Benjamin L. Agler

Benjamin Agler in 1935

Born:22 May 1889
Garrettsville, Ohio

Died:1 September 1937 (aged 48)
Youngstown, Ohio

Spouse:Josephine Butler Ford

Children:Blanche Butler
Caroline Leach
Benjamin L., Jr.

Benjamin L. Agler (22 May 1889 - 1 September 1937) was a prominent Youngstown businessman from Garrettsville, Ohio who was active in many aspects of the Youngstown community including the Youngstown YMCA and the Masons. He was on the board of several banks and companies at the time of his death while owning his insurance firm Benjamin L. Agler & Company, Inc. After his death, his wife Josephine Butler Ford Agler donated Agler Lodge and 93 acres of land to Camp Fitch

Early Life and Education

Agler was born in Garrettsville, Ohio, May 22, 1889, the son of Walter E. and Caroline (Leach) Agler. Walter was college educated at Hiram College and started his career as a teacher. After a few years, in 1882, he left his teaching post[1] and became a cashier at the First National Bank of Garrettsville where he stayed for at least 20 years. He also owned an insurance business called W. E. Agler & Son. Walter was very involved in the communnity of Garrettsville and as a member of Board of Public Works was responsible for overseeing the installation of the Garrettsville Water Works. Benjamin's mother, Caroline, was the daughter of an early pioneer of the Western Reserve, Benjamin Leach. In 1889, Walter and Caroline bore an only child, Benjamin, who was presumably named after his maternal grandfather.

Benjamin graduated from Garrettsville High School in 1907 and went on to study at Hiram College as a legacy student while working in his father's insurance business. Benjamin moved to Youngstown in 1914 to work at insurance firm Medbury-Agler Company where he served as vice president.

War Service

As the United States got drawn into World War I, Agler enlisted and attended the first officers' training camp, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant. His initial assignment was to the Fourth Motor Supply Train, 4th Division. Later, he became first lieutenant and then captain. He served in France and participated in at least three important engagements of the war: Meuse Argonne, Chateau Thierry, St. Mihiel. He also was with the Army of Occupation in Germany, being discharged with the rank of captain[2]

Return to Youngstown

In 1922 Agler was married with Josephine Butler Ford, daughter of Edward L. and Blanche (Butler) Ford, natives of Albany, N. Y., and Youngstown, respectively. The Agler family bore four children: Blanche Butler, Mary, Caroline Leach, and Benjamin L., Jr.[2]

In July, 1924, he formed the Benjamin L. Agler & Company, Inc. He was also very active in many business concerns of the day: he was on the board of the Mahoning National Bank and the Mahoning Savings and Trust Company, the Steiner Packing Company and Mahoning Properties Co. Agler contributed to the organization and growth of the insurance field by serving as president of the Ohio Association of Insurance Agents, and a member of the executive committee of the National Association of Insurance Agents. He was also president of the Youngstown Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

At the Youngstown YMCA, Agler served as the Chairman of the YMCA's Boy's Work Committee. He also supported the Boy Scouts, the American Legion, and was a prominent Mason like his father.

Benjamin died in his home 1 September 1937, after a second heart attack.[3][4]. He was 48 years old when he died.

See Also


1. a Harriet (Taylor) Upton; Harry Gardner Cutler, 1910. History of the Western Reserve Vol. 3, Pt. 2. Lewis Publishing Co., pp.1722.
2. a, b James Struthers Stewart, 1935. History of Northeastern Ohio. Historical Publishing Co., pp.658-660.
3. a Youngstown Vindicator, 1 September 2012. This Day in History. Vindicator Printing Company.
4. a Youngstown Vindicator, 1 September 1937. Civic Leader Dies. Vindicator Printing Company.