Diggin' Up Our Family Tree


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  1. Biographical Sketch of John Y. Storm.

    To any one who has ever known Mr. Storm this very expressive and life-like engraving will readily recall him to memory.

    Notwithstanding his apparent freshness and lite be is believed to be, today, the oldest male representative of the Storm family in Duchess County.

    His early and matured manhood were spent upon lands be-
    longing to one ot the gld homesteads of the Storm family in
    East Fishkill, where his younger son, William J. Storm, now re-
    sides. The site of this old homestead still remains surrounded
    with trees that lift themselves toward the sunlight and hide
    in their branches the beautiful outlines ot Wiooopee, and the
    Beacon heights of the Fishkill mountains,or Highlands, as their
    soft tracings of shadow and outline are spread out in near and
    distant view until lost in the valley of the Hudson.

    Here Abraham Storm was born October 1, 1773, and here his
    son.John V. Storm, was born November 24,1800.and was married
    to Jeannette E. Woolley December 4, 1839. His life has been
    mainly spent upon a part of these ancestral acres, which he
    afterward inherited. Under the touch of his hand they assum-
    ed new forms ot life, beauty and fertility, until even the pass-
    ing stranger would be attracted by the neatness and precision
    of all their surrounding^.

    His stables were filled with the finest horses in the country
    and his fleldswaved with the finest wheat that grew in the rich
    and beautiful valley of the Fishkill.

    He held, too, positions of trust and responsibility. He was a
    Civil Magistrate for many years, and also Supervisor ot his
    native town, and at the organization of the Fishkill Savings
    Bank was director and the first president of that institution.

    Mr. Storm is descended from an old and now numerous
    family. He stands six generations removed from Derick Storm
    who came to this country in 1668, from the Mayory of Borch, in
    Holland, and is the federal head and representative of all who
    bear the Storm name in America. His wife's name was Maria
    Pieters. He was at times schoolmaster and in 1670 was Secretary
    of Brooklyn. He was town clerk of Flatbush, and was clerk of
    sessions in Orange county from 1691 to 1703. He owned land
    and paid taxes when Peter Stuy vesant was the Dutch Governor
    at New Amsterdam. He had sons Goris, Peter and David, and
    a daughter whose name was Maria. Goris married Engletie
    VanLyck, daughter of Thomas VanLyck, of New Utrecht, and
    had sons Dirck, born in 1695, and Thomas born in 1697.

    Thomas Storm, grandson of the elder Dirck, and son ot Goris,
    purchased lands of Col. Phillips, of the Manor ot Phillipsburgh,
    Westchester county and resided at Tarrytown, where many
    of his descendants still live and where he was buried. He had
    seven sons and two daughters. Two of these sons died in early
    manhood, leaving children. By his will he gave to his grand-
    son Abraham, son of Jacob, one hundred pounds. And he
    gave also to bis grand-daughters, CbrlBtina and Anna, forty
    pounds. Besides Thomas and Jacob he bad sons Garret, Goris,
    Abraham, John and Isaac. His two daughters' names were
    Catherine and Engletie and his wife's name was Annie. To
    Garret and Goris he gave by will the lands which he purchased
    from Madam Brett, in Bombouts Precinct, being the first pur-
    chase, and lying on the north side of the Fishkill, containing
    four hundred and six acres. To Garret be gave two hundred
    and four acres of these lands, and to Goris he gave two hundred
    and two acres. To his son Abraham be gave the lands of the
    second purchase, excepting ten acres, lying on the south side
    of the Fishkill. And by his will be gave to his son Isaac his im-
    provements in Phillips Manor, The two brothers afterwards
    exchanged possessions and Isaac came to Fishkill.

    This will, now on record in the Surrogate's office, in New
    York City, was made and executed in Duchess County, being
    made no doubt, at a time when he was visiting his children. It
    was made on the 17th day of June, 1763, and probated before
    Bartholemew Crannett, in Duchess County, on the 15th day of
    January, 1770. One thing can here be said of -these lands, that
    now, after a period of more than one hundred and forty years,
    scarce one acre ot these lands has passed out of the family

    In so brief a paper as this only the shadow of an outline can
    be given of the Storm family.

    Mr. John Y. Storm of the sixth generation now resides in Fish-
    kill village, still healthy and strong and in possession of his
    wonted vigorous faculties.

    He has three sons and four daughters. His elder son, Abram
    J. Storm, wbo is a large land holder and civil engineer in
    Texas, was married to Miss Eate Fowler, October 29, 1878. His
    second son, Joseph H. Storm, owning a large farm in Green
    Haven, Duchess County, was married to Miss Sophia Sheldon,
    September 4, 1867. William J. Stoim was married to Miss Isa-
    bell Harpell, October 11, 1872, he having two children, a son
    named Harpell, and a daughter. Marguerite, Joseph Storm has
    two children, a son named Wilson and a daughter named Jean-
    nette. His daughter Elizabeth, was married January 24, 1873,
    to Charles A. Storm, ot Hopewell. His elder daughter Sarah
    Frances, was married June 7, 1876, to Sylvester Southard,
    who have one child named Jane Woolley Southard. They reside
    in Fishkill. His youngest daughters, Helen and Cornelia Storm
    reside with their parents.]

