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Obituaries from Butler County, Ohio
Part IX

Table of Contents
Mrs. Christine HARDING Obituary
Miss Elizabeth HARDING Obituary
Mrs. Edith ARPP Obituary
Helen Boyd VAIL Obituary
Flora J. BANKER Obituary
Riley Tullis SHEPHERD Obituary
Carrie K. JACOBY Obituary
Robert C. REED Obituary
Luexa CRAFT Obituary
Alice Kate OGELSBY Obituary>

  • Mrs. Christine Harding Obituary, November 25, 1922, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Mrs. Harding of Excello Died at Her Residence Sunday

    After a long life devoted to her family, the church and its influences and the community in which she lived for more than a half century, a good mother passed to her eternal reward.
    With the dawn of the Sabbath day, Mrs. A. E.Harding at her home in Excello surrounded by those ever near and dear, laid down the burden of her life, her gentle spirit taking its flight to a more friendly world.
    The little village in which she lived and moved, mourns its loss. For though she has not been active in the world's affairs for years, the feeling that in the old home on the hill she was with them still, was ever an inspiration that threw around the Harding homestead a kindly reverence for one who through the years had been a good mother to the entire community.
    Her family, who have ever appreciated her noble qualities and with filial devotion paid reverence to her as the centre from which radiated those influences for good that made them noble women and worthy men, will miss her parental advice. The vacant chair in the family circle will long awake tender memories of the many virtues of a good mother.
    They have the sympathy of a community of friends who kneel with them in sorrow at the bier of one that none knew but to love and esteem for her many kindly considerstions, her Christian spirit, her noble aspirations in the years that are past and gone.
    Mrs. Christine Harding died at the old Harding Homestead in Excello Sunday morning, November 26, 1922, aged 86 years. She was born in Salzburg, Pennsylvania, December 16, 1835. She was the widow of A. E. Harding, deceased, the founder of the Harding Paper company, the first writing paper mill in the Miami Valley. Surviving their good mother are: Mrs. Allie Jones, Miss Elizabeth Harding, Mrs. Harry Engle and ex-congressman Eugene Harding of New York. She leaves also numerous grandchildren among them Howard and Dwight Jones, prominent in university athletics and a sister, Mrs. Greier, of this city.
    The funeral services will be held from the residence at 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. Rev. Mr. Sites, pastor of the First Baptist church with which she affiliated for years will conduct the services. Interment will be made in Woodside cemetery. No flowers.

  • Miss Elizabeth Harding Obituary, January 19, 1945, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey


    Miss Elizabeth Harding, 73, member of a family that made the Miami Valley known as one of America's greatest paper-producing belts, and one of the city's charming women, died at the family residence at Excello at 1:25 P.M. Monday.
    Miss Harding suffered a stroke of paralysis a week ago, and death was not unexpected to her family and friends.


    The prominent club and church woman was a native of Shottermill, England, and was brought to this country when an infant. When she was 18 months old, her parents moved into this graceful old home on Route 4, on the hillside overlooking the factory founded in 1865 by her father, the late A. E. Harding and George Erwin, another of the city's pioneers. The firm now is known as the Harding-Jones Company in charge of her nephews, Clarence and Thomas E. Jones.
    In this fine old residence, Miss Harding and her sisters and brothers led sheltered lives in the quiet environment established by their devoutly religious parents. Meanwhile, her father was making a name for his family as the first manufacturer of writing paper produced west of the Alleghenies. He, with Erwin brought the art of paper making from England and for years the Harding-Erwin concern pioneered in the field throughout the middle west and growing western states to which its territory extended.
    Like others of her family, Miss Harding received her elementary education in the Amanda School. She always prided herself that she was a pupil of John Q. Baker, who later became a Middletown newspaper publisher. Her schooling was completed at Glendale College for Girls, no longer in exsistence, but at that time one of the exclusive institutions of learning in this part of country.


