Pages 366, 366a, 366b

History of Butler County

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William C. MILLER, M.D., was born in the Kingdom of Wurtenberg, Germany, July 31, 1847. In October, 1854, in company with his parents, he emigrated to America, and settled in Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio. He received his education in the public schools, and in 1863 entered a drug-store. He advanced from one position to another until 1871, when he went into partnership with W. B. FALCONER in the drug business. This was continued successfully until October, 1874, when he retired from the firm to attend lectures at the Miami Medical College at Cincinnati. At the close of his first course he entered the drug-store of A. D. WITTICH, at Dayton, Ohio, continuing the study of medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. Phil. HALANAN, and remaining until October, 1876, when he took his second course at Miami College, graduating in March, 1877. Returning to Dayton he entered into the practice of his chosen profession.

In April, 1879 - his mother and sisters still living at Hamilton - he came back to this city and purchased the durg-store of the late B. S. JAMES, on the corner of Main and Front Streets, where he is now doing a good business. He has fought his way up to his present standpoint in life, and with excellent prospects in the future. Dr. MILLER was married in September, 1880, to a very estimable young lady, daughter of the late Hon. Jesse CORWIN, and niece to Governor Tom CORWIN of Ohio. One child, William Corwin MILLER, has thus far blessed their home. Dr. MILLER is now in his thiry-fifth year, in comfortable circumstances, and with the best of life before him. Strictly temperate in habits and enjoying health, he attends to make the most of it.


Thomas MILLIKIN, an old and highly respected lawyer of Hamilton, was born in Rossville, now West Hamilton, on the 28th of September, 1819. He was the son of Robert B. MILLIKIN, a well-known physician, and Sarah MILLIKIN. The latter was from Virginia, and the former from Pennsylvania. Thomas MILLIKIN began his classical studies with the Rev. Joseph G. MONFORT, in Rossville, in 1832, and entered the Freshman class at Miami University in September, 1834, graduating from that institution in July, 1838. He began the study of law with Elijah VANCE, in the Fall of 1838, and was admitted to the bar December 20, 1840. He has ever since been actively engaged in the labors of the law, and is the oldest practicing lawyer in the county. He never held a public office except for one year in 1843, when he was prosecuting attorney. He has been a Democrat all his life, but acted with the Union party during the war. He was married at Columbus, Ohio, November, 4, 1841, to Mary, daughter of the late William B. VAN HOOK. Mr. MILLIKIN has for many years been one of the most prominent citizens of the county, and has been retained on one side or the other of almost all the prominent cases in the courts for the past twenty years.


Alexander F. HUME, judge of the Court of Common Pleas, was born in Delaware County, New York, April 20, 1829. With his parents he came to Clarke County, Ohio, in 1838, and received his education in the common schools and high schools in Springfield, graduating there and entering Miami University in 1846, where he remained a year and a half. He then entered the Central College, at Danville, Kentucky, where he graduated in March, 1848. He entered the office of Judges ROGERS and WHITE, remaining with them until he was admitted to the bar in August, 1850. He came to Hamilton in the Fall of 1850, and was in practice here until elected judge of the court of Common Pleas, in 1859, which he filled for five years, when he resumed practice. He was re-elected to the same position in 1875, and has held the place continuously since. In 1878, he was a candidate for judge of the Supreme Court of the State on the Democratic ticket, and came within three thousand votes of an election. He carried his own county by a majority of three thousand. He was married in 1854 to Miss Sarah J. TRABER, daughter of John TRABER, an early settler. They are the parents of six children, four sons and two daughters. He was one of the organizers and the first president of the Second National Bank, of Hamilton, resigning the position afterwards. He has recently purchased the Peter SCHWAB mansion on Second Street, and is renovating and redecorating it.


For a long time the citizens of both Hamilton and Rossville had perceived the vital necessity which existed for a union, and the project was taken up seriously and moved to a successful completion in 1854. Ordinances of annexation were passed by the common councils of both villages, and at an election held on the first Monday of April, in the year just mentioned, the question, having been submitted to the legal voters, was adopted, and the consolidation soon after became a fixed fact.

The mayors of Hamilton before that event had been, about 1834, Ezekiel WALKER, Richard EASTON, and Jonathan PIERSON; about 1845 to 1846, M. P. ALSTON; about 1851, David G. LEIGH, James DAUGHERTY, John S. WILES, and Robert HARGITT. Since the union they have been Robert HARGITT, John S. WILES, Ransford SMITH, Daniel LONGFELLOW, who served three terms and died in office; A. C. STEPHENSON, who served out two terms and the remainder of Mr. Longfellow's; M. N. MAGINNIS, John R. LAWDER, M. N. MAGINNIS, Edward HUGHES, Frederick EGRY, and F. B. PUTHOFF.

