Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 470-488 Mrs. Martha Jane Rouzer to William Hanby Flack

MRS. MARTHA JANE ROUZER, [pages 470-473] president of the John Rouzer company and widow of John Rouzer, the founder thereof, is a native of Dayton, was born July 24, 1836, and educated in the public schools and higher educational institutions of the city, receiving a training which included a study of the classics as well as of the ordinary branches of knowledge.

The parents of Mrs. Rouzer were Henry and Susannah (Johnson) Diehl, the former of whom was born in Hagerstown, Md., in 1800; the latter was born in Pennsylvania and was some years her husband's junior. They were married in Dayton, Ohio, where Mr. Diehl was engaged extensively in chair making, and to their union were born four daughters, viz: Ann Eliza, who became Mrs. William Horn and died at about forty years of age; Martha Jane, whose name opens this sketch; Margaretta, widow of John Cannon and a resident of New York, and Susannah, deceased wife of Samuel McNutt. The second of the above named children, Martha Jane, at the age of seventeen years, was married to John Rouzer, a carpenter and builder of Dayton.

John Rouzer was a native of Clark county, Ohio, born June 29, 1822, son of John and Elizabeth Rouzer.  In early life he learned the carpenter's trade, at which he worked at various places from 1844 to 1854, and in the latter year established himself in business as a contractor and builder in Dayton, beginning in a small way. In 1861, he began the manufacture of building material. He was then located in the old Bomberger flouring mill, where he put in operation the first iron frame molding machine in the United States. In 1862, he entered upon the erection of the Turner opera house, which was opened January 1, 1864. In 1863, he removed to the present location of the John Rouzer Planing Mill company, on the Cooper hydraulic, opposite the head of Fourth street. The building he then occupied was a small two-story brick, which a year or two afterward he enlarged by adding twenty feet to the front, and raising it all one story. In 1871 he erected a new building to the north of the old one, three stories in front and four stories high on the canal. He afterward occupied the two buildings, which are now equipped with the finest machinery to be found anywhere in the state. Mr. Rouzer conducted this business alone for a time, and did a large and constantly increasing business, the product of his factory finding a market in a number of states. His building operations were not confined to Dayton, but extended to many other places, notably Columbus, where he erected the court house, the board of trade building, and the residence of the widow of ex-Gov. Dennison, In Dayton he supplied the inside furnishing and furniture for the new court house, and the office furniture for the offices of the Teutonia Insurance company. He also erected the Callahan bank building, the high school building, and many other substantial structures.

In February, 1890, he organized the John Rouzer company, of which he was a principal stockholder and the president until his death, which occurred May 23, 1893. This is the leading manufactory of its kind in Dayton, employs a large number of men, turning out work of the highest class in the way of builders' materials and supplies, office furniture being one of the specialties of the company.

To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Rouzer were born seven children, of whom five died in infancy; of the living, Kate was first married to Leo Flotron, a native of France and a jeweler by trade, who died in Dayton about 1876, leaving his widow with one son, John R. Flotron, who is now secretary and treasurer of the John Rouzer company and is the adopted son of his grandmother, Mrs. Martha Jane Rouzer. The second marriage of Mrs. Kate (Rouzer) Flotron was to David W. Moore, of Xenia, Ohio, who lived about two years after marriage, and later his widow became the wife of John N. Humphrey, who is engaged in keeping a restaurant in Dayton. The second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rouzer, named Mattie, is the wife of Horace Justice, a farmer of Montgomery county, and is the mother of two children, Horace and Mattie.

John Rouzer was what is usually denominated in business circles a self-made man; and the term may be applied, in this case, in its broadest scope, as he began life in indigent circumstances, but through his great ability as a mechanic and his keen business perceptions, accumulated a handsome fortune and became the head of one of the largest and most prosperous industries of his adopted city. He was noted for his kindness of heart and for his sympathy with the poor and distressed, which sympathy was manifested in a broad and comprehensive liberality; he was, moreover, a kind and indulgent husband and father; and his family cherish his memory with deep affection, while his loss is deplored as well by an extended group of friends and acquaintances. As a Freemason Mr. Rouzer had attained the thirty-second degree, and in politics he was stanch in his adherence to the principles of the republican party, while in religion he was a devoted Baptist. The Rouzer family and the Diehl family trace their genealogy to Germany, although the father of John Rouzer was a native of Maryland; the Johnson family came from England, the maternal grandfather of Mrs. Rouzer having been born in that country. Mrs. Rouzer was baptized in the faith of the Episcopal church, to which faith she still adheres, being an attendant upon the Christ Episcopal church at Dayton.

