A. A. LLEWELLYN
A. A. LLEWELLYN, proprietor of the People's Book
Store at Lima, has been a resident of the city for 25 years and with his
estimable wife, has been a leader in social and business circles. He
was born at Sweet Springs, West Virginia, and is a son of A. A.
Llewellyn, Sr., and Elizabeth B. (Bowyer) Llewellyn. The father was a
farmer and stock man of West Virginia who during the days of slavery had
been educated for an overseer, but, before the emancipation of the
negro, he removed to McLean County, Illinois, and there engaged in
agriculture, being regarded as the most scientific farmer of his time
Our subject received his education in Bloomington, Illinois, and
then for a period of 12 years embarked in the drug, stationery and
wall-paper business in Champaign, Illinois. Afterward he traveled for
the D. B. Scully Syrup Company, of Chicago, covering for 21 consecutive
years the territory of Western Ohio, Southern Michigan, and Eastern and
Central Indiana. Resigning that position he purchased his present
business in September, 1905, and both he and his wife are giving it
their attention, promising to make it the leading book store of the
On April 3, 1883, Mr. Llewellyn was married to Martha Bowyer. In
1830 her father, Madison Bowyer, whose biography appears elsewhere in
this work, came to this county from Eastern Virginia where his father,
Isaac Bowyer, had entered a large tract of land from the government.
Mrs. Llewellyn is a lady of high literary and artistic attainments,
having graduated in 1878, from the college at Delaware, Ohio, where she
received the degree of Bachelor of Literature. Coming to Lima, she was
the first to introduce painting in oil here and had large classes in art
work and painting until she gave up teaching some three years ago. She
is an active member of the Women's Auxiliary of Lima College and a
prominent society leader. Both Mr. and Mrs. Llewellyn are members of the
First Congregational church of Lima, contributing liberally of both time
and means to the cause of religion. Mr. Llewelly is also a prominent
member of the T. P. A.
D. W. MILLER
D. W. MILLER, a member of the general contracting firm
of Ruhlen & Miller, at Lima, has been resident of this city since 1891.
He was born in Allen County in 1869, and is a son of Marcus Miller, one
of the oldest settlers in Allen County, Who died in 1876.
D. W. Miller was reared and educated in this county and still owns a
good farm in Bath township, although the greater part of his life has
been given to the carpenter's trade and contracting. He learned his
trade in youth and followed it throughout the county until with in the
past five years, since when he has been associated with Mr. Ruhlen in
general contracting and in operating a large planning mill. This firm is
one which enjoys the entire confidence of the public and has erected a
large proportion of the fine building in Lima. Some of the buildings in
their list, and which prove the substantial character of their work, are
the new residence of Edward M. Gooding on West Market street; Herman
Eckhardt's residence on Cole street; John D. Finn's residence on
McKinley street; and the Renz and Duffield blocks, both on Main street.
They have also done a large amount of work in the county, have erected
three schoolhouses in Bath township and are now engaged in making
additions to the County Infirmary.
Mr. Miller votes as does a good citizen but he takes no active
interest in politics. Fraternally, he is prominent as an Odd Fellow,
being past grand of Allen Lodge, No. 223, past chief patriarch of the
Encampment and a member of Canton Orion, NO. 24, Patriarchs Militant.
J. L. SIMPSON
J. L. SIMPSON, secretary and treasurer of The East
Iron & Machine Company, of Lima, was born in Logan County, Ohio, in
1860, and is a son of Wilson W. Simpson, of that County, who was a
member of the 66th Ohio Regiment and died in the Civil War, in 1862,
from disease contracted in the service.
J. L. Simpson was reared and educated in Logan County, and, with
maturity, obtained a position with the "Big Four" Railroad. He was
employed in various capacities for a period of 12 years, when he became
bookkeeper and estimator for the Champion Iron Company, of Canton, Ohio.
He served in this capacity for about eight years and was then elected
secretary, holding that office four years and six months. When he
severed his connection with that company, he organized the Columbus
Elevator & Iron Company, which was incorporated in 1902 with a captal
stock of $10,0000. They began operations, in May of that year, with the
following officers: H. W. V. Moler, president; F. S. Varlett,
Vice-president; and J. L. Simpson, secretary, treasurer and general
manager. The company was merged into The East Iron & Machine Company
and incorporated, in March, 1903, with a capital stock of $100,000, the
officers being: W. S. East, president; A. L. Neuman, vice-president; and
J. L. Simpson, secretary and treasurer. In March, 1903, Mr. Simpson
moved to Lima to assume the duties of his office, and has made many
friends during his short residence here. He is a business man of
experience and ability, and devotes his entire time to the work of his
office, which is conducted in the most systematic and effective manner.
In 1885 Mr. Simpson was married to Eva Spencer, by whom he has two
bright children Hugh L. and Boyd M., both students of the Lima High
School. Mrs. Simpson's father was the late W. Spencer, one of the
foremost agriculturists of Logan County, who died in May, 1905. Mr.
