William W. Creswell, a retired farmer of Cedarville township, now living in the village of Cedarville, where he has made his home since 1904, was born in that township and has lived there all his life. He was born on a farm one and one-fourth miles east of Cedarville on December 1, 1867, son of Amos Wilson and Rebecca (Ward) Creswell, the former of whom was born on that same farm, a member of one of the oldest families in Greene county, and the latter, in the state of New York.

Amos Wilson Creswell was born on March 13, 1827, son of Samuel and Letitia (Wilson) Creswell, both of whom had come here with their respective parents among the very first settlers of Greene county, Letitia Wilson having been the daughter of Amos Wilson, who in older chronicles is said to have built the first house put up in what later came to be the territory comprised within this county. Samuel Creswell had come here in 1803 with his widowed mother. Mrs. Catherine Creswell, and his brother James and his six sisters, the family having come up from Kentucky with the colony of Seceders that accompanied the Rev. Robert Armstrong in that year and established a new congregation on Massies creek, the settlers having left Kentucky on account of slavery conditions in the latter state, as is set out at length in a more detailed history of the Creswell family presented elsewhere in this volume. Samuel Creswell established his home on the farm in Cedarville township above referred to and there his wife died in 1829, the year after the birth of her last-born son, Benoni. who in time established his home in the Cedarville vicinity and reared a large family. There were five children born to Samuel Creswell and wife, those besides Amos and Benoni having been James, who established his home in Illinois; one daughter, Ann, and Samuel, who died when eighteen years of age. Amos W. Creswell grew up on the home farm and after his father's death in 1855 inherited a portion of the place and afterward added to his holding until he became the owner of three hundred and sixty-five acres, on which he had one of the finest houses in that part of the county, the site of his home being an eminence along the line of the railway commanding a view for miles about. During the progress of the Civil War he served as a member of the Home Guards, familiarly known at that time as "Squirrel Hunters." Politically he was a Republican and by religious persuasion was a member of the Reformed Presbyterian church at Cedarville. After the death of his first wife in 1875 he left the farm and for two years thereafter was engaged in the grocery business at Cedarville, but later moved back to the farm and there spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring on December 23, 1899. Amos W. Creswell's first wife was Rebecca Ward, who was born in the state of New York in 1837 and who was but a child when she came to Greene county with her parents. To that union were born five children, two of whom died in infancy, the others besides the subject of this sketch being Ada C, who married S. T. Baker and is living on her father's old home place in Cedarville township, and Samuel, who died in 1876, at the age of seven years. Following the death of the mother of these children, Amos W. Creswell married Mrs. Margaret (Townsley) Rainey, a widow, daughter of J. N. Townsley, who survived her husband a little more than ten years, her death occurring in 1910. By her first marriage she was the mother of one son. Dr. Ralph B. Rainey, who is now engaged in the practice of his profession at Lafayette, Louisiana.

 

William W. Creswell grew up on the home farm and received his schooling in the Cedarville schools. In 1894 he left the farm and engaged in the undertaking business at Cedarville in partnership with A. H. Barr, but four years later sold his interest in that establishment and returned to the farm. Upon the division of the home place following his father's death in 1899 he received two hundred and five acres and he continued to live there, managing the place, until a few months after his marriage, when, in 1904, he rented his place and returned to Cedarville, where he since has made his home, he and his family residing on South Main street.

On October 9, 1903, William W. Creswell was united in marriage to Ethel Fields, who was born at Cedarville on November 28, 1879, daughter of William and Fannie (White) Fields, both of whom also were born in this county, in the Cedarville neighborhood, and the former of whom is still living, now a resident of Dayton, where he is engaged in the carpentry business. Mr. and Mrs. Creswell have two sons, Alfred Ward, born on June 24, 1905, and James Nelson, June 24, 1909. They are members of the Reformed Presbyterian church at Cedarville and Mr. Creswell has been treasurer of the congregation for the past eleven years or more. In his political affiliation he is a Republican.

 

william criswell

 

From History of Greene County Ohio, Its People, Industries and Institutions, vol. 2. M.A.Broadstone, editor. B.F.Bowen & Co., Indianapolis. 1918