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Fayette County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


History of Fayette County, Ohio & State of Ohio

By R. S. Dills -
Publ. Odell & Meyer Publishers, Dayton, Ohio



Perry Twp. -
ELIJAH ELLIS.   Of the descendants of the early pioneers of Perry Township, none is more deserving of mention than Elijah Ellis.  He was born near the site of New Martinsburg, tins county, Oct. 1, 1817, and is the oldest son of David and Hannah Ellis, who settled in Perry Township, in 1799, near where Elijah now lives.  The
house in which he was born was destroyed by fire, in the year 1877.
     The parents of our subject were of Quaker stock, and their son is piously devoted to the doctrines and usages of that society of Christians.  The Ellises came from Tennessee in the year above named, actuated by a desire to live in a country free from the curse of slavery.
     Our subject was married, in May, 1844, to Jane Jury, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Fisher) Jury.  To this marriage, five children were born: David William, born May 17, 1845; Joseph R., born June 9, 1846; Cyrenius, born Nov. 10, 1848; Margaret E., born Apr. 25, 1850, married Samuel Devoss, since died; Isaac L., born Nov. 17, 1852, died June 11, 1857.  Mrs. Ellis died, Dec. 5, 1852, aged twenty-six years.
     On the 6th of January, 1859, Mr. Ellis was again married, to Mrs. Eliza B. Ogborn, widow of the late Samuel F. Ogborn, of New Jersey.  She is the daughter of Abel and Rhoda (Johnson) Thornberry.  Her grandfather, John Johnson, was an early settler in the State of Indiana.  He erected the first court house in Indianapolis, and his residence there was the first brick building erected in the city.  He was a member of the Society of Friends, and for years kept a temperance hotel in the same city.  Mrs. Ellis, by her first marriage, became the mother of two sons: Henry M. and Isaac F. Henry M. served in the 73d O. V. V. I. during the war of the rebellion, and Isaac F. was a lieutenant in an infantry regiment of Indiana volunteers.  He was captured by the enemy at Richmond, Kentucky, in the fall of 1862, paroled and exchanged.  Mr. and Mrs. Thornberry were the parents of the following named children:  Lydia J., Eliza B., Mary Ann (died an infant), Mary Ann, Rachel B., Susan J., William J., and John Thomas. Lydia J., Eliza B., Mary A., and William J., still live.  The latter is a minister of the Society of Friends.
     The father of Mrs. Ellis came to this state in 1799, and was a soldier in the war of 1812.  In the prime of life he traveled from New Orleans to Leesburg, this state, on foot.  He served as a member of the Legislature of Indiana, in the years 1833 and 1834, from Wayne County, and_ was also a member of the city council of Richmond, Indiana, several successive years.  He erected several mills in and near Richmond, Indiana, and one or more in Michigan.  He was a man of remarkable qualities, a mathematician of some note.  He embraced religion in the latter years of his life, and died a glorious and peaceable death at the age of seventy-live years.
     Mrs. Ellis has in her possession a photograph group representing live generations of the family: Abel Thornberry, Eliza B. Ellis, Henry M. Ogborn, Ella D. Reese and Clara Reese.  At the birth of Henry Thornberry, the great-grandmother of Mrs. Ellis could have said:  "Arise, my son, and go to thy daughter, for thy daughter's daughter has a son."  Eliza B. Ellis was a great-grandmother at the age of fifty-eight, and now has two great-grandchildren, who have a great-great-great-great-great-aunt.  The oldest of this line is Ann Nordyke, aged eighty-two; the youngest, Laura Grace Reese, aged one year.
     Thomas Bales, the great-grandfather of Eliza B. Ellis, was the first white preacher who crossed the Alleghanies.  He was suspicioned, and taken by the British as a spy, during his ministry among the Indians.  His real character becoming known, he was released and permitted to preach unmolested.  At his death, in 1801, he was buried in a rude coffin hewn out of a butternut log, in compliance with his own request.
