CALEB THOMAS, [pages 1163-1164] one of the leading farmers and veterinary surgeons of Montgomery county, sprang from an old colonial family, which was of English origin. Isaac Thomas, his grandfather, came from South Carolina. He had two brothers, John and Abel, the latter of whom walked from South Carolina to Ohio with his family, having a pack horse to carry his effects. Isaac Thomas married Sarah Perkins, by whom he had the following children: John, William, Edward, Nehemiah, Ebenezer. Isaac, Elizabeth and Mary. Isaac Thomas removed with his family to Montgomery county in 1817, settling at Phillipsburg, his boys all securing land and settling near him. His daughters had married in South Carolina. Elizabeth married John Farmer, and Mary married Absalom Leeper, both families settling near Phillipsburg. At that time the country was a wilderness. Isaac Thomas entered part of the land on which Phillipsburg now stands, and cleared a farm of eighty acres, upon which he lived for many years and died an aged man. In religion he was a Quaker, and assisted to build the Quaker church at Phillipsburg, in which the Friends or Quakers worshiped for many years. He was a man of weight and influence and his family owned many acres of land in the vicinity in which he lived.
Isaac Thomas, son of the above Isaac, was born in South Carolina, February 25, 1804. He was of ancient Quaker stock and came with his parents to Ohio, settling in Montgomery county, at Becky Springs, near Dayton. In 1817 the family removed to Phillipsburg, In religion he was a Friend, by occupation a farmer, and married, October 26, 1827, Tamar Mendenhall, who was born September 9, 1802, being the first white child born in Union township, Miami county, Ohio. She was a daughter of Caleb and Susannah (Gardner) Mendenhall, the former of whom was born in Guilford county, N. C., in which county he married Susannah Gardner. Both families were of English ancestry and Quakers in religion. Caleb Mendenhall and wife had the following children: Miriam, Griffith, William, Caleb, Susan, Grace, Tamar, Gardner, Christy, Rhoda, Kirk, eleven in all, and all lived to mature years. .Caleb Mendenhall removed from North Carolina to Miami county, Ohio, settling in Union township. He cleared up a farm of 102 acres and built a brick dwelling upon his farm in 1816, which was one of the first brick houses, if not the first, in his township. In his latter days he moved to Richmond, Ind., and there bought a farm, upon which he died when eighty years of age. His wife died when about seventy-three years old. Mr. Mendenhall removed from the south on account of slavery, he being a lover of freedom and an abolitionist.
In 1821 Isaac Thomas entered ninety-two acres of land in Clay township, adjoining the present farm of his son Caleb, cleared the land and made a good home for his family. This farm he greatly improved by the erection of good buildings and in many other ways. Upon this land he never placed a mortgage, and it was still in the possession of his widow, Mrs. Tamar Thomas, at the time of her death, October 3, 1896. Their children were as follows: Permelia, Harriet, Milo, Caleb, Seth, Susannah and Irvin, twins, and Elam. Permelia married Isaac Goodyear, of Miami county; Harriet married H. Jones, of Darke county, Ohio. Isaac Thomas and his wife were Friends in religion, and he lived to be seventy-six years old, dying September 17, 1880, as the result of an accident. He was a man of steady habits, of strong character, and prospered by thrift and industry. He possessed where he lived 262 acres of land, and in addition thereto eighty acres in Miami county. He was a widely and well known man, and it may be said of him that he lived a truly conscientious life. In politics he was a republican. His aged widow is now ninety-four years of age, and is yet in the possession of her mental faculties.
Caleb Thomas, the subject of this sketch, was born February 23, 1834, on his father's farm. Receiving the customary common-school education of his time, he became well qualified to take care of himself, and to manage any business affairs that might fall into his hands. On June 23, 1859, he married Harriet Conman, who was born October 16, 1837, and is a daughter of George and Elizabeth (Hoover) Coffman, the former of whom was. of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent, and whose children were as follows: Jane, John, George, Sarah, Susan, Eliza, Rebecca, Harriet, Catherine and Ellen. Mr. Coffman was a wagon maker by trade and settled near Little York, Montgomery county, afterward removing to West Milton, Miami county, and at length to a farm near Phillipsburg, where he died at the age of seventy-two years, his wife dying when seventy-eight years old. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Mr. Coffman was an exhorter and class leader. He was a man of fine character and well known for his high standard of conduct.
Caleb Thomas, when a young man, went to Iowa, where he bought and ran a saw-mill in Jefferson county. After his marriage he returned to the farm, and 1863 removed to Clay township, and lived on his father's farm for three years. In 1865 he removed to a farm of his own, a fine tract of seventy-five acres, whose value he has greatly increased by the addition of excellent buildings and many other improvements. For the past thirty years he has practiced veterinary surgery, and has a large practice. In politics he is a republican and is an excellent citizen. He and his wife have had nine children, as follows: Charles W., who died when five years old; George J., who died at the age of thirteen months; John E., who died at the age of eight months; Adam S., who died at the age of twenty-seven years; Ellen E.; Ora M, ; Ward, who died when seventeen years old; Tiffin A. and Alva P. Since Mr. Thomas has lived in Montgomery he has belonged to the Christian church, assisting to erect the church at Phillipsburg.
