T. A. COLLINS
T. A. COLLINS, one of Lima's prominent citizens, a
member of the City Council and one of the leading insurance men, was
born at Troy, Miami County, Ohio, August 6, 1862, and is a son of John
and Margaret (Irvin) Collins.
The late John Collins was a valued employee of the C., H. & D.
Railway for a quarter of a century. He was a man of superior mental
attainments, being a thorough English and classical scholar. His death
took place at Sidney, Ohio, on February 22, 1898, at the age of 86
years. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Irvin, still survives
him at the age of 70 years, and resides with her son, John Collins, a
well-known dry goods merchant, of Wapakoneta.
During his boyhood the parents of Mr. Collins removed from Miami to
Shelby County, locating in the vicinity of Sidney, and there our subject
was reared. He obtained his education in the parochial school connected
with Holy Angels Church, and also took advantage of the public night
schools. His entrance into business was with the Wagner Hardware
Company; after three years of clerking he became a passenger brakeman on
the C., H. & D. Railway, later being promoted to the position of freight
conductor. After five years of railroad work, he resigned and accepted
a position in the postal service at Lima, under Postmaster R. W. Meily,
during the administration of President Cleveland. He was continued in
this position for nearly four years, resigning to become associated with
The Times-Democrat Publishing Company. He continued with this
corporation as circulation manager for 15 years and five months,
resigning the position January 1, 1905, for a desirable connection with
the O' Conner Brothers Company, with which he is still connected.
Mr. Collins has ever been one of the active and intelligent
promoters of good government in Lima and has consistently supported
Democratic candidates. In the fall of 1905 he was elected councilman
from the Second Ward, and has frequently proven his value as a member of
that civic body.
In September, 1883, Mr. Collins was married to Margaret E. O' Conner,
who is a daughter of the late much lamented and highly respected John O'
Conner, one of Lima's substantial citizens. They have one daughter,
Carrie. Mr. Collins and his wife are members of St. Rose Catholic
Church. He is associated with various organizations; is treasurer of
Lima Council No. 436, Knights of Columbus, and president of Branch No.
64, Catholic Mutual Benefit Association.
GEORGE L. BREESE
GEORGE L. BREESE, one of the well-known farmers and
successful stock- raisers of Shawnee township, was born December, 8,
1851, on what is known as the old Frederick Goodwin farm, in section 4,
Shawnee township, and is a son of David M. and Mary (Valentine) Breese.
The great-grandfather of Mr. Breese was born in Wales and died in
Hardin County, Ohio. His grandparents, Griffith and Mary (Mowen)
Breese, were born respectively in Wales and Pennsylvania. They were the
founders of the family in Allen County, coming here from Butler County,
Ohio, in 1832.
David M. Breese, father of George L., was born in Butler County,
Ohio, February 27, 1825, and was seven years of age when his parents
settled in Shawnee township, where he lived until his marriage and then
settled in section 3, Shawnee township, on the Spencerville road. In
1863 he removed to his present farm in section 10. He was a soldier
during the Civil War and has always been identified with the Republican
party. He married in 1849 a daughter and a granddaughter of pioneers in
Ohio. She was Mary Valentine, who was born in Champaign County, Ohio,
March 23, 1827, and still survives. Her father, Crane Valentine, came
to Allen County, in 1832 and settled on Elm street, Lima, at a time when
that section was still so much of a wilderness that wild animals came
out of the forest at night and invaded it. The children of David M. and
Mary Breese were: Mary E., wife of Thomas Maltbie, of Lima; George L.,
of this sketch, and Emmet, who died aged seven years.
George L. Breese was educated in the Shawnee township schools and
assisted his father on the farm until his marriage, which occurred in
1876. He then took up agricultural pursuits on his present finely
improved farm in sections 9 and 10 . In addition to general farming,
Mr. Breese has been an extensive stock-raiser, making a preference of
Guernsey cattle and Duroc-Jersey hogs.
