A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County, Ohio
Pages 366b, 366c, 366d, 366e

History of Butler County

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Robert Newell ANDREWS, the son of William ANDREWS and Harriet NEWELL, was born September 16, 1839, in Ross Township, in this county, and was brought up on a farm. He received a common school education. His mother died when he was but nine years of age. In the Spring of 1861, he came to Hamilton, and worked at milling for TANQUARY & ANDERSON, until the Spring of 1862. He spent the year of 1862 and part of 1863 in Preble County, at work in the mill for BARNETT & WHITESIDE. He came back to Hamilton in the Summer of 1863, and worked for John LAMB in the West Hamilton Mills. He went into the sheriff's office as deputy sheriff under A. J. REES, in May, 1864, and remained with him until his term of office was closed. He was elected sheriff of Butler County in October, 1867, and was re-elected in 1869, making a total service of four years. During his administration occurred the only execution for murder or other crime that has ever happened in this county. John GRIFFIN was tried for the murder of Usile PRICKETT, and convicted at the January term of court in 1869, and was executed July 29, 1869.

Alfred ANDERSON was born in Wheeling, Virginia, February, 24, 1824. His mother, Mary CLARK, was a free woman, reared from early childhood by Mrs. RALSTON, the widow of an officer in the American Revolution. His father's name was SHANNON, the brother of Governor SHANNON, of Ohio and Kansas. When the boy was three or four years old, his mother married Robert G. H. ANDERSON, who not long after removed to Cincinnati. They remained there until 1832, when the Asiatic cholera compelled a hasty retreat to the small towns in the neighborhood, and the ANDERSON family were first in Hamilton and afterwards in Richmond. They settled permanently in this place in 1837, where Alfred has ever since lived, with the exception of twelve years spent in the South.

At the period when he first came to this city the State made no provision for the education of colored children, and he consequently never had but three months' schooling in his life. His constant study at home, with much reading, has, however, made him well acquainted with English literature, and given him a good knowledge of French and Spanish. He married the daughter of a clergyman when still a young man, who bore him nine children, and died in 1863. In 1865 he again married. Both of his unions were fortunate ones. he was enabled to send some of his children to college, and he gave them all as good a training as he could.

He was early identified with the anti-slavery cause. In 1843 he aided in editing the Palladium of Liberty, published in Columbus, the first newspaper attempted by the colored men in Ohio. A few years later he became interested in the Colored Citizen, of Cincinnati, and he was a regular contributor to the North Star, published by Frederick DOUGLASS, and the Liberator, edited by William Lloyd GARRISON. He prosecuted, at his own expense, a case through the courts of Ohio, by which a large portion of the colored citizens were enabled to vote, who previously had not been allowed to exercise that privilege. He has also done much to aid those to reach a place of safety who were escaping from slavery. His name has of late been prominently spoken of for minister to Hayti, a post for which he would be well fitted. He is an agreeable and pleasant companion, an excellent raconteur, a man of keen intellect and biting wit, and impressive and dignified carriage. His memory is excellent, his knowledge of history and politics has been sedulously cultivated, and his reasoning powers are good. He has a fine command of the mother-tongue, both in writing and speaking, and is a man of excellent private character.

Robert Jackson BELL, of Morgan Township, was born in Butler County, Ohio, May 15, 1815. His father was David and his mother Margaret BELL, who came to this county in 1809. On the 23d of November, 1843, he married Ann W. LYLE, daughter of Benjamin LYLE. She was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, June 5, 1816, and married in this county. This union resulted in David, born June 30, 1844; William H., born June 12, 1847; Francis W., born December 28, 1848; Margaret Jane Woodruff, born November 13, 1850; John Wesley, born March 18, 1853; Robert Fulton, born May 23, 1854; Washington, born December 30, 1858.

Robert J. BELL is one of the most prominent citizens of Morgan Township, as is shown by his having held the office of justice of the peace for twenty-one years. He is now a notary public. David BELL was in the War of 1812. During the year 1834 Mr. BELL's father, mother, and one sister died, in less than twenty days, of cholera. Robert BELL is an active member of the Washington Methodist Episcopal Church.


