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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



WILLIAM HENRY EMERSON, general of militia and a banker, was born in Butler county, Ohio, May 8, 1808, and died in Greenville, Ohio, Dec. 11, 1877. His parents were James and Eve Emerson; the former born in Vermont, July 17, 1783, died Jan. 31 1853; the latter born Apr. 3, 1788, died May 13, 1847.  He was a distant connection of the American author and lecturer, Ralph Waldo Emerson.  When our subject was eight years of age the family settled in Darke county, Ohio.  His wife, Catharine Buckingham, was born near Baltimore, Maryland, Nov. 6, 1807, and he married her in Fort Nesbit, Preble county, Ohio, November 2, 1826. From this marriage were born one son, Martin Van Buren, and four daughters, Malinda, Sarah Ann, Mary Jane and Elizabeth. Mrs. Emerson's father was Mash Buckingham, born in Maryland, June 31, 1785.  At an early day Mr. Emerson held the position of brigadier-general in the militia, arid was also for a number of years justice of the peace.   For several years he conducted the business of a banker in Hollansburg, Darke county, and in 1865 moved to Greenville, where he became a director in the Farmers' National Bank of that place of which for nearly two years he was president, holding the position at the time of his decease.  He was also for several years president of the Darke County Pioneer Society.  He was a man of very decided traits of character, and was conceded to be a leader in all circles in which he moved.  In natural ability he was far above the average, but his early opportunities were such as to afford him nothing more than a very ordinary education.  He possessed unusual good sense, and was a very superior counselor.  All his business transactions were characterized by the greatest particularity and caution, as also by impartial dealing.  He was plain, prompt and positive in all he did.  His social qualities were attractive, and his powers of imitation wonderful.  He would have made a first-class comedian.  His memory also was very remarkable.  He is said to have been the shrewdest financier that Darke county ever had.  He was exceedingly careful in his business and accumulated a handsome fortune.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 236

CHRISTIAN ERISMAN.  Among the pioneer families of Darke county, Ohio, were the Erismans.  Jacob Erisman, the father, was a native of Pennsylvania, and at the time of his emigration from that state to Ohio, 1849, his family consisted of wife and fifteen children.  At that time but little of the land in Adams township had been cleared and the only improvements on their claim consisted of a small clearing and a little log cabin containing one room.  Not far distant was another log cabin and in these two cabins and the wagons the family slept at night.  Another child was born to this pioneer couple shortly after they landed here, this being the eighteenth; two had died in Pennsylvania.  The mother died at the age of forty-six years, and the father at the age of sixty-eight, both passing away at the homestead.  Of this large family only five sons and one daughter are now living.
     Christian Erisman, whose name heads this sketch, was the fourth child and second son, his birth occurring in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, Dec. 24, 1820.  At the time of their removal to Ohio he was nineteen years of age.  Strong and energetic, he was his father's chief assistant in the work of clearing and improving the farm and always resided upon it.  This farm consists of one hundred and sixty acres and is well improved with good buildings and fences, all of which have been placed here by the subject of our sketch.  Among the other pioneer families who settled in this same locality was one that born the name of Long.  Jacob Long and his wife whose maiden name was Catherine Rinacker, were natives of Pennsylvania, and were the parents of eleven children, the third of whom was Catherine, born in Adams county, Pennsylvania, near Gettysburg, Feb. 16, 1827.  Her mother died in Pennsylvania, and when she was seventeen years of age she came with her father and other members of the family to Darke county, where on the 6th of February, 1845, she became the wife of Christian Erisman.  Their union has been blessed with eleven children five of whom are living namely: Lizzie, Frank, Lewis, Cora and Arthur.  The youngest, Arthur, now had charge of the farming operations at the old home place.
     The subject of our sketch was long affiliated with the Republican party and during his earlier years took an active part in local affairs, serving as township trustee, school director and in other positions.  For a period of forty-five years he and his good wife were consistent and respected members of the Methodist Episcopal church, to which Mrs. Erisman still belongs.  He departed this life August 23, 1900, and the funeral services were held at the residence on Sunday morning, August 26, by the Rev. Jesse Carr, of Bradford, Ohio.  His body was placed in a most beautiful couch casket and laid to rest in the old family cemetery on the farm which he had owned and on which he had so long lived.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 251

HENRY ERISMAN was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and there passed his early boyhood.  As one of a family of fifteen children he accompanied his parents to Ohio, and with them settled in the woods of Darke county, where he assisted in the work of clearing and improving the farm.  On reaching manhood he married Miss Mary J. Reck, and soon afterward located on the farm in Adams township, this county, where he passed the rest of his life and died, and where his widow still resides.  He was a man of sterling worth, interested in whatever tended toward the development of the community, and was ranked with the leading farmers and most respected citizens of the township.  For many years he was a consistent member of the Presbyterian church.  He died July 14, 1892.
     Mrs. Henry Erisman, whose maiden name was Mary J. Reck, dates her birth in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, Sept. 22, 1828.  Her parents were Jacob and Mary M. (Seips) Reck, natives of Adams . county, Pennsylvania.  When she was a small child her father died and at the age of eleven years she accompanied her mother to Ohio, and in Darke county was reared and married.  She has one brother and two sisters living: William Reck, of Greenville, Ohio; Eliza, the wife of John Walker, of Van Buren township, Darke county; and Susan, the wife of John Morrison, of Greenville.  Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Erisman four are now living, namely: Samuel J., who has been twice married, first to a Miss Clark, and after her death to a Miss Forman; John L, who married Miss Mellie Livingston; William H., who married Anna Katzenberger; and Charlie. The deceased were Frances, Delia, Mary and Joseph Ed.  The grandchildren of Mrs. Erisman now number nine. Samuel J. has four childrenóFay, Ray, Ruth and Helen; John I. has two: - Delia and Clyde; and William H. has three - Nellie, Floe and Myrtle. .
     The Erisman farm comprises eighty-eight acres, and is under the management of William H. Erisman, who, resides at the home place with his mother.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 621

MRS. SARAH EURY.  In a history of any town, county or state, there is usually slight mention made of the ladies residing in those localities, yet their influence is most marked in the work of Public progress and improvement.  Though they do not take an active part in official life or in a more pronounced department of manual labor, their influence is no less powerful, and their work in molding the characters of the people and shaping the destiny of the community is indeed important.  Mrs. Sarah Eury certainly deserves representation in this volume, for she is one of the oldest living residents in York township, having attained the advanced age of eighty-four years.  With a mind still bright and active she can relate many interesting incidents of life in this locality when Darke county was a pioneer settlement.
     She was born near Hancock, Pennsylvania, Nov. 28, 1815, and is the sixth in a family of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters, whose parents were Jacob and Magdalen (Natchel) Kershner.  Only two of this family are now living, Mrs. Eury and her brother, George Kershner, who is a farmer of Brown township.  Her father was born in Washington county, Maryland, about 1729 and died in 1851.  He was reared to the blacksmith's trade and obtained a common-school education.  He had a brother who served as a soldier in the war of 1812.  Jacob Kershner emigrated to Darke county in 1840, when Greenville was a mere hamlet and the township of Richland and York were dense forest tracts.  He purchased eight acres of timber land in Richland township and built a log cabin.  Plenty of wild game was to be had and everything was in a primitive condition, few roads having been laid out and few farms cleared.  He was among the early settlers of the locality and took an active interest in the development and improvement of his section of the county.  In politics he was an old-line Whig until the organization of the Republican party, when he joined its ranks and became one of its stalwart advocates.  In his religious belief he was an earnest Presbyterian and his life exemplified his Christian faith.  His wife also belonged to the same church.  She was born in Maryland about 1784 and died in 1852.
     Mrs. Eury spent her girlhood days in Pennsylvania, and was a young lady of twenty-five when she came with her parents to Darke county.  Her education was obtained in the old-time subscription schools, and she early became familiar with the work of the household in its various branches.  She wedded David Eury on the 20th of May, 1841, and the young couple began their domestic life in York township, on a tract of fifteen hundred acres of land which he had entered from the government, the deed being signed by the president.  Mrs. Eury still has the old parchment in her possession, bearing the signature of Andrew Jackson, who was then the chief executive of the nation.  Their home was a little log cabin, which is still standing today, a mute reminder of pioneer life.  It is in good repair and forms a part of the homestead.  The dense forest was all around them and their neighbors were long distances away.  Wild deer were frequently killed near their home and turkeys and other lesser game were to be had in abundance.  The old-time sickle and cradle were used in harvesting the grain, and the grass and hay were cut with a scythe.  In her home Mrs. Eury was busy with her part of the work, preparing dinner for many harvest hands performing other labors of the household.  The nearest markets were at Greenville and Versailles, and there was no church or schoolhouse in their immediate vicinity.  Mr. and Mrs. Eury endured many of the hardships of pioneer life, but eventually these passed away and they became the possessor of a pleasant home supplied with many comforts.
     Mr. Eury was a native of Frederick county, Maryland, born Mar. 15, 1803, and his death occurred in 1884, when he had arrived at the age of eighty-one years, one month and eleven days.  He was well respected in the community for his kind and accommodating disposition and his upright life.  He was careful and methodical in business and was actively connected until his death.  His sound judgment made his advice often sought by his friends and neighbors.  A benevolent spirit prompted him to aid the poor and needy and to contribute to the support of various churches in his locality.  He and his loving wife were members of the Christian church and gave freely of their means to advance its work.  In his early life he voted with the Whig party, but subsequently became a stanch Republican.  He never held office, however, preferring  to devote his attention to his business interests.  At his death Richland township lost a valued citizen and his friends one whom they had long known and trusted.  Mrs. Eury still survives her husband and yet resides on the old home farm.  In the evening of life she can look back over the past without regret and forward to the future without fear, for she has ever endeavored to follow Christian principles and teachings and her character is indeed worthy of emulation.  She is now enjoying the comfortable competence which he acquired and which is well merited by her on account of the assistance which she rendered him in many material ways.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 744 - Part 2



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