A Part of Genealogy Express

Welcome to
Darke County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio

Compendium of National Biography
Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company



ISAAC F. DEARDOFF.  The subject of this genealogical record is so well known throughout Darke county that he needs no introduction to the readers of this volume.  He is the efficient township trustee of Brown township, having held this important office for the past two years.  As the name implies, Mr. Deardoff is one of pure German extraction in the agnatic line, and individually he gives full indication of those sterling traits which have made the Tentonic race such a power in the economies of the world.  He is a native of Warren county, Ohio, having been born in the vicinity of Franklin, July 17, 1837, being the fourth in order of birth of the four sons and one daughter of John and Sarah (Rush) Deardoff, and being now the only survivor of the family, though all of the children lived to attain maturity.  It is presumed that the father was born in New Jersey, the date of his nativity being Aug. 23, 1804, and he died Oct. 6, 1861.  He accompanied his parents on the long and monotonous overland trip to the wild of the western frontier, their destination being Warren county, where the Indians were far more in evidence than the white settlers, who were just beginning to open up the way of civilization.  The only pathway through the forest was the Indian trail indicated by blazed trees, and at this time a colony of people came in company and all aided in erecting the primitive log cabin home for each family in turn.  The father of our subject was a cabinetmaker by trade and also a carpenter, and his services were in ready requisition at all times.  He remained with his parents until he attained his majority, beginning life on his own responsibility as a poor man, but strong in courage and in capacity for consecutive endeavor.  His father showed his wisdom by entering from the government a large tract of land between Greenville and Ansonia, and it was on this tract the family located as pioneers of Darke county.  The father of our subject came to Greenville and worked at his trade, and here he met and married Miss Rush, after which he returned with his wife to Warren county.  In 1840 he located permanently in Darke county and here he resided until his death.  He was a man of great industry and unswerving integrity, being firm in his convictions and having the courage to maintain them.  He was a Jacksonian Democrat, stanchly supporting the principles of the party throughout his life.  He never aspired to official preferment, but was a valued counselor in matters of public polity in the community, bing a strenuous advocate of the cause of popular education and of all legitimate improvements in the locality.  Mr. Deardoff, of this sketch, has in his possession one of the oldest family bibles the biographer has thus far found in the county, the entries dating back as far as 1828 and being made with the old quill pen of the early day.  This volume is cherished as a valuable relic in the family.
     The mother of our subject was born near Chillicothe, Pickaway county, Ohio, Mar. 1, 1810, and she entered into eternal rest June 3, 1892. She accompanied her parents to Darke county when a mere child, and the settlers erected palisades about the primitive cabins for th_ protection of the families from the depredations of the Indians.  It is a matter of record that the mother of our subject, when a small child, was nearly enticed from her home by an Indian squaw, who made offers of bright ornaments to attract the child through the palisade, but she was fortunately rescued by old "Uncle Thomas" McGinnis, who thwarted the plans of the would-be abductor.  Mrs. Deardoff was reared in the Baptist faith and both she and her husband are sleeping their last sleep in the Greenville cemetery, where rest many others of the honored pioneers of the county.
     Isaac F. Deardoff was about three years of age when his parents removed to Darke county, and here he has maintained his home ever since, having received his education in the common schools.  His educational advantages were meager as compared with those afforded the youth of to-day, but he made the most of the few months which he could devote to his school work each year, and his natural predilection for study and the reading of good literature has made him a man of broad and exact information.  So often has the pioneer school, with its puncheon floor, slab desk and benches and other primitive equipments, been described in this compilation that we deem it supererogatory to more than mention the fact that our subject's first scholastic training was received in one of these little log school houses.  He remained with his parents until his marriage, which was solemnized on the 12th of November, 1865, when Miss Amanda F. Davison became his wife.  To them were born three sons and three daughters, and in the succeeding paragraph we give a brief record concerning the children, all of whom are living.
