Hezekiah Poast has gained secure vantage-place as one of the leading buyers and shippers of hay and grain in his native county and maintains his residence and business headquarters at Bryan, the county seat. He was born on a farm one mile south and one-half mile west of Bryan, and the date of his nativity was December 11, 1854. His parents, John and Catherine (Rodkey) Poast, were born and reared in Pennsylvania, where their marriage was solemnized, and they were an ambitious young couple when they came from the old Keystone state to Ohio and established their home on a farm near Bryan. There the father continued his activities as one of the substantial farmers of the county until within a few years of his death, in 1861, when still a comparatively young man, his widow surviving him by a number of years and both having been earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of their eleven children only three are now living, all of the others having died when young. Esther, eldest of the three surviving children, is the wife of George Dustan; Hezekiah, of this review, is the next younger; and Susan is the wife of George Dick, of Williams County.
Hezekiah Poast was about seven years old at the time of his father’s death and was reared to adult age on a farm, the while he made good use of the advantages afforded him in the schools of Williams County. He was but fourteen years of age when he found employment at farm work, and he received as compensation for his services the sum of $5 a month. He continued at farm work until he was eighteen years of age, and his maximum wages in the meanwhile never exceeded $12 a month. At the age noted he took charge of the operation of a farm owned by George Burns, and after thus continuing three years he rented the farm for one year. He then took charge of his mother’s farm, on which he continued his activities until he had attained to the age of thirty-seven years, when he established his residence at Bryan and engaged in the buying and shipping of live stock. With this line of enterprise he continued his association until 1885, when he began buying and shipping hay, and later he expanded his operations by including the handling of grain. With this important business he has continued his connection to the present time, and he has long controlled a substantial business, based upon fair and honorable dealings and careful and conservative policies. In the business he now has as his efficient coadjutor his son-in-law, George Dawson, and they own five well-equipped places for the reception and shipping of hay and grain. These headquarters are at Bryan, Montpelier and Alvordton, Williams County, and Defiance and Moats, Defiance County, and through this medium they control a large percentage of the shipping business in these lines in this part of the state.
Mr. Poast is a republican in his political proclivities but has been essentially a business man and thus has had no predilection for political activity or public office. He has been an earnest member of the United Brethren Church since he was fifteen years old and has been liberal and zealous in the furtherance of the various departments of church work, as has also his wife. He has been for twenty-seven years a member of the board of trustees of the United Brethren Church at Bryan. Mr. Poast chose as his wife Miss Mary E. Arnold, and they have one daughter, Lanorma, who was graduated in the Bryan High School and who later attended the Tri-State College, at Angola, Indiana. She is a talented musician and began teaching music when she was but fourteen years of age. By this means she earned the money with which to purchase her piano. She is now the wife of George Dawson, who is associated with her father in business, and their one child, Poast Dawson, was born in 1916.
Source: Bowersox, Charles A. ed. A standard history of Williams County, Ohio: an authentic narrative of the past, with particular attention to the modern era in the commercial, industrial, educational, civic and social development , Vol. 2. Publisher Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co. 1920.