C. Burton Nickels

C. Burton Nickels was an active Republican who was involved with both local and national politics. His political career spanned many years and included small positions such as being member of the Lucas County Board of Elections, member of the county G.O.P. committee, and working on the presidential campaign of Warren G. Harding in 1920.

Nickels was born in Toledo on July 15, 1884. (Toledo Biographical Scrapbook, Local History Room, Toledo Lucas County Public Library). He was the son of Gill and Mavy Nickels. Gill Nickels ran a printing house in Gallion, Ohio. He was also chairman of the Republican County Committee in Crawford County. [Charles S. VanTassel, ed., Story of the Maumee Valley, Toledo and the Sandusky Region. vol.3 (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929), p.651]. C. Burton Nickel's political aspirations may have been sparked by his election as president of his 1902 graduating class at Central High School. (Toledo Biographical Scrapbook). In 1905, Nickels earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Denison University. This was followed by two years of graduate study in finance and engineering at the University of Wisconsin. In March 1910, he became an assistant sales manager with Toledo's Willys-Overland Company. When he left in January, 1914, Nickels held the position of assistant to the superintendent.

After leaving Willys-Overland, Nickels was appointed Director of Public Service for Toledo. When his term expired, he went to work for the Atwood Auto Company. Atwood eventually was absorbed by Willys-Overland and Nickels again became a salesman for his old company. He left Willys-Overland again in January 1917 and opened the Nickels, Jackson & Larenburg Company that distributed the Sterns-Knight automobile in Northern Ohio. In July 1924, Nickels opened C.B. Nickels & Company, an investment and securities business. The company distributed stocks and bonds, financed corporations, and invested in buildings such as the State Theater and the Commercial Building.(Van Tassel, pp.652-53).

Mr. Nickels' first official political duties began in 1913 when he was involved in the campaign of Carl H. Keller for the mayor of Toledo. The following year, Mayor Keller appointed Nickels to the position of secretary of the service department. In 1916 and 1918, he was active with a group of young Republicans in gaining control of the Lucas County Republican committee and was chosen chairman of the committee that same year. In January 1920, while serving as an executive of the committee, he was elected to the County Board of Education. He served on the board until April, 1928.

Mr. Nickels married Miss Marian Crozier, and they had one daughter, Betty Nickels. Nickles was prominent in many Masonic affairs and was a member of the Barton Smith Blue Lodge, a member of the Shrine and the Scottish Rite. He also belonged to the Toledo Elks Club, the Sons of the American Revolution, and served as president of the Toledo Automobile Club from 1925-26.

Nickels was ill for several weeks before dying on the 18th of July, 1932, at the age of 48. His death was officially attributed to angina pectoris. He is interred in Woodlawn Cemetery.



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