  2. Biographical Sketch of Jonathan S. Dagley.
    [Jonathan S. Dagley, perhaps the largest wheat grower in White County, and certainly one of the most successful farmers, is a son of Samuel and Jane (Webb) Dagley. He was the sixth child of a family of eleven children and was born Aug.20, 1827. Oct. 12, 1848, he married Catherine, seventh daughter of James and Mary Trousdale. She was born Dec. 2, 1828. Their children were - Virginia, born Dec.27, 1849; Mary Ann, born July 12, 1852; Solon Jones, born Jan.31, 1854; an infant son, born Jan.25, 1856. His wife died Feb. 1, 1856. Dec. 1, 1856, he married Susan Jane Lasater. third daughter and thirteenth child of James arid Susan Lasater. She was born Jan.16, 1837. To this union have been born - Charles, Aug. 20, 1857; an infant daughter; James Lasater, born Dec.19, 1861, died Feb.16, 1882; Milton Edmore. Sept. 7, 1864; Franklin and Fannie Belle, born Aug. 3, 1866; Emma, born Oct. 20, 1868; Jonathan Boone, born Sept.15, 1877.]

  3. Biographical Sketch of Joseph Drennan.
    [DRENNAN, JOSEPH, was born April 16, 1786, in Pendleton district, South Carolina. He was half brother to and much younger than Wm. Drennan, Sen. Joseph Drennan was married in South Carolina to Rebecca Evets, and had one child there. About 1807 the family moved to Caldwell county, Ky., where they had five children, and they moved to what is now Ball township, Sangamon county, Ill., coming himself in March 10, 1818, and bringing his family in Sept. of that year. They had three children. Of all his children--

    ANDREW P., born Sept. 12, 1806, in Pendleton district, South Carolina, was married in Sangamon county to Ruth Smith, and had nine children. JOSEPH F., married Mary Watts, and both died, leaving seven children, in Logan county. ELIZABETH died at five years. MARY A., married John Byers, has three children, and reside in Virden. REBECCA J., married George Trimble. See his name. JOHN, married Nancy Watts, has six children, and resides in Champaign county. Andrew J. married Hannah Watson, have four children, and resides in Champaign county. PETER C. married Margaret Smith, have six children, and reside in Champaign county. MARTHA married James A. Smith, has one child, GEORGE E., and resides in Chatham. RUTH F. is unmarried, and resides in Chatham. Mrs. Ruth Drennan died in 1851, and A. P. Drennan married Ruth Wright, and died April 6, 1874, in Chatham. His widow lives there.

    JANE, born in Caldwell county, Ky., married in Sangamon county to John Smith. See his name.

    WILLIAM G., born in Kentucky, married in Sangamon county to Sarah Jones, and both died.

    RACHEL, born in Kentucky, married in Sangamon county, to James Mitts, and died, leaving two children in Ball township.

    JOSEPH, Jun., born in Kentucky, was married in Sangamon county to Elizabeth Richardson, about 1833. They had two children, and he married Elizabeth Withrow. They had ten children. She died, and he married Sarah Purvis. They had six children, and he died in Macoupin county, Ill. Of his children: SMITH married Eliza J. Seaton, of Macoupin county. They have two children, and live in Ball township. ELIZA married N. W. Bates, had one child, and she died in Iowa. Of Joseph Drennan's other children I have no history.

    DAVID J., born May 3, 1816, in Caldwell county, Ky., was married in Sangamon county, Ill., to Sarah Hurley. They had nine children, three of whom died under seven years. Of the other six: JANE married Solomon Taylor and died. REBECCA married George Hilyard, and died, leaving seven children near Lewisburg, Wayne county, Iowa. AMANDA married Starkey D. Morrison. They have two children, CHARLES A. and DAVID J., and reside at Woodside Station. He is Postmaster there. NANCY married Levi Cassity. See his name. SARAH E. married Martin C. Bridges. See his name. JOSEPH H. married Mattie Forbes, and resides in Woodside township. Mrs. Sarah Drennan died March 3, 1869, and David J. Drennan resides two miles southeast of Woodside, and eight miles south of Springfield. David J. Drennan told the writer that one day he went out to kill a deer (if he could find one) during the "deep snow." He went without a gun, expecting to kill it with a knife, as they would break through the crust and stick fast in the snow. In going through the brush he broke through and went down until the snow was just under his arm pits. He was two or three hours in this position trying to extricate himself, and the perspiration and melting snow made his clothes as wet as though he had plunged into water. He got out of the brush far enough for the crust to bear him, and by the time he walked home his clothes were frozen. He was about thirteen years old when this happened, and says he was twelve years of age when he had his first pair of shoes; that he obtained them by cutting down an oak tree, peeling the bark off and taking it to Thomas Dawson's tannery, received leather in exchange for this bark, had it cut out in the rough, and took the leather to Robert Metcalfe to be made into shoes. He paid the shoemaker by picking the seed out of four pounds of cotton, which left one pound of cotton and three pounds of seed. The farmers raised cotton extensively then, each one having three or four acres, and not more of wheat or oats. Cotton was picked by hand, but afterwards Robert Pulliam built a cotton gin, made to run by a tread wheel and two oxen.

    SAMUEL, born May 15, 1819, the first birth of the family in Sangamon county, was married Oct. 6, 1836, to Mary A. Baker, who was born Feb. 14, 1820, in Tennessee. They had six children. NANCY J. married Robert Penick, and died, leaving three children. ANDREW J. enlisted Sept., 1861, in Co. B, 10th Ill. Cav., for three years, re-enlisted as a veteran in Jan., 1864, served to the end of the rebellion, and was honorably discharged at San Antonio, Texas, in Nov., 1865. He was married to Martha H. Smith, have two living children, SAMUEL T. and REBECCA J., and reside in Curran township. EZEKIEL died at sixteen years of age. GEORGE W., MARY A. and LOUISA reside with their mother. Samuel Drennan died Jan. 11, 1855, and his widow resides three miles southeast of Curran.

