Aaron Fisher, one of the leading citizens of Delphos,
and a member of one of the pioneer families of this county, was born
January 1, 1847, near LaFayette, Allen County, and is a son of Jacob and
Catherine (Long) Fisher.
The Fisher family originated in Germany, and the descendants have
widely scattered, having been always distinguished as solid citizens,
good home builders, and industrious, intelligent and thrifty members of
the communities in which they have lived. The father of our subject was
born in Pennsylvania and accompanied his parents to Perry County, Ohio,
where he was reared and learned the blacksmith's trade. In 1835 he
settled in Allen County, locating on a tract of 80 acres of wild land
which was situated in section 25, Jackson township, a mile and a quarter
from LaFayette. As illustrative of those primitive days, Mr. Fisher
recalls the stories told by his father of how he lived comfortably, for
a time, under the shelter of an old oak tree, while the building of the
log cabin took place. With an abundance of game of all kinds, including
flocks of wild turkeys, the question of subsistence was merely a nominal
one. The clearing of the farm followed the old log house gave way to a
modern, convenient frame residence, where, surrounded by an
affectionate, obedient family, the father's life closed at the age of 70
It is interesting to recall those days of early settlement in
Jackson township. Considered in the light of the present, there seems
to have been many drawbacks to content and comfort, but in those days
they were taken as matters of fact and were looked upon with an
indifference begotten of familiarity. The cultivation of the land was
carried on entirely with the sickle, rake, old-fashioned horse plow and
harrow, and the grain was threshed out on the barn floor with flails.
Clothing was almost entirely of home manufacture, that for summer wear
being made from flax grown on the farm and that for winter from wool
sheared from the flocks of sheep which formerly were raised in great
numbers. The wool was taken to Delphos and St. Mary's to be carded. In
a reminiscent mood, our subject can recall how, as a little lad, he had
to be strapped to the horse's back with the bag of grain, in order that
both should not come to grief on the way. He recalls that on a later
occasion he took the grain to mill on a vehicle made of a wagon tongue
and two wheels. This journey sometimes consumed several days, as each
customer at the mill had to wait his turn, and the old-time construction
of the grist-mills was such that expedition was impossible.
Mr. Fisher vividly recalls the boyish delights hovering around the
cooking of the corn pone before the open fire-place in the old log cabin
kitchen, with its pots and kettles in close proximity, and remembers the
toothsome viands prepared in the old Dutch oven. In those days
hospitality was an accepted virtue, and in no home was it more honored
than in that of Jacob Fisher. His pioneer cabin was a traveler's inn,
and on its threshold the weary stranger found the willing hand of
brotherly friendship extended. Especially welcome was the coming of the
pioneer preacher, who brought with him news, not otherwise obtainable,
of other sections of the State, and Mr. Fisher can remember when he and
his brothers climbed on the fence to eagerly watch for his coming.
Especially welcome on account of the many engaging qualities, which he
possessed, with his tried and true Christian zeal, was a Mr. Doner, who
made the home of Jacob Fisher his headquarters when in Jackson township.
The latter was the real founder of the Lutheran Church in his district,
and assisted in the construction of the log edifice, which was also used
at the first schoolhouse. Jacob Fisher was one of the men who should
never be forgotten in Jackson Township. Of his none children all
reached maturity except one. He gave three sons to the service of his
country during the Civil War Joseph, Benjamin and Noah the last
mentioned of whom never returned to his home, but fills a soldier's
grave at Memphis, Tennessee. The three surviving daughters are:
Susanna, who is the widow of Simon Foster, of Middlepoint, Van Wert
County; Nancy (Hallman), a widow, who resides near LaFayette; and Mary
Ann (Ernsberger), now of Decatur, Indiana, where she has resided for the
past year, but formerly for 35 years a resident of Delphos.
Aaron Fisher was the youngest child in the above family. He attended
school in the near- by log schoolhouse, and learned to write with a
quill pen and with ink made from bark and the berries of the poke weed.
The advantages afforded for an extended education were somewhat meager,
but a taste for learning was inspired and, for all practical purposes, a
sufficient familiarity with reading, writing and arithmetic was acquired
by the pupils. At the age of 21 he married and moved to LaFayette,
where he hired out as a carpenter and during the first year his wife
taught the village school. For the next eight years he worked as a
thresher, and also operated a rented farm, In the spring of 1870 he
removed to Delphos.
