Henry County, Ohio
Charles L. Allen
The parents of the subject of this sketch were natives of New England, born in the State of Connecticut, but they, at a very early day, emigrated to Western New York, and were pioneers of Monroe county. The father was Isaac and the mother Mary (Terry) Allen. They never became residents of Ohio, but passed their lives in New York State, where the father died in the year 1884, at the ripe old age of ninety-one, the mother having died in 1876, some eight years before her husband, and aged about seventy-eight. Isaac Allen was a somewhat prominent figure in the early history of the Empire State, and he lived, moreover, in a region that was fruitful of important events during the first score of this century's years. He was an American soldier in the War of 1812, and fought therein to maintain that independence the American colonics had gained during the Revolutionary War; and in this connection it way it may be stated that during war of 18615 his loyalty and patriotism, and devotion to the Union arms were almost remarkable, and he even went so far as to go to the South in the hope that he, notwithstanding his years, might in some manner assist the Northern army.
In the family of Isaac Allen were ten children, and of them, all save one are still living. Three of the sons now reside in Gorham township, Fulton county, and are numbered among its highly respected and enterprising citizens. Isaac Allen died at his home in Clarkson, Monroe county, N. Y., in 1884, and at the funeral ceremony each of his living children was present, and six of the sons officiated as bearers of the pall. Charles Luther Allen, one of the sons of Isaac Allen, and the subject of this sketch, was born in the town of Clarkson, N. Y,. on the 16th day of November, in the year 1838. Up to 1859 he lived at his father's home, but in that year he came to Fulton county and took up his abode in Gorham township, where his brother, Dr. Allen, was then a resident. Here Charles taught school for a time, but afterward accepted a position in the store of Thompson & Cadwell, where he remained until August, 1861. He then enlisted in Company K, Thirty-eighth O. I. V., and, upon the organization of the company, was elected second lieutenant. In this capacity he served for about six months, when, after the battle at Mill Springs, he was assigned to duty on the staff of General Shoeppf, commanding the Ohio Brigade. Some time later Lieutenant Allen was promoted to first lieutenant and made regimental quartermaster, serving as such nearly a year, when he was assigned to duty as regimental adjutant. On January 1, 1864, Lieutenant Allen, on account of disabilities that unfitted him for active field service, resigned, which resignation being accepted, he returned to Fayette the same month. For the succeeding four or five months Mr. Allen acted as enrolling officer at Fayette, and rendered efficient service in that capacity during the latter part of the war. In October, 1865, Charles L. Allen was married to Susan Gamber, the daughter of Henry and Mary Gamber, of Fayette. Of this marriage two children have been born.
In this same year Mr. Allen engaged in the mercantile business at Fayette, in partnership with his brother, Joseph O. Allen, which firm relations were maintained and the business conducted with a fair degree of success for about four years, when our subject became its sole owner and so continued for a period of about ten years, when the mercantile department was disposed of, and he thereafter continued the produce dealing branch until the month of November, 1885, when this department was discontinued. In this year the Bank of Fayette was established, and in it Mr. Allen took an interest; he was chosen its cashier and has so acted to the present time, having practically the management of its business. The success of this well conducted and growing institution fully attests the business capacity of our subject. During the years 1880-1 Mr. Allen represented Fulton county in the sixty-fourth General Assembly of the State, and upon the expiration of his first term was re-elected to the sixty-fifth General Assembly. Upon the organization of Gorham Lodge, no. 387, F. and A. M., Charles L. Allen was one of its charter members; he is also a member of Stout Post G. A. R. and A. D. C. on the staff of the department commander. [Source: "History of Henry and Fulton Counties", D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, N. Y. 1888.]
Col. Epaphras Lord Barber
BARBER, COLONEL E. L. -- Epaphras Lord Barber is a native of Ohio, and was born at Cleveland, Cuyahoga county, December 16, 1830. Of the five children born to Epaphras L. and Jerusha T. (Sargent) Barber, he was the third. The days of his boyhood and youth were spent on his father's farm at work, and in attending the district school during the winter terms. At the age of eighteen years young Barber joined an engineer corps and was employed on the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad, where he had a practical education in surveying and civil engineering. After a few months engaged in this work he attended a private school for nearly two years, but again returned to engineering and perfected himself in that profession. After leaving the C. C. & C. road he was engaged on other work of the same character, and in 1S53 came to Fulton county, being then employed on the Air Line, now the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. In connection with the work in this county he had headquarters at Delta.
