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Pickaway County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


History of Pickaway County
Source:  History of Franklin & Pickaway Counties, Ohio
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
Published by Williams Bros. 1880




SHELBY, Benjamin

     MAJOR JOHN BOGGS.  There was some interesting history in the Boggs family before they left Virginia.  The parents of Major John Boggs, John and Jane (Irwin), lived upon a small stream in Virginia, which empties into the Ohio, named after them, "Bogg's run," and, during the time of Indian troubles, took refuge in the fort at Wheeling.  A dramatic incident in the family history was enacted while they were living at Bogg's run.  Indians appeared at the place one day and surprised and captured the eldest son, William, within sight of the other members of the terror-stricken family.  They intended to massacre or take captive the whole family; but, upon questioning the boy whom they had caught, and conveyed to a secure place, they were told that there were seven or eight men at the house, and they considered this number too great for their band to venture out against.  They had seen several men about the farm, during the day, engaged in harvesting, and supposed that William Bogg's words were true, and that they all slept in the house at night - which was not the case by any means.  The elder John Boggs was the only man there.  This occurred in 1781 or 1782 when Major John Boggs was but six yeas old.  The capture William was taken to West Liberty, near the present city of Urbana, Ohio, and kept there about nineteen months, when he was exchanged, and returned home.  His father did not recognize him in his Indian habiliments, even after having an extended conversation with him.  Another son of John and Jane Boggs was killed on Ohio soil, just opposite Wheeling.  He was returning, with half a dozen comrades, from a hunting expedition, and they were encamped for the night, when a band of Indians stole upon them, as they were sleeping, and fired into their midst.  Boggs was wounded, but sitting, crippled, on the ground, made a desperate fight before he was finally dispatched, with a tomahawk.  All of the rest of the party escaped.
     John Boggs, the Major, was born May 10, 1775, and emigrated to Pickaway county, with his parents, in 1798.  They came down the Ohio, in a keel-boat, to the mouth of the Scioto, and thence, by large, up the latter stream, to the station below Chillicothe.  There they left their boat, and went up the stream, on foot, to a point within the present limits of Greene township, Ross county, from which they could look far up the valley, upon a scene of the richest and most peaceful loveliness.  But little did they then think of the teeming life that that lonely but fertile valley, should one day hold, or of the signs of industry, wealth, culture, and happiness, it was destined to display.  They found that some pioneer had been here before them, and, as in the ethics of the early settlers, it was considered highly dishonorable to locate where another pioneer had made a beginning, however small, they went on, up the stream, to the Pickaway plains, where John Boggs, sr., selected a site, and subsequently entered six hundred and forty acres of land - that now owned by the heirs of Jacob Hitler and Jacob Ludwig.  The son, John, went up Congo, to the place where stands the Logan elm, and where James T. Boggs now resides.  After making his location, and preparing a rude home, he returned to Boggs run, Ohio county, Virginia, and there married, in the year 1800, Sarah McMicken He brought his wife to his new home, and there reared his family, living for a time in the logs house, but, at an early day, probably in 1801 or 1802, building the house which is still standing.  Major Boggs was very poor, and had to struggle hard for a living.  He was a man of very industrious habits, and did with a will whatever he undertook.  He cleared up his farm, and toiled patiently in the work of improvement, against many disadvantages, but with ultimate success and satisfaction.  He commenced boating in 1803, and took the first boat load of flour that was ever sent out of the Scioto, to New Orleans.  He made three trips, and returned on foot, or on horseback, the whole distance from New Orleans to Pickaway township, passing through the Indian nation, and keeping a sharp look-out for robbers.  Hemet with no mishap of bodily harm, and with but one loss of money.  That was when a tavern-keeper with whom he and his friend, Daniel Crouse, stopped, picked the lock of his saddle-bags, and took from them three hundred dollars in silver, with which he paid a debt to Crouse.  Major Boggs never knew of his loss until he arrived at home, and, though he applied to the tavern-keeper,  who acknowledged his guilt, the money was never recovered. Mr. Boggs received the title of "Major" in the war of 1812.  Through his industry, economy, and good management, he became owner of about one thousand, eight hundred acres of land in Pickaway township, two thousand acres in Indiana, and a large amount of personal property.
