CHARLES WILLIAM WESTBAY
CHARLES WILLIAM WESTBAY, mayor of the village of West
Cairo and superintendent of schools, was born on a farm about three
miles from Lima, February 4, 1860. His parents were Isaiah and
Katherine (Crites) Westbay, both of whom were born in Allen County.
William Westbay, the paternal grandfather, who was a native of Scotland,
Settled in Pennsylvania, and later moved to Allen County, Ohio, where he
died. The maternal grandparents were Charles and Sophia Crites, natives
of Pennsylvania, and of German ancestry.
Isaiah Westbay was a farmer, but was also a musician of considerable
ability, and during the early years held singing-school at various
places throughout this section. He enlisted in Company G, 81st Reg.,
Ohio Vol. Inf., as musician, serving under Captain Overmyer as fifer and
flute player, and among the engagements in which he took part was that
at Corinth. He died March 7, 1864, a few days after returning to his
family. He left three children, the two eldest being twins who were
named in honor of their grandparents, our subject bearing the names of
both grand- fathers, Charles and William, while his sister was called
Sophia Jane. This sister married L. W. Allen and resides in Lima.
Martha Ozilla, the third Child, married J. M. Osborn and lives in
Our subject was reared on the farm and attended the common schools
during his youth. At the age of 20 years, he took a two years' course
in the Ohio Normal University at Ada, Ohio, and since that time has been
engaged in teaching, so far as is known, he is the veteran teacher of
the county, having taught consecutively here for the longest time. His
first charge was a district school which he taught in 1882 and for which
he received pay at the rate of $1 per day for the first three months.
In 1886 he came to West Cairo and for four years was a successful
teacher in the schools in the township. For three years he was
superintendent of schools at LaFayette, resigning to accept the position
of superintendent of the Monroe township schools. At the expiration of
that period he was elected superintendent of schools at West Cairo and
has held this place since. He is one of the most advanced educators of
the county, and has been remarkably successful with his work, fitting
the young men and women under his care to fill places of usefulness and
honor in the social and business world. He served on the County Board
of School Examiners for six years, and has been actively identified with
the growth and upbuilding of the community. He was postmaster at West
Cairo during Cleveland's second administration.
Mr. Westbay was married in 1886 to Miss Ritenour, a native of
Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Mandeville and Elizabeth
(Hackney) Ritenour, both natives of that State. Mrs. Westbay has borne
her husband four children, viz: Zeno Pearl; Corinne Savonarola; Naomi
Ernest; and Henry October. The family are members of the Christian
Church. Mr. Westbay is a Democrat and has been honored with a number of
offices in the village, serving as justice of the peace for nine years,
before being placed in the mayor's chair. Fraternally he is connected
with the Sons of Veterans, Knights of the Golden Eagle, and the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
JOHN O' BRIEN
JOHN O' BRIEN, general superintendent of The Buckeye
Pipe Line Company, of Lima, was born at Forestville, Chautauqua County,
New York, January 22, 1863, being a member of one of the old, well-known
families of the place.
After completing his education in the Forestville Academy, in
1878, Mr. O' Brien started out to make his own way in the world, with
little capital but his health, education and energy. Just at this time
the oil field of McKean County, Pennsylvania, was attracting residents
of all parts of the Union and thither the young man made his way. At
Bradford he became a messenger with the Western Union Telegraph Company,
and incidentally learned telegraphing. He was subsequently engaged as a
clerk in the Bradford office of the Erie Railroad and remained there as
clerk and telegraph operator until June 1, 1880. He then entered the
employ of the National Transit Company as a telegraph operator at
Corning, New York. He remained there two years and when the Corning
office was closed by the company, Mr. O'Brien was transferred back to
the Bradford office. He was engaged at different pump stations in the
oil field as his services were needed and thus became fully acquainted
with the different fields and all the details of the oil business. In
the latter part of 1882 the National Transit Company showed its
recognition of Mr. O. Brien's fidelity and ability by recalling him from
the field stations to their offices at Bradord, then the scene of the
companies greatest interests.
Mr. O' Brien remained in the Bradford office for five years, when he
was again promoted, being removed to the New York office, where he
became manager of the National Transit Company's telegraph business.
Five months later, on April 1, 1888, Mr. O'Brien permanently left the
telegraph department, but not the company's service. He was then placed
in charge of the Bradford oil field as assistant superintendent, a
position he most efficiently filled for seven years. On June 1, 1895,
he became superintendent of the whole Bradford district, and since then
he has been steadily advanced until at present he occupies one of the
most responsible positions in the gift of the company. On October 13,
1903, he was sent to Lima as assistant general superintendent of The
Buckeye Pipe Line Company, The Indiana Pipe Line Company, and made
general manager of the Prairie Oil & Gas Company, of the Kansas field.
