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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.


Delaware Twp. -
, books and stationery. If any man has advertised the name of Delaware, east, west, north and south, it is the above-named gentleman, who was born in Fairfield Co., Ohio, March 10, 1830; son of James and Julia (Williams) O’Kane; his mother was born in New York, and his father in Virginia; at 8 years of age, he moved with his parents to Franklin Co., Ohio, where he remained until 1849, during which time he received a district school education and engaged in teaching; in 1849, he came to Delaware and entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, from which he graduated in 1852, and was chosen Tutor of Mathematics in the university, where he remained until 1857, when he resigned and went to Cincinnati, and was made Principal over fourteen district schools of that city, where he remained in connection with the public schools until 1864; he then accepted a position in the well-known music house of Philip Phillip & Co., of Cincinnati, and remained with them until 1867, when he came to Delaware, and was engaged for a number of years in traveling for an American house throughout Ohio; in 1873, Mr. O’Kane entered his present business in company with L. S. Wells, under the name of T. C. O’Kane & Wells, which continued until 1878; this house is the leading book and stationery establishment of Delaware, also doing a large business in wall-paper; in 1868, Mr. O’Kane began the compilation of a series of Sunday-school singing-books which are among the most popular singing-books in Sunday schools throughout the United States; he has compiled and published six works, with a circulation of over 600,000 copies; the sale of these works are as follows: “Fresh Leaves,” 75,000; “Dew Drops,” 100,000; “Songs for Worship,” 120,000; “Every Sabbath,” 100,000; “Jasper and Gold,” 150,000; “Joy of the World” (just published), 70,000. Mr. O’Kane is a member of the Williams Street M. E. Church, and has been its Sunday School Superintendent for the last four years, as well as leader of the choir. He was married in 1853, to Miss Laura E. Eaton, of Delaware Co., Ohio, daughter of James Eaton, one of the pioneer settlers of Delaware Co.; two children, sons.
Source: History of Delaware County and Ohio; Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers, 1880, p. 636
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.

TULLIUS CLINTON O’KANE.—Among all the popular gospel and Sunday-school song writers of our times no one is more widely known or holds a higher place in the affections of the Christian world than T. C. O’Kane.  He was among the very first to strike out with more freedom in his melodies and rhythms and introduce the style of songs that have since taken such a hold upon the people, and that have been the great moving power in religious revivals and great religious convocations.
     The first name of a musical author that ever attracted my attention was that of T. C. O’Kane.  When I was a pupil of the public schools of Cincinnati, Ohio, at about the age of fourteen, there was a song in our music book that was the general favorite of the school.  We would always call for it when given an opportunity and we would sing it lustily.  It was entitled “Ever to the Right, Boys,” or something like that, and had a movement like his “Over There.”  We boys were at that time making our first attempts at singing bass, and we felt that we were doing great things.  The song suited our tastes exactly.  In the chorus the bass would come in on after notes to the words to the right, to the right, etc., with a march movement that would stir up all the enthusiam [sic] there was in us.  We wished that Mr. O’Kane had written more songs for the book.  Since having grown up I have had the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with this honored musical author and have found him to be in every way as great as our boyish imaginings had pictured him.
     He was born in 1830 in a small village of Fairfield county, Ohio, some sixteen miles southeast of Columbus.  He resided with his parents in this vicinity until the spring of 1849, when he went to Delaware, Ohio, and entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, from which he graduated with great honor in 1852.
     Immediately upon his graduation he was tendered a position in the faculty as tutor of mathematics, which he accepted and successfully filled for five years.  The students always called him “Professor,” by which title he is known to the present day.  His musical abilities were early recognized in the university, and for years he was the musical director in the daily chapel devotions.  He organized and maintained a choral society in the college, and was the first musical instructor in the Ohio Wesleyan Female College, which a few years ago was incorporated into the university.