Mr. Barber continued his connection with the construction of this road until about 1856, when, having become interested in lands in the vicinity of Wauseon and elsewhere in the county, he severed his connection with the road to give attention to the real estate business. Two years later he was appointed station agent at Wauseon, and held that position for two years, resigning in i860 to resume his real estate business, but to continue therein for a single year only, when loyalty and patriotism called him into an entirely new field of action. When, in April, 1861, Fort Sumter was fired upon, in answer to the president's call for troops, a company was at once raised at Wauseon, and among them Mr. Barber's name was found. At the election of officers he was made captain of Company H, of the Fourteenth Ohio Infantry, and served with that command during the term of their enlistment, and was mustered out at Toledo in August, 1861. Prior to the muster-out, and while awaiting that event Captain Barber re-enlisted and was appointed major in the Thirty-eighth Infantry, which was then forming. With this regiment he served for a period of eight months in Kentucky. when, on account of the death of his business partner, Nathaniel Leggett, he resigned his commission and returned home. Not long, however, was he to remain there, for he was soon called to Columbus by Governor Tod, advanced to the rank of colonel and directed to organize the One Hundredth and the One Hundred and Eleventh Regiments. This he did promptly and well, and was placed in command of the latter and went to Cincinnati with them to repel the threatened invasion of the State by the rebel forces under General Bragg. The duties assigned him by the governor being fulfilled, Colonel Barber returned to his business interests at Wauseon in the fall of 1862.
In connection with the military career of our subject it may be remarked that at the time of his enlistment, in the spring of 1861, he had no special desire for advancement to a position more exalted than that occupied by his comrades; but they made him captain, knowing his capacity as a man of business, and having full confidence in his ability as a commanding officer. As an officer, in preparing his command for the field, Colonel Barber was a strict disciplinarian; so rigidly, indeed, did he enforce the rules and regulations of tactics, and so thoroughly did he instruct and drill the men, that murmurs of discontent were not infrequent; yet, after the three-months men were discharged and re-enlisted, of those of his company that returned to the service no less than twelve were made commissioned officers, thus reaping direct benefit from the instruction received at his hands. Again, as an organizer he was no less efficient; insomuch that the governor called him from private life to organize two regiments for the service, besides the other important duties entrusted to his charge. Having returned to Wauseon in the fall of 1862, Colonel Barber resumed his business of dealing in real estate, and to this he has devoted more or less of his time to the present day. In the spring of 1863 he established a banking house at the place, of which he was sole owner and manager until 1865, at which time Naman Merrill became a partner therein. The firm remained unchanged until the month of June, 1879, when E. S. Callendar became a partner. In November following Mr. Merrill died, since which event the bank has been owned and managed under the firm name and style of Barber & Callendar. In November, 1885, Colonel Barber became interested in a bank established at the village of Fayette, and known as the Bank of Fayette, but his interest therein is, in the main, an investment, the management of the business being in charge of residents of that place. As a man of business Colonel Barber occupies a position in the county second to none ; his integrity, his honesty and his careful business methods are well known, and he enjoys the confidence of the people. His manner of doing business is strict, as it is acknowledged that to be successful, banking must be done on strict business principles; he has been successful and no man has deserved success more than he; he is public spirited and generously aids every enterprise looking to the advancement of his town and its people. On the 20th of day of October, 1853, Epaphras L. Barber married Sophia H. Watkins, daughter of Timothy Watkins, of Cleveland . Of this marriage two children, one son and one daughter, have been born. [Source: "History of Henry and Fulton Counties, Ohio" by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., 1888]
BRIGGS, FRANK, the subject of this sketch, was born in Wayne county, O., on the 15th of February, 1842, and was the third of seven children, sons and daughters of Francis and Sarah (Cuflle) Briggs. The father, Francis Briggs, was a physician of much repute in Lucas county. As a youth, Frank was about his father's office much of the time when not at school, or at workon the farm, and there he gained a fair knowledge of pharmacy that was of great benefit to him after he came to reside in Fulton county. In April, 1861, young Briggs enlisted in Company I, of the Fourteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, for the three months service. This was a Lucas county company, and with it he served until the month of August following, when he was mustered out. He, in October, 1861, re-enlisted in Company K of the Sixty-Seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as a private, but was promoted for meritorious service, first to sergeant, then to second lieutenant, and, still later, to first lieutenant, which latter commission he held at the time of his final muster-out. With the Sixty-Seventh regiment Mr. Briggs served three years and six months.
