Nevin Otto Winter.

A history of northwest Ohio: a narrative account of its historical progress and development from the first European exploration of the Maumee and Sandusky valleys and the adjacent shores of lake Erie, down to the present time (Volume 3) online

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at Columbus.

Through the various generations the Noble
family has been identified with Northwestern
Ohio since pioneer times. The founder of
the family here was Elisha Noble, who was
born in Maryland, moved to Clinton County,
Ohio, and afterwards to Mercer County, which
was later included in Auglaize County, where
he died. Originally the Nobles came from
England. Henry S. Noble, son of Elisha,
was born in Clinton County, Ohio, August
26, 1811, a date which in itself fixes the early
residence of the family in this part of the
state. He came to Auglaize County in 1837,
bought eighty acres of land, and was a suc-
cessful and prosperous pioneer farmer, leav-
ing a large estate, consisting of 320 acres, at
his death. He was a Mason, a democrat who
filled various township offices, and with his
wife worshiped in the Methodist Episcopal
Church. He married in Clinton County,
Ohio, Cynthia A. Roberts, who died in 1858.
Her father, William Roberts, was born in
Maryland and died in Clinton County, Ohio.
Henry S. Noble, who died March 22, 1879,
was the father of three children, all of them
now deceased except Albion V. Noble.

Albion V. Noble was born in Auglaize
County, Ohio, February 5, 1851, was educated
in the district schools of Noble Township and
at an early age began working on the farm.
He has been a farmer all his active career and
he lived on the old homestead until 1911, when
he retired to his town home in St. Marys. As
a democrat he has been quite active in county
politics, filled the office of justice of the peace
twenty-one years, and for a number of years
was a member of the school board. He mar-
ried Mattie Wlieatstone, who was born and
reared in Allen County, Ohio. They were
married in Auglaize County. Besides their
four sons who are physicians and have
ah'eady been named they were the parents
of four other children : Luella, wife of V. A.
Caldwell, a major in the regular United
States Army and a graduate of West Point
Military Academy ; Frank, who is a farmer in
Auglaize County; Gynette, wife of A. W.
Graver, an attorney at Youngstown; and
Stafford S., a machinist in Youngstown.

Dr. Guy E. Noble was born on a farm three
miles north of St. Marys June 22, 1881. He
spent his early life on the farm, and gradu-
ated from St. Marys High School in 1900,
and then entered Starling Medical College at



Columbus, where he took his degree in 1905.
He soon afterward located at St. Marys and
began pi-actice with his brother, Harry, and
they have continued as a firm ever since and
have as good standing and as large a practice
as any other firm of doctors in the county.
The firm of Noble & Noble now consists of
Harry S., Guy E. and N. Vernon Noble, the
latter having entered the firm in 1917. He
is a graduate of Starling Medical College,
class of 1911.

In April, 1916, Dr. Guy Noble married
Hazel Kelehner, who had been a trained
nurse at Lima. Doctor Noble is a member of
the Methodist Episcopal Church of St. Marys,
while his wife retains membership in the
United Brethren Church at Lima. Fra-
ternally he is a Roj-al Arch and Consistory
Mason, a member of the Knights of Pythias,
the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Loyal
Order of Moose, the Improved Order of Red
Men, the Tribe of Ben Hur and the Benevolent
and Protective Order of Elks. He belongs to
the Auglaize County and State Medical
societies, and the American Medical Associa-
tion, and in politics is a democrat.

Albert Hebzing. The greatest and most
important industry at St. Marys, and one of
the most distinctive concerns in its line in the
State of Ohio, is the St. ]Marys Woolen Manu-
facturing Company, of which Albert Herziug
is president. His father, the late Philip V.
Herzing, was the fii'st president of that busi-
ness. This company employs a capital stock
of $300,000. It has a large plant, furnishing
employment to a considerable part of the
working population, at St. Marys, wtith B
large payroll annually, and the output is
almost explicitly a fine line of woolen blan-
kets. There is not another company in the
LTnited States that manufactures superior
blankets to those that are produced at St.
Marys. It is a business that has been built
up by many years of careful attention to
details and the excellence of the output, and
any man might be proui to occupy the posi-
tion of president of the company.

