FRANCIS M. BLACKBURN, who has been a resident of Fair Play Station, Jefferson County, Ohio since 1904, still retains his farm of 152 acres, situated in Wayne Township, which is devoted to both general farming and dairying. He was born in Wayne Township, Jefferson County, April 19, 1848 and is a son of Moses M. and Anna (Sprague) Blackburn.
Moses M. Blackburn was a son of Finley Blackburn and a grandson of John Blackburn, the latter of whom was one of three brothers of that name who emigrated from England and settled in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Moses M. Blackburn was quite young when his parents brought him to Jefferson County and he spent his subsequent life in Wayne Township. He married Anna Sprague, who was born in Ohio. One of their children was Capt. William S. Blackburn, who for many years was a resident of Wayne Township, where he served as township clerk and justice of the peace, dying in December, 1903. He was captain in a Kansas regiment during the Civil War. Another son, A.C. Blackburn, formerly auditor for several terms in Jefferson County, resides at Steubenville.
Francis M. Blackburn was reared in Wayne Township and attended the public schools of Bloomfield, to which village his parents removed in his childhood. Later he learned the carpenter's trade and worked at it for a number of years. He then became carpenter foreman for the Pan Handle Railroad Company, and continued with that corporation for nineteen years. While he was in the employ of that company the great flood at Johnstown took place, May 31, 1889, sweeping Johnstown away and also the Penn Railroad. Mr. Blackburn was sent with the rest of the "P. H." carpenters to help repair the damage done the Pennsylvania Railroad, arriving at Johnstown June 2, Sunday morning. He was there two weeks and during that time did not have his clothes off, taking what rest he could while lying down with his clothes on. On leaving the employ of the railroad company he engaged in farming and stock raising until he retired to Fair Play. He was an active citizen while residing at Bloomfield and served for nine years as a member of the village school board and for six years as its clerk. He is still identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church there, in which he served for nine consecutive years as superintendent of the Sunday school. He is a Socialist in politics.
Mr. Blackburn was married to Miss Ella V. Albaugh, who was born in Bloomfield, a daughter of the late Harrison W. Albaugh and nine children have been born to them as follows: Ethel M., who is the wife of George H. Lightell, of Tuscarawas County, Ohio; Lester R., who is deceased; Harry S., who resides at West Newton, Pa.; Iva L., who is the wife of Marion C. Poe, of Fair Play; Daisy C., who is the wife of E. W. Smith, of Fair Play; Chester A., who lives at Washington, Pa.; Moses M., who is a resident of Tuscarawas County; and Albert R., and Elsie V., both of whom live at Fair Play.