Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 488-509 Marion Richardson Drury, D. D. to Frederick P. Beaver

MARION RICHARDSON DRURY, D. D., [pages 488-492] eldest son of Rev. Morgan S. and Elizabeth (Lambert) Drury, was born at Mendon, Madison county, Ind., December 27, 1849. His great-grandfather, William Drury, was a native of England and on coming to this country settled in Franklin county, Pa. There his grandfather, Arnold Drury, was born in 1793. William Drury removed to Henry county, Ind., in 1808 or 1810. There his son Arnold enlisted in the service of his country and served during the war of 1812.

Morgan S. Drury was born in Henry county, Ind., August 31. 1826. In 1848 he married Elizabeth Lambert, who was born in Rockingham county, Va., June 30, 1826, of German parents and learned to speak the German language. When a child her parents removed to Madison county, Ind. She and her husband went to Iowa in the summer of 1853, and located on a farm in Winneshiek county. These were pioneer days in the west, and the early settlers there were subjected to the many privations and hardships peculiar to a new country.  Here Marion R. Drury was taught the industries of the farm.  From a very early age his summers were spent in farm labor and his winters in the neighboring village school. In March, 1866, it was decided that he should have the advantages of a higher education, and accordingly he was sent to Western college, a school of the church to which his father belonged, located at Western, in Linn county, Iowa.  Here he pursued the full curriculum in the classical department, graduating June 19, 1872 with the degree of bachelor of arts. Three years later, in 1875, he received from the same institution the degree of master of arts in cursu.

June 20, 1872, Mr. Drury was married to Miss Lucinda Denny, of Waubeek, Iowa. They have two children—Florence Blanche, who was married to Herbert E. Foster, of Iowa, September 9, 1896, and Philo Walker, who is twenty years of age and a senior in Western college, now located at Toledo, Iowa.

Mr. Drury entered the ministry of the church of the United Brethren in Christ—the church in which his father had been a minister for many years—in the autumn of 1872, becoming a member of the North Iowa conference. After preaching one year in Fayette county, Iowa, he determined further to fit himself for his chosen work by taking a course of theological study. He therefore entered Union Biblical seminary, Dayton, Ohio, in October, 1873. from which he was graduated in May, 1875, During the last year in the seminary he served the Miami chapel congregation, near Dayton, as pastor. In the autumn of 1875 Mr. Drury returned to Iowa, and at the conference held in Lisbon he was ordained by Bishop J. J. Glossbrenner. At that conference he was appointed pastor at Toledo, Iowa, where he remained for three years. His next pastorate was at Cedar Rapids.   Here the church was weak and without a house of worship. Under his labors a commodious, well-located church edifice was built, and the present flourishing congregation of United Brethren in that city has been the happy result.

In May, 1881, the general conference of the United Brethren church was held at Lisbon, Iowa, a town distant twenty miles from Cedar Rapids. Mr. Drury reported the proceedings of that body for the Cedar Rapids Daily Republican. His work as reporter was so satisfactory that before the conference had completed its work he was offered the assistant editorship of the Religious Telescope, of Dayton, Ohio, the chief organ of his denomination. This position he accepted after some weeks of deliberation, and early in July following he entered upon his new duties on the editorial staff of that journal. This position he held for eight years.   In 1889 he was elected, by the general conference of his church, associate editor, which position he now (1896) occupies. Since residing in Dayton he has been secretary of the United Brethren Ministerial association and for three years president of the Dayton United Brethren alliance. In 1891 he became one of the founders of the Hartford street United Brethren church, of whose Sunday-school he has now been five years the superintendent.

In 1887 Mr. Drury and his wife took up the work of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific circle, which furnished a four years' course of study on the university extension plan, graduating at Chautauqua, N. Y., in August, 1891, and receiving their diplomas from the hands of the Rev. Edward Everett Hale, D. D., of Boston. Mr. Drury is the author of a number of volumes, mostly of a practical character, some of which have reached a very large sale. These are: The Pastor's Pocket Record, the Otterbein Birthday Book, a Handbook for Workers (issued in both English and German), a Pastor's Pocket Companion, At Hand, and a dedication service entitled, The House of the Lord. He is also the author of a prize essay on The Tobacco Habit, a tract on How to Deal with Inquirers, and has written some very valuable articles for cyclopedias. He has likewise been one of the book editors of the United Brethren Publishing house, of Dayton, Ohio, for many years.

Since 1890, when the Young People's Christian union of the United Brethren church was organized, he has been a member of its executive council, and three years the editor of its literature.

In 1891 the degree of doctor of divinity was conferred upon Mr. Drury by the Western college, his alma mater, and also by the Westfield college of Illinois.

