Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 734-749 Edgar D. Regan to Bruno Ritty

EDWARD D. REGAN, [pages 734-735] undertaker, whose business house is located at No. 829 East Fifth street, was born in Middleton, Ohio, November 18, 1862, son of Timothy and Mary Regan, both parents being natives of Ireland. Timothy Regan was born in county Cork, November 19, 1830, and his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Smith, was born May 14, 1863, in county Cavan. Both spent their youthful years in their native land, and in 1852, Timothy Regan, thinking to better his condition in a country where larger opportunities were offered, sailed for America, the land of promise, and settled in Dayton, Ohio, where he was subsequently married, his wife having come to the United States in 1856, in company with her brother, Rev. Father Joseph Smith, a priest of the Roman Catholic church.

Shortly after his marriage, Timothy Regan moved from Dayton to Middletown, where he resided for several years, afterward returning to the former city, where he still lives. Mr. Regan served with distinction in the late war, entering the army as first lieutenant of company I, Ninety-third Ohio volunteer infantry, and subsequently, for gallant and meritorious conduct, was promoted captain of the company.   He shared the fortunes of war for three and one-half, years, during which period he participated in a number of campaigns and battles, in one of which, Chickamauga, he received a severe wound which necessitated his lying in the hospital for several months.  In the winter of 1866 he was appointed to a position in the United States mail service, which he still holds, enjoying at this time the distinction of being the oldest railway postal clerk in the United States. Timothy and Mary Regan reared a family of six sons and three daughters, Edward D. being the fourth in the order of birth.

Edward D. Regan received his education in the public schools of Middletown and began life for himself as a clerk in the employ of the Atlantic & Great Western railroad, with which he remained for a period of nine years. Severing his connection with railroad work, Mr. Regan entered the employ of P. J. Sorg, the well known manufacturer of tobacco, and for three years represented that house as traveling salesman in Ohio and other states, making for himself a fine reputation as a business man.

Not fully satisfied with the vocation of salesman and desiring to engage in business upon his own responsibility, Mr. Regan abandoned the road and embarked in undertaking in Dayton, and has conducted that enterprise most successfully during the last three and one-half years.   His establishment is fully equipped with all the appliances essential to the successful prosecution of the undertaking business, his stock is full and complete and his equipment is among the finest in the city. Mr. Regan manages his establishment upon strictly business principles and his prosperity is amply deserved.

Mr. Regan was united in marriage September 19, 1887, with Miss Frances H. Hartnett, of Dayton, the accomplished daughter of James and Mary Hartnett. Four children have been born of this union, namely, Robert, Arthur, E. J. and Mary. Mr. Regan and family are members of the Saint Joseph Roman Catholic church of Dayton. He belongs to the Saint George A. 0. H., Catholic Benevolent Legion and Catholic Knights of Ohio. In national affairs Mr. Regan is a republican and in local politics independent.

 

REV. GODFRED I. REICHE, [pages 735-736] hospital steward at the national military home, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Cincinnati February 5, 1848.   His parents, Gottlieb and Augusta (Stibler) Reiche, were born in Saxony and Prussia, Germany, respectively, came to America in 1838, and settled among the Indians in Texas.   But the savages were so hostile, and their depredations so frequent, that Mr. Reiche preferred to sacrifice his 360 acres of land rather than risk the lives of his family by remaining. As he had been a Prussian soldier, he had assisted in drilling the Texan troops for the war with Mexico, and availed himself of government wagons returning from that war to bring his family to Cincinnati, Ohio. He died at the home of his son, Godfred, then in Rising Sun, Ind., in 1876, at the age of seventy years, the mother still survives, and lives with her son at his home in Dayton.  Of their six children, Augusta was buried at sea, and her sister, Otilis, died of fright at the Indians, and was buried on the trip to Cincinnati. Of the sons, Theophilus is foreman of a brewery in Knoxville, Tenn.; Joseph is a teacher of music in Sheboygan, Wis.; of one no record is preserved, and of Godfred I. the following biography is given.

Godfred I. Reiche received his elementary education in the public schools of Cincinnati, and when in his fifteenth year enlisted, in July, 1862, in company H, One Hundred and Eighth Ohio volunteer infantry, and served until the close of the war. He was attached to the Fourteenth army corps, and participated in all engagements from Chickamauga to the Atlantic ocean, and in those in the Carolinas, and also bore a part in the grand review at Washington, D, C. He never missed a day from duty while in the service, and was promoted when but fifteen and one-half years old. He was discharged at Louisville, Ky., in July, 1865, when he returned to his former home in Cincinnati.

Mr. Reiche now resumed his studies and entered Marietta college, passing to the third or junior year, and completed his education at the Mission House seminary, in Wisconsin, where he was prepared for the ministry of the German Reformed church. He was ordained in 1873 and placed in charge of the congregation at Rising Sun, Ind., where he remained nine years, built three churches and organized one congregation. The church edifices spoken of were erected at Rising Sun, Aurora and Florence, Ind. Mr. Reiche next had charge of the congregation at Louisville, Ky., for eight years, this being one of the most prominent congregations in the conference.   For two years he had a charge in Cincinnati, and was the trusted agent of the city for the distribution of funds for the relief of sufferers from the Ohio valley flood. In this capacity he disposed of over $100,000 to the worthy and needy, and holds a letter of commendation from prominent gentlemen of Cincinnati for his faithfulness in this matter.

