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Darke County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio

Compendium of National Biography
Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company



DANIEL CAUPP who owns and operates a valuable farm on section 23, Mississinawa township, was born in Ross county, Ohio, on the 10th of Aug. 1844, and is of German lineage.  His father, Frederick Caupp, was a native of Stuttgart, Germany, born in 1808, and about 1824, when sixteen years of age, he crossed the Atlantic to the new world.  He wedded Barbara Zimmerman, also a native of Germany, and they took up their abode on a farm of forty acres in Ross county, Ohio, where most of their children were born.  There were six children by the first marriage:  John, who enlisted for the service in the Fortieth Ohio Infantry during the civil war and died of typhoid fever while in service, his remains being interred at Plain City, Ohio; Susan, the wife of Andrew Horlocker; Daniel, of this review; David, who died at the age of twenty years, of typhoid fever; Frederick, who died of the same disease and about the same time; and Gottleib, a farmer residing near the old homestead.  The parents of this family started out in life in limited circumstances, but their united efforts enabled them to work their way steadily upward until they became the owners of a valuable farm of ninety acres.  The father died about 1880, at the age of sixty-five years, and was laid to rest in Pleasant Ridge cemetery, but the mother still survives him.  Mr. Caupp, of this review, pursued his education in the district schools and remained upon the home farm through the period of his boyhood and youth.  No event of special importance occurred during that time, yet his was a busy existence, his time being devoted to the labors of the fields through the summer months and the mastery of the common English branches of learning during the winter season.  He was married Oct. 12, 1873, to Louis Beal, of this county, a daughter of Isaac and Mary (Miller) Beal. Their union has been blessed with thirteen children, of whom ten are living, as follows: Lemuel S., who assists in the operation of the farm; David, who is married and lives on a far in the locality; William; Myrtle, the wife of George Thomas, of Mississinawa township, by whom she has one son; Daniel N. Earl, Florence, Iva, Ira and Mabel.
     Mr. Caupp, votes with the Democracy and keeps well informed on the issues of the day, but has never sought or desired office.  He carries on general farming and recently has devoted eight or ten acres to the cultivation of tobacco.  His sixty-acre farm was a part of his father's homestead and his rich and fertile tract is under the high state of cultivation.  He believes it is best to keep his land in good condition and to follow progressive methods of farming.  He has upon his place a large, fine, frame residence, which he erected in 1858, and near by stand a commodious barn and other outbuildings, providing ample shelter for the grain and stock.  He has planted many fruit and shade trees around his place which add much to the comfort and beauty of his rural home.  His work has been carried on so systematically and carefully that he is today the possessor of a comfortable competence and is regarded as one of the representative citizens of his community - which fact entitles him to mention in the history of Darke county.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 459

CHARLES W. CHENOWETH.  Darke county shows within its boundaries many fine farms, indicating that progressive and careful methods have been brought to bear in bringing the section up to its high standard as one of the most attractive agricultural sections of the Buckeye state, and among those who have signally contributed to the prestige of the county in this ever-important field of endeavor may be mentioned Charles Wesley Chenoweth, one of the representative agriculturists of Harrison township.  He is a native son of the state of Maryland, where the family was established at an early day, the lineage being of stanch old Scotch extraction, the first American ancestors of the name having left the land of brown heather and shaggy wood to establish a home for himself in Maryland, in the new world.  Mr. Chenoweth was born in Maryland, on the 3d of September, 1830, being one of the thirteen children born to William and Katurah (Murray) Chenoweth, the former of whom was born on the same farm as was his son, our subject, the place being about twenty-two miles distant from the city of Baltimore.  William Chenoweth was born in the year 1802, and he died at the age of seventy-four years and one month.  His wife was born in Maryland in 1804, the daughter of John Murray, and their marriage was celebrated in Maryland, in 1822.  Of their thirteen children all but one grew to maturity, a son having died at the age of eighteen months.  Of the others there were ten sons and two daughters.
     Charles W., with whom this sketch ahs more particularly to do, was reared to farm life and remained at the parental home until he had attained the age of twenty-two years.  His educational advantages were necessarily of meager extent, as in the early days in Ohio the primitive log school-house, with __ puncheon floors, slab benches, open fireplace and window provided with oiled paper in place of glass, did not enlist the services of teachers notable for great learning, and even had their erudition been greater, the young boys of the locality were in requisition during the greater portion of the year as assistants in the work of clearing off the timber from the pioneer farms and in the various other duties which went to make up the routine of labor.
