Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 827-842  Rev. Edward Thompson Wells to John G. Will

REV. EDWARD THOMPSON WELLS, A. M., [pages 827-829] presiding elder of the Dayton district, Cincinnati conference, Methodist Episcopal church, was born in Norwalk, Huron county, Ohio, July 29, 1842, and is a son. of Rev. Wesley J. and Olive (Clark) Wells, the former of whom was a native of York county, Pa., born October 14, 1811, and the latter of New York state, born April 14, 1805. They were married in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1839, and there were born to their union two children, viz: Edward Thompson and a daughter, now Mrs. 0. M. Cary—the latter a resident of Toledo, Ohio. The father was an itinerant minister of the Methodist church in the north central Ohio conferences for thirty-three years, when he retired to Toledo, where his death took place in August, 1885, and that of his widow in December, 1890.

Edward T. Wells was primarily educated in the common schools of the towns of Ohio, wherever his father happened to be stationed during his ministerial appointments, and his first independent efforts for a livelihood were made in Findlay, where he became a dry-goods clerk as well as a drug clerk. In his seventeenth year he entered the university at Delaware, Ohio, and. while there, pursuing his studies, he enlisted, in May, 1862, in the Eighty-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, under Col. Lawrence, in the three months' service, but filled out a term of four months, doing guard duty at Cumberland, Md., and then resumed his studies, graduating, in 1864, with the degree of bachelor of arts. In the summer of 1864, the quarterly conference of the Williams street church, of Delaware, licensed Mr. Wells to preach, and he immediately entered the Christian commission service and proceeded to Nashville, Tenn., where he preached his first sermon. The duties of this position required him to visit the sick, to attend to the physical and spiritual wants of the wounded soldiers, and to lecture each Sunday; after a short time he was transferred to Rome, Ga., where the same class of duties awaited him, and in the fulfillment of these duties he witnessed more suffering than if he had been himself in the ranks. These services were, of course, rendered without any remuneration of a pecuniary character.

Returning to Ohio in the fall of 1864, Rev. E. T. Wells entered upon itinerant labor, and at the same time engaged to teach a school in Hancock county; but his parishioners objected to his performance of a double duty, and in consequence he resigned his pastorate—but did not relinquish preaching; on the contrary, he conducted a protracted meeting which resulted in the conversion of twenty-one souls. In the spring of 1865 he taught a school in Oceola, Warren county, and filled in his leisure hours with the study of law; but the latter was soon abandoned, as there arose a demand for his services as a local preacher. He next taught for two years at Newbury, Clermont county, opening a seminary at that place; he next went to Toledo, where he engaged in the real-estate business and also did some preaching. He here, through a recommendation from the quarterly conference of Saint John's church, became a member of the Cincinnati conference, and in the fall of 1867 entered upon regular pastoral labors, his first charge being the East Pearl street church of Cincinnati, where he remained one year; his next charge was Grace church, at Piqua, where he remained three years, and here he also built a church edifice.

While in the performance of his ministerial functions in Piqua, Mr. Wells was married August 3, 1869, to Miss Lucia M. Moorehouse, a native of Shelburne, Vt., a school-teacher, who graduated from the New Hampton institute of Fairfax, Vt.  Her parents were Franklin H, and Maria (Webster) Moorehouse,. both natives of the Green Mountain state and born respectively in 1804 and 1814. The father was a farmer and died at the age of fifty-seven years in Shelburne, Vt., where, also, the mother died when sixty-three years of age. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Moorehouse, Edward was conducting a sheep ranch in Texas when the Civil war broke out, was drafted into the Confederate army, but escaped into Mexico and enlisted later at San Antonio, N. M., in the Union army, served throughout the war, then went to Kansas, was elected to the legislature, and died at the age of sixty, in Topeka; Roderick Dhu entered the army as lieutenant, in Malone, N. Y., rose to the rank of major, and is now engaged in mercantile business in Boston and resides at Newtonville, Mass.; Rev. George C. served in the Second Vermont infantry all through the war and is now an active minister in the Methodist Episcopal church in Salem, N. Y.; Jennie is the wife of Prof. George C. Edwards, of Boston, Mass.; Clark W. is president of the New England & Boston Christian alliance and is also engaged in evangelistic work.

Reverting to the life work of Rev. E. T. Wells, it should here be stated that he was called from Piqua to the charge at Madisonville, Hamilton county, and that during the year he officiated there, the noted woman's crusade took place, in which Mrs. Wells was an active participant. Rev. Wells was next called to the Central church at Springfield, and during his three years stay there conducted an extensive revival, through which over 200 accessions were made to his congregation; his next charge was the Raper church, at Dayton, for three years, and following this he was for two years in charge of the First church at Xenia.  Thence he was transferred to the Mulberry street church at Troy, and three years later to Grace church, Urbana, where he preached another term of three years; he then returned to the Green street church at Piqua for four years, the limit having been changed, and here, in 1892, was appointed presiding elder of the Dayton district, having supervision of thirty-four appointments, with about sixty preaching places. The full membership of the Dayton district reaches 10,311, exclusive of 509 probationers; the number of church buildings is sixty-six, valued at $438,700; the parsonages number twenty-six, valued at $60,000; there are sixty Sunday-schools, with 1,094 officers and teachers, and a total attendance of scholars reaching 8,711. Rev. Wells conducts three quarterly meetings each Sunday for ten weeks, his manifold duties requiring a large expenditure of mental and physical labor.

