History of Duchouquet & city of Wapakoneta, Auglaize County, Ohio (part 2)
From: History of Auglaize County, Ohio
Edited By: William J. McMurray
Histotical Publishing Company
Indianapolis - 1923


The first mayor of the new town at the site of the old Indian village, following the incorporation of Wapakoneta in 1849, was George W. Andrews, a lawyer, who also was editor of the newspaper that was started there by his brother, William P. Andrews, in that year. Andrews was succeeded by C. W. Cowan and he in 1853 by J. S. Williams, who was followed by I. F. Coples, who resigned before the expiration of his term of office, Sabirt Scott being appointed to take his place. Mr. Andrews again was elected and in 1857 was succeeded by A. H. Trimble and he by W. V. M. Layton, who was succeeded by Henry B. Kelly, who had bought the local newspaper and had changed the name of the same to the Democrat and who was serving as mayor when the Civil war broke out. In 1862 B. G. Devore was elected mayor and in the next year was succeeded by S. B. Ayers, who was followed by Edward Meyer, who was serving when the war came to a close. Devore was again elected in 1865 and was followed by Kelly, elected for another term, who was succeeded by J. D. Marshall and he by W. V. M. Layton for another term, after which Kelly was again elected and was serving his third term when he sold his newspaper in 1874 and resigned his office, leaving town for another field. Kelly was succeeded as mayor by William Miles, who was succeeded by Capt. Robert McMurray, a lawyer and editor of the Democrat, who died in office in 1876 and was succeeded by H. Moser, the latter being followed in turn by Levi Hamaker, Samuel Bitler, A. M. Kuhn, John Hassenier, C. A. Stueve, T. J. Cartmell, J. G. Wisener, J. J. Connaughton, J. G. Heinrich, F. W. Freyman, H. C. Wentz and George W. Hassenier, the latter of whom in 1910 was succeeded by T. J. Cartmell, elected for another term. J. J. Hay then served from 1912 to 1916 and was followed by Fred A. Klipfel, who served one term and was succeeded by Elmer E. Newcomer. In 1921 Fred A Klipfel was re elected mayor and is thus the present (1922) incumbent in that executive office, his administration beginning on January 1, 1922, for a period of two years.

The other members of the city administration are as follows: President of council, Newman McK. Metz; councilmen at large, Henry Knost, William Hastings and Arnold Yaggi; First ward, A. F. Schneider; Second ward, Otto Buchanan; Third ward, Joseph B. Miller; Fourth ward, Frank Budde; city auditor; Fred Nester; treasurer, Ditmore Spees; clerk of council, Rue P. Melching; chief of fire department, Oscar R. Vorhees; chief of police, James C. Ague; safety director, William Zint; service director, Howard B. Benner; street commissioner, Wilson Howard; superintendent light and water plant, Harry Nagle; clerk water and light department, Gilbert Kiefer; city solicitor, Frank P. Connaughton; health commissioner, Dr. Carl L. Mueller; board of health, Mayor Klipfel presiding and J. F. Moser, Carl D. Fischer, Dr. J. L. Goetz, Henry Woehler and Jacob Luginbuhl; board of education, Edward Trau (president), Jacob T. Koenig, Carl D. Fischer, Theo H. Tangeman, Emil H. Moser and Superintendent C. C. Nardin (clerk of board).


It was along in the middle '70s under the efficient executive direction of Robert McMurray, then mayor of the city, that Wapakoneta began to grope its way "out of the woods." Captain McMurray, a lawyer who had been an officer in the Union army during the Civil war, was also editor of the Democrat and a man of admirable administrative and executive capacity. When he entered the office of the Democrat not long after his return from the army, he found Wapakoneta little more than a typical "backwoods" town, the streets grown over with dog fennel and smartweed, cattle and hogs running freely at large through the streets and a condition generally indicative of a civic lassitude that was far from promising. That was in the days of the "big timber" and the town was full of timbermen from the neighboring saw mills and lumber camps, a pretty rough set - as all who recall the days of the lumber camps will agree. There were of course the concomitants of gambling and worse, and the saloon seemed the dominant influence in the town. The state of apparent lawlessness thus engendered naturally was retarding the development of the county seat along all lines. Captain McMurray's attitude toward these things - for he was fighting them with both voice and pen - presently pointed to him as the apparently logical corrective and the self respecting elements of the town persuaded him to become a candidate for the office of mayor, promising to help him to "clean up." In a bitterly contested campaign in which he was opposed with all the cunning and guile of the forces that were retarding the development of the town he was elected.