     Mr. Boggs was a man who had the universal respect of his neighbors and acquaintances.  Although not a member of any church, he was a warm friend of religion, and contributed liberally to aid its progress among the people.  Politically, he was a Democrat, and a great admirer of "Old Hickory."  He died Feb. 6, 1861, at the home of his son, Moses.  He had married his second wife, a sister of the first, Mrs. Jane (McMicken) Taylor, in Zanesville, and had been, for a number of years, living in that place, when he ws taken sick, and returned to Pickaway township, as he said, to die.  His first wife died, Dec. 31, 1851.  His father died on the same day of the month as the son - Feb. 6  1827, and it is a curious fat that, had they each lived until his next birthday, they would have been, at the dates of their death, at precisely the same age - eighty-seven years.  The descendants of John Boggs and wife were:  William, Jane, Lemuel, John, Nancy, Lydia, Moses, James, and Sidney (the latter, although the name might not be understood to signify it, a daughter).  William Boggs is in Bellefontaine; Jane, Mrs. F. Shelby, died in Indiana; Lemuel was killed in 1827, in the mill which his father built, about ten years before; John is living in Pickaway township, with his second wife, Lacy H., a daughter of Judge Isaac Cook, of Ross county; his first wife was Mary Ann Evans; she died in 1852.  Mr. Boggs is one of the largest land-owners in Pickaway county having about two thousand eight hundred acres in the township in which he lives, and enough more in the west to make about nine thousand acres.  Nancy Boggs died when quite young; Lydia is also deceased; Moses Boggs died Dec. 7, 1863; he married Margaret S., a daughter of Judge Cook, of Ross county, Aug. 3, 1841, by whom he had seven children, two of whom are dead.  John M., the eldest, married Fannie S. Stearns, and now resides in Lafayette, Indiana; Lemuel, a resident of Circleville, farmer, substantial man of business, and owner of the Elmwood elevator, married Jennie Groce; Scott C., married Ada Shannon, and lives on the old homestead; William is in Lafayette, Indiana, and Sally T. in Pickaway township.  A view of the old home of Moses Boggs appears in this work.  James Boggs, youngest son of Major John Boggs, married Minerva Whitsel, and resides on the old homestead.  They are the parents of five children: Mary (Mrs. John Davenport), Taylor, who married Alva, daughter of Abel Jones, of Pickaway plains, Irwin, Samuel and James.  Sidney Boggs, youngest child and daughter of Major John Boggs and wife, married Dr. L. Jones, and is living in Lafayette, Indiana.

Mr. and Mrs. John Caldwell  John Caldwell ResidenceJOHN CALDWELL, seventh child of William and Jane (Moore) Caldwell, was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, Feb. 5, 1800.  His parents were natives of the same county, but of Irish ancestry, and emigrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio, with their family, in October, 1808, locating first, about a miles west of Kingston, on the old Lancaster road.  In March, 1809, Mr. Caldwell removed to Pickaway township and settled on the west half of section fifteen, where he resided until his death, Mar. 21, 1815, aged fifty-two years.  Mrs. Caldwell died Sept. 1, 1823.  they were among the early members of the Mount Pleasant Presbyterian church, in Ross county, of which Mr. Caldwell was elected a ruling elder, and ordained to that office Aug. 7, 1811.  Their children, besides John, with the dates of their birth, were as follows:  James and David, twins, born July 28, 1787; Robert, born Jan. 25, 1790; Samuel, born June 14, 1792; William, Born Aug. 29, 1794; Elizabeth (Mrs. Elias Benton), born June 12, 1797; Daniel, born July 9, 1802; Joseph, born May 1, 1804; Johnson, born Jan. 12, 1805.
