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 32 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 32 of 76)
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engage in farming until 1866. when he removed to
St. Mary's and burned lime on the canal a few years,
operating two kilns, .and manufacturing a large
amount of lime. In 1876, he entered the grocery
business, and two years later purchased his present
establishment just across from his first location on
Spring Street. He carries a large and varied stock
of the articles enumerated in the first part of this
noliee. haviiii; everything of the liejt. and he
comniand> tin extensive trade, nut onlv amoui;



the city people, but he is well p.itronized by
the country folks for miles .aiound. He is .an
excellent liusiness man, tends closely to all the
details in his operations, and is alive to all that
will promote his financial interests. He is whole-
souled and kind-hearted as a man, and is gener-
ous and public-spirited as a citizen, who lias always
sought to benefit the city of his adoption in every
possible way. He li.as been of inestimable service
as an office-holder, serving as Justice of the Peace,
as a member of the Council, etc. Politic^ly.ho is
a Democrat, with sound views on party rjueslions.
Both he and his wife have been very active in the
upbuilding of the Catholic Church of St. Maiy's,
of which the}' are devoted members, and he li.as
been Secretary and Treasurer of the society for
several j'ears.

\l^ UCHI T. RIXEHART. To this gentleman
if J and his associates, Auglaize County is
Ai^ largely indebted for the rapiii advance it
(<?); li-is made in agriculture diu-ing the past
half-eontiu'v. He is one of the foremost farmers
of Union Township and occupies an important
place in business circles. The homestead, which
is pleasantly located on section 14. formeily in-
cluded eight hundred and forty acres, but since
^Ir. Rinehart has given each of his children a farm,
he has only retained a quarter-section for his own

The parents of our suljject. (TCOrgo ami Hannah
(Sibert) Rinehart. were natives respectively of Taze-
well and Botetourl Counties. Va.. and both died
years ago. The father was a soldier in the War of
lS\-2. occupying the position of Captain of his cvm-
pany. Grandfather Rinehart w.as killed by Indians
during the Revolutionary "War. Oursubject, whois
the only survivor of the parental family of ten
children, was liorn October 23. 1813, in Tazewcli
County, \-A.. and w.as there reared on a farm. His
mother dying when he was four years of age. his
father was married a second time .ind he w.is

brought up by his stepmother until attaining his
seventeenth year, when he left home and appren-
ticed himself to learn the blacksmith's trade.

The lady to whom our subject was married in
1833 was .Juliana Godfrey, who w.as also born in
Tazewell County, Va.. November 1. 1813. Three
years after their marriage, the young couple emi-
grated to Oliio and located on what is now the
present home of our subject, but which was then
in a perfectly wild state. Mr. Rinehart erected a
log cabin on his new farm, which comprised eightv
acres, and by hard work and good management,
cleared and improved the same. He has been a
resident of this place for fifty-five years and all
his children were born on the homestead with the
exce[ition of two. Jlrs. Rinehart departed this
life .June 13, 1881. She was the mother of eleven
children, four of wliom are living, viz: Arnold P.,
John A., Sarah C. (Mrs. Graham), and Adam F.

The original of this sketch li.as been a member
of the Methodist Ejiiscopal Church since sixteen
years of .age, during which time he h.as been Circuit
Steward for thirty years. Recording Steward for
twenty years and Class-leader for twelve vears.
He has also been a member of the Grange for fif-
teen yeai-s, and during that time served .as Master
for five years and M.aster of the Subordinate
Grange for three years. He received a fair educa-
tion in his younger d.ays and taught school for
some time. His interest in educational affairs has
caused him to be pl.aced on the .School Board, and
in the cap.acity of Director he li.as made many re-
forms in the school system in his district. He has
ahv.ays voted the Democratic ticket, castina his
first ballot in 1836. for President A'an Burcn.

As the following will indicate, Mr. Rinehart has
been very prominent and ijopular in local atfairs,
serving his fellow-townsmen as Justice of the
Peace for twelve years, and was the fir. - t Countv
Commissioner in Auglaize County. He was also
Chairman of the first County Board, and at the
present time is the only survivor of that bod v.
Mr. Rinehart h.as been a candidate at two different
times for the State Legislature, but on both occa-
sions was defeated by a small majoritv. During
the years IS.'JO and 1860. he w.as a member of the
State Board of Equalization and has been a Trus-



tee, Clerk and Assessor of Union Township for
man}- j'ears. He acted as Land Appraiser while
this section was still a portion of Allen County,
and appraised the four eastern townships iu Au-
glaize County.

