Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 812-827 James Turpin to Stark & Weckesser

JAMES TURPIN, [pages 812-813] secretary and treasurer of the Kratochwill Milling company, of Dayton, Ohio, was born in this city February 6, 1855, a son of James and Elizabeth (Griffith) Turpin, both natives of England, the father having been born in 1817 and the mother in 1820.

The marriage of James and Elizabeth Turpin took place in New York, in 1841, after which they immediately came to Dayton, Ohio. James Turpin was a professor of music, and is credited with having been the first teacher of the art in the Gem City, teaching both vocal and instrumental music to private pupils and in the public schools. For many years he conducted a music store on Third street, and was well known throughout southwestern Ohio, being especially popular with the music-loving people of Dayton and this neighborhood. His death, which occurred when he was fifty-seven years old, was the occasion of great grief to his large circle of friends, who esteemed him as a man of bright and genial disposition, benevolent to a fault and free in the distribution of his means among the worthy poor.  His widow, who is still a resident of Dayton, is highly honored by all who know her. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Turpin were nine in number, of whom two died in infancy; of the survivors, George is the eldest, is in the employ of the Kratochwill Milling company; Clara is the wife of W. F. Gebhart, of the Simon Gebhart Milling company; Jeanette is an accomplished and successful music teacher; Fannie is married to Joseph Huston, a well-to-do agriculturist in a suburb of Dayton; Kate is the wife of P. H. Gunckel, an attorney-at-law of Minneapolis, Minn.; James is the subject of this memoir ; Harry B. is also a successful music teacher of Dayton,

James Turpin, whose name opens this biography, was quite well educated in the Dayton public schools, and began his business life as a clerk in the banking house of Gebhart, Harman & Co., now known as the City National bank, and there passed eight months; he then entered the employ of Van Ausdal & Harman, and for five years had entire control of the financial part of their extensive business;, he next engaged, with two associates, in the manufacture of blank books and commercial stationery, and in this business he continued for five years. In November, 1887, the firm, which had been very successful, sold out, and Mr. Turpin purchased a third interest in the Kratochwill Milling company, which was incorporated in that year and Mr. Turpin elected its secretary and treasurer. The capital stock of the company is $100,000, the capacity of the mills 500 barrels of flour daily, and the employees number twenty-five, exclusive of the proprietors.  Mr. Turpin's practical business associate is George P. Huffman, the president of the company.  Mr. Turpin has also other business interests in Dayton and has been very successful financially. His prosperity is due entirely to his fine business abilities and careful management, as he began with no pecuniary aid and with no capital, and today, after a devotion of nineteen years only to business pursuits, he stands, while yet a young man, among the prosperous and successful citizens of Dayton.

Mr. Turpin was married on October 26, 1881, to Miss Louise M. Gebhart, daughter of Joseph R. and Maria (Hoagland) Gebhart. Mr. Gebhart is one of the wealthy and influential business men of Dayton and a representative of one of the early families of the city, whose name appears on many of the pages of this volume. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Turpin have been born five children, of whom James Clifford, Helen Louise and Joe Gebhart still live to gladden the home, while Grace and Ellen died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Turpin are consistent members of the First English Lutheran church of Dayton, of which Mr. Turpin has been a communicant for twenty years, he and his wife being active workers in both church and Sunday-school. Mr. Turpin is a Freemason, but finds his chief enjoyment in the home circle. In politics he is a republican, but takes little part in political affairs.

 

LEONIDAS HAMLIN VAUGHAN, [pages 813-814] contractor and builder, at the corner of Wayne and Park streets, Dayton, was born in Bellbrook, Greene county, Ohio, November 3, 1854, and in his infancy was brought to Dayton by his parents, since which time he has always lived very near his present location.

Harrison Vaughan, his father, was born in Sugar Creek township, Montgomery county, in 1812, and was the son of a Virginian, whose father came from Wales. Harrison always lived in the county of his birth, with the exception of the time he was serving his apprenticeship in Chillicothe.  He first married Miss Charlotte Snowden, who died within a year after the wedding; his second marriage was with Miss Elizabeth Wilson, who was born in Waynesville, Warren county, Ohio; this union resulted in the birth of Leonidas H., their only child. Harrison Vaughan was also a contractor and builder; among other of his works he largely constructed the town of Centerville, and after fifty-eight years of industrious and intelligent devotion to his calling, he died in Dayton in April, 1890; his widow still resides at the old homestead, on Park street.

