Mercer County, Ohio
WILLIAM H. BASTIAN
William H. Bastian, a prominent citizen of Liberty township and a member of the township Board of Education, resides on his well-appointed farm of 80 acres, which is situated in section 34. Mr. Bastian was born February 20, 1862, in Mercer County, Ohio, and is a son of old pioneer settlers, George and Mary (Fennig) Bastian.
The Bastian family was established in this county by our subject's grandfather, George Bastian, who emigrated from Germany, with his family, when his son George was six years of age. The rest of his life was spent in Marion township, where he was one of the first settlers. George Bastian, father of our subject, lived for many years in Washington township, where he was well-known and highly esteemed. He served the township as trustee and was ever prominent in the consideration of affairs looking to the welfare of his neighborhood, being a man of most excellent judgment and of the highest integrity. The township lost a valued citizen when he died on December 24, 1903, when over 80 years of age. Of his children, nine survive, as follows: Elizabeth, wife of Solomon Stilgebouer, of Red Willow County, Nebraska; Levina, wife of James Pearson, of Washington township; Mary, widow of James Davis, residing in Nebraska; Caroline, wife of Oscar Dumbauld, of Washington township; Catherine, widow of Paul Egger, residing in Wilsonville, Nebraska; Hannah, wife of A. M. Shorey, of Wilsonville, Nebraska; Samuel, of Red Willow County, Nebraska; Philip, of Rockford, Ohio; and William H., of this sketch.
William H. Bastian obtained his education in the schools Of Washington township. He was reared on his father's farm and practically trained in agricultural pursuits. On December 24, 1885, he was married to Minnie M. Mercer, who was born in Liberty township, Mercer County, Ohio, July 28, 1867; and is a daughter of Robert Mercer and his wife, Louisa (Sheward) Mercer, nee Kritzwiser. Robert Mercer, was born in Ohio and was a direct descendant of the distinguished British officer, Gen. John Mercer.
Gen. John Mercer and his wife, Elizabeth (Bentley) Mercer, who was a niece of Henry VIII, King of England, had one son, Gideon, who married a Miss Harper and had 16 children. Robert Mercer, son of Gideon, married Elizabeth Brown and had 12 children. Joseph Mercer, son of Robert, married Comfort Nottingham and had seven children. Joseph Mercer, son of Joseph, married Ann Day and had 11 children-seven sons and four daughters-as follows: Louisa (Trexler), deceased; J. N., Mary Jane (Farrar), and Comfort (Burnside), residents of Indiana; Rebecca (Poor), of California; Robert, father of Mrs. Bastian; Marion, of Indiana; John, of Wisconsin; Washington, of Missouri; Winfield, of Indiana; and Faulkner, of
Wisconsin. Mrs. Bastian is one of the 800 heirs to the great Mercer estate, valued at $500,000,000, which has been in litigation for many years, and which includes 212 acres of land in New York City, 28,000 acres in the State of New Jersey, 300 acres in Ireland and some in Scotland. James V. Snyder, of Harvey, Illinois, is secretary of the Mercer heirs' association.
Robert Mercer, father of Mrs. Bastian, faithfully served his country through three years of the Civil War and received an honorable discharge. He died June 18, 1894. He was a valued member of the Christian Church and was much esteemed throughout Liberty township. Mrs. Mercer also belonged to an old family that settled here in pioneer days. The two survivors of the family of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mercer are: Minnie M., wife of Mr. Bastian; and Edith L., wife of Edward Terry, of Van Wert County, Ohio. Mrs. Mercer by her marriage to James Sheward had three children: Jennie, deceased; James W. and Nancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Bastian have three children, namely: Fern L., who was married to William A. Hoover on October 3, 1906, and now resides in Montpelier, Indiana; May M. and Jay W. The family belongs to the Church of God, in which Mr. Bastian is serving as an elder. Politically, Mr. Bastian is a Democrat. He is one of the representative men of the township and for some time past has served on the township Board of Education. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
Adam Bettinger, a successful farmer of Butler township, who owns 80 acres of excellent land, situated in section 28, was born in Bavaria, Germany, Sept. 8, 1834, and is a son of John and Barbara (Swartz) Bettinger. The parents of Mr. Bettinger were both born in Germany, where the father owned a small farm. Desiring more land, he decided to emigrate to America, and with his family took passage in 1846 on a sailing vessel, which landed them at the port of New York after a long voyage. John Bettinger settled on a farm in Seneca County, Ohio, four years later removing to Lucas County, where he died in 1856. His widow died in Lucas County in 1871. Adam Bettinger continued to live in Lucas County until 1866 and then returned to Seneca County, where he rented a farm for a few years. In 1869, after investigating the farming land in Mercer County, Mr. Bettinger bought his present farm in Butler township, 40 acres of which were improved. He erected the house and barn himself and made all the other improvements, which have converted this into one of the best farms in the township. Mr. Bettinger has always been a hard worker and through his enterprise and industry and accumulated a fine property. In 1861, Mr. Bettinger was married to Mary Omlor, daughter of Theodore Omlor. She was born in Germany and was two years old when her parents brought her with them to this country. Mr. and Mrs. Bettinger have parents brought her with them to this country. Mr. and Mrs. Bettinger have had 13 children, namely: John, who married Lizzie Rhein, lives at Coldwater and has six children; Frank, who married Josephine Albers, lives on his farm of 110 acres in Butler township, and has six children; William, who married Carrie Rahe, deceased, has one child; Charles who married Kate Hoenning and has two children; Jacob, unmarried, who live on the home farm; Mary, who married Ora Rhoades and lives at Dayton; Rose, who married Frank Fullenkamp and lives at Celina; Stephen, who lives at home; and Joseph, Joseph (2), Anthony and Margaret, who are deceased. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - KT - Sub by FoFG]
John Brehm, one of the old and respected residents of Liberty township, who has resided on his present farm of 100 acres, situated in section 10, for the past 34 years, was born in Bavaria, Germany, Nov. 10, 1828, and is a son of Fettus Brehm. The parents of Mr. Brehm were intelligent German people who afforded their son good educational advantages. He learned the trade of baker in his own land, but he came to America when 20 years of age and since then has been entirely engaged in agricultural pursuits. He lived in Montgomery County, Ohio, until 1872, when he brought his family to Mercer County and settled on his present farm in Liberty township. He still retains 100 acres but has given farms to his children and has been liberal to the church. In Montgomery County, Ohio, John Brehm was married to Mary Lower, and they had eight children, five of whom are still living, as follows: John C., Caroline (wife of John Deitsch), John Peter, Valentine W., and Henry C.
Henry C. Brehm, the youngest son of our subject, is a prominent citizen of Liberty township and one of the leading democrats. He has served four years on the township School Board and in 1900 served on the board of election. On June 27, 1889, he married Phebe Leininger, a daughter of Jacob Leininger, of Liberty township, and they have four children, namely: Margaret C., Walter E., George J. and William H., all grandchildren of whom our venerable subject may well be proud. John Brehm's second marriage also took place in Montgomery County, to Margaret Bollenbacher. They had three children, the two survivors of this marriage being: Mary, wife of Andy Bauer; and Elizabeth, widow of Jacob Brewer. All through the years of citizenship, Mr. Brehm has consistently supported the candidate of the Democratic party. His is one of the leading members of St. Paul's German Evangelical Church. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - KT - Sub by FoFG]
CHARLES A. BROWN, D. D. S.
Charles A. Brown, D. D. S., who is practicing dentistry at Fort Recovery, was born December 21, 1878, in Dayton, Ohio, and is a son of Col. D. G. and Sarah A. (Mills) Brown. Col. D. G. Brown was born March 27, 1827, in York County, Pennsylvania. In 1850 he located in Camden, Indiana, where he remained for 14 years, removing in 1864 to Dayton, Ohio, where he engaged in the wholesale grocery business, under the firm name of Comer & Brown. He was afterwards interested in the Champion Iron Works, of Kenton, Ohio, for 12 years, and in 1886 became general agent for the Rogers Fence Company, of Springfield, Ohio. He remained with this firm until the time of his death, which occurred quite suddenly, January 26, 1887, while writing a letter in the Arlington Hotel, Buffalo, New York. Colonel Brown was one of the most prominent men of Dayton, Ohio. He served for 10 years as one of the directors of the City Workhouse and a number of years as member of the Board of Education. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge at Camden, Indiana; an Odd Fellow and a Knight of Honor. He was a church member, belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church. His wife, whose maiden name was Sarah A. Mills, died in August, 1902. They had six children, namely: L. M., born March 5, 1856, and deceased in 1895, who was manager of the Brown Tar Soap Company, of Dayton, Ohio-his father was the first man to manufacture Tar Soap; Joseph, who is cashier of the water-works at Dayton, Ohio; E. J., of Dayton, Ohio, who is principal of the Weaver School and connected with the Y. M. C. A. night school; Minnie E., now deceased; Walter M., advertising manager of the Brown Soap Company; and Charles A.
Charles A. Brown was reared in Dayton, received his education in the public schools and was graduated from the Steele High School in the class of 1898. He afterwards studied dentistry under Dr. Long, of Dayton, working under him for several years. He is a graduate of the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, Cincinnati, class of 1902-03. After practicing a short time in Dayton, he moved to Fort Recovery on July 1, 1904, and bought out Dr. Sickman's practice and establishment.
Dr. Brown was married on Thanksgiving Day, 1903, to Beatrice Patton, a daughter of A. D. Patton. They have one child, Helen. Fraternally, Dr. Brown is a Mason, an Odd Fellow and a member of the Psi Omega dental fraternity. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
EMMET F. CARPENTER
Emmet F. Carpenter, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser of Hopewell township, residing on his well-cultivated farm of 239 1/2 acres, situated in section 22, was born in Center township, Mercer County, Ohio, December 30, 1857, and is a son of Noah and Rachel (Berry) Carpenter.
Noah Carpenter was born in Hocking County, his wife in Fairfield County, Ohio. They were early settlers in Center township. Mercer County, locating about 1849, before the forests had been laid low and when but few settlers had established homes there. They were representative pioneers and lived long and worthy lives, passing away honored and esteemed by their contemporaries.
Emmet F. Carpenter was about 10 years old when he was left motherless and by the time he was 13 years of age he was thrown entirely upon his own resources. In his boyhood he attended the district schools, and later, through his own efforts, enjoyed a season at the Ohio Normal University at Ada, Ohio. His business in life has been entirely of an agricultural nature and he has been located on his present farm since the fall of 1886.
On April 4, 1886, Mr. Carpenter was married to Margaret Hellwarth, a daughter of John Hellwarth, of Hopewell township, and they have five children, named as follows: Quincy Grover, Domer S., Raymond N., Jeremiah B. and Jesse McKinley. In his political views Mr. Carpenter is a Democrat. With his family he belongs to the Evangelical Church. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
U. GRANT COATS
U. Grant Coats, postmaster at Rockford, was born December 6, 1865, in Van Wert County, Ohio, and is a son of Rev. Thomas and Sarah (Feasel) Coats.
The paternal grandfather of our subject, Joseph Coats, came to Fairfield County, Ohio, from Virginia, and died at the age of 83 years at the home of his son, Rev. Thomas Coats, in Black Creek township, about 1875. He was the father of five sons and one daughter, namely: David, Melvin, Redmond and Robert, all residents of Kenton, Ohio; Thomas, of Rockford; and Nancy, who lives at Stella, Nebraska. Jacob Feasel, the maternal grandfather, who was of Pennsylvania German ancestry, came from Pennsylvania and located at an early period of the county's history in Fairfield County, Ohio, where he became a wealthy and influential farmer. He resided there until his death, which was caused by a fall from a load of grain.
