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 49 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 49 of 76)
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cate from the Chicago Polyclinic School, which he
attended for one term He is a member of the
Masonic fraternity and ti,e Knights of Pythias, and
is a man of broad knowledge and exceptional abil-
ities, and among the many able practitioners of
this city occupies a very prominent position.


OYRL'S MAKEMSON. It is with pleasure
that we present to our readere a life sketch
^_ ' of the oldest resident of Pleasant Township,
and possibly the oldest m Logan County. We
mean oldest in that he made his home here at
an earlier date than any other of our pioneers who
still survive. He was born in this county, on the
farm where he now lives, July 26, 1820, and in-
herits Scotch blood from both tlie paternal and
maternal sides of the house. His father, John
Makemson, was born in the Blue Grass regions of
Kentucky in 1781, and there followed farming
until 1806, when he decided to locate in Ohio. He
made the journey by ox-team, and camped out on
the -way. He bought the farm now owned by our
subject, one hundred and sixty .acres, from the
Government, and was the first wliite settler in tlie
township. Indians were very numerous, and he
was on intimate terms with 'the friendly Indians.

traded with them, and often assisted them in con-
structing tlieir rude log cabins. Deer, bears, wild
liogs and other animals abounded, but Mr. Makem-
son eared very little for hunting, preferring to
spend his time in improving and clearing his place.
His brother Tliomas, however, was a great hunter
and killed a great many bears and deer. Mr. Ma-
kemson had to do all his trading at Urbana,a small
place with only a few log cabins, and during sev-
eral Indian raids he and his family-, as well as his
neighbors, would go to Urbana and seek safety in
the block-house. He served in the War of 1812.
His cabin here was made of round logs, with an
open fireplace, mud and stick chimney, etc., an<l
here he passed the closing scenes of his life, dying
in 1843. He was a member of the German Bap-
tist Chuich, and a Whig in politics.

By his marriage to Miss Margaret Lindsey, a na-
tive of Kentucky, seven children were born, as fol-
lows: Vincent, deceased; Elizabeth, deceased; John,
deceased; Lindsey; Mary (Mrs. Henderson); Cj'rus
and James, deceased. The mother was a member of
the German Baptist Church, and died in 1875, at
the advanced age of ninety-three years. Her
people were of Scotch descent. Our subject was
reared in this county and passed his youthful days
in assisting on the farm, attending school, taught
in the primitive log schoolhousc of pioneer days,
and in playing witli tlie Indian children, with
whom he was on intimate terms. The log school-
house of his remembrance had greased paper for
window lights, a large open fireplace capable of
taking in immense logs, mud and stick chimney,
and slab benches. All were subscription schools
then. Our subject used to go on horseback to market
and, as there were no roads, he followed a path
through the woods. lie saw lots of deer and
wild turkeys, but he never hunted much. Assisting
in clearing the farm was his chief employment in
youth and for recreation he would go to log-roll-
ings, spelling "matches, etc.

After the death of the father, our suliject took
charge of the farm and eventually bought out the
other heii-s to it. In 1845, he married Miss Ara-
bella Huber. a native of A'irginia. born in 1825,
and the fruits of this union were six children : Eman-
uel. John, Mary (Mrs. Pool). Margaret (:\Irs. Horn),



Barbara (Mrs. Kenan), anti Winfielci. Mrs. Makem-
son passed awa_v in 1^90. Mr.Makemson is the owner
of three hundred and ninety acres of land, nearly
all improved, the most of which lie has done him-
self. In connection with farming, he is engaged
in stock-raising, and has fattened a great many
cattle, making a specialty of that kind of stock.
He built Ills present large brick residence in 1871,
and his substantial b.arn in 1861. Our subject is a
Methodist, as was also his wife, and is alwaj-s a
liberal supporter of his church. In politics, he
sides with the Republicans, and has held a number
of township otlices. He h.as been very successful,
and has made nearly all his wealth by industry
and perseverance, lie has seen the entire growth
of the county and h.as done his share toward its
progress and development. He has one of the
finest places m the townshi|>, is one of its repre-
sentative citizens, and has many l lends and few,
if anv, enemies.

