Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 386-403 Thadeus Joseph Backus to Dr. Henry J. Becker, D.D.

THADEUS JOSEPH BACKUS, [pages 386-387] superintendent of streets of Dayton, was born April 3, 1852, in this city, where he has always resided. He is a son of Washington and Lucy (Stuckmier) Backus, both of German extraction.

Washington Backus was a native of Connecticut and possessed a large measure of Yankee thrift and energy, which he devoted to commerce, spending his life in mercantile pursuits. He was a large dealer in notions, doing a wholesale and retail business which made his name widely known. He . died when his son Thadeus Joseph was but four years old, leaving a widow, this son and two daughters, who are now Mrs. Susanna Lachelle, residing in Denver, Colo., and Mrs. Emma Houser, of this city. The widow afterward married William E. Martin, now of Springfield, Ohio, who brought into the household his son by a former marriage, William A., who is the superintendent of the Farm and Fireside, a literary and household journal published at Springfield. To the union of Mr. Martin and Mrs. Backus were born three children: George, who is now a druggist at Miami City; Levi, who is superintendent of the Barb Wire Fence Manufacturing company, at Lawrence, Kan., and Jennie, who resides at Dayton. The mother died at her home in Dayton in 1873.

Mr. Backus early learned the business of making galvanized iron cornice and slate roofing, which he successfully followed for about twenty years. His methods attracted the attention and commanded the respect and confidence of the people, and in 1893 he was appointed, by the board of city affairs, to his present position of responsibility and trust, the duties of which office he is performing in an eminently satisfactory manner. The varied and important character of these duties renders his position far other than a sinecure, and, with the construction of sewers, the cleaning of streets and destruction of garbage, Mr. Backus is kept a very busy man.

On the 7th of June, 1877, Mr. Backus was united in marriage to Miss Katie C. Barnes, a native of Dayton, and daughter of Lawrence and Margaret Barnes, the former now deceased. Of a family of five children Mrs. Backus is the eldest. The other children are: Robert, the proprietor of a box factory in Dayton; Mary, wife of Joseph Ferneding, one of Dayton's shoe merchants; Maggie, who resides with her mother in this city; and Julia, the wife of Joseph L. Sacksteder, of Dayton.

Mr. and Mrs. Backus have a family of seven children, all of whom live with their parents. They are: May, Lulu, William, George, Julia, Charles and Christopher. Miss May is a stenographer and typewriter, employed in the pension department at the National Military Home, Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.   The other children are still in school.

Politically, Mr. Backus is a democrat and stands high among the local counselors of his party. He was reared in the Presbyterian church, and is a member of the order of Knights of Pythias and of the B. P. 0. Elks. Mrs. Backus is an adherent of the Roman Catholic faith, and is a member of the Church of the Sacred Heart.

 

JESSE H. BATES, [pages 387-388] one of the old and  highly respected citizens of Dayton, was born January 6, 1834, ten miles south of Lebanon, Warren county, Ohio, a son of Acel C. and Meca (Bobo) Bates, who, about 1812, came to Ohio from Connecticut and Virginia respectively. The father was a carpenter by trade, and later an auctioneer at Cincinnati, but, when Jesse was born, was keeping hotel in Warren county.

Jesse H. Bates was the seventh born in a family of ten children, was reared in Warren county, and at the age of eighteen years began to study bridge building. In due time he assisted in constructing the bridges on the Dayton & Richmond and Indiana Central railroads, and followed the trade for several years thereafter.  In 1858 he came to Montgomery county, located at Germantown. and purchased a hack line running from Germantown to Carlisle Station, which , he ran for one year, and then for a time conducted a livery barn and traded in horses. In 1866 he came to Dayton, Ohio, and was first engaged as foreman by D. H. Morrison, a prominent bridge builder, and later, for twelve years, was employed on the Pan Handle railroad as foreman of the bridge department, since when he has practically lived a retired life.

Jesse H. Bates was married in Germantown, Montgomery county, in 1858, to Miss Melazina Schaeffer, daughter of Michael N. and Mary (Katron) Schaeffer, the union resulting in the birth of four children, in the following order: Mollie, wife of DeWitt C. Arnold, shoe dealer of Dayton; Oliver E., the popular caterer of Dayton, of whom fuller mention will be made in a later paragraph; Harriet B. and J. Stewart. Mr. and Mrs. Bates are members of the Third street Presbyterian church, and in politics Mr. Bates is a stanch republican. They have their residence at No. 341 West Fourth street, where their hospitable doors are always open to the visits of a large number of sincere friends.

Oliver E. Bates, son of Jesse H. and Melazina (Schaeffer) Bates, was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, March 30, 1862, and was but five years of age when his parents came to reside in Dayton. He was educated in the public schools of the city, and at the age of twenty-two years entered the employ of Lowe Bros. as assistant bookkeeper, and later became a traveling salesman for the same firm, having charge of their artists' material department. He remained with this firm for five years, and then traveled for a short time for a Chicago firm in the same business. Returning to Dayton, he was for two years in the employ of the Globe Iron works as shipping and corresponding clerk, and in 1889 embarked in a bakery business on his own account, at No. 524 East Fifth street, confining himself to bread and cake baking. In 1891 he purchased his present business, succeeding F. J. Holden, at No. 14 North Main street.  Here he caters to the best social circles of the city, manufacturing all his confectionery and ice cream, of which he makes a specialty.  His parlors are complete and inviting in every respect, and the attendance perfect. 

