Here are a total of four sketches of George W. Sigerfoos, his father-in-law’s family, and a son-in-law’s family, in the three histories of Darke County OH printed in 1880, 1900 and 1914. In these histories George's parents are never mentioned. George was the son of Margaret Sigerfoos and grandson of Abraham Sigerfoos and Mary Cook of MD. (See my other postings here to read more about his ancestry.)
History of Darke County OH – 1880 – Beers – Twin Township, Page 657:
G. W. SIGERFOOS, deceased. The subject of this sketch was born in the State of Maryland Dec. 13, 1825; he emigrated to Montgomery, Ohio, when 9 years of age, his early life being devoted to farming and teaching. Upon the 28th of July, 1850, he was united in marriage with Nancy Shanck, a daughter of Peter Shanck, whose biography appears among the sketches of Monroe Township, in another part of this work [pages 642-43]; she was born in Montgomery Co. Oct. 2, 1830; upon the marriage of Mr. S., he followed brickmaking and school-teaching some five years in Phillipsburg; in 1855, he engaged in the dry-goods trade at Georgetown, Miami Co., continuing the same ten years; he then devoted six years to farming, then came to Gordon and again engaged in the dry-goods trade, and in 1872 came to Arcanum and engaged in the dry-goods trade, continuing the same until his death, which occurred Oct 16, 1875. The children of G. W. and Nancy (Shancks) Singerfoos [sic] were six in number, viz.: Lorin, born Aug. 25, 1851, died Nov. 28, 1870; Orrin, born March 22, 1853, died Aug. 12, 1870; Arrabella, born Oct. 22, 1856; Ella B., Jan. 26, 1863; Charles P., May 4, 1865, Edward, Dec. 14, 1868. It will be seen by the above that the family circle remained unbroken until Aug. 12, 1870, when the death messenger entered and claimed Orrin as its first victim, and the November following again made his appearance, this time laying his cold, icy hands upon the first-born; thus within the short space of about three months two of the members of this happy family were removed from earth to Heaven, followed five years later by the death of a kind husband and father.
History of Darke County OH – 1880 – Beers – Monroe Township, Pages 642-43:
PETER SHANK, farmer. Sec. 33; P. O. Center, Montgomery Co., Ohio. To the subject of this sketch we are pleased to accord a place in the advance brigade of early pioneers in Darke Co. He was born in Lancaster Co., Penn., May 28, 1803, and is a son of Christopher and Catherine Shank, natives of the same place – lived, died and are buried in the place of their nativity. His father departed this life in 1825, at the age of 45 years, and his mother at the advanced age of 91 years. Our subject assisted his father in tailoring till his 21st year, and then began life for himself, and followed his trade to gain a livelihood. After his father’s death, he resided with his widowed mother for four years, when he was united in the bonds of matrimony with Miss Barbara, daughter of John and Mary Keener, Jan. 12, 1830. They were natives of Dauphin Co., Penn., and their remains are peacefully at rest on the hillsides of their native place. Our subject removed to Montgomery Co., Ohio, with his young wife, the same year of their marriage, and settled seven miles north of Dayton, and resided there for four years and worked at his trade; in 1834, he came to Darke Co. and settled on the place where he now resides; he first purchased 160 acres of land, consisting of woods and almost impenetrable swamps; he erected a small log cabin, and began the great task of making a farm in the heart of a mighty wilderness, with no improved implements of industry, such as we possess now to assist and lighten the heavy work of clearing; ax and muscle then were the essentials, and he who had not plenty of the latter was certainly an object of pity, for strength, muscle and the power to endure privations were the keys that opened the great wilderness and sustained the pioneer in those trying days. Our subject and his good wife have passed through the different phases of pioneer life, and for fifty years this day, the anniversary of their marriage, have they labored together, shared each other’s joys, partaken of each other’s sorrows, each has been a helpmeet to the other, and, although their frames are bent with the weight of years and incessant toil, they are in the enjoyment of good health and strength, with faculties unimpaired; they are the parents of nine children – Nancy, born Oct. 2, 1830; Catherine, born Oct. 10, 1831, died aged 15 months; Lydia, born Sept. 26, 1833; Elizabeth, born Aug. 14, 1835; Catherine, born Dec. 24, 1837; Henry, born May 10, 1840; Susanna, born Nov. 13, 1844; Margaret, born April 5, 1847; John, born Sept. 3, 1850. Mr. Shank was the first Justice of the Peace in Monroe Township after its erection, and has been identified in most all of the offices in the Township, and is a man with considerable executive ability; he is a member of the Brethren in Christ Church, and his wife belongs to the German Baptist; both are Christian people in every sense of the word, and are universally beloved and respected by all; they have been very fortunate in rearing their large family, having lived in Darke Co. for a period of forty-five years without a death in the family; in May, 1879, the death messenger entered the family of his daughter, Mrs. John Miller, who resides in Washington Township, and removed three of its members from earth to heaven – Lydia on the 19th of May, and her sister Ara on the 21st following, and all that was mortal of these two innocents was consigned to the same tomb; but its ravages did not stop here, and little Peter fell a victim to the scourge, and was carried away to angel’s home on the 29th following.
