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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WILLIAM M. NEELD. The results of integrity and square dealing are exhibited in the business career of this gentleman, who is one of the most enterprising of the younger businessmen in Spring Valley, Greene County. He was born in that village, and has been identified with its business interests during the greater part of the time since his youth, with the exception of a short time spent upon a farm, having been engaged in some line of trade, and having taken charge of his father’s business prior to his majority. He is now manufacturing caskets and all kinds of ornamental finishing work for houses, together with furniture of various kinds.

The natal day of our subject was August 10, 1849, he being the second son and child of his parents, the other members of the group being Benjamin F. and Mary E., the latter of whom died at the age of thirty years. Young Nceld was reared in Spring Valley, obtaining a good common-school education, and at night and on Saturdays working at the shoemaker’s trade with his father, beginning his apprenticeship when about fourteen years old. The close confinement affected his health, and in his sixteenth year he went on to a farm, where he remained until nineteen. He then returned to the village, carried on his father’s business for a year, and then embarked as the proprietor of a meat market and butcher shop. A few years later he returned to the manufacture of boots and shoes, adding to their sale that of hats and caps, and following that business some fifteen years. He then sold the establishment to J. D. Moon, from whom he bought back the store a year later, disposing of it in August, 1888, to F. C. Cary. For two or three years prior to abandoning the mercantile business he had also carried on a livery and undertaking establishment, and during the past two years he has been engaged in the brick business. That in which he is now occupied was opened by him in January, 1890, and while still in its infancy gives promise of a steady growth.

Mr. Neeld owns considerable village property, his home being a fine brick residence on the hill, which was erected under his direction, and which is supplied with every comfort. It is presided over by an estimable young woman, formerly Miss Maggie E. St. John, who became his wife November 17, 1880. She is a daughter of William and Martha (Smith) St. John, of Caesar’s Creek Township. A bright and interesting group of childish faces have come to bless their union, the children bearing the names of Ralph M., Edith, Paul and Charley. In the training of these youthful intelligences the parents take great delight, and are endeavoring to instill into their minds in their early childhood such principles as will insure their honorable manhood and womanhood.

Mrs. Neeld belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. The political suffrage of the husband is given to the Democratic party. He has served ten years as a member of the School Board, and for four years as a member of the Board of Trustees. He was the originator of the movement to construct a township and corporation building, the village now having as one of its ornaments a fine three-story brick structure, the lower floor occupied by township and village offices and a store room, the second floor used as a town hall, and the third owned by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. It is scarcely needful to state that by the citizens of the village, and the surrounding country, Mr. Neeld is regarded highly, and looked upon as one of the most reliable and trustworthy citizens.

Jason M. Neeld, the father of our subject, was born in Bucks County, Pa., July 7, 1818, and died in this county in 1869. He had come to Spring Valley Township in the fall of 1839, while, still a single man, and in this township married Miss Susannah Allen, who is still living. She is a native of this township, and a daughter of Benjamin and Rebecca (Campbell) Allen, of Virginia and South Carolina respectively, who came to this county in an early day. She is now quite advanced in years, having opened her eyes to the light April 2, 1818. Jason Neeld was a manufacturer of boots and shoes from his youth until his last illness. In politics he was a sturdy Democrat, and by the members of the party and other citizens was known as a man of honesty and business integrity. He filled the office of Township Treasurer. He was a son of Joseph and Martha Neeld, of the Keystone State.

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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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