Biography of George Hildebrand
North Central Ohio Biographies





George Hildebrand, deceased, was a prominent citizen of Ashland, where he was identified with newspaper work for over half a century as owner and editor of the Ashland Times. He was born in this city, Jan. 5, 1859, the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Hildebrand, natives of Germany and Maryland, respectively.

At the age of 17 years George Hildebrand became an apprentice in the office of the Ashland Times, and during his long career in newspaper work filled every position connected with newspaper work, finally becoming editor and owner. He was sole owner of the Ashland Times from 1889 until 1902, when a stock company was formed to purchase both the Times and Gazette, and in the new company Mr. Hildebrand had a controlling interest. He served the paper which he owned faithfully and with credit to the community, and at the time of his death, Sept. 11, 1929, Mr. Hildebrand was a stockholder and director in the Ashland Printing Company.

In 1877 Mr. Hildebrand was graduated from Ashland High School, having earned his own way in the world when he was 14 years old. He was always a leader in his class and when 16 years of age was president of the Jones "Best Boy's" organization.

In 1889 Mr. Hildebrand served his first term as State Senator and made a splendid record in the Ohio Legislature, being a member of many important committees. He was postmaster of Ashland from 1906 until 1914, at that time being in charge of the largest postoffice in a city of this size in the United States, and it was largely through his effort that the Federal Building was secured for Ashland. He had been appointed postmaster by President Theodore Roosevelt.

In politics Mr. Hildebrand was a stalwart Republican, and was one of the leaders of his party in this county and in this section of Ohio. For 13 years he served as chairman of the Ashland County Republican Executive Committee. He took an active part in every presidential campaign, serving as head of the "Hoover for President" Club. Mr. Hildebrand was a close personal friend of President Harding and was a guest of the president at the White House on numerous occasions.

Mr. Hildebrand served as president of the Ashland school board and was president emeritus of the Y. M. C. A. He was a director of the First National Bank, public library board, Samaritan Hospital, and Ashland College. He was secretary of the American Red Cross Chapter in Ashland and served as chairman of the War Savings committee and secretary of the War Loans during the war. For several years he was secretary of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the volunteer firemen's organization. He also held membership in the Rotary Club and was affiliated with the Masonic Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Knights of Pythias. He held membership in the Congregational Church.

On Oct. 4, 1900, Mr. Hildebrand was united in marriage with Miss Laura E. Eddy, a member of a Colonial family, who shared with her husband in his active work in the community. She was born on a farm six miles south of Ashland, July 26, 1865, the daughter of Milton Volney and Lydia Jane (Newman) Eddy. The former was born in Wayne County, July 10, 1830, and died Aug. 25, 1898. His wife was born in Ashland County, May 5, 1831, and died Dec. 25, 1884. Both are buried in Eckley's Cemetery, Ashland County. Mr. Eddy was active in church work and throughout his life was a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To Mr. and Mrs. Eddy were born the following children: 1. Mrs. Sarah E. Parr, lives at 16809 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio. 2. Rev. A. B., who died at Seattle, Wash., Feb. 6, 1926, at the age of 70 years. 3. Rev. Barton T., who died in India, Jan. 12, 1886, at the age of 26 years. 4. Mrs. Mary Cherry, who lives at Ashland. 5. Mrs. Laura Hildebrand. Mrs. Hildebrand attended Ashland College and Baldwin University. She holds membership in the Congregational Church and belongs to the Columbia Club. She traces her ancestry directly to Samuel Eddy, who landed at Plymouth, Mass., from England, Oct. 29, 1630.

Mrs. Hildebrand is vice president of the Ashland Printing Company.

Rev. Roy E. Bowers, former pastor of the Congregational Church in Ashland, paid the following personal tribute to the life of Mr. Hildebrand: "I have known George Hildebrand since 1891 and was associated with him in many civic interests. I greatly appreciated his high character and purpose in life. He was a good Christian citizen and kept the best interests of his community at heart at all times. He was a genial man, and a man of ability, conscience and integrity. He held strongly to the faith and that made him a valuable man in the community. We have the memory of a noble, honorable life, so lived to be worthy of esteem in this entire city. His life should be an incentive to everyone to become a more devoted Christian citizen."

From:
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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