Upon entering the office of mayor, Captain McMurray announced his program in terms that could be understood by all. He reorganized the police department and started in to clean up, with the result that his very life not infrequently was threatened His friends stood manfully behind him, however, and it was not long until results became apparent. The saloons and gambling houses were forced to pay some regard to the tenets of decency, the dog fennel was eradicated from the streets, pig stys were banished from the corporate limits, roaming cattle were coralled, streets and sidewalks were given more attention than they ever before had received and a program of general civic betterment was inaugurated. After a year or two of this sort of municipal housecleaning even many of the former offenders began to recognize the benefits of the Captain's program and joined in the spirit of the campaign for a better and brighter town. The county seat was emerging from the back woods.

Unhappily, Captain McMurray's program was interrupted by his death in the very prime of his useful and unselfish life, but the good work that he had instituted was bearing fruits apparent to all and his successors in office maintained something of the same spirit, so that the curb placed by him upon the elements that had been retarding the town never thereafter was wholly relaxed. In any review of the development of the county seat of Auglaize county, the memory of Capt. Robert McMurray should be kept in mind. He awakened the civic consciousness of the people of the county seat as no one before him had done and the beneficient influence thus exerted is a continuing one not only in that immediate community but throughout the county.


With the coming of the railroad in 1858 commercial affairs at Wapakoneta, took on new impetus and this was reflected throughout the county and particularly throughout Duchouquet township Prior to that time the local saw mills, grist mills, tannery, distillery, blacksmith shops and wagon shops were about all that were required to keep pace with the industrial demands of the people and there was little opportunity for expansion. Not long after the railroad came the Civil war broke out and this served as a setback to industrial expansion. After the war and the resumption of activities along all lines, the woodworking industries here began to develop, the great wealth of hardwood timber hereabout making this a particularly profitable field.

In the meantime, following the close of the war, James H. Skinner had started a private bank at Wapakoneta, the first bank in the town, and this served as a great convenience to the community, offering exchange facilities that had been lacking. James H. Skinner, the pioneer banker, was born at Dayton and was ten years of age when his father, Robert J. Skinner, receiver of the land office, was transferred from Piqua to Wapakoneta in 1832. He thus "grew up" at Wapakoneta and early became an active figure in the general life of the community, serving for some time when little more than a boy as postmaster of the town, at the same time being engaged in the grocery business. Following the gold rush after 1849 he went to California, but returned in 1854 and became engaged as a buyer and shipper of cattle. He later served a deputyship in the county auditor's office and in 1860 was elected recorder of Auglaize county and by re-election served in this official capacity during the Civil war period. In 1866 Mr. Skinner started his bank at Wapakoneta and continued thus engaged until his death in the fall of 1878.

The second bank started in the town was the Farmers Bank, established in 1870 by Samuel Bitler, and in 1876, at about what may be regarded as the close of the pioneer period for this county, Francis Fritsche started the Peoples Bank. In the meantime the pioneer woodworking industries were beginning to expand and in 1872 the present extensive spoke and wheel works (re-organized in 1910) was incorporated and started out on the career which has made its products known all over the country. In the next year (1873) the bent wood works, another industry that has carried the name of Wapakoneta far, was established. Other woodworking industries that began to develop about that time were the handle factory, two furniture factories, two establishments for the manufacture of wagons and carriages, besides which there was a flourishing broom factory, two flour mills, two breweries and two tanneries, which with certain lesser industries about included the industrial activities of the town when it entered upon its period of reconstruction along in the early '80s.

During the '80s the business section of the town was practically rebuilt, the old frame buildings giving way to buildings of brick or stone, and such building as has been done since then has been of an up to date character. As the people prospered and as conditions of living became somewhat easier, there also was a general reconstruction in the residence section and the fine modern homes which now distinguish the city began to appear. Happily, the "fathers" of the community had been thoughtful in planting shade trees along the streets and these now grown to noble proportions give a wonderful summer setting to the picturesquely situated county seat town, this shade with the miles of paved streets flanked by ample and well kept lawns, attracting the attention of tourists passing through on the two intersecting trunk highways which make Wapakoneta a sort of a center for travel north and south and east and west.