Rev. Thomas Coats, the father of our subject, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, June 15, 1833, and was there reared on a farm. About 1860 he moved to Van Wert County, and some years prior to his removal, he was married to Sarah Feasel, who was born in Fairfield County, August 6, 1833. Mr. Coats united with the United Brethren Church soon after reaching manhood and was shortly after ordained for the ministry. He was for 30 years actively engaged in his calling, and, while still active in church work, he has for several years past been on the retired list. He lived for many years on a farm in Mercer County, moving here from Van Wert County in 1867, and residing in Black Creek township until 1891 when he moved to Rockford where he has since resided. He organized the United Brethren class at Rockford. On September 19, 1904, Rev. Thomas Coats and his wife celebrated: their golden anniversary. They have been the parents of 10 children, of whom three died in infancy, while two-David and James-died after attaining their majority. Those living are: Mary, wife of T. J. Cully, residing at Willshire, Ohio; Thomas McClellan, a resident of DeGraff, Ohio, where he i$ engaged in farming; Lillie May, who married J. F. Roy and lives at Devil's Lake, North Dakota; U. Grant, the subject of this sketch; and Oliver J., a resident of Union City, Indiana, and a wheelwright by trade.
U. Grant Coats received his early education in the township schools and in. 1887 entered the Ohio Normal University, at Ada, where he remained for a period of four years. After leaving college, Mr. Coats was engaged in teaching for eight years, having in this period three different schools. He gave up teaching in 1897 and was appointed postmaster at Rockford by President McKinley. He assumed the duties of the office August 2, 1897, at which time the office was rated as fourth class. In 1899, during Mr. Coats' incumbency, the office was advanced to third class. On February 24, 1900, he was reappointed by President McKinley for a period of four years. At the expiration of his term, Mr. Coats was reappointed by President Roosevelt, on December 13, 1905, and is the present incumbent, having served as postmaster for the past nine years.
Mr. Coats was married December 20, 1891, to Minnie Work, a daughter of Claybourn and Elizabeth Work, of Rockford. She died July 20, 1893. The second marriage occurred September 18, 1898, when Lillian Hoffman, a daughter of Rev. John A. and Mary Hoffman, of Ossian, Indiana, became his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Coats reside on West Market street, where they are comfortably situated.
Mr. Coats is a Republican in politics and has always been a staunch supporter of the principles of that party. He is a member of the United Brethren Church at Rockford. Fraternally, he is a member of Shane Lodge, No. 293, K. of P., at Rockford and also a member of Rockford Lodge, No. 790, I. O. O. F. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
HON. JAMES H. DAY
Hon. James H. Day, president of the First National Bank of Celina, for 25 consecutive years a judge of the Common Pleas and Circuit courts, in Mercer County, displayed on the bench those qualities that an intelligent, law abiding community approved and has still other claims to distinction in his native State. A surviving officer of the great Civil War, since his retirement from military life a prominent member of both bench and bar, he has also been a very important factor in business and social life. Judge Day was born February 10, 1840, near Findlay, Ohio, and is a son of Ezekiel P. and Margaret (Barr) Day.
The Day family originated in England and the Barr family was of Scotch-Irish extraction. The Days settled at an early date in New Jersey and the Barrs at an equally early period in Pennsylvania. The father of Judge Day was born in Morris County, New Jersey, April 10, 1798, and the mother, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, July 24, 1798. Ezekiel P. Day died October 11, 1849. He was survived many years by his widow and by a number of his 10 children.
James H. Day was educated in the public schools of Hancock and Van Wert counties, remaining at his books until 16 years of age, when he went to Van Wert and two years later entered upon the study of the law in the office of Edson & DePuy, a reputable law firm there, where he continued for 21 months. In 1861 he embarked in a mercantile business at Celina, but in July of the following year he gave up his business prospects in order to enter the Union Army in his country's defense. He was commissioned major of the 99th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., and served with efficiency until impaired health made his resignation necessary. After a short time in the business field at Celina, he resumed his law studies and was admitted to the bar on August 20, 1869. His evident ability in the profession was immediately recognized and during the succeeding decade he was more or less prominently identified with the important litigation engaging the attention of the courts of Mercer County.
The qualities displayed by Judge Day in his private practice emphasized his fitness for a position on the bench and in October, 1879, he was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas in the First Sub-Division of the Third Judicial District. This comprised Allen, Auglaize, Mercer, Shelby and Van Wert counties. Judge Day entered upon the duties of this office on February 9, 1880, and was subsequently re-elected twice, serving 13 consecutive years. He retired from this position only to accept one on the circuit bench, to which he was subsequently re-elected. It did not take long for his fellow-citizens to realize that Judge Day, in an official position, deserved their profound respect. He proved himself impartial, consistent, learned and fearless and retired from judicial life with his robes untarnished.
On June 10, 1863, Judge Day was united in marriage with Frances O. Small, a daughter of Richard W. and Elizabeth Small, of Celina, Ohio. Their four daughters are: Margaret R., who married Andrew G. Briggs, a prominent oil producer, banker and merchant, at Geneva, Indiana; Annie L., who married John W. Loree, a prominent attorney at Celina; Elizabeth S., who married Hon. William E. Tou Velle, one of Celina's prominent lawyers, now representing this district in Congress; and Frances Edna.
Judge Day is a Democrat and has been an active member of his party. He has always advocated an effective public school system and has served as a member of the Celina Board of Education. Fraternally he is a Mason Portraits of Judge and Mrs. Day are shown on nearby pages. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
William Eichar, formerly a member of the board of trustees of Hopewell township, where he is a respected and prominent citizen, resides on his finely cultivated farm in this township, although his 400 acres of land extend also into Dublin township. He was born February 3, 1842, in Hopewell township, Mercer County, Ohio, and is a son of Jacob and Sarah (Buck) Eichar.
Jacob Eichar was born in Pennsylvania and accompanied his father to Hopewell township when the country was practically a wilderness. The Eichars were truely pioneer settlers. Jacob Eichar was a man of sturdy strength and great industry and he was also a man in whom his fellow-citizens placed the highest confidence. He faithfully served the township as a trustee and in other offices and during his active life was a leading man of his section. He died in 1898 and the three survivors of his family of children are: William, Lafayette and Peter, all residents of Hopewell township.
William Eichar was reared in Hopewell township, which has always been his home. His education was obtained in the district schools and his attention has been given to general farming and stock-raising.
On May 2, 1861, William Eichar married Altha Rutledge, who was born in Perry County, Ohio, June 23, 1838, and is a daughter of John and Altha (Matthews) Rutledge, the former of whom was born in Maryland and the latter in Virginia. She accompanied her parents in 1852 from Perry to Mercer County, where they passed the rest of their lives, dying in Hopewell township. Mrs. Eichar has one surviving sister and two brothers, namely: Jehu, living in Minnesota; Mary, widow of David McChristy, now resides in Black Creek township; and John, a resident of Rockford, Ohio.
Mr. and Mrs. Eichar have four children living, namely: Leonora, wife of Martin Weisenborn, of Hopewell township; John A. and Joseph E., of Hopewell township; and George, of Dublin township. Mary J. is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Eichar are consistent members of the Society of Friends.
In political sentiment, Mr. Eichar is a Republican. He has served as township trustee for a number of years. Both he and his wife are well known among the old settlers of the township and enjoy universal respect and esteem. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
Louis Feltz, whose valuable farm of 97 acres is situated in section 20, Marion township, was born in Seneca County, Ohio, August 24, 1841, and is a son of Florenz and Margaret (Loeffler) Feltz.
The father of Mr. Feltz was born in that part of France that is now included in Germany in 1803, and served in the French Army for a period of eight years. He was twice married, first to a French lady, who accompanied him to America, with their two children, Florenz and Joseph. The former married Lena Rable, served as a soldier in the United States Army, and now resides at Wapakoneta. The latter who is deceased, was also a soldier in the United States Army, and lived at Baraboo, Wisconsin. The mother of these sons died in Seneca County. After some time, Mr. Feltz married Margaret Loeffler, and two children were born to this union, namely: Louis, of this sketch, and George, a prominent citizen of Lima, who married Elizabeth Holdgraven. George Feltz is auditor of Allen County, and for years has been a man of consequence there. While editing one of the Lima journals, he spent some time abroad and during this period wrote very entertaining letters to his subscribers. Upon his return he had much to say in; praise of foreign countries, but always concluded with the statement "America is home."
When our subject was about nine years of age, his father sold the Seneca County farm and removed to Mercer County, buying a farm in Marion township, upon which the family moved in 1851, as pioneers in their section. A log cabin in the woods was their home, and deer and other wild creatures roamed at will through the thick forest which stood where now are thriving villages and cultivated fields.
On the above farm Louis Feltz grew to man's estate. On May 18, 1865, he was married to Rosalia Schuler, who was born in France and accompanied her parents to America. The children born to this union were: Rosa, who married Joseph Fecher and lives at Wendelin; Adolph, an electrician, who is foreman of the Westinghouse branch at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Frank, a blacksmith, who married Philomena Cron; Mary, who married Cornelius McGreevy, of Greenville, Ohio; William, now a mail carrier at Cincinnati, who served in the United States regular army and was wounded in the Spanish American War-married Carrie Diehl; Elizabeth, who is the wife of Bernard Seitz and lives at Chickasaw; and Emil, who married Mallie Hierholzer, daughter of A. J. Hierholzer, and lives at Massillon, Ohio.
The second marriage of Mr. Feltz was to Josephine Sonderman, who was born at Fort Recovery, Ohio, December 10, 1869, and is a daughter of Frank Sonderman, who came to America from Germany and was married at Dayton, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Sonderman live on their home place at Victoria, near Fort Recovery. They had eight children. Mr. and Mrs. Feltz have had eight children, as follows: Elenora, who married John Vandrell and lives at Cassella; Henry, who is engaged in a blacksmithing business; and Florentina, Albert, Charles, Frances, Otto and Leona. The family belong to St. Mary's Catholic Church at Cassella.
Mr. Feltz was one of the founders of the Marion Mutual Fire Insurance Association and is a member of its board of directors. He has served as township assessor, as land appraiser, and as a member of the School Board. His farm-the old home farm on which his parents settled in 1851-he purchased from his father, who died in 1889. The surroundings are very attractive, the house being almost concealed from the road by evergreen and well-kept orchards. Almost all of Mr. Feltz's children are gifted with a talent for music and he is giving them every advantage in his power. This is one of the representative families of Marion township. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
GEORGE W. FRISINGER
George W. Frisinger, a prominent citizen of Mercer County, who served six years as county commissioner, resides in a fine home at Rockford and owns some 190 acres of improved farming land in Dublin township. He was born in Mercer County, Ohio, May 11, 1853, and is a son of Nathan and Jane (Ryan) Frisinger. Nathan Frisinger, the father of our subject, was born July 3, 1816, in Montgomery, County, Ohio, and was a son of William and Catherine (Harp) Frisinger, the former of whom was born in 1794, in Virginia, and was the eldest child in a family of 11 children. His father, who was a tailor, a miller and distiller, also served as a soldier in the War of 1812, but died soon after his return from the field. , William Frisinger, our subject's grandfather, was reared on a farm and also learned the tailoring trade. While still a young man he settled in Champaign County, Ohio, and was the founder of the family in this State. During an early visit to Illinois he also purchased land there. In 1827 he located permanently in Mercer County, one and a half miles east of Rockford, purchasing at first 160 acres of timber land. This he partially cleared and then improved the cleared portion in such a manner and to such an extent that he made an excellent farm. Later he added 60 acres to this farm and here he spent the rest of his life, dying in April, 1837. He was one of the earliest settlers in Mercer County and he and his family saw much pioneer hardship. In 1817 William Frisinger married Catherine Harp, who was a daughter of Peter Harp, and they had 11 children, as follows: Nathan, the father of our subject; Peter, a prosperous farmer of Dublin township; John, deceased, who was a farmer in Dublin township; Sarah, deceased at 14 years of age; Elizabeth, deceased at six years; Jacob, deceased, who was a well-known farmer of Dublin township; Ann, deceased at 11 years; Cynthia, deceased, who was the wife of the late Jeremiah Dull; and Lydia, Catherine and William, all deceased. The mother of this family came of Dutch ancestry, was born about 1800, in Pennsylvania, and died in 1854. For many years she was a consistent member of the Baptist Church.
