WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON BRIDGMAN, [pages 1083-1084] a prominent farmer and dairyman of Van Buren township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in that township, January 27, 1844. He is a son of Thomas and Esther (John) Bridgman, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Ohio. Thomas and Esther Bridgman were the parents of nine children, as follows: Sarah, wife of B. B. Pancoast; Mary Jane, wife of F. M. Ewry; William H. H.; John T.; Perry B.; Albert Orion, Francis Marion; Laura, wife of John Shutts, and Charles G.
Thomas Bridgman, born April 15, 1803, in Jefferson county, Va., was a farmer by occupation, came to Ohio about 1827, and purchased a farm of 152 acres in Van Buren township, which he managed, and also ran a saw-mill. Upon that farm he lived until his death, which occurred in 1882, when he was seventy-nine years of age. His widow, a native of Van Buren township, is now seventy-seven years of age. She is, as he was, a member of the United Brethren church, of which he served for some years as one of the trustees. He also served for a number of years as director of the school district in which he lived.
The paternal grandfather of W. H. H. Bridgman died in Virginia, The maternal grandfather, Asa John. was a native of Wales, and an early settler in Van Buren township. He was enterprising, industrious and successful, and accumulated a large amount of real estate both in Montgomery and in Shelby counties. His death occurred when he was eighty-two years old.
William H. H. Bridgman was reared in Van Buren township, received his early education in the district schools, and remained at home until he was eighteen years of age. On February 2, 1862, he enlisted in company D, Seventy-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, in which he served two years. Then, re-enlisting as a veteran, he served until the close of the war. Among the battles in which he participated were those of Chattanooga, Stone River, and all of those on Sherman's march to the sea. Returning home from the war he engaged in farming and threshing on his own account, with continuing success. About 1890 he also embarked in the dairy business, in which he has likewise prospered. His farm of 134 acres lies about four and a half miles southeast of Dayton, and is well improved and highly cultivated.
Mr. Bridgman was married, December 28, 1865, to Miss Adeline 0. Fellows, of Niagara county, N. Y. To this marriage there were born five children, as follows: Henry Clay, Bertha, Ollie, Florence and Sidney Burke. Florence died at the age of six years in the state of New York. Mrs. Bridgman, mother of these children, died November 6, 1877, a member of the United Brethren church. On November 18, 1885, Mr. Bridgman again married, his second wife being Miss Hannah Dedrick, daughter of David and Mary (Altick) Dedrick. By this marriage he has one child, Maud Marie. Mr. and Mrs. Bridgman are members of the United Brethren church, and Mr. Bridgman is a member of Montgomery lodge, No. 5, I. 0. 0. F., also of Earnshaw post, No. 590, G. A. R. He is also a member of the Union Veteran Legion, camp No. 145. Politically he is a republican, but has never sought or held office.
WlLLIAM CLEMMER, [pages 1084-1085] one of the most prosperous farmers of Mad River township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Perry township, that county, on the banks of Tom's Run, October 11, 1825. He is a son of John and Phoebe (Nevius) Clemmer, natives of Pennsylvania and of Virginia, respectively. They were the parents of eleven children, five of whom are still living, as follows: Frances, wife of Joshua Fagler; John N.; William; Rachel Ann, wife of George Bixler, and Catherine, wife of Henry Bish.
John Clemmer, the father of William, was a farmer by occupation, and served in the war of 1812. He came to Ohio about 1820, located in Perry township, Montgomery county, and lived there the rest of his life. He died about 1860, when eighty-two years of age, his wife having died some six years before. Both were members of the German Reformed church. The father of John Clemmer reared a family of ten children, .and died in Pennsylvania. The maternal grandfather of William Clemmer was a farmer by occupation, had a family of ten children, and died in Virginia at quite an advanced age.
William Clemmer has lived all his life in Montgomery county. Reared on the farm, his early life was that of the country lad of pioneer days. He attended the district school, remained at home until he attained his majority, and then his father gave him an opportunity to make something for himself, by working a farm on shares, and at length gave him a l00-acre farm, upon which he lived and which he farmed for about ten years. Selling this farm, he then bought 144 acres in Jackson township, where he lived until 1872, when he traded for his present farm, which contains 183 acres.
He was married October 12, 1848, to Miss Sarah Zehring, born September 9, 1824, daughter of David and Christena (Houtz) Zehring, who were natives of Pennsylvania and became residents of Montgomery county about 1827. They had three children—Sarah, Eliza and Elias. To William Clemmer and wife have been born six children, as follows: Eliza Catherine, Orion, Celeste Mary, Florence A., Clara and Tolton, the latter of whom died in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Clemmer are members of the United Brethren church, of which he is a trustee. Politically he is a republican and has served as clerk of Perry township. He has also been a school director in Mad River township for a number of years. He is one of the successful farmers of Mad River township, intelligent and well informed, and always ready to take advantage of new improvements, inventions and ideas.
JONATHAN CREAGER, [page 1085] a farmer of Washington township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Van Buren township, this county, October 4, 1845. His parents were John C. and Sarah Ann (Prugh) Creager, both of whom are also natives of Montgomery county. To them were born eight children, six sons and two daughters, of whom five of the sons and one of the daughters are still living, as follows: Jonathan, Abner; Martha, wife of Thomas Jones; Levi, George \V. and Gideon W.