John Rouzer Flotron, grandson of Mrs. Rouzer, was, on the death of his father, adopted into the Rouzer family and shared the attention and kindness accorded the daughters, being reared and educated with the same care, and at the death of his grandfather shared in the distribution of the property. He is a young man of fine business qualifications, and has largely supplemented the place of the late Mr. Rouzer in conducting the extensive mill operations. Mrs. Rouzer, upon the loss of her husband, assumed the duties of president of the company, which office she has since filled with excellent judgment, exhibiting strong business ability and executive tact. She has surrounded herself with capable, trustworthy employes, has kept the affairs of the company in a harmonious and prosperous condition, and has proved herself to be fully competent to fill her responsible and prominent position.

 

CHARLES ECKSTEIN, [page 474] superintendent of the street department of the Dayton water works, was born in Newport, Ky., June 29, 1864. His parents were Peter J. and Minnie Eckstein, both natives of Germany, but who came to the United States when quite young. They removed to Dayton from Newport, Ky., in 1868, and here the former died in 1871. His widow continues to reside in Dayton, but has since remarried.

Charles Eckstein received his education in the public schools.  After leaving school he worked for his step-father for several years, engaging later with street contractors for a time.  Subsequently he served an apprenticeship with the firm of Brooks & Kemper at the steam and gas fitting trade, continuing to work at this calling until May 1, 1891, when he was appointed to his present position in the water works.  In this position Mr. Eckstein is unusually efficient, and is strictly attentive to his duties, the result being that he enjoys the full confidence of his employers.   He was appointed to his position without solicitation on his part, his peculiar fitness therefore being apparent.

Mr. Eckstein is a member of Linden lodge, Knights of Pythias, of the Independent Order of Foresters, and of the Chautauqua tribe, No. 98, Improved Order of Red Men. He was married December 1, 1886, to Miss Ella May Williams, of Dayton.

 

GEORGE W. EDWARDS, [pages 474-475] foreman of the laundry at the national military home, Dayton, Ohio, is a native of London, England, was born May 16, 1836, and came to America while still a youth. He worked in a machine shop in New. York city until 1861, when he enlisted in company B, Sixth New York cavalry; he was first sent to Staten Island, where his regiment was organized, was stationed a short time at Havre de Grace, being then sent through Washington and across the Potomac river, to the Rappahannock river, to guard the fords. His principal battles were Fredericksburg, South Mountain, Antietam, and a running fight with the rebels back to the Rappahannock, he was in the battles at Kelly's Ford and Rappahannock Station, and guarded the rear of the infantry while in winter quarters. In the spring of 1863 he went upon the Chancellorsville campaign and took part in the battle of that name, participating in the battle of Gettysburg, following the retreating enemy to Falling Waters, and there crossing the Potomac, went with Sheridan on his famous raid in the rear of the rebels, being twenty-one days separated from the main army, recapturing trains and prisoners. In the winter of 1863 he was re-enlisted and returned to New York on veteran furlough.

At the expiration of the term of his leave of absence, Mr. Edwards rejoined his regiment at Culpeper, and took part in the great wilderness campaign, the Union forces capturing at Beaver Dam Station a large force of rebels and recapturing three trains and many prisoners taken by the enemy in the wilderness and elsewhere in the early days of May, 1864. This raid continued on to Richmond, where there took place a severe skirmish inside the fortifications—the raid being led by Gen. Sheridan, with Custer, Devins, Merritt and Torbett as division commanders. After about twenty-one days spent within the rebel lines, report was made to Gen. Grant, at City Point, Va., and the next raid was made, under the same commanders, from City Point, upon Trevillian Station, where was had a general cavalry engagement, resulting in the capture of the station and the destruction of the railroad and all rebel supplies.  Returning to City Point, orders were given for the corps to go north and intercept Early's raid into Maryland. They embarked on boats and went to Washington, being fired upon by rebel shore batteries nearly all the way.  From Washington a forced march was made to Harper's Ferry, but from this point the main body of the rebel cavalry had retired across the Potomac, carrying off large stores taken in Pennsylvania and Maryland.   Custer's division, however, re-captured a portion of this property.   Mr. Edwards was next with Sheridan in the Shenandoah valley, and fought at Winchester, Cedar Creek and Fisher's Hill. In the latter battle forty-two pieces of artillery were captured and some prisoners and munitions of war retaken. After following the enemy to Harrisonburg, the army returned to the valley and wintered near Loudoun, and while thus quartered was attacked by the enemy in Federal uniform, who captured the pickets and created a general stampede in camp, where the rebels gained some advantage, but soon lost more than they had gained. In the spring of 1865 a march was made down the valley, and the enemy, under Early, was met at Waynesboro, where he lost all his artillery, baggage-wagons and camp equipage. On the march to join Grant's army at Petersburg, Mr. Edwards lost his horse in crossing a swollen stream, and was sent with other dismounted men to Pleasant Valley. He rejoined his regiment at Cloud's Mills, where he took charge of his company, being now a sergeant, and was here mustered out as a supernumerary non-commissioned officer—his regiment having been consolidated with the Sixteenth New York cavalry.

