EABIA JOHN, deceased, for many years one of the most
highly respected residents of German township, was born in Ross County,
Ohio, October 14, 1831, and was a son of Griffith John, one of the first
settlers of Allen County, whose sketch may be found in the general
history of German township in Chapter Vll of this work.
Abia John was about one year old when he was brought to Allen
County, by his parents who located in German township, where he was
reared and educated. He learned the trade of carpenter; but remained at
home, assisting his father on the farm until he reached his majority.
Preferring to work at his trade rather than on a farm he then went to
Illinois and remained in that State for four years, working at various
points as a carpenter, and at the end of this period returning to Allen
County. The death of his father followed shortly after, and on his
mother's behalf the young man then took upon himself the management of
the general store, which his father had conducted so successfully.
On October 18, 1857, Mr. John was married to Phoebe Ann Myers, who is
a daughter of Silas and Matilda (Bowman) Myers. The Myers family moved
from Butler County to Allen County in 1850. Mrs. John was born in
Butler County, March 27, 1841, and was nine years of age when the family
located in German township, where she was reared and married. One of
her brothers, David H. Myers, resides in Marion township, Allen County.
He married Mary Ella Mounts, a daughter of Rev. James Mounts, of Van
Wert. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. John were: Ulysses Franklin,
born October 1, 1858, who died at the age of 28 years; Olive Matilda,
born December 7, 1861, also deceased at the age of 28 years; Silas
Meeker, born October 9, 1863, who died aged 22 years; Jehu Mounts, born
August 19, 1865, who resides with his mother he married Carrie Conrad,
of Elida, who died April 2, 1890, and was laid to rest in Greenlawn
Cemetery, near Elida; Martha Evelyn, born June 14, 1867, who married
George Copus, of Elida, and died in 1900, leaving two children Howard
Ray and Guy Edgar; Jesse Roberts, born September 8, 1869, who is single
and resides at home; Ella May, born September 28, 1871, who married
James Wesley Johns and lives at Findlay, Ohio; Tirza Arvilla, born June
23, 1876, who married Clinton Shock, of Texas, and has one child
Chadwick Emerson; Emma Annetta, born March 21, 1879, died aged 16 years;
and Pauline Myrtle, born April 11, 1881, who resides with her mother and
brothers on the old homestead.
Abia John died November 24, 1903, and his burial was in Greenlawn
Cemetery, by the side of his deceased children. The death of the two
oldest sons had weighed heavily upon him, both of them being promising
young men of sterling character. David Newton John while his brother
was educated at Delaware. Both brothers taught school and David Newton
John was superintendent of four schools in Texas.
The death of Abia John removed from German township one of its most
exemplary citizens. He was a man of character and integrity, honest in
his dealings with his fellow- men, kind in his treatment of his family
and true in every relation of life. His widow, who resides in Elida, is
a lady very highly esteemed and on account of her gentle and kind
neighborliness is known to every one as "Aunt Ann." Mr. John was a
steward in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was no politician but
served on the School Board.
JACOB KISSEL, one of the leading merchants of Lima,
in the line of staple and fancy groceries and choice meats, with store
located at Nos. 945-947 West High street, was born in Defiance County,
Ohio, in 1854, and is a son of the late Jacob Kissel, who was identified
with the business interests of Bryan, Ohio, for many years.
Our subject was reared at Bryan, Ohio, and after he completed his
education learned the butcher's business. In 1879 he went West and
spent four years at Leadville, Colorado, where he engaged in mining and
was also interested in a meat business. In 1883 he returned to Bryan
for a short season and then came to Lima, where he entered the employ of
a Mr. Brunt, in the meat business. Later, in association with J. C.
Schwartz, he purchased the business, and for six years it was conducted
under the firm name of Kessel & Schwartz, when the latter partner
retired from the firm and Mr. Kissel continued alone until 1900. For
several years he remained practically out of business, but resumed in
1905, establishing his present grocery and meat market. By his long
experience he has become well acquainted with the demands of the public,
and he carries a very complete and well-assorted stock, catering to the
best trade of the neighborhood.
