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Biography of Benton Miller

The subject of this sketch was born in Sardis, Monroe county, Ohio, December 26, 1838. He lived in his birthplace until he was sixteen years of age, when his parents moved to Missouri and settled in what is now Colfax township, Daviess county, in 1855. In 1861 he enlisted and served six months in the home guards, and in February, 1862, enlisted in Company A, First Missouri Cavalry Militia, in which he served during the war. In April, 1863, he was promoted from orderly sergeant to first lieutenaut, and for the last eighteen months he was in the service, had command of his company. He participated in all the engagements against General Joe Shelby in his raids in Missouri in 1863, also in the fights during General Sterling Price’s raids in this State and Kansas during the fall of 1864, and many skirmishes of less note with the guerrillas under Quantrell and Anderson. With his company, was mustered out at St. Louis on the 11th of February, 1865, and returned to the old homestead in Daviess county. Remaining upon the farm until the following October, he came to Gallatin and engaged in general merchandizing with his brother Michael, under the name of Miller & Brother, continuing the business until the fall of 1868, when he retired from the firm. In March, 1869, he again embarked in the mercantile business, and was so engaged until February 1, 1875, when he once more retired and gave his attention to the building of a brick business house, which is one of the most complete in fixtures and appointments in Gallatin. During the...

Slave Narrative of Sarah Woods Burke

Interviewer: James Immel Person Interviewed: Sarah Woods Burke Location: Washington County, Ohio Place of Birth: Grayson County, West Virginia Age: 85 “Yessir, I guess you all would call me an ex-slave cause I was born in Grayson County, West Virginia and on a plantation I lived for quite a spell, that is until when I was seven years old when we all moved up here to Washington county.” “My Pappy’s old Mammy was supposed to have been sold into slavery when my Pappy was one month old and some poor white people took him ter raise. We worked for them until he was a growed up man, also ’til they give him his free papers and ‘lowed him to leave the plantation and come up here to the North.” “How did we live on the plantation? Well you see it was like this we lived in a log cabin with the ground for floors and the beds were built against the walls jus’ like bunks. I ‘member that the slaves had a hard time getting food, most times they got just what was left over or whatever the slaveholder wanted to give them so at night they would slip outa their cabins on to the plantation and kill a pig, a sheep or some cattle which they would butcher in the woods and cut up. The wimmin folks would carry the pieces back to the cabins in their aprons while the men would stay behind and bury the head, skin and feet.” “Whenever they killed a pig they would have to skin it, because they didn’t dare to build...

Biographical Sketch of Prof. J.L. Boon

Prof. J. L. Boon was born two and a half miles north of Alexandria, in Smithville County, in 1855. He is the fifth of nine children of Jas. N. and Sarah (Barry) Boon. The father was of English descent, one of the same families as the Kentucky pioneer, Daniel Boone. Jas. N. was born in Wilson County in 1817. He was raised and educated mostly in Smith County. By close application to study, he was enabled to enter the teacher’s profession, which he followed in connection with farming. He was one of the most efficient and successful educators of that day. He married about his twenty-seventh year. The latter portion of his life was entirely devoted to agricultural pursuits. He accumulated considerable property and means, although he began a poor man. He died in 1886. His wife was born in Smith County about 1826. Both were consistent and esteemed members of the Christian Church. Five of the children are living, all members of the same church, one of them a minister in the Christian Church at Joplin, Mo. Prof. James L. received his early education at Alexandria. After teaching several years, attended two years at the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio, graduating in 1879, in the literary and business courses. In 1880 he began teaching at Alexandria, where he has since been. He is an intelligent, cultivated and thorough instructor, and is universally popular with both patrons and pupils. May 29, 1885, He married Miss Mattie, daughter of Lun and Jales Wood, who was born in 1865, and educated at Alexandria, completing a musical course at Cincinnati, and...

