The fifth installment of the late Dr. Bixler’s history of the Aultman & Taylor Company, edited by Dr. Robert T. Rhode, appears in this issue of the Album, which is serializing Dr. Bixler’s book. A professor at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, Dr. Bixler worked hard and long to gather data and to write this detailed chronicle of the achievements and the eventual blunders of a once-great company. In this installment, Dr. Bixler continues his series of biographical sketches depicting the people who made Aultman & Taylor famous.
Click here for part I of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Click here for part II of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Click here for part III of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Click here for part IV of the history of Aultman & Taylor.
Chapter 5 The Harter Family, Continued
George Dewalt Harter
George Dewalt Harter, the third son of Isaac and Amanda (Moore) Harter, was born on Christmas Day, … 1843, in the city of Canton. He acquired his education in the Canton public schools and was graduated from high school at sixteen years of age with a record of high scholarship. Soon after graduation from high school he was employed as a teller in the Savings Bank of Canton.
… [The Civil War was raging, and, when eighteen years of age, Harter enlisted in the army, Company E, 115th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on August 14, 1862. His promotion in the army came in rapid succession. On September 18,1862, he was made a sergeant of his company and, on December 15th of that year, became a first lieutenant. He proved to be an efficient, competent officer, and [he] experienced hard fighting. Lieutenant Harter was given a meager garrison in a block house near Nashville, Tennessee, back of which and under [his] protection was a large group of African Americans. His garrison was attacked by Hood’s army, and two of his men were killed. He retired with his troops at night and became a part of the army of General Thomas. At the close of the war he returned to Canton and, with his brother Michael D., formed the banking firm of George D. Harter and Brother.
At the time of his death, he was President of the banking firm of Isaac Harter and Sons. He was conservative in his banking practices, considerate and liberal with his patrons. He was a successful banker and businessman. There were many men in Canton and Stark County who became successful largely because of the favors given them by Harter.
His estate was a large one for those times. Public and private charities benefited by his liberal gifts. …
He was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Canton, which received a goodly share of his contributions. During his adult years he served in several official capacities in his church. At the time of his death, he was … Sunday School Superintendent. Along with his wife he was a … contributor to Aultman Hospital. He was most appreciative of the best in literature and art. His private collections were among the most outstanding in the state. In keeping with his tastes his home was beautifully furnished ….
… He was a member of the Y.M.C.A. Board of Managers and [served] on its building committee. In politics, his allegiance was to the Republican Party, yet he was no narrow partisan. He was always … tolerant of those who held … other points of view. … He was a quiet, unassuming person, always attentive to duty. …
He died on December 8, 1890, at the age of forty-seven. … As related previously in the biography of his wife, he and Elizabeth Aultman were married on March 3, 1869, and the names of their children were given in that account.
Harter was a stockholder and a member of the board of directors of the Aultman & Taylor Company from 1875 until … [he passed away]. Upon the death of Aultman he became President of the company, serving in that capacity from 1885 until 1890, the year of his [own] death. … Because of his intimate knowledge of the business of the [firm], the transition … was a smooth one. There is little wonder that Harter carried on very well following the death of Aultman and [that], under his leadership, the company continued to prosper.1
Harter’s disposition was that of a modest and retiring citizen. … His success was due to a life devoted to hard work in business. He devoted no time to recreation. There were those among his friends who felt that his life might have been longer, if he had [allocated some time] … to recreational pursuits.
He never sought public recognition or distinction, but unsolicited honors were thrust upon him. …
Henry William Harter
Henry William Harter, brother of Michael D. and George D., was a native of … Canton, having been born there on May 9, 1853. …
He attended the Canton public schools and, following his graduation from high school, enrolled at Gettysburg College in 1870. He was graduated from that institution with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1874 and was valedictorian of his class. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the national honorary scholastic fraternity. In 1910, Gettysburg College conferred upon him [an] honorary [doctoral] degree.
