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A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio
Vol. II

by Wm. Rusler - Publ.



  BENJAMIN F. JENNINGS.  Public-spirited co-operation in civic affairs and an industrious application of intelligent and practical farming abilities have characterized the career of Benjamin F. Jennings, whose well-cultivated and valuable country estate is located in Monroe Township, three miles east and three-quarters of a mile north of West Cairo.  Mr. Jennings is a native of Allen County, having been born on the farm of his father one-half mile east and one mile south of Beaver Dam, Aug. 26, 1864, a son of Lewis and Mary (Everett) Jennings.
     Lewis Jennings
was born in Jackson Township, Allen County, in 1828, a son of James and Elizabeth Jennings, who came in 1826 to Allen County from Tuscarawas County, and, settling on an undeveloped farm in Jackson Township, passed the remainder of long, honorable and useful lives in the work of development and cultivation.  They became the parents of Lewis, Thomas, John, Abel, Lucinda and Sarah.  Of these, Lewis Jennings to manhood on the home farm first married Anna McKee, who died leaving three children: James, John and Anna.  Mr. Jennings afterward married Mary Everett, who was born in Allen County in 1838, and they became the parents of these children: Francis, Benjamin F., Alfred, George, Jasper, Clara and Kitty M., of whom B. F.,  George and Jasper are living, the last two being residents of Oklahoma. 
     B. F. Jennings was reared on a farm in Richland Township, and received good education advantages in his youth, attending the schools of Beaver Dam and the normal school at Angola, Indiana.  He entered upon his career as a teacher, and for twenty years instructed classes in Allen and Putnam counties, Ohio, and Steuben County, Indiana, becoming one of the most efficient and popular educators in this region and making and retaining countless friendships among his pupils and their parents, as well as among his associates in the profession.  In the meantime, when not engaged in his duties in the schoolroom, he applied himself to farming.
     Mr. Jennings was married Dec. 24, 1890, to Miss Clara Norman, who was born on the farm on which she now makes her home Sept. 3, 1866, and was educated in the public schools.  Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Jennings started housekeeping on the present home property, and here were born their four children:  L. D., born Oct. 22, 1892, who is married and resides at Celina, Ohio; Zoe, a graduate of high school who also attended Ohio Northern College at Ada, and is now the wife of R. H. Jacobs, of Sugar Creek Township; J. E., a student at Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio; and Freelin L. born Dec. 24, 1902, a graduate of Lima High School.
     Since giving up his educational work in the school-room.  Mr. Jennings has applied himself uninterruptedly to farming, with the exception of five years when he was in the employ of the Extension Department of the State University, lecturing on agricultural subjects.  At present he has a well-improved and highly productive property, on which h is buildings and equipment suggest the progressive spirit and good management of the proprietor.  Mr. Jennings is a republican in his political allegiance, and while not a politician, is well informed as to the issues of the day, and is a public-spirited supporter of all movements tending to make for the betterment of his community.  With Mrs. Jennings he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 284
  GAIL JENNINGS, an ex-service man who served in the Medical Corps in France, is a member of one of the older families of Allen County, and since the war has engaged his energies vigorously and with a commendable degree of success in the agricultural life of Bath Township.
     He was born in Monroe Township, Aug. 28, 1895, son of Orlando and Ida (Crawford) Jennings.  His grandfather, Daniel Jennings, came from Pennsylvania and was one of the early settlers in Monroe Township, where he reared his family.  Of his nine children Orlando is the eighth in age.  Orlando Jennings has spent all his life at the old homestead in Monroe Township, and is still living on and operating the forty-four-acre farm where his father lived before him.  Orlando Jennings had four children, all of whom are living, Gail being the second in age.
     Gail Jennings attended school in Sugar Creek Township until he was nineteen, spending the summers in work on the home farm.  He was a young man about twenty-two when the war came on, and in March, 1918 he enlisted at Lima as a private in the Hospital Corps and was on duty six months in Evacuation Hospital No. 14 at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.  July 13, 1918, he sailed for France from New York, spent three days at Liverpool, from there went to Brest and for nine and a half months was stationed in the Base Hospital at Rennecourt, and while there was made a first class private in the Hospital corps.  He remained several months after the signing of the armistice, and left Bret in February, 1919, on the freighter Karmalla, landing in New York in March and was mustered out at Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio, Mar. 9, 1919.
     Mr. Jennings soon resumed the vocation in line with his early experience.  In April, 1920, he married Miss Vinnie Johnson, a daughter of William and Ollie Johnson, of Beaver Dam.  Since then they have operated their farm of eighty acres in Bath Township, on rural route No 8 out of Lima.  Mr. Jennings is a democrat in politics.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 196
  LAVINA JENNINGS, of 775 West Main street, Lima, is an old resident of Allen county and related to several of the oldest families in the annals of early settlement.
