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 59 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 59 of 76)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

of Wayne Count}-. His father, whose given name
was Joseph, was born in .South Carolina in 1786.
He came to Ohio in the early part of this century,
and engaged in farming in A'inton County, near
Athens County, for some time. He subsequently
settled in Wayne County, where he lived until he
came in 1826 to what is now Augiaize Countv,
which then formed a part of Mercer County. There
were only a few families living w-ithin the borders
of this county, which was mostl}' covered with
forests, in which the Indians lived, subsisting
mostly on the game that w.as so plentiful. The
father of our subject was one of the first to locate
in St. Jlary's Townsliij^, w-liere, in the course of
time, he cleared a goodly farm liy dint of hard
labor, although he underwent many hardships and
had but few compensations. He had to pound
corn in a log, hollowed for the purpose, to olitain
meal when he w.as too bu.sy to go to the mill, which
was a long way off. He rounded out an honest
upright life in lsi;0. in his eiglilicth year, lie w-as
a man of true piety, and a faitlifid member of



the United Brethren Church. His wife, Elizabeth
Jones, died several je:irs before he did, at the age
of fifty-six. Of their twelve children, but two are

He of whom we write w.as six ve.irs old when
liis parents sought a new home in this county, and
he was reared here under pioneer influences to a
stalwart, vigorous manhood. Tliere were at first
no schools for him to attend, but after a while a
log cabin was built on the Dowty place, in which
to hold a subscription school. It was lieated by a
rude fireplace, and the furniture was made of slabs.
Our subject saw many an Indian in his boyhood,
as the red men were fi-equent callers at the Dowty
liome. Among his chief pleasures, when he was
young, w.as hunting, and lie has Ivilled a good
many doer, and one bear fell a victim to his true
aim on one of his expeditions. In 1847, he began
life for himself, and farmed tlie old home place for
a few years. He h.as always lived in this vicinity,
except one year, when he dwelt in Shelby Count\'.
He h.as done a great deal of clearing, has helised
raise many a log house and barn in the earl3' daj's,
and has attended many log-roliings. "When he
entered upon his career, his only capital was brain
and muscle, but he used them to such good effect that
he was greatly prospered in his undertakings, and
has collected a valuable property. He has one
hundred and forty acres of land in his homestead on
section 27, and has three or four other farms, m.ak-
ing three hundred and fifty-five acres in all. His
home farm, wliich is highly improved, is situated
within the gas belt, has a good gas well, and is
leased to the Lima Natural Gas Company-. He h.as
other land in the oil region, and drilling is now
going on on one of his farms.

In 1817, Mr. Dowty was married to Miss R.ich-
aei Majors, a native of German Township, and to
her untiring assistance and watchful care of their
household interests he owes much. They began
housekeeping with roughly-constructed, home-
made furniture, and lived in true pioneer stjie.
Her father was Hamilton Jl.ajors, who was born in
New Jersey in 1802. He married Charity Updike,
who was also a native of New .lersev, and early in
tlie '2Us tiiey became pioneei-s of this county.
Later in life, thev removed to Iowa. and there died.

Mr. and Mrs. Dowty have been blessed in their
marriage with two children, William A. and Eliza-
beth. Both our subject and his wife are consistent
Christians, who are kind, considerate and neigli-
borly with all about them, and are held in the
highest esteem by the entire community. Thej'
are among the leading membere of the United
Brethren Church, have been influential in its up-
building, and Mr. Dowty is serving it ably as
Stewart and Trustee. In politics, he is a strict ad-
herent of the Democratic party.

^•5-4-5-J- ISi^-J^-t+r


a J. McCUNE is one of the leading business
. men of Bellefontaine and one of the most
' enterprising. He was bom in Ellsworth
County, Kan., December 25, 1869, to John and
Margaret (McKeogh) MoCune, natives of Ireland,
the father being born in County Waterford and
the mother in County Tipperary. The parents
emigrated to America and were married in Jlusca-
tine, Iowa, soon after which event they took up
their abode in Atchison, Kan. From that place
they went to Leadville, Colo., where the father de-
parted this life in 1883. He was a butcher by
trade, and a very successful business man, but on
going to Colorado he was compelled to give up
his business on account of a severe attack of rheu-

The mother of our subject, on the death of her
husband, moved to Springfield Countj-, this State,
thence to this city in the year 1885. Her four
sons, wlio were included in the family, were
John A., C. J., V>'. A. and E. S. On the taking
up of his residence in this city, our subject was
engaged in mercantile pursuits, in which he has
since been engaged, he having the entire manage-
ment of two large storerooms located on Colum-
bus Street. His establishment contains a well-
selected assortment of dry-goods, millinery, stoves,
etc.. and is one of the most reliable houses in Logan
Couiitv. i^Ir. McCune, although still a young man,
has a thorough knowledge of business principles.



and is carrying on his affairs after the most ap-
proved methods. He is courteous and gentlemanly
in his treatment of customers, and is well deserv-
ing of mention among the representative men of
Logan County.

