Almon Baldwin Carrington Hitchcock.

History of Shelby County, Ohio, and representative citizens online

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and Arnold. Mr. Eversman and family belong to the Reformed church. Polit-
ically he is identified with the progressive party and takes a very decided
interest in public affairs both local and countrywide.

PHILIP SMITH, presidentof the Philip Smith Manufacturing Company,
one of the most important business enterprises of Sidney, O., giving employ-
ment to a large number of men and thereby adding to the general prosperity of
the city, is one of the solid, stable, reliable men of Sidney. He was born at
Harrisburg, Pa., September 7, 1839, and is a son of Reinhardt and Catherine
Smith. Reinhardt Smith and wife were natives of Pennsylvania and prob-
ably were of German parentage. He was a foundryman by trade and after
his son Philip had started his foundry at Sidney, came here with another son.
Michael, and they became partners in the business.

Philip Smith was reared in Dauphin countv, Pa., through his school
period and then came to Ohio, and in a foundry at Dayton learned the
molder's trade and remained there until he was almost twenty-one
years old, when he came to Sidney, and here started out in business for
himself on a capital of $25, practically among strangers. He was able
to purchase the ground on which an old foundry had formerly stood
but had been destroyed by fire, and in 1859 he put up his first shop and
from that time until the present has been in the manufacturing business
and is the oldest manufacturer in the city. Industrious, persevering and
possessed of mechanical skill, Mr. Smith gradually broadened his busi-
ness field until his plant had been developed into one of such impor-
tance that it became advisable to form a company, and thus the Philip
Smith Manufacturing Company came into existence and its capitaliza-
tion is $130,000, Mr. Smith owning the majority of the stock, his part-
ners being L. M. Studevant and B. D. Heck. The business carried on
is the manufacture of elevator machinery and employment is afforded
from eighty to one hundred workmen. Mr. Smith retained the active manage-
ment until 1907, when he retired but with no loss of interest. When a
man has built up a business like that of Mr. Smith, no formal retire-
ment from some of its responsibilities can cause him to lose his interest
in its continued prosperity. At various times Mr. Smith invested in
farm land and in town property and both are now exceedingly valuable
and his investments aggregate 270 acres. For some years after starting



into the manufacturing business Mr. Smith operated a spoke plant to-
gether with his foundry, and also a hollow ware factory, but sold the
latter to the Wagner Manufacturing Company and discontinued the
former. Mr. Smith has always been too busy a man to take a very active
part in politics, but at times has consented to serve on the city council,
where his business judgment has been highly valued. He is one of the
oldest members of the Odd Fellows in this section.

WILLIAM FRANKLIN RHOADES, a man of character and standing
in Loramie township, Shelby county, O., who for seven years has been presi-
dent of the Beech Grove special school district and still earlier a member of
the board, was born December 13, 1864, in Newberry township, Miami county,
O., and since the age of twenty-one years has resided on his present valuable
farm of 210 acres, lying in section 25, Loramie township.

John Rhoades, father of W. F. Rhoades, was born in Pennsylvania and at
the age of twenty-one years came to Miami county, O., and settled on 160
acres in Newberry township, where he cut the first tree ever taken from the
native forest in that section. In Montgomery county he married Miss Bar-
bara Apple, and ten children were born to them, not all of whom, however,
survived her. One of her sons, Henry Rhoades, died while serving as a
soldier in the Civil war. The second marriage of John Rhoades was to Eliza-
beth Schneck, who was born in Pennsylvania but was reared in Montgomery
county, O, and she became the mother of five children, dying when aged
seventy-five years. Of the second marriage W. F. Rhoades was the second

W. F. Rhoades, with his wife, moved on the farm of eighty acres they
purchased in the spring of 1886 and in the year 1889 purchased fifty acres
adjoining the home place. He cleared eighty acres of his farm and tiled all
of it. In the year 1897 they built the large bank barn and erected the wind
pump with supply tanks and hydrants. In the year of 1904 they built the
large buff pressed-brick house, with all modern improvements, which is their
present home. In 1909 they purchased the Apple homestead of eighty acres,
this farm being well improved with a large brick house and bank barn.

