Hon. Richard E. Jones

Hon. Richard E. Jones, M. D., whose portrait
accompanies this sketch, may be aptly referred to as the "Grand Old
Man." When this title is bestowed, it it conferred on one who is not
only eminent in one or more direction, but whose life, achievements and
character appeal to all that is best and highest in human nature. Hon.
Richard E. Jones, M. D., is the "Grand Old Man" of Gomer, where, for
half a century he has gone in and out among his fellow-men, ministering
to them in sickness, advising them in trouble, defending them with ripe
judgment in business complications, representing them with dignity and
fidelity in the Legislature, and setting them in high example in his
interpretation of Christian life and fellowship. Dr. Jones is not an
American by birth, but he is one by development. Although in accord with
American ideas and institutions, his heart still fondly turns to the
homestead at Tawelfan, Llanbrynmair, Montgomeryshire, North Wales, where
he was born on April 19, 1834. His parents were William and Mary
(Evans) Jones, names familiar to every Welshman.
William Jones, the father, was born at Tymayr, North Wales, and lived
to be 90 years old, dying in Allen County, Ohio, a man generally
respected and esteemed. In April, 1848, William Jones decided to
emigrate to America with his little family, and hence took passage on
the sailing vessel bearing the friendly name of "William Penn." After a
more or less trying voyage of eight weeks on the Atlantic Ocean, the
strangers were landed at Philadelphia, with a long journey by rail,
river and canal still before them ere they could reach their destination
in Allen County. In time the father acquired a half-section of land and
throughout his entire active life was an agriculturist. He was
interested in the founding and supporting of the Welsh Congregational
Church at Gomer, and for many years was one of its deacons. He married
Mary Evans, who was born in North Wales, and survived her husband but
two years, dying at the age of 79. The three children of this union
were: Richard E. ; William, a resident of Lima; and Mary, who died
unmarried.
Richard E. Jones was a bright, intelligent youth of 14 years when the
family reached Sugar Creek township and settled on the selected farm,
some seven miles north of Lima. He readily recalls the pioneer
surroundings and the wild state of the country between Delphos and
Gomer, wagon tracks taking the place of roads, this condition of affairs
making transportation during bad weather almost an impossibility. He
remained with his father for about two years, assisting on the farm
until the second son could take his place, and then turned his attention
to the study of medicine, an ambition he had long cherished. About 1851
he became a student under Dr. Monroe, at Vaughnsville, and under his
direction continued his professional reading through some four years,
afterward attending the medical lectures and pursuing the course at
Miami Medical College, Cincinnati, from which he was graduated in
February, 1856.
The year of 1855 was one of unusual sickness in this locality and, in
dating the beginning of his practice, Dr. Jones may justly name this
year, during which he probably was kept as busy in visiting patients all
over the township as for any like period in his career. Dr. Jones has
always been a general practitioner and a close student, having been very
active in the diffusion of medical knowledge. He was one of the early
promoters of medical societies in the county, is a member of various
medical organizations throughout the State, and for a number of years
served as president and secretary of the Northwestern Ohio Medical
Association. Outside of his profession, he has served on many civic
bodies, and has taken a prominent part in business and social life. For
a long period he has been one of the directors of The First National
Bank of Lima. When the Elida Pioneer Society was organized 12 years
ago, he was naturally chosen as its president. It is probably the
largest organization of the kind in the State, having an attendance of
about 10,000 at its annual meetings, which are looked upon in the light
of most enjoyable events. The Elida Pioneer Society held a notable
meeting on August 11, 1904, and in the list of its officers may be found
the names of the leading men of importance in Allen County, beginning
with the president, Dr. R. E. Jones.
