Header Graphic
Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 403-418 William Denison Bickham to Frank S. Breene

WILLIAM DENISON BICKHAM, [pages 403-404] deceased, late editor and proprietor of the Dayton Journal, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 30, 1827. He was prepared for college in private and public schools, and was a student in Cincinnati and Bethany (W. Va.) colleges. After the death of his father he entered the newsroom of the Cincinnati Gazette and acquired a technical knowledge of the work during a two-years' apprenticeship. Subsequently, at the age of twenty, he became city and commercial editor of the Louisville (Ky.) Daily Courier. In 1848 he went to New Orleans on business connected with his father's estate, making the trip down the river on flatboats. In 1849 he was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Cincinnati, but the following year he went to the California gold fields, where he spent over a year at hard labor in the mines on the North Fork and Middle Fork of the American river at Grass Valley, and in the vicinity of Nevada.

In 1852 Mr. Bickham represented El Dorado county as a delegate in the first whig convention held in California.  He settled in San Francisco and there obtained a place in the customs service, and was actively engaged in politics for some time.  Later he was employed as city editor of the San Francisco Picayune, then as editor and proprietor of the San Francisco Evening Journal, and then as city editor of the San Francisco Evening Times and the Morning Ledger.   In April, 1854, Mr. Bickham returned home, after an absence of four years, without money, and, for want of some better employment, accepted a position as brakeman on the morning express train of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton railroad between Cincinnati and Dayton. Within a few weeks he was promoted to baggage-master. Later he took a position as traveling correspondent and agent of the Cincinnati Daily Columbian. Next he was engaged on the city staff of the Cincinnati Evening Times, and a few months later became traveling correspondent for that paper, and while correspondent in the legislature, early in 1856, accepted the position of city editor of the Cincinnati Commercial, remaining in that office as city editor, and in Washington and Columbus as general correspondent, until the beginning of the late war.  He was then assigned to duty as war correspondent of the Commercial with the army of West Virginia, being also appointed volunteer aid-de-camp on the staff of Gen. Rosecrans, with the rank of captain, in which capacity he discharged all the duties of an officer of his rank.

After the battle of Carnifax Ferry, Maj. Bickham was transferred to other military fields, being war correspondent with the army of the Potomac until after the seven days' battles on the Chickahominy and at Malvern Hill; then in Kentucky until the Cumberland Gap expedition, afterward in Mississippi, and finally with the army of the Cumberland, ending with the occupation of Murfreesboro, when Gen. Rosecrans conferred upon him the title of major for services in that engagement as aid-de-camp. In May, 1863, immediately after the destruction of the Dayton Journal office, Maj. Bickham was asked to take control of the newspaper field in Dayton, and immediately came to this city, where he continued to reside and to conduct the above newspaper until his death, which occurred March 27, 1894.

In 1855 Maj. Bickham was married to Miss Maria Strickle, of Wilmington, Ohio, who, with the following children, survives him: William, Abe S., Daniel D. and Charles G.

Maj. Bickham attained high reputation and a wide influence as a newspaper man. As an editor for many years of the leading republican paper in this section of Ohio, he became noted for the vigor, aggressiveness and strength of his editorial utterances. He was prominent as a leader in his party and always active in the management of its county and also its state organization.


CAPT. FRANCIS M. BILLINGS, [pages 404-406] one of Ohio's gallant ex-soldiers, and now proprietor of the Hotel Knecht, Nos. 24 and 26 East Second street, Dayton, was born in Wayne township, Montgomery county, Ohio, April 21, 1844, and is a son of Thompson and Sarah (Wyatt) Billings, the former a descendant of one of the oldest of New England families, of whom mention will again be made at the close of this memoir.

Thompson Billings was a native of North Carolina, and his wife of east Tennessee. Immediately after their marriage in Rutledge, Grainger county, Tenn., they came to Ohio and settled on a farm in Wayne township, Montgomery county, where the father died of cholera, in 1852, having sacrificed his life through his attendance upon a neighbor's family who were suffering from the same fell malady. His widow died in Piqua, Miami county, Ohio, at the age of sixty-eight years, and of the eleven children born to their marriage George is a carpenter and stair-builder and resides in Piqua; Emily is the widow of Lewis Rain and lives in Kansas City, Mo.; Jasper, formerly of Dayton, is a bricklayer of Toledo; Calvin is a wagon hub manufacturer, of Paulding Center, Ohio, and was a three-years' soldier in the Fifty-second Ohio volunteer infantry; John served three years in the Nineteenth Illinois infantry, in which he was quartermaster-sergeant, and is now living in retirement in Richmond, Ill.; Samuel served as lieutenant in the Forty-fourth Ohio infantry, afterward recruited a company for the One Hundred and Tenth, of which he was captain, and is now living in retirement in Wichita, Kans.; Angelina and Susannah are deceased; Francis M. is the subject of this memoir; David was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga and died the day he was brought home; and Elizabeth died the wife of Hon. W. W. Rumsey, of Terre Haute, Ind.

