Header Graphic
Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 299-315 Alvin W. Kumler to Philip A. Kemper

ALVIN W. KUMLER, [page 299] judge of the court of common pleas of Montgomery county, and one of the leading members of the Dayton bar, was born near Trenton, Butler county, Ohio, on January 20, 1851, and is the son of John and Sarah Kumler. The early education of Judge Kumler was obtained in the common schools of his native county. In 1870, he entered the Antioch college, at Yellow Springs, where he was a student for two years. His general education was completed by one year's attendance at Ohio Wesleyan university, at Delaware. Following this, he entered the law department of the university of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he was graduated in the class of 1875. The same year he located in Dayton and entered upon the practice of his profession, and in 1877 he formed a partnership with R. M. Nevin, which association continued until the election of Mr. Kumler to the bench of the common pleas court in 1896, the firm at that time being the oldest legal firm in the city in point of years of partnership.  In 1879, Judge Kumler was elected city solicitor of Dayton, at a time when the political complexion of the city was strongly democratic, and in 1881 was re-elected. In the spring of 1896 he was nominated by the republican party for the office of judge of the common pleas court for the third sub-division of the second judicial district of Ohio, and in November following was elected by a large majority, taking his seat on the bench in the same month. As a lawyer Judge Kumler took rank among the leading and successful members of the Dayton bar, and as a judge, while having been on the bench but a short time, has given evidence of ability and promise of a useful career.


JOSEPH W. KENNEDY, [pages 299-300] secretary and treasurer of the Dayton Cast Steel Plow company, is a native of Montgomery county, Ohio, and was born on a farm four miles north of Dayton, September 22, 1869, a son of John and Martha (Dorst) Kennedy.  The excellently equipped plant of the Cast Steel Plow company is located at 122 North Front street.  The business dates its inception back to 1885, when it was founded with the following named gentlemen as interested principals: Stephen J. Alien, John Kennedy, Joseph Kennedy, L. S. Aughe, Joseph W. Kennedy, and Grafton C. Kennedy. The enterprise was established for the purpose of manufacturing cast-steel plows of special design and of many points of recognized superiority, and the success of the venture is the best evidence of the character of the products turned out. The original executive corps of the company comprised Mr. Alien as president, Mr. Aughe as superintendent, and Joseph W, Kennedy as secretary and treasurer. .The capital stock is $18,000, while the surplus has now reached an aggregate of about $9,000. The works afford employment to a body of from twenty to twenty-five skilled operatives, and the most punctilious care is accorded to every detail of manufacture. The present members of the company are S. H. Carr, president: J. F. Alien, vice-president; Joseph W. Kennedy, secretary and treasurer; and L. S. Aughe, superintendent. Joseph Kennedy, Sr., and Grafton C. Kennedy have retired from the concern, and S. J. Alien is now deceased. The principal trade territory covered by the company comprises Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, and the business is gradually extending its range of operations as the merits of its products become known.

Joseph W. Kennedy received his educational discipline in the public schools of Dayton, though he continued to reside on the old homestead until 1883, when he came to Dayton and accepted a position as clerk in the establishment of C. Wight & Son, with whom he remained a few weeks, after which he became bookkeeper for the Parrott Manufacturing company, manufacturers of plows, continuing in their employ for two years. He then became personally interested in the enterprise with which he is at present identified, and has done much to insure the marked success which has attended the prosecution of the business. He is recognized as a representative of that progressive young element in the business circles of Dayton which is carrying the city forward to an even more conspicuous place in the industrial world than she has yet attained.

In his fraternal relations Mr. Kennedy is a member of Miami lodge of the Knights of Pythias, and he is also identified with the Garfield club, a republican organization. His marriage was solemnized in July, 1887, when he wedded Miss Daisy A. Macy, a daughter of Davis Macy, a prominent farmer of Harrison township, Montgomery county. Two children were born of this union, but the parents were called upon to bear a double bereavement in the death of both in the month of January, 1896— Lawrence being seven years of age and Howard M. five.  Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy are members of the Presbyterian church, in whose affairs they maintain an active interest.


W. L. BLUMENSCHEIN. [pages300-301] The subject of this biographical review was born in Brensbach, Germany, December 16, 1849. He lived for many years in Pittsburg, Pa., but has been a Buckeye resident since the fall of 1876; Portsmouth, Ohio, was his first point of operations, whither he was called to direct the Harmonic society. The Ironton choral union was also under his direction for a season. In the summer of 1878 the Dayton, Ohio, Philharmonic society extended a call to him, which was accepted, Otto Singer, so recently deceased, being his predecessor.   Since then the Philharmonic society has been continuously under his direction, and has won for itself and director a far more than local reputation. Indeed, the repertory of choral works performed in Dayton will compare favorably with that of any of the prominent choral organizations of the country.

