Biography of Hon. John M. Bechtol
North Central Ohio Biographies

Hon. John M. Bechtol, who has served as Probate Judge of Huron County since 1921, has had a wide and successful practice at Norwalk for many years, and is active in the civic affairs of that community. He was born on a farm in Superior Township, Williams County, Ohio, March 17, 1867, the son of John K. and Hannah (Wisman) Bechtol.

John K. Bechtol, deceased, was a veteran of the Civil War. He was born in Stark County, Ohio, the son of Adam Bechtol, who was among the first settlers of Ohio. John K. Bechtol attended the district schools of Stark County and throughout his life engaged in general farming, having removed to Williams County with his parents when he was a small child. He served throughout the Civil War with an Ohio outfit. Mr. Bechtol was a Republican, and served as a member of the board of education and as township trustee. He was a life long memb6r of the Methodist Church and belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. and Mrs. Bechtol are buried in Bridgewater Township, Williams County. Their children were: Adam, lives at Mentor, Ohio; John M., the subject of this sketch; Dr. E. A., physician, lives at Montpelier, Ohio, is a veteran of the World War; Dr. Eli C., physician, lives at Montgomery, Mich.; Freeman L., general merchant, lives at Ainger, Ohio; and Clarence, deceased.

John M. Bechtol obtained his early education in the district schools of Williams County and attended Ohio Wesleyan University. He received the degree of Bachelor of Science at Fayette Normal University in 1893 and spent seven years as a teacher in the schools of Fulton County, Ohio. Subsequently he took up the study of law at Ohio State University from which he received the degree of LL. B. in 1902. In that year he established a private practice in Norwalk. He served as justice of the peace from 1903 until 1921, as township clerk from 1911 until 1921, and in November, 1920, was elected Probate Judge of Huron County. He was reelected to this office in 1924 and 1928.

Judge Bechtol was married in 1903 to Miss Millie A. Rice, the daughter of Joseph and Theoda (Cotrill) Rice, of Fulton County. Both are deceased. Judge and Mrs. Bechtol have a son, Robert E., who is a graduate of Ohio State University, class of 1930. He is identified with the Austin Construction Company, of Cleveland.

Judge Bechtol holds membership in the Methodist Church and is a member of the official board. He is affiliated with Mt. Vernon Lodge, F. and A. M., No. 64; Knights of Pythias, No. 145, Past Chancellor, and belongs to the Huron County Bar Association.

Politically, Judge Bechtol is a Republican.

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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