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Delaware County, Ohio

History & Genealogy


Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union and Morrow, Ohio -
Publ. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.



JOHN C. NEEDELS, one of the prominent and well-known citizens of Harlem township, was born in Franklin county, Ohio, May 14, 1851, a son of Samuel and Christene (Allspaugh) Needels, natives also of that county.  They were among the early pioneers of Delaware county.  The paternal grandfather of our subject was Cubage NeedelsMr. and Mrs. Samuel Needels had eight children,—Eveline, Serena, George W., John C., Samuel, Sarah C., Andrew W., and Alice.  The father died in Franklin county at the age of fifty-two years.  He was a life-long farmer, a Republican in his political views, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  The mother departed this life at the age of sixty-six years.
     J. C. Needels was reared on the old home farm in his native county, and received his education in the district schools.  In 1876 he came to his present farm of 150 acres of rich land, where, in addition to general farming, he is engaged in stock raising.  In 1889 he erected a good, frame residence, 15 x 32 feet, with an “L” 14 x 15 feet, has a barn 30 x 40 feet, and all other farm improvements.  Mr. Needels owns one of the best horses in this county, a Killbuck, noted for its style, beauty and speed.  In his political relations he is identified with the Democratic party, and has served as a member of the School Board.  Socially he is a member of the I. O. O. F.
     In 1875 Mr. Needels was united in marriage with Sarah E. Ford, who was born, reared and educated in Harlem township, a daughter of V. M. and Elizabeth (Kregier) Ford, both now deceased.  They were among the prominent and early settlers of this county.  Mr. and Mrs. Ford had eight children, viz.: Frank (deceased), Jerusha, T. B., and Henrietta (deceased), Sarah E., Mary L. and two deceased in childhood.  Mr. Ford was identified with the Democratic party.  His wife was a worthy member of the Disciple Church.  Mr. and Mrs. Needels have three children,—Maud, Frank and Pearl.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 491-492
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.

JAMES K. NEWCOMER, of Delaware, Ohio, was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1833.  In 1837, when four years of age, his parents, who were farmers, left their Pennsylvania home and removed to Ohio, settling on a farm in Holmes county, where they lived seven years.  In the spring of 1844, when the subject of this sketch was eleven years old, his father and mother, with a family of six children, moved to what was then the western part of Lucas county, but which afterward became Fulton county, Ohio.  Here they entered upon pioneer life, built the cabin, felled the forests and hewed out a farm in the sylvan wilds of western Ohio.  The educational advantages were very crude and our subject attended district school in the winter and labored in clearing land and farm work in summer.
     Having formed a taste for reading and a desire for the acquirement of information and education, on the 22nd day of May, 1852, he took leave of the home of his parents, and with a mother’s blessing he walked eight miles to the village of Delta, in Fulton county, where he apprenticed himself in the office of the Fulton County Democrat and learned the art of printing.  The printing office and paper having afterward been moved to Ottokee, the new county seat of that county, material was purchased by the citizens of Delta, and in partnership with W. T. Stumm he published the Independent.  Subsequently, in 1857, he was elected Recorder of Fulton county, being the only Democrat elected upon the ticket.  In 1861 he purchased and published the Ottowa [sic] County Democrat, of Port Clinton, Ohio.  He was twice rejected, from physical causes, on application to enter the war of the Rebellion.
     Early in 1864 he returned to Fulton county and located at Wauseon, a town that had been located on land he had helped to clear a few years before.  He engaged in the dry-goods business, and also took an interest with his father in platting what is known as Newcomer’s addition to Wauseon.  In the years 1868-69 he was one of the clerks of the Ohio Senate.  In 1869, he leased the Democratic paper at Elyria, Ohio, and published this for upward of one year, and in October, 1870, he purchased of T. H. Hodder the office of the Democratic Mirror, at Marion, Ohio, where he remained eight years, greatly advancing the newspaper business of that county.  While connected with the Mirror he was nominated, in 1873, for Comptroller of the Treasury, by the Democratic State convention which nominated Hon. William Allen for Governor, Governor Allen being elected by a small majority only, while the balance of this ticket was defeated by a few hundred votes.  Governor Allen, however, in 1874 appointed Mr. Newcomer as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Girl’s Industrial Home.
     In 1878, he purchased the Champaign Democrat, at Urbana, and published that paper for four years.  In 1882, he was appointed to a clerkship in the office of the Secretary of State, under Hon J. W. Newman.  In 1884, he came to Delaware and purchased the office of the Delaware Herald, the Democratic paper of the county, which he conducted for ten years.  In 1887 he was elected Mayor of the city of Delaware by a good majority, although there was a political majority of nearly two hundred against him to overcome.  He filled the office of Mayor with credit and satisfaction.  He brought to the office a power of force, the application of which found a wider range than is implied in the determining of petty offenses, made the office really what it is intended to be, the chief executive office of the city.  His formal messages to the City Council were able papers on the public affairs of the city and gave the office the distinction of dignity.  Under his administration as Mayor, the fine system of water works for the city was constructed.  Maintaining a great interest in the substantial improvement of the city, he took the first step for the construction of an electric street railway for the city.  All the preliminaries of the enterprise were pushed by his perseverance, and a franchise was granted to him individually, as but few had any faith that such an improvement could be secured.  For nearly one year he labored unceasingly, until finally a home company was organized and the plant established.  The enterprise is due to the persistence and indomitable push of Mr. Newcomer.
     Mr. Newcomer is an able editor, a ready writer, and deals in facts and statements.  As a politician he is astute and wary and willing always to advocate and defend his Democratic faith, and while he is a strong partisan he is not offensive as a party man.  He has spent his life doing for others, but has a weak faculty, politically, in accomplishing for himself.  He hates double dealing and insincerity and is outspoken in denouncing party trickery and party combinations for selfish ends.  As a citizen, he is honorable and is respected for his integrity, enterprise and moral standing.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 68-70
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.