     Hattie is a professional modiste and is located in the city of Chicago, where she conducts a successful business.  She was educated in the Greenville high school, after which she learned the millinery and dressmaking business, in which she was engaged for five years in Ansonia.  Mary A. is the wife of George Barron, of Dayton, Ohio, and they have three sons,—Louis, Earl and RoyRobert J., a professional miller by trade, is located at Arcanum, Ohio, and is a young man of marked business ability.  He married Miss Ada Stafford.  In politics he is a Democrat and fraternally is identified with the I. O. O. F.  Frank is at home with his parents and takes special interest in all details of the farm work, for which he seems to have a natural inclination and taste.  He was educated in the Greenville public schools, as were the other children, being especially strong in mathematics and penmanship.  He is a member of Ansonia Lodge, No. 605, I. O. O. F.  Augustus has shown a marked talent as a musician, having prosecuted his studies in the Cincinnati Musical College, and he intends to devote himself to the musical art as his profession in life.  Nellie E., the youngest of the children, is attending school and is making excellent progress in her studies.
     Mrs. Deardoff was born in Richland township, this county, Dec. 16, 1841, being the seventh of the eight children — three sons and five daughters—born to Robert and Mary (Stratton) Davison, and four of the children are yet living.  The full genealogy of the Davison family is given in the record of Oscar Davison, ex-treasurer of Darke county, entered on other pages of this work.  Mrs. Deardoff spent her girlhood days in Richland township, and, like her husband, she attended the primitive schools of the early days.  Her father was born Apr. 8, 1798, and his death occurred Feb. 23, 1881.  Her mother was born May 23, 1807. and died Mar. 22, 1847, having been a Quaker in her religious views.
     Mr. Deardoff is a stanch Democrat in his political allegiance, having cast his first presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas.  He has served as delegate to county, congressional and senatorial conventions of his party and has been an active worker in the party ranks.  He was elected land appraiser in 1889 and in 1898 was chosen township trustee of Brown township, which office he still holds, administering its affairs to the satisfaction of his constituents and ever aiming to advance the general welfare of the county.  He is conscientious in every action and his honesty and integrity have never been brought into question in any of the relations of life.  He has been a strong advocate of the cause of education and has served as a school official in his district and township.  Socially he is a member of Greenville Lodge, No. 195. I. O. O. F.. in which he has passed all the chairs, as has he also in the encampment of the order.  Mrs. Deardoff is a member of the adjunct organization the Daughters of Rebekah, Lodge No. 396. at Ansonia.  Our subject and his wife are kind, benevolent and God-fearing people, believing in the golden rule as a guide in the walks of life and being charitable and liberal in their views and judgment.  They have aided in the erection of the Lutheran, the Methodist and the Christian church edifices in this township, realizing the value of all Christian work.  Their estate comprises eighty acres of good land, well adapted to the cultivation of the cereals and other products raised in this locality, and the family are held in the highest esteem by all who know them.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 549

THE DENISE FAMILY is one of the most prominent of the sturdy pioneer families of Darke county.  They came from Butler county, Ohio, in the autumn of 1832 and set­tled on a tract of one hundred acres of land west of Greenville, a mile from the city hall and on the Union City pike. At that time the family consisted of the father, John S. Denise, who was born in New Jersey, in 1803; his wife, who bore the maiden name of Margaret M. Clark, was of Irish descent, and was born in Warren county, Ohio, in August, 1804; and their three children: William, born May 13, 1824; Aaron, Jan. 16, 1825, and Eleanor, July 16, 1830. At that early period there were only about a dozen houses in Greenville, and the Union City pike was only an Indian trail extending as far as Hillgrove. There were two or three houses and a tanyard at the latter place, but Union City had not been founded.  While the determined couple were laboring to build for themselves a home in the wilderness, where Indians, bears, wolves and wild-cats abounded and now and then the screams of the panther were heard, five more children were added to the family circle, and seven of the eight children grew to mature years.  William married Miss Catherine Garber, and after her death wedded Louisa McClain. By their union there were six children, four of whom are living and reside with their parents in Dayton, Ohio.  Eleanor became the wife of R. B. Farra, by whom she had four children, two yet living. Mr. Farra served for two years in the Mexican war, and for nine months in the civil war. Charlotte is the wife of John S. Vantilburg, and of their ten children four yet survive.  Margaret is the wife of Elijah McConnell and the mother of two children.  She and her family reside at the corner of Fifth and Devor streets in Greenville, Ohio. Jennie, Obadiah and Aaron always made their home with their parents.
