One of the prominent attorneys of Checotah is Joseph G. Schofield, who was born in Lowell, Ohio, on the 22d of September, 1847, a son of Joseph C. and Anna (Miller) Schofield. He is of English and colonial ancestry on his father’s side and Scotch-Irish ancestry on the maternal side. The Schofield family in America is descended from Holland Dutch ancestors, the head of the English line having come to England with William of Orange, he being one of the officers who came from the native land to assist in the support of the claims of William and Anne to the English throne. The Schofields in England became manufacturers and the grandfather emigrated from York, England, about the beginning of the preceding century and settled at Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in woolen manufacturing and set up and operated the first spinning jenny ever erected west of the Susquehanna River. He was there united in marriage to Elizabeth Brown. Her father was a well known and prominent merchant and was a soldier in the Revolution, having served with the Colonial troops. In 1828 this couple, with their family, removed to the then far west and settled in what was then Morgan County, now Noble County, Ohio, near Olive, said to be the second oldest town in that state. There the grandfather purchased a farm and a woolen and grain mill, for carding and spinning wool and grinding corn, the motive power being animal, and the Schofield Horse Mill became widely known and liberally patronized. Later, however, it was supplanted by the water mill erected some years afterward on a nearby stream. Here Mr. and Mrs. Schofield reared their family. The former’s demise occurred in 1856. His widow died in 1870.
The following children were born to their union: Mary, the wife of John Eagler; Martha, the wife of O. T. Koch; Lydia, who married Johnson Jones; William, the father of Judge F. L. Schofield of Hannibal, Missouri; Nancy, the wife of Hamilton Wiley; Joseph C.; James B.; Frances and David H. All of the children are deceased. Joseph C., the father of Joseph G., whose name initiates this review, followed in the footsteps of his father in early manhood and engaged in woolen manufacturing at Lowell, Ohio. Upon the organization of Noble County, Ohio, he became first sheriff and was afterward twice elected, serving until 1857. He then engaged in newspaper work until the outbreak of the Civil war, when putting all personal interests aside, he organized a company of three months’ volunteers in Noble County and was elected captain of the company. The quota from Ohio had already been filled, however, and his company was not accepted. He afterward enlisted in Company K, Thirteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as private, and served in West Virginia until that part of the army was transferred south to participate in the siege of Vicksburg. Mr. Schofield’s demise occurred while in service, at Youngs Point, Louisiana, on the 17th of February, 1863. He was twice married, his first wife having been Anna Miller. Her father was born near Belfast, Ireland, of Scotch parentage and emigrated to the United States in 1812. To the first union three children were born: William, whose birth occurred on the 22d of September, 1843; James T., who was born on the 22d of September, 1845, and who lost his life at Vicksburg during the Civil war; and Joseph G., born on the 22d of September, 1847. His first wife died on the 21st of March, 1849, and subsequently he was united in marriage to Ruth Dudley, who died in 1909. They had five children: Lydia, Anna and Mary, deceased, and Martha and William.
In the acquirement of an education Joseph Schofield attended the common schools of Ohio, the Caldwell Normal School and the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, that state. Subsequently he taught school several years in Ohio and Kansas, being Superintendent of the schools at Belpre and Caldwell and principal of the Caldwell Normal School for several years. Later he was Superintendent of the city schools at Seneca, Kansas. He was active as a member of the state board of public instruction in Kansas, during Governor Morrill’s administration and for over four years he was County Superintendent of public instruction of Nemaha County, Kansas. Mr. Schofield has a life certificate to teach in any school in Ohio. Among the positions of honor he has held in educational circles was that of Vice President of the department of Superintendents of the National Education Association. Subsequently Mr. Schofield took up the study of law, and entering the offices of Spriggs & Foreman, prominent attorneys, was admitted to practice. A short time afterward he was admitted to the bar at Seneca, Kansas, and there he practiced until 1903. During that time he met with success and established a state-wide reputation. In 1903 Mr. Schofield removed to Indian Territory and located at Checotah, where he has remained. When he came here he was United States commissioner of courts, which position he filled until statehood. Since statehood, however, he has devoted his entire time and attention to the practice of his chosen profession.
Mr. Schofield was united in marriage to Miss Anna Miller, a daughter of James and Martha (Toller) Miller, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Virginia. Both belonged to old colonial families, well known in Ohio. They were the parents of two children: Mrs. Schofield; and Jennie, who is deceased. She was the wife of Edward Marquis of Sharon, Ohio. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Schofield two children have been born: Cara L. and Ethel M., both graduates of the high school at Seneca., Kansas, and successful teachers in the schools of this state.
Since age conferred upon Mr. Schofield the right of franchise, he has been a stanch supporter of the Republican Party and the principles for which it stands. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, holding membership in Checotah Lodge, No. 86; Checotah Chapter, No. 49, of which he has been high priest since organization; Seneca Commandery, No. 41, Seneca, Kansas; and Abdallah Shrine, at Leavenworth, Kansas. Mr. Schofield is likewise a member of Checotah Chapter of the Eastern Star and Checotah Camp, Modern Woodmen of America. He is one of Checotah’s most enterprising and public-spirited citizens and has many friends in this community who appreciate his true personal worth and many sterling characteristics.