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Gunsmiths of Putnam County


LOUIS ALBRIGHT
Gunsmith & Carpenter, Ottawa Township, Buckeye Post Office, Putnam County, Ohio

Louis Albright was born in Hanover, Pa. in 1827.  His wife, Mary, was born in Ohio in 1839.  They had one daughter born in 1860, Wilhelmina.  Louis was a gunsmith and carpenter by trade.  County court records indicate he was Putnam County Sheriff from 1870 - 1874.

On May 5, 1863, Louis received a patent ( # 38,366 ) for a "Breech - Loading Firearm." Patented was a hinged and sliding breech - block with an external hammer and containing internal lock parts. Metallic, cloth, or paper cartridges could be used with the action as well as percussion caps or wafer primers.

Compiled and donated by Tom McCullough - Pandora, Ohio.
Reference's: Gunsmiths of Ohio - 18th & 19th Centuries, Vol 1 - Biographical Data
by Donald A. Hutslar, George Shumway Publisher, York, Pa. - Copyright 1973

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JOHN BOWMAN - ( 1816 - 1873 )
Farmer, Putnam County, Ohio

ohn Bowman, son of Samuel and Elizabeth ( Moreland ) Bowman, was born in Dublin Township, Huntington County, Pennsylvania on December 24, 1816.   John married, Mary Calista Blakeman, who was born in Salina, Pompey Twp., Onondagua County, New York, June 23, 1827. They married on October 24, 1844. Mary died December 24, 1862 in Findlay, Ohio, Hancock County.   After the death of Mary Calista, John married, Catherine Parker.   John was a farmer by occupation. He died on March 30, 1873 in Van Lue, Ohio.
Compiled and Donated by Tom McCullough - Pandora, Ohio
References: Lineage of the John Bowman Family, found in family history file at Putnam County Library, Ottawa, Ohio.
Diary of John Bowman, found in family history file at Putnam County Library, Ottawa, Ohio.

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JOHN CARTWRIGHT - ( 1824 - ? )
Gunsmith, Attica , Seneca County , Ohio, Ottawa , Putnam County , Ohio

Could not locate John Cartwright in Ottawa , Putnam County , Ohio.
Found reference to a J. S. Cartwright , Putnam County Surveyor in 1910.
Also a J. Cartwright as Ottawa Bd. Of Education member in early 1900's.
Located a John Marcus Cartwright who was born Feb. 10 , 1840 and died May 3,1920. He was married to Martha S. Lenhart . He was a farmer and lived in the Gilboa and Pandora area of Putnam County , Ohio . Could not determine if he was a gunsmith.

Compiled and Donated by Tom McCullough - Pandora, Ohio
References: Gunsmith's of Ohio - 18th & 19th Centuries, Vol 1 - Biographical Data
by Donald A. Hutslar, George Shumway Publisher, York, Pa. - Copyright 1973.
The Magazine Antiques - May 1943 issue Article: "Early Ohio Gunsmiths - A Partial Check List", by Rhea Mansfield Knittle and Stuart M. Martin Reference to: John
Cartwright, Ottawa, 1865 American Firearms Makers by Arthur Merwyn Carey-
Copyright 1953 Thomas Y. Crowell Co.: New York (page 17 -Cartwright, John)

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WILLIAM  S. CHASE  (1834 - 1911)
Gunsmith, mechanic, millwright, Riley Township, Putnam County

Pandora, Ohio ( known as Columbia from 1837 to about 1848, Pendelton from 1848 to 1890, Pandora from 1891 to present date)

William S. Chase was born in Brecksville, Cuyahoga County, Ohio on Jan. 2,1834 and died at his home in Pandora, Putnam County, Ohio on July 15, 1911 from typhoid fever.  He married Caroline Murray on Sept. 4,1856. Caroline was born in 1836 and died 1915.   They had 5 children, 3  sons and 2 daughters. Sons were Solomon P., Henry B. and Edward. Daughters were Adeline and Hattie.   William was a veteran of the Civil War, member of Company B of the 150th Regiment O.V.I. He was one of the 100 day men, but served till the end of the war.   William was a expert gunsmith, mechanic, and millwright. William's specialty was superposed rifle/shotguns with back action percussion locks. Favorite pastime was hunting. His home still stands at 106 W. Main Street, Pandora.

