Header Graphic
Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 1204-1218 Rev. Aaron Zehring to David Rasor

REV. AARON ZEHRING, [pages 1204-1206] a retired minister of the United Brethren church, with his residence at Brookville, Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, is of Pennsylvania-German descent and was born in Warren county, Ohio, near Lebanon, September 22, 1830.

Christian Zehring, his great-grandfather, was the first of the family to come from Germany to America and was one of the pioneers of Pennsylvania, where he was apprenticed until his passage money and that of his family was paid in full to the ship owners who had brought them across the ocean, when he became a farmer and prospered. His son Christian, the grandfather, of our subject, was but a small boy on arriving in this country, and, like his father's, his services and time were sold, but he fell into good hands and was taught blacksmithing and iron working. In due course of time he married a Miss Rough, who bore him the following children: Samuel, Henry, David, and a daughter whose name cannot be remembered. After the death of Mrs. (Rough) Zehring, Christian again married, and to this union were born John, Christian, Henry, Philip, David, Barnheart, Peter, Polly and Susannah. Having amassed considerable money, Christian Zehring brought all his family, with the exception .of his son John, to the Buckeye state, as early as 1818, settled in the woods of Warren county, near Lebanon, and also purchased in Warren and Montgomery counties farms for each of his sons. On his new farm in Warren county he passed the remainder of his days, and, although he had been a member of the German Reformed church in Pennsylvania, he died in the faith of the United Brethren church.

Barnheart Zehring, father of Rev. Aaron Zehring, was born in Lebanon, Pa., in July, 1798, and came to Ohio with his parents in 1818, the family journeying in wagons.  He had been taught wagonmaking by his father, who, on that account, presented him with but eighty acres of land, while he gave to his other sons 160 acres each. Barnheart worked at his trade in Warren county for a number of years, and then took possession of his land and began farming.  In 1823 he married, near Carlisle, Montgomery county, Elizabeth Swartzel, who was born in Warren county, Ohio, in 1800, a daughter of Philip Swartzel.

Philip Swartzel was a native of Pennsylvania, of German descent, and was one of the earlier pioneers of Warren county, Ohio, who endured all the hardships of frontier life, building, on his arrival here, a cabin of round saplings, with neither door nor windows. He had been inured to hardships in the war of 1812, and was well prepared for the life of a pioneer, which he perhaps found to be congenial, as he lived to an advanced age. To himself and wife were born ten children, as follows: Jacob, George, Abraham, Katie, Sophia, Elizabeth, Susan, Mary, Rachael and Lina.

After his marriage Barnheart Zehring cleared a piece of wild land, on which he lived for seven years, and then resided on the Swartzel homestead for quite a number of years. He next bought 160 acres six miles north of Germantown, on which he made his home for some time, when he sold this and bought another tract of 160 acres in Montgomery county, where he passed the remainder of his life.  He was a member of the United Brethren church, in which he was a trustee, and to the support of which he contributed liberally. In politics he was first a democrat, and voted for Andrew Jackson for the presidency of the United States, but later changed his political affiliations and became a republican, and sent one of his sons, John, to fight for the Union in the late Civil war.  He and his wife were the parents of seven children, born in the following order: Maria, Catherine, Susannah, Aaron, Abraham, Sophia and John. He died in his religious faith, and was an honored and valued citizen. His widow lived to reach the advanced age of eighty-nine years, and died May 11, 1889.

Rev. Aaron Zehring, whose name opens this biographical memoir, received a very good preliminary education in the common schools, and later attended the Otterbein university for five years, entering the ministry of the United Brethren church and preaching for nine months at New Hope. After his ordination in 1860 he first settled in Montgomery county, and for two years filled the Mount Zion circuit; he was then transferred to the New Haven circuit in Hamilton county, where he preached two years, and then for two years officiated in Butler, when he was disabled by sickness. Soon after that event he temporarily returned to the Zehring homestead in Montgomery county, where he remained one year, then moved to Darke county, where he had charge of the Mount Zion circuit for about two years, after which he passed a few months in Hamilton county, and then for three years lived in Germantown, Montgomery county; he next lived on a farm for seven years, then bought eighty acres two miles east of Brookville, improved the place and resided on it three years.  He then purchased the old Zehring homestead of 160 acres, on which he lived until he retired to Brookville, when he placed his son Charles in charge of the farm, of which he still owns no acres.

Mr. Zehring was united in marriage in Preble county, October 10, 1861, with Miss Sallie Burtner, who was born in Montgomery county, February 11, 1838, a daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Kemp) Burtner, the former of whom was born in Cumberland county, Pa., August 1, 1808, and was of German descent. Mr. Burtner came with his parents to Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1828, and settled five miles north of Dayton. He married , Catherine Kemp in Germantown, and to their union were born Julien, Lucinda, Sallie, Abraham, Joseph, Jacob, Joshua and Francis M.

