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Union County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


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



GEORGE W. REAM, who holds distinctive official preferment as Trustee of Allen township, Union county, is one of the representative farmers of this section and is one whose record of military service stands in evidence of his patriotism and unswerving loyalty. He is a native of the Buckeye State, having been born in Ross county, March 10, 1842, the son of Samuel Ream, a prominent resident of this township. Samuel Ream was born in Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel, Sr., who was the son of John Ream, one of the pioneers of the old Keystone State. The father of our subject was reared and educated in his native State and finally came to Ross county, Ohio, where he married Elizabeth Featherling, a native of the Old Dominion State. In 1849 he removed with his family to Union county and settled on Darby plains, where he remained for six years, and then, in 1858, came to Allen township, where he has since maintained his home on the farm which he now occupies.
     Samuel and Elizabeth Ream
have had seven children, of whom we make record as follows: George W.; Matthias; Elizabeth; Delia; Sarah, deceased; Samuel; and Frank deceased. The devoted wife and mother died February 27, 1894, at the age of seventy-four years and six days.
     George W. Ream
was reared to the life of a farmer and received his education in the district schools, the same having been effectively supplemented by the practical experiences of life. May 2, 1864, he enlisted as a member of the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Ohio National Guard, and was honorably discharged from service on the 2d of September in the same year. He took up his residence on his present farm in 1881, soon after his marriage. He owns 124 acres, of which the home place, —the Robinson farm, —comprises 106 acres, being improved with a good residence and barn, a modern wind-mill and all necessary accessories. The place is cultivated according to approved and progressive methods and gives evidence of thrift and enterprise.
     Mr. Ream
’s marriage was consummated September 1, 1881, when he was united to Mrs. Ortensie V. (Eaton) Robinson, relict of the late William Robinson, son of William L. Robinson, of this township. Mrs. Ream’s parents were Joshua and Elizabeth Eaton, the former of whom was a native of Massachusetts, and the latter, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Poling, was born in Virginia. Both died in Allen township, this county.
     Joshua Eaton
was married three times. His first wife’s name was Blackmore. By this union one child was born, Lydia, aged eighty years, still living. His second wife was Mary Brooks. She was the mother of eight children: Mary, Sarah, Jane, Eliza, Orrange, Anise, Marcena and Edward. Edward died on board a Mississippi boat while in the service of the Union, a member of Company K, Ninety-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was buried in his blanket on the banks near Vicksburg. Joshua Eaton married for his third wife Elizabeth (Poling) Hoff, widow of Anthony Hoff, and they had three children: Ortensie V., Calvesta A., and Orlando B. By her former marriage she had five children: Sarah, Rachel, Ann, Jane and Samuel.
     Ortensie V. Eaton
was united in marriage to William Robinson March 13, 1873, and became the mother of two children: Adolphus B., born April 16, 1874; and Mary A., born March 22, 1877. William Robinson participated in the late war of the Rebellion as a member of the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. His death occurred February 28, 1879. By her marriage to Mr. Ream she is the mother of one son, George C., born January 1, 1885. Before her marriage she was a popular and successful school teacher.
     Mr. Ream
is an ardent supporter of the Democratic party and its principles, and he has held political preferment in a local way, having served as Trustee of the township for the past decade. Fraternally, he is identified with the Grand Army of the Republic, having been a charter member and one of the first officers of Millington Post No. 506, of Pottersburg, Ohio. He is a man of marked intellectual and business ability, is well informed upon the current affairs of the day and is held in highest estimation in the community.
     Mrs. Ream
is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also her daughter, Mary, who is a popular teacher in the Sunday-school. The son, Adolphus B. Robinson, is attending school at Ada, Ohio.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 181-182
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.


NORTON REED, who stands as one of the prominent and popular agriculturists of Union county, is a native of this county, having been born on the old paternal homestead, on Big Darby creek, July 5, 1836. The identification of the Reed family with the history of Union county traces back to the early pioneer days, the father of our subject, Samuel K. Reed, having also been a native of the county, where he was reared to man’s estate.
     Samuel K
. was the son of David Reed, who settled on the rich bottom lands of the Big Darby in the first year of the present century, the county at that time being still a forest wild, with settlers few and far between. The wife of David Reed was of Irish extraction. In the primitive old log school-house, with its slab seats and meager equipments, Samuel K. Reed received his educational discipline, which was limited in extent, but which served as the effectual basis for the broad practical education which he gained in the experiences of life. Attaining mature years, he married Amanda Hale, daughter of Oxford Hale, one of the early pioneers of the county. The issue of this union was thirteen children, of whom ten lived to attain maturity, namely: Newton, Norton, Oxford H., Ross, David, Adolphus, Josephus and Josephine (twins), Samuel and Alpheus. David was a member of an Illinois regiment during the late war, and met his death in the battle of Chickamauga.
     Samuel Reed
was a farmer all his life and he lived to attain the advanced age of three-score and ten, his death occurring in Shelby county, Illinois; it is a noteworthy fact that his widow died at the same age, having been a resident of Shelby county, Illinois, at the time of her demise. The father of our subject was an old-line Democrat and was a prominent worker in the party ranks, having served one term as a Representative in the Legislature. He was a man of high intelligence and utmost rectitude of character, and was a popular and honored citizen.
     Norton Reed
, the immediate subject of this review, was reared on the old home farm in this county and was accorded such educational advantages as the place and period afforded, attending the district schools of that favored section known as Darby Plains. At the age of twenty-three years he went West and passed some few years in Illinois and Iowa, after which he returned to his native county and resumed his connection with the agricultural industries of the same. He located on his present farm in 1860, and has since devoted himself to its cultivation and improvement. The place comprises 170 acres, and the land is most productive, has a good dwelling house and other permanent improvements of excellent order, while there is evidence on every side of the discriminating care given to its operation, the work being carried on according to progressive methods, showing the application of brain as well as brawn.