 

FREDERICK ECKI, [pages 492-493] a well-known citizen of Dayton, and treasurer of the Permanent Building & Savings association, was born in Holmes county, Ohio, May 8, 1844, a son of Jacob and Catherine (Spreng) Ecki, natives of Alsace, France. The father, Jacob, had served a year in the French army, when he purchased his release, in order to come to America. He brought his family across the ocean in 1835 and settled in Holmes county, where he bought 160 acres of land, then practically in the wilderness, the woods abounding with all kinds of game. His means were somewhat limited, but he was industrious and ambitious, set bravely to work with his ax, cleared up his land and built the primitive log cabin, and by dint of perseverance cleared up his original farm, adding to it until he had accumulated 267 acres of arable land.  He and his wife were members of the Evangelical association, and in that faith the father died in 1868 and the mother in 1881, the parents of twelve children, of whom five are deceased. Of the seven still living, three are residents of Dayton.

Frederick Ecki was reared on the farm in Holmes county and inured to outdoor labor, but found time to secure an education in the common schools, which were then quite well advanced in the methods of public instruction. At the age of eighteen years, in April, 1862, he came to Dayton and began an apprenticeship at the machinist's trade with W. H. Pease, the establishment being now known as the Buckeye Iron & Brass works. While here employed, he enlisted in May, 1864, in company B, One Hundred and Thirty-first regiment Ohio national guard, under Capt. James Turner, which regiment was called out for the 100-day service and did garrison duty at Fort Federal Hill, Baltimore, Md.  On his return from this military service, he resumed his engagement with the Buckeye Iron & Brass works, with which he has since been uninterruptedly employed—making a total of thirty-five years in that service, with the exception of the three months that he was in the army. In April, 1874, he assisted in organizing the Permanent Building & Savings association, in which he has been a director for about sixteen years, and for nearly eight years the treasurer.

Mr. Ecki was happily married, in Dayton, in 1867, to Miss Fredericka Kirschner, who was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, in 1845, and who, having lost her mother, was brought at the age of six years to the United States by her father. To this marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Ecki have been born seven children, in the following order: Clara, Ida, W. H. H., George F., Florence, Ellen (deceased) and Anna C. The parents are members of the Evangelical association, and in politics Mr. Ecki is a republican. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and of the National Union, and socially he holds that high position in the esteem of his neighbors and the surrounding country which his industry and correct deportment as a citizen through life have so worthily won.

W. H. H. Ecki, the third child and first-born son of Frederick and Fredericka Ecki, was born December 10, 1871, and was educated in the common schools of Dayton, graduating from the high school in 1890; he then read law with 0. F. Davisson, graduated from the Cincinnati Law school in 1893, and was admitted to practice in the same year. He has met with success, and has his office with 0. F. Davisson, one of the prominent lawyers of Dayton. Mr. Ecki is now the attorney for the Permanent Building & Savings association.

 

REV. E. LEE FLECK, [pages 493-494] pastor of the Second English Lutheran church, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Blair county, Pa., September 8, 1856, and is of German extraction.

Conrad M. and Mary (Crossman) Fleck, his parents, were born in Blair county and Indiana county, Pa., respectively, and Peter Fleck, grandfather of Conrad M., was a hero of the Revolutionary war, his remains lying now interred in the cemetery at Culp post office, or, as the place is known historically, Sinking Valley. Conrad M. Fleck was a member of the Twelfth Pennsylvania cavalry during the late Civil war, and sustained serious and lasting injuries in defense of his country's flag. The family of Conrad M. Fleck and wife comprised eleven children; of these Anna died in her third year; Benjamin C. is a teacher, is married, and lives in Indiana county, Pa.; E. Lee is our subject; Bliss L., twin of E. Lee, is the wife of Levi Knott, residing in Altoona, Pa.; Mary Catherine died at eighteen years of age, unmarried; Elmer Ellsworth died in childhood; Martha Ellen is married to Jacob Otto, and lives in Loco, Ind.; Ethelbert died in childhood, her sister, Alice May, dying at the same time; Irene Gertrude, wife of Jacob Tate, resides in Altoona, Pa.; and Sallie E. is now Mrs. Henry Emery, and lives in Sinking Valley, Pa. The mother of this family died February 25, 1895, on the old homestead in Blair county, Pa., where the father still makes his home.

E. Lee Fleck lived in his native state until 1875, when he went to Illinois, where he worked on a farm for one or two seasons, then went to Iowa, worked upon the railroad for a short time, and then resumed farming in Cedar county, in the same state. He next attended the high school at Clarence, Iowa, and then, in September, 1878, entered the Carthage college, in Hancock county, Ill. Here he completed a six-years' collegiate course and passed his final examinations, but before the time arrived for the award of diplomas the institution collapsed under financial difficulties. Mr. Fleck then returned to Clarence, Iowa, but in the fall of the same year, 1884, came to Ohio and entered the Wittenberg Theological seminary at Springfield, from which he graduated in May, 1887. He immediately began the work of organizing the Third English Lutheran congregation of that city, holding, at the same time, the pastorate of the congregation at Rockway, a suburb of Springfield.