Mr. Reiche was also strongly recommended for the chaplaincy of the Ohio penitentiary, and could easily have secured the position, but was deterred from entering upon its duties through failing health.  For this reason, also, he was compelled to retire from the active work of the ministry in 1894, after a continuous service of over twenty years.  Leaving his mother in Louisville, Ky., he came to the soldiers' home at Dayton to die. But through good care and rest, he so far recuperated as to become able to perform his present light duties. October 1, 1896, Rev. Mr. Reiche was united in marriage with Miss Alvira Estray, of Van Wert, Ohio.  Mrs. Reiche is a Methodist in her religious belief.

Mr. Reiche is a member of encampment No. 82, Union Veteran League.  In politics he has been a life-long republican. In 1894 he brought his venerable mother from Louisville, Ky., to Dayton, Ohio, and the family have their happy and comfortable home near the soldiers' home grounds.

 

DANIEL GEORGE REILLY, M. D., [page 736] practicing physician and surgeon of Dayton, Ohio, was born in the village of Thorndike, town of Palmer, Hampden county, Mass., August 29, 1863. He is a son of Patrick Reilly and Johanna (Wren) Reilly, both of whom were natives of county Kerry, Ireland, and came to the United States, the mother when she was two years of age, the father when he was eighteen. They met and married in Ware, Hampshire county, Mass., and are now living in the village of Thorndike, where their son, Daniel George, was born. The father was a cotton manufacturer, but is now living retired from business. He and his wife were the parents of ten children, nine of whom are still living.

Daniel G. Reilly was a child of seven years when he became an employee of a cotton factory in Thorndike, owned by the Bliss-Fabian company, with whom he remained until eighteen years of age, in the meantime having filled all positions, from the lowest to the highest. Up to the time of leaving the factory he had had no educational advantages whatever, and he then began in the elementary branches in the district school in his native village, and, after remaining in the district schools four ten entered Monson academy, from which institution he graduated in 1887. Then enter Middlebury college, at Middlebury, Vt., a Congregational institution established in 1800, there graduated in 1891, with the degree bachelor of arts. Entering the medical department of the university of Vermont, a Congregational institution established in 1791, graduated from that school as valedictorian the class of 1894. The expenses of these several courses of study, in all of the above named schools, he met through his own unaided efforts.

Dr. Reilly came to Dayton, Ohio, in August 1894, an entire stranger to the people of the place. As in his pursuit of knowledge, so his practice, he has been deservedly successful, and is one of the rising young physicians of the city.  He is a general practitioner, and is county and examining physician for the independent Order of Foresters of Dayton, which he is a member. He is examining physician for the Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance company, of Philadelphia, for the Mutual Benefit Insurance, of Hartford, Conn., the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the C. K. of 0., the C. of A. and the Fraternal Censer. During 1895 Dr. Reilly was on the lecture staff of the Deaconess hospital of Dayton. He is a member of the Catholic church. Too much cannot said in commendation of the energy and perseverance manifested by Dr. Reilly in his effort to advance himself, not only in scholarship but also in the acquisition of knowledge pertaining to his profession.

 

HARRY E. RANDALL, [pages 736-737] one of the well-known young business men of Dayton, Ohio, and proprietor of one of the leading livery establishments the city, was born in Montgomery county, Ohio; May 21, 1868. He is a son. of William C. and Catherine (Warner) Randall, both of whom were born in Pennsylvania. The parents came to Montgomery county in their childhood, were married in this county, and have ever since resided here. The father has followed farming all his life, and now resides on his farm in Butler township. Both parents are members of the Lutheran church at Vandalia, Montgomery county.

Harry E. Randall was reared on the farm, and received his education in the public schools in Vandalia. In 1889 he went to Lexington, Ky., and engaged in the hotel business, remaining there for two years, when he came to Dayton and engaged in the livery business at No. 27 North Jefferson street, where he has since continued with much success. Mr. Randall is a member of the I. 0. 0. F., the Foresters, and the A. E. 0. fraternities, and stands equally well in the social and business circles of Dayton.

 

N. P. RAMSEY, [pages 737-738] one of the well-known citizens of Dayton, Ohio, and secretary of the S. R. K. T. and M. M. association, was born in Pittsburg, Pa., on May 30, 1848, and is the son of Joseph and Mary (Patterson) Ramsey, both natives of Pennsylvania. The Ramsey family came originally from Scotland and were of Scotch-Irish extraction. They settled in Pennsylvania at an early day, and married and intermarried among the Quakers. The Pattersons were also of Scotch-Irish descent, and went to Pennsylvania from Harrodsburg, Ky. Joseph Ramsey and wife resided in Pennsylvania until during the 'eighties, when they came to Ohio and located at Wyoming, in Hamilton county, where Mr. Ramsey died. His widow survives and resides in Saint Louis. Of the children born to them the following are still living: Joseph Ramsey, of Saint Louis, who is vice-president and general manager of the Wabash railway company; John P. Ramsey general manager of the Sierra Madre Construction company of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; Rev. Alfred Ramsey, pastor of the Lutheran church of Minneapolis; Mrs. W. D. Holliday, wife of the assistant general freight agent of the C., C., C. & St. L. railway company, of Saint Louis, and N. P., our subject. Two sons and one daughter are deceased.

