Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 1136-1150 Sebastian B. Keener to Henry Clay Mumma

SEBASTIAN B. KEENER, [pages 1136-1137] one of the substantial farmers of Jefferson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born on the old Keener homestead in Madison township, in the same county, November 17, 1832, and is of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock.

Daniel Keener, his paternal grandfather, was the founder of the family in America, having come from Germany with a part of his family and settled in Pennsylvania prior to the Revolutionary war. John Keener, son of Daniel, was born in the Keystone state, was reared to farming, and was married, in his native state, to Miss Mary Huffer, the union resulting in the birth of the following-named children: George, Jacob and David (twins), John, and also nine daughters, of whom the names of seven are remembered, viz: Christine, Elizabeth, Nancy, Lydia, Kate, Barbara and Susan. John Keener, the father of this family, was a well-to-do farmer of Dauphin county. Pa., was a member of the German Reform church, and died in that faith in his native state.

John Keener, son of the John named above and father of Sebastian B., was born in Dauphin county, Pa., about the year 1805, and, while yet a young man, came to Montgomery county, Ohio. Here he married Miss Mary Heeter, who was born in Berks county, Pa., and was brought by her parents to Madison township, Montgomery county, when she was about five years of age, and here died in 1896, at the age of eighty-six years.

Sebastian Heeter, the father of Mrs. John Keener, was a native of Pennsylvania, a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and was one of the pioneer farmers of Madison township, Montgomery county, Ohio. He married Miss Elizabeth Rerick, the union resulting in the birth of the following children: John, George, Henry, Frederick, Abraham, David, Daniel, Jacob, Samuel, Sebastian, Barbara, Mary, an infant that died unnamed, Catherine and Sallie. The father, Sebastian Heeter, lived to the advanced age of eighty-six years, and died an elder in the Lutheran church—his wife dying at the age of eighty-four.

John Keener and wife, soon after marriage, settled on a tract of 160 acres of land in the woods of Madison township.  Mr. Keener cleared up a good farm from the wilderness, and by his thrift was able to add to his estate until he owned 370 acres. He was an elder in the Lutheran church, was a democrat in politics, was one of the most substantial farmers of his township and died an honored and respected citizen. The children born to John and Mary Keener were named: Sebastian B., Abraham, John J., Daniel, Jacob, Elizabeth and Catherine.

Sebastian B. Keener was educated in the common schools of his native township of Madison, and was reared to the hard work of the farm. January 3, 1856, he married at Dayton, Ohio, Miss Lucy Humerickhouse, who was a resident of Perry township, but was born in Pennsylvania August 8, 1835, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Heckel) Humerickhouse.

John Humerickhouse, father of Mrs. Keener, was born in Germany, was a miller, and came to America shortly after the birth of his first child. He died nine miles from Little York, Pa., a member of the Reformed church and the father of the following named children: George, John, Jacob, Daniel, Eli, Lizzie, Katie, Mary, Sarah, Susan, Lucy and Caroline.

After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Keener settled on eighty acres of land in Madison township, on which they lived until 1880, and then moved to Jefferson township, where he bought 195 acres, which were partly cleared and which he has since greatly improved, erecting substantial farm buildings. To this tract he subsequently added twenty-one and one-quarter acres, and in 1895 erected the fine residence he now occupies. To Mr. and Mrs. Keener have been born the following children: John F., Mary E., Cephas H., Samantha J., Benniah, Eli W., Charles A., Sarah C., Nora A., William A,, Dora I., Ezra A. and Amelia A, The parents are members of the Lutheran church, in which Mr. Keener is a deacon. In politics he is a democrat, and for three years was a trustee of Madison township and for a number of years a member of the school board. Mr. Keener is one of the most honored farmers of Jefferson township, and well deserves the high position which he holds in the esteem of his neighbors.

 

GEORGE WASHINGTON KEMP, [pages 1137-1139] a prominent farmer and one of the oldest citizens of Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Mad River township, this county, when it was known as Dayton township, June 29, 1811. He is a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Herring) Kemp, the former of whom was a native of Frederick county, Md., and the latter of Germany. Joseph and Elizabeth Kemp were the parents of six children, five of whom are yet living, as follows:   George W., the subject of this sketch; Margaret; Barbara, wife of William Steele; David, and Catherine, widow of Mathias Burrows, formerly a prominent manufacturer of Dayton.

Joseph Kemp was a farmer by occupation, and came with his parents to Ohio in 1806, when yet a young man. He continued to live with his parents in Mad River township until his marriage. He served in the war of 1812, as a member of Capt. William Van Cleve's company. The war having come to a close he returned to his home and resumed his occupation of farming. He died a young man, having been born in 1788, and died in 1824. His wife was born January 17, 1790, and died August 21, 1861. She was a member of the United Brethren church.

Lewis Kemp, the paternal grandfather of George W., was a native of Frederick county, Md., came to Ohio in 1805, and bought section No. 22, Mad River township, and also a quarter of section. No. 29. He continued to live on the old homestead until his death, which occurred when he was eighty-eight years of age.  He and his wife reared a family of seven children, four sons and three daughters, all but one of whom purchased land in the vicinity of his home. The maternal grandfather, Jacob Herring, was a native of Germany, afterward a resident of Maryland, and still later of Ohio.  He settled in Beaver Creek township, Greene county, in 1806, and there bought a section of land.  He and his wife reared a family of one son and three daughters.  He lived in Greene county the rest of his life, dying when seventy-five years of age.