    EZEKIEL H., born Nov. 17, 1822, in Sangamon county, married Lavina Ray. They have five living children, and live in Auburn.

    NANCY, born Jan. 7, 1825, in Sangamon county, married May 8, 1866, to John Harmon. See his name. She died Oct. 15, 1871.

    Joseph Drennan died Oct. 22, 1865, and his widow Mrs. Rebecca Drennan died Dec. 7, 1866, both in Sangamon county.]

  4. Biographical Sketch of Joseph Henry Carey.
    [JOSEPH HENRY CAREY, of Pottstown, was born in that borough, July 7, 1858. He is the son of Manning Force and Mary (Missimer) Carey.

    Manning Force Carey (father) was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, and was a butcher by trade. He removed to Montgomery county when a young man and settled in Lower Pottsgrove township, where he lived until he married. He then removed to Pottstown, and attended market there for a number of years. He died in 1879, at the age of forty-seven years. His wife died in Philadelphia, in 1900, at the age of sixty-five years. Both were Lutherans. Mrs. Mary (Missimer) Carey was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Carey and four children: George W., of Philadelphia; Joseph Henry, of Pottstown; M. Force Carey, of Philadelphia; and Fred M., of New York city.

    Joseph Carey (grandfather) was born in Pennsylvania and was a stone quarryman. He was killed by a blast when he was fifty-five years of age. He was a local Methodist preacher, and after his day's work was finished he would walk seven or eight miles to Pottstown and conduct revivals, preaching and exhorting. His wife was Lydia Gruver, who lived to be about seventy-nine years of age. They had four children. After the death of
    Mr. Carey, Lydia (Gruver) Carey, his wife, married David Ganger (second husband) and they had two children.

    George Missimer (maternal grandfather) was born in Limerick township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, and farmed there for many years. During the last years of his life he lived retired in Pottstown, where he died when he was ninety-four years old. His wife was Susanna Christman and they had a large family. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. The father of George Missimer was Frederick Missimer, the son of Cassimer Missimer, who was the immigrant. He came from Alsace, France. Cassimer Missimer was the founder of the family in Montgomery county and in America.

    Joseph H. Carey was reared in Pottstown and attended the public schools. At the age of fourteen years he began to learn the printing trade, at the Pottstown Ledger office, and for many years has been foreman of the job printing department. He is connected with the newspaper and printing department of the Pottstown Ledger, and for twenty years has been correspondent for various Philadelphia newspapers. He worked for J. B. Lippincott & Company, book publishers, in Philadelphia at one time, and was also reporter for the Norristown Register.

    March 31, 1887, Joseph H. Carey married Miss Agnes A. Reinert, daughter of Benneville and Cecelia Reinert. They had two children, Mary and Pauline. Mr. and Mrs. Carey are members of the First Methodist Episcopal church. He is a steward in the church, and also Sunday-school librarian.

    Politically Mr. Carey is a Democrat. He was a member of the school. board for ten years, having been elected three times in a strong Republican ward, and was treasurer of the board. In 1901 Mr. Carey was appointed borough and school tax collector by Judge Weand, a vacancy having occurred. He resides at 326 Cherry street.]

  5. Biographical Sketch of Joseph J. Lewis.
    [HON. JOSEPH J. LEWIS was born Oct. 5, 1801, at Westtown, Chester Co., Pa., about four miles from West Chester. At that time his father was teacher of mathematics in the boarding-school established there under the auspices of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends. He resigned his place in 1808 and returned to New Garden, Chester Co., where he purchased a plantation and opened a boys’ boarding-school the same year. In that school the subject of this sketch mainly received his early education. After Mr. Lewis had finished his mathematical course he was sent to Philadelphia to study Latin and Greek, under the instruction of Thomas Dugdale, at the Friends’ Academy on Fourth Street, where Mr. Lewis’ father had taught twenty years before. From April to October, 1819, he taught the Friends’ school at New Garden, and afterwards until 1821. He was soon after invited to take charge of the Chester County Academy, in the Great Valley, about six miles from this borough, and on Oct. 1, 1821, being then within a few days of twenty years of age, he took charge, and soon had a good number of students of both sexes and all ages.

    In May, 1822, Jonathan Gause, principal of the West Chester Academy, invited Mr. Lewis to assist him in teaching mathematics, which he did at the close of the summer vacation, and immediately resigned his place in the Chester County Academy. In the autumn of 1824 he went to New York to complete his legal studies, which he commenced Jan. 12, 1823, while assisting as a teacher in the academy, and remained for some time under the direction of Chancellor Kent, and in April, 1825, returned to West Chester, and on the first day of May of that year was admitted to the bar, at which he is now the oldest practitioner in the county. On Sept. 28, 1827, he was married to Mary S. Miner, daughter of Hon. Charles Miner. In 1829 he was nominated for the Legislature by the Anti-Jackson party, but was defeated by the Anti-Masonic party. The next year he was again placed on the Anti-Jackson ticket, but the Anti-Masonic had grown to be very strong in Chester County and was again successful. In 1835 he was appointed deputy attorney-general of Chester County. This office he held until the following December, when Joseph Ritner succeeded to the Governor’s chair. In 1844, Francis R. Shunk was elected Governor, and in the following year he made John M. Read, of Philadelphia, his attorney-general. Mr. Read immediately sent Mr. Lewis a commission as deputy attorney-general of Chester County.

