Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 749-765 Rev. William A. Robinson, D.D. to Bert D. Shroyer

REV. WILLIAM A. ROBINSON, D. D., [pages 749-750] pastor of Grace Methodist Episcopal church of Dayton, is a native of the Buckeye state and was born in Warren county, January 9, 1843. His parents, James A. and Lucinda (Guthrie) Robinson, also natives of Warren county, were respectively born in August, 1817, and August, 1815. The father was a tanner by vocation, but is now retired and resides with Dr. Robinson, whose mother died in Warren county in 1880. The grandfather of James A. Robinson was a Kentuckian and traced his genealogy to John Robinson, an Englishman, who came to America in the Mayflower. This grandfather was a Baptist minister, an early settler in Clarke county, Ohio, and ended his days on his farm near New Carlisle. Dr. Robinson's paternal grandmother was of Irish descent, while his maternal grandfather and grandmother were respectively of Welsh and English extraction.

The children that were born to James A. and Lucinda Robinson were six in number, viz: Mrs. Mary E. Gibson, now of Columbus, Ohio; Rev. William A.; Rothwell P., who died in Kokomo, Ind., in childhood; Loretta A., whose home is with her brother, Edgar B., at Higginsport, Ohio; Wellington Porter, a teacher, who died in 1875, at twenty-one years of age, and Edgar Bunyan, who married a daughter of Capt. Kauts, brother of Gen, Kauts, and lives on his farm at Higginsport, Brown county.

Dr. William A. Robinson received his elementary education in Defiance and Rochester, Ohio, and in 1862, while taking an academic course at Martinsville, enlisted in the Fifth regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, for three months, but filled out a term of four months; returning to Ohio, he entered school at Troy, but shortly afterward engaged in teaching in Miami and Clinton counties; he then took an additional academic course at Mount Washington, and in the fall of 1864 entered the Ohio Wesleyan university at Delaware, from the classical department of which he graduated in 1868. When a lad of but ten years of age he had united with the Methodist Episcopal church at Defiance under the ministry of Rev. Thomas Parker, and he preached his first sermon at the age of nineteen years, when a student, and also preached while teaching a three-months' term in Miami county. The year following his graduation from the Wesleyan university he was appointed by the presiding elder assistant preacher on the Mainville (Warren county) circuit, and in the fall of 1868 was ordained by Bishop Kingsley, at London, Ohio; in 1872 he was made an elder in the church at Eaton, Ohio, by Bishop Scott, and in the fall of 1879 entered the Cincinnati conference at Hillsboro, Bishop E. R. Ames presiding. His first appointment in this conference was to the Venice circuit, which consisted of eight charges with two preachers, Mr. Robinson being in charge. Two years later he was appointed to Christie chapel, Cincinnati, where he remained for three years, and from 1874 to 1877 officiated at Raper church in Dayton; from 1877 to 1880 his charge was the Central church of Springfield, when he was transferred to the north Ohio conference and stationed at the Franklin avenue church in Cleveland from  1880 to 1883. At the close of this pastorate he was transferred to the Pittsburg conference and assigned to the North avenue church, Allegheny City, from 1883 to 1886, during the last year of which incumbency he visited England, Ireland, Scotland, France and other European countries. In 1886 he was invited to return to the Franklin avenue church of Cleveland, where he again passed three years, and was then invited to the pastorate of the Union church in Covington, Ky., where he remained four years, having been transferred to the Kentucky conference. In 1893 he was invited to the charge of Grace church, Dayton, Ohio, returning to the Cincinnati conference after a separation of eleven years.  During a part of the winter of 1895 and of the following spring Mr. Robinson again passed three months abroad, going up the Mediterranean sea and visiting Palestine and other points of interest in the old world. He is now serving the fourth year of his present pastorate, and it may be here mentioned that during his twenty-eight years in the ministry he has had pastoral charge of over 6,500 persons, and has received into his various congregations 1,300 converts.

Rev. Dr. Robinson was united in marriage in Delaware, Ohio, in 1869, with Miss Elizabeth J. Page, daughter of W. H. B. and Mary Page. She is highly accomplished and well-educated, having graduated from the Ohio Wesleyan Female college in 1868. Six children have been born of this union, viz: Harrison Page, who was born in Venice, Ohio, in 1870, and is connected with the wholesale glassware house of Barge & Gross at Cleveland; James Francis C., who graduated from the university of Cincinnati in 1892, and is now a teacher of English literature and history in the Dayton high school; Grace Hardin, who is a graduate of Woodward high school of Cincinnati, was also an attendant at Bartholomew's school and the university of Cincinnati, and is now at home with her parents; Daisy, who died in Dayton at the age of three years, at the time her father was pastor of Raper church; Blossom, who is taking a graduate course in the Dayton high school; and Helen Hunt, who is now in the sixth grade of the public schools. Dr. Robinson is a republican in his political affiliations, and fraternally is a member of the Greek Letter fraternity of his alma mater, and of the G. A. R.

 

CAPT. PAUL SANDRIDGE, [page 750-752] commanding company Ten, of the national military home, near Dayton, Ohio, was born in slavery, near Lynchburg, Va., February 1, 1841, and was the property of Eaton Carpenter, as were also his parents.  Mr. Carpenter, by his will, liberated his human chattels in 1853, and somewhat later the parents of Paul Sandridge came to Ohio and located near Portsmouth, where both died.

