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Pickaway County, Ohio
History & Genealogy



History of Pickaway County
and Representative Citizens
Edited and Compiled by
Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf
Circleville, Ohio
Publ. 1906



HON. ISAAC N. ABERNATHY, A. B., A. M., formerly judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the Third Sub-Division of the Fifth Judicial District of Ohio, is the senior member of the prominent law firm of Abernathy & Folsom, at Circleville.  Judge Abernathy was born Aug. 9, 1844, near Chillicothe,  Ross County, Ohio and is a son of James and Rhoda (Conner) Abernathy.
     The Abernathy Family is of English extraction and the family has long been a leading one in Virginia, where William Abernathy, the paternal grandfather of Judge Abernathy, was born.  He died in Ohio.  James Abernathy, father of Judge Abernathy, was also born in Virginia and married Rhoda Conner of the same locality.  He spent over 50 years as a farmer in Pickaway County, where he died in 1890, aged 80 years.  His estate comprised of 258 acres of valuable land.  He was prominent both in the Methodist Episcopal Church and also in the Democratic party.  He had four children.
     Isaac N. Abernathy was educated in a log schoolhouse in Monroe township, Pickaway County, and until he was 16 years of age remained at home assisting on the home farm.  Then he began to teach school and to cherish hopes of a collegiate career.  Although his father was above to give him excellent advantages he probably decided that his son would be more likely to appreciate them, if they came through his own efforts, hence the young man was obliged to earn the means by which he could enjoy higher educational advantages.  He abundantly succeeded and in 1860 was able to enter Ohio Wesleyan University, where he was graduated in June, 1866, with the degree of A. B.  He then began the study of the law with Alfred Yaple and later with Hon. R. A. Harrison, the former of whom was an ex-judge in Cincinnati and the latter, one of the leading members of the bar at Columbus, both are now deceased.  Mr. Abernathy was admitted to the Ohio bar at Chillicothe, on Sept. 1, 1868.
     In 1869 Mr. Abernathy settled at Circleville where he was in partnership for one year with E. Z. Hayes. In 1872 he was elected prosecuting attorney and served until Jan., 1877, when the firm of Abernathy formed a partnership with H. F. Page, which continued for six years, when the firm of Page, Abernathy & Folson came into existence and continued until 1887, when Mr. Page retired.  In Feb, 1890, Mr. Abernathy was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas and for five years he filled the position with dignity and efficiency.  On Feb. 9, 1895, the present strong firm was formed, Judge Abernathy and Henry P. Folsom entering into partnership.
     On Sept. 8, 1868, Judge Abernathy was married to Lizzie Busick, who was born at Mount Sterling, Ohio, and was a daughter of Ira Busick, of that place.  Mrs. Abernathy died in November, 1895, the mother of six children.  Judge Abernathy was again married Nov. 30, 1899, to Wealtha E. Vieth, an accomplished lady who had been court stenographer for several years.
     Politically, Judge Abernathy is a Democrat.  For four years he served as a member the County Board of School Examiners and has been its secretary for two years when he resigned.  For a considerable period he was a member of the Circleville Board of Education and was a member of the City Council from the First Ward for some years.  Judge Abernathy was a lecturer in the law department of the Ohio State University from its organization until 1895.  Fraternally he is a Knight Templar Mason and an Elk.
Source:  History of Pickaway County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Edited and Compiled by Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf. Circleville, Ohio - Publ. 1906 - Page 354
HON. BARZILLAI ADKINS, one of the best known citizens of this county, who is now leading a retired life in the city of Circleville, to which he removed two yeas ago, was born Sept. 3, 1831, in Ross County, Ohio.  When a child one year old, he was brought by his parents to Monroe township, Pickaway County, where he grew to manhood and where the greater part of his life has been spent.  His father, Barzillai C. Adkins, a native of Maryland, was married in that State but came to Ohio before any of his children were born and settled in Ross County.  His wife, whose maiden name was Emily Parsons, was also a native of Maryland.  Barzillai C. Adkins and his wife had six children who reached maturity, namely: Leah, Eleanor, Abigail, Susan, Barzillai and Zachariah P.
     The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in Monroe township, principally in the public schools, although he had some instruction from private tutors.  At the age of 17 years he assumed the responsibility of looking after the family because of the death of his father for he was the oldest son, and this he did right manfully on the farm of 260 acres which was left to him and his brother, Zachariah P., to look after.  From that time until his recent retirement from agricultural labors he conducted the farm in Monroe township.
