Pages 392 - 397

History of Hamilton

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C. H. STAHLER was born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, April 23, 1843. He is the only living child of Joel and Elizabeth (SHANTZ) STAHLER. He was educated in the common schools in Lehigh County, and completed his educaton in a commercial college at Allentown. He was brought up to farming, but began to learn the tanner's trade, which was interupted by the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1861. He enlisted in the One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania volunteers, which was afterwards consolidated with the Ringgold Battery. He remained with that command during his first term of enlistment of three years, being in sixteen battles, including the second Bull Run. His regiment was attached to Burnside's army corps. He was an inmate of a hospital at Covington, Kentucky, some three months, then re-enlisting. On account of physical disability he was sent home for medical treatment. He again went to the front, in Virginia, when his regiment took part in the battle of the Wilderness. He was appointed postmaster of the artillery corps, occupying that position until the end of the war. He took part in the siege of Richmond, and was present at the surrender at Appomattox and at the grand review in Washington.

He served until the close of the war, and with the command was mustered out at Philadelphia, June 13, 1865. He came to Cincinnati in the Fall of 1865, and the next Spring arrived in Hamilton. He entered the employment of OWENS, LAND & DYER, and was with them about a year. He was then a book-keeper for Eli COOK. In the Fall of 1868 he went with M WEISMEYER, and remained there until the death of his employer, some three years. He conducted the business for the widow three years longer, until 1872, when he purchased it, and has since carried it on. He is an extensive dealer in family groceries, fresh and salt meats, and provisions.

Mr. STAHLER was married in 1870, to Miss Catherine, daughter of Phillip LOHREY. They are the parents of two sons, Joshua M. and Harry. Mr. STAHLER was elected a member of the city council in 1876, and again in 1878, from the Second Ward. He is a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, and also of the Masonic Order. Mr. .STAHLER's mother is still living with him, vigorous in mind and body, in her sixty-fourth year.

Perry D. K. TRAVIS was born in Tylersville, Butler County, August 9, 1848, being the younger son of Amos and Hester R. (HORTON) TRAVIS. Amos TRAVIS was a native of Butler County, where he was born January 12, 1805, and was the son of Amos TRAVIS, Sen., one of the pioneers of Union Township. Amos TRAVIS, Jr., reared a family of five children to maturity, who are all living. He was a farmer by occupation. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His later years were spent at the house of his son, Captain TRAVIS, in Hamilton, where he died January 12, 1882. Mrs. Hester R. TRAVIS died November 24, 1880.

Captain TRAVIS was a pupil at the common schools in Tylersville, till coming to Hamilton with his parents, in 1861. He completed his education in Hamilton, but was brought up to farming. He was in the employment of a gunsmith a short time, and then was with John C. HOLBROOK. He stayed with him from November, 1864, till 1875. He was a member of the police force, under Mayor MAGINNIS, but was in that position a short time only. He began business for himself, October 14, 1875, in the firm of TRAVIS & NIPHARDT, an arrangement that lasted for some three years. He then was a member of the house of TRAVIS & LOUTHAN for over a year. In June, 1881, he sold out to Mr. LOUTHAN, then commencing in his present location. He has an excellent trade in general family groceries. Mr. TRAVIS was married, in 1875, to Miss Lucinda MEYERS, and is the father of two sones - Harry DeKalb and Charles B. He is a member of the Masonic order, and also of the Knights of Pythias.

John THOMAS, of Wayne Township, was born there August 27, 1829. He is the son of Benjamin THOMAS, born in Maryland, who came to Butler County about 1805, and Anna GOOD, sister of Henry GOOD of Trenton. She came to this neighborhood with her parents in 1816. Mr. THOMAS was married in Madison Township, November 9, 1854, to Maria MILLER, daughter of Charles MILLER and Catherine REED. She was born July 23, 1837. Mr. and Mrs. THOMAS have had six children. Benjamin was born November 3, 1856; Anna, March 7, 1858; Ida Alice, February 28, 1861; Elizabeth, May 11, 1864; Charles M., February 4, 1866, and John L., February 21, 1871. Mr. THOMAS's wife died March 19, 1882. She was a member of the Methodist Church at Seven-Mile, of which her husband is also a member. He is a leader and steward.

