FRANCIS Y. DAVIS
FRANCIS Y. DAVIS, who has a fine home and 80 acres of
land in the southeast quarter of section 8, Perry township, has been a
resident of this township during almost the entire period of his active
business career. Mr. Davis was born in Orange County, Vermont, October
29, 1827, and is a son of Francis and Lydia (York) Davis.
The Davis family is of Scotch-Welsh origin, and the ancestral line
can be traced to the birth of Sir Francis Davis in 1590. His home was
in Cardiganshire, Wales. Three of his sons, Gideon, Philip and Francis
(2) crossed the ocean in search of fame and fortune, but of these only
Philip and Francis (2) safely reached Halifax, Nova Scotia, Gideon
having been lost at sea during the voyage. Francis Davis (2) has passed
his 21st birthday at this time and with his other possessions brought a
cane, which his father had presented him when he had reached his
majority. This cane is still in the possession of the family, being
owned by a Francis Davis, the subject of this biography. The wood of
this ivory-headed cane was cut in the Grampion Hills of Scotland by the
grandfather of Sir Francis Davis, in 1550. It has survived generations
of its owners and typifies the solidity of the Scotch hills on which it
grew, affording support to youth, feebleness and age for more than 300
years. Francis Davis (2), son of Sir Francis, remained with his brother
in Halifax for about one year. There in 1749 Philip married Mary Wells;
he subsequently settled in Virginia.
The above Francis Davis (2) was born in 1626 and died in 1709. He
was married Gertrude Emerson, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who was born in
1629 in England and died in 1715. They settled at West Amesbury,
Massachusetts, in 1652, bringing the old cane with them.
Francis Davis (3), son of Francis (2), was born in 1653 in
Massachusetts and died there in 1737. In 1673 he married Mary Taylor, a
daughter of Walter Taylor, of Amesbury; She was born in 1657 and died in
1733. The old cane came into the hands of this Francis and was in turn
given to the next Francis.
Francis Davis (4), son of Francis (3), was born September 29, 1687,
and died October 9, 1753, at Amesbury, leaving the old cane to his son,
Captain Francis Davis. His wife, to whom he was married at Haverhill,
Massachusetts, September 6, 1716, was bon September 6, 1693 and died
December 3, 1775.
Capt. Francis Davis, the fifth of the name, was born October 26,
1723 and died November 26, 1784. He was married September 3, 1745, to
Elizabeth Ferran, who was born September 20, 1724, and died December 20,
1793. It was Capt. Francis Davis, who took the old cane from Amesbury
to Davisville, Warren County, Vermont, a town he founded in May, 1766.
In 1740 he had built a mill there which was destroyed by fire in 1746,
and he built a second one. He was a Revolutionary soldier and a man of
influence and wealth, and was the first representative to the General
Assembly from Warren County.
Francis Davis (6), son of Capt. Francis Davis, was born at
Amesbury, Massachusetts, May 27, 1758, and died at Barre, Vermont,
October 30, 1840. He married Philena Thurber, who was born at
Portmouth, New Hampshire, August 26, 1758, and died at Barre, Vermont,
December 21, 1841. These ancestors were the grandparents of the subject
of this sketch. The family resided at Warren until the fall of 1794,
when they removed to Barnard, Vermont, taking with them the old cane.
There it remained until the grandfather's death, when it came into
possession of Francis Davis (7), father of its present owner, who is in
the eighth generation from Sir Francis Davis.
Francis Davis (7) was born March 7, 1788, at Warren, New Hampshire,
and was six years old when he accompanied his parents to Barnard,
Vermont, where he was given as good educational advantages as the times
afforded. He worked at the carding and fulling business for some years.
When the War of 1812 became imminent, he enlisted in a cavalry company
which was ordered by the Governor to proceed from Montpelier to
Plattsburgh, New York. After three days, the company reached that place
and took part in the closing engagements of the battle there. He was
discharged at the end of the war. After the passage of many years, he
received 160 acres of land in recognition of his military services.
