WILLIAM S. MUNDHENK, M. D., [pages 1192-1193] a leading physician of Montgomery county, Ohio, and for the last twenty years a successful practitioner of Brookville, springs from German ancestry.
His grandfather, Daniel G. Mundhenk, was a native of Germany; married Louisa Sprengel in 1803, and in 1807 emigrated from Pyrmont, a small country in the northwest of Germany, landing in Philadelphia. When a young man Mr. Mundhenk was a sailor in service upon whaling vessels, and visited the Arctic ocean and Greenland. After retiring from a seafaring life he became a farmer and a mechanic. By his first wife, who died shortly after reaching Philadelphia, Mr. Mundhenk had two children, August and Louisa. For his second wife he married Maria Hagerman, by whom he had eight children, as follows: Daniel, Henry, Mary A,, Michael, Joseph, Charles, Frederick and John. Mr. Mundhenk settled in Montgomery county in 1817, and founded the town of Pyrmont, laying it out on his own land, of which he had from 500 to 600 acres. Upon this farm his second wife died, and for his third wife he married Margaret Hubler, by whom he had one child, Caroline. Early in his life Mr. Mundhenk was a Quaker, but after reaching Ohio he joined the United Brethren church. He died in Pyrmont in 1859, at the age of eighty-one. He was one of the well-known and popular men of pioneer days, a man of sterling character and a valued citizen. He was engaged in both farming and milling in Pyrmont, erecting both saw and grist-mills early in the history of Montgomery county.
Frederick Mundhenk, father of Dr. Mundhenk, was born July 4, 1818, at Pyrmont, being the first child born in the settlement. His education was received in the common schools, and early in life he learned the business of miller, operating both saw and grist-mills. November 3, 1843, he married, at Pyrmont, Mary C. Hook, who was born in Rockingham county, Va., November II, 1823, and who was a daughter of John and Ann (Chandler) Hook, the former of whom was born in Rockingham county, Va., and was on his father's side of English descent, on his mother's side of German ancestry. He was the son of Robert Hook.
John Hook was a soldier of the war of 1812, being stationed for a time at Norfolk, Va., To him and his wife there was born one child, Mary C. For some years he followed the harness and saddlery business in Harrisonburg, Va., and at an early day emigrated to Missouri, and returning from that state located at Pyrmont, Ohio, about 1830, After the death of his first wife he married a second wife, by whom he had two children, Uriah and Sarah. His death occurred in 1869, when he was seventy-six years old.
Frederick Mundhenk resided at Pyrmont the greater portion of his life. He was an industrious, hardworking and prosperous man, owning some 500 acres of land. For many years he was engaged in milling at Pyrmont, where he was a well and widely known and honored citizen, a republican in politics, and a liberal supporter of the United Brethren church, of which he was a member. He had one son, James, in the Civil war, a member of the One Hundred and Eighteenth Ohio volunteer infantry. His children were as follows: William S. and Minnie by his first wife, and Frederick by his second marriage.
William S. Mundhenk, M. D., was born August 19, 1851, in Pyrmont, was educated first in the public schools, and began the study of medicine with Dr. J. R. Conner, a prominent physician of Montgomery county for thirty years. Afterward he graduated from the Ohio Medical college at Cincinnati, in 1876, and immediately began the practice of medicine at Brookville, soon establishing himself in a large and lucrative practice, which extends throughout the surrounding country. In 1872 he married Emma Conner, born in 1853, and a daughter of Dr. J. R. Conner and his wife, Mary Cusick. Dr. Conner was born in Maryland, and when a young man removed to Clinton county, Ohio, and in 1851 to Montgomery county, locating in Pyrmont, where he was engaged in the practice of medicine until 1872. For the last ten years of his life he was engaged in practice in Brookville, dying there in 1882, at the age of fifty-six years. His children are Emma, Eberle, Flora and Rose. Dr. Conner was of prominence in the medical profession, and held a high place in the general estimation of his fellow-men.
Dr. William S. Mundhenk keeps fully abreast of the progress of his profession, in which he has always maintained an enviable standing. He is a member of the Ohio state Medical association, of the Montgomery county Medical society, of the Knights of Pythias, and in politics is a republican. To Dr. and Mrs. Mundhenk there has been born one son, Herbert C., now a diligent student at the Ohio State university.
