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Fairfield County, Ohio
History & Genealogy



Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of Fairfield Co., Ohio.
by C. M. L. Wiseman
Publ. F. J. Heer Printing Co., Columbus, O.  1901

Transcribed by Sharon Wick



     IT is well occasionally to call to mind the names of the departed.  It brings to mind pleasant memories, reminiscences of old times, and prepares us better to bear the burdens of life and perform the duties of good citizens.  We propose to name the prominent men in the various walks of life, who in the great drama of their existence, contributed their full share in making Lancaster famous, men, a majority of whom are worthy to be remembered for their good deeds, good lives and splendid characters and talent:
     Thomas Ewing, H. H. Hunter, H. C. Whitman, P. Van Trump, P. B. Ewing, Judge Wright, Dr. James White, Dr. T. Edwards, Dr. P. Carpenter, Dr. H. Scott, Dr. M. Effinger, Dr. O. E. Davis, General Sherman, General J. Stafford, Colonel J. M. Connell, Captain Emanuel Giesy, Colonel H. B. Hunter, Captain Stinchcomb, General W. J. Reese, General Sanderson, Captain A. F. Witte, M. B. Gregory, George G. Beck, Henry Miers, Jacob F. Beck, David Rokohl, Henry Little, Augustus Mithoff, John Reber, Jacob Ulrick, J. C. Maccracken, John G. Willock, Alvord Stutson, Samuel Herr, S. McCabe, W. C. Embich, F. A. Shaeffer, N. Young, Isaiah Vorys, Dr. F. B. Olds, James Weaver, Dr. J. W. Lewis, Henry F. Blaire, Joseph C. Kinkead, Christian Flem, William Geiser,

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Martin Beck, Henry Cless, Mahlon Smalley, J. Wagenhals, Samuel Beery, Daniel Sifford, Rev. A. Reck, John Gibbs, T. G. Dodson, Charles Hood, W. Bininger, Eran Julian, Allen House, John C. Cassell, Peter Titler, J. L. Tuthill, Silas Hedges, Thomas B. Cox, T. U. White, Tunis Cox, George H. Smith, sr., John B. Reed, Henry Bell, Jacob Guseman, G. L. Eckert, Judge Leonard, Jacob Cly, Robert Gates, Daniel Devor, Jacob Shoff, Judge Perry, Alvah Perry, Henry Arnold, Samuel Carpenter, J. M. Pratt, William Upfield, Isaac Church, Charles Borland, John Searles, W. Bodenheimer, Charles Shaug, Joseph R. Parker, James Miers, Edwin Wright, William Brumfield, John Matlack, James Miller, William Fismer, F. A. Steck, Henry Brink, Joel Smith, Colonel Charles Sager, Captain Stewart, A. L. Clark, John A. Jones, Reuben Banks, Joseph Green, G. W. Pratt, John H. Wright, S. A. Griswold, Conrad Winter, John Shaeffer, E. Becker, Charles F. Rainey, Gilbert Devol, William Pursell, John Van Pearse, Salem Wolfe, Joseph Work, sr., James Work, Thomas Whiley, Thomas Wetzler, C. Bauman, Otto Kraemer, George Carter, Reverend Williard, John H. Wright, Henry Stanbery, John D. Martin, Governor William Medill, M. A. Daugherty, John T. Brasee, Dr. G. W. Boerstler, Dr. M. Z. Kreider, Dr. Wagenhals, Dr. Bigelow, Dr. Crider, Dr. J. D. Nourse, Governor Brough, General Tom Ewing, General N. Schleich, Major H. H. Giesy, Colonel A. W. Ebright, Captain E. Rickets, General Maccracken, General Charles Ewing, Captain J. Henley, George Kauffman, E. L. Slocum, Joseph Reinmud, Lippen Lobenthall, John C. Fall, Philip H. Kraner, Charles Dresbach, John C. Weaver, John Garaghty, Darius