After his marriage he lived in Orange and in Washington counties,
Vermont, and owned and operated a sawmill and also dealt in tombstones.
He was an expert worker in stone and samples of his work took first
premium when exhibited at Montpelier.
In the autumn of 1834, with his wife and four children, the oldest
being nine years and the youngest, five months, he started Westward to
find a new home. The wagon was filled with bedding and articles of
wearing apparel. After a pleasant driving journey of six weeks, a pause
was made at the town of Keene, Coshocton County, Ohio. Here Mr. Davis
found a few settlers from New England and tired of traveling, decided to
stop at least over the winter. In the spring, on March 21, 1835, he
purchased 100 acres of land for which he paid $200. Three acres had
been cleared, a small orchard had been set out and a log cabin built.
Later he cleared about 40 acres of this land and entered into farming
and stockraising, also cutting and selling many tombstones from a quarry
situated on the property. He built the first sawmill ever erected here,
which was run by the waters of the Buckloo, a small stream which
meandered through his farm.
IN 1842 Mr. Davis leased the farm and moved to the town of Keene
where he engaged in the tombstone and monument business but soon tired
of village life and returned to the farm. In 1843 he purchased another
100 acre tract, but in 1846 he sold out and again made preparations to
move westward. On April 6, 1846, with his wife, two sons and the
youngest daughter, a grandson and a young neighbor who was starting West
with some household goods, Mr. Davis started his prairie schooner,
drawn by oxen, in the direction of the setting sun. The horses which 12
years previously has assisted to move the family from Vermont to Ohio,
where again made use of, being hitched to a farm cart and a flock of
sheep and a herd of cattle were also taken along. On the eighth night
of the journey the family camped in a vacated cabin which they found
near the center of a seven by 20 mile forest, which then stood in its
native state in Hardin County, Ohio. Here the hoots of the owls and the
howls of the wolves made the night hideous. On the ninth day of the
journey the family reached a point four miles east of Lima, in Perry
township, Allen County, Ohio. Here Mr. Davis decided to locate, buying
an 80 acre farm on which he lived and carried on farming and
stock-raising operations, assisted by his adopted grandson, Lucius, who
lived with him until his death, which took place March 31, 1875. In
politics he was a Whig and later a Republican. In his dealings with his
fellow-men, he was honest and upright and his religion consisted more in
good works than in profession. In 1850 he and his wife made an tended
visit to relatives in Vermont and upon his return he brought with him
the old family cane.
On October 21, 1813, in Randolph, Orange County, Vermont, he married
Lydia York, a daughter of Gershom York, and they had 11 children. Mrs.
Davis died March 1, 1863. In the course of time he married Mrs.
Elizabeth Gilbert, a widow, who also preceded him to the grave. Of the
11 children, those who reached maturity were: Roxanna P., deceased, who
was the wife of Ira Fox; Francis Y; George E.; and Fannie, deceased, who
was the wife of John Bond.
Francis Y. Davis, our immediate subject, was 19 years old when he
accompanied his father to Perry township, and he assisted in the
clearing of the home farm. In 1852 he bought 40 acres in setion 3,
which is now known as the William Robert's farm, which he cleared and
converted from timberland to fields of unusual fertility and
productiveness. In 1863 he settled upon 80 acres in section 16 on which
he lived and made extensive improvements until 1882, when he located
upon a quarter-section in section 19, a part of which still remains in
the family. He reclaimed a part of this farm from the forest and
converted it into a productive farm and made his home there until 1894,
when he purchased 40 acres of his present farm in section 8, to which he
subsequently added 40 more acres. Mr. Davis here erected a fine
residence and has made other substantial improvements until now it is an
example of one of the best rural homes in Perry Township. In addition
to being fertile, his farms have been noted for the presence of oil; he
had had a number of producing oil-wells and the three located on his
present farm have brought him handsome returns.
