JOHN J. BLUBAUGH.
For more than seventy years John J. Blubaugh has been a resident of Knox county and has therefore witnessed the greater part of its growth and development. He has seen its wild lands transformed into beautiful homes and farms, while commercial and industrial enterprises have been established, contributing to the growth of village and city, and churches and schools have been built indicating the intellectual and moral status of the community. In all the work of progress Mr. Blubaugh has borne his part and is justly accounted one of the honored pioneers of the community, to whom the county owes a debt of gratitude for what he accomplished in opening up this region to civilization.
Our subject was born near Cumberland, Maryland, January 10, 1828, and is of German descent, his grandfather having come from Germany to America and thus founded the family in the new world.
Benjamin Blubaugh, the father of our subject, was born, reared and married in Maryland, wedding Onora Logsdon, and in 1828 he came with his family to Knox county, locating in Brown township, upon the farm now owned by John Coleman. He built a log cabin, made various other improvements, and after a number of years sold the farm to Samuel Durbin.
Unto Benjamin and Onora Blubaugh were born six children, of whom John J. was the youngest and the only son. He was but seven months old when his mother died, she having lived but a few weeks after reaching this county, after which the father married Eliza Durbin, by whom he had seven children, five of whom are still living.
In his political views Benjamin Blubaugh was a Whig and afterward a Democrat, and in his community was called to serve in several local offices. He held membership in St. Luke’s Catholic church at Danville, and died in that faith when about eighty-eight years of age, his last days being spent in the home of our subject. He was a stone mason by occupation, and helped lay the foundation for the old St. Luke’s church.
John J. Blubaugh was only six months old when brought by his parents to Knox county, and here amid the wild scenes of frontier life he was reared, pursuing his education in a log schoolhouse, which was heated by an immense fireplace and lighted by greased paper windows. The other furnishings were equally crude and the instruction was somewhat primitive in character. His training at farm work, however, was not meager, and he assisted his father until he had attained his majority, when he started out upon an independent business career, being employed for two years by the day or by the job at hard farm work, clearing, grubbing, making rails and cradling in the harvest field.
In 1852 as a companion and helpmate for life’s journey he chose Miss Mary Dial, a native of this county and a representative of one of its honored pioneer families. She is a daughter of William and Rebecca (Arnold) Dial. They began their domestic life in Brown township, Mr. Blubaugh building a house upon part of his father’s land and about forty-five years ago they came to their home in Jefferson township, where they have since lived. Here he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in the midst of the forest. Not a tree had been cut upon the place, but with characteristic energy he began to clear the farm, and soon the woodman’s ax awakened the echoes of the forest. As the trees were hewn down and the brush cleared away he began plowing and planting, and in the course of a few years had a well developed farm. When the first home which he built was destroyed by fire, he immediately erected another one and added other modern improvements, while his successful cultivation of the fields brought to him a comfortable competence.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Blubaugh were born eleven children, of whom three sons and four daughters are now living:
-Maria, the wife of James Smith, of Jefferson township;
-Ellen, the wife of Joseph Fritz, of Loudonville, Ashland county;
-Isabel, who has also passed away;
-Ida, wife of Joseph Harlett;
-Victoria, wife of Frank Sapp;
-Agnes, deceased; and
-Margaret T., who died when about two months old.
James A. Blubaugh, who operates the home farm, married Sarah Agnes Hess and has nine children:
In his political views Mr. Blubaugh was first a Whig, and in 1860 he voted for Abraham Lincoln, but since that time has adhered to the principles of the Democracy, save in local affairs, when he votes independently. He and his family are members of St. Luke’s Catholic church in Danville, which he liberally assisted in building, and much of the brown stone used in its construction came from his farm, and which he and his sons, James A. and William Sherman, quarried and donated. He also donated a memorial window as well as one of the stations. His life has been one of unfaltering industry, in which earnest labor and honesty in all business transactions has brought to him success.
The Biographical Record of Knox County Ohio, Illustrated, Lewis Publ Co, Chicago, 1902
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