Benjamin F. THOMAS, lately probate judge, was born in Liberty Township, Ross County, Ohio, February 19, 1830, and is the son of James and Tamson (WILKINS) THOMAS. His education was limited to the merest rudiments of the common school branches till he was grown, when he attempted the task of acquiring a collegiate course, which was begun in 1851 and completed in June, 1857, graduating from Miami University with a class of twenty-six. He taught school from 1858 to 1866, at which time he was admitted to practice at the Butler County bar. He came to this county in 1852. He was married on the 24th of September, 1857, to Elizabeth MARSTON, a native of Butler County, being born near Trenton, daughter of Jeremiah and Mary Ann (VAIL) MARSTON. The mother, who was a native of Ohio, died in 1855. Mr. Thomas was school examiner of Butler County from July, 1863, to September, 1868, and probate judge from February 9, 1876, to the 9th of February, 1882.

Judge THOMAS's father moved with his father from New Jersey in 1806 to Ohio, settling on the Scioto River about seven miles east of Chillicothe, where he died in 1879, at the age of seventy-eight years, having reared to manhood eight sons, and to womanhood one daughter. The grandfather, WebsterTHOMAS, was in the War of 1812. Judge Thomas's eldest brother, Webster, was in the Mexican War for about thirteen months as sergeant, and was also in the War of the Rebellion. He served from 1862 till the close of the war as captain of a company from this county. He was at the capture of Vicksburg, and at numerous other smaller engagements. Another brother, William A., was also in the war for one year as a member of the band connected with Colonel CAMPBELL's, the Sixty-ninth. Judge THOMAS is a trustee of the Lane Free Library.

Baltis B. RUSK was born in 1811, in the State of Maryland, in Baltimore County. His parents were David Louis RUSK and Elizabeth RUSK, and they came to Hamilton County in 1823, and to Butler ounty in 1837. Baltis B. RUSK was married , in 1837, to Elizabeth W. GIBSON, born in this county in 1819, and the daughter of Robert and Anna GIBSON. They raised six boys and five girls. Three of his sons were in the Union army, serving three years. One went through to Savannah, with SHERMAN, and was in twenty-two battles; one was down on the coast, and one in the Carolinas. His grandfather RUSK was quartermaster to the French division, in Baltimore, in the Revolution. Two great-uncles were in the Revolution, both being wounded at the battle of Brandywine.

Jonathan ROWLAND settled in this county in 1831. He served as a member of Company H, Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and also in the three months' service. He was married, on the 18th of June, 1865, to Mary VENCAN, and has one child, Dora a., born September 17, 1870.

Charles A. Lee REED, M. C., was born at Wolfe Lake, Noble County, Indiana, July 9, 1856. He is the son of Dr. R. C. Stockton REED and Nanch Clark REED. His literary education, aside from that obtained in the public schools, was acquired under private instructors. He received his medical education in the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery, where his father was professor of materia medica and therapeutics, graduating February, 1874. His taste for this profession was pronounced in early life, in consequence of which he was put at his medical studies when a mere lad. He first located in Cincinnati, in 1875, but in 1878 removed to Fidelity, Illinois, where he remained in practice till the time of his marriage. He then returned to Butler County, settling in Hamilton. He was professor of pathology in the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery, from 1877 to October, 1878, having been elected to that position by the trustees. He resigned when he went to Illinois. He was elected professor of obstetrics and diseases of women in the same institution in June, 1882, and is now discharging the duties of the place. He was elected a member of the Ohio State Medical Society, in 1874, and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the editor of the Clinical Brief, formerly the Sanitary News, and has displayed, in its management, industry, learning, and tact. He was married, at Otterville, Illinois, May 30, 1880 to Miss Irena A. DOUGHARTY, daughter of John G. DOUGHARTY. The family is Scotch, coming originally from the town of Haddington.

Celadon SYMMES, an old and highly respected citizen of Fairfield Township, was born January 25, 1807, on Section 34, in that township. His father, Celadon SYMMES, was one of the earliest settlers in the county. He was a nephew of John Cleves SYMMES, the patentee of the Miami lands. The present Celadon SYMMES was married October 16, 1828, to Catherine BLACKBURN. They have had eight children, seven boys and one girl, of whom four survive. They are John Milton, Daniel T., Joseph C., and Aaron B. Mr. SYMMES is still in hearty old age, vigorous in mind and body. He has filled many township offices, and for a number of years was infirmary director. When General HARRISON went up through this region to the battle of Tippecanoe he borrowed of Celadon SYMMES, Sen., a sword and pair of pistols used by Judge John C. SYMMES in the war of the Revolution, and which are still in the possession of the family. Mr. SYMMES has all his life lived in this township.