Dr. Jones has always been identified with the Democratic party,
casting his first presidential vote for James Buchanan. For 42 years he
served as treasurer of Sugar Creek township, during 40 years of this
period being obliged to contend with a large Republican majority in the
township, but his personal popularity has always been so great that in
any contest where he has been concerned party lines have been entrely
ignored. He served two terms in the General Assembly, demonstrating
there his ability as a statesman, and but adding to the confidence and
trust which his fellow-citizens already reposed him. For 57 years he
has been a member of the Welsh Congregational Church at Gomer and has
been one of its most liberal supporters and useful members. During the
erection of two church edifices and the remodeling of one, he has served
on the building committee, his care and judgment being the means of
obtaining the best results through the least possible expenditure.
Dr. Jones has never married; seemingly he has so given his life and
energies to those who have needed his services as to ignore the possible
possession of a domestic circle of his own. While he has acceptably
filled many positions, he has always been first and foremost a
physician, and as such has borne many of the heaviest burdens of the
community for more than two-score years. Between him and those to whom
he has ministered so faithfully exists a sentiment much deeper than
confidence and esteem; for his faithfulness in times of trouble and
distress, his heroic efforts to save life, of to prolong it, and his
deep, warm sympathy when all his skill, experience and learning could
not combat disease, are so well known that herein lies the feeling with
which his fellow townsmen regard him. Admired as he is as a physician,
he is beloved and reverenced as a man. In him the weak and friendless,
the humble and the obscure, have found as true and faithful a friend and
physician, as have those whose lives of affluence and ease have not
prevented the inroads of disease or the grip of affliction. That Dr.
Jones, with his multitudinous interests, his private friendships and
public tasks should have remained the same kind, unobtrusive, gentle
mannered citizen, accessible to everyone ready to freely give himself,
his time, his money, his skill might surprise a stranger, but to those
who know him best, this is but an example of what they have always found
and is one reason why he is the "Grand Old Man."
On June 11,1904, dawned the sun on the 70th birth year of Gomer's
best loved citizen. The day and its significance had not escaped him,
but he had no conception of the manner in which it was to be celebrated
by his fellow- citizens and friends, even in far-off Wales. It has been
the editor's privilege to peruse the glowing accounts published in the
Ohio journals, and it seems but a fitting close to this imperfect
biography to speak at length of the interesting events of that notable
day.
Dr. Jones has a beautiful home, set in handsome grounds surrounded by
shrubbery and, in season, by beautiful flowers, cared for by Edith
Jones, the admirable lady who presides here her uncle's homemaker and
often his almoner. When his birthday was approaching, Miss Jones, with
Dr. Davis, a partner of 42 years, and several very near and dear
friends, began to plan a little surprise for the beloved Doctor, with
the intention of offering some entertainment at his home to those of his
closest friends who would be delighted with an opportunity to do him
honor of his closest friends who would be delighted with an opportunity
to do him honor on his natal day. By the time Miss Jones, and those
with whom she consulted, had remembered 1,500 names, the project had
assumed such proportions that the original idea was changed and the
elaborate celebration was planned which later took place. An honorary
committee composed of these citizens undertook the task of sending out
invitations: Dr. S. A. Baxter, Lima; A. M. Bushey, Gomer; Rev. R. Lloyd
Roberts, Gomer Dr. Frank D. Bain, Kenton; Hon. S. D. Crites, Elida; Dr.
C. B. Stemen, Fort Wayne, Indiana; Thomas H. Jones, Lima; Samuel T.
Griffith, Cincinnati; Alexander Shenk, Delphos: Judge J. M. Pugh,
Columbus; Hon. J. G. Roberts, Elida, corresponding secretary. This
committee sent out 1,200 invitations; out of this number, only 64
letters and telegrams of regret were received, and they came from
admiring friends in different sections of the United States and from
across the Atlantic.
Gomer is essentially a settlement of Welsh pioneers who brought
hither their habits of frugality and industry, their high ideals of
right and wrong and their religious convictions. Here they have
multiplied and flourished and, in large measure, retained the leading
characteristics of their native land. From Gomer have gone out many men
and women who have taken an honorable part in the country's affairs. On
the day mentioned, all Gomer was in gala attire and the hole town was
intersted in the celebration about to take place. The reception
committee was composed of Miss Edith Jones, Mrs. Dr. John Davis, Mrs.
William Price, Rev. R. Lloyd Roberts, Dr. C. B. Stemen and Hon. S. D.
Crites. A bountiful feast had been prepared by hundreds of willing
hands and after it had been enjoyed, Dr. S. A. Baxter, himself and
honored and beloved citizen of Allen County, called the meeting to order
a presiding officer. Then followed poems, speeches and the presentation
of numberless beautiful gifts, all in such generous profusion, that the
good Doctor's eges filled with moisture, and when his time came to speak
to this great concourse which represented only a part of his friends, he
found that his ready wit, his easy speech and confidence of manner,
which had never deserted him before critical bodies in public and
business life, failed him, to a degree, in the presence of a seemingly
boundless affection. Restraining his emotion, however, he heartily
thanked those who had met to do him so much honor, his closing remarks
being: "You will pardon me if I am overwhelmed with emotion at seeing so
many old and young friends. There are but few here, but those I know
intimately. To these and to those who send regrets from all over this
broad land, the land of my adoption, and schoolmates and friends of my
boyhood days in my native land, my heart goes out to overflowing. The
tokens of your esteem will be highly prized as long as I live, and this
day will never be eliminated from my memory. May God bless you all."
Dr. Baxter presented many notable people present, all of whom spoke
at some length, expressing beautiful sentiments of admiration,
appreciation and good will. Among these were; Hon. S. S. Wheeler, E. B.
Walkup, Dr. Beardsley, Dr. William Enslen and Hon. John G. Roberts. The
last speech on the program was a sincerely eulogistic one, made by an
old friend and colleague of Dr. Jones, Dr. C. B. Stemen, of Fort Wayne,
Indiana. Then with a touching prayer by Rev. I. J. Swanson and the
singing of "Praise God From Whom all Blessings Flow," this remarkable
demonstration was officially at an end. The remainder of the beautiful
day was spent in visiting and social reunions of a most agreeable
character. Much beautiful music and rendered during and after the
exercises. Dr. Jones possesses musical ability himself, as do almost
all native Welshmen, and was an appreciative listener. The Republican
Gazette, of Lima, spoke of Dr. Jones editorially as " one whose life has
impressed itself indelibly upon the character of the community and
indirectly upon the whole country. His life has been one worthy of
emulation. The splendid demonstration was the legitimate and
spontaneous outburst of gratitude from his friends and neighbors, in
recognition of the beautiful life he has spent among them." The Times
Democrat was no less eulogistic, the Columbus Grove Clipper also giving
a long and interesting account of the celebration, with words of just
praise. Among the beautiful gifts brought by friends and relatives as
tokens of the day, may be mentioned: A handsome silk umbrella, a gold
cane, a leather chair, a gold shaving mug and brush, a handsome chair of
unique design i leather and rattan, a 24 section book-case, a clock, a
filing case, a chair and a beautiful golden oak office desk of old
English pattern. It was estimated that about 2,000 people participated
in this celebration.


Col. Israel T. Moore

Col. Israel T. Moore, president of The Commercial
Bank, of Lima, a distinguished survivor of the great Civil War, and
essentially a self made man, was born February 9, 1831, in Butler
County, Ohio, and is a son of Andrew P. and Elizabeth (McTaggert) Moore.
The father of our subject was born in New Jersey, came subsequently
to Ohio and was a large farmer and stock raiser. In 1834 he removed to
Allen County and there reared his family of nine children.
Israel T. was three years old when the family settled in Allen County
and he grew to the age of 13 years on the farm, attending the local
schools, and then the family moved to Franklin, Warren County. In 1846
Israel T. Moore returned to Allen County, and here learned the trade of
cabinet-making; but, finding the field well occupied in this line, in
the following year he went to Cincinnati in search of a better business
opening. There he engaged as a clerk in a grocery store, finding a
position just in time to save himself from want, as when he landed in
that city from the canal-boat his capital consisted of just 25 cents.