The city is now under the government of a mayor and common council. It is divided into five wards, the last having been erected within the year, and has ten councilmen. They elect a clerk and sergeant-at-arms. All city officers hold their positions for two years. The mayor has jurisdiction as a justice of the peace, and has, in addition, power to enforce the city ordinances. He takes part in the deliberations of the common council, but has no vote. He is the chairman of the newly elected body until its organization. The police are appointed by the mayor, with the confirmation of council. the latter appoint a market master, city solicitor, city clerk, street commissioner, marshall, who, by virtue of his office, is chief of police, and chief of the fire department. The department is paid. There are three engine houses, three steamers, and a hook-and-ladder company. Of the police there are a captain and fourteen men.

The valuation of the city is $5,500,000, and the rate of taxation is twelve mills on the dollar. The city debt is $25,000, which is lessening at the rate of $5,000 a year. There is a board of health. There are two parks, each formerly a burying-ground. The streets are wide and clean, and the town presents a handsome appearance.


No history of Hamilton would be complete that did not include the name of John W. ERWIN. He was born in the State of Maryland, and came out here more than fifty years. ago. When he arrived there was no railroad, no canal, and no well-constructed highway in Ohio. To these public labors he has devoted his life. He has been a civil engineer for sixty years. To him and James McBRIDE, must be attriburted the first intelligent examination of the prehistoric relics of the State.


The Lane Library is the result of a gift by Clark LANE. He had long noticed the destitution of the place of his residence in some intellectual respects, and had resolved to do something to remedy the defect. But his efforts to enlist his fellow-citizens in such an enterprise proved unavailing, and he then determined to found a library himself. On some lots opposite his residence he began the erection of a handsome brick building, and when complete furnished it with books and magazines, lighted and warmed it, placed his niece in as librarian, and paid all expenses himself. The gift was received with enthusiasm by the citizens, and the whole was finally transferred to the city, being now supported by taxation. Miss Florence SCHENCK is the present librarian, with Miss Laura RODEFER as assistant. The former public school library has been added to this collection, the whole now embracing about four thousand volumes.


Robert Newell ANDREWS, the son of William ANDREWS and Harriet NEWELL, was born September 16, 1839, in Ross Township, in this county, and was brought up on a farm. He received a common school education. His mother died when he was but nine years of age. In the Spring of 1861, he came to Hamilton, and worked at milling for TANQUARY & ANDERSON, until the Spring of 1862. He spent the year of 1862 and part of 1863 in Preble County, at work in the mill for BARNETT & WHITESIDE. He came back to Hamilton in the Summer of 1863, and worked for John LAMB in the West Hamilton Mills. He went into the sheriff's office as deputy sheriff under A. J. REES, in May, 1864, and remained with him until his term of office was closed. He was elected sheriff of Butler County in October, 1867, and was re-elected in 1869, making a total service of four years. During his administration occurred the only execution for murder or other crime that has ever happened in this county. John GRIFFIN was tried for the murder of Usile PRICKETT, and convicted at the January term of court in 1869, and was executed July 29, 1869.

Alfred ANDERSON was born in Wheeling, Virginia, February, 24, 1824. His mother, Mary CLARK, was a free woman, reared from early childhood by Mrs. RALSTON, the widow of an officer in the American Revolution. His father's name was SHANNON, the brother of Governor SHANNON, of Ohio and Kansas. When the boy was three or four years old, his mother married Robert G. H. ANDERSON, who not long after removed to Cincinnati. They remained there until 1832, when the Asiatic cholera compelled a hasty retreat to the small towns in the neighborhood, and the ANDERSON family were first in Hamilton and afterwards in Richmond. They settled permanently in this place in 1837, where Alfred has ever since lived, with the exception of twelve years spent in the South.

At the period when he first came to this city the State made no provision for the education of colored children, and he consequently never had but three months' schooling in his life. His constant study at home, with much reading, has, however, made him well acquainted with English literature, and given him a good knowledge of French and Spanish. He married the daughter of a clergyman when still a young man, who bore him nine children, and died in 1863. In 1865 he again married. Both of his unions were fortunate ones. he was enabled to send some of his children to college, and he gave them all as good a training as he could.