To the union of Rev. and Mrs. Wells have been born nine children, of whom four were lost in infancy; the survivors are named Ethelwyn Olive, who was born at Mechanicsburg ; Reginald Warren, who was born July 4, 1878, in Dayton; Paul Morley, Bertram Whittier and Lillian Frances. Of these Ethelwyn Olive graduated from the Piqua high school, finished her education at the Cook county normal school, of Chicago, and taught a private school for a time. Pier death occurred June 12, 1896, at her home in Dayton. Reginald graduated from the Steele high school, Dayton, in June, 1896, and is now a member of the class of 1900 of the Ohio Wesleyan university, of Delaware, Ohio, and the other children are in attendance at school elsewhere. Mrs. Wells is ex-president of the Emerson club of Dayton, and is also president of the district branch of the Woman's Foreign Missionary society, of the M. E. church, and was president of the first woman's crusade of Hamilton county.

Rev. Wells is a republican in politics, and is a member of the Old Guard post of Dayton; but his chief interest lies in his church and his life is marked by an undivided attention to church and ministry. Since his incumbency of the position of presiding elder he has made his home in Dayton, and under his superintendency two new congregations have been organized — the Plainvlew and the Riverdale. Both are at present under one pastorate, but the time is not far distant when they will be erected into two separate charges.

Rev. Wells' ministerial life, with the exception of two years passed in Hamilton county, has been spent within a radius of three miles of Dayton, which fact speaks volumes for his popularity and efficiency, and the work of himself and his wife in the church and Sunday-school, while highly commended, can ever be fully appreciated except by their own personal friends and by the friends of the church.

 

CHRISTIAN J. WEINMAN, [pages 829-830] senior member of the firm of Weinman & Euchenhofer, machinists, Nos. 22-24 Canal street, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Dayton May 14, 1858, and is a son of Christopher H. and Anna. B. (Werner) Weinman, both of whom were natives of Germany, and of whom only the former is still living, Mrs. Weinman having been called to rest in March, 1889.

Christopher H. Weinman came to this country when a young man of eighteen or nineteen, and for a few years lived in Cincinnati, whence he came to Dayton, and for many years carried on a shoe store at No. 8 South Main street. In politics he has always been a republican, and in religion is a member of the Evangelical church, on Commercial street, of which he has been a trustee for years. To his marriage were born eight children, of whom four are still living, viz: Frederick, a carriage and wagonmaker; Anna B., wife of Adam Menges; Christian J., and William C., manager of the Postal Telegraph company, all residents of Dayton.

Christian J. Weinman received his education in the public schools of his native city, and was about eleven years of age when he began working, during vacation, at anything he could find to do. At the age of sixteen he entered the Buckeye Iron & Brass works, served an apprenticeship, then worked as a journeyman until 1882 or 1883, when he established the Novelty Machine works on Third street, and a year later admitted Edward E. Euchenhofer as a partner. This business was continued by the firm for about seven years, when it was made a stock concern under the name of the Dayton Gas & Gasoline Engine company. In March, 1895, the name was changed to the Dayton Gas Engine & Manufacturing company, which was continued until May, 1896, when both Mr. Weinman and Mr. Euchenhofer sold out their stock in the company and established their present business. Mr. Weinman is an inventor of rare ability and his patents have received the seal of public approbation wherever introduced, the productions of the firm being welcomed in all parts of the United States, as well as in other countries.

The marriage of Mr. Weinman took place June 28, 1888, with Miss Lizzie Darst, a daughter of Henry Darst, and to this union have been born three children, named Edna, Leli and Bessie, the latter deceased. The family reside at No. 55 Perrine street, Dayton, and occupy a high social position in their quarter of the city. Fraternally Mr. Weinman is a member of lodge No. 273, I. 0. 0. F., of the Gem City encampment, uniform rank of Patriarchs Militant, and of the Rebekah lodge; in politics, he is a republican, but has never sought for public office, being contented, rather, with the pursuit of the study of such labor-saving and economical mechanical devices as will inure to the benefit of mankind.

 

PROF.  FRANK WERKMEISTER, [pages 830-831] leader of the Metropolitan band, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Saxony, Germany, October 17, 1846, and received his education in the public schools of that country. His parents, Henry and Elizabeth (Rauh) Werkmeister, were also natives of Saxony. Henry Werkmeister was a teacher of music, in which he was proficient, was of robust constitution, temperate in habit, and never had occasion to call a physician until his death, which took place in 1873, at the age of seventy years. His widow survived until 1893, and died in Germany at the age of seventy-eight years. Of their family of five children, Christina is married and is living in Saxony; George died at twenty-six years of age; Caspar is a merchant; Frank is the only member of the family to come to America, and Joseph died in early manhood.

