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BASIL Meek was born in Newcastle, Henry County, Indiana, April 20, 1829. His parents were John Meek and Salina Stinson Meek. His father, by a former wife, had born to him six sons and three daughters. The eldest of these, William, was born May 29, 1793, and the youngest, Lorenzo D. Was born May 29, 1812. Six of these children were born in Henry County, Kentucky, where their father lived at the date of their births. He was born at Ellicott's Mills, Maryland, in 1772, and with his parents, when a small boy, moved near to what is now Braddock? Pennsylvania, and from thence moved to Kentucky about the year 1789. From Kentucky he came with his then family, in 1806, to Wayne County, Indiana, where he resided until 1827, when he moved to New Castle, Henry County, Indiana. Here he married Salina Stevenson. After a few years residence here, he returned to Wayne County, and there lived until 1841, when he moved with his family to Owen County, Indiana, where he lived until his death in 1849, aged seventy-seven years. There were born to John Meek of this marriage, six children, four sons, Basil, James S., Thomas J., and one dying in infancy unnamed, and two daughters, Laurenda and Cynthia J. The mother died in May, 1883, aged seventy-five years. Her grandfather, James Stevenson, served three years in the Revolutionary War, and held a captain's commissions at its close.
Basil was only twelve years old when his father settled in Owen County, and having no opportunity of attending any of the higher educational institutions, his school education was limited to that of the schools of that comparatively new country. He however improved such opportunities as was afforded for self improvement, in the use of which he acquired a fair education. In later life he graduated from the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, and has continued his association with the Chautauqua movement from its commencement.
He has given much attention to the interesting local history of the Sandusky Valley region, and is a contributor to the local newspaper of historical sketches. In 1909, he edited a history of Sandusky County entitled the "Twentieth Century History of Sandusky County, Ohio," published by Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company of Chicago, a large number of copies of which have been sold in the county.
While residing at Cataract Village, Owen County, Indiana, December 23, 1849, he married Miss Cynthia A. Brown, daughter of Abner Brown, of Morgan Township, born in 1833; the result of this union was four children; namely, Minerva Bullitt, Mary E., Lenora Belle, and Flora B. Of these, Minerva B. died at Clyde. Ohio, November 22, 1869 in the eighteenth year of her age; Flora B. died in infancy; Mary E. is the wife of Byron R. Dudrow, attorney at law of Fremont, and Lenora Belle married L. C. Groom She died December 4, 1907. The mother of these daughters died in Spencer, Owen County, Indiana in August, 1861.
On September 30, 1862, he married Miss Martha E. Anderson, daughter of Alvin and Harriett (Baldwin) Anderson of Bellevue, Ohio. By this marriage two children were born; namely, Clara C., wife of Dr. H. G. Edgerton, dentist, Fremont, Ohio, and Robert Basil Meek, M. D., born January 14, 1869, and died December 24, 1911.
His grandchildren are Robert Basil Grover, Mary B., Rachel, Dorothy, and Henry Meek Edgerton. Mary B. is the wife of Victor Zahm of Fremont, Ohio. Rachel is the wife of Harrison Temple, of Britton, Michigan.
In 1853, at the age of twenty-four, he was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court, Owen County, Indiana, and was re-elected without opposition in 1857, serving two terms of four years each. During these eight years he devoted such time as could be spared from his official duties in studying law and in 1861 was admitted to the bar in Owen County, Indiana, and formed a partnership at Spencer with Hon. Samuel H. Buskirk of Bloomington, Indiana, who subsequently was a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court. In 1864, he removed from his native State to Sandusky County, Ohio, making at first his residence in the village of Clyde. He served four years as a member of Clyde Village Council. In 1871, he became a member of Sandusky County Bar and practiced until February 10, 1879, when he entered upon his duties as Clerk of Courts, to which office he had been elected at the previous fall election (1878) by a large plurality, running largely ahead of his ticket. He removed with his family to Fremont in the fall of 1879, where he now resides. At the close of his first term he was re-elected by a majority of eleven hundred votes, and served six years in all.
On retiring from this office he resumed the practice of his profession until he was appointed by President Cleveland, postmaster at Fremont. He took charge of this office September 1, 1886, and served until March 1, 1891, a period of four years and six months. In this office he took much interest and devoted his entire energies in rendering an efficient service to the public. It was during his term, and through his efforts that the free delivery system was extended to this office and put under successful operation under his management and that of his son Robert B., who was his first assistant postmaster.
On April 1, 1891, he became associated with his son-in-law, Byron R. Dudrow in the practice of law in which he has since been engaged. In 1905, Mr. Dudrow, owing to severe and protracted illness retired from practice, since which Mr. Meek has been alone in the practice. He is a charter member of the Sandusky County Bar Association, and was its secretary for thirty years prior to 1909, when he was chosen president, which position he now holds.
As a member of the board of education he was influential in the re-organization of the high school in 1895, adopting new courses of study and supporting other measures tending to advance the interests of the schools and establish therein methods -of instruction both modern and practical. He was also active in
adopting free kindergartens, now in successful operation as a part of the public school system of the city. He takes interest in all movements for the promotion of the cause of education among the people. He was a member of the school board for nine years, part of the time its clerk, but most of which time he was president thereof. He is a trustee and also secretary of the Sandusky County Pioneer and Historical Association, and a life member of the Ohio State Archeological and Historical Society, and an occasional contributor to the columns of the quarterly published by the same.
Politically, he has all his life been a Democrat, loyally supporting the measures and candidates of his party, and cheerfully working for the promotion of its principles, serving several occasions as Chairman of the County Executive Committee with acceptability to his party.
He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church from 1857 till 1901, when he became connected with the First Presbyterian Church of Fremont, Ohio, and is one of the ruling elders of the same. He has been since 1854, a member of the Masonic Order.
Dr. Meek was his parent's only son. He received his common school education in Clyde and in Fremont, Ohio. In 1890-91, he pursued a scientific course in Adelbert College, Cleveland, Ohio, preparatory to entering upon the study of medicine. In 1891, he entered Western Reserve Medical College at Cleveland, Ohio, where he remained for two years, then entered Wooster Medical College at Cleveland, taking therein his senior course and graduating in the spring of 1894. He located in practice in Fremont, Ohio, after graduation. In 1895-96, he spent a year in Vienna, Austria, where he took special post-graduate courses. In the spring of 1896, he returned home and resumed his practice, which he pursued with ability and success, not only in general practice, but also in surgery, for which he had a natural aptitude, as well as qualifications by training. He was also especially proficient in the diagnosis of disease. He was for several years local surgeon for the L. S. & M. S. R. R. Company and later served in the same capacity for The Lake Shore Electric Railway Company. Dr. Meek was married to Nellie C. Munson, September 30, 1903, who survives him. No children were born to him.
Barbara's Bordered Backgrounds