John Hibner, Sr. was born in Peekskill, New York, about 1766?. His father, a native of Germany, died in early manhood. His mother, Sarah Jones, was the daughter of Philip Jones, a wealthy farmer who owned 160 acres in what is now the heart of New York City, besides numerous other pieces of property.
When he grew to manhood, John Hibner, Sr. went to Ohio, and worked as a farmhand in the Miami River bottoms. Next settling in Guernsey County, he took up a claim of 160 acres. Shortly after he was married to Jane Caldwell, who was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, of Scots ancestry. She grew to womanhood in her native country and afterward accompanied her mother and three other children to America.
John Hibner, Jr. was the sole survivor of the eight children of John and Jane Caldwell Hibner. He was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, Sept. 14, 1804 (though his tombstone says 1814). He was without educational advantages when he was young, and his entire attendance at school was limited to eighteen evenings spent at night school. From his earliest recollections he was obliged to work hard for his support.
John and Jane Caldwell Hibner had at least one other child born in Guernsey County, Sarah A., in 1811.
At the outbreak of the War of 1812, John Hibner, Sr. enlisted and took part in the famous thirteen-day siege of forts Meigs, Defiance, and Wayne. When the troops marched away from the fort, he was ill with camp fever and was left behind. Later recovering somewhat he started for home. He wandered through the forests and over the prairies without food. At one point he came across an Indian camp and asked for something to eat, but was refused. Nevertheless, at last he reached home in safety.
In 1814, the family removed to Richland County, Ohio.
2001 December 17: First published.