Athens, Athens County, Ohio Genealogy

Miscellaneous Biographies and Genealogy for the township of Athens, Athens County, Ohio, posted at Free Genealogy

Miscellaneous Genealogies and Biographies

John Perkins, son of Dr. Eliphaz Perkins, was born in Leicester, Vermont, in 1791, and came to the town of Athens with his father’s family in the year 1800. His father located at Athens on account of the prospective establishment of the Ohio university here, and since that time two of his sons, five grandsons and two great-grandsons have graduated at this institution. Mr. Perkins has lived in Athens nearly seventy years, and was post master here for about twenty-two years. He has been engaged in mercantile pursuits during a large part of his life, and is known in the county as a most upright man and a good citizen. Though nearly’ eighty years old, his firm step and clear mind bespeak a temperate life and approving conscience.

Henry Bartlett, the son of Captain William Bartlett, was born at Beverly, Massachusetts, February 3, 1771. His father was a seafaring man, and received, it is believed, the first commission that was issued to engage in privateering, during the revolutionary struggle, in which he rendered conspicuous service. In 1785, Captain Bartlett removed with his family to Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, and settled near the Forks of Yoh, where he lived till his death in 1794. While living in Westmoreland county, Henry Bartlett married Miss Betsey Corey, and in 1796, brought his young family to the northwestern territory and settled the next year at Athens. During his youth, Mr. Bartlett enjoyed pretty good educational advantages, and after his arrival at Athens was soon recognized as one of the readiest and most accurate clerks and business men in the community. Previous to the organization of the county, he taught school several quarters in the surrounding neighborhoods. Soon after the organization of the county in 1805, he was appointed by the county commissioners as clerk of the board and of the county courts, which position he held, discharging the duties with great fidelity for thirty years. He ceased to be clerk in 1836, and from that time till his death, acted as a justice of the peace in Athens. He was also for many years secretary and auditor of the Ohio university. He died September 9th, 1850. Esquire Bartlett was a man of great purity of character, thoroughly judicial mind and excellent capacity for business. During his early residence here, he adapted himself with admirable facility to pioneer life, and to the changing circumstances of the times, and was for many years almost indispensable in the management of county affairs. He possessed a fine quality of wit and humor, which he was fond of exercising, though always without offense to others, and which made him one of the most popular as he was one of the most highly respected men in the county. His family consisted of two sons and ten daughters, of whom nine daughters are living.

Robert Linzee, a native of western Pennsylvania, came to this county in 1801, and settled on a farm two miles below the town of Athens, on the “River road,” where he lived nearly thirty years. Mr. Linzee was a leading man in the early history of the county. He was the first sheriff of the county and held the office several years; was a member of the state legislature several terms, a trustee of the Ohio university and associate judge of the court of common pleas. In I 830 he removed to Mercer county, Ohio, where he died in 185o.

Mr. Linzee occupied a prominent place in county affairs during his residence here, and in private life was an amiable and interesting man. His name is still kindly remembered by those who were acquainted with him, among whom he had many admirers and warm friends.

John Johnson, settled in Athens with his family as early as i 805. One of his daughters was married in 1807 to Robert Linzee, and another, about the same time, to Jacob Dombaugh, who was an active man, and at an early day kept public house where the Brown House is now situated. A son of John Johnson’s, Samuel, married a daughter of Abel Glazier, of Ames. In 1815 Mr. Johnson and Mr. Glazier carried the mail, as sub-contractors, between Marietta and Chillicothe, when there were but two post offices on the route, viz., at Athens and Adelphi, Ross county.

Capt. Philip M. Starr, a native of Middletown, Connecticut, came to the town of Athens in i 801, where for several years he followed the mercantile business. Later he located on a rich and valuable farm on the river three miles below Athens where he died in 1857. Capt. Starr was a very active business man, and of more than average mental culture. He had considerable means when he came to the county, and though never in public life he was a man of influence among the early settlers. He devoted the latter part of his life to horticulture and fruit growing, in which he was notably successful.

