History of Dinsmore Township, Shelby County, Ohio
From: History of Shelby County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
By: A. B C. Hitchcook, Sidney, Ohio
Published by Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill. 1913


Although this township was very late in its settlement and organization, its development was steady and its progress, along every line, rapid. It boasts of the two most important towns in the county, aside from the county seat, in Botkins and Anna, although the latter is partly in Franklin township. It is regular in its outline, being six miles square, and is centrally located in the northern tier of townships of. Shelby county, its north line being bounded by Auglaize county. The commissioners' records show the township to have been independently organized on December 3, 1832. Pursuant to an order by the commissioners of the county, the citizens of the township met at the home of Joseph Greens, December 25, 1832, and elected the various township officers.

Dinsmore township is level, practically speaking, and the soil is such as to attract agriculturists, being well adapted for the growing of the various grains and grasses. It is drained by a number of small streams which take their rise in the township. It seems the first real settlement was made here in 1832, which marked the arrival of a number of families, but it is reasonably certain some located farms here the previous year, notably William Blakely, of Franklin county, Ohio, and Silas D. Allen, of Pickaway county, Ohio. There has always been a diversity of opinion as to who was' the, first to take up residence within the township, many according the honor to' George Turner, who came from Greene county, Ohio, in 1832. The latter did not remain long at that time, owing to the prevalence of milk sickness, but in 1837 again returned but took up a different farm. Mr. Turner was followed, in the same year, by Joseph Green, from Warren county, Ohio, who with his wife and five children, located on a farm in section 28, on a part of which the village of Anna is partly located; John Munch, of Greene county, Ohio, whose farm also lay in section 28, and was partly included in the village of Anna; Richard C. Dill, of Hamilton county, Ohio, who brought his wife and eleven children; Samuel Blakeley, of Franklin county, Ohio, who came here from Franklin township where he had settled in 1830; and Richard Botkin, who. came from Hamilton county; Ohio. The following year, 1833, witnessed the arrival of: Alfred Staley, of Montgomery county, Ohio; Hector Lemon, of Chester county, Pennsylvania Joseph Park, of New Jersey; Erasmus B. Toland, of Miami county, Ohio; Philip Good, who came from Greene county, Ohio, but was a native of Pennsylvania; and Philip Hagelberger, a native of France. In 1834, there came: Jacob Wilford, his wife and five children, from Virginia; Philip Brideweiser, from Franklin county, Ohio; David Taylor, his wife and eight children, from Greene county, Ohio; Peter Boling and family, from Montgomery county, Ohio; William Ellis and family from Virginia; Frederick Oxburger, of Germany; and Samuel and William Elliott, who located in section 4; Thomas Dams and family came from Warren county, Ohio, in 1835; Cornelius Elliott, of Licking county, Ohio, in 1835; Daniel Toland, of Montgomery county, Ohio, in 1836; William H. Abbott, in 1836; John Fahr, of Perry county, Ohio, in 1830; and Diedrich Schulte. in 1838. This is by no means regarded as an exhaustive, list of those who came during the period mentioned, but time has thoroughly obscured facts once so easy to obtain. Settlement was quite backward in the early years. largely because of milk sickness, but became very general in the forties, and as a whole those who came were of a wholesome and progressive class.