Unlike the great majority of the young men that entered the service, Lieutenant Briggs saved the earnings of those years, and upon his coining to Delta, in December, 1864, he had five hundred dollars in cash. With this he purchased the stock of drugs and business formerly conducted by Dr. Young at this prosperous village. After making the purchase, Mr. Briggs added to the stock as the requirements of trade and the rapid growth of the town demanded. About twelve years ago he enlarged his business enterprises by the addition of an extensive hardware stock. These he had in adjoining stores, and were successfully conducted by him until the month of September, 1887, when the drug stock was sold and replaced by a large assortment of crockery, glass, and queensware. Since his residence in Delta, Mr. Briggs has always been in the mercantile Since his residence in Delta, Mr. Briggs has always been in the mercantile business, and, although his beginning was small, it has continued to steadily grow until he is now recognized as one of the leading merchants of the village; nor does his stock in trade represent his whole business, as he is interested in real estate in this vicinity. But whatever of success has attended his efforts, there is no man to say it is undeserved, as his accumulations are the result of his own personal endeavor, and his acknowledged honesty and integrity. This is the common report among the people of the town and locality in which he lives. While Frank Briggs has never been an aspirant for political honors, he has, nevertheless, taken great interest in all that pertains to the political welfare of the county at large, and in the just and economic administration of its affairs. In Delta he has held various town offices - clerk, councilman, and perhaps others of minor importance ; but in the advancement of the educational interests of the town, and in keeping up the high standing of the schools he has been especially prominent. In his political preferences, Mr. Briggs is a staunch, determined Republican. A no less commendable zeal has been shown by our subject in the spiritual welfare of the community. He is prominently connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is one of the trustees of that society. Of his means he has been a generous contributor to the several funds used for the purpose of maintaining and advancing the strength of this and other church societies. In the Masonic fraternity, Frank Briggs is a member of the lodge and chapter at Delta; also of the Toledo Commandery. In this ancient order he has advanced step by step until he is now what is termed a thirty-second degree member. While the business and social relations of our subject have been entirely pleasant and successful, and his progress in these have been marred by no untoward event, his home and fireside have been invaded by the Destroyer, and wife and children alike have been taken from him. Mr. Briggs has been thrice married: First, on March 20, 1864, to Laura Trowbridge, daughter of Elisha Trowbridge, of Delta. She died October 20, 1871. On the 20th of June, 1872, Mr. Briggs married Mattie Hill, daughter of Robert Hill, of Port Washington, Tuscarawas county. Of this marriage two children were born, neither of whom is living. His wife, Mattie, died February 14, 1878. On the 10th day of July, 1878, Mr. Briggs married Emma, daughter of Jacob Gelzer, of Delta. Of this marriage four children have been born, all of whom are living. [Source: "History of Henry and Fulton Counties", D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, N. Y. 1888.]
Hon. J.M. Haag
For more than twenty-five years has Judge Haag been in active practice at the bar of the courts of Henry county. In the thousand and one details that go to make up the character of a successful lawyer, noticeable in the work of Judge Haag, are industry in collecting facts, sagacity and foresight in collating them, broad and comprehensive views of the legal principles applicable to them, and absolute fearlessness in the presentation of his client's cause. Added to these is a memory that is seldom at fault, either regarding a fact or the law. His knowledge of the statutory code laws of Ohio, even after the codifiers had exhausted their capacity to obscure it, is something unusual. He is rarely mistaken as to the existence or force of any statute. Judge Haag loves the practice of the law, not because he particularly loves litigation of itself, but because it is a profession in which men of
erudition, high legal attainments, and honorable feelings, have full scope for all their powers, and yet can aid in the honest and able administration of justice. His clients know that he is incapable of betraying their confidence, his professional associates know that he is incapable of trick, the bench knows that candor and entire fairness are his characteristics. Again, as a lawyer his character is, in many respects, a model for imitation. In the examination and preparation of a cause he exercises the greatest care, especially if the case be one of vital importance. He is careful and conscientious in his conclusions and in his advice to his clients; determined and unyielding in the vindication of the rights of his client, and in his defense of the principles which he has asserted with the energy of thorough conviction ; properly deferential, but never more than that, to the court; courteous to his antagonist, and never more so than when dealing his severest blows, and especially always kind and considerate in a marked degree towards the younger and more timid members of the profession. In his practice of the law, according to his impulse, he would rather defend than prosecute even a criminal. There is also another characteristic of the man in his legal work. His mind is studious and practical as well, and in investigating any question, he will search for principles