HENRY CLAY HART, M. D.
HENRY CLAY HART, M. D., now residing on his
well-improved farm of 160 acres, situated in section 25, Spencer
township, was one of the earliest physicians to settle at Spencerville,
where he continued in active practice for many years. Dr. Hart was born
July 19, 1841, at Troy, Miami County, Ohio, and is a son of Levi and
Sarah Sewell (Tullis) Hart. Dr. Hart comes of sturdy American patriot
stock, his ancestry reaching directly to one of the signers of the
Delaration of Independence. The father of Dr. Hart was born in New
Jersey and was one of th family of seven children. previous to coming
to Ohio he worked as a machinist; but later he became a farmer and died
in Ohio in 1865. He was a liberal man in relation to education and
religion and filled an important place in his community. He was
survived until 1886 by his wife, who was born in Virginia. The family
consisted of four children, namely: Francis C., Dorisa Ann, Henry Clay
and John B., the last named deceased in infancy.
Henry Clay Hart grew up on his father's farm and secured his
literary education in the schools at Delphos. He was employed later by
a local business house as bookkeeper until he reached his majority,
when, in August 1862, he entered the Union Army. He enlisted in Company
F, 118th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., at Delphos, and was mustered out at
Evansville, Indiana, from the Second Battalion, V. R. C., on July 6,
1865. For nearly 18 months he had held the position of post adjutant.
His health being poor at this time, as employed mainly at detached duty
and was proffered an honorable discharge by President Lincoln on this
account. This offer he did not take advantage of and this evidence of
patriotism brought him a personal letter from the President, commending
him in high terms.
After his return from the army, the young man tried farming for a
time, but his health was scarcely robust enough to enable him to make of
it a success. He then turned his attention to medicine. He prepared
for college with a local practitioner, and took a course of lectures in
the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, where he was graduated
April 23, 1869. In the same year he took up his residence at
Spencerville, which at that time was a village of 300 souls. He was the
third physician to locate here, the late Dr. Campbell and Dr. Rails
having come here a short time before. Dr. Hart practiced here for 20
years and then went to Monticello for two years. On account of failing
health, he then retired to his farm which, when he purchased it, was a
tract of dense woods lying along the canal, two and a half miles north
of Spencerville. In addition to being a fertile and productive
agricultural property, it is also valuable for the oil that underlies
it, 12 wells having been already developed. Dr. Hart has cleared all
this land with the exception of three acres. The land is well tiled and
substantial buildings have been erected. Dr. Hart lives retired, having
excellent tenants to look after his farming interests.
In April, 1889, Dr. Hart was married to Elizabeth Vashti Rathgeber,
who is a daughter of Jacob Rathgeber, of Spencer township. Two years
later the Doctor and wife retired to the farm where they enjoy all the
comforts and a large number of the luxuries of life. Mrs. Hart takes
great pleasure in her housekeeping and many of the Doctor's leisure
hours are passed in his well-equipped library.
Dr. Hart is a stanch Republican and for years as active in party
affairs. He has served in various offices and on numerous boards since
coming to Allen County. During two terms he was a member of the
Spencerville Town Council and while on that body was appointed street
commissioner. During his administration much of the east part of town
was laid out, and it was Dr. Hart's suggestion that the street east of
Pearl should be named "College" street. For two terms he was a member
of the Board of Education, and was chairman of the board when the school
building was erected. For over 11 years he was a member of the Board of
Health. In every way he has been one of the public-spirited and useful
citizens of Allen County and is held in general esteem. He is a member
of the local G. A. R. post of which he has been surgeon.
Dr. Hart is a well-read man and a pleasant conversationalist, whose
reminiscences of the early days of his practice in this locality are of
a most interesting nature. In those days he visited his patients on
horseback, the only possible way, as his way through cold and storm,
often at night, following bridle-paths through the forest.
The Doctor could have built up quite a fortune but he has always
given bounteously of his means to all worthy objects. He has
contributed to the erection of all the churches of his neighborhood as
well as to their support.
COL. HINCHMAN S. PROPHET
COL. HINCHMAN S. PROPHET, one of the prominent and
representative citizens of Lima, and one of the city's leading
attorneys, with offices in the Holmes Block, was born at Evesham
Burlington County, New Jersey, and is a son of John and Catherine
The parents of Colonel Prophet finally settled in Morrow County,
Ohio, and spent the remainder of their lives there.