Joseph B. Miles, for many years a merchant and leading citizen of Athens, was born in Rutland, Massachusetts, June 21, 1781. In 1791 he removed to the northwestern territory with his parents, who settled at Belpre, in Washington county. Here he lived till he was twenty-seven years old. In 180S Mr. Miles came to Athens and began business as a merchant. In January, 1809, he married Miss Elizabeth Buckingham, of Carthage township. He lived in Athens for thirty-five years, during which period he was prominent in all social, religious and business movements here. He engaged extensively in the mercantile and milling business, and was universally respected as an upright man and exemplary christian. In 1843 he removed with his family to Washington, Tazewell county, Illinois, where he died September 18th, 1860. His first wife died in Athens in 1821. By his first marriage Mr. Miles had six childrenCatherine B., who married Mr. C. Dart and died in Houston, Texas, in February 1866; Lucy W., who married Mr. L. A. Alderson and died in Greenbriar county, Virginia, in 1832; Belinda C., who married Mr. Jared Sperry and now lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio; Pamelia B., who died before marriage at Havana, Cuba; Elizabeth B., who was married in Natchez and died there of yellow fever in September, 1837; and Benjamin E., who now resides in Washington, Illinois. Mr. Miles married for his second wife Miss Elizabeth Fulton. Their children were Martha M., James H., Daniel L., Joseph B., Mary F., William R., and Sarah J. Mary, Martha and Joseph live in Washington, Illinois, James in Chicago, and Sarah J. (Mrs. Robert Wilson) in Farmington, Iowa. William R. died young; and Daniel L., who was lieutenant-colonel of the Forty-seventh Illinois Volunteers, during the war of the rebellion, was killed in a skirmish near Farmington, Tennessee, in May, 1862. Mr. Miles’s second wife died in 1862.

John Gillmore, was born in Washington county, New York, December 25, 1786. Soon afterward his father’s family removed to Rutland, Vermont, whence they emigrated in 1813 to Ohio. They were accompanied by Cephas Carpenter, a relative by marriage, and all settled in Athens. The father, James Gillmore, was the first elder in the Presbyterian church formed here about the time of his arrival, and was an excellent man; he died July 25, 1827. John Gillmore held several minor local offices, and served with credit two terms in the state legislature. In 1836 he removed with his family to Illinois, and finally settled at Rock Island, where he died, July 9th, 1859. The Gillmores are remembered as one of the most substantial families of the town during their long residence here. One of the daughters of Mr. James Gillmore, Ann Eliza, married the Rev. S. S. Miles (brother of Mr. Joseph B. Miles), who now lives in Geneseo, Illinois.

Archibald B. Walker, son of Dr. Ezra Walker, was born in East Poultney, Vermont, October 15th, 1800, and came to Ames township with his father’s family when ten years old. In 1825 he married Lucy W., daughter of Judge Silvanus Ames, and in 1826 they removed to the town of Athens, where they have since resided continuously, and reared a family of two sons and four daughters. Soon after coming to Athens, Mr. Walker, having formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, James J. Fuller, engaged for a few years in the cattle-driving and pork-packing business. In 1839 they commenced the manufacture of salt at the old furnace, opposite Chauncey, afterward owned by Judge Pruden, and soon after they bored the wells and erected the furnaces now owned by M. M. Greene & Co., at Salina. For a period of twenty years the firm name of Fuller & Walker was well and favorably known in the valley. The partnership was dissolved in 1853. Since that time, Mr. Walker has not engaged in active business on his own account. During his long residence in the county, he has always been one of the most prompt to embrace, and ardent in the support of every useful local enterprise. At home and abroad, in personal intercourse and through the press, he has ever been ready and efficient in advocating the development of the county, and presenting her claims. He was one of the original friends, and for several years a director of the Marietta & Cincinnati railroad, and an early and strenuous advocate for the construction of the Hockhocking Valley railroad, which is now building under the energetic control of younger men, and which he is likely to live to see finished.

Having been through his whole life scrupulously faithful and exact in the discharge of every duty, public and private, Mr. Walker is peacefully completing the last stage of a long and worthy career in the very spot where he began it. If his part has been acted on a comparatively narrow stage, it has nevertheless, been well acted-“there all the honor lies.” Happy in the respect of his neighbors and the affection of children and grand-children, he possesses, in the words of Shakspeare

“That which should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends.”