John C. Creager, in his early life, was a carpenter and also a cooper, but in his later years he followed the occupation of a farmer. All his life has been passed in this county, with the exception of a few years spent in Darke county, where he bought eighty acres of land. Some time afterward he sold this farm and purchased one containing sixty acres in Van Buren township, Montgomery county, on which he lived about six years; he then purchased the adjoining farm, on which he now lives, containing ninety-six acres of fine land. This farm he has much improved by careful fertilizing and cultivation, and by the erection of good buildings, including a large and comfortable dwelling. Mr. Creager also owns a farm of ninety-six acres in Darke county,
Politically, Mr. Creager is a republican, and has held numerous local offices. He was school director for three years and pike commissioner for two years, in addition to the several township offices which he has filled. Both he and his wife are members of the German Reformed church. The paternal grandfather of Jonathan Creager, John Christian Creager, was of German ancestry, and was born in Maryland. The maternal grandfather, Abner Prugh, was also a native of Maryland, was one of the early settlers of Montgomery county, Ohio, and died in this county at the great age of 101 years.
Jonathan Creager was born in Van Buren township, but was reared in Washington township, Montgomery county, Ohio, and received his early education in the district schools. Being the eldest of the family, most of the farm work fell to his share, and thus his educational advantages were more limited than they otherwise might have been; but he has, since attaining his majority, improved his opportunities for reading and observation, and has in this way become a well-read and well-informed man. He remained at home with his parents until he attained to man's estate, and was married on the 13th day of November, 1873, to Miss Lyda A. Moats, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Shell) Moats, Mrs. Creager is a member of the German Reformed church. Mr. Creager is a member of Columbia lodge, Knights of Honor, and politically is a republican, and served with his father for one year as pike commissioner. He is a member of one of the oldest and best families in the county, and enjoys the confidence and respect of his neighbors and friends to a high degree.
JAMES COOK, [pages 1085-1086] farmer of Washington township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Lincolnshire, England, May 11, 1835. His parents, William and Elizabeth (Nailor) Cook, were natives of England. To them there were born seven children, five of whom are still living, as follows: William, John, James, Alfred, and Mary, widow of George Driver, and who lives in Crawfordsville, Ind. William Cook had also one child by a former marriage. William Cook was a laboring man, came to the United States more than forty years ago, and lived in Washington township, Montgomery county, for many years. At length he removed to Crawfordsville, Ind., with his daughter, Mary, and died there in 1893, at the great age of 103 years. His wife died about forty years ago. Both the grandfathers of James Cook were natives of England, and died in that country.
James Cook was seventeen years of age when brought to the United States by his parents, and began life here with no means whatever. At the present time he has 102 acres of land in Washington township, the result of his industry and perseverance. On the i3th of October, 1869, he was married to Nannie McGrew, daughter of Milton and Anna (Russell) McGrew. To this marriage there have been born three children—Milton William, Anna Miriam and Mary Rebecca. Of these, Milton William lives at home, and Anna Miriam married Frank Tizzard, of Dayton; and has one child, Hazel.
Mrs. Cook's maternal grandfather, James Russell, was one of the earliest settlers in Dayton, locating there when there was but one house in the place. Having purchased land in Washington township, he built a log cabin upon it, and then brought his family down the Ohio river on a flatboat to Cincinnati, whence he brought them by wagons to Montgomery county. He was one of the most industrious and energetic of the early settlers of Montgomery county, was one of this county's prominent citizens, serving for many years as justice of the peace, and also as a member of the state legislature. He was a man of remarkable strength, both of body and mind, and lived to be eighty-four years of age.
Mrs. Cook's paternal grandfather, John McGrew, was also one of the early pioneers of Montgomery county, coming to the west from York county, Pa. His farm lay in the river bottoms of Washington township. In 1788 he was married, and removed to Georgetown, Ky., the same year. In 1790 he joined the army to fight against Indians, and was in the great battle of Maumee Ford, which occurred on the present site of Fort Wayne, Ind. In 1796 he removed to Montgomery county and settled five miles south of the present site of Dayton. He became a prosperous farmer, was married twice, was a worthy member of the Baptist church, and died at the age of eighty-two years.
The father and mother of Mrs. Cook were natives of Washington township. Both were members of the Universalist church. Mr. McGrew died October 27, 1868; his wife survived him until 1890, and was in her eighty-fourth year when she died, having lived over fifty years on the farm on which James Cook now makes his home.
ABRAHAM A. DENLINGER, [pages 1086-1088] a representative farmer of Montgomery county, came of Pennsylvania stock, which was of ancient Swiss origin. The tradition is that at an early day four brothers came to this country together, locating in Pennsylvania, and settled in different parts of that state.
The grandfather of Abraham A. Denlinger, whose name also was Abraham, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., and became one of the prominent farmers of that county. His children were named as follows: Elizabeth, Henry, Christian, Abraham, John, Martin, Hettie, Nancy, Christina, Susan and Barbara. All of these lived to marry and to rear children of their own. Mr. Denlinger died in Lancaster county, Pa., when forty-two years of age.
