EPHRAIM RUHLMAN, one of the highly respected, venerable citizens of Beaver township, who has lived practically
retired for some years, remains a representative of one of the sturdy old pioneer families that established itself
in Ohio seventy six years ago. He was born in Manheim township, York County, Pennsylvania, November 29, 1821, and
is a son of Lewis and Margaret (Hinkel) Ruhlman.
Lewis Ruhlman was born also in Manheim township, York County, and was a son of George Ruhlman, who was probably
of German ancestry. George Ruhlman was a farmer in Manheim township, and his other occupations were hulling clover
and operating a flaxseed oil mill. He married Margaret Riegle, who survived him many years. Lewis Ruhlman continued
his father's enterprises and to these added distilling, doing a large business and making many trips to as distant
a point as Baltimore, with his whisky.
Lewis Ruhlman married Margaret Hinkel, a native of York County, Pennsylvania, and daughter of Anthony Rinkel, who
was born in England. As a family began to gather about them, Lewis Ruhlman and his wife decided to dispose of the
old farm in Pennsylvania and move to Ohio, where, it was reported, plenty of good land was awaiting settlers. On
May 1, 1831, the family reached New Franklin, Stark County, where they met with disappointment. The building of
the canal had advanced land values to such an extent that Mr. Ruhlman became discouraged at the outlook and decided
to make the long journey back to Pennsylvania. En the meanwhile he went to Columbiana on a visit, and while there
he was informed of an improved farm which was for sale, near North Lima, the same being now known as the Hollibaugh
place. After investigation, he found the land desirable and the price, including farm implements, within his means,
$2,000, for the 156 acres, and closed the bargain. He then returned to North Franklin and settled on the farm after
transferring his family and belongings.
Lewis Ruhlman was a man with excellent business perceptions. He carried on general farming in all its branches,
was one of the first to start a horse power thresher through this section and continued his manufacture of whisky.
To his land he added twenty two acres and made it a very valuable property, and continued to live on it until the
death of his wife. He then sold it and moved to the home of a daughter in North Lima, where he died from the effects
of a paralytic stroke. In politics he was a Democrat, and in his day he was elected to various township offices.
The children of Lewis and Margaret Ruhlman were: Jesse, who died at Goshen, Indiana; Amos, residing southeast of
Greenville, Pennsylvania; Ephraim, whose name begins this sketch; Sarah (deceased), who was the wife of Henry Buzzard,
of North Lima; Matilda, who married Solomon Clinker, and resides at North Lima; George, who died in Beaver township;
William, residing in Marion County, Ohio; Henry, who died at the age of 20 years; Lewis, who died in Springfield
township; and Eli, a resident of Poland township.
Ephraim Ruhlman remained with his father, giving him very valuable help until he was 21 years and 6 months old,
when he started out for himself. He had the reputation of being one of the best teamsters in his locality, when
a mere lad being able to conduct a sixhorse team with a loaded wagon, over the mountains to Pittsburg. For seven
years he hauled whisky for his father to that point and never had a serious accident. Those were the clays when
really good horsemanship was required, for suth work, and nerve, good judge ment and physical strength werç
necessary equipments. There are those who still recall Mr. Ruhlman's feats of horsemanship. When he had unloaded
the whisky at Pittsburg, he brought goods back, teaming at all times with from four to six horses. He has always
been interested in horses and has been able to manage them, keeping stallions on his farm even up to some six years
ago. He started out with two fine animals and at one time kept five. Mr. Ruhlman began threshing while working
with his father, who owned an outfit, and then went into partnership with Valentine Wentz, with whom he worked
for fourteen years. After that he was associated for two years in the threshing business with Snyder & Fosnacht,
to which firm he later sold out. Later he worked at threshing for one season with Solomon Paulin, but in this enterprise
he lost heavily, and that was the last threshing he did with horse power. Subsequently he operated a steam thresher
for about fourteen years.
Like his father, Ephraim Ruhlman developed into a good business man, one who was able to see opportunities and
take advantage of them. In 1846 he bought a hotel at North Lima, paying for it the sum of $600, and this he operated
until 1870, when he traded it for 160 acres of prairie land in Marshall County, Iowa, getting $750 to boot. Mr.
Ruhlman went to Iowa to inspect the property, but on account of the invalidism of his wife, he never settled on
it. Subsequently he sold it and bought fifty five acres in Beaver township, on which his eldest son, Jacob, settled
and remained on it until after the death of the latter's mother. Mr. Ruhlman kept the property, renting it, until
some two years ago, when he sold it at a good figure.
In October, 1842, Ephraim Ruhlman was married to Rebecca Buzzard, who was born in Manheim township, York County,
Pennsylvania, in March, 1821, and died in Beaver township on her birthday anniversary in 1886. She had been a patient
sufferer for some time previously, having experienced three strokes of paralysis. Her parents were well known York
County people, Jacob S. and Catherine (Thoman) Buzzard. The children born to Ephraim Ruhlman and wife were the
following: Jacob, who died at North Lima, married (first) Elizabeth Ritter, and (second) Angeline Burkey; William
H., biographical mention of whom will be found in this work; Dr. Lewis B., late a prominent physician, whose sudden
death occurred some years since at Youngstown; Margaret Samantha, who died aged 5 years; and John H., residing
After the death of his wife, the eldest son of Mr. Ruhlman came to North Lima and made his home with his father.
Later he opened a boarding house and still later took charge of a hotel, which he operated for three years, and
died while its proprietor. His widow continued the management of the hotel for six months longer and then moved
to Mr. Ruhlman's farm and has kept house for him ever since. Mr. Ruhlman is getting to be an old man, but gives
no indication either in mind or body that 86 years have passed over his silvered head. The clearness with which
he remembers the events of long ago, and the pleasant way in which he relates concerning them, makes a friendly
visit with this octogenarian very enjoyable. Since 1856 he has been a stanch Republican and has served four terms
as township assessor, elected first on the Democratic ticket, but later on the Republican.
20th Century History of Youngstown
and Mahoning County, Ohio and
Edited and compiled by Gen. Thos. W. Sanderson
Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois 1897
Mahoning County, Ohio Biographies
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