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Highland County,



History of Highland County, Ohio
by Rev. J. W. Klise -
Publ. Madison, Wis.,
Northwestern Historical Association


ETHAN A. WALKER, one of the leading citizens of Concord township and prosperous as a farmer, is a grandson of one of the earliest settlers of the township.  This ancestor, Elijah Walker, born in Rockbridge county, Va. in 1775, was married in Virginia to Mary Diehl, and with his brother Charles and their families came to Ohio in 1808 and settled in Concord township, where they bought 830 acres of the original patentees.  When the war of 1812 came on, Elijah Walker enlisted for the defense of his country, and served as a private soldier, but he did not long survive this experience, dying at the age of forty-five years.  His widow, however, lived to over at the age of forty-five years.  His widow, however, lived to over seventy-eight years of age.  Their children, Samuel, Catherine (who married Joseph Massie), Mary (who became Mrs. McDay), Martha (who married a Campbell), Rebecca (wife of Marshal J. Menker), Elizabeth (who married Hugh J. Hetherington), and John, George and Elijah, are all dead, but their descendants are found among the best families of the townships. Elijah, father of the subject of this sketch, was born on the farm now owned by L. D. Walker, May 27, 1810, was educated in the old log district school building lighted through greased paper windows, and when he had grown to manhood was married to Hannah J. Hamilton, a native of Adams county of Irish descent.  Elijah Walker was an enterprising and successful man, owned three hundred acres of land, was the first owner of a portable sawmill in that part of the county, and was quite popular with his many acquaintances.  He was one of the early opponents of slavery, in the days before the great war, aided in the work of the "underground railroad," and was devoted member of the Free Soil party, before the formation of the Republican party, in which he and his sons have been prominent.  He died at a little over fifty years of age, and was followed in five years by his wife, and the remains of both were interred in the family cemetery.  The children born to them were Isabella, deceased; Samuel, deceased; Ethan A.; Mary, widow of W. H. Dedrick, of Kansas; Matilda J., wife of P. Woolums, of Packwood, Ia.; Nelson J. of Kansas; Margaret A., wife of O. L. Marsh, of Packwood, Iowa, and John W., deceased.  Ethan A. Walker was born on the farm where he now lives Dec. 18, 1840, and lived there, receiving a district school education and aiding in the work of the farm, until after his father died, an event that made it impracticable for him to leave home during the early art of the war.  Early  in 1864, however, he entered the military service of his country as a member of the company of Capt. Robert J. Hatcher, which became Company A, of the Hundred and Sixty-eighth regiment Ohio volunteer infantry.  This was one of the regiments sent into Kentucky, and was engaged in battle with Gen. John H. Morgan at Cynthiana, all being made prisoners.  Mr. Walker, with his comrades, came back to Cincinnati on parole, from which they were released later and discharged Sept. 8, 1864.  On the 24th of the same month he re-enlisted in Company I of the Forty-first regiment, which he joined in Athens, Ala.  Then followed active and dangerous duty during the invasion of Tennessee, by Hood's rebel army, and Private Walker had opportunity for gallant service in the great battles of Franklin and Nashville, as well as in a number of minor encounters.  At the close of the was he was honorably discharged at Nashville, June 13, 1865, and returning home, he resumed the work of civil life.  On Sept. 28th, following his discharge he was married to Hannah J., daughter of John and Nancy Rotroff, of Adams county, and a few months later they occupied their present home, which, with the improvements since made, is one of the most convenient and attractive in the township.  Mr. Walker is the owner of 250 acres of excellent land, is successful as a farmer, and enjoys the esteem and confidence of his neighbors, as it shown by his election as township clerk two terms, as township trustee four or five terms, and his service for about twenty-five years as member of the school board, from 1890 to 1900 as land appraiser.  He is a member of the Presbyterian church, of the Grand Army post at Sugartree Ridge, and in politics a Republican.  He has ten children living:  William C., a resident of Adams county; Eva, wife of John A. Long, of Concord township; John N.; Mollie, at home; Myrtle, wife of George Baker, of Concord; Maggie, wife of John Eyler, of Brown county; Elsie, wife of J. M. West, of Jackson, and Linnie, Ida and Anna, at home.