The death of Daniel J. O' Day brought about his promotion as general
superintendent of The Buckeye Pipe Line Company and the Indiana Pipe
Line Company. He has severed his connections with the Prairie Oil &
Gas Company. He has other large interests, being a director of the
First National Bank of Independence, Kansas; a director of the
Independence Iron Works; a director of the Bartlesville ( I. T. ) Water
Company and is also interested as a stockholder in the Lima Trust
Company, the Bradford National Bank and in other financial institutions.
Mr. O' Brien was married to Louise Newell of Bradford,
Pennsylvania, on January 18, 1893, and they have three children, viz:
Louise Norman and Florence. The family belongs to St. Rose Catholic
Church at Lima.
MONROE M. EAST
MONROE M. EAST, a prominent citizen of this county,
owns 94 1/2 acres of land in sections 16 and 21, German township, where
he is successfully engaged in farming, He has five oil-wells in active
operation on his land, but has leased them to Dr. Charles E. Lawton, of
Cleveland, who now operates them. Mr. East is a son of Samuel and
Elizabeth (Mumaw) East, of German township. A sketch of Samuel East may
be found elsewhere in this work.
Monroe M. East married Priscilla Alice Crider, of Auglaize County, a
daughter of Isaac and Susan (Searfoss) Crider, who removed from Pickaway
County to Cridersville, Auglaize County, where Mrs. East was born on
March 17, 1855. Mr. and Mrs. East have six children: Susan Elizabeth,
born August 19, 1878, who died on the 11th of the following month; Olive
Ettie, born September 25, 1879, now living at home; Irene Belle, born
September 25, 1881, who married Alvin E. Herring, of German township, on
January 3, 1899, and has two children Harold Glenn and Horace Burdette;
Bessis May, born May 16, 1884, who married Oran Hepler, on March 31,
1902, and has one child Cledith Elizabeth; Samuel Cleveland, born May
11, 1888, who lives at home; and Catherine Gertrude, born April 12,
1894. Mr. East has taken a lively interest in educational matters and
has served as a member of the School Board. In politics he is a
On a foregoing page, in connection with this sketch is shown a
picture of Mr. and Mrs. East and family.
J. A. CHAPIN
J. A. CHAPIN, one of the leading architects of Lima
and one of the city's representative men, was born in 1853 at Mount
Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, and is a son of Dexter Chapin.
The aged father of our subject, now almost 80 years old, resides at
Lima and still takes much interest in passing events. For many years he
was one of the leading contractors here, and for a protracted period was
active in city politics, during which he served His mother was a
Franklin, belonging to the same branch of the family which gave the
world Benjamin Franklin.
Our subject was only two years of age when his parents came to Lima,
where they lived some time and then removed to Wapakoneta and later to
Cincinnati. While in Lima he attended the grammar department of the
Lima High School He also attended school at the other points where his
father's business called him. At Cincinnati he worked with Mitchell &
Ramelsberg, in the furniture business and then went into the office of
Michael & Renbaugh, of that city. He remained under instruction there
for several years.
Before the new Court House was erected at Lima, he returned to this
city and went to work at the carpenter's trade while he prepared himself
to open the first architect's office ever established here. He has
continued in this profession ever since and now has offices located in
the Holland Building. To him has been entrusted the drawing of plans
and designs for many of the most important buildings in the city of
Lima, among which we may mention: Lima Paper Mills, County Infirmary,
Children's Home, Holland Building and the new High School Building. In
the erection of this fine structure last mentioned he was associated
with F. L. Packard, the State architect, of Columbus. By experts it has
been conceded to be one of the finest school buildings in the State.
Many of the beautiful residences of Lima which attract favorable notice
and comment from the visitor were erected from designs prepared by Mr.
Chapin, who has also furnished plans for the building of a great many of
the large structures of the city.
In 1893 Mr. Chapin was married to Ella Ackerman, who is a daughter of
the late William Ackerman, who for years was identified with the
manufacturing interest of Lima.
Mr. Chapin is a 32nd degree Mason and belongs to the Blue Lodge,
Council, Chapter and Commandery at Lima, in which bodies he has
frequently held official position. He has done much toward making this
city one of beauty and modern aspect and has been called in to assist in
promoting various object of public utility.
HENRY KRUSE, who has resided continuously for upwards
of 40 years on his present farm in section 17, German township, is one of
the thrifty, substantial citizens of Allen County, was born July 24,
1833, in Prussia, Germany. His parents were Joseph and Anna Kruse. The
mother died in 1843 and the father followed her in 1848.