Mr. Rhoades was married in Miami county, O., to Miss Lucinda B. Lox-
ley, who was born in that county, a daughter of Benjamin and Phebe Ann
(Kaylor) Loxley. The mother of Mrs. Rhoades is deceased. Mr. and Mrs.
Rhoades have two children : Grover Franklin and Orville Leslie, and they
also reared a niece, Myrtle Loxley, now the wife of Morris Cothran. Mr.
Rhoades and family are members of the Lutheran church at Bloomer, in
which he is a deacon and is assistant superintendent of the Sunday school.
A lifelong democrat, Mr. Rhoades has been a loyal party worker but has
accepted few offices except those concerned with the public schools, in which
he has been deeply interested. He belongs to the Bloomer Horse Thief Asso-
ciation, of which he was president, is a member of the Knights of Pythias,
attending the last named lodge at Versailles, O. Mr. Rhoades is president
and for the past eight years has been manager of the Bloomer Home Tele-


phone Company, and is one of the charter members of this enterprise. Few-
men in Shelby county are better known in the quiet walks of life.

CHRISTOPHER SHEARER, who is one of Franklin township's most
highly respected citizens, a retired farmer, was born in Montgomery county,
O., six miles from Dayton, in Wayne township, May 4, 1826, and is a son
of Moses and Mary (Martin) Shearer, a grandson of Valentine Shearer.

Moses Shearer was born in Bedford county, Pa., and probably was of
German descent. He followed farming as an occupation through life, first
in his native state and later in Montgomery county, O. He was a man of
good standing in his neighborhood and was a member and supporter of the
Reformed church. In politics he was a whig. He married Mary Martin,
who was born in Maryland, and the following children were born to them,
many of whom became well known in Shelby county : Elizabeth Catherine,
who married F. E. Munger; Marian, who married Asa Grimes; Christopher;
Susannah, who married Samuel Wright; Julia Ann; George W. ; Sarah Jane,
who married William Eckert ; Henry E. ; William H. and David Edward.

When Christopher Shearer was a boy the matter of securing an educa-
tion was much more difficult than at present but, in spite of disadvantages, the
essentials were taught and the foundation thus laid was built upon as later
opportunity offered. After his school days were over, Mr. Shearer gave his
father assistance until he was twenty-three years old, when he married and
for five subsequent years worked for his father on the home farm on shares.
He then purchased 1 14 acres in Montgomery county and lived on that prop-
erty for two years and then sold, and in 1856 came to Shelby county and
took possession of a farm he had bought in Jackson township. On that farm
he remained for eight years and then sold and purchased the farm in Frank-
lin township on which, with the exception of four years spent in Montgom-
ery county, he has lived ever since, selling the same to his son Edward in 19 10.

On December 19, 1849, Mr. Shearer was married to Miss Harriet Wright,
who was born in Miami county, a daughter of Asahel and Martha (Sweney)
Wright. The parents of Mrs. Shearer were natives of Vermont and they
had children as follows : Edmund, Samuel, Sarah, John Quincy, Warren,
Harriet and William. To Mr. and Mrs. Shearer a large family was born,
the record being as follows: Albert L., John H., Martha Alice, Mary Florence,
Samuel Edward, Clara Bell, Charles M. and Minnie Louella, twins, William
Everett, Effie Grace. Warren Wright and Frances Harriet. Albert L. married
Julia Folkerth and they have one daughter, Edith. John H. married Alvena
Miller and they have two children, Ethel and Howard. Charles M. married
first Grace Russell and she left one child, Dorothy Grace. His second mar-
riage was to Frances E. Burritt. Minnie Louella married Dr. E. McCormick
and they have two children. Lowell and Eugene. William Everett married
Eva Young and two children were born to them, Mildred and Frederick W.,
the former of whom is deceased. Warren Wright married Helen Hackman,
who is deceased. Frances Harriet married E. W. Richards.

Mr. Shearer was reared in the Reformed faith and all through his long


life has retained his membership in this religious body and in younger years
served as a church official. He remembers well the organization of the repub-
lican party and has supported its policies and candidates for many years.

FOREST D. CHRISTIAN', who conducts what is generally acknowledged
to be the best equipped drug store in western Ohio, located at Sidney, has
been a resident of this city since the summer of 1897, with the exception of
a few months, during which period he managed a drug store at Nicholasville,
Ky. Mr. Christian was born September 3, 1873, at Versailles, O., and is a son
of Samuel and Lydia E. Christian, his father being a farmer and stock dealer
in Darke county.