first and expedients afterward. It is natural and fit that such a man should be entrusted with public duties and a brief review of his history will show that, though this is so to a degree, office was not even a secondary pursuit to him, but all that he has filled he has discharged with ability and fidelity. [These expressions are not the sentiments of the Henry county bar alone, but are as well the result of an acquaintance that the writer of this volume has had with Judge Haag of some months' standing.] John Marion Haag was born at Mifflinsburg, Union county, Pa., on the 16th day of August, in the year 1836. During his early childhood his parents moved to York county, where they lived a short time and then moved to Lancaster county, of the same State. At about the age of seventeen years young Haag left home and came to Millersburg, Holmes county, O., where he entered the Free Press office to learn the printer's trade, and afterward accepted a position on the editorial staff of that paper. After this he went to New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas county, to which place his parents had removed, where his time was employed on the newspaper, The Ohio Democrat, and, in part, in a course of legal study in the office of Belden & Haag, attorneys at that place; he also received a no small part of his early legal education under the instruction of Judge Mclllvaine. In 1859 Mr. Haag was admitted to practice, and soon afterward established himself in an office at Canal Dover, in Tuscarawas county. Three years later, in 1862, he became a resident of Napoleon, and a member of the Henry county bar. He formed a law partnership with S. R. McBane, esq., which continued until the death of that person in 1863, after which William Sheffield and James G. Haly became partners with our subject, under the firm name of Sheffield, Haly & Haag, but the senior partner soon afterward accepted a government appointment, and Mr. Haag purchased the Democratic Northwest, and became its editor and publisher. This was in June, 1864. In the fall of the same year Mr. Haag was made the nominee of the Henry county Democracy for the office of probate judge, and at the polls in October was elected. He then retired from the law firm. In the succeeding year, 1865, on the 17th of August, Mr. Haag was married to Martha J., the daughter of John M. Meek. Of this marriage five children were born, three of whom are now living. In the fall of the year 1866 Judge Haag was re-elected to the office of probate judge. In this capacity he served in all 6ve years, still retaining, during the time, his ownership and control of the Northwest but at the expiration of his second term he sold his interest in the paper and resumed the practice of the law, in partnership with J. L. Robertson, esq., and this relation was maintained until Mr. Robertson's death. In the fall of 1871 Judge Haag was elected to the Legislature of the State, and re-elected in 1873. During his last term in the State Legislature he was chairman of the judiciary committee. After the expiration of his second term Judge Haag returned to his practice at Napoleon, and to this has his time ever since been devoted. His partnership with James P. Ragan was formed in 1880. In the politics of the municipality of Napoleon, Judge Haag has been a somewhat conspicuous figure, and in the selection of its officers he is governed by a desire to secure the best men, and not held strictly by party ties. In 1882 he was elected mayor for the express purpose and with the avowed intention of correcting certain existing evils. Besides this he has held other offices of importance in the village. Judge Haag, during his journalistic experience, contributed his full share to the current anonymous newspaper literature, of which much of the uncredited emanated from his pen. The following stanzas, indited to his two daughters, are worth preserving: (poem omitted)
These verses are taken from a poem written upon the occasion of the seventieth birthday of Colonel Howard, and they recall to the biographer the words of a famous writer : " Dear are the days of youth ! Age dwells on their remembrance through the mist of time. In the twilight he recalls the sunny hours of morn."
The events of the life of this man have been so many, and are so well known to the people of Northwestern Ohio, especially among the older residents, that, in narrating those events we shall confine all statements strictly to facts, and indulge in no comment and draw no conclusions. But, before entering upon this narrative, we must say, that in the past history of this region there stands out clear and distinct the name and life of this man, and his ancestors. As the narrative will show, it has not been the lot of Colonel Howard to possess an education through the school or the college, but his intelligence and judgment have so matured by observation and reflection and experience, that he has been able to do much good, and set an example in life worthy of praise and imitation. His naturally well balanced mind has never for a moment yielded to the novel vagaries of the day, cither in theory or practice, but have led him safely through the windings and turnings of life's path; but misfortunes unforeseen and insurmountable have come, and through them he has been a sufferer, as have all men. But it is as a citizen, neighbor and friend that Colonel Howard is known and remembered most fondly. His genial and kindly presence, his uprightness and purity of life, his truthfulness and singleness of mind, his liberal hand and free heart, his thorough contempt for all knavery and sham, his unhesitating assertion and support of his honest convictions, in short, his Christian faith, and the Christian morals and Christian life by which that faith is evinced, these form the memories of him which will longest endure in the hearts of his friends.
