Samuel McGinnis is a successful farmer and stock raiser of Muskingum County, Ohio, but was born in Chester County, Penn., in 1821 to Johnson and Jane (McMullin) McGinness, natives of this country, but of Scotch-Irish descent.
The father, was an early settler of Pennsylvania, belonging to one of the pioneer families of the State, and was born in 1772. In 1798, in company with a brother, he passed through this section on his way to Kentucky, following the Zane trail from Pennsylvania. After remaining in Kentucky for a short time he returned to Pennsylvania, and was there married, in 1808. In 1828 he came to Muskingum County and settled on the farm on which the subject of this sketch is now residing, where he died, in October 1840.
His second marriage was consummated in 1825, Miss Deborah Curle becoming hs wife, and both his marriages were celebrated in Pennsylvania. By his first wife he became the father of seven children, only two of whom are now living: The subject of this sketch, and his sister. Mrs. James Fountain, of Henry, Ill. His second marriage was blessed in the birth of two children: Elizabeth Holcomb, of Perry County, Ohio and a son, who was killed at Missionary Ridge, Tenn., in 1863 after having served from the commencement of the war. Major Fountain, of Illinois, his nephew, was present when he received his death wound.
Samuel McGinness came with his father to this state in 1828, building a cabin in the woods, and was educated in the old log schoolhouse of pioneer days. The settlers were compelled to go many miles to mill, and sawmills were very scarce indeed. Samuel McGinness was married, in 1848, to Miss Sophia Morris, who was born in Pennsylvania in December 1823, and came to this county in 1832.
Her father settled one mile north of where Mr. McGinness now resides. His name was Thomas Morris, and his wife was Mary Everall. Of a family of five children born to them four are now living: Thomas (who resides in Iowa); Sophia (wife of Mr. McGinness); Richard (died in Illinois); Elizabeth (Wife of Levi Price, resides at Bradford, Ohio); and Charles (in the employ of the 1. M. Ry., in Texas. In 1865 Mr. Morris and his family removed to Illinois and settled in Tazewell County, where the father died, in 1867, and his widow, in 1885, at the ripe old age of ninety years.)
Mr. and Mrs. McGinness are the parents of the following children: Charles J. (deceased); Mary E. (wife of J.L. Dozer); Lizzie A. (at home); William T. (married and a resident of Kansas); Louis H. (of this county); Alfred (married, and a resident of the farm), and Edwin (at home). In 1863 Mr. McGinness was drafted into the Army, but was furloughed, and afterward joined a military company known as the one hundred days' men, but was again furloughed, and received his discharge at the close of the war.
Mr. McGinness was an active republican up to 1885. Since which time he has been a member of the prohibition party. His first Presidential vote was cast for Henry Clay, in 1844. His last, as a republican for James G. Blaine, in 1884, and for Fisk, in 1888. During this time he has never been all office seeker, and has only served as land appraiser.
He is one of the leading farmers of his section, and is the owner of a fine farm within three miles of Zanesville, on which he raises corn, wheat, hay, etc... and also some fine stock. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Zanesville, and he has always been a patron of education. In 1888 he became a member of the present Pioneer and Historical Society, and has been its treasurer since its organization. He was a charter member of the first Sabbath school in Distric No. 1, Wayne Township, which was organized in a brick house in 1834, and which was also used as a schoolhouse. This school, both literary and Sabbath, has been continued ever since, and Mr. McGinness has been in constant attendance in the Sabbath-school department. He is also a member of the county alliance, and is President of the township alliance.
This is one of the pioneer families of Muskingum County and highly repsected.