Directly after his marriage, Jacob Burtner settled on a farm of 160 acres, four miles from Enterprise, Preble county, and there lived for many years. He and his wife are members of the United Brethren church, and in this faith Mr. Burtner expired at Germantown, Montgomery county, aged seventy-eight years.

Rev. Aaron Zehring inclines to republican-ism in his political opinions, and is also a strict prohibitionist.  In his church work he has ever been ardent and energetic, and his life has been one of great usefulness.  He and his wife have a family of three children— Charles W., Lizzie C. and William 0.


JACOB SEYBOLD, [pages 1206] a prosperous farmer of Mad River township, Montgomery A J  county, Ohio, was born in Harrison township, same county, April 1, 1842. He is a son of John George and Jacobina (Fulmer) Seybold, both natives of Wurtemberg, Germany. They were the parents of twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, six of whom are still living, as follows: John G.; Frederick; Mary Ann, wife of Abram Prugh; Jacob, the subject of this sketch, and William.

John George Seybold, father of these children, was a baker by trade in his native country, came to the United States and settled two miles north of Dayton, where he lived until his death. He owned 360 acres of land at the time of his death, which is evidence of his industry and economy. He died when sixty-two years of age.  His wife survived him until April 11, 1893, when she died at the age of ninety-one years and nine months.   Both were members of the Lutheran church, and were most excellent people in every respect. Mr. Seybold was a quiet, unobtrusive man, strictly attentive to business, and strongly in favor of temperance, theoretically and practically.  The paternal grandfather of Jacob Seybold died in Germany. He was a prominent man in his day, and a soldier in the German army. The maternal grandfather also died in Germany.

Jacob Seybold was reared in Harrison township, Montgomery county, attended the district school, and remained at home until he was twenty-one years of age. He then began the battle of life on his own account, by working for his father for $160 per year, using only ten dollars of that sum during the entire year. Then, buying a team, he began farming and lost nearly $300 the first year. His brother then offered him employment, which he declined, but continued to work on the farm, to buy stock, and has since accumulated a handsome property, his first year's experience having been of great value to him.

Mr. Seybold was married, February 23, 1881, to Miss Maggie E. Null, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Walts) Null, the former of whom was horn in Berberia and the latter in Montgomery county, Ohio. No children were born to this marriage. Mrs. Seybold was a good woman, and a member of the Reformed church. She was of a happy and lovable disposition, and made friends of all with whom she came in contact. She died April 26, 1894. Their home was a mansion in its dimensions, there being twenty-two rooms therein, and the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Seybold was well known to a great circle of friends. Mrs. Seybold was always of a cheerful disposition, carrying brightness and sunshine into the lives of those about her.

Mr. Seybold is of a peculiarly frank and generous disposition. As a farmer he is industrious and successful, has one of the best of farms, finely improved, and is an intelligent and well-informed citizen. As an independent democrat he has held the office of township supervisor for fifteen years.  Few men, if any, in the county stand higher in the estimation of the people generally than does Jacob Seybold.



JACOB DETWILER, [page 1209] one of the most venerable citizens of Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Montgomery county, Pa., September 6, 1814.  He is a son of John and Catherine (Jones) Detwiler, who were of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock.  Jacob Detwiler, the grandfather of the subject, was a farmer of Montgomery county, Pa.  He owned a farm of 100 acres, upon which he lived until his death, which occurred in Pennsylvania.  His eldest son, John Detwiler, father of Jacob, was born in Montgomery county, Pa., and was by occupation a farmer.  To him and his wife there were born, beside Jacob, the following children:  James, Amos, John, Abraham, George, Abel, Benjamin, Catherine, Elizabeth and Sarah.  John Detwiler was a Mennonite in religion, and lived to be sixty-six years old, dying on his farm.  He was one of the successful farmers of his day and an upright citizen.

Jacob Detwiler, whose name opens this sketch, was reared to hard work on the farm, received a good education in the common schools, and learned the wagonmaker’s trade. He was married March 9, 1848, in Montgomery county, Pa., to Elizabeth Rittenhouse, who was born April 24, 1824, and was a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Riner) Rittenhouse.  Her grandfather and great-grandfather were both name Martin Rittenhouse. Martin Rittenhouse, the grandfather, was of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock, and was of the third generation from the original founder of the family in America.  The family were Quakers in religion and Rittenhouse Square was named for David Rittenhouse, the first director of the United States mint in Philadelphia.  Martin Rittenhouse lived near Germantown, Pa., in what is now included in the town of Rittenhouse.  He was an extensive land holder, and now lies buried in the old cemetery at Germantown, near where once stood the old Penn treaty tree.  He married Susan Detwiler, by whom he had the following children:  Jacob, Nicholas, Joseph, Martin and William.  He was a prosperous citizen, a prudent man and his long life was fruitful of good to his generation.  He died of old age.