Daniel SORTMAN was born in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, November 17, 1809, and is the oldest son of Benjamin SORTMAN and Mary STONEBREAKER. He came hither with his parents on the 1st of October, 1811, settling in Hanover Township, where his father was a pioneer. He reared a family of eleven children. Daniel received a limited education in the common schools, and was brought up on a farm until he was twenty-five. When he was nineteen he learned the trade of a blacksmith, and after working as a journeyman one year opened a shop on his father's farm about 1830, remaining there some three years. From there he went to Millville, Ross Township, where he stayed thirteen years. The death of his father occurring, he returned home, when he carried on the farm for three years. He purchased a farm, and conducted it for six years, and then was in Reily Township for eight years. He came to Hamilton to live in 1856, and engaged in mercantile business. Since then he has been in trade in company with his son William, doing an extensive business, as dealers in groceries and provisions. Mr. SORTMAN was married November 29, 1832, to Elizabeth, daughter of Judge John McCLOSKEY, a former well known resident of Butler County. They are the parents of two sons, William, a merchant of Hamilton, and John, who is conducting a flouring mill in this city. He never desired office, and is a self-made man, influential, prosperous, and respected. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was a War Democrat.

James ROSSMAN was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, November 3, 1802, and is the son of James and Martha ROSSMAN. He came with his parents to Ohio in the Fall of 1806, by way of the Ohio River and Cincinnati. The family settled in Franklin, Warren County, Ohio. James ROSSMAN was educated in the common schools until 1815, then removing to Rossville, now West Hamilton. He entered the employment of Alexander DELORAC, then a leading merchant, and was with him until his failure, five years after. Returning to Franklin, he commenced learning the saddlery trade with his brother. After completing his time, he worked as a journeyman for two years, and entered the employment of Mr. LOWRY as a clerk, at Lebanon. He then entered into business as one of the firm of SKINNER & ROSSMAN, in the saddlery business at Lebanon, for two or three years. He returned to Hamilton in 1828, being in partnership as TAYLOR & ROSSMAN, in the saddlery line. The did an extensive trade, particularly with Indian agents. They sold out in 1839. He then began a general store on the west side. Afterwards his brother was admitted under the firm name of J. & J. ROSSMAN, which was continued till 1876. Since that time he has not been actively in business. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. ROSSMAN married, on the 31st of December, 1828, Miss Clarissa CRAWFORD, born in Virginia in 1809, on the 16th of December. They are the parents of eight children, of whom but two survive. Three died young. Edward H. was a student at the time of his sudden death, in his nineteenth year, about 1844. Alexander C. ROSSMAN was in the civil war. Mrs. ROSSMAN died in December, 1880.

Herman REUTTI, malster, and for twenty-five years a resident of Hamilton, was born in Freiburg, province of Baden, Germany, February 5, 1834. He was the son of Carl and Charlotte (WESSER) REUTTI. His father died when the son had reached the age of fifteen years. The boy then went to learn the brewing and malt business in his native province, serving an apprenticeship of two years. Desiring greater advantages than could be had at home in this business, he went to Bavaria, and thence to France, where he spent some time. In 1854, with his widowed mother and the remainder of the family, he set sail for America, landing in New York City. He left his mother at this point, and went on to Cincinnati, where he soon became employed in SCHALLER & SCHIFF's brewery. After an absence of ten months, he returned to New York, where he worked for a short time, but becoming dissatisfied with the wages there paid he removed to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he was at work for two years.

