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Bixler, David (1854-1928)

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Christlicher Bundesbote obituary: 1928 Oct 4 p. 7

Birth date: 1854

Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: 1928 Sep 26 p. 8

text of obituary:

David Bixler

Berne, Indiana, Sept. 21. — David Bixler, aged 74 years, pioneer jeweler and optometrist of Berne died at 2:35 o'clock Thursday afternoon at his residence on West Main street. through his death Berne loses a useful citizen, a mechanical genius and a man with a greater practical knowledge of science than very likely any other man in Adams county.

Mr. Bixler was a native of French township, being born on May 29, 1854; his age being 74 years, 3 months and 21 days. He was the only child born to John and Marie Basinger Bixler, and his birthplace is the farm now known as the Ben Gerber homestead. There he received his first taste as a watchmaker, having cultivated his natural skill by a Swiss jeweler in the year 1872. His father was also somewhat of an artisan, especially in turned woodwork.

In 1880 Mr. Bixler moved to Berne with his young family and opened a jewelry shop in Hoffman & Gottschalk's drug store, where he continued until 1886, when he moved into the present quarters of his shop.

In 1892 he opened an optician's studio in his store after having prepared himself for that field. In 1896 he graduated as Doctor of Optics from Northern Illinois School of Ophthalmology and became widely known from that field, however, in 1920 his youngest son, Ermin, followed his father's footsteps and received theh [sic] same degree from the same school and took up the profession in the same shop, where he is in business now.

Mr. Bixler was town treasurer from 1887 to 1902. He served the longest term of office for the town. — 15 years.

He made the first printing press used in Berne' a wooden hand press on which he printed his stationery. The press is kept at the Witness office as a relic.

At least fifteen years before anybody else ever had a telephone in Berne Mr. Bixler had a private line from his shop to his home.

When anybody had a safe in town that could not be opened Bixler opened it for them. Or when anybody wanted the combination lock on the safe changed, Mr. Bixler did it. Many of his special tools that could not be bought anywhere, he invented and manufactured himself.

The large regulator at his store is a product of his construction and he has another similar time piece at home. He also built a scale that responds to the 200th part of a grain, another product of his skill.

Mr. Bixler reared three sons and all followed their father's footsteps in profession, a circumstance that does not often occur.

The deceased was married to Miss Anna Luginbill on July 10, 1871, with whom and their eight children, three years ago he celebrated a happy golden wedding anniversary. All but their first few years of companionship was spent in Berne.

Mrs. Bixler and the following eight children survive: Clara, wife of Dr. Amos Reusser of Berne; Mary, wife of Thomas Hoffman of Logansport; Frank of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Noah of Decatur; Laura, wife of William Rinder of Hastings, Nebraska; Emma, wife of A. C. Smith, Esther, wife of Albert Winteregg and Erwin D., all of Berne.

Because of poor health Frank in Wyoming, is not expected home for the funeral, which will be held on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 from home and at 2 o'clock from the Mennonite church of which he was a life-long and loyal member. Rev. C. H. Suckau will officiate. Burial will be made in M. B. E. cemetery. — Adams Co. Witness.

The Mennonite obituary: 1928 Oct 4 p. 7

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