Welcome to
Mercer County, Ohio

(Transcribed by Sharon Wick)



JAMES H. ADAMS, M. D., one of the leading citizens as well as one of the most prominent physicians of Fort Recovery, Mercer County, Ohio, and an ex-soldier of the Civil war, springs from the best of Scotch ancestry.  Three brothers of this name, who were triplets, came when yet young men to America from the neighborhood of Edinburgh, Scotland, one of the three being the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch.  He settled in Pennsylvania, and it is believed that the other two of the triplets went to the southern states, though their history is not known to the subject.
     WILLIAM ADAMS, grandfather of the subject, married Ann Douglass, who was, as the name indicates, of Scotch ancestry, and by her became the father of the following children: James, John, Levi, Washington, Matthew, David, Douglass, Elizabeth and Ann.  William Adams was a substantial farmer of York county, Pa., and later removed to Columbiana county, Ohio, as one of its pioneers.  There he cleared up a farm of eighty acres from the primeval forest, made a good home for his family, became a substantial citizen, and lived on this farm the remainder of his days.  He died at the age of sixty years, his wife living to be about seventy-five years of age.  He and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church and highly esteemed citizens of Columbiana county.
     DAVID ADAMS, father of the subject, was born in York county, Pa., in 1806, received the common-school education of the time, and became a farmer.  He came to Columbiana county, Ohio, when a young man, with his father, and there he married Elizabeth Walter, who was born in Pennsylvania, in 1815.  To this marriage there were born nine children, as follows:  Matilda, William F., David W., Elizabeth A., James H., Joseph H. B., John F., Rebecca and Sarah S.  Mr. Adams settled, upon reaching Ohio, in Columbiana county, and there kept a hotel in New Lisbon, now Lisbon, but removed thence to Jay county, Ind., in 1840.  There he cleared up a farm, prospered and at length became the owner of 200 acres of land, and upon this farm passed the remainder of his days.  Beside the home farm of 200 acres, he owned other tracts of land, to the aggregate amount of 1,000 acres, and before his death gave each of his children a farm.  He died when about seventy years of age.  Early in their lives Mr. and Mrs. Adams were members of the Presbyterian church, but in later life became Congregationalists.  Three of their sons were in the Civil war, viz: William F. and David W., were in the three years' service, belonging to company C, Eighty-ninth regiment Indiana volunteer infantry.  Both served their full time, and were in the following battles: Munsfordsville, Ky.; Fort Russe, La.; Plant, La.; Bayou Lamore, La.; Yellow Bayou, and Tupelo, Miss.; the second battle of Nashville, Tenn.; and Fort Blakely, Ala.  Both escaped without being wounded.  David Adams was a strong Union man.  At first he was an old line whig, but afterward he became a republican and most vigorous anti-slavery man.  He was one of the first to settle in Jay county, and was a well-known pioneer.
     Dr. James H. Adams was born May 7, 1843, in Jay county, Ind., was well educated in public schools, and afterward attended Liber college in that county.  He studied medicine with Drs. Bare & Wright, of Maumee city, Ohio, the leading physicians of that place.  Later he attended the Physio-Medical college, of Cincinnati, Ohio, graduating in 1867, and immediately began the practice of medicine at Fort Recovery, where he has ever since remained, and soon after locating here establishing throughout the entire county, riding a good deal in his earlier experience, there being then no railroad in the county.  Dr. Adams is a great reader and subscribes to the leading medical magazines of the day.  His medical library is a large and well selected one.
     Dr. Adams enlisted in the service of his country when about nineteen years of age, in company E, One Hundred and Thirty-ninth regiment, Indiana volunteer infantry, and served until honorably discharged in December 1864.  His service was mostly in Kentucky, at Elizabethtown and Hill, beside being in several skirmishes with bushwhackers.  Returning from the war he attended medical college, as narrated above, and in 1867 married Sarah H. Brown, by whom he had two children, viz.: Myrtle and Charles M.  His first wife being divorced, he married for his second wife Mary E. Bower, M. D., the marriage taking place Sept. 1, 1895.  His second wife was born in Hancock county, Ohio, July 15, 1865, to Adam and Mary E. (Heldman) Bower.
     Dr. Mary E. Bower
graduated from the high school at Bluffton, Ohio, in 1883, with the highest honors of her class, and afterward successfully taught in the public schools at Bluffton and at Fort Recovery for eight years, has had experiencein business and is well and widely known as a woman of ability and culture.  She began the study of medicine with Dr. Arlington Stephenson, of Fort Recovery, and afterward attended the Woman's Medical college at Cincinnati, Ohio, from which she was graduated with honor Apr. 5, 1895, winning the gold prize medal for the best general medical examination of her class.  She began the practice of medicine at Fort Recovery and has met with great and merited success.
     Dr. James H. Adams is a member of McDaniel post, No. 188, G. A. R., of Fort Recovery, being now surgeon of the post.  As a member of the Odd Fellows' lodge he has filled all the chairs, including that of noble grand, and has passed all three degrees in the encampment.  He is among the oldest medical practitioners of medicine in Mercer county, as to years of continuous practice, and stands deservedly high among his professional brethren.
