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 56 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 56 of 76)
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tive of Noble Township, and a daughtei- of John
AY. Baker, a prosperous farmer, who has carried
on his occupation in that township several j-ears.
Mr. and Mrs. Fisk have been blessed in their
pleasant married life with two cliildren. Oriel and

W D. LAMB is an intelligent farmer, who
keeps abreast of the times in the iinprove-
^f=Ji i nients and progress made in his calling.
^^fj Although a self-made man. he is well in-
formed on all the current topics of the day and
converses with intelligence and judgment mi lead-
ing subjects. He has been familiar witli fai'ui

work from early youth and is now ranked among
the prosperous and substantial farmers of Logan
Count}-. His career has ever been both honorable
and successful, and he is highly esteemed by all.

Our subject was born in Lake Township, Logan
County, Ohio, July 2G, 1840, .and his parents, John
H. and Nancy (Duvall) Lamb, were natives of the
Buckej'e State, where the mother p.assed her entire
life. The father makes his lionie with our sub-
ject and is eight\'-five years old. Of the eight
children born to this union, five sons and three
daughters, our subject is the fifth in order of
birth. Such time as lie could command from
his labors on the farm he attended the dis-
trict schools of Lake Township, where he received
a good practical education, and then finished in
the schools of Bellefontaine, where he was thor-
oughly drilled.

When but a stripling of fifteen, he started out
to fight his own battles in life, and in this struggle
for a livelihood laid the foundation for the pros-
perous career before him. He first selected work
in a brickyard, remained thus eng.aged for some
time, .<ind then started out in farm work and other
occupations. He spent about two yeai-s in Cham-
paign County, 111., and then returned to his
native county, where, in 1862, he enlisted in Com-
pany H, Ninety-sixth Ohio Infantry. After one
j-ear of service, he was discharged and returned to
Log.an County, where he immediatelj' began farm-
ing. Agricultural pursuits have continued to be
his chosen occupation, and the manner in which
he has acquired his present estate shows him to
be an energetic, successful and progressive tiller
of the soil.

On the 2.5th of April, 1872, our subject was
married in Logan County, Ohio, to Miss Sarah
Harris, a native of Springfield, Ohio, born August
22, 18.50, and the daughter of the Rev. J. G. and
.Sarah Harris, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio
respectively. The father being a Lutheran preacher,
was moving around a great deal, but finally set-
tled in this county, two miles northwest of Belle-
fountaine, Ohio, where they reside at the present

After his marriage. Mr. Lamb located first two
miles north of Dellcfuntaine on a farm that he



Miltivated two ^-ears. He then bought his pres-
I'lit farm, in partnership with liis brother, and
ihey own one hundred and forty-three acres, a
i.niod brick buiUling:. and substantial bams and
cuitbuildmgs. Mr. and 3Irs. Lamb became the
happy parents of four bright cliildren, as follows:
Clarence E. and O. C. both deceased; Edith E.
and Harris J. In politics a Rt'iiuljlican and in
religion a Lutheran, Mr. Lamb is classed among
tlio excellent citizens of the county.


1^^ AMT'EL YOUNG. The f.irniing interests
^^^ of Perry Township. Shelliy Count\-,are well
(IL/__m) represented b\' this gentleman, an energetic,
practical fanner, whose experience in agi'i-
cultural pursuits h.as placed him among the most
prosperous men of his calling in this section of
Shelby County. He is the owner of one hundred
and fifty-eight acres of land in the township men-
tioned, which is under good cultivation and sup-
plied with improvements of the highest order, the
buildings being commodious and of a fitting style
of architecture. William and Annie (Stoner)
Young, the parents of our subject, were natives of
Pennsylvania, the mother being the daughter of
John Stoner. They both .accompanied their re-
spective parents to this .State when young, and lo-
cated with them upon unimproved farms. Grand-
father Stoner, who was a Dunkard preacher .and a
prominent man in his day. lived to an advanced

The fatlier of our suliject was a soldier under
Gen. St. Clair, fighting the Indians on the Maumee.
He was married in Montgomery County, and lo-
cated (in a wild farm on the Big Twin, which he
redeemed fr<jni its original wildness. and resided
upon until his decease in LSl'.t. 'ITie mother, who
was again married, came with her family to Shelby
County in 1.^33. locating upon an unimprovad
farm on section 21. Perry Township: she departed
this life in ISSL