I have measured and photographed 3- Chase rifles in April 1997.
-Half Stock Rifle with 34" barrel - 36 caliber- "Wm Chase" engraved on barrel, red stained stock with no cheekpiece, brass hardware, set triggers, with back action  percussion lock ( W. C. -stamped on lock) Barrel is also stamped -Remington.  -Full stock Smoothbore Rifle - 42" octagon to round barrel - 52 caliber
Curly maple stock with no cheekpiece, full patchbox, 4 silver inlays, single trigger, brass hardware, with back action percussion lock with ( W S CHASE -stamped on lock plate.   -Half Stock Rifle with 1 1/16" x 36" long barrel in 54 caliber. Barrel is stamped -  W S CHASE & Remington. Curly maple stock with no cheekpiece, full engraved brass patchbox, with brass triggerguard, buttplate, toe plate, and tear drop side plate. Pewter nose cap with 2- iron ramrod thimbles.  Back action percussion lock is not original. Long breech plug tang.

Compiled and donated by Tom McCullough - Pandora, Ohio
References: People and Places-Putnam County, Ohio 1800-1900 by Marguerite Calvin, copyright 1981
American Firearms Makers, by Arthur Merwyn Carey -Copyright 1953
Thomas Y. Crowell Co. :New York ( page 18- Chase, William )
American Arms and Arms Makers by Robert E. Gardner- Copyright 1944
College Book Co.,Columbus, Ohio ( page 32-Chase,William)
William Chase Gun Shop article printed for Pandora, Ohio's Sesquicentennial in 1982.   Obituary in July 20, 1911 edition of The Pandora Times newspaper.

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PETER GEIGER -  (1831 - 1905)
Gunsmith,  Section 22, Riley Township, Putnam County, Ohio, Wilmot Twp., Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada

Peter Geiger was born in Canton Basel, Switzerland on March 13,1831 ( same day his brother Peter died at the age of 22 months), hence he inherited his name in his brothers memory. He was the son of Johannes Geiger Sr. and Barbara Welty of Canton Basel, Switzerland. Peter's parents came to America and settled in section 22 of Putnam County in 1835. Peter had a cabin and gunshop on extreme north end of his fathers farm. Peter had a uncle named,Peter Geiger, wife- Anna Welty, that settled in a nearby section of Riley Twp. in 1837, that is now Richland Township, Allen County, Ohio.

Peter moved to Baden, Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada in 1864.Ulrich Geiger, Peter's uncle, settled in that area of Ontario and died the same year. 1871 Census of Ontario, listed Peter Geiger as a gunsmith in Wilmot Twp., Waterloo County. Peter was a member of the Reformed Mennonite Church.  Peter married late in life at the age of 57 to Maria Beam on Sept. 9, 1888. They had no children. Maria died on Nov. 3,1902. Peter died March 14,1905 and was buried in Wilmot Cemetery, Waterloo County, Ontario.  They had no children.

Peter had an uncle named, Peter Geiger, wife-Anna Welty, that settled in a nearby section of Riley Twp. in 1837, that is now Richland Township, Allen County, Ohio.  Three of Peter Geigers rifles exist in the area.
Percussion Half stock Rifle, Curly maple stock with crescent cheekpiece, brass hardware, full brass patchbox with fish on finial, and name- P. Geiger engraved on barrel.   Rifle owned by Great, Great, Grandson of John Geiger Jr., Percussion fullstock rifle with brass hardware. This rifle is not signed. The rifle has a back action percussion lock marked- Sheldon Phelps & Co.. The maple stock is dark and has brass sheet metal repair at wrist, around drum, and at nose cap. It has a crescent shaped cheekpiece. It has set triggers. Barrel is 33 3/4" long and 7/8" across flats.  Percussion Fullstock Rifle with dark stained (black) maple stock,crescent cheekpiece,brass hardware, no patchbox, and back action lock. No name on barrel.

