"I was born in Canandaigua, N.Y., October 25, 1814, and moved to Royalton, Ohio, with my father's family in the spring of 1816. Ours was the first family to settle in the township. Of course I was too young to remember things which took place for a year or two, but I remember that Indians came around frequently. As I grew older they were my playmates.
The first school that I attended was held in a shanty covered with elm bark, and had logs for seats. The building had no chimney. A few months later they built a log school house with a great fire place at one end of the building. Holes were bored into the logs forming the sides of the building. Into these holes wooden pins were driven. On these pins boards were placed, and these formed our writing desks. We stood there to write. Our seats were slabs with the bark side down, into which holes had been bored and wooden pins driven in for legs. As there was no public money they had school only three months in the year. As I grew older I had to stay at home and help my father clear the land and work on the farm.
In my boyhood days we spent our leisure time much as boys do now. Athletic sports such as wrestling, running and jumping were our chief amusements. I was somewhat of an athlete myself. One day when I was about 14 years of age I was running, boy fashion, in the woods. I jumped over a log and landed beside a beautiful young deer. The little animal bounded away and I started in pursuit of it; after running about 30 rods, I saw that the deer was gaining on me. I noticed a large log in its course and thought that if the deer did not clear the log at one jump I might catch it there. Presentlty we reached the log. I made a lunge forward and caught the deer by the hind leg. I took my captive home; it soon became domesticated and was allowed its liberty. It sometimes followed me to school, a mile distant, but always returned home. After a time some one shot my deer and carried it away.
Indians were rarely seen now. Wolves were common. It was a nightly occurence to hear them howling around our house. I was 18 years old when the last pack of wolves was seen in Royalton.
The first election in the township was held in my father's house. Every office seeker was elected, in fact, some of them secured two offices. I was a farmer and remained with my father until I was 25 years old. On January 29, 1839, I was married to Miss Almyra Gordon, of Royalton. We settled on a little farm in Royalton and I cleared the timber from it. In 1848 I sold this farm and purchased land in Middleburgh township. The entire tract was a dense forest covered with immense trees. The nearest road was Wooster pike, two miles away. I blazed trees to mark the boundaries of my farm and blazed a path to the road. I built a comfortable log house, in which we resided until 1866, when I built a brick house. In 1890 I rented my farm and purchased a house in Berea, where I now reside."
Mr. Engle was a fine player on the violin when young. His hand did not lose its skill even in old age, as those who attended the reunion at his home in 1896 can testify. William Engle was a man of sterling integrity and honored and respected by his fellow citizens. For a number of years he held the office of constable. He was a school director many years and served as township trustee for a long period of time. He was liberal and kind to the poor.
He died at his home in Berea on May 9, 1897, and was buried in beautiful Woodvale cemetery which he was instrumental in securing while a trustee of Middleburgh. His wife went to Marietta, Ill., in 1901, and is still living there in the home of her youngest daughter, Mrs. Anna Kerstetter.
Almyra Gordon was born June 25, 1820, in Avon, N. Y. Her father, O. C. Gordon, was of Scottish descent. Her mother, Polly Howe Gordon, was the daughter of a Methodist minister, who later changed to the Universalist creed.
O. C. Gordon and family moved to Royalton, Ohio, when Almira was six years old. She remembers as among the hardest experiences of her early life her two mile walk daily to the public school.
After the death of her husband, William Engle, she continued to reside in Berea, until December 31, 1902. Since then her home has been with her daughter, Mrs. Annie Kerstetter, in Marietta, Ill. Here in the possession of good health her life is happily passing by. At the age of 93 years she is able to employ her hands with needle-work and embroidery, and delights in making beautiful things for her friends.
Celia V., b. Mar. 11, 1840, d. June 17, 1861.
Ellen E., b. May 15, 1841, d. March 28, 1873.
Adelaide J., b. Feb. 4, 1847.
Ernest William, b. April 16, 1851, d. May 7, 1896.
Anna M., b. Feb. 9, 1853.
Celia V. Engle
Celia V., (William3, Margaret2, John1) was the oldest child of William and Almyra Engle, and was born in Royalton March 11, 1840. She removed to Middleburgh township in 1848 and was educated in the schools of Middleburgh and Berea. She was a beautiful girl and loved by all who knew her. Life seemed full of promise to her, but at the early age of 21 years she was called away from the scenes of time when the world was at its most beautiful season, June 17, 1861.