ALBERT QUANCE, [pages 1193-1194] of Brookville, Montgomery county, Ohio, an honored citizen, and one of the ex-soldiers of the Civil war, springs from an old American family of the state of New York, and is of England and German ancestry. He is a son of Stephen S. and Mary Quance, and was born February 26. 1848, in Lenawee county, Mich. Having received a good common-school education, when fifteen years old he enlisted February 26, 1863, at Camden, Hillsdale county, Mich., in company B, First Michigan sharpshooters, for three years or during the war. While in Judiciary Square hospital, Washington, D. C., he was honorably discharged, January 20, 1865, on account of wounds received in battle. He participated in the battles of the Wilderness, of Spottsylvania Court House, of Cold Harbor and the siege of Petersburg, in the latter battle being shot in the left leg by a musket ball, which struck about the middle of the thigh, shattering the bone. Being taken to the field hospital it was found necessary to amputate the leg near the body. For some time he was in the Army Square hospital at Washington, D. C., and later was transferred to the Judiciary Square hospital, from which he was in due course of time discharged, having been in the different hospitals about six months in all. The wound above mentioned was the second he received, the first being at Spottsylvania Court House, when a piece of shell struck him on the knee cap of the left leg, disabling him for some time. He was also struck in the groin by a spent ball at Petersburg. He was an unusually strong boy, was never sick, performed his duty cheerfully, and was throughout a faithful soldier.
After the war he returned to Michigan, and remained at home with his father for some time, attending school. About 1871 he removed to Montgomery county, Ohio, and for a short time was an inmate of the soldiers' home. In 1875, having purchased a small piece of land near Bachman, Montgomery county, Ohio, he married Annie M. Schlosser, who was born in jay county, Ind., November 6, 1857, and is a daughter of Samuel and Mary (Beechler) Schlosser. Mr. and Mrs. Quance lived at Bachman until 1886, when they removed to Brookville, and there Mr. Quance bought his present property, consisting of five town lots and a good residence, pleasantly situated.
To Mr. and Mrs. Quance there have been born four children, as follows: Nellie, who died at the age of five years; Laura, born February 6, 1881; Lewis, born June 16, 1885, and Flora, born May 17, 1890. Mr. Quance is a member of Foster Marshall post, No. 587, G. A. R., and has held the office of adjutant. He is a republican in politics, and both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Stephen S. Quance, father of Albert, was born in the State of New York, became a farmer and mason, and was married the first time in his native state. Removing to Michigan about 1845, he there worked at his trade as a mason, and later removed to Steuben county, Ind., but died in Illinois in 1896. His children were George, Charles E., Mary, Juliette, Nettie, Albert and Stephen. He had two sons in the Civil war, Charles E. and Albert, the former being in the Sixty-first Illinois volunteer infantry. Mr. Quance was a member of the Christian church, and his first wife, the mother of Albert Quance, a woman of many virtues and excellent qualities, died in Michigan about 1848. Mr. Quance married the second time, by this union having one child, Alice. His second wife having died he again married, but had no children by his third marriage.
Samuel Schlosser, father of Mrs. Albert Quance, was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion. His children are Harry C.; Frances M.; Nancy and Annie M. He is a citizen of Bachman, and a sketch of his life will be found elsewhere in these pages.
WILLIAM PIATT, [pages 1194-1196] an honored citizen of Brookville, Ohio, and an ex-soldier of the Civil war, is of French Huguenot descent and of an old colonial family of the state of Virginia. He was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, July 9, 1841, and is a son of James and Eliza (McWhiney) Piatt. Having received the common-school education of his youthful days, he was reared to farm life and labor. His mother having died in 1849 he was bound out to labor, but received such severe treatment that his father secured a writ of habeas corpus, by means of which young Piatt became again a free boy. He then worked for Daniel Frantz on the farm for nine years.
November 15, 1861, he enlisted at Poasttown, Madison township, Montgomery county, Ohio, as a private soldier in company E, Seventy-first Ohio volunteer infantry, under Capt. W. H. Callender, for three years or during the war. He served until he veteranized in that organization at Gallatin, Tenn., February 14, 1864, and continued to serve until honorably discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio, January 6, 1866. He participated in many skirmishes and battles, among them those of Jonesboro and Lovejoy Station, his regiment having joined Gen. Sherman on the march to Atlanta in time to take part in the closing battles of that great campaign. For fourteen months he was engaged in fighting guerrillas, his company being mounted, and afterward he was engaged in protecting the Louisville & Nashville railroad. After the fall of Atlanta Mr. Piatt returned to Nashville, taking part on the way in the great battle of Franklin, which in many respects was one of the hardest-fought battles of the war, the rebels making as many as nine separate and desperate charges on the Union lines, so determined were they to conquer on that day, knowing that on their success depended the possibility of their being able to capture Nashville. After the battle of Franklin Mr. Piatt was on the skirmish line near Nashville on December 14, 1864, was shot in the right wrist, and was in the hospital in Nashville for six weeks. Rejoining his regiment at Huntsville, Ala., he went to Greenville, east Tennessee, where he remained until after the surrender of Lee. Then with his regiment he went to Nashville, remaining there two months, and then went to Texas to watch Maximilian in Mexico, finally reaching San Antonio, Tex., where he was mustered out. He was always an active soldier, and prompt in the discharge of his duty. Now, however. he is much broken down, which fact he attributes to the hardships and exposures of the war. At Clarksville, Tenn., he, with about 300 others, was taken prisoner, paroled the next day, sent to the Union lines, and was soon exchanged. One of the most severe marches in which he took part was that from Matagorda Bay, Tex., to Green Lake, Tex., his suffering on this march being caused by the intense July heat and the want of water.
