By Pamela Pattison Lash
Some local histories mention a place called Master’s Corners which is very close to the Fulton-Williams County, OH line. A great deal of information exists on Ezekiel Masters who was very active in politics, but there was not much available on his brother, James Masters. With that in mind I set out to find out what I could about the lesser known brother.
James Masters (c28 Oct 1825 pos Knox Co, OH - 4 Sept 1890 Wright Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI @64Y 10M 20D, married, farmer; burial Walnut Grove Cem, Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH); son of Robert Masters (19 Sept 1790 Alexander, Upshur Co, VA – 27 Sept 1834 Morrow Co, OH) and Hannah Boyle (c3 June 1798 VA – 7 Nov 1861 (online) or 8 Dec 1861 (tombstone), Fulton Co, OH; buried West Franklin Cem, Franklin Twp, Fulton Co, OH @63Y 4M 5D; Hannah lived with son Ezekiel at the time of her death); Robert and Hannah Boyle Masters married c1815 in Knox Co, OH and lived in the Mt Vernon, Knox Co, OH area c1816
James Masters’ ancestry - Benjamin Masters (1761 Hardyston, Sussex Co, NJ – 15 July 1835 Tully, Marion Co, OH) and Hannah McPeek (1765 Sussex Co, NJ – 19 Dec 1853 Belmont Co, OH); Masters genealogy – William Masters (1740 - ) and Elizabeth; Richard Masters (1700-1761) and Mary Harlan (1708-1761); McPeek genealogy – Ezekiel McPeek (1730-1808) and Margaret Masters (1730-1792); Boyle genealogy - Jonathan Boyle married Elizabeth Hunt possibly natives of NJ, coming from the Green and Washington Co, PA area to Knox Co, OH c1806. Jonathan Boyle died in 1807 in Clinton Twp, Knox Co, OH
Siblings of James Masters – Elizabeth, Ezekiel, William, Johnathan, (James), Cassandra, Robert, Tryphena, and Hannah
In the fall of 1826 the Masters family moved from Knox Co, OH to Marion Co, OH (now Morrow Co) and in 1845 they located in Fulton Co, OH and Williams Co, OH (data from obituary of Ezekiel Masters). Evidently the family was active with the ME Church c1840 and the present day Franklin Church was once known as the Masters Church.
While searching the land records at the Williams Co, OH Recorder’s Office, I found several records of land sales in Williams County for brother Ezekiel Masters:
Thomas M Axtell of Richland Co, OH to Ezekiel Masters of Marion Co, OH $300 on 1 Mar 1844 e fraction ½ e1/2 Section 11 60 Acres, received of Asher Ely of Knox Co, OH for $80 who applied for patent on 10 July 1835 at Monroe Land Office
Charles Bird and wife Mary of Marion Co, OH to Ezekiel Masters of Marion Co, OH in V7 p663 for e ½ w1/2 w1/2 e1/2 Section 11 126 Acres on 21 Mar 1844
William G Adams and wife Catherine to Ezekiel Masters V10 p167 for $800 in Brady Twp nw1/4 Section 11 of 160 Acres on 24 Oct 1849
William Miller and wife Mary to Ezekiel Masters V10 p168 for $1 se1/4 Sec 30 of 100 Acres on 17 Nov 1849
This is the first land record I have found naming James Masters in Williams Co, OH:
Ezekiel Masters and wife Mary of Williams Co, OH to James Masters of Williams Co, OH V10 p382 for $200 se1/4 Sec 30 T9S R1W 80 Acres on 20 Mar 1850
James Masters married
M1 Sarah T (unknown surname) c1851 (c28 Feb 1831 OH - 30 Apr 1859 prob from complications of childbirth (see Sarah E); buried West Franklin Cem, Franklin Twp, Fulton Co, OH @28Y 2M 2D – wife of James Masters)
Checking the Williams Co, OH Probate, I found a guardianship set for Isabelle, Emily, and Erosa (would be Isora) Masters, case #1030 recorded on 21 Feb 1866. These are the surviving children of James Masters and his first wife, Sarah T. This may suggest that the children were heirs of someone and/or named in an estate – further research needs to be done here.
