Washington County Genealogy_PAGenWeb Project_Mrs. Sarah (Samuel) Gallaher Biography

Biographical Information of 

Mrs. Sarah (Samuel) Gallaher

Submitted by her great-great-great-great grand-daughter,

Mary Ann Bumgarner


"Before the beginning of this century which is now nearing its close, a young couple, Samuel and Sarah Gallaher, came from near Pittsburg.  Descending the Ohio river on a flatboat, and landed at Columbia, just above Cincinnati.  This was in the year 1795. During the same year Mr. Gallaher came to Lebanon (Ohio) to build a mill for Mr. Henry Taylor, the first settler in the town of Lebanon, for which Mr. Taylor gave him, according to contract, one hundred acres of land just south of Turtlecreek, a part of which is now within the corporation of Lebanon. This farm Mr. Gallaher very soon traded to Mr. Jonas Simmons for the farm lying just north of the Hart schoolhouse, which is still in the possession of his descendants. Here Mr. and Mrs. Gallaher reared a large family of sons and daughters, all but one of them coming to manhood and womanhood. And here the mother died in 1862, in her eighty ninth year, the father having died in 1833, while on a business trip to Cincinnati. There were twelve members of this pioneer family, eight sons and four daughters. Of these Harvey married Ann Williams, a native of this county, a sister of Milton Williams, who for many years a prominent attorney of Lebanon. He settled in Clinton county, where his family was brought up and where some of them still reside. John married Nancy Sellers and emigrated to Clinton county, Indiana. Another brother, Laomi, also made his home near to his brother in this neighboring state. James married Miss Reform Coffeen and purchased a farm near Red Lion, where he died of cholera in 1835. Milton was the victim of consumption and died in young manhood at his father's home. Matilda married Britton Baird and they made their permanent home in Jay county, Ind. Mary married Aaron James; their home was in Warren county, but she lived only a short time after her marriage. Elizabeth became the wife of John Sellers and lived near Springboro until about two years ago, at which time she died at the great age of ninety six years. Catharine was the wife of William Gallaher; her home was in Warren county until after the death of her husband, when she went to Kansas with her family, where she has since died. 
Carvel, the youngest of the family, married Cynthia Ann Keenan and became possessed of the homestead, where he still lives with his son. He is the only surviving member of this large family, whose lives were so intimately associated with the early history of this county." (Copied from the obituary of her son, William).

Transcript of the Obituary of Mrs. Sarah Gallaher from The Western Star, Thursday, 27 Mar 1862, Lebanon, Ohio:

In the Star of the 13th inst., the death of Mrs. (Samuel) Gallaher, caused by her dress taking fire, was mentioned, but the long residence of the deceased in this neighborhood ___ ___ to demand a more particular notice.

Mrs. Gallaher moved to this neighborhood (Lebanon, Warren Co., Ohio) in the winter of 1796, and with her husband, the late Samuel Gallaher, and two children then born, formed the fourth family of settlers in this neighborhood.  Ichabod Corwin, John Shaw and Henry Taylor had preceded Mr. Gallaher some months. The latter being a millwright, in 1797 built a mill for Henry Taylor on Turtlecreek about a quarter of a mile below the fork of the creek, west of Lebanon, which for some twelve years did a considerable business, and being the 
first mill in the neighborhood, was a valuable improvement. In 1803, Mr. Taylor sold this mill and the farm connected to it to Martin Earheart, Sen., who kept it running until the water gradually lessening in the summer, made the mill seat valueless, and it was abandoned.

Mrs. Samuel Gallaher was at her death almost 89 years full, her birthday being in June, and until about a year before her death, had enjoyed not only good health, but retained her physical powers with uncommon vigor, and to the time of her first paralytic attack, in February, 1861, was strong and active. Born and reared to womanhood some thirty miles south of Pittsburg, then a new country, she was accustomed from childhood to a plain, hardy, backwoods life  and exercises, and to these agencies she owed much of her strong constitution and vigorous health. Mrs. Gallaher was hardly ever sick, I think, though, 
frequently exposed to hardships which even men of hardy constitutions can seldom endure. In her younger days, in Western Pennsylvania where she lived, it was customary for women to enter the harvest field, and make their hand with the sickle. I have often understood from those who knew the facts, that Mrs. Gallaher wielded the sickle with such skill and endurance the few men were willing to take their land beside hers, and not unfrequently (sic) she led the field.  Though women did not enter the harvest fields in this neighborhood, even in early times, yet they sometimes engaged in those sports which are now considered as only belonging to the sterner sex. Mrs. Gallaher used the rifle with as much certainty and skill as nay man, and often after settling on the farm where she and her husband died; she used to shoot turkeys, squirrels, and even larger game when they made their appearance near her residence.

Mr. and Mrs. Gallaher reared nine children, all but two born in this neighborhood, some of whom survive.

Source: The Western Star, Thursday, 27 Mar 1862
[copy obtained from obituary collection at the Warren County Genealogical Society]


Sarah Gallaher is buried at Pioneer Cemetery, Lebanon, Warren Co., Ohio:


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  2004 Judith Ann Florian, all rights reserved.