Letters N - O

DR. HUGH P. NELSON (Montgomery) p. 372(1)

Dr. Hugh P. Nelson was born November 14, 1849, in Iberia, Morrow county, Ohio. His father, William L. Nelson, was a native of Pennsylvania, who removed to this county while young and settled near Perrysville. His mother Nancy, was born and reared on what is known as the old Moore farm, in the southeast part of Montgomery township. The family consisted of eight children–Hugh P., John M., Susan, Julia A., Mary F., Dillmon, Melissa and William E.; three of whom died while young, John M., Dillmon and Melissa.

The subject of this sketch being the oldest, the labors of providing for the wants of the family fell heavily upon him, so that his chances for obtaining a thorough education were next to impossible, as his time was occupied with his farm duties during his youth and early manhood. He attended district school during the winter; but being of a studious turn of mind, he succeeded in this way in obtaining a fair common school education. In the fall of 1868 he entered the academy at Hayesville, remaining a part of the time until 1874. During the summer of that year he attended school at Perrysville.

For several years Dr. Nelson figured highly as one of Ashland county’s most energetic and successful teachers. In the winter of 1876-77 he commenced the study of medicine, placing himself under the instructions of Professor J.E. Roop, then residing in Cincinnati, Ohio, and remained with him until the fall of 1878, when he attended medical lectures at the Medical Department of Wooster university, Cleveland, Ohio; resuming his studies again in the spring of 1879 under his former preceptor, who had in the meantime removed to Ashland. He attended lectures the following winter at Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated with second honor from the Physio-medical College March 2, 1880. Returning home he located in his native town, entering as partner with the well known practitioners, Roop & Dunham. Dr. Nelson is an earnest, hard student, ever searching after the best and most safe means of alleviating the sufferings of his fellow beings. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

JOHN S. NELSON (Milton) p. 213(1)

JOHN S. NELSON Was born in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, December 10, 1812, and moved with his father’s family to Milton township, Richland, now Ashland, county, in the spring of 1816. He was the oldest son of Robert Nelson, one of the leading pioneers of Milton township, and saw it clothed in its primitive forest. When a boy he roamed amidst its wilds, and often saw the wild deer, bear and wolves. A serenade of wolves was very common, and the pioneers were compelled to enclose young calves, sheep and swine to prevent capture by wild animals.

He grew to manhood in Milton, attending log cabin schools, helping to remove the forest, erect cabins, cutting highways, and making other improvements. When his father entered the township the Delaware Indians, in their hunting excursions, often passed down Beall’s trail, and hunted along the streams of this county, but never interfered with the citizens of Milton. But a few families preceded Robert Nelson in Milton. John Nelson, in a personal interview with the writer, said he remembered the following: James Gunthel, Peter Lance, James Kelley, Frederick Sulcer, John Anderson, Obediah Ferrell, Alexander Reed, Edward Wheeler, Allen Lockhart, William Lockhart, Henry Wetzel, George Myers, David Teal, John Kane, Abraham Doty, David Pollock and Laban Conley.

In 1846 he volunteered from the State of Illinois, to serve during the Mexican war, and with his company was in several battles, one of the most noted of which was the battle of Buena Vista. He was in Colonel Clay’s regiment, and assisted in carrying that gallant young officer from the field after his fatal wound. His company was attacked in this engagement by a squadron of lancers, and Mr. Nelson was wounded twice; once by a ball in the hand, and afterward by a lancer, who struck him in the breast with his lance. He shot and killed the Mexican and secured the lance-head, which he brought home as a trophy.

Like all those from the north who entered the Mexican army, he became a victim of chronic disease, resulting from dysentery. For many years he has been too feeble to labor, and constantly a sufferer. Many years since he became a member of the Lutheran church, and adorned his faith by an upright walk. The immediate cause of his decease was a fall, in which he fractured his hip-bone. He failed rapidly, and after three or four days of pain he expired January 28, 1877. His remains were interred in the cemetery at Ashland, Tuesday January 30, 1877. He was also a member of the Ashland County Historical and Pioneer society. Suitable resolutions were passed by the appropriate committees touching his decease and life. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

JOSEPH NELSON (Milton) p. 350(1)

Joseph Nelson, a native of Pennsylvania, came to Ohio about the year 1847, and the following year was married to Margaret Nelson, a sister of Scott Nelson. He has given twenty-six years of his life to his trade, that of plasterer and stone-mason, besides carrying on his farm. He has been the father of five children, but Robert is the only one living. His first wife died in January 1876, and in February, 1880, he was again married, taking for his second wife Susan Iceman. He is a member of the  Presbyterian church, of Ashland, and acts with the Democratic party. He has been frugal and careful in his business, and has accumulated a nice property.  (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

ROBERT NELSON (Milton) p. 202(1) Entry #1

Was a native of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, and born June 29, 1769. He was educated in the common schools of his native county. He taught school, when a young man, and was regarded as a fine English scholar and a successful teacher. When about forty-six years of age he purchased the tract of land known as Andrew Heltman farm, in Milton township, being Virginia Military land; and in 1815, came to the township and erected a sort of camp cabin, and cleared and cultivated a small field about it. He had his bread prepared by Mrs. Conrad Kline, who resided some distance east of the present site of Ashland, and camped each day to labor at his new home.

