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was born in Tarlton, Salt Creek township, February 18, 1808. His parents, john and Elizabeth Shoemaker, of German descent, were natives of Berks county, Pennsylvania, where there is a little village called Shoemakerville, in honor of the family. They emigrated to Ohio in 1806. He was the first-born of three children--Isaac, tow years his junior, who is still living, and Mary (afterwards the wife of Dr. William B. Hawkes, of Columbus) who died in 1837. The three children were left half-orphans, by the death of their estimable father, after only about ten years experience of pioneer life. Mrs. Shoemaker, the mother subsequently married Dr. Otis Ballard.
Joseph Shoemaker, the subject of this brief biography, grew up in the little village of Tarlton, and, in addition to the practical education that farm life afforded, had the limited advantages of instruction at best schools in this part of the country--the old academies of Circleville and Lancaster. He taught school for a short time, but, resolving to lead the life of a farmer, to which he had become accustomed by all his associations as a boy, he began in earnest the chosen avocation, which he has since pursued, and in which he has been eminently successful. In addition to his regular agricultural pursuit, Mr. Shoemaker has been engaged in raising cattle and in extensive stock raising. His father was an active, energetic pioneer, and the son has inherited may of his qualities. The farm upon which he resides, in Tarlton, is a portion of the large body of lands his father owned.
Mr. Shoemaker has had no ambition to hold office, and has not been, in any sense of the term, a politician, although a firm supporter of the principles he believed to be best, and taking a deep interest in public affairs. He was an "old line Whig" until the formation of the Republican party, since which time he has by ballot, and by the quiet influence that every man of worth unconsciously exerts, supported the men and measures of that political majority.
He is one of the oldest and most prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church, but his efforts for the promotion of good morals and right living have by no means been confined to the limits of that organization, either as the field in which or the medium through which they were made. All improvements, all plans for the advancement of the best interests of the community, have had, in Mr. Shoemaker, a warm friend and supporter. The temperance cause, in all the forms in which it has battled evil for the past forty years, has had his assistance. He has been among the foremost in securing a good school for the village in which he has passed the many years of his life. In short, he is a public-spirited, though modest, man, and the community has much to thank him for.
Mr. Shoemaker was married May 22, 1832, to Eliza Carpenter, a native of Vermont, who removed, with her parents, at an early day, to Athens, Ohio. Their children, four in number, were Otis B., Cynthia S., Mary E., and Ann Eliza. Otis B. married, for his first wife, Sarah Dunan, and after her death, Mrs. Minerva Lutz; they now live in Tarlton; Cynthia S. lives in Greenfield, Ohio, and is the wife of R. H. Miller; Mary E. married the Rev. T. R. Taylor, and resides in Portsmouth; Ann Eliza married Joseph Ward, who died in 1877.
Mrs. Shoemaker died September 30, 1859.
June 2, 1863, Mr. Shoemaker married Nancy C. Meeks, a native of West Virginia, with whom he still lives. The offspring of this union were two children--John William, aged fourteen, and Joseph, aged nine years.