Source #1 - History of Highland County, Ohio by Rev. J. W. Klise - Publ. Madison, Wis., Northwestern Historical Association - 1902 - Page 505
JACOB E. WHITE, the popular proprietor of the celebrated Spring Grove dairy and stock farm, near Greenfield, has achieved a phenomenal success in a comparatively short time in his chosen calling.  The people of Greenfield and vicinity regard this dairy as one of their institutions and the owner receives in full measure the credit due him who supplies the masses with pure and wholesome food.  It has scarcely been twelve years since Mr. White opened business with three cows and a few cheap utensils as his sole equipment for running a dairy.  Today he has over one hundred head of stock, mostly pure bred registered Jerseys of the choicest and costliest strain, and an establishment which in the completeness of its facilities and thoroughness of its equipment yields to no other in the state of its class.  In these twelve years of active business Mr. White has risen from obscurity to the position of one of the best known dairymen in the great agricultural state of Ohio.  He has long been a member of the Ohio Dairymen's association, whose meetings he attends regularly and whose proceedings are frequently enlivened and illuminated by his pertinent remarks and suggestions based upon the experience and close observation of a practical dairyman.  Mr. White may be properly described as up-to-date in every particular.  He subscribes to the most advanced dairy periodicals, studies closely all publications of the Agricultural department and other authorities on the subject, and keeps in close touch with the progressive and thinking men who are in his line of work.  In other words, it is his aim and ambition to keep abreast of the best thought of the age in what has now become a scientifically conducted industry of vital importance to the country's resources and welfare and involving hundreds of millions of capital.  Mr. White uses only the most improved and efficient dairy appliances, and acts on the belief that if the motto "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" be true as a general proposition, it is especially true in all that relates to dairying.  The cleanness of his methods and richness of his milk have proved such winning cards as to capture all Greenfield for his customers and spread his fame over the state.  Mr. White came naturally by his fondness for breeding and handling cattle, as his father is one of the best known stockmen in the state and has been a dealer for more than half a century.  As "Uncle Billy" White he is familiar in stock circles throughout Ohio and adjacent states, and though now eighty years old he still buys and sells with the shrewdness and energy of his youthful days.  William White, though born in Brown, was reared in Adams county, his father was Joseph White and his mother was Margaret (Spear) White, old pioneers of Brown county, Ohio.  It is in the territory extending from Flemingsburg, Ky., to Washington Court House, Ohio, that William White gained his reputation as a lumber manufacturer and stock-dealer.  He married Jane Dobbins Edgington daughter of Jacob and Mary Edgington and granddaughter of Rev. Robert Dobbins, a noted minister of his day who established the first Methodist Protestant church in his part of the state.  The nine children resulting from this union are all living.  Mary M. married James Cockerill of Fayette county, Ohio; Robert is a hay-dealer in Greenfield; Annie is the wife of Joel Ard, of St. Louis; Emma L., is at home; Joseph R. C. resides in Fayette county; Lizzie is the wife of Dr. A. A. Hyer, of Buena Vista, Ohio; Jacob E. White, of Greenfield; Charles L., of Idaho; and Jessie S., wife of J. C. Long, a business man of Wellston, Ohio.  Jacob E. White seventh in order of the children, was born at Winchester, Adams county, Ohio, in 1863, and spent his early years partly in Hillsboro and partly in Fayette county.  His boyhood was passed on the farm and he had only such educational advantages as are afforded by the common country schools.  He was eighteen years old when he settled in Greenfield and some time after his arrival was devoted to attendance at the Normal school in  that town.  It was in 1890 that the happy thought struck him of going into the dairy business.  Poorly equipped as he was at the start, lacking skill as well as capital, his three poor cows have grown almost as rapidly as Jonah's miraculous gourd, until we see before us the neat Spring Grove dairy with its elegant appointment and complement of "lowering herds."  Mr. White pays no attention to politics or  other matters that might distract his attention from the business for which he is so well qualified, but finds relaxation on the social side by membership and occasional attendance with McClain lodge, Knights of Pythias.
