Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    No history of the business life of Troy would be complete without mention of this gentleman, who is actively associated with two of its leading interests, being president and manager of the Troy Bending Company and the senior member of the firm of George W. Conrad & Company, coal dealers. His life has been one of honest and earnest endeavor, and due success has not been denied him. He is indeed a self-made man. He entered upon his business career without the aid of wealth or influential friends, depending solely upon his own energy and ability. Though he has met obstacles and difficulties, his unfailing perseverance has enabled him to conquer these, and steadily has he advanced to the plane of affluence. He certainly deserves great credit for his success. It is such men which form the strength of state and nation, their enterprise contributing not alone to their individual prosperity, but also advancing the general welfare and progress.

    Mr. Conrad is numbered among the native sons of Ohio, his birth having occurred in the capital city, on the 22d of February, 1851. His parents were Philip and Rebecca (Yingling) Conrad, natives of Germany. The father came to the United States in 1841, locating in Columbus, where he was engaged in the grocery business for a number of years. In 1851 he removed to Monroe county, Michigan, where he carried on farming until 1859, when he went to Morgan county, Missouri. He was connected with the building interests of Versailles, in that state, until the spring of 1861, when he removed to a farm in that locality, and there he was killed by bushwhackers, in August of that year, on account of his avowed sympathy with the Union cause. He was a man of firm convictions, fearless in defense of what he believed to be right, and his outspoken utterances in support of the national government at Washington led to his death. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Conrad disposed of her household goods and property and went to Tipton, Missouri, where she remained until January, 1862, when she returned to Marysville, Ohio, making her home in Union county until her death, which occurred in the spring of 1894. She was the mother of four children, two sons and two daughters.

    George W. Conrad attended the common schools to a limited extent, but his knowledge has mostly been acquired through reading, experience and observation. At the age of fifteen he began learning the blacksmith's trade at Milford's Center, Ohio, serving a four years' apprenticeship, and when he had mastered the business he worked at the trade on his own account in Marysville until 1884.

    In that year Mr. Conrad arrived in Troy, and until 1894 was foreman of the blacksmith department of the Troy Buggy Works. In that year, however, he became president and manager of the Troy Bending Company, one of the leading enterprises of the city, employment being furnished to about one hundred people. This enterprise being located in the heart of the wooded districts of Ohio and Indiana, they have an excellent opportunity to secure superior material for use in their shops . The company owns its own saw-mill, and can cut lumber to any desired thickness, thus being enabled to fill orders promptly for special sizes. The plant is splendidly equipped with the latest and most improved machinery for the manufacture of its products, and its output is very extensive. They manufacture shafts and poles, also hammer handles, and the volume of their business is constantly increasing. Mr., Conrad is also engaged in the retail coal business, as a member of the firm of George W. Conrad & Company, his connection with this trade dating from 1885.

    In 1872 was celebrated the marriage of our subject and Miss Lena Magerlein, of Columbus, Ohio, who died in 1876, leaving one daughter, Mary, who is now the wife of William Frich, of Piqua, Ohio. In 1882 Mr. Conrad was again married, his second union being with Miss Mary Nicol, of Marysville, Ohio, by whom he has four sons; Herman, Leo, Edward and Albert. The parents are both members of the Evangelical Lutheran church, and in politics Mr. Conrad is a stanch Republican. He is a charitable man, has aided in many benevolent institutions, both of a public and private character, and in manner is pleasing, genial and very approachable, not hedging himself about with the reserve such as many men do who have become wealthy. When we stop to consider that a third of a century ago he entered upon his business career as a blacksmith's apprentice, his success seems most marvelous, but it is the outcome of his own efforts. There is no trace of the overbearing taskmaster in him. He has great sympathy for those who are striving to improve their condition, and is always ready to help those who are willing to help them-selves. A man of unswerving integrity and honor, one who has a perfect appreciation of the higher ethics of life, he has gained and retained the confidence and respect of his fellow men and is distinctively one of the leading citizens of the thriving city of Troy, with whose interests he has now been identified for sixteen years.

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