Rush County, Indiana
Genealogy and History
a small part of the INGENWEB and USGENWEB Projects
Transcribed by Lora Radiches
JOHN P. STECH, of Rushville, has lived in that community many years. His experience has covered a diversified field of effort. For many years he was in the newspaper business and at Rushville he has filled several important offices, being now a justice of the peace. Judge Stech was born at Billingsville, Union County, Indiana, September 8, 1862, son of Jacob and Catherine (Helbig) Stech. His father was born in Straussburg, Germany, and his mother in the City of Munich. Jacob Stech came to America and in 1854 was working on a farm that is now included in the City of Cincinnati. In 1855 he began learning the trade of carriage maker at Louisville, work for a Mr. Klein for three years. His employer died and later Jacob Stech married his widow and moved to Billingsville, Indiana, where he opened a shop. He disposed of this business in 1888 and became an employee of the Studebaker Wagon Works at South Bend. In 1904 he went to visit a daughter in California and died there in February, 1905. His wife passed away in 1878. John P. Stech was educated in common schools. As a boy he began an apprentice ship in a newspaper office at Liberty, Indiana, a worked at the printing trade there two year spent one year with the Weekly, Star at Crawfordsville, another year with the Daily News at Troy, Ohio, and then went on the road as a traveling salesman for the Harter Medicine Company of Saint Louis. His territory was in Indian Territory and Texas. In November, 1888, Mr. Stech married Miss Laura Scarff, who was born in Miami County, Ohio, daughter of Bernard B. and Harriett Scarff, her father a native of Virginia and her mother of Indiana. After his marriage Mr. Stech became manager of the North Carlisle, Ohio, Sun and was with that paper until the fall of 1893. For three years he was advertising agent for the Dayton Evening Press, and in August, 1896, became manager of a newspaper at Milroy, Ohio. He has been a resident of Rushville since March, 1898. For a time he was a reporter for the Twice-a-Week Graphic, and in 1900 entered the postal service as a city mail carrier. He was in this service until 1911, when, on account of an injury to a knee, he resigned, and in the fall of 19.13 was elected city treasurer. He served in that office from January, 1914, until January, 1918. Mr. Stech has had some experience in fire insurance work. In the fall of 1918 he was made justice of the peace and has held that office continuously by reelection. He has been clerk of the Modern Woodmen of America since 1904 and has filled all the chairs. Judge Stech is a Republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He resides at 829 North Jackson Street. His wife died July 3, 1912, leaving four children: Howard, chemist for an oil refining company at Denver, Colorado; Harriett, the wife of Dora David, of Rush County, Indiana; Miss Hazel, at home; and Bernard, storekeeper for a knitting factory at Piqua, Ohio.