The Herziug family has been identified with
Auglaize County for a great many years.
Albert Herzing was born at St. Mai-ys October
15, 1859, a son of Philip Y. and Elis'e (Pauck)
Herzing. His father was born in Bavaria,
Germany, in 1808, was a graduate of the
German L'niversity of Wurzbui-g, and was
a highly polished and cultui-ed gentleman, as
well as an able business executive. He came



1734



HISTORY OF NORTHWEST OHIO



to the United States in young manhood, and
was married at Cincinnati in 1842 to Miss
Pauek, who was born in Belefeld, Prussia, in
1824, and died in 1911. Before coming to
America Philip Herzing served in the cus-
toms service. From Cincinnati he removed
to Wapakoueta, where he conducted a general
store for a time. "When he came to St. Marys
he was still a poor man, and his big success
in life was won in this locality. For a time
he was in the hardware business, but after-
wards engaged in the flouring mill business
and other enterprises. On the i-eorganization
of the St. Marys Woolen Manufacturing
Company he became th-e first president and
directed its affairs for many years. His suc-
cess in business naturally brought him into
prominence in local affairs. He was a mem-
ber of the St. Marys School Board, served as
collector of port at St. Marys, and for four
times in succession was elected a member of
the state board of public works, being the
only citizen to be thus distinguished by re-
peated re-elections. He was a republican, a
member of St. Paul's German Reform Church,
and a very early member of St. Marys Lodge
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
His death occurred in 1883. Of his nine chil-
dren, the two now living are Mrs. Julia
Stephan, a widow, at St. Marys, and Albert
Herzing.

Albert Herzing grew up in St. Marj's, at-
tended the public schools there, and in 1876
entered the woolen mills, where he remained
nine months, familiarizing himself with all
its technical processes and business manage-
ment. After that he was employed in a bank
for a year, but finally returned to the mills,
and has assumed all the various grades of
responsibility to president. Mr. Herzing is
a member of St. Paul's Reform Church and
in politics is a republican.

March 16, 1882, he married Fredericka
Moser. Her father, John Jacob Moser, was
an early settler at Wapakoneta, where for a
number of years he was in the jewelry busi-
ness. Mr. and Mrs. Herzing have four chil-
dren : Helen, wife of Walter E. Meyer, a
hardware merchant at St. Marys; Norma,
wife of Dr. C. W. Clark, a chemist at Pitts-
burg, Pennsylvania; Wanda, wife of Lowell
P. Rietger, assistant secretary of the Mead
Pulp & Paper Company of Dayton, Ohio ; and
Philip, who is now fifteen years of age and is
in the third year of the local high school.



Clarence W. Springer bears some of the
important responsibilities of the industrial
activities of St. Marys. In 1898 he came off
his father's farm and entered the shop of the
St. Marys Wheel and Spoke Company, and by
solving the various problems as presented and
by inviting added responsibilities from time
to time he has been promoted until he is now
assistant manager of that large business.

This firm has a national if not international
reputation as manufacturers of vehicle wheels,
wheel material, carriage woodstock and hard-
wood lumber.

Mr. Springer was born in Mercer County,
Ohio, January 6, 1879, grew up on the old
homestead in Mercer County, attended the
high school at Celina and also took a course
in the business college at Lima, Ohio, for two
years. It was with this educational equip-
ment that he entered the plant of the' St.
Marys Wheel and Spoke Company.