George W. Kemp was reared on the old homestead in Mad River township, received his education in the district school, in what was known as the Kemp school-house, which stood on an acre of ground donated for the purpose by his grandfather.  This school house was erected in 1815, was constructed of logs, and had three windows, with sash and glass, which was something quite unusual in those days. The largest subscription toward the erection of this house was $6. Arriving at man's estate, Mr. Kemp removed to Dayton and here completed his trade, that of carpenter, which he followed ten years.  He then purchased a sixty-acre farm adjoining the old home, and added to it twenty-one acres of the home farm, which he has since increased to the extent of twenty-four acres, so that now he owns a farm of 105 acres, lying one mile east of the corporation line.

Mr. Kemp was married April 11, 1838, to Miss Lydia Cox, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Spies) Cox, both of whom were among the early settlers of this county. Mr. and Mrs. Kemp were the parents of six children, as follows:  John Cox, Oliver Perry, Martha Washington, Joseph Warren, Francis Marion, and Kate Elizabeth. John C., Oliver P. and Martha W. are deceased. Joseph W. married Miss Mary Pearson, and lives on the old farm. He and his wife have a family of six children, as follows: George W., Earl, Lora, Kate, Edna and Lydia. Francis M. married Jennie Wise, and lives in Dayton.   They have three children living, as follows: Daisy E., Scott and LeRoy.  Kate Elizabeth married J. P. Mellinger, and resides in Dayton.

Mrs. Lydia Kemp died June 25, 1873, at the age of fifty-eight years. She was a member of the Lutheran church in her early years', but late in life she joined the Reformed church and died in that faith.   In 1867 they left the old farm, after a residence thereon of fifty-six years, and removed to Dayton, where Mrs. Kemp died and where Mr. Kemp has since continued to reside. He owns the substantial residence at No. 210 Bainbridge street, where he lives with his daughter, Mrs. Mellinger, and her husband. Mr. Kemp has been an Odd Fellow sixty-one years; a Mason forty-five years, reaching the thirty-second degree, and a Knight Templar thirty-two years, being a member of Reed commandery, No. 6. Politically, he is a democrat, and as such was trustee of Mad River township many years, and was also assessor in the same township, and in 1860 was appraiser of land in Mad River township. Many are the changes that have been made in Montgomery county since Mr. Kemp was born, his father having at that time only two acres of land cleared, and many other farms being in no better condition at that early day. His father, together with a man named Ott, went down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers on flatboats early in the history of the county, lashing their boats together. They were accompanied by their hired men, William Hamer, Thomas Roby, Johnson Perrine, and one other. Mr. Ott died of yellow fever in New Orleans, and Perrine sold his goods for him and returned to his home.

George W. Kemp is now eighty-five years old, and with the exception of a short time when away from home in Indiana, has continuously lived in Montgomery county. Upon early historical events pertaining to this locality and in early reminiscences, he is considered the best informed man in the county. He is yet quite a strong man physically, and his memory is remarkably quick and accurate. He is most highly esteemed by his many friends and acquaintances, and is among the few who yet remain of Montgomery county's living pioneer citizens.

 

WILLIAM HENRY KEMP, [pages 1139-1140] a prominent farmer living in Mad River township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in this township, February 20, 1823. He is a son of David and Elizabeth (Crist) Kemp, both natives of Maryland, and who had a family of nine children, eight of whom are still living, as follows: William H.; Margaret Ann, wife of Henry Bellow; Mary Jane, wife of David Moler; Annie, wife of William W. Harris; Amanda, wife of Joseph Kimmel; Harriet Louisa, wife of John Knisely; David C. and Joshua Perry. Elizabeth Catherine, who married John McCauley, died five weeks after her marriage. David Kemp came to Ohio when twelve years of age, with his parents, his father purchasing 800 acres of land in Mad River township, and settling on section 22. He subsequently sold a quarter-section of his land, part of which is now within the corporate limits of the city of Dayton. David Kemp grew to manhood on the old place and lived there many years, and then moved into Dayton, where his wife died, February 21, 1874. He then went to live with his daughter, Mrs. Knisely, and died at her home, August 26, 1878, aged eighty-six years. During the earlier years of their lives both David Kemp and his wife belonged to the German Reformed church, but toward the last she became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.  During the war of 1812 Mr. Kemp drove a team and furnished supplies to the soldiers. Both he and his wife were typical pioneers, well known for many miles around, and possessing the pioneer virtues of generosity and hospitality.

Ludwig Kemp, the father of David Kemp, was a native of Maryland, and came to Ohio in 1806.  He and his wife reared a family of eight children, and both lie buried in the Kemp burying ground, he having given an acre of land for cemetery purposes.  Peter Crist, the maternal grandfather of William H. Kemp, was also a native of Maryland; came to Ohio about 1810, and located in Warren county, where he purchased several hundred acres of land.   He and his wife reared a family of eight children, and he died in 1876, when ninety years of age.

