Header Graphic
Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 783-796 Thomas L. Steward to Nicholas Thomas

THOMAS L. STEWARD, [pages 783-785] agent of the Royal Insurance company at Dayton, Ohio, was born near Emmittsburg, Frederick county, Md., July 5, 1833, and is of Scotch-Irish descent paternally and of German descent maternally. His grandfather, John Posey Steward, married Miss Mary Beam, and was flour inspector for the port of Baltimore for many years. John Beam Steward, son of John Posey Steward and father of Thomas L., was a miller by vocation, and August 30, 1832, married Miss Ann Mary Link, Rev. David Schaeffer, of the Lutheran church, officiating. To this union were born six sons and one daughter, two in Frederick county, Md., the others in Ohio, and of this family the mother and four of the children are still living, the latter being Thomas and John, of Dayton, Ohio; D. Minor, of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Mrs. V. C. Gelwicks, of Delphi, Ohio. Thomas Link, the father of Mrs. John Beam Steward, married Miss Anna M. Fout. He was a well-to-do farmer of Maryland and a slave owner, but in his heart was opposed to holding human beings in bondage and eventually emancipated his living chattels. In politics the forefathers of Thomas L. Steward were all anti-slavery democrats, and all American patriots, some having served in the wars, and one aunt of our subject drew a pension as the result of her husband's services in the war of 1812. John B. Steward was thoroughly loyal to his native land and ever inculcated in his children the motto: "Your country, right or wrong." In the fall of 1837 he came to Ohio and settled in Lewisburg, Preble county, saying that a slave state was no place for a man who had to work with his hands. Schools in those days were taught only in winter, and the instruction given was of an elementary character; the school-buildings were far apart, and that which our subject attended was two miles from his home. In December, 1846, John B. Steward had the misfortune to fall through a hatchway in his mill, the accident resulting in his death on the fourth day of the same month.

Thomas L. Steward, being the eldest child in the family, was now called upon to aid in the support of his mother and the younger children, the estate of his father being lost through bad investments by the administrator. In 1847 a friend secured for him a situation as driver on the Miami & Erie canal at a compensation of $15 in gold per month. This proved of great aid to the mother and little ones, and later he was promoted to be steersman at $30 per month. In 1850 he began learning the trade of carriage blacksmith with a Mr. Woodmansee, on St. Clair street, Dayton, and this vocation he followed until the breaking out of the Civil war, in 1861.

August 10, 1856, Mr. Steward was married to Miss Frances A. Garber, the ceremony being performed by Rev. George W. Williard, of the First Reformed church, of Dayton. This union has resulted in the birth of two children— Carrie M., on March n, 1858, and LeRoy T., March 24, 1860. The daughter is deceased, but the son, LeRoy T., passed through the Dayton schools, and at the age of nineteen years went to Chicago, where he has risen to considerable distinction, having been president of the Marquette republican club, and being the present lieutenant-colonel and inspector of the First brigade, Illinois national guard; in fact, he has been identified with the state militia since he was sixteen years of age, and is well prepared to take part in the defense of his country should he ever be called upon for that purpose, as were his forefathers.

In politics Thomas L. Steward was at first an anti-slavery democrat, and voted for John C. Fremont, as the representative of the anti-slavery principles, for president of the United States, in 1856. In local politics he voted with the democrats, but in 1860 cast his vote for Lincoln in the presidential election. He was a member of the Washington (Dayton) light artillery, and when the call to arms was sounded at the firing on Fort Sumter, his company, of which he had been elected second lieutenant, went to Columbus and was assigned, as company A, to the Ohio volunteer militia, served four months, and was then mustered out. After working at his trade, on his return to Dayton, until July, 1862, Mr. Steward, as second lieutenant of a company of thirty men, intended to enter the regular army, but this step was opposed by the county military committee and he was assigned as second lieutenant of company I, Eleventh Ohio volunteer infantry, to serve three years. He was mustered in at Camp Dennison, August 9, 1862, joined his regiment in West Virginia, was with his company at the battle of Hoover's Gap, Tenn., and was mustered out as first lieutenant June 24, 1863, although he had commanded his company at Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge. After a leave of absence of twenty days he rejoined the army at Chattanooga, was appointed to the command of company K, and fought at Resaca, which was the last battle in which his regiment took part. After that battle Capt. Steward was taken sick and was brought, on his way home, as far as Cincinnati, flat on his back. The regiment was mustered out at Camp Dennison, June 20, 1864, and Capt. Steward was offered a lieutenant-colonelcy, but was refused the promotion by the examining surgeon, who decided him to be unfit for further active duty.

