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Michael A. Reinhard
Between Pages 544 & 545


was born in Niedernberg, near Aschaffenburg, in Bavaria, Germany, on the eighth day of March, 1789. He was married in 1814 to Miss Barbara Geis, by which marriage eight children, four boys and four girls, were born, five of whom are now living, three of them dying in their infancy.

In 1832, with his wife and children, the oldest of whom was but seventeen years old, Mr. Reinhard emigrated to the United States. He purchased a farm in Prairie township, Franklin county, Ohio, and on it toiled, lived, and died. He lost his wife in 1834, and never remarried. In the latter days of his life, he lived on his farm with his son, William, during the summer months; the winter months he spent with his son, Jacob, of the firms of Reinhard & Co., bankers, and Reinhard & Fieser, editors and owners of Der Westbote newspaper. Mr. Reinhard was among the first German farmers in this State to cultivate the grape, and from it to produce the Ohio wine, so near in taste to the cheap wines of Germany, so healthy and pleasant that it has banished much of the stronger liquors from German households, and as the lateJudge John McLean, of the United States supreme court, told the writer of this sketch, was the best auxiliary of temperance yet produced. Michael Reinhard led a blameless life, and had the confidence and esteem of all who knew him. He was a model husband, parent, and friend. His disposition led him, after the death of his wife, to seek a retired life. He never sought or accepted, when offered, office of any kind, nor did he seek distinction. The friends he had were knit to him as with hooks of steel. His charity was of the unostentatious kind, never allowing his left hand to know what his right hand did. He died June 12, 1879, at the ripe age of ninety, in the well-founded hope of a blessed immortality beyond the grave, leaving many to bless, but none to curse, his memory.

Jacob Reinhard
Between Pages 544 & 545

editor, publisher, and banker, is, by birth, a German. His father, Michael A. Reinhard, emigrated to the United States when the subject of this sketch was but seventeen years of age, and died on the twelfth of June, 1879, full of years, honest, industrious, and universally esteemed as one of our most respected citizens. The education which Jacob Reinhard received in the fatherland was finished in Ohio, as far as the common schools and private lessons could accomplish it, in English tuition. When not at school, he worked on his father's farm. At the age of twenty-one, Jacob, young as he was, took a number of contracts to furnish broken stone for macadamizing the National road, east of Columbus, in the fulfillment of which he showed so much judgment and skill, that, on their completion, he was appointed assistant engineer, which responsible office he held until 1843. During his leisure hours, and on rainy days and nights, he read law with Heman A. Moore, a rising lawyer of Columbus, who died shortly after, while representing the Franklin district in Congress.

After leaving the employ of the State, young Reinhard, in company with his present partner, Frederick Fieser, started "Der Westbote," a weekly Democratic newspaper, printed in the German language. The first number of the paper was issued and printed in a frame building on east Friend street, on the lot where Isaac Eberly's fine residence now stands. The new paper soon became a pecuniary success, and in politics was a power in the State, its circulation extending into every county in Ohio, where there is a German population; and it is now, and for years has been regarded as the most successful German newspaper. in the State. It is now printed in the Westbote building, one of the finest business houses on High street, the same in which the banking-house of Reinhard & Co. do an extensive and safe business. The printing office, with its steam presses, and large assortment of type, does a large and paying business in book and job printing.

In 1852, Mr. Reinhard was elected a member of the city council, and for twenty years, until he refused longer to be 'a candidate, he was reelected, generally without opposition. For five years he was the presiding officer of the council; and when not president, he was either a member or chairman of the finance committee. To Jacob Reinhard, as much as, if not more than, to any other man, is attributed the fact that Columbus, a growing, populous, and wealthy city, had less taxation imposed upon her citizens than any other in the State. The effect of this low taxation was to invite business, and it was at that time that Columbus took its star in manufacturing, which has added so much to its growth that it now stands the third in the State in population, and in substantial prosperity is excelled by none. In the development of the resources of his adopted city, Mr. Reinhard always took an active part, by aiding, to the extent of his means, every enterprise calculated to advance its interests and that of the producing classes. From his careful business habits, Mr. Reinhard was a favorite director in a number of the leading enterprises which have tended to make Columbus a large manufacturing city. Before he was a voter, Mr. Reinhard was a Democrat, and has always been considered as among the ablest and most devoted advocates of the party. For years he has been a member of the State executive committee of that party, and its treasurer. He never practiced law as a profession. Had' he done so, there is every reason to believe he would have made a successful practitioner. The only speeches he has made, outside of the city council, were political ones, in defence of his party, its candidates, and its principles. In the wild excitement of 1840, the friends of General Harrison, the Whig candidate for president, challenged any supporter of Mr. Van Buren, the Democratic nominee, to debate with Mr. Lewis Heyl, in the German language, on the issues of the campaign. Mr. Heyl was then prosecuting attorney for Franklin county, and as a public speaker, especially in German, stood first among the Whig orators in the county. Colonel Medary, of the Ohio Statesman, insisted that the challenge be accepted, and that Jacob Reinhard, then working on the National road, be the Democratic champion. Knowing Mr. Heyl's talent as a speaker, it was with the greatest difficulty that Mr. Reinhard could be induced to accept. The debate came off, and was largely attended. Mr. Heyl underrated his opponent, and this gave Mr. Reinhard the advantage. The German Democrats were wild with excitement over Mr. Reinhard's victory over Heyl. Mr. Reinhard was never afterward challenged to a public discussion. On two different occasions he was the nominee of his party for secretary of State; and in 1857, out of a total vote of three hundred and thirty thousand six hundred and ninety-eight, he was only defeated by one thousand one hundred and ninety-seven votes. In his younger days, the only military companies in Columbus were German, and Mr. Reinhard was elected and served as major, a title by which his friends still call him.

In 1841 he was married to Miss Catharine Hamann, of Perry county, by whom he had eight sons and three daughters. Four of the former, and two of the latter are still living.

The writer of this sketch has known Mr. Reinhard for nearly forty years, intimately and well. In all that time never has he heard a word against his honor or his honesty as a man or citizen. His life has been energetic and active; and as a son, husband, parent, citizen, or public officer, he has not only escaped calumny, but is cited by those who know him best as pure and conscientious, as "God's noblest work, an honest man," in precept and practice, a Christian gentleman.


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