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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FRANK FULTON. There is probably not within the limits of Bath Township, a gentleman who stands higher in its social and business circles, or who has been more successful as a farmer, and praiseworthy as a citizen. He is more than ordinarily genial and agreeable, very intelligent, and a man with whom an hour may always be spent in a pleasant and profitable manner. e is shrewd in business matters, but strictly honest and upright, and enjoys the esteem and confidence of all with whom he has dealings.

The immediate progenitors of our subject were James and Elizabeth (Leahow) Fulton the former born on the Mad River, Bath Township, Greene County, in 1815, and the latter a native of Northumberland County, Pa., and born in 1810. The paternal grandfather, William Fulton, a native of Rockingham County, Va., was born November 3, 1773. He was married June 15, 1802, to Miss Martha Grimes, and about 1803 came to Greene County, and entered a tract of Government land in Bath Township. He occupied himself in farming, operated a distillery, and became well-to-do, leaving among his possessions about one section of land. He departed this life in 1830. The paternal great-grandfather came from Ireland, probably during the Colonial days.

The father of our subject was orphaned at the age of fifteen years, and learned millwrighting. He became skilled in his business, and was employed in the erection of a large number of mills all over the county. He, however, in 1852, abandoned this trade, and turned his attention almost exclusively to farming. In 1850 he returned to his native State, and was married in the city of Philadelphia. Coming back with his bride to this county, he located upon one hundred and sixty acres of land, from which he built up a homestead now occupied by his son, our subject. He was prospered in his labors, and later added two hundred and forty-seven acres. Finally, he made a specialty of loaning money, and was numbered among the wealthiest farmers of the county. He was prominently connected with the Presbyterian Church, in which he officiated as an Elder and as Superintendent of the Sunday-school. He departed this life December 31, 1885. Politically, he was a stanch adherent of the Democratic party.

The maternal grandfather of our subject was John Leahow, who was born in Northumberland County, Pa., in March, 1783. He followed the business of a piano-maker in his native county, doing a large business and acquiring an enviable reputation in his line. He invested his capital in lands, and died December 5, 1844, leaving a fine estate. In religion he was a Unitarian. His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Wymer, was of German and French descent.

The mother of our subject was reared and educated in her native county of Northumberland, and became a fine musician. She also assisted her father in his business, and taught both music and the common school. In 1846, she came to Fairfield, Ohio, and engaged in teaching school and music, both before and after her marriage, and until sixty years of age. She died in Fairfield, Bath Township, in 1881. She was a woman of many estimable qualities, and a member in good standing of the German Reformed Church.

The subject of this notice was the only child of his parents, and was born at the homestead which he now owns and occupies, April 22, 1853. He was taught to make himself useful at an early age, and acquired his education in the district school. When twenty-three years old, he rented his father’s farm, and operated it successfully until the fall of 1874. Then deciding upon seeing something of the Western country, he crossed the Mississippi, and going into Colorado, was employed on a ranch. In the winter of 1875-76 he returned home, and once more taking charge of his father’s farm, operated it until the death of the latter, when it became his as the only living heir.

While sojourning in the city of Denver, Mr. Fulton made the acquaintance of Miss Emma Shellabarger, and the mutual attachment thus formed, was followed by their marriage in that city, December 28, 1875. Mrs. Fulton was born in Mad River Township, this State, February 15, 1853, and the year prior to her marriage, went to Colorado on a visit, remaining there until after her marriage. Her father, Martin Shellabarger, was born in Clark County, and was the son of Ephraim Shellabarger, a native of Lancaster County, Pa. The latter left Pennsylvania at an early day, coming to Clark County, this State, before his marriage. After that event he located on a tract of land in Mad River Township, from which he opened up a farm and became well-to-do.

Martin Shellabarger was a natural mechanic, especially handy with tools, and an expert wood-worker, turning out many fine articles for various uses. He had a cooper-shop on his farm in Mad River Township, and in connection with this, carried on farming many years. He is still living at the old place, and has arrived at the age of seventy years. Politically, he is a stanch Democrat. The paternal grandmother bore the maiden name of Rebecca Wingett. She was born on a farm near Cincinnati, of parents who were among the early settlers of that region. The great-grand father Wingett became a large landowner, and financially, was well-to-do.

The mother of Mrs. Frank Fulton, was in her girlhood Miss Elizabeth Sheller. She was born near Fairfield, Bath Township, and was the daughter of Adam Sheller, a native of Frederick County, Md. He came to Ohio during the pioneer days, settling about 1815, in Fairfield, whence he removed later to Clark County, and lived to be about ninety-seven years old. He belonged to the River Brethren Church. Mrs. Elizabeth (Sheller) Shellabarger is still living, and is now sixty-seven years old. She is the mother of eight children, the eldest of whom a daughter, Mary, Mrs. Leahow, lives at Yellow Springs; George is ranching on the Platte River, Colo.; Adam is a prominent cattle man of the San Luis Valley, Colo.; William, also operates a ranch along the Platte River, in Colorado; Annie died when an interesting maiden of seventeen years; Emma, Mrs. Fulton, was the next in order of birth; Edith and Ethel are both deceased.

The landed possessions of Mr. Fulton aggregate four hundred and seven acres, all under a good state of cultivation. The home farm is supplied with two sets of farm buildings, and he has a windmill, water tanks, hay scales, and all the other conveniences for the prosecution of farming and stock-raising after the most approved methods. He feeds annually large numbers of cattle, swine and sheep, and utilizes four teams in the operation of the farm. Mr. and Mrs. Fulton are the parents of eight children, viz: Charles, William, Edgar, Clifford, Frank, Jr., Bessie, Ralph, and Nellie, who form a very bright and interesting group, and all at home with their parents. Mr. Fulton, like his honored father, affiliates with the Democratic party. He has been a member of the School Board of his district for the past three years, and is frequently sent as a delegate to the various conventions of his party.

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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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