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Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 1308-1310 John P. Creager to John Zehring

JOHN P. CREAGER, [pages 1308-1309] farmer, of Van Buren township, Montgomery county, was born in Franklin, Warren county, Ohio, in 1844. He is a son of William and Susanna (Doland) Creager, the former of whom was a native of Maryland and the latter of Warren county, Ohio. When yet a small child William Creager was brought to Ohio by his parents and was reared at Franklin, where his father followed his trade, that of blacksmith, for some years, but afterward bought a farm upon which he lived the remainder of his life. William Creager and his wife were the parents of eleven children, six sons and five daughters, seven of whom are now living, as follows:  John P.; Mary Ann, wife of Otho Mundebaugh; Ezra; Susanna, widow of Nicholas Eylar; Jacob; Eliza Jane, widow of James Mehan; and Emma F., wife of Elmer Marshll.

William Creager grew to man’s estate near Franklin, in Warren county, and in 1856 moved to Van Buren township, Montgomery county, where he bought a farm of 151 acres, afterward selling six acres, and lived on this farm the remainder of his life, dying November 1,1892, aged nearly eighty years. His wife died March 18, 1893, aged seventy years. She was a member of the Catholic church, and he was a Lutheran. Both were good citizens, and dying left many friends to mourn their loss.

The paternal grandfather of John P., Casper Creager, was a native of Maryland, but of German descent. At an early day he came west and settled in Warren county, where he died at a great age. There also his wife died. They reared a family of five children. The maternal grandfather, Mr. Doland, located at Franklin county, Ohio, as one of the pioneer settlers of the county, and died there at an advanced age.

John P. Creager, the subject of this sketch, was reared to farm life and labor on his father’s farm, which he now owns. He received his rudimentary education in the district schools, but has added to and supplemented this education, which was necessarily somewhat crude and deficient, by personal study, reading and observation, and has thus become one of the well-informed and intelligent citizens of his county. On March 17, 1887, he married Miss Julia M. Ditman, daughter of Jacob Ditman, and by this marriage he has two children, viz:  William Howard and John. Politically Mr. Creager is and always has been a democrat, but has never sought any official position, preferring the certain profits and quiet happiness of farm life to the turmoil and disappointments of politics. His farm, which is among the best in the county, contains 145 acres, is well improved and stocked, and furnishes him and his family with all the necessities and many of the luxuries of life. Mr. Creager’s excellent qualities have made him many friends throughout the surrounding country, wherever know.


SAMUEL SWADENER, [page 1309] one of the successful farmers of Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Van Buren township, this county, October 23, 1821, his farm lying in section 4, of the township. He is a son of Henry and Ellen (Suman) Swadener, the former of whom was a native of Maryland. Henry and Ellen Swadener were the parents of nine children, three sons and six daughters, six of whom are still living, as follows:  Daniel; Samuel; Sarah, widow of Joseph Brown; Henry; Clarinda, wife of Henry Roussong; and Lavina, wife of Riley Shank.

Henry Swadener was a mechanic, and while yet a young man located in Montgomery county in its early pioneer days, and bought a small farm in Van Buren township. Here he died in 1858, at sixty-nine years of age. His father died in Maryland, The maternal grandfather of Samuel Swadener, Mr. Suman, located in Van Buren township as one of the earliest of the pioneers, and lived here all his life.

Samuel Swadener lived with his parents in Van Buren township until he was twenty-two years of age. He was married, February 11, 1847, to Miss Caroline Roussong, daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Flook) Roussong. To this marriage there have been born seven children, three sons and four daughters, five of whom are now living, as follows:  Michael J., Frances G., Ida Belle, Margaret A., and Samuel C. Those that died were named William H. and Julia A. Michael J. married Miss Joanna Miller, by whom he has one child living, Royal. Frances G. married William Cress; they have two children, Clarence E. and Edna May. Ida Belle married Perry Saylor; they also have two children, Goldie May and Samuel Roscoe. Margaret A. married Joseph Saylor, and they have two children Otho and Clifford. Samuel C. married Miss Elnora Michaels, and they have one child, Harry LeRoy.

