Biography of Martin T. Hodson of Pioneer, Ohio
Because of the extent and quality of his usefulness, his commercial soundness and acumen, his public spirit and integrity, and his nearness to the fundamental requirements of citizenship, Martin T. Hodson, president of the Pioneer Banking Company, of Pioneer, Ohio, affords an encouraging example of success gained through the proper use of every-day abilities and opportunities. Of Mr. Hodson it may be said that his career is a response both to his early teaching and to the needs of his environment. He was born on a farm in Bridgewater Township, Williams County, Ohio, four miles southwest of Pioneer, December 10, 1855, and is a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Stephenson) Hodson, the latter a native of near Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio.
Thomas Hodson was born in England, and after the death of his father accompanied his widowed mother to the United States at the age of nine years. Reared in Williams County, as a youth he went to Richland County, where later he was married, and in 1854 came to Bridgewater Township, this county, where he spent the rest of his career. As a young married man he worked by the month until he was able to purchase his first farm in Richland County, and after coming to Williams County continued his industrious and intelligent work to such good effect that he became one of the substantial men of his community. He was a reader and student, qualified as an attorney, and was frequently called upon to deliver public addresses and to speak for candidates during electoral campaigns. He was independent in politics, while his fraternal connection was with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which he joined at an early day. He and Mrs. Hodson were consistent members of the Christian Church. They were the parents of seven children, of whom one died at the age of thirteen years, the others reaching maturity, as follows : George and Job, who are residents of Montpelier, Ohio; Martin T.; Mary, the wife of A. J. Bostetter, of Montpelier; Sophia A., the widow of Henry Umbenhaur, of Toledo; and Minnie H., the widow of George Letcher, of Berkeley, California.
Martin T. Hodson was reared on the home farm four miles south-west of Pioneer, and acquired his education in the district schools. When he was only fourteen years of age he began clerking in a general store, and three years later started in business on his own account at Pioneer. Commencing in a modest manner, he gradually developed his interests and increased his holdings. He installed a fine, clean and varied line of goods, charged reasonable prices and gave ample returns. The subterfuge of misrepresentation was relentlessly tabooed from his establishment, and in consequence he became thoroughly trusted and relied upon by the larger part of the town and surrounding country. Gradually, the farmers began to deposit money with him and this practice finally became so common that he was forced to open a private bank. Later he moved to the location of his present institution and took in two partners, J. A. Grant and Dr. George Young, and this was incorporated as a state bank in 1913, with Mr. Hodson as president; A. F. Young as vice president, and J. A. Grant, cashier; H. G. Young being secretary and the board of directors consisting of M. T. Hodson, Fred M. Hodson, A. F. Young, H. G. Young, J. A. Grant and A. Grant. Mr. Hodson is the owner of several farms and much town property, has a fruit farm in Cuba and is interested in a number of other ventures.
Mr. Hodson married Emma D. Eggleston, who was born in Madison Township, Williams County, Ohio, one mile south of Pioneer, and was educated in the schools of this place, in which she later became a teacher. To Mr. and Mrs. Hodson there has come one son, Fred M., born November 2, 1880, a graduate of the Pioneer schools and of the university at Ada in pharmacy, who is now associated in business with his father. He married Grace Sibley and they are the parents of two children: Catherine, born in 1911, and Phyllis, born in 1917. Fred M. Hodson is a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias. The family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church.