The following biographical sketches of early settlers in Monroe County as reproduced from a book titled, the "Combined History and Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio." The material for this book was taken from two nineteenth century books: (1) 'History of Monroe County Ohio,' a product of the H.H. Hardesty & Co., publishers, Chicago and Toledo, 1882 and (2) 'Caldwell's Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio,' a product of Atlas Publishing Company, Mount Vernon, Ohio, 1898. The "Combined History and Atlas of Monroe County, Ohio" was reprinted and is available from the Monroe County Historical Society.
ATKINSON, STEPHEN A. ATKINSON – Adams & later Centre township
WALTON, RICHARD K. WALTON – Salem township
STEPHEN A. ATKINSON – was born Feb 13 1840, at the residence of his father on the south side of Sunfish creek, in the town of Cameron (formerly Jamestown), Adams township, Monroe county, OH. The first school which he attended, at the age of five, was taught in an old hewed log meeting-house, situated in the cemetery west of Cameron, by James MYERS, the present recorder of the county, and the next school which he attended was taught by Eliel HEADLEY in a new frame school-house, the first erected in Cameron (then Jamestown), and the first taught therein. He labored upon his father’s farm, attending school during the winter season only, until he was 20 years of age, at which time, and on the day of his 20th anniversary, he commenced his first term at Cameron, as a teacher in the public schools, and continuously thereafter made teaching his chief occupation for nearly 20 years. He taught most of the time in Cameron, having taught only in six other places, in each one term, and all these in adjoining districts to Cameron, save one, and that in the township in which he lived. He was the principal of the Cameron school for the last ten years in which he taught, teaching winter and summer. While living in Adams township he served seven years as township clerk, one year as trustee, two years as assessor, and seven years as justice of the peace. Mr. ATKINSON was appointed school examiner of the county by James R. MORRIS, probate judge, Apr 16 1874, and served two years, when he was reappointed, served three years, and was again reappointed by R. K. WALTON, probate judge, and served until Nov 1879, at which time, having been elected county auditor for the term of three years, the office which he is now holding, he resigned the position as school examiner, and also the office as justice of the peace. He was married Sep 16 1865, to Melissa WARD, who was born Feb 18 1844, in Belmont county, OH, and a daughter of James & Phebe WARD. They lived in Cameron from the time of their marriage till Nov 1879, when they moved to the county seat, Woodsfield, Centre township, where they now reside. Their children living are two in number: Clarence M., born Feb 4 1868; Bertha Pearl, Apr 19 1875. Bennie Arthur, their first child, died Jan 20 1867, age eight months. All of the children were born at Cameron. Stephen A. ATKINSON is the son of Stephen ATKINSON & Elizabeth ROSS ATKINSON. Stephen, the father, was born Jun 17 1793, at Waynesburg, Greene county, PA, and died of cancer at Cameron, Monroe county, OH, Mar 24 1874, and was buried in the Cameron cemetery. He was twice married; his first wife was Margaret JONES, daughter of John JONES, died Aug 23 1824, in the 28th year of her age. His last wife was Elizabeth ROSS, daughter of Robinson & Mary DAVIS ROSS, born on Sunfish creek, about four miles from Clarington, Mar 23 1809, and died May 25 1864. His first wife died at Woodsfield, having been taken sick while on her way there to attend a religious meeting. His last wife died of consumption, at Cameron, and both are buried in the Cameron cemetery. At the time of his death he owned 243 acres of land on the south side of the creek at Cameron, having purchased the most of it from the government, and there he continuously lived from the time he was first married until his decease. His first dwelling was a two-story, built of hewed logs, with a one-story kitchen attached, but was torn down and replaced with a frame. He, with his father and family, emigrated to this county near the close of the 18th century. The first school which he attended was about two miles above Clarington, on the Ohio river, taught by Mitchel ATKINSON, who was then about 19 years old, and was a brother to his father. This school, probably without doubt, and from reliable information received from the earliest settlers, was the first one taught in the county. In the early part of his life, he held to the doctrine of Universalism, but afterward became a consistent member of the Disciple or Christian Church, and was, for about 50 years and until his death, a preacher in that church. He was the father of fifteen children, seven sons and eight daughters. The children in the order of their ages are: Charles J., Isaac, Lily, Rebecca A., Benjamin, Samuel S., Margaret, Louisa, Martha, Stephen A., John J., Abel M., Mary E., Maria J. and Julia A.; those dead are Charles J., born Mar 21 1817, and died Jun 9 1847, was married to Isabelle FERRILL; Benjamin was born Feb 13 1830, and died Dec 28 1851; Margaret was born Dec 20 1833, and died May 16 1856; Abel M., was born Apr 19 1844, and died Feb 29 1872; Mary E., was born Aug 7 1846, and died Aug 12 1847; Maria J., was born May 29 1848, died Jan 3 1852; Julia A. was