Samuel East, one of German township's pioneer farmers
and leading citizens, township trustee and school director, was born in
Pickaway County, Ohio, December 2, 1830, and is a son of John and
Elizabeth (Hufferd) East.
Christopher East, the paternal grandfather, was a Hessian solder in
the British Army during the Revolutionary War, who later located in
Pickaway County, Ohio, followed agriculture and died there. His son,
John East, father of Samuel, was born near Harrisburg Pennsylvania,
December 12, 1794, and later moved to Pickaway County, Ohio, and died in
Allen County, September 20, 1862. On April 3, 1817, he married
Elizabeth Hufferd, who was born in 1799. Their children were two
daughters and three sons, namely: Mary, who married Jacob S. Baker;
Elizabeth, who married Samuel Clutter; Isaac, who married Barbara
Burkholder; Abraham, who married Jane McMillen; and Samuel, of this
sketch, who is the only survivor.
Samuel East was reared on a farm and has devoted his entire life to
agricultural pursuits. When prepared to take upon himself domestic
responsibilities, he chose for his wife Elizabeth Mumaw, the estimable
daughter of Frederick and Elenora (Loughe) Mumaw, old residents of Knox
County, Ohio. These children were born to them: Marion, born September
25, 1856, deceased September 23, 1857; Monroe M., born March 13, 1858,
who married Priscilla Alice Crider, daughter of Isaac Crider, November
1, 1877; Albert and Alfred (twins), born January 1, 1860 the former
deceased Fbruary 14, 1860, and the latter, who married Emma Kauffman,
October 29, 1881, still surviving; Melissa Ellen, born July 23, 1861,
who married Newton K. Ransbottom, November 29, 1877, and died May 27,
1879; Marietta, born October 16, 1862, who married Isaac D. Crider,
March 25, 1880; Irene,born March 23 1864, deceased Decmber 3, 1872;
Duley Iona, born November 15, 1865, who married S. T. Crites, September
13, 1887, and died November 19, 1896; and Sarah Princes, born October
26, 1869, who married Henry F. Desenberg, December 7, 1889, and died
March 21, 1900.
R. M. Taylor
R. M. Taylor, secretary, treasurer and manager of the
McKibben Gas Engine Company, of Lima, stands among the city's
representative business men, although scarcely yet in the prime of life.
He was born in England, in April, 1881, and is a son of George Taylor.
The father of R. M. Taylor is one of Allen County's best known men.
He graduated as a civil and as a mechanical engineer in England and came
to America in 1886. He has served as county surveyor and is a
professional civil engineer. One brother of our subject, Joe Taylor,
graduated from the Lima Business College, taking the world's record in
shorthand. He received the degrees of A. B. and B. S. from Lima College
where he taught for a time. Later he took an A. B. degree at Wooster
and still later received an A. B. at Harvard University. He is now
manager of the Uncas Paper Mills, of Norwich, Connecticut. Still
another brother, George Taylor, a graduate of the Lima High School,
received the degree of A. B. from the Western Reserve University, and is
assistant chief draughtsman for the Pennsylvania lines west of
R. M. Taylor was five years old when his parents came to America and
located at Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, where he lived until 1893, when
he came to Lima. He attended the Lima High School when Prof. Charles C.
Miller was in charge. Immediately after graduating, he entered the
shops of the C. H. & D. Railway, where he remained three and a half
years, gaining a thoroughly practical education. He next spent a short
season with Charles W. Angell, in his electrical works, after which he
was appointed inspector of locomotives for the Chicago, Cincinnati -
Louisville Railroad, He performed the duties of this office for six
months; when the road changed hands, Mr. Taylor bought an interest in
the McKibben Gas Engine Company, This company was incorporated April
11, 1901, with a capital stock of $10,000, with C. A. Moore, president;
Fred E. Herold, Vice-president, and R. M. Taylor, secretary, treasurer
and manager. The business is the manufacturing of gasoline engines,
repair work on steam and gas-engines and all kinds of boiler work. Mr.
Taylor is also a stockholder in the Bower Roller Bearing Comany, of
Dayton, Ohio. He was made treasurer of the Lima Paper Stock Company,
November 15, 1905.
For some 14 years Mr. Taylor has been a member of the Market Street
Presbyterian Church of Lima. He takes an active interest in public
matters and political contest, but not to the exclusion of his own
business interests. He is in every way qualified for the positions he
holds and is fast becoming one of the city's successful business men.