^p^ICHOLAS .STALEY is one of the successful
I )/, farmers and stock-raisei-s of Slielby County,
II\.jC^, owning a tine farm in Perry Township,
where he is held in high consideration as a citizen,
who earnestly strives to advance its best interests.
He is the son of .Jo-seph and Catherine (Cobel)
.Staley, natives of North Carolina, the father's birth
occurring in 1780 and the mother's about 1782_
Tlie latter died in 1817 and Mr. .Sttiley was again
married and. coming to Ohio in an early day, lo-
cated on a new farm nine miles north of D.ayton.
in Montgomery County. There his death occurred
in 1867. By his second marriage three children
were Ijorn. cnly one of whom is now living. The
father was a farmer l)y occupation, a member of
the Lutheran Church, and voted the Democratic

The original of this sketch is the only survivor
of the family of seven children. his l)irth occurring
3Iay 14. ISIO, on the old homestead in the above-

named county*. He received a limited education
and when thirteen 3-ears of .age w.<is bound out to
■Tohn .Staley until reaching his m.ajority. When
starting out in life for himself, he had S7o in
money and worked out for the farmers in the
vicinity of his home, making rails at twenty-five
cents per hundred.

The lady to whom Mr. Staley was married Octo-
ber 5, 1837, w.as Miss Mary, sister of David Baker,
whose sketch will be found on another p.age in this
volume. She was born !Marcli 8, 1819, and re-
ceived a thorough training by her excellent par-
ents. In 1831, our subject came to this count}'
and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land
on section 8, Salem Township, for which he paid
the United States Government ?1.2.5 per acre. The
land and surrounding countiy in that earlv da^'
were in their primitive state and the Indians and
wild animals, which were very numerous, often
proved troublesome in the extreme. Mr. Staley
killed flfty-two turkeys in two weeks, which gives
us some idea of the wildness of the region.

On locating in this State, he of whom we write
entered five or six different pieces of land from
the Government, having to go on foot to the land-
office at Piqua. His good wife died February 11,
1884, they having become the p.arents of eight
children, of whom the following are living: Mar-
garet Ann is the wife of John Bruner and lives on
the old Staley homestead; Henr^' married Priscilla
Dingman and lives in Green Township; John T.
married Jennie Cargill and makes his home in Salem
Township: S;n-ah Jane is the wife of Port Blue and
makes her home in Henry County; Susan D. mar-
ried John Ward and resides in Perry Township;
Squire X. married Tena Brendel and is located
in Perry Township.

Mr. Stale_v has been a member of the Cliristian
Church for fortv veal's and h.as always been a reg-
ular attendant and taken an active part in all the
meetings of that body, having served as Deacon
for some time. In local affairs, he has Ijeen School
Director and .as an adherent of the Democratic
party cast his first Presidential vote fur Andrew
Jackson, by whom his patent for Land in this region
was signed. He h.as rendered efficient service to
the traveling pulilic while Supervisor of Roads.



and now in his eighty-second year is hale and

Our subject has been tlie architect of his own
fortune, liis fine property being the result of his
savings. Besides tlie old homestead, which com-
prises one hundred and thirty-one acres, he owns
eighty acres in this towusliip, nearly all of which
he has cleared himself. He now occupies a good
residence and has on his place a ten-acre locust
grove, every tree of which he set out himself. Our
subject has given to his children a share of his land
as well as a start with other assistance.


"fl'OHN SMITH, a prominent old settler and
large landowner on section G, Harrison
Township, Logan County, was born at the
_^ head-waters of Yellow Creek, in -Tefferson
(now Carroll) County, Ohio, :\Iarch 15, 1816. His
father, Michael .Smith, w.as a native of Pennsyl-
vania, born on the Susquehanna River, and his
grandfather, Martin Smith, was born in Germany,
where he followed farming for a livelihood.

Tlie father of our subject came to this country
at an early date and, in 1802, settled in Jeffeison
County, Ohio, having bouglit land from tlie Gov-
ernment. He built a log cabin in the wilderness,
and being a good shot, many deer and other ani-
mals fell at the crack of his rifle. tn 183.3, he
moved to Logan County, settled on a farm in
what is now Lake Township, and there tilled tlie
soil for many years, enduring the hardships of
pioneer life. He became the owner of three hun-
dred and twenty acres before his death, whicli oc-
curred when he was in his eighty-third year. He
and his wife were members of the Lutlieran
Church. The lady wliom he selected as his com-
panion in life, and wlio stood faithfully by his
side in all the trials and privations of pioneer life,
was Miss Mary Beard, a native of the Keystone
State, also born on the Susquehanna River. The
eight children resulting from this union reached
mature years, and are as follows: Elizabeth. Mich-

ael, Catherine, Barbara, John (our subject), Mary,
Margaret and Eva, all of whom became members
of the Lutheran Church. The mother lived to the
advanced age of ninety-five years. Her father,
Jacob Beard, w.as born in Germany, and served
through the entire Revolutionary War. He was
a farmer by occupation and died in Pennsylvania,
when nearh' one hundred years old.

