HENRY M. CLINE
Henry M. Cline was a man whom to know was to respect and honor and in Logan county, where he long made his home, he enjoyed the warm friendship of many with whom he came in contact. He was born March 12, 1834, in Cleveland, Ohio. His father Joseph Cline, was a native of Winchester, Virginia, born January 14, 1790 and the mother of our subject was born in the same place exactly ten years later. Her maiden name was Leah Secrist. The father of our subject was a wheelwright by trade and was living in Guernsey county, Ohio, at the time of his marriage. For six years he was a resident of Cleveland, in this state, and in 1834 he removed to Auglaize county, where he entered a tract of land from the government, upon which the village of New Hampshire now stands. Both he and his wife died in that locality in 1856.
Henry M. Cline was reared under the parental roof, largely spending his boyhood days in Auglaize county, Ohio. For four years, however, prior to the Civil war he was upon the prairies of Iowa. On
the 23d of October, 1853, he was united in marriage to Miss Martha J. Mahan, a daughter of James and Nancy Mahan She was born November 4, 1834, in Wayne township, Auglaize county, and her father was the first justice of the peace of that township. A year after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Cline removed to Iowa where he followed farming for over four years and then returned to Ohio.
At that time he purchased a part of the old homestead, which he continued to cultivate until after the inauguration of the Civil war, when his patriotic spirit was aroused and he enlisted in Company B
of the Forty-fifth Regiment of Ohio Volunteers. In the second regular engagement in which he participated, he was captured. This occurred on October 20 1863, at the battle of Philadelphia, Tennessee. Mr. Cline endured all the horrors of that slow starvation and abuse which made rebel prisons infamous in the eyes of the civilized world. He was incarcerated successively in Libby prison at Richmond, Virginia, at Belle IsIe and at Andersonville, which was then under the control of the inhumane Captain Wirz. That imprisonment left traces on the body and mind of Mr. Cline never to be effaced, but he was still under thirty years of age and the vigor of a strong constitution measurably restored him and fitted him for more than a generation of activity and useful life.
After his return from the war Mr. Cline established a grocery store in New Hampshire, Ohio, where he resided continuously until 1875, when he came to Belle Center. Here he dealt in grain for one year and then turned his attention to merchandising. In business affairs he was notably prompt, energetic and reliable, and all who knew him entertained for him in high regard for his sterling worth and fidelity to principle.
One of the marked characteristics of Henry M. Cline was his devotion to the welfare and happiness of his wife and children. By his first marriage he had five children who survive the wife and mother, who died April 30, 1867. Sarah D., the eldest, is the wife of Joseph Macbeth of New Hampshire, Ohio, and they have three children, Carrie, Edwin and Nellie. Ella is the widow of Robert McClure, of Texas, and they have seven children: Hart, Ada, Frank, Harry, Louise, Frederick and Clem. Volney H. is a farmer of Richland township, Logan county and married Elizabeth Colvin, by whom he had four children: Robert, Eugene,George and Daniel. Ettie B. is the wife of William Colvin of Belle Center, by whom she has a daughter, Martha. Elizabeth F. is the wife of Charles Sibley and their four children are Howard, Ralph, Laura and Wade.
On the 13th of February, 1868, Henry M. Cline was married a second time, Margaret A. Conley becoming his wife. She was born May 25, 1844, in Auglaize county, a daughter of John and Eliza (Marshall) Conley. Her father died during her early girlhood. He was of Irish descent and resided during the greater part of his life in Shelby and Auglaize counties of Ohio. He passed away at the age of about fifty years and was survived by his wife for about seventeen or eighteen years. She was born in Sidney, Shelby county, and was a member of the United Presbyterian church. Her death occurred when she was about fifty-nine years of age. In the Conley family were six children, all of whom are still living, namely: William, who is a real estate dealer in Charles City, Iowa; Mrs. Margaret Cline; Charles, who is a carpenter of Bellefontaine; Martha, the widow of David Angel and a resident of Columbus, Ohio; Henry L., who resides in Oklahoma; and Alfonso, who is a farmer of Van Wert, Ohio. The children born of the second marriage of Mr. Cline are as follows: Charles H., who is a clerk in a dry goods store in Rushsylvania, married Minnie Fisher and has three children, Laura, Mary and Harry. George H., who like his older brother, was born in Auglaize county, now resides in Kenton, Ohio. He wedded Mary Lease and their children are Gerald, Leah and Helen. Blanche, born in Auglaize county, Ohio, is now clerking in a general store in Belle Center. Clara, born in Logan county, is a teacher in the Union school of Belle Center. Joseph H., born in Logan county, is an attorney at law in Oklahoma. Hugh Marshall, born in this county, is now attending school.
Henry M. Cline, whose worth and ability was widely recognized by his fellow citizens, was called to a number of public offices. For four years he was sheriff of Logan county and during that period resided in Bellefontaine from 1881 until 1885, discharging his duties in a very acceptable, prompt and faithful manner. For many years he was justice of the peace and for several terms was mayor of Belle Center. Just previous to his death he was again chosen to that position, in which he was serving at time of his
demise. His administration of the affairs of the town was prompt business-like, progressive and beneficial and over the record of his public career, as of his private life, there falls no shadow of wrong
or suspicion of evil. He was a man of strong native intelligence, possessed literary tastes and was always an omnivorous reader. During the months of his last illness he read many volumes of standard
history and literature in addition to the leading periodicals of the day. He was a patron of popular education and gave his children the best school advantages possible. Whatever tended to benefit the
community along educational lines received his endorsement and he put forth every effort in his power to secure advancement in such directions. He was always found loyal and faithful in all relations
of life, as a soldier, as a citizen and a friend, and as husband and father. He was one of the members of the Grand Army Post. At a meeting of the city council held to take action upon the death
of Mr. Cline the following resolutions of respect were passed:
Whereas, it has pleased Almighty God in all his all wise providential dealings to remove
an esteemed and influential citizen of our village; therefore,
Resolved. That we, the members of the village council, express our sorrow at his removal
from our midst and at the same time bow in submission to the will of Him who doeth all
things well and recognize that in his death Belle Center has lost an eminent citizen and
Resolved. That we extend our heart-felt sympathy to the bereaved wife and family, in the
loss of husband and father.
Resolved. That these resolutions recorded in our minutes and presented to the Belle Center
Herald, Logan County Index, Bellefontaine Examiner and the Bellefontaine Republican
with a request for their publication and a copy be sent to the family of our deceased mayor.
Gen. Robert P. Kennedy, The Historical Review of Logan County, Ohio, (Chicago: The S.J. Clark Publishing Co., 1903), 618-620.