Biography of John H. Romer
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies

JOHN HENRY ROMER, president of the St. Henry Bank, belongs to one of the old and prominent families of Mercer County. He was born at St. Henry, Mercer County, Ohio, January 31, 1840, and is a son of John Joseph. and Anna Maria (Klinetrimp) Romer.

John Joseph Romer was a son of Herman Henry Romer, who died in Germany. John Joseph came to America in 1834 and located at Cincinnati, Ohio, where in 1837 he married Anna Maria Klinetrimp, who had come from Germany about the same time as did her husband. They had eight children, as follows: Mary Agnes, who died aged four months; John Henry, of this sketch; John Bernard, born August 1, 1841, who (first) married Elizabeth Bose and (later) Elizabeth Landwehr, and died July 18, 1902; Anna Maria, born May 20, 1843, who married J. Henry Brinkman and died April 24, 1880: Agnes, born January 28, 1845, who is the widow of Wessel Meinerding and lives at Fort Recovery; Elizabeth, born April 20, 1847, who died December 28, 1870, not long after her marriage; Mary Catherine, born February 11, 1850, who married M. A. Schlegel and died January 9, 1894; and Adam Joseph, born December 19, 1851, who married Caroline Anthony and lives at Celina.

John Joseph Romer and wife moved from Cincinnati to Mercer County, in October, 1838. His brother had bought 16 tracts of land of So acres each and John Joseph Romer purchased one of these. He was one of the founders of St. Henry and one of the town's very first business men, starting a store in 1840. Before the completion of them canal, he was accustomed to transport all his goods from Cincinnati by wagon. He also engaged in farming. His death occurred at St. Henry, January 17, 1889. His wife died February 12, 1884.

John Henry Romer, our subject, was the first white male child born at St. Henry. He assisted his father during boyhood, on the farm and in the store, and later hauled goods between Cincinnati and St. Henry, driving a four horse team. It required three or four days to make the trip. In 1867, he opened a general store at St. Henry and conducted a business for about 37 years and then sold out to his nephew, Joseph John Romer, in December, 1903. Mr. Romer then made plans for a banking enterprise, on January 5, 1906, renting a room for the purpose, where business was commenced. Later the company built a brick bank building at St. Henry, and the bank was moved to that, which quarters have been maintained ever since.

On February 26, 1867, Mr. Romer was married to Rebecca Beckman, who was born at St. Henry and is a daughter of the late Henry A. Beckman. They have seven children, as follows: William Henry, born June 28, 1868, who married Amelia Moeller and is cashier of the St. Henry Bank; Herman, born October 30, 1869, who died September 24, 1870; John G., born May 12, 1872, who married Katheryn Van Oss and is a lawyer at Celina; George B., a resident of St. Henry, who married Nora Fredericks; Edward F., assistant cashier of the First National Bank at Celina, who married Josephine Goodie; Elizabeth, born April 30, 1887, who is teller of the First National Bank at Celina; and Matilda, born September 11, 1889, who is at home.

The grandparents of Mrs. Romer came from Germany. After living a few years. in Cincinnati, they came to the vicinity of the present town of Minster, Auglaize County, Ohio, which Gerhard and Rebecca Beckman and a Mr. Stallo laid out. Later the grandparents came to Mercer County and settled in Granville township. They had six children, namely: Mary Anna, Henry A., Catherine, Rebecca, Frank and Mary. Henry A. Beckman was 11 years of age when the family came to America. While living On a farm at St. Henry, he was married, February 11, 1844, to Elizabeth Borgerding, who also came from Germany. They had eight children, namely: John G., Rebecca, wife of Mr. Romer; Mary A., deceased, who married Bernard Frank Romer and died March 18, 1902; Frank; Catherine, who died unmarried; and Joseph, William and Clara, who died in infancy. Mr. Beckman died August 3, 1868, but Mrs. Beckman survived until August 16, 1887. They were well known and most highly respected people. Henry A. Beckman, while never having attended law school, built up a large law practice throughout this and adjoining counties.

Mr. Romer was twice elected township treasurer and served out one term to fill a vacancy. He and his family belong to St. Henry's Catholic Church at St. Henry, and he was secretary of the building committee when the handsome new church was erected. In politics he is a Democrat.

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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