Jacob Rittenhouse, the father of Mrs. Detwiler, was born in Germantown, was married in Montgomery county, Pa., to Mary Riner, daughter of Henry and Susan (Guispart) Riner, and was a substantial farmer.  He and his wife reared the following children:  Henry, David, Martin, Jacob, William, Samuel and Elizabeth.  In religious views and opinions he was unusually liberal for the day and age in which he lived.  He died when sixty-one years old.

After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Detwiler settled at Evansburg, Pa., and after living there one year came to Ohio, locating in Montgomery county, near Dayton, where Mr. Detwiler worked at his trade, that of wagonmaker, which he had began to learn when he was eighteen years old in Pennsylvania.  After working in Dayton five years he bought a farm of ninety-three acres near Brookville, lived upon it one year, and then went to Nebraska, but not long afterward returned to Montgomery county, and engaged in the saw-mill business near Amity.  Then removing to Brookville he bought eighty-seven acres of land in Clay township, living upon it five years, after which he bought a farm of upward of ninety acres, which he occupied for one year.  He then removed to a farm of 130 acres north of Brookville, which he still owns, as well as four acres in Brookville.  Mr. Detwiler has been an honorable and industrious man, has reaped the reward of his energy and thrift.  He has lived a retired life for the last thirteen years, and for the past seven years has been confined to the house.  In politics he is a republican.  His children are Malinda, Elizabeth, Medora, Jeanette, Theodore and Franklin.


REV. JOHN BRUMBAUGH, [page 1210] Clayton post office, one of the successful farmers of Randolph township, and a minister in the German Baptist church, is of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock.  His grandfather, Daniel Brumbaugh, was a brother of the father of the original pioneer of Randolph township, Samuel Brumbaugh, who was the father of John R. Brumbaugh, whose sketch appears on another page.

Daniel Brumbaugh owned a farm in what is now Lincoln township, Huntingdon county, Pa., in Woodcock valley.  In religious belief he was a German Baptist and was a deacon in his church for many years.  He married Nancy Bowers, by whom he had the following children:  John, Abraham, Daniel, Isaac, Elizabeth and Nancy.  Daniel Brumbaugh lived to be eighty years old, and throughout his entire life was a strong, rugged man.  He was one of the first settlers in his neighborhood, and, owning several farms, he gave to each of his children land.  A hard-working, industrious man, he was much respected by all for his exemplary Christian character.

Daniel Brumbaugh, third son of the above, and father of John H., was born on his father’s farm in Huntingdon county, Pa., and lived on the old homestead all his life.  He married Mary Hoover, who was born in Blair county, Pa., and was a daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Puterbaugh) Hoover. To this marriage there were born nine children, as follows:  Elizabeth, David, Levi, Nancy, John H., Mary, Daniel, Kate and Samuel.  Mr. Brumbaugh was a member of the German Baptist church, a devout Christian and an upright man.  His death occurred on his farm, when he was sixty-eight years old.

Rev. John H. Brumbaugh was born July 20, 1848, on the old Brumbaugh homestead.  His education was limited to that obtainable in the district school, and he was reared a farmer, though by assiduous private reading and study he has become one of the best informed men of his day.  At the age of twenty-one he came to this county and went to work for his brother David, in Randolph township, and for this brother he worked for two years.  On November 16, 1871, he married Miss Sophie Bookmiller, who was born July 2, 1848, and is a daughter of Frederick Bookmiller. Frederick Bookmiller was born in Germany and married there.  By his first wife he had three children, Augustus, Sophie and Minnie.  The mother of these children died and he married again, also in Germany, came to the United States with his family, and is now living in Toledo, Ohio.  Rev. Mr. Brumbaugh and wife settled in Clay township, lived there two years, and then removed to Randolph township, where they rented land of Samuel K. Olinger, who was a member of the German Baptist church.  Mr. Olinger’s wife having died, he left his farm of ninety-nine acres to Mr. Brumbaugh, with the exception of a bequest to the church. Mr. Brumbaugh has since lived on this farm.

To the Rev. and Mrs. Brumbaugh there have been born the following children: Addison, loida, Effa, Della, Martha and John.  Mr. Brumbaugh has always been a devout member of the German Baptist church, having been made deacon in 1881, and in November, 1887, having been ordained minister.  He has served his church in that capacity ever since, to the acceptance of the members of the church.  He is a man of high character and of extensive reading, and is well qualified for the position which he so acceptably fills.