Francis Marion Billings, at the death of his father, was bound over to a neighbor, who treated him with great severity. At the end of two years of this life of misery an elder brother called the attention of a prominent attorney of Dayton, Wilbur Conover, to the case, and this gentleman, becoming interested, soon secured the liberation of the boy from his bondage. After this Francis lived with various families in Montgomery county until he had attained the age of seventeen years, when, on August 5, 1861, he enlisted in company C, Forty-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, under Capt. W. W. Woodward.  He veteranized January 5, 1864, and was transferred to company C, Eighth Ohio volunteer cavalry, in which he served until July 29, 1865, when he was mustered out as lieutenant, commanding his company.  His entire service covered a period of forty-seven months, and some of the actions in which he was engaged during this long period may here be enumerated.

He fought at Lewisburg, Va., where one of Montgomery's most honored soldiers, George B. Crook, won the star of general; he was engaged in numerous fights and skirmishes in the mountains of West Virginia during the summer of 1862, until driven out of the Kanawha valley by the rebels; participated in the battles of Fayetteville and Charlestown, W. Va., followed the rebel, Gen. Kirby Smith, in a running fight of 150 miles through Kentucky, and in the summer of 1863 fought at Dutton Hill, Lancaster, Mount Vernon, Richmond, Crab Orchard, Loudoun and Barboursville; was next on the raid with Gen. Saunders through eastern Tennessee, destroying railroads from Maiden to Greenville, making a demonstration against Knoxville, and destroying the railroad bridge at Strawberry Plains.   The troops then fought back to Kentucky, crossing the Cumberland mountains at a point where possibly no human being ever before had placed foot, and losing three-fifths of their horses in the ascent. Capt. Billings' next service was with Burnside in the east Tennessee expedition; he was present at the surrender of Cumberland Gap; participated in the siege of Knoxville; took part in the battle of Rutledge, which was fought on his grandparents' farm, and was then assigned or detailed to the recruiting service.

As recruiting officer, Capt. Billings spent forty days in Dayton and enlisted 117 men, of whom twenty-one were transferred to other companies.  On the reorganization of the regiment, the captain immediately joined the forces under Gen. Hunter in the advance upon Lynchburg, Va. He fought at Staunton; was at the capture of Lexington; was in the battle at Lynchburg, where he commanded the advance guard, took part, on the following day, in the general engagement and was in the rear guard on the retreat; led his men in the battle of Liberty, where he lost forty per cent of his command; next was in Sheridan's campaign through the Shenandoah valley, and was finally mustered out at Clarksburg, W. Va., and returned to Dayton.

March 5, 1865, while at home on furlough, Capt. Billings married Miss Mary B. Swain, a native of Dayton, a daughter of Josiah A. Swain, and a niece of Judge Charles G. Swain. This happy marriage has been blessed with seven children, viz:  Alice Maud, Katie Hale, Mamie S., Charles W. D., Carrie B,, Thomas B. and Nannie. Of these, Carrie B. is the wife of William Brandt, a resident of Dayton; the others are all still under the parental roof. After his return from the war, Capt. Billings was employed as a salesman and an interior decorator until 1894, when he embarked in his present enterprise as proprietor of the Hotel Knecht.   The captain is a member of Dister post, No. 446, G. A. R., of encampment No. 145, U. V. L., and is a Knight of Pythias. Politically, he has been a life-long republican, and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.

The Billings family, as intimated at the opening of this biography, have been represented in America ever since the landing of the Mayflower—the youngster named Billingsley, who fired the ship while the men were away hunting, being the founder of the American branch of the family.  The Swain family also descends from an early New England ancestry, Mrs. Billings being a direct descendant of Sir John Swain, the original purchaser of Nantucket Island, off the coast of Massachusetts.


JOHN BLUM, [pages 406-408] manager of the Reformed Publishing company, Dayton, Ohio, is a native of Canton, Ohio; and was born March 3, 1842, a son of John F. and Barbara (Weber) Blum, natives of Rhenish Bavaria. The father was a shoemaker by trade, was first married in his native country, and came to America in 1835. He located in Canton, Ohio, where he worked at his trade for many years, his first wife dying here in 1853, at the age of forty-five years, his own death occurring in 1877, at the age of sixty-seven years. To the first marriage of John F. Blum there were born nine children, John, the subject, being fourth in order of birth, and five of the family are still living; to the second marriage of Mr. Blum were born eight children, of whom but two survive.

John Blum, whose name opens this biographical memoir, was educated in the public schools of his native city, and in 1857 there began learning the printer's trade; in this he was engaged up to the time of his enlistment, September 19, 1861, in company I, Nineteenth Ohio volunteer infantry. His brother, Frederick, also enlisted in the same company, sustained a disabling wound at the battle of Lovejoy's Station, in September, 1864, and was in consequence honorably discharged. He is now conducting a drug store in Canton. The Nineteenth Ohio was first assigned to Gen. 0. M. Mitchell's division at Louisville, Ky., but remained there one month only. The winter of 1861-2 was spent in Columbia, Ky., until January of the latter year, when the regiment went down the Cumberland river to cut off the rebel general, Zollicoffer, in his retreat from Mill Spring to Nashville, Tenn., and thus resulted in the battle of Mill Spring, in which Zollicoffer was killed. The Nineteenth, a part of Gen. Boyle's brigade, was afterward concentrated with Maj.-Gen. Buell's army at Nashville,

