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Business Men of Dayton 1905-1906
William H. Ahlers to J. Fred Buehler

William H. Ahlers



Mr. W. H. Ahlers is a native of this city, born in 1876, and received his education in the Dayton Public Schools.

In 1890 he commenced working in furs and has since devoted his entire time and energies to the fur business. He is thoroughly acquainted with all furs used in his trade and has learned the business from the ground floor up.

Mr. Ahlers embarked in business for himself in 1904, at 111 South Jefferson Street. He soon outgrew his quarters and secured rooms on the second and third floors of the Rauh building, S. W. Corner Fourth and Jefferson streets, where he conducts a high-class business. His motto is “No Misrepresentation.”  Some of the finest sealskin garments ever sold in Dayton were made in Mr. Ahler’s Factory this season by skilled fur workers, from full skins. There are few persons in this city who wear fine furs that are not familiar with the products of Ahlers’ factory.

One of the eye-catching signs on Fourth Street is the large polar bear electric sign above Mr. Ahler's fur display case. The advance styles for 1906-07 are now being shown by Mr. Ahlers and the making of the garments from full skins selected by purchasers is a very important part of his work.

In addition to furs, Mr. Ahlers makes a specialty of Near-seal jackets, stock or made to order. A complete cold storage plant for furs, fine woolens, silks, etc., airtight and moth proof is a new feature just installed.

Mr. Ahlers is ably assisted in his work by his brother Robert H., and by five to ten expert fur workers as the season demands.


George C. Albert



George C. Albert, the well known tobacconist, whose place of business is located at No. 10 North Main street, directly opposite the new court house, As one of Dayton’s most enterprising and up- to-date dealers in cigars and tobacco.

Mr. Albert has been connected with the cigar trade during his entire business career, and has succeeded in building up a business and trade, which is second to none in the city.

His patrons are representative business and professional men of Dayton whose demands are of far more importance regarding quality than the cost.

In Mr. Albert’s store can be found all of the well-known and established brands of fine Imported Key West and domestic cigars. One of the features of the handsome business enjoyed by him is that of the box trade, which he has established. One desiring to purchase a box of fine cigars will do well to visit the store, where a variety is offered which will please even the most fastidious.

Another interesting feature of Mr. Albert’s store is the handsome collection of genuine meerschaum and briar pipes, which the trade representatives declare, is not excelled anywhere.

A visit to this store will prove interesting for a large display of domestic and imported line of smoker’s articles will be found in abundance to select from in novelty and staple designs, and which Mr. Albert and his efficient assistants are pleased to show.

Mr. Albert recently paid a visit to Cuba, where he embraced the opportunity of inspecting all of the large cigar factories and gained much valuable information about tobacco and its handling.

The first consignment of fine imported Cuban cigars, received through the local port of entry, was for Mr. Albert, and were ordered by him personally.

Mr. Albert has a personality, which has won him many friends, and he is justly popular among the businessmen of the city. He is a member of the Elks, Odd Fellows, and Masonic fraternities.



Joel R. Allen



The subject of this sketch is the hustling and successful representative of the Chamberlin Metal Weather Strip Co., and the Higgin Metal Screen Co. Mr. Allen resides in Dayton View, and maintains an office in Room 916, Reibold building, this city, and also 43 Mitchell building, Cincinnati

The Chamberlin Metal Weather Strip is constructed entirely of zinc and applied in such a manner that it is impossible to get out of order. The construction is such as to absolutely prevent draughts. It is impossible for dust, dirt, soot, rain or snow to creep in and the annoyance of windows rattling is also obviated. It is a great saver of fuel and guaranteed to last as long as the building to which it is attached. Some of the recent contracts closed by Mr. Allen for the installing of the strip are: National Cash Register Co., The Reibold Building, Dayton Arcade Buildings, Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton Club, Calvert Apartments, Mrs. Julia Patterson’s Apartments, Fourth National Bank, The Bushnell Building, Springfield; Davis Sewing Machine Co.’s offices, Joyce Cridland Co.’s offices, Hayner Distilling Co.’s offices, W. P. Callahan and Co.’s offices, and residences of John H. Patterson, Far Hills; John A. McMahon, Pierce B. Schenck, Edward Canby, F. P. Beaver, W. P. Kiser, Wendell Baker, G. Russell, J. R. DeWeese, Mrs. Julia S. Patterson and H. C. Kiefaber.



