Emmett R. Curtin

Male - 1931

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  • Name Emmett R. Curtin 
    Born Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 7 Jun 1931  Lima, Allen Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Lima, Allen Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • E. R. Curtin, Sr., Succumbs To Short Illness

      Operations Fail To Save Life of Widely Known Lima Business Leader

      Funeral Is Wednesday

      Hundreds Pay Tribute To Banker, Philanthropist, 33rd Degree Mason

      Sorrowing throngs filed past the bier of the late Emmett R. Curtin, Sr., Monday as the body lay in state in the Davis, Miller & Son chapel, paying their last tribute to the man who had rightfully earned the enviable title of Friend of Mankind.

      Floral tributes and messages of condolence poured in from his host of friends in every walk of life and in a dozen states, attesting the love and high esteem in which this man, whose generosity had eased the weary way for thousands, was held.

      Mr. Curtin passed away at 8:50 a.m. Sunday at St. Rita's hospital, following a serious illness of more than two weeks.

      The funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Curtin home, 931 W. Market-st, with the Rev. Don H. Copeland, rector of Christ Church Episcopal, officiating. Burial will be in Woodlawn cemetery.


      Active pallbearers will be Leslie Reid, Brice B. Applas, Frank L. Pringle, R. L. Lynch, James G. Mackenzie and Wallace H. King. Honorary pallbearers are L. A. Larsen, Robert J. Plate, John E. Galvin, Julius Solomon, Harry Solomon, Harry O. Bentley, M. H. Broderick, Frederick T. Cuthbert, H. G. Wemmer, D. H. Kirwan, George B. Quatman, all of Lima; Louis Leilich, of Delphos; John G. Neubauer, of New York City, and Hobart Scott, of St. Marys.

      A 33rd degree Masonic service will be conducted at the residence at 8 p.m. Tuesday by Henry Schaffer, of Toledo, a 33rd degree Mason and secretary of the Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of Ohio.

      He will be assisted by Harold Williams, also of Toledo, right potent master of the Lodge of Perfection. Other Toledo Masonic members are expected to attend and 33rd degree members of Dayton have sent word they will be present at the services.

      The body lay in state from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday and was to be removed to his late residence Monday afternoon.


      Mr. Curtin came to Lima in early life and rose to the position of banker, utility and oil operator, 33rd degree Mason and philanthropist, whose purse always was open when he might be of service to those in need.

      The scope of his philanthropy never will be known because, in addition to his generous support of all organized charities, he was a tireless worker in his own quiet way, making innumerable personal calls upon those in distress. Countless families, whose members have been helped back to health could combine to write an eulogy to Emmett R. Curtin that would overshadow any even his closest business associates might compile.

      Beginning in the humble position of pumper in the Lima oil fields, his colorful career takes on more the aspect of fiction than of reality. It was during his steady climb up the ladder of success that his great understanding of humanity was gained and imbued him with a tenderness that asserted itself above every other consideration when adversity affected those with whom he came in contact.

      Mr. Curtin's death followed a serious illness of two weeks, during which he underwent two major operations and blood transfusions.

      At his bedside were his wife and their only child, Emmett, Jr., with a few distant relatives and close business associates.

      His principal business connections were the presidency of the Lima Trust Co., which he helped organize; the presidency of the Lima Telephone & Telegraph Co., and the West Ohio Gas Co.; first vice president and member of the executive committee of the Colonial Finance Co., and director of the Iron Mountain Oil Co., of Oklahoma.


      Mr. Curtin had been in poor health for the last two or three years. During that period he consulted the most eminent specialists in the country. When his condition became serious two weeks ago, he entered St. Rita's hospital and underwent an operation involving what ordinarily comprises two major operations.

      For a time, relatives and friends were hopeful for his recovery. His great vitality appeared to stand him in good stead and the brave fight he made showed results for the better. A relapse occurred Friday and another major operation followed. A specialist had been hurried here from Rochester, Minn.

      Heroic steps were taken but every means known to medical and surgical science failed. He remain conscious almost to the end.

      Mr. Curtin was born at Franklin, Pa., the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Curtin. Other members of his family were two brothers, James and William, and one sister, Mrs. Anna Lovelace, all of whom preceded him in death, and a third brother, John who lives at Wichita Falls, Texas.

      Mr. Curtin received his education in the public schools of Millerstown, Butler-co, Pa., and in the high school of Richburg, N.Y.

      His early years were spent in Pennsylvania in and around the oil district. He later went into New York state, where he worked on oil leases as a pump gauger.

      His work in New York state brought him into a friendship with Effie M. Allen, to whom he was married on July 22, 1891, at Allentown, N.Y. The one child born to this marriage is Emmett Curtin, Jr., of 1507 W. Market-st, the only survivor in addition to the widow.


      Shortly after his marriage, Mr. Curtin followed the gradual westward move of the oil fields and came to Ohio, where he associated with the Ohio Oil Co. at Findlay.

      After serving several years with that firm, he moved to St. Marys, where he became superintendent of the Manhattan Oil Co., with headquarters at St. Marys. His affiliation with that company permitted him to obtain a vast knowledge of the oil business as he worked in every division of the oil producing business, first as tool dresser, then driller, on up to the superintendency. His future connections with the gas industry came as a natural consequence.

      He, with L. G. Neely, of St. Marys, now deceased, and other associates, organized the Medina Gas and Fuel Co. This company acquired vast acreage of gas and oil lands in the northeastern part of the state of Ohio. During 1910, the Medina Co. made a contract with the then Lima Natural Gas Co. to supply the cities of Lima, Cridersville, Wapakoneta, St. Marys, and Celina with natural gas. Several years later, Curtin and his associates sold their interest in the Medina firm to the Henry L. Doherty interests.

