John F. Oliver


MAJOR JOHN F. OLIVER, of Steubenville, was born at the village of Clinton, Allegheny Co., Penn., November 15, 1830. He was the son of John and Jane (Flenniken) Oliver, who were born, reared and married in Washington county, Penn. His father, born March 1, 1792, was the son of Andrew Oliver, a native of Ireland, who emigrated to America about 1787 and located in Washington county, Penn., where soon afterward he was married to Miss Grimes. After his wife's death in 1825, he removed to Fayette county, Ohio, where he died shortly after. Capt. Oliver is the seventh of eleven children of his parents, of whom four are now living. In about 1817 his parents removed to Fayette county, Ohio, but ten years later, owing to the sickness then prevailing in that part of Ohio, they returned to Washington county shortly afterward, and removed to Clinton, Penn. By trade the father was a carpenter, but in later years gave considerable attention to mercantile pursuits and to hotel keeping. They resided at Sewickley and Allegheny City a number of years, and in 1854 removed to Steubenville, where they died, the mother in December, 1875, and the father in January, 1879. The early life of Capt. Oliver was divided between Clinton, Sewickley and Allegheny City. At sixteen years of age he entered Westminster college of Allegheny City, which he attended one year. Subsequently he attended the Western university of Pennsylvania two years. When not in school, he worked in his father's livery barn which the latter conducted in connection with his hotel. In 1852 he went to California where, for two years, he was engaged at mining and the transportation of freight. The trip to California was made across the plains and he walked the entire distance from the Missouri river to Sacramento City. In the fall of 1854 he returned home by way of Nicarauga, and after a brief visit in Allegheny City, located at Steubenville. Here he entered upon the study of law, and spent two years in the office of Stanton & McCook. In December, 1856, he was admitted to the bar, and he at once began the practice of his profession in Steubenville. In 1857 he was elected mayor of the city and was re-elected in the spring of 1861, but in the following June he resigned to enter the Union army. He raised Company F, Twenty-fifth Ohio volunteer infantry, of which he served as captain two years. In May, 1863, he was promoted to the rank of major, but shortly afterward was appointed provost marshal of the seventeenth Ohio district by Secretary Stanton and with headquarters at Alliance, he served in that capacity until the fall of 1865. During that time he put into the service about 2,500 men. For several years after the close of the war he was engaged in the real estate business at Alliance, and in the spring of 1872 he was elected mayor of that city. He resigned the office, however, in the spring of 1873, and returned to his old home. Here he became engaged as a broker and real estate dealer. In 1875 he was again elected mayor of Steubenville and served two years. In the fall of 1878 he removed to East Liverpool, Ohio, where he had a temporary residence five years, engaged in mercantile pursuits. In the fall of 1883 he returned to Steubenville, and has since conducted a large book and stationery establishment on Market street. He has served as a member of the board of education since the spring of 1884, and for the past three years has been president of the board. Mr. Oliver was married May 16, 1861, to Catharine L., daughter of Col. Richard Hooker, b whom he had four children: John C., Jane F., Campbell H. and James A. (who died in infancy). The mother of these children died August 27, 1879, and on November 15, 1882, Mr. Oliver was married to Caroline, daughter of the late James Turnbull. Mr. Oliver is a member of Edwin M. Stanton post, No. 166, G. A. R., and he is a devoted republican. Mr. Oliver is well known throughout the upper Ohio valley, and wherever known he commands respect and esteem.

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