Rev. John B. Helwig is a native of Tuscarawas county, Ohio, having been born at Canal Dover. His father was of Huguenot ancestry; his mother’s parentage was English. The boy began his life on a farm, also serving an apprenticeship to a blacksmith. In 1855 he entered Wittenberg College, at Springfield, Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1861. He was prominent in the literary life of the college, and especially a leader in debate. In one of these intellectual contests his opponent was the Rev. Dr. I.K. Funk (of the firm of Funk & Wagnalls Company).
Dr. Helwig began his ministry at Sulphur Springs, Ohio, and subsequently served churches at Lancaster, Springfield, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Akron. While at Dayton he was elected president of his alma mater, Wittenberg College, holding that position for eight years, when he was obliged to resign because of ill health. Dr. Helwig’s latest charge is the First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, Ohio. He is also president of the Ohio Sabbath Association and a member of the board of trustees of Wooster University. Occasionally in connection with his pastorate he has also devoted some time to the lecture field. His family consists of his wife, formerly Miss Eliza A. Miller, of Bellefontaine, and their daughter Grace.
Dr. Helwig was formerly a Republican, but in 1885 he joined the Prohibition Party, casting his first Prohibition vote for Dr. A.B. Leonard, as candidate for governor of Ohio. In 1889, Dr. Helwig himself was chosen by the Prohibitionists of Ohio as their candidate for governor, his vote being 26,504.
He moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1898.
— Data from An Album of Representative Prohibitionists (1895)