William H. Kemp was reared on the farm which his grandfather, Ludwig Kemp, first purchased upon arriving in Ohio. His education was received in the district school, and he remained at home until he was twenty-four years of age. On February 25, 1847, he was married to Miss Barbara Aley, daughter of John and Susanna (Hawker) Aley. To this marriage there have been three children born, viz: Alice Ann, Charles and Lizzie Jane. Alice Ann died at the age of two and a half years, and Charles when but six months old. Lizzie Jane married John Cobleiltz, and with him lives near Bellbrook, Greene county. Mrs. Kemp is a member of the German Reformed church. Mr. Kemp during his earlier life was a democrat, but of late years he has been a republican. He has never been a seeker after official honors, the only office he has ever held being that of supervisor.

Mr. Kemp has a good farm of 144 acres, finely improved, about three miles east of the court house in Dayton. He has confined himself mainly to general farming and has been unusually successful.

 

JOSEPH KENNEDY, [pages 1140-1141] a leading farmer of Harrison township, was born on the farm on which he now lives, August 7, 1826. He is a son of Joseph and Nancy (Kerr) Kennedy, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of Virginia. They were the parents of six children, three sons and three daughters, but two of whom are still living, John and Joseph. Joseph Kennedy, the elder, was brought by his parents from his native country to the United States when he was two years old. They settled at Shippensburg, Pa., and there he grew to manhood. In 1805 he removed to Dayton, Ohio, settling just south of the city, and living there two years. In 1807 he removed to Harrison township, where he purchased 160 acres of land, to which he added from time to time, until at his death he owned 300 acres or more. He followed general farming and died in 1856, at the age of eighty-one. His wife died February 19, 1860, at the age of sixty-four.  Both were members of the Third Presbyterian church, of Dayton.

The paternal grandfather of the subject, Gilbert Kennedy, a native of Scotland, came to America in 1777, and in 1808 came to Ohio. He is supposed to lie buried in Warren county. In religion he was a Presbyterian, and reared a family of two sons and four daughters. The maternal grandfather, John Kerr, lived on a farm adjoining that on which Joseph Kennedy now lives. This farm he purchased in 1810, having just previously arrived from Virginia. Upon this farm he lived for many years, but died on another farm in the county, in. 1846, at the age of eighty-one years.

Joseph Kennedy, whose name opens this sketch, has lived on his present farm all his life with the exception of eight or ten years, when he lived in Indiana and northern Ohio, during the greater part of which time he was engaged in telegraphing.  He spent some time in Mercer county, occupied in running a saw-mill, and afterward was in Mississippi for a year employed in railroad contracting. The rest of his life was spent on the farm.

On May 27, 1858, he was married to Miss Catherine A. Clagett, daughter of Dr. G. A. and Caroline M. (Stonebraker) Clagett. To this marriage there were born four children— three sons and one daughter, as follows: Grafton C., Gilbert, John D. and Caroline. Gilbert and John are dead. Grafton C. married Miss Louise Achey, and has two children, Katharine and Sherwood. Caroline married Edward Martin, and has two children, Joseph and Richard.

Mrs. Kennedy, the mother of the four children above named, died May 16, 1865, a member of the Presbyterian church.  October 27, 1866, Mr. Kennedy again married, his second wife being Miss Emma C. Clagett, a sister of his deceased wife. To this marriage there have been born one son and two daughters, as follows: Katharine, Eugene G. and Emma Cornelia. Katharine died at the age of two years. Eugene G. and Emma C. are both living at home.  Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy are members of the Presbyterian church, and in politics Mr. Kennedy is a republican.

The home farm of Mr. Kennedy contains 147 acres of land, and is well improved. Mr. Kennedy also owns a farm in Wayne township and still another in Mad River township—altogether about 325 acres of land.  He is among the progressive farmers and thinkers of the day, and is recognized as one of the most reliable and influential citizens of the county.

 

RICHARD J. KETROW, [pages 1141-1142] one of the best known farmers of Jackson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, is a native here and was born on his father's farm, June 22, 1833.

Joseph Ketrow, his grandfather, was born in Maryland, was there married, came to Ohio in 1807 or 1808, and settled in German township, Montgomery county, and cleared up a farm from the woods, on which he lived for twenty years and the title to which has never changed from the Ketrow name. The children born to Joseph Ketrow and wife were John, Charles, Thomas, Richard, Betsey, Polly, Rebecca and Susan. Mrs. Ketrow lived to the great age of ninety-seven years.

Richard Ketrow, fourth child of Joseph Ketrow and wife, and the father of Richard J. Ketrow, was born in Frederick county, Md., .February 28, 1805, and was but two or three years of age when brought by his parents to Ohio, where he grew to manhood among the pioneer farmers. He was married in German. township, in 1826 or 1827, to Sophia Christ, who was born in Frederick county, Md., about 1802, and was a daughter of Henry and Christina Christ. Henry Christ was also a native of Maryland, but his father was of German birth. Henry was a blacksmith and gunsmith, and came to Montgomery county in the same year with the Ketrows.

Mr. and Mrs. Ketrow, at their marriage, settled on the farm where their son, Richard J., now lives, in Jackson township, and there Mr. Ketrow died at the age of seventy years. Their children were named Oliver, Adaline, Richard J., Allen and Caroline.

