Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    WILLIAM H. DETRICK, farmer and fruit grower, residing on his estate of eighty acres of valuable land in Bethel Township, situated four and one-half miles southeast of Tippecanoe City, is one of the leading men of this section of Miami County. He was born in Bethel Township, Miami County, Ohio, December 15, 1848, and is a son of Benjamin and Catherine (Forney) Detrick.

    The grandfather, Adam Detrick, was of German extraction but was born in West Virginia. He was a slave owner but set all his slaves free when coming to Ohio. On arriving here he located first in Wayne Township, Montgomery County, and finding it suited him, continued to reside there until his death, which was followed by that of his wife. He engaged in farming and also operated a sawmill. He was one of the founders of the German Baptist Church in that section and both he and wife were buried in the cemetery adjoining the Hickory Grove Church.

    Benjamin Detrick, father of William H., was thirteen years old when he accompanied his parents to Ohio from Virginia. He assisted on the farm and in the mill and also worked in the timber, cutting, wood for twenty-five cents a cord, and working the mill at night in order to make a little money for himself. In that way he got his start in life, adding penny to penny and watching his capital grow until he had enough to invest, and when he died many years later he owned three farms, one of eighty acres, one of seventy- three acres and one of seventy-four acres, all in Bethel Township. He worked in a saw-mill for some years and sawed the first lumber that was used in the construction of the first house in Brandt, Miami County, He married Catherine Forney, a native of Pennsylvania, and they had eleven children: William H., Samuel, Jacob, David, and Benjamin, all living, and Harvey, Jefferson, Adam, Sarah, Eva Belle, and an infant, all deceased. After marriage Benjamin Detrick and wife settled on a farm in Bethel Township which he bought of John Brown, and both he and wife died there. They were members of the Brethren Church of Bethel. The death of Benjamin Detrick occurred in 1890 and that of his widow five years later and they were buried in the Tippecanoe City Cemetery. He was a Republican in politics and was interested in having honest men elected to office. For a number of years he worked in the interests of good roads and served in the office of township supervisor.

    William H. Detrick remembers the building of four school-houses on the same site near his home in Bethel Township. The first one in which he was a pupil was a log cabin built in a grove of poplars, hence its name, and it was very primitive indeed. Light was admitted by the removal of a log from the side and the benches were rough slabs not very carefully smoothed. Later a more comfortable building was put up and learning was made more easy for Mr. Detrick and the other country boys and girls. He attended, off and on, until he was nineteen years of age, and then gave all his time to his father until he was twenty-one, after which he worked on the home farm by the day and his father permitted him to work land for himself in order to get a start. When his thoughts began to turn toward marriage he quietly went to a Mrs. Puterbaugh and rented her farm of 173 acres, and when he was married in the fall of 1871, he had a comfortable home to which to take his bride. Mr. and Mrs. Detrick continued to live on that farm as renters for the following thirteen years, when Mrs. Puterbaugh died and the property came into the market and Mr. Detrick immediately bought eighty acres of the northern side of the farm, which he considered the most desirable. He had to clear about thirty acres, and underdrained the whole property and put up all the fine buildings, these being of block cement. He makes fruit growing his specialty and produces the finest specimens of all kinds to be found in this part of the country. He has customers all over the state and ships quantities to different points.

    On November 16, 1871, Mr. Detrick was married to Miss Edith Caroline Swindler, a daughter of John and Rebecca Swindler, and ten children have been born to them, as follows: Frank, who died when aged six years; Estella, who married Frank P. Fergus, and has two children-Mary M. and Alberta; Mary Anna, who married J.B.Heckman, and has two sons-William R. and Herbert C.; Bessie Savilla, who married Harley Sharitt, and has twin daughters: Edith Caroline and Edna Elizabeth; Aramanta, residing at home, who is the telephone operator at Phoneton; Charles A. who is deceased; Walter, who married Matilda Prakel; Willis, who is deceased; and Ida May and Russell E., both of whom are at home.

    Mr.Detrick and family usually attend religious services at the Brethren Church. In politics he is a stanch Republican and has frequently given most efficient service in township offices, having been a member of the School Board for a considerable time, supervisor for two terms and trustee for two terms. With his wife, Mr. Detrick belongs to Iras Court No. 20, Sons and Daughters of Ben Hur, at Tippecanoe City.

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