PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM
page 196, 197
JOHN R. RANKIN. The name which introduces this sketch, is one well-known in Clarke [sic] County, being borne by a gentleman who is acknowledged to be an excellent representative of a self-made man, and intelligent agriculturist and fruit-raiser. His home is a small but well managed farm on section 27, Moorefield Township, where he has resided for more than thirty years. He owns thirty-one acres of land, three acres being devoted exclusively to fruit culture, in which he is quite successful. He has won prizes at the County Fair for apples which he has raised, and in this fruit particularly is considered one of the most successful horticulturists of the county. He has been fairly successful from a financial point of view, and has no reason to complain of the estimation in which he is held by his fellow-citizens. In politics he is a Republican, and in all which tends to advance the material and moral property of the section, he is numbered among the public spirited citizens.
Mr. RANKIN is a native and life-long resident of this county, having been born in Springfield, October 31, 1825. His father, George RANKIN, might almost be considered one of the founders of that place, to which he came in 1801, when it was but a small village, and in which he did much building. He and James DALLAS built the first court house, and he was not only one of the early builders, but one of the most prominent for a number of years. In his death, which occurred in 1840, the county lost one of her public-spirited citizens. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. In politics he was an Old-Line Whig, and strongly opposed to slavery. His wife, Sarah, was like himself a native of the Old Dominion, and had many friends among the early settlers of the county. Their family consisted of ten children, of whom but three are now living. They are: Warren H., of Springfield; our subject; and Eliza A., wife of John STILLWELL, of Springfield.
John R. Rankin was reared amid scenes of pioneer life, receiving his education in the early subscription schools of the county, which did not afford the advantages presented to young men of the present time. He has, however, kept himself well-posted on current events and general topics, by means of reading and observation, and is better fitted for the practical work of life, than many who have received more schooling of a theoretical nature. For the past thirty-five years Mr. RANKIN has been engaged in farming and fruit-raising.
On April 25, 1858, Mr. RANKIN was united in marriage with Miss Mary J. DAVEY, who ably discharged her duties as a helpmate and companion until July, 1870, when she was called from time to eternity. She was born in Hampshire County, Va., and was a daughter of Thomas and Nancy DAVEY. She bore her husband five children: Belle; Fidelia, wife of Joseph KEARNS; Henry, Joseph and John W. After having remained a widower for more than a decade, Mr. RANKIN contracted a second matrimonial alliance, being married November 4, 1880, to Mrs. Barbara A. ZIRKLE. This estimable lady was born in Champaign County, on the 9th of March, 1839, and is a daughter of Joseph and Amelia PRINTZ, early settlers of that county. By her first marriage, with George ZIRKLE, she became the mother of three children: Charles D.; Mary E., wife of George ANDREW; and Elijah. She is an able housewife, a kind neighbor, and possesses the intelligence and amiability which makes her a pleasant companion, and wins regard from those about her.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio
Chapman Bros., Chicago. Copyright 1890.