Charles Anderton, Jr.



Charles Anderton, Jr., was born in Dayton, July 1868, and has spent his entire life in this city. He attended the public schools until 14, and in 1883 in a humble way started in the retail fruit business. Business sense and strict adherence to the principles of hard work, however, soon forced the necessity of expansion, and in 1888 Mr. Anderton launched into the wholesale business, since which time the concern of which he is the actuating spirit, has maintained an enviable reputation of being one of the largest and most substantial wholesale fruit houses in this section, its trade extending to all parts of the country, car loads being shipped north, east, south and west.

In 1895 the Anderton Fruit Company, with quarters at 125 East Third Street, was incorporated with Mr. Anderton as president. Other lines of business engaged the attention of Mr. Anderton, and in September of last year he purchased the business of Wm. F. Kramer Company, wagon manufacturers, 34- 36 North Canal, the affair being subsequently incorporated as the William F. Kramer Company. Mr. Anderton has served this company as vice president, treasurer and general manager. This concern manufactures a complete line of light and heavy wagons, fire engines and apparatus, besides doing a general repair business. Its products are shipped to all parts of the country, but the business is still increasing and promises a satisfactory future.

A special product of the concern that is attracting widespread interest is the Leppert perfect shelter wagon, which can be converted instantly into a variety of uses. It is especially adapted to the use of market people, hucksters, while, with its fine arrangements affording shelter, it is serviceable to fishing excursionist; picnickers, etc

Mr. Anderton is a son of Charles Anderton, Sr., county treasurer, and whose military record is a matter of note.

He is one of the charter members of the Commercial Club, and has served that organization as president, vice president and member of the Board of Directors, but last year was compelled to relinquish active work in the organization on account of the pressure of other business.

In political affairs, Mr. Anderton was always a staunch and consistent Republican and a hard worker for the success of the party in the city and county contests.

In fraternal affairs he is also active, being a member of Dayton Lodge of Elks, Knights of Pythias, and Gem City Council No. 3, United Commercial Travelers.



H. C. Andrews



Devotion to duty, the application of sound business philosophy and strict adherence to the principals of honesty and integrity are the qualities which have enabled H. C. Andrews to establish a lucrative patronage and to continue to increase the prestige that will mean in the course of a few years one of the most thriving industries in the city of Dayton. The fact that within a career extending over a period of less than a year, the business has grown to the proportions that it now represents is a worthy testimonial to the effectiveness of the methods he has pursued and which means for him the development of an enterprise that will take rank among the largest, best and most widely known in the country.  Mr. Andrews’ early experience and introduction to business life was made in the large establishment of P. M. Harman Company, where he served with marked success for eighteen years and here were inculcated the principles that have enabled him to take charge of a business that has continued to grow since its inception. Prior to engaging in business independently, however, Mr. Andrews equipped himself for the activities that accompany a commercial career by educating himself in the Dayton public schools. Having been born near Dayton, he was in a position to take advantage of the excellent opportunities afforded by the local institutions, which proved a substantial foundation for the superstructure which has been well laid and upon which, if present indications count for aught, will be built a commercial career that will not only reflect honor upon Mr. Andrews, but will prove a credit to the industrial community of Dayton Mr. Andrews is but thirty five years of age and consequently in the very beginning of his business activities.

In 1896 he was married to Miss Clara Stokes of Lebanon, whose only brother is Prof. Horace Stokes, superintendent of the Delaware schools. As the result of this union there are four children.

Mr. Andrews engaged n the business which he is now conducting, September 15, 1904, having purchased its new features and instilled new life into the trade and is now beginning to reap the reward of his diligence and enterprise, which, combined with his natural ability, assure him a prosperous future. He is engaged in the mantel, tile, marble work and chandelier industry, and has secured a number of large contracts, among them being the following, which have been completed, while many more have been received and will be fulfilled with all possible dispatch: Johnson company, Vance company, Harm block, Selzer block, all of Springfield; Thorne block, Anderson, lnd.; Dustin apartments, Kempert apartments, Shuey apartments, Dale apartments, Howard apartments and the Williams apartments of Dayton; large school building at Delaware; Brown block, Troy; bank building at Greenville; bank building at Lima, and Sorg building at Middletown.

