Was born in New Jersey, about thirty miles below Philadelphia Pennsylvania. January 21, 1792. He learned, in his native village, the trade of tailor, which he followed for many years. When he had completed his trade he went to Philadelphia and sought employment a short time, and then, in 1811, passed over the mountains to Steubenville, Ohio where he remained at his trade for about six years. Being a young man of good habits, he soon began to accumulate money. In the meantime he formed the acquaintance of Miss Nancy Harper, daughter of William Harper, of Fairfax county, Virginia, who had settled in Jefferson county, Ohio, about the year 1806. They were married. The result of the marriage was, that Mr. Harper and family concluded to accompany Mr. Sheets and his wife to, and locate in, Richland, now Ashland county. In the spring of 1817 these families started across the country, through the forest, over rough roads, for their new homes. After a fatiguing journey of several days they arrived safely at Uniontown. Mrs. Sheets states they first put up in a very inferior cabin that stood somewhere near the northeast corner of what is now known as Kellogg square, there being only three or four other cabins in town, one of which was that of Mr. Montgomery, and the other that of Mr. Groff, the tanner, where the old residence of George Swineford formerly stood. Early in the spring they resided for a short time with Mr. Montgomery, where the hardware store of Stull & Charles now stands. Mr. Sheets put up a house nearly opposite, known now as the Weisenstine building, for a small store and tailor-shop, and moved into it. This was the first store. Mr. Harper located about one mile northwest of the present site of Hayesville, where he lived until 1832, when he was accidentally killed by his team, near Plymouth, Richland county. Mr. Sheets continued to occupy his new home some years, engaged at his trade, keeping a house of entertainment, and making himself useful as a citizen. He finally disposed of his Ashland property, and purchased of Mr. Montgomery the ninety acres of land upon which South Ashland was subsequently laid out. About the year 1847 Mr. Sheets sold this tract of land to a corporation known as the South Ashland company, and removed to Vermillion township. About the year 1864 he returned to Ashland to reside on a part of his old property, and died March 6, 1866, aged seventy-four years. Mrs. Sheets still survives, aged seventy-nine years. Her memory is unimpaired, and very few persons of her age possess a more acurate recollection of the pioneers and their times. William Sheets, her oldest son, is believed to have been the first male child born within the limits of Ashland. Mrs. Sheets states that William was born January 1, 1819.Mrs. Sheets says during the time they resided in the village it was a very lively place, especially on public days and Saturday evenings, She states it was not uncommon in those days to see five or six fights in an evening. The strong armed pugilist who could "tan two or three dog skins," claimed high honors. On one occasion, Mrs. Sheets states, the clans had gathered for a little settlement, and prior to opening the ball, visited the distilleries to fit and prepare them for the task. In their absence, just after dark, Mrs. Sheets, butcher knife in hand, visited all the hitching posts, and cut the horses loose. She says that in fifteen or twenty minutes the village was cleared of roughs. She thinks it was a "little rough." but a work of necessity.
contributed and transcibed by Russ Shopbell firstname.lastname@example.org