Ohio Biographies

Israel Valentine

Among the old residents of Pickaway County, there is probably none more worthy of our attention than he whose name has just been given, for not only is he one of the pioneers of this county but he comes of that noble class of men who have built up its agricultural interests until it is a garden spot in the great commonwealth of Ohio.

Mr. Valentine was born in this county on the 26th of January, 1819, and is a son of John and Margaret (Zeiger) Valentine, both natives of the Eastern States. The father was born and reared near Baltimore, Md., and when a young man became desirous of owning some of the fertile soil of the Buckeye State. He came of Pennsylvania German stock and probably inherited his thrift and energy from his sturdy and industrious ancestors. At any rate, he started out on horseback for Ohio early in 1800, made several trips back and forth, and finally located on the property now owned by his son. He bought part of this from his father-in-law (or he who subsequently became his father-in-law), old Jacob Zeiger, who was the owner of large tracts of land here. Mr. Valentine married Miss Margaret Zeiger, and this ambitious and thrifty young couple began housekeeping in a log house. They worked hard in their new home and gradually gathered around them many comforts and conveniences. To the original tract of land was added more from time to time, until at the time of Mr. Valentine's death he owned four hundred acres. His wife died about 1827, and his second marriage was to Miss Elizabeth Bowers, a native of Fairfield County, Ohio. Of the eight children born to the first union, only one besides our subject is now living, Jacob, of Circleville. Eight children were also born to the second union.

Reared on his father's farm, our subject became familiar with the arduous duties of the same at an early age, and he had fairly good educational advantages. He attended the old academy of Circleville and remembers the old mounds in the vicinity. Until twenty-two years of age, he remained with his parents, and then bought eighty-three acres of land in the same part of the township. In 1841, in Circleville, he married Miss Caroline Stout, a native of Washington Township, Pickaway County, Ohio, and the daughter of John Stout, who was originally from the Keystone State. The latter settled in Washington Township, this county, at an early date, and became a very extensive farmer. He passed the closing scenes of his life here, as did his wife, whose maiden name was Ann Myers, also of Pennsylvania.

Our subject and wife started out for themselves in one room of a two-story house, and the former bent all his energies towards clearing and improving his farm. Later, he added eighty-six acres to his former purchase, operated both, and as success crowned his efforts on all sides, he purchased the old Stout Farm of two hundred acres. This was in Washington Township, about four miles from Circleville, and he rented it to his sons. He also purchased the Markle Farm of one hundred and five acres in Circleville Township, on which were many improvements, and the old Zearing place of over eighty acres, in Fairfield County. Since then he has purchased the Ruby Farm of two hundred acres in Washington Township, and is now the owner of over seven hundred and sixty acres of good land. For the most of this he paid $55, $70 and $100, per acre, all being well-improved farms. Since 1887, he has given much of his land to his children, but he retains one hundred acres of the Stout Farm and the two home places. He has been very successful in farming and the buildings and other improvements on his farms are substantial and of the latest designs. Fine groves and large orchards are on all his farms and running streams furnish plenty of water for the stock.

Mr. Valentine's estimable wife, the sharer of his joys and sorrows, died on the 11th of August, 1887, when sixty-five years of age. Although well along in years, our subject is still hale and hearty, and is a most pleasant and agreeable gentleman to meet. His marriage resulted in the birth of seven sons and four daughters: William, a farmer in Washington Township, this county; Lydia A., who died here when thirty-seven years of age; Lizzie, at home; John, who died in Fairfield County, Ohio, when forty-one years of age; George, a farmer, who resides in Washington Township; James, a farmer residing in Harrison Township, this county; Mary, now Mrs. Metzgar, residing in Circleville Township; Emanuel, who farms in Washingtown Township, this county; Sarah E., who died when four years of age; and Edward and Israel, Jr., twins, who are engaged in farming in Washington Township. Mr. Valentine is a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville and assisted with his means to build a church. In politics, a Democrat.