Richard J. Ketrow was reared on his father’s farm, but developed strong mechanical gifts, inherited probably from his maternal grandfather, and became a blacksmith and carpenter. October 17, 1858, he married, in Jackson township, Miss Elvira Drayer, a native of the township, and a daughter of George and Precilla Drayer. George Drayer was a native of Pennsylvania and a son of Peter Drayer, of German descent, who kept a tavern in the Keystone state,

George Drayer was about eleven years of age when brought here by his parents, was here reared to manhood, accumulated 178 acres of land, and died in July, 1874, at the age of sixty-eight years, an elder in the Methodist church.  He was the father of the following children: Jesse, Elizabeth, Elvira, Utila, George, Eydia, Peter, Catherine and Joseph.

To Richard J. and Elvira (Drayer) Ketrow were born the following children: Cora E,, Effie P, (Mrs. John Lowman), Mary C. (Mrs. S. L. Bohn), Orphie(Mrs. Herman Thoelking), and Charles H., at home. Mrs. Elvira Ketrow died April 25, 1875, and Mr. Ketrow next married, August 6, 1876, Elizabeth Yost, daughter of John H. Yost, of Preble county, Ohio. Mr. Ketrow now occupies the old homestead and is one of the foremost farmers of the township.  In politics he is a democrat, but has been content simply to exercise his franchise at the polls, and has never sought office.

 

JACOB KNECHT, [pages 1142-1143] farmer and fruit grower, of Harrison township, living just north of the city of Dayton, was born in Bavaria, Germany, December 23, 1835. He is a son of Jacob and Susanna (Goelder)Knecht, both of whom were natives of Germany and died in that country. They were the parents of five children, as follows; Jacob; Elizabeth, deceased; Christian; Charles and Michael. The four sons came to the United States.  Michael served in the Union army during the late Civil war, as a member of the Fourth Ohio cavalry. He was shot and killed at Stone river while doing guard duty. Charles was a soldier in the war, from the beginning to the close, and was slightly wounded.  Christian was also a Union soldier, but on account of sickness was discharged in 1862. Jacob and Christian now live side by side, and Charles lives in Madison township.   Jacob Knecht, their father, was a farmer in Germany, and died there in 1852, aged thirty-nine.  His wife died in 1849. Both were members of the Lutheran church. The paternal grandfather, Christoph Knecht, was also a farmer, reared a family of one son and five daughters, and died at an advanced age. The maternal grandfather, John Jacob Goelder, was also a farmer, was mayor of the town of Talfroeshn for thirty-two years, reared a large family and died at seventy years of age.

Jacob Knecht, the subject of this sketch, was reared and educated in Germany. He was brought up on the farm, and remained at home until after the death of his parents, and then, in 1853, came to the United States, being at the time eighteen years of age. Landing in New York he went thence to Philadelphia, where he visited relatives for a short time, and came thence direct to Dayton. Here he lived for a time with his uncle, Christian Miller, who had sent him the money with which to pay his passage to this country. Mr. Miller lived on the Stoddard farm as a tenant, and Jacob lived with him seven months. He then went to work for George A. Mumma, and remained in his employ five years, engaged in the nursery and on the farm. January 15, 1857, he was married to Miss Magdalena Simons, daughter of Jacob and Anna (Pollarst) Simons. To this marriage there were born eight children, five sons and three daughters, as follows: George, Christian, John Jacob, Charles M., Jacob J., Elizabeth, Katie and Julia. George, Christian, Julia and Jacob J. are dead.   John Jacob married Theresa Handwerger. Charles M. married Elizabeth Zeisert, by whom he has had two children, one of whom is dead; the other, Carrie, is still living. Mrs. Chas. W. Knecht died in February, 1891. Elizabeth married Frank Martindale, and has two children, Mamie and George. Katie is living at home.

Mrs. Magdalena Knecht, the mother of the above-named eight children, died in 1888, at the age of fifty-three years. She was a most exemplary woman, and a member of the Lutheran church.  Mr. Knecht married June 21, 1891, for his second wife, Miss Anna Rausch, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Koch) Rausch, of Mischelstadt, Germany, both of whom are deceased. To this second marriage there has been born one child, Susanna. Mr. and Mrs. Knecht are members of the Lutheran church. Mr. Knecht is an Odd Fellow and a United Workman, and politically is a democrat.

After his first marriage Mr. Knecht for a time carried on farming on shares with Mr. Mumma. He then rented a large farm, which he afterward purchased. At that time it contained ninety-six acres, and to this he has added until the tract now includes 155 acres of land. After remaining on his ninety-six acre farm one year he removed to the Stoddard farm, in 1860, and remained there three years. In the spring of 1863 he sold most of his implements and stock and rented a smaller farm, upon which he lived two years, after which he entered upon gardening and tobacco raising. In 1865 he purchased the property where he now lives, comprising eight acres, and in 1872 he erected his present residence. On this small place Mr. Knecht raises fruits and berries. His farm of 155 acres he farms as well, his son Charles residing upon it and having charge of the farm operations.  Mr. Knecht has by his industry and energy accumulated quite a handsome estate, showing what can be done by a determined and persistently industrious man.

 

HENRY KLEPINGER [pages 1143-1144] is a son of one of the pioneers of Montgomery county, and a successful farmer of Madison township.   His father, George Klepinger, was born in 1800, in Westmoreland county, Pa., and came of Pennsylvania-Dutch ancestry.   The father of George Klepinger came from Pennsylvania to Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1815, settling on a farm, which he cleared and improved, and upon which he lived for some time, when he removed to Indiana with his family, his children at that time being John, George and Mary. The Montgomery county farm was in Madison township, and not long after leaving this farm for Indiana, the father of these children, whose name was Henry, died. His entire family consisted of the following children: Jacob, Henry, David, Samuel, John, Isaac, George, Mary and one that died unnamed.

