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 23 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 23 of 76)
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When eighteen yeai-s of age, he embarked in the
grocery business for himself, and in this enterprise
was very successful, continuing it for about six-
teen yeare. When he first started out for himself,
he taught school for a few terms in this county,
and for ten months in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

During liis business career in Wap.akonet.i. Mr.
McF'arland w.as brought in contract with many
people, and l)y his lionor.able, upright conduct, won
a host of warm friends, and became very popular.
During this lime, lie served .as Councilman for two
or three terms, and was on the committees on Streets.
Finance and Law. In .lauuary, 1887, he was ap-
pointed Postmaster by President Cleveland, and
in this capacity served nearly three years. "While
holding that position, he wa.> nominated without
opposition by the Democratic part\- as a candidate
for County Treasurer, and afterward, in 1S8'J,
elected by a large m.ajority, and re-elected in 18!)1
witli the largest majority on the ticket, thus show-
ing his popularity. He li.as always been a stanch
advocate of Democratic principles, and his vote is
ever cast with that party. A faithful, painstaking
and competent officer, he has broiiglit to the man-
agement of his official duties the same thorough
methods and business acumen that have made him
so popular and successful in other direction?, and
is well and favorably known in this and adjoiniuLr
roiinties. The Cincinnati IiUjuin-r oi .Iaiiuar\' lo.
1S.S7. published his portrait and a short -ketch of
his appointments to various official positions. Mi.
McFarland was married in -Inly. l.s'J(j. to ;Mis~
Carrie Kinstle, a member of the Catholic (_ hiirch.

The father of our subject, .lames !■". .McFarland.
was born in Pennsylvania in IMl.nnd moved to
Logan County, Ohio, in Ls.).'). Five years later,
he came to Auglaize County and settled in .Moul-
ton Township, on the .St. Mary'sT'lank Road, three


IVKlKAir AM) r.lOi;KAl niCAL Ki:COUD.

ami a half miles west of Wajwkoneta. He selected
as his wife Miss Naiu'v Ij»«ho:u1. ami llioy roared
two chiMrvn. one of whom. \V. K.. dioil in 1)<7;>.
After the death of his wife. Mr. MeKarland mar-
ried Miss K.v<aniia Walker, and they i-eared four
childivn. namely: .lohn I.. S. W. (our subject),
Frank .1. and Mary. The mother died in August.
Iti.il. and Mr. MeFarland afterward marrieil .Mrs.
Sus-an Wan), by whom he beeanie the father of two
children. Mattie and t'elia. Up»n the deatli of hi-;
third wife, he married Mrs. I atherine Wliet.-tone.
who still survives.

When James K. MeKarland came to this county,
he sei-ured one hundred and sixty .acres, and soon
.ndded other valuable land, a portion of which
still belongs to his estate. He w.as elected .lustice
of the Peace in ISU. which ollice he held about
thirty-one years, and during twenty-six years of
this time he served .as Township Treasurer. He
w.as one of a family of six children, and was the
third of these to p.ass aw.ay; his next younger
brother. Bishop MeFarland, of Providence. H. I.,
being the first, and Dr. JIcFarland, of Cleveland,
who died about 1874, being the second. James IC.
MeFarland died on the 21st of July, 1875. Since
then two other brothers, W. H.. of F-dina, Mo., and
Dr. J. A., of Tiffin. Ohio, have also passed away.
Dr. J. L. MeFarland, formerly Auditor of Auglaize
County, is still living. The family is one of the
mo;t intellectual in this section and its members
are well qualified for the professions they follow
or the positions which they fill.

601- S.VMn-.l. n. MOIT. of >t. Mary>. wlio
. won a distinguished reputation .as an otlicer
of an Ohio regiment during the Civil War.
h.a.- t>een a resident of .Vuglaize County sixty years,
and hi- name is ch^ely :issociated with the history
• n iL- ri.-e and progress from the fir-st days of it>
■.•r;;an;zalion a- a >ep:irate county, when he iva-oiic
"f iU leading civic ollicials and prominent as one

of its legal lights, to the present time, in which he
is held .as one of its most honored citizens.

