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Darke County, Ohio
History & Genealogy


A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio

Compendium of National Biography
Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company



WILLIAM ELLSWORTH GEORGE is a dealer in all kinds of grain and field seeds, and is also freight and ticket agent for the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Company and agent for the Adams Express Company at Gettysburg. He is well known in Darke county, where he has spent the greater part of his life. A review of his career shows him to be a self-made man. He is a man who has conquered many difficulties and has worked his way up to a leading position among the representative citizens of his locality, being justly entitled to the high respect and esteem in which he is uniformly held by all who know him.
William E. George was born in Gettysburg, Adams county, Pennsylvania, June 6, 1835, and is of German descent.  His father, George George, was a native of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, born in 1812, and in early manhood left that country and came to America, locating in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he worked at the blacksmithing trade which he had learned prior to his emigration to the new world. Not long after locating in the Keystone state he married Miss Mary Bishop, a native of Adams county, Pennsylvania, of Dutch descent. She was born in 1815, and their marriage occurred in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where they spent their remaining days. Mrs. George departed this life on the 24th of December, 1843, while the father of our subject passed away in 1879. They became the parents of three sons and two daughters. The daughters died in infancy. The sons reached manhood, but at this writing the subject of our sketch is the only one living. The two deceased brothers were Samuel S. and Henry F., and both were Union soldiers in the civil war. Samuel S. responded to the first call for troops from Pennsylvania, went out in the three months' service and at the end of that time reenlisted, for a term of three years. At the close of the three years he again reenlisted, this time for three years or during the war, and continued in the army, until the war ended. He died at McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Henry F. enlisted from Darke county, Ohio, and was in the army three years. He died at Newport, Ohio, from the effect of exposure and hardship incurred while he was confined in Libby prison. By a subsequent marriage the father of our subject had other children, three of whom are living, namely: John P., a resident of Baltimore, Maryland; Jacob, also of Baltimore; and Anne E., the wife of James McGonigal, now of Youngstown, Ohio.
     William E. George spent his boyhood days in the state of his nativity, where he received his preliminary education in the district schools. He afterward entered the preparatory department of Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg, where he pursued the academic course. At the age of twenty years he began teaching in the vicinity of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and followed that profession for three years in the Keystone state. In September, 1857, he removed to Darke county, Ohio, locating in Washington township, where he was employed as a teacher in the district schools, following that pursuit for a period of about seven years. During that time he spent nine and a half months in each year in the schoolroom. His labors were very satisfactory and he became known as one of the most capable instructors in this part of the state. On the 13th of January, 1861, Mr. George was united in marriage to Miss Deborah Harriet Fouts, who was a native of Indiana, born in South Bend, St. Joseph county, on the 16th of October, 1840, and a daughter of David Fouts. Her parents were both natives of Maryland, and at an early date in. the history of the Hoosier state they took up their abode in Indiana. On the 4th of June, 1863, the death messenger en­tered the household of Mr. George and called from earth to heaven his beloved wife. After her death he sold all of his real and personal property and followed his profession of teaching in different localities. He also pursued a course of study in Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College in Indianapolis, where he was graduated in the fall of 1865.  He then came to Gettysburg, Darke county, Ohio, and resumed his profession of teaching at various places in Adams and Franklin townships, again being connected with educational interests for eight years. On. the 28th of December, 1865, he celebrated. his second marriage, Miss Sarah Margaret. McDowell becoming his wife. She was born in Adams township, Darke county, January 4, 1844. Her parents came to this county from Franklin county, Pennsylvania,. and were of Scotch lineage. They located. here at an early date and took an active inter­est in the development and upbuilding of this portion of the state. Mrs. George was also a competent teacher and both continued teaching until 1872, when in July of that year the subject of this review was appointed to the position of freight and ticket agent of the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Company and of the Adams Express Company at Gettysburg. At the same time he began dealing in grain and livestock and is still actively connected with that branch of trade. He is one of the oldest employes of the railroad and his long term of service is ample evidence of his worth and of his fidelity to the interests of the company. From time to time he has bought and sold land, making some valuable investments, and at the time of this writing, in the fall of 1900, he is the owner of two good farms, one comprising fifty-four acres, the other eighty acres of land.
     By his first marriage he had but one child, Charles Ambrose, who was born December 3, 1862, in Hill Grove, Ohio, who is now engaged in the coal, flour and feed business in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he also conducts a boarding stable. His mother 'died when he was only six months old. By his second marriage Mr. George had One daughter, Myrtle Agglea, who was born October 10, 1871, and died February 15, 1893.