In March, 1888, Mr. Fleck married Miss Olive Hosford, who had been his classmate during his entire course at Carthage college, and was graduated in the same year; being a native of Hamilton, in the same county, she succeeded in securing her diploma and .was properly entered on the catalogue, a fortune that did not fall to the lot of non-residents. In the fall of the year of his marriage the health of Mr. Fleck failed, and he was obliged to resign his ministerial duties and retire to Hamilton, Ill., to recuperate.   In August, 1889, having somewhat regained, his health, he accepted the pastorate of a congregation at Sidney, Neb., where he remained until November, 1893, when he was called to Dayton and assumed the pastoral charge of the Second English Lutheran church, although the church building had not at that time been erected. Mr. Fleck organized the mission, and during the summer of 1894 a handsome and commodious edifice was completed at a cost of $16,000, with a seating capacity for about 800 persons. The membership of the church is 150, and the Sunday-school enrollment is 240. On the organization of the congregation, eighty members were drawn from the First English Lutheran church, a proportionate number of Sunday-school scholars were similarly obtained and other communicants and scholars came from sundry outside societies.

The parents of Mrs. E. Lee Fleck, Harlow and Mary (Wright) Hosford, were born in Ohio and Scotland, respectively—the father in Brookfield, Trumbull county, in 1824, and the mother near Edinburgh, in the same year. The Wright family came to America when their daughter Mary (Mrs. Hosford J was but fifteen years of age, and settled in Hamilton, Ill., where Mr. and Mrs. Hosford were married. To this last-named couple have been born six children, viz: Harris Truman, a farmer, and married; Anna Elizabeth, wife of Monroe Hanson; Isaac Newton, married, and by calling a farmer; Edwin Wright, also a farmer; Harriet Olive, now Mrs. Fleck, and Mary Jane, the wife of Samuel Hyndman; all of whom, excepting Mrs. Fleck, live in or near Hamilton, Ill. The mother of this family was laid to rest April 6, 1895, and the father, who had his experience in the outbreak against the Mormons at Nauvoo, Ill., still lives near Hamilton, not far from the scene of the Mormon troubles of about the year 1846.

To the happy marriage of Rev. and Mrs. E. Lee Fleck have been born three children, viz: Vera Mary Olive, in Hamilton, Ill., February 1, 1891; Harlow Conrad, in Sidney, Neb., December 28, 1892; and Irene Belle, in Dayton, Ohio, April 26, 1895.

In his politics Mr. Fleck is independent of party lines, but is strong in his advocacy of temperance.  He was one of the champions of the prohibitory amendment to the constitution of Iowa, in 1882, and his proclivities are still in favor of prohibition, as that word is understood in party politics.  Fraternally he is a member of the order of Sons of Veterans and of the Knights of Pythias.

 

F. D. BITTINGER, M. D., [pages 494-497] of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Elkhart, Ind., February 6, 1865. He is a son of George L. and Augusta (Johnson) Bittinger, both of whom are still living and are residing in Huntington county, near Fort Wayne, Ind. The father is a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of New York state. Both went to Indiana during their younger days, and it was in that state that their marriage occurred.

Dr. Bittinger was reared in Elkhart and Fort Wayne. His early education was obtained in the Fort Wayne public schools; later he attended Taylor university (then known as the Methodist college); at Fort Wayne, following which he began studying medicine, in that city, with Dr. G. A. Ross, a well-known physician, as his preceptor. He took the regular course at the Hahnemann Medical college and hospital, Chicago, graduating from that institution in 1888, and first entered upon the practice of medicine in Chicago, where for a time he was associated with Dr. W. S. Harvey, one of the professors of Hahnemann college. In the summer of 1888, Dr. Bittinger located in Dayton, and, opening an office at his present location, No. 23 West Fourth street, began what has proved a most successful career in medicine and surgery. He is a member of the American Institute of Homeopathy, of the Ohio state Medical society, and of the Dayton Homeopathic Medical society, being president of the last named body. Dr. Bittinger is surgeon for several of the street railway companies of Dayton, and a medical examiner for several well-known life insurance companies, among which are the Pacific Mutual, of San Francisco, and the American Union, of New York city, and is chief medical director for the United Order of American Craftsmen. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity and of the Present Day club. As a physician and surgeon Dr. Bittinger ranks among the prominent members of his school in Dayton and Montgomery county. As a citizen he is progressive and liberal in his ideas, ready always to lend his assistance to movements looking toward the advancement of the city and the public good. His career, both professional and private, has been not only successful, but consistent, and has earned for him a place among the representative citizens of the beautiful Gem City.

Dr. Bittinger was married in the fall of 1889, to Mrs. Jennie Darrow (nee Emerick), a member of one of the old and influential families of Germantown, Ohio. To their union two daughters—Eugenia and Ruth—have been born, who, with one son, Willie, from the first marriage of Mrs. Bittinger, constitute the family circle.

