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.

* * * *

JOHN A. KNEISLY. To have descended from a long line of honorable ancestors is a matter of pride to those so happily situated, and it is invariably their desire to reflect credit on the worthy name they bear. Naturally, such is the feeling of Mr. Kneisly, who is not only justly proud of his ancestry, but is filling the public position which he occupies, that of Postmaster of Osborn, Greene County, to the satisfaction of the community and with honor to himself. His portrait, which will be noticed on the opposite page, represents a prominent citizen of the town, one who has been a leading merchant, and who is, at all times, a liberal supporter of every worthy public enterprise. His genial manners and thorough acquaintance with the world, make him a pleasant companion with whom to pass a few hours, while his education and refinement make him welcome in social circles.

The subject of this sketch was born at Kneisly Station, in Bath Township, December 17, 1851. He is the first-born of the three children of Benjamin and Mary (Kauffman) Kneisly, and the only one now living. His brother Benjamin died in infancy, and his sister, Mrs. Susan A. Sheppard, died in Osborn. The lad had good educational advantages in this county, and at Dayton, where he lived with his grandfather until the death of the latter. In boyhood he spent the intervals of study in assisting his grandfather by doing errands and chores that were suited to his years. When seventeen years old he started out for himself, and coming to Osborn became a clerk for his uncles, Christ and John Kauffman. He continued his clerical labors until 1880, when he became a partner in the firm of Kauffman & Kneisly, running a grocery store until 1888. He then sold his interest and retired from mercantile business, devoting his attention to a public office which he was then holding. In June, 1889, he received the appointment of Postmaster, and is now attending thoroughly to the duties of the office, and carrying on the sale of a small stock of stationery.

Mr. Kneisly has been in the Town Council four years, and was Tillage Clerk two years, resigning the latter position to take his present one. He was also for three years a member of the School Board, having manifested a deeper interest in the cause of education, and being more liberal and active in supporting the school, the church, and other enterprises of an elevating character, than many men of greater means. His wife is a member of the Lutheran Church, which he attends, and to the support of which he contributes. In politics he is a true blue Republican. Socially, he is an Odd Fellow, and has represented the order in the Grand Lodge five terms, being now Past Noble Grand for the third time, and Secretary of the encampment. He also belongs to the A. F. & A. M., Blue Lodge, of which he is Past Master, and holds membership in the Chapter and Council at Carlisle. he has represented this order also in the Grand Lodge, and is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, being a charter member of the Osborn Lodge.

At the bride’s home in Montgomery County, on Christmas day, 1876, the rites of wedlock were celebrated between John A. Kneisly and Emily J. Beyl. The bride, who was born in Bath Township, this county, is a daughter of Solomon Beyl, formerly of Pennsylvania, and now a prominent farmer in Montgomery County. She is a fine type of intelligent and cultured Christian womanhood, and an ornament to the society in which she moves. The happy union has been blessed by the birth of one child, Ora B.

The grandfather, with whom our subject spent his youth, was John Kneisly, a native of Pennsylvania, who became a resident of the Buckeye State in the spring of 1828. He had operated an oil mill in his native State, and after coming to Ohio carried on a flourmill and a distillery on the Mad River, doing a large business, and being very successful. He had settled in Bath Township, this county, upon land which he purchased, also entering some in Montgomery County, owning altogether some one thousand acres. Besides his milling business, he bought grain and other produce extensively and carried on a store. Kneisly Station was named for him. He did business there until he had a stroke of paralysis, when he removed to Dayton, spending the rest of his life in that city enjoying the fruits of honest industry. He was well known and influential, and his fortune was probably not surpassed by that of any other man in the township. He was interested in the improvement of the country, built churches, turnpikes, and in other ways contributed in developing the land from its primeval wilderness. He was an active member of the Reformed Church. His death took place in 1868.

The father of our subject was born in Lancaster County, Pa., but coming to this section when a child, was reared here and began his business career in the distillery of his father. He worked in that establishment until it closed. During the War he was a Captain in the Ohio State Militia, and in 1866, went South in the Government employ. He was in the Quartermaster’s Department at Galveston, Tex., where he died of yellow fever in 1867, at the age. of thirty-nine years. He belonged to the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, the Royal Arch Masons, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His wife was also a native of Pennsylvania, her father, Christian Kauffman, being a native of and farmer in Lancaster County, he came to this section of Ohio about 1840, and successfully continued his agricultural labors here. Mrs. Kneisly died in Dayton, in 1885.

* * * *

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