SAMUEL TEETER, [pages 1164-1165] farmer, of Madison township, Montgomery county, Ohio, is a native of this county and was born August 10, 1834, a son of Abraham and Esther (Paulus) Teeter, natives of Bedford county, Pa., and of German descent. John Paulus, father of Mrs. Esther Teeter, was born in Bedford county, Pa., in 1779, and died in 1835; his wife was born in 1782. and died in 1843. Abraham Teeter, father of Samuel, was a shoemaker and also a farmer, and early after his marriage came to Ohio and settled in Montgomery county, at Little York, whence he removed to Elkhart county, Ind., in 1835, and located on a farm of 160 acres near Goshen, where he passed the remainder of his life, he and his wife, strange to relate, dying almost at the same moment, in the same year, 1839. Their children, in order of birth, were named John, David, Daniel, Andrew, Samuel and Jacob.
Samuel Teeter, the fifth of this family, was but a year old when taken to Indiana by his parents, and at their death he, David, Daniel and Andrew were brought back to Ohio to live with their maternal grandmother, in Madison township, Montgomery county. With her Samuel resided until he was ten years of age, when he went to live with David Brumbaugh. Mr. Brumbaugh died a year later, and Samuel continued to live with his widow, Catherine Brumbaugh, who was a daughter of John Vanimen, the pioneer of Madison township, until he was twenty-three years of age, in the meantime learning the blacksmith's trade. At the age of twenty-three Mr. Teeter married, February 25, 1858, Miss Mary Vanimen, who was born January 4, 1838, a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Bowman) Vanimen. Two years after marriage Mr. Teeter bought eighty acres of land in Madison township, upon which he lived for about twelve years, when he moved to Osborn, Greene county, and bought a farm of 121 acres. In 1874 he returned to Madison township, and settled on his present farm of 156 acres, where he has since lived and greatly prospered.
To Mr. and Mrs. Teeter have been born the following children: George W., William P., Charles E., Mary Martha, Albert and Ida Lizzie (twins), Barbara E., John, Jessie, Laura, Annie and Maud. Of this family, George W., a farmer of Randolph township, is married to Mary Flory and has one child; William P. is a carpenter and builder of Springfield, Mo., is married to Martha Reed, and has two children; Charles E., also a carpenter and builder, married Jennie Dishman, and has one child; Mary M. is married to Uriah Keener, of Madison township, and has one child; Ida Lizzie is married to Ambrose Landis, a school-teacher of Madison township, and has one child; Barbara E. is the wife of Isaac Brumbaugh, a farmer near Brookville, Ohio, and has two children; John is in a rolling-mill at Saint Louis, Mo., married Flora Meckley, and has one child. The remainder of Mr. Teeter's children are still unmarried and reside with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Teeter are devout members of the German Baptist church and have reared their children in the same faith. In politics Mr. Teeter is a democrat, and is in all respects a good and useful citizen.
WILLIAM UMBENHAUER, [pages 1165-1166] of Wengerlawn, Montgomery county, Ohio, an ex-soldier of the late Civil war, was born in Schuylkill county. Pa., May 14, 1841. He is a son of Daniel and Catherine Hinebaugh Umbenhauer. Reared at home, he received the ordinary common-school education of the day, and when twenty years of age, on July 20, 1861, enlisted at Harrisburg in company G, First Pennsylvania light infantry, under Capt. West, to serve three years or during the war. Re-enlisting on January 2, 1864, at Mountain Creek, Va., he enrolled the next day, and served in company F, same regiment, until finally discharged, June 10, 1865, at Harrisburg, Pa., John F. Campbell being his captain during his second period of enlistment. The entire period of his service was three years and eleven months.
Mr. Umbenhauer was in the hardest-fought battles of the campaigns before Richmond; among them the Seven Days' battle, the battle of James river; the second battle of Bull Run, of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Bristow Station, and Gettysburg, the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House and Cold Harbor, and in front of Petersburg. Thus he participated in the hardest-fought battles of the Potomac, and was in the fierce artillery duel at the battle of Gettysburg, when four hundred gunners, two hundred on each side, were in action at once, this being one of the hottest engagements he was in during the entire war. In 1864 he was promoted to corporal for meritorious service, and was a corporal when discharged. He was fortunate enough not to be wounded or taken prisoner during his entire period of service, but was sick in hospital of typhoid fever for a short time in 1861, before he had participated in any battle, being in Washington City and in Baltimore while in hospital. Mr. Umbenhauer was in all the battles, campaigns and marches in which his regiment engaged, and was always an active soldier, performing promptly and cheerfully the duties laid upon him.
After the war was over he returned to Schuylkill county, Pa., locating at Pine Grove, and there married Catherine Fry, who was born in that county April 20, 1847, and was a daughter of Henry and Sarah (Wren) Fry. The Fry family was of German origin. To Henry Fry and his wife there were born the following children: Harriet, William, John, Sarah C., Rebecca and David. John was in the Civil war, and served three years in the western army.
After his marriage Mr. Umbenhauer settled in Pine Grove, but removed to Miamisburg, Ohio, in 1869, finally removing to Wengerlawn in 1879. Here he has been engaged in various kinds of business and has purchased valuable residence property. He is a member in good standing of Parmalee Horn post, G. A. R., of Lewisburg and West Baltimore. In politics Mr. Umbenhauer is a republican, and is a member of the United Brethren church.
