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Madison County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


History of Madison County, Ohio
Its People, Industries and Institutions
Chester E. Bryan, Supervising Editor
With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families
Published by B. F. Bowden & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana



  ABRAHAM J. DENNISON was born on Oct. 1, 1862, in Pickaway county, Ohio, and is the son of James and Sevena (Warren) Dennison, who were the parents of six boys and six girls.
     James Dennison was born in January, 1827, in Madison county, where he was reared on a farm.  When still a young man he removed to Pickaway county, where he was reared on a farm.  When still a young man he removed to Pickaway county, where he first rented and then bought land.  His present home is still on the property then acquired.  His wife was born on Oct. 25, 1830, near Chillicothe, Ohio, and was the daughter of William and Margaret (Blane) Warren.  She died on Jan. 10, 1911.
     Abraham Dennison was brought up on his father's farm, attending the local schools, and did not leave home until his twenty-fifth year.  One year previous to his marriage, he rented land from his father and continued its cultivation for the next fifteen years.  In 1901 he bought one hundred and fifteen acres of good farm land in this county which he made his home.  He has always kept a good grade of stock for the market.
     In 1887 Abraham Dennison was married to Sarah Murphy daughter of William F. and Roxanna (Crabe) MurphySarah Murphy was born on Feb. 8, 1865.  Her father, who is still living with his children, was born on Aug. 10, 1835, in Pickaway county.  Her mother was born in the same county on Nov. 13, 1836, and died on Dec 29, 1913.  The children born of this union were three in number, namely:  Frederick, born on Nov. 26, 1887, is a student in the Ohio State University; Mabel is the wife of a Mr. Thornton, and was born on July 23, 1889, in Pleasant township; and Ray, born on Dec. 28, 1890, resides at home.  Mr. and Mrs. Dennison have erected a beautiful modern dwelling, which is lighted by gas.
    Abraham Dennison is a church attendant, a Republican in politics and a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge at Mt. Sterling.  He was township trustee for two terms.
     Mr. Dennison is one of the foremost agriculturists of this district.  He has identified himself always with the best life of the community in which effort he has been joined by his wife, who is much admired for her genialty and her womanly characteristics.  Worldly greatness does not consist in heroic achievement.  It may be just as truly found in the careful carrying out of human obligations, though this may be apart from the eyes of the world.  In this respect the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Dennison have truly been an inspiration.
Source: History of Madison County, Ohio - Illustrated - Published by B. F. Bowden & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana - 1915 - Page 849

