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


    If those who claim that fortune has favored certain individuals above others will but investigate the cause of success and failure, it will be found that the former is largely due to the improvement of opportunity, the latter to the neglect of it. Fortunate environments encompass nearly every man at some stage in his career, but the strong man and the successful man is he who realizes that the proper moment has come, that the present and not the future holds his opportunity. The man who makes use of the Now and not the To Be is the one who passes on the highway of life others who started out ahead of him and reaches the goal of prosperity far in advance of them. It is this quality in Mr. Sifford that has made him a leader in the business world and won him a name in connection with commercial interests that is known throughout the state. He holds the responsible position of superintendent of bridges and buildings for the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad Company, and makes his home in Covington, Ohio. His birth occurred in Springfield township, Ross county, August 14, 1842. On the paternal side he is of German lineage. His Grandfather, Christian Seiffert, was born in Germany, and, as is seen, the orthography of the name has been changed in the later generations. After coming to the United States the grandfather settled in Pennsylvania, and later removed to Maryland, where his death occurred. He was a cabinet-maker by trade, and followed that pursuit in order to support his family, one of whom was Lewis W. Sifford, the father of our subject. He was born Middletown, Maryland, February 25, 1810, and was a cabinet- maker by trade. When a young man he came to Ross county, Ohio, and there wedded Mary McNeil, a daughter of Azeal McNeil, who came from Virginia to Ohio, locating in Ross county. Mr. Sifford took up his abode in Liberty township, and later removed to Springfield township the same year, and for some time the father of our subject was engaged in conducting a saw-mill and also surveyed land in that section of the state. He was a man of sterling character and of marked ability, and his oratorical power was of no mean order, and made him an effective worker in political campaigns. He served as county commissioner, was for four years United States marshal and at one time represented his district in the state legislature. On his retirement from the office of marshal he became resident engineer of the Ohio Canal Company. In politics he was a stanch Democrat, unswerving in his advocacy of the principles of the party. He held membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and his life was at all times characterized by honesty and fidelity to duty. A man of imposing appearance and well-cut features, he thus gave evidence of his sterling character and at all times commanded the respect of all with whom he came in contact. His death occurred in Springfield township, December 20, 1878, and his wife, who was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, March 15, 1813, died in Springfield township, Ross county, October 5, 1876. Their children were Catherine, wife of James B. Mabury, of Kansas City, Missouri; Mary, wife of David Dunn, of Chillicothe, Ohio; Reese, of this review; Lewis C., of Lima, Ohio; Emma, who became the wife of Joseph Irwin, and died in Dayton, Ohio; John and Maria, twins; and William, of Wellston, Ohio.

    Mr. Sifford, whose name introduces this record, spent his childhood days under the parental roof in Ross county, Ohio, and in the public schools acquired a good education, pursuing his studies until eighteen years of age. He then served a two years' apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, which he followed as contractor of buildings for some years, or until 1870. From 1870 until 1886 he was employed as foreman under the management of the lessee of public works of the Ohio canal, between Columbus and Portsmouth, which position he held until 1886, when he entered the employ of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad Company, Dayton and Ironton division, between Dayton and Ironton, Ohio, filling the position of foreman of bridges and buildings for nine years, which he spent at Chillicothe, Ohio. In 1895 he was sent to Covington as superintendent of bridges and buildings on the C. D. & C. division of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Road, and has since occupied the responsible position, his knowledge of carpentering and mechanical arts well qualifying him for the office.

    In Ross county, Ohio, December 24, 1862, Mr. Sifford was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Dunn, who was born in Scioto township, that county, June 16, 1841. Her father, David Dunn, was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1805, and was a son of Andrew Dunn, whose birth occurred in Ireland. After coming to the United States he located for a time in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, where he made his home until 1807, when he came to the Buckeye state. He made the journey on foot, carrying in his arms his son David, who was then but eighteen months old, while the mother rode on horseback with a young babe in her arms. They first settled at Clear Creek, near Lancaster, Fairfield county, and Mr. Dunn engaged in farming. About the latter part of 1809 he removed to Delaware county, where he died at a ripe old age. David Dunn was reared upon his father's farm, and when he was seventeen years of age he started out in life for himself, going to Ross County, where he carried on agricultural pursuits until 1865. From that time until his death he was a resident of Pickaway county. He was a man of strong constitution and retained his mental and physical faculties unimpaired almost to the last, being able to read fine print without the aid of glasses until his death, which occurred at the age of nearly eighty-nine years. He never used tobacco in his life. Mr. Dunn was twice married. In Ross county, in 1827, he wedded Ann Musselman, who died in March, 1836, and later he wedded Catherine Raines, who died in 1874. The children of the first marriage were Mary and Andrew, who died in Kansas, and Susan M., who became the wife of Lewis Sense, and died in Iowa. The children of the second marriage are David, who lives in Chillicothe, Ohio; Mrs. Sifford; Ann, wife of Nathan McFadgen, of Chillicothe; John, of Pickaway county; James. who died in Xenia, Indiana; Alfred, George and Nelson, who are living in Pickaway county; Rachael and Jane, who died in infancy.

    Unto Mr. and Mrs. Sifford have been born eight children, namely: Ida May, who died in Ross county when young; Linnie Myrtle; Mack, of Dayton, Ohio, who married Clara Davis and has one child, Leon; Annie; Lawrence T., who is a bridge carpenter on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad; Harry, of Covington, who wedded Erla, daughter of Thomas and Jennie (Cole) Hill, of Miami county, by whom he has one child, Dorothy Lovetta; Claude, an employee of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad Company; and Gertrude, who is in school.

    In 1863, while a member of the state militia, Mr. Sifford went with his regiment as first lieutenant, holding a commission under Governor Tod, in pursuit of Morgan, who was making a raid through the state. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Democratic party, and socially is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Chillicothe, Lodge No. 24. He owns a comfortable home on College street, in Covington, and is a highly esteemed and intelligent citizen whose extended reading has made a well-informed man. His domestic tendencies are shown in his devotion to the welfare and happiness of his family, and he manifests his loyalty as a citizen in his support of all measures for the public good.

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