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ALLEN COUNTY, OHIO
HISTORY & GENEALOGY


 


BIOGRAPHIES

Source: 
History of Allen County, Ohio
And Representative Citizens
Edited and Compiled by
Charles C. Miller, Ph. D.
Assisted by
Dr. Samuel A. Baxter
Lima, Ohio
Published by Richmond & Arnold
George Richmond; G. R. Arnold
Chicago, Ill
1906

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
  JOHN T. ADAMS, one of the best known and most popular citizens of Amanda township, who has resided on his fine farm of 127 acres in section 10 for a half century, was born Feb. 29, 1832, in Champaign County, Ohio, and is a son of Thomas and Mary (Long) Adams.
     The parents of Mr. Adams were natives of Virginia and Kentucky, respectively.  They moved to Amanda township, Allen County, in the spring of 1833, taking their children into the wilderness with the expectation of founding for them a comfortable home and rearing them well, although home might for a time be without the advantages of more civilized localities.  But the father was killed by a falling tree, when our subject was only four years old, an accident not unusual at that time.  The mother was left with five little children to rear, which she did nobly and well, lending two of them to their country in its days of peril.
     Mr. Adams settled in section 10, Amanda township, and built his log cabin on the banks of the Auglaize River, to which the Shawnee Indians often came; but, as far as we have been informed, with no evil intentions.  Mr. Adams did not live to see the results of his several years of industry and probably never even imagined the transformation which has taken place.  A part of his land he secured from the State and the remainder from a Mr. Russell, who resided-near Piqua, to which point the family was obliged to go to mill.  The mother survived to the age of 72 years and to her courage, industry, economy and good management, much of the family prosperity was due.  She was deft in all housewifely arts of her day, could spin and weave, sew, bake and brew and, on occasion no doubt, assisted her sons in their tasks.  Her children hold her in loving remembrance.  They were as follows:  William, now deceased, who enlisted for three years in the Civil War. entering Company A, 81st Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf.; John T., of this sketch. who served 1oo days in Company B, 151st Reg., Vol. Inf.; James, of Champaign County, Ohio; and two deceased.
     John T. Adams very early became accustomed to assist on the farm, and later, with his brothers, William and James, cleared and improved it.  He was reared and educated main ly in Champaign County, to which the family removed about 1839, and was 22 years old when he came back to this county and entered into the serious business of developing a farm out of the forest.  To-day it is one of the most valuable and beautiful farms on the river.  Mr. Adams has added to its natural advantages by erecting a very handsome modern residence which overlooks the Spencerville and Lima turnpike road.  He can relate many interesting incidents of the early days here, when the Indians traversed the forest surrounding the home, in pursuit of the wild game which abounded.
     In 1867 Mr. Adams was united in marriage with Violet Russell, who is a daughter of Joseph and Celia Russell.  She was born on a farm in Champaign County adjoining the one which was his birthplace.  They have one son, Charles F.  The latter was born in Amanda township and was well educated in the public schools.  He manages his father’s farm, the latter having practically retired.  He married Eva Travis and they have four children, viz: Ruth, John, named for his grandfather; James, named for his grand uncle; and Celia, who bears the name of her great-grandmother.
     In 1900 Mr. Adams was elected a trustee of Amanda township and at the expiration of his term was reelected, but resigned in 1905.  He is recognized as one of the useful, reliable and public-spirited men of the locality.
Source:  History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold, Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 858
  C. L. ACKERMAN, wholesale liquor dealer, is one of the influential merchants of Lima, of which city he has been a resident a little more than 10 years.  He was born in 1866 in Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio, where he was educated and commenced his business career.  For about four years he conducted a restaurant and cafe in Mansfield, then came to Lima and also opened a cafe, which he continued until November, 1903, when he engaged in the wholesale liquor trade.  This enterprise has proved most remunerative; two salesmen are kept constantly on the road.
