SOUTH SIDE OF EAST 3rd STREET
by Charles F. Sullivan
On the S E corner of Third and Perry, George Shaw a very early settler bought the lot on that corner the house was not built at that time but as I remember it, in my boyhood days it was upon high ground and he built a beautiful house of brick with an iron fence around it.
He kept a couple of cows, and to keep them, he bought a piece of ground in Riverdale then called McPhersontown (Mactown) where he kept them on pasture during the day, sending them over in the morning and bringing them home in the evening. This place was between Shaw ave, Main street and the hydraulic. This ground cost him very little but now with Riverdale built up miles beyond this, much more valuable.
East of the alley there is a brick house probably built by Dr J. C. Reeves, a very prominent doctor of this city, with his office on S Wilkinson street and I had him set one arm that I had broken. He had been very influential in getting St Elizabeth hospital started years ago where it is now located.
On the S E corner of Wilkinson & 3rd was a frame store building but as it was never open when I passed that way I do not know what it was used for.
Next was the large brick residence of J. C. Reber connected with the Winters Bank and had a large cupala on top. I was in Central high school with Robert McGregor who also lived there with his Mother and a brother. Once I went home with Robert and he took me up into the cupala, where I enjoyed myself looking out and seeing the sights from there.
Next was the Methodist Parsonage an old style brick house with only a one man passage to go to the rear of the house. Rev W. W. Ramsey was the first pastor that I remember but as I was very young I do not remember much about him.
When Dr T. H. Pearne came a new parsonage was built at the same place. He went to New Jersey and brought back Carrie McDonald as his bride and she was a great helpmate to him for she did draw all the young folks to her and into the church and put them to work too. Under the training of these folks, the church grew rapidly. After the new Parsonage was built, we had a house warming and a very enjoyable evening. John Mumma who ran a livery stable across 4th street, said that it was not necessary for him to go to church for he could sit out in front of his place and hear the sermon as well as those in the church and he did not have to pay anything for his church services. All of these building were removed before the new Postoffice was started.
East of the Parsonage was a brick residence and from there to Ludlow street was grass and south on Ludlow was a two story brick rented to Doctors and Dentists. All this ground between 3rd and the alley along Ludlow Street was cleared and the Gibbons hotel placed there. Now the government has the parking lot on 4th street to build an addition to the postoffice and when that is done the whole square will be used for business.
If possible all postoffice work is done upon one floor but the government uses the upstairs for the court and offices.
Across Ludlow street was the Third street Presbyterian church built of brick painted drab and with wide steps from both front doors and the first floor was high, it made many steps necessary.
My Mother was Amy Broadwell and was a member of the choir before her marriage to Father but she came to Grace church at once and became very active in all departments of the work. The bell in the tower was taken down and set upon blocks. Mother called my attention to it and asked me to see it and the inscription molded upon it which I did. It said this bell was bought by the members of the young ladies of the choir and presented to the church. This bell had a very beautiful sound and I enjoyed hearing it when on my road to Grace church.
It was placed in the new church and I heard it many times from there. I do not know what became of it, if it was in others in this city I would know it. Next to the church was a brick residence used as a bath house. Then was Father’s office, one step up from the sidewalk. His Father came to Dayton 1817 taking a house upon S Main opposite to Kresge’s store but finding himself too far out of town he bought this one and built himself a tailor shop and home. Father was born in 1822 and became a lawyer and since this shop could be used for a law office and is just across the street from the courthouse, he took it for his office as long as he lived. My brother William had seen the arcade in Springfield and was continually telling us about it, but Father did not take to it seriously and held to his office. After Father’s death Will began in earnest to talk up the arcade and sold this ground to them for that purpose. Dr Bradley a dentist rented the upstairs for his office and his Mother kept house for him and we always enjoyed going up and talking to her. There would always be some one in the office and sometimes the office would be full of men talking over city affairs. In summer Father would take a chair out on the sidewalk under a tree and speak to everyone as they passed.
