There are many excellent farmers in Paint township, but none more deserving of mention in this volume than Jeptha H. Gossard, one of the gallant old veterans of the Civil War and a man who has been faithful to every trust which has been imposed upon him. Although he was only thirteen years of age when the war opened, he enlisted as soon as he was old enough and the county sent no braver soldier to the front. When this sixteen-year-old lad shouldered his musket and marched into battle, as he did several times, he never wavered, but pressed forward with his regiment and bore his share of the fighting. We can not pay too much honor to these men who fought for the emancipation of the black man and at the same time for the preservation of the Union.
Jeptha H. Gossard, the son of James and Catherine (Messmore) Gossard, was born July 5, 1847, in Madison county, Ohio. His father was the son of James and Catherine (Miller) Gossard and was born in Ross county, Ohio, his parents coming to this state from Greenbrier county. Virginia. The grandparents of Jeptha are buried at London, Ohio. The father of Jeptha H. Gossard located in Madison county, Ohio, when a young man and learned the shoemaker's trade in Midway and Danville. He farmed in addition to following his trade as a shoemaker and owned a good farm in Madison county. Eleven children were born to James and Catherine (Messmore) Gossard: George, Jeptha, Samuel, Marion. William, James, Earl. Theodore, Ida and two who died in infancy. The mother of these children died in Champaign county, Illinois.
The education of Jeptha H. Gossard was acquired in the schools of Midway and Newport, Ohio. He learned the shoemaker's trade with his father and followed that until he enlisted in the Civil War. He enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Ninety-seventh Regiment. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war. His regiment was attached to the Army of the Cumberland and saw hard service in the South. He was mustered out at Camp Bradford, Maryland, and at once returned home. He worked out by the month until he was married and then bought his present farm in Paint township, where he has since resided.
Mr. Gossard has been married three times. His first wife was Josephine Slinker and she and two children born to the marriage are deceased. After the death of his first wife Mr. Gossard married Delia Horney and to this second union three children were born, Pearl (deceased), Ida (deceased), and Thaddie, who married Charles Lowrey and has three children, Harry (deceased), Margaret and Dorothy. After the death of his second wife, Mr. Gossard married Elizabeth Vesey, the daughter of Burton and Rachel (Bushong) Vesey, and to the third marriage three children were born. Catherine, Verne and Burton.
Fraternally. Mr. Gossard is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons. He has been a life-long Republican and served on the school board of his township for several years. Such, in brief, is the interesting career of a man who is held in high esteem by every one who knows him.
From History of Fayette County Ohio - Her People, Industries and Institutions by Frank M. Allen (1914, R. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.)