JESSE ARNOLD, [pages 1176-1177] a resident of Phillipsburg, Montgomery county, Ohio, and an ex-soldier of the Civil war, was born in this county, May 20, 1845, and is a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Andrews) Arnold, the former of whom came from Rockingham county, Va., and was of ante-Revolutionary German descent.
Jesse Arnold was reared to farming and was educated in the common schools. At the age of eighteen years and seven months, he enlisted at Dayton, Ohio, January 1, 1864, in company C, Sixty-third Ohio volunteer infantry, to serve three years, but was honorably discharged at Camp Dennison, Ohio, July 28, 1865, owing to the close of the war. He fought through the great Atlanta campaign— at Resaca, Kingston, Dalton, Tunnel Hill, Kenesaw Mountain, Dallas, Atlanta and Jonesboro; he was also at Sugar Creek Gap and Crystal Springs, and at the latter place he was sent to the rear for disability. He rejoined the regiment at Goldsboro, N. C., and served until the close of the war. He was always a good soldier and performed his full duty.
After the war, Mr. Arnold returned to Ohio and married Miss Rebecca J. Walker, who was born in Preble county in 1846, a daughter of Thomas and Phebe (Wikle) Walker, the parents of the former having been of Pennsylvania-German descent and old settlers of Preble county. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold has been blessed with one child, Dora. Mr. Arnold is a member of Phillipsburg lodge, No, 594, I. 0. 0. F., in which he has passed all the chairs, including that of noble grand; he is also an honored member of Foster Marshall post, G. A. R., of Brookville, and in politics is a republican. Both as a citizen and as a soldier he has amply earned the high esteem in which he is held by his friends and neighbors.
JACOB ANSPACH, [pages 1177-1178] of Chambersburg, Ohio, is an old settler of Butler township, Montgomery county, and a native of Pennsylvania. On both sides of his family he springs from German stock. His remote ancestors were among the early colonial settlers of Pennsylvania.
George Anspach, his father, was born in Berks county. Pa., in 1764, was a farmer by occupation, and married Magdalena Peter, by whom he had the following children: John, Jonathan, Joseph, Daniel, Jacob, Elizabeth, Catherine, Magdalena, Sarah and Lydia. In 1833 Mr. Anspach came to Ohio, settling in Montgomery county. He made the journey with teams and was three weeks on the way. Upon arriving in Montgomery county he bought, in company with John Balleman, a farm consisting of 200 acres of land. On this farm he lived one year, and then sold his interest to Mr. Balleman, and bought a farm of 120 acres in Miami township. This farm he greatly improved by clearing it of its timber. He was a democrat in politics and while living in Pennsylvania held several minor offices, among them being that of assessor. He was a man of integrity and stood well in the estimation of all. He and his wife were members of the Lutheran church, and he lived to be seventy-seven years of age, dying in 1864.
Jacob Anspach was born March 19, 1822, in Berks county, Pa. Receiving but a limited education, he grew up on the farm, learned all the details of farm work and adopted that vocation for life. He was eleven years old when brought to Ohio by his parents, and well remembers the long journey. When he was twenty-seven years old he married Elizabeth Breahm, the ceremony being performed June 20, 1848. She was a daughter of Henry and Mary (Lies) Breahm, the former of whom was born in Berks county, Pa., and was a weaver by trade. He married in Pennsylvania, and his children were George, Henry, John, Rebecca, Wilhelmina, Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth and Martha. Mr. Breahm removed to Ohio in 1838, settling two and a half miles east of Miamisburg, on a good farm of 100 acres, to which he subsequently added thirteen acres. He was a hardworking, pioneer citizen, and in old age retired to the village of Miamisburg, where he died in May, 1885, aged eighty-five years. He and his wife were members of the German Reform church, and he was an elder of his church for many years. He was a man of excellent character and was highly esteemed.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Anspach lived for two years on his father's farm, and then rented a farm near Centerville, on which they lived for three years. In 1856 they bought eighty-seven and a half acres in Butler township, which Mr. Anspach improved with good buildings and made a good home. Upon this farm he lived until 1883, when he removed to his present homestead, which consists of thirteen acres, on which stands an attractive residence. Mr. and Mrs. Anspach are the parents of the following children: George, Mary, Franklin, Lucetta, John, Albert, Joseph, Emma, Ida. The parents are members of the Lutheran church, and Mr. Anspach has been a deacon for many years. For the past ten years he has been an elder in his church. He assisted largely to erect the present edifice and ever since the church was established has been a liberal supporter thereof.
In politics Mr. Anspach has been and is a prohibitionist, and has always been an honored and respected citizen, whose probity of character and good qualities have given him the confidence of the community where he has lived so many years.
NOAH BAKER, [pages 1178-1179] one of the best known citizens of Brookville, Ohio, is a descendant of an early pioneer family of Montgomery county, his ancestors having been among the first settlers in Clay township. Michael Baker, his grandfather, was a native of Somerset county, Pa., a farmer by occupation and married Catherine Smucker, a native of the same county. The children of Michael and Catherine Baker were Susan, Jacob, Ann, Mary, Elizabeth, Catherine, John, Michael, Benjamin and Samuel, the first two born in Pennsylvania, and the others in Montgomery county, Ohio.
