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George Kesling


Transcription contributed by Martie Callihan 29 January 2005

The History of Warren County Ohio
Part III. The History of Warren County by Josiah Morrow
Chapter VIII. The Distinguished Dead
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)
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The subject of this sketch was a native of Virginia, and in 1797, when fourteen years of age, came with his father, Teter Kesling, to Warren County, which was his home until his. death. Having only the limited opportunities for an education afforded in a new country, George acquired a fondness for reading and study, and the ability to express his thoughts on paper, He delighted to participate in the local debating clubs, and the native vigor of his mind soon attracted the attention of his neighbors. In 1812, he was elected Sheriff of Warren County. This position he left to become a Captain in. the war with England. In 1815, after the close of the war, he became a merchant in Lebanon, and continued in this business for many years. In 1819, he was elected a Representative in the Legislature, and served one year. In 1824, he was appointed by the Legislature as Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas—a position he held for about ten years.

Judge Kesling was a leading spirit in public improvements. Early in 1825, soon after the canal from Dayton to Cincinnati was projected, and before work had yet been commenced upon it, he was at the head of a party engaged in leveling and surveying routes to determine the practicability of a canal from

Middletown to Lebanon, and, until the completion of the work, fifteen years later, he was the most conspicuous advocate of the enterprise.

He was an early admirer and supporter of Andrew Jackson, and a stanch Democrat in politics until his death. In 1828, he became the editor of the Democrat, a Jackson paper at Lebanon, which he afterward removed to Columbus, Ohio, and published there for a short time. At one time, he was before the Democratic convention as a candidate for the nomination for Governor, and was defeated by only a few votes. He was appointed, by President Jackson, Postmaster at Lebanon in 1831—a position he held for ten years. In 1840, he was appointed, by Gov. Shannon, a member of the State Board of Equalization.

Judge Kesling was never married. He was a strong-minded man, with decided opinions, and a useful member of society. In his last years, his mental powers failed, and he died, after a protracted illness, at Lebanon, December 16, 1860, aged seventy-seven years.

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This page created 29 January 2005 and last updated 21 March, 2011
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