The next room was owned by Father and was rented, the rear being used as a resident. Eli Fasold was the agent of the Singer Sewing Machine and had his office in the next room and lived upon Ludlow about where the present News office is. Mr Fasold had agents out selling while he would run the office and complaints.
Then P. P. Messler ran the bus service to the depot and hotels and other places when called. He had his stable in the rear facing the alley. The capacity of the busses was about 10 people. Next was the livery stable of Harry Collins running through the alley and keeping the vehicles upstairs, with a hand elevator to raise or lower them. He bought a large wagon upon which he could put a bed to hold 25 or 30 people. Also a bed for hauling a band in such shape that all musicians could see the director.
Once a party of us young folks arranged to go to Fairfield in this wagon get supper and come back late at night. We had the wagon full and started from Riverdale and as it was winter and very cold, Collins gave us plenty of lap robes and we had a good time even though it was cold and getting colder. We had a good supper and started back probably 11 A.M. and it was severely cold, so we raised the lap robes over our heads from one side to the other so it was really a closed car. I received permission from my lady companion to leave the wagon at Main street for the wagon was to unload at her home, and went home from there.
As there was a big hill between Marshmanville and Fairfield it consumed much time to go up and down this hill but we had no trouble there.
At this time the hill is cut down so that with autos it is not noticed. Now at its peak the Hoffman dam runs across Madriver ending upon the Valley pike. Later Collins bought the Tally Ho which was very popular to carry a party around this city, with a footman ready to assist if and when needed.
From here to the Phillips house entrance was a number of small stores and I do not remember them. At the Philips house the bus always stopped until he received the go ahead signal from the clerk on duty at that time. On each side of this entrance, the Pennsylvania, the Big Four or the Cincinnati Hamilton & Dayton railroads had a ticket office to relieve the office at the depot and to answer all questions.
The hotel had a lot of chairs placed along the walk for their guests to use in the summer but in winter they were in the lobby.
Crossing Main street, H. G. Carnell had a drug store in the old Conover building. He married Mrs Frank Patterson and quit the business. The business is still going in the new American building.
Next Chas E Howell had a hat store and he was very active in Grace church. He was followed by Ben Carver. Then we get into the old Methodist church which was sold to Daniel Kiefer who remodeled it into store rooms. One was rented to De Weese & Bidleman where they had a dry goods stock and they had lots of customers. James McDaniel had a men’s tailoring store in another. Then a men’s ready made clothing store with Sammy Schwarz running the boys department. The A. & P. started a store sending their clerks out to solicit orders to be delivered one week later and when delivering to get new orders for delivery the next week. Now they only have the super markets. This seemed to go over fine but was discontinued later. I think this completed the remodeled rooms and the Home store took them over as they could for their store.
One night about 11 PM a fire started in the store and the fire dept worked hard all night, it was a complete loss.
A new building replaced it while before it was just patchwork. Before the fire I was looking to see if there was any thing left of the church and the windows were of the old church and Father said that some of the ceilings had the old church fresco upon them.
Thomas Elder started a store about the middle of the square and making good when he sold to Adler Childs and started in the Riebold building as the Elder Johnston Co.
Further along the Thompson cash grocery was doing a good business. Oscar Bard was one of their clerks, then he got into the Gem City Buildings Assn where he became one of the big men of the organization. The Merchants bank was on the corner in a 4 story building called the Odd Fellows building. It was reduced to two stories with business going on as usual. Lots of the banks have merged leaving just 4 doing business.
Crossing Jefferson the old Dayton bank corner was flooded and burned to the water edge but it has been rebuilt and in operation. Then Kingman had the .99$ store. Up stairs over 115 was the first exchange of the telephone in operation when it was necessary for them to get larger quarters at 2nd and Main.
Then M. B. Parmerly had a large dry goods store but he moved away. Lee Wolf and Brother had a store selling anything there was money in and they recovered from a fire works fire at another location. Lowe Bros then had a paint store and became the Lowe Bros paint factory and although they have passed away the paint is still being sold under the same name.
Chas F. Sullivan
317 Brown Aug 6 1949
Dayton 2, Ohio.