FRANCIS Y. DAVIS
FRANCIS Y. DAVIS, who has a fine home and 80 acres of
land in the southeast quarter of section 8, Perry township, has been a
resident of this township during almost the entire period of his active
business career. Mr. Davis was born in Orange County, Vermont, October
29, 1827, and is a son of Francis and Lydia (York) Davis.
The Davis family is of Scotch-Welsh origin, and the ancestral line
can be traced to the birth of Sir Francis Davis, in 1590. His home was
in Cardiganshire, Wales. Three of his sons, Gideon, Philip and Francis
(2) crossed the ocean in search of fame and fortune, but of these only
Philip and Francis (2) safely reached Halifax, Nova Scotia, Gideon
having been lost at sea during the voyage. Francis Davis (2) has passed
his 21st birthday at this time and with his other possessions brought a
cane, which his father had presented him when he had reached his
majority. This cane is still in the possession of the family, being
owned by a Francis Davis, the subject of this biography. The wood of
this ivory-headed cane was cut in the Grampion Hills of Scotland by the
grandfather of Sir Francis Davis, in 1550. It has survived generations
of its owners and typifies the solidity of the Scotch hills of which it
grew, affording support to youth, feebleness and age for more than 300
years. Frances Davis (2), son of Sir Francis, remained with his brother
in Halifax for about one year. There in 1749 Philip married Mary Wells;
he subsequently settled in Virginia.
The above Francis Davis (2) was born in 1626 and died in 1709. He
married Gertrude Emerson, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who was born in 1629
in England and died in 1715. They settled at West Amesbury,
Massachusetts, in 1652, bringing the old cane with them.
Francis Davis (3), son of Francis (2), was born in 1653 in
Massachusetts and died there in 1737. In 1673 he married Mary Taylor,
a daughter of Walter Taylor, of Amesbury; she was born in 1657 and died
in 1733. The old cane came into the hands of this Francis and was in
turn given to the next Francis.
Francis Davis (4), son of Francis (3), was born September 19, 1687,
and died October 9, 1753, at Amesbury, leaving the old cane to his son,
Captain Francis Davis. His wife, to whom he was married at Haverhill,
Massachusetts, September 6, 1716, was born September 6, 1693 and died
December 3, 1775.
Capt, Francis Davis, the fifth of the name, was born October 26,
1723 and died November 26, 1784. He was married September 3, 1745, to
Elizabeth Ferran, who was born September 20, 1724, and died December 20,
1793. It was Capt. Francis Davis who took the old cane from Amesbury to
Davisville, Warren County, Vermont, a town he founded in May, 1766. In
1740 he had built a mill there which was destroyed by fire in 1746, and
he built a second one. He was a Revolutionary soldier and a man of
influence and wealth, and was the first representative to the General
Assembly from Warren County.
Francis Davis (6), son of Capt. Francis Davis, was born at
Amesbury, Massachusetts, May 27, 1758, and died at Barre, Vermont,
October 30, 1840. He married Philena Thurber, who was born at
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 26, 1758, and died at Barre, Vermont,
December 21, 1841. These ancestors were the grandparents of the subject
of this sketch. The family resided at Warren until the fall of 1794,
when they removed to Barnard, Vermont, taking with them the old cane.
There it remained until the grandfather's death, when it came into
possession of Francis Davis (7), father of its present owner, who is in
the eighth generation from Sir Francis Davis.
Francis Davis (7) was born March 7, 1788, at Warren, New Hampshire,
and was six years old when he accompanied his parents to Barnard,
Vermont, where he was given as good educational advantages as the times
afforded. He worked at the carding and fulling business for some years.
When the War of 1812 became imminent, he enlisted in a cavalry company
which was ordered by the Governor to proceed from Montpelier to
Plattsburgh, New York. After three days, the company reached that place
and took part in the closing engagements of the battle there. He was
discharged at the end of the war. After the passage of many years, he
received 160 acres of land in recognition of his military services.
After his marriage he lived in Orange and in Washington counties,
Vermont, and owned and operated a sawmill and also dealt in tombstones.