Returning to New York city, Mr. Edwards enlisted, in 1866, in the Nineteenth United States infantry, and served one term of three years and one term of five years as first sergeant of company E.   The last five years he served on detached duty as provost under Gen. C. H. Smith at Fort Gibson, in the Indian nation, and at Fort Smith, Ark.  He was finally discharged, at Martinsville, in 1874, his application for re-enlistment having been rejected on account of hernia incurred while in the service. For the five years succeeding his discharge, he was employed in engineering in New Orleans, La.   In 1879, he came to the Central branch, national military home, Dayton, but was incapacitated for work for several years. In July, 1890, however, he was appointed foreman of the home laundry, where he has supervision over forty-nine men.   Mr. Edwards was a true and brave soldier, and of his twelve years in the army he was eleven years an officer. During his last term of service in the regular army he was stationed twice at Fort Smith; once at Fort Gibson; once at Dover, Ark.; once at Little Rock; thence at New Orleans and once each at Holly Springs, Miss.; Ship Island, in the gulf of Mexico, and Martinsville. He was never married, has never joined a secret order, but has been a member of the Episcopal church all his life, and in politics is a stanch republican.

 

CHARLES W. ELLIFF, [pages 475-476] one of the prominent young members of the Dayton bar, was born in West Carrollton, Ohio, October 23, 1865, and is a son of Patrick Elliff, who located in Montgomery county about 1859, and together with his family moved to Dayton in 1875, where they have since resided.

Charles W. Elliff received a high school education in the city of Dayton, and in 1889 began reading law; entered the Cincinnati Law school, and after leaving that institution was admitted to the bar in 1891. During the same year he was elected justice of the peace in Dayton, and served a term of three years in that capacity, with credit to himself and to the satisfaction and approval of the public. Upon retiring from this office he began the practice of law, and has been thus engaged ever since with gratifying success.  In November, 1896, Mr. Elliff formed a law partnership with H. L. Ferneding.

Mr. Elliff is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the society of Elks. He was married December 8, 1895, to a daughter of John and May Fleckenstein, the former of whom is now deceased. Mr. Elliff has already made for himself an enviable reputation as a lawyer, and is personally very popular at the Dayton bar.

 

DR. CLARKE S. EPPLEY, [page 476] an experienced chiropodist, of Dayton, Ohio, with office in room 5, Newsalt building, on the corner of Fourth and Jefferson streets, was born in Clarke county, Ohio, in 1870.  He is a son of Prof. H. C. Eppley, who is now located in Cincinnati, and who has been engaged as a chiropodist for twenty years, during four of which he practiced in Dayton. Prof. Eppley was born in Clarke county, Ohio, on a farm, and was educated in the common schools. His parents came from Virginia to Ohio, in which state they resided to the close of their lives.

Prof. H. C. Eppley was married, in Clarke county, to Miss Rosetta Neff. He was educated in Ohio and Michigan, and followed farming for some years, giving his attention thereafter to horses, buying, selling and training those designed for the race course. He was well acquainted throughout the entire state of Ohio. About 1875 he adopted the profession of chiropody, and, as stated above, has ever since followed that calling. He and his wife were the parents of three children, viz: Charles, deceased; Clarke S., and Carrie, now living at home.

Clarke S; Eppley was educated in the public schools, and from his eighteenth to his twenty-first year was occupied in the shoe business in Springfield.  He then studied with his father, learning the profession of chiropody, and has since that time been engaged in its pursuit.  He was located in Springfield until 1893, when he removed to Dayton, where he has since practiced with success.

 

JOHN GATES DOREN, [pages 476-481] retired journalist, residing at No. 307 East Sixth street, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Athens, Tenn., August 3, 1834, and is of French Huguenot and Scotch Covenanter origin. Immediately after the revocation, in 1685, of the edict of Nantes, the paternal ancestors of Mr. Doren left their native country, sought refuge in England, and there founded the family from which our subject directly descends.  His paternal great-grandfather came to America with Gen. Horatio Gates, whose sister was the wife of Mr. Doren. They were joint heirs to large estates granted by the crown of England in Virginia, of which province Sir Thomas Gates was the first colonial governor. Grandfather Doren died just after the close of the war of 1812, in Norfolk, Va., and the father of John G., also named John Gates Doren, was born near Wytheville, in the same state. Both the Gates and the Doren families were extensive slaveholders in their day, but gave to all their slaves their freedom in the early part of the present century. Gen. Gates removing to New York.