Allen ANDREWS was born at Muncie, Indiana, on August 11, 1849. He is a son of George L. and Margaret ANDREWS, and is the fith child in a family of five sons and two daughters. His father, George L. ANDREWS, was a native of Connecticut. He was a graduate of Yale College, and after leaving that institution, came West, and was one of the pioneer educators in this State and Indiana. He married Miss Margaret RODEBAUCH, of Dayton, Ohio, while teaching in that city. Some time afterward he removed with his family to Muncie, Indiana, and was in charge of the public schools there for some time, when his health becoming impaired, he removed to his farm in Jay County, Indiana, where he died, May 28, 1854, from the effect of an injury received some months before in a mill.

Margaret RODEBAUCH, who became the wife of George L. ANDREWS, was the daughter of Adam RODEBAUCH. Her great-grandfather, Adam RODEBAUCH, came from Germany about the middle of the eighteenth century, and settled in Pennsylvania. She is still living, seventy years old, and resides at Lancaster, Indiana. When the civil war commenced, her two elder sons, John and William, enlisted under President LINCOLN's first call for troops, and served the Union cause till the close of the war.

In the early part of 1863, her next two sons, Furman and Allen, tendered their services in answer to the call for volunteers. The former was accepted, went with SHERMAN's army on its march to the sea, and was discharged after peace was restored; the latter was rejected on account of his youth, and remained at home to care for his widowed mother and the other members of the broken family. After the close of the war, Allen ANDREWS applied himself to study, having already enjoyed the advantages of the very excellent common school system of the State of Indiana. He engaged in teaching in 1867, previously having been a student at the National Normal, at Lebanon, Ohio. He is a graduate of Liber College, Indiana, and was selected by the faculty to deliver the valedictory address to the graduating class. He was superintendent of the public schools of New Madison, Ohio, during the years of 1871 and 1872.

He read law with the Hon. William ALLEN, late of Greenville, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of Ohio, March 16, 1874, and on May 23, 1874, associated himself with J. K. RIFFEL in the practice of his profession, in Greenville. He removed from that place to Hamilton on February 29, 1876, and engaged in practice in this county. He was in partnership with J. C. McKEMY from January, 1877, to October, 1880, when the firm was dissolved. On October 18, 1880, he associated himself with H. L. MOREY and J. E. MOREY, under the firm name of MOREY, ANDREWS & MOREY.

On January 29, 1879, he was united in marriage with Miss Belle DAVIS, second daughter of John P. DAVIS, of Hamilton, Ohio, by his first wife, whose maiden name was BLAIR. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also a member of the Masonic order. He is the W. M. of Washington Lodge, No. 17, Free and Accepted Masons, in which position he has acted for the last three years.


Frank X. BLACK, manufacturer of paper-mill machinery, was born in Hamilton, in 1848. He is the son of Peter P. and Mary A. BLACK. He was married, April 14, 1874, to Henrietta C. HURM, daughter of Philip J. and Anna Stacia HURM. She was born in Hamilton in 1848. They have three children. Louisa E. was born May 19, 1875; George F., March 9, 1879; and Frank J., December 9, 1879.

In 1872 he was urged by the paper-makers of this valley to start in the roll-grinding business, and enable them to get their calender rolls reground without shipping them East, which caused extended delays and great outlays for freight. He visited the shops of J. Morton POOLE, Wilmington, Delaware, where he found it necessary to learn the grinding business before they would furnish him with the machine. He accordingly began with them, and worked for one dollar per day until he was told he was competent enough to take charge of the grinder, when he was furnished with one. The firm continued to grind rolls until 1876, when the firm was changed to BLACK & CLAWSON, and to the grinding business they added other branches, until they began the manufacture of complete machines for making all kinds of paper. They now are making a specialty of this class of work.

Joseph BURKART, who is a carriage-blacksmith, was born in Cincinnati, June 10, 1850. He is the son of John and Pauline BURKART, natives of Germany.