The family of Mr. Umbenhauer is of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock. Daniel Umbenhauer, his father, was the father of the following children: Francis, Mary, Sarah, William, Christian and Catherine. Daniel Umbenhauer came to Ohio with his son William, and died in Miamisburg at the age of sixty-nine. The children of William Umbenhauer are as follows: Sarah L., Francis H., George Clayton, Gertrude C., Amanda C., Emma and Ida M. The family is of excellent standing and reputation among the citizens of the county.
WILLIAM WAGNER, [pages 1166-1167] a prominent farmer of Mad River township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Dayton township, now Mad River township, Montgomery county, December 15, 1822. He is a son of Phillip and Esther (Bowman) Wagner, the former of whom was born in Rockingham county, Va., near the natural bridge, and the latter in Pennsylvania. Philip Wagner settled in 1809 on the farm on which his son William now lives, purchasing originally 300 acres, paying therefor $5 per acre. He had been for five years with Col. Johnson as his assistant, distributing supplies and rations among the Miami Indians. When the war of 1812 broke out he enlisted in the American army under Gen. Hull, and was with that commander when he surrendered Detroit to the British, The British set their prisoners free, to find their way home through the wilderness as best they could, and to be hunted down and massacred by the Indians; but Mr. Wagner was among the fortunate ones, and found his way back to his farm. His military services being no longer required, he began clearing his farm and lived there until his death in 1851, when he was sixty-eight years of age. His wife survived him nine years, and died in her sixty-ninth year. She was a member of the Dunkard church, her father being a Dunkard preacher. Mr. Wagner was a prominent man in his day, holding various township offices. He was for some years largely engaged in stock raising, as well as in farming.
Philip Wagner and his wife were the parents of eight children, five sons and three daughters, as follows: John, Benjamin, William, Philip, Jacob, Sarah, Mary and Catherine. Three of the eight are still living, viz: William, Philip and Jacob.
The paternal grandfather of William Wagner was Philip Wagner, a native of Rockingham county, Va., and a soldier in the Revolutionary war. In 1794 he went down the Ohio river from Pittsburg to Cincinnati on a flat boat, Cincinnati then containing few buildings except the barracks. Not being able to find shelter in that city, he went to Newport, Ky., and after remaining there a few months went up the Miami river to the mouth of Tom's Run, near Middletown, and there bought a farm. This farm he sold in 1804 or 1805, and bought another just west of the present location of the soldiers' home, upon which he lived until his death, in 1815, when he was about seventy-five years old. He was a man of unusual physical strength, and of great determination. He and his wife reared a family of eight children.
The maternal grandfather of William Wagner was named John Bowman. He was a native of Pennsylvania, a farmer by occupation, and a Dunkard in religious belief. About 1794 he came to Ohio, settling in 1805 near Salem, where there had already collected quite a colony from Pennsylvania. Upon the farm he purchased there he lived the remainder of his life, dying when eighty years of age.
William Wagner, the subject of this sketch, has lived on his present farm all his life. The place of his birth was at the crossroads just east of his present house. In his youthful days he was accustomed to see all kinds of wild game roaming the woods, deer being frequently seen in groups. He received his early education in the old-fashioned subscription school, and in the first school-house in the district, which was built on his father's farm. Remaining at home until September 10, 1848, he was on that day married to Miss Mary Eliza Thorp, daughter of Veniah and Jane (Van Cleve) Thorp. To this. marriage there was born one child, Esther, who died when she was fifteen years of age. Mrs. Wagner died October 12, 1895, at the age of sixty-eight, she and her husband having lived together forty-seven years. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, a most. excellent woman and a devoted wife. Mr. Wagner is a member of the order of Odd Fellows, and as a republican he served many years as trustee of his township, before, during and after the war. For the last thirty years he has entrusted the active management of his farm to a tenant, and during this long time Mr. Wagner has been engaged in dealing in real estate. Beside the farm upon which he lives he also owns a fine farm of 250 acres in Van Buren county, Iowa, where his two brothers are now living.
SAMUEL WAITMAN, [pages 1167-1168] one of the pioneer farmers of Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Washington county, Pa., January 27, 1815, and is of German descent.
Jacob Waitman, his father, was born in the Keystone state in 1768, was reared a farmer and weaver, and was married in his native state to Miss Margaret Gelsinger. He brought his family to Ohio in 1827, and settled in Randolph township, Montgomery county, on ten acres of land, built a log house and cleared up his farm, but his life thereon was but short, as he died in 1831, a member of the Lutheran church. To Mr. and Mrs. Waitman were born the following named children: Margaret, Kate, John, Susan, Elizabeth, Lydia, Jacob, Benjamin, Samuel, Mary and Rose Ann.