     Mrs. Jennings was born in Monroe township of Allen county, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Morris) Hartman.  Her mother was born in Monroe township, Sept. 28, 1835, and has lived at one place in the county since Mar. 4, 1855, being one of the oldest inhabitants of that section.  Her brother, George Morris, was born in October, 1833, and is also still living in Monroe township.  They were the children of Henry and Margaret (Weaver) Morris Henry Morris was a Baptist minister and preached in a number of pioneer communities in Allen county.  John Hartman, father of Mrs. Jennings, was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, the son of John and Rebecca (Thomas) Hartman, who pioneered to Monroe township of Allen county when all the country was new.
     Lavina Hartman was first married to Adam Miller.  He was born in Germany, a son of Michael and Mary (Kunkleman) Miller, who came from their native country and settled in Monroe township of Allen county as early as 1835.  Michael Miller entered land, cleared it up and developed a good farm.  After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Miller settled at the old Miller homestead in Monroe township, which Adam Miller acquired to the extent of a hundred twenty acres.  He lived there an honest and sturdy farmer and upright citizen until his death on Sept. 1, 1890.
     Mrs. Miller continued to live at the home farm until 1904, when she removed to Columbus Grove, and in May 1907, became the wife of Mr. Gregory Jennings.  Mr. Jennings was born in Allen county Sept. 13, 1836, grew up on a farm and gave the best years of his life to the agricultural vocation.  His first wife was Celinda Hall, and by that marriage he had a family of nine children.  For many years he lived on a farm in Monroe township, but was living on a farm in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, when his wife, Celinda, died.  Mr. and Mrs. Jennings in October following their marriage moved to Lima, where Mr. Jennings lived retired until his death on Dec. 26, 1913.
     Mrs. Jennings by her marriage to Adam Miller had three children:  Mary Elizabeth, wife of James Snyder, of Warsaw, Indiana; John M., who died at the age of twenty-six; and Joseph W., who lives in American township.
     Mrs. Jennings received her early education in School District No. 3 of Monroe township.  She is an active member of the Methodist Church, while Mr. Miller was a Lutheran.  Adam Miller served as a trustee of Monroe township and was a member of the National Union of Columbus Grove.  The late Gregory Jennings was a veteran of the Civil War, having served a period of ninety days in the Fifty-First Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 116
  CHARLES ELLIOTT JOHN.  Until he retired about a year ago Charles Elliott John was widely known over northwestern Ohio as a grain merchant and elevator proprietor, and for years the firm of John Brothers handled much of the grain raised locally and shipped to market.
     Mr. John represents one of the very old families of Allen county.  He was born in Elida Oct. 17, 1866.  His present comfortable home occupies the site of his birthplace.  He is of Welsh stock and of people who for several generations were affiliated with the Quaker Church.  His parents were Jesse Jones and Mary (Roush) John.  His great-great grandfather, John Griffith, came from Wales and Shamokin Pennsylvania.  His descendants subsequently became widely scattered.  Mr. John's grandfather was also named Griffith John, and from the vicinity of Philadelphia came west to Ross county, Ohio, and subsequently to Allen county.  He was a Government surveyor, and did some work as a surveyor in northwestern Ohio as early as 1820.  He became a farmer in German township of Allen county, and lived there until his death in 1855, at the age of fifty-nine.  His wife was Rachel Miller, and she died in 1860.  Their daughter Martha, who afterward married a Mr. Crites was the first white child born in German township, now known as American township.  Altogether they had four sons and eight daughters, the sons becoming farmers.  The youngest of them, Jehu, was a Union soldier and lost his life in the battle of Kenesaw Mountain.  Jessie Jones John, the second son in his father's family, spent his entire life as a farmer and owned two hundred acres here and in Elida.  He was the father of fourteen children, and thirteen of them are still living, the youngest past forty years of age.
     Charles Elliott John attended the public schools of Elida to the age of nineteen, and in the meantime had much training in the work of the home farm.  He continued to busy himself with farming occupations at home until 1895, when at the time of the great oil boom in this section he became a stockholder in the Elida Oil Company, and did much of the practical work of the oil fields, being a pumper and employed in other capacities.  Mr. John continued active in the various phases of the oil industry until 1910, in which year he bought the local grain elevator at Lafayette, Ohio.  He joined his brother Jehu E., and they continued the business under the name of John Brothers until 1919.  He also owned and operated the elevator at Beaverdam until July, 1920, since which date he has been practically retired, looking after his private affairs.