He resided in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, from about the year 1801, where he married Miss Emalie Bonham, and where were born to him seven of his eleven children.

In the spring of 1816, he removed to his cabin with his family. From near New Lisbon, he passed up Beall’s trail, the common route, to within about one mile of his cabin, and then cut a path. He resided there a short time, and then exchanged his land for a new homestead, where Scott Nelson now resides, where, by the aid of his neighbors, he erected a new cabin, removed into it, and continued to reside until his decease. When he landed with his family, there were but few settlers in Milton township. His nearest neighbors are believed to have been: James Kingsal, Frederick Sulcer, Peter Lance, James Kelly, and Abraham Doty.

At the time of his arrival, and for many years afterward, the neighborhood was infested by wolves, which destroyed the sheep, and, when hungry, would frequently attack young calves and pigs. Mrs. Nelson was often compelled to build a fire at night near the pen where she secured the young calves, to keep the wolves from destroying them. Mr. Nelson obtained meal and flour at Beam’s mill for a number of years, until mills began to be more numerous.

In 1816, July 6, Milton township was organized, prior to that time being under the control of Mifflin for civil purposes. The petition was drawn by Robert Nelson, the best scholar and penman in the township, and duly acted upon by the court of common pleas of Richland county, and the request of the petitioners granted. The petition displays considerable ability and readiness of composition, and is an honor to the author. Its history runs thus: “Now it came to pass when men began to multiply on this side of the river westward toward the lake, even the great Lake Erie, and the inhabitants of Milton township, became numerous and strong, that they said one to another, go to, let us separate ourselves from Mifflin township, to which they aforetime had been attached; for why should we be oppressed by our brethren, and costs multiplied on us in carrying us before strangers? Let us select a goodly number from among our brethren, that shall bear rule over us. And they prayed the court in Mansfield, and their request was granted. Milton was organized, and became a free and independent township. This happened in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixteen.”

The selfishness of our race is apparent in the foregoing document, in that, while Milton became “free,” her jurisdiction continued over Clearcreek four years after the important event narrated by Mr. Nelson.

Upon the erection of Milton, it is believed Robert McBeth was elected the first justice of the peace. Mr. McBeth resided in the territory now composing Clearcreek township, which circumstance evinced a disposition on the part of the electors of Milton to divide honors with her neighbor.

In 1819 Robert Nelson was elected a justice of the peace, and served until 1822. In 1817, at the spring election, David Crabbs was elected township clerk, and Benjamin Montgomery, Elijah Charles and Robert McBeth, trustees, and David McKinny, fence viewer, and John Ferrell, appraiser of property, and Abel Montgomery and William Houston listers; supervisors, William Houston, Frederick Sulcer, and George Burget; and John Freeborn and Jacob Montgomery, constables; and Jacob Foulk, treasurer.

In 1818 Robert Nelson was elected township clerk, and was re-elected in 1819-20. After the expiration of his term as justice, in 1822, he was re-elected; and was repeatedly elected trustee and constable after that time.

He is said to have been an upright and popular officer, and could have retained office for many years; but had no ambition to seek office and public favor in that direction.

When the congregation of “old Hopewell” organized in 1817, Robert Nelson, Abraham Doty, Daniel McKinny, William Houston, David Pollock, Jacob McClusky, and Abel Montgomery, Samuel Burns, David Burns, William Andrews, Alexander McCrady, and their wives, in Milton township, became members of the new congregation. Robert Nelson and Abraham Doty were elected and ordained elders. Mr. Nelson remained an elder until advanced age caused him to retire.* He died August 16, 1844, aged seventy-five years; and his widow survived until May 31, 1862, when she deceased, at the age of eighty years.

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were the parents of thirteen children: Mary, James, Eliza, Rachel, John, Samuel, Sophia, Nancy, Margaret, Scott, Robert, Jane and Milton, all of whom survived Mr. Nelson, he being the first member of the family that deceased. John and Scott and three sisters remain in Milton, five of the family are dead, and three are in other localities.

Mr. Nelson served in the war of 1812, and his widow received a land warrant for his services.** John and Robert, sons of Nelson, served in Mexico in the war of 1846; and Scott Nelson, another son, served in the war of 1861-5 in the South.

Mr. Nelson was an influential and upright citizen. His education and fine judgment qualified him to fill the highest public stations in the county. As a member of the Presbyterian church he was much respected. Diffident and unselfish, he found more real pleasure in being a quiet farmer than in public display and official promotion. Devoted to his church and the elevation of society, his example, all through life, was in the direction of good order, obedience to law, and the precepts of religion, and when he had run his course, he passed over the dark stream without fear or regret.

*In the war of 1812, he went as a substitute and was elected orderly sergeant, and served at Erie, Pennsylvania. His brother William Nelson was in the same company and died.

