Madison County History and Genealogy

History and Genealogy

Fairfield Township History


From History of Madison County, W. H. Beers & Co, Chicago, 1883

Enoch Thomas came from "High Knob," Va., and settled on Opossum Run on land now owned by John Heath, in 1807. He was a man of excellent Christian character, a great worker in the United Brethren Church, and was the leading active man in organizing the church, which has since been known as the "Thomas Chapel." His house was ever open to their ministers and his hospitality never exhausted. He lived on the place where he first settled till his death, September 31, 1851, aged seventy-nine years. He married Jemima Phebis, who died June 17, 1822, aged forty-five years. He married for his second wife Mrs. Foster, nee Dorcas Clark. She died October 23, 1842, aged sixty-one years. At a very early day. Mr. Thomas erected a brick house, which, it is said by some, was the first built in the county.

John Phebis, a native of Kentucky, who was an early settler at Yankeetown, Fayette County. Ohio, from whence he came to Madison County and settled on the land where Judge E. O. Fitzgerald now lives, in 1807. Mr. Phebis was a great hunter and devoted himself principally to that occupation; was a lively, jovial man, yet a very sociable neighbor and a good citizen. But as this county became settled up, and the game scarce, he desired better and more extensive hunting grounds, and he removed West to the Ozark Mountains in Missouri, he subsequently, became a settler in Indiana, where he died, and some of his children still reside in that State.

David Dennison, in 1807, settled on the land now owned by B. W. Noland, on Opossum Run. He died October 1, 1823. Jonathan Benjamin settled on land now owned by D. D. Downing; was a native of New Jersey. Isaac and Daniel Long settled where W. B. Fitzgerald now lives, about 1808; the Latter was a preacher in the New Light Church. William Ware came from Kentucky and settled on the tract of land now occupied by te village of California, about 1810 or 1812. He served as Sheriff of the county and was quite a leading, prominent man of that day. James Blair, better known in Former days as "Big Jim," came from Kentucky and settled here about 1813. He died September 20, 1816, and his remains rest in the Fitzgerald Cemetery. Robert Thomas, a native of Virginia, settled on a tract of land just east of California, about 1815; the land is still in the possession of his descendants, and his history with a large family of the Thomas name is fully written in the biographical sketch of his grandson, Robert Thomas, in this work. Thomas Dennison settled where William D. Pringle now lives in 1815. Charles Henderson, a native of Virginia, came to this county with a surveying party as a chain-carrier, and became a settler of this township very early. Richard Newland settled here about 1818. Joseph Jackson came from New Jersey to Cincinnati in 1818. In 1819, settled near London, this county, and, in 1820, settled in Fairfield Township, on the land where his son Amos now lives, where he resided till his death, in January, 1861, aged eighty-three years. He was a suecessful hunter; knew just when and where to hunt; and yet he never let hunting interfere with his other business, and made hunting quite profitable. He fully experienced the hardships of pioneer life. He worked for 25 cents per day; sold corn from 10 to 12 cents per bushel, bacon for $1.25 per hundred pounds, and chopped and split rails for 25 cents per hundred.

George Hume and his wife, Ann (Scott) Hume, settled here in 1826. Mr. Hume died March 20, 1856. Mrs. Hume still lives and resides with her daughter, Mrs. Edwards, at Lilly Chapel, now eighty-eight years of age; for a full history of their pioneer life, see sketch of Samuel H. Edwards. A. Q. Bennett settled about the same year with Mr. Hume. Judge Edward O. Fitzgerald and William B.Fitzgerald settled where they still reside, the former in 1829 and the latter in 1828. Judge Fitzgerald is well and favorably known throughout Madison County and several adjoining counties. He has been identified with this county in its growth and progress for more than half a century, and is one of her most honored and respected citizens. Jeremiah Johnson settled on land now owned by J. C. Byers in 1831; je was a native of New Jersey; in 1855 or 1856, he removed to Warren County, Ill., where he now resides. Wesley Lilly settled north of Lilly Chapel in 1830. and has been closely identified with the growth and progress of the northern portion of Fairfield Township.

John Shepherd was born in Virginia, and with his wife Judy came to Ohio soon after the war of 1812, and settled in Ross County. About 1831, came to this county and settled near California, on land now owned by Richard M. Johnson, and here resided till his death, August 18, 1850, aged sixty-five years. His wife died about 1869, aged sixty eight years. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was a prosperous farmer, a worthy citizen and a devoted member of the M. E. Church. Daniel C. Freeman was born in Belmont County, Ohio. July 28, 1802, his ancestors being from Ireland. In 1833, he became a resident of Fairfield Township, and has been thoroughly identified with her growth and interests. At the organization of the township, in 1835, he became the first Clerk. He is now eighty years of age, and has been a resident of this township nearly half a century. George Noland, a native of Virginia, settled where William Gilliam now lives about 1833, where his wife died October 2, 1862, aged sixty-two years; in 1868, he removed to Missouri, where he died, November 4, 1878, aged seventy-four years. J. C. Strain settled where Henry Luse now lives in 1834, and has remained a resident here forty-eight years; is a leading and honored citizen of the township. James D. Truitt, a native of Maryland, became a resident of Madison County in 1811, and of Fairfield Township in 1836, settling in the north part of the township.

John Creath became a settler of this county with his parents, near Mt. Sterling, in 1811. In 1838, he settled in Fairfield Township, where he resided till his death, January 15, 1881, an honored and worthy citizen. Valentine Recob settled here in 1846. William D. Pringle settled in this township in 1848, and he and his worthy family have been fully identified with her business interests, improvements and progress since, and their valued and important lives are reflected in biographies of William D. Pringle and J. Alfred Pringle. Daniel Thompson settled on Opossum Run quite early, and built one of the first saw-mills in the township.

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