Header Graphic
Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio
Pages 1012-1027  John J. McCarter to Frank S. Nelson

JOHN J. McCARTER, [pages 1012-1013] one of the old soldiers of the late Civil war, who has suffered many years from the affliction of total blindness from the effects of his service in the army of the Union, sprang from sterling Scotch-Irish ancestry.  His progenitors settled in the Keystone state in early colonial times.

John McCarter, his father, was born in Cumberland county, Pa., and was a bricklayer and stonemason. At Carlisle, Pa., he married his second wife Sarah Cart, who was born in Carlisle, and was a daughter of Jacob Cart, of Scotch-Irish descent on the maternal side of the family. John McCarter moved to Ohio about 1840, and settled in Montgomery county, living a short time at Little York. and afterward at Vandalia, where he passed his remaining days. His first wife died in Carlisle, Pa., and their children were as follows: Alexander, James, George, Sarah A., Maria, and Cecilia. The children by his second wife, Sarah Cart, were as follows: John J., Eliza, William and Benjamin. Mr. McCarter was a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church for many years. In politics he was a republican, and had three sons in the late Civil war, viz: James, Benjamin and John J. Benjamin was in the Sixty-third Ohio volunteer infantry and participated in many battles, being badly wounded in the battle of Kenesaw Mountain.

James was a sergeant in company E, Seventy-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, was in the service about three years and was discharged after the battle of Stone River on account of physical disability. Mr. McCarter was a very strong Union man and lived to the great age of seventy years, when he died. He was greatly esteemed as an honorable man and a valuable citizen.

John J. McCarter was born at Carlisle, Pa., October 9, 1832, and received a common-school education, in both Pennsylvania and Ohio, having come to Ohio with his parents when he was but eight years old. When yet a young man he engaged in the butcher business at Vandalia, continuing in this line at that place until October 21, 1861, when he enlisted in company F, Seventy-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, to serve three years or during the war.   He veteranized at Chattanooga, Tenn., December 13, 1863, re-enlisting then for three years or during the war in the same organization.   He served until he was honorably discharged January 6, 1865, at Savannah, Ga., having served his country faithfully during four years. He was in the battles of Stone River, Hoover's Gap, Mackinoe Cove, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, most of those of the famous Atlanta campaign, including Buzzard Roost Mountain, Resaca, and the twenty-one days of fighting and skirmishing along Pumpkin Vine creek.   During this latter period, when rain fell every day, the sufferings and discomforts of our soldier and his comrades were beyond expression. He was in the great battle of Kenesaw Mountain, the battle of Atlanta and the battle of Jonesboro, this being the last engagement in which he fought. He was badly wounded in the battle of Stone River by the explosion of a shell, which struck the ground near him and threw the powder and dirt in his eyes, completely blinding him. He was taken to the rear by his comrades, and while being taken to the field hospital, the comrade who was leading him was shot dead, and Mr. McCarter lay down by his side, as he was totally blind and did not know which way to go. Soon, however, a soldier came along and led him to the creek to wash his face and eyes, but the washing did his sight no good, for it was gone. He was then taken to the field hospital, where he remained one night, and was then taken to the hospital at Nashville, where, after remaining about two days, he began to recover a little use of his right eye, and rejoined his regiment. He was under treatment for about three months by the regimental surgeon, and regained his sight to such an extent that he served out his term. Through the entire war, except when thus temporarily disabled, he was an active soldier, always prompt and cheerful in the discharge of his duties, and was in all the battles and skirmishes of his regiment, except as prevented by his wounds.

After the termination of the war, Mr. McCarter returned to Vandalia and resumed the butcher business.  On June 11, 1865, he married Harriet A. Hodman, who was born February 16, 1848, at Vandalia, Ohio, and is a daughter of William and Maria (Camp) Hoffman. William Hoffman was born in Pennsylvania, March 10, 1816, of Pennsylvania-Dutch ancestors.  He came to Ohio a young man, and married, in Clarke county, Maria Camp, who was born May 17, 1820, in New Jersey, of English ancestors.  Mr. Hoffman moved to Vandalia and there passed his remaining days. He was an old-time constable of Butler township, and a republican in politics. He had one son, William, in the late Civil war, who was a soldier in company E, Seventy-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, serving for three years, and was in practically the same battles and had experiences very much the same as those of Mr. McCarter.

Mr. Hoffman, the father of Mrs. McCarter, died in 1857, in his forty-fourth year.  Mrs. Hoffman died May 17, 1894, aged seventy-five years, dying on her birthday.   She was a superior woman in many ways, and possessed of many virtues. The children she bore her husband were as follows: John, Mary, Joseph, William, Harriet, George, Lucretia, Elizabeth and Emma.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. McCarter settled in Vandalia, he following his business there for some years. Then he was engaged in huckstering for about ten years, until he became totally blind from his old injury, and was thus obliged to give up all work. About twenty years ago he located in Union, buying a fine residence, and has since resided in this village. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. McCarter are as follows: Orrin L. and Minnie M. Orrin L., who married Miss Estella Davis, is a huckster residing in Union. Minnie M. married James Folker, a farmer of Randolph township, and has one son, John L. Mr. and Mrs. McCarter are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he has for many years been a trustee. Politically, he is a prohibitionist, and is a man of unblemished character and is respected as a soldier who served his country faithfully during her darkest days, standing by her to the end.


