WILLIAM ZAAYER.-Numbered among the industrious and prosperous agriculturists of Sullivan county is William Zaayer, who is actively engaged in his pleasant and independent calling in Cass township, having the management of the parental homestead, which is one of the best and most desirable pieces of property in the neighborhood. A native of Sullivan county, he was born in Haddon township, where his father, Rufus Zaayer, was a pioneer settler. He is the descendant of a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and comes of German ancestry, his great-grandfather, Thomas Zaayer, having emigrated from Germany, his native land, to America in colonial days, afterwards serving under General Washington in the great struggle for American independence. He subsequently lived for a while in Pennsylvania, but from there moved to Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his eighty-one years of earthly life, residing in either Fairfield or Pickaway counties. He reared two sons and one daughter. The daughter married a Mr. Dumm; his son Jacob never left Pennsylvania; his son Joseph was the grandfather of William.

A native of Berks county, Pennsylvania, Joseph Zaayer migrated to Ohio when young, settling in Pickaway county. He had previously learned the tailor's trade, but after his marriage he located on a tract of timbered land given him by his father in Adams township, that county, and thereafter devoted his energies to clearing and improving a homestead. In common with the other pioneers of the place, he raised flax, kept sheep, and labored with earnest toil to clear the land and cultivate the soil, while his good wife, skilled in the domestic arts, carded, spun and wove the homespun in which she clothed the family. He erected a comfortable set of log buildings, and was there a resident until his death, at the age of sixty-eight years. He married Maria Dunkle, a native of Berks county, Pennsylvania, whose father was born on the ocean while his parents were on their way from Germany to this country. She survived her husband, dying on the home farm in Adams township, Ohio, at the age of eighty-one years. She reared thirteen children, as follows: Levi, Colton, William, Leah, John, Seth, Samuel, Rufus, Benjamin, Joseph, Enos, Mary and Daniel.

Rufus Zaayer was born April 15, 1830, in Adams township, Pickaway county, Ohio, and was there bred and educated, attending the primitive schools of his day, and assisting" in the pioneer labor of clearing a homestead. At the age of seventeen years he went to live with Solomon Teagarden in Adams township, and for five years assisted him in the care of the farm, receiving for his labor a share of the crops. Ambitious then to become a land owner he came in the fall of 1854 to Indiana, making the removal with teams, and entered a tract of canal land in Gill township, Sullivan county, and also bought a five-acre tract, upon which was a log house and an orchard. The land was partly timber and partly prairie, and he at once began its improvement, residing there four years. Exchanging it then for a farm in the same township, he remained there two years, and then traded that property for a farm in Hamilton township. Ten years later he sold out there and bought the farm which he now owns and occupies. It contains one hundred and twenty acres of rich land, and is advantageously located about three and one-half miles east of the village of Sullivan. The land is well cultivated and improved, and has a substantial set of buildings, well adapted for the use of an up-to-date farmer.

On August 23, 1854, Rufus Zaayer married Mary Alspach, who was born January 5, 1837, in Bloom township, Fairfield county, Ohio, which was likewise the birthplace of her father, Daniel Alspach. Her grandfather, John Alspach, was born in Pennsylvania, of German parentage, and was a pioneer of Fairfield county, Ohio, where he spent his declining years. A life-long resident of Ohio, Daniel Alspach there married Leah Hummel, who was born in Pennsylvania, of German ancestors, and they became the parents of nine children, namely: Mary, Caroline, John, Julia, Ann, Eliza, Sophia, Nancy, Carol and Margaret.

Of the union of Rufus and Mary (Alspach) Zaayer, seven children have been born, five of whom have passed to the higher life, Benjamin having died at the age of seventeen years; Leah Maria at the age of thirty years; John at the age of fourteen years; Daniel at the age of thirty-four years; and Emma when but fourteen years old. Allen Zaayer, the youngest child, married Hallie Richie, and they have two children, Claude Mathers and Herbert. William Zaayer, the second son and third child in succession of birth, has been a life-long resident of Sullivan county and remains at home, the solace, comfort and mainstay of his parents. Having charge of the home farm, he is carrying 011 general farming and stock-raising after the most approved modern methods, and in his work is meeting with genuine success.