JOHN V. TARR - John V. Tarr was born on the Tarr homestead, in what was then Warren township, Jefferson County, in 1819. He was a son of Daniel Tarr, a soldier of the war of 1812, and who, upon the outbreak of the trouble with England, was one of the first to take up arms in defense of his country. He was sent to Norfolk, Va., where he remained during the entire war. John, the subject of this sketch, was reared a farmer and received his education in the common schools of the county. When he reached manhood he took an active part in public affairs, and in 1855, was elected justice of the peace in his township, which office he has held ever since, and has also served several times as trustee of Wells township.

WILLIAM A. TARR - brother of John V., was also born on the Tarr homestead, where he still resides. He received a limited education, but by close application to study has gained a fine knowledge of geology, he having made that a special study for several years, giving much of his time to the research and examination of minerals. Mr. Tarr is probably one of the best-posted men in his township on the geology of the township and surrounding county.

SMILEY H. JOHNSTON, of Walnut Hill Farm, situated near La Grange, on the P & C railroad, is among our pioneer and most successful agriculturists. His genealogy may be traced in direct line from Oliver Cromwell, whose oldest daughter, Bridget, became the wife of General Fleetwood, and from their issue sprang the line of Johnstons of whom our subject is a member. Smiley’s grandfather was Robert Johnston; his grandmother, nee Jane Graham – and of their family our subject’s father, James Johnston, was the oldest son. His grandfather came to this country at a very early date, and together with his family, settled in Beaver county, Pa., about 1790. Our subject’s father, however, was born on the Susquehanna river, in 1766, and subsequently married one Sarah Burns, in Chartier, Washington county, Pa. They had a family – four sons and five daughters, as follows: Smiley H., born November 4, 1799; George B., a prosperous farmer near Wellsville; Robert, who was a Presbyterian minister at Peoria, Illinois, and died several years ago; and Enoch Merwin, also a Presbyterian minister, who settled and died in Carlisle, Pa. Elizabeth was married to John Alexander, of Belmont county, a brother to the wife of the subject of our sketch, and still lives, at the age of 83 years. Jane became Mrs. Matthew Nelson, and subsequently died at Carrolton, Ohio. Margaret was married to Robert Hughes, a son of the Rev Thomas Hughes, Presbyterian minister, of Beaver county, Pa. Pollie became Mrs. James Black – the latter becoming a Methodist preacher, but is now dead – his widow still surviving him in Indiana. Eliza was married to Mr. William McGee, a prominent merchant of Point Pleasant, Belmont county; they are both now deceased. Our subject, Smiley H., early took only a plain education, and then learned the business of a joiner and cabinetmaker, at Beaver, where he continued to work at his trade till 1827. On the 17th of January, 1828, he saw proper to take unto himself a wife, in the person of Levenia, youngest daughter of the late Judge James Alexander, a worthy native of Bonnie Scotland, who came to this country while young. After two years, Mr. and Mrs. Johnston purchased and located at Walnut Hill farm, comprising 160 acres, then held by Ezekiah Griffith, though the land really consisted of a portion of the old Bazaleel Wells property. Griffith at one time kept a tavern here, but Mr. Johnston purchasing him out, it was discontinued. Some eight or ten years after, our subject next bought the Barret farm adjoining, and consisting of 80 acres. After this he secured the Ezekiah Davis place, also adjoining, and containing 115 acres. Next the Dean farm of 300 acres, the horse-mill farm of 55 acres, the Rickey farm of 100 acres, and subsequently several small parches of land, until to-day he is the owner of over 1,000 acres. Mr. Johnston has chiefly devoted himself to stock raising and grain growing, and has frequently had from 1,000 to 1,200 head of sheep at a time. But being now advanced in years, he has barely so many sheep. He employs two good farmers on certain portions of his valuable estate, and also has four tenant farmers. Some years ago he build his present extensive and very attractive mansion, which has few equals in any respect as a farm residence in the county or even state. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston have been favored with a family of three daughters, but no sons. Samantha, born December 22, 1829, became Mrs. Robert Ramsey, July 1849, but died September 30, 1855. Amanda, born 1834, died in 1847, at he tender age of thirteen years; Laura, born in 1841, became the estimable wife of senator W. H. Tarr, a popular resident of Wellsburg, where they still reside in the happy associations of a highly interesting and accomplished family. Much interesting Indian history is associated with the property owned by Mr. Smiley Johnston, and his extensive lands are frequently referred to in the pages of this work. A noted instance being the scene of the “massacre of the Riley family” – the graves of which poor victims are still preserved green. Mr. Johnston, and particularly his excellent lady, afford quite a fund of ancient anecdotes, and are not only most kindhearted, hospitable and entertaining, but well informed alike in ancient and modern history of Jefferson county and its residents.

JOSEPH A. HOOK – This gentleman was born in Cross Creek township in 1820. He was a son of Jonathan Hook, one of the pioneers of that township, who was born in the state of Maryland in 1787, and came to Ohio in 1814; he was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was in the battle of Bladensburg; he was a sturdy kind of a man, and died in 1871, on the old Hook homestead. Joseph was reared a farmer and received his education at the common schools. In 1852 he married Eliza J. McConnell; they have four children, two sons and two daughters.

JAMES DEAN – Mr. Dean, was born February 6, 1831. He is a son of Samuel Dean, who came to Jefferson county prior to 1812, and was of Irish origin, like most of the settlers in this county. Mr. Dean was brought up a farmer and received a common school education. On arriving at the age of manhood he married Miss Ralston; they have no children. Mr. Dean is an active member of church to which he belongs, and is a highly esteemed citizen.