 

CAPT. WILLIAM EDWARD FAY, [pages 497-499] commanding company Seven, National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers at Dayton, was born at Franklin, Warren county, Ohio, on December 28, 1837. His parents removed to Cincinnati, where he grew to manhood under the parental roof, and received a liberal and thoroughly practical education, which was completed in the Kentucky Military institute, where he was graduated in 1859. This school was originated on a plan similar to that of West Point Military academy, and held a position second only to that institution.

Anthony Fay, the father of William E., was a native of New England, who had made a liberal fortune in the lumber business at Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a son of Massachusetts, and was proud to trace his lineage back to Plymouth Rock. His wife, Mary Vail, was a native of the county where William E. was born, and her family was among the first to establish itself in western Ohio.  Her father, Moses Vail, was a Quaker, and it is said that he refused to locate in Cincinnati, but kept on to Franklin, because he thought the former would never grow into a large city.  He died when his daughter Mary was twelve years of age. The Vails were a numerous family, and it is said that at one time half the population of Franklin were, in one way and another, related to it.

Capt. Fay has two sisters and one brother now living, he being the eldest of the family. One sister, Mrs. Emma Hamilton, the widow of Samuel Hamilton, is now abroad with her son, who has just attained his majority. Mr. Hamilton was a very successful banker and real-estate dealer. George Anthony Fay, the youngest of the living children, is a resident of Dyersville, Tenn., where he is engaged in an extensive lumber business.  He made a very admirable record as an officer of the United States revenue department. The other member of the family, Mrs. Laura Pugh, has her home at Shelbyville, Ind.

Capt. Fay began his mature life with an inclination towards the vocation of teaching; but almost immediately on his graduation, passed into the military service of the United States, for which he was so well prepared. During the presidential campaign of 1860, his name was prominently associated with the organization and training of the Wide Awakes, his company leading the great procession in the city of Cincinnati, that followed the election of Lincoln.  He entered the army August 6, 1861, receiving the appointment of adjutant of the Thirteenth Missouri volunteer infantry, organized at Saint Louis, His regiment was in the western army, and participated in many important and memorable engagements. At Fort Donelson it was the first regiment to place a flag on the captured fortifications. Here 15,000 prisoners were taken, and half as many more broke the lines and escaped. At Shiloh the Thirteenth was in the thick, of the fight, and here Capt. Fay had his horse shot from under him, the animal falling upon him and causing an injury from which he has never recovered.  He, however, remained on the field and accompanied his regiment to Corinth, where he was prostrated with typhoid fever, and sent to the hospital. Upon his recovery, he reported for duty, and was with his regiment during the winter of 1862-3 in the vicinity of Corinth. In the early spring following, he was ordered to Trenton, Term., where two companies of his regiment were mounted and served as scouts. Here a rebel colonel was captured, whom Capt. Fay accompanied. to Jackson, Tenn., alone, and there turned him over to the proper authorities. After the war had closed the father of Capt. Fay went south and built a mill near where this officer (Col. Dawson) had his home, and the two families grew to be the most intimate friends.

Capt. Fay took part in the siege and capture of Vicksburg, being among those soldiers who were stationed at Haines' Bluff, on the Yazoo river, to protect the rear of the Union forces from threatened attacks by Gen. Johnston.   After the fall of Vicksburg he was ordered to Helena, Ark., in Kimball's provisional division.   By this time Adjutant Fay's ability and special qualifications lifted him into prominence, and he was successively appointed assistant adjutant-general and assistant inspector-general of the Second brigade of this provisional division, also known as the Arkansas expedition. The city of Little Rock was easily captured in September, 1863, and here the command remained until the spring of 1864, when it was started to join Gen. Banks' expedition against Shreveport, and had progressed as far as Camden, Ark., when word came that that movement had failed. It was confronted by a strong rebel force, and at once began a running fight to reach Little Rock. It had several encounters with the enemy, but finally was, the first to reach and hold the city. Our subject formed his line of battle five times in one day on this forced march and was always ready to fight whenever opportunity was offered. The last battle in which he participated occurred in the march above described, and was fought at Jenkins' Ferry, April 30, 1864, on the Saline river. He was mustered out of service in November, 1864, with the rank of captain, being at home at that time seriously sick.

Capt. Fay established himself as a lumber merchant at Saginaw, Mich., when his health had sufficiently recovered to admit of his engaging in active business. In 1870, after four years' labor in this line, he returned to Cincinnati, and secured a political office, which he held for several years.  He was then engaged as bookkeeper in the counting room of an extensive wholesale hardware firm. Later on, this same firm put him in charge of its foundries and shops, which position he resigned to enter the office of the Cincinnati exposition, where he served as chief clerk in the secretary's office, attending to its correspondence and advertising. He proved a very valuable worker for this corporation, and it was reluctant to let him enter the service of the city, which desired him to act as inspector of street improvements. He, however, severed his connection with the exposition, and was in the employment of the city for several years, his duties being very agreeable to him, as they were largely in the field of civil engineering. Capt. Fay was then connected with the construction of a railroad in northern Georgia, where he acted as paymaster of the contractors, and confidential secretary of the management. When this road was completed, he returned to Cincinnati, and opened an office as estimating engineer, receiving plans from architects, and giving figures as to the cost of excavations, foundations, bridges, railroad work, and similar construction.  In this he was highly successful until the depression of 1893 put an end to active work, and deprived him of remunerative business.  He entered the home in May, 1896, and was almost immediately put into the command which he now holds.