George W. Frisinger remained at home assisting on the home farm until the age of 21 years, in the meantime obtaining his education in the public schools. After marriage he remained one year on the home place and then inherited and partly bought a farm of his own to which he has added at various times until he now owns 190 acres in Dublin township. He continues general farming and also is interested in the buying and shipping of horses.
On November 10, 1874, Mr. Frisinger was married (first) to Lida Archer, who died June 11, 1886. She was a daughter of Henry and Lucinda Archer. One child survived her, Merritt, who is now operating a farm of 180 acres for his father. Merritt married Nellie Miller, daughter of Peter A. Miller, and they have two interesting children, Lowell, aged six years and Donald, aged three years. In March, 1887, Mr. Frisinger was married (second) to Lillie McDonald, who died five months later. She was a daughter of Dr. McDonald of Rockford. On January 10, 1888, Mr. Frisinger was married (third) to Rena A. Hesser, a daughter of Lewis and Elizabeth (Rhodes) Hesser, born at Lincoln, Nebraska, April 29, 1871. Her father was born in 1848, near Red Key, Indiana, and her mother in the same place, one year later. Mr. and Mrs. Frisinger have two children: Rolla Nathan, who was born February 19, 1890; and Stella Marie, born May 29, 1896.
Mr. Frisinger is one of the county's prominent Democrats and wide-awake politicians. He has been elected to responsible office a number of times and served six years as township trustee, was for 11 years a member of the Board of Education and in 1896 was the Democratic candidate for county commissioner. He was elected to that office and approval of his services was shown by his re-election in 1900. He has been a member of the Knights of Pythias for a number of years. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
HON. THOMAS J. GODFREY
Among the mass of good citizens, who have made Mercer County a leading county of the Buckeye State, there have arisen individuals, who, through their superior ability, their greater enterprise and their more pronounced public spirit, have added luster in their fields of work and have distinguished themselves for posterity. Such a one was the late Hon. Thomas J. Godfrey, who for more than 30 years served faithfully in public life and for 50 years was prominently identified with the business, educational and social affairs of the village of Celina.
Thomas J. Godfrey, whose portrait accompanies this sketch, was born June 6, 1831, in Darke County, Ohio, and died at Celina, November 30, 1906. He was a son of Elias B. and Sarah (Elliott) Godfrey, the former of whom was born in Ohio and the latter in North Carolina. Mr. Godfrey's parents reared a family of seven children, two of whom now survive. The father died in 1888, and the mother in 1891, at Dowagiac, Michigan, to which place they had removed in 1859.
Mr. Godfrey enjoyed more extended educational opportunities than were afforded many youths of his time and after he had completed his academic and university training, receiving the latter in Asbury University, at Greencastle, Indiana, he began to teach school and met with such success that the two succeeding years were passed as an educator, both in Ohio and Indiana. His ambition, however, was to attain eminence as a lawyer and he began reading law in the office of Allen & Meeker, at Greenville, Ohio. In 1857 he was graduated at the Cincinnati Law School. Shortly after being admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Ohio at Columbus, he located at Celina, which village continued his home the remainder of his life.
Mr. Godfrey's active entrance into politics may be dated from 1863, when he was elected prosecuting attorney of Mercer County. By the close of his first term, his public efficiency had been so acknowledged that he was enthusiastically and unanimously renominated, but pending the election he was nominated to the State Senate by the convention representing the district then composed of the counties of Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Mercer, Van Wert, Paulding and Williams. From the first his election was an assured fact and his administration of the office was so satisfactory that in 1867 he was returned to the Senate.
Upon the organization of the General Assembly in January, 1868, Mr. Godfrey was honored by election as president pro tem., and this office, like every other, he administered with fidelity and efficiency. In 1869, when the Democratic party selected the late Hon. George H. Pendleton as its candidate for Governor of Ohio, Mr. Godfrey was equally honored by being selected for the office of Lieutenant-Governor. In that year the party met universal defeat in the State. In 1873 Mr. Godfrey was chosen a member of the constitutional convention, that notable body of distinguished men, and he served with characteristic capacity on its judiciary committee during its sessions in 1873 and 1874. In spite of the legal learning and careful weighing of important issues which characterized this eminent body, the constitution submitted by it to the popular vote was rejected in the fall of 1874.
When the campaign of 1880 opened, Mr. Godfrey was advanced by his party as a presidential elector for the Fifth Congressional District, but was defeated with his party. In October, 1881, Mr. Godfrey was again returned to the State Senate, the senatorial district comprising the counties of Mercer, Van Wert, Auglaize, Allen, Paulding, Defiance and Williams. In 1883 he was re-elected.
With his retirement from the political field, Mr. Godfrey took, if possible, a still greater interest in matters more closely pertaining to his own community as well as to the educational affairs of the county and State. He had more time to devote to them.
For seven years he served as president of the board of trustees of the Ohio State University, and was a member of this body from May, 1878, to May, 1903, a period of just 25 years. On June 2, 1903, the board of trustees of the Ohio State University adopted a set of resolutions, expressing the sentiment of the board relative to Mr. Godfrey's retirement, from which we quote, in substance, a part:-"On May 12, 1903, since our last meeting, the term of the Hon. Thomas J. Godfrey, as member of the board of trustees, expired. He did not seek reappointment, preferring to , retire after having rounded out 25 years of continuous service. Mr. Godfrey was first appointed a member of the board of trustees of the Ohio State University, under the act of May 1, 1878, for the term of four years, his appointment dating from May 13, 1878; he was reappointed for seven years in 1882, 1889 and 1896. On May 16, 1878, at the first meeting of the board under the act above mentioned, he was elected its president, and was re-elected November 5, 1878. He was again elected president of the board November 14, 1883, and re-elected November 14, 1884. In November, 1889, he was again elected to this position and re-elected in 1890 and 1891. He served on several committees; was chairman of finance at different periods; was chairman of the committee on faculty and courses of study for several years; and was chairman of the special committee that reported the plan of organization of the College of Law. He took an active part in the establishment of this college and was one of its most active supporters. He seldom missed a meeting of the board. His loyalty and devotion to the interest of the University during his long period of service never abated. His service began when the University was small in numbers, weak in influence, meager in income and a supplicant for needed support. He saw it grow in numbers, power and influence until it assumed its present proud position, and had the satisfaction of knowing that he had contributed to such growth. In his intercourse with his fellow members of the board, with members of the faculty and with the student body, he was always courteous and kindly, and took a friendly interest in all that was going on. The trust that was confided in him a quarter of a century ago has been faithfully discharged, and he retires with the good wishes of his associates, the faculty, students, alumni and all friends of the University." The members of the general faculty of the University expressed themselves as follows, relative to Mr. Godfrey's retirement: "The Hon. T. J. Godfrey having retired from the board of trustees of Ohio State University after a continuous membership of 25 years, we as members of the General Faculty hereby express our sincere appreciation of his long and eminently faithful service and our regret that the affairs of the University are no longer to receive the benefit of his careful oversight and judicious counsel. We follow him into his retirement with our kindly wishes and the hope that the future may bring him none but peaceful and happy years."
Coming closer home, Mr. Godfrey found time to serve as county school examiner at various times and was a regular and welcome visitor at all the Teachers' Institutes held in Mercer County, of which there have been 48 annual sessions since the movement was inaugurated in 1859.
In business life Mr. Godfrey was also a leading factor for years, both in city and village. With R. G. Blake, G. W. Raudabaugh, E. M. Piper, A. P. J. Snyder, T. G. TouVelle, William Dickman, Christopher Schunck and S. S. Snyder, he became one of the stockholders of the first building and loan association organized at Celina. This company was chartered as the Celina Building and Loan Association, on February 2, 1870, and when the stockholders held their first meeting for the election of officers, Mr. Godfrey was chosen president. Two years later, Mr. Godfrey, with Dr. D. Milligan and his son, bought the entire stock of the association, surrendered its charter and proceeded to organize a banking house, which came into being in February, 1874, at Milligan, Godfrey & Company. The subsequent death of Dr. Milligan caused a reorganization and business was resumed under the firm style of Godfrey & Milligan, which continued without change until 1888. It was then succeeded by the Commercial Bank Company, the board of directors of this concern being: Thomas J. Godfrey, Calvin E. Riley, John Milligan, J. B. Pulskamp, and Ashley M. Riley. On January 1, 1896, Mr. Godfrey retired from the Commercial Bank Company, after a long period of honorable connection.
All public men require relaxation and Mr. Godfrey, like many others, gave a great deal of attention to agricultural interests. He owned a valuable farm and when the perplexities of business, professional and political life bore heavily upon him, he took refuge in his country home and found both pleasure and profit in the developing of what was one of the finest herds of Jersey cattle to be found in the country.
Thomas J. Godfrey was united in marriage on September 29, 1859, to Lorinda Milligan, daughter of the late Dr. D. Milligan, for years a leading ocapitalist and prominent citizen of Fort Recovery, Ohio. The one daughter born to this marriage, Luella, was carefully reared and liberally educated, being a graduate of the class of 1881 at Glendale Female College, near Cincinnati. In 1883 she was married to Rev. J. M. Anderson, who was the -valued pastor of Olivet Presbyterian Church, at Columbus, Ohio. Rev. and Mrs. Anderson have two sons; Carl Godfrey and Robert Bruce. Mrs. Godfrey died September 8, 1898.
Fraternally, Mr. Godfrey was well known all over the State. He was prominent in Masonry; he was a member of Shawnee Commandery, K. T., at Lima, Ohio, and had received the 32d degree. He belonged also to the Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
George Green, deceased, who in life was one of the prominent farmers of Butler township, was born November 29, 1851, on the farm in section 24, Butler township, which is now occupied by his widow. The remains of his father and grandfather, both of whom were named John Green, rest in the cemetery at Montezuma. His father died on the homestead in Butler township.
The Green family, which originated in England, was established in Ohio in the days of the great-grandfather of our subject. John Green, the grandfather, came from Hamilton, Ohio, to Mercer County at a very early day and first entered land in Franklin township, and later the family home in Butler township, the date of this transaction being September 4, 1838. The original deed, bearing the signature of Martin Van Buren, President of the United States, is still in the possession of the family; the land has always been kept intact, and is now occupied by the fourth generation.
The parents of the late George Green died when he was eight years old and his home was with Stephen Frank, at Coldwater, from that age until he was 17 years old, when he went to Illinois and later to Missouri, subsequently returning to his home in Butler township, when he was 23 years old. He had two brothers, William and Hiram, the former of whom died aged 22 years, of consumption. Hiram still survives.
On July 2, 1876, George Green was married to Catherine Smith, a daughter of Joseph and Caroline (Frick) Smith, the former of whom was born in New Jersey and the latter in Pennsylvania. Joseph Smith came to Ohio at an early day and was married in the vicinity of Dayton. Later he came to Mercer County and settled on a farm in Butler township, west of Coldwater, and there Mrs. Green was reared.