Frederic Altstaetter, one of the prominent farmers of
Monroe township, whose 200 acres of well-improved land are situated in
section 29, was born in this township, January 26, 1838, and is a son of
Jacob and Catherine (Bucher) Altstaetter.
The father of our subject was born in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany,
February 21, 1811, and came to the United States in 1832. He spent a
year in Maryland, where he followed his trade of cabinet-making at
Fredericktown, and then removed to Dayton, Ohio, in 1833. In 1835 he
came to Monroe township, Allen County, where a long, busy and useful
life was spent. He owned a very large body of land at one time, but
prior to his death he gave his children all but 200 acres. He learned
to speak the English language intelligently, but the German tongue was
the one usually herd in the home. He was a stanch supporter of the
Democratic party but never cared for political office. He was a man of
integrity of character and was one of the leading Germans of his
locality. It was through his efforts and generosity that the German
Evangelical Church was founded in Monroe Township. At Dayton, Ohio. he
was married to Catherine Bucher, who was born in Montgomery County, Ohio,
October 26, 1816, and died in Monroe township, in December, 1903. On
the paternal side her people came from Switzerland and settled first in
Our subject is one of 13 children, namely: Elizabeth, deceased;
Frederic; John, deceased; Susannah (Haas), of Lima; Sarah (Zulinger), of
Lima; George L., of Monroe township, whose sketch appears elsewhere in
this work; Michael, of Lima; Mary (Rummel), of Monroe township; Louisa,
Catherine and Bertha, deceased; Philip Jacob, living on the old homestead
whose sketch is given elsewhere in this work; and Abigail, deceased.
In 1866 our subject was married to Elizabeth Krouse and the resided
on her father's farm in Putnam County for 12 years. Then Mr.
Altstaetter bought his present well-improved farm, where he has carried
on general farming and stock-raising ever since.
Mrs. Altstaetter was born in Richland County, Ohio, August 18, 1847,
and was 20 years of age when she accompanied her parents to Putnam
County. They were John and Margaret (Stein) Krouse, natives of Germany,
but both of them had come as children to America. Mr. and Mrs.
Altstaetter have three sons, viz.: John, a merchant at Cairo; Charles,
who operates the home farm; and George F., who farms in Monroe township.
Mr. Altstaetter and wife are members of the German Reformed Church.
Politically, he is a Democrat.
W. B. Craig
W. B. Craig, manager of The Crystal Ice & Coal
Company, of Lima, Ohio, was born in Sidney, this State, and is a son of
Samuel R. Craig, who for more than 35 years has been an engineer for the
C., H. & D. Railway. Samuel R. Craig was born about 1847 in Butler
County, Pennsylvania, but came to Lima with his parents when a lad of
five years. The grandfather of our subject, Milton C. Craig, now
deceased, was also well known in railroad circles, as he assisted in the
building of the Pennsylvania road from Allegheny City to Fort Wayne,
Indiana, and held a responsible position with the company for 15 years.
Later he was identified with the C., H. & D. road for 18 years, when he
retired from active work. He served two terms on the board of directors
of Lima Water-Works and was a man well liked by everyone.
W. B. Craig has spent the greater part of his life in Lima where he
was educated, being graduated from the Lima High School in the class of
1890. Securing work with the C., H. & D. Railway, he was employed first
in their offices in Lima, and later went on the road, remaining in their
service about three years. The two years following were spent with the
Solar Refining Company, and he then engaged in the ice business for one
year. Being tendered the management of the Lima Ice & Coal Company, he
served in that capacity two years and was then identified with the Pure
Ice Company. This company built a plant in Lima and was afterward
succeeded by The Crystal Ice & Coal Company, Mr. Craig remaining with
the new management, and one year later being placed in charge of the
business. He is a shrewd business man and well fitted for the place,
having shown marked ability in looking after the interests of the
W. B. Craig was married in 1896 to Mary Thompson, daughter of
Frederick Thompson, a retired railroad man of Lima. They have one
child, Isabelle. Mr. Craig has but recently been elected to a seat in
the City Council of Lima, and it is certain that the interests of the
city will lose nothing by having so careful and conscientious a
gentleman to look after their advancement.
William Napier, one of the old pioneers of Shawnee
township, after a long, busy and useful life, passed away on his large
farm in section 14, on March 15, 1900.