Mr. Davis has a military record which should give him a very
pardonable measure of pride. When the Civil War broke out and he
recognized the fact that he was needed at the front, he put aside his
previous ambitions and enlisted in the service of his country. His
first enlistment was in September, 1861, in Company D, 54th Reg., Ohio
Vol. Inf. He was discharged in August, 1862, on account of disability,
having been injured by the exploding of a shell at the battle of
Pittsburg Landing. On September 22, 1864, Mr. Davis reenlisted,
becoming a member of Company A., 180th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., and
continued in the service until the close of the war, his last battle
being at Kingston North Carolina. He was honorably discharged in July,
1865, and returned to his home in Perry township.
During a part of his time in early manhood he engaged in teaching
school and he worked also at brick-making, but since he was 30 years of
age he has devoted his attention exclusively to agricultural pursuits,
with some attention given to the production of oil, as mentioned above,
having had an interest in some 20 wells. Mr. Davis owns 120 acres of
fine land in Allen County.
On May 5, 1852, Mr. Davis was married to Sarah Coats, a daughter of
Rufus and Nancy (Dawson) Coats. She died April 1, 1893, leaving the
following children: Lydia R. M., born July 26, 1854, who married
Jefferson Shade, of Perry township; Ira E., born January 31, 1856;
Albert E., born November 30, 1857; William F., born January 19, 1867,
who lives in Franklin County, Kansas; Clara B., born July 23, 1868, who
married John Howbert, of Allen County; Charles L., born November 25,
1869; Harmon C., born October 15, 1871 and Daniel E., born May 28, 1873,
who died July 23, 1898. One child died in infancy. Mr. Davis remained
single until November 20, 1897, when he married Mrs. Rhoda J. (McPheron)
In politics Mr. Davis is a Republican and he is a valued member of
Mart Armstrong Post, NO. 202, G. A. R., of Lima. He is widely known in
Allen County and is held in the highest esteem. Mr. Davis grew up at a
time and in a section where educational advantages were meager but he
has always been a great reader and has mixed with intelligent people and
thus has acquired a broad and comprehensive knowledge of affairs of the
world. He is possessed of a truly remarkable memory and without effort
recalls the day, month and year of many happenings of earlier days.
During the period of 60 years covering his residence in Perry township.
He has been foremost in its business affairs and has contributed his
full share in the developing of this section into one of the most
prosperous, progressive and vest improved communities in the State.
H. L. LEILICH
H. L. LEILICH, secretary and treasurer of the large
industry of Delphos, known as the Delphos Can Company, is identified
with many of the successful enterprises of this section, and is
favorably known for his business enterprises throughout the State.
Although an acknowledged factor in the city's largest business concerns,
Mr. Leilich is still a young man, in the very prime of life. He was
born July 9, 1865, in Hessen- Darmstadt, Germany, and is a son of Jacob
and Catherine (Schowoebel) Leilich.
The parents of Mr. Leilich have never left Germany. After a
successful mercantile career, the father now lives retired. He has
reason to feel gratified with the material prosperity of every one of
his 10 children.
H. L. Leilich enjoyed excellent educational advantages and the
comforts of a happy and well-appointed home, but his ambition led him to
look toward America for a career. He had an aunt living at Delphos,
Ohio, and, with the intention of joining her, he left home and arrived
in New York City July, 1881. After joining his relatives at Delphos, he
secured employment of various kinds of work this carefully nurtured youth
assumed, in order to make his own way and prove to his father that he
possessed independence of character, it may be stated that he worked on
a railroad, in a woolen mill, on the bench in a shoe shop, and as clerk
in the store attached, then as a blacksmith in the "Clover Leaf"
railroad shops, again as a shoe clerk and then as a clothing salesman.