    Of a literary turn of mind, Miss Harding devoted much of her time to writing and at the time of her death had completed a historical sketch on her father and was beginning work on the life of her mother. She was deeply interested in local, national, and international affairs and was avidly concerned with material that would improve her knowledge of cultural events.
    She was a member of the Current Events Club and the Middletown Garden Club the latter by virtue of her principal hobby which converted the grounds of the Harding home into a virtual showplace of that neighborhood. First Baptist Church was her religious center in which she was active in former years.
    Miss Harding had one surviving sister and brother, Mrs. Harry Engle, who resided with her, and J. E. Harding, of New Haven, Conn.
    She had many nieces and nephews, some of whom are national figures -- the late Howard Jones, coach of the University of Southern California until his death more than a year ago; T. A. D. Jones, former coach at Yale; Maj. Gen. Forest Harding, prominently identified with Gen. MacArthur at New Guinea; Col. Justin Harding of Alaska; Clarence and Thomas Jones, officials of the Harding-Jones Paper Company, Miss Adelaide Engle at home, Mrs. Eugenia McLaughlin, Mrs. Janet Duane and Mrs. Elizabeth Tullis, this city, Miss Hazel Harding, Carl and Fred Harding of Franklin, and Mrs. Christine Sawyer, of Lima, Ohio.
    The Rev. Frank E. Johnston, pastor of the First Baptist Church will conduct the funeral Wednesday at the residence. Friends are asked to omit flowers. Burial will be in Woodside Cemetery.

  • Mrs. Edith Arpp Obituary, October 21, 1955, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey


    Services for Mrs. Edith Arpp, 73, 1500 Manchester Avenue, lifelong Middletown resident who died Saturday at 11:40 p.m. at Middletown Hospital, will be held at 2 P.M. Wednesday at the First Baptist Church.
    The Rev. Walter G. Weber and the Rev. John I. Parr, former pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in Woodside Cemetery.
    Mrs. Arpp was the mother of Mrs. Joseph R. Baker Sr., wife of the the Middletown funeral director, and of John Arpp, Germantown funeral director.
    She was the widow of John Arpp, founder of the Arpp plumbing company here. For more than 30 years she served as recorder for the Women of the Moose of Middletown and was honored last year in Chicago, as a star recorder. She also was secretary of the Pythian Sisters for 20 years and an active member of the War Mothers, the Eastern Star and the First Baptist Church.
    In addition to her son and daughter she is survived by three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
    Friends may call at the Joseph R. Baker and Sons Funeral Home after 7 P.M. today and from 4 until 9 p.m. tomorrow and at the church from noon Wednesday until the time of services. The War Mothers will hold memorial services at the funeral home at 7:30 p.m. today, the Women of the Moose at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and the Phythian Sisters at 8 p.m. tomorrow.

  • Helen Boyd Vail Obituary, November 23, 1940, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey


    Losing a courageous battle for health and life, Mrs. Helen Boyd Vail, 39, of 512 South Main Street, died Saturday morning, the victim of a lingering illness that gradually sapped her vitality but never conquered her courageous spirit.
    Mrs. Vail, wife of Marc S. Vail, died at 11 A.M. at Middletown Hospital, where she had been under treatment the last six months. Realizing that she suffered from an illness which gave her one in a thousand chances for life, the case drew the wide sympathy and admiration from friends for the way she faced her fate, unafraid and cheerful.
    Although health failed her more than a year ago, Mrs. Vail always referred to her condition lightly. She refused to give up normal actvities and only last spring took an eastern trip with her son.
    During her long and patient struggle to regain the vigor for which she was so popular, her mother, Mrs. John W. Boyd, was in constant attendance at her bedside. The two, mother and daughter, had been inseparable companions.
    Mrs. Vail was born in the Boyd homestead, where she spent virtually all of her life. She was a member of one of Middletown's leading families and took her place in the community as such.
    Reared in the First Presbyterian church, she was one of the leaders in the younger circles. For years she was a teacher of a class in the Sunday School and one of the dependable workers when a call came from any of the departments of the church.
    Following her graduation from Middletown High School, she entered Harcourt and was graduated from that institution.
    Of charming manner, she enjoyed a place of high regard and admiration in a large circle. To mourn her loss are her husband, a son by a previous marriage, Boyd Snyder, and her mother.
    Arrangements for the funeral are incomplete.