* Source: 
History of Fayette County, Ohio & State of Ohio - By R. S. Dills - Publ. Odell & Meyer Publishers, Dayton, Ohio - 1881 - Page 801
Perry Twp. -
THOMAS ELLIS.   The Ellis ancestry were from Wales.  They came to America in the latter part of the sixteenth century, settling in Pennsylvania.  Later, some of the stock moved to Virginia, and afterwards to Tennessee.
     Thomas, the son of Enos Ellis, was born in Pennsylvania, but came to Ohio from Tennessee about the year 1799, and settled in Fayette County, on the present site of New Martinsburg, when the surrounding country was an unbroken wilderness.  He was the father of Phoebe, Thomas, Elizabeth, Margaret, Reese, David, Mary Ann, and Rebecca.
     David and Hannah Ellis were the parents of our subject.  Their children were: Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Elijah, Sophia, Thomas, Morris R., Levi, James, David, jr., Lydia M, and Hannah E.
     Our subject was born near New Martinsburg, Ohio, Dec. 6, 1820.  He was married to Mary Ellen Bennett, in the year 1848.  Mrs. Ellis was born May 5, 1830, and died Jan. 19, 1864.  To this union five children were born: Martha Jane, born June 9, 1851, died Dec. 28, 1875; Hannah Armilda, born Mar. 28, 1853, died November 22, 1876; Rebecca Ellen, born Feb. 12, 1855, died Apr. 22, 1869; Mary Ann, born Oct. 21, 1859, died Feb. 19, 1880.
     Mr. Ellis was married to his present wife—Mrs. Mary Levey, nee Arthur—on the 20th of October, 1870.  She was born in Kentucky, Nov. 30, 1826.   By her first husband she is the mother of five children, two of whom are deceased.
     The early life of Thomas Ellis was given to hard labor.  The death of his father occurring when Thomas was yet a lad, the care of the family devolved upon himself and his brother Elijah.  As a consequence, the education of Thomas was much neglected.  He has had a painful experience in the loss of a family of promising children.  In early manhood he spent much time on the road as a teamster, and before the days of railroads has wagoned farm products to Cincinnati, Chillicothe, and other markets.
     Mr. Ellis is a member of the Friends' Society, worshiping at Walnut Creek.  His people are nearly all members of the Society of Friends, and the descendants of his ancestry number several score in Perry Township.
     Dates of births in the Ellis family: Thomas Ellis, Mar. 2, 1772; Lydia Ellis, Dec. 19, 1774; Martha, Feb. 26, 1794; Hannah, June 6, 1795; John, Feb. 25, 1799; James, Jan. 21, 1801; Rachel, Oct. 28, 1802; Levi, May 9, 1804; Margaret, June 1, 1806; Thomas, Mar. 5, 1808; Solomon, Feb. 28, 1810; William, Sept. 30, 1814; Reese, Apr. 30, 1816.
     On the farm where Mr. Ellis lives are a number of apple trees which grew from sprouts planted by Grandfather Thomas Ellis in 1799.  The fruit is called the " Tennessee Apple," and was brought from Tennessee.
* Source: 
History of Fayette County, Ohio & State of Ohio - By R. S. Dills - Publ. Odell & Meyer Publishers, Dayton, Ohio - 1881 - Page 803
Union Twp. -
SOLOMON WALKER ELY, gardener, Washington, was born in Ross County, October 1, 1825; was married August 23, 1849, to Miss Mary Cory, daughter of Israel Cory, near Frankfort, Ross County; lived in Ross County nineteen years; moved to Washington in 1857, and has remained here until the present time. They were the parents of six children, two of whom died in infancy, and two sons and two daughters living—Joseph N. married, and lives in Missouri; Anson I., whereabouts not known, most probably in Alaska Territory; Sarah E., single; Nora, married. His wife died in 1863, and he married for his second wife Mrs. H. A. Atkinson, of Madison County. They have by this marriage one son, twelve years of age, a sprightly lad.
