The following biographical sketch appears in the book “History of the Hocking Valley,” published by Inter-State Publishing Company of Chicago in 1883. It details the life of Captain J.W. Delay, a Civil War hero and first Cashier of the Vinton County National Bank. The book provides a wealth of information about cities, townships and villages, educational, religious, civil, military and political history and portraits of prominent people in the Hocking Valley. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did.
Captain (Major) J. W. Delay
First Cashier of the Vinton County National Bank
Captain J. W. Delay, Cashier of the Vinton County National Bank is the son of Ambrose Delay and a a grandson of Rev. Jacob Delay. The latter was born in Greenbrier County, Virginia, July 18, 1780, and died in Jackson County, Ohio, October 13, 1845. Ambrose’s wife was Mary Crouch who survived him until December 24, 1854, when she died at Berlin Crossroads, Jackson County, Ohio.
Jacob Delay was extensively known throughout Southern Ohio as one of the pioneer Methodist ministers, and was remarkable for his great decision of character as well as forcible and positive manner of preaching the gospel. Although he was a native of Virginia, he was of English extraction and became an early settler in Jackson County, Ohio.
Jacob was the father of eleven sons and one daughter, five sons still living. Ambrose was the seventh and was born in Pickaway County, Ohio in 1810. Ambrose died in Jackson County, Ohio (Berlin Crossroads) on April 1, 1864.
Ambrose’s wife, Rebecca S. Whitman was born in Greenbrier County, Virginia in 1811. Rebecca died in Union County Iowa in 1881. Their family consisted of six sons and four daughters, three sons and one daughter still living.
J.W. Delay is the oldest and was born in Jackson County on January 10, 1839. As his father was a farmer J. W. devoted his summers to the farm and his winters to school. At the age of seventeen years he entered the Ohio University, where he spent two years at which time he was tendered a clerkship in a store and accepted. Two years later he was engaged at the Latrobe Furnace as a bookkeeper. In that capacity he served until July, 1861, when enlisted in the United States Army. On August 10, 1861, he was enrolled in Company K, Thirty-sixth Ohio Infantry, muster and appointed First Sergeant. June 6, 1862, he was promoted to Second Lieutenant and First Lieutenant on January 16, 1863.
About this time he was placed on detached service on staff duty in the subsistence department, in which capacity he serviced during the war. He was commissioned on October 24, 1864 by the President of the United States (Abraham Lincoln) as Captain of the United States Volunteers. Also he was brevetted Major on July 10, 1865, just four years from date of first enlistment.
He participated in the battles of Lewisburg, Virginia, within five miles of the settlement of his grand parents on both sides. He also fought in the second battle of Bull Run, Virginia and South Mountain in 1862. During the following winter his regiment was in General Rosecrans’s campaign from Murfreesboro, participating in the battles of Chickamauga, Mission Ride, and many incidental fights of that campaign.
In the winter of 1863 – 64, he returned east and participated in the campaign of Generals Crooks and Hunter In West Virginia; subsequently in all the battles of the Shenandoah Valley under General Phillip Sheridan (Somerset, Ohio), serving until the war was ended.
Upon his return home in July, 1865, he entered the firm of H. F. Austin & Co. at Buckeye Furnace, Jackson County, Ohio. J. W. Delay was engaged in the manufacturing of pig-iron, where he remained until October, 1866. After that together with Mr. Austin and others, J. W. came to McArthur and organized the Vinton County Bank. He did not move his family to McArthur until January, 1867.
When the bank was organized he was elected Cashier, and continued by re-elections to hold the same position until the consolidation with Will, Brown, & Co. in 1868. The Bank became a “National” bank on October 1, 1872. The name was changed to the Vinton County National Bank of McArthur with J. W. Delay remaining as Cashier and Daniel Will as President.
During the late war April 11, 1864, he married to Miss Samilda J. Buck. They have for sons and three daughters, all living.