of the
Miami Valley

pages 750-794

* Previous page | * Surname index |

Page 750

Joseph Clark Weamer. During the past eight years Joseph Clark Weamer has made his home at Middletown, where he has been identified as an employee of the American Rolling mills. Mr. Weamer was born in Indiana county, Pa., a son of Joseph Clark and Clarissa (Hopkins) Weamer, and a member of a pioneer family of Indiana county, where his grandparents Jacob and Margaret (Roof) Weamer, were early settlers. Joseph Clark Weamer the elder fought as a soldier of the Union army during the Civil war, fighting with a Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and four of his brothers were also in the service: George, who met a soldier's death in battle; and William, Andrew and Silas, all still residents of the Keystone state. One of Mr. Weamer's sisters, Margaret, is now Mrs. James Craig and resides at Peoria, Ill. On the maternal side, Mr. Weamer has one uncle and three aunts: Russell Hopkins, of California; Mary, Mrs. Robert Bruce; Belle, Mrs. Frank Smith, of Indiana; and Jeanette, Mrs. Ed. Cotterman, of Pennsylvania. Joseph Clark Weamer of this review was educated in the public schools of Indiana county, Pa., where his father was engaged in agricultural

Page 751
pursuits, and as a youth turned his attention to the steel industry, the means by which he could attain his ambitious, and after serving his apprenticeship and working for a time as a Journeyman went to Blasdell N. Y. where he secured employment in large mills. From that place he came to Middletown, Ohio, in 1911 and immediately became identified with the American Rolling mills, where he has since been employed. He has won several promotions and has merited the confidence that has been placed in him. Politically he is a Republican, and his fraternal affiliation is with the Masons, while he and Mrs. Weamer are consistent members of the Lutheran church. Mr. Weamer was married in Indiana county, Pa., to Miss Mollie Klingensmith, daughter of Lewis and Emma (Gibson) Klingensmith, and granddaughter of Peter and Mary (Shoop) Klingensmith. Her maternal grandparents were James and Sarah Gibson, whose ancestors were pioneers in the steel and iron industry in Pennsylvania and people of wealth and influence in their day. Mrs. Weamer had three sisters and three brothers: Ada, Mrs. B. E. Goldstron, of Pennsylvania; Lula and Ruth, of Etna, Pa.; George and Harland, also of that place; and John, of Middletown. Mr. and Mrs. Weamer are the parents of one son, Lewis Clark, a bright and interesting boy. Mrs. Weamer has been very active in church work and social circles and at present is worthy matron of the Middletown Eastern Star chapter. The pleasant and attractive Weamer home is located at No. 2l0 S. Monroe street.

Henry W. Wear, former saw mill operator, and known as an expert thresher of grain, and now retired, is a son of Nathan and Susan (Majors) Wear. He was born in Morgan township, Butler county, July 8, 1845. His parents were natives of Morgan township, Ohio, and after marriage, settled on a farm two miles north of Okeana, Ohio. During their lives were residents of different places in Ohio, but passed away in Okeana. The father was a farmer by occupation, and in politics a Democrat. He and wife were members of the Methodist church. Their union was blessed by ten children, six of whom are now living. Three of their sons had in all thirty children. Those living today are: Thomas, of Hamilton, Ohio; Eliza, of Hamilton; James, who lives in Indiana; Lou McLain, now a widow, lives in Okeana; Emerine, of California, and Henry W. Wear. Mr. Wear was afforded a limited amount of schooling in the old log schoolhouse near his father's farm. He lived at home until the time of his first marriage, which was to Sarah Ann Bowles, of Morgan township, a member of the Methodist church. Some time after her death, Mr. Wear married Martha McLane, of Okeana, a member of the Christian church. Death visited his home again, and took from him his second wife. He survives several children who passed away a number of years ago. During his life he has been an able farmer, operating his own farm at times, and for two years assisting J. Davis, of Morgan township, and later, for four years, George Smith. For many years he successfully operated a sawmill. Since 1904, he has lived retired in Okeana. In politics, Mr. Wear has always been a staunch member of the Democratic party.

H. J. Weaver. Few indeed are the families of Butler county

Page 752
whose connection with this locality antedates that of Weaver, for the founder here arrived during pioneer days when there was scarcely any settlement, although the country was capable of the development which is so characteristic of the territory included in the Miami valley. Establishing his home within the county's borders he became one of those who laid the foundations for development, and succeeding generations bearing the name have carried on the work which he started. A worthy representative of this family today is H. J. Weaver, a successful agriculturist and poultryman of Reily township, who was born in this township June 4, 1878, a son of John and Adeline (Wilkinson) Weaver, natives of Butler county. On the paternal side he is descended from a pioneer settler from Pennsylvania, while the Wilkinsons originated in New Jersey and were also early farming people of the Valley of the Miami. John and Adeline Weaver were lifelong residents of Butler county and rounded out their useful and honorable lives on the farm on which their son now makes his home. They had two children: W. H., who is single and a Butler county farmer; and Harvey J., of this notice. Harvey J. Weaver received his education in the public schools of his native township and spent his boyhood and youth in much the same manner as other farmers' sons of his day and locality. He was married in 1900 to Charlotte, daughter of Conrad and Catherine (Urban) Wunder. Conrad Wunder was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, September 26, 1852, a son of Paul and Anna (Hoffman) Wunder, natives of Germany and later settlers of Hamilton, Ohio, and Catherine was the daughter of Philip Urban, of Reily township. After his marriage Mr. Weaver came to his present farm of 163 acres, where he has since carried on enterprising and extensive operations, finding success in both farming of a general character and in the raising of chickens and other poultry for the market. He is a good business man whose standing upon the question of integrity is high and who has formed numerous connections of a satisfactory character with his associates, who have placed the most implicit faith in him. In politics he is a Democrat, and has filled the office of trustee of Reily township for four years, also takes an active interest in events, and is a supporter of worthy movements whether in times of war or peace. He and his wife are the parents of two children: Paul, born in 1901, who is attending Miami university; and Helene, born in 1902, a graduate of the local high school.

Martin Weaver. At the time of his death, in 1919, the late Martin Weaver was one of the oldest residents of Wayne township. For many years he had been known as one of the progressive and successful agriculturists of his locality, and the old Weaver farm, upon which had resided members of the Weaver family for several generations, was considered one of the most valuable in the township. A man of generous impulses and good citizenship, he was considered a substantial citizen of his community, where there remain many to mourn his loss. Mr. Weaver was born in Wayne township, Butler county, Ohio, a son of John W. and Esther (Clark) Weaver, the former of Shamokin, Pa., born September 13, 1799, and the latter of New Jersey, born September 8, 1805. They were married

Page 753
October 14, 1824, and became the parents of the following children: Jacob, who is deceased; Sarah Jane, who became the wife of Andrew Cunningham; Wolverton, deceased; Martha Ann, deceased; John F.; Martin; Catherine B.; Mollie; and Thomas, who died in infancy. Throughout his life, Martin Weaver was a farmer in Wayne township, on his well-cultivated tract near Jacksonboro, and there his death occurred in March, 1919, when he was seventy-nine years of age, his funeral being conducted by Jefferson lodge, No. 90, F. & A. M., and Hope lodge No. 40, I. O. O. F., of which he had been a member for many years. Interment was made at Jacksonboro. Mr. Weaver had been married twice and was the father of four children: Flora, who became Mrs. Walter Campbell; and Fred, Charles and James, of Butler county. Fred Weaver enlisted in the army and March 2, 1916, left for France, serving until the signing of the armistice, following which he received his honorable discharge.

David Webb. During the fifteen years of its existence the house of David Webb, funeral director, has become firmly established in public confidence. This favorable condition has been brought about through the following out of a policy of honorable dealing, together with the use of the extraordinary tact which the successful conduct of such a business demands. The head of this establishment, David Webb, is a Hamiltonian by birth, having been born in the First Ward, July 6, 1871. His parents were Foster and Margaret Webb, the former born in Adams county, O., and the latter in Germany, and both are now deceased. The father fought as a soldier during the Civil war, being a member of the 35th Regiment, O. V. I., with which he served for three years, during which time he suffered considerably from sickness. With a good war record he located in Hamilton, where he established himself in a transfer and livery business, in which he won success and made himself known as a man of business honor and public-spirited citizenship. Late in life he retired from active pursuits, and went to live at a country place in Lincoln county, Ky., where his death occurred, his wife having passed away previously at Hamilton. Mr. Webb was a member of the G. A. R. and of Uniform Rank I. O. O. F. He and Mrs. Webb were consistent members of the Baptist church. Their children were as follows: Walter, who was formerly in the livery business, but now identified with the woolen business at Hamilton; David, Hattie, the wife of James Carson of Hamilton; Florence, the wife of Harry Dubbs of Dayton; Lizzie, the wife of John Wittman of Dayton; and Ida, who is single and also resides at that city. David Webb received his education in the home schools of Hamilton and his introduction to business matters came in his father's livery. He was associated with his father for some years, as well as his brother, and had a prosperous and thriving business, but gradually turned his attention toward funeral directing. About 1904, he established himself in business, and since that time has been one of the leaders in his line, his establishment growing in size and equipment as he has gained more and more the respect and confidence of the people of Hamilton. He now has the finest of funeral equipments to be

Page 754
found anywhere, including a six-Sedan Reo automobile, an elegant black Reo funeral car and a combination ambulance, also a Reo, and his accommodations in other ways are modern in every respect, enabling him to give the best of reverent attention to preparing his subjects for conveyance to their last resting place. Mr. Webb has become well known in Butler county, where his business integrity has assisted him in forming strong ties of friendship. His fraternal connections, which are numerous, include membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the Friendship Aid association, the Miami Aid society, the Tribe of Ben Hur and the Maccabees. With his family, he belongs to the First Baptist church of Hamilton. Mr. Webb was married in 1901 to Miss Alta Keltner, who was born east of Hamilton, O., a daughter of A. W. and Clara (Scudder) Keltner, farming people of Butler county. There were three children in the Keltner family: Ed and Delbert, who are residents of Mason, O.; and Mrs. Webb. Mr. and Mrs. Webb are the parents of three sons: Howard, Gordon and Herbert.

LeRoy Webber, one of the local preachers of the United Brethren church, and a farmer of more than usual ability, is widely known and universally liked for his many excellent traits of character. He was born in Madison township, March 29, 1864, a son of John Webber, and a grandson of Abraham Webber, the founder of the family in Butler county. Abraham Webber was born in Pennsylvania, but looking for a wider field of endeavor, he left his native state, and faring forth made a new home in Madison township, being one of its early settlers. There he died in 1864. His children were as follows: John, who became the father of LeRoy Webber; Christian, who was a farmer of Madison township; Peter, who was also a farmer of Madison township; and Sarah and Mollie, both of whom died in childhood. John Webber was born in Madison township, where he was reared, his educational advantages being those afforded by the somewhat primitive schools of his day and locality. He was married to Mary Kelly of Kenton, O., a daughter of James Kelly, who later moved to Montgomery county, O., and still later to the vicinity of Middletown, O. During the War of 1812, James Kelly served as a soldier in defense of his country. The children born to James Kelly and his wife were as follows: Enoch; Levi, who died as a soldier during the Civil war; Joseph; William; Mary; Rebecca; Nancy, and Sarah. John Webber and his wife became the parents of the following children: William, who is a resident of Darke county, O.; Norah, who is engaged in teaching in Darke county, O.; LeRoy, whose name heads this review; Jane, who married William Piercy, lives in the vicinity of Albany, Ind.; Ann, who married William Langdon, a conductor on the Big Four railroad, lives at Cleveland, O.; Peter, who was an educator, is deceased; John, who was a soldier in the regular army for twelve years, died in Colorado; and James, who was killed in a runaway accident in Missouri. In February, 1909, John Webber passed away, his widow surviving him until 1912. Both were most excellent people, kindly and charitable, and beloved by a wide circle of warm, personal

Page 755
friends. They were very active in the work of the Methodist Episcopal church, and died firm in its faith. The principles of the Democratic party found in John Webber a strong advocate, and he voted for its candidates at every election. LeRoy Webber was reared in a Christian home, taught farming under his father's careful supervision, and sent to the local schools. Naturally studious, he turned toward the educational field as a means of finding expression for his forces, and taught the No. 1 school in Madison township, but was not satisfied with the opportunities thus offered, and so began studying for the ministry. For three years he had charge of the church of the United Brethren at Harrison, O., whence he was sent to Rockdale, O., and has always continued very active in church work, being now a member of the Brown's Run United Brethren church, of which he is a local preacher, and he is often-times called upon to fill vacancies in other churches. In 1888, Mr. Webber was recalled to the homestead, his father having suffered from a stroke of apoplexy, and took charge of it, conducting it for his parents until his father's death. He then bought out the other heirs, and now has ninety-two acres of very choice land all in one body, on which he is carrying on general farming. March 2, 1887, Mr. Webber was united in marriage with Miss Hattie Barr, born at Cincinnati, O., her parents being natives of Deadham, Mass., and Cincinnati, O., respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Webber have the following children: Lorain, who is at home, has been engaged in teaching school for the past five years, and is a graduate of the high schools of Middletown and Oxford, O.; Mary, who married Stanley Powell of Hartville, O., a son of Prof. Austin Powell, superintendent of the Hartwell schools, is a draftsman and electrician for the United States government; Clara, who married Earl Brown, a farmer of Madison township; and Ruth, who is at home. Like his father, Mr. Webber is a Democrat, but aside from his interest in school matters, which induced him to serve as a director for twelve years; and truant officer, he has not entered public life. His practical knowledge of life and the needs of his associates, make him a powerful preacher, and when he occupies the pulpit, his congregations are mightily stirred by his words of exhortation. His discourses are all the more effective because his hearers know that he carries into his everyday life the creed he preaches, and that he asks of no man more than he is ready and willing to give himself.