Mr. Bates is a member of Dayton lodge, No. 147, F. & A. M., in which he has passed all the chairs; is also a member of Unity chapter, No. 16; Reese council, No, 9; Reed commandery, No. 6; Gabriel grand lodge of Perfection; Miami grand council; Dayton grand chapter, and Rose Croix, Cincinnati consistory; he was also a charter member of the Vingt-et-un club of Dayton—a social and beneficial organization. Mr. Bates was united in marriage March 22, 1887, to Miss Carrie E. Gebhart, daughter of S. T. Gebhart, and this union has been blessed with two children— Elwood G. and J. Robert. The family have their home at No. 334 West Fourth street.

 

JOHN R. BROWNELL, [pages 388-391] president of the Brownell company, one of the largest manufacturing concerns of Dayton, is a native of Fulton county, N. Y., where he was born on July 7, 1839. His parents were Frederick and Ann (Dolly) Brownell, both of whom were natives of the county already named. The father was a tanner and a currier by trade. He served as a soldier in the war of 1812, being stationed at Sackett's Harbor with Gen. Brown;  six uncles of his wife also served in the war. In 1842 Frederick Brownell came to Ohio with his family and located at Lower Sandusky, near Fremont, and from there removed to Perrysburg, Wood county, and thence to Green Springs, Sandusky county, and finally to a farm three miles from Fremont, where he died in 1851. His widow died in 1882, in Dayton.

John R. Brownell was the youngest of eleven children born to his parents. After the family came to Ohio he attended school during the winter time for several years. The first winter after his father's death he worked at Green Springs for his board, at the same time attending school. Further educational advantages were denied him, and from that time on he was thrown upon his own resources and compelled to make his way in life by his own efforts. During the year 1853 he served as a clerk in the store of W. T. & A. K. West at Sandusky City, and the following two years he spent on the steamer Northern Indiana, on Lake Erie. In the fall of 1856 became to Dayton and entered the employ of his brother, Elijah H. Brownell, at boilermaking, at which he continued until the fall of 1857, when he went to California. After working at his trade in San Francisco for a time he went to the gold mines and remained there until January, 1861, when he returned to Dayton. The following August he enlisted in the army, was sent to Saint Louis, and mustered into the Thirteenth Missouri regiment (which at Corinth was changed to the Twenty-second Ohio volunteer Regiment as a sergeant, and served as such until 1863, when he was commissioned second lieutenant of company K, of the above regiment, which company he commanded most of the time. He was mustered out as second lieutenant, having served all through the war of the Rebellion. Returning to Dayton, he became a member of the firm of Brownell & Company, manufacturers of machinery, boilers and general foundry work. This firm was originally composed of John R. Brownell, James H. Brownell, E. H. Brownell, George J. Roberts and Josiah Lee, and their place of business was at No. 437 East First street. May 8, 1865, F. J. Brownell was admitted to the firm, and on November 1, 1867, it was organized under the name of Brownell, Roberts & Company. In February, 1871, the Brownell & Kielmeier Manufacturing company was incorporated, with C. H. Kielmeier as president; John R. Brownell as vice-president and general superintendent, and James Anderson as secretary and treasurer. On account of the panic of 1873 the company made an assignment. At the sale John R. Brownell bought two-thirds and Martin Schneble one-third of the property, and continued the business until February, 1884, in which year Mr. Brownell bought out the interest of Mr. Schneble, and, under the name of Brownell & Co., ran the business by himself until January, 1888, when the Brownell company was incorporated, with Mr. Brownell as president and superintendent, D. H. Dryden, vice-president, and E. A. Vance, secretary and treasurer.  The business remained at its original location until September 12, 1888, when a fire occurred, destroying buildings and machinery. The business was then moved to Findlay street, just north of First, where a portion of the boiler plant had been since 1883. The plant at the above location, as it stands today, consists of a two-story brick machine shop, 200 x 60 feet, with a three-story office building, 30 feet square; a foundry building, 200x60 feet, with an "L" 50 x 30 feet; a boiler shop, 200 x 50 feet, with two "Ls" 50 feet square; and a recent addition to the boiler shop of 70 x 227 feet. Mr. Brownell owns the principal stock (ninety per cent) at present. Officers: J. R. Brownell, president; Joseph Burns, vice-president; C. J. Brownell, secretary and treasurer, and Alice Hartnett, assistant secretary and treasurer.

Mr. Brownell has been twice married; first, in June, 1866, to Melvira J., the daughter of Thomas Humphreys, of Urbana, Ohio. To the union one daughter, Anna, was born. The mother and daughter both died in the year 1872. In the fall of 1875 Mr. Brownell was married to Miss Harriet Alice Smith, the daughter of Abraham Smith, of Maryland. By this marriage he has the following children: Carrie J., Alice J., Mary J. and John R., Jr. In 1874 Mr. Brownell was elected a member of the board of commissioners of Montgomery county, serving three years; during the years 1881-82 he was a member of the Dayton city council. In 1882 he was elected to the Ohio. state senate, serving one term. He is a leading member of the G. A. R., Loyal Legion and Union Veteran League.