After the close of the war Mr. Piatt returned to Ohio, and engaged in farm work and also in buying and selling tobacco, in which he has been very successful for the past twenty-five years. On March 9, 1882, he married Miss Alva Kepler, who was born in Montgomery county, June 7. 1859, and is a daughter of William and Hannah (Willie) Kepler. William Kepler was born in Dayton, Ohio, and was a son of Jesse Kepler, who settled in Montgomery county many years ago and who died near Dayton, Ohio, in 1895, at the age of eighty-six years, his wife dying at the same age. Prior to her marriage she was Maria Hendrickson, of New Jersey. William Kepler and his wife were the parents of the following children: Alva, Herbert, Altie, Lutie F., Lottie L., Harry N., Charles J. and Maud A. Mr. Kepler is now an honored citizen of Brookville.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Piatt settled near New Lebanon, Montgomery county, resided there five years, and then removed to Brookville in 1887. They have one child, Estus E. Piatt. Mr. Piatt is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and has served as one of its trustees, while Mrs. Piatt is a member of the United Brethren church. Mr. Piatt is a member of Foster Marshall post, No. 587, G. A. R., of Brookville. Politically, he is a republican and has served as a member of the town council. He is a member of Oak lodge, No. 265, I. 0. 0. F., and has passed all the chairs, including that of noble grand. Mr. Piatt is well known as a competent and honorable business man and a good citizen. He has recently received a commission from the Ohio department of the Grand Army of the Republic as colonel on the staff of the quartermaster-general.
James Piatt, father of William, was first married to a Miss Olinger, and by her had the following children: Rebecca, Jacob and John. By his second wife he had the following children: William, David, James and Eliza. Jacob, John, William and David were all in the Civil war. John was in the same regiment with William. Jacob served one year, dying March 14, 1863, at Fort Donelson.
CAPT. BENJAMIN F. SHOE, [pages 1196-1197] a veteran of both the Mexican and Civil wars and a respected citizen of Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born near Dayton, January 13, 1824, a son of John and Prudence (Hewey) Shoe, respectively of German and Irish extraction.
Shortly after reaching his majority, Mr. Shoe enlisted for five years, or during the Mexican war, August 27, 1845, in company H, Fifth infantry, at Newport, Ky.. and on reaching the front took part in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Molina del Rey, Castle of Chapultepec, the Gate of San Cosmo and Cherubusco (where he was slightly wounded). He served under Gens. Worth, Taylor and Scott until peace was declared, after which he served out his term of enlistment, and was honorably discharged at Fort Washita, August 27, 1851, with the rank of sergeant, having been promoted for meritorious conduct in the field. He then returned to Montgomery county and found employment at farm labor. November 20, 1859, Mr. Shoe was united in marriage, in Clay township, with Miss Sarah Louisa Kennard, a native of Miami county, Ohio, born July 29, 1840, and to this union ten children have been born, viz: One who died in infancy; Alice S., Charles R., John B., William A., James M., Ella J., Benjamin F., Jesse W. and Carrie B.
John Shoe, the father of the captain, was a native of Maryland and settled in Dayton, Ohio, when that now populous and beautiful city was merely an Indian trading post. To him and his wife were born the following children: David, John, Elihu. Sarah, Philip, Elhannon, Jacob, Deborah, Massie and Benjamin F. John Shoe lived to reach the age of seventy-nine years, and died in the faith of the German Baptist church. Benjamin Kennard, father of Mrs. Shoe, a tanner by trade, came to Montgomery county, Ohio, from Indiana, and was the father of the following-named children: Mary J., Richard, Catherine, Ellen, Kesiah, Susannah, William, Thomas R., Sarah L. and Elizabeth. Of these, Richard, William and Thomas R. served in the Civil war, in which their brothers-in-law, Isaac Webster, Thomas Weight and Noah Tucker also took an active part.
