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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JOHN C. EARLEY. This name represents one of the most prominent and successful men of Greene County and one who is widely and favorably known as one of its most extensive landowners. He at one time held the warranty deed to seven hundred acres, but a portion of this has been divided among his children, he having now three hundred and thirty-three acres. This comprises one of the most valuable farms in the county, and it is largely devoted to stock-raising, which yields to the proprietor handsome returns. Mr. Earley has lived upon this farm for the long period of over thirty years, having settled upon it in 1859. The improvements which now attract the attention of the passing traveler have been brought about by his own energy and perseverance. He started from an humble position in life, and has made for himself a fine record, both as a financier and a citizen.

When first locating in Jefferson Township Mr. Earley, then a young man, purchased fifty acres of land. This was a tract of timber, from which he cut away the trees, grubbed out the stumps, and prepared the soil for cultivation. It has taken years of labor and no small amount of money to bring this land to its present condition, while he has erected modern buildings, and gathered around himself and his family all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.

A native of Clinton County, this State, Mr. Earley was born in Liberty Township, May 4, 1825. His father, Solomon Earley, a native of Adams County, Ohio, was born in 1801, and was the son of William Earley, whose native place was in County Tyrone, Ireland. Grandfather Earley was of pure Irish stock, and was orphaned by the death of both parents when quite young. The friendless and homeless boy was taken in charge by a man who proved a tyrannical master, and from whom he ran away at the age of fourteen years, and succeeded in boarding a vessel bound for America. He hid himself until it was well under way, and he landed in New York City without means, among strangers and in debt for his passage, the latter amounting to $30. For this he was to work three years, but after working two years he considered that he had fully liquidated the debt, and he once more ran away, going this time into Kentucky, and locating near Vanceburg, on the Ohio River, over which he ran a ferry a number of years.

While living in the Blue Grass State Grandfather Earley met and married Miss Eva Thomas, and they removed to Adams County, this State, settling upon a tract of wild land. There was nothing, however, to sustain life, and so Grandfather Earley hunted bears for a living, the meat of which he sold throughout the county, and in one winter realized from this $400. Later he opened up his farm and became well-to do. He had located in different parts of the State more than sixteen hundred acres of land. He made his home, however, continuously in Adams County, on the Ohio River, in what is now known as the Irish Bottoms, and died there at the advanced age of eighty years. His wife had passed away ten years prior to the decease of her husband, aged threescore years and ten.

William Earley was a Presbyterian in religion, and made it the rule of his life to deal honestly by his fellow-men. There was born to him and his estimable wife a family of ten children, seven sons and three daughters, of whom Solomon, the father of our subject, was the youngest born. Solomon and two of his brothers served valiantly in the War of 1812. He was born in Adams County, this State, and grew up to a strong and vigorous manhood, imbued with the qualities which had made his honored father so successful in life.

Solomon Earley was married, in Adams County, this State, to Miss Rebecca Casletine, also a native of that county, and the daughter of John Casletine, who was American born, and who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Grandfather Casletine spent his last days in Clinton County, this State, dying at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Earley, at the advanced age of ninety-six years. He too was of strong and sturdy frame, and suffered very little from the ills which usually afflict mankind. He outlived his wife, who was formerly a Miss Tucker, five years, she also being quite aged.

After the birth of their first child Grandfather Earley, in 1824, removed from Adams to Clinton County, settling in the wilderness, from which he began slowly and laboriously to open up a farm. He was a man of great industry and perseverance, and in due time realized his hopes, surrounded himself and his family with all the comforts of life, and was the owner of one of the finest farms in that region. He spent his last days at the home which he had thus built up, departing hence October 14, 1886. His religious views coincided with those of the Methodist Protestant Church. In politics he was first a strong Whig, but later identified himself with the Democratic party. He left to his children a fine property.

Solomon Earley was twice married, his first wife being the mother of our subject, and who died in 1867. She was a lady of many estimable qualities, and belonged to the same church as her husband. After her death Mr. Earley was married to Miss Rhoda Matthews, who is still living. John C. was the second child in a family of two sons and four daughters, of whom the sons and two daughters are living; they are all married and have families of their own. Our subject was the first married, in 1845, to Miss Julia A. Vanniman. This lady was born and reared in Greene County, and died in 1847, leaving two children, the youngest of whom, Rebecca A., was married to Samuel Spears, and died leaving a small family. Sophia J. married Simon Kline, of Jefferson Township, Greene County, where they still live.

Mr. Earley contracted a second marriage, in Wayne Township, Clinton County, with Miss Delia Matthews. She was born and reared in Clinton County, and died at her home in Jefferson Township, Greene County, leaving four children; these are all living: Emma A. is the wife of Frank Stricker, a farmer of Jefferson Township; Rosa O. married Jonah Vandervert, who is likewise farming in Jefferson Township; Solomon S. married Miss Laura Middleton, and is farming in Wilson Township, Clinton County; Foster L. took to wife Miss Cora Moon, and is farming in Jefferson Township.

On August 28, 1872, Mr. Earley was the third time married to Miss Mary F. Fisher. This lady was born October 2, 1834, in Clinton County, this State, where she was reared to womanhood, and remained with her parents until her marriage. Of this union there were born two children — Eugene L.; and Maud, deceased. Mr. Earley was trained by his honored father in the principles of the Democratic party, to which he still loyally adheres. He has held some of the local offices, but usually prefers giving his undivided time and attention to his farming interests.

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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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