It was in 1805 that Michael Baker with his wife and two children, Susan and Jacob, came from Somerset county, Pa., to Montgomery county, Ohio, shipping all their goods at Pittsburg on a boat to be thus taken down the Ohio river, and on the way down the river they were all spoiled by water. Mr. Baker settled in the woods one mile northeast from the present site of Brookville, near a good spring of water, and also near the camp of a tribe of Miami Indians. These Indians he found very peaceable and friendly, and on one occasion when he heard a rumor of war he took his family to Weaver Mills on Beavercreek for the winter, leaving his corn in rail pens in charge of the Indians, who cared for it, and expressed much delight at his return in the spring. Mr. Baker found these Indians honest and good neighbors.
When Mr. Baker settled in the locality described above it was in the midst of the primeval forest, and two and a half miles to the Rohrer settlement to the northward and eight miles to the Hay farm. He entered a section of land, and immediately set himself to work to clear it. For a time, however, the prospects were extremely discouraging, and he would have returned to Pennsylvania but for the fact that his horses died from some unknown cause. Thus he was compelled to remain in this new country, and endure all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life, but by industry and pertinacity he at last overcame all obstacles, erected a good log cabin, and cleared up 160 acres of his land. His nearest market and depot of supplies was Cincinnati, sixty miles away. At that time there were but a few log houses in Dayton, and no stores. Mr. Baker was a man of exceedingly strong constitution, and, notwithstanding the severities of frontier life, he lived to be nearly ninety years old, dying on his farm August 21, 1854. His wife reached nearly the same age. They were devout members of the Dunkard church, and were among the earliest members of this denomination to settle in Montgomery county.
Benjamin Baker, one of the sons of Michael, and the father of Noah Baker, was born in 1810, on the old Baker homestead in Clay township. Having received the ordinary education given to country boys at that time, he married Frances Newsmonger, who was born in 1812, in Clay township, and who was a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Circle) Neiswonger, the former of whom, though of German ancestry, was a native of Virginia. To Mr. and Mrs. Baker there were born eleven children, as follows: Saty, Melinda, Noah, Levi, Mary, Cyrus, Simon, Amanda, Sarah A., Sylvester and Minerva. Benjamia Baker settled on the Salem road one and a half miles from Brookville on land given him by his father, 104 acres, all in the woods. This land he cleared, improved and made into a good farm and home, thriftily adding thereto until at last he owned about 700 acres. An excellent farmer, a good business man and a progressive citizen, he became not only popular but also prosperous. He was the first grain buyer in Brookville, carrying on that business for many years, and when the Pan Handle railroad was constructed through the place the company built a side track to his warehouse. As the first postmaster in Brookville he held the office for many years. He and his wife were members of the German Baptist or Dunkard church.
Noah Baker was born April n, 1834, on his father's farm, and attended common school until he was nineteen years of age. While he was sufficiently well educated to teach school, yet he preferred labor and business, and became a saw-mill proprietor. August 31, 1854, he married Catherine Litten, who was born September n, 1834, and was a daughter of James and Sarah A. (Blair) Litten, the former of whom was an old citizen of Montgomery county, living near Dayton. While Mr. Litten was a native of Maryland, he moved early to this county with his wife. His children were named as follows: John, Samuel, David, Frances, Elizabeth, Grace, Delilah, Prudence and Catherine.
Mr. and Mrs. Baker, shortly after their marriage, settled on a farm of eighty acres, He soon engaged in the saw-mill business on the same spot where his mill now stands. He prospered in this enterprise and now owns valuable property in Brookville, and is still engaged in milling. Mr. Baker is a trustee in the Methodist church, of which both himself and wife are members. Politically he is a republican, and has served as a member of the corporation council. To Mr. and Mrs. Baker there have been born eleven children, two of whom died young; Arthur was killed at the age of twenty-three in an accident on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad, near Carrollton, Ohio, and the remaining children are as follows: Cornelia, Fidelia, Ambrose, Frances, Granville, Carrie, Orville and Emerson. Mr. Baker's sterling character and personal worth have made him one of the most widely-esteemed citizens of Brookville and that vicinity.
JAMES M. CUSICK, [pages 1179-1180] a prosperous business man of Brookville, Ohio, and an ex-soldier of the Union army, was born in Montgomery county, one mile south of the town of Pyrmont, February 24, 1840. He is a son of Thomas and Sarah (Johnson) Cusick. The Cusick family come of Scotch-Irish stock, and were early settlers in Virginia. The grandfather of the subject served as a soldier in the war of 1812, and saw the burning of the capitol building at Washington, D. C., during that war.
James M. Cusick was well educated in the public schools, and when a young man worked on the farm. On October 24, 1861, at West Baltimore, Montgomery county, Ohio, he enlisted as a private soldier in company B, Seventy-first Ohio volunteer infantry, for three years or during the war, and served not only throughout his full period of enlistment, but also two months more. When his time expired he was with his regiment engaged in the siege of Atlanta, and the regiment was held until after that city fell, and also after the battle of Franklin, which occurred November 30, 1864. Mr. Cusick was honorably discharged at Nashville, Tenn., December 4, 1864. He was on guard duty at Fort Donelson in February, 1862, was in the battle of Pittsburg Landing, in the great battle of Atlanta, and also in those of Jonesboro and Lovejoy Station. With his regiment he was on the march to Nashville when the hard-fought battle of Franklin occurred, which in many ways was one of the severest of the war.