Samuel Waitman was about twelve years of age when he came from Pennsylvania to Ohio with his father's family, of whom the male members walked all the way, young Samuel trudging manfully along with the others, and crossing the Alleghany mountains in November through a raging snowstorm. Being now arrived in Montgomery county and being one of the youngest of the pioneers, he had the privilege of attending the subscription school of Randolph township for the period of two weeks, the work of clearing away the forest calling him from his studies. Of this kind of work he did a great amount, as he assisted in clearing up many acres for the neighbors, working by the day or month. At the age of twenty years he married, April 30, 1835, in Clay township, Montgomery county, Miss Esther Linda Snell, a native of Germantown, Montgomery county, born February 18, 1814, a daughter of George and Kate (Swank) Snell. George Snell was born in Pennsylvania and was a pioneer of Warren county, Pa.; was a cooper by trade, and to him and his wife were born the following children: Esther Linda, Elizabeth, John, Eli, Lorenzo Dow, Henry, William, Julia A., Samuel, Franklin and Ellen J.
After marriage, Samuel Waitman located near Arlington, Montgomery county, where he worked out one year, and then for eight years for Jacob Overholser, in Randolph township; he then bought two acres in the woods, built a log house, cleared off the place, worked industriously, and prospered, adding to his farm from time to time until he now owns a fertile farm of fifty-five acres, with a comfortable dwelling. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Waitman sixteen children have been born, most of whom lived to reach maturity, and of whom seven are still living. Their births occurred in the order following: Harriet, Henry, Catherine, Lorenzo Dow, who died at the age of forty-seven; Susan, Caroline, Elizabeth (deceased) and Sarah, twins; Margaret, who died young; Mary Ann, who died when twenty-seven years old; Lydia A., who died in infancy; Amy R.,. who died at the age of two years; John and Maria, twins, both of whom died in infancy; Salomie, also deceased, and another, not named. The progeny of the parents of this family has been further increased by the birth of twenty-nine grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren. The mother of this large family was called from earth March 25, 1891, a devoted member of the church of the Brethren in Christ, of which Mr. Waitman also has long been a member. In politics Mr. Waitman was first a democrat, then became a whig, and after the formation of the republican party united with its ranks. He is one of the trustees of the Worman cemetery. He certainly deserves well of his fellow-citizens, as he has done as much as any man in the community toward clearing away the dense growth of forest and in bringing his township up to its present fruitful condition.
JOHN 0. WARNER, [pages 1168-1169] farmer, of Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born February 18, 1835, and descends from one of the old pioneer families of the county.
John Warner, his grandfather, was born in Pennsylvania, there married, and had a family of nine children, viz: John, Conrad, Jacob, George, Mary, Catherine, Susan, Margaret and Elizabeth. In 1808 he came to Ohio, settled in Randolph township, Montgomery county, on the land now occupied by David Stoner, cleared the tract of the timber and wrought out a good farm. He was a sturdy pioneer, of exemplary character, lived to be quite an aged man, and died a member of the German Baptist church.
George Warner, son of John and father of John 0. Warner, was also a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1804, and was a lad of four years when brought to Ohio by his parents. He grew to manhood on his father's farm, which he largely assisted in developing as his own strength developed. His schooling was necessarily a matter of delay, as neither schools nor teachers were to be had in the wilderness where his lot was cast, and not until after marriage did he find a school in which to acquire the art of penmanship. But he became a thorough farmer, and at maturity married Miss Catherine Olinger, a native of Maryland and a daughter of John Olinger, then residing in Montgomery county, Ohio. Mr. Warner, on marrying, first located in Randolph township, then moved to Clay township and settled on 121 acres, adjoining on the west, the farm now occupied by his son, John 0. This tract Mr. Warner cleared up from the woods and converted into a productive farm, on which he passed the remainder of his life. He died at the age of sixty-five years, a member of the German Baptist church, an honored man and the father of three children—Annie, Samuel and John 0.
John 0. Warner, son of George, was reared on his father's farm and enjoyed very fair advantages for an education. March 10, 1856, he married, in Miami county, Miss Elizabeth Gump, a native of that county, born in 1836, a daughter of Daniel and Margaret (Karn) Gump. The father, Daniel Gump, was a native of Pennsylvania, was married in that state, and had born to him the following children, beside Mrs. Warner: Daniel, David, George, Jeremiah, John, Henry, Jacob and Mary. On coming to Ohio Mr. Gump settled on 200 acres of land in Miami county, cleared it from the woods, made a good home, and later bought sufficient land in Indiana to present each of his children with 160 acres. He lived to the age of seventy-two years and died a member of the German Baptist church.
After his marriage Mr. Warner lived a year or so on the farm of his father-in-law in Miami county, then bought 121 acres of said farm, to which he later added tracts of forty acres and twenty acres, across the county line, in Clay township, Montgomery county, his present homestead. Mrs. Elizabeth Warner was called from earth in 1880, leaving behind, to sorrow for her death, three children, Ida, George and Annie. In 1882 Mr. Warner married Mrs. Susan Shelby, widow of Christian Shelby, and daughter of Andrew and Susan (Gibble) Horner. This lady, by her first marriage, was the mother of one child, John, who died at the age of eight years. Mr. and Mrs. Warner are devout members of the German Baptist church and enjoy a high position in the regard of their neighbors.
SAMUEL H. WEAVER [pages 1169-1170] (deceased) was born on his father's farm in Jackson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, September 7, 1860, a son of Daniel and Mary (Heineke) Weaver, and was baptized in the Lutheran church November 30, 1860.