Among the contracts that are now on hand awaiting completion are: Art tile work for the Victoria theatre, Gaddis apartments, Folsom apartments, Haas block, transfer barn, Cappel block; Webber block, Sebald block, Middletown; church, Celina; bank building, Toledo; hotel, Wellston; school building at Lancaster, and a large flat at Springfield.



O.E. Bates



One of the best-established places of business in the city is that of 0. E. Bates, caterer, 14 North Main Street. The business was established thirty-two years ago by Sam Johnson. In 1883 Mr. F. J. Holden secured the place, conducting the business until 1890 at which time he was succeeded by Mr. Bates, who continues to use the old formulas originally adopted by Mr. Johnson. Mr. Bates has served many notable affairs, some of the largest being that of the Reed Commandery reception at Masonic Temple and their ball at the fair ground in October 1892, laying 2,000 plates for each occasion. His greatest achievement was the serving of 5,000 plates at the National Cash Register affair at Far Hills about seven years ago. Mr. Bates successfully served at the Druillard-Sorg wedding at Middletown, Ohio, laying 350 plates of six courses each, which was one of the largest private residence affairs ever served in this part of the country. In addition to the catering business Mr. Bates has a very large private family trade on fancy ice cream and fruit ices. His celebrated ice cream is made by the same man that made it for Mr. Johnson thirty-two years ago.



D. E. Beeghly



Sound business judgment, undeviating honesty and a calm self confidence and courage that rose superior to blighting business reverses are characteristics that have won for Mr. D. E. Beeghly an enviable position as one of the leading young business men of this city. He was born on the old Beeghly homestead about five miles west of Dayton in 1866, and passed the first eighteen years of his life on the farm, assisting his father and laying the foundations of the health which he has ever since enjoyed.

In his nineteenth year he entered the Ohio Normal University at Ada, matriculating in the classical course, and upon completion of his studies in that department returned to this city, where he took a business course at Wilt’s Commercial College.

Following his graduation from this institution he entered the employ of S. M. Brown & Co., with whom he remained for several years. Mr. Beeghlys’ business talent soon prompted him to strike out for himself and in 1887 he embarked in the ice business with U. F. Beeghly, the partnership enjoying an unusual degree of prosperity for several years.

The first serious reverse came in 1893 when a disastrous fire reduced the plant to ruins, the whole being a total loss.

Undismayed by his loss, Mr. Beeghly decided to again establish the business and, his partner being unwilling to re-engage, assumed sole charge of the business forming a stock company under the name of the Riverdale Ice Company. He was elected secretary and general manager of the company and under his intelligent direction, its affairs prospered until the Spring of 1904 when high water and later floods on the Stillwater river took away the dam and much of the working machinery of the plant.

The company was unable to re-establish the business, owing to the insufficiency of water in the river and later Mr. Beeghly utilized the site of the plant on Stillwater Avenue for an elegant apartment house, which is now in course of construction.

Despite his experiences and losses, the ice business continued to have attractions for Mr. Beeghly and he has now established another plant on Mad River, which is leased during the summer months and operated as Phillips’ park.

With the loss of his plant along Stillwater Avenue, Mr. Beeghly immediately cast about for some other business and quick to see the future of the cement block industry, embraced an opportunity to establish a business with Irvin P. Hyer, under the name of the Dayton Cement Block Co.

The offices and works are located at 535 Stillwater Avenue, where a general business of cement veneer, hollow building blocks, cement paving and general concrete work is conducted.

He met with his usual success in the cement industry and his plant has manufactured the blocks used in several of the finest houses in this city. The most pretentious of all, however, is the magnificent apartment house now being constructed on Stillwater Avenue. The building is entirely constructed of cement blocks and with a length of 165 feet and a depth of 46 feet, contains twelve large apartments which are to be finished in oak and up-to-date in every respect, making a model of beauty and elegance.

Mr. Beeghly was married to Miss Laura Billman, of near West Carrollton in 1890, and three bright boys, Russell, Elwood, and Emerson are the life of his beautiful cement home on Stillwater Avenue, overlooking the placid and mirror like river of that name.



