Biography of William H. Bastian
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies

WILLIAM H. BASTIAN, a prominent citizen of Liberty township and a member of the township Board of Education, resides on his well appointed farm of 80 acres, which is situated in section 34. Mr. Bastian was born February 20, 1862, in Mercer County, Ohio, and is a son of old pioneer settlers, George and Mary (Fennig) Bastian.

The Bastian family was established in this county by our subject's grandfather, George Bastian, who emigrated from Germany, with his family, when his son George was six years of age. The rest of his life was spent in Marion township, where he was one of the first settlers. George Bastian, father of our subject, lived for many years in Washington township, where he was well known and highly esteemed. He served the township as trustee and was ever prominent in the consideration of affairs looking to the welfare of his neighborhood, being a man of most excellent judgment and of the highest integrity. The township lost a valued citizen when he died on December 24, 1903, when over So years of age. Of his children, nine survive, as follows: Elizabeth, wife of Solomon Stilgebouer, of Red Willow County, Nebraska; Levina, wife of James Pearson, of Washington township; Mary, widow of James Davis, residing in Nebraska; Caroline, wife of Oscar Dumbauld, of Washington township; Catherine, widow of Paul Egger, residing in Wilsonville, Nebraska; Hannah, wife of A. M. Shorey, of Wilsonville, Nebraska; Samuel, of Red Willow County, Nebraska; Philip, of Rockford, Ohio; and William H., of this sketch.

William H. Bastian obtained his education in the schools of Washington township. He was reared on his father's farm and practically trained in agricultural pursuits. On December 24, 1885, he was married to Minnie M. Mercer, who was born in Liberty township, Mercer County, Ohio, July 28, 1867, and is a daughter of Robert Mercer and his wife, Louisa (Sheward) Mercer, nee Kritzwiser. Robert Mercer, was born in Ohio and was a direct descendant of the distinguished British officer, Gen. John Mercer.

Gen. John Mercer and his wife, Elizabeth (Bentley) Mercer, who was a niece of Henry VIII, King of England, had one son, Gideon, who married a Miss Harper and had i6 children. Robert Mercer, son of Gideon, married Elizabeth Brown and had 12 children. Joseph Mercer, son of Robert, married Comfort Nottingham and had seven children. Joseph Mercer, son of Joseph, married Ann Day and had 11 children - seven sons and four daughters - as follows: Louisa (Trexler), deceased; J. N., Mary Jane (Farrar), and Comfort (Burnside), residents of Indiana; Rebecca (Poor), of California; Robert, father of Mrs. Bastian; Marion, of Indiana; John, of Wisconsin; Washington, of Missouri; Winfield, of Indiana; and Faulkner, of Wisconsin. Mrs. Bastian is one of the 800 heirs to the great Mercer estate, valued at $500,000,000, which has been in litigation for many years, and which includes 212 acres of land in New York City, 28,000 acres in the State of New Jersey, 300 acres in Ireland and some in Scotland. James V. Snyder, of Harvey, Illinois, is secretary of the Mercer heirs' association.

Robert Mercer, father of Mrs. Bastian, faithfully served his country through three years of the Civil War and received an honorable discharge. He died June 18, 1894. He was a valued member of the Christian Church and was much esteemed throughout Liberty township. Mrs. Mercer also belonged to an old family that settled here in pioneer days. The two survivors of the family of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mercer are: Minnie M., wife of Mr. Bastian; and Edith L., wife of Edward Terry, of Van Wert County, Ohio. Mrs. Mercer by her marriage to James Shewar4 had three children: Jennie, deceased; James W. and Nancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Bastian have three children, namely: Fern L., who was married to William A. Hoover on October 3, 1906, and now resides in Montpelier, Indiana; May M. and Jay W. The family belongs to the Church of God, in which Mr. Bastian is serving as an elder. Politically, Mr. Bastian is a Democrat. He is one of the representative men of the township and for some time past has served on the township Board of Education.

History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois

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