He was an expert worker in stone and samples of his work took first
premium when exhibited at Montpelier.
In the autumn of 1834, with his wife and four children, the oldest
being nine years and the youngest, five months, he started Westward to
find a new home. The wagon was filled with bedding and articles of
wearing apparel. After a pleasant driving journey of six weeks, a pause
was made at the town of Keene, Coshocton County, Ohio. Here Mr. Davis
found a few settlers from New England and, tired of traveling, decided
to stop a least over the winter. In the spring , on March 21, 1835, he
purchased 100 acres of land for which he paid $200. Three acres had
been cleared, a small orchard had been set out and a log cabin built.
Later he cleared about 40 acres of this land and entered into farming
and stockraising, also cutting and selling many tombstones from a quarry
situated on the property. He built the first sawmill ever erected here,
which was run by the waters of the Buckloo, a small stream which
meandered through his farm.
In 1842 Mr. Davis leased the farm and moved to the town of Keene
where he engaged in the tombstone and monument business but soon tired
of village life and returned to the farm. I 1843 he purchased another
100-acre tract, but in 1846 he sold out and again made preparations to
move westward. On April 6, 1846, with his wife, tow sons and the
youngest daughter, a grandson and young neighbor who was starting West
with some house-hold goods, Mr. Davis started his prairie schooner,
drawn by oxen, in the direction of the setting sun. The horses which 12
years previously had assisted to move the family from Vermont to Ohio,
were again made use of, being hitched to a farm cart and a flock of
sheep and a herd of cattle were also taken along. On the eighth night
of the journey the family camped in a vacated cabin which they found
near the center of a seven by 20 mile forest, which then stood in its
native state in Hardin County, Ohio. Here the hoots of the owls and the
howls of the wolves made the night hideous. On the ninth day of the
journey the family reached a point four miles east of Lima, in Perry
township, Allen County, Ohio. Here Mr. Davis decided to locate, buying
an 80 acre farm on which he lived and carried on farming and
stock-raising. In 1863 he sold his farm and in 1864 moved to Defiance
County, Ohio, where he purchased a farm of 120 acres on which he
continued farming and stock-raising operations, assisted by his adopted
grandson, Lucius, who lived with him until his death, which took place
March 31, 1875. In politics he was a Whig and later a Republican. In
his dealings with his fellowmen, he was honest and upright and his
religion consisted more in good works than in profession. In 1850 he
and his wife made an extended visit to relatives in Vermont and upon his
return he brought with him the old family cane.
On October 21, 1813, in Randolph, Orange County, Vermont, he married
Lydia York, a daughter of Gershom York, and, they had 11 children. Mrs.
Davis died March 1, 1863. In the course of time he married Mrs.
Elizabeth Gilbert, a widow, who also preceded him to the grave. Of the
11 children, those who reached maturity were: Roxanna P., deceased, who
was the wife of Ira Fox; Francis Y.; George E.; and Fannie, deceased,
who was the wife of John Bond.
Francis Y. Davis, our immediate subject, was 19 years old when he
accompanied his father to Perry township, and he assisted in the
clearing of the home farm. In 1852 he bought 40 acres in section 3,
which is now known as the William Robert's farm, which he cleared and
converted from timberland to fields of unusual fertility and
productiveness. In 1863 he settled upon 80 acres in section 16 on which
he lived and made extensive improvements until 1882, when he located
upon a quarter-section in section 19, a part of which still remains in
the family. He reclaimed a part of this farm from the forest and
converted it into a productive farm and made his home there until 1894,
when he purchased 40 acres of his present farm in section 8, to which he
subsequently added 40 more acres. Mr. Davis here erected a fine
residence and has made other substantial improvements until now it is an
example of one of the best rural homes in Perry township. In addition
to being fertile, his farms have been noted for the presence of oil; he
had had a number of producing oil-wells and the three located on his
present farm have brought him handsome returns.
