The Ashbaugh Family in History

With a family as large as the Ashbaugh Family, and being in the United States as long as we have been here (since 1738), we are bound to have had important roles in the history of this great nation or have famous or well known ancestors. Below is a listing of what we currently know. Relationship to our immagrant ancestor Johann Heinrich Eschbach, when known, is given. If you know of someone we should include in this category, click here!(coming soon)


  • Abolition
  • Firsts
  • Historic Roles
  • Inventors
  • Presidents
  • War Time

  • Abolition

    Arminens (also spelled Armenius) Ashbaugh:
    Armenius was the great grandson of Johann Heinrich Eschbach (Armenius, John, Frederick Ashbaugh, Johann Heinrich Eschbach) who along with his brother participated in the operation of the Underground Railroad in Marion, Ohio. See

    Frederick Ashbaugh:
    Armenius was the great grandson of Johann Heinrich Eschbach (Frederick, John, Frederick Ashbaugh, Johann Heinrich Eschbach) who along with his brother participated in the operation of the Underground Railroad in Marion, Ohio. See


    Historic Roles


    Joseph Saxton:
    Born in Huntingdon, Pa., March 22. 1799; son of James and Hannah (Ashbaugh) Saxton. He worked in his father's nail factory, learned the trade of watchmaking, made a printing press on which he printed a small newspaper, removed to Philadelphia in 1817, where he carried on the business of watch-making, and invented a machine for facilitating the making of the wheels for the works. With Isaiah Lukens he constructed an ingenious clock which gave the movements of the planets, and he also made the town clock placed in the belfry of Independence Hall, Philadelphia. About 1828 he went to London, where he became associated with the Adelaide Gallery of Practical Science, for which he constructed several mechanical toys. He there met Telford, Brunel, Whitwell, Hawkins and Faraday, through whose influence he was admitted to the meetings of the Royal institution.

    In June, 1833, he demonstrated before the British Association for the Advancement of Science, the workings of his magneto-electric machine, capable of decomposing water and of producing brilliant electrical sparks and steady light by bringing charcoal points near together. He also invented a pulley for measuring the velocity of vessels; an air-gun with metallic cartridge; an apparatus for obtaining an electrical spark from the magnetism of the earth; another for measuring the velocity of electricity, and several useful articles. He also perfected the medal-ruling machine, invented by Gobercht of the U.S. mint, and was awarded the Scott legacy medal of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, in 1834, for his reflecting pyrometer.

    He declined the office of director of the printing machinery of the Bank of England, and on his return to the United States in 1837, he became curator of the standard weighing apparatus of the U.S. mint in Philadelphia, and superintended the construction of standard balances, weights and measures for the branch mints and assay offices of the government. He also invented an automatic machine for measuring the height of the tides; one for determining the temperature of the deep sea; an immersed hydrometer; and applied his reflecting pyrometer to the construction of measuring rods.

    He was awarded a gold medal at the Crystal Palace fair, London, in 1851, for a nearly precise balance. He was a member of the Franklin Institute, and of the American Philosophical society, 1837-73, and a charter member of the National Academy of Sciences, 1863, which society preserved his memoirs, written by Joseph Henry, 1877.

    He was married in 1850 to Mary H. Abercrombie of Philadelphia, Pa. He died in Washington, D.C., Oct. 26, 1873.
    (The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume IX)

    Joseph and William Saxton:
    Sons also of Elizabeth Saxton, settled at an early day in Washington City. Joseph was a fine scholar and a very brilliant mechanical genius. He was a silversmith by trade. Prof. Bache pronounced him the greatest mechanical genius the world ever saw.

    He was a member of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia and of the Royal Society of London, England. He made the city clock of Philadelphia, still to be seen and heard at Independence Hall.

    He spent nine years in Paris and London and while there invented the first magnetic machine capable of producing a spark. He presented his machine in the presence of thousands of people in London and was honored by the presence of forty scientists.

