Biography of Gustavus A. Gessner
Lucas County, OH Biographies

Gustavus Adolphus Gessner, president and general manager of the Gessner Company, was born in Fremont, Ohio, August 19, 1869, his parents being Dr. Gustavus Adolphus and Corolen Elizabeth (Lawton) Gessner. The father was a physician, engaging in practice for many years at Fremont; Ohio. On the paternal side he came of a long line of physicians and there were also many representatives of the medical profession among his ancestry on the maternal side. Among his forebears there were also those who served for the cause of independence in the Revolutionary war.

G. A. Gessner, Jr., obtained a high school education at Fremont, Ohio, spent one year at Oberlin College and then entered the Lehigh University School of Mines of Pennsylvania, which he attended for three years. He was afterward assistant engineer at Ashtabula, Ohio, and on leaving that place went to Alexandria, Indiana, where he remained for nearly four years as city engineer. In 1899 he came to Toledo, where he filled the position of first assistant city engineer until May. 1900. In that year he became associated with the firm of Riggs & Sherman, consulting engineers, and in 1904 was admitted to a partnership in the business. In 1907 he obtained a leave of absence from the company and became resident engineer for the city in the construction of the city filtration plant, one of the first large plants of its kind in the country. In 1910 he was made resident engineer in charge of construction at the Cherry Street bridge and then from 1911 until 1914 he was again with the Riggs & Sherman Company. In the latter year he became superintendent of the Toledo city waterworks department, which position he filled until June, 1915, when he resigned to organize the Gessner Company, general contractors, of which he is the president and general manager. This company does all kinds of engineering and construction work and its patronage has already become of extensive and gratifying proportions. As a city representative and in the private practice of his profession, Mr. Gessner has been identified with many important engineering projects demanding a high degree of efficiency and skill and in every particular he has been adequate to the demands made upon him He is thoroughly familiar with the scientific principles as well as with the practical phases of the business and his position in engineering circles is now one of high rank.

On the 29th of June, 1897, Mr. Gessner was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Lydia Booth of Ashtabula, Ohio, a direct descendant in the eleventh generation of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. They have become the parents of two children: Charles Booth, who was born on the 17th of February, 1905; and Elizabeth Lawton. Fraternally Mr. Gessner is a Royal Arch Mason and is also connected with the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with a college fraternity, the Theta Delta Chi. He belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, which indicates his interest in community affairs and public progress, and through the maternal line he is eligible to and has membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. His public spirited citizenship is an outstanding feature in his career, while the strongly marked characteristic of his business life has been the thoroughness with which he has mastered every task and acquainted himself with every principle that has to do with engineering projects. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
BY: John M. Killits, A.M., LL.D.
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago and Toledo

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