History of Guernsey County, Ohio
by Col. Cyrus P. B. Sarchet
- Illustrated -
Vols. I & 2.
B. F. Bowden & Company,
Indianapolis, Indiana -
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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX >
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ROBERT W. ZAHNISER.
Although living in retirement in his cozy home in Cambridge,
Robert W. Zahniser occupies a conspicuous place among the
representative citizens of Guernsey county and enjoys the
confidence and esteem of all who know him. His record
demonstrates that where there is a will there is a way and that
obstacles to success may be overcome by courage and
self-reliance. His career has been fraught with good to
his fellow men and he is held in high favor with wide
circle of friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Zahniser was born Mar. 28, 1848, in this
city, and he is the scion of a worthy old pioneer family, being
the son of Mathias and Mary (Hanna) Zahniser, both
natives of Mercer county, Pennsylvania, where they grew to
maturity, were educated and married in 1843. Shortly
afterwards they came to Cambridge, Ohio, where they spent the
remainder of this lives. The father became the village
blacksmith, and, like Longfellow's famous character under the
"spreading chestnut tree," he was a sturdy, honest,
conscientious and well liked man, and he plied his trade here
until he became blind, in 1877. His death occurred in
January, 1891, his wife having preceded him to the silent land
in 1859, leaving a family of five small children.
Mathias Zahniser was a devout churchman, a member of the
United Presbyterian church, in which congregation he was active
Robert W. Zahniser was educated in the public
schools of Cambridge and when only fifteen years of age he
proved his patriotism by enlisting for service int eh Union army
during the Civil war, becoming a member of Company G,
Sixty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in which he served very
faithfully for a period of one year and nine months, or until
the close of the war, his regiment being a part of the Army of
the Cumberland and it was in many hard campaigns and great
battles. After returning from the army Mr. Zahniser
engaged as clerk in a drygoods store for a period of five years.
In 1870 he engaged with the firm of Green, Joyce & Company,
of Columbus, and represented them in the capacity of traveling
salesman for a period of twenty-seven years, during which time
he did much to increase the prestige of the firm and gave them
the utmost satisfaction. Since then he has lived a retired
Mr. Zahniser was married Mar. 12, 1902, to
Luella McFarland, daughter of William and Lydia A.
(Campbell) McFarland. Her father was born in
Washington County, Pennsylvania, and the mother in Wheeling,
West Virginia. Mr. McFarland was a soldier during
the Civil war, seeing considerable hard service, losing an eye
and becoming very much enfeebled from hardship and exposure.
In 1865 he moved to Cambridge for the school advantages for a
large family of girls, five of whom became teachers, Mrs.
Zahniser was a dry goods clerk for twelve years.
Mr. McFarland's death occurred in March, 1896, and his
widow died in July, 1901. To the subject and wife one son
has been born, Robert J., now seven years of age.
Mr. Zahniser is a member of the Masonic lodge,
having attained the thirty-second degree in the Scottish rite
and the Knight Templar degree in the York rite. He is also
a member of Cambridge Lodge No. 448, Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks, and he stands high in fraternal circles of the
county. He and his family are members of the Methodist
Episcopal church, in which they are workers and of which they
are liberal supporters. Politically, he is a Republican
and has always been interested in public matters, but he has
never held office, not caring for such positions. He keeps
well posted on current topics of the day and is a man whom it is
a pleasure to know, being genial and a good mixer.
Source: History of Guernsey County, Ohio by Col. Cyrus P. B.
Sarchet - Illustrated - Vols. I & 2. - B. F. Bowden &
Company, Indianapolis, Indiana - 1911 - Page 915