     In 1888 he married Miss Anna Kiracofe, daughter of Robert and Margaret (Thomas) Kiracofe, of German township.  Three children were born to their marriage.  The first two, twins, are Otis Ray and Odessa Fae.  The son lives at Lima and by his marriage to Frances Swisher has four sons.  Odessa is the wife of Frank Sherrick, of Beaver Dam, and has a son, Charles John Sherrick.  Mr. John's third child is Mary Margaret, still attending school.  In Politics he has always given his vigorous support to the Republican candidates and principles.  After different times he has given service as a member of the School Board, is affiliated with the Masonic Lodge at Lafayette, charter member of the Elida Lodge of Odd Fellows, and is a member of the Methodist Church.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 148
  ISAAC WILEY JOHN.  Elida is one of the smaller cities of Ohio which is a distributing center for a wide outside territory, so that the business of meeting the demands of his trade is an important one and the merchants of the place are achieving gratifying results as a result of their hard work and good management.  One of these men is Isaac Wiley John, sole proprietor of the general store which bears his name.  He was born at Elida, Ohio, in 1874, a son of Jesse J. and Mary (Rousch) John.  The family is of Welsh origin and was founded in the American colonies by three brothers who came here from Wales.  Griffith John, the great-grandfather of Isaac W. John, came to Ohio from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, named in honor of the family, and after a time spent in Ross county moved into Allen county and settled in what is now Elida.  He named the place Elida in honor of his brother, Elida John Griffith John secured land from the Federal Government to the extent of 1,600 acres, and was engaged in conducting his farm all of his life.
     Jesse J. John was the eldest of fourteen children born of his parents and his sister, Martha John, was the first white child born at Elida.  She married D. L. Crites.  As was but natural, Jesse J. John was a farmer, and became very successful.  He and his wife had fourteen children, of whom Isaac W. John was the twelfth.
    Until he was fourteen years old Isaac W. John attended the public schools of his district, but then left school and began working on the homestead of 200 acres located near Elida, and remained on it until he was twenty-three years old.  For the subsequent two years he was engaged in a butchering business at Elida with his brother, and in 1900 began conducting a meat market of his own, but sold it in 1902.  For the subsequent five years he was custodian of the Court House of Allen county, and then for two years served on the police force of Lima under Mayor Dyer.  In 1910 he re-embarked in the meat business at Elida, and after a year added groceries, and now has a general store, handling a large and varied stock of first-class goods, which he sells at prices as are as low as is consistent with the market and the quality.  His trade comes from the city and the country for a radius of ten miles.  In addition to his store Mr. John has other interests and is a stockholder of the Delphose Rubber Company.
     Mr. John was first married to Pearl Miller, who died in 1898, leaving one child.  In 1900 Mr. John was married to Myrtle Lease, of Elida, and they have two children.  In politics, Mr. John is a Republican, and takes an intelligent interest in public matters.  From 1899 to 1905 he was town marshal of Elida, and the various positions he has held and the interest he has always shown in his duties have not only gained him the acquaintance of the majority of the people of this region, but their friendship and confidence, and by them and all who come into contact with him he is recognized as a solid citizen of real merit.  Although he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the John family were originally Quakers, and very active in the Society of Friends.  Fraternally he belongs to the Odd Fellows and Local Order of Moose, and is a popular in these organizations as he is elsewhere, for he is one who knows how to inspire esteem.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 38
  JEHU EDGAR JOHN.  During the past century some of the most sterling citizens and active business men of the Elida community have been members of the John family.  One of them is Jehu Edgar John, whose interest have included a wide range - farming, retail and wholesale meat business, grain dealing and other enterprises.  Mr. John is now practically retired from business and still lives at Elida.
     He was born at Elida in 1864, son of Jesse J. and Mary (Roush) John.  He is of Quaker Welsh ancestry, and is descended from a Welshman who came to this country and settled in Pennsylvania and inverted his name, making it Griffith John instead of John Griffith.  The grandfather of Mr. John was a surveyor and one of the pioneer farmers of Northwestern Ohio.
     Jehu Edgar John attended the public schools of his native town to the age of seventeen, and while in school and until his marriage his energies were employed on the old homestead farm, a portion of which was within the city limits of Elida.  In 1883 Mr. John married Emma Myers, daughter of Daniel and Rebecca (Spangler) Myers, of Elida.  Three children were born to their marriage, one of whom, Harold, died in 1892, at the age of eight years, and the only one now living is Lena, Mrs. Irvin Sherrick, of Elida.
     Following his marriage Mr. John was employed for four years and eight months as a Pennsylvania Railroad section hand.  For another two years he was foreman in the saw mill of Brenneman & Steman.  Hard work brought about ill health and for three years he was practically an invalid.  On resuming business he bought the only meat market at Elida, conducted it five years, did a wholesale butcher business, and after selling his shop continued as a leading livestock buyer for about twenty years.  Mr. John made most of his money in the livestock business.  For a number of years he was associated with his brother, C. E. John, under the firm name of John Brothers, owners and operators of the grain elevator at Lafayette, Ohio.  Mr. John was also in the wholesale hay and grain business for several years.
