A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County, Ohio
Hamilton: Pages 397 - 400
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William Arthur NICHOLS was born in Hamilton County, Indiana, in 1839, being the son of George and Margaret NICHOLS. He was married in Dayton, Ohio, in 1870, to Mildred WILEY, daughter of Thomas and Mildred WILEY, who was born in Lawrenceburg, Indiana in 1851. They have five children. Maggie was born in 1871; Harry, in 1873; Nellie, in 1875; Blanche, in 1877; Paul, in 1880. Mr. NICHOLS enlisted in the Eighty-sixth Indiana Volunteers, in 1862, and served nearly three years. Two brothers enlisted in 1864, and were out till the close of the war. Mr. NICHOLS came to Hamilton in 1874, and is the principal of the Ohio Commercial College.

Joseph W. MYERS was born in Hamilton, August 26, 1843, being the son of Peter and Mary J. (WARD) Myers. Peter MYERS was a native of Pennsylvania, being born in 1815. He came to Ohio in 1837 and engaged in building. He brought up to maturity five sons, four of whom were members of the Union army during the Rebellion. But two of these sons survive -- Joseph W. and Edward, also of Hamilton. Peter MYERS is still living, acting as an assistant foreman in the building department at the Soldiers1 Home, at Dayton. Joseph W. MYERS was educated in the common schools of Hamilton. When sixteen he learned the trade of carpenter, and was working at that business in the Spring of 1861. He enlisted in Company D, Thirty-fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and participated with it in nearly all its engagements. At the battle of Perryville he was a sergeant. During the battles of Chickamauga and Mission Ridge he was engaged on detached duty, recruiting for the regiment. At Buzzard1s Roost he had command of the company, and took part in the siege of Atlanta. He was mustered out with the regiment September 10, 1864.

Returning home he again went to work as a carpenter. He was engaged in the broom manufacturing business in Indianapolis in 1867 and 1868, and carried on the confectionery business in Hamilton for some years. He was elected city street commissioner in 1875, and filled that position for two years, then being a builder and contractor till 1879, when he was appointed captain of the police force, acting as such for two years. In August, 1881, he entered the employment of BENTEL, MARGEDANT & Co., and is still with them. Mr. MYERS married in 1870 Miss Mary STAFFORD. He was captain of the fire department from 1869 to 1879, and is now captain of the Veteran Guards, an organization connected with the Grand Army of the Republic. He is also a member of the Royal Arcanum, and Mrs. MYERS of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His administration as street commissioner was marked by its economy, saving the city some eleven thousand dollars during his term.

Joseph J. McMAKEN, city clerk, was born in Union Township, January 10, 1848. He is the youngest child of Mark C. and Martha (McCRACKEN) McMAKEN. His family are among the oldest settlers in the county, having been here eighty-seven years, and his father is the oldest living native of the county. He was educated in the public schools in Hamilton, being occupied in farming for some time. He entered the United States Navy in the Fall of 1862, being in the lower Mississippi squadron, on the steamer Benton, at Vicksburg, and Grand River. Ill health compelled his removal to the hospital at Memphis, where he remained three months, then being discharged for disability. In December, 1864, he returned home, and entered the Miami University in 1866. He was there four years, and graduated in 1870. He read law in the office of James E. CAMPBELL, and was admitted to the bar in 1873. The state of his health, however, did not permit him to practice. He became connected with the Cincinnati Enquirer about 1875 as a local writer. He now controls the branch office in Hamilton. He was appointed United States commissioner in 1876, and still occupies the position, and he is also city clerk, being elected to that place in 1881. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He was married in 1871 to Miss Sarah Belle McELWEE.

Mrs. Charlotte McGUIRE was born in Cincinnati, Ohio March 9, 1814, and was the oldest daughter of Robert and Elizabeth CAMERON. She received her education in subscription schools, and lived with her mother until her marriage, August 7, 1835, to James McGUIRE, a native of Pennsylvania, who was born in 1803. He came to Ohio in 1834, and was connected with a paper mill, in various capacities, till 1848, when he formed a partnership with KLINE and ERWIN, under the firm name of McGUIRE, KLINE & ERWIN, the present SKINNER & TWEEDALE mill. He was connected with that mill, under different firm names, as long as he was living, and was one of its originators. He always declined office. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church at the time of his death, and had been an active member of the Masonic order. He was of a retired, quiet disposition, and was a Democrat in politics, but supported the war earnestly. He was a successful and esteemed gentleman. He died August 6, 1874. Mrs. McGUIRE is very pleasantly located, and is an intelligent lady.