A Portrait and Biographical Record of Mercer & Van Wert Counties, Ohio - Publ. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co. - 1896 Page 171
JOHN B. ALBERS, a successful teacher in the public schools at Cold Water, Mercer County, Ohio, and a well educated gentleman, was born in Philothea, in the same county, Sept. 15, 1865.  He is a son of JOHN F. and Eliza (Droppelman) Albers, the former of whom was born in Oldenburg, Germany, May 14, 1822, and grew up a farmer in his native land.  This occupation he followed there until he emigrated to the United States, when in his twenty-first year.  Arriving in this country he located first in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he engaged in hauling coal, and after three years of hard labor in Cincinnati he removed thence to Philothea, Mercer county.  Here he resumed his first occupation, that of faring, which he steadily and successfully followed until within a few years, and then, on account of old age, he retired to Cold Water.  The date of his arrival in Mercer county was 1844, more than fifty years ago.  Two years previous thereto he married Eliza Droppelman both of whose parents are now deceased.  To their marriage there were born the following children: Mary, married to Benjamin Tengeman, a carpenter and farmer, living in Philothea, and who has two children - Frederick and John; Joseph, died in infancy; Katharine, died when eight years of age; Benjamin, died when seven years old; Elizabeth, died when four years old; Anna, married to Frank Rahe, a retired merchant and the first to establish a business of any kind in Cold Water; Elizabeth, (first child of that name having died), married to Joseph R. Birkmeyer a retired merchant living in Cold Water; John B., the subject of this sketch, and Josephine, married to Frank S. Bettinger, a lumber dealer of Cold Water.
     In 1844, when John F. Albers came to Mercer county, it was in fact an almost impenetrable and literally a howling wilderness.  He was obliged to chop his way through the country to the spot on which he wished to settle, but, doffing his coat, and rolling up his shirt-sleeves, he went to work with undaunted heart and willing hand, to transform the wilderness which he has selected for his home form the habitation of wild animals and savage men into a home fit for men of a higher grade of civilization.  So primitive was this new country when he first saw it, that deer was exceedingly plentiful and very tame.  He well remembers firing into a herd of seventy, and killing several of them, about where the Cincinnati, Jackson & Mackinaw depot now stands.  In order to go to mill he had to consume two days' time, one in going to Wabash, the other in returning, and on the way had to cut out trees and underbrush in order that his horse, with a sack of flour on his back, might get through the woods.  Mr. Albers was a very strong, energetic and industrious man, and by dint of persistent hard labor and careful financial management he at one time owned 240 acres of land, an excellent and very valuable farm.  He was always a very popular man, and there was probably no old pioneer in Butler township that had more warm-hearted friends than he.  For nearly a quarter of a century he held the office of justice of the peace, and for many yeas he was township clerk.  He was always glad to extend a cordial greeting to any and all of his acquaintances and friends, which he numbered by the score.  He was a leader among men of his nationality in his township, possessed their confidence to the fullest extent, and was by them, as well as all others, considered to be an excellent business man.  Although he had enjoyed throughout his long life exuberant spirits and vigorous health, the last year of his prolonged existence evinced a decadence of energies, and for nearly the last two months of his existence were passed on his couch.  His lamented death took place May 4, 1896, and his mortal remains were interred in the Catholic cemetery at Cold Water.  He left a wife and four children and a large circle of devoted and sincere friends to mourn his demise.
     John B. Albers, the subject of this sketch, was born on the father's farm and received a good education in the common schools.  Afterward this education was well supplemented by attendance at the Western Normal university at Ada, Ohio, in which institution he took a thorough normal course.  In 1890 he became a teacher in the public schools of Cold Water, and has ever since followed his profession there.  He has given the best of satisfaction to all the patrons of the school.  In politics Mr. Albers is a democrat and is active in the defense and support of his party's principles.  Having many friends and being an unusually intelligent and coolheaded man, he naturally wields great influence in his party's councils.  He has never sought office, but in the spring of 1895 he was called to a membership in the county democratic central committee, of which he is a valuable and valued member.
      Mr. Albers was married Aug. 7, 1895, to Miss Katie Moeller, daughter of Frank and Mary (Lehman) Moeller, both of whom are now living in Cold Water, Ohio.  She was reared in Shelby county, where she was born Dec. 3, 1875, was educated in the common schools of Shelby county, and in 1891, with her parents, she removed to Cold Water.  She is the second of a family of seen children, as follows:  Elizabeth, married to John Anthony, a prosperous farmer of Butler township; Katie, Joseph, Albert, Clara, Martha and Nora.  The latter five, bright and intelligent children, are living with their parents in Cold Water.  Mr. and Mrs. Albers are highly reputable people of that town, and have many admirers and friends.
A Portrait and Biographical Record of Mercer & Van Wert Counties, Ohio - Publ. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co. - 1896 Page 172
JEREMIAH ALLEN, a .representative citizen and successful farmer, residing on his well-improved farm of 80 acres, which is situated in section 20, Union township, is also an honored survivor of the great Civil War, in which he spent over three years. Mr. Allen bears a distinguished name and comes from the same stock as did Gen. Ethan Allen, of Revolutionary fame. He was born in the Dominion of Canada, just opposite Oswego, New York, and is a son of Enos and Eliza (Van Meere) Allen.
     Nicholas Allen, the paternal grandfather, was a native of Vermont. He married Annie Gear and they reared a family of children. After her death, Nicholas, with two of his sons, Hiram and Simon, went West and these sons participated in the battle of Lake Champlain, in the War of 1812. Two sons and a daughter of Nicholas Allen remained in Vermont. The latter became the wife of Nathan Harvey. One of the sons was Enos, the father of our subject.
