Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 930-944 Charles Baum to Joseph Brandt

CHARLES BAUM [pages 930-931] (deceased), late proprietor of the Baum house, Miamisburg, Ohio, was born in Rhinefaltz, Germany, February 2, 1852, a son of Philip and Caroline (Retterbach) Baum, and was the third child of a family of five sons and two daughters. In 1869 he came to America and for about one year resided in New York city; in the fall of 1870 he came to Ohio and located in Miamisburg; from 1874 to 1878 he conducted the Miami house for Mrs. Dr. John Treon; in the interval, in 1875, he purchased the lot on which the Baum house now stands, began the erection of his hotel in 1877, opened it to the public in February, 1878, and at once met with a pronounced success, securing for the place a reputation which has never since diminished. In the winter of 1884-85, he erected the Star City opera house, with a seating capacity for 800 persons, one of the first built in the state for a town of the size of Miamisburg.  He was, in fact, one of the most enterprising business men that ever lived in Miamisburg, and his death was a great loss to the community, viewed even from the material standpoint alone.

February 11, 1873, Mr. Baum was united in marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Henry and Dorothea (Schmerz) Schneider, of Hesse Cassel, Germany, and the marriage was blessed with eleven children, seven of whom still survive, viz: William, Julia, George, Kate, Jennie, Lewis and Charles. The death of the honored father of this family took place January 22, 1895, and since that lamentable event the Baum house has been conducted by his widow, who has fully maintained its high reputation.

Probably no name was more widely known or was oftener on the lips of the people than that of Charley Baum, either as proprietor of the Baum house or of the opera house, and his acquaintance extended throughout Ohio and adjoining states, and yet he was personally known to but comparatively few of the residents of Miamisburg, as he never left his hotel, except to make a brief trip to his bank once a month, and this covered the extent of his appearance on the streets.  This close attention to his business was undoubtedly one of the hastening causes of his early death. He was a man of genial and obliging disposition and was possessed of indefatigable energy and industry, which never tired in making his guests happy and comfortable, and from these he made hosts of friends.  He was always best pleased when adding means for the accommodation of his guests, or when adding to or building on his large landed property.  His great energy and devotion to business were so notable that the remark was frequently made by those capable of judging, that the possession of these qualities, coupled with his native abilities, would have made him one of the greatest of merchants, had he embarked in mercantile trade in his earlier youth.

 

GEORGE W. BEACHLER, [page 931] a successful business man of Miamisburg, was born in Jackson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, February 19, 1832, and is a son of Jacob and Mary M. (Weaver) Beachler, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. His paternal grandfather, Henry Beachler, was originally from Lancaster county, Pa., but became a pioneer of Montgomery county, Ohio, settling in German township, where he cleared and improved a farm and where he lived the rest of his life. His children were as follows: Henry; Christiana, wife of Conrad Iser; Adam, Jacob, Peter, George, John, and Mrs. Peter Weaver.

Jacob Beachler, father of George Washington, came with his parents to Montgomery county, they settling in German township. In early manhood he removed to Jackson township, where he engaged in farming until his death. His wife, Mary M. Weaver, was a daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Gebhart) Weaver, who settled in Miami township in 1805. She bore him seven children, as follows: William; Jonathan; Magdalena, wife of George Stine; Mary, wife of Daniel Peffley; George W.; Jacob, and Sarah, wife of John A. Recher.

George W. Beachler was reared on the homestead in Jackson township, was educated in the common schools, and afterward in the National Normal university, at Lebanon, Ohio, in which he prepared for teaching. Beginning life for himself as a teacher, he followed that vocation for eight years. In the spring of 1864 he located in Miamisburg and established himself in the grocery business, at which he continued seventeen years, and at the end of this time engaged in the sewing machine, gun and fishing-tackle business, in which he has ever since been successfully employed. In 1892 he added a bicycle department to his store, and in this branch has built up an extensive trade.

Mr. Beachler has been twice married; first, in 1856, to Catherine Heitman, of Miamisburg, who bore him four children, as follows; Mary, Charles W., George Monroe and Laura.  His second marriage was with Elizabeth N. Ney, who was born in Pennsylvania, coining to Ohio in early womanhood. Mrs. Beachler is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Beachler also is an attendant and supporter of the Methodist Episcopal church, and for many years has conducted the Sunday-school Bible class. In politics he has always been a strong and consistent republican, and is know as a man of integrity, uprightness and honor.

 

JULIUS F. ALLEN, [pages 931-932] an accomplished machinist and a member of the Franklin Electric & Manufacturing company, was born in Miamisburg, Ohio, December 20, 1856, a son of Firman and Louisa (Plate) Allen.   His paternal grandfather, Isaiah Allen, was a native of New Jersey, and a pioneer farmer and miller of Miami township, Montgomery county, Ohio, and his maternal grandfather, John F. Plate, a native of Germany, married Miss Eliza Craft, and later became one of the pioneer merchants of Miamisburg, Ohio.

Firman Allen, father of Julius F., was reared in Miamisburg, and, while a miller by trade, passed the greater part of his life in farming. To his marriage with Miss Plate were born three children, viz: Cora P. (Mrs. Thomas J. Kauffman), Julius F. and Walter S.

Julius F. Allen was educated in the public schools of Miamisburg and was well grounded in the elements of a sound English education. Beginning in 1872, he served an apprenticeship of three years at the machinist's trade with Hoover & Gamble, and then worked as a journeyman up to April, 1896, when, being an expert mechanician, he became a member of the Franklin Electric & Manufacturing company and has since been the efficient superintendent of the mechanical operations of this extensive industry.

