E. G. CONNER
E. G. CONNER, a member of the wholesale and retail
millinery firm Light & Conner, of Lima, is one of the city's prominent
and substantial citizens. He is a native of Perry County, Ohio, born in
1871, and is a son of Rev. William H. Conner, who is the pastor of the
First Congregational Church, at Portland, Indiana.
E. G. Conner was seven years old when his parents settled in Elida,
Ohio, and his education was all secured in the schools of Allen County.
When but a youth he learned the printing business and for some 10 years
worked on various newspapers in Ohio and Indiana. In April, 1901, he
returned to Lima, and in the July following became a member of the firm
of Light & Conner. The house does an immense business, both wholesale
and retail, and is recognized throughout the State as absolutely
In 1895 Mr. Conner was married to Irene C. Light, who is a daughter
of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Light, who have been residents of Lima for the
past 14 years and are the senior members of the millinery firm of Light
& Conner. Mr. and Mrs. Conner have two children Helen Isabel and Eugene
Frantz. The former is a talented child, a remarkable elocutionist for
one of her age.
Mr. and Mrs. Conner are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Conner being a member of the board of trustees and a steward in
Trinity Church, Lima. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of the
J. L. ANDREWS
J. L. ANDREWS has been a resident of Lima for almost 20
years and during the entire period has been a powerful factor in pushing
the various industrial enterprises of the city and, by his own example
in kindling the interest and enthusiasm of others until success was
assured. Although a careful business man he is, at the same time,
progressive and enterprising, and his name may be found among the
stockholders of many of Lima's leading institutions. Mr. Andrews was
born in July, 1849, in Pittsfield, Warren County, Pennsylvania, and was
there educated and developed into manhood. At an early age he engaged
in the production of oil in his native State, and continued in business
there until 1887.
At that time the industry was in its infancy in this county, and Mr.
Andrews soon took advantage of the situation by removing to Lima and
contracting for the production of oil. He located here in November,
1887, and the oil industry at once began to assume activity, continuing
to increase until it has reached its present importance. Mr. Andrews is
now operating in the Indiana oil field, but his business interest have
extended until they embrace shares in the East Iron & Machine Company,
(of which he is director), The National Roofing Tile Company, and a
number of other enterprises.
In 1878, Mr. Andrews was married to Rosalia A. Porter, daughter of the
late A. V. Porter, of Warren County, Pennsylvania. Two children were
born to this union: Blanche, who is the wife of George S. Moffat, D. D.
S., of Pittsburg, Kansas, and Orren L., a student of Purdue University,
class of 1907. For several years Mr. Andrews was trustee of Trinity
Methodist Episcopal Church, of Lima, of which he is a devout members.
He is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias of this city, and is also
prominent in Masonic circles, being a member of the Blue Lodge, Chapter,
Council and Commandery at Lima, Antioch Temple of the Mystic Shrine at
Dayton, and Lake Erie Consistory, S. P. R. S., at Cleveland.
BERT WOHLGEMUTH, proprietor of the California Wine
Company, wholesale and retail dealers in choice wines and liquors, at
Lima, occupies a prominent place among the city's successful business
men. He was born in Hungary in 1860.
Mr. Wohlegemuth was 15 years of age when he emigrated to America and
he is a noteworthy example of a self-made man. After reaching the
United States he went immediately to Cincinnati, and began his business
career by carrying a pack and selling goods throughout the country. In
three years he had accumulated a little capital, which he invested in
Chillicothe by associating himself with the firm of Feldman & Company,
dealers in fancy dry goods, with whom he continued for nine years. In
1886 he came to Lima and, with Mr. Feldman, established the firm of
Feldman & Company. For two years he was in sole charge of the business,
when his brother, Jonas Wohlgemuth, also became associated in the
enterprise. The firm has continued here for the past 19 years,
occupying a local position second to none in its line of business.
Seven years ago its scope was expanded and removal was made to the
present quarters, Nos. 211-213 North Main street, adjoining the old
On November 1, 1905, Mr. Wohlgemuth purchased the business of the
California Wine Company, wholesale and retail dealers in fine wines and
liquors, at No. 135 South Main street. This is a well-established
business and requires the constant services of four traveling
representatives to visit the trade in all portions of the United States.
