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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CHRISTIAN KAUFFMAN. Too much credit cannot be given those who gave up the comforts of home and hazarded their lives in order that not a star should be riven from the old flag, and who, on many a bloody field and in many a weary march, endured cheerfully and fought bravely to uphold the Union. It gives us great pleasure to represent in this volume one of the old soldiers to whom such honor is due, and particularly so, as in other respects also he is worthy of our notice. Christian Kauffman belongs to a family which sent into the Union service six brothers, and which has been a prominent one in Greene County for many years.

It may be well to devote a brief space, before entering upon the record of our subject, to his progenitors. His grandfather, who also bore the name of Christian, was of German extraction, a native and life-long resident of Lancaster County, Pa., and a farmer and miller. In the same county another Christian Kauffman, the son of the first-named, was born and grew to manhood. He also was a farmer and miller, carrying on both saw and grist mills and rebuilding one on Snipe Creek. In 1840 he removed to Clark County, Ohio, having bought a farm in Bethel Township the year previous. The tract comprised four hundred and eighty acres, and cost $25 per acre. On it a home was established and the owner built a sawmill on Mad River, where he did quite an extensive milling business. He also bought other property until his landed estate amounted to an entire section. He died in the year 1871, at the age of seventy two years. He belonged to the Mennonite Church. His wife was a native of the same county as himself, her maiden name being Annie Erb. Her father, Jacob Erb, was a farmer and distiller and possessed of comfortable means. She also died in Bethel Township, breathing her last in 1878.

A large family was born to the above-mentioned couple, thirteen children growing to maturity. Of these, Emanuel is farming in Bethel Township; Jacob lives in Osborn; the next on the family roll is our subject; John lives in Osborn; Mrs. Elizabeth H. Hower lives in Bethel Township; Mary, Mrs. Kneisly, is deceased; Levi and Benjamin are farmers in Bethel Township; Reuben is deceased; Mrs. Anna Musselman and Mrs. Sarah Mouck live in Bethel Township; Henry resides in Osborn; and Abraham, in Bethel Township. John and Levi served with the one hundred days’ men in the Civil War; Benjamin enlisted, in 1861, in the Forty-fourth Ohio Infantry and served three years; Henry served from 1862 until the close of the war in the One Hundred and Tenth Ohio Infantry; Abraham served from 1862 until the close of the war, first in the Ninety-fourth Infantry, and later in the Eighth Ohio Cavalry. Their brother-in-law, John Mouck, also served three years as a member of the Forty-fourth Infantry and the Eighth Ohio Cavalry.

The subject of this sketch was born six miles from Lancaster, in Lancaster County, Pa., on Christmas Day, 1825. He had very good common-school advantages in his native State, where he grew to the age of fifteen years. He then accompanied his parents and the rest of the family to Ohio, twenty-one days being occupied on the journey, during which the boys walked the most of the way. The family and goods were conveyed in wagons drawn by two span of horses. The location which the father had secured was all timber, and our subject, with his brothers, chopped logs, burned brush, and otherwise assisted to clear and improve a farm in the valley. Like all families of early settlers, they had much hard work to do, the schooling of the children being limited to a few months’ attendance during the winter, at the subscription schools, which were kept in the old-fashioned log schoolhouses.

Christian Kauffman, our subject, remained at home until twenty years of age, when he was apprenticed to learn the wagonmaker’s trade, at Medway. After serving two and one-half years, he began journey work at Dayton, whence he went to Hagerstown, Ind., in 1849. After a short time spent in journey work there, he returned to Dayton, and the following year went back to his native county in the Keystone State, where he worked at his trade and farming for a year. He then returned to Ohio and took up his residence on the home farm, abandoning his trade and tilling the soil until after the war began.

In August, 1862, Mr. Kauffman entered the service, being mustered in at Piqua, as a Corporal in Company F, One Hundred and Tenth Ohio Infantry. The command was sent to Virginia, where for some months their experiences were not particularly memorable, except to those engaged in them, as they took part in no prominent battles for some time. The first heavy engagement, which is famous in history, was the battle of Winchester, in June, 1863. Then, as part of the Army of the Potomac, they followed up Gen. Lee, participating in the battles of Warrenton Gap, the Rappahannock, Brandy Station, Centerville Heights, Culpeper Courthouse and the scarcely less dangerous and equally arduous minor skirmishes during the fall. Mr. Kauffman was promoted to the rank of Sergeant after the battle of Mine Run. The regiment wintered at Brandy Station, then crossed the Rapidan, and during the following season bore gallant part in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Bermuda One Hundred, James River, Petersburg, and Weldon Railroad.

The command to which Sergt. Kauffman belonged then fell back and took up a position below Petersburg, whence they were taken to Baltimore on the train, and marching to Monocacy Junction, participated in the battle there, July 9, 1864. During that engagement the Sergeant received a minie ball in the lower part of his right thigh, but walked back two miles until helped away on horseback to the field hospital at Allsott’s Mill. He was then sent to Baltimore in a box car and placed in Patterson Park Hospital, in the Lincoln Ward, where he received the best of treatment. Gangrene set in and the flesh had to be cut away and caustic applied, consequently the wound was a long time in healing and the sufferer remained in the hospital until the holidays. Being then able to go about on crutches, he received a thirty days’ furlough and visited his home.

At the expiration of his leave, Sergt. Kauffman returned to the hospital and was sent to one at Germantown, near Philadelphia, where he remained until the last of March, when he was able to rejoin his regiment. He remained with the command, which was at Petersburg when he reached it, until the close of the war, but was in the hospital at City Point two weeks, and transferred by boat to Washington Hospital. There he was present at the Grand Review, but on account of the lameness with which he has been afflicted since he was wounded, he was not able to take an active part in that great event. He was mustered out of the service and honorably discharged June 22, 1865, and returned to his home conscious that he had faithfully discharged his duty as a patriotic citizen and secured the esteem of his comrades and superior officers. At Cold Harbor also he was struck by a ball, but as its force was largely spent it did him no serious injury.

After his return from the field of battle Mr. Kauffman came to Osborn and opened a grocery business in connection with his brother John, under the firm name of Kauffman Bros. The partnership continued and the business was kept up until 1874, when our subject sold out, and returning to the farm, operated it until 1880. Another grocery stock was then bought, and in partnership with John A. Kneisly, our subject again embarked in the business, the firm carrying on the store until 1888, when they sold their stock and dissolved partnership. The war having left Mr. Kauffman in such a condition that he was not able to pursue any active physical career, and such a degree of prosperity having attended his efforts that he was able to retire from business, he did so at the termination of the above-mentioned partnership.

Mr. Kauffman is a stanch Republican, doing all that he can to advance the interests of the party whose principles he thinks best calculated for the good of the land. He has been a delegate to county conventions. His first vote was cast for Gen. Zachary Taylor. He has ever been public spirited and enterprising, and as an honorable man, a reliable citizen, and a pleasant and agreeable companion, is honored and respected by all to whom he is known. He has never married, a fact to be regretted by those who know his kindly nature.

Jacob Kauffman, a brother of our subject, and his associate in the home, went to California in 1849, via the Isthmus of Panama, and spent two years as a miner on the Coast. Returning to his home, he engaged in farming, afterward being interested in the grocery business in Dayton for five years and then again becoming a farmer. He also embarked in the sale of fruit trees, traveling for five years in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, etc., in that business. Afterward he located in Osborn, where he was engaged in the grain business until his retirement from active affairs.

A lithographic portrait* of Mr. Kauffman is presented in connection with this sketch.

*Portrait was included in the original printed volume.

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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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