PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM
page 194, 195
JOHN DUKE. The pioneer days of Moorefield Township, Clark County, developed many fine characters, among whom may be mentioned him with whose name we introduce this sketch. He is now one of the most solid residents of his township, having a good homestead in section 26, where he has surrounded himself and his family with all the comforts of life. He was born November 9, 1809, in Lancaster County, Pa., and is the son of John C. and Abigail (KLINE) DUKE, who were likewise natives of the Keystone State.
The DUKE family is supposed to have originated in Germany while on the maternal side of the house our subject traces his ancestry to England. The DUKES were known in Pennsylvania in the primitive days and before a bridge had been built across the Susquehanna River, when the crossing was made on a flatboat. Twelve children were born to the parents of our subject, all of whom grew to mature years. Of the eight sons, John is the only survivor. The four daughters are all living, viz: Elizabeth, Mrs. POWDERS of Franklin County, Pa.; Sarah, Mrs. MULL, a widow, also living in that State; Mary E., the wife of William GRIFFIN of Cumberland County and Margaret, Mrs. FLETCHER, a resident of Springfield, Ohio.
Mr. DUKE spent his boyhood on the farm with his father and when eighteen years old began his apprenticeship at the shoemaker’s trade, of which he soon became master and commanded journeyman’s wages. In due time he started in business for himself in Cumberland County, Pa., where he conducted a shop many years. He took unto himself a wife and helpmate in January, 1834, being wedded to Miss Jane M. PARKS, a native of Cumberland County, Pa., and born in 1810. This lady was the daughter of William and Elizabeth PARKS and by her marriage with our subject became the mother of eight children only four of whom are living, viz: William K. of Springfield, this State; Sarah E., the wife of James PHILLIPS of Darke County; Rebecca N., the wife of Jacob LEOS of Little Rock, Ark., and Adeline, who is living with her father.
In 1853 Mr. DUKE with his wife and four children left his native State and coming to Ohio overland with a one-horse carriage, settled in Clarke [sic] County of which he has since been a resident. Their journey consumed eleven days and the travelers stopped wherever night overtook them, at the house of some settler who kindly gave them shelter. Mr. DUKE selected the land which constitutes his present farm and since that time has given to it his undivided attention, in connection with prosecuting his trade. He has been the architect of his own fortune, having no capital, whatever, and very little education to assist him in his battle with the world. He now has a well tilled farm of seventy-one and three-fourths acres which, in addition to the proceeds from his trade, affords him a comfortable income.
Mr. DUKE cast his first Presidential vote for Jackson and continues a steadfast adherent of the Democratic party. He has for many long years been connected with the First Presbyterian Church at Springfield, and is a man broad and liberal in his views, giving his support to whatever is calculated to improve the county and elevate society. His devoted wife after having been his faithful companion for nearly half a century, was called hence July 25, 1881. She was a lady greatly esteemed in her community and was, with her husband, a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. After the labor of a well-spent life Mr. DUKE is passing his declining years at his pleasant home, cared for by his dutiful daughter, Adeline, and frequently enjoying the society of many friends.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio
Chapman Bros., Chicago. Copyright 1890.