Dr. Leonard Jewett, one of the pioneer physicians of the county, was born September 6, 1770, in Littleton county, Massachusetts. He studied medicine and surgery at the Boston Medical college, and received a diploma from that institution in 1792. In 1796 he married Miss Mary Porter, of Rutledge, Massachusetts. After this he served four years as assistant surgeon in the New York hospital. In 1802 he removed from New York to Washington county, Ohio, and in 1804 or ‘5 to the town of Athens, and occupied a house built by Captain Silas Bingham, on the lot now owned and occupied by Mr. George W. Norris. In 1806 he was elected to the state senate, which position he held till 1811. When hostilities began in 1812, he was commissioned as surgeon in the army of the northwest, under Harrison, and was assigned to duty on the staff of General Tupper. At the close of the war he returned to Athens and resumed the practice of medicine with success. In 1816, while performing a surgical operation, he received poisonous matter into a small wound on his hand, the absorption of which produced violent inflammation and sudden death; he died May 13, 18 16. Dr. Jewett was a gentleman of fine intelligence and professional ability, and there are those living who still cherish his memory as one of the leaders among the early citizens of the county.

Four of his sons survive; three of them, Joseph, Leonard, and Leonidas Jewett, live in the vicinity of Athens, and one resides in Oregon. Leonidas was county auditor from 1839 to 1843, and was for many years a successful lawyer of Athens.

Leonidas Jewett, Jr., son of the last named, a lawyer of promise, is settled at Athens, where he was born. During “,the late war of the rebellion, he served three years with credit as adjutant of the Sixty-first Ohio regiment.

Abel Stedman, son of Judge Alexander Stedman, was born at Newbridge, Vermont, February 26, 1785, and came to the town of Athens in 1802. In 1811 he married Miss Sally Foster. In 1812 he enlisted in the United States service, and on the march from Sandusky to Chillicothe he marched next in the ranks to Thomas Corwin. Returning to Athens he engaged in his trade of house carpenter, and passed the rest of his days here. He was a man of active temperament and untiring industry, a professing Christian and full of good works. He died December 20, 1859.

Zadoc Foster, a native of Massachusetts, moved with his family to the northwestern territory in 1796. He came, like many others of that time, with an ox team as far as Olean point, on the Allegheny river, and thence proceeded by raft down the Ohio to Marietta, in the autumn of 1796. Remaining that winter in the stockade, he made a settlement in the spring at Belpre, and remained there till he came to Athens in 1809. During his residence at the Belpre settlement Indians were frequently seen, but had ceased to be considered dangerous, while the game was so abundant that deer and turkeys were sometimes shot, from the door of the cabin in which he lived.

Mr. Foster kept public house in Athens till his death, by the “cold plague,” in 1814, first in the McNichol house, on the lot now occupied by Mr. E. C. Crippen, and afterwards across the street, on the lot now occupied by Judge Barker. His widow, Mrs. Sarah Foster, continued to keep the tavern a few years after his death. She then began to teach a school for young children, in which vocation she was eminently useful and beloved during the remainder of her life. She continued to teach within four days of her death, which occurred in 1849.

Ebenezer Currier, born at Hempstead, Rockingham county, New Hampshire, December 15, 1772, came to Ohio in 1804, and to the town of Athens in 1806, where he lived nearly fifty years. He was one of the pioneer merchants of Athens. In 1811, having to transport a small supply of goods from Baltimore, he hired Archelaus Stewart to fetch them. The latter made the trip to and from Baltimore, all the way in a light wagon, and delivered the goods safely in Athens, after a journey of about two months. During Mr. Currier’s long residence here he filled several town and township offices, was justice of the peace, county commissioner, and county treasurer; was four times a member of the state legislature as senator and representative, and for about twenty-one years was associate judge of the court of common pleas. For more than forty years he engaged here in mercantile pursuits, in which he was quite successful, amassing a considerable fortune. Judge Currier died March 2, 1851. Many of his descendants live in the county.

Conrad Hawk was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania. While a young man he removed to Harrison county, Virginia, where he married Miss Nancy Read in 1805, and whence he moved to Athens county in 1810. He settled as a farmer in Athens township, where he died, October i, 1841. Mr. Hawk’s family, formerly well and favorably known in this community, are now scattered. William, the oldest son, died in 1864, while commanding a steamer in General Banks’ expedition up the Red river. John lives in Texas; James and Columbus in Clarke county, Ohio, and Geo. W. in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. One of the daughters, now Mrs. Dr. Huxford, lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the other, Mrs. Durbin, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

Nicholas Baker, senior, born in England in 1760, was brought to this country at seven years of age, for forty-four years followed the sea, as cabin boy ‘and sailor, and in 1814, with his only son Isaiah Baker, came to Athens county where he lived in his son’s family, in the vicinity of Athens, till his death in 1829.