C.E. Bennett



            Seldom during the short period of less than five years does a man become personally so thoroughly identified with a large and high-class hotel in a city as large as Dayton as has Clarence E. Bennett, the resident proprietor of the Hotel Beckel.  The fact that he is a thorough hotel man, to the manor born as it were, accounts in part for his popularity and unqualified success as a hotel man.  The rest of it is lowing, no doubt, to hard work and a determination to please his guests without any regard whatever to the effort it may cost.

            Mr. Bennett came to Dayton about five and a half years ago from the Grant Hotel in Indianapolis, in which he held a large interest.  Previous to that time he was manager of the Weddell House in Cleveland, the Brunswick in Kansas City and other large hotels in important commercial centers.  In all of Mr. Bennett’s present hotel interests he is associated with C. C. Horton, the firm name being Bennett and Horton.  Besides the Beckel in this city and, until a few days ago, the firm was the proprietors of the new and popular McKinley Hotel in Canton, O.  Last week this was sold and the transfer of the property is now being made under the direction of Mr. Horton.

            The disposal of the McKinley was almost coincident with the signing of the lease for the magnificent new Valentine Hotel to be opened about the middle of next year.  This is to be superior to any hotel property in Toledo and one of the finest in this section of the country.  The present valentine office building at Toledo is to be wholly remodeled and three stories added.  It will be fireproof and modern in every way.  The management of this new enterprise has not yet been considered.

            Dayton is justly proud of Mr. Bennett.  That the traveling public is satisfied is evidenced by the patronage given his splendid hostelry.  The Beckel has maintained its position and long time popularity notwithstanding other new and excellent hotels have come in for a share of the business.  Its name is synonymous with comfort, elegance and homeliness combined.  And the guiding hand and watchful eye of Mine Host Bennett is over all. 



William F. Benson



            One of the best-known wholesale cigar houses of Dayton is that of Benson and Company, located at 5 East Fifth Street.  Mr. Benson’s partner in this business is Mr. A. R. Kloeb, the proprietor of the finest and most sanitary cigar factory in the state of Ohio.

             Benson and Company maintain a force of traveling men large enough to thoroughly cover all territory within a radius of 75 mines of Dayton.  They are exclusive jobbers for several of the leading cigar manufacturers in the country, the Optimo, a Key West cigar, being one of the leaders.

            Mr. Benson devotes much of his time to the local retail trade and has succeeded in building up one of the largest trades enjoyed by any firm in Dayton, carrying a general line of cigars, tobaccos, smokers’ articles, etc., of all grades.



B. J. Borchers



            B. J. Borchers, the subject of this sketch, is one of the city’s enterprising pushing-to-the-front young businessmen.  He is at the head of the Borchers Carriage Company, which is the carriage department of the Peckham Carriage Company, the former constituting the purchasing division of his interests, the latter the selling or distributing end of the business.

            The concern over which Mr. Borchers presides is established in large and commodious quarters on South St. Clair Street.  His management of the carriage department of the extensive business has covered a period of three years.

            The business embraces the handling of a very extensive and varied line of vehicles, including station wagons, rockaways, buggies, runabouts, surreys, phaetons, stanhopes, etc.  The company handles the famous Wescott line of vehicles, which is well known in this city for its high standard and beauty of design.

            The concern, it may be incidentally stated, maintains the largest carriage repository in the city.  Besides the sale of vehicles, however, repairing and special order work is given full attention, and this feature claims no little part of the business.  The Auburn delivery wagons “that can’t be beat” are also handled by this enterprising firm.

            Mr. Borchers, who is an all-around practical carriage man, is but 29 years of age.  He was born in Loramie, Shelby County, Ohio, and later attended Lebanon Normal College, and also the Indiana State Normal at Valparaiso.  Subsequently, having pursued a bookkeeping and a commercial course of study at the Davis Business College of Toledo, where he later occupied a responsible position.

            Since his entrance into the Gem City about three years ago, Mr. Borchers has rapidly assumed a position in the commercial circles of the city that would reflect much credit on men many years his senior.  His business preparation and training are thorough, and Mr. Borchers took advantage of every proper opportunity to advance himself and to establish a substantial business.