Paul Sandridge received a fair education, on reaching the free soil of Scioto county, Ohio, where he worked at farming, near Portsmouth, until his enlistment, being one of the first of his race to offer his services for the liberation of his people. But his company, which was a "colored" company, after being thoroughly drilled, was rejected by the governor of Ohio, who, at that time, thought he had no authority to accept colored troops. After president Lincoln's emancipation proclamation, however, Mr. Sandridge found his opportunity to show his devotion to his race and the cause of freedom, and enlisted, January 1, 1864, in company C, Twenty-seventh regiment, United States colored troops, and was mustered in as first sergeant of that company. This regiment, under Gen. Burnside, served at Petersburg, Va., after the famous mine explosion. The commissioned officers of the regiment, however, were white men, while the subordinate offices were held by colored men. At the South Side fight Mr. Sandridge was so seriously wounded that he was disabled for further duty and was sent to the hospital at Alexandria, Va., where he was honorably discharged July 27, 1865, having been mustered out as orderly-sergeant of company C. Returning to Portsmouth, he made an attempt at farming for a living, but soon found that he was unable to follow the plow successfully, and therefore went to Chillicothe, Ohio, where he learned the shoemaker's trade. This business he followed until October, 1869, when he came to Dayton and entered the military home for the purpose of continuing his education in its school, at which he was a constant attendant for at least three years, when he withdrew and for five years was a tutor at South Charleston, Ohio, in a free school for colored children. He spent a year thereafter in Portsmouth and then re-entered the soldiers' home at Dayton, where he has since been employed the greater portion of his time, being early placed in command of his present company.

Capt. Sandridge has command of the only barracks of colored men in the military home, and has accommodations for about 119 men. Not less than seventy per cent of these men were born in slavery, about seventy per cent, can read, and about fifty per cent can read and write. In politics the captain is a republican, and is the recipient of a pension, granted for wounds received while in the service. One noticeable feature of company Ten is that everything is scrupulously clean. The floors of the barracks are as white as careful scrubbing can make them; the beds are clean and handsomely made up; no boisterous talk is ever indulged in, and all is order and system. Another fact worthy of mention is this: A red "pass" is a badge of good conduct. Every soldier who passes the gates on a " red pass " is considered perfect in behavior, as the badge of honor is not given to any who violate the well-established rules of the institution. Nearly every colored man who passes the gates proudly shows the guards a red card, and returns in as good order as he retires.   The colored soldiers are not particularly religious, only about twenty-five per cent being members of some church, but they are prompt and regular in attendance upon religious services in the home. Concerning the early lives of these liberated slaves and the universal ignorance prevailing among them prior to the Civil war, the advancement made in their education in everything pertaining to good citizenship is worthy of all praise. It not only evinces a desire upon their part to make the best of their opportunities, but also reflects great credit upon those having in charge the civilizing and disciplinary features of their education. As a factor in the development of their latent powers, no white man has accomplished more than the intelligent colored man who has so long had charge of the colored company.

The marriage of Capt. Sandridge took place in South Charleston, Ohio, in April, 1874, to Miss Anna Morgan, a native of that town, the result of the union being a daughter, who is deceased; William, who is employed in the hotel of the soldiers' home, at Dayton; Clifford, who, at the age of nineteen years, is the manager of his father's farm, and Paul, aged eight years, who is attending school.

Capt. Sandridge is a member of the colored branch of the Masonic order, is also a member of the I. 0. 0. F., and has been a member of the Baptist church since 1865. He has always made the best of his opportunities, and is today an intelligent and useful citizen.

 

CHARLES WILLIAM SALISBURY, M. D., [pages 752-753] one of Dayton's successful physicians and surgeons, has been a resident of this city since 1891. He was born in Russellville, Ohio, in May, 1854, and is a son of Dr. J. N. and Maria (Payne) Salisbury, who are now living in Russellville, the former a retired physician, after an active practice of some forty years. J. N. Salisbury received his literary education at Marietta college, Marietta, Ohio, after graduating from which institution he attended the Ohio Medical college, at Cincinnati, Ohio, and was thereafter engaged in the general practice of his profession, to which he was strongly devoted. He was an elder in the Presbyterian church, and a man of great sympathy for human suffering.  He reared a family of six children, viz: Emma, wife of Dr. A. M. Williamson, of Dayton, Ohio; Charles W., the subject of this sketch; Thomas N., a farmer of Brown county, Ohio, near Russellville; Ella, wife of Prof. L. 0. Thoroman who is now the head of a normal school at Salina, Kans.; James A., physician of Dayton, and Lucy B., wife of Dr. C. W. Evans, of Russellville, Ohio.

Charles W. Salisbury was reared in his native place and was educated in the public schools, and later at the National normal university at Lebanon, Ohio. He first read medicine with his father, and then attended the Ohio Medical college, at Cincinnati, Ohio, but graduated from the Starling Medical college, at Columbus, Ohio, in the class of 1882. After graduating he located in Winchester, Ohio, where he was engaged, until 1891, in general practice, when, as before stated, he removed to Dayton, where he has ever since been engaged in the active exercise of his professional duties. He is a member of the Adams and Brown county medical societies, and fraternally is a Knight of Pythias.

Dr. Salisbury was married, in 1882, to Miss Estella McCoy, of Ripley, Ohio, by whom he has had two children—Rena and Ralph. He and his wife are members of the Wayne avenue Presbyterian church, he holding the office of elder, and both taking great interest in the work of their church.

