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Biographical Sketch of David E. Ballard

A native of Franklin County, Vermont, David E. Ballard is a leading citizen and a prosperous farmer of Washington, and looks back with still keen interest to the days of nearly sixty years ago, when he assisted in the civil organization of his county and his state. He was born March 20, 1837, of English and Revolutionary ancestors. When he was a boy his father, Appleton Ballard, moved to Morrow County, Ohio, not to cultivate the land, but to provide his family with a home while he fared forth on the high seas of the East. While thus engaged, he was murdered and robbed in the harbor of Halifax, after he had disposed of his cargo. In May, 1857, when he had but just entered his twenty-first year, David E. Ballard located in Brown County, Kansas, and in the following year moved to Washington County, which was then on the point of organization. In fact, he assisted in that work, and was the first county clerk. In 1859 he was elected to the House of Representatives of the first State Legislature (1861), and in the senatorial election was an active partisan of James H. Lane. He joined the ranks of the Second Kansas Infantry in November, 1861, and in the following year was made first lientenant, being mustered out of the service, in February, 1865. He was in the battles of Fort Wayne, Fort Smith, Cane Hill and Prairie Grove. Mr. Ballard was appointed a commissioner to audit the Price raid claims, in 1867, and during the succeeding two years served as an assessor of internal revenue. He was...

Biography of James Oscar Sayers

James Oscar Sayers of Fisher, one of the advisory board of editors of the Champaign County History, has had an active experience in this section of the county covering a period of forty-two years. He came here as a young man possessed of no financial resources, and by hard work and constant attention to his duties has built up a mercantile business whose volume is second to none in the village. Mr. Sayers is wide awake to all things that concern this locality and is generally recognized as one of the most capable men of Champaign County. He was born in Morrow County, Ohio, April 29, 1862, the eldest of three children, a son and two daughters, of John Francis and Caroline (Banner) Sayers. The two daughters are: Rose, wife of John Priest of Ashland, Ohio; and Frances B., wife of Oscar Braderick of Fredericktown, Ohio. John F. Sayers, his father, also a native of Morrow County, Ohio, had a common school education and was a farmer by vocation. In 1865 he took his family out to Poweshiek County, Iowa, where he lived until his death in August, 1869, at the very early age of thirty-three. His widow, who was a native of Newark, New Jersey, was a young girl when taken to Ohio, afterwards returned to that state and died in Fredericktown. She was a member of the United Brethren Church. She was of Holland-Dutch stock, her father being unable to speak the English language until after the age of ten. James Oscar Sayers was about three years old when his parents moved from Ohio to Iowa, and...

Biography of Isaac Hixenbaugh

Isaac Hixenbaugh is an old time resident of Champaign County, was for many years identified not only with farming but also the civic affairs of Ogden Township, and is now enjoying the comforts of material prosperity and the rewards of his earlier strenuous efforts in a pleasant home at Homer. Mr. Hixenbaugh was born near West Warren in Marion County, West Virginia, May 4, 1846, a son of Isaac and Martha (Ogden) Hixenbaugh. His mother’s brother, John Ogden, was the man after whom Ogden town and Ogden Township in this county were named. Isaac Hixenbaugh was one of eight children, next to the youngest, and grew up and received his education in a backwood district of West Virginia, where he attended a log school conducted on the subscription plan. He sat on a rough board bench without a back, learned the lessons of the few text books, chiefly an arithmetic, speller and reader, and had limited comforts and conveniences both in school and at home. When he was fourteen years of age his parents moved to Green County, Pennsylvania, locating seventeen miles west of Waynesburg. After three years they moved to Morrow County, Ohio, settling half a mile south of Sparta, on a farm. Isaac Hixenbaugh was in Morrow County, Ohio, four years, and in 1868, at the age of twenty-two, came to Illinois, spending one year a mile east of Mount Vernon, Ohio. On August 19, 1869, he married Miss Mary M. Freeman. Mrs. Hixenbaugh was born in Homer Township of Champaign County, three miles southwest of Ogden, a daughter of Thomas and Nancy Freeman. After their marriage...

