Biography of George J. Kochenderfer
North Central Ohio Biographies

George J. Kochenderfer. Exemplifying high and generous ideals in newspaper work, a consistent worker in behalf of every worthy movement for community advancement and the public good, George J. Kochenderfer, editor of the Mansfield Journal, is one of Mansfield's influential citizens.

Mr. Kochenderfer was a member of the original hotel committee of the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce, which did the work preliminary to the erection of the new Mansfield Leland Hotel, and he has continued as a member of the board of directors of the Richland Hotel Company under whose direction the hotel was built and placed under lease to the operating company.

Mr. Kochenderfer, son of Dr. John H. and Malvina (Cox) Kochenderfer, was born at New Lexington, Perry County, Ohio, Nov. 29, 1877, and resided there until 1890, when the family removed to Galion. Mr. Kochenderfer maintained his home there until 1905, when he came to Mansfield to enter the employ of the Mansfield News as a reporter. The News was then owned by the late William S. Cappeller. Later, Mr. Kochenderfer was made city editor of the News, and in 1922 became editor of that newspaper, resigning the editorship shortly after the News came under its present ownership.

Mr. Kochenderfer's father was a native of Lebanon County, Pa., and his mother, born near Shelby, Ohio, was the daughter of George and Hannah Cox, pioneer residents of Richland County.

John H. Kochenderfer, after having served in the 102nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, was in the employ for a time of what is now the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Later, he became a student at Starling Medical College, Columbus. He entered upon the practice of medicine in Perry County and in 1890 removed to Galion, where he continued in the practice of his profession until shortly before his death in 1913 at the age of 71 years. Dr. Kochenderfer was a survivor of the ill fated steamer "Sultana," which exploded in the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., while loaded with exchanged prisoners of war. His wife died Dec. 26, 1928, on her 89th birthday anniversary. Both are buried in the Shelby Cemetery. A son, Edward C., died in 1923.

George J. Kockenderfer was interested in printing and newspaper work from his earliest school days. At the age of six years he had a hand press and outfit, and during his school days spent his spare time in the Galion newspaper offices, folding papers to gain permission to feed a foot power press. When in 1894 he started the first school publication at Galion High School, the enterprise was frowned upon by school authorities who contended that it interfered with school work, while quite the contrary was true.

After his graduation from Galion High School Mr. Kochenderfer attended college at Columbus and Ada, Ohio. He gave up his college work, however, to enter newspaper work. At the age of 21 years he was elected justice of the peace at Galion and served a three year term. Mr. Kochenderfer became editor of the Mansfield Daily Journal in January, 1925, and continued in that capacity until August, 1927, when the Journal suspended publication after its stock control had been purchased by the owner of the competing newspaper. He is now editor of the new Mansfield Journal, which was established in the fall of 1930 as an independent evening newspaper.

On June 15, 1907, Mr. Kochenderfer was united in marriage with Miss Bessie M. Plumb, the daughter of William and Sarah (Underwood) Plumb, both natives of Ohio. Mrs. Kochenderfer's mother still survives. Mr. and Mrs. Kochenderfer have a son, Robert E., born in Mansfield, May 5, 1908. He is a graduate of Mansfield High School, class of 1926, and attended Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Alabama. He discontinued his college work, however, to enter the employ of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company at its Mansfield plant.

Mr. Kochenderfer and his family are members of Central Methodist Church, Mansfield, and he belongs to the Masonic Lodge, Knights of Pythias, and Sons of Union Veterans. He is also identified with the Mansfield Rotary Club, whose motto, "service above self," is one that in all the years of his newspaper work, Mr. Kochenderfer has best exemplified.

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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