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History of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) online

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uine Republican ticket, for the purpose of reminding you that
we are on the eve of a great contest, and at the same time
guarding against the possibility of fraud. It has been an-
nounced that our opponents are circulating spurious tickets
throughout the state, containing the names of Lincoln and
Hamlin for President and Vice-President, with the Douglass
and Johnson electors, for the purpose of imposing upon unsus-
pecting and honest voters. Enclosed is a genuine ticket — take
it to the polls, put it in the ballot-box and you are safe against
imposition.

'■^^'e carried Ohio in October by 25.000 majority ; and we can
carry it again, if we all vote on the 6th day of November.
There are fifteen thousand school districts in Ohio — and two
votes lost in each will lose us the state and decide the presi-
dential election against us ! Will your district be one of the
delinquents? 'One more fire and the day is ours!'

"Vote early and see that your Republican neighbors vote.
By order of the Republican Central Committee.

"E. B. TAYLOR, Chairman."



DARKE COUNTY 337

Taj-lor's patriotism, loyalty and ability attracted the atten-
tion of the new party's leaders and in 1861 Lincoln appointed
him register of the land office at Omaha, Neb., to which city
he soon moved. Here he purchased the Omaha Republican
and in 1866 became its editor. He was a member of the Na-
tional convention that nominated Grant for president in 1868,
was a member of the State senate of Nebraska during its first
two terms, serving most of the time as speaker. Upon the
death of the Governor-elect he served a short time as Gov-
ernor of Nebraska. At this formative period in the state he
is said to have exerted much influence on its progressive leg-
islation, especially in framing the school laws, which were
modeled after those of Ohio.

Taylor's career was now reaching its climax, but before
closing this brief sketch of his eventful life we desire to revert
to the period of his residence in Darke county.

This was the time of the building of the Greenville and
Miami railway and Colonel Taylor took such interest in the
enterprise that he was made president of the company, and
sent to New York where he negotiated a loan of one hundred
and fifty thousand dollars with which to purchase rails and
rolling stock. The farmers, who had been hauling their grain
over bad roads to the markets at Piqua and Dayton, freely
donated labor and ties toward the construction of the road.
The county voted a tax of fifty thousand dollars, and Green-
ville an extra ten thousand dollars to subsidize the project,
which turned out to be a great benefit to the county.

Taylor continued to be president of this road from 1850 to
1859, filling tliis office acceptably while at the same time
publishing his influential paper and engaging in politics. His
was indeed an active life and we are not surprised to learn
that his li'e was cut short before he completed his fifty-first
year. lie died at Omaha, May 21, 1872, after sufifering sev-
eral strokes of paralysis.

In a sketch written for the Historical Society in 1907, Mr.
Calvin Young made the following thoughtful analysis of his
character: His most striking characteristic, we should say,
was a strong, clear, fertile brain, that grasped subjects with
the strength of a giant, and analyzed them with the most per-
fect clearness and precision. To know anything- with him was
to know all about it, and no subject which attracted his atten-
tion was left until he had mastered it, not only in a general
way but in the minutest detail, ^^'he;^ he stated a fact he
1 22)



338 DARKE COUNTY

always had a reason at his command, and in times of excite-
ment in national or political affairs, his wonderful command of
facts and statistics rendered his opinion of very great value.
He seemed never to forget anything, and his memory was so
tenacious that he could refer to the minutest facts and occur-
ences, although years had intervened since he had studied
them, or had been an actor in the scene. As a writer he had
few equals ; his copy was the pride and boast of the printer,
being almost as plain as the print it was to appear in, and his
points were made with the greatest clearness and accuracy.
He went right forward with sis subject like a commander
with his men, and when his editorial or important document
was finished, or his resolution drawn, they covered the ground
completely. There was no loop-hole of escape for his adver-
sary and nothing wanting to make the whole matter he had in
hand perfectly plain, reasonable and intelligible. He wrote
with equal facility, whether surrounded bj^ a crowd or alone
in his room, and seemed fixed to nothing but his subject,
though there might be disturbances enough to distract a man
less cool and self-possessed. His power of concentrating
ideas was most remarkable. As a public officer he was always
efficient, energetic and successful, and his course met the ap-
proval of those by whom he was appointed, and the sober sec-
ond thought of the people. When he held the position of
president of the senate, the efficiency of his work was the
constant theme of those associated with him in those ardu-
ous and perplexing duties. His decisions were correct, his
views on all political matters well digested, eminently prac-
tical, and his course manly, able and impartial. For these
reasons the people learned to admire his ability, to respect
his judgment, and to feel for him a friendship that has never
waned, but grown stronger with the lapse of time. His
friends were perhaps as strongly attached to him as to any
public man in the state, and, consequently, he could rally
them whenever he needed their aid or council for anv enter-
prise in which he was engaged. It is a source of consolation,
that Col. E. B. Taylor died surrounded by his family and
friends, who administered to him all the comforts that it was
possible as he went down into the valley of death."

