John Wishard Nesbitt
b. Jan 1840 d. Sept. 1912

Very little has been written in the past about this exemplary citizen of Poland who died 93 years ago and who is only remembered today because a street was named for him. His story starts in 1834 when his father, Nathaniel Nesbitt married Jane Wishard and they moved to Poland Township. John was a third child born of this union and probably attended school in the Little Red School House. His father and grandfather were both carpenters so John practiced this trade until the Civil War broke out. In 1862 we find John Nesbitt at the age of 22 standing on the porch of the Tavern and enlisting in Company H of the 105th Ohio Volunteer Infantry along with many other Poland men.
We know that his company fought at Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga, Tenn. and afterwards followed the retreating Confederate Army to Atlanta. Outside of Atlanta at a battle on Kenesaw Mountain Nesbitt was on the firing line when a shell struck his knapsack, tearing it away and paralyzing him. He was carried off the field by his comrades, but soon recovered and served the rest of the time as duty sergeant with General William T. Sherman in his march to the sea. At the close of the war Mr. Nesbitt did not realize any permanent injury from his encounter on Kenesaw Mt., however 20 years later he almost became a nervous wreck. An army surgeon informed him that his condition had not been caused by hard work but from the shock of the shell that struck him during the war. He then applied to the government for a military pension and received $12 a month, a small compensation for all that he had suffered.
Returning from the war Mr. Nesbitt purchased 8 acres of land at the south end of Poland Village and began farming while working as a carpenter and contractor. Behind the house that he built at 451 S. Main St. was a barn plus an orchard that extended easterly almost to present day Edna Street. In 1869 he married Rose Logan. They had 3 children, Carrie the first born, then Frances and Jane Mary. All of these children were graduates of the Poland High School. In 1891 Mr. Nesbitt was appointed postmaster of Poland, a position he held for many years. His other activities included being on the school board for 25 years and serving on the town council. He was also a Republican and a Presbyterian.
The farm was sold after Nesbitt’s death and subdivided into 17 lots in 1924 by C.E. Blanchard who gave the Village a 50 foot wide right-of-way now known as Nesbitt Street.
Next to John W. Nesbitt in the Riverside Cemetery are his wife and daughters, Carrie and Jane Mary. Carrie became assistant postmaster while Jane Mary taught at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan’s Home in Xenia. Frances married Warren Simon of Boardman Township.