John G. Dun

Elizabeth Dun


JOHN GRAHAM DUN.    Eight miles north of London, in this county, lies the Dun home, known as "Dun Glen" and one of the fine country estates of Ohio.  It is situated in a fertile valley and the old house, which is rather an imposing mansion, stands in a handsome grove, a delightful place, reminding one of the old homes which might have been seen a generation ago in Kentucky.  The present proprietor of "Dun Glen" is Miss Gertrude Dun, who while seemingly living somewhat secluded is generally found where the people of Madison county are accustomed socially to foregather.  She is fond of travel and thoroughly enjoys the bounties which nature affords, being devoted to the charms of rural life.  It was Miss Dun’s father, the late John Graham Dun, who established "Dun Glen” in Deer Creek township.
     John Graham Dun was born on Sept. 21, 1814, at Chillicothe, Ohio, and died at his home in Madison county on Nov. 29, 1895.  He was the son of Walter and Ann Mary (Angus) Dun, the former of whom. born in Scotland, came to America at the age of nineteen, settling at Petersburg, Virginia, where his uncle was employed by the government as a surveyor.  This uncle set his nephew to work surveying land and he presently came to Ohio in the pursuit of his profession.  After locating lands in Madison county, Walter Dun married Ann Mary Angus, of Petersburg, Virginia, and returned to Chillicothe.  Later he settled on his uncle’s estate in Virginia.  He also owned a large farm in Kentucky, situated near the beautiful city of Lexington, and died in Kentucky, at the age of fifty-three.  Besides his son, John Graham, there were
three other sons, James, Walter Angus and Robert George, and a daughter, Mrs. Thurman, all of whom settled in Ohio.  Walter Dun had obtained a large tract of land, comprising nine thousand acres, and gave each of his sons a part of this land, with additional lands he later sold them.  Each of the sons reared families in Madison county, except Walter A. and all remained here except Robert, who lived for several years in the South.  Most of this land has since passed into other hands.  All of the Dun brothers were large farmers in this county, Robert and John being pioneer breeders of Shorthorn cattle, while Walter was a well-known horseman in his day.
     After assisting his father on the farm until he was twenty-three years old, John Graham Dun, at his father’s death, was associated with his brother, James, in settling up the estate.  The Kentucky property was sold and the mother spent the later years of her life in Chillicothe.  John Graham Dun drove his first cattle over the mountains from the Old Dominion state when he was but nineteen years old.  In his farming operations, Mr. Dun employed a large number of men and, from year to year, gradually improved his vast estate, making out of it one of the most desirable tracts in this section of Ohio.  He lived on the farm until his death at the age of eighty-one years, on Nov. 29, 1895.
     On Oct. 6, 1841, John Graham Dun married Elizabeth James, who was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, Oct. 21, 1821, daughter of Thomas and Jane (Claypool) James, the former of whom was born at Antietam, Virginia, where his father we prominently connected with the iron industry. having been, at one time, a part owner of the Antietam iron works.  Thomas James also was an inventor of note and several valuable maritime appliances were the products of his inventive genius.  The father of Jane (Claypool) James, Abram George Claypool, was an officer in the army of General Washington during the Revolutionary War and served with distinction during the long struggle of the colonies for independence.  John G. Dun was a sympathetic, even tempered man and one of strong religious instincts.  He had been reared as a Presbyterian and his wife had been reared in the Episcopal church.  Although he was an adherent of his wife’s church, he never affiliated with the church, though supporting it in many ways.  There was, for many years, an Episcopal chapel on a part of the Dun farm and it was called Dunlawn chapel.
     About 1857 John Graham Dun spent about eighteen months in Kentucky, expecting later to go on to Tennessee for his health, but he presently returned to Ohio and resumed farming, becoming an extensive and well-known breeder of Shorthorn cattle and of sheep, his stock for years being considered among the leading live-stock exhibits at the many fairs held in this section of the state.  In earlier life, he was very much devoted to hunting and spent a great deal of his time in the open.  He was a favorite among the people of Madison county and kept open house for his neighbors and friends.  He was a well-read man, although in his youth he had been denied the privilege of attending college.
     Nine children were born to John Graham and Elizabeth (James) Dun, all of whom grew to maturity, namely: Jane, who married H. Bacon Smith and is deceased; Walter, who died unmarried at the age of sixty years; Anne, who married Dr. William Ellis Glenn, of Rolia, Maine, both of whom died early in life; Thomas, who was a farmer near Bellefontaine, Ohio, and died unmarried; McEidin, who was also a farmer near Bellefontaine; Gertrude, who lives on the old home farm; Mary, who married Angus Dun, a cousin, and lived on a part of the old Dun estate, where she died; John Graham, Jr., who is the proprietor of the Vendome hotel at Columbus, and Charles Bush, who was accidentally killed at the age of twenty-three, at Bellefontaine, Ohio.  The mother of these children died on Apr. 9, 1898, and was widely mourned throughout the county, where for so many years she had been recognized as a leader in all good works.  At one time, John Graham Dun was a member of the board of trustees of the state asylum for the blind.  All of the representatives of his generation of the Dun family are deceased.
     Gertrude Dun, whose beautiful old house is filled with rare and curious furniture which has been kept in the family for many years, has retained the old farm, "Dun Glen," consisting of four hundred acres.  Its proprietor also owns other farm real estate, including one hundred acres near Columbus. Ohio.  She is active in church work and is a leader in the social set of London, the county seat of this delightful old county.
Source: History of Madison County, Ohio - Illustrated - Published by B. F. Bowden & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana - 1915 - Page 500

Walter A. Dun
WALTER A. DUN.   Some time before 1850 four brothers and a sister, whose father had died, came to Madison county, Ohio, and occupied a large tract of land, which their father, before his death, had purchased at one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre.  The three younger brothers and the sister were brought to Madison county by the eldest brother.  These children comprised the Dun family, all of whom have occupied a conspicuous place in the history of this county.  The sister, Mary, became the wife of the late Allen G. Thurman, who served as United States senator from Ohio.  Walter A., the subject of this sketch, spent most of his life in Madison county, passing away on Dec. 2, 1906, at the age of eighty-one years.
     Walter A. Dun, who was the sole proprietor of “Oak Forest," was born at Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1825, and was one of a family of five children born to Walter Dun, Sr., and wife.  The others were John T., James, Robert and Mary.  Some time after his father’s death, Walter A. Dun obtained about seven thousand acres of land in three or four tracts, situated in several counties. There were over twenty-one hundred acres in the home farm, where he lived and died.
     The late Walter A. Dun was married in Kentucky, while still a young man, no Mary Catherine Thompson, of the Blue Grass state.  She died on Dec. 2, 1896, just ten years to the day before the death of her husband.  It is a coincidence of no small moment that their deaths occurred ten years apart, lacking perhaps less than two hours.  The Dun home was a fine old mansion built in 1851.  It had a big fireplace and was a quaint structure.  On Nov. 2, 1902, it burned to the ground and afterward Walter A. Dun set to work to build the present house, which, however, is not so pretentious as was the old mansion.
     For ten years the Dun farm was operated by Robert Hanson, who was born six miles south of London and whose wife before her marriage, was Lucy Rumer, a native of Fayette county.  Mrs. Hanson is a most estimable woman, who gives her home an atmosphere of hospitality, and she has been a large factor in the success of her husband.  With their two children, Mabel and Ray, when the latter was two years and six months old, Mr. and Mrs. Hanson came to the Dun homesteadMr. Hanson had been recommended to Mr. Dun by George Vanwagoner, of London.  At the time of their coming.  Mr. Dun became very closely attached to the children and especially to Ray.  It was only a short time before he said he would leave his property to the lad and he did.  At the time he was in need of some one upon whom to bestow his affections and finally left the lad all of his real estate, which consisted of the home farm of one hundred and fifty-three acres, worth approximately twenty thousand dollars.  It is situated ten miles north of London.
     The remains of Walter A. Dun are buried in the Greenlawn cemetery, at Columbus,as are also his brothers and his wife.  He and his wife had no children.  He was a Democrat in politics and a stanch one.  He was a student of political questions and well informed, particularly in foreign politics.  He had a large library and spent a great deal of time with his books.  He was also very fond of race horses. and for twenty years harness horses were his chief concern.  He owned the best horses to be found in Ohio. and long after he had quit the racing game kept on breeding fast horses.  Many of his horses were sold at Latonia and other places.  He was also interested in breeding Shot-thorn cattle.
Source: History of Madison County, Ohio - Illustrated - Published by B. F. Bowden & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana - 1915 - Page 776

