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J. N. BIDDLE. Bucyrus; is the son of Alexander and Magdalena (Noftsgar) Biddle. and was born Feb. 8, 1831 in Harrison Co., Ohio. His early life until his 16th year was spent on a farm, and in the pursuit of a common-school education. His father being a pioneer in the ministry of the United Brethren Church, and in indigent circumstances, the son was compelled to support himself by making brooms outside of school hours. He attended Otterbein University in 1852-53, and began teaching at 16, which he continued for four winters. In the meantime, he left Otterbein and entered Oberlin College, in the spring of 1854. The next fall, on Oct. 30, he was married to Miss Marian Musgrave, daughter of Judge R. W. Musgrave. of Annapolis, this County, who was an old and influential citizen. After his marriage, Mr. Biddle became the partner of Judge Musgrave in the mercantile business at Annapolis, commencing in January, 1855, and continuing, until 1868 when he came to Bucyrus and entered into banking, under the firm name of Scott, Biddle & Co. Mr. Biddle being one of tile managing partners, and conducting the business in a manner that made it prosperous. In 1872, he was elected president of the Bucyrus Machine Works and was also its manager, continuing until 1876, when the firm failed, and he was elected Assignee by the stockholders, and he has discharged the duties of the office in a highly creditable and satisfactory manner. In 1877 in company with Gov. Foster and the Gormley Bros., he assisted in building a large furnace at Moxahala, and owning a fourth interest. In 1865, he made a venture with Col. Lemert and others in raising cotton in Louisiana , but the levee breaking and overflowing their fields, it was a failure. Mr. Biddle has been a prominent and influential citizen wherever he has been. He was Postmaster at Annapolis during Lincoln's and Johnson's administrations. He has always been a prominent Republican and is now Chairman of the Republican Central Committee. and almost since the organization of the party he has been on a committee. He is a member of Demas Lodge, No. 108. He has a family of nine children, all living. They are Clara J.. Louie J.. Edgar N., Maud M., Judson M., Ralph A., Marion, Kathleen A. and Launcelot Todd. The great-grandfather of Mr. Biddle came from Hesse-Cassel, Germany, prior to the Revolution, and was Quartermaster of a Pennsylvania regiment though out that struggle. Launcelot Todd, his great-great-grandfather, came to America early in the eighteenth century, and obtained a land grant, probably from the King of Great Britain, for a tract of land on which the city of Annapolis, Md., now stands. He is an ancestor of the Todd family, of which Gov. Tod and Mrs. Lincoln are representatives. His son Benjamin was the great-grandfather of our subject, who settled in Maryland. His daughter, Rachel Todd. married Jacob Biddle, the grandfather of our subject. who settled in Wayne Co., Ohio, in about 1831. They raised twelve children, of whom Alexander Biddle, father of Mr. Biddle, was the tenth child, and was born in Bedford Co.. Penn., in 1810. He became a preacher of the United Brethren Church at the age of 21, and was an active traveling minister until 1875. He has done a good work in the cause of his Master, and now rests from his active labors, living in retirement at Galion, Ohio, having performed his work well. His family consisted of six children, five of whom are living: John B., the eldest, was killed at the battle of Stone River, being 1st Lieutenant of Co. C, 101st O. V. I.; William R. is a lawyer in Pleasanton, Kan.; James B. a successful merchant at Mt. Blanchard. Ohio; Rachel E., wife of Rev. J. R. Crin of Bowling Green, Ohio; Jacob A., a Congregational minister at Oswego, N. Y.

 

History of Crawford County and Ohio, Baskin & Battey, Historical Publishers, Chicago, 1881