GEORGE HORNER, [pages 1210-1212] of Lewisburg, Ohio, springs from Pennsylvania-Dutch stock.  He is a son of William and Ellen (House) Horner, and was born April 9, 1836, in Perry township, Montgomery county, Ohio, received a good common school education, and was brought up a farmer.  He married, November 13, 1854, in Darke county, Ohio, Elizabeth Norris, who was born November 23, 1836, and was a daughter of Samuel and Lydia (Ireland) Norris.  After his marriage Mr. Horner settled on the old homestead, and to himself and wife there have been born eight children, as follows:  Lydia E., Ida M., Florence, Minnie, Charles, Flora, Ettie and Frank E., their names being given in the order of their birth, and all of whom are now living.

On August 8, 1862, Mr. Horner enlisted at Lewisburg, Preble county, Ohio, in company H, Ninety-third regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, under Capt. Matthias Desher, to serve three years or during the war, and going to the front left his wife on the farm with three small children. He served his country faithfully for nearly three years, being honorably discharged by reason of the close of the war, May 24, 1865, at Camp Dennison, Ohio.  After a service of one year he was promoted to corporal for meritorious conduct.  He was in the battles of Chickamauga and of Missionary Ridge; in a hard skirmish at Dandridge, Tenn, in the battle of Chattanooga;  on the Atlanta campaign, being in the battles of Dallas, Resaca, Buzzard Roost Mountain and Kenesaw Mountain.  In the last named engagement he had one finger of his left hand shot off, and beside was shot through the right shoulder by the same ball as he was loading his gun.  He was then in the field hospital until taken back to Chattanooga, where he was in the hospital for some time, and was then transferred to Nashville and placed in hospital No. 1. After a month spent there he was furloughed home, remained ninety days and then returned to the same hospital. After a stay here of two months he was transferred to Louisville, and thence to Madison, Ind., where he remained two months, being then transferred to Camp Dennison, Ohio, where he remained until discharged.  Mr. Horner lost his hearing at the battle of Chickamauga. Beside the battles mentioned, Mr. Horner was in many skirmishes and on many hard marches, always performing his duties as a soldier with promptness and faithfulness.  He was sick with typhoid fever in Kentucky, and was cared for in a  private house for two months. He participated in all the battles, skirmishes, marches and campaigns of his regiment, and after the war over returned to his home, and has ever since lived on the same farm.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Horner have been members of the United Brethren church since 1856, and he has held the office of steward, and assisted to build the church at Lewisburg, contributing liberally toward its support.  Politically he is a sound republican, though in early life he was a democrat.  He has taken an active part in public affairs, has been for sixteen yeas a member of the school board, and is in every respect an excellent citizen. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and a gentleman of public spirit and enterprise.

His grandfather, George Horner, came from Pennsylvania, and was the father of the following children:  George, Henry, Michael, Jacob, John, William, Catherine, Susan, Elizabeth and Dorothy.  George Horner removed with his family to Montgomery county as one of the early pioneers, settling in the woods of Perry township.  His death occurred when he was yet quite a young man, and his wife and boys cleared the farm.  Mrs. Horner was a woman of great force of character and an excellent manager.  The family were members of the Lutheran church.

William Horner, father of George, was born in Perry township, Montgomery county, about 1814, was reared on the farm, and married Ellen House, daughter of George and Catherine House.  They settled on the farm now occupied by the subject of this sketch, containing eighty acres of land, where William Horner died a few years later, at the age of twenty-six.  He was the father of two children, George and Sarah, the latter of whom died at the age of twelve.  Mrs. Horner lived to be fifty-eight years of age, dying on the home place in 1873. She was a woman of many excellent traits of character, and had many warm and admiring friends.

Samuel Norris, the father of Mrs. George Horner, came at an early day with his family from Canada, and settled in Hamilton county, Ohio.  He was the father of nine children, as follows:  Thomas; Mary and Louisa, twins; Rachael and Elizabeth, twins; Maggie, Almira, Andrew and Lydia Jane.  Mr. Norris removed to Darke county, Ohio, and cleared a farm of eighty acres, upon which he lived until he was eighty-five years old, and died in Lewisburg.  One of his sons served in the Civil war and was killed in the battle of Chickamauga.


JESSE L. JACKSON, [pages 1212-1213] a well-known farmer of Butler township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Fulton county, Pa., December 6, 1843, and is a son of Stiles and Anne (McLoughlin) Jackson, both natives of the Keystone state.