James R. Webster. Among the citizens of Hamilton who have contributed to the material progress and advancement of this locality, few can lay claim to greater or more helpful achievements than can James R. Webster. Mr. Webster, now living in retirement, was during his active years a leading factor in real estate circles and his accomplishments in that direction served to increase the size of the city, the volume of its population and the importance of its business industries and institutions. At various times he was identified with pretentious business enterprises which benefited greatly by his abilities and through his public spirit and good citizenship he assisted in the success of movements which made for

Page 756
civic betterment. Mr. Webster is a native of Hamilton, having been born on the present site of the Red Trunk store, February 8, 1843. His grandfather was William Webster, who married Mary Marsh of New Jersey, and they moved with their parents to Pennsylvania, coming to Ohio in 1806. On their arrival in this state they settled in Liberty township, Butler county, ten miles east of Hamilton, on a farm now owned by their grandson, Joseph H. Webster. William Webster had come to this locality in 1804 and secured a tract of 202 acres of good land, on which there had been made a ten-acre clearing, with a small log cabin and stable. In 1806 he drove through in a wagon from Pennsylvania with his wife, and not long thereafter commenced the erection of a frame house, one of the first in the locality. In addition to farming, he was the proprietor of a tannery on his property, owned a good deal of livestock, and was also the owner of land in Indiana, so that, for his time, he was considered a very successful man. He gave his children good educational advantages, several going to college, and his eldest son, Taylor, served in Congress for three terms. He and his wife were Quakers and belonged to the Quaker meeting at Waynesville and Springboro. Mr. Webster died at the age of seventy-six years, while his widow passed away at the age of eighty-five. Their children were as follows: Taylor, of whom more later; John, who married Abigail Perry, deceased. He was again united in marriage with Mrs. Ellinore McClellan, and after his father's death secured the old home place and farmed it until his death; Elias, who was a farmer and doctor of Butler county, married Mary Cain; Hugh, who died young; Randolph, who also died in his youth; William, who was engaged in the grocery business with his brother Joseph S. M. at Hamilton, and later went to Middletown, where he died in 1889; and Joseph S. M. Taylor Webster, eldest son of William Webster, was a successful business man who built two flour mills, which he operated and became a prominent figure in public life. He was clerk of the Butler county court for seven years, and was then sent to Congress, where his three terms were made conspicuous by brilliant and constructive work. His only son, Daniel, moved to New Orleans, La., in 1858, and became connected with R. G. Dun & Co. to his death in 1876, and during this time assisted in publishing the Traders Journal for his firm. He also engaged in raising cotton near New Orleans in 1864, 1865 and 1866, at which time his cousin, James R., was in partnership with him. They had 500 acres of cotton, at a time when it was selling for thirty-five cents a pound, but lost all save fifty acres through an overflow of the Mississippi river. Mr. Webster was one of the very successful men of his day. He married May DeCamp. Joseph S. M. Webster, father of James R. Webster, was born on the old home place in 1819 and educated in the public schools. In 1836 he located at Hamilton, where he entered the grocery business with his brother William, on High street, but the partnership was dissolved in 1841 and Mr. Webster continued in business alone until 1849. He then opened a photograph gallery, which he conducted for seventeen years, and eventually embarked

Page 757
in the real estate business, with which he was identified until his death in 1889. Mr. Webster married Letitia Elizabeth, daughter of James and Rebecca Reed, of New Jersey, early settlers of Hamilton, where the latter died, the former passing away in Tennessee. Mrs. Webster died in 1859, in the faith of the Presbyterian church, of which her husband was also a member. He was a staunch Democrat. Their children were as follows: James R.; Mary Elizabeth, who died unmarried in 1907; Lydia Rebecca, born in 1851, who resides on High street, Hamilton; and Joseph Hugh, born in 1859, of 640 High street, Hamilton, who married Amanda Dingfelder, and has three children, - Andrew, born in 1892; Ruth, born in 1895, and Daniel Hugh, born in 1898. James R. Webster was given his educational training in the public schools of Hamilton, subsequently attending Wesleyan university. He read law in the office of N. C. McFarlan and was admitted to the bar in 1865, but in January, 1866, went to New Orleans, La., where he was engaged in a cotton venture with his cousin. He also spent one year in Mississippi, and then returned to Ohio and located at Columbus, where he was engaged in the manufacture of trunks with A. J. Vandergrift until 1877. He then went to near Keokuk, Lee county, Iowa, where he was engaged in farming for some years, and spent the years 1883 and 1884 in the timber business in Tennessee, where he had large groves of oak and poplar. Because of the poor health of his father, who desired him at his side, he returned to the old home, and there remained for several years. In 1887 Mr. Webster located at Hamilton, where he embarked in the real estate business with Potter, Parlan and Ehrman. He subsequently laid out three subdivisions in West Hamilton and was the main factor in securing the big factory of the McNeal & Irwin Safe company for Hamilton, at a cost of $48,000, and was the medium through which numerous other large deals were transacted, all tending to add to the commercial importance of his native city. Later Mr. Webster secured large tracts of land in the rice country of Louisiana and built what is known as the Union Rice mill, located at Crowley, that state, which he operated with much success for two years. He also organized the company which built and operated the Orange Rice mill, at Orange, Texas, and conducted it for a time, but subsequently returned to Crowley, La., where he operated the Webster rice plantation of 1,700 acres, a property which he still owns. On his return to Hamilton, he and his brother tore down the old Webster building, on High street, and replaced it with the present modern structure. In various other ways Mr. Webster has contributed to the business prestige of Hamilton. He is a member of the Mayflower Society of Cincinnati, and of the Masons, which he joined in 1868, being identified with the lodge at Columbus. He is a staunch Republican, and he and his family belong to the Presbyterian church. Mr. Webster was married August 4, 1875, to Harriet L. Wright, who was born at Rednersville, Prince Edward county, Ontario, Can., a daughter of George W. and Emeline (Taylor) Wright, natives of the same place. Her paternal grandfather was Dr. Hiram Wright, of New York, a son of Col. Daniel Wright, of

Page 758
Herkimer county, N. Y. The parents of Mrs. Webster came to Ohio in 1858 and located at Mount Vernon, Knox county, where Mr. Wright followed the trade of carpenter until his death in February, 1901, at the age of nearly seventy-eight years. Mrs. Wright, who was born August 25, 1822, died in January, 1901. She was a granddaughter of Lyman Clark, a Revolutionary soldier. Mr. and Mrs. Wright were members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. and Mrs. Webster are the parents of one daughter; Clara Louise, a very talented young lady who has always made her home with her parents. She has had a splendid education, being a graduate of the Hamilton high school and Oskaloosa college, Iowa, and holds the degree of Ph. D. She and her mother are members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, so is also Mrs. Webster, while Mr. Webster is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Mr. and Mrs. Webster also have an adopted daughter, Eleanor Webster Anness.

Andrew J. Wehr. Among the prosperous agriculturists of Butler county is Andrew J. Wehr, the owner of a fine and well-improved farm located in Reily township. Mr. Wehr comes of an agricultural family, and has passed his entire life amid the surroundings of the farm. He was born in Franklin county, Ind., in 1869, a son of Jackson and Mary (Montgomery) Wehr, the former a native of Butler county, Ohio, and the latter of Franklin county, Ind. The parents were married in the latter county, where they continued in the pursuits of the soil until their deaths, and were known as honorable people who held the respect of their neighbors and all who knew them. Of their four children, two died young: Andrew J. was the third in order of birth; and Ora, now deceased, was the wife of Clem Thompson, a farmer of Reily township. The education of Andrew J. Wehr was secured in an old log cabin schoolhouse, known among the pioneers as Frog Pond school, and when he left his studies returned to farming. He was married in 1890 to Celestine, daughter of Daniel Baughman, of Mt. Carmel, who was a veteran of the Civil war and for a number of years engaged in farming. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Wehr resided on the Wehr homestead for several years, and then came to Butler county and bought their present place, a farm of 170 acres, on which Mr. Wehr has made numerous valuable improvements. In addition he is the owner of 140 acres in Franklin county, Ind., while Mrs. Wehr is the owner of 160 acres near Mount Carmel. They are the parents of three children, all of whom are engaged in farming: Ralph, who married Edna White and lives in Franklin county, Ind., with four children, - Edith, Lawrence, Hazel and Alfred; Vinton, who married Bessie Enloe, has one child, Mildred, and resides just below Mount Carmel; and Clyde, who married Flora Hinkle, lives in Reily township, and has two children, - Pearl and Lola. The family belongs to the Presbyterian church and all of its members were cheerful and generous contributors to all war activities. Mr. Wehr is a good citizen who supports worthy movements, and a man whose integrity has never been questioned.

John Wehr. One of the old and honored families of the Oxford

Page 759
community of Reily township is that which bears the name of Wehr. For several generations members of this family have improved the soil and aided in the development of Butler county. On the old family homestead in Reily township, October 25, 1865, was born John Wehr, a son of John and Nancy (Pierson) Wehr. The grandparents, who were among the earliest settlers of this locality, had done the pioneer work of clearing this property, and it had not passed out of the family's hands until recently, when it was sold by a grandson, S. M. Wehr, and with it was conveyed the original sheepskin deed. The grandparents had the following children: Lorenzo, Luther, Heil, Henry, John, Jackson, Anna and Elizabeth. On the maternal side, the grandfather of John Wehr was David Pierson, who had these children: Daniel; Nancy, who became Mrs. Wehr; Stietz; Polly; Mattie, who is now Mrs. Watkins, of Reily; Gideon, and two who died young. After their marriage, John and Nancy (Pierson) Wehr settled on a farm in the vicinity of Bath, Ind., but later returned to the old Wehr homestead, where John Wehr had been born. There they continued to spend their lives, and died in possession of a valuable and well-improved property as well as of the sincere respect of the people of their community, who had come to know and appreciate their many good qualities. They passed away on the home place and were reverently laid to rest in Springfield cemetery. Their children were as follows: Herbert, David, Stietz, Henry, John, Perry, Raymond, Margaret, Cora and Mary L. The public schools of Reily township furnished John Wehr of this notice with his educational training, and when he had finished his education he returned to the home place and continued to assist his father for a number of years. At the age of twenty-eight, he was united in marriage with Flora M., daughter of Benjamin and Mary Burgess, farming people of Franklin county, Ind., both of whom are now deceased. With the assistance of his capable and estimable wife, Mr. Wehr was soon on the high road to prosperity, and through industry and good management he has accumulated a handsome property, well cultivated and very productive, on which he has erected substantial buildings, including a substantial modern home. Mr. Wehr is not a politician, but has interested himself in local matters, and has served capably as township trustee. He has always been noted for his public spirit, and this, as well as his patriotism, was shown during the period of the war, when he was a willing worker and generous supporter of all war-time activities. During his long residence in Reily township he has formed many lasting friendships, and is generally esteemed for his estimable traits of character. Mr. and Mrs. Wehr are the parents of two children: Doyle and Eva.

Martin Wehr. A progressive, industrious and enterprising representative of the agricultural interests of Butler county is found in the person of Martin Wehr, the renter of a finely cultivated tract of farming property located in St. Clair township. Mr. Wehr is thoroughly familiar with conditions which prevail in this locality, as he has passed his entire life here, having been born on the farm which he now rents, March 21,1866, a son of John and Susan

Page 760
(Weikel) Wehr. John Wehr was born in Germany, but was only a lad of eleven years when brought by his parents to the United States, the family settling in Butler county on the Jacksonboro road. Here John Wehr grew to manhood and met and married Susan Weikel, who was born at Millville, Fairfield township, Butler county, a member of a pioneer family of this region, whose brother, John, served as a private in the Union army during the Civil war. After their marriage John and Susan Wehr settled on the farm in St. Clair township which is now occupied by their son, and there the father passed away about 1893 after a well-governed and honorable career. Mrs. Wehr, who survives him, resides on the old farm still and has a home of her own. They were the parents of the following children: Sarah and Mary, who are deceased; Martin; Mrs. Katie Bailey, of Michigan; George, a resident of Symmes Corners; Milton, who lives at Trenton; and Charles, whose home is at Overpeck. Martin Wehr received his educational training in the public schools of St. Clair township, and after leaving his school books applied himself whole-heartedly to assisting his father in the work of the home place. He was married in 1892 to Mary, daughter of Philip and Olive (Banning) Laudermann, of Wayne township, Butler county, farming people, and after marriage settled on the home place, of which he became the proprietor after the death of his father. This tract consists of 172 acres of land, in a high state of cultivation, which is being operated according to modern, progressive ideas, under able and well-directed management. Mr. Wehr is a business man who has the confidence of those with whom he has been associated, and as a citizen has left nothing to be desired in his support of worthy movements. This was shown during the time that the United States was a participant in the great war, when he cheerfully and generously supported the various drives, including Liberty Bond; Red Cross, War Savings Stamps, etc. He is a Democrat in politics, and he and Mrs. Wehr are faithful members of the Presbyterian church.

Daniel Weikel. In 1910 the retired colony at Middletown was augmented by the arrival of Daniel Weikel, who for many years had been engaged in agricultural pursuits in Butler county. His has been a career illustrative of the awards to be secured in character and fortune through the exercise of industry and the maintenance of high principles, for now, in the evening of life, he is one of his community's most highly esteemed citizens, possessed of means which enable him to surround himself with various comforts and conveniences. Mr. Weikel was born on the old family homestead in Butler county, July 13, 1844, a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Buck) Weikel. His parents passed their lives as farming people, and, as "industrious, God-fearing residents of their community merited and held general respect and confidence. Daniel Weikel grew to manhood on the home place and secured a district school education. When he came of age he began farming on his own account, and eventually became the owner of a fine farm, and continued its successful management and operation until his retirement. He added materially to its value through enrichment of the soil and the installation

Page 761
of numerous improvements, and came to be known as a highly successful, progressive and skilled agriculturist. In 1910 he decided that he had done his share of hard work in life, and being possessed of a comfortable competence, turned over the farm to younger energies and February 8 moved to Middletown, where he has since lived in comfort in his home at 431 Garfield avenue. Mr. Weikel was married September 26, 1876, to Mary Ann, daughter of Josiah H. and Susan (Smith) Fall, and to this union there have been born eight children: Edna, who married Charles Graft; Josiah; Charles; Earl, who married Mary Smith of Lewisburg, O. ; David, who married Carrie Lockey, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Lockey, and reside on the old Weikel farm, and Wilson, twins, Edith and Mamie; Wilson, the twin of David, is deceased. Mr. Weikel is a Democrat, but his only share in politics is that taken by a good citizen in the exercise of his franchise. Mrs. Weikel passed away December 3, 1918, and was buried in the Woodside cemetery.