At Bowling Green, Ky., Mr. Blum was prostrated by sickness and was thus prevented from sharing in the battle of Shiloh, this being the only important engagement he missed among all those in which his regiment took part. He rejoined his command, however, on the battle field of Shiloh, April 27, 1862, took part in Corinth, and in all the skirmishes and battles eastward through Mississippi and Alabama, to Battle Creek, near Chattanooga, Tenn., thence followed Bragg through Tennessee and Kentucky, cutting him off and bringing on the battle of Perryville, Ky., after which battle Buell was succeeded in his command by Rosecrans. The troops then moved on to Nashville and found Bragg between that city and Murfreesboro, the battle of Stone River being the immediate result. The six months following this were spent in fortifying Murfreesboro, and then the forces moved out on the Tullahoma campaign in June, 1863, Bragg retreating to Chattanooga. The next important battle was fought at Chickamauga, September 19 and 20, 1863, and after this desperate conflict Gen. Thomas succeeded Rosecrans.  The siege of Chattanooga followed, and here the Union forces were penned in from September 22 until November 23, 1863, most of the time living on quarter rations and suffering great privations. Orchard Knob, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge followed, and then the army moved on a forced march to the relief of Gen. Burnside, who was besieged at Knoxville; the next movement was to Flat Creek, where the entire regiment re-enlisted, to " see the end," and were permitted to go home on veteran furlough for thirty days.

Mr. Blum rejoined the army at Knoxville, and thence marched 150 miles to McDonald's Station, in Tennessee, where the troops were being concentrated for the Atlanta campaign. In this campaign Mr. Blum shared in every engagement in which his regiment took part, excepting Resaca (May 14-15, 1864), and after the fall of Atlanta, September 2, 1864, he returned with the army of the Cumberland to look after Hood in Tennessee, the two days' fight at Nashville being the result, together with the annihilation of Hood's army by Gen. Thomas.   Mr. Blum then spent two months in Huntsville, Ala., in the winter of 1864-5, went into east Tennessee, and to Greenville and Jonesboro, where his brigade served as provost guards; thence to Nashville, whence, on June 15, 1865, they started for Texas, via the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi rivers, with a view of relieving the people of their troubles with Maximilian, and marched nearly across the state in the heat of July and August. At San Antonio Mr. Blum served in the paymaster's department under Capt. Kelly for a short time, was then ordered to return to his regiment, which marched to Alleyton, a third of the width of the state, went by rail to Galveston, thence to New Orleans by steamer, thence by river to Cairo, and thence in box-cars to Columbus, and was mustered out November 25, 1865. After a long rest at Mount Union, Ohio, recuperating his shattered health, Mr. Blum returned to Canton, where for several years he was employed as foreman of the Stark County Republican— afterward consolidated with the Canton Repository.  Quitting this employment in March, 1882, he came to Dayton and assisted in the organization of the Reformed Publishing company, with which he has since been connected as a member of the firm and as the manager of the mechanical department.

The marriage of Mr. Blum took place February 19, 1864, while he was at home on veteran furlough, to Miss Lucy A. Miller, a native of Mount Union, Stark county, Ohio. To this marriage have been born five children, viz: Olive J., who died in infancy; William A., who is an architect by profession, but is now connected with the Reformed Publishing company, is married to Miss Sallie J. Prugh, and is the father of one child, Harold P.; Orrin, who also died in infancy; Frank W., who is foreman of the Reformed Publishing company's press room, and is married to Miss Jennie Mowrer; and Albertus Owen, who is a compositor, under his father.

Mr. Blum is a member of St. John's lodge, No. 13, F. & A. M., and of Old Guard post, No. 23, G. A. R. He and al) the family are members of Trinity Reformed church, and politically he is a republican, but has never sought nor held official position.  He is, nevertheless, a wide-awake, progressive and public-spirited citizen, ready at all times substantially to aid any project designed for the public good, and socially holds the esteem of all with whom he comes in contact.


LOUIS H. POOCK, [pages 408-411] one of the leading  German citizens of Dayton, and who has for many years been closely identified with the financial history of the city, is a native of Germany, and was born on March 19, 1839, at Wahrendahl, amt Hamein, Hanover. He is the son of Frederick Ludwig and Fredericka (Katz) Poock, both natives of Hanover. The father was a carpenter and inspector of buildings in the old country. His death occurred in 1842, and, in 1854, his widow and three sons came to America, two sons and one daughter having previously emigrated. Mrs. Poock came direct to Dayton, and here resided until her death, which occurred in March,1873.

Louis H. Poock was but three years of age when his father died, and but fifteen years old when he came to the United States. He received his education in the schools of his native country, but did not learn a trade. Upon the arrival of the family in Dayton he worked for some time at any thing he could find to do, and subsequently entered the factory of Blanchard & Brown as an apprentice, but in the winter of 1857 he met with an accident, crippling his left hand in so serious a manner as to unfit him for manual labor. This accident changed the whole course of his life, and gave to Dayton a clear-headed financier of ability, instead probably of a good mechanic. While suffering from his wound he resumed his studies, attending the city public schools and high school in order to acquire a better knowledge of the English language, and followed this up with a thorough course in Greer's Commercial college.

