"William Lisle is a representative of one of the pioneer families of Franklin County, and first opened his eyes to the light of day in the little log cabin which stood on the homestead farm in Hamilton Township, Nov. 28, 1808...."
"When a young man he went on foot to the Mississippi River, thence by boat to new Orleans, and from there returned north to Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. Purchasing a horse at that place he completed the homeward journey on horseback. This extended trip was made with a view to securing another location but he returned content to make the Buckey State his permanent home."
"On his return home he married Miss Sarah McWilliams, and settled on rented land ten miles west of Columbus, meantime also tilling his father's farm. After some years spent as a renter, he purchased property, and is now the owner of four farms. The home place consists of over three hundred acres of valuable, well improved land, and is one fo the best estates in the county. In early life, while associated with his brother in the livestock business, he twice failed, but since then has been very successful in that department of agriculture."
"Politically William Lisle is a democrat, and for twenty five years served as Township Trustee. He is a believer in the Christain religion, but is not a member of any church. He and his devoted wife have shared each other's joys and lightened each other's sorrows for almost a half century, and are now spending their declining days in quiet retirement."
"Few of the residents of Franklin County have been witnesses of the development of this portion of the state through as long a period as Mr. Lisle. He is now 92 years of age (actually 82 if death date is correct) and he can relate many interesting incidents of life on the frontier, Ohio at that time being considered on the far borders of civilization. When a small boy his father would often have him take care of his horses along the ponds and he would often see deer running across the prairies. He attended the subscription schools from the age of twelve years, but his educational privileges were somewhat meager, as his father was in limited financial circumstances and needed his assistance upon the farm. He began plowing when his head was not as high as the plow handles. He continued to pursue his studies, however, through the winter seasons until sixteen years of age, after which he had to work in order to support the younger children of the family. He entered the employ of his uncle, Robert Lisle, then one of the wealthy men of the County, and for his services our subject received from ten to twenty cents per day. When he was twenty three years of age he and his brother John rented the Elliot farm west of Alton and there cleared three hunderd sixty acres of land which they planted, raising good crops. Their lease was made out for five years, but after four years they disposed of it to a Mr. Lathrop who took possession of the place."
"After surrendering the lease Mr. Lisle worked at anything he could get to do. He rented the Graham farm of one hundred sixty acres, which he operated for two years and on the expiration of that period found himself the owner of the greater part of the old homestead, having purchased the interests of the other heirs. One of his brothers in law, however, would not sell his share of the land, so that it was appraised and the court gave Mr. Lisle the privilege of taking possession of it at the appraisers price. He borrowed the money, made the purchase and continued on the old homestead for two years after which he sold the property (back) to his brothers Robert and John Lisle. He then purchased the Henry Adams farm in the western part of Prairie Township, and later he purchased of George Dugan 125 acres of land. He afterward became the owner of one hundred acres formerly the property of Mr. Sullivant, and of 18 1/2 acres of the Granner farm. At different times he added other small tracts. John Graham was a surveyor and found many unclaimed tracts which Mr. Lisle purchased. He also bought twenty-eight acres of the Wallace survey and a tract from Squire Cole which now forms the Lisle homestead. At the present time our subject owns three hundred and twenty five aces, having disposed of a portion of his property. Mr. Lisle has ever been a shrewd, enterprising, and industrious busniessman and his careful management and keen sagacity and energy have brought to him creditable success."
"The subject of this review has served as trustee of Prairie Twonship for twenty consecutive years. No higher testimony could be given to his faithful service that the fact that he was retained so long in office. He was instrumental in having a township burying ground established, and has done much for the public welfare. He has long been a staunch democrat and was first elected against a usual republican majority of fifty. The same year his brother John was appointed Clerk."
11/8/1849 William and Sarah sold 44 acres on the National Road to John L McWilliams for $380.
1850 Prairie Twp, Franklin Co, OH. At census time he was a 32 year old farmer with property = $3000. He and Sarah had 2 small children and a 12 year old daughter, possibly from a first marriage. Also living with them was brother Alexander at age 20, also a farmer.
1/25/1853 Alton, Franklin Co, OH He and Sarah bought lot 37 in town from a Lewis Postle and wife for $130.
3/1/1853 He bought 10 acres on the National Road for $650 from David P Cole and his wife.
5/11/1857 He bought another 100 acres from Michael L Sullivant and his wife for $1500.
11/5/1857 For $750 he bought 50 acres adjacent to the previous 100 acres plot, also from the Sullivants.
1860 Same place. The census taker recorded his family and property had grown considerably. The property then = $14,000/1675. Living with him and Sarah, besides their own 7 children, were his aged mother, and possibly Sarah's relatives, Nancy McWilliams, age 12 but with real and personal property of her own; John Fulton, age 14; and Bluda Gray, age 40.
6/19/1866 He and Sarah paid $11,000 to Lewis Postle "in trust for Sarah Lisle." In return she received unspecified real estate.
1880 Still there. By census time that year, only Zedoc, 25, a farmer and George, 20, were still at home with William and Sarah.