A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County, Ohio
Liberty Township: Pages 499 - 502
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Robert MCCLELLAN, who was the son of Daniel, was born in Lemon Twp, in 1809, and married Eleanor SUTPHIN, also a native of that twp, where she was born in 1811. He had two children. Daniel was born in 1836, is married, and lives in Liberty. Maria was born in 1834, and died in 1852. Mr. MCCLELLAN died about 1859, his widow afterwards marrying John WEBSTER. They had four children, three still living. Letitia, wife of Charles BEDELL, lives in Dayton. She was born in 1849. john and Robert, twins, were born about 1855. They are married. John lives in Newport, KY, and RObert lives in Shakertown, Warren County. The mother died in May, 1874. Daniel MCCLELLAN came to Liberty Twp when he was about ten years old, and lived with his mother on the old Webster farm, and farmed for her until 1862, when he purchased his present place of 105 acres, the Reuben DAVIS farm.

Peter W. SHEPHERD, banker and farmer, was born in Monmouth County, NJ, Jan 28, 1804, being one of twelve children, six boys and six girls. He is the son of Joseph SHEPHERD, a native of NJ. His ancestors were wealthy people, down to and including his grandfather, who lost his property through bad management and the treachery of other people. That left his father in a bad condition to make any thing. At that time and in that country it was a hard matter for a poor man to acquire property, and he consequently left his children much in the same position in which he began life.

When Peter W. SHEPHERD was between seventeen and eighteen years of age he went as an apprentice to the blacksmith's trade, at which he soon attained a good proficiency. After the completion of his tern he worked in various parts of NJ, PA, MD, and OH. To this State he came in December, 1829, crossing the mountains in a farm wagon. Arrived at Wheeling, he found the roads almost impassable, and took passage for Cincinnati in a steamer. From that place he went to Middletown, in this county. He still remembers the muddy appearance of the roads. From Middletown he went to the neighborhood of Jacksonburg, remaining there the rest of the Winter, but in the Spring going to Franklin, Warren County, where he entered into an agreement with Lemuel MOSS, a contractor on the public works, to go with him to Portsmouth, and there to take charge of a smith's shop. Mr. MOSS was engaged in the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal, and needed just such a man as Mr. SHEPHERD with him. There the latter wrought for three or four years, receiving the highest pay ever given in that portion of the country for similar work, one dollar twelve and a half cents per day. There was then no ten hours' or eight hours' rule, and no strikes or organized trades-unions. Men began work soon after daylight and continued till dark. One of the years which he was there he only lost one half day, in which he went to a circus. When the account came to be settled up at the end of the year Mr. MOSS declared that he would make no deduction; a man who worked as close to a whole year as that should be allowed the full twelve-month. When the contract was finished Mr. MOSS erected a large flouring-mill at the locks, a short distance from town. In the basement machinery was put up for sawing stone, of which there was a splendid quarry close at hand.

Mr. SHEPHERD was offered a partnership in an edge-tool factory to be conducted there as soon as the canal contract was finished, but declined. He went to CIncinnati, beginning work for Adonijah PEACOCK, who was carrying on the plow business, and remaining there until the cholera year, when he left the city, going to Franklin. There he bought some property, put up a shop, and began business on his own account. He then purchased the farm upon which he now lives, and came to Butler County, selling his property in Franklin. This was in 1836. His farm was of 153 acres, and he succeeded in getting good crops from it. But he did not neglect his trade. He put up a shop and carried on business for six or seven years, when he sold out to one of his journeymen.

A little while before his removal to Butler County his father died in NJ. He was 83 years old. The mother and two single sisters came out here about the year 1840, with his brother-in-law, Addi CHAMBERLIN. Mrs. SHEPHERD made her home with Mr. CHAMBERLIN until her death, which took place April 1, 1848, being then 84 years old. Three brothers and one sister died in NJ, aged respectively 81, 82, 82, and 61. Those who died in Ohio were respectively aged 76, 84, 62, 74, and 71, and in Indiana, 64, and 61. Mr. SHEPHERD is now the sole survivor of his family.

Mr. SHEPHERD continued farming until 1872, then selling out his stock and farming implements, and since has been engaged in various enterprise. He now owns two famrs in the Miami Valley, containing 260 acres, and half interest in 1100 acres of first-rate cotton land in Bolivar County, Mississippi, adjoining the Mississippi River. Mr. SHEPHERD had been an active and industrious man his whole life. He began with no advantages, and by his own hard knocks has wrested success from fortune. He formerly owned a half interest in the Hamilton woolen-mills, in connection with Israel WILLIAMS, and sustained a heavy loss when the mills burned down. He has a third interest in the Hamilton Bank, in partnership with Joseph and A. D. CURTIS. He has been a twp supervisor and school director. He is now, inspite of his advanced age, hale and hearty.