George Klepinger was but fifteen years of age when he came with his father from Pennsylvania to Montgomery county, Ohio, and upon reaching his maturity he married Maria Loutzenhizer, settling on a farm in Randolph township. Upon this farm he remained until 1840, when he removed to the farm on which Henry Klepinger now lives, which farm contains 172 acres of excellent land. Mr. and Mrs. Klepinger reared the following children: Susan, Henry, John, William, Aaron and Maria, and had several that died while yet young. Politically Mr. Klepinger was an old-line whig, and in religious belief a German Baptist. While on a visit to Westmoreland county, Pa., he died, in 1858.

Henry Klepinger, the subject of this sketch, was born August 11, 1832, in Randolph township, and was thus eight years old when he came with his father to the present homestead, upon which he has lived ever since except for a short time when he was a young man. Early in life he learned the carpenter trade in Dayton, and remained there about four years, working at his trade, however, in all about eight years.   On October 22, 1857, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Miller, who was born in Harrison township, November 6, 1836, and is a daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Bowser) Miller, the former of whom was the son of Daniel Miller, the well-known pioneer of Wolf creek.   Daniel Miller was born in Pennsylvania, May 5, 1776. His old family Bible, printed in Germany, is still in existence, and according to its title page was published MDCCLXXVIII. It is bound in wooden covers, with leather back and brass clasps, and contains the family record.   It was valued highly by grandmother Miller, who was a native of Pennsylvania and whose maiden name was Bowman.

Daniel Miller and his family were the first settlers on Wolf creek, cutting' their way through the woods to their place of settlement, At that time Dayton had but a few log houses and only one house with a shingle roof. Daniel Miller took up government land and became a very prosperous man, because of his industry and excellent management.  When he started in life he was very poor, so much so that his wife worked with him in the field. She also made her own bedclothing of flax.  From such humble beginnings did. Daniel Miller and his most excellent wife acquire all their property, and become possessed of a large body of land. Mrs. Miller was born in Pennsylvania January 18, 1769, and she and her husband were married May 25, 1790.

Benjamin Miller, the father of Mrs. Klepinger, was born in Pennsylvania, March 20, 1791, and came with his father, Daniel, to Ohio, locating in Montgomery county, as above narrated. He was at the time between twelve and thirteen years of age. The date of his birth is given from the records in the old family Bible above described, but the date of removal to Ohio is a matter of tradition. Benjamin Miller married Elizabeth Bowser, and they settled on the farm on which David Miller now lives, Mr. Miller clearing up the land from the woods.   They at first had 160 acres, Mr. Miller, however, buying more land as he became able to do so, and so successful was he in the management of his affairs that at the time of his death he had property of large value.  In his religious views he was a German Baptist, and was in every respect an excellent man and citizen.   He and his wife reared the following children: Susan, George, Daniel, Margaret, Benjamin, David and Elizabeth.  His death occurred October 4, 1855, when he was sixty-four years of age.

Mr. and Mrs. Klepinger, after their marriage, lived four years on the Benjamin Miller farm, and in 1861 removed to the Klepinger homestead, upon which they still live. This farm Mr. Klepinger has developed in every way, increasing its fertility and greatly improving the buildings upon it. The first brick house in Madison township was erected on this farm by Adam Rodabaugh, one of the original pioneers of Montgomery county. To Mr. and Mrs. Klepinger were born the following children:   David, Alfred, Ellsworth H., Charles, Llewellyn, Edwin and .Howard. The parents of these children are members of the German Baptist church, and Mr. Klepinger has been a deacon for thirty years.  Politically he is a republican, and is a worthy and honorable citizen.  His son Alfred, who was for some years a school-teacher in Montgomery county, married Olive Miller. David married twice, first Laura Wampler, by whom he had one child, and for his second wife he married Ida Stowcher, by whom he has no children. Ellsworth H. married Lizzie Denlinger.  Charles married Mary Anderson, lives in Dayton and has one child, and is a member of the Dayton Leather Collar company.  Mr. Klepinger has 228 acres of land and also own a considerable portion of the stock of the Dayton Leather Collar company, two of his sons also being members of this company.

 

DAVID LANDIS, [pages 1144-1145] retired farmer, residing at Salem, Montgomery county, Ohio, is a native of Lancaster county, Pa., was born March 18, 1816, and is a son of David and Annie (Springer) Landis, of German descent.

