Biography of William A. Knapp, Jr.
North Central Ohio Biographies





William A. Knapp. One of the most prominent business men of Huron County was William A. Knapp, who was serving as president of the Farmers State Bank of Greenwich, at the time of his death in 1924. He was born in Fairfield County, Conn., Jan. 10, 1841, the son of William A. and Harriet (Marshall) Knapp.

William A. Knapp, Sr., was born at Lewisboro, Westchester County, N. Y., Feb. 14, 1817. His father, Sylvanus Knapp, was a sailor for many years, and later followed the trade of shoemaker in Connecticut. On March 1, 1840, William A. Knapp married Miss Harriet Marshall, a native of Westchester County, N. Y. Until 1845 he rented a farm in Fairfield County, Conn., which was owned by Judge T. Roosevelt, grandfather of the late Theodore Roosevelt. He brought his family to Ohio in that year, making the trip by river, canal and lake and arriving at Huron on Oct. 2nd. The family then journeyed by wagon to Fitchville. Sylvanus Knapp became by state grant the owner of 235 acres of land in the "Firelands" of Ohio. The Knapp family later, dissatisfied with their land, exchanged it for a section in the southwest part of the township, allowing per acre for the new land. In November, 1845, William A. Knapp had cleared two acres and erected a log cabin 18 x 24 feet. The following year he planted two acres of corn, and thus demonstrated to the new settlers of Ohio the productivity of the new soil. The Knapp family removed again in 1856 to the center of the township, and in 1881 located at Greenwich, where William A. Knapp served as president of the Greenwich Bank until his death in 1888. His wife died in 1889. Both are buried at Fitchville.

Mr. Knapp was a Republican, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. There were three children in the Knapp family: William A., Jr., the subject of this sketch; Amanda; and Euphrouia.

William A. Knapp, Jr., was educated in the Fitchville schools. He served during the Civil War, having enlisted in the Union Army in 1864. He was later employed by the Western Union Telegraph Company, and in 1869 returned to his farm, where he became extensively interested in farming and stockraising. At the death of his father in 1888, he inherited the homestead and at that time became president of the Greenwich Bank. He was also a director of the New London National Bank. In 1902 Mr. Knapp became general manager of the Farmers Banking Company of Greenwich, and soon after succeeded to the presidency.

On March 27, 1879, Mr. Knapp married Miss Philena Kirkpatrick, of Troy Township, Ashland County. She died July 29, 1892, and is buried at Fitchville. To Mr. and Mrs. Knapp were born four children: 1. Pearl, born July 26, 1881, married William A. Hunter, lives at Fitchville. 2. J. D., born March 5, 1883, lives on the Knapp homestead. 3. Harley B., a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this history. 4. William A. III, born Dec. 6, 1889, died June 21, 1892.

Mr. Knapp was a Republican and a charter member of Floral Lodge, F. & A. M., No. 260.

From:
History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931


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