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


    HON. JOHN CORNWELL GEYER, in whose death Piqua lost one of its foremost citizens, was a lawyer of much prominence and large practice. He had a wide acquaintance throughout this section of the state, and was frequently called upon to serve the public in official capacity. He was probate judge of Miami County two terms of three years each, and in the able and conscientious discharge of his duties added largely to his following in the county.

    Judge Geyer was born in Piqua, June.12, 1860, and was a son of Frederick and Martha (Manson) Geyer. His paternal grandparents, Henry and Elizabeth (Bonner) Geyer, came to Ohio from Maryland in 1824; both died at Germantown, Ohio.

    Frederick Geyer was born in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1814, and was about ten years of age when he accompanied his parents to Germantown, Ohio. Thence he moved to Piqua, Miami County, in 1838, and was there engaged in the hardware business for some years. He died in 1875 and was survived for more than a quarter of a century by his widow, who lived to an advanced age. She was in maiden life Martha Manson, and was a daughter of David Jr. and Sarah (Cornwall) Manson, and a granddaughter of David Manson Sr., who was a native of Belfast, Ireland. The last named emigrated to America in colonial days, and when the Revolutionary war broke out enlisted from Pennsylvania in the Continental army. In 1807 he emigrated to Brown Township, Miami County, Ohio, and here passed the remainder of his days, dying in 1838. He married Miss Jean Johnston, who was a cousin of Colonel, John Johnston, the noted Indian agent of Ohio. David Manson, Jr. was a native of the state of Pennsylvania and he accompanied his parents to Ohio in 1807. He was a soldier of the War of 18l2. He married Sarah Cornwall of Virginia, and among their children was General Mahlon D. Manson, who attained distinction in public life. He enlisted in the Union army during the Civil War, and for gallant services was promoted to the rank of general. He was for several terms a member of the United States Congress from Indiana, and also served as auditor and lieutenant governor of that state. His death took place at Crawfordsville, Indiana, in 1893.

    John C. Geyer, subject of this biography, was reared in Piqua, and after completing the public school course, entered the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio, where he was graduated in 1882. He then pursued a course in law at the Cincinnati Law School, and after his graduation from that institution in 1884, went west to Emporia, Kansas, where he was employed on the Emporia Daily Republican for some six months. In 1888 he returned to his native county and embarked in the practice of law in Piqua, where he thereafter resided until his death, which occurred February 21, 1901. A man of unquestioned ability, he built up a lucrative practice and gained a high standing in the community. An enthusiastic Republican, be was also an active politician and a hard worker for party success. In 1889 he was elected mayor of Piqua, being the first Republican elected to that office in a period of twenty-two years, a fact which is of itself sufficient evidence of his popularity. After holding that office for twenty months he resigned in order to enter upon the duties of probate judge, to which office he had been elected by a handsome majority in November, 1890. Re-elected probate judge in 1893, he served in all six years in a most capable and efficient manner. In 1896 he was prominently mentioned and received strong support for the nomination for member of Congress, but was defeated in the convention after a hard and honorable fight. After the expiration of his term of office he resumed his law practice, which he conducted with great activity and success, notwithstanding the facts that he was never physically strong or robust.

    Judge Geyer was for many years prominent in fraternal work, especially so in the order of the Knights of Pythias. He served as grand chancellor of that order in Ohio for the year ending in May, 1900, and for a number of years prior to his death he was a director of the Ohio Pythian Home at Springfield, being for years president of the board. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, taking the thirty-second degree at Cincinnati; he also belonged to the Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

    In 1888 Mr. Geyer was joined in marriage with Miss Binnie Page of Cincinnati, who was a native of Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio. Among her ancestors were near relatives of Daniel Webster and Jonathan Fellows, and she is also connected with the Fairbanks family, manufacturers of the Fairbanks scales, which are in use the world over. This marriage resulted in the following issue: Frederick P., Martha A., John Cornwall, and Mahlon H. Mrs. Geyer still makes her residence in Piqua, where she is well known and most highly respected, being surrounded by friends of long years standing.

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