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Captain William Hannah of Adams County Ohio


John Hannah, the father of William Hannah, lived in Virginia. He was the maternal grandfather of John H. Kincaid, who was a prominent citizen of Adams County. Little is known concerning the early history of John Hannah except that he was a soldier of the Revolution, and the story is told of his having swam the Brandywine. As the incident has been mentioned in history, it must have occurred at a critical time and was to his credit.

William Hannah, one of three sons of John Hannah, was born September 13, 1770. He came from Virginia into Kentucky where he remained a short time, finally coming to Ohio and settling in Liberty Township at Hannah’s Run. During a recent visit to the place, all that was found to remain of the old home was a small heap of stones which marks the place where the chimney stood. He then went to Cabin Creek where he conducted a ferry. After twelve years, he returned to Liberty Township and at Hill’s Fork purchased 400 acres of land, all in woods. Here he remained and made his home. Part of the old homestead is still owned by the family, having been in the Hannah name eighty-seven years. Mr. David A. Hannah, of Hill’s Fork, is the present owner of 134 acres, all in a good state of cultivation.

Captain Hannah was a soldier of the War of 1812; was made a Captain and served with distinction. The following anecdote concerning him has often been related by the members of the Hannah family. The incident occurred while the troops were in camp and mustering at Manchester, Ohio. One day while at dinner, on the banks of the Ohio, a deer was seen to come out of the woods on the Kentucky shore to get a drink. Seeing such a sight, the idea uppermost in the minds of the men was to gain the prize. It was next to an impossibility as it was not thought any one would be able to shoot the deer for the distance intervening was too great. However, Captain Hannah being a marksman of note was challenged to do so and he accepted the challenge with alacrity. He aimed at a mark across the river at about ten feet above where the deer was standing, the ball falling, broke the deer’s back. The deer was then brought across the river in a canoe and it is needless to state that Captain Hannah remembered his friends. It is not known what became of the gun with which he shot the deer. The sword carried by Captain Hannah is in the possession of David A. Hannah, his great-grandson.Captain Hannah was twice married. His first wife was Martha Moore, by whom he was the father of eleven children. Of these children, none are surviving, but their descendants are numerous in Adams County. Joseph and David M. Hannah, of Hill’s Fork, and Aaron Moore, of Winchester, are grandsons of Captain Hannah. In this family in each generation, there has been a William and a John.

One of Captain Hannah’s, sons, Aaron Hannah, was born in 1803. He was a man generous to a fault, dispensing his means with great magnanimity. He married Mary Ann Aerl, by whom he was the father of ten children. Of these children, five are surviving. William Patterson Hannah, residing at Boulder, Col.; Isaac Aerl Hannah, at Seaman, Ohio; Mrs. Rebecca E. Kepperling, at Detroit, Mich.; Dudley A. Kepperling, a prominent business man, Chicago. 111., and Miss Edna Inez Kepperling, Principal of Custer School, Detroit, Mich., are grandchildren of Aaron Hannah.

Aaron Hannah died December II, 1890, and is buried at Mt. Leigh, Adams County, Ohio. His father, Captain William Hannah, died September 10, 1849, and is buried at Kirker’s cemetery, where several of his children are buried.

“A History of Adams County Ohio from its earliest Times”…Evans & Stivers, 1900, West Union, Ohio, EB Stivers Co.

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