After settling at Delphos, Mr. Fisher carried on a teaming business
for a number of years. He began with a very small capital, but, through
good management and industry, soon increased it, bought a livery stable,
later ran an omnibus line, and started the first street sprinkler in
Delphos. Subsequently he sold the site of his stable to the city, and
the present Town Hall now occupies it. Later, through trading, he
acquired a farm on which was an excellent stone quarry. This he
operated for some years, and then purchased a tract of land inside the
corporate limits of Delphos, which he afterward sold to his son and
son-in-law, and which is still known as the Fisher stone quarry. In
addition to his teaming and livery enterprise, he embarked in an ice
business and all these lines are continued by is son. His own
interests, however, are still important. He purchased the business
block on the corner of Main and Second streets, first the south one-
half and later the north, and this is known as the Fisher Block. He
also owns and conducts a neat cigar and tabacco store on the block
located on the banks of the canal. He is a director of the Delphos
Foundry Company and has other considerable interests.
The death of Mr. Fisher's first wife occurred in December, 1899. She
was a lady much admired and beloved, a popular teacher and an active
church worker. Of the four children, two sons survive, viz.: Arthur,
his father's business successor, who lives in Van Wert County; and
Orville D., of Lima. An adopted daughter, Nellie M. Fisher, resides
with our subject. Mr. Fisher's present wife, Formerly Mrs. Margaret
Ward, had two children by her first marriage: May, who is a teacher, and
Dana, who is in business with Mr. Fisher.
Throughout his life Mr. Fisher has been actively identified with the
Democratic party, and in 1894 was elected sheriff of Allen County,
giving four years of active effort to the honest enforcement of the law.
The record of this period is one of loyal faithful service to his
fellow-citizens. At the close of his term he visited the West, mainly
in the hope of restoring his wife to health, but these efforts proved
unavailing. After his return, he built a fine livery barn on West
Spring street, Lima, which is 50 by 200 feet in dimensions one of the
largest establishments of its kind in the city.
Mr. Fisher is serving his second term on the City Council at Delphos.
He is chairman of the fire committee, and a very useful member of the
improvement and of the sanitary and sewer committees. He has been sent
as the representative of his party to many county and congressional
conventions and was honored with the appointment of sergeant-at-arms at
the Democratic National Convention at Chicago when President Cleveland
was nominated the second time. He is a member of the Masonic bodies
from the Blue Lodge to the Mystic Shrine, attending the lodges of the
higher branches at Dayton, Ohio; he is also connected with the order of
George P. Conner
George P. Conner of Lima, one of the leading Masons of
the United States, is a native of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, born
in 1858, and is a son of James A. Conner. The father was also born in
the Keystone State, where he died some 40 years ago, being a steamboat
pilot on the Allegheny River nearly all his life.
Our subject left Pennsylvania in 1876. In boyhood he had moved to
Philadelphia where he was educated and later mastered the business of
sign painting. In the year mentioned he located in Ada, Ohio, and four
years later removing to Topeka, Kansas. He followed his profession in
that city for 13 years, and then spent some four years traveling in the
interest of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company and Carter's White Lead
Company. In 1902 he returned to Lima, and this city has been his place
of residence ever since.
In 1880 Mr. Conner was married to Fannie L. Funk, a daughter of
Randolph M. Funk, and they have two daughters Rhea Lillian and Mabel
Pauline. The former married Charles R. Lingo, a locomotive engineer
residing at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he is at present manager for P. F.
Collier & Company. The latter resides at home. Mr. Conner and family
attend the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Conner enjoys the distinction of being one of the most competent
cryptic Masons in the Union, and is probably one of the most widely
known members of the fraternity in the United States. He has a national
reputation as an expounder of the Masonic work. In 1893 he was the
exemplifier of cryptic rite work before the General Grand Council of the
United Stats at Topeka, Kansas, and is thrice illustrious master of Lima
Council, No. 20, R. & S. M.; is the grand representative of the Gand
Council of Kansas near the Grand Council of Ohio.
In this fraternal connection is quoted the following extract from
the proceedings of the M. I. Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters
of Kansas, at their 37th annual assembly, held in the city of Wichita,
Kansas, February 13-14, A. D., 1904, A. Dep. 2905: " It has been my
pleasure during the year to issue commission to Ill. Comp. George P.
Conner, now of Lima, Ohio, and formerly a member of Zabud Council, No.
