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Below is a family biography included in The History of Miami County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1880.  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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JAMES L. PURDY; P O. Covington; is one of the oldest residents of Miami Co.; he was born in Perry Co. in 1816; his father removed to this county in 1825 located in Washington Township and remained a resident of that township all the remainder of his life. James L. began teaching in Washington Township when quite young, and taught more or less until after his marriage. Then he permanently located in Covington, and was directly connected with the business of Covington for a period of twenty years, since which, on account of old age and deafness, he has retired from active business. From a mere financial point of view, Mr. Purdy’s life has not been a great success, but, nevertheless, he has been a very useful citizen, and deserving of much more credit than is generally accorded him; naturally modest, his claims upon the public were never pressed, but being possessed of a philosophical mind and a philanthropic heart, his labors have been not so much for himself as for others. As a teacher, he was always in advance with text-books and improved methods; was first to introduce McGuffey’s readers into the schools of Newberry Township; also first to introduce the blackboard, in which he was very strongly opposed by some of his patrons; as a citizen of Covington, he has served in some capacity on the Board of Education almost continuously, until within a few years, and has always been the friend and advocate of the advanced methods which have given us the present systematic and efficient schools. A Presbyterian in faith, his practice has done honor to his profession; he has been a student all his life, and the friend and patron of standard historical works; on account of deafness, an affliction which began troubling him when young, and which has grown upon him, interfering with his plans and prospects, books have been his chief companions, and the writers of this work are indebted to him for many facts connected with the early history of the county. He was married in 1843 to Prudence Billingsley; they have had two children— Emma D. and Thomas L.

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This family biography is one of 964 biographies included in The History of Miami County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Miami County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Miami County, Ohio family biographies here: Miami County, Ohio Biographies

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