Investigation into the life record of John Cuthhert Milligan shows that he is lacking in none of those essential
qualities which make the good citizen, the liberal business man and the faithful friend. He has been prominent
in agricultural and commercial circles, has demonstrated his loyalty to his country on the field of battle, and
in every relation of life has measured up to the full standard of honorable manhood. He is now living retired in
the enjoyment. of well earned rest and the most envious connot grudge him his success, so honorably has it been
won, and so worthily used.
Mr. Milligan is a native of Coshocton county, his birth having occurred in Keene township, September 4, 1837. His
paternal grandfather, a native of Ireland, was the foutider of the family in the new world, settling in Virginia.
His father, Cuthbert Milligan, was a native of Hardy county, Virginia, and came to Coshocton county in 1815, casting
in his lot, with the pioneer settlers who were reclaiming this region and converting it from a frontier district
into the homes of a contented, happy and prosperous people. He bore his full share in the work of development and
for many years was closely associated with its agricultural interests, meeting with gratifying success in his undertakings.
He started from Virginia. with a horse and fifty dollars, and with such meager possessions began life in Ohio,
but as the years passed, his untiring energy and determination overcame all obstacles and he steadily worked his
way upward. At the time of his death, which oceiirred in 1883, he was the owner of over nine hundred acres of good
farm land. At the time of the war of 1812 he enlisted, but was never called to active service. He married Dorothy
Reed, also a native of Hardy county, Virginia. The Reeds were of English lineage and settled in the Old Dominion
at an early epoch in its history. The fighting blood has always prevailed in this family and when the country's
safety has been imperiled members of the family have valiantly fought for the interests of this land. Anthony Reed,
the grandfather of John C. Milligan, and also a native of Virginia, was a participant in the Revolutionary war,
taking part in a number of hotly contested battles. His brother, Joseph Reed, served on Washington's staff, and
was a prominent figure in those times. Loyal and patriotic, he rendered valuable aid to the father of his country
m the efforts to free America. from the yoke of British tyranny. The British offered him fifty thousand unds if
he would serve England and his reply was "I am not worth the purchasing; but such as I am, the king of Great
Britain is not able to buy me." He was also offered the best colonial office in the gift of the king. Dorothy
Reed was reared in the county of her nativity and in early womanhood gave her hand in marriage to Cuthbert Milligan,
with whom she came to Ohio. They lived to see this region transformed from the frontier district into one of the
most progressive counties of the commonwealth, retaining their residence in Coshocton county until called to their
final rest. The death of Mrs. Milligan occured in 1887.
There were still many evidences of pioneer life to be seen in this district during the boyhood clays of John C.
Milligan, who was reared on the home farm in Keene township and pursued his education in the district schools near
his father's home. He continued his studies during the winter months to the age of twenty years. His father then
gave him a part of the old homestead and he successfully cultivated this, carrying on general agrieultural pursuits
until 1890. In the meantime he added largely to his original tract and became known as one of the leading farmers
of the cornmunity, for his fields were always. highly cultivated and on his farm were found the most modern improvements.
In 1890 Mr. Milligan moved to Coshocton and established an implement business, which soon became a leading concern
of the kind in the county. He bought for cash, sought only to secure a fair profit on his investment and at all
times employed the most straightforward business methods. No word was ever uttered against his business integrity
and the farming community had the most absolute confidence in him. Thus his sales steadily increased until in 1907,
when he sold out to the Gray Hardware Company. He then established his present business with a view of assisting
his son in making a start in the commercial world, and the latter is now at the head of a prosperous and constantly
The only interruption to Mr. Milligan's business career came in his enlistment as a soldier of the Civil war. Hardly
had the smoke from Fort Sumter's guns cleared away when, on the 17th of April, in response to the first call, he
enlisted as a member of Company D, Sixteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He participated in the battles of Phillippi
and Carricks Ford, and on the expiration of his first term was honorably discharged in August, 18G1. Three years
later he reenlisted in the Nineteenth Ohio and went with Sherman on his march to the sea. and throughout the Atlanta
canipaign. He participated in many other important battles, which contributed to the victory that finally crowned
the Union arms, and on the 10th of June, 1865, was honorably discharged. Always loyal to his country and displaying
a most patriotic spirit., he offered to enlist in the Spanish American war. He has been equally faithful to the
welfare of the community in his service in local offices. He has filled a number of township positions and for
twenty one years was justice of the peace in Keene township, where his decisions, always fair and impartial, "won
him golden opinions from all sorts of people." He was for twenty one years a member of the board of education
in Keene and the public school system has ever found in him a stalwart champion. He has voted with the republican
party since its organizalion and for twenty years was central committeeman of Keene township.
On the 7th of October, 1862, Mr. Milligan was married to Miss Elizabeth McCollough, a nitive of Jackson township,
this county. who died November 29, 1879. Their children were as follows: : Alice K., who was born in 1863, and
is active as her father's housekeeper; Flora Elizabeth. who was born June 10, 1865, and is the wife of Charles
Hoagland, a resident of Keene; Mary Laura. who was born in 1867, and is now engaged in business in Seattle, Washington;
Charles Alexander, who was born in 1869, and is now in the plumbing business; James Edward, who was born in 1871,
and is living in Blissfield, Ohio; Sarah Jane, who was born in 1873. and died in 1905; William Cuthbert, who was
born in 1878, and is now in Columbus, Ohio; and John Howard, who was born in 1879, and died in infancy. The loss
of Mr. Milligan's wife has always been a source of great sorrow to him, as he was devotedly attached to her. Theirs
was largely an ideal marriage relation and their mutual love and confidence increased as the years passed by.
Mr. Milligan has been a consistent member of the Methodist Protestant church for fifty two years; has taken an
active interest, in its work and has filled all of its official positions. He is likewise a valued member of the
Grand Army of the Republic and his life has been an open book. He attributes his success to the fact that he has
always endeavored to follow the Golden Rule. He has ever been a. worker, never fearing that laborious attention
to detail that is so necessary in the acquirement of success, hut while he has made steady progress along the lines
of affluence he has never been neglectful of his duty towards his fellowmen nor to his country and he enjoys to
the fullest extent the confidence and good will of all with whom he has come in contact.
Centennial History of
Coshocton County, Ohio
By William J. Bahmer
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Coshocton County, Ohio Biographies
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