     In February, 1853, Mr. Chenoweth was united in marriage to Miss Minerva Harrison, who was born in Darke county, July 17, 1837, the daughter of James and Hanner C. (Bowen) Harrison the latter of whom is still living, having attained the venerable age of eighty-eight years, and being still well preserved in both her mental and physical faculties.  James Harrison died in 1864, leaving his widow and eight children, of whom only three are now living.  Our subject was called upon to mourn the death of his devoted and cherished wife in September, 1878, she having become the mother of seven children, as follows:  William Albert, who is a merchant in Glenkarn, this county, having married and being the father of seven children; James Augustus, who is a successful farmer in German township, has six children; Marietta Katurah, who was born Oct. 19, 1860, became the wife of George Sharp, and she died May 30, 1895, leaving eight children; Washington Ellsworth is a farmer in German township and has six children; Morton Monroe, likewise a farmer of German township, has three children; Elnora Belle is the wife of Colville Woods; and Elmer E., born in 1872, resides in Hollansburg, and is operating the old homestead for his father, he being the father of one son and one daughter.  In 1879 our subject consummated a second marriage, being then united to Miss Mary Ann Felton who was born in Pennsylvania, Sept. 27, 1846, the daughter of Charles D. and Hannah (Priestly) Felton, who resided near Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Of this union two children have been born - a son who died in infancy; and Ethel Olga, who was born Mar. 11, 1886, and who is a studious young lady, showing no little talent in her musical work.
     Mr. Chenoweth enlisted for service in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion, having become a member of the One Hundred and Fifty-second Ohio Infantry, on the 2d of May, 1864, an having been discharged Sept. 3 following.  Though in active service he participated in no regular battle.  He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic post which was organized in Hollansburg, but which was disbanded several years ago.  He casts his ballot in support of the Republican party and its principles, and he hand his wife are zealous members of the Christian church, with which Mr. Chenoweth has been identified for nearly a half-century, having served as a deacon in the same and maintaining a lively interest in all branches of the church work.
     Our subject settled on his present farm of eighty-four acres in 1875, having purchased previously, in 1864, a tract of one hundred and eighty acres, which is now occupied by his two sons, each having a comfortable and attractive home and good out-buildings.  When Mr. Chenoweth started out in life upon his own responsibility he received five hundred dollars from his father; choosing this amount in preference to eighty acres of timber land.  The father's estate was worth about thirty thousand dollars, and this was eventually divided among the nine children.  Mr. Chenoweth has devoted his attention to diversified farming, beginning operations on the farm of his father-in-law, and later settling on his own eighty-four-acre farm, and he now owns the two farms, comprising two hundred and sixty-four acres.  He has been a very successful farmer and business man, and having done his full quota of hard work he is now enjoying that rest which is the just reward of his many years of toil and endeavor, having relegated the active duties to his sons.  He is one of our county's prosperous and honored citizens, and it is incumbent that this slight recognition be accorded him in a compilation having to do with Darke county and its interests.

A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900
- Page 629

ARTHUR L. CLARK, now serving as prosecuting attorney of Darke county, in numbered among the native sons of the city of Greenville, his birth having occurred here on the 16th of October, 1873.  He is descended from good old Revolutionary stock, his great-grandfather being a native of England, who in his youth crossed the Atlantic to America.  When the yoke of British oppression became intolerable and the colonies determined to make a struggle for independence through the art of war he joined the troops and aided in the struggle.  His son, Samuel Clark, the grandfather of our subject, was a native of Pennsylvania; and Benjamin H. Clark, the father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania, in September, 1821.  With his parents he removed from the Keystone state to Darke county, in 1831, locating upon a farm in Washington township.  He married Miss Mary Martin, who was born in Ohio, in March, 1830, and with her parents removed to Washington township.
     Arthur l. Clark has spent his entire life in Greenville.  He attended the schools of his native city and later continued his education in Springfield, Ohio, no event of Special importance occurring to vary the usual boy life of the period.  Determining to make the practice of law his life work, he pursued to the bar in 1895.  He then began the practice of law in Greenville, and his earnest purpose, his careful preparation and his understanding of judicial principles soon gained him a place among the leading attorneys of the city.  In 1897 he was nominated on the Democratic ticket as a candidate for prosecuting attorney of Darke county, won the election and entered upon the discharge of his duties in January, 1898, and his service has been acceptable, owing to the fidelity and ability with which he discharges his duties.  He is quick to recognize the strong points in the case and presents them logically to court and jury.  Socially he is connected with the order of Knights of Pythias.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 728
HIRAM CLARK.  Among the early settlers of German township, Darke county, Ohio, was the Clark family of whom the the subject of this sketch, Hiram Clark, is a representative.
     Hiram Clark was born on the farm joining on the south of where he now lives, on section 36, German township, Darke county, Ohio, Mar. 23, 1840.  His father, James Clark, was a native of Pennsylvania, who came when a boy to Darke county with a brother-in-law and first made his home in Neave township, where he subsequently married Miss Nancy Reed, and where he resided a short time after his marriage.  He then bought the farm in German township, where his son Hiram lives, and here he spent the rest of his life, with the exception of his last three years, which were passed in New Madison, Ohio, where he died in his seventy-eighth year.  He was an only son and his father had died when he was a small boy.  Mrs. Nancy Clark was a native of German township and a daughter of Donivan Reed, one of Darke county's early settlers.  She died at about the age of forty-six years.  They were the parents of thirteen children, seven sons and six daughters, and six of the family are still living, namely:  Rufus; Reason; Nancy, the wife of John Noggle; Hiram; Elizabeth, the wife of Peter Roberts; and Sophronia, the wife of Frank Matchett.  All are residents of Darke county, except Elizabeth, who lives in Texas.
