Ohio Biographies

John Booth

John Booth

John Booth, a longtime resident of Richland County, Ohio was born about 1820 in the County of Yorkshire, England. He married Mary Downend Watkinson, the widow of William Watkinson. Mary was born October 25, 1811 in Sheffield, England in the County of Yorkshire to John Downend and Sarah (Hewitt) Downend. She had five known children with William before his death-

Emma Watkinson b. July 16, 1831 Doncaster, England. Married William Wilson. Emma died February 1, 1911, Neodesha, KS.

Sarah Ann Watkinson b. February 17, 1833 in the County of Yorkshire, England. Married Charles Richard Wilson. Sarah Ann died May 6, 1862, Lisbon, Indiana.

Mary Watkinson b. about 1836-1837 in the County of Yorkshire, England. Married William Marston. Mary died about 1869, Richland County, Ohio.

William Watkinson b. July 31, 1837 in the County of Yorkshire, England. Married Eliza Downend, daughter of Thomas Downend and Mary (Wilson) Downend. William died June 17, 1899, Shelby, Ohio.

Martha Watkinson b. October 30, 1839 in the County of Yorkshire, England. Married Lucius Onzlaw Doolittle. Martha died November 10, 1921, Mansfield, Ohio.

John Booth and Mary Downend Watkinson were married between 1840-1846 in the County of Yorkshire, England.

On February 14, 1847, their first son John Edwin Booth was born in Doncaster.

In the early part of 1850, John Booth and his wife, step children and son climbed aboard the Prince Regent and sailed to America. They arrived in Quebec. From there they traveled to Richland County, Ohio.

The Booth family first went to Plymouth, Ohio to visit with Mary’s brothers, Joseph, John and Thomas Downend and her sister, Sarah (Downend) Hutchinson, the wife of Charles Wood Hutchinson.

Shortly after visiting with his wife’s siblings in Plymouth, John Booth took his family to Mansfield. He was a florist and landscape gardener by trade and found work as a gardener for private families. He also superintended the Ladies Seminary of Mansfield and the Mansfield Cemetery. John Booth was the Secretary of the Richland County Agricultural Society. He also played the violin.

John Booth bought property in Mansfield where he built greenhouses and began his very own floral business. Here, he experimented with flowers and fruits and even befriended Luther Burbank.

On May 27, 1856, John and Mary Booth had another son, Henry A. Booth.

By 1860, they were living in Grand Township in Marion County, three miles from Scott, Ohio. He didn’t stay there long as he moved to Jefferson County, Iowa in 1862. The family then moved back to Richland County, Ohio before the fall of 1867.

John and Mary’s first born son, John Edwin Booth married Anne Brook November 2, 1867 in Richland County, Ohio. Anne was born March 28, 1850 in England. They had several children-

Charles Edwin Booth b. 1868 in Richland County, Ohio. Wife unknown. Death date and location unknown.

William Arthur Booth b. January 1870 in Richland County, Ohio. Died at age 23, unmarried. William died July 2, 1893, Russell County, KS.

Frank Henry Booth b. January 1872 in Richland County, Ohio. Married Gertrude Unknown. Death date and location unknown.

Mary Lieuticcia Booth b. July 25, 1874, Richland County, Ohio. Married Fred Marsh (divorced), married Frank E. Huffman. Mary died January 2, 1963, Casper, Wyoming.

John Benjamin Booth b. October 2, 1876 Richland County. Died at age 2, March 15, 1879, Russell County, KS.

Nina Elizabeth Booth b. February 21, 1885, Russell County, Kansas. Died February 22, 1885, 1 day old, Russell County, KS.

In 1870, John Booth lived in Springfield Township in Richland County. In 1873, he lived in Section 23 on land that bordered the Reasberry, Chambers and Liard farms.

John and Mary’s second son, Henry married Melissa J. Marlow on September 5, 1877 in Richland County. Melissa was the daughter of Thomas Marlow and Charlotte (Hartley) Marlow. She was born October 4, 1857.

Henry and Melissa Booth had three known children-

Alfred Alonzo Booth b. about 1878 in Russell County, Kansas. Married Laura Enlow between 1900-1904 in Richland County, Ohio. Death date and location unknown.

Myrtle Booth b. about 1882 in Russell County, Kansas. Death date and location unknown.

Falsom Booth b. about 1891 in Nebraska. Married Unknown Teeter. Died September 1961, Mansfield, Ohio.

John Booth decided to move once again in 1878 to Russell County, Kansas. Accompanying him was his wife Mary, son John Edwin and wife Anne and their children, son Henry and wife Melissa. They arrived in Bunker Hill on May 28, 1878.

The family stayed at the Crabtree School House until they bought a piece of railroad land southeast of Bunker Hill. This land was sold and new land was bought right across the road.

One more move was made three miles southwest of Paradise, Kansas but the year is unknown. This was the last residence of John and Mary (Downend) Booth in Russell County.

Mary (Downend) Booth died about 1883, at the age of 72. John Booth died about 1895, at the age of 75. The location of death and burial is unknown but believed to be in Petersburg, Virginia.

John and Mary’s son, John Edwin Booth remained in Russell County, Kansas until his death, March 15, 1928. His wife Anne died August 9, 1901. They are both buried in Hyde Park Cemetery in Dorrance, Kansas. Their children, William Arthur, Benjamin and Nina are also buried there.

Henry A. Booth, went back to Mansfield, Ohio around 1900. He and his wife Melissa died sometime after 1920, probably in Mansfield.

Information from Melissa Schliebe, St Louis, MO and Jim Heilman, Niceville, FL


THE BELLVILLE WEEKLY: January 2, 1874, Vol. 2, No. 44