Prof. Frank Werkmeister received his elementary musical training under his father, and later attended the Annaberg college of Saxony, which school was under the management of the government. His first specialty was the violin, but he afterward adopted the cornet, which is still his preference, although he readily manipulates any wind instrument. He filled several important engagements as a musician in his native country, and also one season in Denmark, and another season in London, England, and then returned to Germany. In the spring of 1877 he accompanied the Hessian band to America, and here the band remained one year, playing, under the management of Mr. Werkmeister, six months in Cincinnati, and the remaining six months in Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and other western states. All of the members of the band excepting Mr. Werkmeister, then returned to Germany, and the cause of his remaining may perhaps be found in the circumstance that, in 1877, while giving concerts in Dayton, he formed the acquaintance of the lady who is now his wife. After seeing his comrades safely embarked for Germany, the professor returned to Dayton, which city has ever since been his home.

In September, 1878, Prof. Werkmeister was united in matrimony with Miss Lena Ebeling. This lady is a native of Dayton, of German ancestry, and has borne her husband four children, Ella, Clara, Frank and Dora, the eldest of whom is a student in the Steele high school, while the other three are pupils in one of the district schools.

Prof. Werkmeister, soon after settling in Dayton, became a member of the old Fourth regiment band, but after a year's experience therewith resigned, and organized the Knights of Pythias band, which he managed for four years. Finally the manager of the Fourth regiment band made a proposition to Mr. Werkmeister to consolidate the two organizations and to utilize only the best artists of each. This scheme was adopted, and the new organization was for a time known as the Knights of Pythias band, but this title was dropped, and that of Metropolitan substituted. About 1884, Prof, Werkmeister assumed control of the consolidated band, a position which he still holds. In this capacity he has attended the conclaves of the Knights Templars at Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati, Akron, Lancaster, Springfield, Indianapolis, Evansville, Sandusky, Columbus (a number of times), Wheeling, and at other places. On one occasion the Metropolitan band was paid the high compliment by Harper's Weekly, of being ''second to none in the western states." This band has been awarded several valuable prizes in competition with other musical organizations of note, and some of its members, who were selected from the parent band, are wealthy and prominent citizens of Dayton.

In 1889, the Metropolitan was regularly enlisted as the Thirteenth regiment band, 0. N. G., and at the centennial celebration accompanied the regiment to New York city, where it was royally received by the musicians of the metropolis. On the return to Dayton, however, its members withdrew from the national guard.                       

Prof. Werkmeister is a recognized authority in the musical circles of Dayton.   He has been instrumental in leading the people to appreciate a high standard of music, and is thoroughly qualified to fill the prominent position he holds. He was selected to conduct the musical features of the centennial celebration in Dayton in 1896.  His work in this city has been rewarded in a practical way, and he has prospered financially.  He is prominent, also, in various fraternal and social organizations in Dayton, being a member of Humboldt lodge, No. 58, Knights of Pythias; also of the Improved Order of Red Men, the German Lutheran society, the Elsass Lothringer Unterstuetzungs Verein, and of Tentonia lodge, No. 21, Ancient Order of United Workmen. The family worship at Saint John's German Lutheran church, and in politics the professor is independent.

Mrs. Werkmeister is one of the most experienced and successful milliners in Dayton. She opened her present place of business at No. 337 East Xenia avenue when she was but seventeen years of age, and has profitably managed it for twenty-seven consecutive years, and it may be added that to her skill and taste are largely due the material prosperity of the estimable family.

 

RICHARD WHITCOMB, [pages 831-832] city weigh-master and wood measurer of Dayton, Ohio, was born in the town of Dorchester, Suffolk county, Mass., August 15, 1814.  His parents were Richard and Susan (Littlefield) Whitcomb, the former of whom was a native of Massachusetts and the latter of Maine.

Richard Whitcomb in his youth learned the trade of molder, but when nineteen years old went to sea as a sailor on board a whaling vessel bound for the Pacific whaling grounds. For twelve years he followed the sea, during which time he sailed twice around the world, and visited nearly every country on the globe. In 1854 he came to Ohio, locating in Cincinnati, but some time later he went to Nashville, Tenn., where he lived for six years, and was there when the Civil war broke out. Leaving Nashville, he came to Dayton, and on November 25, 1864, enlisted for one year in company K, Sixtieth Ohio volunteer infantry, being mustered out of service at Washington, D. C., July 28, 1865.  

Returning to Dayton he began working at his trade, which he followed until 1886, and in April, 1894, he was elected to his present office for a term of two years. He was married December 31, 1839, to Anna Haller, who was born in Pennsylvania. To their marriage there have been born eight children, three of whom are still living, viz: Edward, a molder of Dayton, Ohio, was born June 7, 1842 ; Lydia, wife of Gerhard Lautenschlager, a railroad man of Cincinnati, and Louis, who is now in the west. Mr. Whitcomb is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the American Protective association. His wife is still living, and is in her seventy-sixth year.

 

THEOBALD D. EICHELBERGER, [pages 832-835] one of the representative business men of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Franklin county, Pa., August 6, 1822, and is a son of Daniel and Mary (Rowland) Eichelberger, both of whom were born in Pennsylvania—the father in 1768 and the mother in 1786, of German descent, the father of Daniel Eichelberger having been the founder of the family in the Keystone state sometime in the seventeenth century.