Mr. Davis has a military record which should give him a very
pardonable measure of pride. When the Civil War broke out and he
recognized the fact that he was needed at the front, he put aside his
previous ambitions and enlisted in the service of his country. His
first enlistment was in September, 1861, in Company D, 54th Reg., Ohio
Vol. Inf. He was discharged in August, 1862, on account of disability,
having been injured by the exploding of a shell at the battle of
Pittsburg Landing. On September 22, 1864, Mr. Davis reenlisted,
becoming a member of Company A, 180th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., and
continued in the service until the close of the war, his last battle
being at Kingston, North Carolina. He was honorably discharged in July,
1865, and returned to his home in Perry township.
During a part of his time in early manhood he engaged in teaching
school and he worked also at brick-making, but since he was 30 years of
age he has devoted his attention exclusively to agricultural pursuits,
with some attention given to the production of oil, as mentioned above,
having had an interest in some 20 wells. Mr. Davis owns 120 acres of
fine land in Allen County.
On May 5, 1852, Mr. Davis was married to Sarah Coats, a daughter of
Rufus and Nancy (Dawson) Coats. She died April 1, 1893, leaving the
following children: Lydia R. M., born July 26, 1854, who married
Jefferson Shade, of Perry township; Ira E., born January 31, 1856;
Albert E., born November30, 1857; William F., born January 19, 1867, who
lives in Franklin County, Kansas; Clara B., born July 25, 1868, who
married John Howbert, of Allen County; Charles L., born November 25,
1869; Harmon C., born October 15, 1871 and Daniel E., born May 28, 1873,
who died July 23, 1898. One child died in infancy. Mr. Davis remained
single until November 20, 1897, when he married Mrs. Rhonda J.
In politics Mr. Davis is a Republican and he is a valued member of
Mart Armstrong Post, No. 202, G. A. R., of Lima. He is widely known in
Allen County and is held in the highest esteem. Mr. Davis grew up at a
time and in a section where educational advantages were meager but he
has always been a great reader and has mixed with intelligent people and
thus has acquired a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the affairs of
the world. he is possessed of a truly remarkable memory and without
effort recalls the day, month, and year of many happenings of earlier
days. During the period of 60 years covering his residence in Perry
township, he has been foremost in its business affairs and has
contributed his full share in the developing of this section into one of
the most prosperous, progressive and best improved communities in the
ULYSSES REICHENBACH, a prominent agriculturist of
Allen County, is a native of Canton Neuchatel, Switzerland, where he was
born on August 15, 1845. When he came to this country he was a poor man
and his present property represents years of patient toil. In addition
to the 146 acre homestead in section 34, Richland township, Mr.
Reichenbach owns 80 acres in Putnam County. His parents were John and
Margaret (Guntner) Reichenbach, who came to America in 1873 and made
their home here for the rest of their lives.
Ulysses Reichenbach was one of 10 children, seven boys and three
girls. At the age of 19 he left the parental roof to try his fortune in
a new country, landing in New York in 1866. He first stopped in Wayne
County, Ohio, where he worked on a farm by the month for one year, and
then came to Allen County and for four years worked by the month in
Richland township. By dint of saving every penny, he managed to get
sufficient together to buy 80 acres of woodland in Putnam County.
Renting a farm there he cultivated it for a year. He cleared off the
timber on the 80 acre tract and erected a dwelling. Later he bought 106
acres in Allen County which, with the 40 acres received from his
father-in-law, comprise his present homestead. He has two good
dwellings on this farm, one of which is occupied by his son-in-law.
Mr. Reichenbach was married in November 30, 1869 to Fannie Basinger,
who was born September 14, 1841, on the farm where she now lives, her
parents being Sevmour and Barbara (Steiner) Basinger. Eight children
have blessed their union, namely: John, Leah, Henry, Lydia, Maggie,
Emma, Lena, and Amos. John, who resides on the 80 acre farm in Putnam
County, married Barbara Leichty and has three children Lillie, William
and Titlam. Leah resides at home with her parents. Henry, who is
engaged in farming in Richland township, married Emma Batcher and has
one child, Mildred. Lydia died at the age of nine years. Maggie
married William Steiner and has two children, Mabel and Odula. They
line in Putnam County. Emma, who was the wife of Fred Beiderman, left
at death one child, Syulvia, who lives with her grandparents. Lena
married Samuel Augsburger and had one child, Hazel, who died in infancy.