J. A. Salisbury, M. D., physician and surgeon, of Dayton, Ohio, has been a resident of that city since 1893. He was born in Brown county, in December, 1865, and is a son of Dr. J. N. and Maria (Payne) Salisbury, mentioned above in the sketch of Dr. Charles W. Salisbury. The Salisbury family is one of the oldest of New England, and its members have for the most part turned their attention to medicine. J. A. Salisbury read medicine with his father, and secured his medical education, first, in the Starling Medical college at Columbus, Ohio, and second, in the Ohio Medical college at Cincinnati, from which he graduated in the class of 1890. He located in his old home, and there practiced his profession until 1891, when he removed to Winchester, Adams county, where he remained until he came to Dayton, in 1893. He has always been engaged in general practice, and has met with much success. He is a member of Russellville lodge, No. 166, F. & A. M., of Riverdale lodge, Knights of Pythias, of the Junior Order of American Mechanics and of the K. A. E. 0.

Dr. Salisbury was married at Winchester, Ohio, in 1893, to Miss Lola Noble, a daughter of Dr. Arthur and Lee Noble. Both he and his wife are members of the Riverdale Presbyterian church, in which he is one of the elders. He is one of the most successful of the recent additions to the medical fraternity of the city, and has won for himself a secure place in the esteem of the community.

 

CAPT. FREDERICK SCHAEFER, [pages 753-755] of No. 1160 West Germantown street, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Alpinsbach, Wurttemberg, Germany, September 30, 1837. He received a good education in the schools of his native country, studying French, German, botany, natural history, geometry, etc., and at the age of sixteen years came alone to America, landing in New York October 20, 1853. He soon afterward went to Philadelphia, and worked in that city and surrounding country at the copper and tinsmith trade until 1860. He then worked as bartender in Philadelphia until April, 1861, when he enlisted in company B, Twenty-first Pennsylvania three-month volunteers, served in the battle of Falling Waters and in two or three skirmishes, and was mustered out in August, having promised to reenlist.

The second enlistment of Mr. Schaefer was in company I, Seventy-third Pennsylvania volunteer infantry, for three years. Assigned to the army of Virginia, he took part in the battle of Cross Keys, June 8, 1862, and was promoted second lieutenant of his company; he was at Slaughter Mountain, Bull Run, and in the skirmishes around Culpeper, etc., and January 1, 1863, was promoted first lieutenant of company C, for gallant conduct at Bull Run. He was next engaged in the skirmishes which preceded the battle of Chancellorsville, and was in that disastrous battle, under Gen. Hooker. Many years later Capt. Schaefer received a letter from a prominent comrade in Philadelphia, in which it is stated that Lieut. Schaefer's company, as he led it into battle at the old log hut in Chancellorsville, appeared as if on "dress parade."  Lieut. Schaefer next participated in the campaign in Maryland and Pennsylvania, which culminated in the great battle of Gettysburg, in which he commanded his company on Cemetery Hill and in the city.   Under his leadership his company made a charge on a house filled with rebel soldiers, and drove them out at the point of the bayonet, holding the place during the next twenty-four hours, when he was relieved by Ohio troops.

Following Lee's army back into Virginia, Capt. Schaefer, with his regiment, was transferred in the following September to Bridgeport, Ala., arriving October 2, 1863, and became part of the Twentieth army corps. He here served principally under Gen. Adolph von Steinwehr, who became greatly attached to Capt. Schaefer, asserting that he was an officer upon whom he could always depend. At a. skirmish in Lookout valley, company A was on the right wing, deployed as skirmishers, and company I was called upon to relieve them. Capt. Schaefer took the lead and was the first to leap over an obstruction that impeded the way, followed by his men with a cheer. He had but sixty-three in his command, and suddenly he came upon the rebels on an elevation of land in his front; his own little force, however, was sheltered by heavy timber. Gen. Von Steinwehr now sent an aid to inquire what reinforcements Capt. Schaefer needed; the reply was "Send me three more buglers." The aid thought the captain crazy, but the general assured him the captain knew exactly what he was doing, and the buglers were accordingly sent. Capt. Schaefer stationed them as he desired, and ordered them to sound the "charge." This was done, and the little force of sixty-three men made its charge, outflanked the superior force of rebels, drove them from the field, captured fourteen prisoners, and had but four of their own men wounded. Capt. Schaefer held his ground from two o'clock until five, with a reinforcement of seven men only.

Soon after these events, which occurred at the foot of Lookout mountain, Capt. Schaefer reported to Gen. Howard, through Gen. Von Steinwehr, that the enemy would cross Lookout creek that night, if it were not heavily guarded. This timely warning proved of great value, for the same night Hood did cross the stream, as predicted by Capt. Schaefer, and an all-night battle was the result.

On two occasions Capt. Schaefer was sent to make sketches of the enemy's works on Lookout mountain, and in each case reported valuable facts to Gen. Von. Steinwehr, for which service he was promised the majorship of his regiment, and in this capacity he served at the battle of Missionary Ridge, while his regiment was attached to the extreme left of the Union lines, under Gen. Sherman. November 25, 1863, in the afternoon of the third day of the battle, while leading his men, Capt. Schaefer received a wound which cost him the loss of his left leg. Being now unfitted for field duty, he tendered his resignation, July 5, 1864, and was finally discharged from the service. He was strongly recommended for a position as captain in the invalid corps, but declined, and from the time of his discharge until June, 1865, was employed in the United States sanitary commission at Philadelphia.