Source:  The County of Highland A History of Highland County, Ohio by Rev. J. W. Klise Publ. Madison, Wis., Northwestern Historical Assn. -  1902- Page 516
ROBERT W. WHITE, the energetic and prosperous hay and grain merchant of Greenfield, comes of an old Virginia family which was well represented in the early pioneer struggles of Ohio.  Grandfather Joseph White settled in Adams county among the first and bore his share in the hardships, dangers and privations incident to the period of original occupation.  His son, William White, became a very prominent stock dealer of Adams county, his business covering a wide scope of country and making him known throughout Ohio and neighboring states.  His wife, Jane D. Edgington, descended from an ancestry distinguished in affairs both of church and state.  Her father was Jacob Edgington and her mother a daughter of celebrated  Robert Dobbins, one of the founders of the Methodist Protestant church, representative of Fayette county in the legislature for two terms, and an evangelist of great renown.  Grandfather Edgington took part in the early Indian wars which were such a dramatic and dreaded feature of the period embracing the occupation and settlement of the Northwest territory. Robert W., son of William and Jane (Edgington) White, was born at Winchester, Adams county, Ohio, and was reared to manhood in his native place.  Later he was engaged for some time in farming in Fayette county and in 1884 came to Greenfield where he embarked in the creamery business.  Four years later this was given up and he became a dealer in hay, straw, corn and other grains.  He began on a small scale, but the business grew by degrees until it has assumed large proportions, the buying, baling, handling and shipping employing the labor of many people.  He now ships to many different points in widely different parts of the country and is doing a prosperous business.  Aug. 6, 1891, he was married to Matte, daughter of Thomas Moon, one of the old settlers on Walnut creek in Highland county.  Mr. White  is a Jeffersonian Democrat of the old school and a member of the order of Odd Fellows.  He is popular not only in business but in the social circle, as he is a man of kindly disposition and observant of all the rules of hospitality.
Source:  The County of Highland A History of Highland County, Ohio by Rev. J. W. Klise Publ. Madison, Wis., Northwestern Historical Assn. -  1902- Page 517
SILAS WHITE, attorney and justice of the peace at Sinking Springs, is a grandson of Benjamin White, a native of Vermont, born in 1809, who was for many years a prominent resident of Clay township.  Benjamin White was a ship carpenter by trade, an active and influential man and a member of the Campbellite church.  In early manhood he settled in Hamilton county and bought a large tract of land, and later moved to Clay township and acquired a farm.  His wife was Lucinda Stratton, of Pennsylvania - German descent, and they had thirteen children: John, William, David, Lewis (of Brown county, Ohio), Catherine, Columbus, Marshall, Frank, Letty, Sarah, Sanford, Samantha and Mary, all except Lewis being deceased.  Five of the sons were gallant soldiers of the Union in 1861-65, serving for more than four years each.  David E. White, born in Clay township, Dec. 18, 1840, enlisted in Company K, of the Twelfth regiment Ohio infantry, mustered in at Hillsboro, and throughout the war he shared the record of that gallant command, participating in numerous battles and skirmishes, and serving in all four years, five months and twenty-three days.  He was mustered out as first sergeant of his company.  After the war he made his home at Mount Orab, Brown county, and married Sarah Keethler a native of Brown county.  After 1895 they resided at Sinking Springs.  He was a contractor for many years, and furnished most of the ties and some other material for the construction of the old Chillicothe & Eastern railroad.  He was honored with local offices, and in every way as a man of prominence and high character.  On Dec. 27, 1901, while trying to catch the railroad train at Greenfield he was knocked from the trestle and drowned in the creek, an accident that caused great sorrow to his family and many friends.  His widow survives him, and three children:  Silas S., Joseph H., and Rebecca, wife of A. Cummings, of Mount Orab.  Silas S. was born Aug. 19, 1866, at Mount Orab, was reared there, and in early manhood began the study of law with White & Young, of Georgetown.  Removing to Indiana, he was admitted to the bar there, and practiced for some time in the courts.  After his marriage to Jennie Cummings, of Brown county, he lived at Mount Orab four years and then removed to Sinking Springs, where he continues in the general practice, and fills the office of justice of the peace, in which he is now serving the second term.  While living in Sterling township, Brown county, he was honored with various township offices.  He is one of the influential men of the county, and is now a member of the central committee of his party, the Democratic.  Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. White - Harry, Hazel, Lester, George E., and Blanche.