  • Flora J. Banker Obituary, March 3, 1936, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey


    With the death of Mrs. Flora J. Banker, 84, who has resided with her daughter, Mrs. D. W. Snider, of 2208 Linden Avenue, for a number of years, Middletown and Butler County lose another member of one of the staunch pioneer families that settled in this vicinity years ago. Mrs. Banker died at 2:30 p.m. Monday at Middletown Hospital, where she was taken on February 26 after suffering from cerebral hemorrhage.
    While always of a retiring and modest disposition, Mrs. Banker made many friends during her lifetime of residence in this vicinity, most of which was spent near the village of Poastown and she was held in high esteem by all with whom she made contact.
    Born in Butler County in 1851, the daughter of Joseph and Armetta Travis, early settlers of the valley, Mrs. Banker was married to David Banker, member of another pioneer family, at the age of 26 years. Her husband, who died 34 years ago, once served six months as the personal body guard of Abraham Lincoln, deceased president. Her family on her mother's side, the Van Gordons, was related to Cyrena Van Gordon, famous at one time in operatic circles.
    Mrs. Banker, who was a member of the Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church for many years is survived by the following children: Mrs. Eloise Snider, Mrs. Martha A. Richards, and P. G. Banker, all of Middletown; Mrs. Imogene Long of Hamilton; Gilbert T. Banker of Yakima, Washington and Morell Banker of Detroit, Mich; also the following grandchildren: Mary Katherine Long of Hamilton; William Snider, Mrs. Cornelia Sauter, P. G. Banker, Jr., Cornelia and Annalou Banker, Mariam Richards, Eloise Banker of Middletown; Imogene, Inez, and Gordon Banker of Yakima and two great grandchildren.
    Funeral services will be held at three P.M. Thursday from the residence of the daughter, Mrs. D. W. Snider on Linden Avenue, the Rev. Carroll Lewis to officiate and interment at Poasttown Cemetery.

  • Riley Tullis Shepherd Obituary, January 8, 1936, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Ill For Past Four Months, Member Of Pioneer Family Was Unable To Withstand Recent Operation

    Riley Tullis Shepherd, age 82, a native of Butler County and a member of a pioneer family, died at 6:15 o'clock Tuesday morning at his farm home just north of Hamilton, after an illness of four months.
    He was stricken ill last September and was in Mercy Hospital for 10 weeks. He underwent a preliminary operation but failed to summon sufficient strength to permit a major operation which was prescribed.
    Excepting for brief periods, he spent his whole life in Butler County.
    Riley Shepherd was born April 11, 1853, in Monroe, a son of George B. and Sarah Shepherd. His father had located in Butler County when 14 years old and his mother was a native of Lemon Township.
    Riley as a boy worked on the farm, during those months of the year when he was not gaining a thorough education in the various schools which included the public schools of Middletown, Hamilton and Kyles, the academy at Monroe, Ohio; Wesleyan University at Delaware; Beck's Business College in Hamilton and the National Normal School in Lebanon.
    At the age of 20 he began his vocation of teacher, first being called to a business college in Richmond, Ind. Later he served as teacher at Reeves schoolhouse in Flenner's Corner, in Huntsville, LeSourdsville, Millville, Stockton and Amanda, and later was teacher of drawing in the schools of St. Clair, and Hanover Townships.
    During the presidency of Grover Cleveland, he was named United States gauger and storekeeper in the Cincinnati district.
    In 1917 he became associated with his brother, Attorney W. C. Shepherd in the Dixie Farm managing the production of milk and directing the breeding and development of fine Jersey cattle. He continued in this work until ill health last September caused his withdrawal from these duties.
    Mr. Shepherd was possessed of a keen scientific mind and he took great personal satisfaction and gained a high reputation in the field, in the collection of shells and orthological specimens. At one time he had a collection of shells valued at $5,000 which was totally destoyed by fire.
    Mr. Shepherd is survived by one daughter, Mable Chenault, one grandaughter, Dickie Bethart, and one great-grandson Richardo Bethart, and by one brother, Attorney W. C. Shepherd. His wife preceded him in death a number of years ago.
    Funeral services will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Funeral home of Robert G. Taylor, North "B" Street, with Rev. S. A. Livingston, Monroe, an old friend officiating. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery.

