An early local family chronicled

A very early newspaper, The Wilmington Journal, sometimes published biographical information about an early family or an early settler. The following information was found in the paper of Wednesday, March 31, 1886.

Michael Hoblet, the grandfather of J. S. Hoblet, was a native of Germany. At about the age of 21, he married Miss Catherine Viegle. They emigrated to the United States and settled in the Keystone State and met with many hardships. Mr. Hoblet was a potter and followed that trade until his death. His widow married Wm. Cochran who also died before Catherine who died about 1820.

Wm. Hoblet was the son of Michael and Catherine and was born May 19, 1789 in Pennsylvania. He bravely tried to help his widowed mother as best he could. He had to be very independent and able to support himself and at an early age went to Lexington, Ky. where he learned the tanner and currier trade. In 1798, he came to the edge of this county and erected a tannery on the farm now occupied by Daniel Haworth, Jr.

While engaged in this occupation he became acquainted with and was married to Miss Margaret Shields. He continued to run his tannery at this point until 1815 when he located near Port William and erected another tannery. He was very prosperous and a large land owner. It is claimed he served on the first jury that sat in this county, the culprit being a horse thief. The case was tried in Jesse Hughes’ barn near Wilmington. He was a member of the Baptist Church and was one of the members that organized the church at Port William. He died Dec. 13, 1870. His wife had died March 18, 1869. They were the parents of 12 children, 10 of whom survive. All but one are members of the Baptist Church.

James S. Hoblet was the oldest son and was born Aug. 28, 1811 in Union Township. Before entering manhood, he had obtained a fair education and had become a competent and efficient tanner and leather finisher. Being the oldest boy, he was also compelled to help run the farm which was not an easy task. In 1832, he wooed and won the hand of Miss Mary Hussey who was a lady of a sweet and amiable disposition. For 41 years, she was his loving and cherished companion, but during the year of 1873 she sickened and died, being aged 58 years. Shortly after their marriage they settled on a farm, but Mr. Hoblet, not liking that occupation, moved to what is now Port William and started a general retail store, being the first of any importance that was ever in that village. He was most successful for over 30 years.

We doubt if there ever was a business man in the county that was as esteemed or enjoyed the confidence of his patrons as Mr. Hoblet during that period. He also engaged quite extensively in the raising and buying of fine cattle. When the First National Bank of Wilmington was incorporated, he was one of its stock holders and continued to be one for several years. He was also a stock holder of the C., C. & H.V. R. R. He has always been successful in his business ventures and now enjoys a snug income.

He is a liberal giver to those that deserve to be helped, and is ready to help along any enterprise that is likely to benefit the village in which he resides. He is a lover of music and is president of the Port William Band. He has held nearly every office in the township, and it is truly said there never was a better or more faithful officer. He is a red-hot Republican, voted with that party ever since he became a voter. He still enjoys fair health and takes an active part in every political campaign. He is also an active worker for Christianity. May he enjoy many long years of life.

The writer of the article was C. Allen Atley.