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Biography of Frederick Decker, Michigan

History of Delaware County and Ohio. Containing a brief history of the State of Ohio ... biographical sketches ... (1880)

[Received via email from Jay Johnson 8/17/2010]

FREDERICK DECKER, farmer and miller; P. O. Delaware. Among the citizens of Delaware Co. who have become a part and parcel of it, and have been identified with its development and improvement, there is none more worthy of mention than Frederick Decker, who was born Sept. 1, 1812, in Morris Co., N. J., and is the son of Aaron M. and Mary (Vandroff) Decker, both of whom were natives of New Jersey, and the parents of four sons and four daughters; the parents were married in New Jersey, where they remained until 1828, when they came West and located in Crawford Co., Ohio, where they remained until the death of the mother in 1840 ; soon after this, the father removed to Ogle Co., Ill., where, in 1860, he departed this life; he was, in every sense, a pioneer of the West, an intelligent Christian gentleman, and died as only those can who put their trust in the Lord. Frederick's youth and early manhood were passed on a farm; he received such education as the schools could give; when but 18 years of age, he left home and began for himself; his capital at this time consisted of an indomitable will, robust constitution, and an earnest desire to succeed in obtaining a goodly share of this world's goods; he began working in a mill-a business he followed some time, and then began erecting mills; it was not long, however, until he had an opportunity of buying a mill, which chance he did not lose, paying but little or nothing down ; this was the turning-point in his life, and here again did his industry and force of character manifest itself, for it was but a short time before he had, by close attention, saved sufficient to pay off the indebtedness on the mill ; from that time until the present, he has been identified with the milling interest of this and adjoining counties ; he has in his lifetime, built, owned and managed eleven different saw and grist mills; there is not a man in Central Ohio who has done more to advance the milling business than Mr. Decker; it was he who built the large and commodious Stone Mills of Delaware, and under whose management it became one of the leading industries of the county; he at the present time owns the Millville Mills; among the best in the county; of late years, he has devoted but a portion of his time to milling, the greater part of it being employed in transactions in real estate, and the rearing and breeding of thoroughbred cattle, hogs and sheep; his cattle, of the short-horn breed, are as good as are to be found in the county. Mr. Decker is at present the largest land-owner in the township, owning upwards of a section of land, all of which is under a high state of cultivation; his home farm of 416 acres is nicely situated on the west bank of the Scioto River, and is one of the best improved in the county. He has been married twice, the first time to miss Annie Townsend in 1834; she was born in New Jersey Aug. 27, 1812; from this union there were nine children-Clark, Sallie A., Julia A., Henrietta, Aaron M., Leroy, Margie C., Samuel R., Alvin O. and Frederick N.; Mrs. Decker departed this life Dec. 12, 1855; in her death, Mr. Decker lost the faithful companion of his early life, his children a kind and loving mother, and the community a refined, Christian lady; Mr. Decker was again married May 25, 1856, to Mrs. Elizabeth G. Runnells : she was born in Vermont April 3, 1820 ; the fruits of this union are four children-Frank E., Alexander N., George W. and Willie N. Mr. Decker is a man of very firm and decided principles; he is a Prohibitionist, and an earnest worker in the temperance reform; after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, he was among the foremost in advocating the formation of a new party, and he was one of those who helped to organize the Republican party in 1854; he continued with the party until a few years ago, when his sense of right and justice led him into the ranks of the Prohibition party; he is a member of the Presbyterian Church.


August 17, 2010