Mr. Springer is a worthy descendant of one
of the oldest and most illustrious families in
America and in Europe. There is not a miss-
ing link in the lineage from the cradle of
today back to some of the renowned royal
families of the middle ages. The family
annals are made conspicuous by such names as
Alfred the Great, Henry the Fowler, Otho
the Illustrious, the Czar and Grand Duchess
of Russia, and even further back to old Charle-
magne in 742 A. D., whose father was Pepin
the Short, born 714, and died 768. The family
headlines go even further back to 420 A. D.
It is indeed a remarkable family that can
trace its ancestry back to Charlemagne who
reigned over the Franks for forty-seven years,
conquered and Christianized his enemies, and
was one of the builders of modern Europe.
There is an authentic Springer coat of arms
and many other relics and memento&s of their
historic and illustrious ancestry.

The origin of the name Springer is traced
to Louis II, a military officer who incurred
the enmity of his emperor, Henry IV. Be-
cause of unjust suspicions concerning his
character and motives, he was imprisoned in
the old Castle of Giebiekenstein. 100 feetJ
above the River Saale. No attempt was madel
to bring him to trial, since it was known thatj
he was innocent and the purpose in imprison-
ing him was merely to keep him out of the!
way on account of his popularity. In 1089j
he made his escape by an adventurous leap,
or spring, from the tall battlements of thel
castle into the Saale River. He came from the!
water apparently unhurt. Captured and!



HISTORY OF NORTHWEST OHIO



1735



taken before the Emperor Henry, the latter
expressed a great surprise at his courage and
pardoned him outright. Prom that incident
he received the surname Springer, and was
thenceforward known as Louis II, The
Springer. This Louis the Springer was born
in 1042 and died in 1128. He built Wartburg
Castle. His son, Louis III, succeeded him as
Landgrave of Thuringia. His son, Christo-
pher Louis I, was named Count Springer
and presented with Waldenburg in Silesia
by Emperor Henry IV.

While the descendants of Louis the
Springer became scattered throughout the
civilized world, many of them remained in
Germany. Christopher Christlieb Christian
Springer, born in 1550, died in 16.30 at Lams-
tedt, Province of Hanover, Germany. Chris-
topher, his son, was born at Lamstedt in 1592,
emigrated to Stockholm, Sweden, and at
Upsala and Westergotland owned seven
taxable farms and was endowed by the king
with two county seats and owned other vast
estates with heavy bank accounts at Stock-
holm. He died in 1669. His widow was his
third wife, and she was given by his will the
rental of his vast estate, without depriving
the half sister, Christina of Russia, and her
half brother, Lorentz, of any of their in-
herited rights. The only children of his third
wife to have issue were Charles Christopher
Springer, born 1658, and Lorentz, a half
brother, born in 1646.

The American line begins with Charles
Christopher Springer, last named. While
attending college in London, England, and at
a time when emigration to America was brisk,
he was invited aboard one of the emigrant
ships, and while busily reveling in a last
farewell to some of his friends the ship pulled
anchor and was out to sea before he knew it.
He made the best of the situation, worked
out part of his passage and arranged a loan
from a Virginia planter aboard for the bal-
ance with a contract to woi'k on his planta-
tion until he was repaid. He landed in Vir-
ginia, where he fulfilled his obligation to the
planter. Learning of the Swedish colony at
what is now Wilmington, Delaware, he started
alone through the wilds of Virginia, and after
many days of travel and hardship reached
his destination, overjoyed to be among his
native people.

He soon became prominently engaged in
the business affairs of what is now the City
of Wilmington. A man of deep religious con-
victions, he set about to build what remains



today of Old Swedes Church, completed in
1698. His name with others is signed to a
contract guaranteeing the brick mason, Joseph
Yard of Philadelphia, dated May 19, 1698;
also on the first subscription after his name
appeared the amount, £6, about $30. Under
a list of labor donated the pastor makes note :
"Charles Springer is not reckoned for any
work in his account, though in some days
assisting the carpenters, he has from the be-
ginning to the end been engaged in various
journeys gathering material, such as brick,
lime, nails, boards and other things, in Phila-
delphia, Upland, Sandy Hook and Maryland,
devoting days and wcrks absent from his own
home, at his dwii fx|>.'iisp, and with his own
horse and witliout the least expense to the
congregation." (Records Old Swedes

Church, pages 44 to 50, translated from the
original Swedish record.) Much of the suc-
cess of the colony and the future prosperity
attained was due to his efforts in connection
with others like him.