The father of our subject was a man of sufficient means to give his
son excellent school advantages at Cardington, Ohio, and he was but 20
years old when he commenced the study of the law, which he completed
under the supervision of Judge J. A. Beebe, being admitted to the bar on
February 2, 1860, before the Supreme Court of Ohio. Scarcely had he had
time to realize the completion of the ambitious efforts of several
strenuous years, and feel that he had made a fair beginning on his
career, when the Civil War was precipitated. Among the first to offer
their services, he served three months in Company C, 15th Reg., Ohio
Vol. Inf., and at the close of this enlistment assisted in the
organization of Company B. 43rd Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf. Prior to 1863, when
continued ill health led to his resignation, he was promoted from 2nd
lieutenancy to the 1st lieutenancy, and from 1st lieutenancy to the
captaincy. In the second battle of Corinth, in 1862, Captain Prophet
was wounded. In his official report of the battle of Corinth, the
commanding general made honorable mention of Captain Prophet, commending
him for "conspicuous gallantry and efficiency in battle."
After his return home, he was commissioned colonel of the Second
Regiment, Ohio Militia, by Governor David Tod. He organized and
officered the regiment, but it was not called into service.
Resuming the duties which the call to arms had caused him to put
aside, Colonel Prophet continued to practice law and for five years he
also engaged in newspaper editing and publishing. In 1868 he was
appointed postmaster of Mount Gilead, where he was then residing. In
the fall of 1869, he was elected without opposition State Senator from
the 17th and 18th districts and served his constituents well through his
term of office; and what is remarkable he never missed a roll call nor a
vote. He was a member of several important committees, among them "
Common Schools and School Lands," and "Municipal Corporations."
He was also a member of a special committee that visited the Ohio
Soldiers' and Sailors 'Orphans Home at Xenia and on its recommendation
the home was bought by the State.
In 1872 he removed to Lima, becoming a member of the firm of Prophet
& Eastman, a firm which has successfully handled a large part of the
important litigation of this section for the past 25 years.
In May, 1870, Colonel Prophet, without solicitation, was made a
member of the Phonetic Society, established in Bath, England, by Sir
Isaac Pitman, the inventor of phonetic shorthand. He was the first
official court reporter in the Northwest. He was a member of the Ohio
Association of Stenographers, and also of the International Association.
For four year he was city solicitor; for the same length of time was
Prosecuting Attorney of Allen County. In 1882 he was elected mayor
of Lima; he served one term at this time, declining a renomination. In
1898 he was again elected mayor by the largest majority ever received by
any candidate for mayor of the city. He again declined a renomination.
In school and other local positions, he has been generous of his time,
money and advice, having served 19 years as a member of the Board of
Education, being president of the board for 10 years of this period. He
has served as president of the Ohio Association of Boards of Education,
and is a member of the National Association of School Boards and the
National Educational Association, and many other educational
Colonel Prophet was married December 25, 1867, to Francies A. Beebe,
who is a daughter of Judge J. A. Beebe. They have four children, Edgar
S., Herbert S., Grace Alice (Plate) and Kathryn E., who is a successful
teacher at Lima. They enjoy the comforts of a beautiful home at No. 414
West North street, where hospitality abounds, and education and culture
Politically, Colonel Prophet is identified with the Democratic Party.
He is a worthy citizen and a Christian gentleman. The family belong to
the Methodist Episcopal Church at Lima. Colonel Prophet is a member of
the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, the Grand Army of the Republic
and a number of fraternal orders.
For five consecutive years Colonel Prophet has been appointed a
delegate by the Governor to the National Conference of Charities and
Corrections. His portrait accompanies this sketch, being shown on a
CAPT. ALBERT E. GALE
CAPT. ALBERT E. GALE, a merchant tailor of Lima, was
born, reared and educated in Lima, being a son of E. Gale, the pioneer
tailor of this city. As soon as he was old enough to learn the business
he entered his father's office to familiarize himself with the work and
has been associated in the enterprise for the past 13 years. He is a
shrewd capable young man and is destined to become successful in
Mr. Gale is actively interested in the good government of the
community; he is one of the leading Republicans of Allen County and has
frequently served as delegate to State conventions. He has been a
member of the city central committee for the past eight years, holding
the office of treasurer for more than three years. He is captain of
Company C, Second Regiment, Ohio National Guard, and served as sergeant
in that company during the Spanish-American War. He is a member of the
United Spanish War Veterans, and is also a prominent member of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Elks.
CHARLES C. HELLER
CHARLES C. HELLER, one of the leading business men of
Beaver Dam, who conducts a large hardware store, tin shop and coal-yard,
was born at Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio, December 19, 1864, and is
a son of George C. and Johanna (Duvel) Heller.
George C. Heller, father of Charles C., was born in Baden, Germany,
and the mother in Hanover. Both came to America in childhood with their
parents. They have five children, as follows: Charles C; Albert H.,
who is professor of civil engineering in the Ohio State University;
Henrietta, who is the wife of William Kayser; and Cora, who lives at
Charles C. Heller attended school in his native place until he was 16
years of age, and then went into his father's wagon-shop where he worked
for some years. In 1892 he located at Beaver Dam, and in 1901 entered
into the hardware business in partnership with C. T. Kolter and J. F.
