Biography of Henry C. Umbenhaur
Northwestern Ohio Biographies





HENRY CLAY UMBENHAUR.
The late Mr. Umbenhaur represented a pioneer family that was identified with the early history and progress of Williams county, Ohio.

John Phillip Umbenhaur, the pioneer ancestor, was born in Berne. Pennsylvania, where he passed the early years of his life, and married Elizabeth ----. After marriage they made their home for a number of years near Manchester. Frederick county. Virginia, and there most of their family of ten children were born. Actuated by a desire to try his fortune in a newer section of the country, he, about the year 1835, took his family to Ohio, locating first at Taylorsville, Muskingun county, where he resided a number of years, pursuing the business of a contractor and builder. He finally located permanently in Williams county. where, possessed of the courage requisite for the life imposed by such an undertaking, this energetic and, as we believe, vigorous man purchased and settled on a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of primeval forest land in Superior township. The work of clearing this heavily timbered farm was prosecuted to its completion, and here the husband and father lived to the advanced age of eighty one years. The partner of his sorrows and joys remained at the homestead fill she, too, was borne by the angel of death to the spirit land. She was laid to rest by the side of her husband in Montpelier cemetery, Superior township. Mindful of the highest duties and privileges of this earthly existence, they were religious in their lives and attended the services of the Methodist Church.

Francis Henry Umbenhaur, the third in their family of children, was born in the Virginia home, and accompanied his parents to Muskingum county on their removal thither. Here in 1844 he wedded Miss Mary A. Sullivan, a daughter of Richard Sullivan, formerly of Maryland, but afterward a resident of North Carolina, where he was a planter and slave holder. Mr. Sullivan, however, did not approve of slavery, and while on a visit to Ohio (during which his daughter, afterward Mrs. limbenhaur, was born) his views on the subject were so strengthened by ideas imbibed there that on his return to North Carolina he disposed of his property at a loss in order to move to a free State. He then located permanently in Taylorsville, Ohio, where he became an influential and esteemed citizen. He held the office of mayor of the village' for ten or twelve years. He was a member of the Methodist Church.

In 1859 Mr. Umbenhaur removed with his wife and family of eight children to Williams county, and shortly afterward purchased the old homestead, his mother living with him during the remainder of her life. He gave up the farm during the latter part of his life, and with his wife moved to Fayette, Ohio, where they spent their closing years, the wife departing this life at the age of sixty seven, and the husband surviving her four years. They are buried in Fayette cemetery.

Mr. Umbenhaur was an intelligent and well bred man, thoroughly informed on the current events of the day. Holding very positive views in favor of the ground defined for and by the Whig party, he took a firm stand in maintenance of its doctrines. In Muskingum county he worked for the educational good in the office of school director. He was unassuming in his manner, but well known to be a public spirited man. Besides giving liberal support to churches and schools he was ready with substantial aid in other good causes, and his character in the community was such as to command universal respect. He attended the Methodist Church, of which his wife was a member.

Henry Clay Umbenhaur, grandson of the pioneer and son of Francis H. and Mary A. Umbenhaur, was born February 8, 1843, at Taylorsville, and attended the schools of that place until he was fourteen years of age. His home was with the family until his enlistment in 1864, removing with them to Williams county, where he assisted in the farm work summers, and attended school winters. On June 20 of that year he joined the Union army as a volunteer in Company A, One Hundred and Forty Second Indiana Volunteer Infantry. His principal service was in Tennessee, where he participated in the battle of Nashville, in which the Union cause suffered defeat, and took part in a number of skirmishes with the Rebel troops under General Hood. On the organization of the company he was elected corporal, and after some four months of service he received promotion for merit to the rank of orderly sergeant, and served as such to the close of the war. He received an honorable discharge from the service in August, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee, and a month later began the study of medicine in the office of Doctors Cooney & Snyder at Bryan, Ohio, remaining there three years with the intention of taking a complete collegiate course in preparation for the medical profession; but an opportunity offering for establishing a much needed drug store at Pioneer, Ohio, he was led to change his plans, and in 1868 he embarked in the drug business there, his former preceptors also having an interest in the concern. At the end of two years he purchased their right and continued business several years alone. On January 18, 1872, he was united in marriage with Miss Sophia A., daughter of Thomas Hodson, a retired business man and lawyer of distinction of that place, and one of its useful and leading citizens.

About three years after marriage, Mr. Umbenhaur gave up the drug business at Pioneer, and invested in a drug store in Fayette county, where he located. He then built a mill for the manufacture of liquid paint, and there for three years, in connection with the drug business, engaged in the manufacture of this article, selling large quantities of the paint, and making the venture a decided success. He also became the agent of the American Express Company at that place. At the end of the three years he removed to Montcalm, Michigan, where he purchased a mill for the manufacture of a useful article. a carload of which was shipped each day. With that industry he connected the manufacture of shingles, and still continuing the other lines of his business interests in Fayette county, conducted all these branches of his varied interests for a year and a half, when the mill was destroyed by fire. His loss was heavy, the property not being insured. He then sold his drug store and resumed the drug business at Pioneer, remaining there until 1883, when he again disposed of his interests there and established himself permanently in the same business in Hicksville, locating on the corner of High and Maple streets. Mr. Umbenhaur died July 17, 1898.

In politics our subject was a stanch Republican, and he did much to maintain the efficiency of the Hicksville schools, serving as a member of the board of education for six or seven years. He had been elected a member of the board of trustees of the village water works, and served as clerk and superintendent for several years, holding these offices until his resignation. He was an interesting and instructive after dinner and public speaker, and was active in the support of a lecture course in the village. He was connected with the National Union Lodge of Hicksville. Mrs. Umbenhaur is a member of the Christian Church. Her family consists of two children: Mabel C., born in March, 1873, and Fred H., born January 18, 1876.

On January 6, 1897, the daughter became the wife of Frederic Mundhauk, a member of a prominent family of southern Ohio, and a graduate of the Ohio State University, holding the distinction of standing at the head of his class. After his graduation he went abroad and took a post graduate course at the University of Paris, returning home a month before his marriage. Mrs. Mundhauk is a graduate of the high school of the place, and after her graduation was a student one year at Hiram College, and two years at the Conservatory of Music in Fort Wayne. As a young lady, one of intelligence and culture and an accomplished pianist, she has been prominent in Hicksville society, and the attractive home of the family, No. 35 South street, one of the finest residences of the place, has been made the scene of many delightful social gatherings. The son is also a graduate of the Hicksville high school. He now resides at Rushville, Indiana, where he holds a responsible position with an Express Company.

From:
Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Chicago, Illinois
1899


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