PICKREL, SCHAEFFER & EBELING IS…
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Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling is here when you need someone to fight for you.
The Dayton-based staff is a talented and tenured staff providing administrative and business support the legal team.
The staff helps PSE provide their valued clients with legal advice and continue to uphold the law firm’s high standard in legal services and control our client’s costs. To find out how the team of attorneys at PSE can help you, please feel free to contact us.
Legal Support Staff
At Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling, we believe in giving back to the communities in which we work and live. Community service is a great opportunity to enhance an individual’s personal and professional development. It has been shown that service activities have a unique way of developing an individual’s leadership skills, sense of community, self-esteem and other personal characteristics. Community service also provides a variety of unique benefits to the community and to the organizations that we serve.
In addition, PSE attorneys participate in organizations that advance and promote our profession and those of our clients. We believe the best way to affect positive change, is to be an integral part of the process. Contributing our time to organizations important to the development and growth of our clients’ businesses equips us with the industry knowledge necessary to proactively counsel our clients and contribute to their overall success.
Our goal is to improve the overall quality of our communities in the Dayton area. Below are just a few of the organizations we support:
- Dayton Art Institute
- The Ohio State Bar Association
- YMCA organizations throughout the Miami Valley
- Children’s Medical Center
- Various Chambers of Commerce
- Alzheimer’s Association
To find out how the team of attorneys at PSE can help you, please feel free to contact us.
In 1915 a simple card announced the beginning of what has become known as one of Southwest Ohio’s leading law firms.
That the firm established itself as a force in the community can be of no doubt, because even after 1940 when it assumed its present name of Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling, with three intervening name changes after 1931, it still carried on its letterhead – “Successors to Burkhart, Heald & Pickrel.” What do we know about these founding partners and historical Dayton attorneys?
More about our founders
Dayton’s preeminent historian of the first part of the 20th century, Charlotte Reeve Conover, was given to flowery language. Of Edward E. Burkhart, she said he was “long accounted as one of the most forceful practitioners at the Bar…” A graduate of Miami Commercial College in the early 1890s, he began his study of the law in the offices of Gottschall and Brown. He took a job in industry for a brief period, but returned to study under R. P. Marshall and in 1896, began a full college course at the University of Michigan. Over the next 17 years, he was associated with various lawyers until the 1915 formation of the long-lasting relation we know as Burkhart, Heald & Pickrel.
By 1907 he had become well enough known in the community to be elected mayor of Dayton, to which he was re-elected in 1909. He continued as a public-spirited citizen, most notably as chairman of the committee which raised $2,000,000 for flood prevention in 1913. Later he chaired the campaign known as the “War Chest” which raised $1,000,000 during World War I, and in the 1920’s he chaired the campaign to raise $1,500,000 for building the Masonic Temple. The memorial resolution of the Lawyers Club at his death in 1926 said he had “a real understanding…and a friendly disposition…His pleasing personality endeared him to everyone who knew him.”
William G. Pickrel had been active during the years from 1915, as had his partners. A native of Jackson, Ohio, Mr. Pickrel graduated from Miami University in 1910 and received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. In 1928 Governor Vic Donahey appointed him as Lieutenant Governor and in 1930, he was elected to a full term. Governor Cox appointed him to the Board of Trustees of Miami University, where he served for 32 years. A leader in all he undertook, he was president of the Dayton (1924) and Ohio State (1929) Bar Associations, a member of the Bar of Examiners for five years, a ten-year member of the Community Chest Board, and its chairman in 1929. He served as fundraising chairman for the YMCA, University of Dayton and Good Samaritan Hospital Building Fund. As a dedicated Methodist, he served on the board of Grace Methodist Church for many years, and as an active Mason, was elected an honorary 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason as well as serving as Potentate of the Antioch Shrine in 1922.
Of particular note was Mr. Pickrel’s run at the U.S. Senate in 1944 when he challenged Robert A. Taft, nearly pulling an upset. He won Cuyahoga County by 94,000 votes and lost the election statewide by only 18,000!
Mr. Pickrel was a director of the Dayton Rubber Company from 1922 to 1960 and served as a counselor, director, and friend to many local businesses. A kindly and courtly gentleman, he is remembered for his blue suits with black ties, his deep voice and his grandfatherly demeanor. He died in March 1966 at age 78, having practiced law for 53 years.
In June 1938, Philip C. Ebeling was admitted as a member of the firm and the name became Pickrel, Schaeffer, Harshman, Young and Ebeling. In February 1940, John Harshman and Robert Young withdrew to form their own firm. The surviving firm became known as Pickrel, Schaeffer and Ebeling.
Born in West Virginia to a naturalized German-American father and a first-generation German mother, Phil grew up in a series of towns as the family followed the glass industry. His father held 14 mechanical and 28 design patents, and Phil’s exposure to the glass business allowed him to earn his way through college by working for two years as a traveling salesman. After attending Ohio Wesleyan University, he graduated from Ohio State Law School in 1931 and took a job in Dayton, his wife’s hometown, with Burkhart, Heald & Pickrel.