Henry Hildebrint was the first justice of the peace of whom there is record, the year of his election being r835, and he was succeeded in turn by Richard Botkin, in 1837; Hendry Hildebrant, in 1838; John Elliott, in 1839; Richard Botkins, 1840; John Elliott, 1842; Elias Homer, 1842; Samuel Elliott, 1843; John Elliott, 1845; Jacob Wilford, 1846; John Elliott, 1848; E. F. Mede, 1849; John Elliott, 1854; Jacob Wilford, 1855; Samuel Elliott, 1855; Joseph Hildebrant, 1858; Samuel Elliott, 1860; Samuel Elliott, 1863; D. E. Morgan, 1864; Isaac G. Stafford, 1866; D. E. Morgan, 1867; Samuel Elliott, 1869; P. Hunt, 1870; Samuel Elliott, 1872; P. Hunt, 1873; Samuel Elliott, 1875; William Munford, 1878; P. Hunt, 1879; Lewis Applegate, 1881; S. Wilken, 1882; J. M. Carson, 1882; S. Wilken, 1885; R. B. Dill, 1888; J. B. Stolly, 1888; J. B. Stolly, 1891; R. B. Dill, 1891; George, W. Hensel, 1892; J. B. Greve, 1894; George W. Hensel, 1895; J. B. Greve, 1897; George W. Hensel, 1898; J. B. Greve, 1900; M. A. Roth, 1901; George W. Hensel, 1901; George W. Hensel, 1904; M. A. Roth, 1904; J. B. Stolly, 1908; George W. Hensel, 1908; George W. Hensel, 1910; and J. B. Stolly, 1912. At the present time, LeRoy F. Hemmert, of Bodkins, is township clerk, and the trustees are Jacob J. Fogt, John B. Schulte and Frank J. Marx.

Farming has generally claimed the attention of the rural residents of Dinsmore township, and such industries as have been fostered have been mainly in the villages. There was in earlier years considerable sawing done, but timbers too quickly disappeared for that industry to be other than a small one here. A very successful plant, established in Dinsmore, on the William P. Davis farm, in 1871, was a tile yard which was given the name of the Montra Tile Yards, being three fourths of a mile west of Montra. It was started by William P. Davis and M. Merkling and was operated by them some years before passing into other hands.

In 1849 a saw mill was established in section 26, operated by a forty horse power engine. Silas D. Allen and George Duff, the original owners, conducted it until the death of the former in June, 1850, after which the latter carried on the business until in 1854. He then sold a hall interest to Michael Fogt and the firm of Duff & Fog continued for several years. It was then operated by several owners until 1861, then existed in a state of disuse until it was finally torn down. In 1874, Messrs. L. Davis and J. C. Linton established what was long known as the Linton steam saw mill; they conducting it in partnership until 1878, when Mr. Linton conducted it alone. The business was discontinued here many years ago, the proprietors moving to Dayton, Ohio.

The citizens got together in the organization of a branch of the Patrons of Husbandry, Estey Grange, No. 924, being organized May 25, 1874, by Deputy Johnson. It originally had twenty four members and experienced a healthy growth.

The first regular school in the township was conducted in a crude log structure, about twenty feet square, with puncheon floor and seats. A large fire place extended the full width of the building, on one side, and there was a stick chimney and a one light window. It was built in 1836 and the first teacher there was William D. Johnson. A second building of similar type, except as to windows, was built in section 23 in 1840, and here William Wilson and E. T. Mede were early teachers. The third schoolhouse, also log, was erected in section 14, and became known as the Beck schoolhouse, the first teacher there. being James Beck. The buildings of the next period represented the advancement from the round log to the hewed log and frame type, and were variously located throughout the township. A uniform plan of locating them came into being, a building being erected in the center of every four sections, thus making nine schools. An additional school was established for the colored children, but in 1870 race segregation was abolished. As new school laws came into effect, the districts were much changed from time to time. More detail with regard to the schools may he found in the chapter on Education.

Anna, a station on the C. H. & D. Railway, was surveyed for John L. and Fletcher S. Thirkield, in 1867, and lies in Dinsmore and Franklin townships. The name, Anna, was given it in honor of Mrs. Anna Thirkield. It is a prosperous place; the last census showing its population to be 460, and it is steadily growing. The plat of the town was recorded April 25, 1868, and in 1877 a petition was presented to the board of county commissioners for its incorporation as a village, the signers being: A. Clason, K S. Thirkield, Lewis Kah, P. W. Young, J. D. Elliott and thirty two others. The petition was granted June 26, 1877, and recorded as granted September 3, 1877. The first board of councilmen consisted of L. Kah, M. Norcross, A. Clason, M. Billings, Dr. Lefevre, and J. Weatherhead. The first mayor was L. Applegate, and the other first officers were: J. C. Koverrnan, marshal; Dodfrey Kembbld, treasurer; and F. W. Stork, clerk. The first postmaster was F. S. Thirkield, but his service long antedated the incorporation of the village. Anna has an adequate fire department, the equipment consisting of a gas engine, hose cart and ladder. The present mayor of the town is R. D. Curtner.

