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 64 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 64 of 76)
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fin.ally discharged at San Antonio in November,
1865. During the four years .and a half that he
was so bravely upholding the honor of the old
fl.ag on many a bloody battlefield, the Lieutenant
experienced most of the vicissitudes and dangers
inseparable from a soldier's life, and ho had sev-
eral narrow escapes from death. Once a sharp-
shooter in a tree some distance from him selected
Iiim as a target, but luckily a small pine sapling
just in front of him received the bullet intended
for him.

When his military career was ended, Lieut.
Fike returned home, and tlie following year after
his marriage bought property' in St. Mary's, and
resided there nearly a year, being employed in a
mill. At the end of that time, he purchased his
farm on section 8, Noble Township, .and immedi-
ately located on it. He found it a wilderness, the
only attempt at improvement being a small log
house, in which he lived until he replaced it by a
more roomj- and comfortable dwelling. He now
has a finely improved farm .as the result of per-
sistent and intelligent labor, in which he has re-
ceived the cheerful co-operation of his wife. His
place contains eighty acres of land of much fertil-
ity, the buildings are neat and well built, and
ever3'thing is in an orderly condition.

November 29, 1866, is the date of the marriage
of our subject with Miss Cynthia A. IMcDonald, a
native of Fairfield County and a daughter of a
pioneer family of Auglaize County. Her paternal
grandfather w.as born in Ireland and was an emi-
grant to this country. Her parents located in
.Salem Township, and were among its early pio-
neers. Both are now deceased. The happy wedded
life of Mr. and Mrs. Fike h.as been blessed to tliem
by the birth of five children: Samuel B., Mary
L. (deceased), Isora R., Otto W. and .John E.

Lieut. Fike has proved .as good a citizen at
home in his capacity as a public otlicial .as on the
battlefields of tlie Soutli. He has served as



Treasurer of his township three years, and in two
more years he will have licld the i-esponsible oflice
of Justice of the Peace twenty-one yeare. This
ofHce is by no means a sinecure, as there are many
duties attached to it, and he has had to try many
cases and to transact a good deal of law business,
besides frequently performing the marriage cere-
mony for happy couples. The duties of his otfiee
have been discharged by him with wisdom, discre-
tion and unshaken fidelity, and in all his experi-
ence the judgments that he lias passed have only
been reversed by a higher court in one or two in-
stances, as the people have felt that there was no
appeal from the soundness and fairness of his de-
cisions. He is not only well informed in legal
matters, but he has a good fund of general knowl-
edge. The Lieutenant was chosen Land Appraiser
in this township in 1880, and in 1890 wsis ap-
pointed Census Enumerator. He is a member of
the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, and
takes great interest in it. He is an Elder in the
Presbyterian Church, of which both he and his
wife are members.

'\fjOHX A. WERST. If the Old World had not
contributed to the population of the New,
Ohio would not have reached its i)resent
high state of development. Germany h.as
furnished her full quota of excellent men, and
among the prominent families who at an early day
emigrated from tliat country to this, with a view
to bettering their condition, was the Werst family,
an honored representative of whom was our sul>
ject's father, Andrew Werst. He had been in the
army in his native land for many 3"ears, and held
an otticial position when he came to America. He
braved Neptune's tender mercies in 1833, and
after reaching the American Continent, came im-
mediateh' to Ohio, where he entered eighty acres
of land the following ^-ear. He had been married in
hib native couutr\', but after being in this coun-

try about a ye.ar, his wife died. He then removed
to Troy, Ohio, remaining there for several years,
but finally moved back to this township, and
was married to a widow, Mrs. Catherine Walck,
also a native of the Fatherland, and they reared
a family of two children, our subject and Su-
sannah, who died when eight years old. Both
were members of the Catholic Church, and he was
a Democrat, in politics. The father died in 1870,
hut the mother is still living, and is probably the
oldest lady in Auglaize County, being now in her
ninety-fourth year.

It was in 18-tO, in Auglaize County, Ohio, that
our subject began his eartlily career. His scholas-
tic advantages were such as the common schools
afforded, and his early training on the farm fitted
him for his subsequent career as an agriculturist.
It was in 1861, when about twenty-one years of
age, that our subject decided to take unto himself
a wife. He marrie<l Jliss Eliz.abeth Wagner, a na-
tive of Auglaize County, Ohio, and the daughter
of Methius W.agner, and immediately afterward
located on the farm where they now reside. The^-
started with one hundred and tweutj- acres, but
this has since been increased to two hundred and
forty acres, all in a fine state of cultivation. They
have a good residence, with all the modem im-
provements, and the outbuildings are all substan-
tial and commodious. His farming implements are
all of the latest and best make, and all his farming
operations are conducted on the most thorough
and systematic principles.