     Enos Allen was born July 5, 1805, and died May 26, 1893, aged 87 years, 11 months and 10 days. He lived in the vicinity of Middlebury, Vermont, until manhood, when he moved to the northern part of New York and settled on the shore of Lake Champlain. Subsequently he crossed over to Canada and resided there for almost 20 years. He then moved to Ohio and settled in Dublin township, Mercer County, near where the present Perry homestead is located. He married Eliza Van Meere, who was born in Canada,. March 19, 1811, and died December 22, 1875, aged 64 years, 9 months and 3 days. She was a daughter of John and Hannah (Harrington) Van Meere. The former was a native of Pennsylvania, of Dutch descent. The latter was a native of New York. Eight children were born to Enos Allen and wife, as follows: Jeremiah, our subject, who was the eldest; Justin S., born January 27, 1835, who married Almira Moore and resided two and one-fourth miles from his older brother, in Union township, where he died July 17, 1896; aged 61 years and 18 days; Diana, born January 25, 1837, deceased March .24, 1876, aged 38 years and 2 months, who was the wife of John M. Drake, of Union township; Phoebe, born June 11, 1839, deceased August 3, 1899, who was the wife of Joseph B. Drake, of Union township, who still survives; Eliza Jane, born September 6, 1841, deceased November 1, 1879, aged 38 years, 1 month and 25 days, who married Elias Pritchard, of Union township; Deborah, born April 5, 1844, who is the widow of James Vance and lives on the old home place; and Samantha, born November 1, 1864, and Harriet, born September 19, 1868, who died unmarried.
     Jeremiah Allen obtained his education in Canadian schools and grew to man's estate a practical farmer. In 1855 he moved to Mercer County, Ohio, followed by his father in the following year. He settled where he now lives, when the whole surrounding country was covered with timber. A cabin of logs had been commenced, which Mr. Allen was obliged to finish before it was habitable and when it was completed it had a loose board floor, one window and one door, which the greater part of the time stood hospitably open. He immediately began clearing his land with a view to cultivating it, but had made only reasonable headway when the Civil War broke out. Although born in Canada, he was a true and loyal American at heart, the blood of brave military ancestors coursing through his veins, and he soon resolved to enter the army and defend the liberties for which his family had fought in times past.
    After making arrangements for the comfort of his family during his absence, Mr. Allen enlisted on September 10, 1861, in Company A, 46th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., under Capt. J. W. Heath and Col. Thomas Worthington, and was mustered in at Camp Lincoln, near Columbus, by John R. Eady,
mustering officer. In February, 1862, the regiment took the train for Cincinnati, went from there to Paducah, Kentucky, thence to Savannah and on March 20, 1862, reached Pittsburg Landing. On the following day the regiment moved to Shiloh, pitched tents and was then drilled until it went into battle on April 6th and 7th, both Company A and the regiment giving good account of themselves and losing heavily. The regiment reached Corinth on April 30, 1862, where Mr. Allen fell sick and was furloughed home on May 3rd. As soon as he was able to get about, he returned to his regiment, reaching it on June 19th at Lagrange, Tennessee. The next move of the regiment was to Lafayette, in the same State, where Mr. Allen was in a skirmish on June 30th, on the picket line, in which John Harper, of Mercer County, was wounded and subsequently died from its effects, and Captain Heath and a number of others were taken prisoners, Mr. Allen and Eli Heath being the only ones of the detachment to escape.
     The 46th Ohio fought and won laurels at Vicksburg, Black River, Jackson, and Lookout Mountain and the severe battling at Mission Ridge decimated the ranks. The survivors went on to Knoxville, raising the siege there, then marched back to Scottsboro, Alabama, where the weary and footsore soldiers went into winter quarters. On May 1, 1864, the 46th Ohio, in marching trim, started on the Atlanta campaign, which included participation in the battles of Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain and Peach Tree Creek. Mr. Allen took part in the battle of Atlanta on July 22nd, when Captain Heath; was killed as was also General McPherson. John Hicknell, of Union township, also fell in this battle. History tells of the fierce second battle of Atlanta on the 28th of July, of the repelled charge on August 3rd and of the second charge when the 46th Ohio, with other invincible regiments, made a successful capture and held the works for 20 days. From Atlanta, Mr. Allen's regiment was sent to Jonesboro, where an attack was made on the enemy in the rear, subsequently falling back from Lovejoy Station to East Point, where final preparations were made for the great "March to the Sea." After a faithful service of three years and 10 days, Mr. Allen received his honorable discharge on September 20, 1864, and reached his Ohio home on the last day of that month.
     Mr. Allen resumed the clearing of his land, which he speedily accomplished, and soon proved himself as good a farmer as he had been a courageous soldier. He now has a very valuable property and all the excellent improvements have been placed here by himself. He is no longer very actively engaged in the operation of his farm, but still overlooks and advises those who do the actual work.
     Mr. Allen was married (first) to Alma Bloomer, whose father had died and whose mother was married (second) to Smith Allen, who was an uncle of our subject. Mrs. Allen was born August 4, 1839, and died December 10, 1876, aged 37 years, 4 months and 6 days. Seven children were born to this marriage, as follows: Jehiel, born May 21, 1858, residing at Spencerville, Ohio, who married Laura Stettler—two of their three children survive; Lucy, wife of Thomas Miller, residing near Mendon; Norma, wife of Milo Miller, residing at Cary, Ohio; Lydia Ann, born September 25, 1865, who died October 25, 1882, aged 17 years and 1 month; Alia, born August 30, 1868, who married C. M. Tomlinson and resides in Mendon—their one child is deceased; Ella, born October 23, 1870, who died April 3, 1890, aged 19 years, 5 months and 10 days; and Eliza R., born August 1, 1874, who died April 21, 1876, aged 1 year, 8 months and 21 days.