Henry BEARDSLEY was born in Fairfield County, Connecticut, April 17, 1812. His parents were Abram and Hannah (RAYMOND) BEARDSLEY, who died in Connecticut. Mr. BEARDSLEY learned the trade of a hatter, and came out to Ohio, settling here in 1836, on the 20th of June. He has followed manufacturing and dealing in hats. He has been married three times. First, in 1840 to Isabella GIBSON; second, in 1847 to Laura O'CONNOR, and the last time in Batavia, Ohio, to Sarah E. MOORE. The last is a daughter of John B. MOORE, of Clermont County. He has had five children. Emma (Mrs. F. MARTINDELL), was born in 1847; William Henry, in 1850; Abbey Jane, in 1852; Edward Moore, in 1858, and George in 1863. Edward is a physician, and lives in San Francisco, and George resides in the same place. Mr. BEARDSLEY was a member of the school board for about five years, from 1856 to 1861, the First Ward building being erected about that time. He was also a member of the common council for about four years, from 1846 to 1850. The right of way was given to the railroad during that time. During the late war Mr. BEARDSLEY was a member of the military committee of this county. He went into business upon his arrival here, and has been in it ever since. He is now the oldest merchant in trade in the town.

Dr. John R. BROWN is the grandson of Joseph BROWN and his wife, Margaret, who came here from Virginia about 1797, and about the beginning of the century locating in Rossville. In August, 1800, their son, Israel BROWN, was born in that town, and in the Winter of 1801 Mr. BROWN died. Eighteen months afterwards his widow married again. Her new husband was John THOMPSON. In 1804 their son, Joseph Magie THOMPSON, was born - the year of the great freshet which made the New River. Israel BROWN left Butler County at an early age, going to Hamilton County, where he learned the trade of a carpenter. He was three times elected to the Legislature, and was a member of the State Board of Equalization from the day it was formed till the date of his death, which occurred December 16, 1860. He married, in Hamilton, Jane ROBINSON, who still survives at the age of eighty-two, and resides a quarter of a mile from her old home. They had several children, the only of whom now living in Hamilton is John R. BROWN. At the time Mr. BROWN moved to Hamilton County his mother and step-father, John THOMPSON, remained here, where their two children were born. Joseph Magie THOMPSON, as is said above, was born March 10, 1804. No record exists of Daniel. Mr. THOMPSON enlisted in the War of 1812 three times, serving throughout the entire struggle. He was captured seven times by the British, and on one occasion was taken with six others. They were given several days in which to swear allegiance to the king of Great Britain, four of the party finally consenting. Mr. THOMPSON, however, was made of sterner stuff, and with two others, refused to do this, and resolved to escape, which they did. They were three days without any thing to eat, but finally managed to reach the American lines. He was Scotch by birth, as was also his wife, and was a man of wealth for those times, and a prominent pioneer. He died in Hamilton about 1816, his widow surviving him many years. She died in 1862, aged eighty-seven years.

Of his children, Daniel is now residing in Richmond, Indiana, and Joseph magie married, March 8, 1826, Mary Ann MESSICK, who was born February 10, 1807, in Delaware. They had six children. Theodore was born September 10, 1827, and died in Memphis in 1879. He was a captain of the One Hundred and Seventy-second Regiment, O. V. I., in the late war, under Colonel LUZBEEK. Alonzo H. was born May 10, 1829, and resides in Hamilton. He was a soldier of the late war, in Company H, Eleventh Missouri V. I., and served through most of the struggle. He was wounded several times, and at the battle of Atlanta was so badly injured that he was discharged, crippled for life. Freeman B. was born July 29, 1831, and is now a resident of Hamilton. Miles L. was born October 26, 1833, and lives at Columbus, Indiana. He is married. Martha J. was born May 27, 1836, and is the wife of A. J. GRAITHER, and lives in Jersey County, Illinois. Joseph W. was born September 7, 1838, living at East Memphis, Tennessee, and is married.

Joseph M. THOMPSON was for many years a prominent citizen of Port Union, Union Township, holding several township offices, and died in Columbus, Indiana, on the 7th of March, 1878, his wife dying March 31, 1874. His son, Colonel Freeman B. THOMPSON, was married on the 1st of July, 1856, to Mary Ann BEATTY, daughter of James BEATTY. She was born in Butler County, September 24, 1839, and died April 14, 1879. They have had eight children. William B. was born June 5, 1857, and is married, living in Fairfield Township. Ida May was born April 5, 1859, and is the wife of James M. EARP, a resident of Hamilton. Mary Ella was born March 17, 1863, and is the wife of Elva THOMPSON. She lives in Hamilton. Frankie Luella was born July 2, 1865; Lillie Leona, June 1, 1868; H arry, June 16, 1870; George, March 16, 1872, and Jimmy, January 29, 1877. Mr. THOMPSON, in 1859, moved to Shelby County, Illinois, where he was for many years a prominent farmer, holding many offices of honor. Among others he was sheriff for six years, and was elected colonel of the One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He returned to Hamilton, Butler County, on the 10th of November, 1880, and still resides here.