Upon leaving the commercial college he filled for a time a position as deputy in the county auditor's office, and next became book-keeper in the counting-room of the Dayton Empire newspaper establishment.  In September, 1862, he was appointed teacher of German in the Fifth district school, which position he held for seven years.  He then was appointed instructor of German in the Sixth district school and there taught for six years; while thus engaged he also organized a night school, teaching a number of young men who came to his house in winter evenings, and later taught in the public night school in the Pacific engine house, which served at that time as a school-room in the Fifth district. He resigned his position in the public schools in December, 1874, and subsequently engaged for about one year in business with one of his brothers, they operating what was then known as the Stone mills, now the Banner mills.

In January, 1868, Mr. Poock was elected secretary of the Dayton Building association, No, 1, the first institution of the kind established in the city. This position he held until the association wound up its affairs in August, 1873.  In January, 1869, he was elected secretary of the Concordia Building & Loan association, holding the position until April, 1875, when the corporation liquidated and wound up its affairs. In April, 1873, he, with others, organized the Germania Building association on the permanent plan, and of this association he was made secretary and treasurer, and was made general manager in January, 1895. This position he resigned on July 23, 1890.  In April, 1875, Mr. Poock was elected a member of the Dayton board of education, was re-elected in April, 1878, and chosen vice-president of the board in 1879. He was next appointed deputy treasurer by County Treasurer H. H. Laubach, holding that position for five years under that gentleman and for four years under his successor, Stephen J. Allen. In the fall of 1883 he was himself elected county treasurer, and was re-elected in 1885, serving two terms and going out of office in September, 1888.

In February, 1883, Mr. Poock became connected with the Dayton Savings bank as a stockholder, and director, and on January 7, 1885, he was elected president of the bank. He continued as president until the Spring of 1889, when the affairs of the bank were wound up. The same year, he, with others, established the Teutonia National bank, of which he was elected cashier, March 29, 1889.

Mr. Poock is a member of several beneficiary associations as well as of various social, musical and military societies.  He served as secretary and treasurer of the German Evangelical 'Lutheran Saint Paul's society for a number of years and is at present its treasurer. Mr. Poock is a trustee and the treasurer of the German American Central league.   He served for a number of years as trustee and treasurer of the Deaconess hospital, resigning in the fall of 1895, but his resignation was not accepted until the close of the year.

On March 26, 1862, Mr., Poock was married to Minnie, the daughter of Frederick Lucking, of Dayton. To the union thirteen children have been born, six of whom are living: Ida D., Bertha C., Oscar M., Minnie M., Ella A., and Anna F., all of whom are living at home except Ida D., who is the wife of Dr. George L. Ahlers, of Allegheny City, Pa. Oscar M. is now in the Teutonia National bank and Bertha C. is stenographer in the Germania Building association.


DANIEL BOONE, [pages 411-412] manufacturer of pumps, Dayton, Ohio, is a native of this city and was born October 21, 1847, a son of Daniel and Susan (Repp) Boone.

Daniel Boone, the father, was born in Front Royal, Ya., in 1819, is a near relative of the famous Kentucky frontiersman of the same name, and is now living near Troy, Miami county, Ohio. Susan Repp was a native of Dayton, was here married to Mr. Boone in 1841, and died in 1894. Of the five children born to Mr. and Mrs. Boone, Albert, the eldest, is a railroad contractor at Zanesville, where he constructed the "belt" line, also building a similar line at Knoxville, Tenn.; Daniel is the second child; the third is John, a business man of Troy, Ohio; Dr. Alonzo, the fourth child, is a practicing physician in Harrisburg, Ohio, and Mrs. Alma Black, the youngest child, is the wife of one of Dayton's best known druggists. Of the four brothers, all but one served in the late Civil war. The three who enlisted did so when quite young—one at the age of fifteen years, and two when seventeen years old. Albert, the eldest, entered the army at the beginning of the war, and for meritorious conduct and gallantry in the field, was advanced to the rank of colonel.

Daniel Boone, whose name opens this memoir, learned his trade from his father, who was also a pumpmaker.   When seventeen years of age, he enlisted in company K, One Hundred and Eighty-ninth Ohio volunteer infantry, and served from January, 1865, until October of the same year, when he was honorably discharged, the war having been brought to an end. He was stationed at Huntsville, Ala., took part in several skirmishes, but was in no general engagement.   In 1868, Mr. Boone went to Tennessee, where he was employed by his elder brother, Col. Albert Boone, in the lumber trade until the spring of 1869, and in the fall of 1868 he cast his first presidential vote for U. S. Grant.  Returning to Dayton in the fall of 1869, he opened a shop at the corner of First and Madison streets for the manufacture of pumps, etc., and occupied the premises for nearly thirteen years.  For about two years thereafter he carried on the same business on Water street, and then, in 1883, established his plant at his present location, No. 312 South Wayne avenue.  Here he gives employment to an average of four men in driving-wells and manufacturing pumps, etc., and enjoys a lucrative trade.