Robert Barbour MILLIKIN, clerk of the courts of Butler County, was born in this city March 21, 1844. He is the son of Thomas MILLIKIN, and grandson of Dr. Robert B. MILLIKIN, and his mother was Mary VAN HOOK, daughter of William B. VAN HOOK. He attended school in Hamilton, and afterwards was two years at the Park Latin School, Boston, Massachusetts. On leaving there, he entered Miami University, where he was two years, then enlisting in the Ninety-third Regiment, on July 16, 1862. He was promoted to be second lieutenant May 6, 1864, and first lieutenant May 31, 1864. He resigned on account of disability November 22, 1864. He began business as a manufacturer of implements and machinery at Hamilton in 1865, in the firm of MILLIKIN & Co, now MILLIKIN & CISLE. He was clerk of the city of Hamilton for six years from 1875, and is now the clerk of the courts of Butler County. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the Knights of Honor. He was married at Piqua, Ohio, August 16, 1865, to Carrie E. BRANDON, daughter of Abel and Martha BRANDON, pioneer settlers of Miami County, Ohio.

David MERING was born in Morgan Township, June 10, 1836. He is the son of John and Mary E. (BOTTENBURG) MERING. John MERING was born in Maryland in 1799 and came to Ohio in 1819, settling the next year on the place in Morgan Township now owned by Evan EVANS. He was married in Morgan in 1820, and raised a family of eight children. Of whom five are living. Two died in infancy. John George enlisted in an Illinois infantry regiment, and was killed in battle at Jackson, Tennessee, in 1864. Two of his daughters are residents of Butler County. John MERING was an active militia man, an ardent Whig, and a prominent member of the Congregational Church. At the time of his death he was a member of the Lutheran Church. He was a miller by trade, and conducted the SMITH Mills, which he owned for many years. He died October 29, 1849.

David MERING was educated in the common schools, was at Farmersı College for the years 1852 and 1853, and afterward was two years at Franklin College, Indiana. He taught school some two years in Warren and Montgomery Counties, and also in Indiana. He was brought up to farming and milling. He married, in 1858, to Miss Mary E. CROCKETT, daughter of Marmaduke CROCKETT, a relative of the colonel. After a residence of one year in Minnesota, he located in Warren County, at Springboro, where he is engaged in mercantile business, also having been postmaster for the past ten years. He was a licensed preacher of the Gospel in Indiana, but is now a member of the Methodist Church, in which he has been made a local preacher. In 1862 Mr. MERING enlisted as a recruit in Company H, Fifth Ohio Cavalry, and participated in its engagements. He served till the close of the war, and was honorably discharged June 19, 1865. He is a member of the Masonic order.

John McKEE, late postmaster of Hamilton, was born in Kentucky, February 20, 1829. His parents were William and Louise McKEE. The father is still living, but the mother, whose maiden name was STIP, died February 21, 1881. They came to this county in 1844. Mr McKEEıs grandfather, John McKEE, was in the Revolutionary War. The late John McKEE was married to Sarah J. BECKETT, daughter of Robert BECKETT, and Mary CRAWFORD, September 24, 1861. Robert BECKETT died March 11, 1863, aged sixty-nine years, and Mrs. BECKETT died in August, 1873, aged seventy-eight. He came to this county in 1805, and she in 1812. Mr. and Mrs McKEE had three children. Mary L. was born October 18, 1865; Ellen, September 2, 1868; and David B., February 11, 1871, dying the same day.

When the war broke out Mr. McKEE went out as captain of Company K, Thirty-seventh Indiana. At the battle of Stone River, December 31, 1862, he was wounded, afterward being unable to do any more active service. He therefore resigned, having served his country for two years and two months. He was brought up as a farmer, but for six years before entering the army was a school-teacher. He graduated at Williams College, in 1855, the year before President Garfield. He was appointed postmaster September 8, 1873, and held that position for eight years. His successor was appointed on the 30th January, 1882, and within three or four weeks, Mr. McKEE died. His health had been deplorable for a long time. He was an elder in the United Presbyterian Church, and was a man of great probity of character.

