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Andrew Patten Henkel
T0 THE average mortal, uninstructed in the true science
of being, so-called success is the reward of persistent
striving and grim determination. It is sometimes
gained through selfish rivalry and competition, and
frequently is attained by the aid of preference and influence. So powerful and necessary seem these aids that the one who cannot command them is often disheartened at his prospects of success. All this is changed under the light of truth, which instructs mortals how to achieve true success through the wisdom of which Solomon said, "Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honor." One of the men of affairs of the past generation in Cincinnati, Ohio, who gave every evidence of possessing this innate knowledge of the true, the real, the genuine, was the late Andrew Patten Henkel. A high purpose and an unconquerable will, vigorous mental powers, diligent study and devotion to duty, are some of the means by which he made himself eminently useful, and he was quite popular, possessing to a marked degree characteristics that win and retain warm friendships. By his kindness and courtesy he won an abiding place in the esteem of his fellow citizens, and by his intelligence, energy and enterprising spirit made his influence felt among his friends and associates during his long residence in the metropolis of southern Ohio, and as a result occupied no small place in the favor of the public. Every ambitious youth who fights the battle of life with the prospect of ultimate success may peruse with profit the biographical memoir herewith presented, for therein is presented the record of a successful, useful and honorable life.
Mr. Henkel was born at Middletown, Ohio, January 8, 1856. His boyhood was spent on his father's farm until he was seventeen years of age, when he moved to Cincinnati. He had the advantages of only a common-school education, not even attending high school; but, being ambitious, he remained a student all his life and by wide miscellaneous home reading and contact with the business world he became an exceptionally well-informed man, if not, indeed, a profound scholar along scientific lines; in fact. he won a wide reputation in one of the most difficult branches of natural science, astronomy. He was ever a seeker of knowledge, always reaching out for the truth, delving to the bottom of things, and no doubt if he had received the advantages of a college training in his youth he would have become one of the great scholars of his day and generation.
In 1873, Mr. Henkel became bookkeeper, on his arrival in Cincinnati, for the Nottingham-Saunders Company. He applied himself assiduously, was alert, wide-awake and courteous, consequently he learned rapidly the details of the business and at the same time won the confidence and admiration of his employers. He continued as bookkeeper until 1880, when he associated himself with the firm of Stearns-Foster Company, and by close application, the exercise of his rare business talents and
keen foresight he was admitted as a member of the firm, with which he remained until within two years of his death. During that period the company's business and prestige steadily increased until it assumed large proportions, due in no small measure to our subject's sound judgment and wise counsel, and he occupied a high position among the progressive men of affairs of the city of Cincinnati, and accumulated a comfortable competency, leaving his family a commodious home and well provided for in every respect.
Mr. Henkel was married, August 28, 1878, to Stella Blanche Gregory, a daughter of Richard Curtis Gregory and Sarah Hester (Griffin) Gregory, the latter a daughter of George and Mary Ann Griffin, both of Cincinnati. Mr. Gregory was a resident of Mason, Ohio. Both the Gregory and Griffin families, like the Henkels, always stood high in their communities, noted for their industry, hospitality and honesty. Mrs. Henkel has one brother living, Hynson Gregory, who is engaged in the clothing business at St. Paul, Minnesota. Mr. Henkel is survived by a brother and a sister, namely: William E. Henkel lives in Talladega, Alabama; and Anna Henkel, who has remained unmarried, lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
The following children were born to Andrew P. Henkel and wife: Fay Morton, who lives in New Rochelle, New York, married Marie Hamel, and they have one child, Dorothy, who is now eight years of age; Roy Gregory, who lives at Pleasant Ridge, a suburb of Cincinnati, married Margaret Leota Clark, and they have three children, Virginia Clark, age nine years, Adelaide, age seven years, and Richard Gregory, age four years; Paul Lester, third child of our subject, was graduated from the Cincinnati College of Music, under the preceptorship of Albina Gorna, and later studied under the famous Portuguese pianist Da Motta, court pianist to the royal family of Portugal, in Berlin, Germany, becoming quite proficient in music; he married Edna Ellis, which union was without issue; the untimely death of this promising young man occurred at the age of twenty-six years; he had a great and noble character, in fact was one of the finest of young men, beloved by all who knew him; he was a wide reader and profound student, and his ability as a musician of rare talent was highly praised by all who had the good fortune to hear him perform. Neville Vanest, fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew P. Henkel, lives at home with his mother, and at this writing is a student in the University of Cincinnati; Andrew Patten, the second, who was named after his father, is also at home.
Mr. Henkel was a director of the Hyde Park Bank. He was president of the Hyde Park Country Club. He was an active and devoted member of the First Universalist Church at Walnut Hills, a suburb of Cincinnati, and was a deacon in the same. He was also president of its board of trustees at the time of his death. He was a very strong churchman and gave liberally to the support of the church and also to charitable movements, but always in a quiet, unostentatious manner, never courting publicity in this
respect, or in fact, any other, being contented to lead a simple home life, giving his attention to his family and his business, and at the same time never neglecting his church. He carried his religion into his every day life and therefore always enjoyed the good will and esteem of his associates in business. He was a man of broad sympathy, his heart going out to the bereaved and distressed, and he liked to help a fellow-man along the road of life to better things.
Mr. Henkel was, as before intimated, devoted to the study of the science of astronomy, and doubtless this fact resulted in broadening his vision and widening his intellectual horizon. He spent much time, often hours, studying the heavens, and he became an astronomer of no mean reputation. He had one of the best equipped observatories in Ohio, -and he often invited his friends to view the skies during some unusual phenomenon. While Halley's comet was visible a few years ago, his observatory was the mecca for those of like tastes as himself. He was one of the most active members of the Cincinnati Astronomical Society. He was never a lodge or club man, preferring to spend his time at home or at his place of business, neither was he in any sense a public man. When not by his fireside with his family, he could usually be found in the observatory which he erected back of his dwelling, looking through his splendid telescope, lost in thought and in wonder at the handiwork of the Creator. He was a man of imposing personality, tall, athletic in build, having the appearance of a born leader of men, and he attracted attention in the crowds in which he moved. He was the type that caused one to turn and look at him the second time. His warm soul shone benignly through his strong features; and this, added to his singularly genial and obliging nature and his genuine worth as a man and citizen, caused him to be universally honored and respected, and his death, which occurred June 4, 1913, to be widely mourned.
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