An American Family History

John S. LeFevre


LeFevre is also spelled Ferber, LaFevre, LaFever, Lefebre, LeFever,and LeFevere. It is from the original Northern French surname Lefebvre or Lefèvre. It means smith.

The 1890 census materials was lost in a 1921 fire.

John LeFevre was born December 3, 1807 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Jacob LeFever and Rebecca Bachtell.

He moved with his family to Fairfield County, Ohio in 1816.

He married Rachel Swope about 1830. Rachel was born on February 12, 1808 in Pennsylvania. Her parents were David Swope and Mary Cole.

John and Rachel's children included:
Louisa LeFevre Lee (1831, married John Lee),
Rebecca LeFevre (1833, married John Brown. Willard Perrin, and John Williams),
John S. LeFevre (1834, married Flavilla Brayton),
Lieutenant Colonel William C. LeFevre (1836, married Elizabeth Mackey),
Jacob D. LeFevre (1838, married Cornelia Lay),
Oscar T. LeFevre (1840)
Jane (Jennie) LeFever Lee (1842, married Monroe Lee),
Mary M. LeFever (died young), and
May LeFever (died young).

Ohio 1840
From an Ohio newspaper in 1840.
John was a farmer and during the winter of 1828 he taught school in Fremont, Ohio.

Rachel died in 1847.

John married Elvira Reed in 1849. Elvira was born on May 13, 1814 in Ottawa County, New York.

In 1850 John S. LeFevre was in York, Sandusky, Ohio. The household consisted of John S. age 43, Elvira age 35, Louisa age 19, Rebecca age 17, John S. age 15, William age 13, Jacob age 12, Oscar age 10, and Jane age 8.

During the Civil War, their sons, William C., Jacob and Oscar enlisted in the Union army.

In 1865, John moved to Clyde, and died there December 27, 1890. He was buried at McPherson Cemetery in Clyde.

Children of Jacob LeFevre and
Rebecca Bachtell
  • David LeFevre
  • Samuel LeFevre
  • Isaac LeFevre (died young)
  • Jacob LeFevre
  • Margaret LeFevre Kelsey
  • Mary LeFevre
  • Rebecca L. LeFevre Swope
  • John LeFevre
  • Elizabeth LeFevre
  • William LeFevre
  • Sarah Ann LeFevre

  • Fairfield County is in central Ohio. The county seat is Lancaster.
    American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.


    In the Civil War (1861 to 1865) eleven Southern states seceded from the U.S. and formed the Confederate States of America.

    from History of Sandusky County Ohio

    Among the residents of Clyde are a number of retired farmers, men who spent their best days in hard toil, and are now passing the evening of their life amid the pleasant surroundings of a village. One of the most highly respected citizens of this class is John Lefever. He was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, in 1807.

    In 1816 the family removed to Fairfield county, Ohio, where, in 1829, John married Rachel Swope. Three years later he came to this county and settled on one hundred acres of land which he had entered in Green Creek township.

    On this farm he lived till 1865, when he sold and removed to Clyde. Mrs. Lefever died in 1847. The family consisted of nine children, seven of whom are living - Louisa, Rebecca, John S., William C, Jacob D., Oscar T., and Jane.

    Mr. Lefever married for his second wife, in 1849, Elvira Reed, who was born in Ottawa county. New York, in 1814.

    Mr. Lefever has frequently been chosen to fill local offices, township trustee, etc. His services on the school board of Clyde since 1868 are worthy of special mention.

    W. C. Lefever, a son of John Lefever, was born in this township in 1836. In 1866 he married Lizzie Mackey, a native of Ross county. Mr. Lefever taught school in Missouri before the war. He entered the army as private, and was mustered out with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

    J. D. Lefever was born in this township in 1838. In 1865 he married Cornelia Lay. Mr. Lefever served during the war about three years in the Seventy-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry.


    Tennessee was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. It was initially part of North Carolina.

    from Twentieth Century History of Sandusky County, Ohio and Representative Citizens edited by Basil Mee

    Jacob D. LeFever, a veteran of the Civil War and owner of Locust Hill Farm, a tract of 100 acres located in Green Creek Township about two and a half miles east of Clyde, Ohio, was born April 10, 1838, on the home farm in Green Creek Township, and is a son of John and Rachel (Schwoop) LeFever.

    Jacob LeFever. grandfather of our subject. at an early period came with his family from Lancaster County. Pennsylvania. and first located in Fairfield County, Ohio where for many years he followed farming. After the death of his wife he came to Sandusky County and resided with his son John until his death. His interment being at the McPherson Cemetery at Clyde.

    John LeFever was born in Lancaster County. in 1807. and was one of a large family of children. When a boy his parents removed to Fairfield County, Ohio, where he grew to maturity and was later married to Rachel Schwoop, shortly afterwards moving to Sandusky County.