In 1898 Mr. Wohlgemuth was married to Martha Schachne, of
Chillicothe, Ohio. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the
Royal Arcanum. Personally he is a man of fine business perceptions and
of pleasant, genial nature, and is held in high esteem by the residents
PETER ZIMMERLY was born in Riley township, Putnam
County, Ohio, February 2, 1839, but has been an honored resident of
Allen County since 1868, when he moved to Richland township and
purchased his present farm of 120 acres, located in section 10. Mr
Zimmerly is a son of John and Anna (Berner) Zimmerly, both of whom were
natives of Alsace, France. The father, who was born about 1780, came to
America when a young man, locating first in Wayne County, Ohio, and
later in Putnam County, where he died in 1855. He had entered a
quarter-section of land in Riley township, most of which he had cleared
and put under cultivation. It was in this county he met and married
Anna Berner, who was born in 1801 and came to this country when a young
woman with her mother and a party of emigrants. She passed away on the
homestead on March 23, 1895, at the ripe age of 93 years, 11 months and
18 days, leaving three children and a large circle of friends to regret
her death. Our subject is the eldest son. John has passed to the
higher life. Christopher lives on the homestead in Riley township,
Putnam County, and is a preacher of the Mennonite faith.
Peter Zimmerly spent the earlier years of his life in his native
county where he was married on May 5, 1868, to Annie Bixler, who was
born in Holmes County, Ohio, in 1842, and was a daughter of Peter and
Fannie (Dealer) Bixler. Soon after his marriage, Mr. Zimmerly came with
his bride to Allen County to make a home for himself. Three children
have blessed their home, namely: John, who resides in Richland township;
Lucinda, wife of William Balmer, of Richland township; and Eli, who
lives in Bluffton. Mrs. Zimmerly died in 1881, and in 1882 our subject
was married to Mary Ann Kiner, who was born in Canton Bern, Switzerland,
August 4, 1858, and came to America when a young girl of 17 years,
accompanied by two brothers. Her parents were John and Barbara
(Zurgher) Kiner. Mrs. Zimmerly has borne her husband seven children,
viz: Ida, wife of Frederick Kratz, of Pandora, Ohio; Maggie, who lives
at home; Elvina, Llewellyn, Clara, Melvin and Mary Ann. All the members
of the family can understand and speak English perfectly; but when at
home they converse wholly in German in order that the younger members
may be thorough in their knowledge and use of that tongue. Mr. Zimmerly
is one of the influential and prosperous farmers of Richland township,
and has his farm well improved, the land being all under cultivation
except some 12 acres of woodland pasture. He raises large quanties of
grain and also deals quite extensively in stock. He is a member of the
Mennonite Church and a good man. A Democrat in politics, he has served
as a member of the School Board and also as road commissioner.
WALTER E. GRAY
WALTER E. GRAY, an extensive oil operator in various
fields, whose home is in Lima, was born in 1851 at Covington, Kentucky,
and is a son of Francis Gray.
Francis Gray was a large woolen manufacturer for 50 years, and during
half of this period was located at Piqua, Ohio, where he was very
prominent in business and public life. During the Civil War he raised a
company of Home Guards which was called upon for service. He was
prominent in Masonry for half a century.
When an infant, Walter E. Gray was taken to Cynthiana, Kentucky,
where his parents lived during his boyhood and school days. In 1865
they returned to Covington and subsequently located at Piqua, Ohio. In
his father's mills at the latter place, our subject first found
employment, remaining there for about five years. In 1881 he
accompanied his father to Lima, and they founded the handle factory
which they sold in 1882 to O. B. Selfridge & Comany. Mr. Gray then
embarked in a mercantile business which he carried on until the fall of
1885, when he disposed of it in order to give attention to the oil
industry. These interests have been expanded and he is connected with
the Planet Oil Company, which operates extensively in various fields the
Trenton Rock of Ohio and Indiana, the Canadian fields and also rich
California fields. The company is interested in quite a number of
Mr. Gray was married October 19, 1881, to Ida N. Dalzell, who is a
daughter of Isaac Dalzell, one of the oldest settlers of the county.
Mr. and Mrs. Gray have one daughter Mary J., an accomplished young lady,
who is a graduate of Mount Vincent Academy, of Price Hill, Cincinnati.