Tlie origiiKil ..f this sketch hcgan in life for liini-

self when sixteen years of age, in the meantime hav-
ing received but limited advantages for an educa-
tion. He was first engaged to work in the mills at
Xenia, where he remained one winter, .ind then,
going to .Springfield, worked on a farm near tliat
city for a twelvemonth. His next camping-ground
w.as Urbana. where he w.as employed bv .James
Reed for a year, and then worked for the son-in-
law of that gentleman for the same length of time.
Returning to .Shelby County, Mr. Young worked
out on farms until his marriage, in 1840, to Eliza
.Jane, daughter of Charles and Nancy (McCoy)

After his marriage, our subject rented the old
home farm on section 21, which he operated for
three years. Previously, however, he had pur-
ch.ased eighty acres of wild land on section L5. and
at the expiration of the time above mentioned,
moved upon that farm and placed fiftj- acres un-
der tillage. He erected thereon a good house and
barn, set out an orchard, and remained there for
the following six 3'ears, when he sold out. and, go-
ing to Wab.ash County, Ind.. became the proprietor
of a farm on the Eel River. While there, his house
and all his possessions were destroyed by fire, which
dis.aster occurred March 4, 18.57. He immediately
rebuilt the farm buildings, borrowing the money
to do so, and, selling out. returned to this county,
which has since been his place of residence.

On returning from the Iloosicr State, Mr. Youn"'
located on one hundred and twentj- acres on sec-
tion "21. this t(nvnsliip. which he cultivated for
nine years. He then purchased the old Charles
Johnston homestead, and after residing there ten
yeare, bought where he now lives. His good wife,
who became the mother of ten children, departed
this life in 1880. Mr. Young, in 1863 or 1864. en-
listed in the I'nion army, becoming a member of
Company A, One Hundred and Thirtv-fourtli Ohio
National Guards, but was discharged just before
engaging in active service.

Of the children who are living in the fam-
ily of our suliject. we make llie foUiiwing men-
tion: Lucinda is the wife of .John Long, and lives
in this township: Sarah Ellen married John ^Vy-
rick, and resides in Nebraska: Elizalieth. Mrs. Coi-
iielius (uithrie, make? her home in Sidiiex-; M;ir-

4 70


garet, the wife of Thomas Johnston, is living in
Perry Township; Retta, Mrs. Frank Chambers, re-
sides in Sidney; James, the liusband of Josepliine
Stoker, is living in Pemberton; Frank, who mar-
ried Clara Cniinbaugli, is living in this township;
and JS'anov, Mrs. Samuel ^liller, also lives in this

In 1S90, !JIr. Young was married to Jlrs.
Ximrod Lefevre. They are both members of the
United Bretliren Church, which place of wor-
sliip is built on his farm, he contributing tlie
necessary land. Our subject is a member of the
Cirand Army post in Sidney, and in politics is a
straightforward Republican. lie has served in the
office as School Director, and has been otherwise
connected with educational interests in his locality.

^ SAAC BETTS. The subject of this sketch is at
■ the present time reaping the fruits of a life of
/li early activity. He is retired from active busi-
ness life, and is living in the enjoyment of his fine
property. Mr. Bctts was born in Washington
Township, Shelby County, December 27, 1842. He
is a son of John and Phabe (Kelly) Betts, the fa-
ther being a member of an old Pennsylvania-
Dutch family, and the mother of Irish stock. John
Betts came to Centre in 1797, being brought here
by his father when only two yeare of age. The
farm whicli his father then purchased covered the
space now bounded by Centre Avenue, John, Clin-
ton, Hopkins, Clark and Bctts Streets. Our sub-
ject's grandparents remained at that place as long
as Ihey lived. There were then plentj' of Indians,
and although they were in the main friendh', their
treacherous nature was sn well known that the
white people were coiislautly on guard against

After his marriage, John lletts, our suliject's fa-
ther, removed to Shelby County, coming here in
1H41. He had, however, been on a prospecting
tuur prior to that time, ami had made a purchase

of the farm upon which he now lives. Here he
made a home for his family and remained upon'
the place until the time of his death, which oc-
curred September 21, 1869. He left the follow-
ing children, whose names are: Mary J., Ann
]\Iaria, Isaac, Oliver C, Caroline and Adelia. Mary
J. is the wife of W. O. Cowan, of this city, while
the second daughter married Levi Gump; Caroline
is the wife of V. C. Lenox, while Adelia married
II. V. "Wilson, of Turtle Creek Township, this