    Mr. Lewis held the office of deputy attorney-general of Chester County as long as Attorney-General Read continued in office. From 1825 to 1860 his practice steadily increased, and gradually became the most extensive at the bar of this county, which was due to his untiring devotion to his profession and the careful preparation which he gave to his cases.

    He was one of the counsel for the defendant in the celebrated case of the United States vs. Castner Hanway, tried in Philadelphia, for treason. At the time of the celebrated Passmore Williamson case, which occurred about 1853, he wrote several able articles reviewing the whole case. They attracted considerable attention, and appeared in the columns of the North American and Friends’ Review.

    In 1857 he was one of the candidates of the Republican party for judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The Republicans were unsuccessful, but it brought his name prominently before the public.

    He took a leading part in politics, and in 1860 was active in procuring the nomination of Abraham Lincoln as the Republican candidate for the Presidency, believing him, from special inquiry, to be the man for the times.

    He held the office of commissioner of internal revenue from March, 1863, to July, 1865, and brought up the department to a standard of high excellence. He drafted many important acts necessary for the efficient working of the internal revenue system, which were passed by Congress.

    Mr. Lewis was held in high esteem by President Lincoln, who upon more than one occasion assured him of his appreciation of the manner in which he had conducted his office. The relations between them were intimate, and he was frequently consulted by the President about matters of public interest.

    He was married June 5, 1872, to Mrs. P.A. Brooks, widow of James Brooks, Esq., of New Albany, Ind., a gentleman of high standing in that State. He has continued to practice his profession, but for the past two years has been gradually withdrawing from business. He has always been a public-spirited man, taking an active part in matters of interest to the community. He took a great interest in the adoption of the district school system, and from 1833 to 1848 was one of the directors of the public schools of this borough, and for a number of years was president of the board. He was elected chief burgess of West Chester in 1839, and was continued in office for five years.

    He was president of the old West Chester Railroad for fifteen years.

    About the year 1850 he was elected president of the board of trustees of the West Chester Academy, of which Dr. Darlington was then secretary, and continued to serve in that capacity until the academy was merged into the West Chester State Normal School. He was also a member of the Chester County Cabinet from an early period. This was an institution started about the year 1837 for the cultivation of natural science, but was merged into the academy. He has always taken an active part in educational matters, and was one of the most active in the establishment of the Normal School, of which he is still one of the trustees.

    HENRY LEWIS married, 1, 12, 1670, Margaret Philpin, alias Proutherin, and had issue,— 1. Henry, b. 10, 26, 1671; 2. Sarah, b. 5, 2, 1673, buried 12, 8, 1674; 3. Samuel, b. 8, 1, 1676; 4. Elizabeth, b. 12, 14, 1677, m. Richard Hayes.

    (1) Henry married, 10, 20, 1692, at Bartholomew Coppock’s house in Springfield, Mary Taylor, daughter of Robert Taylor, of Springfield, and had issue,— 5. Isaac, b. 3, 5, 1694; 6. Mary, b. 2, 5, 1696, died young; 7. John, b. 3, 23, 1697; 8. Sarah, b. 10, 11, 1698; 9. Margaret, b. 9, 17, 1700, m. Isaac Price; 10. Mary, b. 10, 16, 1702, m. Thomas Philips; 11. Hannah, b. 7, 21, 1704.

    (7) John Lewis, of Haverford, mason, married, 1725, Katharine Roberts, daughter of Abel and Mary Roberts, of Radnor, born 8, 28, 1702. Issue.— 12. Abel, b. 8, 12, 1726, d. 1766; 13. Mary, b. 11, 1, 1728, m. Benjamin Davis; 14. Samuel, b.-----; 15. Rachel, b. 12, 19, 1734, m.----- McCulloch; 16. John, b. 5, 31, 1737; 17. Evan, b. 4, 13, 1740; 18. Elizabeth, b. 7, 9, 1743, m. ----- Tucker.

    (12) Abel had children,— Joseph, Abel, and John.

    (14) Samuel Lewis, son of John, of Radnor, married, 2, 7, 1759, Catharine Richards, daughter of Samuel, of Tredyffrin, and had children,— Samuel, Henry, Jacob, Isaac, John (b. 9, 9, 1772, d. 9, 24, 1851), Jehu, Catharine, Mary, Elizabeth, and Beulah.

    (16) John Lewis, son of John, of Radnor, married, 3, 3, 1773, Mary Thomas, daughter of David and Anna (Noble) Thomas, of Providence, Philadelphia Co., who left one son, Abel; married second, 11, 28, 1775, at Pikeland Meeting, Grace Meredith, daughter of John and Grace, of Vincent, born 1, 24, 1745, died 2, 3, 1823. In 1777, John and Grace brought a certificate from Gwynedd Monthly Meeting to Uwchlan, and settled in Vincent. Their children were,— 19. Ann, b. 8, 27, 1776, m. Jonathan Thomas; 20. Hannah, b. 5, 28, 1779, d. 1856; 21. John, b. 3, 29, 1781, d. 2, 5, 1824; 22. Mary, b. 4, 10, 1783, d. 9, 29, 1823.

    Abel Lewis, son of the first wife, married ----- Robinson, and had six children.

    (17) Evan Lewis married, 10, 31, 1770, at Newtown Meeting, Esther Massey, daughter of Thomas and Sarah, of Willistown, born 12, 15,
    1740–1, died 2, 13, 1773; married second, 12, 20, 1774, at Pikeland Meeting, Jane Meredith, daughter of John and Grace, of Vincent.
    Issue.— 23. Thomas, b. 10, 31, 1771, d. 9, 7, 1827; 24. Sarah, b. 11, 29, 1772; 25. Enoch, b. 1, 29, 1776, d. 7, 14, 1856; 26, Elijah, b. 5, 2, 1778, d. 9, 2, 1861; 27. Abner, b. 11, 21, 1779; 28. Evan, b. 8, 19, 1782; 29. Jane, b. 8, 15, 1786.

