(page 543) The County of Miami, being organized in 1807, the task con-fronting the fathers at that time was the selection of a county seat. After a protracted struggle between Piqua, Staunton and Troy, the latter place was selected. At that time Troy was indeed a primitive community, but with the advent of the county seat, the growth became steady and it began to attract many new forces. As set forth elsewhere in the general county history, Jesse Newport, Daniel Wilson and Joseph Lamb were appointed by the court as commissioners to select a location. They decided on what is now Troy, and Robert Crawford was appointed director to purchase and survey the site selected. It was bought from Aaron Tullis, William Barbee, Alexander McCullough and W. H. Gahagan. Andrew Wallace was appointed to survey the land, and he fled his first plat December 2, 1807.
The first house to be built in Troy was that of Benjamin Overfield, erected on the corner of Water and Mulberry streets. The (page 544) county court was held at this place for a number of years before the erection of its first courthouse. This was a log structure, two stories in height, a part of which was used as a tavern and for a number of years by Mr. Overfield, the upper floor of which was used as a court room. This tavern was the "Forum" in which questions of the day were debated and was often used for prayer meeting, the celebrated revivalist of that time, Mr. Reuben Dooley, often exhorting his hearers in the barroom of the tavern. Mr. Overfeld was also the proprietor of the popular hostelry at the corner of Main and Cherry streets until his death in 1831.
`William Barbee, or Billy Barbee, as he was familiarly known, was the first blacksmith in Troy. Despite the fact that he knew little of blacksmithing at the start, he succeeded remarkably well and earned a substantial competence. He subsequently engaged in the dry goods business with Dr. Telford and Moses L. Meeker as partners. Squire Brown, a resident of Staunton, removed to Troy and opened a saddlery and later became justice of the peace. Isaac Peck, Henry Culbertson, Joseph Skinner and Judge Joseph Pearson, also of Troy, learned the saddler's trade under Squire Brown. In 1808 Joseph Culbertson engaged in the making and selling of wool hats, his brother Samuel and Joseph H. Fennery serving as apprentices. William Brown and John Wallace opened a carpenter shop in 1809 at the corner of Clay and Water streets. The first dry goods store was located at the Square and Market street and the first hardware store was started next door and operated by Uncle Mac Hart, which later became the Hart & Harter store and subsequently was taken over by Harter and Cosley and later by H. A. Cosley and is still being operated under this name. Uncle "Bobby" Caldron was another pioneer merchant, who for years kept a knickknack store. The first tannery in Troy was that of Milton McCampbell, located on the corner of Market and Water streets.
Dr. De Joncourt, one of the first physicians to practice in Troy, was of French extraction and "bled" the community literally, but not in the latter-day sense. Dr. Asa Coleman settled here in 1811 and immediately began the practice of medicine.
Troy early began to feel the need of educational facilities and a school was established in 1813. It was housed in the little log house at Market and Water streets. John G. Clarke was in charge of this school in 1816. Micajah Fairfield, Uriah Fordyce, Mary Barney and George Burgess were among the earlier teachers. The first places of worship were in the homes of the adherents of the different sects, the taverns also being frequently used for prayer meetings. The Methodists were the first to build a place of worship, erecting a log church in 1812 near Main and Clay streets. The building of the Miami canal ushered in a new era in the life of Troy and placed it in touch with the outside markets, when it began to enjoy a new period of prosperity. After the completion of the canal to Troy in 1837 the business life of the little village began to assume splendid proportions. A review of the business in Troy in 1847 notes the following items for the previous year: The transactions of thirty of the leading business houses by purchase of (page 545) goods, manufactures and produce totaled $523,238; sales, $674,307.
The following articles bought and sold during the same period were: 174,000 bushels of wheat, 290,000 bushels of corn, 100,000 bushels of rye, barley and oats, 17,000 barrels of four, 1,300 barrels of pork, 5,000 hogs, 31,000 pounds of butter, 2,000 bushels of coal, 600 barrels of fish, 3,000 barrels of salt, 30,000 bushels of flaxseed, 304,000 pounds of bulk pork and 136,000 pounds of lard. The trade and commerce of Troy having developed to a great extent, the canal became inadequate as an outlet and the railroads furnished the next solution. In 1850 the first railroad train entered Troy from Dayton, which marked the beginning of the end of canal traffic. Among the early manufacturing establishments of Troy were Beedle & Kelley's Agricultural Implement works, the Troy Spring Wagon and Wheel company, the Troy Buggy works, Kelley & Sons, manufacturers of windmills. The first foundry was built in 1838 by John Smeltzer. Cruikshank Bros., coopers, turned out immense quantities of barrels, kegs, casks and tubs. Other early industries were the Miami foundry, the Troy flax factory, the Wilmington plow works and
Vandergrift's planing mill.
On June 16, 1885, the cornerstone of the present courthouse was laid. This was a gala day for Troy and for the county in general. This cornerstone marked the final triumph of Troy over her old time adversary, Piqua, for possession of the county seat and the end of the courthouse war as well as the inauguration of the era of good feeling between the two cities. The day was attended with many ceremonies, visiting delegations from surrounding cities attended in a body and a grand procession was held, which was participated in by the delegations, citizens and military organizations. The orator of the day was Elihu S. Williams/who paid tribute to the achievements of Miami county and its good citizens. The new courthouse was designed by J. W. Yost, of Columbus, Ohio, and erected under the direction of T. B. Townsend of Zanesville. The square in which it stands measures 230 by 330 feet. the courthouse itself measuring 114 feet 2 inches square, from the ground to the eaves it is sixty feet in height, and from the ground to the dome 160 feet. The total cost of this building was about $400,000, and it is considered to be one of the finest buildings of its kind in the country.
Troy City Government. The civic government of Troy is divided into a number of distinct departments or committees, the chief elective officials being the mayor, city auditor, city solicitor and city treasurer. The council consists of three councilmen-at-large and four ward councilmen, the latter being elective Other municipal officers are the director of public service and his assistants, who have supervision over all works of a public nature, both in construction and maintenance. The board of public safety includes a director, the chiefs of the police and fire departments. The civil service commission of four members pass on the qualifications of all applicants for service in the city's employ. There is also a board of health, a board of education, sinking fund trustees, park commission and public library appointees. The present population of
Troy is about 8,000 persons.
(page 546) City Hall. The City hall or City building of Troy was erected in 1876 to suit the needs of the community for that period and is a substantial three-story building with stone trimmings. The lower floor is divided into sections, one of which is used by the public library, the upper floors being used for the municipal offices. The third story was originally occupied as an opera house.
Public Library. The public library of Troy was formally opened to the public on December 5, 1896, in an upstairs room in the city hall, the number of volumes at that time being 2,111. On May 1, 1903, the library was opened in its present quarters on the lower floor of the City building, where it has ample quarters for all present needs. On the opening of the new quarters a book shower was held which resulted in the donation of thirteen hundred volumes and a subscription of $1,051.50 to the fund for the purchase of new books. Miss Clara Williams was the first librarian and she was succeeded March 1, 1918, by Miss Blanche Mitchell, the present librarian. The library now has 18,054 volumes of well-selected works.
Lodges. The Masonic building, located on Main street, is without question the finest building in Troy, and the Masons in point of membership and general activity of its members have always been the strongest lodge in Troy. The Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Eagles, Red Men, Elks, Woodmen of the World, Junior Order United Mechanics and Knights of the Golden Eagles are also prominent as to membership and activity. The auxiliary lodges, Pocahontas, Rebekahs and Eastern Star, add to the social activities of this community and have been prominent in civic betterment and philanthropic work.
Troy Industries. Troy for many years was noted as a manufacturing center for carriage, buggy and other horse-drawn vehicles, not only for its number of factories given to this line of work, but to the general excellence of their products. When the horse-drawn vehicle business was at its zenith, the well-known Troy farm wagons, buggies, carriages, etc., could be seen in service in all parts of the country. With the introduction of gasoline-driven vehicles, these industries quite naturally began to suffer, and, from a city given almost wholly to the production of horse-drawn vehicles and their accessories, Troy began to gradually enter other manufacturing fields, especially supplanting her former industries with those producing automotive parts. It will be seen in the review of Troy industries that this city is gradually acquiring a diversified class of manufacturing establishments. The World War gave to Troy a decided impetus to manufacture. A number of thriving industries of today which had their inception in war production are now firmly placed and doing a thriving business in every-day necessities. Troy, however, still holds supremacy in one or two features connected with horse-drawn vehicles. A branch factory of the only factory in the world exclusively manufacturing carriage dashes is still doing a large manufacturing business. The making of auto truck trailers is rapidly becoming a decided Troy industry, many of which were used during the recent war. At no distant day, perhaps, Troy will be as well known for its automotive feature as it was formerly known (page 547) in the carriage and wagon field. The industrial contribution to the recent war of many of the industries of Troy has a very creditable showing.
The Troy Wagon Works. The Troy Wagon works was organized as such May 8, 1891. In 1884 the Beedle & Kelly company sold out to the Troy Wagon company, which later became the Troy Wagon Works company with an original incorporation of $50,000. The Troy wagon became famous throughout the country and was seen in every state in the union and has always had an immense patronage in spite of the sternest kind of competition. The stock of this company was subsequently increased to $1,600,000. The company became builders of farm wagons, dump wagons and slow speed hauling wagons. From 1911 to 1914 a great deal of attention was devoted to the creation of a superior auto trailer and this later became the most important feature of this business. The first contract for motor truck trailers was secured from the government of France in 1915. and this contract continued until the signing of the armistice in 1918. During the duration of the world war ninety per cent of the manufacturing capacity of this plant was devoted to war work. In 1892 the Troy Wagon company was absorbed by the Troy Wagon works and is now occupying the building formerly used by the Troy Wagon company. The officers of the Troy Wagon works are: President, C. A. Geiger; vice-president, C. N. Peters: secretary-treasurer, G. R. Harris; directors, C. C. Hayner, R. C. Sykes and A. O. Brown.
The Skinner Irrigation Company. Overhead irrigation is the one certain panacea for the lack of rain. To the truck farmer, gardener, florist, it is the best insurance of their crops that may be secured. This irrigation- system is accomplished by the use of a system of overhead pipes running parallel above the acreage or plot of ground to be irrigated. At stated times the water is released. providing a veritable downpour of rain, or as much as is deemed necessary. The Skinner Irrigation company of Troy has produced a splendid system of overhead irrigation. It has equipped a number of estates, aside from the regular commercial demand for its product. Among the estates so equipped is one at Three Rivers, Mich., belonging to H. L. Kellogg, the breakfast food manufacturer ; as is also the estate of H. L. Thompson and the Talbot farm near Dayton. The officers of this company are : President. W. W. Coles; secretary-treasurer. P. H. Bridge; vice-president, W. I. Thompson. The Skinner company was also engaged in war work during the recent war, working for local concerns who held war contracts.
The Troy Body Company. The Troy Body company was organized February 1, 1919. It was the outgrowth of the Troy Manufacturing company, which did extensive work on war contracts during the late war, manufacturing one hundred different parts used in the making of aeroplanes. The Troy Manufacturing company filled its contracts in a most creditable manner. On the cessation of hostilities, this company was merged with the Troy Body company, the latter concern now devoting its entire attention to the making of superior automobile bodies. In the very short time (page 548) since its organization the Troy Body company has met with signal success and now employes a force of 250 men. Its product is receiving attention from the foremost makers of cars in the country. Among the prominent users of its bodies are the makers of the Grant and Liberty cars. A total of nine different makes of cars are now equipped with bodies made by the Troy Body company. The officers of this concern are : President, C. C. Cross ; vice-president, W. E. Bowyer ; secretary and treasurer, W. J. Kroger. The Miami Specialty Works was organized in 1919 for the purpose of building truck bodies and drivers' cabs. This concern, though in its infancy, has secured substantial recognition in the automobile world for the excellence of their products. The building of bodies is now generally recognized as a feature that requires the highest specialization. Very few automobile manufacturers build their machines entire, looking to these specialists for the various parts in a particular line. There is no feature requiring more care, knowledge and attention to details than the body building of the automobile.' It is the artistic feature of the car. Its grace of outline and appearance in general gives the automobile distinction. The organizers of this concern, fully aware of the tremendous field for a thoroughgoing, conscientious organization, established the above concern in 1919. They have specialized on truck bodies, but give their attention to other lines of work in automobile building. Despite the very short time, however, they have been in this field, they have secured substantial contracts from the International Harvester company and also make trucks for the Indiana and Nash Trucks. The officers are : Clyde Statler, president; Louis Schuh, vice-president, and L. R. Stoner, secretary.
H. D. Cress Company. Toy making, until the last four or five years, was not considered a permissible field for American industry.
The so-called excellence of the German workmen on these intricate articles was advanced as the chief reason for a German monopoly of this business. Like many other theories, this myth was exploded and today American-made toys are in demand, second to none in excellence and better than were made in Germany at any time. The H. D. Cress company was organized in 1917, and, starting in a modest way, manufactured educational toys. This concern now occupies 60,000 square feet of floor space and its business has trebled during the year 1919 as compared with the same period during the previous year. The trademark, of this concern bears the following words : "Original Cress Educational Boards Reversible." The officers at present are: President. H. D. Cress: treasurer, T. G. Yantis ; secretary, H. G. Weisenbarger ; vice-president, L. Neal Grassle.
Troy Pattern Works, although a modest concern at this time. is gradually expanding; its business drawing patronage from many places throughout the country. They make wood and metal patterns of recognized excellence. This concern was organized in 1906 and is owned and operated by 'Tr. S. N. Touchmann. A number of patterns were made and used in local and other concerns during the late war.
(page 549) The Hobart Brothers Company. This company was organized in 1917 and now operates two factories at Troy, one of which is entirely given over to the manufacture of the well-known line of H-B office furniture, desks, fling cabinets, etc. The Water street plant manufactures motor generators and motor generator sets used for battery charging and naval use during the late war. The Willard Battery Service stations, Prest-O-Lite and other battery stations use the Hobart appliances for recharging their batteries. Both lines manufactured by the Hobart brothers are considered leaders by a wide and growing patronage. The officers of this company are: President, C. C. Hobart; vice-president, Edward A. Hobart; treasurer, Charles C. Hobart; secretary,. W. H. Hobart. The Gummed Products Company. Gummed materials of all kinds are manufactured by this concern-stickers, wrappers, sealing devices-in fact, anything gummed which you may use may have been made by this Troy concern, and, up to date, this concern has more than measured up to the chances in this field, their line being well known throughout the country. The Gummed Products company was organized in May, 1914, and the present officers are: President, Edward F. Herrlinger; treasurer, F. L. Holt; secretary, S. G. Leitsch.
The Hobart Manufacturing Company. The Hobart Manufacturing company was organized tinder its present form in 1912. In the manufacture of electrically operated food preparing machines, the Hobart company has achieved marked success. Among the items manufactured are: Electric coffee mills, electric meat choppers, electric kitchen machinery for large hotels, and many other electrical labor-saving devices. The Hobart goods were bought by the government for use on the battleships during the war, and is also being installed as regular navy equipment. This plant also manufactured control panels for aeroplanes, making seven thousand sets on government contract during the war. In 1918 the Hobart Manufacturing company established the Troy Metal Products company at Cincinnati for war work exclusively. It manufactured the Adapter No. 2, a small device which was screwed in the ends of explosive shells. Seven hundred and fifty thousand of these were made and delivered during the war. T he officers of the Hobart Manufacturing company are: President. A. G. Stouder: vice-president, H. L. Johnson : treasurer, E. E. Edgar ; secretary, J. M. Spencer; production manager, C. C. Willard.
The Miami Trailer Company. This company was organized September, 1915, and occupies a floor space of about 45,000 feet and is exclusively engaged in the making and selling of trailers for automobiles. During the war this plant was dedicated to war work and aside from the regular line which was in demand for war service, the company manufactured trench reel carriers, a device used in the trenches and for which this company had a substantial contract which was filled in a most creditable manner. The plant is now engaged in the making of trailers, a field . which is today in its infancy and presents a splendid outlook for the future of this concern. Its progress has been very noticeable each year since its (page 550) organization. The present officers are : Joseph Rebolz, president; John K. Knoop, vice-president ; W. F. Jolly, secretary-treasurer. The McKinnon Dash Company has the unusual distinction of being the only company of its kind in the world making an exclusive line of buggy and carriage dashes and has always occupied a conspicuous place in the carriage and buggy manufacturing world. Despite the usurpation by the automobile, the McKinnon company has pursued the even tenor of its way, and today is a thriving concern, its product being still in great demand wherever carriages or buggies are manufactured. The local company is the outgrowth of the parent company of Buffalo, N. Y. The Buffalo company was established in 1892, the McKinnon company having previously operated at St. Catherine's, Ontario, exclusively. The Buffalo company was established to care for the growing trade in the states. Two years later, in 1894, a factory was established at Columbus, Ohio, with Mr. L. H. McConnel in charge. In 1895 this plant was removed to Troy, Ohio, where it first occupied about 48,000 feet of floor space and to the original have been added about 20,000 feet, The present output is about 800 leather dashes per day, a very striking testimonial of the survival of horse-drawn vehicles to date. Mr. L. H. McConnel, who is in charge of the local plant, is a veteran in the carriage and buggy business, dating back many years ago when he was superintendent of the Haydock Bros. Carriage company of St. Louis.
Star Foundry is engaged in the making of gray iron castings and does a large business. Seventy-five per cent of the capacity of this plant was engaged in war work during the late war. This work was by indirect contract with local and other concerns which used castings on war material manufactured. The officers of the Star Foundry are : President, W. P. Anglemeyer ; vice-president, A. F. Lockwood; secretary and treasurer, Jacob Lust. Ohio Electric Specialty Manufacturing Co. This company is engaged in the manufacture of brushes used in gathering electricity on dynamos, as engines and other devices. The function of a current collector is to collect the current from its revolving contact.
There is a large market for this product and this concern is putting forth every effort to meet the demand. The officers of this company are: president, J. R. Simpson; secretary, W. H. Stillwell ; treasurer, J. W. Means. The Ohio Electric Specialty Mfg. Co. was established in 1897 and incorporated in 1908.
The Lorimer Manufacturing Co. The phonograph, once considered a luxury, has now become a household necessity, nearly all homes of any pretension now owning one. Very few of the manufacturers in this line make the entire equipment ; the motors especially, being a highly specialized industry. The Lorimer Manufacturing company of Troy is engaged in the making of phonograph motors, exclusively. This company, which was organized September 5, 1919, is developing into a substantial concern with a wide demand for its product. During the war, this concern, on subcontract, manufactured trench wire carriers for the Miami Trailer company of Troy. The officers of the Lorimer Manufacturing company are : President, G. W. Lorimer; vice-president, G. R. Harris ; (page 551) secretary-treasurer, F. O. Flowers. The directors other than the officers, are : E. W. Jewell, C. N. Kincaid, H. L. Penn, C. N. Peters, and A. O. Judson is the production manager.
The Flood at Troy. During the week of March 24, 1913, a downpour of rain, which lasted for forty-eight hours, engulfed Troy in the terrible food, which caused havoc and devastation, without parallel in the history of Ohio. The water rose so rapidly that only comparatively few persons living south and west of the Canal and of Nineveh escaped, as the waters slowly rose. By midnight Monday the river had reached its highest point, and the lowlands in the immediate vicinity were entirely under water. At one o'clock a general alarm was sounded by the church and city bells warning the people of the continued rise of the waters. Many persons, lulled into a fancied security, were hastily aroused, to find the water pouring into their homes. Boats were secured and the work of rescue begun. By Tuesday noon many of the streets of Troy surged with the mad rush of waters, and at two o'clock it reached its highest point; as far as the eye could see beyond the city limits the water extended like a gigantic lake.
The Big Four tracks, constructed on a running embankment, were blown out, relieving the water congestion at that point. By three o'clock Tuesday the water began to slowly subside. By this time it had covered all the southwest district of the city, as far north as, and including, the Canal, and as far east as Plum street, leaving the east end of Water, Main, Franklin and their cross streets clear. From the Big Four railroad south, Walnut, Mullberry, Clay, Crawford and Union streets were gradually showing themselves above the water.
Numerous rescue parties under the direction of Sheriff Paul, Chief Headley, Service Director Davis, Fire Chief Sharp, and many volunteers worked unceasingly in their labor of rescue. With a heroic spirit these men, mindful of the perils of many lives, threw their own personal comfort and safety aside, and plunged into the work of rescue. They performed their work heroically and there were many feats of individual heroism. To enumerate any of these would be unjust to many others who shone with splendor in this occasion. With rumors afloat of the breaking of the Lewistown Reservoir; the absence of the electric light and gas-Tuesday night was a night long to be remembered in the history of Troy. With the terrible experience of the preceding night, and momentarily expecting the mad rush of waters from the Lewistown dam, a terrible feeling of suspense pervaded the entire community, which was only lifted when those vague rumors were dissipated, on the receipt of definite information.
Tuesday night while the food was raging, an improvised organization was formed at the Troy club for the relief of the distressed. The meeting was called to order by Walter E. Bowyer; Mayor McClain announced a general meeting of citizens to take place later and the preliminary meeting was adjourned. Thursday evening, Mayor McClain published the call for a general relief meeting which was held at the Mayor's office at 2 p. m. Friday, at which $5,000 was immediately subscribed, for temporary relief, (page 552) with the assurance of more when needed. "Troy will take care of her own," was the slogan adopted. Walter Bowyer and Horace Allen were selected to organize a committee and they recommended Judge E. W. Maier for general chairman ; John H. Drury, secretary and treasurer; executive committee, J. S. Combs, Horace Allen, Dr. B. W. Jones ; these recommendations were unanimously approved. The immediate needs of the community were discussed and suggestions were asked for. On motion of Mr. E. E. Edgar an immediate canvass for subscription was taken. Five thousand dollars were pledged, as a temporary fund, preliminary to the general canvass for subscription. The estimated amount necessary for general relief was placed at $100,000 for the relief of Troy and vicinity. After a week's survey following the subsiding of the food, the estimated amount of damages in Troy were as follows: Residence property, household and personal effects, $170,000; loss in merchandise stored in basement of stores, $40,000 to $45,000. Loss to factories in Troy, $150,000. The following were the known dead Thursday, April 3rd. Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Smock and child, West Market street; Henry Van Tuyl, West Market street; John Glass, Peters avenue ; George Glass, Peters avenue; Mrs. Henriette Pearson, West Market street, Harry Hall, Fairgrounds ; Mrs. Lydia Bolden, Nineveh; Mrs. Rachael Stewart, Nineveh; Robert Kinney; Mrs. (Ruben) Jones, Nineveh; George Bosewell, Fairgrounds ; Oliver Bolden Whitle, Nineveh; Josephine Stewart, Nineveh.