     In 1860 Barzillai Adkins was married to Louise E. Fissell, a native of Circleville.  They became the parents of nine sons and four daughters.  The former were as follows:  John P., who is a teacher in Pickaway County; Jackson B., a prominent educator of Lima, Ohio, secretary of Lima College; Joseph W., a prominent attorney of Circleville; Harry H., an oil operator and well known business man of Lima, Ohio, twice elected a member of the State legislature; George G., of Newark, Ohio, who is also an attorney by profession; Coston B., the teacher in Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, New York; DeWitt T., who has been engaged in teaching school but who at present is pursuing advanced studies at Lima College, Lima, Ohio; and Stanley G., also a teacher, who is taking up advanced studies at Lima College.  The four daughters of the family are as follows:  Catherine A., who is the wife of Henry C. Renick, of Circleville; Frances Eleanor; Margaret Maude, wife of William Davis, of Lima, Ohio; and Sara Emily, wife of Murray Oglesbee, a farmer of Madison County Ohio.
     Mr. Adkins is a Democrat in politics and during his residence in Monroe township was alled upon to serve in various capacities.  He  was a member of the township Board of Education for about 25 years and served as assessor for seven years.  He was elected to represent Pickaway County in the 74th and 75th general assemblies of Ohio, where he was a member of the following committees:  "County Affairs,"  "Deaf and Dumb Asylum,"  "Privileges" and "Temperance."  His son, Hon. Charles H. Adkins, of Lima, served in the same sessions of the Legislature, representing Allen County.
Source:  History of Pickaway County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Edited and Compiled by Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf. Circleville, Ohio - Publ. 1906 - Page 716
DAVID ADKINS, a representative citizen and experience farmer of Jackson township, is the proprietor of "Wildwood Park Farm," a magnificent expanse of 418 acres, which is situated on the Darbyville turnpike, three and a half miles northeast of Circleville.  David Adkins was born in Harrison township, Pickaway County, Ohio, Jan. 12, 1844, and is a son of David and Christena (Hott) Adkins.
     The Adkins family is of English descent and was founded in America in Colonial times by ancestors of our subject, who settled in Maryland.  David Adkins, father of our subject, was born in Carroll County, Maryland, Oct. 31, 1807.  His parents died before he reached his maturity, leaving a family dependent upon their own resources.  When 18 years old, David decided to strike out for him self. and started out on foot.  Sometime in the year 1826 he reached Pickaway County, Ohio, and first located in Walnut township.  He died in April, 1863, aged 55 years.  He was a brick maker by trade and this occupation he followed for a long time, being an expert burner.  It was he who burned the brick used in the construction of the Everts School Building in Circleville.  During the ’60's he was appraiser of land in Harrison township.  He was what might be termed a mechanical genius, being able to turn his hand to any craft or trade.  He left an estate of 200 acres, all of which he had accumulated by his own efforts.  He was a man of responsibility in the township but accepted no offices except those of appraiser and trustee.  He was one of the early members and liberal supporters of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
     The mother of our subject, Christena (Hott) Adkins, was born Feb. 9, 1809, in Berkeley County, Virginia, and was a daughter of Peter and Margaret Hott, who came to this section before Pickaway County was organized.  Mrs. Adkins died Apr. 12. 1904, aged 95 years and two months.  The children born to David and Christena (Hott) Adkins were: Mary, who became the wife of Enos Burton, both now deceased; Margaret, who married James Reid, both now deceased; William, who served for four years in the Civil War in the 90th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., and is now an inmate of the Soldiers’ Home at Dayton. Ohio; Arexena and Adeliza (twins), deceased at the age of nine months; Nancy, who married John Balmer and died in Illinois; George, a resident of Walnut township, who served four years in the Civil War, and was a veteran of the 27th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf.; Susan, who married T. D. Slocum and died in Illinois; David; Melissa, who married G. G. Brentlinger, of Pickaway County; Eliza Jane, deceased, who was the wife of Daniel W. Whitehead, of Ashville; and Christena, who is the wife of George W. Pierce, of Duvall.
     David Adkins was reared on the home farm and assisted his father, who died when David was about 20 years old.  He then took charge of his father’s large interests and continued to operate the farm for his mother and three sisters for some years, remaining on the old place for six years after his own marriage, in 1864.  He had enjoyed only the educational opportunities afforded by the local schools, but he had had a very thorough and practical training as a farmer and stock-raiser.  His aged mother made her home with him until her death.
     In 1870 Mr. Adkins rented the homestead farm to a brother-in-law and purchased a property in Marion township, Franklin County, just outside the corporate limits of Columbus, where he lived for six years, during this time being a member of the township School Board and one of the township trustees.  On this farm he engaged in farming and gardening, finding an excellent market in the adjacent city. After leaving the Marion township farm and renting it to other parties, he returned to the old home farm for four years and then traded his property in Franklin County for 200 acres of farming land in Deer Creek township, Pickaway County. on which he resided for 12 years.  Here Mr. Adkins also became a man of prominence in the township, served as a justice of the peace for two terms and was elected township trustee and a member of the School Board.