In 1872 Mr. Boone married Miss Josephine Andrews, a native of Greene county, Ohio, and daughter of Frank Andrews, a mill owner and operator. To this marriage have been born seven children, in the following order: Luella May, Daniel, Jr., Albert E., Gracie, Harry C., Susan and Josephine.  Of these Miss Luella May is a teacher in the Dayton schools, Daniel, Jr., is a stenographer in the office of the National Cash Register company, and the others are attending school.

Mr. Boone is a member of Old Guard post, No. 23, Grand Army of the Republic, and also of the Knights of Pythias, Ancient Order of United Workmen and the American Union. The church relations of the family are with the United Brethren, and they hold membership with the High street mission. In politics Mr. Boone has been a republican since his first vote. He and his family enjoy the warm friendship of their neighbors, and Mr. Boone has an excellent reputation, both in private life and as a business man of the strictest integrity.


JOHN W. BOREN, [pages 412-413] contractor and  builder, is a native of Dayton, Ohio, born on the 25th day of January, 1852. His father, Wesley Boren, was born in Jonesboro, Tenn., about the year 1816, and became a resident of Dayton in 1832, where for many years he was a leading manufacturer of brick and a builder.  He retired from active life after acquiring a competence, and is still living in the city of his adoption. Lydia E. Coblentz, wife of Wesley Boren, was born in 1814, in Frederick, Md., and is passing the remaining years of her life at her home in Dayton.  She is the mother of five sons and three daughters, John W. being the only son living, the others having died in infancy; the daughters are Amanda, wife of William H. Pritz, superintendent of the Stoddard Manufacturing company, of Dayton; Mary, wife of George W. Folkerth, also a resident of Dayton; and Alice, who is under, the parental roof.

After receiving a practical English education in the public schools of Dayton, which he attended for some time during both day and evening sessions, John W. Boren, at the age of sixteen, entered upon an apprenticeship under his father to learn the trade of brick laying, in which he soon acquired much more than ordinary proficiency. He has followed his chosen calling all his life, not as a layer of brick merely, but as a contractor upon a large scale, having contracted for and personally superintended the erection of many of the largest public buildings in Dayton and other cities, beside numerous private residences here and elsewhere. Among the structures built by Mr. Boren are the city building and market house, the Montgomery county court house, St. Elizabeth's hospital, Fourth National bank, the Callahan bank building and many others, beside large contracts at the national soldiers' home.  Mr. Boren is a very competent builder and a careful calculator, and has met with financial success most encouraging during his business career in Dayton.  He gives steady employment to from ten to twenty workmen, and, at this writing (1896), is engaged on the Ridgway apartment house, Fifth street and Boulevard, a building /ox 162 feet, two stories in height, designed for residence flats, to cost $25,000.  In addition to his business of contracting, Mr. Boren, as already stated, is quite extensively engaged in the manufacture of brick just outside the city limits, employing about twenty-five men during the season; the output of his yards is common building brick, and what he himself does not use is chiefly sold in the city.

Mr. Boren was married in 1876 to Miss Addie L. Emerick, a native of Winchester, Ohio, but who, at the time of her marriage, was residing with her parents in Dayton. Mrs. Boren is a daughter of Andrew and Catherine Emerick, both natives of Ohio, and has borne her husband four children, namely: Walter E., Wesley, Helen C. and Frank G. Politically Mr. Boren is a supporter of the republican party; fraternally he belongs to the I. 0. 0. F., Wayne lodge, No. 210, of Dayton.  He is active in church work, belonging to the Saint Paul's Methodist Episcopal congregation, of which he has been a trustee ever since its organization; his wife and family are also members of the same church.


EDMOND E. BOHEENDER, M. D., [pages 413-414] one of the promising young physicians and surgeons of Dayton, is a native of Montgomery county, Ohio, and was born March 14, 1868, a son of Peter and Anna B. (Elmore) Bohlender, now residents of Miami county, where they settled in the spring of 1881.

Peter Bohlender was born near Strasbourg, Germany, and when ten years of age was brought to America by his parents, who settled on a farm north of Dayton. The boy, Peter, however, went to Cincinnati, where he worked in a tobacco house one winter, when he returned to Dayton and entered the employ of the Heikes nursery, with which he remained for about thirteen or fourteen years, becoming a thorough horticulturist and nurseryman. He saved a large part of his earnings, at the same time supporting his aged parents, and at the age of twenty-five years married Anna B. Elmore. At this time, also, he associated himself with others in the nursery business, but shortly afterward sold his interest in the firm, continuing in its employ for one year as overseer.  He then purchased an eighty-acre tract of land northwest of Dayton, where he continued his business as nurseryman, and on March 28, 1868, engrafted the first wild-goose plum in this part of the country. For several years later he was a partner of W. H. Smithman, in the same business, at the end of which connection he sold his land and purchased a farm at the junction of Dogleg and Fredericksburg pikes. Two years later he sold out and bought a. place six miles north of Dayton, on the Covington pike, where he resided for seven years and was active in the affairs of the nursery firm of Bohlender & Quimby. Upon the dissolution of this partnership, Mr. Bohlender purchased eighty acres ten miles north of Dayton, on the old Troy pike, in Miami county, to which, two years later, he added ten acres, where he still continues the industry of fruit raising, in which he has won a widespread and well deserved reputation. Beside his home horticultural interests, Mr. Bohlender is a stockholder in and director of the Albaugh Nursery & Orchard company of Dayton and Tadnor, and is also largely interested in Georgia fruit and land companies.

