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Old 01-17-2016, 09:37 AM
 
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I got to thinking on this during a walk through Woodland the other day. You know when walk up the hill from the chapel off Brown St, the first big tomb you see is a huge bronze statue of Adam Schantz, beer and water mogul extraordinaire. There are like 4 generations of Schantz in that plot. The further in you go the more you see these names you recognize: Huffman, Ritty, Wright of course. And it got me to thinking.
These families were unimaginably wealthy. I mean, the Ketterings had easily a billion dollars in 2015 money when Charles died in the 50's. And the 50's were not that long ago. Same goes for Deeds, Patterson, Wright, Sherman, Reynolds, there are like a dozen other names.
I was wondering what happened to these families. Are the descendants still living in Dayton? Do they still have that family money? We are only 3 generations removed from the founders of these clans, where is the current generation? Are they active in Dayton culture/politics/business? It seems like they just up and disappeared. You never hear anything about the Kettering family anymore, they seem to have no influence whatsoever. Ditto the Pattersons. It seems all they left is their names and their graves, but the families themselves either left or got diluted over the generations.
Do these families still exist at all? I've always wondered this.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:50 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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Eugene was Charles F. Kettering's son and only child. Eugene Kettering's widow, Virginia, lived out the final years of her life in private accomodations at Kettering Hospital, dying in 2003. My father had some philanthropic dealings with her and held her in very high regard. Eugene and Virginia had three children, a son named Charles who died in a car accident in the early '70s, and two daughters, both of whom lived on the east coast. Susan died last year, and I believe her sister, Jane, lives in New York.

Centerville is home to the Kettering Foundation, a non-partisan research foundation located in a wooded area near where Far Hills crosses I-675. It's a gorgeous but understated facility that even many locals do not know exists. I worked there for a very short time while in college. I think you would find that the Ketterings are still very influential but live extremely private lives as do many wealthy descendents of similar families. Charles F. Kettering III lives in Denver and heads up Ridgeleigh Management Company. (Ridgeleigh Terrace is the name of the Kettering estate outside Dayton that I believe is now a conference center.) Virginia Kettering's obituary states that at her death, she had nine grandchildren and nineteen g-grandchildren.

Last edited by randomparent; 01-17-2016 at 11:01 AM.. Reason: Added links
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:04 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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The Schantz family was enormous, and decendants are still found all over Dayton.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:31 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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The Deeds had three children, two boys and a girl. Only one child survived to adulthood: Charles Walton Deeds. His business associations include Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Mead Corporation, United Aircraft, Aetna Life & Casualty, Connecticut Bank & Trust, and Hartford Electric Light among others. He and his wife, Ruth Belden, had three children. The family lived for the most part in Connecticut, and the third generation also appears to have stayed on the east coast.

Last edited by randomparent; 01-17-2016 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:04 PM
 
Location: The analog world
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James Ritty appears to have remained childless. He and his wife Susan, along with his brother John, were entombed in Woodland Cemetery. It was James and John Ritty who designed the cash register that launched what became NCR when they sold their interests to a group of investors that included the Patterson brothers, John & Frank. James commissioned employees of Barney & Smith to create the beautiful hand-carved bar at Jay's Seafood in the Oregon District, which originally graced Ritty's Pony House in Dayton.

Last edited by randomparent; 01-17-2016 at 06:01 PM..
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:46 PM
 
Location: The analog world
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The Shermans were another very large Dayton family with many descendents in and around the metro area. I believe John Q. Sherman and wife Katherine Neary had eight children. The Sherman mansion on Philadelphia Drive is still controlled by the family trust. Two Sherman family descendants appear to have continued involvement in Standard Register, and a daughter, Patricia, died in 2014. She is buried in Calvary Cemetery. I think there are currently three surviving Sherman children, and as you can imagine, dozens of grandchildren and g-grandchildren.

Last edited by randomparent; 01-17-2016 at 07:17 PM..
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:54 PM
 
Location: The analog world
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The Reynolds family is way beyond three generations at this point, as Lucius Reynolds was born in 1835. He and his wife, Sophia Gardner, had four children who survived to adulthood. Their two sons were Lewis Gardner and Edwin Stanton. Lewis founded Reynolds Airtite Carton Company, and Edwin served as a V.P. For R & R. Daughter Anne Eliza married into the Hughes family, and daughter Sophie Adele married into the Parrott family. The Parrotts made their fortune in linseed oil.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:39 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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As for the Wrights, I believe it's fairly well known that neither Wilbur, Orville, nor sister, Katherine, had children. Katherine was a Latin teacher at Steele High School and did marry later in life. She died shortly thereafter in 1929. Two older brothers Reuchlin & Lorin, had four children each. Reuchlin raised his family in Kansas City, and Lorin stayed in Dayton, supporting his family as a bookkeeper.

NCR purchased Hawthorn Hill, the Wright Brothers estate in Oakwood designed by Schenck & Williams, after Orville's death in 1948 for $75k. The house was donated to the Wright Family Foundation a few years ago. As to what happened to the rest of the Wright Brothers' fortune, an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer lays it out very succinctly...

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Old 01-18-2016, 07:40 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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I'm having a lot of fun tracking these families. Anybody else you want to research? I'm currently working on the Pattersons, but it gets a little complicated. When I sort it out, I'll post a general overview as I've done for the other families.

Please note that for the posts other than the Ketterings, I'm piecing things together using public records, newspaper clippings, and other genealogy resources. While this is all interesting stuff, I'm trying to stay away from outing current descendants who may not appreciate having a spotlight shone on them from an anonymous public forum.

Last edited by randomparent; 01-18-2016 at 08:20 AM..
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Covington, KY
1,879 posts, read 2,121,445 times
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Keep going, for goodness sake!
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