Leonidas H. Vaughan was educated in the public schools of Dayton, and at the age of twenty years left the high. school to learn the building business under instructions from his father. For about fifteen years father and son conducted the business conjointly, or in partnership, and on the father's death Leonidas assumed entire control of the business of the former firm. This trade comprises contracting and building according to plans and specifications ; and Mr. Vaughan, being an architect as well as builder, prepares many designs for others, and invariably prepares the plans and diagrams for those buildings which he constructs under contract or erects on his own account for selling purposes. Since 1888 he has built and sold forty-nine houses—prompted by a keen foresight and close observation of the needs' of the growing city.   Beside contracting for and superintending the erection of a number of fine private dwellings and business houses, Mr. Vaughan has had a fair share of city work, having built the Eighteenth district schoolhouse and the houses for hose companies Nos. 8 and 9; also the superb twin dining rooms of the southern Ohio hospital for the insane.

March 1, 1876, Mr. Vaughan married Miss Luella B. McLean, a native of Dublin, Ind., but reared from infancy in Dayton, Ohio. She is a daughter of John and Mary (Swainey) McLean, who died in Dayton in 1893, but a few weeks apart; her grandmother Swainey was the first white female child brought to Dayton, having come here with her mother at the age of nine years. Mrs. Vaughan was educated in the schools of Dayton, and gained all these schools could impart in the matter of instruction. To Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan have been born six children, named Charles H., Harry H., Florence M., Nellie Edna, Alice B. and Edith M., all of whom are attending school except the youngest. Incidentally it may be said that two of the teachers of these children were classmates of their father in the high school of Dayton. Although his father was a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church, Leonidas H. Vaughan and wife are members of the Oak street United Brethren church, in the faith of which they are rearing their children. Politically Mr. Vaughan is a stout republican. He is a member of the Dayton Builders' exchange, and, being a mechanic of more than ordinary ability, stands high in the esteem of the other members of that influential business organization, as well as in that of the community at large.

 

WILLIAM  BELVILLE ANDERSON, [pages 814-818] one of the leading business men of Dayton, is not only conspicuously identified with the manufacturing interests of the city, being secretary of the Buckeye Iron & Brass works, one of the Gem City's most important industries, but is a representative of one of the old and honored pioneer families of the Buckeye state and of Montgomery county, the family having been identified with the history of the common-wealth from the days when this section was still a wilderness.

William Belville Anderson was born in Centerville, Montgomery county, Ohio, on the 30th of January, 1856, being the son of Robert M. and Elizabeth M. (Belville) Anderson, both of whom were natives of Montgomery county, the former having been born in the year 1827, and the latter in 1831. His grandfather was Thomas Anderson, a native of New Jersey, who emigrated to the west with his parents at an early day, locating temporarily in Kentucky, whence they made their way to Cincinnati, the journey being effected in the true pioneer style, with team and wagon. They eventually settled near the present city of Dayton.

Robert M. Anderson was engaged in general merchandizing at Centerville for a full score of years, having been one of the most prominent and influential citizens of that section of the county. He retired from active business pursuits in the year 1870, and in the year 1871 took up his residence in Dayton, where he passed the remainder of his days, his death occurring January 6, 1889. He was a man of strong mentality and indubitable honor in every relation of life, and held the respect and esteem of all with whom he came in contact. On the 28th of February, 1855, he was married to Elizabeth M. Belville, daughter of Rev. John L. Belville (a Presbyterian clergyman) and Elizabeth M. Belville. Of the five children born to Robert M. and Elizabeth M. Anderson only two survive—our subject, who is the eldest, and his sister Cora B., who is the youngest.   The mother died suddenly September 14, 1896, at Bemis Point, Chautauqua Lake, N. Y.

William B. Anderson received his education in the public schools of Dayton and the Cooper academy, having matriculated in the latter institution after his second year in the high school. He continued his studies at the academy, under the guidance of Prof. J. A. Robert, until the year 1870, in June of which year he became connected with the Buckeye Iron & Brass works, with which concern he has ever since been identified. The following year he was elected to the responsible office of secretary of the company and has held this place ever since, having done much to advance the prosperity of the enterprise. He has been signally alert and progressive in his business operations, and has important industrial associations aside from that above mentioned. He was the first president of the Dayton Fan & Motor company, with which corporation he was connected from the time of its organization until about 1893.

In his political proclivities Mr. Anderson has always been a loyal member of the republican party, but the only office he has ever consented to accept was that of a member of the board of police commissioners, to which position he was appointed by Gov. Campbell, and even this preferment he resigned at the expiration of three months. Mr. Anderson holds a leading rank in fraternal circles—particularly in the time-honored order of Freemasonry. He is a member of Dayton lodge, No. 147, A. F. & A. M., having been master of the same for two years; of Unity chapter, No. 16, R. A. M., and of Reese council, No. 9, R. & S. M., of which he is also past thrice illustrious master.  He is also illustrious grand conductor of the grand council of Ohio.  He retains membership in Reed commandery, No. 6, Knights Templar, of which he is past eminent commander, having held this office at the time of the great triennial encampment in the city of Washington. In the ancient and accepted Scottish-rite he has attained the thirty-second degree, and is a noble in Syrian temple of the Mystic Shrine. For several years Mr. Anderson was prominently connected with the Ohio state militia, being a member of the Harries guard during the strike in the Jackson county coal fields, and later adjutant of the old Fourth regiment, previous to its disbandment, at which time he received an honorable discharge from the governor of the state. He is .known as one of the public-spirited citizens of Dayton, and his influence is at all times thrown in favor of any project which has as its object the advancement and stable prosperity of the city of his home.