Among the industries whose manufactured products now add to the fame of Wapakoneta, besides the wheel works and the bent wood works mentioned above, there is a machine shop for the manufacture of heavy shear knives, a hollow ware factory, a chain factory, a churn factory, a plant for the manufacture of "iceless" refrigerators, a carriage factory, a lumber and finishing mill, a canning plant, an extensive branch of a nationally known cigar factory, a cement block plant, a lightning rod assembling plant, a creamery, a buggy shop and the varied industries that have sprung up attendant on the development of the automobile industry. The old brewery that was put out of business under the operation of the prohibition law is now manufacturing ice and "soft" drinks.


The various commercial activities of the city are well represented and well established and the spirit of continuing enterprise is promoted by an active Chamber of Commerce of which Carl D. Fischer is president, Rue P. Melching secretary, and Frank Swonguer treasurer, these with William Hamilton, George Newcomb, Roy Haman, Howard Benner, G. A. Wintzer, W. B. Morey, W. G. Holley and J. S. Groll constituting the directorate of the chamber. The first commercial association organized in the town was in 1889 during the height of the natural gas excitement throughout this part of the state and this early association, which was known as the Wapakoneta Board of Trade, did much toward promoting a spirit of co-operation in industrial and commercial activities. The directors of that historic association or board of trade were H. W. Taeusch, Henry Moser, L. N. Blume, Theo Dickman, F. J. McFarland, J. H. Timmermeister, William Kreitzer C. A. Stueve, M. Brown, C. A. Layton; J. L. Carson, J. H. Doering and S. W. McFarland.

Co-operating with and actively supplementing the work of the Chamber of Commerce, there is at Wapakoneta a well organized Kiwanis Club, which is carrying on the general promotive operations for which Kiwanians stand throughout the country under their banner "We Build." This club was organized at a banquet meeting held at Wapakoneta on the evening of May 13, 1921, and the charter presentation was made on the following May 24. Following is a roster of the membership of the Wapakoneta Kiwanis Club, a list that will be of much value in succeeding generations as typically representative of the men who were regarded as leaders in the various phases of commercial and industrial activity in the county seat at the time of this compilation: J. P. Anderson, drugs; Walter Arnold, insurance; George G. Bice, lumber; H. B. Benner, haberdashery; Gus Bowsher, hardware; Richard Boesel, probate judge; A. J. Brown, banking; Harve Brokaw, undertaking; Doctor Bobo, dentist; Asa Crawford, harness; W. T. Copeland, law; William Doorley, dry cleaning; M. C. Doty, dry goods; Bob Ewing, sheriff; Dr. G. B. Faulder, specialist; Frank Fisher, cigars; Charles E. Fisher, county auditor; Carl D. Fischer, manager; Fred Garretson, office man; Julius Groll, furniture; Harry Hanold, jewelry; William Hamilton, books; H. W. Hauss, automobiles; Dr. E. F. Heffner, physician; Louis Helpling, photography; W. G. Holly, chains; Homer Holmes, groceries; R. C. Haman, automobiles; Harry Kahn, shoes; A. A. Klipfel, banking; Fred A. Klipfel, mayor; Jacob F. Koenig, loans; Roy E. Layton, law; Andrew Lampert, county treasurer; Dwight Matchette, newspaper editor; R. D. Macdonald, jewelry; Rue Melching, newspaper reporter; J. H. Meyer, architect; Charles Miller, notions; John Mason, traveling salesman; George Newcomb, shoes; Herman Piel, clothing; John Purvis, decorating; Otto Rhine, drugs; Roland Rogers, dry goods; Laurence Reed, retail meats; O. S. Shaw, automobiles; Gilbert Smith, electrical; Ditmore Spees, barber; D. E. Stark, hotel; Lewis Stout, law; H. V. Swinehart, electrical engineer; F. M. Swonguer, furniture; George A. Shuster, surveying; Harry Shannon, actor; William Schuler, hay and feed; John Taeusch, groceries; William Timmermeister, Red Cross; C. J. Vossler, bottling; R. B. Wahrer, garage; J. H. Weghorst, seeds; Herb Wentz, coal; Carl Werner, retail meats, and Frank Zofkie, gents furnishing.