 

JAMES H. BAGGOTT, [pages 391- 392] ex-judge of the probate court of Montgomery county, was born in Licking county, Ohio, and is the eldest child of Col. William Baggott, who emigrated from Virginia to Ohio in 1823. Just previous to leaving Virginia he was married to Miss Hannah Quick. After living in this state about sixteen years they moved into Montgomery county in 1839, settling upon a farm nine miles north of Dayton on the National road. Here James worked upon the farm in summer, and attended school in the winter season, receiving the best education the country schools afforded at that time. So well did he progress in learning that at an unusually early age he himself began teaching school, being barely seventeen years old when he first essayed this responsible duty. In 1846 and 1847 he attended the old academy in Dayton, a remarkable institution in several respects. In 1848 he began reading law in the office of the Hon. Peter Odlin, at one time a partner of Gen. Robert C. Schenck, under the firm name of Odlin & Schenck, and was admitted to the bar in June, 1850. In September, 1851, he was unanimously nominated by the democratic convention for the office of prosecuting attorney, and was elected by a majority of one vote over Hon. Samuel Craighead, the whig candidate, who was running for his third term, and who, having been an able and most efficient official, was very popular with his own party. In 1853 young Baggott was again unanimously nominated for the second term, his competitor being the Hon. Hiram Strong, who, as colonel of the Ninety-third regiment of Ohio troops; was afterward fatally wounded at the battle of Chickamauga. The result of the contest was the re-election of Mr. Baggott by a majority of more than 300. In 1857 Judge Baggott was nominated without opposition for the office of probate judge and was .elected, serving one term of three years. After retiring from the office of probate judge he returned to the practice of the law, and has since continued thus engaged.

In politics Judge Baggott is and always has been a democrat, and has been a delegate to numerous state conventions. He was married in 1862 to Fannie Williams, of Kentucky, a daughter of George Williams.  Mr. Baggott is a member of the Masonic fraternity and is a Knight Templar. He has been a member of the First Baptist church since 1872. He is a man of great strength of character, devoted to his profession, and well qualified, to fill any position of public trust. It may be said of his work as prosecuting attorney of Montgomery county, that he distinguished himself, while in that office, by the prosecution and conviction of Frank Dick for murder, as a result of which Dick was executed. This was one of the most notable criminal trials in the annals of Montgomery county.

 

CAPT. ALLEN M. BAKER, [pages 392-393] of the National Military Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, near Dayton, Ohio, was born in Aroostook county, Me., August 9, 1833, and is a son of George and Mary (Lawrence) Baker, natives of New Brunswick, where their marriage took place. George Baker was a mechanic, but died when his son Allen was but a child. Of his five sons three were soldiers in the late Civil war, and one was for seven months a prisoner at Andersonville, S. C. Allen M. Baker was quite well educated in the public schools of his native state of Maine; learned the blacksmith's trade, and later became a steamboatman, and in this latter employment he was engaged when he enlisted, December 20, 1863, in Company I, Thirty-ninth New York volunteer infantry. He served until the close of the war in the army of the Potomac, Second army corps, under Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock ; and in the battle of the Wilderness, Va., under Gen. U. S. Grant, was wounded, May 6,, 1864, and sent to hospital. There he was confined until August 15 following, when he rejoined his regiment, at City Point, Va., and took part in all its marches, skirmishes and engagements until the war closed. Among the battles of note in which he participated were those of Deep Bottom, Reams Station, Petersburg, and Hatcher's Run, and all engagements of his company ; he was in the grand review in Washington, D. C., in May, 1865, and was finally mustered out of the service, in that city, July 1, of the same year. He returned to his native state for a brief visit, then came west and for a number of years was employed in farming and lumbering in Wisconsin and Minnesota, but at last succumbed to the effects of disease contracted in the army, and in October, 1884, sought a refuge in the soldiers' home near Dayton. For a long time after entering this institution he was unable to perform any active labor, and was, until the five years last past, constantly under medical treatment, but was then appointed captain of company Eleven, his barracks affording accommodation for 217 men, Capt. Baker has never been married and has lived apart from his family relatives since the close of the Civil war.  He has never been a member of any secret society and in religious matters he thinks for himself. In politics he is bound by no party ties, but exercises his franchise in favor of the candidate he considers to be a friend of the soldiers. His military titles were awarded him for marked bravery on the battle field and meritorious conduct in face of the enemy and in the performance of duty on all occasions. He was first promoted to be sergeant of his company, then commissioned second lieutenant, and then captain, with which rank he was mustered out.

 

EDWIN RUTHVEN BAKER, M. D., [page 393] practicing physician and surgeon of Dayton, with office at No. 221 East Third street, was born in Phillipsburg, Montgomery county, Ohio, June 6, 1851. He is a son of Andrew H. and Hannah C. (Thomas) Baker, both of whom are living at Phillipsburg.