The original of this sketch received a practical
education and was reared in the home of an uncle
in Springfield, .and his remarkably successful
worldly affairs are undoubtedly b.ased upon the
corner-stone of the economical habits with which he
began life. He is a conscientious member of the
Catholic Church, and, in social affairs, is President of
the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Secretary of
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and
a member of tlie C. T. A. He sustains a most
enviable reputation for strict integrity and firm-
ness of purpose, and in his chosen field of labor
has not onl\- gained a good income, but the good
will of the coramunitv at larije.

'T^^DWARD M. PIPER, President of the First
bi National Bank at St. Mary's, is one of the
j' — ^ representative men of Auglaize Count}-,
who lias assisted b}' his large enterprise and finan-
cial ability in pushing this city, on whose outskirts
he has a beautiful home, to the front .as an impor-
tant business centre. He was born in Franklin
County. Pa., November 18. 1818, a son of John
Piper, who was also a Pennsylvanian by l)irtli. He
was a millwright, and wliile in tlic successful pur-
suit of his trade died in 1827. in the prime of life.
His father. Adam Piper, was born in Pennsylvania.
but was of (ierman blood. Tlie mother of our
subject was Ann McVitty. a nativq of Pennsyl-
vania and of Scotch descent. After her husband
died, she remained a widow until her death in
1887, at the age of nearly eighty years. Slie
adopted the religious faith of her .Scottish fore-
fathers, and w.as for many years a devoteil member
of the Presbyterian Church, luit after her renidval
to Illinois, joined tiie Muth..di-t Kpiscdpal Church.

The gentleman whose portrait and biography
are here presented is the eldest of sis children, of
whom five are living. By the father's early death,
when the children were small, the family was left
poor and each one had to "hoe his own row." but
all have acquired wealth. The deceased brother,
John, was a prominent Odd Fellow in California,
and on a certain calm day, when he and another
memljer of the organization were riding to see a
sick brother, a sudden whirlwind struck them, and
he was hurled to the ground with such violence
that his death ensued in a day or two, from inju-
ries then received. Oliver, who is next to our
subject in order of birth, went to Illinois in earlv
life, settled on a farm in Lawrence County, and is
now wealthy. William, who settled in San Fran-
cisco, became a real-estate dealer and is a million-
aire. He represented the First California District
in Congress one term. Amanda became the wife
of Abram Piper, of Laurence County, who died,
leaving her well-to-do. Robert, the youngest of
the family, a farmer, is a wealthy resident of the
same county.

Edward Piper received a limited education, as
there was no free school in his day in his native
county, and when he could go to school he had to
attend a subscription school, taught in an old log
house, that w.as rudely furnished with slab seats,
and had gre.osed paper for window lights. At the
youthful age of eleven yeai-s, he began life for
himself in earnest, as he then became self-support-
ing, working on a farm for ?2 a month and his
board for six months, rcturnins: home during a
few months in the winter season to obtain what
schooling he could get. As he grew older, his
wages were increased a little more each year. He
finally turned his attention to the trade of a car-
penter, at which he worked two and a half vears
in his native county, from the time he was sixteen
until he w.as nineteen years olil.

At the latter age, in the winter of 1837, the
brave young fellow resolutely delermined to seek
his fortunes further Westward, and packing his
possessions in a bundle, he set forth to face the
trials .and dangers rif life in a regiim that was \ et
in the hands of the |iioiioer<. He ci-o-scd the Alle-
glianv Moiiiilain- on f(«,it. and piirsueil his jonr-



ney in the same manner across the State of Ohio,
stopping at nightfall where he coulrt best obtain
shelter, an<l one niglit sleeping by the roots of a
large tree. AVlieu he arrived in Mercer County,
on the western line of the State, he was so favor-
ably impressed with the country that he resolved
to tiike up some land there, and entered eighty
acres of timber from the Government. There
were then only a few settlers in the county, which
was in all its original wildness .and primeval
beauty. The big reservoir was being constructed,
and as .Mr. Piper thought that he could get rich
on the wages (¥18 a -month) paid the hands, he
hired out to the contractors to run a wheelbarrow.
lie boarded with a lot of Irishmen in a shanty,
sleeping in a bunk. In a few months lie became
sick with chills and fever, and went to an uncle's
house, where he remained until his recovery. He
then learned that the contractor had failed, and
he was thrown out of a job without having been
paid for what he had done. After be had siitti-
ciently recovered from his sickness, he did some
carpenter work, and paid his doctor's bill by work-
ing for the doctor. For about a year, he deadened
timber and otherwise prepared his land for culti-