4, Topeka, Kansas. Comp. Conner, with his usual energy and devotion to
the work of Cryptic Masonry, became interested in Lima Council and in
the Grand Council of Ohio, became acquainted with Comp. Conner, he
immediately insisted that he should resign and that the Grand Master of
the Grand Council of Ohio should recommend the appointment of Comp.
Conner, which was accordingly done, and a commission issued to Comp.
Conner. We are pleased to be able to enroll his name among the Grand
Representatives of this Grand Council."
Great pleasure is also taken in quoting from the proceedings of the
Grand Council of Royal, Select and Super-Excellent Masters of Alabama,
held in the city of Montgomery, as follows:
"One of the most interesting gatherings in the Masonic history of
Montgomery and indeed in the State, was in the Odd Fellows' Hall which
had been kindly tendered for the occasion, last evening, when Montgomery
Council of Royal and Select Masters received 26 candidates into the
beauties and mysteries of Cryptic Masonry. Companion George P. Conner,
of Zabud Council, No. 4, Topeka, Kansas, one of the brightest and most
intelligent Masons of the Union, had kindly consented to be present and
assist in the work. To him the greatest credit for the success of the
assembly is to be accorded."
C. C. Bliss, M. D.
C. C. Bliss, M. D., mayor of Delphos, whose portrait is
herewith shown, is one of Allen County's most prominent citizens and
comes from a family which has been connected with the important event in
this section of the country for more than a half century. Dr. Bliss was
born in Lima, Allen County, Ohio, and is a son of Col. Lester and
Aldulia (Curtis) Bliss, grandson of Dr. David Bliss and great-grandson
of Samuel Bliss, a patriot of Revolutionary fame whose ancestry was both
English and Dutch. Early records make Samuel Bliss a man of note in
peace as well as in war.
Dr. David Bliss was born in Vermont and married Mary Van Trees, who
came from an old Holland family that became established in New York at
an early date. Dr. David Bliss was one of the pioneer physicians of
Sparta, Morrow County, Ohio, and there he practiced his profession until
his death in 1846, at the age of 60 years. He was a man of local
prominence outside his profession, and served as a justice of the peace
for very any years. The children of Dr. David Bliss and wife were:
Morgan L., a physician; and Maria, Mason, Mahala, Porter, Lester and
Mary A., who have passed off the scene of life's activities.
In Col. Lester Bliss, the father of our subject, Ohio possessed a man
of intellectual versatility, one who attained wide repute as a lawyer,
soldier and statesman. The sixth child of his parents' family, his
birth took place at Cooperstown, New York, August 10, 1817. His
education was the most liberal that the time and locality afforded, his
literary training being secured at Gambier, in Knox County, Ohio, and at
Granville, in Licking County. At an early age he turned his attention
to the study of the law, pursuing his studies under Hon. Henry B.
Curtis, a leading attorney. While a resident of Lima, he was also
interested for a time in a store and foundry business.
When Colonel Bliss removed to Delphos, he transferred his business to
his new location and it was continued here for a number of years under
he firm name of Bliss & Hover, his partner being a connection through
his first marriage. In 1850 Colonel Bliss was elected the first mayor
of Delphos and administered the affairs of the town to its benefit and
became so generally popular with his fellow-citizens that in 1852 he was
elected to the Legislature under the new State constitution. In 1853 he
was nominated for the office of Lieutenant- Governor of Ohio, but before
the final contest came he withdrew his name in the interest of party
concord. It was during this memorable campaign that he lost his wife,
who was the mother of our subject, a lady to whom he was devotedly
attached and one upon whom he greatly depended for advice and counsel.
Her death had much to with his loss of interest in political
Later Colonel Bliss accepted the position of superintendent of the
Ohio & Indiana Railroad now a part of the Pennsylvania system, which
position he filled for several years. In 1859 he disposed of his
business a Delphos and moved upon a farm west of the city, on which he
lived for some years, subsequently trading it for a beautiful property
of 312 acres situated along the Auglaize River, some five miles south
and east of Delphos, which he secured while at home on furlough fom his
duties as an officer in the Civil War.
When the 118th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., was recruited in 1862,
Colonel Bliss was delegated to visit Governor David Tod in order to make
arrangements for its efficiency in the field and the Governor
immediately appointed Colonel Bliss as quartermaster, with rank of
major. One year later he was commissioned lieutenant- colonel and with
the regiment was sent to serve with General Burnside in the East. He
took part in the siege of Knoxville and in many other engagements of a
more or less serious character and continued in the service until his
health, caused by army hardships, compelled him to resign in 1863. He
returned to the quietude of his country home and resided there in
retirement until his death in 1898.