Jacob C. Weikel, of Madison township, has always been engaged in farming, and in his everyday life and work proves that if a man understands farming and carries it on intelligently, he is bound to make a success of his undertaking. He was born on his present farm, February 6, 1842, a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Buck) Weikel, natives of Berks county, Pa. Jacob Weikel was brought to Butler county by his father, John Weikel, when he was fifteen years old. John Weikel was a native of Pennsylvania, who came to Butler county, O., in 1802, being one of the very first settlers of this region, and securing wild land, set to work to clear it of timber and brush, and place it under cultivation. This first farm was in the neighborhood of Trenton, O., and after John Weikel had made it valuable, he sold it, and going to Dayton, O., invested in land, owning the present site of the courthouse. He and his wife had nine children. Jacob Weikel bought a farm in Madison township, and erected the brick house that still stands, in 1844, burning the bricks on the farm, and cutting all of the lumber used in its erection and for other building purposes, on his own land. He also made oil in the early days, and was in every way a very representative and progressive man. At one time he commanded a company of militia. Both he and his excellent wife were active members of the Lutheran church. She died in 1885, aged eighty-two years. They had nine children as follows: John, who was a teacher, married Hattie Lister, and after he lost an arm in a mine explosion, engaged in farming, and died in Preble county, O., in 1908; Samuel, who died in 1915, was a bricklayer and farmer, and married to Lucy Smith; Joseph, who is a bricklayer of Boone county, Iowa, married Eliza Hoffman; Jacob C., whose name heads this review; Daniel, who is a retired farmer of Middletown, O.; Eva, who married Henry Brill, lived in Preble county, O., is now deceased, as is her husband; Lydia, who is Mrs. John Bailey, lives in Madison township. Susan, who is Mrs. John Smith, lives in Montgomery county, O.; and Catherine, who is Mrs. Thomas Kearns, lives in Butler county, O. Jacob C. Weikel attended the schools of his native district, and has always

Page 762
resided upon the homestead. This place comprises 161 acres of very valuable land, and Mr. Weikel also owns two other farms, one of 175 acres and the other of 189 acres. Having devoted all of his mature years to farming, he understands every detail of the work, and his methods are recognized to be excellent and are oftentimes followed by others less experienced. December 2, 1876, Mr. Weikel was united in marriage with Margaret A. Snyder, born in Madison township, a daughter of Daniel and Mary A. (Fall) Snyder, natives of Madison township, Butler county, and Preble county, O., respectively. Daniel Snyder was a son of John Snyder, who married a Miss Morningstar, a native of Germany, and became a very early settler of Madison township. Later, John Snyder moved to Middletown, O., where he died. Mary A. Fall was a daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Leslie) Fall, natives of Preble county, O., where they were reared, married and died, being farming people. Daniel and Mary A. (Fall) Snyder became the parents of the following children: Susanna, who is deceased; Benjamin, who died unmarried; Samuel, who is a farmer of Preble county, Ohio, married Louisa Velte; Alice, who was twice married, first to C. Eigler, and second to Nick Osner, who lives in Madison township; and Margaret, who also lives in Madison township; and Elizabeth, who is the wife of William Shafer, a retired farmer of Middletown, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Weikel have three children, namely: Mary Elizabeth, who married Joseph Smith, a farmer of St. Clair township, Butler county, has four children, - Ethel, Alma, Esther and Harold; Nathan, who is on the old homestead, married Margaret Six, and they have two children, - Emma and Elsie; and Sarah, who married Samuel Schenck, a farmer of Madison township, Butler county, has two children, - Elmer and Elsie. Both Mr. and Mrs. Weikel are consistent members of the Lutheran church in whose good work they take an active part. They are well and favorably known throughout Butler county, and their home is often the scene of pleasant gatherings when they entertain their relatives and other friends. The principles of the Democratic party find in Mr. Weikel a strong supporter, but he has never consented to permit the use of his name on the party ticket, as he has preferred to exert his influence, which is worth while, as a private citizen, and to devote his time and attention to his farming. It is such solid men as he that bring a community up to standard, and aid in the maintenance of the agricultural supremacy of the Miami valley. The farm is now in the possession of one of the fourth generation of the Weikel's, Nathan Weikel having purchased it from his father August 20, 1919. Mr. Weikel has as an heirloom an old grandfather clock which has stood for seventy years in the same corner in the old homestead.

Philip Weiland, of Reily township, Butler county, the progressive owner of a good farm which he is successfully conducting, was born in Fairfield township, Butler county, August 3, 1873, a son of Philip and Catherine (Horning) Weiland, natives of Germany. In his native land Philip Weiland, the elder, learned the trade of carpenter and on coming as a single man to the United States

Page 763
worked at his trade for a time in New York, but later made his way to Hamilton where he worked as a millwright at the Niles Tool company's plant for twenty-seven years. Here he mat and married Catherine, daughter of Linus and Catherine Horning, who had been brought when a child to Butler county, where they passed their lives on a farm. Mr. and Mrs. Horning had the following children: Michael, Henry, George, Walter, Jacob, Catherine, Anna, Pauline and Emma. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Weiland settled at Hamilton, where Mr. Weiland died in 1912, and where his widow still resides. They were the parents of two children: Walter and Philip. Philip Weiland of this review attended school at Hamilton, and after leaving school secured employment as a machinist at the plant of the Niles Tool company, at Hamilton, where he was employed for twenty years. At the end of that period he removed to his present farm in Reily township, a tract of 161 acres, which he had inherited from his father's estate, and he is now one of the substantial men and able farmers of his section. During the great war he was a generous contributor to all war activities, and his citizenship has always been beyond reproach. In 1895, Mr. Weiland married Anna, daughter of Joseph and Emma Keller, of Hamilton, where Mr. Keller followed the trade of cooper for some years. There were eleven children in the Keller family. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Weiland: Clarence, manager of the Kroger grocery at Hamilton; and Thelma, Clifford and Naomi, who reside on the farm with their parents.

G. C. Welliver, a banker of superior ability, high character and excellent repute in financial circles, whose name is familiar to the people of Butler county and the adjacent country as president of the Oxford National bank, has been a resident of Oxford since boyhood, and during a long period of years was prominently connected with mercantile affairs. Starting upon his independent career when still a youth and with few advantages save an ordinary education, he has improved his opportunities and shaped his surroundings to meet his needs, and through individual effort has succeeded in advancing to a high place in the citizenship of his adopted community. Mr. Welliver was born in February, 1860, at Liberty, Union county, Ind., a son of G. W. and Kate (Warman) Welliver, the former a native of Butler county, Ohio, and the latter of Wayne county, Ind. The Wellivers were early settlers of Butler county, and several of Mr. Welliver's ancestors fought as soldiers of the Colonies during the War of the Revolution. Following their marriage, the parents of Mr. Welliver settled first at Brownsville, Ind., and later moved to Riley, this state, eventually coming to Oxford. G. C. Welliver attended the public schools of Oxford, Ohio, and took a preparatory course at Oxford, but his education was interrupted by the necessity of his having to become self-supporting. His father, while a man of ability and industry, suffered a general breakdown in his health when about twenty-five years of age, and being of an ambitious nature started out on his own career. When he started upon his career, G. C. Welliver was a clerk in the grocery store of Shera Brothers, at Oxford, where his industry and faithfulness

Page 764
caused him soon to be a most trusted and valued employee, and seven years after the time of his first connection with this business, he was admitted to partnership. During the quarter of a century which followed, he continued to be identified with the grocery business and built up a substantial reputation as a man in whom the most implicit confidence could be placed by both the public and his associates. His name became synonymous with integrity and fidelity to trusts, and when he became president of the Oxford National Bank his reputation did much to strengthen that institution in public favor and to gain it additional prestige and patronage. In directing its policies he has been able to make its rating high in banking circles, and as a financier the sagacity and sound judgment manifested by him are recognized by all. In private life his course is exemplary, and as a citizen he is one of the most useful members of the community. His public spirit has been definitely shown on a number of occasions when he has given his services to beneficial movements, and during the great World war he was in charge of the work of the Red Triangle at Oxford. He has also served as a member of the Oxford Board of Education and in other ways has been a factor of general usefulness. February 14, 1884, Mr. Welliver was married to Addie M. Hatch of Butler county, and to this union there were born two sons: Charles B., attorney for the American Central Life Insurance company of Indianapolis, Ind., who married Gretchen Keener, of Weston, Ohio, and has one child, - Warman K.; and George, a junior of Miami university when he died at the age of twenty-one years. Mrs. Welliver's father was born in Old Orchard, Maine, coming to Butler county at an early day. He died at Hartford City, Ind., while his wife, Mrs. Welliver's mother, was born in Oxford and died there.

James T. Welsch, one of the well-known agriculturists of Oxford township, was born in Felicity, Clermont county, Ohio, April 26, 1860, son of Martin and Margaret (Vencker) Welsch, both parents being born in County Waterford, Ireland, and coming to this country early in life. After their marriage in Cincinnati in 1851 they settled in Kentucky near Covington, later coming to this county. Here they took up farming on the old farm of Dr. Chalfont. In 1862 they moved to the farm where James T. Welsch now resides. To Martin and Margaret Welsch were born the following children: William, deceased; Mary A.; James T., the subject of this review; John; and Margaret. Mary married Dan U. Murphy and lives in Hamilton. John married Helen Welsh. Margaret was married to James D. White. The deceased brother is survived by his widow, Mary (Imhoff) Welsch. James T. Welsch received his early education in the common schools of Oxford township and after leaving school farmed on the old homestead, which by scientific cultivation he has brought to a high degree of productivity. In November 25, 1889, he married Miss Mary Phelan, a daughter of Patrick and Margaret Phelan; the former born in County Tipperary, Ireland; the latter in Queen's county. Realizing the greater possibilities of success in America they came with their respective families to this country and were married in the

Page 765
Queen City. Subsequently they moved to Brownsville, Ind., thence to Oxford, Ohio, finally to Brookville, Ind., where he died and she yet lives. To them were born Mathew; Arthur, deceased; John, deceased; Mary, Richard, Patrick, William, Margaret, Joseph, and Catherine, deceased. Mathew lives at Brookville; Richard married Anna Foley; William married Nora Spaulding; Patrick lives in Indianapolis; Margaret was married to Joseph Lohrer. James T. Welsch and his wife have lived on the old farm which comprises seventy-six fertile acres since the day of their marriage, and to them have been born Josie, Mary, Mabel, and Paul. Josie and Mary are employed in the office of the National Cash Register company, Dayton, Ohio; while Mabel and Paul reside at home with their parents. The family holds membership in St. Mary's Catholic church, Oxford, and was prominent in all war-time activities, rendering exceptional service in the cause of freedom.

Leslie H. Wente, one of Hamilton's substantial citizens, and regarded as one of the most resourceful electricians in the Miami valley, is manager of the Wente Electric company, with which he has been identified since 1912. Mr. Wente was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, January 29, 1885, a son of Edward H. and Louise M. Wente, of that city, who both survive, Mr. Wente being the traveling representative of a large hardware concern. The family consisted of six children: Florence, who resides at Cincinnati with her parents; Ellsworth A., in partnership with his brother in the electrical business at Hamilton, who is married and has two children, his wife having borne the maiden name of Marie Shiffmacher; Helen E., Robert E. and George B., who are unmarried and make their home with their parents at Cincinnati; and Leslie H. Leslie H. Wente attended the public schools of Cincinnati, following which he further prepared himself by a commercial course in a business college, and, having a natural trend toward electrical matters, next took a course in the International Correspondence school. His first business experience was gained in partnership with A. A. Shingleton, in a general electrical wiring and repair work establishment, an association which continued for about one and one-half years. His career was temporarily interrupted at this time by ill health, and upon recovering his health Mr. Wente went to work for the Bullock Electrical company, of Cincinnati, a concern with which he remained for one year. Next, he was identified with the Barriet Electrical company, in the capacity of assistant superintendent of the test department for one year, and next was with the American Machine company of Louisville, Ky., where he was in charge of the armature department. After superintending the winding of armatures for one year, he returned to Cincinnati for a few months, and in 1906 came to Hamilton and formed a partnership with Mr. Dickerscheid in the electrical business, the firm being known as the Hamilton Electrical company. This firm was dissolved January 1, 1912, when Mr. Wente founded the Wente Electric company, at No. 223 N. Fourth street, and later his brother, Ellsworth A. Wente, was admitted to partnership. In 1914 Leslie H. Wente went to Dayton in answer to the call of the Dayton Engineering Laboratories

Page 766
company to organize the armature department of their concern, and he left his brother in charge of the Hamilton business. His labors at Dayton completed and his work there successfully accomplished, in May, 1917, he returned to Hamilton, where he resumed his activities as one of the managers of the Wente Electric company, and has since continued to center his activities and interests here and the firm of which he is one of the proprietors has prospered and has grown into large proportions and now controls a large and well paying business. During the great flood of 1913 the concern suffered a loss approximating $12,000. That this did not break Mr. Wente's spirit is shown in the fact that he made immediate plans to recuperate the loss, and at the same time enter into a larger field of endeavor. He is a member of Washington Lodge of the Masonic order, and has numerous connections with civic, social and fraternal bodies. When, April 5, 1913, Mr. Wente was united in marriage with Lillian Bonnell, who was born and reared at Hamilton and educated in its public schools, there was solemnized the first marriage at Hamilton which took place after the receding of the waters of the floods. They are the parents of a bright and interesting little daughter, Mary Louise, born in 1916, and the family resides in one of Hamilton's pleasant homes, where they extend bounteous hospitality to their numerous friends.

Joseph Wespiser was born in Alsace-Lorraine, May 29, 1880, and was given a common school education in his native land. From his father, who was an honored citizen and a skilled artisan of his community, he inherited a taste for mechanics, and in young manhood mastered the carpenter's trade, which he followed with the elder man, who was largely engaged in contracting. In his own country, finding little to encourage him to believe that he could secure success and independence, he accordingly turned his face to the United States, where he arrived in 1904, being then twenty-four years of age. He arrived at Oxford, December 24, and at once secured employment at his trade, the following year being spent in familiarizing himself with the language and business customs of his adopted land. In 1905 he embarked in business on his own account, and since that time has had a large share in the upbuilding and development of the city. He is now one of the best known and generally recognized contractors of Oxford. Among the structures erected by him are the new post office, Stark's garage and a number of other prominent buildings, as well as modern residences, and he likewise remodeled the Farmers State bank. His activities have not been confined to the city alone, his services having been called into use in the erection of the new bank and other structures at Liberty, Ind., and a number of large and attractive homes at Norwood, Cincinnati, one of the most exclusive residence districts of that city. Through splendid workmanship, fidelity to engagements, expediency in fulfilling contracts, fair representation and business integrity he has won the confidence of the community. His career has been one in which he has relied solely upon his own efforts to gain him success, for when he arrived in Oxford he had neither friends nor means to assist him. From a modest start, in

Page 767
which he did practically all of his own work, he has built up a business so large in scope that he is compelled to hire the services of twelve skilled workmen throughout the year. Mr. Wespiser was married in November, 1906, to Bertha, daughter of Henry Halter, of Oxford, and following this union purchased his present home on Beech street. He and his wife are members of St. Mary's Catholic church and are generous contributors to its numerous movements of a moral and charitable character. While Mr. Wespiser has been too busy to engage actively in public life, he is a good citizen, who does his duty as a voter and whose support is never withheld from movements which his good judgment tells him will result in the benefit of the community.

