Biography of Leonard Insley
Franklin County, Ohio Biographies





Leonard Insley is recognized as one of the substantial business men of Worthington, where he is owner and publisher of "The Worthington News." He was born near McComb, Hancock County, Ohio, August 12, 1882, a son of Isaac and Elizabeth Ann (Smith) Insley

Isaac Insley, deceased, was a veteran of the Civil War. He was born in Seneca County, Ohio, and spent his early life on a farm. At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted as a member of Company D, 123rd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and participated in nineteen important battles of the war, including Winchester, Lynchburg, Petershoro, and Appotomax Court House. He served with the rank of corporal. At the close of the war Mr. Insley returned to McComb, Ohio, where he was interested for several years in the lumber business. He later became a successful farmer of Portage Township, Hancock County, and was the owner of 138 acres of well improved land. Mr. Insley died April 27, 1905. His wife was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, and died June 13, 1923. Both are buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Hancock County. Their children were: Jay W., superintendent of Hancock County Schools, lives at Findlay, Ohio; Albert M., retired farmer, lives at Findlay; Cora B., married Delos Brown, lives at McComb; Rosetta May, deceased, was the wife of Bert Wells, of Findlay; Leonard, the subject of this sketch; George R., farmer, lives at North Baltimore, Ohio; Viola, who died at the age of five years; and Lester Ray, lives at Findlay.

Leonard Insley received his education in the public schools of McComb and was graduated from high school in 1900. He attended a normal school and later Bliss Business College at Columbus, and in 1906, became associated with the Marion Steam Shovel Company. While in the latter's employ he studied mechanical engineering at the Marion Y. M. C. A. and was soon transferred to the company's engineering department. He remained with that firm until 1915, three years of which were spent as assistant foreman in the engineering department. Mr. Insley conducted a night school course in mechanical engineering at Marion, but in 1915 returned to McComb, where he purchased the Leader fruit farm, which he successfully operated for almost two years. In the latter part of 1917 he became associated as a mechanical engineer with the Willys Overland Company, of Toledo, Ohio, with whom he remained until October, 1922. He has since been a resident of Worthington. For a time Mr. Insley was employed in the engineering department of the Jeffrey Manufacturing Company.

On April 9, 1925, Mr. Insley founded the Worthington "News," a weekly publication, which has enjoyed a phenomenal growth. Its circulation has increased from 500 to 1500 subscribers. Beginning as a small tabloid paper it has been enlarged three times and is now an eight page, six column newspaper. Originally it was printed in Columbus, but now owns and operates its own printing plant in Worthington.

In July, 1928, Mr. Insley compiled and published the first city directory of Worthington. He proved that the village, which had been listed by the government census of 1920, had a population of 1,563 for 1928 as compared with 705 for 1920. Mr. Insley thus convinced post office officials that Worthington was entitled to free mail delivery service, since all towns of 1,500 and upward enjoy that privilege.

On March 14, 1906, Mr. Insley married Miss Modesta M. Trapp, of LaRue, Ohio, daughter of Gustave and Modesta (Commons) Trapp, natives of Germany, who emigrated to the United States in about 1871. Mr. Trapp died in 1890. To Mr. and Mrs. Insley were born three children: Paul Leonard, born June 27, 1907; Warren Eugene, born October 21, 1912; and Betty Ruth, born January 8, 1915.

Politically Mr. Insley is a Republican. He and his family are members of the Methodist Church. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club, a member and president of the Worthington Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Ohio Newspaper Association, a member and vice president of the Buckeye Press Association. He is also active in other civic projects and activities in Worthington.

From:
History of Franklin County, Ohio
By:Opha Moore
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930


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