On marrying, Mr. Shoe settled on his present farm and was engaged in the peaceful pursuit of agriculture until the alarm of war was again sounded. In the meantime he had organized a company of militia in Clay township, denominated the Clay Guards, of which he was commissioned captain by Gov. Chase, who complimented him on having the best drilled company in the state—Mr. Shoe having availed himself of his experience in the regular army, which had made him a competent drill-master. Nevertheless, when the Civil war opened Capt. Shoe entered the volunteer service as a private, enlisting in October, 1861, in company H, Seventy-fourth Ohio infantry, for three years, unless sooner discharged by reason of the close of the war, and served until honorably discharged at Murfreesboro, Tenn., in March, 1863, on account of disability. During this enlistment he was in the battle of Stone River, and for four months of his term performed all the duties of a first lieutenant, although not commissioned. On being discharged, he returned to Montgomery county, but did not remain long, as he re-enlisted, and on May 22, 1864, was mustered in at Camp Chase for 100 days, as drill-master of company K, One Hundred and Thirty-first Ohio volunteer infantry, from which service he was honorably discharged at Camp Chase, August 26, 1864, having at this time served 117 days. He thus has a record of military service extending over a period of more than eight years. In politics Capt. Shoe is a republican. As a citizen he is respected for his upright life and his public spirit, and as a defender of his country's rights is most deservedly honored.
SAMUEL SCHLOSSER, [pages 1197-1198] a farmer of Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, also a practical shoemaker and an ex-soldier in the late war, is a son of Moses and Sarah (Fleagle) Schlosser, and was born in Preble county, Ohio, June 24,183 5.
John Schlosser, his grandfather, was born in Pennsylvania, was of German descent, and in 1816 removed with his family from Lancaster county, that state, to Preble county, Ohio, his children being John, Jonas, Moses and Samuel. The journey to Ohio was made in a four-horse wagon, and settlement was made in the woods on a 160-acre tract near West Sonora. There he succeeded in making a good home, and there died at the age of eighty years, a member of the Lutheran church and a worthy citizen. Of his children, Samuel served in the Union army five years and one month, passing all through the late Civil war.
Moses Schlosser, son of John and Mary (Reiner) Schlosser, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., March 23, 1808, and consequently was eight years of age when brought to Ohio by his parents. He was brought up among the pioneers of Preble county, received a good common-school education and was reared to farming. He was married in Preble county to Sarah Fleagle, who was born in Maryland in 1812, a daughter of Abraham and Isabella (Dutch) Fleagle, the father, Abraham, being one of the earliest settlers of Preble county. Moses Schlosser, after his marriage, farmed for some little time in Preble county, Ohio, then moved to LaSalle county, Ill., and purchased eighty acres of land, on which he farmed until 1879, when he moved to Butler county, Kans.. where he made his home with his son, William, until his death, which occurred February 23. 1892. His children were named in order of birth, Samuel, Jacob, Isabella, William, Margaret, Sarah, Levina, and Phisbie and Almina (twins). Of these, William was a private in the Indiana cavalry, served three years, and lost his eyesight in the battle at Athens, Tenn., while his elder brother, Jacob, served two years in the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Illinois infantry. Both Mr. and Mrs. Schlosser were consistent members of the Lutheran church. Abraham Fleagle, maternal grandfather of subject, served in the British and Indian wars.
Samuel Schlosser was educated in the old-time subscription schools, was thoroughly trained to farming, and at the age of twenty-one years, on September 11, 1856, married, in Montgomery county, Miss Mary Beachler, who was born August 5, 1834, a daughter of Frederick and Annie Beachler. The father, Frederick Beachler, was a native of Germany, and, to avoid military duty in that country, came to the United States while he was still a young man, located in Montgomery county, Ohio, where he was married, and bought eighty acres of land, on which he lived until his death, in middle age, in 1855, and in the faith of the Lutheran church. To Mr. Beachler were born eight children, viz: Henry, Jacob, John, Leonard, Michael, George, Lewis and Mary. Of these children Leonard was in the One Hundred and Thirty-first Indiana volunteer infantry, and served 100 days during the late war.
Samuel Schlosser, after his marriage, lived on a farm in Montgomery county for a short time, and then moved to Jay county, Ind., where he farmed for eighteen months. Returning to Montgomery county, Ohio, he settled on a tract in Clay township, December 24, 1863, he enlisted at Dayton, in company I, Ninety-third Ohio volunteer infantry, and served until honorably discharged at Saint Louis, Mo., December 26, 1865, He took part in the battles of Loudon and Clinton, Tenn., was all through the famous Atlanta campaign, then in the battles of Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain and again in the front of Atlanta; took part in the fights at Jonesboro, Lovejoy Station, Spring Hill, Columbia, and at the first battle at Franklin, where, on the night of the retreat, he was run over by a mule team and so badly injured that he has never fully, recovered. After a short confinement in hospital at Nashville, Tenn., and Saint Louis, Mo., Mr. Schlosser was transferred to Jefferson barracks, in the latter city, and assigned to the Second battalion veteran reserve corps, in which he .served until his final discharge. With the exception of the above-mentioned hospital treatment he was never laid up, save for four weeks with chronic rheumatism, and at all other times was an active and willing soldier, who took part wherever his regiment was engaged or did duty. Since the war Mr. Schlosser has followed his trade of shoemaking and has also been engaged in the cultivation of his farm, which he had purchased before the war. To Mr. and Mrs. Schlosser have been born four children, viz: Ann M., Nancy J., Francis M. and Harry C. The family are members of the German Baptist church, and Mr. Schlosser belongs to the Foster Marshall post. No. 587, G. A. R., of Brookville. Mr. Schlosser is respected as an industrious and honorable citizen and as a devoted friend of the country he has served so well.