Abraham Denlinger, fourth child of the above, and father of the subject, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., August 5, 1806. He was reared a farmer, and when a young man came to the state of Ohio, locating in Montgomery county in 1831 or 1832. Soon after arriving here he married Miss Margaret Miller, who was born February 27, 1806, on Wolf creek, in Harrison township, and who was a daughter of Daniel and Susan (Bowman) Miller. The former of these came to Ohio from Huntingdon, Pa., locating in Montgomery county in 1804. It was he who cut the first road up Wolf creek through the woods west of Dayton, in which town at that time there were living but three families. He was one of the most enterprising of the pioneers, entering land from the government, and purchasing a large tract, in the aggregate amounting to 2,000 acres. A large part of this land he cleared, and beside erected a saw and grist mill and a distillery. The products of these two establishments he shipped down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, thus becoming a business man as well as a farmer. His children were as follows: Benjamin, John, Daniel, Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, Esther, Susan, Margaret, Catherine and Sarah. Mr. Miller lived to be eighty-four years of age, most of his life being a member of the German Baptist .church. He was a well-known pioneer, and a man of industry and of great force of character.
After his marriage Abraham Denlinger settled on a farm of 140 acres, in Madison township, cleared it and made a good home for himself and family. To this original tract he added other lands until at length he became possessed of 400 acres. He was one of the most substantial and successful farmers of his day, and noted for his strength of character and decisive opinions on all the leading questions of the times. His children were John, Daniel, Abraham A., David, Israel, Mary and Joseph. His religious views were those of the Quakers, while his wife was a member of the German Baptist church. The longevity for which his ancestry was noted was again illustrated in him, he living to be eighty-seven years of age, and dying at the residence of his son, the subject of this sketch.
Abraham A. Denlinger was born February 25, 1836, in Madison township, and received a good common-school education. After leaving school he continued to improve his mind by wide and careful reading and in this way became one of the best informed men of his day. Working on the farm from early youth until he was twenty-one years of age, he married Sarah Garber, March, 26, 1857. She was born March 10, 1839, and was a daughter of Joseph and Mary (Wampler) Garber, the former of whom, when yet a small boy, came with his father, Joseph, from Rockingham county, Va., and settled in Montgomery county, Ohio. Joseph Garber and Mary, his wife, were the parents of the following children: Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary A., William, Joseph, Anna, Philip, Lucinda and Jesse. Joseph Garber owned an excellent farm of 106 acres of land, which his father had cleared from the woods, and lived to be a very old man, dying when upward of eighty years of age. In religious belief he agreed with and was a member of the German Baptist church.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Denlinger settled on her father's 160-acre farm, purchasing 100 acres thereof and developing it into a fertile and productive farm. Their children were: Lavina G., Clara A., Ira G., Annie G., Lizzie G., Laura G., Edgar G. and Elmer 0. Mrs. Denlinger died March 1, 1872, a consistent member of the German Baptist church, and on June 6, 1875, Mr. Denlinger married Annie Bowman, who was born August 22, 1852, in Randolph township, and is a daughter of Benjamin and Belinda (Hyre) Bowman. Benjamin Bowman was born in Madison township February 4, 1811, and was a son of John and Christina Bowman, the former of whom came from Pennsylvania to Montgomery county, Ohio, as one of its pioneers. Benjamin Bowman and his wife were the parents of the following children: Isaac, John, David (who served as a soldier in the late Civil war), Sarah, Joseph, Franklin, Annie and Lucinda. Mr. Bowman settled' on a farm of 130 acres, became a prosperous farmer, was a member of the German Baptist church, and a highly respected citizen. His wife died March 4, 1897, aged eighty-one years. They had lived together, when Mrs. Bowman died, about sixty years.
Mr. and Mrs. Denlinger are the parents of the following children: Austin H., Sibyl E., Stella, Carl H. and Ralph R. Thus Mr. Denlinger is the father of thirteen living children, and also of one child, Roy H.. now deceased. Politically, Mr. Denlinger is a democrat, and as such has held the office of township trustee for fourteen years. Fraternally, he is a member of Randolph lodge, No. 98, I, 0. 0. F., in which he has held all the offices, including that of noble grand, and is also a member of the encampment.
ISRAEL DENLINGER, [pages 1088-1089] of Trotwood, Ohio, is a son of one of the earliest of the pioneers. He was born June 7, 1840, a son of Abraham and Margaret (Miller) Denlinger, on the old homestead in Madison township. He received the usual common-school education; he was reared a farmer, and on November 28, 1861, married Miss Mollie. Garber, who was born in 1844, and is a daughter of. Joseph and Mary A. (Wampler) Garber.
Joseph Garber was born in Virginia, a son of Joseph Garber, Sr., who came at an early day with his family to Montgomery county as one of the first of the pioneers, bringing with him his wife and four children—Betsey, Susie, Kate and Joseph. Joseph Garber, Sr., settled on land which he cleared from the woods, and for a time lived in Randolph township. He was an elder and a minister in the German Baptist church, and preached the gospel many years. A successful farmer and an esteemed minister of the church, he lived to be eighty years of age, leaving the memory of a well-spent life.