Mr. Gray and family belong to the Protestant Episcopal Church. Like his
father, Mr. Gray is prominently identified with the various Masonic
bodies, being a member of Blue Lodge, Council, Chapter and Commandery.
He is one of the city's enterprising men of business, takes part in its
various public-spirited movements, and assists in upholding Lima's
reputation as a great commercial center.
CLAIR B. WELLS
CLAIR B. WELLS, proprietor of livery, feed and sale
stables at Lima, St. Marys and LaFayette, Ohio, is a very large buyer
and seller of fancy saddle and driving horses, and one of the best
authorities in this line in the State. He was born at Wauseon, Fulton
County, Ohio, in 1878, and is a son of J. G. Wells, a large real estate
dealer of that place.
Although Mr. Wells was born in Ohio, his rearing was in the West, his
parents migrating to Colorado and to Kansas. When he was about 19 years
of age he returned to Ohio, completed his school course in the Lima High
School, and in 1900 graduated from the Lima Business College. For some
time he was engaged as a stenographer and later associated in a grocery
business. From boyhood he had evinced the qualities of a natural
horseman. During his residence in Kansas City this tendency had induced
him to take lessons in the training of horses and in the teaching of the
art of horsemanship, so that, after disposing of his grocery interests
in 1903, he established his present business at Lima. From the first he
was successful and now has branch stables at LaFayette and St. Mary's.
He has enlarged the scope of the business, and now owns a garage both at
Lima and St. Mary's, keeping a large line of automobiles of every
description. He is thorough and scientific in his training of fine
horses, and his stables are known to turn out only reliable,
well-trained animals. At one time he owned a fine Arabian team, which
he sold to Cleveland parties. Outside of his stales he has other
business interests, and is one of the most enterprising young business
men in this section of the State.
In 1901 Mr. Wells was married to Gertrude Reis, who is a daughter of
M. C. Reis, deceased, a conductor on the Lake Erie & Western Railroad.
She is a charming and accomplished lady.
Mr. Wells is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Young
Men's Christian Association, and is identified with the First Christian
REUBEN SHINDOLLER, whose handsome modern home stands
within its neat iron fence and surrounded by a beautiful lawn, on a
valuable piece of property just outside the corporation limits of
Spencerville, where Mr. Shindoller owns a 20 acre farm. in section 11,
Spencer township, was born in Delaware County, Ohio, May 25, 1839. His
parents were Michael and Frederika (Yager) Shindoller.
The parents of Mr. Shindoller were quiet, farming people in Delaware
County. The father died in 1846, leaving his widow to rear as best she
could a family of 10 children. Her duty was nobly performed, and the
seven who still survive unite in recalling her many virtues and the
sacrifices she was willing to make in order to rear them to useful
lives. She passed away on October 20, 1878. Our subject and seven of
his brothers served in the army during the Civil War. Henry was a
member of Company E, 66th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf.; John, late a resident of
Delaware, Ohio, was a member of the 83rd Regiment, Illinois Vol. Inf.,
and died January 13, 1906; Louis was a member of Company E, 66th Reg.,
Ohio Vol. Inf.; William was a member of Company H, Fourth Regiment, Ohio
Vol. Inf.; and Samuel was a member of the 171st, Regiment Ohio Vol. Inf.
One sister, Mrs. Loren Miller, of Delaware, Ohio, still survives.
There are easier things in life than to be left fatherless at the age
of 10 years and, with this, to be almost entirely dependent for life and
fortune upon one's own efforts. This was the situation which faced our
subject. Necessarily his education was a limited one, but he grew to
young manhood strong and stalwart, a trained farmer. The opening of the
Civil War turned the attention of our subject and his brothers from the
peaceful pursuits which had hitherto claimed their energies. On May 25,
1861, Mr. Shindoller enlisted at Peoria, Illinois, as a provate in the
17th Regiment, Illinois Vol. Inf., anf bravely, cheerfully and honorably
served until May 25, 1866. He was attached to the 17th Army Corps, Army
of Mississippi, a part of the great force which did much of the
strenuous fighting of the war. Mr. Shindoller participated in the
battles of Fredericktown, (Maryland), Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg
and Mobile, and in the miles of weary marching and counter- marching,
skirmishing and guard duty which made up a soldier's life.
After his return from the army, in the spring of 1868, Mr.