The marriage of Mr. Anderson was celebrated, in Dayton, on the i4th of November, 1883, when he was united to Miss Harriet E. Cooper, daughter of the late David Cooper, one of Dayton's most influential and prominent business men, who had been in the whole-sale mercantile trade here for a long term of years. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are the parents of one son, Robert Cooper, who was born on the 1st of September, 1884.

 

WILLIAM H. VAN RIPER, [pages 818-819] one of the members of the board of infirmary directors of Dayton and a well-known citizen of the West Side, was born in Seneca county, N. Y., March 20, 1851, and is a son of Henry Van Riper, who was born in the same county in 1824, and who died January 3, 1863. Henry was a son of Garret and Ann Van Riper, and was one of triplets, all boys, and who, upon arriving at mature years, were each of remarkable stature and weight. Their resemblance one to another was so great as to make it difficult to distinguish them. The two of the triplets that survive are Richard and Peter. The grandparents of William H. Van Riper were natives of New Jersey, from which state they emigrated to New York, where they lived the rest of their lives. Henry Van Riper married Sarah Ann Gunn, who was a native of Ireland, and who came to the United States with her parents when she was nineteen years of age.  She died in January, 1875, at the age of seventy-four years.

William H. Van Riper was reared in the town of Waterloo, Seneca county, N. Y., and there attended the common school.   When fourteen years of age he began serving an apprenticeship at the tinner's trade in Waterloo with I. N. Thorn, with whom he remained three years, after which he worked for Mr. Thorn for five years in Waterloo.  At that time his employer removed to Dayton, and Mr. Van Riper came with him and continued in his employ for fifteen years more, thus making a continuous service of twenty years with one man.

In 1885 he retired from the employ of Mr. Thorn and engaged in the grocery business on the West Side, in company with his father-in-law, Christian Becker, and continued occupied for about two years. At the expiration of this time he purchased a tin and jobbing shop on West Third street, and in 1890 erected a shop on his home premises, at No. 127 South Williams street, where he now conducts a general tin, jobbing and contracting business. In this business he has been unusually successful.

Mr. Van Riper has for years been actively identified with the public affairs of the city of Dayton, and has occupied a prominent position as a politician of the West Side.  In the spring of 1875 he became a candidate for director of the city infirmary on the republican ticket, and after a heated campaign was elected by the largest majority of any candidate on the city ticket, viz: 810 votes.  He took possession of his office April 10, 1895, and during the first six months of his connection with the board of infirmary directors, the expenses of running the infirmary were reduced forty per cent, showing that one man has sometimes great power for good.

Mr. Van Riper was married December 21, 1882, to Miss Isora Becker, a daughter of Christian Becker, of Dayton. She was born in Montgomery county, March 16, 1861, and her father was born in the same county in 1838. He located in Dayton in 1880, and for some years was engaged in the grocery business, but is now retired from active life. To Mr. and Mrs. Van Riper there have been born two children: Clayton, born February 24, 1884, and Carrie, born March 18, 1886.

Mr. Van Riper is a member of Hope lodge, No. 227, Knights of Pythias, and both he and his wife are members of Saint John's English Evangelical Lutheran church.   In his business career, his reliance has been entirely upon his own industry and judgment, and he has made his way in the world without assistance from any quarter. Perseverance, enterprise and determination to succeed have been his best capital. On public matters he is inclined to liberality of view, and is always ready and willing to lend his aid morally and financially to any public movement looking to the good of the community in which he lives.

 

CHARLES H. WARFORD, [page 819] dealer in building supplies and general con-tractor, rooms 17 and 18 Kuhns building, is a representative of one of the oldest and best known families of Dayton. His father, Henry S. Warford, was a native of Hunterdon county, N. J., and his mother, whose maiden name was Mary E. Slaght, was born on Main street, Dayton, where her parents located as early as 1812. Four children were born to Henry S. and Mary E. Warford, of whom Charles H. was the eldest, the others dying in early childhood.

