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Jacob Counterman

JACOB COUNTERMAN, a solid farmer and business man of Dublin township, Mercer county Ohio, came here in the spring of 1838, with his father and a company of about twenty-five others, from Richland county, Ohio, but now of this entire colony, two only are still living-our subject and his brother Alexander, who resides in Willshire, Van Wert county.

The Counterman family is traced back to the grandfather of our subject, Christian Counterman, who was a Pennsylvania German, and whose wife bore the maiden name of Wilson, and was of Revolutionary descent. These grandparents, on coming to Ohio, first located in Columbiana county, where they made their home several years, but later removed to Wayne county, where they died at the advanced ages of ninety and 100 years respectively, leaving four children, viz: Jacob, who died near Willshire, Van Wert county; David, father of our subject, who died in Mercer county; Peggy, who was married to Mr. Gause, and, with her husband, also died in Mercer county, and Dossy, who died in Richland county, the wife of Mr. Kidwell.

David Counterman, father of our subject, was reared a farmer and made agriculture his life pursuit. He first married, in Columbiana county, Miss Anna Gant, who died in the same county, the mother of four children, viz: Hilsey Ann, who was married to John M, Harper, who died in 1881, her own death taking place in Dublin township, Mercer county, August 23, 1894; Reason, who also died in Dublin township, at the home of our subject; Jacob, the subject of this notice, and Alexander, who lives near Willshire, Van Wert county, The second marriage of David Counterman was with Miss Hannah Rosswell, who bore several children, of whom the following reached maturity: Rachel, a resident of Indiana; George, who died in the late Civil war; Wilson, killed by a runaway team, and Cynthia, wife of Jacob Adams, of Mercer county. In 1838, David Counterman entered 440 acres of land, all in one body, in Black Creek township, Mercer county, and exhausted his funds in making the entries and in reaching the property, He erected a small round-log cabin, however, and made some other improvements. Shortly after his arrival in Mercer county, he divided the land among his children, Jacob, our subject, receiving as his share 120 acres, he being then about twenty years of age.

Jacob Counterman, our subject, who was born March 6, 1818, in Columbiana county, Ohio, began improving his 120 acres in Mercer county on reaching his majority, erecting a hewed-log house, with puncheon floor, clapboard and loft, and mud and stick chimney; he constructed his bedstead by boring holes in the wall, inserting the ends of poles in the holes and supporting the other ends on upright forked sticks of the proper height, and using bark for a mattress; his table he made of split boards or hewed-out puncheons, and this article of household furniture he still retains as a relic of his pioneer days. His house was the first hewn-log structure for miles around, and was erected by himself alone, he having also alone hewed the logs.

Mr. Counterman married, March 4, 1841, Miss Elizabeth Moore, but this lady was called from earth January 1, 1843, and after the sad, event he moved to the home of his brother-in-law, Elijah Moore, near Mercer, with whom he farmed in partnership one season; he then married Miss Jane Wood, November 26, 1843; this lady survived until June 24, 1871, having borne several children, all of whom died in infancy, excepting one, Sarah Eva, born August 15, 1862, and now the wife of W. S. A, Bowman, teller of the Citizens' bank, of Celina.

After his second marriage Mr. Counterman traded his Black Creek township land for a portion of the farm he now occupies in Dublin township, in section No, 25; later, he purchased a number of additional acres to the place, which now comprises 410 acres in one body; he also owns sixty-six acres on the pike between Mercer and Rockford, and 160 acres in sections Nos, 13 and 17, Dublin township, and likewise a small tract of some fifteen acres in section No, 36, Dublin township. He had, in addition, owned 160 acres in Hopewell township, which he has given to his son-in-law. Mr. Counterman is now probably the wealthiest man in Mercer county, and all this wealth he has gained through his industry and shrewd business foresight, His taxes average over $1,000 annually, In 1885 he became a stockholder in the Citizens’ bank, of Celina, and is now one-fourth owner of that prosperous institution.

December 15, 1892, Mr. Counterman was married the third time, his life-companion on this occasion being Miss Mary E. Green, a native of Hamilton county, born in November, 1851, and daughter of William Green, who was lost in the Civil war. Mr. Counterman has labored hard since settling in Mercer county, and has always sacredly kept his faith in all his business transactions-at times borrowing money to repay borrowed money, Honesty is his chief characteristic, and he would ever sacrifice property in order to keep an obligation. He began life with nothing but his 120 acres of timber land, and with an education that was covered by a schooling of about nine months. He has made all the improvements on his home farm and has always devoted his attention to agriculture and stock raising, and probably has at present the finest farm in the county, In politics he was a democrat, and as such filled the office of township trustee for over twenty years, but of late years he has been, a prohibitionist. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church since he was twenty-two years of age, and he has always been very liberal in church matters, having generously contributed to the erection of all the church edifices, irrespective of creed, throughout the surrounding country. He has always had the courage to avow his convictions and to faithfully live up to them, being a man of the highest and purest moral rectitude. He is one whose course through life is well worthy of the emulation of the rising generation and a citizen in whom the people of Mercer county may well take solid pride.

Pages 242-247

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

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