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Talmadge, Henry V. Weakly, Daniel Kutz, John Maccracken, John H. Tenant, William P. Creed, F. J. Boving, Christopher Rudolph, Jacob Embich, John Lyons, J. N> Little, James McManamy, G. W. Claspill, Philip Bope, John C. Flood, Joshua Clarke, William Kinkead, Samuel Doty, Ferdinand Getz, Henry Springer, John Baughman, Robert Fielding, G. Steinman, Perry Steinman, G. J. Wygum, Simeon Denton, Gerhard Miller, David Foster, M. O'Gara, George Hood, P. W. Binninger, Samuel Crim, George Crawford, William Cassell, Colonel A. McVeigh, John Sallsmith, Jacob Holt, William Latta, Thos. U. White, John McClelland, Theo. Tong, Thos. Reed, Adam Guseman, V. M. Griswold, V. E. Shaw, Joel Radebaugh, Jas. Gates, Walter McDonald, John Shrieves, Chas. Schneider, O. H. Perry, Benj. Connell, B. F. Reinmund, Amos Hunter, Jno. Williams, Josiah Wright, Thomas Shannon, John Borland, M. Thimmes, John Pearse, Wm. Vorys, Wm. Richards, Sam'l. Rudolph, Wash. Homan, Chris. Lehman, Chas. Miller, Andrew Hunter, W. G. Blaire, Chas. Beaumaster, Jno. Gebelein, Benj. Smith, Geo. W. Martin, W. L. Jeffries, Nelson Smith, Rev. C. Peters, Elijah Lewis, G. Williams, C. Stropel, Col. Jno. Noble, Geo. H. Smith, Jr., John Gromme, Stephen Smith, Jno. B. McNeill, J. G. Doddridge, Jacob Plout, John C. Rainey, John C. Smith, John Arney, George Ring, James Rice, John Work, Joseph Work, Jr., Samuel Whiley, Robert Whiley, Robert Reed, Jacob Wetzel, David Cowden, George Smith, Abe Berry, Robert Work, Edwin Wright.
These names were written from memory and doubtless some worthy men have been overlooked.
     For a more elaborate history of Lancaster, for one hundred years, the reader is referred to "Centennial

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Lancaster."  The book can be found in the State Library and in the public libraries of Columbus, Cincinnati and Lancaster.
     We depart from our plan so far as to sketch the career of Lancaster's most distinguished native sons, John Sherman and
Gen. W. T. Sherman.


     Lancaster has the distinction of having been the birth place of the most distinguished brothers known to the annals of the United States of America.  William T. Sherman, one of the great military men of the age, and John Sherman, one of hte distinguished statesmen of the world.  Sons of the great lawyer and jurist of Lancaster, Charles Robert Sherman.
     John Sherman
was born May 10, 1823, in the frame house still standing on Main Street, Lancaster, just west of the residence of Philip Rising.
His father died in 1829, at Lebanon, Ohio, where he was holding court, of cholera, leaving a widow and 11 orphan children.  John was then six years of age.  In 1831, when eight years of age he was taken to Mount Vernon, Ohio, by a cousin of his father, named John Sherman, to make his home in his family.  Here he remained four years attending a school kept by Matthew Mitchell and made some progress in his studies.  At the age of 12 years the growing family of his cousin, made it necessary for him to return to his mother in Lancaster.
     He then entered the academy of Mark and Samuel L. Howe, which stood where C. F. Kirn's dwelling now stands on Mulberry street.  He continued in this excellent school two years and became proficient in mathematics.  In 1837, at the age of 14, his friends

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secured for him the position of rodman with Col. Samuel B. Curtis, in charge of the Muskingum river improvement.  He remained with Col. Curtis two years, giving good satisfaction and spending his leisure hours in study.  In the year 1839, on account of a change in the State Administration Col. Curtis was removed and young Sherman returned to Lancaster.  At this time he was 16 years of age.  On his return home Dr. M. Z. Kreider, clerk of the court, gave him temporary employment in his office at $1.50 per day. 
     In the spring of 1840 he went to Mansfield and entered the law office of his brother, Charles Taylor Sherman, as a law student.
     As a law student he had the advice and encouragement of his uncle, Judge Parker, a learned lawyer, and a man of good common sense.  May 10, 1844, on his twenty-first birthday, he was admitted to the bar at Springfield, Ohio.
     He became a partner of his brother, and entered at once upon his wonderful career.  He soon took an active interest in politics, and for a young a man, became a very prominent Whig politician.  He was a delegate to the National convention at Philadelphia, that nominated General Zachary Taylor for the presidency.  He was a delegate to the Whig convention held at Columbus, where he made a reputation in a brief speech.  He had been urged to become a candidate for Attorney General, but declined to enter the race against Henry Stanbery.
In the same year, 1852, he was a delegate to the Whig National convention held at Baltimore, when General Winfield Scott was nominated for the presidency.  He was a stump speaker and took part in all these campaigns- grew in popularity and became