Col. Mott is a representative of one of the most
eminent families of America, many of who.se mem-
bei-s have atUiined distinction in various walks of
life, Valentine Mott. one of the most famous sur-
geons of his day, and a cousin <>f ihi' fallu-iof oui
subject, belonging to il. Tlic Mo(ts arc of Fniuli
origin, and were of the lluguenot religion. The
fii-st to Ic.ivo sunny France to seek a liomc on
foreign soil was Maj. John Mott, grandfather of
our subject who came to America alx)ut the time
of the Uevolution in this country, and accepted a
commission from the Government, whereby he be-
came an ollicer in the ContinenUd army, and right
gallantly did he fight for the cause of his adopted
land. He was wounded in the left slioulderin tlie
first battle in which he took |)art, and again in the
second battle a ISriti.sh bullet did execution in the
same place. He w:us put on detached service after
that and assisted in recruiting the forces. lie finally
became a Baptist pie.achcr of some note, and com-
ing to Ohio in pioneer times, died in Knox County
at the venerable age of ninety-two yeai-s, from in-
juries received by being thrown from a horse
against a fence, by which several of his ribs were
broken and ho w.os hurt internally. lie was a re-
markable man in many respects, possessing much
ability and originality. He had four sons: John,
Samuel, (ridcou and Freeman. The three eldest
came to Oliio and settled, while the youngest lo-
cated at Lockport, N. Y., where he died.

Gideon Mott, the father of our subject, was born
in Hartford, Conn. He was a graduate of Vale
College, a gentleman and a scholar, of a quiet, re-
fined nature. Ho was a well-read man and studied
medicine, but never practiced. In 1806, he came
to Ohio, and at first lived in Zanesville. He sub-
sequently followed farming in Knox Count}', of
which he w:is nn early settler, until 18.'!3, when he
came to Auglaize County, an<l for a few years
kept a hotel at Shane's Crossing. In 1837, he re-
turned to Knox County to close up some old busi-
ness affair, and while at his brother John's home
died at the .age of sixty years. He served in the
W:ir of 1*<12. and w.as tjiken prisoner at Detroit
wiien Gen. Hull surrendered, being kept in the



hands of the enemy until after peace was declared,
lie was Justice of the Peace during his residence
in Clinton_-Towusliii), Knox County, and he w.-is
I'o.-^tmaster at Shane's Crossing as long as he re-
mained there. His wife, Ann Newell, who was
alsd a native of Hartford. Cunii., wns one of llio
MKist accomplished women nf her day. She
was linely educated, iv.as a great reader and a
lluent conversationalist. Sln' was a notable Ikjusc-
wife, did all her own hon^euork. and spun and
wove tlax and wool into rlotli for garments for
her children. .She died at Shane's Crossing Sep-
tember 10, 1836, leaving her family inconsolable
r(_ii- her l(jss. and depriving the Metlioilist Church
of one of its most zealous members. Her mother,
Elizabeth Peck, w.as a lineal descendant of the
I'eck family that came over in the •■ Maytlower."
The subject of this biographical .-ketch w.as born
on his father's farm in Knox County, .January 2G,
ISIS, the fifth of a famil_vof sixcliildren, of whom
he and a younger sister are the only survivors.
His early educational advantages, as far as school-
ing went, were limited to about three months' at-
tendance at a primitive, pioneer log schoolhonse,
that w.as furnished witli slab seats, heated by means
of an old-fashioned tirepKace, and lighted liy means
of greased-paper windows. He wa.*, however,
carefully trained at home l.iy wise and good par-
ents, with whom he came to .\uglaize County
when he w.as fifteen \'ears old. At that age, he
began the battle of life for himself, and learning
the trades of a bricklayer and i)lasterer, picking it
up himself, as he had considerable mechanical
ingenuity, was engaged in tho>e occupations
until Jlay, 18.'>lj. In that montli he enlisted in
Capt. Charles Colerick's company to go on the
Ti'xa.- campaign, when that State decided to secede
from Mexico. He was down tliere a year and took
aa active part in several skirmishes, although the
last real battle had been fought on the 21st of the
l)receding April. In Augu.-t. l.s.J'.i. the Colonel
resumed his trade at Dayton. He saved *17.").
ami in lS.;:i he laid claim to eighty acres of land
in Dublin Towmhip. fiercer County. Duringthe
winter of l.s:!:)-l.s40. he taught -chool. lie soon
sold Ills land at an advance liguic. and with tlie
proceeds ami what nionev he had in tlif meantime

earned, he had a capital of several hundred del"
lars. AVhile teaching, be had forty-five pupils, and
was paid -^^..lO for each one that he tanght, ob-
t.aining his board free in return for instructing-
the children of his host.