     Mr. Ackerman is identified with several of the leading industries of Lima, being a director of the Allen County Oil Company, and of the Imperial Brewery, now in process of construction.
     Mr. Ackerman was married, in 1895, to Kate Ziegler, daughter of Godfried Ziegler, of Wapakoneta.  One child, Margaret Louise, has been born to them.  Mr. Ackerman is a member of the Odd Fellows, the Eagles, the Red Men and the United Commercial Travelers' Association, and has formed many warm friendships since locating to Lima.
Source:  History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold, Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 682
  FREDERICK ALTSTAETTER, one of the prominent farmers of Monroe township, whose 200 acres of well-improved land are situated in section 29, was born in this township, Jan. 26, 1838, and is a son of Jacob and Catherine (Bucher) Altstaetter.
     The father of our subject was born in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, Feb. 21, 1811, and came to the United States in 1832.  He spent a year in Maryland, where he followed his trade of cabinet-making at Fredericktown, and then removed to Dayton, Ohio, in 1833.  In 1835 he came to Monroe township, Allen County, where a long, busy and useful life was spent.  He owned a very large body of land at one time, but prior to his death he gave his children all but 200 acres.  He learned to speak the English language intelligently, but the German tongue was the one usually heard in the home.  He was a stanch supporter of the Democratic party but never cared for political office.  He was a man of integrity of character and was one of the leading Germans of his locality.  It was through his efforts and generosity that the German Evangelical Church was founded in Monroe township.  At Dayton, Ohio, he was married to Catherine Bucher, who was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, Oct. 26, 1816, and died in Monroe township, in December, 1903.  On the paternal side her people came from Switzerland and settled first in Pennsylvania.
     Our subject is one of 13 children, namely:  Elizabeth, deceased; Frederic; John, deceased; Susannah (Haas), of Lima; Sarah (Zulinger), of Lima; George L., of Monroe township, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Michael, of Lima; Mary (Rummel), of Monroe township; Louisa, Catherine and Bertha, deceased; Philip Jacob, living on the old homestead, whose sketch is given elsewhere in this work; and Abigail, deceased.
     In 1866 our subject was married to Elizabeth Krouse and they resided on her father’s farm in Putnam County for 12 years.  Then Mr. Altstaetter bought his present well-improved farm, where he has carried on general farming and stock-raising ever since.
     Mrs. Altstaetter was born in Richland County, Ohio, Aug. 18, 1847, and was 20 years of age when she accompanied her parents to Putnam County.  They were John and Margaret (Stein) Krouse, natives of Germany, but both of them had come as children to America.  Mr. and Mrs. Altstaetter have three sons, viz.: John, a merchant at Cairo; Charles, who operates the home farm; and George F., who farms in Monroe township.  Mr. Altstaetter and wife are members of the German Reformed Church.  Politically, he is a Democrat.
Source:  History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold, Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 557
  GEORGE L. ALTSTAETTER, proprietor of the "Pleasant Fruit Farm," a fertile tract of 80 acres, situated in section 17, Monroe township, was born in this township, Feb. 5, 1846, and is a son of Jacob and Catherine (Bucher) Altstaetter.
     Jacob Altstaetter
was born in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, Feb. 21, 1811.  Prior to coming to America he worked as a carpenter, and during one year spent in Maryland he continued to follow his trade.  He desired a different field of work, however, and thinking that Ohio would probably afford it he walked to Cincinnati; soon after he removed to Dayton, and while working at his trade there met the estimable lady whom he soon after married.  At that time he was 25 years of age and almost immediately after, in the fall of 1836, he came to Allen County, and in the following spring settled on 40 acres of land, paying out all his capital, $50, for it.  He built a log house and shop on the farm and, as the seasons permitted, alternated between work at his trade and clear ing up his land.  He was deft at furniture making and frequently the midnight hour would find him still at work fashioning chairs, beds and tables for his neighbors, for which they paid him in labor.  A man of his industry could hardly escape accumulating capital, and he continued to invest in land until he finally owned 600 acres, which through his own efforts he almost entirely cleared.  