Mr. Cusick was always an active soldier, had no furlough home during his entire period of enlistment, was sick in hospital only four weeks, and was in all the battles, skirmishes, campaigns and marches in which his regiment was engaged.
After the close of the war Mr. Cusick returned to Montgomery county, and in 1865 married Annie Cassell, who was born December 15, 1846, at Maytown, Lancaster county, Pa., and is a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Engle) Cassell. To Mr. and Mrs. Cusick there have been born two children, viz: Dermott H. and Imogene. After his marriage Mr. Cusick kept what is now the Reiley House, at Brookville, Ohio, for two years, and afterward kept hotel at Covington, Miami county, Ohio. He was also engaged in the lightning rod business for sixteen years, and at the expiration of this period bought a farm near Brookville, and was postmaster at this place under the Harrison administration. In 1893 he engaged in the grocery business, in which he has been successful. As a republican, he served as trustee of Clay township twelve years, and is a member of Foster Marshall post. No. 587, G. A. R., of which he is now senior vice-commander. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Order of American Mechanics, having been the first treasurer of his lodge.
Mr. Cusick is a man well known for many miles around his home, and enjoys the reputation of an able business man and a public-spirited member of the community.
AMOS J. COOVER, [pages 1180-1182] one of the most substantial farmers of Butler township, Montgomery county, Ohio, and of old pioneer stock, is a son of Jacob and Eve (Beard) Coover, and was born on the old homestead March 22, 1851. He was educated in the common school, was trained to farming, and also learned the carpenter's trade. At Dayton, Ohio, December 25, 1879, he married Miss Martha V. Shriver, who was reared in Dayton, was graduated from the Central high school of that city, and is a daughter of Dr. John William and Mary (Cassell) Shriver. After marriage Mr. and Mrs. Coover lived on the Coover homestead until 1891, when Mr. Coover bought and removed to his present handsome farm of 120 acres, which has since been their home. To this marriage have been born the following children: John W., Eva S., Robert and Helen M. In politics Mr. Coover is an ardent republican, and both he and his wife are members of the Vandalia. United Brethren church. Mr. Cooper is a thoroughly practical farmer and an excellent business man and is universally respected. His children are being well educated, and he is progressive in his views regarding educational affairs and public improvements.
Dr. John William Shriver, father of Mrs. Amos J, Coover, but now deceased for some twenty years past, was one of the most eminent of the physicians of the city of Dayton. He was a native of Chester county, Pa,, and a son of William and Sarah (Williams) Shriver, the former of German and the latter of 'Welsh descent. He was graduated from the Philadelphia Medical college, began practice in Centreville, Pa., and there married Miss Mary A. Cassell, a native of Carroll county, Md., and a daughter of Isaac and Eleanor (Gibson) Cassell—the Cassells being of colonial Pennsylvania-German descent and the Gibsons of Kentucky-Irish extraction. Mr. Cassell was a merchant of Spring Mills, Pa., lived to the age of eighty-two years, and died a member of the Methodist church, and the father of one child, now Mrs. Dr. Shriver. To the doctor and wife were born nine children, viz: Sarah E., Adeline, Laura E., Margaret E., Martha Virginia (Mrs. Coover), John M., Charles A., Katie E. and Cliff M. After coming to Dayton, Ohio, the doctor attained great prominence in his profession and died in the. faith of the Methodist church.
Mrs. Eve (Beard) Coover, mother of Amos J. Coover, is a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Fox) Beard, and was born January 15, 1814, in Warren county, Ohio. John Beard, her father, was born in Maryland during the Revolutionary war, and in early manhood came to Ohio. He married, in Warren county, Mrs. Elizabeth Robb, a widow, and the daughter of Michael and Susannah Fox. The Fox family came from Hagerstown, Md., were among the earliest settlers of Stark county, Ohio, and both the Beard family and the Fox family were of German descent. John Beard and family came from Warren county to Montgomery county in 1820, and settled in Butler township on 100 acres of land on the National road; he also owned land in Shelby county, and was a well-to-do citizen. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Beard were named Sallie, Polly, Betsey, Susannah, Mary, Eve, Samuel, John, Jacob, George and Nancy. The parents belonged to the United Brethren church, in which Mr. Beard was a trustee, and in politics he was a democrat. He served in the war of 1812, and lived to be eighty-seven years of age. His mother died at the age of 100 years, and his wife at 101 years. Of the children here enumerated, Eve, whose name opens this paragraph, was reared in the wilderness of Warren county, and at twenty years of age, December 18, 1834, was married, in Butler township, Montgomery county, to Jacob Coover.
Jacob Coover, father of Amos J. Coover, was born in Cumberland county. Pa., December 7, 1809, a son of Michael and Elizabeth (Shoup) Coover. Michael Coover was born near Harrisburg, Pa., a son of Jacob Coover, and there were born to him and his wife, Elizabeth Shoup, the following children: John, Jacob, George, Michael, Samuel, Isaac, Sarah and William—the last, a physician. Michael Coover brought his family to Ohio by wagon and settled in Butler township on the land occupied by J. Q. A. Coover, about 1828, and here died, a member of the United Brethren church. Jacob Coover, after his marriage with Eve Beard, worked in his father's saw-mill until he purchased a farm for himself, and on which he reared his children, who were named as follows: Henry (died at forty-nine years of age), Michael J., Anna, Rosannah, Jacob (died a young man), Filda, Zachariah (died young), Amos J., and Mary C. Mr. Coover prospered in his farming and became the owner of 226 acres of good arable land. For many years he was a trustee of the United Brethren church he had aided to build in Vandalia. In politics a republican, he was for a long time a township trustee. He was a man of high character and noted for his industry and public spirit. He gave his children every school advantage, and died February. 23, 1874, at the age of sixty-five years. His venerable widow, now eighty-three years old, retains her faculties to a remarkable degree, and is beloved by all who know her. Of their children, named above, Henry married Adaline Johnson; Rosannah was married to Samuel Keplinger; Amos married Martha V. Shriver; Mary married Horace D. Hutchin, and Michael J. married Lucy Collins. Michael J. and Jacob (deceased) were soldiers in the three-months' service in the late Civil war, and both were in the same company.
