One of the prominent, influential and successful agriculturists of Brady township, Williams county, is John Borton,
the subject of this review. He was born in New Jersey, September 4, 1820, a son of Pethuel and Rebecca (Clifton)
Borton, who were also natives of that State.
Benjamin Borton, the grandfather, was a native of New Jersey, of English descent, and his family was represented
in the service of the American army in the war of 1812. Bethuel Borton, who was born January 2. 1782, died in New
Jersey, at the age of fifty years. His widow came to Williams county; Ohio, in 1836, and spent her declining days
among her children here. She Was born September 17, 1786, and passed away in 1859, at the age of seventy four years.
They held membership with the Society of Friends. Their family numbered eleven children: Charity, wife of J. Mason;
Mary, wife of S. Borton; Benjamin and Nathan, who died in Williams county; Rebecca, wife of J. Borton; Bethuel,
who died in Williams county; Reuben, who died in childhood; Job, whose death occurred in Williams county; John,
of this review; Martha, wife of A. Ely; and Samuel, who resides in Fulton county, Ohio. Our subject and Samuel
are the only ones now living.
John Borton received but limited educational privileges, attending school for only three months during three years.
He was sixteen years of age when, with part of his mother's family, he came to Ohio. Two brothers had located here
in 18J5, and entered land upon which the family located in 18J6, all taking part in the work of clearing and improving
the property. They had to make roads through the forest, and bore the usual experiences and hardships incident
to pioneer life. Wild beasts were in the forests, and wild game could be had in abundance. Our subject on one occasion
killed three deer in a single day, and "johnny cake" and venison were the usual food of the settlers.
For three years after Mr. Borton's arrival in Ohio, Indians still lived in the county, but they were quite friendly
in their relation with the white settlers. The first mill near his home was built on Bean creek by William and
George Johnson, Englishmen.
Mr. Borton, on coming to this county, made a claim of eighty acres, and walked from here to the land office in
Lima, Ohio, in order to enter this. He made the journey to and from New Jersey on foot at three different times.
Building a cabin on his land, he and his brother Job, while clearing his farm, laboriously worked from early morning
until late at night in the attempt to place his land in a condition capable of cultivation. He built a hewed log
house, and, returning to New Jersey in 1839, was there married. He then brought his bride to Ohio and settled on
his brother's farm, renting his own land until 1840, when he sold out and came to his present home. Here he purchased
eighty acres, a small amount of which was cleared, built a round log cabin, and here he has since lived. He once
went on a prospecting tour to Iowa, and found that he could enter much prairie land, but no timber, and in consequence
he returned home without making any investments. He has since continued here permanently, and from time to time
added to his property until he became an extensive land holder. He has given a farm to each one of his eight children,
and still has in the old homestead three hundred and twenty acres. The fields are well tilled, and excellent improvements
are found on the place, including a large and substantial frame residence, good barns and all necessary improvements.
He is the architect of his own fortune, for he started out in life empty handed, and all that he has achieved is
the result of his own efforts. For many years he has engaged in the manufacture of peppermint oil for the Eastern
Mr. Borton was first married in New Jersey to Miss Elizabeth A. Taylor, born December 17, 1818, daughter of John
Taylor, a farmer of that State, who was born December 30, 1772, and his wife Elizabeth (Peacock) Taylor, born May
To Mr. and Mrs. Borton were born ten children, two of whom died in childhood; the others are: Susanna, who married
George Harlan; by whom she had two children, and after his death she wedded E. Tule, a farmer; William and John,
who carry on agricultural pursuits; Martha, wife of Nathaniel Lyon, a farmer; Sarah, who became the wife of O.
Mann, who died leaving six children, after which she married David Cosier; Elizabeth, wife of G. Pancost; Rebecca,
wife of G. Hutchison; and Mary L., wife of Rev. J. Mason. The two who died in childhood were Reuben and Job. The
mother of this family died July 5, 1887, at the age of seventy years, and on December 30 following, Mr. Borton
married Mrs. Rebecca Wise, widow of Solomon Wise, who died and left four children - Lee, Ermie, Lawrence and Bessie.
She was a daughter of Edward (of Scotch and English descent) and Catherine (Hurst) (of Irish descent) McLean. They
were highly respected people, who at an early day settled in Stark county, Ohio, where the remainder of their lives
was passed. Mrs. Borton was born in Mahoning county, Ohio, August 8, 1845, and had two younger brothers: James,
who died in the army, and George, who died in childhood. By the second marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Borton have one daughter:
Grace, who was born October 6, 1888. Mr. Borton belongs to the Friends Church, his wife to the Disciples Church.
In politics he is a Republican, and has filled a number of township offices. His life has been well spent, commanding
the respect and confidence of all with whom he has been brought in contact, and his honorable business methods,
his energy and worth have secured him a handsome property as the reward of his labors.
Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Northwestern, Ohio Biographies
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