Daniel Weaver, his father, was a native of Pennsylvania, of German descent, and came to Ohio a young man. Here he was first married, in Montgomery county, to a Miss Repnogle, who bore him one son, Philip. After her death Mr. Weaver married Miss Mary Heineke, and this union was blessed with two children—Lewis A. and Samuel H. Daniel Weaver was a substantial farmer of Jackson township, and, being an early settler, cleared up from the wilderness the farm on which Mrs. Samuel H. Weaver now lives. He died in March, 1878, a member of the Lutheran church and an esteemed citizen.
Samuel H. Weaver passed his earlier years on his father's farm, receiving a good common-school education, which he supplemented by extensive reading. He became a well-informed man, well prepared for mercantile life, and later entered upon various branches of business. On reaching his majority he married, December 25, 1881, at Miamisburg, Ohio, Miss Mary J. Smith, who was born July 16, 1857, in Montgomery county, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth A. (Hennemyer) Smith.
Jacob Smith, father of Mrs. Weaver, was a native of Maryland, where he early lost his father through death, and was yet a boy when he came to Montgomery county, Ohio. Here he grew to manhood and prospered, and first married Susan Loman, to which union were born three children—Sarah A., Nancy J. and Martin C. His second wife, Elizabeth A. Hennemyer, blessed him with six children - Henry, George C., John F., Celia E., Mary J. and Samuel E.
After marriage, Mr. Weaver and. his wife lived for a few years on the Weaver homestead, and he then engaged in other industries, becoming proprietor of a saw-mill, and having also an interest in a cider-mill and a tile factory. He was quite successful in these lines, developing a marked faculty for business. As a democrat Mr. Weaver served as township trustee for two terms, and was a member of the school board for five years. He and his wife were members of the Lutheran church, of which he was a deacon, and for two years superintendent of the Sunday-school, He was energetic and efficient in all his undertakings, especially active in church work, and was chairman of the building committee on the erection of the new Slyfer church edifice, for which he drew the plans. He was a member and the secretary of the Masonic lodge at Farmersville, and was also a member of Oak lodge, No. 625, I. 0. 0. F., at New Lebanon. His lamented death occurred July 31, 1896, of typhoid fever, contracted while on a visit to Alabama, and his loss was deeply deplored by the entire community in which he had lived. He left a wife and four children—Cora L., Harry H., Emma C. and Orpha J.
JOHN J. WEAVER, [pages 1170-1171] a well-known farmer and esteemed citizen of Jackson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, is a descendant, paternally, of an old colonial German family, and of an equally old German family on the maternal side.
Jacob Weaver, his paternal grandfather, was born in Germany, and became a farmer and distiller in Shenandoah county, Va., where his death took place. Of his children the names of the following are remembered: John, Michael, Jacob, and Mrs. Hickel. Of these, Jacob, the father of John J., was also a native of Germany, and married in Shenandoah county, Va., Catherine Jordan. He served in the war of 1812, and he and his wife, after their marriage, lived in Shenandoah county, at Hawkinstown, until 1816, when they came to Ohio, and for about fifteen years lived on a farm in Greene county. In the winter of 1834-5 they moved to Madison township, Montgomery county, where Jacob Weaver bought 140 acres of land, of which but a small portion was cleared. He devoted himself. with steady industry, to the improvement and development of his land and converted it into one of the best farms in the township. He died here at the age of seventy-eight years, honored and respected throughout the entire community. His children were named, in order of birth, John J., George (deceased), Eliza, Martin, Preston, Levi, Jacob and Sophia.
John J. Weaver was born in Shenandoah county, Va., June 23, 1816, and was but four months old when brought by his parents to Ohio. He was early inured to the toil of the frontier farm, and his education was secured by attendance at the old log school-house of his district during three months in winter from the age of twelve until nineteen years old. In those primitive days oats in bulk brought six cents per bushel, corn eight cents on the ground, or ten cents when hauled to Xenia, five miles away, and hogs, when dressed, one and one-half cents per pound. Young Weaver, when a boy, wore buckskin garments, and the traveling cordwainer made the shoes for the family, while many other articles of apparel were improvised to meet exigencies. Nevertheless, pioneer life had its pleasures and was greatly enjoyed by the old settlers. Farm life was health-giving and its toil contributed to the development of sturdy sinew and muscle and of clear and active brain.
The marriage of Mr. Weaver took place March 29, 1838, at New Lebanon, Montgomery county, Ohio, with Miss Elizabeth Brouse, who was born in Canton, Stark county, Ohio, June 5, 1821, the ceremony being performed by Rev. Elijah Kuhns, of the Reformed church. Mr. Weaver, after marriage, lived one year on his father's farm in Madison township, then removed to Perry township, bought a lot of two acres and a cooper shop, and there followed that trade for three years; he then engaged in the same business in New Lebanon for ten years, and finally settled in Jackson township. Here he bought a farm of 176 acres, which he improved and successfully cultivated until 1871, when he came to his present farm of 104 acres, in the same township. On this he has erected substantial farm buildings, and in 1881 built a modern and convenient residence, his farm being in itself a model and unsurpassed by any other farm of its proportions in the county. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Weaver have been born the following-named children: Mary C., Eliza J., George W. (deceased), John Hamilton, Jacob Ladan, William, Elizabeth A., Preston P., Lev; L. (deceased), Otto M., Clara B. (deceased) and Dora Etta. Mr. and Mrs. Weaver are members of the German Reformed church, of which Mr. Weaver has been a deacon and elder for many years.