James M. EARP was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, December 23, 1850, and was married May 31, 1877, in Shelby County, Illinois, to Miss Ida MAY, daughter of Colonel Freeman B. THOMPSON. They have two children. Mary Ellen was born April 6, 1878, in Shelby County, Illinois, and Lillie Mary was born March 18, 1880, in Butler County. Mr. EARP came here from Illinois in 1879, and settled in Union Township, where he resided on Mr. James BEATTY's farm; removing in 1880 to Hamilton. In May, 1881, he began business in West Hamilton as a hatter and dealer in gentlemen's furnishing goods.

William BRUCK was born in Hamilton, November 14, 1848, and is the son of J. P. and Mona (KLINE) BRUCK. He received a fair education in private schools in Hamilton, and when thirteen began learning the trade of printer, in an office conducted by his father. He worked as a journeyman in Cincinnati and Indianapolis until 1876. He was chosen as policeman that year, and served for four year. In the Spring of 1881 he was elected city marshal, a position that he still occupies. Mr. BRUCK was married in July, 1869, to Miss Barbara K. daughter of John MUSCH. They are parents of two sons, William L. and Edward. They are members of St. John's Lutheran Church. He is a member of the Knights of Honor.

Owen C. BREWER was born in Liberty Township, Butler County, February 4, 1851, being the younger son of Peter K. and Mary (FLENNER) BREWER, the former a native of Maryland, where he was born in 1809. He came to Ohio in 1831, settling on the place in Liberty Township, where he spent the remainder of his days. He was married in 1837 to a daughter of David FLENNER, and reared a family of five children, all living and residents of this county. He was a successful farmer, dying September 1, 1871. His wife, who was born in 1807, is still living, at the age of seventy-four.

Owen C. BREWER was educated in the public schools until he was eighteen years of age, being brought up to farming, and then engaged in teaching for some four years. In 1872 he was appointed to a position in the auditor's office, and in 1873 was made a deputy auditor, holding that position until June, 1874, when he received the appointment of secretary of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphan Home, at Xenia, with W. D. KERR as superintendent. While there Messrs. KERR and BREWER introduced the industrial branches, which made the institution self-sustaining. He was there until the end of Governor ALLEN's term, when he returned to Hamilton, there acting as a clothing salesman until March, 1882, when he began the clothing trade in his present location.

Mr. BREWER was married, in 1875, to Miss Diana STARK, of Xenia. They have two children, Paul K. and Earl C. Mrs. BREWER is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. BREWER is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and also of the Knights of Honor. He was elected a member of the board of education from the Fourth Ward, in 1879, and re-elected in 1881, both times without opposition. He was clerk of the board for two years and a half, and became its president in April, 1882.

Charles BECK, Jr., was born in Venice, in this county, June 8, 1845. He is the son of Charles and Theresa BECK, natives of Wellenberg, Germany. He attended the common schools in the country, and afterwards in Hamilton. He began at fourteen to learn the shoemaker's trade with his father, and was at this for eight years. He then began clerking in his father's store, and afterwards attended the Business College in this place. In 1859, he began business in the boot and shoe trade, which he continued till 1879. He has been trustee of his ward, and overseer of the poor. In 1876, he was elected infirmary director for the county, and again in 1879, acting as clerk of the board. He is a Democrat in belief, and a member of the Catholic Church. He was married on the 14th of September, 1869, to Catherine TABLER, daughter of Henry and Catherine TABLER, of Hamilton, both now being dead. He has four living children and three dead. Charles Henry, Clara C., William A., and Frank C. are the names of those living.