Isaiah Baker, son of the foregoing, born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, in the year 1780, came to this county with his family in 1814, and settled three miles west of Athens, where he followed farming the rest of his life. He died in 1825, leaving seven sons and three daughters, all of whom are living, except one son, Matthias, who was killed by the kick of a horse in 1837. Mr. Baker was a worthy member of the Methodist church.

Nicholas Baker, son of Isaiah, born in Massachusetts in 1799, has lived in Athens (town and township) fifty-four years. Social and genial in his daily intercourse with friends, few men lead a more placid life than “Uncle Nick.” With a heart corresponding in capacity to his ponderous frame, with a healthy and happy temperament, he is one of those kind-hearted men whom dumb animals like and children make friends with. He fondly cherishes the remembrance of his once having lived in Judge Silvanus Ames’ family, in Ames township, in the summer of 1817. Edward R. Ames (Rev. Bishop Ames) at that time was eleven years old, and Mr. Baker, partial to him in boyhood, refers to their early acquaintance with lively pleasure. He relates with much gusto and laughter how “the bishop,” being naturally rather lazy, would lie on the grass in the shade and amuse young Baker with his talk, while the latter cheerfully performed an extra amount of work for his dreaming companion. Mr. Baker, formerly a farmer, has resided for many years past in the town of Athens. His son, George W. Baker, is now treasurer of Athens county.

Jacob L. Baker, another of the sons of Isaiah Baker, is an extensive farmer in Athens township. He has a family of seven sons and one daughter, most of whom are well settled on good farms in the neighborhood of their father, who manages to buy an additional farm as often as needed, for some of his family.

The five other sons of Isaiah Baker removed to the west and are there settled-most of them in Illinois.

Capt. David Pratt, born at Colchester, Connecticut, in 1780, came with his father’s family to Marietta in 1798, and removed to Athens in 1812. Here he was for many years a successful teacher, and there are old men living who well remember his thorough instruction and his stern discipline. In 1814 he married Miss Julia Perkins, eldest daughter of Dr. Eliphaz Perkins, whose christian graces and excellence of character were long known and admired in Athens. To them were born three sons and three daughters, all of whom are now living. The sons are all graduates of the Ohio university; two of them, the Rev. Eliphaz Perkins Pratt and the Rev. John H. Pratt being well-known ministers of the Presbyterian church, and the third, Dr. Robert Pratt, a successful physician in Illinois.

David Pratt died in 1861, and his wife in 1867, aged eighty-three. They were both members of the Presbyterian church in Athens for more than half a century.

Joseph Dana, born at Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1768, was educated at Dartmouth college and graduated in 1788. He intended to pursue the ministry, but owing to delicate health did not carry out this purpose; he subsequently studied and qualified himself for the practice of the law. He served some time in the Massachusetts legislature, but his health continuing frail, he resolved to leave New England. In 1817 he removed west and settled at Athens, where he at first engaged in the practice of law. Though never a ready speaker, Mr. Dana was a thorough lawyer and fine special pleader-a branch of the practice necessarily more cultivated in those days than now. About two years after coming here he was elected professor of languages in the university-a position for which he was admirably qualified by his fine scholarship and intellectual habits. His connection with the university continued till 1835 when the infirmities of age led him to resign his position.

Professor Dana was an accomplished scholar and cultivated gentleman. He was, for many years, an elder in the Presbyterian church here, and a lofty intellectuality pervaded his religion and all his modes of thought. He died November 18th, 1849. His sons, Joseph M. Dana, Daniel S. Dana, Capt. William Henry Dana, U. S. N., and others of his descendants are well known in this community.

Ames Brice was born in Maryland in the year 1750, and, removing to western Pennsylvania, settled near Fort Pitt (Pittsburg) in 1787. While living here he held various public stations, such as member of the state legislature, county commissioner, collector of internal revenue, trustee of Washington college, etc. In 1821 he removed further west, and settled in the town of Athens, where he passed the latter years of his life, living in the family of his son. He was a man of high character, and during his long life was an active and exemplary Christian. He died in Athens, December 22, 1832.

Barnet Brice, his son, and a native of Pennsylvania, preceded his father to Athens, having settled here in 1807. He kept public house many years (he built the Union hotel now occupied by O. B. Potter), and was extensively acquainted through the country. He died about 1853.

Thomas Brice, another son of James, came to Athens in 1818. He was a successful merchant here for many years, and a large dealer in cattle from 1820 to 183o. He built the brick dwelling house on Court street, now owned and occupied by Dr. W. P. Johnson.

