Location: Meigs County OH

Slave Narrative of Nan Stewart

Interviewer: Sarah Probst Person Interviewed: Nan Stewart Location: Ohio Place of Birth: Charleston, West Virginia Date of Birth: February 1850 Age: 87 Sarah Probst, Reporter Audrey Meighen, Author-Editor Jun 9, 1937 Folklore Meigs County, District Three [HW: Middeport] “I’se bawned Charl’stun, West Virginia in February 1850.” “My mammy’s name? Hur name wuz Kath’run Paine an’ she wuz bawned down Jackson County, Virginia. My pappy wuz John James, a coopah an’ he wuz bawned at Rock Creek, West Virginia. He cum’d ovah heah with Lightburn’s Retreat. Dey all crossed de ribah at Buffington Island. Yes, I had two bruthahs and three sistahs. Deir wuz Jim, Thomas, he refugeed from Charl’stun to Pum’roy and it tuk him fo’ months, den de wuz sistah Adah, Carrie an’ Ella. When I rite young I wurked as hous’ maid fo’ numbah quality white folks an’ latah on I wuz nurs’ fo’ de chilluns in sum homes, heah abouts.” “Oh, de slaves quartahs, dey wuz undah de sam’ ruf with Marse Hunt’s big hous’ but in de back. When I’se littl’ I sleeped in a trun’l bed. My mammy wuz mighty ‘ticlar an’ clean, why she made us chilluns wash ouah feets ebry night fo’ we git into de bed.” “When Marse Hunt muved up to Charl’stun, my mammy and pappy liv’ in log cabin.” “My gran’ mammy, duz I ‘member hur? Honey chile, I...

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Slave Narrative of Ben Brown

Interviewer: Albert I Dugan Person Interviewed: Ben Brown Location: Keen St., Zanesville, Ohio Age: 100 Occupation: Railroad worker Yes suh I wuz a slave in Vaginyah, Alvamaul (Albermarle) county an’ I didn’t have any good life, I’m tellin’ you dat! It wuz a tough life. I don’t know how old I am, dey never told me down dere, but the folks here say I’m a hunderd yeah old an’ I spect dats about right. My fathah’s name wuz Jack Brown and’ my mammy’s Nellie Brown. Dey wuz six of us chillun, one sistah Hannah an’ three brothers, Jim, Harrison, an’ Spot. Jim wuz de oldes an’ I wuz next. We wuz born on a very lauge plantation an dey wuz lots an’ lots of other slaves, I don’t know how many. De log cabins what we live in[HW:?] on both sides de path make it look like a town. Mastah’s house wuz a big, big one an’ had big brick chimneys on de outside. It wuz a frame house, brown, an’ set way back from de road, an’ behind dat wuz de slaves’ quarters. De mastah, he wuz Fleming Moon an’ dey say he wuz cap’n in de wah of 1812. De missy wuz Parley Moon and dey had one son an fouh daughters. All us chillun an mammy live in a log cabin dat wuz lauge enuf foh...

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Biography of Herbert O. Caster

Herbert O. Caster, who, on February 2, 1914, qualified as attorney for the State Public Utilities Commission, and is now a resident of Topeka, had lived in Kansas for thirty-eight years, and is well known over the state, but particularly in his home County of Decatur, where before his admission to the bar he made a fine record for himself as an educator and an energetic factor in other affairs of public importance. When the Caster family came to Kansas in 1878 they took up a homestead in Decatur County. At that time the county was a sparsely settled regiMeigon, and there was not a single frame house within its borders. Like everyone else there the Caster family lived in a home constructed partly of sod and partly a dug-out. The old-timers of Kansas recall the hardships of the first settlers, of their incessant warfare with drought and blizzards, crop failures, and atarvation prices for such prodnce as could be aetually spared in excess of home consumption. All these discouragements the family of Herbert O. Caster erperienced. His parents were Dan and Jane (Turner) Caster. Dan Caster was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, and took an active part in local affairs in Decatur County, serving as chairman of the board of county commissioners, and in 1891 and in 1893 being elected to represent his county in the...