**At the proper place a history of the organization of “old Hopewell” or the “Montgomery church,” as it was originally called, will be given. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

ROBERT NELSON (Milton) p. 348(1) Entry #2

Robert Nelson who was born in the year 1769, came from Northampton county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1816, and settled in Milton township, Ashland county, then Richland county. In the year 1801 he was married in New Jersey, and brought with him to Ohio his wife and nine little children. He experienced all the trials and hardships common to the life of an early pioneer, and died, after a useful and well spent life, at the age of seventy-five years, in the year 1844. His wife survived him until the year 1862, when she died at the ripe old age of eighty. At the time of her death there were eleven children living, four sons and seven daughters. The only ones now residing in Ashland county are Scott, Sophia and Nancy. After the death of his father, Scott purchased from the heirs the old homestead and there resides to this day (1880). In the year 1854 he was married to Rosanna Wells, by whom he had two children—James B. and Miranda. The latter married Alonzo Poff. James lives with his aged father at the old home. Mr. Nelson has been a prominent and worthy citizen, and is one of the leading men of Milton township. (Transcribed and contributed by Linda J. Collins.)

ROBERT NEWELL (Montgomery) p. 173(1)

A native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, is believed to have located in the east part of Montgomery township in 1811. He had resided for two or three years on White Eyes plains, near the present site of Newcomerstown, in Tuscarawas county, Ohio. He is believed to have erected the first cabin in Montgomery township. It was situated on what has since been known as the Hugh McGuire farm, some five miles southeast of Ashland. In the fall of 1812, after the Ruffner-Zimmer-Copus tragedies on the Black fork, the cabins of Mr. Newell, Mr. Cuppy, and Mr. Fry, further up a branch of the same stream, were burned by the Indians, while the families of the above-mentioned pioneers sought safety at the fort or Jerome’s place, now the village of Jeromeville. After peace had been declared, Mr. Newell re-erected a cabin and continued to improve his farm, which he finally sold to the late Hugh McGuire, and located one mile north of Olivesburgh, in Richland county, where he deceased in 1848, at an advanced age. When Montgomery township was associated with Vermillion township for civil purposes, from 1814 to 1816, Mr. Newell, from Montgomery, and James Wallace, from Vermillion, were elected justices of the peace. Upon the organization of Montgomery in 1816, Mr. Newell lost his office. He is represented as having been a clever, whole-souled pioneer, but in point of education quite illiterate. He could not write, and consequently kept no docket. There was but little litigation in those days, and it was the habit of squire Newell to appoint a day and cite the plaintiff and defendant to appear before him. When the parties had assembled, he required them to state, under oath, the nature of their claims, and having partially heard both sides, required an equitable and peaceable adjustment of the dispute. It is related, that on some occasions, money being exceedingly scarce, and whisky being a “legal tender” it was decided that a gallon of that article should be provided by the winning party for the crowd, and the case be dismissed, with the injunction that in the future the litigants should be neighbors and friends. Mr. Newell was a very liberal officer. He rarely charged for his services. Constable Kline, who served under him, being a poor man, had to exact his fees.

The sons of Mr. Newell were; Absalom, Franklin, Samuel, Zachariah, and Jesse. The daughters were two–Mrs. Jonathan Edy and Mrs. Lloyd Edy, of Richland county. The sons all moved west, most of them to Iowa, where some of them yet reside. Like Robert Newell, their father, they were all large, rugged men, and preferred the rough and tumble of a new country. Like the Lattas, The Mackleys, the Uries, and hundreds of others of the early settlers, they were formidable men at a military muster, a cabin raising, a political meeting or any other gathering where physical force was brought into question. The days of the giants are no more! The race of backwoodsmen has departed. Feebler men occupy their places. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

ANDREW NEWMAN (Mifflin) p. 166(1)

Was born in Rockingham county, Virginia in 1778. He was of German descent, the original name being Neumann. He emigrated to Richland, then Fairfield county, in 1806, and settled on the Rocky fork of Mohican, in Mifflin township, about three and a half miles below the present site of Mansfield. Here he was joined by Jacob Beam and other pioneers. When the war of 1812 was declared, and the border settlers menaced by the Indians on the Black fork and Jerome fork, Mr. Newman assisted in the erection of a blockhouse, known as “Beam’s,” to which the settlers fled for safety. At the time of the removal of the Green and Jerometown Indians, Mr. Newman was engaged in building a sawmill on the Rocky fork. In this work he was aided by William and Richard Roberts, of Knox county. The night the Zimmers and Ruffners were slain by the Indians, Mr. Newman fancied that the savages were in the vicinity of his cabin, for the reason that his big dog kept up such a disturbance. The hands got their guns in readiness, expecting to be attacked momentarily. Newman labored under unusual excitement, and in attempting to load his gun spilled the powder. Mr. Newman called to his aid Mr. Shearer; exclaiming, “py sure I vill spill all my powter. Shearer, you loads mine gun.” The guns were loaded, and the score axes placed in reach, to repel the savages if they attempted to enter the cabin. There was no more sleep that night. The next morning James Copus, John Lambright, Frederick Zimmer, and Isaac Hill and families, arrived at Beam’s block-house, and reported that Ruffner and Zimmer family had been killed. Upon examination about the forebay of the mill-race, which had just been raised, several moccasin tracks were discovered, and the evidence was clear that the Indians had meditated an attack there, but feared the Newman party was too strong. There were but four men at Newman’s–himself, Mr. Shearer, and the two Roberts brothers. Within an hour after hearing of the massacre, Newman got up his team and fled to the block-house at Mansfield. The Roberts brothers, with a few soldiers from Captain Martin’s company, which was stationed at Beam’s blockhouse, rode over and examined the scene at Zimmers, and helped bury the victims of Indian vengeance. Mr. Newman remained in Mifflin township until the fall of 1825, when he purchased of Samuel McBride the farm upon which he after wards erected a grist-mill, being the property more recently known as the Joseph Boyd mill, in the northeast part of Vermillion township. After disposing of the mill property he purchased a farm near the south line of the township, where he deceased January 20, 1861, aged eighty-three years. The surviving members of his family were William and James H. Newman, neither of whom reside in this county. James removed in the spring of 1876 to the vicinity of Hillsboro, Ohio. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

