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


    No man in Miami county has done more to promote the interests of the agriculturist than Darius William Weddle, his labors having been most energetically prosecuted, proving most effective. Although now numbered among the most prominent and prosperous farmers of the community, he started out in life empty-handed and met many obstacles and difficulties in his path, but steadily advanced on the road to success, overcoming all opposition and hindrances by determined purpose and unflagging energy. His business career has been a very creditable and honorable one, commending him to the confidence of all concerned.

    Mr. Weddle is a native of Virginia, his birth having occurred in Floyd county, on the I3th of November, 1848. His paternal grandfather was one of two brothers who came to this country from Germany, one settling in Virginia while the other became a resident of Maryland. John B. Weddle, the father of our subject, was a minister of the German Baptist Church, and spent his entire life in the Old Dominion. For many years he devoted his energies to evangelistic work, riding over the country in company with Elder B. F. Moornaw. They made trips to North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee, organizing many societies of the German Baptist or Dunkard church. Rev. Weddle died at the age of forty-eight years, and a career of great usefulness was thus ended. In his family were six children, five sons and a daughter, but only two, Darius and C. M,, came to Ohio.

    Upon the home farm Darius Weddle was reared, there remaining until twenty-two years of age. He spent one year in the State Agricultural College, at Ashland, near Lexington, Kentucky, formerly the home of Henry Clay, but not liking the military feature of that school, he left at the end of one year. While there he stood first as plow boy. Subsequently he spent two years in Illinois and Kansas, engaging in farm work, but did not enjoy western life and returned to the east. He afterward went to Canada and later he further continued his education in the Lebanon National Normal School at Lebanon, Ohio. He had previously met many graduates from that institution from whom he had received favorable reports of the work done there. Accordingly, he entered the school, remaining in the institution for two terms and was graduated on the completion of the commercial course, with the class of 1877. His studies, however, were interrupted by farm work, so that his course was not a continuous one. After spending a year in Lebanon, in order to find work he went to Dayton and Troy. Thinking he was best fitted for the duties of the farm, he started out into the country to secure a position. He had no acquaintances in Miami county and on the way he met an old man with whom he rode back to town, for it was Saturday and the majority of the farmers had gone to the city to do their marketing. The old gentleman took a deep interest in Mr. Weddle, and introduced him to Isaac Studebaker, one of the most extensive and prosperous farmers of the county. Mr. Weddle offered to work for twenty dollars per month and Mr. Studebaker offered him eighteen dollars per month. Finally they agreed that he was to work one month for twenty dollars and if both were satisfied at the end of that time he was to continue in the employ of Mr. Studebaker. After working a season Mr. Weddle returned to Lebanon, where he completed his commercial course and then again entered the employ of Mr. Studebaker, who paid him two hundred and sixty dollars per year. It was said that that gentleman was a very hard taskmaster, and many men who entered his employ soon left it. He did a large business and was a very energetic, pushing man, but he never required anything of his employees that he would not do himself. Although Mr. Weddle remained long in his employ there was never any trouble between them. Mr. Studebaker would go into the harvest fields with his men and bind the grain, at which work he was an expert, but Mr. Weddle found it possible not only to keep up with him but to do a little more. He also proved to be his match at corn husking, and in this way he won the favor and friendship of Mr. Studebaker so that a pleasant relationship always existed between them. As time passed his employer placed more and more confidence in Mr. Weddle, and on leaving home he would place his business in the hands of our subject, who continued in his employ for two years, or until he was married to his daughter, Anna W., who was then a young lady of sixteen years.

    The marriage of the young couple was celebrated January 24, 1878, at which time arrangements were made whereby Mr. Weddle was to operate the Studebaker farm and receive one-third of the crops, the owner to furnish all the supplies. Later Mr. Weddle rented the farm upon which he now resides for two years, and on the expiration of that period Mr. Studebaker offered to sell him the property, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of land, for ninety-six hundred dollars. He said he would make a donation of six thousand dollars and take notes to be paid annually. Altogether Mr. and Mrs. Weddle have received from her father's estate ten thousand dollars, an equal amount being given to his other children, there having been three daughters in the family. In 1893 Mr. Weddle erected a handsome brick residence at a cost of five thousand dollars. It stands on a natural building site, commanding an excellent view of the surrounding country. The old barn was burned on one occasion, but Mr. Studebaker rebuilt it.

    Mr. Weddle has devoted his attention to the raising of grain and in his work follows the most progressive methods. He rotates the crops every three years, raising clover, wheat and corn, and his corn crops are equal to any raised in this section of the state. When Mr. Weddle assumed the management of the farm it was very much run down, having been rented to tenants who took poor care of it; in fact, it was considered the poorest farm in the locality. Much of the land was swampy, so that the place was called the frog pond, but he has placed about twenty-two hundred rods of tiling on it, and has thus reclaimed about sixty acres of corn land, which has become the most valuable in the vicinity. It is on this portion of the farm that he raises his best crops, the fifth corn crop in succession averaging seventy bushels of corn to the acre, while wheat is produced at thirty-three bushels to the acre. Mr. Weddle is most progressive in all his methods, and not only understands the practical work of the farm but also the scientific principles which underlie agricultural pursuits, and one of the best evidences of that fact is that while land in his neighborhood will not sell as much per acre as it would twenty years ago, his farm has doubled in cash value since that date. The State Experimental Station in the past supplied him with seeds to grow and his place was called a sub-station. He has grown nine varieties of wheat in one season. He attends farmers' institutes which are organized for the purposes of promoting agricultural interests, and is a reader of many of the agricultural papers. He keeps thoroughly abreast with the times, and his example has been followed by many of his neighbors, who have found that his methods are practical and yield excellent results. Mr. Weddle considers that he owes a great deal of his success to his wife, who is regarded as one of the best financiers among the ladies of Miami county. She was born on the home farm in Elizabeth township, June 30, 1861, a daughter of Isaac S. and Anna (Warner) Studebaker, and a granddaughter of Abraham Studebaker. Educated in the country schools, she has always been a great reader, is a most industrious wife and congenial companion.

    Unto Mr. and Mrs. Weddle have been born the following children: William Harvey, who died in infancy; Albert S., who is now a student in the senior year in the Troy High School; James Arthur, who died in infancy; Carry Esteem and Dora Lee, students in the home school; Louanna who died in infancy; and Isaac Studebaker, who completes the family. In his political views Mr. Weddle is a Republican, but has never sought or desired office, preferring that his attention shall be given to his business affairs. He was reared in the German Baptist church, but was not a member until after he came to Miami county. He and his wife now hold membership in the Casstown German Baptist church, in which he has served as deacon, trustee, treasurer and correspondent. His church honored him by wishing to appoint him to the ministry but he refused. He has often been sent as a delegate to the national meetings, and was in attendance at the meeting in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1899. While there he visited his old home in Virginia. He again looked upon the scenes of his boyhood and renewed the friendships of his youth in the winter of 1899-1900. Perhaps the most salient feature in the career of Mr. Weddle has been his untiring energy, but this has been guided by sound judgment and resolute purpose and today he is one of the prosperous farmers of his adopted county.

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