     The older children were sixteen and eighteen years of age before any school-houses were built in that section of the country, so the education obtained from textbooks was very limited.  Nature, however, taught them the most essential lessons at that period, the preservation of life.  When the farmers wanted to take their meager wheat crop to mill it was necessary to drive to Franklin, Warren county, or to Piqua, to have it ground.  Their corn was taken to Coletown, where Samuel Cole, the father of Joseph Cole, who lives near Nashville, operated an old burr mill, now known as the Weimer mill, run by Mathias Dean.  The customer was obliged to wait a whole clay for his grist, and while the miller attended to the grinding the farmer had to watch below so that the hounds, which were numerous in every household, would not eat the meal as fast as it was ground.  Many times when the father was too busy to ride to mill the mother went to the field, gathered some ears of corn and grated them to make mush or bread for her family.  They tell of a voice crying around their lonely cabin one dark night and what an effort it required to keep Aaron from going out to the relief of the helpless woman, as he supposed it was.  The man says with a perceptible nervous­ness even St this late day, "It would have been all up with me if I had, because the cry was that of a hungry panther."
     The greater part of the Denise farm was at that time swamp land.  The cabin of one room was built of logs and had no floor or chimney, while coverlets of the mother's own spinning served for doors and windows. Corn at that time was worth eight cents a bushel and wheat forty cents a bushel.  Everything was primitive.  Mrs. Margaret McConnell now tells of a fright that she and her sister Jennie experienced when they were quite young.  Having stolen a watermelon they quietly made their way into the cornfield to eat it unobserved, when they suddenly came upon a big black bear.
     Loyal to the country which the family had helped to transform from the wilderness into homes of comparative peace and plenty, the two sons, Obadiah and Aaron, answered the call for volunteers at the beginning of the civil war.  Aaron enlisted in the Fortieth Ohio Infantry in August, 1861, and served with the company for three years, after which he was transferred to the Fifty-first Ohio Infantry, where he remained until the close of the war, his services therefore covering more than three years.  He bean as a memento of his army experience a shattered thumb.  On one occasion he had his arm raised to shoot when a rebel ball fired from the side of Lookout mountain broke the gun to pieces in his hand and injured his thumb.  He was never arrested or in the guard house, and was in the hospital only for one week, On one occasion during his four years service he visited home, receiving a twenty-seven days furlough.  Obadiah enlisted on the 2d of August,1862, in the Ninety-fourth Ohio Infantry, where he served for nine months, when he was transferred to the One Hundred and Fifty-second Ohio Regiment, and from the latter was honorably discharged on the 2d of September, 1864, owing to physical disability.  He was in the hospital for only a few days, preferring exposure to the close hospital air.
     The father of these children died Apr. 25, 1852, and on the 24th of January, 1884, thirty-two years later, the mother also passed to the home beyond.  In that year Obadiah and Aaron rented the farm, comprising one hundred acres of as good land as can be found in Darke county, and with their sister Jennie retired from active business life.  On the 4th of August, 1897, the sister died upon the farm where she was born and had always lived.  On the 7th of October of the same year the brothers and their sister, Mrs. Eleanor Farra, who had been a widow for some years, and had returned to the old home, removed to No. 618 East Third street, in Greenville, where they are now living in the enjoyment of a well-earned rest.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 608

JOHN DEVOR was born in Pennsylvania and came to Darke county in 1808.  He died in Greenville in the year 1828.  He and one Rachel Armstrong entered the first half-section of land within the present limits of the county, being the west half of section 35, township 12, range 2 east, and laid out the town of Greenville in 1810.  The legislature of Ohio, in session at Zanesville, by their act of Jan. 3, 1809, created the county of Darke out of the territory previously forming a part of the county of Miami and, within a year afterward, a commission appointed by the legislature established the seat of justice of the newly formed county at Terry's, town of Greenville, north of Greenville creek; but there being some dissatisfaction, it may be well to state that by the enactment of the legislature at its session of 1810-11 a new commission was created, to whom was confided the duty of relocating the seat of justice of the county.  