WILLIAM NOGGLE (Mohican) p. 359(1)

William Noggle was born January 23, 1841. Both his father and mother were born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, whence they came to Ohio in 1828. He enlisted in the army in the first call for three months’ volunteers, and at the close of his enlistment was mustered out of service and returned to his home. Soon after he went to Idaho territory where he followed mining, ranching and freighting, for three years and a half, when he returned and was married October 31, 1867 to Nancy Craig, daughter of William Craig of Vermillion township. She was born July 2, 1838. They have two children: Barbara Eldera born December 7, 1868 and William Howard born September 23, 1873. Mr. Noggle was born on the farm now belonging to Eli Zimmerman, which was at that time owned by his father, who afterwards sold it and bought the Noras farm, consisting of three hundred and four acres, and now owned by William Noggle, the subject of this sketch. Mr. Noggle is one of the largest grain and stock raisers in Ashland county, his wheat crop amounting to from six hundred to fifteen hundred bushels annually as well as from fifty to one hundred bushels of cover seed, and from thirty to fifty acres of corn. He has a good farm,  which he knows how to manage, and, in 1879 built himself a good house a mile south of Jeromeville ,on the bank of the Jerome fork. Mrs. Noggle is a member of the Methodist church. In politics Mr. Noggle is an ardent Democrat. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

JOHN NORRIS (Green) p. 278(1)

John Norris, was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, January 25, 1807, came to Ohio in 1823, and first settled on the farm now owned by Henry Cooper, in Mohican township. He held the office of supervisor several terms. He was a member of the Presbyterian church twenty–two years, but is at present connected with the United Brethren church. In 1829 he married Mary Smith, of Lake township. He was the father of six children, only two of whom are living, Mary A., wife of Darby Taylor, of Ashland county, and Joseph B., who married Phebe Lee, and lives in Perrysville. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

JOSEPH B. NORRIS (Green) p. 278(1)

Joseph B. Norris, son of John Norris, was born in Ashland county in 1848, and in 1870, married Phebe I. Lee. He has been engaged in farming all his life, and is a member of the United Brethren church. In politics he is a Republican. He is the father of three children, Mary J., John L., and Joseph W. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

WILLIAM NORRIS (Green) p. 278(1)

William Norris, was born in Maryland in 1781, came to Ohio from Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, in 1823, and first settled on the farm now owned by John L. Metcalf. In 1805 he married Mary Hornoc. He was a captain in the war of 1812. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he was an old-line Whig. He was the father of twelve children, of whom five are living: John; Nancy, wife of George Miller, of Holmes county; Joseph, who married Susan Young, and lives in Ashland county; Matilda, who married Lemuel Burgh, and afterwards Thomas Urie, and lives in Michigan; and Margaret, wife of Hiram Watson, of Knox county, Ohio. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

DR. GUSTAVUS OESTERLEN (Montgomery) p. 169(1)

Dr. Oesterlen was born in the kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, November 20, 1804. He attended a Latin and German school until he was sixteen years of age, and then entered a gymnasium at Stuttgardt, the capital of the state, where he remained four years, and was examined in the languages and admitted into the university of Tubingen, to study the different branches of medicine, and remained there five years. In 1829 he attended the Queen Catharine hospital, at Stuttgardt; was examined in the spring of 1830, and received his diploma. In the spring of 1830 he was appointed assistant surgeon in the army of Wurtemberg, and remained in said position until the fall of 1833. In the spring of 1834 he took passage for America, and in July arrived at Mansfield, Richland county, where he remained until about the first of October, and then located in Ashland, where he has been in practice nearly forty-one years. In size, the doctor is below the medium, his height being about five feet seven inches, and his weight about one hundred and twenty pounds. He is quite active, and in the full possession of all his faculties. He is very courteous and kind in his bearing towards the members of his profession. In the languages he is, perhaps, the best scholar of the medical profession of this region. He has had a good German practice for many years, and has met with excellent success. As a surgeon, he has had a good reputation, and in his prime was the best operator in the country. Of late years, from failing vision and nervousness, he has performed fewer operations. The doctor is a fine specimen of the old school German gentleman; and still adheres to many of the customs of the fatherland. As a citizen, he is law-abiding, quiet, and exemplary. As a business man, his integrity has never been disputed. Among the members of his profession he is much respected. He was among the first to aid in the formation of a medical society in this county, that courtesy, fraternity and professional zeal might be disseminated among his brethren.