N. P. Ramsey was reared in Pittsburg, and was educated in the public schools of that city. When a lad of fifteen years he left school and went to work in a glass-house, and later clerked in a grocery store for a time, during which period he attended night school and learned bookkeeping. He next took a position as bookkeeper for a wholesale grocery house in Pittsburg, in which he was employed until 1872. In that year he entered the railroad service, in which he continued until 1892, first as clerk, then as agent and assistant superintendent of Bell's Gap railroad, Pennsylvania, then as chief clerk of the B. & 0. accounting department, then as general freight and passenger agent of the P., C. & Y. and P., N. Y. and L. E. railways, then as general manager of the C. & W. M. railway, and later as general agent of the Big Four railway. From 1885 to 1891 Mr. Ramsey had his headquarters in Dayton, when auditor of the D., F. W. and C. railway. In 1892 he accepted the secretaryship of the Scottish Rite Knights Templar & Master Masons' Aid association, his present position. Mr. Ramsey is a member of Milnor lodge, A. Y. M., No. 287, of Pittsburg; of Mountain chapter, 187, of Pennsylvania; a charter member and P. C. of Ascalon commandery, No. 59, K. T., of Pittsburg; is a member of Reese commandery, No. 9, of Dayton; Gabriel grand lodge of perfection; is G. H. P. of Miami grand council; of Dayton grand chapter of the valley of Dayton, of Dayton; of Ohio grand consistory S. P. R. S., of Cincinnati.  He is also representative of the grand commandery, K. T., of Ohio, to the grand commandery, K. T., of Pennsylvania. Mr. Ramsey was married early in life, and is the father of seven daughters, one of whom is happily married.

 

HENRY WILLIAM REQUARTH, [page 738] superintendent of the F. A. Requarth company, at the corner of Sears street and Monument avenue, Dayton, Ohio, is a native of this city, was born December 12, 1864, and this has been his life-long home. His father, F. August Requarth, is a native of Germany, from which country he came directly to Dayton in 1847, here learned his trade of woodworker, and from 1860 until 1886 carried on a turning shop. His son, Henry W., our subject, being then about twenty-two years of age, the two formed a partnership in the planing-mill business—the nucleus of the present magnificent plant. Four years later the F. A. Requarth company was incorporated and its mills constructed, and unvarying success has attended it until the present hour. The company does a general contracting and building business, but makes a specialty of stair building, and its product is known and used in nearly all the states of the Union. The force employed numbers about 125 men, the machinery is unsurpassed for the designed purposes, and the work turned out is first-class in every particular. The ground and buildings belonging to the Requarth company cost not less than $40,000, the machinery and stock are valued at an equal amount, and the value of the out-put reaches at least $125,000 per annum. The present quarters have been occupied by the company since 1894, and its office appointments are everything that can be desired in the way of conveniences, embellishment and furnishings, which present a fair sample of the excellence of the company's handicraft. F. August Requarth, the founder of the company, is still active as president of the corporation and a member of the board of directors.

F. August Requarth was united in marriage with Miss Regina Hueffelman, a native of Germany, who died in Dayton in 1870, the mother of eight children, viz: Anna, Amelia, Mary, Henry W., Emma and Lewis, who are still living, and Herman and August, who died in childhood. Of the survivors, Mary is the wife of Charles Brumm, a carpenter, and Lewis is working as a wood turner in the Requarth shops. Henry W. Requarth was married, in 1890, to Miss Clara S. Feldman, a native of Columbus, Ohio, and this union has been blessed with three children: Harvey August, Florence Ella and Earl Lewis.

In his politics Henry W. Requarth is a democrat, but he is not a partisan and prefers to devote his business faculties to the promotion of the interests of the extensive establishment of which he is the superintendent. His church affiliations are with the Saint Paul's Evangelical Lutheran congregation, of which his wife is also a member, and in the faith of which he is training his children. As a master of his business he is an excellent manager; as a Christian, his life has been upright and consistent, and as a citizen he has been useful in every department of civil life, and has thus won the approbation of the solid men of Dayton city and its environs.

 

JACOB RENNER, [pages 738-740] of Dayton, Ohio, is one of those German-Americans whose residence here has brought thrift and prosperity, loyalty and good citizenship. He was born on the Rhine, in the kingdom of Bavaria, February 20, 1836. His minority was spent in his native country, where he enjoyed excellent educational advantages, first in the public schools, but principally as a student soldier in the army of Germany. At thirteen he became an apprentice to the barber's trade, continuing that business until fifteen, when he joined the army as a musician. The succeeding six years he spent in the service of his country, devoting much of his time to the study required by the governmental authorities. In 1857 he emigrated to America—his two brothers having preceded him. His father, Carl Theodore Renner, was a mechanic, and died when Jacob was a child. The mother remained in her native country, where she died at a ripe old age. The family consisted of three sons, of whom John Adam was the eldest. He died in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1881, Frederick, the youngest of the sons, is engaged in the wholesale paint business in Cincinnati.

