Thursday, September 4, 2014

52 Ancestors: #30 William O. Sefton, "Ohio Billy"

Edward Bebb Sefton, son of William O. Sefton, and his family.  They are standing in front of the farmhouse William built.

My 4th great-grandfather, William Sefton, was born in Butler County, Ohio on February 22,1806. His parents, Henry Sefton and Elizabeth Boyes, were immigrants from County Antrim, Ireland.  At the age of 25, William married Catherine Shuck on October 20, 1831. Seven years after they were married, the couple decided to begin farming in Decatur County, Indiana.  In order to prevent confusion, William added the middle initial "O" to his name, since there was already another William Sefton living in the same township.  The initial stood for his native state of Ohio.

William, Catherine, and their five children settled in a log cabin which  had been built on land owned by his father, Henry Sefton.  My great-great-great grandfather, Edward Sefton, was the first to be born in that cabin.  Over the years, as William grew in wealth, the log cabin was expanded into large farmhouse to accommodate his growing family.  He owned about a thousand acres of land, the end result of many years of toil and effort.

William O. Sefton was a Democrat in his political views, and though he was popular with his party, he never aspired to office.  He once served as a trustee, at a time when it took three men to transact all the business for the township of Clinton, where he lived.

"He was cautious and conservative in his business operations, and seldom made mistakes in his investments. Personally he was a man of fine character, social in his disposition, of undoubted integrity, and honored in all his dealings. He had a high standard of morality, never having used any bad language, and lived up to the commandments to the best of his knowledge, although he never united with any church." (from A Geographical and Biographical Record of Decatur County, Indiana by the Lewis Publishing Company, 1900, p. 374)

William O. Sefton died of an " attack of pneumonia" on October 29, 1862, when he was 62.

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