W. O. Absher.

Portrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States online

. (page 14 of 76)
Online LibraryW. O. AbsherPortrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 14 of 76)
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a double front, two-story brick business block,
besides a comfortable and pleasant dwelling. He
and his wife are the oldest couple in the county,
and are honored and respected by the many with
whom they are acquainted. No more highly es-
teemed citizens live in the county than Jlr. ami
Kautzman. and the}' ever donate liberally to pub-

lic enterprises, such as churches, schools, etc. They
have had no children. Mr. Kautzman aUiliates
with the Republican party in his political views.
He has been Notary Public for twenty years or
more, was Justice of the Pe.a<;e for six years, and
Township Clerk for three years. He was made a
Mason in 1854 at Bellefontaine, Ohio, and was at
one time a member of the Sons of Temperance.
He has always been a strong temperance man and
has not touched liquor since 1848. He is a mem-
ber of the Disciples Church. His grandfather,
Barne\' Kautzman, w.as a native of Germany and
crossed the ocean to America when a young man.
He was married in Pennsylvania but afterward le-
moved to Virginia and settled in Augusta County.
Our subject's maternal grandf.ather, Adam Cook,
was born in Peuns3-lvania, but his father was a n.a-
tive of (lernianv.

fr(^\ was organized in 1870, with J. H. Timmer-
"^^fe/ meister as President; A. M. Kuhn, Secre-
tary and Manager, and L. N. Blume, Treasurer.
The present olKcers are: J. H. Timmcrmtister,
President; J. H. Doering, Vice-president; L. N.
Blume, Treasurer; and Carl D. Fischer, Secretary
and Manager. This concern is one of the largest
of its kind in Eastern Ohio, and in the vari-
ous branches of this great industry one hundred
and tifty men are emplo_yed. All kinds of wheels
are manufactured and shipped all over the United
States and the Old Country. A switch runs into
their factory from the Cincinnati, Hamilton it
Dayton R.ailroad, and there they load their cars.

Carl D. Fischer, the General Manager and Secre-
tary of this concern, is a native of Hessen, Ger-
many, born June 19, 1855, and is one of the most
capable and thorough business men of the county.
He is the son of John and Elizabeth (.Schnellen-
pfeil) Fischer, both natives of Germany, where the
father is living at the present time and is now
seventy-three years of age. The mother is de-



Carl D. Fischer was thoroughly educated in the
schools of Germany, and subsequently served an
apprenticeship at the mercantile business, where
he acquired a thorough knowledge of book-keep-
ing, etc. When eighteen years of age, or in 1873,
he bade farewell to his native land and sailed for
America, landing in Now York City. From there
lie came direct to AVapakoneta, Ohio, and although
he had very little capital to start with, he pos-
sessed all the thrift and perseverance char.acteris-
tic of the Germans, and immediately began search-
ing for some paying position. He secured a position
with his brother Dittmar as clerk in a grocery
store, and remained with him about two and one-
half years. After this, he became a partner, and
on the death of his brother, in 1876, he assumed
full charge of the business, taking a partner under
the firm title of Fischer it Lucas. They continued
together until 1884, when they sold out, and Mr.
Fischer took the management of the Wapakoneta
Bending Works, of which he was the originator,
and continued with this as Secretaiy and Man-
ager until 1890. At the same time, he assumed
the management and vice-presidency of the Wa-
pakoneta, Wheel Works, and his time was thor-
oughly taken up with the business of both con-
cerns. He took his present position on the 1st of
.)uly, 1887, and has been in charge ever since. At
one time, he had the management of four fac-
tories for the American Wheel Company, located
at Wapakoneta. St. Jlary's. Ottawa (Ohio.) and Ft.
Wayne, Ind.

Mr. Fischer h.is a thorough knowledge of the
business and has prospered in all his undertakings.
All the factories have made much progress under
his management, and Wapakoneta is to be con-
gratulated on being the center of such important
enterprises. iSIr. Fischer is President of the Wa-
pakoneta JIachine Company, and is thoroughly
alive to tlie business interests of this city. lie w;is
married, in 1878, to Miss Louisa Fischer, and the
fruits of this union liave been two interesting chil-
dren: Carl U., .Tr.. and Einil .J.

Mr. Fischer has shown his appreciation of secret
organizations by becoming a member of the Ma-
sonic fraternity and the Independent Order of
Udd Fellows. IK- ;i„.l .Ml-. Fischer are active

and zealous members of the German Lutheran
Church and are liberal contributors to the same,
as well as to all enterprises for the advancement
of town and county. They are higlily esteemed
as citizens and neighbors, and are a credit to any


'^i^OSEPH RATEK.MANN who occupies the
prominent position of .Sheriff of Shelby
County, w.as elected to that office in 1889

and re-elected to the same position in 1891.