To this marri.age six children were given, as fol-
lows: Henry J., George A., William E., Amelia M.,
Ella E. and Olena C. Henry J. married JNIiss Ida
Dicker, and is now engaged in the dry-goods busi-
ness at Wapakoneta, Ohio; George A. married Miss
Mary Fre^-er, daughter of William Freyer, and is a
farmer of this township; and William E. married
aiiss Laura Bush, daughter of .Joseph Bush, of this
county, and is now a farmer of this eountv. Mr.
and Mrs. Werst are members of the Catholic
Church, and in politics, he lias ever upheld the
platform of the Democratic party. He has held
the office of Township Trustee. .Tuslice of the Peace,
Commissioner, and has held other local positions.
He is at present Justice of the Peace, and is dis-



charging the duties of that office in an able and
superior manner. lie is one of the representative
men of Auglaize County, is an excellent business
man, and thoroughly understands managing a
farm. His children have all been well educated,
and he has ever takeu a deep interest in church
and school work.


^^EORGE R. DA\^S. This talented young
(II ^——_ lawyer has achieved a high reputation for
^^Jlj legal ability at the Wapakoneta and other
Bare. He w.as born at Huntsville, Logan County,
Ohio, December 13, 1861. He, the second scion
of his father's house, was reared in Auglaize
County, and received the best of all training — a
thorough course in the public schools of Wapako-
neta — and in time graduated from the High School
of that place. When still but a youth, he began
the study of law in the office of Marshall it Broth-
erton, of Wapakoneta, and in July, 1883, was ad-
mitted to the Bar. With characteristic self-reliance,
he opened an office in the town where he had
grown to manhood, and in the midst of able and
experienced competition, lie is enjoying the re-
ward of close aiiplioatiou and diligent pursuit of
his studies.

Mr. Davis is not so dee|)Iy immersed in his pro-
fession that he has lust all interest in public affairs;
on the contrary, he is keenly alive to the current
issues of the d.ay, and h.is advanced liberal and
progressive ideas on all current topics. As Presi-
dent of the Citizens' Building & Loan Company,
Director in the People's National Bank, Director
in the Wapakoneta Natural Gas Company, and
Director of the Home Milling Company, he com-
mands the highest respect and admiration of his
associates many years older in experience than
himself. He has shown his approval of secret or-
ganizations by becoming a member of the Knights
of Pythias. Although he never sought nor held
public office. lie takes an active interest in p<:)litical
matters; has been Chairman of the Republican

Central and Executive Committees of his county,
and is a member of the Republican State Central
Committee of Ohio. He was one of the organi-
zers and first President of the Lincoln Club, of

On December 21, 188G, he was married to Jliss
Emma .J. Davis, of Wapakoneta, but after a brief,
yet happy, wedded life, his wife's death occurred,
July 1, 1889. His second matrimonial alliance
w.as formed on the 16th of October, 1890, Miss
Katharine Scovil, of Circleville, Ohio, becoming
his wife. Mr. and Jlrs. Davis are active members
of the Presb3-terian Church, in which he is an
Elder. In the domestic circle Mr. Davis is a model
husband and father, and loves his family with ex-
treme devotion, making their happiness and com-
fort the chief aim and object of his life. When
the toils of the day are over, he can almost invari-
ably be found at his cozy and comfortable home,
where generous and true-hearted, yet unostenta-
tious, hospitality is displayed to the delight of the
many ft lends who gather beneath their roof.

The parents of Mr. Davis, James and Mary (Col-
ledge) Davis, were both born in England, but came
to America in early life and were married in Ohio.
They were residents of Logan, Clarke and Greene
Counties for a number of years, but finally located
at Wapakoneta, where the father was engaged in
the manufacture of woolen goods until 1882, when
he retired from the active duties of life, and with
his worthy wife is now in the enjoyment of a hale
and vigorous old age. Their other children are:
David J., Edwin L., Lewis G., Wilbert C, Caroline
M., wife of Dr. J. S. Bodwell, and Mary, wife of
Irvin II. Davi^.