Among the merchants and manufacturers who sustained heavy losses were H. A. Cosley, Shaible & Smith, Gibson & Croner, H. M. Rinehardt, George Clawson, T. M. Grunder C Co., and Miller Bros. Outside the business district the grocery store of H. W. Doppler at Market and Race street, sustained a heavy damage : Young's grocery, May and Garfield streets, and Long's Grocery, West Main street, also suffered heavily. The factories which suffered severely were The Hobart Electric Manufacturing company, Allen & Wheeler, Troy Wagon works, The McKinnon Dash company, Troy Foundry, Troy Carriage Sunshade company, W. W. Crowfoot, and the establishment of L. A. Thomas, florist.
The second week after the flood found the situation very well defined. The needs of the community became apparent and by this time more than $10,000 had been subscribed. Greater subscriptions being withheld until the exact necessities were determined. The lodges volunteered to assist all members and many other private organizations were assisting in the relief independent of the general funds. The Troy physicians announced free medical service until May 1, 1913.
Newspapers. The first number of the Miami Reporter, one of the first newspapers to be published in Troy, was issued May 18, 1827, the editor being Micajah Fairfield. The early issues of this paper show the editor of the election of John Quincy Adams as opposed to Andrew Jackson. There were one or two attempts to establish a newspaper prior to The Miami Reporter. About 1817 a small sheet was issued under the title of the Miami Weekly Post, (page 553) edited by a Richard Armstrong. This plant was later purchased by Micajah Fairfield, when he established the Reporter. The Troy Times was started in 1829, John Tullis being the first editor and owner, and he was succeeded by Richard Langdon. The Times continued to serve the public until 1870. In 1865 John W. DeFrees started the Miami Union; in 1883 I. L. DeFrees took charge of this sheet and in 1886 it passed to the ownership of a stock company; the controlling factors today being Pauley and McClung.
The Troy Sentinel, the first newspaper in this town to carry the Democratic standard, was first published in 1871 by J. A. McConahey and discontinued in 1880. The Imperial and the Bulletin rose and fell in quick succession. The Troy Democrat was established in 1880 by J. P. Barron and was later sold to M. K. Gantz and J. A. Kerr, subsequently passing into the hands of Charles H. Dale who is the present owner.
In 1891 The Buckeye was founded by Captain Elihu S. Williams. He later sold this paper, but in 1912 again took charge and continued its operation until his death; his slaughter Ollie continuing its publication for some time after the death of her father. It eventually passed into the hands of H. A. Pauley and was consolidated with the Miami Union.
The Troy Chronicle and Daily Trojan were published by Dr. C. H. Goodrich. This publication was discontinued about 1885.
The Troy Record was first published in 1897 by the Croy brothers later by V. S. Croy and this was succeeded in 1917 by the Troy Daily Times which was discontinued in June, 1918. The Troy Daily News was founded by Charles Dale in 1909, and later sold to J. Moore and in May, 1919, Pauley and McClung took charge of it and continued its publication.
The Altrurian Club of Troy. This club, the leading woman's organization of Troy, was organized March 13. 1894. Prior to 1899 its officers were chosen each month: Mrs. L. M. Lindenberger be the first president elected to serve a full year, the presidents subsequently elected to 1919 were : Mrs. A. F. Broomhall, Mrs. George S. Long, Miss Olive G. Williams. Mrs. W. W. Hegler, Mrs. F. E. Scobey, Mrs. Theodore Sullivan, Mrs. Hannah M. Gahagan, Mrs J. W. Stilltvell, Mrs. C. C. Hobart, Mrs. M. K. Gantz, Mrs. Gabriel, lrs. C. W. Cookson, Mrs. Walter Brewer, Mrs. Clarence Snook. Mrs. B. WV. Jones, Mrs. R. C. Wolcott, Miss Edith Scott, Mrs. C. A. Geiger, Mrs. Edwin Cosley. and Mrs. Edward Wilson. The Altrurian club meets each Wednesday, with a distinctive program. its motto is "In essentials-harmony ; liberty; In all things charity." A comprehensive program is given each week and the discussions cover a wide range of topics, with special attention to home economics and civics. Delightful musicales are a frequent feature of the weekly meetings and child-welfare discussions are one of the special features. The latter subject extends beyond the range of mere discussion-the child welfare work of this organization having accomplished tremendous benefits in this field. The work is largely divided into committees-the civic committee having inaugurated "clean up" week in Troy, and initiated many (page 554) movements tending to civic betterment. In social, civic and philanthropic work, the Altrurian club easily ranks among the foremost clubs in the county. The club was federated October 25, 1894, and incorporated April 26, 1895. The present officers are: President, Mrs. Harry Shilling; vice-president, Mrs. Sterrett Falkner, Mrs. E. W. Jewell; recording secretary Mrs. Lewis Schuh; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Frank McCullough; treasurer, Mrs. Arthur Sheets; auditor, Mrs. Hannah Gahagan.
The Fortnightly Club of Troy was organized in September 1900, and its membership at its organization were members from the Sorosis Club. The Fortnightly Club was prominent in Belgium relief work, and is now defraying the expenses of educating a French orphan. The present officers of this club are: President, Mrs. Pearl Stephens; vice-president, Mrs. Edward Bowers; secretary Ralph Gibson; treasurer, Mrs. F. W. Steil.
The Sorosis Club was organized November 24, 1893. The motto adopted at the time was “Keep in step, the world is moving.” The Sorosis club, being one of the older clubs of Troy, has always been of distinctive usefulness to its members and to the community at large. The present officers are: President, Mrs. C. M. Smith; vice-president, Mrs. Ivy Yount; secretary, Mrs. Harry Shilling; treasurer, Mrs. W. H. Baker.
The Varsity Club. Among the younger element of Troy, the Varsity club holds pre-eminence as the dominating social institution. It is composed entirely of the younger spirits of the community and its functions have always been of a wholesome and entertaining variety. It was organized in 1912; improvements have been made from time to time – the club now having modern and commodious headquarters. The officers of the club are: President, Warren Chambers; vice-president, D. E. Dalzell; secretary, Paul Shavers; treasurer, Christian Pister.
Troy Rotary Club. as in other places the Rotary club fills a position in Troy which could not possibly be filled by any other club or organization. The get together spirit of the Rotary club is the spirit that has made the Rotary clubs famous throughout the country. The Troy Rotary club holds a weekly luncheon which is animated by lively discussions on current topics, embracing community and civic needs and many kindred subjects. Once a month, a meeting is held, at which the members are privileged to bring their wives or other guests. These monthly meetings are one of the main events of the life of the Rotary club, and are enlivened with impromptu musicales and informal discussions. Many special features are also introduced at these meetings; speakers of note and important personages have been invited and attended many of the meetings in the past. The Troy Rotary club was organized in 1918, the first executive officers being H. L. Johnston, president and Harold A. Pauley, secretary and treasurer. The present officers are J. W. Safford, president; Harold A. Pauley, secretary; Frank C. Roberts, vice-president. The board of directors at present are Fred C. Holt; Glen C. Strock and Sterrett Faulkner. The work of the organization is divided into committees, which are accountable for the entire activities of the club.
(page 555) The Troy Club was the outgrowth of the old Troy Bicycle club. It at first rented quarters in several places, finally establishing a clubhouse on the south side of Franklin street, between Market and Cherry streets, in the Hatfield-Scott building. Later, the Outing Club of Troy, consolidating with it, gave to it an increase in membership. The Outing club was a very popular club for a number of years. It occupied an island in the Miami river, above Troy, for which it paid a yearly rental to the state. This island was the headquarters for the club and was the scene of all their many outings and formal gatherings. Among the moving spirits of the Outing club were George Scott, Chas. W. Tobey and Henry Allen. The Troy club eventually rented the Dunlap building on South Franklin street, between Market and Walnut. This later passed into the hands of Geo. Scott and subsequently became the property of William Hayner. On the death of Mr. Hayner, it was found that provision had been made by him whereby the building became the property of the Troy club. The Troy club is distinctively a social club, embracing many of the business men of Troy. Its present officers are: Dr. J. S. Shinn, president: Sterrett Faulkner, vice-president; William Hartley, secretary. The directors are George Torlina, Harold Pauley and Fired Holt.
Troy Railroad Service. Since the advent of the first railroad through Troy in 1850 there has been a steady increase in transportation facilities in and out of the town. It is especially fortunate in having two of the foremost steam roads and its interurban facilities are highly satisfactory. The Baltimore & Ohio give a service to Troy of six daily passenger trains, three each way, and the Big Four run two daily passenger trains on this route, one each way. The freight service of both roads has always been eminently satisfactory. and prior to the amalgamation of freight service, under Federal control, gave individual service of the very highest order. D. & T. (Dayton and Troy) traction line operates fifteen passenger trains each way daily, through Troy, and the Springfield.
Troy & Piqua traction line run ten trains daily, each way, both roads maintaining passenger stations. The traction lines, as maybe seen, give Troy a splendid communication with other points. The freight service on these lines, in light freight and parcels, supply hourly outlets for this class of shipment.
Troy Banks. In 1871, W. H. H. Dye & Son established the Miami County bank in Troy and eight years later sold it to another company, at the head of which was H. H. Weakley, and later was acquired by the Heywood-Royce company. Although in the beginning its capital was only $50,000, it exactly doubled that amount by 1888, when it became the Troy National bank with the following officers : President. N. H. Albaugh : vice-president. John M. Campbell ; cashier, Noah Yount : assistant cashier, C. E. Wilson. The capital at present is $125,000, with a surplus and undivided profit of $200,000. The present officers are: President, W. E. Bowyer; vice-president, W. H. Francis ; cashier, John K. DeFrees ; assistant cashier, P. G. Yantis.
First National Bank of Troy. Although the old state banks were an improvement over their predecessors, they were still unable (page 556) to meet the needs of the times, and in 1863 the First National Bank of Troy was established, as a successor to the Miami county branch of the state bank which was founded in 1847. Its first officers were President, Asa Coleman ; cashier, John C. Culbertson ; teller and bookkeeper, D. W. Smith ; directors, Jacob Knoop, Daniel Brown, George Smith, Asa Coleman, Lewis Hayner and H. W. Allen. Mr. Allen was made president in 1865 and D. W. Smith became cashier the same year. The First National was the fifty-ninth national bank established in the United States. A handsome new stone fireproof building, with modern equipment, was occupied in 1908. The present capitalization is $200,000. The savings department is a distinct feature of this bank and is especially appealing to a person who can only make a small deposit each week. The present officers of the bank are: President, F. O. Flowers: vice-president, C. O. Briggs ; cashier, E. Z. Elleman; assistant cashiers: N. E. Metcalf and A. D. Dill.
The People's Building & Saving Association of Troy, and one of the most substantial institutions of its kind in Miami county, extending a service for many years and having enjoyed a steady and substantial growth, was organized in 1890. The need for an institution of this kind had been apparent for some time and the first officers elected were men of wide experience in business affairs and well adapted to lay the cornerstone of this institution. Its officers were: Dr. L. M. Lindenburger, president ; James Knight, secretary; Noah Yount, treasurer. Mr. Lindenburger resigned and Dr. A. E. Childs was elected president, continuing in office until his death in 1909. After the death of Mr. Childs, J. W. Stephey, the present incumbent, was selected as president, and has continued in this office up to the present time. Mr. L. O. Shilling was elected in 1893, - as secretary, being the present incumbent. The present vice-president is Mr. George W. Conrad: assistant secretary, Mary P. Rosser, and J. C. Fullerton, jr.. attorney. The directors of this company are J. W. Stephey, George W. Conrad, John K. DeFrees. Elmer E. Pearson, Joseph V. McCool, F. W. Steil, R. H. Gibson and C. L. Yost. On June 30, 1919, the total assets of this company showed $1,126,993.17. Since that time loans to the amount of $145,000 have been made. The earnings for six months prior to June. 1919, showed $32,527.35. The earnings for the previous year having totaled $63,289.04 which shows a pro rata increase for the six months ending June, 1919, in earnings. Since July 1, 1919, the assets have increased to S1,1 59,000.
Troy Churches. From the primitive places of worship, often the rude log cabins of early days, the barns, and when the weather permitted, the open air, to the splendid places of worship of today, is shown the general progress of this community during the last one hundred years. Today Troy is worshiping with almost all denominations known ; the number of churches in Troy indicating a pronounced spiritual atmosphere. The Methodists were the first to build a church here, their first place of worship being a log church located near the corner of Main and Clay streets. The second church was built in 1825 on 'Mulberry street between Franklin and Canal street. This was transformed into a parsonage when the (page 557) third church was built adjoining it in 1839. Ground was broken for the present beautiful church building in 1899 and was dedicated on May 2, 1901. It is a magnificent stone structure, surmounted by a gilded dome.
St. Patrick's Catholic Church. About 1857 Catholics in Troy were few in numbers but very zealous in the practice of their religion. They first assembled for divine worship in the home of John Danaher. In the fall of the same year the Hon. J. E. Pearson tendered the use of his courtroom for worship. This generous offer was accepted and the Catholics held services here until the following year. In 1858 the first Catholic church was completed and was dedicated to the honor of St. Patrick. Priests from Piqua and Dayton attended to the wants of this parish until 1877 when Rev. F. H. Menke was made its first resident pastor. In 1883 a substantial addition was made to the church and in 1886 a new parochial school was built. In 1915 a new church was decided on, and on May 28th of the following year, the cornerstone of the present building, a magnificent structure of stone of the pure Gothic design was laid and the building was finished and dedicated November 30, 1916, by Archbishop Henry Moeller.
The First Presbyterian Church of Troy was organized September 13, 1813, in the home of Alexander Telford; the families who were adherents of this church at this time were the Orbisons, Telfords, McClungs, Youarts, Shacklefords and Scotts. A church was later erected on Crawford street near Franklin. A schism took place in this church about 1840 and for some time there were two divisions of the church existing in Troy, one known as the Old School Church and the other known as the New School Church. These two factions were again united in 1870. The New School had built a new frame church on the present site and in 1859 the present brick structure was erected. In 1917 extensive repairs were made giving the Presbyterians of this community a very beautiful place of worship.
The First Baptist Church. The Baptists early worshiped in the homes of its adherents; among the earliest visiting ministers were those of this denomination. About 1830 a regular place of worship was established; being part of the home of Mr. Joseph R. John, on the site of the present place of worship. In 1843 the church was incorporated and purchased this property. In 1855 the present church was erected and in 1865 improvements and additions were made, giving the Baptists a splendid place of worship. The First Christian Church. This denomination for a number of years held services in the old town hall, and in 1862 the cornerstone of the First Christian church was laid. Reverend A. L. McKinney preached the dedicatory sermon. He was known as the "Fighting Chaplain" of the 71st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The cornerstone of the new place of worship was laid on May 4, 1905. Other churches of Troy were St. Johns Evangelical church, which was founded in 1848 and the new edifice was built in 1882. The Trinity Episcopalian church of Troy is one of the historic places of worship in Troy, and is one of the oldest parishes in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. The Christian Science church maintains reading (page 558) rooms; there are also a number of churches for the worship of the colored people.
Troy Schools. From the first school of Troy, which was established in 1813, to the present splendid school advantages now enjoyed, is a long stride in popular education. As is set forth elsewhere, the first school of Troy was established at what is now the corner of Market and Water streets, and the first teacher of this primitive school was Samuel Kyle, the number of pupils being fifteen. Somewhat later the Academy was built and here Micajah Fairfield taught, he later taking up the publication of the Miami Reporter.
The first school board in Troy was composed of the following men: Charles Morris, Rev. Daniel Rice, George D. Burgess, William B. Johnston, Benjamin Powers, Zachariah Riley, and Henry S. Mayo. This board elected as superintendent, William N. Ed wards, one of the most efficient and well beloved men that has ever lived in Troy. The Edwards school has been named for him and his memory is revered. by a few of the older residents of Troy who remembered him. The school system of Troy began to grow from this time on and as the population increased the number of buildings and teachers grew also. The first class to graduate from the Troy high school was composed of Walter S. Thomas, John W. Morris, Diana Meeks, and Augusta Brandriff. Succeeding superintendents were H. A. Thompson, H. P. Uford, John W. Dowd, L. V. Ferris, J. F. McCasky, C. L. Van Cleave and Ralph Brown. Mr. Dowd was one of the most popular superintendents, serving from 1880 to 1906. In a paper which he wrote, in which he collected a number of interesting facts concerning the history of Troy schools, he gives, among other things the list of early teachers: Samuel Brooks, Robert McCurdy, 18 18113); Micajah Fairfield, Powers, 1832; Mr. Walkup, 181313-34-35, Uriah Fordyce, 1837; Hiram 1837, Miss Barney, 42; E. P. Coles, 1826; John Petit, 1831; Benjamin 18038,: George D. Burgess, 1839-41; 1843; Minor Fairfield, 1845; Rev. Edmund Fairfield, 1845-46.
The public school systems of Troy and Piqua are at the present time as thoroughly modern and efficient as up-to-date equipment, and well-trained, conscientious teachers and supervisors can make them. In Troy the curriculum is divided into three groups; the first six years comprise the elementary department, the seventh and eighth grades are called junior high school and the work is departmental, preparatory to the work in the high school proper. The high school course is four years and manual training, domestic science and a commercial course extend the work beyond the purely academic. The present high school course is much more comprehensive than that of the most progressive college of a hundred years ago. Manual training was included in the course in the Troy high school in 1906, domestic science in 1912, and the commercial course in 1905. The enrollment for 1919 was 1,540, 315 of whom were in the high school and 210 in the junior high school. Every child in the Troy schools was a member of the American Red Cross and worked loyally to raise money and make clothing for the soldiers and refugees of Belgium and France during the great war. School (page 559) and home gardens were successfully maintained adding a practical, useful project to the course.
The personnel of the present Board of Education is: President, Walter Duer; clerk, J. C. Fullerton, jr.; R. W. Crowfoot, Dr. Geo. McCullough, Dr. J. W. Means, and P. G. Yentis.
A splendid athletic field that has been in use for the last few years has been taken by the Miami conservancy. Mr. Charles W. Cookson, who for twelve years was superintendent of schools, recently resigned to accept the superintendency of the Franklin county school with headquarters at Columbus. Mr. Cookson is a graduate of Wooster university and of Ohio university at Athens.
Mr. T. E. Hook, the present superintendent, is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with the degrees A.B. and A.M.; taking the former degree, in the class of 1914, and the latter in 1918. After graduation, he subsequently went to South Haven, Mich., as principal of the high school at that place, and later became superintendent of schools, which position he resigned to become superintendent of the Troy high schools.
St. Patrick's Parochial School has a splendid curriculum, taught by sisters of the Most Precious Blood. This school has an attendance of about 100 pupils.
From the Shawnee Indians come the name of Piqua, in their lore signifying "ashes" and the story of the rising of the wraith of a white man whom they had tortured and burned to death and the awed exclamation of the chief "Otatha-ha-wagh-piqua." "He has risen from the ashes" is a familiar local tradition.
Job Gard, a storekeeper with General Anthony Wayne's army, was the first white settler in this section, building his cabin and clearing ground in the fall of 1806 at "Upper Piqua" about two and one-half miles northwest of the present city of Piqua. It was at Upper Piqua that Fort Piqua was established by the British. In the spring of 1807 he migrated down the Miami river, and built a cabin at what is now the corner of Harrison and Water street. Other settlers arrived this same year including one by the name of Hunter who settled in what was first Huntersville. The land west of the river was included in the famous Symmes :land grant and was barred from settlers at that time.
The first hamlet of Piqua consisted of seven log cabins occupied by Benjamin Leavell, John and Edward Manning, Alexander Ewing, Nathaniel Whitcomb, Armstrong Branden, Casper Henderschott and Joseph Porquette; and the first white child Elias, son of Tohn Manning, was born in 1800.
In the summer of 1807 the first survey was made and John Manning was granted a patent deed by President Madison to 101 acres covering the land from what is now Wayne street on the east to the river as a boundary line west and north, and extending to what is now South street. Mathew Caldwell secured land to the west of the Manning section. It was also in 1807 the first wedding was celebrated when Benjamin Seawell married Martha McCorkle.
(page 560) Washington was the first name given this settlement in 1808. The records show that Washington extended as far south as Sycamore street, east to Harrison street, north to Green street, and west to Downing street. Piqua bore the name of Washington until 1816 when by the wishes of the people and an act of the legislature it was restored to the old Indian name of Piqua.
In the war of 1812, Gen. William Henry Harrison had quarters at Upper Piqua on the Swift Run creek, called Camp Washington.
Blockhouses for protection from the Indians had been established; previously one stockade house of logs had been built in 1811 about where Harrison street intersects Water street; one in Huntersville and one on what was afterward the old Turk farm west of town. At this time Col. John Johnston was the Indian agent here and by his tact and courage, kept the Indians well in hand, holding a number of them on his land. There were about six thousand Redmen at one time under his surveillance and' his success in keeping them neutral was the saving of much bloodshed in this territory. The signing of the treaty of Peace between the United States and Great Britain gave the settlers a chance to return to the development of their little communities. With the organization of Miami county into townships in 1814 Piqua (Washington) was located in Washington Township, the smallest but now the most populous and wealthiest in the county.
In 1822, a petition to the State legislature bearing the date of November 7th was signed by 57 of the householders that Piqua be incorporated as a town. The list of the signers included Robert Young, John O'Ferrall, William McLean, Benjamin S. Cox, Alexander McClintock, Robert Bigger, James Jugrum, Jacob Lauder, William R. Barrington, Barnard Arstingstate, Joseph Bennett, Joseph Caldwell, John Orbinson, W. Johnston, John McCorkle, Phebe Shaw. John P. Finley, David Morris, Jacob J. Cox, John Heller, Joseph Sage, James DeWeese, Boyd Edinger, John Blange, Mary Donally, John Chatham, Charles Royal, Joseph Porquette, John Brown, William Perrue, Asa Dunham, William Royal, John Lorton, James Tamplin. William Julian, Nicholas Greenham and Nicholas Smith. These early settlers came mostly from Pennsylvania and Kentucky. In 1825 the population of Piqua had increased to 348 souls.