     On his father's farm Hiram passed his boyhood days, assisting with the farm work in summer and during the winter months attending school in the log school house near his home.  July 12, 1863, he married Amanda Kettring who was born and reared on a farm near his father's, a daughter of David and Elizabeth Kettring, early settlers of the county.  In the Kettring family were eight children - five sons and three daughters.  After his marriage Mr. Clark took his bride to his father's farm and they began house-keeping in a log cabin he had erected, and here they ever since lived, the log house having long since been replaced by a comfortable frame one.  He has built a good barn and made other valuable improvements, and his farm, comprising one hundred acres, is ranked with the representative ones of his locality.  He now rents it to his youngest son, who has charge of the farming operations, while he devotes his time and attention to dealing in stock, buying and selling.
     Hiram Clark and wife are the parents of four children, two sons and two daughters, as follows:  James L. who married Emma Garling and has five children, - Edward, Blanch, Arie, Hiram and Bertha; Ida, the wife of Ira Garling, has one daughter, Opel; John W., who married Edna Coble, has three children, - Ruba A. Bessie M. and Charlie C.; and Nancy, the wife of Harry Henning has one son, Joseph.
     Mr. Clark
is a stanch Republican and a member of the Knights of Pythias, affiliating with Fort Black Lodge, No. 546, at New Madison.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 567
JOHN C. CLARK.  The subject of this review is actively connected with a profession which has important bearing upon the progress and stable prosperity of any section or community, and one which has long been considered as conserving the public welfare by furthering the ends of justice and maintaining individual rights.  He seems to realize in superior measure the importance and value of the profession and the fact that justice and the higher attribute of mercy he often holds in his hands.  His professional career has therefore been one most commendable and has won for him prestige among the leading members of the legal fraternity in the western section of Ohio.
     Mr. Clark was born in a log house in Washington township, Darke county, on the 17th of January, 1849, a son of Benjamin H. and Mary (Martin) Clark  English, German and Irish blood is commingled in his veins, and many of the sterling traits of those nationalities find exemplification in his career.  His father was of English and German extraction and his mother was of German and Irish lineage.  The former was born in Lebanon county, Pennsylvania, in September, 1821, and removed to Ohio in 1831, when ten years of age, in company with his parents.  After reaching man's estate he devoted his attention to farming in Ohio.  He was married in Darke county to Miss Mary Martin, whose birth occurred in Washington township, in 1830.  When our subject was eight years of age his parents removed to what is known as the old Clark homestead, four miles north of Greenville.  At that time the land was practically untilled, and the father, with the aid of his young sons, cut away three trees, fenced the property, made ditches and erected substantial buildings, making the farm one of the best in the county.
     Thus upon the family homestead John C. Clark was reared, working in the fields through the summer months, while in the winter, until eighteen years of age, he pursued such studies as formed the curriculum in the district schools of the neighborhood.  He afterward attended the high school of Greenville for three years and was thus enabled to secure a teacher's certificate.  He had no opportunity to pursue a college course, but while engaged in teaching he added largely to his fund of knowledge by private study in leisure hours, mastering Latin, higher mathematics and other sciences, also studying history and English literature.  Early becoming inbued with a desire to make the practice of law his life work, he began reading law with Judge A. R. Calderwood and H. M. Cole, on the 6th of October, 1875, and when he had largely mastered the principles of jurisprudence eh successfully passed an examination and was admitted to the bar by the district court at Greenville, in May, 1877.  it is said that he answered correctly every question put to him in that examination.
     Since that time Mr. Clark has engaged in practice, and his clientage has steadily increased in volume and importance until his connection with important litigated interests is extensive.  His success in a professional way affords the best evidence of his capabilities in this line.  He is a strong advocate with the jury and concise in his appeals before the court.  Much of the success which has attended him in his professional career has attended him in his professional career is undoubtedly due to the fact that in no instance will he permit himself to go into court with a case unless he has absolute confidence in the justice of his client's cause.  Basing his efforts on this principle, from which there are too many lapses in professional ranks, it naturally follows that he seldom loses a case in whose support he is enlisted.  He is always painstaking and thorough in the preparation of a case, and when he enters the courtroom his position as regards the law and its application to the principles involved in his suit is well nigh incontrovertible.  At the time that Mr. Clark was a student Ed Breaden was also reading law in the same office, and on the 19th of February, 1878, these two young men commenced the practice of law together, under the firm name of Breaden & Clark.  The partnership was dissolved three years later, but they remained close friends until the death of Mr. Breaden.  In the fall of 1885 Mr. Clark formed a law partnership with General Anderson and Mr. Chenowith, and their practice was varied and remunerative.  He also held several offices in the line of his profession, having been elected prosecuting attorney for Darke county, serving from the 1st of January, 1881, to the 1st of January, 1886.  In the discharge of his duties he manifested marked prominence and fidelity and won the high commendation of all interested in law and order.  In May, 1893, he became one of the judges of the court of common pleas for the second judicial district.  The term of Judge Meeker was at that time nearing its end and he was given the nomination and elected for a term of five years.  On the bench Judge Clark was most fair and impartial in his rulings  and his decisions were models of judicial soundness.  He seemed to readily grasp every point presented, to known the law applicable thereto, and his decisions were framed with due regard to precedent and to the county of the case.  In the summer of 1896 Judge Clark was nominated, in Columbus, for judge of the circuit court of the second judicial district of Ohio, competing therefor with some of the ablest lawyers of the circuit, and in the November election he carried his home county by the largest majority ever given to any candidate with a competitor, but he was elected on account of the unprecedented majorities given against his party in Franklin and Montgomery counties.
