Biography of J. Frank Lumb
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies

J. FRANK LUMB, who for a period of more than 28 years past has held a professorship in the Ohio State School for the Blind at Columbus, resides at his beautiful country home, "White Hall," in Center township, Mercer County.

Mr. Lumb was born at St. Marys, Auglaize County, Ohio, August 9, 1854, and is a son of John and Mary (McKinnie) Lumb and a grandson of Abram Dumb, who was the first of the family in the United States, locating at Zanesville, Ohio, where he was prominent as a woolen manufacturer. Abram Lumb, who was a near relative of the Duke of Wellington, came from Yorkshire, England.

John Lumb, father of our subject was born in Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio, and supplemented a common school education with a course in Dennison University at Granville, Ohio. He then engaged in teaching a number of years. Subsequently he moved to Dayton, Ohio, thence to St. Marys, where he opened what was known as the "Lock Store" on the bank of the canal. In 1854 he came to Center township, Mercer County, and purchased what has since been known as the Lumb farm. Here he lived until his death, January 17, 1897, at the good old age of 82 years. His wife's, death followed in October of the same year. His wife, Mary McKinnie in maiden life, was born at Zanesville, Ohio, and was a daughter of Josiah and Elizabeth (Smelzer) McKinnie, the former of Highland Scotch parentage and the latter of Pennsylvania German. Mr. McKinnie came to Ohio from Franklin County, Pennsylvania, locating in Zanesville, where he rose to prominence as a citizen and merchant, being regarded as a leader who shaped the policies and largely directed the affairs of that city. Mr. and Mrs. John Lumb became the parents of the following children: Robert, who died in Andersonville Prison in July, 1863; Abram, who lives on the home farm with our subject; John H., who died at an early age; Mary, who died at three years of age; Julius, who died aged six years; and J. Frank. John Lumb was a Republican in politics, but never aspired to political preferment. He and his wife were members of the Baptist Church at Neptune.

J. Frank Lumb was six weeks old when brought by his parents to Center township, and his present farm has been his home ever since. He was reared here and entered school at the age of six years. He was permitted to enjoy but three years of school life in the manner of the average boy, for at the age of nine years he was stricken with blindness as a result of scarlet fever. At the age of 12 years he entered the Ohio State School for the Blind at Columbus, from which he was graduated in June, 1874. He then entered Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio, in the meantitme teaching music throughout Mercer and Van Wert counties during his vacations. On June 19, 1878, he accepted a position as teacher in the primary department of the Ohio State School for the Blind, and has since been identified with this institution, having in June, 1906, been selected for the 29th consecutive term. At the present time he is serving as professor of history and literature. During the administration of Governor Campbell, he was tendered the superintendency of the institution and was strongly urged to accept by the governor, whose personal friend he was, but he declined as the additional duties would have prevented his giving his usual attention to his aged parents, who always came first in his mind and heart. It was for them that he built, in 1884, cone of the largest and most beautiful country homes in Mercer County, planning the details of its construction and arrangement himself, and even planning the beautiful lawn with its walks, trees and shrubbery. The house contains 10 rooms of unusual size, which are finished in hardwood, some in walnut, others in cherry and some in white ash. His mother's room is sacredly kept the same in furnishings and arrangement as it was during her lifetime. The faculty of the institution gave Mr. Lumb's country residence the name of "White Hall," after that of Cardinal Woolsey, the English statesman, because of a certain similarity in the two men. Mr. Lumb was undoubtedly due for appointment as superintendent of the school by Governor Pattison in 1906, but the Governor was cut short in his great career before the appointment was made. Mr. Lamb has made it a rule to return to his country home at least once a month, has never missed voting at a State or National election, and has missed but two local elections during the 28 years he has taught in Columbus. Some years ago in a public address he made the statement that his trips to and from Columbus represented over 50,000 miles of travel, or more than twice the circumference of the world. At the present time it would be nearly three times the distance around the world.

Mr. Lumb was married in May, 1901, to Lucy A. Ziegler, of Columbus, Ohio, where she had taught first in the public schools and later in the State School for the Blind. She was born and reared in that city and is a daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth (thigh) Ziegler. Politically, Mr. Lumb is a stalwart Democrat. He has been a candidate for office but once. At the death of Judge Beckman, he became a candidate for the office of probate judge, but withdrew before the election, because of the serious illness of his mother, who died shortly afterward. Religiously Mr. Lumb is a member of the Congregational Church. He is a Member of Celina Lodge, Knights of Pythias. Mr. Lamb has but one wish to express, and that is to return to "White Hall" when his public life is ended, and spend his declining years in the happy companionship of his estimable wife and his lifelong friends.

History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois

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