Michael J. Coover, the eldest of the living children born to Jacob and Eve Coover, was born May 19, 1832, in Butler township, was reared a farmer, and in 1863, at Dayton, entered the l00-day service as corporal of company D, One Hundred and Thirty-second Ohio volunteer infantry, and did duty at Washington, D. C., Arlington Heights, White House Landing, Richmond, Petersburg, Fortress Monroe and Norfolk, but his active service under fire was confined to skirmishes at Arlington Heights and White House Landing. At the end of four months he was honorably discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio. He married, in Dayton, October 3, 1883, Miss Lucy Collins, who was born in Dayton January 31, 1847, a daughter of Wilber Collins, a prosperous business man, now deceased. Mrs. Lucy Coover died December 6, 1885, leaving one child, Edwin J., born January 10, 1885. In politics Mr. Coover is a republican and is a member of the G. A. R. post at Vandalia. He is now engaged in farming in Butler township, growing large quantities of small fruits on a part of the old homestead, which he owns and upon which he built a handsome dwelling about a year after his marriage, having passed the first year of his married life in Dayton. He is one of Butler township's most valued and public-spirited citizens.. (For further information respecting the Coover family, the reader is referred to the biography of J. Q. A. Coover, on another page).
CHRISTOPHER GISH, M. D., [pages 1182-1183] the oldest medical practitioner in Montgomery county, a man of learning and a venerated and honored citizen, was born in Franklin county, Pa., March 20, 1815, and is a son of Mathias and Frances (Hamaker) Gish.
His grandfather, Abraham Gish, emigrated from Switzerland to America a short time after the close of the Revolutionary war, and in Lancaster county, Pa., married a Miss Shock, by whom he had ten children, as follows: Jacob, John, Abram, David, Elizabeth, Catherine, Susan, George, Christopher and Mathias, all of whom were born in Lancaster county, Pa. Abraham Gish brought money with him from Switzerland, and upon arriving in this country purchased 500 acres of land near Elizabethtown, became a wealthy farmer, and there passed the remaining years of his life. He was an industrious man, of high moral character and a member of the United Brethren church. He lived to be eighty years of age. His family was noted for longevity and the combined ages of his children were over 900 years. They were all intelligent and temperate people, as well as prosperous.
Mathias Gish, the youngest son of Abraham, was born in Lancaster county. Pa., May 8, 1788, received a common-school education and became a farmer, beside learning the milling business of his brother David in Franklin county. Pa. In Cumberland county, Pa., he married Frances Hamaker, who was born April 24, 1791, in that county. After their marriage Mathias Gish and wife settled in Franklin county, Pa., moving thence soon afterward to Juniata county, where he bought a mill, which he ran for many years. In 1835 he removed to Shelby county, Ohio, where he bought land, and in 1838 he removed to Montgomery county, where he bought a house and lot and there died, in 1872, at the age of eighty-five. He was a member of the United Brethren church, and was well known for his integrity of character and much esteemed for his qualities as an exemplary citizen. To him and his wife there were born the following children: John, Abraham, Christopher, Elizabeth, Frances and Mathias.
Dr. Christopher Gish, the subject of this sketch, received the rudiments of his education in Pennsylvania, and when eighteen years of age, in 1834, removed with his brother Abraham to Montgomery county, Ohio. He worked for some time in Union, Montgomery county, and also in Preble county, as a mill-wright, and for some time attended the Dayton academy, a famous school in its day. In 1839 he began the study of medicine at Dayton under Dr. Jacob Bosler, one of the pioneer physicians of Dayton. Dr. Gish attended the Ohio Medical college at Cincinnati in 1840 and 1841 and again in 1850 and 1851, graduating in the latter year. He began the practice of medicine at Dayton in 1840, and removed during that year to Salem, Montgomery county, where he built up a large and profitable practice, riding many miles in all directions through the woods and over all kinds of roads, for nearly twenty years, most of his riding being on horseback. For some years he was in partnership with Dr. James F. Hibbard, who became an eminent physician, and is still living at Richmond, Ind., at the great age of eighty-one years.
Dr. Gish located in Brookville in 1860, and there he has been engaged in the practice of his profession ever since, a period of thirty-six years, and has thus been in practice continuously during the last fifty-six years. He is a. man of the widest general information, and has taken great interest in scientific matters, especially in geology, having been a close and persistent student of this fascinating science for the past thirty years. He has made a large and valuable collection of geological specimens, having traveled extensively throughout North America in pursuit of knowledge pertaining to this branch of learning. In this country he has visited the Rocky mountains, California, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia, all the time adding to his collection. The doctor is a man of extensive reading and information outside of his special study of geology, and possesses a most valuable store of varied knowledge. He is a man of unusually liberal views and well known everywhere for his independent thought and honest character.
