Biography of Harman C. Leaders
Northwestern Ohio Biographies


No foreign element has become a more important part of American citizenship than that furnished by Germany. The immigrants from that land have brought with them to the New World the stability, enterprise and persevering characteristics of their people, and have fused these qualities with the progressiveness and indomitable spirit of the West. Mr. Leaders, the present superintendent of the Defiance County Infirmary, is a representative of this class.

Julius Leaders, father of our subject, was born in Germany February 29, 1820, was married there to Henrietta Myers, and they had three children: Harman C., Mrs. Augusta Stengel, and Mary M. Leaders, the last named being deceased. In 1856 they came to America, but the mother died two years after their arrival. In 1859 the father for his second wife wedded Sophia Walters, of Germany, and they had five children four sons and one daughter: Dora (Mrs. Decker), William, Charles, George and Elmore, all yet living except Elmore. The father passed from earth at Brunersburg, Defiance county, May 1, 1898, aged seventy eight years, two months, three days. During the war of the Rebellion he was drafted into the army, and served ten months. By trade he was a lifelong tanner.

From May, 1856, until the following August the family lived in Buffalo, New York, and then came to Defiance county, Ohio, locating in Noble township, where Harman C. Leaders grew to manhood. During his youth he learned the carpenter's trade, at which he has been principally employed throughout life, and for five years he engaged in bridge building. He has met with excellent success in his undertakings, is now the owner of a good farm in Mark township, Defiance county, and, to some extent has engaged in agricultural pursuits.

In Brunersburg, Noble township, Defiance county, Mr. Leaders was married October 27, 1872, to Miss Helen Mary Dowe, who was born at that place, May 5, 1848, and they have become the parents of seven children, two of whom are now deceased: Harman and an infant unnamed; those living are Cornelius F., Ada I., Glen L., Alice A. and Ettie H. Of these Cornelius F. and Glen L. are carpenters, by trade, good industrious men.

Mrs. Leaders is a daughter of John Frederick (Sr.) and Barbara (Speaker) Dowe, natives of Germany, the father born in Hanover in 1830, the mother born in Baden in 1816. They were married in Defiance county, December 16, 1846. In their family were six children, viz.: Helen Mary (Mrs. Leaders), Charles F. (deceased), two who died in infancy, Clara (also deceased), and J. F. (living). The mother, who came to Defiance county in 1834, died March 15, 1895; the father passed from earth in April, 1880. They were members of the M. E. Church. By occupation he was a blacksmith, and was widely known throughout the community in which he lived. He served in the army during the war of the Rebellion, being drafted in 1862. After the expiration of his term he served as a substitute until his final discharge on account of injury received in the service. For many years he was a justice of the peace; also for sometime was infirmary director, both of which incumbencies he was filling at the time of his death. Mr. Leaders' maternal grandfather, Lucas Speaker, was born in Germany, whence he came at an early day to Defiance county, where he died.

Mr. Leaders is one of the most popular and influential citizens of his community, and he has often been honored with official positions, being township assessor, constable, clerk, and for eight years treasurer of Noble township. On February 2, 1897, he was chosen superintendent of the Defiance County Infirmary to succeed William Phillips, and is now filling that office in a manner creditable to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents. A public spirited, enterprising citizen, he gives a cheerful support to objects which are calculated to advance the moral, educational or material welfare of his township and county.

Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Chicago, Illinois

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