A Portrait and Biographical Record of Allen and Van Wert Counties, Ohio (A. W. Bowen & Co., Chicago, 1896)
Matthew Files, a substantial farmer of Union township, Van Wert county, Ohio, and father of Dr. Charles A. Files of Van Wert city, was born in Ross county, Ohio, June 25, 1825, a son of Robert and Elizabeth (Mahan) Files. The father, Robert, was born in Rockbridge county, Va., and about the year 1778 came to Ross county, Ohio. He enlisted under Capt. McDonnell in the war of 1812, and in recognition of his services was awarded a land warrant for 160 acres, but his warrant he sold. He farmed in Ross until 1835, when he moved to Greene county, where his death occurred in 1848. Mrs. Elizabeth (Mahan) Files was born in Pennsylvania about the year 1782, her father, Matthew Mahan, being a Methodist minister, who devoted much of his time to the conversion of the Indians. Robert and Elizabeth were married about 1800, the issue being eleven children, viz: Ruth, deceased wife of Ephraim Simpson; Polly A., wife of James Kennedy, of Michigan; Margaret, wife of Jacob Kennedy, of Michigan; Catherine, deceased wife of Samuel McClellan; Matthew, our subject; Betsey A., deceased wife of George Neidy; Jacob, of Nebraska; Sarah, who died in childhood; James, deceased; and Nancy, who also died in childhood; and Eliza, deceased wife of John Morris, of Greene county, Ohio. The mother of this family died in Michigan in 1875. She had been a life-long member of the Methodist Episcopal church, although her husband had held to the Quaker doctrine.
Matthew Files was reared on a farm in the woods of Ross and Greene counties, Ohio, and was deprived of all opportunities for gaining an education until after he reached his majority. In 1846, he went to Carroll county, Ind., where for three years he kept a ferry on the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers, then came to Van Wert county, Ohio, and engaged in farming in Ridge and Union townships, and has since been identified with the agricultural interests of the county. His marriage took place in 1853, with Amarilla Snodgrass, daughter of Joseph and Eliza (Ballard) Snodgrass, two children being the result of the union--Dr. Charles A., mentioned above, and Joseph A., a farmer of Union township. Mrs. Files is a native of Greene county, Ohio, born in 1836, her parents having been early settlers of that county. Mr. Files has reached his three-score-and-ten, but is still hale and hearty, and is bring his present farm, which he purchased in 1893, in the newest section of the county, to a high state of cultivation. He is greatly respected by his neighbors and considered to be one of the most useful and substantial citizens of his township.
page 176: Charles A. Files, M.D., of Van Wert, Ohio, was born in Xenia, Greene county, in the same state, May 13, 1857, and is a son of Matthew and Amarilla (Snodgrass) Files, at present residing in Union township, Van Wert county, where they first made their home when Charles A. was a lad of but nine years of age. Here out subject was reared and attended the neighboring district school until he reached his eighteenth year, when he began teaching; in 1883, he was chosen principal of the Van Wert city schools, and held the position until 1890. On his assumption of the principalship of the public schools, Mr. Files began to devote his attention, during vacations, to the study of medicine under Dr. W. H. Christopher of Van Wert, pursuing this course of instruction until 1887, when he placed himself under the tutelage of Dr. G. J. Eblen, with whom he studied until 1890, and then attended the Fort Wayne Medical college one term, and next passed two years in study at the Ohio Medical university of Columbus, from which he was graduated March 13, 1894, and immediately entered upon the practice in Van Wert, where a bright future evidently awaits him. The doctor was united in marriage April 2, 1880, with Miss Carrie C. Frazer, a native of Mercer county, Ohio, and this union has been blessed with the birth of two daughters--Rilla and Mabel. Mrs. Files is a sincere member of the Christian church, and the doctor is a member of the Improved Order of Red Men. In politics he is a republican and his social standing is with the best citizens of Van Wert.
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