John Frederick BENDER was born in Germany, September 28, 1830. He is the oldest son of F. W. and Catherine BENDER, and was instructed in the government schools. He learned the trade of a carpenter from his father, and remained employed at that till he was twenty-one. He was conscripted in the Prussian army in 1851, and served three years, and on the expiration of his term, followed his parents and family to America, in the Spring of 1855, coming direct to Hamilton. He assisted his father in laying the foundation of the present business, of which he is the head. Mr. BENDER married in March, 1857, Miss Mary Elizabeth HARDEGEN, born in Germany. They have a family of two daughters and one son. The are members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. BENDER enlisted in the One Hundred and Sixty-seventh Ohio National Guard, of which regiment he was major under Colonel Moore. He served out his term, and was mustered out at Hamilton in 1864.

Jacob BENDER was born in Prussia, August 18, 1837. He is the son of F. W. and Catherine (DIEHL) BENDER. He was educated in the public schools in Germany, and brought up to farming until coming to America with his parents in 1853. His first location was in Cincinnati, where he was one year, coming up to Hamilton in 1854. He received something of an English education after arriving in this country, and worked at the carpenter's business for some time. He began to learn the trade of hatter in 1856, serving an apprenticeship of four years with Henry BEARDSLEY, with whom he afterwards worked as a journeyman. He was in his employment until enlisting in 1864, in the hundred-day troops. He served out his full term of enlistment, in West Virginia, and returned home and was mustered out at its close. He resumed his former situation on his return and remained with Mr. BEARDSLEY until July, 1870, when he began business for himself. He is doing an extensive trade in hats, caps, furs, gloves, umbressas, etc. He is a member of the Zion Lutheran Church.

Jacob BOLI was born in Germany, December 30, 1819, and was educated in Germany. When young, he learned his father's trade, that of a baker, and worked at it as journeyman for some time, coming to America in 1838. He just escaped conscription. He first located at Massilon, Ohio, where he was employed as a baker and confectioner for two years, and then going to Cincinnati. He was married there about 1842, and is the father of ten children, only two of whom are living. L. A. BOLI, who was born January 16, 1846, is a well-known merchant of Hamilton, and Caroline, born April 10, 1849, is the wife of Alexander DILG, a resident of this place. After marriage he went to Indiana, and engaged in farming, then going to Louisville, Kentucky, where he remained ten years in the grocery trade. In May, 1855, he came to Hamilton, beginning the grocery trade on the west side, and coming to his present location on Front Street about 1860. He is now doing a prosperous business in general family groceries, and is a large owner of real estate. He is a member of St. John's Lutheran Church.

William E. BROWN was born in Xenia, Ohio, on the 13th of November, 1825. His father was a mechanic of moderate means, and his son was obliged to obtain an education by his own exertions. He was early taught to labor, and at the age of seventeen was in Northern Mississippi as a tramping journeyman shoemaker. He subsequently passed eighteen months in New York City. At the age of twenty-one he commenced the study of law in Xenia. He completed his preparatory legal studies in Dayton, and was admitted to the bar on the 29th of March, 1849. The following Spring he settled in Hamilton, with very little money. Up to this time he had worked at his trade to pay expenses. Before the expiration of his first year's practice in Hamilton, he had business enough to support himself. He married the daughter of Robert BECKETT in 1852. In 1855 he was elected an elder in the United Presbyterian Church of Hamilton. He gave up the practice of law for a while on account of impaired health, but afterwards resumed it. He was elected president of the Second National Bank of Hamilton in 1870. Under his able management this institution has nearly trebled its business. It was, in a great measure, through his advice and direction that the handsome building of this bank was built. The Second National Bank of Hamilton is one of the safest and most conservative banks in the country.

John C. BARCALOW, the landlord of the Central House, was born in this county April 11, 1830. His parents were John and Nancy BARCALOW, both now dead. He was married in Warren County on the 29th of October, 1851, to Elizabeth A. EMLEY, daughter of David and Sarah EMLEY. She is a native of Warren County. Mr. and Mrs. BARCALOW have had twelve children. Anna E. SCHAFFER was born April 24, 1855; Ada E. SPITLER, August 15, 1856; Georgetta, July 11, 1858; David E., May 15, 1860; Kate E., May 12, 1862; John B., March 4, 1864; C. M., November 17, 1866; Sallie E., January 3, 1869; Harry and Carrie, March 31, 1871; Louraine R., July 31, 1873, and Richard E., September 10, 1875. Mr. BARCALOW was a member of Company E, One Hundred and Fifty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served in the hundred days' call in West Virginia without hearing a gun fired.