     On the 27th of September, 1888, the Judge was united in marriage to Miss Ada J. Greene, a highly educated and cultured lady of Franklin, and their home in Greenville is celebrated for its gracious hospitality.  In his political views the Judge has always been a Democrat and has taken a deep and active interest in the success of his party.  However, when on the bench he never allowed party politics to influence in any way his official acts.  In the campaign of 1880 he displayed such ability that he at once became one of the leaders of his party, and with the exception of the time of his judicial service has since continued to exert a marked influence in its councils.  He has always likened public leadership to that of the duties of a general in command of an army, and has held that the only way to win success is to make good all promises and to inspire confidence in the desirable outcome of the cause in question.  These qualities, combined with an excellent knowledge of humane nature and unflagging prosecution of a campaign, will nearly always bring the desired result in a just cause.  As a citizen he is public-spirited and progressive, as a friend is true and faithful and as a man is moral and upright.  In manner the Judge is very modest and unpretentious, but commands that uniform regard which is every where given to true worth of character.  He has always resided in Darke county, and the fact that many who have known him from boyhood are numbered among his warmest friends is an indication that his life has ever been honorable and upright.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 350

H. M. Cole
HENRY M. COLE.  While the disposition to do honor to those who have served well their race or their nation is prevalent among all enlightened people and is of great value everywhere and under all forms of government, it is particularly appropriate to and to be fostered in this country, where no man is born to public office or to public honor, or comes to either by inheritance, but where all men are equal before the law, where the race for distinction is over the road of public usefulness and is open to every one who chooses to enter, however humble and obscure he may be, and where the advantageous circumstances of family or wealth count, in the vast majority of cases, for but little or nothing.  One who is now occupying an important position in the system of government in Darke county, having attained thereto as the result of individual merit is Henry M. Cole, who is now serving as common pleas judge.
     He was born upon a farm in this county on the 17th of March, 1845, a son of Samuel Cole, who was born in Washington township, Darke county, on the old family homestead, in 1821.  He represented one of the pioneer families of the locality.  The Coles originally lived in Amsterdam, Holland, but in what year the family was founded in America is not definitely known.  Samuel Cole, Sr., the grandfather of the Judge, was a native of New Jersey and emigrated westward to Darke county, Ohio, at a pioneer period in its development.  He was a man of broad general information, was popular with his neighbors and was generous and kind, being always ready and willing to assist in securing a location for a new comer, while his generous hospitality was known far and wide.  He wedded Mary Elston, a native of Orange county, New York, and upon their farm in Washington township their son, Samuel Cole, was reared, Having attained man's estate he married Miss Nancy C. Cox, who was born in Washington township in 1822, a daughter of Martin Cox, a native of Pennsylvania.