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Biography of Richard Watson Argue

Richard Watson Argue, who died April 24, 1916, was very well and prominently known in the oil industry of the Mid-Continent field, lived at Independence a number of years, and Mrs. Argue, his widow, is still a resident there and had proved her resourcefulness as a business woman in looking after the extensive properties left by Mr. Argue at the time of his death. He was born near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 1, 1845, a son of John Wilson Argue, who was born in County Cavan, Ireland, went to America early in life, and followed farming in Canada. He died on his farm near Ottawa. Reared in Canada, gaining his education in the public schools, Richard W. Argue spent the first twenty-one years of his life at home, and then took up the oil business at Titusville, Pennsylvania. He followed the oil fields, with all the ups and downs and fortunes and vicissitudes of that industry through Pennsylvania, operating in Titusville, Crawford County, Clarion County, and McKean County, and later established himself at Buffalo, New York, becoming an extensive operator in the gas fields in West Seneca. From Buffalo in 1897 he extended his activities into Wood and Allen counties, Ohio, and became a very prominent business man of Lima. In 1963 Mr. Argue came to Kansas, locating in Independence, and thereafter was an oil producer both in Kansas...

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Biography of S. Allen Brown

S. Allen Brown. During the last forty years S. Allen Brown had busied himself with the handling of many important business interests at Independence. He is a son of the late William R. Brown, who was one of the pioneers of Montgomery County, and both father and son were closely associated in many of their business undertakings. One of the most attractive homesteads in Independence is owned and occupied by S. Allen Brown as his residence. It comprises a fine house at 515 North Second Street surrounded with fourteen acres of ground. In effect it is a piece of the country set down in the midst of a busy city. While Mr. Brown had some of the land in garden and had pasturage for his own cow, he had always taken a great deal of care in preserving and improving the grounds according to his tastes as a landseape gardener. The many trees are a notable feature of the place. There are three different kinds of oaks, and also a number of elms, hickory, pecan, walnut, besides some imported ornamental trees and a great deal of shrubbery. Because of these features it is one of the attractive spots for the wild birds in their migrations during the spring and fall, and Mr. Brown takes a great deal of pleasure in retaining all this combination of nature with the art...

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Biography of Samuel Bateman Chapman

Samuel Bateman Chapman is the leading lumber merchant at Eskridge, and had been a Kansas business man for a number of years. This branch of the Chapman family had its original seat in England and Mr. Chapman’s ancestors were colonial settlers in Maryland. His father, Joshna Thomas Chapman, was born on the eastern shore of Maryland in 1817. At the age of seven he accompanied his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Chapman, to Meigs County, Ohio, where the grandfather cleared up a portion of the wilderness and converted it into a farm. He spent the rest of his life in that county. Joshua T. Chapman was reared and married in Meigs County and his active career was spent as a farmer. In the fall of 1865 he removed to Dupont, Indiana, where he continued farming until his death in 1884. He was a republican in politics and a very active supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The maiden name of his wife was Mary Ann Green. She was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, and died at Dupont, Indiana, some years before her husband. A record of their children is as follows: Roxanna and Flora, both deceased; Samuel B.; Catherine, wife of Edward Gaskell, a resident of Dupont, Indiana; Viola, wife of Thomas Rowland, a carpenter and farm owner at Paris, Indiana. Samuel Bateman Chapman was born in Meigs County,...

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Biographical Sketch of Theodore Ensign

Ensign, Theodore; milk business; born, Chester, O., March 26, 1882; son of George L. and Celia M. Foster Ensign; educated, Cleveland public schools; married, Cleveland, Sept. 22, 1909, Clara Zarnoio; foreman City Ice Delivery Co. for four years; gen. mgr. of Lake City Ice Co. for two years; vice pres. of the Milk Dealers’ Fraternal League. Recreations: Motoring and Music. In the last year the quality of the milk and methods of doing business have doubled their...

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Biography of James C. Holland

James C. Holland. The public architecture of Kansas, especially in the capital city, is largely a record of the skill and experience of one man, James C. Holland. Mr. Holland by all the standards that can be applied is a great architect. He has gained a well deserved prominence in this profession. His experience in Kansas covers more than thirty years. At one time he held the office of state architect, but throughout his business has largely been in connection with the designing and the superintending of construction of buildings which serve a public or quasi-public purpose. A few years ago a signal recognition of his standing as an architect was given when he was one of the eight architects outside the city invited by the New York Society of Architects to membership in that body. When it is considered that this is the greatest organization of its kind in America, and when only men of recognized standing and ability are admitted to its membership, the invitation can be appraised at its real worth, and even Mr. Holland, who has never looked for praise or honors beyond a conscientious performance that would satisfy himself, had reason to be pleased with this invitation. Both as to his family and himself a great deal might be said and the following sketch has a most appropriate place in any history of Kansas....