Charles H. Warford was born in Dayton, February 5, 1867, and grew to manhood in his native city, in the public schools of which he received a fair English education. He first found employment as a clerk in the Fireman's Insurance company, in which capacity he continued three years.   The succeeding seven years were spent in the employ of the Third National Bank, of Dayton, where he began as a messenger boy and rose within a short time to the position of assistant bookkeeper. On quitting the bank, Mr. Warford embarked in his present business, handling pressed brick, structural iron and many other articles of furnishing, beside a .general line of building material.

Mr. Warford has met with well deserved success in his present occupation. The Presbyterian church represents his religious creed, and ever since obtaining his majority he has acted with the republican party.  He was united in marriage February.27, 1896, to Miss Belle Case, of Boston, Mass.  Mr. Warford's paternal ancestors settled in New Jersey many years prior to the Revolutionary war, in which state the ancestors on the mother's side, who came from Holland, also found homes at a very early period in the history of the colonies. The father of Mr. Warford departed this life in 1881; his mother is still living in the city where all her life has been passed. The family of mother Warford is noted for longevity, her grandmother having died at the age of 100 years.   Mrs. .Warford is one of nine children, but two of whom, beside herself, are now living, Mrs. Sallie Rea, of Zanesville, and Miss Nancy Slaght, a resident of Dayton.

 

ELIHU R. WATROUS, [pages 819-820] proprietor of the Glenview Pleasure resort, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Middletown, Conn., December 8, 1843, and is a son of William and Eveline (Ackley) Watrous, both of whom were natives of the Nutmeg state and of Scotch descent. The latter died in Taunton, Mass., at the age of thirty-two years, and the former in Stone county, Mo., in 1875. Their children numbered four, of whom Elihu R. was the eldest. Two brothers, William and George, and one sister, Eveline A., constituted the remainder of the family.

When a small lad, Elihu R. Watrous imbibed a liking for a seafaring life. The brothers of his mother were seamen and were chiefly engaged in coasting on Long Island sound, and these uncles, whose ancestors came over in the Mayflower, doubtless inspired Elihu with his desire for a seafaring life. He first shipped as a cabin boy on an ocean steamer, and later served before the mast on a sailing vessel, passing, all told, two years at sea, during which time he made two trips to the West Indies.

Mr. Watrous later acquired a good common-school education in his native state, and at the age of twenty, in 1863, enlisted as a musician in the Twenty-fifth Connecticut volunteer infantry, and served under Gen. Banks until nearly the close of the Civil war. While on the expedition up the Red river, he was wounded and taken prisoner, April 16, 1864, and sent to Jackson, Miss. Two or three times he essayed escape, was as often recaptured, but finally succeeded, and was in hiding in a cave in Washington county, Va., when the war closed.  He remained in that region for four or five years after the cessation of hostilities, and in 1870 went to Missouri. From Missouri Mr. Watrous went to Kentucky, where he was employed as a trainer of trotting horses for some months, and in the fall of 1878 came to Dayton, Ohio.

On reaching Dayton, Mr. Watrous worked at sign writing and ornamental painting for some years, and still occupies a part of his time in that manner, although the management of his riverside resort claims his chief attention. In September, 1890, he bought his present place, most beautiful and picturesque, on the bank of the Stillwater river. Here he has erected his dwelling and also summer quarters for visitors, and established a general pleasure resort for boating and picnic parties, where he has, during the summer season of each year, many guests who appreciate courteous and efficient service and attractive surroundings.

Mr. Watrous married Miss Eva Fackley, a native of Dayton, but to this union no children have been born.

Mr. Watrous is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and also of the Grand Army of the Republic. Politically he has been a life-long republican, but never an office-seeker. His religious views accord with those of the Baptists, while his wife is a devoted member of the church of the United Brethren in Christ.

 

ELMER E. WATSON, [pages 820-821] a deputy sheriff of Montgomery county, Ohio, was born about five miles west of Dayton, on the Eaton pike, August 22, 1868, and is a son of John W. and Elizabeth (Bowser) Watson, both also natives of Montgomery county—the former born near Liberty in 1843, and the latter in 1846.

Ephraim Watson, father of John W. and grandfather of Elmer E. Watson, is a native of Maryland, born in 1818; when a boy he was bound as an apprentice to the shoemaking trade, and while yet a young man came to Ohio, settled in Montgomery county and was here married. He is still living about two miles west of Liberty, has followed his trade all his life, and even now makes his own shoes and does his own repairing or cobbling. He married Miss Elizabeth Martin, of Springborough, Warren county, Ohio, but whose parents came from Kentucky and were early settlers of the "dark and bloody ground." She died in Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1889, in her sixty-third year,

John W. Watson, father of Elmer E., when nineteen years of age, enlisted in company H, Fourth regiment, Ohio volunteer cavalry, and served until the close of the Civil war, when he was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal. On his return he began working at the carpenter's trade in Montgomery county, and in 1865 married Miss Elizabeth Bowser, whose parents came from Pennsylvania and are now deceased. To this marriage have been born five sons and five daughters, in the following order: Edith, now Mrs. John S. Getter; Elmer E., Orlando, Henry Wilson (deceased), John E., Daisy E., Jessie Fremont, Hester, Josephine and Victoria.