Simpson is an Odd Fellow and is also a prominent Mason, being a member
of the Knights Templar. He is affiliated with the Disciples' Church of
REV. ROBERT JAMES THOMSON, D. D.
REV. ROBERT JAMES THOMSON, D. D., late pastor of the
Market Street Presbyterian Church, of Lima, whose portrait appears in
this chapter, was born in Syracuse, New York, on the 14th of August,
1855. He attended the common schools in his native city until 12 years
of age, then left school to learn the mason's trade with his uncle, with
whom he worked till he was 18. He then entered Syracuse University and,
following this, Hamilton College, completing the four years' course in
three years in each institution. At Hamilton he tutored throughout the
course, graduating third in his class. He entered Union Theological
Seminary in New York City, graduating there from in 1884. While at the
seminary he had charge of Mizpah Chapel, a Russian Church on 10th avenue
near 57th street, and here he met Alice Walton, one of the Sunday-school
teachers, who in 1885 became his wife. In May, 1884, he took a
four-months' trip through Europe. His companions on this journey were
Douglass Walton, brother of his fiancée, and Rev. S. G. Anderson, who
was for 12 years pastor of Westminster Church in Toledo, and whose death
occurred in October, 1900. On his return from Europe, Dr. Thomson took
charge of the First Presbyterian Church at Winona, Minnesota, where he
remained until he was called to the Market Street Presbyterian Church of
Lima in November, 1890.
Dr. Thomson was always a tireless worker. As chaplain of the Second
Regiment of the Ohio National Guard he was especially successful in his
work among the boys, using a great deal of tact, which in such a
position is peculiarly needful. He held this office from 1900 to 1905,
when he retired on account of his prospective change of residence.
As a writer of short stories and also as a lecturer, Dr. Thomson won
a considerable reputation. Several of his stories were taken up by the
Youth's Companion. It is interesting to note that the original of
Westcott's hero of "David Harm" fame lived in Syracuse in Dr. Thomson's
younger days and the two families were intimate friends and neighbors.
During his pastorate at the Presbyterian Church in Lima he was made
chairman of the missionary committee of the presbytery, and also was
made moderator of the synod, a position which he filled with great
In the year 1905, on account of ill health, he decided to give up the
ministry. He became interested in an orange grove plantation in Porto
Rico and on the 25th of March sailed for the West Indies. His health,
however, was not benefited by the change and, being recalled by a
unanimous vote of his congregation, he returned to his pastorate at
After a long illness, Dr. Thomson died at Clifton Springs
Sanitarium, New York, November 24, 1905. In November 27th a most
impressive service was held over his remains at Lima in the church where
he had so often preached the Sacred Word. His last resting place is in
Greenlawn Cemetery. On December 3 a beautiful memorial service was held
in his church.
"The Interior," in its issue of January, 1899, paid him the
following tribute: "Dr. Thomson, of the Market Street Church, is a man
of striking personality. The extremes of society seem to have
contributed to his making. He has the broad hard hand of an humble
toiler that has been close to nature, a face that classes him on sight
with the aristocracy of the intellect, and a manner that would carry him
gracefully into any social circle. His is a personality that takes to
itself friends, even of the mammon of unrighteousness, friends that come
not to sojourn, but to abide with him.
"This American-Scotchman was born in Syracuse, New York, where he
could look out on the Onondaga hills that the Irish orator Burke
regarded as a synonym, of savagery. Here he must have gained his
remarkable powers of analysis. He seems to be able to take things apart
and show you how easy it is to put them together again. Dr. Thomson has
had two pastorates, one at Winona, Minnesota, of six and a half years,
and at Lima. He is stronger with his people and stronger with the Lord
every day. The summer of 1897, Wooster University did a very gracious
thing in conferring on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.
Pre-eminently is Dr. Thomson a preacher of the work. As a preacher, he
is striking, eloquent, magnetic and powerful. He dose not come to the
sanctuary each Lord's Day to sell Joseph's wheat at so much a bushel.
He has resources of his own and can make Egypt grow wheat at a time when
most would pronounce it famine. This takes his pupit oratory out of the
rut, divests it of bookishness and makes it fresh and interesting to an
audience. A man of such parts is, of course, largely in demand by the
public. His is the pioneer voice preparing the way for all public
enterprises. Dr. Thomson married into one of the prominent families of
New York City. His accomplished wife is a great help to her husband in
REV. THADDEUS L. WILTSEE
REV. THADDEUS L. WILTSEE, late pastor of Grace
Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Ontario, Canada, in 1850. When
a boy of 13 he went to Chicago and secured a position as clerk in a
bank. His college education was received at North- western University,
Evanston, Illinois, and later at the Ohio Wesleyan, where he graduated
in 1873. After his graduation he was engaged for two years in the work
of the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Church at Holly Springs,
Mississippi. Here he met and married Margaret Herbert.
