Thursday, February 01, 2007

Eldon C. "Tootie" Ellis ~ The Ellis, Curtis, Sellers, and Simpson Families

September 14, 1917 ~ September 13, 2002

"Tootie" Ellis was the only son of Carrington (known as "Toot") and Ethel McKnight Ellis who lived first in Waynesville, Ohio and then in Crosswick. "Tootie" was a member of the 1935 graduating class of Waynesville High School. Tootie was a high school track star and he was the first inductee into the Waynesville High School Hall of Fame. He worked for the Fairley Hardware Store in Waynesville for about 32 years. He also worked for Don Ellis at the Ellis Super Value grocery store for many many years. Tootie founded "Ellis Fibre Glass Race Car Bodies and Specialities" that was located in Lebanon, Ohio. He specialized in midget, three-quarter and micro cars.

Tootie's great grandfather, Patrick Henry Ellis and his grandmother Adeline Henry were free African-American who lived near Lynchburg, Virginia.

Tootie's father Carrington Patrick was the son of Gladman Henry Ellis (1856-1934) and Martha Jane Sellers, a daughter of Jacob and Laura Williams Sellers. Gladman was born February 8, 1856 near Lynchburg, Va. He came to Ohio at the age of 18 months with his parents Patrick Henry Ellis and Adeline Henry Ellis in 1857. They came to Ohio via the train. Patrick Henry Ellis was a painter by trade. The Ellis' settled on a 63 acre farm in the Crosswick community one mile north of Waynesville on Bellbrook Road. In 1860, 45 African-Americans lived in Crosswick. The community was large enough at the end of 1859 to establish the "Crosswick Colored School".

Patrick and Adeline Ellis had three children: Anna (who married James Fletcher), Gladman, and Patrick. Anna and her husband James Fletcher and their two children Adaline and Almanza lived with Patrick and Adeline Ellis. See, Federal Census1880; Wayne, Warren, Ohio; Roll: T9_1075; Enumeration District: 79; Image: 0397.

Gladman Ellis went to the one-room school house for African-Americans in Crosswick. The Curtis family also went to school there:
  • "Simms" Curtis, who was married to Letitia Sellars, and,
  • Gladman Ellis, who was married to Martha Jane Sellers. Martha was born January 15, 1859 in Raleigh, North Carolina. When she was one year old she came with her parents to Ohio (1860) and settled near New Burlington. She is the daughter of Jacob Sellers (1817-1881) and Laura Williams Sellers (1831-1918), as are Letitia and Eunice.

lived in the Crosswick area.

  • Charles Curtis, who was married to Eunice Sellers

lived between Harveysburg and Wilmington.

Tootie's parents, Carrington and Ethel McKnight Ellis first lived on a farm that is now part of the village of Waynesville. The land they had was the block between North and Chapmans Streets and Fifth Street and Dayton Road. Then in the early 1920s, the Carrington Ellis family moved to Crosswick. Besides raising their son Tootie and their daughter Frieda M. Ellis Miller, Carrington and Ethel also raised three foster children from Shawen Acres orphanage in Dayton, Ohio.

An old tobacco barn which was located behind the Waynesville High School on Dayton Road (see picture above) was originally owned by "Simms" Curtis, a great uncle of Tootie. Patrick and Carrington Ellis raised tobacco and it was stored in this barn. The barn was sold and moved into town. It was first used to house the mules that drove the "school hacks". When buses replaced the hacks, the barn was once again moved, now behind the high school, and used as a garage. Eventually, the old barn was remodeled inside and became the gymnasium for the high school.

Ethel McKnight Ellis, Tootie's mother, was born at New Burlington, Ohio on April 4, 1895, the daughter of John McKnight and Melissa Simpson McKnight. Ethel's grandparents were Joseph McCoy Simpson (1840-1913) and Amanda Gilson Simpson (1845-1923) from Cumberland, Guernsey Co., Ohio. Joseph was a soldier with the 27th U. S. Colored Troops during the Civil War.

Joseph and Amanda Simpson moved to Warren County, Ohio from Guernsey Co. to a place named "Brimstone Hollow". It was known as Canbytown, too. It was a mill town on Caesar's Creek not far north of Harveysburg. The location is now underwater, under Caesar's Creek Lake. Crosswick, Canbytown, and Harveysburg were three African-American communities in the immediate area around Waynesville. They were within a few miles of each other (see map below).

Thank you to local historian Dorothy Carter for sharing her knowledge about Tootie and all the families mentioned in this article.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Old Waynesville Union Schoolhouse

The 1891 Union Schoolhouse
(The second Union Schoolhouse on this site.)
Corner of Miami and Fourth Streets

The Waynesville Brewery

The Old Distillery ~ Brewery
Corner of Franklin and North Main Street

Underneath this exterior is a log house built about 1801.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Roadside Advertising Near Waynesville about 1910

Near Waynesville ~ ca. 1905-1910


Roy Iron's Real Estate ~ The following is taken from the Souvenir and Home Coming Edition of the Miami Gazette dated December 1905, p. 2:

"LEROY IRONS, GENERAL INSURANCE, REAL ESTATE AND LOANS ~ Leroy Irons, with offices in the Stoops Building, carries on an extensive insurance business, in his special lines of fire and cyclone insurance. Mr. Irons represents some of the strongest insurance companies in the world, in fact he has made it a point to represent none but first class companies that will settle all losses promptly and satisfactorily. Mr. Irons gives personal attention to all business in this line that comes to him, and always makes the best possible rates to customers consistent with issuing to them insurance that will insure. He has given special attention to farm insurance, and has the exclusive agency for the largest company in the world, interested in insuring farm property, 'The Home Insurance Co., of New York.' Other companies represented, all of which are strong and thoroughly reliable, are: The Aetna, National of Hartford, Norwich Union, Fire Association of Philadelphia, North British and Merchantile and Queen.

Mr. Irons is a genial, pleasant gentleman and has a wide acquaintance, both of which facts have no doubt contributed largely to his success in business. Also real estate; and loans negotiated. Valley 'Phone 77."

The following obituary for Leroy Iron was found in a local scrapbook. Unfortunately, the hand written date on the obituary is not clear ~ 12-13- ?. The other surrounding obituaries in the scrapbook are dated in the 1950s. The obituary has probably been clipped from the Western Star newspaper of Lebanon:

"Funeral services for Leroy Irons, 80, who died Monday afternoon at his home in Clyde, will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Fiser Funeral Home in Clyde with burial in that city. Mr. Irons was a former resident of Lebanon. He is survived by his wife, Lena, a sister, Mrs. Ruth Brown of St. Louis, Mo., and a nephew, Albert Reed of Miamisburg."

