WILLIAM S. BLACKBURN, of Wayne township, a member of one of the old and prominent families of the upper Ohio valley, was born near where he now resides, January 24, 1825. His ancestry in America goes back to Judge John Blackburn, a native of England, who was one of the early settlers of York county, Penn., where his son Finley was born in 1762. The latter settled in Wayne township in 1806, and here died in 1832. By his marriage to Nancy Warren, born in 1767, in Westmoreland county, Penn., died in 1852, he had nine children: John, Moses M., Thomas, Mrs. Nancy Warren, all dead, and Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston and Rebecca Warren. Moses M., the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in August 1799 in York county, Penn., and died in this county, May 24, 1875. By this marriage to Anna Sprague he had eleven children, Morgan F., Nancy J., David M., Sarah A., George W., and Mary J., deceased, and William S., James M., of Homer, La.; John F., of Huntington, W. Va.; Alfred C., auditor elect of Jefferson county, and Francis M. The mother of these children was born August 17, 1804, the daughter of William and Sarah (Jenkinson) Sprague, who had ten children, the only other survivor of whom is Mrs. Elizabeth THorn. Those deceased are Ebenezer, William, James, Mrs. Mary Miller, Sarah, Hamilton, Buchanan, who died in Libby prison in 1864 and Hiram. William Sprague was the son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Buchanan) Sprague, natives of New England, who settled in an early day near the site of Wheeling, W. Va. The subject of this sketch, after he reached his twentieth year, was engaged in teaching about ten years, and met with considerable success in that calling. Going to Kansas in 1856 he was engaged in farming and stock-raising until 1862, when he enlisted a company of his neighbors and joined the Union army as captain of Company G, Thirteenth Kansas infantry. He engaged in the battle of Cane Hill, Ark., Prairie Grove, Van Buren, in a raid nearly to the Texas line, pursuing confederate Gen Cooper, and in numerous skirmishes. He was mustered out with company, at Little ROck, July 1865. He then sold his western property, and returning to Jefferson county, settled where he now lives October 1, 1865. He has been quite successful in business and is influential in the community. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, of the Masonic lodge, No. 333, of Unionport, and is a member and first commander of the G. A. R. post. In politics he is a republican. Mr. Blackburn was married December 23, 1852, to Mary J. Simeral by whom he had one child, Anna Mary. Mrs. Blackburn was born August 6, 1831 and died January 13, 1884. She was the daughter of Archibald and Mary (Ferguson) Simeral, both deceased.
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