In 1886 Mr. Kissel was married to Kate Koch, who died in 1902,
leaving four children, namely: Lenore, William, Florence and Mabel, all
students in the Lima schools. The family belongs to the German Reformed
Church. Mr. Kissel is a member of the Royal Arcanum and the Elks.
THOMAS J. EDWARDS
THOMAS J. EDWARDS, clerk of the courts of Allen
County, whose portrait accompanies this sketch, is one of the county's
most popular official. He was born at Gomer, Allen County, Ohio, on the
20th day of June, 1871, of Welsh parentage and is a son of Isaac D. and
Elizabeth E. Edwards, who were residents of this county for many years.
Our subject's father, who was an extensive merchant at Gomer, died in
1892, at Chattanooga, Tennessee; his widow still survives, as do also
three of their family of six children.
At the age of 12 years, Thomas J. Edwards began earning his own way.
During school vacations he would drive a mule in the coal mines,
receiving for his work very liberal pay for one who would take up the
work at that age. At the age of 14 years Mr. Edwards attended Grant
University at Chattanooga, Tennessee, for two terms. Soon after this,
his father embarked in business as a merchant, conducting a large store
at Chattanooga, Tennessee, with a full line of stoves and hardware, and
also a large tinning and cornice establishment. Taking advantage of
this opportunity, Thomas learned the tinners trade and completed his
trade under his father. He was of pleasant address and was gifted with
excellent business ideas; these facts coming to the attention of the
Southern Construction Company, he was engaged for four years as a
commercial traveler. After severing his relation with this company, he
came back to Lima, Ohio, and visited relatives and friends at Gomer,
returning to Lima on the 2nd day of January, 1894. He at once secured a
position as a clerk in a shoe store, afterwards going with the firm of
Hoover Brothers. Two years later he took up his old position as a
commercial traveler and thus continued to be engaged until 1902. In
this year at the urgent requests of his many friends, he became a
candidate for the office of county clerk. Although there never before
had been a contest for the nomination of the Republican ticket for a
county office, a lively contest was now precipitated, as two of the most
prominent men of Allen County aspired for the nomination; Mr. Edwards
received the nomination of the third ballot, After the nomination, he
went out and campaigned the county, man to man and was elected clerk of
the courts, he being the first Republican ever elected to the office in
Allen County. His friends stood by him most loyally in this election
and he did not forget them when he went into office. As the end of his
term of three years approached, his friends again secured for him the
Republican nomination and on November 7, 1905, he was reelected clerk of
the courts with a majority of 1, 559 votes, the largest majority ever
given any county candidate, with the exception of one of two. It was a
remarkable election; the State losing its Republican Governor, who was
running for a second term, and the Democratic candidate for that office
carrying Allen County by 1,490 votes; the city of Lima, normally
Republican by 800 votes, being carried by the Democrats, who elected all
of their candidates save one councilman. Mr. Edwards has proven himself
to be a very active and progressive citizen. It was largely due to his
efforts that Walter B. Richie was selected as a member of the commission
to locate the site of the new State Hospital for the Insane. Owing to
the over-crowded condition of the insane hospitals of the State, the
General Assembly of 1903 empowered the Governor to appoint a
non-partisan commission of five members to locate a site for a hospital
for the insane. A public meeting of the citizens of Lima was called and
the name of Walter B. Richie was selected and the same was presented to
Governor Myron T. Herrick for his consideration. Mr. Richie was
appointed a member of this commission on June 9, 1904. After visiting
sites in different parts of the State, the commission's final decision
was Allen County and the report was accepted by the Governor. The
Governor will recommend to the next General Assembly that an
appropriation be made to erect a State Hospital for the Insane, to be
built in Allen County.
Mr. Edwards was united in marriage with Caroline M. Hoover, who is a
daughter of John Hoover, a well-known citizen of Lima. They have one
son, Louis B. Mrs. Edwards is a devoted member of the Catholic Church,
while Mr. Edwards was reared a Congregationalist. Mr. Edwards'
fraternal connections include the Elks, Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of
America, Kinghts of Pythias, Maccabees and Eagles. He is 3rd
vice-president of the National Travelers' Protective Association of
America and in 1906 he was elected president of the Clerks' Association
of the State of Ohio and was further honored by being elected president
of the organization of the county officials of the State of Ohio. His
residence is No. 452 North West street, Lima. As county clerk, Mr.