Isaac Betts received a good practical education
in the country schools. On attaining years of
manhood, he was married to Miss Aurelia R. Wil-
son, daughter of H. J. Wilson, the nuptials
being solemnized on the 31st of August, 1862.
They immediately afterward went to farming
for themselves, and in addition to his old farm,
during the latter part of his active agricultural la-
bors he owned and operated the old homestead.
He continued farming there until 1869, when, in
the month of March of that year, he removed to
Hardin Station, where he became proprietor of a
general store, and manipulated the grain business,
he having the exclusive control of that business
there. He continued thus successfully employed
until 1875, when he returned to the home farm,
which he had controlled and managed in connec-
tion with his other interests. From that time on
he gave it his exclusive attention until moving to

On coming to this place, our subject launched
into the funiiture business, in 1884, continuing in
that for fourteen months, and then moved back to
the farm. He finally sold his farm and purchased
a fine brick residence at No. 914 Forest Street. It
has a beautiful location, and both in its exterior and
interior is found everything to gratify the senses
and please the taste. For three and a lialf years
Mr. Betts was engaged in the spoke and rim busi-
ness, continuing liis connection with it until Feb-
ruary 1, 1891. when the American Wheel Company
liouglit him out. Since that time he has retired
from active business. Mr. Betts was one of the
gallant soldiei-s during the war. He enlisted in
.September of 1 86 l,an<l joined the Twentieth Ohio
Infantry. His regiment w.is assigned to duty in

Qj^ ^^ Si^c^ey^


the Arm^- of the Tennessee. After being at Ft.
Donelson and Shiloli, he was discharged because of
disability'. lie is now a member of the Grand
Army of the Republic. 3Iis. Iietts was born in
"Washington Township, Shelby County, April 4,
1842. They have five living children, whose names
are: P^dna A., Charles E., Isaac Smith, Anna C. and
Will, respectively.

i< 1 >EL

' ACOB H. BABCOCK, an entcrplsing farmer
of Jackson Township, Shelby County, is
one of five children born to William and
Rebecca (Loofbourrow) Babcock, natives of
"West "S'irgmia. Three of the family alone sur-
vive: Davis, Mrs. Rebecca Brandenburg, and our
subject. The last-named was born in Clarke
County, Ohio, April 14, 1822. and was reared on
the farm of Jude Liyton in Clarke County. His
educational opportunities were exceedingly lim-
ited, for when he was quite young his mother was
widowed and the orphaned children became self-
supporting at an early age.

In 1840, Mr. Baljcock came to Shelby County
and for some time followed any honorable occupa-
tion whereby he could support himself and aid his
mother. Meanwhile, he attended a pioneer school
and availed himself to the utmost of every advan-
tage offered him for acquiring knowledge. So
successful was he in his efforts at self-culture, that
after attending the .Sidney school for eight weeks,
he was examined for a teacher's certitieate.and re-
ceiving the same, commenced to teach — a profes-
sion which he followed for foiu- years in the same
district, conimenciugat a salary of ¥13 per month,
receiving ^Lj the second ye:ir. and afterward -?18.
His average attendance was ,-ixty pupils, some
five or six of whom receive<l certificates after
leaving his preceptorship and engaged in teach-
ing. Of tlie teachers who were at that time fol-
lowing their profession in Shelby Cciunty. Mr.
Babcock alone is left, and few of his pui)ils re-
main liere. many having removed to other pl.nces.

ami some having i):issed into the great school of

"When Mr. Babcock, accompanied by his brother,
came to .Shelby County, it was sparsely settled,
and they at fii-st camped in an old Indian shanty.
It remained his custom for four years to return to
Clarke County during the summer and work there
on farms in order to procure the money to pay
for his land. In 1848, he was married to Eliza-
beth Davis, a native of Ohio and a daughter of
.lephtha Davis, whose birthplace was in "West Vir-
ginia. Their happy wedded life of thirty-two
years was brought to a close by the death of the
wife, February 22, 1880, five diildren surviving
her. Ruelma is the wife of George F. Randolph,
of .Tackson Centre; Thatima married James A.
Hughes, of J.ickson Centre, and they ai-e the par-
ents of five children; Athalia E. is the wife of
Edgar Davis, a farmer on section 10, Jackson
Township, and they have one cliild; Emma E., the
widow of A. Cargill, resides in J.ackson Centre
and has two children; Cleophas F. II. is now at-
tending college and expects to take a full col-
legiate course.

