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


    DORSEY WARD JAY, a leading citizen of Monroe Township, a member of the School Board for a number of years and at present also serving as township assessor, resides on his valuable farm of sixty acres, which lies on the Frederick and Gingham Turnpike Road and adjoins Frederick. He was born on this farm, September 6,1861, and is a son of William and Esther (Furnas) Jay.

    The Jay family was established in Miami County by the grandfather, Denny Jay, who came to this neighborhood from South Carolina. He was one of the early settlers and lived here until over seventy years of age, dying in 1867. He lived to see many changes and often told his children of the hardships and disadvantages of the early days in this section. He frequently hauled his produce as far as Cincinnati in order to find a market. The Jay family originally were Quakers but later became united with the Christian Church and now almost all of the name are members of this religious body. The six children of Denny Jay were: Isaac, deceased; Thomas, deceased, who was a Quaker preacher; Mary, now deceased; William, father of Dorsey W.; Eli, who is an educator at Richmond, Indiana; and Levi, who is now deceased.

    William Jay was born in Miami County, Ohio, in 1823. His early life was spent in assisting his father clear up the pioneer farm, but his educational necessities were not neglected and he was sent to Antioch College and also to Oberlin University. He then engaged in teaching school and subsequently served as superintendent of the Milton public schools for three years. In association with his brother Eli, he built the first school building at Frederick. He became a minister in the Christian Church and served as such for many years and was instrumental in raising enough money to build the church at Frederick, in 1878. His death occurred on his farm when he was aged fifty-eight years, in 1881. He married Esther Furnas, a daughter of John Furnas, also a pioneer settler in this section, from South Carolina. She died in January, 1899, when aged, seventy-five years. They had four children, namely: Emma, who married James Leopard of Frederick; Horace; Estella, who died in infancy; and Dorsey Ward.

    Following the death of his mother, Dorsey Ward Jay purchased the homestead farm, on which, with the exception of three years and during his absences while attending school, he has passed all his life. In boyhood he was entered as a pupil in a select school and later attended the public schools of Milton, going from there to the Covington High School and then spent some time at Earlham College, at Richmond, Indiana. In 1882 he embarked in a general store business at Frederick, which he continued until 1888, and then returned to the farm. He carries on a general farming line and devotes eight acres to tobacco growing.

    During his period of residence at Frederick, Mr. Jay was married to Miss Belle Shearer, who is a daughter of Henry and Lina (Hurley) Shearer. Henry Shearer died in 1897, aged seventy-two years. His widow died May, 1909, in her seventy-eighth year. They had five children: Theodore H., Mary C., Ira, Elizabeth and Belle. Mr. and Mrs. Jay have one son, Harry, who married Hazel Barnes. In politics, Mr. Jay is a stanch Republican. He has served as township assessor for the past six years and has long been a member of the School Board, a part of the time being its clerk. He is a Knight of Pythias, belonging to lodge No. 238, at West Milton.

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