The marriage of Mr. Allen occurred June 4, 1885, with Miss Joanna Ernley, a daughter of James and Susannah (Mullendore) Ernley, respected residents of Miami township. Mr. and Mrs. Allen are members of the. Methodist Episcopal church, and their social relations are most excellent. In politics Mr. Allen is a republican, and fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Honor. As a machinist he has few equals, and it may safely be asserted that he has no superior in his native town.

 

HENRY BEACHLER, [pages 932-933] a progressive farmer of Randolph township, and a son of one of the early pioneers, sprang from sterling German ancestry. His grandfather, John Beachler, who came from Germany and settled in Pennsylvania, had one son, John, who was born in Lancaster county, Pa., in 1796, near Reading. He was educated in the common schools, and married, in Lancaster county, Pa., Barbara Stein, a native of that county. Mr. and Mrs. Beachler were the parents of eight children, as follows : William ; Mary ; George ; John ; Katie, who died at the age of seventeen ; one other that died quite young ; Henry and Daniel. The first four were born m Lancaster county, Pa., the others in Montgomery county, Ohio. Mr. Beachler came to Ohio in 1834 or 1835, and here worked at his trade of blacksmith for a short time, when he purchased 144 acres of land, in Madison township, which his son, Henry Beachler, now owns. The most of this land he cleared from the woods, making of it a well-cultivated and profitable farm. A hard-working and industrious man, John Beachler was a representative of the reliable farming class upon whom so much of our prosperity depends. He was a member of the Lutheran church. By thrift and honest industry he accumulated money and property and was always ready to aid his neighbors and friends. He lived to be eighty-five years old, and died in Phillipsburg, at the home of his son, William, while there on a visit.

Henry Beachler, son of John, was born January 25, 1840, on his father's farm in Madison township. He was brought up on the farm, received his education in the district schools, and on March 25, 1864, when he was twenty-four years of age, he married Matilda Bowser, who was born in February, 1846. She is a daughter of Henry and Catherine ( Long) Bowser, the former of whom was born in Montgomery county, and was a son of one of the earliest settlers of that county. Henry Bowser's children were as follows : Mary, Elizabeth, John, Kate, Matilda and William. Mr. Bowser was a member of the German Baptist church, a man of integrity of character, well known for many miles around, and died on his farm when sixty-four years of age.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Beachler settled on the Beachler homestead, of which they still own forty-two acres, and in addition to this Mr. Beachler has purchased 125 acres and now owns 167 acres of good farming land, which he has greatly improved.   He has always been a careful and industrious farmer, and an upright man. To him and his wife there have been born the following children: Catherine ; Barbara A., who died at the age of eleven years ; Sarah B.; Cora ; Ida, who died at the age of nineteen years ; Lizzie ; Bertha ; Jesse and Agnes.  Mr. Beachler possesses strict integrity of character, is honest and reliable in his dealings with men, and is a member of the German Baptist church.  Realizing the value of truth and probity in each man's everyday life, he is bringing up his children to appreciate the value of these qualities.

 

HENRY BECKER, [pages 933-934] a well-known and substantial farmer of Randolph township, Montgomery county, Ohio, is descended from an old Pennsylvania-German family, united with Swiss stock.

John Becker, his great-grandfather, was born on the Atlantic, ocean, the father of John being, in fact, the founder of the family in America. John Becker, the grandfather of Henry, was born in Bedford county, Pa., was reared a miller, lived awhile in Lancaster county, and married a Miss Snowbarger; of the children born to this marriage the following named grew to maturity: John, Jacob, Samuel, Andrew, Henry, David, Elizabeth, Nancy and Maria. In 1815 their father brought his family to Ohio, and in June arrived in Randolph township, Montgomery county, settling on the farm now partly owned by Henry Becker. With Mr. Becker came William Hart and family, the latter comprising Mrs. Hart, their son Henry, and daughters Rebecca, Catherine, and Eve, all born in Lancaster county, Pa. Mr. Becker bought section No. 4, on which was a small clearing and a log cabin, and Mr. Hart bought section No. 5.  Mr. Becker bought his section from several parties, and for a portion of it paid as high as $10 per acre, and on this land he died at the age of sixty-six years.

John Becker, father of Henry, was born in Bedford county, moved with his father to Lancaster county, Pa., and came with him to Montgomery county, Ohio, where, in 1815', he married Rebecca Hart, daughter of William Hart, alluded to above, and settled on the land bought by his father, clearing 103 acres, and also bought land in Darke and Shelby counties. He died at about the age of sixty-six years, a member of the Lutheran church, of which his wife was likewise a member. In politics he was a democrat, had served as township trustee, and was a well-known and esteemed citizen. His children were named Henry, David, Abraham, Annie and Rebecca.

Henry Becker, son of John and Rebecca (Hart) Becker, was born on his father's farm in Randolph township May 13, 1816, and acquired a very fair education in a subscription school, taught in a frontier log cabin in the neighborhood.   He was reared to the hard work of the farm, and also assisted his father in a saw-mill which had been erected on this land in the year of his birth. Henry began work in this mill at the age of thirteen years, and has always made its operation his chief business, the mill being now on his home farm. Here, in his early days, were sawed huge black walnut logs four feet through, and also the great poplars and oaks of the virgin forest.