Both the father and the mother of T. D. Eichelberger were twice married. There were four sons and four daughters born to the father's first marriage—all being now dead. The mother's first husband was Jacob Gantz, by whom she became the mother of two sons and two daughters—all now deceased. To the marriage of Daniel and Mary Eichelberger were born three children—Theobald D., and two sisters; of these, Susan Higby is a widow, now living in Cincinnati; the other sister, Magdalene Hemrick, died at her brother's home in June, 1894, at the age of sixty-six years. The father died in Farmersville, Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1841, and the mother in Cincinnati, in 1869; our subject and his sister, Mrs. Higby, are the only survivors of this old Pennsylvania family.

Theobald D. Eichelberger was a mere child—not yet five years of age—when brought from Pennsylvania to Ohio by his parents, who settled in Montgomery county, in 1827, occupying a farm. He has a vivid recollection of the pioneer log schoolhouse which he attended in his infantile days—with its slab benches, puncheon floor and huge fireplace; he also remembers the homespun apparel of the pupils, while he has not forgotten the size and effect of the birches when wielded by the strong arm of the teacher.

Mr. Eichelberger worked on the home farm until he reached the age of twenty years, although he was compelled to earn his living from his twelfth year, and also, at that early age, to assist in the support of his father's family. At the age of twenty years he came to Dayton and opened a cooper-shop on the corner of Fifth and Clay streets, where he had quite a successful trade in the manufacture of flour barrels in the winter; but worked at painting, at home, during the summer, giving employment to several men in both branches of his business. In 1860, he entered into the grocery business with John W. Butt as a silent partner; this connection was maintained three years, or perhaps four, when he embarked in the real-estate business, in which he also met with great success.

In January, 1879, he entered into cement-pipe manufacturing, which still occupies his attention, together with the handling of builders' general supplies, paving brick, cement for paving, etc., being associated in the business with two sons, Andrew W. and John W.

The marriage of Mr. Eichelberger took place in Greene county, Ohio, April 8, 1851, with Miss Melinda Wolf, a native of Bath township, that county, and daughter of John W. and Mary (Hawker) Wolf, the former of whom was born in Pennsylvania, November 22, 1791, and the latter in Ohio, November 17, 1800. Mr. and Mrs. Wolf were married December 31, 1818, and became the parents of ten children, of whom the names of the following nine are recalled : Israel, Andrew, Catherine, Abram, Susannah, George, Mary, Melinda and Louisa. Andrew, the only living son of this family, has been a resident of Stockton, Cal, since 1849; Catherine, now Mrs. Haynes, lives in Dayton, Ohio; Susannah is Mrs. Snyder and resides in Indiana; Louisa is married to a Mr. Visher; Melinda is Mrs. Eichelberger; Israel died at the age of fourteen years; the others all lived to mature years, but are now deceased. The mother of this family died in Greene county at the age of thirty-six years, and the father died in the same county, June 25, 1877, in his eighty-fourth year.

John W. Wolf, father of Mrs. Eichelberger, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and on coming to Greene county, Ohio, assisted in cutting a road through the swampy country for the passage of a portion of the army over the spot where the Montgomery county court house now stands.

The marriage of Mr. Eichelberger has been blessed with two sons—Andrew Wilford and John William—both associated with their father in business, as has already been mentioned, and both married, with families of their own. Mr. and Mrs. Eichelberger have been church members from early youth. In 1840 Mr. Eichelberger joined the Lutheran church. At the age of fourteen years Mrs. Eichelberger united with the Reformed church, but after marriage withdrew from this body and joined the congregation with which her husband had united, Mr. Eichelberger is also a faithful member of the Y. M. C. A.  Fraternally, he has been a member of the I. 0. 0. F. for about forty years ; and politically, has been a republican ever since the birth of that party, his sons also being stalwart in that faith.  He has, however, always declined to accept public office, although positions of honor and trust have frequently been offered to him. When Mr. Eichelberger became a resident of Dayton, in 1842, the city contained but 6,000 inhabitants, but he has lived to see it grow to a city of 85,000 population, and has grown with its growth, has been a factor in its progress, and now, after having made his home here for over half a century, maintains a proud position in business, social and religious circles.

 

JOSEPH C. WHALEY, [pages 835-836] well-driver and dealer in pumps and well fixtures, of M J  Dayton, Ohio, was born in Defiance, Ohio, May 13, 1855, and is a son of Albert and Martha (Taylor) Whaley.

Albert Whaley was a native of Boston, Mass., but in early manhood became identified with Dayton and its interests. He assisted in constructing the Miami & Erie canal, which runs through this city, and ran one of the first canal packets placed thereon. After a life of industry and usefulness, he was called from earth in 1866. Mrs. Martha Whaley was a native of England, and in early childhood was brought to America by her parents, who settled in Dayton, her father, Jonathan Taylor, being still remembered by the old settlers of the Gem City. The parents of Joseph C. Whaley were married in Kentucky, whither they went for that purpose in conformity with a marriage contract prepared and approved by the. bride's mother. Of the eleven children born to this union two only are now living— Jonathan T. and Joseph C., the others having all died in infancy, except two—James S. and Lewis—who reached man's estate and died in Dayton.   The mother of this family survived until 1890, when she, too, ended her days in this city.

