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Beavercreek, Ohio 45432
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Moler Family

Moler Family
by Ruth A. Tobias

Part I

Two Moler brothers came to Beavercreek from Jefferson County, Virginia (now West Virginia), in the 1820’s. Vandiver Banks Moler is listed in the 1820 Beavercreek Township census with his wife and young son. Vandiver’s older brother, John Banks Moler, Sr. arrived in Greene County just a few years later. They were the sons of George Adam Moler (1759- 1830) and his wife Mary Banks. George Adam’s father, Adam Moler, originally from Holland, had moved from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Virginia in 1750. At some point the original family name “Mohler” was changed to “Moler.”

John Banks Moler, Sr. was born in 1790 in Jefferson County, Virginia, and died in Beavercreek in 1882 at age 92, while living with his son John Jr. He’s buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton; Rev. David Winters conducted his funeral. John Sr. was a well-known and prosperous farmer. In the 1860 census his worth was valued at $4,500 in real estate with $2,000 in personal property. In 1870, as a retired farmer, his real estate was valued at $14,000 and personal property at $5,000. He was married to Susannah Grooms (1800-1887) and they had nine children. Three daughters and one son (Ralleigh) died before age two. The following five were their remaining children:

Ruhamah Moler was born in April 1822. She was married to John Darst and these were their children: Henry C. (1830), Oliver Perry (1839), Harrison H. (1841), Leo (1843), James P. (1845), and Henry R. (1847).

Littleton Moler (1826-1912) is buried in Hawker Cemetery. He was married in 1849 to Elizabeth Aley (1829-1887), whose parents were John Aley and Susan Hawker. Flora, Julia (1855-1929) and Willie were their children. Littleton was a farmer with acreage in Montgomery County valued at $10,000 in 1870 and personal property at $2,500. He was the guardian of Hetti and Eliza Echman, and John Irwin Moler, his nephew.

John Banks Moler, Jr., was born in 1828 in Beavercreek and was married to Rebecca Hawker. Their children were Albert (who married Emma Lesher), George W. (1856-1875)-married Catherine Shilt-, Olive J. (1867-1950), John H., Susan, Warren (married to Matilda), Nelly Jane (1858-1867), and Mary. There is some confusion about Olive J. In the 1870 census she is listed as being 11 years old. In the 1880 census Ollive (yes, two Ls), is listed as age 13. This brings us to an interesting set of articles in The Xenia Gazette.

In January 1898 “Ollie” Moler brought a paternity suit against Charles Blaine. She said that in February 1897 they had pledged to marry (she was 30 at the time) and he had brought about her “ruin.” (Her daughter, Glenna Blaine, was born in November 1897.) She sued him for $10,000 in damages when he refused to marry her “causing her great humiliation and disgrace.” She attested that Charles said he would marry her if she gave him $12. She gave him the money, and he fled. On February 1, 1898, he pleaded guilty to the paternity charge and was directed to pay $200 for maintenance of the child, to be paid quarterly, and court costs, but he failed to do so and was jailed. He was acquitted of the charge of fraudulently obtaining the $12 from Olive. The Judge said he would give them a marriage license for free, but Olive declined the offer. Olive’s father, John Jr., was at this time a reasonably wealthy man. His real estate in 1870 was valued at $19,110 and his personal property at $3,600.

As an interesting side note: In October 1897 Charles Blaine noticed three men digging and loading potatoes into ten bushel baskets in Albert Moler’s field. He captured two of them and took them to John Moler’s house, where the authorities came and took them to jail in Montgomery County. (Do you suppose that Charles talked to Ollie at this time about the coming birth of their child?)

In the 1910 census for Beavercreek, John Jr.’s wife, Rebecca Moler, is listed as a 75- year-old widow, Olive is age 42, and Glenna Blaine is age 12. Olive never married, died in 1950, and is buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton.

Part II

++Oliver Hazard Perry Moler (1831-1891), was married to Elizabeth Aley (1832-1886).( She is not the Elizabeth Aley that his brother Littleton married.) He lived all his life on a 151 1⁄2 acre farm in the neighborhood south of Zimmerman. In 1860 his farm was worth $8,400 and his personal belongings at $1,000. After Elizabeth’s death in 1886 Oliver was married to his second wife, Mrs. Sarah Smith (d. 1926), for a little over a year before he died in 1891. She petitioned the court for additional support money from Oliver’s estate and was granted another $100 per year, bringing her annual stipend to $250. When Oliver Moler’s farm was sold at a sheriff’s sale in August 7, 1891, it brought over $70 per acre, which was a large price for an “exceeding fine piece of land.”

Oliver and Elizabeth Moler had fifteen children: Minerva (1852), Ruhanah (1854), Franklin F. (1855-73), William (1857), David (1858), Edwin A. (1859-84), Perry (1862), Lincoln (1864), Hattie (1868), Emma F. (1870), Charles C. (1872), Silva (1873), Rebecca M. (1875), Harvey (1878), and John Erwin. Silva and Ruhanah died as infants. Minerva was married to George Rockafeld and they lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming with their three children. Hattie was married to William Iddings and lived in Indiana with two daughters.

Lincoln and his young wife lived in Wymore, Nebraska. They had been married less than a year, when she died suddenly in January 1893. Perry, William and John lived for a time in Kearney, Nebraska. Perry Moler had moved back to Montgomery County by 1900, had one daughter and owned a grocery store, before becoming a carpenter.

++Julia Moler, John Sr.’s daughter, was 25 in the 1860 census. She was either married by 1870 or had died, since she is not listed in that census.

Vandiver Banks Moler (1797-1884) was a farmer and a blacksmith who lived most of his life in Montgomery County. He did a “work exchange” when someone needed his skill as a blacksmith. He would leave his plowing to work in his shop, and the one needing the work would finish the plowing. At harvest time it was customary to have “bees” — other farmers in the neighborhood would help harvest a field. There was always alcohol provided during these “bees.” Vandiver was a staunch Methodist Episcopal and didn’t approve of drinking. He offered to pay a crew to harvest his field if they wouldn’t drink on the job. Farmers in the neighborhood objected. However, Mr. Dean from Dayton, also a teetotaler, came with his crew and harvested the field faster than any other group had done. The neighbors were impressed and one hired his crew to work his harvest. But when Mr. Dean saw a bottle of alcohol in the house, he pulled his crew out and the work was left for the farmer to finish.

Vandiver said that the only good crop to have locally was wheat. Corn, oats, and the other normal produce were worth nothing as cash crops or for bartering. It cost 2 1⁄2 bushels of wheat to buy a pound of coffee. As far as other foodstuff, wild turkeys and other game were plentiful, so the larder was never bare.

Vandiver was married to Elizabeth Hull, who was eight years older. They had the following children: Adam (1819), Julia Ann (1821), David (1823), Ruhama (1825), John (1827), Sarah Elizabeth (1829.), and Elizabeth (1830). The children listed in the 1860 census were Frances (1826), John (1827), and Harriet (1830). In 1870, Vandiver, age 73, listed himself as a retired merchant with property worth $4600, and personal assets of $300. Elizabeth was 81 that census year. In 1880 he was a widowed retired farmer, aged 83. His daughter Julia Ann was married to John Nesbitt in Montgomery County. Their children were born in 1840 (James) and in 1843 (Martha Ann.)