Henry Becker was united in marriage, January 16, 1840, in Darke county, Ohio, to Miss Sarah Shiltz, who was born in Adams county, Pa., January 20, 1819, a daughter of John and Catherine (Myer) Shiltz. John Shiltz was a farmer, of Pennsylvania-Dutch stock, and the father of the following children: Amos, John, Cyrus and Sarah.  He settled in Darke county in 1830, cleared a farm of 120 acres, and died at the age of seventy-eight years, his widow living to be eighty-four years old. After his marriage Mr. Becker settled on his present homestead and continued milling, the old mill and twenty-four acres of land having been devised to him by his father. In 1865 he built a new mill, and has done a very large business in shipping black walnut lumber to distant points.  He has prospered, and now owns 190 acres in his homestead, 170 acres in Miami county, 120 in Darke county, and a forty-eight acre tract on the pike in Randolph township, Montgomery county, or a total of about 528 acres. Mr. Becker's life has been one of continued activity, and at the age of eighty he is still hale and strong, enjoying the fruits of his industry. The children born to himself and wife were named .Sarah A., who died when twenty-two years old; Catherine, Thomas J., John S., Isaac N. and Clement. In politics Mr. Becker is a democrat, and has served as township trustee for several years. He is one of the oldest living of the native-born citizens of Randolph township, is consequently widely known, and is honored for his pioneer work as well as for his deeds as a good citizen.

 

JESSE A. BINKLEY, [pages 934-935] retired farmer of A Clay township, Montgomery county, A J Ohio, is remotely of Swiss ancestry, his earliest traceable forefathers having been disciples of the Mennonite faith in their native country, and, having been forced, in consequence of the persecution which was inflicted upon their religious sect, to seek refuge in Germany, where but a little better fate awaited them, and later their descendants turned their eyes toward America.

In the first decade of the eighteenth century one Martin Kindig, a Mennonite, came from the Rhine valley, Germany, secured a home in Pennsylvania, five miles south of Lancaster, and then returned to Germany, where he created an intense excitement by his glowing description of the new country, and an exodus was the result. Among the many who were induced by Martin Kindig to emigrate to| the land of free worship were John Binkley and Jacob Beam (the latter name being then spelled Boehme); also a Mr. Herr, a Mr. Miley, Benjamin Whitner, Jacob Haines, Jonas Yoner, the Rohrers, the Forrers and the Kneislys—all of whom settled in the same part of Lancaster county. Pa., and all connected by ties of consanguinity or marriage with the present Binkley family of America.

From John Binkley, mentioned above, descended five children—John, Felix, Christian, Henry and Ann.  Of these, John, the eldest, was killed by a fall from a horse shortly before the day fixed for his marriage; Felix, the second son, and great-grandfather of Jesse A., built a flouring mill three miles east of Lancaster in 1767, which was in operation up to a late date. He married a Miss Miley, and to him and wife were born three children— John, Johnson and Ann. The father died many years before the decease of his wife, and the son John inherited the mill, with fifty acres of land, and Johnson inherited the farm, embracing nearly 200 acres.

Johnson Binkley, son of Felix and grand-father of Jesse A., was born May 23, 1766, and married Elizabeth Haines, daughter of Samuel Haines, who married Mary, the only child of Jonas Yoner. It is said that Johnson Binkley was named after a Hollander, Richard Janson, who was also called Yanson and afterward Johnson, and who married Ann, the only daughter of John Binkley, the immigrant, but to whom no children were born. Johnson Binkley died suddenly on January 28, 1813, at the age of forty-six years, the father of four children—Samuel, Felix, Mary and Ann.

Samuel Binkley, son of Johnson and father of Jesse A., married Catherine Beam, to which union were born the following children: Elizabeth, Johnson, Jacob, Samuel, Jesse A., Harriet, Mary A., Henry and Catherine. The father, Samuel Binkley, was a well-to-do agriculturist in Pennsylvania, and in 1837 brought his family to Ohio in a four-horse wagon. In 1838 he bought a farm of 100 acres, one mile south of Dayton, at $50 per acre— mostly cleared and improved with a good brick house and other buildings.  Here Mr. Binkley passed the remainder of his life, dying at the age of eighty-three years; his widow survived to reach the great age of ninety-seven years, the Beam family being particularly noted for longevity. The old homestead near Dayton is still in the hands of their children, who have all been reared in a most exemplary manner. Mr. Binkley was a most upright man and ever set an example of great excellence for his children, over whom he held a loving control.

Jesse A. Binkley, son of Samuel and Catherine (Beam) Binkley, was born near Lancaster, Pa., December 7, 1814, and was about twenty-two years of age when he came to Montgomery county, Ohio, with his parents. He was the driver of the four-horse team on that occasion, and still remembers driving over the national road to Springfield and thence to Dayton, when the latter city was but a small place, with a floating bridge across the canal. He lived on the farm at Dayton until nearly thirty-two years of age, when he married, November 19, 1846, Miss Caroline Whistler, who was born in Montgomery county, November 27, 1823, a daughter of Daniel and Polly (Nible) Whistler, both members of pioneer families. Daniel was a well-to-do farmer, but died a comparatively young man, the father of the following children: John, William, Noah, Catherine, Martha, Jane and Caroline.

To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Binkley were born the following children: Henry, William, Adeline, Newton (of whom a full biography is elsewhere given), Jesse, Caroline, Alice, Jacob, Phares, Samuel, Clara (who died when two months old), and Ora.

