Shelby County

Lafayette Merrick Studevant



Lafayette Merrick Studevant

"History of Shelby County, Ohio"
by A.B.C. Hitchcock; Sidney, Ohio; 1913
Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co.; Chicago, IL.
Page 790

    who is vice-president of the First National Exchange Bank, at Sidney,
O., has additional banking interests and is also a leading
manufacturer of Shelby county and one of the foremost men of this
section. He was born in Whitley county, Ind., June 21, 1858, and is a
son oF John F. and Mary Wood (Cochrun) Studevant. John F. Studevant
was born at Emporia, Va., and now resides, in his eighty-seventh year
at Sidney, O. In 1847 he married Mary Wood Cochrun, who was born in
Green county, O., in 1829, a daughter of Elisha and Sarah Cochrun,
natives of Kentucky. Mrs. Studevant died August 23, 1910, after
sixty-three years of happy wedded life and left many to mourn her
loss, she being an admirable woman in every relation of life. After
marriage Mr. and Mrs. Studevant lived in Ohio and then moved to
Indiana and from there, in 1875, removed to Anna, Shelby county, O.
Several years afterwards they settled permanently at Sidney, Mr.
Studevant being a cabinetmaker by trade.
Five children were born to them, Lafayette M. being the only one to
survive the age of five years.
    Until he was seventeen years of age, Lafayette M. Studevant devoted
himself mainly to his school books. Afterward he was variously
employed for a time, keeping continually occupied, and for several
years he followed the painting trade. After his parents moved to
Sidney, he learned the printing trade in the office of the Sidney
Journal, having previously, however, taken a course in the Normal
School, passed the teacher's examination satisfactorily and taught
one winter term. In 1879 Mr. Studevant went to Columbus Grove, where
he purchased a newspaper, although then but twenty-one years old, and
conducted it for one year but not with the success that encouraged
him to devote his life to journalism. In 1880 he entered a commercial
school at Lima, O., where he took a business course and then accepted
a position as bookkeeper in a bank, this being the beginning of his
banking connection.   The business proved congenial and he continued
to advance until he became cashier of a bank at a village called
Ridgeville. While the place was small and offered little field for
endeavor, he there gained banking experience and it proved
valuable. From there he came to Sidney again and accepted a position with
Philip Smith, who conducted a machine shop and continued and at present is
vice president of the Philip Smith Manufacturing Company. He soon
developed business astuteness in other directions.   In January, 1886 he
started into the fire insurance business, and in October of the same year
organized the Peoples Saving & Loan Association, being managing officer of
the same, and on September 1, 1899, organized the First National Exchange
Bank, of which he was cashier for seven years.
    The Peoples Saving & Loan Association is the largest enterprise of
that class in any town of the size of Sidney, in Ohio, and none in
that state have been more successful. This enterprise is capitalized
at $50,000, with a surplus of $110,000 and its present standing is
shown by the January 1, 1913 statement to be: capital, surplus and
deposits, $1,463,088.97, which means that its resources are larger
than both of the National banks at Sidney. Mr. Studevant continues to
be secretary of this remarkably successful concern. He is president
also of the Eclipse Folding Machine Company and is a director in the
following prospering industries: the Sidney Tool Company, the Sidney
Manufacturing Company, the Monarch Machine Company, the Royal
Manufacturing Company, The Philip Smith Manufacturing Company and the
Sidney Telephone Company. On May 28, 1891, Mr. Studevant was married
to Miss Abbie Benjamin, a daughter of C. R. Benjamin, and they have
raised two children: Mary Helen and Thomas F. Both have been given
exceptional educational advantages. Thomas F. graduated from the Howe
Military School in the spring of 1911 and at present is in the
University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. Mary Helen completed her
education at Mrs. Stewart's School for Girls, an exclusive
institution at Washington, D. C. Mr. Studevant and family are members
of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he is a democrat and
he served in the town council for one term, and was National Bank
Examiner during Cleveland's last term. He is a charter member of the
Commercial Club and is president of its board of managers.   His
fraternal affiliations include membership in the following orders:
Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Elks, Red Men and all the Masonic
bodies. As may be seen Mr. Studevant is one of Sidney's most valuable
citizens, awake to every public duty and capable of meeting every
business responsibility.

Owner/SourceSubmitted by: Diana (Souders) Smith
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