HENRY LOESCH, [pages 1013-1014] now one of the oldest and most respected agriculturists of West Carrollton, Montgomery county, Ohio, is a native of Bavaria, Germany, and was born August 17, 1816. He is a son of John and Barbara (Stett) Loesch, also natives of the kingdom of Bavaria, and was reared to manhood under the parental roof. He was educated in the common schools and later served an apprenticeship of two years at the cooper's trade, after which he worked as a journeyman for five years in his native land. When about twenty-four years of age, or in 1840, he came to America and immediately made his way to Ohio; he located in West Carrollton and for twelve-years worked at his trade of cooper in that village, made and saved money, and then purchased the farm on which he still resides. As a farmer he has met with abundant success and has accumulated considerable wealth, while his farm is considered one of the best tilled and most productive in the county.  His prosperity is due largely to his own industry and close observation of the laws of cause and effect, and to a happy faculty of adopting means to the desired end, a faculty, which, though indeed valuable, is not always possessed by the tiller of the soil.

January 3, 1847, Mr. Loesch was united in marriage with Phebe Zimmer, daughter of George and Phebe (Olinger) Zimmer, of Miami township, and this congenial union has resulted in the birth of four children, still living, and named, in the order of their birth: George, Charles, Kittie (Mrs. John Geiger) and Edward.  Mr. Loesch is in religion a Lutheran, and has reared his family in the faith of that church; politically he is a democrat but has never sought office. Fraternally Mr. Loesch is a member of the order of Harugari, and socially he enjoys the respect and substantial esteem of a large circle of neighbors and acquaintances.


ORVILLE McCRAY, M. D., [page 1014] of West Carrollton, Montgomery county, Ohio, is a native of the Buckeye state and was born in Clarksville, Clinton county, April 3, 1868, a son of Samuel and Samantha (Wright) McCray, and, paternally, is of Scotch descent.   Armstrong McCray, his grandfather, was a native of Maryland, but with his wife, Jane, came from Virginia to Ohio, and settled in Warren county, where Armstrong became a farmer among the pioneers and attained great prominence in local affairs. The maternal grandfather of the doctor, Mitchell Wright, was a Virginian by birth and a pioneer farmer of Clinton county, Ohio. Samuel McCray, father of the doctor, is a native of Ohio, and is now the .proprietor of a flouring mill in Clarksville, which ranks among the most important industries of that thriving little city.

Orville McCray, the subject proper of this memoir, received his elementary education in his native city of Clarksville through attending the common schools in his earlier boyhood days, and the rudimentary information thus acquired was supplemented by his attendance at the National normal university at Lebanon, Warren county.  In 1889 he began the study of medicine, and March 13, 1893, was graduated from the medical department of the university of Louisville, Ky., and at once entered upon the practice of his profession in Clarksville, Ohio. But that field was too contracted or too much occupied by practitioners of the science he had chosen as his life pursuit, and, although his success was very flattering, he availed himself, in September, 1893, of a wider opening in West Carrollton, Montgomery county, where his skill was at once recognized and where he has built up, within the short interval between then and now, a lucrative and satisfactory practice. He is now surgeon to the Friend Paper & Tablet company, and also medical examiner for several life insurance companies.

Dr. McCray was united in marriage, May 6, 1894, with Marietta Flack, daughter of Adam and Nancy (McCray) Flack, of Warren county, and to this union has been given one child—Beulah. In his fraternal affiliations the doctor is a Freemason and an Odd Fellow, while his political association is with the republican party.  His social connection is of a most pleasant character, and as a citizen, as well as physician and surgeon, he is respected by the entire community of West Carrollton and Miami township.


THE MAYS FAMILY, [pages 1015-1016] one of the most prominent and widely known of Montgomery county, Ohio, sprang from John Nicholas Mays, who was born in Lachen, Switzerland, November 24, 1741. He was a son of John George and Anna M. L. (Diopelin) Mays, and emigrated to America at an early age, settling near Shaefferstown, Lebanon county, Pa., as a farmer. Entering the Revolutionary army as a private soldier, he fought in the cause of the colonists against King George III, and was one of the patriotic founders of the republic.  His family consisted of one daughter, Elizabeth, and five sons, viz; Valentine, Philip, Benjamin, Henry, and Jacob.

Samuel Mays was a son of Valentine Mays, and a grandson of John Nicholas Mays, the founder of the family in America. Valentine Mays married Sabina Heilman, and their son, Samuel, was born in Heidelberg, Lebanon county, Pa., April 25, 1805.  Samuel assisted his father on the farm until he was eighteen years of age, and was then apprenticed to a carpenter and builder, afterward following that trade for more than thirty years. From 1854 to 1856 he was superintendent of the south division of the Miami canal, and afterward for several years was engaged in the manufacture of wine, owning a vineyard of several acres near Miamisburg. Still later he was engaged as a buyer of tobacco for several years for a New York firm, and, in 1869, as a member of the firm of Stevenson & Mays, he embarked in the shoe business, the partnership continuing one year, when he carried on the business alone up to 1878. In this latter year he formed a partnership with his son, Samuel H. Mays, under the firm name of S. & S. H. Mays, which continued in existence until his death, which occurred June 29, 1891.

Samuel Mays married Caroline Richardson, daughter of John Richardson, of Miamisburg, and by this marriage he had eight children, of whom four still survive, as follows: Amanda R., wife of Dr. T. V. Lyons; William A.; George D., and Samuel H. Like all his ancestors, Samuel Mays was an active member and worker in the German Reformed church from his boyhood up, and took great interest in everything pertaining to the church and its institutions, as is indicated by the fact that he superintended the building of the church in Miamisburg. During the early days he served as colonel of a militia regiment, and the title of "colonel" adhered to him until his death. Personally he was a true friend, and he was a worthy and honored citizen. He was a royal arch Mason, and in politics a Jacksonian democrat.

William A. Mays, a prominent and widely known citizen of Montgomery county, was born in Miamisburg, June 7, 1842, and is a son of Samuel and Caroline (Richardson) Mays. He was reared to manhood in his native city, and received his preliminary education in the public schools thereof. Later he attended the Cumberland Valley institute at Mechanicsburg, Pa., and in 1860 began his business career as clerk in a general store, following that vocation for nine years, in Miamisburg, Dayton, Cincinnati, and Chicago. In 1869 he returned to Dayton, where he served for two years as clerk in the office of the county treasurer, and afterward he was bookkeeper for Harshman & Bros.' bank. In 1873 he was elected auditor of Montgomery county, and was re-elected in 1875, his second term expiring in November, 1877. He was one of the most popular officials Montgomery county ever had.

Mr. Mays was engaged in the tobacco business for two years, and in 1879, in connection with others, organized the Ohio Paper company, of which he has ever since been secretary and treasurer. He has also been prominently identified with other manufacturing interests of Miamisburg, and at the present time he is a director of the Dayton Traction company, and one of the projectors of the electric railroad that connects Dayton and Miamisburg.

During the late Civil war Mr. Mays was a member of company D, One Hundred and Thirty-first Ohio volunteer infantry, and was honorably discharged at the expiration of his term of service. Politically, he has always been a democrat, and he has always been a patriotic and honorable citizen.

Samuel H. Mays, son of Samuel and Caroline (Richardson) Mays, was born in Miamisburg, January 21, 1852. In Miamisburg he grew to manhood, and has always resided there, receiving his education in the public schools of that place. In 1869 he entered the shoe store of his father as clerk, retaining the position until 1878, when he became a partner in the firm, the business being then conducted under the firm name of S. & S. H. Mays, until the death of the former in 1891, S. H. Mays still retaining his interest in the firm. Since 1892 he has been engaged in the tobacco business, as a member of the firm of Dodds & Mays.

Mr. Mays was married April 15, 1884, to Rose Gwinner, daughter of Frederick and Hannah (Solomon) Gwinner, of Miamisburg. By this marriage he is the father of two children, Jeannette and Samuel F. Mr. Mays is a thirty-second degree Mason, a Knight Templar, a Knight of Pythias, and a democrat. In every way he is maintaining the honorable name of his family at its high standard, and is everywhere regarded as a useful and upright man and citizen.


ARNOLD MEIENBERG, [page 1016] restaurant keeper of Miamisburg, was born in Bremgarten, canton Aargau, Switzerland, January 20, 1842, and is a son of Alois and Mena (Wiederkehr) Meienberg, the father a merchant of that ancient little city in the valley of the Reuso river. Arnold was reared to manhood in his native canton, received a very good common-school education and also served an apprenticeship of three years at harnessmaking. After learning his trade, he traveled for six years through various parts of Switzerland, Germany, Russia and France, following his calling as he journeyed, and in 1866 came to America. He first made his way to Cincinnati, where he worked at his trade for nearly two years, after which he crossed the Ohio river and worked at harness-making at Newport, Ky., until the latter part of 1868, when he came to Miamisburg, Ohio, which city he has since made his home. Here he worked at his trade as journeyman for six years, and in 1875 embarked in the harness business on his own account and successfully carried it on until 1886, when he engaged in restaurant keeping, and for the period of ten years, has carried on a successful and prosperous trade, having made hosts of warm friends and, by his close attention to the needs and tastes of his patrons, won to himself the good will of the public in general.

The marriage of Mr. Meienberg took place January 4, 1870, to Miss Frederica Buehner, a daughter of John Frederick and Anna (Schuettenhelm) Buehner and granddaughter of John Frederick and Anna C. (Zeiler) Buehner, of Muehlheim, Wurtemburg, Germany. This union has resulted in the birth of nine children, four living and here named in order of birth: Clara who is married to Jacob Farrell; Rose, who is the wife of Jacob Benner; Albert and Mena, who are still under the parental roof. Mr. Meienberg is a supporter of the Lutheran church, with which his family affiliate, and fraternally he is a member of the D. 0. H., and of the A. 0. U. W. He is a democrat in politics, and is recognized as a liberal and useful citizen.