Colonel Taylor was married on March 23, 1843. to Jane B.
McClure. Five children were born as a result of this union.
Of these one son, Edward A., was recently living in Portland.
Ore., and one daughter, Mrs. George Arnold, in Indianapolis,



DARKE COUNTY 339

Ind. Airs. Blanche Hughes, wife of Attorney Thomas J.
Hughes, of Greenville, is a daughter of Mrs. Arnold.

Enoch Beery Seitz and Family.

One of the most distinguished citizens who ever lived in
Darke county was Enoch Beery Seitz, of whom one writer
said: "He was in mathematics what Demosthenes was in ora-
tory, Shakespeare in poetry and Napoleon in war; the equal
of the best, the peer of all the rest."

This man was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, August 26,
1846, and was the son of Daniel Seitz, a native of Rockingham
county, Virginia, where he was born December, 1791. Daniel
Seitz was twice married, his first wife being Elizabeth Hite,
by whom he had eleven children ; and his second wife, Cath-
arine Beery, by whom he had four sons and three daughters.
He died near Lancaster, Ohio, October 14, 1864. Enoch, the
third son of Catharine Beery Seitz, was raised on his father's
farm and had the advantage of a common school education
supplemented by a course in a private school in Lancaster.
He took a mathematical course in the Ohio Wesleyan Univer-
sity. Delaware, from which he was graduated in 1870. His
mother had moved with her family to Greenville, Ohio, in the
fall of 1866, where she lived on West Fourth street until her
death in February, 1904, at the advanced age of almost ninety-
six -^-ears. It is said that while a boy on the farm Mr. Seitz
exhibited great talent and liking for mathematics and that he
mastered and completed algebra alone at the age of fifteen.
His mathematical talent early became known in Darke
Cdunty, where he had been teaching summer school during
his course at Delaware and he was elected to the professor-
ship of mathematics in the Greenville high school in the sum-
mer of 1872, which position he occupied until the summer of
1879. On June 24, 1875, he was united in marriage with Anna
E., daughter of William K. Kerlin, at that time treasurer of
Darke county, and later president of the Second National
bank. Miss Kerlin had been teaching in the public schools
for some time and was recognized as one of Greenville's most
refined young ladies. During the period of his tutorship in
Greenville he contributed solutions to different problems
proposed in some of the best known mathematical magazines,
including the School-day Magazine, the Analyst, the Mathe-
matical Visitor and the Educational Times, of London, Eng-



340 DARKE COUNTY

land. His specialty was average and probability problems,
the solution of which required untiring patience, energy and
perseverance. A great problem had been proposed by Pro-
fessor Woolworth, the great English mathematician, in 1864,
which he had solved with great labor and lengthy demon-
stration. His solution stood unchallenged until Professor Seitz
mastered the same problem and demonstrated it clearly in a
fraction of the space required by the great English professor
and thereby won the plaudits of the mathematicians of Eng-
land and America. Speaking of his methods a mathematical
writer said: "In studying his solutions, one is struck with the
simplicity to which he has reduced the solutions of some of
the most intricate problems. When he had grasped a prob-
lem in its entirety, he had mastered all problems of that class.
He would so vary the conditions in thinking of one special
problem and in effecting a solution that he had generalized all
similar cases, so exhaustive was his analysis. Behind his
words he saw all the ideas represented. These he translated
into symbols, and then he handled the symbols, with a facil-
ity that has never been surpassed." * * * Professor
Seitz did not gain his knowledge from books, for his library
consisted of only a few books and periodicals. He gained
such a profound insight in the subtle relations of numbers by
close application, with which he was particularly gifted. He
was not a mathematical genius, that is, as usually understood,
one who is born with mathematical powers fully developed.
But he was a genius in that he was especially gifted with
the power to concentrate his mind upon any subject he wished
to investigate. This happy faculty of concentrating all his
powers of mind upon one topic to the exclusion of all others,
and viewing it from all sides, enabled him to proceed with
certainty where others would become confused and disheart-
ened. Thread by thread and step by step, he took up and fol-
lowed out long lines of thought and arrived at correct con-
clusions. The darker and more subtle the question appeared
to the average mind, the more eagerly he investigated it. No
conditions were so complicated as to discourage him. His
logic was overwhelming."