Quickly establishing himself in trial work with Mr. Pickrel, he became active in the community through the Lions Club and the Junior Chamber of Commerce. A natural flair for leadership propelled him to the president of Ohio (1938) and National (1938-1939) Junior Chamber of Commerce. He became a sought-after speaker. As president of the Dayton (1943) and Ohio State (1948) Bar Associations, he contributed to the profession and continued this dedication as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association from 1949 until his death.
In the early 1950’s he was elected an honorary 33rd-degree Scottish Rite Mason. An active proponent of the philosophy of undergraduate college fraternity beliefs, he became national president of the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta. He was an active director of the Community Chest, president of the Chamber of Commerce and later served as a director of the United States Chamber of Commerce. He was an early advocate of developing close ties with Wright Patterson Air Force Base, seeing its contributions to the area as an economic resource. Starting as a trustee in 1944, he served Ohio Wesleyan to the date of his death when he was its board chairman.
In April 1963, an era ended for many organizations and relationships, including PS&E. Philip C. Ebeling died at age 58, having established himself as a leader on local, state and national scenes. He was involved with his fellow man – a person with a broad-scope view of life. Very few who knew him don’t have some personal moment where their life was touched in a very meaningful way by some act or word, some kindness or display of understanding. His influence will always be felt by the firm which still proudly carries his name.
“History is fluid at best. To treat it as if it were fixed is to ignore that memories are fragile, records are not always accurate, and that the writer’s predisposition can affect accuracy and emphasis.”
In pasting together the history of the law firm, one must realize that people don’t know they are making history while they are living it. Records are not kept in an orderly fashion. Anecdotes become embellished with retelling. Nostalgia influences us and we recall the good times and successes better than the hard times and hard decisions. Being human, our history is the compilation of the best memories of the best times and we can only hope that they outweigh substantially any bad memories and hard feelings.”
Harry G. Ebeling
Again quoting Mrs. Conover, Charles D. Heald was a “substantial and honorable practitioner… He has earned the reputation of being an indefatigable worker, combining scholarship with an active energy and forceful personality.”
In the Masonic Fraternity, he was elected an honorary 33rd-degree Scottish Rite Mason in 1921. He also had a large part in the construction and management of the Dayton Masonic Temple. He was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Dayton, serving as its first president.
A graduate of Yale (B.A. 1909; J.D. 1910), Mr. Heald practiced alone until 1913, when he associated with Mr. Burkhart. Upon his death in 1931, Mr. Pickrel formed the successor firm. In early 1932, Mr. Pickrel announced the formation of Pickrel, Harshman & Young with John B. Harshman, former city attorney of Dayton, former associates of the firm Robert F. Young, J. Farrell Johnston and Philip C. Ebeling. Later in June 1932, Virgil Schaeffer joined the firm and the name became Pickrel, Schaeffer, Harshman & Young.
In July 1958, an anonymous act of violence in a Chicago public restroom deprived the firm of an active participant and one of its senior partners who had contributed much in a different way to its history. Virgil Schaeffer was born and raised in Germantown. At the age of 69, while attending a conference in Chicago, he was mugged by an unknown assailant and passed away from injuries sustained.
He is remembered by many as a colorful person, especially his family, some of whom carry on the Schaeffer name to a third generation with the firm. Virgil, as opposed to most of the other major influences in developing PS&E, was not a joiner. His steady scholarly approach to the law had as its foundation Harvard undergraduate and law degrees in 1911 and 1914. He developed his skills as a solo practitioner in Dayton during the same years Burkhart, Heald & Pickrel was developing. He was best known as a real estate and probate practitioner, and doubtless, it was for these skills that William G. Pickrel brought him into the firm in 1932.
Although he did maintain membership in the Bicycle Club and Civitan Club, his community involvement was minimal, preferring to spend many leisure hours managing and working on his 300-acre farm near Germantown. In 1940 he built a cabin on the farm, which has been the site of many firm picnics throughout the years. A genial host, hard taskmaster, an erudite writer, a technician – yet a very human person with a sophisticated wit and genuine sense of humor – Virgil Schaeffer was deprived of seeing the firm grow in the 1960s and of seeing his grandson join the firm with his wife. His contribution cannot be measured.
The PSE logo
The PSE Logo, do you know what it represents? While preparing to celebrate the firm’s 75th Anniversary in 1990, we decided to have a logo created so people could more easily identify Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling. We wanted it to be meaningful and define who we are and would continue to be well into the future. The team at Willis-Case-Harwood designed the PSE Logo that the firm adopted and has carried ever since – the circle and the square.
The circle and square are fundamental shapes. The circle is flowing, dynamic, and all-encompassing. This shape generally represents youth, innovation, and energy. And, the square is strong, solid, and precise and is associated with stability, dependability, and experience. The color of the logo also has meaning. The gold represents quality, longevity, and excellence. Additionally, the logo balanced on one point is to suggest action, progress, and vitality. All of these characteristics define the legal team of Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling.