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


    No name is more inseparably connected with the history of Miami county than that of the Knoop family, for its representatives have been identified with the growth and development of this section throughout the century. Mr. Knoop, whose name introduces this review, was one of the most extensive and successful farmers in Lost Creek township, and was prominently identified with other interests and public affairs which contributed to the general prosperity and welfare of the community. He was born at Dillsburg, near Williams Mills, in Adams county, Pennsylvania, November 6, 1806, and was a son of' Jacob and Frances (Hursh) Knoop, who were also natives of the Keystone state. His grandparents were American born, but his great-grandparents were natives of Germany. Jacob Knoop lived and died in Pennsylvania, but the mother came to Ohio with her son, Daniel, and died in the Buckeye state. In their family were six children, but all have now passed away.

    Daniel H. Knoop spent the first twenty-four years of his life on the farm in Pennsylvania, but in 1830 he came to Ohio. His brother, Christopher, had already come to this state, having located in Wayne county. Daniel H. Knoop made the journey on foot and returned to Pennsylvania in the same manner. In 1832 he again came to Ohio, this time accompanied by his mother and sister Ann. His mother acted as his housekeeper until his marriage. She died in Clark County, Ohio, and was buried in Black cemetery, north of New Carlisle. The sister became the wife of Jacob Fortney and both she and her husband died in Clark county. On the first trip Mr. Knoop, of this review, joined a man at Columbus, who was a drover taking cattle to Baltimore, and worked for him for eight dollars per month. He and his mother had sold the old homestead in Pennsylvania, but as he did not report favorably on Ohio they decided to re-purchase it and gave five hundred dollars more than they had received for it. In 1832, however, Mr. Knoop again came to Ohio with his mother and sister, having the second time sold the Pennsylvania homestead. They made the journey by wagon, bringing with them their household goods, containing an old barrel churn, which had been purchased in Baltimore in 1816 and was used in the family until after the marriage of Albert Knoop, in 1880, and it is still in his possession.

    Daniel Knoop purchased land in Lost Creek township, which had been entered from the government, in September; 1807, by Richard Palmer, and came into possession of our subject on the 17th of September, 1832, the transfer price being five hundred dollars. There has been but one transfer of the title, the original patent being written on parchment and signed by Thomas Jefferson, president, and James Madison, secretary of state, and is now in possession of Albert Knoop. Their first home was a frame residence, built on a stone basement. Mr. Knoop had some capital and energetically went forward with the work of improving his farm, his mother acting as his housekeeper until after his marriage. She then spent a portion of her time with her daughter, Ann, the wife of Jacob Fortney, of Clark county, where she died when well advanced in years.

    In 1842 Mr. Knoop was married to Miss Cassa Jackson, of Elizabeth township, who was born March 1, 1810, and was a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Criddlebaugh) Jackson, who were natives of Pennsylvania and came to Ohio at an early day. They had a family of eight children. Mr. Knoop was in the possession of a fine farm at the time of his marriage and thereon he and his wife resided throughout his business career. He, of course, carried on his farming operations in primitive style in that early day. His son, Albert Knoop, can remember how the father with a few of his neighbors, reaped a field of rye, using an old-fashioned sickle, and one of the men who took part in the work was Jacob Hufford, who is still living. He resided upon one of Mr. Knoop's farms, there making his home for twenty-one years, during which time he accumulated a handsome competence. Mr. Knoop had one hundred and sixty acres of the old homestead farm and the greater part of the land was under a high state of cultivation. In 1861 he erected the present buildings and all of the improvements upon the place stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. In early life he had learned the trade, both of tanner and cabinet-maker, and frequently made cradles and coffins for the people of the neighborhood and attended the funerals for miles around. His services as a coffin maker were in demand, especially during the cholera epidemic, which raged violently in Miami comity. All alone, at midnight, he carried to his burial the father of Isaac Clyne, who died of that dread disease. His old account books show several interesting items, including the making of coffins, cradles, and other products of the cabinet-maker's skill. As the years advanced Mr. Knoop prospered in his business affairs, and in addition to the old homestead became the owner of three other farms, all in Lost Creek township, together with three hundred and sixty acres in Indiana. In company with Daniel Knoop, a relative, William Green and William Burton, he built and owned the Troy & Casstown pike. This was four miles long, was constructed in 1850 and was continued as a toll road for twenty years, proving a profitable investment. Mr. Knoop favored the plan of the county owning the pike and extended the system. In early years he was frequently called upon to act as trustee and to various public positions of honor and trust. He was a director of the National Bank of Troy for nine years, was the director of the hydraulic works and at one time held five different directorships. He was also township trustee for several terms and at all times was faithful to the county's good. In early life he gave his political support to the Whig party and on its dissolution he joined the ranks of the new Republican party. He cast his first vote for William Henry Harrison, in 1834, and afterward voted for his grandson, Benjamin Harrison. In his last days he was a Prohibitionist and took an active interest in every movement that advanced the temperance cause.

