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Location: Bellefontaine Ohio

Biography of T. W. Swigart

T. W. Swigart, the leading harness dealer and one of the most successful business men in Newman and Douglas County, was born in Carroll County, Maryland, in sight of A Westminister, July 3, 1831, and was a son of Joseph Swigart. When nine years of age T. W. Swigart removed with his parents to Seneca County, Ohio, where he spent a large portion of his life on a farm. From the years 1848 to 1851 he devoted his time to learning the trade of harness maker at Bellefontaine, Ohio. He was a young man of good habits and of splendid mechanical turn of mind; he learned the trade thoroughly and soon became a first-class work-man. In the year 1852 he removed to Attica, Indiana, where he resided and worked at his trade successfully up to the year 1870, when he went to Princeton, Illinois. There he met Miss Sarah Jane Martin, who, in 1871, became his wife. In the same year he came to Danville, Illinois, where he followed his trade until the month of February, 1873, when he came to Newman and succeeded Speelman & Ogden in the harness business. During his residence in Newman he has become one of the most successful business men in the city and has accumulated quite a lot of property. In politics he is thoroughly independent and there is very little of...

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Biography of Capt. Thomas Jefferson Smith

Capt. Thomas Jefferson Smith, of Champaign, is one of the few men still living in Illinois who made their first briefs and arguments in a court room prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. In many ways his has been a remarkable life. He began practice before the war, enlisted soon afterward and gave the best in him to the perpetuation of the Union, came out of the war with the rank of captain, and at once began practice at Champaign, where he has now lived for over half a century. Captain and Mrs. Smith never had any children. They were devoted companions during the long journey they had together in this vale of tears, and while they began struggling young people, they lived to enjoy much and the memory of their companionship is the sustaining thing in Captain Smith’s life today. Future generations will know of the many ties that linked together Captain Smith and his wife because just recently Captain Smith has donated a fund of $215,000 to the University of Illinois for the erection of a building on the campus to be named the Tina Weedon Smith Music Hall. That building will be used exclusively as a home of music, and for years to come ,it will be a source of inspiration and a source of artistic culture to the thousands of students who yearly...

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Biography of Robert D. Blaine

Robert D. Blaine, who has had his home in Topeka for a number of years and also maintains a business office there, has been one of the builders of Kansas, his part in the development of the state being particularly reflected in the magnificent prosperity which during the past quarter of a century has come to the southwestern corner of Kansas. Pratt County in the Arkansas Valley will always have particular reason to remember Mr. Blaine’s early activities and influence he directed to the proper development of the resources of that section. For what he has done and for what he has caused others to do Robert D. Blaine must be accounted one of the foremost men of the Sunflower State. He was born in Bellefontaine, Logan County, Ohio, a son of William and Agnes (Wallace) Blaine, both natives of Scotland. His father was born in Kirkcudbrichtshire and his wife in the city of Dumfries, both coming when quite young to Logan County, Ohio. Doubtless it was the inheritance of the Scotch characteristics of patience, determination and energy that have taken Robert D. Blaine with success through all the variations of his experience. He grew up on his father’s farm in Logan County, acquiring a common school education, and later took some special courses to better qualify him for commercial affairs. At the age of twenty, accepting Horace Greeley’s...

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas H. Crispin

Thomas H. Crispin, farmer; P. O. Rardin; born in Pickaway Co., Ohio, May 5, 1833, where he attended school and assisted his father in the mason trade until 14 years of age, when he went to Bellefontaine, Logan Co., where he learned and worked at the trade of mason and plasterer until 1852, when he emigrated to Carlinville, Ill., and followed his trade for six years; he located in Coles Co. in the spring of 1859, on Sec. 30, Morgan Tp., where he engaged in farming one year, then six years upon Sec 9; he located upon his present place in 1864, where he has since continued to live, and where he owns 110 acres of prairie and timber land. His marriage with Susannah J. Painter was celebrated in 1852; she was born in Macoupin Co., Ill., Nov. 15, 1833; they have seven children now living, having lost one by death; the names of the living are Nancy C., born Jan. 19, 1853; Isabel J., born July 27, 1854; Jacob J., May 2, 1856; Thomas J., Feb. 16, 1858; William Dec. 15, 1860; Geo. B. McClellan, Oct. 1, 1863; Mary H., Dec. 16, 1868; Jesse, March 21, 1875; the deceased is Alonzo G-., born Sept. 10, 1866, died April 19, 1868; Mrs. Crispin died Aug. 18, 1871. He married for his second wife Agnes McKiney Aug. 24, 1873; she...

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Biography of G. Leroy Ramsey

G. Leroy Ramsey. Among the men who are marking their names indelibly upon the stockraising history of Southeastern Kansas, one who had been more than ordinarily active in this field of endeavor and whose operations have assumed large proportions is G. LeRoy Ramsey, who owned and operates 1,760 acres six miles north of El Dorado and 560 acres northeast of that city, all in Butler County. Mr. Ramsey not only raises and ships cattle extensively, but of recent years had been interested in oil leases. He was born at Belle Center, Ohio, December 22, 1872, and is a son of A. C. and Margaret (Clark) Ramsey. A. C. Ramsey, formerly one of the extensive cattlemen of Butler County, now retired from that business, and a large land owner of this section, had had an unusual and interesting career. He is a native of Ohio and was born in Coshocton County June 7, 1837, of Scotch-Irish descent, his parents being natives of the North of Ireland. A. C. Ramsey was one of a large family of children, and, as his parents were in modest financial circumstances, his chances for an education were limited. When he was still a lad his father died and his mother removed with the family from Coshocton County to Guernsey County, Ohio, where for one year A. C. Ramsey was employed by a fur trader. His...

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Biography of Robert H. Ramsey

Robert H. Ramsey. During the past thirty-five years no name had been more closely identified with the ranching and stock raising interests of Butler County than that of Ramsey. Robert H. Ramsey is a son of A. C. Ramsey, who was the pioneer of the family in the cattle industry. Robert Ramsey himself had handled cattle and ranching as a conspicuous interest of his career, but is also identified with the business community of El Dorado. He was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio, November 18, 1881. Albert C. Ramsey, his father, was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, June 7, 1837, one of a large family of children. His parents were Scotch-Irish and natives of the north of Ireland and were people of moderate financial circumstances. Albert C. Ramsey was only a boy when his father died, and he removed with his widowed mother to Guernsey County, Ohio. For one year in that section he was employed by a fur trader. Though his salary was only $100 a year he managed to save $80 of this amount. More than that, as a result of his keen and close habits of observation he did not allow a single detail of the fur business to escape him. With his brother he then opened a general merchandise store at Belle Center, Ohio, and an important part of their trade was furs. It was his...

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