LEVI W. MEASE, [page 1019] formerly a well-known and successful farmer, now retired, was born in Miami township, Montgomery county, Ohio, January 1, 1824. and is a son of Lewis and Mary (Zehring) Mease, both natives of Lebanon county, Pa. Lewis Mease was a wheelwright by trade, came to Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1816, and worked one season in Germantown. The same year he purchased a tract of land in Miami township, leased it for a period of three years, and at once returned to Pennsylvania, where he married Mary Zehring in 1819. Together with his wife, her father and three brothers, he came overland to Ohio, being six weeks in making the journey, and immediately on reaching Montgomery county settled on the tract of land he had purchased in 1816. This land he cleared and improved, made it a good farm, and resided upon it until his death in 1856. Mrs. Mease was a daughter of Christian and Elizabeth Zehring, of Miami township, Montgomery county, Ohio, but formerly of Lebanon county, Pa. She bore him six children, three of whom grew to mature years, as follows: Lewis, now deceased; Levi W., and Rev. Samuel, the latter a minister of the Reformed church, and editor of the Christian World for twelve years, but now deceased.

Levi W. Mease was reared on the old homestead, received a good education, and lived on the farm until 1878, when he retired from farm life and removed to Miamisburg, where he has since resided. From the time he was seventeen years of age until he was twenty-one, he was a clerk in a general store at Miamisburg, and from that time until 1878 he was engaged in farming on the old homestead, which contains 185 acres of land, and which he still owns. On December 8, 1878, he married Elizabeth A. Fox, daughter of John and Catherine (Fox) Fox, pioneers of Warren county, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Mease are members of the Reformed church, are both active in the performance of religious and social duties, and excellent people in every way. Mr. Mease is in politics a democrat, but has never sought political preferment in any form.


ARNOLD MACY, [pages 1019-1021] of Randolph township, Montgomery county, whose post-office address is Little York, and who was a soldier of the late Civil war, comes of English ancestors, who first settled in this country on Nantucket Island, on the coast of Massachusetts.

Thomas Macy was a farmer near Jonesboro, East Tennessee. His children were as follows: John, Thomas, Paul, Aaron, Jonathan, Nancy, Phoebe and Rebecca.  About 1809 Thomas Macy came to Ohio, settled in Fredericksburg, and cleared up a farm, upon which he died at ninety years of age. In religion he was a Quaker. Paul Macy, his son, and father of Arnold, was born in East Tennessee about 1798, and came to Ohio with his parents in 1809. Receiving but a limited education, he was brought up on the farm and married Mary Yount, who was born in North Carolina in 1799. Paul Macy and his wife were the parents of the following children: . Sallie, Eli, Davis, Rosanna, Enos, George, Arnold, Mary J., Ellen, Annie and Jonathan. Shortly after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Macy settled on 160 acres in the woods near Fredericksburg, cleared up the land and made of it a good farm. Selling this farm he purchased another, three-fourths of a mile from Fredericksburg, this farm also containing 160 acres, and here Mr. Macy became a substantial farmer. This farm he at length sold and bought still another, containing also 160 acres, five miles north of Dayton, and lived thereon until 1859, when he removed to Phillipsburg. He died November 27, 1892, at the great age of ninety-three years and eight months, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Sallie Martindale. He was a member of the Christian church, and in politics a republican. He had five sons in the late Civil war, each of whom was six feet in height.   These sons were as follows: Eli, David, Enos, Arnold and Jonathan. Jonathan was in the One Hundred and Thirty-second Ohio volunteer infantry, or, as it was called, the Ohio national guard.  Paul Macy was a sturdy pioneer, well known as a straightforward, honorable man, and possessed of a vigorous and healthy mind. His memory was much more than ordinarily retentive, and he was a man of considerable importance for many years in Miami and Montgomery counties.  He was a strong republican, a careful and extensive reader and observer, and kept abreast of current events, in which he took a keen interest. As a husband he was faithful, and as a father was kind and helpful.  He and his wife, Mary Yount, were the parents of twelve children. At the time of his death he had thirty-seven grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren, making in all sixty-five direct descendants. Thus there were living at one time five generations of Macys.

Arnold Macy, the subject of this sketch, was born March 8, 1834, in Montgomery county, Ohio, received his education in the common schools, and was brought up on the farm. He enlisted at Dayton, Ohio, in company K, One Hundred and Thirty-first Ohio national guard, for 100 days, and served at Baltimore, Md., being stationed in the provost marshal's office, and was honorably discharged at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, in September, 1864.   On February 22, l865, he re-enlisted, this time in company H, One Hundred and Ninety-sixth Ohio volunteer infantry, to serve one year, but, the war coming to an end, he was discharged at Baltimore, Md., September 11, 1865. During the period of enlistment he saw service in the Shenandoah valley, Virginia. While he was sick in camp for two months, yet he was not in the hospital, and, excepting during this sickness, he was always prompt and active in the performance of his duties as a soldier.