Ralph C. Whitehead. Among the more active and energetic young farmers of Liberty township, Butler county, Ohio, is Ralph C. Whitehead, who has shown on numerous occasions that he is always prepared to lend his assistance in advancing the best interests of his neighbors and also furthering the prestige of the township as an agricultural center. Undoubtedly there are few other agriculturists in that section of his age who can point to such worthy record of achievement. Despite the fact that Butler county is known for the large number of young men born on farms who have elected to continue in this line of endeavor Ralph Whitehead is of the type who is able to make his influence in a community felt to the utmost degree and his prominence in Liberty township bears out this assertion. Considering his comparative youth and the indomitable energy and perseverance he has shown in the past his future is indeed reassuring. It was on January 10, 1885, that he was born in Liberty township, Butler county, the son of Ernest and Nettie A. (Cummins) Whitehead, who were both natives of the county and among the most respected residents of the community. The father followed farming in Liberty township in the early days, later locating in Middletown, Ohio, where he was engaged in the livery business. Although he met with success in this venture he had always been much attached to Liberty township and much impressed with its possibilities agriculturally. Accordingly, he disposed of his business in Middletown and returned to Liberty township to occupy and operate a 90 acre farm. From the beginning he met with encouragement until his death October 10, 1906. He was known as a man who was an excellent judge of farm values and any investment which he made in this regard invariably proved profitable. Also it might be stated that during his many years of residence in Ohio he cultivated wide acquaintance among landowners as well as business interests and was held in the highest esteem by all both as a citizen and progressive agriculturist. His father was Ralph Finly Whitehead, who was the first of that name to settle in Butler county. He located in Liberty township and remained there until his death, being one of the early settlers who busied himself in developing the farming resources of the county and causing Liberty township to become favorably known throughout the state because of its fertile soil and wide-awake agriculturists. Ralph C. Whitehead was one of four children of Ernest

Page 768
and Nettie Whitehead, the others being Homer, Charles and Clara. He married Mabel S. Rosencrans. Like her husband the wife was also devoted to farm work and was much enamored of its environment. She might be described as the thrifty farm wife so familiar to those conversant with the history of American agricultural affairs and has always manifested the keenest interest in the material and spiritual welfare of her husband. To grow up in a community in which his parents and grandparents were early and respected residents was sufficient incentive for Ralph C. Whitehead to further the prestige of such an estimable family name and the success that he has had in this regard is in keeping with his determined efforts. His achievements have been such of which he might well feel proud and there is no question that the success he has had in the past will be more than duplicated in the future. He is a Republican in politics.

William B. Wick. An excellent illustration of American energy, ability, integrity and superior judgment is found in the building up of the William B. Wick Lumber company, one of the important enterprises of Hamilton. Mr. Wick, a machinist by trade, called suddenly to settle up the estate of his father, took hold of the business with such enterprise and zeal that it grew and flourished immeasurably and has become, under his sole ownership, one of the leading concerns of its kind in Butler county. William B. Wick was born August 29, 1875, at Hamilton, Ohio, and is a member of one of the old established and honored families of this locality. The first of the family to locate in Butler county was his grandfather, John Wick, who was born in Nuremburg, Germany, in 1808 and emigrated to the United States in 1846, settling on an uncultivated farm in the vicinity of Hamilton. There he developed a productive and valuable property, established a home, and continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits until the time of his death in 1892. He and his wife were the parents of four children: John, Michael, Samuel and Martin. Martin Wick, the father of William B., was born in 1842 in Germany, and was a child of four years when he accompanied his parents to the United States. He was educated in the early district schools and was reared as a farmer, a vocation which he adopted on reaching manhood. However, at the age of twenty-one years, his attention was attracted to mercantile affairs, and he became identified with the lumber business of Giffin, Moore & Company, at Hamilton. Subsequently, he was with Patten, Parlin & Company, of Cincinnati for several years, but disposed of his interests with that concern and returned to Hamilton, where he was with the W. M. Dingfelder Lumber company until March 1, 1887. In the following June he embarked in the lumber business on his own account, at Front and Market Streets, Hamilton, and continued to be associated with this business until his death, June 19, 1901, when he was fifty-nine years of age. He was a staunch democrat in politics and a prominent and influential man of his day, serving with efficiency as a member of the city council and school board. He attended the United Presbyterian church, and was a Royal Arch Mason and a Knight Templar.

Page 769
Mr. Wick's first wife bore the maiden name of Amanda Leffler, and was of Hamilton. She died in 1884, and he married for his second wife Catherine Davidson, also a Hamilton girl. By his first marriage he had five children: Mary, a proof reader with Brown & Whitaker, 117 Dayton street, Hamilton, Ohio; Edith, who died in 1885; William B.; Amanda, the wife of C. J. Bradfield, of Grand Junction, Colo.; and Pauline, the wife of G. J. Seltzer, of Louisville, Ky. William B. Wick was educated in the public schools of Hamilton, and as a young man devoted himself to learning the trade of machinist. The only son of his father, at the time of the latter's death, in 1901, he was called home to settle up the estate, and continued to conduct the business for the estate until January 1, 1914, when he bought the interest of the other heirs and became sole owner of the business. In June of the same year he located at his present place of business, 412 Maple avenue, where he erected a modern office and made all the improvements, and this enterprise has since grown into large and important proportions. The William B. Wick Lumber company now carried a full line of lumber, lath, shingles, posts, roofing, mill work, etc., and has a large and flourishing patronage, having on its books some of the principal contractors of the city, as well as in surrounding communities. Mr. Wick is a splendid business man who has made the most of his opportunities, and who has the respect and esteem of his associates and all who come into contact with him in either a social or business way. He is a Democrat in his political preferences and is a Knight Templar, Mason, and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Mr. Wick married Ella T. Kelly, of Hamilton, Ohio, and they are the parents of one daughter, Mildred, a graduate of Hamilton high school, class of 1919. Mrs. Wick and her daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Herman Wieche, an excellent example of what can be accomplished by the agriculturist who keeps pace with the times and is energetic is had in the success of Mr. Herman Wieche of Ross township, Butler county, Ohio, who began life as a tradesman and later adopted farming as his vocation because he believed that he could adapt himself admirably to farm activities and reap encouraging financial returns. Today he is one of the widely known and respected agriculturists of his section and the good fortune that has come to him is indeed in keeping with his determined efforts to make himself a success in the realm of farming. On account of his comprehensive knowledge of general business conditions and the thorough insight he gained into the methods employed by successful men of commerce and industry during the years that he traveled throughout the United States he decided that the best way to make farming profitable was to install every modern accessory that he could reasonably procure, thereby securing greater and more satisfactory crop production. The 170 acres of land which he cultivates have been developed to the highest point of productivity and the annual crop yield is always up to expectations. He has had the greatest success with his Fordson tractor and in each instance in which he has made improvement by adding the most up-to-date

Page 770
mechanical appliances the investment has proved a fortunate one. Born in Estorf bei Neinburg an der Weser, Hanover, Germany, March 19, 1861, he was one of ten children of Lewis and Louisa (Bock) Wieche, both of whom were also natives of that place, the father having been a farmer all his life. Five children, Henry, Ernest, Louis, Dora and Lena, have passed away, while Mina, Dietrich, Carl and Wilhelm are living on the old home place in Germany. The father died in 1873 at the age of fifty-six, while his wife passed away in 1883, also at the age of fifty-six. Both were devout members of the Lutheran church. Herman Wieche attended the Lutheran schools in Germany and on approaching maturity decided that his talents were best adapted to the cabinet making business. He served four years as an apprentice and traveled allover Europe, working in various cities at his trade for the ensuing six years. Being full of vigor and of a roving disposition he decided to cast his fortune in the new world and accordingly set sail for the United States, brimful of hope and with a determination that WCJ.S to be envied. He decided that the central west afforded the best opportunities for the newcomer and located in Hamilton, Ohio. He obtained employment with Bender Bros., and continued with this concern for twenty-eight years, which should be sufficient proof of his ability and trustworthiness. On August 15, 1889, he married in Hamilton, Ohio, Mrs. Mary Frechtling, widow of George Frechtling, and daughter of Robert and Catherine (Batzener) Richter. Both of her parents were natives of Germany, he having been born in Dresden and his wife in Wortemburg. Both came to the United States while still single and located in New York state for a time, later going to Hamilton, Ohio. He was a silversmith by trade and later followed the trade of painter. He died in 1880 at the age of sixty-five years, while his wife passed away in 1880 at the age of fifty-six. They were Lutherans and had two other children besides Mrs. Wieche, Miss Minnie, who became the wife of William Ulrich of Erie, Pa., and Hannah, who married Charles Slinker and is now deceased. Mrs. Wieche had two sons by her first marriage, Arthur and Carl Frechtling of Hamilton, Ohio, who are in the dairy and ice cream business and have an excellent trade. Herman Wieche and wife have three sons: Ernest, who was born November 16, 1890, and married Clara Meyers, they having one child, Mary; Henry, born May 11, 1893, who is now in the automobile business at Millville, Ohio, and Robert, born April 5, 1897. Ernest and Henry were educated in the home and high school, while Robert attended the State university at Columbus, taking the agricultural course. After marriage Herman Wieche and wife lived in Hamilton about three years. He later purchased the forty acre tract in Ross township, known as the old Crawford place, remodeled the house, built a new barn, corncrib, silo and outbuildings and cattle barn, two stories in height and 40x48 feet, also a second barn, 32x54, and granary. In addition to the eighty-eight acres in the home place he has also acquired 100 acres in section 10, part of the old Timberman place, and has erected up-to-date buildings thereon. As a breeder he has had the best of success,

Page 771
raising Holstein cattle, Duroc Jersey and Red hogs, also draft horses. As a further evidence of his energy it might be stated that for a time after taking up farming he continued to work at the carpenter trade during his spare time. Although he has served on the board of education he has no political affiliations, being an independent voter. He is a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran church of Hamilton, Ohio.

Joseph Williams is an agriculturist of the modern type, and one who combines practical methods with modern ideas, and who finds in this combination means of the attainment of prosperity and contentment. Mr. Williams was born in the state of Maryland, in 1856, and was a child when he accompanied his parents to Butler county. His father died when he was only two years old, but his mother, Catherine Williams, was a woman of resource and strength of character who managed to keep her children together and to give them a fairly good educational training in the public schools. Joseph Williams, after the completion of his studies, took up farming, a vocation to which he had been reared, and to which he has devoted his career. He is now the owner of a property of ninety-four and one-half acres, located in Union township, which has been gained through the medium of hard work and intelligently directed activities upon the part of Mr. Williams and his capable wife. He married Ollie, daughter of Frederick and Nancy (Lemon) Wicke. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have had four children, of whom two are living: Cora, who married Frank Neham and has three children, Charles, Ruby and Franklin; and Fred, who married Della Albertson and is engaged in farming in Butler county. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have a pleasant and comfortable home, to which they welcome their many friends in the community.

Newcomb L. Williams, D. V. M. The success which has attended Dr. Newcomb L. Williams, of College Corner, as a veterinary surgeon, has been largely the outcome of a long and careful preparation. Doctor Williams' skill is acknowledged throughout his part of the Miami valley, and during the eight years that he has been in practice his clientele has extended into Butler, Preble and Warren counties, Ohio, and Union county, Ind. He was born at Delhi, Hamilton county, Ohio, November 24, 1891, a son of James N. and Frances E. (Allen) Williams, of Hamilton county. His father, a stockman and veterinary surgeon, died in 1895, while his mother still survives as a resident of Hyde Park, Ohio. They were the parents of three children: Clara, who resides with her mother; Lucille, the wife of R. I. Kingery, of College Corner; and Newcomb L. Newcomb L. Williams attended the graded and high schools of Glendale, Ohio, and after his graduation from the latter entered Johnson's college, at Cincinnati, Ohio. He pursued his professional studies at the Cincinnati Veterinary college, and upon his graduation therefrom furthered his training by several months of post-graduate study at Columbus, Ohio. Coming to College Corner, he entered upon the practice of his calling, in which he has rapidly advanced to a prominent place. He has made a specialty of vaccinating swine. Personally he is one of the popular young men

Page 772
of his community and has a host of friends. He was married January 4, 1916, to Marie E. Witter, born near College Corner, Ohio, in Union county, Ind., and to this union there have been born two children: Cheryl L., born December 29, 1916; and Jack Allen, born February 25, 1918. Mrs. Williams is a member of the Presbyterian church.

William Williams. One of the first men to be employed in the plant of the American Rolling Mill company at Middletown was William Williams, who has continued to discharge his duties there since 1901. Mr. Williams was born at Portsmouth, Ohio, July 18, 1863, a son of William David and Caroline (Davis) Williams. His parents were born in Wales and came to the United States as young married people, for many years being residents of Portsmouth, Ohio, where the mother died when William Williams was a small boy. The father survived for a long time thereafter, and spent his declining years in the home of his son, where he died August 1, 1896. Mr. Williams' two sisters, Mrs. Thomas Johnson and Mrs. Isaac Langley, are deceased, while his two brothers, Arthur L. and Thomas Williams, are residents of Newport, Ky. William Williams was educated in the public schools and adopted his present vocation when still a young man. For a number of years he was variously employed in different communities, and in 1901 came from Piqua, Ohio, to Middletown to accept a position as one of the first employees of the American Rolling Mill company, and is still with the concern in the capacity of heater. He is a Republican voter and a man of broad general information upon the subjects of the day, with intelligent opinions regarding public issues. His fraternal affiliations are with the Improved Order of Red Men and the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Williams was married at Newport, Ky., October 1, 1890, to Alice, daughter of Daniel and Louise (Weaver) Schneider, who died January 22, 1909, at Middletown. Three children were born to this union: two sons who died in infancy; and Louise Caroline, born at Piqua, October 10, 1898.