On coming to America Jacob resumed his trade as a barber, and spent two years as such on a passenger steamer on the lower Mississippi. At the outbreak of the great Civil war, he was among the first to offer his services to his adopted country, and was regularly enlisted within five days after Fort Sumter was fired upon.  He became a member of company B, First Ohio volunteer infantry, and participated in all of the important maneuvers of the army of the Potomac, including the first battle of Bull Run.  His previous military training stood him in good part, and he was soon made a non-commissioned officer of his company. His term of enlistment expired on the heels of the national defeat at Bull Run. Returning to Dayton, where he had located in 1859, he soon after re-enlisted for the three years' service, in his old military organization, which had been maintained. Three years were spent in the service, following the varying fortunes of the Union cause, in company B, First Ohio volunteer infantry. During this period he was with the army of the Cumberland, under command, successively, of Gens. Buell, Rosecrans and Grant.

The principal battles in which Mr. Renner participated were Shiloh, Corinth, Murfeesboro or Stone River, and Perryville. It must not be forgotten, however, that the skirmishes and preliminary engagements leading up to these were one unceasing series of battles, often fought with great losses. At Murfreesboro he received a severe wound in the hand, and while en route to the field hospital for treatment was captured by the enemy. Presuming that their German-Yankee prisoner was disabled, they were somewhat lax in their duties as captors, and consequently he made his escape. His term of service expired in September, 1864, and he did not again enter the army. Mr. Renner was married in Dayton, in 1861, just prior to the war, to Miss Rachel Louise Hoerz, a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, who came to America in young womanhood, To this union six children have been born, the eldest of whom, Emma, died in infancy. The eldest living is Jacob Frederick, who is now engaged in the real-estate business at Spokane, Wash. He was deputy sheriff of his county until recently, serving several years in that capacity. Frederick served five years in the regular army, being a musician in the First United States cavalry; his service was entirely on the Pacific coast; he was married by the post chaplain, and following his discharge located in Washington. Oscar L. is the assistant in his father's business; Eleanora Louise and Amelia Lillian are still under the parental roof, the latter holding a position as stenographer and typewriter in an extensive manufacturing concern in Dayton.

Mr. Renaer is a past commander of Dister post, G. A. R., but now a member of Old Guard post, No. 23. He holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Independent Order of Red Men, being past-sachem in the latter; is also a member of the Ancient Order of Druids, and past noble arch of the same. He is a prominent member of the Harugari society and of the German Pioneer society.   The latter is largely social. Membership in it requires continuous residence in Dayton of not less than twenty years, and no person will be admitted to membership who is not more than forty years old and able to pass a critical examination touching his character and standing in the community.

Mr. Renner is independent both in politics and religion. His motto is to deal justly by all men; to "visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan " are among the duties imposed by his ritual. He believes in voting for the men and measures whose success would bring the greatest good to the greatest number. He has been fairly successful in business, owning a comfortable home and business house at No. 246 Wayne avenue. Renner hall is a part of this property, where various lodges and societies hold regular meetings.

 

THOMAS A. SELZ, [pages 740-743] president and manager of the Pearl Laundry company, and one of the well known young businessmen of Dayton, was born at Camp Thomas, Franklin county, Ohio (now a part of the capital of the state), November 3, 1863. He is a son of Charles Selz, who is a native of Germany, and who came to the United States about 1850, landing at New York and going direct to Bucyrus, Ohio. Enlisting in the Fifty-eighth Ohio volunteer infantry, he served during the war as band sergeant. Mr. Selz was a bugler in Col. Joseph Dister's command, and when the order was issued disbanding the bands of the volunteer regiments, he joined the regular army, and became a member of the Eighteenth regiment's band. His service was in the west for three years, at Fort Laramie and other frontier posts. At the close of the war he returned to Ohio, locating at Sandusky, and was there for sometime engaged in the manufacture of carriages.  In 1876 he removed to Dayton, Ohio, and has ever since been a resident of this city. At present Mr. Selz is a member of the Third regiment band.