     In 1857 he was elected to the principalship in the Cincinnati public schools, and served in that capacity until 1864, when he resigned his position to accept a place in the piano establishment of Philip Philips & Co.  He remained with this house until its removal to New York city in 1867, when, although urged to be transferred with the house to that city, he preferred to remove with his family back to Delaware, Ohio, where he now resides.  For the ensuing six years he traveled over the State of Ohio as general agent for the Smith American Organ Company, of Boston, Massachusetts.  During this time he visited conferences and Sunday-school conventions, both State and county, introducing his Sunday-school singing books, and in this way became well known throughout his native State and quite extensively in some of the adjoining States.
     In 1873 he went into the book and stationery business, in Delaware, Ohio, which is still engrossing his attention.  His musical compositions were first published in Philip Philips’s Musical Leaves, in 1865, and since then but few Sunday-school singing books have appeared without one or more of his compositions.  His first singing book, Fresh Leaves, was issued in 1868.  This was followed by Dew Drops, in 1870; by Songs for Worship, in 1873; by Every Sabbath, in 1874; by Jasper and Gold, in 1877; by Redeemer’s Praise, in 1881; by Glorious Things, in 1886; by Morning Star, in 1890.  In connection with J. R. Sweeney and Chaplain McCabe he issued in 1878 Joy to the World, a singing book for prayer meetings, and the same editors, with the addition of W. J. Kirkpatrick, compiled Songs of Redeeming Love, in 1882, and No. 2 in 1887.  In 1883 he issued Songs of Praises, for evangelistic purposes, the sales of which amounted to several hundred thousand copies.  In connection with his son, Edward T. O’Kane, who is himself a most excellent composer and a very skillful organist, in 1882 he compiled Selected Anthems, a book designed for use by the more advanced choirs.
     With Mr. O’Kane music and musical composition have ever been a recreation rather than a profession.  He is an excellent leader of choirs, but his forte seems to be in leading large congregations, Sunday-schools and social religious meetings in sacred songs.  He sings with “the spirit and with the understanding,” also with a due appreciation of both words and music, and very naturally infuses his enthusiasm into his audience, so that they cannot keep from singing.  In his music he endeavors to catch the spirit of the hymn, and then give it expression in the music he composes for it.  This sometimes seems to have been almost an inspiration and could be illustrated by a reference to the circumstances under which many of his compositions have been made.  One of his earlier and more widely known pieces is that entitled “Over There."  He says he cut this hymn out of some newspaper and put it with others in his portfolio, intending sometime when he felt like it to give it a musical setting.  One Sunday afternoon, after studying his lesson for the next session of his Sunday-school, he opened his portfolio, and, turning over his selections, found these words, and something seemed to say “Now is your time.”  He sat down to the organ, studied the hymn intently for a few moments, and then as his fingers touched the keys of the instrument melody and harmony were in every movement, and when the stanza was ended melody and harmony found expression in the chorus and “Over There” was finished.
     Another of his well-known songs is “Sweeping Through the Gates.”  One cold blustering day he had occasion to go from his residence to the railroad depot, about a mile distant, and in his route had to cross the river on a suspension foot bridge.  As he came down the bridge he thought of the “River of Death,” so cold with no bridge, and then the words of the dying Cookman came to his mind and he exclaimed to himself “Who, who are these beside the chilly wave?"  Words, melody and refrain seemed to come all at once and altogether, so that by the time he had arrived at his home the composition was complete.
    Mr. O’Kane is a deeply religious man.  His greatest joy comes from the consciousness that his music has cheered and comforted the hearts of Christian people all over the world and has been the means of winning thousands from the pleasures of the world to the higher enjoyments of the Christian religion.  He cherishes a large file of personal letters that have been received during past years testifying to the blessing his songs have been to the souls of others.  He is a genial, modest Christian gentleman who carries sunshine wherever he goes, and although he has passed the milestone of his life numbering three-score, yet he seems as fresh and vigorous as ever, and we may confidently expect many years yet of valuable service in the realm of sacred song.
     The above was taken from the December number, of 1891, of the Musical Messenger, published at Cincinnati, Ohio, by the Fillmore Bros., who, being well acquainted with the subject, wrote and published the article.
