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February 26, 2021

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Stanton Steiner and his '24 or '25 Ford Model T

Twenty-one-year-old Stanton Steiner poses with his first, and probably the family’s first motor car.

It’s  a 1924 or ’25 Ford Model T “Doctors” Coupe. The picture was taken in a barnyard on his parent’s farm on Columbus Grove Road midway between Pandora Road and State Route 696. His parents were Sam and Sarah (Neuenschwander) Steiner.

Stanton is dressed very stylish for the occasion, probably dressed for the photo. The country roads were not paved at that time so a black car, which was the only color available in a Model T, would have been impossible to keep clean even for a drive of a short distance.

This car is clean and the photo was probably taken soon after it was purchased.  It must have been a warm day because the front windscreen on the car is open.

It’s possible that the car was purchased in Bluffton. Albert Benroth and his partner, Menno Bixel, operated one of the earliest Ford Motor agencies in the United States. Their dealership was at 204 N. Main St., which is now the office of Bluffton Family Medicine.

That building was constructed in 1910. Menno’s son, Clayton, took over the Ford dealership in the company’s second generation.

Looking at the building today, one can see the word “Benroth” at the building top.