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 township. 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]