The Colonel began the study of law in theollice
of his brother, (iordon X., at Piqua. and in March,
1842. he was admitted to the Bar in Cincinnati.
He came to St. Clary's to establish himself in his
profession, and devoted himself assiduously to his
legal duties until the war broke out. In 1846. he
w.as elected Prosecuting Atttirney for Mercer
County, of whicli .St. Mary's w.as then a part. In
18-18, when Auglaize w.as organized .as a separate
county, he was elected its first Prosecuting At-
torney. He resigned in the fall of the same year,
as the Democrats had elected him to represent the
district in the State Legislature, in which he served
with acceptance to all without regard to party
affiliations. In 1852, he was again elected Prose-
cuting Attorney for this county.

Our subject was busily engaged in his law prac-
tice when the Rebellion broke out. He had been
watching with intense interest the events that led
up to the outbreak, and he was prompt to respond
to his country's call for assistance. He was elected
Lieutenant of a company of troops organized in
April, 1861, at .St. Mary's, and when the company
arrived at Camp .Tackson, in Columbus, his name
w.as presented to the Governor by the men com-
posing it, .as the one best fitted for the im[)ortant
post of Captain, and he w.as comnnssioned as such.
lie had enlisted for three months, and he and his
men were attached to the Twentieth Ohio Regi-
ment. They were mustered out the .September
fiillowing, ha%ing gained a fine record for good
sohliershii) in the lively skirmishes with the enemv
in \'irginia. in whieh they had borne a consiiieu-
ou- [lart, capturing a rebel Hag on one occasion.

The Colonel returned home after the termof hi.s
enlistment ex[)ired. and threw hi- whole eneriries
into the work of recruiting another iM.mpany. rc-
enli-ting Septemljer :!. 1861. in the Thirty-lir-t
Ohio as CapLain. Ili> gallant i-ouilmt won him
merited promotion to the position of M.-ijor. Keb-
ruaiy 28. 1862. but he magaiiimously decliiu-il the
po-iiion in favor of another. ( )n lh<- .■;th '\::.y of


roKTUAir AMI r.UH'.KArUK'AL uix'oun.

the following Octolior, ho w:i> apimiiitol C'oloiu-l
of the One Hundri-d ami Kiirhlivnth Ohio Koiii-
iiiont. his il.iriiii:. ivoliiesj aiul lino pnwois as a
loador winninir liini |>roniotioi\. Ilo ha<l his nun
iitulor iroixl (iisoiplino, ami at the siinio tinio was
londorly ix'srariifiil of thoir welfare, so tlial he was
a favorite with all. anil ho inspired them to do
thoir duty nohlyon many a hotly -i-ontested battle-
tiold. where their valor and prowess helped to carry
the day. He w.as fearless in the faee of danjicr
and always led the way in niakini; an attack, his
inspiritinsr cry of "Come on, boys" encouraging
even the most faint-hearted when the enemy was
to Iv braved. The following is .a li.-l of the bat-
tles in which the t'olonel earned his spurs: Corinth,
( Miss.). Mill ."Springs. Kingston. Mossy Creek. Kocky-
Kaced Rid^o. Kenosaw Mountain, AtlanUi, Uesaca,
and Dallas. In the eniragement at Mos-sy Creek,
the drum of his left ear was burst by the concus-
sion of a swiftly jiassing shell. He entered tlie
service a vigorous, stalwart man, although p.ast
the prescribed forty-five yeai-s at which men were
allowed to enlist, and he withstood the terrible
hardships and trials of military life with admirable
fortitude until he w.as honorably discharged from
the army in March, 1SG4.