married to Michael SCHAFER, and died Dec 1879, in the 30th year of her age – all buried in Cameron cemetery, in a row, together with their father and his two wives; those living are: Isaac, married to Hannah LIPPINCOTT, and resides at Marietta, OH; Lily, married to Richard ANGUS, living in Wood county, OH; Samuel S., married to Emma D. HARTLINE, living near Cameron of this county; Louisa, married to Dr W. G. WEBB, John J., married to Ella J. CLARK, daughter of Dr. John CLARK, and Rebecca A., the only one single, all live at Cameron; Martha, married to Stephen BEARD, resides in Jefferson, Green county, IA, and Stephen A., at Woodsfield; Samuel S., John J. and Abel M., enlisted in Co. E, 116th OVI, Aug 1862, and served until the close of the late rebellion. Charles ATKINSON, father of Stephen, was born, probably in Ireland, in 1760, and died Apr 23 1834, aged 74, at the residence now owned by Michael BOUGHNER, about two miles below Cameron, on Sunfish Creek, and buried at Cameron. His parents, Cornelius ATKINSON and Mary CROSS ATKINSON, emigrated from Ireland to America a few years before the revolutionary war, and settled in Northumberland county, PA. James and Charles were the two oldest children of Cornelius, and they and their father enlisted in the American army, and served the entire time of the revolutionary war; Cornelius was a lieutenant; Charles was about 16 years old at the time of his enlistment. Charles was the father of 14 children, six sons and eight daughters; the oldest son, known in history as General ATKINSON, was born in Northumberland county, PA; his mother died when he was an infant; afterwards Charles married Elizabeth STEPHENS, and their two oldest children, Keziah, who was married to Mitchel McCOY, and Mary, who married Gilbert McCOY, both having lived and died in this county, and buried at Cameron, were born in Northumberland county, PA; they then moved from there to Dauphin county, PA, at the mouth of the Juniatta river, at which place their son James was born, who came with his father to this county, lived here for many years, married here, moved to the State of Indiana, and there died at an advanced age. Charles owned a part of an island in Dauphin county, known as Duncan’s Island, and from there he was sent to guard the western part of the State of Pennsylvania against Indian hostilities, and was held for that purpose for the term of three years, and during that time, and while stationed at Waynesburg, Greene county, PA, Stephen & Margaret, twins, were born in the fort at that place, Jun 17 1793; Margaret was married after they moved to this county to Elias CONGER, and died Jun 20 1872, and was buried at Cameron, by the side of her husband, whom she survived. From Waynesburg he was sent, taking his family with him, to the fort at Wheeling, and, after staying there for a short time, moved to Ohio, settling near the mouth of Captina creek, and, living there a while, again moved on the river, about two miles above Clarington, and there remained a few years, having built a house and cleared some land, but was “entered out,” as it was called, and from there moved on Sunfish creek, about two miles from the mouth, on the COCHRAN farm; but, after living there a short time, building a house and clearing some land, was again “entered out,” and then made his last move, to the farm on which he died, having purchased of the government a quarter section of land, which he owned at the time of his death. His wife, Elizabeth, died Dec 14 1841, age 72 years, 3 months and 2 days, at the residence of Sarsfield CLARK, her son-in-law, and was buried at the side of her husband. The remainder of Charles’ children were all born after he moved to this State. Julia A. was married to Samuel STEPHENS, now deceased; she is now living where she has always lived since her marriage, in Seneca township of this county, and is 86 years old; James, called “Blue head,” to distinguish him from another James, was married to Rhoda CONGER, lived for many years on Sunfish creek, on the farm now known as the MAURY farm, but moved from there to the State of Indiana, where he died at an old age; Cornelius was married to Nancy HENTHORN, lived for many years about one mile below Cameron, on the creek, moved to Indiana, lived there a few years, then moved to Illinois, and after a short stay there moved to Clark creek, Morris county, Kansas, where he died Dec 14 1879, aged 74 years; Jane married Sarsfield CLARK, and they lived on the Ohio river, two miles below Clarington, where they owned a large and beautiful river farm, which they sold and moved to Illinois, at Ridge farm, about 18 miles from Paris, Edgar county, in the spring of 1859; Mrs. CLARK died Oct 4 1881 – her husband, Sarsfield, is still living; Rebecca married John B. WATSON, and having lived in this county for many years, and raised a large family of children, moved to West Virginia in the year 1856, where they are now living; Elizabeth was married to John CONGER, lived in Adams township of this county, on what is now known as the PFALZGRAF farm, and, after selling their farm there, moved to Iowa, where they still live; Ruth, the youngest daughter, was married to Ebenezer HENTHORN, and soon after marriage moved to IL, where he died in 1878; Elijah was married in this county and moved to Missouri, where he died in a few years after moving there; Abel, the youngest son, was married to Mary ARCHER, and after living together a few years