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History of
Clermont County, Ohio

Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of its
Prominent Men and Pioneers
Louis H. Everts
Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia



E. G. Ricker


Source: 1795 History of Clermont County, Ohio, Publ. Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts - Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia - 1880 - Page (facing) 439

A. Roudebush

Residence of A. Roudebush, Dec'd.
Boston, Clermont Co., OH

AMBROSE ROUDEBUSH was born in Stonelick township, Clermont Co., Ohio, Apr. 7, 1823, and was next to the youngest of a family of ten children, - six sons and four daughters.  His father, Jacob Roudebush, was one of the pioneer settlers of Clermont County, and was noted for being one of the best farmers in it at the time of his death.  Ambrose received an education such as the public and private schools of the county at that time could give.  Receiving a teacher's certificate at the age of eighteen, he taught school during the winter months for ten years in succession.  On the 27th of February, 1851, he married Sarah Ellen Patchell, daughter of Edward Patchell.  By this union there were four children, - J. L., born Mar. 6, 1852; Edward Milliard Aug. 14, 1853, who died in infancy; Clara Belle, Jan. 25, 1855; and Ambrose Patchell, June 6, 1866.  Ambrose Roudebush died Feb. 11, 1875.  He was in every sense one of nature's noblemen.  He was a kind and affectionate husband, a loving father, a successful teacher, a liberal citizen, and one who conscientiously discharged his duty as a public officer, and ever labored to make his children virtuous, honest, intelligent, and useful members of society.
Source: 1795 History of Clermont County, Ohio, Publ. Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts - Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia - 1880 - Page 545
  WILLIAM ROUDEBUSH.  No family in Clermont has' in a greater degree contributed to the settlement, development, and progress of the county in all its relations than that of Roudebush, which at this day is one of the most extensive in its territory, and is especially
noted for the rare business tact and high personal standing that characterize its members and make them marked personages in all the departments of life.  In the year 1650 two brothers and a sister of the Roudebush family emigrated from Amsterdam, Holland, to America, and located at New York City, then a quaint little Dutch village.  There they remained until 1666, when they removed to Frederick Co., Md.  In Holland they were merchants and reputed to be wealthy. In America they followed merchandising until their removal to the Maryland colony, when they became farmers and the owners of several large mills. In the New World this family thrived even more than in the Old.
     One of their members, Daniel Roudebush, was born in 1749, and in 1774 married Christina Snively, born in Penn-

