Biography of B. A. Lake
North Central Ohio Biographies

B. A. Lake, who is president of the Bank Monitor, president and secretary of the Monitor Sad Iron Company, and owner of Lakeland Beach, is the most prominent business man and representative citizen of Big Prairie. He was born at McZena, Ashland County, Dec. 25, 1869, the son of John C. and Laura S. (Shields) Lake.

John C. Lake was born in Clinton Township, Wayne County, April 18, 1842, and died at his home in Big Prairie, Sept. 16, 1930. He married Miss Laura S. Shields, of Holmes County, on April 23, 1863, and their only son was B. A., the subject of this sketch. Mrs. Lake died Dec. 10, 1921. John C. Lake was the son of Isaac Lake, who was born Sept. 17, 1800. He came to Wayne County in 1814 from New York, and became known as the "pilgrim to Jerusalem" after making a trip to the Holy land for the purpose of studying the religious life and customs of that city. The following children were born to Isaac Lake: Daniel, born April 8, 1824, died April 10, 1906; Mirah, born Aug. 8, 1826; Sarah, born July 6, 1830; Emily, born June 8, 1834; Abraham, born Aug. 6, 1839; and John C., father of the subject of this sketch.

John C. Lake moved from his country home to Big Prairie, having come here with his son, B. A., in 1903. They were the founders of the Monitor Sad Iron Company, manufacturers of self-heating irons. B. A. Lake was the inventor of this particular type of iron. The plant enjoyed a rapid growth and its business brought to Big Prairie a new impetus toward development. At one time there were 60 men employed in the shops of the company. The business was largely carried on through mail order and it was thus that the Big Prairie postoffice became a second rate postoffice, with a postmaster's salary of $2,400.00 per year. An assistant postmaster and helper were also employed.

In 1911 the Lake interests organized a private banking institution in Big Prairie, with C. S. Starner as cashier. He is still serving in that capacity. The bank now has a capital stock of $12,500, surplus of $27,000, and undivided profits of $5,000.

John C. Lake and his son also built a large grain elevator at Big Prairie, as well as a modern hotel, motion picture theatre, bank and office building. In 1924 they built the electric line from Loudonville to Nashville and from Big Prairie to McZena.

On March 25, 1902, B. A. Lake married Miss Myrtle Paul, of Big Prairie, born July 21, 1877, the daughter of John B. and Sarah B. (Mackey) Paul. The former lives at Big Prairie. His wife is deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Lake have no children.

Politically, Mr. Lake has always been 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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