W. B. VAN NOTE, M. D.
W. B. VAN NOTE, M. D., president of the Allen County
Medical Society, a member of the Ohio State Medical Society, the
American Medical Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology
and Oto Laryngology, is one of the eminent men of his profession in
Northwestern Ohio, and the leading specialist at Lima, in diseases of
the eye, ear and throat. He was born at Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio,
in 1867, and is a son of the late W. H. Van Note. He comes of
Revolutionary ancestry. His great-grandfather, Jacob Van Note, served
in the American Army and died in Monmouth County, New Jersey, from
wounds received in the service.
W. B Van Note secured his early education in the Lebanon schools and
spent one year in the Lima High School. He then passed a few months as
clerk in a jewelry store, prior to entering the Chicago Ophthalmic
College, from which he graduated in 1888. For a short time he engaged
in practice, in connection with the jewelry business, but in 1891 began
the reading of medicine under Dr. Brooks, in 1892 entering the medical
department of the University of Southern California, at Los Angeles. He
opened an optician's office at San Diego, but in 1893 returned to Lima,
and shortly afterward entered the Medical College of Ohio, Cincinnati,
where he was graduated with his full medical degree in April, 1895.
Dr. Van Note then went to Europe to pursue advanced studies along the
special lines in which he was most interested, and in May, 1895, became
a student in the medical department of the Frederick Wilhelm University,
at Berlin. During his stay there he became a member of the Berlin
Anglo-American Medical Society. Going thence to London, during 1896 he
was junior assistant in the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital,
subsequently becoming one of the fortunate students accepted by
Professor Hayek, at Vienna, who is probably the most skilled instructor
in diseases of the nose and throat in the world. During his years of
residence on the Continent he visited the various clinics in the great
cities and also studied various phases of disease in Italy, France and
Switzerland. His devotion to his profession has resulted in making him
one of its leaders and his reputation is not confined to his native
State. Although skilled in every branch of medicine and surgery,
following the professional methods of the day, he devotes himself
exclusively to diseases of the eye, ear and nose. Dr. Van Note is
consulting oculist to the Lima hospital and the U. S. pension Bureau,
and lecturer on the eye in the Lima Training School for Nurses.
Dr. Van Note was married April 11, 1899, to Margaret B. Ellis, who
was born at Randolph, New York, and is a daughter of Col. L. F. Ellis,
an officer in the Civil War and a man prominent in military life. They
have a beautiful home on Lakewood Avenue.
Dr. Van Note is one of the city's public- spirited citizens, a member
of the Lima Progressive Association and one of the capitalists who
donated Faurot Park to the city. He is a member of the Shawnee Country
Club, and is identified with the Masons and Knights of Pythias.
JACOB HEFNER, who is one of the most extensive
agriculturists of this county, owning 365 acres of land in sections 19,
20, 21 and 22, Jackson township, was born in Ross County, this State,
April 22, 1832. His parents were Isaac and Mary (May) Hefner, both
natives of Pennsylvania, where the former was born in 1809, and the
latter in 1807. They were of Pennsylvania-Dutch ancestry.
When a young man, Isaac Hefner accompanied his parents to Ross
County, Ohio, making the journey overland by wagon. There he married
and lived until 1840, when with his wife and family, he came to Allen
County. Here he entered 80 acres of land from the government, and began
to buy and feed cattle, which were disposed of at a good price, the
proceeds going to buy more cheap land. Thus, in time, he became one of
the largest land-owners of this county, owning eventually about 1,800
acres. Large tracts of this land were cleared by him and his sons. He
was a Democrat in politics, and in religion a member of the Reformed
Church, donating timber and land for the first log church built here and
lending substantial aid toward the erection of the present brick
edifice. The land used by the church as a cemetery was also given by
him. He passed away in 1884, at the age of 75 years. His wife died in
1901, at the advanced age of 94. The children were: Jacob; Harrison,
whose sketch may be found in this book; Amos, of Auglaize Township;
Clarissa, who married Jacob Mowery; David; John; and Albert.
Jacob Hefner was reared to farm life and lived at home until his
marriage, when he moved into the log cabin which stood on his present
farm, at that time the property of his father. Here he applied himself
to farming and stock raising, and soon had his property cleared and in a
high state of cultivation. His residence is of brick and one of the
most attractive in the vicinity, while the large barns and other
outbuildings bespeak the prosperous farmer.
Mr. Hefner was married December 2, 1855, to Christina Holman, who was
born near Delaware, Ohio, September 18, 1838, and died September 10,
1898. She was a daughter of William and Sarah (Frederick) Holman. The
children of Mr. and Mrs. Hefner are as follows: Isaac, born March 25,
1858, a resident of Lima; Mary, born April 7, 1860, the wife of Marion
Watt; William, born February 23, 1862, living in Lima; Jennie, born
September 12, 1864, wife of John E. Eversole; Amos, born February 16,
1867; Walter, born July 6, 1869; Olive, born August 14, 1872, and
deceased December 8, 1874; Clara, born October 19, 1875, wife of C. C.