John Gates Doren, the elder, in early manhood settled in Tennessee, where he married Jane Macartney, daughter of an ex-captain of the British navy, but who, after the close of the Revolutionary war, had settled in east Tennessee.  Capt. Macartney was the youngest brother of Lord George Macartney, a distinguished figure in English diplomacy and statesmanship from 1769 until 1798, and who, during this interval, was a member of parliament, chief secretary for Ireland, British ambassador to Russia and China, and governor-general of India and the Cape settlements.  It may here also be added that Mrs. Doren was a schoolmate of Gen. Sam Houston. The mother of Miss Jane Macartney was a Murray, of the historical family of that name, and the youngest sister of Lord Dunmore, the last colonial governor of Virginia. The Murray family were Scotch Covenanters, and were bitterly opposed to the institution known as African slavery.

The parents of John G. Doren, because of their anti-slavery sentiments, came to Ohio in 1847, and first located in a Covenanter community in Greene county, but in 1851 settled in Columbus, which may be called the family home. The children of these parents numbered eleven—six sons and five daughters—of whom six only are now living, viz: Sarah L., a widow, residing at the family home in Columbus; Horace H., for many years a journalist, but now retired, and also living in Columbus; Margaret and Henry C., likewise at the homestead; Dr. Gustavus A., who founded one of the first institutions in the United States for the treatment of imbecile children, and who is at present the superintendent and physician of the original institution at Columbus, now under state government control, and of which he has been the head since its creation; this asylum being rated as the best in the world, and having been visited by many commissions from Europe, appointed to examine into its workings with a view to the improvement of home institutions of a similar character. The name of the subject of this sketch closes this list. It may be added that all of this family were born in Athens, Tenn.

John Gates Doren was primarily educated under private tutors, of whom his mother was the chief and most effective. For some years he attended Forest Hill academy at Athens, where he received a thorough training for that day and for his own age, and this he supplemented by close and discriminating study through a course of years devoted to self-tuition, and, indeed, through life, to the present day.

Mr. Doren was united in marriage at the old Collins homestead, Clermont county, Ohio, February 23, 1861, with Miss Elizabeth Bragdon, a native of Clermont, Ohio, daughter of Dr. George Hunt Bragdon, and granddaughter of Rev. John Collins, the pioneer minister, who preached the first Methodist sermon in Cincinnati, who also assisted in forming the first church in Dayton and organized the first Methodist church in either city, and who, during his first pastorate, received into the church Chief Justice McLean and other personages of note. The authority for this statement may be found in the Life of Rev. John Collins, written by John McLean (then one of the justices of the United States supreme court), and published in 1849 by the Methodist Episcopal Book concern of Cincinnati.

To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Doren have been born seven children, viz: Electra Collins, now librarian of the Dayton city library; Elizabeth Bragdon, a teacher in the Dayton city schools; Alice Macartney, who holds a similar position; Marian McSherry, now in her second year at Oberlin college; and three that died in infancy.

Mr. Doren became a democratic editor at nineteen years of age and continued in that profession until 1889, when he sold out and has since devoted himself to special work in the literary field, living a semi-retired life. He began his career as a journalist on the Ohio Statesman, in 1852, under Gov. Samuel Medary, after having served a regular apprenticeship at the printing business. From 1855 to 1857 he owned and edited the Gazette, at Hillsborough, Ohio.  In 1857 he was elected official reporter of the Ohio house of representatives, on the nomination of the late Justice Woods, of the United States supreme court, who was the speaker of the house at that time, Mr. Doren receiving the votes of republicans as well as of democrats. This position he resigned after a few months to accept an appointment in the treasury department at Washington. Still keeping up his connection with the Ohio democratic press, he established, in 1859, the Southern Ohio Argus (democratic), at Georgetown.  Up to this time, from 1852, during such intervals of leisure as the busy life of a newspaper man afforded, he had been reading law under the direction of various preceptors at different times, among them Hon. Samuel Galloway and Judge James F. Matthews, at Columbus, and Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks, of Indiana, and Hon. Geo. E. Pugh, of Cincinnati, who, during the time Mr. Doren was in the treasury department, were holding official positions at Washington, D. C. —one as senator, and the other as commissioner of the general land office. As a result of this industry, Mr. Doren was enabled to graduate after one term of lectures at the Cincinnati law school and was admitted to the bar at Cincinnati in 1863.

