A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio
Compendium of National Biography
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company
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It is now our privilege to enter a brief review of the career of one
of the venerable and honored pioneer citizens of Darke county, and
the province of a compilation of this nature is most perfectly
realized in offering a resume of such character.
Aaron Abel Irelan, who is a resident of Hollansburg, Harrison
township, is a native son of the Buckeye state, having been born in
Monroe township, Preble county, on the 12th of September, 1818, the
son of Moses Irelan, who removed from Cincinnati to Preble
county about 1816. He was born in Pennsylvania, Sept. 15,
1790, and his death occurred Nov. 22, 1872. His father was
Aaron Irelan, of an old and long-lived Pennsylvania family.
All of his brothers and sisters except one lived to advanced age,
his death being the result of an accident, as he was killed by a
horse, when about fifty years of age. Grandfather Irelan
removed from New Jersey to Pennsylvania and thence to Cincinnati,
and he died in Coleraine township. His widow subsequently
married a man named Robinson, and she died of paralysis, at
the age of eighty years.
Moses Irelan married Hester Abel, who
accompanied a family named Beten from New Jersey to Ohio when
a child of seven years, in 1808. She was born in 1799 and her
marriage to Mr. Irelan was consummated when she was sixteen
years of age. Of their ten children we make record as follows:
Polly, wife of George Painter, died leaving five
children; Aaron A. is the subject of this sketch; Dorcas
was three times married and she died at the age of seventy-two,
leaving three children; Ephraim died young; Hettie and
Jane have both passed away, each leaving children; and the
three others of the family died in infancy. The mother died in
1837, and the father was again married, one child being the issue of
this union. He died Nov. 22, 1872, as before noted.
Aaron A. Ireland was reared in the forests of
the pioneer farm and he early became inured to hard work, aiding in
the reclaiming and cultivation of the old homestead. He
remained with his parents until he had reached the age of
twenty-five years, after which he engaged in huxtering for four
years, beginning his independent career without cash or credit.
In 1845 he engaged in the general merchandise trade in Hollansburg,
continuing this enterprise until 1852, when he determined to resume
the pursuits to which he has bee very successful in his farming
operations, having owned at one time six hundred and seventy-five
acres, of which he still retains two hundred and forty acres of the
most desirable and bet cultivated land in the county. Though
he has operated so extensively in the agricultural line he has
continued to hold his mercantile interests until quite recently,
when he disposed of the same.
On the 18th of October, 1841, Mr. Irelan was
united in marriage to Miss Phoebe Tillson, and they have had
nine children, namely: The first born was a son, who died in
infancy; Josephine died at the age of five years; Norman
Tillson is engaged extensively in farming and stock-raising,
utilizing his father's farm and also his own place, of one hundred
and sixty acres; he is married and has seven children; James
died young; Isaiah died at the age of twelve years and
George at the age of five; William A., a successful
teacher, died in April, 1900, at the age of thirty-nine years,
leaving a wife and three children; Cora Belle is the wife of
Samuel Williams, of Greenville, and has four sons; and Leona
is the wife of O. S. Downing and has five children.
The Tillson family is of good old New England stock, the
original representatives having come to America in the Mayflower.
Aaron Irelan, grandfather of our subject, was a son of
Dayton Irelan, who came to America from England prior to the
Revolution, and his brother, who came with him, was taken prisoner
and taken back to England, returning to the United States after the
close of the war. Dayton Irelan married Dorcus Buck,
of New Jersey, and they have five sons and five daughters, all of
whom attained adult age and were married in Ohio. The present
generation of the Irelan family is the eighth in line from
the original American progenitor.
