Header Graphic
Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 242-263 Robert Murphy Nevin to Oren Britt Brown

ROBERT MURPHY NEVIN, [pages 242-243] a well-known member of the Dayton bar and senior member of the legal firm of Nevin & Kumler, was born in Highland county, Ohio, May 5, 1850. His ancestry on his father's side of the family came originally from the north of Ireland, in the vicinity of. the Giant's Causeway, which, according to a mythical legend, was the commencement of a road to be constructed by giants across the channel to Scotland, projecting as it does from the northern coast of Antrim into the North channel. The first of the name of Nevin to come to America settled in Lancaster county, Pa., in which locality the grandfather of Mr. Nevin was born; and whence he removed to Ohio at an early date.

Robert Nevin, the father of Robert M., was born in Ross county, Ohio. He married Frances E. Eakin, who was born in Highland county, Ohio, and was the daughter of John Eakin, a native of Ireland, whose wife was Nancy Ross, a native of Manchester, England. Both parents of Mr. Nevin are now deceased. The postoffice called Nevin, in Highland county, was named after Mr. Nevin's father, who was the first postmaster there.

Robert Murphy Nevin was reared in Hillsboro, in his native county, and secured a good English education in the public schools of that county and in the high school at Hillsboro. In the fall of 1864 he entered the freshman class of the Ohio Wesleyan university, at Delaware, Ohio, pursued a four-years' course, and graduated there in the summer of 1868.  Immediately afterward he located in Dayton, and began reading law in the office of Thomas 0. Lowe, who was soon afterward nominated and elected judge of the superior court of Montgomery county. Mr. Nevin then entered the office of Conover & Craighead, where he finished reading law, and on May 10, 1871, five days after becoming of age, he was admitted to the bar.

Mr. Nevin remained in the office of Conover & Craighead until the spring of 1876, when he formed a partnership with Alvin W. Kumler, which partnership was terminated by the election of Mr. Kumler to the bench, and was the oldest continuous law partnership in Dayton at its dissolution.

Mr. Nevin entered politics as a republican about twenty-five years ago, and has since then been both active and prominent in the councils of the party.  During the past fifteen years he has attended as a delegate every republican state convention in Ohio, save one.  He was elected prosecuting attorney of Montgomery county in the fall of 1887, holding the office for one term of three years, and has served as chairman of the republican county committee of Montgomery county during many campaigns. Mr. Nevin was nominated for congress by the republican party in 1896, and after a heated campaign was defeated by a majority of 101 votes.  Mr. Nevin is an able lawyer and a sound politician.   He is a Mason, Knight Templar and Scottish rite; an Odd Fellow, a Knight of Pythias and a member of the society of Elks.  He was married November 7, 1871, to Emma Reasoner, of Dresden, Ohio, and to this marriage there have been born the following children: Moile B., Robert R., Frances M. and Lurton Kumler.

Mr. Nevin is strongly attached to his profession, knowing that the law, as he has so often said, is a jealous mistress.  His reputation as an orator is recognized beyond the confines of his native state, while as a criminal lawyer, his thorough knowledge of that branch of practice, his marked ability in the trial of causes, and his eloquence as an advocate have earned for him a most prominent place at the Ohio bar.


SAMUEL D. BEAR, [pages 243-244] member of the Dayton city council from the Fourth ward, was born in Cumberland county, Pa., May 27, 1840. Reared and educated in Cumberland county and receiving a good common-school education, he engaged in the nursery business in 1860 and so continued until 1866, when he made a tour through the western states.  He located in Dayton, Ohio, in 1867, with the view of carrying on here the nursery business, and has ever since resided in this city.  From the time of his. arrival in Dayton until 1873 he was employed with the Heikes nurseries, and in this latter year he was one of the organizers of the company bearing that name, of which he has served as president since 1878. Mr. Bear has always been a successful business man. and has won and retains the confidence of the business community.

In 1869 he was married to Anna Rung, by whom he had two children, Alice A. and Norman R., both of whom are living at home. Mrs. Bear died in 1887. Norman R. Bear is draughtsman with the Stillwell & Bierce Co.

Mr. Bear was first elected to the city council in 1876, from the Tenth ward, and in 1891 he was elected from the Fourth ward, and was re-elected from the same ward in 1895, his present term expiring in 1897.  Politically he is a republican.  Mr. Bear is a man of strict business integrity, well known for his many excellent traits of genuine American citizenship, and has given both faithful and intelligent service to the city as its official servant.


GEORGE R. YOUNG, [page 244] senior member of the legal firm of Young & Young, and one of the most prominent members of the Dayton bar, was born in this city on October 2, 1857, and is the son of the late Edmond Stafford Young and Sarah .(Dechert) Young.

