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Biography of Raphael Durbin of Knox County Ohio


The life story of him whose name heads this sketch is closely identified with the history of Knox county, which has been his home since his boyhood days. He began his career here in the early pioneer epoch of the county and throughout the years which have since come and gone and has been closely allied with its interests and upbuilding. He is a native of the Keystone state, his birth having occurred in Lancaster county, on the 26th of October, 1833.

His father, John A. Durbin, claimed Maryland as the state of his nativity, where he was born in 1800, and was there reared and married. In 1843 he made his way to Knox county, Ohio, locating in Howard township, on the farm which was occupied by a brother of our subject, Simeon Durbin, until his death, and there the father’s life’s labors were ended in death, at the age of fifty-three years. He was identified with the Whig party and was a member of St. Luke’s Catholic church, at Danville. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Margaret Logsdon, and she, too, was a native of Maryland. Her death occurred when she had reached the age of seventy- five years. This worthy couple became the parents of eleven children, ten of whom grew to years of maturity, seven sons and three daughters, and of these six are still living.

Raphael Durbin, the third in order of birth in the above family, was a lad of ten years when he came with his parents to Knox county. His boyhood home was located on the line separating Pennsylvania and Maryland, their house having been- located in the former state, while their barn was in the latter, and in his native place he attended the log school houses common in those early days. After coming to this state he remained with his mother until his marriage, after which he purchased and located on the farm which he still owns. His place now consists of two hundred and thirty- three acres of excellent and well-cultivated land, on which he is engaged in general farming and stock-raising. By persistent energy and the display of considerable foresight he has succeeded in his chosen occupation, and in 1880 he erected the large and tasteful residence which now adorns the place.

In 1861 occurred the marriage of Mr. Durbin and Miss Barbara A. Buck, who was born in Union township, Knox county, and was a member of one of the early pioneer families of that locality. Her parents, Everhart and Adeline Buck, were natives of Germany, and came from that country to the United States. On the 2d of October, 1881, while the family were crossing a stream, Mrs. Durbin, her sister Martha and one child, Mary, were drowned. Another child, Julius Peter, is also deceased, and seven still survive:

-Edward, who is married and resides in Howard township;

-Joseph A.,

-John S.,

-William (Eugene),


-Frances and

-Leo, at home.

The family are members of St. Luke’s Catholic church at Danville, in which Mr. Durbin is an active worker, and he assisted materially in the erection of its house of worship in this city. In political matters he is a firm believer in the principles of the Democracy. The cause of education has ever found in him a warm friend, and for one term he served as a director of schools. In manner he is courteous and genial, and among the people with whom he has been so long connected he is quite popular.

page 274-275

The Biographical Record of Knox County Ohio, Illustrated, Lewis Publ Co, Chicago, 1902

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