John Marfield was a resident of the mining town of Bardenburg, on the lower Rhine, Germany, and was probably in some way connected with mining interests. He was married to Elizabeth Spies, and at the latter end of the last century emigrated to America with his family, consisting of his wife and two daughters--Penelope and Hannah. He located, soon after reaching this country, in Baltimore, Maryland, and successfully engaged in merchandising. In Baltimore were born five [sic.] more children--William, Catharine, Samuel, John, Henry, and Elizabeth. All were reared in the school of domestic discipline and economy. The head of the family was a man of unbending will, severe honesty, and simplicity of character. The wife was a kind, warm-hearted, gentle, christian woman. The father ruled with the rod--the mother with love. Before the children grew to maturity their father died, but they enjoyed the love and affection of their mother until, ripe with a good old age, she passed away, in 1851. The boys, as they grew to manhood, became scattered. One of the daughters--Hannah--by marriage, became Mrs. Benson; the others lived in maidenhood, in the home their parents had left them. Elizabeth, the youngest, is now the only survivor. Of the sons, William, a mechanical engineer, located in Virginia; Henry in Galena, Illinois; John in Chillicothe, Ohio, where h built up a fine fortune and an enviable business reputation; and Samuel in Circleville, Ohio. Henry and Samuel are the only sons now living. It is with the latter and his family that this sketch has to deal.
Samuel Marfield was born in Baltimore, Maryland, january 17, 1808. When a youth he was apprenticed to the saddlery business, which he learned. Self-depending form childhood, he branched out in business for himself before he became of age, and rapidly built up a handsome trade in domestic and imported saddlery hardware in Baltimore. January 3, 1833, he was married to Harriet M., daughter of Samuel and Sarah Wright. Mr. Wright was a Maryland farmer, of Welsh extraction. To Samuel Marfield and wife were born, in Baltimore, two sons--William B., November 19, 1833, and James T., January 29, 1838. Captivated with the inviting opportunities of the West, Samuel Marfield moved to Ohio in 1839, and located in Circleville, engaging in the general hardware business. Here, in Circleville, April 20, 1844, Another son was born, and named after his father--Samuel. In his business Mr Marfield made a success, and in a few years, in 1848, was enabled to establish a private banking house, which he called "The People's Bank," afterward's [sic.] "Marfield's Bank," and which continued in operation until May 1877--twenty-nine years.
Harriet M. Marfield was a faithful and devoted wife, and a tender, loving, patient mother, the memory of whose sweet affection is the treasured heritage of the surviving sons. After several years of bodily affliction, she passed away, April 27, 1865.
The three sons were all given generous opportunities for acquiring a good education--William, at Kenyon college, Gambier, Ohio, where he passed through the first two years of the classical course; James, at Greenway academy, Springfield, Ohio, and Samuel, jr., at Harcourt school and Kenyon college, where he graduated in 1864.
William, after leaving college, was associated with his father in the bank, and remained with him until 1877. He was married January 15, 1861, to Mary F., only daughter of N. S. Gregg, of Circleville. To them were born six children: Elliott, born December 4, 1861; Harriett, born March 2, 1863; James, born January 1, 1865; Nannie, born June 24, 1866; Delano, born March 9, 1869; Mary, born February 4, 1872. They are all living but James, who died in infancy, September 13, 1865.
James T., commencing as a farmer, also finally took a position in the bank, until 1862, when he entered the Union army, as second lieutenant of company B, One Hundred and Fourteenth regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry. He was then in his twenty-fifth year, a powerfully-developed and magnificent specimen of manhood.
The regiment was largely recruited in Pickaway county, and contained the flower of the youth of the community. It was organized in August, 1862, and soon after being mustered in, was ordered to the front to join the army which was being massed to operate against Vicksburg, Mississippi. On December 28th, General W. T. Sherman, in command , embarked his forces on the Yazoo river above and in rear of the rebel army protecting that strongly entrenched citadel, and on the twenty-ninth charged their lines. It was a day of slaughter and defeat. Lieutenant Marfield fell, and was buried by his comrades near the battle field. The army retreated; but six months after, when General Grant captured Vicksburg, the same faithful comrades sought out and recovered the remains of their friend and officer, and they now rest in the beautiful Forest cemetery. The name of Lieutenant James T. Marfield is held in dear remembrance, for he was, in every true sense, a man.
Samuel, jr., the youngest son, whose portrait heads this sketch, after the completion of his collegiate course spent some time in foreign travel, visiting France, Switzerland, Germany, and the British Isles. From 1866 to 1875 he was engaged in commercial pursuits as a wholesale grocer and produce merchant. December 18, 1867, he was married to Florence L., daughter of Dr. A. W. Thompson, of Circleville. To them have been born five children: Dwight S., born December 11, 1868; William T., born August 30, 1870; George R., born August 2, 1872; James T., born March 24, 1874; Elizabeth Spies, born February 28, 1875. James T. died in infancy, September 13, 1874.
December 1, 1875, Samuel Marfield, jr., assumed editorial direction and general management of the Circleville Herald and Union, shortly afterward changed to The Union-Herald, and April 1st, following, was appointed, by President Grant, postmaster of Circleville, both of which positions he occupies at this time.