WILLIAM M. KIRKHAM. The KIRKHAMS of Harmony Township, Clark County, are numbered among its most highly respected citizens and have contributed largely to its farming and stock-raising interests. They have been uniformly successful, both as agriculturists and business men, and form a portion of the reliable element which has brought the township to its present status, among the surrounding communities. Their fine farms invariably attract the attention of the passing traveler, and they have made for themselves a record which will be handed down in honor to posterity.
The subject of this notice, who is one of the most worthy representatives of his family name, was born at his father’s homestead, in the southeast corner of Green Township, Clark County, November 2, 1845. He is consequently in the prime of life and in the midst of his usefulness. His father was the well-known John KIRKHAM and his mother bore the maiden name of Ann SLEE. Both were natives of Westmoreland, England, the father born in 1815 and the mother two years later. They were reared and married in their native county and emigrated to America in 1837, settling in Madison Township, Clark County, this State, whence later they removed to the vicinity of Harmony Township. The father prosecuted his life occupation of farming and rested from his earthly labors in 1846. The parental family consisted of six children, viz: John, Ann, Anthony; Ellen, the wife of Clark WHITELEY; Stephen and William M.
Mr. KIRKHAM has been a resident of Harmony Township since a child of four years. He was only given the education attainable in the country school, but he made good use of his time therein, and when approaching manhood occupied himself as a teacher three winters. He commenced doing for himself at the early age of ten years, and being thus obliged to “paddle his own canoe,” acquired that independence of character and self-reliance which has served him so well in his later years. By a course of industry and prudence he was in due time enabled to establish a home of his own, and with this end in view, was married, September 18, 1873 to Miss Elizabeth OATES. This lady was born in Springfield Township, Clark County, September 18, 1852, and is a daughter of William and Mary (SIMPSON) OATES, natives of Yorkshire, England. They emigrated to America in 1850 and settled in Springfield Township, Clark County, where they spent the remainder of their lives.
Mr. and Mrs. KIRKHAM began the journey of life together in a manner corresponding to their means and by a course of industry and prudence have gathered around themselves and their family all the comforts of life. They are the parents of six children, viz: Harlan R., Mabel Ann, Norah Ellen, William Roscoe, Oliver H. and Russell. The farm of our subject comprises one hundred and sixty-one acres of well-tilled land, which he inherited from his mother’s aunt, Mrs. MATTINSON, which, with its comfortable buildings, constitutes one of the most desirable homes of Harmony Township. It lies five miles east of Springfield and forms a pleasant resort for the many friends whom Mr. KIRKHAM and his estimable wife have drawn around them since their sojourn in that vicinity.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, of Ohio Chapman Bros., Chicago. Copyright 1890.