On September 6, 1876, Mr. Breese was married to Susan Nye, who was
born in Shawnee township, and was a daughter of Jacob and Catherine Nye.
Mrs. Breese died in 1896, leaving two children, viz: Clarence Nye, born
December 13, 1877; and Mabel Kerr, born March 13, 1880. Clarence N.
Breese is now deputy county clerk. In 1905 he married Mabel M. Kerr,
daughter of George S. Kerr, of Lima.
Politically George L. Breese is a strong Republican. He is a member
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is one of the active and
enterprising men of Shawnee township, interested in its agricultural
development and ready at all times to advance its various interests.
J. W. MOWEN
J. W. MOWEN, United States referee in bankruptcy for
the district comprising Putnam, Allen and Auglaize counties, with
offices in the Holland Block, Lima, was born in this city in 1865, and
is a son of the late Jacob R. Mowen who was a prominent contractor and
builder at Lima and one of the early settlers in the county.
J. W. Mowen was reared and educated at Lima, and after graduating
from the High School entered the University of Michigan where in 1888 he
completed the course in law. In the following year he became a member
of the firm of Cunningham, Mead & Mowen, at Lima, which combination
continued until 1895, when it was dissolved and the new firm of Mead &
Mowen was organized, which is still in active practice. Mr. Mowen is
serving his second term as a justice of the peace.
On January 2, 1905, Mr. Mowen was appointed by Untied States
District Judge Swing as United States referee in bankruptcy for two
years, to succeed S. S. Wheeler. The appointment has given general
satisfaction, as Mr. Mowen is recognized as a very able member of his
profession and especially well equipped for the duties of this office.
In 1902 Mr. Mowen was married at Lima to Ethel Hoover, who is a
daughter of J. G. Hoover, of Lima.
Fraternally Mr. Mowen belongs to the Improved Order of Red Men and
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, being very prominent in the
latter organization. During 1901 and 1902 he was district deputy grand
exalted ruler for Northwestern Ohio, said district embracing some 25 Elk
GEORGE S. KERR
GEORGE S. KERR, a well- known general contractor and
reliable business man of Lima, was born in 1855 in Iowa, and is a son of
Frank Kerr, who died in Kansas in 1885. In the Civil War the father of
our subject served as a member of an Iowa regiment.
George S. Kerr was about nine years old when his parents removed to
Knox County, Ohio, from Iowa, and he was reared and educated there. He
assisted his father in farming until he was 22 years old and then
learned the carpenter's trade which he has continued to follow almost
ever since. During two years he operated a wagon and carriage shop at
Vandalia, Missouri, but for the past 17 years he has been in a general
contracting business and has resided at Lima since 1881. He has built a
number of the most substantial buildings in this city; the following is
a partial list; Fitzgerald Block; Funk Block; Hotel Harrod; 16 houses
for Henry Frueh, Thomas Duffield's residence and many other residences
of the city. Mr. Kerr has had other important interests in this
section, having been connected with oil production and with the Lima
Creamery & Cold Storage Company.
In 1878 Mr. Kerr was married to Jennie Harrod, who is a daughter of
Elijah Harrod, formerly one of the leading men of Knox County, of which
he was recorder for 15 years. Mr. and Mrs. Kerr have three children,
viz: Mabel M., who is the wife of Clarence N. Breese, depuity county
clerk of Allen County; Fred, who is a student in the Lima High School;
and Robert. Mr. Kerr and family reside at No. 769 West Wayne street,
Lima. They are members of the Presbyterian Church.