For a period of nearly thirty years the doctor has been an active member of the Masonic order, and has been almost continuously the treasurer of the lodge. This speaks well for his fidelity and masonic bearing among his associates. Among the members of the lodge, as among the medical fraternity, he has been noted for his genial and unselfish disposition. He has always a kind word for the encouragement of the younger members of his profession. He is now the Nestor of his profession in this county. Learned, courteous, and proud of his profession, he hails every advancement in medical science as the harbinger of good to the race. (Transcribed by Penny Hanes PHanes1368@aol.com) (Contributed by Russ Shopbell)

JAMES A. OFFINEER (Mohican) p. 383(1)

Mr. Offineer was born near Yellow Creek Lake, in Kosciusko county, Indiana, June 23, 1849. His parents were of French and German descent. His father followed carpentering and saw-milling until the war of the Rebellion, and in 1864 was drafted, at which time the family was scattered, a sister and brother going to Ashland county, to live with their grandfather, James Offineer, sr., until the return of their father from the army. James A. and his mother lived in Indiana until the spring of 1865, and then went to Michigan, where his mother was employed as chief cook by John B. Dumont, the owner of a large mill and lumbering establishment at Allegan, and he worked as chore boy and shingle-edger, and at the latter occupation he became quite expert, having at one time edged twelve thousand five hundred shingles in five hours. In November, 1865, they met his father in Allegan, Michigan, and a few days later, returned to Ashland county, and, with his brother who had remained there, settled in Mohicanville, where his father worked at carpentering and shingle making until James became of age. He then attended school three and one-half terms, when his health became impaired and he was obliged to give up study for the time being.

On the fifth of November 1871, he was married to Anna B. Carmack, of Perrysville, James Monrow and Mary Esterbrook being married at the same time. The ceremony was performed at the house of J.S. Carmack, by Rev. O. Webster, of the Methodist Episcopal church of West Salem. The winter following his marriage he went to Fulton county, Indiana, accompanied by his wife, where he taught one term of school with good success. In the spring they returned to New Salem, Ohio, where he engaged as book-keeper and superintendent for J.S. Carmack, who conducted a brickyard, a farm, and did plastering. It did not prove a good move as his employer failed and he lost the amount due him for nearly six months labor. January 1, 1873, they removed to Jeromeville, where he attended a select school, and in the spring engaged in carpenter work and shingle-making. In October 1875, he again attended school for a year, in order to prepare himself for teaching. At the close of a year he again commenced teaching, attending select school during vacations, and now makes school teaching his business. In 1870, he joined the Disciple church at Jeromeville, and in 1872 his wife was transferred to the same church from the Baptist church at Perrysville, which she had joined in 1870. They have three children: Mary Orrilla, born January 1, 1873; Theresa Laura, born December 27, 1874; and George Arthur born September 18, 1878. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

THOMAS OGDEN (Montgomery) p. 371(1)

Thomas Ogden was born in Wayne county, Ohio, November 15, 1832, where he resided until the age of eighteen years, when he worked at his trade as wagon-maker, in different places, finally settling down at Wadsworth, Medina county, Ohio, about the year 1854, where he accepted a position as foreman, which he filled with credit for ten years for the firm of Beach & Traver. Then he associated himself as a partner of the firm, the firm name being H.J. Traver & Co., and was such until the year 1868. During his connection with the firm he was superintendent. They had a very extensive trade. In 1868 he sold out and came to Ashland where he established a carriage and buggy shop, since which time he has carried on that business. Mr. Ogden commenced to work at this business at the age of fourteen years, and is considered very proficient in all its departments. The facilities he has here for making first-class work cannot be surpassed in the State. He generally employs about fifteen men the year around. He was a perfect stranger when he first came to this place and by paying strict attention to business, turning out first-class work and dealing honestly with every one, he has built up for himself a large trade. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

STEPHEN OHL (Milton) p. 352(1)

Stephen Ohl was the fourth son of George Ohl and was a native of Pennsylvania. In the year 1831 he came to Ohio with his father, and they commenced life in the woods. The father purchased a quarter section of land on which were a rude log cabin and barn. Here they lived until 1862. The time of their father’s death. Stephen and George are the only representatives of the family living in the county. Stephen was married in the year 1834, to Mary Schwartz, by whom he has had twelve children, Samuel, John, George, Stephen, Francis, Lavina, Mary Ann, Alice, Amanda, Malinda, Emma and Kittie. Ann died in infancy; Mr. Ohl resides on the old homestead and is a good farmer and a good citizen. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

ALLEN OLIVER (Green) p. 183(1) Entry #1

ALLEN OLIVER was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1757, and in 1810 removed from Beaver county to the Clear fork of the Mohican, now in Ashland county, and, in February of the same year, located on the farm upon which his son, Lewis Oliver, now resides, on the Black fork, about one mile east of the present site of Perrysville. His family consisted of three sons, John, Daniel, and Lewis, and four daughters, Mrs. Mary Tannehill, Mrs. Sarah Tannehill, Mrs. Elizabeth McMahan, and Mrs. Margaret Quick.

