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John Jacob Sherer
(1759 - 1845)

  The oldest son and first born of Jacob Daniel Scherrer and Hannah Sophia Dick, was born Sept. 14, 1759, seven years after his father's arrival in America. His birthplace is uncertain - some say Berks Co., Pa., others, "the Colony of Deleware." He is described as being of "spare build, fair complexion, small face and always wearing a Quaker hat." He and his father farmed together and made hats in Guilford Co., N.C. for many years. He is said to have first enlisted in the Continental Army in Berks Co., and that he served "three or four" tours during the war. He often spoke of the hardships he had to endure and of his great suffering. Someone remarked that is must have been very trying to face the cannon's mouth, and he replied that one "soon got the war spirit when they were even anxious for the fight." He was also known to have shown courage and understanding with the savages in Ohio, where he and his family moved with wagons in 1806.

  John Jacob married Catherine Smith on Feb. 12, 1782. Catherine and her sister Barbara (who married John Jacob's brother, Frederick) were the daughters of Andrew Smith. The bond was issued to Jacob Sherer and Catey Smith and was signed by Andrew Smith.

  In the fall of 1806 John Jacob and his family moved in wagons to Preble County, Ohio, crossing the river at Cincinnati - probably having come through the Cumberland Gap route from North Carolina. In Preble County he took up 160 acres of land, built a home, cleared the forest and tilled the soil. He also continued his trade of hat-making, and made hats for the Quakers in the area. He also preached in the Lutheran church in the locality where he lived. His farm was in section 7 of Washington Township. One of his descendants wrote, "There he worked to subdue the wilderness...By patient toil he succeeded in sweeping away the forest til the virgin soil made fertile fields, and for the hardships endured, he was rewarded by peace and plenty...He was a very quiet man."

  His wife Catherine died in 1826 and was buried in the Sherer cemetery on the home farm in Preble Co. After her death John Jacob sold the farm to his son Daniel Jacob Sherer, and lived the rest of his life among his children. Approximately a year before his death he took up residence with his daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Adam Miller, who lived near New Hope in Preble Co. There he died March 20, 1845, aged 85 years, 6 months and 6 days. He was buried beside his wife.

  His grandson, Samuel Miller, years later wrote the following to a relative:

    "Grandfather John Jacob Sherer died at my parent's home, one mile west of New Hope. His age, place of birth, and service in the Revolutionary War were furnished by Uncle Daniel Sherer to Rev. Jacob Gruber, who preached the funeral sermon. Any papers which Grandfather may have had were doubtless in the care of Uncle Daniel who lived on the old homestead. Grandfather made that his principal home, dividing the time between there and our house. I can testify that Uncle Daniel told Rev. Gruber in my presence that Grandfather served 'three tours in the Revolutionary War.' I know that father and mother so understood it and frequently spoke of the hardships he had to endure and of his great suffering. I also heard Grandfather talk about incidents of the war."

  John Jacob Sherer, Preble Co., is listed on p. 312 of "Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Ohio" among the soldiers of the American Revolution. The text reads:

    "Was b 1760 in Pa. Mar Catherine Smith b 1762' had 10 chldr' soldr d 1845 on farm in northwest part of Washington twp; bur Sherer cem Washington twp Preble Cp. Came from N Carolina to O in 1806' settled in Washington twp. Ref S A R yr bk. Rept by Commodore, Preble chpt."

  John Jacob and Catherine Smith Sherer's graves are on the John and Edith Marelli farm (in 1970) known also as "Old Quill Farm Bounty Land." At one time this was the old Sherer home farm. The cemetery is now grown up in brush and you have to cross a creek. It is uncared for and the tombstones are beginning to topple. Ovid Martin of Paris visited the farm in August 1969 while on a trip to Ohio. He found the exact location and photographed the gravesite. He found Jacob's grave, with the tombstone inscribed only "J. S."

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