Conspicuously displayed opposite the B. & O. railway station, where travelers easily may read it while trains are standing at the station, is a great "sign," whereon is found the following: "Welcome - This is Wapakoneta, Ohio; population, 5,500; elevation, highest in state. Why locate here: A city of homes, good climate, pure spring water, cheap electrical power, natural gas, good transportation, fine drainage, modern schools, fine churches and lodges, many paved streets, best lighted city in state, strong financial institutions. Our factories make - welded chains, machine knives, wheels, spokes and rims, acetylene generators, hollow ware, churns, furniture, lumber, refrigerating machines, cigars and candy, canned goods and ice, tile and dairy products. Write Chamber of Commerce."


In further relation to the banks of Wapakoneta, it is found that the Farmers Bank started in 1870 by Samuel Bitler and referred to above, suspended after about ten years of operation, leaving the Peoples Bank, which was started by Francis Fritsche in 1876, occupying the field until the organization of the First National Bank in 1884. Two years later, in 1886, the Peoples Bank was reorganized as the Peoples National Bank, with Francis Fritsche as president and F. J. McFarland as cashier. The present officiary of this bank is as follows: President, S. W. McFarland; vice president, A. J. Brown; cashier, A. L. McMurray, who, together with F. J. Zofkie, C. A. Stueve, F. M. Swonguer, F. J. Rinehart, F. E. Bailey, C. C. Berlin and William Bibler constitute the directorate. The Peoples National Bank is capitalized at $100,000 and its current report as of May 5, 1922, reveals resources of $1,234,609.22, with a surplus fund of $75,000, undivided profits aggregating $26,588.93 and deposits amounting to $884,752.17.

The First National Bank of Wapakoneta was organized in 1884, with L. N. Blume as president and Charles F. Herbst, Sr., as cashier, the latter of whom died in 1910. Following the death of Mr. Blume in 1912 Charles F. Herbst, son of the former cashier of the bank, was elected president and is still serving in that capacity, the other members of the officiary of this bank being as follows: Vice presidents, E. A. Hauss and Harry G. Fisher; cashier, J. F. Moser, these with C. W. Timmermeister, Henry Moser, William Kreitzer, J. F. Goeke and F. C. Layton constituting the directorate of the bank. The First National Bank is capitalized at $200,000 and its report as of May 5, 1922, reveals resources of $2,097,237.60, with undivided profits amounting to $48,617.07, a surplus fund of $50,000 and deposits aggregating $1,528,570.43.

The above banks supplied the banking needs of the community until in 1911, when the Auglaize National Bank was organized with F. H. Haman as president. Following the death of Mr. Haman in 1915, William J. McMurray, then editor of The Auglaize Republican, was elected president of the bank. Mr. McMurray retired from the newspaper business at that time and has since been serving as president of the bank, the other members of the officiary of this bank being as follows: Vice president, William Bitler; cashier, A. A. Klipfel, these officers, together with R. C. Haman, Louis Piel (late deceased), S. A. Hoskins, A. G. Boogher, J. F. Seitz, J. M. Copeland and Edwin Abe, constituting the directorate of the bank. The Auglaize National Bank is capitalized at $100,000 and its report as of May 5, 1922, reveals resources of $1,075,425.89, with a surplus fund of $50,000, undivided profits amounting to $19,183.03, and deposits aggregating $666,322.95.

Further details regarding the commercial and industrial life of the county seat town as well as of the county in general will be found in references to the other towns and villages of the county and in the biographical section of this work, wherein is carried the life stories of many of the men who were leaders in the business life of the community in days gone by and of many who now are equally active and influential in their generation. Concerning these biographies and the wealth of information they carry, it may be well to bear in mind, as one thoughtful writer has put it, that "biography is the foundation of all history, for the processes of achievement grow out of what men do as men. These real things, the story of these individual achievements, must be recorded that they may bring back to the generations that are passing and those that are coming the memories of what they and their fathers did. The successors of these founders must know what were the foundations of our community history, that they may have in them and their builders that pride without which we cannot become and remain a united force. If our people cannot learn how their heritage has been created they will not have either the interest or the intelligence to know and understand the larger things in the world about them."