Among the principal commercial industries of Anna are the following: H. C. Hagelberger, clothing, tailoring and gents' furnishings; business established nine years ago; R. D. Mede, stoves, tinware, tinners' supplies, metal work, goofing, buggies and carriages; Mr. Mede has been established in business here for the past thirty years, and in addition to the commercial lines mentioned above, he is agent for the Oliver plows and cultivators.

E. B. Ballinger & Company are conducting the business established by J. L. Applegate, thirty nine years ago, the present business style being assumed August 17, 1912. The concern deals in furniture, carpets, mattings, linoleum, window shades, lace curtains, curtain poles, and sewing machines. Mr. Ballinger also conducts a business in undertaking and embalming. A. Weller, druggist, also dealer in stationery, wall paper, etc., has been established in Anna for the last twenty years.

P. W. Young is dealer in general hardware, farming implements, stoves, paints, oils, glass, etc. This business was established forty one years ago by Elliott & Young; the former partner, Mr. Elliott, died about twenty five years ago.

The Farmers and Merchants Bank Company was established in 1907 by parties from Columbus, Ohio. On May 29, 1910, it was incorporated by Daniel Runkle, R. D. Curtner, William C. Heinrich, George D. Fridley and E. M. Martin, with a capital stock of $25,000. Its present officers are: Daniel Runkle, president; R. D. Mede, vice president, and A. W. Fridley, cashier. The directors last elected are: C. C. Boland, J. W. A. Fridley, W. M. Runkle (since deceased), E. M. Martin (not sworn in), R. D. Mede, Daniel Runkle; and George C. Schiff. The bath has undivided profits of $1,600.

Finkenbein & Banning, dealers in grain, feed, flour and, seeds, are proprietors of a grain elevator, the present firm having been established January 1, 1912. The business is an old one, having been established forty years ago by K. H. Stock & Company, who were succeeded by L. Finkenbein, who had been a partner with Mr. Stock, and who conducted it for a number of years. In 1895 it came into possession of L. Finkenbein, Jr., which proprietorship was continued until the present partnership was formed. The firm has an adequate plant and is doing a successful business.

Martin Manufacturing Company are successors to the William Johnson spoke factory. They are now putting in new machinery and will engage in the manufacture of staves.

Milton C. Fogt is conducting a prosperous hardware business. Miss S. E. McCullough is proprietor of a millinery and notion store. M. H. Ailes conducts a general insurance business.

The grain business now carried on by C. C. Toland was established fifty years ago, the elevator being built at that time. John Thirkield conducted the business for fifteen years, his successor being Frank Thirkield, who was proprietor for about five years. The property was then leased to Farrington, Saluson & Nelson, by whom it was carried on for five or six years. The next proprietor was Judge Bowersox, of Sidney, from whom the business was bought by C. C. Toland. The business was conducted for some time as a partnership concern, under the style of Toland & Ludwig, but about twelve years ago Mr. Toland bought out his partner and has since been sole proprietor. Mr. Toland deals in grain, seeds, salt, etc., and is doing a prosperous business.

Other business enterprises of Anna are Fred Woehrle, groceries; George Fleckinstine, drain tile; L. Finkenbein, groceries, dry goods, notions, etc.'; C. McVay & Son, livery, established twenty two years; B. F. Martin, notions, Mr. Martin being the successor of his grandfather, R. Martin, who established the business; Rembold Brothers, W. T. and J. G., boots, shoes and rubber goods, have been established four years, the business haying been previously carried on for seven years by W. J. Rembold alone.

