Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blacksmiths and Kenny Williams Gas Station in New Vienna Ohio

The first blacksmith shop was operated by John Spears about 1820.  Spears is listed as the "principal blacksmith" in early New Vienna according to the History of Clinton County, published by W.H. Beers and Co. 1916.

A general description of a blacksmithing firm's mission in the 1800s: to give prompt attention to horse shoeing and all general blacksmithing, job work and repairing, guaranteeing first-class work in all departments of this business.  Blacksmiths were practical and skilled mechanics of a city worthy of notice, and were often wagon makers and machinists also.

Common occupations necessary anywhere in the early 1800s included those who could employ themselves as carpenters, coopers, harness and saddle makers, hatters, cabinet makers, chair manufacturers, shoe makers, gunsmiths, locksmiths, blacksmiths, brick and stone masons, plasterers, in fact, mechanics of every calling, though nearly all, upon settling here, turned attention chiefly to farming.

HH remembers four blacksmith shops from the 1930s.  Two in the same block of the CJU house – one in the front of the warehouse where CJU and W.A. Hodson kept their road equipment (and in the back there were gooseberry bushes), and one further down the block across from the New Vienna Senior Citizens in the now empty lot next to the Derivan House (see 1920 census information below) on the corner of 2nd and Main Streets.  The Schuler blacksmith shop pictured below, and Joe Ryan's (also in 1920 census) at the corner of Pearl and RR Streets.  Joe was famous for being a very strong man – there's a story that he picked up and threw a refrigerator at someone in anger.  His wife, Mary, ran a small garden business at the same location, selling seedlings, flowers, etc.


J.F. Schuler, Blacksmith c.1930?, became Ken Williams Texaco/Sunoco, New Vienna Ohio South St. (SR73) - Image courtesy of Mike Whited
Williams Garage, New Vienna Ohio c1960 - Image courtesy of Mike Whited

Kenneth D. "Kenny" Williams died June 16, 2003 at the age of 92.  H was born October 6, 1910, the son of Grover Cleveland and Lena Grace Dick Williams and moved to New Vienna in 1944.  He and his wife, Helen M. Sollars Williams (1907-2007), were married March 28, 1937.
At his death Kenny was survived by his wife, his daughter, Barbara Ellen (Roger Grey) Blackmore of New Vienna; and a grandchild, Tonya Rae Blackmore.  He was preceded in death by three brothers and three sisters.
Kenny Williams Sunoco repair truck, New Vienna Ohio c1960 - Image courtesy of Mike Whited

Other historical trivia about blacksmiths and early New Vienna history:

From History of Clinton County c1890:  In 1810, Charles Harris, father of Elisha Harris, of Snow Hill, bought the land now owned by Jonathan Leeks, and settled upon it, and commenced the work of improving it. About the same time, the land now owned by Carey Clark and Hezekiah Hildebrant was settled by Thomas Cox, grandfather of Vincent Cox, blacksmith of New Vienna; and Joseph Anthony settled the land now owned by Messrs. Levi Miller, Dr. E. M. Woodberry and Henry Nordyke. William Noble, Sr., settled south of the Harris farm, and Aaron Cox where William Elliott now lives. Elisha Noble settled the Thomas Nordyke farm. Charles Harris built the "Snow Hill House," and opened a tavern there, probably the first in the county. His brother-in-law, Samuel Wasson, near the same time, built a house near where Cyrus King now lives, and commenced to entertain travelers.

The village has also two harness, three shoe and three blacksmith shops, all of which are in a prosperous condition. It has two wagon shops, and one buggy and carriage shop, one sash and blind factory, three livery stables and one furnishing and undertaker's establishment. The stables are owned and run by Nordyke & Sons and Homer Hussey; the blacksmith shops by the Hunt Bros., Vincent Cox and H. Deriven; the carriage and buggy shops by Samuel Hixon & Son; the wagon shops by S. Hixon and Allen Dennis; the shoe shops by S. Hetherington, J. Eakins and T. Dowden; the sash and blind factory by James Nevin & Son. It has two mills, both of which grind and saw. One is owned by C. C. Lazenby & Co., the other by Benjamin Baker. The post office is located on Main, between West street and railroad, west side.

