Biography of Wilbert J. Bissman
North Central Ohio Biographies

Wilbert J. Bissman is a resident of the city of Mansfield, Ohio, where he has always lived and where on Jan. 12, 1880, he was born. He is the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Achenbach) Bissman, who were of German parentage. His father, Jacob Bissman, as a very young boy migrated with his parents and family to America from Germany, his parents being Michael and Louise (Reinhardt) Bissman, and located on a farm one half mile east of Muffin in Ashland County, Ohio, whose early years were spent on a farm and after leaving the farm engaged in the business of a produce merchant, which business he followed until the time of his death in 1888. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was located in Kansas City, Mo., and did guard duty on the border of that state for a time and after his discharge returned to Ohio and engaged in the produce business at Hillsboro for a short time and then returned to Mansfield, where he continued in business until the time of his death. In addition to being a prosperous merchant he was deeply interested in the civic welfare of his city and served it as councilman. At the time of his retirement from business he was the owner and occupant of the building located at No. 18 West Fourth Street in the city of Mansfield, which building is now owned by his son, who maintains a law office on the second floor.

Wilbert J. Bissman was educated in the public schools of Mansfield and after his graduation from the Mansfield High School in 1900, engaged in the study of law and was admitted to practice in 1904, after which he engaged in the general practice of law with offices in the Dickson Building until 1916, at which time he was elected probate judge of Richland County, which office he filled for two terms, retiring from that office in 1925. As probate judge of Richland County he also had juvenile court jurisdiction and as such distinguished himself for his careful study of the problems of youth. Progressive in his ideas, he became a strong advocate for preventive measures as the solution of the problems of delinquency and dependency. It was through his efforts that the first public playground and recreational centers were established, establishing of a gymnasium for the under privileged children and he assisted in the promotion of the Boy Scout movement and other social problems. The playground has since become established and is now being supported by public taxes.

On retirement from public office he established himself in the general practice of law with offices at 18½ West Fourth Street in the city of Mansfield, in the building formerly owned and occupied by his father, where by an increasing practice he has proven a capable attorney.

Mr. Bissman has demonstrated a keen interest in social welfare of his community, being a member of boards of relief and welfare agencies, for two years acting as general supervisor of the Playground Association.

On Dec. 7, 1916, he was united in marriage with Miss Loie King, the daughter of George and Amanda (Shutt) King, residents of Richland County, both now deceased.

In 1907 he was president of the Richiand County Sunday School Association. He is a member of the Richiand County Bar Association and the State Bar Association. He is affiliated with Mansfield Lodge, No. 35, Free and Accepted Masons, and was Master of this lodge in 1910. He is also a member of Mansfield Chapter, R. A. M., No. 28; Mansfield Council, R. & S. M., No. 94; Independent Order of Odd Fellows, No. 161; president of the Mansfield I. O. O. F. Temple Company since its organization in 1913; and also the Knights of Pythias.

He is associated with the Mansfield Savings Bank and Trust Company, of which he is a member of the advisory 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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