Barnhart's for Shoes ~ The following is taken from the Souvenir and Home Coming Edition of the Miami Gazette dated October 1906, p. 46:

"An exclusive shoe store is something of a novelty in a town of less than a thousand inhabitants. Waynesville, however, can boast not only of an exclusive shoe store, but of a thoroughly up-to-date and successful line ~ Barnhart's Exclusive Shoe Store, located in the Aman Block. E. V. Barnhart (Ephraim V.), proprietor of the store, has been in the shoe business since he was a boy and understands the shoe trade form beginning to end. Like a number of other successful Waynesville boys, Mr. Barnhart gained his first knowledge of the shoe business back in the days when S. D. Everly kept a clothing and shoe store in Waynesville. After graduating at the local High School, Mr. Barnhart went to Dayton where he secured a through business training at the well known Miami Commercial College. From there he went into one of the leading shoe stores of Dayton and later on was connected with a prominent firm in the same line at Denver, Colorado. Afterwards Mr. Barnhart finished off his education in the shoe business by going on the road as a traveling salesman, giving up that position to open his store at Waynesville, five or six years ago. Mr. Barnhart handles everything in the way of footwear, but nothing else. At this store everything from an ordinary plow shoe to the highest quality of ladies' or gentleman's fine shoes may be had. His stock is very large and carefully selected, and in addition to the foregoing a full line of rubbers and rubber boots is carried . . . Mr. Barnhart takes foremost rank among the progressive business men of the community. He is a careful reader of the leading trade journals in his line, believes in modern methods of stock keeping and store arrangement, has attractive window displays, and fresh, crisp advertisements in the newspapers."

Ephraim V. Barnhart (February 27, 1873- December 6, 1946) was first married to Lou Marie Barnett Barnhart (1872-1929), the daughter of Charles Warren Barnett (1847-1920) and Emma Barnett (1849-1942) of Waynesville. According to the Federal Censuses of 1900, 1910, and 1920, the Barnharts lived with Lou Marie's parents. They are buried together in Section M of Miami Cemetery in Corwin.

E. V. Barnhart's obituary is in the Miami-Gazette dated December 12, 1846:

"E. V. Barnhart Called Friday ~ Ephraim V. Barnhart, aged 74, passed away at his home in Waynesville on Friday evening at 7:30 o'clock after an illness of about six months. More familiarly known as E. V., Mr. Barnhart had operated a shoe store here for many years prior to the 1920s in a location now occupied by Smith's Tea Room. He then went to Cincinnati where he was connected with the income tax department for several years as an accountant, later returning to Waynesville shere he has resided since. He was a member of St. Mary's Episcopal church, The Masonic Lodge, and Clerk of the Wayne Township School Board.

He is survived by his wife, Catherine, a brother Lyall of Oklahoma City, Okla., and a sister Mrs. R. W. Stultz of Winter Park, Fla. Funeral services were conducted at the McClure Funeral Home, Monday at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. Ralph Parks of Dayton and Samuel N. Keys, Lay reader-in-charge of St. Mary's Church officiating. Burial was made in Miami cemetery."

Madden's lumber Yard ~ The following is taken from the Souvenir and Home Coming Edition of the Miami Gazette dated October 1906, p. 69:

"W. H. MADDEN & CO., DEALERS IN LUMBER ~ During the year and a half in which the firm of W. H. Madden & Co. has been in business at Corwin they have built up a substantial trade in lumber and allied lines. The firm of Madden & Co. is not new to the lumber business as the gentlemen who compose the company have had a wide experience in all the various branches of the lumber industry. Madden & Co. have for a number of years been in business at Clarksville and the growth of their trade led them to establish a lumber yard and sales office at Corwin.

The advantages which come from buying in large quantities for two lumber yards are evident and the special low prices which they obtain in this way allows them to give their customers greater value for less money than would b e possible otherwise. The firm's headquarters in Corwin are located int he large building just north of the Post Office belonging to the H. Kilbon estate, and is in charge of W. H. Madden, who has proven himself a most capable and honorable business man. Pine lumber, lath, shingles, flooring, siding, doors, glazed sash, mouldings and the celebrated Napoleon elastic plaster are in stock at all times. A cordial invitation is extended to all who may be in need of anything in this line to call."

Rogers & Son ~

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Clarence Bennett Bentley ~ Live Stock Dealer & Abraham Lincoln King ~ Farmer

12 Hogs. Raised by A. L. King. Age 7 months. Average Weight 240.
Best ever bought by Clarence Bentley.
The postcard photo dates from around 1910.

The photograph above illustrates the importance of the very lucrative pork industry in this area even up into the early 20th century.

A. L. King in the photograph is Abraham Lincoln King (the man with the long coat on). He went by "Lincoln King". He was born on July 16, 1859 and died November 8, 1946. He was 87 years old, 3 months and 22 days when he died. His father was William King (1827-1898) and his mother was Sarah Sabin King (1832-1906). His mother was born near Center Monthly Meeting in Clinton co., Ohio and his grandfather, William Sabin (1803-1869), was a noted Hicksite preacher (1903 Centennial Atlas of Warren County, Ohio, p. 23). Sarah King (formerly Sabin) was disowned from Quaker meeting for her marriage contrary to discipline to William King on December 24, 1856 (Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. V., Ohio, p. 116). The Kings were not Quakers.

Lincoln King was married to Izora Hawke. Her parents were Silas P. Hawke an Mary E. Thomas Hawke. Izora was born on September 3, 1862 in Harveysburg, Ohio and died on February 3, 1933 at the age of 70 year, 5 months and 28 days. They are both buried in Miami Cemetery. Izora Hawke King is buried in Hawke burial plot in Section K (End of Drive Turn-around). Abraham L. King is buried by himself in the inverted "V" at the entrance to Section K. Lincoln King was a farmer all his life.

Clarence Bennett Bentley (man leaning against the fence), who was a live stock dealer in Waynesville, died when he was only 46 years old. He died on September 3, 1921 in Blanchester, Clinton Co., Ohio. He died of cerebral embolisms due to an injury to the base of his skull. He was married to Nina Erma Smith Bentley who was almost half his age. She was 24 in 1920. Clarence is buried in Miami Cemetery, Section P. After Clarence's death, Nina married Will C. St. John and became Nina E. St. John. Will and Nina St. John are buried close to Clarence Bentley in the same section.

On his World War I Registration Card, Clarence is described as tall with a medium build with blue eyes and light hair. He was 44 years old when he registered.

If you know anything more about Abraham Lincoln King or Clarence Bennett Bentley, please email Karen at

Monday, December 11, 2006

Andrew Powell ~ Help Us Find Out More About Him

Jeremiah Powell, the father of Andrew Powell, pictured above, is mentioned in the 1840 Federal Census as living in Wayne Township of Warren County. Twelve year old Andrew and his fourteen year old sister Jane A. Powell are listed with their father in the 1850 Federal Census. Jeremiah and his children are listed as being born in New Jersey.

On March 29, 1857, the twenty-one year old Jane married Joseph Watkinson in Waynesville, Ohio. Joseph Watkinson had been born in Yorkshire, England. Jane and Joseph move out west to Iowa. By 1860, Andrew Powell is living with the Jonathan and Martha Haines family near Waynesville.

The 1880 Federal Census informs us that Andrew is now married and living in Waynesville. He married Mary A. White on November 28, 1880. He is listed as a laborer.

In the 1910 Federal Census he is listed as a widower.

If you have any further information about Andrew and Mary A. Powell, please contact Karen at Thank you.

Jo Stump ~ Help Us Find Out More About Him

"Jo Stump" is written on the reverse

We don't know much about this young man pictured above. He was born around 1841. We think he is one of the two sons of Horatio and Emily Stump of Warren County, Massie Township, Ohio; the other son being Wesley. "Jo" lived with his parents on the farm up at least till 1870. By 1880, however, Horatio and Emily are living by themsleves in Massie Township. It is most likely that this Stump family is related to the Jonas Stump and family of Harveysburg thorugh common grandparents

If you have any information about "Jo Stump" and his family please email Karen at Thank you.