Elmer E. Watson attended the district school of his neighborhood in his youthful days, during the winter season, in the summer employing himself in farm work, until he reached the age of eighteen years, when he began teaching school in Montgomery county, and followed this vocation for seven years. In September, 1894, he came to Dayton, having accepted a position in the county treasurer's office. This position he retained until the month of December following, performing excellent service, and on January 7, 1895, was appointed a deputy sheriff by Sheriff Anderton, an office which he still fills.

On Christmas day, 1892, Mr. Watson was united in marriage with Miss Zelina A. Dieter, a daughter of Charles W. Dieter, of Dayton. Mr. and Mrs. Watson are members of the First Reformed church, and are highly regarded in both church and social circles.

 

FREDERICK T. G. WEAVER, [pages 821-823] a well-known contractor and builder of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Abington, Wayne county, Ind., February 18, 1841, and is of remote German descent.

John Weaver, his father, was born in Dayton, Ohio, April 8, 1810, and is today one of the best-known citizens of Montgomery county, and probably the oldest native-born resident thereof. The cabin in which he first saw the light in the backwoods of Ohio was one of the most primitive order, built of round logs, and consisting of one room only, which answered all the purposes of domestic life, being parlor, kitchen, bedroom, all in one. The floor was the bare earth; the windows were apertures cut in the logs and covered with dressed deer .skin. The pioneer subscription school of the neighborhood afforded him his education, and his attendance there was limited to three months.  In 1835 he was elected and commissioned by Gov. Robert Lucas ensign of the Sixth company, First regiment, First brigade, Fifth division, Ohio militia; in October, 1836, was commissioned by Gov. Lucas captain of .the Eleventh company, First regiment, First brigade, Fifth division, Ohio militia. In 1838. John Weaver went to Indiana, returned to Dayton in 1858, and now resides within four miles of his birthplace. While in Indiana he dealt largely in real estate, and was also engaged in contracting, and was very successful, being at one time quite wealthy, although he began his business life with but moderate means at. his command.

The paternal grandfather of our subject was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and was under "Mad" Anthony Wayne, when, with a force of 500 men against 3,000 Hessians, he captured the fort at Stony Point, N. Y., at midnight, July 15, 1779, at the point of the bayonet, without firing a gun. Mr. Weaver was also at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown, Va., in July, 1781. After the war he returned to his home in Berks county, Pa., where the family resided for several generations, both before and after the Revolution, but, in 1805, came to Montgomery county, Ohio.

John Weaver first married Miss Eve Hocker, a native of Greene county, Ohio, born in 1811. She died at the age of fifty-five years, leaving a family of ten children, viz : John Edward, Susanna, David, Andrew, Frederick T. G., Rebecca, James K. P., Jacob, Elizabeth and Franklin Pierce. The second marriage of John Weaver was with Annie Dorsey, of Maryland, who has borne him three children: Jennie May, Wilber and Maude.

Frederick The Great Weaver, as he named himself at the age of seven years, was the fifth of the ten children born to John and Eve (Hocker) Weaver. His education was secured by a few months' attendance at a log school-house in Wayne county, Ind., but he has always been an omnivorous reader, being especially fond of historical and biographical works. His first independent effort at bread-winning was made as a clerk in his father's store, which also contained the post-office; he was next employed in a dry-goods store, on a farm, in a sawmill and in a flouring-mill. In 1863 he entered the army as a pioneer for ninety days, at Cincinnati, Ohio, under Capt. Wood and without oath; but was detained seven months, and although not required to bear arms except as a matter of self-protection while at work, he not having taken the oath of a soldier, was not entitled to any of the privileges afforded to the enlisted men. He participated, however, in the battles of Lookout Mountain, Stone River and Nashville. In the spring of 1864 he started west to the gold fields of Montana, outfitting at Saint Joseph, Mo., with ox-teams and mining implements, passing through Kansas to Fort Kearney, up South Platte to Julesburg through the Black Hills, headed for Fort Vancouver and passing through Idaho. He was six months crossing the plains with ox-teams—fighting Indians all the way. After passing the winter in Boise City, Idaho, Mr. Weaver went into the Rocky Bar mining country, traveling over treetops that were buried in snow from sixty to 100 feet deep. He passed through the great lava bed country in Idaho, which he explored to a very considerable extent.                   