Additional territory was added to Piqua by a special act of the general assembly of Ohio, March 9, 1835, and john L. Tohnston was elected the first mayor of Piqua. Robert Young was the first treasurer and filled this office for four successive terms, the terms being for one year. Joseph G. Young was also town treasurer for several terms. An act incorporating Piqua as -a city of the second class was passed March 19. 1850, and the first city officials were: Stephen Johnston, mayor: M. H. Jones, recorder, and John Morrow, treasurer. By the census of 1860 the population was shown to be 4,616. When the Civil war broke out, in 1861, Piqua furnished seven companies of infantry of 104 men each, fifty of her men were included in the 8th Ohio battery, and the cavalry company mustered in Piqua became part of Co. 12, O. V. C. The Piqua lodge of the Grand (page 561) Army of the Republic numbers today many of the veterans of the Civil war.
Huntersville became part of Piqua in April, 1892. This village, named after David Hunter, and also called "Shawnee," was on the east side of the Miami river to the south and east of Piqua. Nearly all of the original land had belonged to the Hilliards, who settled there in 1879. Their first mayor was L. C. Cron, elected in 1875; John W. Eley was the mayor at the time of the annexation of Huntersville. This part of Piqua is now known as East Piqua.
Piqua today covers an area of three and a half square miles. Manier street is the last street at the south end of town, Drexel avenue is the last street north, Riverside drive (the old St. Mary's pike) skirting the canal and river, the last street east, and the Washington pike is the western boundary. Statler's pike is the south boundary of East Piqua. Directly to the north and east of Piqua across the great Miami river is the village of Rossville, platted in 1840, and named after a man by the name of Ross who established a carding mill on that side of the river. In 1846 John Randolph had freed his slaves in Virginia and these came north and quite a little colony of them settled in Rossville, where their descendants are living today.
Piqua with her population of over 15,000 and extensive manufacturing interests is easily the most important city in Miami county. Thirteen of the sixty miles of streets are paved, and a boulevard electric lighting system is installed. It is an attractive city with its many handsome homes, and the maple and elm trees that still beautify and shade the streets in summer. The residences are landmarks that have special interest. The old Ashton and the old Joseph G. Young homes on North Main and Greene streets are typical of the 1820 style of buildings, the Davies and O'Ferrall homes on Wayne street are types of 1830 to 1840 structures with their pillar construction of walls and boxing under the eaves. The seventies brought the Mansard roof as witness the Orr home and barn on Greene and Downing streets. After 1900 came the homes of L. M. Flesh, George H. Rundle and John P. Spiker. An elbow of the Great Miami river flows through the east side of the city and Riverside drive glimpses some very picturesque spots on this river. Echo Lake, a part of the hydraulic system, is overlooked by some attractive homes and Sugar Loaf island antedates Piqua history by thousands of years, being a conglomeral of the glacial Morain. Fountain Park and the Chautauqua. Beautiful Fountain park, Piqua's playground for old and young, was made possible by the women's clubs. About twelve years ago Miss Martha Wood, daughter of Mr. C. L. Wood, was on the program of the Fortnightly club for a paper on Parks and Playgrounds. And in looking into the situation in regard to Piqua, she found that the beautiful tract of woods on the hydraulic canal, in the extreme western part of the city, was to be divided, the timber cut down and sold, and the ground cut up into city lots. She made such a strong plea for the saving of the tract and making it into a park that the members of the club at once decided to take the matter up with the other women's clubs. (page 562) An offer, in the name of the women’s clubs, was made to raise the money to purchase the grounds for a city park. They found the city council in sympathy with the project, and the city decided finally to purchase the tract of land, and the members of the women’s clubs, by a “tag day,” and in other ways, raised the funds to improve it. This was done co completely that Fountain park, as it was named, is now a delightful place, enjoyed not only by Piquians, but by people of this and adjoining counties. A wading pond, swings, and a playground apparatus, dancing pavilion with bandstand, add to its natural beauties, make it an ideal picnic ground, and as such it is widely taken advantage of and here the Piqua Community Chautauqua meets each year.
Federal Building. The Federal building is one of which the citizens of Piqua may well feel proud. Built of Bedford stone with granite entrance steps, it is an unusually handsome structure of the Grecian style of architecture with Doric columns supporting the entablature. An original appropriation of $100,000 was made for this building in 19190, and an additional appropriation of $75,000 asked for in 1912 when this became a postoffice of the first class. A site was acquired on the corner of Wayne and High streets, with a frontage of 179 feet on Wayne and 147 feet on High street and ground was broken for the erection of a building March 29, 1914. The building was finished August 26, 1915, and the postoffice moved from its former location at the southeast corner of Maine street and the Public square under the direction of Dr. W. J. Prince, postmaster from August 27, 1913, until his death, March 28, 1919. William H. Flach, recently appointed, is his successor. The first postoffice was established April 1, 1811, and officially bore the name of Piquatown. This name was retained until 1823 and was then changed to Piqua.
The Piqua Chamber of Commerce was organized in January, 1916, and James L. Black elected as the first president. Its quarters are in the three-story Boal building on Wayne street and occupy the whole second floor. In the building is an auditorium 70 by 30 feet which seats about three hundred and fifty and is used for meetings of the Chamber of Commerce and various office rooms stand for industrial, commercial and social betterment, supporting and developing it manufacturing interests, promoting good city government, and assisting every movement for the general good. The various departments of the organization and the chairman elected January, 1919, include civic bureau, J. L. Black; industrial bureau, M. H. Lytle; membership council, Meyer Louis; convention and publicity bureau, J. E. Bryan; mercantile bureau, C. E. Lynch; rural affairs bureau, E. H. Allen; transportation bureau, J. F. Hubbard. The transportation bureau retains the specialized services of S. D. Hutchins for routing shipments, etc. One of the feats of the Civic Bureau has been the removing of unsightly bridges across the old canal at North, Greene, High and Water streets and the construction f concrete culverts. The rural affairs bureau helps promote good rods and assisted in establishing the Dixie Highway. War gardens, of which 126 were assigned to individuals and approximately $20,000 of produce raised.
(page 563) Co-operating with the Troy Chamber of Commerce the elimination of the dangerous road curve at Farrington between Piqua Troy may be accomplished.
The mercantile bureau formed a retail board of directors, numbering in its personnel the following representative retail merchants: F. E. Campbell, furniture; C. G. Fisher, leather goods; George Benkert, dry goods ; Ray Woodcox, plumbing and hardware ; George Higgins, druggist and C. E. Barker, men's clothing. This retail board of directors meets every two weeks and passes upon matters of importance to merchants.
The Piqua Chamber of Commerce was the center of war work activities. It took the lead in conducting all manner of such work. s headquarters for the Miami County Liberty Loan committees and was largely responsible for the success of the Liberty Piqua. The Red Cross headquarters was at the Chamber of Commerce.
The Piqua Fuel Administration, with Mr. Hutchins as secretary, procured for Piqua a sufficient supply of coal to prevent the closing, churches and factories during the war-time shortage of fuel. The officers elected January, 1919, are as follows: A. Acton Hall, president ; Ralph B. Sullivan, executive secretary; August S. Clouse, treasurer; J. L. Black, national councilor; S. D. Hutchins, office manager. The board of directors are E. H. Allen, M. B. Orr, Leo Louis, J. E. Bryan, Meyer Louis, Ferd A. Beckert, W. O. Taylor, F. L. Marshall, Eugene Johnson, C. E. Lynch, M. H. Lytle, George Washing, J. F. Hubbard, J. L. Black, and the membership four hundred.
The original Piqua Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade was organized in 1887 and had its headquarters in the Wilson block, where the present location of the Miller-Baldwin company. Of this organization, Homer C. Nellis was president ; C. L. Wood, vice-president; Walter D. Jones, secretary. Among the directors were L. C. Cron, W. P. Orr, H. K. Wood, William C. Johnston and Leonard Lewis. This was a very active organization in its day and the one which directly secured for the city the location of the Favorite stove works, the Cincinnati Corrugating company, the Piqua rolling mills and several smaller industries. The organization was also very active in securing aid for road and bridge improvements, and, in fact, was a powerful factor in the affairs of the y. It missed "by an ace" the securing of the State Soldiers' home for Piqua. When it came to determining the selection, two members of the board voted for Piqua, two for Sandusky and finally, after some hesitation the latter city secured the g vote. The organization also, on one occasion when the city council failed to act, took up the matter and went into court secured an important victory in defeating an attempt to interfere with the city's gas supply.
Public Utilities. Railroads as a means for transportation were preceded first by the flatboats plying the great Miami to the Ohio vers; a large Keelboat for this primitive method for carrying on commerce being built on what is now the public square. The method of transportation was the opening of the Miami and (page 564) Erie canal for traffic between Piqua and Dayton July 6, 1837. With the active operation of the canal Piqua became a point of distribution for the products brought in by wagons from the counties north and west of Miami county.
The Columbus, Piqua & Indiana railroad was the first brought through Piqua. Authority to use Sycamore street for this railroad being given May 17, 1851. This was the terminal point of Te road until 1864 when the Richmond branch was completed to Bradford. Before that time the round house and shops were located at Piqua. It was the custom to detach the wood burning locomotive in common use and attach the new-fashioned "coal burner."
This line is now a part of the Pennsylvania system, and Piqua is a station on the main line between Columbus and Indianapolis, just seventy-eight miles from Columbus and having a passenger service of thirteen trains a day. Extensive improvements were begun in 1912 and finished in 1914. The twenty-two feet of elevation of the track through the city, replacing the six miles of single track road with double tracks and the building of a handsome new station on Wayne street.
The Dayton & Michigan railroad first ran cars through, in 1854, from Piqua to Dayton. The D. & M. railroad was absorbed by the C., H. & D. and this road became a part of the Baltimore & Ohio System in 1917. Before the war Piqua had ten passenger trains a day, but is now reduced to six a day. As a station on the B. & 0. it is eighty-eight miles north of Cincinnati and 114 south of Toledo. August 5, 1889, a charter was granted to construct the first electric street railway, the line to extend from Favorite Hill to the cemetery. In 1896 extensions were made through River street and Broadway to Ash. The city line now runs from the city limits on Favorite Hill to the cemetery and has been extended to South street. It is now owned by the Dayton & Troy traction line, this also gives Piqua a passenger service of twenty trains a day between Piqua and Dayton. The Dayton, Covington & Piqua traction lines ran their first cars through Piqua in October, 1902, and this line gives a service of twenty trains a day. The Western Ohio Traction line, running to Limaand Finley, was established April 5, 1903, and has a schedule of twenty trains a day.
Water Supply. The Piqua Hydraulic Company was organized May 1, 1866, to build a hydraulic canal from Lockington to Piqua and the following officers and directors were elected : President, G. V. Dorsey ; secretary, A. G. Conover ; treasurer, J. zerman ; directors, G. V. Dorsey, Stephen Johnston, A. G. Conover, J. F. McKinney, John O Ferrall, W. J. Jackson, and J. D. Holtzerman. The state had previously agreed to grant a supply of water for Piqua from the Miami and Erie canal which has its big reservoir at Lewistown, forty miles from Piqua.
A hydraulic canal from Rocky Branch to Swif Run creek was built and completed by the fall of 1870. May 22, 1872, the city took over the task of completing the city waterworks system. William Scott, William Johnston and Stephen Johnston were appointed trustees and this board was responsible for getting the interrupted work under way again. The present system was (page 565) completed June 16, 1876, and consists of four miles of hydraulic canal which leads to the pumping station, located on the corner of North street and Washington avenue. The canal connects with a feeder at Sidney and comes through Lockington where a basin was built on an acre of ground given by the state. There are three reservoirs or reserve basins for the local supply of water, one at Swift run, Echo lake and the Franz pond. These three reservoirs in all occupy fifty-eight acres.
Central Union Telephone Company. This company is now occupying its fine, new building, constructed this last year on Wayne street between High and Ash. Every detail to make this an exchange of the very highest type has been attended to, both in the building and in the equipment and is now considered one of the most complete plants in the state. Regardless of the size of the city thirty-five operators are employed. This office serves 2,200 subscribers as well as those of Lena and Fletcher. The cut-of of the old switchboard in the former offices was made and the new board put in commission without any interruption to service at midnight on June 29, 1919.
Originally the Central Union Telephone company had its exchange in the old Scott building, on the corner of Ash and Main streets. From this building the company later moved their offices to the second floor of the old postoffice.
The Piqua Home Telephone company was incorporated February 6, 1899, by Stanhope Boal, W. A. Snyder, Henry Flesh, William Snif, S. K. Statler, M. G. Smith, and L. M. Flesh. This company was taken over in October, 1917, by the Central Union Telephone company. Both exchanges were kept in operation until the cut-off to the new building.
Artificial Gas. The first gas company was organized by Joseph G. Young and A. G. Conover in 1854, and the gas works were built on River street between the canal and Spring street. In 1856 the city gave this company a contract to light the streets and this was the method of street and home lighting until 1889.
Natural Gas. A franchise was granted November 15, 1887, to the Mercer Gas & Fuel company to lay natural gas pipes through Piqua to the Mercer county gas fields. This pipe line was completed early in 1888. The company was financed by the Brice Thomas syndicate, in which William P. Orr and S. K. Statler were interested. The Dayton Natural Gas company succeeded this company, this being followed by the Miami Valley Gas & Fuel company, who have been merged into the Ohio Fuel Supply company.
Its offices are now located in the Third Savings & Loan company's handsome marble front building on Wayne street. Frank C. Davies has been local manager since 1896.
The Dayton Power & Light Company has its Piqua office in the Boal block on Wayne street, and the power plant and central station of the hot water heating plant is situated on Sycamore street between Alain and Wayne streets. Mason H. Lytle is the local manager and fifty men are employed at the plant and office. The system of the city heating was installed in 1901, but the generating (page 566) equipment has all been practically rebuilt since then and materially improved.
H. K. Wood secured the first Edison rights in Ohio, although Piqua was not the first city to have the electric lighting installed. However Piqua has the honor of being the seat of organization of the Ohio Electric Light Association of which Thomas A. Edison, Samuel Instill (president of the Commonwealth Edison company of Chicago) and H. K. Wood of Piqua were three of the five organizers in 1898, and Mr. Wood was its third president. The Piqua Edison Illuminating company was the first electric light company in Piqua and the officers were: President, Harvey Clark secretary, H. K. Wood ; treasurer, Henry Flesh. They built a plant at the corner of Water street and the canal and also furnished power to the 'first electric railway here. This company was succeeded by The Piqua Electric Light company, whose officers were: H. K. Wood, president and general manager; Henry Flesh, secretary and treasurer. In 1900, they built the original plant between Main and Wayne street just of the railroad. December 1, 1912, the Miami Light, Heat & Power company took over this company and operated until complete transfer of the property was made in 1915 when it became part of the Dayton Power & Light company. The plant here also supplies St. Paris, Rossville and Fletcher.
The Piqua National Bank. In 1847 Joseph G. Young, one of the most prominent men of his time, active in promoting the success of every business enterprise of importance in Piqua during his day, was the prime mover in organizing the first bank in the city and was its cashier twenty-eight years until his death in 1875. It was incorporated as the Piqua Branch of the State Bank of Ohio, with a capital stock of $100,000 and Mr. Young personally made out the slate of officers as follows : President, William Scott ; cashier, Joseph G. Young; directors, William Scott, Joseph G. Young, H. W. Hughes, J. D. Holtzerman, Stephen Winans, Robert Young, L. R. Brownell and J. A. Schmidlapp. On March 13, 1865, it was nationalized with William Scott and Joseph G. Young still president and cashier and Henry B. Greenham, assistant cashier ; and its capital stock was doubled.
The first location was on the west side of Main street, at the present location of the Border City Building association. Later it moved several times before reaching its present location at the corner of Main street and the Square. This present three-story stonefront building was erected in 1900 and was considered a model bank building of its time, but the business has so increased that much more extensive quarters are necessary, and a handsome new building will be erected on the lots the bank has purchased at the corner of Market and Wayne streets, 90 feet on Wayne and 100 feet on Market street. The present officers and directors are : H. K. Wood, president; J. H. Clark, vice-president; John H. Young, vice-president; George M. Pefer, cashier ; August S. Clouse, assistant cashier; James R. Duncan, Wm. Cook Rogers, A. W. French, A. G. Rundle, L. A. Frazier, W. W. Wood, John W. Brown, directors. Its capital is $200,000; surplus, $200,000; undivided profits, $200,000, and its resources are over $3,000,000. This bank has been considered during (page 567)its entire career as one of the strong and stable financial institutions of the state.
Citizens' National Bank was organized in April, 1865, at the close of the Civil war, with a capitalization of $100,000. Its first officers were: President, Mark N. Megrue ; vice-president, William Megrue; cashier, H. Clay Landes; directors, M. N. Megrue, William Megrue, H. C. Landes, Stephen Johnston, Dr. C. S. Parker, Colonel Granville Moody, Samuel Wood. Dr. G. Volney Dorsey, one of the eminent men of his times served as president from 1867 until his death May, 1885. He was succeeded by General W. P. Orr, who held the office as president until his death, May 23, 1912. Henry Flesh then served as president, cashier and director until his death, May 29, 1919. The location of the bank building has always been on the northeast corner of Main and Greene streets. In 1882 a three-story stone-front building was erected that served until this spring. At present the bank is in temporary quarters two doors north of their old building, which has been torn down and a handsome new modern one story and a half building is in process of construction on the site of the old building and additional ground, the building next door north having been purchased from F. C. Davies. Their capitalization is now $150,000 and the officers are: L. M. Flesh, president; W. A. Snyder, vice-president ; J. P. Spiker, vice-president, F. P. Irvin, cashier; directors, L. M. Flesh, W. A. Snyder, O. J. Licklider, Val Decker, J. P. Spiker, Walker McCorkle Dorsey, George H. Statler, Alfired L. Flesh, F. P. Irvin.
The Piqua Savings Bank Company, organized October, 1901, occupies handsome quarters in the Plaza block. On the first board of directors were: W. P. Orr, Henry Flesh, L. M. Flesh, A. M. Orr, George Benkert, W. A. Snyder, J. L. Boyer, Stanhope Boal, J. H. Frantz, S. K. Statler and J. W. Brown. The first president was W. P. Orr and L. M. Flesh was vice-president ; from October, 1901, until March, 1902, John Fouts acted as cashier, and was then succeeded by John L. Prugh, who has been the cashier ever since. Wm. B. DuBois, who has been with the company since its organization, first as bookkeeper, is the assistant cashier. The first capitalization was $100,000 with $50,000 paid up. Present officers are H. D. Hartley, president; W. A. Snyder and George Benkert, vice-presidents ; directors, L. M. Flesh, chairman ; W. A. Snyder, Geo. Benkert, J. L. Boyer, J. W. Brown, Wm. M. Boyer, H. D. Hartley, George H. Statler, Morrison B. Orr. The present capital stock is $100,000 paid up, $100,000 surplus and $35,000 undivided profits. Assets, $1,237,000. The president of this bank, H. D. Hartley, was chairman of the Executive Committee of the Miami County War Chest. The Third Building & Loan Company was organized in September, 1884. Its list of incorporators were : Clarence Langdon, A. W. Alexander, L. C. Cron, R. M. Murray, Harvey Clark, John U. Patterson, C. L. Wood, Francis Gray, H. H. Bassett, Richard Lee, Leopold Kiefer, Homer C. Nellis, Wm. C. Johnston, W. Scott Johnston. Originally the capital stock authorized was $500,000, increased to $10,000,000. The original office was in George Brook's law offices. In 1892 they moved to what was known as Music Hall block on Ash and Wayne streets. For sixteen years they occupied (page 568) quarters in The Piqua National Bank building, and in 1909 changed their name to The Third Savings & Loan company. This company is now occupying their own handsome modern, marble-front building on Wayne street which they erected in 1916. It is a model for institutions of this character. Present officers are: A. M. Leonard, president; George M. Pefer, vice-president; Mrs. F. E. Purcell, second vice-president; J. H. Clark, treasurer and Louis G. Pefer, secretary. Border City Building and Loan Association is the oldest building and loan association in Miami county and one of the oldest in the State, having been incorporated June 6, 1871. The original capitalization was $100,000 and the directors were: Francis Gray, H. H. Smiley, J. W. Shipley, R. P. Spiker, William McWilliams, William Turk, A. A. Blinn and S. N. Todd. The first active secretary was S. N. Todd from 1871 to 1884. Later J. H. Hatch, who became secretary in 1885, conducted the affairs of the company for sixteen years in the Council house and old Postoffice buildings. In May, 1901, the business was moved to its present location in the Parker block on North Main street. Seth McColloch became the active secretary of the company June 24, 1901, and has continued in office to date. During his incumbency of eighteen years the assets of this institution have increased from $154,000 to $600,000. Henry Flesh, who was president for over forty years until he died, May 29, 1919, was the company's financial adviser and had always watched the conduct of its affairs with close personal interest. The present officers are: Vice-president, P. I. Hedges; treasurer, F. P. Irvin ; secretary, Seth McColloch; assistant secretary, Mary Hughes ; directors, P. I. Hedges, F. P. Irvin, Otto Von Bargen, John Zollinger, Alfired Flesh, W. D. Jones and W. H. Flach. Present capitalization is $2,000,000.
The Piqua Club, organized December, 1901, is composed of the most prominent business and professional men of the city. The original membership was sixty-five and the club house was the present residence of William K. Leonard on Wayne street. A handsome new club house of brick and stucco was erected at the southeast corner of Wayne and Greene streets in 1908, built on a high terrace, three stories and basement, with every convenience for club purposes. This $50,000 property is unusual for a club of this character in a city of its size. The first officers were: President, William P. Orr ; vice-president, J. L. Boyer; secretary, F. B. Roe ; treasurer, W. J. Kelley. The membership has increased to 110 resident members and 65 non-resident. The present officers are: President, J. L. Black; vice-president, W. K. Leonard; secretary and treasurer, Logan A. Frazier.
The Piqua Golf Club occupies the old Kelly grove, two and a half miles northeast of town, consisting of thirty-four acres, the property of Mrs. Augusta I. Boal. It was organized in 1898 by Nathaniel Neill, William P. Rice, William Lauder, J. W. Flesh, J. Frank Gray and Henry Kampf. The course is one of the most beautiful spots around Piqua, Rush creek running through gives a natural hazard. At present there is a 2,300-yard course. Donald Ross, the eminent golf architect, is about to reconstruct same, making it a nine-hole, 3,300-yard (page 569) course, when it will be one of the best nine-hole courses in the State.
Plans are also under advisement for a $25,000 club house to be built next spring. At present there is a membership of one hundred and the officers are: President, J. L. Black; vice president, Alfired Flesh; secretary and treasurer, C. C. Jelleff.