On his return from Southern battleliclds. Col.
Motl resumed the practice of law, and w,'is ac-
tivelv engaged in his profession until liis retire-
ment from the liar in l.S'JO. His busines.i has been
remunerative, and he is in receipt of a good in-
come from his property. He h.is one hundred and
twenty acres of land in Noble Township, and sixty-
five acres in St. Mary"s Township that has a good
oil well on it, which pays over #100 a month.
The Colonel h,T.s alw.ays been prominent in the
councils of the Democrats of this section, and has
attended nearly every .State convention held by
his party in (Jhio since 183G. Socially, ho is a
memt*r of Kishler Post No. 8.3. H. A. 1!.. and ho
h.o.- the distinction of being one of the oldest
Ma.»ons in the county, having lieen connected with
the fiaternity since l^HO. a period of fifty-two

In \>i\Z. our subject was happily wodilcd lo Mrs.
Carf>line (Kepner) I'ickroll. a native of Si. M:ii\ -
Town.<ihip. in whom he has had a faithful and

tondor wilo. Twolvo childion linvo boon born to
tlioni. of wlioni two died in inf.uioy, and four died
at a hilor poiiod of life: Thomas, Anna V.., Harry
ancl l.ulu. Those living are: .lohn, Walter N.,
Mollio li.. CluuU's W.. Bon and Nollio.

II.I.IA.M SI'OKKK. :in intluon(i:il I'armor
,1, -,,,,. of (ireone Township, Shelby County,
\jf'^' operates an estate of eighty acres, and
through unremitting indvistry has beoonio woll-tci-
do. He is tlio .son ot Ciittoii and S.-iUio (Ticklo)
.Stoker, natives of Virgini:i, where tlioy wore mar-
ried and whence llioy emigrated to this .State about
eighty years ago. They made their home for two
years in Mad RiverTownship, Groone County, .-iiiil
then took up their abode six miles north of D.-iy-
ton on a wild farm, which the father bad located.
They made their home there for thirty-tive years,
and then coming to Shelby County, located in
Orange and Greene Townships, just west of Platts-
ville. They were the parents of nine children, two
of whom are now living, our subject and his sister
Elizabeth, Mrs. Bowlsby. The wife and mother
died in 1832.

Mr. Stoker w.'us married a second time, by whicli
union he became the father of one child, George
W., who served a period of three years during the
Civil War. The father died in 18Gy,and his wife,
who survived him many years, departed this life
in 1890. William, of tliis sketch, was boin Sej)-
teniber 22, 1822, in Montgomery County, Ohio.
and .as he w.os called upon to aid his father in oper-
ating the home farm, received but limited advan-
tages for obtaining an education. Ho began life
for himself when sixteen years of .age by working
out on farms for other parties, and in this manner
got a start in the world.

In 184.'). Mr. Stoker and Miss Elizabeth Iluies-
man were united in marriage. They became the
parents of two children, only one of whom, Jose-
jihiiM-. ^Ir-. Young, is now living. The mother
iliod in IH.'*!, and seven years later our subject was




married to Sophia Kellenbarger, and to them was
born a family of four children, one of whom is
deceased. Those living are Alice, Mrs. Fiddler;
Rosa, Mrs. Campijell; and John W. Mrs. Stoker
died in 1870, and tlie lady to whom our subject
was married April 27, 1879, still survives; she bore
the maiden name of Eliza E. Peekham. The two
cluldren born of this union were Henry Ward and
Clara Avada.

lie of whom we write came to this county in
1858, and located upon his present estate of eighty
acres, which bore but slight improvements. He
now has the greater portion of it under cultivation,
and embellished with all the needful farm build-
ings, not the le.ast among which is his comfortable
residence, which was erected in 1873 at a cost of
^1,672. Mrs. Stoker is a member of the United
Brethren Church, and our subject is liberal in his
religious views, giving cheerfully of his means to
the support of all denominations. He has served
efficiently in the office of School Director, and as
an active politician votes with the Democratic
party, casting his fii-st vote for James K. Polk.