A Biographical History of Darke County OH – 1900 – Lewis Publishing Co. – Pages 738-40:
GEORGE W. SIGERFOOS
At the time of his death the subject of this sketch was one of the leading dry-goods merchants of Arcanum, Darke county, Ohio, and was a man highly respected and esteemed by all who knew him. He was born in the state of Maryland, December 13, 1825, and emigrated to Montgomery county, Ohio, when nine years of age, his early life being devoted to farming and school-teaching. After his marriage he followed brickmaking and school-teaching some five years in Phillipsburg, and in 1855 turned his attention to the dry-goods trade. In 1872 he opened a store in Arcanum where he was successfully engaged in business when called from this life October 16, 1875. In his business dealings he was ever prompt, reliable and entirely trustworthy, and he justly merited the high regard in which he was uniformly held.
On the 28th of July 1850, Mr. Sigerfoos married Miss Nancy Shanck, who was born in Montgomery county, October 2, 1830, and they became the parents of the following children: Lorin, born August 25, 1851, died November 28, 1870; Orrin, born March 22, 1853, died August 12, 1870; Arabella, born October 22, 1856, attended schools until nineteen years of age and then taught for five years at Laura, Ohio. In 1888 she entered the Michigan State Normal School, where she graduated in 1892, and the following two years she taught in the Arcanum high school. In the summer of 1895 she went to Los Angeles, California, where she taught for three years, and since that time has resided with her mother in Arcanum. Ella B., born January 26, 1863, was married November 10, 1881, to Solomon Minnich, of Arcanum, and they have four children, namely: Daisy, Mamie, Nancy and Catherine. Charles P., born May 4, 1865, attended the public schools until seventeen years of age, and then entered the Ohio State College, where he was graduated in 1889. He spent one year at the University of Virginia, four years at John Hopkins University, and is now professor of biology at Minneapolis, Minnesota. Edward, born December 14, 1868, attended the public schools until sixteen years of age, and the following year entered Columbus University, at Columbus, Ohio, where he was graduated in 1891. Passing the examination at Washington, D. C., he was appointed second lieutenant in the regular army, and spent two years in a military school at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1898 he was commissioned first lieutenant and served one year at Santiago, Cuba, under General Wood, but is now stationed at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He was married, in December 1895, to Miss Opal, a daughter of Dr. Donavan Robeson, of Greenville, Ohio, and they have one child, Grace.
Peter Shanck, father of Mrs. Sigerfoos, was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, May 28, 1803, and was a son of Christopher and Catherine Shanck, who spent their entire lives in that county, where the former died in 1825, aged forty-five years; the latter died aged ninety-one. Their remains were interred in the place of their nativity. Of their children Peter was the eldest; Elizabeth married John Ryder and died near Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; Catherine married Adam Ryder and died in the same state; Margaret married Henry Hoffman and died in Whitley county, Indiana; Fanny is the wife of John Miller, of that county; John married a Miss Bishop and lives in Pennsylvania; and Henry married Susan Baker and resides in Whitley county, Indiana.
During his minority Peter Shanck assisted his father in the tailoring business, and at the age of twenty-one began life for himself by following that trade. After his father’s death he resided with his mother for four years, and then was married, January 12, 1830, to Miss Barbara, a daughter of John and Mary (Huffer) Keener, who lived and died in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania. She was the tenth in order of birth in their family of thirteen children, the others being as follows: John wedded Mary Heeter and died in Montgomery county Ohio; David married Catherine ----, and died near Palestine, Darke county; Jacob, twin of David, married Elizabeth Arnett and died in Michigan; George died near Palestine, Darke county; Christina married a Mr. Bryan, who died in Pennsylvania, after which she came to Ohio and died near Lewisburg; Molly married John Loxley and died near West Alexandria, Ohio; Elizabeth married George Gable and died in Whitley county, Indiana; Nancy married Christopher Weekley and died near Germantown, Ohio; Mary, twin of Nancy, married John Bowman and died near Celina, Ohio; Catherine is Mrs. David Ryder, now living near Lewisburg, Ohio; Lydia is Mrs. Michael Koch, of Elkhart county, Indiana; and Susan is Mrs. Jacob Heeter, living near Lewisburg, Ohio.
