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


    Isaac S. Sheets, a representative of the farming and dairying interests of Miami county, is a gentleman of sterling worth, who brings to the conduct of business affairs a knowledge of the underlying scientific principles which form the basis of all work. Cause and effect are found in every department of labor and are specially noticeable in the work of the farm. Added to his knowledge of the needs of cereals and of stock, is an unflagging diligence and resolute purpose which makes Mr. Sheets one of the most prosperous and progressive agriculturist of his community. He was born September 7, 1872, on the farm adjoining that on which he now resides. His paternal grandparents were Isaac and Nancy (Knoop) Sheets, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Staunton township, Miami county. During his childhood Isaac Sheets accompanied his parents on their removal to Tennessee and thence to Miami county, in 1812, the family locating on the farm now owned by Isaac Studebaker. In 1832 the grandfather removed to Clark county, Ohio, where his last days were spent. After his marriage Isaac Sheets remained with his father two years and then located on the old Sheets homestead, two miles east of Troy, which is within the border of Elizabeth township. There he lived and died. He erected a sawmill at an early day and in 1832 built a gristmill, which he began to operate in 1834. The old structure is still standing, but has not been in operation for some years. Mrs. Sheets died May 3, 1862, and Mr. Sheets' death occurred on the 24th of September, 1876, resulting from heart disease while he was in attendance at the Centennial Exposition, at Philadelphia. He was then nearly seventy-eight years of age. He was a very popular and highly respected citizen, having for two years served as county commissioner, and at all times led an active and useful life, advocating all works of public improvement that tended toward the substantial upbuilding of the county. In his family were seven children, five of whom survive him, namely: Elizabeth, who is still living in Elizabeth township; Mary, who resides on the old homestead with her youngest brother; John K., father of our subject; Barbara Jane; and George M.

    John K. Sheets, father of him whose name introduces this review, was born on the old family homestead in Elizabeth township, September 27, 1833. His boyhood days were passed on the farm and his education was obtained in the public schools and in R. M., Bartlett's Commercial College, at Cincinnati, where he was graduated on the completion of the course. He operated the old Sheets mill on the farm for many years, carrying on that business at intervals until 1880. He also engaged in farming and about 1887 he took up his abode on the land which now constitutes the farm of his son, Isaac S. It is known as the old Gearheart place and upon it, on a beautiful knoll, is located the old private family cemetery. It has been used as a city of the dead for over fifty years. John K. Sheets gave his entire attention to agricultural pursuits upon the farm now occupied by his son, and on the old Tom Miller farm, comprising about four hundred acres of land. When he took possession of the Gearheart farm it had been allowed to run down greatly, and with his characteristic energy he began in making substantial improvements. He tiled it with underground drainage and thus reclaimed thirty acres of land which is now the richest tract of the entire property. In 1892 he erected the present home, which stands on a beautiful eminence, commanding an excel-lent view of the surrounding country. He also made other extensive improvements and the farm thus became one of the most valuable and attractive in this section of the state. Few men have done more to advance agricultural interests in Miami county than did Mr. Sheets, who was one of the first to begin the breeding of imported Jersey cattle. Since that time he has kept a choice herd upon his farm and has made an excellent success of this industry, receiving good prices for his stock. Establishing a dairy business, he conducted it with excellent results and in all his undertakings met with gratifying success. After a long, useful and honorable life he passed away, September 19, 1895, having for more than a year been confined to his bed. He was deeply interested in politics and was a stanch advocate of Democratic principles, yet never sought or desired office. Reared in the Universalist faith, he became a Unitarian in his religious belief, although he never affiliated with any society. His opinions were formed as a result of careful study of the Bible and he remained quite liberal in his views. He was not of an argumentative nature, always avoiding controversy in religious as well as other matters.

    On the 4th of June, 1861, Mr. Sheets was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Null, daughter of Jacob and Sybil (Mapes) Null, of West Charleston, Bethel township. The lady was born in that locality, where her father had located on coming to this state from Pennsylvania. He was a public landlord and storekeeper. Mrs. Sheets is still living and makes her home in Troy. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sheets were born the following children: Mary Jane, who was a student in the Troy high school at the time of her death, which occurred when she was sixteen years of age; Isaac; and Arthur K., a student in the Kenyon Military College, at Gambier, Ohio.

    Isaac S. Sheets, whose name introduces this record, spent his childhood days under the parental roof and was provided with excellent educational privileges. He was graduated in the high school of Troy, with the class of 1891, and then entered upon the classical work of the Michigan State University, at Ann Arbor. He would have graduated in June, 1895, but in the midst of the last session of the senior year he was called home on account of the illness and subsequent death of his father. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta, a Greek letter society, and took an active part in its work. Upon his father's death he assumed the control of the farm, and, being appointed administrator, took up the work of settling the estate. He has since engaged in the business of farming and dairying, and is particularly successful in the latter branch, keeping twenty-five head of cows for this purpose. He keeps Jersey cattle and sells milk in bottles to the Troy trade. He also has on hand some registered stock for breeding purposes. He operates two farms which were owned by his father, and is accounted one of the most practical and progressive young representatives of agricultural interests in Miami county.

    On the 10th of June, 1895, Mr. Sheets was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Marie Sweinfurth, who is a graduate of the high school, at Ann Arbor, Michigan. She possesses excellent powers as a vocalist and was a member of the Choral Union, of Ann Arbor, the second largest student chorus in existence. She belongs to the Methodist church, and like her husband enjoys the warm regard of a very extensive circle of friends. Mr. Sheets finds his chief source of recreation with rod and gun, and each year, for a short period, puts aside the arduous cares of business life and enjoys those sports. He is a worthy representative of an honored pioneer family, and the fact that his warmest friends are among those who have known him from boyhood is an indication that his career has ever been honorable and upright.

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