Charles William Horn, president and treasurer of the E. Horn Company of Topeka, Kan., manufacturers of fine interior and exterior finishings for buildings, has been identified with Topeka's business interests twenty-one years. He is an Ohio man, having been born in the city of Cincinnati, May 10, 1849. He is the son of Philip William Horn, a native of Germany and a farmer by vocation, who served his term of military service in the German army, and after his marriage in the Fatherland came to the United States, locating first in Cincinnati, Ohio. He resided there but a short time, however, and then removed to a farm near Monroeville, Huron county, Ohio, where he resided until his death in 1883. The mother, whose maiden name was Margaret Bahler, survived until 1903, when she too passed away. Charles W. Horn is the eldest of three sons and two daughters born to those parents. The second son, Philip A. Horn, is engaged in farming near the old homestead in Ohio, and Henry Horn, the third son, owns the home place. The two sisters, Mrs. Emma D. Olemacher of Columbus, Ohio, and Mrs. Louise P. Foust of Monroeville, Ohio, are both widows, and the two brothers, Philip A. and Henry, are both widowers.
Charles W. Horn was reared on the farm, where he experienced all the conditions incident to the clearing of wild, unbroken forest land. He secured his education in the country schools during the winter terms and also attended the Monroeville graded schools one term. He remained at the parental home until twenty-one years of age, and on Jan. 28, 1873, he wedded Miss Elizabeth Hyman, a native of Huron county, Ohio, where she was born Oct. 8, 1851. Her parents were William C. and Margaret Hyman, old and respected residents of Sherman township, Huron county, Ohio, where they died. Mrs. Horn is the youngest of ten children. In 1876, Mr. Horn, in conjunction with his wife's two brothers, Philip H. and Henry Hyman, under the firm name of P. H. Hyman & Company of Tiffin, Ohio, began buying timber for cooper material, such as staves and headings. That partnership continued until 1881, when Mr. Horn sold his interest, and for the following four years engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in Tiffin, Ohio. In 1885 he decided to seek his fortune in the West, and, disposing of his business in Tiffin, he removed to Wamego, Pottawatomie county, Kan., where he bought a cattle ranch and engaged in farming and stock raising. That pursuit engaged his attention until 1890, when he formed a partnership with Henry Schleuter to engage in the planing mill business in Topeka. This plant was entirely wiped out by fire in 1892, with no insurance, after which the business partnership was dissolved, as the disaster had swept away practically all of Mr. Horn's capital. Being in debt added to his discouraging loss so that he was on the verge of seeking daily employment, when his mother came to his rescue with a small loan, which enabled him to pay off his most pressing obligations. Although a debtor to the Bank of Topeka at the time of the fire Mr. Horn's previous record had been one of such unquestioned business integrity that this bank, in his darkest hour of discouragement, offered him an added loan to enable him to resume his business, such was their confidence in him, a confidence that has been fully verified in his subsequent business career. He purchased for $1,000 a workshop on the site of his present plant, paying part down and the balance in monthly installments, and began with renewed determination to regain his losses. From that time to the present his business has prospered, and today it is the largest finishing plant in the city, with seventy-five men in its employ. He suffered another disastrous fire in 1902, however, in which he lost thousands of dollars, as the plant was but partly covered by insurance. Undaunted by his second misfortune he, with firmer determination than ever, rebuilt and took as a partner A. L. Wiseman, who at the present time is general manager of the business. The firm has enjoyed uninterrupted prosperity since the fire of 1902. This large plant is modern in its equipment and receives its manufacturing material in car load lots. It manufactures sash, doors, interior and exterior furnishings in any wood desired, mouldings, columns, the famous Koulock doors, modern store fronts with metal settings, and plate and window glass. Some of the buildings for which he has provided finishings are the gymnasium at Lawrence, the gymnasium at Manhattan, nearly all of the inside of the state capitol building, and many residences and public buildings throughout the state. Among the Topeka residences and business buildings which this plant has finished is the D. W. Mulvane residence, the New England building, the Warren M. Crosby new store building, the Palace Clothing House, the National Hotel and the Perkins residence. Mr. Horn gives his political adherency to the Republican party and has served as the representative of the Fourth ward in the city council. He has attained a high degree in Masonry, being a Thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, a Knight Templar, a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, and a member of the Masonic auxiliary, the Order of the Eastern Star. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Both Mr. and Mrs. Horn are active members of the English Lutheran Church of Topeka, Mr. Horn being a life member, as his parents were members of that same denomination in which he was christened. Mr. Horn has been treasurer and a trustee of the Topeka church many years and held the office of treasurer of the church in Tiffin, Ohio, prior to his coming to Kansas. Mrs. Horn is an active worker in the Church Aid and Mission Society.Pages 1496-1498 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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