Individuals & Stories
|Posted by Tamera1974 on October 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM|
Allen County, Ohio Biographies
George H. Rankins
son of John Rankins and Anna French George H. Rankins, who owns a fine farm of 80 acres in section 16, Perry township, and is one of the representative men of his locality, was born May 11, 1846, at Westminster, Allen County, Ohio, and is a son of John and Anna (French) Rankins, the former a native of Warren County, Ohio, and the latter, of Trumbull County. The Rankins family is of Scotch-Irish extraction; its founders settled in Virginia at a very early day. There the great-grandfather of our subject, John Rankins, who was a large planter of Stafford County, lived and died. He married Isabel Bryan and to them were born three children, namely: Frances, who married Benjamin Hutchison; Peter and George. After the death of John Rankins , his widow came to Ohio and lived in Clinton County at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Benjamin Hutchison, until her death. George Rankins, grandfather of our subject was born in Stafford County, Virginia, September 1,1797, and was 15 years old when he enlisted in the army during the war of 1812. In 1814 he removed to Warren County, Ohio, and is is said that he covered the greater part of the distance on foot, his one-horse wagon being used to carry the household goods. Those were the days when a steel cooking range had not yet been evolved, and an iron cook stove was such a rare addition to the kitchen equipment that Mr. Rankins at one stage of the trip was almost a hero. The people with whom he stopped had purchased a cook stove but none of the family had yet learned to operate it. Mr. Rankins had been about enough to have learned its use and construction and he imparted his knowledge to the very grateful owners. In 1839 he came to Allen County and located on what is now the Thomas C. Roberts farm, on the Marion road, which property at that time was still covered by the primeval forest. For the following six years he engaged in teaming from Cincinnati to Lima for J. W. King. Occasionally the trip in bad weather required 21 days; as there were no accommodations for travelers on the route, it was often necessary to camp along the road for several days. While engaged for Mr. King, he was gradually clearing his place, his cabin having been built before he located permanently. This log hut stood until some four years since and was habitable for a long time. He subsequently moved to another farm south of his first one, misfortune having fallen upon him on account of his going security for a neighbor. With the $300 he saved he secured forty acres of land, the best he could do with his limited capital, and although then 60 years old went manfully to work to clear a second farm. He married Wealthy Ann Tunget, who was born May 14, 1800, and was the daughter of John and Mary Tunget of Stafford County, Virginia. Mr. Rankins died on his farm in Perry township July 14, 1881, while his wife died April 12, 1891, age 91 years. John Rankins, father of our subject, grew up in Warren County, Ohio, and accompanied his parents when they moved to Allen County. When he left the home farm and located at Westminster, he went into partnership with J. B. Roberts in dealing in stock. He continued to reside there until a few months before his death. He was a Democrat in his political faith. In religious belief he was a Baptist. He married Anna French, who was a sister of Samuel Davison French, of whom a sketch appears in this same volume. They had five children, viz: William, a soldier in the Civil war, who lost his life at the battle of Corinth, in October, 1862; Receba; George H., of this sketch; Lyman B., who resides in Perry township east of his brother George; and an unnamed infant, deceased. George H. Rankins lived three years at Westminster and was then taken, with his youngest brother, by grandfather Rankins who reared them both, while the other child was taken by the grandmother French. He was 11 years old when his grandfather went on his second farm and assisted him there until he reached his majority. After his marriage in 1867 he resided with his wife's people for nine years and bought his first in that neighborhood and lived on it until 1882 when he bought his present farm of 80 acres in section 16. Formerly he owned 280 acres but has sold 200 acres as he could no longer give a large farm the care is required. He has been an extensive stock-raiser but has much reduced his activity within the past three or four years. He has had numerous producing oil wells upon his property and four of these are still in operation. On September 24, 1867, Mr. Rankins was married to Celinda Williams, who was born in Kentucky and is a daughter of J. L. and Nancy (Crain ) Williams, old residents of Bourbon County, Kentucky. Their three surviving children are: Minnie, born December 9, 1868, who married George B. McDonald, of Perry township, and has three children Stella, Helen and Howard; A. E., born December 29,1872, residing at Harrod, Ohio, who married Irene Henry, of Hancock County, Ohio, and has two children Muriel and Ruth; and Roy, born March 25,1885, who lives on the home place and assists his father in the management of the farm. Mable died April 29, 1902, aged 15 years. Mr. Rankins is a good citizen but is not identified with any particular political party, voting independently. He is a member of the Christian Church.