A. B. Klay

A. B. Klay, one of the leading business men of Lima,
is superintendent of the National Roofing Tile Company, which is one of
the important industrial plants of the city. He was born in 1858 in
Switzerland, and his educational training was secured in his native
land, where he lived until he was 26 years of age.
Mr. Klay learned the roofing tile business in Switzerland. In
1883 he came to America, locating first at Berne, Indiana, where many of
his countrymen form a prosperous community. Not finding a good opening
there in his special line of work, he remained but 18 months and then
came to Ohio, locating at Bluffton, Allen County, where he engaged in a
contracting business until 1891. He secured a farm and for some years
carried on agricultural work during the summers and spent his winters in
close study of matters pertaining to his special trade, during which
period he perfected many designs for machinery to be used in the
manufacture of roofing tile. In 1897 the accuracy of these plans he put
to the test, erecting at Ottawa, Putnam County, the first roofing tile
factory in this section of the State. He successfully operated the
factory there until 1901. In the fall of that year, upon the
organization of the National Roofing Tile Company, at Lima, he came to
this city as its superintendent.
This company was incorporated with a capital stock of $ 100,000,
and its officers, all well-known capitalists, are as follows: J. R.
Sinclair, president; J. F. Andrews, vice-president; Davis J. Cable,
secretary; Charles Stolzenbach, treasurer, and A. B. Klay,
superintendent. The board of directors is composed of the following men
of stability: J. D. S. Neely, William H. Duffield, C. H. Cory, J. A.
Bendure, A. B. Klay, and John Kerr. The late T. J. Morris was one of
the original directors.
Mr. Klay is also president of the A. B. Klay Company, which has
just been organized and incorporated with a capital stock of $100,000.
In this company he is also a member of the board of directors and one of
the largest stock-holders. He is one of the practical tile men and
these factories are operated with dry kilns and machinery of his
invention. As this factory is now in successful operation, Mr. Klay
anticipates erecting more factories in the near future, to be operated
under the A. B. Klay patents.
Mr. Klay was married in 1880, in Switzerland, to Mary Knuss, and
they have eight children, all of whom are now living, as follows: Emil,
for three years foreman of the National Roofing Tile Company, who
married a daughter of the late John Barr; Emma, who is the wife of
Rudolph Moser,of LIma; Bertha, who is the wife of Herman Moser, of Lima;
Jacob, formerly designer for the National Roofing Tile Company, who is
still interested in the business; and Menno, Sarah, Albert and William,
who are attending school.
Fraternally Mr. Klay is an Odd Fellow. He takes no very active
interest in politics beyond supporting those candidates who in his
judgment will best work for good government. The attractive family home
is located at No. 817 East Elm Street, Lima.