As a teacher few were more successful. In the class-room
as well as in society he was a man of few words but his con-
versation vvas to the point. "His commanding appearance and
amiable disposition endeared him to the heart of every stu-



DARKE COUNTY



341



dent while the purity of his motives, soundness of his judg-
ment, and wisdom of his instruction was not doubted."

In March, 1880, he was elected a member of the London
Mathematical Soiety, being the fifth American so honored.
Greenville was highly honored in having such a distinguished
man as a teacher in the public schools for several years, but
his unsurpassed talent recommended him to a much higher
position and in the summer of 1879 he moved with his family
to Kirksville, Missouri, where he assumed a professorship in
the State Normal School. This position he occupied with
distinction and was marked. for a higher and more remunera-
tive position when he was prostrated with a fever in Septem-
ber, 1883, and died on October 8th, after an illness of twenty-
four days, in the thirty-eighth year of his age. His death
caused a profound sensation among the students and profes-
sors of the State Normal school by whom he v^^as highly hon-
ored and respected. After appropriate and impressive ser-
vices at Kirksville, his remains were brought to Greenville,
Ohio, whither they were accompanied by President Blanton,
who had been appointed for this purpose by the faculty, and
by W. T. Baird acting in behalf of the regents of the college
and the citizens of Kirksville.

The following extract from President J. P. Blanton's trib-
ute which was oiifered at the funeral service indicates the
character and disposition of Professor Seitz : "Enoch Beery
Seitz was an etraordinary man. He commanded without
efifort the respect of everybody. He was a man of the most
singularly blameless life I ever knew. His disposition was
amiable, his manner quiet and unobtrusive, and his decision,
when circumstances demanded it, was prompt, and firm and
unmovable as the rocks. He did nothing from impulse ; he
carefully considered his course, and with almost infallible
judgment came to the conclusions that his conscience ap-
proved and then nothing could move him. While he never
made an open profession of religion, he was a profoundly
religious man. He rested his hopes of salvation in the sacri-
fices of the tender and loving Savior, and I am thoroughly
convinced he has entered that rest which remains for the
people of God." Also this tribute from Prof. John S. Royer:
"Professor Seitz's external life was that of a modest, deep-
hearted, perfect gentleman. His great ambition was to be
good and true — true to himself, true to his family, true to his
friends, and true to his countrv's welfare. He had a thor-



342 DARKE COUNTY

oughly health}-, well balanced, harmonious nature, accepting
life as it came, with its joys and sorrows, and living it beau-
tifully and hopefully without a murmur. Though the grim
monster Death removed him from this sphere of action
before he fully reached the meridian of his greatness, yet the
work he performed during his short but fruitful life will be a
lasting monument to his memory, amply sufficient to immor-
talize his name."

Professor Seitz was the father of four sons, one of whotn,
Clarence, died at the age of five years. The other three
sons, William K., Raymond and Enoch B., have all been care-
fully reared under the guiding hand of their devoted and tal-
ented mother. All three of the surviving sons graduated from
the Ivirksville school. William K., who inherited his father's
talent, made the highest average grades in mathematics in
the University of Missouri of any student up to the time of
his graduation on June 4, 1906. He was an assistant profes-
sor of mathematics for two years after his graduation. Then
he went to St. Joseph, Mo., where he acted as first assistant
city engineer, and engineer of the utility commission, having
in charge the parks and boulevards of that progressive city.
In 1913, he went to St. Louis where he is now at the head of
the Missouri Valley Construction Company, in which he is
associated with his brothers.