he went to Missouri, leaving his wife in this county, and some time afterward took sick and died there, at the residence of his brother Elijah. James, the son of Cornelius, was engaged with his brother Charles in protecting the frontier at that time against Indian hostilities, and both emigrated to this State at the same time. James was a single man at the time he came to this State, but soon afterward married Mary BROWN (usually called Aunt Polly ATKINSON by the young people in earlier times) and shortly after their union, moved to Licking county in this State among the Indians, but remained there but a short time when they moved back to this county and settled on Sunfish creek near the mouth of Atkinson’s run, bought a quarter section of land from the government, erected a house thereon, and laid out the town of Jamestown (now called Cameron), and having lived there for many years, and raised a large family of children, he died at a good old age, and his remains were interred in the Cameron cemetery; his relict (Aunt Polly) lived in this county several years after his death, and moved with one of her sons to Wood county, WV, and there died at a very old age. Michell, Isaac & William ATKINSON, the other sons of Cornelius ATKINSON and Mary CROSS ATKINSON, and brothers of James & Charles, were born in PA, and were among the earliest settlers of this county. William served as commissioner of the county, and died at Clarington; Mitchell taught the first school in the county, and was elected county surveyor; Isaac was the first representative elected in the county, and the second senator. Cornelius was the father of three daughter, one of whom emigrated to this State and died in this county; the other daughters remained in PA, in Dauphin county, one of them marrying a man by the name of MARTIN. Cornelius & his wife died in Dauphin county. But little is known concerning the father of Cornelius, only that his name was Robert, and that he was a native of Ireland. Address, Centre township, Monroe county, OH.
RICHARD K. WALTON – was born on the farm now known as the MAURY Farm, on Sunfish creek, in Salem township, Monroe county, OH (owned then by his father, Jeremiah WALTON) and the 2nd day of September 1836; and at the age of seven years, his father left his residence on the farm and moved his family to the town of Clarington, on the Ohio river, where he engaged in the practice of medicine for six years, during which time Richard was sent to school regularly to such teachers as were then to be employed under the earlier school regime. At the age of 13, Richard was removed by his father back to the farm on which he was born; and from that time he labored on the farm, under the direction of his father, who for many years afterwards continued in his practice, as a successful physician. Richard, however, was sent to school only during the winter terms, which were short, lasting each winter about four months. In this way he, by close application, became well versed in the common branches of English learning, and at the age of 19 procured a certificate to teach in the common schools. His first advent into the school room, armed with his first certificate, was in the fall of 1855; wages, thirty dollars per month; length of term six months. With the proceeds of his first winter’s labor in the school room, he, by the consent of his father, attended a school at Woodsfield, OH, taught by William WHEELER, the next summer and fall. The former years labor in the same schoolroom was repeated the following year, and he again attended two terms of school at Woodsfield, taught by Professor John MOORE, who was an instructor of great ability and learning; after which, on the 15th day of June 1858, he was married to Julia A. CONGER, the youngest daughter of Elias & Margaret ATKINSON CONGER, of Monroe county, OH; taught school for one year following his marriage, at Cameron, in Adams township, and afterwards in various districts of Adams and other townships of the county, when in 1861 he was appointed school examiner by Probate Judge SINCLAIR. In the fall of 1862 he was chosen by the board of education of the Clarington special school district principal of the Clarington school; resigned the office of school examiner in the spring of 1863, and thereafter removed, at the close of one term of school at Clarington, to his father’s farm in Adams township, where he spent the most of his time for two years following, reading law under the instruction of the Hon. William F. HUNTER, of Monroe county, OH; after which he was again called by the board of education to labor as principal in the Clarington school, at which place he was employed as principal of the school, with the exception of one term, for 10 years. From the time of his marriage, and during all this period, six children were born in his family, four of which, two sons and two daughters, to-wit: William V., Ione, Emma V., and James C. are now living. After having been engaged in the profession of teaching, and meeting with success in this calling for more than 20 years, and being solicitious for a change from the school-room, he became a candidate for the office of probate judge, to which he was elected in the fall of 1878, and afterward, in the fall of 1881, was reelected to a second term of said office, of which he is now the incumbent.
Transcribed by Dr. Shirley A. Harmon, e-mail: Shirley Harmon
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