Oliver Perry Bird, of the firm of Bird, Richey & Christian, proprietors of the White Sulphur Stone Company, of Scioto Township, is one of the enterprising and successful men of this section. He was born in Leesburg Township, Union County, Ohio, Aug. 20, 1867, and is a son of Abner Johnson and Catherine ( Newhouse) Bird.

The Birds came to Ohio from Pennsylvania, where John Bird, the grandfather was born January 10, 1801. When the latter had reached manhood he accompanied his father, Sylvester Bird, to Knox County, Ohio. He married Keziah Johnson, who was born November 23, 1801, and who was a daughter of Abner and Mary (Lee) Johnson, the latter of whom was a member of the distinguished Lee family of Virginia. To John Bird and wife were born eight children, Abner Johnson being the second in order of birth.

Abner Johnson Bird was born in Knox County, Ohio. March 9, 1827, and resided there until shortly before his marriage, on January 5. 1855. to Catherine Newhouse, who was a daughter of William Newhouse. She died January 5. 1885. Mr. Bird moved from Delaware County, where Mrs. Bird was born, to Iowa, and while there one daughter was born, Mary, who is now the wife of J. W. Jackson. During the Civil war, Mr. Bird's family lived in Morrow County, Ohio, he being absent for three years, serving- as a soldier in the Eighty-first Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. After the war the family moved to Union County, where Oliver Perry was born, and in 1868 Mr. Bird moved to Scioto Township, Delaware County. For a number of years he was a deacon in the old stone Presbyterian Church of South Radnor.

Oliver Perry Bird was educated in the schools of Scioto Township and the Delaware Business College. He then spent a year in Texas, after which he was employed for three years with the Northern Pacific Railroad at Jamestown, North Dakota. In 1892, he returned to Delaware County and was engaged in farming in Concord Township until 1902, when he came into possession of the old homestead, a well-improved farm of sixty-three acres, where he carries on general farming and stock raising. In 1904, Mr. Bird formed a partnership with James Richey. under the firm name of Bird & Richey, for the business of operating two stone quarries in Concord Township, and in 1906, with the admission of Mr. Christian, the firm acquired eighty acres of quarry land where a large business is done in crushed stone. The firm gives employment to twenty-five men and has the contract for filling- twenty miles of county turnpikes.

September 23, 1886, Mr. Bird married Harriet J. Hughs, who is a daughter of Joseph E. Hughs, a resident of Concord Township, and they have four children, namely: Catherine, who married John Richey, of Warrensburg, and has two children—Naomi and Jo K; and Marie. Mary Marsena and Lucy Trove. The family belong to the old stone Presbyterian Church of South Radnor.

Up to 1896 Mr. Bird was identified with the Republican party, but has since been an independent voter. He has been frequently elected to office by his fellow-citizens. For four years he served as township clerk, in Concord Township, for three years has been clerk of the School Board of Scioto Township, has been a delegate to many conventions, and has always taken an active part and done useful work in public emergencies. In 1900 he compiled a very complete map of Delaware County. Formerly a member of Hiram Lodge, F. & A. M.. at Delaware he was demitted to Ostrander, and has never lost his interest in Free Masonry. He belongs to Bellpoint Lodge, Odd Fellows, of which he is past grand, and he is a member of the Encampment at Jamestown, North Dakota.

 

From 20th Century History of Delaware County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens by James R. Lytle