Edwin Ruthven Baker was reared in Montgomery county, and educated in the public schools until he was fifteen years of age, when he began to learn the trade of mason, at which he worked for some eight or ten years during the summer season, at the same time pursuing the study of medicine with Dr. J. W. Tedrow, now deceased. After completing his studies in the public schools of Dayton, he attended the Ohio Medical college at Cincinnati, and graduated as a member of the class of 1876. After this he formed a partnership with Dr. Hawkins at Union, Montgomery county, with whom he was associated for two years. He then located at West Milton, Miami county, and was there engaged in an active and successful practice for twelve years. At the end of this time he came to Dayton, where he has since been engaged successfully in the general practice of his profession and in surgery. He is a member of Gem City lodge, No. 795, I. 0. 0. F., and has belonged to this order for twenty-four years. In politics he is a republican, and has been elected to the office of township treasurer.

Dr. Baker was married at Union, Montgomery county, November 23, 1876, to Miss Fannie E. Hawthorne, a daughter of George and Nancy Hawthorne, who came from Pennsylvania to Ohio. Mrs. Baker was born in Lancaster, Pa., and is of German and Irish ancestry. Dr. Baker is one of the progressive citizens of Dayton, is public spirited, and takes an interest in every movement calculated to promote the prosperity of his chosen home.

 

JOHN L. BAKER, [pages 393-394] member of the board of city affairs, of Dayton, was born in New Carlisle, Clarke county, Ohio, December 10, 1848. His father, William Baker, was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1821, and was a son of John Baker, one of the earliest settlers of the city of Dayton, and one of the first carpenters and contractors to locate there. John Baker assisted in building the old Third street bridge. William Baker was reared in Dayton, where he learned the trade of carriagemaking.   In 1840 he removed to New Carlisle, Clarke county, where he was married to Mary McNeal, who was born in Pennsylvania and who died about 1850. Mr. Baker died in 1870. Until the beginning of the war he carried on the manufacture of carriages at New Carlisle. He and his wife were the parents of two sons, John L., and William A., his elder brother, who is now a resident of Muncie, Ind.

John L. Baker was reared in New Carlisle, and was educated at the academy in that place. After leaving school he learned the carriage-maker's trade. In 1864 he established himself in the carriage manufacturing business in New Carlisle, continuing until January 2, l872, when he moved to Dayton and entered upon the same business there, having been thus engaged ever since. His present factory is situated at Nos. 22, 24 and 26 West Fifth street. In March, 1889, Mr. Baker also embarked in the livery business with a stable on Ludlow street, between Third and Fourth streets, and has now one of the largest establishments in the city. On January 29, 1894, he purchased the Dayton Transfer company's property and business, and now operates that as well as his carriage manufactory and livery stable. In April, 1895, he was appointed by Mayor McMillen to a position on the board of city affairs, of which office he took possession on the 19th of that month.  Mr. Baker has always been a democrat, and as such holds his present office. He was married in 1875 to Miss Josie Brower, of New Carlisle, and to their marriage there has been born one daughter, Blanche Louise.

 

BREDERICK D. BARKER, M. D., [pages 394-395] physician and surgeon of Dayton, Ohio, with office at No. 29 North Perry street, was born at McConnelsville, July 13, 1860.   He is a son of Charles L. and Rachael (Maxwell) Barker, both of whom are of Scotch descent and now living at McConnelsville.   The family were among the earliest settlers of Morgan county, Ohio, and experienced all the trials, hardships and dangers of pioneer days. They have been for years prominent in their part of the state in political and religious matters as well as in philanthropic movements, and there are many of the name in southeastern Ohio.

The grandfather of Dr. Barker was Luther D. Barker, who, in company with two of his brothers, located early in the Muskingum valley. They were interested in flatboating down the river, and were otherwise employed in business of various kinds, and also in farming, Some members of the family became ministers of the gospel, while Frederick D. is the only one who has turned his attention to medicine. The family are mostly republicans, and with few exceptions are members of the Baptist church.

Frederick D. Barker is one of a family of five children, and is the only son. He was reared in his native town, received his education in the public schools, from which he was graduated in 1878, having, however, previously taken a course of study in the Southeastern Ohio Normal school.   After graduating from the public schools of McConnelsville, he entered Denison university at Granville, Ohio, graduating from this institution in 1882, with the degree of bachelor of philosophy.   In 1891 he was honored with the degree of master of philosophy.

After graduating from Denison university he engaged in business with his father in Mc-Connelsville, dealing in provisions and wool, and continued thus engaged until 1888.  In 1884 he made a trip to Europe, visiting the British Isles and the entire continent, with the double purpose of pleasure and study, and in 1888 began the study of medicine with R. Harvey Reed, surgeon-in-chief of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, and took his first course of lectures at the Ohio Medical college in Cincinnati. The second course of lectures he took at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was graduated in the class of 1890. In a competitive examination among twenty-five applicants, for the position of house physician and surgeon in the Presbyterian hospital in Philadelphia, Dr. Barker took first place, and as a consequence served as resident physician for one year, leaving there in 1891, and coming direct to his present location in Dayton, Ohio.  Here he has been engaged in the active practice of medicine ever since.