John Rinehart, a son of our subject, w.os a soldier
in the Civil War, joining Company D, Fifty-fourth
Ohio Infantry. Our snliject has also held many
military offices, and wliile residing in Virginia,
was Lieutenant in the State Militia, and in this
State has served as Captain of a company, and
was later made Lieutenant and Colonel of the
State militia. Among his lodge comrades and his
business acquaintances, he is highly esteemed as a
man of sterling worth, and knowing that he well
deserves representation in this volume, it is with
ple.asure that we present this sketch to our readers.
For sixteen years he acted as Postmaster in this
township, the postolfice being in his own house.

^1? EWIS KRAMER. Were it necessary for
I {?§) us to include in the sketch of Mr. Kramer
JI - W any items pertaining to his skill and ability
as a builder, perhaps tlie greatest compliment that
could be paid him would be for us to point out
those monuments of his handiwork which now
gr.ace so many homesteads in Logan County.

Mr. Kramer was born near Bellefontc, Centre
County, Pa., on the 24th of .luly, 1818, and his
father, Joseph Kramer, was also a native of tliat
State, born in Lancaster County. The latter was
a blacksmith by trade, following that trade all
his life, lie came to Ohio at an early date, loca-
ted in Madison County near Plain City, and there
followed his trade. He became the owner of two
good farms, but after retiring from business loca-
ted in West Jefferson, that county, where his
death occurred when eighty-two years of age.
His wife, whose maiden name was Jlary Brown,
was also born in Centre County, Pa., and received
her tinal summons in Plain City, when fifty-five
vears of age. Thirteen children were born to

them, seven sons and six daughtei-s, ten of whom
reached mature j'ears, but only one, it is thought,
besides our subject, is now living.

The eldest son and third child in the familj-,
the original of this notice, was reared to manhood
in his native State, and received a fair education
in Centre ^'alley. When eighteen yeare of age,
he began learning the carpenter's trade with Jacob
Gist, at .Spring Mills, Centre Count}', Pa., remained
with him four years, and then commenced to con-
tract in Venango County, wliere he remained for
thirteen years. He was married in Xovember,
1839, to Miss Julia Ann Bradley, a native of Cen-
tre County, Pa., and in IS.'jl he and his wife lo-
cated in Huntsville, L(^gan County, Ohio, wliere
he followed the carpenter's trade for three j'ears.
From there, they went to Bellefontaine, where Mr.
Cramer was engaged in the foundry business for
four J'ears. He then sold out and came to Rush-
sylvania in 18G0, and eng.aged in contracting and
building, which he carried on verv successfully un-
til 1878, when he built the Kramer .Sawmill, the
first in the place, and operated this for fifteen
jears. He was verj' successful as a carpenter and
builder and was a verj' skillful and popular work-
man. To his first marriage were boi'n twelve
children, seven sons and five daughters, who
were as follows: Marj' (deceased), Roljert (de-
ceased), Joseph (deceased), Amanda (deceased);
John, a resident of Rush Creek Township, this
countv; James, of Bellefontaine; Samuel, of Find-
laj'; Imilda. wife of L. Shaul, of Findlay; Martlia,
wife of James Goodlove; Lewis, of Findlav, an
architect and builder; Barbara, wife of William
Sherman, of Bellefontaine, and Charley (de-
ceased). The mother of these children passed
aw.ay on the 29tli of November, 1891. .she was a
Methodist Episcopal in her religious views.

Mr. Kramer's second marriage was to Jlrs. Mary
E. (PuUins) Parker, widow of John Parker, and a
native of Illinois, born June 16, 1844. She was
brought to Champaign County, 111., by her parents
when two j'ears of age and there she grew to mature
years. The following children were born to her
marriage, viz.: Catherine (deceased); Charles, of
Bellefontaine; Elmer, of Logan County; Mary,
wife of I. Wickersham, of Logan County; Ella,



wife of Justin Elliott, of Logan County; Elvin,of
Bellefontaine; Addio, single, who resides with her
sister Mary; Perry (deceased) and Ilarrie. at home.
Mr. Kramer has retired from the active duties of
life and has a comfortable home in this count\'.
He owns two dwellings in Rushsylvania and still
owns the sawmill operated by him in former yeai-s.
In politics, he votes the Prohibition ticket and has
ever been a stroua: temperance man. He was
oi'iginalU- a Whig in politics, afterward a Republi-
can, and in late years has voted the Prohibition
ticket. He has held tlie othce of School Director
and Trustee and has been a member of the Method-
ist Episcopal Church since seventeen yeai-s of age.
He is one of the Trustees of tlie same and a man
highlv esteemed in the communitv.