The education Thomas A. Selz received was that furnished by the public schools, but leaving school when thirteen years of age he became a cash boy in a store in Dayton. Afterward he was engaged for nearly three years in a photograph gallery, and at the end of this time he went to work in a laundry, in which he was an employee for nearly three years. In 1881 he engaged in the laundry business for himself, beginning on a very small scale with a hand laundry, his plant consisting of one wash tub and a second hand cook stove. His partner in this enterprise was Charles A. Koch. Their business gradually increased in proportion from year to year until 1887, when they established a steam laundry, fitting up their plant at No. 111 East Second street. They continued to increase their capacity until 1893, when they organized a stock company with a capital of $25,000, with Mr. Selz as president and manager, and Mr. Koch as vice-president and assistant manager. In June, 1895, their present handsome building was completed at Nos. 106, 108 and no East Second street, it being erected especially for their laundry business. It is four stories in height, 60x60 feet in size, and is fitted up with the latest and most improved machinery for doing a general and special laundry business. To give some idea of the capacity of this establishment and of the amount of work done, it may be stated that the Pearl laundry uses 25,000 gallons of water daily, which is pumped from the company's own wells. Their steam mangle, which is one of the largest in the world, has a daily capacity of 32,000 pieces, and this company has the exclusive right to operate it in Dayton. Since 1886 Mr. Selz has been a member of the National Laundry association, and is 189$, at the convention held at Atlanta, Ga., he was elected president of the association, which position he still holds.

Politically Mr. Selz is and always has been a democrat, and at the present time is treasurer of the democratic city committee. He is a member of the B. P. 0. E., of the Independent Order of Foresters, of the Sons of Veterans, of the Dayton Bicycle club and has been treasurer of the Dayton Gymnastic club for years. Mr. Selz was married, in 1891, to Miss Clara L. Clemens, daughter of Jacob Clemens, a retired contractor and builder of Dayton. He is a man of excellent business capacity, and through his own unaided efforts and careful management has built up a fine business, and ranks as one of the able and useful young business men of the city.

 

NEWTON H. RICE, [pages 743-744] manager and bookkeeper for W. S. Hawthorn, coal and wood dealer, of Dayton, was born in Van Buren township, Montgomery county, Ohio, May 6, 1857, and is a son of James A. and Hannah (Opdyke) Rice.

James A. Rice, a native of Frederick county, Md., was born May 24, 1824, and is now residing on a farm in Jefferson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, where the parental home has been since 1861; Mrs. Hannah (Opdyke) Rice was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, August 18, 1826. To their marriage have been born eleven children, nine of whom are still living. Ten names of the eleven, in order of birth, are as follows: James Milton, who died at the age of two years; Charles W., who is a farmer in Miami county, Ohio; Albert C., who is a bookkeeper in Dayton; Oliver H., an engineer, went west in 1876, and has not returned; Newton H. is the subject of this memoir; a daughter died in infancy, unnamed; Wilson, who was a school-teacher, is now engaged in the coal business in Germantown, Ohio; Willie P. is a traveling salesman for the Wellston & Jackson Fuel company, of Jackson, Ohio; Edgar E. is a bookkeeper for a coal company at Glenroy, Ohio; Emma M. and Lillie 0. are unmarried and at home with their parents.

Newton H. Rice was educated primarily in the public schools, and this education was supplemented by courses in the Euphemia normal school and the normal school at Valparaiso, Ind. He was prepared for teaching, and followed this as a profession, from the age of twenty-one years, for eight years, in Preble and Montgomery counties. He was then assessor of Miami township, in the latter county, for two years, and in 1889 entered upon his vocation as bookkeeper, for the first four years with Mr. McClure, and since that time with Mr. Hawthorn. He is possessed of fine business abilities, is especially expert as an accountant, and is faithful and painstaking in the discharge of every detail of his duty.

Mr. Rice was united in marriage in West Carrollton, Ohio, in 1883, with Miss Carrie M. Pease, a native of that place—her parents having been among the early settlers. She received an excellent education in the public schools of Carrollton and Miamisburg, and to her marriage with Mr. Rice there has been born one daughter—Lulu Ethel—now eleven years of age.  Mrs. Rice is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Rice is a free contributor to all religious and charitable institutions.  In politics Mr. Rice, like his father, is a democrat, and is very popular with his party and with the public in general, having been elected assessor of Miami township by the almost unanimous vote of all parties.

Fraternally Mr. Rice is prominent in various societies, being a member of Miamisburg lodge, No. 44, Knights of Pythias, and a charter member of uniform rank, Hope division, No. 32; a past grand of Wayne lodge, No. 10, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and member of Dayton encampment, No. 2, of which he is past chief patriarch; also a member of canton Earl, No. 16, patriarchs militant, and of court Cooper, No. 1567, Independent Order of Foresters, of which he has served as treasurer. He was also a charter member of the Fraternal Censers, Gem City council, No. 1, and is likewise a charter member of camp No. 3526, Master Workmen of America.

 

JOHN B. RITCHIE, [page 744] the popular plumber and dealer in plumbers' supplies at No, 535 East Fifth street, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Beaver county, Pa., June 28, 1860, and is a son of Alexander T. and Hannah C. (Brown) Ritchie, both natives of the Keystone state.

Alexander T. Ritchie was born August 10, 1818, was a cooper by trade in his early manhood, but spent the latter years of his life in the butchering business, and died in Beaver county, Pa., September 19, 1886; his widow, who was born in 1824, survived until October 14, 1888, when she died in Venango county. The children born to these parents were seven in number, of whom John B. is the only surviving son; of the other six, Kelso died at the age of seven months; Perry Amasa was drowned May 16, 1886, when twenty-one years old; Ellen Elizabeth is married to Hugh M. Adams, a farmer of Venango county, Pa.; Clementine C. is the wife of David B. Nelson, a farmer of the same county; Mary J., married to James VanCamp, a cooper, lives in Crawford county, Pa., and Parthenia is the wife of Homer Carpenter, of Venango county, in the same state.