John Smith secured a ratlier limited education
in the pioneer log schoolhouse of his da^', and
came with his parents to Logan County on the
10th of April, 1833. They made the journe}'
overland and camped in their wagon until they
could build a log cabin. "When twenty-two years
of age, our subject started out for himself and agri-
culture has been his principal calling in life.
When he first located in Logan Count}-, Bellefon-
taine was a village of a few cabins, and settlers
were few and far between. He often assisted at
log-rollings and cabin-raisings. To market and
trade, he was obliged to go to Dajton.

On the IGtli of September, 1838, Miss Indiana
TuUis became the wife of Mr. Smith. She was
born in Bellefontaine on the loth of January,
1816. Eleven children were the fruit of this
union, viz: Samuel, Jlichael, David, Rebecca,
Mary A., James, John W., Elias, George W., Laura
and Robert R. Michael, David, Mary A., Elias,
Laura and Robert R. are deceased. Mrs. Smith,
who was a most exemplary and worthy member of
the Mctliodist Church for many j-ears. joined witli
the Lutherans during tlie latter part of her life and
died in that faith on tlie Uth of July. 1864. After
his marriage, our subject located in a rude log
cabin in Logan County, but three years later
erected a fine frame residence. He has made
nearly all the improvements on his place and now
has probablv the finest farm in Harrison Town-
ship. All his buildings are substantial and com-
modious and would be ornaments to any farm.
He has three hundred and twenty-one acres in a
bodv witli roads all around it, and is engaged in
farming and stock-raising. He is a splendid rep-
resentation of the typical Ohio farmer, and posses-
ses to a marked degree the regard whicli is given
to the pioneers of this section. For some time, lie
was actively ensased in raising Sliort-horn cattle

John Smith



.ind is now interested in sheep-raising. In 1HG8,
lie erected a fine frame residence, a view of wliicli
is shown on another page. He has two large barns
on his i)laee, one erected in 1875 and the other in

The second marri.age of our subject occurred on
the 16th of .September, 1886. to IMiss Clara E.
Roberts, a native of Union County, Ohio, born
August 8, 1865, and the daughter of Philip and
Sar.ah (Latson) Roberts, natives respectively of
Union and Knox Counties. Ohio. Her father w.as
a farmer and died in Union County when fifty-
nine years of age. Afterward, tlie motlier married
again and moved to Harrison Township, this
county. P.V lier fii-st marriage, she became the
mother of two children, Mrs. Smith, and Hezeki.ah,
who died when eight months old. To Mr. and
Mi-s. .Smith has been born one child. Jlyrtle Fern,
whose birth occurred on the 2.'!d of February^
1890. Both our subject and wife are members of
the Lutheran Churcli. Mr. .Smith is a Republican
in politics, althougli his father and brothers were
all Democrats. He took an active part in the
campaign of 1840, for AVilliam H. Harrison,
assisted in building log cabins to carry around on
wagons in the parades during that campaign, also
split rails on wagons during the Lincoln campaign
in 1860, and h.as great faith in the election of
Benjamin Harrison this fall (1892). He has held
a number of local positions, but lias never been an

r„ IRAM JOIIN.STOX, residing one and .a-
\l )1, quarter miles west of East Liberty, Logan
Jil^ County. Ohio, is one of the substantial and
i^J much-esteemed citizens of the county. He
was born in Richland Co\nUy. ()liio. on the 11th
of August. 1824. and i^ the son of Robert and
Catherine ( Harris) .lohnston. natives of Pennsyl-
vania, the father having been born in liutler
County on the 18tli of April. 1800, and the mother
in Niivcniber. 18(12. The paternal grandfatlier of

our subject, William Johnston, wxs born in the
Knierald Isle, but came to America when" a young
man and located in Pennsylvania, where he met
and married his wife. About 1815, he decided to
locate in Ohio, and came to this State, where he
made a settlement in Knox County, taking up
Government land. There lie made his home until
his death, when about eighty-seven ^-eai-s of age.
He T,-.as a strict member of what is now the United
Presbyterian Church and was deeply interested in
all religious work. He served in the War of 1812.
His wife, whose maiden name was Mary McCanless,
was also bom in Ireland, and died on the old
homestead, in Knox County.