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ripe in experience and his name soon became noised about in connection with Congressional honors.  In 1854 he was nominated and elected to Congress from the Mansfield district.  December, 1855, he was sworn in and entered upon a public career without precedent in this country.  As Congressman, Senator and Cabinet officer he served his country forty-three years.
     Elected to Congress as a Whig, he soon became a Republican and followed the fortunes of that party throughout his long career, and no man, in public life more fully represented the traditions and principles of the Republican party, than did John Sherman.
He entered Congress at a time of great excitement and peril to his country.  The Missouri Compromise, and Nebraska trouble and national finances were questions that called for real, patriotic statesmanship.
     Sherman met and discussed these questions in a calm, dispassionate and conservative manner, displaying great ability, and rose rapidly in public estimation.  He was appointed one of the committee to investigate the Kansas trouble and more than met the expectation of his friends.  He was not an abolitionist, but was opposed to slavery extension, and as contrasted with the abolition members of the Republican party, he was very conservative.
     In 1859 he was a candidate for speaker of the House, but was defeated by Mr. Pennington, of New Jersey.
     March 4, 1861, he was sworn in a Senator of the United States.  After the close of a brief extra session he came to Ohio and was authorized by Governor Dennison to raise a brigade.

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He raised two regiments of infantry, one of cavalry and a battery of artillery; this he did in a great measure at his own expense.  His services were deemed of more importance in the Senate, and this brigade was turned over to other officers, but was ever after known as the Sherman brigade.  Only last summer the Senator attended a reunion of his old brigade.
     He returned to the Senate and found a great question confronting the country.  How to raise money and carry on the war and sustain the public credit.  The question was partly solved by the issue of greenbacks with the legal tender feature.  Sherman was the champion of this measure, carried his party with him and the bill was passed.
     The result has shown that no more valuable service was ever rendered by any public man.  When the time came for the resumption of specie payments Sherman was the great and everywhere acknowledged champion of the bill - the best speeches of his life were made for the measure, and he had the supreme satisfaction of witnessing its passage January 1, 1879.
     As Secretary of the Treasury under Hayes, it was his duty to redeem the greenbacks when presented.  But as he had predicted when date for redemption grew nigh greenbacks were worth their face in gold, and not one dollar was presented.  In 1880, 1884 and 1888, John Sherman's name was before the National convention as a candidate for the presidency.  For fifty or more years our greatest statesmen have not reached the presidency, Abraham Lincoln being an exception.

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     The friends of Senator Sherman believe that he made a mistake in leaving the senate to become Secretary of State.
     John Sherman's public career places him in the front rank of statesmen, and his name upon the imperishable roll of fame.  He did not become president, but his name will be honorably mentioned in history long after many who have that exalted office are forgotten.  The life of Senator Sherman has been a model one in all respects, pure and without reproach.  The temptations and excesses incident to pubic life had no charms for him.  In the quiet home with his family and books he spent his leisure hours.  He has respect for religion and is an Episcopalian in faith.
     He was devoted to his mother, both in youth and manhood, even down to old age.  For we find this passage in his Autobiography written when near 70 years of age.
     "Of my mother I can scarcely write without emotion, though she died more than forty years ago."  We need not search farther for the influence that shaped and formed his character.  The above passage makes it clear.
     The name and fame of the Shermans reflects unfading lustre upon their native city.