On December 28, 1865, he was married in Dayton, Ohio, to Miss Elizabeth Frees, who was born December 21, 1843, and is a daughter of Jacob and Rebecca (Alloway) Frees. Jacob Frees was a native of Pennsylvania, coming to Ohio in the early days and settling in Montgomery county on a farm in Clay township. He was a well-educated man, and was county surveyor for many years and also justice of the peace. In his earlier life he was a school teacher, for years. He was married in Pennsylvania, and his children were as follows: Peter, Rebecca, Catherine, David, Samuel, Mary, George and Elizabeth. He was a good farmer and improved his already excellent farm, making it one of the very best in the county. He lived to be sixty-eight years of age and was a member of the Lutheran church. Politically, he was a. democrat, and was a man of high character and standing in the community.  He had two sons in the late Civil war, viz: Samuel, who served three years in the Eighteenth U. S. regular infantry, and participated in the battles of Pittsburg Landing and Stone River; and George, who served one year in the One Hundred and Eighty-seventh Ohio volunteer infantry.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Macy settled on eighty acres of land in Darke county, Ohio, and lived there for three years, when they removed to Phillipsburg.  Here they lived one year and then went to Kansas, in 1871, settling on 160 acres of land in Greenwood county. Here they lived twenty-four years, improving and cultivating their land, and then returned to Montgomery county, Ohio, having bought their present farm in 1893.  Both are members of the Christian church, and in politics Mr. Macy is a republican. He is a man of great strength and independence of character and maintains the principles in which he believes with much force of reason and sound judgment. Few men, if any, in this county, are looked upon with more favor and respect than is the subject of this sketch.


GEORGE W. MELLINGER, [pages 1021-1022] of Brookville, Ohio, sprang from Pennsylvania-Dutch ancestry.   He was born near Carlisle, Cumberland county, Pa., April 5, 1844, and is a son of Joseph and Lydia (Kissinger) Mellinger.  When he was nine months old he was brought by his parents to Ohio, where they first settled m Crawford county, living there until 1856, when they removed with their family to Montgomery county, and settled in Salem. In these two counties their son George was educated, attending the common school until he was seventeen years old, and in November, 1861, he enlisted at Troy, Ohio, in company E, Seventy-first Ohio volunteer infantry, for three years or during the war. He veteranized as a member of this same company January 14, 1864, at Gallatin, Tenn., was discharged at San Antonio, Tex., and was mustered out at Columbus, Ohio, January 9, 1865. He was in the battle of Shiloh, and was captured at Bowling Green, Ky., in August, 1862. Being immediately paroled, he was sent to Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, where he was exchanged, and in January, 1863, returned to his regiment at Fort Henry, Tenn. He was in the latter part of the Atlanta campaign, and participated in the battle at Lovejoy Station, after which he was in the march to Nashville, Tenn., having a skirmish with the rebels at Pulaski, Tenn., and a battle at Franklin, Tenn., on the way to Nashville. In the battle of Nashville he was wounded by a glancing shot in the left leg, from the effects of which he was compelled to lie in hospital at Nashville and at Jeffersonville, Ind., for six weeks. Rejoining his regiment at Huntsville, Ala., he went with it to Texas and served there during the remainder of his term of enlistment. Mr. Mellinger regards as his hardest march that from Atlanta to Nashville, another trying experience being a march in Texas, on which the troops suffered exceedingly from want of water. He was a participant in all the active service of his regiment, and was promoted to corporal for meritorious conduct.

The war having ended, he returned to Montgomery county, and on May 26, 1868, married Malinda Spitler, who was born October 20, 1846, in Perry township. She is a daughter of David and Nancy L. (McCormick) Spitler, the former of whom was a native of Pennsylvania and a son of Jacob and Catherine (Houk) Spitler. David Spitler was one of the original pioneers of Perry township, settling on the farm now owned by Jesse Wagoman. Jacob Spitler was also one of the original settlers of Perry township, clearing up a farm from the woods.

David Spitler was twice married, his children by his first wife being: Grizzann, William, Catherine, Mary and Daniel, the latter of whom died at the age of twenty-three. By his second wife David Spitler had the following children: Malinda, Abner, Jacob, Martha Jane and David.  He was a man of high character, a member of the Lutheran church, to which most of his children also belonged, and was a substantial and successful farmer.  He served as township trustee, and lived to be sixty-five years of age.

Mr. and Mrs. Mellinger have lived in Perry township ever since their marriage. Their children are as follows: Ambrose; Edna; Irene, who died March 11, 1893; Flora B., Cleora V. and Lottie F. Mr. and Mrs. Mellinger are members of the Lutheran church, as was the daughter who died. Politically, Mr. Mellinger is a democrat. He is a member of Foster-Marshall post, No. 587, G. A. R., of which he has been officer of the day and also guard.


CHRISTIAN MEYER, [pages 1022-1023] a successful farmer, of Perry township, Montgomery county, Ohio, was born June 7, 1840, in Wuldungen, village of Klinnen, Prussia, and is a son of Christian and Catherine (Toegen) Meyer, the former of whom was a farmer, owning 100 acres of land which had belonged to his father, Frederick Meyer, who, in his turn, had inherited it from his forefathers.  It had been in the family for many generations.  Christian Meyer and wife were the parents of the following children: Conrad, Jacob, Henry, Christian, Dorothy, Elizabeth and Catherine,  Mr. Meyer was a member of the Lutheran church, was well-to-do, was an honored and valued citizen, and died at the age of seventy-three.

