Orson P. Converse, attorney at law, was born in Champaign County, near Mechanicsburg, Ohio, May 27, 1842. He was the fifth in a family of twelve children, seven of whom are living. His parents, Caleb H. Converse and Lovira L. Ketch, were natives of Vermont, and came to Ohio about 1822. Our subject removed from Champaign County, with his parents, about 1847, to the home farm near Unionville Center, Union Co., Ohio. His parents still reside there. Our subject lived on that farm, and did general farm work, going to school about three months each year, until 1860; he then entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, with the intention of preparing himself for the legal profession. During this time he taught school for a period at $1 per day, "boarding around" with the scholars. When the war commenced, he left his studies, bidding good-bye for the time to his high aspirations for a professional life, and enlisted as a private in Company E, Eighty-sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served about four months in all, chiefly in the Virginias. In the spring of 1863, when the regiment was re-organized at Camp Cleveland, for a term of six months, he again enlisted as a private, this time in Company B. When the re-organization of the regiment was completed, he was appointed Orderly Sergeant of his company. He served in this position two months, and then failing health caused him to enter the hospital at Columbus. He was discharged from there on account of general disability, from which he has never fully recovered. On December 23, 1863, he married Emiline Cramer, and went to work on a farm. He sometimes taught school of winters, having very reluctantly given up reading law on account of ill health. In 1869, he accepted the position of ticket and freight agent of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad, at Unionville, Union County, which position he held until 1876. During this time, he read law with a cousin, George L. Converse, of Columbus, commencing in 1871. In order to support his family and continue his studies, he taught school four or five months each winter, his wife attending to the duties of the station. He was admitted to practice at the December term, 1874, of the Supreme Court of Ohio, and shortly after located at Columbus. His wife and family still resided at Unionville and carried on the railroad company's business, with what assistance Mr. Converse could give after office hours. In 1876, he removed to Columbus, where he followed his profession until the spring of 1881, when he formed his present partnership with Col. J. C. and R. H. McCloud, under the firm name of McClouds & Converse. The firm enjoy a very extensive law practice. Mr. Converse resides on Lafayette street with his wife and two sons—Walter and Ebbie. In the fall of 1872, he was elected Justice of the Peace for Darby Township, Union County, declining a re-election three years later, on account of his law practice at Columbus. He is a Republican and a member of the Masonic fraternity; he belongs to no church, although his parents were both connected with the Methodist Episcopal denomination.

 

 

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