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


    Mr. Weldy has a most creditable record and from the study of his life history one may learn valuable lessons. The spirit of self- help is the source of all genuine worth in the individual and is the means of bringing to man success when he has no advantages of wealth or influence to aid him. It illustrates in no uncertain manner what it is possible to accomplish when perseverance and determination form the keynote to a man's life. Depending on his own resources, looking for no outside aid or support, Mr. Weldy has risen from comparative obscurity to a place of prominence in the commercial world and is now in control of a certain successful business interest that is regarded as one of the leading enterprises of Miami county.

    Born in West Charlestown, Bethel township ship, Miami county, February 9, 1857, Mr. Weldy is a son of Hazel and Frances E. (Howe) Weldy. The father was born in West Charlestown, February 21, 1831, and his parents were Daniel and Priscilla (Thomas) Weldy. The grandfather was born June 3, 1809, his wife July 3, 1815, and their marriage was celebrated in 1829. The family is of German lineage, the great-grandparents of our subject having come with their family to America, making a settlement in Pennsylvania. About 1818 they removed to Miamisburg, Ohio, where both died. Daniel Weldy was a native of the Fatherland and by trade was a gunsmith. He was only fourteen years of age and his wife fifteen years of age when their son Hazel was born. Soon after their marriage they had settled at West Charlestown where Daniel Weldy worked at his trade and afterwards followed farming, making his home there throughout the remainder of life. He died March 4, 1873, and his widow afterwards became a resident of Tippecanoe City, where her death occurred August 6, 1892. They had a family of four sons and one daughter who reached years of maturity, namely: Hazel; Uriah, who is engaged in the cultivation of small fruits at Piqua; Nathan, who died while serving in the Union army during the civil war; Andrew, a farmer and small fruit-grower of Piqua, who died near Troy, Ohio, at the age of forty-five; and Martha, wife of Joseph Benham, a resident of Tippecanoe.

    Hazel Weldy was reared on the old home farm, and in company with his brothers operated that tract of land until his marriage. On the 2nd of October, 1853, he married Frances Howe, who was born near West Liberty, Ohio. He continued to engage in agricultural pursuits near Charlestown until 1861, when, feeling that his country needed his services, he responded to the call for troops, enlisting in Company D, Ninety-fourth Ohio Infantry. He filled the position of. teamster until 1862, when he was honorably discharged on account of spinal trouble. He never fully recovered and was afterwards granted a pension. His life was a useful and honorable one, consistent with his profession as a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which he took an active interest. In his family were five children who grew to years of maturity, while two died in early life. The others are Bryon T.; Oscar, who was killed November 27, 1889, at the age of thirty-one years, leaving a wife and one child, Clarence; Laura Belle, wife of George Helmer of Alcony, Ohio; Hazel, who is living in West Charlestown; and Maggie, wife of James Funderburg, of Piqua.

    Byron T. Weldy, whose name introduces this record, spent his boyhood days in West Charlestown until fifteen years of age, after which he spent five years in Toledo, Ohio, working in a planing mill. His wages were given to his parents, and he there remained until about the time when he attained his majority. He then returned to West Charlestown and soon after accepted a clerkship in a grocery store in Tippecanoe City. In a few months, however, he engaged in gardening at West Charlestown, meeting with excellent success. He extended the field of his labors by dealing in nursery stock, beginning the enterprise with six bushels of peach seeds. As opportunity afforded he added to his stock, his business constantly growing in volume and importance. In 1892 he employed several men to represent the nursery upon the road and has since operated in that manner in addition to the cultivation of nursery plants for the wholesale trade. The business proved quite successful and in 1893 he purchased his present farm. He now owns eighty acres of rich and valuable land known as the Benjamin Deitrich farm, one of the oldest farms in the locality. It is splendidly equipped with an excellent house, substantial barns and about sixty acres are planted in trees of various kinds. He also owns a small farm of thirty-three acres near Tippecanoe City, planted in nursery stock. He employs from six to thirty men, according to the season, and has a canvassing force of fourteen men who sell his goods in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. His annual sales amount to about twenty-five thousand dollars, the West Charlestown nursery having become widely known for the reliability of the owner, while the excellent stock which he carries has secured to the business a most enviable reputation. Mr. Weldy has made a close study of horticulture from the standpoint of the nurseryman and thoroughly understands his business both in principle and detail. He is a member of the American Nursery Association, and his opinions are regarded as authority in many matters connected with his line of business.

    In October, 1885, occurred the marriage of Mr. Weldy and Jennie Lee, a daughter of Stephen and Ann (Shurrum) Lee. She was born in Mercer county, where her father died, and when two years old she was brought back to Brandt by her mother, with whom she lived until her marriage. Her mother died in Brandt, at the age of seventy-one years. Mrs. Weldy has one sister, Nancy Ann, wife of Clayton Davis, of Brandt, and had a brother, Thomas, who died at the age of ten years.

    Mr. Weldy takes quite an active part in political affairs, supporting the Republican party, and for some years he served as central committeeman. He has frequently been a delegate to the county, judicial, congressional and state conventions, and his labors have been effective in promoting the welfare of the party. His efforts have been freely offered, for he neither seeks nor desires political preferment. A very prominent Mason, he belongs to the lodge of Tippecanoe City, to Franklin Chapter, R. A. M., of Troy, to Coleman Commandery, also of Troy, and to Antioch Temple of the Mystic Shrine, at Dayton. He has filled all the chairs in both lodge and encampment of the Odd Fellows society, and both he and his wife are connected with the Order of Rebekah. He is a man of excellent business ability and enterprise, of strong force of character and of sterling integrity. Through his own capability and careful management he has succeeded in building up one of the leading industries in this section of Miami county. His life has been manly and his actions sincere, his manner unaffected and his example is well worthy of emulation.

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