JAMES SUNDERLAND, [pages 1198-1199] of Vandalia, Ohio, one of the most prominent and substantial farmers of Butler township, Montgomery county, is of sterling Scotch-Irish ancestry, and was born on the old homestead of his father, August 31, 1823. He is of the third generation of Sunderlands in Ohio, and now occupies the farm on which he was born. He is a son of William and Margaret (Miller) Sunderland, for fuller mention of whom the reader is referred to the biography of Richard Sunderland, elsewhere to be found in this volume.
James Sunderland, when a boy, attended school in one of the old-fashioned school-houses, made of large, round logs, with greased paper for windows, with a large fireplace at one end and a stick and clay chimney. Here he received the little education that fell to his share. Brought up on the farm, he became a farmer, and was married when he was twenty-one years of age, April 18, 1844, to Miss Mary Wells, who was born November 12, 1828, on the Wells homestead. She was a daughter of Samuel and Mary (Johnson) Wells, for fuller mention of whom the reader is referred to the biographical sketch of Richard Sunderland.
After their marriage they immediately settled on the old homestead and have lived there ever since. To them have been born the following children: Matilda J., Malinda E., Winfield S., Francis M., Emma F., Delia A., Bista A. and Mary R. Malinda E. died when nineteen years of age; Winfield S. died July 18, 1878; Francis M., May 10, 1872, when nineteen years old; Emma F. at the age of three years; Bista A. at the age of seven, and Mary R. when three years of age.
In politics Mr. Sunderland is a republican, but is in no sense a seeker after office. He inherited 100 acres of the old homestead, and by thrift and industry he has added to it until he now has 800 acres of as fine land as can be found in this rich valley. It extends a mile and a half on the Miami river and is most fertile land, being developed by skillful cultivation and improved by the erection of excellent buildings. Seventy-five acres of this farm are still in their primitive state, covered over with noble timber.
Mr. Sunderland is a practical and successful farmer, and is a man who stands high in the community for the sterling worth and strength of his character. Winfield S. Sunderland married Alice N. Brentlinger, by whom he had one son, Walter E., still living. Matilda J. married H. H. Cassell, and they are living on the Sunderland farm. Delia A. married John K. Booker, and they have four children, as follows: James A., Harry 0., Raleigh and Mary E.
The Sunderland family descends from early pioneer stock, as does also the Wells family. Mary Johnson, the maternal grandmother of Mrs. Sunderland, was born in North Carolina, and lived to be ninety-three years old. When she came to Ohio she was a widow, and her children were, Jesse, John, David, Mary, Rebecca and Nancy. Mrs. Johnson settled on land in Montgomery county, and with the aid of her children made a good home in the woods. She was a woman of wonderful mental ability and was a pioneer of Butler township, settling here in 1804.
LEWIS R. SMITH, [pages 1199-1200] an honored citizen of Brookville, and one of the old soldiers of the Civil war, was born in Stark county, Ohio, October 24, 1828. He is a son of Peter and Catherine (Richard) Smith, the Smith family being of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock and from an old colonial family. On the mother's side, the grandfather of the subject came from Germany, and the mother was born on the ocean during the voyage of the family to America.
Lewis R. Smith was taken by his parents to Montgomery county, they settling on the present site of Phillipsburg, when he was but six years of age, in 1834. He received the rudiments of his education in the common schools, and later went to Indiana, where he learned the wagon and carriagemaker's trade, afterward mastering the carpenter's trade. When he was twenty-eight years old he married Lydia Davis, daughter of George Davis, a native of England. After his marriage he settled at Phillipsburg, where he worked at his trade, that of carpenter. The war of the Rebellion having broken out, Mr. Smith enlisted at Dayton, Ohio, on August 15, 1861, as a member of company D, Eighteenth United States infantry, and while on the way to Pittsburg Landing was transferred to company B, of the same regiment, and made orderly sergeant. He was honorably discharged August 15, 1864, at Columbus, Ohio. In October, 1864, he enlisted in company F, Seventh United States veteran volunteers (called Hancock's veteran United States volunteers) for one year, and served his time, thus giving four full years to his country's cause. He was in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Pittsburg Landing, the siege of Corinth, the battle of Chickamauga, beside many skirmishes and several raids. He received no gunshot wounds, but was struck on the right wrist by a ball and slightly wounded at the battle of Stone River. At this battle his captain had both legs shot off by a cannon ball and the lieutenant of his company was killed. During the remainder of the engagement Sergt. Smith was in command of the company, most of whose members were killed, so severe was the fighting.
