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 SUCCESSION IN THE MAYOR'S CHAIR.
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.
TRIBUTE TO CAPT. ROBERT M'MURRAY.
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.
COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT.
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.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
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.
THE BANKS OF WAPAKONETA.
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.
WATERWORKS AND ELECTRIC LIGHTS.
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.
ORGANIZATION OF DUCHOUQUET TOWNSHIP
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.
THE ROLL CALL OF THE PIONEERS.
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.
THE VILLAGE OF CRIDERSVILLE.
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.