Shindoller moved to Auglaize County, where he secured 77 acres of
Woodland on the old Ridge road, near the Allen County line. This land
he cleared and engaged in farming until he removed, in 1891, to Spencer
township. As mentioned above, he occupies a handsome home which he
erected here. The substantial barn was already a feature, but the
comfortable home was made after Mr. Shindoller's own ideas and is modern
throughout. It attracts favorable notice, with its air of comfort and
In 1864 Mr. Shindoller was united in marriage with Catherine Webb.
Although they have no children of their own, they have generously reared
a boy and girl, the latter still being an inmate of their household.
The former, William Webb, resides in Spencerville. Mr. and Mrs.
Shindoller are members of the Christian Church, in which he is a
trustee. He is a member of and takes much interest in Fair Post, No.
322, G. A. R., of Spencerville.
M. U. BASINGER
M. U. BASINGER. One of the leading business men of
Lima is M. U. Basinger, whose large jewelry establishment is situated at
No. 63 Public Square, and who is an experienced manufacturer in this
line as well as a dealer in cut glass and diamonds. Mr. Basinger is a
native of Putnam County, Ohio born in 1868.
Mr. Basinger remained on the home farm until he had reached the age
of 19 years, alternately farming and attending the local schools. He
accompanied his mother when she removed to Ada, and remained there three
years, coming then to Lima. At that time one $5 bill represented his
capital in money, but in addition he possessed youth, health, ambition
and persistent industry, and, in time, this strong combination of
qualities brought about a large degree of prosperity. For the first six
months, after contracting with D. A. McComb, then a leading jeweler of
Lima, the young man worked for the sum of $4 per week. By the end of
the period, his employer realized that he had secured an honest,
intelligent, capable and industrious assistant, and was willing to retain
him on a living salary. Mr. Basinger remained until 1893, when Mr.
McComb retired and was succeeded by the firm of Basinger & Company, its
members being M. U. Basinger and William Melville. This partnership
lasted until 1897, when Mr. Basinger sold his interest to his partner
and founded an independent business. He continued alone for one year
and then associated himself with Mr. Cameron, the firm remaining as
Basinger & Cameron until February, 1903. Then Mr. Basinger sold his
interest to Mr. Cameron, and in the following May opened his present
fine establishment on the Public Square. He conducts a very large
business in the manufacturing line, and carries a valuable stock of
jewelry, cut glass and expensive gems. He is also interested in other
business enterprises, one of these being the Humane Horse Shoe Company.
On September 25, 1895, Mr. Basinger was married to Blanche Douglass,
who for some five years previously had been a teacher in the Lima
schools, and is a daughter of J. C. Douglass, of Forest, Ohio. Mr. and
Mrs. Basinger have two children Warren and Helen. Mr. Basinger is a
member of the Market Street Presbyterian Church, of which he is an elder
and the treasurer. His fraternal relations are with the Tribe of Ben
Hur, Modern Woodmen of America and Knights of Pythias.
J. J. WEADOCK
J. J. WEADOCK, attorney-at-law, a member of the law
firm of Motter, Mackenzie & Weadock, of Lima, was born in this city on
September 4, 1873, and is a son of the late Dr. T. M. Weadock.
The father of Mr. Weadock was a native of Canada and at the time of
his death, January 20, 1905, was one of the oldest practitioners of
medicine in Lima. He was a graduate of the medical department of the
University of Michigan, and settled at Lima in 1870.
J. J. Weadock received his early education in the local schools, the
parochial school at Sidney, Ohio, and St. Rose Parochial School at Lima,
graduating from the Lima High School, in 1892, and from Assumption
College, at Sandwich, Ontario, in 1894. Two years later he graduated
from the law department of the University of Michigan, and at once
passed the bar examination at Columbus, Ohio, which admitted him to
practice in this State. He entered into practice alone, but afterward
was associated for one year with Kent Hughes, and since 1900 has been a
member of the strong firm of Motter, Mackenzie & Weadock.
Mr. Weadock was married June 24, 1903, to Mollie Cunningham, who was
born and reared in Lima.
In political sentiment, Mr. Weadock is a Democrat and has always
taken an active interest in party matters. Fraternally he is a member
of the Knights of Columbus, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks,
the Catholic Knights of Ohio, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the
Knights of St. John. He belongs to St. Rose Catholic Church and is the
director of the choir.