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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PETER KEPLINGER. The main points in the history of this old-time resident of Fairfield, Greene County, and who is now deceased, are essentially as follows: He was born in Burwick Township, Adams County, Pa., June 28, 1810, where he was reared to manhood and learned the trade of a tinsmith. He clerked in a hardware store in Baltimore, Md., for a time, and later conducted a tinshop at his old home for a time.

In the spring of 1833 Mr. Keplinger came to Kneisly Station to visit his brother William, who was a miller at that place. He liked the looks of the country, as did also his wife, he having been married, so they concluded to locate at Fairfield. Mr. Keplinger started a tinshop in connection with a small grocery store and a bakery. He was occupied with this until 1846, then turning his attention to agricultural pursuits, located on a farm of one hundred and eighty acres on section 28, Bath Township. Mr. Keplinger commenced at first principles in establishing a home, as there were scarcely any improvements on the land, and being more than ordinarily enterprising and industrious, he, in due time, found himself on the highway to success. He brought the land to a good state of cultivation, enclosed the whole with substantial fencing, planted fruit and shade trees, and erected the necessary buildings, including a fine house and a large barn, the latter 40x80 feet in dimensions. This farm under the careful management of the proprietor became one of the model homesteads of Greene County.

In 1861, having accumulated a sufficiency for their declining years, Mr. and Mrs. Keplinger decided to retire from active labor, and leaving the farm in care of the boys, removed to the town of Osborn, where Mr. Keplinger had seven acres of ground, and put up a comfortable residence. He thereafter interested himself in the education of his children, and he has also signalized himself as a public-spirited citizen, by laboring to secure the first railroad through the place, and the constructtion of turnpike roads. He was one of the pillars of the Lutheran Church in which he officiated as Elder for many years. In politics, he supported the Republican party. His useful life terminated February 13, 1875, amid the sorrowing of an affectionate family, and the regrets of the whole community.

The marriage of Peter Keplinger and Miss Mary A. Stough was celebrated at the home of the bride’s uncle, in this county, November 17, 1833. Mrs. Keplinger was born in Stoughstown, Cumberland County, Pa., June 21, 1816, and is the daughter of William and Barbara (Whitmore) Stough, who were natives of that county, and represented its most substantial families. Mr. Stough was born near the city of Harrisburg, in 1794, and the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Keplinger, who was a founder by trade, also engaged in hotel-keeping at Stoughstown, which town was named in his honor. The family is of German descent.

William Stough learned cabinet making when a young man, but later followed agriculture on large tracts of rented land in his native State. In 1832 he emigrated to Ohio and purchased land near Mansfield, Richland County, where he made his home until 1858. Thence he removed to Columbia City, Ind., and subsquently engaged in farming in Whitley County, that State, until retiring from active labor. He lived four years thereafter, dying June 23, 1878, when eighty-four years old. He was a member in good standing of the Lutheran Church. His wife, Barbara, was the daughter of Bolzar Whitmore, likewise a native of Pennsylvania, and a farmer by occupation. She died in Pennsylvania about 1821.

Four children were born of the first marriage: These being Mary A., Samuel and an infant, who have been deceased many years; William, who was a Lieutenant-Colonel during the late war. Of the second marriage of William Stough there were born six children. John, George and Sarah, deceased; Elizabeth, Mrs. H. Snyder, of Columbia City, Ind.; Isabel, Mrs. Bressler, of Crestline, Ohio, and Peter, who died young. George held the rank of Major in an Ohio Calvalry Regiment, and was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga Sunday morning. He fell from his horse, was captured and was taken to Libby prison, where he died six weeks later. He was buried there, but afterward his remains were removed to Columbia City, Ind. The remaining children, who were born of the third marriage, are as follows: James, a resident of Iowa; Catherine, Mrs. Anderson, of Columbia City, Ind.; Letitia, Mrs. Bryson, of Whitley County, Ind.; Joseph, a resident of that State; David, who served in an Indiana regiment during the late war, and was killed in battle, and Samuel, who died in Ohio, in childhood.

Mrs. Keplinger spent her youthful days under the parental roof, acquiring such education as the primitive schools afforded, pursuing her studies in the old log schoolhouse, and at home learning to spin, and becoming the mistress of all other useful household duties. In 1832 she accompanied her father to Ohio, making the journey overland with a team. In February, 1833, she went to live with her aunt, Mrs. Kneisly, at Kneislys Mill, Bath Township, making the journey by canal to Dayton, and thence on horseback to her destination. She lived with her aunt until her marriage.

To Mr. and Mrs. Keplinger there was born a family of seven children, the eldest of whom a son, William S., died when about sixteen years old; Samuel, at the outbreak of the Civil War, enlisted in 1862 in the Eighth Ohio Cavalry, serving until he was disabled and obliged to return home. He was injured at the battle of Vicksburg, where his horses ran away with the cannon, and falling he received serious injuries. He now follows the occupation of a painter in Osborn. Edward enlisted at Springfield in 1861, in Company I, Forty-fourth Ohio Infantry, while a student at Wittenberg College, and served until failing health compelled him to accept his honorable discharge. Subsequently he returned to college and was graduated from both the classical and theological departments, and officiated as a minister of the Lutheran Church until ill health compelled him to retire. He is now engaged in general merchandising in Pueblo, Col. Catherine became the wife of Englehart Heck, a farmer of Sedgwick County, Ivan.; Emily was married to Martin Moudy, and removed to Nebraska, but subsequently returned home and died, leaving a daughter, Lulu, who made her home with her grandmother until her death, at the age of thirteen years. John K. occupies himself as a mechanic, in Dayton, this State; George E. was graduated from Wilt’s Commercial College, at Dayton, and for six months afterward was in the employ of the Mobile Iron Company, as a book-keeper. Later he went West and spent considerable time in travel. Then returning to Ohio, he entered the employ of Day, Field & Lowery, at Dayton, but being unable to endure the confinement of office work, he returned home, and turned his attention to gardening. He is making of this an art and a science, having built a large greenhouse, with water pipes to every part of his garden, and all other conveniences for doing an extensive and first-class business in this line, in which he is very successful. He is likewise interested in bee culture, having twenty-two stands. Mrs. Keplinger was one of the original members of the Lutheran Church at Osborn, and is active in all good works, especially in connection with the Missionary Society. The family is held in high respect in the community.

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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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