Robert D. Dumm

From The History of Wyandot County (1884)

Robert D. Dumm, the senior member of the firm of Dumm & Brunner, editors and proprietors of The Wyandot Union, was born in the city of Pittsburgh, Penn., July 3, 1835, being the fourth son of Andrew and Mary (Shall) Dumm. His father served in the American Army during the war of 1812-15, and his paternal grandfather, who was a native of Baden, Germany, served as a soldier during the Revolutionary struggle. His grandparents upon his mother's side were of English origin. In 1842, with his parents, he came to this part of Ohio, and settled at McCutchenville. Three years later he became a resident of the town of Upper Sandusky, and at the age of ten years entered the Pioneer printing-office as an apprentice under William T. Giles. He served with Mr. Giles four years, receiving during that time six months' schooling as per contract. During, the year 1849, in connection with J. Zimmerman, he published the Pioneer, with Elijah Giles as editor. In 1852, he published the paper alone, Elijah Giles still remaining as editor, and continued to be employed in that capacity until 1853, when he entered the Ohio Wesleyan University as a student. In 1854, however, he was induced to leave school and start a new Democratic newspaper at Upper Sandusky, termed the Vindicator, of which he was editor and publisher. This proceeding, was deemed necessary on the part of the Democratic leaders of the county, by reason of the fact that the old Pioneer had degenerated into a Know-Nothing organ.

Mr. Dumm continued to publish the Vindicator about eighteen months, when he sold out to N. W. Dennison, and began the study of law with Hon. Chester R. Mott. In the winter of 1856-57, he attended the Cincinnati Law School, where he graduated with honor and was admitted to the bar. Soon after he located at Freeport, Ill., where he remained nearly one year. He then returned to Upper Sandusky, married, and in February, 1858, purchased the then recently established Union, a journal which he conducted in a very successful manner for a period of eleven years. Having sold out the Union to E. Zimmerman, he removed to Fort Wayne, Ind., in November, 1868, and during the succeeding five years edited and published the Fort Wayne Sentinel,-a daily and weekly newspaper-with unwearied and, we may add, marked ability.

In August, 1873, he again returned to Upper Sandusky, purchased a one-half interest in his old paper, the Union (yet still retaining his share in the Sentinel), and with, L. A. Brunner as his partner, published the Union for a little more than one year, when Charles L. Zahm, by purchase, became the owner of the Union office. Subsequently Mr. Dumm disposed of his disastrous investment at Fort Wayne, and in the fall of 1875 was elected by a very flattering majority to the office of Clerk of Wyandot County. In 1878, he was re-elected to the same position, and thus served for a continuous period of six years. On the 27th of November, 1879, the Union again passed into the hands of its present proprietors-Messrs. Dumm & Brannon On the 1st of September, 1882, this firm purchased one-half of the Marion Mirror office, and during the political campaign of 1883 Mr. Dumm edited that paper with a vigor and ability not easily surpassed.

We have thus briefly outlined the active business career of a gentleman who has been closely identified with the interests of Wyandot County since its establishment. One who, although a strict party man, and a zealous worker for the success of the Democratic party, has ever bean consistent, and has so demeaned himself as to challenge the admiration of even the most bitter of his political opponents. His untiring efforts for the promotion of the material interests, and the general prosperity of his town and county, have also secured for him the gratitude and respect of Wyandot County residents in general, and to-day none stand higher in their estimate of character and true worth than Robert D. Dumm. As already shown, he has grown up, and has been educated in the printing office, and, probably, has done more to bring Wyandot County journalism up to its present proud position than all others combined. As an editorial writer he has acquired a reputation truly enviable, and which, indeed, is not confined by State limits. Ever careful, vigorous, versatile, brilliant and facetious, his readers are never disappointed in the perusal of an article prepared by him.

He was married on the 29th day of December, 1857, to Miss Sarah J., only daughter of Dr. R. A. Henderson, of Upper Sandusky. The results of this union are two sons, both of whom are young gentlemen of notable qualifications--William G., the present efficient Deputy County Clerk, and Frank E., who is now employed in the Union office.