Alex Emley ~ Teamster ~ "he was quite a horse man"

Alex Emley
B. January 1, 1848 ~ d. April 5, 1925

Alex, or Alexander, Emley was one of the sons of John and Clarinda McCollister Emley who lived in Corwin, Ohio. Alex's father John was born in New Jersey and he was a farm laborer. Alex was a teamster and had a good reputation for loving and understanding horses.

Alex was married to Mary L. Sidles Emley on October 9, 1872. They do not appear to have had any children. None are mentioned in his obituary, dated April 15, 1925 in the The Miami-Gazette Weekly Newspaper of Waynesville. After the death of his wife Mary on June 27, 1924, Alex had gone to live with one of his sisters in the county outside of Waynesville. According to his death notice which was published in the Miami-Gazette on April 8, 1925, he died at Blair's Hospital in Lebanon and the funeral was held in the Chapel in Miami Cemetery on the following Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock. The Rev. L. A Washburn officiated at both their funerals. Alex and Mary are both buried in Miami Cemetery.

If you have any further information about the Emley family of the Waynesville area, please email Karen at Thank you.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Wayne Novelty Works Co. ~ A Business that Failed in Waynesville

A healthy economic indicator in the late 1870s for the northeast corner of Warren Co., Ohio was the planning for and establishment in Waynesville of The Wayne Novelty Works Company.

It was reported in the Miami-Gazette Weekly Newspaper on December 17th, 1879 that “The Wayne Novelty Works Co. will be in active operation by the first of January. They have a number of orders already on file. The engine and boilers are now being placed in position, with other machinery necessary to carry on the work. The foundry building is completed, as is also the cupola, and the prospects of the enterprise are very flattering."

It would open at the end of 1879 and would make cast iron novelties, e.g. dark green frog doorstops, until 1885. Although the prospects had looked good for this industry, it was closed by May 26th, 1880 with little prospect of re-opening. It did, but only survived until 1885.

The large frame building which housed the foundary was later bought by William H. Thorpe, the son of Andrew J. Thorpe and his wife Mirriam Fallis. On April 7, 1900 around 10:30 A.M., a fire broke out in the old foundary building. By the time it was over, all the buildings on the west side of North Main Street between North and Chapman Streets had been destroyed, all but two. Photographs of the destruction have surrived: The Great Fire of April 7th, 1900.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

William "Henry" Heighway and Family ~ Connections with the Jacob Family

William "Henry" Heighway

Charles and Charlotte "Eliza" Heighway Jacobs are living in Waynesville on Third Street in 1880 according to the Federal Census. They have two small children. Unfortunately, the Census does not list Charles' occupation. Charles E. Jacobs was the son of Enoch Jacobs ~ Business Man, Civil War Hero, Public Servant, and United States Consul to Montevideo, in the Republic of Uruguay, South America.

Charlotte "Eliza" Heighway Jacobs is one of the children of William "Henry" and Julia von Salis Heighway who lived in Waynesville. "Henry" was a horticulturalist (That is what he is listed as in the 1870 Census.). Henry was the grandson of Samuel Heighway of Shropshire, England who founded Waynesville in 1797. Henry was born Feb. 5, 1817 in Ohio and died 1893 in Cincinnati and is buried in Miami Cemetery across the The Little Miami River from Waynesville. He married Julia von Salis, daughter of Ulysses Salis who was born in Switzerland and Charlotte Enszline who was born in Stuttgart, Wittenberg, Germany. Julia was born in 1826 in Germany and died in 1903 and is buried beside her husband in Miami Cemetery. Ulysses Salis was a Methodist Episcopal traveling preacher who lived with his daughter's family. He is buried in Miami Cemetery, also.

Henry Heighway owned and operated a brass foundry and later grocery and rectifying business. He retired in 1866 and moved to Waynesville from the Cincinnati area. He was a horticulturist and one of the first to cultivate flowers in Cincinnati; and for a time was engaged as a florist. The India Crepe Myrtle that he had shipped from India to New York to Cincinnati can still be found in Cincinnati and his country home near Waynesville that he cultivated. His home near Waynesville was on Wilkerson Lane. See,
(This map is located on our website at:,%20Ohio.htm). See on the map that the Henry Heighway farm just outside of town (southern edge) abuts the Jacob property.

Charlotte E. "Eliza" Heighway was born on January 30, 1854 and married on June 3, 1874 Charles E. Jacobs, born in 1845 and died in 1894. He is buried at Miami Cemetery. They had a daughter Lettie Jacobs who lived in Mt. Airy.

In the late 1870s the Jacobs and Heighway Cabinet Works Building, formerly the Keys Building on North Main Street, Waynesville (Lots 4 and 5 in Harrison Square), was purchased for $2700.00 by a group of stockholders and converted it into an Iron Foundry, The Wayne Novelty Works Company. Crews of men were brought from Pennsylvania to set up the equipment. Obviously, the Jacob and Heighway families were united by both marriage and business.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dr. William H. Anderson ~ Physician & Patent Medicines

Another one of the early physicians located in Waynesville was Dr. William H. Anderson (September 5, 1784~October 25, 1874) who was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. His parents were David W. and Esther Hollenshead Anderson. Dr. Anderson died in Waynesville, Ohio on October 25th, 1874 at his home on North Street five years before the triple murder in 1879, which may have involved both his son, Daniel R., and his grandson, Willie. See, Triple Murder in Waynesville ~ Willie Anderson.

Dr. Anderson was a physician and manufactured patent medicine and compounds in a small building he erected opposite his house. The Andersons moved from Pennsylvania through Warren County in 1829 and journeyed on into Miami County in 1830. Dr. Anderson and his family lived in Clear Creek Township for a while and then moved to Lytle, Ohio. According to Daniel R. Anderson, during the 1840s, his family lived on “the Ben Shinn farm” in Clear Creek Twp. According to Dan Anderson, they lived in Maineville, too, before moving to Waynesville. By the early 1850s Dr. Anderson was established in Waynesville. It is recorded in Quaker meeting minutes that his wife, Martha Anderson, moved her membership in Springboro Monthly Meeting in Clear Creek Twp. to Miami Monthly Meeting in Waynesville on 8th mo. 27th 1851. Many of Dr. Anderson’s siblings and his mother continued to live in Miami County.

Dr. Anderson was noted for his “Gastric Neutralizer”, cough syrup and liniment. He began to produce his “Neutralizer” in 1852. He was on the public school board in Waynesville, District #7, for many years and was instrumental in the establishment of Waynesville’s Union Schoolhouse. He also served Waynesville as a town trustee (see, Miami-Visitor, May 2, 1851). Sometime between 1867-1869 Dr. Wm. H. Anderson retired and his practice was taken over by Dr. L. S. Rice, M.D.

Dr. Anderson was married twice, to two Quaker sisters: Keziah Smith (m. September 10th, 1812 in Philadelphia) with whom he had 8 children and Martha Smith (m. July 4th, 1831) with whom he had 9 more children. Keziah (d. 1830) and Martha (b. 1806-d. 1895) came from a family of 10 children. Another one of their sisters was Fanny Smith who married Moorman Butterworth. Fanny Smith Butterworth was the mother of Paulina Butterworth. Paulina Butterworth is Daniel R. Anderson’s first cousin and Willie Anderson is her first cousin once removed.