The directorship of the Indianapolis, Ind., Lyra society (male chorus and orchestra) was intrusted to him for a season, also the Springfield Orpheus mixed chorus, and, incidentally, two Ohio saengerfests in Dayton and Springfield, respectively. The Cincinnati May festival chorus was given under his direction, superintended by Theodore, Thomas, from 1891 to 1895.

Dayton's present musical status is largely to be attributed to Mr. Blumenschein's persistent efforts in the direction of classical culture. His pupils in piano-playing and singing have won for him a standing as teacher such as any musician and artist may be proud of. The surrounding towns have also contributed much of their best talent to his tutorship. The Third street Presbyterian church has claimed his services as organist and choir-director since October, 1878.

As composer for piano and voice Mr. Blumenschein has had the satisfaction of being rewarded by favorable criticism in all the prominent musical journals of the country.  Several of his anthems have been reprinted in England, and quite recently a Leipsic, Germany, musical journal has published a sketch of his life and work, illustrated by his portrait. Considering that his residence has mostly been confined to an inland town, it is surely a credit to his ability thus to be a subject of consideration in other countries.

What the future may bring to Mr. Blumenschein is a matter of conjecture, of course, but as he is just in the prime of life and activity, it is reasonable to predict a continuance of the good work of the past, coupled with a fair measure of success.


REV. GEORGE M. MATHEWS, D. D., [pages 301-302] pastor of the First United Brethren church of Dayton, was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, August 22, 1848, and is a son of John and Milchi Ann (Maddux) Mathews.

John Mathews, a native of Westmoreland county, Pa., of German descent, was born in 1805 and in 1811 came to Ohio, coming down the Ohio river from Pittsburg, Pa., and landing in Cincinnati.  He later bought from Gen. Taylor a farm which was a portion of the tract granted to the latter in recognition of earlier military service, and died on this farm, in Hamilton county, at the age of eighty-two years.  Mrs. Milchi Ann Mathews, of English descent, was born near Frederick, Md., in 1810, and was a daughter of a slave-holding father, who, however, liberated his living chattels before coming to Ohio for his place of residence. John Mathews and wife were the parents of nine children: James, a farmer, died in mature life; Mary was the wife of Stephen Markley, and died in Hamilton county, Ohio; Talitha is the widow of William Ayer, and Joseph is a farmer, both being residents of Hamilton county; William H. is a lawyer of Cincinnati; Charles is a farmer of Hamilton county; Martha is the wife of F. M. Prickett, a contractor at Bethel, Ohio; George M. is next in order of birth, and Elizabeth is married to P. McQuain, a contractor of Cincinnati.

George M. Mathews was primarily educated in the public schools, and at the age of sixteen years entered Otterbein university, from the scientific department of which famous institution of learning he graduated in 1870. He then was employed for several years as principal of the graded schools in Hamilton county, and also studied law, but never practiced. In 1878 he entered Lane Theological seminary, studied two years, and next entered Union Biblical seminary of Dayton, from which he graduated in 1881. At this time he began his ministerial labors and organized the High street United Brethren church of Dayton, Ohio, and served as its pastor for three years; for the next five years he had charge of the Summit street church of this city, and was then elected presiding elder of the Miami conference, in which capacity he served for five years.  On retiring from the eldership he was appointed pastor of the First United Brethren church, of this city, and in this capacity is now serving his third year. In 1894 he also became editor of the Quarterly Review of the United Brethren in Christ, a religious organ of high standard.

Dr. Mathews is president of the board of trustees of the United Brethren Publishing house; he is also a member of the board of trustees of the Union Biblical seminary and a member of its executive committee; he is likewise an alumnal trustee of Otterbein university. He has twice been a member of the general conference of his church, and was secretary of the committee that made the report which resuited in the elimination of the so-called secrecy law in the church discipline.

Dr. Mathews was united in marriage with Miss Clara Belle Hopper, a native of Hamilton county, Ohio, and a daughter of Abram Hopper. One son, Milton H., the offspring of this union, is now twenty-two years of age, and is a student in the senior class at Otterbein university.  In his politics Dr. Mathews is a prohibitionist, but usually affiliates with the republican party on national questions.  Socially he is a member of the Present Day club of Dayton, which is composed of the leading professional and business men of the city.


JOHN HENRY VAILE, [pages 302-305] manufacturer and inventor, of Dayton, Ohio, was A J born in Piqua, Miami county, Ohio, on March 31, 1844. He is the son of John and Lucy (Sherman) Vaile, deceased, natives of Vermont and Massachusetts respectively. John Vaile came from Vermont to Ohio and for some time was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Piqua, subsequently becoming principal of the Piqua high school, a position he was holding at the time of his death, in September, 1844. After the death of her husband, the widow returned to her former home in Lowell, Mass., where she died in 1873.