     At the age of twenty-three years our subject was united in marriage to Miss Selina E. Porter, daughter of that prominent pioneer of the township, the late William Porter, and a sister of H. W. Porter, a sketch of whose life appears on another page of this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Reed became the parents of the following named children: S. M., who is a carpenter at Milford Centre, this county; Lulu, wife of Charles E. Mooney, of Pickaway county, Ohio; Frank, at home; and Carrie, who died in early childhood.
     Politically our subject lends his influence and support to the Democratic party, and stands high in the local councils of the same. He has served his township as Trustee for the past sixteen years, —a circumstance which perfectly attests the ability which is his and the respect and confidence in which he is held in the community. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias, retaining a membership in Lodge No. 274, of Milford Centre. Mrs. Reed is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 457-458
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.


THOMAS REED, an attorney at law, Marysville, Ohio, was born in Darby township, Union county, this State, June 20, 1840, son of William and Elizabeth (Sager) Reed.
     His grandfather Reed, also named William, was born in Armagh, Ireland, in 1733, and when forty-one years of age came to America. During the Revolutionary war he was a member of a Pennsylvania regiment and was all through that struggle, being at Valley Forge during the memorable winter recorded in history. After the war he married a Miss Battus, and for his second wife he chose Miss Martha Hinton. His children were as follows: Isaac, Allen, William, Thomas, Deborah, Rebecca and Mary. He lived to the advanced age of 105 years and four months and his remains are buried at Versailles, Darke county, Ohio.
     William Reed
, the father of our subject, was born in Bourbon county, Kentucky, in the year 1801, and came with the family to Delaware county, Ohio, in 1811, where he was reared and remained until 1838. That year he came to Union county. He was married in 1825 to Elizabeth Sager, who was born in Loudoun county, Virginia. She came with her parents to Union county, Ohio, when she was nine years old and, with the exception of nine years spent in Delaware county, she has since lived in Union county, still on the old home farm, and now being ninety-two years of age. Her father, George Sager, was born in Virginia and died in Ohio. William Reed died in 1874, at the age of seventy-three years. His whole life was passed on a farm, and financially he was successful. Religiously he was identified with the Christian Church. He and his wife were the parents of eleven children, record of whom is as follows. George, a wealthy fanner of Kansas; Margaret, deceased: William, a farmer of Woodson county. Kansas; Allen, a fanner of Cherokee county, Kansas; James, at the old homestead in Union county, Ohio; Thomas, whose name appears at the head of this article; Joseph, a prominent physician of Springfield, Missouri; Elizabeth, of Marysville; Lovinia, a resident of Union county, Ohio; and Mary and Susanah, deceased.
     Thomas Reed
was reared on his father’s farm, and received his early education in the district schools. He spent two years as a student in Marysville Academy and one year at Antioch College. At the time the war broke out he was engaged in farming on the old home place. In October, 1863, he enlisted as teamster for service in the Union army, and served six months as wagon master, returning home April 16, 1864. On the 2d of the following month he re-enlisted, this time in Company H, One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Volunteer Infantry, and as wagoner of his company. He was mustered out, with the rank of sergeant, August 31, 1864. During his service he was twice wounded in the right leg, from the effects of which he suffered greatly for years, and finally, in 1884, had his limb amputated.
     After the war Mr. Reed went to Iroquois county, Illinois, where he improved 160 acres of wild land, and where he remained two years. In 1869, he moved to Wilson county, Kansas, and took claim to 160 acres of government land. There he settled down to farming, and resided sixteen years, after which he spent six years in Woodson county, Kansas. Next, we find him in Denver, Colorado. In March, 1890, after one year spent at Denver, he returned to his native county and located at Marysville. Up to this time he had been engaged in farming and stock raising: In May, 1890, he entered the office of J. M. Kennedy, attorney at law, and began the study of law, and in March, 1894, was admitted to the bar. He has since been engaged in the practice of this profession, and thus far has met with success. Naturally quick in thought and forcible in speech, he is well adapted for the legal profession. Politically, he is a Populist. He stumped the State of Kansas four years with Major Morrill and others, and in Union county he is the leader of the Populist party. He is identified with the G. A. R.
     Mr. Reed
is a man of family. He was married January 6, 1860, to Miss Susan Shirk, who died in 1887, leaving five children, namely: Orintha, wife of F. M. Johnson, Denver, Colorado; Flora B., wife of Alva Traxwell, Denver. Josephine, wife of H. Cruze, Denver, Orras, a stone mason and bricklayer of Denver; and May, wife of Grant Asbury, Butler county, Kansas.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 122-123
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.


JOHN R. REYNER, Peoria, Union county. Ohio, has been a resident of this place since 1878.
     Mr. Reyner
was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 17, 1829, son of David Reyner, also a native of that place. David Reyner was a wagonmaker by trade, at which he worked in early life. In 1837 he brought his family to Ohio and settled in Columbiana county, the following year removed to Union county, and in 1839 they took up their abode in Liberty township. Here the parents spent the residue of their lives and died, the father’s death occurring in 1889, the mother’s in 1879. Her maiden name was Eliza Mann, and she was a native of the same county in which her husband was born. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They had four children, namely: Mrs. Sarah A. Skidmore, John R., Theodore and Vianna.
     John R
. was a lad of nine years when he came with his parents to Ohio. He was reared on his father’s farm and was educated in the district school, and when a young man learned the trade of stonemason, at which he worked some in early life. His chief occupation, however, has been farming. After his marriage he lived for some Years near Plain City, then Union, now Madison county, and in 1878 came from there to Peoria. Here he owns a nice house and lot in the village and has a farm of ninety-seven acres near by.