Stiles Jackson came of colonial ancestry and was a farmer in Fulton county, Pa., where he was born and reared and where he married Miss McLoughlin. To them were born the following children:  Elizabeth, Samuel, John, Charles W., Stiles H., James R., Jesse L., and one child who died young.  Mr. Jackson and his wife were members of the Methodist church, and in politics he was a republican.  He lived to be seventy-nine years of age.  Two of his sons, Charles W. and Stiles H., were soldiers in the Civil war—the former for four months, and the latter, as an officer, for over three years.  Stiles H. Jackson is now a county commissioner of Coffey county, Kans.

Jesse L. Jackson received a very good common-school education and remained on the home farm until nineteen years of age, when, August 22, 1862, he came to Ohio and settled in Montgomery county, and married, March 22, 1866, in Miami county, Miss Catherine Smith, born August 7, 1848, a daughter of John and Catherine (Yount) Smith.  Mr. Smith was descended from one of the pioneers of Montgomery county, and was twice married, his first wife, Catherine Yount, becoming the mother of two children—Catherine (Mrs. Jackson) and Ira; by his second wife, Mary Idemiller, he became the father of nine children, viz:  George, John, Elizabeth, Alexander, Peter, Jane, Ida, Leo and Esther.  Both parents are now deceased.

Mr. Jackson and wife lived for a year after their marriage near Dayton, and then bought land in Butler township, but shortly afterward went to Darke county, where Mrs. Jackson died April 24, 1872, the mother of the following children:  Ira, Charles, Frederick and Rebecca, the last of whom died in infancy.  Mr. Jackson’s second wife was Mary E. Tobias, whom he married in Darke county September 28, 1873.  She is a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (White) Tobias, and was born near Vandalia, Montgomery county, Ohio, January 11, 1850.

Daniel Tobias, a retired farmer, is a native of Ohio, of German descent, and was married March 18, 1847, to Elizabeth White, daughter of Barney White.  Beside Mrs. Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. Tobias have had born to them six children, viz:  Jonathan, Sarah, Laura,  Amelia, Walter, and one who died in infancy named David.  Mr. Tobias, as a farmer of Butler township, was both successful and prominent, but has now retired to private life.  He and his family are members of the Lutheran church.

After his second marriage, Mr. Jackson lived for a year in Darke county; and then returned to Butler township, Montgomery county, where he permanently settled, in 1875, on his present farm, which then consisted of but 100 acres, but now comprises 360, beside which he owns 100 acres near Vandalia.  Mr. Jackson has been prosperous in all his undertakings, and is now reaping the reward so justly due to his early industry and economy.  In politics he is a republican, but has never been an aspirant for public office.  The ten children born to Jesse L. Jackson and Mary E. (Tobias) Jackson are named Flora, Annie, Martin, Laura, Harry, Samuel, Bertha, Mamie, Arthur and Edith.  Of the children born to Mr. Jackson’s first marriage, Ira married Minnie Idemiller, and is a farmer in Miami county; Charles, also a farmer in Miami county, married Dora North; Frederick, engaged in the same vocation in the same county, married Lillie Idemiller.  Of the children born to the second marriage, Flora is married to Joseph Hartley, who lives on the home farm, and has one child; Annie is the widow of Luther Heidemyer, and has one child, a school-teacher.


MISS SARAH SOPHIA MUNGER, [pages 1213-1214] who lives in Mad River township, was born in Dayton, Ohio, and is a daughter of Warren and Elizabeth (Shoup) Munger, the former of whom was a native of Washington, Litchfield county, Conn., and the latter of Hagerstown, Md.  Warren and Elizabeth Munger were the parents of six children, two sons and four daughters, as follows:  Elizabeth, wife of Thomas J. Whyte; Sarah Sophia; Alice M., wife of William F. Gebhart; Edmund Grove, Warren and Harriet E.  Elizabeth and Sarah Sophia are the only ones now living.

In his early life Warren Munger, the father of the subject, was a lawyer, and followed this profession for some years, but on account of failing health he adopted farming as a vocation, purchasing a farm of between 400 and 500 acres in Mad River township in 1832, and moving upon it in 1840.  Here he passed the remainder of his life, dying in January, 1877, when he was nearly ninety years of age.  His widow died in January, 1880, at the age of seventy-six.  Both were members of the Protestant Episcopal church.  During his residence in Dayton, Mr. Munger was county recorder for fourteen years.