The live on Mr. Reichenbach's farm in Richland township. Amos married
Mary Welty, daughter of Christ Welty, a farmer of Putnam County. They
have one child Stella, and reside on the home farm. Mr. Reichenbach has
always supported the Democratic ticket. In religion he is a
conscientious and consistent member of the Mennonite Church.
W. H. DUDEN
W. H. DUDEN, a contractor and builder at Lima, whose
excellent work and honest methods of doing business have brought him
prominently before the public, has been a resident of this city since
1890. He was born on the line between Fairfield and Miami counties,
Ohio, in 1852.
The father of our subject was John A. Duden, who was a soldier in
the War of 1812. He learned and followed the trade of a locksmith, as
long as it proved profitable, and then turned his attention to cigar
manufacturing. In 1858 he moved to Clinton County, Ohio, and in the
fall of 1861 to Allen County.
W. H. Duden was eight years old when the family settled in this
county. He attended school until he was 15 years old and then learned
the trade of a shoemaker. He was thus employed at Cridersville,
Auglaize County, for some 12 years, after which he mastered the
carpenter's trade, having always had a natural bent in that direction.
This line of work he has since followed continuously, and for the past
26 years has been engaged in a general contracting business, during 15
years of which period he has been located at Lima. His work here is
shown in some of the finest and most substantial structures of the city
among others, the St. Rose parsonage, the Holland Block, and the
residences of W. L. Parmenter, M. Cohn, J. C. Ridenour, D. C. Dunn,
James Cory and Dr. Van Note.
In 1873 Mr. Dunden was united in marriage with Mrs. Mary A. Church
of Cridersville, and they have three children, viz: Elmer, a minister of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, located at Walhalla, North Dakota; James
Harvey, a painter by trade; and Ray, who is associated with his father.
Mr. and Mrs. Duden are members of the United Brethren Church. In
politics Mr. Duden is a Republican. Socially he is a member of the A.
O. U. W.
NEWTON SAGER, M. D.
Among the eminent physicians and
surgeons of Allen County, the Sagers have been distinguished for two
generations and the subject of this record bears the name of a father
who was the pioneer physician of Jackson township, and , indeed, one of
the earliest practitioners of medicine in Allen County. Dr. Newton
Sager, of LaFayette, was born in this village, in a home on the site of
his present residence, on December 18, 1846, being the eldest son of Dr.
Newton and Bethiah (Gilbert) Sager.
The Sager family probably originated in England and later established
a home in Virginia, where the grandparents of Dr. Sager, Henry and
Lovina (Haines) Sager, were born and whence they removed to Union
County, Ohio, at a very early date. Of their eight children, Dr. Newton
Sager, Sr., was born in Union County, Ohio, October 31, 1817, and died
at LaFayette, Allen County, on August 13, 1903, having been one of the
most highly esteemed men of his day in this section of the State, both
in private and professional life. He enjoyed better educational
advantages than were afforded many of his associates, for after he had
completed the common school course at the age of 19 years, he was
entered at Oxford University, later pursued a medical course in Pleasant
Valley, Madison County, Ohio, and in 1843 was graduated in medicine at
Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.
The Young physician settled in Jackson township, Allen County, Ohio,
although it might be thought so sparsely settled a district as it was
then would have little need for his services. In fact for some years
his professional visits covered a very wide territory. The settlement of
the county meant a greater tax on his time and strength and for years he
knew no rest from professional labor. He was one of the earliest
settlers at LaFayette and established the first drug-store in the
village which he continued for many years. On account of the prevailing
malaria, which is the cause of much of the sickness in any newly settled
community, the necessity for quinine was very great and it was difficult
to obtain it in sufficient quantities, on short notice, in the days when
journeys were made on horseback and by ox-team. It was in order to be
able to supply the drugs he found it necessary to prescribe that Dr.