     Like most of the worthy citizens of this country who have passed middle life, Mr. Reyner has a war record. He enlisted in the spring of 1865 in Company F, One Hundred and Ninety-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and with his regiment was stationed at Winchester, Baltimore and Fort Delaware, being on garrison duty. After seven months of service he was honorably discharged and returned home.
     January 1, 1855. Mr. Reyner married Emeline Moore, daughter of Jeremiah and Hannah (Arahood) Moore, both natives of Virginia. The Moores descended from Scotch-Irish ancestors and were related to General Jackson. Mr. Moore was a soldier in the war of 1812. He and his wife died in Coles county, Illinois, his death occurring at the age of fifty-four years, and hers at forty-nine. They had nine children, namely: William, Lucinda, Mary, Anna, Phoebe, John, Eli, Silas, and Emeline.
     Mr. and Mrs. Reyner
have three children, as follows: Emeline Arvilla, wife of W. J. Strader, of Liberty township, Union county, Ohio; Mary Anna, wife of J. Evans, Peoria, Ohio; and Stephen A. Douglas, at home. All have had good educational advantages and both Mrs. Strader and Mrs. Evans have been teachers. Mrs. Evans has three children, —John W., Maud Ethel, and Villa St. Clair.
     Mr. and Mrs. Reyner
are members of the Disciple Church, and in politics he is a Democrat.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 256-257
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.


THEADORE REYNER, one of the respected citizens of Liberty township, Union county, Ohio, was born in a log cabin on the farm where he now lives, and has spent all his life in this county. The date of his birth was August 1, 1839.
     Mr. Reyner
’s father, David Reyner, deceased, was a pioneer of this township and for many years was one of its most prominent citizens. He was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 4, 1803, the youngest of the six children of John Reyner and his wife. John Reyner was one of the brave soldiers of the war of 1812. He died in 1819, his wife in 1814.   David spent the first sixteen years of life on his father’s farm. Then he learned the trade of wagonmaker, at which trade he worked for six years, becoming an expert workman in wood. In 1834 he came to Ohio, first stopping in Columbiana county, and the following year coming to Union county and settling on the farm on which his son Theadore now lives, where he spent the residue of his life. He owned 108 acres at the home place, eighty-three acres a mile and a half southeast of here, and fifty-nine acres in York township, and in all his farming operations he met with prosperity. He was married in 1825 to Eliza Mann, daughter of Mathias and Elizabeth Mann, who came to this country from England and who are honest and industrious people; they resided in Pennsylvania previous to their removal to Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. David Reyner had six children, four of whom are living, namely: John, a resident of Peoria, Ohio; Sarah, wife of Isaac Skidmore, of Liberty township; Theadore, whose name heads this article; and Vianna, who resides with her sister, Mrs. Skidmore. The mother was born in February, 1799, and died March 15, 1879. The father died March 21, 1889, aged eighty-seven years. He was a man of the highest integrity and was as much respected as he was well known.
     Theadore Reyner
spent his early life very much as did other farmer boys in Ohio at that time. All the schooling he ever received was in his home district. There he acquired a love for books, has always been a great reader, and in home study and reading has gained a broad and general information. Books are still his favorite companions. For several years he lived a mile and a half south of the old home and has resided there since 1889. This farm comprises 108 acres of choice land, is well watered by Mill creek, and has nice improvements, in the way of buildings, fences, etc. The frame residence is built on the Southern plan and is located back from the highway, an avenue bordered with hedge leading up to it. The old house in which Mr. Reyner was born is now used as a repair shop.
     He was married March 29, 1879, to Sarah Grubbs, who was born in Logan county, Ohio, April 7, 1851, daughter of Atwell and Polina (Wheeler) Grubbs, her father a resident of Logan county, her mother deceased, Sarah being her mother’s only child. Mr. and Mrs. Reyner have five children, namely: Mary Edna, born January 1, 1880; Charles A., June 27, 1882; Jessie Eliza, December 8, 1884; William C., April 14, 1887; and Polina Carrie, September 26, 1889.
     Mr. and Mrs. Reyner
are members of the Disciple Church. Politically, Mr. Reyner is a Democrat.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 247-248
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.

  WALTER W. RHOADES, who is one of the representative agriculturists of Union township, Union county, Ohio, and who has a record for loyal and valorous service in the late war of the Rebellion, is a native of the Buckeye State, having been born in Muskingum county, near the city of Zanesville, Aug. 15, 1835, the son of William Rhoades, a native of Pennsylvania, and of German lineage.  The mother of our subject, nee' Margaret Irwin, was born in New Jersey, and her ancestral line traces back to bonnie old Scotland.  Representatives of the family participated in the war of the Revolution, as well as in that second notable conflict, the war of 1812.  The venerable father of our subject died July 27, 1894, at his residence in the vicinity of Marysville, this county, having attained the age of eighty-five years.  The mother died at the age of seventy-one.  William Rhoades was a Republican in his political belief, and religiously was identified with the Presbyterian Church, retaining his latter days the honor won by a long life of activity and unimpeachable integrity.
     His children were six in number, five sons and one daughter, of whom we make mention as follows:  The eldest, Walter W., is the immediate subject of this review.  Orville was a soldier in the late war, was taken prisoner and expired in the wretched prison at Andersonville; at the time he was incarcerated he weighted 190 pounds, but the confinement and the hardships endured caused him to waste away, so that at the time of his death he weighed only sixty-three pounds; he was a member of the Eighteenth regulars, and was taken prisoner at Resaca, Georgia.  Jacob M. also went out in the nation's defense, enlisting in the 100 days' service; he died at Newton, Ohio.  Horatio J., who was also in the same service, is now a resident in the vicinity of Broadway, this county; Cassius Y. is a resident of Newton, this State; also Marian F., the only sister, died years ago.
