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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BENJAMIN G. RIDGEWAY. This name represents one of the most popular young business men of Cedarville, Greene County, who is conducting a successful drug business, and stands high both in social and business circles. He is the son of the well-known Charles Ridgeway, of Yellow Springs, and was born there April 22, 1860. He acquired his early education in the common school, but later attended Antioch College, of which his grandfather, Charles Ridgeway, was one of the founders in company with Horace Mann, and he was one of the first trustees. He thus obtained several scholarships, one of which was utilized by our subject.

Grandfather Ridgeway for many years was engaged in general merchandising in Ripley, this State, and was also in the shipping trade to New Orleans, before the days of railroads. He emigrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio at an early day, having been a resident of Ridgeway, which was named in honor of the family.

From the time of leaving school the subject of this notice was a clerk in his father’s drug store until 1878. That year and the next he attended the College of Pharmacy at Cincinnati. In 1880 he occupied himself at Johnson’s, in Middletown, and the year following was engaged in traveling for a wholesale house. He was married September 27, 1881, to Miss Marian, daughter of James B. Boyd, of Cincinnati. Mrs. Ridgeway was born September 23,1860, in Philadelphia. Mr. Boyd upon leaving Philadelphia settled in Cincinnati. The Boyd family was originally from New York State. Mr. Ridgeway after his marriage, traveled until February, 1882, and then established himself in the drug business at Aberdeen, on the Ohio River. The floods of the two succeeding years nearly ruined them, they losing much of their stock in trade, besides their household furniture, including a piano which had been presented them by the mother of Mrs. Ridgeway.

Mr. Ridgeway now concluded to settle where he would not be molested by an overflow, and accordingly removed to Cedarville and established his present business. He carries a stock of about $8,000 and has a fine trade. His store is handsomely equipped, including one of the finest soda fountains in the county. His thorough understanding of his business, and courteous treatment of his patrons, have fully established him in the confidence and esteem of the community. The Ridgeway family has always leaned toward Republicanism since the organization of this party, but our subject and his estimable wife are sound Democrats - Mrs. Ridgeway keeping herself posted upon political matters, and being a lady of more than ordinary intelligence. Mr. Ridgeway was once nominated for County Recorder and made a splendid race, running much ahead of his ticket, which was in the minority. He has served as President of the Cleveland Club, and a delegate to the State Conventions. He was Chairman of the delegation sent to Dayton, and which threw a solid vote for Campbell. Mr. Ridgeway was a Campbell man from the start, and worked faithfully for the candidate. He identified himself with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1887, and is a member of Cedar Cliff Creek Lodge, No. 630. He is also a member of Grace Encampment, No. 161, Knights Militant, of Jamestown, and the Canton Valor of that place.

Mr. Ridgeway’s drug store has the reputation of being the finest in the county, and he has an admirable system of keeping stock, largely his own invention. His business occupies three floors, and he purchases all his goods in their original packages, using his cellar as a store-room for heavy good— oils, liquors, etc., which are mostly in barrels. A hall overhead is utilized for keeping all other goods in their original packages, including glass, paints in cans, and each in a department by itself. In addition he has a small room especially fitted up for the display of lamps, of which he keeps a fine assortment. His retail stock is artistically arranged with a place for everything, and everything in its place. No patent medicines are to be seen on the shelves, they occupying well-filled cases with glass doors, back of the counters, and each case containing but one kind of medicine.

Mr. Ridgeway has an able and efficient assistant in his spirited and intelligent wife, who forms a faithful and reliable clerk and cashier, whom he can trust at all times, and who is perfectly competent to conduct the business during his absence — a business which is rarely undertaken by a lady. They are the proud parents of a bright and interesting boy of six years — Benny — who is named after his father, and to whom he bears a striking resemblance.

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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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