Tribute To the Memory of Nicholas Ohmer
(From the Dayton & Montgomery County Public Library – Taken from the scapbook of James O. Arnold)
GIVEN BEFORE THE MEMBERS OF THE HISTORICAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
Hon. N. H. Albaugh Unanimously Elected to Succeed to the Presidency With Mr. F. W. Ritter as Vice President
The Montgomery County Horticultural society held its regular monthly meeting Wednesday March 4, at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. May, 22 Locust street, Riverdale. The day being pleasant, there was a large attendance, and Mr. and Mrs. May proved to be hospitable entertainers. After the usual sumptuous dinner Vice President Albaugh took the chair. Referring to the death of President Ohmer, he stated that a committee had been named to prepare a suitable expression of the feeling of the society and called on the secretary to read the paper. The paper as follows:
PRESIDENT, NICHOLAS OHMER, IN MEMORIAM Members of the Horticultural Society
Two days ago the grave closed over the mortal remains of our beloved friend and leader, the president of our society, Mr. Nicholas Ohmer. Today, so soon after his departure from among us, we meet together under a sense of bereavement that touches and saddens every heart. During a period of so many years his presence with us at our monthly meetings has been the central source of cheer and animation. That presence has gone out from us forever so far as relates to this world. We shall meet him again, not indeed to discuss fruits and flowers such as grow in our earthly gardens, but in the gardens of Paradise above, there by the side of the River of Life, and under the shade of the Tree of Life, which bears twelve manners of fruits, yielding her fruit every month, and whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.
Its is most fit that today we should pause for a little while to think and speak of the man whom we have ever delighted to honor, and who, through so many years has taken pleasure in rendering to the cause of horticulture and to this society in particular, such unremitting and invaluable service.
Some forty years ago Mr. Ohmer removed from the city to a farm on the adjacent hills for the purpose of engaging in fruit and berry growing, and finding his business both pleasant and profitable he desired to encourage others in the same form of enterprise. And is the greater success could best be achieved through organized association for the discussion of methods and general interchange of ideas, he proposed the formation of a horticultural society. Other gentlemen of progressive spirit joined with him, and the Montgomery County Horticultural society was formed. As we all know, the society thus launched has had a unique history, having never missed a monthly meeting from its beginning until now. What its success has been in attaining the objects it has sought to accomplish it would not be easy to estimate. During all these years no one has ever thought of disputing with Mr. Ohmer the perfect right to remain as its directing head. His singular good judgment, his unflinching enthusiasm, and his ready adaptation to the requirements of any emergency marked him always as the man to guide the deliberations of the society and enabled him also to render the most efficient service to the interest of horticulture, not only in our county, but widely through the state and also in other states. While holding at times responsible relation in other associated enterprises, nothing else so thoroughly enlisted his interest as the cause of horticulture.
But at last his useful career has come to a close. With the ample allotment of four score busy years he has gone to his final earthly rest and to his eternal reward, leaving behind him an honorable record as a citizen and a worthy example as a member of the church with which he was connected. We shall long remember his genial, kindly manner, his hearty, open greetings and his urbane and suave bearing in presiding over our meetings. We shall long miss his presence among us and feel most deeply the loss we sustain. And yet more keenly will he be missed and more keenly will he be missed and more deeply will his loss be felt in the narrow circle of his family, his children, of whom he took so much pleasure in speaking, and yet most deeply of all by the invalid and now widowed wife to whom he was devoted with a tenderness and constancy that knew no bounds. To here especially as a member of our society we extend our sincerest sympathy, with a prayer that our Heavenly Father may greatly sustain her in this day of her deep bereavement.
D. BERGER N. H. ALBAUGH
After the reading of this paper, the secretary read also the following stanzas from the pen of Mr. John Collins:
TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF NICHOLAS OHMER (By John Collins)
With deepest grief our hearts are stirred;
He fills no more his place.
Oh, how we miss the kindly word,
The quiet, modest face.
The smile sincere that ever beamed
From earnest, truthful eyes;
For still through care and grief it seemed
That cheerful smile would rise.
True friends he had on every hand,
Who saw, with growing pride,
How fruits and flowers, throughout the land,
He scattered far and wide.
No garlands rare, that love profound
Has laid upon his bier,
Could match the ones he strewed around
His footsteps, year by year.
No words that loving lips may say
Can go beyond the fact;
He lived a sermon, day by day,
In manner, word and act.
And who of us can take his place
With heart as brave and strong?
Who fill the chair with equal grace—