Forest D. Christian attended the public schools at Versailles and after
graduating there entered upon an apprenticeship to the drug business under
J. G. Steinle, an old and experienced drug man, and during 1895 anc ' ^96
was a student in the Cincinnati College of Pharmacy, and after completing
his professional course returned to Versailles and from there on July 5. 1897,
came to Sidney. He accepted a position with H. W. Thompson, druggist,
and remained with him until September, 1899, in September of that year going
to Nicholasville, Ky., where he managed a store, as alluded to above, return-
ing to Sidney on April 6, 1900, when he took over the management of Mr.
Thompson's store. In 1904 he purchased a one-half interest in the store, and
on July 30, 1908, after Mr. Thompson's death, bought the latter's interest and
has been sole proprietor since that time. In addition to carrying the most
complete line of drugs and drug sundries in northwestern Ohio, Mr. Chris-
tian handles a complete line of patent medicines of known merit, together
with a complete line of physicians' supplies, doing a very extensive business
in this department in this and adjoining counties. He also caters to public
convenience by devoting space to books, stationery, periodicals, perfumes,
camera supplies and other sundries, his stock covering all that is usually found
in a modern drug and book store and is one that has been carefully selected
with a view to pleasing a very discriminating public.

Mr. Christian was married to Miss Florence E. Hardman, daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. Sol Hardman of Versailles, O., on May 12, 1897, sne at tnat
time being a popular teacher in the Versailles schools. Mrs. Christian is an
accomplished musician and since coming to Sidney has been one of the active
members of the city's leading musical organizations. She is prominent in
social and church affairs. Mary Bess, the daughter and only child, is spend-
ing her first year in the city high school, a pleasant little lady taking particular
interest in her music and getting along nicely in her regular school work. Mr.
and Mrs. Christian and daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal
church. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons and Knights of Pythias,
l>eing past chancellor in the latter organization, and is a member of the local
branch of the United Commercial Travelers. He has shown his public spirit
in many ways since becoming a permanent resident of Sidney and is an active
member and a former director of the Sidney Commercial Club.


CHARLES PEPPER, a general farmer operating seventy-two acres of
land situated in Perry township, Shelby county, O., which he rents from
W. A. Johnston, of East Sidney, is one of the prosperous agriculturists of this
section. He was born in Perry township, November 19, 1881, and is a son
of John H. and Margaret A. (Roe) Pepper. The father was born in Cham-
paign county, O., and came to Shelby county at the age of eighteen years and
has spent his subsequent life here. In politics he is a democrat. He married
Margaret A. Roe, who was born in Miami county, O., and three sons were
born to them : Frank, Charles and William. They are members of the Metho-
dist Episcopal church.

Charles Pepper has had experience as a farmer ever since his school days
ended. Until he was twenty-one years of age he assisted on the home farm
and for four years afterward worked for his father on shares, following
which, in 1907, he rented his present farm from Mr. Johnston and has suc-
cessfully and profitably conducted it for five years. He is one of the stock-
holders in the Farmers Telephone Company.

On October 1, 1905, Mr. Pepper was married to Miss Martha Heath,
who was born in Logan county, O., a daughter of David and Sarah (Kress)
Heath. Mrs. Pepper has brothers and sisters as follows: Reatha, Viola,
Orvie, Alva, Rachel, Jaazaniah, Ollie, Earl and Minerva. Mr. and Mrs. Pep-
per are the justly proud parents of twin children, Cable and Mabel, who were
born August 26, 1907. Politically Mr. Pepper is a stanch democrat and is
now serving in his second term as township trustee. Mrs. Pepper belongs
to the Methodist Episcopal church.

EMORY E. BAKER, whose successful operating of the home farm, con-
sisting of 235 acres, which is situated in Perry township, Shelby county, O.,
places him among the competent young agriculturists of this section, was born
in Perry township, October 24, 1880. He is a son of Lewis \V. and Julia
(Booze) Baker.

Lewis \V. Baker is a son of William Baker, one of the early settlers in
Shelby county. From early manhood until 1893 ne engaged in general farm-
ing, but in that year he went into the elevator business at Maplewood, Shelby
county, O., with M. D. Burke of Pemberton, O., under the firm name of Burke
& Baker. In 1904 he bought out Mr. Burke and continued in business by him-
self until 1909, when he sold to Simmons, Faulkner & Cook. In 191 1, he and
Mr. A. F. Rust bought two elevators at Haviland, Paulding county, O., and
are operating them under the name of the Haviland Grain Company. He
married Julia Booze, a daughter of Hezekiah Booze, and they have two chil-
dren : Emory E. and Edna, who is the wife of John J. Drewery, of Jackson
township, and they have one daughter, Beulah.

