Frederick Pontius was born April 4, 1759, in Buffalo valley, Northumberland county (now Union county), Pennsylvania, where in course of time he married, and raised a family of four children, as follows: John, born December 10, 1782, who died February 27, 1837; Philip, born January 24, 1784, who died May 28, 1845; Catharine, who married Adam Rarey, in Ross county, and in 1808 settled in Madison township, Franklin county; Elizabeth, who married Henry Bunn, in Ross county, and settled in Madison township, near her sister, where she died in August, 1860. The wife of Frederic [Sic.] Pontius died in their home in Pennsylvania, and he afterwards married Catharine Reedy. In 1807 the family emigrated to Ross county, Ohio, arriving in July of that year, and immediately settling on a large tract of land purchased the preceding year by Frederick Pontius, who came to Ohio for that purpose.
Philip Pontius was twenty-two years of age when he came with the family to Ohio. He had obtained a limited education in the German language in the schools of his Pennsylvania home, but possessed no knowledge of the English language, which, however, he learned to speak fluently during his later years. He was married, in 1809, to Catharine Rarey, who was born in Virginia, December 25, 1778. Her father, Charles Rarey, was of German birth, and emigrated to Virginia in a very early day, whence he came to Ross county very early, and from there to Madison township in 1806. On his first arrival in America he was sold as a servant to serve until able to pay the sum required as passage money. This he earned in a short time, besides accumulating enough to enable him to make a visit to his native land. After his return to this country he was married to Margaret Wolf, by whom he had ten children, Catharine being the second. Immediately after marriage Philip Pontius and wife came to Madison township, Franklin county, in the winter or spring of 1807, where they settled on a lot of eighty acres, in section thirty-two. They lived on this lot several years when it was exchanged for other land on the northwest quarter of section nine, on which they located in about 1811. Here he built a hewed log house of one room, and entered upon the labor of making a permanent home in the forest, and here, with the help of the children born to him, he cleared during his lifetime, one hundred and sixty acres of land. During the early part of the war of 1812 he teamed supplies to headquarters of the army at Franklinton, and while thus engaged was free from the draft which called out most of the able bodied settlers. His life was spent in redeeming a naturally fertile soil from the vast forest which covered it, and truly did he and his wife perform pioneer labors in the wilderness, often working at burning brush and log-heaps until far into the night in order to prepare ground where they could raise grain and vegetables for the sustenance of themselves and their little ones. Their house was the home of itinerant Methodist preachers, who visited every section of the country, and no one, however humble or degraded, was turned from their door. Both early became identified with the Methodist Episcopal church, and both exemplified the true teachings of Christianity in their lives and work. Mr. Pontius died May 28, 1845. His wife died November 2, 1854.
The children of Philip and Catharine Pontius were : Christine, born November 27, 1809, who married Abraham S. Rainier, and settled with him on the line of Franklin and Pickaway counties, their home being in the latter. He died leaving two children, and she married Josiah Hulva, whom she also survived, and died in Lockbourne, June 2, 1842. Charles, who was born April 19, 1812, passed his youthful days at the usual avocations of the time, and aided much in the labor of clearing the land and cultivating the crops. His education was obtained at the subscription schools, at that time the only place for obtaining an education. He was married, September 19, 1833, to Elizabeth Sharp, a daughter of John Sharp, who settled in Madison township in 1808. She was born August 1, 1811. Her father, John Sharp, was born. in Heidelberg township, Berks county, Pennsylvania, April 28, 1781, and was married January 31, 1808, to Mary Elizabeth Harbine, who was born in Barn township, the same county, May 3, 1782. They raised a family of nine children, as follows: Mary C., Elizabeth, Samuel, Joseph, John, Ann, Catharine, Abraham, and Huldah, three of whom are now living—Elizabeth (Mrs. Charles Pontius), Samuel, and Abraham. The other children of Philip Pontius were: Elizabeth, born in 1814, who married Dr. B. F. Guard and settled in Pickaway county, near Lockbourne, where she died, and John, born in 1816, who died from injuries, caused by a runaway team, when but eleven years of age. Charles Pontius became a member of Hopewell Methodist Episcopal church in 1834. His wife had joined the Truro Presbyterian church in 1831, previous to their marriage, and retained that connection a number of years. She then joined Hopewell church, of which both have remained consistent, useful and efficient members to the present time. Mr. Pontius has for the past forty years been leader of one of the two classes in the church, and before that time was one of the stewards about two years. He has always been a liberal supporter of the church, and has ever been ready to assist a needy congregation in the effort to built a church home. In his business habits he has been careful and methodical, and, assisted by his wife, by economy and hard labor, has secured a comfortable competence for their declining years. The children born to Charles and Elizabeth Pontius were: Franklin G., born June 8, 1836, who married Mary E. Rainier, and lives on the southwest quarter of section five; Philip, born March 27, 1840, who married Anna A. Perrill, and lives on the farm adjoining his brother, Franklin; John, born August 14, 1842, and died November 12, 1842; Charles L., born May 1, 1845, who married Fannie C. Perrill, and lives at the old Pontius homestead.
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