Compiled and donated by Tom McCullough - Pandora, Ohio
References: Brief Historical Sketches of Eight Generations, Descendants of Ulrich Welty by S. H. Baumgartner Indianapolis, Ind. - 1926 Self Guided Tour of Riley Township Historical Sites printed in 1982.
David Geiger ( 1755- 1829 ) Family Tree compiled by Delbert Gratz, Bluffton, Ohio
Peter Geiger's Obituary in The Bluffton News - March 1905
1871 Census Record of Ontario, Canada

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WILLIAM GORDON, (1820 - ?)
Gunsmith, Kalida, Union Township, Putnam County, Ohio

William Gordon was born in Ohio in 1820 and wife Rebecca Scholdenback was born in New York in 1824.  They had 4 children. Eldest named, Erwin, born in 1843.   One rifle known to exist: A half stock percussion rifle with barrel stamped - W. C. GORDON

References :
Muzzle Blasts,
- July 1997 issue, Page 55- Sighting In
Gunsmiths of Ohio,  18th & 19th Centuries, Vol. 1 - Biographical
CD 153, December 1994 Edition Ohio 1840 Census, Putnam County, Ohio
CD 002, November 1994 Edition Ohio Marriages, Perry County, Ohio ( 1818 - 1833 )

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JOHN MOSER - ( 1826 - 1908 )
Farmer, Mennonite Elder and Bishop Leader, Gunsmith

Riley Township, Putnam County, Ohio
Lived on section -25, Riley Twp.

John was born August 2,1826 in Wayne County, Ohio, the oldest son and 4th child of Jakob and Barbara Wahli Moser, who had immigrated among the early settlers to the Sonnenberg Swiss settlement in Ohio in 1821 from Am Stalden, Jura, Switzerland. John married Anna Lehman on Jan. 15, 1852. They moved to Riley Twp., Putnam County, Ohio in the spring of 1852. They had 10 children. John joined the Sonnenberg church on April 10,1846 and was chosen minister of the Putnam County congregation on Oct. 9, 1853. On Jan. 24,1864 he was chosen bishop of this congregation. During his ministry the Swiss congregations of Allen and Putnam counties joined the General Conference Mennonite Church. John Moser was a farmer by occupation and had learned the gunsmith trade and supplied rifles for the Swiss settlement.   He died on July 10,1908 and was buried at St. Johns Mennonite Church, Pandora, Ohio.   John's farm and home still stand on section 25, Riley Twp., Putnam County, Ohio. John Moser's woodturning lathe, wood turned home made box, and rifle still exist in the area.
I measured and photographed a John Moser Rifle in April 1997: Half Stock Rifle with 15/16" x 38 1/2 " long - 36 caliber barrel Curly maple stock with brass hardware, patchbox with fish finial, and silver star inlay on crescent cheekpiece. Barrel is engraved - John Moser.
Compiled and Donated by Tom McCullough - Pandora, Ohio
Reference's:
The Mennonite Encyclopedia Vol. 3, Mean Publishing House,  Scottdale, PA-1957
Centenary History of the Swiss Mennonite Churches of Putnam and Allen Counties, Ohio
by E. J. Hirscher-1937
Interview with Great Grandson, John Moser, in April 1997
150 Years Along The Riley (1832-1982) by Don Schneck - August 1982

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JOHN NEILL, (1805 - 1863)
Gunsmith, Locksmith, Cabinetmaker, and Farmer
Greensburg Township - section 11, Putnam County, Ohio

John Neill was born on Feb. 26,1805 in North Hampton, Somerset County, Pa. He was the son of William and Susanna ( Morton ) Neill and grandson of John and Margaret ( Thompson ) Neill who came to America from Ireland in about 1790.   He was the third of 9 children ; Margaret, Samuel, John, William, Mary, Morton, Hannah, Joseph, and Sarah. Their great grandfather, Samuel Morton Sr., having arrived in Chester County, Pa. from Kilmore Parish, Ireland in February, 1728. In 1788, the Mortons immigrated to Somerset Co. from Chester County, Pa. As to the time when the Neills arrived in Somerset, we have no record. The records do show that William Neill and Susanna Morton were married there in 1801.The Neill's moved from Pennsylvania to Columbiana County, Ohio in about 1818 and in 1833 the elder John Neill died.

