John S. Sprowl, M.D.
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 546-549
Back to stanch old Scotch-Irish stock does Dr. Sprowl trace his lineage, and that in his character abide the sterling qualities which have ever marked the true types of those two invincible races will be manifest when we come to consider the more salient points in his career.
William Sprowl, the doctor's grandfather, came to America from Ireland as a soldier in the British army, and took part in the battle of Quebec during the French and Indian war. After this battle he was left to do guard duty in that city, where he continued until the expiration of his period of enlistment. Instead of returning to his native country he concluded to remain in America, and some time after receiving his discharge he went to Norfolk, Virginia, thence a little later to the town of Lexington in the same state. There he met and married Elizabeth Lusk, and within a few years became a large land owner, purchasing a tract of three hundred acres in the bend of the James river, and entered upon the duties of farm life.
William and Elizabeth Sprowl were blessed with a family of ten children, five sons and five daughters, one of the sons, Joseph, marrying, on the 14th day of April, 1814, Miss Jennie Armstrong. In October of the same year this couple took up their residence in Preble county, Ohio, and in 1834 moved to the new and sparsely settled region of Huntington county, Indiana, located near the site of Lancaster in the township of the same name. They were the first permanent settlers in that part of the county, and did much toward developing the country and inducing other families to locate in the same neighborhood. They had a family of eight children, one of whom, Robert by name, married, August 1,1849, Hannah Shaffer, a daughter of John C. and Sarah Shaffer. Philip Shaffer, grandfather of John C., was a native of Rockingham county, Virginia, and there married Elizabeth Stonebraker, by whom he had two children, John and Sarah. He immigrated to Ohio as early as the year 1816, settling in the county of Preble, being one of the forerunners of civilization to that part of the state. While living in Virginia he became a large slaveholder, but becoming convinced that ownership in human flesh was contrary to the law of God and the best instincts of man he liberated his slaves and sought a home where such an unholy traffic would not be tolerated. John C. Shaffer and family settled in Franklin county, Indiana, at an early day, and about 1837 moved to Salamonie township, Huntington county, and settled in the vicinity of Warren. He erected the first house in that town (1838), and for some years was one of its active citizens and progressive men.
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