<! a-ILLIAM BIMEL. St. Mary's is fortunate
\f\^/// in possessing among the jewels of her citi-
^^j zenshlp young men whose enterprise keeps
business in a lively circulation. Among the most
stirring of these is the gentleman whose name is
at the head of this sketch. He was born in Sidney,



Shelby County, January 27, 1851. His father,
Lawrence Bimel, was a native of Germany, and was
there born in 1827.

Our subject's father came to America with his
parents in 1833, arriving in the country when six
years old. His father w.as a tailor, who souglit for
the betterment of his condition in the New World.
The family settled in Auglaize County, ne.ar AVa-
p.-xkoneta. The country was new and sparsely
settled, and the Bimel family, in common with
nearly all the pioneers, saw some hard times. Al-
though denied all educational advantages, Law-
rence Bimel picked up education enough to enable
liira to transact business intelligently. Having
learned the trade of a blacksmith, he settled at
Sidney, C)hio, where he w.as engaged in the manu-
facture of carriages and in general blacksmithing.
During one of the long and tedious trips K.ast for
material to work with, the foreman of his shop
loaded up all the tools and material that were mov-
able and drove off with it. This was a sad blow
to the prospects of the Bimel family. In 1857,
our subject's father moved to St. Mary's and estab-
lished himself in the same line of business, and in
1868 he erected a large hub and spoke factory.
This was destroyed by fire. In 1872, he began tlie
manufacture of the Bimel Wagon, which has be-
come quite famous. He died in 1888, but had
previously established a large and lucrative busi-
ness. He was a modest, hard-working, industrious

Our subject's mother, Elizabeth (Seitz) Bimel,
also a native of Germany, came to America when
a child. She continues to reside in St. Mary's, oc-
cupying a comfortable brick residence which was
erected by her late husband. Five of their nine
children are still living, and of tliese our subject
is the eldest.

William Bimel received his education in the
pulilic schools of St. ilary's. At the age of nine
years, ho went to work in his father's carri.age shop,
and when only seventeen, w.as m.ade superintend-
ent of the paint department, having previously
mastered the trade. He subsequently became gen-
eral superintendent of the work, doing the buying
and assuming much of the business.

In 18'J1, the carriage W(_jrks became the |)roperty

of a stock company, for which Mr. Bimel is the
general manager. Besides this, he is interested in
other enterprises, being a stockholder, Director,
and holding the ollice of .Secretary and Treasurer
of the Bimel & Standish Manufacturing Company,
which is one of the prosperous industries of St.
Mary's. He is also a stockholder in the First Na-
tional Bank, and has valuable property interests in
the town.

Our subject was married in 1874 to Jliss Carrie
Bradley, a daughter of Dr. .Jacob Bradley, who was
for many jeare a prominent and successful phjsi-
cian of St. Mary's. Mr. and Mrs. Bimel are the
parents of three children, whose names are Ger-
trude, Emma and Marguerite. Mr. Bimel is a
Democrat in his political preference but is not an
active politician. He has served on the School
Board for several years and also in the City

C. B().\LS, one of the prominent mer-
chants in Bcllefontaine, is a native of
Richland County, Ohio. He was born
December 9, 1849, and is a son of Charles
and Sarah .7. (Richie) Boals, both of whom are na-
tives of the same county as is our subject. Charles
Boals is a farmer by occupation, and still lives at
the place of his birth, where he has been eminently
successful in his chosen calling. Of the two sous,
JI. C. and M. R., the latter is an attornej-, a resi-
dent of the same city as our subject.

M. C. Boals was educated in the public schools
in his native place, and later entered Central Col-
lege of Iberia, Ohio. He remained on his father's
farm until about twenty yeare of age, and after
finishing his collegiate course, he was euijaged as
a teacher during the winter months, having a posi-
tion in the public schools; later, he took a position
in the college at Iberia.

When twenty-four years of age. Mr. Buals went
to reuusylvauia, and was accepted as a book-



keeper of the Dicks Bank, at West Newton. During
the l.ittor p.ait of Iiis connection with tliis estab-
lishment he served in the cap.ncity of Cashier. In
this place he spent about three and a half years,
and thence went to Beaver P'alls, in the same State,
where he embarked in the general mercantile busi-
ness, which he carried on quite extensively until
188-t, when he came to Bellefontaine.

