Eli Chrysler

Eli Chrysler is numbered among the early settlers of Mifflin township, where he yet resides, his home being a half a mile west of Gahanna. Many years have passed since he came to Franklin county and decade after decade has been added to the cycle of the centuries. The contract between the site which met the gaze of the traveler when Mr. Chrysler first arrived here and the view which is spread out before the visitor of to-day is very great. Then there were to be seen unbroken forests and tracts of wet, marshy land, where to-day are fine fields of grain, surrounding commodious and substantial farm houses, while here and there are towns, villages, and cities with all the business interests known to the much older east.

Mr. Chrysler was born in Cayuga county, New York, June 15, 1836. His father, Adam Chrysler, was a native of the Empire state and a farmer by occupation. In 1838 he came to Ohio, locating in Licking county, and in 1853 he took up his abode in Franklin county, his farm being situated in Truro township. His last days, however, were passed in Mifflin township, where he died when about seventy years of age. He was of German lineage. His wife, who bore the name of Ruth Leonard, was a native of Vermont but was reared in New York and for many years was a resident of Ohio, her death occurring in Columbus when she was about seventy years of age. She was of English descent. They were the parents of four sons and five daughters, eight of whom reach years of maturity.

“Squire” Chrysler, as he is well known throughout Franklin county, was the fifth child and second son. When about two years of age he was brought by his parents from New York to Ohio, and at the age of seventeen accompanied the family on their removal from Licking to Franklin county. In the former locality he acquired his education in the common schools and through the months of summer he assisted in the labors of field and meadow. His first independent work was as a farm hand, at which he was employed by the day. He afterward embarked in the saw mill business in partnership with his brother in Truro township, where they continued until 1864. In 1865 they began the operation of a grist mill and also engaged in the manufacture and sale of lumber in Mifflin township, the partnership being continued until the death of the brother. Mr. Chrysler afterward carried on the business alone until 1875. The following year he purchased another saw mill in Mifflin township and therein converted the timber to lumber. Throughout the greater part of his active business career Mr. Chrysler engaged in a mill in Mifflin township. He also followed general farming through a portion of this time and has continuously given his attention to that industry during the past eight years, owning a farm of eighteen acres in the same township, while in Walnut township, Pickaway county, they have fifty acres.

In 1863 “Squire” Chrysler was united in marriage to Miss Susan Roshell [sic], who for about a quarter of a century was a faithful companion and helpmate on the journal of life, but her death occurred January 17, 1867. They had two children, Eva, now the wife of Harry Earl, a farmer in Mifflin township, and Charles H. who married Clara Palmer and resides with his father, with whom he is associated in business.

Mr. Chrysler was elected justice of the peace in 1878 and since that time has continuously filled that office — a period of twenty-three consecutive years. His record in the county in unparalleled by that of any incumbent in the office of the county. That he discharges his duties in a prompt and reliable manner and without fear or favor is indicated by his long continuance in that position. During this time, he has not only administered the law concerning differences between litigants, but has also married about sixty couples. In politics he has been a life-long Democrat. Socially he is connected with Mifflin Lodge, No. 518, I.O.O.F., has filled all its chairs and has taken a very active part in its work. At the time of the Civil war he was among the defenders of the Union who work the blue. He enlisted in August, 1862, as a member of Company I, Ninety-fifth Ohio Volunteer infantry, and served for nine months. At the battle of Richmond, Kentucky, he was wounded by a gun shot and on account of his injuries was honorably discharged. He holds membership in the John A. Miller Post, No. 192, G.A.R., and has served as its quartermaster. At all times he has been faithful to his duties of citizenship, honorable in his business relations and loyal to the ties of social and home life. His history shows the power of industry as a means of wrestling fortune from the hands of an adverse fate. He is now a substantial citizen of Franklin county, and has attained the position through his well directed efforts.

Source: A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio. 1901. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company.

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