     The next change made by Mr. Adkins in order to carry out his own ideas of farming and stock-raising was the renting of property and the purchasing of 100 acres located along the Jackson turnpike, on which he lived for three years and then he rented the McCarthy farm, which was located just opposite his present property.  This contained 320 acres and here he carried on extensive farming operations for three years. He then disposed of his Deer Creek farm and bought his present valuable property of 418 acres, located not far from Circleville. It bears the pleasant name of “Wildwood Park Farm,” but the name in no wise describes what is one of the best improved and valuable properties in the township.  A part of the property Mr. Adkins has retained for park purposes and during the summer seasons it is very generally utilized for church and Sunday-school picnics.  It is known all over this section as “Wildwood Park.” There are three fine groves on his property, the trees being mainly white and sweet oak.  Mr. Adkins has made this a very pleasant resort. making many improvements in the line of amusement facilities and it is well patronized throughout the summer season, people coming from long distances to enjoy the attractions provided.
     Mr. Adkins carries on his farm as a grain and stock farm and he also devotes some attention to raising sweet corn and peas for market.  His cattle and horses are noted for their excellence all over the county.  In the fall of 1905 Mr. Adkins was induced to make an exhibit which attracted wide attention and favor able notice from the neighboring press.  It was successfully photographed and is entitled “The Produce of Wildwood Park Farm,” and gives a fair idea of one of the successful enterprises of Pickaway County.
     Mr. Adkins was married on Nov. 17, 1864. to Christena Runkle, who was born in Walnut township, Pickaway County, Ohio, on Oct. 26, 1846, and is a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Croninger) Runkle.  Her parents were of Pennsylvania Dutch extraction and came to Pickaway County as pioneers, and the father lived on one farm in Walnut township for 6o years, dying at the age of 83 years.  The children born to our subject and wife are as follows: Ella F., wife of Andrew V. Herbert, of Oklahoma; Marietta, wife of Elmer Helwagen, of Williamsport; Allona B., wife of William I. Wardell, of Cook. Fayette County, Ohio; Harry W., now a farmer in Ottawa County, Kansas, who was educated for the Lutheran ministry and preached for two years; Charles Irving, who died aged 20 days: Harriet, wife of Frederick Helwagen, of Kinderhook; Estella, wife of Benjamin Metzger, of Jackson township; Gertrude, wife of Fred C. Betts, of Deer Creek township; Wilbur, a graduate of the Circleville High School, class of 1902. who resides at home; George H., a member of the Ohio National Guard, who is an expert shot and whose score in a late contest entitles him to the rank of sharpshooter in the State team; Addie Alice, at home; David Earl, at home; Daniel W. and Emanuel E. (twins), at school; and Merle Augusta.  Mr. Adkins has 26 grandchildren.
     Mr. Adkins has been a life-long Democrat.  He has served two terms as county commissioner and is serving out his second term as justice of the peace.  He has been connected with the Board of Education ever since he located in Jackson township.  For a long time he has been a party leader in his locality and has served as. a delegate to county, district, State and congressional conventions.  He is one of the leading members and supporters of the English branch of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in which he is a deacon.
Source:  History of Pickaway County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Edited and Compiled by Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf. Circleville, Ohio - Publ. 1906 - Page 415
JOSEPH W. ADKINS, a well-known member of the bar at Circleville, was born in 1853 in Pickaway County, Ohio, and is a son of Hon. Barzilai Adkins, one of Circleville's most prominent men, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work.
     Mr. Adkins was reared in Pickaway County and was educated at the Normal University at Lebanon after completing the common-school course.  He then entered the law department of the Ohio Northern University at Ada, where he was graduated with the degree of B. L. in 1898.  He was admitted to the bar in June of the same year.  Following his admission to the bar, Mr. Adkins located in his native county and for the two succeeding years taught school, but in 1900 he opened a law office at Circleville, where he has continued in active practice ever since.  His standing in the profession is high and he enjoys the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens.
     Mr. Adkins belongs to one of the old and honorable families of this section.  He is actively interested in the general welfare of Circleville and, aside from his profession, devotes time and influence to promoting the growth and development of this city.  While not a very active politician, he is a good citizen and gives his support to candidates and measures which promise good government.
Source:  History of Pickaway County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Edited and Compiled by Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf. Circleville, Ohio - Publ. 1906 - Page 686

Source:  History of Pickaway County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Edited and Compiled by Hon. Aaron R. Van Cleaf. Circleville, Ohio - Publ. 1906 - Page 616



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