David Landis, the father, was also a native of Lancaster county, Pa., born April 10, 1780, and was a farmer, carpenter and wind-mill maker. He married Miss Annie Springer, who was born July 25, 1781, a daughter of Peter Springer, the marriage resulting in the birth of six children, who were named John, Martha, Catherine, Annie, David and Elizabeth. In 1837 Mr. Landis brought his family to Ohio, making the journey with a team of tour horses and a large covered wagon or wain, and consuming twenty-three days' time on the route. The party comprised four families, the other three being those of John Landis, son of David; George Utsley, son-in-law of David, and Abraham Stoner, another son-in-law of David. This party reached Montgomery county and all settled near Salem, May 3, of the same year. Here David Landis bought four tracts of land, comprising, respectively, forty, sixty, seventy-eight and 100 acres, and bought and entered, beside, 500 or 600 acres in Darke county, Ohio.   He settled on the l00-acre tract, which he subsequently cleared, improved and occupied until his retirement from active labor, when he located on a few acres near Salem, lived to his ninety-first year; and died July 17, 1870.  Mr. Landis was a preacher in the pioneer Brethren church, was very active in the cause of religion, and his house was always the home of the preacher who visited his neighborhood in the early days.   He was strictly upright, and his death was deeply mourned by the whole community, who held him in the highest esteem.   Mrs. Annie (Springer) Landis died November 17, 1841.

David Landis, the subject of this memoir, was reared on the home farm until fourteen years of age, when he began working in his father's carpenter shop, and at the age of twenty-one years drove the four-horse team from Pennsylvania to Ohio, as narrated above. After reaching Ohio, he assisted on his father's farm until 1839, but was married October 25, 1838, to Miss Rachel Wellbourn, who was born December 20, 1820, in Brookville, Perry township, Montgomery county, a daughter of Christian and Sarah (Frouty) Wellbourn. Mr. and Mrs. Landis soon began housekeeping on the farm which David Landis, the elder, had settled in Randolph township, and here made their home for fifty-three years, prospering through unceasing industry and a wise economy, united with a practical knowledge of agriculture. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Landis have been born ten children, in the order here given: John, Jacob H., Sarah A., Josiah (deceased), William (deceased), Lucinda (deceased), Catherine (deceased), Theodore, Harvey A. and Dora E. The parents are consistent members of the Dunkard church, and in politics Mr. Landis was formerly a whig, but since the formation of the republican party has affiliated with the latter.  His living children are of the same religious faith with himself, and it may be added that his sons agreed with him in his political affiliations. Two of them, Josiah and Jacob, served in the 100-day enlistment in the late Civil war.  Mr. Landis has shared liberally, from his hard-earned accumulations, with his children, and is now enjoying in retirement that ease to which his long life of industry and thrift fully entitles him.

 

CYRUS WALTER LAUGHLIN, [1145-1146] grocer, of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Sunbury, Montgomery county, Ohio, September 1, 1855. He is a son of Samuel and Eliza (Walters) Laughlin, both natives of Westermoreland county, Pa. They were the parents of seven children, five of whom are still living, as follows: Elemina, wife. of Washington Eby, of Sunbury, Ohio; Francis M., a farmer, of Brown Run, Montgomery county; Philip, of Aspen, Colo.; Cyrus W., and Charles, also a resident of Colorado.

Samuel Laughlin was a farmer by occupation, came to Ohio about 1850, and located near Germantown, Montgomery county, where he followed farming for some years, and then opened a grocery at Sunbury, which he kept until the death of his wife, which occurred September 13, 1884, in her sixty-eighth year. After this he lived among his children and grandchildren until his death, which occurred while he was living with his son, Cyrus W., in Dayton, Ohio, March 29, 1895, he being then in his eighty-first year. Both Samuel Laughlin and his wife were members of the United Brethren church.

The paternal grandfather of Cyrus W., James Laughlin, died June 12, 1861, when he was seventy-three years of age, and his wife, Barbara, died October 19, 1872, at the age of eighty-three years. She and her husband were the parents of fifteen children. The maternal grandfather, Joseph Walters, was a native of Pennsylvania, in which state he kept what was termed in his day a tavern or inn.

Cyrus W. Laughlin was reared in Montgomery county, and was educated in Sunbury, remaining there until he was eighteen years of age. On February 1, 1877, he married Emma Florence Cox, daughter of John A. and Ellen (Crider) Cox. John A. Cox was born in Butler county, Ohio, in 1837, and his wife, Ellen Crider, in Indiana, in 1840. They had a family of four children, three of whom are now living, namely: Emma Florence, wife of Mr. Laughlin; Edgar C., a merchant of Anderson, Ind.; and Elizabeth, wife of Frank Davis, of West Manchester, Ohio.

John M. Cox, the grandfather of Mrs. Laughlin, was of German descent, and was born in Butler county, Ohio, in 1805, and died in that county in 1877.  His wife, whose maiden name was Nancy Hilt, was born in Kentucky in 1802, and died in Butler county, Ohio, in 1879. They had a family of seven children, six of whom are still living, as follows: Elizabeth, widow of Frank Banker, living at Battle Creek, Mich.; Walter, a farmer of Butler county, Ohio; Samuel, a farmer of the same county; Catherine, wife of John Keister, a farmer of Butler county; John A., who is a carpenter by trade and lives in Preble county, Ohio, and Drusilla, wife of Alpheus McElwain, of Darke county, Ohio.   Mary died in infancy.

The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Laughlin, Philip Crider, descended from German ancestors. He was born in Washington county, Pa., in 1803, and died in Preble county, Ohio, in 1874. The trades of carpenter and millwright he followed for some years, and lived on Second street in Dayton, Ohio, in 1846. His wife, Nancy Wright, was born in Ireland in 1799, and died in Preble county, Ohio, in 1876, To this couple nine children were born, but only the following are now living: Ellen, wife of John A. Cox; Susanna, now Mrs. Cooper, of Indiana; Mary Ann, wife of George W. Catrow, of Miamisburg, Ohio; George W., a farmer of Tennessee, and James Henry, who is a merchant of Oklahoma, and surveyor of that city.