According to a 2010 bicentennial history of Clinton County published in the WNJ,
1874 – Hooktown, located at the intersection of Clark and Steel Road, had a blacksmith shop and general store and tannery. The town was destroyed by a tornado and never rebuilt.
*****
A blacksmith by trade, Paton Mowrer  was born December 06, 1827 in Highland Co OH., and died December 03, 1865 in New Vienna, Clinton Co. Oh.. He married Amelia Dorsey Sellman August 27, 1846 in Brown, Co. OH., daughter of John Sellman and Hanna Reynolds. She was born May 26, 1822 in Brown Co, OH. Jackson Twp., and died March 13, 1896 in Chicago, IL.

Paton was discharged from the Army with a disability on 22 Jan. 1863 in Gallatin,TN. Paton Mowrer is found on the 1850 Brown Co. OH. Fincastle Twp. census, age 27-b.1823 born in OH., blacksmith with wife; Ameldia D. age 27-b.1823 born in OH. with son; Ethan A. age 1 b.-1849 His brother; Samuel age 18-b.1832 born in OH., blacksmith, is living in the same household. Pay Mory is found on the 1860 Clinton Co. OH. age 32-b.1828 born OH. blacksmith, with wife; Almelia age 37-b.1823 born in OH., Children: Ethan A. age 11, Erie (John) age 9, Sarah age 6, Nancy age 4, & Rufus age 1. Payton's brother Samuel is living several households away on same census. After Payton died in 1865 his widow Amelia Mourer, is found on the 1870 Livingston CO. IL. and on the 1880 McLean Co. IL. census, age 58, she and her parents born in OH. with children; Sarah age 26, Rufus age 20 (clerk in Dry. G. Store), John (Erie) age 29 (R.R. Conductor). John's wife; Mary A. age 25 and their children; William age 5 & John P. age 3.
*****

Information from census records includes:
1850 Green Township (looked at page 179-185)
John Myers, 48, blacksmith, wife Lucinda 43, sons Stephen 21 & Joseph 17 farmers
Leo D. (?) Wilson 31, blacksmith wife 35, Bertha Nordyke 14, Martha Wilson 6, Samantha 5, John 1, Robert Houle 16
Washington Page, 26, blacksmith lived with Elisha Harris 42 innkeeper

1860
W.L. Sheppard-33 blacksmith, wife unreadable, 26, daughter  ? 8, ? 6, John, 5, Louise (?) 3, Mirabelle 2
Pey Mowrer-37 blacksmith, wife Amilia 37, children Ethan 11, Eric 9, Sarah 6, Marey 4, Rufus 1
John Brewer 35, wagonmaker,
Caleb Sainther-21, blacksmith lives with John B & Samuel Mowrer 25, blacksmith, wife Mary 22, boarder Frank Austin 13

1880 Census - very difficult to read
Thomas Hand 31, blacksmith, wife Sallie 29, daughter Corda 8, brother William also blacksmith - Green Twp
Vincent Cox, 34? blacksmith, wife Martha 28, sons unreadable 13, Willie 4?
Unreadable maybe James Nevan, age 47, blacksmith, wife Jennina 37, children Dick 17 carpenter, Fanny 8, Frank 2, mother-in-law Margaret Clancey 65
David Green  blacksmith, 33, wife L...29, daughter A... 11, Catherine C... in-law?
William Bell, 44, blacksmith, wife Nancy 42, children Edward 20, farm worker, Grant 15 farm worker, Jessie 12, Ida 8

1900 Census
Thomas Wright b. Nov. 1881, blacksmith, son of John T., b. 1851, paperhanger and Mary E. b.1856, siblings: Bertha b.1876 Milliner trimmer, Edith B. b. 1878, teacher, Flora b. 1885
Albert Lytle b. 1869, blacksmith, wife Althea b. 1873, children Lizzie b.1894,  Ray b.1895, Ruth b.1897, Leonard b.1899
Merion Wilson b. 1866, blacksmith, wife Florence b. 1870, mother Nancy b. 1842
John Gilliland (partly unreadable in 1910, but legible in 1900), b.1862, blacksmith, wife Laura., children: Keley (?) F. b.1885, Mary b. 1899
John Schuler, b. 1871 in IN, blacksmith, wife Jessie b. 1872, daughter Helen b. 1899
Allen Gilliland b. 1867, blacksmith, wife Ollie b. 1870 in IN, chlden Harvey b. 1890, Bertha b. 1872, Blanche b. 1895, John b. 1898