Biographical Sketch of George Denton

George Denton, who died at Denton, Kansas, in 1902, located in Doniphan County in 1873, and was successfully engaged in farming there until 1898, when he retired to Denton. He was a republican and at one time served as a member of the School Soard. He served as president of the Denton Bank until his death. He and his wife were active in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He had come to the United States two wecks after his marriage to Miss Eliza Topliss. They first located in Morrow County, Ohio, where he followed farming until they removed to Kansas. Miss Eliza Topliss was born in Lincolushire, Eugland, in March. 1839, and is still living at Denton, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Miller. Her father, George Toplies, was born in Lincolnshire and died there in 1911, having spent his vigorous and active years as a farmer. George Toplise married Mary Conoy, who was a lifelong resident of Lincolnshire. In the Topliss family were ten children, and five of them are still living: Mrs. George Denton; Maria, wife of Solomon Denton, a farmer at Denton, Kansas; Martha, who lives in Lincolnshire, England, widow of Joseph Houghton, who was a farmer; Harriet, who is married and still lives in Lincolnshire; George, a retired farmer at Lincolnshire, England; while Sarah died only in the present your, 1917, in Lincolnshire. Mr. and Mrs. George Denton were the parents of six children: Mrs. James Miller; Ellen, wife of Aaron Long, a Kansas pioneor and now living as a retired farmer in Horton, Kansas; Martha Jane, wife of Henry O. Miller, a farmer near...

Biography of Johnathan T. Snyder

Jonathan T. Snyder. One of the old homesteads of Williamsport Township in Shawnee County is that of Jonathan T. Snyder. He had been a resident of Kansas nearly fifty years, and during almost all that time had been continuously devoted to farming and stock raising. At the same time he had borne an infinential part in the affairs of his home community and is one of the highly respected men of that section of Shawnee County. He was born on a farm near Johnsville, in Morrow County, Ohio, August 14, 1845, a son of John and Mary (Held) Snyder, the former a native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and the latter of Germany. Of the nine children, six are still living. Beared in his native state, with a practical education in the district schools, Jonathan T. Snyder early in life started out to make his own way. In the spring of 1869 he came west as far as Logan County, Illinois, and in the fall of the same year journeyed on to Kansas. The first three years of his residence in Kansas were spent in the employ of the Santa Fe Railway. Since then he had been altogether a farmer and stock raiser, and though now past seventy years of age is still carrying on the work on his wife’s father’s old homestead, which he pre-empted from the Government, and which comprises ninety acres. The old log cabin was built just in front of where their present house now stands. On January 1, 1874, Mr. Snyder married Miss Mary A. Reynolds daughter of the old Kansas pioneer Thomas J. Reynolds,...

Biography of Isaac R. Smith

Isaac Roston Smith, the managing partner of the firm of Smith Brothers, prominent merchants and millers of Salubria, and president of the Washington County Fair Association, was born in Morrow County, Ohio. March 11, 1859, his ancestors, who were English, having been early settlers in Berks County, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, William Smith, was born in Berks County and married Miss Elizabeth Speck. They settled in Guernsey County and in 1842 removed to Morrow County, Ohio, where he remained until his death, in 1883, at the age of seventy-four years. His wife passed away in 1898, aged eighty-five years. Twelve children were born to this worthy couple, one of whom was the father of our subject, Finley McGrew Smith, whose birth took place in Guernsey county, Ohio, on February 11, 1836. He served in the Union army during the civil war as a member of the Third Ohio Cavalry. His wife was Miss Pamelia Sutton, a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, and of the six children born to them live are now living. Isaac R. Smith is the second son in the order of birth, and accompanied his parents to Kansas in 1866, where he received his education in the public schools and began life as a farmer, but when seventeen years old he embarked in the mercantile business, in which he has since continued. In 1891 he came with his brother to Salubria and they founded the business in which they have continued so successfully. In 1898 they built their flouring mill, which is equipped with the plane-sifter system and full roller process, which is the latest improvement, and...

Biographical Sketch of William Dexter Halfhill

William Dexter Halfhill, who has been a representative of the legal fraternity for a period covering forty-three years, took up his abode in Muskogee in 1904 and has here since engaged in general civil practice, in which connection he has built up a clientage of enviable proportions. He is a native of Morrow county, Ohio, and a son of Moses and Lydia (Kingman) Halfhill, the former a farmer by occupation. The public schools afforded him his early educational advantages and on attaining his majority he began teaching school. This he considered but an initial step to other professional labor; however, and preparing for law practice, was admitted to the bar in Ohio in 1878. Through the succeeding ten years he followed the profession at Van Wert, Ohio, in association with Colonel I. N. Alexander and then removed to Winfield, Kansas, where he remained until 1904. That year witnessed his arrival in Muskogee, Oklahoma, then Indian Territory, where he has been continuously engaged in practice to the present time. Mr. Halfhill has been twice married. He first wedded Clara V. Conover, in 1879. For his second wife he chose Bessie M. Davidson of Tennessee, who became Mrs. Halfhill in...