J. H. Vaile was reared in Lowell, and was educated in the public schools. After passing through the high school he learned the trade of machinist and engineer.  In 1862 he received an appointment as engineer in the United States navy. He served in the navy three years, a portion of which time was spent in the Monitor service and the remainder on vessels in different squadrons. He was probably the youngest engineer in the United States navy, having received his appointment before he was eighteen years of age. He was second assistant engineer when he left the service. After leaving the navy Mr. Vaile became associated with a glass manufacturer of Philadelphia, and gained his mercantile experience while thus associated by selling and contracting on the road. In 1868 Mr. Vaile came to Dayton and entered the Barney-Smith Car works as a mechanical engineer. While thus engaged he came in contact with Mr. Holly, of the noted Holly Manufacturing company, and by that gentleman was employed as a mechanical engineer in Columbus, Covington and Indianapolis. At the latter city he was retained as mechanical engineer and later as mechanical engineer and superintendent of streets for the Indianapolis Water Works company. In September, 1874, Mr. Vaile returned to Dayton, and in connection with the late Preserved Smith and Walter W. Smith established the Smith-Vaile Pump manufactory, under the firm name of Smith, Vaile & Co., with which he has since been identified. This enterprise was begun on a very small scale, only six men being employed at the start. The business grew from year to year until, in 1893, the works employed 450 men. During this time Mr. Vaile took out fifteen patents, upon which the business of Smith, Vaile & Co. has been developed. In 1893 Smith, Vaile & Co. and the Stillwell &Bierce Manufacturing company were consolidated under the name of the Stillwell-Bierce & Smith-Vaile Manufacturing company, of which Mr. Vaile is a director, and is also manager of the east shops of the company. The Stillwell-Bierce & Smith-Vaile company is now one of the largest and most important manufacturing corporations in the west, its business extending all over the United States and Canada, and having an established agency in London and a growing trade in all foreign countries. Mr. Vaile is also identified with other enterprises.   He is president of the American Carbon company, which has its factories at Noblesville, Ind., and in which company are interested such leading Dayton citizens as John W. Stoddard, E. Morgan Wood, Sylvester H. Carr, George W. Shaw and Walter W. Smith.

He is a director in the Merchants' National bank of Dayton, a stockholder in the Dayton street railway, is a member and stockholder in the Dayton club and a stockholder in the Miami club.  He a member of the Masonic fraternity, being a knight templar in that order.

Mr. Vaile was married in 1878 to Miss Alvina, daughter of Hugh Wiggim, of Dayton. He is considered one of Dayton's representative citizens and successful manufacturers. He has established a reputation as a careful, conservative and thoroughly reliable business man, yet aggressive and enterprising to a marked degree. As a citizen he has always exhibited a commendable public spirit in matters pertaining to the growth and development of the city. and its enterprises.


J. ELLIOT PEIRCE, [page 305] president of the Peirce & Coleman company, of Dayton, Ohio, is a native of this city, was born April 17, 1861, the son of Jeremiah H. and Elizabeth (Forrer) Peirce, and was educated in the late Cooper academy.

Jeremiah H. Peirce, father of J. Elliot Peirce, and his wife were also born in Dayton —the father in September, 1818.  His father, Joseph Peirce, with his wife, was of the Marietta party, who effected the first settlement in the Buckeye state, the Peirce family settling in Dayton near the beginning of the present century. The grandfather of J. Elliot Peirce was a banker in the early days of this city, in which he passed his later years as one of its most prominent and influential citizens. Jeremiah H. was early connected with the Miami Lard Oil company and maintained this connection until 1876, when he became interested in the business with which his son, J. Elliot, is now identified, the title of the original firm being Peirce & Coleman.

The Peirce & Coleman company was incorporated in 1891, Mr. Peirce being then elected to his present office, which he has since so capably filled, adding each year, through his business talent, to the prosperity and progressiveness of the concern. The company does a general contracting and building business, including mill work and dealing extensively in hardwood lumber and finishings, and usually employing 150 men, although for the past two years the number has been somewhat less.

Mr. Peirce was married, in 1885, to Miss Fannie Harsh, a native of Findlay, Ohio, where her parents passed the greater part of their lives, but are now deceased, leaving Mrs. Peirce the sole survivor of the Harsh family. She is now the mother of three daughters, named, in the order of birth, Elizabeth Forrer, Virginia O'Neil and Mary Frances.  In politics Mr. Peirce is a republican.  He is a scholarly gentleman and a business man of the strictest integrity; is public-spirited and ever ready to aid all undertakings designed for the public good, or calculated to advance the progress of his native city and county.


