Hon. S. D. Crites
Hon. S. D. Crites, whose portrait appears on the
opposite page, ably represents the 32d Senatorial District in the Ohio
State Senate. He was born in German township, Allen County, Ohio,
November 28, 1847, and is a son of Jacob and Mary J. (Cremean) Crites.
Jacob Crites, father of Senator Crites, was born October 19, 1822,
in Pickaway County, Ohio, came to Allen County as an early pioneer and
died in German township, in March, 1904. During a long and useful life
he was identified with a large number of the important interests of the
county and was a highly respected man and valued citizen.
S. D. Crites was reared on his father's farm and was instructed in
all the practical work incident to the development of a large property.
When 18 years of age he began to teach school, earning enough in this
way to enable him to attend he National Normal University, at Lebanon,
Ohio, under the superintendence of that noted educator, President Alfred
Holbrook. In 1870 Mr. Crites was appointed superintendent of the Elida
public schools, a position he filled with efficiency for 12 successive
years, resigning at the close of this long period on account of failing
health. From 1876 until 1888 he was a member of the Allen County Board
of School Examiners and for nine years he served as a justice of the
peace in German township.
In 1883 Mr. Crites decided to try the effects of the out-door life
necessary in the successful carrying on of large agricultural
operations, and devoted himself to extensive farming and to the raising,
buying and shipping of stock. A few years of country life restored his
normal health. He now has his farms under rental to J. L. Edmiston and
Alva Benedum, owning two adjoining farms, consisting of 300 acres.
In 1895 he purchased the grain elevator at Elida, which he
renovated; at present he is operating it in partnership with his
brother, D. H. Crites, who is the active manager. In September, 1903,
Senator Crites organized one of the leading financial establishments of
this part of the State, the Farmers' Bank of Elida. Aside from his
public duties, Senator Crites devotes all his time to the interests of
this bank and is ably assisted by his very capable daughter, Zoe Crites,
who is cashier.
Senator Crites has not only been a prominent figure in the
educational and business circles of Allen County, but for years he as
been a dominating factor in its political life. His sympathies have
always been accord with the Democratic party, In 1901 he was nominated
by acclamation, an unusual testimonial of party esteem, at the Democratic
District Convention, for the position of State Senator, to represent the
32d Senatorial District, which is composed of the rich and populous
counties of Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Mercer, Paulding, Van Wert and
Williams. He was elected to this high position by a majority of 2,300
votes, and was re-elected at the expiration of his first term,
practically without opposition. His work has been especially given, as
committeeman, to finance, agriculture, benevolent institutions, common
schools and school lands, fees and salaries, public works and public
lands, penitentiaries, universities, colleges and banks, and building
and loan associations. Upon his retirement from public life, Senator
Crites proposes to devote himself exclusively to his banking interests.
In 1872 the subject of this sketch was married to Sarah Jane
Reichelderfer, of Pickaway County, Ohio, who died in the same year. In
1876 he was married to Emma M. Ditto, and they have four accomplished
daughters, viz.: Mrs. S. O. Morris, of Lima; Mable, Zoe and Grace.
Fraternally Senator Crites is a Mason and has taken all the degrees
up to and including the 32d. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church at Elida.