He was a hard worker all his life and expected others to be industrious also. In appearance Jacob Altstaetter was a well-set-up man, five feet in height, with a pleasant, intelligent countenance and shrewd, kindly eyes.  He lived to be almost 88 years of age, dying on the farm on which he had settled, Nov.10, 1898.  He was a stanch supporter of the Democratic party, casting his first presidential vote in 1836.  He was a worthy member of the German Evangelical Church, very active in its work, and during the greater part of his life was one of the trustees.  He was one of the first and prime movers in the project of building the first church of his denomination in the locality, giving first the ground and then the timber, and subsequently presenting the church organ.  He was always liberal in church contributions and his advice and counsel always supported the efforts of the ministers.  He was a good man and a perfect type of the thrifty, industrious, provident, home-building German.
     On Oct. 26, 1816, the mother of our subject was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, not far from Salem; she died in Monroe town ship, Dec. 28, 1903.  She was married on her 19th birthday and accompanied her husband to Allen County in the following spring, living a happy, contented, peaceful and useful life for 63 years thereafter.  Her parents were John and Elizabeth (Miller) Bucher, residents of Ohio, the former a native of Switzerland and the latter, of Virginia.  They became residents of Ohio.  Mr. and Mrs. Altstaetter had 13 children, 12 of whom reached maturity and seven of these still survive.
     Our subject, George L. Altstaetter, has resided in his present school district all his life, and has carried on agricultural work ever since he became old enough to hold a plow, the only kind of farm labor his late father never did.  He remained at home assisting until his marriage, when he was 26 years old.  His father was always just and generous with his children and at this time he gave him an equity of $1,500 in a farm of 80 acres which he chose from other tracts.  Our subject subsequently paid the remainder due to the estate, and settled on the farm in section 17, which he has occupied ever since.  Along with other agricultural operations, including extensive farming and the raising of considerable stock.  Mr. Altstaetter has paid a great deal of attention to the growing of fruit.  In addition to small fruits, he has an apple orchard of four acres.  The fruit-growing is such a feature that the name, “Pleasant Fruit Farm,” is very appropriate.
     In addition to improving his land and adding yearly to its value.  Mr. Altstatter has erected good buildings and a handsome residence, so that the appearance of the place is very attractive.  He has one of the finest homes in the township.
     On Nov. 9, 1871, he was married to Margaret Olt, who was born in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany, on Feb. 24, 1849.  Her parents, Adam and Eva (Orth) Olt, are both deceased, the father dying at the age of 36 years and the mother when 30 years of age.  This is remarkable as all four of Mrs. Altstaetter's grandparents lived to old age, three dying at the age of 80 years and one at the age of 92.  An orphan at the age of 18 years, she came alone from Germany, found plenty of friends in Dayton, Ohio, and, as noted above, four years later was married to our subject.  To this union six sons and six daughters have been born, namely: John, who died in his sixth year; Barbara, who is the wife of Fred Haas, of Dayton; Louise, who is the wife of Samuel Bower, of Napoleon, Ohio; Otto, who died aged four years; Adam, who died aged one year; Anna, who resides at home; and Michael, who is a student in the senior class in Lima College, and is a very bright young man, who can show a 90 per cent average in all his studies; Emma, who died aged four and a half years; Albert, who died aged five years; and Elsie, Oscar and Freda, living at home.
     Mr. Altstaetter has been identified with the Democratic party all his life, and has been his party’s choice for many of the important local offices.  He has served several terms as road superintendent, has been a school director many terms and is now serving his third term as township trustee, having served two terms some 30 years ago.  Like his father he has been a consistent member and liberal supporter of the German Evangelical Church of Monroe township for years and is one of the present trustees, a position he has held many times.
Source:  History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold, Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 532
  PHILIP JACOB ALTSTAETTER, who resides on the old Altstaetter homestead farm of 160 acres, situated in section 18, Monroe township, was born on this farm Aug. 10, 1861, and is a son of Jacob and Catherine (Bucher) Altstaetter.
    