Dresden Winfield Huston Howard was born in the village of Dresden, on the east bank of Seneca Lake Yates county, N. Y., on the 3d day of November, in the year 1817. In 1821, then being but four years old, with his parents, Edward and Nancy (Haight) Howard, his grandfather, Thomas Howard, his two uncles, Richard M. W. and Robert A. Howard, and his aunt, Sidney Nelson Howard, he came to the Maumee country. They came by wagons to Buffalo, where the party divided, a portion taking passage on the thirty ton schooner Eagle, while the balance continued the wagon journey overland. After an unpleasant voyage of eight days, the schooner arrived under the picketed walls of Fort Meigs, on the evening of June 17th. The land party were some weeks on the road before they reached their destination - the Maumee . The scene that was presented to this little party of emigrants upon reaching the mouth of the river was far from inviting or encouraging ; the dark and dreary forest stretched unbroken in every direction ; the habitation of the white man was nowhere seen, save the Indian agency building; but the wigwams of the savages were in every opening, and the smoke from their campfires curled upward in blue columns above the dark green forest. Even the stoutest heart might fail at such an outlook for the future. Their neighbors were to be the bear and the wolf, and the hardly less savage red man.
It was the intention of these families to go to the then new settlement at Ann Arbor (properly written An-aw-ba, the Pottawatomie word for "boy"), but the fatigue of the long journey and the dread on the part of the women to enter the dark and seemingly interminable, forests, changed their plan, and they were easily persuaded by the few white settlers to remain on the murky waters of the " Miami of the Lakes," and they were soon provided with small log cabins and a few acres of cleared land on the river flats, on which they planted corn, potatoes, and other necessary earth products. To this work the attention of our pioneers was given, but in its performance, however slight that labor was, they were much delayed and their work retarded by the ever present and ever ready ague, but with the approach of cold weather the severity of these attacks was much relaxed. During the next summer lands were purchased on the right bank of the river, at the head of the Rapids, or at Grand Rapids, as it is more commonly known. Here three log cabins were built for the accommodation of the families, and to which they moved in March, 1823. to reach their home with wagons new roads were required to be cut through the woods. On the opposite side of the river was the Ottawa Indian village of between one and two thousand people, and these, save one, were the only neighbors of our pioneers. The exception just noted was the kind hearted and ever willing Frenchman, "Uncle" Peter Manor and his good wife. The young Indians of the village were soon the companions and playmates of Dresden Howard, and he soon learned to speak their simple language. His association with them became so friendly and intimate that he as often slept in their wigwams, on their beds of blankets and skins, as in the comfortable cabin of his parents. His good mother was in a state of almost constant anxiety for the safety of her son in the camp of the dreaded Indian - but the free, wild life in the woods, under no restraint - how soon the boy learned to love it!
The Presbytery of Massachusetts had established an Indian mission (church and school) at a point eight miles down the river from Edward Howard's cabin, and here Dresden attended school from the age of six to nine years, and, other than this, the days of youth and boyhood gave him but little chance for an education at school. However, before he was ten years old, young Howard was taken from school and put at work far too important for a child of his years ; but necessity is a hard master. According to his father's idea, the life of an Indian fur trader seemed to be the best for his son ; therefore he was hired out to a merchant in the Indian trade with the limited knowledge of the business that he acquired in his father's little store of Indian goods. The boy soon became expert. He knew the value of all the articles of trade, and could accurately judge the quality and value of skins and furs brought into market by the Indians and the few white hunters of the region. These accomplishments, for such were they then considered, together with his understanding of the Indian languages, made him an exceedingly valuable employee, so that, at the age of fifteen, he had a safe passport into any of the fur trading establishments of the country.