In 1815 Nathan Dean, with his family, mostly grown, of six sons and three daughters, came to this county from Norton, Bristol county, Massachusetts. The young people all settled here, and raised respectable families in subsequent life. Three of them, William, Gulliver, and John N. Dean, made the brick, in the summer of 1816, for the central building of the Ohio university in Athens, and later, in 1835, one of them, John N. Dean, made the brick for the two additional or wing buildings of the university. The eldest of the family, afterward Colonel Nathan Dean, settled near Amesville, in the eastern part of the county, and died much respected in the year 1839.

At the time this family left Massachusetts, in 1815, the manufactures of the country were only so far advanced, that, in making nails, their heads were made singly by hand, and these brothers had worked considerably at heading nails by hand before coming to Ohio. One of their ancestors, James Leonard, is believed to have been the first man that manufactured iron in America, and a son of his, Jonathan Leonard, the first to manufacture steel. Jonathan went to England and feigned to be simple, in order to get work in an establishment manufacturing steel, and thus gained the knowledge which the English were studiously endeavoring to conceal from the artisans of other countries. Upon his return the firm of “Leonard & Kinsley” successfully engaged in the production of steel in this country.

Charles Shipman, for more than twenty years an active and leading citizen of Athens, was born in Saybrook, Connecticut, August 28, 1787. He came to Marietta, with his father’s family, in 1790, and they remained in the “stockade” during the Indian war. Colonel Shipman came to the town of Athens in 1813, and engaged in merchandising, in which line his business talent and popular manners soon gave him decided prominence, and ultimately large success. In early times he visited Philadelphia for the purchase of goods, once every year, and sometimes twice a year, always on horseback. Some of the old citizens of Athens still remember the fine sorrel horse, long owned by Colonel Shipman, on which he thus made nineteen trips from Athens to Philadelphia and back.

Colonel Shipman was a man of fine social qualities, genial manners, and benevolent heart. He was the first, or one of the first, merchants in this part of the state to discard the sale of intoxicating drinks, to stop the practice of ” treating ” customers, and to engage actively in the temperance cause. He was, during the most of his life, a professor of religion, and for many years a ruling elder of the Presbyterian church of Athens.

Colonel Shipman (he was elected colonel of a militia regiment during his residence at Athens) married Frances White Dana, of Belpre, in 1811. She died in 1813. The only issue of this marriage was a son, William C. Shipman, for many years past a citizen of New Albany, Indiana. In 1815 he married Joanna, the eldest daughter of Esquire Henry Bartlett, who is still living in Marietta. Colonel Shipman left Athens in 1836 to reside at Marietta, where he died July 7, 1860.

Silas Pruden, born in Norristown, New Jersey, in 1773, came to Athens county in 1815, and purchased the mills and farm east of Athens, then owned by Col. Jehiel Gregory, who soon after removed to Fayette county, Ohio. Mr. Pruden rebuilt and improved the mills, which were known as the “Pruden mills,” till about 1836, when Mr. Pruden sold them with the adjoining farm, etc., to J. B. & R. W. Miles. Mr. Pruden was a man of considerable means, and raised a highly respectable family of six sons and seven daughters. In November, 1832, one of his daughters, Achsah, was married to John Brough, late governor of Ohio. Mr. Pruden was a member of the Presbyterian church during his residence in the county, and a most worthy man. In 1837 he removed to Hocking county, where he died, November 30, 1856.

Samuel B. Pruden, son of Silas Pruden, was born at Norristown, New Jersey, January 17, 1798, and came to Athens county with his father’s family in 1815. On arriving at manhood he developed unusual capacity for business, and, during his long residence in the county, was one of her prominent and leading citizens. In 1826 he began the milling and wool-carding business at the “Bingham mills,” west of Athens, which he continued about ten years. In 1836 he established himself permanently about two miles below Athens, on the Hockhocking, where he erected an oil mill, a grist and saw mill, and in 1840 a salt boiling establishment. The settlement that he here founded has long been known as Harmony. For many years Mr. Pruden carried on the manufacture of salt at this point, and also at Chauncey, in Dover township, where he owned another furnace. He was associate judge for one term, trustee of the Ohio university for several years, and represented the county in the state legislature in 1854-5. He also held the office of county surveyor for many years. As a member of the Masonic fraternity he advanced from one degree to another in that body, till he became commander of the Athens Encampment of Knights Templar. He died December 10, 1863.

