Benjamin Durbin, who is now living retired at his pleasant home in Danville, enjoying the fruits of his former toil, was born in Belmont county, Ohio, on the 8th of May, 1828, a son of Baptist and a grandson of John Durbin, both natives of Maryland. In early life the latter was employed as a distiller, but he was a weaver by trade and followed that occupation after coming to Ohio. His death occurred in Howard township when he had reached the eighty-second milestone on the journey of life. He was of German descent. His son and the father of our subject left his native state when a young man and removed to Belmont county, Ohio, where he was engaged in farming until 1832, the year of his arrival in Knox county.
Locating in Howard township, he there carried on agricultural pursuits during the remainder of his life, passing to the home beyond, when he had reached the age of seventy-four years. In Belmont county, Ohio, he was united in marriage to Catherine King, a native of that county, and she passed away in death at the comparatively early age of forty- four years. Her father, John King, came to this country from Ireland, his native land. Unto this union fourteen children were born, eleven of whom grew to years of maturity. After the death of the mother of these children the father was again married, but there were no children by the second union.
Benjamin Durbin, the second of his parents’ fourteen children, was but three years’ of age when he was brought to Knox county, Ohio, and his education was obtained in the district schools of Howard township. Remaining with his father until his twenty-first year, he then, in 1850, went to Wyandot county, Ohio, where he remained for the following three years, on the expiration of which period he again went to Howard township. From that time until his marriage he remained with his father on the old homestead, and about 1863 he came to Union township, purchasing and locating on the farm which he still owns.
His home place consists of two hundred and forty acres of excellent land, all of which is under a fine state of cultivation, and everything about the place bears evidence of a progressive and thrifty owner. Success has abundantly rewarded the well directed efforts of Mr. Durbin, securing for him an excellent competence, and in 1898 he was able to put aside the active duties of a business life and spend the remainder of his days in quiet retirement, removing to Danville.
Mr. Durbin has been twice married. In 1857, he wedded Margaret McNaman; and they had the following children, namely:
-William B., deceased;
-Clement, a prominent farmer of Union township;
-Salora, the wife of Albert Loysdon, of Wyandot county, Ohio;
-Mary J., wife of Thomas Durbin, of Howard township; and
-Bertha, wife of William Grassbaugh, who resides on a farm belonging to our subject in Union township.
For his second wife Mr. Durbin chose Elizabeth Porter, the widow of Francis McNamara. He cast his first presidential vote for Scott, and his ballot was afterward cast in favor of Whig and Republican candidates until he supported Buchanan in 1856, and he also voted for Bryan at both elections. For six years he served as trustee of Union township. Religiously he is a member of St. Luke’s Catholic church, and has assisted in the erection of its three houses of worship in this township, the last one having been erected in 1895.
The Biographical Record of Knox County Ohio, Illustrated, Lewis Publ Co, Chicago, 1902
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