He forted in his double log cabin in 1812, during the Indian excitement, and remained undisturbed until the close of the war. The Greentown Indians, Thomas Lyons, Billy Dowdee, James Armstrong, Jonacake, and others, often visited him after the war.

Mr. Oliver died in 1823, aged about sixty-four years. His wife died in 1827, aged sixty-seven years. Mrs. Mary Tannehill, wife of Charles Tannehill, died in 1854, aged fifty-nine years; Sarah Tannehill, wife of Melzer Tannehill, jr., still survives, aged about seventy-four years; Mrs. Elizabeth McMahan and Mrs. Margaret Quick, died in 1872, aged, respectively, seventy-six and seventy-one years. Daniel Oliver resides one mile northeast of Loudonville, and is about eighty-four years of age; John deceased on his homestead, three miles below Perrysville, in 1854, aged sixty-four years.

John Chapman had a nursery of fruit trees on the farm of John Oliver, from which sprang nearly all the early orchards of Green township.

Mr. Oliver was an agreeable conversationalist, and a steadfast friend. His family continue to reside on the old homestead. We have given a sketch of Lewis Oliver elsewhere. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

ALLEN OLIVER (Green) p. 283(1) Entry #2

Allen Oliver was born in Sussex county, New Jersey, in 1760; came to Ohio in 1819, and first settled on the Black fork, in Ashland county, on the farm now owned by Lewis Oliver. The nearest neighbors were three miles distant, and the nearest mill was at Frederick, about twenty miles away. When he entered the farm, in 1809, it looked like a wilderness, and the Indians were quite numerous. Truly, he can be called one of the pioneers of the county. Though he had very little money, he accumulated a fair fortune and a comfortable home. During the Revolution, he manufactured salt for the soldiers; not as we manufacture it now, buy by boiling down ocean water. Elizabeth Kinney, of Pennsylvania, became his wife. She died in October, 1828, at the age of sixty-seven years. Although not a member of any church, he contributed liberally to the support of the Gospel. In politics, he was a Democrat. In September, 1823, he died, the father of seven children, of whom only two are living: Daniel, who married Sarah Quick, and lives in Ashland county; and Lewis, who married Nancy Ravenscroft. (Transcribed and contributed by Linda J. Collins)

LEWIS OLIVER (Green) p. 160 (1) Entry #1

In the early settlement of the south part of this county, the pioneers were considerably embarrassed for a market for their surplus grain and other farm products. The ports on Lake Erie, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans were the principal markets. To reach the lake by teams, over the rough, new-cut roads, was toilsome and difficult, as well as quite expensive; while wheat, flour, and corn commanded a low price. In consequence of the inferior markets on the lake, at Zanesville and Pittsburgh several enterprising pioneers had boats constructed, which were loaded and conveyed to New Orleans.

In the spring of 1823, Lewis Oliver and John Davis, of Green township, purchased of Nathan Dehaven, a flat-bottomed boat, which had been built at the mouth of Honey creek on the Black fork, by Mr. Dehaven, near the modern site of his sawmill. The boat was fifty-five feet long and fifteen feet wide, with rounded bows and a steering apparatus, and cabin. It was so covered as to protect its lading. This boat was conveyed up the Black fork to near the residence of Mr. Oliver, where it was partly loaded with wheat, flour, pork, whiskey, and chickens.

About the sixteenth of March, the new vessel passed slowly down the Black fork to Dehaven’s, and the Loudonville mills, where a large amount of sawed cherry lumber and other articles were place on board, to be conveyed to a southern market. The Black fork was a slow, tortuous stream, though the water was quite deep. Navigation was considerably impeded in consequence of the lodgment of driftwood in its winding course to the Walhonding. These difficulties were overcome by moving slowly and guarding the boat against accident.

The crew of the boat consisted of Lewis Oliver and John Davis, proprietors, and Amos Harbaugh and Timothy Wilson, as hands. On the seventeenth, “all hands aboard,” the boat was floated leisurely down the Black fork to its junction with the Lake fork; then down the Walhonding to its junction with the Tuscarawas at the town of Coshocton; thence down the Muskingum to the city of Zanesville. There were on board, two skiffs, so that if the boat should be snagged, or otherwise injured by driftwood, the proprietors and hands could have means of escape. When the stream was sluggish and current slow, the boat was urged forward by setting-poles.