Dr. Gish in 1842 married Mary Fiet, who was born in Chester county, Pa., in 1819, and was a daughter of Charles and Catherine (Share) Fiet. Mrs. Gish died in 1892, a woman of many virtues. In 1893 the doctor married Fannie Eyer, who was born in Lancaster county, Pa., March 4, 1842, and is a daughter of John and Fannie (Engle) Eyer. John Eyer, her father, was a miller by occupation, and died at the age of eighty-four, his wife dying at the age of eighty-six. Mrs. Gish is a member of the River Brethren church. Her grandfather came from Switzerland at the same time as the grandfather of her husband. Dr. Gish, through his long and active life, has gained a large store of experience as well as of knowledge, and his career is an evidence of the value of intellectual industry and temperate habits in the prolonging of human life.
MRS. JOSEPH DAVIDSON, [pages of 1183-1184] of Montgomery county, Ohio, is a descendant of the Macy family, whose history is published elsewhere at some length in this volume. She is a daughter of Thomas and Jane (Wagoner) Macy, and was born December 8, 1846, on the old Macy homestead in Miami county, and bore the maiden name of Celina Macy. On October 2, 1868, she was married, at the residence of her father, to Joseph Davidson, and they settled on the farm where she now lives after passing the first year of their married life on the old homestead. The farm then contained eighty acres of land, which Mr. Davidson, aided by his wife, greatly improved, adding to it until he owned 120 acres—a fine farm, now in excellent condition and a pleasant home. Mr. Davidson was born June 13, 1838, in Butler township, on the old home farm. He was a son of William and Hepzibar (Pierson) Davidson, the former of whom was born in Norway, March 5, 1800, and ran away from home and came to America when he was quite young. On the way over he was shipwrecked and finally landed in Montreal, Canada. He married Hepzibar Pierson on the 10th of October, 1830, she being a daughter of Joseph and Margaret Pierson. William and Hepzibar Pierson had nine children, eight sons and one daughter, of whom Solomon, George, William and Margaret C. are still living. William Davidson settled on and cleared up from the woods the eighty acres of land on which Mrs. Joseph Davidson now lives, and which, as stated before, has been increased to 120 acres. He was a shoemaker by trade and died February 3, 1869.
Politically Joseph Davidson was a republican. He and his wife were members of the Disciples' church. They were the parents of five children, as follows: Alonzo Ohmer, Ward B., Howard 0., Myrtle and Carry. Mr. Davidson was an excellent citizen of high character, was careful, prudent and successful. The farm which he left is one of the best in Butler township, and is now managed by Mrs. Davidson, aided by her sons.
Joseph Davidson was a member of company G, Twenty-fifth Ohio national guard, and entered the service of the government during the war as a private soldier of company G, One Hundred and Forty-seventh Ohio volunteer infantry, was enrolled May 2, 1864, and served 100 days. He was mustered out of service August 30, 1864, at Camp Dennison, Ohio. He died July 13, 1892. Mrs. Davidson is one of the excellent women of Montgomery county, patient, industrious and a good manager.
JOHN KNEE, [pages 1184-1185] an ex-soldier of the Civil war and an old resident of Phillipsburg, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born March 15, 1843, in Miami county, and is a son of David and Catherine (Folkerth) Knee, who were of Pennsylvania-Dutch extraction, and whose children, born in Ohio, are named Philip, Samuel, Susan, Mary, David, Sarah, John, Lewis, Hettie, William and Ernestine. Of this family, three of the sons, Philip, David and John, served in an Ohio regiment during the Civil war.
John Knee in his youth had only the ordinary district-school advantages, and is largely a self-educated man. When but little past nineteen years of age he enlisted in company H, Sixty-third regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, at Dayton, Ohio, August 28, 1862, to serve three years, veteranized January 1, 1864, at Prospect, Tenn., and served until honorably discharged, July 8, 1865, at Camp Dennison, Ohio, on account of the close of the war. During this period of almost three years he participated in the battles of Parker's Cross Roads, Corinth, Holly Springs, Iuka, Miss.; Decatur, Ala.; the great Atlanta campaign; the battles at Dallas, Resaca, Big Shanty, Pumpkinvine Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Chattahoochie River, the battle in front of Atlanta and that at Jonesboro; he was with Sherman in the famous march to the sea, being then in the commissary department; was at Goldsboro and Raleigh, N. C., and on the home march via Washington, D. C., where he took part in the grand review, and for a short time afterward served in Kentucky. The engagement in front of Atlanta was the most severe in which he shared, and his hardest marching was in the pursuit of Forrest through Mississippi, in which he endured much suffering from cold and exposure,
After the war Mr. Knee came to Montgomery county, Ohio, and here married, August 25, 1866, Miss Sarah E. Lewis, who was born December 24, 1845, in Henry county, Ill., a daughter of Hiram and Nancy (Stevenson) Lewis. Hiram Lewis came from New Jersey with his parents, who settled on the White river, when the Indians were still roaming the prairies and forests of the state. The children born to Hiram and Nancy Lewis were named Benjamin, William L., James, Walter (who died when small), Sarah E., Lucinda, Arthur L. and Nathan P. Of these, James served in the Thirty-sixth Indiana volunteer infantry, and was badly wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, but recovered and served until the close of the war.