Biography of Herbert George House

Herbert George House, conducting a bond business and fire insurance agency, has won many clients, by reason of his thoroughness, his progressive methods and his unfaltering enterprise. Muskogee has reason to class him with her representative citizens, recognizing his value as a factor in the commercial and financial development of the city. Mr. House came to the southwest from Ohio, his birth having occurred in Cardington, that state, on the 3d of September, 1870. His parents were Richard Johnson and Mary June (Cook) House, the former a banker, now deceased. Herbert G. House became a student in the University at Delaware, Ohio, following the completion of his public school course and thus through liberal educational advantages became well qualified for life’s practical and responsible duties. He started out in the business world as a newspaper reporter and gained valuable knowledge and experience in that way. Through the careful husbandry of his resources he at length became possessed of capital sufficient to enable him to purchase a newspaper at Lampasas, Texas, and there he was identified with publication interests until 1900, when he removed to the Indian Territory, having been appointed deputy clerk of the federal court. He occupied that position most acceptably until 1907, when he went to the republican headquarters at Oklahoma City as manager of the Taft campaign. Later he was appointed district Indian agent and continued to serve in that position until 1913, when he resigned and established the H. G. House agency to handle fire insurance and bonds. His time and efforts have since been concentrated on the up building of the business and he...

Biography of David E. Ballard

David E. Ballard is living retired at Washington, Kansas, at the age of eighty-one. Most of his active contemporaries in the strenuous achievements of his earlier years have long since passed away. Mr. Ballard is one of the few survivors of the prominent Kansans who actually laid the foundation of the state. His name is especially associated with the organization of Washington County and the establishment of Washington as its county seat. It was only a few years ago that he disposed of many of his extensive interests, and is now devoting his life to rest and travel. He had taken a permanent home at Miami, Florida, and just recently he returned from a visit to relatives at Lansing, Michigan, and Jamaica Plains, near Boston. Mr. Ballard inherits the splendid qualities of the New England type. He is descended from William and Grace Ballard, who came from England and settled at Andover, Massachusetts, in 1635. His father, Appleton Ballard, was born in New Hampshire in 1808, went to Vermont at the age of twenty-one, married there and became a farmer, and in 1837 located at Sparta, Ohio. There he worked at the trade of shoemaker, built a store, and in 1846 removed to the newly established town of Lansing, Michigan, where the capital of the state had just been located. He kept a store until it was burned, and after that he did market gardening near the capital city until his death in 1884. He was identified with the old whig party and the abolitionist cause and subsequently became a republican. His church affiliation was with the Methodist. Appleton...

Biography of Maj. J. A. Connolly

Maj. J. A. Connolly, attorney at law, Charleston; was born in Newark, N. J., March 8, 1838; his parents removed to Chesterville, Morrow Co., Ohio, when he was about 12 years old, and at the age of 18, he went to Mt. Gilead, the county seat of Morrow Co., and began reading law with Judge A. K. Dunn, of that city; he was admitted to the bar in September, 1859, and began practice in Mt. Gilead; in 1860, he removed to Charleston; while living in Mt. Gilead, he held the position of Second Assistant Clerk of the Ohio Senate for two years. In August, 1862, he entered the army as Major of the 123d Ill. V. I., serving till the close of the war, being for two years Inspector General of the 3d Division 14th Army Corps; he participated in the battles of Perryville, Ky.; Milton, Tenn.; Hoover’s Gap, Chickamunga, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Ga.; the Atlanta campaign, Sherman’s ” march to the sea,” Bentonville, N. C., etc.; immediately after the last-named battle, he was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel for meritorious conduct in that engagement. Returning to Charleston, in 1865, he resumed the practice of the law. At the funeral of President Lincoln, in New York City, in April, 1865, Maj. Connolly was a member of the Guard of Honor, being the only Illinois volunteer officer present. In 1866, he was elected a member of the Board of Supervisors, and, the following year, of the Board of Education, and strongly advocated the building of the new schoolhouse in Charleston; he was elected to the Illinois Legislature in 1872, and re-elected in...

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