ILIJAM COUNTS. The farming interests
'11 of Dinsnioro Township are well repre-
sented b^' this gentleman, who is classed
among the most progressive and wide-awake
young agriculturists of Shelby County. He is a
native of this State, having been born in Sidney,
Octol)er 13, 1849, and is a son of the Hon. Jona-
than Counts, who was born October 19. 1811. in
Rockingham County. A'a.

The great-grandfather of our subject w.is one of
three brothers who .emigrated to America from
HoU.and m the Colonial days, one of them locat-
ing in Maryland, one in Pennsylvania, while the
great-grandfather settled in Virginia. The pa-
tronymic was tlien spelled Kuontz. but has since
been changed. The ancestor of our subject just
mentioned lived to the advanced age of one hun-
dred and fijur years, and was a large land-owner,
the tobacco on bis plantation being cultivated by
negro slaves. Three of his sons lived to be over
ninet\' ^■eai's of age: one of them w.as killed by
the Indians in A'irginia in ITtJG. and the powder
horn which was found on his person i^ now in
the possession of our suliject.

Ad.am Counts, the grandfatlier of our subject,

came to this State iu 1816, and, locating in Madi-
son County, made his home there for three vears,
when he came to Shelby County, and settled in
Salem Township, being one of the first men to take
up Government land in this section. The patent
for his land was signed by President John Quiucy
Adams, and is still among the treasures of the fam-
ily. The country was then inhabited by Indians,
who many times camped on a portion of his farm.
Mr. Counts hauled the first load of goods from
Cincinnati to Sidney, to which former place he
conveyed his grain with a sis-hoi-se learn, receiv-
ing thirty-three cents a bushel for wheat. He
cleared and improved his farm, upon which he re-
sided until his decease, which occurred in 1850.

The grandfather of our subject was three times
married, there being born of the first union
four children, of the second sis, and of the
third four. Jonathan Counts, the father of our
subject, was the third child in order of birth of
the first marriage of his father, and was never
permitted to attend school more than two }-ears
during his life, thus being self-made in all that the
term implies. The maiden name of his mother
W.IS Elizabeth Whitmyer; she w.is a French ladv,
and was finely educated. He was very studious in
his habits, a close observer, and when reaching his
majority leanied civil engineering and surveying.
He entered land for other parties, surveyed it, and
sent plats of the property along with the patent.
The lady to whom Mr. Counts was married
early in the '30s was Mrs. Annie C. (Travins)
Worst, a native of Germany, who came to this
country with her parents when fourteen years
of age. After his marriage, he located in the city
of Sidney, and while residing there w.as elected
County Surveyor, and served in that position for
twelve years. He w.as also Deputy County Clerk
under C harles Wells, and w.os later elected County
Clerk, serving a period of three terms, in the
meantime acting as Probate Judge of the county.
He was a man of pure character and lofty prin-
ciple, who was ever an inlluence for good in his

April i, 1862. the elder Mr. Counts, with his
family, removed to the old homestead in Salem
Township, where the father died September 2.



1885. He was a Colonel of a company of militia,
and in 1873 was elected to represent Shelby
County in the State Legislature, serving for a
term of two years, during which time he was
placed on many important committees. Not-
withstanding the disadvantages under which he
labored in obtaining an education, the wide fund
of information which he possesses is due to his
own efforts. He displayed rare business cpialifica-
tions in private afifaii's. and. as a great reader, so
assimilated that which he read and observed, that
he proved a most entertaining companion and fine
conversationalist. At liis death, he left a fine
library, which contained a varied collection of
choice books.