He was married in 1692 at Wilmington to
Maria Hendricks. She died March 13, 1727,
and on June 13th of the same year he mar-
ried Anika Walraven. His children were all
by his first wife : Rebecca, 1692 ; Magdalena,
1694; Christopher, 1696; Jacob, 1698; John,
1700; James, 1703; Joseph, 1709; Charles,
1722.

Of James, mentioned in this list as born
in 1703, there was a son, Charles, who was
born in 1735 and died on March 6, 1804.
George, born in 1763, a son of Charles, has
the following record of children : Jacob,
1788; Catharine, 1794; George, 1790; Eliza-
beth, 1791; Henry, 1793; Sally, 1798; John,
1800 ; Peter, 1802.

The present generation of the Springer
family in Northwest Ohio has Springer blood
on both sides. This is due to the following
"loop" in the genealogical records. A sister
of the George Springer mentioned above was
born in 1763, married a member of the Past
family, and became the mother of Jacob Fast,
Sr. Jacob Fast, Sr., married for his first
and second wife Sally and Catharine, re-
spectively, both the children of George
Springer, 1763. Sally was born in 1798 and
Catharine in 1794. The children of Jacob
Fast, Sr., were: Phillip, Sally, Rebecca,
Simon and Jacob, Jr. Jacob Past, Jr., was
born January 22, 1820, and died January 7,
1872. By his marriage to Barbara Stuck he
had Sarah, Amanda, Christina, Mary, Ellen,
Jacob Charles, Benjamin and Phoebe Ann



1736



HISTORY OF NORTHWEST OHIO



Fast. Phoebe Ann Fast was born December
23, 1858, and married Joseph Springer.

Now to take the other side of the "loop."
Jacob Springer, 1788, sou of George, died
October 4, 1855. His children were : John,
1812; Jacob, 1811; Andrew, 1817; Henry,
1819; Catherine, 1822; and Abraham, who
was born April 14, 1824, and died December
7, 1899. Abraham Springer's children were:
David, Levi, Abraham, Rebecca, Kaziah Jane
Lucy and Joseph Springer. The last named
Joseph Springer was born ' September 11,
1856, and married Phoebe Ann Fast.

Both Joseph Springer and his wife Phoebe
Ann (Fast) Springer are still living. They
were born in Mercer County, and Joseph has
made a gi-atifying success of his life, having
started as a poor man and for a number of
years has been engaged in the manufacturing
business near Celina, but is now living on his
farm practically retired. He is a republican,
has served on the school board for a number of
years, is a member of the Independent Order
of Odd Fellojws, and he and his wife belong
to the United Brethren Church. Both of them
worked hard and denied themselves many
luxuries as young people in order to provide
for the education and training of their large
family of ten children, six sons and four
daughters.

The names of these children, all of whom
are living, are as follows : Clarence Wilfred
Springer, born January 6, 1879, and men-
tioned at the head of this sketch. Elnora
Esther, born March 5, 1880, married Aquilla
Shupp and resides at Mercer, Ohio. Dennis
S. Springer, born May 15, 1881, unmarried,
and now serving in Company K of the Second
Regiment Ohio National Guard on the Mexi-
can border. Ashley B. Springer, born July
30, 1883, unmarried, and living at Celina,
Ohio, where he is assistant manager of the
Celina ]Manufacturing Company. Walter L.,
born March 26, 1886, employed at the Celina
Manufacturing Companj' in Celina, where he
resides, and is married. Russell C. Springer,
born September 15, 1887, married and resid-
ing on a farm near Neptune, Ohio. ]\Iary E.
Springer, born July 1, 1890, married M. Duse
and resides in Celina. Barbara Alice
Springer, born February 28, 1892, unmarried
and a stenographer in Toledo. Lawrence N.
Springer, born September 19, 1893, married
and residing near Mendon, Ohio, on a farm.
Elsie Hannah Springer, born May 19, 1897,
unmarried, and attending Oxford College.