After his marriage, Mr. Babcock settled on a.
small farm on section 14, his home being in a locr
cabin in the woods. During the pioneer days he
was accustomed to haul wheat to the city of San-
dusky, one hundred and fifty miles distant, the
trip requiring fourteen days and night;?, and the
wheat selling for fifty-sis cents per bushel. In
186.5, he removed to his present homestead, where
he has improved a fine estate and devotes his at-
tention to general farming. He owns three hun-
dred and thirty-two acres in three farms, all of
which he has cleared by his unaided personal ex-
ertions. Aside from what he still owns, he has
assisted his children by gifts of money and land,
and has given each child $700 upon becoming of
age. Ills aged mother received from him the
most devoted care and everv comfort that would
mcre.ase her happiness until her death, which oc-
curred June 11, 1870.

The estimable lady who ])resides over Mr. Bab-
cock's home was. prior to becoming his wife June
l.T. lS8r,, Miss Ph.cbe M. Bowen. and was horn in
Rnpi.N. Ni.ngara County. X. Y., December 22.



1857. The only child born of this union is now
deceased. In their I'eligious opinions, Mr. and Mrs.
Babcock are Sabliatarians, and he has served as
Deacon in his church for many years and is active
in Sabbath-school work. In the education of the
young he is deeply interested, and h.as tilled the
position of Director of his school district. Through-
out his entire life he has been firm in his adher-
ence to temperance principles, and now in his
old age is justly proud of the fact that he has
never tasted a drop of liquor, never used tobacco
in any form, nor ever uttered a profane word in
his life. Formerly lie was a Republican in poli-
tics, but now casts his ballot and influence for the
cause of Prohibition. His life furnishes a splen-
did example for the emulation of the young, for
it proves what industry and economy will accom-
plish when combined with business judgment and
unflinching probity.

The portrait of Mr. Babcock is presented on
another page.


; 0P:L ALSPArOII. Auglaize County can
name no man whose successes in life are
more thoroughly of his own making than
y^i^' Joel Alspaugh, of Logan Township, that
county. He is self-made in every sense of the
word, and his accomplishments are such of which
any man might well feel proud. As a citizen he
is honored and respected by all. lie was born in
Fairfield County, this State, in 1830, and was one
of ten children, six of whom are living, born to John
and Catherine (Benson) Alspaugh, natives respect-
ively of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Becoming convinced that better f.aeilities for
acquiring wealth were to be found in the far West,
the father of our subject emigrated towards the
setting sun and located within the borders of
Fairfield County, Ohio. He settled on a wild farm
in the woods, and with great industry and perse-
verance began clor.riiig it of the w<i(]d and brush
with which it was covered. This was -at a very

early period, and for some time their nearest neigh-
bors were Indians and wild animals, one about as
much dre.aded as the other. After residing on this
farm for a few years, Mr. Alspaugh and family
moved to Marion County ,Ohio, and bought another
tract of unimproved land. He cleared a small spot,
erected a log cabin and on this farm made his
home until 1848, when he sold it and moved on
another piece of wild Land, in Clay Township,
Auglaize Count3', and a little later on still another
but the last an improved tract. Here he p.assed
the remainder of his da^-s, dying in the ye.ar 1877.
The mother had received her final summons in
1849. Both were nieinbei-s of the Jlethodist
Church and he was a Republican in his political
views. The six children now living are as follows:
Joel, Susan, Irving, Sarah, John and Daniel.

Joel Alspaugh received his scholastic training
in the common schools of Fairfield County and
was early trained to hard work. In 1849, he began
farming for himself and was also eng.aged in chop-
ping wood and making railroad ties. He alone
made over six thousand ties along the Lake Erie
Canal. He chose as his companion in life Miss
Elizabeth Yestin, daughter of John H. Yestin, of
Auglaize County, Ohio, and after marriage they
settled on a leased farm in Logan Township, Au-
glaize Count}-, Ohio. A little over a year later,
they moved to Allen County. Ohio, settled on and
cleared a wild piece of land of eighty acres, in
Amanda Township, and on this resided for some
time. Later, he sold this and bought another tract
of eighty acres of wild land in Logan Township,
Auglaize County, and on this he has resided ever
since. He has worked hard to clear and improve
this farm and that he has been successful it needs
but a glance over his fine farm to determine. He is
now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of
as good land as is to be found in his section and he
has it nearly all improved. All his farming opera-
tions are conducted in a manner showing him to
be a man of more than usual good judgment and

His marriage has been blessed by the birth of
seven children, six of whom survive, viz: Henry,
l.<Mi:i. William, Caroline, James and Wilson. These
children have all been well educated in the pub-



lie schools and are all members of the church.
Mr. Alspaugh is also an active worker in the
church and holds membership in the Christian
■ Union Church, of which he has been Class-leader
for some time. lie lost his estimable wife in the
year 1888, and is still a widower. In poli-
ties, he is a Democrat and has held the ofBce of
.Supervisor of the township for three terms.