Mr. and Mrs. Green had nine children born to them, as follows: Ira, who married Salome Cable (first) and Emma Hitchens (second) and has one daughter-Doris Ollene; Harley George, who married Maud Wade, resides in Butler township and has one daughter-Thelma Opal; Ibbie Catherine, who married James Mowery and has two children-Benjamin Franklin and Vera Pauline; Blanche Belle; Bessie Hazel; Cassius Ford; Lily Opal, who died aged five years; Grace Glenna; and Chester Arthur, who died aged nine months.
Harley George Green enlisted at Toledo, Ohio, August 7, 1900, in the United States Army, and was sent to Fort Leavenworth, where he was enrolled as a member of Company G, First Regiment, U. S. Infantry. On the 25th of August the regiment left Fort Leavenworth for the Presidio Barracks, San Francisco, California. On September 1, 1900, the First Regiment sailed under sealed orders on the U. S. transport "Logan," arriving at Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, on the 8th of September, where the members of the regiment learned that their destination was the Philippine Islands, where they arrived on the 28th of September. They were then ordered to the island of Marinduque to force the release of Company F, 29th Regiment, U. S. Volunteers, which had been captured by the enemy. On December 1st the First Regiment sailed to the Island of Samar to relieve the 29th Regiment, U. S. Volunteers, stationed there and went through the entire campaign of Samar, from May 22, 1901, to December 25, 1902. The regiment was relieved by the 14th Regiment, U. S. Infantry, on the 17th of March, 1903, and sailed for Manila from which port it sailed to Nagasaki, Japan, and thence to San Francisco, where the regiment landed April 28, 1903. Mr. Green was stationed at Fort Wayne, Michigan, until August 6, 1903, being then discharged on account of the expiration of his term of service. In the service in the Philippines he took part in all battles and skirmishes of the regiment and sustained a most excellent character for honest and faithful discharge of duty. He was never wounded. Col. D. W. Dugan was in command of the First Regiment.
The death of George Green, the subject of this sketch, occurred on October 20, 1893, thereby removing from Butler township a very highly esteemed citizen. He was a kind husband and affectionate father, and possessed many estimable traits, which made him popular with his acquaintances. The Green home has always been a hospitable one. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
JAMES HARNER, a prominent farmer of Center township, Mercer county, Ohio, was born in Fayette county, Ohio, January 26, 1819. He is a son of Michael and Hannah (Roebuck) Harner. His paternal grandfather, Michael Harner, was a sailor by occupation, and was a native of Germany. For some time after he left the sea he lived in Bedford county, Pa., but later removed to Ohio, and is supposed to have died in Richland county. His wife, also a native of Germany, died in Richland county at the advanced age of ninety-five years. Michael Harner and his wife were the parents of the following children: Henry, Joh, Michael, William, Charlotte, Susan and Polly.
James Harner, the subject, was reared upon the homestead in Center townsihp. The education he received was such as was the afforded by the public schools. When twenty-seven years of age, with a capital of $5, he settled upon his present farm, then a wilderness, but now a well improved farm, to which he has added forty acres. In his earlier days Mr. Harner was more or less associated with the Indians, of whome he has many pleasant recollections, especially of Chief Shane, after whom Shanes Crossing was named. mr. Harner's father was familiar with the language of the Indians, and spoke it fluently. James Harner has served as justice of the peace two terms, and as township clerk and constable. For forty years he has been a member of the United Brethren church, and has during that time always taken an active part in its work having been steward and class leader in the church to which he belongs.
Michael Harner, the father of the subject, was born in Bedford county, Pa., in 1794. He learned the trade of saddler, and when a young man, in company with two others, came to Ohio, locating in Fayette county. In the spring of 1819 he removed to Mercer county, with an ax, a grub hoe, and $1.50 in money, and squatted on government land one mile south of the present village of Mercer, on what is now the Green farm, and there raised a crop the following summer. Having erected a cabin on the land, he brought his family to his home in the wilderness in the following fall, and remained upon this land one year. Then he removed to Twelve Mile Creek, and squatted upon the land now known as the S. B. Collins farm, in Union township, and there made sufficient money to enter eighty acres of government land which is now the homestead of the subject of this sketch, in Center township. Subsequently he purchased eighty acres more land, which was also in Center township, and upon this land he lived until his death, which occurred in 1870. At the time of his death he owned 160 acres, and had given three eighty-acre farms, and two forty-acre farms, to his children.
In politics he was a whig in early life, but later became a republican. In religion he was a member of the United Brethren church, and served as steward and class leader. To his marriage with Hannah Roebuck, who was a daughter of James Roebuck, there were born the following children: James, the subject of this sketch; William, deceased; Benjamin, of Center township; Rual, supposed to have died in Andersonville prison; Jane, wife of Elihu Davis; Michael, who died from exposure during his military service in the late Civil war, his death occurring in hospital at Nashville, Tenn., and his remains being buried in the National cemetery at Nashville; and Susan, wife of Lewis Shaub, of Wayne county, Ohio. [Taken from "A Portrait and Biographical Record of Mercer and Van Wert Counties, Ohio containing biographical sketches of many Biographical and Representative Citizens", Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., 1896; pages 593 and 594. Sub. by Cynthia Theusch]
ELI T. HASTINGS
The subject of this sketch was born in Sussex County, Delaware, November 10, 1845. His parents were Wateman W. and Eleanor E. (Collins) Hastings. The father was the son of James Hastings, whose ancestors came to America from England early in the 18th century. The mother was the daughter of Solomon Collins, who was of Irish descent.
Wateman Hastings moved with his family to Mercer County, Ohio, in August, 1846, and settled on a farm three miles south of Fort Recovery. In the family are four brothers and three sisters, viz: Eli T., James, Zachary T., Mrs. Ella Ralph and Mrs. Frank Lowe, of Fort Recovery; Mrs. William Hamline, of Celina, Ohio; and Charles W., of Reynolds, Washington.
Eli T. Hastings remained on his father's farm until 1864, when at the age of 18, during the War of the Rebellion, he enlisted in the U. S. Army, serving in the 156th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf. After returning home at the expiration of his term of enlistment, he engaged in teaching school for some time. On September 12, 1871, he was married to Elmira E. Davison, daughter of James and Mary Davison. They have two sons and three daughters, viz: Carrie A., Mary E., J. Frank, Roy D. and Hope H. The daughters live with their parents. Roy married Gertrude Graham and lives in Youngstown, Ohio. Frank, a graduate of the University of Michigan, is practicing medicine in Hancock, Michigan.
In 1881 Mr. Hastings engaged in the retail shoe business in Fort Recovery, he retired from the business in 1905.
In politics he is a Republican. In religion he is a firm believer in the principles of Christianity. He was raised in the faith of the Congregational Church, to which he and his family still adhere. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
John Imwalle, who resides on his valuable farm of 140 acres situated in section 25, Marion township, was born August 7, i860, and is a son of Herman and Elizabeth (Heckman) Imwalle.
Herman Imwalle was born in Germany. Upon reaching manhood, he came to America and settled in Marion township, Mercer County. He married Elizabeth Heckman, a daughter of Henry Deitrich Heckman. They had two children: Frederick, who died aged five years; and John, the subject of this sketch. Herman Imwalle died May 19, 1872; his wife survived him 29 years, dying June 29, 1901.
Henry Deitrich Heckman, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was of German nativity. When he settled in this country, he entered land in the State of Ohio. During the first summer he worked on the canal which was then being built, and in the following winter devoted his time to clearing his land, thus making it possible to cultivate the land the next summer. He was later able to ship what farm produce he could spare to other points on the) canal. This land was purchased by the father of our subject and later in. herited by John Imwalle at the death of his mother.
John Imwalle, the subject of this sketch, was reared on his father's farm in Marion township and has always lived on this farm. He received his education in the district schools and, having always lived in this locality, is well known all over the county. Mr. Imwalle was married April 10, 1882, tol Catherine Bruggeman, a daughter of Bernard and Elizabeth (Wildenhaus) Bruggeman, natives of Germany. Catherine Bruggeman was the youngest of a family of five children, namely: Elizabeth, Joseph, John, Herman and Catherine. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Imwalle: John, deceased; Frederick, Joseph, Herman, William, Sophia, Rosalia, Matilda, Vincent and George, all living at home. Mr. Imwalle and his family are members of St. John's Catholic Church at Maria Stein. He is also a member of St. Joseph's Society. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
ABRAHAM W. LARUE
Abraham W. Larue, a well-known and prominent farmer of Washington township, residing on the homestead in section 5, who with his brother, Isaac Martin Larue, owns 400 acres of land in one body, was born in Butler County, Ohio, July 5, 1849, and 1S a son of Uriah and Lydia (Neff) Larue. Uriah Larue and his wife were both born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where they were reared. They were married in Philadelphia and moved to Butler County, Ohio, where they resided for about five years, In 1854 moving to Mercer County, where Mr. Larue bought a 320-acre timber tract. They first moved into a log house. This primitive log structure was destroyed by fire after but a few weeks of occupancy. It was then in the dead of winter. They then erected and moved into another log house about one mile east, in the midst of the forest, first having to cut a road to the clearing where the house was built. Their present fine large home stands near where their first cabin, which was of round logs, was built by them and their neighbors after the fire and before their new hewn-log house was completed. Mr. and Mrs. Larue were the parents of eight children, namely: Abraham W., the subject of this sketch; Elizabeth E., deceased at the age of 18 years; Leah Ann, deceased at the age of 19 years; Uriah B., who died after reaching manhood; Isaac Martin, who is part owner of the home farm; John B., who died in young manhood, while attending school at Valparaiso, Indiana; David F., living half a mile south of the homestead, who has two children living- Nellie and Leslie-and one deceased in infancy-Orville; and Lydia A., who died aged 10 years. Mr. Larue was a soldier in the Civil War, enlisting in 1862 and served three years. He died in 1884. His widow is still residing on the home place.
Abraham W. Larue was reared on his father's farm and spent the most of his boyhood days in assisting his father clear the land. In young manhood he taught school in the winter seasons for a number of years. He has never married but has lived all his life on the home farm. Both he and his brother Isaac are members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Patrons of Husbandry.
Isaac Martin Larue took for his wife Mary Weaver, who was born in Darke County, Ohio, and is a daughter of George and Joan (Slack) Weaver. They have two children: Kathleen and Mildred. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
CLEMENT V. MAY
Clement V. May, infirmary director, who is prominently identified with the agricultural and political interests of Hopewell township and resides upon his well-improved farm of 121 acres, in section 6, was born October 12, 1865, in Mercer County, Ohio, and is a son of Elias and Susan (Lazure) May.
The parents of Mr. May were both natives of Ross County, Ohio. In early married life they settled in Liberty township, Mercer County, where for many years they were representative farmers and highly respected residents. The father died in September, 1903, but the mother still survives, having reached her 79th year, and lives at Randolph, Nebraska. Of the children born to Elias May and wife, 10 survive, as follows: Mary A., who is the w1fe of A. J. Ricker, of Indiana; Byron L., who lives in Dublin township; John R., who resides in Hopewell township; Caroline, who is the widow of Thomas Wright, and a resident of Randolph, Nebraska; Wilson T., who resides in Hopewell township; Clement V.; Joseph M., who lives near Toledo, Ohio; Daniel, who resides in Nebraska; William W., who lives near Toledo; and Marion, who is a resident of Randolph, Nebraska.
Clement V. May was reared in Liberty township and attended the public schools. He has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits, farming and stock-raising, and for six seasons he ran a threshing machine, owning a full outfit. He is one of the progressive men of his locality, in business as well as in public affairs, and is a liberal supporter of the various agencies at work which are designed to add to the efficiency of the public schools and to increase interest in agricultural pursuits.
