This article appeared in the Journal-Herald Spotlight on January 31, 1943
by Harry O. Todd
One of the newest hotels in Dayton in 1875 was the Schieble House which stood at 131-133 East Second street between Jefferson and St. Clair streets on the north side. It was never a large hotel and at that time the size of the fashionable Beckel House and the Phillips House dwarfed it in comparison. Nevertheless, good accommodations were to be had and its patrons were well-satisfied.
The Schieble House was a favorite stopping place of farmers who were making business trips to Dayton and staying overnight. They preferred to lodge in a smaller place where the rates were lower, but the service good. Other patrons were politicians of that day so lively talk of politics, business, and farming more than likely took place. Ben Schieble built the hotel sometime in the latter 1860’s. It was built on the site of a boarding house which Ben took over and built the hotel as we know it today.
Ben Schieble was born in Forthein, Baden, Germany in 1832, and as a young man came to Dayton. He was known throughout the Miami Valley for his work as a hotel man. In Dayton he was at one time proprietor of the Farmers’ and Merchants’ Hotel, later the Cooper House, on West Second street. He operated the Franklin Hotel at Main and Second streets. In 1875 he was just 43 years old and head of the hotel bearing his name. He must have been proud of his establishment as not many people are willing to connect their name with anything for which they do not have a feeling of pride.
Later he left Dayton and opened the Miami Hotel at Miamisburg and kept it until his retirement. Upon retiring he lived with his family on South Main street in Miamisburg until his death Jan. 3, 1917. He is buried in Woodland cemetery. He was 76 years old and was survived by five children, two of his sons being florists there.
The photograph which was taken recently shows the hotel has the same front and the iron railing along the second story windows. The ironwork is still in fair condition, and you will see upon close observation that in the design appear acorns and oak leaves. This furnished the old hotel with the frills so dear to the 19thcentury builder. The oval sign on top the hotel in 1875 has since vanished, as has the flag.
Since that time the hotel has been known by various names. In 1890 it was the Windsor Hotel, George W. Gross, proprietor, and it was then called Hotel Soller; in 1920, it was the Star Hotel with Fred J. Barth Jr. as proprietor. At present it is still the Star Hotel.
What were some of the Dayton hotels of the 70’s? Here are some that were advertised around county fair time in 1872:
The Beckel, of course.
The Phillips House reopened. Lentzy and Ensley, proprietors. Located in the heart of the city, and providing all the modern improvements and conveniences pertaining to a first-class hotel.
Phoenix Hotel, corner of Sixth and Main, has been renovated and refurnished. Transient board, $2 per day, J. B. Law, proprietor.
Merchants’ Hotel, Second street between Main and Ludlow streets near Music Hall. It boasted the finest dining hall in the city. Terms $1-$1.50-$2 per day. A. L. Ross, proprietor.
To the right of the present Star Hotel is the Standard Radio company and to the left is the Barth building which bears the date of 1886. Neither building was there when Schieble built his hotel.