Mrs. Weaver is a daughter of John and Mary (Adams) Brouse, and John Brouse was a son of Michael and Elizabeth Brouse, of German descent. Michael was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He settled in Chippewa, Stark (but now in Summit) county, Ohio, on the then frontier, and lived to the patriarchal age of 102 years, dying at Chippewa. His children were named John, Michael, Philip, William, Elizabeth, Rachel, Polly and Leah. The father of Mrs. Weaver, John Brouse, was born in Shenandoah county, Va., was reared in New Market, that county, was a potter by trade, and married Mary Adams, a native of Maryland, of German parentage. From Virginia Mr. Bronse came to Ohio, conducted a pottery at Canton, then at Xenia, and in 1827 settled in New Lebanon, Montgomery county, where he also established his trade. He afterward lived in Lewiston, Ohio, and for a short time in Indiana, but ended his days in New Lebanon, at the age of seventy-seven years, a member of the Lutheran church. His children were named Elkanon, Theresa C., John A., Sarah C., Mary C., Henry A., Elizabeth, William and George.
WILLIAM S. WELSH, [pages 1171-1172] one of the best-known farmers of Clay township, was born six miles north of Dayton, Montgomery county, Ohio, December 15, 1826, and received his education in the old-time public or district schools.
James Welsh, his father, was a native of Perry county, Pa., of Irish parentage, and married, in his native state, Margaret Hann, daughter of Peter Hann, of German descent. To James Welsh and wife were born the following children: Eliza, born in Pennsylvania; Mary, William S., Margaret, Sarah (who died young), Esther (who died at the age of fourteen years), Elizabeth, James and Catherine, all born in Ohio, In 1823 Mr. Welsh brought his wife and eldest child to Ohio, using a wagon team as a means of conveyance, stopped a year in Warren county, and then came to Montgomery and settled on fifty acres six miles north of Dayton. The year following, he sold this property and bought ninety-five acres a mile and a half west of Union, in Randolph township, also bought eighty acres in Miami county, and 120 acres in Wells county, Ind. He died in Montgomery county, Ohio, at the age of fifty-five years, a member of the United Brethren church, well-to-do as to worldly goods, and left an unsullied reputation for honesty and charitable disposition.
William S. Welsh was reared a farmer, and on November 21, 1850, married Miss Elizabeth Winger, who was born in Randolph township, Montgomery county, in September, 1831, a daughter of Christian and Mary (Klepinger) Wenger. They first located on the Welsh homestead, where they resided for three years; then moved to the Wenger homestead, lived there about eight months; then went to Monroe township, Darke county, and remained there about eighteen months. Returning to Montgomery county, they bought the farm in Clay township then occupied by Levi Gilbert, on which they lived four years; then lived near Laura four and a half years, and finally bought and settled on the farm of 172 acres formerly owned by Henry Limbert, of which they took possession in 1865. Here they lived until February, 1890, when they moved to a farm near Phillipsburg, on which Mr. Welch has erected modern buildings.
To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Welsh have been born the following children, in the order here given: Mary C., born January 26, 1852—died an infant on the Welsh homestead in Randolph township; John H., born on the same homestead June 21, 1853; Martha A., born in Darke county July 20, 1855; Sarah E., born in Randolph township, Montgomery county, August 26, 1857; Eliza J., born October 11, 1862—died at the age of eleven years in Miami county; Maggie A., born November 10, 1864, in Clay township, Montgomery county, where the three following were also born: William W., February 25, 1867; James F., January 17, 1871, now married to Rettie Good; and Floy L., November 16, 1874. Of this large family, John H. married Alice Binkley, who died September 28, 1890, leaving one child; the husband then married Minnie Ella Eckman, and is now in the hardware business at Dayton; Martha A. is married to Newton Binkley, a farmer, and is the mother of four children; Sarah E. was the wife of Michael Weist, a farmer, but died without issue; Maggie A. is married to George Smoot, a farmer, of Brookville, and has four children; William W., a farmer, married Salomie Peffley, and is the father of one child. The Welsh family have a fine record in Montgomery county, as well as elsewhere, for usefulness and public spirit, and their standing as citizens and members of society is unexcelled.
WILLIAM WENGER, [pages 1172-1173] a thrifty farmer Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, and a son of one of the township's pioneers, is native here, and was born March 4, 1851, on the old Wenger homestead near Harrisburg, a son of Christian and Mary (Klepinger) Wenger. He received a very good common-school training, but a still better training in agriculture, as he was reared to manhood on his father's farm. He married, in Clay township, Miss Mary Ann Baker, who was born in this township May 9, 1858, a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Niswonger) Baker, well-known neighbors and early settlers.