     In matters of public moment Mr. George has taken a deep interest and he has labored earnestly for the welfare of the community in which he resides. His fellow townsmen, appreciating his worth and ability, have frequently called him to public office. He was appointed deputy United States marshal in 1870, having in charge a district comprising Adams, Franklin, Van Buren and Monroe townships. In politics he has always been a stanch Republican, unswerving in his support of the party. For twelve years he was township clerk and for a similar period he was a member of the school board. The cause of education has ever found in him a warm friend and in his official capacity he has largely promoted the interests of the schools, which are now creditable institutions. He was reared in the faith of the Lutheran denomination and joined that church in Pennsylvania, but after coming to Ohio he became identified with the Presbyterian church, in which he has filled many offices, serving as deacon, trustee, clerk and treasurer. His business affairs have been attended with creditable success and he has ac­cumulated considerable property that has come to him as a reward of his earnest and honorable labor, coupled with the assistance of his noble wife. He started upon an independent business, career without any of this. world's goods, and when he came to Ohio he borrowed fifty dollars of his brother to bring him to his new home. So low were the wages paid to teachers at that time that he was not enabled to discharge his entire indebtedness for two years.  Many obstacles and difficulties have barred his progress toward prosperity. He had the mis­fortune of losing his right arm on the 19th of February, 1844, while feeding a threshing machine two miles south of Gettysburg. This would have discouraged most people meeting with such an accident, but he possesses an indomitable will and perseverance, and in this way he has been enabled to wrest fortune from the hands of an adverse fate. In all his dealings he is strictly honorable and has the unequaled confidence of those with whom he has been associated. He is a man of strictly temperate habits, using neither tobacco nor intoxicants of any kind and has done earnest and efficient work in the cause of temperance. His has ever been an honorable and useful career, commanding the high respect of. his fellow townsmen. In manner he is courteous and genial and he has the happy faculty of not only winning friends but also of drawing them closer to him as the years pass by. Few men in Gettysburg of this vicinity are better known or more highly esteemed than William E. George.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio - publ. 1900 - Page 746

BENJAMIN L. GRILLOT.  Prominent among the successful teachers of Darke county is the gentleman whose name introduces this sketch and who is now residing on the C. Treiber farm on section 8, Patterson township.  He is a native of this county, born in Wabash township Aug. 4, 1874, and is a son of Henry Grillot, who was born in France in 1820, and was brought to America by his parents in 1834.  By trade the grandfather of our subject was a stone mason.  In his family were seven children - four sons and three daughters - all of whom are now deceased.  On attaining man's estate, Henry Grillot was married, in Darke county, in 1852, to Miss Margaret Leona Larmanie, who was born in Lorraine, France, Jan. 6, 1834, and they began their domestic life upon a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the midst of the forest, where the wolves were often heard howling at night, and the deer would enter the garden and eat the vegetables found there.  Mr. Grillot died in February, 1886, but his wife is still living and is still very strong and active both in mind and body.  To them were born nine children - six sons and three daughters - namely: six sons and three daughters - namely:  Lewis J., born in 1857, lives in Versailles; John B. is a farmer and trustee of Wabash township; Mary L. married Frank Graff and died at the age of twenty-five years, leaving three children: Joseph S. was severely burned at the age of three years, and died from the effects of the same when twenty-one; he possessed great strength in his hands and arms; Harriet is the wife of Nicholas Gouboux and they lived on the old home farm; Henry J. is a teacher living at Frenchtown; Emanuel is a blacksmith of Russia, Shelby county, Ohio; Benjamin L. is next in order of birth; and Margaret M. is the wife of Ira Ashman of Russia, Ohio.  There are also twenty-nine grandchildren.
     Our subject received a liberal district school education and also attended school in Versailles two terms.  At the age of nineteen he commenced teaching and has devoted his time and energies to that occupation for eight winters or forty months, having that love for his profession without which there can be no success.  During the summer season he follows farming.  On the 10th of May, 1898, Mr. Gillot was united in marriage with Miss Louise Monnin, a native of Shelby county, Ohio, and a daughter of Justin and Emily (Millet) Monnin.  They now have a little daughter, Emma Leona, born Oct. 14, 1899. 
