This article appeared in the Democratic Northwest on January 12, 1893:
Prominent Citizen and Official of Henry County.
A majority of our prominent men In Henry are self-made in every sense of the term, having begun life with no other heritage than grit, ambition, and a determination to surmount obstacles in the path to success. We see many around us who have begun at the bottom round, and who, after years of combat with adversity, mounted round by round to the top.
Among this number is Andrew J. Saygers, President of our present efflcient Board of County Commissioners.
He was born in Shenandoah County, Virginia, October 17, 1834, the son of a farmer and the only boy, being third child in a family of nine. Of this large family none survive save the subject of this sketch.
When Andrew was two years old, the parents moved to Clarke County, Ohio, but not liking the county removed to Champaign County, where they permanently located. At the age of six he lost his father, and a year later was robbed of a mother’s guiding hand and influence. From the date of his mother’s death the orphan has moved his own way through life.
Although left in charge of an uncle, as soon as lars– enough to earn his own living, he did so, working on a farm in Summer and attending school in Winter. At that time the system of free schools was not known, and the boy Andy was compelled to pay tuition, which, together with books and clothes footed up quite an item for one receiving a farm hand’s wages, and made the path to an education no bower of beauty from a bountiful supply of roses.
Surmounting all difficulties, he gained a practical education, which, with a good allowance of grit and push worked his success.
In 1856 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Overhulls, and estimable young lady of Champaign County, and who now presides ofer his home in West Napoleon.
He pursued the occupation of farming until the war when he enlisted In Company E, 17th Regiment, Ohio Infantry. Serving until peace was declared, he returned home and moved with his family to Monroe township. Here he entered into the saw-mill and mercantile business, with his post-office at West Hope. Later on he moved to Napoleon and entered the saw-mill of A. Imber. Being of a saving disposition he soon purchased a half Interest, and after several months partnership! the senior partner sold out, leaving Mr. Saygers in possession of the mill, which, by careful management proved a paying piece of property.
As an office holder his record Is not a lengthy one, having held but one office, that of clerk of Monroe township, prior to his election as commissioner in 1888. But he has proven himself an efficient officer, and was given a second term. He has manifested a sound Judgment and the courage to utter his convictions.
Personally Mr. Baygers is a genial fellow, a good story teller and ready mixer, and has hosts of friends.