Women's Clubs of Piqua
In Piqua the women's clubs, federated or unfederated-all are literary clubs organized for intellectual growth-worked magnificently to further every interest of the United States and her Allies in the World war. And this can undoubtedly be said of all in Miami county. All Piqua club women invested liberally in Liberty bonds and sold thousands of dollars worth of them, at first as clubs and later uniting with all women of the city.
Almost every club in Piqua paid the expenses of at least one French or Belgian war orphan, and most of them are also contributing to the Loan Scholarship Fund. They never failed to fill their quota of anything given them to do during the war. The club women also filled the part of "four-minute" speakers during the war, proving themselves thoroughly competent. Progressive and quick to initiate or assist any movement for city or world improvement, there is a saying: "When Piqua club women take hold of anything, it is sure to succeed."
The Fortnightly Club, organized in 1889, is the oldest women's club in Piqua, and has always been a literary club of the highest attainments. This club has fifty members and meets once each fortnight. Its first president was Mrs. Emily Pyncheon Reed, and the present occupant of the chair is Mrs. Grace Albers French. Daughters of the American Revolution. The Piqua chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution was organized on the day which we now set apart on which to especially honor the fag of our country, June 14, 1896, the charter members including Mesdames Martha Geyer, George W. Statler, Gertrude M. Irvin, Wm. P. Hall, Louise Wood McKinney, Elizabeth G. Royer, Elizabeth R. Slauson, and the Misses Martha H. Wood, Nellie E. Wood (now Mrs. George Taylor), Daisy Mary Smith, Mary E. Hall, and Adeline E. Gross. Mrs. Augusta I. Boal was the first regent, and the regent today is Mrs. Helen Widney Walker, the membership numbering twenty-two. The Piqua Daughters erected a stone at Upper Piqua, in front of the old Colonel Johnston Indian Agency House (now the Morris Farm), to commemorate' the last battle of the French and Indian war, which was fought there. They also placed a tablet on the Indian Agency House, and have marked the graves of Revolutionary soldiers who are buried in the county. They have also contributed to Memorial Continental Hall at Washington, and to the various calls of the National Society for funds connected with the World war, and furnished comfort kits for Company C, Piqua's first company of soldiers to leave for service in that war; doing war work also with the Red Cross and other local organizations. The Piqua Chapter's national number is 275, which shows that it was one of the earlier ones organized. The Columbian Club. Another which has accomplished results (page 570) is the Columbian club, organized in 1892 as the Sommerset club, with literary improvement as its object, and eight charter members, and the following year the name was changed to the Columbian club. Two years later it was federated. From this small beginning, the present club of fifty members has grown. Purely a literary club from the first, it has never-the-less been active in assistance rendered in many other fields, and has the honor of starting the City Federation. Mrs. Binney M. Sweezey was its first president; Mrs. Allen L. Marshall was president in 1919.
The History Club was organized in 1895 by Miss Mary Hall as a little study club for a group of young teachers who were obliged to pass special examinations, and Mrs. Louise Wood McKinney taught them. The club was federated in March, 1897, the study having brought so much of pleasure and profit, that the members decided to continue as a club. There are now twenty-five active and one honorary members.
Helen Hunt Circle. Intellectual and social culture is the aim of the Helen Hunt Circle, organized in 1894 and federated in 1897.
Its first president was Mrs. Libbie B. Robison, and Mrs. Minna B. Hunter is the present incumbent. The number of members is limited to twenty-five, and there are at present five non-active charter members. The programs have dealt principally with history, literature, civics and related subjects and the world today. The Book Club, a delightfully informal one, organized in 1900. Mrs. Fired Johnston, now Mrs. Albert Barber, was its first president, and Mrs. A. A. Hall, who has held the chair for several years, this year is still its official head. To familiarize themselves with the best of modern fiction, and current events, are the aims of the Book club, which has met continuously for nineteen years. The Non-de-Script is another club which developed from a little study class, eight or nine girls meeting together to study Shakespeare under Mr. J. W. Fisher, and in 1901, it was organized into a club with Professor Moffet, a teacher in the high school, as leader. Miscellaneous study is now its aim, and the membership limit is twenty-five.
Reading Circle. The year 1904 saw the organization of a little group of women into the Reading Circle, a club of twelve members, congenial souls, who have found much pleasure in the meetings. It has never been federated, but its aim has been literary profit and social intercourse-purely a reading circle, as the name indicates. Mrs. Rebecca Ludlow was the first president, and Mrs. William Fleming presided over the Circle in 1919.
The Story Tellers' League, organized by Miss Jessie Masden, now Mrs. Harold K. Harvey, of Greenville, has brought joy to all those fortunate enough to be numbered among its members, for it has a particular charm all its own. Miss Masden suggested, and carried out, her desire for a League in 1911, and made it a branch of the National Story Tellers' league from the beginning. She was the first president, and Mrs. Helen Reymiller is its president today. Its aim is to revive the lost art of story telling, and to familiarize its members with the great stories of literature ; and its programs have been some of the best given in Piqua.
(page 571) City Federation of Women's Clubs. To unite for cooperative work all the women's clubs of Piqua is the aim of the City Federation, and it has been a powerful factor in the life of the community, for by organization the clubs have been able to accomplish much that would have been wholly impossible if attempted individually. In 1897-98 there had been a Miami County Federation, but this had long since been abandoned.
It was early in November, 1909 that the organization was completed, Mrs. Todd being elected president. The clubs represented, and their presidents, were: Fortnightly, Mrs. William Cook Rogers ; Columbian, Mrs. E. A. Todd ; Helen Hunt, Mrs. E. H. Butterfield ; History, Miss Effe Angle; Reading, Mrs. Frances Nelson ; Book Club, Mrs. A. A. Hall ; Non-de-Script, Mrs. George Berry; Reading Circle, Mrs. Louis Koester; American University, Mrs. R. P. Sprague. The Federation has executive, philanthropic, club extension, educational, art, civics, health, and Florence Crittenden committees, and each by enthusiastic work has accomplished splendid results.
It is impossible for lack of space to enumerate the many good works, but during Mrs. Todd's incumbency, the Parent-Teachers' Association, and "Clean-Up Days" were established; Miss Belle Boyer, the second president, initiated and established the Scholarship Fund and took one girl through the high school ; Mrs. A. A. Hall's term of office saw the initial move taken for the Y. W. C. A., with $1,000 earned for it and the Research club organized; during Mrs. William Cook Rogers' term, 1915-17, the City Federation, with the help of the Piqua Welfare association, brought the Public Health Nurse to Piqua. During Mrs. W. C. Kerns' tenure of office, 1917-19, the Convention of the Middle West District was brought to Piqua-the first time in twenty years-and the Young Women's Christian association was organized. Several girls have also been educated, or partially educated, during the various years, each year the Health committee managed the selling of large numbers of Red Cross Christmas Stamps to aid in the fight against tuberculosis. Mrs. Meyer Louis was elected to the presidency in the fall of 1919, and in her hands the same high standards will be maintained. The Research Club. A new club, organized through the club extension committee of the City federation, in 1915, and federated the same year, is the Research, whose members are especially enthusiastic in all club work. Miss Almont Stewart was their first president, and Mrs. J. C. Cron was elected in 1919. Social and intellectual culture, and the promotion, so far as may be practical, of measures for the good of the community, are its aims.
Piqua Branch Child Conservation League of America. This, the youngest of Piqua's clubs, was born of the child welfare movement in 1918. Its president is Mrs. E. H. Allen, and monthly meetings are held.
The Round Table. September, 1878, at the home of Dr. Dorsey, Mrs. George Nelson, Mrs. J. F. McKinney, Mrs. G. Volney, and Mrs. Charlotte Goode, discussed the possibility of forming a literary club in Piqua and in October the club was organized, "the object of which should be the social and intellectual. improvement (page 572) of those who should be connected with it." This club continued to meet every Monday evening for thirty-two years. Two reasons for its long life, and unusual loyalty of members may be discovered in article 3, which says: "The presiding officer shall preside at one meeting and appoint his successor for the next," and article 9: "It shall be considered a point of honor with members not to criticise or discuss d the exercises in the presence of persons who are not members."
The original membership was twenty-five, afterward extended to thirty. The name adopted was The Round Table, and a pleasant conceit was inaugurated, giving to each member a club name from "The Idyls of the King." The charter members were Dr. and Mrs. G. Volney Dorsey, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. McKinney, Captain and Mrs. George Nelson, Mr. Richard Slauson, Miss S. M. Scott, Miss A. L. Frye, Mr. James Johnston, Miss Adeline E. Gross, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Gross, Miss Margaret Johnston, Mrs. Charlotte Goode, and Miss Callie Pettitt. This club became very dear to its members, and when, at the end of thirty-two years it was decided to discontinue the meetings, it was done with great regret. Community Club, Springcreek Township. District number one, of Springcreek Township, has a flourishing organization in the Community club, which came into existence in June, 1915, and was federated in the spring of 1919. Its object is to provide better country schools and to benefit the community, and it has accomplished much good for its district. The members did splendid work for the Piqua Chapter of the Red Cross and for Child Welfare, Mrs. Blaine Statler being the efficient chairman of the latter. They always gave the quota asked for in war work. There are about 60 members, and they meet every two weeks, twice a year having open meetings. Mrs. George Doss was the first president, and was again in the chair in 1919.
The Schmidlapp Free School Library. Thru the generosity of Jacob G. Schmidlapp, now a prominent financier of Cincinnati and New York, a public library was given to Piqua that has been a source of enjoyment since its inception in 1890. Mr. Schmidlapp. who was born and lived here until manhood, when a boy attended the Piqua schools, to whose Board of Education in later years he proffered the use of his property on North Main street for a library. The offer was accepted and the old building reconstructed. The first librarian was Miss Sue Hetherington who filled the position for years. The city funds support the existence of the library, which is under the supervision of the Board of Education. During the flood of 1913 the library was badly damaged, the waters rising in the lower floor to a height of five feet, destroying so many books that an appeal was made to Carnegie who responded with $10,000 to buy new books. Mr. Schmidlapp attended to repairing the building. A bronze tablet on the wall pays tribute to the untiring efforts of Miss Jessie Masden, Miss Sue Hetherington and Miss Gertrude L. Irvin who saved many books that would otherwise have been lost. 'The physical equipment of the library now consists of the main library building, 511 North Main street, and three school deposit stations. During the last year its circulation (page 573) was 70,013 volumes. In response to an appeal for books for the cantonments many hundreds of books were collected at the library and the Schmidlapp library was headquarters for the War Savings Stamp Campaign of the School Sammies during the summer months.
The present librarian is Miss Gertrude L. Irvin.
Lodges and Societies. The Odd Fellows were the first to establish a lodge in Piqua, April 29, 1839; Masons instituted Warren lodge October 21, 1841; Alexander Mitchell Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, October 27, 1866. Piqua lodge 533 of the Benevolent Order of Elks, November 9, 1899; the Amokee Tribe of the I. O. Red Men, May 7, 1908; Willow Camp, Woodmen of the World, April 11, 1906; Miami lodge, M. B. of A., May 25, 1897; Knights of Pythias, February 12, 1882; Piqua Aerie - 14, Fraternal Order of Eagles, February 12, 1903; Piqua lodge No. 1067 of the Loyal Order of Moose, July 23, 1912; Theatrical Mechanical association, August 7, 1907; Order of the Eastern Star, October 21, 1909. Minerva lodge, No. 16, Order of Rebekah, December 16, 1916; Order of Maccabees, Border City Tent, No. 72, October 21, 1889; Women's Benefit Association of the Maccabees, May 6, 1894. The Young Women's Christian Association of Piqua (the only one in Miami county), has the best record of any Association in Ohio and West Virginia, yet it has been in existence but seven months. The City Federation of Women's clubs had long carried the thought of a place where the self-supporting women of the city might meet for recreation and pleasure, very near its heart, and when Mrs. A. Acton Hall held the president's chair, the initial move was taken, and during her regime $1,000 was made for this very worthy purpose. During the years 1916-17, when Mrs. William Cook Rogers was president, this sum was added to by part of the proceeds of her opera which was given in Piqua, and by the business women of the city headed by Miss Albertine Christ, who showed their interest by giving an unusually successful lawn fete on the grounds of the Piqua Handle & Manufacturing company, which netted several hundred dollars more for the cause. But in 1917 saw the entrance of America into the World war, and the patriotic women put the money they had earned for the Y. W. C. A. into Liberty Bonds, to await a more favorable, season for the carrying out of their dreams. An endowment of $6,000 had been bequeathed in his will by Mr. Robert Patterson, which in time would be available for a permanent home, on condition that a Y. W. C. A. be organized. So after an enthusiastic rally on February 24, 1919, the establishment of the association was certain. Because of payments to the War Chest, and the Victory Liberty Loan to be held in April, it was decided to begin in a small way in rooms over the Piqua Daily Call office on North Wayne street. Committees were announced for a three day's "budget campaign" to obtain funds to finance the organization for two years. Leading business men, the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary club pledged their support, the newspapers adding their valuable quota, and instead of the $10.000 asked for, $17,500 was raised by untiring efforts of practically every woman and girl in Piqua, and it was decided to put the surplus of $7,500. into the building fund.
(page 574) March 22, an organization meeting was held when directors and officers were elected as follows: President, Miss Lucy Patterson ; vice-president, Mrs. L. M. Flesh; recording-secretary, Miss Marjorie Whitlock; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Scott Watterson; treasurer, Mrs. Helen Reymiller. Messrs. L. M. Flesh, J. L. Black, Logan Frazier, Mrs. W. C. Kerns and Mrs.. Rebecca Ludlow were elected trustees, Miss Alice M. Bartlett, of Maine, general secretary, and Miss Elsie Cox, of Piqua, office secretary.
Thus was the Young Women's Christian Association of Piqua most auspiciously launched, and under the guidance of Miss Bartlett, a young woman of magnetic personality, it has assumed remarkable proportions. The pretty and home-like suite of five rooms, including secretaries' offices and club rooms on Wayne street between High and Ash, were formally opened with a reception May 1, 1919, and on October 24, 1919, there were 1,320 names on the roll.
It was found necessary during the summer to add more rooms for the accommodation of this surprisingly large number of members and these were procured a square below on North Wayne street, above May's Opera house. They include a large recreation hall, reception room, kitchen and store room. In September of the same year the serious need of another secretary arose, and Miss Susan Jane Boone, of Dayton, was happily secured. Piqua is said to have 1,800 self-supporting women and girls, and many of these hold positions in the factories, a number coming from other places. And because of the absence of foreign element, and possibly because of their favorable conditions, the factories here employ a higher class of girls than is generally the case.
There are six clubs and a Girls' Reserve within the folds of the Piqua Y. W. C. A., and they are not only intellectual, but very democratic, and every working woman in the city is invited to attend. All clubs meet monthly, and at the general federation supper given once a month, all come together, and in turn, each club provides the entertainment for these evenings.
The Blue Triangle Welfare clubs include the "Fiwelco," (or first welfare club), from the Superior Underwear company ; the "Twightwee," from the Atlas, the "Hiticlu" (high times club), Orr Felt & Blanket company, "Pikawillainy," Piqua Hosiery, and the "Swastika Smiles" from the Imperial Underwear company. November 23, 1919, the Piqua Y. W. C. A. federated, and it is hoped that before very long a permanent home will be provided for this rapidly growing organization, whose beautiful influence is being realized more and more by the community at large.
Young Men's Christian Association
In dividends of manhood rather than money, the Y. M. C. A. is considered the best paying enterprise in the city of Piqua. Organized in 1877, its value to the community cannot be estimated, for it has moulded the characters and developed the physique of thousands of boys and young men, its aim always for their uplift and development mentally, morally, physically and spiritually. The membership is open to all boys and men over ten nears, without (page 575) regard to religious beliefs, yet working in close co-operation with the churches, and in its daily contact with men and young boys, the institution endeavors to identify them with the life of some branch of the organized church.
The building at High and Downing streets was thrown open to the public in 1894, and has been constantly in use ever since, a center always of recreation, uplift and help. During the terrible flood of 1913, it was put at the disposal of the relief committee, and hundreds of people who entered its doors dejected and discouraged with the loss of all, or nearly all, of their possessions, went out comforted and materially assisted. It has now a fine gymnasium, with modern apparatus, where "Busy Men" and business men, as well as high school boys and juniors have their special classes; its dormitories built in 1913, provide comfortable quarters for from twenty-five to thirty men, while cafeteria dining rooms, in charge of Japanese caterers, serve a large number of women as well as men daily.
The swimming pool and shower baths are largely patronized, as are the reading and billiard rooms. Formerly there were evening classes in business courses, with practical talks by Piqua experts, but this need is now filled by the high school. There are 800 members, including 200 boys, and at least 500 take advantage of the physical culture department, in summer the tennis court finding particular favor. The change from the crowded quarters over the postoffice at the time of its organization, to the present well-equipped building, is great, and too much cannot be said of the loyal men who have put their shoulders to the wheel and placed the organization in the position where it now stands, the women of Piqua, too, have ever been ready to help. Religious work is developed through Bible classes for the various groups, and personal interviews with the members, and factory meetings, these in co-operation with the Ministerial association.
Two officials of the Piqua Y. M. C. A. gave up their duties there for the greater service of the War Y. M. C. A., the general secretary, Mr. W. V. Hayes, who became general secretary at the Wilbur Wright Aviation field, early in the World war, and Physical Director Harry J. Gould, who was stationed at Camp Sheridan, Montgomery, Alabama, and at other Southern military camps in the same capacity.
The late George H. Rundle was ever the faithful friend of the Y. M. C. A., helping with his money and by his enthusiastic belief in the cause, to tide it over many a hard place. As recreational features, the Y. M. C. A. picnics, given yearly at the Rundle farm, are a source of great pleasure to the members. Allen G. Rundle is president of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Harry D. Hartley chairman of the Board of Directors, T. P. Pearman is the general secretary since February, 1919; Mr. Norman McDonald, boys' secretary, and R. L. Westerman, physical director. A company of men known as the "Boosters" have secured remarkable results in campaigns for money for the Y. M. C. A.
The annual summer camp for the boys is always looked forward to with enthusiasm by them, and each year enrolls a larger (page 576) number. Camp activities include morning devotional exercises, camp-fire talks, swimming, hiking, social stunts, and Sunday meetings. The boys' headquarters is equipped with reading matter, games, etc., and is located in the finest room in the Association building. A standing invitation is issued to the boys and young men of Piqua to affiliate with the association and enjoy its benefits, and all are made welcome.
Knights of Columbus
Piqua Council, No. 1094, Knights of Columbus, was instituted in this city, February 1906, with a charter membership of fifty-four. The officers chosen for the Charter Class were:
Grand Knight, George M. Benkert; Deputy Grand Knight, Leo Thoma; financial secretary, August I. Clouse; treasurer, Geo. M. Peffer. At that time the G. A. R. hall on North Main Street was rented for meetings of the Council, later club rooms were secured in the present Piqua Daily Call building, where meetings and other gatherings were held. A steady growth of the Council has brought the membership above 200 and another class of possibly 60 is to be added in the near future. The K. of C. club house on North Wayne street, formerly the Joshua Shipley home, was purchased by Council in 1918 and is most comfortably equipped. Louis G. Peffer served as K. of C. secretary at Camp Sheridan. August S. Clouse served in the Air Service division at Dayton, Ohio, having been granted leave of absence from his duties as assistant cashier of Piqua National bank. Present plans of the Council include the building of an Auditorium on the premises of the present K. of C. club house and the work will begin in the spring of 1920. The officers elected for 1920 are as follows :
August S. Clouse, Grand Knight; Joseph C. Vogt, Deputy Grand Knight ; recorder, Albert J. Zink ; Leon H. Sills, secretary ; George M. Peffer, treasurer.
The Memorial Hospital of Piqua. An institution which has proved of the utmost good to the people of Piqua and Miami county as well as many from afar, is the Memorial hospital, given to the city by Mrs. Edward C. Thayer, of Keene, N. H., in memory of her brother, Mr. Delos C. Ball; a resident of Piqua from 1855 until 1870. It was built at a cost of $20,000, dedicated with impressive ceremonies November 30, 1905, and opened to the public December 7,1905, five acres on Park avenue – the old Park Avenue Cemetery – having been secured.
The building, which faces the south, is of light pressed brick with stone trimmings, and is conveniently located on Park avenue in artistically laid out grounds, the colonial pillars adding dignity and beauty. The main building is three stories high, with wings on either side two stories in height. The administrative offices, reception hall and wards are on the first floor, private sun parlors, diet kitchen, etc., occupy the second, while operating, sterilizing, and anaesthetizing rooms and a pathological library for the use of physicians, are situated on the third floor. All are thoroughly equipped, and the hospital is one of the most complete in the country.
(page 577) In 1915 an X-Ray room was installed by Dr. R. D. Spencer and the late Dr. Robert M. Shannon.
Most of the rooms were furnished by individuals as memorials, so are especially attractive, the donors being Mrs. Augusta I. Boal, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Brown, Mr. James R. Duncan, Piqua lodge, No. 523, B. P. O. E., Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Flesh, Mrs. W. H. Geyer, Mrs. John C. Geyer, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Hance, Mrs. Frances E. Nelson, Mrs. John S. Patterson, Miss Harriet Statler, Mss. S. B. Warren, Mrs. M. E. Barber, Mr. W. K. Boal, St. Paul's Evangelical church, Ladies' Aid Societies of the Presbyterian and Greene Street M. E. churches. The physicians of Piqua furnished the operating room. Many of the rooms are in memory of men and women whose names meant much to the history of Piqua, such as Mrs. Mary Langdon Young, Mr. J. C. Geyer, Mr. J. S. Patterson, Mrs.. Catherine Atkinson Brooks, and others, and a pathological library in memory of Mrs. Thayer. Legacies have also been received from E. R. Farrington, Elizabeth S. Young, Sarah A. Gray, George A. Brooks, Mrs. John Keyt, Daniel Spencer, Robert Patterson and Allen D. Hance. Miss Mary Collins Melville was the first superintendent, being succeeded by Miss Elizabeth L. Hatfeld, R. N., and she in turn by Miss Dessa Shaw, R. N., the present superintendent, a graduate of the Harrisburg hospital and a registered Red Cross nurse, who assumed the position in 1912. In 1908, during Miss Hatfeld's administration, the Memorial Hospital Training School for Nurses was established, and it has been most successful. At first the course was for three years, but in 1916, a four-year course was organized through affiliation with the General hospital in Cincinnati, the nurses completing the course there. October 31, 1911, through the generosity of General W. P. Orr, a most attractive Nurses' Home was turned over to the Trustees. Built and given in memory of General Orr's wife, Mrs. Frances Meilly Orr, a woman of remarkable character, it is a beautiful building, conforming to the architecture of the hospital and situated to the west of it on the spacious grounds with accommodations for fifteen nurses. The complete equipment of the steam laundry was the gift of the Women's Auxiliary Board.