  • Carrie K. Jacoby Obituary, December 2, 1935, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Husband Was Prominent Lumberman and Paper Executive

    Mrs. Carrie K. Jacoby, of 314 South Main Street, lifelong resident of Middletown and vicinity and a woman held in high esteem by all with whom she came in contact, died at 6:30 Sunday morning at Middletown hospital. Although suffering from ill health for a number of years it was not until Friday that Mrs. Jacoby's condition became such that she was taken to the hospital. She has been sinking gradually since that time in spite of all medical aid could do.
    Until afflicted with ill health, Mrs. Jacoby was one of Middletown's prominent women, known in business circles through her supervision of the Jacoby building on the northeast corner of Central and Broad Street, a structure of which she was the owner.
    Her religious affiliations were with the First Presbyterian Church which she joined in early life and for many years she was recognized as one of the most active of its members and a worker in several of the church organizations. She also held a prominent part in social affairs during her younger days.


    Born on a farm in the Elk Creek vicinity, Mrs. Jacoby came to Middletown with her parents when still a child and, in the late seventies married George Jacoby, a business man. Among the earlier organizations of which she was a member was the Quixotic Club. The members were given to presenting amateur plays and Mrs. Jacoby frequently enjoyed recalling the time that she played the leading part in a production offered in the old red brick school house at what is now Manchester and Main Street. The title of the play was "The Lady of Lyons."
    Mrs. Jacoby is the last of her generation, four sisters and one brother having preceded her in death, Mrs. Eli Halderman of Marion, Ohio, the last of these to die in May, 1935.
    Surviving relatives consist of Mrs. Kelly R. Jacoby, daughter-in-law of Chicago and the following nieces and nephews: Mr. and Mrs. M. G. Stimmel of Springfield, Ohio, who have already arrived for the services; Mrs. Frank Sharp of Buffalo, Charles Halderman of Marion, Ohio, and Oscar Halderman of New Orleans.
    Funeral services will be held from the residence at two o'clock Tuesday afternoon, the Rev. George M. Gordon of the First Presbyterian Church officiating and interment to be made at Woodside Cemetery. It was her request that friends omit sending flowers.
    Carrie Kelly Jacoby was the daughter of the late Joseph Kelly, one of the pioneer settlers of Middletown. Kelly was one of the organizers of the Middletown Cemetery Association, and devoted much of his time to its improvement.
    Kelly was also one of a number of Middletonians who erected, operated and maintained the first gas company in Middletown. He owned much real estate, principally business property, including an 160 acre farm, now the Sorg and Jacoby addition to Middletown.


    Mrs. Jacoby married George Jacoby, a leader in the lumber business whose building was located along the canal and fronted on Canal Street. He was associated with Charles E. Denny. Later Jacoby became interested and was the principal stockholder in the Jacoby Paper Company which bought the Middletown Paper Company, both later to become the Sorg Paper Company.
    Among the real estate owned by Jacoby was the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Broad Street, now the John Ross Store and an older building where the Knights of Phythias lodge now is located. He also acquired the old corner of Central Avenue and Broad Street which had been the home of John P. Reynolds, early settler, whose daughter was Laura Campbell, the mother of the late Governor James E. Campbell, who was born in the building in 1843. Jacoby afterward conveyed the property to Mrs. Jacoby and she converted it into storerooms. She owned the structure at the time of her death.
    Mrs. Jacoby had one son, Kelly Jacoby, who for a number of years was general manager of the Miami Cycle and Manufacturing Company. Later he was associated with the John Willys Company, automobile manufacturers at Toledo. He died in Chicago several years ago.