Colonel Bliss was thrice married: first, in 1844, to Blinda Hover,
who was a daughter of Emanuel and Caroline (Adgate) Hover, of Shawnee
Township, Allen County. At her death in 1847, Mrs. Bliss left two sons,
Viz.: David M., of Lima, who is associated with the Western & Southern
Life Insurance Company; and Lester LeGrande, a veteran of the Civil War,
who died at Fort Scott, Kansas. Colonel Bliss married second, Mrs.
Aldulia Kennedy, who was a daughter of William Curtis and the widow of a
prominent early attorney of Lima. The most estimable, beloved and
admired lady passed away as above stated, leaving an only child, C. C.
Bliss, of this record. The third marriage of Colonel Bliss was to a
sister of his first wife. Mrs. Bliss still resides at Delphos. For
many years Colonel Bliss was very active in the Methodist Episcopal
Church and filled the greater number of the offices in the local church
at Delphos. In political sentiment he began his political career as a
Democrat; at the opening of the war he became identified with the party
known as War Democrats; but in later years he became affiliated with the
Republican party. He was a very prominent member of the G. A. R. Post
at Delphos and, as he would have chosen, his funeral was conducted with
military honors. C. C. Bliss came to Delphos in boyhood and first
attended the public schools here and enjoyed still better advantages at
Mount Vernon, in Knox County. Determining to become a physician, he
studied and worked for three years under Dr. H. P. Wagner, of Delphos,
as perceptor and in 1874 was graduated from the Bellevue Hospital,
Medical College, of New York. His preceptor was a graduate of the same
college, had enjoyed post-graduate work in Europe, was one of the
censors of the Toledo Medical College, and came to what is now Delphos
in 1847, settling in what was then known as " Section 10." After the
death of Dr. Wagner, Dr. Bliss opened an office of his own and continued
in practice for four years and then was interested in a paper mill which
he purchased and operated for a time. Later he resumed practice for a
short period, after which he engaged for some years in farming. In
February, 1883, he again took up professional work and also entered into
a drug business with J. W. Evans.
Dr. Bliss has always been active in politics and in 1899 he was
elected, on the Republican ticket, mayor of Delphos. After serving two
years in this position, he was succeeded by G. W. Wilson for one year,
was then re-elected in 1902 and is still the incumbent. In his official
life he has ever shown that he has the best interests of the community at
heart and has demonstrated that he is a true friend of education,
culture and progress.
Dr. Bliss was married to Soplronia O. Herrick, who was born at Mount
Gilead, Ohio, and is a daughter of Simeon and Tirza (Nichols) Herrick.
Fraternally Dr. Bliss is a Mason of very high degree and has filled many
official positions. He is a director of the Commercial Bank at Delphos
and secretary of the Delphos Building and Loan Association.
Minor T. Long
Minor T. Long, one of the prominent citizens and
substantial, reliable and representative men of Allen County, residing
in his comfortable and attractive home on his farm of 350 acres, located
in sections 28, 33 and 34, Marion township, was born Augst 24, 1845, in
Clermont County, Ohio, and is a son of Jacob and Rebecca A.
The Long family is a typical American one, the record of past
generations showing loyalty to country and good citizenship in upholding
her laws. Jacob Long, the grandfather of Minor T. and a son of Jacob,
removed with his first wife, Elizabeth Carliard, from Fayetteville,
North Carolina, to Hamilton County, Ohio settling with the pioneers on
the site of the present city of Cincinnati. He had done good service in
the War of 1812. After some years of residence at Cincinnati, he
decided to press still farther into the wilderness, much of which was
then almost unknown territory, and after making his decision shipped the
house-hold effects from Cincinnati to Clermont County, and in the spring
of 1852 he came by canal boat to the neighborhood of Delphos, and
settled on 73 acres, which comprise a part of our subject's farm. The
land is beautifully situated, sloping gently to the Auglaize River, and
has every advantage of location and fertility to make it one of the most
valuable estates in this section of Ohio. On this land, engaged in
clearing and tilling, in looking after the interests of his family and
paying attention to the welfare of his community. Grandfather Long
spent the rest of a long, useful and worthy life, dying May 6, 1869,
aged 87 years, 2 months and 1 day. His second wife, Mrs. Minerva (Free)
Westerfield, who was the widow of Jacob Westerfield, died seven years
later, on November 25, 1876, aged 76 years, 8 months and 19 days. Their
remains rest in Walnut Grove Cemetery, a marble slab marking the spot.