After the death of his father, Henry Kruse, who was then 15 years of
age, was bound out to a showmaker for a term of three years. After
serving out his time, he remained in the same service two years longer,
receiving wages for his labor. He was desirous of starting in business
for himself but, as the laws of the country did not allow him to take
such a step until he was of age, he decided to try his fortune in
With 25 of his fellow townspeople, he began the journey across the
ocean, the trip being made in a sailing vessel and covering a period of
eight weeks. An epidemic of smallpox broke out, which proved fatal to
seven of their number, and caused a change in the plans. They had
intended to land at New Orleans but this they were not permitted to do
on account of the smallpox, although they were allowed to proceed up the
Mississippi and Ohio rivers. A landing was made at Cincinnati. Mr.
Kruse remained in that city three and a half years working at his trade
and then went to Champaign County, near Urbana, Ohio, where he worked
four years on a farm. About this time he was married and leased the
farm for five years, until 1865, when he came to Allen County and
purchased 68 acres of land where he has since resided. Mr. Kruse
prospered in his business, and added to his original purchase until he
owned at one time 200 acres. Most of this has been sold since, his son
and son-in-law recently buying 140 acres of him. This leaves 30 acres
in the homestead.
Mr. Kruse was married in 1859 to Doretta Booman, who was born in
Hanover, Germany, November 24, 1833. Five children have been born to
them, namely: Charles, residing on the homestead, who married Minnie
Counselor, daughter of Rev. Counselor, of this county, and has six
children; Henry, who married Bertha Becker, who died 10 years ago,
leaving two sons, Earl and Kenneth, who live with their grandfather
Kruse; Anna, who married Jacob Smith, lives about three miles south of
Lima and has five children Paul, Alice, Gladys, Dean and Floy; Emma, who
married Lewis Freightner, lives in Lima and has two children Evan and
Robert; and Frank, who married Maggie Neely, lives in Lima and has one
child, Grace. Mr. Kruse is a Democrat. In religion he is a Lutheran
and is a trustee of the church of that denomination at Elida.
FRANK C. SMITH
FRANK C. SMITH, who is the senior member of the
large contracting firm of Smith & Sherrick, of Lima, has been a resident
of this city for the past 17 years. He was born at Westminster, Allen
County, Ohio, in 1867, and is a son of Isaac N. Smith and a grandson of
Abner Smith was born in Pennsylvania and removed to Athens County,
Ohio, about 1822. Later he moved to Champaign County and in 1829 to
Allen County, where he entered land near the present site of the town of
Westminster. In 1830 he moved his family here and during the
remainder of his life he was engaged in clearing and cultivating his
property. He was one of the first trustees of Auglaize township and
took an active part in its public affairs. politically he was a Whig.
Isaac N. Smith, father of our subject, now lives retired in his
pleasant home at No. 708 East Kibby street, Lima. He was born in 1839
in Auglaize township. When 14 years of age he started to learn the
carpenter's trade and continued work at the same until 1864, when he
enlisted in Company B, 151th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., for 100 days, but his
real service covered four months. He was detailed to the quarter-
master's department and was stationed during the greater part of the
time at Fort Reno. At the close of the war he returned home and resumed
carpenter work until 1868, when he engaged in wagon and carriage
manufacturing at Westminster. Mr. Smith continued in business for 10
years and had a large establishment, where he also did repair work and
dealt in agricultural implements. Some of the wagons built by him 40
years ago are still in commission in and about Westminster.
In June, 1888, Mr. Smith located in Lima, where he carried on
contracting until failing eyesight caused him to retire from business.
During his residence in Auglaize township, he was active in public
affairs and was elected to many of the township offices. He served four
years as assessor of that township, for years was school director and
was a man whose advice was asked and judgment consulted by his
Frank C. Smith of this sketch was reared and educated at
Westminster, and learned the carpenter's trade with his father. He
entered the employ of the Standard Oil Company and remained with that
corporation for six years, during four of which he was in charge of the
tanking department at different points. He built the first pump station
in the Ohio oil field. Then for some four years he followed his trade
by himself; but in 1898 he formed his present partnership with S. S.
Sherrick. This firm is engaged in a general contracting business and is
the leading firm in this line in Lima. Their large planning mill and
sash, door and blind factory is located at Nos. 330-332 South Union
In 1899 Frank C. Smith was married to Ella Biederman, of Auglaize
County. They have one son, Walter Stanley, aged five years. Both Mr.
Smith and his wife are members of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church at
In politics Mr. Smith is a zealous Republican and is a member of the
Republican Central Committee. He belongs also to the Lima Board of
Health, and is interested in all movements tending to promote the
welfare of the city. His fraternal connections are with the Odd Fellows
and Red Men.