Capt. Fay and Miss Laura Eugenia Dalton were married January 15, 1867. She was of Revolutionary stock, and her father, Joseph Dalton, true to the family traditions, was a soldier in the Union forces, enlisting from Oshkosh, Wis. No children were born to Captain and Mrs. Fay, and after an almost ideal wedded life of nearly twenty-nine years, he was called upon to mourn her death, which occurred September 16, 1895, at Cincinnati.

Capt. Fay is a member of Union Veteran Legion, No. 41, of Cincinnati, and has long been identified with the Christian or Disciples' church. He is an uncompromising republican, coming of an old-line whig family for two generations back. Personally he is a gentleman of education and broad culture, whose companionship is a privilege to all who admire true character and genuine manliness.

 

ZELORA D. FLEMING, [pages 499-500] junior member of the firm of Maxwell & Fleming, was born in Union City, Ind., February 20, 1870, and is the son of David and Catherine Fleming, both natives of Ohio. Mr. Fleming's paternal ancestors were Scotch, his great-great-grandfather having been a Highlander. His grandfather came to America prior to the American Revolution, and was a soldier in that glorious struggle. Mrs. Catherine Fleming, whose maiden name was Allen, and who is still living, is descended from an old English family, which was first represented in the United States by her great-grandfather, who settled, many years ago, in Virginia. The family of David and Catherine Fleming consisted of two children, William H., an engineer of Dayton, and Zeiora D.

Zeiora D, Fleming was educated in Saint Mary's institute, Dayton, and the Dayton Commercial college, graduating from the latter institution. He then became a clerk with a mercantile firm of the city, in which capacity he continued until entering the service of the Illinois Central railroad, where he was employed for eighteen months, becoming proficient in telegraphy during that time. For nine months he was an employee of the P., C., C. & St. L. railroad, running between Chicago and Logansport, and in 1891 engaged in business for himself, teaming and furnishing teams for the Rathbone Lumber company, Chicago. He was thus engaged until 1893, in September of which year he disposed of his business at Harvey, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, and his headquarters, where he purchased and still owns valuable real estate.  He returned to Dayton, and after about eighteen months embarked in his present business, purchasing property for the purpose on National avenue. This business consists of handling cut and dressed stone of all kinds, obtained from the firm's quarries, to operate which requires the labor of from fourteen to twenty men during the greater part of the year. The annual output is as high as 288 carloads of stone, the greater part of which is disposed of in Dayton, though quite a large amount is shipped to other cities of Ohio and states adjacent. In addition to the business of the firm, Mr. Fleming is individually engaged in handling coal and fuel of all kinds, in which his success has been most encouraging from the beginning.

On the 20th day of August, 1891, Mr. Fleming married Miss Fay Mary McCormick, who is a native of the county Mayo, Ireland, and was brought to the United States when eight years of age, her parents locating first in New York city, thence moving to Yonkers, where, in Mount Saint Vincent convent, she received a liberal education. Her brother, Michael McCormick, is a merchant tailor of Dayton, in which calling two other brothers are also engaged—James in this city and John in the city of New York; another brother, Dennis McCormick, is a resident of Indianapolis, Ind., and her only sister, Delia lives in New York city. The father of Mrs. Fleming and two sons, Patrick and William, reside, at this time, in their native isle.

Mr. Fleming has the mature judgment, sagacity and other qualities of the successful business man and citizen.  He is independent in politics and liberal in his religious views.

 

WARREN E. BEEGHLY, [page 500] one of the younger members of the Dayton bar, was born in Montgomery county, at the Beeghly homestead, near the soldiers' home. His parents were Abraham and Catherine (Wolf) Beeghly, well known and greatly esteemed in their community.

Warren E. Beeghly received his preliminary education in the public schools of Dayton, and afterward attended Ashland college for two years. He then entered the Miami Commercial college, graduating from that institution in 1885. He next taught school for three years in district No. 12, Van Buren township. Then, attending the Cincinnati Law college, he graduated there in June, 1890, and on the 1st of September following began the practice of the law in the office of the Hon. George W. Houk. Since the untimely and lamented death of that distinguished gentleman, Mr. Beeghly has been in practice alone.

Mr. Beeghly organized the Buckeye Building & Loan association April 1, 1892, and has since been its secretary and attorney. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, of the K. A. E. 0., of the Independent Order of Foresters, and of Mystic lodge, F. & A. M.   In all these fraternities he is in good standing and is considered a useful member, as he is endowed with sound judgment, and with good business qualifications. Mr. Beeghly is as yet unmarried.