Joseph C. Whaley lived in his native town until the death of his father, and in 1866 accompanied his mother to this city, where he was employed from 1867 until 1880 in operating wood-working machinery. In 1881 he began his present business of driving wells, at which he is more than an ordinary expert. About 1893 he began to deal in real estate, buying, building and selling, and has thus materially assisted in the improvement of the eastern portion of the city.

In 1877, Mr. Whaley was united in wedlock with Miss Amy P. McCandless, a native of Dayton and a daughter of James McCandless, an early settler. To this marriage have been born nine children, of whom five are still living. The eldest, James Samuel, is now eighteen years of age, and is serving an apprenticeship with the Dayton Manufacturing company; Lewis W. is a polisher in the works of the same company; Martha Elizabeth, Joseph Harrison and Amy May Catherine Marie are at home or in school. The family attend the Baptist church, of which Mrs. Whaley is a consistent member. Mr. Whaley is a member of various trades unions. In politics he has been a life-long republican, of which party his father was one of the founders, he having previously been a whig and a know-nothing.

Jonathan T. Whaley, brother of Joseph C., served for three years, faithfully and gallantly, in the late Civil war, and is now living in retirement in the city of Dayton.

Joseph C. Whaley has always been an energetic, hard-working citizen, whose own industry and perseverance have brought him success and prosperity in his business life and the respect of the community, and has built up for himself a solid, prosperous trade.

 

ELIAS WEINREICH, [pages 836-837] cigar manufacturer of Nos. 1114-1118 East Fifth street, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Bavaria, Germany, September 19, 1857. He is a son of David and Phillipine (Katz) Weinreich, both of whom were natives of Germany, and who were the parents of twelve children, six sons and six daughters. Nine of these twelve children are still living, as follows: Rachel, Caroline, Lena, Isaac, Amelia, Wolf A., Mary, Joseph and Elias.

David Weinreich was a cattle dealer and a butcher by occupation in his native country, and in 1870 emigrated to the United States, coming directly to Ohio and locating in Dayton.  He was then retired from business, and lived in Dayton until 1883, when he died, at the age of eighty-two years. His wife, who still survives, is eighty-four years of age. He was, and Mrs. Weinreich still is, a member of the Jewish church, and both belonged to that sturdy German class from which the people of this country draw so much of good citizenship.

The paternal grandfather of Elias, Isaac Weinreich, died in Germany when his son David was quite young. The maternal grandfather, whose name was Elias Katz, lived and died in Germany.

Elias Weinreich, when he was brought to the United States, was twelve years of age, and had received his education in his native land. In 1872 he began learning the cigar-maker's trade, following it for one year, and then established a business of his own. This business, started on a small scale, has so prospered and grown that at the present time Mr. Weinreich employs 150 persons, of both sexes. He manufactures goods for the jobbing trade, and that he has been successful is sufficiently indicated by the statement made above as to the number of people in his establishment.

On April 28, 1880, Mr. Weinreich was married to Miss Rebecca Cohn, daughter of Samuel and Miriam (Israel) Cohn. To this marriage have been born six children, as follows:  Bertha, David, Solomon, Samuel, Miriam and Bessie. Mr. Weinreich is an Odd Fellow, a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and of the Commercial Travelers' association, while Mrs. Weinreich is a member of the Jewish church or synagogue, of the Hebrew Aid society, and also of the Daughters of Rebekah,  Mr. Weinreich is also a member of the Hebrew congregation, Kilo Kodish, B'Nai Jeshuren, which was organized in 1850.  Politically Mr. Weinreich is a democrat, but has never sought office or any kind of political preferment.  He has spent some time in traveling, having visited most of Europe and of the states of the Union. He is a thorough business man, and ranks among the leading tobacconists of Dayton, his goods being popular in all parts of the country where introduced. It is not too much to say of Mr. Weinreich that he is one of the self-made men of the city of Dayton; that he has been the architect of his own fortune. His home is at No. 27 Maple street, Dayton, where he and his family are surrounded by a large circle of ever welcome friends.

 

COL. WILLIAM J. WHITE, [pages 837-840] for the past eight years superintendent of the public schools of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Uniontown, Muskingum county, Ohio, April 1, 1844. He is a son of John R. and Isabella M. (Simms) White, both of whom were natives of Culpeper county, Va. They came into Ohio in 1801, and located first in Perry county, whence they removed to Muskingum county, where they lived until their death, the former dying in 1876, the latter in 1874. John R. White was a lawyer by profession, and a successful and influential man.