Botkins, which is located on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railway, near the north boundary of Dinsmore township, was platted as a village for Russell Botkins, who owned the land, in July, 1858. It was certified by J. A. Wells, surveyor, and acknowledged July 31, 1858. The town became a prosperous trading center and had a steady growth. It aspired to the dignity of an incorporated village in 1881, a petition being filed with the county commissioners on March 7, of that year. Although strenuously fought by some of the citizens, through remonstrance and protest filed, the proposition was carried through, a majority of the people being in favor of it. The petition was granted August 2, 1881, and was recorded January 3, 1882. A special election was held, at which the following officers were elected: P. W. Speaker, mayor.; H. H. Varner, clerk; F. M. Hemmert, treasurer; J. B. Staller1, marshal; and John McMahon, Dr. G. M. Tate, Dr. P. K. Clienhens; Alexander Botkin and J. R. Hemmert, councilmen. Since then the growth of the village has been slow but steady. There has been no marked "boom" but business in general has flourished and the citizens are prosperous. Though some former industries and commercial enterprises have passed out of existence with the mutations of time, others have taken their places, and present conditions, on the whole, mark a satisfactory, advance.

For a town of its size, Botkins has a very complete and efficient fire department, with a good engine house. The apparatus consists of a Howe gasoline engine, hook and ladder wagon and hose cart with several thousand feet of hose, There is also an old hand engine which can be used when required. There is a good water supply, the water being obtained from cisterns (50 by 25 feet), which are sunk at convenient places on the streets. These cisterns acre supplied from an artificial lake, covering two acres of ground and from twelve to fifteen feet deep, which is owned by the corporation. The department consists of a volunteer company numbering forty men, under the command at the present time of Chief John Morris.

The Botkins Herald, a six column quarto weekly, was established about fifteen years ago by Adam E. Blakeley, who conducted it until his death, in January, 1911. He was then succeeded by his son, Lowell E. Blakeley, who is the present proprietor. The paper is independent in politics and has a considerable circulation throughout this part of the county. A job printing office is run in connection with the plant and does a good business: A new cylinder press has recently been installed, and the office is supplied with all the latest faces of job type. The proprietor, Mr. Blakeley, is the present postmaster of Botkins.

Among the principal commercial industries of Bodkins at the present time are the following: The Botkins Hardware Company, John C. Koenig, propritor, are dealers in hardware, stoves, goofing, fence, pumps, buggies and implements. The business was established by Mr. Koenig about seven years ago and is in a flourishing condition. The store is large and well supplied with an ample and varied stock. H. W. Weigert & Company, dealers in clothing, dry goods, shoes, groceries and general merchandise, has been established about two years ago and gives promise of a successful future. W. C. Zaenglein & Brother; are proprietors of a well equipped department store. W. H. Brideweser, dealer in harness, his been established in Botkins nearly eighteen years and is conducting a succescful business. Thomas Kennedy Implement Company deals in hardware, stoves, wire fencing, fence posts, implements, cement. lime, plaster, etc., and has been doing a successful business for ten years or more. William Oppeman conducts a well appointed livery stable. F. G. Gutman conducts a general store. J. H. M. Schurr, undertaker and furniture dealer, is successfully carrying on the business established by his father, Christian Schurr, twenty four years ago. B. A. Steinke is proprietor of a blacksmith shop. There are also several other stores, including the Blakeley Millinery, one or two barber shops and several saloons. A saw mill has been conducted here for a number of years by M. A. Roth, who also does ditch contracting. The Paul & Shafer grain elevator is an up to date concern and is doing a good. business. The old mill was built by Taylor & Marx, who were its proprietors for about five years, the business then being bought by Mr. Shafer, who conducted it under the style of Shafer Grain Co. About a year later, July 6, 1911, it burned down, but in the same year the erection of the present mill was begun and in October, 1912, it was opened for business. In the meanwhile; or July 1, 1912, Mr. Paul became a partner with Mr. Shafer and the firm adopted its present style of Paul & Shafer. The concern deals in train, seeds, salt, flour, coal and fence posts and building tile, and are buyers and sellers of live stock. The elevator is a commodious and up to date structure.