This brought him to 1893, in which year he purchased a half
interest, with Felix Steinle, in the Delphos Brewing Company. The
partner attended to the practical work, Mr. Leilich taking charge of the
office and outside business. He erected what are now the buildings of
the Delphos Hardware Company, remaining with that concern for a period
of four years, during which time he not only reaped large financial
benefits for himself, but, through his energy and executive ability,
developed the business into one of the most prosperous in Northern Ohio.
His spirit of enterprise also led him to become interested in the oil
industry, and for six months he was actively engaged in opening up
nearly all the wells in the vicinity. He then became manager for R. G.
Gillespie of Pittsburg, in the latter's large oil business. He left
this position in order to take charge of the Delphos Can Company. This
great industry was then in its infancy, the business of the concern
being transacted in two rooms on East Second street, which are now
occupied by the Fort Wayne, Van Wert & Lima Traction Company for depot
purposes. He succeeded F. C. Almy. In this connection he has been as
successful as in previous enterprises.
The officers of the Delphos Can Company are: A. B. King, of
Delphos, president; C. Bruce Hartman, traveling salesman for the
Columbus (Ohio) Buggy Company, vice-president; and H. L. Leilich,
secretary, treasurer and general manager. He prepared the sketch for
Leech & Leech, architects of Lima, for the new brick building, which was
completed in September, 1904, and it was under his personal direction
that all the machinery has been installed and set in operation, e having
previously purchased it, with the consent of the board of managers.
The large factory of the Delphos Can Company, is located on Pierce
street, near the tracks of the P., Ft. W. & C. Railway, thus being
supplied with excellent shipping facilities. It is three stories high,
of brick and concrete construction, is fitted throughout with all modern
conveniences and can accommodate a large force of men. The building is
120 feet deep, with a 60 foot frontage, together with a warehouse 30 by
70 feet, and well-arranged office 20 by 43 feet. The machinery, which
consists of 18 standing power presses, 8 foot presses, and 4 double
seaming machines, 3 to a set and 4 sets in use are propelled by a 35
horse power engine of the most modern construction, with gasoline as
fuel, which, when necessary, will be replaced by a larger one. The
equipment include machinery for the making of every kind of can,
including special dies and tools. The plant has a capacity of one
car-load a day, besides local shipments. The output of cans for August
1905, was 22,000.
A full automatic double seamer is now in use, by which one can is
turned off while another is being prepared. It is a joint invention of
Mr. Leilich has withdrawn all individual rights to it. The company is
preparing to add largely to its manufactured articles. The management
now makes use of factory scraps, thereby utilizing all waste by
converting this material into caps, fills, etc. They also manufacture
wooden mallets, and have automatic turning lathes and various other
articles of the greatest utility. The company prides itself on using
only the very best material and employs only skilled labor. Among the
many products of the factory which have gained merited public
approbation may be mentioned the "Delphos" gem pan; the "Delphos"
non-overflow can; the "Delphos" druggists' dispenser; the never-leak
spout and faucet cans; the "Delphos: non-overfilling factory dispenser;
the long-handled dust pan; the "Delphos" oil can; the "Delphos" rotary
corn popper, and improved device, with the handle so constructed that
the hands can never be burned. The company has lately purchased another
factory that of the Toledo Tinware Manufaturing Company and this
addition will give them almost unlimited resources in their line of
Mr.Leilich has a most complete system of bookkeeping. He issues a
statement to the company every six months, and the auditing committee
has access to this books at all times he is a large advertiser, and at
present has over $6,000 invested in the columns of various farming
journals, mainly exploiting the company's non-overflow pump can and
other specialties. By advice of their attorney the company bought every
patent overflow can patent, which had been issued since 1890. A great
suit between the Delphos Can Company and the Standard Can Company
(through Church & Church, Washington attorneys, and Owen & Owen and
Seaney & Johnson, of Toledo), in the United Stats Circuit Court for the
Northern District of Ohio, was pending nearly two years the public and
the newspapers of that section being greatly interested in the outcome.
