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


    Peter Hetzler was numbered among the pioneer settlers of Miami county who came to this section of the state when it was an unbroken wilderness, and clearing away the forest trees which stood in their primeval strength he established a home and developed a farm, thus laying the foundation of the present progress and prosperity of the county. Mr. Hetzler was born in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, in 1791, and was a son of Jacob Hetzler, who was born in Germany and became the founder of the family in America. He married Elizabeth Bullinger and with his family removed from the Keystone state to Hamilton county, Ohio. By the marriage of this worthy couple ten children were born, John and Peter, the two eldest, being residents of Pennsylvania. The others were George, Jacob, Pulser, Christian, Joseph, Rebecca, Annie and Kate, all natives of Ohio.

    On the old homestead farm in Hamilton county, this state, Peter Hetzler was reared to manhood, sharing in all the hardships and trials of pioneer life which fell to the lot of the family. He was married, in that county, to Sarah Cox, and in 1820 came by team to Miami county with his family. They drove two teams and had to cut their way through the forest, for no roads had then been laid out. The family slept in a wagon until a log cabin could be erected. The first home was a little log building of one room. It had greased-paper windows and was heated by means of the huge fireplace. The Indians were encamped near their farm when Peter Hetzler located here, but they generally maintained pleasant relations with the white settlers. Mr. Hetzler secured his land from the government, entering one hundred and sixty acres, for which he paid a dollar and a quarter an acre. Not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made upon the place, but with characteristic energy he began its development. He cut away the trees, cleared away the stumps and then plowed his land and planted his crops, which in course of time yielded good harvests. Throughout his life he carried on agricultural pursuits and established a good home, becoming one of the substantial citizens of his community.

    Mr. and Mrs. Hetzler became the parents of eight children: George, who died in 1840; Elizabeth, widow of Joel Reddenbaugh and a resident of Shelby county; Rosana, who died in 1896; Joseph, a farmer living in Shelby county; Jacob; Julia A., who became the wife of Elias Snodgrass and died October 5, 1877; Peter J., who is living in Shelby county; and Christian.

    The father of this family always bore his part in the work of improvement and progress in Miami county, and lived to witness the greater part of its wonderful development. He saw its wild lands transformed into beautiful homes and farms, while roads were laid out, railroads built, industries established and all the improvements of the older east introduced. He was a member of the Baptist church and served as one of its deacons. Throughout his entire life he gave his political support to the Democracy, but never sought or desired office for himself, preferring that his attention should be given undividedly to his business affairs, in which he met with creditable success. During the last five years of his life he was paralyzed, and on the 12th of September, 1894, death ended his labors, when he was ninety-nine years of age. His life record deserves an honored place in the pioneer annals of the county and it is with pleasure that we present this sketch to our readers. His two sons, Jacob and Christian, reside on section 3, Spring Creek township, where they own eighty acres, --the original farm which was entered from the government by their father four score years ago.

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