     The day of the funeral of Gen. W. T. Sherman, the citizens of Lancaster held memorial services.  C. M. L. Wiseman, of the speakers, delivered the following brief address:

     Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:  I will read a passage from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress:

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     "After this it was noised about the Mr. Valiant-for-truth was taken with a summons.  When he understood it he called his friends and told them of it.  Then, said he, "I am going to my father's; and though with great difficulty I got thither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am.  My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get them.  My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be a rewarder."  When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river side, into which, as he went, he said; "Death, where is thy sting?" and as he went down deper he said, "Grave, where is thy victory?"  So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.
     Sherman has gone to join the grand army on the other shore.  We believe that it is well with him, as it is with all men who live for humanity or give their lives to their country.
     It was the good fortune of many in this audience to personally know General Sherman, which is to them a never failing source of pleasure.
     I have met him often in Lancaster and elsewhere and at his headquarters in Washington.  I always found him an affable and pleasant gentleman and especially was he kind in Washington.
     He had the reputation of being a blunt, gruff man, but that grew mainly from the fact that he disliked an ovation and personal attention.  He avoided displays wherever he could well do so and sometimes offended:  But he was the most beloved of all our generals in spite of himself.  We remember well when he returned to Lancaster from St. Louis on his way to Washington to tender his services to President Lincoln, and how disappointed he was on his return.  The story of that interview is graphically told in his memoirs.  We also remember well when he returned to his family from Missouri after he had been relieved of his command at Louisville, Kentucky.  and how dejected and sad he was, suffering under a cloud of misapprehension and the stormy attacks of the daily press.
     But his day of triumph came, when, at the head of his

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victorious legions, he marched down Pennsylvania avenue, amidst the plaudits of assembled thousands, the observed of all observers and the acknowledged second, if not the first great hero of the war.
     In the early history of the war of one baneful thing was the jealousies of each other of the different commanders and the one great obstacle to success.
     But history will forever record the love and confidence of Grant and Sherman for an in each other.  They were not jealous of each other, nor were they jealous of or wanting in confidence in their subordinate officers.  This will be appreciated the more if we recall a bit of history - the jealousies and intrigues of the Roman generals destroyed the greatest empire of the world.
     The confidence in and faithfulness to each other, of Grant and his generals saved our country.  General Sherman, though a grim warrior and fierce fighter - always giving his enemy a full taste of the horrors of war - was at heart a tender man.  Those who have read his articles in the North American Review will remember one of which the southern negro is the subject, as tender and pathetic as anything ever written.  His pathetic reference to the negro servant, Old Shady, can not be surpassed.
     In honoring Sherman to-day we honor a great citizen as well as a great soldier.  I envy those among us who have the honor and the distinction of having served under his command.  To have been with General Sherman on his march to the sea "is a life long honor increasing with the weight of years."  Brave men have been the theme of song and story in all lands and in all ages.  Long ago the Grecian bard Homer, sang:

'The brave live glorious and lamented die,
The wretch who trembles on the field of fame
Meets death and worse than death, eternal shame.'

     It has been but a little while since Sherman at the head of 60,000 Grand Army veterans, with tattered banners and inspiring music marched down the streets of Columbus - a grand and imposing spectacle.  He will march with them no more.  He is with the Grand Army over the river and they rest

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"On Fame's eternal camping ground
  Their silent tents are spread,
Whilst glory guards with solemn round
  The bivouac of the dead."

     Soon the rear guard will follow him, one by one, one by one, till all are gone - they will pass over "and all the trumpets will sound for them on the other side."  Lancaster will long mourn the great soldier whose heroic life and great achievements have placed him in the front rank of the many distinguished citizens whose lives have shed lustre upon our history and added to her renown as the home of great men.  Born here, brought up in our midst, married here; his name is indissolubly linked with that of Lancaster and his memory will always remain embalmed with the hearts of her citizens.  Our hero is dead - but his fame survives, unsullied, untarnished, bounded only by the limits of human civilization.


     It is certainly fit and appropriate that the good people of old Lancaster should on this occasion moisten with their tears the garlands that are being placed upon the grave of General Sherman.
     Here he was born; Here he struggled when an orphaned boy; and from here he was called to West Point, to become a ward of the Nation.  He honored his god-parent-hence his days were long in the land, and "In the world's broad field of battle" he became "A hero in the strife."
     Words cannot fully express the emotions of the heart and language is too poor indeed to embellish the wreaths on Sherman's grave; but the eloquence of the tear of woe is abroad in the land; the Nation is in gloom and sorrow; the old soldiers are all in mourning, and the American citizen is standing with uncovered head, because our old Lancaster boy has gone to sleep - to sleep the sleep that knows no waking, along the Grant and Sheridan and Thomas, and the mighty host of comrades, who are mouldering in the silent grave.  But

When spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall find a brighter sod.
Than fancy's feet have ever trod.