            The rapidly growing interests of the firm attest, in a large measure, to his executive ability and well-directed business acumen.

            Mr. Borchers is an active member of the Dayton Lodge of Elks and enjoys a wide acquaintanceship in prominent social circles.



Prof. Isidor Bornstein



            Born in Newark, N. J., brought to Dayton when three years of age, educated in the public schools, and at the age of fifteen, at the death of his father, Leopold, Bornstein, the subject of this sketch found himself in charge of a cigar business to make the living for his mother and sisters.  It seemed natural for him to become a graceful dancer and he soon became an assistant dancing teacher.  In 1878 the Professor hung out his own shingle on East Fifth Street, which has become well known as “Bornstein Hall.” 

            His regular class meets every Monday and Friday evenings.  Twenty years ago he selected Friday evenings for “Soiree Evening,” and has maintained their popularity until the present time.

            The Professor taught many of Dayton’s older folks the graceful art of dancing and is now teaching their children the newest steps in the most popular of all indoor amusements.  Professor Bornstein is a charter member of the American Masters of Dancing of the United States and Canada, the object of which is to elevate the art.  The Professor has been their state supervisor for the past nine years in recognition of his ability in his chosen profession.



T. H. Brotherline



            T. H. Brotherline, the subject of this brief sketch, is a specialist in assisting men to find agreeable and lucrative business-and in pursuit of that serviceable occupation he has himself developed a lucrative business.

            Mr. Brotherline is a natural hustler.  He is a native of Illinois, born in 1863.  For sixteen yeas he presided over large business interests at Louisville, and came to Dayton two years ago.  Since that time his advance has been phenomenal.  Mr. Brotherline maintains a suite in the Reibold Building.  His business, specifically, is to furnish partners, effect sales, purchases and trades in real estate or mercantile establishments.  The amount of work involved can be fairly estimated, when it is understood that one hundred persons daily are in conference with Mr. Brotherline relative to “deals”, but besides this, innumerable telephone calls are given prompt attention.  By hard work, fidelity, and the judicious use of printers’ ink in the dailies of Dayton, Louisville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus and many other smaller cities, he succeeds in securing favorable responses for the many and varied propositions he has to offer.

            Mr. Brotherline considers Dayton one of the best cities in the country for the young man and maintains that with its varied industries and diversified lines of business, affords boundless opportunities for the hustling and strenuous businessman.  It is interesting to enumerate and discuss with him the different lines of business not represented in Dayton.



J. E. Bryan



            This is “Jimmie” with the smile that never comes off.  His is vice president of the Bryan Co., and its Dayton manager.  He is one of the best-known and most popular young men in Dayton.  “Jimmie” looks young – he always will – and yet he has been vice president of the Bryan Co. for years, and the Dayton manager for a year and a half.  He is wise to every branch of the business and can close a large contract in a jiffy.  The Bryan Co is one of the oldest and largest bill posting and outdoor advertising concerns in America.  It is an incorporated company with headquarters in Cleveland.  It was started in 1868 and does a large business in forty-four cities and towns and has over fifty miles of billboard space.  The Dayton branch was opened in 1896.  The Bryan Co. employs one hundred and fifty men and does high class work in every branch of its business.

            Much of the success of the company here is due to the untiring energy, promptness and ability of “Jimmie” Bryan.



J. Fred Buehler



            Thirty years in the picture and frame business is the record of the subject pictured above.  Mr. Buehler is a practical gilder and frame maker.  Some of the best work done by Mr. Buehler is the making over of old style frames which have been quite a fad for some time.

            At his store at 216 North Main Street, he is adding a dark room, to be opened November 15, with special lighting facilities to display fine oil paintings.  Mr. Buehler fully believes that the lovers of fine art in Dayton will justify such a venture.

            In addition to a regular line of artwork, Mr. Buehler carries a line of etchings, gravures, original watercolors, but such artists as Mathews & Bemish, of Rochester, N. Y., Raymond and Van Wedge, of New York City.  Also canvasses of Meurer, Earhart, Lindsay, Hauser, and Casinelli, all well-known Cincinnati artists.  Mr. Buehler has enjoyed a fine patronage in the past and is making a special effort to more than please his future patrons.


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