In June, 1865, Capt. Schaefer made a trip to Europe to visit his friends and to recuperate his health, having been a constant sufferer from rheumatism since 1862. In July, 1865, he was given a reception by the king of Wurttemberg, but, having failed to withdraw his allegiance when he first left Germany, he found that he was still liable to military duty in that country. His father " drew " for him, and his name was placed upon the military roll, and, owing to his failure to report for duty, his father was forced to pay 600 florins for his exemption. This sum, however, was returned to the captain by the king's order, on account of the injuries he had sustained in America, and the king also complimented him for the prominence he had attained in the volunteer service of the United States.   Capt. Schaefer returned to Philadelphia, January 4, 1866, and in 1867 he started on a westward tour and visited Chicago, Saint Louis, Omaha, Quincy, Ill., Milwaukee and other places of interest. On the recommendation of Gen. Von Steinwehr he was sent to the soldiers' home, Dayton, the general being temporarily in Saint Louis at the time. The captain entered the home July 27, 1874, and remained until November 1, 1878, being employed at various kinds of light work, latterly as sergeant of barrack No. 9. He receives a liberal pension from the government on account of his injury.

The marriage of Capt. Schaefer took place June 7, 1878, to Miss Marianna Fix, a native of Baden, Germany. Of the four children born to this union, one only is now living— Maria Louisa, a young lady, at home; the other three—Annie, Charlie and Joseph, died in childhood. Capt. and Mrs. Schaefer have an adopted son, however, Frederick R., who is also at home. .After his marriage the captain located in Dayton, and for the past eight years has been engaged as pension agent or attorney, and has rendered very efficient aid to many deserving comrades in preparing and formulating claims against the government. The captain is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Union Veteran Union, served as colonel of the latter organization one term, and was once elected commander of the Grand Army post—an honor which, on account of feeble health, he was compelled to decline, Capt. Schaefer was the founder of the Swabian Benevolent society, which was organized in October, 1879, and served as its president for seven successive years, when he declined to serve further.

 

EDMUND J. SCHWIND, [pages 755-756] vice-president of the Schwind Brewing Co., was born July 31, 1859, He is a son of Celestine Schwind, formerly proprietor of the Schwind brewery, which has acquired among industries of this nature such an enviable reputation for the excellence of its products. It was founded many years ago, and by careful management was built up from small proportions to be one of the largest establishments of its kind in the city of Dayton, which is noted for its many successful manufacturing enterprises.

The proprietor of this establishment is justly proud of the reputation of Schwind beer, and in order to sustain that reputation will not allow a gallon to pass into the hands of the tapster that is not fully up to the standard.  One of the rules of the brewery is:  "A place for everything and everything in its place." Cleanliness prevails throughout. Material is first cleaned and purified, and a year's supply of everything needful kept constantly on hand. In 1880-81, 10,000 barrels of beer were made, and in 1882 this was increased to 15,000 barrels. At this time Edmund J. Schwind was foreman and Louis Schwind manager. The plant was enlarged to its present size and the business increased to its present volume, in 1883. This plant, as it stands today, covers a frontage of 275 feet, and the buildings extend back to the river from the street, a distance of about 230 feet. The main building is really four stories high. The ice machine has a capacity of fifty tons per day.   The plant has the latest improved machinery, and taken all in all it is one of the model breweries of the country. The capacity is 60,000 barrels per year, and all the actual output is consumed in the city of Dayton, this firm manufacturing as much as any other concern in the city. In 1895 the output reached 25,000 barrels.

In 1893 the company became an incorporated one, with C. Schwind, president; Edmund J. Schwind, vice-president and general manager; Edward Hochwalt, secretary and treasurer. When Celestine Schwind died his wife succeeded to the presidency of the company. Having now outlined the business with some particularity it is proper to turn our attention for a short time to the individuals who have built it up from small beginnings.

Celestine Schwind, deceased, was born in Stadtfrazelten, Bavaria, Germany, May 19, 182 5, and was a son of Ignatz and Elizabeth Schwind. He came to the United States in 1850, and settled in Dayton, Ohio, where in 1854 he started a brewery on Logan street, which he conducted for fourteen years. In 1865 he founded the plant that has been described and which is today one of the most conspicuous landmarks and one of the greatest industries of Dayton. It is located in Dayton View, on the banks of the Miami river. When Mr. Schwind came to Dayton he was a poor man, but by dint of hard labor and strict economy he succeeded in building up an immense business and became a wealthy man.

Mr. Schwind was married in Dayton, August 28, 1856, to Miss Christine Latin, also a native of Germany, and who survives her husband. To them there were born eleven children. Mr. Schwind was a member of the Order of Odd Fellows and also of the Society of Druids. He attended strictly to business all through his life, with the exception of the last few years, which he spent in travel and enjoyment. His death occurred April 24, 1893. He left a widow and nine children, as follows; Edmund J., vice-president of the Schwind Brewing company; Emma T., wife of Edward Hochwalt, of Dayton; Edith, wife of Frank Cable, of Sandusky, Ohio, a shoe dealer; Matilda, living at home; Mary, wife of William Makley, of Dayton; Josephine, living at home; Michael J., bookkeeper and director in the Schwind Brewing company; Clara, at home, and Anna L., also at home. Two sons are deceased.

Edmund J. Schwind, vice-president of the Schwind Brewing company, was educated in the public schools, after which he spent some three years in traveling for the brewery. In 1882 he entered the employ of his father, as foreman, which position he occupied until 1893, when he was made vice-president of the company. He has proven himself an efficient manager and under his direction the business has grown and prospered exceedingly. He has excellent business capacity and is now well known as one of the progressive and successful men of Dayton.

 

GEORGE E. SHEPHERD, [pages 756-757] treasurer of the National Cash Register company, one of the extensive and representative manufacturing concerns of Dayton, is a native of Alexandersville, Montgomery county, Ohio, and was born October 22, 1851, a son of George and Sarah (Elliott) Shepherd, natives, respectively, of Indiana and Maryland.

George Shepherd, the father, came to Ohio in early manhood, and located in Butler county, in which county he married Miss Sarah Elliott, and for many years kept hotel. In his later years he removed from Butler county to Alexandersville, Montgomery county, where he spent the remainder of his days, and died, not yet an aged man, in 1852, his widow surviving until 1891.

