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Prominent Men of Franklin Twp Warren Co Ohio
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Prominent Men



Transcription contributed by Arne H Trelvik 7 Sep 2003 and by Martie Callihan 22 January 2005


The History of Warren County Ohio
Part IV Township Histories
Franklin Township by W. C. Reeder
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)

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Mr. J. N. C. Schenck was born in Bucks County, Penn., January 24, 1778, and was the son of Rev. William and Anna C. Schenck. His mother was a sister of Gen. Cumming, of New Jersey, an officer of the Revolutionary army. His great-grandmother was the wife of the Rev. William Tennant, of New Jersey. Mr. Schenck came to Franklin in 1800, opened a store two years later, and carried on the business successfully for thirty-five years, making this place, for many years, the most important trading-post between Dayton and Hamilton, and became one of the wealthiest men of the valley. He, in conjunction with his brother. Gen. William C. Schenck, Mr. John Patterson, the Maxwells and Deaths and other pioneers, helped largely to build up the town and township. He died October 26, 1867, aged ninety-three, leaving seven children and seventy grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A sketch of Gen. William C. Schenck will be found in the general history of the county.

Robert C. Schenck was born in Franklin October 4, 1809. At the age of twenty-one, he commenced the study of law with Hon. Thomas Corwin, in Lebanon, and was soon admitted to the bar. He opened an office in Dayton, Ohio, and, at the age of thirty-one, he represented Montgomery County in the State Legislature, and has since been frequently elected from his district to Congress, and was also Minister to the court of St. James. At the breaking out of the war, he was made a Brigadier of volunteers, and soon after a department commander. He took part in the Vienna affair at the beginning of the war, and was censured for allowing his men to be surprised by the enemy, but it was soon found that his movements had been carried on according to orders issued by Gen. Scott. He was also at the first battle of Bull Run, where, during the retreat, his command formed the rear guard, and he remained in the rear when almost all the regimental officers were in flight. He was then assigned a command under Gen. Rosecrans in West Virginia. At the second battle of Bull Run, he was severely wounded in the right wrist, which was permanently disabled. Soon after he was made Major General, and when, after many months, he recovered from his wound, was assigned to the command of the Eighth Army Corps, headquarters at Baltimore. In 1863, he retired from the army to take his seat in Congress, and, after several terms of service,


received the appointment above referred to. For several years, he has been seriously ill, but has been reported lately much improved in health.

His brother, James F. Schenck, at an early date entered the navy, and finally rose to the rank of Admiral. He is now living a retired life with his children and grandchildren at Dayton. Ohio.

Lewis D. Campbell was born in Franklin, Ohio, August 9, 1811. He was as a boy celebrated for his interest in reading, saved up all the newspapers that contained speeches, and showed the disposition that influenced the greater part of his after life. He went to the Cincinnati Gazette office in 1828, and worked at printing there until 1831, in which year he located in Hamilton and published a paper there. While engaged in the publication of his paper, he studied law, and, in 1835, was admitted to the bar. He soon had a lucrative practice and became one of the leading members of the bar of his county. In 1848, he was elected Representative in Congress, and again in 1850, 1852, 1854, 1856 and 1870. He was identified with the old Whig party and afterward with the Republican party, until about 1870, when he joined the Democratic party. While a member of the Republican branch of Congress, he was appointed Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, and served as such during 1856 and 1857. He is said to have filled this position with more credit than had been done by any other chairman. In 1861, he organized the Sixty-ninth Regiment and served with it for about two years, when he resigned. He was appointed Minister to Mexico in 1866. He was elected to Congress in 1870 by the Democratic party. In 1873, he was a delegate to, and Vice President of, the Constitutional Convention.

Mr. Samuel Campbell, the father of L. D. Campbell, came to Franklin in or about 1796, and resided in the log house on the corner of Center and Second streets, which house was torn away during the past summer. Mr. Campbell worked at his trade of wheelwright for many years, and finally removed to his farm, on the Lebanon road, about one and one-half miles southeast of town. He was killed by the kick of a horse while in the full vigor of manhood. His wife and children resided on the homestead until the latter were married. After this, she continued the management of the farm until the marriage of her daughter Mary, to S. B. Woodward, since which he has conducted her business. She still lives at the farm in full possession of her mental powers, at the age of ninety-five years. Mrs. Mary Campbell is the daughter of Andrew Small, of Centerville, Ohio, one of the veterans of the Revolution, said to have been with Washington at Valley Forge.