Neil Courtney was an Englishman by birth, and was, for a time, in the British navy during the revolutionary war. Near the close of the war, while the vessel on which he was serving lay off Long Island, he deserted the service into which he had been impressed, swam half a mile to shore, and assumed allegiance to the new government. He came to Athens county in 1806, and settled one mile north of Athens, on what was afterward known as the “Courtney farm.” The following entries appear in the old records of the county commissioners:

“April 8, 1809. The petitions of William Dorr and Neil Courtney, praying for an alteration in the road leading from the Horse mill to the mouth of Sunday creek, and from Athens to Coe’s mill, read the first time. Petition granted. Jehiel

Gregory, Samuel Moore, and Robert Linzee appointed viewers, to meet at Neil Courtney’s on Monday, the 12th instant, at 9 o’clock A. M.”

“December 6, 181o. The commissioners agreed, on condition that Neil Courtney produce to them satisfactory proof that he has worked, or expended on the alteration in the road leading from the Horse mill, near Esquire Bingham’s, to the mouth of Sunday creek, the sum of five dollars, that then said road shall be established. Proof filed in office of commissioners, February -, 1811.”

Mr. Courtney died January 22, 1826, in his sixty-eighth year. Numerous descendants of his are living in this county.

Joseph Goodspeed, born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, in June, 1774, came to this county, with his family of five sons and three daughters, in 1818, and settled on a farm about two miles west of Athens, where he died February 12, 1857. His two sons, David and Ezra Goodspeed, well known in the county as successful farmers, were born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, and came to Athens, with their father, in 1818. Many of their descendants still live in the county, and are highly respected. Major Arza Goodspeed, son of David, was killed before Vicksburg, while bravely doing his duty as a soldier of the Union, and J. McKinly Goodspeed, son of Ezra, and a graduate of the Ohio university, is at present superintendent of the Athens union schools.

Francis Beardsley, born at Stratford, Hartford county, Connecticut, December 28, 1792, came to Athens in 1814, where he has lived ever since. Soon after coming here he married Miss Culver, sister of John Gillmore’s wife, who died in -. For his second wife he married Rebecca, daughter of Esquire Henry Bartlett. Of a retiring disposition and unobtrusive manners, Mr. Beardsley has led a quiet and useful life. A model of Christian rectitude under all circumstances, he is respected and esteemed by all who know him.

Norman Root, born in Canaan, Litchfield county, Connecticut, January 22, 1798, removed to Ohio in 1816, and to the town of Athens about the year 1820. In 1824 he married Jane Brice, sister of Thomas Brice, long known as a leading citizen of Athens. In 1827 Mr. Root was elected county auditor, and served till 1839, being re-elected five times. He was also, for many years, recorder of Athens, and held other positions of trust in the community, in all of which he discharged his duty with scrupulous fidelity. He was a man of great modesty and reticence, but of sound judgment and excellent business capacity. He was, for a long time, prominent as a Free Mason, and, for forty years, was a devoted and consistent member of the Methodist church. He died September 21, 1867

E. Hastings Moore, born in Worcester county, Massachusetts, in 1812, came to Athens county with the family of his father, David Moore, in 1817. For about ten years the youth lived on a farm in Dover township, and then for several years on a farm in this township, about two miles from Athens, whence he finally removed to the town itself, where he has ever since resided. Mr. Moore had a good common school education (he taught some when a young man), and a taste for practical mathematics. In 1836 he became deputy county surveyor, and in 1838. was elected by the people to that office, then a difficult and laborious one. He held this position till 1846, discharging its duties with uncommon accuracy and entire acceptance to the public. In 1846 he was elected county auditor, which office he held, under re-elections, fourteen years. In 1862 he was appointed collector of internal revenue for the fifteenth Ohio district, and held the office till 1866. In 1868 he was elected to the forty-first congress from the fifteenth Ohio district as a republican. He is also president of the First National Bank at Athens.

Mr. Moore is a man of great practical sense and strict integrity, and is esteemed by all as a valuable citizen.

William Golden, born in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, October 5th, 1799, came to Athens county in 1824, and settled at first in Athens, but later, in Alexander township, as a farmer. Here he was elected justice of the peace for many successive years. He was county sheriff from 1843 to 1847, and county treasurer from 1848 to 1854. In 1843 he removed to the town of Athens, where he has since resided, and is now post master. Three of his sons are living, viz: John C., a farmer and stock dealer in Meigs county, Elmer, a merchant in Jackson, Ohio, and William R.