John Neill married Nancy Ann "Anna" Crow. Anna Crow, was the daughter of James Crow and Elizabeth Moreland and granddaughter of Abraham 1 Crow and Rachel Craven of Bucks and Washington Co. Pa., who in 1815 came to Columbiana Co., Ohio. Anna's uncle, Abraham II Crow and his wife Sarah Thompson, with their large family chose Putnam County, Ohio as their future home.   John Neill was raised as a Quaker and was expelled from the Quaker church in 1830 for refusing to comply with their manner of dress. He was described by his descendants as a fastidious, neatly dressed man.   John Neill with a span of oxen, his wife and infant son Webster and his wife's  brother Richison Crow set off from Lisbon, Ohio for Putnam County, Ohio in August, 1835 and arrived on October 8th. He there joined his wife's uncle Abraham II Crow who had arrived the previous year in 1834.   John Neill and the Crows each purchased 160 acres of land from the government in sections 11 and 12, respectfully, in Greensburg Township, Putnam County. Putnam County was organized on May 8, 1834 and Greensburg Twp. was organized in April of 1835.These farms were located on the Ottawa and Defiance Trail. The Defiance Trail is now State Route #15 and sections 11 and 12 are located 7 miles north west of Ottawa, Ohio.

Joining John Neill on the south was Henry Wing, a native of Rockingham, Vermont. Wing came to Northwestern Ohio as a American soldier in the war of 1812. Following the war he remained in this area as a surveyors assistant under the direction of Captain James Riley. Wing was Putnam County's first white settler.
The first home built by the Neills was believed to be a one room log structure.  The second home built by John Neill was a one and one half story structure 34 feet x 36 feet square. It was a frame structure made of 6" x 6" timbers hewed by hand. The joists and angular pieces were secured by mortise and tenon joints pinned by wooden dowels. The siding was poplar wood and lapped. The windows were the 12 pane type. There was a split level porch to the front, 8 x 16 feet, that recessed into the main structure of the home, leaving small, 8 x 9 feet, square rooms at each corner. A door at each end of the porch gave entrance to a large, spacious, living area and dining room. To the back of these two rooms were doors that gave entrance to a bedroom on one side and the kitchen and pantry on the other. The second floor consisted of 2 bedrooms 14 x 18 feet. The stairhead came full flush to the huge fireplace chimney that stood in the exact center of the house and from there, doors to the right and left gave entrance to these upstairs bedrooms. This house was replaced with a brick structure in about 1907, and part of the old house was left as a wing to this new structure. This house and farm were located where State Route #108 meets State Route #15. The home, farm buildings, and gunshop no longer stand.

