"The Harris Guards" ~ Ohio National Guard in Waynesville
Co. F, 13th Infantry Regiment, ONG
Waynesville, Ohio ~ June 1879
(Original photograph is in
The Mary L. Cook Public Library
- James A. Kerney of Waynesville received his commission as Captain of Co. F. for five years on September 30th, 1878 and again on October 21, 1882 for 5 years.
- Charles E. Jacobs of Waynesville was the first First Lieutenant but resigned on January 22, 1879.
- John J. Mosher of Waynesville was commissioned First Lieutenant on Februrary 14th, 1879.
- John Miller of Waynesville was commissioned Second Lieutenant on September 30th, 1878.
- William O'Neall of Waynesville was commissioned Second Lieuitenant on October 21st, 1882.
- William Rogers was commissioned a Second Lieuitenant on February 6th, 1884.
In 1879, the Harris Guards are mention twice in the Miami-Gazette newspaper:
This military unit performed at various functions in the community. For example, this story of their visit to Springboro found in the Wester Star newspaper of Lebanon, Ohio on June 26, 1879:
SPRINGBORO: The visit of the military company and band from Waynesville on Saturday evening, was greeted by our citizens with pleasure. The drill and music were excellent. But after partaking of an excellent supper, provided by the ladies, the music failed, only playing one tune after supper. Whether from eating too hearily or drinking too freely, or from sheer cussedness we cannot say. A few of the band tried to prevail on the others to redeem their credit, but failed. The officers of the military company were greatly mortified at the conduct of the band. May people who came in from the country were disappointed. We do not think our people will invite the band to visit us soon again. The conduct of the millitary was quite different. They were willing and cheerful and pleasant and sober. They used a drill new to most of our soldiers. They were highly complimented all around. Come again, boys.
The "Harris Guards" of the Ohio National Guards stationed in Waynesville did see some action in 1884 during the Courthouse Riots in Cincinnati. These riots were the worst riots ever experienced in Ohio. There had been a spree of violence and murder in Cincinnati. When two Cincinnati men murdered their employer but received a lenient sentence, 8,000 Cincinnati citizens angered at the corruption in the local court system, stormed the Hamilton County prison and the courthouse. In a fury at the increasing murder rate, the courthouse was burned to the ground. The riot lasted three days and 50 people were killed and 250 people were injured. ONG units from Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland as well as Waynesville were called up to service.
Captain James A. Kearney
Captain James A. Kearney, druggist and Postmaster, Waynesville; born in the county of Kerry, Ireland, January 24th, 1846. He was a son of Patrick and Sophia (Apjohn) Kearney, natives of Ireland. Our subject as three years of age when brought to this country. . . In 1865, Patrick Kearney came to this county and located on a farm near Waynesville. . . At the trial of our Government’s strength in the war of the rebellion he (Captain James A. Kearney) came forward to her support by enlisting Aug. 8th, 1861, in the naval service, being at the time of his 16th year of age. He served about two and one-half years and resigned, turning to Cincinnati and engaged in various capacities in the employ of the government till the close of the war, after which Mr. Kearney engaged in mercantile trade at sundry places in the States of Alabama and Arkansas; thence for a time engaged in the employ of railroad companies in the South. In the fall of 1877 Mr. Kearney returned to Waynesville and engaged as a clerk in the drug business and in the Spring of 1880 he purchased a new stock of drugs and entered upon trade on his own account; and April 22nd, 1881, received the appointment as Postmaster of Waynesville (The History of Warren County,Ohio [Chicago: W. H. Beers & Co.], p. 862.)
John Jacob Mosher, First Lieutenant
January 8th, 1857 ~ June 9th, 1894
John Jacob Mosher (known as "Jake") was one of the ten children of Nathan Nicholas and Sarah Ann Bovy Mosher. He was married to Laura Henrietta Harris, the daughter of Israel Hopkins Harris, a highly successful businessman and banker in Waynesville, and his second wife. From 1872 to 1878, John Jacob's father Nathan was the innkeeper of the Hammell House in Waynesville. Nathan Nicholas Mosher had fought in the Civil War, was disowned by the Quakers, had a farm in Morrow County, Ohio, after the Civil War lived in Kansas and Iowa, came then to Waynesville and eventually moved to Cincinnati where he worked on the Cincinnati Times, returning to Mount Gilead in Morrow County in 1895. Nathan died there in 1916. When Nathan moved to Cincinnati, two of his children stayed in Waynseville: Edith Mosher and John Jacob Mosher. Edith Mosher married Israel Hopkins Harris (his third wife). Her younger brother, John Jacob then married her step-daughter, Laura Henrietta Harris on June 6, 1883. "Jake" Mosher worked for his father-in-law, Israel Hopkins Harris in the Harris Exchange Bank. "Jake" died eleven years later at the age of 37 of pneumonia. Three years later Israel Hopkins Harris died and Edith Mosher Harris (his thrid wife) and her step-daughter Laura Henrietta Harris Mosher moved in together. They were both active in St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Waynesville.
John Jacob and Laura Henrietta Harris Mosher had three children: Carrie (Carolyn), Edith and Harris (Information taken from: Descendants of Hugh Mosher and Rebecca Maxson Through Seven Generations, Rev. Ed., compiled by Mildred (Mosher) Chamberlain and Laura (McGaffey) ClareAuthor: Mildred (Mosher) Chamberlain and Laura (McGaffey) Clarenbach Publication: Laura M. Clarenbach, Madison, Wisconsin, 1990, and, Waynesville's First 200 Years, 1797-1997 (The Waynesville Historical Society), 1997, p. 73-75.)
John L. Miller, Second Lieutenant
John L. Miller was a stone mason in Waynesville. He was married to Louisa A. Miller and they had three children in 1870: Bertie C. Miller, Naomi P. Miller, and Frank G. Miller.
Records of the "Harris Guard" can be found in the Archive/Library of the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, Ohio: Muster, Payrolls and Inspection Reports and Adjutant General Records.