     Mr. Allen was married (second) to Mrs. Cynthia Heath, who died February 12, 1889, aged 50 years, 3 months and 24 days. Mr. Allen was married (third), on May 3, 1898, to Annie Magoogan, who was born January 28, 1848, and is a daughter of Aquilla Magoogan, of Marion County, Ohio. The Magoogan family is of Irish extraction.
     Mr. Allen is a stanch Republican. He is a valued member of McKendree-Murlin Post, No. 319, G. A. R., at Mendon. For many years he has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Source: HISTORY OF MERCER COUNTY, OHIO and Representative Citizens - Published by Biographical Publishing Co. - Chicago, Illinois - 1907 - Page
JOHN ALT, who is one of the leading citizens of Liberty township, and a representative agriculturalist, resides on his excellent farm of 160 acres which he has occupied since 1864.  He was born in Bavaria, Germany, November 29, 1838, and is a son of Frederick and Elizabeth (Keller) Alt.
Although Mr. Alt was born in Germany, he has lived in his adopted country since he was 15 years of age.  When he reached this country, he was almost without resources, but he found farm work, first near Detroit, Michigan, and later, in Mercer County, Ohio.  He was engaged in farming when the Civil War broke out and in 1862 he decided to enter the Union Army.  On August 12th of that year, he enlisted in Company F, 99th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., and served in the Army of the Cumberland under those great generals of the war, Buell and Rosecrans.  He participated in a number of very heavy engagements, the greatest battle being that at Stone River.  He was honorably discharged on account of disability, on November 17, 1863.  He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic post at Rockford, Ohio.
     In the year following his return from the army, Mr. Alt settled on the farm where he now lives.  It seemed very far from civilization at that time, woods covering the present fertile fields and no roads leading through the forests.  After clearing his land, he gradually put it under cultivation and now has a valuable farm.  He was one of the main movers in the project which resulted in the building of the good road which now runs east and west through the township, passing his residence.  It has proved a great convenience to him but has also been of equal value to his neighbors.  He has served as a trustee of the township for a number of years.
     Mr. Alt was married (first) to Louisa Kable, who was born in Prussia and was a daughter of Christian Kable, a resident of Liberty township at the time.  There were seven children born to that marriage and three of these still live, as follows:  Sophia, wife of Valentine Brehm, of Liberty township; John, of Liberty township; and Phebe, wife of Michael Burger, of Liberty Township.  Mr. Alt was married (second) to Rachel Hoenie, who was born near Celina, Ohio, and they have one son, Henry F., who lives at home.
     Although Mr. Alt favors the Democratic party, he is- a thoughtful man and has opinions of his own and occasionally prefers the man for the office before the party. He has always liberally supported public-spirited enterprises and has cast his influence in favor of the public schools. He is a worthy member of the German Evangelical Church and is much esteemed in St. Paul's congregation. As one of the old settlers and as a survivor of the Civil War, Mr. Alt is entitled to consideration, but he also commands respect for the example of industry and integrity he has set. Dependent entirely upon himself, from boyhood, he has reason to feel some pride in what he has accomplished.
Source: HISTORY OF MERCER COUNTY, OHIO and Representative Citizens - Published by Biographical Publishing Co. - Chicago, Illinois - 1907
JOHN ALT a prominent farmer and an honored citizen of Liberty township, Mercer county, was born in Oberalben, Germany, Nov. 29, 1838, and is a son of FREDERICK and Mary E. (Keller) Alt, the former of whom was born in Ulurch, Bavaria, in 1781, and was a son of George and Catherine Alt.  Frederick Alt was reared on a farm, educated in Germany and lived at his birthplace until about 1820, when he married Mary Elizabeth Keller, who was born in Oberalben, Bavaria, in 1800.  To Frederick and Mary E. Alt there were born ten children, as follows:  Frederick and Adam, both of Liberty township; Jacob, an engineer of Syracuse, N. Y.; Elizabeth, widow of Mr. Weuer of Germany; John, the subject of this sketch, and others to the total number of ten, that are deceased.  After his marriage Frederick Alt settled in Oberalben, and followed farming until his death in 1864, his wife having died in 1850.  Both were excellent people, of good character, and of high repute among all who knew them.
    John Alt, the subject of this sketch, was reared on a farm in Germany, and on June 14, 1854, started alone for the United States, as far as relatives were concerned, but in company with another family, who afterward located at Michigan.  Having been on the ocean fifty-seven days he also went to Michigan, where he remained one year, working by the day.  Then, after working in the salts works in Syracuse, N. Y., he removed to Mercer county, Ohio, where he worked by the day until August, 1862, when he enlisted in company F, Ninety-ninth regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, for three years or during the war, joining his regiment at Lima, and participating in the battle of Stone river, and being discharged Nov. 17, 1863, on account of physical  disability, at Louisville, Ky., where he lay in the hospital four months.