On their marriage, Mr. Binkley, with his wife, settled on a party cleared farm of 160 acres, four miles north of Brookville, where he passed all the really active years of his life, and then retired to a small place of twenty-five acres at Sonora, Preble county, on which he lived about eight years. In 1890, he bought a residence in Brookville, where he has since lived in quiet retirement. After nearly fifty years of happy married life, he lost his beloved wife, who died November 29, 1893, a devout member of the United Brethren church.  Mr. Binkley has been a very industrious and thrifty man throughout life and still owns his farm and residence property in Brookville, beside his private residence.  In politics he has always been a republican and has filled the office of township trustee. He has done much in aid of the United Brethren church, of which he has been a life-long member, and his life has been one of high character and useful results from the beginning to the present time.

 

SAMUEL H. BINKLEY, [pages 935-936] of Randolph township, is a son of Johnson and Elizabeth (Binkley) Binkley. Johnson Binkley was born in Lancaster county, Pa., February 20, 1808, and was a son of Samuel and Catherine (Beam) Binkley, for fuller mention of whom the reader is referred to the biography of Jesse A; Binkley, elsewhere in this volume.

Johnson Binkley married Miss Mary Nelson, who was born September 30, 1808, and by whom he had one daughter, Catherine E. Mrs. Binkley died March 11, 1834, in her twenty-sixth year. Mr. Binkley married again, his second wife being Elizabeth Binkley, who was born September 21, 1804, and by whom he had the following children: Mary, born December 7, 1835, and died at the age of three years, and Samuel H. Mrs. Elizabeth Binkley died March 6, 1874.

Johnson Binkley was a miller by trade, and after his marriage ran a mill in Pennsylvania on the Big Conestota, near Safe Harbor.  He there bought two good farms, and became a man of property.  In 1848 he removed with his family to Montgomery county, settling on the farm now occupied by Samuel H. Binkley and containing 104 acres.   This land he greatly improved, converting it into a good farm, upon which he lived for about forty-six years, until his death in 1892, in his eighty-fifth year. In religion he was a member of the church of the Brethren in Christ—later in life, however, becoming identified with the church of the United Brethren. He was a much respected man, and well known for his sterling honesty of his character.

Samuel H. Binkley was born September 20, 1837, near Safe Harbor, Lancaster county, Pa.   He received the usual common-school education, and when ten years of age was brought to Ohio .by his father.   The journey was made by wagon, that being long before railroads were introduced. The time required to make this journey was nearly three weeks. Upon arriving at mature years Mr. Binkley married Elizabeth Huddle, who was born March 19, 1847, in Fairfield county, Ohio, and is a daughter of Daniel and Barbara (Berry) Huddle. To Mr. and Mrs. Binkley there have been born three children, as follows: Daniel; Johnson, who died at the age of twelve years, and Rossetta H. Mr. Binkley is a member of the United Brethren church, and has served as trustee for many years. In politics he is a republican.  Mr. Binkley has always followed farming, and he purchased the farm of his father, before mentioned, but has traded it for the Arnold farm of eighty acres in Clay township.

Daniel Huddle, father of Mrs. Binkley, was born in Rockingham county, Va., and came to Ohio when he was a small boy, with his parents, they settling in Fairfield county. The children of Daniel and Barbara Huddle were as follows: Noah, John, Solomon, Samuel, Daniel, Mary A., who died when two months old; Abraham, Elizabeth, Eli, Catherine, Sarah and Lydia. Mr. Huddle owned a farm of 180 acres in Fairfield county, which was the old home of the father of Mrs. Huddle, Abraham Berry, who cleared up the farm from the woods. Mr. Huddle died in Fairfield county, October 14, 1877, at the age of sixty-eight years and four months. He was a member of the church of the Brethren in Christ, and an honorable and useful citizen.

 

SAMUEL HAINES BINKLEY, M. D., [pages 936-937] one of the most eminent archaeologists and experienced physicians of Ohio, and now residing in Miami township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Conestoga, Lancaster county, Pa., October 22, 1812, is a son of Samuel and Catherine (Beam) Binkley, and is of the fifth generation descended from John Binkley, a native of Switzerland, who came to America in 1712, and settled on Mill creek, near Lancaster, Pa.

The paternal grandfather of the doctor was Johnson Binkley, who was a son of Felix, who, in turn, was a son of John, the founder of the family in America ; the maternal grandfather of Dr. Binkley was Jacob Beam, a son of Martin Beam, one of the first bishops of the United Brethren church in America, and Martin was a son of Jacob Beam, also a native of Switzerland, who came to this country and settled in Lancaster county, Pa., in 1712, and became the progenitor of the American branch of the family which bears his name.

Samuel and Catherine Binkley, in 1837, came from Pennsylvania to Ohio, and settled on the farm now occupied by Dr. Binkley, and there passed the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of nine children, who were born in the following order : Elizabeth (Mrs. John Miller), Johnson, Jacob, Samuel H., Jesse, Harriet (Mrs. Stephen J. Ernly), Mary A. (Mrs. James McGrew), Henry M. and Catherine.