It was along in the early '90s that the people of Wapakoneta became aroused to the necessity of providing a proper waterworks system for the city and also to the need of installing an electric light plant. The matter was talked up and was made an issue in the fall election of 1894, a vote of approval being called for on both a waterworks and an electric light project, the proposed plants to be erected and maintained under municipal direction. The vote was against the projects, but the agitation was continued and in the following April election the proponents of the enterprise won out and the council issued bonds to cover the proposed improvements and set about the construction of the two plants. During the progress of the waterworks construction the men employed on the trenches went on a strike just at a time when flood waters filled the open trenches and in some instances caused the flooding of adjacent residence property. One citizen who volunteered to fill in the trenches along the block in which he lived, to avert the flood there, was attacked by a number of the strikers. In resisting the assault he shot and fatally wounded the two leaders of the strikers and this virtually ended the strike. That was in 1895 and the city has since successfully operated both its waterworks and electric light plants on the municipal plan.

As previously noted, Wapakoneta is singularly well favored in having artesian water in its mains, this being pumped into a standpipe, the pump house and the electric light plant being operated in conjunction. The city manufactured its own electric current until in 1920, when a contract was entered into with the Western Ohio Electric Railway Company for current supplied from that company's extensive plant at St. Marys. The old electric light plant was dismantled, the building reconstructed and a modern plant for the transformation of the high energy current from the traction company's huge plant substituted for the old machinery. It also was in the middle '90s that the demand for better and uniform sidewalks resulted in improvements along that line. In good time street paving followed. The call of progress has ever found Wapakoneta alert and responsive.


Duchouquet township was not set off as a separate civil unit of what then constituted Allen county until in the spring of 1833, a year following the departure of the Indians from this vicinity. In February, 1833, at a called meeting of the citizens of the town of Wapakoneta and the neighboring settlements held at the inn of Jeremiah Ayers in Wapakoneta a petition was formulated and was signed by all present praying the commissioners of Allen county to delimit the territory comprised within the present township and set it off as a township to be called Duchouquet. This petition was presented to the commissioners sitting at Lima on the following March 4 and was favorably acted upon, the commissioners then ordering an election to be held in the territory thus bounded (as set out in the introduction to this chapter) on the second Monday of April following to elect officers for the new township. At this election officers were elected as follows: Trustees, Peter Hammell, William Patton and Shadrach Montgomery, the last named of whom became a member of the first board of county commissioners upon the erection of Auglaize county fifteen years later; township clerk, James Elliott; treasurer, John Tam; supervisors, Beal Spurrier, Samuel Howell and William Spray; overseers of the poor, Alonzo Neal and Samuel Howell, fence viewers, Bryant McNamore and Jacob Thatcher; justices of the peace, Charles L. Levering and James Elliott, and constables, Henry VanBlaricome and John Campbell.

These officials took their respective offices in due time and Duchouquet township got down to business, by the time Auglaize county was set off in 1848 having become a pretty well settled and rapidly improving farming community of great potential wealth. The promise of improvement which buoyed up the settlers upon whom fell the hard task of clearing the land has been fulfilled in a manner that their most vivid dreams could not have pictured. Present conditions have been brought about in less than one hundred years. What will the next century bring forth in the way of continued progress?