He is at present residing in Sidney, and beinsr
possessed of those sterling traits of char.acter that
mark a thoroughly conscientious and upright man,
he is greatl}' respected by all who know him.

A native of this county, our subject w.as liorn
in Berlin, September 2, 18.50, and is the son of
John B. H, and Anna Mary ( Wellmann ) Ratermann,
both of whom were born in Germany. The par-
ents took up their abode in Berlin in 1834, Init
this now tliriving village did not even boast
of a name until many yeai-s after their loca-
tion there. The father of our suliject purch.ased
land from the Government and until it was piaceil
in a productive condition, worked on the canal in
order to su|)|)ly his family with the necessities of
life. The estate, which comprised one hundred and
twenty acres, w;»s soon placed under good tillage
and there the parents made their home until their

The original of this sketcli received a good edu-
cation in tlie schools of Berlin, which place has
since been called Lorainie's. lie remained on
the home farm assisting his father in its manage-
ment until the latter 's death, when in addition to
carrying on the estate, he went into tlie grain busi-
ness, having his headquarters at Loramie's. He was
thus engaged for three years, when he erected a
roller-process flouring mill, which w.as the first of
its kind in the county and whose capacity was
ses eiil\ -live barrels a dav. Mr. Raleriuaun uUu



owned a warehouse near the mill, which latter was
soon burned, and our subject having no insurance
lost all lie had.

After the catastrolihe aliove mentioned, <iur sub-
ject came to Sidney and 0|>crated as "mine host"
of the Union House for tiu-ee jears, in whicli busi-
ness he was more than cudinarily successful. At
the expiration of tliat time lie sold his hotel and,
being nominated for Slieriff, removed for the time
being to Loramie's, and on being defeated for that
imsition returned to Sidney and engaged in the
li(]uor business. The following election, he w.as
again nominated for the Slirievalty and, being
elected, fulfilled the duties of tlie othce so credit-
ably to himself and acceptaljly to the people that
lie was re-elected and is now serving his second
term. He is a man of tine physique, standing six
feel tu'O and weighing from two hundred and
sixty-five to two hundred and seventy pounds.

The lady to whom our subject was married in
1S7.T was Anna IMary Meier, a native of this town-
ship. They have become the parents of ten chil-
dren, only five of whom are living, namely: .lulius,
Michael, .loseph, Rosa and Tillie. Tho family are
inembors of the Holy Angel Catholic Cliurch of
this city and are prominent and influential in
social circles.


WnSEY. MARTIN VITZ, pastor of the fierman
IL^f' Reformed Church of Xew Bremen, is a fine
^\ scholar, a man of resolute will and positive
" opinions, and able and willing to maintain
them. He is of ple.asing address, possesses excel-
lent ipialifieations as a man of education and retiiie-
meut, IS highly respected by all cl.asses in general,
and is evidently deeph' interested in the noble
work in which he is engaged.

Born in Adams County, near Decatur, Ind.. on
the IStli of August, 18.57, he is the son of Rev.
Peter Vitz, who was born in the Rhenish Province,
Prussia, German^', and who left his native country
for this in the j'ear 1853, when abont twenty-eight
years of age, after having served two years in the

Prussian arm}'. After reaching the land ovei- which
float the .Stars and Stripes, he settled in 'Wisconsin
and began studying for the ministry, att<'nding
Heidelberg Seminary at Titlin, Ohio, and gradu-
ating from the theological department in l^ofJ,
He subsequently entered upon his ministerial du-
ties in the German Reformed Church, filled three
charges ill Indiana, and is now at Delphos, Allen
County, Ohio, tilling the pulpit of the Zion Re-
formed Church, He is now in his sixty-eighth year.
His wife was bom in Berne, Switzerland, and her
maiden name was Anna M. Jacob. When a young
lady she came with friends to America, but her
parents remained in their native countiy.