Biography of Solomon Mercer

Solomon Mercer, whose recent death was deplored by a host of friends, had been identified with Champaign County from the period of early youth, and had borne the heat and burden of the day during his early efforts at establishing a home and improving a farm. His later years were years of comfort and the growing esteem of his friends. Mr. Mercer was born in Monroe County, Ohio, at Millwood, a son of Aaron and Mary (Cecil) Mercer. His father was a native of Virginia and his mother of Ohio. The father left Virginia in early youth, settling in Ohio, and there he married and his children were born, consisting of five sons and three daughters. Solomon Mercer received his first instruction in the public schools of Monroe and Logan counties, Ohio. He was still a child when his parents came to Illinois, and after two years in Vermilion County located in Champaign County, where the children continued their education at the Blue Grass school. Aaron Mercer was a very industrious man and worked hard and faithfully to provide for his family. By occupation he was a carpenter, built a large number of the early homes in Champaign County, and was very ingenious in the use of tools, being able to make all manner of furniture and also burial caskets. In a new country his services were in great demand and were much appreciated. He and his wife lived in Champaign County until they died. When Solomon Mercer was twenty-five years of age he married Miss Mary Wyman. She was born in Ohio but when a girl came to...

Biography of John P. Brady

John P. Brady. Since he was fifteen years of age John P. Brady had had a varied and extensive experience as an oil worker. He began in his native state of Pennsylvania, and had been in most of the important oil fields of the country. For the past few years he had had his home at Havans, and is one of the leading individual producers in that section. His birth occurred at Parkers Landing in Pennsylvania on June 3, 1876. His people, however, were early settlers of Ohio. His grandfather Barney Brady was born in County Cavan, Ireland, came to the United States when young, and acquired a homestead in Southern Ohio at Hamden. He died there at the age of eighty-eight. Jerome Brady, father of John P., was born at Hamden, Ohio, in 1835, and lived there until the breaking out of the Civil war. He then enlisted and served four years in an Ohio regiment, and made a most ereditable record as a soldier, participating in many of the historic battles, including the Battle of the Wilderness. After the war he was attracted to the oil fielde of Western Pennsylvania, going first to Oil Oreek, and was a producer from 1865 until 1900. He also owned a farm with some oil wells on it at Parkers Landing. In 1900, on retiring from the oil industry, he returned to Hamden, Ohio, and bought from his brother, J. E. Brady, the old hornestead which had first been acquired by his father. He died there in 1904. He was a republican, as a good eitizen did his part whenever called...

Biography of Thomas C. Biddle, M. D.

Thomas C. Biddle, M. D. Superintendent of the State Hospital for the Insane at Topeka, Doctor Biddle had long been prominent in his profession in Kansas, where he had practiced as a private physiclan or in connecton with the public service for thirty-five years. His name is well known among the profession not only over Kansas, but his work as superintendent of hospitals for the insane had attracted favorable attention over the country at large. He belongs to a prominent family, of the same branch that produced Nicholas Biddle, one of the first secretaries of the treasury, and many other historic characters. Doctor Biddle is in the fifth generation removed from John Biddle, who founded the family in Maryland, locating in Cecil County of that province as early as 1867. The old home was near the headwaters of the Elk and Bohemia Rivers, both tributaries of the Chesapeake. Doctor Biddle was born in Putnam County, Indiana, September 14, 1857, and was the youngest of a large family born to Richard and Catherine Elizabeth (Jones) Biddle. His father was born near Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, and spent his life as a farmer. He was married October 3, 1827, at Shelbyville, Kentucky, and in May, 1831, moved to Putnam County, Indiana, where he lived until his death in February, 1888. His wife was born in Shelbyville, Kentucky, November 9, 1811, and died in Putnam County, Indiana, July 12, 1881. Both parents were members of the Methodist Church. A brief record of the twelve older children is as follows: James Taylor, who was a farmer in Fountain County, Indiana, where he died...