Samuel H. Binkley, whose name opens this memoir, grew to manhood in his native state, received a fine classical education, and studied medicine under Dr. John M. Keagy. Having become proficient in this science, he began practice in Middletown, Ohio, in 1835, but a year later returned to Lancaster county, Pa., practiced there a year, and in 1837 came once more to Ohio, and has since then made his home on the farm originally settled upon by his parents, in Miami township, Montgomery county. Aside from his practice as a physician, Dr. Binkley has devoted many years to the study of geology and archaeology, his knowledge of which has given his name not only national, but international prominence.  He collected probably one of the finest cabinets of paleontological specimens ever seen in the state of Ohio, and this cabinet he presented to his nephew, J, Franklin McGrew, the renowned paleontologist, of Kankakee, Ill. The doctor also prepared a valuable catalogue of his collection of 1,066 specimens, filled with minute descriptive data, which, also, he presented to his nephew, and no doubt it will, in due course of time, be made public as an almost indispensable addition to the scientific archives of the world. The doctor has steadily declined accepting membership in any geological or archaeological society, state, national or foreign, but his fame is widespread and his name one in which the citizens of the state of Ohio may well take pride.

 

NEWTON BINKLEY, [pages 937-938] one of the practical farmers of Montgomery county, is a descendant of one of the early pioneers.  He was born in Clay township, January 18, 1852, and is a son of Jesse A. and Caroline (Whistler) Binkley. Educated in the common schools he was reared a farmer's boy, and brought up to perform all kinds of farm labor from his youth. He also learned the cabinetmaker's trade, and when about twenty-four years of age, on October 5, 1875, married, in Clay township, Martha A. Welsh, who was born July 20, 1855, in Randolph township, and is a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Wenger) Welsh. William S. Welsh is a son of James and Margaret (Halm) Welsh and was born in Montgomery county.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Binkley settled in Miami county, living four years on a farm. Afterward they lived two years on a farm in Darke county, and then removed to the Binkley homestead in Clay county, upon which they lived eight years. In 1889 Mr. Binkley purchased his present farm of seventy-five acres, which he has greatly improved and made highly productive. It is in thoroughly good condition, and a splendid home for himself and family.  Mr. Binkley is one of the progressive farmers of his county and a leader in agricultural circles.  He and his wife had the following children; Olive P., Omer L., Addie F., and Charles C., all of whom are members of the United Brethren church, of which Mr. Binkley is himself a trustee. Politically he is a republican, and is in every way a worthy citizen of the county. He is a hardworking, industrious and practical farmer. His aim is to keep fully up with the times and to be known as a good and useful member of the community. He is descended from the best of stock, and is striving with great success to maintain the standing of his family, as established by a long line of honorable ancestry.

 

WALTER A. BLACK, [pages 938-939] cashier of the First National bank, Miamisburg, Ohio, was born in Dayton, February 13, 1867, a son of George A. and Mary C. (Hoff) Black, natives of Frederick, Md., and Miamisburg, Ohio, respectively.   The paternal grandfather, Frederick Black, was born in September, 1783, died February 17, 1827, and his wife, Catherine Mouse, was born July 2, 1785.

George Alexander Black, the father, was born in Frederick, Md., November 19, 1823, and was reared at Alexanderville, this county, from five years of age.  He began his business career as a clerk in a general store at the same place, where he later purchased a store, and was also engaged in merchandizing at Miamisburg. At the breaking out of the Civil war he located in Dayton, where he purchased an interest in a clothing and dry-goods business. In 1867 he embarked in the wholesale crockery business in the same city, in which he successfully continued until 1895, when he retired, and died in Dayton April 25, 1896.  His children, who grew to maturity, were Walter A., Arthur D., Edward 0. and Bessie M.

On the maternal side, Walter A. Black is of the fifth generation from John George and Justina Margaret (Schnerszel) Hoff, who came from Germany to America in the ship Polly, in 1765, and settled in Lancaster county, Pa. John George Hoff was born in Westerburg, Germany, October 22, 1733, and died at Lancaster, Pa., August 18, 1816. Jacob Hoff, his son and great-grandfather of our subject, was born in Lancaster, Pa., February 4, 1784, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and by occupation was a jeweler at Lancaster, Pa. His wife, Margaret, was a daughter of David Neiss, a native of Germany, who settled in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1773. William Hoff, son of Jacob and Margaret (Neiss) Hoff, and maternal grandfather of subject, was born in Lancaster, Pa., in 1808, began life as a clerk in a general store at Lebanon, Pa., working in that capacity several years at that place, Myerstown and Philadelphia.  In 1828 he embarked in business at Myerstown, Pa., as a member of the firm of Hoff & Stover, continuing one year, and then located at Wormelsdorf, Berks county, Pa., where, as a member of the firm of Hoff & Deckert, he engaged in merchandizing until 1838, when the firm dissolved.  Mr. Hoff then came to Miamisburg, Ohio, where, in 1839, as a member of the firm of Hoff & Deckert, he engaged in merchandizing, the partnership existing until 1847, when they dissolved. Mr. Hoff continued the business alone until 1858, when he erected the brick block now occupied by his son, George S. Hoff, having taken the latter into partnership, and the firm being Hoff & Son until the death of Mr. Hoff, in 1876. Mr. Hoff married, in 1828, Elizabeth Leis, and reared a family of eight children, of whom Mary C., mother of our subject, was the fifth child and third daughter.