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sylvania in 1759.  She was also of Dutch de&cent, and was a niece of Dr. Snively, one of the most celebrated physicians in the colonies at that. time.  In 1796, Daniel Roudebush, with his family, emigrated to Bryant's Station, Ky., where he remained until 1799, when he purchased five hundred acres of land from Gen. James Taylor, of Newport, Ky., in Stark's survey, No. 2753, in Clermont Co., Ohio, at two dollars per acre, and immediately located on it.  He died Oct. 3, 1804, from the effects of exposure while lost in the woods in the previous December, and his wife Christina died June 10, 1833.  Their son, Jacob Roudebush, was born in Frederick Co., Md., in 1777.  In the month of October, 1806, he bought one hundred and fifty-nine acres of land from Gen. James Taylor, in Taylor's survey, No. 4237.  On April 17, 1807, he married Elizabeth Hartman, by which union were born six sons and four daughters, viz., William, Francis J., Daniel, James, John, and Ambrose, the last four deceased; Mary Ann, married to ex-sheriff Michael Cowen; Rebecca, married to John Rapp; Paulina, married to James Rapp; and Sarah, never married, the last two deceased. Jacob Roudebush had one sister, who married Andrew Frybarger, of Goshen.  Jacob died May 25, 1835, of cholera, and his wife Elizabeth (Hartman) departed this life July 5, 1869.  She was a member of Baptist Church for sixty-eight years.  He was
one of the best farmers of his day, and from being by avocation in his youth a distiller, he turned his attention to agriculture and became successful and noted as a tiller of the soil.  He was quiet and unassuming in his manners, and died universally respected.  Mrs. Elizabeth (Hartman) Roudebush's memory of places and things and power of description of what she had seen or known was not equaled
by any person in the county.  She was a woman of extraordinary mental temperament, and on her maternal side was related to the Hutchinsons of Massachusetts and New York, and was descended from William Hutchinson (her grandfather of three generations preceding), who emigrated to America in 1626, and settled in Massachusetts Bay.  Her great-grandfather, William Hutchinson, was born in 1695, and his wife, whose maiden name was Ann Von, was born March 6, 1700.   She was a native of Amsterdam, Holland, and at the age of six years was kidnapped and brought to America.   They were married in 1723, and William Hutchinson, Jr., was born Dec. 13, 1724, who in 1754 was married to his wife Catherine, born May 17,  1731.  To William Hutchinson, Jr., and his wife Catherine was born March 24, 1755, Mary, who married Christopher Hartman.   William Hutchinson, Jr., and his wife Catherine had also four sons who were Methodist preachers, to wit, Robert, Sylvester, Aaron, and EzekielEzekiel came to Ohio in 1806, and was the father of Aaron, now living in Jackson township.
     The father of Christopher Hartman (father of Elizabeth, who was the mother of William Roudebush) was born in Livintzburg, Prussia, May 6, 1750, and came to America in 1753, accompanied by his father and four brothers.  He was a millwright by occupation, married Mary Hutchinson in Mercer Co., N. J., in August, 1776, by which union were born three sons and five daughters; and of the latter, Elizabeth, born May 22, 1783, in Mercer Co., N. J. was married to Jacob Roudebush, father of the subject of this
notice; and Rachel, married to John Page, is the only one now living.
     Christopher Hartman emigrated to Kentucky in 1795, coming by water from Wilmington, Pa., and settled at Lexington.   In 1801 he removed to Williamsburgh township, in this county, and purchased of Gen. Lytle five hundred acres of land in survey No.4780.  It has been ascertained that the great-great-grandmother of William Roudebush, Ann Von, stolen and kidnapped from Holland, was of noble blood, and belonged to one of the wealthiest Dutch families, and was spirited away to the New World by designing persons,
in hopes of securing a large reward for her ransom and return.
     No county in the "Great Northwest Territory" excelled Clermont in the character of its early settlers, men of strong muscle and indomitable will, of deep religious devotion, and rare intelligence for pioneers opening up the unbroken forests to civilization, and forming a magnificent frontier bulwark to the then young republic just launched upon the sea of nations.  Among the first to settle in Northern
Clermont, in the last year of the last century, were two men who became noted in the annals of the county as its leading farmers and business men, Daniel and Jacob Roudebush, respectively the grandfather and father of Col. William Roudebush, the present largest land-owner of Clermont soil. Col. Roudebush was born Feb. 2, ,1809, about two miles northwest of the village of Boston, on the farm now owned by Mr. L. Girard, the second year after the first log cabin was erected on it, and when it was all in woods.   His father had no means of supporting his family only by his labor in clearing away the forest and raising what wheat and corn he could on the land he cleared, cutting his wheat with a sickle and threshing it with a flail, and blowing out the chaff with a sheet by the aid of his wife.  His father had paid for his farm the year before William's birth, and had a team of horses and a cow, and soon got a few sheep.  His wife spun, wove, and made all the clothing worn from the flax raised on the place and from the sheep kept, which for many years had to be penned up every night on account of the wolves then infesting the county.  When about five years old William was sent to school to a widow lady, who had settled half a mile from his father's dwelling, for there was no school-house in that neighborhood, and when not at school he was required to help his father pick and burn brush when clearing up the woods.  When nine years old his father and other settlers built ,a school-house of rough logs, puncheon floor, stick-and-mud chimney, paper windows, and benches split out of logs.  To this William went a few weeks in the winter, when there was a subscription school of one quarter (three months), and the balance of the time he aided his father on the farm until his sixteenth year, when he attended the school kept by Samuel McClellan, for five months.  The next winter he studied "Kirkham's Grammar," walking three miles to school, and the following season he took up geography in addition.  The succeeding winter he went to school at Goshen, and made some progress in algebra.  The ensuing year he taught school at what was called Hupp's school-house, working in the summer and fall on the canal-lock near Chillicothe as a stone-cutter, and