His salary of $5 a month was ot very generous, but it carried some
perquisites with it and he very soon found his salary increased to $7
per month.
In the meantime an Uncle, who was a capitalist, had watched the young
man with interest, when he found him thoroughly reliable and
hard-working, he consented to loan him the sum of $200, to enable him to
go into business with Joseph Cunningham. The partnership was formed,
the grocery business was established and for two years it was
successfully carried on. Then a fire came and they lost all they
possessed. Although this was naturally a bitter experience, Mr. Moore
did not lose heart but courageously and immediately went to work again
as a clerk, commanding now $28 a month, and held his position for two
years, managing during this time to save the amount he had borrowed from
his uncle, which he repaid with interest.
Mr. Moore continued in the grocery and produce business with his
brother on Ninth street, Cincinnati, for some years, the firm being
known as Moore Brothers. Two years later his brother William opened up
a branch store at South Warsaw, while our subject continued the business
the business in Cincinnati until 1855, when he sold out and joined his
brother at South Warsaw. The business was continued here for a time and
then they disposed of it and went into the stock business, later
becoming interested extensively in real estate. Mr. Moore purchased a
tract of 10 acres of land for his own use, later added 30 acres and
still later 80 acres. While he had prospered in material ways, the
young man felt the need of wider mental qualifications, and as he had
accumulated enough capital to allow him to give up business for a while,
he entered the Ohio Wesleyan University a Delaware, where he remained
two terms, during this time he secured the position of teacher in the
lower grades, which enabled him to pay for his own tuition.
In 1861, when the country was convulsed in the throes of the great
Civil War, he felt the loyal enthusiasm of the time and was not slow in
enlist in his country's defense. He entered Company D, 54th Reg., Ohio
Vol. Inf., as a private, on September 10, 1861, and wore the Union blue
until the close of strife in 1865. His rise from the ranks was rapid,
passing quickly through the lower grades to 1st lieutenant, then to
captain, later to major and during the last two years before his
honorable discharge he was lieutenant-colonel, most of the time having
command above his rank. At one time he had command of the 90th Illinois
in addition to his own regiment, and at another time his command
included, besides his own regiment, a troop of cavalry and two pieces of
artillery. During his whole period he served under but two of the great
commanders Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. It is unnecessary
to state that Colonel Moore took part in the hardest fought and mos
decisive battles of that great war. Without enumerating any of the
skirmishes, he has 27 battles to his credit, his personal valor in these
resulting in is promotion to the important rank of which he attained.
He is a valued member of the Grand Army of the Republic, a body of men
which will be respected as long as one hoary head is left. He helped to
organize the society of the Army of the Tennessee at Raleigh, North
Carolina. Patriotic Americans, while proud of the achievements of the
younger generation, can never forget that to the " Boys of '61" we are
indebted for the peace and prosperity of the present.
After the close of the war, Colonel Moore came to Lima, and for the
two following years he was engaged by a business firm of the city as
bookkeeper. In 1870 the three brothers Israel T., William and Henry
Moore combined their capital and embarked in a dry goods business which
they carried on through one year. They then disposed of their dry goods
line and Israel T. and William engaged in the grocery business. The
grocery business succeeded from the first, our subject being a practical
man in that line and they enlarged until they had an extensive wholesale
as well as retail business. This they successfully carried on for a
period of 10 years, when they closed the retail department and for the
next 10 years did only a wholesale business. In 1891 the death of
William Moore brought changes, our subject buying his interest and the
business was continued as a stock company for the next eleven years. No
longer having need to accumulate, Colonel Moore the retired from the
business and spent some time looking after his many investments and in
recreations which his former busy life left him no time to enjoy.
