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Among those stable and reliable citizens who have been pursuing the even tenor of their way and assisting in sustaining the reputation of the community, may be properly mentioned Mr. BABB, of Caesar’s Creek, Greene County, who for the last fifteen years has been engaged in milling, operating both saw and grist mills.  His native place was the city of Xenia and the date of his birth May 8, 1837.  His parents were James M. and Hannah (SMITH) BABB, who were both natives of Frederick County, Va., the father born January 17, 1811, and the mother June 4, 1817.  They were married in their native county in 1834.

The father of our subject learned carpentering in early manhood, and remained in his native State until the year above mentioned.  Then, soon after his marriage, he decided upon seeking his fortune in the Buckeye State, and coming to this county, established himself in Xenia as a carpenter.  Later, he farmed two years in Clinton County, still, however, maintaining his residence in Xenia.  He died in this city, March 27, 1876.  The wife and mother passed away many years prior to the decease of her husband, her death taking place March 28, 1852.  Of this union there were born seven children, five sons and two daughters, four of whom are living, viz:  James W., our subject; Thomas M., George H., and Charles S., the latter a teacher and farmer in De Kalb County, Mo.

The father of our subject married for his second wife Susan MCCREARY, who was a native of Ireland, and who came to America with her uncle when a maiden of eighteen years.  This union resulted in the birth of three children, namely: Lon H., Grace A., the wife of David V. MCCLELLAN; and Lizzie R., the wife of John MCCLAIN, of Greene County.  James BABB was a very intelligent and well-informed man, during his later years a Republican in politics, and with his first wife, belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church.  The paternal grandfather of our subject was Henry Mercer BABB, likewise a native of Frederick County, Va., and who married Miss Grace MCCOOL.  To them were born seven children, viz:  Mary, Eliza, Deborah, Harriet, Thomas, James and Henry M.  With the exception of Thomas, they were all married and reared families. Grandfather BABB was a farmer and a miller combined, and during the early days was a slaveholder.  He likewise belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church and spent his entire life upon his native soil.

The paternal great-grandfather of our subject was Thomas BABB, who married Blanche MERCER.  He was born and reared in Pennsylvania, whence he removed to Virginia and occupied himself as a carpenter and farmer.  His eldest son, John, met his death on the battlefield during the Revolutionary War.  Thomas and Henry M. were married and became the fathers of a number of daughters.  The family is supposed to be of English and Irish origin.

Mrs. Hannah (SMITH) BABB was the daughter of John S. SMITH, a native of Virginia, a soldier in the War of 1812 and a farmer by occupation.  He married Miss Susan CROUSE, of Frederick County, Va., and they became the parents of the following children, all of whom lived to mature years: The sons were Charles, John, Henry, Philip and Seth.  The daughters were Jane, Hannah, Caroline, Sarah and Mary.  John SMITH, the father of John S. SMITH, was a native of Prussia and a Captain in the English army during the Revolutionary War.  He was captured by the Federal troops, and after the war was over, remained in America, taking the oath of allegiance, and becoming a teacher of the German and English languages.

The subject of this notice was reared to man’s estate in the city of Xenia, acquired his education in the common schools and at an early age evinced more than ordinary musical talent.  He finally became a teacher of the art, and followed this profession for some time during his younger years.  He was first married, February 11, 1858, to Miss Angeline HAYS, of Clinton County, this State.  This lady was the daughter of Joel and Sarah (RAYBORN) HAYS, of Clinton County, and of their union there were born two children, the eldest, Mary E., became the wife of John LINEINGER; Amanda E. died at the age of nineteen years.  The wife and mother departed this life July 7, 1862.

Mr. BABB contracted a second marriage June 11, 1863, with Miss Louisa LACY. This lady was born June 29, 1835, in Clinton County, this State, and is the daughter of John J. and Ruth (BROWN) LACY, the latter deceased.  The father is still living, and is a farmer by occupation.  About 1855 Mr. BABB removed to Clinton County, where he sojourned until January, 1879.  He then changed his residence to Painterville, where he occupied himself in carpentering and milling.  Since becoming a voting citizen he has given his allegiance to the Republican party.  He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1882, and is still serving.  Both he and his estimable wife are members in good standing of the Christian Church.


Portrait and Biographical Album of Clark and Greene Counties, Chapman Bros., Chicago, published 1890