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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SILAS BALES. The old pioneers are fast passing away, comparatively few being now left to tell the tale of their early struggles and privations. Among those now deceased and whose names are worthy of being held in remembrance, may be most properly mentioned him with whose name we introduce this sketch. He was one of the most substantial men of Jefferson Township and died at his home there July 15, 1882. He was born in Caesar’s Creek Township, Greene County, June 11, 1814, and was the son of John Bales and the grandson of Elijah Bales, a history of whom will be found on another page in this volume.

Silas Bales spent his boyhood and youth in his native township, being trained to habits of industry and receiving a good education in the common schools. He made good use of his time with his books and developed into a successful teacher, which profession he followed from the time he was quite a youth until after his marriage. Then, on account of failing health, he decided to turn his attention wholly to agricultural pursuits, and first purchased a small farm of sixty-two acres in what is now Jefferson Township. He commenced with very little means but he found a brave assistant in his wife, who spun wool and flax and wove cloth and carpets, while he taught school during the winter season and thus by their united efforts, they succeeded in paying for their home. Thereafter they were prospered and added to their possessions by the purchase of one hundred and eighty acres of land near by. Mr. Bales brought the whole to a good state of cultivation, improving it with good buildings, and at the time of his death was free from debt, leaving to his family an estate unincumbered and valuable.

Mr. Bales was an honest, hardworking man, firm in his convictions and one in whom his neighbors had entire confidence. He always maintained a warm interest in the building up of his adopted township, socially, morally and financially, he at an early date identified himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he served for many years as a Steward and Class-Leader and gave to it a liberal support. In politics, he was a stanch Democrat, but steadily declined assuming the responsibilities of office.

The subject of this notice was married in Caesar’s Creek Township, October 15,1840, to Miss Elizabeth Smith. She was born in this township, April 30, 1818, and is the daughter of Charles and Sarah (Kimel) Smith, who were natives of Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were reared and married in their native State and remained there until after the birth of one child. Thence they emigrated to Ohio overland on horseback, bringing with them their family, having shipped their goods by water. Their goods, however, were lost or stolen as they never recovered them and could hear nothing from them afterward. This was a great drawback, but they made the best of circumstances and finally weathered the gale and by the exercise of great industry and economy succeeded in placing themselves in comfortable circumstances. They settled in what is now Caesar’s Creek Township, about the time of the outbreak of the War of 1812. Mr. Smith secured one hundred and thirty acres of land which he brought to a good state of cultivation and whereon he and his estimable wife spent the remainder of their days. They lived to be quite aged, Mr. Smith having attained to the age of over eighty years. His wife died when past sixty-five.

To the parents of Mrs. Bales there was born a family of nine children, six of whom are living. They were all taught habits of industry and economy, and Mrs. Bales at an early age became familiar with the arts of housewifery and was thus fully fitted to become the partner of a good man’s home. She was not only the means of saving money for her husband, but assisted him in making it and the comfort which she now enjoys are no more than that to which she is justly entitled. She is the mother of two children only, the eldest of whom, Sarah, is the wife of Moses McKay and they are living on a farm in Clinton County, where they are well known and in good circumstances. Martha married Joseph P. Hollingsworth, who is represented on another page in this volume.

For fifty-eight years Mrs. Bales has been a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Although seventy-two years old, she is still hearty and active and enjoys the esteem and confidence of hosts of friends. She has weathered the storms of adversity and misfortune, but through them all preserved the same cheerful and courageous spirit which is one of the marked characteristics of her race, of which she is a most worthy representative.

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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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