Besides his active connection with the St:



Marys Wheel and Spoke Company Clarence
W. Springer is secretary of the Celina Manu-
facturing Company of Celina, is second vice
president of the W^heatley Spoke Company
of Wheatley, Arkansas, and president of the
Hardwoods Product Company, Incorporated,
at Itta Bena, ilississippi.

On October 9, 1900, Clarence W. Springer
married Miss Katharine Gertrude Makley,
who was born November 16, 1878, daughter
of George Makley, a blacksmith and carriage
maker of St. Marys. Their five children, all
except the oldest now in school, are: Paul
Makley Springer, born March 22, 1903 ; Mary
ilagdaliu Springer, born January 27, 1906;
Charles Christoper Springer, born May 6,
1907 ; JIary Gertrude Springer, born July 8,
1908 ; and Robert Wilfred Springer, born Sep-
tember 29, 1916. Mrs. Springer is a member
of the Catholic Church. In politics he is a
republican and fraternallv is affiliated with
the Tribe of Ben Hur.

L. G. Neely, of St. Marys, is one of the men
who have supplied the personal initiative and
energy and the material resources to the de-
velopment of the oil deposits of Ohio and
Indiana. He was one of the men who made
the oil district around Lima, and is today
probably the foremost oil man in the State of
Ohio. Those acquainted with his resources
say that he controls more active capital than
any other man in Auglaize County.

He practically grew up in the oil industry.
His father in the early days of the oil business
in Pennsylvania was employed as a laborer in
the wells, and though he provided as best he
could for the family, L. G. Neely did not have
a youth surrounded by luxury and all the
advantages, and has practically carved his
own destiny in the world.

L. G. Neely was born in Clarion County,
Pennsjdvania, May 31, 1861. He belongs to
a very old family of German descent. His
great-grandfather, Paul Neely, was born in
Prussia, came to this country when young, and
was killed as a soldier in one of the battles
of the Revolutionary war. Mr. Neely 's grand
father, Henry Neely, was born in Westmore
land County, Pennsylvania, and served as i
captain in the War of 1812. In 1805 he went
into one of the wilderness districts of Penn
sylvania and cleared up a farm by the sti'enU'
ous exertions of his body.

Jesse Neely, father of L. G. Neely, was bomi
in Pennsylvania in September, 1811, and died
April 9, 1886. He married Mary Sig%vorth,






HISTORY OF NORTHWEST OHIO



1737



who was born in Pennsylvania in 1816 and
died in 1S78. Her father, David Sigworth,
was a native of Germany and after coming
to Pennsylvania married a Miss Henlen, and
followed farming. Jesse and Mary Neely had
eleven children, and the five now living are:
Agnes, widow of Henry Clover and living at
St. Marys; Esther, who lives in Pittsburg,
Pennsylvania, the widow of J. C. Forgie ;
Rose, wife of Henry C. Smullin, who has been
in the oil bitsiness all his life and lives in St.
iMarys; Henry M., formerly an oil worker
and now a farmer at Red Key, Indiana ; and
L. G. Neely. The parents were active mem-
bers of the German Reformed Church, the
father was an Odd Fellow and in polities a
democrat.

With only a district school education, L. G.
Neely gained his first experience in the oil
industry at the age of fifteen. He learned
every phase of it, from the dressing of tools
to the drilling of wells, and later as a con-
tractor and producer.