Ezra T. Williamson, one of the highly esteemed residents of Monroe, is now retired from active life, but was formerly quite extensively engaged in farming. He was born at Bethany, O., November 27, 1839, a son of Peter and Hannah (Lamb) Williamson, and grandson of David Williamson. David Williamson was born in Pennsylvania, his parents being natives of Holland, who came to the United States and settled in the Keystone state. Early in life he went to Kentucky, moving from there to Ohio, locating at Bethany. His wife bore the maiden name of Van Dyke, and they had four sons, namely: David, John, George and Peter. By trade he was a carpenter, and he was also engaged in farming. Both he and his wife died at Bethany, O. Peter Williamson attended the schools of Bethany, and learned the carpenter trade under his father's instruction. In addition to working at his trade, he operated a store and hotel for many years, and was postmaster of Bethany for a long period. A Democrat, he was elected by his party township treasurer, and held that office for twenty-six years. Peter Williamson belonged to the Presbyterian church, and his

Page 773
wife to the Baptist church. His death occurred in 1897, when he was seventy-eight years old, having been born at Jerico, O., in January, 1801. His wife died at the age of seventy-two years, having been born in New Jersey in 1804. Their children were as follows: Ruth, who married Alfred W. Curtis, is deceased; Mary F., who married David Crane, is deceased; Milton T., who served his country as captain of a company of infantry during the Civil war, was appointed a general of militia and a United States marshal and assigned to Tennessee, having charge of the Memphis district, died in 1902, and prior to the war he was an attorney and newspaper editor at Memphis; Ezra T., whose name heads this review; Peter, who was a carpenter and contractor of Hartwell, O., is now retired; and Eliza Jane, who married John W. Stabler, and is now deceased. Ezra T. Williamson attended the common schools of his neighborhood, but secured only limited educational advantages, although he taught school for two winters at Bethany, O. When he was thirty-two years old, January 7, 1868, Mr. Williamson was united in marriage with Martha S. Davison, born in Lemon township, a daughter of William and Isabelle (Sweet) Davison, he being born in New Jersey in 1807, and she born in New York in 1812. They came to Butler county, O., with their parents, and were reared in Lemon township, where they married, and settled in this township, and became extensive farmers. He was a Democrat, and prominent in his party, serving for some years as county commissioner. Their children were as follows: Mary J., who married Albert H. Potter, is deceased; Martha S., who is Mrs. Williamson. William Davison died in 1881, his wife having passed away in 1877. Mr. and Mrs. Williamson have the following children: Carrie, who married J. A. Deneen, a farmer and stockman, and superintendent of the Butler county infirmary, has one son - Lawrence, the other son, Ralph being deceased; Blanche, who married H. E. Nichols, manager of the Sea Coast Packing company, has four children - John, Esther, Marian and Ruth; Homer D., a physician of Bethany, attended the home schools, and then in 1901 entered the Ohio State university, from which he was graduated as chemist, following which he attended Columbus Medical college from which he graduated and then settled in Lorain, O., later moving to Bethany, where he has since resided; and Irene, who attended the Monroe High school and the Ohio State university, was graduated from the latter in 1906, and taught at West Jefferson and Nelsonville, Ohio, and is now teacher of higher mathematics in a school at Sharon, Pa. Following his marriage, Mr. Williamson continued to live at Bethany, O., until 1872, being engaged in farming, threshing and conducting a general store. In 1872 he moved to Lemon township, Butler county, one and one-half miles west of Monroe, and remained there until 1874, when he went on a farm one and one-half miles South of Middletown, Ohio, and conducted it until 1880, when he bought the Smith farm of ninety-seven and one-half acres south of Monroe. Moving to it he made many improvements, and brought it into a high state of cultivation, and remained on it until the spring of 1911, when he retired,

Page 774
and since then has lived at Monroe. A prominent Democrat, he has been called upon to serve in several offices, and was a school director for some years, and clerk of the state board of health from 1901 to 1910. Mr. Williamson belongs to Monroe Lodge, No. 89, I. O. O. F. and Middletown Lodge, K. of P. He is a man who has always been scrupulously upright in all his dealings, and has won and retains the confidence and respect of all who know him. His family has developed in a way to do him honor, and he and his wife have every reason to be proud of their children and what they have and are accomplishing.

George M. Williamson. For more than a quarter of a century George M. Williamson has been helping to make history in Butler county, and so well has he directed his energies that in 1919, at the age of fifty-six years, he was able to retire from active life on a comfortable competence. He has led a simple, active and methodical life, and his busy hands have manipulated the constructive implements of the agriculturist in a manner at once valuable to himself and helpful to the community in which he has always made his home. Mr. Williamson was born on the old Williamson homestead in Madison township, Butler county, Ohio, October 30, 1863, a son of Garrett and Julia Ann (Hitzler) Williamson. His father was born on the same farm, May 2, 1815, and was two years of age when his parents moved from the house in which he was born to another one where he subsequently spent his life in the quiet pursuits of the soil. He was a man of industry, whose integrity was never doubted, and who made and kept friends and confidants. March 20, 1845, he married Julia Ann Hitzler, with whom he lived happily for forty-six years and they became the parents of five daughters and two sons, three of whom are deceased, a son and two daughters. They were for many years members of the Pleasant Ridge United Brethren church, in which Mr. Williamson held office. Their children were: Margaret, the widow of George Hartley, living at Mattoon, Ill.; Catherine, the widow of Rev. T. A. Childs, residing at Franklin, Ind.; Phoebe, who died at Mattoon, Ill., as the wife of Sylvanus Eck; Mary, who died young; John D., born March 4, 1856, who was a farmer in Madison township and died January 25, 1905; Sarah, the widow of Harvey Brooks, of Middletown, Ohio; and George M. The father of these children died April 23, 1891. George M. Williamson attended the schools of his native locality and remained under the parental roof until the time of his marriage, in 1887, to Sarah Amanda Crauder, who was born in Adams county, Ohio, a daughter of Charles and Caroline (Kleinknecht) Crauder, the former born in Wittenberg, Germany, and the latter near Decatur, Ohio. Mr. Crauder came to the United States as a young man and located at Decatur, Ohio, where he secured employment in a mill. Later he took up farming as his vocation and continued to engage therein until his death in 1902, since which time his widow has been a resident of Greenbush, Ohio. There were three children in the family: John, a farmer and thresher near Greenbush; C. E., formerly a teacher and now engaged in the automobile business; and Sarah Amanda, now Mrs. Williamson. Three

Page 775
daughters have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Williamson; Myrtle Marie, a graduate of the Middletown High school, now the wife of Everett Crout, a farmer of Madison township, with one son, George Clements; Mabel May, a graduate of the Middletown High school, and a teacher for two years in the rural schools near Dayton; and Mary Viola, who spent one year at Oxford college, and is now a teacher at Middletown, after two years in the country districts. The father of these girls is a great friend of and believer in education, and gave his daughters all possible advantages to fit them for their struggle with life. Throughout the active portion of his career, Mr. Williamson carried on farming on his property in Madison township, known as the old Williamson homestead, originally settled by his pioneer grandfather. There he raised all the standard crops, and did a good business in Jersey, Holstein and Durham cattle, Draft horses and Duroc Jersey hogs, in addition to which, as a side line, he was successful as an agent for different fertilizer firms. In 1919, however, he decided to retire from active affairs, and accordingly disposed of his interests and moved to his comfortable modern home at Middletown. His long and prominent connection with agricultural affairs gave him a wide acquaintance, in which he had many friends and well-wishers; and this connection also made him thoroughly conversant with matters pertaining to farming and stock raising, of both of which vocations he was considered an expert. He has not sought personal preference in public life, but keeps in close touch with the same, and is quick to respond to a worthy appeal which touches upon the general welfare. His political patronage is given the Democratic party. With his family, he belongs to the United Brethren church, the work of which has always had his sincere and helpful interest, and during the past thirty years he has been a member of the board of trustees, while for sixteen years he has acted as steward.

H. D. Williamson, M. D., of Bethany, Ohio, is among the well known successful physicians of that section who enjoyed the environment of farm life. He is not only one of the most capable and really conscientious doctors of his city, but he is also one of the most highly esteemed. He was born near Middletown, Butler county, Ohio, and when about one year old he moved with his parents to Monroe, Butler county, Ohio, where he attended the public schools and was graduated from the high school at that place in 1895. After leaving school he remained on the farm about two years, It was his desire, however, to become a doctor and accordingly, he attended the Ohio State university for two years, taking the scientific course. Later he attended the Sterling Medical college at Columbus, Ohio, which afterward became a part of the Ohio State Medical college. He received his degree of M. D. from this institution in 1904 and then located at Lorain, Ohio. He was strongly of the belief that Bethany, Ohio, afforded the best field for the most profitable practice of his profession and in 1906 located there, where he has since been in active practice. In the course of the first few years of his practice in Bethany Doctor Williamson became a potent factor in the medical affairs of that city and was recognized as a

Page 776
physician who could be depended upon to look out for the best interests of patients. Year by year his practice developed until today he is known as one of the truly representative medical practitioners of Butler county. He is a member of the County, State and American Medical societies and an independent Democrat. Those familiar with his affairs assert that the prestige now enjoyed by Doctor Williamson will undoubtedly be furthered materially within the next few years and his estimable standing as a physician and citizen also added to.

Carman Aaron Wilson. While the history of Carman Aaron Wilson belongs rather to the past of the Miami valley than to the present, inasmuch as more than a score of years have passed since his demise, his life was so filled with successful accomplishments and so replete with kindly deeds, worthy actions and splendid citizenship, that it is eminently deserving of a place in the annals of men who have made Miami valley history. Mr. Wilson was born in New Jersey, February 10, 1823, a son of Peter and Abigail (Golden) Wilson, natives of New Jersey, who came to Butler county, Ohio, in 1831 and located near Woods Station, where they cleared a farm, established a home, and passed the rest of their lives in the pursuits of agriculture. They had seven children: Amy, Carman Aaron, Hannah, Mary, Phoebe, Isaac and Fannie. Isaac, the only survivor, is a resident of Chicago, Ill. Carman A. Wilson was given the advantages of only a common school education, and his home training was such that one of his strongest characteristics was his filial affection. He remained at home and cared for his parents until their deaths, and then went to Mount Carmel, Franklin county, Ind., to care for an uncle, Spencer Golden, who was in poor health. After living with his uncle for a year he took up his home with an aunt and cousin, who had his affectionate care and devotion until their deaths, ten years later. At that time he located at Woods Station, on the old home place, and established a home of his own, marrying a widow, Mrs. Wilkinson, who had three children: Henry, Mary and Calvin. She died two years later at Mount Carmel, Ind., where Mr. Wilson had inherited his uncle's property. In the fall of 1870 he returned to Woods Station, where he was married to Hannah Cook, of Switzerland county, Ind., daughter of John and Eleanor (Buerss) Cook, the latter a native of Cincinnati and the former of Kentucky. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Cook located near Vevay, Ind., whence they removed in 1851 to Peoria county, Ill., and then in 1858 to Logansport, Ind. In the fall of 1861 Mr. Cook enlisted from Logansport in the Forty-sixth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which he served bravely and faithfully until receiving his honorable discharge in 1865. While cutting out roads during his army service, he was badly ruptured and confined to the army hospital for a long period, and this injury bothered him more or less all through his life. On the completion of his military service he returned to Logansport, but later removed to Missouri. Owing to the state of his wife's health, he returned to Woods Station, and there his death occurred when he was ninety-one years of age, Mrs. Cook passing away when at the age of eighty-four. Mr. Cook

Page 777
was an industrious and practical farmer and made a success of his operations. He was a staunch Republican, and he and Mrs. Cook were faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Of their seven children, five are living: Carrie, living with Mrs. Wilson, the widow of James Cultra; Mrs. Wilson; Tama L., of Wichita, Kans., widow of Martin Coonsman; John W., of Macon, Mo.; and Isabella, the wife of Van Herron, living near Chanute, Kans. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson: Lessie; Irene, the wife of Joseph L. Garver, a contractor of Hamilton; and Carrie Inez, the wife of Vernon Hughes, formerly a contractor but now conducting operations on the Wilson farm. The first child, Lessie, who died in 1901, was the wife of Frank Howe, and had the following children: Charles W., William V., Clifford F., Lincoln I., who married Mell Hiatt of Hamilton and they have one daughter, Margaret Lessie; and Lucille. These children were reared by their grandmother, Mrs. Wilson. Charles W., a successful civil engineer of Dayton, who during the World war was a member of a United States training camp and rose to the rank of lieutenant before receiving his discharge, married Grace Shafer. Following their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson located at Woods Station, where Mr. Wilson purchased a farm, on which they lived for ten years. He next bought the farm on the Darrtown pike, St. Clair township, and that continued to be the family home from 1881 until Mr. Wilson's death, September 26, 1898. He made many improvements on this property, which consists of 150 acres, and through his splendid business management succeeded in accumulating much other property, including farms of 120 acres at Woods Station, farms of 150 acres and 200 acres respectively in other localities, and much valuable Hamilton real estate. During his active years he was a large stock and hog dealer and a splendid business man in every way. His associates and all with whom he had dealings of any nature, relied implicitly not only upon his judgment but upon his word, and his business record was without blemish of any character. One of the prominent men of his locality, widely known and universally respected, he wielded an influence for the betterment of his community and being a heavy money loaner he was instrumental in helping many a man to his feet. He was not an office seeker, although a strong man in the ranks of the Democratic party. His death removed from the community a man who had done much to contribute to its progress and advancement. Following the death of her husband, Mrs. Wilson continued to reside on the home farm for a time, and then moved to Hamilton, where she took up her residence at No. 141 Ross street. Later she built the beautiful residence at No. 121 Eaton avenue, which is now her home. She is a woman of fine intellectual attainments and has many warm and appreciative friends at Hamilton, particularly among the members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which religious body she has been active and helpful.