Light employment was difficult to procure, but in November, 1864, Capt. Steward secured a responsible position with the United States and American Express companies, with whom he served seven years, when he resigned on account of ill health. May 10, 1873, he was sworn in as chief of the Dayton Metropolitan police force, but resigned, and for two years was a traveling salesman for John Dodds & Co., then for ten and a half years acted in the same capacity for Greer & King, stove manufacturers. In 1887 he accepted his present position as agent for the Royal Insurance company, in which he has been very successful.

Fraternally Capt. Steward is a member of the Loyal Legion; also of Old Guard post, No. 23, Grand Army of the Republic, in which he has filled the offices of quartermaster's sergeant and trustee for two years, quartermaster two years, post commander one year, and one year inspector on the state staff for two counties. In religion he has been a member of the First Reformed church since about 1858. The captain had two brothers who served in the Eleventh Ohio volunteer infantry, one cousin in the Ninety-third, two cousins in an Ohio cavalry regiment, and one in an Illinois regiment of infantry. In longevity, the span of life of the family is somewhat beyond the ordinary, the mother of the captain being now in her eighty-eighth year, and he and his wife in their sixty-fourth. In the respect of the community none stand higher.


CAPT. JOHN R. STEWART, [pages 785-786] who holds an important official position at the national soldiers' home, is the son of Neil and Mary (Barker) Stewart, natives of Dublin, Ireland, and first saw the light of day on the 29th of June, 1844, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The father, a silversmith by trade, died when his son John was a small child, and after the mother's re-marriage, her three sons, William, Robert and John R., left the parental roof, seeking their fortunes in different parts of the country; William entered the regular army before the Civil war, and Robert went to California, where he still makes his home.

Capt. Stewart grew to manhood in his native city, where, on the i2th of April, 1861, he enlisted in what was known as the Guthrie Grays, afterward designated as the Sixth Ohio volunteer infantry, for the three months' service. He re-enlisted in the field prior to the expiration of his term of service, the regiment retaining its original organization, but his company being changed from E to A.  Nicholas S. Anderson was made colonel of this regiment, which shared the vicissitudes of war for three years under Gens. Nelson, Buell and Grant, and took part in many of the hard-fought battles of the southwestern campaigns. In the battle of Murfreesboro, 152 of its men were reported killed, wounded and missing, out of 383 men and officers engaged; a heavy loss was also sustained at Chickamauga, where 125 brave men failed to respond at roll call after the battle, Col. Anderson being among the number severely wounded. The loss at Stone River aggregated seventy-seven, of whom fifty-one, or thirteen per cent, were killed—a greater loss than that sustained by any other regiment engaged in that battle, except the Twenty-first Illinois.

Capt. Stewart was mustered out of the service June 23, 1864, and shortly thereafter engaged in railroading, accepting the position of conductor, which he filled for a period of five years. During the twelve succeeding years he was connected with the fire department of Cincinnati, in which he filled every official station, and while thus employed met with a painful injury by falling from a ladder from the fourth story of a building.  He was picked up for dead and resuscitated only after long and skillful treatment. After his recovery, he was promoted to the captaincy of another company with lighter duties, but finally, on account of his injuries, retired from the fire department, and, being unable by reason of his disabilities to engage in any active employment, he became an inmate of the national soldiers' home, where, with the exception of two years, he has held official positions of various kinds since 1886.

Capt. Stewart was a brave soldier and earned a reputation for gallantry upon fields made memorable by reason of fierce struggle and great effusion of blood.  He is proud of his record, which is indeed without a stain, as is also his official career since becoming identified with the home.

The captain takes great interest in Masonry, in which he holds high rank, having attained the thirty-second degree.  He belongs to Mystic lodge, No. 405; Dayton Unity chapter, No. 16; Reese council, No. 9, royal and select Masons; Reed commandery, No. 6, K. T., and A. A., Scottish-rite, No. 32, Cincinnati. In February, 1896, he was honored with the shriners' degree; he is a member of the Syrian temple, Cincinnati, and also belongs to the Union Veteran Legion, the G. A. R., and encampment 82, W. V. S. In religion and politics the captain is most liberal, not being bound by creed or party.


FRANK A. STETSON, [pages 786-787] telegraph operator at the national military home, near Dayton, Ohio, was born in Mattawamkeag, Penobscot county, Me., May 17, 1848, and is a son of Charles W. and Margaret Stetson, the former of whom died when Frank A. was but six years of age and the latter while he was in the Civil war. Of the six sons born to these parents, four were soldiers in the Civil war and one a sutler, or military storekeeper; all five returned, but of these, two have since died; one brother, Charles W., is a merchant in Boston, Mass., and one, Alfred, resides in Hodgedon, Me.; two sisters are still living—Mrs. George Elkins, in Chicago, Ill., and Mrs. J. M. Hilton, in Cambridge, Mass.

