HON. JAMES H. DAY, president of the First National. Bank of Celina, for 25 consecutive years a judge of the
Common Pleas and Circuit courts, in Mercer County, displayed on the bench those qualities that an intelligent,
law abiding community approved and has still other claims to distinction in his native State. A surviving officer
of the great Civil War, since his retirement from military life a prominent member of both bench and bar, he has
also been a very important factor in business and social life. Judge Day was born February 10, 1840, near Findlay,
Ohio, and is a son of Ezekiel P. and Margaret (Barr) Day.
The Day family originated in England and the Barr family was of Scotch Irish extraction. The Days settled at an
early date in New Jersey and the Barrs at an equally early period in Pennsylvania. The father of Judge Day was
born in Morris County, New Jersey, April 10, 1798, and the mother, in Chester County, Pennsylvania, July 24, 1798.
Ezekiel P. Day died October 11, 1849. He was survived many years by his widow and by a number of his 10 children.
James H. Day was educated in the public schools of Hancock and Van Wert counties, remaining at his books until
16 years of age, when he went to Van Wert and two years later entered upon the study of the law in the office of
Edson & DePuy, a reputable law firm there, where he continued for 21 months. In 1861 he embarked in a mercantile
business at Celina, but in July of the following year he gave up his business prospects in order to enter the Union
Army in his country's defense He was commissioned major of the 99th Regiment, Ohio Vol. Inf., and served with efficiency
until impaired health made his resignation necessary. After a short time in the business field at Celina, he resumed
his law studies and was admitted to the bar on August 20, 1869. His evident ability in the profession was immediately
recognized and during the succeeding decade he was more or less prominently identified with the important litigation
engaging the attention of the courts of Mercer County.
The qualities displayed by Judge Day in his private practice. emphasized his fitness for a position on the bench
and in October, 1879, he was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas in the First Sub Division of the Third
Judicial District. This comprised Allen, Auglaize, Mercer, Shelby and Van Wert counties. Judge Day entered upon
the duties of this office on February 9, 1880, and was subsequently reelected twice, serving 13 consecutive years.
He retired from this position only to accept one on the circuit bench, to which he was subsequently reelected.
It did not take long for his fellow citizens to realize that Judge Day, in an official position, deserved their
profound respect. He proved himself impartial, consistent, learned and fearless and retired from judicial life
with his robes untarnished.
On June 10, 1863, Judge Day was united in marriage with Frances O. Small, ,a daughter of Richard W. and Elizabeth
Small, of Celina, Ohio. Their four daughters are: Margaret R., who married Andrew G. Briggs, a prominent oil producer,
banker and merchant, at Geneva, Indiana; Annie L., who married John W. Loree, a prominent attorney at Celina; Elizabeth
S., who married Hon. William E. Tou Velle, one of Celina's prominent lawyers, now representing this district in
Congress; and Frances Edna.
Judge Day is a Democrat and has been an active member of his party. He has always advocated an effective public
school system and has served as a member of the Celina Board of Education. Fraternally he is a Mason Portraits
of Judge and Mrs. Day are shown on nearby pages.
History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies
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