The Botkins Product Company was organized in the spring of. 1911, and was incorporated with a capital stock of $5,000, the following being the incorporators: J. M. Sheets, Louis Zimmerman, H. E. Sheets, Walter A. Looker and J. B. Reineke. J. M. Sheets was elected president; Louis Zimmerman, vice president; H. E. Sheets, treasurer; and Walter A. Looker secretary. The company was formed to engage in the manufacture of "Kob Korn Krisp," the parching of corn on the cob.

Sheets Manufacturing Company, of Botkins, was established in 1903, by H. E. Sheets, who remains sole proprietor of the business. The concern has a large factory well equipped with up to date woodworking machinery and is engaged in the manufacture of bent rims and spokes for wagons, implements, carriages and automobiles. The factory contains 20,000 square feet of floor space and employment is given to about eighty five men. About 10,000,000 feet of lumber is used annually, most of which is worked from the log to the finished product, the latter being shipped all over the United States, besides a considerable amount that is exported.

The Sheets Grain Company was established about thirty years ago by Philip Sheets, who continued the business until his death in 1905, when his sons, E. S. and H. E. Sheets, continued the business. The company handles grain, feed, seed, etc, having an up to date elevator in Botkins, and also own other elevators outside the county, namely, one at each of the following places in Auglaize and Logan counties: Wapakoneta, Lakeview, Waynesfield, Geyer and Gutman.

The Shelby County Bank was established at Botkins about 1897, by Philip Sheets, who conducted it as sole proprietor until his death in 1905, after which time the business passed into the hands of his sons, E. S. and H: E. Sheets, who continued it as a private bank until 1912. It was then incorporated, with a capital stock of $25,000, with H. E. Sheets, president; Philip Sheets, Jr., vice president, and E. S. Sheets, cashier, which is the official board at the present time, January, 1913.

M. A. Roth is proprietor of a saw mill established several years, and is also engaged in ditch contracting.

The greatest civilizing agency we have, the church, was not long in establishing itself, in fact before the township was more than sparsely settled. Brief mention is here made of the history of the various congregations:

St. Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation. - One of the most beautiful church edifices in the county is that of St. Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran at Anna, which was dedicated August 4, 1907. The birth of this church was eighty years ago, in 1832, when a few Lutherans, strong in their faith, settled in the virgin forest near Anna and the first preacher was the Rev. Henry Joesting, whose parsonage was a log structure of one room, which served as a residence, a schoolhouse, and a place for Sunday services. The names of John Altermath, Michael Altermath, Louis Bey and John Moothart, appear on the records, and they were soon joined by Germans of like faith.

In the fall of 1833 their number was increased by Philip Jacob Hagelberger, John Fog, John Jacob Finkenbein, John Jacob Zimpher, Frederick Keasel, Henry Breitweiser, Henry Schaefer, Samuel Schaefer, and Benjamin Werth, with their families. A log church was erected in 1835-36, thirty six feet long and twenty four feet wide, for which the contractor, Jesse Weistch, got $100 for his labor. The seats were boards on trestles. It was built on the site which afterwards was the Lutheran cemetery, David Swander giving the land.

The first class was confirmed in 1836. The Rev. George Klapp served the church from 1840 to 1844, the Rev. Hursh till 1850, and the Rev. Spangler followed with a pastorate of seven years.

The congregation outgrew their old log church of twenty years and dedicated a new one October 21, 1855, which cost $1,100. The church, made of brick, stood its ground for seventeen years and eventually was torn down and used in the building of a tile mill. The Rev. Christian Sappes was pastor in 1857, followed by the Revs. Gottfried Loewenstein, J. F. Grassie, and John Bundenthal, and was followed by a theological student from Columbus, from 1871 to 1877. The brick church was scion found too small for it was such a Lutheran nest that if an inhabitant in that vicinity got scratched the chanches were Lutheran blood was spilt, so a frame structure 60 by 40 feet was built in 1870 and 1871 at a cost of $5,000.