In 1851 he left Pennsylvania, and calling at New York for his mother, he came direct to Hamilton, where his first employer was John W. SOHN, who at that time was in the brewing business. He was in Mr. SOHN's employment about four years, and for the greater part of this time he filled the position of foreman. In 1856 he, in partnership with Ernst and Moritz JACOBY, bought out Mr. SOHN in the brewing buiness, and under the firm name of JACOBY & Co. conducted the business two years. Then another change took place, Peter SCHWAB buying out the JACOBYs, and the firm changing to SCHWAB & Co. Mr. REUTTI remained a partner in this concern until 1875, when he sold his interest to Mrs. SCHWAB, the wife of his partner. Subsequent to this, for the space of four years he conducted a restaurant and billiard saloon. Then desiring a change of climate and to once more visit the scenes of his early boyhood, he went to Germany, and spent that Summer in his native land. Returning to Hamilton in the Fall, he made arrangements to lease the extensive malt house of John SCHELLEY, and in partnership with his son-in-law, Martin MASON, the firm of REUTTI & MASON, general malsters, was formed, and has continued up to the present time. Mr. REUTTI was married march 4, 1864, to Mrs. Henrietta REGNER, by whom he had two children.

Jacob REISTER was born in Wirtemberg, Germany, December 25, 1830, being the oldest son of Jacob and Sarah (KRAFER) REISTER. He received instruction in the common schools in Germany, and was brought up to farming. He came to America in September, 1853, staying at Cincinnati. He learned the trade of wagon-maker with his uncle, John KRAFER, in that city, afterwards working as a journeyman, coming to Butler County in 1857, and here beginning wagon-making and blacksmithing. At this he worked for eight years, being successful, and coming to Hamilton in 1864. Here he built a residence at the corner of Fourth and Walnut. He was in the employment of GIFFEN & Brothers in their lumber yard as foreman for four years. In the Spring of 1873 he began the coal and wood business in Hamilton in a small way, removing to his present location on Canal Street in the Fall of 1877. He is now doing an extensive business, employing from six to twelve hands. Mr. REISTER married in 1856 Mary LAGUA, and had by her two children, George and Louisa. Mrs. REISTER died in 1863. the present Mrs. REISTER, to whom he was married in 1864, was Miss Katie ISLEY. Mr. and Mrs. REISTER are the parents of five children: Jacob, Amelia, Dora, John A., and Emma. Mr. REISTER and his wife are members of the Zion Lutheran Church.

Mrs. Cordelia S. QUIRE was born in Harrison County, Indiana, on the 3d of March, 1830. Her maiden name was FRIPPS, and she was the eighth child of John and Sarah FRIPPS, out of a family of ten children. Their names were William, Susan, Mary S., Jonathan H., Margaret S., John H., Nancy Jane, Cordelia S., Joseph P., and Wilkison B. She was married in 1849 to Charles N. QUIRE, who was a farmer, and followed that as his vocation until his death on the 7th of August, 1853. They had two children, Charles H., born February 22, 1851, and Joseph S., born August 22, 1853. The FRIPPS family were from Virginia, where John was born, September 16, 1782, and Mrs. FRIPPS, September 5, 1792. They came to this county in 1837. Her grandfather, Beverly SPENCER, was a private in the Revolutionary War, and served completely through that struggle under General WASHINGTON.

Philip ROTHENBUSH was born in Hamilton, Butler County, July 1, 1842, being the son of Christian and Dorothy (MICHAEL) ROTHENBUSH. Christian ROTHENBUSH was a native of Germany, where he was born in 1806, and came to Hamilton in 1828. He was a baker by trade, and carried on that business on the west side of the river until retiring, about 1850. He was a successful business man, and built and conducted for many years what is now known as the Butler House. He reared a family of four sons and two daughters, most of them being residents of Butler County. He was a councilman of Rossville one term, and a member of the Masonic order.

Philip ROTHENBUSH went to the common schools in this place and to the academy then kept by Mr. FURMAN. He was in the employment of his brother as dispensing druggist for some six years, until April, 1861, when he enlisted in the company of Captain W. C. ROSSMAN, Third Ohio Volunteers. He served out his three months' term of enlistment, and again entered the service in Company I, Thirty-fifth Volunteers, as orderly sergeant. February 1, 1862, he was promoted to first lieutenant, and on March 30, 1864, to captain. His was the first company to take possession of the Kentucky Central Railroad, and its subsequent exploits are mentioned in our history of the Rebellion. Lieutenant ROTHENBUSH was severely wounded at Chickamauga, but staunched his wound and continued in action. No hospital existed, every thing having been captured, and during a lull in battle he was shot again by a sharpshooter, while he was gathering cartridges for his men, as a scarcity existed. He received a third wound before leaving the field. He was then led off by his men. In the evening he went to Chattanooga, and remained under the care of a surgeon there for some time. After a while he obtained leave of absence for six weeks. He returned to the front January 1, 1864, aqnd went to Ringgold, and from that time on took an active part in the advance of the army. At Peach-tree Creek he had a narrow escape. He served out his term of enlistment, and was mustered out at Chattagnooga, September 29, 1864.

