Biography of George T. Spahr
Franklin County, Ohio Biographies





George Tallman Spahr. - Practical industry, wisely and vigorously applied never fails of success. It carries a man onward and upward, brings out his individual character and acts as a powerful stimulus to the efforts of others. It is the motive force back of all legitimate action that makes for higher levels in the industrial world and those who do not recognize its importance in the general scheme of things must not expect to get very far up the heights. Recognizing this fact at the outset of his career, George Tallman Spahr has governed his life accordingly and the biographer is not to give voice to a man's modest estimate and his accomplishments, but rather to leave upon the record the verdict establishing his character.

George Tallman Spahr was born in fronton, Ohio, November 6, 1856, and is descended from two sterling old Ohio families. His paternal grandfather was of Swiss extraction and was a native of Virginia, from which state he removed to Ohio in the early part of the nineteenth century, settling near Xenia. The maternal grandfather was a pioneer of Ross County, Ohio. For a number of years he served as probate judge of Pickaway County, Ohio.

Rev. Barzillai Nelson Spahr, father of our subject, was for many years a distinguished minister of the Methodist Church of Ohio and one of the leading men of that denomination, occupying many important pulpits throughout the state. He was born and grew up on his father's farm near Xenia, attended the district schools and Miami University and entered the ministry when a young man. He served as presiding elder of the Marietta, Lancaster, Columbus and London districts of the Ohio Conference. In 1858 he was appointed to the pulpit of "Old Town Street Church," Columbus, and occupied the pulpit two years. In 1870 he was again appointed to that charge, serving one year, then became presiding elder of the Columbus district. He was profoundly versed in the Bible and was a forceful, earnest, logical and eloquent pulpit orator. He retired from the ministry in 1880, and spent his last years in Columbus, where his death occurred June 4, 1890. His wife, Elizabeth Tallman, was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, the daughter of Judge Tallman. She died in Columbus, June 28, 1900.

George Tallman Spahr was graduated from the Columbus High School in 1874, then entered Amherst College, from which he was graduated with the B. A. degree in 1878. He read law in Columbus and was admitted to the bar in 1881. However, soon thereafter and before he entered the practice, he became manager of the Gazette Printing House, and later secured an interest in that business which was destroyed by fire on January 26, 1892. Following this the firm of Spahr and Glenn was organized and the entire job printing business of the Ohio State Journal was taken over by them. This firm has continued to the present time, growing with advancing years.

Mr. Spahr may well be classed as one of the builders of Columbus of the present generation, for he has long been active in promoting the growth and development of the city in a very substantial way. In 1897 he built the Spahr Building and in 1901 erected the Outlook Building, both on Broad Street, in the heart of the business section, and both notable office buildings. He has also figured prominently in the financial history of Columbus. He was one of the original directors of the Mutual Savings Association, over forty years ago, and has ever since been a member of the board until its liquidation. He was a director of the National Bank of Commerce from its organization thirty years ago. He was a director of the Chamber of Commerce from 1897 to 1903 and president in 1903 and 1904. He has been a member of the board of trustees of Broad Street Methodist Episcopal Church since 1885.

Personally, Mr. Spahr is a man of many commendable qualities of head and heart which have made him popular with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances and he has long been regarded as one of the foremost citizens of Columbus.

In politics, Mr. Spahr is a stanch Republican. In Masonry he is a member of Magnolia Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, a life member; and of Ohio Chapter Royal Arch Masons; Capital Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 334; the Encampment; Chamber of Commerce; Columbus Country Club; Columbus Club; Kit Kat Club; Athletic Club; Ohio State Historical and Archaeological Society. He is also trustee of the Young Women's Christian Association, and the Home for the Aged.

On October 28, 1886, Mr. Spahr was married to Miss Harriet C. Marple, daughter of Nathan B. and Harriet (Clark) Marple. Mrs. Spahr died November 23, 1919. To Mr. and Mrs. Spahr five children were born: 1. Marie, a graduate of Columbus High School in 1904, and Wellesley College in 1909. She served as field secretary of the College Settlement Association for two years. She was married on June 15, 1915, to Stanley C. Colburn, of Duluth, Minnesota. They have four children: Harriet, John, Jean and George. 2. Elizabeth, a graduate of Walnut Hills School, Natick, Massachusetts, in 1908; studied music at Dresden, Germany. She was married on November 3, 1910, to Frank A. McElroy, of Columbus. They have three children: Marie Elizabeth, George and Ann. 3. Dorothy Spahr, deceased. 4. Eleanor, a graduate of Walnut Hills School, Natick, Massachusetts, in 1915, married Rutherford H. Platt, Jr., of Columbus, on August 18, 1917. They have two children: Kathryn and Barbara. 5. Katherine, a graduate of the Columbus School for Girls, married Gerald B. Fenton, of Columbus. They have a daughter, Eleanor.

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


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