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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S. E. GREENAWALT. A visitor to Greene County would not long remain in ignorance of the name and person of the above-named gentleman, who is pastor of the Osborn charge of the Lutheran Church, which includes three churches, one at Osborn, one at Donaldsville, Clark County, and a third at Brandt, Miami County. He is quite young, having been born February 27, 1859, but possesses a fine education and exceptional qualifications for the ministry. He is a master of pulpit oratory, his fine figure and countenance adding to his pleasing appearance, and aiding in the graceful delivery of his sermons. Among his congregations he is extremely popular, while beyond the Lutheran connection he is favorably regarded, and is very influential. He rejoices in the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Bachelor of Divinity, to which his learning entitles him, and which have been earned by unremitting application and determination.

The Greenawalt family is of German extraction. The grandfather of our subject, John Greenawalt, was born in Pennsylvania and was a farmer in Franklin County. He became an early settler in Mahoning County, Ohio, where he continued his agricultural pursuits, becoming quite well-to-do. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. His wife, Elizabeth Connor, who was of English descent, died in this State, in the fall of 1889, at the extreme age of ninety-two years.

Jesse Greenawalt, a son of the couple above mentioned, was born in Franklin County, Pa., and removed to Mahoning County, Ohio, when a young man. He had learned the trade of a carpenter and occupied himself in contracting and building. After his marriage he removed to Allen County, Ind., being one of the first settlers near Ft. Wayne, and continuing his previous occupation for some time. He then located upon and cleared a farm fourteen miles from Ft. Wayne and began a successful career as a tiller of the soil. He is still living there, being now about sixty-eight years old. He has held various township offices, among them that of Assessor, in which he has served twenty years. In politics he is a Republican, and in religion a Lutheran, being a Deacon in the congregation. His wife, in her girlhood Miss Susan Shimp, was also born in Franklin County, Pa. Her father, John Shimp, was a native of the same State, in which he died, the family afterward removing to Columbiana County, Ohio. Mrs. Shimp, whose maiden name was Catherine Stauffer, also a native of the Keystone State, died at the age of seventy-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Greenawalt are the parents of four living children and lost one in infancy. John E. is a prominent farmer in Allen County, Ind.; George L., now practicing medicine in Ft. Wayne, was graduated from Bellevue Hospital Medical College, N. Y.; Oliver J. is a teacher in the Hoosier State. The youngest child is the subject of this biographical notice.

The birth of the Rev. Mr. Greenawalt occurred in Allen County, Ind., where he was reared upon a farm, learning the rudiments of agricultural life while attending the district and graded schools near his home. At the age of fifteen years he entered the Normal School at Ft. Wayne, and after studying one term, entered the school at Valparaiso, where he began a teacher’s course in selected studies. He pursued his studies there about two yours although the attendance was not consecutive, except one year, which he devoted entirely to study before he was seventeen years old. In 1876 and 1877 he taught in the home township, returning to Valparaiso in the summer and in the fall becoming principal of the Leo Village or Cedar Creek Township graded school. For three successive years he held that position, spending the summers in Valparaiso and continuing his own pursuit of knowledge, except the last year, when he taught eleven months.

In the fall of 1880 young Greenawalt entered the Freshman Class in Wittenberg College, at Springfield, Ohio, carrying on his studies there until 1884, when he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. From boyhood he had felt a desire to enter the ministry, but did not determine to do so until during his senior year. In the fall after his graduation from the regular course he entered the theological department of the college, of which he remained a student for three years. He made his own way through college, the summers finding him busy earning money to pay his expenses through the college year. On the 1st of February, 1886, he became pastor of the church at Osborn, serving it while continuing his studies. On May 28, 1887, he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, and in June following received the degree of Master of Arts. His labors at Osborn still continued, and on October 2 of the same year he was ordained by the Miami Synod, which met in this place.

After his ordination, the Rev. Mr. Greenawalt located permanently in Osborn, and has since devoted his time to his charge, keeping up various societies in the three congregations and pushing forward the work of the church with conscientious zeal and fervor. He has entirely refurnished the Osborn Church. He possesses decided literary ability, and while in college contributed to the college paper, besides being its editor for two years. His fervid utterances in the pulpit are not confined to dogmatic statements of denominational differences, but include all morality and Christian living, temperance particularly being dwelt upon as a sterling virtue.

It will be reasonable to suppose that a man of Mr. Greenawalt’s character, attainments and aspirations would desire for a companion in life a woman of noble heart, cultured mind and sympathetic nature. Such he found in Miss A. Mary Mitchell, of Springfield, with whom he was united in marriage at her home March 2, 1889. Mrs. Greenawalt was born in Springfield, Clark County, and completed her education at Wittenberg College, Springfield, and at the Western Female Seminary in Oxford. Her father, Ross Mitchell, was connected with the Champion Reaper Works, at Lagonda, until 1880, when he withdrew from that business. He resides in Springfield, where he is identified with important business 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. 

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