Sorting Saturday: Capt. Ebenezer Peters of Ohio



Headstone of Ebenezer Peters in Marion Cemetery, Marion, Marion Co., Ohio.
Headstone of Ebenezer Peters in Marion Cemetery, Marion, Marion Co., Ohio. Posted with kind permission of Find A Grave photographer. Year of death is 1884. (Click to enlarge.)

Beerbower Family, Peters Family-

What originally was to be sorting my Beerbower family in Marion County, Ohio turned out to be more of sorting the Peters family, who married into the Beerbower family. We are, however, very grateful that Gale Martin of the Marion County [Ohio] Historical Society (MCHS) has been so generous and shared scans of documents, images, and a family bible in their possession, plus her incredible knowledge of the area and its history. Another Marion County resident, Mike Brewer, has kindly allowed us to use photographs he has taken for Find A Grave, and has helped us locate and document more of the Peters and Beerbower lines that are ‘quietly resting’ in the Marion Cemetery. Even better is that both are allowing us to post the information online so that all can have easy access! It has been a much bigger project than planned to sort and learn more about each of these families, but it is hoped that these ancestors can live on for future generations by having their story told here.

We will be adding a Peters family tree to our pages, but we need to finish sorting first.

Please do post a comment or send an email through our contact form if you have additions, corrections, more stories, etc. And if this post, and some of those upcoming, look familiar, yes, it is copied (and expanded) from Find A Grave. It is not plagiarism, though- the author of that bio and this post are one and the same.

On to Capt. Ebenezer Peters

The youngest of 13 children born to Samuel Peters (1772-1829) of Philadelphia, PA, and Mary Stevenson Peters of Manchester, MD (1773-1861), Ebenezer was 22 years younger than his eldest brother. He grew up on the family farm in Fairfield County, Ohio, where he was born. After attending the local District School, he matriculated at Granville Baptist College.

Ebenezer migrated to Marion, Ohio in 1832, stayed about one year, then returned to Fairfield County to teach and study at Fairfield Amanda University for one year. He then taught for two years, and returned to Marion, Ohio in 1838. (What a privilege to get a college education in the 1830s! It still is a privilege today, actually.)

Ebenezer, along with his oldest brother Henry Peters, formed a Marion mercantile business called “H. & E. Peters”. The partnership lasted three years, then he became the sole proprietor for another two. He then took in a different partner and the business was called “E. Peters & Co.” for two years. Ebenezer became the sole owner of the business again, and continued in that manner until he retired in 1850. Ebenezer extended his sphere of trade to other areas of Ohio plus Illinois, and continued in this business until the Civil War. He also owned 600 acres of farmland, with the 1850 US Federal Census listing him as a farmer with $16,000 in real estate. The 1860 census stated that he had $14,000 in real estate and $4,000 in personal estate value; they had a farm laborer and an Irish domestic living with them that year. Ebenezer and family raised Spanish Merino sheep and Durham cattle, and exhibited regularly at the county fair.

Ebenezer had married Elizabeth Raichley (or Rightly) in July, 1846, and two children were born to them: Erwin Peters in 1848 and and Ella Peters in 1850; Elizabeth died in 1851. He remarried, to Elvira Gardner in October of 1853, but she passed away in August of 1854. He married third Narcissus D. Holmes on 25 Dec 1855.

Ebenezer was active in his community, being County Auditor 1851-2, a State Legislator 1854-5, School Board President for 8 years, and President of the Agricultural Society for 8 years as well. He voted Republican.

Battle of Mission [i.e., Missionary] Ridge
Battle of Mission [i.e., Missionary] Ridge, Nov. 25th, 1863 / Cosack & Co. lith., Buffalo & Chicago.
For McCormick Harvesting. Public domain. (Click to enlarge.)
At age 44 Ebenezer felt the call to preserve the Union in the Civil War, and enlisted in the 121st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving as their Quartermaster General for two years. He was engaged at Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Shelbyville, Lookut Mountain, and was promoted to Captain in October of 1863. It was at the Battle of Mission Ridge on 25 Nov. 1863 that he began to have spinal problems, and he never fully recovered. After his discharge on May 1864, he received a $20 pension due to his severe disability- his ability to do physical work was greatly diminished.

Ebenezer Peters became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) after the war.

The 1870 US Federal Census lists Ebenezer’s occupation as “Grader”- likely he was grading papers since he had been a teacher and could no longer work as a farmer. His wife Narcissus and son Erwin were living in his household, and Erwin was listed as a farmer. A music teacher and young boy, likely the music teacher’s son, lived with them as well.

Ebenezer, Narcissus, and Erwin were living together still in the 1880 census, with Ebenezer listed as a farmer, and his son Erwin noted as “works on farm.” Ralph Bain, age 15, was “at school” and listed as Ebenezer’s adopted son. (There were a lot of Bains in the area- finding more on this story might be interesting.)

Narcissus died in October of 1881, and sadly Ebenezer’s two children both died before 1883, when The History of Marion County was published. They were fairly young: Erwin no more than 35, Ella no more than 33. (We have not yet found more information about Erwin and Ella, and they are not buried in the Marion Cemetery as far as we can tell.)

Ebenezer passed away on 27 May 1884, and is buried in the Marion Cemetery, Marion, Marion County, Ohio. He shares a large headstone with his wife Narcissus and adopted son Ralph Bain.



Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) History of Marion County [Ohio], Leggett, Conaway & Co., Chicago, publishers, 1883. Pages 616-617.

2) 1850 US Federal Census for Ebenezer Peters, Head of Household: Year: 1850; Census Place: Marion, Marion, Ohio; Roll: M432_708; Page: 67A; Image: 141. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

3) 1860 US Federal Census for Ebenezer Peters, Head of Household: Year: 1860; Census Place: Marion, Marion, Ohio; Roll: M653_1006; Page: 424; Image: 320; Family History Library Film: 805006. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

4) 1870 US Federal Census for Ebenezer Peters, Head of Household: Year: 1870; Census Place: Marion, Marion, Ohio; Roll: M593_1240; Page: 110A; Image: 230; Family History Library Film: 552739. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

5) 1880 US Federal Census for Ebenezer Peters, Head of Household: Year: 1880; Census Place: Marion, Marion, Ohio; Roll: 1046; Family History Film: 1255046; Page: 86B; Enumeration District: 092; Image: 0498. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

6) Find a Grave Memorial #144127845 for Ebenezer Peters-

7) Image of Battle of Mission Ridge:, public domain.


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