Thursday, May 1, 2008

Col. Joseph Leffel

According to this advertisement from the early 1900's, Col. Joseph Leffel of Springfield, Ohio, was the smallest businessman in the world. At the time of the picture, Col. Joseph Leffel was 72 years old, 46 inches tall, and weighed 65 pounds.

This is the backside of the above advertisement:

Here is a bio from an 1881 Clark County, Ohio History:
THE HISTORY of CLARK COUNTY, OHIO; CONTAINING Biographies of Early Settlers and Prominent Men (and Women) , CHICAGO; W. H. BEERS & CO.; 1881, page 869.
JOSEPH LEFFEL, fruit and vegetable dealer, Springfield. There are few persons in Clark County who have not heard of Col. Joe Leffel, he being the smallest business man in Ohio, and, in fact, we might say, the United States. His size has not been a bar to his success in life, as he has always been recognized as successful in everything he has undertaken.
He was born in this county Sept. 21, 1833, and is the son of James P. and Elizabeth Leffel, as an infant he was attacked by a disease, which impeded his growth, and now in his 48th year he is but three feet ten inches in height.
He was married March 16, 1876, to Sarah B. Meade, daughter of Alfred and Mary (Hatcher) Meade, who was born in this county Feb. 14, 1857, of which union have been the issue, viz., Joseph F. and Gilbert W.
In 1865, Mr. Leffel opened a photograph gallery, in which he engaged one year, then went into the grocery business, at which he remained about the same time; was also in the bee culture for many years, and is at present engaged in the fruit and vegetable trade on West High street.
His parents were large robust people, his father being over six feet in height, and the family are among the prominent pioneer farmers of Clark County.


Anonymous said...

Loved this story and this man! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting man -- what he lacked in physical size, he made up for in character, determination and hard work! An example for us all.