Raymond E. Seitz was born October 30. 1876, in Green-
ville, Ohio. He moved with his parents to Missouri in 1879,
and returned to Greenville some time after his father's death,
continuing in the public schools until he had completed the
freshman year. He then returned to Kirksville in 1894, and
completed the course in the State Normal in 1898. After this
he taught history and literature in the high school at Park
City. Utah. He then attended the University of Cincinnati,
Ohio. Returning to Missouri he taught four years in the
high school at Unionville and later was elected superintendent
of the schools at Jackson, Mo., where he remained four years.
Then he served as superintendent at Caruthersville, Mo.,
for two years, after which he became a member of the con-
struction company above mentioned, which is now undertak-
ing a large contract for constructing terminal facilities at
East St. Louis for a large railway company. This company
operates a large quarry at Alton, TIL. where they secure rock
for construction purposes.

Enoch Beerv Seitz. voungcst son of E. R. and .\nna E.



DARKE COUNTY 343.

Seitz, was born July 26, 1883, graduated from the Missouri
State Normal School at Kirksville, Mo., in June, 1901 and
taught the next four years in the high school and for two
years acted as superintendent. From 1905 until March 15,
1913, he was superintendent of the school at Milan, Mo.
which position he resigned to engage in construction work
with his brother, W. K. Seitz.

Enoch B. Seitz was married to Miss Hazeldean Bolt,
August 20, 1907, and has one child, Ruth, aged five years. He
lives at Alton, 111.

Dr. Anna E. Seitz, the widow of the subject of this sketch,
and mother of three exceptionally able sons, is a woman of
unusual ability. After the death of her husband she became
principal of the Teacher Training Department, in the Mis-
souri State Normal School at Kirksville, in which capacity
she served very ably for four years, advising, criticising and
supervising the work of a corps of teachers. At about this
time the field of osteopathy was enlarging rapidly and a great
demand developed for competent practitioners in various
parts of the country. In response to this demand and her
own ambitious promptings, Mrs. Seitz gave up her work in
the State Normal and entered the Columbian School of Osteo-
pathy at Kirksville, from which she graduated in 1899. She
then practiced her profession at Richmond, Indiana, and later
at Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Phoenix, Ariz. Early in 1904
she completed a post graduate course in the American School
of Osteopathy at Kirksville, and in February of that year
established herself in Greenville, Ohio, her home town, where
she has remained in the successful practice of her profession
ever since, being first and only lady osteopathic practitioner
in Darke county.

Barnabas Collins and Family.

The old saying, "Poets are born, not made," was well ex-
emplified in Barnabas Collins, the son of \Ym. Collins, a law-
yer and clergyman of high standing. The father had ob-
tained a good English education although handicapped by
poverty and adverse early conditions and became one of the
clearest thinkers, strongest reasoners and finest speakers
of his day. He settled in Randolph county, Indiana, in 1831,
where, in 1832, he married Margaret Burres (who was born
in Cecil county, Md., in 1811). About 1835 he located in



344 DAUKli COUjN'IY

Euphemia, Preble county, O. A\ hen quite a young man lie
began preaching in the United Brethren denomination, but
was condemned for joining the Masons and subsequently be-
came a Methodist. In 1849, he moved to Greenville, Ohio,
where he built up an extensive law practice and, at the same
time, officiated in the pulpit. He died in 1855, leaving a
family of six children, viz.: Ad, Barnabas, William, James,
Lafayette and Rachel. Barnabas, the seccnd son, was born
May 26, 1836. He became a printer when a boy and worked
at this trade several years, thus supplementing, no doubt,
the meager education which he had acquired b} a few years'
study in the common schools. After a brief pupilage under
the well known Calvin Parker, he attended the Ohio Wes-
leyan University at Delaware for a short time. Nothing
daunted b}' early difficulties, he continued to read extensively
in literature and in science until he became noted for his
marked literary attainments. After his schooling he read
law under Calderwood and Calkins and was admitted to the
bar in 1857, when twenty-one years of age. On March 15,
1858, he married Mar}' J. Calderwood, a daughter of A. R.
Calderwood of the above named firm. In 1861 he located in
Adams county, Indiana. He was soon called to his country's
service and enlisted in the 89th Indiana Regiment of ^''olun-
teers, in which he acted as quartermaster. A'ter his return
from the armv he again settled in Greenville and iiracticed
law. He was nominated by the Republicans as a candidate
for the Ohio Constitutional Convention of 1874. In 1876
he represented the Fourth Congressional District in the Re-
publican National Convention at Cincinnati, Ohio, that nom-
inated R. B. Hayes for president. Being of a decided liter
ary turn of mind he gratified his tastes at the expense of his
profession and produced considerable literature of a decidedly
high class, in the way of historical articles, poems and es-
says. Some of his most cherished proems were on local
themes, and are quoted in this volume. Others were espe-
cially metrical 'and have been set to music. Barney Collins
was a lover of the beatitiful in nature and art, a fine reader
and reciter and an excellent lecturer and an impressive ex-
tempore sepaker, with a fine command of the English lan-
guage. His voice is described as strong, yet soft and mus-
ical, and his personal appearance as fine and attractive. He
had a florid complexion, heavy, light cohered evebrmv^. light
silken hair and weighed about one hundred and ciehtv