    He was recieved with great honor while abroad. He invented and made the machinery of the United States mint at Philadelphia. He invented the electric clock in the department of weights and measures in Washington, D.C. John Ashbaugh (John, Jr, son of John, son of Johann Heinrich Eschbach) once visited this cousin and was very cordially recieved."
    This info is from "Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of Fairfield County, Ohio" by C.M.L. Wiseman.


    President William McKinley:
    Ida Saxton the third great grandaughter of Johann Heinrich Eschbach (Ida, James Asbury, John Saxton, Hannah, Johannes Ashbaugh, Johann Heinrich Eschbach) was the wife of President William Mckinley.

    War Time

    Rev. Dr. Lewis Sells Ashbaugh:
    (John 1782-1853, Frederick 1748-1818, Johann Eschbach 1706-1789), Methodist Minister, born Nov 20, 1821, of Millersburg, Mercer Co., IL, married Harriett L. Merritt, Jun 22, 1843, Marion, OH, died Jun 17, 1881, Wichita KS, buried in Newton, KS.

    Company A, Ninety-Third Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Enrolled at Camden Mills, Rock Island County, Illinois. Organized August 14, 1862 at Camden Mills. Commisioned to rank of Captain from Aug 23, 1862. Mustered into service Oct 13, 1862 at Chicago, Illinois. Moved to Memphis, Tenn., Nov 9-14, 1862. Resigned July 26, 1863.

    "The Ninety-Third Infantry Illinois Volunteers was organized at Chicago, Ill., in September 1862, by Colonel Holden Putnam, and mustered in October 13, 998 strong.

    Was ordered to Memphis, Tenn., November 9, and arriving on the 14th, moved with General Grant's army, int the Northern Mississippi Campaign, to Yocona creek and thence, via Lumpkin's Mills, to Memphis, arriving December 30. Marched again, immediately to LaFayette, Tenn., and returned to Ridgway, where the Regiment remained during January and February 1863.

    Embarked for Lake Providence, March 3, and from thence moved to Helena, 10th. From thence moved down the river on the Yazoo Pass Expedition. Entered Moon Lake the 22d, and landed near Greenwood. After reconnoitering the enemy's position, re-embarked and returned to Helena. On the 13th of April, moved to Milliken's Bend, and on the 25th, commenced the Vicksburg Campaign. Marched via Bruinsburg, Port Gibson, Raymond and Clinton, and arrived at Jackson, May 14. The Ninety-third was first under fire here. Participated in the advance, losing 3 killed and 4 wounded.

    Remained at Jackson until the 15th, and then moved toward Vicksburg. On the 16th was engaged in the battle of Champion Hills.

    The Ninety-third was in the Third Brigade, Seventh Division, Seventeenth Army Corps. At 2 o'clock P.M., Brigadier General Hovey's Division being severly pressed, the Brigade was ordered forward and placed on the extreme left. After 20 minutes fighting it was flanked on the left, and, retiring steadily, changed from to the left. Being again flanked, it again retired, and in this position held its ground against furious attack, after which the enemy retreated to Black River Bridge. The loss of the Regiment was 1 officer and 37 men killed, 6 officers and 107 wounded, and 1 officer and 10 men missing.

    On the 17th, again moved toward Vicksburg. At noon, of the 19th came on the enemy's line, about 3 miles from the city. On the 22d of May, was engaged in the assault of the enemy's works, on the left of Fort Fisher, losing 10 or 12 men killed and wounded. In the afternoon was ordered to re-enforce General McClemand's command, near the railroad. At 4 o'clock P.M., charged the enemy. Loss in this charge, 5 enlisted men killed, and 1 officer and 49 enlisted men wounded. On the 22d of June, moved to the rear, and on July 4, was stationed at McCall's plantation.

    July 13, 1863, started for Jackson. Arrived on the 15th, and immediately moved to Vicksburg, arriving the 25th."

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