At Rocky Bar, Mr. Weaver, in partnership with John H. Guenther, of Dayton, who had been a comrade in the army and was his companion in this expedition, established a bakery, but, the mines failing, the enterprise was not successful. From Bar City, Idaho, Mr. Weaver passed around the headquarters of the Missouri river to Helena, Mont., there being at that time but three cabins in that city, which now has a population of over 20,000; thence he went to Confederate Gulch, or Diamond City, Mont., where he found the mines to be unusually rich, and in thirteen months cleared $30,000, but invested this in mining stock and lost it all. In 1869 he went on a ranch near Bozeman, Mont., and in the fall of 1870 went into the Yellowstone country, traveling at night, in order to avoid the hostile Indians— this being before the National park and the lands environing the springs were reserved by the government. He was among the first white men to visit this romantic country, within forty miles of the springs.

In 1871 Mr. Weaver, late in the fall, faced homeward from Bozeman, Mont., and for forty days suffered intensely from cold and snow. On his arrival at home, he went into partnership with his father in carpenter work, employing from twenty-five to thirty men. In 1876 he went to Paris, Ill., where he passed a year, and then returned to Dayton, Ohio, where, December 20, 1877, he married Miss Mollie E. Owen, a native of the Gem City, born June 13, 1852, a daughter of Benjamin and Hannah (Love) Owen. To this union have been born three children, viz: Eve Rebecca, born April 19, 1879; Charles Owen, born July 24, 1881, and Grade May, born March 19, 1887.

After his marriage Mr. Weaver made Dayton his permanent home, and at first worked as a journeyman; within two years his savings were sufficient to form the nucleus of his present thriving business. He employs from twelve to twenty men, and within the last five years has done work amounting to $150,000. He works from his own drawings and specifications, furnishes the material, and is recognized as one of the most solid contractors and builders of Dayton.

Mr. Weaver is a member of Dayton lodge, No. 48, Ancient Order of United Workmen; of the Knights of Honor, of the Knights of Pythias, being a charter member of Linden lodge, No. 412, of the last-named fraternity; is also a member of Gem City lodge, No. 795, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; of Fidelity lodge, No. 83, Senior Order American Mechanics; Dayton council, No. 132, the National Union, and of the Select Knights of America. Mrs. Weaver is a member of Columbia lodge, No. 1280, Knights & Ladies of Honor. In politics Mr. Weaver has served his fellow-citizens as the democratic member of the city council from the Seventh ward for one term, 1890-91. His father, who was an old-line democrat, was a member of the same body from the Sixth ward for three terms, 1866-68-70.

 

FRANK W. WEGLAGE, [pages 823-824] member of the board of education of the city of Dayton, and also of the board of health, is one of the prominent business men of this important city, Mr. Weglage is a native Daytonian, and was born May 1, 1855. His parents were Henry and Mary (Bonenkamp) Weglage, both natives of Prussia. Their early life was marked by a pleasant romance. They left the fatherland in 1836, both bound for the United States; and, crossing the ocean in the same ship, they became acquainted, a mutual attraction followed, and shortly after landing they were married in the city of Rochester, N. Y. In that city the young husband learned the cooper's trade, and working at it with old-country energy, he was soon able to support his little family. After a time he removed to Cincinnati, where he made his home for nine years. But the growing possibilities of Dayton as a place of business were drawing enterprising spirits, and the young Prussian, now quite thoroughly Americanized, came to Dayton in 1852. He first located his family in what was known as North Dayton, but afterward made his home on First street, where he and his wife resided for the remainder of their lives. The father died in 1870, at the age of fifty-four years, the mother surviving until 1886, and passing away in her sixty-seventh year. Mr. Weglage was a member of the Harugari lodge, and both he and his wife were honored members of the German Lutheran church. They were the parents of eight children, of whom Henry is the eldest and is engaged in the grocery business in Riverdale; Rudolph is dead; John and William are molders, making their home in .North Dayton and in Riverdale; Frank W. is the subject of this sketch; Mary is the wife of Joseph Merkle, city engineer of the Dayton water works department, while the two younger children, Charles and Caroline, are dead.

Frank W. Weglage spent his early life in Dayton, where he was a student in the public schools until he reached the age of twelve years. Then the necessities of a large family and hard times compelled his father to call him from school and to set him at work in the cooper shop. Later he spent two and a half years at the molder's trade. But this not proving what he had hoped, he sought an engagement with the Barney-Smith Car works, and was set to work in their paint shop. This was a labor that was more to his liking, and he has become an expert and proficient painter. In 1878 he spent a year in Missouri, going thence into Kansas, where the Sante Fe railroad gave him employment for three years. Coming back to Dayton, he passed two years with the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad, after which he again went. into the car works, where he has since been employed.

