Thomas unfortunately passed away in 2013. I have picked up the family research. Believing this information he provided to be true for the better part of my own life, I started to delve further into the information. His grt - grdfthr, Karl Kipp, was actually a merchant and passed away April 26, 1915 from typhoid fever in Mansfield, Ohio. His son, Philip John Kipp, married Bessie Beatrice Bell. Her father, William "Doss" Bell did work with the Mansfield Fire Dept and he passed in May of 1918.
I have searched for the better part of 3 years now and have not been able to find information about Karl or his wife Anna (nee Wiede) who came from Germany to Ohio in the 1880s. As frustrating as it has been, I have not given up. One day the information I seek will present itself and this tree will get larger.
Best wishes to all in your search.
~ April (Kipp) Clinton