Samuel Baker, the father of Mrs. Wenger, was a son of Michael Baker, a pioneer who settled in Clay township in 1805; Samuel was born on the Baker homestead, was reared to farming, and to his marriage with Miss Elizabeth Niswonger were born ten children, viz: Catherine, Lucinda, Oliver, Warren, Cyrus, Zachariah, Elizabeth, Winfield, Emma, dead, and Mary A. (Mrs. Wenger). The father of this family, Samuel Baker, was a man well-to-do, and lived on the old homestead until his death in the faith of the German Baptist church, of which he had been a member for many years. He had also served as a school director for several terms, and had the confidence of the entire community.
At his marriage, Mr. Wenger settled on his present farm, which then comprised but no acres, but, as has been said, he was a skillful farmer, and well knew how to handle his land. He soon had his original farm all under a high state of cultivation, making it profitable in every direction, carefully attended to every detail of its tillage, and added to it until he now owns 300 acres of as good land as may be found in the township, improved with a modern dwelling and substantial and conveniently arranged farm buildings. Mr. and Mrs. Wenger have had born to their marriage two children—Stanley C, and Bessie E.—whom they have educated in the best possible manner, and have reared in their own religious faith, that of the German Baptist church. In politics Mr. Wronger is a democrat, and is now serving as a member of the school board. He is a man of strong mental endowment and great force of character, and has made the impress of his mentality on the community in which he lives. He is respected for his unbending integrity and is commended for his public spirit, as he is ever ready to aid liberally with his means both church and school and all public enterprises calculated to promote the general welfare and to advance the prosperity of his township and county.
HENRY WESSEL, [pages 1173-1174] a leading businessman of Farmersville, Montgomery county, Ohio, and also a prominent politician and prosperous farmer, was born in Oldenburg, Germany, August 15, 1843, a son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Taper) Wessel, also natives of Oldenburg.
Benjamin Wessel was born in 1812, was a gilder by trade, and in 1865 came to America, whither his surviving children had preceded him, these children being Henry, Joseph and Benjamin. Mr. Wessel settled in Cincinnati, where he worked at his trade for many years and became a well-to-do citizen. In religion he is a Catholic, and is a trustee and councilman in his church, and in politics he is a democrat. As a citizen he enjoys the respect of all who know him, and is now passing his days in quiet retirement.
Henry Wessel left the parental roof in Germany at the age of eight years and learned the carpenter's trade. At the age of eighteen years he embarked on a sailing vessel at the port of Alkaman, in Holland, bound for America, and after a voyage of five weeks landed in Baltimore in August, 1861. From this city he came to Ohio at once, located in Cincinnati, and there worked at his trade until 1872, when he went to Texas and thence to Missouri, and for two years worked in the car-shops of Saint Louis. In 1876 he located in Dayton, Ohio, where he engaged in the saloon business. In 1892 he removed to Farmersville, where he bought business and residence property, and for four years was again engaged in the saloon business. He now employs his time in the improvement of his farm in German township.
Mr. Wessel has been twice married—first, in Cincinnati, in 1865,10 Caroline Hineagor, a native of that city, who bore him three children, who were named Benjamin, Josephine and Joseph. Mrs. Wessel died in her native city in 1869, and Mr. Wessel's second marriage was celebrated in Dayton with Miss Elizabeth Heffner, a native of the Gem City and a daughter of Frederick Heffner, a well-known citizen.
In politics Mr. Wessel is strongly democratic, and on the money question is an advocate of free silver. He cast his first presidential vote, in 1864, for George B. McClellan, and has always been active in advancing the interests of his party. He is a factor of no small importance in the political affairs of the township and county, and his influence is always felt in party councils and at the polls.
SAMUEL WIGGIM, [pages 1174-1175] a leading farmer of Mad River township, was born April 26, 1823, at Centerville, Montgomery county, Ohio, and is a son of Andrew and Elizabeth (Lytle) Wiggim, both natives of county Tyrone, Ireland. Andrew and Elizabeth Wiggim were the parents of seven children, as follows: John, Ann (wife of John Watson), Hugh, Robert, Andrew, Lytle and Samuel. The last two are the only ones that are now living, though all but Robert lived to be more than sixty years of age, and the daughter, at the time of her death, was eighty-one.
Andrew Wiggim in early life worked at any employment that came to his hand, and grew to manhood thus occupied. He married in Ireland, and in that country his three eldest children were born. He had a common-school education, and when he came to the United States, in 1817, he settled in Lancaster county. Pa., working there, as in his native county of Tyrone, at various occupations. In 1821 he came to the state of Ohio, living for a short time in Piqua, removing thence to Montgomery county, and settling at Centerville. Living in the vicinity of that place until 1834, he then removed to the farm upon which his son Samuel now lives, and upon that farm he spent the remainder of his life. He died August 10, 1858, at the age of seventy-five. His wife was born in 1782 and died November 18, 1864., They were members of the Presbyterian church.
The paternal grandfather of Samuel Wiggim was also a native of county Tyrone (Tir Eogain, Tir Owen, Owen's country, finally Tyrone), was a farmer in his native county and died therein. The maternal grandfather was also a native of Ireland, and died there.
Samuel Wiggim was born in Van Buren township, Montgomery county, Ohio, or rather in what afterward became Van Buren township, for at that time the county had not been divided into townships. His birthplace was near the present site of Centerville, and he lived there until he was eleven years of age. He has lived in Mad River township ever since 1834, a period of sixty-two years, and has been a resident of the county for seventy-three years, or ever since he was born. After his father's death, he bought the interests of the other heirs and has since then kept the home place in his possession.