Joseph Garber, the father of Mrs. Denlinger. was but a small boy when he came with his parents to Ohio. Reared as were most farmers' boys, he became inured to labor and hardship, which gave him a strong constitution and a sound, healthy mind. He and his wife reared the following children: Martha, Catharine, Sarah, Elizabeth, Lucinda, Mollie, William, Joseph, Philip and Jesse. Mr. Garber settled in Randolph township on 106 acres of land, which had belonged to his father, which he cleared of its timber. He was a member of the German Baptist church, and a man of estimable character. He lived to the age of seventy years. His wife, Mary A. Wampler, was born in Harrison township, February 22, 1816, on the Wampler homestead, and died January 29, 1847. She was a daughter of Philip and Catherine (Ryer) Wampler, the former of whom was a son of David and Catherine (Ingler) Wampler. David Wampler was a native of Maryland and of Dutch descent. As one of the earliest of the pioneers of Montgomery county he was well known to many of the people of that and surrounding counties. He was twice married, first to Mary Sanchwick, by whom he had several children, all of whom died young but two, Mary and Philip. By his second wife he had no children. David Wampler was a member of the German Baptist church and lived to be an aged man.
Philip Wampler was a native of Maryland, was married in that state, and reared the following children: Mary A., Edward. Jesse, David, William, John, Joseph, Samuel, and Annie. Mr. Wampler was one of the most extensive farmers of his day, owning 300 acres of land. Like his father before him, he was a member of the German Baptist church, and was also for many years a preacher and elder.
Israel Denlinger, whose name opens this sketch, after his marriage settled on the Denlinger homestead, where he lived a short time, and then removed to Randolph township, living there two and a half years. Then buying a tract in Madison township, containing ninety-four and a half acres, he removed to that farm, which he still owns and to which he afterward added by purchased seventeen acres. He and his wife reared the following children: Viola, Allen, William, Walter F., Carlton, who died a young man; Vernon, Elwood and Carrie. Mr. and Mrs. Denlinger belong to the old German Baptist church, and are most excellent members of the community, in which they have the respect of all for their kindly Christian characters.
SAMUEL EARNST, [pages 1089-1090] a prosperous farmer of Perry township, Montgomery county, Ohio, comes from sturdy German ancestry. His father, Mathias F. Earnst, or, as he spelled his name, Arnst, was born in Wittenberg, Germany, near the village of Falebaugh. His father owned a farm in that county, Mathias F. Arnst came to America when he was twenty-two years of age, settled in Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, and married Sallie Martin, who was born in Pennsylvania. Soon after his marriage he removed to Maryland, locating near Liberty, in that state. In 1823 he came to Ohio and settled on the section of land on which Samuel Earnst now lives, his farm containing eighty acres of land, which he cleared of its timber and converted into an excellent farm. Here he lived and labored many years, prospered as a reward for his industry, and, in addition to his land in Ohio, entered 237 acres in Bartholomew county, Ind., which his two sons afterward purchased of him. Mr. and Mrs. Arnst were the parents of the following children: Hannah, John, Mary, Samuel, George. Catherine and Sallie. Mr. Arnst died in his eighty-sixth year, at the home of his son, Samuel, He was a member of the German Baptist church, and was in all respects an honorable and upright citizen.
Samuel Earnst was born February 8, 1818, in Maryland, near Liberty. He was therefore but five years old when he came to Ohio with his parents. At that time there were no common schools, as that term is now understood, but in their place there were subscription schools, each parent paying so much for each child that he sent to be educated. At one of these subscription schools young Earnst received his early education, and it was Granville Andress, the teacher of this subscription school, who changed the spelling of the name from Arnst to Earnst. Mr. Earnst well remembers the journey from Maryland to Ohio, which was made by means of wagons. After his school days were over he took up the hard work of the farm, and when he was twenty-five years old he married Susannah Holsapple, a daughter of Adam Holsapple, the marriage ceremony being performed October 6, 1843, by Daniel Miller, a minister of the German Baptist church. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Earnst lived with her father, Adam Holsapple, for a short time, when Mr. Holsapple died, and Mr. Earnst then managed the farm for several years. In 1864 he bought his father-in-law's farm, containing eighty acres, and later purchased his present farm of seventy-five acres, which was partly cleared.
To Mr. and Mrs. Earnst were born the following children: Anna, Mary, Rebecca, Sarah, John, Noah, Nancy and Lee. After the death of his first wife Mr. Earnst married a widow, Mrs. Catherine Brown, whose maiden name was Hoover. By this marriage he had no children. After the death of his second wife he married Catherine Gnodle, who yet survives him.
Mr. Earnst, by his industry and good management, added to his possessions until he acquired 400 acres of good land, of which he has given portions to his children, and now retains only the homestead, consisting of 139 acres, and also eighty-four acres in Madison township. For fifteen years Mr. Earnst bought and sold cattle, and was also successfully engaged in the butcher's business. He has always been a good business man, and justly esteemed for his straightforward dealings with his fellow-men. He is a member of the German Baptist church.
JACOB EBY, [pages 1090-1091] the well-known horticulturist and farmer of Madison township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born here January 23, 1843, and springs from Pennsylvania-German stock, intermixed with Scotch-Irish.
