Joseph Gerber, one of the proprietors of the tannery at Fremont, and one of the active, enterprising and foremost business men of that village, as well as a representative man of the county, was born in Haldinand Co., Ontario, Jan 12, 1845. When only nine years of age he moved with his parents, Daniel and Mary Gerber, to Valparaiso, Ind. He remained at home until he was 21 years of age. During the meantime, besides working in his father's tannery, he attended college at different periods. At the age of 16 years he began to learn the tanner's trade under the instruction of his father; and when he arrived at man's estate he was appointed superintendent of his father's tanning business, at Douglas, Allegan Co., Mich. Two years subsequent to assuming this position he entered into partnership with his father, and, since that period, has had exclusive control of the tanning business, ever proving himself a most careful, shrewd and worthy manager and business man.
Mr. Gerber came to Fremont in September, 1874, and opened a tannery which had previously been built, and of which he had the sole management. He carried on a large and successful business and was accounted one of the safest men in the community. He held various local official positions, and always to the perfect satisfaction of his constituents. He held the office of Village Trustee since its organization, with the exception of one year, and was a member of the School Board for six years, and Chief of the Fire Department for three years. He was an active and faithful member of the leading benevolent societies, and was the first presiding officer in the Fremont Lodge. No. 741, K. of H., and also the first presiding officer in Olive Branch Lodge, No 14, of Mich., Order of Chosen Friends. He was Worshipful Master of Pilgrim Lodge, F. & A.M., in 1881-2. In politics he was a Democrat.
Mr. Gerber was married in Canada, March 6, 1870, to Agnes, a daughter of John and Mary (Hundberger) Moyer, who was born in Canada, Sept 29, 1852. They had four children: Frank, born July 12, 1873; Harry, Dec 10, 1877; Theron D., born Feb 12, 1871, died Sept. 19, 1880; May is deceased.
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