Pioneer Families of Brown County, OhioFlatboat.jpg (39358 bytes)

The history of a nation is best told in the lives of its people, and a people who take no pride in their remote ancestors will never achieve anything noteworthy. [1]

To know about Ohio's beginnings is difficult since its pioneers left few records. Theirs was not the world of technology, but one of hard self-effacement, secretiveness about the past, and struggle and despair over infertile land or land disputes. Brown County settlement was delayed for some years after initial surveys because of Indian wars. The Shawnee and their allies were not subdued until the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Many families sheltered on the banks of northern Kentucky waiting for the Ohio Territory to open. With enormous courage and determination, our pioneer ancestors crossed the river as early as 1796. John Boude opened a ferry in 1800 and helped many pioneers bring their few precious belongings into the Ohio country. [2]

The Great Migration of 1800 began with a huge influx of people coming into the Northwest Territory. The people coming to Ohio by flatboat settled first along the riverbanks. A settlement began on a hilltop overlooking the river which became known as Shinkle's Ridge. Among the early families, besides the Shinkles, were the Bolenders, Fees, Kellams, Rileys, Shields, Kyles, Youngs, Laycocks, Morins and Dobbins. [3]

Brown County's Lewis Township extended from Bullskin Creek to White Oak Creek, and the hilly terrain above the river offered many sites for water mills. From the mouth of Bullskin Creek to the town of Bethel was one of the early trails linking the river traffic with the hinterlands of Clermont County. Clermont County's eastern section became Brown County's Lewis Township in 1818. [4 & Appendix Map]

Shikgat.jpg (55512 bytes)Philip Jacob Shinkle of Lancaster County Pa. was a private in 1775 in the Heidelberg Company of the Pa. Line under Capt. George Hudson. He was born March 5, 1747, in Edenkoben, Rhine Palatinate, Bavaria. His parents were Philip Carl Schenckel and Maria Elisabetha Zimple. Philip Jacob married Julia Ann Bolender, a sister of Stephen Bolender. The couple had six sons and three daughters. One of the daughters,  Elizabeth Shinkle (b. Jan. 25, 1787)  married Thomas Kellam in Brown Co on July 5, 1813.  Philip Jacob died 1805 in Brown County and was buried in Shinkle's Ridge Cemetery near Higginsport, Ohio. [5]

Photo left: Entrance to Shinkle's Ridge Cemetery

Philip Carl Shinkle  [of Philip Jacob Shinkle, of Johann Nicholas Schenckel, of A. Bartholomew Schenckel] was born June 8, 1717 in Edenkoben, Rhine Palatinate, Bavaria.  Philip Carl married Maria Elizabeth Zimpel on June 29, 1745/6. Maria Elizabeth Zimpel (b. Feb 28, 1717 in Edenkoben) was the daughter of Valentin Zimpel.The Shinkle family emigrated to America in 1752 taking passage from Rotterdam on the ship "Snow Ketty" to Philadelphia. Philip Carl took the Oath of Allegiance Oct 16, 1752. He settled in Heidelburg Twp, Lancaster Co, Pa.  All three sons of Philip Carl Shinkle were in the Revolution: Philip Jacob, Han Philip, and Christian. [6]

Johann Nicholas Schenckel born March 2, 1681 in Edenkoben, Pfalz,  Bavaria, married Anna Barbara Romich. They had five children. Their son, Philip Carl was baptized May 23, 1717, in Edenkoben, and emigrated to American just before the Revolutionary War. The Shinkle family history has been traced by Wanda Shinkle Friis from Schaffhausen, Switzerland, in the 1500s to the present generation. Her index can be found at the Brown Co. Historical Society library in Georgetown. [7]

Edenkob.jpg (70344 bytes)Christian Shinkle, brother of Philip Jacob, came into Lewis Township around 1805 along with his son-in-law, Henry Mohn. The Shinkles were of German descent having served in the Penn. Line during the Revolution. Christian was born July 10, 1756. He & his family left Pennsylvania in June, 1778. The Shinkles crossed the Alleghenies in wagons to Pittsburg, then by flatboat to Limestone where he left his family to seek a location. On June 15, 1805, he purchased of J. R. Jacobs, 1000 a. on Bullskin Creek for $2000. His ownership gave the name of Shinkle's Ridge to the section of the county lying north of Higginsport, an Ohio River hamlet. Land was donated by him for a church, cemetery and schoolhouse.  He married (1) Maria Magdalena and (2) Elizabeth Stayton, widow. He died 1833 and is buried in Shinkle's Ridge Cemetery. His grave bears a   DAR marker. [8]