Walter A. Black was reared in Dayton, where he received his education in the public schools and the Deaver preparatory school. He began life as a clerk in the Merchants' National bank, Dayton, where he remained two years. In the spring of 1887 he located at Denver, Colo., where he engaged in the real-estate business, and remained in that state until 1890, when he was appointed receiving teller of the Third National bank of Dayton, Ohio, and occupied that position up to the spring of 1892. He was then elected cashier of the First National bank of Miamisburg, which position he still retains.  Mr. Black was married March 6, 188 8, to Mary, daughter of William I. and Marion C. (Carll) Craddock, of Louisville, Ky., and has two daughters— Lulu H. and Marion C, Mr. Black is a member of the Presbyterian church, of the F. & A. M., R. A. M., I. 0. 0. F., K. of P. and I. 0. F.; politically he is a republican.

 

CAPT. B. F. BOOKWALTER, [pages 939-940] who for many years was president of the firm of Bookwalter Bros. & Co., and who is now vice-president of the Bookwalter Wheel company, of the growing little city of Miamisburg, was born in Johnstown, Pa., March 31, 1820. He is a son of John and Catherine ( Stump) Bookwalter, who settled in Jefferson township, Montgomery county, in 1823.

Benjamin Franklin Bookwalter was reared in Montgomery county until sixteen years of age, in the meantime receiving as good an education as the common schools of that day could furnish. In 1836 he located in Winchester, Ohio, where he served an apprenticeship of four years at the carriage and wagon-maker's trade. In 1840 he removed to Germantown, Montgomery county, and there worked at his trade as a journeyman for nearly a year. After this he engaged in business for himself at Paris, Ohio, and continued there three years. In 1848 he established himself in the dry-goods business at Winchester, and was thus engaged for one year as a member of the firm of Halderman & Bookwalter, selling out at the end of that time. In 1852 he engaged in the manufacture of carriages at Seven Mile, Butler county, Ohio, and remained there in business until 1864. He then removed to Miamisburg, and there, in 1865, became a member of the firm of Bookwalter Bros. & Co., which firm was engaged in the manufacture of carriages and light wagons. This firm in 1868 began the manufacture of carriage wheels exclusively, and in 1890 was absorbed by the Standard Wheel company, the Bookwalter Wheel company being organized in 1891. For a long time Mr. Bookwalter traveled for the company, buying stock and selling the finished products of the factory. When the old company sold out to the Standard Wheel company Mr. Bookwalter was its president, and upon the reorganization of the company under its new name he was made vice-president thereof, a position which he still retains.

Mr. Bookwalter married December 8, 1844, Miss Abigail Gram, daughter of Conrad and Nancy (House) Gram, of Winchester, Ohio. To this marriage there have been born three children, as follows: Anna E., Winfield S., and Charles E. During the late Civil war Mr. Bookwalter was active in the organization of military companies, and was instrumental in filling three regiments for the war, beside raising a company for the 100 days' service. He also spent considerable time in the south on war department business, and performed noble work in looking after the sick and disabled soldiers of his state. He was captain of company D, One Hundred and Sixty-ninth regiment, Ohio volunteer infantry, and was widely known as one of the actively patriotic men of Montgomery county. Mr. Bookwalter is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics is a republican. Few men in the county, if any, stand higher in business, social and religious circles than does Mr. Bookwalter, he being well and widely known as a man of integrity and honor.

Winfield Scott Bookwalter, M. D., son of Benjamin F., was born in Winchester, Preble county, Ohio, August 26, 1849, and was educated in the public schools of that place, of Hamilton, and of Miamisburg. He also attended Antioch college, at Yellow Springs, and removed to Miamisburg with his parents in 1865, there beginning the study of medicine in 1868, and graduating from Miami Medical college, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1871.  He immediately located at Miamisburg, where, with the exception of one year spent in Dayton, he has ever since been. engaged with success in the practice of medicine.  Dr. Bookwalter was prominent in the organization of the board of health of Miamisburg in 1872, was health officer for several years, and is now clerk of the board. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, of the Montgomery county Medical society and of the state Medical association.   Fraternally he is a Mason and in politics a republican, and is in all respects a highly esteemed citizen of Montgomery county.

The Bookwalter family is of Swiss origin and was founded in this country by Francis Bookwalter, great-grandfather of the subject of this biography.  Francis left his native land on account of religious persecution and brought his wife to America, a few years prior to 1720, it would seem, or in that year. He bought land on the Schuylkill river, in Pennsylvania, where he passed the remainder of his days.

 

DANIEL BOOKWALTER, [pages 940-941] deceased, was a prominent and successful manufacturer of Miamisburg and founder of the Bookwalter Wheel company, and was born in Jefferson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, January 18, 1824. He was a son of John and Catherine (Stump) Bookwalter,. both natives of Lancaster county, Pa., who settled in Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1823. John Bookwalter built the first iron works at Johnstown, Pa., which he operated for about twenty-seven years, when they were totally destroyed by a severe flood in Stony creek.   Soon afterward Mr. Bookwalter packed up his few household goods, and with his little family started for the west in search of fortune. Traveling down the Ohio river he at length reached Cincinnati, from which place he and his wife walked to Miamisburg, each carrying a child in arms. Mr. Bookwalter purchased a farm of 160 acres in Jefferson township, where his wife died in 1824. She was a most devout and religious woman, with full belief in the efficacy of prayer, and before her death she placed her children in religious homes in order that they might be well brought up.