The original of this notice, the eldest of nine
children, six sons and three daughters, first attended
the common schools at Huntington, Ind.. and later
the academ}- at that place, where he remained two
years. After this he taught three terms of school
when fourteen years of age and in 1874 he went
to Franklin. Sheboygan County, AVis,, where he
spent three years in the Mission schools. In the
fall of 1877, he entered Heidelberg University, at
Titlin, Ohio, and graduated at that institution in
1880, receiving the degree of A, B. Returning to
Wisconsin, he entered the Reformed Theological
.Seminary at Franklin, remained there one year,
and in 1881 went to his father to assist him in his
work. After this he carried on his theological
studies at A'era Cruz, Ind., and was examined and
licensed to preach in .lanuary, 1882. On the 8th
of March of that year he w.as ordained a minister.
His first charge was at St. Paul, Minn., where he
continued to fill the jjulpitof Friedius Reformed
Church for six years. In 1888, he came to Xew
Bremen and has since filled the pulpit of Zion Re-
formed Church in a veiy satisfactory manner.

He selected his companion in life in the person
of Miss Mary E. Engeler, a native of Indiana, and
their nuptials were celebrated on the 26th of Feb-
ruary 1882. Her father, Frederick Engeler, was
born in Switzerland, came to Ohio when a young
man, and settled in Indiana. He was a prospector
for gold in California for some time, but h.as been
engaged in milling at Vera Cruz, Ind., and is retired.
He is a very prominent man in his county, has
been Notary Pulilic, -Justice of the Peace, Trustee.



etc., aud is highly esteemed by .ill. Mrs. Vitz
leceivcd hor primary education in tlie common
scliools, but subsequently attended a Normal and
then taught several terms, five children have been
bom to Mv. and Mrs. \'itz: Carl. Frederick, Ilulda.
Frank and Robert. Jlr. \'it7. is a member of tlie
Central Synod, serveil as Secn'tary of the Heidel-
berg Classes and is a member of the Board of Mis-
sions, Central Synod and Synods of the Northwest.


|EV. AV. H. .SJNGLKY. 1). I).
of Lo^an County is belt

No resident
known than the

gentleman whose Jjortrait and biography
are here presented. His name is a familiar
one, not only to the citizens of the county-, but
from East to AVest among the members of the
Lutheran Chuich. As pastor of the church of that
denomination in Cellefontaine, he Ims w(m the
esteem of his parishioners and the general public
as well, and is known .as one of the most eloquent
divines and able ministers of the State.

In Johnstown, Pa., that ill-fated town which was
swept by the mighty surging and roaring waters,
taking thousands of people down the dark v.alley
of death, our subject was born. February 18, 1848.
His parents were (1. W. and Mnrv A. (Trefts)
Singley, both of whuni were natives of Pennsyl-
vania. The Singley family was of the Platistic
Lutheran stock from Germany. The parents were
mendiers of the English Lutheran Church at .lohns-
lown. in wliich the father w.as Deacim. until the
fall (if 18.))).

During the above-mentioned year, tlie family rc-
iniived to .\ppanoose County, Liwa, whither they
had been preceded a few years liy the grandfather.
George .Singley. who was a soldier in the AVar of
1812. and lived to the great age of one hundred
and ten years. Lacking one month. The father of
our subject was a machinist in tlie early days, but
later engaged in farming pursuits. When he set-
tled in Iowa, the country was comparatively new
ami ad\aiitaui's few, but lie was di'lcniiined to se-

cure good educational facilities for his children.
and did everything in his power to aid them in
obtaining a good start in life.

At the time of the removal to Iowa, our subject
w;is quite young, and until he had reached nine-
teen sumraere. he labored as a pioneer on tlie wild
and wide uncultivated prairies of Iowa. Like
many another liard-working farmer-boy, he spent
his summer seasons in tilling the soil and during
the winter studied in the district school. At the
age of fourteen, he entered a store in CentreviUe.
Iowa, -nhere he lillod the position of clerk. His
kind-hearted employer gave him the privilege of
attending the academy during the forenoons, and
while there he conceived the idea of thorouirh
preparation for commercial life.

When fifteen yeai-s old, our subject entered the
well-known Br\anl it .Stratton"s Lujiness College
at Davenport, Iowa, where he was gr.aduated with
the highest honors in a class of fortv. At that
lime there were about four hundred pupils in at-
tendance. After gi-aduating, he began teaching in
the common schools of his neighborhood and was
[nofessor of a vvriting-school at night. His first
school closed the day liefore he w.as seventeen.
Thus it will be seen that he was laboring niirlit
and d.ay, but his industry was crowned with a vic-
tory that is seldom attained.

