Samuel O. Ridenour
Samuel O. Ridenour, deceased, formerly one of the
best-known citizens of this county, and the owner of a valuable farm of
90 acres in section 8, Perry township, was born in Allen County, Ohio,
Septembr 11, 1832, and was a son of Jacob and Catherine (Oats) Ridenour.
The Ridenour family is of German extraction and was established
in America by Lewis Ridenour, the great-grandfather of our subject. He
came to the Colonies prior to the American Revolution and assisted the
Patriot Army in the capacity of a teamster. He first settled in
Virginia, whence he removed to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and
there engaged in farming until 1803, when he migrated to Ohio. He
settled in Perry County, being accompanied by his wife and 10 children.
He had seven sons and three daughters. His sons, all of whom served in
the war of 1812, were as follows: Mathias, David, John, Jacob, Lewis,
Isaac and Martin. Of these, David, John and Isaac came to Allen County
and all settled in Perry township. David never married, but John and
Isaac both reared families and their descendants to-day are numbered
with the most prominent and reliable citizens of their various
John Ridenour, the grandfather of Samuel O., was born in Virginia
in 1785; he accompanied his father to Pennsylvania and subsequently to
Ohio. In March, 1831, he entered a half section of land in section 5,
Perry township. Here he cleared up a farm, on which he died in 1874,
being survived by his widow until July, 1879. John Ridenour married
Hannah Spahn, who was born at Hagerstown, Maryland, and accompanied her
parents to Perry township. The children of this marriage were: Jacob,
father of our subject; John, who died in Perry township; Mathias, of
Paulding County, Ohio; George,who died in Perry township; Rebecca,
deceased, who was the wife of Samuel Wollett; Hannah, deceased, who was
the wife of J. L. Stevenson; Phebe, deceased, who was the wife of Samuel
Wollett; and Amelia, deceased.
Jacob Ridenour, son of John and Hannah Ridenour, was born in
Perry County, Ohio, January 14, 1809, and there learned the blacksmith's
trade. In 1831 he came to Perry Township, Allen County, and settled on
the 80 acres of land acquired by his father, and on which Samuel O.
Ridenour lived at the time of his death. Here, in the latter part of
1832, he established a blacksmith shop, and for many years carried on
his trade in connection with farming. Politically he was a stanch
Democrat, and always assumed a lively interest in public affairs. He
served as township trustee, and performed his full share in the
development of the section in which he lived. He was one of the
original members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, aiding
liberally in its erection and serving as one of its trustees. His first
wife was Catherine Oats, a daughter of William Oats, of Perry County,
Ohio. She died in 1836, leaving three children as follows: Samuel O. ;
Jacob, who died from exposure while in the service of his country, as a
member of Company K, 118th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf.; and Catherine, who
married Daniel Losh and died in 1860.
Jacob Ridenour's second wife was Mrs. Lovis (Mechling) Boyer.
They had six children, namely: Rebecca, wife of William Verbryke; Phebe,
wife of James K. Spear; Lovis, widow of Isaac Lehman, of Indiana; Emma,
deceased, who was the wife of J. G. Barr; Knox P., of Dayton, Ohio; and
John W., deceased. Mr. Ridenour died November 9, 1879, his wife having
preceded him in 1872.
Samuel O. Ridenour was reared from infancy to manhood on the old
family homestead in Perry Township. He passed his entire life here, and
was always identified with the best interests of the locality. He was a
man of public spirit, with modern ideas and methods, and became one of
the substantial and representative men of the community. He owned 90
acres of the old homestead and, in addition to engaging in general
farming, developed the oil-wells on his property and demonstrated them
to be very remunerative. His improved farm was managed with modern
machinery and scientific intelligence.
Mr. Ridenour was an honored survivor of the Civil War. He
enlisted in 1864 in Company A, 180th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., which was
assigned to the 23d Army Corps, under General Schofield. The last
engagement in which he participated was at Kingston, North Carolina,
after taking part in all the hard marching and fighting in which his
regiment engaged. He was honorably discharged at the close of the war
and returned to his home in Allen County.
In 1870 Samuel O. Ridenour was joined in marriage with Mary C.
Sellers, a daughter of John Sellers. She died in 1875, leaving two
children viz.: John F., now deceased; and Hattie, wife of Morgan L.
Harrod. Mr. Ridenour married (second) Elizabeth Swinehart,daughter of
Samuel Swinehart, of Perry County, Ohio, and they have two children,
viz.: Grover DeWitt and Samuel O., Jr.
Politically, Mr. Ridenour was a stanch Democrat and always upheld
the principles of his party. He served as township trustee, clerk and
treasurer and, by the efficient discharge of the duties of his office,
merited the confidence reposed in him. In his religious views he was a
Lutheran, and a valued member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church.
He was very liberal in his support of this church, being a man of marked
The death of Samuel O. Ridenour occurred on his farm, July 23,
1902. He had almost reached the age of 70 years and had he not suffered
from the exposures incident to the army life of the Civil War his years
might still further have been prolonged. Mrs. Ridenour still survives
him and she, also, is a member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran
Grover DeWitt Ridenour, who, with his younger brother, has charge
of the homestead, was born on this place November 2, 1884. He was
educated in the district schools of the neighborhood and has always made
this farm his home. Samuel O., who bears his father's honored name, was
also born on the family homestead, May 20, 1888, and still continues to
reside upon it. Imitating their deceased father, the brothers have
continued his progressive methods of conducting the agricultural
operations, having also displayed energy and good management in the
improvements which they themselves have made. They are young men who
are thoroughly respected and can claim a very wide circle of friends in
On a preceding page in proximity to this is shown a group of the
Ridenour family, executed from a photograph later taken before the
decease of Samuel O. Ridenour.