The history of the Dreisbach family, which has, in Salt Creek township, a representative in William; in Circleville, Martin E. and Mrs. D. B. Wagner; in Pickaway, Isaac E.; and in Washington township, Edward Dreisbach, with numerous others, extends back to Martin Dreisbach, who was born in the year 1717, in the earldom of Witgenstein, Germany, and his wife (Anna Eve Hoffman), the daughter of a teacher, of Nausaugiegen. They emigrated from the fatherland in 1746, to the United States, and located upon a farm in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. The had four sons and two daughters--Jacob,Henry, John, Martin, Margaret, and Catharine.
Jacob, the eldest son, married Magdalene Buchs (whose name, anglicized, is Books), and they had a family of thirteen children, eight of whom were sons, namely, Martin, John, George, Samuel, Benjamin, Henry, Jonathan, and Jonas, all of whom were early settlers in Ohio.
George, the third son, was born January 13, 1784, and his wife, whom he married in Northumberland (now Union) county, Pennsylvania, was born February 14, 1788. Her name was Catharine Betts. They were married January 10, 1809. Their children were, Mary, born November 27, 1809; Hannah, January 2, 1812; Elizabeth, June 17, 1814; William, September 21, 1817; Manuel, March 9, 1829; Sarah, January 16, 1823; George, August 18, 1825; Abner, August 16, 1828; and Solomon, August 16, 1831. All are now living except Mary, Sarah (Mrs. P. Brock), Manuel, and Solomon, the last named of whom died in infancy.
Only the eldest of the children was born in Pennsylvania, and the others in Ohio, their parents moving in 1811, to this State. They stopped at first at Peter Spyker's, on Salt creek, south of Tarlton, but in a short time removed to the farm upon which their son William, now resides, and which the elder Dreisbach bought of Mrs. Sayler, a widow. He cleared up this farm, endured the privations and toils, braved the dangers of pioneer life, and lived to enjoy the triumph of his labors. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and underwent, in the service as well as at his home in the back woods, the viscissitudes [sic.] of a frontier life in troublous times. He was a man of hardy constitution, and one of the most actively industrious of the large class of fearless, thrifty men, who prepared the way for the army of civilization and hewed out the rich inheritance that the present generation enjoy. He was noted for his uprightness of Character, and his long life was, in all respects, an exemplary one. The church of the United Brethren was the religious institution which most closely embodied and exemplified his ideas, and he was for long years one of its most worthy members, as well as one of its best supporters. His long life of usefulness was brought to a close November 3, 1863--ten years after the decease of his wife.
The descendents [sic.] of this pioneer pair were brought up at the farm home, accustomed to the labors incident to such life as they led, enjoying its simple pleasures, and taking advantage of the few opportunities afforded for improvement. Their educational facilities were limited; their chances for social recreations of seldom occurrence; but they had health--that best of all inheritances--the example of good lives before them, wholesome training; and the happiness--physical as well as mental--that wholesome labor and the right discharge of duty bring. They retained the traits of their parents, and matured into men and women of intrinsic worth, valuable to society and to the communities in which they dwell.
Hannah, the eldest living, married Philip Pierce, and resides near Bloomington, Illinois. Elizabeth is the wife of A. Medsker, of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Manuel fell a victim to one of those terrible crimes of violence which grew out of the Rebellion. In 1863, he was living in Amanda township, Fairfield county, Ohio, and was a strong Union man. The drafting of men for the army by the National government was meditated, and in some sections had been begun. In his neighborhood, men were mustering, to prevent, by force of arms, its taking effect. Partisan feeling ran high, and violence was threatened in many localities. Manuel Dreisbach was not one of those who feared to speak his sentiments, and he did so, on several occasions, telling various individuals that they had no right to resist the orders of the government, and using his influence towards creating a law-abiding sentiment. It was feared by some of his friends that he would meet with violence, but he entertained no such apprehensions. One day, while engaged upon his farm in threshing grain, he went to the house to make some arrangement for dinner for the men in his employ, and there met a man who had worked for him several years, and with whom he was on the best of terms, so far as he knew. The man had a rifle, and with scarcely a word of warning, he raised it to his shoulder and fired. The ball took effect in Mr. Dreisbach's chest, but he did not fall. The assassin drew a revolver, to finish his bloody work, but was driven away by the threshers, who pursued him with pitchforks. He escaped. Mr. Dreisbach died in a few hours. John C. Corder, the hired man who fired the fatal shot, is to-day in the State's prison, serving out a sentence for murder, having escaped, by a narrow chance, the gallows. No cause was shown for the crime, other than that Mr. Dreisbach's utterances had been distasteful to some of the people in his neighborhood. It transpired, in the trial, the Corder had, sometime in previous years, committed a murder in Virginia; that he was a desperate character, whom a few dollars would induce to commit any crime. It was alleged that he was a hired assassin.
George Dreisbach is in Winona county, Minnesota, and has twice represented a consti[t]uency in the legislature of that State. He married Mary Nichols. Abner is in Australia, and has been there since 1852. William lives in Salt Creek township, at the old homestead, an illustration of which is given on another page. He is a farmer by occupation, and one of the substantial, representative men of the county. Like his father, he was, in his early years, a Democrat, but since 1848 has not voted with that party, and, most of the time since its origin, he has been a supporter of the Republican party. He is a member of the United Brethren church. He was united in marriage, February 22, 1839, with Margaret, daughter of William and Jane Earnheart, of Washington township. They have had nine children: James A., Mary J., Martin, Harriet, George, Kate, Amanda, Jemima, Milton and Abner Scott, all of whom are living, except Martin and Jemima. The mother of these children died May 28, 1863, and Mr. Dreisbach, August 1, 1869, was married to his second wife, Mrs. Louisa Ford (formerly Wheitsel), a daughter of Jacob and Polly Wheitsel, of Salt Creek township, with whom he is still living.