While thus engaged. Jlr. Singley made a public
[M-ofession of religion. His neighbors and friends
at once urged the Christi.an ministry upon him.
This he considered seriously, and finally vielded
to the call of duty and conviction, gave up busi-
ness life aud decided to preiiare himself for the
ministry. The church to which his life w.as to be
devoted must be chosen. The local churches were
kind and solicitous. The^' pointed the yountr nian
to their colleges and seminaries, but the wishes and
Ifachings of his parents could not be e.asilv thrown
asiilc. Twelve yeai-s had gone by since this onlv
Lutheran family in that region had looked upon
the face of a Lutheran pre.acher. The cliiirch w.as
known in the neighborhood only to be derided
and misrepresented. While this conllict w.a.s ir,,inir
on, with his parents on one side anil his neifflihors
on the other, strange t.j >a\ . II, ■\ . A. .\I. Taiuu'r.
llic lii-l Liillicraii iiiini-u-r tlic-\ liud met since



leaving Pennsylvania, happened along. He very
adroitly induced tliG young man to visit in Tipton,
Iowa, during tlie pastoi'ate of Rev. Daniel S. Alt-
man, by whom lie was confirmed during the visit.
He had been baptized in infancy in the Lutlierau
Cliurch at Johnstown. He accompanied these
gentlemen to the Iowa Synod convened at Lisbon,
Iowa, in August, 1868. The kindly welcome and
encouragement of the S^Tiod made a most favora-
ble impression upon him. He took Rev. Mr. Alt-
man's advice and entered Wittenberg College,
Springfield, Ohio, at tlie fall term of 1868. From
this institution he was graduated in 1873, having
taken the entire course and also one 3'ear's course
iu theology, which he pursued at favorable times
and during vacations. At that time, the theologi-
cal course only required one year.

In the spring of 1873, our subject represented
his literary society in a public debate given in the
city, the highest honor in the gift of the society.
During the senior vacation, he supplied the Luth-
eran pulpit at Darrtown, Ohio, and in the fall en-
tered the Theological Seminary at Yale University,
Isew Haven, Conn. In addition thereto, he heard
Dr. Porter's lectures on mental philosophy-, and
Sumner on Political Econom\-. After the theologi-
cal department at Wittenberg was reorganized and
extended, he returned and finished the course at
his Alma Mater, at the same time serving as senior
editor of the Wittenberyer, the college journal. In
1876, his Alma Mater conferred the degree of A.
M. upon him.

The young minister found his first pastorate at
Osborn, Ohio, where he remained until August.
187G. He then accepted a call to Bellefontaine,
where he at once entered vigorously upon his
duties as pastor of the Lutheran Church. On
coming here, lie found a small and discouraged
band, but he knew his duty and the hard labor
before him; his courage and vigor increased, and
he had not long to wait until his talent was the
subject of the daj- and his influence widely fell.
He soon built up a fine cougregation, which is to-
da\' one of the strongest in the city. He deter-
mined 10 have a new church, and in addition to
increased spiritual and >ociaI iiitiuenco. Ii:i- Lrainnl
a large and handsome [)roperty. The new edi.ce.

which was dedicated in 1881, is 96x60 feet in di-
mensions, with slate roof, tow-er and steeple,
stained windows and all modern improvements.
The first pi|)e organ ever brought to this city -n-as '
put in the church in 1883. The congregation now
worships in one of the handsomest auditoriums in
the State and their large new pipe organ is the
finest in the place. During his pastorate, the con-
gregation has never been deficient in benevolent

In 1883, the Degree of Doctor of Divinity was
conferred upon our subject by "Western College,
located at Toledo, Iowa, before whose students
and faculty he had preached and lectured the year
before. He delivers his sermons, lectures and ad-
dresses entirely without manuscript and has more
calls on miscellaneous occasions than he can fill.
He has versatilitj- of talent, is always ready and
pleasing as a public speaker, his splendid elocu-
tionary and oratorical powers never failing him. He
is especially successful at church dedications and is
often invited to officiate in other denominations
than his own. He is thoroughly progi'essive in
his ideas of church finance. A zealous advocate
of temperance reform, he threw himself into a
vigorous campaign a few j-ears ago, when there
were seventy-seven saloons in the county, and, in
company with other citizens, succeeded in wiping
them all out. His position on this question is not
that of a fanatic, but of a sound reformer. A
multiplicity of labors seems to be most congenial
to him, and he is never tiring of something to do.