Christian Meyer, the subject of this sketch, received a good common-school education in Prussia, and there learned the carpenter's trade. He came to the United States when nineteen years of age, sailing from Bremen, Germany, May 12, 1858, in an old-fashioned sailing vessel, and was some seven weeks on the sea, landing in New York in July, and reaching Chicago on July 4. Here he followed his trade for a month and then went to Dayton, Ohio, where he had friends, and where he worked at his trade, and also in a sash factory.

Like many other foreigners, he entered the volunteer army of the Union, enlisting August 16, 1861, at Dayton, Ohio, becoming a member of company B, First regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, to serve for three years or during the war. Lewis Coleman was his captain. Having served his full term he was honorably discharged at Louisville, Ky., August 16, 1864. He was in the battles of Pittsburg Landing, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, and in the entire Atlanta campaign, during which his regiment was under fire almost without cessation for four months. During this campaign he was in the battles of Buzzard's Roost Mountain, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, and Atlanta, in which last engagement Gen. McPherson was killed. Mr. Meyer was discharged at White's Station and mustered out at Louisville, Ky.  He was always an active soldier, and being in company B, a flanking company, was in many skirmishes and in other positions of unusual danger.  He was in all the battles and skirmishes in which his regiment was engaged, and was slightly wounded at Stone River by a musket ball, but did not go to the hospital.

Returning to Dayton, Ohio, from the war, he worked for some time at his trade and then went to Nashville for the government in 1864. remaining about a year. He was married in Dayton, Ohio, in 1868, to Miss Frederika Pfeiffer, who was born August 18, 1847, in the village in Prussia which was her husband's birthplace. She was a daughter of Carl and Henrietta (Bruno) Pfeiffer, who were the parents of the following children: Elizabeth, Henrietta, Frederika and Augusta. Mr. Pfeiffer was well educated, a member of the Lutheran church and died in Prussia at the ripe age of seventy-one years.

Christian Meyer, after his marriage, settled in Dayton, where he worked at his trade for several years. In 1878 he removed to Perry township, where he purchased a farm of sixty-two acres, upon which he has since lived and which he has improved and developed in many directions. He and his wife have the following children : Charles, Louis, Catherine, William, Henry, Sadie and Elizabeth.  Mr. and Mrs. Meyer are members of the Lutheran church, as are also their children.  Mr. Meyer is a republican in politics.


JOSHUA V.  MILLS, [pages 1023-1024] a prominent citizen of Montgomery county, Ohio, was born August 31, 1839, in Perry township,  His parents were William and Jane (Campbell) Mills, the former of whom was the son of Joshua and Lucy Mills. Joshua Mills was a New Jersey farmer, and was married in that state. He and his wife, Lucy, were the parents of the following children: Nancy, Jane, John, Rebecca, William, Sallie, Grace and Mary. Joshua Mills moved from New Jersey to Ohio in 1818, and entered a tract of 160 acres of land near Pyrmont, settling thereon when it and most of the surrounding country was covered with timber. He was a well-known pioneer and citizen of the early days, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and died in 1852, at the age of seventy-seven years.

William Mills, father of Joshua V. Mills, was born in 1806, and came with his father, Joshua, to Ohio, when he was little more than twelve years of age.  He received the usual education and training of the district school, and grew up on the farm. He married Jane Campbell, daughter of John and Naomi (Gustin) Campbell, the family of the latter being early settlers of Perry township. John Campbell was a farmer of Scotch ancestry.

Immediately after their marriage William and Jane Mills settled one and a half miles south of Pyrmont, on sixty-one acres of land, from which they added from time to time until their farm contained 180 acres, all under cultivation, and nearly all of which they had cleared from the woods. They were people of excellent character, highly esteemed by their neighbors, and reared a family of seven children, as follows: Bethany, John, Lucy, Samuel, Naomi, Joshua V. and William. Mrs. Mills died in 1848, and Mr. Mills then married Miss Jane Clemmer, by whom he had five children: George, Edgar, Eliza J., Joseph and Hiram. William Mills died in 1885, at the age of seventy-nine years.

Joshua V. Mills was brought up to the life of a farmer. On October 28, 1861, he enlisted in company B, Seventy-first Ohio volunteer infantry, under Capt. McConnell, for three years or during the war. Having served his time he veteranized, January 13, 1864, at Gallatin, Tenn., in the same organization, and continued in active service until mustered out January 3, 1865, at San Antonio, Tex. He was promoted first to corporal, and in February, 1863, to sergeant. He was in some of the most important battles of the war, among them those of Shiloh and Fort Donelson, and most of those of the Atlanta campaign, including Jonesboro and Lovejoy Station. Returning after this campaign to Nashville by way of Columbia, Tenn., and Spring Hill, he was in the battle of Franklin and also in that of Nashville, when Gen. Hood was so overwhelmingly defeated by Gen. Thomas. Afterward his regiment went to Greenville, east Tennessee. Returning to Nashville, Mr. Mills went with his regiment to New Orleans, arriving there June 28, and on the 5th of July went down to the gulf of Mexico and to Texas, remaining until December. In Texas the regiment marched from Indianola to San Antonio and on to Matagorda Bay. Companies B and E of this regiment were engaged from July, 1863, to August, 1864, in fighting guerrillas in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, and were in many skirmishes.