Mr. Young was educated in the Dayton public schools, graduating with honors from the Central high school in 1875.  He was valedictorian of his class, and also received the gold medal for best scholarship.  After taking an additional course from private tutors, he read law in the office of his father, until his admission to the bar in April, 1878.  He was admitted by the court (after passing on the question of his eligibility) some months before he reached his majority, and was probably at the time the youngest attorney in the state.

Immediately after his admission to the bar, he was taken in as a member of his father's firm, which thereupon became Young, Gottschall & Young, and subsequently Young & Young, as stated in the preceding sketch of E. S. Young. While absent in the east in 1881, Mr. Young was, without his solicitation or knowledge, nominated by the republican party for prosecuting attorney of Montgomery county. He made the race against a strong and popular candidate, and an adverse majority of over a thousand, but was defeated by only a few hundred votes.  In 1885 he received the republican nomination for city solicitor, but the city then being largely democratic, he was again defeated by a small majority.  Since this time he has never been a candidate for political office, attending strictly to the practice of his profession, and giving it all his time and attention, and he has met with marked and well merited success.  He has taken a leading part in the trial of many important cases, and is recognized by the profession both as a sound and able lawyer, and as an advocate of superior ability.

In the fall of 1894, Mr. Young's name was suggested to the governor as a successor to Judge John A. Shauck, about to leave the circuit for the supreme bench, and a petition for his appointment was circulated. This petition was signed by every member of the Dayton bar, save one, who, having already recommended another aspirant, wrote a personal letter withdrawing his support and endorsing Mr. Young. Owing to want of time, in case of appointment, to close up his private practice, Mr. Young subsequently withdrew from the contest.

Mr. Young is a charter member of the Dayton club. He was one of the founders of the Dayton Literary union, which flourished for many years, and was the first president of the present High School Alumni association.

He has been for years a trustee, and is now vice-president of the Dayton Law Library association, and is a member of the Ohio State and American Bar associations.


WlLLIAM H. YOUNG, [pages 244-249] junior member of the firm Young & Young and a well-known member of the Dayton bar, was born in Dayton on March 2, 1860, and is the son of the late Edmond S. and Sarah D. Young. He was educated in the Dayton public schools.  After leaving the high school, he read law in the office of his father and brother. He was admitted to the bar in 1884, and upon the death of his father, in 1888, became a member of the present firm of Young & Young.

Mr. Young is a republican in politics, and has usually taken an active part in campaign work. Although he has never held or sought political office, his name has frequently been mentioned in connection with the congressional nomination and with other honorable positions. He has attained quite a reputation for eloquence as a speaker, is an effective stumper and jury advocate, and holds an enviable position at the bar as an able and successful lawyer.


CHARLES FREDERICK SNYDER, [pages 249-250] secretary and treasurer of the Beaver Soap company, of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Dayton, December 21, 1848. He is a son of Rev. Frederick and Martha Wilson (Henderson) Snyder, both of whom are now deceased. The former was born in Lancaster county, Pa., and was the son of George Snyder, who came to Ohio, locating in Dayton in 1819. Rev. Frederick Snyder was educated in Columbia college, N.Y., a non-sectarian institution of learning established in 1754, and one of the best in the country. After leaving college he entered the ministry of the Baptist church, and from 1843 to 1850 was pastor of the First Baptist church in Dayton. He was also pastor of a church at Terre Haute, Ind., and of a church at Williamsburg, N. Y., where he died in 1852.  His life was given entirely to the ministry, and to thoroughly prepare himself for his work he took a course of study, after his marriage, at Rochester Theological seminary. His wife died in 1884, at the age of sixty-three. They had a family of five children, two of whom died in infancy. The others are Elizabeth A., wife of E. R. Stillwell, of Dayton; Harriet A., wife of R. N. King, of Dayton, and Charles Frederick, the subject of this sketch.

Charles Frederick Snyder was educated in the public schools, graduating from the high school of Dayton in 1867. He was then employed in the Payne & Holden book store for eighteen months, afterward entering the service of the Stillwell & Bierce Manufacturing company as a mechanic. Promotion followed, and he entered the office of the company as bookkeeper, continuing in this capacity for five years, during which time he also traveled in the interest of his employers. He became engaged for himself, in 1874. in the manufacture of extension table slides, upon a small scale, on the lower hydraulic, between Third and Fourth streets, removing in 1881 to the Woodsum Machine company's building, and in 1884 to a three-story brick building on Monument avenue and the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad, where he continued in the business until the fall of 1893, when he sold out to the Dayton Table Slide company. He had been unusually successful in this enterprise, having built it up from almost nothing to an industry employing from thirty-five to forty hands, and which required his whole attention.