George E. Shepherd spent all his boyhood days in his native town, receiving his early education in the district school.  He afterward attended the Lebanon normal school, and was there prepared for the active duties of business life. In 1870 he entered upon his career as bookkeeper for Mead & Nixon, paper manufacturers of Dayton, and that he had been well qualified for this, his first venture, is proved be the fact that he held his position for the period of twenty-two years. January 1, 1892, he entered upon the duties of his present position, that of treasurer of the National Cash Register company, and this he has most satisfactorily filled, responsible as it is, and requiring a wise exercise of judgment in all the details of a complex financial system. In politics, Mr. Shepherd is a republican, and in religion a Lutheran.  Fraternally, he is a member of the Royal Arcanum.

Mr. Shepherd was first married, in 1874, to Miss Eva Harvey, daughter of Jackson Harvey, of Dayton, to which union were born two sons and two daughters, viz: George H., who is now an able assistant to his father in the office of the National Cash Register company, and Harry, Daisy, and Susie, the last of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Eva Shepherd was called from life February 28, 1895, and in August, 1896, Mr. Shepherd married Miss Mary E. Spindler, daughter of Jacob Spindler, also of Dayton.

Mr. Shepherd is quiet and domestic in his habits, but energetic in his business, and stands among the foremost of the accountants of Dayton, while in the community he is held in the highest esteem by all who know him, either in business or social circles.

 

GEORGE W. SHROYER, [pages 757-758] of the firm of G. W. Shroyer & Co., of Dayton, was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, September 26, 1865, a son of Andrew J. and Mary Ann (Oakes) Shroyer, the former of whom was a son of an original pioneer of the county.

John Shroyer, grandfather of George W., was the first of the family to come from Maryland to this county when Dayton was but a mere village, the wants of the inhabitants being fully supplied by two small stores. Later, other members of the family also found a home in Montgomery county. John owned a large farm, two miles from Dayton, and here his son, Andrew J., was born December 29, 1830, and grew to manhood. He was married, in 1852, to Miss Mary Ann Oakes, and this union resulted in the birth of five sons, viz: Edwin, who died in childhood; Oliver H. P.; Clarke M., who died at the age of twenty years; George W., and Charles 0., the latter now a resident of Texas.  In politics Andrew J. Shroyer is a democrat and held the office of township treasurer and other local officers in Harrison township, where he continued farming until 1882, when he removed to Dayton, having lost his wife in 1880. For the past five years he has been engaged in the manufacture and sale of certain medical remedies. He is a member of the First Reformed church, in which he has been an elder for many years.

Oliver H. P. Shroyer was born on the homestead in Harrison township, Montgomery county, September 10, 1857, was educated in the district school, and at the age of twenty-two years came to Dayton, where he engaged in carpentering and house building for four years and then entered the employ of Barney & Smith, went to Buffalo, N. Y., under T. A. Bissell, and passed seven years in the finishing department of the Wagner Palace Car works. He is a very ingenious mechanic and has patented several valuable inventions. This faculty being well known to the Queen City Cycle company of Buffalo, he was employed, in 1891, by that company to go on the road and study the wheel, and he has done much toward improving and perfecting it. He is now associated with his brother, George W., in the bicycle business in Dayton. November 5, 1879, Mr. Shroyer was united in marriage with Miss Margaret M. Bartholomew, and to them have been born nine children, viz: Bessie (deceased), Ellen, Oilie (deceased), Clarke, Robert, Grace, an infant son deceased, Margueritte and an infant daughter. The parents are members of the Reformed church and reside at No. 944 Steele avenue.

George W. Shroyer, whose name opens this sketch, received a good common-school education in his native township, and at the age of fifteen years came to Dayton to assist his father in the agricultural implement business; when seventeen years old he took the road for the Minneapolis self-binders and harvesters, his territory covering Missouri, Kansas and Texas, and for about five years did a very successful business; he then took the road for Joyce, Cridland & Co., with whom he remained six years, traveling over the United States and Canada, selling railroad supplies. In November, 1894, he opened up his present bicycle exchange at No. 23 West Fifth street, Dayton, under the firm name of G. W. Shroyer & Co. This firm handles the Gendron, Cleveland, Victor and Winton wheels, and also carries an assorted stock of attachments, supplies and repairs, and in the winter season canvasses the states of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, making a specialty of pushing the sale of Gendron wheels.  Mr. Shroyer has made a success of his venture and is recognized as one of the foremost of the young and progressive business men of the city.  Fraternally he is a member of lola lodge, No. 83, uniform rank of the Knights of Pythias. His marriage took place, in 1887, with Miss Fannie R. Joyce, and this union has been blessed with two children—Hazel and Clifford. The parents are members of the Reformed church and reside No. 6 Quitman street.

 

GUSTAVE STOMPS, [pages 758-761] deceased.—Of those worthy of prominent mention in any biographical work on Dayton, both for their successful business careers and for their sterling worth as men and citizens, was the late Gustave Stomps, president of the Stomps-Burkhardt company, Mr. Stomps was a native of Bocholt, Westphalia, Prussia, and was born on the 29th day of September, 1827. His parents were also natives of that province, where for years his father was civil engineer and land appraiser for Prince Salm, the then reigning ruler of that principality. After receiving the customary education in the excellent schools of his native land, Mr. Stomps learned the trade of leather tanning, and in 1848, during the political disturbances then agitating his country, and having lost his father by death, he came to the United States, landing in New York city in the spring of that year. Upon the day he landed he searched out some friends whose addresses he had, and the following day found him in quest of employment. Not being able to find work at the tanning trade he took the next best thing he could get, and went to work crimping boots.