In 1884, on account of the health of his family,
he moved to Kentucky and remained there several
mouths, returing to Logan Township in 1885.
He has ever been hardworking and industrious
and is a man whose honesty and uprightness have
ever been above reproach. He commenced life
without capital, and at the bottom of the ladder,
but is now in the enjoyment of a comfortable
fortune, all the result of his own energy. His
pleasant home and blight and intelligent family
of children make life ver}- enjoyable to him, and
the family is one of the most esteemed and re-
spected in the neighborhood.

<^^ are few prettier rural abodes to be found
P/j)) within the limits of Shelby County than
the elegant brick residence in Salem Town-
ship erecteil and occupied by Squire Dunson.
Built in 1877, at a cost of §o.Ol)n. it contains
many modern improvements and is furaished
throughout with the most refined taste. The sur-
roundings are attractive and inviting, and alto-
gether the view is one not soon to be forgotten.
Stretching off in the distance are the one hundred
and sixt3'-eight acres which comprise the farm, of
whi';h one hundred and twenty are cleared and

As early as 18.'M. the parents of our subject,
Abraham and Margaret (Iludloel Dunson, re-
moved from their native St-ate. A'irginia, to Ohio,
where they settled in Montgomery County. One
vear later, thev came to Shelbv Countv and set-

tled about one mile ea.st of Port Jefferson, where
the father began to cultivate a farm. Prior to re-
moving to Ohio, he had been engaged in milling,
but after taking up his residence in the Buckeve
State he followed agricultural pursuits until his
death, in 1839. His widow long survived him,
and died in 1888, at a good old age.

The parental family consisted of seven children,
all but one of whom are now living, namelv:
Mrs. Sarah Ann Maxwell; Preston Edward; Mrs.
Margaret Jane John; our subject; Minerva, de-
ce.ased; Mrs. Ellen Osborn, and 3Irs. Amanda Car-
oline Rail. Our subject was born in Rockingham
County, Va., January 22, 1831, and w.as therefore
only three ycare old when he was brought by his
parents to Ohio, where he has resided ever since.
He w.as reared on his father's farm until he was
eighteen yeare of age, and then commenced to
learn the trade of a cabinet-maker, which he fol-
lowed for twent3'-five j-ears.

In 1857, Mr. Dunson was married to Miss
Rachel, daughter of James McA'ey. a pioneer of
Shelby County.- :Mrs. Rachel Dunson died in
March, 1859. Three years after, our subject was
again married, choosing as his wife Miss Rosanna
Lodge, a native of Montgomery County. Oliio.
This estimable and beloved lady died February 3,
1890, at the age of fifty-six years, leaving six chil-
dren to mourn the loss of an affectionate mother.
They are: John IC, who married Jliss Ella Hubert
and is engaged in merchandising at Maplewood,
Shelby County; Luella, wife of Frank Poole, of
Maplewood, and the mother of one child; O. J.,
who is in the tile business at Maplewood; Bonnie
Estella, wife of Bert Rust, of Jackson Township,
and the mother of one child; Ellwood, who is in
partnership with his brother 0. J. in the tile busi-
ness; and Bessie, who keeps house for her father.

In 1872, Mr. Dunson settled upon the G. J.
Mitchell farm in Salem Township, but four jears
later removed to the farm which he h:is since occu-
pied. He is prominent in the public affairs of the
community, and as School Director for many
yeai-sh.TS been instrumental in advancing the edu-
cational interests of the district. Ills father was
a stanch Democrat, and until 18S8 he w.as equally
fiiin in his suiipc.it nf the Republican party, but



since that date he has been identified with the
People's iiai-ty. For a hmg period lie has served
as Trustee of Salem Township, and for six years
he filled the position of Justice of the Peace. He
has frequently served as a delegate tocon ventions,
and has always re|iresented his fellow-citizens
with credit to liiniself and to the general satisfac-
tion. Formerly, he was actively identified with
the .Sons of Temperance, and his principles are
still in that direction. His life h.as been one of
ceaseless activity', and his success is shown in the
possession of his splendid estate.

\r^^IP:LDEiS' .JOHNSTOX. The immediate an-
»^^' cestiy of our subject is as follows: He
/li " is a son of Charles and Nancy (JlcC'oy)
Johnston, the former born near Richmond, Ky.,
September 25, 1790. The latter was a native

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 56 of 76)