Having sold his table slide manufacturing business, Mr. Snyder became associated with the Beaver Soap Manufacturing company as its secretary and treasurer, and to the duties of this position he now devotes his entire time and energies.

Mr. Snyder was married April 23, 1885, to Miss Mary L. Cooper, daughter of David Cooper, a native of Springfield. To this marriage there have been born two children, Louise and Leslie. Mr. Snyder is a member of the First Baptist church of Dayton, and one of its trustees.

In the social, church and business life of Dayton no citizen has won a surer place in the respect and confidence of the community than that achieved by Mr. Snyder.  Upright and sincere in his business methods, and of a warm and genial nature, he has the faculty of making fast friends of a large circle of acquaintances.


J. M. APPLETON, [pages 250-251] of Nos. 20 and 22 East Third street, Dayton, Ohio, is recognized as one of the most skilled artists in the state, and merits classification among the representative photographer of the Union.  Mr. Appleton is a native son of Ohio, with whose history that of his family has been linked from the early pioneer days, while his lineage also goes back in American annals to the Revolutionary epoch and thence to stanch English and Scotch origin.  He was born at Millersburg, Holmes county, Ohio, on the 3d of September, 1848, being the son of Samuel and Catherine (Morris) Appleton. The original American ancestor of the Appleton family emigrated hither from England early in the seventeenth century, and records extant show that he bore the name of Samuel and that he located in the state of Massachusetts, in which and in others of the eastern states the family has become a numerous one, its representatives having been principally identified with business pursuits of commercial character. The parents of our subject became residents of Ohio in an early day, and their marriage was consummated at Millersburg, Holmes county. The maternal ancestry of Mr. Appleton traces back to pure Scotch extraction, the line of descent being clearly defined in its connection with the royalty of Scotland. The Morris family has been long and closely identified with the history of New England.

J. M. Appleton passed his boyhood days in the town where he was born, receiving his early education in the public and select schools of that place.  At the age of fifteen years he became a clerk in a local drug store, and after acquiring quite a full knowledge of this business he severed his connection therewith and learned the painter's trade, in which he was engaged for some time.  Prior to his majority he entered a photographic studio at Akron, Ohio, and there remained for a brief time, within which he had so thoroughly familiarized himself with the processes and details of the work that he returned to Millersburg and there opened a studio of his own, continuing the enterprise successfully until the year 1876.  In the centennial year he closed out his business. in Millersburg and removed to Columbus, Ohio, becoming one of the leading photographers of the capital city and there successfully conducting a studio until 1880, when he came to Dayton, where he has ever since been located, conducting the leading studio of the city and doing all classes of photographic work, both in portraiture and commercial productions. He is a member of both the National and the Photographers' associations and has held the office of president of the national organization. A similar honor was tendered him by the state association, but he declined the position.

Mr. Appleton was the projector and prime factor in the establishment of the Photographic Salon of Ohio, whose object is the advancement of photographic art and the education of those concerned therein. The productions of Mr. Appleton's finely equipped studio have been exhibited, on various occasions, in competition with the work of the leading artists of the country, and the high artistic and technical merit of his work has gained him many medals at these exhibitions.  He devotes his attention to high-grade work almost exclusively, and has been a persistent advocate of the professional wisdom of maintaining a high standard of art rather than of establishing cheapness of price at the sacrifice of fine and effective work. He is progressive in his art and in his business methods, keeping in close touch with every, advance made in the field of photography, which is both a science and an art.  His studio is supplied with  the most approved mechanical appliances and accessories, while in the chemical manipulations every portion of the work is entrusted to competent hands.

The marriage of Mr. Appleton was solemnized in the year 1869, at Millersburg, when he was united to Miss Oellaw E. Courtney, daughter of William J. Courtney. Her family in the paternal line is of English descent, her grandfather having emigrated from the British Isles to America. Mr. and Mrs.. Appleton are the parents of four children, as follows: Theresa, wife of Theodore Heinig, of Dayton; Katherine, wife of Harold C. Maltby, of this city; Margaret L., at home; and William Courtney, a graduate of the Dayton high-school, who is now preparing himself as a scientific and practical electrician at Rose Polytechnic school, Terre Haute, Ind.,  Mr. and Mrs. Appleton are members of the Central church of Christ, where Mr. Appleton renders efficient service on its official board.