Upon their arrival at Zanesville, a formidable obstacle to their further advance was presented. The dam across the Muskingum at that place was difficult to pass. It was seen at a glance, that it would require an experienced pilot to conduct the boat over it in safety. Mr. Oliver went ashore to procure the services of a suitable guide. An individual representing the craft presented himself and offered to conduct the boat safely over the dam. On being asked his price for the job, he blandly informed Mr. Oliver it would be cheap at ten dollars. Mr. Oliver thought the charge rather extravagant. The valorous pilot feeling certain that he would ultimately get the job, declined to take a cent less.

Here was a quandary. Mr. Oliver returned to the boat and reported the result of his mission. After some consultation, Mr. Davis concluded they could conduct the craft over the dam without the aid of a professional pilot. By this time a large crowd of spectators had assembled on the riverbank to see the fun. The fall over the dam was about ten feet, and the current was very rapid. Some fifteen or twenty rods below the dam, the Buckingham Bridge, since the bridge of the national turnpike, supported by large stone piers, spanned the Muskingum River. If the boat moved straight forward, it would pitch upon its prow and be crushed or capsized; and if it escaped such a disaster, might strike a pier.

In this crisis Jersey wit and ingenuity triumphed. Mr. Oliver placed himself as steersman, at the stern, while Mr. Davis and the hands, by united efforts, swung the boat around so that it would pass obliquely over the dam, and strike and rise on the rolling current below, without stoving or capsizing. They held its course steadily, until it reached the dam, when it shot over like an arrow, rose and floated on the current, and narrowly escaped the pier. At this achievement, the large assemblage on shore, gave a tremendous shout, and declared a “Jersey Yankee,” was equal to any emergency, and capable of any daring.

The boat floated slowly down to Duncan’s falls, nine miles below Zanesville, where it was again compelled to encounter new dangers. They were less formidable, however, than the dam over which the boat had just passed. A point where the channel was deepest was selected, and the little vessel cleared the falls in safety, and moved onward to Marietta, and entered the Ohio River. The hills and bluffs along its banks, covered with pine and other timber, rendered the voyage novel and interesting. The buds of the trees were just opening into leaf, and the banks of the river were lined with spring vegetation and flowers. Thus they glided toward the far south, where they were to find new and strange scenery.

They passed Cincinnati, now the queen city of the west. How great has been the growth of that beautiful city since 1823! Its markets were then easily glutted. Messrs. Oliver and Davis were compelled to go further south to dispose of their produce. Their little boat was shoved from the wharf into the main current of the Ohio, where it moved rapidly toward the falls at Louisville. On their way they overtook a stranded emigrant boat, which was unable to move, in consequence of the driftwood. There were several families, with their goods on it, en route to southern Illinois and Iowa. Seeing the situation, the owners of the boat from the Black fork volunteered their aid to relieve the emigrants.

On arriving at the falls, the boat passed through without accident, and the light-hearted owners pushed onward to the Mississippi, and down its dark-rolling current to New Orleans, the great southern market of that period. Here they found a ready market for their cherry lumber, at two dollars and twenty-five cents per hundred feet, and thirty-seven and one-half cents per gallon for their whiskey–a better article than now sells for five dollars per gallon in the same city. Times change, men change, and prices necessarily fluctuate. Our country and its wealth are much more potent now than they were fifty-two years ago, and hence a greater value is attached to “fire-water.” The pioneers are pretty generally of the opinion that the article manufactured fifty years ago was much purer and less harmful in its effects than modern “fire-water.”

Finding no demand for their wheat, flour, and pork, they concluded to transfer those articles to a schooner and proceed to Richmond, Virginia, for a market. This transfer was made, and, as soon as completed, the “wharf rats” of New Orleans captured and concealed the boat. It was never seen again by its owners. About the first of April they sailed for Richmond. Their voyage was a pleasant one. They coasted around to the Chesapeake Bay, and passed up the James River to Richmond. They arrived there about the seventeenth of April. The grand outline of the southern coast, with its attractive scenery, was constantly under their gaze, and was the subject of many remarks and much admiration. As they passed up the James River, the ancient homes of the colonists frequently hove in view and excited comment. Along the banks of that now classic stream, nearly three hundred years before, the colonists contended with the “fierce red man,” for a home.

On reaching the market, they obtained one dollar and thirty cents per bushel for their wheat, and eight dollars per barrel for salt pork. These prices were such as would reward them fairly for their toil and perseverance. They felt amply compensated.

After spending a few days in Richmond, they prepared for returning to the wilds of the Black fork. They had separated from their hands at New Orleans. Their route, from Richmond, was through Goochland, Louisa, and Albemarle counties, and over the Blue Ridge mountains to Harrisonburgh, in Rockingham county; thence across the Great North mountain, to Moorefield, in Hardy county; thence to the Old Fort Redstone, in Pennsylvania; thence to Wheeling, West Virginia; thence by Zanesville, Newark, and Mount Vernon, to the Black fork, making a journey of about nine hundred miles on foot. They met with no accident or incivility on their way, and arrived at home about the first of July.

