My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ANIEL RODGERS. This sturdy veteran who is approaching the seventy-sixth year of his age, is known throughout the length and breadth of Greene County where he has spent his entire life. Here he was born and reared, first opening his eyes to the light July 18, 1814, at the old homestead of his parents near Bellbrook, Sugar Creek Township. His father, William Rodgers, a native of Rockbridge County, Va., was born in 1784 and when a youth of eighteen years came alone to this county and in due time built a mill near Bellbrook on the Little Miami River. This was the first structure of the kind in that vicinity and he operated it successfully for many years. He married Miss Rebecca Lewis in 1809. She was a native of North Carolina and came to this region with her parents, about 1806.

After operating the mill above spoken of eleven years, William Rodgers resumed the trade of a gunsmith which he had learned in his native county. There were born to him and his estimable wife three children, a daughter and two sons. The daughter, Margaret, was born February 7, 1810, and died February 27, 1847, aged thirty-seven years. (The strange feature in the birth, death, and age of this lady is that all the dates and ages end with the digit 7). Lewis died in Xenia in 1856; Aniel, our subject, was the youngest born. The parents were members of the Associate Church in which the paternal grandfather of our subject officiated as a minister many years, in Rockbridge County, Va., at Timber Ridge Meeting House.

Aniel Rodgers came to Xenia in 1830 to serve an apprenticeship at bricklaying with his uncle, Daniel Lewis. He served out his time and in 1835 commenced as a journeyman, working two years and then began operating as a builder and contractor. Many of the fine buildings standing in the city of Xenia to day give evidence of his skill and handiwork. He was thus occupied for over half a century, only retiring a few years ago.

Mr. Rodgers was first married in Montgomery County to Miss Cynthia Popenoe and there were born to them five children, all of whom are deceased with the exception of one daughter, Jane, unmarried. His second wife was Miss Sarah C. Stilson and they were married in Oriskany Falls, N. Y., March 16, 1858. This lady was born in Woodbury, Conn., Februaiy 13, 1822, and is the daughter of Asahel Stilson who emigrated to Oneida County, N. Y., where Sarah L. lived under the parental roof until her marriage.

Mr. Rodgers has occupied many positions of trust and responsibility since attaining to manhood’s years. He was for twenty-one years a Director in the County Infirmary and is at present a Director on the Board of the County Work House. His career has been signalized by great energy and industry and he has uniformly lent his moral aid to the cause of temperance and all the enterprises which tend to elevate the people. He has ever been distinguished as a man of sound sense and good judgment — one whose opinions are ever held in respect. He identified himself with the Masonic fraternity early in life and enjoys the honor of being the oldest Mason in Greene County, having joined the fraternity here in 1846. He has held all the offices of his lodge and has attained to the Royal Arch degree. Mr. Rodgers cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. William Henry Harrison and voted for John C. Fremont in 1856. He was promptly on hand at the polls to cast his ballot for the grandson of Old Tippecanoe in 1888.

James W. H. Rodgers, the eldest son of our subject, was like his father born and reared in the city of Xenia, and married Miss Imogene Hyde, whose birthplace was near Sandusky, Ohio. To them there were born four children, three of whom died young. The survivor is a daughter, Sally B., a resident of Toledo. This son was the business partner of his father until 1877, when he was stricken down by death at the early age of thirty-two years. Miss Elizabeth Rodgers became the wife of David Voorhes of Centerville, Montgomery County, and died in 1883, leaving a family of nine children, seven of whom are living, viz.: Lucy, Charles, Joseph, Luther, Hazard, Edgar and Arthur. They are all residents of this county. The deceased are Nellie, who died young and an infant who died unnamed.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was John Rodgers, a native of Scotland and born in 1745. He came to the United States as a missionary for the Associate Church in 1770 and settled in Pennsylvania. He was married in his native land to Miss Irene Russell. He spent his entire life after coming to this country in the Master’s service, being pastor of the Timber Ridge Church in Rockbridge County, where he spent his last days. He was the father of seven sons whose united height aggregated over forty-two feet and their weight fourteen hundred pounds. Three of them came West and one settled in Monmouth, Ill., one near Niles, Mich., and another in Gallipolis, this State.

Asahel Stilson was born in Connecticut and was there married to Miss Hannah Hull, of Oxford. He followed farming and dealt quite extensively in live stock. He emigrated to New York State about 1830. His wife was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church while Grandfather Stilson was an Episcopalian in religious belief.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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