He was with his father, in 1865, in the grocery business, in the First Ward, being there two years. He was married, January 16, 1866, to Miss Ollie M., daughter of Robert RATLIFF, a former well known resident of Oxford. They are the parents of three children, two sons and one daughter. They are James E., Jennie M., and Clifford E. In 1866, he was assistant United States assessor, and was also United States storekeeper in 1867, 1868, and 1869. He was of the firm of BORGER & ROTHENBUSH, in the fruit business, for two years. In 1871 the firm of ROTHENBUSH & RATLIFF was formed, which is still in existence, and does a large and successful business in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and confectionery. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

William RITCHIE was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 26, 1839, being the only son of George RITCHIE, formerly of that place. He was educated in the public schools, and when twelve or fourteen began an apprenticeship to the machinery trade, in Hamilton, where he had come in 1856. He was in the employment of OWENS, LANE, DYER & Co., continuing with them in later years, as superintendent of their works, until they discontinued business, in 1879. He then organized the RITCHIE & DYER Company, manufacturers of saw-mills and road-engines, now employing some forty hands. It is an extensive concern.

Mr. RITCHIE was married, in 1870, to Miss Pattie NIFONG, who was born in the State of Missouri. They are the parents of one son, Oscar N., who was born in 1874. Mr. RITCHIE was elected chief of the fire department, as an independent candidate, in 1879, for two years. Besides his business life, Mr. RITCHIE has a long and honorable record in the last war. He enlisted, in 1861, in the Fiftieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and afterward was transferred to the Sixty-ninth. After the battle of Murfreesboro, he was transferred to the engineer corps, where he was placed in charge of the machinery, in connection with the Army of the Cumberland. He made the celebrated march to the sea with SHERMAN. He more than served out his time, and was mustered out at Savannah, Georgia, in January, 1865. Returning to civil life, he resumed his former position with OWENS, LANE & DYER. He is a self-made man, prosperous and influential. He is an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Dr. Silas J. NICOLAY was born in Somerset, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, February 8, 1847, being the son of Frederick and Margaret (JENNINGS) NICOLAY, the latter being a daughter of Colonel Benjamin JENNINGS, an officer in the Continental army under Washington, crossing the Delaware with him and assisting in the capture of a thousand Hessians on the night of December 24, 1776. Mr. Frederick NICOLAY is still living in Pennsylvania. Dr. NICOLAY was a pupil at the common schools until he was fourteen, when he commenced an apprenticeship of three years at the trade of silversmith. He had acquired the trade in 1864, when he enlisted in the One Hundred and Seventh Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, participating in the capture of the Weldon Railroad, and in numerous skirmishes and raids. He was at the battle of Hotel's Run, February, 1865, when the regiment suffered a loss of one-third of its men, and in the battles preceeding Lee's surrender, also being present at that event. He served until the close of the war, and was discharged at Washington, June 3, 1865.

He came to Ohio in 1865 as a student in the National Normal School at Lebanon, where he remained one year, graduating from that school in 1868. He engaged in teaching in Butler and Hamilton Counties till 1871. In 1870 he entered the office of Dr. William JONES, at Montgomery, Hamilton County, remaining there till 1871, when he commenced a three years' course at the Ohio Medical College. He graduated from that instituion March 1, 1874, then beginning the practice of his profession at Mercer, Illinois, in connection with an older brother, Dr. William J. NICOLAY. He continued there till September, 1880, when he came to Hamilton, purchasing the business formerly carried on by HILKER & Son, and dealing extensively in drugs, medicines, paints, oils, books, stationery, and fancy articles.

Dr. NICOLAY was married in 1875 to Miss Margaret PARRISH, daughter of Jared PARRISH, a former well-known resident of Westchester, Butler County. They are the parents of one daughter, Helen, born August 6, 1881. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Odd Fellows, and the Grand Army of the Republic. His wife is a member of the Methodist Church.