Ohio Biographies

William Napier

WILLIAM NAPIER, only son of Joseph and Rebecca, was born in New York, in 1817, and came to Allen County in 1843. Mrs. N. was born in Trumbull County in 1818. Following are the names of their living children, with the year in which each was born: Adelia E. (1841), Harriet B. (1843), H. H. (1845), Susan (1847), Hillery C. (1849), Sarah (1854), and Mary (1862); and the following are the names of deceased children: Adelia (1839), Amanda (1851), Charley (1858). Mrs. Napier is a daughter of Adam and Anne Huff, whose children are Jesse, Elizabeth, Peter, Sarah, Susan, Mary and Samuel Huff. Mrs. N.'s father died in Pennsylvania; her mother is living in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Napier is a Justice of the Peace.


1875 Historical Atlas of Allen County, Ohio by H H Hardesty & Co. Publishers, Chicago.



William Napier, one of the old pioneers of Shawnee township, after a long, busy and useful life, passed away on his large farm in section 14, on March 15, 1900.

Prior to his marriage William Napier had bought property at Pulaski, Pennsylvania, and was married in that State while his bride was temporarily residing there. She was Sarah Huff, born in Hubbard township, Trumbull County, Ohio, April 7, 1818, and a daughter of Adam and Anna (Hall) Huff, the former of whom was born in Virginia and the latter, in New Jersey. The children born to William Napier and wife were: Adelia, who died aged two years; Amanda, who died aged six years; Charles, who died aged two years; Hanlon, who died at Toledo, in 1899, who had been a member of the 54th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., in the Civil War; Harriet B., wife of Silas Reed, of Shawnee township; Elizabeth Adelia, wife of Salem Reed, of Shawnee township; Hillary C., a prominent citizen of Lma and a member of the City Council, who married Emma Bird; Susan, who married Freeman Reed, of Lima; Sarah, who married William A. Smith; and Mary, who married John Striff.

On October 7, 1843, Mr. Napier started with his family from Trumbull County to make a home in Allen County, which was then almost a wilderness. The great wagon, with its house- hold goods and the family, lumbered along through the unbroken forests, not a road having yet been cut, crossed dangerous streams and had numerous adventures; but after a journey of two weeks Mr. Napier reached Shawnee township and settled first on a farm south of the one now occupied by his family. Later he moved to the farm in section 14, on which he lived for 46 years. He graded and constructed the road in front of his home, and in the year following the Civil War erected the present comfortable brick house in which Mrs. Napier still resides. Although he had ot been reared to agricultural work, being a shoemaker and tanner, he cleared and put under cultivation two farms, developing them from the forest. At one time he owned 200 acres of land, but subsequently sold 80 acres to his son-in-law, Salem Reed.

For many years Mr. Napier was identified with the Republican party; but in later life, realizing the crime and curse of intemperance he cast his influence in favor of the Prohibition party. He was a man of principle and always had the courage of his convictions. He was a worthy and valued member of the Disciples' Church at one time; but later united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. To all denominations he was liberal as became a Christian man, and he was a generous contributor to the erection of Darling Church, the first Methodist Episcopal edifice in his locality. Until infirmities prevented, he was active in church and Sunday-school and no more thorough teacher of the Holy Scriptures could be found. He had studied them carefully, and was frequently called upon to make clear some obscure subject.

During the entire period of his active life Mr. Napier took an interest in developing the township, assisting in framing good laws and in forwarding movements for the building of churches and school-houses and the construction of good roads. His venerable wife survives him; and in spite of her burden of 88 years retains her active mental faculties and enjoys the visits of her neighbors and devoted children.


From History of Allen County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Part 2, Edited & Compiled by Charles C. Miller, Ph. D.; Richmond & Arnold, Publishers, Chicago, 1906