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.

* * * *

JACOB C. KISSINGER. After a well-spent life, industriously employed, and with the exercise of industry and economy, the subject of this notice has retired from active labor, and is spending his declining years quietly amid the comforts of a beautiful home in the town of Osborn. He learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner, early in life became a skilled workman, operating as a contractor and builder, and during his active years, was excelled by none in this industry. Many of the important buildings of Montgomery County, are the work of his hands, and stand as a monument to his skill and ingenuity.

A native of Spring Garden Township, York County, Pa., Mr. Kissinger was born July 1, 1829, and received such education as was afforded by the primitive schools conducted in a log schoolhouse, with slab benches and desks, under a system of instruction conducted on the subscription plan. His education was mostly carried on during the winter season, while in the summer he worked as a farm laborer for different parties, and remained under the home roof until a youth of eighteen years. Then, in 1848, he began his apprenticeship at the carpenter’s trade, under Peter Smuck, with whom he remained two years, and for which he received the munificent sum of $24. In the meantime he worked three weeks on a farm in the summer, and in this way added somewhat to his cash account.

Upon completing his apprenticeship, Mr. Kissinger followed his trade as a journeyman for three years, then in 1853, began operating as a contractor and builder, and remained in his native county until the fall of that year. Coming thence to Ohio, he spent six weeks in Dayton, working at his trade, and we next find him in Bethel Township, Clark County, where he occupied himself as a contractor and builder until 1856. That year, returning to the home farm, he followed agriculture for three years, and at the expiration of this time resumed his trade in Greene, Montgomery, and Miami Counties.

In 1872, Mr. Kissinger deciding upon a change of occupation, abandoned his trade, and purchased one hundred and thirty acres of land in Wayne Township, Montgomery County, and occupied himself as a tiller of the soil until 1886. He was successful in his labors, accumulating a competence, and wisely decided to lay aside the active labors of life. He accordingly rented his farm, and removed to Osborn, where he has three lots, and one of the handsomest residences in the place. He was welcomed as a valued addition to the community, and is held in respect by all who know him.

Mr. Kissinger, on the 2d of October, 1855, took unto himself a wife and helpmate, Miss Sarah Kline, the wedding being celebrated at the bride’s home in the city of Springfield. Mrs. Kissinger, like her husband, is a native of Pennsylvania, and born December 28, 1832, near Aurora, Lancaster County. Her father, Samuel Kline, was likewise a native of that county, and a mason by trade. He came to Clark County in the fall of 1839, and taking up a tract of land in Bethel Township, in the Mad River Valley, followed agriculture until his death, in August, 1881. The mother, who bore the maiden name of Sarah Ghetz, was a native of the same county as her husband, and the daughter of Peter Ghetz, a well-to-do Pennsylvania farmer. She passed away many years prior to the death of her husband, dying in June, 1864. Both parents were members of the Mennonite Church. There was born to them a family of fifteen children, eight of whom grew to mature years: Samuel is a resident of Osborn, this State; Elizabeth, Mrs. Smith, is a widow, and also lives in Osborn; the next in order of birth was Sarah, Mrs. Kissinger; Michael, and Martin are residents of Bethel Township; Mary, Mrs. Metzger, lives in String Township; Ann, Mrs. Metz, died near Osborn, in 1890; Jacob lives in Bethel Township.

Mrs. Kissinger was seven years old when her parents emigrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio, and she still remembers many incidents of the trip, which was made overland with a team, occupying three weeks’ time. The family lived in a log cabin a number of years, and Miss Sarah acquired her education in a schoolhouse of similar description, while at home she was subjected to the careful training of an excellent mother. Her union with our subject has resulted in the birth of nine children, only six of whom are living: Annie became the wife of C. Graber, and died in February, 1888, at the age of thirty years, leaving one child, a daughter, Ada; Emma is the wife of Dr. C. Herr, a dental surgeon of Osborn; Elizabeth, Mrs. John Byel, lives on a farm in Wayne Township, Montgomery County; Samuel lived for a time in Montgomery County, and then returned to the old homestead, where he now resides; Jacob is a resident of Peoria, Ill.; Sally, a very intelligent young lady, remains with her parents; Johnie, the youngest boy, is also at home; Benjamin Franklin died aged sixteen months; and Mary when a few days old. Mr. and Mrs. Kissinger are members in good standing of the Reformed Mennonite Church.

The father of our subject, William Kissinger, a native of York, Pa., was born January 1, 1805, and was the son of Conrad Kissinger, who was also born in that city. The latter followed the trade of a carpenter in his earlier years, then became interested in brickmaking, and operated a large yard. He served as a militiaman in the War of 1812. He spent his last years in Pennsylvania, dying when quite aged, in 1844. The paternal great-grandfather of our subject, came from Switzerland, and settled first on the Schuylkill River, in Pennsylvania, whence later he removed to York County, where he probably spent the closing years of his life.

William Kissinger, like his father before him, followed brickmaking in his native town, and then operated a distillery. He was successful as a financier, and finally retired from active labor, and removed to Lancaster County, Pa. He died in 1889 at the advanced age of eighty-three years. He belonged to the Lutheran Church. The mother bore the maiden name of Rosanna Swartz. She was born in York County, Pa., and spent her early years with a family named Icenberger, as her father died when she was quite young. She died at York in 1881. She likewise was a member of the Lutheran Church. Fifteen children were born to the parents, the following of whom lived to mature years, and are recorded as follows, viz: Jacob C., our subject, is the eldest child living; William continues to reside in Lancaster County, Pa.; Benjamin operates an extensive brickyard in York, Pa.; John is farming in Hamilton County, Mo.; Conrad is a blacksmith by trade, and living near Hebron, this State; Philip also follows brickmaking in York, Pa.; Maria, Mrs. Slusser, is a resident of California; Barbara, Mrs. Andrews, lives in Washington, D. C.; Elizabeth, Mrs. Slonneger, is in York, Pa.; Rebecca, Mrs. Van Ostrum, is in Mechanicsburg, this State; Annie is in York, Pa. William and John Kissinger served during the late Civil War in a Pennsylvania regiment from 1862 until the close. Conrad served from 1861 until the, close, and three brothers-in-law, also assisted in the preservation of the Union. One of them, Mr. Andrews, was confined for a time in Andersonville prison.

* * * *

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

View an historic 1901 map of Greene County, Ohio

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of family biographies.

Follow My Genealogy Hound: Follow me on Facebook