J. H. EVERSON was born in Wells township in 1850, and is a son of James Everson, one of Wells’ best citizens. He was reared a farmer and educated in the schools of his native county. During his boyhood he expressed a strong desire to study law, and as he was a natural orator, his father concluded to gratify his wishes. In 1876 he entered the law office of John McClure, a prominent attorney of Steubenville, and by close application and hard study, was admitted to the bar in 1878, and now takes his stand among the most promising young attorneys of Jefferson county.

LEVI ROE – Levi Roe was born in Wells township 1819. His father, William Roe, was one of the pioneers of this township, coming to the county very early. He met his death by an accident, being on board of the steamer Virginia when she exploded at Rush run in 1838. Levi was reared a farmer and attended the common schools of the county. He is a prominent citizen and zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is one of the oldest members living, connected with the Olive (Oliver) M.E. Church.

NATHANIEL DAWSON was born in Wells township in 1839, and was a son of Nathaniel Dawson, an early settler in Wells township. Mr. Dawson, St., was a representative man in Wells township, as we find his name frequently among the early records of the township officials. Nathaniel was reared a farmer and received a limited education. He now occupies the old homestead, and is a prominent citizen and a thorough and successful farmer.

JOHN V. MC CULLEY – The subject of this sketch was born in Washington county, Pa., in 1821, and came to Jefferson county, Ohio, in 1840, and located on the farm now owned by Mrs. Graham. He remained there four years, when he moved to his present home. He is one of the leading farmers in the township and is a breeder of fine Spanish merino sheep and fine hogs and cattle. Mr. McCulley has probably the best improvements of any farmer in the township, and persons wanting fine stock will do well to give him a call. Mr. McCulley is one of the present trustees of Wells township.

WILLIAM OLIVER, ESQ., was born in Jefferson county in 1832, and was a son of Charles Oliver, being the youngest of six children. He was reared a farmer and received a common school education, and being of a roving disposition, upon reaching manhood, went West to seek his fortune in the gold fields of Colorado, but left there before the country was fully developed and returned to his native state, when he located on the Oliver homestead. In 1866, he married Miss Mary Jones, daughter of John Jones, of West Union, Fayette county, P. They have three children – one son and two daughters. In 1877, Mr. Oliver was elected a justice of the peace, which office he still holds.

W. W. LOUISS, JR. – The subject of this sketch was born in Wells township, December 15, 1855. His father was a pioneer of the township and a man of intelligence and enterprise. William, Jr., was reared a farmer and received a good education. Upon reaching manhood he started out to make his living at his chosen profession, that of a farmer. He built a fine residence on Scull Bone Ridge, near his father. He is now married and prepared to enjoy the comforts of a good home.

ROBERT SHEARER – Mr. Shearer was born in Pennsylvania, January 29, 1808, and came to Jefferson county with his father when a boy. His mother was a sister of Rev. George Brown, a pioneer Methodist minister, and the family were well known in Jefferson county. Robert learned the blacksmith trade with a Mr. Doyle, in Steubenville. In 1829, he married Miss Jane Sheppard, who was born December 2, 1809. They have had six children, of whom but two are living at present. Mr. Shearer still carries on the blacksmith trade in New Alexandria, where he has been for a number of years. His father, Robert Shearer, was born in 1773, and died in 1850.

JOSEPH HOYLE, son of John Hoyle, was born in Jefferson county, in 1827. He was reared a farmer and received a liberal education. His parents were Quakers and he has inherited their belief. He married Phebe Watson, of Jefferson county, and has been blessed with a large family of children. Mr. Hoyle is a farmer and fine stock raiser, and imported the first thoroughbred shorthorn cattle ever brought into the township, and has a fine lot of them on his farm. His post office address is Smithfield.

JAMES A. HOBSON – Mr. Hobson was born in Jefferson county. He was raised a farmer and educated at the common schools; he is a very active business man and has been elected to the position of township clerk twice, and judging from his records, should hold the position for many years to come. Mr. Hobson, is a farmer. His post office address is New Alexandria.

MARK WILLETT, was a son of E. Willet, and was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, in 1805, but the exact date of his coming to Jefferson county, we failed to learn. He located the farm now owned by his heirs, and built the first cabin and made the first clearing in this section. Mr. Willett was raised in the Quaker faith and brought up his family to believe as he did. He was a good citizen and neighbor, living a Christian life, and finally when his mission on earth was filled, he passed to his home above, leaving a family and many friends to mourn his loss.

JOHN SIXSMITH – was born in Pennsylvania in 1822, and came to Jefferson county with his parents when ten years of age. He was reared a farmer and received a fine education. He has a fine farm in Wells township on the line of Smithfield, and is an enterprising citizen and a good neighbor.

ANDERSON WOOD – Mr. Wood was born in Smithfield township, in this county, August 21, 1825. His father was a native of Maryland, but came to this part of the country many years ago. Anderson was raised a farmer, and received a good common school education. In 1864 he married Miss P. Hall, daughter of Richard Hall. They have no children of their own but have four adopted ones. Mr. Wood is a farmer and stock raiser. Post office address is Smithfield.

JOHN PUNTNEY was born in Brooke county, W.Va. He came to Jefferson county in 1832, and purchased one hundred and thirty two acres of land in what is known as the Kirkwood section. This property is now owned by his son, J. L. Puntney, and is one of the finest improved farms in Wells township, and shows that it has been managed by experienced farmers.

© All pages, contained in this website, may not be copied in any format for profit by any other persons or organizations without written consent from website owners. Please contact to request written consent to copy.