The Smith family were Hicksite Quakers as were the Butterworths. However, Dr. William H. Anderson must not have been a Quaker because Martha Smith was disowned for marrying out of unity on 6 mo. 22nd 1833 by Miami Monthly Meeting of Friends. However, Dr. Anderson became an attender at Quaker meeting. In his reminiscences, Daniel R. Anderson does remember his mother and father hosted Friends in their home and attended Friends Quarterly Meeting in Waynesville. Dan Anderson also mentions events connected with the White Brick meetinghouse in Waynesville. Dan himself claims to have been a founding member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Waynesville even though his second divorce kept him from full communion.

The obituary of Dr. William H. Anderson is found in the Miami-Gazette, October 28th, 1874:
DEATH OF DR. WILLIAM H. ANDERSON. ~This gentleman, one of our oldest and most highly respected citizens, died very peacefully at his residence in this place, on Sunday morning, October 25, 1874, at 7 o’clock. This announcement, though not expected, perhaps to our readers at a distance, who were not aware of his long confinement, was not unexpected to our citizens, who knew that for several months the venerable doctor had been an invalid, much of the time continued to his bed. Without any particular disease, other than a gradual giving way of a strong and unusually vigorous constitution, he has passed away after having lived a long life of active usefulness. Dr. Anderson was born near Philadelphia September 5th, 1784 and removed with his family to this county in 1815. He was married twice and leaves a widow and a great number of descendents, children to great grandchildren, residents of many states. His children from New York, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio were nearly all with him in his last moments. Soon after his arrival in this state, he was stricken down with disease pronounced consumption and lay for many months with but slight hope of recovery. During his illness he studied medicine and became one of the most successful physicians in the State. During the cholera season he was called miles in all directions. He rode on horseback day and night for many months during the cholera siege, and lot but one patient. He was a man of iron nerve, indomitable will and remarkably strong constitution. He was a warm friend, and in return was beloved by all. So far as we know, he had not an enemy, or any that would speak of him otherwise than with the utmost kindness.

He abhorred debt, and during his entire life scarce ever allowed himself to owe any one a dollar. Still he never refused an applicant for medicine or advice on credit, and was never known to press any one for payment. He had not tasted spirituous or malt liquors since he was 21, and had the happiness of knowing that his descendants were without exception, strictly temperate. Three of his sons and many of his grandchildren served their country faithfully during the late war. ~~ Pecuniarily, he leaves his family in independent circumstances.

Dr. Anderson’s funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon, service being held in the Hicksite Friends’ meetinghouse. The attendance of relatives, friends and neighbors was very large, a testimonial that was needed to prove the estimation in which our aged citizen was held. An address appreciative of the Doctor’s life and character was made by Friend James W. Haines, and when the large audience had taken their last look of the face which for so many years had been such a pleasant one to meet, beaming always as it was with the sunshine proceeding from a kindly heart, the coffin lid was closed, and the remains were borne silently and solemnly to their last resting place in Miami Cemetery.

And so, at the extreme age of 90 years, Doctor Anderson has gone from among us. Everyone who knew him will regret his loss; but none so much as his faithful wife, who has been a devoted companion and helpmate for many, many years. May Heaven comfort her in her bereavement, and console her for the loss of an affectionate husband, who could never do too much for her happiness.

The family of the late Dr. Anderson join in sincere thanks to Friend James W. Haines, for the charitable nature of his most beautiful and appropriate address.

Dr. William H. Anderson is buried in Miami Cemetery, Corwin, Ohio in Section D. Many of his children attended the funeral.

There is evidence that Martha Smith Anderson was also a physician. It was reported in the Miami-Visitor, April 27th, 1859 that “MRS. M. ANDERSON HOME AGAIN. Our readers and the public will be happy to learn that Mrs. M. Anderson has returned from her eastern visit and is ready at any time to give medical aid and resume her practice as Physician. Our citizens have known the eminent abilities of his lady too long to make any further remarks necessary; tho’ for the benefit of others, we will say she is every way competent.”

Also see:

Waynesville's First Fire Engine in the 1850s ~ "The Buckeye"

More Reminiscences of D. R. Anderson ~ Businesses in Waynesville

More Memories of Businesses in Waynesville by Daniel R. Anderson

Boyhood Memories of Daniel R. Anderson

A "Young American Guard" in Waynesville in the 1850s

Enoch Jacobs ~ Business Man, Civil War Hero, Public Servant, and United States Consul to Montevideo, in the Republic of Uruguay, South America

Taken from History of Hamilton County, Ohio;
published in 1881 by Ford, pg 309

Enoch Jacobs (1809-1894) was born in the town of Marlborough, State of Vermont, June 30, 1809, and was married to Electa Whitney, of said town, June 22, 1831. His father, Nathan Jacobs, was born in Connecticut in 1762, and emigrated to Vermont in 1799. He was a soldier in the War of the Revolution. He married Sarah, the daughter of Captain John Clark, of revolutionary fame, about the year 1784. She was a native of Old Hadley, Massachusetts.

The subject of this sketch emigrated to Brooklyn, New York, in 1827, where he engaged in mechanical pursuits till 1843, when he removed with his family to Cincinnati. Between that time and the breaking out of the civil war in 1861, he was engaged in the manufacture of iron work, being junior partner in the firm of Vallean & Jacobs. The people of the south being their largest customers, financial ruin followed. His oldest son, Enoch George, enlisted in the Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, three months' service, and was in the battle of Bull Run. He afterwards enlisted in the Twelfth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, Federal Regiment, where he was commissioned First Lieutenant, and was in the battle at Mill Spring and the siege of Knoxville. He re-enlisted as a veteran and served till the army reached Jonesborough, when his health failed, and he resigned his commission. His second son, Henry C., enlisted in the Fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served till his death. His third son, Nathan, enlisted in the Twelfth Kentucky volunteer infantry, and was commissioned first lieutenant in company "I" of Third Regiment. He was a brave and gallant young officer. While temporarily absent from his regiment he was waylaid and murdered by a bushwhacker, near Somerset, Kentucky, about the twentieth of February, 1863.

The elder Jacobs was for a time with the First and Second Ohio infantry regiments, comprising Schenck's Brigade, and took part in the battle at Vienna, where occurred the first bloodshed in the war south of the Potomac. He afterwards identified himself with the Twelfth Kentucky, commanded by Colonel W. A. Hoskins, and recruited men for it, in which two of his sons hold commissions. He took part in the battle of Mill Spring, and wrote the first published account of that battle. It appeared in the Cincinnati Commercial, and was copied by papers all over the country, and in Europe.

A month later he took part in the battle at Fort Donelson, having obtained a position on the staff of Colonel Bausenwein, commanding the brigade on the left of the right wing under General Mc Clernand, and with a detail of twelve men Mr. Jacobs accepted the surrender of two rebel batteries. About a month later while on his way to join the Twelfth Kentucky en route from Nashville to Pittsburgh Landing, a railroad accident occurred at Green River Bridge, Kentucky, in which he permanently lost the use of his right arm. In 1863 he was elected Justice of the Peace in Mill Creek township, and served till he removed with what was left of his family to Waynesville, Warren County, in 1865.

He resided at Walnut Hills from 1847 till 1865, and took a leading part in organizing in that place the first free school in the State under the school law of 1849 and its amendment in 1850. He served nine years as trustee and secretary of the board with the late Dr. Alien of Lane Seminary as president. In the winter of 1870-71 he accompanied the Government Commission, on the United States steamer Tennessee, to Santo Domingo as the special correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial. He traveled extensively over the island, and no correspondent went where he did not. The following winter, 1871-72, he returned to Santo Domingo, in the interests of the Cincinnati Commercial and New York Tribune. During that winter he gathered much testimony as to the alleged complicity of high officials in a scheme of speculation in connection with a proposition of our Government to purchase the island. This has been hitherto withheld from the public.