    (21) John Lewis married, 9, 10, 1818, at Little Falls Meeting, Md., Esther Fussell, daughter of Bartholomew and Rebecca, born at Hatboro’, Pa., 3, 18, 1782, died in Chester County, 2, 8, 1848. After her marriage she returned to the home of her husband in West Vincent. "She was a woman of remarkable solidity of character, and she exercised a commanding and beneficent influence commensurate with her rare ability and intelligence. In the community in which she lived, her well-balanced judgment caused her advice to be sought and accepted by brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, and dependants. Her life was one of distinguished usefulness and worth. It was she who so powerfully influenced her brother, Dr. Bartholomew Fussell, in his determination to secure the medical education of women."— Dawson Genealogy.

    They had five children, all born in Chester County: Mariann, b. 6, 6, 1819, d. in West Vincent, 1866; Rebecca, b. 6, 10, 1820, m. Edwin Fussell; Graceanna, b. 8, 3, 1821, unmarried; Charles, b. 9, 11, 1822, d. 10, 18, 1823; Elizabeth R., b. 1, 15, 1824, d. 10, 10, 1863.

    In the history of the "Underground Railroad," it is said of Mariann, Graceanna, and Elizabeth R. that they "were among the most faithful, devoted, and quietly efficient workers in the anti-slavery cause, including that department of it which is the subject of this volume." Graceanna resides at Media, the home of her sister, Rebecca Fussell. She is a devoted student of natural history, and especially of ornithology, on which and kindred topics she has frequently delivered courses of lectures. She has in preparation for publication a comprehensive work on Natural History, based on the most advanced ideas of scientific thought.

    (23) Thomas Lewis married Martha George, daughter of John and Sarah. She died 3, 2, 1836. Their children were John G., b. 8, 27, 1797, d. 12, 21, 1849; Evan, b. 2, 5, 1799, d. 4, 30, 1858; Elijah, b. 2, 5, 1799. His residence was near the scene of the "Christiana Riot," in which certain slave-owners lost their lives in the attempt to capture runaway slaves, and he was indicted for treason for declining to assist the former, but was acquitted. Josiah, b. 9, 1, 1803; Charles, b. 11, 5, 1807, d. 7, 18, 1826; Thomas, b. 9, 7, 1809, d. 4th mo. 1862.

    (26) Elijah Lewis, of Radnor, married, 9, 19, 1799, Esther Massey, daughter of Thomas and Jane, of Willistown, where he settled. Their children were Thomas M., Enos, Richard, Ann (married Jesse G. Hicks and Truman Yarnall), Jane (married Nathan Garrett), Sarah (married John Smedley), and Enos Montgomery Lewis.]

  6. Biographical Sketch of Joseph Mosteller.

  7. Biographical Sketch of Joseph Nathaniel Blackford.
    [Blackford, Joseph Nathaniel (1841 – 1908)

    HOUSE, 48th General Assembly, 1893-95; representing Montgomery and Houston Counties; Independent. Born in 22nd civil district of Montgomery County Jan. 5, 1841; son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Wickham) Blackford. Extent of schooling not determined. Married in Montgomery County Mar. 6, 1861, to Rebecca Maria Matthews, daughter of Thomas and Martha (Batson) Matthews; their fifteen children were – Martha L., Benjamin, Thomas M., John C., Eliza A., Josephus R., Samuel Wickham, William, Kittie, Bertha M., an infant son who died at birth, Richard Aaron Eliker, Robert Chesterfield, and Nathaniel Baskette. Engaged in farming and practice of law at McAllister's Cross Roads, Montgomery County. Member county court 1876-82. Member Methodist Episcopal Church; charter member McAllister's Cross Roads Lodge, Free and Accepted Mason; member Patrons of Husbandry and overseer of state Grange. Died at Linton, KY June 11, 1908; buried in Batson-Blackford graveyard, south of Clarksville, Montgomery County.

    Sources: Information supplied by granddaughter, Mrs. Geraldine Blackford Chester, 7925 N. Spruce, Kansas City, MO; Clarksville The Progress Democrat, Aug. 24, 1892; Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, June 6, 1907; June 19, 1908.]

  8. Biographical Sketch of Joseph Philips.
    [PHILIPS.— Joseph Philips was born in Wales in 1716. His wife, Mary, was born in 1710. In 1755 he came to this country with his wife, Mary, and three children,— David, John, and Josiah. A fourth, Joseph, was born after their arrival. The first place of settlement was near the present West Chester, but subsequently he purchased the farm now of Frederick Bingaman, in Uwchlan, on which he built a two-story log house. He was a weaver by occupation, and carried on the business in the unpretentious ways of those times. As the family grew up the business increased, until there were three shops, with three looms in each shop. Joseph Philips wore the small-clothes of the olden time, buckskin breeches with buckles. His native language was Welsh, which was spoken by all the family. He was of medium height, portly in appearance. The family lived with the simplicity which then prevailed, using wooden trenchers at table. At first they attended the Great Valley Baptist Church, thirteen miles distant, but in 1771 a new church— the Vincent— was constituted nearer to their homes, of which they became members at its organization. Joseph Philips died May 18, 1792, and his wife, Mary, died Dec. 26, 1792. In the Revolution the family were patriots. David, the oldest son, was a captain; John was taken captive in the Jerseys, and held in confinement in the
    prison-ship at New York, and Josiah was a lieutenant.