To Mr. and Mrs. Laughlin have been born five children, two sons and three daughters, as follows: Elsie C., J. Raymond, Clifford L,, Ruth E., and one that died in infancy. Mr. Laughlin is a trustee in the United Brethren church, of which both he and his wife are members. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Foresters and of the Patriotic Order of Sons of America. Politically he favors the laboring man, and sustains that party which, in his opinion, will do most for this class of citizens. When Mr. Laughlin came to Dayton in October, 1884, he was employed by the Dayton Malleable Iron company, remaining with them three years; then going to work in D. 0. Kimmel's grocery, he remained there until 1891, when he opened a grocery and meat market at his present location, Nos. 1170 and 1172 Germantown street. Here he has ever since conducted a remarkably successful business.

 

HENRY MECKLEY, [page 1147] of Germantown, one of the most successful and substantial farmers of Jackson township, sprang from  Pennsylvania-Dutch stock. Henry Meckley was born December 6, 1837, on the farm upon which he now lives. Receiving a good common-school education, he was reared a farmer, beginning to work on the farm as soon as old enough and strong enough to be of use.

When he was thirty years of age he married, in Miamisburg, Ohio, February 27, 1868, Susannah Stonner, who was born December 22, 1844, and is a daughter of Andrew and Mary (Hostetter) Stonner. Andrew Stonner came from Pennsylvania to Ohio, locating in Wayne county among the first settlers there. His children were John, Levina, Elizabeth, Catherine, Sarah and Susannah. He was a member of the Lutheran church, and lived to be seventy-nine years of age, dying in Montgomery county in 1887, when on a visit to his relatives.

Henry Meckley and wife soon after their marriage settled on the old Meckley homestead, of which he bought 150 acres of his father, and cared for his parents during their old age. To Mr. and Mrs. Meckley there were born two children, viz:  Sarah A. and Mary C. Mr. Meckley is a member of the German Reformed church, and served on the building committee of Slyfer church. He is an honored citizen of his community, and can always be relied upon to aid worthy religious, moral and educational enterprises. His wife died December 19, 1888, at the age of forty-four years. She was a member of the Lutheran church, and a woman of many excellent traits of character.

Mr. Meckley is a democrat in politics, and during the recent presidential campaign, resulting in the election of Maj. McKinley, he was an advocate of the free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1.

 

BENJAMIN METZGER, [pages 1147-1148] a farmer of Jackson   township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Madison township, in the same county, on his father's farm, his parents being Henry and Susannah (Ullery) Metzger. The father of Henry, John Metzger, came to America before the war of the Revolution, from Wurtemberg, Germany. He was a Dunkard in religion, and was married near Bedford, Pa., settled on a farm in the vicinity of that city, lived there until eighty-six years of age, and died at the home of his son-in-law, John Brumbaugh. His children were named John, Henry, Jacob and Andrew, and of these, Henry, the father of Benjamin, was born on the original farm near Bedford, Pa., about 1778, and was there married, June 13, 1800, to Susannah Ullery. In 1811 he brought his family to Ohio and located in Jefferson township, Montgomery county, on a tract of 160 acres, but six months later removed to Madison township and bought 154 acres, all in the deep woods. Here he erected a log house, by hard work and incessant industry cleared up his land and developed a fine farm, and here passed the remainder of his days, an honored pioneer and useful citizen, passing away September 11, 1859—his death taking place in Perry township. He was a minister in the German Baptist church, and at his decease was able to give each of his children a start in the world, with either land or money. These children were born and named in the following order: John, January 24, 1803; Stephen, November 15, 1804; Elizabeth, October 19, 1806; Samuel, August 24, 1808; Henry, November 24, 1810; Susannah, March 10, 1813; Mary, January 7, 1816; Isaac, September 22, 1817, and Benjamin, September 7, 1825. The first five of these children were born in Bedford county, Pa., and the others in Madison township, Montgomery county, Ohio.

Benjamin Metzger received the education available in the common schools of his youthful days, and worked on, the home farm until twenty years of age, when he married, in Jackson township, December 18, 1845, Miss Annie Trissel, who was born in Rockingham county, Va., April 16, 1821, a daughter of David and Mary (Bowman) Trissel.  Her father, David, was of German extraction, was a farmer, and moved from Rockingham county, Va., to Montgomery county, Ohio, in the fall of 1831, and bought a tract of 170 acres in Jackson township, where he passed the remainder of his life, dying March n, 1854, at the age of about sixty-two years, in the faith of the German Baptist church. He was the father of three children—Hettie, Annie and Samuel.

After marriage, Benjamin Metzger lived on his father's farm four years, and in 1850 purchased fifty acres of his present homestead, to which he has added until he now owns 115 acres of well-cleared land and a most comfortable home. To Mr. and Mrs. Metzger no children were born, but they reared from childhood Lucinda Brown, who was married to Alexander Powell, of Preble county, Ohio; they also reared another young girl—Ellen Shaner, who was married to David Repp.  Mrs. Annie Metzger was called to rest, in the faith of the German Baptist church, September 20, 1S93—a woman of kind heart and many virtues, and a true Christian.  Mr. Metzger has been a deacon in this church for thirty-three years, has done much in aid of its progress and its work for the good of the people, and is recognized as a worthy citizen and a man of strict integrity.