In 1831), Mr. Piper went to Springtield, and
was engaged in carpentering there for a time. In
1840. he .accompanied a man to Kentucky to help
drive a herd of forty horses to that Slate, where
they were exchanged for Durham cattle. lie liked
that part of the country, and remained there for a
time. In 1842, he was married in Harrison County,
Ind., and renting a small farm, commenced raising
vegetables, which he shipped to New Orleans. He
was thus profitably engaged four years, and in
that way made a good start. In 1845, he returned
to Mercer County to locate on his land, building
a log house and stable the first thing, ere he at-
tempted to further develop the farm. He pur-
chased additional land, and now has one of the
finest farms of its size, in p int of improvement
and cultivation, in Jlercer County. It comprises
two hundred .acres, advantageously situated eight
miles from St. Mary's, where he has forty-one. acres
in an addition to the i-ity. When ho took p(is>es-
sion of his homestead fort^'-seven years ayo, the

surrounding country w.as scarcely better than a
wilderness, with human h.abitations few and far
between, there being but one dwelling between St.
Jlary's and Neptune, a distance of eight miles.
Wild game was very plentiful, and Mr. Pi[)er killed
some deer, altliough he did not care much for
hunting, generally being too busy in his various
enterprises. He removed to town in 1879, but
still continues to superintend the man.agement of
his farm, besides looking closely after his other
interests. His home is a large frame residence, of
an attractive style of architecture, standing just
outside the city limits, with pleasant .and well-
kept grounds, and surrounded by a natural grove
of fine old trees of primeval growth.

Some time prior to his remov.al to St. Mary's,
our subject purchased an interest in the woolen
mills, with wliich he was connected sixteen years.
He lias also been one of the prime movers in estab-
lishing monetary institutions in the city. He w.as
one of three men who organized the first bank in
St. Mary's, which was started as a private concern.
In February, 1890, he and Mr. Frederick Decker
reorganized the institution as a national bank, of
which he became President, and his colleague Vice-
president. Mr. Piper is an exceedingly s.agacious
financier, and h.as been quick to seize all legiti-
mate modes of making money. He h.os dealt quite
extensively in stock, and during the war bought
and sold mules for the Government, and has had
a hand in various other business schemes whereby
he h.TS added to his wealth: but throughout his
long career he has kept his name free from taint
or suspicion of dishonesty, every dollar he has
made coming to him through lawful channels and
by perfectly honor.able dealings, and no man in the
State stands higher in the confidence of the busi-
ness men than he. He has never wilfully de-
frauded anyone, has invariably paid his bills
promptly, so that "duns" are unknown to him,
and he h.as never had a law suit. Politically, he
was originally a Whig, and voted for William
Henry Harrison in 1840. Since the formation of
the Republican part}-, he has been one of its
strongest supporters in this part of Ohio, and has
been a deletrate to State and other conventions.
Ill 188(j, he was the candidate of his party for the



Legislature, to represent Auglaize County, and
reduced tlie Democratic majority of tlie previous
campaign from twenty-four hundred to six hun-
dred. He has held the office of Justice of the
Peace for several jears during l)is residence in
Mercer County. In his social relations, he has
been a Mason for more than forty years.

Jlr. Piper w.as first married in 1842, to Miss
America Gl.asgow, a most estimable lady, whose
parents were from .Scotland. She died in 1842,
leaving no children. Our subject was married
again in 1858, taking as his wife !Mrs. Rebecca
(Gates) McSherry, a native of Ohio, to whose de-
votion to his interests he is greatly indebted for
mucli of the comfort and happiness of life. Their
pleasant union has been hallowed to them by four
children: Ella and Leroy (twins), Anna and John
W., who have been carefully trained under whole-
some home influences, and have been given fine
educational privileges.

