CHARLES LEVERETT LUCE was born in Windsor, Ashtabula County, Ohio, August 12, 1826, and died at Toledo, September 15, 1886, aged 60 years, one month and three days. His father, Joshua W. Luce, was a farmer. His mother was Mary (Gray) Luce. In 1836, when the son was 10 years of age, the family removed to Steuben County, Indiana, where the father purchased land, which he tilled. To this time, Charles's educational advantages had been limited to a District School, and he had no such advantages thereafter, beyond what he was able to pick up, being employed on the farm until be was 21 years of age, save a portion of the time when engaged with his brother, Cyrus G. Luce, now (1888) Governor of Michigan, in running a Carding Machine and Cloth Dressing. Meantime, the financial condition of the father was such as to tax fully the resources of the sons, who to the extent of their abilities in labor and self-denial, met the demands of the hour, and with success. What was involved in such struggle, none but those acquainted with the conditions of a new and sparsely settled country, can judge. Arriving at his majority in 1847 (the partnership with his brother having been closed), Charles went into a Store as Clerk, to take such wages as his employer, upon trial of him, should see fit to pay. He soon was placed on a salary of $15.00


per month, with board. Remaining there for one year, he made arrangements for opening a Store on his own account at Orland, Indiana, and visited New York for the purchase of goods for such purpose. As capital for the venture, he had $350, the profits on 40 acres of wheat which his fattier had permitted him to raise on the farm. Without letters of credit, so common in such cases, he was left, as basis for purchase, chiefly to the small sum at his command, and whatever of confidence his simple statement and personal appearance might do for him. Suffice it to say, be found no difficulty in obtaining all the goods he wished, which were shipped to Orland, when his business life was fairly inaugurated. From the start it was a success, so much so that ere long he opened a second store at Angola, in the same County with Orland, in which were employed as Clerks, Frederick C. Chapin and James Blass. In 1856 Mr. Luce engaged largely in the Cattle trade-purchasing stock in his neighborhood and taking them to New York for market. It was in connection with one of these trips, that occurred the incident so characteristic of him), mentioned in the biographical sketch of Mr. George Emerson, elsewhere. Mr. Luce continued in business in Indiana until 1865, Mr. Chapin meantime becoming associated with him. At the date named was formed the firm of Luce, Chapin &, Blass, which came to be so well known in the Wholesale Dry Goods trade at Toledo. Their first location was at 176 Summit Street (old number), whence they soon removed to 32-34 Summit Street (old number), remaining there until the removal in February, 1873, to the resent location, 132-134 Summit (old number). n 1874, the co-partnership having expired by limitation of time, Mr. Luce continued the business, under the firm name of C. L. Luce Co., which arrangement existed until his death. Not long thereafter was organized The L. Luce Company, by which the business is yet (1888) continued. With all the constant demands of a large business on his attention, r. Luce found time for active co-operation with his fellow-citizens in many directions for he common welfare. The various local enterprises designed for such purpose, were sure to have his sympathies and largely his active and efficient support. From time to time, during is 21 years residence in Toledo, he was associated with various enterprises of public nature. He was a stockholder and a Director in the Toledo, Ann Arbor and Northern Railroad ; in he Toledo, St. Louis and Kansas City Railroad; in the Turnbull Wagon Company; and the Second National Bank of Toledo. For any years he was largely interested in Toledo Street Railways. Few of the business men Toledo took as active an interest as did Mr. Luce in current political affairs, though ever with reference to official position, the few offices held by him being purely of a local character, as member of the Board for the Equalization of Taxes, and of the City Sinking Fund Commission, in both of which his judgment was very serviceable. Politically, he was a Republican, as he formerly was a Whig, and was always recognized as potential in party matters. Throughout his long business life, his upright bearing and sound discretion were fully recognized and appreciated, giving him much influence wherever his name was known. Such exceptional power was due, first, to his known intelligence and sound judgment; and second, to the characteristic independence and frankness of his treatment of questions challenging his attention. He knew no fear in the utterance of his opinions, but met all points of difference from the stand-point of reason and justice. Hence, the special influence of his judgment. His unremitted devotion of time and effort to the various interests engaging his attention-especially his large mercantile trade, extending over several States -finally proved too much even for his strong constitution and careful habits of life; and for some time before his death, he was compelled largely to suspend active participation in business. His death was regarded as a special loss to Toledo, as shown by the general expression of regret on that occasion. The funeral services were held at his late residence, 541 Summit (old number), and were attended by large numbers of citizens, including members of the various branches of trade. Reverend Albert S. Hobart, Pastor of First Baptist Church, conducted the services, assisted by Reverend Win. W. Williams, Pastor of First Congregational Church. Mr. Luce was married at Orland, Indiana, October 2, 1850, with Miss Elmira Childs, who survives him, as do their five children-Mrs. Jesse G. Gould, Mrs. Clarence Brown, Mrs. Wm. H. Harrison, Mrs. F. W. Rundell, and Arthur B. Luce, all of Toledo.

Submitted By: John G. Parker lll