Dr. Barker is a member of the Beta Theta Pi college fraternity, of the Stille Medical society, of Philadelphia, and of the American Academy of Railway Surgeons. He is the physician to the Widows' home in Dayton, is the city police surgeon, is head surgeon of the Dayton district of the D. & M. railway, and of the C., D. & I. and C., H. & D. railways. He is also surgeon on the staff of the Deaconess hospital, and teaches anatomy and physiology in the Dayton Summer school for teachers. He lectures on medical subjects before the Young Men's Christian association in Dayton, and also in Xenia, and is active in the general work of that association.

In 1894 Dr. Barker made a second trip abroad, spending most of his time in the hospitals of London and Vienna. In the following spring he made a trip through Italy and down into Egypt, through Palestine, to Athens and Constantinople, returning through Bulgaria, Syria and Hungary to Vienna. Throughout his entire career he has been self-reliant, and an independent student and investigator. He paid his own way through the medical schools, met without assistance his expenses upon the three trips to Europe, and, in short, what he has thus far accomplished has been wholly through his own unaided efforts.

Dr. Barker was married in Boston, June 3, 1896, to Helen R. Rice, a native of Boston and a daughter of Marshall 0. Rice, manufacturer of that city.

 

D. L. BATES & BRO., [pages 395-396] machinists, manufacturers and nickel platers, at the corner of Fourth and St. Clair streets, Dayton, Ohio, still carry on a business which was founded in 1866 by their father, Hamilton Bates, on the hydraulic, in the rear of Gebhart's mill, chiefly for the manufacture of wool machinery.

Hamilton Bates was born at Ellicott's Mills, Md., in 1819, and when a young man, somewhere about 1841, came to Dayton, Ohio, but learned the machinist's trade at Wheeling, W. Va., returned to Dayton, and became foreman, first for McMillan & Co., and then for Broadrup & Co., in the manufacture of woolen-mill machinery. In 1866, as noted above, he founded the. present business in company with his eldest son, Daniel L., and this was conducted, under the firm name of Bates & Son, until the death of the father, in 1884. Hamilton Bates was a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church, having been converted in his early youth; he was one of the earlier members of Wayne lodge, I. 0. 0. P., and on more than one occasion was its representative in the grand lodge. He married Miss Martha Lemon, a daughter of John Lemon, a highly respected resident of Dayton. She was born in this city about 1840, and died in 1876, the mother of three children, viz: Daniel L., now the senior member of the firm of D. L. Bates & Bro.; Russell H., the junior member of the firm, and Sarah, wife of Lewis Tischer, of Dayton.

Daniel L. Bates was born August 16, 1847, at the corner of Fifth and Brown streets, Dayton, was educated in the city schools, and at the age of fifteen years entered upon his apprenticeship at the machinist's trade, and this has ever since been his constant employment. From 1866 until 1884 he was a partner of his father, and since the latter date has been associated with his brother, Russell H., in the present business. In November, 1870, he married Miss Susan Umphries, who was born in Alexanderville, Ohio, a daughter of Boler Umphries, and to this union have been born four children, viz: Harry L., a graduate of the Dayton Commercial college, a practical machinist and book-keeper for his father, and married, in 1894, to Miss Laura Kimmel, a daughter of William Kimmel, of Dayton; Maud M., a graduate of the city high school, and for the past five years a teacher in the city schools of Dayton; Edith V., and Zeima G., still under parental care. The father is a member of Wayne lodge, No. 10, I. 0. 0. F,, has his residence in Dayton View, at 435 River street, is surrounded by a host of true friends, and is recognized as one of the best business men of the Gem City.

Russell H. Bates, the junior member of the firm of D. L. Bates & Bro., was born November 1, 1861, was educated in the public schools of his native city of Dayton, and at the age of seventeen years, like his elder brother, served an apprenticeship at the machinist's trade under his father's instruction. He learned the trade in all its details, and in 1884, at the death of his father, became the associate of his brother, Daniel L., in the present lucrative business, in the success of which he has been no unimportant factor. The marriage of Russell H. Bates was celebrated September 2, 1884, with Miss Julia Euchenhofer, who was born and reared in Dayton and is a daughter of Frederick Euchenhofer, one of the best known citizens of the Gem City. Two children have blessed this union and are named Ralph and Edmond. Mr. and Mrs. Russell H. Bates reside at the corner of Third and June streets, and are, with their little family, part of a circle of close acquaintances and neighbors. In politics, both brothers are republicans.

 

R. OTTO BAUMANN, [page 396] one of the younger members of the Dayton bar, and secretary of the city board of elections, was born in Dayton, Ohio, June 30, 1870, and is a son of Hon. C. L. Baumann, who is included by Hon. George W. Houk, in his history of the Dayton bar, in the list of lawyers admitted to practice soon after 1860. R. Otto Baumann received his preliminary education in the Dayton public schools. Afterward he took a course of study in the Miami Commercial college, graduating from that institution in his seventeenth year. After being engaged in bookkeeping for one year he was appointed to the position of librarian of the Dayton law library, which place he held for four years. During this time he began the study of law and was admitted to the bar in December, 1891. For about eight months after his admission to the bar he was in the office of John M. Sprigg, and in 1893 began the practice of the law on his own account. In May, 1894, Mr. Baumann was appointed clerk of the city board of elections, a position which he still retains.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

Mr. Baumann, while young both in years and in the practice of his profession, has the capacity and the industry which are certain to bring success.  His intellectual endowments are generous, and his social qualities are such as to have made for him a host of friends.