Since the date above given, our subject has been
energetic in the prosecution of his calling. He
has occupied the same building up to the present
time. It is a commodious two-story brick struc-
ture at the junction of Garfield Avenue and Co-
lumbus Street. Here he carries a good stock of
general merchandise, including dry goods, grocer-
ies, etc. During his career .as a merchant in this
place, Mr. Boals h.as built up a very satisfactory
business, which is constantl}' on the increase. His
whole attention is given to his business, nor does
he seek anN' publicity.

]M. C. Boals was married February 13, 1884, to
Miss Lulu Piersol, of Beaver Falls, Pa. Our sub-
ject is a member of the Roy.al Arcanum, and both
be and his wife worship with the United Presb}'-


^^ NDRKW H. NICKELL. One of the men
^Ol who has controlled circumstances in life

jjri& and commanded success is Mr. Nickel 1,
(^ a representative farmer of Wayne Town-
ship, Augl.aize County, Ohio. As a m.an of ad-
vanced ideas and tendencies, he is well known all
over Auglaize County, and as a citizen and neigh-
bor he is much esteemed. Born in Logan County,
December 12, 1832, he comes of an old and promi-
nent Virginia family, his father and mother both
being natives of that State, and both born in
Greenbrier County.

At a very early date, the parents emigrated to
Ohio and settled on the .South Fork of the Jlianii
River. Their only neighbors were Indians, but
they enjoyed friendly relations with them and

cleared their farm without any fear of being in-
jured. AVild animals were also very numerous at
that time. On this farm in the wilderness their
two children, William and Andrew, were born.
The mother died about six weeks after the birth
of Andrew. A short time afterward, the father
was again married and, taking his wife and son
William, moved to Missouri. The father died in
Davis County, Mo.

Our subject passed his youthful days amid scenes
of pioneer life and his early scholastic advantages
were such as he could receive in the district and
subscription schools of his day. A portion of the
time he was obliged to walk three miles through
the woods and attended school only about three
months during the year. In this way, he received
his education. At the age of fourteen \-ears, he was
obliged to start out for himself and he first worked
at farming in Auglaize County. When seventeen
years of age, he bought the farm where he now
lives, and at the age of twenty-nine years he was
married to Miss Ann Eliza Herring, a daughter
of Benjamin Herring, of Logan County, Ohio.

After their nuptials had been celebrated, Mr.
and Mrs. Nickell settled on the farm they now-
own on sections 13 and 14, Wayne Township, this
county, and this the}' have improved in every
way. They have added to the original tract until
they now own a fine farm of two hundred and
thirty acres and in comfort and plenty they can
pass the remainder of their days. Both have been
hard-working and industrious citizens, excellent
neighbors, and as such they merit and have the
respect of all. AVe take much pleasure in chron-
icling the history of this worth}' couple. In poli-
tics, Mr. Nickell has been a life-long Democrat.
He h.as held the oflice of Township Trustee twelve
vears, .School Director for the same length of time,
and Township .Supervisor and Pike Supervisor.

In 1861, he enlisted for three yeare in Company
E, Eighty -second Ohio Infantry, as a private, and
w.as first at Camp Simon, Kenton, Ohio. Two
months later, ho went to the front at Grafton, Va.,
and from there to Moorefield, where he was taken
sick with measles. After recovering, he was in the
various battles oi the Army of the Potomac and was
in the second battle of Bull Run, at which eng.age-



inent his regiment was badlj- cut up. On the 20th
of December, 18G1, Mr. Nickell was commissioned
Second Lieutenant and later First Lieutenant, hold-
ing tliat rank in his company until 1862, when he
was discharged for physical disability. He was a
brave and gallant soldier and served his country
faithfully and well. Returning to his home, he
resumed the peaceful pursuits of farming.



V. LUSK is a representative of the f.irmers
of the present generation who have within
a few years stepped to the front to aid in
^^^/ carrj'ing on the great agricultural interests
of this county. His farm, which comprises three
hundred and eighty .acres, is pleasantly located on
section 21, L'nion Township, Auglaize County, and
is amply supplied with every convenience for car-
rying on agriculture.