John B. Ritchie, in his youthful years, received a very good public-school education in his native county, and his early manhood was devoted to aiding his father on the home farm. After leaving the parental roof he went to Pittsburg, Pa., where he apprenticed himself to a plumber, and, after having thoroughly learned the trade, he worked for some years in that city as a journeyman. He first started for himself in business in Piqua, Ohio, but after one year's experience in that city, moved his implements, wares and fixtures to Dayton, and on December 21, 1888, located at his present place of business.  Here he has prospered, being thoroughly skilled in plumbing, gas-fitting, steam-fitting and kindred work.

The marriage of Mr. Ritchie occurred in Dayton July 21, 1889, the bride being Miss Ida E. Hall, a native of Ohio.  To this union have been born three children—Perry L., Blanche Marie and Irene Hall.  In his fraternal relations Mr. Ritchie is an Odd Fellow, also a member of the uniform rank, Knights of Pythias.  In religion, although reared in the United Presbyterian faith, he is not a member of any organization. In politics he is, as in religion, quite independent, his proclivities, however, tending toward republicanism.  Mr. Ritchie is of Scottish origin, his paternal grandfather, Robert Ritchie, a native of Pennsylvania, having been of Scotch-Irish parentage, his remote ancestors, like hundreds of other Scots, having migrated from their native country to the north of Ireland on account of religious persecution.

 

CAPT. HENRY RILEY, [pages 744-746] an official of the national soldiers' home, near Dayton, Ohio, was born in Mattituck, Suffolk county, N. Y., March 23, 1844, and is a son of Philip and Mary (McDonald) Riley, both of county Cavin, Ireland. The parents came to the United States in 1831, settling on Long Island, N. Y., where the mother died a number of years later. Philip Riley was by occupation a manufacturer of boots and shoes; after a long residence in the United States he returned to his native country, where he died. Philip and Mary Riley reared a family of three children, the eldest of whom was Thomas, a soldier in the British army, who fell in the Crimean war; Mary married a Mr. Dillon, of New York, and is now a widow living in Ireland, and the third child, Henry, is the subject of this sketch.

Capt. Henry Riley passed his youthful years in his native town until 1857, at which time his parents removed to New York city, where he completed his educational training, attending the schools of that city for about two years only. In 1859 he entered upon an apprenticeship to learn the tailor's trade with an uncle, at Lafayette, Ind, and was thus employed until 1861, in September of which year he enlisted in company C, Fortieth Indiana infantry, which formed a part of the army of the Ohio, commanded by Gen. D. C. Buell. Later Capt. Riley's regiment was transferred to Gen. Wood's division, army of the Cumberland, under Gen. Rosecrans, and during the year that followed its record is replete with laurels gallantly won on many of the bloodiest battle fields of the south. Capt. Riley shared with his comrades these honors, taking part in numerous hotly contested battles and minor engagements, among the most noted of which were Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Stone River or Murfreesboro, in the last of which he received a severe wound by the explosion of a shell, which cost him his right hand. This wound necessitated the captain's retirement from active service for some time, but after his recovery, he was transferred to the Ninety-fourth company, Second battalion, Veteran reserve corps, and did duty at the provost marshal's office, Terre Haute, Ind., until his final discharge, in December, 1864.

After retiring from the army, Capt. Riley engaged in the sewing-machine business at Lafayette, Ind., where he met with reasonably fair success, but removed two years later to New York city, at which place he was identified with the mercantile trade until 1872, when failing health compelled him to retire, temporarily, from active life.  In the year last named the captain became an inmate of the national soldier's home, Dayton, Ohio, where he remained for a short time, returning to New York and accepting the position of orderly in the Charity hospital, the duties of which he discharged in a highly creditable manner for about two years.   Severing his connection with the above institution, the captain became an inmate of the home at Tagus, Me, where he continued until 1879, conducting in the meantime a co-operative store for the Patrons of Husbandry, which business was carried on in the immediate vicinity of the home. In 1879 he was transferred to the national home at Hampton, Va., thence, .in 1881, to the Northwestern home, Milwaukee, Wis., where he remained until transferred, in 1882, to the Central branch, Dayton, Ohio, from which he took his discharge in September, 1886. In April, 1888, he returned to the home, where he has since remained. For six years and three months he served as chief clerk and commissary sergeant, and on the 24th day of April, 1895, was appointed to his present position—that of captain of company Sixteen, although he has, at different times since his connection with the institution, commanded eight companies.