In close proximity rest the ashes of their son, the father of our
subject, and here in his memory has been placed one of the most
beautiful granite monuments of the "City of the Dead."
For a number of years these venerated pioneers lived in a primitive
log cabin, surrounded by the forest, and they passed through many of the
hardships which early settlers so courageously faced and endured. They
wore homespun clothes, they made by hand almost all of the necessary
household implements, and they labored from rise to set of the sun; but
they also found time to build up those civilizing influences which have
always attended upon worthy living, throwing open their cabin to the
traveling preacher and securing instructors for their children. Mr.
Long was a better educated man than many of his neighbors and naturally
was consulted by them on public questions. All over he county this
venerable couple were known and their virtues were appreciated.
Jacob Long, father of our subject, was born in Ohio and died in
Allen County on July 31, 1895, aged 71 years, 8 months and 30 days. He
married Rebecca A. Westerfield, whose death occurred at the age of 64
years, 1 month and 8 days. They both were worthy and interested members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, being connected with the Morris
Chapel congregation at Delphos. They were the parents of four children,
namely: Minor T., of Marion township; Marianna, who married Theodore
Culp, of Van Wert, Ohio, and has a family of children; F. E., who is a
farmer living in section 22, Marion township, married and has reared a
family; and Minerva, who is the wife of Samuel W. Wright, a member of
the Board of County Commissioners of Allen County he resides in section
29, Marion township, his farm being on the Lima turnpike road.
The father of Mr. Long followed agricultural pursuits through life,
farming in section 28, Marion Township. During the Civil War he
followed the example set him by his father, and became a soldier when
his country needed his services. He enlisted in a company of the 33rd
Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., which came to constitute a part of the army of
General Sherman and with him made that glorious "March to the Sea." He
was one of that victorious view at Washington.
After the close of the war, Jacob Long put aside his sword, figuratively
turning it into a pruning-hook, and returned to the peaceful pursuits
from which he had been called by the danger of the dismemberment of his
country. He was elected by his fellow-citizens to a number of the
local offices, including that of trustee of Marion Township, and during
his whole life there were numerous evidences shown of the high esteem in
which he was held by his neighbors. He was a man ever ready to forward
every movement of public value and his hand was open to the call of
Minor T. Long, our immediate subject, is a most worthy representative
of ancestors whose honorable lives have been pictured above. He was
reared among conditions which were still more or less of a pioneer
character, and he remembers well the old log schoolhouse, with its slab
seats for benches and its great open fire-place, where he first received
instruction. Before his school days were ended, however, a neat frame
building took the place of the log structure, and many improvements were
From early boyhood Mr. Long had duties to perform about the farm. He
now reaps the benefit of his boyhood labors. Few farmers have met with
more pronounced success than has Mr. Long, in cultivating his land; but
he has given more attention to later years to the raising of Shorthorn
cattle and fine Percheron horses. He is a fine judge of stock of all
kinds and is a familiar figure at agricultural fairs. He has had the
satisfaction of bearing off the blue ribbons for his fine Percheron
stock at several expositions, notably the Allen County and the Putnam
County fairs, for several years.
In the fall of 1867 Mr. Long was married to Nancy J. Tucker, who was
born in Perry County, Ohio, and is a daughter of G. W. Tucker. Her
father was a pioneer of Allen County. Mr. and Mrs. Long have four
children: Cora E., wife of E. E. Truesdale, assistant postmaster at
Delphos; Dane D., who was married in June 1905, to Hazel Bradley; Dawn
C., unmarried, who assists on the home farm; and Charles Clifford, also
at home. Mr. Long and family belong to Morris Chapel and he is one of
the board of trustees.
During the Civil War, our subject, like his ancestors, gave loyal
service to his country. He was a member of company B, McLaughlin's
Squadron, and was all through the Atlanta campaign, marching with
Sherman's forces to the sea. He is a member of the Reul Post, G. A. R.,
at Delphos, and has been commander. Mr. Long has served as trustee of
Marion Township for two terms; after having been connected with the
School Board for a long period, he is now serving as its president. He
is also president of the Mutual Insurance Company of Allen County, which
carries nearly $3,000,000 of risks. He is also treasurer of Walnut
Grove Cemetery, which, without doubt, is one of the most beautiful and
well-arranged burial places in the county. As one of the officials Mr.
Long gives close and careful attention to the constant improvement and
beautifying of this spot.