Sergt. Smith was sick for a short time in hospital No. 13, Nashville, Tenn., and was made a commissary sergeant. He was placed in the convalescent camp at Nashville, Tenn., was ordered before the board of transfer, and made clerk of said board, in which capacity he served for two months. After this board was disbanded, Sergt. Smith was sent to Columbus, Ohio, where he served at headquarters as clerk until discharged. Always an earnest soldier, he was in all the battles, skirmishes, marches, campaigns and raids of his regiment. The severest engagements in which he took part were those of Stone River and Chickamauga, in which the regular troops performed very efficient service. The battle of Stone River lasted nearly all of one week, from the first skirmish to the end of the fighting. Sergt. Smith was at the time of the war in the prime of life, vigorous and hardy, and endured all the hardships of a soldier's life with fortitude and courage. After the close of the war he returned to Phillipsburg, Ohio.
His first wife died previous to his entering the army in 1861. By her he had two children, both of whom died young. On January 31, 1865, he married Mary Thomas, a widow, who was born in Montgomery county, March 26, 1741, and was a daughter of John and Nancy (Warner) Johns. She was the widow of Seth Thomas, who was a soldier in the Sixty-third Ohio volunteer infantry, and who died in hospital at Memphis, Tenn., September 31, 1862.
John Johns was of Welsh descent and a pioneer of Montgomery county, and a substantial farmer. He and his wife were the parents of the following children: Elizabeth, Lydia, Lewis W., Samuel W., Ephraim, Hettie A., David, Sarah, Mary and Susan, Mr. Johns lived to be seventy-nine years old, and died on his farm, a respected citizen. Politically, he was a republican. He had one son in the Civil war, Lewis W. Johns, who was a member of the Sixty-third Ohio volunteer infantry, and who participated in several battles.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith resided in Phillipsburg until 1880, when they. removed to Brookville. To them there have been born two sons, George B., now of Dayton, Ohio, and head bookkeeper for a large manufacturing firm, and Sylvester deceased—and one daughter, Ollivia, deceased. Mr. Smith is an active republican, and was postmaster under President Hayes for two years. He served as mayor of Brookville three terms and as a member of the council one term. He has also held the office of justice of the peace six years, and of notary public twenty-nine years. As a member of the school board he has rendered valuable service to his fellow-citizens.
His father, Peter Smith, lived for a long time in Lancaster county, Pa., in which county he was born. He served in the war of 1812. He and his wife were the parents of seven children, as follows; John R., Mary, Peter, Rebecca, Lewis R., Henry and Samuel R. Peter Smith came to Ohio about 1829, was a miller by trade, but settled on a farm near Canton, Stark county, Ohio, removing with his family to Montgomery county in 1834. Here he cleared a farm of ninety-six acres, and became a leading and substantial citizen. He was a republican in politics, and had three sons in the Civil war, viz: Lewis R., Heary and Samuel R., the two former in the same regiment, and Samuel R. in the Sixty-third Ohio volunteer infantry. He died on his farm at the age of seventy-three.
LEVI H. TURNER, [pages 1200-1201] of Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, an ex-soldier of the late Civil war, and a prosperous farmer, was born in Liberty, Jefferson township, this county, on the 18th of October, 1844. His parents, Daniel and Elizabeth (Hoffman) Turner, were natives of Pennsylvania, of German descent, and were early settlers in Montgomery county, Ohio.
Levi H. Turner was educated in the common schools, but continued his studies at home until some time after he vvas married. He was reared to farming and was noted for his industry as a young man. At the age of twenty years he enlisted in the Ohio national guards, under Capt. John Nicholas, for five years. In May, 1864, he was mustered into the United States service, at Columbus, Ohio, under the call for 100-day men, was assigned to company F, One Hundred and Thirty-first regiment. Ohio volunteer infantry, under Capt. Daniel Holderman, and was on guard duty at Fort McHenry, Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md., until his honorable discharge in August, 1864. He then resumed farming, and on October 24, 1867, married Miss Annie Baker, who was born December 2, 1848, the daughter of Benjamin and Frances (Niswonger) Baker, to whom reference is made in the review of the life of Levi Baker elsewhere in this volume.