Christian Eby, grandfather of Jacob, was born in the Keystone state, married Susan McDaniels, of Scotch-Irish descent, moved to Maryland, and settled on a farm near Hagerstown. There were born to this marriage twelve children, named John, Christian, Adam, Samuel, Wilson, James, Jacob, Betsy, Jane, Catherine, Susanna and Levina. From Maryland Christian Eby came to Montgomery county, Ohio, where he had previously bought a large tract of land on Twin creek, cleared a farm from the woods, and then moved across the line into Preble county, where he died at the age of ninety-two. His wife, with whom he had been united for over sixty years, died at the age of ninety-three.
Wilson Eby, father of Jacob, was, in all probability, born in Maryland ; and before twenty-one years old he came to Montgomery county, Ohio, a year before his father, Christian Eby, came, and settled on a part. of the land his father had previously purchased on Twin creek. He married Elizabeth Stover, a native of Maryland and a daughter of Daniel and Susan (Fink) Stover, and to this union were born the following children: Jane, Jacob, Daniel, Susan, Catherine, James, Wilson, Christian and Elizabeth.
Wilson Eby cleared a fine farm on Twin creek, then, later, moved to Preble county, where he bought 320 acres, but eventually returned to Montgomery county and purchased 160 acres of the farm on which his son, Jacob, now lives. He was a consistent member of the German Baptist church, and died in that faith in 1884, at the age of sixty-eight years, after a life of industry, usefulness, and unswerving integrity.
Jacob Eby, whose name opens this sketch, received a good district-school education, grew to manhood on his father's farm, and on December 24, 1866, married Miss Martha J. Jordan, who was born September 29, 1848, in Clermont county, Ohio, a daughter of Nathaniel Wesley and Esther Ann (Scott) Jordan.
Nathaniel W. Jordan was born in North Carolina, June 22, 1813, a son of Silas Jordan, who was a slave owner and factory proprietor near Edenton, on Albemarle sound, and a very wealthy man. Nathaniel, his brother, was a soldier in the war of the Revolution. Silas was one of the pioneers of Clermont county, Ohio, and the Edenton of that county was by him named after the Edenton in North Carolina, and was built on his land. He lived to be eighty-six years of age, and died in Edenton, Ohio, the father of the following children: Nathaniel W., Jane, Louisa, Caroline and Elizabeth. He was one of the founders of the Methodist Episcopal church in Edenton, Ohio, of where he was a member, and was also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Nathaniel W. Jordan came to Ohio with his father, and was married November 24, 1836, to Miss Esther Ann Scott, who was born in Warren county, Ohio, January 17, 1821. In 1834 the Scott family moved from Warren county to West Woodville, in Clermont county, and settled on 180 acres of land, and in this county the daughter was married to Mr. Jordan. After his marriage Mr. Jordan located on a part of his father's farm, and to his marriage there were born nine children, viz: Silas, Alexander V., Hannah E., Charles, Amos, Martha J,, Louisa, Caroline and Frank. Mrs. Jordan died October 27, 1893, but Mr. Jordan still survives at the age of eighty-three years.
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Eby, after their marriage, first located on a farm of 100 acres in Preble county, Ohio, but, in 1881, a cyclone destroyed everything on the farm—fences, timber, crops, buildings, and all, excepting the residence. Mr. Eby then sold out and returned to Montgomery county, where he already owned half of his present farm, his father owning the other half, which Jacob bought. Mr. Eby is here largely engaged in the culture of fruit, having many acres in pears, grapes, apples, and other fruits. He carries on, beside, general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Eby are the parents of four children—Charles, Perry J., Daniel C., and Katie L. These children have been carefully reared and well educated. In politic Mr. Eby is a democrat, and has been a member of the school board at intervals for twenty-five years.
Elder Jenkin David, maternal great-grandfather of Mrs. Eby, was born in Wales in 1753, and in that country married Martha Evans in 1784; came to America in 1794, became a minister in Grand Valley, Pa., outlived eight sons and ten daughters, and died June 23, 1834. Mrs. Jacob Eby had two brothers, Alexander and Charles, who served during the Civil war in company H, One Hundred and Fifty-third Ohio volunteer infantry; Charles died a prisoner of war at Florence, S. C., in his twenty-first year.
ISAAC ERBAUGH [pages 1091-1092] is one of the solid farmers of Perry township, and a son of an early settler in Montgomery county. His grandfather, Jacob Erbaugh, was a native of Rockingham county, Va., married a Miss Funk, and came to Ohio in 1834. He was the father of the following children: Polly, Catherine, Susan, Nancy, Esther, Jacob and Abraham. Jacob Erbaugh died two months after reaching Montgomery county. In Rockingham county, Va., he owned 600 acres of land, so that his family was left in comfortable circumstances. He was seventy-eight years of age at the time of his death.
Jacob Erbaugh, the father of Isaac, was born in Rockingham county, Va., in 1797. He received a good common-school education in the German language. While yet living in Virginia he married Sarah Kibler, who was born in 1795. Mr. Erbaugh settled on his father's estate, and his children were as follows: Isaac, Jacob, Philip, Susannah, Polly and Elizabeth, the latter of whom died in infancy. Mr. Erbaugh came to Montgomery county in the fall of 1834, moving with a four-horse team and wagon, and settling in Perry township, on the farm now occupied by his son Isaac, and which then contained seventy-five acres. Four years later Jacob Erbaugh died. From the time he was twenty-five years of age until his death he was a consistent member of the German Baptist church.