Following the construction of John Neill's first home, and clearing a few acres of land for farming, they were confronted with the near impossible task of transporting their produce to the nearest market at Fort Defiance - 25 miles away.  John also needed supplies for his gunsmithing trade and would be able to obtain locks and barrels from Cincinnati, via the canal, to Delphos or Defiance. The waterways were the first transportation Neill would use to transport his produce and buy supplies.  Two of the largest poplar trees available were found, 12 miles away, and hauled to the home of John Neill where they were hewed, hollowed, and joined together to fashion a huge boat. This was used and manned by the young men of the area for more than 20 years to transport their farm produce to Fort Defiance, via the Blanchard River and Auglaize River. This boat was later immortalized in verse, "Romance of Bowman's Rock" by Everitt A. Budd.  The roadways of Putnam County in 1835 were but wagon trails leading through the dense forests. Time was frequently given by early settlers, felling trees to open new roads. On one such occasion, in September 1843, John Neill, Richison Crow, and Henry Wing were felling trees on the Defiance Trail when a large sycamore, felled by Crow, struck Wing and killed him instantly. Wings death was the first in the community - with the exception of one of the Brower children, that lived about two miles west of the Neills and Crows. Wings death, awakened everyone to the fact that there was no place for burial. It was at this time that James Crow arose to the occasion and remarked - "that this should never happen again and that he was giving a plot of ground to his neighbors for a cemetery, where every one could bury free of charge." To this day, it is known as the Crow Cemetery and there has never been a grave lot sold. ( The Crow Cemetery records/names, have been compiled and are recorded in the Seattle Genealogical Society Bulletins-1966).  The railroad fever, as it was known then, had hit the country at an early date and by 1850 several roads were being considered, but their location would be determined largely by the financial assistance given by the various counties through which they passed.  On March 1, 1851 a railroad meeting was held at Gilboa, Ohio. Among those attending was John Neill, who had traveled 15 miles to be present. It was there resolved to give their undivided support to the railroad venture - 75,000 dollars was to be raised through taxation to be subscribed to the stock of this railroad. This issue was to be decided at the ballot box on October 12, 1852. A committee was organized consisting of one man from each township, to enlighten the people on the issue and get them out to vote. John Neill was appointed as a committee of one - for Greensburg Township. The votes were tabulated as follows: Greensburg Twp., For- 88 and Against - 27. Putnam County, For - 955 and Against - 391. On July 4. 1859 the first train passed through Putnam County and another of John Neill's dreams became reality. This road was then known as the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton, or C. H. & D.. Later it became the Baltimore & Ohio, or B. & O. Railroad.

John and Anna Neill had 8 - children-(Webster, Seth, Susanna, Samantha, Morton, Elizabeth, John, and William). John Neill's second son, Seth, was born on March 1, 1836, five months after their arrival to Putnam County. Seth was married to Mary Ann Shank, a granddaughter of John Myers, on April 11, 1857. On February 15, 1858 John Neill placed 1,000 dollars in the crown of his high silk hat, drove to the county seat and purchased 80 acres of land joining his on the west. This place was immediately occupied by his son Seth and his new bride. On September 18, 1859 the deeds were transferred to his son Seth Neill.  Work was soon under way to replace an old log house, which was on this new farm, with a more modern structure. This building was to be, when completed, an exact replica of his fathers home. By spring of 1860, the house was completed and they had moved into the new home. It was there that they lived the rest of their life.  Seth Neill passing away on Sept. 8, 1899 ; his wife Mary Ann, Nov. 18,1914.  The house was vacated from Nov. 1914 to Dec. 1922. It was then occupied by John Neill's great grandson, Oro J. Neill. Oro Neill lived in this home up till the 1970's and was the researcher / historian for the Neill family history and renown Northwestern Ohio Archaeologist. This home was recently torn down, but the original barn and outbuildings still stand. This farm is located on road H-13 in section 11 of Greensburg Twp. and directly west of Crow Cemetery. The farm is owned by John Neill's, great great grandson, John Neill. The farm buildings are in good condition and some of the oldest structures in Putnam County.