    David and Joseph (2) emigrated to the western part of Pennsylvania, and settled south of Pittsburgh. David became a Baptist clergyman, and was pastor of Peter’s Creek Church forty years. He died March 5, 1829, at the age of eighty-seven years. He had thirteen children, and his descendants are scattered over Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, and westward to the Pacific. Joseph Philips died Sept. 3, 1832, at the age of seventy-eight. He had five children. He was for many years a justice of the peace.

    John Philips settled on the old Lancaster road, near Downingtown. He had seven children,— three sons and four daughters. Some of his descendants were constituent members of the Glen Run Baptist Church, near Penningtonville, now Atglen, and many of them now reside in Atglen and its vicinity. Some of the principal branches of this family are Pettit, Miller, Young, Chalfant, Osborn, and Chamberlain. John Philips died May 22, 1790, at the age of forty-five.

    Josiah Philips settled on the old homestead in Uwchlan. He had nine children,— five sons and four daughters. He was a man of deep piety and fidelity to conviction. He died March 1, 1817, at the age of sixty-six. Among his descendants are the surnames of Philips, Brenholtz, Jones, Severn, Dowling, Guest, Griffith, Bingaman, Rapp, Miller, Frame, Lungren, Perkins, Smith, Tustin, Fussell, Trickett, Dennithorne, Miles, Stiteler, Heffelfinger, Davis, Kiter, Eaches, Still, and Brinton.

    The descendants of Joseph and Mary Philips are so numerous that it is impossible to give any detailed account of them. It is estimated that they now number over seventeen hundred.

    One characteristic of the family is its longevity, another is that of a strong religious element. There are at present not less than fifteen ministers in the connection. Another feature is its strong intellectual vigor. From 1797 to the present it has been a race of teachers. It has furnished college professors, principals of academies and seminaries, and teachers of all grades. At the present time G. Morris Philips is a professor in the university at Lewisburg. In political life its members have been justices of the peace, judges, and legislators, and have filled various other positions. In their religious convictions they are almost entirely of the Baptist faith and polity.]

  9. Biographical Sketch of Joseph Varner.
    [Joseph Varner was born on February 8, 1807, in Shenandoah (now Page) county, Virginia. John Varner, his father, was a Virginian by birth and married Miss Barbara Burner. To them were born ten children: Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Philip, Daniel, Martin, Jonas, Manuel, Reuben, Mary A. and an infant. But six of this family survive. The subject of this sketch remained with his father until twenty-five years of age and in 1832 he was married to Miss Mary Huffman, a daughter of Christopher Huffman. The had fourteen children: William, now in Tipton, Moniteau county, and married to Miss Eliza Cook, daughter of William Cook, of Cooper county; Barbara, widow of Richard Eubanks; Ann, deceased; Elizabeth, deceased; Martha, wife of Elijah Smith; John, deceased; Mary S., Belle, now Mrs. David Gochenhour; Isaac, deceased; Martin, deceased; Booton, who married Lotta Wild; Virginia, Frank R. and Pernie, the latter three at home. Mr. Varner, leaving Virginia in the fall of 1855, came to Missouri, settling on section 22, Lebanon township, Cooper county, his present location. He is very successful as an agriculturalist, and owns 312 acres of land, 120 acres being in this township. All but one of his children live in the county. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Varner was married a second time in 1872 to Miss Mary Ann Baldwin, a daughter of John Baldwin, of Ohio. She was born in March, 1824. He is a member of the Baptist church.]

  10. Biographical Sketch of Joshua B. Owsley.
    [Joshua B. Owsley, M. D. During a period of more than a half century the late Dr. Joshua B. Owsley was engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Butler county, and few men in this locality have impressed themselves more forcibly or favorably upon their fellow-citizens. Residing in the little village of Jacksonboro, he traveled to points all over the country-side in alleviating the ills of his fellow-men and his name came to be one synonymous with generosity, sympathy and true Christianity. As professional man, friend and citizen, he established a record in his locality that will be long remembered by those who were privileged to come in contact with him.

    Dr. Owsley was born in Clinton county, Ohio, September 18, 1833, a son of Samuel and Lucy (Betterson) Owsley. His parents, honorable and honored agricultural people, rounded out long and useful careers in the rural districts of Clinton county, where were born their eight children: Joshua B.; Harry, who is a farmer in Illinois; John, farming in Clinton county; George, a farmer of Elkton, Ohio; Charles, an attorney of Kansas City, Mo.; Amos, a locomotive engineer of Cincinnati, Ohio; Jane, deceased; and Mrs, Joseph Baker, of Eaton, Ohio.

    The boyhood of Dr. Joshua B. Owsley was passed on his father's farm in Clinton county, where he received his early education in the district schools. The life of a farmer did not appeal to him, and, having shown a preference for the medical profession, he was allowed to study therefor, receiving his degree and diploma from the Cincinnati Medical college. After his graduation he took up the practice of his calling at Cincinnati, where he remained for seven years, and while residing in that city was married (first) to Miss Catherine Witherow, who was born at Seven Mile, Ohio, a daughter of Samuel P. Witherow. She died at Jacksonboro, leaving two sons: Samuel, who died at the age of eighteen years; and William, engaged in Government work at Dayton, who married Dr. Frances Young, a medical practitioner of Columbus, Ohio, and has five children, Frances, Dawson, Joshua, John and Frederick.