 

CAPT. JAMES R. FLETCHER, [pages 500-503] commander of company Twelve, National Home, D, V. S., was born in   London, England, January 20, 1845; his parents, Samuel and Margaret (Castle) Fletcher, married in England, and came to the United States when he was eighteen months old, settling at Trenton, N. J., where the father for many years held a prominent position in the iron mills. Samuel Fletcher was a successful business man, accumulated a handsome competence and, died in the city of Trenton at the age of fifty-five years; his wife survived him and reached the ripe old age of eighty-two, before being called from the scene of her earthly labors.

The early years of Capt. Fletcher were spent in Trenton, in the schools of which he received his first educational training and later obtained a knowledge of the higher branches of learning in an academy of the city, completing the prescribed course of study. On the 5th day of June, 1862, he enlisted in company I, Fourteenth New Jersey infantry, and after the battle of Winchester, where his bravery under most trying circumstances attracted the attention of the officers of the regiment, he was promoted first lieutenant of company D, in recognition of meritorious conduct.  He commanded his company during the remaining years of the war, and proved a true soldier at the head of his men in many of the bloody battles in which the First brigade, Third division, Sixth army corps, participated. Among the more noted engagements in which he took part were the battles of the Shenandoah valley, Gettysburg, Fredricksburg, the Wilderness and Petersburg, and he was under Gen. Sheridan at the final surrender of the Confederate forces at Appomattox. He was mustered out of the service as first lieutenant, acting captain, in June, 1865, after gallantly serving his country for over three years, which covered the most trying and critical period of the war. His military career thus completed, he returned to the old home in New Jersey, where his mother was then living. After spending three years amid the scenes of his boyhood days, the captain went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he found employment as an iron worker, following his trade in that city during the greater part of fourteen years. He also filled a clerical position in the Cleveland post-office for some time, and later was an employee in the revenue department at the same place; he was also clerk at the Cataract House in Cleveland, being thus employed when failing health, superinduced by previous exposure while in the army, compelled him to retire from active life and to become an inmate of the national soldiers' home, at Dayton, for treatment. The date of his admission to the home is June 4, 1894, since which time he has filled various official positions, having had charge of company Twelve for about one year. The captain has been married, but at this time is alone in the world, his wife having died, and he having no living children.  He is a member of the K. of P. fraternity, belonging to lodge No. 46, Cleveland, of which he is past chancellor, and he was for two years commander of Commodore Perry post, G. A. R., Cleveland. He is an adherent to the principles of the republican party, and was reared in the faith of the Episcopal church.

 

JOSEPH FRANK, [pages 503-504] ex-meat inspector of the city of Dayton, and one of the well known citizens of Montgomery county, was born in Bavaria, Germany, October 6, 1859. His education was received partly in the old country and partly in the United States.   His father, Isaac Frank, brought the family to this country in 1871, coming at once to Dayton, where he is now one of the oldest butchers of this city. Young Frank went to work with his father in the meat business when between sixteen and seventeen years of age, having previously been engaged in driving cattle to and from the stock yards. Remaining with his father till he was nineteen years of age, he then went to Cincinnati, where he was engaged for three years as a butcher, Returning to Dayton, he and his brother, Isadore, embarked in the grocery and meat market business, which they followed for about two years, when Mr. Frank engaged in butchering and dealing in cattle on his own account at Brookville, Montgomery county, Ohio, attending the Dayton market. He then spent a year in traveling for his uncle, Jacob Weinreich, formerly president of the Dayton city council, and, upon returning to the occupation of butcher, he purchased the meat market of F. J. Schmitt, on Third street, and operated it for two years. In March, 1891, he accepted the position of city salesman with N. Jacobs & Co., which he still holds, and on May 1, 1895, he was appointed by the city council meat inspector for the city for one year.

Mr. Frank was married in August, 1888, to Victoria' Mayer, formerly of Houma, Terre Bonne parish. La., and to this marriage there have been born three daughters and one son, as follows:  Jennie, Bertram, Bertha and Sarah. Mr. Frank has served several years on the democratic county central committee and is treasurer of the committee and also of the Gravel Hall democratic club, as well as of several societies. He is one of the directors of the Old Men's Invalid home of Cleveland, Ohio; is a member of the Odd Fellows' encampment and of the Knights of Pythias, and holds the position of commissary sergeant on Col. Coffman’s staff.   He is a member of the Jewish organization known as the 0. K. S. B., and is the representative to the grand lodge of the order. In all these various orders and societies Mr. Frank maintains good standing and has the esteem of all the members. In business matters he has always been successful and is in everyway a useful and worthy citizen.

