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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ISAAC K. HOSTETTER. One of the most extensive business enterprises in Osborn, Greene County, is that of the subject of this sketch, who is a grain buyer and the proprietor and manager of a flour and feed store. He owns a large elevator and is the only man of the place engaged in shipping from that point; in prices he is obliged to compete with the mill and larger cities, yet he makes the business profitable and has a large trade. He also owns the large brick building in which his office and flour and feed store are situated, an attractive residence and other property.

In the ancestral history of most families there are interesting incidents of an historical nature and such is the case in that of our subject. His great-grandfather Hostetter, with three brothers, came from Germany to America, and with two of them entered the Revolutionary army, aiding the cause of American freedom until the close of the War. One of the brothers, however, hired with the English army, acting as an enemy to his brothers and the cause they espoused. The Americans got after him, but the English helped him to Canada and gave him a large tract of land there. The grandfather of our subject was Henry Hostetter, a native of and farmer in Lancaster County, Pa., whence he removed to Adams County. There he remained until his death, continuing his agricultural employment and also freighting to Pittsburg.

George Hostetter, father of our subject, was born in Lancaster County, Pa., and adopted the occupation to which he had been reared. He located in York County, but in 1849 came to the Buckeye State, settling in Wayne Township, Montgomery County. There he continued his farm work for several years and then bought town property in Osborn and abandoned farm life. He moved into town in 1856, residing there until his death, August 5, 1887, when he had reached the extreme age of eighty-eight years. He belonged to the Mennonite Church. His wife was a native of Adams County, Pa., was of German ancestry and a daughter of Peter Keplinger, a Pennsylvania farmer. Mrs. Susan Hostetter died in 1866, leaving four children of whom the subject of this sketch is the youngest. The first-born, Peter, died in Indiana, in 1883, at the age of fifty-eight years; Maria, Mrs. Forry, lives in Champaign County; Emanuel is a resident of Osborn.

The gentleman of whom we write was born in Hanover, York County, Pa., October 31, 1833, and during his boyhood attended the subscription schools, the temple of learning being a log building with slab benches, puncheon floor, and the other primitive fittings with whose description we are all familiar. In 1849, he accompanied his father to Ohio, making the journey by river and canal to Dayton, and remaining with his parents until eighteen years old. He then began working at the carpenter’s trade and in 1853, when twenty years old, began contracting and building in partnership with his brother Emanuel. The partnership continued four years and was then dissolved and our subject continued the business alone until 1860, when he went to Dayton, and found employment in the sash and blind factory.

Mr. Hostetter belonged to the Ohio State Militia or National Guards, which were called out in 1864. Responding to the call on May 6, he was mustered into Company K, One hundred Fifty-fourth Ohio Infantry, at Camp Dennison, and sent to the department of West Virginia. He was present as an active participant in the battle of New Creek, Va., where he saw hard fighting; the command to which he belonged was then sent out after guerrillas and had two heavy skirmishes, at Greene Springs and Moorefield. During his short but active army life Mr. Hostetter had bullets pass through his clothing and other narrow escapes from death, but was able at all times to perform the duties required of him as a brave man should. Being sent back to Camp Dennison September 18,1864, he was mustered out of the service receiving an honorable discharge.

Returning to the shop in which he had been employed Mr. Hostetter was made foreman of the mechanical department, but not liking the position he returned to blind making as soon as a man could be found to fill his place. He remained in the employ of the company until the spring of 1870, when he came to Osborn, and on April 3, embarked in the grain business in partnership with his brother, under the firm name of E. Hostetter & Co. The firm did a successful business for fifteen years, when the connection was dissolved, our subject buying out his brother, and continuing the business alone. He has manifested business tact and judgment of a high order, conducts his affairs according to honorable methods, and is respected by his fellow-men.

In Donnelsville, Clark County. November 4, 1865, the ceremony was performed which united the lives and fortune of our subject and Miss Lutitia Leffel. This lady was born in the place where she was married and is a well-informed, agreeable and useful woman, whose Christian character affords a bright example to those about her. She has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church since she was twelve years old. Her father, Peter Leffel is a devout and active Christian and for many years has been a Class-Leader in the same church. He is an old settler of Clark County and a prominent farmer, his home being on Jackson Creek near Donnelsville.

Mr. Hostetter is a charter member of Fairfield Post No. 64, G. A. R. and takes an active part in its work. The Methodist Episcopal Church is that of his choice and he attends and supports it in every way possible, being now a Trustee. In politics he is a stanch Republican, not only casting his vote for that party but wielding all his influence in its favor. When twelve years old he had an attack of scarlet fever, which left him slightly deaf.

A portrait* of Mr. Hostetter and wife is shown elsewhere in this volume.

*A 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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