Returning to Ohio in 1875, he entered the Central Ohio Conference and
served successively charges at Upper Sandusky and Marion. He was then
sent to Toledo, remaining at the Broadway Church for three years and
subsequently serving St. Paul's Church of that city for the same length
of time. At the close of his ministry there his failing health
compelled him to seek a change of climate in Colorado. His activity
there was unabated, for we find him superintendent of missions in
Arizona. To him is due the establishment of the first mission among the
Navajo Indians in that State.
The climate, however, did not agree with his wife and he returned to
the Central Ohio Conference, of which he became an active and prominent
member he was sent to Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church at Lima and
here, in 1891, Mrs. Wiltsee died. Within a year her death was followed
by that of a son. Four children of the first marriage are still living.
They are: Rev. Herbert Wiltsee, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin; Edward
Wiltsee, who is in business in Chicago; Mrs. Harriet Demorest, of
Parkersburg, West Virginia; and Margaret Wiltsee, who is a student at
Delaware, Ohio. In 1893 Mr. Wiltse married Alberta Smith, by whom he
had one son, Warren.
From Lima he was sent to Sidney, Ohio, and later to Marysville, Ohio.
In 1900 he toured abroad for several months and after his return engaged
extensively in lecturing.
In 1904 Mr. Wiltsee was installed at Grace Methodist Episcopal
Church, Lima, and again in 1905 he received the same appointment, but
his carrerr was cut short by his death, which occurred at the Lima
Hospital on Saturday, October 14, 1905. He was greatly loved by reason
of his high Christian character and his earnest, successful work. His
congregation and his many friends deeply mourn his loss.
REV. JOSEPH MERCER AVANN
REV. JOSEPH MERCER AVANN, pastor of Trinity Methodist
Episcopal Church, was born at Teuterden, in the beautiful County of
Kent, England. He was second in a family of eight children, and when 8
years old came with his parents to America, where the family settled in
Breckville, near Cleveland, Ohio. The mother's maiden name was Mercer.
On the father's side he is a descendant of the French Huguenots, who in
the 17th century fled from the persecution of the home country and
sought refuge in England. His early training and home life were
eminently religious. Family worship was a part of the everyday routine,
and although the church was three miles distant the family were never
absent. Indeed, some of the members have no recollection of every
missing a Sunday. Such training, supplementing inherited proclivities,
could not but bear fruit in a strong sense of the supremacy of the
claims of man's mission, in a courage that recognized no obstacles, and
in singleness of aim. Four of the children who lived to maturity worked
their way through college, without a dollar of help and never spending a
dime that was not earned.
After finishing his course at Berea College, Mr. Avann entered the
Boston Theological School, and was the first man from Ohio to attend a
Methodist school of theology. The era in the history of the Methodist
Church, when a college education and theological training were
considered non-essential, had closed and Mr. Avann is thus classed with
the new generation of Methodist preachers. He was chosen president of
his class, whose large membership came from many States, and he
graduated with his degree in theology in 1877. Joining the New England
Conference, his first charge was North Brookfield, Massachusetts,
followed successively by appointments in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and
Waltham, in the same State. He was next transferred to St. Paul's
Church, Manchester, the largest church of any denomination in New
Hampshire. Under Mr. Avann's ministration the growth was phenomenal and
he remained here, as in all previous charges, three years, then the full
time limit. During his pastorate at St. Paul's delegation from the
First Methodist Episcopal Church, Findlay, Ohio, came to hear him, and
by unanimous request of the quarterly conference Mr. Avann was
transferred to Ohio and became pastor of First Church, Findlay, in
April, 1889. Numerically and financially, this church soon became the
strongest in the Central Ohio Conference, and the same success followed
his appointment to the First Methodist Church, Van Wert, Ohio. Three
years later, much against his wishes, he was made presiding elder of the
Delaware district and the following year saw him transferred to the
Toledo district. His six years' administration here resulted in an
extraordinary development of Methodism. More than 20 churches were
built, including all the best in the district: St. Paul's, St. John's,
St. James', Asbury, Clark Street, Central Avenue in Toledo, also Bowling
Green, Oak Harbor, Weston and Elmore. Not alone were churches organized
and houses of worship built, but the salaries of the ministers in the
district were increased over 25 per cent, and the missionary offerings
were increased 55 per cent.
After serving his full term as presiding elder, Mr. Avann was
appointed to the William Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Delaware,
Ohio, where a successful year preceded his coming to Trinity Methodist
Episcopal Church, Lima.
This is the largest Protestant church in the city and Mr. Avann is
now serving his third year as its incumbent. Many improvements both in
the church and parsonage attest to his wise and efficient management.
Trinity was never more united and prosperous than at present. The
congregations are large and the church is one of the strongest forces in
the religious activities of the city.