To the marriage of Peter and Anna B. (Elmore) Bohlender have been born six children, viz: Thomas L., overseer of Bidwell's nursery, at Chico, and commissioner of horticulture, Butte county, Cal.; Dr. Edmond E.; Howard J., a jeweler of Osborn, Ohio; William Fletcher, in the nursery business with his father; and S. Lyvirgie and Iva at home with their parents.

Dr. Edmond E. Bohlender, having fully prepared himself in the public and high schools of Miami county, passed six months in the Ada normal college, and then entered the office of Dr. Bohlender of Cincinnati, studied medicine under his preceptorship for one year and next placed himself under the tuition of Dr. W. J. Thomson of. Union, Montgomery county.  Following his course of instruction under this able physician, he entered the Ohio Medical college at Cincinnati, from which he graduated in 1894.  He also took a special course in ophthalmic treatment, and after practicing for six months in Piqua, Ohio, finally located, February 1, 1895, in Dayton, at the old stand of Dr. Albaugh, now deceased, and where he has already achieved a deserved success in the practice of his profession.

Dr. Bohlender was united in marriage, February 21, 1895, with Miss Clara B. Dinsmore, daughter of William Dinsmore, of Bethel township,  Miami county, Ohio, by whom he has one child, William Elmore, born September 25, 1896.  Since his settlement in Dayton Dr. Bohlender has won a host of friends both in his social relations, and in his professional practice.


COL. JOHN BOTHAST, [pages 414-415] of No. 520 Richard street, Dayton, Ohio, is a native of this city and was born October 22, 1845. He was fairly educated in the public schools, and when about fifteen years of age enlisted in company B, Second battalion, Eighteenth United States infantry, but, in order to secure enrollment in this service, it was necessary to overstate his age, and consequently the records show him to have been nineteen years old. His was the first regiment to occupy Camp Thomas, at Columbus, Ohio, at which point it remained about three months, guarding the Ohio penitentiary, Mr. Bothast being posted at the main entrance. From Columbus the regiment was ordered to Kentucky, where it took part in the battle of Mill Spring, in the fall of 1861, soon after which Mr. Bothast was taken sick and was sent to hospital at Lebanon, Ky., where his disease, typhoid fever, came very near proving fatal, and he attributes his convalescence wholly to the tender care and skillful nursing of the Sisters of Charity. May 9, 1862, he was discharged from the service by reason of disability, and on returning to Dayton was some months under treatment in this city. October 28, 1863, Mr. Bothast enlisted in company I, Sixty-first Ohio volunteer infantry, and now his actual war service began. He was assigned to the Eleventh army corps, which afterward was merged into the Twentieth. He was in the army of the Potomac until the transfer of Gen. Joe Hooker to the southwest, his first engagements under this enlistment being at Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, the top of the mountain being scaled by the Sixty-first Ohio. Mr. Bothast was also all through the Atlanta campaign, taking part in the battles of Buzzard Roost, Kingston (Ga.), Resaca, Dallas, Ringgold, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, and the siege of Atlanta. At the latter point Mr. Bothast was left on garrison duty while Sherman returned with his army to confront Hood at Nashville.  In the spring of 1864, Mr. Bothast took up the line of march under Sherman for Savannah, Ga., and thence on to Washington, D. C., the last fight taking place at Bentonville, N. C. Passing through Richmond, Va., the regiment reached the capital city, and, after taking part in the grand review in May, 1865, was then sent to Louisville, Ky., and was there mustered out July 29, 1865, after nearly four years' service.

On returning to Dayton, Col. Bothast engaged in the manufacture of horse-collars, which has been his principal business since the close of the war, although he receives a fair pension from the government, in recognition of the disabilities he sustained while in the service.

The marriage of Col. Bothast took place in Dayton, May 14, 1868, to Miss Anna Adams, a native of Germany, but a resident of Dayton since two years of age. Five children have been born to this happy marriage, of whom John died in early infancy; Ida Christina is the wife of Albert Tiffany, a machinist, residing in Dayton; Frederick Lewis and Catherine are still under the parental roof, and Tillie died in her twelfth year.

Col. Bothast is very active in ex-soldier organizations. He is a member of Old Guard post, No. 23, G. A. R,, and of John A. Logan command, No. 7, Union Veteran Union, of which he is the present colonel. The conditions on which membership in the association is based are enlistment, actual participation in battle and honorable discharge from the army or navy. Col. Bothast is also a prominent1 member of the order known as the Knights of Honor. In his politics Col. Bothast is an uncompromising republican. In matters religious, he and his wife are ardent and consistent members of the Baptist church. Col. Bothast was one of the original volunteer firemen of Dayton, having been for six years a member of Independent company, No. 1.