Mr. May was united in marriage with Curley E. McChristy, born in Hopewell township, a daughter of Moses and Elizabeth (Davis) McChristy, the former of whom is deceased. Mrs. McChristy still resides in this township. Mr. and Mrs. May have five children, namely: Myrtle E., who is the wife of Tony Hinton, of Liberty township; Nora M., who is the wife of William Laudahn, of Liberty township; Ina L., and Susanna E. and Laura L.
Politically Mr. May is a Democrat and is influential in his party in this section. He has frequently served as school director of his district, and in the spring of 1906 was nominated for the office of infirmary director of Mercer County, to which he was elected in the following November. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge at Rockford. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
CHARLES H. McKIM
Charles A. Mckim, postmaster at Celina and one of Mercer County's leading business men, was born in Erie County, Ohio, November 22, 1859, and is a son of Dr. James F. and Abby (La Boitteaux) McKim. For many years Dr. McKim was a prominent physician and surgeon at Erie, Ohio. He was survived by three children.
Charles A. McKim was 13 years old when his home was changed to the State of Indiana, where he remained until June, 1880, when he came to Mercer County, Ohio. For a number of years he was largely interested in the timber business and then opened a drug-store. He became one of the leading druggists at Celina and finally disposed of his drug interests in 1900. In May, 1898, he was appointed postmaster; he has made a record as a faithful and efficient public official. This office is one of importance, the government affording him one assistant and 12 employees, including the rural mail carriers.
In 1870 Mr. McKim was united in marriage with Elizabeth Snyder, the accomplished daughter of the late veteran journalist and Democratic statesman, Hon. A. P. J. Snyder. An extended sketch of Mr. Snyder will be found in this work. Mrs. McKim has inherited much of her father's literary ability and is the capable editor of the Mercer County Standard, with which he was connected for 50 years. Politically Mr. McKim is identified with the Republican party. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
Joseph Nuding, who resides on his finely cultivated farm of 160 acres, situated in section 1, Hopewell township, was born March 17, 1845, in Fairfield County, Ohio, and is a son of John F. and Barbara (Engle) Nuding.
John F. Nuding was born in Germany, January 21, 1815, and his wife in Fairfield County, Ohio, June 17, 1818. Prior to 1848, John F. Nuding and family lived in Hocking County, but in that year removed to Mercer County, Mr. Nuding settling on a farm in Hopewell township, about four and one-half miles from the present site of Celina. His log cabin was one of the very first erected in the great stretch of forest that then covered all this part of Mercer County, and the family endured many of the hardships and privations to which pioneers were subjected. Mr. Nuding spent the remaining nine years of life engaged in clearing up his land, his death occurring September 1, 1857. His widow survived many years, passing away September 16, 1900. The children of John F. Nuding and wife were numerous and there are six who survive as follows: Maria, who is the wife of John H. Long, of Lima; Joseph; Sarah, who is the wife of Jonas Weist, of Hopewell township; William H., who lives at Mercer; Leah, now a resident of Mercer County, who is the widow of Joseph Lewis, late of Jay County, Indiana; and Alma, who is the wife of Hiram Grissom, of Jay County, Indiana.
Joseph Nuding was reared to man's estate on his father's farm in Hopewell township, was educated in its public schools, and through his years of mature life has had all his interests centered here. He has always been a farmer and has managed his agricultural operations in so judicious a manner that an ample fortune has been realized, but at the same time he has given attention to the advancement of the welfare of the community at large, as becomes a good citizen. He has assisted in the making of good roads, in the building of churches and schools and, as trustee of the township for two terms, helped to put its affairs on a sound financial basis.
On November 14, 1878, he was married to Effie Roberts, who was born in Mercer County, Ohio, a daughter of the late John Roberts of Center township, where he was an early settler. Mr. and Mrs. Nuding have had four children, the two survivors being, Grover S. and May.
Mr. Nuding is a stanch Democrat and is a very active party man. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a trustee and steward. In every relation of life he is respected and esteemed. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
WILLIAM A. ORR
William A. Orr, who is one of the leading farmers and stock-raisers of Hopewell township, residing on his excellent farm of 160 acres situated in section 13, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, October 17, 1847, and is a son of Jackson and Rebecca (Baker) Orr.
The Orr family is of Scotch-Irish extraction. The Baker family originated in Germany. Jackson Orr was born in Hocking County, Ohio, and his wife in Washington County, Maryland. They were very early settlers in Fairfield County, locating there when little clearing had been done and Indians were still often encountered. In 1849 Jackson Orr and family removed to Mercer County, where they again found pioneer conditions, and settled a second time in the woods, their home being a log cabin and their nearest neighbors many miles away. They lived in Hopewell township until 1869, when they removed to Celina, where Jackson Orr died in the same year, and was survived by his widow until 1896. In their passing this section lost two of its most estimable people, who were true pioneers, hospitable, thrifty and worthy of remembrance. They were among the founders of the Methodist Episcopal Church in their neighborhood. Of their six children, the following five survive: Sarah F., a resident of Van Wert, Ohio, who is the widow of William H. Brookhart, formerly of Kenton, Ohio; William A.; George, who resides in Mercer County; John, who resides at Wabash; Samaria, deceased; and Albert, who resides at Cincinnati.
William A. Orr was reared and educated in Hopewell township, where his life has been passed, engaged in agricultural pursuits. At one time he engaged quite extensively in the buying and selling of cattle and other stock and was well known in the business. Politically he is a Republican.
On November 13, 1870, Mr. Orr was married to Sarah M. Petrie, born in Jefferson township, Mercer County, Ohio, on May 13, 1853, a daughter of George and Sarah (Wilds) Petrie. Her mother was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, and died in 1862. The father was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and long was a resident of Jefferson township, Mercer County, where he settled as a pioneer n 1842. He was one of the trustees of the township and later was a member of the Board of Infirmary Directors. In his 87th year, he now resides at Celina, one of the most venerable men in the county. He has been twice married and the children who survive are as follows: William, of Jefferson township; Mary, widow of William Houser, of Celina, now residing at Los Angeles, California; John B., of Celina; Sarah A.; Joseph C, of Mercer County; Thomas E., of Marion, Indiana; Broad F., of Utah; and George A., of Celina.
Mr. and Mrs. Orr have had six children, namely: Edward S., residing at Celina; Frank F., residing in Hopewell township; Charles E., a successful teacher at Celina; Mary B., wife of Charles F. Raach, residing at Canton, Ohio; and Lela M., at home. Mrs. Orr is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
[Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907]
CAPT. JOHN STAFFORD RHODES
Capt. John Stafford Rhodes, a well-known pioneer resident of Fort Recovery, whose portrait is shown on the opposite page, was born October 2. 1826, in Caledonia County, Vermont, and is a son of Josiah K. and Mary (Brown) Rhodes.
Not only has Captain Rhodes won military rank and reputation for himself, but he also comes of Revolutionary stock. His father was a son of Oliver and Martha (Pratt) Rhodes, the former of English and the latter of French extraction. Grandfather Oliver Rhodes was a gallant soldier in the Patriot army all through the Revolutionary War, serving for six years under -General Washington and winning deserved promotion. Josiah K. Rhodes was reared and educated in Vermont and in young manhood learned the trade of house-joiner. In 1835 ne removed with his family to Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where he remained two years and then moved to Licking County. During his residence in the former county, he completed the erection of the first Presbyterian Church ever built at Strongsville, which is still standing. The family continued to live in Licking County until 1861, when Josiah K. Rhodes and wife and their son, Robert B. Rhodes, removed to Van Wert County and settled at Willshire. There Josiah K. Rhodes died in November, 1892, aged 92 years.
Josiah K. Rhodes was united in marriage with Mary Brown, who was born near Belfast, Ireland, in 1795, and was a daughter of Stafford Brown, who was adjudged an Irish rebel in 1798. The English confiscated his property and he and his family escaped to America and settled in Vermont. Mrs. Rhodes was the eldest of three children. One brother died and was buried at sea. The other brother became a resident of Vermont. Josiah K. Rhodes and wife had two sons and two daughters, namely: John Stafford, of this sketch; Robert B., who died at Willshire, Ohio, August 26, 1901; Mary Ann, who married Paschal Horton and died in Licking County, Ohio; and Martha, who resides in Delaware County, Ohio.
From boyhood the subject of this biography was of a more adventurous spirit than are most youths. Perhaps the blood of his maternal grandfather, the Irish patriot and of his paternal grandfather, the Revolutionary soldier, flowed hotly through his veins. Be this as it may, he did not feel satisfied with the ordinary life of a boy of 16 in his circumstances and surroundings, and was but four days older than this when he took his future in his own hands and ran away from home. He found his way to Mercer County, Ohio, where there was work for all, and worked at his trade during the summer. In the fall he went on the Ohio River as a hand on a flatboat running out of Portsmouth, Cincinnati and lower points. He made 21 trips to New Orleans and return. At first his wages were $15 per month, but when he closed out his contract with his employers, he was receiving $75 per month as second pilot.
Captain Rhodes landed first at Fort Recovery on April 12, 1844, and during his flatboat experience he lived at this place, working during the summers as a house-joiner. When he became a resident here, there were but five families in the hamlet. Henry Lipps kept the first hotel, a log structure, and our subject was one of his boarders. The little eight-year-old daughter playing around at that time later became the wife of Captain Rhodes. Until 1854 he continued running on the boats up and down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, but after his marriage he engaged in farming. He purchased 100 1/4 acres of farm land, which was the last piece of canal land entered in Mercer County, the transaction having been carried out by Henry Lipps. For this land Captain Rhodes paid the sum of $960. At that time it was wholly in its natural, wild state, without any improvements. He still makes his home here, having owned the property since November, 1859, and it is still intact, with the exception of a few acres which the Lake Erie and Western Railroad have taken off. In the fall of 1865 he bought 6 1/2 acres directly across the road, in Gibson township, for which he paid $40 per acre. His residence thus stands in Recovery township and his barn in Gibson township.
Captain Rhodes enjoyed but a few years of quiet, agricultural life after settling on his farm, for, as soon as the Civil War broke out, he began to make preparations to take an active part in it. On August 16, 1862, he enlisted as a private, in Company C, 118th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., contracting to serve for three years. At the organization of the company, he was elected 2nd lieutenant, on December 15, 1862, he was promoted to be 1st lieutenant, and on April 11, 1864, was promoted to the captaincy of Company C, 118th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf. After a hazardous service of three years, during which time he experienced every hardship of a soldier's life except wounds, he was mustered out at Salisbury, North Carolina, June 24, 1865, and honorably discharged at Cleveland, Ohio, July 12, 1865.
It would be almost impossible to follow, in a work of this kind, the actual events of Captain Rhodes' military career, as they were too numerous, and we content ourselves with giving merely an outline. He participated in the battles of Kingston, Tennessee, and Mossy Creek, Tennessee, and was all through the famous Atlanta campaign, during which time his regiment was under continuous fire for four months. This campaign included the battles of Dalton, Buzzard's Roost, Kenesaw Mountain, Resaca, Dallas, Pumpkin Vine Creek, all the battles near Atlanta and the great battle at Atlanta, July 22 and 28, 1864. He participated also in the hard-fought battles of Franklin and Nashville, after which his regiment followed Hood's demoralized army as far back as Clifton on its retreat southward. The regiment then went by rail and steamer to Washington, then to Fortress Monroe and Smithville, North Carolina, and marched up Cape Fear River to Fort Anderson and assisted in the capture of the same. This regiment was on the skirmish line and was the first to go over the fortifications and reach the flag on the fort. They seized and waved the colors to the river fleet steaming up the river. This regiment participated also in the capture of Wilmington, North Carolina, on February 22, 1865, firing a salute of 100 guns to celebrate this victory gained on Washington's birthday.