Edwards has met with public approval, giving close and careful attention
to the duties of the office, which are of no light character, four
assistants being required. He possesses genial qualities, which have
made him a successful business man and which are very desirable in a
HARRY NEELEY, oil operator and oil contractor, at
Lima, has been a resident of this city for the past 15 years. he was
born in this county in 1870, and is a son of H. C. Neeley.
The father of Mr. Neeley was born in Allen County, Ohio in 1843, and
is a son of William Neeley, one of the early pioneers of the county. H.
C. Neeley was a farmer and also an oil contractor during his active
years, but is now living in retirement at Ottawa.
Harry Neeley was reared on his father's farm and obtained his
education in the local schools. Almost all of his business life has
been devoted to oil interests. In 1895 he commenced to contract at Lima
and through the Ohio oil fields, and this has been his main occupation
ever since. For the past seven years he has been associated with the
Ohio Oil Company. He owns three separate sets of drilling tools and,
with the exception of a few months, these have been in constant use ever
since he has been engaged in the business.
On October 23, 1896, Mr. Neeley was married to Della B. Johns, who is
a daughter of T. W. Johns, of Lima. They have one son, Robert L.
Mr. Neeley is one of Lima's first-class citizens, although he
devotes very little time to politics. For some years he has led a very
busy life, and is probably as well posted on the different oil fields,
their present value and furture promise, as any man in this section. He
belongs to Allen Lodge, No. 223, I. O. O. F.,at Lima.
JAMES L. MAUS
JAMES L. MAUS, the well- known wagon-maker of
LaFayette, was born in Perry township, Allen County, Ohio, November 14,
1840, and is a son of Nicholas Dill and Elizabeth (Creps) Maus, who were
natives of Maryland. The father was born in 1803 near where afterward
was to be fought the battle of Gettysburg. He came to Ohio in 1832 and
entered land in Perry township, Allen County, where he carried on
farming for many years and also operated a sawmill which was run by
water-power. He was a miller by trade and followed that business in his
native State. He made his home in Perry township until he retired from
active life when he spent some time in Fort Wayne and later returned to
Westminster, this county, where he passed away at the age of 95 years.
He was a Whig and later a Republican. His wife died in 1895 at the age
of 85 years. There were four children, namely: William A., Margaret
Elizabeth, Rebecca Barbara and James L. William A. served 12 months in
the 180th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., under Capt. Calvin S. Brice, and is
now a resident of Vaughnsville, Putnam County, Ohio. Margaret Elizabeth
became the wife of Samuel Moore and resided in Hardin County where she
died about 1899. Rebecca Barbara married Taylor Hefner and lived in
Fort Wayne, Indiana.
James L. Maus was the fourth and youngest of the family. He attended
school until he was 14 when he learned the trade of a carpenter, at
which he continued to work for several years. In 1867 he moved to
LaFayette and began his wagon-making business, and has been thus engaged
almost ever since. He operated a sawmill for some 12 years and also
started a feed-mill, now run by his sons.
On April 13, 1869, he was married to Hannah E. Leatherman, daughter
of Michael Leatherman, a prominent character of the early days of Allen
County and for many years probate judge. Their children are Arthur
Dill, a machinist and a member of the firm of Maus Brothers; Charles
Venton, who was killed in the mill when in his 17th year; Harry Page,
another member of the firm of Maus Brothers; Frank H., who conducts a
hotel at Fort Wane, Indiana; Ruea Mrytle, who lives at home; Jesse
Donald, who has great ability as a mechanic and is a photographer and
electrician of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and two daughters who died in
infancy. Mr. Maus is a Republican and cast his first vote for Abraham
Lincoln. He is a member of Sager Lodge, No. 513, F. & A. M., and was a
member of the G. A. R. post until its disorganization.
In the Civil War Mr. Maus was in Company H, 81st Reg., Ohio Vol.
Inf., under Capt. Charles M. Hughes and Colonel Morton; but after four
months became ill with measles and was discharged on account of
disability. As soon as he recovered he reenlisted in June, 1862, in
Company E, 99th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., under Capt. John Walters and from
that time was in the thickest of the fray, following Bragg's army and
taking part in the battles at Stone River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga.