Mr. Mills was always an active soldier, and was wounded in the battle of Nashville, a bullet striking him in the right shoulder.  He walked five miles before having any attention given to his wound, when the ball was extracted and the wound dressed. Next morning at daylight he rejoined his regiment.   He was in all the battles, marches and skirmishes in which his regiment was engaged, and was a good and faithful soldier throughout the war.

After returning from the army he was married, November 1, 1865, in Perry township, Montgomery county, to Miss Anna Myers, who was born in that township March 19, 1846, and who is a daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Hilton) Myers. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Mills settled on eighty acres of land, upon which they still live and which he has greatly improved.  Mr. and Mrs. Mills are the parents of ten children, as follows: Emma, Flora, John, Mattie, Cora, Eva, Ada, William, Orlando and Earl.  Mr. Mills is a trustee in the United Brethren church, of which both he and his wife are members.  In politics, he is a republican. The children have received a good education, and one of them, Mattie, is now a school-teacher, having been prepared in the Ada Normal school.

Jacob Myers, father of Mrs. Mills, was born August 17, 1818, in Lancaster county, Pa., and is a son of Samuel and Barbara (Harnish) Myers. In 1843 he was married in Lancaster county, to Catherine Hiller, a native of that county, and a daughter of John and Annie (Resh) Hiller.  In 1845 Mr. and Mrs. Myers settled in Perry township, Montgomery county, Ohio, on 160 acres of land, mostly covered with woods, which Mr. Myers converted into a most excellent farm.  He and his wife reared the following children: Annie, John, Jacob, Allen, Mary E., Emma, Amanda, and Idella.  Mr. Myers was a trustee in the United Brethren church, of which his wife was also a member, and in politics, he was a republican, as such holding the office of township trustee for several years. His death, occurred July 22, 1891, when he was seventy-three years of age.   He is remembered as a man of integrity and high character.  His son John was a member of company B, Ninety-third Ohio volunteer infantry, and served his country well, though only sixteen years old when he enlisted.


LEE MITCHELL, [pages 1024-1025] secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Bookwalter Wheel company, and a prominent citizen of Montgomery county, was born in Camden, Preble county, Ohio, June 6, 1846.  He is a son of Samuel and Maria (Walters) Mitchell, both natives of Ohio. Samuel Mitchell, a cabinetmaker by trade, was for many years engaged as a farmer in Illinois. In 1865 he removed to Dayton, Ohio, where he lived until his death, which occurred July 5, 1890, in his eighty-third year.  He and his wife were the parents of two children: Ebenezer, a soldier in the late Civil war, who died in 1864, of disease contracted in the service, and Lee, the subject of this sketch.

Lee Mitchell was reared in Ohio and Illinois, received a good common-school education, and came to Dayton with his parents in 1865. Here in company with his father he went into the grocery business, under the firm name of Mitchell & Son, and continued thus engaged for four years.  In 1870 he located in Miamisburg, and went to work as a shop hand for Bookwalter, Bro. & Co., of which firm his father was a stockholder, young Lee also representing his father's interests in the concern. The intention was that he should learn the business thoroughly and then be given an official position in the company, which intention was carried out. After several years of active service in the shops he was made bookkeeper for the firm, which position he held until 1889, when he was made general manager.  At length, in 1890, the Standard Wheel company absorbed Bookwalter. Bro. & Co., and Mr. Mitchell held the same position with the new company until it closed down.  He then became secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Bookwalter Wheel company, which he assisted in organizing in 1891; this position he still holds, having therein full charge of the business. His special qualifications for the business have made him unusually successful, and to his business ability and energy the company owes much of its present success and prosperity.

Mr. Mitchell has been twice married. His first wife was Helen Reel, daughter of Abram Reel, of Dayton, Ohio, and by her he had one child, Charles L. Mitchell, a graduate of the university of Michigan and now a successful dentist. His second wife was Hannah Zehring, of Miamisburg, by whom he has four children, as follows: S. Wilbur, Edith M., Helen and Howard, L. Mr. Mitchell is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and a Knight of Pythias.  He is a stockholder and director in the Citizens' National bank, and a stockholder in the Miamisburg Twine & Cordage company. In politics he is a republican, and in all respects he is a much esteemed citizen of the county in which he lives, enjoying the confidence of the community to an unusual degree.


JOHN F. MOIST, [pages 1025-1026] an active farmer of Randolph township, springs from stalwart Pennsylvania, stock, his ancestors having come originally from Switzerland. Henry Moist, his grandfather, owned a farm in Juniata county. Pa., and was the father of the following children: Henry, David, Abraham, Michael, John, Solomon, Daniel, who died when quite young; Sallie, Jacob and Betsey.  Henry Moist, the father of these children, died in Juniata county.