The father of Warren Munger was Edmund Munger, and was known as Gen. Munger.  He was a native of Connecticut, and in 1799 removed to Marietta, Ohio, and to Dayton in 1800.  In April 1812, when President Madison issued orders calling out a force of 1,200 Ohio militia for one year’s service, Gen. Munger was ordered to raise a company in Dayton.  Soon after the arrival of Gen. Meigs in Dayton, on May 6, 1812, Gen. Munger was sent by him to Greenville to inquire into the situation of the frontier settlements.  Edmund Munger settled on a farm twelve miles south of Dayton, on what is called Yankee street, on which he lived the rest of his life.  His property, which was of considerable value, he divided among his children, of whom he had ten.  He was a Presbyterian in religion, his house being the home of the pioneer preachers of the day.  He was a most popular man, of a genial and pleasant disposition, and had hosts of friends.  His death occurred when he was eighty-six years old.  His wife survived him, and lived to the remarkable age of 100 years. Both lie buried at Centerville.  The  Munger family are noted for their longevity, a brother of the general living to be ninety-four years of age.

The maternal grandfather of Miss Munger was named Shoup, and his wife was a Miss Dorothy Groff, which name afterward came to be  spelled Grove.  He was of English descent but a native of Maryland, while she was a native of Germany, or of German descent.  Mr. Shoup came to Ohio about 1812, and bought the mills now known as the Harris mills, which he operated for a short time only before his death.

Miss Sophia Munger, or “Aunt Sophia,” as she is familiarly called by her neighbors and friends, was reared and educated in Dayton.  She lived at home until the death of her parents, when the large farm was divided into three parts—she and her brother Grove living in the old home place until her brother’s death in 1889.  Her sister Harriet also lived there until her death, which occurred in 1893.  Neither of these sisters ever married.  The old home is now occupied by Miss Sarah Sophia Munger.  She is a member of Christ Episcopal church, of Dayton, which was organized in 1819.  She personally manages her farm, which consists of 132 acres.  Miss Munger has always taken great interest in the welfare of the city of Dayton and of Montgomery county, by whose people she is held in the highest esteem.


JOHN MYERS, [pages 1214-1215] a representative farmer of Montgomery township, one of the oldest settlers of Clay township, and a son of one of the early pioneers, was born July 29, 1828, about thirty miles west of Columbus, Ohio.  He is a son of Martin and Eva (Besecker) Myers, the former of whom came from Virginia to Ohio with his father, and was of Dutch stock. 

Martin Myers, who was a son of John and Margaret Myers, married in Columbus, Ohio, and settled on a farm.  He and his wife were the parents of the following children: Barbara, John, Catherine, Margaret, Elizabeth and Susannah.  Mr. Myers removed to Montgomery county, Ohio, about 1834, and settled on an eighty-acre tract of land, then covered with timber, and now owned and occupied by his son John.  Upon this tract he erected his log cabin, and by continuous hard work for many years cleared up his farm.  His wife was a good woman, skillful with the distaff and the loom, and spun and wove wool and flax, in this way materially aiding her husband in the long struggle for existence.  He made shingles from the large oak and poplar trees, thus managing until times had gradually improved.  He was a strong and hardy pioneer, working with great industry and perseverance to make a home for himself and family.  He lived to be fifty-five years old, and died on his farm in 1854.  My Myers was well known to all the settlers in his part of the country as a man of honesty and high character, and at his death had many friends who mourned his loss.

John Myers was about six years of age when he came with his father to Montgomery county.  His education was from necessity exceedingly limited, and he was brought up to the laborious life of the farm.  He married, December 17, 1851, in Clay township, Mary Ann Ganger, of Jackson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, who was born November 22, 1834, and was a daughter of George and Elizabeth (Richard) Ganger.  George Ganger was born September 5, 1811, in Pennsylvania, and was the son of John and Barbara (Redmond) Ganger, the former of whom came to Ohio and settled in Montgomery county as one of the earliest of the pioneers, locating in Jackson township.  His children were as follow:  John, Samuel, Jacob, Joseph, Christina, Mary and Fannie.  John Ganger settled in the woods, cleared up a farm, and lived to be eighty-six years old.

George Ganger came to Montgomery county with his father, and here married Elizabeth Richard, by whom he had the following children:  Many Ann, Joseph, Katirann, William, George, Levi and Elizabeth.  Mr. and Mrs. Ganger settled on land two miles south of Brookville, afterward moving to Bachman, Clay township, Montgomery county, where he bought eight-six acres of land, clearing most of it of its timber, making a good home, and later purchasing forty acres more near Bachman.  Mr. Ganger lived to seventy-nine years of age and died on his farm.  He was a man of excellent character, and earned the approbation and confidence of neighbors and friends.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Myers lived in Clay township, and in 1854 settled on the Myers homestead.  Here they have resided ever since, and the well-directed labor of Mr. Myers has resulted in his possession of a fertile, finely improved and beautiful farm.  He and his wife lived many years in the old log house, which stood for half a century.  The children of Mr. and Mrs. Myers are as follow:  Sarah A., John H., Susannah, Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary E., Charles and Ambert M. -–the last a school-teacher. Mr. and Mrs. Myers are members of the United Brethren church.  Mr. Myers is a democrat in politics, and is a citizen of standing and influence.  He and his wife have reared a large family, of which both are very proud.  Sarah A. married Daniel Boose, a farmer of Preble county, and by him has three children: John H. married Sarah A. Gebhart, of Clay township, and has three children; Lizzie married Joseph Havermale, a farmer of Montgomery county, and has two children;  Mary E. married Clarence Rasor, a farmer of Clay township, and has two children;  Samuel married Kate A. Hamel, is a farmer of Clay township, and has one child;  Ambert M. married Clara Leis, and has one child;  Charles married Cora B. Leis, and Susannah is at home.