C)ur siil)ject's maternal grandfather, Warren
Harris, was a native. of Virginia, and in that State
grew to 3-ears of discretion. lie was married in
Pennsylvania and in 1811 came to Ohio, settling
in Wayne County, where he took up land from
the CTOvernment. There he received his final sum-
mons, when sixt^'-six j-ears of age. He was a mem-
ber of the Presbyterian Church and was interested
in all worthy enterprises. He was the father of
fifteen children, twelve of wliom readied mature

Robert .lohnston. father of our subject, was but
a small lad when he came with liis parents to Ohio,
and in tliis State he p.assed his boyhood and youth.
He was married in W.ayne County, Ohio, to Miss
Harris, and afterward located in Richland County,
this State, near Perryville, where he was engaged
in sickle-making and blaoksmithing for about
three years. He then returned to Wayne County.
Ohio, and remained there engaged in farming and
bl.acksmi thing until 1836, when he moved to Ken-
ton, Hardin County, Ohio, when the country was
wild and unsettled. He located in the citv of
Kenton, engaged in merchandising and hauled his
goods from Cincinnati with teams. His was the
second store started in Kenton and he remained
there abiiut two years. From there he went to
Gaiion, Crawford County, Ohio, was engasred in
general merchandising there for about three years.
an<l then traded his store for a farm in Richhind
County. Oliio. Later, he traded this farm for one
in Shelby County. III., and resided on this less
than two years, when lie moved to Muncie. Dela-

4 -2 2


ware County, Ind., and located on a farm. Fiom
there he moved to Bellefontaine, Lake Township,
Logan County, Ohio, and there died in 1866. In
polities, he" was formerly a Whig, but later a
Republican, and voted with that part3' until his
death. lie was a member of the Presbyterian Church
in his last days and took an active part in all relig-
ious work. His wife died in Bellefontaine in 1872.
They were the parents of fifteen children, six sons
and two d.augliters growing to mature 3"oai-s, and
five sons and one daughter now living. The
children who lived to be grown are as follows:
Hiram, our subject; Solomon, of Michigan; Will-
iam, of Logan County, Ohio; John C, of Marion
County, Ohio; Robert F., who w.as killed at Pitts-
burg Landing on the 15th of Jane, 18G4, when
fighting for the Stars and Stripes; Allen M., who is
a blacksmith of Bellefontaine; Mary G., widow of
Samuel Amsmoker, of East Liberty; and Sarah
Jane, deeeaseil.

Hiram Johnston, the eldest son and second child,
received the rudiments of his education in the
town of Orville, in a little log sclioolhouse which
he attended two years, and then finished his schol-
astic training in Richland County, Ohio. He re-
mained with his parents until nineteen years of
age, and then began working bj- the month, re-
ceiving as compensation $8 per month. The spring
he was twenty years of age, he rented his first farm
in Richland County, and everything was furnishefl
him. He carried on the farm for three jears, and
was married the second year he rented his farm,
or in 1845, to Miss Caroline Pollock, who was born
and reared in Richland County. A year later, he
rented another farm in the same township and
remained there until 1849, when he located one
mile north of Zanesfield on a rented farm. A few
years later, he bought a farm of sixtj'-two acres in
Union County, Ohio, in the woods, but subse-
quently traded it for sixty-four acres now owned
by George Grubbs. erected a house on this and
there made his liomc for four years. After tliis,
he sold out and bought one hundred and twenty
acres in Jefferson Townshiii,- this county, but
shortly afterward sold this and bought one hun-
dred and twenty acres one mile north in the same
Uiwnsliip. In Marcli. l.HGt.he bnught one hundred

and thirty-seven acres three miles north of Belle-
fontaine, and located on it in July of that year;
but again he sold out and then bought the prop-
erty lie now owns, which consists of one hundred
and sixty -six and one-half acres, nearly all under
cultivation. Here he has resided ever since and is
one of the progressive and enterprising agricul-
turists and stock-raisers of the county. He is a
great trader in stock and is now engaged .as agent
for the Laudenbak Fertilizer Co., Urbana, Ohio.

^Ir. and Mi-s. Johnston are the parents of ten
children: Charles M., deceased; Marietta, at home;
Delia M., wife of D. O. Marquis, of Lexington
Ky.; James R., deceased; Elmer E.; Emma V., at
home; Robert F., at home; one, who died in infancy;
Henry, deceased; and Irene, wife of Charles Cron-
kleton, of Perry Township, this county. Mr. John-
ston h.as a very pleasant home, is surrounded with
every comfort and convenience, and is also the
owner of several lots in town. In politics, he is a
stalwart Republican, and he has held the office of
Trustee of Perry Township. All the improve-
ments of his farm have been madeb3- Mr. Johnston
and family, and although when he first came to this
county he had but #34, he is now one of the sub-
stantial men of the county. When he first came
here he cut cord-wood for thirty-seven .ind one-
half cents per cord and boarded himself the first
year. He shocked corn for fifty cents per day and
cut four acres of wheat with a cradle for §1 a day.
He is a self-made man in every sense of that much-
abused term and merits the respect of all.