In January, 1873, he was appointed United States Consul to Montevideo, in the republic of Uruguay, South America. The United States Minister, Mr. Stevens, being absent, the work of the legislation devolved upon him in addition to the duties of the consulate. As the country was cursed with constant revolutions, it required all his energies in extending protection to American citizens; but the work was faithfully done. In 1874 he came home for his family (wife and daughter) by way of Europe, and with them returned by the same route to his post of duty. His health failing he resigned his commission and came home by way of Europe in June, 1876. In October or that year he removed to Mount Airy, and finished his official life with six months' service as mayor of that village.

Enoch Jacobs, his wife Electa (1812-1887) and his daughter Electa (1833-1920) are buried in Miami Cemetery in Corwin, Ohio.


Drawings by his daughter, Electa Jacobs (1833-1920):

State Department Certificate:

The family Name was originally "Jacob". The following is the story about how the name became changed to "Jacobs". Thank you to Sharon Jacobs for sharing this story:

"According to "Colonial Families of the United States" by Mackenzie, Nathaniel Jacob (b. 29 June 1683 in Hingham, Plymouth County, MA; d. 22 Feb 1772 in Thompson, Windham County, MA) was one of the first settlers of Thompson, Connecticut. In 1741 he purchased a part of the Saltonstall tract for 900 (pounds), and he and his five sons took possession of this wild tract; it afterwards became known as the "Jacobs District". The "s" seems to appear on the name after that. Thus Jacob(s)".

Friday, May 12, 2006

Moses Sisco ~ Waynesville Shoemaker & Methodist "Class Leader"

Moses Sisco had a Boot and Shoe Shop in Waynesville for many years. We know that during the 1850s his son John, was also a shoemaker with his father. Moses' first wife, Olive, who was still living in 1850, had her own business. She was a mantua maker. During the 1850s he moved twice into different quarters on Main Street. His last shop during that decade was located in the Wright Building on Main Street:

"BACK AGAIN. The undersigned takes this method to inform his old patrons and the public generally that he has returned to Waynesville and opened a shop in Wright's building, on Main Street, where he is prepared to furnish and make to order boots and shoes of all kinds and at reasonable prices. A liberal share of patronage is solicited. M. Sisco, May 17, 1858" (Miami-Visitor, May 19, 1858).

There are hints that the family moved quite a bit (i.e. the advertisement above) and his first marriage in Gallia Co., Ohio, and the birth of his children in Butler and also Montgomery Counties, Ohio.

Moses Sisco was married three times in his life:
  • To Olive Sisson with whom he had two children: Sarah Jane Sisco and Francis Cisco.
  • To Mary Elizabeth Abbott with whom he had eight children: Laurah, Moses, Henrietta, Susan, John, Calvin C., Fanny and Charles W. Sisco.
  • To Sarah Neill with whom he had no children.
The following is the obituary of Moses Sisco, shoemaker of Waynesville (Miami-Gazette Newspaper, February 2, 1870):

Moses Sisco was born September 28, 1799, in Newark, New Jersey. Of his religious training we know nothing; but from the few scattered fragments that we can gather, we are led to believe that he had a praying mother. In the 18th year of his age, he was led by the providence of God to attend Methodist meetings, and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was soundly and evangelically converted to God. Soon after his conversion, it was very evident to his brethren that he had gifts and grace for active labor in that Church, and he was solicited to receive license to exhort, but his mind was not fully satisfied in regard to this and he declined. Soon after this he was appointed Class-Leader, and in this position he served the Church for nearly forty years. He was often heard to say that in the capacity of a Class-Leader he had all the license that he desired, as it was the duty of a Leader "to comfort, reprove and exhort as occasion might require." And faithfully did he perform his duty. The Day was never too could, the night was never too dark and stormy to keep Brother Sisco from the classroom when he had strength to get there.

As a Leader, he was very successful. He possessed a wonderful power in exhortation, and always had a word of encouragement suited to each one's experience. When I came to the charge, a year ago last fall, I found Brother Sisco in charge of one of the classes, beloved by all of his brethren. He was feeble in body and said to me: "I shall be compelled to resign my Leadership. My strength is failing, and I feel that my work is about done." With great reluctance we yielded to his request, and he was compelled to tear himself away from his beloved work to suffer and die.

He was a constant attendant upon the preaching of the word. He loved to hear the old story of the cross; how often has he encouraged the heart of the writer by his cheerful smiles and his hearty approval of the truth during divine service. Brother Sisco was no bigot; it was enough for him that the Church to which he extended the hand of brotherhood cleaved to the cross with its vicarious sacrifice. Still he loved the Church of his choice, and was greatly interested in all her movements. His pathway through life was often dark and full of tears. Two of his companions and six of his children he has laid away in the grave. Ten years ago last October, he was married to Mrs. Sarah E. Neill, his now afflicted and bereaved widow.

The last few years of his life were years of great suffering; still, grace sustained him and no one ever heard him complain or murmur. The nature of his disease was such that for three or four days before his death he was unconscious, and but few expressions could be gathered from his dying lips; still he was heard to say, "Precious Jesus!" "Blessed hope!" The Lord has been so good to me!" When asked, "Do you think we shall know each other in heaven?" he seemed to rouse from his stupor and exclaimed, "O yes! Our knowledge in heaven will be wonderfully increased."

But why need I cite you to his dying words? You know what his life has been. "Hark, the perfect and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."

On last Monday afternoon, the 31st of January 1870, at 1 o'clock, the weary wheels of life stood still, and Moses Sisco ceased his labors and suffering, and entered upon the bliss and glory of the Heavenly land ~ leaving behind him the light of a good name and the fragrance of a holy example. To the church of which he was a member, I would say, we have lost one of our oldest members: for fifty-three years, he faithfully followed Jesus. To his bereaved widow I would say, you have lost a kind and affectionate husband. To the children, I would say, you have lost a good father. Still, we will not murmur: we will dry our tears and remember that our loss is his gain. Then let us, as we surround his coffin and look for the last time upon his pale face, remember, that his happy spirit, redeemed from earth and sin dwells with Jesus and the angels in the better land.

"Yet again we hope to meet him
When the day of life is fled,
Then in heaven with joy to greet him,
Where no farewell tears are shed."

E. McHugh."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Andrew J. Thorpe ~ Retired Merchant Living in Waynesville, Ohio

The following is taken from Beer's 1882 Warren County, Ohio History, page 885-886:

"ANDREW J. THORPE, retired merchant, Waynesville; born in Kentucky December 7, 1814; is a son of John and Mary (Hall) Thorpe, he a native of Kentucky and she of New Jersey. The grandfather, Andrew Thorpe, was born in Virginia, and emigrated to Kentucky, where he lived and died. Mr. John Thorpe married his wife in this county about 1811, and located in Mason Co., Ky., where he resided till 1820; he located in Cincinnati and entered upon mercantile trade, which business he carried on for about thirteen years; he died in 1833, aged about 52 years; his wife died in December 1878, aged 81 years. They were parents of six children; three now survive ~ Ann, now Widow Jones, living in Indiana; Andrew J. and Thomas W.

