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


    Nate Iddings is an attorney and capitalist of Bradford and one whose success is the outcome of his own efforts. Absolute capability often exists in specific instances, but is never brought into the clear light of the utilitarian and practical life. Hope is of the valley, while effort stands upon the mountain top; so that personal advancement comes not to one who hopes alone, but to the one whose hope and faith are those of action. Thus is determined the full measure of success to one who has struggled under disadvantageous circumstances, and the prostrate mediocrity to another whose ability has been as great and opportunities wider. Then he may well hold in high regard the results of individual effort and personal accomplishment, for cause and effect here maintain their functions in full force. Untiring energy and keen judgment have resulted in bringing to Mr. Iddings prosperity which many a man might well envy and his example should serve to encourage others who are forced to start out empty handed as he did.

    The Iddings family was of Scotch lineage and in his life he has shown forth many of the strong characteristics of that race. His grandfather, Joseph Iddings, became one of the pioneers of Ohio, locating in Montgomery county, just across the line from Miami county. Later he entered one hundred and sixty acres of land in Newton township, of the latter county, and upon the farm which he there developed he spent his remaining days. Their children were: William D., of Newton township, who married Christina Munn; John, who died in Newton township; Davis; Benjamin, who is living in Newton township, at the age of eight-six years, and Sarah, who died in childhood. Davis Iddings, the father of our subject, was born on the old homestead in Newton township, December 2, 1812, and in his youth early became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He attended the subscription schools, receiving good educational privileges for that day. After arriving at man's estate he purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land, near Pleasant Hill, and after his marriage located on that farm. He married Sarah Hill, daughter of Nathan Hill, and during his remaining days devoted his energies and time to the improvement of his property. He was a man of very domestic tastes, his interests centering in his family, and it seemed that he could not do too much to promote the happiness and welfare of his wife and children. He was an intelligent, highly esteemed man, and in politics was a stanch Democrat, always able to support his position by logical arguments. He attended the Christian church, and died May 12, 1897, respected by all who knew him. His wife, who was born July 24, 1816, passed away January 11, 1896. Their children were as follows: Alfred H., who wedded Cynthia De Bray, who died in Dayton, in 1899, in which city he is a practicing physician; Nate, the second of the family; Maria, the wife of John Jay, of Pleasant Hill; and Jefferson Davis, who is residing on the home farm. He married Minerva A. Cox, and after her death wedded Miss Cavanaugh, who only lived about a year, while the third wife was Ella Terry.

    Nate Iddings, whose name introduces this review, was born on the old homestead farm, March 17, 1841, and spent his boyhood days under the parental roof. He pursued his education in the public schools of the neighborhood until seventeen years of age, after which he spent three years in teaching. On the expiration of that period he became a student in the Farmers' College, at College Hill, and later took up the study of law under the direction of Henry Snow and Alexander Long. In 1862 be was admitted to the bar, but did not begin practice at that time; instead he turned his attention to merchandising at Fort Jefferson, Darke county, Ohio, and later did some legal work in connection with his mercantile interests. At the end of three years he located in Bradford, where, on the 13th of May, 1866, he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Patty. Their union has been blessed with one son, Frank B., who was born May 16, 1878. He attended the public schools until sixteen years of age, when he entered the Princton-Yale school, of Chicago, and at the present time he is a student in Antioch College, of Greene county, Ohio.