 

MICHAEL FREUDENBERGER, [pages 504-505] a retired farmer, living at 2612 East Fifth street, Dayton, Ohio, was born near Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, November 25, 1826. He is a son of Christian and Sybilla (Blitz) Freudenberger, both natives of Germany. Two children were born to Christian and Sybilla, viz; Conrad and Michael. Christian Freudenberger was a farmer by occupation, and lived and died in Germany. His first wife, who was the mother of the above-named children, and who was like himself a member of the Lutheran church, died in 1828, and he afterward married Miss Margaret Martin, by whom he had six children. Four of these are still living, as follows: George, John, Catherine, widow of John Kling, and Mary.

The paternal grandfather of Michael was a farmer in his native country, in which he lived and died. He was a man of quiet disposition, reared a family of four children and bore an excellent reputation. The maternal grandfather, Johannes Blitz, was also a native of Germany, reared a family of two children, and died in his native land when over seventy years of age.

Michael Freudenberger was reared on his father's farm in Germany, received a good common-school education, and remained at home until his early manhood. In 1852 he sailed for the United States, landing in New York, and five weeks later came to Dayton, Ohio, where for the next two years he worked for George Harris in his dairy. For one year afterward he was in the employ of Pierce & West, and at the end of this time, established himself in the diary business, in which he was engaged for a period of thirty-two years. His dairy was next to his present place of residence, and was then entirely in the country, timber land extending as far as the present Linden avenue.

On November 7, 1858, he married Miss Magdalena Sauer, daughter of Johannes Adam and Margaret (Eckert) Sauer. To this marriage there have been born twelve children, as follows: Magdalena, Louise, Celia, Elizabeth K., Christian, George, William, Emil, Albert, Bertha, August and Ida. Of these, Magdalena, Christian, George, William, Emil and Bertha are dead. Elizabeth K. married William C. Kette, of Dayton, and has two children.

Mr. and Mrs. Freudenberger are members of the German Lutheran church, and in politics Mr. Freudenberger is a democrat. At one time he owned eight acres of land in Dayton, which he platted, and sold off a large part in city lots. He also sold six acres to the National Improvement company, in the eastern part of the city. In 1891 he erected his present comfortable and attractive residence. He has been a citizen of Dayton for forty-five years and has done his share toward bringing about its remarkable growth and development. Few men stand higher in the estimation of their fellow-men than does Mr. Freudenberger, who, although not a native of this country, is yet one of the most patriotic of citizens.

 

CHRISTIAN FROMM, [pages 505-506] retired mechanic of Dayton, Ohio, residing at No. 678 South Main street, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, April 18, 1838, and is a son of Christian and Mary Katharina (Seifried) Fromm, also natives of Wurtemberg.

Christian Fromm, the father, was twice married, his first wife being named above, who became the mother of four children, viz: Christian, whose name opens this sketch; Mrs. Katharina Loudenschlager, now a widow and residing in Dayton; Mrs. Fredericka Nohr, who resides on West Fifth street, Dayton, and Mrs. Magdalena Meyers, who has her home in Louisville, Ky. The second marriage of Christian Fromm was with Maria Kopf, also a native of Wurtemberg, and to his marriage were born two daughters, viz: Mrs. Mary J. Darr and Mrs. Louisa Durr, both wives of farmers living in Montgomery county, Ohio.

Christian Fromm, the subject of this notice, received a good common-school education in his native country, and at the age of fifteen came to America with his parents, who settled in Dayton, Ohio, in 1853. Here the father resumed his trade of stonecutting, which he had learned and followed in the old country, and which he here continued until advancing years compelled his retirement. His death occurred in Dayton, August 6, 1891, his second wife having died on May 8th of the same year.

Christian Fromm, Jr., on coming to Dayton with his parents, was at once apprenticed to the cabinetmaking trade, and followed that vocation until the opening of the Civil war, when he enlisted, in August, 1861, in company B, First Ohio volunteer infantry, which was assigned to the army of the Cumberland. Mr. Fromm took part in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Miss., Perryville, Stone River, Murfreesboro, Kenesaw Mountain, in the siege and in the capture of Atlanta, where his term of enlistment expired, and the regiment was ordered to Chattanooga, where it was mustered out of the service. Mr. Fromm then returned to Dayton, where he entered the employ of the Globe Iron works, and there spent twenty-eight years, and in 1894 retired from active labor.

The marriage of Mr. Fromm took place in Dayton, September 18, 1865, to Miss Lizzie Eberle, a native of Boston, Mass., and of German parentage. This union was blessed by the birth of five children, who, in order of birth, were named Otto F., now a hardware merchant of Dayton; Bertha, Edith, Emma and Cora, the daughters being still unmarried and living with their parents. A peculiarity with the Fromm family is the fact that to every marriage that has taken place for generations back, the first child born was the only son. The year 1891 was one of deepest sorrow to Mr. Fromm, for in that year he was bereft of father, step-mother and wife—the. death of his wife occurring March 25th.

In religion Mr. Fromm was reared in the faith of the German Lutheran church. His children are members of the English Lutheran church, of which his wife was also a devout member. Fraternally, Mr. Fromm is a member of Old Guard post, No. 21, Grand Army of the Republic, and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. In politics, he entered the army as a democrat, but voted for Lincoln for the presidency in 1864, and has ever since been a republican.