Company Sixteen is composed of 240 men, present and absent, from which the engineers of the home are selected. Capt. Riley possesses fine military talent and executive ability of a high order, and his official functions have been discharged in a manner creditable to himself and satisfactory to the. management of the home. He is every inch a soldier, strict in discipline, active in behalf of the interests of the noble institution with which he has been so long identified, and is, withal, a most intelligent gentleman, popular with all with whom he comes in contact in official or social relations. The captain was married December 11, 1886, to Miss Louisa Kimmerle, of Dayton, a union blessed with the birth of one child, Henry J., who was born in the year 1890. The captain is a member of the Union Veteran Legion, and of the G. A. R., being past junior vice-commander of the latter, and he holds the position of quartermaster of encampment 82, U. V. L. He cast his first presidential vote, in 1864, for Abraham Lincoln, and has been a faithful and uncompromising adherent of the republican party ever since.

 

WILLIAM SCHULTZ ROCK, [page 746] of the firm of Rock Bros., sign-writers, 39 South Jefferson street, Dayton, was born in Zanesville, Ohio, November 22, 1861, and is a son of John and Kate (Farrell) Rock. John Rock was born in Alsace, Germany, came to the United States at the age of sixteen, locating in Zanesville, where he was a wholesale butcher and stock dealer until his death in 1866.   Mrs. Catherine Rock subsequently married D. D. Vandegrift and is still living. Of the immediate family of John and Kate Rock there were six children, whose names are as follows: Mary, wife of J, C. Harris, of Zanesville, Ohio; John, a business man of Dayton; Thomas L., the business associate of William S.; Flora E., wife of Walter J. Manley; William S. and Harry J., the latter a member of the firm of Bates & Rock, dry-goods dealers, of Dayton.

The early years of William S. Rock were passed in his native city of Zanesville, where he attended the public schools, and when quite young manifested a decided taste for painting and decorating. He yielded to the desire to become a painter, and worked at the trade for some time in Zanesville.  He later came to Dayton, and entered the employ of the Barney & Smith car works, where he remained for eight years. During this time he became proficient in painting and finishing, but after leaving the shop discontinued his trade for a time and worked with his brother John, in the grocery business, for about two years.  He then abandoned merchandizing, and in January, 1893, in partnership with his brother, Thomas L. Rock, again engaged in painting, the firm giving its entire attention to sign work in all its branches. Rock Bros. do all kinds of work in this line, making wire, wood or canvas signs, and being recognized as the leading sign manufacturers of the city. Their trade is very lucrative and the name of the firm is a guarantee for honest and artistic work. William S. Rock was married December 26, 1882, to Miss Carrie Hicks, of Springfield, Ohio, who died June 6th, 1886, leaving one child, Violet. November 20, 1888, Mr. Rock married his present wife, Katie Peters, of Dayton, Ohio, daughter of William Peters, a representative of one of the oldest and best known families of the city. Politically Mr. Rock is a democrat and in religion is liberal, not being bound by any church or creed.

 

JOHN ROCK, [pages 746-747] a member of the Dayton city council, and one of the well known and highly respected business men of the city, was born in Muskingum county, Ohio, January 28,. 1857. He is now a member of the firm of Herbig & Rock, manufacturers of harness and dealers in carriages, wagons and bicycles, with their place of business at No. 31 East Fourth street. He was reared in Muskingum county and there received the elementary education usually supplied by the public schools. He early assumed the responsibility of caring for himself, beginning when fifteen years of age to learn telegraphy, and being thus engaged for three or four years. In 1878 he came to Dayton and engaged in the grocery business on East Fifth street, continuing in this occupation until 1891. In this year he engaged in his present line of business in partnership with George Herbig, under the firm name of Herbig & Rock.

In 1889 Mr. Rock was first elected to the Dayton city council from the Fifth ward, as a democrat. Serving one term, he retired from that body in 1891, In the spring of 1895 he was again elected, this time from the First ward, and his term will expire in 1897.  Mr. Rock is a member of Lola lodge, No. 83, Knights of Pythias, and of Lola division uniform rank, Knights of Pythias.

In November, 1885, he was married to Miss Jeanette Robinson, of Elmwood Place, Hamilton county, Ohio. The parents of Mr. Rock were John and Catherine (Farrell) Rock, the former born in Germany and the latter in Johnstown, Pa. The father died in Muskingum county in 1868, his widow still surviving and living in Dayton,

John Rock, the subject of this sketch, is one of the substantial and influential citizens of Dayton, is vice-president of the city council, and is highly regarded for uprightness and integrity of character wherever known.

 

SAINT MARY'S INSTITUTE, [pages 747-748] of Dayton, Ohio, was founded by Rev. Father Leo Meyer, of Alsace, France, who landed at New York city July 4, 1850, and thence went to Cincinnati on the 16th of the same month, where he joined four distinguished and reverend brothers, named J. B. Sitzi, M. Zehler, A. Edel, and D. Litz, who had reached the last named place in December, 1849, and had taken charge of Trinity school. In January, 1851, Father Meyer was called to Dayton to aid Brothers Zehler and Edel in the care of unfortunates who were stricken with cholera, and while engaged in the performance of this charitable and self-sacrificing duty conceived the idea of establishing Saint Mary's Institute. Father Meyer secured the land upon which formerly stood the old Stuart mansion, and here was established the nucleus of what is now the prosperous institution of education under consideration. These five enterprising brothers lived to see their efforts crowned with success, three however being now deceased, Brother Edel dying in July, 1891; Brother Zehler on March 24, 1893, both passing away in Dayton, and Brother Meyer dying in Europe at a date not accessible.