     John Caldwell, the subject of this sketch, married, Jan. 24, 1828, Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Monnett, and resided on the homestead until 1855, when he moved to the place where he now lives.  Mrs. Caldwell died June 22, 1838.  By this marriage there were seven children, as follows:  Elizabeth Jane, born Feb. 23, 1829, married Dwight Calhoun, Oct. 29, 1848, and now lives near Kenton, Hardin county, Ohio; has six children.  Isaac M. born Feb. 2, 1830, married Sophronia Morris, Nov. 7, 1852, died May 4, 1863, in camp, near Memphis, Tennessee.  His widow, with three children, lives in Pickaway township, Pickaway county, Ohio.  Robert, born Feb. 22, 1831, married Cynthia Pinneo, Aug. 1856.  He now lives in Sheldon, Illinois; has three children, William Lewis, born Mar. 12, 1832, married Alvina Tobias, Oct., 1860, and died July 8, 1876.  His widow lives in Sheldon, Illinois, and has five children, Amos B., born Dec. 17, 1833, married first, Margaret Pinneo and second (February 13, 1866), Lovinia Holmes, and is now a resident of Sheldon, Illinois.  He has five children, one by his first wife, John Wesley, born Feb. 11, 1835, married Virilla Shoecraft, June, 1867.  He is at present superintendent of public works, of Seymour, Indiana.  He has one child living, and one deceased, Sarah B., born June 22, 1837; died, Mar. 19, 1838.
     Mr. Caldwell was married Nov. 12, 1839, to Rebecca McClellan, daughter of Thomas and Ann (Kinnear) McClellan, who was born Feb. 13, 1810.  The fruit of this marriage was three children, the eldest of whom born Aug. 19, 1840, died in infancy.  Ann Maria, born Nov. 24, 1841, is unmarried, and is at present a teacher, with her brother, in the schools at Seymour, Indiana.  Thomas McClellan, the youngest, was born June 20, 1843, and died Sept. 23, 1852.
     Mr. Caldwell has filled the office of township clerk of Pickaway for a number of years, and served as justice of the peace three successive terms, beginning in 1836.  He has given all of his children a fair education, two of whom - John Wesley and Ann Maria - having graduated, in 1861, respectively, at Ohio Wesleyan university, and Ohio Wesleyan female college, Delaware, Ohio.
     Mr. Caldwell is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is a liberal supporter, and enjoys the universal respect of his fellow citizens.

  JAMES ENTREKIN, the original representative of his family in America, was a native of the Highlands of Scotland, and resided in a mountain pass known as the Entrekin pass.  His wife was from the north of Ireland, and was of Scotch-Irish extraction.  She reached the great age of one hundred and three years.  They came to America and settled in what is now the eastern part of Adams county, Pennsylvania.  One son, William, with his entire family, was killed by the Indians at a small stream called Bloody run.  James, the other son, married Elizabeth Hall, who, like him, was of Scotch-Irish descent, and they settled near Gettysburg, upon the ground where the great battle was fought in the war of the Rebellion.  Their children were three sons and four daughters namely, James, John, William, Elizabeth, Jane, Ester, and Martha.
     John Entrekin
, born Apr. 22, 1778, moved with his father's family, when fourteen years old, and in the year 1792, to Huntington county, Pennsylvania.  In April, 1798, he removed, with eight others, to the northwest territory, and settled in Ross county.  They traveled from Wheeling to Chillicothe by the bridle-path known as Zane's trace, and saw only four houses while making their slow journey.  John Entrekin and his eight friends cleared, that season, ninety-nine acres of land, which was afterward entered by Cryder, and is now known as the Dunn farm.  After this was done, and a crop of corn raised, they all returned to their homes in Pennsylvania and made preparations to move their families to a new home in the wilderness.  They returned in October, 1798.  John Entrekin was married.  The family consisted of the father, mother, John, William, and Martha.  Mrs Elizabeth Entrekin died Sept. 5, 1800, at the age of sixty-seven years, and was buried on the farm now owned by D. Umsted.  Though this death the family was broken up.  The husband returned to Pennsylvania and lived with his son JamesMartha, the youngest daughter, went to Kentucky, and lived with her married sister, Mrs. James Parks, and there married Thomas McCutchen a brother of John McCutchen who lived and kept a tavern near where William W. Entrekin now resides.  William Entrekin returned to Pennsylvania, where he died in 1854, in the month of July.  On December, 25, 1801, John Entrekin married Nancy Crouse, a daughter of John and Catharine Crouse, who emigrated to Ross county with their entire family, in April, 1798, and settled there permanently.  John Crouse and wife were both born near Baltimore, Maryland, he on the thirteenth of January, 1759, and she on the first of May, 1764.  He was of German extraction, and she of Welsh.  Mr. Crouse purchased, in 1798, the mill erected by William McCoy and John D. Rush, on Kinnickinnick, in the same year - the first mill in the Scioto valley.  Mr. Crouse died Sept. 5, 1847, at the age of eighty-eight years; and his wife Sept. 12, 1845, aged eighty-one years.  He served his country with great credit in the Revolutionary war.