Peter SHAFOR was born Feb 5, 1825, in Lemon Twp, and was married in Liberty Twp, on the 6th of December, 1849, to Elizabeth CHEESEMAN, daughter of Abijah CHEESEMAN. She was born in NJ, Sep 16, 1830. They have six children. John P. was born Feb 23, 1851, and is married to Hatie B. MCCLURE; William was born Jan 25, 1855, and lives in Lemon Twp; Hannah J. was born Dec 18, 1856, and is the wife of Frank W. HUGHES; Mary E. was born Jan 30, 1860; Ira R., Sep 2, 1861; and Lewis C., Oct 10, 1863. Mr. SHAFOR commenced life for himself. He is the son of an old soldier of the War of 1812, who lived to near a century, and of whom a full account is given under Lemon Twp. Peter SHAFOR went to farming in 1846 for Mrs. Lydia ROGERS, and remained there for nearly four years, and in 1850 he rented the farm of John HANKINS for nearly two years. He then purchased 70 acres in Lemon Twp, part of the John GREGORY farm, where he remained four years, and then bought the old Randolph farm, in Fairfield, of 158 acres, where he resided about nine years. During his residence there he served as twp trustee for about seven years. He then sold out, and about 1865 moved to his father's old farm, which he rented for two years. He then purchased his present farm of Peter W. SHEPHERD. It consisted of 150 acres, to which he has since added another hundred. He now owns 250 acres in Liberty. He has held the office of twp trustee for thirteen years, and is one of the directors of the county infirmary, an office he has held for twelve years. He has also been a member of the agricultural board for six years. Mr. SHAFOR is a self-made man. He received nothing from his father until his death, and the estate is not yet divided. He is one of the leading citizens of this twp.

Benjamin SCUDDER came from Elizabeth, NJ, about 1814, and purchased a section of land in Liberty Twp, which he gave to his four grandsons, the children of his son Jesse. He also bought 50 acres besides, which he gave to his granddaughter, also the daughter of Jesse. She married Aaron SIMPSON. He then returned to NJ, where he died. Jesse, his son, accompanied his children, and lived and died in Butler County. He married to Keziah MARSH. They ahd five children: Benjamin, Hezekiah, Enoch, Stephen, and Jemima, wife of Aaron SIMPSON. Hezekiah SCUDDER was born in NJ in 1790, and died August 29, 1842. He married, in NJ, Jane WADE, born in that State about 1796, dying in Liberty Twp about 1873. They had nine children, six of whom are living. Hannah, the widow of Pearson CARL, lives in Milford Twp. Hetty, married to Stephen SQUIRES, died, leaving two children in Illinois. Harrison is married and lives in Shelby County, IN; William, born August 20, 1824, is married, and lives in Liberty Twp; Charity Jane is the wife of Wilson ROSENCRANZ, and lives in Shelby County, IN; Hezekiah is married, and lives in Shelby County, IN; Eli is married, and lives in Liberty Twp; Harriet was married to Stacey HUNT, who is now dead; Enos was killed in the late war. Mr. SCUDDER came to Ohio about 1816 and settled on the quarter section given to him by his grandfather. He was a prominent citizen of Liberty Twp for many years. He was a farmer, and spent his time in improving his land. He was an old-time Whig, but objected to holding office. The party came overland from NY in wagons, three in number. When they arrived they built log-cabins, with puncheon (split slab) floors, and having no boards, used quilts for doors and windows. They were often disturbed by the wolves. His son William was born in Liberty Twp, August, 23, 1824, and was married March 19, 1851, to Harriet FLENNER, who was born December 25, 1833, in Liberty Twp. They had three children. Louisa M. was born January 26, 1852, and is the wife of Charles WADSWORTH, who was married November 12, 1874. They have one child, Alice, born January 14, 1876. Flora May was born August 2, 1859, and died October 24, 1862. Eddie F. was born November 30, 1864, and died January 6, 1865. Mr. SCUDDER has been a member of the school board and school director in the district. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his wife also. He is a farmer and owns and farms 110 acres in Liberty Twp. In politics he is a Republican.