Both Mr. and Mrs Grillot are Catholics in religious faith and in politics he is a Democrat, as was also his father.  He is a young man of strength and vigor of both body and mind, which have been developed and preserved by habits of industry and a moral domestic life.  He is wide-awake and observing, possesses studious habits, a good memory, keen perception and sound judgment, and undoubtedly a brilliant future awaits him.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio - publ. 1900 - Page 717
EDWARD GLANDER, who figures conspicuously in connection with the business interests of Greenville and is accounted one of the representative men of the city, was born in Preble county, on the 27th of July, 1860, his parents being Detrick and Sena (Hudof) Glander, both of whom were natives of Germany.  The father was born in the year 1818, and after spending the first eighteen years of his life in the land of his nativity he determined to seek a home in the new world, believing that he might thereby better his financial condition.  Accordingly, in 1836, he bade adieu to friends and family and sailed for the United States, landing in New York city.  He did not remain in the eastern metropolis, however, but made his way at once to Buffalo, New York, thence to Cleveland and Columbus, and after spending a short time in the last named place proceeded to Dayton.  Subsequently he removed to Preble county, where he owned and operated a distillery, in which business he continued until 1874, when he disposed of his interests there and came to Darke county.  In 1877 he took up his abode in Greenville, where he still resides.  Twenty years previous to that day he had been married to Miss Sena Hudof, and unto them were born ten children, four sons and six daughters, all of whom are living, with the exception of one daughter, who died in infancy.
     Under the parental roof Edward Glander was reared and accompanied his parents on their various removals.  To the public school system of the state he is indebted for the educational privileges which he enjoyed and which fitted him for life's practical duties.  On putting aside his text-books he became his father's assistant and under his direction received his business training.  In 1881 he purchased the wholesale and retail beer business of Chris Jenney and also purchased a three-story brick block in which is located the J. P. Wolf tobacco works.  Mr. Glander occupies a part of the first floor and basement, while the remainder of the building is rented, bringing to him a good income.  His sales of the commodities which he handles are extensive and are constantly increasing, showing that the public have confidence in his business integrity.  In 1890 he built extensive ice houses and leased the artificial ponds of D. L. Meeker for ten years, and in 1900 he extended the lease for an additional ten years.  From these he secures pure spring-water ice, with which he supplies his customers.  In 1898 he was one of the incorporators of the Greenville Lumber Company.  He was a director the first year and is now serving as vice-president.  He is also a director in the Farmers' National Bank.  His close application, capable management and marked energy have been important factors in winning him success.
     In 1884 occurred in marriage of Mr. Glander and Miss Mary J. Frank, of Kirkwood, Illinois, a daughter of Jacob Frank.  Their children are:  Sadie, Alice and Clarence.  Mr. Glander is recognized as one of the enterprising citizens of Greenville, active, progressive and reliable in his business methods, and by his well directed efforts he has acquired a very desirable competence.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio - publ. 1900 - Page 436

CHRISTIAN D. GROFF.  This worthy citizen of Painter Creek, Franklin township, is of German descent, his great-grandfather having come to this country from Germany in company with two brothers and settled in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, where he spent the remainder of his life. Our subject's father, Abraham Groff, was born in that county in 1801 and in early life learned the trade of a fuller with his father. He married Nancy Dunkle and in 1849, with his wife and family, came to Ohio in wagons, landing near Covington, Newberry township, Miami county, after twenty-eight days spent upon the road. Soon afterward he purchased eighty acres of land in Newton township, the same county, for which he paid six hundred and fifty dollars. At that time it was mostly wild land and the few buildings standing thereon were of logs. To the further improvement and cultivation of that place he devoted his energies throughout the remainder of his life, dying there about 1870. He took no active part in public affairs, was a God-fearing man, a devout Christian and a faithful member of the German Baptist church. His wife died some years later at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary Dunkle, of North Star, Darke county. To this worthy couple were born sixteen children, as follows: Daniel, born in 1826, came to Ohio prior to 1849 and died of typhoid fever a short time after his arrival; Abraham, born in 1828, died in 1833; Annie, born in 1830, died in 1833; Elizabeth, born in 1831, married David Murray and died in Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1850; Martha, born in 1833, married Daniel Groff and died in Newton township, Miami county, in 1853 Christian D., our subject, is the next in order of birth; Joseph, born in 1836, is a farmer of Newberry township, Miami county; Nancy, born in 1838, is the wife of Emory Jenkins, of North Star, Darke county; Samuel, born in 1839, married Sarah Smith and moved to Ionia county, Michigan, where he was accidentally killed; John, born in 1841, died in 1859; Jacob, born in 1842, died in 1843; Mary, born in 1844, is now the wife of John Dunkle, of Piqua, Ohio; Nathaniel, born in 1846, married Emma Patterson and lives in North Star; George, born in 1848, is a quartz-mill builder in the state of Colorado; Henry, born in 1851, died in 1856; and Susanah, born in 1853, died in 1855.