Mr. Fromm has ever lived an industrious life, and his retirement from active labor was induced by the fact that his health was beginning to fail through encroaching years. He had charge of the millwright department of the Globe Iron works for many years, which is proof that his reputation as an excellent mechanic was well earned. At one time during the long period of his employment by this company he temporarily withdrew and engaged in the furniture business, for which his early experience had well qualified him, but the panic of 1873 proved fatal to this venture; otherwise, he has enjoyed a prosperous career. He has the good fortune to be surrounded by a loving family and a host of warm-hearted friends, who highly esteem him, and his waning days are passing in peace and comfort.

 

FREDERICK P. BEAVER, [pages 506-509] founder and president of the Beaver Soap company, situated at the corner of Hopeland and Concord streets, Dayton, Ohio, was born in this city, November 29, 1845. He is a son of J. N. F. and Caroline (Snyder) Beaver, both of whom have died, the former in August, 1856, and the latter in March, 1861. They were natives of Pennsylvania, the one having been born near Chambersburg, the other near Lancaster, and were respectively of French Huguenot and Prussian descent. They came to Ohio before they were married, the mother in 1819, and the father in 1835, and were married in Dayton, Ohio, in 1844. For some years J. N. F. Beaver was one of Dayton's active business men, being first engaged in the manufacture of candy, and later in selling coal and wood. Still later he became engaged in the wholesale notion business with Jacob Coffman, under the firm name of Coffman & Beaver, which style continued until the death of Mr. Beaver. He was a deacon in the Baptist church, and was a strong republican. His parents, Philip Beaver and his wife, came to Dayton a short time prior to their death, which occurred in this city,

George Snyder and his wife, parents of Caroline Snyder, also came to Dayton and here died. The former for a time conducted a hotel where the present Cooper house stands.

Frederick P. Beaver was one of a family of five children, as follows: Edward C., of Frankfort, Ind., a railroad agent for the Vandalia line; Hattie A., widow, of J. A. Crebs, of Dayton; Charles H., who died in infancy; Ida A., wife of Edward Canby, of Dayton, Ohio; and Frederick P.

Frederick P. Beaver was educated in the public schools of Dayton, and at the age of sixteen was a paper carrier. Afterward he took a commercial course, and in 1863 accepted a position as bookkeeper with Chamberlain & Parker. On May 12, 1864, he enlisted in the 100 days' service, and, after serving his time in the army, returned to Dayton, re-entered the employ of Chamberlain & Parker, and remained with them until 1869.  Then, going to Toledo, he carried on a branch store for them under the name of Frederick P. Beaver, being thus occupied for two years.  Going then to Hopkinsville, Ky., he became a member of the firm of Brownell, Orr & Co., the firm operating a planing-mill. Here he remained one year, when he returned to Dayton and purchased the interest of Edward Sweet, in the firm of Chadwick & Sweet, furniture dealers, the name becoming Chadwick & Beaver, and so continuing for five years. Mr. Beaver then established the Silver Star baking powder business, which lasted but a few months, and in which he lost most of his earnings; but, nothing daunted by failure, he started, in a small way and with but small capital, the Beaver Soap company, which, under the management of himself and associates, has grown to its present prosperous condition. It was started in 1879 in a one-story frame building on Commercial street, near Fifth, and the first year's output did not exceed 1,200 gross of soap. Since then he has made four removals, enlarging the business each time, or rather moving only when the increasing business rendered it necessary. The present plant has 400 feet street frontage and is seventy feet deep. The buildings have two and a half acres of flooring, and constitute one of the large manufacturing establishments in the city of Dayton, which city is known all over the civilized world for the great number and excellence of her manufacturing industries. There are employed in these works some seventy-five hands, and the goods manufactured are sold all over the country—Grandpa's Wonder, Beaver's Pine Tar and Grandma's Laundry soap being the especial brands made by the concern. When the business was founded Mr. Beaver started alone. In 1883 he took in Robert Marsh, who, however, remained associated with him but a short time, and in 1885 he accepted as a partner W. D. Chamberlin, whose biographical sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. The firm name then became Beaver & Co., and in September, 1893, the business was incorporated under the name of the Beaver Soap company. The officers of this company at the present time are as follows: F. P. Beaver, president; W. D. Chamberlin, vice-president; and C. F. Snyder, secretary and treasurer.

Mr. Beaver was married, November 29, 1893, to Miss Emma J. Thompson, daughter of Ralph and Mary J. Thompson, of Terre Haute, Ind. Mr. Beaver is a member of the First Baptist church, and resides at the northeast corner of Second and Perry streets. He is one of the liberal-minded men of the city of Dayton, is progressive, intelligent, well informed, and keeps himself fully abreast of the times.   Socially and religiously Mr. Beaver enjoys high standing, possessing the sincere esteem of the entire community.

 

Return to "Centennial Portrait" Home Page