Our subject ( Andrew J. Thorpe) remained with his father till his death, being then about 19 years of age, and brought up and educated to the mercantile trade, which business he followed and prosecuted with vigor at various points in Ohio and Indiana, until about 1850, when he entered upon trade in Cincinnati, where he continued an active successful business man till 1873, when he sold out and retired to his present place of residence in Waynesville.

Mr. Thorpe's life has been one of great activity, conducting business with energy, tact and ability, which has been crowned with financial success, and now is living at his fine residence in Waynesville in his advancing years, in the quiet enjoyment of the fruits of his past labors and industry. Mr. Thorpe was united in matrimony in 1836 with Mirriam Fallis, daughter of Isaiah and Elizabeth Fallis, natives of Pennsylvania; issue, two children ~ Mary Elizabeth, born August 26, 1838, and William H. H., born June 7, 1841.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Reeve Holland ~ Waynesville Carpenter & Builder ~ Sarah Bowman Holland ~ Devoted Methodist

The Reeve Holland house is still standing at
38 North Main Street in Waynesville, Ohio.
It was built in 1836.

Reeve Holland (January 24, 1808~May 31, 1893) was a carpenter and builder in Waynesville starting in 1835. He was the builder of the first Waynesville Episcopal Church building located on the southeast corner of North & Third Streets in 1840 (no longer extant, see photo below, a new building replaced it in 1915). Reeve and Sarah, his wife, were devoted Methodists and well loved in Waynesville. He retired from active carpentry work in 1863. Reeve Holland was also one of the first subscribers to Miami Cemetery and on the first Board of Trustees holding the office of treasurer of the cemetery.

The 1840 Waynesville Episcopal Methodist Church

Reeve was also a great benefactor to Waynesville. It was reported in the Miami-Gazette on May 3, 1876:

Thanks to Mr. Reeve Holland, the work of completing the two rows of shade trees between the bridges is nearly or perhaps quite accomplished. Mr. Holland procured over 50 trees the other day ~ going 8 miles into the Swamp for them and pays for them and setting them out, out of his private purse.

The above refers to Corwin Avenue which crosses from Corwin to Waynesville over the Little Miami River and the mill race.

Reeve was married to Sarah Bowman Holland (February 10, 1812 ~ August 26, 1907) on January 21, 1835. Reeve was one of the six children of James (May 1, 1775 ~ April 20, 1858) and Hannah Reeve Holland (September 10, 1779 ~ December 24, 1863).

James Holland's obituary was published in the Miami-Visitor newspaper on April 28th, 1858:

"DIED. ~ Of brocheal (?) affliction, on the 20th inst., in this place, JAMES HOLLAND, in the eighty-third year of his age. He was born May 1, 1775 in Burlington County, New Jersey, and emigrated to Ohio in 1817. His sickness was of but short duration and he seemed to be sensible that it was his last. He told his son he should not get well, but expressed a willingness with patience and Christian fortitude. Not a murmur fell from his lips. A few hours before he stepped into the cold waters of the Jordan of death, he said,"I am almost home." He was a loving husband, an affectionate father, a kind neighbor, and a humble Christian. Among his numerous surviving relatives, both in the East and West, is his widow ~ the companion of his youth, and comrade for more than fifty years, and six children. May they all meet in Heaven:

Servant of God, well done;
Thy glorious warriors' past;
The battles fought, the race is won;
And thou are crowned at last.

There is a biography of Reeve Holland in the 1882 Warren County History, p. 858:

"REEVE HOLLAND, retired carpenter and builder. Waynesville, was born in New Jersey, Jan. 24, 1808; is a son of James and Hannah (Reeves) Holland, natives of New Jersey. The grandparents were John and Jane Holland, natives of New Jersey; the ancestors being of Scotch-Irish descent. James and family emigrated to Ohio, and located near Waynesville in 1817, being among the early settlers of this county. He was a weaver by trade, and soon after he came here located in Waynesville, where he followed his trade the most of his life; he died in Waynesville about 1857, age 85 years; his wife died about 1861, age 85 years. They had ten children, six now survive ~

  • Reeve
  • Franklin
  • Wesley
  • Maria (now Mrs. Parker, residing at Camp Dennison)
  • Ruth Ann (now Mrs. Bodine, residing at Madisonville)
  • Emiline (now Mrs. Leatcham, residing in Iowa).

The subject of this sketch was but 9 years of age when their family came to this new county, and here he was raised and grew to manhood, fully accustomed to all the rough scenes of those early days; was married January 21, 1835, to Sarah, daughter of Abraham and Ellen Bowman, natives of Virginia, but who emigrated to Kentucky, where they resided till 1817, when they removed to Warren County, and locate near Waynesville, where they lived and ided; they had eleven children, five now survive ~

  • John, living in Indiana
  • Didema, now Widow Carr, living in Iowa
  • Sarah
  • Mary Ann, now Mrs. Retallick.

Mr. (Reeve) Holland and wife have had four children, all deceased; the youngest Joel Marshall, grew to manhood and gave promise of becoming a prominent man. During the administration of President Lincoln, he was appointed United States Mail Agent, on the C.C.R.R., which office he filled about one year; thence assumed the duties of the Distributing Department in the Post Office at Cincinnati, where, after a few months' service was prostrated with sickness and returned home, where he died, Sept. 26, 1862, aged about 24 years; his young promising life being thus early cut off.

Mr. (Reeve) Holland when sixteen years of age learned the carpenter trade and became one of the best and most prominent builders of that day; erecting a large number of the buildings in Waynesville and vicinity. In 1863, Mr. Holland retired from all active business, having acquired a good competency. He has resided on the property where he now lives for forty-five years; has erected a good substantial frame house, and has everything comfortable and convenient around him; where he and his companion have lived for almost half a century, and can now enjoy the fruits of their labors under their 'own wine and fig-tree.'"

Two of their children are buried next to Reeve and Sarah Holland in Miami Cemetery, section H (see below). Sarah's obituary only mentions two children. Other references refer to four children.

  • L. B. Holland (Nov. 22, 1835 ~ June 28, 1837)
  • Marshal J. Holland (May 9, 1838 ~ Sept. 26, 1862)

James and Hannah Holland, Reeve's parents, are also buried in the same family plot.

In 1835, Reeve and Sarah Bowman Holland celebrated their Golden Wedding. A long article in the Miami-Gazette, tells the story of their marriage day. As they were returning from their wedding, which took place on the Thomas Smith farm on Caesar's Creek (Sarah had been adopted into the Smith family), to Waynesville, Reeve received bad news.

"~ during the night the cabinet shop of John Loyd had burned down, and contents destroyed, among which were the carpenter tools of Mr. Holland, which constituted his entire stock in trade. But Mr. Holland says the thought that he possessed a brand new wife inspired him with courage , and he called on friends for help and got it, and to this day remembers gratefully David Evans and Joseph Chapman for their generosity in enabling him to again procure tools, with which he went to work with a will and cheered by the brave spirit of his wife, and seconded in all his efforts by her energy and thrift, he succeeded . . .

Mr. and Mrs. Holland went to house-keeping the Spring following their marriage in a house which occupied the same ground where they now live, and from there they have never moved, but have built and improved until they have all the comforts and conveniences they desire. They have seen their surroundings change from a sugar grove to a well improved town from their front window they now see a block of buildings where they once saw only trees and grass. They have witnessed the transition of their surroundings while they have moved on in the own tenor of their ways, quietly and unobtrusively yet factors in the progress of events. Mr. Holland has been the practical architect of many of the buildings in the town and Corwin and the surrounding country while "Auntie Holland" has been a "ministering angel" at many a bed of sichness and in many scenes of sorrow. . ."

