PHILIP F. ORTMAN
The invention of the automobile and its subsequent development has created several industries in the United States in which there are several millions of dollars invested. When Elwood Haines displayed his first little gasoline motor in the streets of Kokomo in 1891, he probably little realized that within the course of a few years the automobile would be hte highly developed machine it is today. Automobiles have been built which have traveled faster than any engine which was placed on a railroad track, and the makers of automobiles say that the limit has not yet been reached. The automobile and its manufacture has given employemnt to thousands of men, while other thousands are engaged in automobile repairing. There is scarcely a city of any size in the United States but has a garage of some kind with facilities for the repair of automobiles. Washington C. H. boasts of one well equipped garage and repair shop and Philip F. Ortman, the manager of the P.F. Ortman Motor Company, is recognized as one of the most expert machinists of this section of the state.
Philip F. Ortman, the son of Charles Louis and Elizabeth (Yeoman) Ortman, was born in Fayette county, Ohio, March 21, 1868. His father was born in Prussia, Germany, and came to this country when a young man, settling first in Ross County, Ohio, and later in Fayette county. After coming to this country he married Elizabeth Yeoman, who was born in this county, she being his second wife. His first wife was a Miss Compton, and to his first union four children were born, George, John, Albert and Charles. To the second union there were four children born also: Enos, a farmer of Union township, this county; Amy, the wife of M.L. Johnson, of Columbus, Ohio; Philip F., with whom this history deals, and Milton C., of Washington C.H. Charles Louis Ortman was a soldier in the regular army in Germany and served three years, as was required by the law of that country. He died in Fayette county in 1875, being about sixty years of age at the time of his death. The parents of his second wife, Elizabeth Yeoman, were Enos and Amy (Baughn) Yeoman, natives of Fayette County. Enos Yeoman and wife were the parents of thirteen children, Elizabeth, Lucy, Bethiah, Sarah, Allen J., Walter, Milton, Newton, Albert and four who died in early childhood.
Philip F. Ortman was reared in Fayette and Ross Counties, Ohio, on the farm and received a good common school education in the public schools and remained with his parents until he was grown. He then opened a general repair shop in Lattisville, Ohio, and a year later moved to Fayette county, where he opened a shop in Eber, and lived there for several years. In 1908 he came to Washington C. H. and opened the first automobile agency in the city, since when he has sold several hundred machines in the city and the surrounding community, handling several different kinds of automobiles. He also has a large garage and a machine shop equipped with all the latest and most approved machinery for any kind of automobile repairing. Bieng an expert mechanic it was easy for him to become acquainted with the mechanism of the automobile, and he has built up a reputation as an expert in this new line of business.
Mr. Ortman was married August 16, 1891, to Vianna Davis, the daughter of Ira and ---- (Bryan) Davis, and to this union has been born one daughter, Lela Grace. Mrs. Ortman is a native of this county, as were her parents. Her mother died several years ago and her father is still living in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are the parents of several children, Amaljah, Vianna and several who died in childhood.
Fraternally, Mr. Ortman is a member of Confidence Lodge No. 265, Knights of Pythias. Politically, he is not affiliated with any particular party, but casts his vote, especially in local elections, for the best men, and not because they happen to be on some party ticket. While living in Union township, in this county, he served as school director, filling that position in an acceptable manner for fifteen years. He is a popular business man and as manager of and stockholder in the P. F. Ortman Motor Company, has built up a business which is second to none in the county. He has a large acquaintance throughout the county and is well known and highly esteemed as a reliable and straightforward business man and good citizen.