,ips^ AMUEL DETRICK. one of the oldest set-
^^^ tlei"s and most substantial f.armers of Un-
IflAjlj ion Township, Logan County, Ohio, was
born in Rockingham County*, Va., in the
Shen.andoah 'N'alley, eleven miles north of Harris-
burg, on the 11th of July, 1827, and comes of a
prominent and influential family of that State.
His parents, Peter and Susan (Coffniaii) Detrick,



vrere Yirginifins, and both of German extrac-
tion. They were married in their native State,
and in 1S.30. tempted by the fertile soil of the
Buckeye State, they determined to make a settle-
ment within its bordere. The journey was made
with a four-horse team over the mountains, and
they were several weeks on the way. They finally
reached Clarke County, where Mr. Detrick had two
sisters living, and remaineil with them about a
month, after which tliey came on to Logan County,
settling on what is now known .as the Rover Farm,
about one mile southwest of Bellefontaine. There
the winter was p.ossed, and early the following
spring tliey moved one mile west, and located on
what is now the County Farm, but only remained
there until 1832. One hundred and sixty .acres
were then purchased in the northeast corner of
Union Township, this county, on section 2, and al-
thougli only two .acres had been cleared, and only
a little round-log cabin erected on tlie place, this
young couple fearlessly faced the privations and
hardships likely to come. Deer often came about
tlie cabin, and as they had to depend on the llesh
of wild anim.als for food to a great extent, Mr.
Detrick could kill one at almost any time. 'Wild
turkeys and squirrels were verv numerous, wild
cats were frequently seen, and occasionally Bruin
made his appearance.

This farm was cleared and developed, and on it
this bard-working and ambitious couple passed
the remainder of their days, the father d\"ing at
the age of about sixty-eight, and the mother when
sevent3 - thrce yeare of age. Both were active
members of the German Baptist Church for a great
many years. Services were frequently held in
their house in the pioneer days, for there were no
churches, and Mr. Detrick officiated as a preacher
for about twenty-five years before his death. He
never took an active part in elections other than
those pertaining to schools. lie w.as a very hard-
working man. and all he had when coming to
Logan County w.as a team (a poor one at that"),
a few household effects, and twenty-five cents in
money. His marriage resulted in the birlh of ten
children, nine of whom were reared: Sarah (de-
ceased), David. Catherine (deceased). .Samuel.
John. Susan. Barbara. Elizaljeth. Lv<iia. and Peter.

The original of this notice w.as but little over
three yeare of age when he came with his parents
to Ohio, and ha^s very little recollection of the
journey, except of an incident that occurred at his
aunt's in Clarke Countv. His education was re-
ceived in the pioneer log schoolhouse of Union
Township, the firet one being an old abandoned
log cabin that had at one time been used as a
dwelling. It had the wide, old-fashioned fireplace,
capable of taking in immense logs, with mud and
stick chimney, the floor being made of puncheons,
and the seals of slabs witli pin legs, and greased
paper taking the place of window lights. Part of
the time our subject attended scliool in a cabin
with an earthern floor, and schools were conducted
on the subscription pLan altogether, the teacher
boarding around. The first teacher our subject
went to received ¥10 per month and boarded
around, the second one received $12, and boarded
himself and kept his family.

Our subject never attended school in summer,
for his services were too valuable on the farm. He
used to tramp the wheat out, and haul itbv wagon
to .Sandusky City, a distance of about one hun-
dred miles. Part of the farm produce was also
hauled to Dayton. Mr. Detrick remembers reap-
ing with a sickle, and has seen forty men with
sickles in one field. He has seen all the improve-
ments in farm machinery, the self-binder, etc., and
has also witnessed the gradual improvement of tlie
country. When twenty-one years of age, he began
for himself .is a farmer, and jmt in a crop. He then
made a trip to Iowa, remained there six months,
butalthougli he liked the country, he did not care
to be so far awa}" from home.

On the 10th of August. 18.51, he married Miss
Anna M. .Shawber, who was born in Crawford
County, Ohio, November 19, 1833, and whose par-

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 49 of 76)