,Tpj\,ENJAMIX SWEIGART, a well-to-do and
jl^^ greatly respected farmer, residing on sec-
/£5) I tion G, St. ilary's Township, has one of
^S# the best oil-producing farms in Auglaize
County, finely located on the borders of the great
St. Mary's Reservoir, the largest artificial body of
water in the world. Jlr. Sweigart was born April
1). IS 11, in Cynthiana Township, Shelby County, of
uhicli his father, Henrj- Sweigart, was an early

Henry Sweig.-irt was born in Pennsylvania in
180-4, and was of (Jerman descent. Early in life
lie migialod to Ohio, and cast in his fortunes with
the pioneers of Shelby County, purchasing a tract
of wild land in Cynthiana Township, wliich he de-
veloped into a good farm. The country was full
of deer, bears, wolves and other wild animals, and
he had plenty i.if opportunities f<.>r exercising his

skill as a marksman. Being very fond of bunt-
ing, he supplied the family table with many a de-
licious haunch of venison and other choice game.
The dwelling that he erected w.as a tvpical pioneer
home, built of round logs, and had a puncheon
floor and clapboard roof. He lived on his farm
until he became quite old, and then, selling it at a
good price, removed to St. Mary's Township, and
spent his last days in tliis county, dyingat a ven-
erable age in 1886. His first wife, Mary Lyons, a
native of Pennsylvania, died in 1864. She was
the mother of ten children, of whom seven are
living, and our subject is the sixth child of the
family in order of birth. The father was again
married after coming to Auglaize Countv.

Our subject's educational advantages were mea-
gre. When he first went to school, the schools
were held in log houses that were rudely furnished
with slab scats without backs, and they were con-
ducted on the subscription plan. When he- was
eighteen j-ears old, he went out to work on a farm,
and was employed in splitting rails, cutting cord-
wood, clearing land, and in similar pioneer tasks.
After his marriage, he turned his attention to
farming on his own account, and in 1868 came to
St. Mary's, bought property, and lived in the city
three years, working at various occuiiations. In
1871, he purch.ased thirtj-seven acres of land on
section 6, St. Mary's Township; he has since bought
other land, and now has one hundred and seventj-
two acres in all, of which fifty-two acres are on
section 6 of the townshij) just mentioned, wliile
the remainder is a tract of eighty acres and another
of forty acres, in Mercer County. His home farm
is very rich in oil, and five wells have already been
drilled; the first one, March 1. 1890, having a ca-
pacity of four hundred and fifty barrels, and the
next two yielded three hundred barrels each, at

Mr. Sweigart was first iiiarncil in ISCl. to Miss
Annie Kelch. whose death occurred after a short
wedded life, in l.SG:!. She left one child. Mary IL.
who died at the age (.>f five and oiie-lialf years.
Mr. Sweigart was again married in 1-S6I. Miss
Xancy -\nn Stout becoming his wife. She was a
native of Pennsylvania, of (iernian descent, and
came to Ohio with her parents. Slie died April .'5,

rouruAir ami luor-UAriiuAi. kkcoko.

ISS". loaviii<r twelve cliildivn: Fnink, Aiigoliiu'.
K:«to, l">:uiiol. Simon, .lolin. Kose K., Klizaliolli,
Iloiiry. Uiissell. Klij:\li and Nor.i K. In 18>s;l. Mr.
Swei^iit w.i.< nmrrioil lo Mi-s. KlizalH-lli (^Kicliardsl
l.ipp. She i> a niemlH-r of tlie Metliodist K.pisi-opal
(.'linivli. and one of it? active workei'S. Her husband
iH'lonpi to the I liuroh of (iod, and is iiilhiential
in its upbuilding. In politics, he is a l>einoci:it.
lie has cx|KMienivd the u|<s and di>\vii> of lifo.lmt
h:L< worked bi-avely on in spite of cvim v obslaclo,
and has met with the reward due to his jKMsever-
anoe and industry. He is a conscientious. straight-
forward man. rigidly hone.-l ami upright in liis
daily walk, .aivonimodating and kiinlly in spirit.
and stands well with his fellow-men.

