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Colonel Valentine Keffer,
Pages 228-229

a prominent business man and politician in Pickaway county for many years, emigrated from Pennsylvania in 1805, several years before the county was organized, or the first strokes of the axe had marked the rudest outlines of the ground now included in the town of Circleville. He purchased the fractional section adjoining section nineteen, and lying between it and the Scioto river; on which he resided till 1838, when he moved into town. Some years before leaving Pennsylvania he had married Catharina, the second child and eldest daughter of Jacob Zieger.

On the breaking out of the war of 1812, being identified with the militia of the county, he was appointed major, and accompanied General James Renick on an expedition to the northern part of the State. After his return to the settlement he was promoted to the rank of colonel, and in 1813, he was elected to the State legislature, in which he served ten years--the last being in 1828. During this time his popularity was so great that it was deemed little better than folly for any one to run against him.

When the seat of government was first established at Columbus, there was not a stage coach running in Ohio; and, as we not roll along in a palace railroad car on a smooth track, or in an easy-going spring carriage on a good turnpike, and view, on either side of us the cheerful homesteads, the wide fields of corn and wheat, and the fat cattle grazing in the green pastures, it is difficult to imagine our early representative, bestride a horse, threading his way among the brush toward the capital, armed and equipped with pistols and provender, and catching every sound with apprehension of danger.

Colonel Keffer was also twice chosen presidential elector, casting his vote, the first time, for Jackson, and afterward for Van Buren. He was one of the original proprietors of the Circleville Watchman, the Democratic organ of the county, established in 1835, and had editorial charge of it for three years.

He died March 9, 1852, in the seventy-fifth year of his age.

A daughter of his married Mr. G. F. Wittich, one of the old residents of Circleville, to whom we are indebted for the substance of the above sketch, as also that of the Ziegler family, on another page of this work.


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