     Returning home he resumed his labors, and was married Oct. 25, 1864, to Louisa Kable, a daughter of Christian and Dorothea (Maurer) Kable, and to them were born seven children, as follows: Sophia, wife of Valentine Brehm; John, educated at Columbus, and living at home, but, through brain fever, now deaf and dumb; Phoebe, a mute, is now in school at Columbus, Ohio, and four others, that died in childhood.  The mother of these children was born in Fechingen, Prussia, Sept. 27, 1841, and when yet a child was brought by her parents to Mercer county, Ohio, where she was educated in both German and English, and was a member of the Lutheran church.  She died Mar. 28, 1892.  Mr. Alt next married, Apr. 13, 1893, Rachael Hoene, a daughter of Henry and Sarah (Good) Hoene, and to them one child, Henry Frederick was born Dec. 21, 1893.  Rachael Hoene was born in Hopewell township, Mercer county, Ohio, Sept. 18, 1864, and lived with her parents until her marriage.
     John Alt, previous to his first marriage, bought his present farm, then consisting of eighty acres of woodland, upon which he built a log house, living with his father-in-law while it was being erected.  This farm he has cleared and improved, and now has under cultivation fifty-three acres of that original farm.  Since then he has added to it eighty acres, which at the time of purchase was partially cleared, and he now has a total of 160 acres of land, 108 of which are in a high state of cultivation.  In 1874 he erected a frame barn and in 1876 a fine frame house.  In 1890 he erected a second barn, and in every respect has a splendid farm, well improved with excellent buildings and other conveniences.  While Mr. Alt was formerly a democrat he is now a populist, and has served as trustee of his township for a number of years.  As a member of the German Reform church he takes an active interest in church work.  He is a member of Dolph Gray post, No. 329, G. A. R., and is highly esteemed by the members of the post.
Source: A Portrait & Biographical Record of Mercer and Van Wert Counties, Ohio - Publ. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co. - 1896 - Page 297
PETER ALT, one of Liberty township's most substantial citizens and extensive farmers, resides in section 15, his home farm comprising 80 acres, while the whole extent of the land he owns sums up to 280 acres.  Mr. Alt while the whole extent of the land he owns sums up to 280 acres. Mr. Alt was born in Oberalben, Kusel, Rheinpfalz, Bavaria, Germany.  The father is deceased, but the mother survives and lives with her son Peter.
     Peter Alt
began his military service in the German Army in 1874, at teh age of 20 years, and so continued for two years.  In 1877 he emigrated to America in company with other members of his family and they settled on the farm where he has lived ever since.  This property he has brought to a fine state of cultivation and carries on general farming.
     Mr. Alt married Hermina German, who was also born in Germany and they have had six children, the four survivors being: Mary, wife of Jacob Gehm, of Liberty township; Caroline, wife of Valentin Deitsch, of Liberty township; and Annie and William P., who live at home.  Mr. Alt has given his children many advantages and has reared them to be industrious and respected members of the community.
     In politics he is a Democrat.  He has served as a school director of District No. 5, one of the best regulated districts in the township.  For almost all his life he has been a member of the German Evangelical Church, belonging to St. Paul's congregation.  He is a man who commands the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens.
Source: HISTORY OF MERCER COUNTY, OHIO and Representative Citizens - Published by Biographical Publishing Co. - Chicago, Illinois - 1907
JEFFERSON ANDRESS, a retired farmer of Black Creek township, Mercer county, Ohio, was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., Nov. 15, 1827.  He is a son of HENRY and Polly (Fry) Andress, the former of whom was born in Maryland in 1800, and was of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent.  The parents of Henry both died when he was but nine years old, and he was then brought up by a Mr. Jacob Stem, of Pennsylvania.  For a time he was overseer of a gang of negro slaves, for while Pennsylvania had provided for gradual emancipation of her slaves, yet there were slaves in that state for several years after that time.
     HENRY ANDRESS, about 1819, was married to Miss Polly Fry, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1791, and to them there were born ten children, as follows: Eliza, deceased wife of Jacob Tilton, of Ashland county, Ohio; Polly Ann, wife of Samuel Green Brown, of DeKalb county, Ind.; Angeline, deceased wife of William Smith, of the same county; William, deceased, formerly a farmer, of Ashland county, Ohio; Louisa, deceased wife of John D. Jones, of the same county; Jefferson, the subject of this sketch; David, a farmer of DeKalb county, Ind.; Samuel, of Hayesville, Ashland county, Ohio;  Emeline, wife of George Simington, DeKalb county, Ind.; and Henry, of Ashland county, Ohio.  After his marriage Henry Andress moved to Ashland county, in 1828, and there rented a farm, upon which he lived forty years.  He then bought the farm, and a year afterward sold it for $6,000, making $2,000 on the transaction.  He then bought fifty-eight acres near Hayesville, Ashland county, upon which he passed the remainder of his life, dying in 1870.  In politics he was a democrat, and was a captain of a company of militia.  He was a member of the Dunkard, or German Baptist, church, and his wife was a member of the Lutheran church.  She died in 1879.   A sister of Henry Andress, named Katie Shroeder, is now living in Indianapolis, and a brother of Mrs. Henry Andress was a Lutheran preacher.
