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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MATHEW A. BICKETT, one of the representative farmers of Xenia Township, owns and operates a fine farm lying some two and one-half miles from Xenia Court House. He is a native of Greene County, Ohio, where he was born January 19, 1831, in a house which stands only about one quarter of a mile from his present home. His father, William R. Bickett, was one of the pioneers of the county, having made choice of it for a dwelling place in the year 1818, while it was yet a wilderness. The region which had recently been the home of the Indian, shortly began to wear the aspect of civilization, as the advent of the white man caused the original forest to disappear, and its place to be taken by fields of waving corn and golden grain.

William Bickett was a native of Coaquilla Valley, Pa., where he was born in the year 1796 or 1798, the date is uncertain, and which was his home until he arrived at the age of about twenty-one, when he started for the “far West” in company with his mother, sister, and one brother. The party reached Greene County, in the year 1818, having made the trip with a six-horse team. The first winter was passed in the house of Robert Hammell, a brother-in-law of Mr. Bickett. In the following spring he bought about one hundred and fifty acres of woodland upon which he and his brother John erected a log cabin that was the home of their mother for a number of years. As rapidly as possible they cleared and improved the farm, and provided for the wants of the mother and sister who were dependent upon their exertions. Deer, wild turkey and other game abounded, and they could always procure plenty for the table by simply using their trusty muskets.

In 1827 William R. Bickett and Miss Isabella Alexander were united in marriage, and took up their residence on the old home farm. The fruit of this union was six children, three boys and three girls. The boys are all married and living within one-half mile of the old homestead. Mr. Bickett died in 1865. Mrs. Bickett survived him some twenty years, departing for the better land in April, 1885.

The subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools, and assisted on the farm in the intervals. When school life was over, he continued to work on the home place until about the time of his father’s death. May 30, 1865, our subject and Miss Caroline E. Kendall were united in marriage. He then purchased his present place of one hundred and eighty-one acres of land, and began business for himself as a general farmer and stock-raiser. His stock consists for the most part of graded Short-horns in cattle, and a fine strain of hogs. Mr. Bickett has no political aspirations, but exercises his rights as a citizen in favor of the Republican party. He is a highly esteemed member of society, and a devoted adherent of the church of his fathers, the United Presbyterian, and is a regular attendant upon the services of that body in the town of Xenia.

Mrs. Bickett was born in Greene County in 1838, about two miles from her present home, and is an intelligent and amiable lady well fitted to make a happy home for her husband and children. Mr. and Mrs. Bickett are the parents of seven children whose names are: Clark K.; Charles A.; William Albert; Annie M.; John W.; Elinor I.; and David Cameron, all at home, and all except the eldest attending school. Their parents are determined they shall have the best educational advantages that can be obtained, before permitting them to start out for themselves in the world.

Mr. Bickett is a first-class practical farmer, and not only provides a comfortable and commodious home for his family, but also considers the wants of his stock. He has one of the finest barns in the township, it being 10x60 feet with shed and corn crib of 19 feet additional. Most of the shrubbery, and all the improvements upon the farm are the result of his own labor, and reflects great credit upon his ability and taste in the selection of the ornamental features of his beautiful home. He derives great enjoyment from the society of congenial friends, and is deservedly popular with all classes, but finds his greatest pleasure in the bosom of his affectionate and happy family.

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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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