  • Robert C. Reed Obituary, December 30, 1937, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Son Of First White Child Born In This District Succumbs at 83

    Robert C. Reed, 83, of 1123 Kunz Avenue son of Thomas C. Reed, the first white child born in Butler County, died at 6 P.M. Wednesday at his home.
    Suffering the infirmities of age, which had kept him bedfast for 18 months, the widely beloved man's death was not unexpected to his wife, relatives and friends. With his death, the direct line of David and Mary Carrick Reed, who emigrated to Ohio when George Washington was president comes to an end. Robert Reed's nearest relatives are the widow and nieces and nephews.


    During his long illness, Mr. Reed told and retold friends at his bedside the story of his ancestors, as it was handed down to him and as he remebered it himself. He was proud of his ancestry, a background of hardships and hard-fighting pioneers.
    On the first farm immediately south of Georgetown on Yankee Road, his father, Thomas C. Reed, was born. The same locality marked the birthplace of Robert C. Reed, whose five older brothers fought in the Civil War. Robert Reed was too young for service. To his lot fell the task of riding daily to the Middletown Post Office to get mail from his soldier brothers at the front.


    His brother, Captain David P. Reed, was organizer of two Ohio companies -- one the famous Sixty-Ninth Regiment.
    He liked to tell of the fright given his parents and himself when John Morgan's riders galloped through this section of the country. He often repeated the story of how farmers herded their horses and livestock into heavy brush and timberland which is now Oneida Subdivision and Rolling Mill Park Additions.
    Simon Girty, notorious character known as the "white renegade," was a visitor in the Reed home more than once.


    Like his father and grandfather before him, Robert Reed was a farmer, at one time owning the present home of W. D. Vorhis on South Dixie Highway. He had been retired from farming for 10 years.
    Twice married, Mr. Reed's first wife was Anna Britton, pioneer of Monroe. Following her death he married Anna K. Schlisting, who survives with two nieces, Mrs. Vernon McCullough, of this city and Mrs. Rachel Hood, of Dayton, two nephews, Wallace W. and Florence J. Reed.
    He was a member of the Seven Day Adventist Church of Dayton. The Rev. Schedrat of Detroit, a lifelong friend, and the Rev. W. Schwartz, of Cincinnati, will officiate at the funeral some time Saturday. The time will be announced later.

  • Luexa Craft Obituary, April 2, 1948, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Mrs. Luexa Craft, 58, wife of Powell Craft, contractor, of 324 Vandeveer St., died Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. in Middletown Hospital. She suffered a stroke last Friday.
    A resident of Middletown for 40 years, she was a member of the First Church of Christ.
    She leaves beside her husband, two daughters, Mrs. Beulah McIntire and Mrs. Lelia Boast, both of Middletown; one son, Percy Craft, veteran of four years in the Army, who recently re-enlisted and is now home on leave; two sisters Mrs. Sally Finley of Illinois, and Mrs. Alice Reno of Dallas; and four grandchildren.
    Friends may call Wednesday after 11 a.m. at the Baker Funeral Home. Services will be conducted Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at the funeral home with the Rev. W. D. Brock officiating. Burial will be in Woodside Cemetery.