     Our subject was reared to work on the farm, but was afforded the best educational advantages which were available, receiving a good education in the district, select and graded schools in Franklin county, and the Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, and later on putting his acquirements to practical test by teaching for a time, proving a capable and successful instructor.
     At the time of the outbreak of the Civil war he was residing in Delaware county, this State, and in the hour of his country's need for valiant men and true, he was to found wanting, but enlisted Aug. 9, 1861, as a member of the Eighteenth Regulars.  His regiment proceeded at once to the front, and the record shows that it participated in not a few of the most desperate battles of the war, among those in which Mr. Rhoades took part being the following: Mill springs, Petersburg, Corinth, Shiloh, Stone River, Chickamauga, the siege of Atlanta, and then back to combat General Hood's forces at Nashville, Franklin, Fort Fisher, Bentonville, and Goldsboro.  He then returned by railroad to New York, and thence to Ohio's capital city, Columbus, where he received his discharge in June, 1865.
     After the war Mr. Rhoades resided for some time in Delaware county, and thence removed to Union county, having secured possession of his present fine farmstead in 1890, the place comprising sixty-nine acres, unsurpassed in fertility and well improved, the location of the farm being about midway between Milford Center and the county seat, Marysville.  The residence is commodious and substantial, and there are all necessary outbuildings essential to facilitating the work of the farm.
     Mr. Rhoades was married at the age of twenty-six years, being united to Miss Rebecca Johnson the daughter of Levi and Margaret (Livingston) Johnson both of whom were natives of the old Keystone State.  The father died in 1872, his wife having passed away ten years prior to his demise.  They had six children:  Rebecca, wife of our subject, who was reared in Delaware county, receiving a thorough education and being for some time engaged in teaching, in which line of effort she met with pronounced success; George W., who participated in the late war as a member of the Eighteenth Regulars, and is now a resident of Prospect, this State; Margaret residing in Cleveland, Ohio; Mattie, at the close of the late Rebellion, was married to Captain E. Hicks, now a resident of Grant City, Missouri; and Allie wife of Dr. H. E. Hyatt, of Delaware, Ohio. 
     Mr. and Mrs. Rhoades became the parents of six children, namely: Maude, who was a successful teacher, is the wife of L. F. Wood, of Manchester, Tennessee; Claude O. is at home; Zella, who died at the untimely age of eighteen years, was the wife of J. Horney, and her only child, Cassius, is now cared for by his maternal grandparents; Mattie and George Y. are at the paternal home.  All of the children received good educational advantages by which they duly profited.
     Mr. Rhoades is a stanch Republican and has been an active worker in the ranks, having been a delegate to the County Conventions of the party on numerous occasions.  Fraternally he retains a membership in Ransom Reed Post, No. 113, G. A. R., of Marysville, which city is his postoffice.
~ Page 105 - Memorial Record of the Delaware, Union and Morrow, Ohio - Illustrated - Publ: Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1895.

JEROME RITCHIE, who resides on a farm near Marysville, in Leesburg township, Union county, Ohio, is ranked with the representative men of the county.
     Mr. Ritchie
was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, February 23, 1839, son of Joseph and Susan Ann (Stoolfire) Ritchie, the father of Scotch descent and both natives of Washington county, Pennsylvania. They resided in the Keystone State until 1843, when they came to Ohio and settled in Licking county, near Columbia Center, where they still reside, both having passed their three-score years and ten. They have had a family of eight children, namely: Jerome, Louisa White, William B., Lucius, Mary Lee (a music and school teacher), Nathan B., Charles and Joseph, Jr. Lucius died while in the service of his country. Two of the sons, Nathan B. and Charles, are teachers. The father learned the blacksmith’s trade and worked at it in early life, but later turned his attention to farming. Politically he is a Republican; religiously a member of the United Brethren Church. Both he and his wife are active in church work. For many years he has been a class-leader.
     Jerome Ritchie
was four years old at the time he came with his parents to Licking county, and on the farm he spent his boyhood days, receiving his education in the common schools. A year after his marriage, which event occurred when he was twenty-three, he removed to Union county. Since 1870 he has resided on his present farm, 126 acres of fine land, well improved with modern two-story residence, nice barn and other substantial farm buildings, and all arranged with regard to taste and convenience. In short, everything about the premises points to the fact that the owner is a man of enterprise and good management, and that he is making a success in life.
     Mr. Ritchie
was married January 15, 1863, at Reynoldsburg, Franklin county, Ohio, to Sarah Jane Gardener, who has proved herself a worthy helpmate in the truest sense of the word. She was born in Licking county, September 18, 1841, daughter of William and Grace (Aris) Gardener, natives of Virginia, the father of Scotch-Irish extraction; both are now deceased, their death occurring in Union county, the mother at the age of seventy-one years, and the father at seventy-eight. He was a member of the Christian Church, and in politics was a Democrat. They had twelve children, viz: William, Barbara, Mary Jane, Phillip, James E., Asbury, Sarah Jane, Martha, Willson, Mary Rinehart, Albert and Caroline. Four of the sons, William, Phillip, Willson and Asbury, were in the late war. Willson was afterward killed in a railroad accident. Mr. and Mrs. Ritchie have four children, as follows: Etta May, wife of Cassius McAlister, has two children, Ivy May and Anna Jane; Herbert Sheridan married Retta Scott and has one child, Jerome B.; Joseph W. has just attained his majority, and is still at home; and Nannie Blanche, also at home. She is not yet thirteen years old, and has been organist in the church over two years.
     In his political views Mr. Ritchie is in harmony with the Republican party. He has served the public as a member of the School Board. Both he and his wife are identified with the Christian Church, and are among its most active workers. He has served as Treasurer, Clerk and Deacon, and also as Sabbath-school Superintendent. At this writing Mrs. Ritchie is Superintendent of the Sabbath-school. They are among the leading and influential people of the community and are as highly respected as they are well known.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 216-217
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.

