George H. Rankins

George H. Rankins, who owns a fine farm of 80 acres in
section 16, Perry township, and is one of the representative men of his
locality, was born May 11, 1846, at Westminster, Allen County, Ohio, and
is a son of John and Anna (French) Rankins, the former a native of
Warren County, Ohio, and the latter, of Trumbull County.
        The Rankins family is of Scotch-Irish extraction; its founders
settled in Virginia at a very early day.  There the great-grandfather of
our subject, John Rankins, who was a large planter of Stafford County,
lived and died.  He married Isabel Bryan and to them were born three
children, namely: Frances, who married Benjamin Hutchison; Peter and
George.  After the death of John Rankins , his widow came to Ohio and
lived in Clinton County at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Benjamin
Hutchison, until her death.
          George Rankins, grandfather of our subject was born in
Stafford County, Virginia, September 1,1797, and was 15 years old when
he enlisted in the army during the war of 1812.  In 1814 he removed to
Warren County, Ohio,     and is is said that he covered the greater part
of the distance on foot, his one-horse wagon being used to carry the
household goods.  Those were the days when a steel cooking range had not
yet been evolved, and an iron cook stove was such a rare addition to the
kitchen equipment that Mr. Rankins at one stage of the trip was almost a
hero.  The people with whom he stopped had purchased a cook stove but
none of the family had yet learned to operate it.  Mr. Rankins had been
about enough to have learned its use and construction and he imparted
his knowledge to the very grateful owners.  In 1839 he came to Allen
County and located on what is now the Thomas C. Roberts farm, on the
Marion road, which property at that time was still covered by the
primeval forest.   For the following six years he engaged in teaming
from Cincinnati to Lima for J. W. King.  Occasionally the trip in bad
weather required 21 days; as there were no accommodations for travelers
on the route, it was often necessary to camp along the road for several
days.  While engaged for Mr. King, he was gradually clearing his place,
his cabin having been built before he located permanently.  This log hut
stood until some four years since and was habitable for a long time.
He subsequently moved to another farm south of his first one, misfortune
having fallen upon him on account of his going security for a neighbor.
With the $300 he saved he secured forty acres of land, the best he could
do with his limited capital, and although then 60 years old went
manfully to work to clear a second farm.  He married Wealthy Ann Tunget,
who was born May 14, 1800, and was the daughter of John and Mary Tunget
of Stafford County, Virginia.  Mr. Rankins died on his farm in Perry
township July 14, 1881, while his wife died April 12, 1891, age 91
years.
        John Rankins, father of our subject, grew up in Warren County,
Ohio, and accompanied his parents when they moved to Allen County.  When
he left the home farm and located at Westminster, he went into
partnership with J. B. Roberts in dealing in stock.  He continued to
reside there until a few months before his death.  He was a Democrat in
his political faith.  In religious belief he was a Baptist.  He married
Anna French, who was a sister of Samuel Davison French, of whom a sketch
appears in this same volume.  They had five children, viz: William, a
soldier in the Civil war, who lost his life at the battle of Corinth, in
October, 1862; Receba; George H., of this sketch; Lyman B., who resides
in Perry township east of his brother George; and an unnamed infant,
deceased.
         George H. Rankins lived three years at Westminster and was then
taken, with his youngest brother, by grandfather Rankins who reared them
both, while the other child was taken by the grandmother French.  He was
11 years old when his grandfather went on his second farm and assisted
him there until he reached his majority.   After his marriage in 1867 he
resided with his wife's people for nine years and bought his first in
that neighborhood and lived on it until 1882 when he bought his present
farm of 80 acres in section 16.  Formerly he owned 280 acres but has
sold 200 acres as he could no longer give a large farm the care is
required. He has been an extensive stock-raiser but has much reduced his
activity within the past three or four years.  He has had numerous
producing oil wells upon his property and four of these are still in
operation.
        On September 24, 1867, Mr. Rankins was married to Celinda
Williams, who was born in Kentucky and is a daughter of J. L. and Nancy
(Crain ) Williams, old residents of Bourbon County, Kentucky.   Their
three surviving children are: Minnie, born December 9, 1868, who married
George B. McDonald, of Perry township, and has three children Stella,
Helen and Howard; A. E., born December 29,1872, residing at Harrod,
Ohio, who married Irene Henry, of Hancock County, Ohio, and has two
children Muriel and Ruth; and Roy, born March 25,1885, who lives on the
home place and assists his father in the management of the farm. Mable
died April 29, 1902, aged 15 years.
          Mr. Rankins is a good citizen but is not identified with any
particular political party, voting independently.  He is a member of the
Christian Church.