By trade, John Neill was a Gunsmith, Locksmith, Cabinet Maker, and Farmer. He was Putnam County's first gunsmith. It is not known where John acquired his gunsmithing and cabinetmaking skills. His rifles were fullstock percussion rifles most generally in small calibers ( 32 caliber most common ). His distinctive  patchboxes had a round finial with a point. He used copper rivets to hold nose caps and the patchbox spring. The rear extension of the lower ramrod thimble was short. He did very little engraving and stamped his name on barrel - JOHN NEILL. His supply of barrels and locks came from Cincinnati, via the canal, to Delphos and Fort Defiance. John Neill built a rifle for his son, Seth, in 1856, and this rifle has been handed down through the Neill family. Powder horns, leather cap box belt pouch, and 2- bullet molds owned by Seth Neill occupy this rifle. One of the bullet molds is engraved - S N ( Seth Neill ). John Neill built one left-handed or cross-fire rifle for his banker friend, Nutter Powell, and this rifle was displayed during the celebration of Putnam County's Centennial in 1934. In the early 1930's, 8-10 of John's rifles were stacked in a local news paper office in response to an ad, for a gun made by John Neill. Two Neill rifles exist in the Putnam County area, at the present time. It is not known, how many rifles Neill built or how many still exist.  John Neill was extremely neat and precise in his habits and was a man of unusual ability. His workshop was a combination of gunsmithing, carpentry, cabinetmaking,, and blacksmith shop and he made many guns for the pioneer settlers. He often repaired guns for the Indians and some times they came at night and he gave them food and lodging. He was the neighborhood adviser in administering to the sick, in fact, his care was considered the best available in the absence of a regular practicing physician, the nearest available physician being 25 miles away.As a cabinetmaker, John built furniture using local wood, primarily walnut. One corner walnut cabinet and a walnut drop leaf table still exist and have been passed down through the Neill family. John Neill did not sign or mark his furniture.

John Neill living with the Black Swamp at his back door would occasionally take time out from his busy schedule to go deer hunting. It was on one occasion that he wandered too great a distance from home and nightfall overtook him. He was being trailed by a pack of hungry wolves that eventually forced him to scale a tree, where he remained until day break. To get respite from the incessant howling that continued through the night, he would occasionally fire a cap in his rifle and this would cause the wolves to scurry away for a brief time. Later he had a horse die and dragged the carcass into the swamp. That night there was howling and feasting, by the wolves, that continued till daybreak. On the following day, he returned and thoroughly poisoned the carcass ; on the second night the howling and feasting continued and on the third night, all was silent. These stories were told by Henry Wing, grandson of Henry Wing, to Oro J. Neill.  During the early history of Putnam County, many wolves infested the county and in the 1830's the state paid a bounty for the scalps of wolves. All scalps had to be presented to the clerk of courts, who issued an order on the county treasurer for the amount. The order called for four dollars and twenty-five cents for each scalp. Persons presenting scalps had to swear by affidavit that they killed the wolves. During the period from 1834 to 1836, many wolves were killed in this county, and about one hundred were killed during the year 1834. County clerk records indicate that John Neill was paid $9.25 for scalps during his first year living in the county.
After the railroad was established in 1859, John decided to build a brick workshop and general store in the village of Ottawa. In the autumn of 1862 the building was completed. It was the first brick building in Ottawa and was located at 225 West Main Street ( The building was destroyed in 1978, to provide for a parking lot ). John never established his workshop in this new building. John's son, Seth, had became ill with measles in December of 1862 while in an Army camp in Tennessee.
Seth was a solder in Company 1, 99th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was discharged in January, 1863 with a surgeons certificate of disability. John Neill traveled to Tenn. to arrange for Seth's transportation home.

John Neill contacted Typhus Fever on his trip to Tennessee and after returning home, died on March 27, 1863. Then, just seven weeks later, on May 8th, his wife Anna Neill and their eight year old son William died of the fever. Also on the same day, Anna's sister Lydia ( Crow ) Brower died of the fever. Three months later, on August 7, 1863, James Crow, the father of Anna and Lydia, died and was placed with the rest of the family in Crow Cemetery on the Crow farm in Greensburg Twp.. John and Anna Neill's gravestones are located in the Crow Cemetery ( Section 12 in Greensburg Twp. ) and are in good condition.