Benjamin and Cynthia (Compton) Lusk, the
parents of our subject, were natives of Virginia,
the father being Iwra in 1809, and the mother in
1817. They were married in their native State,
and came to Ohio in 1844, locating on section 23
of this township, on a farm which Itore no improve-
ments whatever. A few years later, he took up his
abode on section 26, which he improved, and later
sold in order to locate on section 16, which he
made his permanentabiding-place. This farm also
w.as in its primitive state, and Mr. Lusk. erecting a
log cabin thereon, resided on that place until his
decease, which occurred in 1878. His good wife,
who still survives, makes her home with her chil-
dien, of whom there were nine in number, four of
whora are deceased. Tliose living besides our sub-
ject are Frances, Marion, Xora McDongh and be-
b.astion. The parents of our subject were members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church in early life,
but later attended the United Brethren Church at
L'niopolis. The father was a Democrat in politics,
and, as one of the leading citizens of his township,
held the oflice of Justice of the Boace.

J. F. Lusk w.as born July 2. IH18, on the old

homestead on section 16. He was educated in the
public schools, w.as carefully reared under excel-
lent homo influence, and during his boyhood and
youth had an experience in farm work that has
been invaluable since, as he w.as taught to do things
well, and never to neglect an opportunity to im-
prove his finances by taking advantage of the mar-
kets. He remained at home until his marriage to
Miss Clara, daughter of Adam and Jane (Baily)
Focht, which occurred in 1867. Mrs. Lusk, who
was born in April, 1849, in thistownship, after her
marri.age located with our subject on the old home-
stead, where tliey resided for four jcars. Mr.
Lusk then purcliased his present farm, which in-
cludes three hundred and eighty acres, and in ad-
dition to that owns eighty acres of his father's

The present residence of our subject, which was
erected in 1881, is equipped with all the con-
veniences of modern life and cost $2,300. He
also h.as a large barn which he built in 1882, and
all the other necessary sti-uctures needful for the
storage of grain and shelter of stock. He has laid
a large amount of tiling on the farm, which bv a
proper rotation of cro[>s is made to bloom and
yield a handsome increase.

The two children bom to our subject and his
wife are Frank, who married Fannie Johns, and
Claude, who still remains at home. In politics,
Mr. Lusk is a conservative Democrat.


'^OHN F. LL'KENS, a prominent farmer and
educator, residing two miles south of West
Mansfield, Perry Township. Logan Ci)unty,
Ohio, was born in AVayne Township, AVar-
en County, Ohio, on the 7th of January-, 1824. His
father, Joseph F. Lukins, was a native of Virginia,
and was born in Frederick C'ount3-. where he was
reared and married. He decided that he would take
advantage of the promise held out by the Buck-
eye .State in 1822 and moved within its borders,
locatinsr on a farm in Warren County. In 1833,



he removed from there to tognn County, that
State, settled three miles north from Zanesfield, in
Jefferson Township, and tliere made his home until
1865. After this, he m.ade his home with his son
John F. until his death in the year 1871. His
wife, the mother of our subject, whose maiden
name was Elizabeth Fawcett, was also a native
of the Old Dominion, born in Frederick County,
where she passed her girlhood and youth. She
(lied in Logan County in 1865. Our subject's
paternal grandfather, Jonathan Lukeus. was born
in Berks County, Pa., but subsequently removed
to Virginia, where he passed the remainder of his
days. He was a Quaker in his religious views.
The maternal grandfather, John Fawcett, was a
Quaker and of Irish descent.

Our subject, the second in order of birth of
three childen and the first son, had the adv.antages
of the common schools of early times, and when
twenty-two years of age began teaching during
the winter months. This he continued for eleven
years, and during that time made strenuous efforts
to educate himself, spending his si)are moments in
study. He remained under the parental roof until
his marriage, on the 1st of January, 1863, to Miss
Louisa K. Swartz, the daughter of Martin and
Hannah Swartz, and a native of Stark County,
Ohio. She is a graduate of Mt. Union College,
Stark County, and a lad}' of more than average
intelligence. After marriage, Mr. and Mre. Lukens
located on their present property, which he had
purchased in 1848, and began improving the raw
land. He owned one hundred and twentj- acres
in the woods, and on this the ambitious young
couple settled, prepared to work hard to become
the ownei-s of a comfortable home. In this they
were successful, for now they can sit down and
enjoy the comforts and conveniences brought
about by their early struggles. They are now the
owners of two hundred and forty-four acres of
tine farming land, one of the very best tracts in
the county, and on this are substantial buildings
of all kinds. Apart from the house, Mr. Lukens
has a beautiful office of brick, and this he uses as a
study, having a fine library of standard books.

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 64 of 76)