The Delphos Can Company now has a patent under way in connection with
their non-overflow any-lenth can, and is preparing to push its merits
throughout the United States.
Mr. Leilich was married October 29, 1884, to Louise Warner, who is a
daughter of th late Jacob Warner, formerly a well known contractor at
Delphos. They have one son, Clarence, a partner in the drug store of
King, Williams & Leilich and preparing for entrance at a college of
pharmacy. The family belongs to the Lutheran Church. Mr. Leilich is a
member of the Elks. Since 1896 he ahs been serving on the board of
directors of the Delphos National Bank, and is vice-president,
stockholder and director in the Delphos Building & Loan Association. He
has been identified with every recent improvement of the city of
Delphos, and a notable fact is that everything to which he has given his
special attention has proved a success. His portrait accompanies this
JACOB CLOYD RIDENOUR
JACOB CLOYD RIDENOUR, one of Lima's leading attorneys,
senior member of the law firm of Ridenour & Halfhill, was born in
Lima, March 9, 1860, and is one of a family of five children born to his
parents, Jacob and Dorcas (Dixson) Ridenour.
Mr. Ridenour is of Scotch and German descent. His ancestors came to
this country at an early date and located in the States of Maryland and
Pennsylvania. His great-grand- father was a soldier in the American
Army during the War of 1812. His grandfather removed from Maryland to
Ohio in 1820, and settled in Perry County after 10 years' residence
there locating in Allen County as one of its pioneer settlers.
Jacob Ridenour, the father of our subject, was born and reared in
this county. His wife, Dorcas, was a daughter of Jacob Dixson,
deceased, who in early life was a prominent farmer of Licking County,
Ohio, and later a resident of Allen County. In 1862, when his son, Jacob
Cloyd, was two years of age, Jacob Ridenour joined the Union Army as a
private in the 118th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf. He served in the East and
took part in many of the hard fought battles waged by the Army of the
Potomac under Hooker, Burnside, Meade and Grant. He died in camp at
Washington, D. C., February 5, 1865.
Jacob Cloyd Ridenour was reared on a farm near Lima and obtained his
preliminary education in the common schools of this county. He then
entered the Ohio Normal University at Ada where he was graduated in the
scientific department in 1882, and then became a student of law in the
State University of Iowa, from which he graduated in June, 1885. On the
23rd of that month he was admitted to practice in both the State and
Federal courts of Iowa. Soon afterward he returned to Ohio and accepted
the principalship of the LaRue High School. On June 2, 1886, he was
admitted to the Ohio bar, after successfully passing the examination
before the State Supreme Court. He at once engaged in practice in his
native city, soon showing that ability which has made his career one of
unusual success. On June 21, 1886, he formed a partnership with Gideon
Ditto, which continued until the latter's death in July, 1887. On
September 1, 1887, Mr. Ridenour formed his present partnership with
James W. Halfhill, which combination of legal talent has proved one of
great strength. The offices of the firm are at No. 51 Public Square.
In all the attributes necessary for legal success, Mr. Ridenour has been
liberally endowed, and it is safe to say that no name in the various
courts of Northwestern Ohio, is more favorably known that his. He is a
member of the Allen County Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar
Mr. Ridenour was married to Maggie Bowsher, a daughter of Anthony
Bowsher, and they have three children. The family residence is located
at No. 631 West Market Street.
In political matters and public affairs Mr. Ridenour has taken a very
active interest. He is a stanch Democrat and from January 1, 1894, to
January 1, 1900, was prosecuting attorney of his county. In 1900 he was
a delegate to the National Democratic Convention from the Fourth
Congressional District of Ohio. Fraternally he belongs to the Knights
of Pythias, Odd Fellows and Elks.