Brig. Gen. O. C. Maxwell was born on his father’s farm about two and one-half miles southeast of Franklin, February 7, 1837. Craig, as he was familiarly called, came in early manhood to Franklin, and was engaged as clerk with his uncle, James Maxwell, in his grain house. He was also, for a time, himself a grain dealer, but finally entered a dry goods house and afterward entered into a partnership with M. V. Barkalow in the shoe trade. Here, at the age of twenty-four, he was when the war broke out. He had been Orderly Sergeant of the Franklin Grays, and, as Second Lieutenant, he went with his company at the call of the President. A vacancy occurring by the resignation of P. S. Turner, First Lieutenant, Maxwell was promoted to this and held the office until the close of the three months’ service. After the return home of the company, more soldiers being called for, he obtained a Captain’s commission, and re-enlisted many of the three-months’ boys. His company was assigned to the Second Ohio, and became Company B of that organization. His commission as Captain bears date of August 31, 1861. For gallantry on the field, he was promoted to the rank of Major, December 24, 1862, and, on December 31, 1862, was again promoted for gallantry to Lieutenant Colonel.


Receiving severe wounds, which disabled him, he was discharged, February 1, 1864. While at home, he was elected Auditor of Warren County, by over 2,000 majority, but, recovering from his wounds, he re-entered the service, March 14, 1865, as Lieutenant Colonel of the One Hundred and Ninety-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to Colonel October 22, 1865, and was mustered out with his regiment October 24, 1865. He had, on March 13, 1865, been brevetted Brigadier for Gallant and meritorious service. After the war, he received a medal bearing the appropriate inscription, with the motto of the State of Ohio, “Imperium in Imperio,” which medal was given to but four other persons in the State. Upon recommendation of the best men in the district, he was appointed by the President Assessor of Internal Revenue for the Third District of Ohio, and he retained the office for eighteen months, when, not agreeing with the administration, he resigned. He was wounded in the leg at Perryville, and was crippled for life; wounded in the throat at Stone River and received several minor wounds, from the effects of which a naturally strong constitution brought him safely. He died on December 5, 1871, in his room at the Phillips House, Dayton, having, in a state of desperation, caused by financial difficulties, taken his own life by a shot from his revolver. Thus died, at the age of thirty-six, one of Warren County’s noblest soldiers and warmest-hearted citizens. His death was a sad shock to his friends, who were many, for, by his genial and courteous manners, he had endeared himself to all associated with him.

Capt. John F. Gallaher was raised near Red Lion, Warren County, and came while a young man to Franklin, where he worked at his trade of carpenter. He went to Camp Dennison while O. C. Maxwell's company was there, and enlisting, was chosen as Second Lieutenant. He served with gallantry, but was captured, and, with many others, consigned to the Southern prisons, ending up at last with the noted Libby. While here, he, in conjunction with others, made their escape by tunneling under the street. Capt. Gallaher was the planner and the first to pass through the tunnel, and was also one of the few to reach home. He served with his regiment until the close of the war. After the war, he was in the revenue business for several years, and finally was obliged to retire and take a trip to the South for the benefit of his health. He became active in the interests of the town, was one of the Council and also one of the original stockholders in the Franklin Paper Company. He died a few years since of consumption.

Col. John Kell was a native of Germany. He spent his life mostly in America, and when the Mexican war broke out was a resident of Steubenville. He came to Franklin about 1856, and opened a tailor shop. He was made Postmaster by Buchanan. Having been in the Mexican war, his military proclivities manifested themselves in the interest he felt in all military affairs. He organized a company, which, from their uniform, was called the Franklin Greys—Captain, J. Kell; First Lieutenant, P. S. Turner; Second Lieutenant, O. C. Maxwell; Orderly, I. M. Snell. This company became celebrated for its proficiency in drill, and when the war broke out, almost all of its members enlisted and the company retained its organization. When they returned from the three-months' service, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and entered the Service. He was killed at the battle of Stone River. His body was brought home and buried with Masonic rites in the cemetery east of the canal.

Lieut. A. D. Schenck was born near Franklin in 1843. He became, while a mere boy, a member of the Franklin Greys, and, when the war broke out, went with the company, although but little past seventeen. He re-enlisted with Capt. Maxwell, and served with such gallantry that he was taken from his Ser-


geant's position to a place in the military academy of West Point, being admitted without an examination. He graduated with honor and was appointed First Lieutenant of artillery. He has been stationed at various points, being for some time on detached duty at Iowa University as teacher of history and military tactics. He is now on duty at Washington, D. C.

Lieut. William Kell, son of Col. John Kell, served with his father from the beginning of the war until the death of his father; he remained at his regiment until it was mustered out, when he located in Lebanon as a tailor. Numerous friends of his father made some efforts in his behalf, which resulted in his appointment to a Lieutenancy in the regular army.

Peter M. Dechant was born in Franklin, Ohio, in 1848. He attended the public schools until about sixteen years old, and then went to Notre Dame University, at South Bend, Ind., where he graduated with the honors of his class. He immediately entered a law office in Dayton, and, after two years spent in study, entered the bar and opened an office in Franklin. He soon acquired a reputation in law, and, being nominated for the State Senate by the Democratic party, was elected by a large majority, receiving many Republican votes at home and throughout the district. So arduous were the labors of the campaign, however, that his health was impaired, and, after serving one year in the Assembly, he came home and gradually declined until death carried him away in early manhood.

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This page created 7 September 2003 and last updated 3 January, 2013
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