Peter Shanck and his young wife moved to Montgomery county, Ohio, the same year of their marriage, and settled seven miles north of Dayton, where he worked at his trade for four years. In 1834 they came to Darke county and located on a farm in Twin township, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, consisting of woods and almost impenetrable swamps. After erecting a small log cabin he began the arduous task of making a farm in the heart of a mighty wilderness with no improved implements of industry, such as we now possess, to assist and lighten the heavy work of clearing the land. At that time an ax and muscle were the essentials, and he who had not plenty of the latter was certainly to be pitied, for strength and the power to endure privations were the keys that opened the great wilderness and sustained the pioneer in those trying days. Mr. Shanck and his good wife passed through the different phases of pioneer life, and for more than half a century labored together, sharing each other’s joys and partaking of each other’s sorrows, each being a helpmeet to the other. Although they grew bent with the weight of years and incessant toil, they enjoyed good health and strength with faculties unimpaired to the last. Mr. Shanck was the first justice of the peace in Monroe township, this county, and filled most of the township offices. He was a man of good executive ability and sound judgment, and commanded the respect and confidence of all with whom he came in contact. He was a member of the Brethren in Christ church, while his wife held membership in the German Baptist church, and both were earnest Christians and universally beloved and respected. He died in October, 1888, and she also is deceased. In their family were nine children, namely: Nancy, born October 2, 1830, is now Mrs. Sigerfoos; Catherine, born October 10, 1831, died in infancy; Lydia, born September 26, 1833; Elizabeth, August 14, 1835; Catherine, December 24, 1837; Henry, May 10, 1840; Susanna, November 13, 1844; Margaret, April 5, 1847; and John, September 3, 1850.
History of Darke County OH – 1914 – Wilson – Volume 2, Pages 220-22
SOLOMON EDGAR MINNICH
For more than a decade Solomon Edgar Minnich, dealer in buggies, harness and tobacco at Arcanum, Ohio, has been accounted one of the responsible, solid and reliable men of this community. He is progressive and always ready to lend his aid in promoting those movements which look toward a betterment of existing conditions. Mr. Minnich was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, near Union, April 5, 1859, a son of Adam and Catherine (Ziegler) Minnich, natives of Montgomery county. Jacob Minnich, paternal grandfather of Solomon Edgar Minnich, was a native of Pennsylvania, where his wife also was born. They came to Ohio at an early day, making the trip in a one-horse wagon, the contents of which with the horse and wagon, comprised all their possessions. Settling in Montgomery county they began developing a farm, experienced many hardships and passed through all the experiences incident to the times in that locality. The grandfather built for his family a house without nails, fastening it together with wooden pins. The life of these two most excellent people was passed upon the farm which they made from the wilderness, and here the grandfather died, when about seventy years old. His wife long survived him, living to be ninety-three years old. They had five children: Abraham, Lydia, Adam, Jacob and Anna. The maternal grandfather was a native of Pennsylvania, and a minister of the Gospel. After his marriage with a Pennsylvanian, he and his wife moved to Ohio, where they battled with pioneer conditions. Both died in middle life, having had the following children: Elizabeth, Catherine, Mary Ann and John.
Adam Minnich spent all of his active years in farming, but is now living retired at Trotwood, Ohio. His wife died in 1901. Both were consistent members of the Dunkard faith, now known as The Brethren. Their children were as follows. Granville Webster, who resides at Greenville, Ohio; Solomon E., who resides at Arcanum, Ohio; Harvey C., who is dean of Miami University, and Ira C., who resides at West Milton, Ohio.
Solomon Edgar Minnich was reared in Darke county, Ohio, from the time he was about six years old, and there learned to farm, following that line of work until October, 1893, when he moved to Arcanum and embarked in a buggy, horse and livery business, later confining himself to handling buggies, harness and tobacco. In the last named commodity, he buys for Lewis Peters, an old Detroit house.
November 10, 1881, Mr. Minnich was united in marriage with Miss Ellen Sigerfoose, a daughter of George W., and Nancy (Shank) Sigerfoose, and they had four daughters, namely: Daisy, who married R. H. Burke, lives at Oxford, Ohio, and has one son Robert McNair; Mamie, who married Edgar C. Bussert, lives at Forsythe, Mont.; Nancy, who married Dr. J. D. Eichelbarger, lives at Swayzee, Ind., and has a daughter, Ruth Ellen; and Catherine, who married Harley H. Senseman, lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., and has two children, Wilford and Robert. Mrs. Minnich belongs to the United Brethren Church. In fraternal matters, Mr. Minnich is a thirty-second degree Mason, belonging in jurisdiction of the Valley of Dayton Consistory. Politically, he is a Republican and is now a member of the city council, and for several terms was on the school board.
Mrs. Minnich was born at Gordon, Darke county, Ohio, but her parents were natives of Montgomery county, Ohio. Her father died many years ago, but her mother survives, now being eighty-four years old. Their children were: Belle, Ellen, Charles P. and Edward, who are living, and two who are deceased. Charles P. is a member of the faculty of Minneapolis University, and Edward is a major in the regular army.
[The Edward Sigerfoos just mentioned here later became a general and was the highest ranking U.S. officer to die in World War I.]
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