Prior to his marriage William Napier had bought property at Pulaski,
Pennsylvania, and was married in that State while his bride was
temporarily residing there. She was Sarah Huff, born in Hubbard
township, Trumbull County, Ohio, April 7, 1818, and a daughter of Adam
and Anna (Hall) Huff, the former of whom was born in Virginia and the
latter, in New Jersey. The children born to William Napier and wife
were: Adelia, who died aged two years; Amanda, who died aged six years;
Charles, who died aged two years; Hanlon, who died at Toledo, in 1899,
who had been a member of the 54th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., in the Civil
War; Harriet B., wife of Silas Reed, of Shawnee township; Elizabeth
Adelia, wife of Salem Reed, of Shawnee township; Hillary C., a prominent
citizen of Lma and a member of the City Council, who married Emma Bird;
Susan, who married Freeman Reed, of Lima; Sarah, who married William A.
Smith; and Mary, who married John Striff.
On October 7, 1843, Mr. Napier started with his family from Trumbull
County to make a home in Allen County, which was then almost a
wilderness. The great wagon, with its house- hold goods and the family,
lumbered along through the unbroken forests, not a road having yet been
cut, crossed dangerous streams and had numerous adventures; but after a
journey of two weeks Mr. Napier reached Shawnee township and settled
first on a farm south of the one now occupied by his family. Later he
moved to the farm in section 14, on which he lived for 46 years. He
graded and constructed the road in front of his home, and in the year
following the Civil War erected the present comfortable brick house in
which Mrs. Napier still resides. Although he had ot been reared to
agricultural work, being a shoemaker and tanner, he cleared and put
under cultivation two farms, developing them from the forest. At one
time he owned 200 acres of land, but subsequently sold 80 acres to his
son-in-law, Salem Reed.
For many years Mr. Napier was identified with the Republican party;
but in later life, realizing the crime and curse of intemperance he cast
his influence in favor of the Prohibition party. He was a man of
principle and always had the courage of his convictions. He was a
worthy and valued member of the Disciples' Church at one time; but later
united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. To all denominations he was
liberal as became a Christian man, and he was a generous contributor to
the erection of Darling Church, the first Methodist Episcopal edifice in
his locality. Until infirmities prevented, he was active in church and
Sunday-school and no more thorough teacher of the Holy Scriptures could
be found. He had studied them carefully, and was frequently called upon
to make clear some obscure subject.
During the entire period of his active life Mr. Napier took an
interest in developing the township, assisting in framing good laws and
in forwarding movements for the building of churches and school-houses
and the construction of good roads. His venerable wife survives him;
and in spite of her burden of 88 years retains her active mental
faculties and enjoys the visits of her neighbors and devoted children.
E. M. Botkins
E. M. Botkins, a resident of Lima who for years was the
leading liveryman of the city, was born in Shelby County, Ohio, in 1858.
He was reared and educated in his native county, taking a course in the
schools of Sidney, after which he began working by the month on a farm.
He continued this work until about 1878 when he came to Lima and secured
a position as fireman on the C., H. & D. Railway under Engineer John
Black. Later he was promoted to the more responsible position of
engineer and had charge of an engine for 14 years, after which he gave
up railroading and engaged in the livery business with his brother W. S.
Botkins Brothers had the misfortune to be burned our after they had
been conducting their business but two and a half years, and from that
time until August, 1905, E. M. Botkins continued the business by
himself. He did a large business and accumulated sufficient means to
enable him to retire from active work at that time. He has since
employed his time in looking after his various business interests.
Mr. Botkins was married October 20, 1885, to Nellie Lepsit, daughter
of the late William Lepsit, who was a well and favorably known conductor
on the Pennsylvania Railroad up to the time of his death in the winter
of 1895. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Botkins: Carrie, who
graduated from the Lima High School, in the class of 1904, and Ruth, who
is yet attending school. The family are members of Trinity Methodist
Episcopal Church and take an active interest in the church work. Mr.
Botkins is a member of the I. O. O. F. During the 27 years of his
residence in Lima he has made a host of friends by his honorable and
Alexander Shenk, president of the National Bank of
Delphos, was born in Prussia, July 19,1842, and is a son of Martin and
Christine (Kern) Shenk.
The parents of Mr. Shenk were also natives of Prussia. The father
carried on a mercantile business in Prussia, and was a tailor by trade.