He spent about six months in New York city, and then came west to Cincinnati, where his eldest brother, Joseph, who had preceded him to America, was living. There he found employment in McCabe's tannery, in which establishment he subsequently became a foreman, and so continued until he was taken ill with smallpox. During this time Mr. Stomps made his home with his brother, who had married some time before. After recovering from his illness, which occurred during the year 1850, Mr. Stomps gave up the tanning trade, and began to learn that of chairmaking, and in the latter part of 1851 he and his brother Joseph engaged in the manufacture of chairs at Lawrenceburg, Ind., but the high water of the Ohio river in the following year drowned out almost the entire town, and the brothers, becoming discouraged, sold out their factory and came to Dayton.

Mr. Stomps worked at the chairmaking trade for different employers in Dayton until 1859, in which year he became one of seven chairmakers who organized the Chairmakers' Union for the manufacture of chairs. In 1860, however, Mr. Stomps disposed of his interest in the union, and established the firm of G. Stomps Bro. & Company, the other members of the firm being Joseph Stomps and Martin Brabec. Their chair factory stood on the site of what is now the west factory of the Stomps-Burkhardt Co.'s plant, and was the building formerly occupied by the firm of Estabrook & Phelps, Dayton's old-time wholesale grocers. On November 2, 1869 R. P. Burkhardt purchased Mr. Brabec's interest in the company, and on December 2, of the same year Mr. Stomps bought out his brother Joseph's interest, and the firm became that of G. Stomps & Co. Then, for the first time, the firm put in a plant of machinery and power and began the manufacture of chairs by machinery instead of by hand. In 1890 the Stomps-Burkhardt company was formed with Mr. Stomps as president and R. P. Burkhardt, Sr., as vice-president and general manager, J. M. Kramer, secretary, Gustave Stomps, Jr., treasurer, and Charles Vogel, superintendent. Mr. Stomps continued president of this company until his death.

In 1852 Mr. Stomps was married in Cincinnati to Miss Catherine Mahrt. Mrs. Stomps was born in Wetter, near Marburg, Hessia, Germany, on April 7, 1828. She came to the United States in 1850 in the company of friends, with whom she remained in Philadelphia for some time.  Her sister had preceded her to this country and had become the wife of Joseph Stomps. It being the desire of the sisters to be together, Mr. Stomps was delegated to go to Philadelphia and escort the newly arrived sister to Cincinnati. Thus they met for the first time, and their marriage soon followed. To Mr. and Mrs. Stomps the following children were born:  Mary Adelaide, born in Dayton, on August 27; 1853, who became the wife of R. P. Burkhardt, Sr., and died on May 12, 1893; Catherine, who became the wife of Charles Vogel; Elizabeth, who became the wife of John Stengel; Theresa, who became the wife of John M. Kramer; Anna, who became the wife of H. C. Mahrt; Francis, Gustave and Rose.

The death of Mr. Stomps occurred on the 26th day of June, 1890, away from home, and under unusually distressing circumstances, rendering doubly sad the bereavement of his family and friends. His youngest daughter, a student at the Immaculate Conception, Oldenburg, Ind., was to graduate with first honors as valedictorian of her class, and it was to witness the exercises at the convent that Mr. Stomps, accompanied by his wife and Mrs. Burkhardt, left home never to return. The weather was extremely warm and Mr. Stomps was overcome with the heat and died at Batesville, Ind.; before reaching his destination, and without seeing his daughter.

Mr. Stomps was in every sense of the word a self-made man. When he landed in New York city it was a but a few cents in his pockets. But his training had been of the right sort, to which was added a naturally industrious and frugal disposition. His was a life of unceasing application to business affairs, and so uniformly successful were his efforts that at his death he left a fortune. Mr. Stomps was of a quiet, calm, even temperament, not easily excited or confused, and he always kept his head under the most trying circumstances. He was a man of strong dislikes, warm hearted and genial, and when he won friends he kept them ever afterward. He possessed fine business talents, and was careful, painstaking and conservative in his methods.   He was unswerving in his honesty and integrity, just to friend and foe alike, and during all his life enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his business associates, and of all who knew him. He was a Roman Catholic in religion and for years was an influential member of Emanuel Catholic church of this city.

 

ALFRED H. SHRY, [pages 761-762] a member of the engineer department, of the national military home near Dayton, was born in McArthur, Vinton county, Ohio, February 9, 1847, and was reared to manhood in his native town.

Amos Shry and his wife, Mary (Bobo) Shry, of German descent, were natives of Virginia and were born, respectively, in 1808 and 1810, were married in that state, and shortly afterward removed to Ohio and settled in or near McArthur. To their marriage were born four sons and five daughters, and of this family of children five are still living, viz: William, who follows the calling of his deceased father—that of farming—at McArthur; Catherine, Margaret, Harriet and Alfred H. The eldest born of this family of nine was Jonathan, who died at the age of eight years; Jacob, the third in order of birth, served in company D, second West Virginia cavalry, and died after the close of the Civil war; Mary the fourth in order of birth, died when sixteen years old.

Alfred H. Shry was educated in the public schools of McArthur, but quit his school to become a soldier and he enjoys the distinction of having been one of the youngest soldiers who carried a musket in defense of his native land in the late Civil war. His enlistment took place April 25, 1862, at the early age, it will be perceived, of fifteen years, in company C, Eighty-eighth Ohio volunteer infantry, for three months, but served one month longer, when he was honorably discharged. His next enlistment took place June 15, 1863, in company H, First Ohio volunteer heavy artillery, in which he served until the Rebellion was quelled. He served under Burnside in Kentucky and Tennessee and under Gen. George H. Thomas in the army of the Cumberland. A great part of the time during his second enlistment was spent in garrison duty in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama, and he was finally mustered out at Greenville, Tenn., August 4, 1865. He then returned to the place of his birth, and was engaged in merchandizing for about fifteen years.