From these feeble beginnings in 1850 has sprung the now prosperous and vigorous sodality or order known as the Brothers of Mary, which is represented in nine or ten states of the Union, in Winnipeg and in the Sandwich islands, the efforts of the members being devoted to the education of young men exclusively. In 1895 the local institute of Dayton had under instruction 26 5 students, an increase of treble its enrollment when the institute was regularly incorporated in 1878, and at least double that when it was authorized by the state legislature, in 1882, to confer upon its graduates the usual collegiate degrees. The curriculum is very comprehensive, as it begins, when necessary, at the foundation of primary instructions and carries the pupil to the culminating point of "commencement day," when he receives the diploma which authorizes him to adopt that one of the learned professions which he may select as best suited to his abilities.

The higher department of this most excellent institute is divided into three sections, designed to meet the demands of those students who desire advancement in literature, science or commercial training, and each section is most excellently well officered.  Proficiency on the part of the students is recognized by a system of rewards given at competitive examinations, and a full record is kept of the standing of each competitor, a copy of which is sent monthly to his parents or guardians.  He has, also, free access to a chemical laboratory, to physical apparatus and to a cabinet of natural history, as well as to libraries for reference and libraries for circulation. Vacation is had only at the Christmas holidays. The discipline of the institute is vigorous but is based chiefly on moral suasion, and is calculated to train the students to habits of self-control and gentlemanly behavior, based on true Christian principles.  The full-course students, as a rule, remain under the roof of the institute until graduated, forming one happy family and enjoying all the comforts and conveniences of their respective homes, while of course there are some few day-scholars who enjoy all the advantages, in an educational sense, of the permanent attendants.  Music and elocution are not neglected, and as to the former the student may make choice between vocal and instrumental, or, indeed, avail himself of the benefits of both. He may, if he prefer instrumental tuition, also select the instrument to which his taste may most incline him. In this connection it may here be mentioned that the institute choir now comprises seventy-five voices, and, under the direction of its proficient instructors, "discourses most excellent music." Many hundreds of young men have gone forth from Saint Mary's, are now ornaments to society and successful business men or eminent in the various learned professions. But it is meet that some mention be made of the grounds and buildings occupied by this institution. The main college building is a large four-story brick structure and the chapel is a beautiful modern edifice, occupying a position midway between the principal and the secondary college buildings. The grounds are remote from all contaminating influences, yet of easy access by street-car lines, and are located on an eminence overlooking the city and the surrounding country; they are handsomely laid out in drives and walks, ornamented with trees and shrubbery, and constitute a most homelike and inviting retreat.

 

BRUNO RITTY, [pages 748-749] general contractor and builder, and bridge builder, of Dayton, Ohio, was born near Belfort, France, formerly a city in the department of the Upper Rhine, which was first regularly fortified in 1668 by Vauban. The date of his birth was October 6, 1849. He is a son of Joseph and Theresa (Casper) Ritty, both of whom were natives of France. To them there were born four sons, three of whom are still living, as follows: Bruno, Louis and Henry. The fourth son, who died in Louisville, Ky., was Francis Joseph.

Joseph Ritty is still living in France. He is a stonecutter and mason by trade, and is, as was his wife, who died in 1888, at about sixty-two years of age, a member of the Catholic church. The paternal grandfather of Bruno, Frank Ritty, was also a native of France, was a farmer by occupation, and served his country as a soldier in the war with Russia. He married twice, reared a large family, of whom Joseph, a son of his first wife, is the only survivor, and died at an advanced age. The maternal grandfather died in France before Bruno was born.

Bruno Ritty was reared in France, and there in part learned his trade and married. However, previous to his marriage, he went to Switzerland, and in Basel, the second largest city in that country, finished learning his trade. At the age of sixteen he went to Africa, remained there four years, and then returned to France, having served in the army during his sojourn in Africa.

The marriage of Bruno Ritty and Miss Rosalie Shapperly, daughter of Doris and Anna (Brobst) Shapperly, took place in the month of January, 1871.   To this marriage there have been born five children, three sons and two daughters, as follows:   Mary Rosalie, Charles C., Leo, Theresa, who died in infancy, and Edward.   In 1872, after the birth of the first child, Mary Rosalie, Mr. Ritty and family emigrated to the United States, coming direct to Ohio and settling in Dayton. For the first year and a half after arriving in Dayton he worked by the day, then began taking contracts, and since then has erected many of the large business blocks and residences in the city. During his twenty-five years' residence in the city of Dayton, Mr. Ritty has materially aided in its growth and improvement. Through his industry and sound judgment he has been unusually prosperous in his business affairs, and is as highly respected as successful. Since he was twelve years of age he has seen his father's home but twice.  Politically, he is independent, and in religion both he and his wife are members of the Catholic church. Both are excellent people, and have a wide circle of true and trusted friends.

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