     Jefferson Andress was reared on the farm and educated in the log school-house, in Ashland county, having a puncheon floor and seats, and greased paper, instead of glass windows, the fireplace being the entire width of the house.  For some time he was engaged in teaming from Pittsburg to Ashland, to Mansfield and to Milan.  On Dec. 8, 1853, he married Miss Melvina Figley, a daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Springer) Figley, and to them there were born nine children, as follows:  Flora Ann, wife of Dord Felver, of Black Creek township; Mary Aminta wife of John William Addy, also of Black Creek township; Lorin Franklin, who died at the age of one year; Sarah Jane, who died when two years of age; Nettie Louisa, wife of Jerry Johnson, of Black Creek township; Ida, wife of Frank Harb, of the same township; John Henry, on the home farm; James H., a saw-mill man, and Truman J., who died at the age of one year.  The mother of these children was born in Ashland county, and died in April, 1881.  After his marriage Mr. Andress lived in Ashland county until the spring of 1863, when he removed to Mercer county, and located in Black Creek township, where he had previously purchased eighty acres of land.  His land not being cleared, he rented another piece and began clearing his own, moving to it in 1865.  On Sept. 26, 1864, he enlisted in company G, Sixty-second Ohio volunteer infantry, and served until the close of the war.  Notwithstanding that he enlisted late in the struggle he participated in three battles - on April 2, at Richmond; at Rice Station, and on Sunday morning, April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House, being directly in front when Lee surrendered.  He was in the hospital from June until September, on the 26th of which last month he was discharged, and arrived at his home on the 28th.  Being then out of health for the next two years, he had to hire his work done, being able to oversee it only.
     On Jan. 8, 1885, he married Mrs. Margaret (Albert) Coppersmith, a daughter of John and Catherine (Cutchall) Albert.  She was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, July 16, 1828, her father being a native of Maryland and her mother of Virginia.  She has three sisters and one brother living, as follows:  Samuel, of Mount Vernon; Elizabeth, of the same place; Mary, wife of Levi Shoch; and Barbara, widow of John March.  John Albert was a democrat and a soldier in the war of 1812-15, and his wife was a member of the Lutheran church.  The subject's wife, previous to her marriage with him, was married to Michael Horn, to whom she bore seven children, of whom Harriet is the widow of Charles Weaver, of Van Wert county; Eliza is the wife of Noah Stettler, of Black Creek township; Catherine is the wife of Willis Stettler, of the same township; and Mahala is the wife of John Plants, also of the same township.  Michael Horn was born in Pennsylvania, Mar. 2, 1814, was married July 14, 1840, and died Jan. 30, 1863.  IN 1864 Mrs. Horn married Richard D. Coppersmith, who died Dec. 20, 1880, at the age of forty-five years, five months and thirteen days.  He was a merchant of Black Creek township.  To this marriage there were born three children, as follows:  Margaret, deceased; Clara Virginia, of Black Creek township; and James Monroe, also of the same township.
     Jefferson Andress built his present house in June, 1893.  Notwithstanding he has experienced a great deal of sickness he has been unusually successful as a farmer.  He is a democrat in politics and served as township trustee for eighteen years.  While he was reared to accept the faith of the Dunkard, yet he has never united with any church, though his wife is a member of the United Brethren church.  He is a member of Dolph Gray Post, No. 329, G. A. R., of Rockford.  He is a man of peace and justice and has never been sued, nor has he sued any man, and he has never had a quarrel with a neighbor.  He is a general farmer, and one of the best and most popular men in his township.
Source: A Portrait & Biographical Record of Mercer and Van Wert Counties, Ohio - Publ. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co. - 1896 - Page 302
    JOSEPH W. ARCHER, who was engaged in general farming on a well-improved and highly cultivated farm of 140 acres located in section 17, Union township, was born August 6, 1849, in Hancock County, Ohio.  He came with his parents to Mercer County, when nine months of age.  His father was a native of Richland County, Ohio, and the mother of Wayne County.  His father, when he came to Mercer County, located in Union township on the Van Wert County Line.  The following children were born to the parents of our subject;  James Marion, deceased; Ruth, who married Benton Thomas and resides in Hancock County, Ohio; Nancy, who married Daniel Kuhl and resides near Ohio City in Van Wert County; Louisa, deceased, who was the wife of George Frysinger; Minerva, who married David Krugh and recently moved to Michigan; William Americus, who resides in Union township; Joseph W., subject of this sketch; John, who resides in Union township near the Van Wert County line; Alonzo, who resides at the home place in Union township; and David, a carpenter by trade, who resides at Rockford.  Mr. Arthur's father was 79 years old at the time of his death, which occurred over 20 years ago, and was the first death in the family.  Our subject's mother survived her husband until 1905, being past 84 years of age at her death.
     Joseph W. Archer was reared and educated in Union township.  In 1880 he purchased his farm of 140 acres, when he has resided since 1881 and been engaged in general farming.  He rebuilt the house, built a new barn and made many other important changes, so that the farm is now very well improved.
     Mr. Archer was married Feb. 18, 1880, to Eliza Caldwell, a daughter of Rev. John and Ann Caldwell, both of whom are now deceased; the former was a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Mr. and Mrs. Archer have never had any children of their own, but reared and educated a boy, Harry Stevens, who is now married and resides in Michigan, where he owns a farm of 300 acres.  A portrait of Mr. Stevens accompanies this sketch; also views of the residence and farm buildings of Mr. Archer.  Our subject is a Republican in politics.
(Transcribed by Tracy Clark from Source: HISTORY OF MERCER COUNTY, OHIO and Representative Citizens - Published by Biographical Publishing Co. - Chicago, Illinois - 1907  - Pages 717-718)
WILLIAM ROBERT ARMENTROUT a prominent farmer of Recovery township, residing on his 115-acre farm in section 18, and also owning 40 acres of land in section 23, Noble Township, Jay County, Indiana, which he uses principally for pasture, was born in August 1861, on the farm where he now resides. He is a son of Nelson and Mary Ann (Anderson) Armantrout and a grandson of James Armantrout, who moved from Champaign County, Ohio, to Jay County, Indiana, where he purchased a farm, in Noble Township, and lived until his death.
