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