Elsewhere in this work - in the sketches of Frederic and George L. Altstaetter, brothers of our subject—will be found an extended notice of the parents of our subject who were the early founders of the German settlement here, and for many years very prominent residents.  Philip Jacob is the 12th in their family of 13 children.
   
Our subject was reared to plenty of hard work on the home farm. as his father was a man who believed in industry and set the example.  His schooling was obtained in the district schools and he remained at home until 23 years of age.  He then worked at the carpenter’s trade for two years at Dayton and continued to be thus engaged for some four years after he returned to Allen County.  After his marriage, in 1889, he went to Columbus Grove and there first clerked in a dry goods and hard ware store, and then bought a half interest in a furniture and undertaking business there, which he subsequently sold, returning to the old homestead in 1898. Here he has carried on general farming and stock-raising.
    
On Jan. 1, 1889, Mr. Altstaetter was married to Emma L. Miller, who was born Jan. 1, 1868, in Monroe township, Allen County, Ohio, and is a daughter of Henry and Mary (Sauer) Miller, natives of Hesse, Germany, who accompanied their respective parents to America in childhood, the Millers, settling in Pennsylvania, and the Sauers in Ohio.  Mr. and Mrs. Miller had 14 children and the wife of our subject is the third in order of birth.  Mr. and Mrs. Altstaetter have eight children, namely: Emil Henry, Gilbert William, Clifford Jacob, Mary Catharine, Waldo Emerson, Albert Arthur, Clara Helena and Lena Albertina.
     Mr. Altstaetter
is a Democrat.  He belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge at Columbus Grove.  He has the German’s gift of music and is an expert violinist.  Among many interest ing relics in the old homestead, he takes especial pride in a fine violin which was purchased at Antwerp, where he visited in 1885.  This violin was made in Italy after the pattern of one fashioned in 1715.  The old homestead has numerous examples of the cabinet-making skill of his father and some of the pieces of furniture that were made from rough timber in the pioneer days.  He also prizes highly an old family Bible, which is still well-preserved, although it was printed in 1745.
Source:  History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold, Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 514
  R. L. ARMSTRONG, well-known among the attorneys of Lima, is a native of Mercer County, having been born in Celina, where he reached manhood.  His father, Judge Stephen A. Armstrong, is a leading member of the legal profession in Mercer County, and for more than a quarter of a century, an honored and esteemed citizen of Celina.  Judge Armstrong is a native of Canada, but has resided in Mercer County for the past 40 years.  He ahs practiced his profession in Celina for more than 25 years and was, for a time, associated with ex-Senator J. D. Johnson,  Judge Armstrong was prosecuting attorney of Mercer County several years, and is now serving his second term as judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
     R. L. Armstrong graduated from the Celina High School previous to matriculating at the State University of Ohio at Columbus.  He graduated from that institution in the class of 1900, and successfully passed his examinations for the bar, when he at once located in Lima; opening his office in August of the same year.  He is a promising young practitioner, having already established a clientage, whose personnel speaks well for his ability and character.  Mr. Armstrong is an active worker in the interest of good government, and takes a lively _ interest in political questions.  During the Spanish-American War he enlisted in Company A, First Ohio Infantry, U. S. Volunteers, and entered the service as 1st corporal early in 1898.  He was mustered out in November of the same year.  Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Knights of Pythias and is also a Knight Templar Mason.  He was married Dec. 29, 1904, to Della D. Dow, daughter of Colonel C. F. Dow, proprietor of the Hotel Norval.
Source:  History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold, Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 665

Francis Ashton
FRANCIS ASHTON

Source:  History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold, Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 491