COL. AARON B. ROBINSON. —Not all men order their lives to their liking; nor yet are all men true to themselves in living as nearly to their ideals as possible and attaining to such heights as their opportunities and talents render accessible. We now turn to one who has done much and has done it well, —“therein all honor lies.” Not a pretentious or an exalted life has been his, but one that has been true to itself and its possibilities, and one to which the biographist may revert with a feeling of respect and satisfaction.
     Colonel Aaron B. Robinson
, a man whose identification with the history of that section of the Buckeye State touched upon in this connection has been one of ancestral and individual nature and one of conspicuous order, would on that score alone demand our consideration, but above this is imposed a higher obligation in the premises, for there has been rendered by him an illustrious service which has linked his life history with that of the nation, —a service which no loyal man will deny his country when its honor is threatened, but which not every man has been able to accord so faithfully as has our subject.
     It is scarcely necessary to recapitulate at this point the ancestral history of Colonel Robinson, since the same is rendered in detail in connection with the biography of his brother, Hon. James W. Robinson, appearing elsewhere in this volume. Suffice it, then, to say that he was born, in Darby township, Union county, Ohio, November 10, 1833, the son of John W. and Elizabeth (Mitchell) Robinson, who passed the span of their entire lives in this county, their respective parents having been among the earliest pioneer settlers in this section of the State. Of the ten children of John and Elizabeth Robinson all are still living with three exceptions, and we are enabled to refer to them in order of birth as follows: David M. resides on the old homestead, in Darby township: James W. is one of the leading lawyers of the county, a resident of Marysville, and is accorded individual mention on another page of this work; John W. is a farmer, and resides near Marysville; Colonel Aaron B. is the immediate subject of this review; Robert N. resides on a farm in the vicinity of Marysville; Martha is the widow of William H. Robinson, late of Marysville; and Emily J. is the wife of Hon. Beriah Wilkins, editor and publisher of the Washington Post, at the national capital.
     Our subject passed his boyhood days on the paternal homestead where he remained until he attained the age of eighteen years, contributing his quota toward the operation of the farm, and securing such educational discipline of a preliminary sort as was afforded by the district schools. So far had he advanced in scholastic cult, however, that in his seventeenth year, he was able to assume pedagogic work and dignity, teaching his first term of district school at a salary of ten dollars per month. During the next three winters he continued his labors in the educational field, and during the intervening summers looked to subjective advancement by attending the old Academy at Marysville, where he studied under the tutorage of his brother, James W. Robinson, and of Rev. James A. Sterrit.
     In the spring of 1854 he entered the Freshman class of Jefferson College, at Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, where he continued his studies until he had completed his Junior year, when he was compelled to abandon further application on account of failing health. His class graduated in 1857, with a membership of fifty-seven individuals. Our subject was a receptive and avidious student and his grades in college were above the average class standing, —especially in the mathematical group, where his record was unexcelled.
     After leaving college, Colonel Robinson entered the law office of his brother, James W., at Marysville, and devoted himself to the study of law, as far as impaired health would permit, for two years. With a view to expediting the work of preparing himself for a professional career, he matriculated in the law college at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he remained during the winters of 1858 and 1859, being admitted to the bar in the latter year, and forthwith associating himself in practice with his brother, in Marysville. This association maintained for a period of three years, and our subject’s prospects for a successful professional career were flattering, but a higher duty came to him as the thundering of rebel guns against Fort Sumpter [sic] struck a loyal and responsive protest in his heart. His courage was that of his conviction, and in July, 1862, he enlisted for service and was commissioned a recruiting officier [sic], in which capacity he was employed until September of the same year, when he was elected Captain of Company I, One Hundred and Twenty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered in on the eleventh day of September, and on the selfsame day started with his regiment for the front. He served with the valiant old One Hundred and Twenty-first on the campaign from Louisville, Kentucky, to Chattanooga, —first under command of General Buell and later of General Rosecrans, —and was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, his consequent disabilities rendering it necessary for him to accept a three months’ furlough, —this being the only time he was absent from his regiment during its long and meritorious service.
     Subsequently he was with the regiment as it accompanied Sherman’s forces from Chattanooga on the Atlanta campaign, and thence through Georgia on the ever memorable march to the sea. The next service was through the Carolinas, leading to the surrender of Johnston. To give in detail the history of the various engagements in which our subject participated would necessitate practically a recapitulation of the history of the entire war, but we must needs take a cursory view of the successive preferments which came to him as a result of his bravery and brilliant service. That Company I was one which did not fear danger, but which was ever ready to throw itself into the thick of the fray is shown by its action at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, where more than one-half of its number were reported killed or wounded after the smoke of battle had raised from the scene. In this battle Colonel Robinson was slightly wounded. At the battle of Chickamauga the One Hundred and Twenty-first held the extreme right of General Stedman’s division in the memorable charge of that division against the enemy at the critical moment when the latter were closing in upon the right of General Thomas. By desperate fighting the confederate forces were driven from their position of vantage, and the One Hundred and Twenty-first captured and bore away the flag of the Twenty-second Alabama.
     August 29, 1864, our subject was promoted to the office of Major, his commission to take date from June 27, the day of the Kenesaw battle. In November Major Robinson assumed command of the regiment as it started on the march from “Atlanta to the sea,” and he continued in command until the close of the war. He was promoted Lieutenant Colonel January 28, 1865, and to a full Colonelcy on the eighteenth of May, same year. Gallant, unflinching and intrepid are terms which may most congruously be applied to our honored subject in referring to his notable military career.
