JAMES BRETTELL, who deals extensively in real estate, fire and life insurance, is also a notary public at Mingo Junction and for forty-seven years was actively identified with the steel and iron industry in various cities. He was born January 2, 1845 in South Staffordshire, England and is a son of Richard and Elizabeth (Priest) Brettell, both of whom were born and died in England. Richard Brettell during his early life manufactured horse-shoe nails by hand, but was later employed by the New British Iron Company of South Staffordshire. He died in 1870 aged sixty-five years and was survived by his widow until 1880. THey reared the following children: Joseph, a resident of Trenton, N.J.; George, deceased, who was a resident of Indiana; James, the subject of this record; Thomas, a resident of Mingo; and Mary Ann, who is the wife of Joel Steventon.
James Brettell was reared in South Staffordshire and his educational advantages were very limited, having entered the works of the New British Iron Company, at Brierly Hill, when less than eight years of age. There he learned the iron trade, and in 1868 came to America and located at Pottsville, Pa., where he spent five months working in the mills. He then went to Akron, O., where he remained three years, and after residing at Green Castle, Ind., for eight years, he located in Centralia, Ill. There in 1879, with other fellow workmen, he organized and built a nail-mill with a capital stock of $60,000, which they were highly successful in operating for several years. During the year 1880 they realized a profit of 115 per cent, and with this a steel plant was established in Centralia. This they operated with considerable success at first, but were finally forced to abandon same in 1890, not being able to compete with the larger steel mills throughout the country. Here he was first employed as a puddler, then as a heater, and was still a member of the firm, when in 1897 he entered the employ of the Laughlin & Junction Steel Company at Mingo Junction. He worked in various capacities with this company until 1899, when he resigned his position with the intention of retiring from business. But after forty-seven years of activity in the iron and steel industry he found himself not content with a life of retirement and embarked in the real estate and insurance business, and his success in same has been most gratifying. Mr. Brettell has his offices in the Brettell Block, a three-story brick building containing offices and store rooms, and erected by our subject in 1900. Mr. Brettell was one of the organizers, and is a director and appraiser for the Steubenville Loan Association; he is a stockholder of the First National Bank at Mingo Junction, and was one of the organizers of the Building and Loan Association at Centralia, Ill. Mr. Brettell is a member of the First Presbyterian Church, but was reared in the Baptist faith. He is fraternally a member of the Knights of Pythias and the GOlden Eagles. In politics he is nominally a Democrat, but in 1894 ran for Congress on the Populist ticket.
Mr. Brettell was married in April, 1868, to Annie Ford, a daughter of John Ford, and to them were born the following children: Walter Herbert, who married Bertha Bugher, and has three children--Alice, James H., and Howard W.; Florence, who married Howard Dean, master mechanic of the Steel Works at Canton, O., and has one child, Florence; and Anna, an instructor in the Mingo High School, who is one of the few teachers ion Ohio that have state certificates.