Source:  The County of Highland A History of Highland County, Ohio by Rev. J. W. Klise Publ. Madison, Wis., Northwestern Historical Assn. -  1902- Page 518
JOHN WILKIN, veteran of the civil war and well-to-do farmer of New Market township, is descended from a pioneer family who came from Virginia and settled in Highland county in 1801.  Among their numerous descendants was Eli Wilkin, born about 1818, who married Catherine Rhodes and by her had twelve children was John Wilkin, born in New Market township, Highland county, Ohio, July 2, 1846, on the farm where he now resides.  As he grew up he attended the neighborhood schools and later the high school at Hillsboro, and on reaching majority he helped manage the farm in association with his father.  The latter died in 1898 in the eightieth year of his age.  Feb. 1, 1864, Mr. Wilkin enlisted in Company C, Thirteenth regiment Ohio volunteer cavalry, which was mustered into service at Camp Chase early in may and soon after joined the army of the Potomac.  It was first assigned to the Ninth army corps and served awhile as infantry, later being furnished horses and converted into cavalry.  Mr. Wilkin took part with his command in the engagements at Poplar Grove church, Hatcher's Run, Dinwiddie Court House, Petersville, Farmville, and the other fighting that marked the "beginning of the end."  He was present at the "grand finale" when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox and thus put an to the great civil war.  Mr. Wilkin was released from service by an honorable discharge Aug. 10, 1865, with the rank of corporal, and lost no time in returning to this Ohio home.  He resumed the occupation of farming and in course of time became possessed of ninety acres of land on which he now resides and carries on general agriculture.  In 1896 he was married to Mrs. Rebecca Roush, widow of Noah Roush, by whom she had six children: Sophronia, Nora Zella (deceased), Mittie, James and Cletus W.  Mr. Wilkin is a member of the Reformed church and of Robert Russell post, No. 630, Grand Army of the Republic, in which he has held the position of adjutant.  By his marriage with Mrs. Roush there has been one child, Wilfred H.
Source:  The County of Highland A History of Highland County, Ohio by Rev. J. W. Klise Publ. Madison, Wis., Northwestern Historical Assn. -  1902- Page 521
SAMUEL WILKIN, of Hamer township, an extensive farmer, manufacturer, and breeder of live stock, comes of a highly honorable ancestry which runs back to the earliest pioneer days.  They were originally Virginians and came from that historic section of the state known as the Shenandoah valley, arriving in Ohio territory when it was still a hunting ground for roving bands of Indians.  The grandfather of Mr. Wilkin, whose name was William, was one of the most prosperous farmers of his day and accumulated a large amount of property.  He married Rebecca Windle and by her had a family of eight children, Peter, Joseph, Sarah, Eli, Elizabeth, William, Ann and George, all now dead except the last mentioned, who lives in Hamer township.  William Wilkin was cut off from his usefulness in the prime of life and after his death the widow continued to manage the farm and look after the welfare of her large family.  Joseph Wilkin, second of the children in age, was born in New Market township in 1816, and in early manhood married Nancy, daughter of Allen and Elizabeth Roush, of Highland county.  He located on a place in Union township where he lived until 1855, when he purchased a farm in 123 acres in Hamer township.  To this he removed and there spent the remainder of his days, passing away in 1887 at the age of seventy-one, his wife surviving until some years later.  Of their six children, Elizabeth, Allen and Augustus have died; Samuel is the subject of this sketch; Rebecca J. is the wife of Lewis Orebaugh, of Hamer township; and Joseph F. is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church.  Samuel Wilkin, second of the children, was born in Union township, Highland county, Ohio, Sept. 8, 1843, and remained at home until he reached his majority.  About that time he married Roseannh, daughter of George N. and Mary (Pugh) Webster, of Dodson township, and located there on a small tract of land, where he spent the five following years.  He then removed to a farm in Hamer township given to him by his father, where he now resides, adding to the property and greatly improving it from year to year since he took possession.  In 1882 he began the manufacture of tile, which he has since continued in partnership with his son Dallas under the firm name of Samuel Wilkin & Son.  they use the latest and best improved machinery and do business on an extensive scale.  As a farmer and stockraiser Mr. Wilkin has no superior in the township.  His real estate buildings now consist of about 437 acres of the best quality of land, which is kept in highly improved condition and is cultivated by up-to-date methods.  