William Reed Golden, son of the last named, was born in Athens, April 11th, 1827, and passed his early years on his father’s farm in Alexander. He was educated at the Ohio university, studied law at Athens with Lot L. Smith, and attended lectures at the National Law School at Ballston Spa, New York, where he graduated in 1851. Returning to Athens, he entered on the practice of his profession here in 1852. In 1865 he was elected, as a democrat, to the state senate, and re-elected in October, 1867, to represent the counties of Athens, Hocking, and Fairfield, composing the ninth senatorial district. He has recently removed to Columbus, Ohio, where he is now engaged in the practice of law.

John Welch, born in 1805, in Harrison county, Ohio, came to Athens county about 1828, and settled in Rome township. Here he and his brother Thomas Welch bought the ” Beebe mill,” at that time owned by their father, and for some years he pursued the milling business. While performing his duties as miller, Mr. Welch studied law with Professor Joseph Dana of Athens, going some fourteen miles to recite once in a week or two. Having finished his studies and prepared to change his vocation, he removed to Athens, where he was admitted to the bar in 1833 by the supreme court of Ohio, sitting in Athens county. In this field his success was assured from the start. His eminent abilities, indefatigable industry and devotion to his profession soon placed him at the head of the Athens bar, and finally among the ablest lawyers of the state. He was prosecuting attorney of Athens county for several years; a member of the state senate in 1846-7; a representative in congress in 1851-2; and judge of the common pleas court from 1862 to 1865. February 23d, 1865, he was appointed by the governor, judge of the supreme court of Ohio, in place of Rufus P. Ranney, resigned, and in October, 1865, was elected for Judge, Ranney’s unexpired term. In October, 1867, he was elected for the fall term, and occupies the position at the present time.

Judge Welch’s career, which has been attended with honorable and solid success, is a sufficient eulogy upon his character as a man and citizen, and his ability as a lawyer.

Dr. Eben G. Carpenter was born at Alstead, New Hampshire, in 1808. His father was a physician, and, of eight brothers, five studied medicine. Dr. C. graduated at the Berkshire Medical college at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1831, practiced in New Hampshire a year or so, came to Ohio in 1833 and settled at Chester, Meigs county (then the county seat). In 1836 he came to Athens, where he has lived ever since, engaging very actively in the practice of his profession. Dr. C. has been notably successful as an operative surgeon.

Dr. William Blackstone was born in Bottetourt county, Virginia, in 1796, and came with his father’s family to Ohio in 1802, settling first in Pickaway and afterward in Ross county. He studied medicine at Circleville, Ohio, and Lexington, Kentucky, and graduated at the Cincinnati Medical college in 1833, having engaged actively in the practice during several years before this. Dr. B. came to Athens in 1838, and has practiced here continuously since. He and Dr. Carpenter have both partially retired from active practice.

Dr. Perkins, Dr. Jewett, Dr. Bierce (who left here about 184.o), Dr. Carpenter, and Dr. Blackstone are the only resident physicians who remained for any length of time in the place during the first half of this century. There are now three practicing physicians here, viz: Dr. W. P. Johnson, Dr. C. L. Wilson, and Dr. George Carpenter.

Nelson H. Van Vorhes, son of Abraham Van Vorhes, himself for many years a leading citizen of the county, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, January 23d, 1822. In 1832 his father removed with his family to Athens county, and settled in -Alexander township. In 1836, his father having bought the Western Spectator and removed to Athens, Nelson entered the printing office as an apprentice. He worked diligently here for some years, part of the time having sole conduct of the paper, as his father was elected to the state legislature, and was absent for several winters. In 1844 he purchased the paper, which he continued to publish (a portion of the time in connection with his brother A. J. Van Vorhes), till 1861 as the Athens Messenger. During this time he took an active part in the political contests of the day and in furthering the home and local interests of the county. He served from 1850 to 1853 in the state legislature; in 1853 was Whig candidate for secretary of state, but, with the rest of the ticket, failed of election; in 1854 was elected probate judge of the county, but resigned to become a candidate again for the legislature. He was elected, and became speaker of the house, which position he held during two sessions. In 1857 he was re-elected to the legislature. In 1858 he was republican candidate for congress in the 11th district, but was not able to overcome the democratic majority. He was a delegate to the Chicago convention in 1860, and took an active part in the presidential campaign which followed. At the breaking out of the war in 1861,

Mr. Van Vorhes enlisted as a private in the first company of infantry raised at Athens, and on the election of officers was chosen first lieutenant. In 1862, he was appointed colonel of the 92d Ohio regiment of infantry, which command he retained, serving in Western Virginia, till the summer of 1863, when, his health completely failing, he was forced to resign. Col. Van Vorhes has never fully recovered his health. He has held various local offices during the past few years, and possesses, in as high degree as ever, the confidence and respect of the community.