This commission consisted of two members from Miami county and one from Preble, and after considering the proposition of Terry, Briggs, and that of Devor and Mrs. Armstrong, and looking to the material benefits to the county, as proffered by the parties, accepted the proposition of Devor and Mrs. Armstrong, and selected as the future county seat the town laid out at Wayne's old fort of Greenville.  The accepted proposition covenanted to donate to the county one-third of all the town lots then laid out, or that they or their heirs might thereafter lay out, on the adjoining lands in the west half of said section 35, in which their town plat was located.  Some years after, Mrs. Armstrong having died in the meantime, Devor, for himself, and on behalf of the heirs of Mrs. Armstrong, pursuant to: the order of the court of common pleas, executed their contract so far as the lots then laid off was concerned, by conveying to the commissioners of Miami county in trust for the county of Darke, when it should thereafter be organized, thirty-two of the ninety-six lots then laid out, but, although additional town lots on the adjacent land of the half-section have since been laid out by the heirs of Devor, and also by the heirs of Mrs. Armstrong, no further donation or conveyance has ever been made, nor have the commissioners of Darke county ever demanded or required any further performance of their covenant.  John Devor's son, James, was born near Maysville, Kentucky, while their family were on their way from Pennsylvania, in 1795.  He learned surveying from his father and for a number of years was county surveyor of Darke county.  He was the first auditor of Darke county, from May, 1844, to October, 1847, lie was county treasurer, and for a number of years was a justice of: the peace; he died in October, 1855.  His wife, Patience Dean, was a daughter of Aaron Dean, one of the early settlers of the county.  They were married Mar. 1,. 1828, and ten children were born unto them, of whom five now survive, John and Elijah being prominent attorneys of the Greenville bar, the latter being also a referee in bankruptcy, under the late United States bankruptcy law. John Devor is a prominent-politician, an unswerving Republican and a warm personal friend of Hon. John Sherman.  He was the Republican elector for the fourth congressional district in 1888 and had the honor of casting his vote for Hon. Benjamin Harrison for president of the United States.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 232

DANIEL LAKEN DRILL.  This well-known citizen of Darke County, who departed this life in 1883, was for many years actively identified with the development and upbuilding of Greenville township, where he made his home.  He was born on the 14th of August, 1814, in Frederick county, Maryland, where the family was founded at an early day by two brothers Jacob and George Drill, natives of Germany.  Jacob afterward removed to Virginia.  So far as known all the Drills in America are descendants of these two.  The first fourteen years of his life our subject spent in his native state and then came to Ohio with his parents, George and Jemima (Laken) Drill, also natives of Maryland, who settled on Stillwater river, north of Dayton, in Montgomery county, where the father cleared and improved a farm and where both he and his wife died.
     Our subject was reared and educated in the usual manner of boys of his day and on reaching manhood he married Miss Ann Kiler, daughter of Daniel and Ellen (Lowe) Kiler, also natives of MarylandBy this union were born six children, namely: Ellen and Urith both deceased; Daniel K., who is mentioned below; John H. and George M., both deceased; and Rebecca, who resides on the old homestead with her brother, Daniel K.
     Mr. Drill
continued his residence in Montgomery county until 1853, when he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Greenville township, Darke county, to which he moved his family on the 17th of March of that year.  There was a small log cabin standing on the place, but only three acres of the land had been cleared, the remainder being timber and swamp land.  It seemed a herculean task to clear and improve this place, but perseverance and energy won, and the land was transformed into a highly cultivated and productive farm.  Mr. Drill began life here with a small capital, but he met with success in his farming operations, and became one of the prosperous and substantial men of his community, as well as one of its highly respected and honored citizens.  He was somewhat reserved in manner, always attending strictly to his own business.  He was conservative in his judgment and his decisions were all the result of a careful process of reasoning.  Religiously he was a member of the Episcopal church, his father being one of the founders of that church in Montgomery county, and always an active worker in the same.  Mrs. Drill died in 1873, at the age of fifty-nine years.  Like her husband, she had many warm friends in the community where they made their home, and was held in high regard by all who know her.