C. Val Wilson. There is no section in the country where the services of skilled electrical engineers and experienced general contractors are in more active demand than in the Miami valley,

Page 778
where, owing to the rapid and marvelous growth and development municipal improvements and vast private enterprises are conducted upon the most extensive scale. A leading and prominent representative devoted to this department of industrial activity is C. Val Wilson, an electrical engineer of broad and varied experience, who acts in this capacity for the well-known Hamilton firm of Black & Clawson. Mr. Wilson was born March 24, 1867, in Butler county, Ohio, a son of James and Charlotte (Knox) Wilson, the former a native of England and the latter of Dublin, Ireland. They came to Butler county as children, Mrs. Wilson making her home with Joshua Hughes until she grew to young womanhood, while Mr. Wilson lived with his parents in the vicinity of Bethany. After their marriage they settled on a Butler county farm, which they continued to operate until Mr. Wilson's death, since which time Mrs. Wilson has been living in retirement. James Wilson was one of the worthy citizens of his day and neighborhood, a man of integrity, an industrious farmer, a staunch Democrat, and a pillar of the Methodist church. He and his wife were the parents of two sons and one daughter: Edgar, of Glenwood, Ind., who married Katie Book and had three children: Anna, the wife of Joseph Morris, a son of I. K. Morris of Butler county, with one daughter; and C. Val. C. Val Wilson was educated at the old Jones Station school house in Butler county and at Springdale, Ohio, following which he took up and mastered the science of electrical engineering. During his earlier years, while following his profession, he traveled extensively through the South, Southwest and West, but eventually returned to Ohio and became identified with the Queen City Electrical company at Cincinnati, in the capacity of assistant superintendent. He remained with that concern for eight years, and then came to Hamilton to take the superintendency of the municipal electric plant, at that time under process of construction. Subsequently he embarked upon a long term of service with the Niles Tool works and continued to be in their employ for seventeen years, and when he left it was to become electrical engineer for the firm of Black & Clawson, of Hamilton, with which concern he has been identified for about eight years. Mr. Wilson is a thorough master of his vocation and accounted a valuable man in his line, as well as an expert and an authority upon a number of questions. He belongs to various organizations of his craft and stands high in the estimation of its members. As a fraternalist, he belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Loyal Order of Moose, while his voting franchise is exercised in behalf of the candidates of the Democratic party. With his family, he belongs to the St. Joseph's Catholic church. In March, 1896, Mr. Wilson was united in marriage with Miss Rose Miller, daughter of John and Regina Miller, early settlers of Butler county. Mrs. Wilson, who received her early education at St. Stephen's parochial school, and graduated from the Hamilton High school in the class of 1894, is a lady of many accomplishments, and a talented performer on the piano. She and her husband are the parents of five children: Clement J., born in 1899, educated at St. Joseph's parochial school

Page 779
and the local high school, and now engaged in electrical work; Marie, aged fifteen years, attending Notre Dame academy, where in addition to the regular course she is studying music; and Stanley, aged twelve; Helen, aged eleven, and Charlotte, aged nine years, all of whom are attending St. Joseph's parochial school.

Fred Ellsworth Wilson. The claim of Fred Ellsworth Wilson upon the good-will and consideration of his fellow-townsmen at Middletown is based upon a number of years of steady and effective work as a sheet heater's helper at the great plant of the American Rolling mill, and upon his activity is promoting music and religion and kindred accompaniments of advanced civilization. He was born at Apollo, Pa., June 1, 1892, a son of Henry T. and Martha (Carney) Wilson, the former of whom is at present a millwright in the galvanizing department of the American Rolling mill. His brother, Victor Orr Wilson, is also identified with that company, being in the factory department, although his work was interrupted by the war, when he served on the quartermaster's staff. He married Mildred Comer of Middletown. Fred E. Wilson was educated in the public schools of Apollo, Pa., and was but seventeen years of age when he came to Middletown, shortly thereafter entering the employ of the American Rolling Mill company, with which concern he has since been identified, at present being the incumbent of a position as heater. He is a thorough and competent worker, energetic and possessed of great capacity for intense application, and is in the confidence of his employers and on terms of good fellowship with his fellow-workmen. One year after his arrival at Middletown, Mr. Wilson was joined by his parents, who have since made their home in this community, where they are highly respected and esteemed. Fred E. Wilson was married November 2, 1910, to Grace Cleoph Albaugh, who was born at Gratis, Ohio, October 21, 1892, a daughter of Peter Mathias and Leona (Bunch) Albaugh, the former still residing on a farm near West Alexandria, Ohio, where the latter died March 20, 1918. There were twelve children in the Albaugh family, three of whom are deceased, one dying in infancy: Grace C., who became Mrs. Wilson; Daisy, the wife of William Coleman, of Gratis, Ohio; Gertrude, the widow of George Howard, and now deceased; Sadie, the wife of Clem Apple, of Farmersville, Ohio; Ola, who is a resident of West Alexandria; Vernon, a resident of Middletown; Alva, who lives at West Alexandria; Mabel, the widow of Vern Bookwalter, makes her home with her father; Opal, the wife of Oliver Evers of Gratis; and Dewey, deceased; Clifford, a resident of West Alexandria. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are the parents of one daughter, Freda Cleo, an exceedingly bright little girl in the primary department of the Middletown public schools. Mr. Wilson is a favorite in social circles, being a gifted musician capable of performing on a number of instruments, and has frequently appeared at social functions, in addition to being a trustee of the local Musicians' union. In 1914, he erected his present pleasant home on Grand avenue, where his numerous friends and those of his wife, are always made welcome. Mrs. Wilson takes a prominent part in church work, as a member of the Oakland Presbyterian church, of which

Page 780
her husband is a member of the board of trustees, and she is also helpfully interested in the work of the Order of the Eastern Star. Mr. Wilson belongs to the Junior Order of United American Mechanics and the Masons, and is in good standing as to his membership in the Amalgamated Association of Iron Workers. He is liberal in political views, and is generally found casting his vote rather for the man and the principle than the party.

Howard A. Wilson. A highly esteemed member of the business fraternity of Middletown is Howard A. Wilson, whose entire career has been devoted to the vocation of undertaking and funeral directing. Mr. Wilson has developed one of the most substantial establishments of its kind in the city, and in business circles is known as a man of the highest integrity and strictest probity. He was born at Middletown, December 22, 1875, a son of Arthur T. and Jennie M. (Hill) Wilson. His maternal grandfather was Alexander Hill, who was born in Scotland, and as a young man emigrated to the United States and settled at Rockville, Conn., where his daughter, Jennie M., was born, she being a child when brought to Butler county, Ohio. Howard A. Wilson was educated in the public schools of Middletown, and was variously employed until embarking in the undertaking business, which he has since followed with increasing success. He has an establishment that is modern in every department, and has secured and held the confidence of the public. A man of infinite tact, and kindly heart, he has proved a sympathetic friend and considerate adviser in the households which have been visited by the angel of death, and has made friendships that have proved sincere and lasting. He is a Republican in politics, and has served his city well in a public way, having been for four years a member of the local council. As a fraternalist he is affiliated with the Order of Elks, is a Knight Templar, and thirty-second degree Mason, and his religious connection is with the Presbyterian church. October 24, 1900, Mr. Wilson married Mary E., daughter of James H. and Sarah R. (Emerson) Shields, the former of near Bellefontaine, Ohio, and the latter of Concord, Vt. Six sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson: Albin Shields, George Arthur, Howard A., jr., Thomas Hill, William James and Paul Emerson. Thomas Wilson was born about eight miles west of Middletown, to which town he came and started in the cabinet making and undertaking business. For three generations this business has been carried on by the Wilsons - from grandfather to grandson - and is considered the oldest in this line of business in Middletown.

Samue1 B. Wilson. Located on the old Trace road in Wayne township, one mile northwest of Seven Mile, is the old Wilson homestead, one of the fine old country estates of Butler county. Here, September 10, 1861, was born Samuel B. Wilson, who for many years was engaged in cultivating its soil, but who has now retired from active pursuits after a career of successful and useful labor and makes his home at Seven Mile, where he is one of the highly esteemed members of the retired colony. Mr. Wilson is a son of Burns and Melinda (Young) Wilson, the former being of English descent and the latter of Pennsylvania stock, and a grandson

Page 781
of Anthony Wilson, who was a pioneer of the log-cabin epoch in Wayne township, where he settled on the homestead mentioned above and where he spent his life in the hard work of developing a productive farm from the wilderness. Burns Wilson, born on this estate, grew up as a farmer's son and secured his education in the district schools of his day. He became associated with his father as a farmer, and when the elder man died assumed management of the place, which he operated successfully and honorably until his death, April 4, 1884, at the age of sixty-one years, his widow surviving him until August, 1901, when she passed away at seventy-two years of age. They were members of the Presbyterian church at Seven Mile, and Mr. Wilson was a Republican and held a number of township offices. There were eight children in the family: Rhuehama, a farmer in LaBette county, Kan.; William E., who was a farmer and in the coal and flour and feed business at Hamilton until his death in April, 1912; he left a widow who had been Lizzie Caldwell; Mary, of Hamilton, the widow of Jacob Trump; Ella, of Seven Mile, widow of F. A. Schmidlin, a merchant and banker who died in February, 1919; Samuel B., of this review; Charles B., an electrician of Seven Mile; Ada, also of Seven Mile; and George A., who went to Alaska during the gold rush and mined there, but is now in the wholesale leather business at Los Angeles, Calif., and married to Lulu Cook. The public schools of Seven Mile and Lebanon furnished Samuel B. Wilson with his educational training, following which he became associated with his father in farming operations. At the time of the elder man's death he took charge of the farm, on which Burns Wilson had built the fine brick home, and there continued to farm until the time of his retirement, March 1, 1914. He then moved to Seven Mile, although he is still the owner of the old home place, which is one of the fine country estates of Butler county, with improvements and conveniences of the most modern character. Mr. Wilson is a Republican in his political sentiment, and a member of the Knights of Pythias at Seven Mile, and he and his wife belong to the Presbyterian church at Seven Mile. July 18, 1892, he married Letha S. Long, who was born in Madison township, Butler county, a daughter of Hampton H. Long, a sketch of whose career appears elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson are the parents of one daughter: Mabel E., who married Thurman L. Fisher, a farmer of Collinsville, and they have the following children: Lewis, Warren, Eleanor, Hugh, Helen, Ethel and Clarence.

Lewis G. Wintersteen. Of the agriculturists who have helped to sustain the farming integrity and prestige of Butler county during the past several decades, mention is due Lewis G. Wintersteen, of the Jacksonboro community. He has been a resident of this locality all of his life and has been a constructive factor in assisting in the progress of one of the most fertile and productive sections of the great Miami valley. Mr. Wintersteen was born on a farm near Jacksonboro, a son of William and Anna (Truster) Wintersteen. His father, who was a successful agriculturist, served for a number of years as the village squire of Jacksonboro, and was a man universally respected and esteemed. He died January 20, 1915, while

Page 782
his widow is still living and makes her home at Jacksonboro. Lewis G. Wintersteen was educated in the public schools and was reared in a family where honesty and industry were held in high esteem. His brothers and sisters, like himself, were given good advantages and strict training, and those who survive have gained places of honor in the communities in which they reside. The first child died in infancy; Frank married Cora Ferris; Lewis G. is the third in order of birth; Myrtle is now Mrs. Hood; Lizzie is deceased; May married Sam Boomerschine; and Myrtle is the wife of Earl Gross, of Camden. Lewis G. Wintersteen, on attaining his majority, engaged in agricultural pursuits on his own account, and recently purchased the Samuel Stokes farm, a tract of 160 acres near Jacksonboro, which he has placed in the finest of condition. He has modernized the home and other buildings, and has improved the land with drainage, and everything about the property shows that good management is present. He is a Democrat in politics and a good citizen, and he and the members of his family attend the Methodist church at Seven Mile. Mr. Wintersteen was married in 1905 to Myrtle, daughter of George G. and Catherine (Conorroe) Hood, of Somerville, and to this union there has been borne one son: Vernon, aged twelve years, who is attending the public school. Mrs. Wintersteen's father died August 8, 1904, and her mother August 9, 1912. There were nine children in their family: Mrs. Wintersteen; Ella., who married Harry Ray; Setta, who married George Francis; Minna, who married Charles Cornthwaite; Ed Hood, who married Lola Wagner; Ralph, who married Ida Gerber; Susie, who married Henry Lintner; Harvey; and Cora, who married Ora Chapin.

David K. Withrow. During a long, active and honorable career, David K. Withrow has been a resident of a number of localities in the pursuit of several vocations, but Butler county and agricultural work have always appealed to him principally, and while he has been retired from farming for some years, he is spending the evening of life amid the surroundings of his boyhood, youth and much of his manhood. He deserves mention in this volume, inasmuch as he is an exemplary citizen of Overpeck who has done his share in the development of the interests of the communities in which he has resided. Without any air of pretentiousness he has humbly and faithfully fulfilled his duties in all the relations of life. Mr. Withrow was born May 16, 1883, in Wayne township, Butler county, Ohio, a son of Samuel P. and Mary (Latshaw) Withrow, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Pennsylvania. Samuel P. Withrow was a child of two years when he accompanied his parents, John and Ann Withrow, from Kentucky to Butler county, and this family has the distinction of being the first settlers of Wayne township northeast of Seven Mile. John Withrow secured wild land from the government, cleared it of the timber and made a home for himself and family, and there rounded out his career as a farmer. He and his wife were the parents of five children. Samuel P. Withrow grew up on the home farm and attended the district schools in Wayne township, and on growing to manhood

Page 783
took up the work of cultivation. During the period that he was the proprietor of the homestead contributed greatly to its value through making improvements and developing the fertility of the soil, and among the structures erected by him was a comfortable brick house to replace the frame dwelling that had been the family domicile for many years. He was a Democrat in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the faith of which he died in 1887 at the advanced age of ninety-two years, while Mrs. Withrow passed away twenty years before, when sixty years old. He was again married after her death, being united with Charlotte Beard of Cipro, Ohio, who died at Seven Mile where they had lived retired. The children of Samuel P. Withrow, all by his first union, were: Robert, deceased, a farmer of Wayne township, who married Angelina Murphy; John L., deceased, also a farmer of Wayne township, who married Margaret Murphy; May Magdalene, deceased, who was the wife of Judge John B. Dryer; James A., deceased, who lived at Scranton, Iowa; David K., of this notice; Theodore, deceased, a farmer of Wayne township, who married Ellen Huffman; Sarah Ann, deceased, who married William A. Mack, a prominent farmer of Wayne township; Catherine, deceased, who was the wife of Dr. Joshua Owsley; and Leonidas H., deceased, a farmer of Wayne township, who married Margaret Wehr. From the above it will be noted that David K. Withrow. is the only one of his father's large family now living. He was indebted to the district schools of the home community for his educational training, and resided under the parental roof until 1867. In the meantime, October 23, 1860, he had been united in marriage with Cecelia Pottinger, of Camden, Ohio, daughter of Dennis and Elizabeth (Fort) Pottinger, natives of New Jersey and early settlers of Camden, where they passed the greater part of their lives in agricultural pursuits, and died. They had six children: Mary; Margaret, a resident of Ashmore, Ill.; Hiram, who lives at West Elkton, Ohio; Grant, a resident of Seven Mile, Ohio; Hetty; and Cecelia, who became Mrs. Withrow, a resident of Seven Mile, Ohio. Five children were born to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Withrow: Agnes, who married Christ Heater, of Wayne township; Val, who married Annie Brosey and lives at Hamilton, Ohio; Hetty Ann, who married Thomas Lewis; Mary Elizabeth, the wife of John Stonebraker, born at Millville, Ohio and was employed by the Champion Coated Paper company of Hamilton for past twenty years, and resided at Overpeck, where he and Mrs. Stonebraker had a fine and attractive home; Mr. Stonebraker passed away at Christ hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 28, 1919; and Mark L., a painter of Cincinnati, who married Lillie Schulthale. In 1867, David K. Withrow went to Marion county, Iowa, where he secured a farm of 192 acres. This was new land, abounding with wild game, and during the six years that he spent in developing his property Mr. Withrow found plenty of opportunity to try his skill as a hunter. Subsequently he went to Warrensburg, Mo., where he was engaged in teaming for three years, and then moved on to Alton, Iowa, where he followed the same line for one year. The call of the scene of his boyhood, however, brought him back to

Page 784
Butler county, and for eight years he resided on Eli Marks' farm in Wayne township, then moving to West Elkton, which was his home for one year. Again going back to Wayne township, he spent a short period there and then took up his residence at Hamilton for eight years. Since 1904, Mr. Withrow has resided with his daughter, Mrs. Stonebraker, at Overpeck. Mr. Withrow belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and during his more active years took a leading part in its movements. His wife, who is deceased, belonged to the Presbyterian church, while Mrs. Stonebraker is an adherent of the faith of the Reformed denomination. Politically, Mr. Withrow is a Democrat. Despite his eighty-six years, he is well preserved in both mind and body, and his memory remains keen. He is widely known in Butler county and is highly respected as one of the men who have contributed to the growth and development of this fertile and prosperous section of the Miami valley.