Sager established his own drug-store.
Not only did Dr. Sager occupy a prominent place in his locality as a
man of science, but he was also a dominating influence in all public
affairs, a leader in educational movements and had not his professional
duties prevented, would have probably become his party's representative
in many of the higher offices in its gift. He was a lifelong Democrat
and on several occasions served as township treasurer, but the duties of
his profession precluded but little more than a good citizen's attention
to public affairs. He found time, however, to lend his influence and
give support by word and purse to various public-spirited enterprises,
one of the most important of these being the building of the direct
railroad line from Upper Sandusky to Lima. Although a member of no
religious denomination, he was a liberal supporter of all, possessing
the broadened mind and trained understanding which enabled him to see
the good in every creed. Dr. Sager was charitable, in his daily life,
for years, practicing that Christian charity which perhaps, men of his
profession understand best of all. His memory is perpetuated in Allen
County in the hearts of those who knew him best and those who benefited
so often by his professional skill.
The late Dr. Sager was twice married. Prior to coming to Jackson
township, he was united to Hannah Custard, a daughter of Daniel Custard,
who became a merchant in Lima. She died in 1840, leaving one daughter,
Araminta, who married a Harrison Tingle and moved to the Pacific Coast,
where she died. The second marriage of Dr. Sager was to Bethiah
Gilbert, who came to Allen County in 1840. She still survives, an
honored member of our subject's family. The children of this marriage
were: Newton, the subject of this sketch; Norval, who died unmaried, in
1883; Annetta, who is the wife of Wesley Biterman, of LaFayette; Norton,
who lives on a farm in Jackson township; Lavina, who is the wife of
Doddredge Kinzie, of LaFayette; Mary Belle, who is the wife of George B.
Muir, living one mile north of LaFayette; and Nellie, Arthur, Ina and
Norman, who died in youth.
In closing the record relating to the late Dr. Sager, mention must be
made of his many years of active interest in the Masonic fraternity.
Soon after the organization of the Masonic lodge at Lima, he became a
member of that body and continued his interest in the order as long as
he lived. He was a charter member of Sager Lodge, No. 513, F. & A. M.,
at LaFayette, which was named in his honor.
Newton Sager, our immeiate subject, was reared at LaFayette and
became a student in the village school when a child of six years. He
continued to study in the LaFayette schools until he was about 20 years
old, when he entered Baldwin University, at Brera, near Cleveland, Ohio,
where he remained one year. He then read medicine with his father for a
period of four years and went from this excellent instruction to the
University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. After several terms there, he
entered the medical department of the University of Worcester, at
Cleveland, where he was graduated and received a diploma in February,
After graduation Dr. Sager returned to LaFayette and entered into
practice with his father, at first relieving the older physician, who
was beginning to feel the weight of years of his heavier duties and
gradually taking over the larger burden of the practice, continuing the
partnership until the close of the father's life. Dr. Sager is a
regular general practitioner and, by his fellow-citizens, has been
deemed worthy to take his father's place. His methods are those of the
younger school of practitioners and his reputation is that of an eminent
man in his profession.
In April, 1871, Dr. Sager was united in marriage with Sarah M. Hughes,
of Knox County, Ohio, who is a daughter of Hiram and Emily (Lane)
Hughes, who came to Ohio from Connecticut. They have two daughters
Grace and Georgiana. The former married John E. Myers, of LaFayette,
and has one daughter, Evadne. The latter married Albertson Watt, of
LaFayette, and has two children Namona and Rodney. The family has
always been a leading one of this section and is prominent socially.
Like his late father, Dr. Sager is identified with the Democratic
party and for years has been more of less a leader of its movements in
this locality. He has served three terms as township treasurer. He
belongs to the Masonic fraternity and is a member of Sager Lodge, No.
513, F. & A. M., which was named for his father who was instrumental
in having it established at LaFayette.