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Published: Wednesday, 5/9/2001

Napoleon man had award-winning farm

NAPOLEON - Arthur F. Drewes, a retired farmer whose family owned dairy farm in Henry County's Napoleon Township was recognized as a Centennial Farm by the state of Ohio in 1999, died Sunday in the Lutheran Home here. He was 86.

Mr. Drewes, who was a patient in the care center for about a week and had been in declining health for about 10 years, died of complications of Parkinson's disease, his nephew, Kenny Drewes, said.

Mr. Drewes was born in Napoleon Township, attended a rural school in the township, and became a full-time farmer at an early age, his nephew said. His 80-acre farm, three miles west of Napoleon, had about 50 dairy cows at its peak.

“He always had a couple of ponies. The first ones were Belgian draft horses. When he was done with them, he got himself a matched pair of ponies, which were just like the draft horses, but only about half the size. He liked to harness his ponies to a wagon he built himself and take them out for a workout. So, he graze-farmed as long as he could,” his nephew said.

Mr. Drewes enjoyed training his horses and showing them off at county fairs in northwest Ohio. He also enjoyed visiting the Ohio State Fair in Columbus to see horse shows, but he never exhibited his own horses on the state level.

Linda Rathge, a niece, said her uncle “really enjoyed farming. He loved working with the ground. He also loved dogs. He only had one dog at a time, but they were all named `King.' They were border collies and he taught them to bring his cows in from pasture.”

Mr. Drewes took pride in the appearance of his farm, Ms. Rathge said, and he worked hard to keep “his home and the farm buildings looking nice. Everything was always mowed.”

His nephew added: “On the farm, he always made sure that things got done right. With him, there was no halfway of doing something. He was dedicated to that farm. Between his horses and the dairy herd, he didn't have time for anything else.”

He was a former trustee at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Napoleon Township.

Surviving are his wife of 37 years, Norma, and sister, Ella Rathge.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today in St. Paul Lutheran Church, where the body will be after 10 a.m. today.

The family requests tributes to the church, the Lutheran Home, or a charity of the donor's choice.



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