In 1891 he constructed a handsome brick residence, which has all the modern improvements and conveniences, and both in size and quality is superior to anything of the kind in the township.  In fact everything on and about this model farm indicates skillful and progressive management, as the buildings and equipments of all kinds are neat and attractive and always kept in prime condition.  Mr. Wilkin takes a just pride in  his splendid Poland-China and Berkshire hogs, of which he has long been an extensive breeder and shipper, and he enjoys a high reputation in this department of the live-stock industry.  He has found time from his farm and other business to fulfill all the duties of a good citizen, being especially interested in educational and religious work.  He held the position of school director for nine consecutive years, and during the whole of his adult life has been a member of the Christian church and one of its most enthusiastic workers.  His marriage has been blessed with fourteen children, in the order of their birth as follows:  Lewella M., the wife of S. R. Kidd, of Dodson township, and mother of three children, Almira, Anna F. and Samuel K.; Augustus E. who lives in Hamer township, married Lizzie Fawley and has had five children, those living being Dorotha I., Arnold and Hugh H.; Dallas O., in business with his father, who married Jennie Hawthorn and has had three children, Orpha, Nancy and Hilda (deceased); William F., of Hamer township, who married Susan Duvall and has two children living, Gladys and an infant, and one dead; Joseph N., in Hamer township, who married Lucy J. Stroup, their children being Norma R. and Paul; Cora M., who married J. N. Dollinger, of Dodson township, and has three children, Elizabeth I., Lotta M., and Anna A.; George R., in Hamer township, who married Hattie E. Williams, and have one child, Edgar Franklin; Samuel B., who married Myrtle McKamey, and lives in Dodson township; Nancy N., Mary J., and Henry, with their parents; John A., who was killed in 1900 when eleven years old by being run over by a loaded wagon; Everett Louis, who died in 1892 at the age of two years and eight months; and Rosa O., the youngest of this interesting family.
Source:  The County of Highland A History of Highland County, Ohio by Rev. J. W. Klise Publ. Madison, Wis., Northwestern Historical Assn. -  1902- Page 522
ALLENIAH F. WILLIAMS, a prosperous farmer of Brush Creek township, is a grandson of the early settlers of Jackson township, Elias Williams.   The latter was a native of Rockingham county, Va., born here until his death which occurred on February, 25, 1838.  In early manhood Elias Williams married Christina Countryman, also a native of Rockingham county, Va., born about 1790, died Aug. 25, 1879.  They began housekeeping in Jackson township, buying a tract of wild land.  Their children were Polly, John, Eli, Nancy, Elizabeth, Henry, Anna, Eliza and Levi.  John Williams, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Jackson township June 6, 1807,a nd married Elizabeth Duncan, a native of Jackson township and daughter of Alexander Duncan.   After several years they moved to Adams county, where Mr. Williams engaged in mercantile business at May Hill, and from there they returned to the vicinity of Belfast, and later moved to Brush Creek township.  John Williams had four children by his first wife: John, deceased; Sanford, deceased; Mary, wife of John W. Tener, of Belfast, and one that died young.  After the death of their mother he married her sister, Mary, and they had ten children: Elizabeth, wife of J. M. Suiter, of Harriet postoffice; Susan, Eliza, and Amanda, deceased; Ellen, wife of L. B. Coss, of Kansas; Alleniah F.; Agnes, wife of John Koger, of Paint township; Martha, wife of C. P. Dunlap of Greene county; Thomas, deceased, and Anna, wife of John Dunlap, of Greene county.  The father lived to the age of eighty-six years, and his second wife survives him, at ninety years, and very sprightly for that great age.  Alleniah F. Williams, born in Jackson township, June 7, 1847, received his education in the district school and the high school at Hillsboro, and in early manhood for four years was employed as a nurseryman.  Afterward he was twelve years engaged in the profession of teaching, doing excellent work in the schools of his township.  He married Iza R. Turner, born and reared on the farm where on the farm where they now live, and except for the first year of their married life, they have made their home on the old Turner homestead, where they own 338 acres of land.  Mr. Williams has made most of the improvements on the place, making it one of the most attractive of the region.  He gives attention to the raising of live stock as well as farming, is a member of the grange of Patrons of Husbandry, in religious affiliation is an Universalist, and in politics a Democrat.  Among his neighbors he is held in high esteem.  Five children have been born to him and wife - Spees, living in Colorado; Laura A., deceased; Inis V., Carlton T., and Grace D.