He became identified with the Ohio fields
when he located at Lima December 17, 1885.
As much as any other man he helped in the
actual development of that important oil field.
In August, 1887, he came to St. Marys, and
began drilling wells in that vicinity. His suc-
cess has not been due to luck, but to shrewd
management and foresight, and during the
past thirty years he has helped finance some
of the biggest oil producing centers in Ohio
and Indiana. He also developed mineral
wells at Martinsville, Indiana. Mr. Neely is
a director in the First National Bank at St.
Marys and the St. Marys Trust Company and
the Lima Trust Company.

In March, 1886, he married Carrie M.
Jamison, who was bom in Butler County,
Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Neely have had
four children: Jessie, wife of Freeman T.
Egleson, an attorney practicing law at Colum-
bus, Ohio ; Harold G., who lives at home with
his parents; and Clarence Lee and an infant
daughter deceased. '

Mr. Neely has attained the supreme thirty-
third degree in Scottish Rite Masonry, is a
member of the Royal Order of Scotland, is a
Knight Templar and Shriner. and also a
Knight of Pythias. Politically he is a demo-
crat, and formerly served one term in the
State Legislature and for one year was a
member of the board of managers of the
Ohio penitentiary.



Charles E. Fisher. There is no better
known or more highly esteemed citizen of
Auglaize County than Charles E. Fisher, who
represents one of the old and solid families
of Wapakoneta, and whose activities have
brought him into close connection with the
business affairs of his native city. Mr. Fisher
is now serving as deputy county auditor, his
term expiring October 15, 1917, and he will
then take over the oflice of county auditor.

He was born in Wapakoneta December 22,
1870, a son of Anthony and Anna T. (Wiss)
Fisher. His paternal grandparents, John and
Mary Fisher, were born respectively in Ba-
varia, Germany, and New Riegel, Ohio.
Grandfather Fisher at one time owned the
ground where the county infirmary of
Auglaize County is now located. He was one
of the very early settlers here, followed the
butcher business for many years, and both
he and his wife died at Wapakoneta. He
was a prominent and influential citizen in his
time and generation. The maternal grand-
parents of Charles E. Fislier were John and
Catherine Wiss. John Wiss, who was a
native of Alsace-Lorraine, France, came to
America at an early day, spent a number of
years in Columbiana County, Ohio, where he
was married, and from there brought his
family to Auglaize County, where he died.
By trade he was a shoemaker. His wife was
a native of Ireland, and belonged to a Pro-
testant family of Orange affiliations. Mr.
Wiss was a Catholic, and after her marriage
she joined that church and became very de-
voiit. She lived to be ninety-two years of age.
The late Anthony Fisher was born in
Auglaize County January 16, 1847, and died
in June, 1897. He became widely known over
the county, and all who knew him Ijad a
warmth of admiration and affection for his
many genial qualities of mind and heart. At
the time of his death he was in the hotel
business. He started in life poor and his
constant generosity and helpfulness to every
one who came within the range of his influ-
ence kept him a comparatively poor man all
his days so far as material circimistances
were concerned, though he earned a great
wealth of esteem and left his children an
honored name. He was a democrat, and for
two terms served as city marshal of Wapa-
koneta. In early life he learned the trade of
butcher. His wife was born in Auglaize
County December 25, 1850, and is still living.
She is a member of the Catholic Church. Of
the six children of Anthony Fisher and wife



1738



HISTORY OF NORTHWEST OHIO



the four now living are : Charles E. ; Joseph
F., who is proprietor of the Burnett House
at Wapakoneta; Mary L., wife of Joshua
Bailey, who is connected with the Auglaize
Mausoleum Company at Wapakoneta; Anna
C. Schaefer, a widow, lives at Wapakoneta
and is employed under the State Industrial
Commission as inspector of workshops and
factories over a large part of the state.

Charles B. Fisher was reared in Wapa-
koneta, was graduated from the high school
May 18, 1888, and since then has been dili-