William J. White was reared in Muskingum county, and secured his early education in the public schools, and passed through the graded schools of his native town.   In December, 1861, he became a private soldier in the Federal army, enlisting in company B, Seventy-eighth regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, of which M. D. Leggett was colonel. His first experience of note was at Fort Donelson, Tenn., and his next at Shiloh, Tenn., his regiment being then in Gen. Lew Wallace's division.  He went thence to Corinth, Miss., then to Iuka, Miss., and then to Bolivar, Tenn., where he became a member of what was known as the "mule cavalry." This was a body of fifty men selected from the regiment because of their fitness for special duty, or any emergency that might arise, requiring courage and discretion. Their first assignment was to the work of scouring the country in search of cotton burners and guerrillas, and they were to respond to the bugle call. For personal bravery and gallant conduct during an engagement with the rebel forces under Gen. Van Dorn, August 30, 1862, Mr. White was promoted to a position on the staff of Gen. Leggett, and remained with him through all the battles skirmishes, etc., for some time, including the capture of Jackson, Miss., of Grand Junction, Tenn., La Grange, Tenn., the advance on Vicksburg, by way of Holly Springs, Miss., and to Water Valley, Miss.

When at Water Valley it became Mr. White's fortune to be sent back with a communication to Gen. McPherson, commanding the Seventeenth corps, from Gen. Logan's division, informing him of the fact that a large body of rebel cavalry was moving northward around the flank of the Union forces, which body of cavalry proved to be Van Dorn's, which captured Holly Springs, and cut off communication with the Union army's base of supplies and compelled Gen. Grant to order a retreat to Memphis, Tenn. This communication Col. White carried through rebel territory, a perfect wilderness for miles, in advance of the army. On this retreat the Union army was under constant fire from the pursuing rebels, and was compelled to subsist on parched corn.

Memphis was reached in December, 1862, and from there the Union forces went to Lake Providence, where they cut the levee, letting the Mississippi run into Lake Providence. They then attempted to go up Bayou Baxter, and by a roundabout course get into Vicksburg. This attempt, however, failed, and the only result was to flood the country.

The army then went down the Mississippi to Milliken's Bend, above Young's Point, opposite Vicksburg, camping on the levee and awaiting the opening of Grant's canal across Young's Point, which was expected to allow the transports and gunboats to pass through.  This failing, the command began the movement across Young's Point, early in April, 1863, to a point opposite Grand Gulf, on the Mississippi river, forty miles below Vicksburg and well fortified.   At this time the transports were manned by volunteers from the division and ran the blockade with safety, landing on the shore opposite Grand Gulf. By means of these transports Col. White's brigade and division were the first to cross the river, reaching the Mississippi side in the early morning of May 1, and proceeding to Port Gibson, a town some miles in the rear of Grand Gulf. Here a severe battle occurred, in which the Union troops were victorious, driving the rebels toward Vicksburg and compelling the surrender of Grand Gulf. The line of march was then taken up toward Raymond, fighting continuously with the retreating rebels in front. At Baker's Creek, on the 6th of May, a very severe battle took, place, in which Col. White's regiment suffered greatly, but succeeded in driving the rebel forces in disorder from the field. Proceeding then to Clinton and thence to Jackson, where they found the rebels strongly fortified, they succeeded in capturing the city, together with a large number of prisoners and an abundance of stores, on May 12. Turning then toward Vicksburg, with the rebel Gens. Johnston in the rear and Pemberton in front, the Union forces were harassed continuously, both in front and rear, but succeeded finally in driving Pemberton within the fortifications at Vicksburg, passing through Clinton and reaching Edward's Depot on the night of the 15th, and on the 16th fought the battle of Champion Hills, famous as one of the deciding battles of the war. The division in which Col. White was then serving was on the extreme right of the line, and Gen. Hovey was on its left. The battle began about 9 A. M. and raged until 3 p. M. with great severity, Gen. Hovey's division on the left giving way before the terrible onslaughts of the rebel forces, and causing the division on the right to become a sort of nucleus for a reforming of the lines, both in front and flank. Through the bravery and gallantry of Gen. Logan, who rode between the retreating division of Gen. Hovey and the advancing rebels, triumphant up to that time, the broken ranks of Hovey were reformed and were personally led by Gen. Logan to a successful charge upon the rebel lines, which sent them in confusion front the field. Following up this victory, the next day Gen. Pemberton was compelled to continue his retreat, and on the night of the l8th was driven within the fortifications of Vicksburg, and on the 19th Grant's army took up its position around the city and commenced the regular siege, Gen. Leggett being placed in command of Gen. John E. Smith's division, the latter taking command of Gen. McClernand's corps. On the 22d a general assault was made on the rebel works, with the view of carrying them by storm, Col. White's horse being shot under him on this occasion, and a portion of the troops entering the fortifications; but, being unable to hold them, the army settled down to a regular siege, which lasted from that day, May 19, to July 3, the troops being during all of that time under fire from the rebel forces within the city. On the morning of July 3 a flag of truce appeared in front of Leggett's division, asking for an armistice. Here an interview took place between the commanding generals, Grant and Pemberton, under what was afterward known as the Pemberton oak tree, a representation of which may be seen in the rotunda of the capitol at Columbus, Ohio. All the communications between Grant and Pemberton leading up to and including the surrender of Vicksburg were borne back and forth by Col. White. At noon of July 4, 1863, the Union forces inarched into Vicksburg, Gen. Leggett's division, in which Col. White was serving, in advance, and receiving the surrender of the city, together with a vast army and military supplies.