    After removing to Bradford Mr. Iddings took up the study of the Graham system of shorthand and was appointed court stenog-rapher of Miami county, at Troy, by judge Williams. For twenty years he held that position, attaining wonderful speed and be-coming a most expert reporter. He reported the first cases ever recorded in the county, among them the famous Mitchell murder case. After the trial Mr. Iddings and others made an effort to have the condemned man reprieved, and submitted all of the testimony to Governor Foster. After filling the position of court reporter for twenty years, Mr. Iddings resigned, on the 2d of March, 1899, and was admitted to practice in the United States courts in the pension and treasury departments. When judge C. D. Wright was on the bench in the common pleas court of Miami county, he had a church trial from Piqua which he was desirous of getting off his hands. He appointed Mr. Iddings as judge, telling him it was a small affair. When the newly appointed judge arrived at Piqua he found six lawyers and more than one hundred witnesses in attendance at the city hall. The trial lasted a week, at the end of which time the new judge handed up a voluminous amount of testimony with his decision in favor of the young people of the congregation. This decision was promptly reversed by judge Wright, but before it could be heard by the circuit court a new election was held and judge Iddings' decision was sustained by a very large majority of the congregation. It was this service that gave him the title of "'Judge" Iddings. He is a man of resourceful business ability, whose efforts have touched many lines of enterprise. In 1890 he was made president of the Bradford Bank and has since filled that position, his capable management making it one of the most reliable institutions in Miami county. He is also part owner of the grain elevator of Bradford and has extensive real estate interests, having made large investments in property that now yield to him a good income. Not all of the credit for the success of the various enterprises with which he has been connected does Mr. Iddings want to take to himself. His wife was always with him in the advancement of their interests. They had but one child of their own, but they always had children in the house. At one time six of the children of her sister, Filena Gulicks, made their home with them, and were educated and cared for until they got homes of their own. In 1896 her sister, Lucinda Hill, the eldest of the family, who was residing in Conway Springs, Kansas, came to her and found a home. The following from the Bradford Sentinel tells the sad story:

    "Lucinda Hill passed away in a peaceful Christian death, October 7, 1897, at the home of her sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Nate Iddings, of Bradford. She was born on the Iddings farm at Pleasant Hill, Miami county, Ohio, on the 9th day of January, 1829, and died aged sixty-eight years, eight months and twenty- eight days.

    "She was the oldest daughter of Charles Patty. She married Obed Hill and moved to Conway Springs, Kansas. They had one son, an invalid, who died before he arrived at the age of majority. She was stricken with paralysis in 1883, and from that time was a helpless invalid, not able to get her hands to her mouth, but her kind husband attended faithfully to her until 1893, when he was stricken with paralysis that rendered him helpless. He died May 1, 1895. Shortly after the death of her husband she was brought to the home of her sister, Mrs. Nate Iddings, where she remained until her death. For more than two years she had been unable to leave her bed. But in her last earthly home she had many kind hands to administer to her wants, many loving hearts to sympathize with her in her suffering, and many beautiful flowers, brought by the hands of little children, to cheer her.

    "Mr. and Mrs. Iddings, anxious that the best possible care should be given her and that no want should go unsupplied, secured the services of Miss Nora Cromer, who for more than two years has been at her bedside, faithful and untiring in her care and attention to the invalid sister. She dedicated her life to her Savior and Lord when she was a girl of eighteen years of age. She identified herself with the Christian church immediately after entering upon a religious life and was a faithful member for fifty years. There was only one thing for which she expressed her sorrow and that was her inability to compensate the kind friends for their loving care and attention during all these months of her suffering."

    Miss Nora Cromer, who has been with the family for eight years, married L. A. Dye, July 6, 1898 and with her husband, is still living with Mr. and Mrs. Iddings.

    Mr. Iddings is five feet and ten inches in height, weighs one hundred and sixty-five pounds, has blue eyes, dark brown hair and a long, flowing beard, by which he is known and recognized all over the county. He has often said that in all his travels he never saw a man with as long a beard as he possessed. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and, politically, he is a Democrat giving an earnest support to the men and measures of the party. For twenty years he has served as school director and the cause of education has found in him a warm friend. He is a member of the International Association of Shorthand Writers and did a great deal to promote its interests. As a citizen he is public spirited and progressive, withholding his support from no measure which he believes will prove of benefit to the community. His business career has been marked by a very high degree of success, his efforts having been so carefully directed along well defined lines of labor that he has achieved a handsome competence. He has ever had strict regard for ethics of commercial life, and it is by honorable labor that he has gained his prominent position in financial circles. He has had the ability to recognize opportunities and the will to take advantage of them. His acquaintances in Miami county are very numerous and no man is held in higher regard or enjoys the friendship of a greater number of the citizens of this community than does Mr. Iddings.

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