A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County, Ohio
Page 462 - 465
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Col. Griffin HALSTEAD, in 1875, wrote the following account of his life: My father & mother were John HALSTEAD of Currituck, NC, & Ruth RICHARDSON, his wife. Early in their married life they removed from the shore of Albemarle Sound to the northern central part of the State, where, near Guilford Court-house, I was born, Jun 11, 1802. I was the oldest son of the family who survived infancy. When I was two years old, my parents left their native State for the blue grass regions of KY; but the uncertainty of land-titles in the State caused them to continue their journey to the valley of the Great Miami, near the town of New Haven. In the Spring of 1805 a great flood dislodged them. The water of the Miami was higher than it has ever since been known, & my parents escaped from their cabin on horseback. This incident caused another movement, & a settlement upon the farm where I have ever since (almost seventy years) resided. The recommendation of the farm was that the tract contained both a hill & bottom land, & was well timbered, watered by several fine springs, & out of the way of the floods.

In the opening of this farm the best energies of my early years were expended. My work varied by occasional hunting & fishing excursions, & trips to mill & to market, camp-meetings, huskings, & militia musters, the amusements that the country afforded; & during some brief intervals of very inclement weather, attendance at the Buckeye school-house on Paddy's Run. In 1822 I was captain of the militia; & in the Winter of 1824-25 I visited New Orleans. In 1826 I was elected colonel of the militia of the county, mustering at Millville; & I have, at various times, held the offices of clerk & trustee of my township, & have repeatedly served as magistrate.

Nov 1, 1827, I was united in marriagge with Miss Clarissa WILLITS, eldest dau/o James WILLITS, who resided near New Haven. We had four children, two sons & two daughters: Caroline who died in infancy; Murat & Benton, who are residents of Cincinnati, (Hamilton Co., OH); & Helen, Mrs. John M. SCOTT, who occupies the old homestead farm adjoining my own.

When the Mexican War occurred, I enlisted in the Butler Guards, but inflammatory rheumatism, contracted in Camp Washington, prevented any participation in active service. I have been for over 50 years a pretty regular attendant at the polls in Ross Twp., & have been in the habit of voting the Democratic ticket.

My earliest distinct recollections of public affairs are of the excitement attending the events of the last war with England; & Butler Co., now so highly cultivated, was, within my remembrance, but a wilderness, broken with clearings that occupied comparatively but a small space; & the game we hunted in those days, including panthers, bears, & deer, was sometimes equal to hunting us. I am not aware that any other citizen of the county has lived for 70 consecutive years on one farm, so perhaps I may claim seniority in that particular.

I have outlived nearly all who were with me in early times. My wife, my sisters, my brothers, &, with here & there an exception, the old neighbors, all are gone; & I approach the age of 73, in the enjoyment of reasonable health & strength beyond that ordinarily associated with my years. Col. HALSTEAD is still alive.

Murat HALSTEAD was born Sep 2, 1829 in Ross Twp. His father, Col. Griffin HALSTEAD, a native of NC, removed in 1804 to OH with his parents, who, in the following year, settled upon the farm which became their grandson's birthplace. The family of his mother, Clarissa WILLITS, came from PA, & were among the early settlers on the Scioto, in central OH. Mrs. HALSTEAD, who taught her son to read & write at a very early age, made him a student of history & geography before he ever visited a schoolhouse, & his first school experience began in company with "McGuffey's Third Reader" & an English grammar. About the year 1840, the Rev. B. W. CHIDLAW, a well known Congregational minister, kept a select school in New London, in which, during two successive Winters, Murat received instruction in the English branches. Afterward, until he was 18 years old, he attended the common school of his district during the Winters, meanwhile working upon his father's farm through the Summer months. In the Fall of 1848, after a short experience in school-teaching, he entered Farmer's College, at College Hill, whence he graduated in 1851. He at one time attempted the study of law, but having written & contributed occasional sketches to the Hamilton Intelligencer & a paper in Rossville during his college life & while teaching school, he acquired a literary taste & facility in writing, which became the means of introducing him to his career as a journalist. Mr. HALSTEAD's early literary efforts, however, were chiefly in the department of fiction, though he attempted several essays on American antiquities & current affairs. One of his pioneer romances, "A Legend of the Miamis," was published before his graduation, in the Cincinnati Gazette.

In 1852, Mr. HALSTEAD formed his earliest editorial connection as news editor of the daily Atlas, published by John D. CALDWELL. This was followed by a brief engagement upon the Cincinnati Enquirer as assistant local editor, & then as associate editor of the Columbian and Great West edited by W. B. SHATTUCK. The Cincinnati Commercial had already been established for 11 years & was prosperous & influential, when in March, 1853, M. D. POTTER, its chief proprietor & editorial manager, engaged Mr. HALSTEAD as one of its corps of reporters. In the Summer following, through the illness & absence of the proprietor, the direction of the paper fell into Mr. HALSTEAD's hands. Then & afterward, as the opportunity was presented, was introduced into its management a feature which before long wrought a marked change in Western journalism. This was a systematic compilation of the news found in the exchange newspapers. Cincinnati being a central point, & the telegraph then giving but a meager outline of daily news--often nothing more than imperfect market reports--the work that Mr. HALSTEAD was enabled to do was so highly appreciated by Mr. POTTER that, upon the reorganization of the firm, in May 1854, after the death of R. H. LEE, Mr. HALSTEAD (with Henry REED & John STRAUS) secured a partnership interest, the firm name becoming M. D. Potter & Co. In this reorganization it was Mr. POTTER's express object to give the office stability of management in case of his death, which, however, did not occur until Apr 1866, when the firm of M. Halstead & Co. was organized.

Mr. HALSTEAD attributes his success in journalism to his quick recognition of the importance & value of news & his skill in the use of the scissors. He possesses & exercises keen discrimination between such matters offered for publication as have life & interest for today & those which can wait for tomorrow. He is, moreover, an indefatigable worker. As a writer, Mr. HALSTEAD is direct, earnest, & forcible, with a large quality of buoyant, masculine vigor, partly the result, doubtless, of his robust bodily health, gained in youth from contact with the earth & air upon his father's farm. In politics, as an editor, he professes & practices honest independence of parties, though, having warmly upheld the Union cause in the war of secession, he afterward preferred the Republican traditions.

Mr. HALSTEAD has visited Europe several times--first, in 1870, when he was present in France during the war with Prussia, & witnessed the battle of Gravelotte; again in 1874, when he also visited Iceland, on the occasion of its millennial celebration, & for a brief period during the French Exposition in 1878. He married Mar 2, 1857, Miss Mary BANKS, dau/o the late Hiram BANKS, & had 10 children, seven sons & three daughters, namely: John (who died in 1861), Jennie, Marshall, Clarence, Robert, Albert, Mary, Hiram Banks, Clarissa, & Griffin.

Isaac ANDERSON, a son of the old Revolutionary veteran, Isaac ANDERSON, of whom a full account will be found elsewhere, was born in Cincinnati (Hamilton Co., OH) Aug 29, 1799. His mother was Euphemia MOOREHEAD, eldest dau/o Fergus MOOREHEAD, who had also been a soldier in the war of the Revolution. They were married in Nov 1788, & had 11 children, of whom Isaac is the sixth. They came to this county in 1812. Mr. ANDERSON was married on the 18th of Aug 1825 to Margaret MORRIS, dau/o William & Sarah MORRIS. They came to this county in 1798. The eldest, William Morris ANDERSON, who was born Aug 10, 1826, is dead. He served in the Mexican War, under the command of John B. WELLER, & also in the late Rebellion. He was wounded in the battle of Chickamauga. Susan BAILEY was born Feb 17, 1829, & Joseph ANDERSON, Feb 7, 1831. He is dead. Eliza Jane LEWIS was born Sep 11, 1834, & James ANDERSON, Feb 23, 1837. Isaac E. ANDERSON, who was born Sep 5, 1840, was in the service of the U.S. during the late war, & was killed at the fight of Chickamauga. Willson ANDERSON is the youngest, & was born Jul 1, 1845. Mr. ANDERSON cultivates a fine farm. He has been justice of the peace in Ross Twp. for 20 years, & is a man of many fine qualities.

James Campbell ANDREWS comes of one of the oldest families in Ross. His parents came to this township in 1811, & his father the next year after. His name was James (ANDREWS), & his mother's maiden name was Mary RIFE. She died in 1875. James C. ANDREWS was born in WV, Nov 15, 1809. He was married Nov 26, 1840 to Lydia DUNN. She was the dau/o John DUNN, who died in 1835, being then 65 years old, & Letitia McCLUSKEY, who was born in 1799 & died in 1847. They came to this county in 1805. Mr. & Mrs. ANDREWS have had four children: Martha was born Aug 18, 1841; Letty, Jul 16, 1844; William, Oct 25, 1847, & Albert, May 22, 1850. Letty died May 9, 1869. She was married to Jacob KOHLER. Martha married John BERCAW, Feb 1860. William married Lizzie POLLOCK. By these unions Mr. ANDREWS has seven grandchildren living. At the age of 16 he began work at the blacksmith's trade, following it for 16 years. Since that time he has paid all of his attention to the farm, & has by industry & good management made for himself & family a good home. His son, William, was in the hundred days' service, & his uncle, Robert ANDREWS, was in the War of 1812, & died soon after his return.