Elizabeth (Richard) Ganger, the mother of Mrs. Myers, was a daughter of Joseph and Mary (McPherson) Richard.  She lived to be seventy-four years old, dying March 4, 1891.  Mr. Myers’ mother lived to be eighty-six years old, dying in 1890.


PETER RASOR, [pages 1215-1217] one of the oldest and most respected farmers of Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, is also descended from one of the oldest pioneer families of the county, as will be seen by the following record.

John Rasor, his grandfather, was the original settler of Clay township.  He was born in Dauphin county, Pa., and married a Miss Forney, the union resulting in the birth of eight children, viz:  Daniel, John, Barbara, Sarah, Annie, Fannie, Elizabeth and Katie.  He came with his family to Ohio in 1805 or 1806, and settled in Clay township on the land on which Jesse Kinsey now lives, but which was then all woodland and peopled only by Indians.  He built a log cabin, cleared his first farm of 160 acres, and also entered nine other farms in the vicinity, of 160 acres each, comprising, in all, nearly 1,500 acres.  He became homesick, however, and made a trip on foot back to the Keystone state, and on his return to Ohio died at the age of about sixty-three.

Daniel Rasor, son of John, had preceded his father to Montgomery county and had founded the town of Union, in Randolph township, where he built a grist-mill and distillery.  He had examined the land in Clay township, and through his reports the father was induced to immigrate to this locality.

John Rasor, the second son of John, the pioneer, and father of Peter Rasor, was born in Dauphin county, Pa., in 1790, and was about sixteen years of age when he came to Clay township with his father.  He was reared on the homestead among the Indians, for protection against whom the settlers built a block house on the present site of Salem, in which they were several times compelled to take refuge.  In 1815 Mr. Rasor married Miss Hannah Michael, who was born in Lancaster county, Pa., in 1797, a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Myers) Michael.

Jacob Michael was also one of the early pioneers of Montgomery county, and first located on Bear creek, but finally settled at Salem, Clay county, about 1809, on a tract of 640 acres, of which he induced John Rasor, the original pioneer, to purchase 276 acres, which constitutes the present John Rasor homestead. Mr. Michael was a capital marksman and a mighty hunter, but nevertheless cleared up a large farm and became a prosperous and influential citizen.  He lived to reach eight-six years, and was the father of the following children:  Hannah, Polly, Henry, Sallie, Elizabeth, Katie and Jacob.

To the marriage of John Rasor were born eleven children, viz:  Peter, John, Elizabeth, David, Daniel, Jacob, Henry, Samuel, Catherine, Mary and Noah.  Mr. Rasor was an excellent manager and accumulated 1,600 acres of land, with which he endowed all his children.  He was a prominent and influential factor in the affairs of his township for more than half a century, and died January 19, 1869, a member of the United Brethren church, his widow surviving until June 26, 1875, when she also expired in the same faith.

Peter Rasor, whose name opens this biographical memoir, was born on the Rasor homestead, in Clay township, April 15, 1817, the eldest of the children born to John and Hannah (Michael) Rasor.  His opportunities for an education were limited, there being but few schools in the neighborhood, and they of the class known as subscription.  But he became an excellent farmer, and May 23, 1839, he married, in Clay township, Miss Ann Maria Limbert, who was born in Pennsylvania, September 20, 1821, a daughter of Henry and Catherine (Wagner) Limbert.

Henry Limbert was born in Perry county, Pa., in 1787, a son of Henry Limbert, a farmer, born in Lancaster county, Pa., of German parentage, and a founder of the United Brethren church in Pennsylvania and of Otterbein college.  Henry, the father of Mrs. Rasor, had born to him thirteen children, viz:  John R., Barbara, Lewis, Henry, Catherine, Peter, Ann M., George, Levi, Adam, Susan, Elizabeth and Sarah.  Mr. Limbert came to Montgomery county in 1823 or 1824, and settled on a tract of 172 acres in Clay township, which he transformed into a profitable farm.  He was a member of the United Brethren church in high standing and assisted to erect the edifice at Arlington and that in Clay township, he being a founder of the denomination in the latter place.  He died June 27, 1869, a truly good man, honored and venerated by people of all creeds and of all conditions of life.