    In September, 1872, Doctor Owsley married (second) Mrs. Sarah (Long) Marts, widow of William Marts, who was a son of David and Mary (Snider) Marts. By her first marriage, Mrs. Owsley had one son: John David, born August 1, 1878, and educated at the home schools and the high school at Middletown. He married Nelda Happensberger, of Middletown, and is now engaged in operating his mother's farm in Madison township, Butler county.

    On leaving Cincinnati, Doctor Owsley settled at Jacksonboro, in the northeastern part of Butler county, where he became widely known, not only for his professional skill, which was exceptional, but for his broad sympathies and humanitarianism. A friend to all, he labored ceaselessly in his fellow-man's behalf, and no duty of his calling was too irksome, no weather was too inclement, for this old-time physician to sally forth on his errands of mercy. A well-read man, he was possessed of a wonderful memory. He was a leading Democrat and a delegate to a number of conventions, but did not seek public office, although he was alive to the current happenings of the day, and for over fifty years kept himself conversant with world events by his subscription to the Cincinnati Enquirer. At Cincinnati he joined the Masonic fraternity, and subsequently became a life member of the Knights Templar while in a professional way he belonged to the Butler County Medical society, the Ohio State Medical society and the American Medical association. He was a consistent attendant of the Presbyterian church in the faith of which he died April 30, 1912. He is survived by his widow, who lives on her valuable Madison township farm, a woman of many graces and estimable qualities who is widely known and highly esteemed among the people of Butler county.]

  11. Biographical Sketch of Julius Geroy.
    [JULIUS GEROY, farmer, P. 0. Lochiel, Dunn county, is a son of French parents and was born in Canada, February 7, 1823. He was obliged to strike out for himself at the age of twelve years by working on a farm by the year. This he continued to do until September 8, 1846, when he married, in Canada, Miss Julia Trickey. They have two children living: Sarah S., married to George Downing, and Shubal H., who married Beatrice Proper, and live on a farm adjoining that of our subject. Mr. Geroy remained in Canada, farming until 1862, when he concluded to try his fortune in the United States . He came direct to Dunn county, Wis., and settled on his homestead of 160 acres on section fourteen. He has since added eighty acres, and has that number improved, and has a large amount of stock. He was one of the first settlers in his township, has opened up a splendid farm and can now enjoy the fruit of his labors. In politics he is a stanch republican, but has never accepted any office, either township or county, except that of roadmaster. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.]

  12. Biographical Sketch of La Fayette Dean.
    [LA FAYETTE DEAN, farmer, P. 0. Colfax, Wis., was born in New York, October 26, 1836, a son of Enos and Lucinda (Evans) Dean, both of English descent. They immigrated to Wisconsin in 1851 and settled in Adams county, where they lived during their lives. Mr. Dean remained at home until he was sixteen years of age, receiving but a common-school education. He worked around on farms at monthly labor until his marriage, December 17, 1857, to Miss Nancy Buel, at Oxford, Wis. He remained in Adams county until 1862, when he removed to Grant township, Dunn county, and purchased a farm on section five, where he has since resided. March 30, 1864, he enlisted from Eau Glaire, Wis., in Company H, Thirty-seventh regiment, Wisconsin volunteer infantry. He participated in the battles of Cold Harbor and Petersburg. On account of wounds received at the latter place he now draws a pension. He was discharged from service from the hospital at Washington, D. C., October 26, 1864, and returned to his home in Dunn county, where he has since lived, engaged in improving his farm and following the trade of a carpenter. In politics he is independent, and holds liberal views on religious matters. Mr. and Mrs. Dean have four children living: Charles, Chauncey, who married Maggie McCarty and lives on the farm adjoining; Carrie, married to James Baker, of Downing, Wis., and Melvin, living at home.]

  13. Biographical Sketch of Levi Bingaman.
    [LEVI BINGAMAN was born Oct. 21, 1824, in Coventry Township, opposite the house in which he now resides. His father kept the " Rising Sun Inn," an ancient hostelry of Coventry, dating back to or beyond the Revolution. Frederick (John's father) also kept the same inn, and the buildings are now occupied by Levi, their son and grandson. John kept the inn until Sept. II, 1817, when, being converted at meeting, he cut down his sign and quit keeping public house. Levi was raised on the farm until his fifteenth year, and attended the summer schools. He then clerked in Robert Ralston's store in West Vincent for eight years, after which he was in the mercantile trade for twelve years where he now lives.

    He was married, Jan. 24, 1850, to Mary Ann, daughter of Henry and Margaret (Sheneman) Mosteller, of West Vincent. She was of a family of eight sons and three daughters, all living and all married but two. Levi and his wife have had ten children, of whom three are living, Howard, Samuel, and Levi Arthur.

    After selling out his store at home, Levi was in the iron business in Jersey City for two years, until the breaking out of the war. He then returned home and operated for two years the Coventry Forge, and since then has been working his farm of one hundred and ninety acres. He was a school director a long time, and has been for eleven years an agent, surveyor, and receiver of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Chester County. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a trustee, and has been superintendent of the Sunday-school. He is the inventor of an improvement in apparatus for transmitting motion (No. 154,008, issued July 6, 1874), which is of great value, and is now in successful use in the oil regions of New York and Pennsylvania.]

