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Benjamin F. Carpenter

BENJAMIN F. CARPENTER, a most enterprising farmer of Jefferson township, Mercer county, Ohio, was born in Center township, of the same county, February 26, 1855. His education was received in the common schools, which he at tended, however, only in the winter season. Plenty of work was found for him to do on the farm. He is a son of Noah and Rachel (Berry) Carpenter, both of whom are natives of Ohio, and of Pennsylvania-Dutch descent. The father, Noah, was born and reared in Hocking county, but came to Mercer county at an early date, was here married, and settled on a tract of land entered by one of the older members of the family. Upon this farm he made his permanent home, dying thereon about 1870, his wife having died some two years previously. They had a family of seven children, two of whom died young, the rest living to be grown and married, viz: William, a farmer of Hopewell township; Benjamin F., the subject of this sketch; Emmett, a farmer of Hopewell township; Francis, of Fairfield county, and Melinda (now deceased), wife of William Newcomb. She left two children--Lizzie and Ida. The mother of our subject was a member of the Church of God. The paternal grandfather of our subject was also a native of Pennsylvania, of German parentage, and came to Ohio in an early day, settling in Hocking county, where he reared his family, and where he and his wife passed the remainder of their days. The maternal grandfather, Berry, also came to Ohio in an early day and entered a large tract of land in Mercer county, which land he divided among his children. The remains of this gentleman and his wife lie interred in the old Carpenter homestead, in Center township.

Benjamin F. Carpenter remained at home with his parents until he was about sixteen years of age, when they both died. He then had a guardian appointed, and was employed as a farm hand for a number of years, or up to the time of his marriage, which took place October 23, 1879. He then moved upon a 120 acre farm which belonged to his wife, and upon which he yet lives. This farm, although it had been improved, was yet run down, and he found it necessary to bring it up, improve it, and put it in good shape. He removed the house and remodeled it, and converted. it into a comfortable home. He is now carrying on general farming, and raising stock, merely enough for the requirements of the farm. He leased out his lands for a time for the purpose of developing oil.

The lady whom Mr. Carpenter married was Miss Maria Staeger, daughter of Six and Margaret (Heckert) Staeger, who came with her parents from Dauphin county, Pa., to Ohio, when she was quite young. Frederick Staeger, the father of Six Staeger, married Anna Mary Six, by whom he had nine children, viz: Catherine, George, Susan, Six, Elizabeth, Mary, Priscilla, Leah and Lucetta. The father of Frederick Staeger, whose name was also Frederick, emigrated from Switzerland, and located in Lebanon county, Pa., before the Revolutionary war. He acquired a farm, and upon this farm some of the Staeger family lived for more than 100 years, or until 1846. Jacob Six, the father of Mary Six, came from Wurtemberg, Germany, settled in Lebanon county, Pa., and married a Miss Stout, by whom he had seven children, all of them girls.

Six Staeger was reared on the old Staeger homestead, and remained at home until he was twenty-two years of age, when he became a clerk in a store in Lebanon county, and held this position for a short time, returning then to the farm, upon which he remained two years, and then came to Ohio, where he remained a short time, then went back to Pennsylvania, and again clerked in a store for a short time. Afterward he taught an English and German school near Lebanon, Pa., in 1844. His next move was to Richland county, Pa., where he remained until 1848, and in that year he went to Darke county, Ohio, and in 1849 settled permanently in Mercer county, where he at first entered eighty acres of land, which he cleared and improved, making a good farm, upon which he lived the rest of his life. From the small start, which he made in Mercer county in 1849, as stated, he steadily increased his possessions until he had about 480 acres of land, 300 of which were under a high state of cultivation at the time of his death. Not long after settling in this county, he erected a log cabin, and married Miss Margaret Heckert, by whom he had four children, viz: Mary, wife of Jacob Mosier; Maria, wife of Benjamin F. Carpenter; James and John Calvin. James occupies the old homestead. Six Staeger was honored by the people of his county by being elected to several of the minor offices of trust in the township. He was a whig in early life, and afterward a democrat. His death occurred October 28, 1881, his wife surviving to the present day, and living on the old homestead.

By his marriage to Miss Staeger Mr. Carpenter has four children, viz: Charles, Gabrilla, Wilshire, and Annetta, all of whom are living at home. Both parents are members of the United Brethren church, and are members of society in high standing. Formerly Mr. Carpenter was a democrat, but in late years he has affiliated with the people's party. All through his life, however, he has supported the best man for local office, realizing that in these minor positions politics "cuts no figure." He is a member of the Odd Fellows' fraternity, of the encampment and subordinate lodges.

Pages 215-216

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

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