There is a death notice of Sarah Holland's death in the Miami-Gazette on August 28, 1907. A lengthy obituary for "Aunt" Sarah Bowman Holland is found in the Miami-Gazette, August 28, 1907. It includes Rev. Phillip Trout's sermon at her funeral:


Sarah Bowman Holland was the daughter of Abram and Eleanor Bowman and was born at Flemingsburg, Kentucky, Feb. 10, 1812 and died at her home on Main Street, Aug. 26th, 1907 at the ripe old age of 95 years, 6 months and 16 days. When but a child she moved with her parents to Ohio and settled near Waynesville, on the Hall farm, now known as the O'Neall place. She was one of a family of ten children; all are now dead except one sister, Amelia Rogers, of Harveysburg, Ohio.

She was married to Reeve Holland, Jan. 21st, 1835 and went to housekeeping in a small house on Main Street, where they lived for a few weeks only, when Mr. Holland purchased the present home (in an unfinished condition.) They immediately moved into it and it has been her home from that day until the day of her death, a period of more than 72 years, and with her death the oldest home in Waynesville is broken up.

To Mr. & Mrs. Holland there were born two sons. "Together they mourned the loss of their first born Samuel Bowman, who died in 1837 a little less than 18 months old. Their second son Joel Marshall lived to comfort them and honor himself by an upright useful career of nearly 25 years, when he too passed to the great Beyond." The death of this son in the prime of his manhood was a great affliction but it was born with grace and patience.

Sister Holland united with the Waynesville Methodist Episcopal Church in the year 1836 under the pastorate of Rev. Wm. Sutton, and has been one of its most faithful and honored members to the time of her death being the church's oldest member having a continued membership for more than 70 years. For many years the prayer meetings of the Society were held in her home; also the class meeting, and once the Quarterly Conference of the Circuit was held in her home. In those early days the Quarterly Meeting brought men and women by the score from a distance to be entertained for two days or more. Her home was open to all, her hospitality knew no bounds. Many were made welcome and there were many times when as many as 30 or 35 persons were kept overnight. In those early days of large Circuits, when the preacher was away from his home most of the time, he always found welcome at her home, and for many years her home was the home of her pastor. Many of the early preachers of Methodism who afterward famous for their ability and preaching power, were entertained by her.

She has held a large place in this community for many years. she was a neighbor of the old type, ever ready to help to visit and care for the sick and all who were in distress. She was good to the poor and gave much to their relief. A long and noble life has closed. Her faithfulness to the church, her care for the sick, and her love for her fellows is something to be remembered and cherished by all who knew her. She had outlived her generation and was ready and waiting the coming of God's Chariot to take her Spirit home, and now that she has gone from us we can but say, 'The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord'. 'We shall meet again in the morning'. ~ Phillip Trout, Pastor.

The funeral of Mrs. Holland was held from her later residence Thursday afternoon at 1 o'clock conducted by Phillip Trout, her pastor, and Rev. Wm. Coffman of Sabina, a former pastor, and was attended by a large number of friends and relatives. Mrs. Holland will be greatly missed and although, she had lived to be almost a centenarian, her faculties were unusually acute and she took pride in being 'up and doing' so long as strength was given her. The body was laid to rest in Miami Cemetery to await the call on the last great day.

Holland Grave Plot in Miami Cemetery ~ Corwin, Ohio
Foreground ~ graves of James and Hannah Reeve Holland

Holland Grave Plot ~
Foreground ~Reeve and Sarah Bowman Holland

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Drs. Francis and Miriam Williamson ~ Physicians in Waynesville

Dr. Francis Williamson (November 14, 1812 ~ July 15, 1878) was a physician and surgeon, a learned, liberal minded and kindhearted man whose sudden death on July 15th, 1878 surprised his family and saddened the community. He was the husband of Dr. Miriam Peirce Williamson (May 18, 1822 ~ October 15, 1888), ten years his junior, who was also a physician with a distinguished career of her own.

Francis Williamson was a highly respected physician, an influential educator and a veteran of the Civil War. He had been a surgeon on the staff of Major-General Rosecrans. In early 1850 the Doctors Williamsons were practicing and living in Harveysburg, Ohio. By 1856, the Williamsons were living in Waynesville. They had six children together: Virginia, Richard, Agnes E., Francis (Frank) Fallis, Charles G. and Mary E. Williamson Cadwallader. See detailed references below.

A lengthy obituary (partially edited here) was printed in the Miami-Gazette on July 17th, 1878:

DEATH OF DR. FRANCIS WILLIAMSON. ~ Dr. Williamson died of paralysis at his home in Waynesville on Monday forenoon, July 15, 1878 after a very short illness. This announcement will be a shock to many friends at a distance who have long been familiar with the apparently robust form of the Doctor, and who had supposed he almost had the power to regulate the time of his own decease. But no one can at all times successfully resist the in roads of the destroyer, and the strongest man is often the one who falls pierced by the arrow of death. Dr. Williamson had been enjoying his usual health until Thursday evening last, when he was attacked by cholera morbus, after having been exercising in the hot son. He recovered, apparently, from this, only to be clasped more relentlessly in the terrible embrace of paralysis. Saturday evening his condition was so alarming that his wife was telegraphed for at Bellefontaine, and she came Sunday morning at 10, to find her husband fast relapsing into a comatose condition, which it seemed he had made a powerful effort to keep at bay until her arrival. After expressing his pleasure at seeing her, and making a few other remarks, he gradually relapsed into a stupor which became more and more heavy from that time until his death. At times he would appear conscious of what was passing around him, and would try to answer questions addressed to him, but he never thoroughly roused from the stupor into which the paralysis had thrown him, and so he passed away from earth to the realities of an unknown world. In his last moments he was surrounded by his sorrowing wife and daughters and other friends, but his two sons could not be summoned from their home in the far west in time to bid their kind and affectionate parent farewell.

Dr. Williamson was born on the 14th of November 1812 at Manney’s Neck, North Carolina, directly on the Virginia line. Indeed, we believe part of his father’s estate crossed the Virginia boundary. Dr. Williamson was justly proud of his place of nativity, and he was enthusiastic in his appreciation of the glories of the Old Dominion ~~ her distinguished sons, their chivalric deeds, and her classic ground, fit soil for the scholar, the philosopher and the gentleman. He was proud to have been born if not directly upon the sacred soil, at least within range of its classic atmosphere. Dr. Williamson’s father, Francis Williamson, was an extensive slaveholder at one time, and for twenty years a clergyman of the Christian denomination, a liberal thinker, and a progressionist in advance of his immediate contemporaries, for he liberated his slaves, sending some to Liberia while others remained in this country. At an early age the son was sent to school, and received the major part of his education under competent masters in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He early cultivated a taste for literature. In 1836 he taught a classical school in Hanover County, Virginia, after which he read medicine with Dr. Trezvant at Jerusalem, Va. He afterwards attended lectures at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and took the degree of M.D. in 1845. In 1837-8 he traveled over the western states, lecturing on one of his favorite themes, Phrenology. He also visited jails, lunatic asylums, and penitentiaries, traveling over twenty states of the Union, and occasionally delivering lectures before literary institutes.

