Retired police officer turned author pens historical fiction novel based on his family

FAIRFIELD — Retired police officer Jeff Larsh has penned a novel about his family history, and he will share more about his book during the Fairfield Historical Society’s Living Legend Series on Tuesday.

“What I hope attendees would gain would be an appreciation for our history,” said Author Jeff Larsh “We need to have an appreciation for everyone that lived in those times, that lived, and struggled, and loved, and suffered. A lot of it was on our behalf. We wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for all of this, and for their contributions.”

Larsh will speak at 7 p.m. at the Elisha Morgan Mansion, which is located at 6181 Ross Road in Gilbert Park. The program is free and open to the public.

“What’s been neat when I talk to people is everybody has their own story, and they’ve got their own family history. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to that have shared what has been passed down in their family history,” said Larsh. “Hopefully, this will inspire people to keep that history alive in their own families.”

Larsh, a Morgan Twp. resident, served as a police officer for 33 years in Forest Park and Hamilton County. He graduated from Withrow High School and retired from the Forest Park Police Department.

He started his career with Colerain Twp. Police Department and served as a police officer from 1983 until 2016. He is also a United States Air Force veteran. After he retired, Larsh worked in Fairfield as a ranger for a few years, from 2016 to 2019. Currently, he works for Ross Local Schools as a school security officer.

Having been published in professional journals, Larsh combined his experience as an investigator with a passion for history to bring the story to life. “Paul Larsh An Original Frontiersman” released in Feb. of this year. In addition to sharing with the Fairfield Historical Society, Larsh has done book signings and other area speaking engagements. He has also done signings and sales at Hamilton’s Historic Farmer’s Market.

“I’ve done five book signings and sales at Hamilton’s Historic Farmer’s Market. That’s been good. I enjoy that a lot. I did the Strawberry Festival in Shandon back in June, and the Clifton Gorge Music and Arts Festival in August. I’ve also spoke at a couple historical societies, and I did a signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, so the book has been well received. I’ve also got some good reviews on Amazon,” Larsh said.

The book, “Paul Larsh An Original Frontiersman,” is a historical fiction novel that is based on a true story. The novel is an account of the life of his fifth great grandfather, and Larsh shares stories that have been passed down through his family for over 200 years.

“When I was a boy, my dad and my uncles would take me to a family reunion in Xenia, Ohio, and there was a family historian there, a guy by the name of Harvey Larsh. He did a family history on our ancestor by the name of Paul Larsh. His original name was Larcheveque. He was French Canadian. He came down from Montreal in 1753, and he was a fur trader, amongst the native Americans here in America. He was 18 years old when he came down by himself,” said Larsh.

“So, Harvey did this family history, which I had for years and years. When I retired, I decided to research it, and the more I researched it, I thought it would be an interesting book. After about two years of researching and writing, I published the book, and that’s what I will be going to the historical society to talk about,” he said.

Larsh said he was motivated to write the book “because it was family history.”

“I felt like if I didn’t do it, it probably wasn’t going to get done, and I just wanted to pass it on. It’s not a true biography, it’s historical fiction, but it brings to life something that was pretty cool,” he said.

Larsh discovered that Paul Larsh rescued a woman in one of his adventures, which is detailed in the book. The book gives an account of how the paths of a young frontiersman from Quebec, and the young widow from Virginia, intersect and determine the course for their lives and the lives of future generations.

“Everything that I wrote about as far as his life, I verified it through multiple sources. I spent a lot of time talking with research people at libraries throughout the Midwest, historical societies in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. I reviewed a lot of records, going back to the mid-1700s, and marriage certificates from 1759, if you can believe that. So, there’s a lot of history out there, you just have to dig for it,” Larsh said.

Written with a vividly historical backdrop and rich human interaction, the book reflects on themes of adventure, survival, love, strength and tragedy.

“I tried to make it an interesting read. I tried to inform people about the time period of the French and Indian War, which really formed our country in so many ways before the Revolution, but not many people know about it,” Larsh said. “…I also tried to do something from the French settler perspective, because they were here for a very long time, a couple hundred years.”

Larsh said his ancestors stayed and became Americans and he wanted to tell their story.

During his talk, Larsh said he will share about what motivated him to author the book. He’ll also reflect on the French settlers that were in this area.

“I’ve got Paul’s rifle from the 1700s. It’s an artifact now. Obviously, it’s not fireable or anything, but it’s been passed down. Through his will, I have his will and testament by the way, it says the rifle should be passed down through his male heirs, and it ended up with me,” said Larsh. “That motivated me, too, because this rifle is from 1760, and it was in his will. So, it’s cool that I ended up with it. I also took that as a message that I have a responsibility to tell this story.”

Larsh is currently working on a sequel, which is set during the American Revolution on the frontier of western Pennsylvania.

Larsh will have his books for sale at the event for $15, and it’s also available on Amazon. For more information, visit the Fairfield Historical Society online at or email

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