     Nelson Armantrout was born in Champaign County, Ohio, and when still a small child accompanied his father to Jay County, Indiana, where he was reared and educated, remaining on the farm until after his marriage. He married Mary Ann Anderson, a daughter of David Anderson, and a granddaughter, on her mother's side, of Alexander Scott. Alexander Scott and David Anderson, his son-in-law, together entered 80 acres of land, which is part of the farm in Recovery township now owned by our subject. Both are now deceased and buried on this farm in the old family graveyard. Nelson Armantrout and his wife were the parents of three children; William Robert; Zerilda Edith, who married Robert Adney and died in March, 1896, leaving two children - Lola Dell and William Nelson; and Jane Adell, who married Robert Adney after the death of her sister, and lives in Noble township, Jay County, Indiana. Mr. Armantrout died in May 1902, and his wife in 1898.
     William Robert Armantrout was reared and educated in Recovery township and has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was married December 25, 1902, To Elizabeth DeHays, a daughter of John DeHays, on of the pioneers of Mercer County, who is a resident of Recovery Township.
(Transcribed by Tracy Clark from Source: HISTORY OF MERCER COUNTY, OHIO and Representative Citizens - Published by Biographical Publishing Co. - Chicago, Illinois - 1907  - Pages 427-428)
STEPHEN A. ARMSTRONG, senior member of the well-known law firm of Armstrong & Johnson, of Celina, was born in Montezuma, mercer county, Dec. 18, 1848.  He is a son of WILLIAM and Martha (Livingston) ARMSTRONG, the former of whom was a native of Ireland, born of Scotch-Irish parentage, and the latter a native of Dublin, Ireland, but of English extraction, born in 1812.  They were married in Liverpool, England, and came to the United States in 1832.  They at first located in the city of Philadelphia Pa., where they had relatives.  They thence removed to Drummond county, near Montreal, Canada, and in 1847 they came to Mercer county, Ohio, locating at Montezuma, in Franklin township.  The father was a machinist by trade, and had learned his trade at Enniskillen, Ireland, a city beautifully situated on the river Erne.  For some time he worked at his trade in London, England, and after arriving in this country he continued to follow it.  He died in Mar. 1850, his family consisting at that time of his wife, two daughters and one son.  Four sons had died in Montezuma in December, 1849, all within the same month, of scarlet fever.  Within four months' time four sons and the father of the family died, and the widow, left with her three children to care for, was in but moderate circumstances.  In 1851 or 1852 she removed to Celina, but some time later returnedS to Montezuma.  She was a woman of fine intellect and and good education, which she brought into requisition as a school teacher, teaching both at Celina and Montezuma thus earning the money on which to support her little family, without drawing on her capital, which she kept intact for a considerable time.  Her two daughters, also, as soon as old enough, taught school, continuing for several years both in Montezuma and Celina.  She died in Montezuma December, 13, 1857.  The eldest daughter, Anna, is the wife of K. Albery, of Celina, and the other, Eliza, is now deceased.
     Stephen A. Armstrong received his preliminary education in the public schools of Montezuma and Celina.  About 1862 he began an apprenticeship to the printer's trade, at which he continued for about three years in Celina, after which he returned to the public schools and completed a high school course.  Afterward he taught four terms of school in the country.  Then he was employed as superintendent of the public schools in Celina, holding this position one year, after which he entered the university of Michigan, where he took both the literary and the law course of study, and graduated from the law department of the university with the degree of L. B. in 1873.  For five years previous to entering the university of Michigan he had read law while teaching school, so that his course in the university was much more easy and valuable to him than it otherwise would have been.
     April 19, 1873, he was admitted to the bar to practice before the supreme court of the state of Michigan, then sitting in Detroit, and immediately thereafter he was admitted to practice in the courts of Ohio and the federal courts.  On the7th of July, 1873, he began the practice of law in Celina, and he has since been constantly engaged in practice.  In the fall of 1875 he was elected prosecuting attorney of Mercer county by a very large majority, running five hundred votes ahead of both state and county tickets.  He was re-elected in 1879, again leading the ticket.  At one of the elections he received every vote polled in his native (Franklin) township.  Mr. Armstrong has always taken an active interest in school affairs, and has served as president of the school board several years.  The law firm of Armstrong & Johnson was formed at Celina Jan. 1, 1887.
     Mr. Armstrong was married Dec. 28, 1870, to Alice J. Shipley, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, Apr. 25, 1854, and is a daughter of Samuel B. Shipley, of Rockford, Ohio.  To this marriage the following children have been born:  William B., who graduated from the Celina high school in 1889, and is now engaged in the oil business in Mercer county; Russell L., who graduated from the Celina high school, was appointed a cadet in the United States Military academy at West Point, was prepared at Highland Falls, N. Y., passed his examination, and was admitted to the academy June 15, 1895, being a member of the fourth year class of that institution; Samuel F.; Stephen C., Alice May, and John, the last four attending the public schools in Celina.
     In speaking of Mr. Armstrong, Robert L. Mattingly of the well-known firm of Mattingly & Kenney of Celina, compliments him as follows:  "An acquaintance and association with him for the last ten years or more enables me to say of him that as a lawyer he is thoroughly grounded in the elementary principles of the law - abreast with the decisions of the present time - justly in the front rank of the Ohio bar.  In practice active, resourceful, logical, scholarly; not in any sense affecting oratory or excelling as an advocate, but strong in trials, and by reason of his legal acumen very successful in his practice before the courts."
