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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J. DARWIN EDWARDS, M.D. This gentleman is an old resident of Xenia, where he first located for practice in 1860, and where he continued actively engaged in his profession for twenty-five years, having since gradually withdrawn from it. He has been eminently successful, both in establishing a fine reputation as a physician and in his financial accumulations. He has been called to many distant points, and during seasons when diseases were prevalent, he has not been able for weeks at a time to obtain a night’s sleep. He is President of the Citizens’ National Bank, of which he was one of the organizers, that being the first business enterprise outside of his profession, which he had engaged in since he was graduated.

The father of Dr. Edwards was born in New Jersey about the year 1772, marrying Miss Betsey Meeker, and removing to Ohio about 1806, locating in the new country of Clermont County. Caleb Edwards hewed a home from the wilderness, working hard to clear enough land for a farm, which he put under good improvement and made his home until his death in 1859. His widow survived until 1876, five of their children being yet living at the time of her death.

The natal day of Dr. Edwards was September 16, 1820, and his birthplace Bethel, Clermont County, Ohio. He lived on the farm until his fifteenth year, when he left the parental roof to begin work at a trade. During his boyhood he had acquired a better education than was usual to those of his age, and in acquiring his trade also he progressed rapidly and became proficient. He finally entered Augusta College, from which he was graduated in the class of 1839, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He engaged in teaching for a short time, and then began the study of medicine with Dr. Edwards, of Greenfield, Ind., taking his medical lectures at Cincinnati, and there receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine.

In 1850 Dr. Edwards crossed the plains from St. Joseph, Mo., via Salt Lake, going through from the Missouri River to Sacramento in ninety days with mules. The only stopping places where they found people, except the city before named, were Fts. Bridger and Kearney. Dr. Edwards located in Sacramento, but was afterward at Michigan Bar, Stockton and at Angels. He became interested in mines, but also had a drug store and practiced his profession. He continued in practice as long as he was in California, his fees being good and enabling him to buy an interest in a quartz mine that had many fine pockets. He returned to the States in 1859, intending only to spend a short time in visiting, but after receiving his diploma from the medical college, he was united in marriage with Mrs. Ruth McFarland, February 2, 1860, and in the spring located in Xenia.

The bank of which Dr. Edwards is President, opened its doors for business November 15, 1881, J. W. King being President, and Dr. Edwards Vice-President. Upon the death of Mr. King, in July, 1883, the Doctor was elected to succeed him and has held his present position continuously since that time. Since youth he has belonged to the Republican party, in which he has been an active worker, although not an aspirant for political honors. Against his will he was made a member of the City Council, representing the Second Ward two years. He has been Vice-President of the State Medical Society, and for many years President of the Greene County Medical Society and the Xenia Academy of Medicine.

While thoroughly practical in his ideas and his qualifications for a business career, Dr. Edwards possesses an artistic nature, and a decided talent in reproducing his ideals. His skill in manipulating clay has been demonstrated by a very fine bust which he modeled from clay taken out of his cellar, and which shows in a marked degree his artistic taste. The most wonderful work which he has accomplished, however, is a statue, three and three-fourths inches high, weighing six grains, and cut from the pith of a cornstalk. It is called the Catholic Missionary Presenting the Cross to the Heathen, and represents a man in priestly garb holding out a cross in a very natural position, every detail being perfect, and the pose of the figure, as viewed from every side, being easy, natural and graceful. This wonderful little work of art received very favorable mention from artists at the Ohio Centennial at Cincinnati, and was pronounced by all to be of nearly perfect conformation.

Dr. Edwards was first married to Miss Dorcas Edenfield, who died, leaving one son, Frank, who is now living in Xenia, and has a family of his own.

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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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