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The Stites Family


Transcription contributed by Martie Callihan 2 May 2005


The History of Warren County Ohio
Part IV Township Histories
Union Township
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)

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This family was prominent in the early settlement of this township and the Miami Valley. The name occurs in the history of the exploration of the region between the Miamis; in the establishment of the first colony of white

settlers north of the Ohio, below Marietta, and in the history of the pioneer Baptist Churches of Ohio. The Stiteses were the original proprietors of the land on which Deerfield was laid out, and owned large tracts of land in the region about that place. The following account of the family is taken chiefly from a paper in the possession of Hezekiah S. Stites, of Warren County.

John Stites was born in England, A. D. 1595. Tradition says he emigrated from London to New England in the time of Oliver Cromwell. He finally settled on Long Island, and died there in 1717, aged one hundred and twenty-two years.

Richard Stites, son of John, was born in 1640; he lived at Hempstead, Long Island, and died in 1702, aged sixty-two years.

William Stites, son of Richard, was born at Hempstead, Long Island, in 1676. He removed to Springfield, N. J., and died there in 1727, aged fifty-one years. He had seven children, six sons and one daughter.

Benjamin Stites, youngest son of William, lived at Scotch Plains, N. J., and died there in 1802, in the eighty-first year of his age. He was the father of three sons, who were the early settlers at Columbia. His sons were Benjamin, known as Maj. Benjamin Stites, Henry, Elijah, Hezekiah and Isaiah.

Henry Stites, son of Benjamin, died in the Red Stone Country, Pennsylvania, leaving children named Nehemiah, Jonathan, Stephen and Martha, all of whom came down the Ohio. Nehemiah was killed by the Indians near Limestone, Ky. Jonathan came with his uncle to Columbia, had a family, and died in Indiana. Stephen and Martha also came to Columbia at an early day, and both had families.

Benjamin, Elijah and Hezekiah, sons of Benjamin, of Scotch Plains, emigrated to the Miami country in 1788, and made at Columbia, the first settlement northwest of the Ohio between Marietta and the Falls of the Ohio.

Elijah Stites was born at Scotch Plains, March 22, 1758; he served in the Revolutionary war and was at the battle of Monmouth. In 1780, he was married to Rhoda Brown. He emigrated to Columbia in 1788, where he remained until about the year 1809, when he moved to Warren County, and settled one mile west of Freeport. He and his wife were the first persons to 'join the Baptist Church at Columbia, the first church in the Miami country. They were baptized by Rev. Stephen Gano January 21, 1790. Elijah Stites died January 6, 1843, in his eighty-sixth year; his wife died August 7, 1828, aged sixty-four years. Their children were fourteen in number, of whom the eldest, who arrived at maturity, was Elder Hezekiah Stites, long pastor of the Bethel and Lebanon Baptist Churches.

Maj. Benjamin Stites, who is mentioned in the history of the exploration and early settlement of the Miami Valley, died in 1804. He was three times married and had nine children, of whom Benjamin, the eldest son, was a Baptist preacher.

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This page created 2 May 2005 and last updated 5 December, 2009
© 2005 Arne H Trelvik  All rights reserved