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Major John Boggs, and the Boggs Family
Between pages 266 & 267

(Major John Boggs)

There was some interesting history in the Boggs family before they left Virginia. The parents of Major John Boggs, John and Jane (Irwin), lived upon a small stream in Virginia, which empties into the Ohio, named after them, "Boggs' run," and, during the time of the Indian troubles took refuge in the for at Wheeling. A dramatic incident in the family history was enacted while they were living at Boggs' run. Indians appeared at the place one day and surprised and captured the eldest son, William, within sight of the other members of the terror-stricken family. They intended to massacre or take captive the whole family; but, upon questioning the boy whom they had caught, and conveyed to a secure place, they were told that there were seven or eight men at the house, and they considered this number too great for their band to venture out against. They had seen several men about the farm during the day, engaged in harvesting, and supposed that William Boggs' words were true, and that they all slept in the house at night--which was not the case by any means. The elder John Boggs was the only man there. This occurred in 1781 or 1782 when Major John Boggs was but six years old. The captive William was taken to West Liberty, near the present city of Urbana, Ohio, and kept there about nineteen months, when he was exchanged, and returned home. His father did not recognize him in his Indian habiliments, even after having an extended conversation with him. Another son of John and Jan Boggs was killed on Ohio soil, just opposite Wheeling. He was returning, with half a dozen comrades, from a hunting expedition, and they were encamped for the night, when a band of Indians stole upon them, as they were sleeping, and fired into their midst. Boggs was wounded, but sitting, crippled, on the ground, made a desperate fight before he was finally dispatched, with a tomahawk. All of the rest of the party escaped.

John Boggs, the Major, was born May 10, 1775, and emigrated to Pickaway county, with his parents, in 1798. They came down the Ohio, in a keel-boat, to the mouth of the Scioto, and thence, by barge, up the latter stream, to the station below Chillicothe. There they left their boat, and went up the stream, on foot, to a point within the present limits of Green township, Ross county, from which they could look far up the valley, upon a scene of the richest and most peaceful loveliness. But little did they then think of the teeming life that that lonely but fertile valley, should one day hold, or of the signs of industry, wealth, culture, and happiness, it was destined to display. They found that some pioneer had been here before them, and, as in the ethics of the early settlers, it was considered highly dishonorable to locate where another pioneer had made a beginning, however small, they went on, up the stream, to the Pickaway plains, where John Boggs, sr., selected a site, and subsequently entered six hundred and forty acres of land--that now owned by the heirs of Jacob Hitler and Jacob Ludwig. The son, John, went up Congo, to the place where stands the Logan elm, and where James T. Boggs, now resides. After making his location, and preparing a rude home, he returned to Boggs run, Ohio county, Virginia, and there married in the year 1800, Sarah McMicken. He brought his wife to his new home, and there reared his family, living for a time in the log house, but, at an early day, probably in 1801 or 1802, building the house which is still standing. Major Boggs was very poor, and had to struggle hard for a living. He was a man of very industrious habits, and did with a will whatever he undertook. He was a man of very industrious habits, and did with a will whatever he undertook. He cleared up his farm, and toiled patiently in the work of improvement, against many disadvantages, but with ultimate success and satisfaction. He commenced boating in 1803, and took the first boat load of flour that was ever sent out of the Scioto, to New Orleans. He made three trips, and returned on foot, or on horseback, the whole distance from New Orleans to Pickaway township, passing through the Indian nation, and keeping a sharp look-out for robbers. He met with no mishap of bodily harm, and with but one loss of money. That was when a tavern-keeper, with whom he and his friend, Daniel Crouse , stopped, picked the lock of his saddle-bags, and took from them three hundred dollars in silver, with which he paid a debt to Crouse. Major Boggs never knew of his loss until he arrived at home, and, though he applied to the tavern-keeper, who acknowledged his guilt, the money was never recovered. Mr. Boggs received the title of "Major" in the war of 1812. Through his industry, economy, and good management, he became owner of about one thousand, eight hundred acres of land in Pickaway township, two thousand acres in Indiana, and a large amount of personal property.

Major Boggs was a man who had the universal respect of his neighbors and acquaintances. Although not a member of any church, he was a warm friend of religion, and contributed liberally to aid its progress amon the people. Politically, he was a Democrat, and a great admirer of "Old Hickory." He died February 6, 1861, at the home of his son Moses. He had married as his second wife, a sister of the first, Mrs. Jane (McMicken) Taylor, in Zanesville, and had been, for a number of years living in that place, when he was taken sick, and returned to Pickaway township, as he said, to die. His first wife died December 31, 1851. His father died on the same day of the month as the son--February 6--1827, and it is a curious fact that, had they each lived until his next birthday, they would have been, at the dates of their death, at precisely the same age--eighty-seven years. The descendants of John Boggs and wife were: William, Jane, Lemuel, John, Nancy, Lydia, Moses, James, and Sidney (the latter, although the name might not be understood to signify it, a daughter). William Boggs is in Bellefontaine; Jane, Mrs. F. Shelby, died in Indiana. Lemuel was killed in 1827, in the mill which his father built, about ten years before; John is living in Pickaway township, with his second wife, Lucy H., a daughter of Judge Isaac Cook, of Ross county; his first wife was Mary Ann Evans; she died in 1852. Mr. Boggs is one of the largest land-owners in Pickaway county having about two thousand eight hundred acres in the township in which he lives, and enough more in the west to make about nine thousand acres. Nancy Boggs died when quite young; Lydia is also deceased; Moses Boggs died December 7, 1863; he married Margaret S., a daughter of Judge Cook, of Ross county, August 3, 1841, by whom he had seven children, two of whom are dead. John M., the eldest, married Fanny S. Stearns, and now resides in Lafayette, Indiana; Lemuel, a resident of Circleville, farmer, substantial man of business, and owner of the Elmwood elevator, married Jennie Groce; Scott C., married Ada Shannon, and lives on the old homestead; William is in Lafayette, Indiana, and Sally T. in Pickaway township. A view of the old home of Moses Boggs appears in this work. James Boggs, youngest son of Major John Boggs, married Minerva Whitsel, and resides on the old homestead. They are the parents of five children: Mary (Mrs. John Davenport), Taylor, who married Alva, daughter of Abel Jones, of Pickaway plains, Irwin, Samuel, and James. Sidney Boggs, youngest child and daughter of Major John Boggs and wife, married Dr. L. Jones, and is living in Lafayette, Indiana.



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