In 1874 John Knee and wife settled in Phillipsburg, where Mr. Knee engaged in farming, which industry he still pursues with much success. To Mr. and Mrs. Knee have been born the following children: Frank L., Albert (who died at the age of two years), Omer, Otto (deceased), Ira and Harvey. Mr. and Mrs. Knee have long been members of the Christian church, of which Mr. Knee is a trustee, and in this faith they are rearing their children. In politics Mr. Knee is a stanch republican, and as a citizen he is respected for his industry, integrity and usefulness.
LOUIS KUNNIKE, [pages 1185-1186] of Chambersburg, Ohio, one of the substantial farmers of Butler township, but now retired from active labor, was born at Celle, or Zeil, as it is sometimes called, a town in Hanover, on the Aller, twenty-three miles northeast of the city of Hanover, October 11, 1831. He is a son of Christian and Annastine (Ebeling) Kunnike, the former a prosperous miller of Celle, owning both a grist-mill and an oil-mill. The children of Christian arid Annastine Kunnike were August, Theodore, Earnest, Louis and Herman. Christian Kunnike lived to be fifty-eight years old and died in Germany. He was a member of the Lutheran church, and was everywhere respected for his industrious habits and his high character. After his death Mrs. Kunnike married Henry Sheverling, who was born in Hanover, in 1805, and was a miller by trade. By this marriage she had one daughter, Alvina. August and Theodore Kunnike came to the United States, the latter in 1840, the former in 1842. Both of them settled in Dayton, Theodore being a millwright by trade and August a miller. In December, 1843, Mr. and Mrs. Sheverling came to the United States, sailing from Bremen in the good ship Goethe, a sailing vessel, and were six weeks and three days on the sea. They landed in Baltimore and came at once to Dayton, settling in Butler township, Montgomery county, on a farm' on which the subject of this sketch now lives. This farm contained sixty-six acres, but since then there have been sold all but about ten acres, which is retained as a homestead. Mr. Sheverling died in 1884, aged seventy-nine years. From his fourteenth year up to his death he was a consistent member of the Lutheran church. Mrs. Sheverling lived to be sixty-nine years of age, dying in 1864. She was a woman of many virtues and a member of the Lutheran church. In 1853 she paid a visit to her native land, taking with her daughter, Alvina, remained a year and then returned to the United States, living here until her death.
Louis Kunnike, the subject of this sketch, was well educated in his native country, attending school until he was eleven years old, and then coming with his mother to the United States. After reaching Ohio he attended school at Chambersburg, becoming a farmer in early life, and has followed that vocation ever since. He now owns 140 acres of land, and is a prosperous man. Like his father and mother, he is a member of the Lutheran-church, having united with that church when fourteen years of age. In politics he was a democrat until Abraham Lincoln's time, and since then has been a republican. Mr. Kunnike is a man of undoubted honesty and uptightness of character, of correct morals, and has always stood high in the estimation of his neighbors and friends.
Miss Alvina Sheverling was born February 16, 1838, and hence was five years old when she came to the United States with her parents. She was fifteen years of age when she went on a visit to Germany with her mother. She is a member of the Lutheran church, having united therewith when fifteen years of age, and with the exception of the one year spent in Germany has lived in Butler township ever since 1848. She is a woman of excellent business ability, and by judicious management and investment has largely increased her inheritance, having now 177 acres of good farm land, well improved.
Herman Kunnike was a soldier in the late Civil war, a private in company G, Eighth Ohio regiment, and was killed in battle.
JOHN M. LANDIS, [page 1186] whose post-office is Clayton, Ohio, is one of the old settlers of Randolph township. His father, Abraham Landis, was one of the original pioneers of Madison township, and was born in Lancaster county. Pa. In that county he was married to Mary Miller, who was born in the same county, and both were of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock. Abraham Landis was a farmer and removed to Montgomery county, Ohio, not long after 1805, settling in the woods in Madison township, a little clearing having already been made on his land. The rest of the farm he himself cleared and made himself a good home. He was a hard-working pioneer, and respected by all. His children are believed to have all been born in Montgomery county. They were as follows: Sallie, who died young; Jacob, Samuel, Daniel, Polly, Elizabeth, Nancy, Leah, Susan, Abraham, John M., Lydia and Michael. In religious belief Mr. Landis was a German Baptist, and was a man of high character. He died on his farm when seventy-seven years of age.
John M. Landis, the subject of this sketch, was born July 8, 1832, on his father's farm, in Madison township. Having received his education, he became a farmer from choice, and when twenty-three years of age, on April 15, 1856, married Elizabeth Ann Weaver, who was born May 26, 1837, and was a daughter of James and Nancy (Hayes) Weaver, the former of whom was a farmer.
To Mr. and Mrs. Landis there were born the following children: Alice, Nannie Bell; Edward, who died young; Charles; Emma, who died in infancy; and Clarence W. After marriage Mr. Landis settled on Wolf creek, afterward removing to Darke county, and returning to Montgomery county in 1870, buying eighty-three and a half acres of land, upon which he has since lived. This farm he has greatly improved and has erected new and tasteful buildings. Mrs. Landis, who died March 25, 1893, was a most excellent woman, and a member of the Christian church. She was fifty-five years old at the time of her death. Politically, Mr. Landis is a democrat. He has always been an active citizen, and is esteemed for his strong and exemplary character and industrious habits.
