He was born in Lanesborough, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, March 14, 1809, and attended the common schools of the neighborhood until he was fifteen years of age. In 1825, he emigrated to Lewis County, New York, and remained there until the spring of 1830, when he emigrated to Ashland, Ohio, where an older brother (Dr. Joel Luther) had located and entered upon the practice of medicine, some fourteen years before.
At that time, Dr. Luther and John P. Rezner were in company in the mercantile business, and Mr. Luther entered their employ as clerk. In 1831, he formed a partnership with John P. Rezner, and continued the same some six or eight years; and dissolved the arrangement, and formed a new firm with Jacob Crall, known as Luther & Crall, which continued until 1854. In 1849, the firm established a hardware store, under the management of George H. Topping, and the new firm was known as that of H. Luther & Co. In 1851, Luther, Crall & Co. established a bank of deposit and exchange in Ashland, which continued until 1864, when the same stockholders, under a law of Congress, established the First National Bank of Ashland, and Mr. Luther became its president, and Jacob O. Jennings, cashier, and retained the position until 1870, when he withdrew his stock, and Jacob O. Jennings became president. At that time, Mr. Luther purchased a farm in Milton Township, in this county, and for about five years gave his attention to agriculture. Some time prior he owned and conducted the steam flouring mills of South Ashland, and was one of the principal proprietors of the woolen factory connected with it. In 1874, he engaged in the sale of ready-made furniture, and continued to carry on the business until his decease.
For a period of forty-nine years he has been actively engaged as a business man in Ashland. When he arrived it was a mere village. His business career, and his bearing as a citizen, have been influential and honorable. He has done as much as any other citizen to promote the growth and prosperity of the place. He was for a long time postmaster of the town, and was very influential in securing the location of the county seat at this point. At a period when the markets were distant, and the transportation of the surplus products of the country exceedingly expensive, he paid the farmers and producers liberally for their products. In this respect, the interests of the farming portion of the community were promoted, and those of the merchant enhanced. In habits, Mr. Luther was retired, and, though reserved in manner, in conversation he was fluent and agreeable.
Though chronically dyspeptic, he was regarded as a well preserved man of his age, and his prospects of long life were thought to be fair. His sudden demise, unexpected, enables us to realize that in the midst of life we are in death, and what shadows we are and what shadows we pursue.
Mr. Luther was an exemplary member of the Disciple or Christian church for a number of years.
Mr. Luther married Miss Lydia E. Wicoff, of Ashland, February 17, 1835. His family consisted of his wife and three children, Joel H., and two daughters, Helen, wife of John Holland, of Cleveland, and Emily, wife of Andrew J. Burns, of Ashland.
Mr. Luther died Saturday evening, March 15, 1879, aged seventy years and one day, after a brief illness. The remains of Mr. Luther were deposited in the cemetery of Ashland, on Tuesday, March 18, 1879. May he rest in peace.
The circumstances attending the last illness, and decease of Mr. Luther, though generally known in this community, may be repeated in this connection. On Saturday, March 1st, he had gone into the garden for some purpose, when he found his strength failing him, and at once attempted a return to the house. Finding he could not succeed in this, he called to his daughter, Mrs. Burns, who sat by a window near by. Before that lady could reach him, however, he had fallen to the ground, and lapsed into unconsciousness. By the time aid had been summoned, and his removal to the house had been effected, sensibility returned, and towards evening the heart had resumed its normal condition. From this time until the middle of the following week he gradually rallied, and hopes were entertained of his recovery. But on Thursday he grew rapidly worse, to rally slightly the day following, and to relapse again and pass peacefully away Saturday afternoon. With the exception of one short moment of unconsciousness when he was first stricken, he retained his senses until the last moment, conversing easily with his family and friends until death took him.
contributed and transcibed by Russ Shopbell email@example.com