John T. Withrow was born at Seven Mile, Ohio, September 19, 1882, a son of Albert and Emma (Brooks) Withrow, the former born near Cotton Run, and his wife near Four Mile. Both the families of Brooks and Withrow were early settlers of the Miami valley and have watched the country develop from a frontier outpost to an agricultural center. After marriage Albert Withrow and his wife located on a farm near Seven Mile which he farmed all his life and eventually passed away there leaving his widow on the old homestead. Their union was blessed with the following children: W. B.; Susan, now Mrs. Arthur Mendenhall; Ella, now Mrs. Hunt; Jennie; John T., the subject of this biography; Anna, now Mrs. Bell; and Eliza. John T. Withrow became imbued with the elements of knowledge at the common schools of Nine Mile, Ohio, after which he began farming on his father's property. Following his marriage he moved to the old Black homestead of 112 acres in Reily township and here he has resided since that date. Beyond getting all out of his farm which is possible by industry and careful husbandry and making all improvements consistent with the march of progress, he has taken great pride in breeding fine Duroc Jersey hogs. He was very active in war work with a resultant success. Politically he is a Republican, but leans towards the Progressive wing. In 1905, he married Miss Nellie R. Black, daughter of Elias and Lucinda Black. To them have been born three children: Robert, aged thirteen; Marjorie, aged ten; and Ely, aged five.

William H. Witters. The call of the soil appeals strongly to some men, but it is not always that an individual can make a success of farming operations when all of his former training has been along entirely different lines. In the case of William H. Witters, however, his versatility has been displayed, for following a long period of employment in a large Dayton iron works, he has taken up agricultural work with the best of prosperity and is now comfortably and contentedly situated on a valuable property on Brown's Run, near Middletown. Mr. Witters was born in the city of Dayton, in 1870, a son of John B. and Matilda (Zimmerman) Witters, the former born in the northern part of Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1848, and the latter in Butler county, this state, in 1847. His great-

Page 785
grandfather was Conrad Witters, who emigrated from Germany to America at about the time of the Revolutionary war, in which he participated and following the close of that struggle settled down in New York State, where he passed the remainder of his life. His son was William H. Witters, who left New York to seek a home in the newly opened west, settling in Montgomery county, Ohio, where he passed the remainder of his life, and it was in that community that John B. Witters was born, reared and educated. John B. Witters during his earlier years, farmed as had his father and grandfather before him, but subsequently became interested in business affairs, and in order to carry out his projects moved to Dayton, where he completed his career. His son, William H. Witters, attended the public schools there, and likewise took a private course in the district schools while assisting the teacher with the school work. When he started upon his career it was as an employee of the Dayton Malleable Iron works, in the service of which concern his industry and fidelity brought him advancement to the post of shipping clerk, and for sixteen years he continued in the employ of the same company. For a long time Mr. Witters had thought over the advisability of engaging in farming, for there was agricultural blood in his veins and he had the true inclinations of a husbandman. Eventually the call proved too strong to be longer resisted, and he accordingly invested his savings in a farm at West Middletown, on Brown's Run, where he has since been profitably engaged in the pursuits of the soil. While he carries on operations as a general farmer, he has also had decided success as a tobacco grower, and in both connections is adjudged as a thoroughly informed man, who makes a study of his business and who carries it on industriously and intelligently. He was married in 1890 to Miss Anna Dougherty, daughter of Solomon Dougherty, who died in 1903, leaving two children: Fidella, who is deceased; and Nina, now Mrs. Lester Simms, of Dayton. Mr. Witters was again married June 14, 1906, when he united with Miss Daisy M. Mink, daughter of Richard and Hannah (Mills) Mink, of Warren county, Ohio, the Mink family having come originally from West Virginia. The great-grandfather was a freighter by occupation and hauled freight from West Virginia to Cincinnati. He lost his life by drowning while trying to drink from the river. The grandfather of the Minks died in Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Witters are members of the Primitive Baptist church. In his political views Mr. Witters is inclined to be liberal, but, everything else being equal, gives his support to the candidates of the Democratic party.

James Cherry Wood. A record for steadfastness of purpose and continuous service under employers is that of James Cherry Wood, who, during thirty-five years, has had but two employers. His entire career has been passed in the steel industry and at this time this skilled, industrious and reliable mechanic is superintendent of the cold roll department at the American Rolling Mill company's plant at Middletown. Mr. Wood was born at McKeesport, Pa., February 10, 1873, a son of Samuel S. and Sarah Jane (Cherry) Wood, the former of whom resides at Middletown, while the latter passed away

Page 786
at Wellsville, Ohio, in 1908. There were seven children in the family: James Cherry; Laura Belle, the wife of John Lamb, of McKeesport, Pa.; Joseph, of Chester, W. Va.; Mahala, the wife of Charles Pinkerton, of Wellsville, Ohio; Albert, also a resident of that city; Nelson, of Middletown; and May, the wife of Norris Malone, of Wellsville. James Cherry Wood was educated in the public schools of McKeesport, Pa., and was still a mere lad when he became identified with the steel industry. He worked himself up through various positions at the plant at McKeesport and remained with that concern until 1910, at which time he came to Middletown to become foreman in the cold roll department, a position which he has retained to the present time. Not only is Mr. Wood one of the trusted men of the plant, but he is also extremely popular with the men under his charge, who have found him a just superintendent, conservative and kindly, and a good friend and excellent adviser, one who does not ask others to do what he will not himself undertake. His interest in the business and his knowledge thereof was rewarded in 1918, when he was awarded a $25 prize by the committee in charge for a suggestion having to do with the work of the annealing department, his being the best suggestion offered. Mr. Wood is a Republican in politics, fraternizes with the Odd Fellows, and is a member of the United Brethren church. He was married October 20, 1903, to Lillie, daughter of Jacob and Jane (Russell) Schmidt, of McKeesport, Pa., where the mother still resides, the father having passed away July 21, 1912. There were seven children in the Schmidt family: Lillie, who became Mrs. Wood; Jennie, the wife of William Naser, of McKeesport; Annie, the wife of William Gillman, of that city; Lizzie, who is Mrs. Harry Blair, of Philadelphia; Mollie, the wife of Joe Terwilliger, also residing in McKeesport, Pa.; Samuel, who is deceased; and Willie, who makes his home with his mother. To Mr. and Mrs. Wood there has been born one daughter: Viola Jane, born at Wellsville, Ohio, December 7, 1906, who is now attending the public schools. She is a miss of charm and attractiveness and has much musical talent, being a pleasing performer on the piano. Mrs. Wood is a member of the Rebekahs and is active in the work of the United Brethren church. In 1915, Mr. Wood built one of the handsome and attractive homes of Middletown, located on Crawford street, and this has been the scene of numerous social gatherings, for Mr. and Mrs. Wood are very popular and hospitable.

William Woolensnyder. The man in business who exerts himself to the utmost at all times to provide the best quality of products at most reasonable price and is always mindful of the best interests of the trade invariably meets with success. This principle does not apply solely to any particular line of human endeavor, but to all lines in which the wishes of the public must be satisfied. Also it might be stated that service has become a most important factor in the upbuilding of most lines of business and those who are in position to provide the best of accommodations generally become recognized as leaders in their industry. It is because of the fact that he has always shown the greatest solicitude for the best interests of

Page 787
the public and has never made promises which he has been unable to fulfill that William Woolensnyder, prominent cigar manufacturer of Millville, Butler county, Ohio, has been such an eminent success. He has always believed in conducting his business along the most improved lines and this naturally means that he has made service a decided feature. It is said of him that his chief purpose is to give full value and this accounts for the fact that the brands of cigars he manufactures have become so popular. As indication of the superior quality of these cigars it is said that once a customer is attracted he invariably becomes a regular devotee to the particular brands manufactured by Mr. Woolensnyder. From small beginnings the business has grown to great magnitude with every indication that the future will be even brighter than the past. A native of Millville, Butler county, Ohio, born August 14, 1862, and the son of Frank and Serma (Murphy) Woolensnyder, he was of a family of six children, the others being: Frank, Charles, George, Samuel and Hannah, a half sister. The father was born in France and his wife in Indiana. They were married in Millville and settled there. William Woolensnyder attended the schools of Millville and subsequently learned the cigar business. He manufactures the well-known brands Pen-Mar, Little Havanas, etc., and they are distributed largely in Millville, Hamilton and nearby communities. The business has undergone uniform and consistent growth within the last year and this is due in large measure to the ability of Mr. Woolensnyder to maintain the same high quality of his offerings at all times. Early in his career as a manufacturer of cigars he achieved an enviable reputation for the excellent quality of his products and he is doing all in his power to perpetuate this proud distinction. Personally, he is popular with the trade and has a thorough knowledge of every phase of the cigar business. It may be safely assumed that any cigar offered for sale which bears the trademark of Mr. Woolensnyder is the best that can be had for the money. Because of his long association with the cigar business he is an excellent judge of quality in tobacco and quotes prices for his offerings which are attractive to the public. In addition to being an enterprising business man he is also a domestic man. His wife was Miss Lilly Johnson, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Johnson. They have one daughter, Marguerite, who married Earl Shaw, and is the mother of two children, Eileen and Earl, jr. In politics Mr. Woolensnyder is a Democrat.

J. O. Wyle, one of the substantial merchants of Bethany, Ohio, where he is engaged in the general mercantile and agriculture implement business, was born May 4, 1880, on a farm near Bethany, Liberty township, Butler county, Ohio, a son of Luke and Fannie (Allen) Wyle, both natives of this county. Luke Wyle was the son of William Wyle, who was born in Maryland but emigrated to this county about 1835. This was before the day of modern transportation, so this hardy pioneer accomplished the journey on horseback, locating first in the northern part of the state, but soon moved to a farm two miles west of Bethany, where he lived many years and later in life moved to Hughes, Ohio, where he died in 1904. His son,

Page 788
Luke, the father of the man whose name heads this biography, early became interested in farming in this vicinity, also the buying and shipping of live stock, at which vocation he spent the greater part of his life. Mr. and Mrs. Luke Wyle now make their home with their son, J. O. Wyle. The subject of this review became imbued with the early principles of knowledge in the common school at Bethany and later in the high school at Mason, Ohio, in which institution he was graduated in 1900. March 1, 1901, he launched himself into mercantile affairs with energy and foresight. As a beginning he bought the small stock of general merchandise owned by Frank Binkley of Bethany and became so favorably known for his honest, upright business principles that in 1904 he moved to the K. of P. building, which is a storeroom 30x75 feet. This initial success only spurred him to further effort and in 1915 purchased a lot and erected a two-story building 36x70 feet in which to conduct an implement and feed business in connection with his other general merchandise business. In the succeeding year realizing that even this was inadequate to the demands of his rapidly expanding business he added fifty feet in length to the building, with the result that he now conducts one of the largest general mercantile businesses in the county. Fraternally he is a thirty-second degree Mason, being a member of the Scottish Rite and Shrine of Cincinnati and belonging to the Knights Templar Chapter, Council and Blue lodge of Masonry at Hamilton. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias of Bethany. In politics Mr. Wyle is a Democrat and has been accorded recognition by his fellow-citizens by selection as clerk of the township from 1908 to 1918. He was united in marriage to Miss Ethel G. Borden of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1912.

John H. and Lydia A. Yager. Among the well known and highly esteemed ladies of Butler county, one who by her many acts of Christian charity and by a character that has attracted to her countless friends, has won a place in the affection and respect of the people of her community, is Mrs. Lydia A. (Rush) Yager, who resides at Jacksonboro. Mrs. Yager is a member of a well-known family, comes of excellent ancestry on both sides, and is a daughter of Jackson and Eliza Ann (Thomas) Rush, and a great-niece of the late Joseph Kelly, who was a wealthy pork packer of Middletown some years ago. Various members of the family have been prominent in a number of lines of endeavor. The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Yager were Moses and Rachael (Kelly) Rush, who came to Ohio at an early day from Washington county, Pa., and took up a claim of 160 acres of land from the United States Government, continuing to live thereon engaged in agricultural pursuits during the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of the following seven children: Rachael, who became the wife of John Ross; Kezzie, who married Tom Imes; Cynthia, who married John Allen; Mary, who became the wife of Ozra Bates; Lydia, who became the wife of John Kelley; Jacob, who married Rachael Marsh; and Jackson, the father of Mrs. Yager. Jackson Rush was born in Ohio, and was married January 1, 1851, at Camden, this state, to Eliza Ann Thomas, also a native of Ohio. To their union there were born the

Page 789
following children: William, deceased; Thomas, a resident of Indiana; Jackson P., who is engaged in extensive agricultural operations on the Oxford State road; Mrs. Lydia A. Yager, of this review; and one child who died in infancy. Lydia A. Rush received a public school education and resided with her grandmother until the time of her marriage, January 6, 1870, to John H. Yager. Mr. Yager was a veteran of the Civil war, in which he had worn the Union blue for three years as a private of the 12th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and on his return from that struggle opened a blacksmith shop at Jacksonboro, which he continued to conduct successfully until his last illness, his death occurring November 26, 1917. He was a man of sterling integrity, who was highly respected in his community and who was a public-spirited and useful citizen. He and Mrs. Yager became the parents of: Anna, who died in infancy; Charles, who was a popular educator in the public schools, died at the age of twenty-three years; Dr. Calvin, who was a dental practitioner at Paola. Kans., and died when twenty-eight years old; Mary, who died when twenty-four years old; and Eleanor, a kindergarten teacher for some years, who in 1908 was married to Charles Schwab and now resides on a farm near Jacksonboro. All of the children were given excellent educational advantages and had taken places of established prominence in their communities, and the loss of those who have passed away was a great shock to their mother, who, however, has borne this sorrow, and that occasioned by the death of her husband, with true Christian patience and fortitude. Mrs. Yager, who resides on the homestead at Jacksonboro, is a woman of numerous attainments, a great Bible student, a teacher in the United Brethren Sunday school. Well has she sustained the family reputation for acts of charity and in response to her actions friends have arisen to cheer her on her way, and honor and esteem have been her portion from those with whom she has come in contact through the years of an exceedingly busy and useful life.

