LEO M. FLESH
Leo M. Flesh. The history of the Miami Valley is a history of diversified attainments. From the primitive struggles of the early pioneers to the tense industrial and other activities of today it truly is an absorbing story. The great manufacturing life of this valley may be said to have commenced with the building of the Miami Canal, the first great outlet of commerce. The reader, in following the general history of this work, will see the gradual unfolding of the different elements, in each generation, which have built, collectively, the great Miami Valley of today. It is very proper throughout these pages that we divert from time to time to the personal factors who have played a conspicuous part in the life of the Miami Valley. If it is proper to treasure the deeds of the earlier lights of our pioneer history, it should be eminently proper to chronicle the greater achievements of those of today. In this instance we refer to the well-known manufacturer of Piqua, Leo M. Flesh. Mr. Flesh is a native of Piqua, having been born at that city September 20, 1863, the eldest son of Henry and Caroline Flesh. A complete sketch of the career of Henry Flesh will be found elsewhere in this work. Leo M. Flesh received his elementary education in the schools of Piqua, supplemented by a course in business training at an eastern school. His father had established several business enterprises at Piqua, and Leo M. Flesh succeeded to the retail clothing business which had been founded by the elder man. Subsequently, realizing, the greater possibilities, Leo M. Flesh embarked in manufacturing and was one of the founders of the flourishing Atlas Underwear Company, of this city, of which he is now president. This concern has in a great measure earned an enviable reputation for Piqua as the center of underwear manufacture in the United States. The Atlas Underwear Company maintains plants at Piqua and Urbana, Ohio, and Richmond, Ind., and a full account of this industry will be found in the industrial section of this work. Aside from his manufacturing interests, Mr. Flesh has been active in the general business life of Piqua. In former years he was a member of the real estate firm of Flesh, Geyer & Davis, which concern platted the Favorite Addition to the city and numerous others. He aided in the establishment of beneficial public utilities as one of the builders of the local street railway and of the interurban running between Piqua and Troy, and in addition was the head of the independent telephone company of Piqua and held large telephone interests all over the country. Likewise he was one of the owners of the Piqua Electric Company prior to its merger with the Dayton Light and Power Company. Mr. Flesh is now president of the Citizens National Bank of Piqua, chairman of the board of directors of the Piqua Savings Bank, chairman of the board of directors of the Cron Kilns Company, a full account of which is found elsewhere in this history, and interested as a large stockholder in numerous other industrial enterprises. Mr. Flesh participates in all movements for the general welfare and advancement of the community and is keenly interested in the civic and social betterment of his home city. He is vice-president of the local Young Men's Christian Association, a member of the board of trustees of the Young Women's Christian Association and a life member of the board of trustees of Memorial Hospital of Piqua. His war work covered a wide field of activity. He was called to Washington, D. C., during the World war period, and placed on one of the purchasing boards of the United States Government, and in many avenues, both local and national, rendered valuable and valued service. He was later chosen as trustee of the Miami County War Chest and also served as county chairman for the Young Men's Christian Association. Fraternally, Mr. Flesh holds membership in the Masonic order, in which he has attained the Scottish Rite degree, and is a Shriner; while socially he belongs to all the leading clubs of Piqua, Dayton and Springfield, and holds membership in similar organizations at New York and elsewhere. Mr. Flesh is interested in agriculture and operates one of the finest farms in Miami county adjoining Piqua; and, with Mrs. Flesh, owns the largest office building of Piqua, the Orr-Flesh building. The Flesh home here is a handsome edifice, probably the most palatial residence of the community. The art collection found in this mansion is noted as a rare and valuable one. It includes numerous masterpieces, selected both for their beauty and rare value, which serve to make it one of the finest collections of its kind in this section of the State. Mrs. Leo M. Flesh, prior to her marriage, was Miss Gertrude Smith, of Dayton, a daughter of the well-known George W. Smith, of that city. To Mr. and Mrs. Flesh there have been born three children: Alfred L., George A. and Gertrude. George A. Flesh attended the public school at Piqua, Phillips Exeter Academy and Hamilton College, and during the great World war enlisted in the United States Army as an infantryman, was in training at Camp Sherman, later being attached to the personal department, and, at the time the Armistice was, signed, was in active service in Texas. He is now identified with the factory of the Atlas Underwear Company at Piqua, where he is known as a thoroughly capable and reliable man of business. Alfred L. Flesh was educated in the public schools of Piqua, at Phillips Exeter Academy and at Williams College, following which he became identified with the Richmond (Ind.) plant of the Atlas Underwear Company. Until 1913 he remained there and then came to Piqua as vice-president of the Atlas Underwear Company. He is also a managing director of the Cron Kilns Company, in addition to which he is a director of the Citizens National Bank and of the Border City Building and Loan Association. He is a vestryman at St. James Episcopal Church of Piqua, and, like his father and brother, is prominent in club life at Piqua, Dayton and Springfield. During the war, he enlisted in the United States Aviation Corps, and was assigned to Sother Field, Americus, Ga. He received his honorable discharge in December, 1918.
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