     John Entrekin was one of the prominent men of Ross and Pickaway counties.  His life up to 1828 was identified with the former county.  By crumbling papers, yellow with age, now in the possession of William W. Entrekin, we obtain the dates of some of the events of his life.  The oldest is one which is dated "Jan. 14th, 1802, Territory of the United States Northwest of the Ohio," appointing John Entrekin as captain of a company of militia of the First regiment of the county of Ross.  A little later he received the following letter, which serves to show that it meant something to belong to the militia in those days:
                                                                                   "CHILLICOTHE, May 20, 1803.
     SIR: - You will please immediately to inform your neighborhood that the Indians are in fore on our frontiers, and that they ought immediately to arm and equip themselves for the defense of the neighborhood, and be ready to obey such further orders as they may receive,
                                                                                       "G. LANGHAM.
     "It is certain they have killed Captain Herod.
                                                                                       "JESSE PRENTISS,"
Fortunately for the subject of our sketch, and for the people of Chillicothe and vicinity, the attack at this time apprehended did not take place.
     Mr. Entrekin received his commission as captain of the Second company, First battalion, First regiment, Second brigade, of the Territorial militia in 1809.  It bears the date March 24th, and the signature of Samuel Huntington, then governor.
     In June, 1817, he received from Governor Thomas Worthington, a notification of appointment as major of the Second regiment, and only a few days later he was made lieutenant-colonel.  Nov. 13, 1818, he was made colonel of the Third regiment, Third brigade, Second division.
     Mr. Entrekin was three times appointed justice of the peace:  in 1815 by Governor Worthington, in 1819 by Governor Ethan A. Brown, and in 1822 by Governor Allan Trimble.  He was Ross county's representative in the legislature in 1821.  Mr. Entrekin's was one of the half-dozen families which composed the society of the Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian church, the first church in Ross county.
     During the war of 1812, he performed considerable very arduous service for his country.  He at first had charge of a company of horse, in the Anglicize country, whither he was sent to aid in the relief of Fort Defiance.  He returned from there to Chillicothe, and in the following fall and winter had charge of the force which guarded the wagon trains which transported supplies from the then capital to Upper Sandusky, and also had charge of the business in a commercial way.  Toward the close of the war, he was captain of a company of infantry.  After the close of the war, in 1814, he had an adventure with some Indians, near Little Sandusky, and the sword which saved his life from their knives is now in the possession of his son.
     After the war he engaged in farming and other business, and established his sons in the occupation of cattle breeding and dealing.  He moved from Ross county to Pickaway township, Pickaway county, in March, 1828, and first lived in a log and frame house which stood just south of hte present residence of William W. Entrekin.  He was elected common pleas judge of Pickaway county, by the Legislature, in 1838, and served until his death.  He died May 10, 1842, at the age of sixty-four years, from a surgical operation performed by Dr. Mussey, of Cincinnati.  He was a man of great activity and force, influential, highly respected, generous and just.  Mr. Entrekin was born Feb. 16, 1783, and died Jan. 16, 1845, at the age of sixty-one.
     The children of John and Nancy Crouse Entrekin, were four sons and six daughters: Elizabeth, James, Catharine, John, William W., Dan. Crouse, Pheraby, Diantha, Jane and Nancy Crouse.  Elizabeth was born Jan. 4, 1803; married James McCoy; died Aug. 23, 1872.  James  was born Oct. 18, 1804; he married Margaret Steele, and after death, married Elizabeth Shirley; died Oct. 19, 1875; Catharine, born Nov. 1, 1806; married John Carter, of Nicholas county, Kentucky, and died in Missouri, November, 1867; John was born Apr. 9, 1809, and now resides in Saline county, Missouri; he married Frances More, now deceased; William W. was born Mar. 12, 1812; he married Jane Bell, daughter of Thomas and Ruth Bell, of Chillicothe; their children were John Rockwell, born Oct. 1, 1844; Creaton, born Mar. 24, 1847; Flora Bell, born Sept. 18, 1849, and Tacy Crouse, born Feb. 24, 1862.  William W. Entrekin is the only son of John Entrekin now living in the State.  He is a large landholder, and prominent farmer of Pickaway township, and has been a successful man in varied and extensive affairs of business.  His influence and activity have been largely instrumental in securing to the people of the Scioto valley a railroad, and he has labored to bring about the construction of others, which, if ever completed, will be of great advantage to the country.  His residence (subject of illustration) is one of the beautiful homes of the southern part of the county, and was built by him with funds furnished by his father, in 1840.  He is a member of the Presbyterian church, as are also all the members of his family.  In politics, he was, originally, an old line Whig, but since 1854 has belonged to the Republican party.