On March 8, 1865, the regiment made a forced march to Kingston, North Carolina, wading through swamps for five days, the water being sometimes as high as the soldiers' hips, assisted in the capture of Goldsboro, and later joined Sherman's army. Captain Rhodes passed through all the hardships of the subsequent campaign and never suffered from a wound of any kind and was sick but for a short season. He was captured twice in one day by the same division of Wheeler's cavalry, but was not held on either occasion longer than sufficed for his captors to rob him of everything they could carry off. He is the only commissioned officer who left Mercer County and returned with the same company. At different times he commanded every company in his regiment except Company E.
Upon his return to Fort Recovery from the army, Captain Rhodes completed the house which he had begun in 1861. He has been a continuous and honored resident of Recovery township ever since and has been active in the management of the public affairs of the community for many years. For 17 years he served as one of the councilmen of Fort Recovery and for an extended period has served in a highly satisfactory manner as township clerk and as a justice of the peace.
On November 20, 1855, Captain Rhodes was married at Fort Recovery to Sarah Jane Lipps, a daughter of Hon. Henry Lipps, a pioneer here and a representative in the State Legislature in 1849-50. Mrs. Rhodes was born at Fort Recovery, Ohio, in 1836. To this marriage three children were born, namely: Jane Ann, who lives at home; Mary E., now a resident of Los Angeles, California, who is the widow of James A. Scott and the mother of one child; and Estella, who is the widow of Guilke Wallingsford, killed in a railway accident in 1901-she has one son, Leo.
Captain Rhodes is one of the leading men in the Grand Army of the Republic in this section of Ohio. He joined the organization at Union City, Indiana, in 1867, and has the distinction of being the oldest Grand Army man in Mercer County. He was mustering officer of this district for several years and instituted the posts at Rockford and Middlepoint, and was the first commander of Harrod-McDaniel Post, No. 181, at Fort Recovery. He is also an Odd Fellow and a Mason, and was the first worshipful master elected by Fort Recovery Lodge, No. 539, F. and A. M.
Our subject relates an interesting incident of the days of 1851, when he was still a young man. With David J. Roop, one day early in July, he was searching for bullets on the old battle-field where General St. Clair met defeat, and accidentally found one of the pits in which the bodies of the victims of the terrible slaughter on that fatal 4th of November, 1791, had been buried. The remains were re-interred on September 10, 1851, being buried in 13 black walnut coffins, made by Mr. Rhodes and Robert G. Blake. The ceremonies of that day made it Mercer County's greatest day of the 19th century. Fully 5,000 people were present, coming from many of the counties of Western Ohio and Eastern Indiana, to pay a tribute of respect to the fallen heroes. Judge Bellamy Storer rode all the way from Cincinnati to Fort Recovery, on horseback, a journey of five days, in order to deliver the funeral oration.
It seems almost unnecessary to add that Captain Rhodes is a man of whom Mercer County is proud. His long and eventful life has served to prove his mettle as a man and to show to his fellow-citizens the fruits of patriotism, courage, industry and fidelity to duty. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
George Rickets, a veteran of the Civil War and a prominent citizen and old settler of Hopewell township, resides on his well-improved farm of 100 acres, located not far from Oregon station. Mr. Rickets was born August 3, 1834, in Fairfield County, Ohio, and is a son of Samuel and Sarah E. (Raudabaugh) Rickets.
Samuel Rickets was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, and his wife in Hocking County, Ohio, where the Raudabaugh family had settled at a very early date. They resided for a time in Hocking County, but later removed to Fairfield County, when pioneer conditions still existed.
George Rickets received his early education in an old log school house in the vicinity of his father's farm. He assisted in developing the land until 1864, when he enlisted in Company K, 156th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., which became a part of the Army of the Cumberland. After completing his first term of service, he became a veteran in February, 1865, re-enlisting in Company D, 193rd Reg., Ohio Vet. Vol. Inf. He was honorably discharged on August IO, 1865, having participated in innumerable skirmishes and several battles, the most important of which was that at Cumberland, Maryland, on August 1, 1864. The movements of his regiment took him over a large part of Maryland, Kentucky and Virginia. Mr. Rickets draws a pension of $12 per month.
In view of the present appearance of the farm of Mr. Rickets, it seems almost impossible to believe that when he settled in his little log cabin here, in 1865, this whole section of Hopewell township was still a forest, but since then he has cleared up his large farm, and in 1873 he built his present comfortable residence. He stands as a fair representative of the good farmers of this section of Mercer County.
On March 3, 1859, Mr. Rickets was married to Susan Crider, born in Fairfield County, Ohio, a daughter of the late Jacob Crider, who was a pioneer in Fairfield County. Three ch1ldren have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rickets, as follows: Sarah E., who is the wife of Joseph Montgomery, of Fairfield County; Perley R., who is the wife of John Wilson, of Hopewell township; and Charles C, who married Almeda Fast, resides with his father, engaged in farming.
In political sentiment, Mr. Rickets is a stanch Republican. He is a prominent member of Copp's Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is a trustee. He is a man who has always stood high in the estimation of his fellow-citizens, one whose sterling character is recognized by all who know him. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
CAPT. JAMES RILEY
Prominent among the first and best-known pioneers of Western Ohio, was the late Capt. James Riley, who won distinction as a traveler, navigator, author and statesman. He was born at, Middletown, Connecticut, October 27, 1777, and died at sea, March 13, 1840.
Like many other lads brought up in ship-building centers, James Riley early sought the adventures held out by a seafaring life and was but 15 years old when he shipped as a cabin boy on a trading vessel to the West Indies. By the time he was 20 years old he was master of a ship and had visited all the best-known commercial points that foreign vessels then touched. His whole life on the sea which covered many years was more or less adventurous and much of it is incorporated in his interesting book, "Riley's Narrative," which at the time was the first reliable account of many unknown countries and of savage tribes. A thrilling experience related was of the wreck of his vessel, in August, 1815, on the reef off Cape Bojador, Africa. The shipwrecked captain and crew landed without loss of life but were taken captive by a wandering tribe of Arabs by whom they were sold to Moorish merchantmen, who made slaves of them and transported them to the Desert of Sahara. Of their escape and of the final return to the United States after a long absence, Captain Riley writes entertainingly in his work.
Wearied of the sea and financially prostrated by the loss of his vessel and cargo, Captain Riley then turned his attention to the rapidly developing western part of Ohio. Securing a government contract, in association with his eldest son, James Watson Riley, he surveyed and laid out counties and townships all through the northwestern part of this State. He was for a period extensively engaged in the erection of mills, the building of roads and the opening up of opportunities for settlers. In 1823-24 he represented Darke and Shelby counties in the General Assembly of Ohio and he it was who introduced the bill which laid the foundation for the State's present superior public-school system. Failing health and a return of the old seafaring spirit induced him to return to commercial life on the water and, as probably he would have chosen, his last days were passed surrounded by the element which he loved so well.
In January, 1802, Captain Riley was married to Phebe Miller, a daughter of Hosea Miller, a "Minute Man" during the Revolutionary War. They had five children, namely: James Watson; Horatio Sprague; William Willshire; Amelia Ann, who married Dr. William Murdock, of Urbana, Ohio; and Phebe, who married John Jay Beach, of Connecticut.
James Watson Riley, the eldest of the above family, became one of Mercer County's most distinguished men. He was born in Middletown, Connecticut, February 20, 1804. When he was 19 years of age, he assisted his father in surveying Southern Michigan and Northern Ohio and Indiana. Before he had reached his majority he was appointed clerk of courts of Mercer County. At that time the county seat was St. Marys, but in 1839 it was moved to Celina. This position he held for a period of 20 years, resigning it in 1841 to take charge of the United States Land Office at Lima, being one of President William Henry Harrison's first appointees.
James Watson Riley was originally a Whig until the formation of the "Republican party, when he became one of the earliest and stanchest supporters of the new organization. In 1843 ne was elected to the Ohio Legislature and subsequently was appointed chief clerk of the State auditor. Upon his resignation of this position, he returned to Celina, always having been deeply interested in the development of this place. In 1853 he removed to Sandusky in order to give his younger children better educational advantages, and became attorney for the Sandusky, Mansfield & Newark Railroad Company. His death occurred at Celina, January 1, 1870, from an accident received at Toledo.
In September, 1827, Mr. Riley married Susan Ellis, of Alexander, New York, and they had six children born to them, namely: William Willshire, a physician and statesman, at Judsonia, Arkansas; Calvin Erastus, president of the Commercial Bank Company of Celina; Amelia Ann, deceased, formerly wife of Capt. William McMurray, a hero of the Civil War; James Watson, Jr., residing in Celina, who distinguished himself in the Civil War; Susan (wife of Hon. E. M. Ashley, of Denver, Colorado), who was one of the vice-presidents of the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago, and the first president of the Colorado Federation of Women's Clubs; and Mahala, who is the wife of Judge A. J. Hodder, a prominent resident of Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. James W. Riley also reared and adopted six orphan children. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
CALVIN WILLSHIRE RILEY
Calvin Willshire Riley, a well-known citizen of Jefferson township, residing on his homestead of 128 acres, in sections 3 and 34 and also owning another fine farm of 154 acres near Celina, was born at Celina, Ohio, April 16, 1860, and is a son of Calvin E. and Gabrilla (Brandon) Riley.
Mr. Riley was about two years old when his parents moved from Celina to the country home where he was reared, a beautiful location on Lake Mercer, some three and a half miles east of Celina. He attended the Old-town district school near his home, and later the Celina High School and still later the Normal School at Valparaiso, Indiana. When he was 18 years of age he began to teach school and spent one year at the Old-town school and another year at the Harmon school. With the exception of the year 1888, which he spent running a creamery at Fort Recovery, Mr. Riley has passed the whole of his married life on his present homestead farm. In the spring of 1882 he erected his commodious and comfortable frame residence and substantial barns. With these and other extensive improvements he has added greatly to the value of his property. In September, 1906, he purchased another farm, becoming the owner of a very valuable property of 154 acres, situated near Celina. In addition to farming his own lands, Mr. Riley farms for his father and thus operates some 300 acres. He makes stock-raising a feature of his work and specializes in raising horses, sheep and hogs.
For the past 15 years Mr. Riley has also been interested in the oil business and at one time owned a one-fourth interest in four strings of oil tools. He spent a part of the years 1905 and 1906 in the Illinois field, where he has land leased. He also has some oil leases in Mercer County. His many business interests are handled with great capacity, his progressive and enterprising methods bringing him success in almost every line. .
On June 13, 1881, Mr. Riley was married to Fannie E. DeRush, a daughter of William DeRush, of St. Marys, Ohio. They have three children, viz: Robert A., Calvin E., Jr., and James H.
Mr. Riley is not a very active politician but he is much interested at all times in the educational progress of his community and has been willing to serve as school director because he has thought he could be of value. He is a member of the Masons and the Maccabees. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
ROBERT ELLSWORTH RILEY, M. D.
Robert Ellsworth Riley, M. D., physician and druggist, whose business location is on Main street, Celina, is one of the town's leading citizens. He was born March 12, 1863, four miles east of Celina, and is a son of Calvin E. Riley, president of the Commercial Bank Company, and a pioneer of Mercer County, an extended sketch of whom will be found in another part of this work.
Robert E. Riley was reared in his native locality and received his preliminary education in the country schools. Later he became a student at the Ohio Normal University at Ada, following which he taught school for two winters and then entered the Chicago College of Pharmacy. Subsequently he completed his pharmaceutical course at Ada. He continued his medical studies until he was graduated in medicine at Rush Medical College, Chicago, in 1893. For one year following, he practiced at Chicago and during this time was visiting physician for the Central Free Dispensary, going from there to Pana, Illinois, where he continued to practice for a year and a half. In the fall of 1895 he settled at Celina and engaged in practice, in the meantime becoming interested in the drug business and subsequently purchasing a half interest in Charles A. McKim's drug-store. They continued the business under the firm name of McKim & Riley for about five years, when Dr. Riley bought out Mr. McKim and has been sole proprietor ever since. Dr. Riley is also interested in farm lands and oil leases in the county and is half owner of the drug business of B. L. Kindle & Company at Celina.
