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



Mr. & Mrs. Cyrus Zeller


  CYRUS ZELLER.  Among the native sons of the Buckeye state is numbered Cyrus Zeller, and Darke county has reason to be proud of such a citizen. His home has always been within the borders of Ohio, and he is a loyal citizen of the commonwealth, whose life has been honorable, characterized by fidelity to duty in every relation of life in which he has been placed., He was born near the beautiful city of Dayton, and traces his lineage back to German ancestry. The family has ever been celebrated for the high character of its representatives, including a number of. ministers, physicians and other men of note. One of the number, a brother of Mr. Zeller's grandfather, was a bishop of the United Brethren church of Ohio, and wherever the name of Zeller has been known there have been found men of sterling worth and probity.
     He whose name introduces this record was born on the 4th of September, 1835, and is the second in the family of eight children. He had four brothers and three sisters and the parents were George and Susan (Riegel) Zeller. The father was born in Montgomery county in 1810, and died about the year 1861.  He was educated in both the German and English languages and, air though he started out in life upon: his business career a poor man, he steadily Worked his way upward, overcoming, all difficulties and obstacles in his path. He was careful and methodical in his business methods, and untiring in his labors, and his word, was considered as good as any bond that was ever solemnized by signature or seal. He became the owner of one hundred and fifty-three acres of land in Montgomery county, and had in addition considerable money. The industry and perseverance so characteristic of his German ancestry, were manifest in his daily life, and it is also shown forth in the business careers of his children. The precept  Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you, he made the rule of his life, and this was manifested in his many benevolent actions. He aided liberally in the erection of churches in his neighborhood and the poor and needy always found in him a friend who never turned them from his door empty handed. His good deeds are a monument to his memory more enduring than any slab of granite or of stone; and have caused him to be gratefully remembered by many Who had a practical demonstration of his kindness. He left to his family not only a comfortable property, but also that good name which is rather to be chosen than great riches. His was not an exalted or pretentious life, but his. character was noble and upright and his example Well worthy of emulation. His. wife, who was his faithful companion and helpmeet in all of his good work, was a native, of Berks county, Pennsylvania, born about the year 1810, and she lived to reach the seventy-fifth milestone on life's journey. She brought up her children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, being a devout member of the United Brethren church, Sites too belonged to an old Pennsylvania German family.
     The first home of the Zeller family in this locality was a log cabin that still, stands one of the few landmarks that indicate the contrast of the past with. the present progress. The children of George and Susan (Riegel) Zeller once formed a band of eight around their fireside, but only three are left to relate the story concerning their pioneer home in the early days in the development of Ohio. Cyrus is the eldest survivor. Abia, the second, served as a soldier during the civil war, and at its dose received an honorable discharge. He is now a tobacco raiser and cigar manufacturer, residing in German township, Montgomery county, Ohio. Mary E., the only living daughter, is also a resident of Montgomery county.
     Cyrus Zeller is the only one of the name now living within the borders of Darke county. He has followed closely the path of right and duty, and his history is a credit to the family. In the common schools he acquired his education, becoming familiar with the elementary branches of the English language. The sports of youth and the labors of the farm also claimed his attention, and his practical training in the fields well fitted him, for his work in later years. He has devoted much of his leisure time to reading, becoming familiar with many standard works which tend to elevate thought and improve character, his greatest study being of the Bible. In business he has ever been known as an enterprising agriculturist, and was identified with the farming interests of Montgomery county until 1864, when he dame to Mississinawa township, Darke county, and purchased one hundred and forty-three acres of forest land. The trees stood in their primeval strength and the place was destitute of improvements. Mr. Zeller, however, built a log cabin home and in true pioneer style began life here, being hampered by an indebtedness which, however, he was soon enabled to pay off, for his earnest, untiring labor added yearly to his capital. He