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O'Hair Reunion


Letter written by James Greenville Trimble

On the following pages is a letter written by James Greenville Trimble and also an affidavit by Mr. Trimble. He was a grandson of Michael and Elizabeth Tribbett O'Hair. The original affidavit is in the possession of Mr. Nelson Trimble Jones of Tampa, Florida.

Mt. Sterling, August 11th, 1894

Mr. James A. Curtis,

Putnamville, Indiana.

Dear Sir:

I have received your letter of 10th. June inviting me to attend the reunion of the O'Hair family on the 11th of August at which I feel much honored and for which you will accept many thanks.

It would afford me much pleasure to be present and participate with all of you in your festivities upon that interesting occasion, but business engagements will prevent me doing so. I therefore send you this communication, which I trust will be more satisfactory than my presence, and in which I will undertake more especially to give you the genealogy of the Trimble branch of the O'Hair family, of which I am a humble descendant.

My mother's name was Elenor O'Hair, commonly called Nelley a daughter of Michael and Elizabeth O'Hair, and was born on the 14th day of Oct. 1797. She joined the Christian Church on the 18th. June 1835 and died a Christian on the 24th May 1855. She was married to William Trimble by the Rev. Joseph Rice in Montgomery County, Kentucky on the 15th day of Nov. 1814 and located at Hazel Green, Kentucky, where they continued to reside until the time of their death. There has been awarded to them as the fruits of their marriage 13 children, 6 sons and 7 daughters. One daughter died in infancy the others arrived to maturity, and all were happily married, except Nelson who died while attending college at the age of 19.

Evaline the oldest daughter married James McGuire who died in 1888. She had 11 children, 6 of whom are now living and all reside in this state, except one son in Texas. She


has 25 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Caroline, the 2nd daughter married Stephen Swango. She died in 1897. She had 11 children, and has now living two sons and 6 daughters and 28 grand and great-grandchildren; two daughters reside in Illinois, 2 in Missouri and the others in Kentucky. Her oldest son, G.B. lives at Frankfort and is State Register of the Land Office, his son James was educated at Centre College and in all the oratorical contests in Kentucky in which 5 colleges were represented, he took first prizes; he also took the medal at the World's Fair at Chicago in the National Oratorical Contest in competition with the representatives of many of the best colleges in 27 states; as a speaker and as a natural orator he has but few equals.

Preston, the oldest son has 7 children, 2 sons and 5 daughters, all married except two daughters; he also has 20 grand and great grandchildren; Shelton has been married twice, the first wife, nee Miss Swango having died about 35 years since; he has 18 children and 20 grand children.

James Greenville - the writer - is the 3rd son. He has 9 children, all married, except a son and daughter, and all reside in Kentucky except one daughter living in Kansas and one in Texas.

Asberry was assassinated during the war, leaving one son, who is now married and has 4 children, and lives upon a fine blue-grass farm near Frankfort, Ky.

Emily Jane married McKinley Cockrill, who died in 1855. She has two daughters, both married, each of whom has a son, one of them Henry L. Godsey graduated with great honor at Centre College and distinguished himself as an orator. He is almost an equal to Swango, is married and has a lucrative position in the post office department in Washington city (now deceased 1909).

Rose Ann married E. A. Hensley, both are now dead, leaving three sons, one of whom is married and went to New Mexico, the others went to Missouri and Nebraska.

Louisa married Preston Wilson, who died in 1863, afterward married John Wilson. She has 5 sons and 2 daughters. One daughter and one son living in Bates County, Missouri - a son in Nebraska and the others reside in this state. She


has 15 grand children and one great grandchild.

Elizabeth married James S. Turner, a wholesale merchant in Cincinnati; she has two sons and one daughter, all married; one grandchild - one living here and the others at Paris, Ill. She has been a widow since 1875 (deceased 1909).

Frank, the youngest, has a beautifuly and accomplished wife, but no children. He is a wealthy man and a man of influence and resides in Memphis, Tenn.

My mother has 200 lineal descendants now living besides the descendants of the three Hausley boys, who went west and no information has ever been received from them for several years. One was married and had two children when last heard from. My grandmother O'Hair before she left Kentucky lived within three-fourths of a mile of my father's; and when I was a small boy, more than sixty-five years ago, I frequently visited her in her little log cabin, which were the only kind of dwelling houses in the country at that time. I remember very well the location of the house and 1st surroundings and equipments including a little spinning wheel and big wheel, warpting bars, reel, hand loom, winding blades, and wool cotton cords, all necessary articles every well organized household, which were used in the manufacture of tow and flax linen, blankets, flannel and jeans, which were converted into clothing for the family. These necessary impliments of industry and now obsolete having been superseded by modern improved labor saving machinery; and perhaps none of them have been used by any of the present generation, who will meet to celebrate your next reunion, but will be well remembered by their paternal ancestor.

My grand-mother's ideas about keeping the Sabbath holy were very strict; she rarely ever had any cooking done on that day, but usually made preparations for Sunday on the preceding day. She left Kentucky in company with the family of Jesse Ogden and others for Illinois. I think in the fall of 1833. She afterwards returned to Kentucky on a visit and again she went to Illinois or Indiana in 1835 or 1836 accompanied by her son Washington, each time going and coming traveling on horseback, a distance of about 300 miles, a feat that none of her female descendants would undertake to perform in these railroad days. I remember witnessing the separation between her and my mother, which I shall never forget. The best blood that courses through my veins is the O'Hair stock which by crossing and intermarriage with other


families has in a few instances duplicated but never improved. The male members of the family are noted for their honesty, truth, uprightness and integrity and the females for their virtue, purity, truth and industry and for making good wifes, not one of them every having been known to bring disgrace upon their families.

I never saw my grandfather O'Hair, he having died in the early part of the present century, and before I was born. My information that he was born in Ireland, and imigrated to the United States about the beginning of the Revolutionary War, with Great Britan, and volunteered his services in behalf of his adopted country, and was a gallant soldier until the close of the war, and participated in many of the hard fought battles upon southern soil under General Morgan, Greene and Marion and other distinguished heros, including the battles of Cow Pens, where the forces and each side was about equal and the Americans lost but eighty men, while the British loss was over six hundred. Also the battles Guilford Court House, Eutaw Springs and many others, and when in marching their way might be tracked by the blood from their bare feet and which resulted in our independence from the British Crown, and giving to his descendants the political and religious liberties which they now enjoy. At the close of the war he came to and settled in Kentucky to enjoy his well earned honors and the thanks of his grateful countrymen. He lived an honored life and his bones now rest in an unknown and unmarked grave upon a beautiful and picturesque hill overlooking the surrounding country in the vicinity of Hazel Green. It is to be regretted that not even a stone marks his last resting place. I know within a few feet of the location of his grave. Peace to his ashes. We should never forget that we are living upon soil consecrated by the blood of our fathers and the heroes of Eutaw, Cow Pens, and Kings Mountain. And that it is our duty to life up our hearts in gratitude to God, that he has given to us and to our prosperity such a great and grand Country, and we should also bear in mind that we are all, citizens of this country and owe allegiance to its flag under which we have been protected and prospered until we have become the greatest nation upon the face of the globe. A flag which is the eternal symbol of an "indivisible union of indestructible states and our motto should be "The Federal Union Must and Shall be Preserved."

Wishing that each of you who may be in attendance have the pleasure of attending many reunions in the future and that you enjoy many years of good health, prosperity and happiness. I am,

                                       Yours truly,

                                      (signed) J. G. Trimble