Following his graduation from college he returned to Canton, where he studied law in the office of the firm of Lynch and Day. After reading law for two years he enrolled in the Law College of Columbia University, from which he graduated at the end of two years. He was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1877 and soon thereafter was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. He was an outstanding citizen and a leading member of the Ohio bar for almost sixty years.
In 1879 he was elected prosecuting attorney of Stark County, Ohio, and began his duties in that office on January 1, 1880. He held that office until 1885. In 1901 he became the nominee of his party for the office of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the first subdivision of the Judicial District of Ohio and was elected at the November election of that year without opposition. …
Judge Harter was a stockholder and a member of the board of directors of [Aultman & Taylor from 1886 until 1923]. He was a small stockholder, yet, because of his preparation and experience as an attorney, he was a most valuable member of the board. … Since Elizabeth Harter was his sister-in-law, he became her confidant, and, when she was unable to attend meetings of either the stockholders or board of directors, it was he that she [customarily] appointed as her proxy.2 … [Beginning in the late 1880s, Harter] served as vice-president [of the firm].
The minutes of the stockholders and board of directors show that he was regular in attendance, as well as an active and influential participant.3
Isaac Harter, Jr.
This biographical sketch is devoted to Isaac Harter, Jr., the youngest of the Harters affiliated with the company. He was born in Mansfield, Ohio, on January 2, 1880, a son of Michael D. and Mary (Brown) Harter.
After attending St. Paul’s school in Concord, New Hampshire, he was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree. Following his graduation he joined the boiler department of the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Company. In 1904 at a meeting of the board of directors he was elected Acting Superintendent of the Boiler Department at a salary of $200.00 per month. A little later he was made [a director] of the company, from which position he resigned on June 5, 1906. … [The minutes of the board of directors state, … “The resignation was accepted with regrets, and on motion of J. A. Moore it resolved that a vote of thanks for his earnest and intelligent efforts in the interest of the company be expressed and recorded on the company’s minutes.”3]
He continued to serve as a stockholder until the company went out of business. His holdings of stock … amounted to 8,868 shares, making him one of the large stockholders in the company. …
Soon after the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Company sold their water-tube boiler business to the Stirling Company of Barberton, Ohio, Harter joined that company and served as superintendent of their plant until 1919. The Stirling Company was absorbed by the Babcock and Wilcox Company in 1920, at which time Harter became superintendent of their plant in Bayonne, New Jersey, and also became assistant to the president of [Babcock and Wilcox]. Four years later … he was elected President of that company and also Vice-President of the Babcock and Wilcox Tubular Products Division. He served the parent company in that capacity until 1947, when he was elected Chairman of its board. He held that office until his retirement in 1951. Following his retirement he served as a consultant to the company until the end of his life.
… He … developed sound metallurgical practices in the welding of steel used in the manufacture of boiler drums. Prior to these developments, boiler plates had not been welded perfectly for commercial use. At the time that the Hoover Dam was being built, the Babcock and Wilcox Company supplied some 14,000 feet of … welded tubing, the diameter of which ranged from eight to thirty feet. These tubes were used for the passage of water through the Dam. It was the application of [Harter’s] X-ray technique to [test the] soundness of [the] welding that was the key to the successful development of this kind of tubing. …
Still another contribution that Harter made to the industry was in clarifying the reason for caustic embrittlement of boilers under pressure. He discovered [a] proper treatment [for] bad water which eliminated the danger of this kind of cracking. From 1951 until his death Harter was involved with the U.S. Atomic Commission Industrial Advisory Committee and Patent Compensation Board.
He had to his credit sixty patents. … These involved steam boilers, furnaces, refractories manufacture, electric welding, metallic tube manufacture, and continuous casting of steel. …
Many honors were conferred upon Harter. … In 1951 he was awarded the Newcomen Medal for his achievements in the field of steam by the Newcomen Society and the Franklin Institute. … In 1955 an honorary [doctorate in engineering] degree was [awarded] him by [the] Stevens Institute of Technology.