AJ. JOSEPH SWISHER, former Superin-
tendent of Public Schools at De Graff,
Logan County, Ohio, now Deputy Treas-
^ nrer of Logan County, is prominent among

the leading men of the county, and deserves special
notice for his public spirit and energ}'. He was
born in Washington County, P.a.. on the 1st of
December, 1831, and is of German descent, the first
representative of this family in America coming
to this country from Germany and settling in Xcw
Jersey during llie seventeenth century. JIaj.
Swisher's grandfather, Joseph Swisher, was born in
the City of Brotherly Love in 1775, and being an
agriculturist by occupation, cultivated the soil
there until 18o3. At that date, he emigrated to
Ohio, located on a farm in Champaign County, and
there his death occurred when sixty-five years of
age. A Democrat in polities, he was firm and de-
cided in his views, .and was a man who wielded
considerable influence m the comniunitu-s where
he made his home at different li]|le^. He was a

! soldier in the W.ar of 1812, fought the British with
great valor, and the cover of the knapsack that he
carried with him during that memorable struggle
is in the possession of our subject.

Abraham Swisher, father of M.aj. Swisher, w.as
born in Washington County, Pa., in 1803, and, like
his ancestors before him, followed the occupati(jn
of a farmer. He came to Champaign County, Ohio,
in 1833, cultivated one hundred .acres, .and there
received his final summons on the 12th of Decem-
ber, 1843, when forty years of age. He leaned
toward the Presbyterian faith but was not a mem-
ber of .any church. Although born a ]>emocrat,
during the Harrison campaign, in 1810, he trans-
ferred his allegiance to the Whig partv and con-
tinued with that the rest of his days. The maiden
name of his wife w.as Rebecca Wattei-s; she was also
a native of W.ashington Countv, Pa., born in
the year 1807. They reared six of the nine chil-
dren born to them: John, Joseph, Henry, Richard,
Temperance (Mrs. Williams), Abraham, Malinda
(deceased), Rebecca (deceased), and one who died
in infancy. The mother of these children passed
away in February, 18G5, when fifty-eight years of
.age. She w.as a member of the Baptist Church
until four years before her death and then, on ac-
count of there not being a Baptist Church where
she lived, joined the Methodist. Her father, John
Watters, w.as born in Washington County, Pa.,
and died at Xewiiort, Ky., when quite an old
man. He w.as of Irish-German descent and w.as
a farmer. His wife. Luellen. was born in Wash-
ington County, Pa., and they reared a large family.
The mother died in Champaign County, Ohio,when
well along in years.

Maj. Joseiih Swisher w.as roared on the farm in
(_ hampaigu County, Ohio, and his primary educa-
tion was received in the pioneer log schoolhouso
with immense open fireplace, mud and stick chim-
neys, puncheon floor, slab seals, etc. In 1851. he
began teaching in a log schoolhouse, the d.ay he
was twenty years of age, and continued teaching
in the winter and farming in the summer until the
breaking out of hostilities between the North and
Suutli. On the 15Lh uf August, 1S(;2. he donned
his suit (if blue.siiouldered his musket, and enlisted
ill Cunii.nny K. One Iluiidicd and Thirteenth



Regiment Ohio Infantry, being mustered in at
Zanesvillo, Oliio. He went to Louisville, Ky.,
tliere joinoii a divi^itm midor Gen. Gilbert and
went down the river ami up tlie Cumberland to
Nashville, Tenn. .lust before stepi)ing off tlie boat at
Nashville, he was eomniissioned Second Lieutenant,
and went from there to Franklin, Tenn., where he
w.as put on the reserve corps under Gen. Granger.
This became the right wing of the Army of the
Cumberland, commanded by Gen. Roseorans. Here
our subject was promoted to the rank of First Lieu-
tenant and made Quartermaster of the One Hun-
dred and Thirteenth Regiment. Jl.aj. Swisher par-
ticipated in the TuUahoma campaign with his
regiment and was afterward in the campaign
of Chickamauga. lie was on staflf duty for tliree
d.ays for Col. John G. Mitchell, who commanded
the Second Brigade Reserve Corps of the Army of
the Cumberland, during the battle of Chickamauga,
in which one hundred and sixty-three men of the
One Hundred and Thirteenth Regiment were killed
and wounded, and seventeen hundred of the divis-
ion killed and wounded. Our subject participated in
the battle of Missionary Ridge just after the reor-
ganization of the arm}- under Gen. Grant. He after-
ward went on the campaign for the relief of Burn-
side, at Knoxville, acting on the staff of Gen.
Beaty, and collected supplies to feed six thousand
soldiers as they marched along.