Mr. Oliver is now about eighty-seven years of age, is quite active, and in the possession of all his faculties. He looks younger than many men of sixty-five. He informs me, that during the haying season of 1874 he drove a team and rode on the mowing-machine several days, and felt none the worse for it. Very few men, at his age, would think of performing any labor. He has always been noted for his integrity, industry, and uprightness, and says, “he feels better to keep moving.” He owns and resides upon the old homestead of his father, Allen Oliver, and has resided in the same locality sixty-four years. (Transcribed by Penny Hanes PHanes1368@aol.com) (Contributed by Russ Shopbell)

LEWIS OLIVER (Green) p. 283(1) Entry #2

Lewis Oliver was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, December 26, 1793, and came to Ohio with his father. May 6, 1824, he married Nancy Ravenscroft. In 1814, he entered the farm now owned by Mrs. Hill, in Loudonville. For two years he has been township treasurer, and is respected by all who know him. In politics, he is a Democrat. January 2, 1873, his wife died, at the age of seventy-seven years, leaving seven children: William A., Paul, John; Rebecca J., wife of Amos A. Burwell, of Indiana; Elizabeth, wife of W.W. Martin, of Wisconsin; Malcolm, deceased; Margaret, wife of J. Rice, of Ashland county. (Transcribed and contributed by Linda J. Collins)

CHARLES OPENHEIMER (Hanover) p. 297(1)

Charles Openheimer was born in Steinbach, Germany, and came to America in 1852, and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he remained six years, when he came to Loudonville and opened a clothing store, bringing his stock of goods from Cincinnati. In 1873 his building was destroyed by fire, but he saved his stock, and in the same year erected the fine brick building which he now occupies. In politics he is a Democrat. In 1868 he married Carrie Hirsch, and is the father of five children, Jennie, Blanch, Isadore, Emanuel and Elias. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

THOMAS OSBORN (Perry) p. 334(1)

Thomas Osborn was born in England, near Southampton, in the year 1785, May 27th, and emigrated to Ohio in the year 1829, and first made a settlement in Perry township, where his widow now resides. In the year 1831, August 18th, he married Margaret Campbell, a daughter of one of Ashland county’s early pioneers. To them were born nine children, four sons and five daughters. Their names are as follows: Ann E., Matilda J., Arthur, William, Margaret, Lydia, Susan, and Thomas, and an infant who died unnamed. Thomas also deceased in early childhood. The husband and parent died in the eightieth year of his age, leaving a kind and devoted wife and seven children. He settled immediately in the woods, and by dint of hard labor, careful management and wise economy, left his widow nicely provided for. Mr. Osborn was a kind husband and an endearing father, and his loss was irreparable. The wife and mother, together with her two daughters, Margaret and Susan, still reside on the old homestead, the daughters caring for their aged mother in her declining years. For the last thirty years she has been an earnest member of the Lutheran church, and has always been one of its most liberal supporters. At the age of twelve he left his home and followed the sea for eight years, when he came to New Jersey, and remained one year, and thence to Pennsylvania, where he lived until the year 1829, when he came to Ohio. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

WILLIAM OSBURN (Perry) p. 335(1)

William Osburn, second son of Thomas and Margaret Osburn, was born in Wayne (now Ashland) county, September 15, 1839. He resided with his parents until he attained his majority, in the spring of 1861, when he enlisted in the service of his country for three months, and before the time expired he re-enlisted for a period of three years, serving his full term. He was engaged in almost every serious engagement, and with the exception of several slight injuries, he returned to his home crowned with all the honor to which the faithful are entitled. In 1867 he was married to Miss Lydia Lucas. To them have been born six children, Jacob, Thomas, Channing, Lydia, Miriam, and Alice. The subject of our sketch is the possessor of three separate tracts of land, containing in all one hundred and twenty-three acres. He comes of pioneer stock. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)

MICHAEL OTTO (Mohican) p. 362(1)

Michael Otto was born in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, March 8, 1818, and is a son of Matthias and Ann Elizabeth Otto. Our subject came to Ashland county when he was about five years old, and has lived here since that time. He was one of the first settlers in this county, where he came with his father and mother, who had twelve children, our subject being the eleventh child. He started out in life for himself when he was fourteen years old, working on a farm at five dollars and fifty cents per month. At the age of sixteen years he commenced work at his trade as blacksmith, and made that his business for fourteen years, when he went to farming, at which he has since continued. He was married to Rebecca Emrick, February 22, 1838. By this marriage were born ten children, as follows: John E., born February 2, 1839; Cornelia, born January 17, 1844; Harmon, born January 4, 1846; Mary E., born October 27, 1848; Elvira A., born September 24, 1850; David A., born August 30, 1852; Cyrus, born November 19, 1854; Laura, born October 18, 1856; Michael, born October 24,1859; George, born January 16, 1863. John E. died September 13, 1875.

Mr. Otto is now living on his own farm near Lake Fork, where he owns two hundred and sixty acres. He is now leading a quiet, retired life, and has held the office of trustee, and served one term as constable. Mrs. Otto is a member of the United Brethren church. In politics he is a Jacksonian Democrat. (Transcribed and contributed by Russ Shopbell)