In 1872 Mr. Shry married Miss Lydia A. Eakin, of Vinton county, Ohio—a union that has been blessed by the birth of four children, viz: Joseph A., who died at the age of eighteen months; Lottie M., Archie L. and Lucy F.—the latter three living in McArthur with their mother. By reason of failing health, Mr. Shry was compelled, November 26, 1886, to seek at the military home that rest and treatment which he had well earned by his service in the army, and here he has ever since been employed in some light but lucrative employment, although he has been permitted to enjoy a great deal of his time with his family. Mr. Shry in his political proclivities is a democrat. In religion he does not confine himself to the doctrines of any church, neither does he affiliate with any secret brotherhood, except the Union Veteran Legion.

 

MAJ. WILLIAM W. SHOEMAKER, [pages 762-765] ex-soldier and court bailiff of the police court, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Berks county, Pa., January 31, 1839, and is descended, on both sides, from ante-Revolutionary stock. He accompanied his parents to Dayton at the age of thirteen years, and has lived in the same house, No. 141 South Williams street, for over forty-two years. His parents were Isaac and Hannah (Maxton) Shoemaker, the former of whom was born in Berks county, Pa., in 1810, where his parents, who came from Canada, had settled prior to the war of the Revolution. Isaac Shoemaker died in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of seventy-two years. The Maxton  family was of Scotch ancestry, was also established in Pennsylvania previous to the Revolutionary war, and the maternal grandmother of the major had several times seen both Washington and Cornwallis, remembered many of the stirring events of their time, and died in Dayton at the age of ninety years.  Mrs. Hannah (Maxton) Shoemaker, mother of the major, was born in Chester county, Pa., in 1817, and died in Dayton, at the age of seventy-two, the mother of eight children, of whom two died in infancy; those who have lived to maturity are named Jacob, who was the first born of the family, is a printer by trade, served in the One Hundred and Thirty-first Ohio volunteer infantry, and now resides in Dayton; William W., was the second born; Sarah is the wife of William Miller, and resides on a stock farm near Bardstown, Ky.; Isaac K. was a soldier for three years in company K, Ninety-third Ohio infantry, was wounded at Chickamauga, and died in Dayton in 1893; Emma is the widow of George Martin, and has her home in the Gem City; Charles D., is a native of this city and is a merchant.

William W. Shoemaker was early taught the carpenter's trade and was engaged in this calling at the outbreak of the Civil war. He had joined the Dayton Zouaves in 1860, and was thoroughly drilled when enlistment in the volunteer service became the order of the day, when he left the zouaves and on April 15, 1861, joined the Dayton Light Guards (of whom further mention may be found in the sketch of Capt. Winder), and was thus one of the first to respond to the call for 75,000 three-months men. The guards were mustered in as company C, First Ohio volunteer infantry, went on to Washington, took part in the somewhat extended skirmish at Vienna, Va., and then in the great opening battle of the war at Bull Run, on the 2ist of July. The term of enlistment had expired July 16, and the boys were invited to join in the fray, and it was almost unanimously voted to do so.

August 5, 1861, Mr. Shoemaker re-enlisted, was elected second lieutenant of company H, Fourth Ohio cavalry, and on the 15th was honorably discharged from his old company, and with his new company took part in its first battle, at Bowling Green, Ky., under Gen. Mitchell; then went to Nashville, Tenn.; and thence, with Mitchell's division, to Huntsville, Ala., where the regiment captured seven locomotives, a large amount of stores, and prisoners from the recent battle field of Corinth. They then crossed the Tennessee river on a burning bridge at Decatur, Ala.; went as far as Stevenson, and then returned to Huntsville and joined Gen. Buell on his retreat into Kentucky; took part in the fight at Perryville, Ky.; went to Lexington, near which point, on the previous day, at Clay's farm, the greater portion of the Ohio cavalry had been captured by the raider, John Morgan. Lieut. Shoemaker was provost guard at Lexington, in command of 128 men, whom he had quartered in the courthouse.  When called upon to surrender, he flatly refused, unless convinced that all the other cavalry had been captured. "What evidence do you require?" was asked. " Bring the colonels of the regiments you say you have captured," was the answer. On this request being complied with, Lieut. Shoemaker surrendered his men. This action had been strongly urged by the mayor of Lexington, who wished to save the city from being shelled and probably burned. An incident of this surrender, tending to show Lieut. Shoemaker's tenacity, may here be related. He had been presented with a very handsome sword-belt, with which he refused to part, though threatened with death if he refused; while the controversy was going on, Gen. Breckinridge, the Confederate, rode up to ascertain the cause of the trouble, and, on learning the circumstances, ordered the hot-headed Texan captor to restore the belt. The lieutenant was paroled on the spot and returned to Frankfort, and thence to Indianapolis.

