Inspired by a Family Heritage

Wellington.Group is dedicated to my parents and inspired by multi-generational family members from Wellington, Ohio, a quaint town of less than 5,000 people. For much of its history, Wellington was known for one thing: Cheese.

The family was a truly remarkable group of people known for their trustworthiness, high morals and impeccable character as much as their astute business acumen. This legacy lives on in Wellington.Group today.

A Family Legacy

mayflower

BRAVERY: Our ancestor, Richard Warren, sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 with 130 passengers and crew who risked it all for the ultimate chance to change their lives, practice their religion freely, and live on land of their own. He was the 12th signer of the Mayflower Compact. By 1621, the rough rigors of the voyage and the first winter left only 60 survivors. He eventually brought his wife and children from England to thrive in the “New Land” of America.

grandfather

ENTREPRENEURIAL: In 1866, my great grandfather and his brother founded the first cheese factory in the Wellington township. It was thereafter known as the “Cheese Empire of the Nation,” and the population in this area more than doubled. A “self-made” man, my great grandfather took pride in building a great fortune from humble beginnings. He and his wife had 5 sons, all of whom were educated at Cornell University.

By 1878, more than 40 cheese factories operated in the region, and over half of these were owned by their company. At the industry’s peak in 1879, Wellington shipped out nearly 8.5 million pounds of cheese and over 1 million pounds of butter. The Holstein was Queen, and cheese was King!

Cleveland Trust Company

ECONOMIC SECURITY: Alfred R. Horr, my great-uncle who was their youngest son, devoted his entire life to the study and practice of providing economic security. He was admitted to the Ohio State Bar in 1897, then served as a Vice President and responsible trust officer with the Cleveland Trust Company, the largest bank in the Fourth Federal Reserve District from 1903 to1914. He then became a director, vice president and treasurer of The Equitable, one of the world’s great life insurance companies.

He worked alongside Frederick Goff, John D. Rockefeller’s personal attorney, and helped create the Cleveland Foundation, the world’s first community foundation. Cleveland had the highest concentration of millionaires in the world at the time. He also worked closely with clients who had no training or experience with estate and financial matters but had to deal with this responsibility suddenly thrust upon them.

John D. Rockefeller

He was renowned for his wisdom and keen insights with families and wrote three books about wealth and banking. The forewords were written by eminent businessmen and politicians of the time, such as Newton Baker, the Secretary of War in the Wilson Administration. In his 1935 publication, Embarrassing Dollars, it was written, “He is a man who knows money and money’s worth, who knows men, and women, and children too, with their hopes and fears and aspirations, and I commend his counsel to those whose duty it is to provide for the welfare and happiness of family and dependents”.

In 1918, Alfred created the family trust on behalf of his widowed mother to pass down the benefit of his parents’ hard work to their family. Quite unique for its time, the language of the trust required all beneficiaries to be of impeccable character, having both the ability and desire to live useful lives, ambition, thrift, and the appreciation of the value of money.

STEWARDSHIP: My grandfather, Charles W. Horr, Jr. the local Wellington attorney, continued his family’s legacy and faithfully looked after the affairs of the people in this and nearby communities. He taught me the value of education, hard work, kindness and generosity.

SENSE OF HUMOR AND HEART: My father, John W. Adam, was orphaned at the age of 15 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as a member of the USMC Band at 17. Despite his family hardship, he had the greatest sense of humor throughout his life of anyone I’ve ever met. Following his military service, he married my mother and relocated to California. My mother had the kindest heart in the world. Together they raised and educated four children, all while being actively involved in our school activities, athletic events, church, and other community events. They taught me I could do anything I put my mind to and to always do the right thing by others.

My gratitude overflows for these amazing family members who passed on their values - not just their valuables. Each one has uniquely influenced the character of my life with bravery, an entrepreneurial spirit, economic security, stewardship, sense of humor and heart, along with the purposes of Wellington.Group.

A special note of thanks and gratitude to Nicole M. Hayes, author, historiographer, and publisher of 19th-Century Wellington, a site devoted to the exploration of the people and landmarks in rural Ohio during its first decades. My discovery of her work and research about my family was the meaningful genesis for Wellington.Group. Excerpts and original content here have been reproduced with permission from https://19thcenturywellington.wordpress.com/about/

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