Lot D. NORTHRUP was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, August 6, 1837, being the son of Joseph and Alice (VAN SANDS) NORTHRUP. He remained on the farm at home until he was of age. In the Fall of 1858 he began as a clerk in a shoe store at Middletown, Connecticut. He returned home, and afterwards traveled some years on pleasure and business combined. In 1868 or 1869 he came to Ohio, entering the employment of A. BENNINGHOFEN & Co., as traveling salesman, and continued with this house some four years. In the Spring of 1874 he began business in fuel, lime, and cement, in a small way. The business is now much larger, and embraces dealings in coal, lime, cement, and lath. He employs a number of men and a good many teams. He was married in 1874 to Elizabeth PROTZE, and they have three daughters. Frances Elizabeth was born July 16, 1876; Georgiana, July 20, 1879; and Josephine Alice, February 8, 1882. Mrs. NORTHRUP is a member of the Lutheran Church. He is a charter member of the Royal Arcanum. Mr. NORTHRUP was elected a member of the board of education in 1878, and served two years from the Second Ward. He resides on Greenwood Avenue, in a house which he recently built.

Lucien C. OVERPECK, photographer, was born in St. Clair Township, May 15, 1853. He is the son of Daniel and Rachel (WARWICK) OVERPECK, both natives of Butler County. His father was a farmer. The son attended common school, and at the age of fifteen began to learn photography at home, in a shed at the rear of the house, making his own skylight out of a window frame. He always had a mechanical turn of mind, and a desire to learn photography. In 1870 he entered a drug store at Trenton, where he remained three years. During his spare moments he practiced photography, and read much relating to the subject. He made a special study of chemistry with the one idea in view of practicing his chosen art. In the Summer of 1873 he rented the old Grant gallery, which had been vacant for some time, where he has continued ever since, his stock and capital being forty dollars. He has made a great success. His pictures are distinguished for clearness and distinctness of outline, harmony, and softness of detail, uniting them with an excellent knowledge of light and shade. He is a member of the Photographersı Association of America. After getting his business in good shape, he visited New York, Philadelphia, and other large cities of the East, with a view of ascertaining the true state of photography there, and learning any new things that might have lately originated. In January, 1882, he united with the Odd Fellows. He was one of the charter members of the Hamilton Harmonic Society, and was one of the thirty-five who went from Hamilton to open the great Music Hall in Cincinnati. He is very fond of music, and has attained a great proficiency in it. The family, consisting of four brothers and one sister, each play an instrument. He is now leader of the Hamilton Glee Club.

Oakey V. PARISH was born in Westchester, in this county, October 16, 1844. His parents were Jared PARRISH, who was born in Kentucky, and Phebe VAN HISE, born in New Jersey. He attended the common schools in Westchester, and entered Miami University in 1861, remaining there until 1864, when he entered Delaware University, staying until 1865. In 1866 he went into business in Dayton, and from there, in 1867, removed to Cincinnati, and engaged in the sewing-machine business. In 1869 he came to Hamilton, and has resided here ever since. He is engaged in the sewing-machine and ice business. On the 2d of May, 1864, he enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Sixty-seventh Ohio, at Oxford, and was honorably discharged September 8, 1864. He is a member of the Methodist Church. He was married October 7, 1868, to Augusta S. CURTIS.

John Pascal Paoli PECK, M.D., was born at Richmond, Ontario County, New York, August 15, 1820. His parents were David H. And Hannah S. PECK, natives of New London, Connecticut. The great-grandfather on the motherıs side was Gabriel SISTARE, a native of Barcelona, Spain, and the material great-grandmother was an American lady of Scotch and Irish parentage. The ancestors on the fatherıs side were English with a mixture of French blood, the first, William PECK, emigrating to this country in 1635, and being one of the founders of Norwich, in that colony.

John P. P. PECK was educated in the common schools and at Mayville Academy, Mayville, New York. He began the study of medicine in Mayville, in 1838, and attended the Geneva Medical College, at Geneva, New York, securing his diploma in 1841, in March. He is full of self-denial and perseverance, and was obliged to earn the money to get his education. He was clerk in a drug-store in the Summers, to help pay his board and tuition, and he taught school in the Winters. He had a taste for commercial business from his boyhood, and was diverted from that course by his desire to get an education. He began practice in Warren County, Pennsylvania, in 1841, and removed to Sharon, Ohio, in 1843, where he followed his profession for ten years longer, having succeeded so well as to be able to begin dealing in real estate and money loaning. His success continued, and in 1856 he removed to the city of Hamilton, and opened a private bank, which he successfully carried on till 1862, when he organized, in connection with its present cashier, J.B. CORNELL, and S.D. FITTON, assistant cashier, and other prominent and wealthy gentlemen, the First National Bank of Hamilton, and was elected one of the directors and its first cashier. While in the business of banking he purchased the West Hamilton Flouring Mills, and carried on the manufacture of flour. He also had some transactions in real estate, and in 1861 he purchased and controlled the Hamilton Telegraph, a weekly newspaper, for a brief period, turning it to the support of the war for the Union.

