The BIGHAM family was an important and influential one in this county at a very early period. The father of the family, William BIGHAM was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, November 1, 1752, and was married to Mary REED in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1779. He made two trips to the West; first, in 1795, and again in 1801, purchasing, in the first expedition, land in Cincinnati and near to it and also in Hamilton. He came West to reside in 1809, when he brought to Cincinnati his wife, four sons—David, George R., James, and William; and two daughters, Mary and Judith. One daughter was married in Pennsylvania, and two near Cincinnati. In the Spring of 1810 he settled on a large tract of land on the Miami River above the town, where he died on the 4th of September, 1815. He was a member and an efficient ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, and was considered the father of that denomination in this place. By his will he gave a considerable sum to the Presbyterians to aid in erecting a house of worship, which two years after his death, was done.

 

David BIGHAM, his son, was born in Pennsylvania, April 3, 1788, and came out here with his father on his second visit. He intended to study for the ministry, but was prevented by a cancer, which however, was subsequently cured. He was twice married. His first union was to Miss BEARDSLEY, of Westchester, and his second to Mrs. Susan CUMMINS, daughter of John LUDLOW, by whom he had six children. He was a man of high moral and intellectual character, and was ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church for thirty-one years, having been elected in 1815, at the time of the death of his father. His home was the resort of the first men of the country. His house was noted for its hospitality, and it was ever open to his friends. He kept up his studies, and his knowledge of Latin and Greek rendered his society useful and much sought after by the clergy and others. He built a residence and a woolen factory, which he conducted until his death, February 17, 1847. The city of Hamilton afterward bought a large tract of the old homestead, and it is now used as Greenwood Cemetery.

 

George R. BIGHAM, his brother, resided with his father, inheriting the homestead and a portion of his father's land, where he remained until the year 1834, then removing to a house previously erected in Hamilton. In June, 1822, he accepted the appointment of county surveyor, to succeed James HEATON, who had been appointed in 1803. These duties he filled until October, 1836, when he was succeeded by Ludwick BEST. He was remarkable for the minute accuracy of his surveys, and spent much time, after his office had expired, in practice. He was one of those employed to make the first survey of the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad. In 1838 he entered into partnership with William Wilson, but after eight or nine years the firm failed for a large amount. The debts were paid in full, but took Mr. BIGHAM's entire fortune to do it. In October 1852, he was taken ill, and died on the 14th of that month. He had all his life long been a Presbyterian, being one of the members who organized the first Presbyterian Church, and at the time of his death was the last survivor of those who aided in its formation, and who still lived here. He was twice married; first to Margaret GORMLEY, and second, to Margaret COOK. The daughter of the first marriage, Margaret, married Dr. A.B. NIXON, now of California.

 

Of George R. BIGHAM's brother and sisters, Mary married Robert TAYLOR, of Rossville, and soon after died; Judith married David DICK; James was married, first, to Catherine SCOBEY, and second, Martha DICK; and William married Martha C. ROSS. He was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, being the third from the same family.

 

 

A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County Ohio, With Illustrations and Sketches of its Representative Men and Pioneers Cincinnati Ohio. Western Biographical Publishing Company, 1882.