.Tonathan Counts was twice selected as Land
Appraiser,, and surveyed the principal towns of
this county and most of the pikes in Shelby Coun-
ty, his first work in tliis line being on the canal.
He also surveyed the Dayton Ar Michigan and the
Big Four Railroads. He was also a successful busi-
ness man, and at his decease left a comfortable for-
tune, he being the owner of several hundred
acres of land, and also property in Sidney. He
affiliated with the Democratic party, in whose
ranks he was an active and influential worker,
having been delegate to the Democratic conven-
tion which met at Cincinnati in 1860. His wife,
who is still living, has attained her seventy-second
vear. and is a devoted member of the Lutheran

"William Counts of this sketch is the fourth
child in the parental family of twelve children,
six of whom are living. He attended the schools
in Sidney from the age of five to twelve years,
and supplemented the knowledge gained therein
bv a course in a select school at Port Jetferson.
He remained at linme until about twenty-five
years of age. working on the public pikes for two

Jlarch 11, 1877, he moved ti.i his farm on sec-
tion 24, Dinsmore Township, which has since been
his place of residence, and on March 1, of the
same year, was married to Miss Anna Mowry, who
was born in Sidney, and was the d.aughter of
Daniel and Elizabeth (Davis) Mowry, the former
born in Pennsvlvania in 1820, and the latter in

Ohio in 1830. The father of Mrs. Counts accom-
panied his parents to this State when thirteen
years of age, they locating in JIcLean County.
On attaining his eighteenth year, he learned the
trade of a cabinet-maker, which he followed sev-
eral years after coming to Sidney. Mr. Mowry
later located on a farm two miles north of that
village, where he lived until lus decease, Septem-
ber 6, 1874. He made a specialty of breeding
fine horses, and in this way did a great deal for
the people of this section by introducing into the
county a fine grade of those animals. He was
actively interested in every measure which would
upbuild his community, and was prominent and
influential in local affairs. The mother, who was
a devoted member of the Jlethodist Episcopal
Church, reared a family of twelve children, and
departed this life in 1882.

To Mr. and 3Irs. Counts have been born one
son, Edward Milton, who was born January
13, 1880. Our subject is engaged in mixed farm-
ing, cultivating one hundred and six acres of
land on section 4, and, besides raising the cereals,
breeds a fine grade of stock. He is a Democrat in
politics, and conducts his affairs in a business-like
manner, so that he enjoys the confidence of all
with whom he deals, and is well thought of in his
community. Mrs. Counts is a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church.

ii^^t ^ I ^ EC^^HI

<^ IklLLIAM ESTEY. Of the men who are
\/\'/i successfully prosecuting agricultural work
^^i^' in Shelby County, it may well be said that
their name is legion. One who is pleasantly lo-
cated in .Salem Township is he whose name intro-
duces this sketch and who operates seven hundred
and sixty acres of good laud, raising all kinds of
stock besides the crops which are best suited to this
section of country.

David K^stey, the father of our subject, was born
July 31, 1702, in New Brunswick, where lie fol-
lowed the calling of a farmer. His wife bore the


^isatgais. au-ag ~- jy>;:^3s>js;




name of Aun Kuoop and was born March 19, 1792,
in Pennsylvania; she was a dausrliter of Michael
Knoop, also a native of the Keystone State. The
parents were married in New Brunswick in July,
1813, and, on coming to Ohio in 1822, located on
a wild farm in Lost Creek Township, Miami County,
where they passed the remainder of their life, the
mollier dying; in 1865 and the father in 1866. The
elder Mr. Kstey was a consistent member of tlie
Baptist Church, while his good wife cast in her lot
with tlie Jlethodists. Tlie father w.ai a very
wealth}- man, and in addition to carrying on a
large farm operated a sawmill which brought him
in a handsome income. lie was a man of keen
business capacity and contributed liberally of his
means to the prosperity of his adopted township.
In earh' life, he w.as a Whig, but joined the Repub-
lican party on its organization, the interests of
which he advanced in various w.ays.

He of whom wc write was one in the parental
family of eleven children, two of whom are de-
ceased. He was born April 6. 1828, in Miami
County, this State, and. like other farmer lads, at-
tended school held in a log house with its primi-
tive furnishings. He remained under the parentiil
roof until reaching his majority, when he received
of his father ¥200. He later sold out to his brother-
in-law, H. G. DeWeese, of Miami County, and going
to Indiana, remained there for a short time and
then returned home in time to secure his wheat

In September, 1850. William Estey and ^liss
Eliz.abeth, daughter of Jesse and Catherine (De-
Weese) Kerr were united in marriage. Her par-
ents were residents of Jliami County, where her
birth occurred. The year of his marriage. Mr. Es-
tey removed to l(.iwa and located on a farm in
iluscatine County, where his wife died. ,lune •'!.
185-1, having become the mother of two chihUen.
one of whom is living. .Sarah C, Jit's, .i. M. French.
This daughter had previously been married to Syl-
vester Wells, by which union were born live chil-

