Biography of John M. Alderfer
North Central Ohio Biographies

John Melvin Alderfer, who is identified with the India Tire & Rubber Company, of Akron, as chairman of the board of directors, is a representative citizen of Sharon Center, Medina County, where he resides. He was born at Western Star, Summit County, Ohio, Jan. 15, 1867, the son of Frederick and Deborah (Longacre) Alderfer.

The Alderfer family in Ohio is descended from Frederick Alderfer, who came to the United States from Germany in August, 1732. He settled in Montgomery County, Pa., where he secured a tract of land, part of which is still in the possession of the Alderfer family. John Melvin Alderfer, the subject of this sketch, is the sixth generation in descent from the aforementioned Frederick Alderfer.

Frederick Alderfer, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Montgomery County, Pa., in 1836, and died in August, 1898. He was a retail lumberman and operated a sawmill and crate manufacturing plant near Sharon Center from 1869 until his death. March 3, 1864, he married Deborah Longacre, the daughter of Jacob and Catherine (Newcomer) Longacre, of Wadsworth, Ohio. To them were born six children. 1. Ella Catherine, born July 3, 1865, died in 1927, was the wife of Almon Trump, of Wadsworth, Ohio. 2. John Melvin, the subject of this sketch. 3. Frederick Grant, born in December, 1868, is vice president of the Trump Rubber Company, of Akron, Ohio. 4. Jacob Franklin, born Aug. 19, 1870, was an instructor in music at Oberlin College for a number of years, and during the World War served as staff secretary of the University Union in Paris, France. While thus engaged he died from illness in Paris and is buried at Wadsworth, Ohio. 5. Deborah, born Aug. 20, 1878, the widow of David Austin Grubb, who died in 1927, and she lives at Akron. 6. Pearl Permelia, born Nov. 12, 1880, the widow of William McCracken, lives at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

John M. Alderfer was educated in the district schools of Sharon Township and as a boy was employed in his father's sawmill. At the latter's retirement from active business in 1892, Mr. Alderfer and his brother, Frederick, took complete charge of the business, which they successfully operated until 1915. In that year the plant was completely destroyed by fire, and two years later John M. Alderfer organized the India Tire & Rubber Company at Akron, Ohio. He became president of the company and held that office until 1928, when he retired and became chairman of the board of directors. He is also vice president of the Franz Foundry & Machine Company of Barberton, Ohio; vice president of the Akron Rubber Reclaiming Company of Barberton; vice president and director of Sharon Center Banking Company; and a member of the finance committee of the Mogadore Savings Bank, Akron. From 1916 until 1926 the Alderfer family lived at Akron. They are now residents of Sharon Center. They live in a fine old Colonial home which was built in 1839.

On July 23, 1890, Mr. Alderfer married Miss Stella S. Santee, the daughter of William H. and Emma Caroline (Stuver) Santee, of Sharon Township, both deceased. The former spent many years in the employ of the Empire Reaper and Mower Works of Akron. To Mr. and Mrs. Alderfer were born two children: Sterling William, born May 17, 1897, is assistant to the president, secretary and superintendent of purchases, India Tire & Rubber Company, lives at Akron; and Ruth Emma, a graduate of Sharon Center High School, attended Oberlin College, and is a graduate of the College for Women, Western Reserve University. She has studied art in Paris and has taken graduate work in handicraft at Columbia University. During the World War Miss Alderfer served with the Red Cross in France. She lives at home.

Mr. Alderfer is a Republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Since 1917 he has taken an active interest in Y. M. C. A. work throughout the State of Ohio, and at the present time is a member of the State Committee.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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