Mr. Weglage, on April 7, 1881, married Miss Lizzie Osterhaus, and this union has resulted in the birth of a daughter, Flora May, born February 12, 1882. Mr. Weglage has always taken an active part in politics, and has been thoroughly devoted to the support of true democracy. In May, 1895, he was appointed to the Dayton board of health, and in the spring of the following year was called to serve on the board of education. He is much interested in all movements and organizations that look to the public good as the result of their efforts, and especially in those social orders calculated to weld their members in a closer brotherhood. He is now a member of the Masonic order, associated with Saint John's lodge, No. 13. He is also a worker in the Odd Fellows, his membership being in Montgomery lodge, No. 5, and is a member, beside, of Dayton encampment, No. 2, and of can-ton Earl, No. 13, P. M., of which he is captain at the present time.

 

PETER WEIDNER, [page 824] a prominent German citizen of Dayton, and a member of the board of city affairs, is a native of Germany, born in 1839. He came to the United States when quite young, and received his education in this country. He located in Dayton in 1853, and has since resided here.  He enlisted in the One Hundred and Sixth regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, and was mustered out a captain, his promotions having been won by many acts of bravery upon the field of battle. Returning from the war he engaged in the butcher business, which he followed for several years with success.  He has taken an active part in public matters and politics for many years, and has been prominent in the councils of the democratic party. He served as a member of the board of directors of the city workhouse from 1885 to 1890, and, in 1893, was appointed a member of the board of city affairs, which important position he now holds. Gen. Weidner has long been prominently identified with the uniform rank of the Knights of Pythias, his title of general coming from that source.

 

AUGUST WEHNER, [pages 824-825] formerly a contractor and builder, living at No. 119 Zeigler street, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Bavaria, Germany, April 26, 1835.  He is a. son of Michael and Anna Mary (Grassmuck) Wehner, both natives of Germany, and the parents of three children, as follows: Agnes, deceased wife of Joseph Schwindt; August and Julius. Michael Wehner, the father, was a soldier and an officer in the German army for thirty-four years, in the service of the kings of Bavaria. In 1854 he emigrated to the United States, locating in Dayton, but dying two days after his arrival, when he was sixty-one years of age. His wife died in 1876, at the age of eighty-two. Both were members of the Catholic church.

The paternal grandfather of August was a tailor in his native country, and by reason of his superior skill and workmanship, he was called "schoen schrieider." He reared a family of three sons and two daughters, and was widely known and respected as an upright man and a good citizen. The maternal grandfather of August, Sebastian Grassmuck, was a surgeon in Germany, and lived to an advanced age.

August Wehner was seventeen years of age when he came to the United States. Three years previously he began to learn the glazier's trade, and upon arriving in Dayton he went to work at the carpenter's trade, which he followed for many years. In 1861 he went to Darke county, and for ten years followed farming in Greenville township, working also at his trade of carpenter, during the entire time. Returning to Dayton in 1872 he worked as a journeyman for three years, and then began taking contracts on his own account. This he continued until 1894, when he retired from active business life.

Mr. Wehner was married June 1, 1857, to Miss Mary Helen Sifferman, daughter of John George and Catherine (Weaver) Sifferman. To this marriage there have been born twelve children, as follows: John Henry, George Jacob, Katie Genevieve (deceased), Joseph, William, Barbara Anna, Mary Agnes, Ida, deceased; Ed-ward, Amelia, Rosa Louisa, and Frank Anthony. Of these John Henry married Louisa Hermann, and has by her five children, as follows: Luella, Mary, Elnora, Walter and Bertha. George Jacob married Elizabeth Reichmann, by whom he has six children, viz: Maria, Julius, Carl, Oliver, Hubert and Albert. Joseph married Clara Brink and has two children, Raymond and Vincent.  Barbara Anna married John Sackstatter, and has two children, Hugo and Norberd. Amelia married William Anderson, and has one child, Florence Louise.

Mr. and Mrs. Wehner and their children are members of the Catholic church, and he is a member of the Liebersbund, a German Catholic benevolent society.  Mr. Wehner is also a member of the Veisenverein fraternity —Freundschaftsbund. Politically he is a free-silver democrat, though he has not been a seeker after office or political honors. During his forty-four years' residence in Dayton he has contributed his share to the upbuilding and growth of the city. He assisted to build the first house in Browntown, and has built a great many structures in Dayton, among them some of the largest factories.

Mrs. Wehner's father, John George Sifferman, came to Dayton in 1832, and aided in digging the canal. At the same time there came to this city a number of families who afterward became well known in the place, becoming in different ways and degrees identified with its interests and growth. Among them were the following: The Makleys, the Weavers, the Hodapps, the Kochs, the Zinks, the Pauls and the Suchers. Mr. Sifferman lived in Dayton a large portion of his time; but his death occurred in Darke county, when he was seventy-five years of age, his wife having died previously at the age of seventy-two.