 

MICHAEL MEYER, [pages 1148-1149] a retired farmer of Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in the kingdom of Bavaria (now a part of United Germany), August 18, 1838, and came with his parents to America at the age of fourteen years.

John Jacob Meyer, father of Michael, was born near Landau, Bavaria, in 1806 or 1807, was reared a farmer, and married Margaret Hale, the union resulting in the birth of the following children, in Bavaria: Daniel, Michael, John (deceased), Jacob, Charles and Margaret, and Sarah, born in America. The father owned a farm of twenty acres in the old country, but, with the expectation of bettering his fortune, sailed from Havre, with his family, for the United States in 1853 or 1854, and after a passage of thirty-two days, during which the vessel lost 100 passengers from cholera, owing to a supply of bad water, they landed in the city of New York. They came at once to Ohio and settled on a farm of 142 acres two miles from Phillipsburg, in Montgomery county, and here Mr. Meyer died, at the age of sixty-four years, in 1870, a member of the German Reformed church.

Michael Meyer, the subject of this biography, was reared on his father's farm, which he assisted in clearing and improving and in making one of the best of its size in Montgomery county. November 10, 1865, he married Susannah Shank, who was born November 15, 1844, in Darke county, Ohio. a daughter of Peter and Barbara (Kener) Shank.

Peter Shank, father of Mrs. Meyer, came from Lancaster county, Pa., and settled on a farm of 160 acres in Darke county, Ohio, where he made a good home and died at the age of eighty-four years, a respected and substantial farmer.  His children were named Henry, John, Nancy, Lydia, Elizabeth, Katie, Maggie and Susannah.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Meyer made their home in .West Milton, Miami county, Ohio, where Mr. Meyer had an interest in a flouring-mill. He next bought a farm of eighty acres near Georgetown, Miami county, on which he lived twelve years, and then moved to his present excellent farm of 142 acres. From this, however, he retired, in 1892, to Phillipsburg, where he bought a home of sixteen acres, on which he built a comfortable modern residence, in which to pass his remaining days.  His children, to whose welfare Mr. Meyer is devoting himself, are named John, Millie, Eva and Lydia. They and their father are consistent members of the German Reform church. Mrs. Meyer died September 5, 1885, at the age of forty years and twenty days, a member of the Mennonite church.

 

HENRY CLAY MUMMA, [pages 1149-1150] a prominent farmer and fruit grower of Harrison township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in this township, April 8, 1838. He is a son of Jacob H. and Susan (Brumbaugh) Mumma, the former of whom was a native of Maryland. Jacob H. and Susan Mumma were the parents of five children, all sons, three of whom are still living, as follows: Henry Clay, David H. and George W.

Jacob H. Mumma came to Ohio with his parents in 1827. They located in Harrison township, and in this county Mr. Mumma lived most of his life, but spent some two years in Clarke county.  From 1845 to 1875 he lived in Madison township, and after a few months in Champaign county he returned to Harrison township, where he lived with his son, Henry Clay, until the spring of 1881. He then went to Miami county, and died there in the spring of 1879, at the age of seventy-nine years.  His wife died December 25, 1873, at the age of fifty-six, and he then married Barbara Rowe, widow of John Hess. She died in December, 1894.  Both were members of the German Baptist church.

Henry Mumma, the paternal grandfather of Henry C., was of German descent and a native of Maryland. , Coming to Ohio in 1827, he located in Harrison township, living there until his death, which, occurred in 1853.  He had a family of three sons and two daughters. The maternal grandfather, William Brumbaugh, was an early settler in Ohio, but later removed to Kosciusko county, Ind., where he died at an advanced age.  He and, his wife reared a family of ten children.

Henry Clay Mumma has been a resident of Harrison township most of his life.  His education was received in Madison township, in the district schools, and though quite limited, because of the inferior facilities of the day, has been supplemented by his own subsequent study until now he is among the best informed men of his county.

On September 30, 1860, Mr. Mumma married Miss Ann Black, daughter of Thomas Black. To this marriage there have been born fourteen children, as follows: Arthur V., Belle, Sarah, Martha, Thomas, Amanda, Cora, John, Eve, Leo, Effie, Walter and two that died in infancy.  Sarah, Amanda, Effie and Walter are also now dead. Arthur V. married Amanda Neiswinger, who is now deceased.  He afterward married Amanda Minnick, by whom he has two children, viz: Wilbur and Willard. Belle married Thomas Nichol, and has four children, viz: Joseph, William, Ivy and Walter.  Martha married William Ehrbaugh, and has three children, Clarence, Ethel and Bertha. Cora married Augustus Haines, and has three children, Harlan, Maizy and Howard H.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Mumma are members of the German Baptist church. After his marriage Mr. Mumma moved upon his father's farm, which he managed for four years on shares, and at the end of this time he bought the place, which now contains 144 acres.  While during most of his life on the farm he was engaged in general agriculture, he has of late given considerable attention to the raising of fruit and to gardening.  He is a member of one of the oldest and best families in the county, and by his honorable and upright career, is most creditably sustaining its reputation.

 
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