I have examined and photographed two of John Neill's furniture that have been passed down through the Neill family:   Large drop leaf walnut table with turned legs and one small drawer.  Large 7' tall walnut corner cupboard with some of its original glass.  I have examined and photographed two of John Neill's rifles:
One rifle was made for John Neill's son, Seth, in 1856. This rifle is a curly maple fullstock with a percussion back action lock. It has a 36 " barrel in 32 caliber with name stamped on top flat of barrel - JOHN NEILL. Patchbox is brass with a round patchbox finial with a point. A silver inlay is mounted in round finial of patchbox.  Two incised grooves are carved in forestock from lower ramrod thimble to the nose cap. This rifle has been passed down through the Neill family. Along with this rifle are three powder horns, leather belt pouch, and two bullet molds. One bullet mold has the initials "S N" engraved on it for Seth Neill.   One rifle is a curly maple fullstock with percussion lock stamped- T. Neave & Sons, Cincinnati. The stock has a copper sheet metal repair around lock and 2- sheet brass repairs on forestock. The forestock repairs were made by John Neill and were fastened with copper rivets and steel screws. The 32 caliber barrel is 42" long with stamped name - JOHN.. NEILL on top flat of barrel. The engraved patchbox has 2 round patchbox finial's with a point. The toe plate is also engraved. One incised groove is carved in forestock from rear ramrod thimble to nose cap. Nose cap end is made of copper and the rest of nosecap is brass and held in place by copper rivets.  Another John Neill rifle is owned by a Putnam County gun collector. I have not photographed or measured this rifle, but it is a curly maple fullstock with percussion lock. It has a typical Neill patchbox with round patchbox finial and a point. It is stamped - JOHN NEILL on top flat of barrel.

Compiled and donated by Tom McCullough - Pandora, Ohio.
References:
Putnam County, Ohio Cemeteries, Greensburg Township 1991,- Crow Cemetery
The Neill Record Bookby Ira J. Neill
People and Places, Putnam County, Ohio, 1800-1900 by Marguerite Calvin, Copyright 1981
Interview with Great, Great, Grandson John Neill ( age 73 ) in April 1997.
History of Putnam County, Ohio, by George D. Kinder, B. F. Bowen & Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, Copyright 1915
Most of the research for this article, was originally researched, compiled, and written by John Neill's Great Grandson Oro J. Neill. Oro was a local Historian and Archaeologist of Putnam County, Ohio. Many thanks go to Oro J. Neill (deceased). Also a very special thanks to his son John Neill and wife Claire.
copyright 2002, Bonnie Walsh

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JEREMIAH SHIRLEY
Gunsmith Cloverdale, Perry Twp., Putnam County, Ohio

Jeremiah ( Jerry ) Shirley, gunsmith located in Cloverdale in 1870. Reported that he produced sport and target guns. He was still living in Cloverdale area in 1910.   Located a Jeremiah Shirey's tombstone in Old Cascade Cemetery ( Myers Cemetery) in Perry Twp. His tombstone is marked 1840-1927 and the next tombstone is marked Mary w/o J.H. Shirey - 14 Mar. 1844 in Loudon Co. Va.   Died 14 Jan. 1916 - 72 y 10m. Note: Shirley's and Shirey's were early Putnam County families.

Compiled and donated by Tom McCullough - Pandora, Ohio.
References:
American Gun Makers by Gluckman, Arcadi, and Leroy Forest Satterlee, Otto Ulbrich Co. Inc., Buffalo, N. Y., 1940
American Firearms by Stephen Van Rensselaer, Century House, Watkins Glen, N. Y., 1947
The Magazine Antiques - May 1943 issue by Rhea Mansfield Knittle and Stuart M. Martin, "Early Ohio Gunsmiths" - pages 214-218
Cemetery Directory of Perry Twp., Putnam County, Ohio - Old Cascade Cemetery, Row 14 Lot 38

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JOEL SIGLER - (1827 - 1902)
Blacksmith, Cabinetmaker, and Gunsmith, Leipsic - Liberty Twp.,  Putnam County, Ohio