CHARLES A. LUCIUS, [pages 251-252] secretary and treasurer .of the Bailey Soap company, of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., April 12, 1849, and is a son of Charles A. and Mary F. (Moser) Lucius, natives of Wurttemberg, Germany, who came to America prior to their marriage, which took place in Philadelphia in 1848. The father is now a resident of Kansas City, Mo., in which city the mother died in 1895, at the age of seventy-three years. They were the parents of five children, of whom three reached the years of maturity, viz: Charles A.; Emma, Mrs. Eben, now residing in Brooklyn, N. Y., and Henry A., of Kansas City, Mo.

Charles A. Lucius, Sr., father of our subject, learned the trade of jeweler in his native land, and on coming to America was engaged in the. manufacture of jewelry in Philadelphia for about ten years;, he then went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he filled the position of foreman in the jewelry factory of Duhme & Co., until his enlistment at the second call for volunteers, in company F, Twenty-eighth Ohio volunteer infantry, of which he was at once elected lieutenant, and in which he served until after the battle of Cannifax Ferry, when he was honorably discharged because of disease contracted while in the service. He then resumed his position with Duhme & Co., but in 1869 went to New York, where he was engaged at his trade until 1880, when he went to Kansas City, where he is still working at the manufacture of jewelry.

Charles A. Lucius, the younger, whose name introduces this biographical record, was educated in the public schools of Philadelphia and Cincinnati, and at the age of seventeen years entered upon an apprenticeship of two years with Duhme & Co., of the latter city; in 1868 he entered the service of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad company as messenger and passed through the intermediate positions to that of chief clerk of the local freight department at Cincinnati in 1881. He then engaged in the commission business, and in 1883 came to Dayton as line agent for the Canada Southern fast freight-line, remaining in that employ for about two years, when he returned to the C., H. & D., and served as assistant agent at Dayton until 1886,  He was then appointed superintendent of the weighing and inspection bureau, in connection with which he was made the first superintendent of the car service bureau. In May, 1893, he resigned his connection with the railroad and took an active part in organizing the Bailey Soap company, of which he was. elected secretary and treasurer, and since then he has devoted his attention solely to its interests and has been largely instrumental in advancing its prosperity.

Mr. Lucius was united in marriage, in 1872, with Miss Emma B. Huff, a native of Cincinnati, and daughter of John Huff. Since 1873 Mr. Lucius has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and is now a trustee and steward of the Riverdale congregation, of which Mrs. Lucius is also a member. In politics Mr. Lucius is a stalwart republican, and as a business man he is recognized as among the most enterprising in Dayton.  He has a pleasant home at No. 62 I North Main street, and he and his wife move in the highest circles of Dayton society.


ROBERT R. DICKEY, [pages 252-255] president of the Dayton Gas Lighter Coke company has been a citizen of the Gem City for over half a century, and for the greater part of that time has closely identified with the business interests of the city. Mr. Dickey was born near Middletown, in Butler county, Ohio, on October 26, 1816, and is the son of Adam and Mary (McKee) Dickey. Adam Dickey was a native of county Antrim, Ireland, where he was born in 1768. He came to America in about 1784, and located near McConnellstown, Pa., where in the year 1790 he married Mary McKee, who was a native of Pennsylvania, and was second cousin to George Washington.  In 1799 Adam Dickey, with his wife and three children, and in company with an uncle, whose name was Doyle, came to Ohio and settled at Cincinnati, then Fort Washington. They made the trip down the Ohio river in two flat boats built by Mr. Dickey, on which he brought two four-horse teams and two wagons. He lived in Cincinnati for four years and while there was joined by two brothers, who came over from Ireland. While in that place he was engaged in making brick, and the first brick house erected in Cincinnati was built from brick made by Mr. Dickey. In 1803 he removed to Butler county, and settled near Middletown, where he engaged in farming, milling and distilling, building his own flat boats and shipping his produce to New Orleans markets.  His death occurred in 1828, his wife surviving him until 1844.      

Robert R. Dickey was but eleven years of age when his father died. Although a successful man, his father, toward the close of his life, met with reverses through fires and other misfortunes and left his family in poor circumstances. Thus it was that at the above tender age the son was thrown upon his own resources and was compelled to begin the struggles of life at a time when he should have been at school.