Clarence W. Landis married Dora Geist, who was born March 13, 1870, in Madison township, Montgomery county, and is a daughter of Erb and Rickie (Clapper) Geist, and of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock. To Mr. and Mrs. Landis there have been born two children, Artie and Alice. Clarence W. Landis was well educated in the common schools and is now living on the Ananias Frantz farm. Nannie Bell Landis married Preston Weaver, of the National Cash Register company of Dayton, and has had three children, only one of whom is living.
BENJAMIN MECKLEY, [pages 1187] one of the thriving farmers of Jackson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born here on his father's farm August 30, 1835, and is of Pennsylvania-German descent,
Christian Meckley, his father, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., December 19, 1805, and was a son of Melchor Meckley, a farmer, who died at the age of forty-eight years, the father of eight children, viz; Christian, Henry, Isaac, Benjamin, Joseph, Jacob, John and Nancy. Christian was about twelve years old when his father died, and at the proper age was apprenticed to a weaver. At the age of twenty-one years he came to Ohio, walking, with ten companions, all the way to Montgomery county. Later, he made several trips to Pennsylvania, driving a team one way and walking the other; altogether, and in various ways, he made seventeen trips between the two states. He finally located in Hamilton, Butler county, where he carried on weaving for some time. He then came to Jackson township, Montgomery county, and married Nancy Keener, who was born in Pennsylvania within three miles of his own birthplace, and about 1830 settled on the farm next north of that on which his son Benjamin now lives. The farm was in the woods and comprised 100 acres, and here were born his six children: Catherine, John, Benjamin, Henry, Michael and Mary. He prospered through life, and at one time owned 460 acres of land, most of which he disposed of to his children without interest, but, as a lesson in industry and economy, insisted on their paying for it. He was a democrat in politics, and for two terms served as township trustee. His death took place April 10, 1884, in his seventy-ninth year.
Benjamin Meckley was reared on the home farm and had the advantage of the common schools three months each winter from early boyhood until nineteen years old. April 3, 1862, he married Miss Catherine Barbara Kayler, who was born five miles north of Eaton, Preble county, Ohio, October 1, 1835, on the homestead of her parents, Benjamin and Elizabeth (Ozias) Kayler.
Benjamin Kayler was born in Rockingham county, Va., October 22, 1803, a son of John F. and Catherine (Haynes) Kayler. John F. was descended from an old German family, of Virginia, and brought his wife and children to Ohio in 1815. They settled four and a half miles north of Eaton, where Mr. Kayler cleared up a farm from the woods, and at one time owned about 400 acres of land, of which he gave 120 acres to each of his children— John, Benjamin and William. He died in 1857, at the age of eighty-two years, having become one of the most prominent citizens of his township. Benjamin Kayler came to Ohio with his father and was reared to manhood on the farm in Preble county. His wife was a daughter of Peter and Catherine (Cristman) Ozias, natives of North Carolina and of German extraction, and Rev. Jacob Cristman, the maternal great-grandfather of Mrs. Meckley, was the first German Reform preacher in the state of Ohio—both families having come to this state in 1803. Benjamin Kayler and wife settled on a tract of land in the woods near his father's farm, where he cut down the trees from which he obtained the logs for his cabin, cleared up a fine farm, and increased his original tract of 120 acres to 660. He was an elder in the Lutheran church, a man of unimpeachable character, and died in the faith, in 1880, at the age of seventy-eight years, the father of six children—William, Catherine B., Phebe, Sarah, Mary and Amanda.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Meckley settled on their present farm, which then consisted of 150 acres. He has been industrious and thrifty and has added 130 acres, now owning a compact and well-cultivated farm of 280 acres, one of the best in Jackson township. Mr. and Mrs. Meckley are members of the German Reformed church, Mr. Meckley having united with the Slyfer congregation when sixteen years of age, while Mrs. Meckley became a member of Zion's Lutheran church congregation, north of Eaton, when seventeen years old. Mr. Meckley has held the office of deacon and elder for twenty-six years, and is at present an elder in the church. The lives of both have been filled with benevolence and charity. In the absence of children of their own, they have reared, as their own child, from girlhood to womanhood, Annie Gephart, now the wife of William Allen Leise, of Dayton. In politics Mr. Meckley is a democrat, but has never been an aspirant for office. He has led a busy and useful life, and he and wife bear an honored name throughout the township of Jackson and surrounding country.
JOHN C. HEIDINGER, [pages 1188-1191] present post-master of Brookville, springs from German ancestry. He was born in Brakenheim, Wurtemberg,. Germany, April 29, 1830, and is a son of Jacob and Katherine (Fisher) Heidinger. John C. Heidinger received his education in the excellent schools of Wurtemberg, and came to the United States in 1848, when he was eighteen years old, sailing from Antwerp, Belgium, and landing in New York. He first went to Newark, N. J., where he remained a few months, and thence to Pennsylvania, where he resided two years. Here he worked on a farm and also learned the painter's trade. In 1853 he came to Ohio, living for a time at Cincinnati and at College Hill, in Hamilton county, and in 1855 removed to Dayton, Ohio, following his trade all this time. In the same year, 1855, he went to New Lebanon, Montgomery county, Ohio, and in 1856 married Mary A. Adams, who was born in Fairfield county, at. New Lancaster, in 1830, and was a daughter of Jacob and Sabina (Henkle) Adams. The Adams family were originally from Maryland, and the Henkles from Virginia.