Having been exchanged, Lieut. Shoemaker returned to the front in time to take part in the battle of Stone River (December 31, 1862, and January 1 and 2, 1863). Later, while on staff duty under Gen. Turchin, and while on the Tullahoma campaign, in searching for a ford across Stone river, the lieutenant was shot through the shoulder, the ball coming out near the elbow; but he remained on Gen. Crook's staff until after the Chickamauga campaign; then returned to Tullahoma and thence went to Murfreesboro; at the battle of Farmington, while making a saber charge, he was shot through the right lung, the ball being removed from under the shoulder blade. He was conveyed to a private dwelling together with seven wounded men, who where left there to die, and the next morning five of the seven were actually dead. He had but little hope of recovery, under the indifferent treatment of his rebel host; at the end of thirty days, however, he secured a horse and was able to ride to Wartrace station, on the Nashville & Chattanooga railroad, and take a train for Deckard, where he found the Federal cavalry headquarters, to learn that he had been reported as dead, and to encounter much difficulty in convincing his fellow-officers that he, the dirty, emaciated soldier, was the former robust officer they had mourned as lost. He here received a furlough for thirty days, which was extended to sixty, but the wound was not entirely healed until two years later.

Reporting to Gen. Crook at Pulaski, Tenn., Lieut. Shoemaker was appointed recruiting officer of the Second cavalry division and located at Nashville. This duty ended, he was mustered in as captain of company F, Fourth Ohio cavalry, and went home on a thirty-day veteran furlough, at the expiration of which he rejoined the army at Nashville, and the main army at Rome, Ga., to enter upon the Atlanta campaign. At Decatur, Ala., he had a fight with the rebel, Roddy, and captured some prisoners; was detailed as assistant inspector on the staff of Gen. Girard, at Decatur, and went on the Atlanta campaign; was on the Jonesboro raid, and with Kilpatrick in the rear of Atlanta. After the fall of that city, the cavalry division was placed under the command of Gen, Thomas, at Nashville; Lieut. Shoemaker served on staff duty until Gen. Girard was relieved; returned to his regiment and remained with it until after the fight at Nashville: went to Eastport, Tenn., under Gen. Wilson; was detailed as aid-de-camp to Gen. Long, and remained with him until the battle of Selma, where Long was wounded; then returned to his regiment and took command, he being the ranking officer; crossed the Alabama river at Selma, captured 1,800 prisoners, and then moved on to Montgomery; thence went to Columbus, Ga., and after a hard struggle captured that city; thence he went to Macon, where he captured Gen. Howell Cobb and his army. The Fourth Ohio cavalry was then constituted provost guard of Macon, and was upon this duty when the Confederacy collapsed.   Maj. Shoemaker then took part in the pursuit of Jefferson Davis, and was near at hand when he was captured by the Fourth Michigan cavalry.  Maj. Shoemaker then marched from Macon to Atlanta, visiting all battle fields en route, and at the latter city met Col. Thompson, who had been released from a rebel prison and who now took command of the regiment. Maj. Shoemaker was mustered out of the service at Nashville, Tenn., July 15, 1865, as captain, but was subsequently enrolled by the war department at Washington as major of his regiment.

Returning to Dayton, Ohio, Maj. Shoemaker was married, August 10, 1865, to Miss Vesta J. Congdon, a native of Grafton, Mass., where she was reared and educated. This marriage has been blessed with two children, viz: William H., who is chief deputy of the common pleas court, and Edwin Stanton, who is a plumber, is married, and is the father of two children.  In 1867, Maj. Shoemaker was appointed to the police force of Dayton, on which he has since filled every position, but for several years has been on light duty. When he was first appointed, there were but twenty-one men on this force; there are now over eighty. In politics, the major was formerly a whig, but has been a member of the republican party ever since its organization; he has never been a seeker after office, however, nor ever held official positions, except as stated above. He is a member of Old Guard post, G. A, R., and also a Knight of Pythias, and he and his family are all members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

 

BERT D. SHROYER, [page 765] loan agent of No. 120 East Fifth street, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Mad River township, Montgomery county, Ohio, October 6, 1873. His parents, Ephraim and Mary Jane (Cotterill) Shroyer, were natives of Montgomery county. They were the parents of nine children, eight sons and one daughter, as follows: William Albert, Perry H., Rolla L., Charles E., Anna May, Ellsworth B. and Elmer E., twins, Bert D. and Frank.

Ephraim Shroyer was reared in Montgomery county, and for nine years was a member of the Dayton city fire department. He and his wife are still living in Dayton.   Mr. Shroyer served his country as a soldier in the late Civil war, as a member of the Ninety-third Ohio volunteer infantry, and was for some months confined in Libby and Belle Isle prisons. Mrs. Shroyer is a member of Christ church, the oldest Protestant Episcopal church in the city.

William Shroyer, the father of Ephraim Shroyer, was a native of Frederick county, Md., by trade a blacksmith, and was a soldier in the war of 1812. He came to Ohio soon after the close of the war, located in Mad River township, and served there for many years as a justice of the peace, dying in 1846. The maternal grandfather, Lorenzo Dow Cotterill, was also a native of Maryland. He was among the first settlers in Dayton, and died about 1874, in his seventieth year.

Bert D. Shroyer grew to manhood in Dayton and in the vicinity. His education was received in the city schools, and he made the most of the excellent opportunities they afforded him. He was married on January 13, 1893, to Miss Nora Loy, daughter of Jacob and Louise (Campbell) Loy, and to this marriage has been born one child, Earl McKinley, September 19, 1896. Politically, Mr. Shroyer is a republican. He is a descendant and a worthy representative of two of the oldest and best known families of the county.

Of the brothers of Bert D. Shroyer, Albert married Miss Jennie Hemler, and has three children living, viz: William Albert, John and Victor. Rolla L. married Jane Butt, and has one child, Clyde. Charles E. married Martha Kendig, and has three children, Ralph, Frank and Anna. Ellsworth married Emma Traud, and has one child, Leona, and Perry Harrison married Miss Ann May Terry, and has two children, Perry and Charles.
 

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