1902 Union Auto
The Lambert-Parent House, circa. 1881, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.  The house is a prime example of Italiante style architecture and of a village cottage of the period.  All of the original rooms are as they were when built and the original woodwork is still in place as well as "pocket" doors.  Only one fireplace remains of the original three.  There are eight large rooms incuding three bedrooms and ten foot ceilings throughout the  house.   
The brick construction, limestone foundation and original slated roof (replaced with metal 2007) are materials which were a sign of wealth in social circles at the time it was contructed.  George A. Lambert (not to be confused with his father George Lambert) constructed the house in 1881 and sold it to his brother-in-law Wilder Grant Parent in 1898.  The property continued in the Parent family and in 1955 W.Grant Parent's grandson, John, whose widow still lives n the area today, purchased the home from the Ralph Parent estate.  The home was sold to M.A. Thomas, a local grain dealer (father of another current Union City area resident) in 1958.  It was then purchased in 1970 by Jim, a native of Union City, Ohio and Mary Bretz.  The Bretzes were introduced while Jim served in the military service.  They traveled about the country and then returned to Union City in 1980.

The house is associated with the Union/Lambert automobiles as well as local farmers and grain dealers.  George A. Lambert, brother of the historically recognized inventor John W. Lambert, corroborated with his brother in their businesses.  Both men contributed significantly to the operation of the Pioneer Pole and Shaft Company prior to 1904 in Union City, Ohio, and the Lambert, Parent Grain operations.  The pole and shaft company produced wooden spokes for buggies' and car wheels.  Also, George Lambert, Wilder Grant Parent and John Parent, Grant's father, were officers/shareholders in the Union Automobile Company, (circa. 1901).  George served as President and W. Grant Parent as Secretary in 1902.  The Union auto was powered by engines manufactured in Anderson, Indiana at the Buckeye Manufacturing Plant which was owned by the Lambert families and it used the Lambert invented "friction drive" to transfer the power from the engine to the wheels.  Eventually, the Union automobile operation was shut down and production was transferred to Anderson, Indiana, where the Lambert automobile was manufactured.  Steve Lambert, a direct descendant of the Lambert automobile family, owns and manages the Lambert Corporation in Ansonia, Ohio.

William Parent, grandfather of W. Grant Parent, whose property holdings included the first farm East of the village of Union City on the right hand side of State Route 571 was co-founder of Jackson Township, Darke County, Ohio.  That farm continues to belong to Parent descendents to this day.  During the period of the Union auto, the Parent family owned and operated a grain operation (across from the automobile company).  The Parent Elevator was destroyed by fire in the early 1960s.  Others in the  Parent family, too, were directly involved with the automobile company.  Eva Glendora Parent, granddaughter of William Parent, married George Lambert and the farmer-merchant relationship was established.  

George Lambert was a great supporter of Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, where a building named after Eva Glendora served the college for seventy years.  George Lambert also served as a member of the Otterbein Board of Trustees for twenty-seven years and as Chairman of the Board for five years.

Jim and the late Mary Bretz and their three boys lived in the house since 1980 but with Mary's passing and their three grown sons departure seeking their place in life, Jim is the only occupant.
ca. 1980
Early Photo
1904 Union (possibly a Lambert) in front of house.
The Gallery
Jim's Cars