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


    Well known in connection with the agricultural interests of Miami county, Mr. Knick, to-day the owner of a valuable farm of one hundred and forty acres in Elizabeth township, has resided here since 1858 and has made the property one of the best improved in the neighborhood. The substantial residence is supplemented by good barns and outbuildings, and these in turn are surrounded by well tilled fields which yield a good return for his care and labor. The neat and thrifty appearance of the place indicates his personal supervision and at a glance the passer-by can recognize the fact that the owner is a man of progressive as well as practical ideas.

    Mr. Knick was born near Casstown, Miami county, December 9, 1839, his parents being William and Rachel (Armstrong) Knick, both of whom were natives of Rockbridge county, Virginia. The family is of German lineage. William Knick's father was a Revolutionary soldier in the company of Captain Bettas, of Hagerstown, Maryland; was taken prisoner at Camden, New Jersey, while fighting under the command of General Gates, and was kept in the British prison at Charleston, South Carolina, until the end of the war. The father of our subject was a soldier in the war of 1812 and be-came one of the pioneers of Ohio, making the journey to this state from his Virginia home in an old-fashioned, high-backed wagon, drawn by horses. At a later date he returned to Virginia on horseback and the saddlebags which he then carried with him, in accordance with the custom of the times, are now in possession of his son, Samuel. On arriving in Miami county he took up his abode on the farm near Casstown, where both he and his wife died, his death occurring December 14, 1849, in his fifty-seventh year, and his wife passed away October 1864, in her seventy-seventh year. They had a family of nine children, eight sons and a daughter. Rebecca, the eldest, and only daughter, became the wife of Samuel Cavender. They made their home in Tippecanoe City, where both died of cholera in 1849, their remains being interred in one grave. They left three children the eldest being then twelve years of age. William Knick, his brother, buried both of the parents and then took the children to his mother's home. The oldest died a few days afterward of the cholera, but not one of the sons in the family of William Knick, Sr., incurred the disease, although Samuel slept with the little nephew whose death occurred so shortly after that of his parents. John, the eldest brother lived on the old homestead until his death, which occurred when he had attained the age of seventy years. His widow now resides in Troy. William, a stock buyer of Casstown, died at the age of sixty-five years. James is now living in Darke county, Ohio, and is seventy-six years of age. George, who has been in the west for twenty-five years, is now a resident of Oregon. Isaac is living in Staunton and owns a part of the old homestead. Samuel was the next of the family. Harrison, a farmer, died August 31, 1868, in his thirty-fourth year. Thomas, the youngest, is now an agriculturist of Brown township, Miami county.

    Samuel Knick, whose name introduces this review, remained at home until his father's death, which occurred when he was sixteen years of age. He then began operating a farm on the shares, receiving one-third of the profits in compensation for his labor. He was associated with Isaac Ullery in the business, their connection continuing for four years. By the time that he had attained his majority, as the result of his industry and economy, he had accumulated a thousand dollars. Much of this was obtained by successful trading in horses, for even as a boy he won quite a reputation for his ability in that line, and as he grew older his business became extensive and profitable. He continued to rent land until his marriage and later purchased a farm, the income from which has steadily augmented his capital until he is now one of the substantial citizens of the community.

    On the 18th of October 1855, Mr. Knick married Miss Mary Elizabeth Strock, who was then about twenty-two years of age and resided near Addison, Clark county, Ohio. The young couple began their domestic life on the farm where the Children's Home now stands, it being then the property of Nellie Stattler. In 1858 he purchased one hundred and ten acres of land near Miami City, of which about fifty acres had been placed under the plow. An old log cabin constituted the improvements upon the farm at the time of the purchase, but soon this was supplemented by other needed buildings and in course of time the little house was replaced by a more commodious residence erected in 1866. The roof was made of shaved pine shingles, which are still in service. Mr. Knick has added to the property by additional purchase of thirty acres and has carried forward the work of improvement and cultivation so energetically that he is to-day the owner of one of the most valuable and attractive farms of the neighborhood. He has laid over five hundred rods of tiling and everything is in a first-class condition. Throughout the years he has made a specialty of stock raising and feeding cattle and hogs. He also breeds Poland China hogs and now has some fine specimens of the O. I. C. breed. He has also fed a good many cattle and bought and shipped stock. To some extent he has also bred and sold horses and in these various departments of his business he has met with prosperity.

    Unto Mr. and Mrs. Knick have been born six children: Melissa, wife of William Merrett, who is living on the Springfield pike in Elizabeth township; Emma J., wife of Henry Beals, who resides in Elizabeth township, near Tippecanoe; Frank, who pursued a commercial course and was a bookkeeper in Springfield, Ohio for twelve years, but is now living with his wife's father, Isaac Clyne, near the old homestead in Elizabeth township; Charles, who wedded Lida Frantom and is now assisting his father in the operation of the home farm; Ella, wife of John Widner, a popular teacher of Elizabeth township; and Ida, at home. The children have all been provided with excellent educational privileges and thus fitted for the practical and responsible duties of life. Mr. Knick has kindly aided them in many other ways, and on Christmas day, 1889, at the annual family dinner, when all the children and grandchildren were around him, he gave to them a substantial share of the property he had acquired, the amounts being entirely equal. The welfare and happiness of his family have always been to him of the first consideration.

    Mr. Knick has taken a deep interest in the improvement of the county, has aided in building free pike roads and in other ways assisted in the promotion of the public welfare. He is a member of the Honey Creek Christian church, and in politics is a Democrat. For twenty years he served on the board of trustees and was never defeated for that office. He refused at one time to become a candidate, but was soon after renominated, for his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth, ability and fidelity, desired him to represent them on the board. He has frequently served as a delegate to the conventions of his party, but has never sought public office in any way, content to indicate his political preferences by his ballot. He has always lived on good terms with his neighbors, and to the poor and needy he has been a charitable friend. Mr. Knick finds his chief source of recreation in hunting and fishing and has frequently gone on such excursions, making trips as far as Iowa. His life has been manly, his actions sincere, his manner unaffected and his example is well worthy of emulation.

    Return to the Biography Index

    Return to Main Page

    Copyright © 2000 by Computerized Heritage Association.
    All Rights Reserved.