Seitz, under the firm name of Heller & Company. After one year Mr.
Heller sold out to his partners and bought the hardware business of Emil
Augsburger. Since that time Mr. Heller has continued in this line of
business at Beaver Dam, carrying a large line of general hardware,
stoves and tinware, operating a tin-shop, dealing also in farm
implements and vehicles, and in coal. He is also manager and secretary
of the Beaver Dam Home Telephone Company, which he organized in
Mr. Heller was married June 15, 1887, to Margaret Reid, who was born
in Cincinnati, Ohio, but who was reared at Wapakoneta, and is a daughter
of Thomas J. and Katherine Reid. They have four children: Marguerite,
Madeline, Miriam and Alberta.
Politically Mr. Heller has been a lifelong Democrat and has
frequently been elected to important local offices. He has been clerk
and president of the School Board, for a number of terms has been a
member of the Beaver Dam Board of Health, and for six years was
corporation treasurer. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows and Modern Woodmen of America. He belongs to the German
WILLIAM F. HOOVER
WILLIAM F. HOOVER, of Hoover & Company, the
well-known, genial furniture dealer of Lima, was born in Allen County in
1869 and is a son of John and Bernadina Hoover, who are esteemed
citizens of this city, now in the evening of life. John Hoover is a
native of Holland, but has been a citizen of America since his sixth
year. He came to Allen County about the year 1850 and helped in the
building of the C., H. & D. and ., Ft. W. & C. railways.
William F. Hoover received his education in the public schools of
Lima and at the age of 12 years entered the employ of Charles Garrison,
remaining with that gentleman until he went out of business. His next
employers were Donze & Campbell, in whose employ he continued four
years, until 1889, when he and his brother John opened a furniture store
under the firm name of Hoover Brothers. In 1899 the death of his
brother occurred and since then Mr. Hoover has conducted the business
alone. He has built up a large business and in addition to the store in
Lima has a branch store at Mansfield. He is the veteran business for
more than a quarter of a century. He is also interested in real estate
and is in every way a representative citizen of the county.
In 1893, Mr. Hoover was united in marriage to Ida M. Reed, a
daughter of Salem Reed, a prominent farmer of Shawnee township. Two
bright children have been born to this union, Palleene and Alleene.
While Mr. Hover is a Democrat in his political views, he does not always
vote the straight ticket, as he always gives his support to the man vest
fitted for the office. He is a member of the B. P. O. E. and the Eagles
and has been an officer in both orders.
MRS. MARY CHAMBERLIN
MRS. MARY CHAMBERLIN, an esteemed resident of Elida,
is the widow of the late William Chamberlin. She was born in Perry
County, Ohio, May 1, 1841, and is a daughter of George and Mary (Stemen)
Hunsaker, who located in Marion township, Allen County, when their
daughter Mary was a child of 11 years. She obtained her education in
the district schools of Marion township and at the age of 19 years, in
1860, became the wife of James Carman, a farmer of Sugar Creek township.
Three years later he was laid to rest in Carman cemetery and his widow
was left with two children, George and Elizabeth, who married Abel
Pitzenberger and at death left one child Ebert. George Carman was born
January 2, 1861, and married Rebecca Goode, a native of Perry County.
Seven children have been born to them, only four of whom survive, viz:
Vernie, who married Ora Herring; Alveda, who became the wife of Carl
Billimack and is the mother of two children Agnes and a child that died
in infancy; James and Bessie.
Eleven years after the death of Mr. Carman, his widow was married to
Armstead Hunt who died one year later. One child was born to this
union, Armstead Mason Hunt, Jr., whose splendid manhood fulfilled the
promise of his earlier years. Seeking to make his own way in life, he
had entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company~ as brakeman
and, in January, 1901, while running on a local at Upper Sandusky met
his death in the service. He had been reared and educated in Sugar
Creek township, where he was a universal favorite and his untimely death
cast a gloom over the entire community.
In September, 1890, Mrs. Hunt was married to William Chamberlin, a
carpenter who resided in Elida. Her life has been one of mingled
sunshine and shadow but the latter has often been so dark that it gave
no hint of recurring sunshine, and only her abiding trust in her
heavenly Father has enabled her to bear her crosses with fortitude and
calmness. She is a devout Christian, a member of the United Brethren
Church of Elida, and her life has been an inspiration to those about
her. Mrs. Chamberlin is well situated financially, owning the home in
Elida and also a good farm of 115 acres in Sugar Creek township. She
possesses marked business ability and is a woman who is esteemed and
respected by all who know her.