Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pilfered biographies of Fairfielders

The Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties was published in 1899.

It's a bizarre work to say the least. It's filled with names of people who lived in those areas over the 19th century, and it's ripe with biography, story lines, family trees and the usual pomp and praise.

A search of the monster document reveals a number of people who either lived in Fairfield Township or had businesses or family members there. Many were associated with various fraternal organizations, or the churches of the day.

Here are two that I found interesting for reasons that only matter if you think they are interesting. These are verbatim from the book, so officially ... I am stealing this material. So sue me.

One of the able medical practitioners of Dublin, Wayne County, William P. Best, is a native of Fairfield, born Aug. 3, 1864.

He is of English-German descent, his ancestors having emigrated to North Carolina, while his mother's people settled in Virginia. William is the eldest of the three sons of Frank (Francis) P. and Mary V. (Ogden) Best, the others being Frank M. and Henry T.

Francis (Frank) Best is buried in Sims-Brier.
For several years Frank P. Best owned and operated a gristmill in Fairfield and for a number of terms he served in the capacity of township trustee. He was a patriotic citizen, as were all his near relatives, and his brother, Milton, a Union soldier, was wounded while fighting for the preservation of his country at Chickamauga, and died from the injuries received on the battlefield.

Dr. Best and his two brothers received excellent educational advantages in the common schools of Fairfield, and all have since taken degrees, the latter two being Doctors of Philosophy. William P. Best was but 17 years of age when he took charge of a school, and his winters for several years were passed in teaching.

During this period he commenced the study of medicine, and in the fall of 1886 he matriculated in the Eclectic Medical Institute, at Cincinnati. Being graduated with honor in that institution, in 1888 he established himself in practice at Mount Carmel, Ind., and in the spring of 1893 he removed to Indianapolis.

A few months later he came to Dublin, where he opened an office, and soon had won the confidence of the public. He was admitted to membership in the Indiana State Eclectic Medical Association the same year, is a permanent member of the National Eclectic Association of the United States, and of the Eclectic Alumni Association.

He has pursued special courses of study at his alma mater and at the Pulte Medical College, in Cincinnati, and keeps thoroughly abreast of the times in everything pertaining to his profession.

Fraternally Dr. Best belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Improved Order of Red Men and the Knights of Pythias.

It is worth noting that the Best family carried considerable clout in the Whitewater valley. A Nancy Best and Samuel Best show up in searches. Born in 1811, I don't know her connection. (This blog is not about genealogy.)


(This could also be Yocom)
John Yocum was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, March 26, 1808, and was one of a numerous family, having five brothers and the same number of sisters who reached years of maturity, besides several who died in childhood.

In 1835, Yocum came with his brother Levi to Franklin County and for two years they were residents of the village of Fairfield, where he worked at the carpenter's and cabinetmaker's trades, while the brother followed wagon-making.

At the end of that time they returned to Pennsylvania, but soon afterward made a permanent home here. Levi Yocom was killed by the running away of his team on the 11th of August, 1843.

In March, 1840, Yocum was united in marriage to Joanna Hays, who was born in Cumberland County. New Jersey, March 27, 1816, and when a child of 2, she was brought to Franklin County by her parents who settled in Fairfield Township.

Not long after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Yocum located on a farm in that township where their children now reside, and there they passed the remainder of their lives, the wife and mother dying May 2, 1883, the father September 25, 1891.

He was a very industrious and enterprising man, who cleared and improved a fine farm, and was also a good mechanic. It is said that he assisted in laying the rails on the first line of railroad built in the United States, this being a short line running to a coal mine in Pennsylvania.

Sincere and consistent Christians, he and his wife were for many years faithful members of the Methodist church and were among its most liberal supporters. They had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances and were held in high regard by all who knew them.

The Yocum clan was mostly buried in Brier cemetery and their graves moved to the New Fairfield plot.

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