Founded and maintained for the benefit of all classes, the hospital is managed by a Board of Trustees, composed of twelve citizens of Piqua, assisted by a Woman's Auxiliary board.
The number of cases treated at the hospital the first year was 167, while during 1918-1919, the number was over 700. The first officers and trustees included Gen. Wm. P. Orr, president ; John H. Young, vice president ; Henry Flesh, treasurer ; George M. Pefer, secretary; board of trustees: Gen. Wm. P. Orr, John H. Young, Henry Flesh, George H. Rundle, Robert C. Patterson, James R. Duncan, W. K. Boal, Daniel Spencer, George A. Brooks, Walter D. Jones, W. A. Snyder, Frank Lange, C. L. Wood, S. K. Statler, and the Mayor of the city, ex-offcio. The Women's Auxiliary at that time called the Board of Lady Managers-Mrs. Charles E. Stuart, president ; Mrs. A. Acton Hall, secretary ; Mrs. Kate Y. Leonard, treasurer.
Present officers are: President, C. L. Wood; vice-president, J. R. Duncan; secretary-treasurer, George M. Peffer. Mr. Peffer has (page 578) always been secretary, and upon the death of Mr. Henry Flesh, was appointed treasurer also. Messrs. Wood, Duncan, Young, Peffer and Flesh, are the present life members of the Board of Trustees. The officers, and members of the boards, Women's Auxiliary, and all who have been connected with the Hospital have given devoted service, and it is an honor to Miami county to have so fine an institution in its midst.
The Flood of 1913
With the shrieks of the drowning, the agonized calls for help of those marooned on their house-tops, or in the trees ; with houses lifted bodily from their foundations and pounded back and forth as if the elements were playing battle-dore and shuttlecock ; with rain and bitter winds; staunchest heart, the 1913 flood will go down in history as the most terrible calamity of Piqua.
Yet it brought forth marvelous heroism, men and women looked into the face of death unflinching, and gave up their lives to save others. More gave of themselves unstintingly, working day and night until exhausted to answer the pathetic appeals that rang out unceasingly over the dark waters.
After it was all over, men and women returned to what was left of their homes, dug out the mud, cleaned and scrubbed, and began anew the battle of life. The waters came suddenly, swiftly, and with so little warning, that few were in the least prepared, many refusing to believe, even when told of the danger, an awful tragedy resulted, with fifty lives snuffed out like candle fame upon a windy night.
Those in the lower districts of Piqua, Shawnee, East Piqua and Rossville, who lived in two story houses, fed upstairs, and then, as the waters followed them, they worked frantically with pocketknives, curtain poles, nails, anything that they could lay their hands on, to force a hole in the roof, and laboriously pulled each other up to supposed safety, only to have the whole house wrenched from its foundations and float down the river, crashing its way through all kinds of wreckage to, in many cases, be dashed to pieces at the bridges, in plain sight of friends helpless to rescue them because of the rush of the mad waters.
Many remained on the roofs of houses or in trees for twenty-four to forty-eight hours, one family perched on its roof for three days before rescuers could get to them. An old man, living in Rossville, hung in a tree sixty hours, keeping up his spirits the entire time with hymns and prayers and calls for help, was finally rescued by the magnificent heroism of Clarence White, a moulder, whose battle with the waters at a point threatening certain destruction, and where no one had dared to launch a boat, was watched and cheered by crowds along the shores.
Easter Sunday, March 23, 1913, dawned in Piqua dark and forbidding. Rain had fallen on Saturday, and it rained practically all day Sunday, with high winds and rain in the afternoon. Early Monday morning, the 24th, the rain fell in torrents, and with it came terrific winds that ripped shutters from their fastenings (page 579) and blew trees about as if they were twigs. The evening papers said the river was booming, and had gone above the nine-foot stage as a result of the rain. "But," they added, "no fear of food is entertained just now."
So the residents of Rossville began leisurely to move their household goods to safety, but they and those in Shawnee and East Piqua were not particularly disturbed. There had been foods before, but they had never done a great amount of damage and people west of the river did not give a moment's thought to the possibility of the main part of town being flooded, but on that fatal evening went down curiously to view the high water, and some of these sight-seers were caught near the levee in East Piqua when it broke, and in the terrible rush of waters, in a moment their lives were blotted out without even the chance for prayer. Late Monday night when it was found the levee in northeast Piqua was weakening, police and firemen were hurried to the scene, and the riot call was sounded to warn residents in that district. But as one small break was mended, another developed and suddenly the entire wall went down, and the enormous volume of water plunged over, carrying men, women, children, houses, everything before it, in one terrible unrecognizable mass. Men with automobiles and every kind of vehicles, and on foot with ropes and lanterns that had been on hand and five boats had been sent in from the pump house to help those they could to safety. Many who had been offered help refused to leave their homes, so sure were they of their safety, a number of these were drowned, and others were rescued only after unutterable suffering and privation.
The death of Mrs. Louise Hohendorf was particularly sad. She with her family lived at the corner of New and Harrison streets.
Five of her nine children were with her and after the water reached the second story, at break of day on Tuesday morning, Dick Morrow and Clarence Hauck came for them in a big boat. The current was so strong that the boat rocked from side to side and soon filled with water, and went from under them before they had gone 100 yards.
Each of them grasped a little pear tree, but Mrs. Hohendorf, who had died in the boat. A man on a nearby roof threw out a rope fastened to a second story window and pulled each one in while they clung to a water spout. Five hours they spent in the tree and all night long the rain poured and thunder and lightning added to the agony. And a day and a night was spent in that house before they were rescued by Mr. Emmett Brush and Mr. Parsons. The telephone girls saved many lives in Shawnee; while the waters were rising, they stuck to their posts and transmitted the frantic calls for help that came over the wires to police headquarters, and men were sent in boats to the rescue, who would otherwise not have known where they were most needed.
One of the first to give his life in the black waters of the food was Mr. C. B. Jamison, a prominent lawyer and representative Piqua man. Although he had a wife and three children, his own home was beyond the water and he thought them safe, so at the first call for help he went, and with Mr. F. M. Sage, securing a (page 580) boat that black Monday night, went about saving all he could. In an attempt to save a three-year-old and a woman, he gave up his life. After he and Mr. Sage got into the boat, an oar broke and the boat became unmanageable. Another boat came to their rescue, but the first boat was overturned in the current, throwing Mr. Jamison on the outer side of it and on the other side of a tree. Mr. Sage managed to grasp the tree, but Mr. Jamison was carried on down with the terrible rush of waters. For days after the flood receded, devoted friends searched for his body but it was not until March 29th, that Madison Dye, Dr. W. N Unkefer and Mr. Alvh W. DeWeese discovered it, covered with mud with only one elbow exposed, the searchers were attracted to it by the glistening of his Masonic ring.
Many were the thrilling rescues; heroes were discovered in this time of stress when men’s souls were bared to the lime light and there was no place for craven who thought of self.
Of the many heroes, the names of Richard Bateman and Clarence White stand first on the list, while others are Mr. Clark B. Jamison and Mr. T. M. Sage already mentioned, Dr. John L Crawford, Mr. Edward Pearsons, Emmett Brush, Louis and Edward Henry Bertling. Police under Chief Caufield also did heroic work Dr. L. S. Rrowbridge and Miss Marie Penny, a nurse at Memorial hospital, earned undying fame by allowing themselves to be drawn across the turbulent waters from the wrecked Pennsylvania Railroad bridge to Shawnee in a pulley swing suspended on a cable to attend the sick over there who could not otherwise be reached, as all communication was cut off with the people west of the river. Dr. Trowbridge went over first, then the nurse who won encomiums of praise for her bravery and splendid service.
Mr. Richard Bateman was afterwards given the Carnegie medal for saving at least 100 lives. He had been a river watchman practically all his life at Lawrenceburg, Ind., and had been in many floods but the one in Piqua was the worst he had ever seen. He was fifty-seven years old, yet he rowed his boat through the water running thirty miles or more and through driftwood, roofs, houses, parts of bridges, etc. and the almost superhuman strength he displayed was beyond comprehension. Clarence White was equally heroic, working two days and a night without food or rest, in the dangerous Rossville vicinity, saving at least 60 men. Both were cheered by thousands on the banks.
To add to the terrors of the days and nights of rain and cold and darkness constant rumors of the breaking of the Lewistown Reservoir reached this city. These continued for almost seventy-two hours and kept the people in a state of panic. With all of eastern Piqua flooded, should another volume of water come from the west, they felt the town would be wiped out completely. Night after night those who could get there, spent on the western hills, the rumors so authentic that Wednesday night, March 26, the Mayor receiving word that the Reservoir had broken, warned the people to take to the hills. Another night when fears had been (page 581) somewhat allayed, a modern Paul Revere on foot with a lantern rushed through the street, throwing open doors of houses, and yelling for the people to fee for their lives, that the Reservoir had broken. And the same frantic scenes were repeated. But the Reservoir did not break. The great volume of water filled the bank to the breaking point, and although the outlet at the bulkhead was opened to the limit, the level of the water could not be held below the danger point. At the worst the water ran four feet deep over the waste weir during the afternoon of March 25, 700 feet of the low bank north of Lakeview went down, but as the pressure of water there was low, no particular damage resulted. The heroic work of the residents of that section, the County commissioners, and a detail from the National guards patrolling the banks and working night and day saved the situation. Drift logs in great number were obtained and placed on end inside the embankment, and sacks of sand were laid against them. This was done at a weak place at Russell's Point where the waves were dashing over the embankment for a distance of 70 feet. Of the thirty-five men who worked to save the situation three were ministers.
The highest water previously known in Piqua was 41/ inches in 1898, and in this flood of 1913 it rose to 180/ inches, 11 feet and 7 inches higher than on any previous record. The Shawnee bridge was washed out, the Rossville bridge was impassable and the Pennsylvania Railroad bridge east end was gone. The water began to fall about 1 p. m. Tuesday, March 25th, and relief measures were at once begun. In the main part of town the streets had been flooded to Downing street and in some cases to Caldwell on the west. Around the City hall and Hotel Plaza (now Hotel Favorite) people could get around only in boats. The streets were black, many houses with only basements flooded were without heat or light as the electric light plant was flooded, and although the gas company kept going, numbers of meters were under water in the homes. On North Main street people were being taken from the second floors of their homes. The City building was abandoned as it was flooded 5 feet deep and police headquarters established in
Masonic hall. All traction lines were crippled and were unable to run in or out of the city. The newspaper offices were flooded but in spite of the fact that its machinery was all under water, all paper ruined, The Piqua Daily Call got out a tiny sheet about 8x10 inches on Wednesday, March 26th, by obtaining job stock from Magee Bros. and W. F. Caldwell's Printing Establishment, and printing it on a small press at Magee Bros.
Relief headquarters were at once established at the Young Men's Christian association, the Business Men's association, the Y. M. C. A. and citizens generally co-operating. Company C, Ohio National Guard of Piqua and Company A, of Covington, patrolled the streets under the direction of the city authorities, placing the city practically under martial law. Piqua was cut of from the outside world, no mail was received or sent for days. All telegraph and many telephone wires were down. North and South the C., H. & D. (now B. & 0.), was crippled-the washout from Sidney to Dayton being almost complete. Bridges and tracks were down on (page 582) both railroads and no trains running, the only possible means of communication being a freight engine to Bradford where one could telegraph.
H. E. Culbertson, in charge of the Pennsylvania railroad elevation, gave invaluable service at a most critical time when he placed at the service of the relief committee the only two available engines in the Piqua yards, and he and J. T. Nielson made a trip to Bradford and thence to Union City which resulted in two carloads of provisions being sent here from Union City and Winchester, Indiana.
Prof. George C. Dietrich, superintendent of the Piqua Public schools, came home from an Eastern trip and with difficulty reached Shawnee but could get no further. So he took charge of affairs on that side of the river, and farmers north and east of Piqua supplied Rossville, Shawnee and East Piqua with food. Citizens rallied to the assistance of the unfortunates in splendid fashion opening their homes, dividing their provisions and their clothes. Relief work was carried on in a most approved and businesslike way. All kinds of garments were brought to the Young Men's Christian association, where the most prominent women of the city, under the direction of Mrs. Emma Fordyce, of the Associated Charities, remained day after day, sorting, arranging and giving out the necessities of life to those who had lost all. Harry J. Martin, secretary of the Y. M. C. A., was chairman of the Relief committee and John T. Nielson of the Executive committee and later J. T. Jackson of the Red Cross came with a staff of workers to assist in rehabilitation work.
The receding of the waters disclosed a desolation so complete, so heart-rending, that it seemed impossible to believe it could ever be remedied. But the heroism with which men and women met death, now was shown in their learning how to live, and in an incredibly short time the devastated districts began again to be habitable. March 29th brought another company of soldiers to guard the districts, Mayor Smith with Company M, Second O. N. G., with 39 men and two officers, and were placed in Shawnee, Rossville and the city proper, and Uncle Sam sent shipments of supplies from the Purchasing Departments of the U. S. Army. Word of Piqua's terrible experience was flashed over the United States and even Europe and assistance came from many directions. Governor James M. Cox sent representatives and then came himself to investigate Piqua's needs.
Of countless deeds of heroism and good works, it is impossible to tell. Factories gave men and teams to go into the wrecked districts to help clean up the mud and debris, the president and other officers working in hip boots, side by side with their humblest employees, and this was the spirit which prevailed throughout, and enabled those who suffered so cruelly to win out of the darkness of death and destruction into the light of life renewed and hope triumphant. As a local poet put it
"For Piqua, risen from ashes,
Shall rise from water's strife;
By fire and flood's baptism
She proves her right to life."
(page 583) Piqua Chapter of the American Red Cross. On Registration day, June 5, 1917, after a patriotic demonstration in honor of 1,423 of the young men of the city, who had enrolled for their country's service, a most representative and intensely interested company of people met in Greene Street M. E. church and organized the Piqua Chapter of the American Red Cross. J. L. Black presided and Henry Kampf was secretary of the temporary organization. At first only the corporate limits of Piqua or Washington township were included in the Chapter, but September 1, 1918, the boundary was changed, and Brown, Spring Creek, and Newberry townships added, thus adding four Branches, Covington, Bradford, Lena and Fletcher. At the organization meeting J. B. Wilkinson was elected chairman, Rev. J. F. Cogan vice-chairman, F. P. Irvin treasurer; Martha H. Wood, secretary, and Mrs. Charles Conroy, assistant secretary; and after a meeting of the directors, an executive committee was appointed consisting of Mr. J.-L. Black, Prof. George C. Dietrich, Mrs. Emma Fordyce, Mr. A. D. Hance (since deceased). Mrs. W. H. Allison, A: A. Hall, Henry Kampf, Miss Stella Pefer, W. W. Wood III, and ex-officio, were included the chairman, treasurer and secretary of the newly formed Chapter.
Mrs. August I. Boal generously gave the Chapter the use of a room in the Scott-Slauson block which she owned, for six months, free of rent, and at the end of that time, Chapter headquarters were moved to the Chamber of Commerce.
It is interesting to note that the shipping committee had three chairmen, Mr. W. V. Hayes, general secretary of the local Y. M. C. A., who resigned to become secretary of the War Y. M. C. A. at Wright Field, Dayton, 0., Rev.. William H. Allison, rector of St. James Episcopal church, who went overseas as Y. M. C. A. secretary with the American Expeditionary Forces ; the third chairman, Mr. J. C. Eley serving for the remainder of the time. The campaigns of the Nursing Committee, Mrs. W. K. Leonard, chairman, for graduate nurses for the Student Nurse Reserve, resulted in recording 14 graduate nurses, four undergraduates, 12 student and 12 practical nurses, seven having made arrangements for autumn entrance to training schools of their choice. Two of Piqua's nurses were accepted for service, one, the public health nurse, Miss E. LaVerne Gamble, being sent over seas; Miss Irene Hockenberry serving at the Walter Reed General Hospital, Miss Margaret Hunter, who was in training in Columbus, was sent to Camp Sherman during the influenza epidemic. The committee obtained a Red Cross nurse for Piqua during the epidemic, the public health nurse having left for overseas' service.
The Woman's Service League, Mrs. Augusta I. Boal, chairman, which was organized in April, 1917, for the purpose of doing war work, and had done splendid work, soon after the organization of the Piqua Chapter was merged with the Red Cross, Mrs. W. H. Allison was appointed chairman of woman's work, and she was assisted by the executive committee, Mrs. L. M. Flesh, Mrs. C. E. .Stuart, Mrs. W. T. Hart, and Mrs. E. A. Todd, and the vestry of St. James Episcopal Church placed the Parish House at the disposal (page 584) of the Women's Committee for a Red Cross Workshop, and all work was done there for several months, when because of increasing demands, the departments of hospital garments and supplies, and the yarn were moved to rooms over the Third Savings and Loan Bank, and the Parish House was devoted to surgical dressings. Later a house on North Wayne street was rented, and all the work done under one roof.
Meanwhile Mrs. A. M. Orr, Mrs. Theodore Royer, Mrs. G. M. Peffer, Mrs. J. C. Eley and Mrs. H. D. Hartley were added to the executive committee. Surgical dressings and home nursing classes were organized, Mrs. Allison teaching one, and drives for refugee clothing were held each spring under Mrs. A. A. Hall. The three hundred dollars raised by the Woman's Service League was used by the Red Cross to purchase the first supply of yarn. Mrs. G. A. Brooks was the superintendent of this department, and she was assisted by Mrs. F. B. Roe, Mrs. Forrest Stickler, Mrs. Harry Brown, secretary, Miss Louise Jones, Mrs. H. D. Hartley, Mrs. P. L. Snorf and Mrs. Helen Reymiller, as well as the room supervisors. The unit system was instituted, the knitters numbered over a thousand, and 5,678 articles-sweaters, helmets, wristlets, socks, mufflers, afghans, trench caps and bed socks-were knitted, filling 18 boxes, and with a valuation of $16,945.50.
Articles to the number of 107,206 were made in the department of surgical dressings, hospital supplies and sewing articles. The women filled every quota assigned, never refusing a single call ; layettes for Belgian babies, and other refugee garments, comfort kits for the soldiers, and the assembling and packing of Christmas packets for them, and decorating and selling Red Cross bags, were among other things accomplished, the total value of the women's productions being $39,759.53.
The Home Service Section was first started in January, 1918 In the beginning six families were dealt with, and March, 1919, the number had increased to 169, the secretary, Miss Mary Sawyer, having in that time made 585 calls to the homes of men in the Service, and received 823 visits at the office. Most excellent work in the way of making Red Cross supplies, packing and filling boxes, etc., was done in most, if not all of the factories, the churches and schools, as well as the Branches, of which the chairmen were : Women's Work-Lena and Conover, Mrs. A. J. Brantner ; Fletcher, Mrs. J. C. Suber; Covington, Mrs. May Rothermal; Bradford, Mrs. Robert Meyer. Men workers, chairmen-Lena and Conover, Mr. Omer B. Frazier; Fletcher, Dr. J. R. Eichelbarger; Covington, Dr. H. W. Kendall; Bradford, Mr. H. N. Conley.
While devoted women were giving their time daily at the workshops and in their homes to work in the gauze, hospital and refugee garments and supplies, yarn and other comforts for the soldiers, equally devoted men were promoting membership campaigns and War Loans, etc. The first war drive and membership campaign in June, 1917, had an unusual record, in that the entire amount subscribed, $25,000, was paid in full. The first membership campaign brought 2,706 annual members, 510 magazine members, 3 life and 1 patron member, and the next in 1918 brought in 239 magazine (page 585) members. Because of the Miami County War Chest, put on with such success in May, 1918, the ' Chapter did not have another war drive, as through this organization it was not only able to meet its allotment of $18,000, but received as its share of the over-subscription 132 per cent of the allotment, making $23,760. It is well to add here that although some chapters kept a large reserve balance in their treasuries, the Piqua Chapter never did, but patriotically spent the money as it came in for supplies in order to render the greatest service, accepting every quota whether it was for war drives, membership, or chapter production, sometimes not knowing how the money could be obtained to fill the orders, but trusting to the loyal people of the city and townships, and they never trusted in vain, every quota was accepted and met. The grand total of money received by the Piqua Chapter from all sources from June, 1917, to May, 1919, was. $61,477.92.
The newspapers rendered inestimable service, the Leader-Dispatch, Call and Press, members of the editorial staffs being on the publicity committee, the Boy Scouts also rendered frequent service, and the ministers of the various denominations helped in all possible ways. Unfortunately, it is entirely impossible to give credit to a large number of those who helped by work or money or both ; practically every person in Piqua and the four townships adjoining, did what he or she could to the best of his ability to further the splendid work of the Red Cross.
The children were not behind their elders, for they gave enthusiastic service to junior Red Cross work, a chapter being organized early in 1918, with all the pupils in the schools organized into Red Cross Auxiliaries. Supt. G. C. Dietrich, chairman, and the principals of the various schools were made chairmen of the branches in. their schools. Mrs. Minna McClay was made director of the elementary work, and Miss Lucy Patterson of the high school, Miss Helen D. Hetherington elected secretary-treasurer, and Mr. R. M. Franz placed in charge of the boys' work. Because of the interest of the school children the elementary schools were 100 per cent, and the high school about 60 per cent in membership. A total of $500 was raised, which was largely expended for materials and to meet assessments from the Red Cross society. Time was taken from the regular art periods of school work for the making of articles for the soldiers and Belgians, and in each school members of the Parents' association co-operated gladly with the auxiliaries. Articles made under the direction of the ladies of the Parents' association were : Park avenue, 120; South street, three dozen under garments; 500 pits and shells were collected by the children and sent to Columbus to be used in the making of gas masks ; 104 articles were made by the High school girls, and 500 pairs of knitting needles and packing boxes for the Parents' associations were made by the boys, of the Manual Training department.
The Piqua chapter was honored by having a Piqua girl in the Red Cross Home Service department at Red Cross headquarters in Paris. Miss Eucebia James spent eleven months overseas in this work. Miss Dessa Shaw, superintendent of the Memorial hospital, and one of the three registered Red Cross nurses in Piqua, was (page 586) awarded special chevrons from the National Red Cross Nursing Service for her service at home.