Emory E. Baker obtained his education in the public schools and afterward
was employed for five years by the firm of Burke & Baker, elevator operators.
Mr. Baker then took charge of his father's large farm and has managed its
various industries in a very satisfactory manner ever since. He has progres-
sive ideas and follows the most modern methods with the assistance of


improved machinery, devoting the land mainly to crop raising, growing only
stock for his own use.

Mr. Baker was married November 15, 1900, to Miss Lavina J. Young,
who was born in Shelby county and is a daughter of Adam P. and Mary J.
(Allen) Young, Mr. Young being a substantial farmer in this county. Mrs.
Baker is the third in a family of five children: Elza, Earl, Lavina J., Minnie
and Grover, Minnie being the wife of William Cox.

Mr. and Mrs. Baker have four children: Wilda L., Harold L., Carl E.
and Ralph E. The family attends the Disciples church. In politics Mr. Baker
is a democrat but has always been too busy attending to his own affairs to
feel at liberty to accept public office, although well qualified for the same. He
takes an interest in several fraternal organizations and belongs to the Knights
of Pythias at Maplewood and to the D. O. K. K., at Sidney.

JOSEPH ERANKENBERG, who owns one of the fine farms of Dins-
more township, Shelby county, a beautiful, fertile tract of 200 acres, situated
two miles east of Botkins, O., was born in this township in 1858, and is a son
of Harmon and Louisa (Alkermire) Frankenberg. Harmon Frankenberg.
the father, who died in 1862, was a highly respected man and by trade was
a carpenter and cabinetmaker. He left six children: Julius, John, Elizabeth,
Joseph, Mary and Theresa. Some time after the death of her first husband ,
Mrs. Frankenberg married Barney Wempe and four children were born to
that marriage: Josephine, Catherine, John and Barney, John being deceased.

Joseph Frankenberg was educated in the district schools and then worked
on his step-father's farm and was sixteen years old when the latter died. He
then took charge of the farm for his mother and operated it until he was
twenty-two years of age, at which time he married. He had inherited forty
acres from his father's estate and then settled on that tract and erected a
residence and shortly afterward bought forty acres more. Three years later
he bought still another forty acres and his next purchase was a tract of eighty
'acres. He made all the improvements on his land and devotes it to general
farming and stock raising.

Mr. Frankenberg married Miss Frances Greve, who is a daughter of Har-
mon and Louisa Greve and the following children have been born to them :
Clara, John, Louis, Joseph, Frances, Aloysius, Catherine and Clemens, all of
whom live at home with the exception of Frances and Clara, the former of
whom is the wife of Paul Smith and they live in Shelby county. The latter
married Frank Switzer and they live in Auglaize county and have three chil-
dren : Richard, Alfred and Hilda. Mr. Frankenberg and family belong to
the Catholic church. Politically he is a democrat. He is one of the reliable,
substantial men of the township and one of its best and most progressive

WILLIAM G. MURPHEY, a well known resident of Shelby county. O..
who, for fourteen years has operated the Daniel Curtner farm in Franklin
township, was born on this farm November 13, 1865, and is a son of Henrv


and Nancy (Cole) Murphey. Henry Murphey is a highly respected retired
farmer now living at Port Jefferson, O. He was twice married, first to Nancy
Cole, who died in 1875, and second to Rhoda Busic. To his first marriage
three children were born, namely: Clara, who is the wife of John Lochard;
Minnie, who is the wife of Rev. Harrison Thompson, of the Christian church;
and William G. To the second union one son was born, Charles.

William G. Murphey obtained his education in the schools of Franklin
township and afterward followed farming with his father and grandfather
until his marriage. He owns an excellent farm of eighty ?cres, situated in
Salem township, but it lias suited his convenience to remain on the Curtner
farm, where he carries on a general farming line, raising only enough stock,
however, for home use.

In January, 1881. Mr. Murphey was married to Miss Minnie Staley, who
is a daughter of George W. Staley and wife of Jackson township, Shelby
county, who had the following children, all well known people of this section :
Edward: Mrs. Murphey. Milton; Alice, who is the wife of Rowe Buracre;
George; Mark; Isophene. who is the wife of L. G. Shanley, of Pemberton, O. ;
Bessie, who is the wife of Albert Linker; and Mary, who is the wife of
Clarence Rinehart. Mr. and Mrs. Murphey have two children : Clay, who is
a student of osteopathy, in college, at Kirksville. Mo. ; and Bessie, who resides
at home. The family belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church. In his politi-
cal affiliation Mr. Murphey has always been a republican.