Mr. Bookwalter, being of a roving disposition, after the death of his wife, traveled extensively in the southern states and the West Indies, and in 1828 died at Hallsville, Ross county, Ohio.  He and his wife had four children, as follows: John, Mary (Mrs. David Bowser), Benjamin and Daniel. The Bookwalter family trace their origin to Switzerland, the original immigrants from that country to the United States having been two brothers, who left their native land on account of religious persecution. One of them settled in Philadelphia, the other in Lancaster county, Pa., and it is from this latter brother that Daniel Bookwalter is descended.  

Daniel Bookwalter and sister were reared in the family of Rev. Michael Moyer, a Dunkard preacher, in Jefferson township, Montgomery county. Daniel remained with Rev. Mr. Moyer until after his marriage. In 1849 he began his business career in Miamisburg, first as a wagonmaker with Robert McConnell, and was thus engaged, in company with Mr. McConnell, with others, and alone, until 1869. At this time the plant was absorbed by the Kauffman Buggy company. In 1862 Mr. Bookwalter embarked in the manufacture of wheels in Dayton, Ohio, as a member of the firm of Zwick & Bookwalter, later as Zwick, Bookwalter & Co., and continued in business there until 1864, when he sold his interest, and erected a wheel factory at Miamisburg, which he operated in connection with his carriage business until 1866.  In this year his plant was destroyed by fire.  Subsequently he organized the firm of Bookwalter Bros. & Co., which engaged exclusively in the manufacture of wheels. This firm was afterward absorbed by the Standard Wheel company, in 1890, and a year later went out of business. Knowing that there was a demand for fine wheels, Mr. Bookwalter, his brother Benjamin, and Lee Mitchell, members of the old concern, re-organized the business in 1891, formed a new stock company and established a new plant, one of the finest of the kind in the country, its products including all styles and , grades of buggy and light wagon wheels. As president, Mr. Bookwalter was always an important factor in the affairs of the corporation and also of the manufacturing community, his power of organization and his experience in business being of especial value. Notwithstanding the great demands made upon his time and attention by his private interests, his energy was largely exerted in other directions. To his efforts and public spirit is due the successful prosecution of many enterprises for the benefit of Miamisburg, and, as an instance, it is recalled that his influence and financial assistance gave direct impetus to the movement which resulted in the erection of the North river bridge in 1859. This bridge was built partly by private subscription and partly with public money. Since that time he has always been prominent in public affairs.  His most important work of recent years has been the promotion of the Enterprise Carriage company, and he did much to secure that valuable business for Miamisburg.

Mr. Bookwalter was married September 12, 1847 to Melinda Weaver, daughter of Philip and Magdalena (Gebhart) Weaver, and granddaughter of Jacob and Margaret (Gebhart) Weaver, the latter of whom settled in Jefferson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1804. Mr. and Mrs. Bookwalter had seven children, as follows; John W.; Emily Frances, who died at the age of two years, two months and twenty-three days; Charles L., Luella, who died when two years and two months old; Daniel H.; Edward W., who died March 21, 1886; and Mary, now Mrs. Albert Mueller.   Mr. Bookwalter belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church, as does his widow. He served as a trustee of his church, and as chairman of the board. He was also a member of the board of health, president of the board of trade, and a director of the Miamisburg Building & Loan association. In politics he was originally a whig, but after the organization of the republican party supported its men and measures. Thus it will be seen that Mr. Bookwalter was always an active and successful man, standing high in both business and religious circles, and a most valuable citizen of the community in which he lived. He met with a serious injury by accident on the 11th of March, 1896, from which he died on the 28th of the same month.

 

DAVID BASORE, [pages 941-942] of the firm of Basore & Schlenker, proprietors of the Florentine hotel, Germantown, Ohio, was born in that town on January 3, 1847, a son of George and Sarah (Monebeck) Basore. His father was born in Virginia, and was a soldier in the war of 1812, after the close of which he came to Ohio, and settled in Germantown, where he engaged in horse dealing. He died in 1867 aged seventy-five years. He was reared in the Dunkard faith, and was a democrat in politics. He was twice married; by the first wife he had six children, all of whom are deceased. In 1846 he married Sarah Monebeck, of Germantown, who died in 1896. They reared five children; David; Joseph, of Germantown; Cyrus, of Dayton; Charles, of Dayton, and Clara, now Mrs. William Shatter, of Germantown.

David Basore was educated in the public schools of Germantown and learned the trade of a carriage blacksmith, which he followed for twelve years.  He then engaged in general blacksmithing for himself, and so continued for some years, and for twenty years dealt extensively in horses. He served as constable of Germantown for twenty years, and as marshal of the town for twelve years. In April, 1893, he engaged in hotel keeping, in 1894 admitted Frederick Schlenker as partner, and in 1895 purchased the Florentine hotel, their present location. He is a democrat in politics and a member of the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Basore was married, in 1871, to Miss Josephine Shertzer, a daughter of George and Lydia (Ripley) Shertzer, of Germantown, Ohio, by whom he has one child, Eva, now the wife of Frederick Schlenker, and who is also the mother of one child, David. Mr. Basore and family are esteemed members of the German Reformed church.

 

MAJ. FLAVIUS K. BOWLES, [pages 942-943] of Miamisburg, Ohio, was born in West Carrollton, Montgomery county, March 19, 1844, a son of James and Cynthia A. (Brown) Bowles, Virginians, who were among the early settlers of Miami township.   Maj. Bowles is of Scotch-Irish descent.