Isaac Erbaugh was born September 11, 1820, in Rockingham county, Va., received a good common-school education, was reared on the farm, and came with his father to Ohio when about fourteen years old. He drove the four-horse team, a somewhat difficult task for a boy of that age, and was three weeks on the way. His father being blind, Isaac began while very young to do the work on the farm, and his entire youth was spent in the toil of that occupation.
He was married, April 27, 1843, to Miss Margaret Bowser, who was born November 14, 1820, in Jefferson township, Montgomery county, and is a daughter of George and Elizabeth (Myers) Bowser. George Bowser was born in 1783, in Frenchtown, Pa., and became a farmer. Coming to Ohio, he married in Montgomery county. To George Bowser and wife there were born the following children: John and Betsy (twins), Nancy, Katie, Polly, Margaret, William, Philip, Henry, George, Benjamin, Daniel, and Christian. These lived to become men and women, and four others died young. George Bowser was a pioneer of Jefferson township, settled in the woods on 160 acres of land, and, in addition, owned 240 acres in Tipton county, Ind. He was a member of the German Baptist church, and lived to be nearly eighty years of age.
Mr. Erbaugh settled on the farm where he now lives, and has lived there for the past sixty-two years. He and his wife have had no children born to them; but they have reared two children, Levi Harris and Ella Johnson, the latter of whom is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Erbaugh gave them a pleasant home and a good education, and treated them in every way as though they were their own. Mr. Erbaugh is a practical farmer and has a most excellent farm of 122 acres. By careful thrift and continued industry he has prospered and is now well to do. He has been a member of the German Baptist church for the past forty-three years, and is probably the oldest church member in the township. He has always been a consistent Christian man, kindly disposed toward all, and always ready to help the needy and unfortunate.
ALBERT J. ZIMMERMAN, [pages 1092-1093] city marshal of Miamisburg, Montgomery county, Ohio, is a native of Dauphin county Pa., born September 6, 1854, a son of Joseph and Mary (Bross) Zimmerman, of German descent. Joseph Zimmerman, also a native of Pennsylvania, was a tanner by occupation, served as a soldier in the late Civil war, and was killed at the battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July 3, 1863.
Albert J. Zimmerman received his education at the Mount Joy Soldiers' Orphan school in Lancaster county, Pa., and learned telegraphy at Jonestown, Lebanon county. He was employed in the latter capacity by the P. & R. Railroad company until 1876, when he came to Ohio and was employed at various occupations in Miamisburg until 1894. He was then elected city marshal, the duties of which office he performed so thoroughly to the satisfaction of the public that he was re-elected in 1896, and is now filling the position with great credit to himself, and, as in his first term, with the general approbation of the community.
The marriage of A. J. Zimmerman was celebrated June 19, 1879, with Miss Oletta Buehner, daughter of John and Louisa (Dechant) Buehner, the former of whom was one of the pioneer German Miamisburg contractors. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman has been blessed by the birth of four children, named, in order of birth, Pearl, Louis, Mary and Burton, and who have been reared in the religious faith of their parents—that of the Lutheran church, In his societary relations Mr. Zimmerman is a Forester, is a member of the uniform rank Knight of Pythias, and of the Sons of Veterans organization. In politics he is a republican, while the social relations of himself and family are all that could be desired.
NAPOLEON B. BAILEY, [pages 1093-1094] a prosperous farmer and well-known citizen of Washington township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born near Lebanon, Warren county, Ohio, March 31, 1819. He is a son of Henry and Margaret (Musser) Bailey, the former of whom was a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Virginia, and both of excellent families. They were the parents of four children, three of whom are still living, as follows: Simon K., of Huntington, Ind.; Napoleon B., and William, of Dayton, Ohio.
Henry Bailey was by occupation a farmer. In early days he came to Ohio and settled in Mad River township, Clarke county, near Springfield, where he lived for some years. Then removing to Warren county he remained there until 1832, when he came to Montgomery county. In religious belief he was a Quaker, and was one of the upright, honorable band of pioneers who laid the foundations of society and of the state broad and deep. He died some two miles south of Centerville about 1834, when he was seventy-seven years of age. His wife, who was a Baptist in religion, survived him some twenty years, and died when she was about seventy years of age.
Josiah Bailey, the paternal grandfather of Napoleon B. Bailey, was a native of Pennsylvania, a farmer by occupation, a Quaker in religious belief, and died in Pennsylvania. His wife was of the same religion with himself, and came to America with William Penn. The maternal grandfather, Jacob Musser, was a native of Pennsylvania, of German descent, a farmer by occupation, and died at an advanced age in West Virginia.
Napoleon B. Bailey was reared in Warren county until he was thirteen years of age, and then came to Montgomery county. His education was received in the common schools of both counties, and when he was eighteen years of age he began to learn the trade of a stone-cutter. This trade he followed seven years, after which he lived for about three years on land rented of his father-in-law, Jesse Kelsey. At the end of this period he purchased eighty-five acres of land in Washington township, to which he has added, from time to time, until now he owns 295 acres, all of which is finely improved. From the time he was thirteen years of age he has lived in Washington township, and has been during the whole of that time, a period of more than sixty years, an important factor in bringing about the development of the county into one of the richest in the state.