     After the close of the war Colonel Robinson returned to Marysville and once more turned his attention to the securing of the victories of peace, “no less renowned than war.” He resumed his association with his brother in the practice of law, and after a short time they effected the purchase of an half interest in the Marysville woolen mills, an enterprise of much importance at the time, the other half of the business being held by Rawson Welch, a practical manufacturer, into whose charge the operation of the mills was to be entrusted. Soon, however, it became evident to the Messrs. Robinson that, in order to protect their original investment, they must purchase the remaining share, and give an individual attention to the practical details of the enterprise. This was done, and thus the Colonel abandoned his law practice and turned his attention solely to the manufacturing industry, the mills being enlarged and the enterprise continued with varying success until 1880, when it was sold and the business abandoned.
     About 1868 Colonel Robinson opened a retail dry goods store in connection with the factory, and in this line he continued until 1893, when, on account of his impaired health, the business was sold to J. Brubaker. This “Factory Store,” as it has always been known, represented one of the most extensive mercantile and business enterprises in the county, and the stock carried was exceptionally large and select, the business being finally broadened from its original line, so that boots and shoes were handled in the connection. In this, as in all other business enterprises, our subject had as his associate his brother, James W.
     We now turn to the salient points in the career of Colonel Robinson as a legislator. He served two terms, 1879 to 1883, as a member of the State Legislature, and proved himself a wise and discriminating official, —one whose service gave general satisfaction to his constitutents [sic] and the citizens of the commonwealth, irrespective of political affiliations. Among the measures introduced and successfully carried through by our subject may be mentioned the act providing for the refunding of the State debt, reducing the rate of interest from six to three per cent; the act providing for the redistricting of the State for Congressional purposes; and the law defining the province and regulating the operations of insurance companies doing business in the State. He also secured the necessary legislation authorizing the building of Union county’s magnificent new court house.
     Colonel Robinson
was appointed a member of the Board of Trustees of the State insane Asylum, at Columbus, in 1888, said appointment coming through Governor Foraker and being renewed in 1893 by Governor McKinley. Of this board the Colonel has been president for the past two years.
     Politically, he is stanchly arrayed in the support of the Republican party and its principles, and religiously he and the members of his family are devoted adherents of the Presbyterian Church. The attractive family home is located on West Fifth street, Marysville. As a man, Colonel Robinson is whole-souled, genial, generous and sympathetic, and his friends are in number as his acquaintances. His face is one indicative of strength of purpose, but of utmost kindliness, and his life has ever been as an open book from which all might read, and by reading learn of the noble character represented.
     May 12, 1868, Colonel Robinson was united in marriage to Miss Keziah Wilkins, daughter of A. F. and H. J. Wilkins, prominent and honored among the early pioneers of this county. Colonel and Mrs. Robinson have four children, namely: Harriet E., wife of Dwight Edwards; E. Gertrude, wife of Mr. Harry E. Smith, of Marysville; Martha C.; and Alfred James.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 97-100
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.

HON. JAMES W. ROBINSON. —The specific and distinctive office of biography is not to give voice to a man’s modest estimate of himself and his accomplishments, but rather to leave the perpetual record of the verdict establishing his character by the consensus of opinion on the part of his fellow men. That great factor, the public, is a discriminating factor and takes cognizance not of objective exaltation nor yet objective modesty; but delves deeper into the intrinsic essence of character, strikes the key-note of individuality and pronounces judiciously and unequivocally upon the true worth of the man, invariably distinguishing the clear resonance of the true metal from the jarring dissonance of the baser.
     Thus, in touching upon the life history of the subject of this review, the biographer would aim to give utterance to no fulsome encomium, to indulge in no extravagant praise, —for such would ill comport with the innate and honest simplicity of the subject’s character, —yet would he wish to hold up for consideration those points which have shown the distinction of a true, pure and useful life, —one characterized by indomitable perseverance, broad charity, marked ability, high accomplishments and well-earned honors. To do this will be but to reiterate the dictum pronounced upon the man by his fellowmen.
     There is still another element, which lends additional interest to the career of James W. Robinson, this being the fact that he is a native son of Ohio and of the county in which practically his entire life has been passed. (The history of the Robinson family has been intimately linked with that of the Buckeye State from the early pioneer days and is found in incidents and episodes which touch upon that epoch which marked the settlement of the commonwealth and the inceptive steps taken toward its development to its present prosperous status.)
     Our subject was born, November 28, 1826, in Darby township, Union county, Ohio, the place of his nativity being the paternal farmstead, which stretched along the rich bottom-lands of Darby creek. His agnatic ancestry is of Scotch-Irish derivation, the assimilation of the marked individual characteristics of which dual strains has eventuated in the evolution of a well defined type, familiar in the annals of American history as one possessing the persistency, strong integrity and deep-seated patriotism of the Scotch, conjoined to the spirit, dash and quicker mentality of the Irish element. The father of our subject, John W. Robinson, was a son of Rev. James Robinson, who was a Presbyterian clergyman, and a man of no little prominence in western Pennsylvania, where he labored for many years, subsequently identifying himself with the work of his church in Central Ohio, in whose early history he stood a conspicuous figure, zealous in the service of the Master, and with honor as unflinching and unbending as his Presbyterian faith, which had been that of his ancestors for many generations preceding. John W. Robinson married Elizabeth Mitchell, a daughter of Judge David Mitchell, who came from York, Pennsylvania, to Ohio in the last year of the eighteenth century, locating in Union county, where he attained to distinguished preferment, having been one of the first associate Judges of the county. He reached a venerable age, and in his death the county lost one of its most useful, talented and honored public men. John W. Robinson died in 1853. He was a man of inflexible integrity, careful and methodical in his habits, just and honorable in his intercourse with his fellowmen and of much native ability in an intellectual way. His education was not a broad one, but was above the average that obtained in that period and locality. The respect and confidence in which he vas held in the community is shown in the fact that he filled the offices of Justice of the Peace and County Commissioner. His entire life was devoted to farming, and in this vocation, which ever demands arduous toil and a certain self-abnegation, he attained to consistent success. Like his fathers he was devoted to the Presbyterian Church, and for many years he was an Elder in the same. His widow entered into eternal rest September 18, 1872, her life having been one of signal purity and Christian grace.