  14. Biographical Sketch of Levi Bull.
    [LEVI BULL, D.D., was born Nov. 14, 1780, at Warwick Furnace, in what is now Warwick township. His mother prayed for a man-child, and, in token of having dedicated him, as far as in her lay, to the priesthood, named him Levi. Her wishes and prayers seemed for a long time frustrated, as his youth, up to manhood, gave no signs of interest in religion. At an early age he entered Dickinson College, where he graduated in his seventeenth year. He made choice of the law for a profession, and entered the office of James Hopkins, Esq., a lawyer of distinction at the bar of Lancaster, with a view of qualifying himself for admission to the bar. While pursuing his law studies, he came to the conclusion that "necessity was laid upon him to preach the gospel," and, abandoning the law, he began a course of study in preparation for the ministry under the direction of Rev. Nathan Grier, of Brandywine Manor. He entered the ministry of the Episcopal Church, and was by Bishop White ordained deacon in 1805, and priest in 1806. His first and last field of labor was the region in which he was born. The social position and public reputation of his father, the extraordinary personal qualities of the son, the interesting facts and notoriety of his conversion, his zeal and boldness, drew all minds in these parts to the young preacher. He preached in churches, in court-houses, in school-rooms, and in private houses. He addressed masses of people in public, and also families and individuals in private. All wondered at the life and power which appeared in his ministry, and no preacher of that day had ever in those parts made such an impression. In the immediate neighborhood of his father’s residence there was then no church, but a proposal was soon made for the organization of a parish and the building of a house of worship. This resulted in the founding of St. Mary’s Church (in what is now Warwick township) in 1805, about a mile from his home. There, with one intermission, he continued to labor till age and other infirmities withdrew him from active duty. The intermission was that of a year at Wilmington, Del., where he was rector of Trinity Church. Deaths of relatives and the difficulty of filling his post in St. Mary’s Church induced him to return and resume his first charge. In connection with St. Mary’s he had the care of St. Thomas’, Morgantown, Berks Co., nine miles from his residence; Bangor Church, Churchtown, Lancaster Co., nine miles distant; and he preached once a month in Pottstown, Montgomery Co., twelve miles away, and very often in Reading and Birdsboro’. Out of his labors grew, besides St. Mary’s Church, St. Andrew’s, in West Vincent, and St. Mark’s, Honeybrook, the one six and the other five miles distant, the last two being off-shoots of St. Mary’s Church. The labors which he performed were abundant and blessed. He married Ann, daughter of Cyrus Jacobs, Esq., of White Hall, Church-town, Lancaster Co., of which marriage there were fifteen children, all of whom but one lived to adult age, and seven only of whom survived him. Possessed of a competent estate, his house was the seat of a generous hospitality, and he was held by all who knew him in the highest estimation. He was noted for his disinterestedness, and was ever ready to use his ample income for charitable purposes. The title of "Father," given to him in his later years, indicated the respect and confidence of his clerical brethren. He died Aug. 2, 1859, at his residence in Warwick township, in the seventy-ninth year of his age, and was buried in St. Mary’s churchyard, in a tomb beside his wife and children, near the walls of the church which more than half a century before had been founded by his ministry.]

  15. Biographical Sketch of Levi Fetters.
    [LEVI FETTERS, the first son and second child of Abraham and Elizabeth (Acker) Fetters, was born Nov. 3, 1831. He had a fair chance for a common-school education, having attended two years the school of Miss Elizabeth Jones, daughter of the late Judge Thomas Jones, a most estimable lady, and an accomplished teacher. He also spent two winters at the Howard Academy, Rockville, under the charge of Prof. James McClune. He taught school from 1854 to the breaking out of the war, in the winters. In 1859 he visited Europe on a tour of six months, and contributed a series of letters to the Chester County Times, then owned by Samuel Downing and published in West Chester. They were read with great favor and largely copied by other papers. During the war he was first lieutenant in the 21st Pennsylvania Militia, and captain of Co. C, 175th P.V. He served in Virginia and North Carolina until his regiment was mustered out. His reputation as an officer was such that on one occasion his company was selected from the whole brigade for a special service. He taught infantry tactics in the Free Military School, 1210 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, for six months during the war. This school was established and paid for by the Union League of Philadelphia for instructing officers for colored troops. It was a most successful institution, and sent over four hundred well-qualified young officers to the front and field. As an evidence of the appreciation the Union League had of his services the following resolution is appended:


    "1210 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Sept. 26, 1864.


    "Dear Sir,— At a meeting of the committee last evening the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

    "‘Resolved, That the thanks of this committee are due and are hereby tendered to Levi Fetters, late captain 175th P.V., assistant preceptor of the Free Military School for applicants for command of colored troops, for his able and unremitting services in the discharge of his duties.’



    In 1869 he married Mary, daughter of Isaac King, of East Whiteland, and has now two sons, Arthur H. and Lawrence K. He now resides at Barneston, West Nantmeal township, where he is ticket and freight agent of the Pennsylvania Railroad at that station. He is also agent of Adams Express Company, and a director in the Phoenixville Fire Insurance Company. He has been postmaster there since 1872. He is also engaged in the mercantile and warehouse business. He was a candidate in the last County Republican Convention for the nomination for the Legislature, and received forty-four votes, being next to the one nominated. All his ancestors were of German or Swiss extraction, and all honest and successful farmers. His grandfather, George Fetters, and others of his ancestors, were soldiers in the patriot army in the Revolution. His father, Abraham, when a young man, walked, in 1817, to Cincinnati, Ohio, and back to his farm in this county, and was many years a commissioned officer in a military company commanded by the late John G. Wersler, of Charlestown. Levi Fetters has acted as school director. Has been for twenty-six years a member of the I.O.O.F. In 1866 he was in Florida in the cotton culture, and in 1872 embarked at Barneston in the mercantile business, where he has been most successful.]

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Revised: 30 March, 2014