After the death of his wife, our subject returned
to Miami County, where, in February, 1855, he was
married to Mrs. Catherine Hobbins, nee Byers. His
third marriage occ\irred in 1863, at which time

jNIiss Sarah Dixon, who was born in the above-
named county August 1, 1826, became his wife.
They became the parents of two children, both of ■
whom are deceased, as is also the wife and mothei'
who died March 12, 1877. The present wife of Mr.
Estey, to whom he was married April 7, 1878, bore
the maiden name of Nancy X. B.aker. She is a sister
of William JI. Baker, of Van Buren Township, this
county, and the daughter of Moses E. and I.ucretia
(.leffr.as) Baker, the former of whom was born in
1804, and the latter in 1806, in Butler County, this
State. Mr. and JIi-s. Baker after their marriage
moved to Cincinnati, and in 1835 came to Shelby
County, and entered a quarter-section of land on
the Hardin and Wapakoneta road, where thev were
residing at the time of their death, which occurred
in 1847 and 1885. respectively. Of their family of
six children, five are living. Clarke.I., their son, who
served in the Benton Cadets during the iate war,
died in the hospital at St. Louis, Mo. Mrs. Baker
w.as a member of the Methodist Protestant Church,
and her father, who w.as a very prominent man in
the township, served as Justice of the Pe.ace while
residing in \'an Buren Township, and in politics
was a DenK.icrat. Mrs. Estey w:\s born November
20, 1836, in the above-named township, and at-
tended the first school organized in lier district. She
was first married to I'ranklin Ddl, and they had two
sons. James X. and Franklin, both of whom reside
in Shelliy County. Jlr. and Jlrs. Estey are the
parents of one son. Clyde, who w.os born September
7. 1880.

Mr. Estey. in 1856. removed to Iowa and there
made his home until 1863, when he took up his
abode on two hundred acres of land in Dinsmore
Town.-hip. this county. His wife is a member of
the Methodist K|iiscopal Church and takes an active
part in all the meetings of that body. Socially,
our suliject is a member of the Independent Order
of ()dd Fellows and is also connected with the
Farmers' Alliance. He occupies a high pl.ace in
local affairs and h.as been Township Trustee of
Dinsmore and Salem Townships, in which former
place he was instrumental in organizing the Estey
Grange, of which he was Overseer. He votes a
straight Republican ticket in politics, and is one of
the stauchest supjiorters of that party. His estate



is thoroughly draiued by five thousand rods of
tiling; the land is admirably tilled and adorned
with a neat and substantial set of bnildinu^s for
every needed purpose.

On another page a view of the residence and
rural surroundings will be noticed.


<X\ &ILLIAM KRAPF. The industrial inler-
\/\li/ '^^^^ '^^ Wapakoneta are ably represented
^^' by our subject, who is the proprietor of a
planing mill and is engaged in the manufacture of
all kinds of doors, wintlow frames, and porches.
A native of this State, he was born in Daj-ton,
February 4, I80I, to Killian and Annie (Will)
Krapf, natives of Germany.

The parents of our subject, after emigrating to
tliis country, were married in Little York, Pa.,
whence tliey came to Dayton, this State, and there
the father prosecuted his trade of a cabinet-maker.
He was a man of such integrity that his promise
was as good as his bond, and his de.ath, which oc-
curred in 1867, was keenly felt by the entire com-
munity. The mother, who survived her husband
many years, departed this life in 1886. They were
the parents of three sons and two daughters.

■William Krapf, of this sketch, has two sisters
living, namely-; Callie (Mrs. Daniel B. High), and
Katie, who resides in Dayton. Our subject re-
ceived his education in the schools of Dayton,
and when ready to start out in life on his own ac-
count learned the trade of a caliinet-maker from
his father. He remained thus employed in Day-
ton until 1876, when, in January' of that year, he
came to this city and for eleven years was engaged
as foreman for Swink Bros. A' Co., furniture man-
ufacturers. He was well qualified to fill that re-
sponsible position, for prior to leaving Dayton he
was for five years foreman of the large furniture
establishment of Parrott Ac Gilbert.

In October, 1891, Mr. Krapf leased his present
large building and is engaged in carrying on a lu-
crative business. He is truly a self-made man and

has met with both friendship and financial success
in his journey through life. There is nothing so
well calculated to bring out all the energj- and am-
bition a man possesses as the necessity in early life
of making his own way. Our subject started at
the bottom round of the ladder and has climbed
upward without any other assistance than his
courteous manners and good judgment.

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 32 of 76)