Mr. Bailey was married April 8, 1846. to Rebecca A. Kelsey, daughter of Jesse and Hettie (Marsh) Kelsey. To this marriage there were born three children, viz: Jesse Alonzo, William Henry and one who died in infancy. Jesse Alonzo married Ella Clark; William Henry married Caroline Montgomery, and has two children, Charles and Estella. Mrs. Rebecca A. Bailey died February 15, 1854, a member of the Baptist church.
Mr. Bailey again married, his second wife being Elizabeth A. Tibbals, daughter of Noah K. and Elizabeth (Silvers) Tibbals. To this second marriage there were born two children —Perry N. and Clara Belle. Clara Belle married James Lewis and has four children: Ellery, Ethel, Ralph and Herman. Elizabeth A. Bailey, the second wife of Napoleon B. Bailey, died September 9, 1860. She also was a member of the Baptist church.
Mr. Bailey married for his third wife Amanda E. Carver, daughter of Smith and Rachel Carver, the marriage taking place August 29, 1867. To this marriage there were born six children, as follows: Ada M., Lewis M., Wilbur H., Rutherford H., Walter Edmund and Arthur. Rutherford H. died in infancy; Ada M. married Henry Durth, and has one child, Emma; Lewis M. married Mary Reedy. Amanda E. Bailey died June 24, 1890, a member of the Christian church.
Politically, Mr. Bailey is a republican, but has never sought official station. The esteem in which he is held in the community is inspired not alone by his material success, but by his upright character and his lifelong record as a good citizen.
THOMAS BRIDGMAN (deceased), [pages 1094-1095] formerly on Van Buren township, was born at Harper's Ferry, Va., April 15, 1803. He was a son of Francis and Mary (Scott) Bridgman, natives of Virginia, the former of whom was of English and French, and the latter of Irish descent. Francis and Mary Bridgman were the parents of thirteen children, ten of whom lived to mature years. Mr. Bridgman died in his native state.
Thomas Bridgman was twenty-four years of age when he came to Ohio, and he located on the farm upon which he died, and which is now occupied by his widow. His son, Charles, and his family also live on the old farm. Mr. Bridgman was a member of the United Brethren church, to which his widow still belongs. Thomas Bridgman first married, May 25, 1829, Miss Sarah John. They were the parents of two children, viz: Benjamin F. and Asa J. Mrs. Bridgman was born July 8, 1814, and died March 26, 1836; Mr. Bridgman married, for his second wife, Esther John, a sister of his deceased wife. She was born June 12, 1820. They were the parents of nine children, as follows: Sarah, Mary Jane, William Henry Harrison, John Thomas, Perry B., Albert Orion, Laura, Francis Marion, and Charles Grant. All these children are living but Benjamin F., the first child of his first wife. Benjamin F. had married Miss Kate Magee, and, after her death, he married a German lady. By his first wife Benjamin F. had one child, Mary E. Asa J., the second child of Mr. Bridgman's first wife, married Elizabeth Magee. They have six children, viz: Orion, Annie, Elma, Ida, Thomas and Pet. Sarah married B. B. Pancoast. They have five children living, as follows: Leonidas, Ella, Harry, Charles and Warren. Mary Jane married Frank Ewry. They have seven children, as follows: Harry, William, Cora, Annie, Calvin, Morris and Emma. William Henry Harrison married for his first wife Miss Adeline Fellows. They had four children. Henry Clay, Bertha, Oillie and Bert. For his second wife he married Hannah Dedrick, by whom he had one child, Maud Marie. John Thomas married Laura Huston, by whom he had four children, Edward, Minnie, Lewis and Ettie. Perry B. married Kate Protzman. They have three children, Leroy, John and Foster. Albert Orion married Sarah Owens, who died in 1888, her two children having both died previously. Albert is a farmer of Greene county. Laura married John Shutts. They have two children, May and Clarence. Francis Marion married Annie Eagle. They have four children, Esther, Perdita, Orville and Chalmer. Charles Grant married Emma Minnerup, daughter of George and Mary (Link) Minnerup. They have two children, Callie and Robert.
The father of Mrs. Esther (John) Bridgman, Asa John, was a native of Kentucky, and came to Ohio at an early day. During the war of 1812 he served his country as a soldier. He bought 100 acres of land, upon which his daughter, Esther, now resides. A portion of this farm he gave to her, and Thomas Bridgman, whom she married, purchased the rest. Asa John bought another farm adjoining, which is now occupied by his son, John. Upon this farm he died about 1873, at the age of eighty-two years, his wife having died some years before, at the age of sixty-five. Both were members of the Christian church, and excellent people. In the old farm, which is owned by Mrs. Thomas Bridgman, there are 131 acres, and the entire farm is well improved. The old sawmill is run by Charles G. Bridgman and Elmer John. Charles G. Bridgman also manages a dairy and is one of the enterprising and successful farmers of the county.