A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900
- Page 318
JOSEPH COLE.  No history of Darke county would be complete without the record of the Cole family, for, since the earliest development of this portion of the state representatives of the name have been prominently connected with its business interests and have aided in promoting its material welfare.  It is therefore with pleasure that we present this record to the readers of this volume.  The family is of Holland Dutch lineage, belonging to a race which has done much in the development of this great country.  The original American ancestors settled at new Amsterdam, now the city of New York, and were soon recognized as leading factors in that location.  David Cole, the great-grandfather of our subject, was born in New Amsterdam and there married and reared a family of children, one of whom was Samuel Cole, the grandfather of our subject.  He was born Nov. 5, 1751, in New York, and was a farmer by occupation.  He took an active part in the events which contributed to the upbuilding of this section of the state ad remained in the east until 1819, when he retired from the active duties of business life and came to Drake county, Ohio, making his home in Washington township, with his son, Samuel, until 1824, when the family removed to Greenville township.  The grandfather there spent his last days, dying Jan. 8, 1828.  He was twice married: first to Janey Davis, who was born the 7th of July, 1755, a native of the Empire state.  They had three chilidren: Sophia, who was born July 5, 1773, and became the wife of Cornelius Van Fleet, of New York; Margaret, who was born Nov. 20, 1775, and married David Christy, of New York; and Janey, who was born Oct. 11, 1778, and married Abraham Doty, of New York.  After the mother died Samuel Cole married Miss Anna Rider who was born Oct. 25, 1760.  They had eight children: Lorana born July 22, 1783, died Nov. 13, 1803; Samuel was the father of our subject; Phoebe, who was born July 20, 1789, became the wife of Charles Wood; David, who was born Sept. 10, 1791, wedded Mary Brady and died in Darke county, Feb. 14, 1854; Martha, who was born Aug. 6, 1793, and died July 23, 1860, wedded Nathaniel Skidmore, of New Jersey, and in 1819 they came to Darke county, one of their descendants.  Peter Skidmore being now a resident of Washington township; Joseph, who was born Feb. 15, 1796, and died Jan. 17, 1882, married Anna Sweet, who was a resident of Hamilton county, Ohio, and died in Washington township, Darke county, Ohio, in 1875; James who was born May 6, 1798, wedded Sarah Rupel, of Darke county, and died in St. Joseph county, Indiana, July 6, 1856; and Sarah, who was born Mar. 6, 1802, became the wife of Henry D. Williams and died in Darke county, Apr. 24, 1876.  Samuel Cole, the father of this family was a Baptist in his religious belief and took a prominent part in the affairs of the church.  His political support was given to the Whig party.  He possessed a retiring disposition and devoted his time and energies to the work of securing a comfortable and pleasant home for his family.  His sterling worth was recognized by his friends and neighbors, who gave him their warm regard.
     Samuel Cole, Jr., the father of our subject, was born in New Jersey, July 3, 1787.  His early life was spent on his father's farm and he received such educational advantages as were afforded by the common schools of those days.  Possessing a studious nature, he quickly embraced every opportunity for mental improvement and became an exceptionally well educated man.  He assisted his father in the operation of the home farm until 1812, when he was married to Miss Mary Elston, of New Jersey.  Through the following three years he remained in his native state, but on learning of the advantages to be secured in the west, he started on horseback in 1815, reaching Montgomery county, Ohio, after a long and wearisome journey.  He was, however, greatly pleased with the prospects offered in that section and returned to the east with the intention of taking up his abode Ohio.  During this time he kept a diary which is now in possession of the subject, and gives an account of his journey and of the early pioneer experiences in the west.  Mr. Cole of this review also has a Spanish coin, bearing the date of 1774, which was found in the old pocketbook owned by his father.
     In 1816 Samuel Cole, Jr., again started for the Buckeye state, being accompanied this time by his family and James Brady, a brother-in-law.  The journey must have seemed a long one, as it was made before the days of railroads and all travel was by private conveyance.  Day after day they continued on their way, often over roads that were in poor condition.  At length, however, their travels were ended and they took up their abode on the Mad river, in Montgomery county.  However, they were not satisfied with that location and in March, 1817, they came to Darke county, Mr. Cole securing a claim comprising the southeast quarter of section 27, Washington township.  Since that time Mr. Cole has been identified with the growth and progress of that section of Darke county.  Mr. Cole and his sons cleared a small tract and erected a log cabin, which was the third home in the township, which was the third home in the township, the other two being the property of Jacob and Martin Cox, who were brothers.  In this primitive abode Mr. Cole and his family resided for some time, but later and addition was built and in this, during the winter of 1821, Mr. Cole conducted the first school ever held in Washington township.  Here he resided until 1824, when he removed to Greenville township and purchased of David Williamson the southeast quarter of section 19, passing his remaining days upon that farm.  His wife, Miss Mary Elston, was born in New Jersey, Nov. 7, 1792, and died Aug. 10, 1831.  She was a daughter of William Elston, of Monmouth county, New Jersey, and a granddaughter of John Elston, who emigrated from London, England, about 1730.  He was a ship carpenter by trade.  Her father, William Elston, married Elizabeth Walling, who was born in New Jersey, Aug. 26, 1766.  They had twelve children, of whom Mrs. Cole was the fifth.  Unto the parents of our subject were born five children: William, whose birth occurred July 25, 1813, married Mary Chenoweth, of Washington township, in December, 1835, and died Apr. 3, 1836; Asa, born July 26, 1815, was married Sept. 13, 1840, to Rachel Fisher and died May 29, 1857; Jane, born Apr. 20, 1817, the first white child born in Washington township, is now living in Boston, Wayne county, Indiana, with her daughter, Mrs. Mary C. Druly she having been married, in December, 1834, to Leonard Wintermute who died in Missouri, in 1839; Betsy, who was born Mar. 23, 1819, and died Feb. 6, 1872, was married Oct. 16, 1836, to George Elston, who died Jan. 29, 1872; Samuel who was born Apr. 5, 1821, and now resides in Washington township, was married in March, 1844, to Elizabeth Cox, their son, H. M. Cole, being the present judge of the court of appeals; Joseph, of this review, is the next of the family; Polly died in infancy; Henry, who was born June 20, 1829, now resides in Reno county, Kansas.  He has been twice married, his first union being with Margaret Hoffman his second with Matilda Tegarden.  For the past fifty years he has been a well known minister of the gospel in the Christian church and the influence of his life and teachings have been most marked.  All of the children were residents of Darke county at the time of their marriage.  The father of this family passed away Feb. 1, 1866.  He never sought public position nor office, but was a man who was honored and respected, for his life was upright and honorable and he enjoyed the confidence and regard of all who knew him.  In his death Darke county lost of its valued citizens.
