G. S. Vicary
G. S. Vicary, proprietor of the Star Iron Works, of
Lima, where he is also identified with many other important business
interests, and is deservedly counted among the city's leading and most
influential men, was born in Devonshire, England, in 1844.
Mr Vicary was but a lad of 16 years when he left home; but he had
learned the machinist trade in his father's shops and, being of an
ambitious and energetic spirit, decided to cut loose from old ties and
make his own way in the world. He went to British Columbia to put his
plans into operation, and soon found employment in a sawmill on Puget
Sound, where he remained engaged in machine work for some years. Later
he had charge of a big mill at Fort Madison, where he remained for two
years, going from there to the Oregon Iron Works at Portland, Oregon.
After one year there he entered the Marysville foundry in California
where he worked by the side of Prescott, who later became a national
character. After some two years there, Mr. Vicary accepted the position
of gang foreman in the shops of the Central Pacific Railroad, which he
held about four years. Mr. Vicary had all this experience while still a
very young man, displaying even then the stability of character, which
has made him one of the leading men of Lima while still in the prime of
As master mechanic he then went to Nevada for the Nevada Central
Narrow Gauge Railroad for two years, going then to Virginia City, where
he assisted in setting up some of the largest machinery in the Comstock
lode, some of the greatest pieces of machinery that were ever put up in
the mines at Virginia City. He helped to put in the machinery in the
Justice mine, a 1,200 horsepower engine, with all the modern
improvements including the Cataract valve motion and condensing
machinery. Subsequently he went to Bodie, Mono County, California, where
he had charge of the great machine shops for two years, and then came to
Ottawa, Putnam County, Ohio. His introduction to Lima was quite
accidental. While on a visit to his first wife's people in Putnam
County, he came to Lima to see the place, and was persuaded to accept a
position in the shops of the C., H. & D. Railway. Later he became
assistant foreman of the Solar Refinery. Mr. Vicary has traveled
extensively, having been in every State and Territory west of the Rocky
Mountains. He is known from Sitka, Alaska to Salt Lake City. Those who
have had the good fortune to meet Mr. Vicary have found him a courteous
and pleasant gentleman. He has resided in Lima for the past 23 years.
In 1894 Mr. Vicary bought the Star Iron Works at Lima, which under
his ownership have become one of the city's most important industries,
being the largest repair works in this section of the State. Being a
practical machinist, he thoroughly comprehends every detail of the most
intricate pieces of machinery, and his supervision covers every branch
of the work done. When he took charge of these works, he had about
absorbed his capital, but through his thorough knowledge and business
capacity he has become a leading factor in business life here, has won
honorable prominence in financial circles and enjoys also the esteem and
approbation of his fellow-citizens. He is one of the stockholders in
The First National Bank and also of The Lima Trust Company.
Mr. Vicary was married in 1865 to Melvina Harden, in California.
She was a daughter of Walker Harden of Putnam County. Her death occurred
in 1878. In 1882 he was married to Anna Belle Melhorn, who is a
daughter of John Melhorn, one of Lima's oldest pioneers, who still
survives, aged 87 years.
Politically Mr. Vicary is a Republican. He is a Mason of the 32nd
degree, a Knight Templar and a Shriner.