Biography of

A W S Minear, Staff

(From left to right- Unknown, Colonel Grosvenor, Lt. A W S Minear, Dr. William Parker Johnson, Captain Johnson Welch---- Surviving members of the original 18th Ohio Militia. Photo courtesy Hugh Humphrey.)

Alexander Watt Shaw Minear was born in Harrison County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on December 6, 1835. Shortly after, his parents, Jonathan Minear and Nancy Parrill, moved the family to Athens County, Ohio when Alexander was 5 years old.

In 1855, at the age of 20, the lure of gold called him to California where he dug on both sides of the Youba River. Coming back to Ohio in 1859, he purchased a half-interest in a flour mill with his brother Emory Riley Minear. Soon after, they purchased a mercantile business in Guysville, Ohio.

Even with war clouds on the horizon, Alexander married Fannie Warren on April 11, 1860. At about this time period, he sold his part of the business to his brother and shortly thereafter joined the Cumberland County Company C militia in 1860. This militia unit was then absorbed into the 18th Regiment and called to duty for a period of 3 months. When the 3 months service was over, he joined in the 18th Regiment O. V. I. for a 3 year term of service in the position of 1st Lieutenant of Company C. . On October 24, 1862, he was named Adjutant and transferred to the Field and Staff roster. The defining moment of his military service came at the Battle of Stones River on December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863. Lt. Minear was wounded in the left lung "while leading his men through heavy underbrush." Dr. William Parker Johnson feared the wound was mortal and held little hope of his recovery. Meanwhile, back in Athens County, his wife, Fannie, enlisted the aid of a general officer friend to help smuggle her through the lines to be at his side. Making the trip, at one point she was forced to "hide herself under the tarpaulins spread over barrels of pork in a boxcar and managed to get through." While there, she not only nursed her husband back to health, but aided other wounded as well.

Sent home to recuperate, he was given a 20 day furlough on February 10, 1863. Unable to continue in his military duties, he was given a Surgeon's Certificate of Disability on May 26, 1863, and resigned his officer's commission on June 9, 1863. With his wartime service over, he concentrated on peaceful pursuits. The first of which was the birth of his first daughter, Minnie Luetta Minear, on December 2, 1864. Almost a year later, he was appointed to the office of Treasurer of Athens County by Ohio Governor Charles Anderson. Out of office two years later, his public service was again needed when being named County Auditor in 1871, an office which he held until 1880.

A second daughter, Rosa Minear was born on March 9, 1882. Continuing in business pursuits, sadly, he died in 1886.