DANIEL G. BREIDENBACH [pages 415-416] is a native of Germany, and was born July 6, 1826. When twenty years old he determined to seek his fortune in America, and on May 13, 1846, landed at Philadelphia. After remaining two months in that city, he came to Dayton and engaged in the trade of shoemaking, afterward opening a retail shoe store, in which business he continued and was well known for many years. In June, 1848, in Dayton, he was married to Miss Anna E. Trieschman, a native of Germany, and to them were born eleven children, as follows: Elias, prominently known in Dayton as the president of the Trades & Labor assembly; Conrad, an organ builder of Piqua, Ohio; Catherine, wife of J. W. Fonts, of Eaton, Ohio; Mary, who married Lawrence Kirschner, and died in March, 1894; J. W., a printer, of Dayton; Emma (Mrs. P. M. Weaver), of Dayton; C. H.; Anna (Mrs. Samuel Monneman), of Dayton, and three who died in infancy. Mr. Breidenbach served his adopted country in the Civil war, enlisting in the One Hundred and Thirty-first Ohio volunteer infantry, for the hundred days' service, and being stationed at Baltimore. Politically he is a democrat, and was a member of the Dayton board of education from 1875 to 1881. He has served as assessor of his ward since 1883, a period of fourteen years. He is a member of the G. A. R. and a charter member of the German Pioneer society. His wife died in 1892. They were both members of the German Evangelical association, with which Mr. Breidenbach is still prominently identified. A host has risen up to bless his latter days, he having twenty-six living grandchildren.

C. H. Breidenbach, the youngest son, is one of Dayton's best known and most enterprising young business men. He was educated in the excellent public schools of his native city, served an apprenticeship in the drug business under Dr. J. C. Reeve, Jr., and graduated from the Philadelphia college of pharmacy in 1888. He is at present pursuing the study of medicine at the Miami Medical college of Cincinnati, from which institution he will graduate in April, 1898, when he expects to abandon the drug business for the practice of medicine and chemistry.  In 1890 he established his present prosperous business at the corner of Fifth and Jefferson streets.  He is recognized as one of the most efficient chemists in this section of the state, and is not infrequently called upon as an expert scientific witness, to give the courts the benefit of his extensive research,

On April 3, 1893, Mr. Breidenbach was married to Miss Anna Danner, a favorite teacher in the Fifth District school, in which capacity she served most acceptably for seven years. She is the daughter of George Danner, of Dayton. One child, Isabel, has been born to this union. Both Mr. and Mrs. Breidenbach are members of the Miami street Lutheran church, and he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, of the Knights of Pythias, and of the P. 0. S. of A. He is an ardent republican and takes an active part in local politics.


LUTHER MORAL BRYANT, [pages 416-417] superintendent of the Montgomery county infirmary, is a native of Portland, Me., born March 22, 1850.  His father, William Bryant, was a native of Maine, of English and Scotch parentage, and a cousin of William Cullen Bryant. His wife, Elizabeth Bates, was a daughter of a sea captain, and of Scotch descent. William Bryant and his family removed from Portland, Me., to Urbana, Ohio, in 1853, and to Dayton, Ohio, in the fall of 1858.  In the fall of 1861 Mr. Bryant enlisted in company H, Fourth Ohio cavalry, in which he served about one year, when he was discharged from the service on account of having broken his ankle. In 1864 he re-entered the service, as a member of the Second Ohio heavy artillery, and in this organization served until the close of the war. He then returned to Dayton, and resided there until the fall of 1869, when he removed to Brookville, Montgomery county, Ohio, but returned to Dayton in 1872 and there died in 1875. His widow still resides in Dayton.

William Bryant and his wife were the parents of eight children, five of whom are still living, three of these being triplets. The triplets are Luther Moral, Laraby and Mrs. Henry Showalter, all of Dayton. The other children living are Mrs. Helen M. Reiszer, a teacher in the public schools of Dayton, and Mrs. Henry Gillespie, now of North Baltimore, Ohio.  The latter was a teacher in the Dayton public schools for twenty-two years, was for five years assistant principal and was offered the position of principal, which she declined.

Luther Moral Bryant was reared principally in Dayton, and was educated there in the public schools. On account of his father having enlisted in the army he was compelled to leave school at an early age and to contribute his share to the support of the family and to the education of the other children. One year was spent in learning the molder's trade, and ten years at the cooper's trade. From the end of this time to 1894 he was engaged in farming, and was then appointed superintendent of the Montgomery county infirmary, was re-appointed in 1895 and again in January, 1896. This responsible position he has filled with general satisfaction, not only to the inmates but also to the people at large.

Mr. Bryant was married in 1870 to Minerva Baker, who was born in Clay township, Montgomery county, in 1855. She is a daughter of Benjamin Baker, who was born in the same township in 1810, his father, Michael Baker, having come from Pennsylvania to Ohio and settled in Montgomery county in the beginning of the century. It was his intention to locate where Dayton now stands, but by reason of the swampy character of the land he changed his plans and settled in Clay township. The mother of Mrs. Bryant was Frances Neiswonger, who was born in Clay township, Montgomery county, Ohio, her parents having been natives of Virginia. Both are now deceased, the mother dying April n, 1890, and the father in March, 1891, the former in her seventy-seventh year, the latter in his seventy-eighth.