Biography of Willard Volney Church

Willard Volney Church is one of the older settlers in Marion County. This county had been his home for upwards of forty years, and during that time he had played a varied part as a lawyer, public official and business man. Mr. Church was born at Fort Ann, New York, February 16, 1853, a son of Volney and Harriet (Bush) Church. Mr. Church had the rather rare distinction at this time of being the grandson of a Revolutionary soldier. His grandfather, Willard Church was born at Mansfield, Connecticut, in 1758 and was a very young man when he took up arms and fought for independence from Great Britain. His father, Volney Church, was born in New York, February 25, 1804, and was reared and educated as a physician, but subsequently became a minister of the Baptist Church. To these two vocations he gave the best of his years and energy. In 1853 he removed to Hudson, Michigan, and his death occurred at Saginaw in that state in 1893. He and his wife were married May 19, 1831, at Whiting, Vermont. Harriet Bush was born at Norwell, Vermont, June 6, 1813, and she died at Fenton, Michigan, August 12, 1860. She was a very devout woman and in close sympathy with her husband in his ministerial labors. They had six children, four sons and two daughters: Harriet Eliza, who was born in June, 1832, and died at Hudson, Michigan, September 6, 1861; Frederick A., who was born February 5, 1834, and died in infancy; John P., born at Whiting, Vermont, September 12, 1840, had been an official in the United...

Biography of Chester Stevens

Chester Stevens, representing a pioneer family in Montgomery County, had been an active factor in local affairs and in the legal profession for the past ten years. He is now serving as county auditor, and also enjoys some influential and profitable connections as a lawyer with offices in Independence. Some of his ancestors fought in the American Revolution, and the Stevens family came from England and settled in New York in colonial times. His grandfather, Chauncey Stevens, was born in New York, and went as a pioneer to the State of Indiana, where he followed farming until his death. Chester Stevens was born in Montgomery County, Kansas, September 15, 1882. His father, R. E. Stevens, came to Montgomery County, Kansas, in 1870. At that time the Town of Independence had hardly been started, and he was closely associated with much of the early life of this then frontier county. For about twelve years he engaged in the freighting business, before railroads were built, from Montgomery County to Fort Scott and Sedan. He spent his last years on a farm near Elk City, and his farm of eighty acres is still owned by his widow. He was born in the State of Indiana not far from Hamilton, Ohio, grew up in Indiana, but was married across the line in Ohio. He died at Elk City, Kansas, April 10, 1885. He was a republican and an active member of the Methodist Church. The maiden name of his wife was Margaret Blackford, who was born in Butler County, Ohio, in 1844, and since July 16, 1903, she had lived in Elk City....

Biographical Sketch of Abraham T. Brewer

Brewer, Abraham T.; lawyer; born in Monroe County, O., Sept. 20, 1841; son of Abraham and Mary (Mitchell) Brewer; educated, Indiana County, Pa., and Harlem Springs College, 1865-1866; LL. B., Ohio State Law College (Harlem Springs) ; married, Nov. 21, 1990, Clara Genella, daughter of Rev. John H. and Laura L. Tagg; served over three years in 61st Pennsylvania Volunteers in Civil War; seriously wounded at battle of Fair Oaks, and lay two days on battlefield without attention; admitted to bar, 1869. Author: Ohio Corporations, 5th edition, 1903; How to Make the Sunday School Go, 1892; True War Stories, 1907; History of Sixty-First Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1911,...

Biographical Sketch of Wilbur Leroy Davidson

Davidson, Wilbur Leroy; clergyman; born, Woodsfield, O., April 3, 1853; son of William A. and Margaret (McGregor) Davidson; A. B., Scio. College, 1870; B. D., Drew Theological Seminary, 1876; (D. D., Claflin U., 1889); married, Belle Clark, of Lexington, Ky., 1890; ordained, M. E. ministry, 1876; in pastorates, 1876-1886; field agt. Sunday School Union, 1886-1889; field agt. Chautauqua Literature and Scientific Circle, 1895-1902; supt. instruction at 15 Chautauquas, 1887-1911; sec. The Am. Univ., 1899-1908; mgr. Nat. Chautauqua Bur. since July, 1908; Lyceum lecturer; del. Ecumenical Methodist Conference, London, 1901; member National Geographical Society. Clubs: University (Washington). Author: Over the Sea, and What I Saw, 1885; Frequent contributor to religious and secular...
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