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Rasor, immediately after marriage, settled on the farm they still occupy, which comprises 160 acres and was then covered by the forest;  but this he has changed by hard and diligent work, and, with the assistance of his faithful wife, has made a home equal to any in the township.  The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Rasor has been blessed with a family of thirteen children, who were born in the following order:  John H., William F., Samuel M., Joseph, Adam S., Saloma E., Hannah C., Ezra M., Martha A., Edward G., Marietta, Ira N. and Clarence L.  Mr. and Mrs. Rasor are devoted members of the United Brethren church and are active and liberal in its support, and also take much interest in educational matters.  Mr. Rasor ranks among the best and most trusted citizens of the community, enjoying the confidence and esteem of all.


DAVID RASOR, [pages 1217-1218] one of the oldest native-born residents of Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born on the old homestead, January 17, 1821.  John Rasor, his grandfather, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., was a farmer by occupation, and married Miss A. Showers.  They were the parents of the following children:  Daniel, John, Lizzie, Barbara and Fannie, all of whom were born and reared in Lancaster county, Pa.  He was a member of the Amish church and was descended from the ancient stock that came from Germany in the early history of the state of Pennsylvania.  About 1805 Mr. Rasor moved with his family to Ohio, and when they passed through Dayton there was in that place but one log cabin.  David Rasor settled on the land where Jesse Kimer now lives.  At that time the country was all woods, and Mr. Rasor entered a large tract of land, giving to each of his children a farm.  He lived to be sixty-two years of age, dying two years after locating in Clay township, and lies buried on the farm.

John Rasor, his son, and the father of David Rasor, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., and when he came to Ohio with his parents was fifteen years old.  He was brought up among the pioneers, amid primitive surroundings and conditions, which did not permit of much educational culture, but he was always a reading man, and was well informed.  He married Hannah Michael, who was born in Pennsylvania and was a daughter of Jacob and Mary Michael, pioneers of Clay township.  To Mr. and Mrs. Rasor there were born eleven children, who grew to mature years, as follows:  Peter, Elizabeth, John, David, Daniel, Jacob, Samuel, Henry, Noah, Polly and Katie.  John Rasor, the father of these children, was reared on the land that his father entered, and cleared up a large farm, there being 280 acres in the homestead, beside which he owned a large tract which he gave to his children.  He and his wife were members of the United Brethren church.  He was one of the sturdy pioneers, and a man of unflagging industry.  During the early days of the settlement he was accustomed to drive a four-horse team before a large wagon twice a year, taking a load of produce sixty-two miles to Cincinnati to market, and returning with a load of supplies, thus making himself of great use to the early pioneers.

David Rasor, the subject of this sketch, was reared on the farm, receiving but a limited education in the old-fashioned log schoolhouse.  But he learned to read and write at school, and upon this knowledge as a basis, has built up an education that is thoroughly practical, and has always been a well-informed man on all subjects of general interest, being specially well-versed in all subjects connected with agriculture.  In July, 1843, he married Delilah Swenk, who was born in Perry township, in 1820, and was a daughter of John Swenk, a biographical sketch of this family appearing elsewhere in this volume.  After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Rasor settled in Salem, where they remained two years, and in 1846 located on 120 acres of land, which he had received from his father, all covered with timber except a small clearing.  By dint of patient industry—the only means in those days of getting on in the world—he cleared his land and added to it until at length he owned 245 acres in his home farm, beside other lands in Brookville.  To him and his wife there were born seven children, who grew to maturity, as follows: Henry, Ephraim (who died at the age of twenty-one), Mary A., Jane, Sarah A., Amanda and Susannah.  The parents were members of the United Brethren church, and Mrs. Rasor died March 4, 1894, aged seventy-three years, a woman of many virtues.  Mr. Rasor was one of the original republicans of the county, and has always belonged to that party.  All his long life has been passed in Montgomery county, where his family has been reared, and where he stands high in the esteem of all as a citizen of integrity and worth.

Henry Rasor, son of David, was born in 1846 on his father’s farm.  He was well educated in the common schools of the day, and when nineteen years of age enlisted at Dayton, Ohio, in February, 1865, in company B, Eighty-first regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, to serve six months, under Capt. Fanch.  His services were rendered in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania.  In July, 1865, he married Susan Shelt, of Preble county, and a daughter of Amos and Elizabeth Shelt.  Mr. Rasor, from his youth, has worked upon the home farm, but is now living in West Baltimore.  Politically he is a republican, and is one of the public-spirited, progressive citizens of the county.

Return to "Centennial Portrait" Home Page