Jeremiah Morrow was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1771. Morrow left for "the far West" in 1795 and settled on the banks of the Little Miami River in the Warren County area. His political career began in 1801 upon his election to the Territorial Legislature in Chillicothe, Ohio; and during this first session he was assigned to the Constitutional Convention which set the governmental parameters for the new State of Ohio. In 1803 he was elected to the Ohio Senate, and was soon selected to be the first representative for Ohio in the U.S. Congress. Ohio was allowed only one representative in Congress during those years. In 1813 Morrow became a United States Senator, in 1814 Indian Commissioner and in 1822 was elected to the Governorship of the State of Ohio. One memorable event during his administration was the greeting of General La Fayette at the Cincinnati Wharf as the General arrived on his flat-bottomed boat "La Belle Riviere".
John Henry Witt was born in Indiana near the Ohio River town of Dublin, and during his youth worked as a machinist and Wagon Painter for his uncle's agricultural supply firm. In 1862 Witt relocated to Columbus after a time of study with J.O. Eaton in Cincinnati. J.O. Eaton had gained the reputation of being one of the most talented figures and portrait painters. John Witt was a very active artist in the central Ohio, painting portraits of many of the leading families therein. He also was a noteworthy teacher. His students included some of the foremost regional artists of the day; Silas Martin, James Mosure and Philip Clover were some of the standouts. Witt took an active role in the affairs of the Capitol city and is the artist of record for a significant number of the Ohio governor's portraits in the Statehouse art collection. Witt moved to Washington, DC in 1873 where he painted the portraits of General Sherman, Senator Sherman, Judge Swayne and Charles Sumner. He was a member of the Literary Club of Washington, D.C. In 1878 he moved to New York City where he was met with great success, becoming one of the top society artists of the day. Witt was enrolled as an associate member of the New York Academy of Art in 1887.