     Since September, 1919, he has considered himself practically retired from business responsibilities.  However he is a stockholder in the Farmers Bank of Elida and the Elida Equity Exchange Elevator.  In politics he votes as a republican, and at one time was defeated by a small margin as candidate for director of the Allen County Infirmary.  He is affiliated with Elida Lodge No. 818 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 243
  JEHU MOUNT JOHN.  A partner in ownership and management with his brother Jesse Roberts John in the one hundred eighteen acre farm, part of the old John estate at Elida, Jehu Mounts John has had all his interests and activities identified with that farm and the community, has prospered, and has been a citizen ever responsive to the needs and demands of his community.
     His parents were Abia and Phoebe Ann (Myers) John, and at the time of his birth, in 1865, they were living in a home of simple comforts, a log cabin in Marion township.  Much is said in these pages concerning the pioneer John family in Allen county.  The old homestead of a hundred eighteen acres is partly within the limits of Elida and in American township.
     Jehu Mounts John attended the public schools of Elida, and has always had a share in the management of the homestead.  He is also a stockholder in the Elida Farmers Equity Exchange Elevator and the Lima Telephone and Telegraph Company.  He was elected in 1915 and served one term as a member of the Elida Town Council.  Mr. John is a Republican, is affiliated with the Masonic Order at Lima, elida Lodge of Odd Fellows, and is a member of the Methodist Church.  In 1886 he married Carrie Conrad, daughter of Simon and Malinda Conrad, of Elida.  Mr. John died Apr. 2, 1905.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 142
  JESSE CLINTON JOHN is a member of a family that was established in Allen county nearly a century ago, and his own active career has been identified almost entirely with farming.  He has made farming a real business, has operated a very extensive acreage in his time, and from that industry achieved a prosperity that enables him to live practically retired in a comfortable home in Elida.
     His great-grandfather, named John Griffith, came from Wales, locating at Shamokin, Pennsylvania, and in this country changed his name to Griffith John.  The grandfather of Jesse C. John, named Griffith John, was a surveyor by profession, and during the early twenties came to Allen county and helped run some of the lines of survey in this section of northwest Ohio.  For the greater part he lived on a farm, and died in 1855, at the age of fifty-nine.  Jesse Jones John, father of Jessie C., spent his active life as a farmer near Elida.  He married Mary Roush, who was of Pennsylvania Dutch stock.
     Their son Jesse Clinton John was born in Elida Mar. 23, 1862, was educated in the public schools of his native town, and while in school and afterward found employment for his energies on the homestead.
     In 1882 he established a home of his own by his marriage to Dora Strawbridge, daughter of Christian Strawbridge.  He then farmed independently on his father's place, subsequently operated a hundred eight acres near Elida, and still later the old homestead of a hundred ninety acres.  Finally he bought a smaller place of thirty acres north of Elida, and after making that his home for some years sold out and is now living at his town home of Elida.
     Mr. John is a Republican normally, but in local politics at least votes for the man.  He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Mr. and Mrs. John had six sons and three daughters, seven of whom are still living.  Earl Strawbridge, the oldest, was born in 1883, and lived in Hancock county, Ohio.  Ernest Emerson is married and lives at Lima.  Gladys is the wife of Charles Jones, of Harvard, Illinois.  Donald Dwight is a resident of Lima, and has three children.  Howard LaVerne lives in Toledo.  Adrian Armond went into the Government service at the age of eighteen, served with the American Expeditionary Forces and the Army of Occupation, and is now living in Toledo and is married.  The younger children are Ralph DeWitt, aged seventeen; Mary, mrs. John Edward; and Blanche Marie.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 60
  JESSE ROBERTS JOHN has not made many moves in his lifetime, and is one of those enviable citizens who find their interests early in life and keep steadily and contentedly in one environment.  His home is the old pioneer John farm, part of which is in the limits of the village of Elida.
     Mr. John was born, Sept. 8, 1869, in a log cabin in Marion township, near the Auglaize River, a son of Abia and Phoebe Ann (Myers) John.  He is of Welsh ancestry, and various members of the John family has been prominent in Allen county for practically a century.  Jesse R. John attended a country school to the age of nineteen, and left school because of ill health.  Since then all his days have been spent on the old homestead, and he and his brother Jehu M. John still own the old place of a hundred eighteen acres.  He has been prospered in his life as a farmer, and is a successful and public spirited citizens.
     Mr. John was elected treasurer of Elida Corporation of the Elida Methodist Church.  He is affiliated with the local lodge of Odd Fellows and votes with the Republican party.  In 1907 he married Edith Albers, daughter of Peter and Emma (Tilbury) Albers of Chicago, Illinois.  They have one son, Clark Roberts, born in 1909.
Source:  A Standard History of Allen County, Ohio - Vol. II - Publ. Chicago: Warner i.e. Warner, Beers & Co., 1921 - Page 142



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