Michael E. Dwyer
MICHAEL E. DWYER.    The successful business men in nearly every line have begun life on the farm,
their sturdy youth having been just the material necessary for a solid foundation of achievement.  Michael E. Dwyer, a prominent merchant of London, this county, is no exception to the rule.  Born on Mar. 9, 1864, on the farm of his father, Michael Dwyer, he early developed the thrift which was characteristic of his parents, both of whom were natives of Ireland, and soon made the name of Dwyer a synonym for efficiency and worth.
     Michael and Johanna (Hourigan) Dwyer, soon after their arrival in America, settled first in Greene county, Ohio, later moving to Madison county.  Not quite satisfied with this location as a permanent home, they finally removed to Clark county, where they reared and educated their children as progressive, Christian citizens and where Michael Dwyer, in 1867, passed to his eternal rest, leaving a wife and four children to mourn his loss.  In 1880, just thirteen years later, death claimed the wife and mother who had proved herself, not only a wise and loyal helpmeet, but a kind and loving mother, whose training and example were to make those she left behind, a power for good among all who know them.
     When Michael E. Dwyer was fourteen years of age, his mother and her children moved to London, his father having previously died.  His brother, Thomas J., and a sister, Mrs. Mary E. Corbett, now reside in London.  Mrs. T. F. Ryan, another sister, now reside in Columbus. Ohio.
    Michael E. Dwyer was educated in the public schools of London, where at the age of eighteen, he learned the tinner’s trade which he followed for ten years.  His ambition and thrift during these ten years, brought him such a measure of’ success that before he was twenty-one, he had purchased the business of James J. Welsh, his former employer.  For four years he conducted that business unaided after which the firm of Dwyer Brothers was formed, his brother, Thomas J., becoming a partner.  Together they bought, Apr. 9, 1888, the lot upon which the building they now occupy was erected in 1892.  This building is sixty by ninety feet and consists of two floors but in addition to this they also use the upper floor space, fifty by eighty, in another building.  When Mr. Dwyer first became a merchant, he sold hardware exclusively, but his affability and honesty soon increased the demands of the trade to such an extent that a full line of high-grade furniture was added.
     On Aug. 17, 1899, after winning success and proving his ability to become the head of a household, Michael E. Dwyer was united in marriage to Margaret Bindon, of Woodstock, Champaign county, Ohio, and to them was born one child, Paul, who is now attending high school.
     Mr. Dwyer’s sterling worth won him the distinction of election as the first president of the London Board of Trade and he has served as a member of the board of public works for two terms.  He is an honored member of the Knights of Columbus and an active worker in the Catholic church.  Politically, he is a Democrat.
     Mr. Dwyer is probably the largest individual property holder in London and, aside from the twenty-five or more pieces of rental property in town, he owns a farm in Union township, located two and one-half miles east of London, on which flows a magnetic spring whose water analysis shows a favorable comparison with the best mineral springs of the world.  This energetic man has achieved a most remarkable success in life, not because of so-called luck, but because of his real ability and the desire not only to grasp his opportunity but to make it.  This is the secret of true success, but so few have the courage necessary to real achievement.  Opportunity and luck are but the products of diligent application and the daily wisdom absorbed from the experience of solving each problem by conscientious endeavor.
     Such have been the tools Mr. Dwyer has used in his garden of life and the brilliant flowers grown therein will not fade, but spread a lasting fragrance to be inhaled by future generations.
Source: History of Madison County, Ohio - Illustrated - Published by B. F. Bowden & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana - 1915 - Page 648



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