     Dan. Crouse, next younger, brother of William W., was born Sept. 21, 1814, and is now living in Independence, Jackson county, Missouri.  He married Jane Torbet.
was born May 25, 1817.  She was first married to Russell D. Rockwell, but is now living with her second husband, Abram Jones, one mile south of Kingston, in Ross county.
     Diantha was born Aug. 1, 1819, and married Dr. A. W. Thompson, of Circleville.  She died Aug. 22, 1858.
, born Jan. 30, 1822, died in infancy.
     Nancy Crouse
, born Dec. 8, 1831, is living with her brother, in Independence, Missouri.

  BENJAMIN SHELBY was born at what in early times was called "the station," below Chillicothe, April 8, 1796.  His parents, David and Mary (Williams) Shelby, were natives of Rockingham county, Virginia.  David Shelby was one of the earliest pioneers in the Scioto Valley, coming to Chillicothe with General Massie's party, and was one of the first settlers of Pickaway county.  Sometime prior to 1800 he located in the township of Pickaway, where he afterward entered the west half of section three, erecting his cabin on the site of the red frame dwelling-house, now occupied by Silas Saxon, which he also erected as early as 1819.  David Shelby was a man of prominence in the county.  He was a member of the State legislature for twenty-one consecutive years, with the exception of one term, and was the first justice of the peace in the township of Pickaway, being elected to the office before Ohio was made a State, and serving a number of years.  He died Dec. 25, 1845, at the age of eighty years.  His wife died Oct. 3, 1830, at the age of sixty-eight years.  They were the parents of eight children: John, Joseph, Rachel, Hannah, Charity, Rezon, Benjamin, and Isaac Hannah, now the widow of Rev. Joseph Curtis, and living in Illinois, is the only survivor.  Charity, the only one of the family besides Benjamin, who settled in Pickaway county, was the wife of Henry Morris, and lived where her daughter, Mrs. Jacob Weaver, of Pickaway township, now lives.
     Benjamin Shelby, at the age of nineteen, went to Indiana, and lived with his uncle two years, during which he was engaged in boating on the Wabash, taking corn, pork, and flour from Evansville to Fort Harrison, now Terre Haute, on a keel boat.  He returned to Ohio, and commenced flat-boating to New Orleans, in which he continued twelve years, making two trips each year.  In the fall he would buy cattle in Illinois and Missouri, which he would fatten and drive to Philadelphia or New York, and for many years was extensively engaged in this business.  In 1823 he purchased, of Christopher Bartley, forty acres of land in section three, Pickaway township, including the Bartley grist-mill, on Scippo creek.  He afterwards bought, of Bartley's heirs, the remainder of the quarter, and located where his daughter, Mrs. Stage, now lives.  Mr. Shelby became a large land-holder, owning some sixteen or seventeen hundred acres in this county and in the west.
     He had command of a company of militia, in Indiana, and was subsequently appointed colonel of militia in this county.
     He married Nancy Enoex, and raised a family of five children, three of whom are now living.  The eldest was Evaline, born Mar. 28, 1825, married Jacob Reesor, and died in Illinois, Oct. 9, 1869; Evan C., born Aug. 25, 1828, married Elizabeth, daughter of James Rice, of Pickaway township, and resides in Circleville; Malinda H., born Dec. 19, 1834, is the wife of Isaac W. Stage, and lives on the old homestead; David, born Oct. 29, 1837, married Margaret Mason, and occupies the farm on which his grandfather settled; John, born Nov. 15, 1839, was shot, by accident, Dec. 25, 1871, and died three days afterward. 
     Benjamin Shelby died May 4, 1876, and Mary, his wife, Oct. 9, 1869.




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