John B. Augsburger
JOHN B. AUGSBURGER, one of the substantial farmers and representative citizens of Richland township, is a large land owner, residing on his well
improved homestead in section 10, several miles west of Bluffton, which embraces 80 acres of land; he also owns 135¾ acres in sections 3 and 4.  He was born in a pioneer log cabin in Union township, Wayne County, Ohio, Jan. 18, 1835, and is a son of John and Magdalena (Balmer) Augsburger.
     John Augsburger was born in Neuensberg, Switzerland, where he was educated and lived until he was 35 years of age.   At that time he married and he and his wife departed the following day for America.  They took passage on a sailing vessel, which required three months to make the voyage, but were safely landed in the port of New York and made their way to Wayne County Ohio, where it is probable that other friends had already settled. They lived for 12 years in Wayne County and then located in Allen County, where John Augsburger died, aged 65 years.  The mother of our sub ject was also a native of Switzerland.  She died a few years after coming to Allen County.  The family consisted of five sons and two daugh ters, namely: Benjamin, who died in infancy; John B., of Richland township; Moses, of Richland township; Mrs. Elizabeth Amstutz, deceased; Alidia, widow of Mathias Badercher, of Richland township; Benjamin (2), of Riley township, Putnam County; and Aaron, of Bluffton.
     John B. Augsburger can easily recall the journey from Wayne to Allen County, which took place in May, 1847, when he was 12 years of age.  All the family possessions were taken along.  The great white, covered wagon was drawn by two yoke of oxen, three cows followed peacefully behind, and even the family watch-dog was not forgotten.  The long journey was mostly through the woods, and the route frequently led across streams and over tracks but poorly broken.  When the family arrived at the place where the father. had bought land, they found their only shelter was a log stable, and they were obliged to occupy this until a log house could be built, which was fortunately completed before the winter snows set in.  The beloved mother died in the following year, and the father became so discouraged that he broke up housekeeping, sold the household effects, and for two years boarded his children with the neighbors.  Mr. Augsburger subsequently recalled the children and once more a family home was established.  Our subject remained there eight years and then worked in the neighborhood for a year and eight months.  He learned to make shoes and for four winters before leaving home he busied himself at his trade, finding patrons in the neighborhood who were pleased with his work, his industry and his perseverance.  When he was 21 years of age, one of his first purchases was an axe, with which he cleared timber land for other parties.  He also learned the business of shingle making, which at that time was entirely hand work.  That Mr. Augsburger became a very expert workman may be imagined when it is stated that he, with a companion, made 70,000 shingles from a tree that grew where the Cratz Church now stands, the body of which was 70 feet high and seven feet in diameter.  In the following fall he helped to cut timber to build the largest bank barn in this vicinity, which still stands and is 46 by 109 feet in dimensions.
     During the following summer Mr. Augsburger worked until the latter part of August on this structure and then returned to Wayne County, where he was married Sept. 3, 1857.  He returned to Allen County, bringing his bride with him, and remained with his brother-in-law, C. U. Amstutz, until he had completed a comfortable hewed-log cabin on his present farm and in which the house-warming was held on Dec. 24, 1857.  During that winter he made 300 pounds of maple sugar and 60 gallons of maple molasses, and cleared 18 acres of his land.  He continued the improvements of his property for 14 years and then built his first frame barn; previously he had built a log house, a log barn, horse stable, corn crib and wagon shed, all serving their purposes until he was prepared to make more modern 1mprovements.  In 1873, two years after building the barn, he erected his present convenient and attractive residence, and in 1876 he completed other substantial buildings on his place.  In 1877 a convenient summer kitchen was built, adding greatly to the comfort of the inmates in hot weather; he completed his improvements by building, in 1880,  first-class workshop.  Few mechanics have a better equipped shop than Mr. Augsburger, and it may be remarked, few know better the use of tools.
