Biography of William Lewis
Allen County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM LEWIS, Bluffton, was born in Harrison County, Ohio, Decembor 25, 1815, son of Henry and Leah (Hill) Lewis, the former of whom was a laborer. Our subject grew up among strangers, and the man with whom he lived put him to chopping wood as soon as he was able to handle an ax, keeping him at it and allowing him but one half a day's schooling, depriving him at same time of sufficient clothing, so that until he was sixteen years of age our subject never wore a hat, and had but two pairs of shoes until he made them for himself. But he was hale and hearty, almost as fleet footed as a deer, and he claims he could catch a rabbit in a fair race. The Indians were numerous here at that time, and young Lewis won a wager of $78.50 by outstripping a famous Indian runner; he also threw the champion wrestler of this race. In i840 he climbed the liberty pole in Van Wert, height seventy five feet, and cut the ropes used in raising it. William Lewis was never a very large man, 170 pounds being his greatest weight, and forty inches his chest measure. He was noted as a wood chopper, cutting and cording, on one occasion, 100 cords of wood in twenty two days. In his lifetime he has cleared 217 acres of land with his own hands, and has cradled six acres of wheat in one day. He became an expert marksman, carrying off many prizes in shooting matches, and one summer he killed eighteen deer and a bear. Mr. Lewis came to Allen County in 1832, and for a long time engaged in cutting and clearing timber lands, but in later years has been manufacturing brick. He comes of patriotic stock, his grandfather having been a soldier in the Revolutionary struggle, and his father in the war of 1812. During the late war of the Rebellion our subject enlisted in 1802, in Company B, Sixty first Ohio Volunteer Infantry; was injured by a wagon falling on him at the second battle of Bull Run, and was discharged on account of disability. After coming home, however, his health improved, and in 1865 he re-enlisted, serving till the close of the war, but has never been able to do much hard labor since. Mr. Lewis was married in 1842, to Sarah Myers, of Van Wert County, Ohio; a daughter of Henry Myers, a farmer, and their children are as follows: James B. (also a member of Company B, Sixty first Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry), Mary J. (wife of C. E. Bowen, of Dayton, Ohio), William J. (a stonemason, married and residing at Bluffton), and George H. (interested with his father in the manufacture of brick, and who was born September 24, 1851, in Bluffton, Ohio. and married in 1875 to Elizabeth Conrad, have three children, Gertrude A., Bertha May and Hallie Edith). William Lewis and his sons are Republicans in politics. Our subject has been financially successful, and now owns five acres of land in Bluffton, four houses and lots, and a small farm in Hancock County, Ohio. He has been elected to public offices of trust in this county. He is well liked and is familiarly known as "Uncle Billy."

History of Allen County, Ohio
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