     Christian D. Groff was born January 20, 1835, near Lisbon, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, in which state he was reared as a farmer boy and attended school until his fifteenth year, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Ohio. He was an industrious lad, willing to work and was of great assistance to his father in clearing the land and tilling the soil. When the farm work was done he attended school during the winter months and partly learned the carpenter's trade.
     On the 5th of December, 1858, Mr. Groff was united in marriage with Miss Hannah Smith, who died July 25, 1868. By that union he had four children, namely: Sarah, now the wife of William Sellers, of Paulding county, Ohio; Ellen, wife of Moses Fry, of Perry county, Michigan; Henry, who married Eva Fox; and Abner, who died in infancy. In 1869 Mr. Groff married Miss Margaret, daughter of John Spade, of Franklin township, Darke county. She died in October, 1894. The children born to them were: Amos, who married Mattie Rupert and lives in Missouri, near the Kansas line; Mary, wife of William Collins; Martha, Emma and Jesse, who all died in infancy; Clara, wife of Walter Pifer, of Gettysburg, Ohio; Nancy, who died in infancy; Cora and Dora, twins, the latter deceased; and Susie, at home.
     After his first marriage Mr. Groff located on a tract of twenty acres near his father's farm and continued to work at his trade Until 1860. In 1863 he removed to the farm of his father-in-law, Henry Smith, south of Bradford, in Newberry township, Miami county, which he rented for three years. He then sold his twenty-acre tract and purchased a farm of forty acres on Painter creek, Franklin township, and the following spring bought eighteen and a half acres adjoining, with the buildings thereon, into which he moved. At the end of four years he sold that property and purchased his present farm of one hundred and thirty-eight acres of land, a part of which is now within the corporate limits of Painter Creek and which has been divided into town lots. Mr. Groff has always been a hard working man, of known reliability, and is entirely self-made, his success in life being due to his industry, perseverance and good management. He cast his first presidential vote for Lincoln and has since been a stalwart supporter of the Republican party. Religiously he is a devout member of the old order of Dunkards, and commands the confidence and respect of all with whom he comes in contact, either in business or social life.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio - publ. 1900

VALENTINE GRUSENMEYER.  Among the native sons of Ohio who in the business world have attained success, winning prosperity through earnest purpose, careful management and honorable dealing, Valentine Grusenmeyer is numbered. He is a son of George Michael Grusenmeyer, who was born on the 21st of June, 1820, in Alsace, France, a section of the country now in possession of the Germans. Having arrived at years of maturity he wedded, Elizabeth Schammer, who was born in Baden, Germany, February 18, 1826. In 1846 George Michael Grusenmeyer emigrated to the new world, locating near Troy, Ohio, where he was employed for six-years. On the expiration of that period he returned to the fatherland, and when he again came to America brought with him his mother, his brothers and sisters, the family, eight in number, locating near Dayton, Ohio. His father had died during his sojourn in America. Of the family, four are still living, namely: Mrs. Lena Lepbart and Mrs. Mary Roth, both of Dayton; and Anthony and Joseph, who are residents of Logansport, Indiana.
     Mr. and Mrs. George Michael Grusenmeyer became the parents of eight children, four of whom are still living, as follows: Anthony, Mrs.Mary Ruh, Mrs. Lizzie Heck, of Dayton, Ohio, and Valentine, whose name introduces this review.
     Valentine Grusenmeyer was born near Dayton, on the 8th of October, 1854, and. entered upon his business career as a gardener. His father followed that pursuit, and for him our subject worked until he was twenty-four years of age, when he went to Logansport, Indiana, where he was employed for a year. On the expiration of that period he returned and cultivated his father's garden for a period of two years. In 1881 he came to Darke county and commenced gardening on his own place, called the East Side Garden, but in October, 1891, he abandoned that pursuit and embarked in the grocery business in connection with Jacob Goetz. They conducted a store in Versailles, Ohio, for a year, after which they removed their stock into the Anderson building in Greenville, where they carried on business through the succeeding year. Mr. Grusenmeyer then began business as a wholesale dealer in fruit and vegetables. In 1893 he purchased the Ruth grocery and carried on the dual enterprise for a period of five years.  When that time had elapsed he established a branch store in the St. Clair building, and in the spring of 1898 he sold the store in the Ruth building to the firm of Lampa & Maher, continuing business, however, in the St. Clair building through the succeeding sixteen months. He then sold his large stock of groceries to Ray M. Gilbert and removed his fruit and vegetable store into the Waring building He is a man of marked enterprise and indefatigable energy who gives close attention to the conduct of his mercantile affairs and follows most systematic and honorable methods.