1. Isabelle “Belle” (c24 Nov 1851 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH – 29 July 1883 @31Y 8M 6D (Deaths V2 p23); buried West Franklin Cem, Franklin Twp, Fulton Co, OH; mar Samuel Fairchild, 16 Mar 1876 Morrow Co, OH; 1880 Richland Twp, Marion Co, OH; widower Samuel Fairchild married Hattie Shaffer in Waldron, Hillsdale Co, MI on 17 June 1885; he was born in Marion Co, OH on 14 Feb 1848 and resident of Alvordton, Williams Co, OH where he later died on 30 Apr 1926; Hattie was born in Spencerville, OH and resident of Ottawa Co, OH; he was 34 and she was 27; they are both buried at Walnut Grove Cem, Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH
2. Emily/Emma (c30 Aug 1853 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH – 18 July 1891, Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH @37Y 10M 18D; buried Walnut Grove, Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH ; mar Thomas Douglas, 2 May 1875 Williams Co, OH – Marriage V4 p399); living in 1880 Mill Creek, Williams, Ohio; Roll: 1077; Family History Film: 1255077; Page: 489A; Enumeration District: 004; Image: 0613, next door to her father James Masters; she’s 25 OH w/husband and son Arthur M Douglas, 4 OH (born 17 Jan 1876, Millcreek Twp); Emma Douglas, accidental shooting (Williams Co, OH Deaths V2 p64).
While researching Emily I found this newspaper article which tells of a tragedy at her home involving her son and a gun:
Bryan Democrat, 23 July 1891, p5
Mrs. Thomas Douglass, residing in Millcreek Twp, was almost instantly killed Saturday afternoon by a shot from a revolver in the hands of her thirteen-year old son. The boy was fooling with the gun when it was accidentally discharged, the ball striking his mother in the groin, causing death in fifteen minutes.
Another report says that Mr Douglass having a little spare time took down his gun to shoot birds. Finding it foul he picked some powder in the tube, put on a cap and giving the gun to his son told him to take it into the yard and snap the cap. The boy supposing as did his father that the gun was not loaded pulled the trigger. The gun was loaded and the muzzle happened to be in range with a board shanty used as a summer kitchen. Mrs Douglass was in the shanty and the bullet, penetrating a board struck her in the back near the spine inflicting a wound from which she died in about twenty minutes. The sad accident caused a gloom throughout the entire community.
3. Mary Ann (c2 Apr 1855 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH- 5 Mar 1858 @3Y 11M 3D; buried West Franklin Cem, Franklin Twp, Fulton Co, OH – d/o James and Sarah T Masters)
4. Isora/Adora (1857 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH – pos Woodburn, OR; mar Henry L Barkley, 11 Oct 1879 Williams Co, OH – Marriage V4 p644) Note age doesn’t line up with census info for woman in OR but this probably is her (wife of Henry Barkley).
5. Sarah E (c25 Mar 1859 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH - 17 July 1859 @3M 22D, buried West Franklin Cem, West Franklin Twp, Fulton Co, OH – d/o J and ST Masters)
M2 Ellen Poulson, 8 Nov 1860, Williams Co, OH (Marriage V3 p138); (Sept 1840/1841 OH – 1928; burial Walnut Grove Cem, Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH) d/o Nelson Poulson and Elizabeth A Kohlhauer
6. Lewis Nelson (3 Oct 1861 Williams Co, OH- Nov 1946 Monroe Co, MI; burial Floral Grove Cem, Pioneer, Madison Twp, Williams Co, OH; mar Mattie Tressler, 3 Aug 1881 Williams Co, OH – Marriage V5 p10); mar 2 Emma Witzel, 28 Feb 1913, Waldron, Hillsdale Co, MI
Leader Enterprise (Montpelier, OH), 14 Nov 1946
Former Pioneer Resident Succumbs
Lewis Masters, 85, of Monroe, a former Pioneer resident passed away Wednesday in the Monroe hospital of pneumonia. He was a carpenter by trade and erected many of the homes in Pioneer and helped in the construction of the United Brethren church, which was destroyed by fire seven years ago. Services were held in the United Brethren church in Pioneer Friday afternoon, with the Rev. O. G. Braddock conducting. Interment in Floral Grove Cemetery.