Isaac VAIL was born in PA, where he was married and had six children. William was born about 1803. He is married and lives in IN. Moses was born Feb 10, 1807, and died Jul 31, 1876. Nathan was born about 1810, and is dead. Disire married Aaron CLAWSON; Parmelia married James RUPPLE; Huldah married Benjamin MURPHY. The three latter are all dead. He came to Ohio about 1803, and settled in Cincinnati, about 1808 moved to Butler County, settling in Union Twp, where he rented. He moved to Darke County afterwards and purchased, dying there in September, 1860. His wife died about 1850. Moses VAIL, his son, was born Feb 10, 1807, in Cincinnati, and married, about 1828, Elizabeth VAIL, daughter Henry VAIL and Parmelia (BRIDGE) VAIL. She was born in Madison Twp, Feb 24, 1813, and had eight children. Franklin was born Jul 31, 1829; Ellen, who was born Sep 23, 1831, is the wife of Elias SMALLEY; Sarah, born Dec 19, 1833, is the wife of Nelson MURPHY; Linus, born Jul 12, 1836, is married, and lives in Liberty Twp; Fanny M., bron March 25, 1839, is the wife of Samuel ENYART; Martha B., born Feb 12, 1842, is the widow of Joseph KINIKIN; Henry L, born Feb 22, 1845, is married, and lives in IL; Eliza Jane, born May 7, 1849, is the wife of Thomas PEAK. Mr. VAIL settled after his marriage in Liberty Twp, where he purchased 40 acres. His son Linus now lives on the old homestead. He acquired a large property of 210 acres in this county, 750 acres in Illinois, and 240 acres in Indiana, and considerable personal property. He filled the office of twp trustess and school director. He and his wife were both members of the Baptist Church. He died July 31, 1876. Linus was married January 1, 1857, to Emmeline JEFFRIES, daughter of THomas JEFFRIES and Sarah(MERVIS) JEFFRIES, who was born in Union Twp, Nov 6, 1835. They had five children. Rosa was born August 3, 1858; Ella, February 27, 1860; Jessie, October 20, 1863; Charlie, November 6, 1865; and Hubert S., September 7, 1873. Rosa and Jessie are dead. Mr. VAIL is a school director, and owns and farms 160 acres.

John VAN SCOYK was born in Redstone, PA, January 5, 1780, and after coming to this vicinity married, in Lemon Twp, Elizabeth FREEMAN, daughter of John FREEMAN, who came to this county before 1800. She was born May 13, 1789. They had nine children, three of whom are living. William is married, and lives in Liberty; James is married, and lives in Hamilton; Catherine is the wife of Prior FITZGERALD, and lives in Liberty. Mr. VAN SCOYK came to Ohio in 1806, with his widowed mother, and the remainder of the family, consisting of seven children, five boys and two girls. He settled in Lemon Tsp, near Amanda, and went to work at his occupation, that of a cooper, continuing at this till his death. He brought no means with him, but accumulated a large property, which he was unfortunate enough to lose, chiefly by bailing his brother-in-law. He was drafted for the War of 1812, but hired a substitue. He died March 4, 1829. His son William was born in Lemon Tsp, October 27, 1817, and was married September 6, 1853, to Rachel BAKER, daughter of John BAKER and Jeannette (HAND) BAKER, who was born January 21, 1811. They have had no children. He is a self-made man, and was a carpenter by trade, working at it eight years, but when he married he settled down on the farm where he now lives, which was formerly owned by his wife's father, John BAKER. Mrs. Van SCOYK has never moved but once in her life, and that was from the old house whe was born in to the one she now lives in, which was built after her marriage, and which is about 150 yards from the old one. John FREEMAN, Mr. VAN SCOYK's grandfather, was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, and served under WASHINGTON during the entire contest. He died in Miami County at the age of 96.

Brice VIRGIN was born in Loudoun County, VA, and after a long service in the Indian wars, during which he distinguished himself, settled in Union Twp, at the beginning of 1796. He came to Liberty Twp in 1804. He had eleven children, of whom he reared ten. Cassandra, Thomas, Mary, Jeremiah, William, Rezin, Matthew, John, Priscilla, and Hiram are dead. Elizabeth was born April 9, 1800, in Hamilton County, where she still lives. She is single. He was a farmer, and owned about 100 acres of land. He died about 1821, and his wife about 1814. His sons, Thomas, William, and Rezin were in the War of 1812. He was a Freemason.

Silas WILLIAMSON's father, John, was born in 1790, and was eight years old when he came out here with his father, David. They were of Holland descent. David WILLIAMSON, the grandfather, married Mary VAN DYKE in 1787, and emigrated from PA to KY in June, 1797, and from KY to OH in November, 1798, and settled in Liberty Twp, in Section 14. He had four sons: George, born 1788; John, father of Silas, born 1790; David V., born 1795, and Peter, born 1801. In 1797 there was a settlement formed on BEATTY's place. Beatty was the first, and Voorhees the next. It is said this twp owed its name of Liberty to old 'Squire John MORROW, who had formerly lived in Liberty, PA, and that he went to Hamilton expressly to have the name given. There was a hand-mill at Mr. BEATTY's place, and the stone was afterwards put under the corner-stone of a barn. Mr. WILLIAMSON was born in 1819, on the farm where he now lives, in Section 15. He was married to Christian WHITE in 1843, and has two children, Cordelia, born in 1849, and Milton, born in 1810***. The latter was married to Ada BEATTY in 1878. Mr. WILLIAMSON's mother's name was Christina BREWER. She was born in Mercer County, KY, in 1798, married in 1817, and died in 1843. She had seven children: David, Silas, Mary Ann, Jane, John T., George W., and Margaret. Silas WILLIAMSON was elected township clerk in 1865, and has held the office ever since, with the exception of two years. He was elected a justice of the peace in 1865, and has held that office ever since. He has been for many years a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, as were his father and grandfather before him.