     Joseph Cole whose name introduces this review, was born in Washington township, Dec. 29, 1823, and spent the first eight years of his life upon the old homestead assisting his father through the summer months in the work of the fields, while in the winter season he pursued his education in the schools of the neighborhood.  In those days schools were held in any vacant cabin that could be secured and were conducted on the subscription plan.  Mr. Cole's educational privileges were thus somwhat limited, but he improved what chances he had, and at the age of eighteen obtained a teacher's certificate.  From 1841 until 1857 he engaged in teaching and his different certificates, with one exception, are still in his possession.  In 1846, in company with his brother, Samuel, he erected a saw-mill, which they operated until 1850, when they sold their property.  Up to this time Mr. Cole had always made his home with his parents, but on the 6th of April, 1850, he married Miss Sarah Ann Shively, daughter of Daniel and Christina (Heck) Shively.  Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania and on coming to Ohio located in Montgomery county, whence they removed to Darke county in 1817.  After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Cole took up their abode in Coleville, which town was laid out by our subject, and there he engaged in merchandising from 1852 until 1855, when he disposed of his interests and turned his attention to farming in Greenville township, being thus occupied until 1865.  In that year he purchased his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Washington township, and in addition to the cultivation of cereals best adapted to this climate, he has engaged in stock dealing, both raising and buying stock for the market.  His business affairs have been capably prosecuted and have brought to him creditable success.
     Until Mr. and Mrs. Cole have been born seven children, six of whom are living, namely: Wallace S., who was born Apr. 6, 1853, was wedded to Nancy Wise, of Darke county, and now resides in Reno county, Kansas, where he is engaged in feeding fine cattle.  They have six children: Flora A., who was born Mar. 26, 1855, was married Sept. 26, 1878, to B. F. Chenoweth and resides in Greenville.  They have one child, Jesse A.  William Henry, who was born Dec. 16, 1859, was married Dec. 22, 1881, to Lucy Manuel, by whom he has three children.  Their home is in Washington township.  Mary C., who was born Apr. 23, 1862, resides with her parents.  Charles W., who was born Oct. 12, 1866, was married, Dec. 20, 1890, to Lucy Bickel and resides in Washington township.  They also have three children: Benjamin F., who was born Nov. 12, 1874, was married on the 12th of December, 1896, to Myrtle Jeffries and resides on the old homestead.  They have two children.
     Mrs. Cole is a prominent worker in the Christian church and Mr. Cole contributes to its support.  In politics he was originally a Whig, casting his first presidential vote for Zachary Taylor, but since the organization of the Republican party he has loyally supported its principals and is one of its most earnest advocates.  He has had neither time nor inclination to enter the political arena, yet has filled many township offices and was once candidate for the office of probate judge.  Although he has passed the age of three score years and ten, he retains his mental faculties unimpaired and keeps well informed on all the issues and topics of the day.  He is blessed with an excellent memory, especially for dates, and can relate many interesting incidents of frontier life in Ohio.  His marked characteristics have ever been such as to commend him to the confidence and regard of his fellow townsmen and he enjoys the good will and respect of all with whom he has been brought in contact.  So long and actively have the Cole family been identified with the interests of Darke county that no history of the community would be complete without mention of its representatives.  From pioneer days down to the present epoch of advancement and progress they have borne their part in the work of public progress and improvement and none more actively than he whose name introduces this review.