GEORGE KIES, who successfully carries on general farming and stock
raising in Dinsmore township. Shelby county, O., owns an excellent farm of
160 acres, situated two and one-half miles southeast of Botkins, was born in
this township and is a son of Michael and Frederica (Seamans) Kies.

The parents of Mr. Kies were born in Germany and in their native land
and afterward, in the United States, were highly respected people. They were
the parents of the following children: Adam, Henry. Mary, Anna, John,
Sophia, George and Catherine. Adam married Ann Shuler, and they live
at Botkins, O. Henry married Louisa Groves and they live three miles from
Botkins. Mary married Jacob Elsass of Auglaize county, O. Anna married
David Rheinhart and they live also in Auglaize county. John, who died at
the age of fifty-seven years, married Caroline Groves. Sophia is deceased.
Catherine is the widow of Louis Zeble and lives at Wapakoneta, O.

George Kies attended the public schools in Dinsmore township and ever
since, with the exception of twelve years, has followed farming. He owns a
beautiful property which is kept in the best of condition, his buildings being
attractive and substantial and all his industries are carried on according to
the latest methods. In visiting a model farm like Mr. Kies' it is easy to see
why an Ohio agriculturist may be classed with the most independent and
contented of men. Productive fields, bountiful orchards, healthy cattle and
stock, abundance in every direction, with order and comfort reigning in the
home, this presents a pleasant picture.

Mr. Kies was married first to Miss Caroline Wilt, and thev had two chil-


dren, Emma Elizabeth and Martha M. The latter died in infancy. Emma
Elizabeth married George Elsass and they live in Auglaize county and have
three children: Edna, Amelia and Leona. Mr. Kies' second marriage was
to Miss Maggie Meyers, a daughter of Casper and Margaret Meyers. Mrs.
Kies had two brothers, Henry and John, the former of whom is deceased and
the latter lives at Portland, Ind. Mr. Kies and wife belong to the Lutheran
church, in which he has been a trustee for a number of years and of which
he is a liberal supporter.

MICHAEL A. ROTH, whose valuable and well stocked farm of no
acres is situated one-half mile northeast of Botkins, O., in Dinsmore town-
ship, is one of the representative men of this section, in which he has served
for seven and one-half years as a justice of the peace. He was born at Bot-
kins, O., May 26, 1872, and is a son of Antony and Elizabeth ( Leabling) Roth.

Antony Roth was born at Palestine, O., and died October 24, 191 1, at
the age of seventy-five years. His father was born in Germany and came to
the United States at the age of fourteen years, and his mother about the
same time. She was born on the River Rhine, Germany, and her maiden name
was Salinger. Anthony Roth married Elizabeth Leabling, who was born at
Dayton, O., and still survives, being in her seventy-sixth year and a resident
of Botkins. Her father was born in Hesse and her mother in Wittenberg,
Germany. The following children were born to Antony and Elizabeth Roth :
Josephine, George, Jacob, Henry, Frank, Joseph, Elizabeth. Michael A..
Anna and Alphonse. Josephine, who lives at Botkins, is the widow of Will-
iam B. Stelzer; George died at the age of nineteen years; Jacob married Kate
Geotz and they live at St. Mary's. O. : Henry died in infancy: Frank married
Lena King and they live at Wapakoneta, O. ; Joseph married Bertha Baldus
and they live at Genessee, Idaho; Elizabeth married Peter Schaaf and they
live at Dayton; Anna married William Hemmert and they live at Botkins;
and Alphonse married Matilda Schullen and they live at Ottoville, O.

Michael A. Roth obtained his education in the public and parochial schools
at Botkins and later took a course at Rensselaer College, Ind. He then went
into the sawmill and contracting business, in which he continues to be inter-
ested, and, additionally, carries on his farming operations with a large amount
of success. He is justly proud of his pure-bred cattle and hogs, believing that
there is more profit in fine stock than in the ordinary or inferior breeds. He
is one of the active citizens of his neighborhood, always ready to do his part
in all public movements and through natural gifts and education is capable of
doing so. He was first elected to the office of justice of the peace when but
twenty-four years old and has proved a valuable and efficient official.

Mr. Roth married Miss Clara Baker, a daughter of Andrew and Mary

Online LibraryAlmon Baldwin Carrington HitchcockHistory of Shelby County, Ohio, and representative citizens → online text (page 74 of 103)