NOAH B. YANT
NOAH B. YANT, who was born April 27, 1827, in Rose
township, Carroll County, Ohio, has been an honored resident of Allen
County since 1864, when he purchased his present farm of 102 acres in
section 32, Monroe township. His parents were Henry and Margaret
(Stoody) Yant, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and were of
German descent. They came to Ohio in 1812 and located at first in
Tuscarawas County, later moving to Carroll County where the father was
killed by a horse at the age of 49 years. The grandfather of our
subject was John Yant, who came to Ohio from Pennsylvania in the early
days of this state and here entered land for each of his children. The
ancestors of our subject were all remarkable for longevity, John Yant
reaching his 93rd year, his mother passing her 96th year, and his
maternal grandfather, who was a native of Germany, also reaching the
ripeness of age. A sister of our subject, Mrs. Mary Redman, who resides
at Canton, Ohio, is in her 85th year and her hair in which gray threads
have not yet appeared retains all the luster of youth. There were 12
children in the family, 11 of whom reached maturity. Our subject, one
brother and two sisters are the only ones now living.
Noah B. Yant lived in the corner of Carroll and Stark counties until
September, 1864, when he came to Allen County. Before he came here he
had rented a farm and later bought land; but this was a rough stony
piece, poorly adapted to tilling and he disposed of it before moving to
this county. His present farm contains 102 acres, but the railroad cuts
of some, leaving about 98 acres of available land. He has built two
houses on this property, one of them being occupied by a son. Mr. Yant
is a good manager and an excellent farmer, devoting his entire time to
Mr. Yant was married September 11, 1851, to Druzilla Miller, of
Carroll County, Ohio, by whom he has a family of seven children, viz:
Samantha Ann, wife of Louis Lawrence, of Michigan; James M., who lives
in his father's house on the farm; William H., who has been
superintendent of the schools of Paulding, Ohio, for several years; Hugh
M., a dry goods merchant, of Toledo; Jonathan K., who is employed in the
Lima Postoffice; and Frank, who died at the age of five years. On
November 1, 1897, Mr. Yant was married to Mrs. Margaret Cline, widow of
Tobias Cline and daughter of Charles Banks. Mr. Yant is a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church and has been trustee of the same for a number
of years. He is now and has been for many years a Republican. He was a
member of the Know Nothing party during its short life and cast his
first Republican vote for John C. Fremont.
CLARENCE N. BREESE
CLARENCE N. BREESE, deputy county clerk of Allen
County, and one of the enterprising and successful young business men of
Lima, was born in Shawnee township, Allen County, Ohio, December 13,
1877, and is a son of George L. Breese, and grandson of David M. Breese,
of whom sketches appear in another part of this work.
Clarence N. Breese obtained his elementary education in the schools
of Shawnee township and then spent three years in the Ohio State
University at Columbus. Prior to this he had taught school for several
years. Immediately after leaving college he entered into business. For
eight months he capably managed a large creamery located at Lithopolis,
Ohio, and then was connected for six months with the Lima Creamery &
Cold Storage Company, to which business he and his father succeeded, his
father being a practical dairymen. They increased the plant's capacity
and continued associated in the business until our subject was appointed
deputy county clerk. He is a young man of business enterprise and has
numerous important interests in Allen County.
In 1905 Mr. Breese was married to Mabel M. Kerr, who is a daughter
of George Kerr, one of the leading general contractors of Lima.
For eight years Mr. Breese was a member of Company C, Second
Regiment, Ohio National Guard, and during the Spanish-American War was
in service with his company for 10 months in camp at Chickamauga and
Knoxville, and later at Macon, Georgia, being mustered out as a corporal
of his company, on February 10, 1898. Upon the reorganization of the
company after the war, Mr. Breese was appointed 1st sergeant. He is a
member of the United Spanish War Veterans, of the Elks and of the
Knights of Pythas, at present holding the position of representative of
the K. of P. lodge to the Grand Lodge, having formerly been chancellor
commander. During his university life he joined the Alpha Zeta Greek
CHRISTIAN LEHMAN, deceased, who died on his farm of 240
acres, situated partly in German and partly in Sugar Creek township, on
March 31, 1901, was one of the honorable and prominent farmers of this
locality for a number of years, a men who was respected by all who knew
him. He was born May 27, 1828, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and was
a son of Joseph and Catherine Lehman.