     In 1881 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Grusenmeyer and Miss Mary Seybold, of Logansport, Indiana, They took up their residence in Greenville, and unto them were born nine children: Ersula, born Au­gust 30, 1882; George B., born July 13, 1884; Frances C., born January 30, 1886; Savier, born November 25, 1888; Anastasia, born February 5, 1890; Clara, born March 1,1892, and died September 1 of the same year; John, who was born September 11, 1894; Oscar, born September 24, 1896; and Engene, born October 6, 1898. After residing; for three years in Greenville Mr. and Mrs. Grusenmeyer removed to their farm, which is just outside the city limits, and there make, their home. They were reared in the Catholic faith, have always adhered to that religious belief and are now instructing their children therein. In Darke county they have a wide acquaintance and are highly esteemed for their many excellencies of character, while in business circles Mr. Grusenmeyer enjoys an unassailable reputation that has come to him as the result of incorruptible integrity in all his dealings.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio - publ. 1900

WILLIAM E. GUNTRUM, M. D.  A man's reputation is the property of the world. The laws of nature have forbidden isolation. Every human being submits to the controlling influence of others, or as a master wields a power for good or evil on the masses of mankind. There can be no impropriety in justly scanning the acts of any man as they affect his public, social and. business relations. If he be honest and successful in his chosen field of endeavor, investigation will brighten his fame and point the path along which others may follow with like success. Dr. Guntrum is one who has attained enviable prestige as a representative of the medical profession and his prominence is accorded him by reason .of his superior ability, for in the science of medicine advancement comes only through individual merit.
     Dr. Guntrum not only deserves representation in this volume as one of the leading physicians of Greenville, but also because of his connection with one of the honored pioneer families of Darke county. His paternal grandfather settled in Greenville township, Darke county, in the green woods, and clearing away the trees developed a good farm, which he placed under a high state of cultivation, continuing to make his home thereon until his life's labors were ended in death in 1865. He was born in Pennsylvania and married Martha Gingrich. One of their children was John Guntrum, the Doctor's father. His birth occurred in Darke county on the 15th of December, 1839, and after arriving at years of maturity he married Miss Rebecca Jamison, also a native of this county, where she grew to womanhood and was married. Her father, John Jamison, was also one of the early settlers of the locality, having located in Greenville township when it was a frontier region. John Guntrum followed farming for many years and later in life conducted a meat market in Greenville, where he was well known as a reliable and industrious business man.
     The Doctor was reared upon his father's farm, where he remained until eighteen years of age. The district schools afforded him his early educational privileges and his business training was received in the fields, where he assisted in planting and harvesting the crops. Not wishing to make agriculture his life work, however, he resolved to devote his energies to the alleviation of human suffering, fitting himself for the practice of medicine as a student in the office of Dr. A. F. Markwith. He began his studies in 1887 and subsequently took a course of lectures in the Ohio Medical College, of Cincinnati. He took his second course at the Starling Medical College, at Columbus, and was graduated in the Ohio Medical College in the class of 1893. He began practice in Stelvideo, Darke county, where he met with gratifying success, remaining in that town for seven years. He then removed to Greenville, where he is now well established in general practice. He is a member of the Darke County Medical Society and is a reader and student of current medical journals as well as the text books, thus keeping abreast with the progress which is continually being made in the science of medicine. The Doctor was married on the 1st of May, 1894, the lady of his choice being Miss Maud Rupe, a daughter of Martin Rupe, who belonged to. one of the old families of the county. Both Dr. and Mrs. Guntrum enjoy the warm regard of a large circle of friends in Greenville and have a wide acquaintance in Darke county, within whose borders they have spent their entire lives. Socially the Doctor is connected with the  Improved Order of Red Men. His manner is genial, his deportment courteous and kindly, and these qualities, added to professional skill, have made him a popular physician of his native county.
Source: A Biographical History of Darke County, Ohio - publ. 1900



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