Hon. Henry L. Romey
Hon. Henry L. Romey, one of Bluffton's most prominent
and esteemed citizens, formerly mayor and postmaster, and closely
identified with the city's varied interests, was born in Canton Bern,
Switzerland, October 19, 1843, and is a son of Henry and Elizabeth
Mr. Romey is of French extraction. His father brought the family
to America in 1854, the mother having died two years previously, and
with his one daughter and three sons came to Allen County, settling on
a farm four miles south of Bluffton. On February 1, 1862, Henry Romey
enlisted for service in the Civil War, entering Company H, 74th Reg.,
Ohio Vol. Inf., under Captain Ballard and Col. Granville Moody, the "
preacher colonel." He served through three years of the war, a soldier
on the field until after the battle of Stone River, where he was
disabled, after that a prison guard. His death took place May 3, 1904,
at the age of 88 years. His children were: Henry L.; Julius, a resident
of Columbia City, Indiana, a soldier in the Civil War with his father
and brother Henry L.; Edward, of North Baltimore, Ohio; Rosetta, the
only daughter, who met death in childhood, falling from a train while on
her way from the old country.
Henry L. Romey remained with his father on the home farm until 1862.
His father entered the army in February and our subject followed his
example, enlisting on June 15th, in the same company and regiment. The
74th Ohio made a notable record as may be judged in recalling the long
list of important battles in which it took so proud a part, viz.: Stone
River, Hoover's Gap, Dug Gap, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary
Ridge, Buzzards Roost, Resaca, Dallas, Kenesaw Mountain, Chattahoochee
River, Peach Tree Creek, siege of Atlanta, Jonesboro, Averysboro and
Bentonville, and the remnant of the regiment with the tattered flags,
was honored in the Grand Review at Washington, Mr. Romey did not escape
injury in this long period of almost constant fighting receiving a
serious gunshot wound in his left foot at Jonesboro, September 1, 1864.
This entailed four months of treatment in the hospital, but he rejoined
his regiment in the following January, and was honorably discharged at
Louisville, Kentucky, July 10, 1865.
After his return from the army, Mr. Romey worked at the carpenter's
trade for a number of years, and then gave attention to fine cabinet
making. He sold out in 1889 and went into the
fire insurance business, was made a notary and is now serving his second
term as justice of of the peace.
Mr. Romey has been a life-long Democrat. Personally he is a very
popular citizen of Bluffton, and was twice elected mayor, serving as
such for four years. He was postmaster during the second term of
President Cleveland, and has acceptably filled other offices; has been
township clerk for six years; was treasurer for seven years and for
three terms member of the Board of Education.
On March 16, 1872, Mr. Romey was married to Rosa Kenie, who was
also born in Canton Bern, Switerland, in December 1852, and came to
America with her parents, in 1854. She is a daughter of John and
Barbara Kenie. They have had these children: Elizabeth, wife of John T.
Badertscher, of Hancock County; Carrie, wife of J. C. Welty, of
Bluffton; Samuel D., who is in the employ of his brother at Richmond,
Indiana; Richard, a student in the Bluffton High School, class of 1906;
and Fred, who is attending school.
Mr. Romey is the Bluffton agent for the Trans- Atlantic French
line, the Red Star line the North German Lloyd and the Baltimore and
American lines of steamships to Europe. He is a valued member of Robert
Hamilton Post, No. 262, G. A. R., at Bluffton. For many years he has
been a member of the Reformed Church and one of its trustees and liberal