The tax duplicate for the year 1848 shows the following landowners in Duchouquet township when Auglaize county was erected: Jeremiah Ayers, George Ayers, Aughenbaugh & Barnett, George Albine, Larew Allen, Daniel M. Arthur, Malcomb Anderson, John Anderson, William Armstrong, John Armstrong, Benjamin M. Baker, Elias Burk, Isaac Borton, Sr., Isaac Borton, Jr., Job Borton, Ann Borton, Rebecca Borden, Jacob Borden, James Burden, Joshua Burden, G. W. Burke, William Burke, ____ Baltzell, William Butler, Nathaniel Brown, Andrew Baliner, Therebaugh Butterfield, John Boreman, George Berewint, Mathias Bumgardner, Erhart Burk, John Brower, David Bobp, John C. Bothe, Melyun D. Baker, John Bidleman, William Butterworth, George Bear, Philip Blank, Anton Bowdentesser, George Brown, Philip Brocket, William Beckdolt, F. H. Binkley, James Buchannon, Abijah Bedd, M. D. Brook, George S. Binkley, John Bumfield, Jonas H. Buncutter, Jonas Belknap, Benjamin M. Baker, Nathan Cretcher, Miles Cowan, Cyrus Clark, Christian Cook, George Coon, Peter Catrow, Julia J. Chamberlain, Joseph Conread, George Conread, Thomas Crawford, Joseph Craft, Nicholas Clen, Jacob Cook, Zephaniah Catrow, James Crozier, Erastue Deigh, Peter Delashment, John Decklar, Hamilton Davison, William Deval, Anthony Davis, G. H. Dapper, William Dohn, Jacob Delong, George Delong, Abraham Ebright, Thomas C. Edmond, John Elliott, James Elliott, David Edimston, Henry Eckhart, George Emerick, George Espy, L. D. Ford, Archibald Fisher, Rebecca Fox, Adam Focht, Edward Fitzpatrick, J. M. Freiman, David Fronfield, Thomas Foster, Lorentz Fry, Valentine Flegel, John Frazier, Henry Freyer, Jacob Fleming, Joseph Fulton, Fredrick Greider, George Grisso, John Griebel, Elisha Griffith, M. R. Guthridge, Abraham Gardner, Adam Guise, Hiram Garver, Conrad Heile, Bernard Heidecker, P. V. Herzing, Henry Heidecker, Joseph Hangstler, John Hutching, J. H. Housmeyer, John Heile, Jacob Hittle, Joseph Hoover, C. & J. Harbine, Ambrose Harvey, Ayers & Howell Hammel, Joseph Haywood, Francis Houk, Peter Hammel, G. W. Holbrook, Manuel Hoover, John A. Holtzerman, John B. Hoops, Richard Jones, Jacob Jenkins, F. & Thomas Johnston & Co., Ephraim Jenkins, T. K. Jacobs, Anna Kritza, Jacob Kritzer, Martin Kentner, Lewis Koch, Joseph Kenninger, Lorentz Kahlor, Anthony Kuntz, John, Isaac and Robert Kemper, Joseph Lowery, Samuel Larew, Michael Leatherman, F. H. Lancomer, Israel Lucas, George Liblin, Esther Levering, B. H. Lanning, Mathias Lancomer, John Lowery, the Widow Monroe, Michael Miller, Antone Miller, Sr., Antone Miller, Jr., John Miller, Frederick Matzgar, James Miller, William McCartney, Thornton E. Marks, James Marks, Martin Miller, John Mason, Robert McMurray, John Morningstar, Richard Matheany, Archelaus Martin, E. Master, Andrew McClure, Andrew Moffitt, Joseph Markle, Enoch Moore, George Morrin, Joseph Miller, Joseph Marks, Samuel Mayer, Jacob Mowrer, Charles McClintick, John Norris, Adam and Jacob Overholser, H. H. Oswald, Amos Parlette, Philip Plaff, Joshua Parlette, Samuel Ross, Eli and William Reicheldarfer, Peter Rohrabaker, Philip Range, Justus Romshe, Thomas, Charles and Silas Roney, Adam Richey, Jacob Snider, Andrew Scott Robert Serrels, R. J. Skinner, Skinner & VanHorn, Samuel Serrels, Mathias Spees, B. Spurner, Neal Shaw, J. P. Shack elton, Frederick Sallard, George Spangler, Casper, Catherine, Oliver, Amie and Daniel Smith, Henry Stoddart, Christopher Strickler, William B. Spaulding, John Saum, David D. Schafer, William F. Schroader, Larkin Smith, John Schooler, George F. and James M. Shaw, Samuel Sprague, William Shaw. Jacob Schafer, Leonard Sellers, George Sopman, John Shawber, B. A. Satterthwaite, Moses Trayer, John Tam, Thomas Throckmorton, B. H. Thorne, Joel P. Ullery, VanHorn & Skinner, William A. VanHorn, Thomas VanHorn, Jacob Whiteman, George Winemiller, Terban Walter, J. K. Wilds, J. G. Wolf, Joseph Weymert, John Weaver, Jr., Ebenezer Wheeler, G. W. Williams, Moses Wheeler, Reuben Winget, John Williams, Stephen M. Wheeler, J. G. Wolf, John Xander, Joseph Young, Michael Yarzell, Joseph Zink, Jacob Zinn and Samuel Zurmely.

