Heibys Take Pride in Their Agricultural Heritage
Five Heiby brothers left Crawford County, Ohio in 1870 to find good farm ground. They found what they were looking for in the Fort Recovery region of Mercer County.
Fred Heiby purchased his first tract of 80 acres in 1870, then the second tract of 40 acres in 1873. Brothers Phil and Valentine Sr. also settled nearby, as did his son, Valentine Jr. The family members’ land holdings were across the road or next door to each other, enabling all the family easy equipment access to and on the Heiby farms.
Fred was a general contractor, and built the first wooden structure for Trinity Lutheran Church in 1871. The Heiby family also took part in building the church’s current structure in 1904.
Fred would work for 44 years in the Fort Recovery stirrup factory, and would also serve as County Commissioner from 1909 to 1913. When he retired, his son, Frank, took over farm duties. Frank lived on the farm for 96 years, and his son, David, took over the farm when he returned from World War II.
Over the years, some of the land was sold to pay for college educations, to pay other bills, or to help out the community. Today, the 40 acres from 1873 remain in the family. It is owned by Betty Heiby, whose husband Ernest was Frank’s oldest son.
Betty’s son, Paul, registered the farm for his family. His aunts, Mrs. Kathryn Heiby of Portland, IN, and Elizabeth Kandel of Marysville, OH, helped him with research on the family and the farm.