    John and Rachel LeFever were the parents of the following children:
    Louisa, is the wife of J. S. Lee;
    Rebecca, married William Brown;
    John, deceased;
    William C.;
    Jacob D., the subject of this sketch;
    Oscar T.;
    Jennie, who married Monroe Lee;
    and two who died in infancy.

    Mrs. LeFever died in February,1848, and Mr. LeFever formed a second marital union with Elvira Reed, who died in 1896. His death occurred in 1890.

    Upon first locating in Sandusky County, Mr. LeFever bought a tract of 100 acres of timberland in Green Creek Township, which he cleared, and resided for some time in a log house. During the winter of 1828 he taught school at Fremont, Ohio, and in 1863, -at the outbreak of the Civil War, when his sons, William C., Jacob and Oscar, enlisted in the army, he went to Clyde, where he lived in retirement until the time of his death.

    Jacob D. LeFever grew to manhood on the home farm in Green Creek Township and received his educational training in the district schools and at Berea College. In 1863 he enlisted in Company A, 72d O. Vol. Inf., and served throughout the entire war, being wounded but once, while on picket duty at Nashville, Tennessee.

    After the close of the war he returned home and on October 4. 1865, was united in marriage with Cornelia Lay, who was born in 1840, and was a daughter of W. E. Lay, who was one of the early settlers of Sandusky County.

    Mr. LeFever has always followed farming and after his marriage bought his present farm of 100 acres in Green Creek Township, from Mr. Eversole. It was the old John Tuck farm and is now known as Locust Hill farm, deriving its name from the many locust trees which grow upon the place. In 1883 Mr. LeFever erected a large ten-room brick house and has made many other improvements on the land.

    In politics he is identified with the Republican party and is a member of Eton Post, G. A. R., at Clyde.

    Settlers often built log cabins as their first homes.

    The Civil War had more casualties than any other American war. Disease and infection were the biggest killers.


    In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.

    from Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Sandusky and Ottawa

    Colonel William C. Lefever is justly regarded as one of the leading citizens of Sandusky county, and in the vicinity of Clyde, where he owns one of the finest country residences in northwestern Ohio, a model of every comfort and lavish elegance, he socially and politically ranks pre-eminent.

    He was born in Sandusky county May 14, 1836, son of John and Rachel (Swope) LeFever, the former of whom was born in Lancaster, Penn., December 4, 1813, son of John LeFever, Sr., who was of French extraction, migrating with his family to Fayette county, Ohio, early in the century.

    In 1832 John LeFever, Jr., moved to Fremont, Sandusky county, and two years later he entered government land in Green Creek township, cleared it and followed farming until 1865, when he moved to Clyde, and died there December 27, 1890. He was in politics a Republican, and in religious belief a Methodist. His wife died in the prime of life. She was of Pennsylvania birth and family.

    The children of John and Rachel LeFever were as follows:
    Louisa, who married J. S. Lee, of Chickasaw county, Iowa;
    Rebecca, who married Henry Perin, and now lives, a widow, at Kalamazoo, Mich.;
    John S., of Green Spring;
    William C., subject of this sketch;
    J. D., a resident of Sandusky county;
    Oscar T., of Marshall county, Iowa;
    Jane, wife of Monroe Lee, of Seneca county;
    May, who died in infancy;
    and Mary M., who died young.

    The boyhood of William C. LeFever was spent in Green Creek township. He attended the common schools, and completed his education at Republic, and by a two-years' course at Oberlin College. In 1857 he went to St. Joseph, Mo., where he taught school until the Civil war broke out.

    He was among the first in that distracted country to espouse the Union cause, enlisting as a private in Company A, Fourth Missouri Cavalry, and doing valiant service throughout the war. In the earlier years he was fighting GenPrice's forces. He was engaged at Wilson's Creek, Mo., August 10, 1861, the second skirmish at Pea Ridge, Ark., in March, 1862, and Independence, Mo., later in that month. When Price was driven from the country the Missouri Cavalry troops were chiefly engaged in frontier guard duties. Promotion came rapidly, and the impetuous young Ohioan was first sergeant, first lieutenant, captain, major, and lieutenant-colonel, successively. After serving a year on the plains, watching Indians, he was mustered out at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1866. after service in the Fourth, Sixth and Thirteenth Missouri Cavalry, successively. He once held two commissions at one time, first lieutenant and adjutant.

    After the war Col. LeFever returned home and has since resided in Green Creek township. In 1866 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Mackey, a native of Chillicothe, Ross county, and has two adopted children, Mabel and Arthur. The present handsome brick residence of Col. LeFever, located two and a half miles south of Clyde, was.built in 1880. In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of Eaton Post No. 55, G. A. R., and in religious faith is a Methodist. Col. LeFever is a man of high intellectual attainmcnts, and possesses unusually fine business and executive abilities. He commands the esteem and confidence of a wide acquaintanceship.

    The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was an organization of veterans of the Union Army who had served in the Civil War.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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