Shelby County

John F. Given

Male 1863 - Yes, date unknown


John F. Given

"History of Shelby County, Ohio"
by A.B.C. Hitchcock; Sidney, Ohio; 1913
Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co.; Chicago, IL.
Page 855

     vice president and general manager of the R. Given & Sons Company, at Sidney, 0., manufacturers of saddlery and tanners, has been identified with this business since 1888. He was born at Sidney, O. October 9, 1863, and is a son of Robert and Catherine Given.
     John F. Given was given no other educational advantage than those afforded by the public schools and he began his business life as a brakeman on the C. H. & D. Railroad, later becoming and working as conductor on the Big Four Railroad, leaving railroad life to enter his present line of business. When it was incorporated he became vice president and general manager and in this capacity travels all over the United States looking after the company's interests.
     A brief history of this important business enterprise of Sidney may be of interest, illustrating as it does the results that follow business persistency, capacity and honesty. In the fifties a tannery already stood on.a very small portion of the ground now occupied by the main building of the present plant, and there, in a somewhat primitive way, tanning was done. When Robert Given, father of John F., came to Sidney, in 1854, he took charge of the tannery, but a business association was not entered into by him until 1868, when, with S. Alexander Leckey, he purchased the plant and thus really founded the present business. At that time there was one small building, while now the buildings cover one-quarter of a square, not mentioning the machine shop across the street nor the lanyards and house on East avenue. The main building covers the lot 165x165 feet, three stories and basement, with one part four stories, thus making the floor space now occupied by the main building alone 108,000 square feet. Mr. Leckey died in 1881 and the business was taken over by Mr. Given and later, at his death, the enterprise was continued by his sons, John. and Charles, with J. C. Royon. In 1901 the company was incorporated under the laws of Ohio as the R. Given & Sons Company and it has continued to prosper. At the present time of writing extensive additions are under way and when completed the present factory will be doubled in size. Wherever collars are used for horses the R. Given & Sons tannery is known, a large trade being done throughout the Northwest, in Texas and all through the Central states and the products have also invaded the European market. The hides are secured from Cincinnati, Chicago and other points where great packing houses are established, and every known method that has satisfactorily stood the test is used in this great factory for the final production of its goods. To its general manager, John F. Given, must be attributed a large measure of the present undoubted prosperity. Sidney takes justifiable pride in this industry, for Sidney men and Sidney capital are the spirit and motive power, and its large pay roll contributes to Sidney's wealth.
     Mr. Given was married to Miss Bessie B. Leckey, June 14, 1883, a daughter of the late S. Alexander Leckey, and they have two children: Gertrude and Edward. Mr. Given is a Republican in his political views and has frequently been called upon to fill responsible local offices, for ten years being a member of the board of equalization, president of the board of tax commissioners of Shelby county and a trustee of the Sinking Fund.
     Although necessarily absorbed in business as a manager of the concern above described, Mr. Given has always taken a public spirited interest in his section as above indicated and has supported every movement, which, in. his opinion, would promote the advancement of the community. His contributions to charity have been timely and liberal. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the Mystic Shrine and holds the office of exalted ruler in the local lodge of Elks.

Owner/SourceSubmitted by: Diana (Souders) Smith
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