James L. Heath, postmaster at Herring (village of LaFayette), is engaged in the grain and fuel business.  He is a native of this county, having been born in LaFayette, March 14, 1858.  His parents were Samuel G. and Mary D. (Hadsell) Heath, who came from Massachusetts at an early day and settled in Ashtabula, Ohio, later removing to Allen County.  The parents of Mrs. Heath came to this county in 1832, and she lived in Lima when the present Public Square was covered with dense timber and there were less than a dozen houses in the town.  She was the mother of 10 children, nine of whom she reared to maturity and saw happily married.  Four of the sons  and one daughter are residents of this county and in comfortable circumstances.

Mr. Heath had but meager opportunities for obtaining an education, being unable to attend school after his 12th years; but he was given a thorough business training, which has enabled him to become a practical man of affair and to make his way in the commercial world.  When he was 12 years of age, he became a clerk in a general store and later entered the employ of Owen & Treat as clerk in their dry goods store at Lima. He remained in their employ three years.  When he was 20 years old he returned to LaFayette and engaged in the grain business with N. R. Park at his present stand.  The business flourished and 14 years later he became sole proprietor, handling grain, seed, coal, wool, flour and feed.  Later he became a partner of C. A. Graham  and put in a stock of general merchandise, which has proved to be a good investment. 

Mr. Heath was married February 9, 1881, to Sarah E. Knoble, who was born at Mount Eaton, Ohio, April  12, 1858, and is a daughter of Samuel and Jane E. (Chiddester) Knoble.  Her father was a native of Switzerland, coming to this country when a boy.  There are five children in the Heath family, viz: Olive B., wife of A. M. Barber, who is in the employ of his father-in-law; Avery C., who died at the age of eight years; and Ralph L., Paul Marvin and James Richard, aged respectively, 16, 11, and 4 years.

Mr. Heath is a Republican and has been elected township treasurer in a township that is strongly Democratic.  He enjoyed the distinction which has never been accorded another of holding every treasurership in the township at one time, viz: treasurer of the township; of the township school funds; of the special school district; of the village corporation and of Sager Lodge, No. 513,  F. & A. M.   He was appointed postmaster of Herring (village of LaFayette), August 2, 1898, and has been retained in office since.  He has served on the auditing committee, appointed by the porbate judge, to examine the accounts of the county treasurer.  He is a member of the Christian Church and has ordered all the supplies for the Sunday- school for the past 10 years.  He assisted in building the new church and was one of three on the pastoral committee.  He is a member of Sager Lodge, No. 513, F. & A. M. ; Order of the Eastern Star; I. O. O. F.  and Rebekahs.