In the town of Wapakoneta there were listed at that time the following lot owners: Jeremiah and Grover Ayers, Peter Bon, John Bonner, John C. Bothe, Jacob Burden, Anthony Buckley, G. W. Bearinger, Daniel Biller, S. M. Brower, Conrad Bimel, John Bimel, Casper Bonfig, John and Charles Bobp, William Craft, William Craft, Jr., John C. Clawson, John Clawson, F. Drake, Antony Dieker, Michael Dumbroff, Simon Dresher, John and James Elliott, J. G. Freeman, John H., Benjamin and Thomas Fisher, C. G. Galezior, Charles Herbst, Job Haines, Jacob Hartman, Francis Holtzhauzer, P. V. Herzing, George Hay, Henry and Bernard Heideker, Joseph Hamilton, George W. Holbrook, R. S. Joslyn, Elisha Jolly, Daniel Jacobs, Christian Kearnes, Joseph Keller, S. B. King, George Kohn, Henry Leckey, Mary Littlefield, James Morrow, J. V. McLelland, Henry Miller, John Neppzin, J. H. Nichols, B. & C. Rossing, Anthony Roth, Michael Seifert, S. Smith, R. J. Skinner, Beverly Shaw, John Shawn, John Shannon, Thomas B. VanHorn, Benjamin Winwood, Thomas Williams, Jonathan K. Wilds and James Westley. There were five physicians, George W. Holbrook, John H. Nichols, George W. Trumbull, Paul Abits and Adolphus Steinhoff, and one attorney, Michael Dumbroff, listed for special license taxation in that year.


Cridersville, the only other town in Duchouquet township besides the county seat, is a development since the coming of the old Dayton & Michigan (present B. & O.) railway in 1858. When the survey of that road was being made and it became assured that the line was going through the lands of Ephraim and Isaac Crider on the north line of the county in the northwest corner of section 35 of Duchouquet township these two enterprising members of that community platted a townsite of twenty four lots with the line of the survey of the railway forming a diagonal boundary on the east, and named it Cridersville. This plat was filed for record on April 17, 1856, the proprietors thus taking time by the forelock, for the railroad was not completed until two years later. After the railway came the town proved such an advantageous shipping point about midway between Wapakoneta and Lima that its progress was steady and substantial. When the natural gas and oil "boom" came in the late '80s and the great oil pool in the Cridersville neighborhood was developed, the town took on a new growth and the population tripled in a short time. With the development came substantial improvements and the town is widely known as a well built and attractive village. When the line of the Western Ohio electric railway reached Cridersville about twenty years ago the town was given another impetus. During the time of the greatest activity in the old field thereabout Cridersville had a newspaper, The Bi-County Review, but the paper's field was too restricted and it did not last long. The first store in the village was that established by John Murdock upon the arrival of the railroad in 1858. The town now has a bank and the usual complement of business houses to supply the local trading demand and bears an air of substantial prosperity. The town's handsome high school building is pictured in the chapter on schools in this work, this modern building having been a development from the old village school house which supplanted the pioneer school There in 1875. The Home Bank of Cridersville was organized in 1903 and has proved a great convenience to the community in that part of the county. The officers of this bank are E. F. Reichelderfer, president; A. E. Brentlinger, vice president; E. E. Arthur, cashier; assistant cashiers, It. D. Arthur and G. C. Reichelderfer. The bank is capitalized at $10,000 and a recent statement of its condition reveals that its resources are in excess of $158,000, with deposits of $170,000 and a surplus of $8,000.

In a brief review of Cridersville attached to the plat of that village published in his atlas of this county in 1917, J. H. Meyer observed in referring to the town that "its business institutions generally give outside evidence of the prosperity of the community and the public spirit of its officials. Beautiful residences and well kept streets, such as are found in few towns its size, has given it a reputation as an ideal place in which to reside." Considering the source, this is praise indeed. The 1920 census gave Cridersville a population of 493.

[Return to part 1 of Duchouquet Township & city of Wapakoneta History.]

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