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


    The record of a just and upright life is always interesting and edifying. Such a life has been that of Joseph W. West, a well- known farmer on section 1, Staunton township, who is more than worthy of mention in such a work as this.

    Mr. West was born in Baltimore, Maryland December 11, 1849, and while yet in his youth accompanied his parents on their removal to a farm near his native City. There he remained until 1870, when, having attained his majority, he decided to seek a home and fortune in the Buckeye state. For a year he was employed on a farm near Dayton, Montgomery county. He then took up his residence in Staunton township, Miami county, and was employed on one of the farms belonging to the Knoop brothers, George, Jacob and John, who were well and widely known for their noble and generous qualities and who, noting his industry and honest, straightforward course, esteemed him highly as a worthy and deserving young man and reposed such confidence in him that they placed means in his hand with which to carry on farming operations and put him on one of their best farms, setting aside for his use one hundred and seventy acres of as good land as lies in the Miami valley.

    About this time--the exact date was October 30, 1876,-- Mr. West married Martha J. Leavelle, a native of Covington, Miami county, Ohio, born June 16, 1849. Mrs. West's father died in the year of her birth and her mother was given employment as housekeeper by the Knoop brothers. As she grew to womanhood Miss Leavelle acquired such a place in the affections of the Messrs. Knoop, that at his death, in 1877, John Knoop bequeathed to her the farm on which she and her husband were living. Other heirs contested the will but finally compromised and Mr. and Mrs. West, bought the farm where they now live. Their union has been blessed by one daughter, Jessie Pearl, who was born August 4, 1877, graduated from the Troy high school in the class of 1897 and was married to W. M. Baker June 20, 1900. Mrs. Baker has decided musical talent. Mr. Baker is the junior member of the dry-goods firm of Baker & Son, of Troy, Ohio.

    Mr. West is now serving his fellow citizens as one of the trustees of Staunton township. He is exceptionally well informed concerning the national and international issues of the times, votes with the Republican Party and is always most earnest in support of its principles. He takes a deep interest in fraternal societies and since 1893 has been a valued member of the Masonic lodge of Tippecanoe City and has held office in that organization almost continuously. In 1895 he was elected junior warden, in 1898 he was elected senior warden and the following year was chosen master, which position he has since held. He is an exemplary member of the society which through many centuries has inculcated among men the spirit of mutual helpfulness, forbearance and brotherly kindness. In 1885, he became a member of Troy Lodge, No. 43, I. O. O. F., and has filled all of its chairs and is past grand of that lodge. He is also a member of the Christian church and in his life shows his faith. During the many years of his residence in this section of the state, his conduct has ever commended him to the confidence and good will of his fellow men.

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