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James S. Totten


Transcription contributed by Leah L. Furnas 20 April 2005

The History of Warren County Ohio
Part V. Biographical Sketches
Union Township
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)
Related Links:
Civil War Service Record


JAMES S. TOTTEN, farmer; P. O. Lebanon; was born at Deerfield, Warren Co., Ohio, June 4, 1821; he is, in every sense of the word, a self-made man. His parents were poor and unable to give him any advantages of a common school education; but his energy, ambition and capacity supplied many deficiencies, and enabled him to push his way from obscurity to the several prominent positions he has occupied. His father, James Totten, was drowned June 11, 1821, and he lived with his mother and grandfather, Gen. David Sutton, until 1835, when his grandfather died, and left him destitute and without a home. He obtained a position as mail carrier in the employ of Abner Ross, of Lebanon, Ohio, and made weekly trips on horseback from Lebanon to Eaton, and from Lebanon to Felicity, Ohio, at a compensation of $8 per month, which was used for the support of himself and mother. On the 28th of October, 1840, he was married to Miss Sarah Shuets, of Warren Co., at the age of 21 years, he was elected to the office of Constable and Assessor of Union Township; afterward he was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, Township Treasurer, District Land Appraiser, and was appointed and served as Paymaster of the 1st Rifle Regiment, 2d Brigade, 19th Division, O. M., commanded by Gen. Benjamin Baldwin; he also served as

agent of the L. M. R. R. Co., at South Lebanon; also was dry goods and grocery store keeper in Deerfield. He was a member of the Democratic party until the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1854, since which time he has been a Republican. In 1854, he was nominated and elected Clerk of the Courts of Warren Co. by the Republicans, and many of his Democratic friends, receiving the largest majority ever cast for any one county officer. In 1857, he was re-elected Clerk of the Courts. In 1861, he was appointed by the Governor of Ohio, and served on the Military Committee as its chairman, during the rebellion. In September, 1862, he received a certificate from Charles W. Hill, Adjutant General of Ohio, for gallant conduct. In 1864, he was appointed First Lieutenant and Quartermaster of the 13th O. V. I.; he was a member and chairman of the Republican County Central Committee over twenty years, and was also a member of the State Central Committee several years, and labored energetically constantly for the promotion of its success. At a political convention he was always regarded as the most efficient of workers; his sound judgment and eminently practical views qualified him to act well those important parts which were assigned to him; he was ever regarded as the best of political engineers. In 1870, his fifth term as Clerk of the Courts expired, he having served in that capacity fifteen years in all. In 1875, he was elected County Treasurer, and served four years. He has never been defeated for any office for which he was a candidate. He is a member of Lebanon Lodge, No. 15, I. O. O. F.; Lincoln Encampment, No. 100, I. O. O. F.; Lebanon Lodge, No. 26, F. & A. M.; Royal Arch Chapter, No. 5; Lebanon Council, No. 21, R. & S. M.; Miami Commandery, No. 22, K. T.; he received the Ineffable Grades of the Scottish Rite and the grade conferred in Giblum Grand Lodge of Perfection; Dalcho Council of Princes of Jerusalem; Cincinnati Grand Chapter of Rose Croix; Ohio Grand Consistory of Princess of Royal Secret, 32°, at the Orient of Cincinnati in 1859, and created a Soverign Grand Inspector General of the 33°- the last degree in Masonry-for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States. He resides on his farm two miles south of Lebanon with his three children – Mrs. Emma D. Burdsal, John D. and James W. A. Totten.

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This page created 20 April 2005 and last updated 4 March, 2009
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