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     One of the pioneers of Fairfield County, and for years one of our best known and most useful citizens, celebrated his 90th birthday June 25, 1894.  To the assembled company he read, without the use of glasses, the following brief sketch.  He was a citizen of Hocking township for 60 years:

     KIND FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: - We have met here this day, the 25th of June, for the purpose of commemorating my ninetieth birthday.  I was born on the 25th of June, 1804, in the village of Rhotenflue, in the canton of Basle, Switzerland, nine miles, or in the Swiss dialect, dreistund, from the city of Basle.  In the year 1806 father, with his little family, consisting of his wife and one child, emigrated to America.  They left their home on the sixth day of May and went to the city of Basle, and took passage in a boat on the River Rhine, and arrived at the city of Amsterdam, in Holland, on the 17th day of the same month, and at once set sail for the new world.  They arrived at the city of Philadelphia, Pa., on the 10th day of August - having been a little over twelve weeks on the deep.  They settled, temporarily, in the State of Pennsylvania.  In the year 1810, in the month of April, they started for the West, arriving at Lancaster, Ohio, on the 5th day of May, 1810, where father located with his family.  I was nearly six years old when we arrived at Lancaster, and I was reared in this town, and lived in or near to it until the present time.  I was untied in the bonds of holy wedlock to Miss Susan Kerns on the 31st of August, 1826.  This union was blessed with eight children - one of whom died in its infancy; of the remaining seven children, there are two daughters and five sons, all of whom survive; two sons and a daughter are residing on the old homestead, and the other daughter is comfortably located not far distant.  There is one son banking in Pierce, Nebraska; one is pastor of a congregation in Richmond, Indiana, while another is practicing medicine in the city of Dayton, Ohio.
     Now, dear friends, in my feeble and nervous debility, I find myself where I am and as I am - my duty is submission. 

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Because I am unwell or disabled, I need not be unhappy.  I accept my situation as of divine appointment and I will try to be contented in it - I will make the place where my lot is cast as bright and cheerful as possible, and wait with patience till I am permitted to enter my heavenly home.

     On the same occasion, C. M. L. Wiseman delivered the following tribute to his friend of forty years:

     VENERABLE FRIEND: - This numerous company has met with you today at your invitation to celebrate the 90th anniversary of your birth.  You have been greatly favored by a kind Providence.  He hath kindly lengthened out your days far beyond the ordinary time allotted for the life of man.  He has preserved your mental and physical faculties, so that you are enabled to join with us in the celebration of this unusual event, an anniversary measured by four score and ten years.
     Your life has been a long, honorable and useful one, illustrating the virtues that adorn and ennoble human nature.
     When Daniel Webster welcomed Lafayette to this country in 1825, he said:  Illustrious citizens, you have come down to us from a former generation."
     This is literally true of you, my friend.  Long before a majority of this assembly were born you were an active business man of Lancaster, and all with whom you were then associated have passed away, with the exception of one honorable and highly respected citizen, whom all regret cannot be with us today, Henry Orman, two days the senior of Jacob Beck and for 70 years friends and brothers.
     It was the good fortune of Mr. Beck to personally known know the great men who made Lancaster and the State of Ohio famous, and to enjoy their warm personal friendship.  I will name a few of the most noted men referred to.  Gen'l Henry Stanbery, Hon. John T. Brasee, Gen'l Sam'l F. McCraken, John Creed, Gen'l Sanderson, Dr. McNeil, Gov. Medill, and Gen'l. W. T. Sherman and John Sherman, both as boys and men.

