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John Jacob Gayer

John Jacob Gayer, one of Spenerville's leading
citizens and representative business men, manager of the Spencerville
Artificial Stone Company and interested in other successful concerns,
was born in 1860, in Auglaize County, Ohio, and is a son of Gottlieb and
Magdalena (Beck) Gayer.
The ancestors of Mr. Gayer may be traced as far back as the days
when religious persecution banished many of the natives of France to
other countries, his great-grandfather settling in Germany. Gottlieb
Gayer, his father, was born in Wittenberg, Germany, in October, 1816,
and died in Auglaize County, Ohio, in 1899, aged 83 years. He was
married at Wittenburg to Magdalena Beck, who died in 1902, aged 77
years. The five survivors of their family of eight children are:
Frederika, who resides on the old homestead farm in Auglaize County;
Katherine, wife of Gottlieb Eibling, of Marion, Ohio; Gottlieb, who owns
the homestead farm; John Jacob; and Mary, who died December 9, 1905. The
parents, with five children, emigrated to America in 1861, settling
first in Marion County, Ohio, but locating permanently in Auglaize
County in 1863, living on two separate farms which the father improved.
John Jacob Gayer was reared and educated in Auglaize County and
remained at home until he was 30 years of age. After completing the
common school course, he took a business training at Berea College, but
continued to live on the homestead farm until 1891, when he located in
Spencerville. He first engaged in a livery enterprise, but disposed of
it later and entered into the meat business. Since 1896 he has been
contracting for Eastern capitalists who are interested in oil drilling,
he having been identified with every branch of the oil development
business for years. Since coming to Spencerville he has invested in
both city and country real estate, owning a fine farm on the edge of the
town and one of the handsomest homes in the locality. It is constructed
of stone, is beautifully situated and is equipped with every modern
convenience. When the Spencerville Artificial Stone Company was
organized, he was one of its founders, and in 1904 was president and
manager. It is now incorporated, Dr. Jacob R. Welsh being president and
Mr. Gayer manager, and its business prospects are most flattering.
Mr. Gayer married Phoebe Metzger, who was born in Auglaize County,
Ohio, and is a daughter of Frederick Metzger, and they have had three
children, the two survivors being: Irwin Benson, residing in
Spencerville, who is a cement walk contractor; and Edith Marie, a
student in the Spencerville High School.
Politically Mr. Gayer is a Republican and he has taken an active
interest in public matters for years, frequently serving as a delegate
to important party conventions. He is a Mason, belonging to the Blue
Lodge and Royal Arch Chapter at Spencerville, and the Council at
Delphos. He is also an Odd Fellow, having membership in both lodge and