Frank A. Stetson received his education in Lincoln, Me., and in Holton, Me., and at the early age of fourteen years and seven months enlisted in the Seventeenth United States infantry. Sixty of his boyhood associates—most of them his own age—enlisted at the same time, and of these but eight returned, of whom two or three were musicians and for that reason were not required to enter into the thickest of the fray. Mr. Stetson's regiment was assigned to the Fifth army corps, regular division, commanded by Gen. Sykes. He joined the army at Harrison's Landing, Va., after its defeat in the Peninsular campaign. He fought at second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Antietam, Gettysburg, through the Wilderness, in the Petersburg campaign, and in the Weldon railroad campaign.  In a battle fought by the First and Second divisions of the Fifth corps, at a place locally known as Squirrel Level road, young Stetson and fifteen comrades, with two officers, were captured from an aggregate of thirty-two men then in his regiment and detailed for duty. The sappers and miners had felled trees, forming an impenetrable obstruction to the advance of the enemy, but by some means the rebels managed to secrete in front of this abattis a body of infantry, who found it an easy matter to capture the Federals, who were deployed for skirmish duty —Mr. Stetson being among the number. This was the last battle in which he took part, as he was first sent to Libby prison, thence to Danville, and finally to Salisbury, N. C. He was held from October 10, 1864, until February 22, 1865, when he was paroled and sent to Annapolis, Md., to await exchange.  He was there discharged April 5, 1865, when he returned to his home in Lincoln, Me.

Mr. Stetson now began the study of telegraphy, and was for thirteen years employed as an operator on the European & North American railroad—the last nine years of this period being passed in his native town. He was then employed for one year in a machine shop in Boston, Mass., and for four years in the same business in New York city. In 1883 he entered the national military home at Hampton, Va., having been led to take this step from having lost his right leg above the knees, and finding in difficult to make a good living as a mechanic, in competition with able-bodied men. At the Hampton home he was employed in the manufacture of artificial limbs, and after passing three years in this manner, he came to the Central branch at Dayton, Ohio, where, for several years, he was employed in the same occupation. For the past three years, however, he has had charge of the Western Union telegraph office at the home and has performed his duties in a most satisfactory manner.

Mr. Stetson has never married. He was reared in the religious faith of his parents— that of the Methodist church—and politically has been a life-long republican. Fraternally he is a member of the Union Veteran Union encampment of Dayton. He has been so long separated from his relatives, and was so young when bereft of his parents, that his genealogy has been lost. It may be added, in regard to Mr. Stetson, that his habits of life have been those of morality and industry, and that he enjoys the confidence and esteem of the officials of the home and of his comrades.


HENRY STODDARD, [pages 787-788] deceased, was among the prominent, and, by many well-remembered pioneer citizens of Dayton, who contributed greatly toward the growth and development of the Gem City and her institutions, and who left their impress upon the history of the community, and for over half a century was closely identified with the interests and affairs of this growing city, and for almost that length of time ranked as one of the foremost and most successful members of the Montgomery county bar association.

Mr. Stoddard was born on the 18th day of March, 1788, at Woodbury, Conn., and was descended from prominent Pilgrim and Revolutionary ancestry. His father, Asa Stoddard, was a direct descendant from the Rev. Anthony Stoddard, of London, England, who settled in Boston, Mass., in 1670, and whose many descendants have for over two centuries occupied honorable and responsible positions in the New England, eastern and middle states.   After attending the common schools and securing such education as was to be obtained from that source in that day, and after spending about five years clerking in a store, Mr. Stoddard began reading law, and in the year 1812 was admitted to the bar. Four years later, in company with the late Hon. George B. Holt, he came west on horseback, and in 1817 located permanently in Dayton. At that time Dayton was but a village of not over 600 people, situated in the center of a vast and almost unbroken wilderness, and in the practice of his profession Mr. Stoddard made the circuit on horseback, attending court in the surrounding counties, in doing which he was compelled to undergo many hardships and often perils, Success attended his efforts, however, and for many years he ranked as one of the leading lawyers in this part of the state. During the years from 1840 until his retirement from practice, Mr. Stoddard was the law partner of the late Judge D. A. Haynes, and between the two there always existed terms of intimacy and cordiality. Having acquired a competency, and having reached an age when one who has lived an active life begins to seek rest, Mr. Stoddard retired from active practice of the law in 1846, and thereafter gave his time and attention to his private affairs.  His death occurred at his home in this city on the 1st day of November, 1869. For many years Mr. Stoddard was quite active in church work, having been a ruling elder in the First Presbyterian church of Dayton. He was also for years vice-president and a life director of the American Colonization society.

Mr. Stoddard was twice married, his first wife having been Harriet L. Patterson, who died on the 1st day of October, 1822, leaving one son, Asa P. Stoddard, now a citizen of Saint Louis. His second wife was Susan Williams, who died on the 5th day of April, 1861, leaving the following children: Mrs. Samuel B. Smith, of Dayton; Henry Stoddard, now a resident of California; John W. Stoddard, president of the Stoddard Manufacturing company, of Dayton, and E. Fowler, deceased. Sketches of the two latter sons may be found elsewhere in this volume.