Mr. Irelan is a Master Mason, having been
identified with this time-honored fraternity for many years, and in
politics he renders allegiance to the Democratic party, having
served as township trustee for the long term of fifteen years and
having also held the office of justice of the peace for a similar
period. Mrs. Irelan is a member of the Christian
Rev. Hosea Tillson, an uncle of Mrs. Irelan,
was born Nov. 24, 1810, and is still living, being a resident of
Bethel, Indiana. He is the tenth child of Luther and
Mehitable Tillson, who removed from Woodstock, Connecticut, to
Cincinnati, in 1802, and later to Butler county, Ohio, near the
present site of Somerville, and their Hosea was born. In 1817
the family removed to Darke county, near the Indiana line, and here,
amid the perils and vicissitudes of pioneer life, he grew to
manhood. At the age of twenty-one years he married Jane A.
Anderson, of Bethel, with whom he lived twenty-three years.
They reared one son, Reuben, who was a merchant, and at
present postmaster of Hollansburg. After the death of his
first wife Mr. Tillson married Margaret Harlan, of
Bethel, and their married life has extended over a period of forty
years. They are the parents of three daughters. The
Rev. Mr. Tillson is a sound Bible student and an unswerving
advocate of truth and virtue. In his patriarchal age he has
the veneration of all who know him. His father was for six
years a sailor on the ocean and related many interesting tales of
adventure and peril. Rev. Mr. Tillson has been a
licensed preacher in the Christian church for sixty-two years.
He settled in Bethel in 1866 and was an elder in the church for
thirty-six years. He lived close to the Indiana line and
became very popular as "the marrying parson."
Though for many years, Mr. Irelan has been in
somewhat impaired health, he has nevertheless been a most active and
energetic business man, having shown a mature judgment and due
conservatism in the conduct of his large interests. He is
animated by the most absolute integrity of purpose and despises
intrigue and dishonesty in every form. His vigorous intellect
would have insured him success in any field of endeavor, and though
now an octogenarian he has more the appearance of a man of sixty.
He is recognized as the leading citizen of Hollansburg, and his
friends are in number as his acquaintances.
Source: A biographical history of Darke
County, Ohio - Evansville, Ind. 1900 - Page 320
Sharon Wick's Note: Click here for a little information (1)
Found Aaron Ireland in 1900 Census - Harrison
Twp., Darke Co. ,Ohio on 22nd day of June 1900.
NARA Film Series: T623 Sheet 21B
Dwelling 497 Family 507
Irelan, Aaron A. Head, W M Sept. 1818 ae. 81 yrs. Md 33 yrs.
b. Ohio Fath. b. New Jersey Moth. b. New Jersey
-- , Phoebe Wife, W F Apr. 1830 ae 70 yrs. Md. 33 yrs.
9 children 3 children living b. Ohio Fath. b. Vermont
Moth. b. Ohio
Living at Dwelling 496 Family506
Ireland, Norman L. Head W M Dec. 1851 ae 48 yrs. Md. 25 yrs.
b. OH Fath. b. OH Moth. b. OH
-- , Clara M. Wife W F Jan. 1866 ae 44 yrs Md. 25 yrs.
8 children 7 children living b. IND Fath. b. IND Moth.
-- , Nora Dau. W F June 1879
ae 21 S b. OH Fath b. OH Moth b. IND
-- , Rose Ona Dau. W F Sep. 1880 ae 19 yrs. S b. OH
Fath. b. OH Moth. b. IND
-- , George A. Son W M Aug. 1882 ae 17 yrs. S b.
OH Fath. b. OH Moth. b. IND
-- , Charley L.(T?) Son W M Dec. 1883 ae 16 yrs. S
b. OH Fath. b. OH Moth. b. IND
-- , Ora G. Son W M Oct. 1887
ae 12 yrs. S b. OH Fath. b. OH Moth. b. IND
-- , Izetta G. Dau W F Feb. 1891 ae 9 yrs. S
b. OH Fath. b. OH Moth. b. IND
Found in 1910 Census - Harrison Twp., Darke Co., OH on 28th & 29th day
of Apr. 1910
NARA Film Series T1283 Sheet 4A
Dwelling 71 Family 75
Irelan, Aaron Head M W ae 91 yrs. M1 63
yrs. b. OH Fath. b. PA Moth. b. NJ
Wife F W ae 80 yrs. M1 63 yrs. b. OH Fath.
b. VT Moth. b. OH