He was the father of five sons, all of whom, when reaching the proper
age, were subject to military duty if they remained under the home
government. Mr. Shenk decided to avoid, if possible, the expense and
what he felt was a great loss of time to his boys, in giving three years
of their young lives to the army, and in October, 1853, he emigrated
with his family to America.
The first stage of the long journey brought them to Paris, thence
they traveled to Havre, where the party was obliged to wait a month
before securing a passage. Finally accommodations were secured on a
vessel, and after a voyage of 42 days they were safely landed in New
York City in January, 1854. The destination of the family was the
settlement at Ottville, Putnam County, Ohio, six miles from Delphos,
where a number of their old friends, formerly from Prussia, had already
established themselves. The winter of 1853-54 was one of the unusual
severity, and Martin Shenk was compelled to locate temporarily at
Williamsburg, New York, where the family remained for six months. In
September, 1854, Mr. Shenk arrived with his family at Delphos and was so
pleased with the prospects of the place that he decided to locate here
permanently instead of a Ottville, as originally intended. He secured
work as a tailor at Delphos with Frank Byres, with whom he continued for
five years, and was later connected with the firm of Lye & Marble, also
a tailoring firm, for the same length of time.
A few years after locating at Delphos, Mr. Shenk purchased a small
farm of 10 acres which adjoined the corporation, and he lived on it
until 1863. The death of his wife occurred in February, 1867, and his
own in April, 1872.
Alexander Shenk began his education in Prussia and competed it at
Delphos. He was only a boy of 12 years when he began to make his own
way in the world, becoming a clerk in the drug-store of J. W. Hunt in
Delphos, with whom he remained for seven years. During this time he
earned the drug business very thoroughly, and in 1861, with his brother,
the late Saffron Shenk, he opened a drug-store in the lower end of
Delphos. After a partnership of two years, our subject bought his
brother's interest and continued the businesses alone for the next three
years, adding to his business by the purchase from Mr. Hunt, of the
drug-store in which he had been an apprentice. After the completion of
this business deal, he took John Walsh in as partner, and they conducted
the two stores, in different parts of the city, for about a year, after
which Mr. Shenk disposed of his interest to his former employer, Mr.
Hunt. Within four months, however, he was again actively engaged inn
the drug business in partnership with Michael Britain, and two years
later he bought Mr. Britain's interest and then admitted to partnership
his old clerk, George F. Lang. The firm of Shenk & Lang continued until
1880, when the partners sold the business.
The Union Flouring Mills began business at Delphos, in 1873, and for
five years the concern was conducted as a stock company; but business
misfortunes come upon it, and in the fall of 1879 it was sold at
sheriff's sale. Mr. Shenk bid in the property, acting as the agent of
what was then the First National Bank, the main creditor of the old
company. In the same year Mr. Shenk and another director of the bank
were instructed to remodel the property and put in into operation, and
as a result, on April, 1, 1880, the mill was started. While acting as
one of the committee to look after the mill, Mr. Shenk saw that under
good management it might be converted into an excellent paying property,
and after selling their drug business, the firm of Shenk & Lang
purchased the mill property.
In 1882 the mills were entirely remodeled and a full roller system
was put in at a cost of $9,000. A second remodeling took place in 1892,
when new and improved machinery was installed, and the mill made modern
in every particular. The mills did business under the name of the "
Eagle Flouring Mills" and became the most important in the county,
having an output of 150 barrels of flour per day. The firm did an
extensive business, becoming the largest wheat buyers in Allen and Van
Wert counties. Their average annual shipment was over 200, 000 bushels
of weat. The partnership continued until 1895, when Mr Shenk sold his
interest to Mr. Lang and the business is now conducted by the heirs of
the latter, who died some years since.
In 1872 Mr. Shenk became a director in the First National Bank and
he continued as such until the expiration of the bank's charter. In
1883 the National Bank of Delphos was organized as a successor to the
First National, by the same capitalists and Mr. Shenk continued on the
directing board. Upon the death of President Theodore Wrocklage, in
1891, Mr. Shenk was elected as his successor, a posistion he still
holds. Ever since coming to Delphos, he has taken an interest in the
city's various enterprises and he has given encouragement and assistance
to every worthy cause. He has been vice-president of the Delphos
Electric Light & Power Company, and from its organization he has been
president of the Delphos Building & Loan Association.