The attention of the reader is invilod In :i vii \v
of Mr. Sweigart's attractive homestead, and also
his porlniit, el^ewhore shown.

.^^KOROK W. FILKKR.SON. M. 1). The
profession of medicine is one tlial calls
for keenness of ju<lgment and acciir.acy of
knowled;:e. together with an almost instinctive ap-
preciation of effects, differing in qu.ality from that
needed in any other calling. To s,ay that a man is
a successful physician is therefore high praise, al-
thou-rh it may be no more than the pei-son re-
ferred to merits. Dr. Kulkerson li:is been a resi-
dent of \Vvnant for many years, and by his success
in his chosen work has won an excellent reputation
a- a physician.

lie of whom we write was boin in New York
City. St^ptomlier 1. lf<2><. and is a <"t\ of .losoph
Karlins Kulkerson. who was born in ll'Ji't. in New
.lersey. of Dutch and Knglish extraction. Win ii
a voun'.r man. the father of our subject wenl to
I'ennsvlvania an<l in 1822 was married to .Mar-
iraret Mcs.-inger. After establishing a home of his
own. he resided in E.aston. that SUite. until about
li<2t;. when he removed t<^ New York City and en-
"aiied in the manuf.acturing business. Thinking

lo belter lu> condition in the farther \Vc>t, the
ehler .Mr. 1-iilUcrson in l.s.!;) look up his abode in
Monroe t'ounty. this State, where he was variously
engaged for sonu' time, lie subseqiuMitly moved
to r>ucyrus. ('r:iuford County, wlieic liis death oc-
curred Aprd ,-<. 1S7I; he was followed I,) llic better
land that same year by hi- wife, wlio, like liini-
self. wa.- a con-i-tcnt member of llir .Mctlioili-t
F.|>i - .-opal Cliuivli.

lie of whom « e wiile is the fourth in order of
birth of the parental family of nine cliildrcn. live
of whom are now li\ inir. lb' was given an ex-
cellenL education, his primary studies being con-
ducted in the district schools in .Steuben County. N.
Y.,and he later took a thonuigh course in the High
.School. He lemained umler the parental roof until
reaching his majority, at which lime he commenced
the study of medicine under Dr. .loel .lohnslon.
of Bucyrus. After a short time thus engaged, he
removed with Dr. .lohnston to Bel lefontaine, where
they eng.aged in the drug business until 18.").').
Then dissolving partnership. Dr. I'lilkerson went to
Plca.sant Hill, this State, and associated himself
with Dr. Cal)K . wliicli ccumection lasted for about
two years.

In 18.57. Dr. Fulkcrson and Miss Elizabeth
Nishwitz. of ^Vest Milton, Miami County, this
State, were united in marri.age and the same year
came to Newport, where they have since resided.
The Doctor then entered the Kclectic Jledical
Institute at Cincinnati, from which institution he
w.as graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medi-
cine in 18G0 and since that time he has been en-
gaged in the successful and skillful jiractice of his

Mi"S. Fulkeison only lived (me year .after her
marriage and in 1876 the Doctor was married to
Jliss M.aggie. daughter of I). C. Mills, one of the
pioneers of Cynthiana Township. Slielby County.
Mrs. I-'nIkcrsou w.as born near .Vcwiioit in IH.Vi.
and li\' her union with our siibj.M-t liccaiiic I lie mo-
ther of three children: .lolin M.. Wajlci- K. and
William A.

During the laic CivilWar, l)i-. iMiikciMin took
a very decided stand in favor of llic I'liion and
rendered valuable assisUinee to tin; • Mivciiinu'nL
during that period, by encouraging men to enlist.



agreeing to render medical aid to the family of
every soldier in tlie township free of charge. He
has ahva^vs been a stanch adlierent of tlie Republi-
can part\- but never an office-seeker, as he prefers
to devote his time to his private interests and let
tliose wlioni he considers better qualified fill public
positions. Religiously, with his wife, he is con-
nected with the Methodist Episcopal Church and
prior to becoming a member of that denomination
w.as selected as one of its Trustees and placed upon
the building committee. lie has since been elected

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 23 of 76)