worked in the fields from early morn until late at night, clearing away the trees and preparing the land for the plow. Ultimately rich harvests' were garnered where once stood the wild forests. Good buildings were erected, including a substantial residence and barn, and the Zeller homestead is now one of the most desirable and attractive in the township. The land has been tiled and has thus been transformed into a richly cultivated tract which yields to the owner a golden tribute in return for the care and labor bestowed upon it. Mr. Zeller still retains the ownership of the homestead, which property he acquired by his own hard labor, his frugality and economy. In recent years he has inherited some property from his parents, and that he is a kind and indulgent father is shown by fact that he has purchased for each of his children a good farm, thus enabling them to start out in life in comfortable circumstances. He has recently purchased what is known as the Samuel Patterson farm in Brown township, comprising one hundred and twenty acres, and has added this to his other valuable acquisitions.
     On the 2d of November, 1862, Mr. Zeller was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ann Jenkinson, whose birth occurred in Darke county, on the 1st of March, 1843. Their marriage was blessed with nine children—four sons and five daughters—and with one exception all are yet living, namely: Emma R, the wife of Gilbert R. Hand, an agriculturist living in Brown township; George W., who wedded Mary Hart and makes his home in Monroe township; Mary Elizabeth, the wife of John Van Scoyk, a farmer of Twin township; John Wesley, who married Miss Ola Martin and is a farmer of Allen township; Susan C,. the wife of Fred D. R Amspaugh, an agriculturist of Brown township; William Henry, who died February 22, 1880, aged seven years, seven months and twelve days; Addie B., the wife of Delmont T. Bolinger; Delia, the wife of Frank Rhoades, of Mississinawa township; and David M., born March 6, 1881, who is living in the same township. In 1896 a great bereavement came to the family in the death of the wife and mother, who passed away on the 5th of May. She was kind and affectionate, ever careful of the interests of her family and her presence in the household was like a ray of sunshine. Her memory will ever remain as an unalloyed benediction to those who knew her, for hers was a beautiful Christian character whose influence was like the pervading fragrance of the violet.
     After attaining his majority Mr. Zeller, of this record, cast his first presidential vote in support of James Buchanan, and has stood stanch and firm in support of the Jacksonian principles. His. generosity has been most marked, and has led to his liberal contribution toward the erection of six different churches in his immediate vicinity. In man­ner he is kindly and benevolent, quickly touched by the cry of need, his sympathy .being easily aroused; nor is it in words only, for his substantial aid has been received in many a household. His life has indeed been a useful, upright and honorable one, and the world is better for: his having lived. For many years he traveled life's journey by the side of a loving and loved wife, and her death was the heaviest blow that has ever come to him; but he has borne it with Christian fortitude, believing, in a happy reunion beyond the grave. When Mrs. Zeller was called to her final rest, there appeared in the Ansonia Climax the following obituary notice:
     Mary Ann Zeller was born near Lightsville, Ohio, March I, 1843, and died May 5, 1896, aged fifty-three years, two months .and four days. Her illness was of short duration, proving fatal from the day on which she took her bed..  Although her sufferings were great, yet she bore them with Christian fortitude, realizing that though her trials here were many, they would soon be over and that she would meet the loved ones who had preceded her to the better world, She embraced religion and joined the United Brethren church in Montgomery county, in 1863, and afterward removed to Darke county and joined the United Brethren church at Rose Hill, and lived a consistent religious life till death. She was married to Cyrus Zeller November 2, 1862. She leaves her devoted, husband, five daughters, . three sons, five sisters and. three brothers, together with a large number of relations and friends to mourn her loss. The funeral occurred at Teegarden's chapel, and was largely attended.
     Mr. Zeller has reached the sixty-fifth, milestone on life's journey, and his record has ever been an honorable one, marked by firm support of principle and fidelity to every duty. To his intimate acquaintances he has ever been a faithful friend and neighbor, and his devotion to his family has been marked by the most unselfish effort to pro­mote their happiness and welfare.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio, Compendium of National Biography - Illustrated - Publ. Evansville, Ind. - 1900 - Page 654




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