DARKE COUNTY 345

pounds, making a commanding appearance on the platform.
His lecture on "The Rise, Progress and Influence of Poetical
Literature" and his defense of Shakespeare in the Baconian
controversy are classed as fine pieces of literature. About
1879 the Collins family moved to California, where the sous,
William, Ulric and Enos, all made their mark.

VVm. C. Collins, later known as "VVilkie," was born at
Decatur, Indiana, February 10, 1862, and came to Greenville
with his father shortly afterward. Here he received his ed-
ucation, and like his distinguished father, learned the print-
er's trade when a boy of thirteen, setting type in the office
of the Courier and writing locals for that paper. He went
with the family to Chico, Cal., in 1879, and soon found em-
ployment in the newspaper offices of that city. In 1884, he
edited a campaign paper at Biggs, Cal., but soon returned to
Chico, where he remained until 1886, when he accepted a
position on the editorial staflf of the Sacramento Daily Bee.
While at Chico he wrote articles that attracted the attention
of newspaper men all over the state, and wrote three strik-
ing stories that were published and illustrated in eastern
newspapers. He was the dramatic critic of the Bee for many
years and his "Green Room Gossip" was one of the most
readable portions of the paper. It is said that he knew every
distinguished man in California and was especially well ac-
quainted with the great actors who played in his city. He
remained on the staflf of the Bee until his death on December
30, 1908. It was said of him by a contemporary newspaper
man: "I always regarded him as one of the best equipped,
squarest and most lovable men in the newspaper profession."
The editor of the Bee, in the first issue following his death,
uttered the following beautiful sentiments concerning him :
"To those who had known him so long and loved him so
well, his death was not so much of a blow as a relief. They
had seen that staunch heart, that noble soul sufl^ering intense
tortures daily, and yet never complaining — never a cross
word — never a murmur from his tongue. * * * True
friend, courageous soul, loyal heart, your brothers left behind
stand at salute and bid you Hail and Farewell ! God rest
you, Christ receive vou!" .^mong his noblest traits were de-
votion to duty, sacrificing loyalty to his profession, and
love of his family and kin. He left a son, Ray, who also
became an actor.

Ulric Collins, brother of Wilkie, also manifested a decided



346 DARKE COUNTY

talent for tlie theatrical profession and has become a well
known playwright and actor. He wrote "Hearts of Tennes-
see" and other plays of merit and has appeared as leading
man in various popular plays, starring in New York, Chica-
go and the largest cities of the country and keeping at the
top notch of his profession.

Enos Collins, another brother, has given his attention to
railway business, being several years in the employment of
the Western Pacific at Beekville, Cal.

Mrs. Bessie Dorritt. a sister, lived for several years at
W. Berkeley, Cal.

The mother, Mary J. Collins, is a woman of considerable
ability, taste and refinement and is much devoted to her fam-
ily. We close this article by an appropriate tribute from the
pen of George Calderwood, a brother-in-law of Barney Col-
lins, and a poem composed and recited by the latter brilliant
genius and poet at the opening of the Greenville (now
Trainor's) Opera House in 1873, the building having been
just erected by Greenville Lodge I. O. O. F. Xo. 195 at con-
siderable expense and, as proved later, an improfitable ven-