Mr. Heidinger resided at New Lebanon until 1862, and then removed to Johnsville, Montgomery county, where he engaged in mercantile business. From Johnsville he removed to Van Wert, and thence to Franklin, Ohio, in 1867, and in 1869 to Farmersville, finally coming to Brookville in 1871. In each of these places he was engaged in mercantile pursuits, but upon reaching Brookville he entered the hotel business as proprietor of the Central House, which he conducted for sixteen years, retiring at the end of this period.
In 1884 he was elected a member of the board of infirmary directors, serving three years, and proved a capable and humane official, his efforts being directed to the benefit of the public. In 1893 he was appointed post-master of Brookville under President Cleveland's administration, and holds this position at the present time (1897). Mr. Heidinger has engaged in the fire insurance business for the past sixteen years, representing only standard companies. In politics a democrat, he has held several minor offices of his party, such as township clerk of Brookville, and he is one of the popular citizens of this thriving place. He has also served as a member of the corporation council and is well known for his integrity of character and correct business methods. Under his administration the post-office is well managed and the service excellent.
To Mr. and Mrs. Heidinger there have been born eight children, as follows: Three that died young; Salina, who died after her marriage; Luther F., deceased; Edward C., William and George A. Mr. Heidinger is an honored member of the Odd Fellows order, He has passed nearly all his active life in the United States, and is in every way a thorough American citizen. While living at New Lebanon and at Johnsville he was post-master under President Lincoln's administration. He is a genial and pleasant gentleman and is deservedly popular with all classes of the people.
JACOB C. POTE, [pages 1191-1192] one of the old citizens and farmers of Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, is a native of Pennsylvania and was born in Indiana county, January 1, 1823, a son of Adam and Magdalen (Coy) Pote.
Michael Pote, grandfather of Jacob C., was born in Germany, and when a young man came to America, served in the war of the Revolution, and was one of those who passed the terrible winter of 1777-8 with Washington at Valley Forge. Mr. Pote married a Mrs. Wise, the union resulting in the birth of the following children: Michael, Jacob, Adam, Elizabeth, Sophia, Magdalena and Catherine. He settled down to farming in Bedford county on a tract fit 300 acres of land, realized a competency, and died an aged and respected citizen—his descendants still owning the old farm, which some of them occupy.
Adam Pote, son of Michael, was born in Bedford county, Pa., in 1795, was there married to Magdalen Coy, and in 1824 came with his wife and four children to Montgomery township, Ohio, He first located in Randolph township, but later moved to Clay township and entered eighty acres of land, the deed being signed by the then president of the United States, John Quincy Adams. This land he cleared up from the wilderness and transformed into a comfortable home, and here passed the remainder of his days, dying in 1867, the father of eleven children. They were named Magdalene, Elizabeth, Samuel, Jacob C., Mary, Dolly, Michael, Barbara, Susannah, Daniel and John. Of these, three of the sons—Jacob C., Daniel and John— served in the late Civil war, the latter two in the three years' service and as veterans of company B, Seventy-first Ohio volunteer infantry. In politics, Mr. Pote was at first a whig, but went into the ranks of the republican party on its organization. He and wife were members of the German Baptist church, and both were noted for their integrity.
Lewis Coy, father of Mrs. Magdalen Pote, was a native of Bedford county, Pa., and was extensively engaged in farming, owning 600 acres of land. He lived to be an aged man, and was the father of four sons, viz: Lewis, Henry, Michael and John—Mrs. Pote being the only daughter.
Jacob C. Pote, whose name opens this biographical notice, was but one year old when he was brought to Montgomery county. Here he was reared to farming, receiving in his youthful days such an education as could be acquired in the pioneer schools, and on April 18, 1847, married Miss Elizabeth Wagoman, a daughter of Joel Wagoman and a native of Montgomery county. To this union were born five children, viz: Mary A., Catherine, Ellen J., Susannah and Emma. Mrs. Elizabeth Pote died in 1858, and on March 7, 1860, Mr. Pote married Miss Mary Whisler, daughter of Peter and Mary (Spitler) Whisler, and this union was blessed by the birth of seven children, who are named Edward, David L., Alice,. Jessie, Ida, Orvilla and Cora.
Mr. Pote enlisted in the United States volunteers, first, for the Mormon war, but was not called out for actual service; he next enlisted in the Ohio national guards for five years, was commissioned captain of company F, Second regiment, was called out May 2, 1864, and his company merged with company K, One Hundred and Thirty-first Ohio volunteer infantry. He was mustered in as first lieutenant, for 100 days, and was stationed at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Md., but was detached for provost duty in the city, served 117 days, and was honorably discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio, August 22, 1864.
Mr. Pote, before enlistment, had purchased a tract of 140 acres of land in Clay township, and after his return from the service settled on this property and made of it an excellent farm, He was bereft of his second wife in 1875. She was a devout member of the United Brethren church. In politics Mr. Pote was, in his earlier manhood, a Henry Clay whig, and cast his first presidential vote for that famous statesman; on the formation of the republican party, he became one of its members, and has ever since been identified with it. Mr. Pote has been successful in his vocation, and is now one of the most respected of Clay township's citizens.
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