In the early summer of 1827 or 182S, young Howard accompanied Benjamin F. Hollister with a pack train of horses loaded with goods for the Indian trade, on a journey to the " treaty grounds," on the shores of Lake Michigan, near the mouth of the Chicago River (now the site of the great western metropolis), where were gathered the various tribesthe (Pottawatomies, the Sacs, the Foxes, and the Winnebagoes - who were met in council with agents of the government for the purpose of treating upon various subjects. At the time this journey was made, young Howard remembers not of seeing a single settler's cabin in all that long distance, but there was an occasional trading post. There was maintained, on the site of the treaty ground, or near it, Fort Dearborn, with its little garrison of soldiers, held here, ostensibly, for the purpose of checking any depredations of the Indians, and the protection of the western frontier. The business of trading in furs and peltries was carried on during the fall and winter months; therefore, during the heated term our subject had but little to occupy his time. His father sent him, during the summer of 1831, on an expedition down the Wabash River, thence through to the Mississippi, for the purpose of locating bounty lands, to which the father was entitled as a veteran of the war of 1812-15. For this purpose our young hero, for such he was, being but fourteen years old at that time, was fully equipped, and fully authorized to act. On this journey his route lay up the Maumee by boat with some French " freighters," thence down the Wabash, on the back of an Indian pony purchased at Fort Wayne, to the old trading post at Terre Haute ; thence across the prairie to the Mississippi . His trip, he says, was a most enjoyable one; he was accompanied by young Indians most of the time, and the rifle easily procured an abundance of venison, turkey, and other wild game. He camped wherever night found him. Upon the details of this journey and the successful accomplishment of the duty assigned him, we cannot dwell. The scenes of wild sport and adventure through the unsettled country with companions as wild as the scenes around them, would fill a volume.
In the summer and fall of 1832 was commenced the removal of the Indians from this section, and in this work our subject bore an important part; it was a work of many weeks and many hardships. It was done under the direction of Benjamin F. Hollister, assisted by Dresden Howard (our subject), Duncan Forsythe, and Samuel (Curt) Koby. The Indians were taken in small numbers at each time, a few hundred, as they were very unwilling to leave their old homes and hunting grounds, and depart on a long journey to the Indian Territory, southwest of the Missouri River; but they must retire before the steady approach of the white man, and their country in all its wild beauty and grandeur soon yielded to the attacks of the ax of the woodman and the plow of the husbandman; the powerful Shawnees from Wapakoneta, and the Ottawas from the Auglaize, alike, must leave and make their homes in the far-off west. It will be remembered, too, that this year witnessed the first visitation of cholera in this country, and on the journey several of the Indians were attacked and died of that terrible disease. The last of the Indians were removed from the valley in 1838, and with their departure likewise went the occupation of our subject. He, however, prepared to follow them in 1840, taking a large stock of goods for the fur trade, and acting as agent for W. G. & G. W. Ewing . Mr. Howard ascended the Missouri as far as Fort Leavenworth, where, in consequence of the shallowness of the river, he disembarked, procured freight wagons (San Taffee), with eighty mules and Spanish drivers, and then followed the land trail up the Missouri. The white settlements at that time extended only to the little trading post at St. Joseph, which was laid out by and named for Joseph Rebidue, the old French fur trader for the American Fur Company. Mr. Howard's trade among the Sioux, Blackfeet, Crows, Grosventres and other tribes of Indians, proved quite lucrative. Of the numerous incidents of this visit we will mention but one, and that is of some historic interest. It occurred on the day of the presidential election of that year, 1840. There was gathered under a large cottonwood tree a party of ten or twelve traders, trappers, and hunters of the region, among them our subject, for the purpose of holding an election for president. General William Henry Harrison seems to have been the unanimous choice of this small but patriotic assemblage. The oldest trapper was chosen chairman and the youngest trader secretary of the meeting; this latter choice called into requisition the services of Mr. Howard, who kept the poll list on a piece of paper torn from a memorandum book. The votes were cast for the candidate direct, and not for electors; and, after all had voted, the " poll book " was directed and sent to the " President of the Senate of the United States ." This was the first vote of our subject for a presidential candidate; and it may be remarked, parenthetically, that the meeting was held near the ruins of old Fort Calhoun, beyond the jurisdiction of State or territorial government ; nevertheless, the hero of Tippecanoe received the undivided support of the whole party. Of these persons all, save Mr. Howard, were past the middle age of life, so it is safe to assume that he alone, of the entire number, is now living. But to return to the scenes of life on the Maumee .