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     Mr. Beck cherishes a high regard for his old friends of long ago and often refers with pride to his long association with them.
     Your lot, Mr. Beck, was cast in a favored land and you have lived your ninety years in the most interesting period of the world's history.
     Great events have transpired both in the political and moral world and everything pertaining to science and art has seemingly reached perfection; and there would seem to be nothing left to be discovered.
     American generals have marshalled the greatest armies known to history.  The greatest rebellion of any age was suppressed and human slavery, the greatest blot upon human civilization, abolished; with this great event the name of Abraham Lincoln will be forever associated, and his one of the names that will go down in history. - When Mr. Beck was a mere boy, this Western Empire was an infant and three-fourths of its present territory a howling wilderness.
     We now number nearly 50 states and in population in round numbers of 70,000,000.  In Mr. Beck's early days all public business was transacted by horse back.  Trips to New York and New England were often made in that way.  Now you can visit every town of any importance in the whole country in a railway car.
     When the parents of Mr. Beck came from fatherland it required three months to make the trip.  Now it can be made in from 6 to 10 days.
     Science has chained the lightning, electric wires encircle the globe and a message of love or mercy may literally "take the wings of then morning and fly to the uttermost parts the Earth."
     These vast changes have taken place in the lifetime of our venerable friend.  Who does not envy him the recollections of his long and eventful life.
     We read in the scriptures:  "See'st thou a man diligent in his business, he shall stand before kings and not before mean men."  No man ever lived who was more diligent in business than Mr. Beck.  Industrious, punctual and scrupulously exact in all things.

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     He has always prided himself upon his industry and that he complied with that other passage of scripture:  "In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread."
     He was not ashamed of any honest calling and when a young man he was a good blacksmith, and there in the blacksmith shop he learned the lesson of his life long before the poet Longfellow so beautifully expressed it:

"Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought."

     He was a good county treasurer, a good farmer and a good administrator of estates.  For twenty-five years of his life he was the popular administrator of estates in this county.  In this work he displayed great capacity and highly commended himself to his able attorney, H. H. Hunter.  The work of an administrator of that day was much more difficult than at present.  Then there were no books of form and instruction.  Swan's manual had not then been heard of.
     During this work of Mr. Beck, Henry Stanbery conceived the idea of writing out and publishing forms for an administrator.  He did the writing and submitted his work to Mr. Hunter for his approval.  Mr. Hunter promptly told him that his friend Jacob Beck was the author of a better form, which Mr. Stanbery after examination admitted and threw his own work into the fire.
     Jacob Beck with his saddle bags upon his arm, filled with important papers was once a very familiar figure on the streets of Lancaster.
     You have been a life long and consistent member of the Lutheran church.  You have occupied positions of trust and honor under its administration, that most important being that of trustee of the university at Columbus, Ohio.
     You have enjoyed the friendship and confidence of the leading clergymen of that denomination for seventy years; and of those living who knew you in early manhood I can name only Rev. Joseph Roof and Rev. Chas. Spielman, both valued friends and colaborers.  Both distinguished clergymen of their denomination and known and loved far beyond denomination lines.  Rev. Jos. Roof was once called as a witness in the Common Pleas Court at Circleville.  The opposing counsel arose and requested the court to permit Mr.

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Roof to testify without the usual formality of an oath, as his word was sufficient.  Such were the men who favored Mr. Beck with their confidence and friendship.
     We honor you to-day as a faithful member of your own church organization; we honor you in a larger sense, not as a Lutheran, but as  a broad-minded Christian gentleman.  Your whole life has been as "an open book to be read of all men."  Your life and character has impressed itself upon this community and time and eternity alone will unfold the force and effect of your example.  But few men have been so favored; but few communities have been so fortunate.
     Perhaps the most gratifying feature to Mr. Beck, of his long life, is that he has raised a large family of interesting children.  All followed his good example and became good men and women and good citizens.
     And the greatest blessing and Almighty has vouchafed to him is that they all live and are here to-day to shower blessings upon his venerable head and to tank God that he still lives.  Another scripture has been fulfilled.  "His children shall rise up and call him blessed."
     An English poet beautifully says:
     "Sure the last end of the good man is peace,
     How calm his exit, night dews fall not more gently to the earth,
     Nor weary, worn out winds expire so soft, Behold him in the eventide of life,
     A life well spent, whose early care it was
     His riper yeas should not upbraid his green
     By unperceived degrees he wears away.
     Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting."




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