 

CHARLES BECK [pages 396-397] is one of the most artistic landscape gardeners in the United States, having had charge of the garden and grounds of the national soldiers' home at Dayton, since 1876. Mr. Beck is a native of Germany, born in Frankfort-on-the-Main, January 2, 1827, the son of William and Louise (Kroeber) Beck. The father was a tax collector in his native province, a position of trust and responsibility, and both parents died in the fatherland. Frederick Beck, a brother of Charles, lives in Germany.  He served as justice of the peace during all his active life, and is now a pensioner of the government; two sisters, Emma and Matilda, died in Germany, and the only members of the family that came to America were Charles and Caroline; the latter married a Mr. Myer and died near Cincinnati.

Charles Beck was educated in the land of his nativity and at an early age learned gardening, an occupation which receives much more attention in the old world than in the United States. When twenty years of age he came to America, locating at Rochester, N. Y., where for two years he worked for a nursery firm. He then went to Cincinnati and engaged in operating floral gardens and doing floral decorating until his removal in 1860 to Dayton. He engaged in the same business in this city upon his own responsibility until employed by the government to take charge of the entire floral, landscape and vegetable gardens at the national soldiers' home, the duties of which position he has since most successfully discharged. During his twenty years of service Mr. Beck has superintended the planting and laying out of all the grounds of the home, having under him seventy-five men to assist him in the various kinds of decorative work required. The conservatories and decorations, and, indeed, every thing connected with the grounds, are artistic in the highest degree and a tangible tribute to the taste and skill of the manager, whose knowledge of the profession has been gained only after many years of careful and painstaking study.

Mr. Beck was married in 1856 to Miss Louisa Schnike, a native of Saxony, where she was born in 1836. Mrs. Beck came with her parents to America when fourteen years of age, locating at Cincinnati, where she grew to womanhood. Her daughter, Louise, is assistant principal of the Dayton Steele high school, having charge of the German department. She is a graduate of the Central high school, and for some time pursued her studies in Munich, Germany; the brother, Otto Walter, also educated in Munich, is a teacher in the art museum in Cincinnati; Matilda was educated in the city schools of Dayton. Mrs. Beck was reared in the faith of the German Lutheran church, but is now a member of the English branch of that denomination. Mr. Beck takes an active interest in political matters, supporting the republican party upon state and national issues, while in local matters he is entirely independent.

 

CAPT. JOHN NELSON BELL, [pages 397-398] secretary of the Ohio Fire Insurance company, and general fire insurance agent, at Dayton, Ohio, was born in this city December 18, 1838, a son of John S. and Zipporah (Cock) Bell. He graduated from the Central high school of his native city, and immediately afterward went west and taught school for a time on the prairies of Minnesota; he then went to Burlington, Iowa, and for several years was employed as a local reporter on the "Hawkeye," and at the breaking out of the Civil war enlisted for ninety days. After serving out his term of enlistment he returned to Burlington and raised a company of volunteers, and in 1862 was commissioned captain of company E, Twenty-fifth Iowa volunteer infantry, and as such served until the close of the war. He participated in all the campaigns in the southwest under Gens. Grant and Sherman, and also in the south and southeast, including the siege of Vicksburg, the storming of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, the campaign of Atlanta, the march through Georgia and the Carolinas, and the grand review at Washington, D. 0.  During his term of service Capt. Bell was appointed assistant adjutant-general and assistant inspector-general on the staffs of Gen. James A. Williamson and Gen. George A. Stone, in Sherman's Fifteenth corps, and received the commendation of his commanders in general orders for his faithful discharge of duty. After the war he returned to Iowa, and for several years was engaged in mercantile business, but finally returned to Dayton, filling a position as bookkeeper until 1885, when he accepted his present office.

Capt. Bell was made a master Mason in Des Moines lodge, No. 1, Burlington, Iowa, October 12, 1868; was exalted a royal arch Mason October 2, 1869, in Iowa Royal Arch chapter, No. 1; created a Knight Templar in St. Omer commandery. No. 15, February 22, 1871. He has affiliated with the various York rite bodies in Dayton since 1872, and has received the various degrees of the Scottish rite, from the fourth to the thirty-second degree, in the valley of Dayton, and in the Ohio consistory, at Cincinnati; in 1880 was crowned a sovereign grand inspector-general, thirty-third degree, and made an honorary member of the supreme council, N. M. J., of the United States, at Boston, September 18, 1888. He has served as recorder of Reed commandery, No. 6, of Dayton, nine years; eminent commander of the same commandery in 1886; grand recorder of the grand commandery of Ohio in 1886, and to this office he has been annually elected up to the present time. He is a past master of Gabriel lodge of Perfection, A. A. rite, and is the present grand master of Miami council P. of J., in which position he has served continuously since 1887. He is a member of the Loyal Legion, and a past commander of Old Guard post, G. A. R..