REV. WILLIAM NICHOLSON, attorney at law and a notary public, Ashley, Delaware county, Ohio, has been a resident of this village since 1890.
     He was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, August 4, 1836, a son of Charles and Narcisse (Crew) Nicholson, natives of Maryland and Virginia respectively, and of the Quaker faith.  He remained in his native county until 1851, when he went to Belmont county, Ohio.  His early life was spent on a farm and his education was received in the district schools and at the Friends’ Boarding School, at Mount Pleasant.  For a brief time he was engaged in teaching school in Guernsey and Belmont counties, and when he was about twenty-two years of age he began the study of law in the office of Judge Cowen.  He also learned the carpenter and cabinet trade, and in this business was engaged quite extensively until the civil war broke out.
     Mr. Nicholson was elected Lieutenant of the Home Guards, and, later received a commission as Recruiting Officer, being unable to pass muster himself.  He took an active part in the work all during the war.
      In the fall of 1864 Mr. Nicholson began studying for the ministry, and took a regular four years’ course.  For seven years he preached as an evangelist in the Methodist Episcopal Church, during which time he took in over 10,000 on probation.  He then decided to return to the church of his fathers, and of his birth,—the Friends, or Quakers.  So, in 1875, after a service of some fifteen years with the Methodists, he became connected with the ministry of the Friends’ Church, and as regular minister preached at East Richland, Belmont county; Freeport, Harrison county; Milan and Berlin, Erie county, and afterward, for six years, in Sandusky city, coming from there to Ashley.  While in evangelistic work he preached in twenty-six States.  He has been in every county in Ohio except one.
     Since he took up his abode in Ashley he has been one of its most active men.  He has worked hard to advance the interests of his church and town and has the satisfaction of seeing his efforts attended with success.  Previous to his coming to this place he gave but little attention to legal work.  He now does a general practice and also carries on an insurance and real-estate business, his real-estate transactions extending over various portions of the United States.  Mr. Nicholson has also had considerable experience in secret-service work.  He is, indeed, a man of great versatility, and whatever he undertakes he carries to a successful issue.
     Fraternally he is a member of the I. O. O. F., Ashley Lodge, No. 421, and the F. & A. M. of Ashley.  Politically he is a Republican.  He has served as Mayor of Ashley.
     Mr. Nicholson was married in Guernsey county, Ohio, October 1, 1856, to Miss Lydia T. Romans, daughter of Evan Romans, a Quaker preacher, and a sister of the noted Dr. Romans.  They have a family of eight, viz: Eliza J. C., wife of Isaac N. Hunt, of New Philadelphia; Phoebe A. G., wife of David T. Winrod, of Belmont county, Ohio, Tacy M. R., wife of John C. Mills, of Muncie, Indiana; Charles E. C., a resident of Sandusky city; George W. T., a resident of Lorain, Ohio; John T. F., Sandusky city; Jessie B. F., Ashley; and Mary A. K., at home.  The family are all muscular and their aggregate weight is 2,072 pounds, while the aggregate height of the four sons is twenty-four feet, the oldest son being six feet and four inches without his boots and weighing 250 pounds.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 303-304
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.

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