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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  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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CHARLES OGILBY was the second child of Joseph and Margaret Comly, his wife. He was born at Lancaster on June 16, 1806, and attended the public schools of Lancaster until he reached his sixteenth year, taking the entire prescribed course and studying Latin and other higher branches besides. In 1822 he came to Carlisle, where he secured a clerkship with Thomas C. Lane, who kept a store where the Farmers’ Trust Company is now located. He continued in the employ of Mr. Lane for about ten years, when he and a man named George Cart, under the firm name of Ogilby & Cart, embarked in the mercantile business in Carlisle for themselves. In a short time the business became vested in Mr. Ogilby alone and under his careful management rapidly grew to large proportions. His place of business originally was upon the site of the present Henderson block, on East Main street, and old citizens, to whom it was a familiar sight in youth, recall that in size and variety it was somewhat like the modern department store. He for many years was one of the largest merchants in this part of the State, owning and conducting a number of branch stores in Cumberland and adjoining counties. Besides being extensively engaged in merchandising he owned real estate, also stock in various enterprises and at one time was president of the Carlisle Deposit Bank. After being in business a long time on East Main street he removed to the corner of West Main and Pitt streets, where he continued until 1875, when the growing infirmities of age compelled him to retire. He was a man of excellent business qualities, genial, polite, active and enterprising. In 1863 he had a long and severe spell of sickness which so lamed him that he always afterward had to use crutches. He was a Republican, but was not particularly active in politics. He, however, never evaded the duties and responsibilities of citizenship and served one term as chief burgess of Carlisle. He was a member of the I. O. O. F.

On March 14, 1833, Charles Ogilby was married to Rebecca Miller, of Carlisle, by the Rev. George Duffield, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. Rebecca Miller was a daughter of William and Mary (Mitchell) Miller, who were from York county, but at the time of her birth lived in Carlisle. She was born Aug. 10, 1809, and had the following sisters: Mary, Elizabeth, Emily, Sarah, Ellen and Ann. Mary married Alexander C. Gregg and died at Monmouth, Ill. Elizabeth, Emily, Sarah, Ellen and Ann died unmarried at Carlisle. There was also one brother, named William, who removed to Baltimore, where he died in 1859. In church work Charles Ogilby always took a deep interest. He united with the First Presbyterian Church soon after locating at Carlisle and remained an active member of that church down to his death. On May 11, 1845, he was elected an elder and held that honored place for nearly all the rest of his lifetime. His wife united with the same church as early as 1827 and was also a member throughout her lifetime. The couple celebrated their golden wedding in 1883. Charles Ogilby died on April 1, 1885; his wife, Rebecca (Miller) Ogilby, died on Feb. 26, 1886, and their remains are buried in the Old Grave Yard at Carlisle.

Charles and Rebecca (Miller) Ogilby had issue, children, viz.: Mary Louisa, Joseph Willet, Elizabeth, Ellen, William Miller, Anna Rebecca and Mary Ellen. Mary Louisa, Elizabeth and Ellen died in childhood, but the rest grew to maturity and at this writing three of them are still living.

Joseph Willet Ogilby, the oldest son of Charles and Rebecca (Miller) Ogilby, grew to manhood in Carlisle, received the full benefits of its public schools and a thorough practical business training in his father’s store. He followed his father in the mercantile business, but his interest in public affairs in the early part of his career soon secured for him the appointment of postmaster under President Grant, and he then relinquished business to serve as postmaster for four years. In 1884 he was again appointed postmaster. On completing his second term as postmaster he and his brother William M. entered into the grocery and fine china business on West Main street, Carlisle, where he has continued ever since, giving to his business all his time and attention. In 1856 Joseph W. Ogilby married Anna M. Myers, daughter of Henry Myers, a prominent contractor of Carlisle, and to their union the following children have been born: Laura, Charles, Joseph, William, S. Nellie and George N. Laura married George B. Totton. She died Aug. 7, 1896, leaving one child, a son named James Ogilby Totton, who at present is a clerk in the office of the superintendent of the Cumberland Valley Railroad at Chambersburg. Charles was for a number of years with William Gregg & Co., of Chicago, in the commission business, and later with Henry W. King, of the same city. He is now living in New York City and engaged in business there. Joseph graduated from the Carlisle high-school and afterward learned the printing trade in the Sentinel office at Carlisle. He subsequently secured a position with the New York Times, which he held for some years. Later he was for several years with the Washington (D. C.) Post. In 1895 he went to Europe and traveled extensively on the continent, going as far east as Constantinople. After visiting nearly all the principal countries of Europe he settled in Paris, where he engaged at journalistic work on the Paris edition of the New York Herald. Here his health failed and by the advice of his doctors he left Paris for his home in Carlisle, accompanied by his brother Charles, who had gone over to see him. Being afflicted with an incurable form of heart trouble he died on March 30, 1900, at Carlisle, aged almost thirty-nine years. He was unmarried. William, the next son, graduated from the Carlisle high school, studied pharmacy in Philadelphia and is now engaged in the drug business in that city. S. Nellie graduated from the Carlisle high school. In 1890 she married George C. Cooke, chief clerk in the office of the superintendent of the Cumberland Valley Railroad at Chambersburg, and to them the following children have been born: Marguerite O., Creston O., Nellie O., Dorothy O., George O., Joseph O., Edith O. and Anna Mary O. George N. graduated from the Carlisle high school and is now engaged in the grocery and fine china business with his father. On May 5, 1892, he married Miriam Morris, a teacher in the Carlisle schools, and to them two children have been born, William C. and Anna Miriam.

William M. Ogilby, the second oldest son of Charles and Rebecca (Miller) Ogilby, was born in Carlisle, Nov. 24, 1842. He was educated in the public schools and in Dickinson College, from which he graduted in 1862. In his earlier years he assisted his father in his mercantile business, but later was employed in the Farmers’ Bank of Carlisle. In 1875 he went to Chicago, where he entered the grain and commission house of Gregg, Son & Co., and continued with that firm until his health failed. In 1888 he returned to Carlisle and with his brother, Joseph W., founded the business which is still in existence on West Main street under the management of the surviving brother. Although he improved he never fully regained his health, and in May, 1889, while on a visit to Chicago to attend the Good Templars’ international convention, he died of heart failure at the home of his nephew, Charles Ogilby. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Carlisle, which he joined early in life, and during his entire adult life gave much time and earnest effort to mission and temperance work. His remains are buried in the Old Grave Yard at Carlisle.

Anna R. and Mollie E., the two surviving daughters of Charles and Rebecca (Miller) Ogilby, live on West Pomfret street, and are among Carlisle’s best known and most respected people. Like their parents before them they belong to the First Presbyterian Church and are active in Sunday-school and church work. Formerly Mollie E. Ogilby was a popular and successful teacher in the public schools of Carlisle.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

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