 However, his lack of early schooling was compensated for by an experience with the world and with people that stood him in good stead in afterlife. However, the death of his father young Dickey was employed in a brick yard, where he worked an average of fourteen hours a day, receiving the sum of $4.87 per month for his labor. Afterward he worked upon a farm for $5 per month. In 1830 he was employed upon the public works of Ohio and Indiana by his brothers, who were contractors, and at the age of seventeen was made superintendent of a large gang of men. In 1842 he located in Dayton, and in connection with his two elder brothers—John and William—was engaged in quarrying stone until 1853.  In 1847 he was connected with the firm of Dickey, Doyle & Dickey in placing a line of packet boats on the Wabash & Erie canal, and later, under the firm name of Doyle & Dickey, he built the locks at St. Mary's and at Delphos. In 1845 Mr. Dickey was one of the organizers of the Dayton bank, and was for several years one of its directors. In 1852 he became a partner in the Exchange bank with Messrs. Jonathan Harshman, Valentine Winters and J. R. Young. In 1853 he became one of the largest stockholders in the Dayton Gas Light & Coke company, of which he was elected president in 1855. Three years later, ill health compelled his retirement from the presidency of the company, though he continued as a director. At the annual election in 1880, however, Mr. Dickey was again chosen president of the company and has held that office continuously up to and including the present time. During the years 1854-55-56 Mr. Dickey was president of the Dayton & Western Railroad company. He was one of the original stockholders of the Dayton National bank in 1865, and has been one of the directors of that concern since 1868. Since January I, 1894, Mr. Dickey has been president of the Dayton Globe Iron works, one of the leading manufacturing institutions of the city.

On June 17, 1850, Mr. Dickey was married to Martha J. Winters, who was born in Dayton and is descended from one of the leading pioneer families of the city.  Her father was Valentine Winters, who was one of the most prominent citizens and successful financiers of the community during his life, and her grandfather was the Rev. Thomas Winters, a pioneer minister of the Miami valley. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Dickey three sons have been born, as follows: William W. Dickey, born in 1852, died on July 15, 1896; Valentine Winters, born in 1855, died March 30 1890; Robert R. Dickey, Jr., the only survivor, is one of the prominent young business men of Dayton.

Both in point of residence and in age Mr. Dickey is one of Dayton's oldest citizens. He is likewise one of the most prominent representative men of the city.   During his residence of fifty-five years he has witnessed the growth of the Gem City from a small place of about 6,000 people into one of the largest and most prosperous and beautiful cities in Ohio, and towards this growth and development he has contributed his full share.  His life has been a most active and successful one, and his efforts have all been made along lines that have proved of material benefit to the entire community, so that success to him has meant something to the city.  His business career has been a most remarkable one and points a moral, demonstrating what can be accomplished by man's efforts, energy and perseverance when supported by native ability.  Beginning life's battle at the age of eleven years, with no capital save his energy, pluck and determination to get on in life and. better his condition, Mr. Dickey has succeeded in gaining a place in the very front rank among the leading and successful citizens of Dayton. All of this has been accomplished by his own unaided efforts. As a financier, Mr. Dickey is considered one of the ablest and most sagacious in the city. Shrewd and courageous, yet careful and conservative, his management of the affairs of the concerns of which he has been the head has been both strong and wise. As a citizen he has always discharged to the fullest extent the duties incumbent upon all good citizens. As a man he is kind and considerate, genial in disposition, with a desire to do justice to all men, and his many sterling traits of character have won for him a large circle of warm friends.


REV. EDGAR WHITTAKER WORK,  D. D., [pages 255-256] pastor of the Third street Presbyterian church of Dayton, was born in Logan, Hocking county, Ohio, November 20, 1862, and is one of the most able young ecclesiastics of his denomination, in the state. His parents, John W. and Ann, Elizabeth (Fielding) Work, were born respectively in Lancaster, Ohio, in 1823, and West Chester, Pa., in 1831, were married in Lancaster in 1847, and became the parents of seven children, of whom four are still living, Edgar W. being the youngest. John W. Work was a merchant of Logan, where he passed all his life, and died in 1887, and where his widow still makes her home.

Joseph Work, paternal grandfather of Rev. Edward W., was a native of county Donegal, Ireland, born about the year 1800, was of Scotch-Irish parentage, and in 1819 came to the United States and settled in Lancaster, Ohio, where he was engaged in mercantile pursuits for the remainder of his life.  Robert Fielding, the maternal grandfather, was a native of Pennsylvania, was a hatter and merchant, and passed the latter part of his life in Lancaster, Ohio.

Rev. Edgar Whittaker Work received his elementary education in the public schools of Logan, and in 1879 graduated from the high school of that city; he next passed a year in the pursuit of business and in private study, and in 1880 entered the university of Wooster, Ohio, where he pursued a philosophical course, and was graduated in 1884.  Immediately thereafter he entered Lane Theological seminary at Cincinnati, completed a full course, and graduated from that institution in May, 1887; on June 7, 1887, he was ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian church, and at the same time was installed as pastor of the Presbyterian church of Van Wert, Ohio; in the fall of 1890 he severed his connection with his congregation to accept a call to return to the university of Wooster and become professor of biblical instruction and apologetics, and, in conjunction therewith, to officiate as the pastor of the college church. In these capacities he acted until March 16, 1895, when he entered upon the pastorate of the Third street Presbyterian church of Dayton, his installment taking place April 23. This church has a membership of about 500 of the most enlightened people of the city, and the edifice has a seating capacity for between 800 and 900 persons. It is a fine stone building, erected at a primary cost of $100,000, which has been largely increased by the addition of a chapel, auditorium, etc., and has always been considered to be the handsomest church structure in western Ohio.