Churches. Piqua might well be called the "City of Churches," with its eighteen churches all well attended. The United Presbyterians, in 1816, were the first denomination to build a log cabin church in , Piqua, located at the southeast corner of Downing and Sycamore streets. This was replaced in 1837 by a plain brick church. Twenty years later this building was found too small and plans for a new building started, and the present church on Downing street between Ash and Greene streets was completed in 1858. Before this year the congregation had been known as Associate Reformed Presbyterians. During the World war, their pastor, Rev. Ralph Neale, was granted leave of absence and was in Y. M. C. A. service overseas.
As early as 1807 meetings of the Methodist Episcopal church were held in Piqua at the homes of the early settlers. In 1815 a log church was built on an acre of ground in "Upper Piqua” donated by John Johnston for church and cemetery purposes. The First Methodist Episcopal church in Piqua proper was on Spring street and was built of frame. In 1837 a brick church was put up at the corner of Main and Greene streets. This church has been enlarged as necessity required and is known as the Greene Street church. Rev. John A. Altman is their pastor, and the congregation is increasing to such an extent that a new location for a larger and more modern building is being sought.
Favorite Hill mission is maintained by the Greene Street church.
In 1853, it was decided to introduce a second Methodist church as the Greene Street congregation had so increased. The church was first located below the railroad, on Wayne street, and afterward a frame church was built on West Water street, between Downing and ' Chestnut, which was destroyed by a tornado, afterwards rebuilt, and finally burned a few years ago. Undaunted by all these misfortunes a fine brick church was erected in 1914 at the southeast corner of Franklin and Ash streets. The present pastor is Rev. J. R. Wynd.
The Presbyterian church on the southeast corner of Caldwell street, is one of the handsome churches of the city, having a rough stone front and good lines of church architecture. It has one of the largest and most faithful congregations in the city, and is quite a contrast to the first place of worship of the Presbyterians in a small brick church built in 1823 in the south end of town on the west side of Wayne between Wood and Sycamore streets. Their second church building was dedicated March 8, 1845. This was the brick church at the southeast corner of Wayne and Ash streets, occupied for 45 years. Rev. E. H. Montgomery is the present pastor.
In January, 1823, St. James Episcopal parish was organized, and for five years church services were held in a log house, at the southwest corner of Wash and Wayne streets, also out at the school house on Colonel Johnston's place. The first church was erected in 1828 on Spring and North streets. This church becoming inconvenient in location a building was erected by the congregation and (page 587) consecrated December 1, 1847. This was torn down in 1899 and replaced by the present churchly edifice of rough stone and brick on the same site. Rev. Gideon McNullen was the first rector. Rev. W. H. Allison, rector from 1907 to 1919, was in the Y. M. C. A_ service overseas for the duration of the World war. The present rector is Rev. Hayward S. Abelwhite.
Baptists held their first place of worship in a frame building that members of the congregation put up in 1830 near what is now the southwest corner of Harrison and Ash streets. In 1848 a brick church was built on the south side of High street between Wayne and Downing. In 1916 the present modern and convenient structure was erected at the northwest corner of Greene street and Broadway. On completion of this building the Calvary Baptist church congregation, who had been worshipping in their own church on Ash street near Virginia street since 1876 united with them. Rev. A. W. Littrell, the present minister, was granted leave of absence during the World war, and did faithful duty in Y. M. C. A. service, especially during the influenza epidemic at Camp Sherman. St. Paul's Evangelical church is located on the northwest corner of Greene and Downing streets. In 1840 the present site was purchased and in 1845 a small frame church building was purchased from the Cumberland Presbyterians and moved to this location. October 17, 1846, saw the establishment of the first resident pastor, Rev. T. A. G. Doepken. The present brick church was completed and occupied in 1870. Rev. Paul Gehm has been the pastor from 1912 to the present date.
St. Mary's Catholic church dates back to the year 1839 when services were held in the home of Valentine Butsch by Father Theinpoint of Dayton. In 1843 the Catholics had their first resident priest, and the first church building was erected at the present site on Broadway in 1844. In 1869 the church was greatly enlarged and Sisters' home across the street was erected. In 1897 the present St. Mary's school was erected under Rev. E. P. Hickey and in 1899 the church was practically rebuilt. The present well arranged parsonage was built in 1914 under the direction of Rev. John F. Cogan, the present pastor who came in 1913.
Prior to 1855, all Catholics worshipped in one body in this city, but in that year a separate congregation of the German American of Piqua was established and Rev. Hemsteger was appointed the first pastor. The first St. Boniface church was erected on Adams street and completed the fall of 1855. In 1866 the present large brick edifice was erected at Downing and Miami streets. Rev. Geo. P. Steinlage had charge of St. Boniface from February 14, 1881, until his death which occurred here in 1913. The present pastor is Rev. A. C. Tabke.
The First Christian church in its earliest days occupied a small frame building on Broadway between High and Ash streets, known as "Broadway Chapel," until the present church building was constructed in 1895. Dr. S. F. Newhouse was the first pastor. The United Brethren also used the "Broadway Chapel" until 1901 when they built a frame church at the northwest corner of Wood and Water streets. In 1908 the present brick church was (page 588) built at the corner of Ash and College streets. Rev. C. W. Stephens has been pastor for the last two years.
The Church of Christ was the last to occupy the "Broadway Chapel," and their present brick edifice was built in 1901 at the corner of Broadway and Boone street.
St. Johns Evangelical Lutheran church has always occupied the present site at the corner of Wood and Downing streets. The first structure was of frame, built in 1890, and this was replaced by a brick church completed in 1913. Rev. S. Long has been here since 1916.
The Wayne Street Methodist Episcopal church (formerly the German Methodist), at the corner of Wayne and Young streets, was established by Rev. Paul Brodebeck. The original frame church was built in 1866 and 67 and remodeled in 1898. Rev. F. Johannes is the pastor. The First Reformed church, until this year, was Zion Reformed church on Wayne an modeled. The first pastor was Rev. Rusterholtz.
There are two colored churches, both having very good brick churches, the Cyrene Methodist Episcopal and the Park Avenue Baptist.
The Piqua Public Schools. "To keep the schools abreast of every movement that will make Piqua one of the best cities in the United States in which to live," has been the aim of the Board of Education, the administrative officers and the teachers of the Piqua Public schools. And truly they have made remarkable strides. In 1809, when the first school house was built-a little log structure made possible by the subscriptions of the early citizens of Piqua near the corner of what is now Main and Union street, Isaac Henderson, who afterward became a prominent physician, was given the position of teacher. Here the youthful Piquads went to school until 1818, when "The Seminary" was erected-on the public square, a one-story building, the first teacher being John P. Finley. Piqua was then, and still is, in school district number two. James DeFrees, Abel Brandon, and Robert Young were elected directors of district No. 2. W. R. Barrington, clerk, and Thomas G. Ward appointed teacher, this being the earliest record of a teacher employed. After 1840 the teachers were paid entirely by the township. The churches and homes also housed many private schools. Three schools erected about 1845 or 1846, were named according to their relative positions, the North school being between Boone and North streets on the west side of Caldwell ; the East school was just south of Ash street on the east side of Harrison street, while near the southwest corner of Wayne and Wood streets stood the South school The Union School System of 1849 was adopted by vote in 1853, and it was decided to build a Union school, a School board being also elected, on it being W. W. Wood, Wm. Scott, J. D. Holtzerman, J. T. Janvier, Dr. G. V. Dorsey, and W. T. Humphreville.
This high school was finished in 1856, the whole cost of the building and grounds being $34,983.80, and A. G. Chambers was first superintendent.
(page 589) A school for colored children was established in 1854, in the Wesleyan church (where now stands the Cyrene A. M. E. church), but in 1872 a school was built for them at the northwest corner of College and Boone streets, and used until August 1, 1885. After that time, the colored children were allowed to attend the regular schools.
The Park Avenue school was built in 1874 at the northeast corner of Park avenue and Broadway, this taking the place of the old "North school" on Caldwell street; it being sold and torn down. The Spring Street school was originally the home of Robert Young, on Spring and Ash streets, the residence and lot having been purchased in 1875, and the house remodeled for this purpose, as the old East school had been sold. The new school on Spring street was completed in the spring of 1894.
The Wayne Street school, originally called the new South school, was built in 1877 at the southwest corner of Wayne and Wood streets, just north of the old one; in 1890 the South Street school, at the southeast corner of South and Chestnut street, was erected ; the Staunton Street school was obtained when the Hunterville School district was annexed by the Piqua district in 1893, this school being new at that time, and the purchase and remodeling of the Baptist church on Madison avenue in May, 1905, gave to Piqua the present Madison Avenue school, the North Street school having been built on its present location, at North and Walker streets in 1888-89, the lot having been purchased in 1888, and the building completed the following year; an addition being built in 1898. A new high school was built in 1884, considered a fine building and the pride of Piqua for many years. But the introduction of many new phases of school life, such as manual training and domestic science, necessitated larger and more modern quarters, so in 1913 the present handsome structure was begun and finished in time for the opening of the school year in 1914. The approximate cost of the building was $150,000, and it is one of the finest high school buildings in the state. There are accommodations for 600 students, a complete domestic science and art department with dining room, kitchen, bed room, sewing room and other rooms; a particularly well equipped manual training department, with both iron and woodworking rooms, a fine gymnasium, 70 feet long, 38 feet wide and 18 feet deep, with showers of it for boys and girls. There are administrative offices for the superintendent of schools and principal of the high school, laboratories, a sun garden for botanical and agricultural purposes, reference libraries, and lunch rooms, beside an auditorium seating about a thousand on its first floor and balcony. The building is situated in the center of an entire square, and is most imposing.
The Favorite Hill school, begun in 1908, dedicated in 1909, attracts many visitors. Built on the cottage plan, which originated in Colorado, having five rooms, all opening on a central corridor, and each having its separate exit. The plan was adopted at the suggestion of Mrs. W. P. Orr, who was then a member of the board. An athletic field, where many a football game has been played, is situated in its rear.
(page 590) The manual training department has three courses, wood-work, iron-work and textile. The latter has complete machinery for the making of underwear from the yarn to the finished garment, and these classes are taken advantage of by boys and girls who work in the factories in the afternoons. For such pupils the high school has a single session plan, whereby pupils who must earn their livings may continue their high school course. Another big feature is the night school, which has been in operation for five years. It gives full business and other courses.
The special school for retarded children under Miss May Gillis, has brought happiness and new interests in life to many. For the past nine years the Piqua schools had a definite course of reading for every school child from the first grade on. This is considered very helpful by educators. The art department, under Mrs. Minna McClay, has achieved distinction and praise for the really remarkable results obtained by the pupils.
Music is more than a fad in the Piqua schools. The Board of Education, with the object of developing a strong musical sentiment in the community, provides twenty free lessons on any musical instrument, there are classes in musical appreciation in the high school, a High School band, a High School Orchestra, each of twenty-five pieces, a junior band of sixty pieces, and girls' and boys' glee clubs.
Patriotic song services or "Community Sings" have been successfully held at the high school, and the fine Lyceum course, which is carried out every year, brings good music as well as lectures. The encouragement of athletics has always been a policy of the Piqua schools, and many victorious teams have been turned out in football, baseball and basket ball, Merlin Ditmer being the coach for years. An interscholastic league was also formed in 1913 among the elementary schools. From the seventh grade through the high school each girl and boy had physical culture under competent men and women teachers, physical examinations being given and defects corrected. In connection with the junior Red Cross the schools did enthusiastic war work during the World war, an account of which has been given. The pupils also sold $50,000 worth of Thrift Stamps in 1917-18; $20,000 in 1918-19, and collected a large amount of fruit shells and tin. The fall of 1918 a cafeteria lunchroom was established at the high school for pupils and teachers who live at a distance, and its success is shown by the fact that 200 are served there daily. Parents' Associations and Mothers' clubs established in 1909, are a big feature of the school life, for these help the schools buy pianos, victrolas, pictures, and assist in all possible ways ; much extra war work was accomplished because of the aid of these associations, which have monthly meetings.
The Piqua High school is accredited by the North Central Association of Secondary schools and colleges, and one-half of its graduates enter colleges. They are noted, too, in the business world.
Some of the highest salaried men in America is a graduate of the Piqua High school-and a large quota of both men and women graduates served their country during the World war. St. Mary's school was first established in 1853 and placed in charge of the Sisters of Charity, the first school house standing on (page 591) the space now used as St. Mary's playground. About the time Rev. E. P. Hickey became pastor of St. Mary's church in 1899, the Sisters of Mercy succeeded the Sisters of Charity as teachers, and they still are in charge today. In 1897 the present school house was built on North street to the rear of the church. St. Mary's school has for years maintained a high standard. At present there are 251 pupils, 45 of these being enrolled on the High School department added to 1915 which is affiliated with the Catholic University of America at Washington, D. C.
The first school of St. Boniface was held in the rear part of the church, and opened in January, 1856. In the spring of 1857 another school room was added to the building. In 1889 a new school building was erected at the northwest corner of Downing and Miami streets and the school has prospered under the care of the Sisters of Christian Charity. There are now 230 pupils and a three-year commercial course has been added to the curriculum.
Piqua Newspapers. The Piqua Gazette, issued July 6, 1820, was the first newspaper to be published in Miami county. William R. Barrington, who came here from Philadelphia, was editor and owner. On June 23, 1829, Jeremiah Dooley assumed sole control until September 30, 1834, when he sold to Dr. J. B. Gregory and not many months later passed out of existence. The second newspaper to make its appearance in Piqua was the "Western Courier" and Piqua Enquirer, the first issue coming out March 14, 1835. This was a weekly paper and the publishers were Murray & Espy. A year and a half later W. R. Barrington bought this weekly and held it until 1840 when it was acquired by Jonathan Vaile, who rechristened it "The Piqua Intelligencer," only retaining control a year. December 4, 1841, he bought the property and "The Piqua Register" was published Saturdays. Writer and Bradings bought "The Piqua Register" in November, 1858, but publication lapsed in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil war. This paper had first been an advocate of the principles of the old Whig party and became "Republican" in politics under John W. DeFrees.
No Democratic paper was in existence until 1847 when a stock company was formed and the Piqua Enquirer was bought out with D. M. Fleming as editor, who afterwards purchased the paper. In 1860 Mr. Fleming changed the politics of the paper from Democratic to Republican and the name to The Piqua Journal. This paper was published in 1901 when it was consolidated with the Weekly Leader, taking the title of the Leader Journal.
A daily paper had also been started in Piqua back in 1886 by D. M. Fleming called "The Piqua Daily Dispatch" and this daily and the weekly paper "The Leader journal," were both published by Mr. Fleming until his death, January 26, 1898. Ed. Wilbee took charge of the two papers until they were sold to George Long and several of his friends and became Democratic.
In the meanwhile, the "Miami Democrat" came into existence in 1860, after the Piqua Enquirer became a Republican paper and this paper came into the possession of J. C. Smiley & Company in 1875. Seven years later this weekly paper became "The Miami Leader," and in 1887 the publication of a daily paper, called the (page 592) Piqua Daily Leader, was commenced. Henry Kampf bought these papers in 1895 and six years later, also bought the Piqua Daily Dispatch and the weekly journal and combined the two weeklies into the Weekly journal and the two dailies into The Piqua Leader Dispatch. The publication of weekly papers in Piqua ceased in 1911. "The Miami Helmet" was a weekly paper published first in the interests of temperance, with Isaac S. Morris as editor. The first issue was brought out August 6, 1874, and Morris remained editor until his death February 3, 1905. John W. Morris, son of I. N. Morris, was editor of The Piqua Morning Call, first published October 18, 1883, and three months later it was changed to an evening paper called The Piqua Daily Call. John Morris published the "Miami Helmet" and The Piqua Daily Call until his death April 23, 1906. These papers were then sold to "The Call Publishing Company," with H. R. Snyder as editor. In 1909 The Piqua Publishing Company was reorganized and Merritt C. Speidel became editor and manager.
January 1, 1917, the Piqua Daily Press was first issued by The Press Publishing company with various editors during its short life of three years. The Piqua Call, The Piqua Leader Dispatch and The Piqua Press have all three just been consolidated by J. A. Chew and C. F. Ridenour, of Xenia, who expect to publish both a morning and evening paper.
The Miami Post, a weekly paper published in German by August Bartel since August 2, 1894, ceased publication April 17, 1919. This paper had originated with Boni Hemsteger, who bought it out April 17, 1878, as The Piqua Correspondent.
About 1873, Wilson J. Vance, later a noted newspaper correspondent, commenced the publication of the first daily paper ever printed in Piqua, and probably at that time the only daily in the United States, in a town of its size. The paper was called the Miami Valley News. It was a very creditable sheet, but was far too much in advance of its day, and soon suspended.
Industries of Piqua. Grist mills were of the most primitive type in pioneer days and John Manning was the first to build a water power mill in this locality, putting it up on the Miami river near what is now the corner of Harrison and Water streets. In 1839 the water power from the lock on the canal was utilized by B. B. Beall, who built a small frame four mill. A year later this was replaced by a larger plant owned by Joseph G. Young and Mr. Yager. In 1872 O'Ferrall & Daniels put up a brick flour mill, which was burned seven years later having been sold to Conrad Amendt, who was the next miller of importance. He rebuilt, and his plant is that of The Piqua Milling company today. During the '70s and '80s Piqua was the most important linseed oil center in the world. As many as a hundred carloads of flaxseed could frequently be seen on the tracks for unloading. Manufacturing of linseed oil and its by-product of oil cake continued until the absorption of the Piqua mills in 1892 by the American Linseed Oil company, who soon after, closed them down. The first linseed oil manufacturer was John McCorkle, who built a small mill on the west side of the Miami river a mile and a half (page 593) south of town in 1824. Among the early oil men were Thomas Bellas, Theodore Hale, Asa Lampher, John O'Ferrall and Dr. G. V. Dorsey. Sawyer & Son sold their oil mill south of town near Farrington to Delos C. Ball in 1855, who sold it to Orr, Kendall & Leonard in 1870. This mill was later absorbed by the W. P. Orr Linseed Oil company.
In this company William P. Orr had associated with him his brothers, J. W. Orr and C. W. Orr. This company also acquired the large mill that had been built on the corner of Main street and the railroad in 1879, by Orr, Leonard & Daniels, and operated the two mills until 1902.
W. W. Wood and his son, H. K. Wood, were also linseed oil men. In 1865, W. W. Wood and Mark N. Megrue bought the oil mill that had been built by George C. DeFrees on the west side of town, where the Piqua Paper Box company is now located at Covington avenue and College street. Megrue withdrew and the company's name changed to W. W. Wood & Sons. In 1874, E. Farrington came in and the company was known under the name of Wood, Farrington & Co. This firm finally was absorbed by the National Linseed Oil trust, afterward the American Linseed Oil company.
Leonard, Daniels & Johnston built a linseed oil mill on the southwest corner of Wayne and Sycamore streets, operating it until it burned in 1879, and also built and for a time operated another mill on the hydraulic. The Champion Paper Cutter company's building now occupies this site.
Loomis, Reiter & Wall built the first paper mill here in 1876, at the west end of North street on the hydraulic. This mill manufactured coarse wrapping paper at first and later straw board, and is now owned and operated by the American Strawboard company. A second mill to manufacture strawboard was built in 1880 by Francis Jarvis, W. P. Orr, Lewis Leonard, Harvey Clark and G. N. Ziegenfelder. This mill was put up to use the water power of the hydraulic race emptying into Rocky Branch creek at the south end of Main street. It was acquired by the American Strawboard company in 1899 after some very prosperous business years, but fire destroyed the plant in 1901.
At one time there were three carriage and buggy factories located in Piqua. The first carriage maker was W. R. Crozier, who started his first little place in 1835 between Downing and North streets. This business continued until 1881 when it was sold to Crozier & Wilbee and terminated in 1892. R. P. Spiker started to build carriages in 1859 and in 1880 organized the Spiker Wagon company with a factory on West High street. Curtis & Reed built some very fine buggies and carriages, their first factory being opened January 1, 1878, at the corner of Wayne and Water streets, on the site now occupied by the Imperial Underwear company. The Enterprise Carriage company was in existence on North Main street from 1890 to 1902 when the plant was destroyed by fire. The Piqua School Furniture Company was the outgrowth of Piqua Lumber company that had been organized in 1890 by W. P. Orr, S. K. Statler, Moses G. Spencer, J. H. Clark, Thomas Aspinall (page 594) and Charles Barnett. School desks and other furniture were manufactured until the plant was absorbed by the American School Furniture company and closed down. The Hartzell Propeller Works now occupy the buildings formerly occupied by this company, who had built upon the old foundations of the Blackie Twine factory which flourished in the '80s.
Piqua Rolling Mil and Cincinnati Corrugating Company. Before reaching the subject of present day industries, a glance backward will reveal a cycle of prosperity in the city's life that covered the life of the Corrugating company and the Piqua Rolling mills. Experienced and high priced men were employed and the pay roll averaged $35,000 a month. Homes were established by the working men and the population was increased by 1,500. The Cincinnati Corrugating Works was moved here bodily in 1899 and The Piqua Rolling Mill company was organized to manufacture the iron plates used by the Corrugating Works.
These two companies occupied thirty-four and one-half acres in the south part of town from South Main street to what was formerly the Main line tracks of the C. H. & D. before the Pennsylvania railway built its present elevation, and from Summit street to the Hemm road. Only one of the buildings put up by this company is still in existence, and that is a brick building used by them as a paint shop. Col. J. G. Batelle and James Hicks moved here from Cincinnati at the time, Mr. Hicks having been the heaviest stockholder in the Cincinnati company.
The officers of the two companies were the same : James Hicks, president; J. G. Batelle, vice president and general manager; Ed. Hart, treasurer. W. P. Orr and John Daniels were interested in these enterprises. Mr. Batelle made Piqua his home until 1900 when he left for New York City and later to Columbus where he became an important factor in the Columbus Iron & Steel company. His death occurred in Columbus, May 10, 1918, not very long after the Columbus company was merged into the American Rolling Mill company. Mr. Hicks remained in Piqua making this his home until his death, Christmas eve, 1901. It was in Piqua at the rolling mill that the first strictly American tin plate was made during McKinley's campaign for president. McKinley stopped here on his campaign and personally dipped some of the plates. In 1902 these plants were bought by the American Sheet & Tin Plate company, and were closed down completely by the U. S. Steel company in 1906.