Capt. Bell was united in marriage in Burlington, Iowa, November 3, 1861, with Miss Annie E. Acres, daughter of Stephen T. Acres, of Gibraltar, and has a family of six children, viz: Charles W., secretary and manager of the United States Board & Paper company, of Cincinnati; William A., traveling sales-man for the American Strawboard company, of Cincinnati; George H., state agent for the North British & Mercantile Insurance company, at Dayton; Walter H., grocers' broker, Dayton; Mary V. and Nelson J., at home. The family are members of the Episcopal church, and in politics Capt. Bell is a republican. He descends from very old American families, his maternal ancestors being traced to the Mayflower, while his paternal forefathers, who came from England, can be traced equally far back to the early settlements on the shores of Maryland. His grandparents were residents of Greene county, Ohio, as early as the opening of the present century, his grandfather, John Bell, having been drowned in the Little Miami river in 1810. His parents were residents of Dayton as early as 1830, and the name has been prominently associated with the history of the city and county up to the present day.

 

Ns DOREN BATES, [pages 398-402] a representative merchant of Dayton, Ohio, and senior  member of the well-known dry-goods house of Bates, Engel & Co., is a native of Ohio, and a descendant of two old pioneer families of the Buckeye state. Mr. Bates was born in Butler county, Ohio, July 7, 1843, and is the son of Lewis Cass and Nellie Schenck (Shepherd) Bates. The Bates family came originally from England, settling in Connecticut during colonial days. From Connecticut they came west, Asael Bates,  grandfather of Ns D., the first of the family to come  to Ohio, having settled at Cincinnati when the Queen City was a small place. For many years he was wharf master and an auctioneer at Cincinnati, and then removed to Warren county, Ohio, where he engaged in tavern-keeping.

Lewis Cass Bates was born in Ohio in November, 1818.  He had followed farming all his life, and how resides at Gano, Butler county. Nellie Schenck Shepherd was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, on September 21, 1822. Her parents were Thomas and Sarah (Preston) Shepherd.   The Shepherds came originally from England. Thomas Shepherd came with his parents to Ohio in 1816, the family settling at Lockland, Hamilton county. For six years after the birth of Ns D. his parents resided in Butler county, and then re-moved to Lockland, where the next six years of his life were spent on the old farm of his great-grandfather Shepherd. His parents then went to live in Jackson county, Ind. Before leaving Ohio young Bates attended the common schools, and after removing to Indiana he attended school during the winter months, thus securing a fair English education. Between the ages of twelve and nineteen he worked on the farm, attended school, taught school, clerked in a store and carried the United States mail.

On August 18, 1862, when only a month past his nineteenth year, he enlisted in the Federal army from Jackson county, Ind., and was mustered into the service at Madison, Ind., two days later, as a private in Capt. Nelson Crabb's company G, Sixty-seventh regiment Indiana volunteer infantry. Col. Frank Emerson, commanding, his enlistment being for a term of three years. He was discharged on December 10, 1864, at Baton Rouge, La., on account of consolidation, and re-enlisted in company G, Twenty-fourth regiment Indiana volunteer infantry, under Capt. Jacob Smith and Col. W. G. Spicely, for the remainder of the war. He served in the First brigade, Second division. Thirteenth corps, army of West Mississippi, and participated in the following engagements: Munfordsville, Ky., on September 14 and 17, 1862; Chickasaw Bayou, Miss., on December 27 and 31, 1862; Arkansas Post, Ark., on. January 11, 1863; Port Gibson, Miss., on. May 1, 1863, Champion Hill, Miss., on May 16, 1863; Black River, Miss., on May 17, 1863; siege of Vicksburg, Miss., from May 19 to July 4, 1863; Jackson, Miss., on July 10 and 18, 1863; Carrion Crow, La., on November 3, 1863; Forts Gaines and Morgan, from August 6 to 23, 1864; siege and charge of Blakeley, Ala., on April 29, 1865, where he was slightly wounded. Mr. Bates was captured at Munfordsville, Ky., upon the surrender of the entire garrison on September 17, 1862, and was again captured at Carrion Crow, La., on November 3, 1863, and confined in prison at Alexandria, La., for fifty-three days, being paroled on December 25, 1863, and exchanged about June1, 1864. He was detailed for special duty in regimental quartermaster's department for a few months in 1863, and was again detailed for similar duty at quartermaster's department at Parole Camp, New Orleans, La., from January 1 to July 1, 1864. He was honorably discharged from the service at Galveston, Tex., on July 19, 1865, by reason of the close of the war, after having served for a period of almost three years.