The parents of Christian Lehman came to Ohio and settled in
Columbiana County, when he was eight years old, and in 1849 the family
came to Allen County and settled on a farm of 160 acres in section 23,
German township. To this was later added a tract of 40 acres situated
in section 3, Sugar Creek township and, still later, 40 acres more in
German township, the aggregate being 240 acres of excellent land. The
parents passed away on this farm and were laid to rest in the Sugar
Creek Mennonite Cemetery.
Christian Lehman learned the carpenter's trade in his youth and
worked at the same for some 20 years and then turned his attention to
farming. He resided on the homestead, which he acquired, until the
close of his life.
Christian Lehman married Susanna Leman, a daughter of Christian and
Elizabeth (Bookwater) Lehman, who came from Cumberland County,
Pennsylvania, to Richland County, Ohio, and settled in Allen County in
1848. Mrs Lehman was born November 16, 1830. Although she is the
mother of 13 children, she retains her health and activity and takes an
interested part in household affairs and in church work. The children
were: Simon, who died aged five years; Joseph, who works as a carpenter
in Lima; Elizabeth, who married John Barnes, resides in Kansas and has
one daughter, Lydia Belle; Adeline, who married Peter Zuercher, lives in
Sugar Creek township and has these children Eno, Salome, Leroy,
Christian and Cora; Hosanna, who died at the age of 33 years; Elzina,
who died aged 21 years; Rachel, who married Chratopher Good, formerly of
Kansas, but now of Sugar Creek township and has these children Ida,
Irvin, Jesse and Susanna; Daniel, who superintends the work on the home
farm and in season operates a steam thresher, work in which he has been
engaged for six years past; Lydia, Isabella and Henry, who reside at
home; Kate who died at the age of 30 years; and George, who resides at
The family belong to the Mennonite Church, in which Mr. Lehman was a
deacon for many years. His life was one of the quiet usefulness and he
is recalled with feelings of affection and esteem.
IRA P. CARNES
IRA P. CARNES, vice-president of The Lima Locomotive &
Machine Company and vice-president of the Lima Pork Packing Company, is
one of the city's representative business men. He was born at East
Barre, Washington County, Vermont, in 1850, and is the eldest son of
John and Mary (Baldwin) Carnes.
Mr. Carnes was a child of three years when his parents moved to
Sycamore, Ohio, and shortly after to Upper Sandusky, where his father
was the owner of a foundry and machine shop. He attended school in both
these cities, always being considered a very apt student, especially in
mathematics. Like his father and grandfather, he early showed a
mechanical talent and from boyhood took an interest in machinery; after
1869, when his parents settled at Lima, he was constantly employed in
the shop of Carnes, Agerter & Company. The father, as related in a
sketch which will be found in this volume, was the founder of the Lima
Locomotive Works, which succeeded the firm of Carnes, Agerter & Company.
When this reorganization took place, Ira P. Carnes became a member of
the firm and since then he has been one of the important factors in
shaping the addition to the important duties pertaining to this office,
he has other interest, one of these being the vice-presidency of the
Lima Pork Packing Company, another institution of which Lima is justly
proud. He has also been connected with the Lima Home & Savings
Association since its organization. In all that concerns the welfare of
the city he takes an intelligent and public spirited interest and is
numbered with the most progressive as well as most popular men of the
city. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church.
In 1880 Mr. Carnes was married to Louisa Wuichet, of Dayton, Ohio,
and to them were born two children Sabine and Walter. Mrs. Carnes died
in January, 1885. Mr. Carnes was again married, in 1889, to Anna Robb,
sister of Hon. Theodore D. Robb, mayor of Lima. They have one child,
John, who is named for his grandfather, John Carnes. A portrait of Ira
P. Carnes accompanies this sketch.