Wood, Shovel & Tool Company. Piqua justly has pride in the Wood, Shovel & Tool company's modern plant on South avenue and Clarke street, with its commodious buildings of pressed brick and reinforced concrete so designed as to be distinctly restful to the eyes of the neighborhood and to the passer-by. The original site was partly occupied by the old Callender company, who manufactured wire fence. This old plant was purchased and in 1903 the Wood Shovel & Tool company was incorporated with H. K. Wood, its founder, as president and general manager; S. S. Gould, vice president and sales manager, and W. W. Wood as secretary and treasurer. In 1912 the death of Mr. Gould occurred when W. W. (page 595) Wood became vice president and treasurer, and Charles C. Procter, secretary.
Just a year after the incorporation of the company, in 1903, a fire occurred that totally destroyed the original buildings, and the first new buildings were constructed. The products of the plant are shovels, spades and scoops of all description.. Twenty-four hundred different styles of shovels alone are produced, the different countries demanding their own design of shovel, and the different industries requiring the shovels best adapted to their various needs. The miner requires one design, the railway companies have their own idea of what they need to help build their miles of railroad, while the farmer differs still in his requirements of the type of shovel he needs to dig the soil.
In the early days of its existence this company's output was 20,000 dozen per annum, increased by degrees to 150,000 dozen per annum. The factory floor space at the time of writing is more than six times the original space. From 150 to 175 men are employed and everything possible is done for their comfort and convenience. A space has been reserved in one of the main buildings to be eventually used as a recreation and dining, hall, with plans for carrying out the latest idea for welfare work, even a motion picture machine will be installed. There will be shower baths. lockers, etc., for the comfort of the men. The administrative building contains perhaps the most modern and convenient offices in the city. Across the way a small park was created by the company with well-kept lawn, hedge, shrubbery and flowers to make the outlook attractive from the factory.
Mr. Wood started at the inception of the company with the idea of making it famous for the quality of the tools manufactured. This aim has been attained, as a world-wide reputation for its products attests. The machinery is all modern, all original machinery having been discarded, and some special machinery even being made by their own employes. It is now conceded to be the largest and most modern shovel factory in the world, with its foreign export business expanding every year and most especially in Africa and South America.
While the main office is in Piqua, branch offices have been established in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Texas and Atlanta, Ga., as well as offices in principal cities in foreign countries including Buenos Aires, South America, and Johannesburg in Africa. Most interesting in the history of the company is the part it played in the World war, furnishing the short intrenching shovel, one of the tools carried by every infantry private.
For several years before the war, the Wood Shovel & Tool company had enjoyed annual contracts from the government to furnish intrenching shovels to the Rock Island arsenal, so that when these shovels were needed for actual warfare, the company was in a position to supply them at once and the first order for shovels was sent by Uncle Sam to Piqua, and during the war, 1,250,000 shovels were furnished from this city. This factory filled its orders with so little delay that when the armistice was signed the contract then (page 596) in execution was within one day of completion, making a unique record for efficiency.
The Piqua Hosiery Company ranks among those foremost in Miami county war work, having manufactured nearly two million shirts and drawers for the American Expeditionary Forces. Aside from its capacity, it is the largest underwear plant in Piqua, this organization has two bits of history associated with it which are of particular interest. First, it is the pioneer knitting company of Miami valley. Second, it originated the now almost universal union suit for men. The hosiery company was founded in July, 1886, by J. O. Neer, C. A. and C. L. Wood, Samuel Gross, A. J. Roe, C. Langdon, H. C. Nellis, W. A. and C. A. Kitts, who elected the following officers: C. L. Wood, president; C. A. Kitts, vice-president; Clarence Langdon, treasurer; J. O. Neer, secretary. The first products of the hosiery company were stockings and mittens made on hand operated machines, but attracted by the possibilities in underwear manufacture, it soon turned the bulk of its efforts in that direction, making shirts and drawers of high quality for men and women. Very early the founders conceived the idea of a combination garment for men and after much experiment they evolved the first commercially practical union suit.
The company began with a capital of $8,800 and a staff of half a dozen workers. Today it has a capitalization of one and one-half million dollars ($1,500,000) and employs nearly five hundred men and women. In 1886 it occupied a small three-story building, today it has expanded into a magnificent plant covering the entire block bounded by Ash, High, Spring streets and the canal. On the corner of Ash and Spring is the splendid daylight construction concrete building which houses the administration offices and finishing department and adjoining is the original mill now used for shipping, restaurant and cloth storage.
The knitting division, bleaching and processing rooms are located in the big five-story building purchased from the Meteor Motor Car company in 1918 and the three-story building on the corner of High and Spring is used for yarn storage. Wash rooms and showers of the most approved type have been installed, drinking fountains are maintained on all floors, and a restaurant is conducted without profit for the convenience of the employees. The Piqua Hosiery company is not a co-operative institution in the generally accepted sense but many employees own stock and the basis of its pay system is a sharing in consistent production effort and waste saving.
W. K. Leonard, president, has been prominent in all the war activities of Miami county, having been chairman of the War Saving Stamp campaign and chief of the American Protective league during the war period. F. M. Shipley, secretary and treasurer, was chairman of the factory committee in the various Liberty Loan drives. The present official board consists of: President, W. K. Leonard; vice-president, J. W. Daniels (formerly of Piqua, now of Minneapolis); secretary, treasurer and general manager, F. W. Shipley.
(page 597) The Atlas Underwear Company. In just twenty years the Atlas Underwear company has grown to its present big proportions, with two manufacturing plants, one on North Downing street and Rundle avenue in this city and the other in Richmond, Ind., having a combined factory capacity to produce 4,500 dozen garments a week, and employing about 800 men and women. The main business offices are in Piqua in a dignified four-story and basement structure of pressed brick, erected in 1905. Originally of three stories, a fourth story was added in 1909. An addition is in process of construction to the north of the present building to be four stories, also pressed brick, that, when completed, will be a model in every detail. In this new addition a modern cafeteria will be opened for the employees, rest rooms, library, etc., on the first floor and in the basement there will be shower baths. The upper floors will be devoted to manufacturing purposes. The subsidiary plant in Richmond is equally fine in appearance and completeness of its buildings and equipments. It is said to make the finest underwear for men of any factory in the world. A sales office at 346 Broadway, New York City, is conducted by Mr. Abe Louis.
The Atlas Underwear company was organized in 1899 with L. M. Flesh, president; W. P. Orr, vice-president, and E. A. Todd, secretary. They bought the Piqua Underwear company that had an existence of but ten months in the old O'Ferrall factory and foundry on River street at Downing. The Piqua Underwear company was originated by E. A. Todd, Clarence Langdon and J. M. Cahill.
Their first factory made children's, boys' and men's underwear, but its present product is men's suits exclusively. Originally incorporated in 1899 at $75,000, the authorized capital stock has been increased to $1,000,000. The present officers are: L. M. Flesh, president; A. L. Flesh and Abe Louis, vice-presidents ; H. E. Sims, secretary, and E. A. Todd, treasurer.
A signal tribute was paid Mr. L. M. Flesh, president of the company, in his appointment as chairman of the Worsted Knit Underwear committee of the Council of National Defense. It was his duty to see that the proper garments were supplied our soldiers, letting all contracts for the government on this class of merchandise. The Atlas Underwear company furnished the government 1,500,000 suits of underwear during the war. The women employees of the Atlas had their own Red Cross unit and gave up two evenings a week to the work in a room given over to that purpose in the factory building. The Superior Underwear Company. When the manufacture of husk mattresses was discontinued by the Piqua Manufacturing company, their factory building on Water street was occupied by J. P, Spiker and George Davidson, who organized the Superior Underwear company and started to make underwear. In a very few months Spiker and Davidson moved to a building on "Five Points" across from the C. L. Woods lumber yards. Mr. Davidson withdrew from the company and left Mr. Spiker in control of this modest concern that employed but two or three girls. In 1900, a half interest was sold to J. L. Black, and the concern was moved to Bowling Green, Ohio, where they did a manufacturing business of underwear for five years. In 1905 the Superior Underwear company (page 598) purchased buildings and ground at their present location, corner of River and Downing streets, having capitalized for $10,000 the previous year, and in 1906 were established in Piqua and had increased their capitalization to $50,000. Four years later the old plant of the Atlas Underwear company to the south of them was acquired and the present five-story concrete building was erected. This modern and convenient structure has a floor space of 110,000 square feet. The best grades of men's union suits are made, and this mill is the largest mill in the country making men's union suits sold direct to the retail trade, and every garment is sold under the Superior's own label.
Branch offices are located in New York City, Boston, Chicago. San Francisco, and they have selling agents in Latin-America. The stock room in Germany has been closed. The Tippecanoe Underwear Mills became a subsidiary plant of the Superior in 1913, and this mill took care of the big proportion of their war orders. During the war, 60 per cent of the Superior's output was for government needs for the soldiers. Four-fifths of their five hundred employees are women, and they have a machine capacity of 1,800 dozen garments a week. The Superior Underwear company is a strong factor in making Piqua the leading center in the country for the manufacture of fine underwear. At present the authorized capital stock is $1,000,000 and the officers are J. P. Spiker, president and general manager; J. L. Black, secretary and treasurer; Foster Stickler, assistant secretary and general manager; and J. E. Bryan, sales and advertising manager. J. L. Black, secretary and treasurer of this company, was the first president of the Piqua Chamber of Commerce and was the valued chairman of the War Loans Committee.
The Imperial Underwear Company. With one knitter and two assistants, Mr. Charles E. Stuart made his entry into the manufacturing world, and associating himself with John W. Brown, a company was incorporated, known as the Stuart-Brown company, to make underwear. Their factory operations stared in the old Brendel cabinet shop on South street between Main and Wayne streets. The company was incorporated January 22, 1902, and the board of directors consisted of Charles E. Stuart, John W. Brown, Allen D. Hance, George H. Rundle and Daniel Spencer. Later on Mr. Stuart purchased Mr. Brown's stock and the Stuart-Hance company resulted. In 1913 the Stuart-Hance company was absorbed by the Imperial Underwear company, which was incorporated in 1909 by the same officers and the following board elected : President, A. D. Hance; vice-president, George H. Rundle ; treasurer and general manager, Charles E. Stuart; secretary, August Clouse. Mr. Stuart actively filled office until his death, which occurred in 1914, just as the success of the business he had primarily established had reached a most enviable stature in the underwear world.
After Mr. Stuart's death, the following officers were elected : A. D. Hance, president, vice-president ; A. S. Clouse, treasurer; L. E. Shanks, secretary, and Philip Geil, general manager. The Imperial company, with a capital stock of $400,000, is now (page 599) occupying the four-story building on the corner of Wayne and Water streets, built by Curtis and Reed for the manufacture of carriages, noted in their day. When the purchase of the building was made retail stores occupied the ground floor, the upper floor being converted to factory purposes, with offices on the second floor. As the leases of the various stores are expiring the company will include this space in their plant, and big improvements are contemplated. Over 200 dozen suits of underwear are now being furnished each day in contrast to the 30 dozen daily output in earlier years. The majority of the 225 employees is women, and the most modern conveniences and best factory conditions possible are provided for their comfort. At noon hot lunch is served in the company's lunch room and a woman is kept there to cater to the wants of the employees all day. Thirteen men of the employees served in the World war. Forty thousand suits of underwear were manufactured for the government, to he worn by the soldiers. The output of the factory now consists of cotton, wool and silk knit underwear, also all grades, including silk in woven fabrics, and is taken directly by the big retailers all over the United States. After the death of A. D. Hance in July, 1919, the official board was rearranged as follows : F. E. Campbell, vice-president; A. S. Clouse, treasurer ; L. E. Shanks, secretary; C. A. Campbell, general manager, and Philip Geil, advertising and sales manager.
The Favorite Stove & Range Co. The name of William King Boal is ineffaceably impressed upon the intimate history of the Favorite Stove & Range Co. as its founder and spirit. On the completion of the first factory buildings in the south end of the city, Mr. Boal moved his family here in 1887 and became an integral part in the social and business life of the community. His character and personal life, until his death, occurring January 2, 1916, was felt to be for the betterment of all affairs with which he was in touch.
Looking for the best in everyone, he brought out the best. It was his custom to make a trip through the factory every morning and his men entertained for him the highest personal respect and always felt free to go to him for advice and in any difficulties that might occur.
The original Favorite Stove & Range Co. was established in Cincinnati in 1848. The necessity for expansion and owing to the fact that the plant in Cincinnati was located in a district where it was impossible to obtain additional land for building purposes resulted in the removal of the institution to Piqua in 1889. Here an ideal plant was laid out with all the work shops on the ground floor and so arranged that all the work progresses from one department to another in an orderly fashion. There is no retracing of steps, or raising and lowering from one floor to another from the yards and foundries to the shipping platforms. On coming to Piqua William K. Boal was the president of the company and his son, Stanhope Boat, the vice-president, and Jacob Bettman, of Cincinnati, secretary and treasurer. Mr. E. W. Lape, who came here with the company as bookkeeper, succeeded to the offices of secretary and treasurer when Mr. Bettman returned to Cincinnati in 1893 and has taken an important part in the concern.
(page 600) Additions to the plant have been made from time to time and today the Favorite Stove & Range Co. occupies fourteen acres. The buildings are in six parallel rows with light courts in between, and it is acknowledged to be one of the best arranged and most efficient manufacturing institutions of its kind in the United States. The administrative building is on Young and Weber streets. The company today makes the most complete line of stoves, ranges and furnaces of any stove manufacturing plant. The Favorite line comprises the famous Favorite baseburners for hard coal; a wonderful variety of heating stoves for soft coal and wood ; a complete line of cast ranges, steel ranges and cooking stoves ; a complete line of gas ranges and gas heaters, including the marvelous Favorite fireless gas ranges, and a very beautiful and complete line of porcelain stoves and ranges for all fuels. They manufacture Hermetic Favorite warm air heaters and the Favorite pipeless furnaces, and there is also operated a completely equipped shop for the manufacture of Favorite Piqua hollow ware.
An intelligent and progressive sales and advertising policy has resulted in a nation-wide distribution of Favorite stoves and ranges. Favorite stoves and ranges are sold to over 5,000 dealers affording representation in every state in the Union. In addition they do a considerable amount of export business, which includes not only Mexico and South America, but Japan, Java and South Africa. Before the European war they had a large export business with Russia.
In packing stoves for export they first mount them in order that they may fit perfectly, then they are dismounted and each piece carefully tagged and numbered and packed in large iron bound shipping crates with straw so that they will occupy the least possible space. Since the war extensive importations are being made to Spain and Italy. The total number of employees of the Favorite Stove & Range Co. at present is about 650. During the late World war the Favorite Stove & Range Co. manufactured over 6,000 stoves and ranges which were used in the cantonments and hospitals in this country and in the camps abroad. Favorite hill, where many of the employees have their homes, took its name from the company. The executive officers today are : President, Stanhope Boal ; vice-president-treasurer, E. W. Lape; secretary, Leo. M. Frigge; superintendent, John H. Fecker : sales manager, J. A. Underwood ; manufacturing manager, Charles C. Jelleff ; manager of furnace department and advertising manager, Irving M. Adams. The Piqua Handle & Manufacturing Company, now the largest handle company in the world, was organized on May 1, 1882, and housed in a small building on River street, Piqua, to manufacture garden and farming tools, long and "D" handles ; the earliest officers being R. M. Murray, president; H. C. Nellis, vice president; H. H. Bassett, secretary, and W. C. Gray, treasurer. Upon Mr. Nellis resigning in 1886 as vice president, Myron E. Barber was elected to fill his place. September 26, 1886, he was also made treasurer and manager, later following Frank Chance as president. Mr. Barber was with the company for twenty years, and upon his resign inn May 1, 1905, was presented with a silver loving cup as a "token (page 601)of the honor and esteem in which he was held by the officers and employes." During Mr. Barber's long and efficient service, many changes were effected.
September 1, 1892, Mr. William Cook Rogers, of Philadelphia, was added to the firm, bringing with him The W. C. Rogers Manufacturing company, making wooden door knobs, shutter knobs, escutcheons, base knobs, electric push buttons, and kindred goods. September 26, 1893, Mr. Rogers was elected vice president of the company, and upon the retirement of Mr. Barber, he became president, the company being reorganized May 1, 1905, under the laws of Ohio, having until then existed under a West Virginia charter. From the time Mr. Rogers entered the firm the words "and manufacturing" were added to the name.
About the year 1902 branch factories were established at Thompsonville, Mich., and Osceola, Ark., where, as both were equipped with sawmills, they made the finished product direct from the forests. The entire output of these branch factories was farming tool handles. An office was also maintained at Columbus, but that was later discontinued. The New York office is at 18 Broadway.
In 1907, Mr. Robert Lansing Douglas, vice president of a life insurance company in Indianapolis, was elected treasurer, and in that capacity, and as a director, was with the company until his death in 1917. Shortly afterward, Mr. Charles H. Barnett, who had entered the company in 1891, had been made assistant secretary in 1905, and secretary in 1907, was elected treasurer also, with Mr. W. B. Unkefer, assistant treasurer.
In 1914 the company took over the Joseph Bardsley company of New York, manufacturing the finest line of wooden door knobs in the country, and in 1917 the Chapman-Sargent company, of Copemish, Mich., makers of dairy supplies-many of them hand carved and unusual-was acquired. In 1917 a new plant was built in Marquette, Mich., which is one of the finest wood turning establishments in the United States. There the Thompsonville branch was moved in 1917.
The buildings of this plant are of the most modern, slow burning factory construction, automatically sprinkled, virtually fireproof, having as their motive power electricity generated by a 1,000 horse-power turbine engine. The company holds in reserve large acreage of standing timber, its fancy woods being obtained from Mexico, Cuba and Honduras. The Piqua Handle & Manufacturing company is thoroughly progressive, its president, Mr. Rogers, ever on the alert to improve and perfect, to the smallest detail. A business man of rare acumen and ability, he has won for himself and his company an enviable and substantial name, selling its products in every part of the world. From the little, one-story and a half building on River street, where it had its birth, the company has grown until it now occupies ten buildings in Piqua, six in Osceola, Ark., and five at Marquette, Mich., and employes between 500 and 600 men and women. In 1918-19 the output, or number of pieces sold was 27,593,513. The company derives its strength fundamentally from its timber holdings, manufacturing the finished products in the place where it grows. The men employes have a (page 602) mutual aid association with sick and death benefits, and a large co-operative store is owned by the employes of this and a neighboring plant. Present officers of the company are; President, William Cook Rogers; vice president, A. M. Leonard ; secretary and treasurer, Charles H. Barnett.
The company was the first Piqua factory to be given a government war order for the World war, receiving an order for 350,000 tent poles before the war was declared by the United States. The poles, which were for the shelter or "pup" tents, were cut and turned at the Thompsonville branch, and sent to the Piqua factory to be assembled. They were to be delivered in thirty days. So, as it was impossible to obtain men, a number of the prominent young girls of the city, headed by the daughter of the president, Miss Eleanor M. Rogers, volunteered for the work, thirty starting the first day and it was finished in less than the time required. More orders following the first, the girls patriotically remained for several months or until the work was transferred to the Marquette branch of the company. There, and at the Thompsonville branch as well, young women did this work.
The company devoted 42 per cent of its output to direct war work, and 52 per cent to other essential work. This involved approximately three and a half million turnings. Among the articles made were shovel handles, intrenching tool handles, baling shovel handles, tent poles, serving mallets, pick mattock handles, file, chisel, brad-awl, and other small tool handles; the intrenching tool and baling shovel handles together with the metal parts furnished by the Wood Shovel & Tool Works, were in the equipment of most soldiers, as were the tent poles, while the mallets were used in connection with airplanes. It was said that his factory was the only plant to make good on tent poles, 1,440,000 were made and assembled.
The Orr Felt & Blanket Company. The unusually attractive office and factory buildings of the Orr Felt & Blanket company with well-kept lawns and surroundings are most ornamental to the south end of Main street, and everyone connected with the institution seems to have a personal pride in its sightliness. This company was incorporated August 16, 1901, by General W. P. Orr and his son, A. M. Orr, for the manufacture of felts and blankets, after the purchase of the old F. Gray company, who had manufactured paper maker's felts and jackets, flannels and yarns since 1872. They remained in the plant on East Water street, until 1910, when in January, they moved into a new plant they had constructed on South Main street the previous year, much larger than the original plant and occupying a space of 95,000 square feet.
The East Water street plant was reorganized and changed into a worsted milt, for the manufacturing of "piece dyed worsted," operating successfully until April, 1913, when it was badly damaged by the flood which swept through Miami valley. This mill was never started up again after the flood, as when all improvements had been made and it was about ready for the commencement of operation it was entirely destroyed by fire. The machinery was sold and the company after deciding not to rebuild sold the site (page 603) to the state for an armory. The Orr Felt & Blanket company confined its operations to the South Main street plant and in the fall of 1916 was obliged to enlarge its quarters. A new building was erected, south of the plant, occupying a space of 6,000 square feet, and the output increased. The volume of the business is in the manufacturing of the felts used by paper makers of this country and in foreign paper mills. Blankets are manufactured that have a world-wide reputation and no finer ones can be produced anywhere.
Every convenience for the employes has been arranged for and the offices are very attractive and comfortable. The company in 1919 employed approximately 350 hands, 60 per cent men and 40 per cent women. The women employes had their own separate organization for doing war work, working especially for their own men who were in the service sending them boxes when they were in camp on this side. They knitted sweaters and scarfs giving up definite hours each week to the work. Forty-eight of the employes of the company were engaged in the World war. Approximately 100,000 army blankets were manufactured for the government, the company starting on a war order almost immediately upon the entering of the country into the war.
The Pioneer Pole & Shaft Company. Prominent among the manufacturing companies of Piqua is the Pioneer Pole & Shaft company, whose main offices occupy the whole top floor of the Orr-Flesh building at the corner of Main and Ash streets in this city. The official staff is as follows : President, A. R. Friedman ; secretary, W. W. Edge ; treasurer, H. D. Hartley ; chairman of the executive board, W. A. Snyder. This company is closely identified with the Hayes Wheel company with its plants at Jackson, Mich., and Anderson, Ind., and their own plants are at Piqua, Sidney, Muncie, St. Louis, Memphis, Cairo, Ill., Evansville, Ind., and Cincinnati, and Canadian factories at Windsor, Galt and Muritton, Ontario.
To old residents, however, the Bentwood factory on South Main street is thought of when the Pioneer company is mentioned. This factory including the manufacturing and storing space occupies the better part of two blocks at the south end of Main street, and was erected by A. G. Snyder and his son, W. A. Snyder, who came here from Ashtabula in 1888; the firm name was Snyder & Son.
The site was the old Hetherington stone quarry filled up to a great extent by ashes and cinders. In digging for various purposes at one time or another remains of the supporting work of the trestle work of the old quarry have been uncovered. The original product of the Bentwood was confined entirely to wood work for the carriage trade of the country. In 1903, the Bentwood became part of the Pioneer Pole & Shaft company. The carriage trade having given way to the automobile industry, the company has been manufacturing the wood work parts for these more swiftly running cars. From 2,500 to 3,000 men are on the payroll of this company. During the war, rims, spokes, double trees and single trees were turned out by the thousands for the government escort wagons, and from the Bentwood in Piqua went heavy ambulance poles, (page 604) doubletrees, lead bars and singletrees. The company, with its associates, the Hayes Wheel company, operated these plants 70 to 80 per cent capacity on war material.
The Piqua Malt Company was incorporated November 7, 1889, after having been successfully operated by the Schmidlapp Brothers. Their plant is located on Downing street and the railroad, one five-story building just opposite on the southeast corner and another of six stories on the southwest corner. Originally there was but one small, floor system house, but after incorporation the second and larger plant was erected. The latter was also built first as a floor house but was afterward modernized by a pneumatic system and the capacity increased from about 500 bushels per day to a million bushels a year. All the work is now completed by the most modern machinery that in former years was done by hand. While the general impression is that malt, which is manufactured from barley, rye and corn was used only to make whisky and fermented liquors, it is used by bakers, confectioners, in breakfast foods and in syrups, as well as in making malt tonics. During the war the Piqua Malt company filled government orders for malt used in making solidified alcohol, used for heating in the trenches and hospitals. It was also used in making smokeless powder. When in full operation thirty men are employed. The company is capitalized at $150,000 and the officers are : President, Louis Hehman; vice-president, J. G. Schmidlapp ; secretary, J. F. Hubbard. The S. Zollinger Company is the only wholesale grocery company in Miami county. Their fine three-story and basement reinforced concrete fireproof construction building, erected in 1914, occupies 87 by 107 feet on Wayne street and Sycamore street, with side track facilities direct to their building. This company is the outgrowth of the partnership grocery firm of Samuel and J. W. Zollinger, whose' storeroom was on the southeast corner of Main and Greene streets. The flood of 1913 rendered the building on Main street unsafe, five feet of water coming in on the first floor damaging stock as well as structure. Temporary quarters were found in what is now the Piqua Flour company's property on Main street. The S. Zollinger company was incorporated with a capital stock of $75,000. Samuel Zollinger, president, and O. J. Licklider, secretary and treasurer. Samuel Zollinger died in 1912, the year before the flood. The present officers of this very healthy concern are : President, John C. Zollinger; vice-president, J. P. Spiker; secretary-treasurer and general manager, O. J. Lecklider. The French Oil Mill Machinery Company. Occupying two city blocks between Washington avenue, Lincoln, Greene and Ash streets, the French Oil Mill Machinery company is one of the busiest hives of industry in this city. Machinery of all types for the extracting of oils by hydraulic pressure from vegetable seeds and nuts is manufactured here. As the parts of this machinery are weighty, the factory buildings of the plant are low one- and two-story buildings of brick, concrete and steel ; the latest to be built is of steel. The company was organized in 1900 by A. W. French, M. E. Barber, and W. C. Rogers. Mr. French had invented and patented an oil cake trimmer and it was to put this on the (page 605) market that the business was first established. They started with desk room in The Piqua Handle Company's plant, with a capital of $5,000 and their first factory space was in the old building at the end of Water street where the Fillibrown Handle company had been located and used some of this company's equipment. This equipment proving inadequate The King Manufacturing Company's plant on the banks of the hydraulic were taken possession of and later River street was the scene of activities for two years until their first building, 100 by 55, at their present location was ready for occupancy.
This building, it was thought, would be ample for all time to come, but before the end of the year additions of new buildings were in progress of construction and new machinery rapidly installed. The first big foreign order was from the British Oil and Cake Mills company, of England. This last year, oil mill machinery was shipped. from Piqua to many foreign countries including India, Japan, Java, the Philippines, Chile, Argentine, Peru and Cuba. The growth in twenty years has been from $12,000 worth of machinery sold a year to $1,500,000 and from employing two men to now employing three hundred. During the world war the French Oil Machinery company was considered most essential to the food supply of the world, as their machines extracted oils and fats, the basis of oleomargarine and cooking fats, leaving a residue of oil cake which is fed to farm animals. This machinery also produced the oils for glycerine and nitroglycerine, necessary in warfare. The present officers are A. W. French, president and general manager; J. W. Brown, vice-president ; C. B. Upton, secretary and treasurer. George W. Hartzell's Walnut Wood Companies. In 1900, George W. Hartzell, who had been a member of the J. T. Hartzell & Son Lumber company, founded in Greenville in 1875, came to Piqua and established his first walnut lumber yards and mills on South avenue just south of the Wood Shovel & Tool Co.'s plant. Walnut was the only wood handled. In 1914 four acres were purchased on Clark avenue and veneer mills were erected and are most successfully operated.
The war coming on, Mr. Hartzell was called on both by Great Britain and our own Government to manufacture walnut gun stocks. Walnut aeroplane propellers were also manufactured both for the army and the navy. A special building was put up at the request of the Government for the manufacturing of gun stocks, that now lies idle since the termination of hostilities. Walnut lumber for propellers was furnished in great quantities to the United States Government as well as to the British and French. In 1918 the old King Manufacturing company's plant on West Water street was purchased and equipped to manufacture walnut battery cases and specialties. This year the manufacture of phonographs with walnut cases has been successfully launched at a plant on Washington avenue that has a frontage of 1,060 feet. In all, George W. Hartzell employs about two hundred men.
Five acres are occupied by the main mills, panel works and yards on South avenue. Here is the attractive administrative building, a twelve-room Swiss cottage design with the inside wood work of the most beautiful walnut veneer. A garage is in the basement, (page 606) also shower baths and rest rooms. Two acres of landscape gardening is part of this plant, rose beds, shrubbery, and the rustic fence of rough walnut bark is hidden in summer time by crimson ramblers.
Mr. Hartzell is assisted in the active management of the company by his son, Robert N. Hartzell.
The Meteor Motor Car Company. Maurice Wolfe, now one of the leading and progressive manufacturers of Piqua, came to this city in 1913 from Shelbyville, Ind., where he had organized the Meteor Motor Car company, putting out a motor car called the Meteor. Machinery and equipment were moved into the old Sprague-Smith plant at the west end of Greene street and the company reorganized under the laws of Ohio with a capital stock of $50,000, since increased to $90,000. Pleasure cars were brought out until 1915, when they were discontinued for funeral cars. The company by this time had sought larger quarters, first renting and then buying the old Union Underwear company's building on Spring and Water streets.
Expanding in their production, they started to build their own funeral car bodies and commenced to manufacture the Meteor Phonograph for which purpose the Klanke Furniture company's plant in the south end of the city, where they moved in May, 1917, was purchased. The company now employs over 225 men with a pay roll running a quarter of a million dollars a year, and shipments to one and a half million a year. A welfare club is part of the organization that provides for helpless and crippled children. Services of a trained nurse and of a physician are free to employees, and special insurance is provided for every employee of $1,000 to $3,000 and a bonus is given on the savings of each individual employee to encourage the thrift habit. The present officers are Maurice Wolfe, president and general manager ; S. N. Arni, vice-president, and Charles E. Hicks, secretary and treasurer.
The Ohio Marble Company. The evolution of the Ohio Marble company of today from its small beginning as an organization in 1894 is due to A. Acton Hall. Primarily the officers of the company were H. G. Foulds, president, and John T. Nielson, secretary and treasurer, and the manufacture of marble dust from the product of a small quarry in Shawnee was the object of the organization. Mr. Hall came up from Cincinnati to wind up the affairs of this company that were not prospering, but seeing the possibilities and finding Piqua a charming place for residence, he decided to keep the business alive.
Manufacturers of mineral waters, of paints, putty and soap all use quantities of marble dust. In the spring of 1897 Mr. Hall took over the business, and moved his family here where they have enjoyed an enviable position in the life of the community. Under the new management development of the scope of business progressed until in 1907 quarrying on a most extensive scale was under way. Crushed stone for roadways and for concrete construction became an important product. Today fluxing stone is being shipped in great quantities to the blast furnaces and to the manufacturers of pig iron to take the impurities out of the ore. The company now controls 325' acres in Shawnee, from Bridge street for a mile and an (page 607) eighth down the Miami river on one side and back to the old Troy Pike. Mills were built and most modern machinery installed. The crushing plant turns out the stone in shape for roadways. When this crushed stone is required to be ground to various degrees of fineness it undergoes a drying process.
A number of by-products are now being manufactured, including ground agricultural limestone for fertilizing. This fertilizer, it is claimed, could be used to advantage in Ohio alone to the amount of ten million tons a year. Grit for poultry is shipped in quantities and the manufacturing of cement bricks put of the limestone is a successful experiment.
The capitalization of the company has increased from $20,000 to $40,000 and its offices are in the building owned by Mr. Hall, on the corner of Ash and Wayne streets. During the war, marble dust from its quarries was required in bulk in the manufacture of gases and chemical compounds. The present board of officers includes: A. Acton Hall, president; M. F. Hall, vice-president; M. B. Miller, secretary; C. Suesseman, treasurer.
The Cron Kils Company occupies ten acres on First, Staunton, Cleveland and Second streets, their factories having over six acres of floor space. The lumber yards have siding connections with the railroads. Wardrobes, chiforobes, ladies' desks and dining room furniture are manufactured and 275 men are employed. Cron, Kills & company established this manufacturing business in 1880 with the following partners : A. J. Cron, Robert B. Kills, Henry Flesh and Samuel Zollinger. Early in 1892 a most destructive fire occurred, completely destroying the entire plant. Buildings were reconstructed only to be two-thirds destroyed November 21 of that same year.
In 1904, the Cron Kills company was incorporated and when, some time later the death of Henry Flesh occurred the board was reorganized as follows : President, J. P. Spiker; vice-president, J. W. Flesh; secretary, W. Elgin Davis ; W. R. Bamber, treasurer and general manager.
The Val Decker Packing Company was originally established by Val Decker in 1875 at the east end of Ash street, but was not incorporated as the Val Decker Packing company until 1914. The capital stock is $50,000 and the officers are : President, Val Decker; vice-president, L. F. Decker ; secretary, Walter Decker, and treasurer, George Decker. Modern equipment has been installed from time to time and a most up-to-date brick and concrete cold storage warehouse is now under construction. Sixty to sixty-five men are employed. From 100 to 150 head of cattle and as high as 800 hogs per week are killed. Lard made by this company is all pure kettle rendered, and the capacity of their plant is 300 fifty-pound cans a week.
C. L. Wood Planing Mil. Charles L. Wood is the owner and manager of the planing mill and lumber yards established in 1879 by C. A. and W. L. Wood on West Water street. The mill building was originally put up by John O'Ferrall and company in 1874 as a railroad car factory. Additions have been made from time -to time until now the plant occupies more than a city block back to the (page 608) railroad with their own track connections. Sash, door and blinds, frames and interior wood work are manufactured for local market.
Government contracts for packing cases for trench shovels were filled expeditiously during the war.
R. Kugelman & Company. The packing plant of this company is located at the extreme east end of Ash street and in the course of a year 150 hogs, 50 cattle, 50 calves and 50 lambs on an average a week are killed. Pure open kettle rendered lard is put out under their own label.
Jacob and Henry Kugelman established the business in 1907 under the firm name of Kugelman Brothers Packing company. On the death of Henry Kugelman in 1912 the partnership was dissolved and Jacob Kugelman and his sons took over the business. At present the company is owned by Edward J. Kugelman, since his brother, Raymond R., withdrew from the firm last January. The Cron Company. This furniture manufacturing company has its factory buildings and yards on East Main and Cleveland streets. Many years ago the business came into existence through the firm of Cron & Schneyer. In 1864 L. C. & W. L. Cron succeeded this firm and manufactured bed room suites and sideboards, finally becoming incorporated as the L. C. & W. L. Cron company. The Cron company is at present producing high grade bed room furniture only. Factory buildings and yards occupy fully ten acres and the yards have direct siding connection with the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. In the factory lumber yards, dry kilns and veneer rooms 110 men are employed. The company is capitalized at $150,000 and the officers are : President, H. C. Jefrys ; vice-president, H. Goldenson, W. A. McNulty, secretary and treasurer.
The Piqua Milling Company. This company is noted for the manufacture of "White Foam Flour." Their present plant is located on Main street with buildings both north and south of the Pennsylvania railroad elevation. The grain warehouse on the west side of Main below the elevation was purchased from Spencer Furrow & company in 1916, and the old W. P. Linseed Oil Mills' building was remodelled when they took possession of it, and used for offices and storage. North of this building is the four mill proper, setting back from the street, having a capacity of 200 barrels per day. This mill was rebuilt by Chamberlain and William Boyer, who were the important members of the company at that time, after the old mill was burned in the spring of 1900. The Piqua Milling company was incorporated March 24, 1884, with a capital stock of $40,000, and the first officers were : Edward Farrington, Richard Slauson, Clarence Langdon, W. W. Wood and H. K. Wood. They bought the flour mill from Amendt and Son who had constructed it.
The present mill has a capacity of 200 barrels a day, and 15 to 20 men are employed in the operations of the company and during the war the Government took a big percentage of its output. This company also operates the old Spencer & Furrow elevator at Farrington and has a distributing warehouse in Dayton. Capital stock is $40,000 and the officers are: President, William Boyer; vice, president and treasurer, L. W. Pool ; secretary, J. F. Stuart.
(page 609) The Magee Bros. Company, located on Ash street between Wayne and Downing, is one of the most completely equipped printing establishments in this part of Ohio, specializes in catalogue work and now has 40 employees. Charles W. and Edward R. Magee started in a small way in one room in the old Postoffice building in 1896 doing job printing. Four more rooms were taken in this building and the firm of Charles W. Magee & Bros. became Magee Bros. The business increasing the plant was moved into the building afterwards occupied by The Leader Dispatch on West Ash street. Expansion of business requiring larger quarters the present building was put up to fill their special requirements. Later the Magee Bros. company was incorporated April 13, 1909, with a capital stock of $50,000, the officers being: President, C. W. Magee ; vice-president and secretary, E. R. Magee ; treasurer, Otto Simon. Reorganizing April 4, 1911, Otto Simon left the company and the officers elected were : President, C. W. Magee ; vice-president, W. A. Snyder; secretary, John T. Nielson ; treasurer, Edwin R. Magee. At this date the capital stock was increased to $100,000. At the death of Edwin R. Magee, October 14, 1913, John T. Nielson became treasurer as well as secretary and Andrew G. Snyder was made assistant treasurer. John T. Nielson leaving Piqua to become secretary and treasurer of The Greater Dayton association, A. G. Snyder became secretary and treasurer.
The Piqua Paper Box Company. Raphael and Meyer Louis, members of a prominent Jewish family in Piqua, started in the manufacturing of paper boxes in 1908. William Howland had rented the old three-story Wood Linseed Oil mill at College street and Covington avenue and in a small way was turning out boxes. This business the Louis brothers purchased and formed a company that has always been just a, partnership affair. The factory building and land was later bought from the American Linseed Oil company, which had absorbed the Wood company. Additions and improvements in the building were made until the factory occupies a modern six-story building, each floor with a space of 80 by 80 feet and a two-story addition with floors of 20 by 80 feet.
Most efficient machinery is used, the newest type machine covers the cardboard forms with the white paper in an almost human way. A printing press is in use and the boxes are printed ready for the individual consumer. The output today is 2,500,000 boxes a year with a force of fifty employees, 50 per cent women.
As their trade is principally confined to western Ohio, the company maintains its own motor truck service and has two big motor trucks and trailers in constant use, delivering their goods direct to Columbus, Findlay, Lima, Richmond, Ind.. and other cities enroute.
The Piqua Ice Company. The arduous although picturesque ice cutting of older days is no longer seen in Piqua. Rossville originally found the winter cutting of the blocks of ice from the Miami river almost an annual pastime. There was no great quantity of impurities in the river at that time as would be now. Francis Jarvis was among the first to engage in the business, his ice house being in connection with his tallow factory on the (page 610) bank of the Miami river near the old dam. A number of concerns engaged in the business from time to time and ice houses were built on Echo lake and other locations. Fifteen years ago found George Hager and George Roeser cutting ice and storing it in their ice houses on Echo lake. The Peckham Coal & Ice company built the first artificial plant in Shawnee, since absorbed by the Piqua Ice company, who are now manufacturing 55 tons of ice a day. The officers of this company are William Roeser, president; Thomas Ginn, vice-president; L. R. Hager, secretary and treasurer. Wright & Kuntz Lumber Company. In the South end of Piqua are the lumber yards and millwork plant of the Wright & Kuntz Lumber yard, an original branch of the Peter Kuntz company, having its main office in the Commercial building at Dayton. This company now occupies a solid block bounded by South avenue, South, Commercial and Grant streets. Mr. J. A. Shade was sent to Piqua from Greenville in 1889 to establish this plant and has directed the active management ever since. In 1896, a fire, one of the most destructive in the history of Piqua, completely destroyed the plant and the big piles of lumber in the yards. The present mill work factory was then constructed, having a floor space of 60,000 square feet for mill work, turning out frame, sash and doors to supply the ever growing demand. During war time boxes were turned out for shipping tools overseas.
Piqua Cap Company has been manufacturing caps for milk bottles since 1909 when the present partners of The Piqua Cap Bottle company, William McDowell Freshour, C. H. Loeffler and Forest L. Schmidlapp bought the Piqua Packer company from A. C. Licklider. The Piqua Packer company, located at the extreme west end of Water street, was manufacturing a patented egg case filler that was very good in its way, but could not be marketed to the big packing companies of Chicago owing to the fact that it took longer to pack these fillers than those already in use. Egg case fillers were abandoned and the manufacture of caps was started in the old location on Water street. The business increased to such importance that in 1915 modern concrete buildings were erected on the corner of Washington avenue and Boone street. These two buildings are connected by runways and a protection of two fireproof doors is given. The storeroom occupies a space of 60 by 100 feet and the manufacturing space in the other building is 80 by 100 feet.
A capacity of two million caps a day will give some idea of the number of milk bottles supplying the needs of families, when the fact is known that there are but fourteen manufactories of this article in the United States. Everything in the turning out of the caps is automatic, and they are not touched by hand. Only eight men, including the firm, are necessary for putting out this product. Rolls of paper weighing 300 pounds with a 7-inch core and 13 inches wide are used. Printing, punching and paraffning are all done at the plant by machinery that is automatic.
During "the recent war an order from Borden, the big eastern milk dealer, was shipped to Montreal, Canada. Piqua "caps" are now being exported to England, Scotland, and Canada.
(page 611) The Champion Cutter Manufacturing Company. In May of 1919 The Champion Paper Manufacturing company, with a capitalization of $30,000 bought the plants of The Champion Paper Cutter Company and The Piqua Bracket company. The official board consists of James E. Bryan, president; Armotte Boyer, vice-president; Charles Hinsch, secretary and treasurer. These plants had their origin from. the time Charles E. Stuart purchased from William Van Horne his patent for the invention of the paper cutter, and the bracket patent invention from John Bain. Mr. Stuart began manufacturing these articles in one of the old buildings on part of the site where the Superior Underwear company was built later. The first quarters being too small, the second floor of the old J. Boni Hemsteger building that formerly stood on the northwest corner of Spring and Water streets was rented. In 1895, Theodore Royer and John Kirk formed a partnership and purchased the manufacturing rights of these articles from Mr. Stuart and established their factory in the three-story and basement building at the corner of Wayne and Sycamore that runs back to the Piqua Malt House. This building, formerly a linseed oil mill, had been improved for factory purposes after it had been partially destroyed by fire. A large number of the paper cutters were used at the cantonments here and abroad during the world war. The death of Theodore Royer, August, 1917, and of John Kirk in May, 1918, led to the present company's purchase of the property.
The Rundle Medicine Company. In 1886, George H. Rundle came here from Fletcher and organized the Rundle Medicine company for the manufacture of Porter's Pain Cure, a patent medicine of which he had bought the formula for a small sum. The original offices of the company and place for compounding the medicine were on North Main street. Porter's Pain King became a- household name to conjure pain away. It was kept on many farmers' shelves and administered by the housewife for all pains and aches. Millions of bottles have been sold and the business grew to such proportions as to justify a handsome new structure in the residence part of the city, on Caldwell street. True to his promise, Mr. Rundle designed a handsome building of pressed brick in keeping with the location that did not detract from the residential neighborhood. This structure is of pressed brick, two stories, with mezzanine floor, set well back from the street with lawn and shrubbery. Offices occupy the front of the first sort' and the factory space is 70 by 70 feet. Porter's Pain King is also made at Windsor, Canada, by The George H. Rundle and Son Company, Ltd., for Canadian use and this plant is managed by George Klosterman, sent from here to Windsor. George H. Rundle was president of the company from its inception until his death, December 28, 1917, when his only son, Alien D. Rundle, became president, and Logan Frazier, secretary. Allen D. Hance was general manager for a number of years, until he severed his connection with the company on account of his new interests as an official of the Imperial Underwear company. At the time of his death Mr. George H. Rundle was not only president of The Rundle company, but had the honor of being president of the Y. M. C. A., was a member of the Memorial Hospital (page 612) Board, president of The Piqua National bank, City treasurer and vice-president of The Imperial Underwear company. He was also for many years a trustee of the Presbyterian church. The Piqua Amusement Company was incorporated in 1916 with a capital stock of $30,000 and the officers are H. W. Kress, president and general manager; J. C. Hughes, secretary and Walter F. Henne, treasurer. They control all the amusement houses in Piqua except the small Favorite moving picture house. May's Opera House has been owned by the company since last May and they have the Strand Theatre and the Bijou under lease. May's Opera House is the largest theatre between Dayton and Columbus having a seating capacity of 1,400 and was built by Charles H. May on the corner of Wayne and Water streets, in 1902. May's Opera House was the successor to Conover's Opera House, built in 1872, at the corner of Main street and Market square, and destroyed by fire in 1892. The Bijou theatre on Ash street was built in 1903 especially for a vaudeville house and is owned by Stanhope Boal. The Strand was built in 1915 by John H. Young and C. F. Adlard, especially for moving pictures and is an extremely up-to-date and attractive theatre. The aim of this company has always been to give Piqua the best plays, operas, moving pictures and vaudeville that can be obtained.
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