John M. Blake
"History of Shelby County, Ohio"
by A.B.C. Hitchcock; Sidney, Ohio; 1913
Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co.; Chicago, IL.
JOHN M. BLAKE, who is one of the proprietors of the Farmers Grain and Milling Company, of Sidney, O., has been so associated since the business was founded in January, 1912, and in the division of responsibility between the three partners concerned, has charge of the flour department. He was born at Sidney January 1, 1867, and is a son of O. B. and Mary (Ensey) Blake.
O. B. Blake was born on a farm in Perry township, Shelby county, a son of John Blake, one of the very early settlers, who was a son of John Blake, who was born in England. For some ten years O. B. Blake was engaged in the meat business at Sidney, later moved to a farm in Turtle Creek township but subsequently retired to Sidney where he still lives. He married Mary Ensey, who was born at Sidney, a daughter of Mathew Ensey, who was the contractor who built the court house at Ottawa, O., fifty years ago.
John M. Blake was three years old when his people moved to Turtle Creek township and he was reared there and continued to reside in that part of the county for thirty-two years, when he moved to Clinton township, but still owns one fine farm of 200 acres in the former township, and one of eighty acres, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Fred J. Russell, in the latter township. The flour mill now belonging to the Farmers Grain and Milling Company, is one of the oldest mills and grain elevators in Shelby county and prior to January, 1912, was operated for many years by the late Capt. E. E. Nutt. At the time above mentioned, John M. Blake, Fred J. Russell and Mrs. Frank M. Sayre, bought the mill and a prosperous period of business has followed. Mr. Blake's duties have been specified. Mr. Russell has charge of the buying and selling of the grain, while Frank M. Sayre is secretary and treasurer of the company and attends to all the office work. With the exception of one year in the Sidney high school, Mr. Blake never had any but common school advantages and during the larger part of his life has been exclusively an agriculturist, moving from his farm to Sidney early in 1912.
Mr. Blake married Miss Jessie Russell, who is a daughter of Moses James Russell and Martha E. Russell, now deceased, the father once a very prominent farmer in Clinton township, where Mrs. Blake was born. They have a family of five children: Mary, Russell, John Chester, Gladys and Ethel, and the removal of the family to Sidney opened another hospitable home here and made welcome additions to pleasant social circles.