The marriage of Rev. Dr. Work took place June 23, 1887, at Grafton, W. Va., to Miss Ellen Blair Wilson, a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of Hon. Henry Stewart and Anna (Ennis) Wilson, who were also natives of the Keystone state, of Scotch-Irish descent, but who are at present residing at Parkersburg, W. Va.  Hon. Henry Stewart Wilson was a lumberman in early life, and is now a very prominent man in democratic politics. Mrs. Work is a highly educated lady and a meet companion for her husband.  Her early education was acquired at Harrisburg, Pa., supplemented by an attendance at the public schools of Grafton, W. Va., and completed at the university of Wooster, Ohio, where she formed the acquaintance of her husband. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Work, the eldest of whom died in infancy. The two survivors, Edgar Wilson and John Stewart, are the pride and comfort of their parents. In politics Mr. Work is a republican, but is never hampered by party rule.  Fraternally he is a member of the Sigma Chi society of his alma mater, to which he has given many contributions that have embellished literature.  He is now a member of the Present Day club, of Dayton, a literary society of the highest character, and is an alumnus of the university of Wooster, and has, beside, the distinguished honor of being a member of the board of trustees of the Lane Theological seminary and of the university of Wooster.


HON. JOHN L. H. FRANK, [pages 257-258] ex-judge of the probate court, Dayton.—This well-known attorney was born March 31, 1837, in Nordhousene, county of Brackenheim, kingdom of Wurternburg, Germany, and was the second in a family of five children, all of whom are now residents of this country.  His parents were natives of Kalten-westen, on the Necker, Wurtemburg, but at the time of their marriage, in 1835, moved to Nordhousene, in the same county, where the judge's father became proprietor of the Waldhorn hotel. Subsequently they moved to Heilbronn, on the Necker. Young Frank had an uncle and an aunt living in Leroy, Genesee county, N.Y., who requested him to come to America, and in March, 1852, when not yet fifteen years old, he started by steamboat down the Necker to the Rhine, thence through France by railroad to Havre de Grace, a seaport in France, where he took passage for America.  Travel in those days was not made easy as it is now, and the boy of fifteen had neither friend nor acquaintance on this long and strange journey; but he possessed a determination to fight his own way through life, and this quality, thus early manifested, and joined with constant industry and rigid integrity, helped him in later years to win success. Upon reaching his destination, young Frank soon became employed in the cultivation of fruit trees in his uncle's nursery, where he worked faithfully until 1855, when he removed to Rochester, continuing the same business at the Mount Hope nursery. The following year a branch of the Mount Hope nursery was established at Columbus, Ohio, and here he prosecuted his labors, attending at intervals Antioch college, at Yellow Springs, Ohio, until the summer of 1859.  He being then in limited circumstances, a kind friend offered to lend him money to complete his studies, but, declining the generous offer through fear of debt, he went to Missouri to work in the Herman nursery, where he was employed until the spring of 1861.

At the first call for volunteers, he enlisted in company B, Fourth Missouri volunteer infantry, in the three-months' service, but severe exposure brought on an attack of typhoid fever, and he was discharged in the fall of the same year.  He soon after re-enlisted in the Tenth Illinois volunteer infantry, and although not perfectly recuperated, he stood the hardships of one campaign until the fall of 1862, when he was again discharged on account of physical disability. Judge Frank was soon after given a position in the quartermaster's office at Saint Louis, where he remained until 1864, using his spare moments in reading Blackstone and other elementary works furnished him by Judge Eaton. About a year after he had left Germany, his father died, and in a few years, he sent for his mother and the rest of the family, the former dying in Dayton, April 27, 1877; two of his brothers and one sister reside in Dayton and one sister in Mattoon, Ill.  In 1864 Judge Frank came to Dayton, where he continued his law studies under the tutorship of Craighead & Munger, making rapid progress, and being admitted to the bar September 2, 1867, when he at once opened an office and practiced his profession successfully for several years.  He was married August 11, 1873, to Mary Lutz, a native of Germany who came to this country in childhood with her parents and grew to maturity in Dayton. Nine children have been the fruits of this union, five sons and four daughters, all but two of whom are living.

