History of Allen County, Ohio
And Representative Citizens
Edited and Compiled by
Charles C. Miller, Ph. D.
Dr. Samuel A. Baxter
Published by Richmond & Arnold
George Richmond; G. R. Arnold
W. H. GALLANT, who for the past 35 years has been a
minister in the Baptist Church, scarcely needs an introduction
to the people of Allen County, for his religious work has
covered so large a territory and has been productive of such
wide-spread interest that there are few localities in which he
is not well known. His birth took place in Hancock County,
Ohio, May 28, 1841, and he is the only son of William and
Emily (Moore) Gallant.
Mr. Gallant comes of Irish and English ancestry.
His paternal grandmother was a cousin to that great statesman,
Henry Clay. The father of our esteemed subject was
born in January, 1811, and died from an accident in 1866.
The mother was born in March, 1817, and died at Spencerville, at
the home of her son, at the age of 83 years and 10 months,
passing away just two hours later than England’s venerable
queen, in 1902. Mr. Gallant’s parents were aged
respectively 23 and 17 years when they were united in marriage
in Delaware County, Ohio. They came from large families,
both having brothers and sisters numbering 11, but their
children were eight in all, the survivors being: Amelia,
widow of Joshua Stokesberry, now aged 69 years,
who resides with her children; Martha, widow of Alfred
Gorby, a farmer; and W. H., of Spencerville.
The parents rest in Hassan Cemetery, eight miles northeast of
W. H. Gallant was the only son of his parents’
family and was born in the woods in Hancock County. He was
reared on the pioneer farm and, off an on, attended the district
schools until he was 17 years old, enjoying also some advantages
at Findlay. He then began to teach school and for 14 years
followed this profession at various times, teaching in all 28
school terms. His conversion dates from his 19th year, in March,
1859, and he was baptized on the 8th of the following June in
the Old School Baptist Church. Before going into the
details of his years of ministerial work, mention must be here
made of his services as a soldier, these of themselves being of
an important enough character to entitle him to the deep regard
of his fellow-citizens.
From the opening of the Civil War his sympathies were
enlisted, but he did not actually enter the service until 1862,
when he be came a member of Company D, 99th Reg., Ohio Vol.
Inf., from which he was honorably discharged in March, 1863.
The continuance of the rebellion made more troops necessary and
in 1864 he again entered the service, enlisting in Company F,
122nd Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., under General Wright.
On Mar. 25, 1865, before Petersburg, he was terribly wounded,
receiving three shots, the one in his left leg necessitating the
amputation of the limb just below his knee. In spite of
the disadvantages to which this accident has subjected him, he
has never permitted it to interfere with his pastoral work and
he has never on that account shirked any hard duty of his
calling. He has ridden miles and miles over a rough
country, through cold and storm to keep an appointment, to
preach the Gospel, to perform a marriage service or to say
comforting words above the grave.
After his return from the army and recuperation from
his accident and injury, he took up active work in the church, a
burden he has never laid down. He remained in the Old
School Baptist Church and then assisted in organizing the Riley
Creek Baptist Church and was its first clerk. He began
preaching in 1869 and in December, 1870, he was ordained in the
Riley Creek Baptist Church, only three days after its
dedication. This was his first pastorate. He recalls
his work in that church with feelings of the greatest
satisfaction, it being on the ground where he used to play ball
in his boyhood. He has served four pastorates in this
church, aggregating 11 years and, when far away has traveled a
distance of 60 miles to attend some special service here.
like the burial of an old pioneer, a member of one of his early
Mr. Gallant has been pastor of 17 churches of
the Auglaize Baptist Association, of which he is now moderator,
and each pastorate included adjacent missions, as follows: Riley
Creek, with four; Marion, four; Mercer, four; Pleasant Grove,
four; Waynesfield, three; Spencerville, four; Amanda, two;
Willshire, two; and one each at Neptune, McDonald, Haviland,
Kenton, Providence, Blanchard Valley, Pleasant Mills (Indiana),
where he remained one year; Harrison, Pleasant View and South
Lima. He built churches at Riley Creek, Marion,
Spencerville, Willshire, Haviland and South Lima, assisted in
having repairs made on the church at Waynesfield to the amount
of $604, and cleared a debt of $872 at Mercer and one of $700 at
Pleasant Grove. He has been uniformly successful in
evangelistic work and at one meeting, in 1885, 47 converts were
made. He has extended the hand of fellowship to 100
converts in the Amanda, Riley Creek and Waynesfield churches.
In 1879 Mr. Gallant organized the Baptist
Church at Spencerville. There were but four constituent
members, viz: George H. Kephart and wife, Ella
Kephart, Susanna Sutton and Mrs.
Fisher. Through the efforts of Mr. Gallant,
by 1881, a regular church replaced the mission and by the close
of the fourth year the little faithful body numbered 55.
Only one of the original constituent members, Mrs. Susanna
Sutton, is now living. The present church edifice was
erected at a cost of $3,000, while its furnishings are also
valuable and in accordance with present demands.
Mr. Gallant has been twice married.
On Nov. 1, 1860, he was married in Hancock County, Ohio, to Lucinda
Watt, who died in April, 1903, at St. Marys, Ohio, having
been an invalid for a number of years. During the whole
period of illness she was tenderly cared for by her husband
whose ministrations eased her months of helplessness. She
was the mother of three children, viz: Effie, Charles
William and Willard L. The daughter was a
popular teacher in the public schools prior to her marriage to
Adolphus BICE; they
have four children—Clyde; Hubert, a graduate of
the Spencerville schools, a teacher at the age of 16 years and
now a student at Oxford; Nellie and Lucy.
Charles William, the eldest son of Mr.
Gallant, suffered for 12 years with heart trouble and died
at the age of 19 years and 10 months. At the age of 18 he
was baptized by his-father at the Pleasant View Baptist Church,
near the Indiana line. Willard L., the second son,
married Alice Balyeat and they have a son,
Mr. Gallant married, second, Mrs. Sarah
Frances Kershner, who was born in Shelby County, Ohio, and
is a daughter of William Ginn. Her father was born
in Ireland and came as an early settler to Shelby County, Ohio.
He died at Dayton, the father of 14 children. He married
three times, his second wife being Miriam Botkin,
who bore five children, viz: Mary, John, James, Johnson
and Sarah Frances, the last named born in 1849. On
Mar, 5, 1866, Sarah Frances Ginn married
Francis Marion Kershner. He was
born in Greene County, Ohio, near Xenia, in Jan., 1841, and died
in October, 1896. They had three children, as follows:
William Erie, Lura M. and Anna.
William Erie was superintendent of schools for 16
years, during which he served these places: Mendon, Mercer
County; Prairie Depot, Wood County, and Columbus Grove. He
resigned from the last named position to accept one with
Lippincott & Company, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a
traveling salesman, his line being school supplies. He
married Mamie Barrington and they have one
daughter, Helen Barrington. The eldest
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kershner is
Mrs. Otto Botkin; she has one daughter,
Lillian Frances. The youngest daughter is
Mrs. Reno Moore; she has two children—Marion
Seymour and Naomi Ginn. On Oct, 28,
1903, Mrs. Kershner was united to Rev. W. H.
Gallant. She united first with the United Brethren
Church in 1874 and with the Baptist Church in 1888.
History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold,
Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 849
Ebenezer B. Goble
|EBENEZER B. GOBLE
History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold,
Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 483