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


    FREDERICK STEIL, late a leading merchant of Troy, and for years one of the foremost business citizens of Miami County, was born in Bavaria, Germany, November 15, 1850. His father was John Steil, a teacher for many years in the public schools of Bavaria , carrying on his professional duties in one schoolroom for thirty-seven years from 1860 to1897. He died in the year last mentioned, honored and respected by all in the community in which he had labored so long and faithfully. He was a successful and typical product of the thorough educational system which prevails in Germany, having advanced from one grade and from one school to another until he was graduated from the University of Kaisers Lantern, the normal school for the training of teachers in Bavaria.

    Frederick Steil began his education in the public schools of his native town, graduating to the Latin school at the age of fourteen years, where, besides Latin, French and English were taught. He had in America an uncle, Adam Steil, who was then a prosperous merchant of Troy, this county, having founded in 1859 the dry goods business that is now carried on by the subject of this sketch. In 1865, at his uncle's invitation, young Steil, then only fifteen years old, came to the United States and entered his uncle's store as a clerk. He thus continued until, Ada Steil's death, which took place in December, 1876, when he succeeded to the ownership of the business. While in his uncle's employ he gave close attention to all the details of the business until he thoroughly under stood every part of it, and also spent his spare time in the earlier years in careful study of the English language, which he soon mastered. After succeeding to the business he developed it into one of large proportions and it is now one of the most substantial, complete and prosperous enterprises of the kind in Miami County, or indeed, throughout this section of the state. In the line of dry goods, carpets and cloaks it is the largest establishment of its kind in Troy and the stock, handled by the firm is of the best and finest quality. Mr. Steil's son, William, was admitted as a partner in the business, which has been subsequently carried on under the style of Fred Steil & Son. The firm obtained an enviable reputation for fair and honest dealing and this policy had its natural results, as none occupied more enviable position than Mr. Steil among the prosperous merchants of the city. His death occurred October 8, 1908, and caused great regret among the business citizens of Troy generally.

    While maintaining his old love for the Fatherland, Mr. Steil closely identified himself with American ideas and institutions, both moral and political. A member of the Republican party, he claimed, however, the right to do his own thinking, and no politician or set of politicians could deliver his vote for him. Like most of his fellow countrymen he was a good citizen of the American republic, and in local affairs was always found on the side of progress and good government.

    He was married, October 28, 1875, to Miss Christina Ziegenfelder, a daughter of George Ziegenfelder, of Troy. Of this union there is the son, William, already mentioned, who was graduated from the Troy High School in 1899. He is a young man of good business ability and his prospects are bright for a successful career.

    Mr. Steil was an active member of the German Lutheran church, which lie served for twenty-five years as treasurer, being also a member of the official board. He belonged to the Masonic fraternity, in which he had advanced as far as the commandery. His home, in a fine and tasteful residence, was on fitting occasions the scene of a warm and bounteous hospitality. Mrs. Steil is also a member of the German Lutheran Church.

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