[Note*** this is probably a typo in the book, the date might be 1850?]

Augustine E. WILLIAMSON, son of David B. WILLIAMSON and Betsy (ELLIOTT) WILLIAMSON, was born January 29, 1842, in this township, and was married in 1865 to Eliza Ann SWEARINGEN, born October 12, 1846, in Warren County. They have three children: Mineola, born October 8, 1866; Betha, February 13, 1870, and Grace, January 18, 1875. He is engaged in the purchase of grain and stock, under the firm name of Kyle & Williamson. He owns 250 acres of fine land, and has been an important and influential man in this community.

The first of the WOODMANSEEs who came to Butler County was Daniel. He was born September 22, 1777, in NJ, and was married in 1801, in PA, to Rachel CUSHMAN, who was born in PA, July 18, 1778. They had seven children. Hannah was born March 3, 1801; Asa, July 12, 1804; Lorenzo Dow, November 16, 1806; Julia, March 25, 1809; Sarah, December 18, 1811; James, April 20, 1814, and Mary, March 15, 1818. The last is the wife of the Rev. Charles FERGUSON, and lives in Clinton County. Lorenzo D. is married, and lives in MN; Julia is the widow of Hiram JONES, and lives in IL, and Ada is dead.

Mr. WOODMANSEE came to Bulter County in 1809, and settled in Liberty Twp. He purchased 160 acres of land, where he lived till the time of his decease, and which his son, James, now owns. He and his wife were both very prominent members of the Methodist Church, and, in fact, during its early years in their neighborhood, were its chief support. Their house was used as a meeting-house, and also for entertaining the ministers and congregations afterwards. He was a very hospitable man, and a prominent man in political circles. he represented the county both in the lower house and the Senate for a period of ten years. He was also a very prominent man in his own district, acting as law adviser for all the neighborhood, and doing the work of a justice of the peace, although refusing to be elected. He also held several other important offices in the county and township, and, in fact, held office all his life long. He came down the river to Cincinnati in a flat-boat, which he loaded with iron castings, sugar-kettles, etc., which he disposed of in Cincinnati. His father, James WOODMANSEE, and mother, Hannah WORDEN, came with him, and in a few years he sent for his brothers and sister to come. They were Samuel, James, Thomas, and Hannah, with her husband, John GRAY, and their children. They all came and settled in this county, except the GRAYs, who went to Preble County. James WOODMANSEE, the father, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He went out with the first hostilities and was soom made a corporal. He was afterwards promoted to lieutenant, serving all through the war. Daniel, the son, died in 1842. His last vote was cast for Harrison. His wife died September 7, 1875, and is buried in the Woodmansee Cemetery, in Sugar Valley.

James WOODMANSEE, the poet, was born April 20, 1814, and was married in October, 1874, to Fanny SAMPSON MCGOWAN, born in Urbana, OH, February 24, 1844. They have three children: Cicero, Pauline, and Lethe Lois. Mr. WOOMANSEE received a good education, and was brought up to agricultural pursuits. He early developed a fondness for verse, and has written two epic poems: "The Closing Scene, a Poem in Twelve Books", and "Religion, a Poem in Twelve Books". The subject of the first poem is the great war between Gog and Magog, ending "with the wreck of matter and the crash of worlds." The second shows religion from the time the "spirit brooded o'er the water's face" to the millennium. Besides these poems he has written "Wrinkles from the Brown of Experiend;" "Poetry of the Seasons, a Poem in Four Books, Descriptive of Every Month in the Year," and " The Prodigal Son, a Drama in Five Acts." "The Closing Scene" and "Wrinkles" are already published, and have received the highest praise, both in Europe and America. A previous writer says: "Thomas Noon Talfourd, the great critic and judge of Westminster, said" ' "The Clsing Scene" rivals the " Divina Commedia" of Dante;' and Samuel Rogers, the author of 'Pleasures of Memory,' says: 'I call "They Closing Scene" the "Paradise Lost" of America.' " Mr. WOODMANSEE has traveled in Europe and America, but now pays the most of his attention to study and literary composition. He is at present living in Hamilton.