In 1864 he quitted the business of banking and went into the country, spending two years in farming, stock-raising, and manufacturing timber. This not being successful, he set about organizing and putting into operation the Union Central Life Insurance Company of Cincinnati, which was organized in February, 1867. Dr. PECK was elected a director and vice-president. This position he held for nine years, and as general agent secured to the company a very large amount of insurance and nearly five hundred thousand dollarsı worth of cash premiums, putting his company on a safe footing as a solid and successful institution. He was also for many years a director and treasurer of the Butler Fire Insurance Company of Hamilton. In 1876 he abandoned the insurance business, purchasing largely of real estate in Butler County and elsewhere, and began transactions again in real estate in Butler County, and in lending money, which is still successfully carried on. He has made two additions to the town of Hamilton. South Hamilton, with its two additions, numbering about fifteen hundred lots, was laid out by him. More than fifty houses have been put up, and twenty more are in process of building the present season. In 1871 he began the planting and cultivation of the black locust for timber purposes, having two farms near Cincinnati exclusively occupied with them, comprising about a hundred and fifty thousand trees. They are thrifty and will, it is anticipated, be worth $100,000 within five years.

Dr. PECK enlisted in 1864 in the hundred daysı volunteers, and served for that time by proxy, and now hold a certificate of honorable discharge. He became a Mason in 1858, at Hamilton, taking the degrees of chapter and council. He visited Europe in 1871, traveling in England, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, and went there again in 1876, and again in 1881. He united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1845, and has acted as a steward in its society ever since. He was married in 1843 to Miss Dorothea REICK, in 1855 to Mrs. Eliza Alston MARSHALL, and in 1858 to his present wife, Frances FITTON, having three sons by the first marriage and three sons by the last. His life has been one of activity and enterprise.

Lucius B. POTTER was born in Licking County, Ohio, August 17, 1843, being the oldest son of Dr. S.H. and Augusta S. POTTER. He was educated in the public schools of Hamilton, and had just graduated at the high school in June, 1861, when he enlisted in Company C, Thirty-fifth Ohio, in August. He participated in all its battles and engagements, and in October, 1862, was appointed sergeant-major of the regiment. At the battle of Chickamauga he had a horse shot under him. He served out his time, and was mustered out with the regiment at Chattanooga in September, 1864. Returning to civil life, he took a course at a commercial college in Cincinnati, and then entered the employment of J.W. DAVIS as book-keeper till Mr. DAVIS retired from business. He was then with GIFFEN Brothers, and afterwards with the WOODSDALE Paper Company. He began as book-keeper for Louis SNIDER & Sons in 1880. He was married in 1868 to Miss Mary BACHMAN, and is the father of one daughter, Lizzie A., born in 1869. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum and the Grand Army of the Republic.

Charles RICHTER was born in Trenton, July 4, 1835, being a younger son of Frederick and Catherine (LONG) RICHTER, and was educated in the common schools. When he was eighteen he commenced to learn the trade of blacksmithing, serving a three yearsı apprenticeship. After acquiring the art he worked in various places till 1862, when he enlisted in the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, Company I. He was with that regiment during all its campaigns, participating in the affairs at Shiloh and Corinth, and numerous raids and skirmishes. He made the march to the sea under Sherman. The term of the regiment having expired, it was mustered out at Sistersı Ferry, Georgia, February, 1865. He returned to Hamilton, and worked as a journeyman till about 1872, when he began horse-shoeing for himself, conducting the place known as the City Horse-shoeing Shop, on Third Street.