After the capture of Vicksburg, Col. White accompanied Gen. Leggett on an expedition to the Washita river to clear the country of rebels there collected. In December, 1864, Col. White received a commission as second lieutenant, and was afterward promoted to a captaincy in the Fifth United States heavy artillery, which regiment was assigned to the defense of Vicksburg, and there Col. White remained until the close of the war.  He was appointed acting assistant inspector-general on the staff of Gen. Morgan L. Smith, commanding the fort of Vicksburg, and afterward was appointed aid-de-camp and acting assistant adjutant-general to Maj.-Gen. Thomas J. Wood, commanding the department of the Mississippi. While on Gen. Wood's staff at Vicksburg, it became the duty of Col. White to escort Benson J. Lossing, the celebrated historical writer, over the battle fields in and around Vicksburg, while he was collecting data for his Field Book of the War, and other historical works. Two weeks were thus spent, Col. White pointing out the different positions occupied by the several commands in the engagements referred to in this sketch. Mr. Lossing took prismatic views and made careful notes on the exact spot where each event took place, and thus a peculiar value was given to that historian's writing which is seldom found in such works. Mr. Lossing pays Col. White a very high compliment in his history of the war for these services, and Col. White was now given the rank of major by brevet by the president of the United States for gallant and meritorious conduct during the war.

After his retirement from the army he entered, in September, 1866, the Ohio Wesleyan university, at Delaware, Ohio, and so assiduous was he in his studies that he completed the five years' course in four years, graduating in June, 1870. In November, 1870, he was married to Miss Bertha A. Butterfield, of Bucyrus, Ohio, and in January, 1871, was appointed principal of the high school at Pana, Ill., which position he held a year and a half, when he was elected superintendent of the schools of the same city. This position he held until June, 1874, when he was elected to the principalship of the high schools of Springfield, Ohio, where he had charge of 125 pupils, and taught all the subjects or branches of the high-school course, with but one assistant. In June, 1875, he was elected superintendent of the public schools of Springfield, Ohio, which position he held continuously until February, 1887, when he resigned because of business arrangements which required his presence in North Carolina. Having adjusted affairs in that state, he returned to Ohio and was elected superintendent of the public schools in Dayton, in June, 1888, and since that time he has been continuously serving, by successive re-elections, in this position. While in Springfield, Col. White was invited to the superintendency of the schools of Leavenworth, Kas., but he did not feel at liberty to accept that position.

Col. White has served as city, county and state examiner, being appointed to the state board of examiners by Dr. John Hancock, who gave ten of the best years of his life, from 1874 to 1884, to the public schools of Dayton, as superintendent. Col. White was offered, by Gov. Foraker, the appointment of state commissioner of public schools, upon the death of Commissioner Tappan; but having just then assumed the superintendency of the public schools of Dayton, he did not feel at liberty to accept, but recommended Dr. Hancock for the position, and he was appointed.

Col, White has served as president of the County Teachers' association of Clarke county, as president of the Central Ohio Teachers' association, and also of the State Teachers' association. At present he is a member of the board of directors of the National Teachers' association.  He has been continuously engaged in school work for the past twenty-five years, giving to that work all his time, energy and talent.

He was elected colonel of the Seventh regiment, 0. N. G., in 1885, and served in that capacity for five years. He was in command of the regiment at Carthage at the time of the second riot in Cincinnati. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and of the Loyal Legion, commandery of Ohio. He has taken thirty-two degrees in Masonry, and is a member of all the Masonic orders. He is a member of Grace Methodist Episcopal church of Dayton, Ohio, and for years has been superintendent of its Sunday-school.

 

PAUL WELDON WHITE, [pages 840-841] of company Four, soldiers' home, Dayton, Ohio, was born in county Wexford, Ireland, August 15, 1832, and came to America with his parents when a child of four years. These parents, Nicholas and Mary (Brown) White, also natives of county Wexford, established their home, on reaching America, in Baltimore county, Md., where the mother died in 1858, at the age of sixty-four years, and the father in 1868, aged about eighty years. Their children were seven in number and in order of birth were named Richard, James, Patrick, Paul, William, John and Anna Maria. Of this family James died on the voyage to America and was buried at sea, and William was killed in the late Civil war.

Paul Weldon White passed his early boyhood in assisting his father, who was a dairy-man, and in his later youth was bound out to a gardener. He was in Virginia at the outbreak of the Civil war, where he was arrested and imprisoned for expressing his Union sentiments, but his extensive acquaintance with prominent secessionists secured him his liberty. About this time he was present at the execution of John (Ossawatomie) Brown, who was hanged at Charlestown, (now) W. Va., December 2, 18 59, for his raid at Harper's Ferry, Va. Returning to Baltimore, via Washington, he went thence to Harrisburg, Pa., where he enlisted in company K, Forty-eighth Pennsylvania volunteer infantry, and was placed under the command of Gen. Burnside, then in the vicinity of Roanoke, Va.; he accompanied this commander to the army of the Potomac, and participated in the battle at Cedar Mountain, and in the second battle of Bull Run, where Mr. White was wounded and taken prisoner.  He was paroled on the field seven days later and sent to Annapolis, Md., where his wound was treated, and he was exchanged and sent back to his regiment in time to share in the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862. On Burnside's being relieved of the command of the army of the Potomac, Mr. White accompanied his regiment to Kentucky and was detailed to guard duty at Lexington, then the headquarters of Gen. Wilcox, the camp being in close proximity to the estate of the notorious rebel raider, John Morgan. From Kentucky an advance was made into Tennessee, where Mr. White was in the battle of Greenville, in various skirmishes, and at the siege of Knoxville, and here he was again taken prisoner, but escaped before his captors could reach the rebel lines.

