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John H. Dysert

JOHN H. DYSERT, of Dublin township, one of the oldest settlers of Mercer county and one of its oldest inhabitants, was born in Ross county, Ohio, October 30, 1810, and is a son of Stephen and Susannah (Hannaman) Dysert, both natives of Westmoreland county, Pa.


Joseph Dysert, the grandfather of our subject, came from the north of Ireland, settled in Westmoreland county, Pa., and died in 1813, while on his way home from his service in the war of 1812, in which war he also had two patriot--sons, Joseph and Stephen. Joseph, the grandfather, was a man of powerful frame and great agility, was a carpenter and wood worker, and was the father of seven children: Joseph, Stephen, John, Solomon, David, Polly and Rachael. The father of our subject, Stephen Dysert, was but twelve years of age when the family came to Ohio and located in Scioto county, near Portsmouth, but afterward moved to Ross county; thence they moved to Fayette county, and later to Union county, where Stephen died July 5, 1852, a Universalist in religion, a republican in politics, and in paternity the father of ten children, viz: John H., Polly, Susannah, Rachael, Priscilla, Nancy, Euphemia, Juliann, Joseph and Betsey, all now deceased with the exception of John H., Rachael and Juliann.


John H. Dysert, the venerable subject of this mention, was reared a thorough farmer and was educated in the subscription schools. He filially remained with his parents until he had passed his twenty-first year, and then began life on his own account by farming and stock-raising on rented land in Union county; he later purchased ninety-six acres of land, which he occupied about two years, and in 1837 came to Mercer county, entered 160 acres of land in March, worked it during the summer and fall, then brought his family, permanently settled on it and still owns it. This farm, now highly improved, lies in section No. 33, Dublin township, which was then a vast wilderness, through which he had to cut his way two miles from the nearest road to reach. He at once built a round-log cabin, 16x18 feet, with a puncheon floor, and otherwise constructed in the backwoods style of that early day, and then set to work clearing off the for est. But, being a lover of the chase, he would often take his dog and gun and go off hunting deer, of which he has killed as many as seven in one day, and one season killed 115' head--encountering, during his hunting expeditions, many thrilling experiences and desperate ad ventures. He also endured all the privations, tribulations and perplexities of pioneer life, but he was a man of brawn and muscle, patience, perseverance and indomitable will, that over came all obstacles, and he now owns one of the largest and best farms in the country, consisting of 435 acres in one body, all well ditched and otherwise thoroughly improved; he also owns 100 acres in Black Creek town ship, and has owned considerable quantities of other lands, which he has disposed of--all this property being the outcome of his own industry and good management. He has been phenomenally successful in all his undertakings, but the merit is all his own, as he full well knew how to engineer his affairs, as may well be illustrated by the relation of the following incident:


One fall, in the early life of Mr. Dysert in Mercer county, he had seventeen hogs to carry through the approaching winter, but had no corn, and there was a scarcity of mast in the forest. The problem was: How were the hogs to be safely and profitably kept? Here Mr. Dysert's qualifications as a huntsman came into play, and he came to the decision to feed the animals deer meat that season, so went a hunting. The hams of the deer that fell before his rifle he reserved for his family--the remainder of the carcasses he fed to the hogs, the result being that in the spring the swine all turned out in fine and healthy condition. Could an epicure desire anything better than pork fattened on deer meat?


The marriage of H. Dysert took place in October, 1833, with Miss Mary Longbrake, who was born in Clarke county, Ohio, March 15, 1815, and who died April 8, 1876. There were born to this union the large family of thirteen children, as follows: Samantha J., widow of Elias Deal of Dublin township; Euphemia, wife of William Rutledge, of Dublin township; Levi L., an attorney at law, of Dayton; Stephen N., farmer of Dublin township; John P., of Rockford; George W., clothing merchant of Rockford; Joseph W., farmer of Dublin township; Mary, widow of Milton Yocum, of Union township; Sarah, widow of Frank Black, of Dodge City, Kans.; Matilda, wife of Jacob Eicher, both deceased; William, farmer of Black Creek township; Annis, wife of Mathias Wright, of Hopewell township; and James V., on the homestead with his father. Mr. Dysert is a member of the Friends' church, or a Quaker, and in politics has been a stanch republican ever since the formation of that party, and no more public-spirited gentleman can be found within the bounds of Mercer county.


Page 261-263


Source: A Portrait and Biographical Record of Mercer and Van Wert Counties Ohio, Chicago, A. W. Bowen & Company, 1896







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