In 1904, however, Colonel Moore once more entered the business field,
this time as a banker, becoming the president of The Commercial Bank, of
Lima. Of this institution his son Harry M. Moore is the cashier and
Clem S. Baxter is assistant cashier. Mr Moore's reputation and known
conservative methods have resulted favorably for this financial
institution, which enjoys a well-deserved prosperity.
Colonel Moore was united in marriage with Mary S. Metheany, who is a
daughter of the late Robert Metheany, and they have had eight children,
five of whom are now living and well established in life, one son, as
noted above, being with his father in the bank. The family residence is
located at No. 545 West Market Street, Lima, one of the old, comfortable
homes of this choice locality. Colonel Moore with his family attends
the Presbyterian Church, of which he is a liberal supporter. He is
prominently identified with the Republican party as far as influence
goes, but he is not a politician in the common acceptance of the term.
In fraternal life he has long been a member of the Odd Fellows.
Few citizens of Lima enjoy in greater degree the esteem of his
fellow-citizens than does Colonel Moore. In him they recognize the able
business man, the brave and loyal soldier and the good citizen, one
whose life holds special interest for those who, left as he was, to
fight almost alone in early youth, conquered through manliness and
courage. He has always shown an interest in young men, and on more than
one occasion his practical advice has been accompanied by financial
assistance.


John Crider

John Crider, deceased, was one of the representative
men of Spencer township, for many years, during which time he was
closely identified with its material development. He was born in Knox
County, Ohio, in 1843, and was a son of David Crider, a native of
Virginia, who early settled in Knox County and was a pioneer in Spencer
township, in 1851.
The late John Crider was reared in Spencer township from the age of
eight years and attended school during his boyhood as opportunity
presented. His father had entered a farm in section 23, Spencer
township, and young Crider assisted him in converting it from a swamp
and wilderness into the valuable propety it subsequently became. After
his marriage he settled in a log house on this property, and even at
that time the only roads in the vicinity were very poor corduroy roads.
It required years of hard work to clear away the forest growth to drain
the land and to put it under cultivation. Later, when oil was
discovered on the property it was greatly enhanced in value. Now six
oil-wells are operated where, in the young manhood of Mr. Crider, stood
giant forest trees underneath which roamed deer in numbers and where
wild turkeys nested.
In 1865 Mr. Crider was married in Allen County to Mahala Osborn, who
was born in Greene County, Ohio, in 1847, and is a daughter of Lewis and
Sarah (Farris) Osborn. One of her grandfathers was William Lee, who was
drowned while attending to his duties as lock tender on the Miami and
Erie Canal. For his second wife he married Mrs. Elizabeth E. (Sampson)
Farris and the survivor of their family is one son David Lee. Mrs.
Crider was four years old when her parents moved to Allen County and
settled in Amanda Township. She was the only child of her parents and
from the age of two years was reared by her grandfather. He was a
native of Kentucky and settled on land where the city of Cincinnati now
stands, at a time when only five houses had been built in the embryo
city. He raised broom- corn on the very site of some of Cincinnati 's
tallest buildings. He was also one of the earliest settlers in Amanda
township, Allen County, coming to Spencerville when it was yet called "
Arcadia" and was a village of 75 people.
Mrs. Crider has passed through many pioneer hardships and can recall
a great many interesting events connected with her early life both
before and after her marriage. She became accomplished in all the
housewifely arts and frugal ways necessary at the time and, with a just
amount of pride, says that she could yet spin and weave if necessity
required. Since the death of her husband, on February 11, 1887, she has
resided on the farm, which is under lease. It has been greatly improved
and is one of the township's fine properties.
Mr. and Mrs. Crider had three children: Ida Elizabeth, who died aged
eight years; Clarence Clyde and John Edward. Both of the sons are
interested in the oil business. Mrs. Crider was one of the first members
of the Union Christian Church, and her membership has never changed.
She has in her possession the original deed to her home farm which was
given David Crider in 1851.