HENRY FOLK. -- Born in Nimishillen township, Stark county, on the farm owned and occupied by his brother John D., the date of Henry Folk's nativity was May 2, 1849, being the son of John and Elizabeth (Dice) Folk. The original representatives of the family in Stark county were Peter Folk, the grandfather of our subject, and his two brothers, Jacob and Abraham. The three entered claim to an entire section of government land in this county, and the deed is signed by James Madison, who was then President of the United States. They divided the property equally and were numbered among the earliest settlers in the county, contributing materially to the development and reclamation of the land, which was heavily timbered at the time when they came into possession of the same. The father of the subject was born in York county, Pennsylvania, about the year 1813, and was a lad of eight years at the time when his parents took up their permanent abode in Stark county, in 1820 or 1821. Peter Folk erected a log cabin of the primitive type, in the midst of the forest, and there installed his family, his land being in Nimishillen township, where his son John was reared to maturity under the conditions and influences of pioneer life. After his marriage John settled on a portion of the homestead farm, which his father had divided between him and his brother Peter, his share comprising a tract of one hundred and six acres. Here he continued to be actively engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in 1879. He espoused the cause of the Republican party at the time of its organization and thereafter gave it his unqualified support, while both he and his wife were consistent members of the Lutheran church and ever active in good works, being folk of sterling character and commanding the high esteem of all who knew them. The devoted wife and mother survived her husband by about a decade, her death occurring on the 30th of March, 1886, at the age of seventy-five years.. They became the parents of eight children, of whom four are living, namely: Elizabeth, who is still a resident of Nimishillen township, being a maiden lady; Rebecca, who is the wife of Samuel Snyder, of this township; Henry, the immediate subject of this sketch, and John D., of whom individual mention is made on other pages of this work.
Henry Folk, whose name initiates this review, grew up under the sturdy discipline of the homestead farm, to whose work he early began to contribute his quota, while his educational advantages were such as were afforded in the district schools. Shortly before the death of his father he became associated with his brother, John D., in the purchase of the homestead farm, and thereafter they continued to be associated in carrying on the farm until 1894, when our subject rented his portion of the same to his brother and removed to the Joseph Folk farm, which he leases, and here he has since continued to be actively engaged in agricultural operations, so directing his efforts as to secure the maximum returns from his labors. The farm which he occupies comprises one hundred acres and is well improved, while under his direction much has been done to increase its productive value for he is enterprising and progressive and endowed with superior business ability. In politics he is a stanch adherent of the Republican party but has never sought official preferment, though he maintains a deep interest in all that concerns the welfare of his native county. He is a valued member of the Reformed church, doing all in his power to further its spiritual and temporal well-being.
On the 25th of June, 1874, Mr. Folk was united in marriage to Miss Isabelle Shilling, who was born in Nimishillen township, being a daughter of John and Catherine (Klopfenstein) Shilling, the former of whom was born in Germany and the latter in France, both having been brought to Stark county in infancy, their respective parents having been numbered among the very early settlers in the county. Mr. Shilling is still living and resides on the farm, in Nimishillen township, upon which his parents located when the first came to the county. His wife died a number of years age. Mr. and Mrs. Folk became the parents of three children, of whom two are living, Harvey C., who assists in the management of the home farm, and Amelia, who is the wife of Homer Sheffer, a carpenter in this township. The third child was Ada J., who died in infancy.
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