A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900
- Page 331

ADAM S. COPPESS, a prominent representative of the agricultural interests of Jackson, township, belongs to one of the oldest and most highly respected families of Darke county, his grandfather, Adam Coppess, having taken up his abode here in 1819, only two years after Jacob Hartle, the first white settler, located within its borders. He was of Dutch extraction and a blacksmith by trade, being the first to follow that occupation in this county. On first coming to Ohio from North Carolina he located in Greene county, and it is said that he had to hide to keep from being murdered by the Indians. In Darke county he entered land for himself and sons, made a clearing and built a log house, which stood for a number of years.  He took an active part in laying out the roads in his locality, cleared many acres of land and in connection with work at his trade manufactured cowbells by hand.  In politics he was a Democrat and in religious belief a Lutheran.  He died at the age of seventy-four years and his wife survived him several years.  Before leaving North Carolina he married a Miss Mock, whom our subject well remembers, and to them were born the following children: John, David, Peter, Adam, Alfred and Daniel, all farmers; Mrs. Phoebe Horning, Mrs. Mary Frampton, Mrs. Elizabeth Brewer, Mrs. Catherine Harney and Mrs. Sarah Robison. John Coppess, the father of our subject, was born in North Carolina and was only six years old when brought by his parents. to this state.  The family had owned a negro slave, who was set free on their arrival here.  John Coppess attended the subscription schools to a limited extent, but was mainly self educated, and being fond of reading he became a well informed man.  He was very ingenious and able to engage in almost any occupation, including blacksmithing, carpentering and farming.  He also followed the trade of a fuller for some time, and later operated a water power saw mill until steam came into general use, when he turned his attention to general farming, owning three-hundred and fifty acres of land, including a part of the old homestead.  Returning to Greene county, he married Mrs. Susanna (Stevenson) McFarland, a native either of Kentucky or Virginia. Her father was a scout in the war of 1812 and saw much active service under General Wayne.  He afterward received a land grant in recogni­tion of his services.  Our subject's paternal grandfather also took part in the same war. Mrs. Coppess was fairly well educated and was a great bible student.  Her children were Andrew, a farmer and stock raiser of Iowa; Adam S., our subject; Jacob P., a farmer of Ansonia, this county; and B. F., now a resident of Greenville. For his second wife the father married Rhoda Horny, who died leaving three children: John, a justice of the peace; and Pyrus and Peter, both school teachers.  Most of the family held membership in the Presbyterian church and the father was a Democrat in political sentiment.
     In an old cabin on the homestead in Richland township Adam S. Coppess was born Oct. 2, 1833. He began his education in a subscription school, but after attending fifteen days he broke his arm and was forced to remain at. home for some time.  At the age of eleven he entered the public schools, where he pursued his studies three months during the year until he was fifteen, and though his advantages were limited he acquired a fair education.  He aided his father in the labors of the farm until seventeen years of age and then began earning his own livelihood, though he remained at home until he attained his majority.  During the following three years he managed his father's business, and in 1857 purchased eighty acres of his present farm on section 24, Jackson township, which at that time was practically new land and had to be drained before it was ready for cultivation.  He now has a fine farm of one hundred and ninety acres, though he at onetime owned four hundred and forty acres.  He is successfully engaged in. general farming and stock raising and also devotes some attention to the dairy business.
     On the 4th of June, 1854, Mr. Coppess married Miss Sarah A. Davison, who was born in Richland township, this county, Apr. 6, 1834, a daughter of Robert and Mary (Stratton) Davison. They have five children, all of whom were provided with good educational advantages James Madison, the eldest, follows farming; Robert F. is a druggist and physician of Alger, Ohio, and was educated in Cincinnati; Andrew J. is engaged in farming on the old homestead; Stephen A. attended school in Toronto and Cincinnati, and is now a veterinary surgeon; and horse dealer of Ridgeville, Ohio; and Mary E. is the wife of George Russ, and they have one child, Adam Paul.
     In religious faith Mr. Coppess is a Universalist, and in political sentiment is a Democrat.  He has efficiently served as road supervisor, was school director twenty-seven years and clerk of the board when every brick school house was built.  Socially he is a member of Ansonia Lodge, No. 488, F. & A. M.  He is a very entertaining man, possesses a good fund of general information and is very hospitable.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 712

WILLIAM COX.  In the year 1816 the Cox family was founded in the Darke county, and through the intervening years the name has been inseparably interwoven with the history of this locality on account of the prominent part of its representatives have borne in the development and progress of this section of the state.  It is therefore with pleasure that we present to our readers the record of William Cox, who is known as a successful and highly esteemed agriculturist of Washington township.  His grandparents, Jacob and Eve Cox, were the first of the name of whom we have authentic record.  They had eight children and in 1816 the entire family emigrated westward to Darke county, Ohio, from Fayette county, Pennsylvania. A settlement was, first made in the northeast portion of German township, and they were among the first to take up their abode in what was then an almost unbroken wilderness. The trip from Pennsylvania had been made with teams and wagons, and often they had to mark out a road for themselves or follow an old Indian trail.  There in the midst of the woods Mr. Cox, assisted by his children, made a small clearing and erected a rude log cabin, in which they began life on the frontier in true pioneer style. Of sturdy and courageous spirit, they were well prepared to meet the hardships of such a life and in a short time they had a portion of their land under cultivation.  Year by year the cleared tracts were enlarged and improved, and when Mr. Cox passed to his final rest the home farm presented every appearance of thrift and prosperity and was regarded as one of the valuable properties of this section of the state.  The land was inherited by his son, Henry Cox, who shortly afterward disposed of it and removed to Missouri, but when a few years had passed he returned to Ohio, taking up his abode in Miami county, near Pleasant Hill, where he spent his remaining days.  The other two sons of the family, Jacob and Martin, came to Washington township, Darke county, after the death of their father, and were the first white men to enter claims in his locality.  Jacob Cox, Jr., the father of our subject, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, on the 14th of July, 1887, and, as before stated, came west with his people, living with them in German township until 1817, when he and his brother removed to Washington township.  They took up adjoining claims, and the first cabin was erected where the home of Samuel Cole now stands.