Not only in business circles has Mr. Shenk been prominent; in
spite of the responsibilities of a personal nature resting upon him, he
has found time to respond to the calls of his fellow- citizens and to
serve most efficiently in a number of township and county offices. For
12 years he was clerk of Marion Township. For two years he served in
the office of township trustee, and at the close of is term was elected
township treasurer, an office he held continuously for 10 years,
retiring from that office in 1892. In the latter year he was appointed
by the Board of County Commissioners a member of the board of trustees
of the Allen County Children's Home. He has been equally prominent as a
member of a number of civic boards and charitable and benevolent
In 1863 Mr. Shenk was united in marriage with Elizabeth Wrocklage,
who was a daughter of the late Theodore Wrocklage, formerly president of
the National Bank of Delphos, and one of the city's leading financers
and prominent men.
Mr. Shenk was reared in the Roman Carholic Church, and from boyhood
has taken an active part in its various channels of religious work and
social life. In 1878 when the building of the present stately structure
of the Chuch of St. John the Evangelist was commence, he was a member of
the board of trustees and its treasurer, and he had charge of the
finances and handled the contracts until completed. Its cost under his
careful management was $100,000, a sum he was mainly instrumental in
Calvin Osborn, one of the old established business men
of Lima, a dealer in granite and marble monuments, is also an honored
survivor of the Civil War, having given three years of his young manhood
to the service of his country. Mr. Osborn was born in Lordstown
township, Trumbull County, Ohio, April 5, 1841, and is a son of William
and Sarah (Jordan) Osborn.
The father of Mr. Osborn born at Redstone, Fayette County,
Pennsylvania, and accompanied his parents in childhood to Stark County,
Ohio, where he was reared and where he married. The mother of our
subject was a native of Scotland. Both parents died in Trumbull County.
For many years William Osborn was a prominent farmer and dairyman of
Trumbull County and was a leading citizen, interested in both political
and educational affairs. He was a stanch Abolitionist long before the
Civil War settled the question of human slavery. He reared a family of
five sons and six daughters, as follows: Henry M., who died in Coffey
County, Kansas, where he was a prominent agriculturist; John, who is a
retired farmer of North Jackson, Mahoning County, Ohio; Josiah S., who
has been a bookkeeper in rolling and wire mills at Cleveland, Ohio, for
over 40 years; James L., a retired farmer of North Jackson, Ohio; Julia,
deceased in 1873, who was the wife of Josiah Duncan, of Trumbull County;
Mary, deceased in 1851, who was the wife of Milo Beard, of Mahoning
County; Susan, who died in 1856; Sarah, who died in 1851; Jennie
(Dalzell), who resides in Oklahoma; and Alice, deceased in 1890, who was
the wife of W. J. Hull, of Allen County.
Calvin Osborn came first to Lima in 1860, a young teacher of 19
years. He continued to teach in this city until 1862, when he enlisted
for service in the Civil War, entering Company C, 84th Reg., Ohio Vol.
Inf. He was mustered into the army at Camp Chase, Columbus, and
immediately afterward accompanied the command to Cumberland City,
Maryland, his mettle being tried first at New Creek, where the enemy was
routed. Minor engagements followed as the Union forces pursued the
Confederates through the mountains of West Virginia and Maryland, and
his regiment was also utilized to convey prisoners from one point to
another. During his three years of service, Mr. Osborn's record shows
that he was never missing from the post of duty and at all times was a
cheerful, brave and efficient soldier. He was mustered out of the
service at Camp Delaware.
Mr. Osborn returned then to Lima and taught school for some years,
and then went into a milling business for some six years, after which he
went on the road as traveling salesman for J. D. Halter, of Lima, in the
granite and monument line. Since closing out that contract, he has been
engaged in the same line for himself. He has resided in the same home
at No. 325 West Wayne Street, since May 5, 1865.
On December 21,1864, Mr. Osborn was married to Frances A. Barber, a
daughter of the late John and Nancy (Ferguson) Barber, who was born in
Pennsylvania and were early settlers in Bath township, Allen County,
coming here in 1829. Mr. and Mrs. Osborn have two sons Grant C. and
Clifton A. The former is manager of the Cleveland-Berea Stone Company,
for the Western States, with headquarters at Chicago, and the latter is
associated with F. E. Harman, of Lima. Mr. Osborn and his wife are
members of the Disciples' Church. Politically he is a Republican and
has frequently served as a delegate to conventions. He is a member of
Mart Armstrong Post, No. 202, G. A. R.