In 1864 Mr. Doren exchanged the Argos establishment for the Sun plant, at Batavia, in Clermont county, but sold the latter almost as soon as he acquired it, with a view to devoting himself wholly to the practice of law. He then opened an office in Cincinnati for this purpose, but early in 1865 succeeded Geo. M. D. Bloss as managing editor of the Enquirer, Mr. Bloss becoming the writing editor. This position Mr. Doren held until his health failed, when he was compelled to retire for rest and recuperation. In the latter part of 1869 he came to Dayton at the solicitation of Mr. Vallandigham, and bought the plant of the old Empire, which paper he edited and published for twenty years, as the Herald and Empire and the Empire and Democrat. Upon this foundation Mr. Doren succeeded in doing what some very able men before him had failed to accomplish—he built up a successful, influential and effective democratic newspaper. The list of failures preceding him includes some names as notable for ability as that of Mr. Vallandigham. Among those who early attempted to build up a democratic journal in Dayton, but grew discouraged, were three gentlemen, who, after the attempt, "went west and grew up with the country," the first—John Bigler, of California—winning the governorship of his adopted state; the second—DeLazore Smith, of Oregon—the United States senatorship, and the third—Thomas J. McCorkle, of California—the honor of being the first representative of that state in congress after it was admitted into the Union.  Other brilliant men, like John R. Cockerill, of the New York World, Hiram H. Robinson, who built up the Cincinnati Enquirer, and Thomas and William Hubbard, also succumbed to discouragements in the attempt to establish a democratic paper in Dayton. These facts, and the other fact that Mr. Doren's party was in an apparently hopeless minority when he took charge of the party organ in Dayton, but soon attained a healthy majority, and maintained it as long as he owned and managed the paper, are some of the evidences of Mr. Doren's ability as an editor and publisher. Taken in connection with another fact, well known and much spoken of by Mr. Doren's brother editors— that he never edited a paper in any county which was not republican when he began, and democratic when he quit—his career is regarded as an instructive and significant one to all editors.   The characteristic feature of this career was the absolute fearlessness and directness with which he always maintained his own convictions as to the honest interpretation and rigid application of his party's declared principles, as against any and all truckling "policies" of mere politicians, intent only on getting votes or winning and keeping offices. Such a policy always puts a partisan editor who adheres to it, in more or less antagonism with the local leaders, so-called, but the lesson of Mr. Doren's experience proves that it is the only one which can bring permanent success, and demonstrates that the political press need not be less straightforward, honest and independent because it is partisan.

During the twenty years that Mr. Doren was editor of his party organ in Dayton, he was never a candidate for any office before the people, although he held one or two by appointments which came to him unsolicited because of his special training or fitness for the duties required. He was journal index clerk of the national house of representatives from 1887 to 1889, inclusive, and was appointed by Gov. Foraker as a member of the board of state charities, a position which he held for six years, the last year as secretary of the board.

The special characteristics of the Doren family are devoted to literary pursuits and learned professions, loyalty to the religious and political principles of their ancestors, and fidelity and integrity in all things.

 

FIORINI & SHERER, [pages 481-482] a firm of Dayton, Ohio, engaged in plastic decorations, stucco work, wood carving, designing, modeling and drawing ornamental patterns for interiors of buildings, with works at 134 and 136 East Fourth street, is composed of Henry Fiorini and Charles J. Sherer, the partnership having been established in 1895.

Henry Fiorini, the senior partner, was born in Florence, Italy, in July, 1844, and is a son of Joseph and Catherine (Lotti) Fiorini. His elementary education was acquired in the common schools of Florence; he then entered the gymnasium and later passed to the academy of fine arts, took lessons in plastics for three years, and graduated, with honors, in 1865. He next took part, as an Italian patriot, in the war against Austria, which resulted in a united Italy, and in 1868 came to America, where he found even a greater freedom than that he fought for in his native land. Landing in New York, he worked at his art for twenty months; he then went to New Orleans, La., where, for a year, he labored at wood-carving; he next resided for three months in Chicago, Ill., and then went to Montreal, where he worked as wood decorator for the Pullman Car company. There he remained for eight months, going thence, in 1872, to Boston, Mass., where he was, for sixteen months, foreman of a furniture firm, designing the ornamental work. In the fall of 1873 he made a trip to Europe, and was there married to Miss Victoria Gori. He then returned to Boston, where he lived until 1878; then went to New York city and was employed at his art for eight years, and in 1886, came to Dayton, Ohio, where he has since been engaged in the various branches of his artistic profession, being for about six years in the employ of the Barney & Smith Car works in decorative work, and since 1891 teaching a class in modeling and carving in the Y. M. C. A. of Dayton.