Source: A Portrait & Biographical Record of Mercer and Van Wert Counties, Ohio - Publ. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co. - 1896 - Page 175
HON. STEPHEN A. ARMSTRONG, now serving his second term as judge of the Court of Common Please for Mercer County, was formerly the senior member of the prominent law firm of Armstrong & Johnson, at Celina.  He was born December 18, 1848, at Montezuma, Mercer County, Ohio, and is a son of WILLIAM and Martha (Livingston) ARMSTRONG. 
     The father of Judge Armstrong was born in Ireland and came of Scotch-Irish ancestry.  His mother, born in 1812, a native of Dublin, Ireland, was of English extraction.  In 1832 William Armstrong and wife came to America and joined relatives already well established at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The father of Judge Armstrong was skilled machinist.  After working as such in Philadelphia, he removed to the vicinity of Montreal, Canada, where he lived until 1847, when he came to the rapidly growing village of Montezuma, in Mercer County, Ohio.  The family was visited here by heavy calamity, four sons dying in one month in 1849, from an epidemic of scarlet fever, and in March, 1850, the father died and the bereaved widow was left with the care of three surviving children, our subject being then an infant.  To her wisdom and good management, Stephen A. Armstrong attributes much of his success in life.  She was a woman of intellectual capacity and when she found herself left with but little capital and the care of three small children, she became a teacher and not only succeeded in rearing her little ones to honorable maturity but educated them as well.  This devoted mother passed out of life on December 13, 1857.
     Stephen A Armstrong attended the schools of Montezuma and Celina, his mother having removed to the latter place in 1852.  Prior to completing his education he served three years in a printing office at Celina, after which he successfully passed through the Celina High School.  Naturally taking up teaching as a profession, he taught four terms in Mercer County and was then appointed superintendent of the schools of Celina, in which position he served with efficiency for one year, resigning in order to enter the University of Michigan, for which he had prepared himself.  For five years prior to this he had been reading law as his duties permitted, and in 1873 he was graduated from the law department, at Ann Arbor, with his degree of LL. B.  In April of the same year he was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the State of Michigan, then sitting at Detroit, and shortly afterward was admitted to practice in the State and Federal courts of Ohio.  On July 7, 1873, he located at Celina and here he has been one of the leading members of the bar for years.  In the fall of 1875 he was elected prosecuting attorney of Mercer County, and was reelected two years later.
     In 1898 Stephen A Armstrong was elected to the common please bench, an honor justified by the eminent position he had held as attorney.  Five years later he was reelected.  He possesses all the qualifications demanded in his judicial position and occupies a high place among the jurists of Ohio.
     On December 28, 1879, Judge Armstrong was married to Alice Jane Shipley, a native of Ohio, daughter of Samuel B. ShipleyMr. And Mrs. Armstrong have had seven children, five of whom survive: Russell L., an attorney of Lima, who is a graduate of the Celina schools and the law department of Ohio State University; Samuel Floyd, who conducts a restaurant at Mendon; Stephen A Jr., court stenographer of Mercer County; Alice May, living at home, who graduated from the Celina schools, also attended school for a time at Oxford and is a fine musician; and John Richard, who graduated from the Celina schools and is now a student of the law department of the Ohio State University.  Russell and Samuel Floyd Armstrong served in the Spanish-American War.  Of the two children, deceased, William B. died at the age of 32 years, leaving a widow, Bertha (Keller) Armstrong; and Edward died in infancy.
Transcribed by Tracy Clark from Source: HISTORY OF MERCER COUNTY, OHIO and Representative Citizens - Published by Biographical Publishing Co. - Chicago, Illinois - 1907 - Pgs 329-333
ORVILLE S. ASHCRAFT, a trustee of Washington township and one of the township's progressive citizens, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits on a well-developed farm situated in section 23, was born in Jay County, Indiana, December 25, 1870, and is a son of Joseph and Julia Ann (Adney) Ashcraft.
     Joseph Ashcraft was born on a farm in Jay County, Indiana, and is a son of Daniel Ashcraft, who was born and reared in Coshocton County, Ohio, whence he removed to Jay County, Indiana, when a young man. Joseph Ashcraft, who is now living in retirement, is the father of seven children: William, who is married and resides at Eaton, Indiana; John, who lives near Lansing, Michigan; Orville S., the subject of this sketch; Stella, who married Isaac Hassen and lives in North Dakota; Olive, wife of Henry Borrell, living in Chesterton, Indiana; Jennie, wife of Arthur Stout, living in Portland, Indiana; and Zelina, unmarried, who lives at home in Jay County, Indiana.
     Orville S. Ashcraft was reared on his father's farm in Jay County, and has been engaged in farming all his life with the exception of four years, when he was a rig builder in the oil fields. The summer previous to his marriage, he worked in a large peach orchard on Catawba Island, Lake Erie. Since his marriage he has lived in Washington township, Mercer County, in 1900 moving upon his present farm, which is owned by his father-in-law, J. C. Snyder.
     Mr. Ashcraft was married August 19, 1896, to Florence Snyder, a daughter of J. C. Snyder, a full sketch of whom will be found in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Ashcraft are the parents of three children: Forrest Merle; Tereva Eulali; and Elsia Winona. In politics Mr. Ashcraft is identified with the Democratic party and in the spring of 1902 was elected township trustee on the Democratic ticket. He is still serving in this office. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Murphysburg, of which he is also a steward.
Source: HISTORY OF MERCER COUNTY, OHIO and Representative Citizens - Published by Biographical Publishing Co. - Chicago, Illinois - 1907



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