Politically, the judge has always been a republican, and in the fall of 1875 was nominated and elected to the office of probate judge commencing the duties of his office February 14, 1876.   In 1878 he was re-elected to that responsible position, which was one of the strongest possible indorsements of his official worth and integrity, in view of the fact that Montgomery county was then largely democratic.  Since leaving the bench, Judge Frank has devoted himself to his profession, his business being largely, an office practice, and his clients coming, in the main, from those of German descent.   He ranks high among the safe and honorable practitioners of Dayton, and well deserves the confidence that is reposed in him.


ELLIS JENNINGS, M. D., [pages 258-261] of Dayton, was born in Wilmington, Ohio, on the 29th of December, 1833, being the son of Alexander and Ruth (Taylor) Jennings, his lineage being traced through Scotch, Irish and English lines.  He was born on a farm, and his preliminary education was secured in the district schools, after which he continued his studies in the high school at Troy, Ohio, and subsequently in Antioch college, at Yellow Springs, this state.  In his early youth he had given clear definition to the course which he would pursue in life, deciding to adopt the medical profession, and with this end in view began his technical reading at an early age, continuing his studies for some time under the effective guidance of Dr. John D. Kemp, of Vandalia, Ohio.  Later he matriculated in the Medical college of Ohio, where he graduated as a member of the class of 1862, having secured the degree of doctor of medicine, and thus equipped himself for the active practice of his profession.  Not to this peaceful work, however, was the young man to devote himself at the start, for a more imperative duty called, and the loyalty of his nature could not but heed the summons.

In October, 1862, Dr. Jennings identified himself with the medical corps of the Union army, and continued in active service until June, 1865.  He was first assigned to the position of assistant surgeon of the Fifth Iowa infantry, in which capacity he served until December of the same year, when he was assigned; to duty in hospital No. 2, at Nashville, Tenn., retaining this place until March, 1865, when he was transferred to Camp Dennison, Ohio, where he remained until the close of the war. He was post surgeon in turn on the staffs of Gen. Noyes, Col. Warner and Col. Andrews, and in the exacting and onerous duties which fell to his lot he was found always at his post, ever faithful in rendering aid to the brave men who suffered from the injuries and diseases. incident to war.

Dr. Jennings came to Dayton soon after his discharge from the service, locating in this city in September, 1865, and entering vigorously upon the practice of his profession. He gained a distinctive prestige through his ability, his integrity of character and his deep sympathy. with those in affliction, and his practice constantly broadened in scope; but he was not yet satisfied with his professional acquirements, and accordingly, in 1871, he went to Europe. During the winter passed abroad he gave his attention to the serious study of subjects pertinent to medical science, securing the unexcelled advantages offered in the foreign hospitals and colleges. He then returned to Dayton, which has ever since been his home and the scene of his earnest and fruitful professional endeavors.  From 1870 until 1873 he was in partnership with Dr. Thomas L. Neal, their practice being of a general character, and since the dissolution of this association Dr. Jennings has devoted himself to the general practice of medicine and surgery.   He is an honored member of the state Medical society and of the Montgomery county Medical society.

In politics the doctor is a republican of the uncompromising sort.  In his fraternal relations he is identified with the I..O. 0. F., being a member of Montgomery lodge No. 5, while he is also medical director of the National Beneficial association of this order, of Dayton. The doctor is thoroughly cosmopolitan in his tastes, and has been able to indulge these, having made a second trip to Europe in 1890, visiting the principal cities of the continent and divers other points of historical and local interest.  In 1896 Dr. Jennings made his third trip abroad and spent two and a half months in visiting the Mediterranean ports, Egypt and the holy land.  If the doctor has a hobby, it is the love of travel, and it is his intention, before the close of the present century, to start on a trip around the world.

Dr. Jennings has ever been a thorough and systematic student, and his intellectual horizon has been broadened to include far more than a knowledge of the literature of his profession, for he has been an indefatigable reader in general fields of knowledge and possesses a fund of information which cannot but be a source of constant satisfaction to him, as it is to those with whom he comes in contact in either a business or a social way.


FRANK J. KUNKLE, [page 261] general manager of the Dayton Ice Manufacturing & Cold Storage company, was born in Chambersburg, Montgomery county, Ohio, October 26, 1859.  His father, John Kunkle, was born in Pennsylvania, and came to Ohio with his parents, who settled in Montgomery county, being among its pioneer families. The father of John Kunkle was Jacob Kunkle, and as one of the early residents of this county he was well known and esteemed.