James BROWN, the head of the BROWN family in Ross Twp., was born in WV. His wife, Deborah RYFE, was born in PA. They had 3 children. Daniel was born in 1798 & died in Apr 1876. Elizabeth was born in 1801, & William was born Mar 14, 1803. He is married & lives in Ross Twp. Mr. James BROWN had prepared to come to OH, but died in WV. His widow & 3 children came on with a colony of nine families, & landed in Cincinnati, in May 1805. She was married a second time about 1807, her choice being Frederick WHITINGER, by whom she had two children, one dying in infancy, & the other, James WHITINGER, being born in 1808. He is married & lives in Rush Co., IN. Mr. WHITTINGER's family, three brothers, came to Butler Co., about 1800. Their names were Jacob, Nicholas, & Francis. Frederick WHITINGER was killed in 1810 by a flat-boat falling on him. His wife was well provided for, & brought up her family well. She died in Ross Twp, Butler Co., about 1864. William BROWN was born in WV, Mar 14, 1805, & was married in 1828 in Hamilton Co. (OH) to Eunice WILLEY, who was born there Feb 29, 1808 & died Nov 25, 1867. He had 13 children, seven living, but six dying in infancy. The living ones are Daniel, Richard, Henry, James, Oliver Perry, Walter, & Augusta. Mr. BROWN is a self-made man. He began life with nothing, renting at first, in partnership with is brother, Daniel. In 1828 he purchased a small tract of land, part of Allen FULLER's, in Section 32, of 30 acres, where he went to live after he married. He stayed there in a hewed log-house until 1847, when he built his present residence. He has accumulated in his life-time considerable property, owning at one time 340 acres in OH & 200 in IN. He has at present 130 acres & considerable personal property. The remainder he has distributed among his children. His son, Daniel, has been justice of the peace three terms, real estate assessor one term, & township clerk 13 years. His wife's father, Conrad RYFE, was a soldier of the Revolution, & was wounded in the war.

BRANCH (Ross Twp., p. 464)
Bennet BRANCH is a native of Butler Co., OH. He is a farmer & lives near Millville. He was married May 20, 1860, & has had 14 children, only six of whom are living. His wife's name is Eliza.

Frederick BOHLENDER was born in Germany, Aug 19, 1835. He is the s/o George BOHLENDER & Mary RERICK. He came to this county in 1877. His wife is Mary PEELING, the dau/o Robert PEELING & Elizabeth WEISE. She was born in Lancaster Co., PA, Dec 1836. They were married Nov 1864 in Montgomery Co., (OH), & have three children. George W. was born Sep 21, 1867; Ida M., Oct 29, 1871; & Edna A., Jan 1876. Mr. BOHLENDER is a farmer & fruit-grower, & now carries on a fruit-farm, consisting of about 60 acres of orchard, besides all kinds of small fruits.

Charles BORGER was born in Berks Co., PA, Jan 17, 1817, & came to this county in 1834. His father was Jacob BORGER & his mother was Mary M. LONG, both now dead. An uncle, Daniel LONG, was in the War of 1812. Mr. BORGER was married on the 21st of Nov 1838, in St. Clair Twp., to Hannah DUBBS. Her parents were Henry DUBBS & Margaret HANNAN, who came to this county in 1829, remaining here until their deaths. They had four children. Sarah Ann was born Oct 10, 1840; David D., Mar 13, 1843; Jacob H., Nov 14, 1846; & Margaret, Mar 30, 1851. All these are now living, except Jacob H., who was drowned in the Ohio River, while bathing, on the 20th of Jul 1878, at Aurora, IN, leaving a widow, but no children, to mourn his loss. Sarah Ann married John A. OVERPECK, Aug 18, 1860; David D. was married Mar 8, 1863 to Sarah A. BURCKHARDT; & Margaret was married Jan 2, 1872 to William F. BERLEMAN. Nine grandchildren are living & three dead. Mr. BORGER has, through life, been a farmer.

BROSIUS, YAGER, PARKS, McCLOSKEY (Ross Twp., pp. 464-465)
Daniel BROSIUS is probably the oldest man in the township. He was born in Northumberland Co., PA, Sep 24, 1801, & has been a resident of this county for 73 years. When he came here this county was nothing but a wilderness. He saw the first steamboat that ran on the Ohio River. His parents were George Daniel BROSIUS & Elizabeth YAGER. They came to the county in 1808. The father died in 1812, & the mother in 1823. Mr. BROSIUS married Elizabeth PARKS, dau/o Arthur PARKS & Elizabeth McCLOSKEY on the 3rd of Jun 1823 at Hamilton, (Butler Co., OH). She was born Oct 7, 1806. They had 11 children. Elizabeth was born Jun 15, 1824; William, Jun 13, 1827; James, Sep 26, 1828; John, Jul 9, 1830; Margaret, Feb 18, 1832; Isabel, Dec 12, 1835; Daniel, Oct 9, 1838; Rebecca, Dec 17, 1842; Eliza Ann, Jan 16, 1845; Jeannette, Jul 3, 1848; & Alice, Apr 13, 1850. Five of these children are dead. James died Mar 27, 1853; John, Jan 20, 1861; Rebecca, Apr 1881; Eliza Ann, Mar 10, 1851; & Alice, Apr 8, 1851. Mr. BROSIUS has 14 grandchildren now living. His wife died Jan 10, 1861. When a young man he learned the cabinet-making trade, following it for a number of years. He then purchased a farm, & until within a few years paid all of his attention to it. Since then he has led a retired life.