E. FOWLER STODDARD [pages 788-789] (deceased) was one of the most prominent and popular of the younger class of representative business men of Dayton. He was born in this city on July 16, 1845, and was the son of the late Henry Stoddard, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. At the age of twenty-two years he was graduated from Yale college, in the class of 1867; and in 1868 was married to Miss Bessie W. Lowe, daughter of Col. John G. Lowe, of Dayton.

After a varied business experience in Dayton of several years, Mr. Stoddard became connected with his brother, John W., in the manufacturing business, where his superior business capabilities, mechanical aptitude, and excellent principles soon became of inestimable value, and led to his promotion to the position of vice-president and general manager of the concern,

Mr. Stoddard was an active participant in everything that tended to promote the general business interests of the city and was a highly esteemed and valuable member of the Dayton board of trade. He was in attendance at one of the regular meetings of the board on the evening of Tuesday, May 31, 1887, and after the adjournment, at about nine o'clock, passing down the east stairway from the city building to Jefferson street, paused for a few minutes, under the shelter, in conversation with a fellow-member of the board before passing out upon the sidewalk, to await the cessation of a heavy shower of rain. He had been standing there but a few minutes when a flash was suddenly reflected from the water on the pavement, accompanied by the report of a pistol. A young man at the same instant was seen running by in the rain, but who, a few minutes afterward, hurried back to pick up the pistol, which had accidentally fallen from his pocket, and upon striking the pavement had exploded. The ball, thus driven from its chamber, unaimed by any human hand or eye, struck Mr. Stoddard, some twenty feet distant, immediately below and in the rear of the left ear, and, ranging upward, lodged in the base of the brain. He was sufficiently conscious to realize the probable fatal character of the injury. His first thought was that his wife should be spared the shock, his next, that his brother should be called to his side.  His last coherent words were that he had "tried to live square with the world." He was quickly removed to his home and the most skillful surgical aid was at once in attendance. He gradually became unconscious, and before the morning of June 1, 1887, breathed his last upon the same spot where, forty-two years before, he was ushered into existence. It would be impossible to exaggerate the deep and heart-felt sorrow that pervaded the community upon this most tragic occurrence, which had cut short a life and business career replete with every promise of happiness, usefulness and success.

Mr. Stoddard was always an active Christian, as enthusiastic in church work as he was in business.  He was a man of marked versatility in church, in society and in business; and in the world of field sports, his excellencies of character was alike displayed, and their superior influence recognized. His mental faculties were well trained. He possessed a great power of concentration with a large degree of enthusiasm in whatever he undertook.  He was remarkably quick in his perceptions, and rapid, though not unsafe, in arriving at conclusions.

As the general manager of the large manufacturing establishment of which he was also vice-president, Mr. Stoddard was conspicuous for his intelligence, promptness and straight-forward dealing with the men under his management. He always commanded their instant respect. With the innate instinct of a gentleman his intercourse with the employees was uniformly such as to inspire each of them with a sentiment of personal esteem—in many instances of affection. He was at once affable, kind and firm, and scores of these men, who were assembled at the manufactory on the morning when they learned the sad intelligence of his death, gave free vent to their sorrow in tears. No more touching tribute was ever paid to the memory of any man than was witnessed at his funeral, when several hundred of these plain, unpretentious laboring men, whom he had greeted daily with friendly words, and who had long been performing their daily tasks under his supervision, followed on foot his remains to the grave, and there stood with uncovered heads and tearful eyes to testify their appreciation of his worth and their sorrow for his untimely death.


JOHN H. STOPPELMAN, [pages 789-791]  one of the venerable and honored citizens of Dayton, Ohio, was born in the township of Dochren, parish of Riemsloh, amt Groenenberg, Osnabruck, Westphalia, kingdom of Hanover, on the 11th of August, 1826. His parents were Peter H. and Catherine Marion (Hazelhorst) Stoppelman, the father being a native of the same province where the son was born, the mother coming from West Kiloer, parish of Roedinghausen, amt Buende, Westphalia, kingdom of Prussia. The father died in his native land, on February 23, 1841, and his wife survived him until November 13, 1854. They were the parents of eight children, as follows : John Frederick died in Germany, in 1857 ; Mary Elizabeth, who came with the family to America in 1858, met her death as the result of an accident, in Dayton, on the 28th of December, 1860, having been the wife of C. H. Althoff, who also is deceased; Catherine Mary died in the fatherland in 1857, having been the wife of John F. Pape; Herman H. emigrated to America in 1853, but returned to Germany two years later and there died in 1868 ; Catherine, who died in her native land in 1873, was the wife of John F. Budde; John H. was the next in order of birth; Flora became the wife of C. H. Kaeseman, and her death occurred in Germany in 1878 ; and Charles H. died November 10, 1892, on the old homestead.