He was early identified with the anti-slavery cause. In 1843 he aided in editing the Palladium of Liberty, published in Columbus, the first newspaper attempted by the colored men in Ohio. A few years later he became interested in the Colored Citizen, of Cincinnati, and he was a regular contributor to the North Star, published by Frederick DOUGLASS, and the Liberator, edited by William Lloyd GARRISON. He prosecuted, at his own expense, a case through the courts of Ohio, by which a large portion of the colored citizens were enabled to vote, who previously had not been allowed to exercise that privilege. He has also done much to aid those to reach a place of safety who were escaping from slavery. His name has of late been prominently spoken of for minister to Hayti, a post for which he would be well fitted. He is an agreeable and pleasant companion, an excellent raconteur, a man of keen intellect and biting wit, and impressive and dignified carriage. His memory is excellent, his knowledge of history and politics has been sedulously cultivated, and his reasoning powers are good. He has a fine command of the mother-tongue, both in writing and speaking, and is a man of excellent private character.

Robert Jackson BELL, of Morgan Township, was born in Butler County, Ohio, May 15, 1815. His father was David and his mother Margaret BELL, who came to this county in 1809. On the 23d of November, 1843, he married Ann W. LYLE, daughter of Benjamin LYLE. She was born in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, June 5, 1816, and married in this county. This union resulted in David, born June 30, 1844; William H., born June 12, 1847; Francis W., born December 28, 1848; Margaret Jane Woodruff, born November 13, 1850; John Wesley, born March 18, 1853; Robert Fulton, born May 23, 1854; Washington, born December 30, 1858.

Robert J. BELL is one of the most prominent citizens of Morgan Township, as is shown by his having held the office of justice of the peace for twenty-one years. He is now a notary public. David BELL was in the War of 1812. During the year 1834 Mr. BELL's father, mother, and one sister died, in less than twenty days, of cholera. Robert BELL is an active member of the Washington Methodist Episcopal Church.


Allen ANDREWS was born at Muncie, Indiana, on August 11, 1849. He is a son of George L. and Margaret ANDREWS, and is the fith child in a family of five sons and two daughters. His father, George L. ANDREWS, was a native of Connecticut. He was a graduate of Yale College, and after leaving that institution, came West, and was one of the pioneer educators in this State and Indiana. He married Miss Margaret RODEBAUCH, of Dayton, Ohio, while teaching in that city. Some time afterward he removed with his family to Muncie, Indiana, and was in charge of the public schools there for some time, when his health becoming impaired, he removed to his farm in Jay County, Indiana, where he died, May 28, 1854, from the effect of an injury received some months before in a mill.

Margaret RODEBAUCH, who became the wife of George L. ANDREWS, was the daughter of Adam RODEBAUCH. Her great-grandfather, Adam RODEBAUCH, came from Germany about the middle of the eighteenth century, and settled in Pennsylvania. She is still living, seventy years old, and resides at Lancaster, Indiana. When the civil war commenced, her two elder sons, John and William, enlisted under President LINCOLN's first call for troops, and served the Union cause till the close of the war.

In the early part of 1863, her next two sons, Furman and Allen, tendered their services in answer to the call for volunteers. The former was accepted, went with SHERMAN's army on its march to the sea, and was discharged after peace was restored; the latter was rejected on account of his youth, and remained at home to care for his widowed mother and the other members of the broken family. After the close of the war, Allen ANDREWS applied himself to study, having already enjoyed the advantages of the very excellent common school system of the State of Indiana. He engaged in teaching in 1867, previously having been a student at the National Normal, at Lebanon, Ohio. He is a graduate of Liber College, Indiana, and was selected by the faculty to deliver the valedictory address to the graduating class. He was superintendent of the public schools of New Madison, Ohio, during the years of 1871 and 1872.

He read law with the Hon. William ALLEN, late of Greenville, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of Ohio, March 16, 1874, and on May 23, 1874, associated himself with J. K. RIFFEL in the practice of his profession, in Greenville. He removed from that place to Hamilton on February 29, 1876, and engaged in practice in this county. He was in partnership with J. C. McKEMY from January, 1877, to October, 1880, when the firm was dissolved. On October 18, 1880, he associated himself with H. L. MOREY and J. E. MOREY, under the firm name of MOREY, ANDREWS & MOREY.

On January 29, 1879, he was united in marriage with Miss Belle DAVIS, second daughter of John P. DAVIS, of Hamilton, Ohio, by his first wife, whose maiden name was BLAIR. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also a member of the Masonic order. He is the W. M. of Washington Lodge, No. 17, Free and Accepted Masons, in which position he has acted for the last three years.