Dr. Singley joined a company of his brethren in
an effort to establish a Western church paper, and
on January 5, 1877, the Lutheran Ecangelist. a
weekly, was started. The eflfort was successful and
the paper has become wideh' known and popular.
He was elected Secretary of the company and also
assistant editor, the paper being published at Belle-
fontaine. In a little less than three jears. he suc-
ceeded Dr. .7. H. AV. Stuckenberg as editor, and
subsequently became sole proprietor of the paper.
For a number of 3-ears he has shared very largely
in -the struggles and labors incident to the estab-
lishment of a church paper. In 1878, he started
and edited a mon'hly Sunday-school paper called
The Sunshine ami Skadoic, which still lives. He is



Director in :i large publisliiiig firm just organized,
known as the Lutheran World Publishing Com-
pany, which consists of some of the leading and
well-known men of the United States, having offi-
ces located at Baltimore. Cincinnati and Chicago.
The services of Dr. Singley were sought in this
concern, both for the busines.-; and literary depart-

In ISSI), Dr. Singley was called uiion by a prom-
inent publislier to write an article on tlie Lord's
Supper, representing the Lutheran denomination.
To this request he responded with an article, which
wa? published in book form. For several years.he
li.as done some lycoum lecture work, taking from
ten to fifteen eng.agemeuts per year. He is very
fond of science, and has one of tiie finest private
libraries in the State. Outside of church matters.
he ranks among the foremost and best business
men of Logan County, and is one of the most
popular and useful men in the city and county.
He has filled a number of important positions, and
is now President of the Board of School Examin-
ers fiir Logan County, of which he has been a
memljei- for fourteen yeai-s. He h.as served as
Clerk of the Board of Education of Bellefontaine.
of which he has been a memter for nine yeare. As
]:)irector of Wittenberg College and Seminary of
Springfield, Ohio, he has rendered eflicient service
for ten years; also .as Secretary of the Buildina:
Committee for the erection of the elegant scminarv
building at Springfield. (Jhio. He ha.s mercantile
interests in Bellefontaine, and an interest in a nic-e
farm just outside the city limits. On this place he
is largely interested in fine stoc-k and li.as some of
the choicest -bloods" in the State.

In Logan County the influence of Dr. Singlev
lias done much in the w.ay of advancing religious.
.-ocial and business affairs, and there is scarcely a
mijvement made in these directions in which lie is
not called u\)t)n to participate. Hi.- family con-
si.-ts of his estimable and cultured wife and two
children. Mabel E. and Florence. In the spring of
l.'^Tl;. the I'.ellefontaine Church invited him U^ su|>-
ply their pulpit one Sabbath morning. He was an
entire stranger to the congregation, having- never
seen one of them previously. L-ite one Saturday
c'veniim he arrived in tlit- villairc. and the follow-

ing morning delivered to his congregation an elo-
ipient sermon which captivated the entire audience,
and w.as the cause of his residence in Bellefon-
taine. After the close of this service, the officers
of the church immediately called a meeting (hav-
ing sent the young graduate home with one of the
ladies) and elected him p.astor of the church with-
out a dissenting voice. In a few d.aj-s, the call was
accepted and he is still the happy p.astor of a hapiiy
people. Since the date of his call here, many ef-
forts have been made to rob the churcii of their
pastor, who has stood by them much longer than
any other pastor ever did in their long history as
an organization.

In 1S8-1, the Findlay Chinch unanimously elected
Dr. Singley to their p.astorate; he declined this as
lie did a call from Pennsylvania. In l.-<87. when
Wichita, Kan., was in the midst of the greatest
Iwom ever known in that State, he was elected, at
a splendid salary, pastor of a churcli there. This
he declined, at the same time declining another
call from Findlay, as well as a call from Spring-
field. Ohio. During the fall and winter of 1890-91,
he w.^s unanimously elected to the pastorate at
Indianapolis. Ind.. and Louisville, Ky.. and was
asked to consider calls to All)any, >'. Y.. and \Voos-
ter, Ohio. His services have been sought from
far and uear,biit all in vitations have been rejected
on account of the devotion stored in his heart for
the people of Bellefontaine. He was solicited to
consider a call to the Presidency of churcli col-
leges, one in Illinois anil anotherin California, but
these offers he h.as also refused. For some time
past he has been urged to accept a call to the city
of Chicago, where he niav vet locate.

^p^Ol'IRK K- LIDLU.M. Among those to
whom the tilling of the soil has proved a
))) remunerative occupation, enabling them
to spend their declining years in the en-
joyment of pea<-e and plenty, is Mr. Ludlum. who
is :it pie-cnl residing on section 1. Franklin Town-



ship, Shelby County. He owns a tract of land
one hundred and sixty acres i" x-iit, which is
adorned witli a cozy and coirfortable dwelling,
■whore he is enjoying the companionship of his
wife and the many friends he has made in this
county. He has proved a valuable addition to
the citizenship of this part of the county, and
besides the work he has done in advancing its

Online LibraryW. O. AbsherPortrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 14 of 76)