John H. Stoppelman was reared on the parental farm in Westphalia, and received his educational discipline in the excellent schools of his native land, remaining upon the old homestead until the time of his emigration to America. He landed in New York on the 5th of May, 1849, being the first of the family to seek a home in the new world. He proceeded to Ulster county, N. Y., where he engaged in work on a canal boat. On December 6, 1849, he left New York for Cincinnati, Ohio, arriving in the Queen City on the l8th of the same month, making the journey by canal, stage, railway and the Ohio river. He remained in Cincinnati until June, 1850, when he went to Middletown, this state, where he was for some time in the employ of Adam Foster, a popular hotel keeper. In August, 1851, Mr. Stoppelman made his advent in the city of Dayton, which has ever since been his home and the scene of his earnest and useful endeavors.  He secured employment with Daniel Beckel, beginning his labors in the humble capacity of hostler ; but such was his intelligence and his manifest capacity for affairs of greater breadth that he was given a position in Mr. Beckel's bank, where he acted in a clerical capacity. After the failure of this enterprise our subject continued in the employ of Mr. Beckel, becoming a salesman in a dry-goods establishment which his employer had opened.  Mr. Stoppelman was faithful to his employer and for a period of two years, while Mr. Beckel was absent in Michigan, where he was building a railroad, his entire business in Dayton was committed to the charge of our subject, who handled the same to the entire satisfaction of his principal. He remained for nine years with Mr. Beckel, and was a trusted friend and confidant of the man who had thus given him an opportunity to secure a start in the world.

In 1860 Mr. Stoppelman became, to a certain extent, actively concerned in local politics, and was elected a member of the school board of the city. He was next given a position in the office of the county auditor, in 1861, retaining this place for one year.  In 1862 he was elected a justice of the peace, in which capacity he served for the full term of three years. He then engaged in the insurance business, being one of the projectors and organizers of the Teutonia Insurance company, of which he was the first secretary, holding that office for more than two years. Within this time he engaged in the brewing business, in company with William Sander, and they operated the City brewery for a period of five years. This venture proved unsuccessful, and through it Mr. Stoppelman lost considerable money. He next turned his attention to the life insurance business, in which he continued for four years. For over thirty years he has been a notary public, and since 1873 has given most of his attention to this calling.

In 1870 and 1872 Mr. Stoppelman again served as a member of the board of education, and was returned to this important department in the centennial year.   In the same year (1876) he was also elected a member of the board of equalization, in which capacity he rendered service for one year. In 1881 he was elected to the city council, and was re-elected in 1883, while in 1886 he was again elected a member of the board of equalization, and, in 1891, to the decennial board of equalization. In the various official capacities in which he has served Mr. Stoppelman has been alert and conscientious, holding the interests of the public at heart and doing all in his power to further wise municipal government and general prosperity. His life has been one of unswerving integrity and honor, and within the long years of his residence in Dayton he has not tailed to gain and retain the esteem and confidence of the community.

The marriage of Mr. Stoppelman was solemnized on the 4th of October, 1855, when he was united to Miss Margaret B. Schirmer, of Wapakoneta, Auglaize county, this state, she being a native of the county mentioned. To this union ten children have been born, and of the number six are living, namely: Susan, wife of Henry F. Logel, of Dayton; Margaret C., a teacher in the Dayton public schools; John H., Jr., secretary of the Weston Paper company; Charles F., in the employ of W. L. Adamson & Co., wholesale grocers of this city; William S., assistant secretary of the Dayton water works, and Daniel W., at home. Three children died in infancy, and Flora A., who was born August 27, 1875, died September 10, 1886. The religious connections of the, family are with Saint Paul's Lutheran church, on Wayne street.


JOSEPH STRAUB, [pages 791-792] merchant, of Dayton, Ohio, is a native of the city, a son of parents who were among the early settlers here and of the most sturdy German stock. He conducts a successful retail grocery at the corner of Boltin and McLain streets, where he has been located for a term of years. He was born September 25, 1854, in that portion of Dayton then known as Frenchtown. His father, Joseph Straub, Sr., who is still living and who is honored as one of the patriarchs of Dayton, which has been the scene of his honest and active endeavors for so many years, was born in Baden, Germany, whence, in the early '50s, he emigrated to America. Upon reaching the United States the young German made his way directly to Dayton, which has ever since been his home, his arrival here dating back to 1852. In the fatherland he had learned the trades of coopering and brewing, and soon after his arrival in Dayton he built the old brewery on Third street and operated the same for several years, after which he resumed work at the cooper's trade. In the war of the Rebellion he rendered loyal service in the Fifty-eighth Ohio volunteer infantry, being a member of Capt. Diston's company. The maiden name of his wife was Kunigunda Maier.  By her marriage to Joseph Straub, Sr., she became the mother of five children, all of whom are still living.

Joseph Straub, Jr., the immediate subject of this review, passed his youthful days in Dayton, receiving his education in the public schools, after which he assumed the practical duties of life by securing a clerkship in the grocery of John Wenz, in whose employ he remained four years, after which he held a similar position in the dry-goods establishment of Bunstine, Moses & Boyer for a period of three years. His next employment was as a salesman in the clothing house of Chamberlain & Parker, with whom he remained only about nine months, when he became identified with the wholesale notion trade in the establishment of C, C. Moses, with whom he remained for two years.   He then engaged, on his own account, in the confectionery business, and continued this enterprise with increasing success for a period of five years, after which he disposed of the same and accepted a position with William Focke & Sons, meat dealers, with whom he remained for three years. In October, 1886, he established his present successful business by opening a well-equipped and attractive grocery at the location already noted, and here he has since continued, holding a representative patronage and the best class of trade.  He has other interests which demand a part of his time and attention, and among these it may be noted that for the past five years he has been a member of the directory of the Permanent Building & Savings association, of Dayton, and for the past two years has been vice-president of the same.

In his political faith Mr. Straub is a member of the democratic party.   Fraternally, he is a member of the order known as the American Sons of Columbus and is also identified with the A. 0. U. W. and the C. K. of 0.

In the year 1876 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Straub to Miss Josephine Clemens, a daughter of Nicholas Clemens, of Dayton. They are the parents of four daughters, viz; Henrietta, Ida, Marie and Helen,  He and his family are members of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic church.


WAYLAND P. SUNDERLAND, [page 792] treasurer of Montgomery county, Ohio, was born near Centerville, Washington township, Montgomery county, Ohio, on February 11, 1853. He is a son of Aaron and Minerva (Irwin) Sunderland, both of whom were born in the same locality, the father in the year 1809, and the mother in 1819. The father was a farmer by vocation, and died in 1872, at the age of sixty-three years. The mother is still living.

The paternal grandfather of Wayland P. was Peter Sunderland, who was born in Pennsylvania, of English descent, and was one of the earliest settlers in Montgomery county. The maternal grandfather was William Irwin, also an early settler of this county.

Wayland P. Sunderland was reared on the farm.  He attended the district schools and finished his education at the college in Lebanon, Ohio.  He followed farming exclusively for several years, and then turned his attention to stock-raising, and for about ten years was one of the leading stockmen of the county. In the fall of 1894 he was elected treasurer of Montgomery county as the candidate of the republican party, and in 1896 was re-elected. He is also city treasurer of Dayton. In 1873 Mr. Sunderland was married to Lucy Reichstetter, who was born and reared in Dayton. Mr. Sunderland is a member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity.


CAPT. CHARLES J. TERWILLIGER [pages 792-794] is descended from families of English and Scotch origin that have been represented for several generations in the state of New York. His father was Charles Terwilliger, who died when the son, Charles, was a mere child, and his mother, Keziah Shaw, who has since remarried, is still living at an advanced age in her native state. There were four sons and one daughter born to Charles and Keziah Terwilliger, eldest of whom, Col. William H., is connected with the U. S. custom house in New York city; he was colonel of the Sixty-third New York infantry during the Civil war and fought with the celebrated Irish brigade in the army of the Potomac; Thomas Peter, the second son, died in January, 1895, his place of residence at the time being Makanda, Ills., where he was engaged in the manufacture of flour; Moses S. is station and express agent for the New York & Erie railroad at Susquehanna, Penn., and the only daughter, Sarah, wife of William Vedenberg, resides at Newark, N. J.

Charles J. Terwilliger, the third in order of birth, first saw the light of day in the town of Bloomingburg, Sullivan county, N. Y., on the 1st day of November, 1840. His early life was spent very much like that of other boys of his time, working at different occupations and attending school during the years of his minority. He early learned the miller's trade and followed the same until the breaking out of the late Civil war, when he enlisted, in 1861, at Middletown, N. Y. in company C, Fourth New York cavalry, with which he served in the army of the Potomac under division commander, Gen. Blinker,   He was first under fire at Rose Hill, Va., and in May, 1862, received a severe wound, which necessitated his removal to the U. S. general hospital at Grafton, Va., where he remained until the 22d of July following, when he was pronounced sufficiently cured to rejoin his command.

The same year he re-enlisted in the One Hundred and Sixty-eighth New York infantry for nine months, which time he served with Gen. Keyes, doing garrison duty principally at Yorktown; subsequently he went further south with the Eleventh and Twelfth army corps under Gen. 0. 0. Howard, and was in Sherman's army until the expiration of his term of enlistment, receiving his final discharge at Newburg, N. Y.