In 1894 Dr. Riley was united in marriage with Addie Brandon, daughter of the late Joel K. Brandon, an old and respected settler of Celina. Dr. and Mrs. Riley have two sons, Horatio B. and Joel K.
Politically Dr. Riley is identified with the Republican party, but has held no office of a public nature with the exception of that of United States pension examiner, which he has most efficiently filled for the past eight years. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias and is very prominent in Masonry, being a member of the blue lodge and chapter, at Celina, the commandery at Van Wert, and the consistory at Toledo, having received the 32nd degree. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
James Ross, superintendent of the Fort Recovery schools, and an educator who is known very favorably over the whole State of Ohio, was born at Moore's Hill, Dearborn County, Indiana, April 15, 1867, and is a son of David and Louisa (Jaques) Ross.
The father of Mr. Ross was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and was there reared and educated. He learned the tailoring trade and in young manhood removed to West Chester, Ohio, where he subsequently was married to Louisa Jaques. They became the parents of five sons and five daughters, whom they reared to maturity, all of whom, with one exception, became teachers. It was a remarkably intelligent family. David Ross later removed to Moore's Hill, Indiana, where he spent the last 40 years of his life, his death occurring in 1901. His widow who still survives resides at that place.
James Ross was reared and primarily educated in the town where he was born. After completing the common school course, he entered Moore's Hill College where he completed first the classical course and later a postgraduate course in literature, receiving the degree of A. B., from this well known institution, in 1894. In 1897 the degree of A. M. was conferred upon him by the same college.
In 1894 Mr. Ross became principal of the schools of West Chester, Ohio, where he remained for three years, returning to his home at Moore's Hill to spend every vacation and utilizing these occasions for further collegiate study. In 1897 he was called to Adams township, Champaign County, Ohio, to become superintendent of the Township High School, where he remained until he accepted the superintendency of the Fort Recovery Schools in 1898. The changes made by Mr. Ross, in the management and conduct of the schools under his charge, are very evident and the improvement on old methods is marked. The High School has been raised, through his management, to first grade, with a four-years course. Attendance has more than doubled since the people have become convinced that a man of culture and education is devoting the best energies of his life to this work and the progress made must be very gratifying to both teacher and students. Mr. Ross is not only a superintendent of marked executive ability and good judgment, but a teacher of force and power. He makes no radical change but lays a firm foundation and then progresses. Unassuming in his ways he has the ability, by his devoted, unselfish interest in his pupils, to inspire them with noble ideals and to keep them firmly as friends of the school, and through the pupils he seldom fails to reach the parent. He is an educator in the highest sense of the word. In 1897 Mr. Ross secured a State common school life certificate, and in 1898 the coveted State high school life certificate, a document representing a high grade of scholarship. He is a member of the Mercer County Board of School Examiners and is president of the Western Ohio Superintendents' Round Table.
Mr. Ross was married at West Chester, Ohio, on August 19, 1897, to Winnie E. Sortor, who is a daughter of Jacob Sortor, of that village and they have had three children, namely: Hazel Eva, who died aged 14 months, James Glen and Harold Raymond. The parents of Mr. Ross were Baptists and he was reared in that faith, but since coming to Fort Recovery he has been identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, as a teacher in the Sunday-school and leader of the church choir. Since 1904 he has been secretary of the Board of Public Affairs of Fort Recovery. He has been identified with the Masonic fraternity for some years, and is junior warden of Fort Recovery Lodge, No. 539, F. &. A. M. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
JOSEPH SAGER, M. D.
Joseph Sager, M. D., of Celina, whose portrait accompanies this sketch is one of the State's eminent physicians and surgeons, a valued contributor to medical literature and a careful, thoughtful, skilled man of science. Dr. Sager was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, January 19, 1839, and is a son of Shem and Mary (Nonnmaker) Sager and grandson of Gabriel Sager.
Gabriel Sager was born in Baden, Germany. After emigrating to America, he settled first in Pennsylvania, and then removed to Virginia, where he held slaves until he united with the Mennonite Church, when he freed them. During the War of the Revolution he served under General Washington as a private in a Virginia company. He married a sister of Captain Young, who was a staff officer under General Washington.
Shem Sager, the father of our subject, was born in 1782 in Shenandoah County, Virginia, and moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1810. During the War of 1812, he served first as a private and later as an orderly to Gen. Andrew Jackson, being present at the battle of New Orleans. For his second wife he married Mary Nonnmaker, who was born at Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1806. She died in 1854, followed by her husband in 1857. They had eight children. All of the seven sons served with distinction in the Civil War.
The boyhood of Joseph Sager was passed in Fairfield County. During 1857 and 1858 he was given educational opportunities at Findlay, Ohio, after which he taught school. In 1859 he entered upon the study of medicine with Dr. J. J. Updegraff, a noted physician and surgeon at St. Louis, Missouri, and later he attended two courses of lectures at what was then known as the McDowell Medical College of that city. In 1861 he entered the Union Army as a hospital steward and was taken prisoner at the battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky, in January, 1862, being held a prisoner of war for four months at Island No. 10. In April, 1862, after effecting his escape, with a comrade, he made his way, with great difficulty, to New Orleans, where he reported to Gen. Benjamin F. Butler who was in command of that city. The latter assigned him to duty at St. James Hospital, where he remained until the spring of 1863, when he was transferred to the United States steamer "Tennessee," in the capacity of surgeon's steward. By the close of the war the young student had acquired practice and experience, which years of collegiate training could scarcely have afforded him.
After his return from the army, Dr. Sager attended a course of medical lectures at Starling Medical College, Columbus, and received his diploma from this institution. Since then he has taken several post-graduate courses-in 1871 at Starling and in 1880 and 1881 at the Medical University of Baltimore. Dr. Sager engaged in practice at North Washington, Ohio, until 1884, when he came to Celina. Here he engaged in a general practice, but made a specialty of diseases of the eye and ear. He still continues an active practitioner and few in this section enjoy more fully the confidence and esteem of the public.
Dr. Sager was married (first) to Miss Shumaker, who died in 1886. His second marriage, in 1888, was to Jennie Krisher, who on the maternal side was related to Bishop Harris, formerly a noted divine of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Sager died April 16, 1905. On May 5, 1906, Dr. Sager was again married, to Mrs. Gabie Williams, of Celina, but at the time a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio; she is a daughter of David Lininger, of Celina. Dr. Sager and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Dr. Sager is surgeon for the Cincinnati Northern Railroad and belongs to the Northwestern Ohio Medical Association, which he has served as president; to the Mercer County Medical Society, of which he is president; to the Ohio State Medical Society, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Railway Surgeons and the American Microscopical Society.
Dr. Sager holds many advanced views, which a long course of practice and scientific study have developed. In a number of valuable contributions to various medical journals and others embodied in lectures before medical bodies, he has made clear to the less observant student the scientific value of his researches and the soundness of his opinion. He has a large and representative following. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
WILLIAM M. SHELLEY
William M. Shelley, a leading citizen of Union township, who has lived on his 80-acre farm in section 10 for the past 15 years, was born November 26, 1856, in Wayne County, Ohio, and is a son of Daniel and Eliza (Anderson) Shelley.
Joseph Anderson, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania and went to California in the period of the discovery of gold on the Pacific Coast, where he died not long after his arrival. His wife, who has been dead for 30 years, passed away at an advanced age.
Daniel Shelley was born near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1825, and died June 3, 1904, at the advanced age of 79 years. When a child he accompanied his parents to Wayne County, Ohio, where he grew to manhood and where he married Eliza Anderson, also a native of Pennsylvania, who when a small child came to Ohio with her parents, who settled in Wayne County. When Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Shelley came to Mercer County in 1860 they located on a farm in Union township near the Anderson Bethel Church, one and a quarter miles west and half a mile south of where our subject now lives. They were the parents of eight children, namely: Elizabeth, a resident of Lima, Ohio; Jacob, George and Margaret, deceased; William M., the subject of this sketch; Sarah, wife of Sylvester McQuoun, of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Lewis, also a resident of Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Joseph, who resides in Lima, Ohio. Mrs. Shelley died in 1884, aged 57 years.
William M. Shelley was reared in Union township and attended school in District No. 6. After leaving school he engaged in farming to which he has ever since devoted his time and energy. He was married January 24, 1880, to Lucinda Archer, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Archer, both of whom are now deceased. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Shelley, as follows: Lafy, who married Frank Small, lives at Mendon and has two children-Rex and Ruth; Frank, who is unmarried, lives at home and is engaged in operating oil wells; and Abigail and Laura, who live at home.
Mr. Shelley is a Republican and takes an active interest in the politics of the county. He has served as a delegate to county conventions a number of times and has been a township trustee for the past five years. He served as a member of the township Board of Education from 1894 to 1904, and through his efforts a special teacher was employed to give musical instruction in all the schools of the township. It was through the influence of Mr. Shelley and his associates that the Union Township Building was constructed at Mendon in 1904 at a cost of $12,000, being located on the Public Square, which was laid out by Justin Hamilton. Mr. Shelley is a member of Mendon Tent, No. 214, K. O. T. M., and also of Mendon Lodge, No. 416, K. of P. He has been through all the chairs of both lodges and served as a representative to the Grand Lodge, Knights of Pythias, at Toledo, Ohio, June 12-13, 1906. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
JOHN W. SHIVELY
John W. Shively, a leading citizen of Hopewell township, formerly township treasurer and the owner of a general store at Stedcke, was born in Jefferson township, Mercer County, Ohio, May 24, 1861. He is a son of William M. and Sarah E. (Carr) Shively.
Both parents of Mr. Shively were born in Ohio. The father was a soldier in the service of his country in the Civil War, and lost his life in that great struggle. It thus came about that our subject was thrown entirely upon his own resources when but 10 years of age. He left Jefferson township and for a number of years worked at farming throughout Mercer County, and later operated a farm for himself. In 1887 he embarked in the mercantile business at Stedcke, which he has conducted ever since, each year enlarging and adding to the stock of goods handled. He owns a farm of 40 acres in Hopewell township and another, of 80 acres, in Butler township and also operates another store, at Mercer. He is one of the county's enterprising and successful business men. He has also been very active in politics, has served as clerk of the Board of Elections of Hopewell township and for six consecutive years was township treasurer. He has also served as postmaster at Stedcke. He is a stanch Republican.
Mr. Shively has been twice married. His first wife, Sarah E. Buch, at death left two children, Melvin and Oral, the latter of whom is the wife of John Sielschott, of Mercer. He married (second) Eliza Crouch, and they have five children, namely: Chloe, Florence, Walter, Nora and Ernest B. Both he and his wife are members of the German Baptist Church.
Mr. Shively is a representative, self-made man and his material success is but the result of close application to business, honest dealing with his fellow-citizens and an integrity of character, which has brought him the confidence and esteem of those with whom he has come in contact. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
S. V. SLABAUGH
S. V. Slabaugh, a well-known citizen of Hopewell township, where he owns a finely developed farm of 95 acres, situated in section 14, is the present treasurer of the Mercer County Mutual Telephone Company, of which utility he was one of the leading promoters. Mr. Slabaugh was born in Licking County, Ohio, February 5, 1854, and is a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Higgy) Slabaugh.
Jacob Slabaugh was of German ancestry and was born in Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth Higgy, who was born in Switzerland. Her parents came to America in her childhood and settled first at Buffalo, New York, and then removed to Licking County, Ohio, where she married. Her death took place in Fairfield County, just across the line from Licking, in which latter county Jacob Slabaugh died in 1898; both were interred in Licking County.
