Mr. and Mrs. JOHN SECREST
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In the first half of the nineteenth century Joseph Jones was numbered among the leading citizens of Miami county and took an active part in its pioneer development. He was born December 31, 1788, in Frederick county, Virginia, and was a son of Joseph Jones, Sr., who was a native of the same locality and a planter and slaveholder there. In his family were four children: Rachel, Mary, Joseph and James. The father of the subject of this sketch was reared on the old Virginian plantation and in the early part of the nineteenth century removed to Ohio. He loyally served his country in the war of 1812, and performed services no less arduous in reclaiming the wild land of Miami county for purposes of civilization. In 1819 he entered the farm upon which his daughter, Mrs. Hustler, now lives, and he purchased of Richard Carr five hundred and forty acres of land, at five dollars per acre. The tract was still in its primitive condition, being covered with a heavy growth of oak, hickory, walnut and maple trees, which stood in their primeval strength. In the midst of the forest he erected a double log cabin and there began life in true pioneer style. Indians still visited the neighborhood, wild animals had their haunts in the forests and wild game of many kinds could be had in abundance. The task of cutting down the trees, grubbing up the stumps and preparing the land for cultivation was an arduous one, but with characteristic energy and strong determination Mr. Jones continues his labors and in the course of time gathered rich harvests where once stood the native forest trees. In this business he was quite successful, becoming one of the substantial citizens of his day.
Mr. Jones wedded Mrs. Elizabeth Smalley, widow of Benjamin Smalley and a daughter of Jacob Collins. By this marriage four children were born: Henry, Phoebe and Theodore, who died in infancy, and Mrs. Mary Violet Jones Secrest Hustler, who is living on the old home farm. When Mrs. Hustler was six years of age her father took his little family back to Virginia and there resided from 1831 until 1845, when he again came to the old homestead in Ohio, making it his place of residence until called to his final rest on the 11th of August, 1848. His time was largely given to his farming interests, yet he belonged to a progressive class of citizens, who promoted all measures calculated to prove of public benefit. In business matters he was straightforward and honorable, and in all life's relations he commanded the respect of his fellow men.
His daughter, the only child who survived him, spent her girlhood days under the parental roof, and on the 11th of February, 1845, gave her hand in marriage to John Secrest, who died June 29, 1864. By their marriage five children were born, namely: Laura, Zelora, Isadore, Francis and Medora. Zelora, Isadore and Francis died in infancy. Laura married Sylvester Dye and Medora is the wife of William Foster. After the death of her first husband Mrs. Secrest was married, on the 6th of April, 1865, to George W. Hustler, by whom she had one son, George W., Jr., who died when two and a half years old. Mr. Hustler served as a hospital steward during the Civil war with the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Infantry. Previous to this time he had practiced medicine in connection with Dr. Coleman, but after his return from the army he gave up medical practice and devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred on the 18th of March, 1875. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mrs. Hustler is also a member of the church, with which she has been connected for almost sixty years. She owns one hundred and ninety-eight acres of land - the old family homestead - and the income therefrom supplies her with all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. With the exception of a brief time spent in Virginia she has always resided in Miami county, and therefore has a very wide acquaintance. Her circle of friends is extensive, and she is highly esteemed for her many excellencies of character.
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