     Mr. Augsburger has been generous in his support of the Swiss Mennonite Church. He gave an acre of land to the church and assisted in the construction of the present church as well as the one that preceded it.  The school house of District No. 2 stands on his homestead tract of 80 acres, opposite the church.
     At one time Mr. Augsburger had the best orchard in the vicinity, but a severe storm in 1895 partially destroyed it.  He has a fine system of ditching and drainage, and has thus in a marked degree, increased the productiveness of his land.  He devotes his attention mainly to the growing of live-stock, and raises large crops of corn, wheat, hay and clover.  He has a fine farm in which he takes a reasonable pride, for he has worked faithfully in its developing and literally brought it out of the woods.
     On Sept. 3, 1857, Mr. Augsburger was united in marriage with Barbara Neuenschwander, who was born in East Union township, Wayne County, Ohio, Mar. 22, 1834, and died on the present farm of our subject, July 8, 1900.  She was a daughter of Ulrich and Elizabeth (Basinger) Neuenschwander, who were born in Germany near the Switzerland line. The children of our subject and wife were: Elizabeth, who is the wife of Daniel Moser, of Riley township, Putnam County; Leah, who died in infancy; Daniel, who died aged eight years; John, who died aged seven.  years; Sarah, who died in infancy; Mary, the wife of Peter J. Moser, of Richland township; Lydia, the wife of David Burkholder, her husband operating Mr. Augsburger’s second farm; Magdalena, the wife of Amos Neiswander, of Richland township; Barbara, who died aged eight years; Susan, the wife of Amos Thut of Richland township; and Lavina, the wife of M. S. Burkholder, who manages our subject’s home farm.
     Mr. Augsburger has been a stanch and life long Democrat, but has never accepted political office.  He is a devoted member of the Mennonite Church and has assisted in the erection of three religious edifices, and has otherwise liberally contributed to the cause of religion.  A portrait of Mr. Augsburger acompanies this sketch.
Source:  History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold, Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 731
  WILLIAM C. AUGSBURGER, manager and half owner of the Arras Cream Separator Company, of Bluffton, was born in Bluffton, Aug. 23, 1874, and has been a continuous resident of the town.  His parents are Frederick and Sophia (Villiard) Augsburger.
     The father of our subject was born in Switzerland and came to Bluffton with his parents when a child of six years.  He married in Wayne County, Ohio, and both he and his wife resides at Bluffton.  Their children are:  William C., of this sketch; Lulu, wife of Ross Bogart, of Bluffton; Elfa, wife of Frank Moran of Mount Cory, Ohio, and Elmer, still at school.
     While our subject was still a pupil at school, he assisted in his own maintenance, employing his spare time in selling newspapers.  When 21 years of age his small earnings having been saved by his careful mother, he was able to buy a lot and was prepared to build a house on it.  The thrift taught him by his excellent mother has assisted greatly in his success as a business man.  When 16 years old he left school and clerked in a hardware store for a year and a half at Beaver Dam and for the same period at Kenton, and then for eight years at Bluffton for John Fett.  In 1901, with Mr. Fett, he entered into partnership in the manufacture of cream separators and they formed the company which does such a large business under the name of the Arras Cream Separator Company.  Employment is given 15 competent persons at the factory, and it is one of the town’s flourishing industries.
     In 1895, Mr. Augsburger was married to Belle Lewis, who was born at Bluffton, and is a daughter of W. I. and Eliza Lewis.  They have four children, viz.: Hazel, Donald, Howard and Villiard.
     In political affiliation, Mr. Augsburger has always been a Democrat.  He has taken an active part in local affairs, is a member of the Town Council and is chairman of the finance committee.  Fraternally he belongs to two organizations —the Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America.  He is one of the leading business men of the community.
Source:  History of Allen County, Ohio, Publ. by Richmond & Arnold, Chicago, IL - 1906 - Page 629

NOTES:

 

 

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