Surviving are four sons, Clyde of Pontiac; E. Nelson of Jackson; Clair of Monroe and Leland of Clarkson, Mich.; two brothers, George M. of Pioneer and Erastus of Findlay; 10 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
7. James Marion (Feb 1864 Williams Co, OH-1930; mar Hulda J Crum, c1886); in 1920 Wright Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI there appears to be an Ellen Masters 78 with son JM 55
8. George Andrew (7 Sept 1866 Williams Co, OH – 4 July 1948; buried Lauber Hill, German Twp, Fulton Co, OH; mar Elizabeth E Towne, 13 Nov 1887)
9. Autha Jane (9 May 1868 Williams Co, OH-16 Aug 1930 Montpelier, Superior Twp, Williams Co, OH; mar David Orlando Fackler, Dec 1886)
There is a birth entry for Nelly Masters, d/o Masters and Masters, 24 July 1869 (Birth V1 p7) but as no first names of parents were listed, Nelly may not belong to this family
10. Johnathan Erastmus (27/30 Aug 1871 Millcreek Twp, Williams Co, OH – Birth V1 p27-6 Feb 1953 Toledo, Lucas Co, OH; bur Morenci, Lenawee Co, MI; mar Elizabeth E Gibbs, 25 Mar 1894, Waldron, Hillsdale Co, MI); in 1910 Wright Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI there appears to be an Erastus J 38 with wife Elizabeth 40
1850 Madison, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M432_741; Page: 33A; Image: 69.
h/h 426/428 Masters, James 22 OH farming $6,000
Sarah 20 OH
Sarah 65 OH
Hannah 15 OH
1860 Millcreek, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M653_1052; Page: 133; Image: 271; Family History Library Film: 805052.
h/h 145/132 Masters, James 37 OH farmer
Isabel 8 OH
Emily 6 OH
Adora 3 OH
Hannah 62 VA
James’ next door neighbors were Eli Rogers and wife Tabitha (Poulson) Rogers. Tabitha was sister to James’ future wife, Ellen M Poulson. After James Master’s death, Ellen Poulson Masters married James S Rogers. Perhaps this James was a relative of Eli Rogers?
1864 Williams Co, OH Atlas – J Masters, Millcreek Sections 29 and 30 with 80A in Sec 30 and 40A in Sec 29; also just north of Hamer, Millcreek Twp there is a Mrs Masters shown and a Mrs Masters with 80A in Section 18
1870 Mill Creek, Williams, Ohio; Roll: M593_1282; Page: 127B; Image: 258; Family History Library Film: 552781.
h/h 74/74 Masters, James 43 OH farmer $4500/$600
Ellen 27 OH
Isabella 19 OH
Emily 17 OH
Isora 13 OH
Lewis 8 OH
James 6 OH
George 4 OH
Antha 2 OH
1874 Williams Co, OH Atlas – James Masters Section 30 of 80A and James Douglas named as property owner of Section 29 (owned by James in 1864)
1880 Mill Creek, Williams, Ohio; Roll: 1077; Family History Film: 1255077; Page: 489A; Enumeration District: 004; Image: 0613.
h/h 129/140 Masters, James 54 OH-MD-VA
Ellen wife 38 OH-OH-MD
James son 16 OH-OH-OH
George son 14 OH-OH-OH
Antha dau 12 OH-OH-OH
Johnathan son 8 OH-OH-OH
James died on 4 Sept 1890 – no probate found in Williams Co, OH
Ellen Poulson Masters married James S Rogers on 8 Apr 1894 in Waldron, Hillsdale Co, MI; James was the son of FS Rogers and Sarah Thompson; he was 65 and she was 52, both natives of Ohio; witness was GE Masters; each party had been married once before; Ellen married a few weeks after her son Johnathan Masters married (also in Hillsdale Co, MI) and their marriage particulars are on the same page in Hillsdale Co, MI records; both marriages were officiated by John S Smith, clergyman.
1900 Wright, Hillsdale, Michigan; Roll: 713; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 102; FHL microfilm: 1240713
h/h 103/105 Rogers, JS 73 (July 1826) mar 6Y OH-PA-OH
Ellen wife 59 (Sept 1840) 5/5 ch OH-PA-PA
Note that Ellen reverts to surname Masters in 1910; according to online sources James S Rogers was living in Harrison Co, IA in 1910 so either they were separated or divorced sometime between 1900 and 1910.
1910 Mill Creek, Williams, Ohio; Roll: T624_1241; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0125; Image: 791; FHL microfilm: 1375254.
h/h 10/10 Masters, Ellen widow 68 5/5 ch OH-Germ-Germ
James son 46 widower OH-OH-OH stock buyer of horses and cattle
Crum grandson 11 OH-OH-OH
1920 Wright, Hillsdale, Michigan; Roll: T625_768; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 138; Image: 579.
h/h 8/8 Masters, JM 55 OH-OH-OH stock buyer
Ellen mother 78 OH-OH-OH
Crum son 20 OH-OH-OH laborer