     Daniel K. Drill, son of our subject, was born in Montgomery county, Apr, 2, 1843, and was educated in the public schools.  He assisted his father in the arduous task of clearing and improving the farm, and is still living on the old homestead, successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits.  He married Miss Margaret E. Kilbourn, a daughter of Thomas F. and Margaret (Martin) Kilbourn, who came to Darke county about 1830 and settled on a farm in Greenville township adjoining the Drill homestead.  Her father was born in Marietta, Ohio, in 1801, but was reared in Vermont.  He died in January, 1882, his wife in June, 1890.  Both were active members of the Episcopal church of Greenville, of which Mr. Kilbourn was one of the founders, and his picture, in honor of his virtues, has always adorned the walls of the parsonage at that place.  Of his three children, Clarissa and Martin are both deceased, so that Mrs. Drill, the youngest of the family, is the only one now living.  She is a most estimable lady, and is a member of the Universalist church of Greenville.  Mr. and Mrs. Drill were married, May 29, 1873, and have become the parents of five children, namely: Anna M., Frank K., William E., Daniel C. and Hazel, all of whom are living.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 388

CHARLES E. DUNKLE, who is in the United States railway mail service, was born in the city of Dayton, Ohio, Dec. 10, 1866, and is the eldest son of Simon P. and Mary E. (Troutman) Dunkle.  The Dunkle family originated in Germany and the first American ancestor, Peter Dunkle, came to this country more than two hundred years ago, locating in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, where he remained until his death.  The father of our subject was born in Pennsylvania, May 17, 1842, and was son of David and Anna (Freilich) Dunkle, who also were born  in the Keystone state.  With their family they came to Ohio when their son, Simon, was but eight years of age and in this section of the country he was reared to manhood.  After obtaining his majority he married Miss E. Troutman who was born in Maryland, Mar. 30, 1844, a daughter of Michael and Rebecca (Holler) Troutman, who were also natives of the same state and came to Ohio at an early period of its development.  In 1867 the parents of our subject removed with their family to Gordon, Darke county, and later made a permanent settlement at Greenville.
     Charles E. Dunkle spent his boyhood days in Gettysburg and Greenville, where he received the educational advantages afforded by the public schools.  His preliminary course was supplemented by study in Gettysburg, Ohio, and later he engaged in teaching school for one term.  He was appointed as railway postal clerk on the 12th of November, 1887, his route being from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, to St. Louis, Missouri, over what is the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad.  Later he was transferred to the Vandalia Road, which is his present run.  He has a force of eight clerks under his control and is now occupying a very important position, to which he has steadily worked his way upward from a humble capacity.
     On the 4th of May, 1893, Mr. Dunkle was married to Miss Emma Kraus, daughter of John G. and Anna C. (Gensley) Kraus, residents of Covington, Miami county.  She was born May 30, 1875, and received her education in the Greenville and Covington schools and is a very cultured lady.  They now have one son, a bright boy of six years.  They occupy a fine residence on Washington avenue and their pleasant home is celebrated for its gracious hospitality.  Mr. Dunkle is a member of Greenville Lodge, No. 195, I. O. O. F.  His long connection with the railway mail service well indicates both his fidelity and his ability and he is certainly one of the most trusted employes in the mail department.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 252
A. L. DUNN.  Among the enterprising and energetic farmers of Greenville township is the subject of this review, who on coming to Darke county in 1866 purchased his present farm east of the city of Greenville.  A native of Maryland, he was born in Washington county, that state, in 1839, and in 1851 came to Xenia, Greene county, Ohio, with his parents, S. R. and Letta (Horner) Dunn also natives of Maryland.  Later they came to Darke county, where the mother died in 1880.  The father is still living and continues to make his home in this county.  In their family were six children, namely: A. L., Mrs. Joan Seburn, Mrs. Alletta Wright; John, deceased; Samuel H. and Mrs. Katie Wise.
For eighteen years A. L. Dunn has now resided upon his present farm of eighty acres in Greenville township, and he has made many improvements upon the place.  He devotes his time and attention to general farming and stock raising, and is meeting with well deserved success in his labors.  He married Miss Sarah Tingley of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and to them were born twelve children, but only seven are now living, namely; Charles, Mrs. Etta Hinkle, Mrs. Katie Puterbaugh, Mrs. Lodena Bowman, Gertie, Della and Harry.  Those deceased were:  Luther, Thomas, Ella, Bertie and Walter.  Mrs. Dunn is a church member, and is a most estimable lady.  By his ballot our subject supports the men and measures of the Democratic party, and he has been called upon to fill some of the township offices.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 689



CLICK HERE to Return to
CLICK HERE to Return to
This Webpage has been created by Sharon Wick exclusively for Genealogy Express  ©2008
Submitters retain all copyrights