Upon his return from the war Mr. Bates came to Xenia, Ohio, where he secured a sub-ordinate position in a store, and there remained for several years, working his way up to the position of bookkeeper and salesman. In 1870 he came to Dayton and took a position as. bookkeeper in a wholesale liquor house, which place he has held for about eighteen months. Following this he was made assistant secretary of the Farmers & Merchants Insurance company, of Dayton, with which he continued until the business of the company was wound up and closed out. Through the influence of the Hon. Lewis B. Gunckel, then a member of congress from the Dayton district, Mr. Bates was appointed to a position in the government postal service in 1874, and for six years he was in the United States railway mail service, running first from Pittsburg to Cincinnati, then from Pittsburg to Indianapolis, and next from Indianapolis to Saint Louis. So efficient did he become in his duties as mail clerk, that during the two last years of his service with the government he was placed as head clerk in charge of the mail car and crew of his run. In January, 1880, Mr. Bates resigned his position in the government service in order to return to Dayton and take charge of the books of the dry-goods house of Augustus Sharp, and his employer soon afterwards taking charge of a store in Louisville, Ky., Mr. Bates was left in charge of the office and financial departments of the Dayton establishment.  Mr. Sharp later disposed of his store in the city to Messrs. Lambert & Clock, and with this firm Mr. Bates remained as book-keeper for about one year. On February 1, 1882, the dry-goods firm of Orr, Bates & Roesch was formed, with Mr. Bates as a member. This firm began business on East Third and Jefferson streets, at the present stand of Bates, Engel & Co. The firm of Orr, Bates & Roesch was succeeded by that of Bates & Roesch, Mr. Orr retiring, and on May 4, 1895, following the death of Mr. Roesch, the firm of Bates, Engel & Co. was formed, the members being Ns Doren Bates, C. W. Engel, H. J. Rock and G. A. Heintz. The firm is one of the leaders among the dry-goods houses of the city, and by splendid business methods, aided by the personal popularity of its members, is growing in strength each day.  It carries a complete line of dry goods, cloaks, etc., has large and commodious storerooms, and employs a force of from twenty-five to thirty people.

Mr. Bates is recognized as one of Dayton's representative business men and citizens.  He is a genuine Buckeye, patriotic and progressive, having always a good word and open hand for movements calculated to improve, develop and build up the institutions of his native state and adopted city. Among his friends and acquaintances he is regarded with admiration, his many sterling traits of character being fully appreciated. Mr. Bates is quite prominent in various ways. For almost twenty-five years he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity, having joined the order 1872. He is a member of Mystic lodge, No. 405. He was made a Knight Templar in 1885, being a member of Reed commandery. No. 6, of which he is prelate at the present time. He attained the thirty-second degree in Scottish rite Masonry in 1886. In 1882 he became a member of the Old Guard post, G. A. R., and has held most of the chairs of the same, being trustee of the post for over ten years. He is a member, of the Garfield and Present Day clubs, and of the first Reformed church. He was elected in April, 1896, to a place on the Dayton board of education, of which board he is an active and valued member.

Mr. Bates was married in 1871 to Miss Florence E. Walden, of Dayton, daughter of Dr. A. G. Walden, Two sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bates: Albert Irvin Bates, who was born in Dayton, passed through the public schools, was graduated from the Ohio Medical college, and is now a promising young member of the Dayton medical profession; and Lewis Wilbur, who is at present a student in a well-known military college.

 

DR. HENRY J. BECKER, D.D., [pages 402-403] the well-known divine and lecturer of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Massillon Ohio, on June 19, 1846.  His early life was spent in the coal mines of Ohio, and, aside from his primary education, he had training at Heidelberg college, Ohio.   He served in the One Hundred and Eighty-eighth Ohio volunteer infantry during the Civil war, and after the war became a convert to the Christian religion, and studied theology under Rev. J. M. Spangler and Dr. Winters of the Re-formed church. On December 18, 1869, he was licensed to preach in the church of the United Brethren in Christ, in which field he has continued to labor until the present time. In August, 1875, he went to California as missionary for the United Brethren Missionary society, and there remained for ten years. During that period he edited and published the Pacific Telescope in the interest of the Pacific conferences for two years, and then, combining that periodical with the Philomath (Ore.) Crucible, he continued it one year more as the Philomath Crucible.  Dr. Becker served as presiding elder in California for three terms, and in 1889 was elected bishop of the Pacific district by the conservatives, at the time of the division of the church. He was re-elected bishop in 1893, but resigned, not wishing longer to engage in work on the Pacific coast, and was then elected corresponding secretary of the Home Frontier & Foreign Missionary society, in which capacity he is still laboring. In the spring of 1888 Dr. Becker made an extensive tour of the old world, visiting Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, Syria, the Isles of Greece, Corinth, Smyrna, Ephesus, Brindisi, Pompeii, Naples, Rome and Florence, touching other prominent countries and cities along the line of travel. The honorary title of doctor of divinity was conferred upon Dr. Becker by Hartsville (Ind.) college in 1891. As a lecturer Dr. Becker has attained wide celebrity, and his services are in demand in different parts of the country during the lecture season.

Dr. Becker has just completed the mechanism for a life-saving device to be used in rescuing miners from imprisonment in case of accident by the giving way or caving in of roofs, which will no doubt prove of great and lasting benefit to humanity.  He has also invented and patented an automatic water filter, a description of which will be found in the American Inventive Progress.  He is also the author of several booklets, and has written sheet music with original words.

Dr. Becker was married August, 18, 1870, to Miss Elizabeth Houk, of Canal Fulton, Ohio, daughter of Samuel Houk. To this union two daughters were born—Myrtle, May 23, 1871, who died July 14, 1871, and Alta Jewel, who was born May 19, 1885.

 

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