As a writer, George Franklin Smythe is remembered as the historian of the early years of Kenyon College. He was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1852, the son of Anson and Caroline Augusta (Fitch) Smythe. In 1874 Franklin received an A.B. degree and in 1877, an M.A., both from Western Reserve University. He was married to Anna C. Hall of Hudson, Ohio, in 1878.
Smythe taught high school for two years in Cleveland, Ohio, and for two more years at Greylock Institute in Massachusetts. In 1885 he was ordained a deacon and the next year, a priest, in the Protestant Episcopal Church.
A. Banning Norton was a well-known 19th century lawyer, journalist, and historian in Knox County. He was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, in 1821. He was the son of Daniel S. and Sarah (Banning) Norton. The parents had moved to Mount Vernon in 1817 from Louisiana, where they had been slave holding proprietors of extensive plantations. Banning graduated from Kenyon College in 1840. He studied law in Pennsylvania and returned to Knox County to practice.
Albert B. Williams was the author of the third of the early histories of Knox County. He was born in 1847 in Holmes County and came to Mount Vernon as a minister of the Disciples of Christ Church. He resigned from the ministry in 1900 because of poor health. Reverend Williams died in 1911.