     Mr. Ely is a man of intelligence, and possesses a well-stored mind. He has read and thought much. In politics, he is a Republican ; in religion, a Baptist. He owns and lives on a lovely little farm, containing four acres, on the Palmer pike, but a short distance from Washington,
* Source:  History of Fayette County, Ohio & State of Ohio - By R. S. Dills - Publ. Odell & Meyer Publishers, Dayton, Ohio - 1881 - Page 594
Jefferson Twp. -
SIMEON R. ESTEP, farmer, is a son of Robert Estep, of this county, a native of Pennsylvania, who came to this county about 1830, and located near Bloomingburg, coming to this township in 1874. 
     Our subject was born in this county, Oct. 29, 1856, where he was reared and educated.  He has been engaged in farming thus far through life.  Is a member of Jeffersonville Lodge No. 454,  I. O. O. F., joining in 1879.  He lives with his father, on the homestead farm of one hundred and sixty acres situated three miles west of Jeffersonville, on the Jamestown pike.  They are highly respected citizens and good neighbors.
* Source:  History of Fayette County, Ohio & State of Ohio - By R. S. Dills - Publ. Odell & Meyer Publishers, Dayton, Ohio - 1881 - Page 679
Jefferson Twp. -
HEZEKIAH T. EVANS, farmer, is a son of John V. Evans, of Green County, and was born March 10, 1842, in Berkeley County, Virginia.  He came to Greene County, Ohio, in 1851; remained there till 1872, when he came to Fayette.  He was married, Feb. 6, 1868, to Miss Julia A. Keplinger, of Kosciusko County, Indiana, who bore him five children: Ulysses G., Anna M., John A., Floretta F., and Blanche G., all living.  Mrs. Evans died July 14, 1880.  She was a member of the Disciple Church.
     Mr. Evans enlisted in Company A, 74th O. V. I., in 1863, and served until the close of the war.  He has a farm of thirty acres situated near the northwest corner of this township, on which he lives.  He was elected trustee of the township in April, 1881, and is a member of the church in which his wife died.
* Source:  History of Fayette County, Ohio & State of Ohio - By R. S. Dills - Publ. Odell & Meyer Publishers, Dayton, Ohio - 1881 - Page 679
Perry Twp. -
ROBERT S. EYRE.  The Eyre ancestry were from England.  John Eyre the grand-father of this subject, was a Virginian.  His children were Robert, Hannah, Samuel, Nancy, and William.  William Eyre was the youngest of his father's family, and was born in Virginia in 1802.  The family came to Ohio in 1804, settling at the falls of Paint Creek, in Ross County.  After John Eyre's death, his widow married Judge James Mooney.  Soon after this the family settled in Perry Township, this county.
     Rohert S. Eyre, the fourth son and seventh child of William and Jemima (Smith) Eyre, was born Apr. 24, 1845.  The children of William and Jemima Eyre were John, William H., Nancy A., Eliza C, Joseph M., Hannah E., Robert S., and Sarah E.  By a former marriage to Leah Job, Mr. Eyre had two daughters—Mary J., and Minerva.
     Our subject was married, Nov. 16, 1871, to Mary J. Chalfant, second daughter of Nathan H. and Adaline (Harris) Chalfant, of Highland County.  Mrs. Eyre was born Sept. 4, 1847.  To this union four children have been born: Vertie E., born June 23, 1873; William N., born May 1, 1876; Lulu M., born Mar. 23, 1879; Joseph C, born Jan. 22, 1881.
     Mr. Eyre has a creditable record as a soldier in the late civil war, serving as a private in Company G, 73d O. V. V. I., 3d brigade, 3d division, 20th army corps.  His regiment campaigned with Sherman, and made itself illustrious in many hard fought battles, and was mustered out at the close of the war.
     Mr. Eyre became an Odd-fellow, Jan. 5, 1876, and is an active member of Wilstach Lodge No. 368, at New Martinsburg.  He is Master of Forest Shade Grange No. 368.
     His politics is of the staunch Republican order.
* Source:  History of Fayette County, Ohio & State of Ohio - By R. S. Dills - Publ. Odell & Meyer Publishers, Dayton, Ohio - 1881 - Page 805


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