The name of Dresbach has been connected with the rise and growth of Pickaway County since the early days of its settlement, and the representative of the present generation, of whom we write, is closely associated with its interests as one of the most successful farmers of Pickaway Township, where he has a choice farm and a pleasant home.


The subject of this biographical review was born on the old Dresbach homestead, in Salt Creek Township, December 8, 1839. The history of the Dresbachs extends back to one Martin Dresbach, who was born in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, in 1717. In due time he was married to Anna Eve Hoffman, the daughter of a teacher of Nassau Siegen, and in 1746 they emigrated to America. They located in Lancaster County, Pa., and there reared a family of four sons and two daughters: Jacob, Henry, John, Martin, Margaret and Catherine. Their eldest son Jacob was the great-grandfather of our subject. He married Magdalene Buchs, or Books in the English form, and they had thirteen children, of whom their son George was the grandfather of our subject. He was their third child in order of birth, and was born January 13, 1784. He married Catherine Betts, who was born in Union County, Pa., February 14, 1788, their marriage taking place January 10, 1809. The following is the record of their children: Mary was born November 27, 1809; Hannah, January 2, 1812; Elizabeth, June 17, 1814; William, September 21, 1817; Manuel, March 9, 1820; Sarah, January 16, 1823; George, August 18, 1825; Abner, August 16, 1828, and Solomon, August 16, 1831.


The grandparents of our subject left the old home in Pennsylvania in 1811, to found a new one in the forests of Ohio, and in the years of sacrifice and privation that followed, the grandfather cleared a farm in Salt Creek Township, living to enjoy the triumphs of his labors after braving the dangers of pioneer life. He was a soldier during the War of 1812, and underwent the vicissitudes of those troublous times at the front, as well as in the backwoods. He was constitutionally brave and fearless, and he was noted for his uprightness of character and exemplary life. He was an active and most worthy member of the United Brethren Church, which mourned his loss, as did the entire community, when he closed his eyes in death November 3, 1863.


William Dresbach, the father of our subject, was reared under the wholesome influences of farm life and the stern discipline of pioneer life, and his character was modeled after that of his father, from whom he inherited many fine traits. He was very strict in his religious views and was a leading member of the United Brethren Church. In his early years, he was a Democrat, but in 1848 he broke away from that party, and after the organization of the Republican party he joined its ranks. His long and honorable life was rounded out by his death, March 5, 1882. His first wife, Margaret, daughter of William and Jane (Patterson) Earnheart, of this county, to whom he was married February 22, 1839, died May 28, 1863. His second marriage was August 1, 1869, with Mrs. Louisa Ford.


James A. Dresbach is the eldest of nine children. The first school that he attended was taught in an old log schoolhouse, the typical institution of learning in pioneer times. He passed his boyhood days on his father's farm, helping to till the soil and reap the harvests, feeding the calves and pigs, caring for the colts and sheep, and performing the thousand and one chores required of an active farmer's boy. In 1863, he began his independent career as a farmer, and 1867 he came into possession of his present fine farm, which is a part of the old homestead. It comprises two hundred and ten acres of very fertile land, advantageously situated on section 1, Pickaway Township, and well watered by Scipio Creek. He has made many valuable improvements, including a commodious and conveniently arranged brick residence. He raises and feeds cattle, keeping the best grades, having from twenty to fifty head. He sometimes does his own shipping, frequently sending a car to Eastern cities, and he sold the first cattle that brought $150 apiece in Albany, N. Y.


Our subject stands high in the estimation of his fellow-citizens, who know him to be a man of honor and strict veracity, with a clear, sensible mind, and much decision of character. He is capable of forming his own opinions on all subjects with which he is conversant, and is fearless in expressing his  sentiments. In politics, he is an ardent Republican, and a leader of his party in this section, representing it occasionally as a delegate to county, congressional and judicial conventions. He has also taken an active part in the administration of public affairs, having held the office of Trustee of the township six years, and he is Director of his school district, taking great interest in educational matters, and in all things calculated to elevate the
community.


Mr. Dresbach was married in 1867 to Miss Mary Alexander, of Tarlton, a daughter of John and Margaret (Martz) Alexander, who were natives of Pennsylvania, and came to Pickaway County in an early day of its settlement. Her father was a school teacher. Mr. and Mrs. Dresbach have had four children, namely: William, James, John, and one that died in infancy.

 

From PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF FAYETTE, PICKAWAY AND MADISON COUNTIES, OHIO - Chapman Bros. [Chicago, 1892]