My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Brown County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1883.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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ARCHIBALD LEGGETT (deceased), one of Ripley’s most honored citizens, and a son of Robert and Isabella Leggett, was born in Washington County, Penn., sixteen miles from Pittsburgh, January 18, 1797, and was of the stock known as Scotch-Irish, a people distinguished for their sterling qualities. At the age of fifteen years, he left his home to accept a situation in a grocery store at Pittsburgh, Penn., and on parting with his mother, who accompanied him to the gate that opened on the high road, she there knelt with him and prayed that he might through life be guarded in the path of rectitude. On his arrival at Pittsburgh, he assisted his employer in making cordage to equip Perry’s fleet, that won the battle of Lake Erie in 1815. He entered the branch of the United States Bank at Pittsburgh as Teller, which position he filled until 1821, when, on account of failing health, he resigned — the bank donating to him six month’s salary, as a token of esteem. He then visited Limestone and Maysville, Ky., where he entered upon the commission business, continuing the same about a year. Here he became acquainted with and married Miss Judith Field Taylor, daughter of Francis and Judith Taylor. The ceremony was performed February 13, 1823. While at Pittsburgh, by attending night school and employing private tutors, he acquired a good education. He was possessed of a good memory, and had a thorough acquaintance with the classics and history, both ancient and modern. He was also a good French scholar, reading and speaking that language fluently. On the close of his business at Maysville, he commenced the study of law in the office of his father-in-law, Mr. Taylor, then a prominent lawyer of Kentucky, and in the remarkable short time of seven months passed an examination and was admitted to the bar. He then, in February, 1825, came to Ripley, where he commenced the practice of his profession, his wife and child following the succeeding summer. In 1826, he became interested in the cause of temperance, and drafted the constitution and by-laws for the temperance society at the solicitation of a Mr. Bartholamew, and was left a copy of Beecher’s lectures on temperance to aid him. After reading the same, he was so impressed that he decided he would thereafter be a teetotaler, signed the pledge and became a member of the society on its organization, being one of the thirteen charter members. This is believed to be the first temperance society that existed west of the mountains. In the spring of 1829, under the preaching of the Rev. Frederick Butler, he was converted, and during the remainder of his life was a devoted and consistent member of the Methodist Church, at several times acting as Steward, Trustee, Class Leader and Sunday School Superintendent. He contributed largely of his means in the erection of church edifices, and the support of the ministry and other religious objects. From 1830 to 1835, he was in partnership with his brother-in-law, F. H. Taylor; he carried on a mercantile business. At the expiration of this time, he assumed the entire business, and controlled the same until 1849. During all these years, he also attended to his law practice. In 1840, he lost his wife by death, and in 1841 was married to Elizabeth F. Taylor, a sister of the deceased, who still survives him. By these marriages there were born thirteen children, of whom three survive — Judith A., wife of C. Baird, Esq.; Henry Field, of the United States Army, and John Chambers, a hardware merchant of Ripley. In 1841, Mr. Leggett’s business had grown to such an extent that he gave up his law practice, and devoted his energies to mercantile pursuits. He was a pioneer in pork packing, a business in which he became very extensively engaged, and in which he continued until the first year of the war, when, his sons all leaving him, he closed up his business. In 1850, he associated himself with D. P. Evans and others, and established and opened the Farmers’ Branch of the State Bank of Ohio, of which he was President nearly the whole of the twenty years of its existence. He was also one of the promoters and founders of the Union Schools of Ripley. He served many years in the City Council of Ripley, and was ever foremost in the advocacy of public improvements which tended to the public welfare. Mr. L. was no common man. In his business and public career, he seemed marked for distinction, and exerted a great and good influence on society. In business, he was the soul of honor, his employes numbering at times hundreds, attested to his uniform kindness, urbanity and liberality. As a lawyer and public officer, his record is pure. He was well read and successful in the practice of law, for which he thoroughly prepared himself by profound study, and was known as one of the most popular and powerful lawyers in Southern Ohio, and as a special pleader, he had few equals at the bar. In excitement, he always displayed the greatest calmness. In fact few men in Ripley during his residence of fifty-two years was more generally esteemed, or who was so largely identified with its business interests in almost every department. Its public improvement, which still exists, is made of his public-spirited enterprise, and its religious and educational growth. Archibald Leggett died January 12, 1877, at his home in Ripley surrounded by his family, to the last a firm follower and believer in the religion with which his mother was so piously endowed. Who can say but what that appeal to heaven by the fond mother kneeling upon the greensward to direct her boy in the right, was to a certain extent answered by the All-wise One in leading and guiding him in such paths that he should be prosperous among men, honorable, high-minded and true?

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This family biography is one of 992 biographies included in The History of Brown County, Ohio published in 1883 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Brown County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Brown County, Ohio family biographies here: Brown County, Ohio Biographies

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