Edward Howard, the father of our subject, died in 1841, after which, as soon as it could be done, Dresden closed his business at the various trading posts, and became a permanent resident of the Maumee country. In the subsequent development of this region he has been an active participant, and his progressive nature and public-spiritedness have, in a measure, been rewarded by his being chosen to some of the most responsible public offices in the gift of his fellow people. In 1842, soon after closing the affairs of his former business, Dresden W. H. Howard was married to Mary Blackwood Copeland. Of this marriage two children have been born: O. E. M. Howard, now a civil engineer and prominent citizen residing at San Diego, Cal., and Miss Mary Agnes Howard, now living with her parents. The first public station to which our subject has been called, was in his appointment by the State Legislature, as commissioner with Elisha Huntington, of Perrysburg, and Orlando Evans, of Defiance, as co-commissioners for the purpose of locating and constructing a turnpike from Fort Meigs to Fort Wayne, or to the Indiana State line. This was about the year 1843. In 1870 he was elected a member of the State Board of Equalization for the real estate of Ohio . Again, in 1871, he was elected to represent his district as senator in the Legislature of the State. In April, 1887, Mr. Howard was appointed by his Excellency, Governor Foraker, to the board of trustees of the Asylum for Insane persons at Toledo . These are the leading positions to which our subject has been called; but he has been identified as strongly with the growth and development of Fulton county and northwestern Ohio as any resident within its borders; he is not a man that inclines naturally to political station or to special prominence in any relation, but would rather retire to the quiet of his own home. Mr. Howard loves to dwell upon the memories of the past, and to recall the days and companions of his youth ; his farm home at Winameg, at the Springs, and on the site of the village of the old chief, Winameg, is exactly suited to his tastes, for on it are still discernible traces of old Indian mounds, though much disturbed by the plowshare; and on the trees are still visible bullet holes and Indian marks of various kinds. But, notwithstanding his inclinations and tastes, our subject has been identified with some very prominent measures, among which was that of originating and building the Toledo and Grand Rapids Railroad, in which enterprise his son was also extensively engaged. This road is now a part of the Toledo, St. Louis and Kansas City Railway (standard gauge), and extends to the city of St. Louis, Missouri . [Source: History of Henry and Fulton Counties, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, N. Y. 1888.]
WILLIAM C. RESSER, a member of the law firm of Mills, Resser & Mills, of Fargo, North Dakota, is a man who thoroughly loves his profession and is eminently gifted with the capabilities of mind which are indispensible at the bar. In preparing a case for trial every fact, however insignificant, is carefully studied and its possible relevancy to the merits of the case weighed and considered. He is thoroughly familiar with authority and never at a loss for a precedent.
A native of Illinois, Mr. Resser was born in Cleveland, Henry county, Ohio, October 6, 1859, and is a son of Charles and Catherine (Sutch) Resser, who were born in Pennsylvania and in 1848 removed to Illinois, where both died. By occupation the father was a farmer. Our subject passed his boyhood and youth in Illinois and is indebted to its public schools for his educational privileges. In 1878 he commenced the study of law with Sheppard & Marston, of Cambridge, Illinois, and was admitted to the bar in Illinois in 1881. In March, of that year, Mr. Resser came to Fargo, North Dakota, where he opened an office and began practice alone. In 1888 he formed a partnership with V. S. Stone and Seth Newman, under the firm name of Stone, Newman & Resser. On the death of Mr. Stone, in 1891, the name was changed to Newman & Resser. That connection continued until 1893, when Mr. Resser entered into partnership with H. F. Miller, and was engaged in practice with him until February, 1897. He was then alone until January 20, 1899, when the firm of Mills, Green & Resser was organized, and in July, 1899, this firm ws succeeded by Mills, Resser & Mills. They enjoy a large and lucrative practice and are numbered among the leading law firms of the city.
Mr. Resser was married, in 1881, to Miss Alice T. Dimick, also a native of Illinois, and to them have been born three children: Duane C., Helen and William C. The Republican party finds in Mr. Resser a stanch supporter of its principles; he has been a member of the county central committee and does all in his power to insure the party's success. In 1887 he served as city attorney of Fargo and was a member of the city council in 1885 and 1886. He drew up the city charter which was passed by the legislature in 1887 and takes an active and commendable interest in all enterprises calculated to advance the interests of city, county or state. [Source: "Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota", Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Sally Masteller]