After marriage, Mr. Turner farmed in Clay township for a short time, then removed to Jefferson township and lived on the old Turner homestead for about nine years. In 1877 he bought the farm of seventy-five acres in Clay township on which he still resides, and which he has converted into one of the finest places of its size in the township. Mr. and Mrs. Turner also resided in Dayton for about six years, Mr. Turner being during this time interested in a stone quarry. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Turner have been born four children, viz: Ettie A., who is married to Oliver F. Dillman, a hardware merchant in Brookville, and is the mother of three children: Lillie M., now a young lady; Clara L., who died at eight years of age, and Chester H., now a young man and making his home with his parents. In politics Mr. Turner is a democrat, and he and his wife and children are members of the United Brethren church.
Daniel Turner, the father of Levi H., was a son of David Turner, who died on his farm near Lewistown, Pa., and who was the father of the following named children: John, James, Robert, David, Sarah and Daniel. Of these, John and Daniel settled in Dayton. Daniel was a cabinetmaker and for many years worked at his trade in Liberty. He first married Miss Sallie Birch, the union resulting in the birth of six children, viz: Harrison, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth, William and Jacob. Mrs. Sallie Turner having died, Daniel Turner married Miss Elizabeth Hoffman, daughter of John and Elizabeth Hoffman, and to this marriage were born Margaret, Malinda, Levi H., Ella, John, Samuel, Minerva, Josie, Manass, and one that died in infancy. Daniel Turner, after a residence of many years in Liberty, finally purchased a farm of 237 acres near the town, on which he passed the remainder of his days, dying in December, 1877, at the age of seventy-eight years, in the faith of the United Brethren church.
JEREMIAH WEST, [pages 1201-1202] an esteemed citizen of Brookville, Ohio, and an ex-soldier of the Civil war, was born October 22, 1844, in Warren county. He is a son of Joseph and Mary (Kelkner) West, the family on his father's side being an old American family of Scotch descent. Having received a good common-school education he was beginning to learn the carpenter's trade when the war of the Rebellion broke out, he being one of the first to respond to his country's call, enlisting April 16, 1861, at Dayton, Ohio, for three months, as a private soldier in company D, First Ohio volunteer infantry. Under this enlistment he served four months, and was honorably discharged August 16, 1861. During this short period of service he was in a slight skirmish at Vienna, and in the first battle of Bull Run.
Returning to Montgomery county, Ohio, he enlisted September 19, 1862, in company G, Eleventh United States infantry, under Capt. W. B. Lowe, but served under Capt. J. K. Lawrence. This enlistment was for three years, or during the war. He was honorably discharged at Richmond, Va., September 19, 1865, at the expiration of his full term of service. The battles in which he took part were those of Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Spottsylvania Court House, and North Anna, beside many smaller engagements and skirmishes. At Cold Harbor, June 2, 1864, he was taken prisoner, with about 500 others of his command, on a flank movement of the rebels, was taken to the infamous Libby prison, confined there eight days, and then taken to the still more infamous prison at Andersonville, arriving there June 15, 1864. Here were confined 15,000 miserable, starving Union soldiers, and during that summer their numbers were increased to about 35,000. Owing to the terribly close crowding of the stockade, the want of shelter from the fierce rays of the southern sun, the filth, bad water, and exceedingly poor and scanty food, the soldiers died off with frightful rapidity. It was estimated that about 8,000 died during the months of July and August. Mr. West's imprisonment lasted four and a half months, during which long period thousands of Union soldiers starved to death. When he entered the prison Mr. West weighed 172 pounds; when he left it he weighed 108 pounds.
From Andersonville he was taken to Charleston, and was there confined in the race course, receiving about the same treatment as in Andersonville. He was transferred thence to the Florence bull pen, from which he was paroled December 17, 1864, and sent direct to the Union lines. For some time he was in the hospital at Annapolis, Md., and at length joined his regiment at Richmond, Va. For some time afterward he was on detached duty on the police force until discharged.
Having left the army on his honorable discharge Mr. West returned to Dayton, Ohio, learned the iron molder's trade and worked thereat until 1872. In 1871, however, he removed to Brookville, and in September of that year married Hester A. Mcllroy, daughter of Jacob and Roberta (Bloom) Mcllroy. Mr. and Mrs. West are members of the Lutheran church, in which he has held the office of deacon. He is a member of Foster Marshall post, No. 587, G. A. R., of Brookville, Ohio, and of Libanus lodge, No. 80, F. & A. M., of Lewisburg, Ohio. Politically he is a republican. He was one of the best soldiers, served with patience and fortitude, and takes justifiable pride in the time he spent in the service of his country.
DAVID L. BOOHER, [pages 1202-1203] one of the representative citizens of Butler township, Montgomery county, Ohio, and a descendant of one of the original pioneers of the county, was born on his father's homestead, July 11, 1841.