In the fall of 1863, the captain again entered the army, enlisting in company E, Sixty-third New York infantry; this regiment was attached to the celebrated Irish brigade which formed a part of the famous Second corps under Gen. Hancock. Capt. Terwilliger was with his command in all the maneuvers of the corps during the final campaigns of the war, and took part in a number of celebrated battles; he was present at the surrender of the Confederate forces of Gen. Lee at Appomattox, and took part in the grand review of the victorious armies of the Union at Washington, in May, 1865. It was during the period of his third enlistment that he was promoted from the ranks in January, 1864, first lieutenant of company E, and on the 2d day of April, 1865, was made captain, in which capacity he served until the close of the war. In the grand review at the national capital the captain commanded the "color company" of the right. He held every position in the Sixty-third from private to captain, and at one time, by reason of the absence of other officers, he filled the positions of quartermaster and of adjutant; toward the close of the war, the right being weakened by casualties, promotions were not made to fill vacancies, as had formerly been the custom, which accounts for the important places with which he was entrusted at different times.   The captain received his final discharge July 8, 1865, at Hart's Island, N. Y., and shortly thereafter, turned his attention to railroading, finding employment with the New York & Erie company, with which he remained eighteen years, filling during that time various positions, from that of section foreman to that of conductor. Severing his connection with the road, the captain next entered the employ of the Warder, Bushnell & Glessner Manufacturing company of Springfield, 0., and for several years traveled over the greater part of the United States, as an expert machinist. He was finally compelled to relinquish this arduous employment on account of injuries received while in the service; these, intensified by advancing years, induced him in 1893 to become an inmate of the National Home for Disabled Volunteers, where ever since his admission his worth has been recognized, and he has been entrusted with lucrative employment suited to his ability. In November, 1895, he was appointed captain of company Thirty-one, which position he now holds. The captain gave the best years of his life to the service of his country, and his military record covers a period of over forty-two months of the most active period of the Rebellion; he proved true to every trust, was never known to flinch in time of danger, and now, in his declining years, while enjoying the comfort and protection of the government he so nobly defended, looks back to the stirring scenes through which he passed, as the most useful, if not the most agreeable, part of his life. He is a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity, an active worker in the G. A. R., and politically wields an influence for the democratic party. The captain was married, in his twenty-second year, to Miss Charlotte Wilson, who departed this life at Port Jervis, N. Y., in 1870, leaving a daughter, who at this time is a resident of Springfield, Ohio.


FRANK LEOPOLD SUTTER, [pages 794-795] architect of Dayton, Ohio, was born in this city August 22, 1866, and is one of the four children born to Leopold and Adeline (Nowak) Sutter.

Leopold Sutter, father of Frank L. Sutter, was born in the grand duchy of Baden, Germany, October 10, 1832, came to America in 1852, and for six months lived in Circleville, Ohio; he then came to Dayton and at once entered the employ of Ladow & Winder, as a marble cutter, and was thus employed for fifteen years, when he was made foreman of the works of Webber & Lehman, cut-stone contractors. This firm sold out to William Huffman, who in turn, sold to L. H. Webber; but Mr. Sutter was not disturbed in his position of foreman.

In 1881, however, Mr. Sutter engaged in business on his own account, with his eldest son, Benjamin, as a partner; but the son died in 1890, when the father returned to Mr. Webber, by whom he is still employed as a cut-stone contractor.

Mrs. Adeline ( Nowak ) Sutter, also a native of Baden, Germany, was born July 4, 1832, came to America in 1852, and married Leopold Sutter in Dayton in 1855. Of the three children born to them, beside our subject, one died in infancy ; Benjamin Bernard, alluded to above as having been the business partner of his father, died at the age of thirty-one years, leaving his widow with one son—the latter also now deceased ; Mary is the widow of Anthony Kramer, who was a merchant of Dayton and died February 3, 1895, leaving, beside his widow, two children—Albert A. and Julia Marie—the former of whom is employed in the office of Mr. Sutter.

Frank L. Sutter, after receiving a solid common-school education, at the age of sixteen years entered the office of Matthew Burrowes, architect, as a student; five months later he entered the office of C. I. Williams, where he continued his studies and remained until 1889, when he embarked in business on his own account. On January 1, 1893, he entered into a partnership with Joseph C. Peters, which continued until September I, 1896, when it was dissolved by mutual consent.

The marriage of Mr. Sutter took place in Dayton April 30, 1889, to Miss Catherine Munger, a native of the city and a daughter of George and Mary Munger. The mother of Mrs. Sutter died in 1881, and the father, who was a brickmaker, died in 1889—the year of his daughter's marriage. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Munger were born eight children, viz: Martin, John, Frank, Joseph, George (deceased), Mary, Magdalene and Katie (Mrs. Sutler). Of this family, Martin is engaged in the real-estate and insurance business; John served three terms as county commissioner of Montgomery county, and is now living in retirement; Frank and Joseph are manufacturers of brick; Mary is the wife of Matthias Kammer, a manufacturer, and Magdalene is the wife of John Uschold. To the felicitous marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Sutler have been born four children, of whom Helen Margaret died when six months old, the survivors being Horace Benjamin, Ruth and Naomi—all three beneath the parental roof.