    Fifteen years prior to his death, he rented the farm and removed to Casstown, where he lived retired until called to the home beyond. As his children started out in life he gave to each a deed to a farm and in this way and by sale he disposed of nearly all of his property during his life time, and according to his own ideas. He held decided views on all questions that interested him, but never attempted to convert others. For sixty years he was connected with the Lutheran church of Casstown, becoming one of its charter members and throughout much of that time acted as one of its officers. He was well read, but did not enjoy argument or dispute and was rather quiet and reserved. He was never concerned in a lawsuit or neighborhood quarrel and attended closely to business, and in leisure hours enjoyed the comforts of his home and the companionship of his family. In November, 1890, he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, with whom he had traveled life's journey for almost half a century. She was born March 1, 1810, and was therefore in her eighty-first year. Mr. Knoop survived her until May 20, 1897, and passed away in his ninety-first year. He had retained his mental faculties unimpaired to the last and was a genial old gentleman, who received the respect and veneration which should ever be accorded to old age. His life had been a quiet, yet useful and honorable one, and over the record of his career there falls no shadow of wrong nor suspicion of evil.

    In the family of Daniel and Cassa Knoop were five sons: Henry C.; Josiah; George, who died at the age of sixteen year; William M., who died November 24, 1899, and Albert, who is living on the old homestead. Albert Knoop was born December 18, 1849, and was the youngest of the family. He spent the days of his childhood with his parents and pursued his education in the public schools and in the summer months aided in the work of the farm. Soon after attaining his majority he was given charge of the home farm and here has been passed his entire life. He was married, February 18, 1880, to Miss Mary Stewart, a daughter of William and Ann (Wilson) Stewart, of Elizabeth township. Their union has been blessed with four children: Wilbur Stewart, who died at the age of four years and four months; Walter Wellington; William Lauren and Albert Kenneth. The parents are members of the Lutheran church, in which Mr. Knoop is serving as deacon. in the community they have a very large circle of friends.

    Mr. Knoop's father deeded him the old homestead and they occupy the residence which was built in 1860. Albert Knoop, however, has erected a new barn and has made many other valuable improvements, including the placing of two thousand rods of tile upon the wet tracts which he has thus converted into rich and arable fields. The homestead contains one hundred and sixty acres. To this Albert Knoop has added thirty-five acres and another small tract, so that he now has two hundred and eighteen acres, all in one body. He makes a specialty of raising corn, wheat and clover, and in addition he is engaged in feeding cattle and sheep. He has also bought and shipped hogs and other stock to some extent. He is a stockholder in the Troy National Bank and is a wide-awake and enterprising business man, thoroughly in touch with the progressive spirit of the times. He was reared in the faith of the Republican party, but for several years has voted with the Prohibition party and has attended its county, district and state conventions. He was also in attendance at the national convention at Cincinnati. As a citizen he manifests a commendable interest in everything pertaining to the upbuilding and advancement of the county. All who know him esteem him for his sterling worth and he well deserves mention in connection with the history of one of the most honored pioneer families of Miami county.

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