John Booher, grandfather of David L., was born in Washington county, Md., of German descent, and from Maryland moved to Washington county, Pa. He married Elizabeth Croll, and reared a large family of children, of whom the names of the following are remembered: John, Bartholomew. Samuel, Levi, Daniel, Sarah, Margaret and Elizabeth. In 1803 Mr. Booher brought his family to Ohio and settled four miles north of Dayton in the wilderness, where Indians were numerous and often came to trade with the white men.
Samuel Booher, father of David L., was born in Washington county, Pa., and when a child was brought to Ohio by his parents, and was reared a pioneer farmer. He first married Mary Beardshear, and to this marriage were born George, Maria, Lizzie, Mary and Kate. After the death of his first wife he married Miss Elizabeth Combs, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Combs, and to them were born the following children: William, Eliza, Martha J., David L,, Jacob, William (who died at the age of thirty-five years) and John K. In religion Mr. Booher was a member of the United Brethren church and Mrs. Booher of the German Baptist church. After his first marriage Mr. Booher settled on a farm of 160 acres, and by his skillful management increased his estate until he owned about 900 acres in Montgomery county, Ohio, and about 900 acres in Adams county, Ind. He lived to be seventy-seven years of age and died universally respected as one of the most progressive as well as upright men of the county.
David L. Booher received a good common-school education and was reared to farming on the old homestead. At the age of twenty-five years he married, in Dayton, December 13, 1866, Annie M. Smith, born February 18, 1843, a daughter of James and Sarah (Snyder) Smith. He occupied a part of his father's old home farm, where he lived until 1879, when he came to his present place of 507 acres, where he is engaged in general farming and stock raising. In politics Mr. Booher is a republican. The only child born to Mr. and Mrs. Booher was named George W., whose lamented death occurred at the age of twenty-two years. He was a young man of great promise, and his death was deeply felt by his devoted parents.
James Smith, the father of Mrs. Booher, was born in England about 1802, came to America when eighteen years old, and settled in Dayton in 1820, when that city contained few houses and but one store. He passed some years working in distilleries in different parts of the county, and finally bought a farm of 200 acres in Mad River township; subsequently he purchased another farm of 160 acres, and still later another of 160 acres, thus owning 520 acres at the time of his death, which took place on his original farm in 1870, at the age of sixty-eight years. He was in religion a member of the Presbyterian church, and in politics a republican. His children were named William, James, Alvin, Annie (deceased), Jennie, Edith, Anna M. (now Mrs. Booher), Elizabeth, Lottie and Louie. Mrs. Smith, his widow, is now a resident of Dayton, and is seventy-seven years of age. Her maiden name was Sarah Snyder, and she was born in Pennsylvania in 1819, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Crum) Snyder, who came to Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1820.
WILLIAM WELLS, [pages 1203-1204] whose post-office is Vandalia, Ohio, is one of the most substantial farmers of Butler township, Montgomery county. His father, Samuel Wells, was born in Virginia, and became an orphan in early life. From his seventh year, in which he lost his parents, he was reared by his uncle, Samuel Wells, who came to Ohio when his nephew Samuel was still quite a small boy. This uncle settled near the north line of Montgomery county, and here young Samuel grew up among the pioneers. Receiving only a limited education, he became a farmer at an early age. He married Mary Johnson, and they settled in Butler township, on seventy-three acres of land, then covered over with woods. This land Mr. Wells cleared and made a good home and productive farm. His children were as follows: Rebecca, Mary, Nancy, Sarah and William. Mr. Wells took a deep interest in religious matters, and was a member of the Christian church. He was a highly-respected citizen, and lived to the good old age of eighty-seven.
William Wells, the subject of this sketch, was born May 16, 1830, on the Wells homestead in Butler township. Receiving the usual common-school education of his day, he was brought up a farmer, an occupation which he has followed all his life. On May 22, 1850, he married Nancy Sunderland, who was born March 25, 1832, in Butler township, on the old Sunderland homestead.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Wells settled on the farm on which they have since lived, beginning on twenty-seven acres of land, all of which was covered with timber. This farm Mr. Wells cleared up, and, by continued hard labor and thrift, at length added thereto until today he owns a farm of 327 acres, all of which is in an excellent state of cultivation. Both Mr. and M»s. Wells are members of the United Brethren church, and in politics Mr. Wells is a republican. He is one of the most practical and able farmers of Butler township, as is shown by the growth of his possessions. He is emphatically a self-made man, and, aided by his faithful wife, he has achieved deserved success. Their children are as follows: Ellis E., William S. and Charles H.
Ellis E. married Emma Clemmer. William S. married Laura Brentlinger, and has one child, Irene. Charles H. married Cora Beeson, and has one child, Ralph. The three brothers are all farmers upon the home place.
The Wells family is one of the pioneer families of Butler township, and stands high in the community. By industry they thrive, and by right living they win the respect of all their neighbors.
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