     John W. and Elizabeth Robinson
left surviving them eight children, and of this number only one is deceased at the present time. We incorporate at this juncture a brief record concerning the family: David M. is one of the successful farmers of Union county and resides on the old homestead in Darby township; James W. is the immediate subject of this review; John W. is a farmer, and resides near Marysville; Colonel Aaron B. was for many years one of the most prominent merchants of Marysville, but has now retired: he is a lawyer by profession and is an ex-member of the State Legislature; Robert N. is a farmer, and resides near Marysville; Martha A. is the widow of the late William H. Robinson, a hardware merchant of Marysville; and Emily J. is the wife of Hon. Beriah Wilkins, ex-member of Congress from the seventeenth Ohio district, and still a resident of Washington, D. C., where he holds a position of national prominence and influence as editor and publisher of the Washington Post. Mrs. Wilkins is a woman of marked intellectuality and talent, and has gained a distinguished position in the social life of the capital; it is worthy of particular note in this connection that she was associated with Mrs. John A. Logan as representative of the District of Columbia on the Board of Lady Managers of the World’s Columbian Exposition held at Chicago in 1893. 
     There has been nothing esoteric in the life of James W. Robinson, —it has been as an open book, from which “he who runs may read.” His youthful clays were passed on the farm, amid those sturdy duties which develop independence, integrity, a vigor of constitution and the while quicken ambition to the point of action and consecutive effort. He was not slow in learning the truth of the statement made by the Greek philosopher, Epicharmus: “Earn thy reward, the gods give naught to sloth.” His boyhood was typical of what his entire life has been; it was not one of idleness, —he had no time for futile dreams, but bent him to the burden of hard and unremitting toil, offering no protest, but willingly doing his share. Such opportunities as were granted him in an educational line he seized with avidity, being enabled to attend the district schools a portion of each winter until he had attained the age of fifteen years. At this time his fondness for books and study and his delicacy of health conserved to bring about a parental decision that he was not adapted to farm work, and accordingly provision was made for allowing him to follow his natural inclinations. Near Milford, this county, a school was maintained by one Robert Wilson, an Irishman of eccentric character, but of fine education, and at this institution our subject became a student. Wilson was a successful teacher, was particularly strong in mathematics and had a wide reputation at that period. Young Robinson entered into his work with eager zest and enthusiasm and showed by his progress that the opportunities afforded him were fully appreciated. He was most desirous of taking up the study of Latin, and as there were then in that part of the State but few residents who were at all conversant with that classic tongue, he was somewhat at a loss as to how he might attain his desideratum. Finally he learned that at a point some thirty-five miles distant there lived “a man who could teach Latin,” and, after due conference with the authorities, he set out on horseback to interview this wonderful individual and to secure him as teacher of the local school. He was successful in the object of his mission, and in due time could indulge in the mystic declensions and conjugations to his heart’s content.
     After he had attained his seventeenth year, Mr. Robinson put his acquirments [sic] to practical test by engaging to teach district school at the princely stipend of eight dollars per month. Within this time (1843-4) he did not permit his beloved Latin to fall into disuse, but rode four miles daily, on horseback, to recite to “the preacher.” In the summer of 1845 he finally saw the beginning of the end for which he strived, since at the time he matriculated as a sophomore in Jefferson College, at Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania. At this institution, which was subsequently merged into the Washington and Jefferson College, at Washington, Pennsylvania, he honorably graduated in 1848, in a class of seventy-two members.
     This educational discipline complete, Mr. Robinson turned his attention immediately to work. In the fall of the same year he taught a select school at Woodstock, Champaign county, Ohio, and, incidental to attaining his majority, proudly cast his first ballot, which helped by that much to swell the majority secured by the Whig candidate for President, General Zachary Taylor. Subsequently Mr. Robinson came to Marysville, where he taught in the old Academy, which was a flourishing institution at that time. He simultaneously began reading law, continuing this application until 1850, when he went to Cincinnati and took a course of lectures in the Cincinnati Law College, at which he graduated in 1851, being admitted to the bar in April of the same year.
     Now fortified for that profession which he had long before determined to make his life work, he at once formed a partnership with his former preceptor, Otway Curry, who was not only distinguished in the line of his profession, but for his marked poetic and literary talent. The firm retained a representative clientele and became one of the most prominent in the county.
     In the fall of 1851 Mr. Robinson was elected Prosecuting Attorney, on the Whig ticket, his opponent being the redoubtable Jackson C. Doty, a character of no little celebrity at that time. This served our subject as but the forerunner of other and more distinguished official preferments. In 1857 he was elected a member of the lower house of the State Legislature and was chosen as his own successor in 1859. His service was one of utmost fidelity to his constituents and to his interpretation of legislative polity and ethics. He took a prominent position, being for some time at the head of that important house committee, the judiciary. He was elected a third time, in 1864, to represent his county in the Legislature.
     During the war he was unequivocally leal and loyal and an ardent supporter of the administration of President Lincoln. He did all in his power to aid the Union during this crucial epoch in its history, serving most of the time as a member of the Military Committee of Union county.
