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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Captain John Partee, Brunersburg

Captain John Partee was a well known, early pioneer in Noble Township.  He was active in his church, his grange, and in community affairs, including military service.  Early newspapers published about fair time each year listed his name as a winner for his potato and apple entries.  
His extensive obituary appeared in the Defiance County Express on April 1, 1886:


Capt. John Partee, son of John and Nancy Partee, was born near Adelphi, Ross county, Ohio, May 15, 1812, and died at his residence near Brunersburg, March 19th, 1886, aged 73 years, 10 months and 4 days.   

He was the youngest child and last survivor of a family of ten children.  The older were George, Elizabeth, James, Joseph, Enoch, Deborah, Lewis, Lawrence, and Hannah.  His brothers, James, Joseph and Enoch, came to what is now Brunersburg 1817 to 1822.  

His father was a teamster in the war of 1812, and his brothers, James and Joseph, were privates in Capt. Duncan McArthur's (afterward Governor of Ohio) company and were stationed at the ill fated field of River Raisin at the time of Hull's surrender of Detroit.  At the age of 19 years, he came from Ross county with the rest of his father's family and settled on the farm in Noble township where he resided till his death, a period of nearly 62 years.  This was 1824, and government lands being cheap, different members of the family bought several fractions lying along the Tiffin river, from Brunersburg to the present site of Evansport.

Among the other early settlers were John Perkins (who came in 1816), William Travis, John Wissler, Brice Hilton, Enos Partee, William Doty, Obadiah Webb, William Buck, and John Lawrence.  His uncle, Enoch Williams, was also in the war and his discharge written at Lower Sandusky in 1814 is in possession of J. P. Partee of Defiance.  Among other interesting papers handed down from early times is a summons from Sheriff Preston to John Partee, Sr. to attend court in Defiance as a juror and dated 1826 also a deposition filed by him in 1804.

In their route from Ross county, they came by way of Sidney and Wapakoneta, thence down the river to old Fort Defiance which was still partially preserved as was old Fort Winchester which was not far from the present site of the Russell House.  At that time there were but two houses on the Tiffin river near Defiance.  These were occupied by John Perkins and Joseph Partee.  After stopping all night at Joseph's, they cut their way to what is now the old homestead, then a unbroken wilderness, inhabited by wild beasts and Indians.  The latter were generally friendly disposed toward the new comers, and they made the acquaintance of some noted chiefs, among them Occonoxee, a Pottawatomie, and an old man named Shane who stated he was born under the large apple tree near the bank of the river across from Defiance.
Large numbers of bullets were found on the banks of the Maumee, and sometimes brass kettles were found hidden in hollow trees, no doubt left there by the Indians. 

The subject of our sketch was in early life a great hunter and trapper, and even if memoranda were at hand, it would require a volume to give a full account of his life, of his privations in the early development of the country, his hardships in subduing the wilderness, and his struggles in company with the early pioneers.

He loved to range the woods where Nature had erected her throne, and in the last years of his life, when age had enfeebled his once athletic frame, he was as skilled with the rifle as most young men of his day.  

Of the history of his ancestors, but little is known with certainty.  Those on his mother's side were from Holland and on his father's, natives of France.  No family record was made and the date and place of birth of his parents were unknown, nor was the ages of most of his brothers and sisters correctly known.

About 1841, he was appointed Captain of a company of Ohio militia and rose to the rank of Major, and again in 1861, he was elected capain of a company of Home Guards.

Nancy Brown Partee
Oct. 10th, 1839, he was married to Miss Nancy Brown who survives him.  To them were born 7 children, 5 of whom are living.  Alvaro, the eldest was killed in the war of the rebellion, and Reuben B. died in infancy.  

About 1840, his parents removed to near Pulaski, Ohio, where his mother soon after died, his father then returned and died at the residence of his son in 1846, aged about 81 years.  At the time of his death, 

Father Partee had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for a period of more than a third of a century, having united with that branch in 1852, during which time had held many important official positions in the church, and while in him, it could sometimes be seen that it was human to err, yet those who knew him best always recognized in him the ever obliging neighbor, the honest and upright citizen, a true and affectionate husband, and the kind and indulgent father.

For two years last past, he had been a patient sufferer, partly from a slight attack of paralysis, and in part from injuries received by the kick of a horse.  The cause of his death was dropsy of the heart, consequent from his injuries received last July, at which time he was seriously injured internally by being run over by a drunken and reckless driver.  

During his last suffering, he was patient and resigned, and conscious almost to his last moments, and rejoicing in the Christian's hope and promise that beyond the dark cloud of suffering, there was a happier worldabove.

Appropriate services were held Sunday, March 21st at Rural Chapel, conducted by Rev. S. W. Scott, after which the remains were quietly interred in the family lot in the Webb Run cemetery on the pleasant banks of the river over whose surface he loved to glide more than three score years ago, and the music of whose rushing waters shall be his requiem as from a deserted bedside there runs back tender memories to a grave of buried love." 

Defiance County Express - April 1, 1886


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