Randolph County, Indiana
George E. Leggett
In touching upon the
life history of George E. Leggett, one of Winchester's most substantial
and widely-known men of affairs, the writer aims to avoid fulsome encomium and
extravagant praise; yet he desires to hold up for consideration those facts
which have shown the distinction of a true, useful and honorable life-a life
characterized by perseverance, energy, keen discernment and well-defined
purpose. To do this will be but to reiterate the dictum pronounced upon the man
by the people who have known him so long and well, for Mr. Leggett presents,
in his career of many and varied lines of business, an interesting study of the
manner in which adherence to principles and sturdy endeavor may win worthy
distinction in pursuits diverse and ennobling. Throughout an active and
interesting, strenuous and eminently successful career, duty has ever been his
motive of action, and usefulness to his fellow men not by any means a secondary
consideration. Standing today among the most intelligent, enterprising, progressive
and alert of his contemporaries, he has performed well his part in life, and it
is a compliment worthily bestowed to say that Randolph county is honored by his
citizenship, for he has achieved definite success through his own efforts and
is thoroughly deserving of the proud American title of self-made man, the term
being one that, in its better sense, cannot but appeal to the loyal admiration
of all who are appreciative of our national institutions and the privileges
afforded for individual accomplishment; and it is a privilege ever gratifying,
in this day and age, to meet a man who has the courage to face the battle of
life with a strong heart and steady hand and to win in the stern conflict by
bringing to bear only those forces with which nature has equipped him,
self-reliance, fortitude, courage, self-respect and integrity.
was born January 13, 1858, in Alliance, Ohio. He is a son of John D.
and Rachael (McAfee) Leggett, both natives of Harrison county, Ohio. The
father spent his life engaged in the ministry of the Methodist church and was a
prominent and successful man in the same.
George E. Leggett
was reared at various places in the Buckeye state, for his father being a
minister, was assigned to different charges. His early education was in the
public schools of the several towns where he lived when a boy. When seventeen
years old he entered Mount Union college at Alliance, where he studied two years,
then left school to enter business. He came to Winchester, Indiana, when
nineteen years old, purchasing a working interest with Bales Brothers &
Company in the grain and milling business, which he learned thoroughly,
mastering every process from the time the grain was brought into the mill until
it went out again in the form of flour. He remained with this company for a
period of seven years, then went with the Barnard & Lees Manufacturing
Company, of Moline, Illinois, manufacturers of milling machinery. He traveled
for this concern for a period of six years as expert miller, during which he
did much to increase the prestige of his company in the territory to which he
had been assigned. In 1889 he became deputy county clerk of Randolph county,
under John R. Engle. In 1893 he became connected with the Woodbury
Glass Company, then operating at Parker, this county, as an expert
accountant, and has remained with the company ever since. On July 16, 1894, he
was made president and treasurer of the company, having held the position of
president continuously to the present time, his able management being
principally responsible for the steady growth of the same. The plant of the
company was moved from Parker to Winchester in 1904, where it has since been
located, and in 1910 they purchased the Indiana Bottle Company of Shirley, Indiana,
which is now a part of this concern. They manufacture a high-grade line of all
kinds of bottles, boxes, reshipping cases and paper products, which, owing to
their superior quality and workmanship, find a very ready market over a vast
territory. They have large, modern and well equipped plants at both Winchester
and Shirley and employ eight hundred and fifty skilled artisans.
Mr. Leggett has a number of other important business interests. He
is a director in the Peoples Loan & Trust Company, the Farmers and Merchants
Bank and the Citizens Heat, Light and Power Company, having done much through his
wise counsel toward the large success of each. He is a member of the Winchester
Public Library Board, in which he is greatly interested. He is also a member of
the Hoosier Realty Company, the Consumers Coal Company and various other
enterprises. He has by his sound judgment, enterprise and perseverance
accumulated a handsome competency, and is the owner of valuable property, his residence
being among the best and most attractive in Winchester and here the many friends
of the family find true hospitality and good cheer.
Mr. Leggett was married first, on September 29, 1880, to Dora
A. Ross, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Stanford) Ross. The
father was a prominent citizen and at one time was sheriff of Randolph county.
To this union three children were born, namely: John C., who is at this
writing, treasurer of the Woodbury Glass Company; Martha V., who
married George H. Clark, also connected with the Woodbury Glass
Company, and Donald, who died when two years old. The wife and
mother was called to her eternal rest May 26, 1906, and in 1907 our subject was
again married, his last wife being Mrs. E. C. Sammons, formerly Eva
Cottingham, of Indianapolis.
In 1913 Mr. And Mrs.
Leggett made a tour of Europe, embracing England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland,
Italy and France, being abroad about three months. Mr. Leggett has
traveled extensively and, being by nature a keen observer, has profited much by
what he has seen.
Politically, he has
always been a stanch Republican and active in public and political matters. He
is a progressive citizen along all lines and has done much for the general good
of his city and county. Fraternally, he is a thirty-second degree Mason, a
Shriner, and a member of the Knights of Pythias. He and his family are member
of the Methodist Episcopal church and liberally support the same. He is a trustee
in the local church.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson
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