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Biography of Frederic M. Wilhelm

Frederic M. Wilhelm. When a boy in his early teens Frederic M. Wilhelm began working for himself and has risen from the position of an office employe to secretary of the Prairie Pipe Line Company of Independence. He has been closely identified with the present company and the Prairie State Oil and Gas Company at Independence for the past twelve years. Thirty-three years of age, Mr. Wilhelm was born at Decatur, Indiana, January 6, 1883. His father, George Wilhelm, was born in Germany in 1854, and when ten years of age ran away from home and soon afterwards found his way to the United States, and located in Decatur, Indiana. On reaching manhood he became a farmer and later a merchant, and in 1884 moved to Lima, Ohio, where he died in 1897. He was a republican and a member of the Catholic Church. George Wilhelm married Elizabeth Mueller, who was born of German parentage in Ohio and is still living at Lima. Their children are: John C., who is connected with a pipe line and lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Mary, wife of L. A. Feltz, secretary of the Citizens Savings and Building Association of Lima, Ohio, a very important institution with assets of $2,500,000; Catherine, at home with her mother; Frederic M.; Henry M., who was private secretary to the assistant general manager of the Prairie Oil &...

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Biography of Charles Hiram Cook

Charles Hiram Cook. Prominent among the men who have long been identified with the oil industry in Kansas as producers and drillers is found Charles Hiram Cook, of Coffeyville. From the time he left school he has followed the oil and gas fields in various parts of the country, and with the great development of the Kansas fields became interested here and has since played a part in the growth and advancement of the industry. Mr. Cook was born at Springboro, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1863, and is a son of Francis Henry and Emily (Fisher) Cook. The Cook family originating in England, was transferred to America during Colonial days, when the progenitor settled in Pennsylvania. In that state was born the great-grandfather of Charles Hiram Cook, who followed farming all his life and there passed away. He was the head of a large family, and among his children was George R. Cook, the grandfather of Charles H., born in 1809, at Springboro. He was reared as farmer and followed that vocation for a number of years, but also followed other lines of industry, his abilities and energies carrying him into railroad grading contracting and sawmilling. He was originally a whig and later a republican, and was a very active member of the Methodist Episcopal Ohurch. As agriculturist, business man and citizen he won and held the respect...

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Biography of William Hunter McKenzie

William Hunter McKenzie has found his work in the business administration of gas companies, and since 1905 had held the responsibilities of general manager of the Wyandotte County Company of Kansas City, Kansas. It was a boyhood experience while in a state institution in Ohio that gave him the permanent bent of a vocational experience. Mr. McKenzie was born in Harrisonville, Ohio, November 15, 1862, one of the four children of James T. and Mary C. (Hoover) McKenzie, both also natives of Ohio and of Scotch and Dutch extraction. James T. McKenzie was a cabinet maker by trade. At the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted in Company G of the One Hundred and Sixteenth Ohio Infantry and served as a sergeant through all the campaigns in the South. Near the close of the war, worn out with hardships and his arduous service, he died in a hospital at Baltimore. Thus William H. McKenzie practically never had a father’s care. He and his brothers and sisters and their widowed mother lived together until the State of Ohio established its Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphans’ Home at Xenia. William H. entered that home at the age of ten years and remained there, continuing his education until the age of sixteen. He had shown special aptness for things mechanical, and at that age was employed in looking after the gas and...

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Burnap, William David – Obituary

La Grande,Union County, Oregon William David Burnap was born in Bedford township, Meigs County, Ohio, May 10, 1842, and died at his home near LaGrande, Oregon, December 22, 1911. He was married to Mary Melvina Hoit, of West Point, Illinois, March 3, 1867, by the late Rev. William B. Finlay, of St. Albens township, Hancock County. The following children and his aged companion survie him; Rrs. Ruthanar Maud Cole of flora, Or., Marius Melvin Burnap, La Grande, Or, Albert Vinton Burnap, Walla Walla, WA, W. Eugene Burnap, Asel Hoyt Burnap of Touchet, WA, and Mrs. Ocie Vaun Frakes of Starbuck, WA. Mr. Burnap was a Civil War veteran, enlisting at Warsaw, Illinois, September 2, 1861, in the Black Hawk Independent Calvalry, afterwward known as the 7th Mo. Cav., and served as fourth and third sargent in Cos. E. and M.. He reinlisted January 1, 1864, and received his final discharge papers by reason of expiration of term of service at Little Rock, Arkansas in 1865. He and his family left Hancock County in September of 1872, and resided in western Kansas for several years, enduring with other friends and comrades from St. Albens, the famishing grasshopper siege of 73 and 74 and in 1885 went overland to eastern Oregon, and afterwards moving to Walla Walla county, WA. In 1910 he returned to Oregon, LaGrande, Union County. On Thursday, December...