CAPT. JOHN A. MILLER, [pages 305-307] cashier of the Pasteur Chamberland Filter company, of Dayton, Ohio, was born at Annville, Lebanon county. Pa., November 4, 1839.  His parents were Jacob and Lydia (Hershey) Miller, both natives of Lebanon county. The husband and father was an elder in the Church of God, and spent his life largely in doing missionary work for that religious body. He was venerated by those best acquainted with him for his genuinely religious feeling, and much regarded for his kind and neighborly qualities. The family is of Scottish origin, the grandfather of Capt. Miller coming directly from Scotland.

Capt. Miller was the second child in a family of seven sons and three daughters, of whom seven are now living. His boyhood was spent in Lancaster county. Pa., where he secured a very good common-school education. While still a lad, he came to Dayton, in 1856, but remained here only a brief time, accepting a good position in a store at Miamisburg, where he worked as a clerk until 1862.  He found himself by that time both unable and unwilling to resist any longer the flood of patriotic devotion that was sweeping Ohio's best and bravest young men into the great crusade for union and freedom, and he enlisted on the 9th day of October in that year, and was assigned for duty to company E, First Ohio volunteer infantry., The gallant First was a fighting regiment, and made itself felt on many a desperate and bloody field of battle. It was attached to the command of Gen. Rosecrans, and its history is part of that of the army of the Cumberland. At the battle of Chickamauga Capt. Miller was taken prisoner on the evening of September 19, 1863, and was held by the enemy for fourteen months. He was in the rebel prisons at Belle Isle, Danville, Andersonville, Savannah and Millen, Ga., and suffered during these long and dreary months untold hardships. Even though offered several details for duty outside, he persistently refused to accept, believing that such service was inconsistent with the duty he owed to the Union.  But all things end, and his release from suffering and destitution came at last in the form of a parole. He was given a furlough, but soon returned to the front, and, his regiment having been mustered out, he was transferred to the Eighteenth Ohio volunteer infantry.  He was with this regiment when his discharge from the service occurred, October 9, 1865.  He was an efficient and capable soldier, and had already won promotion when the regiment was retired to civil life. He was appointed sergeant-major of the regiment, and had received his commission as second lieutenant of company E.

His active military experiences in actual war at an end, Capt. Miller made his way back to Dayton, and took a position as salesman in a wholesale queensware establishment, and in 1867 was appointed deputy county clerk under Fred Fox. This position he held for only four months, when he resigned it to return to the office of his former employers, in the capacity of bookkeeper, and continued with them for more than ten years. The Ohio Fair association called for his services as secretary, and offered him such inducements that he did not think it wise to remain longer at the book-keeper's desk. At this time he was also secretary of the Home Avenue railroad, and secretary of the Southern Ohio stock yards, and, though a busy man, he found it possible to take on a little more work.  He was active in the organization of the Dayton zouaves, the first military company organized in Dayton since the war.  In recognition of his valuable services in its behalf, as well as in acknowledgment of his executive ability, he was made its captain in May, 1873.  Later this organization was designated as company A, Fourth regiment, 0. N. G. This office he resigned in 1881, and seven years later recruited company C, Thirteenth 0. N. G., of which he was also elected captain. His first company was called out to avert a threatened lynching, by guarding the Dayton jail.  It was also out two weeks during the great railroad strikes in 1877, and guarded the first freight train out when the strikes were declared at an end.  He commanded this company during a competitive drill in Saint Louis in 1879, when its perfect drill and soldierly appearance attracted general admiration.  With his present company Capt. Miller was called again to guard the jail at Dayton to prevent another lynching; and in 1892, during the great coal strikes, was on duty eleven days.

Capt. Miller continued as secretary of the Ohio Fair association for about four years, when he resigned this as well as other positions, to return for the third time to the employment of the old firm, George A. Black being now the principal member of it. Here he was busy at the bookkeeper's desk for a year or more, when he setup business for himself and so continued for a year. He then entered into partnership with Mr. Barger, and the two carried on a very successful wholesale queensware business for seven years. In 1890 he secured his present position, where his faithful services are thoroughly appreciated by the corporation.

Capt. Miller married Miss Amanda E. Chambers, a native of Dayton, whose father, R. M. Chambers, is a prominent contractor, and is widely known among the city's representative business men. They have one child, a daughter, now Mrs. Frank A. Groves, of this city.  Capt, Miller is prominent in Masonic circles, having received the thirty-second degree in the A. A. S. R. of that order. The various Masonic bodies with which he is connected are all in Dayton, except the consistory, which is in Cincinnati. He is past master of Mystic lodge No. 405, Dayton; past high priest. Unity chapter No. 16, R. A. M., and past thrice illustrious master of Reese council No. 9, R. & S. M.  He has served several years as captain-general of Reed commandery No. 6, and commanded this organization at the prize drill of the triennial encampment at the grand commandery in Chicago in 1881.  He was grand master of ceremonies in the lodge of Perfection, Scottish rite, for a number of years, and has also taken a deep interest in kindred societies, such as the Knights of Pythias. He is a member of lola lodge No. 83 of this order, and was captain of lola division when it was instituted, serving about four years. As might well be imagined, the Grand Army has received from him a service of love. He is a member of Old Guard post No. 23, of this city, and holds the position of P. P. C. He served a term as assistant inspector-general, department of Ohio, and a term as aid-de-camp on the staff of the department commander. He is a member of the military service institution of the United States, an organization composed of officers of the United States army and officers of the national guard. In his political relations, Capt. Miller affiliates actively and earnestly with the republican party. While at Miamisburg he was a member of the German Reformed church, but since his residence in this city he has become a member of the First English Lutheran church.


ANDREW FERRIS SMART, [pages 307-308] a successful business man of Dayton, dealing in fuel, lime, cement, etc., is a native of Ohio, born within a short distance of his present location, on the l4th of July, 1853.  His father was Alexander M. Smart, a ship builder of Connecticut, where his birth occurred May 10, 1807.   Alexander M. Smart married Mary J. Slaght, came to Dayton about the year 1835, and remained in this city until his death, January 25, 1881; Mrs. Smart died November 21, 1875. Alexander and Mary J. Smart were both of Scotch-Irish descent; they reared a family of five children, viz: Maggie, who died September 6, 1872; Geddes, who died when young; George, who is secretary of the Dayton Gas Light & Coke company; Andrew F. and Harry S.—the last named employed as clerk in the office of his next older brother.

Andrew Ferris Smart graduated from the Central high school of Dayton in the class of 1871, and commenced business in partnership with C. A. Starr, Esq., handling fuel, lime and cement, in which branch of trade he has since continued. 'The firm of C. A. Starr & Co. existed for a period of ten years, at the end of which time, in 1885, Mr. Smart withdrew and engaged in business upon his own responsibility at his present location, Nos. 524-6 South Wayne avenue, where he now deals in all kinds of coal and wood, cement, sewer pipe, lime, etc.   He has a well-established business, and his trade, profitable from the beginning, has constantly increased until, at this time, his establishment is one of the best known and most successful of the kind in the city.

Mr. Smart and Miss Harriet S. Jones, of Dayton, were united in marriage December 15, 1881; they have had three children—Alexander, Emma E. and Roy A. The last named died at the age of five months. Mrs. Smart was born at Fair Haven, Butler county, Ohio, and received a liberal education in the city schools of Hamilton. Mr. Smart is prominently connected with the' Masonic fraternity, belonging to Saint John's lodge No. 13; Unity chapter No. 16, R. A. M.; Reese council No. 9, R. & S. M.; Reed commandery No. 6, K. T.; Gabriel lodge of Perfection, Scottish rite; Miami council, P. of J.; Dayton chapter of Rose Croix; Ohio consistory, S. P. S. He is also identified with the I. 0. 0. F., being a member of the encampment branch of the order; the subordinate lodge to which he belongs is Wayne No, 10, and his name appears upon the rolls of Dayton encampment No. 2. In addition to the above orders Mr. Smart belongs to lodge No. 32, K. of P., which he has represented for the past five years in the grand lodge of the state. He is a member of the Dayton division No. 5, uniform rank, K. of P., is identified with the American Legion of Honor, and belongs to May Flower council, 0. U. A. M., No. 33. In state and national affairs Mr. Smart is a democrat, but in local matters he refuses to be bound by party ties, casting his ballot for the person whom he thinks best qualified for official position.


CHARLES J. McKEE, [pages 308-309] a prominent and active member of the Montgomery county bar, was born at Hillsboro, Highland county, Ohio, January 23, 1856, and is a son of Samuel and Rebecca Crawford (Cox) McKee. In April, 1861, the family moved to Dayton, and in September of the following year Charles J. entered the Perry street district school.  For thirteen years he successfully pursued his studies in the Dayton schools, graduating from the Central high school June 16, 1875.

His early inclinations led him to choose the legal profession for his life work, and in July, 1875, he began the study of law with the firm of Young & Gottschall, teaching a country school at Liberty, Ohio, during the winter of 1877-78. April 23, 1878, he was admitted to the Montgomery county bar, but feeling in need of further preparation before beginning practice, continued the study of law for a year and a half longer, at the same time teaching in the Mumma district in Harrison township. He opened an office in Dayton September 11, 1879, and on November 1, 1881, formed a law partnership with Walter D. Jones, a member of the Dayton bar. The partnership continued up to January 1, 1888, since which time Mr. McKee has pursued his legal practice alone, confining himself almost exclusively to civil practice.

Though professional duties have claimed his constant attention, he has given some consideration to other business matters, having to a considerable extent been identified with building' association interests, and is at present secretary and attorney for one of the leading associations of the city.  He was attorney for the board of education in 1888-89-90, this being the only public office he has ever held.

On April 23, 1889, Mr. McKee was married to Miss Sarah Stewart Hughes, daughter of Rev. J. R. Hughes, and three children have been born to them. As a lawyer Mr. McKee holds a high rank at the Montgomery county bar, with a reputation for ability, learning and successful management of legal business. As a citizen he is interested in public affairs, and especially in the advancement of the cause of good government and municipal progress.


HOWARD F. PEIRCE, [pages 309-310] a native of Dayton, Ohio, and one of the most popular musicians of the city, deserves especial mention in this work, and before tracing his genealogy, mention will here be made of his career as an artist in music, preceded by a brief sketch touching his early training.

Howard F. Peirce was endowed by nature with large musical gifts and this inborn faculty has been carefully cultivated since his childhood days.  His studies of the piano and harmony under his earliest teachers (notably, Prof. Huesman, of Dayton) developed so great a genius for the art that he was placed under the guidance of the accomplished Prof. Blumenstein, also of Dayton, and in 1886, when twenty-one years of age, was sent to Europe, that he might improve his already excellent practice as a pianist.  He spent about three years in Munich, under the tuition of Giehrl on the piano, and that of Rheinberger in theory. At Florence, Italy, he passed eight months under the culminating instruction of the great pianist, Giuseppe Buonamici, and on his return to Dayton his proficiency was at once recognized and he was awarded a high rank among musical artists. Since then, his work as a pianist has been made a prominent feature, at various times, in leading concerts in Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Cleveland, and other of the principal cities of the United States, and has always secured the highest praise from musical critics, the press and the public.

Mr. Peirce has the happy faculty of being able always to fall into sympathy with the score set before him, and, with a vigorous or delicate touch, give forth all the fine shades of meanings indicated by the composition. He is ever conscientious and true to the author, and never seeks, by a meretricious display of his own power and skill, to substitute himself for the maestro; he is content with a correct interpretation of the composer's thought, and this quality has, no doubt, won for him his fame with true lovers of music.

Mr. Peirce, for the past ten years, has been organist of Grace Methodist Episcopal church of Dayton, and also has regular engagements as an accompanist to noted singers, who make stated tours.

Howard F. Peirce was born May 4, 1865, the son of Jeremiah and Elizabeth (Forrer) Peirce, whose parents were early settlers of Dayton. Isaac Peirce, father of Jeremiah, was a banker and a prominent leader in public affairs from the time of his coming to this place until his demise. Jeremiah Peirce was born in Dayton, was a solid business man and a substantial citizen, did a great deal of work towards advancing the material and moral welfare of the community, and died in his native city in 1889, honored and beloved by all who knew him. Mrs. Peirce died in 1874.

Samuel Forrer, the maternal grandfather of Howard F. Peirce, was one of Dayton's earliest settlers, was a civil engineer, and the superintendent of the construction of the Miami canal. To the marriage of Jeremiah and Elizabeth Peirce there were born, beside Howard F., three sons and four daughters, of whom Samuel, the eldest, died when about seven years of age; Henrietta, the wife of Eugene Parrott, resides in Dayton; Edward died when he was about seventeen years old; Sarah H., who organized the first kindergarten in Dayton, is now conducting the principal school of that character in the city; Mary died in young womanhood; Elizabeth, a 'trained nurse, was educated in this profession in the Massachusetts general hospital of Boston; J. Elliot is successor to the business of his father.


JOHN CHARLES CLINE, [pages 310-311] superintendent of Woodland cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, was born in Switzerland February 1, 1844, and in 1851 came to America with his, parents, who settled in Dayton. These parents were John P. and Theresa (Leubing) Cline, the former of whom was born in Edelfingen, ober amt Mergentheim, Wurtemberg, Germany, was a blacksmith, and died of cholera, in Dayton, in 1854; the mother, who was a native of Switzerland, died at the same time and place. They had two children, John Charles, and Catherine, who died in infancy.

John C. Cline, being thus early bereft of his parents, was in 1856 adopted into the family of William W. Lane, then superintendent of Woodland cemetery, and in this family was reared to manhood, receiving a limited education in the common schools. September 22, 1861, he enlisted in company C, First Ohio volunteer infantry, then commanded by Capt. (afterward Gen.) Gates P. Thurston, and served three years with the army of the Cumberland, under Gens. Rosecrans, Thomas, Rousseau, and other commanding officers. He took part in all the general engagements of his corps, was off duty sixteen days only during the three years, and was honorably discharged at Chattanooga September 16, 1864. He then returned to Dayton and resumed his labors under Mr. Lane, as assistant superintendent of Woodland, and, on a change of management in 1869, was appointed superintendent. During this period of twenty-seven years there have been 14,570 interments, the total number being 20,548 from the time of the founding of the cemetery until the date of this sketch, June 9, 1896. Few cities in the Union have a more beautiful resting place for their dead than Woodland. It comprises 100 acres and thirty men are constantly employed in its care, all under the general superintendence of Mr. Cline, who gives to it the most constant and intelligent attention.

October 4, 1866, J. C. Cline was united in marriage in Hanover, Jackson county, Mich., with Miss Fannie E. Dew, a native of Springfield, Ohio, the union resulting in the birth of four children, viz: Walter, who is a student in the Ohio university; Carl, a graduate of the Dayton high school; Luther, still a student in that institution, and Haidee, deceased. The family are members of the Lutheran church. In politics Mr. Cline was reared a republican by his foster parents, and on attaining his manhood he readily dropped into the ranks of that party.

Fraternally, Mr. Cline is a member of Wayne lodge No. 10, I. 0. 0. F., of which he is a past grand; also of Miami lodge No. 32, K. of P.; of Old Guard post, No. 23, G. A. R., and of Gem City lodge. As a republican, Mr. Cline has held various offices of trust and responsibility; he served as a member of the city council one year, having been elected from a strongly democratic ward, and while in this position voted for an ordinance which obliterated his own ward, thus voting himself out of office. He was also a member of the board of police commissioners for four years, having received this appointment from the governor of the state.

Mr. Cline and his children are the only representatives of his family in America. When he speaks of the early experience of his parents in the new world, with no friends nor even a knowledge of the prevailing tongue, his words recall the early trials endured by the pioneers of the country.  His father's untimely death, and that of his mother immediately afterward, were sad blows to him, thus left to the care of strangers; but he has so lived as to prove himself to be worthy of the kindness bestowed upon him by Mr. Lane in his childhood, and is today one of the trusted and respected citizens of the community in which he resides. Mr. Cline ever speaks of the Lane family with feelings of profound respect and gratitude, as, when in need, they were his best friends, and did their whole duty by him as their adopted son.


J. HALE PARDONNER, [pages 311-312] vice-president and manager of the John Rouzer Contracting & Building company of Dayton, Ohio, is a native of this city and was born March 22, 1849, a son of John A. and Jane (Van Sandt) Pardonner, the former of whom was a native of Germany and the latter of Kentucky. The father came to America in middle life, was engaged in the shoe business in Cincinnati and Dayton, and died in Clermont county at the advanced age of ninety years, his widow still residing in Clermont county. It is stated that John Van Sandt, father of Mrs. Pardonner, was the man who harbored Eliza, the well-known character in Mrs. Stowe's famous novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and that he appears in the story under the name of John Van Tromp.

John A. Pardonner and family were the parents of twelve children, of whom six are still living, J. Hale, the second, being the subject of this memoir.  Hale, as he is best known, received his elementary education in Dayton, and at the age of fourteen years enlisted for six months in the Fourth battalion, Ohio volunteer cavalry, being probably next to the youngest, if not the youngest, lad in Ohio to take up arms in defense of the Union.  He served in Tennessee, with headquarters at Cumberland Gap, and had many skirmishes with guerrillas in guarding government stores. After fully seven months in this service, he re-enlisted, but this time in the One Hundred and Thirty-first Ohio infantry, for the 100-day service, and was stationed at Baltimore, Md. In each case our subject received an honorable discharge.

In 1867 Mr. Pardonner married Miss Sarah Sophia Hinsey, a native of Dayton and daughter of John Hinsey, an old resident, well known as Esquire Hinsey. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Pardonner are William S., John H., and Bertha. Of these the eldest, William S,, is the assistant manager of the Norfolk Beet Sugar company, at Norfolk, Nebr.; John H. is a draftsman for an architect in Dayton, Ohio, and Bertha is at home with her parents.

J. Hale Pardonner, the subject, is a Free Mason, a past grand of the I. 0. 0. F., and a member of Old Guard post, G. A. R., Dayton, and is, beside, a member of several other social and beneficial orders of the same city. In politics he is a republican, and in religion he and wife are members of the First Reformed church. The business relations of Mr. Pardonner with the Rouzer company began in 1869, and he has passed through every department of the concern until reaching his present responsible position, although he began as journeyman with John Rouzer, and held that relation for several years. He then became a partner in the business until the incorporation. On the formation of the present company, in 1890, he became manager, and at the death of Mr. Rouzer was elected vice-president and general manager. The capital stock of the company is $100,000, and it employs from seventy-five to 125 hands, turning out every variety of mill work.

William S. Pardonner, eldest son of Hale and Sarah Sophia Pardonner, married Bessie, the daughter of Hon. George Wilson, deputy commissioner of internal revenue, appointed under President Harrison, and still retaining the office.

The brothers and sisters of J. Hale Pardonner, who still survive from a family of twelve, are Clemma, who is unmarried and has her home with her mother in Bethel, Clermont county, Ohio; Mrs. George Hughes, who resides in Dayton; Mrs. McLeod, who is a resident of Cincinnati; William and Albert, who are partners in a mercantile business in Middletown, Ohio.


ADOLPH NEWSALT, [pages 312-315] the leading jeweler, of Dayton, Ohio, and owner of one of the finest establishments of the kind in the state of Ohio, if not in the entire west, was born in Prussia, December 25, 1848. The father of Mr. Newsalt died in Germany, and in 1857, with his mother, Adolph came to the United States, landing in New York. For a time after reaching this country he attended school in the city of New York, and then went to La Crosse, Wis., situated on the east bank of the Mississippi river, and there in 1860 he began an apprenticeship at the jeweler's trade, serving four years. In 1864 he came to Dayton, his mother having, in 1860, removed to this city from Saint Louis. Upon reaching Dayton he went to work in the jewelry store of Henry Kline, under the Phillips house.  He remained with Mr. Kline for one year, at the end of which period he went to Springfield, Ohio, and there worked for A. Aaron, a jeweler, for somewhat more than a year. He had now accumulated a little over $300, and returning to Dayton he at once established himself in the jewelry business on a very small scale on Fifth street. His business was at first so small that he was able to do all of his work himself, and this was the case for about two years; but it was a frequent experience for him to be at work at his bench as late as one or two o'clock in the morning.

By degrees his business so increased that he was at length compelled to move into larger quarters. This necessity was forced upon him at several different times, his business extending year by year, until at length he prevailed upon Mr. John Bosler to tear down his little house on Fifth street and erect for him upon its site a large store room in which he remained for fifteen years.  Upon the completion of the Davies building at Fourth and Main streets, Mr. Newsalt removed into his present quarters, which were designed especially for his business, he having leased the room in which he is now located prior to the completion of the building,

The establishment is one of the most complete and best designed in the country, and it is no uncommon thing for parties to come from great distances, as from Saint Louis and other points, to pattern after it in their respective homes. It covers a space 32x75 feet in size, with a basement of the same dimensions underneath. The entire fronts, on both Main and Fourth streets, are of glass, thus making it one of the finest show rooms to be found. Mr. Newsalt employs twenty men the year round, and in business seasons adds to his force as occasion requires.

Mr. Newsalt was married in Dayton, November 10, 1870, to Sarah Wise, formerly from Paducah, Ky. One son has been born to this marriage, T. A. Newsalt, who was educated at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and who is now in his father's establishment as salesman, an excellent position in which to gain a full knowledge of the business and of the trade of jeweler.  Mr. Newsalt is, in point of fact and in the best sense of the word, a self-made man, and his career should be the means of encouraging the young men of this day to be satisfied with small beginnings.


PHILIP A. KEMPER, [page 315] importer and wholesale dealer in materials for art, embroidery, etc., Dayton, Ohio, was born at Wallhausen, not far from the beautiful city of Bingen on the Rhine, Germany, in 1835.  In his fifteenth year he came to America, landing in Philadelphia, and after attending school in that city for eight months in order to familiarize himself to some extent with the English language, he entered the store of an uncle, as an errand boy, and for eleven years faithfully did his duty to his employer, advancing by successive promotions to .the position of first book-keeper.

In August, 1859, at his request the mother of Mr. Kemper, with her six remaining children, came to America.  In 1861 he came to Dayton, Ohio, to establish himself in business, and, having perfected his plans, he returned to Philadelphia, whence he came back in August with his family.  In a short time after his arrival in the Gem City, Mr. Kemper established a dress-trimmings and fancy goods store at the northwest corner of Second and Main streets, under the firm name of Philip A. Kemper & Sisters.  Success attended this firm for the period of nine years, when Mr. Kemper rented the old Franklin house, on the opposite corner, and remodeled the building for store purposes. This store was occupied by him until 1880, when he removed to his own premises, Nos. 19 and 21 West Second street, his present location. His business consists principally in furnishing convent schools throughout the country with materials for fancy needle and embroidery work, as well as supplying these articles at wholesale to other dealers. His trade, which is altogether wholesale, fills a peculiar want in the market, his shipments going to all parts of the Union and to Mexico.

The youngest brother of Mr. Kemper is the Rev. Charles S. Kemper, Catholic chaplain of the national military home; near Dayton, of whom brief mention is made elsewhere.

Philip A. Kemper is recognized as one of the public-spirited and useful citizens of Dayton, and is especially active in forwarding the educational and charitable work of the Roman Catholic church.


Return to "Centennial Portrait" Home Page