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


    Among the intelligent and highly esteemed agriculturists of Miami county is numbered Reuben Routzon, who, through his well-directed business efforts, has attained a position of affluence and at the same time has gained the confidence and good will of his fellow men by his systematic and honorable methods. He is of German lineage, the Routzon family having been founded in America by Jacob Routzon, the grandfather, who, when a lad, crossed the Atlantic to the new world with his parents, the family locating in Frederick county, Maryland. He there learned the shoemaker's trade, and in connection with that pursuit also operated rented land. He married Elizabeth Krisher, and in 1833, accompanied by his wife and children, he started westward for Ohio, making the journey with wagons. On reaching Shelby county, he located on eighty acres of land in Loraine township, which he entered from the government. He there built a hewed-log house, 18X20 feet, and was engaged in the cultivation and improvement of his farm until his death, which occurred in 1859, when he was about seventy-eight years of age. In politics his support was given to the Democracy, and he held membership in the Lutheran church, of which his wife was also a member. She died in 1867, at the age of eighty-four years. In their family were eleven children: Rachel, who was accidentally scalded to death in Maryland, at the age of three years; George, the father of Reuben; Thomas, who married Jemima Russell and died at his home in Covington; Jacob E., who married Adiah Hahn and died on his farm adjoining the old homestead in Shelby county; Lydia, who is the widow of Emanuel Shearer, and is living with her son, George Shearer, in Newberry township, Miami county, her husband having died in the spring of 1900, in Loraine township, Shelby county; David, who married Catherine Snow and resided on the old homestead for some time, but in 1890 removed to Covington, where his death occurred; Eliza, who became Mrs. Fisher, afterward married Josiah Finfrock, and is now the wife of William Betts, of Piqua; Absolem, a resident of Covington; William, who is making his residence in Piqua; Annie, who became the wife of William Finfrock and died in Clayton; and Maria, who married Joseph McCurdy and died in Piqua.

    George Routzon, the father of our subject, was born in Frederick county, Maryland, April 23, 1808, was reared upon a farm and afterward worked as a farm hand by the month in his native state. He was married in Maryland to Miss Nancy Able, who was born in Frederick county, May 31, 1807. In 1832 they started by wagon for Ohio, and after a journey of five weeks reached Milton, Miami county, in the spring. During that year the father worked as a day laborer, but the following year entered ninety acres of land in Newberry township, for which he paid a dollar and a quarter per acre. Two years later he sold forty acres of that tract. The country was wild and the land swampy. There were no houses in the near vicinity of their home and wild deer frequently passed their cabin door at night. The family endured many hardships and trials, the father often working on neighboring farms, at which time the mother would carry his dinner to him in the fields. In order to do this, she frequently had to make her way through swamps where she had to jump from log to log in order to keep out of the water. They had no well upon the place at first, and Mrs. Routzon would melt snow in winter in order to get water for her cows. The home of the family was a little log cabin, 18 x 20 feet, situated in the midst of the forest. At first there was no floor in the house, but later a floor was built beneath the bed. There were no windows and a quilt was used for a door; but as the years passed the family were able to enjoy many of the comforts of life, the well tilled fields yielding to him a good income. The father continued to work his fifty acres of land, and placed it under a high state of cultivation, continuing its operation until his death, which occurred December 10, 1860. He was a member of the Lutheran church, was a Democrat in politics and served during the greater part of his life as school director. His wife died June 10, 1896, and thus passed away two of the worthy pioneer people of the community. They were the parents of eight children: Elizabeth, deceased wife of George H. Finfrock; Reuben; Israel, of Newberry township, who married Elizabeth Rarick, and afterward married Eliza Swank; Savilla, wife of Samuel Yerty, of Newberry township; William, who married Margaret Apple, but is now deceased; Levi, who married Sarah Wyatt and lived in Newberry township; Thomas, who married Margaret Apple, and is a resident of Newberry township; and Isaiah, who died at the age of three years.

    Reuben Routzon, of this review, was born August 5, 1833, in the old log cabin on the homestead farm, and was reared amid the wild scenes of the frontier, there becoming familiar with the arduous labor of clearing and developing new land. He was very young when he began to handle an ax in the forest, and in preparing the fields for cultivation, thereby developing habits of industry and enterprise which have been the means of bringing to him success in later life. He began his education in what was known as Fetter's school. The building was constructed of round logs and, instead of glass in the windows, paper was used, greased with opossum fat, which made it translucent. The benches were made of split logs and the other furnishings were as crude and primitive. He completed his education when eighteen years of age, putting aside his text books in order to learn the carpenter's trade under the direction of Peter Hartle. The first summer he received three dollars per month and a set of bench tools; the second he was given thirty-seven cents per day, and on the expiration of that period was admitted to partnership by his employer Mr. Hartle. He was thus engaged in the construction of many of the leading buildings in Newberry township and followed his trade with good success for sixteen years.

    On the 28th of February 1861, Mr. Routzon married Miss Catherine Rhodahoffer, who was born in Montgomery county, near Farmersville, May 16, 1834. She was a daughter of David and Margaret (Apple) Rhodahoffer, and with her parents came to Newberry township. They are now deceased. The marriage of our subject and his wife has been blessed with ten children: George W., who was born December 7, 1861, married Angeline Bronson and resides in Staunton township; Margaret, who was born December 11, 1862, is the wife of John Christy, of Darke county; Nancy Elizabeth, born January 31, 1866, died at the age of two years; David Jefferson, who was born February 13, 1867, married Sarah Apple, and resides in Newberry township; Angeline Belle, who was born January 11, 1869, became the wife of Henry Ballinger, of Darke county; Mary Jane, who was born November 8, 1870, is the wife of Amos Fessler, of Monroe township; Sarah Ann, who was born April 15, 1872, is at home; Ida May, who was born September 11, 1873, became the wife of Isaiah Apple, of Shelby county; Wesley S., who was born December 31, 1875, is with his parents; Savilla Josephine, who was born March 10, 1877, is the wife of Uriah Apple, of Newberry township.

    After his marriage, Mr. Routzon located on his present farm, which is the old family homestead, and has added a twenty-five acre tract to the fifty acres left by his father. He also owns a farm of one hundred and twelve acres, part of which is the old homestead of his wife's father. He carries on general farming, and is an enterprising agriculturist who follows progressive and systematic methods. He is not afraid of work, and to this more than anything else may be attributed his success in life. In politics he is a stalwart Democrat, and has served as trustee of his township for four terms and as assessor for one term. Both he and his wife are consistent and faithful members of the Lutheran church, in which he has served as treasurer, secretary and trustee. His life has been well spent, and he has never withheld his support from any measure or movement which he believed would prove of general good. A self-made man, he has advanced steadily step by step on the road to affluence, and his life record should serve to encourage others who are forced to start out for themselves without capital.

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