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


    The above style is the firm name of one of the leading business concerns of Piqua. Walter W. Wagner, Barnard Groven and Oliver Snypp constitute the firm and are extensively and successfully engaged in the furniture and undertaking business. They have a light, commodious and handsome store room, situated on the southeast corner of Ash and Wayne streets and stocked with a large and complete line of furniture, including some of the best designs and quality, as well as much of the more ordinary grade. They also conduct a first-class undertaking and embalming establishment. The partners are young, enterprising, industrious and capable business men, practical and honorable in their methods and courteous in their treatment of patrons. Such qualities have insured to them a large business and they are now enjoying a creditable success. The partnership was formed in 1898, and with astonishing rapidity the firm has gained a place in the front ranks of the leading and extensive business men of Piqua. They are highly esteemed for their business ability, keen discernment, capable management and above all their straightforward business policy.

    Walker W. Wagner, the senior member of the firm, was born in Shelby county, Ohio, in 1867, and is a son of Jacob Wagner, de- ceased, who came to the Buckeye state about 1860, from his old home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Wagners were a pioneer family of that portion of the Keystone state and were highly esteemed people. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Harriet Drake, and was a daughter of Abraham Drake, one of the pioneer settlers of Brown township, Miami county.

    Mr. Wagner attended the common schools, after which he learned the carpenter's trade. About 1889 he entered the furniture factory of L. C. & W. L. Cron, of Piqua, where he remained for two and a half years, after which he was employed for two years by the firm of Cron, Kills & Company. He thoroughly mastered the business, becoming an expert workman, and his aptitude and ability as a wood worker and as a manager and salesman led to his appointment to a position in the store of F. E. Campbell, where he remained for five and a half years, the most trusted and faithful employe in that house. His labors were both in the store and in the undertaking and embalming department, and he there continued until 1898, when the firm of Wagner, Groven & Company was formed. He married Miss Clara Snypp, of Piqua, a sister of his partner, Oliver Snypp, and they have one child, Chester. Mr. Wagner is a member of the Odd Fellows society, and in noble chief of the Knights of the Golden Eagle. In politics he is a Republican, and in religious faith is a Presbyterian.

    Barnard Groven, the second partner, was born in Washington township, Miami county, in 1868, his parents being Herman and Minnie (Soerhoff) Groven, who came to this country from Holland, in 1865, and settled on a farm near Piqua. They have prospered and are now well-to-do and highly respected citizens, enjoying the warm regard of friends and neighbors. Mr. Groven attended the township schools and later learned the carving and designing trades with the firm of L. C. & W. L. Cron, whose employ he entered when seventeen years of age. He there remained for fifteen years, and his work was such as to win him constant promotion. During the last five years of his connection with that company he was foreman of the carving and designing department, a fact which indicates his superior skill and ability, for no factory produces a higher grade of work than that of L. C. & W. L. Cron. Since 1898 he has devoted his energies untiringly to building up the business of the firm with which he is now connected, and his efforts in this regard have been very effective. He is a member of the Odd Fellow society, and of the Druids, and belongs to the German Reformed church.

    Oliver Synpp, the junior member of the firm, was born in Greene county, Ohio, and is a son of Reinhart Snypp. The grandfather, Abraham Snypp, served in the war of 1812 and came to Ohio at an early day. His father was one of the Revolutionary heroes, and the former is of French descent. The mother of our subject was Sarah Howell, a daughter of William R. Howell, of Dayton, Ohio. She now resides in Piqua. Her grandmother, Mary Van Cleaf, was the first white girl in Dayton, for when her parents came from Cincinnati on a boat they were the first settlers. The boat touched at what is now the site of Dayton, and Mary was the first passenger to jump ashore. Her father was shortly afterward killed by the Indians, and the family experienced the usual hardships and trials of pioneer life. She died at the advanced age of ninety-seven, but retained her mental faculties unimpaired until the last. She always delighted in relating stories of those early times. Mr. Snypp, before coming to Piqua, in 1892, had extensive training and experience in the furniture business with Omer & Sons, of Dayton. He is a member of the Odd Fellows society, and, like his partners, is an enterprising young man. The firm indeed enjoys an enviable reputation in commercial circles, and the volume of their business indicates their high standing. Their success has been won through close application, untiring labor and unassailable honesty.

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