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


    ABSALOM ROUTSON, who was for many years one of the leading business men of Covington, passed out of this life November 9, 1908, and was actively engaged in business when stricken with the brief illness which resulted in his death at the age of eighty- three. He was born near Fredericksburg, Maryland, December, 1825, and when quite young his parents located for a time in Pennsylvania, later moving to Shelby County, Ohio. In 1843 he came to Covington in order to learn the tailoring business from an elder brother, who died before he had finished learning the trade. He shortly afterward determined to engage in business for himself, although entirely without capital. He borrowed $2.50 and with a similar amount of his own, went to Cincinnati, where, through letters of recommendation he purchased stock for the store which he opened in Covington. He conducted it successfully for many years, when he merged the store into the largest dry goods store in Covington. Mr. Routson was one of the substantial men of Covington, always taking a deep interest in the promotion of the city's welfare, and enjoyed the confidence and good will of his fellow citizens. He was a member and an elder of the Presbyterian Church of Covington.

    Mr. Routson was first united in marriage May 7, 1846, with Martha W. Clark, their union resulting in the birth of seven children, three of whom are living; Mrs. James T. Bartmess, of Covington; Henry Ward Beecher Routson, of Covington; and Mrs. & Dr. Charles Martin, of Findlay, Ohio. Mr. Routson formed a second marital union March 31, 1869, with Sarah Margaret Birely, who died January 21, 1906. On March 26, 1907, Mr. Routson was joined in marriage with Ermina Purdy, a native of Covington and a daughter of James L. and Prudence (Billingsley) Purdy.

    James L. Purdy was born in Perry County, Pennsylvania in 1816 and in 1825 with his father, Thomas Purdy, moved to Miami County, Ohio, where they settled in Washington Township. His education was obtained in the local schools and for some years after completing his education he taught in the Washington Township schools. After his marriage Mr. Purdy came to Covington, where he engaged in manufacturing chairs, and also conducted an undertaking establishment, being for many years the only undertaker in the city. Mr. Purdy was a man of prominence and education, and during his later years assisted in compiling a history of Miami County, the history being in the possession of his daughter, Mrs. Routson. Mr. and Mrs. Purdy were the parents of two children , Ermina, widow of the subject of this record; and Thomas, who was killed in a railroad accident February 17, 1907. He married Kate Darner and to them were born four children; Mrs. Grace Brandon, of Piqua; Lucy, who resides in Covington, and is a stenographer at Geo. Rundle's in Piqua; Ethel, engaged in the millinery business in Covington; and John, a bookkeeper residing in Dayton, Ohio.

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