Mr. Sutter is a member of the American Architects' association and of several of the secret fraternal societies of Dayton, and politically is democratic in his proclivities. As an architect he keeps well abreast of his profession, is a subscriber to all the standard journals published in the interest of his art, and possesses a well filled library of works on architecture and collateral sciences.  Previous to forming his late partnership he had designed the plans, ground and elevation, of several fine church buildings and private residences in Dayton and elsewhere, and had achieved a fine reputation as a master of his art.

Allusion may also be made here to some of the stone work superintended or executed by Leopold Sutter, above named, which includes that in the Dayton public library building, the court house, the Huffman block, and Col. Mead's residence, in Dayton; the Warren county jail, as well as in many structures in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus.  He personally laid the stone work of the Troy high school building, built the chapel at the national soldiers' home, and, indeed, was connected with the erection of nearly all the churches and public buildings of the Gem City, and is still actively engaged in the prosecution of his life-long occupation.


NICHOLAS THOMAS, [pages 795-796] proprietor of the Hydraulic brewery, of Dayton, Ohio, was born in Germany in 1825, the son of John and Rickey (Machias) Thomas, both of whom died in Germany. In 1848, at the age of twenty-three years, N. Thomas landed in New Orleans, came up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers by boat as far as Cincinnati, walking from that city to Dayton, and thence to the home of an uncle in Decatur, Ind., with whom he remained one winter. He then worked on the Wabash canal until the close of the following summer, when he returned to Dayton and worked for three years in the Dickey stone quarry, from which has been taken the stone of which many of the fine business blocks and residences of the city are constructed. He then, in 1852, engaged with Daniel Beckel in his teaming business, and was one of those who assisted in the work of excavation for the cellar of the Beckel house.

In 1855 Mr. Thomas married Miss Margaret Higlerfoot, who was born in Oldenburg, Germany, in 1825, and to them have been born three children—John H., Katie and Henry A., the last named being the only one married. In 1855 Mr. Thomas, having saved a sufficient sum from his earnings, purchased a team and for fourteen years drove his own wagon. He was then for four years appointed watchman of the Dayton banks. In 1873 he established a grocery and saloon, corner of Front and Third streets, conducting a successful business for some years. Mr. Thomas then took an important step, and one which has exerted a favorable influence upon his later fortunes.   In 1881 he embarked his hard-earned capital in the present enterprise, the outcome of which might well have been considered doubtful, as the plant where he located had been controlled during the previous eight years by three distinct firms.   Its present sound condition is owing to the ability of one man, who, meeting the sharpest competition, increased a business of 2,000 barrels in 1881 to 5,000 barrels in 1885, to 9,000 barrels in 1890, to 10,000 barrels in 1891, to 14,000 barrels for the fiscal year ending July 1, 1893, and to about 20,000 barrels for 1896.

This business has been conducted without change of location since Mr. Thomas took it in 1881. The first firm name was N. Thomas & Co., the present title being adopted in 1892. George Weddle, who was long connected with Mr. Thomas in the brewery, withdrew in 1892.  He was a conscientious businessman, of personal reliability, and secured his large knowledge of brewing wholly through his experience and training in this plant.

John H, Thomas, son of the proprietor, was born in Dayton in 1859. He was educated in this city at the public schools, finishing at the Miami Commercial college. When seventeen years of age he assisted his father in the grocery and afterward in the office of the brewery, manifesting from the first decided financial ability. All his business experience has been with his father, who has found in him an apt pupil, and one who may be relied upon in the future to take up the work of carrying an already large business to even greater magnitude. Undoubtedly the continued success of this brewery depends to a large extent upon John H. Thomas by reason of the age of his father. Henry A. Thomas, brother of John H., was born in Dayton in 1864. Like his brother he has a public school education, attending also the Miami Commercial college. After acquiring a knowledge of business at the grocery and the brewery, being desirous to become an expert, he engaged in 1885 with the Herman Lackmann brewery, and afterward with J. G. Sohn & Co., being with these Cincinnati breweries four years. While manifesting great skill in the brewing department, he was so apt in mechanics that, in 1890, the machinery of the brewery of his father was placed under his central. Conversant with all departments of the business, his skill and knowledge are invaluable in promoting the best interests of the concern.

In politics Mr. Thomas is a democrat, and in religion he, and all the members of his family, are members of the Catholic church. His residence is at No. 1732 East Third street, and he is recognized as one of the most solid business men of the Gem City.

Return to "Centennial Portrait" Home Page