Arnold; Daisy, born June 17, 1878, who married E. N. Hall, and lives in
the Indian Territory; and Marion, born July 5, 1881, who married Bessie
Kidd and resides on the farm with his father. Mr. Hefner has always
affiliated with the Democratic Party, and at one time served as township
trustee. He is a member of the Reformed Church. Portraits of Mr. and
Mrs. Hefner accompany this sketch.
F. J. LONES
F. J. LONES, the leading wall-paper man of Lima, and
one of its representative citizens, was born in Perry Township, Allen
County, Ohio, in 1861, a son of the late A. J. Lones.
The father of our subject was one of the early settlers of this
county, where he died after a long life entirely devoted to agricultural
pursuits. During the Civil War he was a zealous supporter of the Union
cause and two of his sons, who still survive, serve in the Federal Army-
Theodore being a resident of Kansas, and Commodore, of Oklahoma. The
mother of these children, whose name before marriage was Mary A. Smith,
is a native of Pennsylvania, and is a venerable resident of Lima, having
attained the ripe old age of 85 years.
F. J. Lones remained at home assisting on the farm, until the age of
21, in the meantime securing his education in the common schools. He
then took up his residence in Lima; for the following five years worked
at the carpenter's trade; and for the next seven years was in the employ
of J. M. Heininger, working at Lima, Fostoria, Columbus and Newark.
After this he worked for one year with F. E. Harman, but in the spring
of 1902 engaged in business for himself, embarking in the wall-paper and
paper- hanging line. He has built up a large business and controls much
of the best trade, carrying a complete and artistic line of goods and
employing only skilled workmen. The business is now located at No. 124
East Market street. Fraternally Mr. Lones is a member of the order of
In 1893 Mr. Lones was married to Stella Connutte, of Portsmouth,
Ohio, and they have three children living, namely: Henen, Ida and
Gertrude; one child, Frank, Jr., was accidentally drowned October 6,
1905, at two years of age. Mr. Lones and family enjoy the comforts of a
pleasant home located at No. 430 North Shawnee street.
GEORGE W. GRIFFITHS
GRIFFITHS, postmaster at Gomer, has lived in
this, his native place, during his whole life, having been absent only
during his college course at the Ohio Normal University at Ada. He was
born November 3, 1868, and is a son of Robert W. and Martha (Evans)
Griffiths, and a grandson of Robert Griffiths.
The Griffiths family belonged to North Wales, where the father of
our subject was born in 1829. He was 12 years old when he accompanied
his parents to America. They settled in Butler County and Robert W.
Griffiths remained at home until about 1853, when, with wife and two
children, he came to Allen County. In 1859 he bought a farm north of
Gomer and in 1864 he moved to Gomer and founded the mercantile business
which his son now conducts. He was a consistent, Christian man, one of
the pillars of the Welsh Congregational Church. His influence in the
community was a very beneficial one. It was known through the village
that the neighbors would find a welcome in his place of business, as
gatherings of a social and public character were usual in the local
stores in his day, but that Mr. Griffiths would tolerate only orderly
gatherings and great temperance in speech. He was a man who was
consistent and his fellow-citizens held him in the highest esteem. He
sold his business to his son and retired to private life some time
before his decease, which occurred January 7, 1904, at the age of 74
The mother of our subject, Martha (Evans) Griffiths, was born at
Paddy's Run, Butler County, Ohio, and died in 1884, aged 51 years. She
was a daughter of John Evans, who was a farmer and weaver and a native
of Wales. John Evans had 13 children, 12 of whom lived to maturity.
The parents of our subject had a family of 10 children, as follows: Ella
J., wife of W. H. Clevenger, of Gomer; Anna Bell, who died aged seven
years; Ida May, of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Sarah, deceased; Russell J.,
secretary of the Dayton, Ohio; Euphemia C., wife of Thomas Peats, of
Lima; Nora E., who died in Philadelphia in 1886; Margaret A., connected
with the State Hospital for the Insane at Toledo; George W., and
Katherine B., wife of A. E. Seefert, of Los Angeles, California.
Since 1892 George W. Griffiths has been postmaster at Gomer during
each Republican administration. In the same year, in partnership with
his brother- in- law, Thomas Peats, he purchased his father's mercantile
business and for two years it was conducted under the firm name of
Griffiths & Peats, and then Mr. Griffiths became sole owner. He has
always been a stanch supporter of the Republican party, and has served
four years as township clerk and is serving his second term as township
treasurer. He is a member of the Gomer Presbyterian Church, of which he
In 1889 Mr. Griffiths was married to Susan Davis, a native of Wales,
who came here when six years old with her parents, John R. and Ann
Davis. Mr. and Mrs. Griffiths have these children: Ray, Martha, Ruth,
Nora, Gladys, Clayton, Gertrude and Mildred.
Mr. Griffiths is one of the enterprising and successful men of the
community, one whose public spirit is shown in his hearty interest in
movements designed for the general public welfare. His public as well
as private life marks him as a man of honor, ability and fidelity to the
interests placed in his charge.