William J. Yaw, a shearer in the employ of the American Radiator Manufacturing company, and a substantial and highly respected citizen of Middletown, was born near Cambridge, Ohio, son of John and Hester (Gallaher) Yaw. The Yaw family is well known in the vicinity of Cambridge, for the great-grandfather, Lawrence Yaw, was one of the early settlers there when he came to Ohio from New Jersey; there the grandfather, William Yaw, was reared and married a member of the Johnson family; and there his parents grew up and were married. The mother still lives there but the father died March 22, 1896. In addition to William J., they had children as follows: Angeline, wife of Creighton Hammond, John, Lewis and James, all of whom reside at Cambridge; and Hattie, wife of C. Leeper, who lives in Colorado. William J. Yaw married Elizabeth, daughter of William C. and Elizabeth (Peek) Halladay, natives of Scotland and England, respectively. Mrs. Yaw was young when her father brought the family to the United States. In Scotland he had conducted a large fruit and confectionery store, but after coming to Ohio he was a steel worker at Irondale. Both parents now live in the City of Cleveland. Mrs. Yaw has the following brothers and

Page 790
sisters: John, Mrs. Emma Blue and William, all of Cleveland; Esther, Mrs. Clyde Slipper, of Hamilton, Ohio; and Georgiana, of Cleveland. Mr. and Mrs. Yaw have two sons, Harold Theodore and William Floyd, both of whom attend the public schools. The family belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Yaw built the handsome residence on Sutphin avenue, Middletown, which is the family home, and reputed to be a very hospitable one. Fraternally Mr. Yaw is a Mason and belongs also to the Knights of Pythias.

Frank B. Yingling and the Ceramic Machinery Company. The position occupied by this company in manufacturing circles of Hamilton is one which makes evident the fact that this concern is solidly established and substantially financed and that its management is following out a policy of business integrity conducive to the gaining of industrial prestige and public confidence. This enterprise was founded in 1908, by local business men, for the manufacture of coating machines and other special machinery to be used in preparing architectural tile, and the business during the period of its life has occupied several locations, each of which proved inadequate to the growing demands of the business until the present modern plant was built opposite the Fair Grounds. The officers of this company are: Fred E. Goldsmith, president; A. H. Walberg, vice-president; Frank B. Yingling, secretary and treasurer. The business has enjoyed a healthy and continuous growth, gradually working its way to a place among Hamilton's important industries. A more recent concern, which, in its personnel is largely the same as the business above mentioned, is The Columbia Machine Tool company, also of Hamilton. This business was founded in 1917, and its list of officials includes Fred E. Goldsmith, president; E. S. Rich, vice-president; and Frank B. Yingling, secretary and treasurer; while E. G. Ruder, Mrs. S. J. Sorg, A. Walberg and others are stockholders. The Columbia Machine Tool company's product consists of a line of shapers, in addition to which the company handles a good deal outside work. In 1917 was erected the present modern plant, located on Fair Grove avenue, Hamilton, a well-equipped structure of brick, 66x200 feet, in which are employed from forty-five to fifty men. The concern has an excellent reputation for competent and expeditious filling of contracts and is a decided asset to the manufacturing life of Hamilton. During and since the close of the Great war, this plant has been turning out some work for the United States Government. Its officers are local men who have their homes at Hamilton and whose interests are largely confined to this city, and who therefore take a pride in the business and its product that could not be felt by outsiders whose backing would be merely of the order of a monetary investment.

William E. Young. The career of William E. Young, one of the highly esteemed residents of Collinsville, now retired, presents an example of diversified activity in many fields of endeavor and of versatile gifts of a business character finding expression in the founding and conduct of numerous enterprises. Mr. Young's activities have invaded widely diverse fields of commercial endeavor, in all of which his abilities have served to gain him a full measure of

Page 791
success, and his life has been a full and honorable one, culminating in the winning of a competence for his declining years. He was born in Preble county, Ohio, July 4, 1845, a son of William Young, a native of Pennsylvania, who was but a lad when brought by his parents to Milford township, Butler county. The community at that time was practically a wilderness and William Young grew up amid pioneer surroundings, depending upon the primitive district schools for his education. He married Margaret White, of South Carolina, and following their union they went to Preble county, Ohio, where Mr. Young accumulated a property of 240 acres and passed the rest of his life in farming, dying at the age of sixty-one years. He was an industrious and God-fearing man, a member of the Presbyterian church, and a staunch Republican in his later years, having been originally a Whig. Mrs. Young died in 1847. They were the parents of twelve children: Abram, who died at the age of nineteen years; Samuel, who died aged thirty; Mary, aged forty; Alexander, aged eighty-eight; David, aged forty-five; Sarah, aged thirty-five; James, aged eighty-three; Cornelia, February 16, 1919, as the wife of Reuben Jacoby; Andy, in 1863; Frank, deceased; William E.; Frank's twin; and Elizabeth, widow of William B. Hauk, of Indianapolis, Ind. William E. Young attended the district schools of Preble county and also spent one term in the public school at Seven Mile, and resided on the old home place until he was fifteen years of age. He and his brothers farmed the homestead for one year, and another property east of Somerville for two years, and when but eighteen years of age, in 1864, Mr. Young enlisted in the Union army for service during the Civil war, becoming in 1864 a member of Company H, 167th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted at Somerville, whence he was sent to the Kenesaw valley of Virginia, and, under Colonel Moon, took part in several engagements and a number of skirmishes. He had a number of close calls during his service, but eventually came through unscathed and received his honorable discharge, in October, 1864. Upon his return, he remained with his brother David for seven years, and then went to Anderson, Ind., where for two years he was engaged in the grain business. Later he engaged in traveling through the country as a lightning-rod agent, continuing this until called home to settle the estate of his brother. He also settled the estate of his sister, and then went to Casey, Clark county, Ill., where for seven years he was engaged in the hardware business. Mr. Young then turned his attention to farming for a time in Oxford township, Butler county, but was again called to commercial affairs and for three years was engaged in the hardware and tinware business at Oxford. His health failing, he was compelled to retire from active pursuits for a time, and, much against his nature, remained idle from 1880 to 1888. He then erected a home at Oxford and embarked in the manufacture of hand-made shoes, a business which he built up until he was employing eight men. Three years later he sold out and was again out of business for five or six years, although he did something in the way of dealing in real estate during this period. Returning to the manufacture of shoes, he continued in that business for eighteen

Page 792
years, eventually disposing of his interests to A. F. Sloan. Mr. Young's next venture was the erection of dwellings at Oxford, where he owned a number of lots on Main street, incidentally making numerous improvements there. While he still retains considerable property at Oxford, he sold his house there in 1918 and moved to his present residence at Collinsville. While of late years Mr. Young has been considerably troubled by the loss of his eyesight, he is still active, alert and capable, with a splendid memory and a zest for participation in life's various activities. In the various communities in which he has resided he has been always a progressive citizen, and this was particularly apparent at Oxford, where, as a member of the city council, he fought persistently for the grading of the streets and the installation of cement sidewalks, a battle in which he eventually came out victorious. He is a staunch Republican in his political adherence, and his fraternal affiliation is with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. For twenty years he has been a deacon in the Presbyterian church, and throughout his life has been active in religious work. In each of the communities in which he has lived he has gained the respect and confidence that are only granted to those whose integrity is unassailable. Mr. Young was married at I.iberty, Ind., to Sophia Shellenberger, of Darrtown, Ohio, who died October 20, 1918. They were the parents of two children, both of whom died young. Guy P. Zerfass, a well-known thresher and farmer of Morgan township, Butler county, is a son of Peter and Loretta (Pool) Zerfass. He was born June 12, 1874, on the old Joseph R. Symmes place, three miles west of Hamilton, Ohio. His father was born in Germany, and his mother in Hamilton county, Ohio. His parents first lived on the Symmes' farm, and later moved to Morgan township, where they still reside and to them have been born these children: Guy P.; Mary and Emma who are married; and Leoli. When sixteen years old, Peter Zerfass came to America and settled in Hamilton. Guy Zerfass' education was received in the school or Shandon, Ohio. After finishing his courses there, he turned his attention and efforts to farming, and after his marriage, moved to a farm in Morgan township, which he now cultivates. It is an extensive place, totaling 200 acres. Mr. Zerfass is a thresher and is an expert in handling and raising grains. During the recent war, he was appointed by the government a member of the grain conservation division, and was given charge of this district, and rendered the government valuable service in the carrying out of his many duties, which made possible the saving of much grain. In 1901, Mr. Zerfass married Stella Symmes, a daughter of Joseph Symmes who resided near Hamilton, and to them were born the following children: Aaron P., Harold C., Azalia L. The family belongs to the Congregational church. Mr. and Mrs. Zerfass were keenly interested in all lines of patriotic endeavor during the recent war. Mr. Zerfass is a member of the Republican party.

David Ziegler. Many are the men who have attained to. The age of sixty-seven years, but few bear so few scars of their contact with life as does David Ziegler, who for more than thirty years has

Page 793
been a resident of Hanover township. His career has been passed in an atmosphere of contentment on his country estate, where he has won prosperity through intelligent and practical application of unswerving industry in his agricultural operations, and at the same time he has impressed his fellow-citizens as a man of integrity and honor. Mr. Ziegler was born near Millville, Ohio, February 11,1852, a son of John and Julia Ann (Axley) Ziegler, the former of Pennsylvania and the latter of Butler county, Ohio. John Ziegler was a son of Samuel Ziegler, and when seven years of age was brought by the latter to Butler county, Ohio, the family driving through from Pennsylvania in a wagon and consuming six weeks in finishing their journey. In their new locality they secured wild land and built a cabin, and there the grandparents rounded out their careers as honorable farming people of Hanover township. John Ziegler had little opportunity to secure educational training, as his labors were needed on the home place, but he made the most of his chances and through self-teaching became a well-informed man. Reared to agricultural pursuits, his entire life was passed amid rural surroundings and his industrious and well-directed labor was rewarded by the gaining of a satisfying competency. He was a Democrat in his political views, but did not seek public preferment. Mr. Ziegler died at the age of forty-seven years, while his widow survived him until reaching the age of seventy-three. They were the parents of these children: Samuel, retired farmer of Milford township; Jacob, who died in Ross township as a farmer. John, who is deceased; Susan, and David, of this notice; Elizabeth, Julia and Sarah are deceased. David Ziegler, like his father, had only a limited education in his youth, as he also was forced to work hard in his boyhood. However, he secured the rudiments of learning in the home district schools, and to these he has since added by home study, much reading and keen observation, so that today he is a well-informed man on a variety of important subjects. He continued to reside under the parental roof until reaching the age of twenty-two years, at which time he was married to Susan Snavely, who was born near McGonigle, Ohio, a daughter of Henry Snavely. Mrs. Ziegler's father, who is now deceased, was a native of Germany who in young manhood came to the United States and for a number of years was engaged in farming' in Milford township. To Mr. and Mrs. Ziegler there have been born the following children: Mary E., deceased; Anna, who is unmarried and resides with her parents; Nellie, the wife of James Dingfelder, of Oxford township; and Susan M., Ollie, Rilla and David jr., all residing with their parents. After his marriage, Mr. Ziegler lived on Indian creek, near Millville, for seven years, and then went to the Smiley place, which was his home for seventeen years. In 1888, he bought his present home in Hanover township, the old Elliott place, of 120 acres, where he now has splendid, attractive and valuable improvements. The land is under a high state of cultivation, and here he successfully carries on general farming, with some dairying. He has shown himself a practical farmer of modern ideas who is keeping well abreast of the movements being made in his calling and who applies his work intelligently

Page 794
and makes it pay him generously. He is a Democrat, and as a citizen bears an excellent reputation in his community. With his family he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, the enterprises of which he supports liberally.

John W. Zimmerman. One of the prominent and influential citizens of the northeastern part of Butler county is John W. Zimmerman, who has been and is actively connected with this locality's agricultural affairs. He was born near Middletown, Butler county, Ohio, March 17, 1852, a son of Andrew and Margaret (Stump) Zimmerman, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Butler county, Ohio. Andrew Zimmerman was still a young man when he left the Dominion state and sought his fortune in the west, and after he had become settled near Middletown sent for his parents, who, however, remained only a short time and then returned to Virginia where they remained the rest of their lives. In addition to carrying on farming, Andrew Zimmerman found an outlet for his energies in contracting to build pikes, and it was he who built the first pike out of Middletown, and subsequently contracted to build two pikes in Miami county, but was suddenly taken ill and forced to return to his home, where he died in 1867. His widow being left in very modest financial circumstances, managed to rear her children properly, keep them together, and secure for them good educational advantages. John W. Zimmerman was only fifteen years of age when his father died, but he continued to attend the district school and the school at Troy, Ohio, for several years, before he settled down to his life work of farming. He has always engaged in this occupation and has made of his work something of a science, adopting those methods which experience has shown him to be productive of the best results. He carries on mixed farming as his regular business, with tobacco growing, a specialty, and in both directions has been markedly successful. His property, located on Brown's Run, not far from Middletown, is productive and highly cultivated and its improvements are modern and attractive. March 8, 1877, Mr. Zimmerman was united in marriage with Catherine, daughter of Cypress and Mary (Russell) Selby, of Butler county, Ohio, and to this union there were born two children: Clara May, who died of influenza, in October, 1918, as the wife of Clifford Hill, by whom she had four children: Benjamin, deceased, Viola, Homer and Walter; and Grace, now Mrs. Bert Billett, a resident of near Middletown, with three children: Paul Edward, D. Arthur and Florence Eleanor. Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman are members of the Old School Baptist church, in which Mr. Zimmerman is a trustee. His political views cause him to support the candidates of the Democratic party.