Charles H. Grosvenor, born in Pomfret, Connecticut, September 20, 1833, came to Athens county with his father’s family when five years old, and lived in Rome during his youth and early manhood. While clerking in the store of Daniel Stewart he obtained books from Lot L. Smith, of Athens, and read law assiduously. He practiced with success in Athens for a few years prior to the breaking out of the rebellion, and entered the service in July, 1861, as major of the 18th Ohio infantry. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel March 16, 1863, March 1q., 1865, Maj. Gen. J. B.

Steedman recommended Col. Grosvenor to the secretary of war for promotion “for faithful, distinguished and gallant services.” The recommendation was thus indorsed by Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas “Respectfully forwarded and earnestly recommended.

Lieut. Col. Grosvenor has served under my command since November, 1862, and has, on all occasions, performed his duties with intelligence and zeal.” Gen. Grosvenor was promoted to colonel April 8, 1865, and served till the close of the war. He was brevetted brigadier general to date from March 13, 1865, and was mustered out October 28th in that year. He is now practicing law in Athens.

Samuel Knowles, a native of Connecticut, and, during early life, a sea-faring man, came to Athens county in 1808 and settled at Hockingport. In 1812 he married Miss Clarissa Curtis, sister of Judge Walter Curtis of Washington county, and in 1820 removed to the town of Athens where he resided for many years. He was elected marshal of the town in 1825 and 1826. He removed to the west many years since and is now living in Knoxville, Iowa.

Samuel S. Knowles, son of the last named, was born at Athens, August 25, 1825, received his early education at the village schools, learned the carpenter trade when seventeen years old and followed it for a few years, entered the academy at Athens at the age of twenty-one, and pursued his studies there and in the university about four years, read law with Lot L. Smith, was admitted to the bar in 1851, elected prosecuting attorney of Athens county the same year, and held the office two terms. He practiced law at Athens till 1862, when he removed to Marietta. In October, i 865, he was elected state senator from the 14th district, comprising Washington, Morgan, and Noble counties, serving two years. In April, 1864, he was elected mayor of Marietta, and re-elected in 1866, serving four years. He is now engaged in the practice of law at Marietta.

John Ballard was born in Charlemont, Massachusetts, October 1st, 1790, and came to Athens in February, 1839. During the greater part of his residence here he engaged successfully in the mercantile business; was also for several years president of the Athens branch of the State Bank, and a leading man in the local enterprises of the place. He has now retired from business. Four of his sons are living, viz : Otis, a banker in Circleville, Ohio; Charles, manufacturer of farm implements in Springfield, O.; James, merchant in Athens, and the Rev. Addison Ballard at Detroit, Michigan.

Thomas F. Wildes was born at Racine, in the dominion of Canada, June 1, 1834, came to Ohio with his father’s family in 1839, and to Athens in 1861 as the editor of the Athens Messenger. Mr. Wildes was an ardent republican, and in August, 1862, exchanging the pen for the sword, he entered the military service as lieutenant colonel of the 116th Ohio infantry. He was in active service with this regiment during the next two and a half years, in the army of West Virginia, part of the time commanding a brigade. In February, 1865, he was promoted to the colonelcy -of the i 86th Ohio volunteer infantry, and assigned to duty in the Army of the Cumberland. March 11th, 1865, he was brevetted brigadier general and commanded a brigade in the army last named till he was mustered out in September, 1865. He graduated at the law school in Cincinnati in 1866, and has since practiced his profession at Athens.

Back to: Athens, Athens County, Ohio History

Back to: Athens County, Ohio

2 thoughts on “Athens, Athens County, Ohio Genealogy”

  1. Mary Jo McKee Billingsly

    My ancestor Was from Athens Ohio. Name being. Thomas McKee b 1801 McKeesport Pa. Son of John McKee died AthensCo.. Have visited there. But found little on McKEE family. They did move to St Mary’s ohio. Bio there. Need more of a McKeesport connection? Who was John connected to in Pa. Please look in to this family connection?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top