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Dunham, William H.
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Dunham, William H.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 157-158


William H. Dunham has since 1891 resided upon his present farm in New Salem township and in connection with general agricultural pursuits he is engaged in buying and selling hogs and cattle. Numbered among the native sons of the county, his birth occurred near Maysville, on the 9th of July, 1859, his parents being Nathaniel and Mary (Kiser) Dunham. The father came from Ohio to Pike county about 1844. His birth had occurred in Warren county, Ohio, on the 14th of February, 1834, and he was therefore a youth of ten years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to this state. The paternal grandfather, Lewis Dunham, was born September 12, 1802, and was a cooper by trade, but devoted the greater part of his time and attention to agricultural pursuits after removing to the west. He died September 14, 1866. As a pioneer resident he was well known in the county and he aided in the early development and substantial improvement of this part of the state.

Nathaniel Dunham was here reared and educated. He bore the usual hardships and privations of pioneer life and shared with the family in the arduous task of developing a new farm. On the 26th of October, 1854, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Kiser, a daughter of Daniel Kiser, who settled in Pike county in 1844. Mrs. Dunham was born in Warren county, Indiana, on the 3d of May, 1838, and remained under the parental roof until she went to her husband's home. She has been to him a faithful companion and helpmate on life's journey. Mr. Dunham for many years engaged in general farming and stock-raising. He owned about four hundred acres of rich and productive land and for many years resided in the vicinity of Maysville, while at the present time he and his wife make their home in that town, where he is now retired from active business cares. He votes with the democracy and both he and his wife are members of the United Brethren church, in which Mr. Dunham is serving as a trustee. They take an active and helpful part in the work of the church and are interested in all that tends to the moral development as well as the material progress of the community. Mr. Dunham has reached the age of seventy-two years, while his wife has passed the sixty-ninth milestone on life's journey. In their family were seven children, five of whom are yet living: Daniel, who resides in New Salem township; William H.; Louis O., who resides in Griggsville; Nicholas and David, both deceased; Charles E., who is living on the old homestead near Maysville; and Orpha J., who is the wife of Stanton Kennedy, a resident of Griggsville township.

William H. Dunham was educated in Maysville, acquiring a good English education. As the father was crippled the children early had to start out in life on their own account and William H. Dunham followed the plow when only eight years of age. His youth was largely a period of earnest and unremitting toil but he developed thereby a self-reliance and force of character which have made him a strong man in later years-strong in his honor and good name, strong in his purposes and in what he has accomplished. When twenty-one years of age he was married, but remained upon the home farm for two years longer and at the age of twenty-three years he began the operation of rented land, giving his time and energies to farm labor for ten years longer. He then bought one hundred and sixty acres where he now resides, taking up his abode thereon in 1891. He has a splendid property here, the land being arable and responding readily to the care and cultivation he bestows upon it. The fields are now well tilled and he has good buildings upon the place, including a fine two story residence. He also buys and sells hogs and cattle and everything about his farm is kept in excellent condition, its neatness and thrift indicating his careful supervision.

Mr. Dunham was married in 1880 to Miss Sarah E. Aber, a native of Detroit township, Pike county, born on the 28th of October, 1862, and a daughter of Henry and Ann Eliza (Sloan) Aber. The father was an early settler here, having come to Pike county when a young man with his parents. By trade he is a blacksmith and for many years led a very busy life. He still survives out his wife has been called to her final rest. Mrs. Dunham is one of six children. Her father married again and had five children by his second wife. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Dunham have been born ten children, of whom one died in infancy. Nellie May, who pursued her education in Maysville, Griggsville and in the State Normal School, is now teaching for the fifth term. Mary Alta married Newton Moon, resides in Griggsville township and has two children, Amy May and Charles Winfred. Nannie A., Orpha L., Bessie D., Nathaniel Clay, Daniel Truman, Willa Fern, and Sadie Esther are all at home. Lucinda died in infancy. The home farm is pleasantly located about two and a half miles southeast of New Salem. Mr. Dunham votes with the democracy and for fifteen years served as school director. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen camp, No. 1110, of New Salem and his wife and eldest daughter are members of the Royal Neighbors. He and his family hold membership in the United Brethren church, in which he is serving as a trustee and president of the board. His life has been honorable and upright, his actions manly and sincere and he is a gentleman whom to know is to respect. He has made all of his property by hard and persistent work and his name stands as a synonym for business integrity and unfaltering perseverance.

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