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of nights kept the accounts of the workmen (for which he
got extra pay), on a contract of Gen. Thomas Worthington,
son of Governor Thomas Worthington, of Chillicothe.  He
returned from Chillicothe, and taught school in the winters
and worked on the farm in the summers-his father having bought another one-until 1835, when his father died.  He, with his mother, settled his father's estate, and had the
management of the old farm, his brother Daniel having married and moved upon the other.  He still taught school in the winters; was deputy assessor one spring and assessed three townships.  By this time he had saved some money, and in December, 1835, purchased the farm on which he now lives, composed of two hundred and twelve acres on Moore's Fork of Stonelick Creek, for eight hundred and fifty dollars, all of which was then in woods, and not a stick of timber cut off save by hunters.  In the following spring he deadened forty acres of it, and in spring of 1837 began clearing up the first of the forest.  In 1833 he' was elected clerk of Stonelick township, and re-elected the four following years.
     In March, 1837, he was appointed county commissioner by the Common Pleas Court to fill a vacancy, and also was ex-officio fund commissioner to loan out some thirty thousand dollars of the county's allotted share of the State fund received from the government as proceeds of sales of the public lands, and in October, 1837, was elected by the people as commissioner for three years, and re-elected in 1840 for a like term. In the fall of 1843, William Roudebush, John D. White, of Brown County, and James F. Sargent, of Washington township, were elected the three representatives to the Forty-second General Assembly of Ohio from the district composed of Clermont, Clinton, and Brown Counties, and in 1844 William Roudebush was again elected as the sole representative from Clermont.  In his two years in the Legislature he took high rank as a debater, and stood. justly reputed as one of the Democratic leaders in ability and influence.  His speech in the House on Feb. 11, 1845, on the final passage of the bill to incorporate the State Bank of Ohio and other banking companies, was published throughout the Democratic press of the State, and received the marked encomiums of his party editors for its ability and power, and nettled the Whigs as much as it pleased the Democrats.
     In 1845 or 1846 he was appointed land-appraiser for the district of Stonelick, Jackson, Wayne, and Goshen townships, under the first law in Ohio placing all property at its cash value.  In 1839 he had been elected justice of the peace of Stonelick, and served three years, and in 1851 was elected magistrate of Wayne, serving a full term. In 1838 he was appointed on the board of county school examiners, in which capacity he served for three years, and previous to that, under another law, he had been township examiner.  Col. Roudebush took an active interest in the old militia for fifteen years, and participated in all the trainings, musters, and marches that distinguished the county forty years ago in .their evolutions and parades.  He was elected captain of the fifth rifle company in the First Rifle Regiment, Third Brigade, Eighth Division of the Ohio militia, on Sept. 7, 1832, and thus served until September, 1836, when he was elected major of the same regiment, which rank he held until September, 1841, when he was elected lieutenant colonel of the same regiment, serving in that capacity until September, 1844, when he was elected colonel of the same regiment, and so served until September, 1847, when he resigned his commission.   He was the most popular and efficient officer of the county, and his command in appearance
and efficiency were not excelled by any soldiers of the State militia.  All his time has been employed, when not
engaged in official duties, in agricultural pursuits.  When the war of the Rebellion began, in 1861, he had passed
the age subjecting him to a draft, and none of his family was liable to it or old enough for military duty, yet he paid
out of his pocket over one thousand dollars to relieve his township from draft and for bounties to soldiers enlisting in the Union army.  On Sept. 13, 1862, he was appointed provost-marshal of Clermont County, and so served until the repeal of that county system in 1863.  A Democrat of the Jackson stripe then, as now, he sustained the government in the suppression of the Rebellion and in the raising of all the quotas of volunteers for the war.
     In 1870 he was elected a member of the State board of equalization from the district composed of the counties of Clermont and Brown, and took in its session of 1870 and 1871, at Columbus, a very active part, and was the choice of a large number of the board for its president, but declined in favor of his intimate friend, Hon. William S. Groesbeck, of Cincinnati, who was then elected to that position.  Clermont County by its local board had returned the total valuation of its taxable property at eleven million six hundred and seventy-six thousand eight hundred and fourteen dollars; but Col. Roudebush, by his untiring energy, great ability, and commanding influence, succeeded in reducing it in the board to ten million six hundred and fifty-seven thousand four hundred and eighty.-eight dollars, a reduction of over a million of dollars, and about the same in Brown, which made the State tax about fifteen thousand dollars less in each county than it had been before, and would have continued to be under the valuations returned to the board had not his keen intellect and untiring efforts prevented it.
     He has been administrator and executor of many estates.  He settled that of his grandmother, Christina (Snively) Roudebush, nearly fifty years ago j next that of his father, in 1835, and from that to the present time, he has administered upon a very large number.  He has acted also as guardian for a great number of minors.  While he has been remarkably successful in the acquisition of wealth, he has received but little in the way of official fees, while his labors in the many public stations he has held have been generally arduous and often irksome.  Hence, in none of his public offices did he make any money, and when he was county commissioner he received but two dollars per day, as fund commissioner the same, and a like amount in the Legislature.  While serving as school examiner and member of State board of equalization he received no compensation, as the law authorized none.  In all the military positions he held no fees or salary were paid to any officer or private, yet all able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and forty.-five years were required to drill at least two-days each year, and the Rifle Regiment, to which he be,




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