The second enlistment of Mr. White was in January, 1864,  at Blain's Cross Roads, Tenn., when he was granted a furlough of thirty days and visited his friends near Baltimore. He rejoined the army at Annapolis, thence went to Washington, where he was encamped on Arlington Heights across the Potomac, in Virginia, for a couple of weeks, had a fight at Catlett's Station in April, 1864, and joined the army of the Potomac in the beginning of the Wilderness campaign. He was at Spottsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, North Anna and South Anna rivers, but before crossing the James river was prostrated by an accident in laying pontoon bridges, and was sent to the hospital in Philadelphia, at Chestnut Hill. After his partial recovery he was given employment in the hospital, and. served as orderly, etc., until the close of the war, when he received his discharge in July, 1865. After the war was over he went to New Orleans and to other points in the south, working at whatever employment was most convenient, and at Lexington, Ky., was engaged in gardening for about a year and a half. He then visited Cincinnati and Baltimore, and in 1870 was admitted to the soldiers' home at Dayton, and, in point of residence here, is now the oldest inmate.

When a young man Mr. White was of strong constitution and great physical strength; but his injuries, a wound through the left leg, another dangerous wound in the forehead, and a leg crushed in the pontoon accident, although treated as being trivial at the time, all conspired to render him unfit for life's battle.

Although enrolled at the soldiers' home in 1870, he has not been continuously an inmate, as he is industrious and frugal, and has been employed outside the home for about half the time since his enrollment.  Mr. White has never married. In his politics he is a radical republican, and in religion is a Catholic. Fraternally he is a member of encampment No. 8 2 Union Veteran Legion, and socially he bears the reputation of being a reliable, intelligent and trustworthy man.

 

JOHN G. WILL, [pages 841-842] one of the popular merchants of Dayton, Ohio, was born at Harper's Ferry, Va., August 2, 1850, a son of John G. and Margaret (Hippier) Will. He attended the public schools of his native town until they were abandoned, completing his education by attending the schools of Baltimore, Md., and finally those of Dayton, Ohio.

John G. Will, Sr., was a native of Bavaria, Germany, born May 7, 1812, and came to America in 1845. He found work in the ore mines of Maryland, and at the breaking out of the Mexican war enlisted and served throughout the struggle. He then located at Harper's Ferry, and married Mrs. Smithute, a widow, to which union was born one child, the subject of this memoir. Mr. Will worked in the arsenal at Harper's Ferry until it was destroyed by the Confederates, and then followed expressing until September, 1865, when he came with his family to Dayton, Ohio, where he engaged in the liquor business, fit the corner of Warren and Joe streets, until his death on May 9, 1871, his widow surviving until February 11, 1896.

John G. Will, whose name opens this biography, at the age of seventeen years began working in Barney & Smith's car shops in Dayton, where he was employed in different departments for twelve years. For a number of years thereafter he was engaged in the meat business at the corner of Warren and Joe streets, and in 1880 he purchased property at the corner of Franklin and Perry streets, erected a brick business block and dwelling combined, and here conducts a successful .grocery business and meat market.

The marriage of Mr. Will took place October 20, 1874, to Miss Caroline Wise, a daughter of George and Barbara Wise, both of whom are now deceased. Seven children, all still living, have been born to this marriage in the following order: George Edward, August 25, 1875; Louisa Mary, June 12, 1878; Leo John, July 17, 1880; Cornealie Catherine, August 31, 1882; Charles Alvin, October 3, 1884; Elmer Vincent, November 3, 1887, and Viola Marie, June 2, 1890. The family are devout members of the Emanuel Catholic church, Franklin street, Dayton. Mr. Will is a member of the Knights of Saint George, commandery No. 115, of the Emanuel church, of which he was one of the organizers, and also a trustee for a number of years; he served as first lieutenant until the resignation of Capt. Schnieble, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy and served for eight years. Mr. Will is likewise a member of commandery No. 225, of the Holy Rosary church, and Knights of Saint George of St. John's church. At the national convention of the Catholic Knights of Saint John, held at Dayton, in June, 1896, Mr. Will was honored with the position of colonel and aid-de-camp on the staff of the Third regiment—an evidence of his popularity with that organization. In politics Mr. Will is a democrat, in which party he is also quite prominent, and which he represented in the Dayton city council for a term of two years, serving as a member of the market committee, for which position he was peculiarly fitted. As a business man, Mr. Will has been very successful, through industry and sound judgment.

His social position is a pleasant one, and he is rearing his family to become useful members of Dayton society.

 
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