In 1882 Mr. Fiorini had the misfortune to lose his wife, who died in January of that year, at the early age of thirty-two, the mother of four children, of whom two are still living— Alfred J. and Louisa. In politics, Mr. Fiorini is a republican, and fraternally is a member of the Masonic order.

Charles J. Sherer, the junior member of the firm of Fiorini & Sherer, was born in Dayton, February 19, 1868, a son of Michael F. and Margaret C. (Sacksteder) Sherer, was educated in Saint Mary's institute, and was the first graduate from that institution of learning, this event taking place in June, 1885. He then served an apprenticeship at artistic wood carving and next made a trip throughout the eastern states, starting in the spring of 1889, and passing three years in that section, working at his trade and adding to his knowledge of his profession. Since his return to Dayton he has conducted business on his own account, carrying on his trade in his own shop until the formation of his present copartnership. Mr. Sherer is recognized as an expert carver, and as a citizen and business man his name is without a blemish. In politics he is a democrat and in religion a Catholic, and, like his partner, is popular with his fellow citizens of the city of Dayton.

 

HENRY L. FERNEDING, [page 482] of the law firm of Elliff & Ferneding, Callahan Bank building, Dayton, Ohio, is a native of this city and is a son of Clement L. and Barbara (Barlow) Ferneding, the former of whom has been for many years prominent as a manufacturer and citizen of Dayton. Henry L. Ferneding received his elementary education in the Dayton schools, after which he was entered as a pupil at Saint Mary's institute, a Catholic college situated in the southern part of the city, where he remained for five years, graduating in the year 1890. The following year he continued his studies at the university of Notre Dame, near South Bend, Ind., finishing his course there two years later, after which he returned to Dayton to enter upon the study of the law. Mr. Ferneding had the good fortune to prepare for the bar under the tutelage of Hon. John A. McMahon, of the firm of McMahon & McMahon, in whose office he remained for three years. In the fall of 1895 he alternated his time between his studies in this office and his attendance at the Cincinnati Law school, graduating from the latter institution and being admitted to the bar in the following spring. He continued in the office of McMahon & McMahon until November 1, 1896, when he effected a partnership with Hon. Charles W. Elliff in the practice of law under the firm name above given.

 

EDWARD W. HANLEY, [pages 482-485] secretary and treasurer of the Dayton Gas & Fuel company, was born in Dayton on October 13, 1858, and is of Irish-American descent, his parents being Joseph and Anna Hanley, both natives of Ireland. The mother survives and resides in Dayton. Edward W. attended the public schools in early boyhood, but left his studies at the age of fourteen years and went to work for the firm of W. P. Callahan & Co. After a year spent in the shops of that firm, young Hanley went to the Barney-Smith car shops, where he spent five years. In 1879, having determined to educate himself more thoroughly, the young man left the car works and entered upon a course in the Miami Commercial college.

In 1880 he entered the employ of Patterson & Co., coal dealers, and later he was in the employ of the Southern Ohio Coal & Iron company, spending about four years in the coal business. In 1884 Mr. Hanley became deputy clerk under County Clerk George W. Knecht, of Montgomery county, which position he held until September, 1886, when he became first assistant postmaster at Dayton, where he remained until September, 1889. In November, 1890, Mr. Hanley began the publication of the Sunday World newspaper, which he continued until July, 1891, when he disposed of the publication and accepted the position of agent of the Dayton Natural Gas company. At the reorganization of the above corporation, in 1893, Mr. Hanley was made a director, secretary and treasurer of both the Dayton Gas & Fuel company and the Miami Valley Gas & Fuel company, two separate organizations, but under the same control. Mr. Hanley also occupies the position of director and secretary of the Troy (Ohio) Gas company, and the same relation to the Troy (Ohio) Electric Light & Power company. He is also a director in the Miami Loan & Building association of Dayton.  Mr. Hanley enjoys quite a reputation as a writer, and has contributed to numerous publications for the past ten years. He has also written quite a number of humorous and sentimental songs. As a reciter and general entertainer he also has quite a reputation.  Mr. Hanley was married on December 7, 1881, to Miss Carrie J., a daughter of the late Thomas D. Hale.

Mr. Hanley, in each of his varied occupations, has made friends and built for himself a good and enduring reputation.  His personal popularity grows not only out of his business ability and integrity, but from his unfailing geniality of disposition and sense of humor.

 

TRENANIAN DUPUY, M. D., [pages 485-486] one of the prominent physicians and surgeons of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Lewis county, Ky., on June 17, 1864, and is the son of Richard and Martha Dupuy. The mother died shortly after the close of the late war; the father is still living and is eighty years of age.

