by Charles F. Sullivan
The ground around Dayton being fine for agricultural work it is not surprising that we should have agricultural implements made here. We had seven in operation when I was a boy.
Woodsum Tenney & Co were located at the corner of Pitts and Keowee and made threshing outfits, had a large shop and were considered a fine organization. When they closed down, the Barney & Smith Co. took over the shop; then the General Motors and they replaced the old shop with a modern one. Mr. Woodsum lived up in W Second street and had a couple of grown daughters.
Adam Pritz, according to a paper picture had a large shop at the corner of 5th& Canal. When I knew him he was not doing much business.
D. E. McSherry & Co had a shop at 1122 E Third in a building formerly used by the Malleable Iron Co. and he made grain drills, disc harrows and hoisting jacks. He was an active member of Raper M E Church, and the last we knew of him he moved to Middletown.
B. C. Taylor was a member of Grace M. E. Church and lived at the N. E. Corner of Wilkinson and Monument ave (Water st.). He had a large shop at 354 W Fifth, where the U. B. Printing plant is now located. His specialty was hay rakes. He has one daughter, Nettie who is still living at the Widows Home, Findlay street.
Weusthoff & Getz were operating at State & Wayne but my early recollection is under the name of the Farmers Friend Mfg. Co. with Mr. Van Horn the main man. They had a large plant with a railroad siding behind it, but now it is used by many people.
John Dodds started business at Third and Bainbridge, later moved to 2nd& Conover where he had a bad fire from which he could never recover. He was an active member of the U. B. denomination and the Y.M.C.A. Once he made a talk to us boys at the Y. and how he did roast us for wearing our best clothes to Central High School, when he had to wear overalls when he was a boy, even to church.
He was told that there were lots of children in Riverdale in the neighborhood of the Steele dam, who ought to have a Sunday school to attend, so he found a vacant lot and built a frame church there which was soon filled and more room needed. A Church was organized and a pressed brick church built at the corner of Main & Hershey and Rev. Bunger called as pastor and he built up a live active church. He started a brass band and used it frequently to drum up a crowd for the church. After many years of very active service, this congregation was divided between the church at Catalpa & Fairview and the First church at Fourth & Perry.
The Foursquare Gospel church then used this building for several years and it was filled at every service. They then bought some vacant lots on Best street between Herman & Babbitt and built a foundation and used that for a couple of years for a church. Then the church was built upon the foundation making a fine appearance and the church is still growing.
John Dodd’s did much the same thing for the other churches, so Dayton because a great center for the U. B. Denomination.
John Stoddard & Co. followed Dodd’s at 3rd& Bainbridge making all kinds of implements and he kept adding one brick building after another until he had an immense plant. He then got the notion to build autos and bought land on Leo Street and built a shop on it. He built the Stoddard Dayton car and later the Maxwell which was a very serviceable car.
There were two linseed oil mills in operation, Gebhart, Pope & Co. on the canal between 3rd& 4thand Clegg & Wood, Canal at Fourth street. Now there are none in Dayton. There were seven flour mills; Simon Gebhart, Third & Front; Jos Kratochwill, Sixth and Canal; J. Durst, Fifth and Wyandot; H. Gerees, Front street later Bruns; H. Pooch, 315 E Fifth; Osceola mill, later home of Dayton Democrat; J. R. Gebhart & Son, 3rd& Canal; Palmers mill, Forest & Riverview, burned down.
When I was ready to leave the infant class, with a dozen other boys Mr. J. R. Johnson was appointed our teacher. One Saturday afternoon, he invited us to come to his foundry on Wayne Ave and the railroad and see the men pour the white hot iron into the molds, we went and enjoyed it. After he gave up the class, Thos Staniland, who had a monument yard on S Main street took the class and kept it until we all were married and stopped coming.
In my boyhood days, there was the Globe Iron Works at Ludlow and Bayard, the Stillwell & Bierce Co., Forest & Riverview, who merged with the Smith Vaile Co. and moved in with them, and W. P. Callahan & Co all doing a large business and considered strong financially yet are all gone now. The Barney & Smith co employing at one time over 2000 men is also gone.
When I was attending the Miami Commercial College, the National Cash Register Co asked to have a couple of scholars to address envelops, and I was one sent there. They were in the Callahan Power building and employing only 40 men at that time. Now they are employing over 7000 people, while these other shops are completely gone, Why?
The General Motors Co have several divisions here and all are busy, What makes the difference?
Chas. F. Sullivan
112 Wyoming street
April 24, 1947