Han Philip Shinkle, son of Philip Carl, was born 1753. He married Barbara Walderline/Walters in Lancaster County, Penn. They moved to Ohio around 1796 taking a flatboat at Pittsburgh and landing a short distance from Higginsport, Ohio. For several years they lived on a flat boat ready to cut loose in case of Indian attack. On June 7, 1805, Han Philip bought 300 a. of land near Feesburg, Ohio for $600. He and his brother Christian gave the land for Shinkle's Ridge Christian Church & Cemetery. The Hayward Bible contains vital records on the Han Philip family. [9]Shnch2.jpg (41720 bytes)

Stephen Bolender Sr. was born Oct 9, 1756, in Cocalico Twp.,   Lancaster Co, Pa. He died Feb. 25, 1820 in Felicity, Clermont co, Ohio. He married (1) Margreta Schenckel on Aug. 29, 1779, in Lancaster Co. He came with his wife and nine children to Lewis Township in1800. Both he and his wife were blacksmiths. Margreta Bolender died soon after settlement, and Stephen married Mrs. Elizabeth Kellam Fetterman on Aug. 19, 1813. His will dated August, 1819, read in part: "I bequeath my plantation & mansion house to my wife Elizabeth; also a good horse & saddle and a good second rate cow together with a year's provisions. Julia Anne Bolender, his daughter, married George Wood and they moved to Illinois.             [10 & Appendix Census 1820]

Photo right: Shinkle's Ridge Christian Church

Shinkle Ridge Cemetery is located on Shinkle's Ridge Rd., just west of Route 505. Matthew Gardner organized the Christian Union church here. The Great Revival which began at Cane Ridge, Bourbon Co. Ky., had spread like wildfire through Ohio's Protestant churches. The Southern Ohio Christian Conference was organized around 1820. Liberty Chapel, 1812, became a Christian Church organized by Archibald Alexander. Many Brown Countians joined the Christian church during camp meetings, but most Protestant congregations remained strong. Feesburg, home of the Dawson & Kellam families, was laid out as a town in 1834 by Thomas Fee. At first, there were three churches: Eden Methodist, church of  William & Thomas Kellam; Christian; and Presbyterian. Pioneer cemeteries located next to early church buildings. Some cemeteries like Mt. Zion remain while the church edifice has disappeared. 

The Bolender-Shinkle Reunion of 1912

Return to First Page


AppendixClermap.jpg (45440 bytes)

1820 Census of Brown County Ohio

Isaac Dawson: 2M -10; 1M 26-45; 1F -10; 1F 16-26; 4 engaged manufacturing & 4 in commerce. Page 16.

Ezekiel Kellam: 2M -10; 1M 26-45; 1M 45+; 2F -10; 1F 10-16; 1 in commerce. Page 416.

Levi Riley: 1M -10; 1M 26-45; 2F -10; 2F 10-16; 1F 26-45; 1 in commerce. Page 416.

Stephen Bolender: 1M 16-18; 2M 16-26; 1 engaged in manufacturing. Page 416.

Map left - Arrow in upper right corner shows part of Clermont Co. which became Brown County after 1818. Bullskin Creek formed the border with Clermont's Washington Twp. Pleasant Twp. in Clermont became Lewis Twp. in Brown County after 1818. For more information on border between Clermont & Brown Cos. Ohio, write to Brown & Clermont Historical Societies. Address under "resources" on menu page.


Footnotes & Bibliography

1. "Historical Collections of Brown County, Ohio," Carl Thompson, Piqua, Ohio: Hammer Graphics, 1969.

2. "History of Brown County, Ohio," Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers & Co, 1883.

3. See Appendix 1820 Brown Co, Ohio, Census

4. See Appendix Map

5. "The Shinkle Genealogy," Louisa J. & Chas. L. Abbott, Cinti. Ohio: Curts & Jennings Press, 1897; FGSs of Shinkle Family by Julie Benston, Central Point, Oregon.

6. DAR Papers of Myrtle Lyon Lombard, Luguna Hill, CA, June 29, 1976, descendant of Philipp Carl Schenckel/Shinkle.

7. "Brown County Ohio: Collection of Genealogical & Historical Writings," Vol. One, 1980,  information submitted by Tom Shinkle on p. 417 and Edith Beach Sipple on p. 418.

8. Ibid., p. 418.

9. Ibid.

10. "Beginnings of the Peter & Maria Barbara Bolender Family," by Harold G. Miller, Milford, Ohio, revised Oct. 4, 1988, a loose manuscript in Clermont Co Ohio Public Library Bolender Family File ; Thompson, op. cit., p. 1163.