The Dupuys were among the early and prominent families of Virginia.  Dupuy, or Du Puy, is a very ancient French name. In the first crusade Hugues Du Puy, a French knight, and his three sons, accompanied Godefroy de Bouillon to Palestine, and in about the year 1113 Raymond DePuy founded and was the first grand master of the military order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, afterward styled the Knights of Malta. In later years the family was identified with the reformed religion of France as Huguenots. Bartholomew Dupuy was the immediate progenitor of the Virginia family.  He entered the French army at the age of eighteen and served fourteen years, becoming an officer of the guards of the king, Louis IV. Shortly after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, which was followed by the persecutions which drove the Huguenots from France, he married the Countess Susanna Lavillon, also a Huguenot, and retired to his country seat.  But he was now compelled to flee the country on account of the religious persecution mentioned.  He and his wife resided for about fourteen years in Germany and about two years in England, and in the year 1700 they came to Virginia and settled in King William parish, on James river, above Richmond, on lands granted to Huguenot refugees. There the old Huguenot and his wife lived many years. Their posterity are found in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Ohio and other states of the Union. The grandfather of Dr. Dupuy was Moses Dupuy, a direct descendant of Bartholomew Dupuy.

Dr. Dupuy was brought to Ironton, Ohio, by his parents in the fall of 1865.  He was educated in the public schools of that city, graduating from the high school in 1880. He learned the leather business with his father, who owns a large tanner in Ironton.   He attended the medical department of the Miami university of Cincinnati, and graduated in March, 1889. He served as assistant surgeon at the Central branch National Military Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, from April 1, 1889, to March 31, 1890. He was the first resident physician and surgeon of the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors' Orphans' home, at Xenia, from September, 1890, to May, 1892, during which time the present fine hospital at that home was built.  In September, 1892, Dr. Dupuy located in Dayton, where he has since resided and practiced his profession.  Dr. Dupuy is a member of the American Medical association, and of the Montgomery county Medical society, and is secretary of the board of examining surgeons for pensions at the national military home. On March 1, 1896, the doctor was elected an honorary member of the Union Veterans' union, in recognition of his services in the interest of the veterans of the late war, their widows and orphans, which honor has been conferred upon but two other persons in the history of the order. Shortly after being elected to this order he was appointed aid-de-camp, with rank of colonel, upon the staff of the commander-in-chief. Dr. Dupuy was colonel of the Tenth regiment, uniform rank, Knights of Pythias of Ohio, for four years, and was then placed upon the staff of the brigade commander of that order. In politics Dr. Dupuy is a democrat, and is chairman of the Montgomery county central committee. He is unmarried, and resides at No. 120 South Ludlow street.

 

LEWIS M. FANSHER, [pages 486-487] senior member of the firm of Fansher Bros., soap manufacturers, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Randolph county, Ind., August 4, 1854, a son of William and Emily (Gray) Fansher.

William Fansher was a wagonmaker by trade, was an Odd Fellow fraternally and politically was a republican. His death took place in Memphis, Tenn., in 1863, from disease contracted while serving in an Indiana infantry regiment in defense of the Union during the war of the Rebellion, he being at the time a corporal of his company. He was the father of four children, viz: Martin D., now deceased, Lewis M., William I. and Mary E. A., wife of George Baker, a farmer residing near Arcanum, Ohio.   Mrs. Emily Fansher, after her husband's death, was married to George Booher, and is still living.

Lewis M. Fansher, whose name opens this biography, passed his boyhood on an Indiana farm, was educated in the Farmland (Ind.) high school, and at the age of seventeen years began teaching in the district schools; when twenty years old he entered Antioch college, Yellow Springs, Greene county, Ohio, taking the preparatory course and two years of the college course, when failing health precluded further study; again he resorted to school-teaching, which he followed for several years, the last two being passed just east of Dayton.

In 1884, in partnership with his brother William I., after two or three years of other business ventures, he embarked in the soap manufacturing business, in which he is still engaged. The firm produce a bar of soap, which is designed for domestic and general laundry purposes, and a laundry chip soap, for the use of steam laundries—the former being disposed of mostly in Dayton, while the latter meets with an extensive sale throughout several of the states; they also manufacture a compound known as the Anti-slip Pulley Dressing, which is the invention of Louis M. Fansher, and sold all over the United States as a preventive of the slipping of machinery belts.

Lewis M. Fansher was married at Newcastle, in Indiana, in 1874, to Miss Julia A. Swigart, the union resulting in the birth of three children, viz: L. Percy, Pearl and William.  Of these the eldest is married to Miss Florence Lukinbeal, and is engaged in the profession of photography in Dayton. Mr. Fansher has a quiet and handsome home at 417 North Broadway. In politics he is a prohibitionist, is a member of the A. I. U., No. 2, of Dayton, and is recognized as one of the enterprising business men of the city.