     In the fall of 1872 our subject was elected, on the Republican ticket, as representative in the Forty-third Congress, defeating the strongest candidate the opposition could put forward —General G. W. Morgan. He represented the ninth Ohio district, comprising the counties of Union, Hardin, Marion, Morrow, Delaware and Knox. As a Congressman Mr. Robinson showed an all-round fitness for the work. He had both a capacity and intention of getting a full understanding of all the business submitted to his consideration. He had sufficient confidence in himself to render him capable of giving his views to his associates, and sufficient modesty to insure, on his part, a fair reception and honest examination of the views of others, thus arriving at conclusions by safe routes. On the floor he made no pretense to rhetorical eloquence, but was able to clothe his thoughts in acceptable verbiage, and to thoroughly defend his position. As a speaker he thus gained attention and respect, being clear in explanation and manly in defense. Within his short term in Congress he voted for many important measures, among which were the Civil Rights Bill for the protection of the colored race in the enjoyment of equal rights under the law, and the act for the resumption of specie payments. As a member of the Committee on Elections he vigorously opposed the seating of George Q. Cannon, as the Mormon delegate from Utah, making a strong and convincing speech against thus countenancing the class who brought dishonor to the nation in their odious institutions. In 1874 he was unanimously nominated by his party for re-election, but the country was suffering from the commercial panic of 1873 and was also wrought upon by the agitation of the temperance question, —which circumstances brought about a political revolution throughout the State and resulted in the election of a Democrat in the ninth district.
     In 1890 he was chosen a member of the State Board of Equalization as representative of the thirteenth Senatorial district, comprising the counties of Union, Logan, Hardin and Marion, where he proved a faithful and efficient representative of his district.
     For several years subsequent to his service in Congress Mr. Robinson made periodical sojourns through various sections of the Union, having traveled extensively and having familiarized himself with men and affairs in the many quarters which he has visited. He has given close attention to the practice of his profession in Marysville, where his services are in constant demand. In 1869 he formed a professional partnership with Mr. Leonidas Piper, and this association maintained until the election of the latter to the office of Probate Judge, in 1888, when our subject entered into partnership with R. L. Woodburn, his present talented coadjutor.
     Of our subject’s professional ability and career, one who has known him long and intimately and who has also been a prominent member of the bar of Union county, speaks as follows: —“As a lawyer he has been eminently successful, and has tried as many individual cases, perhaps, as any lawyer in the State. Never in all his practice has he intentionally taken a position that was not tenable, and this fact has made him a strong advocate before both court and jury. He has always been ready and fully prepared to try his cases when called, and it has been an exception for him to ask continuance or delay. He never loses sight of his client’s interests, no matter how small the amount involved, and in all cases he has never alowed [sic] his opponent to cause him to lose sight of any point important to his case. He has a versatile mind, keen perception, remarkable tact for the dispatch of business, is an able pleader and a strong trial lawyer.”
     When a young man he united with the church to which his Scotch-Irish ancestors had maintained their allegiance, the Presbyterian, and he has ever since continued a zealous and active worker in the cause, having been ordained and installed an Elder in the Presbyterian Church of Marysville, November 17, 1855. He has not been solifidian in his devotion to the church, but he has shown his faith in good works, contributing liberally to the sustenance of the local organization, to church extension, and especially to the cause of church education, having for the past eighteen years been a member of the Board of Trustees of Wooster University.
     The marriage of our honored subject was consummated February 8, 1855, when he wedded Miss Mary J. Cassil, daughter of the late Judge John and Drusilla (Gladden) Cassil, of Marysville. They became the parents of two children: Arthur H., who died in his sixteenth year; and Alice B., who was born October 24, 1860, and whose death occurred January 13, 1894.
     A home life which had represented almost idyllic harmony in its mutual love and sympathy was swept by the relentless hand of death and the strings which had been wont to attune in sweetest melody quivered with the pathos of the score whose composition told of separation, of the ones taken, the other left. The cord was frayed, the cruise run dry, and into the life of eternal love was merged the finite. She who had been a devoted and loyal companion through all the years marked with “ceaseless toil and endeavor; she who had nourished his children; she who had comforted in the hours of sadness and depression; she whose had been the faith that makes faithful, was called upon to heed death’s inexorable summons, leaving the home desolated and her place vacant. Not a great life was hers, but a good life. Hers had not been the opportunities nor the talents which beget greatness, but the beauty of the life, its consecration and its true womanliness will remain in benediction so long as memory holds sway upon its throne in the minds of those who knew her. Mrs. Robinson’s death occurred October 6, 1893, and the bereaved husband turned the tide of devotion toward h.s [sic] motherless daughter, who now became his solace. But as the fairest flower of all the field is touched by the untimely frost, so did death claim this cherished one as its own. The health of Alice had been delicate for some time, and all was done by her father to preserve his loved one. After the death of her mother she was taken to the South, but without avail, for within less than a year after the death of his wife, Mr. Robinson heard the clods of the valley fall into the new-made grave into which were consigned the mortal remains of his daughter. She was a young woman of rare culture and a gentle refinement, and that sympathy which won to her the friendship of all with whom she came in contact. She was a graduate of Wooster University. Her later years marked the consecration of her life to her mother, and hers was a filial love and solicitude which made this consecration of that beautiful order into which enters naught of protest or reservation.. Doubly bereaved, and at an age when one’s life centers in the home circle, our subject yet had the faith to “look up unto the hills” and to discern the element of consistency in what was seemingly the most cruel affliction that could be visited upon him. Death is the open door, not the seal of oblivion.
     A man in whose life have been blended the truest elements of manhood, whose career has been one of usefulness and honor, and whose character thus stands clear and distinct in the eyes of his fellowmen, we feel it both a pleasure and a privilege to have given this record and to have given representation in this volume a name well known throughout central Ohio and honored from its association with the character of the man who bears it.
Source: Memorial Record of the Counties of Delaware, Union & Morrow, Ohio; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1895, pp. 18-23
Contributed by a Generous Genealogist.



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