Jacob Moist, the father of John F., was born in Juniata county, Pa., in 1820, and came to Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1845. The next year he married Miss Annie Hocker, who was born in Dauphin county, Pa., October 15, 1824, and was a daughter of John and Catherine (Sterling) Hocker. John Hocker was born in Dauphin county, Pa., removed to Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1837, and settled on the farm of 240 acres now occupied by his son, Adam Hocker. His wife, Catherine Sterling, was born in Germany on the river Neckar, and lived to the great age of ninety-eight years, dying in 1890 or 1891.

Jacob Moist, soon after his marriage, settled on a farm near Harrisburg, and lived there one year, when, in 1848, he bought the farm on which his son now lives, and which contained sixty-two acres.  He partially cleared it of its timber and converted it into a productive farm.  He was well known for many miles around as a man of high character and upright living, and was in every way trustworthy. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Moist were as follows: John F., Almira J., Frances C., and three that died in infancy.  Mr. and Mrs. Moist were members of the church of the Brethren in Christ, or River Brethren.  Mrs. Moist died January 21, 1879.

John F. Moist was born January 16, 1847, in Randolph township, Montgomery county, was reared on the farm and received a good education in the district school. He afterward attended the National normal institute, at Lebanon, Ohio, for three winters, in order to fit himself for teaching school. After this he taught school for five years in Randolph, Clay and Madison townships, being a successful teacher. He resided on the farm, and combined farming with teaching. When he was thirty years of age he married Sarah E. Ralston, the ceremony being performed April 17, 1877. She was a daughter of James and Hettie (Moist) Ralston, and was born October 24, 1856. James Ralston, her father, was a son of Samuel and Rachael (Henderson) Ralston, the former of whom was born in England and came to America when he was twenty-one years of age, leaving in England two brothers and a sister. For sometime he lived in Philadelphia, and then moved to Lancaster county, Pa., married and had the following children: Samuel, Alfred, David, Dayton, Elizabeth, Frances and James. Samuel Ralston was a farmer, and died in Lancaster county, Pa.

James H. Ralston, the father of Mrs. Moist, was born in Lancaster county, Pa., November 4, 1827, and received a common-school education. He lost his father when he was ten years old, and the support of his mother and the younger children thereupon devolved largely on him for a number of years. Upon arriving at mature years he married Hettie Moist, who was born in Juniata county, Pa., February 7, 1833, and was a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Runk) Moist. James H. Ralston settled in Center county, Pa., and in 1862 removed to Ohio, locating in Miami county, a short distance west of Troy, and in 1870 settled three miles east of Troy, still in Miami county. In 1885 he went to Kansas, settling in Nemaha county, where he died January 21, 1891.  His children were as follows: Sarah E., George, Philip, James W., Jacob, Alfred, Samuel, David, Dora. Mrs. Ralston died in 1875, aged forty-two years. She was a woman of excellent qualities, and a member of the church of the River Brethren. Mr. Ralston was a practical farmer and a most excellent man in every way, reliable, truthful and successful.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Moist settled on the old Moist farm, and he has resided on the farm ever since his birth, and in 1887 he purchased the farm. He ranks among the most advanced and intelligent members of the community. To Mr. and Mrs. Moist there have been born the following children; Ianthe M., Harvey C., Jacob F., Albert R., Arthur G., and Annie M. The parents are members of the River Brethren church. Politically, Mr. Moist is a republican, and is much interested in public affairs. He has served as a member of the school board for thirteen years, and his children have been well educated. Ianthe M. graduated in the township high school in 1895, and holds a teacher's certificate.  Mr. and Mrs. Moist are among the best people in the county, taking great interest in educational and religious work, and exerting a wide influence for good in their vicinity.


FRANK S. NELSON, [pages 1026-1027] secretary and treasurer of the Enterprise Carriage Manufacturing company, and a prominent citizen of Montgomery county, was born in Newport, Ky., January 25, 1863. He is a son of Robert and Mary F. (Henderson) Nelson and is of Scotch-Irish descent. He was reared in Cincinnati, and was educated first in the public schools, and afterward in Oberlin college, one of the most famous institutions of learning in the country. In 1882 he began his business career as bookkeeper for a Cincinnati house, which position he retained until 1891, when he removed to Miamisburg with the Enterprise Carriage Manufacturing company, which had been established in Cincinnati in 1879.  Its plant in Miamisburg is one of the largest in the world for the manufacture of popular priced vehicles of all descriptions. Much of its machinery was built after special designs and for the exclusive use of the factory in Miamisburg, which is without doubt the most perfectly equipped establishment of the kind in the country. The products of this manufactory have a world-wide reputation, and it has been kept working to the limit of its capacity almost constantly since its establishment in Miamisburg.  Mr. Nelson is a. large stockholder, and has held the positions of secretary and treasurer since its establishment in Miamisburg.  The success and present standing of the enterprise is largely due to his intelligent and tactful management.

Mr. Nelson was married, November 20, 1895, to Miss Erne, daughter of Eden and Alice Engleman, of Maryland.  He is one of the most enterprising and progressive citizens of Miamisburg, is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine, and in politics is a democrat.  Few men, if any, in the county, stand higher in the estimation of the business, social and religious world than does Mr. Nelson.

Return to "Centennial Portrait" Home Page