Aftei- the relief of Gen. Burnside at Knoxville
Maj. Swisher returned to Chattanooga and re-
mained in winter quarters until May, 1864. He
was here detailed as Quartermaster of the Second
Brigade, Second Division of the Fourteenth Army
Corps of the Army of the Cumberland and subse-
quently went on the campaign from Chattanooga
to Atlanta, being under fire one hundred days. At
the fall of Atlanta our subject was commissioned
Captain and was sent back with the division to
Florence, Ala., to drive Gen. Forest out of Tenn-
essee, and returning met Gen. Sherman's army at
Gaylesville. Ala. He then turned toward Atlanta,
stopping at Kingston, (ia., at which place they sev-
ered communication with the outside world and
started with Sherman to the .-ea, burning Atlanta on
the wav. .\fter arriving at Savannah, Maj. Swisher
Lfol leave of al)sence for twenty days, and remained

home during that brief rest from the turmoils of
war. I^ater he joined Gen. Sherman at Savannah
and |)articipated in the memorable campaigns
through the Carolinas, taking part in the battles of
Averysborough and Bentonville. At the last-named
place he was breveted Major of the United States
.Staff Deijartment for long continued and meritor-
ious service. He was present at the surrender of
Gen. .lohnston's army and then started for home,
marching through Richmond and over the battle
fields of the Army of the Potomac. He joined in
the Grand Review of the army at AVashington City
and w.as mustered out there on the 14th of June,
186.T, having served two j'ears, nine months and
twenty-nine days.

The Major followed agriculture in Champaign
County, Ohio, until 1877, since which time he has
been activeh' engaged as an educator. He was
married JNIay 27, 18.52, to Miss Amanda Bamberger,
a native of Harrisburgh, Pa., born in 1833, and to
them were born five children, four of whom are
living: Argus H., now a physician at Jlarysville,
Ohio; Isolina D. V., now Mn. Edward Fudger, re-
siding near Median icsburgh, Ohio: Malinda, Mrs.
Mitchell, of Leroy, Kan., and 'William B., a clothier
of ]\Iar_vsville, Ohio. Mrs. .Swisher w.as an active
worker in the Jlethodist Church, in which she held
memberehip, and died in that faith on the 12th of
May, 1871. The Major's second marriage occurred
on the lltli of September, 1873, to Mrs. Henrietta
.Scott, a native of Lima, Ohio, born February 17,
1837. Her fii-st husband was in our subject's com-
pany and was killed at Kenesaw Mountain. She
had one child living by her first husband, Andrew
J. Scott, who is now engaged in merchandising at
Marvsville, Ohio. Major and Mrs. Swisher became
the parents of one child, Don Byron, who is a
graduate of the public schools of De Graff and is
Deputy Postm.aster at this place.

The original of this notice taught school near
Cable, Ohio, in 1877 and 1878, and then taught
seven yeai-s at North Lewisburgh. Ohio, where
he Superintended the graded school for seven
years. He came from there to this place in
1887 and has been Superintendent of the school
hi're since. This is the Last term of school
here, for M:ii. Swisher will enter the County



Treasurer's office at Belk'fonlaine as Deputy
Treasurer. Ill's. Swiolier li.as been a member of
the Baptist Church for forty years. In politics, the
Major is a stanch Republican and served as Assessor
and Justice of the Peace iu his township in Cham-
paign County. Socially, he is a member of the
Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He is a mem-
ber of the Grand Army post and has served as
ciininiauder of it.

"jT^RAXK A. RICHAKDSOX. M. D. Our sub-
ll^fe ject, who is one of the active young doc-
ile tors of Iluntsville, Logan County, comes of
a family of physicians, and has a natural bent for
doctoring. lie was born at Ft. Recovery, fiercer
County, Oliio, July 1, l.s.'ib. and is a son of K.
Bruce Ricliardjon, also a native of Ohio, who was
born in 1830. His paternal grandsire was Richard
S. Richardson, a native of the Empire .Stjite, who
was a shoemaker in early life, devoting his time in
later years to farming. He came to Ohio about
1820, and settled in Union Countv, where he de-
veloped a farm, reclaiming it from the wilderness
and making of it a finely improved place. He died
at the age of seventy-three yeai-s. He w.os of
English-Scotch extraction.

Our subject's father, although reared on a farm,
chose the profession of a doctor, as did five of his
brothers, namely: John, William, Robert, Jackson,
and Syreuus. Of these, William's two sous are

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 59 of 76)