Lookout Mountain and the Atlanta campaign, not missing an engagement in
which his regiment participated. While waiting in 1865 for a transfer
home from Salisbury, North Carolina, he was taken down with fever, which
ended his army experiences.
ADAM SIMONS, prominent in the brick manufacturing line
at Lima, has been one of the city's leading business men for a quarter
of a century. He was born in Seneca County, Ohio, in 1844, and is a son
of the late John Simons, who formerly was a substantial and well-known
farmer of Upper Sandusky.
Mr. Simons spent all the earlier years of his life on a farm in
Wyandotte County, and there obtained his education. In 1872 he left home
and removed to Delphos, where he engaged in the manufacture of brick
until 1880, when he came to Lima. Here he found an excellent field for
his industry and now stands at the head of the brick manufacturers of
the city. The quality of his product has done its own advertising, and
a canvass of Lima's most substantial structures will prove how large is
his local trade.
In 1869 Mr. Simons was united in marriage with Maria Hoffman, who is
a daughter of Eli Hoffman, a farmer of Upper Sandusky. They have reared
a family of nine children, namely: Frank, who is in business at
Lewiston Illinois; Henry, who is the engineer of the Lima central fire
department; Charles, who is chief engineer of the LaFayette (Indiana)
Traction Company; Minnie, who is the wife of A. McPheron, of Lima;
Permilla, who is the wife of E. F. Flaving, of Chicago; Rosa, who is the
wife of Byron S. Langin, of Lima, employed in the Lake Erie & Western
Railroad office; Bertha, living at home; Earl, who is employed at the
Lima Locomotive Works; and Raymond, who is attending school. The
inclinations of Mr. Simons' sons have led them into mechanics, where
each one is giving an excellent account of himself.
In the late years Mr. Simons has paid little attention to politics.
Both he and his wife are members of St. John's Catholic Church. Their
portraits accompany this sketch.
CAPT. JOHN M. BINGHAM
CAPT. JOHN M. BINGHAM, auditor of the National Roofing
Tile Company, of Lima, with offices in the Masonic Building, is one of
the city's well-known and representative men. he was born in 1865 at
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is a son of the late John M. Bingham and a
member of one of the oldest families of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.
Captain Bingham was reared in Warren County, in his native State,
attending school until the age of 12 years. After working there on a
farm for several years, he became a clerk in a general mercantile store
at West Newton. He clerked also at Jamestown, New York, and in 1882 was
engaged for some months in the same line at Cherry Grove, during the
period of the oil excitement at that point. From there he went to
Bradford and again was connected with a mercantile establishment.
coming to Lima in 1887, he was for one year in the shoe business and for
three years was interested in a grocery. In 1892 he entered the employ
of the C., H. & D. Railway Company. He filled various positions with
this corporation, finally becoming chief clerk to C. H. Cory, who is
chief of the department of motive power of this line. In April, 1905,
he accepted the position of auditor with the National Roofing Tile
Company and has a number of other interests.
Captain Bingham has been more or less prominent in military affairs
ever since March 29, 1888, when he enlisted as a private in Company C,
Second Regiment, Ohio National Guard, of which he was made corporal in
1891, sergeant in 1892, 2nd lieutenant, June 15, 1892, being
recommissioned as lieutenant on June 15, 1897. On April 1, 1899, he was
commissioned captain and adjutant on December 12, 1899. In June, 1903,
he resigned, but was reappointed on June 20th. During the
Spanish-American War he served as 2nd lieutenant of Company C, Second
Ohio Infantry, U. S. Volunteers, from May 10, 1898, until February 10,
1899. During his term of service in the United States army his regiment
was in camp at Knoxville, Chickamauga and Macon. He is one of the
best-known military men, in connection with the State organization in
On October 3, 1899, Captain Bingham was married to Catherine Lawlor,
who is a daughter of P. H. Lawlor, of Lima. One son, Charles, has been
born to this union.
Captain Bingham was a charter member of Lodge No. 436, Knights of
Columbus, at Lima, and was its financial treasurer. He belongs also to
the United Spanish War Veterans, and to the Knights of St. John. For
many years he has been a member of St. Rose Catholic Church, and for an
extended period was leader of its noted choir.