Compiled by John W.Quist


      Arza (“Arzie”) Thrall was born on March 18, 1818 In Chenango County, New York. (1)  Being from a devout Baptist home, his name was selected from the Bible.  “Arza,” Hebrew for “earthy,” is a man’s name found only in 1 Kings 16:9. (2)  He was the son of Daniel (born in Connecticut) and Amanda (Gordon) (born in New York State) Thrall, who were married in New York State.  They started for Ohio in wagons in 1820 via Buffalo, New York, and then to Ohio on Lake Erie, on which they lost most of the household goods.  After being out some six weeks, the family arrived in Berlin Township, Delaware County on October 20, 1820.  They arrived in very poor circumstances and began farming.  His mother died when he was about 8 years old, and his father when he was about 10, leaving him a poor orphan.  At 15, he went to Columbus, Franklin County to learn the trade of harness and saddle maker.  After about four years, he moved for a short time to the town of Delaware.  He then spent a summer at Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, before returning to Berlin Township.  Here he began farming and working at his trade.  Over time, his financial situation improved and he purchased good land, becoming one of the leading farmers in the township.  He was township constable for thirteen years and county Coroner for one term. (3

      On August 27, 1840 in the county, Arza married Mary J. Chandler who was born in Essex County, New Jersey on September 5, 1820 to Stephen and Comfort (Munchmore) Chandler. (4)  They came to Ohio, settling Berlin Township in 1823.  Her family was Presbyterian and her father was an Elder in the church in Berlin Township.  When she married, she was re-baptized by immersion, according to Baptist tradition, and joined the Cheshire Baptist church. (5)  Azra and Mary had ten children:  Comfort Amanda (born c.1841), Stephen Philander (1843), Phoebe Jane (1846), Mary Ella (1848), Emma Eliza (c.1850), Josephine (1852), Asineth (c.1854), Asa James (1858), Sarah (1861), and Cornelia (1863). (6)

      On October 6, 1862 at Delaware, Arza enlisted, at the age of 44, as a Private for here years’ service in Delaware County’s Company D, 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment (20th O.V.I.), (7) the same Company in which his son Stephen had enlisted in the previous year.  We do not know the date of Arza’s joining the regiment in the field.  It was probably while the 20th was involved in General U.S. Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign (November 2-January 10, 1863).  The regiment was then involved in the following actions:  Memphis, TN (January 26), Lake Providence, LA (February 22 until April), and the Battle of Port Gibson, MS (April 25-May 1, 1863). (8)  From May to August, Arza was detailed as a nurse in the gangrene hospital in Memphis, TN.  He was then furloughed for 60 days.  He was in the hospital at LaGrange, TN with small-pox, and detailed there as wardmaster and nurse at East Hospital and LaGrange Hospital.  While serving there, he was injured by falling among some boxes, which resulted in a contusion of the right hip joint and making him a cripple for life.  He was mustered out of the service at Louisville, KY on July 15, 1865 by order of the War Department. (9)

      Returning to Delaware County, Arza resumed farming until 1878, when he entered the livery business at Delaware. (10

      On February 27, 1879, he applied for a U.S. government pension as an “invalid” veteran of the Civil War. (11)

      Mrs. Mary Thrall died of pneumonia on Wednesday evening, January 8, 1902 in Berlin Township at the age of 81 years, 4 months, and 3 days.  A service was held at the church on January 10. (12)  She was buried in Berlin Township in the Cheshire Cemetery. (13)

      Arza was remarried in the county on December 25, 1902 to Olive Wells McMaster (born in 1850) of Brown Township. (14)   Her parents were William A. (1823-1895) and Margaret (Eaton) (1826-1887) McMaster. (15)  The marriage did not last long, for Olive died on March 12, 1903 at Kilbourne, Delaware County. (16)  She was buried at Green Mound Cemetery in Brown Township. (17)

      Arza Thrall died on Friday, January 8, 1909 at the home of his son Asa James in Ulysses, Kansas, with whom he had been living for about two years. (18)  He was almost 93 years old.  He must have been buried in Kansas, because there is no record of him being buried in Delaware County.

Compiled by John W. Quist
Delaware, Ohio
July 20, 2011



“Arza Thrall.” Baird/Howland Family Tree, (online)
“Arza.” Blue Letter Bible – Lexicon, (online)
“A. Thrall.” History of Delaware County and Ohio.  O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1880;
      page 646
“Mary Green Chandler.” Baird/Howland Family Tree,
“Obituary” of Mary G. Chandler Thrall. The Delaware Semi-Weekly Gazette, Delaware,
     Ohio, Tuesday, January 14, 1902, page 8
Footnote 4; some birthdates from U.S. censuses of 1850, 1860, and 1870
“Thrall, Arza.” Twentieth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company D, Official Roster of
Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1961-1866, Vol. II,
      Cincinnati, Ohio, 1886, page 700
“20th O.V.I.” (online)
“Thrall, Arza.” The Military History of Ohio. H.H. Hardesty, Publisher; New York, 1886
       (with special section for Delaware County); page 316
10  Footnote 3

11  “Ana Thrall.” Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934

12  Footnote 5
13  "Thrall, Mary G.” Berlin Township, Cheshire Cemetery records, Delaware County
14  “Arza Thrall.” Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950, (online)
15  “McMaster, William.” Green Mound Cemetery records, Delaware County

16  “Thrall, Olive.” Ohio Deaths and Burials, 1854-1977, 

17  “Thrall, Olive.” Green Mound Cemetery records

 18  “Death of Mr. Arza Thrall.”  The Delaware Semi-Weekly Gazette, Friday, January 15, 1909,
        page 5

Goto Stephen Thrall, his son
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