Joseph M. Vail, manager of the Vail Cooperage Company at Bryan, in this connection exercises important executive function in the furtherance of the successful operations of one of the prominent industries of Williams County, and he is consistently to be designated as one of the progressive and representative business men of this favored section of the Buckeye State.
Mr. Vail was born at Ossian, Indiana, October 27, 1862, and is a son of Thomas and Martha (Shepard) Vail, both of whom were born in Ohio, where they were reared and educated, their marriage having been solemnized in Coshocton County, this state. Thomas Vail was a contractor in connection with the construction of the line of the Pennsylvania Railroad through Indiana, and for a time was keeper of a toll gate on the old toll road running south from Fort Wayne, that state. He finally established himself in a modest cooperage business at Ossian, Indiana, but later he assumed a contract in connection with the construction work on the Lake Erie & Western Railroad, near Ossian. He continued to maintain his residence at that place until his death, and his widow was a resident of Decatur, Indiana, at the time of her death, in November, 1911. Concerning their children the following brief data are available: Solomon is now a resident of Washington, D. C.; Ephraim A. resides at Portland, Arkansas; Angeline is deceased; Elizabeth resides in the State of Missouri; John W. maintains his home at Decatur, Indiana; Joseph M. is the immediate subject of this sketch; Lucy is the wife of Daniel Spring, of Decatur, Indiana; and Aaron T. resides in the City of Fort Wayne and is connected with his brother Joseph in business. The parents were for several years residents of the State of Iowa, but on their return to Indiana re-established their home at Ossian.
Joseph M. Vail gained his early education in the public schools of Indiana and Iowa, and in his youth he became actively associated with his father’s cooperage enterprise at Ossian. He became an expert workman as a cooper, and gained full experience in connection with all details of this line of industrial enterprise. He continued his residence in Indiana until 1900, when he came to Bryan, Ohio, and established and equipped the present modern plant of the Vail Cooperage Company, of which he has since continued the executive head and efficient general manager, a large and substantial business having been developed under his careful direction of both manufacturing and commercial policies. Mr. Vail is a vigorous and progressive business man, is a republican in political allegiance and is affiliated with the Bryan Lodge of the Knights of Pythias.
At Defiance, Ohio, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Vail to Miss Tena Nofsinger, and they have one daughter, Catherine, who was born January 20, 1911.
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.