Mrs. Bryant received a common-school education and now holds the position of matron of the infirmary, taking great interest in the work. At the convention of the infirmary officials and superintendents, held at Columbus, Ohio, in January, 1896, Mrs. Bryant read a paper on the Matron in the Infirmary, which received marked expressions of approval. To Mr. and Mrs. Bryant there have been born three sons, as follows: Scott Elliott, who died September 30, 1895, in his twenty-fourth year; Forest Baker, nineteen years old, and a graduate of Brookville high school, and now attending college, and William Benjamin. Mr. and Mrs. Bryant have been members of the United Brethren church for nineteen years, and Mr. Bryant is a member of the Garfield club, which is a sufficient indication of his politics.


EDWIN F. BURKERT, M. D., [pages 417-418] of Dayton, traces his lineage back to German origin.  He is a native of the old Keystone state, having been born at Rebersburg, Pa., on the 27th of February, 1856, the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Burkert, the former of whom was a cabinet-maker by trade. In the Burkert family there were eleven children, as follows: George died while in the service during the late war of the rebellion; Rev. Cyrus J. is presiding elder of the Miami conference of the United Brethren church, Cincinnati district, and maintains his home at Germantown, Montgomery county; Milton is a resident of Germantown; John C. resides at Oskaloosa, Kan., being probate judge of Jefferson county; Emma is the wife of George B. Haines, of Pennsylvania; Effinger is deceased, as is also Charles; Edwin F. is the immediate subject of this review; Clayton is a resident of Valley Falls, and two children died in infancy. The parents were consistent and devoted members of the German Reformed church, being industrious, intelligent and God-fearing people, who ordered their lives according to the highest principles.

Edwin F. Burkert pursued his studies in the district and subscription schools of his native state, and after thus acquiring a fundamental education he entered the normal college in his native county, and there completed two distinct courses, after which he put his acquirements to practical test by engaging in school-teaching for two terms in Pennsylvania.  He then came west, in 1874, and located at Germantown, Ohio, where he attended the Twin Valley college, later supplementing this discipline by a course of study in the Southwestern Ohio normal school, thus thoroughly fortifying himself for successful pedagogic labors. He thereafter devoted his attention to teaching for the period of six years.  During the last three years of his school work he had devoted his leisure to the reading of medicine, having determined to adopt that profession as his vocation in life.  His preceptor was Dr. J. W. Cline, now of Dayton, and under his effective direction Mr. Burkert continued his studies for some time, after which he entered the Ohio Medical college, at Cincinnati, where he graduated as a member of the class of 1884. He began the practice of his profession in Trenton, Butler county, Ohio, where he remained for a time, after which he located at Collinsville, where he was in successful practice for three years.  He then came to Dayton, in the year 1887, and has since been established in practice here, his thorough learning in his profession and his devotion and industry in its pursuit having gained for him the respect and confidence of the public and a full measure of professional success.

In the year 1878 the doctor was united in marriage to Miss Anna M. Carney, daughter of A, D. Carney, who is a well-known resident in the vicinity of Sunbury, Delaware county, this state. They became the parents of three children: Bertie C., Stanley L., and Edna, the last named being deceased. Dr. and Mrs. Burkert are consistent members of the United Brethren church.


ALBERT H. POOCK, [page 418] deceased, was one of the most popular and promising of Dayton's young business men. He was born in Dayton, June 27, 1863, and was the eldest son of Louis H. Poock, one of Dayton's leading citizens, of whom a biographical sketch appears above. Albert H. Poock was reared and educated in Dayton. He was assistant cashier of the Dayton Savings bank, of which institution his father was president. He held the position of secretary of the New Franklin Building association, and was also identified with the Germania Building association. He was a member of the uniform rank. Knights of Pythias, of the Dayton Gymnastic club, of the German Lutheran Saint Paul's Beneficiary society, and of several musical clubs, in all of which he was prominent and active. His untimely death occurred on January 13, 1889.

He was a young man of more than ordinary ability and of fine traits of character, which, had he been permitted to live to develop them, would have made him a useful and valuable citizen.   He was peculiarly adapted to the occupations in which he was engaged during his brief business career, and would no doubt have achieved a merited success.  Of strong moral characteristics, lovable disposition, kind and generous to a fault, he was devoted to his parents and brothers and sisters, and to his large circle of warm friends.


FRANK S. BREENE, [page 418] member of the Dayton bar, was born in Dayton, Ohio, on November 20, 1860, and is a son of William G. and Margaret Breene, old and well-known citizens of Dayton. Frank S. Breene was educated in the Dayton public schools, and was graduated from the Central high school in 1879.   He read law in the office of the firm of Marshall & Gottschall, and was admitted to the bar in May, 1883. Mr. Breene has been practicing alone for a number of years, during which time he has demonstrated his talents and fitness for his chosen profession.  His success has been gratifying both to himself and to his many friends, and bids fair to grow to larger proportions in the future.


Return to "Centennial Portrait" Home Page