Member of GAR post 219
Charles W. Horr
[The Wellington Enterprise, 10-10-1894, pg. 1; with engraved portrait]
DEATH OF C. W. HORR.
The death of C. W. Horr, which occurred at his residence in Wellington, O., on the morning of October 3, was a blow that this community does not yet fully realize and from which it will not soon recover. Mr. Horr had been for several years suffering from diabetes, but the gravity of his physical condition was not understood by the public and was not fully realized by his closest friends, or by himself. About two weeks before Mr. Horr’s death a large carbuncle made its appearance upon the back of his neck. This was not at first regarded by his family as dangerous, but to the watchful eye of his faithful physician it indicated an advanced stage of the dread disease. So recently as Friday, September 28, Mr. Horr was able to ride to his office and on the next day he walked across the street to the residence of his aged mother, who was then very ill, and who died on the evening of October 2. He sank rapidly after Sunday morning and during the last two days of his life did not appear to fully realize his actual condition and probably did not clearly apprehend that death was so near. About four o’clock Wednesday morning he went into a comatose condition and passed away peacefully at a quarter past eight. Dr. Biggar was summoned from Cleveland as counsel and all that medical skill could do was done, but to no avail.
C. W. Horr, the youngest living of a family of eight boys, was born in Avon township, Lorain county, Ohio, January 25, 1837. Left fatherless at the age of four years, he was early thrown upon his own resources. Not content with a common school education, he attended school for a time at Oberlin college, and later entered Antioch college, then presided over by Horace Mann, graduating from that institution in 1860. He was married to Esther A. Lang, of Huntington, Ohio, August 12, 1860, and during the same fall accepted the principalship of the public schools of Vandalia, Ill., with his wife as assistant. During the stormy days of 1860-61 he was an able and eloquent advocate of the union cause. He finally organized company B, 35th Illinois infantry, and went to the front as its captain. Returning from the army he engaged in various successful enterprises in his native county until 1866, when he, in company with his brother, J. C. Horr, erected the first cheese factory known to Lorain county. This pioneer cheese factory venture was regarded by hosts of farmers as a dangerous innovation and failure was freely predicted. His indomitable energy, however, combined with rare business sagacity and untiring industry, enabled him to achieve a phenomenal success and the primitive system of farm dairying, at first slowly, but soon rapidly, gave way to the more advanced, scientific, and vastly more renumerative [sic], factory system now universal. Mr. Horr, with his usual sagacity, foreseeing the immense advantages to be gained by the dairymen of our country by improved methods of butter and cheese manufacture, devoted his splendid abilities and his ceaseless energies entirely to this cause for many years.
The firm of Horr, Warner & Co. was early organized and Mr. Horr was its senior partner and manager until the day of his death. He mastered all the details of butter and cheese manufacture and took an active and an influential part in the meetings of the State Dairymen’s association, held annually in the early days of this important industry. He was a clear thinker, a positive, aggressive and able debater, and a vigorous and pungent writer. His public utterances and his published addresses were clear, comprehensive and convincing and were, withal, models of literary excellence. The dairy interests of our state undoubtedly owe more to him than to any other single man for the present advanced methods of dairy husbandry. Under Mr. Horr’s prudent and sagacious business management the operations of his firm were extended until they controlled the product of seventeen cheese factories, with Wellington as the shipping point.
In 1877 he visited Europe and made permanent arrangements for an export trade. A branch house was established in Elyria under the firm name of Braman, Horr & Warner, with Hon. W. A. Braman as its manager, where the product of seven cheese factories was handled for several years. From that point large purchases of cheese were made in Chicago for export in connection with the foreign shipments from Wellington and Elyia. The firm of Braman, Horr & Warner made large investments in Lorain real estate, and expended a large sum to secure the establishment in that village of a most important manufacturing plant, and thus contributed in no small degree to a development of Lorain, that has now drawn vast enterprises there and that will soon make that village the most important one in the county.
The Wellington Milling Co., now in operation at Wellington, was organized with Mr. Horr as its president and general manager. A few years since Horr, Warner & Co. purchased large tracts of land in Lodi, Creston and Orrville, in Ohio, which had previously been practically undeveloped, and organizing the firm of Wean, Horr, Warner & Co., with Mr. Horr as general manager, engaged in the enterprise of farm gardening on a large scale, devoting their attention chiefly to the growing of onions and celery. They are now the largest growers of onions in the United States, and are extensive growers of celery and other farm products, furnishing employment to hundreds of families in the vicinities of their farms. Believing in farming and in dairying, Mr. Horr invested a large part of his savings in dairy farms. He became interested in the breeding of the celebrated Hostein-Friesian cattle many years ago, and at the time of his death had one of the most extensive and valuable Holstein herds in the country. He has for years been actively interested in the Holstein-Friesian association of America, and was at one time its president.
Recognizing the great danger to the dairy interests of the nation from the rapidly increasing sale of imitations of dairy products he assisted in organizing the National Dairy Union, at Chicago, early in the present year and was unanimously chosen its president; the object of the Union being to secure the passage and enforcement of just and uniform laws throughout the nation, compelling the manufacturers of imitations of dairy products to sell them under their true names and not as genuine butter and cheese. Going into this great fight with all his energy, he drew upon his vital forces more than in his physical condition he could afford to do. In his death the National Dairy Union has lost one of its most vigorous supporters and one of its ablest defenders. One of the prominent members of the Union writes on learning of Mr. Horr’s death: “Let all the dairies wear sable, for when the grave receives all that is perishable of our dear, devoted friend, our leader is gone and he can have no successor.”
Mr. Horr assisted in the organization of the First National Bank, of Wellington, and was one of its directors from 1869 until his death. To his sound judgment and to his unusual financial ability that bank owes much of its remarkable success. He was also for many years director in the Savings Deposit Bank, of Elyria, Ohio. He was a man of extensive reading and had fine literary ability. He was one of the promoters of the Wellington library, always taking a lively interest in its success, having been from its organization a member of the book purchasing committee and one of the board of trustees.
Nor was Mr. Horr less active in body than in mind. An athlete in his youth he was ever ready and eager throughout his life to participate in or to encourage contests of strength or skill. He loved intellectual entertainments and exhibited the same executive ability in planning and conducting public entertainments as was shown in his business. In spirit he was always young. Up to the day of his death he took the keenest interest in all boyish sports and games.
In politics Mr. Horr was before the war a Douglass democrat, but since the war he has been a republican. With his strong personality and his fearless and vigorous support of what he deemed right, he has always been an influential factor in local, county and state politics. Never seeking office for himself he never spared himself in fighting the battles of his friends. Such a man must inevitably arouse antagonisms, but his antagonists have always found him to be a fair fighter, and they, as well as a host of friends, mourn his loss. Mr. Horr always insisted upon absolute integrity and openness in all his business transactions. He was at all times straightforward, upright, honorable and reliable. He had a great, warm, generous, sympathetic heart. His active and alert brain was ever at the command of his friends and he rarely failed to extend a helping hand to any man who called upon him in the hour of trouble for assistance. It is impossible to estimate the loss to any community of such a man.
The crowning glory of Mr. Horr’s life was found in his own home. His chief desire was to make his home a happy and pleasant one. His hospitality to the friends he loved knew no bounds. There was no sacrifice he would not make if any members of his family were in trouble or distress. The example of love, tenderness and devotion always shown by him to the members of his own family is worthy of the highest praise. He was tireless in his efforts to make his home a paradise for his wife and children.