Mr. RICHTER was married in March, 1866, to Martha A. DILLON. They are the parents of one son and two daughters. Frank P. Was born June 4, 1867; Bessie, May 15, 1872; and Jessie Ermina, March 11, 1875. Mrs. RICHTER is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. RICHTER is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Knights of Honor, Knights of the Golden Rule, and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

John SORTMAN was born in this county, June 18, 1836, and is the younger son of Daniel and Elizabeth (McCLOSKEY) SORTMAN. He was educated in the common schools and was employed at farming until he became of age. He served an apprenticeship of seven years at the carpenterıs trade, beginning in 1856. He worked as a journeyman for some years. In connection with his father and brother he engaged in the grocery trade in the First Ward for some years. In 1876, in connection with William MURPHY, under the firm name of MURPHY & SORTMAN, he built the Globe Mills. The firm existed until May, 1881, when Mr. SORTMAN took the entire charge of the business, which is now extensive.

Mr. SORTMAN has been twice married, first in 1860 to Miss Rebecca GIBSON. To that union were born two children, Mary E. And Daniel. Mrs. SORTMAN died in 1865. His present wife, to whom he was married in 1868, was Miss Lucinda HAUK. They have one son, John Richard. Mr. SORTMAN is a member of the Odd Fellows and of the Knights of Honor, and Mrs. SORTMAN is a member of the Knights and Ladies of Honor.

Dr. J.J. STRECKER was born in Wirtemberg, Germany, October 19, 1830, attending school there. When he was sixteen years of age he came to America, the family locating in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where they remained one year, then going to Marietta, Ohio, where the doctor continued to read medicine. In 1861 he began to practice his profession at Marietta, and continued there until 1878. He then entered the Columbus Medical College, taking a full course in 1878 and 1879, and another in 1879 and 1880. He was graduated from that institution in 1880, and came to Hamilton in March of that year and soon succeeded in getting a good practice. Dr. STRECKER was married in 1853 to Miss Salome KIEFFER, and is the father of nine children, six of whom, four sons and two daughter, are living. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum, the Butler County Medical Society, and also of the District Union Medical Society.

W.C. SHEPHERD was born in Monroe, Lemon Township, July 3, 1855, being the son of George B and Sarah H. SHEPHERD. He was educated in Middletown, and with his parents came to Hamilton in 1864, soon after removing to Liberty. He was brought up to farming, but went to the common schools until his seventeenth year, then entering the National Normal School at Lebanon in the Fall of 1874, where he continued till the Fall of 1875. He then taught for two Winters to acquire means to prepare himself for the study of law. In August, 1877, he entered the office of McKEMY & ANDREWS, and remained with them until admitted to the bar in the Spring of 1879. In the Spring of 1882 he was admitted to practice in the United States Courts. He is a member of the Odd Fellows, and also of the Knights of Pythias. Of the former he is an advanced member, having passed through to the grand lodge, representing his society in that body for two terms. Mr. SHEPHERD is a rising and promising young member of the Butler County bar, and has gained his present position without any start in life.

Henry SCHLOSSER was born in Darmstadt, Germany, July 16, 1832, being the oldest son of George and Maria (SCHMIDT) SCHLOSSER. He was brought up to farming until he was fifteen, coming to America in 1849. In 1852 he began an apprenticeship of three years at the trade of miller. He came to Hamilton in 1854, in the employment of TAPSCOTT & RUSSELL, in the Peopleıs Mills, staying with them one year. He then rented a mill at Collinsville, continuing there four years. He returned to Hamilton, and entered the employment of Jacob SHAFFER, in the Hamilton Hydraulic Mills. He was with TANQUART & ANDERSON as foreman, in their Hamilton mills, remaining till 1863, when he purchased one-third interest in the Hamilton Hydraulic Mills, being there for two years. He sold out to COONE & PARMLEE. He owned and conducted a mill at Connersville from 1865 to 1870, during which time he also did business in Cincinnati as a commission merchant, selling at Connersville. He then began in 1869 the malt business, which he still conducts in Hamilton, doing an excellent business in a capacious building, erected especially for the purpose by himself. He employs from eight to ten hands constantly. Mr. SCHLOSSER was married in 1855 to Miss Henrietta BAUERSOCKS, and is the father of one daughter and two sons. They are Carrie E., William O., and Carl George. He and his wife are members of the Zion Lutheran Church. Mr. SCHLOSSER used his means and influence to support the government during the Rebellion. He is president of the EDMONDS Manufacturing Co., organized in 1882 for the purpose of manufacturing grain separators, mill machinery, etc.