ULYSSES REICHENBACH, a prominent agriculturist of
Allen County, is a native of Canton Neuchatel, Switzerland, where he was
born on August 15, 1845. When he came to this country he was a poor man
and his present property represents years of patient toil. In addition
to the 146-acre homestead in section 34, Richland township, Mr.
Reichenbach owns 80 acres in Putnam County. His parents were John and
Margaret (Guntner) Reichenbach, who came to America in 1873 and made
their home here for the rest of their lives.
Ulysses Reichenbach was one of 10 children, seven boys and three
girls. At the age of 19 he left the parental roof to try his fortune in
a new country, landing in New York in 1866. He first stopped in Wayne
County, Ohio, where he worked on a farm by the month for one year, and
then came to Allen County and for four years worked by the month in
Richland Township. By dint of saving every penny, he managed to get
sufficient together to buy 80 acres of woodland in Putnam County.
Renting a farm there he cultivated it for a year. He cleared off the
timber on the 80 acre tract and erected a dwelling. Later he bought 106
acres in Allen County which, with the 40 acres received from his
father-in-law, comprise his present homestead. He has two good
dwellings on this farm, one of which is occupied by his son-in-law.
Mr. Reichenbach was married in November 30, 1869 to Fannie Basinger,
who was born September 14, 1841, on the farm where she now lives, her
parents being Sevmour and Barbara (Steiner) Basinger. Eight children
have blessed their union, namely: John, Leah, Henry, Lydia, Maggie,
Emma, Lena, and Amos. John, who resides on the 80 acre farm in Putnam
County, married Barbara Leichty and has three children Lillie, William
and Titlam. Leah resides at home with her parents. Henry, who is
engaged in farming in Richland township, married Emma Batcher and has
one child, Mildred. Lydia died at the age of nine years. Maggie
married William Steiner and has two children, Mabel and Odula. They
live in Putnam County. Emma, who was the wife of Fred Beiderman, left
at death one child, Sylvia, who lives with her grandparents. Lena
married Samuel Augsburger and had one child, Hazel, who died in infancy.
They live on Mr. Reichenbach's farm in Richland township. Amos married
Mary Welty, a daughter of Christ Welty, a farmer of Putnam County. They
have one child, Stella, and reside on the home farm. Mr. Reichenbach
has always supported the Democratic ticket. In religion he is a
conscientious and consistent member of the Mennonite Church.
W. H. DUDEN
W. H. DUDEN, a contractor and builder at Lima, whose
excellent work and honest methods of doing business have brought him
prominently before the public, has been a resident of this city since
1890. He was born on the line between Fairfield and Miami counties,
Ohio, in 1852.
The father of our subject was John A. Duden, who was a soldier in the
War of 1812. He learned and followed the trade of a locksmith, as long
as it proved profitable, and then turned his attention to cigar
manufacturing. In 1858 he moved to Clinton County, Ohio, and in the
fall of 1861 to Allen County.
W. H. Duden was eight years old when the family settled in this
county. He attended school until he was 15 years old and then learned
the trade of a shoemaker. He was thus employed at Cridersville,
Auglaize County, for some 12 years, after which he mastered the
carpenter's trade, having always had a natural bent in that direction.
This line of work he has since followed continuously, and for the past
26 years has been engaged in a general contracting business, during 15
years of which period he has been located at Lima. His work here is
shown in some of the finest and most substantial structures of the city
among others, the St. Rose parsonage, the Holland Block, and the
residences of W. L. Parmenter, M. Cohn, J. C. Ridenour, D. C. Dunn,
James Cory and DR. Van Note.
In 1873 Mr. Duden was united in marriage with Mrs. Mary A. Church of
Cridersville, and they have three children, viz: Elmer, a minister of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, located at Walhalla, North Dakota; James
Harvey, a painter by trade; and Ray, who is associated with his father.
Mr. and Mrs. Duden are members of the United Brethren Church. In
politics Mr. Duden is a Republican. Socially he is a member of the A.
O. U. W.