     In 1843 he united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has since been a constant and active member, and for forty years of this time has been a worker in the Sabbath-school, being Superintendent of the same most of the time.
     Mr. O’Kane was married in Delaware, in June, 1853, to Miss Laura A. Eaton, daughter of Hon. James and Elizabeth (Caulkins) Eaton.  They had been residents of the county for many years, and she was born and reared here.  Mr. and Mrs. O’Kane have had four sons, namely: Charley C., a promising young man who died in his twenty-second year; an infant son, deceased; Edward T., manager of the Philips Optical Company, at Delaware, Ohio, is a graduate of the Ohio Wesleyan University, and is a fine organist and composer, skilled in all branches of music; and William Eaton, the youngest, who was for years associated with his father in business and who is now manager of the retail department in the Methodist Book Concern, in Chicago.
     James O’Kane, the honored father of this noted man, was born in Virginia in 1805, and in the Old Dominion spent his youthful days.  When about twenty he came to Fairfield county, Ohio.  His parents were Scotch-Irish and were both born in the north of Ireland.  In Fairfield county James O’Kane was engaged in the mercantile business until 1838, when he moved to Franklin county, ten miles east of Columbus, continuing there the same occupation, and from that place, in 1849, he removed to Columbus, where he was in business for fifteen years.  His next and last removal was to Licking county, Ohio, and his death occurred in 1869, at the age of sixty-four years.  His wife was neé Julia Williams.  She was a native of northern New York, born in 1810.  They were married in 1829, and her death occurred in 1860.  Of their nine children five reached maturity and four are still living, T. C. being the first born.
     A list of the books which Mr. O’Kane has published has already been given, with, however, the exception of the latest work with which he has been connected.  In 1893 J. R. Sweeney, W. J. Kirkpatrick and Mr. O’Kane issued Unfading Treasures, which is now being largely circulated.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 365-367
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.

JAMES OUSEY, proprietor of a finely appointed livery, feed and sale stable of Delaware, was born in Sussex county, New Jersey, on the 30th of April, 1847, and is a son of Edward and Ann Ousey, the former a native of England and the latter of New Jersey, That worthy couple were the parents of six children, four sons and two daughters.  The father was a farmer, and followed that occupation throughout his entire life.  In 1851 he emigrated to Ohio, and the following year was joined by his family.  During the late war he entered the Union army, serving as one of the boys in blue of the Twentieth Ohio Infantry.  On his return he resumed farming in Delaware county, where he made his home until his death, which occurred April 28, 1888.  His widow is now living with her son James.
     When Mr. Ousey, of this sketch, was quite young he started out in life for himself, and has since made his own way in the world.  He was first employed as a farm hand, and for his services received only $7 per month.  When only sixteen years of age he, too, entered the army, joining the boys in blue of Company K, Second Ohio Artillery, with which he continued from January, 1864, until August, 1865, when, the war having closed, he was honorably discharged.  His school privileges were quite limited on account of the necessity for him to provide for his own maintenance.
     In 1884, Mr. Ousey bought out the livery business of John Sanderson, of Delaware.  For twelve years previous, however, he had been engaged in railroading in the employ of what is now known as the Big Four Railroad company.  He continued to carry on his first livery stable for four years, and then embarked in the restaurant business in Delaware, which he continued for two years, meeting with fair success in the undertaking.  On the expiration of that period, with the capital he had acquired, he erected his fine livery barn at the corner of North Union and Water streets, at a cost of $5,000.  He has probably the finest accommodations along his line in Central Ohio, and is now doing a large and constantly increasing business, which yields to him a good income.
     Mr. Ousey was united in marriage in 1830, with Miss Catherine Leibendenfer, and they have an adopted daughter, Emma.  The lady is a member of the German Reform Church.  Mr. Ousey holds membership with the Grand Army of the Republic and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  Whatever success he has achieved in life is due entirely to his own efforts, and is certainly well deserved, for he has led a busy life, working untiringly from early boyhood.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 121-122
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.

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