… He was a fellow of the American Welding Society; Institute of Metals of London, England; Phi Kappa Sigma, [and] Sigma Chi . …
[M]ost of his contributions were … in the area of steam, and in all of these his primary concern was to increase the safety of boilers. Two instances where he exerted timely influence makes this point … clear. One of these was the assistance that he rendered in the development of the code of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, which set standards for boilers that greatly enhanced their safety. Still another little-known contribution … led to the enactment of the Ohio Boiler Code. …
One of the provisions of that law had a direct impact upon the builders of boilers. It required that state inspectors visit the factories regularly where boilers were being built and inspect the process of manufacture, as well as the finished product. This was done so as to assure the state that there was compliance with the law by the manufacturers. Many of the features of that law have been incorporated in the boiler laws of … other states. …
His chief recreation interest was sailing. In addition … he had a special interest in translating French novels into English.
He was married twice. His first marriage was in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Elizabeth Farrington. … To this union was born one son, Isaac. His first wife died in 1955. On June 13, 1956, he was married in Fort Kennedy, Pennsylvania, to Alice (Crome) Howland … of Pittsburg. … She was first married to Edwin Gilbert Howland.
Isaac Harter, Jr., died on August 22, 1957, in New York City at the age of seventy-seven, and burial was made in the Mansfield Cemetery.4
James Underhill Fogle
James Underhill Fogle was born August 14, 1877, the son of Henry C. and Clara Underhill Fogle and was a life resident of Canton. He was married to Amanda Harter, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George D. Harter and a granddaughter of Cornelius Aultman.
Fogle’s father held the office of treasurer of the Canton Light, Heat, and Power Company. He was also the general manager of the Canton-Massillon Electric Railway, [which] provided transportation between the two cities. … With the advent of the automobile, the electric railways became obsolete.
Fogle was a member of one of Canton’s early and prominent families. He grew to manhood in a family steeped in the business and industrial life of the city, which prepared him for the important responsibilities that he assumed during his adult life.
He was President of the Bucher & Gibbs Plow Company in Canton. That company manufactured the Imperial plow, both walking and sulky plows, and [rollers], as well as spike-tooth, spring-tooth, and disk harrows. In addition to … farm implements, [Bucher & Gibbs] manufactured farm dinner bells, … school [bells], and church bells. For many years it was one of Canton’s most prosperous and growing industries.
Fogle was the last president of the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Company. Even though a competent businessman, he was called to the presidency of that [firm] during its waning years, so that there was little that he was able to do to save the company. Far-reaching decisions that hastened the demise of the [firm] had been made before Fogle arrived [on] the scene.
Fogle was the last charter member of the Canton Club. He was also a charter member of the Lakeside and Brookside Clubs of Canton. He died on July 29, 1960, and was survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Fogle, and three sons, William L. of Canton, Richard H. of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Stephen F. of Gainesville, Florida. He was also survived by a sister, Mrs. Emanuel Snydacker of Chicago and four grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife on September 30, 1946, and a son, James U. Fogle, Jr., who died in August of 1956.
Burial was made beside his wife in the Aultman-Miller lot in Westlawn Cemetery in Canton. The family home for many years was located at 925 Cleveland Avenue N. W. in Canton.5
A professor at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, Dr. Bixler worked hard and long to gather data and to write this detailed chronicle of the achievements and the eventual blunders of a once-great company.
1. Danner, John. ‘Old Landmarks of Canton and Stark County, Ohio.’ Canton Repository, December 11, 1890.
2. Ibid. 1096-97. Howe, Henry. ‘Historical Collections of Ohio.’ Daily Shield and Banner, Mansfield, Ohio: November 8, 1891. Canton Repository, May 6, 1906. Records in the Office of the Registrar, Gettysburg College, January 6, 1969.
3. Record Book, Minutes of the Meetings of the Stockholders and Directors of the Aultman & Taylor Machinery Company.
4. The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1965. 547-48. Canton Repository, August 23, 1957.
5. The Canton Repository, July 29, 1960.