On November 9, 1854, he was married to Miss Mary Ann Hawker, daughter of Frederick and Sarah Hawker. To this marriage there were born five children, as follows: Margaret, Mary Belle, Effie May, Clark and North, only the last two of whom are now living, Clark married Miss Eudora Neibel, of Shelby county, Ind., and North lives at home, unmarried. Mrs. Mary Ann Wiggim died February 9, 1875, and Mr. Wiggim married for his second wife Miss Susan Elizabeth Neibel, on April 25, 1878. He and his wife are members of the First Reformed church of Dayton, which was organized in 1833. As a democrat, Mr. Wiggim served as township trustee a number of years and as assessor three years. His farm contains 100 acres of land and lies about four miles northeast of the court house, on the Valley pike.
The parents of Mrs. Wiggim were among the first settlers of the county, locating in Miami township, and her father's parents settled there in 1810, when her lathes was only five years old. William and Susan (Hammaker) Neibel, her father and mother, were natives of Pennsylvania, the latter having been born in Harrisburg. They were the parents of six children, four sons and two daughters, four of whom are still living, viz: Daniel W., David L., Joseph H. D. and Susan Elizabeth. For a number of years William Neibel held the office of trustee of the township in which he lived, and also of justice of the peace. His father, John Neibel, was a native of Germany, came to the United States early in the present century, and served in the war of 1812.
STEPHEN WYSONG, [pages 1175-1176] farmer of Perry township, now retired, is a descendant of one of the early pioneers, and springs from German ancestry, who came early from Virginia. Jacob Wysong, his grandfather, was born in Franklin county, Va., and by his wife had eleven children, as follows: Stephen, Charles, John Jacob, Henry, Valentine, Joseph, Matthew, Robert, Lewis, who died at the age of ten years; Elizabeth and Lydia. In religious faith Jacob Wysong was a Dunkard, or German Baptist, and a man of most exemplary character. He came to Ohio in 1818 by means of a four-horse team and wagon, and settled on 200 acres of land in Perry township, which he cleared up from the woods. He was a successful farmer and an honorable citizen, and died when sixty-four years of age.
Charles Wysong, father of Stephen, was born October 25, 1802, in Franklin county, Va., and was sixteen years of age when brought to Ohio by his parents. He married Margaret Gustin, daughter of Elkahana Gustin, who was one of the pioneers of Warren county, Ohio, and lived for a short time in Perry township, Montgomery county, and then returned to Warren county. He was a member of what was called the New Light or Disciple church. Charles Wysong, after his marriage, lived a few years on the Wysong homestead. At length he purchased a farm containing eighty acres in Preble county, cleared it of its timber, and lived on it until 1873, dying in West Alexandria in 1889, at the age of eighty-six years. He was very strong in body, and of an equally vigorous, mental and moral character. In religious belief he was a German Baptist, and contributed liberally of his means to the church. He followed in the footsteps of his father, and the meetings of his religious brethren were in the early days held in his house. Mr. Wysong was a hardworking and industrious man, and made and laid brick for eighteen years. He was a natural mechanic, and made his own tools, plows, etc. He for a time followed pump-making in Alexandria, and also made wagons and other implements. He was held in high regard by his neighbors, and it may be truly said of him that his word was as good as his bond. His children were as follows: Hannah, Harrison, Jemimah, Stephen, Dorothea, Lydia, Rachael, Margaret, Jacob and Annie. From his father, Jacob, and Jacob's brother, Valentine, and from Capt. Joseph, descended all the Wysongs of Montgomery county.
Stephen Wysong, whose name opens this sketch, was born November 3, 1831, on the Wysong homestead in Perry township, and was one year old when his parents removed to Preble county and settled in Twin township. Brought up on the farm, he received but little education, and this little in the old-fashioned subscription schools. He married, November 15, 1856, when twenty-five years of age, in Perry township, Susan King, who was born October 25, 1837, in that township, a daughter of William and Lydia (Baker) King.
William King came from Virginia, was of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock, and had children as follows: Annie, John, James, Elizabeth, Jane, Sarah, Susan, Catherine, William and Lydia. William King settled in Perry township after the birth of his second child, John, cleared up a farm of fifty acres, which he sold, and purchased 100 acres in the same township, upon which he lived until his death. He was a member of the United Brethren church, one of the hardy and much-respected pioneers, and died in 1863, aged sixty-two years. His widow died July 20, 1896, in her ninety-second year.
Mr. and Mrs. Wysong, after their marriage, settled on eighty acres of land in Perry township, and a few years later Mr. Wysong rented this farm and located on a place on Wolf creek, where they lived for about eleven years, when they removed to their present property, in 1886. Mr. Wysong has been a member of the German Baptist church for about thirty-five years, and has been a trustee of his church almost as long. He and his wife united with the church in the same year, 1862. He has prospered through his industry, and has earned a place among the most esteemed citizens of the community in which he lives. Mr. and Mrs. Wysong reared Annie C. Aucherman from the time she was four months old, her mother having died; brought her up as if she were their own child and gave her a good education. She became the wife of W. H. Riley, of Vandalia, Ohio, and died July 26, 1896.
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