Rev. John Michael Meissner served as pastor from 1877. to 1889, the longest term in its history. He baptized 303, mostly babies, for race suicide was not on their program, and he confirmed I to. The Rev. E. H. D. Winterhoff took charge in 1889 and was succeeded by the Rev. R. C. H. Lenski, the editor of the Synodical Journal. At the time the present church was dedicated there had been during his pastorate of seven years 200 baptisms and 210 confirmations, 33 of whom were adults, making the number of communicants 550.

The sacred frame structure could not begin to hold the crowds fired with Lutheran zeal, and so a building committee consisting of the pastor as chairman, George C Schiff, C. E. Fogt, C. C. Fogt and George Hagelberger signed the contract with the builders, Newmier and Hemmert, of Wapakoneta, for $17,490.70. The architect was R. C. Gotwald, of Springfield. The congregation was as harmonious as a colony of workipg bees, after the drones had been disposed of, and as the building progressed new and more extravagant ideas were advanced and approved until everything was done to make the interior of the church as artistic and perfect in its appoinfments as one could wish. Could the early saints in the Anna congregation be permitted to visit the earth again they would almost wish to leaye Heaven for awhile to worship in so sweet a place. On Tuesday after the dedication the Rev. Emanuel Poppen, of Sidney, with 100 of his congregation, took charge of the past dedicatory services, his wife bringing out the possibilities of the new pipe organ with good effect.

The Rev. Lenski accepted a call to Columbus in August, 1911, and was succeeded by the Rev. C. J. Gohdus, who served a year and he was followed December 8, 1912; by Rev. H. J. Schuh, the present pastor, Who came here from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he had served a pastorate of twenty eight years. The congregation now numbers 579 communicants.

Botkiñs Methodist Episcopal Church - The Congregation of this church was in existence some years before a church edifice was erected. It was organized in 1833 or 1834 at the home of Richard Botkin, by the Rev. Daniel D. Davidson, assisted by Rev. James Smith. Among the prominent early members were: Richard Botkin and wife, Henry Hildebrant and wife, Cornelius Montfort and wife, Cornelius Elliott and wife, and Samuel Elliott and wife. For several years services were held in the home of Richard Botkin, and subsequently in a log house in Botkins until 1841, in which year they erected a hewed log church, on ground donated for that purpose by Richard Botkin. This was in 1860 replaced by a frame church. building. dedicated in the fall of that year by the Rev. Wilson, assisted by the local pastor, Patrick GL Goode. In. 1881 they erected a substantial brick building at a cost of $2,040, and this was dedicated June 18, 1882, by Rev. Wafters, assisted by Rev. J. S. Ayers, presiding elder of the Béllefontaine district. This church has since maintained its organization and has a live membership. Services are held Sunday afternoon and evening alternately. The present pastor is Rev. J. W. Miller.

The Lutheran church, Botkins, Rev. A. Pflenger, pastor, holds alternate services Sunday mornings and evenings, with Sunday school in the forenoon.

Anna Methodist Episcopal church, originally known as Mt. Gilead Methodist Episcopal church, was organized at the home of Richard C. Dill, in 1833, Rev. D. D. Davidson and Rev. James Smith. Services were for some years held in the homes of Mr. Dill and Joseph Park, and from 1840 until the completion of, a house of worship in 1841, at the home of Mary J. Young. It was built a quarter of a mile north of Anna, was of the hewed log type, and served the congregation until a frame structure was erected some years later, in the same vicinity. The latter was dedicated in July, 1858, by Revs. Wilson and P. G. Goode, the latter being then pastor. Among the original members were Mrs. R. C. Dill, Jane Dill, E. B. Toland and wife, Thomas Imams and wife, Mrs. Forsha, John Lucas and wife. The present Methodist Episcopal church in. Anna was dedicated November 1, s886. The church is a brick structure, with slate roof, stained glass windows and having an audience room, lecture room, and two class rooms. The regular preaching services are held one Sabbath morning, the next Sabbath morning and evening and so alternately. The church now has 126 members. Rev. J. W. Miller is now in his second year as pastor, having succeeded. Rev. W. W. Motter.

Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, Botkins, Ohio. - The history of this congregation dates back more than six decades, when a few Roman Catholic families settled in the vicinity of the present town of Botkins. They were all German immigrants, and hence possessed but scanty means wherewith they might contribute toward the erection, of a church, and the support of a pastor. Missionaries, however, came at regular intervals from surrounding well settled communities, and provided for the spiritual wants of their poor brethren. Divine service was held at first in the residences of some families, later on in an old schoolhouse, and subsequently in a log church, which finally was replaced by the present church. The first church organization was formed in 1865, and immediately preparations. were made and measures taken for the erection of a suitable house of. worship. Two years afterwards in 1867 the zealous people of the congregation worshiped for the first time in the new edifice. The church, which had been erected at a cost of about $8,000, is a handsome brick building of 85 by 45 feet, crowned by a neat steeple. In 1875 the congregation purchased the home of Andrew Gutman, which was first occupied by the reverend pastor but later became residence for the teachers. Clemens Huber, a pioneer of the congregation, donated in 1878 two acres of land for a new cemetery. The want of a school was provided for in 1881 by the purchase of the old Methodist Episcopal church, which has received an annex at the cost of $800. In 1887 the new parsonage, a two story brick building, was completed at a cost of $3,000. The church was remodeled and highly embellished by the brush of the able artist, F. H. Hefele; 1898, and but one year later new beautiful stained glass windows were put up to give the renovation a finishing touch.

Father Joseph Goebel was the organizer of the congregation, and remained in charge of it till 1871. when he was succeeded by Rev. Henry. Daniel. In 1873, Rev. Nicholas Eilermann, a pious and energetic priest, was appointed pastor and he fulfilled his duties most successfully until his demise, June 24, 1893. Since that timed the Rev. Henry Daniel has reassumed the pastoral charge of the congregation.

St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church, Rheine. - This church is located near the southwest corner of section 36, Dinsmore township, three miles east of Botkins, on the Botkins pike. With about twenty families, Father Henry J. Muckerheide started a congregation in 1856, and held divine service for them in the schoolhouse of subdistrict No. 1, Dinsmore township, until another and more spacious building could be erected. At a cost of about $2,100 the newly organized congregation reared a new church of brick structure 5o by 4o feet, and in the autumn of 1858 Rev. H. J. Muckerheide was already enabled to dedicate it to the service of the Most High. In the spring of 1893 the cornerstone for a new church was laid, and on Christmas following it was successfully completed. The beautiful edifice as it now greets the eye of the traveler is a massive, yet handsome, brick building of 80 by 43 feet, which had been erected at a cost of $12,400. The solemn strains of bells invite all to enter its hallowed walls. Moreover, new altars, and the excellent frescoing by F. H. Hefele have embellished the interior aspect, while a new furnace has helped to increase the comfort of the church. Most Rev. Archbishop Henry W. Elder, of Cincinnati, dedicated the new building with grand ceremonies, August 26, 1894. A two story brick schoolhouse, 48 by 36 feet, was erected in 1878 at a cost of about $1,800.

Several fraternal orders have lodges in Botkins. Botkins Lodge No. 903, I. O. O. F., organized four years ago, has now between fifty and sixty members. They hold regular meetings in their own hall.

The Rebecca Lodge, I. O. O. F., has been established for the last three years and holds meetings in the Odd Fellows hall.

Summit Camp No. 131, Woodmen of the World, was established here six years ago and now numbers forty members. They also have a hall for meeting purposes.

The Knights of St. John, a Catholic order, was instituted in Botkins fifteen years ago and have their own hall.

The Catholic Knights of America, a Catholic insurance order, flourishes under the auspices of the Catholic church. The members meet at the Knights of St. John hall.

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