Mr. Wehner is one of the most popular of the German-American residents of Dayton, having been a most successful business man, and having been during his entire career well-known as a square-dealing, upright and honorable citizen.

 

CHRISTOPHER F. WEINMAN, [pages 825-826] one of the active and leading business men of Dayton, Ohio, and well known as a wagon and truckmaker, is a native of this city, born January 8, 1855.

Christopher H. Weinman, his father, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, and at the age of nineteen years, in 1853, came to America, settled in Dayton, and here married Miss Barbara Werner, who was also a native of Wurtemberg. This marriage resulted in the birth of eight children, of whom four are still living, viz: Christopher F.; Christian J., formerly a machinist and vice-president of the Dayton Gasoline Engine works and at present a member of the firm of Weinman & Euchenhofer; William C., manager of the Postal Telegraph company; and Anna B., wife of Adam Menges, carriagemaker, of Dayton. The father of these children was a shoemaker by trade, and in 1866 opened a boot and shoe store in Dayton, carried on this business for fifteen years and then retired to private life,   Mrs. Barbara Weinman, who died March 30, 1889, was a devout member of the German Evangelical church, of which religious body Mr. Weinman is still a consistent adherent.

Christopher Frederick Weinman, whose name opens this sketch, attended the public schools of Dayton until thirteen years of age, and then, for three years, worked in the cotton factory of T. A. Phillips & Son. He next served an apprenticeship of four years at carriagemaking with DeCamp Brothers, of Dayton, then worked for a year with Murray & Ogier as a journeyman, and for nine years following was in the employ of W. W. Phillips as wagon-body builder. Mr. Weinman next had charge of the wheelroom of Pinneo & Daniels for five or six years, leaving that firm to form the partnership of Kramer & Weinman, which carried on the wagonmaking business until 1894. The name was then changed to that of Kramer, Weinman & Co., but the business of this firm is now being closed out by Mr. Weinman. Although the original firm began with a small capital, the superiority of their trucks and wagons gained for them a widespread reputation, each member being an expert in wagonmaking, and, as an evidence of their skill, it may be mentioned that they constructed no less than ten hose carriages for the Dayton fire department. They employed an average of twenty men. Upon the close of active business by the above firm, on May 1, 1896, Mr. Weinman became a member of the firm known as the Pioneer Wagon works, he buying the interest of Mr. Pfeiffenberger, the firm becoming Weinman, Geiser & Co., manufacturers of wagons and trucks, and doing also general repair work.

Fraternally, Mr. Weinman is a member of Dayton lodge, No. 272, I. 0. 0. F.; Gem City encampment, No. n6; Patriarchs Militant, canton Daytonia, No. 82; Isaac and Rebekah lodge, Daughters of Rebekah, No. 178. He is captain of canton Daytonia, also a member of Humboldt lodge, K. of P., and is vice-president of the Franklin Building association.

The marriage of Mr. Weinman took place April 27, 1879, with Miss Sophia C. Wiesmath, of Dayton, daughter of the late George Wiesmath. Three children have blessed this union and are named Emma C., Mary S., and Minnie C. The family worship at the German Lutheran church and enjoy the esteem of a large circle of friends.

 

STARK & WECKESSER, [pages 826-827] who are concerned in a mercantile enterprise which is now one of importance in any city, that of dealing in bicycles, sporting and athletic goods and supplies, have their finely equipped quarters at No. 113 East Fifth street, Dayton, and though the business had its inception as recently as February 1, 1895, it has shown a rapid and gratifying growth. The members of the firm are William H. Stark and Albert A. Weckesser, both of whom are practical mechanics and thereby enabled to give direct attention to all the details of their business. The firm handle all standard makes of guns and sporting goods, while the list of bicycles for which they are agents includes the Dayton and other well-known makes. Aside from their retail trade the firm also conduct a large jobbing business all through this section of the state.

Albert A. Weckesser is a native son of Dayton, was born on the 15th of November, 1870, and is a son of J, P. and Mary A. (Wenz) Weckesser, the latter of whom died in the year 1880. The father is a prominent clothing merchant of Dayton, where he has been established in business for many years. Albert A. was reared and educated in the city of his birth, and when fifteen years of age he began the work of preparing himself for the practical duties of life by entering the employ of James Dodds, in the capacity of salesman and assistant in the repair shop. This place he retained until February, 1895, when he associated himself with Mr. Stark in the establishing of their present business.

Mr. Weckesser is a member of the A. S. of C. and also of the Catholic organization of St. Joseph's Institute.  His religious affiliations are with Emanuel Catholic church, in Dayton. His home is at 120 West Fifth street.

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