William I. Fansher, junior partner in the firm of Fansher Bros., was born in Randolph county, Ind., August 31, 1858, and is the younger brother of Lewis M. Fansher.  He was educated in the public schools of his district and remained on the home farm until twenty years of age. He worked for a year or two at the carpenter's trade in Darke county, Ohio, and in 1881 came to Dayton, and for two years engaged in the manufacture of spring beds, in partnership with his brother Lewis, and for one year manufactured a hoisting-jack for wagons, William I. acting as salesman chiefly. In 1884, as related above, the soap factory was established, but on a very small scale and against strong competition. At times the brothers found it difficult to raise the means with which to purchase the stock from which the soap was made, and to meet the established trade of other manufacturers was a difficult task; but, by persistency of purpose, incessant toil and excellence of production, they surmounted all obstacles, the result being that already narrated. In this business William I. has attended to the outside affairs, effecting sales, making collections, etc., and proving himself to be a thorough business man. He is a member of the A. I. U., No. 2, of Dayton, and in politics is in accord with his brother.

William I. Fansher was married, February 5, 1884, to Miss Izora Leatherman, daughter of Frederick Leatherman, and to this marriage have been born three children, viz: Frederick W., Robert Gray and Susie May, the last two named being twins. The parents are members of the Summit street United Brethren church, in which Mr. Fansher is a steward, taking an active part in both church and Sabbath-school work. His pleasant home is at 123 Summit street, in a part of the city which possesses every church and social advantage.

 

WlLLIAM HANBY FLACK, [pages 487-488] plumber and gasfitter, of Dayton, Ohio, is a native of this state and was born in Marion county, March 13, 1846.

Rev. Peter Flack, his father, was an itinerant minister in the United Brethren church, and his home was therefore frequently changed, until about 1861, when he located in Columbus, Ohio. He was a native of Prussia, but married, in the United States, Miss Lucretia Brooks, a native of Vermont, and to this union were born twelve children, of whom William H. was the eldest, and eight of whom are still living.  Rev. Mr. Flack was a strong Union man during the late Civil war, and served his adopted country 100 days in the army during that conflict.  He lost his wife in Moultrie county, Ill., where she died in 1880, at the age of sixty-four years, while his own death took place in 1889, when he had reached his seventy-sixth year.

William H. Flack was a lad of fifteen years when the family located in Columbus. Equally patriotic with his father, he first served for six months in the Fifth Ohio independent battalion of cavalry, and while in this service did guard duty in Kentucky, fought guerrillas and protected loyal citizens in their lives and property.  In 1863, at the age of seventeen, he enlisted at Columbus in company K, Twenty-sixth Ohio volunteer infantry, the regiment being at that time at home on veteran furlough. The Twenty-sixth was assigned to the army of the Cumberland, and thence young Flack went under Gen. Sherman, to Atlanta, returning with Gen. Thomas to Nashville, Tenn., where the army confronted the rebel general, Hood, and drove him out of the state. The winter of 1864-65 was spent at Huntsville, Ala., and in the spring of 1865 Mr. Flack accompanied Gen. Stanley, commander of the Fourth corps, on the expedition to Texas, and was mustered out at Victoria, Tex., after having served two years and a half under this enlistment.

In the meantime the parental residence had been transferred to Illinois, but Mr. Flack returned to Columbus, where he resided until 1875, when he came to Dayton and formed a partnership with Rockey Bros., in plumbing, etc.   In 1880 he withdrew from this firm and established himself on the West side, adding new features to his business as seemed to be demanded by his trade, and he now stands among the prominent business men of Dayton.

Mr. Flack was united in marriage in January, 1869, at Columbus, with Miss Josephine M. Rockey, a sister of his former partners in business, and a native of Franklin county, Ohio. This union has been blessed with three children, viz : Vida R., Willie and Mattie— the last two being twins, who are attending school.  In his politics Mr. Flack is an active and energetic worker for the success of the republican party in national affairs, but locally he sustains good men in preference to doubtful measures. He is a member of the I. 0. 0. F., and of the G. A. R.; and the church relations of the family are with the Methodist Episcopal church.

The Flack ancestry were agriculturists for generations, of steady habits and temperate in all things, and consequently long-lived. The father of William H. was but two years of age when his parents came to America and settled in Frederick county, Md., where he was educated and passed all his mature years in the ministry. The Rockey family are represented by Mrs. Flack as having settled in the mountains of Vermont at a very early date in the history of this country.

 

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