     In that little home both brothers with their families lived for some time, or until a cabin could be erected on the land owned by Jacob Cox, now the property of his son, William.  The little pioneer home stood on the site of the present handsome residence, and in this rude domicile, the second one to be erected in Washington township, the sturdy pioneer family began life in the midst of the forest.  With characteristic energy the father continued to clear away the trees and transformed the tract into rich and fertile fields.  He was a man of undaunted energy and perseverance, and soon a valuable farm indicated what may be accomplished by people of determined purpose. who are not afraid to meet the obstacles and difficulties in their path.  At the time of his death Jacob Cox owned four hundred and eighteen acres of valuable land, and was considered one of the most prominent and successful farmers and influential citizens of Darke county.  In the early days the Indians often camped in a small ravine near his home, but they were friendly and occasioned no trouble to the settlers.  Jacob Cox married Elizabeth Wise, who was a native of Hardy county, Virginia, and removed to Ohio with her parents, who afterward went to Indiana, where they spent their last days. Twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Cox: Jesse, who was born Apr. 24, 1817, and died Sept. 28, 1873; Job, who was born Feb. 8, 1819, and died Sept. 28, 1834; Hannah, who was born May 20, 1821, and became the wife of Lorenzo Dixon, their home being now in Greenville township, Darke county; Samuel, who was born Oct. 7, 1823 and died Apr. 16, 1849; Martin, who was born June 20, 1826, and died Dec. 14, 1876; Jacob, who was born Jan. 2, 1829, and died on the 22d of October of the same year; Mary, who was born Aug. 17, 1830, and is the wife of Philip Rodgers, of Washington township; John, born Mar. 17, 1833; Eliza Jane, who was born Feb. 26, 1835, and is the wife of Samuel Van Fleet, of Washington township; a daughter who was born in 1836 and died before being named; Israel, who was born June 22, 1838, and died in 1889; and William, the immediate subject of this review.
     Jacob Cox, the father of these children, was a stanch supporter of the Baptist church and a consistent Christian gentleman.  He exercised his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Democracy and earnestly advocated its principles, but was never an aspirant for political honors.  He died Apr. 3, 1842, and his estimable wife, surviving him many years, passed away in 1877.  Both were honored and respected by all who knew them, and when they were called to the home beyond their loss was mourned not only by many relatives but throughout the entire neighborhood, for all who knew them were their friends.  Upon the farm on which he settled in 1816 Martin Cox, the brother of Jacob, lived up to the time of his death, in 1856.
In taking up the personal, history of William Cox we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in Darke county.  He was the youngest child in his father's family, and was born in the hewed log house which is still standing on the farm that is yet his home, his natal day being Jan. 27, 1841.  The old log cabin is now used for storage purposes, and stands as a mute reminder of pioneer days, and the habits of life at that time.  His school advantages were somewhat limited, but he mastered the elementary branches of the English language in the district schools of the neighborhood, and by experience and observation has added greatly to his knowledge.  His training at farm labor was not meager, for as soon as old enough to handle the plow he began work in the fields, and was thus largely engaged from the time of spring planting until crops were garnered in the autumn.  Upon attaining his majority he came into possession of a portion of his father's estate.  He has always carried on general farming, and for years has made it a practice to manufacture maple syrup and sugar .on an extensive scale, disposing of this product to regular customers in Greenville. He has a large sugar camp and the excellence of the product enables him to secure a ready market therefor.  In 1892 he erected upon his farm a fine, modern residence, and near by stands good outbuildings.  The place is neat and thrifty in appearance, and the owner is recognized as one of the practical and progressive agriculturists of his community.
     On the 22d of August, 1872, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Cox and Miss Margaret A. Van Fleet, daughter of John D. and Mary (Fradmore) Van Fleet. This family came from New Jersey to Ohio at an early day, locating in Washington township, Darke county. Mrs. Cox is now the only representative of the family living in the county.  By her marriage she has become the mother of four children: Ory Newton, who was born Jan. 22, 1873, was married Dec. 20, 1898, to Miss Jennie, daughter of William Young, of Greenville, and they reside upon the old home farm; Harriet A., born Nov. 5, 1874, is with her parents; a son, born in 1876, died the same year unnamed; and John Jacob, born Dec. 18, 1877, also resides at home. In his political views Mr. Cox was a supporter of Democratic principles for some time, but now votes the Socialist ticket.  He holds membership in the Christian church.  He has neither time nor inclination for political office, but finds ample time to faithfully discharge every duty of citizenship.  He is a man of determined character, of sterling worth and. of inflexible integrity, and among the residents of Darke county he has a host of warm friends.  He resides upon one of the oldest developed farms in Washington township, and is a worthy representative of an honored pioneer family, whose connection with the history of Darke county has ever been creditable.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 248

Ed Culbertson


Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 478



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