One of Huntington county's honored citizens and business man at Andrews, is Jonas E. Bixby, now retired after a long and successful career as a farmer and wholesale grocer. While his success as a business man is a matter of note and has been gratifying, Mr. Bixby has also made a record as a soldier and as a public spirited citizen which will always reflect honor on his name, and his descendants may well be proud of the worthy part he took during the war of the Rebellion.
Jonas E. Bixby was born in Knox county, Ohio , January 29, 1841. His parents were Aaron and Maria (Martin) Bixby, his mother a daughter of Joel Martin, a native of Knox county, and representing one of the very earliest families located there. Aaron Bixby moved from Knox county to Defiance county in 1843, and spent the rest of his life near Defiance. He died April 29, 1847. He was born April 27, 1790. His wife was born in 1810, and she subsequently married a Mr.Stacy as her second husband. Aaron Bixby had four children, all of whom are now deceased except James.
The latter's boyhood was spent on a farm in Ohio, and he had the training and environment of a farmer boy until two years before the beginning of the Civil War. His education was acquired by attendance at the county schools and the city schools at Defiance, and he also profited by the fact that his father was a teacher.
When he was little more than twenty years of age,on April 23, 1861, he enlisted for service in the war of the Rebellion in Company C of the Fourteenth Ohio Infantry. This was a three months' regiment and at the expiration of his term of enlistment was mustered out on August 13, 1861. However, not satisfied with his part as a soldier, and Ohio Infantry in Company B. He had enlisted for a term of three years, and continued with his regiment in the various operations in the Mississippi valley until after the fall of Vicksburg, and on December 9, 1863, he veteranized, and then continued a soldier of the Union until mustered out and given his honorable discharge on July 10, 1865, some weeks after the close of hostilities, and after he had fought with the boys in blue for more than four years. He was in the great Atlanta campaign, and at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain on June 18, 1864, was wounded in both hands. Altogether he saw active service in fourteen important engaements. Entering as a private, he was promoted several times, and made a splendid record as a soldier. Mr Bixby is now a member of the Andrews Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, and has served as a commander in New Haven, Indiana
After the war he returned to Defiance, Ohio and bought land and engaged in farming for several years. While at home on a furlough during the war he was married on May 5, 1864, to Anna Braucher. She was born and reared on a farm near Defiance, Ohio and they lived together, as man and wife for seventeen years until her death. She was the mother of five children, two of whom are now deceased. Mrs. Bixby died in November 1881. On October 6, 1882, he married Ida M. Morse. She was born near Defiance April 4, 1858, was reared on a farm and receied a good education. After their marriage Mr. Bixby and wife lived on his farm five years, then sold out and moved to the city of Defiance, where he entered the wholesale and retail grocery trade with his brother-in-law. Subsequently their enterprise was developed into an exclusive wholesale and jobbing business, the company was incorporated, and he became one of the principal stockholders.
Of the second marriage of Mr. Bixby three children were born, and only one is now living. One passed away in infancy, and a son died while serving with the United States Navy. Raymond O. is a cashier of the State Bank of Andrews.
Mr. Bixby and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Andrews, and he is a trustee and steward in the church organization, and has served as Sunday school superintendent fourteen years. His wife is vice-president of the ladies' aid society. He is one of the stockholders in the State Bank of Andrews, has twelve shares in the Lagro-Andrews Telephone Company, and is a stockholder in the Wasmuth-Endicott Company at Andrews, and also still has stock in the Defiance Wholesale Grocery Company. Raymond O. Bixty, the only living son of Jonas E. Bixby, was born at Defiance, Ohio October 17, 1888, and though a very young man has already acquired a substantial position in business affairs and is a cashier of the State Bank of Andrews.
He acquired his education in the public schools of Ohio and Indiana, and in 1906 graduated from the Huntington Business University. His first business experience was as a stenographer with the Erie Railroad Company in their offices at Hammond, and on January 1, 1907, he took the position of assistant cashier in the State Bank of Andrews. In February 1912 he was promoted to cashier, and has made himself popular and efficient in that postion.
Raymond O. Bixby married Miss Josephine King, of Andrews. They have one son, Raymond O. Jr. born July 14,1911. Mr. Bixby and his wife are members of the Methodist Church of Andrews, and he affiliates with Antioch Lodge No. 410, A.F. & A. M. with Andrews Chapter No. 110, R.A.M. and Andrews Council No. 64, R. & S.M. . He is now the Master of his lodge. The State Bank of Andrews, of which he is cashier and director, was organized June 1,1908, and the other officers are E.M.Wasmuth, president, and E.V.Fitch, assistant cashier.