Source:  The County of Highland A History of Highland County, Ohio by Rev. J. W. Klise Publ. Madison, Wis., Northwestern Historical Assn. -  1902- Page 523
JAMES A. WILLIAMS, veteran of the civil war and trustee of Liberty township, is one of the most progressive and enterprising of Highland county's many bright farmers.  He is highly esteemed both as a citizen and a neighbor, keeps abreast of the times in all lines of useful information and is ever ready to put a shoulder to the wheel in any worthy cause.  He is a descendant of one of those sturdy old Quaker families of the hated institution of slavery.  William Williams, son of Isaac, was born in North Carolina in 1774, and in 1797 was married to Phoebe Mendenall, of Guilford county in the same state.  Early in the nineteenth century they became citizens of Highland county, locating in Penn township, where most of their eleven children were reared to maturity.  The names of their off-spring, as preserved in the old family Bible, were Katharine, Mary, Josiah, Isaac, Robert, Joseph, John, Joseph, John, Elizabeth, Ann, Jonathan and Phoebe.  Jonathan Williams was born in Penn township, Highland county, Ohio, April 17, 1820, and in 1842 was married to Sarah Bailey, daughter of a prominent pioneer and leader in the society of Friends.  The six children resulting from this marriage were Mary, wife of John Hustead, of Penn township; Melissa wife and John Denny; James A., noticed more fully below; Laura E.; Caroline, wife of Clark Woody; and Charles, a resident of the Indian Territory.   James A. Williams, third of the family, was born on the homestead in Highland county, Ohio, Aug. 31, 1845.  In the fall of 1864 he enlisted in the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth regiment Ohio national guard and served with the same until the expiration of his term in 1865.  Dec. 29, 1869, he was married to Rachel, daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Yost) Larkin, of Harrison county, Ohio.  After his marriage, Mr. Williams lived a while in Penn township and then removed to Kansas, but not liking the prospect out there, returned to Highland county and located on the Barnard farm west of Hillsboro.  This arrangement lasted until 1887, when he purchased an excellent place of 153 acres on Clear Creek, north of the county seat, where he has since made his home.  That he is regarded as a reliable business man is evidenced by the fact in the spring of 1902 he was elected trustee of Liberty township.  He is well informed on all matters relating to agriculture, He is well informed on all matters relating to agriculture, one of the county's most energetic farmers and in every way a clever and popular citizen.  He belongs to the Union Veterans' Union and is one of the comrades of Hillsboro post, Grand Army of the Republic.  The four living children of Mr. and Mrs. Williams are Isaac, born Nov 2, 1870, and now married and residing near Leesburg, Ohio; Oscar, born Sept. 12, 1872; Margaret, born Dec. 7, 1877, wife of Leslie Connell of Penn township; and Herbert, born Apr. 2, 1890.  Katie, the second born, died in infancy.
Source:  The County of Highland A History of Highland County, Ohio by Rev. J. W. Klise Publ. Madison, Wis., Northwestern Historical Assn. -  1902- Page 524

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