S. V. Slabaugh was reared in his native locality and was mainly educated in the schools of Licking County, for a short time only enjoying the advantages offered at the Otterbein University at Westerville, Ohio. He then taught 14 winter terms of school in his native county, and in the spring of 1888 settled in Hopewell township. He served several years as clerk of the township and has always been active in public affairs although an independent voter, identified with no particular party.
Mr. Slabaugh married Alice Jeffries, born in Licking County, a daughter of Jerome Jeffries. They have three children, namely: Raymond M., Virgil L. and Edith M., all at home. The family belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church in Center township, in which Mr. Slabaugh is a class leader. He is recognized as one of the progressive, far-seeing men of the township, one whose modern ideas have proved very serviceable and acceptable to a large body of his fellow-citizens. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
TRUSSTEN BRUCE SNYDER
Trussten Bruce Snyder, who resides on his fine farm of 120 acres located in Section 18, is one of Union township's most progressive and representative citizens. He was born August 23, 1876, and is a son of George and Mary Ann (Lytle) Snyder.
George Snyder was born in Union township, Mercer County, Ohio, about 60 years ago, and lives about a mile and a half from the subject of this sketch. George Snyder's father was born in Hocking County, Ohio, and was one of the pioneers of Mercer County; he first located in Van Wert County and afterwards moved to Mercer County, settling in Union township, where he still resides. The mother of our subject was born in Wayne County, Ohio, and is still living. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. George Snyder; Clarence Fideles, who married Cora Groupe and resides on a farm west of his father's place; Etta, who married John Yeoman and lives in Indiana seven miles south of Decatur; Winnie, who married O. H. Krugh, of Union township; and Trussten Bruce.
Trussten B. Snyder was reared on his father's farm in Union township and received his education in the township schools, attending during the winter months and working on the farm during the summer. For the past 10 years Mr. Snyder has been located on his present farm, where he has been engaged in general farming. He is also interested to a considerable extent in raising stock. He has 50 acres of his land in corn, 30 acres in wheat and the remainder in hay and pasture; the farm is one of the best improved in the township.
On May 20, 1895, Mr. Snyder was married to Effie Hays, a daughter of L. P. and Cleopatra (Webb) Hays, both of whom were natives of Mercer County. Mr. Hays died in 1904 at the age of 64 years. Mrs. Hays is still living at the age of 66 years. They were the parents of the following children: Dora, deceased; Effie, wife of our subject; Icy, deceased; and Oscar, deceased. Mrs. Hays and her daughter are the only members of the family living.
Three children have been born to our subject and wife, namely: Leland, born January 20, 1897; Bernice, born September 21, 1899; and Victor, born November 12, 1902. Mr. Snyder is a Democrat in politics and is a member of the Knights of Pythias. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
Jonas Weist, a well-known citizen and successful farmer and stockraiser, residing on his valuable property which consists of 80 acres of land in Hopewell township, Mercer County, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, December 3, 1841, and is a son of Samuel and Lydia (Miesse) Weist.
The parents of Mr. Weist were of German ancestry, born in Pennsylvania, whence they came to Ohio and settled in early days in Fairfield County, where they lived until death.
Jonas Weist was reared on his father's farm in Fairfield County, and from his youth has been engaged in farming and stock-raising. He was1 formerly much interested in the raising of sheep but latterly has not given that industry so much attention. During the Civil War he went out from Fairfield County to assist in driving the raider Morgan from Ohio. In the spring of 1869 he removed from Fairfield to Mercer County and settled on a farm of 160 acres, which he cleared from the, woods, 80 acres of which he still retains.
Mr. Weist was married (first) August 28, 1861, in Fairfield County, to Catherine Crider, who became the mother of six children, the four survivors being as follows: William H., residing in Hopewell township, who married Emma Clutter and has four children-Nellie, Glenn, Pauline and Orly; Lanassa, who is the wife of Samuel Hayes-they reside in Dublin township and have two children, Bert and Maud; Charles D., who married Pearl Murlin, has one child, Carl, and lives in Union township; Clarence, a practicing physician at Columbus, who married Mary Davis. Mr. Weist was married (second) to Sarah Nuding, born in Hocking County, Ohio, a daughter of the late Frederick Nuding.
Politically, Mr. Weist is a Republican. He served six years as township trustee and at present is a member of the Board of Education of Hopewell township. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
Sylvester Wilkin, who fills the important position of superintendent of the public schools of Celina, is one of the best-known educators of the State and is popular as teacher and lecturer in various educational organizations. Mr. Wilkin was born in Licking County, Ohio, December 17, 1857, and is a son of William O. and Angeline (Fry) Wilkin, being one of a family of six children. The parents were farming people of Licking County, where, the family was one of substance and respectability. The father died in 1894.
Sylvester Wilkin was reared in his native county and was mainly educated in Van Wert and Mercer counties until he entered the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio, where he was graduated in 1878. His first location as a teacher was in Shelby County, Ohio, and from there he went to Miami County for a season, removing then to Union City, Indiana, where he remained until he was called to Celina on January 11, 1905, entering upon the duties of his present position as superintendent of the Celina schools. In J. W. Pogue, principal of the High School, Mr. Wilkin has a very able assistant. The pupils number about 600 and the corps of instructors is made up of 16 teachers.
Mr. Wilkin was united in marriage with Elizabeth Gray, a daughter of Daniel Gray. Mrs. Wilkin died in 1903, leaving five daughters. Mr. Wilkin and family belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church. They have a pleasant home on East Fulton street, Celina. In political sentiment, Mr. Wilkin is a Democrat. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
JOHN B. WILLENBORG, SR.
John B. Willenborg, Sr., one of the representative citizens and substantial farmers of Butler township, whose death occurred October 30, 1906, was born in Oldenberg, Germany, November 13, 1826, and was a son of John Theodore Willenborg, who died when his son John was 14 years old. Our subject's mother lived to the age of 85 years but never came to America.
At the age of 20 years John B. Willenborg started for America and landed at Baltimore in 1848, after a voyage of six weeks. He came on to Cincinnati, Ohio, landing in that city during the epidemic of cholera, after which, in the following year, came the smallpox. The healthy German youth assisted to nurse the sick back to convalescence but never was attacked by either disease himself. Later he learned the stove molding trade at Cincinnati, at which he worked for 12 years, during which he made, on an average, $25 per week, a great part of which he providently saved and put into a grocery business that he conducted for some time. He also worked as a street car conductor. He lived in Cincinnati from 1848 to 1882. In the latter year he bought and settled upon a 40-acre tract in section 34, Butler township, where he made his home until his death. To this original tract he added 33 1/3 acres in section 35 and 100 acres in section 3, which his eldest son has farmed. His success in life was the direct result of his own efforts.
On October 18, 1853, Mr. Willenborg was married to Gertrude Cuper, daughter of Frederick Cuper. She was also born in Germany and came to America with her parents when 10 years of age. They have had 10 children, seven of these reaching maturity as follows: John B., Jr.; Anna, wife of Frank Ukutter; Clement, of Covington, Kentucky; Theodore, the home farmer; Benjamin, also living at home, who taught school for eight years, five of these at Coldwater; George, of Gas City, Indiana; and Joseph J., at home. Three sons are married. Mr. Willenborg had 11 grandchildren. John B. Willenborg, Jr., learned the carriage painting trade and for five years was foreman of a factory at Cincinnati. He married Mary Wessel, of Price Hill, Cincinnati, and they have two children, Mary and Gertrude. Clement is a machinist and holds a position as assistant foreman at the American Tool Works, Cincinnati. He married Lizzie Naderman of that city and has three children- Adele, Archie and Mildred.
Mr. Willenborg belonged to the Catholic Church, as do all the surviving members of the family, and all his sons are members of the Knights of St. John. For six years he served as trustee of Butler township and made art efficient and careful official. On the 50th anniversary of his wedding, Mr. Willenborg's large barn burned, but this disaster he met with the same courage and resolution which, in former years, had carried him through many a crisis. He immediately built the substantial barn now standing. Mr. Willenborg was very highly esteemed throughout Butler township, his many sterling qualities bringing him the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
WARD CLIFTON ZELLER, M. D.
Ward Clifton Zeller, M. D., a successful physician and surgeon who is in the active practice of his profession at Rockford was born in Darke County, Ohio, March 5, 1874, and is a son of Dr. B. F. and Emily B. (Bauder) Zeller.
Dr. B. F. Zeller, father of our subject, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and came to Clark County, Ohio, in boyhood, when about 15 years of age, accompanying a brother-in-law, Andrew Mouk. He remained in Clark County until the beginning of the Civil War, when shortly after Fort Sumter was fired on, he enlisted in the 44th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., and participated in many of the most decisive battles of the war, including that of Corinth. After his army service was over he went to Iowa, where he taught school. Later he entered the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, where he was graduated in the class of 1875, and then settled at Stelvideo, Darke County, Ohio, where he successfully practiced for five years. His next location was Versailles, Darke County, where he remained several years, and then went to Texas, where he spent some years at Uvalda, returning then to Ohio. With the exception of a period spent at Crab Orchard, Kentucky, as physician at the summer resort there, Dr. B. F. Zeller has resided ever since in Champaign County, Ohio. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Dr. B. F. Zeller was united in marriage with Emily B. Bauder, a daughter of Levi and Cynthia (Allen) Bauder, the latter of whom is a granddaughter of Gen. Ethan Allen. Dr. and Mrs. Zeller have three sons, Henry Rush, a graduate of the Ohio Medical University, at Columbus, who is in the active practice of medicine at St. Paris, Champaign County, Ohio; F. Arthur, also a physician, graduating in the same class with his brother at the Ohio Medical University, who is located at Union City, Indiana; and Ward Clifton. The family presents the interesting spectacle of all the sons adopting the father's profession.
Ward C. Zeller after graduating from the High School at Christiansburg, entered the Ohio Normal University at Ada and received his diploma with the class of 1894. In the following year he entered the Ohio Medical University, at Columbus, and was graduated in the winter of 1896-97. He first located for practice at St. Paris, Champaign County, Ohio, after having taken an examination for assistant surgeon of the United States Army, which necessitated his remaining in Washington City for six months at the army museum. Passing this examination successfully, he received an appointment in the Philippine Islands, but later resigned this office and returned to St. Paris. His rank while in. the service was that of 1st lieutenant, with the salary and allowances of that rank.
Dr. Zeller continued to practice at St. Paris until 1905, when he turned his patients over to his brother and, after assisting his other brother to establish a practice at Union City, left there in July, 1905, and came to Rockford. He found here a hearty welcome.
In 1892 Dr. Zeller was married to Jennie Smith, who resided at No. 51 King avenue, Columbus, and is a daughter of John and Sarah Smith. The mother of Mrs. Zeller was a Gregg, a grand-niece of General Gregg, of the Confederate Army, and a member of the prominent Gregg family of Bourbon; County, Kentucky. The father of Mrs. Zeller served in the Union Army during the Civil War.
Dr. and Mrs. Zeller have two sons: Arthur Clifton, aged 13 years; and Harold Nye, aged n years. Both are bright, intelligent youths and it will be interesting to note, in their future careers, whether they inherit the professional leanings of father and grandfather.
In political sentiment, Dr. Zeller is a Republican but is too much occupied -with professional duties to permit of much activity in public affairs. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge at St. Paris and to the Sons of Veterans camp at Christiansburg. He possesses the personality of a physician and wins confidence in the sick room and hearty esteem among his fellow-citizens. [Source: History of Mercer County and its Representative Citizens, Vol. 1 by Biographical Pub. Co., 1907 - Sub by FoFG]
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