Biography of Willard M. Harsh
Erie County, OH Biographies





WILLARD M. HARSH. In one of the most attractive suburban homes near the City of Sandusky, Mr. Harsh is now living virtually retired, after a career of signal activity and influence in connection with railway affairs and other business operations of important order. Beginning his independent career as a telegraph operator, Mr. Harsh rose through his own ability and efforts to positions of great responsibility in the executive control and direction of railway operations, and his energy and initiative found other effective exemplifications in the domain of industrial activity, as later paragraphs in this article will indicate more specifically. He has been a man of much constructive and business ability and after years of earnest and fruitful application he has relieved himself of the exacting responsibilities that so long rested upon him, and in his beautiful home, on South Columbus Avenue, just without the city limits of Sandusky, he is enjoying to the full the rewards of former years of earnest endeavor. He is finding satisfaction and recreation in the developing of an excellent peach orchard on his rural estate of twelve acres and is engaging also in the cultivation of other fruits, so that the attractions of his suburban residence will be greatly enhanced when his orchards attain to maturity. Mr. Harsh is one of the substantial and highly esteemed citizens of Erie County and is specially eligible for representation in this history.

On the homestead farm of his father in Carroll County, Ohio, Willard M. Harsh was born on the 22d of January, 1853, and he is a son of Nicholas and Jemima (Leslie) Harsh, the former of whom likewise was born in Carroll County, where his parents settled in the pioneer days, and Mrs. Harsh also having been born and reared in Carroll County, a member of one of its old and honored families. The paternal lineage of Mr. Harsh traces back to stanch German origin and the maternal ancestral line finds derivation in fine old Irish stock. Nicholas Harsh was one of the representative agriculturists of his native county for many years and both he and his wife continued to reside on their old homestead farm until their death, when well advanced in years.

Willard M. Harsh found the period of his childhood and early youth compassed by the conditions and influences of the home farm, and in the meanwhile he profited duly from the advantages afforded in the public schools of the locality and period. In 1874, soon after attaining to his legal majority, he initiated his apprenticeship to the trade of telegraph operator, and his initial service in this connection was in the station of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Oneida, a village in his native county, where he devoted two years to perfecting himself as a telegraphist. For five years thereafter he held the dual office of operator and station agent at Dellroy, Carroll County, in the service of what was then the Cleveland, Canton & Southern Railroad, now a part of the Wheeling & Lake Erie, in the employ of which company he was later transferred to the position of station agent at South Cleveland, where he remained about five years. His next position was that of general agent of the Lakeside & Marblehead Railroad at Marblehead, Ottawa County, and after retaining this position about three years he served seven years as superintendent of this road, of which he then became the general superintendent, a responsible office of which he continued the incumbent about ten years, at the expiration of which he was appointed assistant general manager. His efficient administration of several years in this position led to his advancement to the dual office of general manager and local treasurer of the company, the affairs of which he continued to direct with much of circumspection and progressiveness until he resigned his office and severed his association with the company, on the 1st of May, 1913. At this juncture he removed to Sandusky and purchased his present fine suburban home, where he and his family have since continued their residence.

In 1891 Mr. Harsh became associated in a financial and executive capacity with the Kelley's Island Lime & Transport Company, of which he was superintendent for about a decade, with headquarters at Marblehead, Ottawa County. A period of about the same duration thereafter found him in tenure of the position of general superintendent, and he then became assistant general manager, in which office he had full charge of all new construction work, repairs and general operations at the plants of the company at Clay Center, Kelley's Island and Marblehead, Ohio, and at Akron, New York. He severed his active connection with this important corporation in September, 1912.

Liberal and public spirited as a citizen and taking loyal interest in all that concerns his home community, Mr. Harsh is found aligned as a stanch supporter of the principles of the republican party, though in local affairs he maintains a somewhat independent attitude and gives his support to men and measures meeting the approval of his judgment, irrespective of strict partisan lines. He is prominently identified with the time honored Masonic fraternity, in which he has received the thirty second degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, his present York Rite affiliations being principally with the Masonic bodies in the City of Sandusky. Both he and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian Church in Sandusky and are popular figures in the representative social circles of the community, the while their spacious and beautiful residence is a center of hospitality. Mr. Harsh has made various investments in Erie County aside from the purchase of his fine home property, and he has been a member of the directorate of the Commercial National Bank of Sandusky from the time of its organization.

On the 17th of May, 1881, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Harsh to Miss Davis, of Dellroy, Carroll County, and they have three children: Earle C., Dwight B., and Wilda V. Earle C. Harsh is a graduate of the Case School of Applied Science, one of the leading technical institutions of the Middle West, in the City of Cleveland, and he is now established in the work of his profession as a consulting engineer, with residence and business headquarters at Carey, Wyandotte County, this state. Dwight B. Harsh remains at the parental home, and the only daughter, Miss Wilda, is a member of the class of 1916 in the Woman's College of historic old Western Reserve University, in the City of Cleveland.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION

Erie County, Ohio
Biographies

Online
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012