii Cniversity, and j

Lucinda was graduated from the Art Department
in 1891. Our subject owns the home farm of
two hundred and forty acres and has four liuii-
dred acres of land in Stokes Township, ail im-
proved. He uses it principally for pasture and
makes a specialty of raising fat stock. He has
bought .and sold a gre.at many cattle and hogs,
and has shipped some to Buffalo, N. Y. He thinks
now of dealing more extensively in sheep. He
has made most of his money out of stock. lie
farmed in partnership with his father until the
latter's death, and it was during the time of their
partnership that they built our subject's fine brick

Mr. Denny has one of the best farms in the
township, plenty of running water on it, and
everything about the place indicates the owner to
be a man of enterprise and progress. He is highly
esteemed in the communit3-, h-as helped to settle
a number of estates, and was guardian for one
child. He and his familj' are members of the
Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church, and
he takes an active interest in it. He has assisted
in building two churches and is prominent in all
religious matteis, and has been Superintendent of
the Sunday-school for many yeai-s. He is an ar-
dent adv(X'ate of the principles of the Republican
party, has been Township Trustee, .and lias held
other local offices, lie is a member of Boggs'
Post No. 518, G. A. R.. at Huntsville.

^^ EORGE VAN OSS. Our history as a people
IJl ,- — is full of examples of what can be accom-
'Vi^ plished by ambitious and intelligent .young
men, whose only fortune at first consists of irood
health, energy, integrity and firmness of purpose.
In fact, a large proportion of our best citizens
have been the scions of poverty, not wealth.
They have had to work while studying, and have
had to learn to deny themselves in youth that thev
might have fame and world's plenty in the closini;-
days of life. Among those self-made men whose


roKi'UAir ANP BionuAriiu'A



reputation assubstanti.-il :miiI pri'^ivssivo luon places
them Riuoiii: llio l>o<t in the oouiilv. is Mi. (u-oiijo
Van Oss. who sorvtMl no:\ily oiirht _vo:ii-j :is County
C'oiumissionoi' ;iiul i^ now pionunontlv nirntionoil
a> a oaiu1i<i;ito for I'lobnto .Itui^i' in 1S;1.'>.

Horn in Ilollaml on tho l-*t of .Tan nary. 1."<I1.
Mr. \"an Os* i> the ^i^>n of Thooiioro Van (K<. also
a native of Holland, «lio foilOHi'il tlio brick in:uion's
ti-niU" in his native cotuury until 18.ir>. wlu ii he
i-amo with his family to America, 'riiey were
thirty-tivc days in cros.<inir. and after landinir m
New York City, they came direct to Minster. .\u-
jjlaize County, <.>hio, whore the father is residing at
the (iresent tune. He is a niembcr of the Catholic
Church, and his wife also holds membership in the
same, lie has been a member of the council in
this town and is a man universally respected for
his estimable <iualities. lie is the father nf six
children, all of whom are living.

The original of this notice, the eldest of the
above-mentioned family, attended the common
schools of Holland and after coming to Min-
ster received a gooil practical education in that
town, attending evening school for three years to
get his English education. When Hflecn years of
age. he V>egan working with his father, learned the
trade of brickl.aying, and when twenty-one years
of .ige entered into partnership with his father.
After this, the firm commenced contr.acting and
bnilding and continued in partnership until 1882,
erecting a great many churches, etc., when at that
date our subject was elected County Commissioner
of Auglaize County. He devoted all his time to
that position and fdled it in such an able an<l elli-
cient manner that he w•,^s elected f(^r the .second
term and also tilled two unexpired terms, making
seven years and alxiut seven months in all. Be-
sides locating a great many roads and ditches,
more than half the fine turnpikes in the iniinty
were constructed during his administration. Many
bridges Were also constructed, includinir two lino
onc-s spanning the .'^t. MaryV Uiver at M. Mary's.

One week from the expiration of his term as
County Commissioner, on the first Monday in
l-'*;io. he Ixcame a partner in the Citizens" I'ankat
Minster. Ohio. He h.i.- -ince ixcupicd the respon-
-iljle po-itioii i.f Cashier of the bank and h well

fitted for his position. In the year 186."), he mar-
ried Miss Bernadina .\ll)ers, a native of Minster,
Ohio, whose parent.s died of cholera when she was

Online LibraryW. O. AbsherPortrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 19 of 76)