Frank J. Kunkle passed his boyhood on the farm in Butler township, and received his early education in the public schools at Vandalia. At the age of eighteen years he entered Wittenberg college at Springfield, Ohio, remaining a student there for three years. After taking a commercial course at Cleveland, Ohio, he located at Dayton in 1881, and accepted a position as bookkeeper with the firm of C. Wight & Son, lumber manufacturers, and remained with that firm until August, 1892. He then accepted the position of general manager of the Dayton Ice Manufacturing & Cold Storage company, which he still retains, having entire charge of that company's business affairs and property.

Mr. Kunkle was married in October, 1886, in Johnsville, Montgomery county, to Miss Susie Furry of that place, and a daughter of David Furry.   To this marriage there have been born two sons, John D. and Robert H. Mr. Kunkle is a member of Riverdale lodge, Knights of Pythias. He is vice-president and director in the Pioneer Tar Soap company, and director in the National Plant company, and is interested in real estate, having been active in building and selling houses, principally in Riverdale. When he located in Dayton he was without capital, but by careful and industrious management he has been successful in accumulating a competency, and ranks among the young business men of the city who have wrought out success through years of earnest endeavor.


OREN BRITT BROWN, [pages 261-263] attorney at law, Dayton, Ohio, is a native of the Empire state, having been born at Jeddo, Orleans county, N. Y., on the 22d of June, 1853, a son of Col. E. F. Brown, who held the commission as colonel of the Twenty-eighth New York regiment during the late war of the Rebellion, rendering valiant service in upholding the Union arms and preserving the integrity of the nation. Col. Brown removed to Dayton a few years after the close of the war, and was made the first governor of the soldiers' home, which important office he held from 1868 until 1880, enjoying the respect and affection of the veterans over whose interests he was thus placed in charge, and proving a most able and conscientious executive in directing the affairs of this great national institution. That his services were held in high appreciation by the national government is manifest from the fact that he is now an inspector general of the national soldiers' homes of the Union, maintaining his headquarters at Hartford, Conn.  The maiden name of our subject's mother was Elizabeth Britt.

Oren Britt Brown was born on a farm, and his early education was secured in the public schools at Medina, N. Y., where he remained until the time of his parents' removal to Dayton, in April, 1869.  Here he was a student in the high school until 1871, when he entered Dennison university, at Granville, Ohio, where he continued his studies until January, 1874. He then entered Princeton college, N. J., graduating from this celebrated institution as a member of the class of the Centennial year, 1876, having completed a thorough classical course.  Thus fortified in a theoretical way for the duties of life, he returned to his home in Dayton and began the work of practical and technical preparation.  In September of the year mentioned he entered the office of Gunckel & Rowe, prominent attorneys of this city, and under their effective guidance continued the reading of law for two years, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1878. He remained with his preceptors for one year. after which he established an individual practice, conducting a successful business until 188 I, when, as the candidate of the republican party, he was elected to the office of county clerk of Montgomery county, assuming the duties of this position in February, 1882. He served for one term of three years, having proved a most acceptable and efficient incumbent and then declined to become a candidate for re-election, having determined to resume the practice of his profession, in which he was already enjoying a marked prestige.  On the 9th of February, 1885, he entered into a professional alliance with Oscar M. Gottschall, under the firm title of Gottschall & Brown, and this association continued until January I, 1895. when the firm was changed by the admission of Ira Crawford, Jr., to partnership, whereupon the title of Gottschall, Brown & Crawford was adopted. This firm holds a prominent place among the leading legal practitioners of the county, having been retained in much of the important litigation that has come before the courts of this and adjoining counties, as well as in the state courts.

Mr. Brown is uncompromising in his advocacy of the principles and policies advanced by the republican party, and he has been prominent in the councils of the same in Montgomery county.  He was a delegate from the Dayton district to the national republican convention at Chicago in 1888, when Harrison was nominated for the presidency. He was a member of the Dayton board of elections, having been one of the republican representatives thereon from the time of the formation of the board until he went upon the bench.  He was nominated for judge of the third subdivision, Second district, in the spring of 1896, and after the death of Judge Henderson Elliott, in July, 1896. he was appointed his successor, having already been nominated by his party. He was elected in the fall of 1896, and entered upon his term of five years on the third Monday of November, 1897.

On the 12th of June, 1883, was celebrated the marriage of Judge Brown to Miss Jeannette Gebhart, daughter of Simon Gebhart, one of the old and honored citizens of Dayton.  In his fraternal relations Judge Brown is prominently identified with the Masonic order, being a Knight Templar and having attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish rite.  He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Royal Arcanum and the Dayton club, enjoying a marked popularity in professional, business and social circles.


Return to "Centennial Portrait" Home Page