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Biography of Hiram Arthur Gilmore

Hiram Arthur Gilmore has during the greater part of his residence in Elk County been identified with the educational forces of the community, and on the basis of his individual record as a teacher and his thorough familiarity with school conditions he was elected on November 7, 1916, county superintendent of schools. Mr. Gilmore was born at Pomeroy, Ohio, November 19, 1867. His ancestors came from Ireland, and the family was established in Ohio either by his grandfather or his great-grandfather. His grandfather Samuel Gilmore was a farmer, and died at Rutland, Ohio. John H. Gilmore, father of Hiram A., was born in Meigs County, Ohio, in 1830, grew up and married in that state, became a farmer, and from Pomeroy he removed to Rutland, where he died in 1879. He was a republican and a member of the Free Will Baptist Church. By his marriage to Miss Hysel, who was born in Meigs County, Ohio, in 1828, and died at Middleport in that state in 1904, there were seven children, namely: W. S., a farmer at Harrisonville, Ohio; Robert N., a teacher in the schools at Everett, Washington; John H., a carpenter at Wichita, Kansas; Mary M., who died in Colorado after her marriage; Luther L., a farmer at Perry, Ohio; Hiram A.; and Lewis L., a physician and surgeon at Wichita, Kansas. Hiram A. Gilmore spent his...

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Biography of John Hartley Smith

John Hartley Smith, the founder and president of the First National Bank of San Bernardino, and one of the most thorough business men and experienced bankers in Southern California, was born in Jackson County, Virginia, in 1835. He came to Ohio at the age of fifteen, and in 1853 he came to California and spent two years in the gold mines, chiefly in Mariposa County. He was quite successful, and in 1855 returned to Ohio with considerable money and a fund of experience which has proved of great value to him in his subsequent business career, as well as fraught with pleasant memories. Coming he sailed from New York by way of Panama, crossing the Isthmus on foot. He returned by the same route, but the railroad had been completed across the Isthmus in the interval. For many years Mr. Smith was extensively engaged in steam boating and operating barge lines on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, he superintending the business, in which there was $250,000 capital invested. After the war he was also interested in the banking business for a number of years in Meigs County; and was actively and largely identified with coal mining and the manufacture of salt in south-eastern Ohio. The daily output of the coalmines was 10,000 bushels, and the salt works turned out 500 barrels a day. The labor and nerve force necessarily...

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Biography of Mansfield M. Sturgeon

One of the most brilliant and astute attorneys practising at the Rock Island County Bar is Mansfield M. Sturgeon, senior member of the legal firm of Sturgeon. Stelck & Sturgeon, a man whose great ability and profound learning as an attorney has been demonstrated in the trial of many important suits, as well as in sound counsel and legal advice. He was born September 10, 1843, at Letart Falls, Ohio, his parents, being Oliver Hazard Perry Sturgeon and Mary Ellenor (Summers) Sturgeon. The father was born March 14, 1818, at Sistersville, Virginia, the date of the marriage of the senior Mr. and Mrs. Sturgeon being December 25, 1839. The death of the father occurred at Windom, Kansas, in 1902, he being then in his eighty-fifth year. The mother was born in Morgantown, Virginia, June 11., 1819. She is still living, and is in her eighty-eighth year. The grandfather of our subject, William Sturgeon, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was with the land forces at Lake Erie when Commodore Perry won the memorable naval battle there. Hence when his son was born he bestowed upon him the somewhat lengthy name of Oliver Hazard Perry Sturgeon, in honor of his hero. This rather cumbrous cognomen was abbreviated by his boyhood companions to simply “Perry “, and by this name he was known throughout his life. The Sturgeons...

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