Nicholas Ohmer

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April 17, 1823 – February 27, 1903

NICHOLAS OHMER, was the oldest son of Francis and Margaret Ohmer, who were born in France, and emigrated to this country in 1832, coming as emigrants in a sailing vessel, landing in New York in that year, bringing with them three sons and two daughters. After remaining a short time in New York, they moved westward, via the New York &; Erie Canal, to Buffalo, thence by steamer to Sandusky, Ohio, thence by wagon to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Francis and Margaret Floquet Ohmer

Francis Ohmer, Sr., being a tailor by trade, and finding no employment, went to Trenton, Butler County, Ohio, where a member of his own nationality had settled ; he remaining there until 1837, working at his trade. The subject of this sketch, evidently not being adapted for the business of his father, was sent to Hamilton, Ohio, and engaged to learn the confectionery business for one and one-half years. This convinced Mr. Ohmer, Sr., that there were other ways of gaining a livelihood besides the needle and yardstick, and be accordingly removed to Dayton, Ohio. with his family, in March, 1837, and located on Second street, between Jefferson and Main, where he opened a confectionery and restaurant.

The family of Francis Ohmer consisted of himself, wife and seven children, as follows :

Nicholas worked with his father in the confectionery during the summer and in the winter in Richard’s cotton factory, then at the head of the basin, and afterward in the Cooper cotton factory.

In the year 1838, Francis Ohmer opened a branch confectionery in a one-story frame building, corner Main and Third streets, where the Phillips House now stands, and placed Nicholas in charge. He remained two years, after which the establishment was transferred one door south in a new building, erected by A. M. Clark, where he remained three years, during this time Nicholas was working for his father, who now opened a branch in the building then and now owned by J. Manning Smith (the only four-story building then in the city).

Nicholas became a partner with his father, and to enable him to do so borrowed $100 of Valentine Winters. This partnership continued until the fall of the same year, when his father retired from the business, leaving our subject in full charge and ownership. This stimulated him to extra exertion to succeed, and he was, during the thirteen years he was in the business, the first in importance in the city in his line.

When the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton depot building was put up Nicholas was awarded the eating department, and it has remained in his hands and that of his son, Francis Bernard Ohmer, up to the present time, and is now managed by them. Since that time Nicholas has became associated with his brother George in this branch of his business under the name of N. & G. Ohmer. They had the eating house at Columbus for thirteen years, and are now the proprietors of the hotel and lunch rooms at Xenia, Ohio, at Indianapolis, Ind., at Terre Haute, Ind., at Lafayette, Ind., and at the Relay Depot, East St. Louis, all of which are justly popular.

We now come to the most important epoch in the history of our subject. Nicholas inherited from his mother and her father, who were horticulturists, a passionate fondness for growing fruits and flowers. To that end he purchased from different persons 104 acres of land, upon which he built the residence he now occupies, near the S. O. Insane Asylum and adjoining the city of Dayton, where he laid out and planted the entire tract in fruit, and the place is pronounced by practical men to be the finest fruit farm in the State. Nicholas gives his attention largely to the cultivation of fruit for the wholesale trade, and while he is not a nurseryman he sends small fruit plants to every State in the Union and also the Canadas.

Nicholas and Susanna Spratt Ohmer

Nicholas was married in June, 1847, to Miss Susanna Spratt, of Greene County, Ohio. This union was blessed with twelve children, eleven of whom are now living–

The Nicholas Ohmer homestead located at 1850 Creighton Ave, Dayton, OH

Mr. and Mrs. Ohmer visited the East during the centennial year, and during that yearSusanna died of paralysis in Washington City, which was her birthplace. Nicholas contracted his second marriage in December, 1880, with Miss Jennie E. Hassler, of Mercersburg, Penn.

Nicholas’ life has been a very busy one, and is still actively engaged at all times. He is a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and a member of the Church Committee ; is President of St. Joseph’s Public School Association, Vice President of Calvary Cemetery Association ; a Director of the Merchant’s National Bank of Dayton ; President of the Montgomery County Horticultural Society ; President of the Montgomery County Farmer’s Club and Vice President of the Ohio State Horticultural Society.

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