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Swadener are members of the German Reformed church, and in politics Mr. Swadener is a democrat. He is a most industrious and prosperous man, owning a farm of 100 acres, which is well improved. He has lived in Van Buren township during his entire life, a period of seventy-five years. His wife’s people came to Montgomery county from Maryland in the early pioneer days, and settled in Van Buren township, where they have always been held in high esteem. They have contributed largely to the growth and prosperity of the county, and have done well their part in life. Too much cannot be said in honor of the pioneer settlers of Ohio, who laid well the foundations of the commonwealth, which now deservedly claims so proud a place in the long list of great states of the Union.


JOHN ZEHRING, [pages 1309-1310] a retired farmer of Brookville, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Jackson township, in the same county, March 8, 1841, a son of Barnheart and Elizabeth (Swartzel) Zehring, who were of Pennsylvania-German stock, of whom mention is made in the biography of Rev. Aaron Zehring.

John Zehring was reared on his father’s farm, and was educated in the common schools. May 2, 1864, having enlisted in Johnsville, he was mustered into the Union service at Camp Chase, Ohio, under Capt. Coaler, but served under Capt. David Holderrman at Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md., on guard duty, and was honorably discharged at Camp Chase, August 25, 1864, having served about two weeks over his term of enlistment. His marriage took place at Lewisburg, Ohio, October 15, 1868, to Lucretia Kumler, who was born near Lewisburg, Ohio, August 13, 1844, a daughter of David and Frances (Disher) Kumler, both of German descent and respectively of Pennsylvania and Virginia parentage.

Rev. Henry Kumler, father of David, was a son of a pioneer minister, also named Henry whose wife lived to the great age of ninety-seven years –her portrait, which is still in the family, being included in a group of five generations. Rev. Henry Kumler, the younger, and the grandfather of Mrs. Zehring, was a bishop in the United Brethren church, and traveled through many circuits, but made his permanent home in Lewisburg, Ohio. He lived to be eighty years of age, and was the father of nine children, viz:  David, Andrew, Noah, Henry, Susannah, Jesse, Salome, Daniel and Samuel, of whom two of the sons—Jesse and Samuel—served three years each in an Ohio regiment during the Civil war.

David Kumler was born in Harrison township, Preble county, Ohio, was a millwright, and also a surveyor, and lived to the age of seventy-two years. To him and his wife, Mrs. Frances (Disher) Kumler, were born two children—Lucretia and Civilla.

The great-grandfather of Mrs. Lucretia Zehring, Peter Discher (as the name was originally spelled), came from Germany prior to the Revolution, was a soldier in that glorious struggle, and fought under Benedict Arnold at Quebec, Canada. At the close of the war he located in Maryland, but some years later removed to Botetourt county, where his death took place about 1821 or 1822. Of his seven children, the youngest, Christian was born in Maryland in 1788, was a lieutenant in the war of 1812, and was stationed at Norfolk, Va. He married Frances Circle and settled on a farm in Botetourt county, Va., where he lived until the fall of 1829, when he came with his wife and five children to Ohio, and settled on a farm in Harrison township, Preble county, where his son, Christian, now lives, and where he died in 1871, at the age of eighty-two years and eleven months. His son, Capt. Matthias Disher, raised or recruited company H. Ninety-third Ohio volunteer infantry, and fought through the Civil war, thus continuing the military record of the family.
After marriage Mr. and Mrs. John Zehring located on a farm of ninety-seven acres in Harrison township, where there were born to them three children—Estolle, Clare and Ernest. In 1882 they removed to Brookville, where they bought a pleasant residence, which is still their home. They are members of the United Brethren church—old constitution—in which Mr. Zehring has held the offices of trustee and steward. He has always been zealous and active in his church work, and largely aided with his means in the erection of the United Brethren church in Perry township. He is a republican in politics, but has never been ambitious for public office. He is greatly respected by his neighbors in Brookville, and was always regarded with esteem in his township as a man of the strictest integrity.

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