Joel Sigler, son of Jacob and Mary Abigail Sigler, was born in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, August 9, 1827 and came to Putnam County with his parents in 1837. He married Mary J. Keel on Sept. 25,1849. Mary, daughter of John and Rosanna ( Seiford ) Keel, was born in Stark County, Ohio on May 8, 1829.
Joel and Mary Sigler had ten children : John T., Sarah A., William N., Samuel E., Jacob L., George W., Charles H., Laura L., Emma F., and Mary A.   Joel was a blacksmith by occupation, cabinetmaker, and gunsmith. Joel and his brother, Thomas, were both gunsmith's in Liberty Township, Putnam County, Ohio.
Joel's wife, Mary, died April 20, 1892. Joel died on March 5, 1902.   None of the Joel Sigler rifles are known to exist in the area.  "Leipsic is in Van Buren Twp while West Leipsic is in Liberty Twp...two seperate towns...each with its own Mayor, council etc."
Contributed by D.L. Ladd, Scio, OR.
Reference's:
1880 History of Putnam County, Ohio
Family Tree of John ( 1753 - 1836 ) and Jane ( Osborn ) ( 1751 - 1833 ) Sigler.
Family Tree history found in Genealogy Dept. at Putnam County Library in Ottawa, Ohio

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THOMAS SIGLER  - (1829 - 1905) 
Gunsmith and Farmer Leipsic - Liberty Township* Putnam County , Ohio

Thomas Sigler , son of Jacob and Mary Abigail Sigler, was born in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, December 2, 1829 and came to Putnam County with his parents in 1837. He married, Mary Kring Pendleton, in Findlay, Ohio on February 7, 1866.   Mary was born in Franklin County, Ohio on July 15, 1837. Mary had four children from a previous marriage : Alvina Hollabaugh, Henrietta Pendleton, Mary Eva Myers, and Lydia Dira Pendleton. Thomas and Mary had one son of their own, Frank. Thomas was a gunsmith and farmer. Thomas and his brother, Joel, were both gunsmith's in Liberty Township, Putnam County, Ohio.  Thomas Sigler died on June 10, 1905.

Tom McCullough adds: Examined a Thomas Sigler on April 5,1998.  Half stock percussion rifle with back action lock. Barrel appears to be 36 caliber with the name -T Sigler-engraved on top flat of barrel. The barrel tang is long. The stock is curly maple with a unique scroll cheekpiece. The cap box is brass with an iron lid. The triggerguard, buttplate, and thimbles are brass. The barrel pin escutcheon inlays are rectangular shaped silver. The rifle has set triggers.  None of the Thomas Sigler rifles are known to exist in the area.   "Leipsic is in Van Buren Twp while West Leipsic is in Liberty Twp...two seperate towns...each with its own Mayor, council etc."

Contributed by D.L. Ladd, Scio, OR
Reference's:
1880 History of Putnam County, Ohio
Family Tree of John ( 1753 - 1836 ) and Jane ( Osborn ) ( 1751 - 1833 ) Sigler.
Family Tree history found in Genealogy Dept. at Putnam County Library in Ottawa,Ohio.

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GEORGE STULL
Gunsmith, Millwood, Knox County, Ohio, Ottawa Township, Putnam County, Ohio

George Stull was born in Ohio in 1819. Wife Sarah A. was born in Ohio in 1838. Two children, Jeremiah born in 1856, and Lydia A. born in 1858. Resident in Ottawa Twp.,Buckeye Post Office, Putnam County, Ohio in 1860. George was a gunsmith in Putnam County in 1868.
Tom McCullough adds: I examined a George Stull rifle on April 6,98.
A curly maple fullstock percussion rifle, brass mounted, brass sheet metal repair at wrist, and engraved brass patchbox. An acorn inlay is mounted within the patchbox finial.
Also known, George Stull rifle: Maple halfstock percussion rifle, 38 caliber, 36" barrel,brass
mounted,with an engraved patchbox, marked "G.S."

Compiled and donated by Tom McCullough - Pandora, Ohio.
Reference's:
Gunsmiths of Ohio - 18th & 19th Centuries, Vol. 1 - Biographical Data
by Donald A. Hutslar, George Shumway Publisher, York, Pa. - Copyright 1973

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