Maj. Flavius Kemper Bowles grew to manhood in Miami township, receiving his education in the common schools and in a select school in Miamisburg.   Left an orphan at fourteen years of age, he was thrown partially on his own resources, and worked on a farm until he was eighteen years old. On July 30, 1862, he enlisted in company E, Ninety-third Ohio volunteer infantry, and after nearly three years of faithful service was honorably discharged at Nashville, Tenn., June 8, 1865. He served in the army of the Cumberland and among the principal engagements in which he participated were  Chickamauga, Atlanta, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain and Nashville. He was badly wounded in the right leg at Chickamauga, slightly wounded at Kenesaw Mountain, was taken prisoner at Lexington, Ky., in September, 1862, paroled and exchanged in December of the same year, and rejoined his regiment in east Tennessee in January, 1863. On his return home he engaged as agent and buyer for a leaf tobacco firm, continuing in that capacity until 1870, when he was engaged as clerk in a shoe store at Miamisburg for three years. In 1872 Maj. Bowles again engaged in buying leaf tobacco, continuing until 1877, when he was appointed a United States gauger under Col. Robert Williams. He served in that. capacity until 1883, when he was promoted to deputy collector of the Third revenue district of Ohio, serving until 1885, when he returned to the leaf tobacco trade. In 1886 he represented Cotterill, Fenner & Co., of Dayton, as traveling salesman, and in the fall of 1887 was nominated on the republican ticket and elected clerk of courts for Montgomery county. Although the county was strongly democratic Maj. Bowles ran ahead of his ticket upwards of 1,500 votes.  In the fall of 1890 he was re-nominated and re-elected to this office, again running ahead of his ticket. He served as clerk longer than any other incumbent of the position, owing to a change in the time of taking the office, his service covering a period of six years and six months.  Since that time he has been more or less engaged in real-estate transactions, as well as in other enterprises, During the Cincinnati riot of 1884, he commanded the Fourth regiment of militia, having been a member of the 0. N. G., for two years with the rank of major, and on account of services rendered during that exciting period was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the Thirteenth regiment, 0. N. G.

Maj. Bowles has been twice married, his first wife having been Josephine Wolf, of Miamisburg, and his present wife, Charlotte A., daughter of James C. and Susannah (Mullendore) Ernley, of Miami township; to this second marriage have been born two children: J. Edmund and Daisy M. Maj. Bowles is a supporter of the Methodist Episcopal church, a member of the F. & A. M.; Jr. 0. U. A. M., and G. A. R., having been the organizer and first post commander of Al Mason post, G. A. R., of Miamisburg. He is also a member of the Union Veteran Legion, of Dayton; of the order of K. of P., and of uniform rank, K. of P., and served as deputy grand chancellor of Ohio K. of P. under Grand Chancellor Herbert W. Lewis, in 1893. He served as aid on Gen. Wagner's staff, Ohio brigade, from 1894 to 1896, when he was appointed aid-de-camp on the staff of Gen. J. C. Howes, who succeeded Gen. Wagner.

Politically, Maj. Bowles has always been an active worker in the interests of the republican party. He is at this time a member of several charitable committees of the county. In his business and official life he has accumulated a competency, and now occupies one of the most beautiful homes in the city, situated on East Linden avenue. Maj. Bowles is one of the most prominent and influential citizens of the community in which he lives, and his official career has given him an extensive acquaintance, not only in his county but throughout the state.

 

JOSEPH BRANDT, [pages 943-944] one of the most substantial farmers of Madison township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., October 6, 1842, a son of Joseph and Nancy (Bachman) Brandt.

Joseph Brandt, Sr., also a native of the Keystone state and born in Lancaster county, was of German descent, and a farmer by occupation. On attaining manhood he married Mrs. Nancy Neisley, whose maiden name was Bachman, and who, at the time of her marriage with Mr. Brandt, was the widow of Martin Neisley, to whom she had borne four children—Daniel, Christian, Peter, who died at the age of forty-five years, and Anna, who died young. After her union with Mr. Brandt she became the mother of two children— Joseph and Fannie. Joseph Brandt, Sr., died when forty-five years old, a life-long and devoted member of the Mennonite church.

Joseph Brandt, whose name introduces this biographical notice, was reared to the business of milling in his native county, where he passed his early manhood, working at his calling until twenty-five years of age, when he came to Ohio and located at Stillwater. Here he was employed in a flouring-mill for seven years, and then moved to Piatt county, Ill., where he worked as a miller for two years, finally returning to the mill at Stillwater in Montgomery county, Ohio. Here, December 6, 1870, Mr. Brandt married Miss Sarah Kinsey, who was born April 7, 1847, in Randolph township, Montgomery county, on the farm now owned by Ananias Frantz, this having been the old homestead of her parents, Jacob and Susan (Boyer) Kinsey. For three years after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Brandt lived on the old Kinsey homestead, one and a half miles south of Salem, and then moved to Madison township, and in 1884 bought their present farm of 103 acres, which Mr. Brandt has thoroughly improved and placed in a state of high cultivation. The only child born to Mr. and Mrs. Brandt was a daughter, Olive, who is married to Irvin P. Hire, real-estate dealer of Dayton, and is now the mother of one child, Mabel Lenore.

Mr. and Mrs. Brandt are conscientious members of the German Baptist church and faithfully observe its simple teachings but rigid discipline.   In politics Mr. Brandt is a republican, but has never sought office, preferring to devote his time and attention to his private affairs, which have gained him a fair competence and in the pursuit of which he has won the respect of his neighbors.

Return to "Centennial Portrait" Home Page