Thursday, February 10, 2011

WNJ's New Vienna Ohio History

From an article on, the online presence of the Wilmington (Ohio) News Journal.  This is part of the history section of the third edition of the Clinton County Resource Guide, published in 2008.

New Vienna
New Vienna is located in Green Township, in the southwest corner of Clinton County. The first settlers in the area were Joseph Anthony, Abner Van Meter and Samuel Clevenger, who arrived around 1800. Buzzard’s Glory, established in 1827, was the original name of New Vienna. Although Buzzard’s Glory was established in 1827, it was not officially entered into the county deed books until 1835. The town was so named because in 1812 to 1813 there was a local tannery in operation, and when the animal hides were hung outside they would attract buzzards.

Buzzard’s Glory was later renamed New Vienna by Harkens T. Van Winkle. The first settlers in New Vienna were Thomas and Joshua Hussey. Joshua Hussey started the first gristmill in 1826 and the first steam grist and sawmill in 1833, and in 1829 Stephen Hussey and William Reese opened the first store. In 1829 Thomas Reese and Jonathon Haworth opened a carding mill. The first hotel was established by Girard Morgan.

The first school in New Vienna is believed to have been located in the northern part of town. Between 1850 and 1860 a two story brick school was built in New Vienna. This school, purchased by the Society of Dunkards, eventually failed. Previous to 1860 there had been another school located in New Vienna. The first school was sold to the Catholic Church, and the Dunkard building was sold to T. L. Rogers and Nathan Hussey. The Dunkard building was then enlarged and used as a school until 1878, and that same year a new school known as Whittier Hall was built. Between 1917 and 1918 a new school was built on the same site, and was used until New Vienna Schools were consolidated with Simon Kenton in 1963.

In 1908 a fire* occurred on South Street, destroying several buildings. Later another fire destroyed several buildings and homes on Main Street. Another fire in 1925 claimed New Vienna’s opera house. However, despite these setbacks business continued to thrive. The Southern Ohio Tool and Die Company was established in New Vienna in the early ’30s, and continued until the early ’80s. The Wells Manufacturing Company moved to New Vienna in 1947 and is still running.

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