      During this period, F. H. Cutshall was general manager of the local gas company and in the early part of 1915, Cutshall resigned his position to accept the vice presidency of the Old National Bank of Ft. Wayne, Ind.


      On Cutshall's resignation, and thru the efforts of S. T. Murdock, president of the Indiana Lighting Co., the company holding the controlling interest in the Lima Natural Gas Co. and other affiliated companies, Mr. Curtin was named president of the local gas company as well as the associated companies. Prior to his acceptance of the position, he was very closely associated with the Murdock oil and gas interests.

      In 1922, the Samuel Insull interests of Chicago, acquired controlling interest of the local gas company from the United Gas Improvement Co. of Philadelphia, Pa. While the U.G.I. interests operated the property, Mr. Curtin continued as president.

      In 1924, the West Ohio Gas Co. was organized and purchased the Lima Natural Gas Co., the Lima Gas Light Co., the Wapakoneta Natural Gas Co., the St. Marys Gas Co., the Celina Gas Co., and the North Mercer Gas Co., the group of companies under Curtin's supervision. Curtin was elected president and director of the new company, continuing as such up to the time of his death.

      Mr. Curtin was one of the organizers of the Lima Trust Co., in May, 1903, serving as a director and on the executive committee since that time. In 1918, he was made president of this bank, a position held until his death.


      His affiliations with the Lima Telephone and Telegraph Co. started on Feb. 7, 1918, when he was made a member of the board of directors. He became president on June 30, 1924, following the death of D. J. Cable, and served in that capacity until his death.

      The telephone company offices will be closed all day Wednesday in respect to Mr. Curtin and all telephone lines will be silenced for one minute Wednesday morning from 10 a.m. to 10:01, the time the funeral services will begin.

      Among his other local business connections were those of vice president and member of the executive committee of the Colonial Finance Co., and director of Moore Bros. Co., local wholesale grocers. He also was a director of the Iron Mountain Oil Co., of Tulsa, Okla.

      During the World war period, Curtin served as a member of the district draft board for the Lima district.

      Since the organization of the West Ohio Gas Co., and under his supervision, the gas manufacturing plant on S. Jackson-st has been completely modernized, which places it in the front ranks with other gas manufacturing plants in Ohio. He also negotiated the deal whereby the gas property serving Kenton was taken in as one of the districts of the West Ohio firm.

      In 1930, the new office building of the company, located at 319 W. Market-st, was completed. His negotiations last fall also resulted in the supplying of gas for the first time to Bluffton, Columbus Grove, Ottawa and Leipsic.


      While in recent years rated as the most potent individual in the Democratic party in northwestern Ohio, Mr. Curtin never was actively identified with politics until 1915. In that year, he consented to take the chairmanship and conduct the campaign of Theodore D. Robb for mayor. Robb defeated Mayor Corbin N. Shook, running for his second term.

      In the following year Mr. Curtin was made a delegate from this district to the national convention in St. Louis, casting his vote for the re-nomination of Woodrow Wilson. He twice was offered the nomination for congress.

      Mr. Curtin was a very close personal friend of ex-Governor James M. Cox, and one of his chief counsellors in his later campaigns.

      Mr. Curtin, always active in the Masonic fraternity and up to the time of his death the only living 33d degree Mason in Lima, became a member of the fraternity on March 7, 1894. On that date, he became affiliated with the St. Marys Blue lodge, known as Mercer Lodge No. 121, Free and Accepted Masons. Later he demitted from the St. Marys lodge and affiliated with Garrett Wykoff Blue Lodge No. 585, of Lima.

      His Masonic history always has been one of a step higher. The same year he became a member of the Mercer Blue lodge, he was initiated into Lima chapter, No. 49, Royal Arch Masons. This was on Sept. 7, 1894. The following year, on April 2, he was greeted by Lima Council, No. 20, Royal and Select Masters.


      Going another step higher in Masonic work, Mr. Curtin, on May 28, 1895, was Knighted in Shawnee Commandery, No. 14, Knights Templar, of Lima. This was the only order of the fraternity in which he ever held an office, tho he always was active in Masonic programs and served on many committees. He was commander of the Knights from June, 1915, to June, 1916.

      The Scottish Rite degrees were conferred upon him in Dayton and Cincinnati during February of 1897. In 1908, he was a leader in organizing the Scottish Rite bodies of the Valley of Toledo. The same year he demitted from the Valley of Dayton and became a charter member of the new valley, where he held his membership up to the time of his death.

      The highest honor of the fraternity was conferred upon Mr. Curtin on Oct. 1, 1912. He was crowned sovereign grand inspector general, honorary 33d degree, at Boston, Mass., with the Centennial class of the Supreme Council, Sovereign Grand Inspectors General. Chauncey M. Depew was a member of the same class.

      Mr. Curtin was one of the few and one of the first of Lima Masons ever to receive the highest honor of the fraternity. Lima will not have another 33d degree Mason until September of this year when William H. Stolzenbach, 757 W. High-st, will be crowned at Detroit.

      (published in The Lima News, Monday, June 8, 1931)
    Person ID I11815  OurNorthernRoots
    Last Modified 26 Nov 2020 

    Family Effie M. Allen,   b. 1868, Allentown, Alma, Allegany Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jan 1937, Lima, Allen Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Married 26 Jul 1891  Belmont, Allegany Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Emmett R. Curtin, Jr.,   b. ca 1893, Allentown, Alma, Allegany Co., New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Oct 1949, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 56 years)
    Last Modified 26 Nov 2020 
    Family ID F3126  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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    Link to Google MapsBorn - - Pennsylvania, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 26 Jul 1891 - Belmont, Allegany Co., New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Woodlawn Cemetery, Lima, Allen Co., Ohio, USA Link to Google Earth
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