John S. Bales, proprietor of a farm in Xenia township, now living retired in the city of Xenia, was born on a farm in what is now New Jasper township, this county, April 6, 1840, a son of Jacob and Dorothy fHickman) Bales, both members of pioneer families in this county, whose last days were spent on their home farm in New Jasper township.
Jacob Bales was born in this county, son of Elisha Bales and wife, who came over here from Virginia in the early days of the settlement of Greene county and established their home in what is now New Jasper township, where Elisha Bales eventually became the owner of one thousand acres of land. He started in there living in a log cabin, but afterward had a fine home. He and his wife spent their last days there. They were the parents of six children, Jacob being the third in order of birth. Of the other sons, Jonathan Bales became a farmer in Caesarscreek township; John, a farmer in New Jasper township, and Elisha, a farmer in New Jasper township. Jacob Bales grew up on the home farm and after his marriage was given a farm of one hundred and seventy-six acres of the home place and on that tract established his home, he and his wife spending the rest of their lives there. He was a Democrat and he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They were the parents of ten children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the last born and is now the only survivor, the Others having been the following: Cyrus, who was a farmer in Delaware county, Indiana: James, a farmer in that same county; Sarah, who married John Jones, a farmer of Caesarscreek township, this county; Rebecca, who married John Beal and lived in Indiana; Elizabetli, who married Adam Shirk and also lived in Indiana; Lewis, who was a farmer in New Jasper township, this county; Laban, also a farmer in New Jasper township; Amanda, wife of William C. Spahr, of New Jasper township, and Dorothy, wife of James C. Harness, of that same township.
John S. Bales was reared on the home farm and lived there until his marriage at the age of twenty-three years, when he started farming for himself, buying a farm of eighty acres of partly-improved land in New Jasper township. He there made his home for ten years, at the end of which time he bought a farm of one hundred and thirty-seven acres three miles southeast of Xenia, in Xenia township, and there made his home until his retirement from the farm and removal to Xenia in 1904, since which time he has made his home in the city. He sold his farm in 1917. He is a Democrat, but has not been included in the office-seeking class.
Mr. Bales has been thrice married. When twenty-three years of age he was united in marriage to Catherine Spahr, who also was born in New Jasper township, this county, daughter of William and Sarah (Smith) Spahr, and to that union were born three children: Oscar Elliott Bales, who married Frances Dillingham and for the past twenty-five years has been engaged as a locomotive engineer on the Pennsylvania railroad, making his home in Xenia, where his wife was for some time hostess of the Frances Inn and further mention of whom is made elsewhere in this volume; Alice Lucretia, who married Daniel D. Beckett and died at the age of thirty years, and William Franklin Bales, a farmer, who married Nora J. Beal and was killed by a horse in 1913. The mother of these children died in 1868 and in May, 1869, Mr. Bales married Amanda Jane Brickel, also of New Jasper township, daughter of Jacob and Mary Brickel, who came to this county from Virginia and whose last days were spent at Jamestown, and to that union were born five children, namely: Mary Jeanette, wife of Isaac F. Stewart, of Bowersville. this county; Henry Harrison, who married Georgia Hook and is farming in Xenia township; Charles L., who is now clerking in a hardware store in Xenia; Dallas E.. who was an engineer on the Pennsylvania railroad and who met his death in a railway accident at Richmond, Indiana, in 1910, and Grover Cleveland, who married Anna Fee and is now engaged at truck farming in Xenia. The mother of these latter children died in 1905 and in April, 1908, Mr. Bales married Mrs. Emma Jane Johnson, widow of Charles Johnson, a Greene county fanner, who died in 1883. Mr. and Mrs. Bales are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
From History of Greene County Ohio, Its People, Industries and Institutions, vol. 2. M.A.Broadstone, editor. B.F.Bowen & Co., Indianapolis. 1918