His union with Miss Miriam Peirce, of Wilmington, Ohio, resulted in the birth of six children, three sons and three daughters. One of the sons and one of the daughters preceded their father to the Silent land, while the faithful, devoted wife, upon whom he relied to a great extent for his impulse of strength in his later years, and his surviving daughters and sons, feel keenly enough the irreparable loss of a husband and father whose genial nature, kind heart and strong individuality went far to make up the magnetic atmosphere of home. For the last quarter of a century or more, Dr. Williamson has been a successful practitioner of medicine and surgery in Warren County, most of that time in and around Waynesville. He was passionately devoted to his profession, and to the very last was a close student, keeping pace with the onward march of science and the unrestrainable progress of events . . .

Dr. Williamson was not a member of any church, although his predilections and tastes naturally caused him to gravitate towards the Protestant Episcopal, for whose history and liturgy he entertained the highest regard. He was thoroughly conversant with theology, and his veneration for the Christian religion was a natural outgrowth of his organization as well as sequence of his researches and experiences. In 1862 he entered into the exiting arena of the war, in the capacity of surgeon, and was at once promoted by Major-General Rosecrans to a surgeon on his own staff. Since the war, he has practiced his profession in his chosen home; leading a scholastic and domestic life suited to his nature~ fond of home, family, friends and books; and in their enjoyment he passed the early evening of his life . . . Dr. Williamson’s funeral will take place tomorrow forenoon at 10, from the family residence.

A biography of Dr. Francis Williamson can also be found in the 1882 History of Warren County, Ohio, pp. 887-888.

A brother of Dr. F. Williamson was a minister, Rev. James Williamson. According to the Miami-Gazette, December 2nd, 1874, The Rev. James Williamson, brother of Dr. F. Williamson, preached in the Christian Church last Sunday evening.” He was here in Waynesville visiting from Iowa (Miami-Gazette, November 4th, 1874).

Miriam Peirce Williamson was a member of Center Monthly Meeting of The Society of Friends in Clinton County, Ohio. She was disowned by the Quakers for her marriage contrary to discipline, out of unity. Francis was not a Quaker. On 7th mo. 18th day of 1850 she transferred her membership to Miami Monthly Meeting of The Society of Friends in Waynesville, Ohio. There she was disowned again on 9th mo 26th day 1855 (See, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Volume V, Ohio, pp. 142-143 and 543).

A "Miriam Wilkerson" is listed as a physician in Harveysburg on the 1856 Wall Map of Warren County. This is most likely Miriam Williamson.

The following comments about Miriam Williamson are taken from the biography of Dr. Francis Williamson in the 1882 Beer's History of Warren County, Ohio:

In December 1839 was celebrated his union with Miss Miriam Pierce, who was born in Wilmington, Ohio in 1822, she was a daughter of Richard and Mary (Fallis) Pierce, he a native of Wilmington, Del. and she of Virginia; the great-great-grandmother, Miriam Pierce, was a physican and nurse in the Revolutionary war, for which services she receive $700.00 per year. . .

His widow, Mrs. Williamson, is very pleasantly situated, having a beautiful home and residence, with the society of a loving daughter and son; she was a faithful and devoted wife, and upon whom the Doctor relied too a great extent for his impulses of strength in his later years; she is also a physican of thirty years' practice or more, and has a noted reputation over a large extent of country for her magnetic powers and skill in the treatment of disease, her field of practice reaching to the large cities of Dayton, Cincinnati, Richmond, Chicago and others."

Dr. Miriam Williamson is mentioned a number of times in the Miami-Gazette as traveling a great deal as a physican. For example:

  • It was reported in the Miami-Gazette, July 29th, 1874 that “Mrs. Dr. Williamson returned home last Wednesday from an extended professional tour.”
  • It was reported on December 9th, 1874 that, "Mrs. Dr. M. Williamson is visiting in Cleveland and Toledo."
In 1879 Miriam would be called to testify at the Willie Anderson triple murder inquest. She and her husband had dealt with a horrible tragedy of their own just six years earlier when their oldest son, Richard P. Williamson, 28 years of age, committed suicide on their farm by immolating himself. See, . People of Waynesville and Wayne Township considered this to be the most “sickening tragedy” ever to have happened in the area and the author of the obituary hoped that there would never be another horror “the like of which we hope it may never devolve upon us again to record.
The Williamsons are listed in the following Federal Censuses:
  • 1850 Federal Census, Harveysburg, Ohio, Warren County, M432_737, page 718, image 43.
  • 1860 Federal Census, Waynesville, Ohio, Warren County, M653_1047, page 82.
  • On the 1870 Federal Census, both Francis and Miriam are listed as physicans (1870 Federal Census; Wayne, Warren, Ohio, Roll: M593_1277, page: 510.
  • Widowed 57 year old Miriam Williamson is listed as "Doctress" living with two children: Agnes (30) and Charles (23). Her brother, James Peirce, her brother (50), is also living with her (1880 Federal Census, Waynesville, Warren, Ohio, Roll: T9_1075; page 482.4000; Enumeration District: 79.
Their daughter, Agnes Williamson, married John S. Wright (b. July 15th, 1850 ~ d. July 31, 1903) on December 26th, 1887 (The Descendants of Irish John Wright: An Irish Quaker Who Came to America Cir 1740 by George F. Wright, M. D. (Published by Author, 2000), p. 118. According to the 1880 Federal Census, John S. Wright was living with his father Oscar J. Wright, a retired miller, and his profession is listed as “miller” (Wayne Township, Warren Co., Ohio, Family History Library Film #1255075, N.A. film #T9-1075, page 465A). John S. Wright bought the Waynesville Mill in 1888 (see, Waynesville’s First 200 Years [The Waynesville Historical Society, 1997], pp. 234 and 236).

The Miami-Gazette reported on June 23rd, 1875 “Dr. Williamson left here Monday for a visit to this son Frank in Ellinwood, Kansas.” On July 14th, 1875, the newspaper published a long and erudite letter from Dr. Francis Williams while he was out visiting his son Frank in Ellinwood. He described his son’s business as follows: "The firm of Landis & Williamson is doing more business as merchants than any store in Waynesville. They have an area of country in this rich valley, 20 miles in diameter, and have monopolized the business, having the only large store here. They commenced business here 3 years since, in a room 10 feet square; now they have rooms as large as A. D. Cadwallader’s~~They are doing a safe business, and receive from one to 400 dollars daily in their sales.

According to Clarkson Butterworth in his Catalogue of the Members of Miami Monthly Meeting, 7th Month 1897: After the Friends of the late Cincinnati Monthly Meeting were attached to it, Mary E. Williamson (b. 1840.10.1) married Clarkson Cadwallader (b. 1833.1.1) and they had two daughters: Miriam Cadwallader (b. 1873.7.16) and Hallie A. Cadwallader (b. 1876.12.18). “Clarkson is brother of the afore mentioned Andrew W. Cadwallader, and his wife, Mary E. was the daughter of the late doctors, Francis and Miriam (Peirce) Williamson of Waynesville, Ohio . . . Clarkson and Mary live at his father’s (Jonah Cadwallader’s) old home on Todd’s Fork, two miles above Morrow.

Francis and Miriam Williamson are buried in Miami Cemetery, Section G. Richard P. Williamson (June 25th, 1846 – April 26th, 1873) is buried next to his parents in Miami Cemetery. He had joined the Society of Friends, a member of Miami Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends in Waynesville, Ohio , but was disowned for a marriage contrary to Quaker discipline.