  • Alice Kate Ogelsby Obituary, May 4, 1933, Middletown Journal
    Submitted by
    Carolyn Lacey

    Decedant Was Leader in Social and Religious Circles for Years

    Another home on South Main Street, long known for as the thoroughfare of Middletown's socially prominent and most distinquished families, is touched by sorrow as Mrs. Alice Kate Ogelsby, widow of Charles Barnitz Ogelsby, passes.
    After living in a coma for two days, the tired body of the once vigorous woman, whose character has long radiated throughout the city and dominated social circles of Middletown, resigned itself to time. Mrs. Ogelsby was 83 years of age at the time of her death, the end coming Wednesday night at 7:45 o'clock at her own home on South Main Street.
    Mrs. Ogelsby died as she lived -- with the eyes of Middletown upon her home, famous in former years for the generous hospitality that made her one of the most distinguished hostesses of the county. Her favor was sought throughout the Miami Valley, not only for the prestige of her own and her husband's families, but for her own charming personality.
    Her social regime was in a time when shiny carriages, drawn by black horses and bearing sumptuously-gowned woman and silk-hatted men, rolled up to and away from the Oglesby door where a friendly welcome was always waiting a legion of friends.
    Mrs. Ogelsby, like her husband, was of honorable forebears and in her were inoulcated all of the estimable traits that arouse pleasant memories on mention of her name. She was a daughter of William and Sarah Van Cleve Dickey, sturdy pioneers, whose deeds are still recorded in the growth of Butler County and whose homestead still stands in Amanda. It was after the removal of her parents to Dayton that Mrs. Ogelsby was born.
    Her father, imbued with initiative and courage in every new project, became interested in the Miami and Erie Canal and conducted a line of packet canal boats between Cincinnati and Toledo for a number of years. During these years of business industry and activity he amassed considerable wealth and in 1850 became a private banker. Subsequently, he was one of the organizers of the Miami Valley Bank and numerous other business enterprises. He was also organizer of the Ohio Insurance Company and was its president until death.
    Mrs. Ogelsby was always proud of the fact that her aunt, Mrs. Adam Dickey, the former Miss Mary McKee, of Pennsylvania, was a cousin of General George Washington, and through the family connections were strong, came with her husband to Cincinnati, then Fort Washington, in 1790. Mrs Ogelsby loved to retell the story of how her spirited early American ancestors came in flatboats down the Ohio river to make their home in the growing west.
    It was from these forefathers that she inherited her sound judgment, kindness of heart, modest manner and graciousness.
    Mr. Ogelsby, her husband, was of equally distinguished ancestors. It was his father, William B. Ogelsby, who founded the Ogelsby and Barnitz Bank and Trust Company, which today is a sound monument to the frugality, integrity, caution and prudence of any financiers. Charles Barnitz, his associate in the banking business, became president of the bank in the intervening years after the retirement of William Ogelsby and the succession of his son Charles Barnitz Ogelsby, as the title head of the company.
    This appointment came in 1896, nine years after the removal of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Barnitz Ogelsby from Chicago. Mr. Ogelsby married Alice Kate Dickey in 1871, moving to Chicago where the birth of their only son, William D. Oglesby took place.
    It was in 1884 that they came to Middletown where Mrs. Oglesby already had many friends from childhood due to the prominence her parents and grandparents had enjoyed before her in Butler County. From that time the Ogelsby home on South Main Street has been a traditional center of hospitality and the scene of promoting some of the most vital history-making transactions of Middletown.
    She was an active friend of all things cultural, one of her recent delights being the interests of the Middletown Music Club. Mrs. Ogelsby was an honorary member of the organization and enthusiastic over its programs.
    Mrs. Ogelsby was an unswerving Christian, a devout member of the First Presbyterian Church and until her death a regular attendant at church services. She was affiliated with the Woman's Society of the church and until several other organizations merged with it, an affiliate of all units.
    The one son, William D. Ogelsby, two grandsons Robert Dickey Ogelsby and Charles Farquer Ogelsby, and one great grandson William Barnitz Ogelsby, survive. Funeral services will be conducted by Dr. George M. Gordon of the First Presbyterian Church Saturday afternoon at the residence. Burial will be made in Woodside Cemetery. Friends are asked to omit flowers.

    Those who wish to contribute an obituary, death card, or newspaper article
    to this page are encouraged to e-mail it to David J. Endres.

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