Was born in Jefferson township, April 20, 1836; son of Phillip and Mary Durflinger. Was reared on the farm and obtained his early education in the country schools. Entered Ohio Wesleyan in '54, graduating in 1860. Studied law with Hon. R. A. Harrison, but at the end of seven months, removed to Bloomington, Ill., where he entered as private, Company A, 33d Ill. Infantry. He served till July 11, 1865, was in the Vicksburg campaign and in many battles of the great rebellion. Returned to Madison county and in '66 was elected recorder, serving 3 years.

Continuing his law studies, he was admitted to the Bar in '69, and formed a partnership with Hon. George W. Wilson, which continued 18 years, but the friendship of the association still endures. In '71 he became Prosecuting Attorney, and held that office two terms. In '83 his party elected him to the State Senate for the 11th Senatorial District. He married Eliza J. Silver in 1867, who bore him two daughters, Mary K. Knowles, of East Liverpool, O., and Anna L., who has resided in Denmark for a number of years. His wife died May 23, 1878. September 18, 1879, he married Miss Mary A. Flanagan of Brookline. Three children, Florence, Lillian and Clarence, bless this union. Later he formed a partnership with P. R. Emery, Esq., which continued till January, 1904, when Governor Nash appointed him Judge of Court of Common Pleas for the Second Subdivision of the 5th Ohio Judicial district, to fill the unexpired term of Judge Hidy. February, the same year, he began his full term of five years as judge to which he had been elected in the fall of 1903. Judge Durflinger has been an ardent Republican since that party was formed. He is president of Board of Trustees of the First M.E. church of London. He has always taken an active interest in the affairs of the city, county and State. Is a member fo the Grand Army of the Republic, has been ten years trustee of the Ohio University, five years trustee of Columbus State Hospital, director of the London Exchange Bank, an enthusiastic worker for and a liberal contributor to all commendable enterprises that have for their object the well-being of the community. He has made a most excellent record as judge, is quiet, unassuming in manner, and much impressed with the proverb that though "speech is silver, silence is golden."

 

From Madison Democrat 50th Anniversary - Published by the Madison Democrat, 1908

 

 

 

Sylvester W. Durflinger, of Wilson & Durflinger, attorneys at law, London, was born near Jefferson, in this county, April 20, 1836. His father, Philip Durflinger, was a native of Ohio, and located in Madison County at an early day. He died about 1839. He was united in marriage to Mary Lilly, a native of Ross County, who bore him two children—Philip, a farmer of Jefferson Township, and our subject. Mrs. Durflinger subsequently married Samuel T. Pearce, an old an honored resident of London, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. S. W. Durflinger was the oldest of two children, and was reared on the old homestead. He received a fair education in early years, and at eighteen years of age entered the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, graduating in 1860. Soon after this date, he came to London, and commenced the study of law with R. A. Harrison, an able attorney, now a resident of Columbus. Mr. Durflinger remained with Mr. Harrison six months, and then removed to Bloomington, Ill. In the fall of 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Thirty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as a private. He served nearly four years, being once wounded in a railroad accident, while in Louisiana. He was honorably discharged in July, 1865, and soon after returned to this county. In the summer of 1866, he was nominated by the Republican party for. the office of Recorder, and elected the ensuing fall. He served his constituents in this position for a term of three years. During this period, he employed his spare time in reading law and was admitted to the bar in 1869. He immediately formed a law partnership with George W. Wilson, under the firm name of Wilson & Durflinger, and the firm has remained such to the present. Both members are able attorneys, and enjoy a large share of the legal patronage of Madison County. Mr. Durflinger served as Prosecuting Attorney of Madison County, in 1871-74, is politically a Republican, is a member of the Board of Education of London, and holds a position as Trustee in the official board of the M. E. Church. He is connected by membership with Chandler Lodge, No. 138, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. Mr. Durflinger was married, October 17, 1867, to Eliza J. Silver, a native of this county. Two children were given them—Mary K. and Annie L. Mrs. Durflinger departed this life May 22, 1878. Mr. Durflinger was again married, in the fall of 1879, to Mary A. Flannigan, a native of Brooklyn, N. Y. They have one child—Florence.

 

From HISTORY OF MADISON COUNTY - W. H. Beers [Chicago, 1883]