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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

pgs. 381


     JACOB ARTZ came to Fairfield County about the year 1818, from Rockingham County, Va.  He was one of the many hardy sons of Rockingham County who for half a century dominated the eastern part of this county.
     His wife was a Homan and their home was on a farm just south of Berne Station, more recently owned and improved by his son, John Artz, now 76 years of age and a resident of Lancaster.  Jacob Artz died in the prime of life, along in the thirties.  His widow, in due time, married Nathan Weatherby.  They lived upon the home farm until their death.  Weatherby was a well known man sixty years ago.  He came here from New Jersey, where he had been a tanner.  For several years he was a citizen of Lancaster.  In 1832 and 1834 he was the sheriff of Fairfield County and enjoyed a season of popularity.  After leaving the sheriff's office he became a horse dealer, and was a great patron of the turf.  No race meeting of his day was complete without Nathan Weatherby and in most races his colors were worn by the very fast horses.  After his marriage to Mrs. Artz he became a citizen of Berne township, where he continued to deal in and breed good stock until the day of his death, about the year 1848.  He came to his death in a very singular manner.  He never could bear the sight of blood without fainting. 

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He was kicked by a horse and when he supposed the wound had healed he told his step-son, John Artz, that he would like to look at it.  He did so and saw a trace of blood; he fainted and died immediately in the arms of
John Artz.


     ISAAC GRIFFITH was a native of Lancaster County, Penn.  His wife was a Quaker woman, but her name is unknown.  He came with his family to this county in the year 1818, his son Isaac and wife being members of his family.  They lived, during the winter, in Christian King's home, that stood near where Dr. Boerstler now lives.  There William Griffith, son of the younger Isaac, was born.  In the spring of 1819 the family moved to a farm near Amanda, where the old gentleman purchased about 300 acres of good land, known in part as the Leather's farm.  A part of this land, if not all, is now owned by the heirs of M. A. Leist.
     Isaac Griffith
, the elder, has been dead more than 44 years.  His sons were Isaac, James, John, Elliott and Samuel.  The mother was named Polly Williams, the son of Isaac 2d, was William, whose first wife was a Welshamer.  His second wife was a daughter of the late Isaac Kerns.  he has lived all of his life at the old home place of his father, on the pike near the crossing of Clearcreek, but very recently moved to Amanda.  Isaac was another son and thee were three other brothers of William, viz.:  Elliott, Samuel and John.
     James Griffith
, son of Isaac, was married in Pennsylvania.  The wife was a sister of James Lytle.  The sons of James were Thomas, Isaac, Samuel and

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William.  Thomas married a Walters, granddaughter of Samuel Peters, the founder of the Peters family.
     Thomas Griffith
owns one of the finest farms in Amanda township.  He is a very prominent and useful citizen, and his wife a most estimable woman.
     William, brother of Thomas, rsides upon a good farm near Hooker.  His wife is the daughter of the late Joseph Gundy.  They live among good people and are highly esteemed.
     John Griffith, brother of James, married Polly Sweyer, daughter of John Sweyer, a once famous Lancaster tavern keeper on the Shaeffer corner.  His wife was a niece of Col. John W. Noble and Henry Dubble, old-time Lancaster people.
     Samuel, brother of John, married a Miss Young, a daughter of a pioneer of Madison township.  His only child, a daughter, married Robert Wiley, son of John Wiley, in his time the great cattle man of this county.  He at one time owned 1,500 acres of Clearcreek land.
     Elliott, brother of Samuel, married a daughter of Isaac Shaeffer who lived where Samuel V. Wolfe now resides.
     The sons of Elliott Griffith were Isaac, Jasper, George and William.
     This family, in its history of eighty years in this county, has made an honorable record and has made alliances by marriage with many distinguished families.  They have owned, and still own large farms of fertile land, which they cultivate with skill and profit.  They have been, and still are prominent in many neighborhoods.
     In politics they are Republicans, with a Whig ancestry.  William, who was born in Lancaster in No-

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vember, 1818, voted for General Harrison in 1840, and Lincoln in 1860.
     Frederick Leathers, of whom Isaac Griffith purchased his land, was one of the very first settlers of his neighborhood.  His name appears among the taxpayers of 1806.  He kept an old-fashioned tavern on the old Circleville road.  This tavern was kept open by Isaac Griffith, Sr., until 1854.  He was one of the landmarks in the early days.
     Philip Shartle kept a tavern on the old Chillicothe road.  He was the grandfather of Isaac Julian, Julian's mother is still living.  She lived in Lancaster in 1804. 
     Farther north on the old road was the Kirkwood house.  It was near this house where Thomas Ewing and his deputies arrested a gang of counterfeiters, who were tried, convicted and sent to prison in 1818.



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