SAMUEL ERBAUGH, [page 1095] farmer, Perry township, Montgomery county, Ohio, is a son of one of the early pioneers. He was born February 2, 1830, in Rockingham county, Va., and is a son of Abraham and Susannah (Coffman) Erbaugh. He was reared a farmer and received his early education in one of the old-fashioned log cabin school-houses. He married, at the age of twenty years, August 22, 1850, Miss Esther Hay, who was born April 5, 1832, in Perry township, and who is the daughter of Michael and Christina (Krull) Hay. Michael Hay was born in Pennsylvania and when yet a young man removed to Montgomery county, Ohio, where he married. For fuller mention of Mr. Hay the reader is referred to the biography of George Erbaugh, elsewhere in this volume.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Erbaugh settled on seventy acres of land, on which they still live. This farm he cleared of its timber, with the exception of twenty-five acres, which were cleared when he settled thereon. He has greatly improved this farm and at this time it is one of the best in the township. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Erbaugh are as follows: Mary A., Rachael, Susannah, Michael, Christina, Samuel C., John 0., Harvey and Uriah E. Both Mr. and Mrs. Erbaugh are members of the German Baptist church, and believe strongly in the education of the young. They are carrying their belief into practical effect by giving their own children the best available education. One of his sons, Uriah E., is a schoolteacher.
Of the children of Samuel Erbaugh, Mary Ann, married Jacob Brumbaugh, by whom she has three children. They are living on a farm in Darke county. Rachael married Joseph Musselman, a contractor and builder of Dayton, and has seven children living and four deceased. Michael married Agnes Lyday, is a farmer of Perry township, and has six children. Christina married George Lyday, a carpenter and contractor of Dayton, and has four children living. John married Catherine Gerhart, is a farmer of Perry township, and has three children. Harvey married Mary Brower, of Preble county, and has one child. Uriah E., a dry-goods merchant of Pyrmont, married Lizzie Alslagel, and has one child. Samuel C. married Cora A. Rauch.
GEORGE ERBAUGH, [pages 1095-1096] a well-known farmer of Perry township, Montgomery county, Ohio, and a member of the conservative branch of the German Baptist church, was born in Montgomery county. The family is of German origin, the great-grandfather of George Erbaugh, Lawrence Erbach, as the name was then spelled; coming from Mannheim, Germany, and settling in Bucks county, Pa., on land in Lower Milford township. Here he lived and became a man of considerable wealth. His wife was Anna Mary Christian, and they had the following children: Jacob; Anne Mary, who married Theobald Samuel; Margaret, who married Jacob Rothrock; Catherine, who married David Groff; Barbara, who married John Stucker; and Anna, who married John Huber. Another son, Abraham, met his death by accident when sixteen years old.
Jacob Erbach, or Erbaugh, as the name had by this time come to be spelled, son of Lawrence, was the grandfather of George Erbaugh, He married a Miss Funk, by whom he had the following children: Mary, wife of Michael Billheimer; Catherine, wife of Michael Garber; Susannah, wife of Jacob Billheimer; Anna, wife of John Garber; Esther, wife of George Miller; Abraham; Rebecca, who married John Coffman, and Jacob. Mr. Erbaugh removed in 1790 to Rockingham county, Va., where he bought land and made a home for his family. In 1833 he came to Ohio, with his son, Abraham, and settled on the farm now owned and occupied by George Erbaugh, the farm being purchased by Abraham. Jacob Erbaugh was a member of the German Baptist church, and was a man of sterling character. He lived to the age of seventy-two, dying on his farm, and leaving a goodly property to his children.
Abraham Erbaugh, father of George, was born July 6, 1799, in Rockingham county, Va. By occupation he was a farmer, and in 1820 or 1821 married Miss Susannah Coffman, in that county, She was born October 26, 1799, in Rockingham county, and was a daughter of Christian Coffman. To Mr. and Mrs. Erbaugh there were born the following children: Anna, Sallie, John, Samuel, Abraham, Susannah, Hester and George. In 1833 Mr. Erbaugh brought his family to Montgomery county, Ohio, and settled in Perry township, on the farm now occupied by his son George—this farm, containing 205 acres, being then mostly covered with timber. Abraham Erbaugh lived to be seventy-two years of age, dying in 1871. He was a minister of the German Baptist church, and for some years an elder. For many years he was prominent both in his church and in general society, and was a man of high Christian character, who exercised an excellent influence on all with whom he came in contact. His wife lived to be ninety years of age.
George Erbaugh, the subject of this sketch, was born March 20, 1841, on the homestead farm, and received a good common-school education. When twenty-four years of age he married Mary A. Hay, who was born October 11, 1843, in Perry township, and is a daughter of Michael and Christina (Krull) Hay. Michael Hay was of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent, was born in Pennsylvania and came, when a child, to Montgomery county with his father, Valentine Hay, whose wife, the mother of Michael, was Esther Martin. The children of Michael and Christina Hay were as follows: John, Hester, Salome, Joseph, Michael, Abraham and Mary A. Michael Hay lived to be seventy-two years of age, while his wife lived to be eighty-three.
Mr. and Mrs. Erbaugh, after their marriage, settled on the Erbaugh homestead, upon which they have ever since lived. Their children are as follows: Laura B., who married Peter Neff; Amy K., who died at the age of twenty-three, the wife of Isaac Brumbaugh; Meda A., wife of J. P. Bowman; George A., Ivan L., John 0., and Ina M. Mr. Erbaugh has been a minister in the German Baptist church for fifteen years, and has during that period preached the gospel from the pulpit of the church. He stands high among his people, and is a well-read and unusually intelligent man, well equipped for the duties of his calling.
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