1910 Census
Benjamin Dorke (sp?), 26, blacksmith born in IL, wife Myrtle 19, daughter Cassie 1, brother-in-law Clarke Davidson (?) 17
John F. Schuler (spelled correctly in 1910), 39, blacksmith shop, wife Jessie 36, Helen A. 11, Ivan J. (John I?), 7, sister-in-law Minnie Good, 26, dry goods saleslady
Alvin B. Gilliland (partly unreadable in 1910, but John Gilliland is blacksmith in 1900), 43, blacksmith shop, wife Olive., children: Bertha 17, Blanche E. 15, John 11, Mary 9
Thomas E. Wright 28, blacksmith, wife Jessie 26,
Fred M. Deck, 20, blacksmith, son of Frank D. 49 and Callie M. 41, siblings: Harry R. 18, Etta M. 16, Lucille 14, Mildred E. 11, Nellie J. 6
Eugene Edwards, 42 blacksmith (in 1900 listed as wagon maker), wife Edna 32, Bonnie 13, Grace 11, Kathryn 2

1920 census
James O. Stoops 42, blacksmith, wife Mary 32, children Earl 13, Harry G. 12, Ethel 9, Olive 6, Elmer 3&8/12, Donald 1&2/12
Harley Gilliland, 51 blacksmith shop, son of Elizabeth 79
Joseph Ryan 20, blacksmith shop, father Richard Ryan 65 was draying laborer, mother Margaret 57, sister Mary 18
John F. Schuyler (spelled Schuler on shop), 49, blacksmith shop, wife Jessie 46, Helen W. 21, John I, 16, sister-in-law Minnie Good, department store clerk
Hubert J. Derivan 62, blacksmith shop, wife Susan I., 58, Joseph F. 28, veterinarian, Mary S. 24, Hubert 21, John E. 18, Harry J 27, Civil Engineer shop
Jess Shoemaker 27, blacksmith shop, wife Vilma 24, Dolores 2, Harlan 2/12

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2 comments:

  1. From HH: Steel road today is Steele Rd, and there is a Leeka road, while you mention a Mr Leeks. Reminds me of the story how Cleaveland Lost an "a" because there wasn't room for all those letters in the headline.

    My response: Of course Steel could have been misspelled in the WNJ where I got the info on Steel(e) Rd and Hooktown. Which remind me of "Huff" town. I need reminded of the history of that term. Was that the same section of NV that was also sometimes called "Canada"?

    There is a Henry Leeka mentioned as a member of the 149th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the "War of the Rebellion", and it's Jonathan Leeks (according to the Clinton County History of 1890) who bought the land encompassing (?) Snow Hill. However in checking the census records, there is no mention of any Leeks in Green Twp or Clinton County in the 1800s so that is a misspelling. Very good!

    The 1880 Census records show a Jonathan Leeka as a farmer, age 59 with 3 sons, Harvey (29), Alphonse (27), and Sylvanus (23) and a daughter Ellen (16), all at home on the farm in Green Twp.

    Sylvanus is shown as living in Logan County in 1900. The 1920 Census shows 4 Leeka's in Clinton County (3 in Green Twp), but they are all age 65+, so younger ones must have moved away....
  2. Catherine--
    Very likely they are the same person...I've found (especially in the older census records) that spelling of names can be sketchy: either the taker was in a hurry, wasn't sure how to spell or possibly didn't care? Of course, there's always the assumption they knew how to spell a name and really didn't. If it's only off by one letter, I'd say you got the right person.

2 comments:

Catherine said...

From HH: Steel road today is Steele Rd, and there is a Leeka road, while you mention a Mr Leeks. Reminds me of the story how Cleaveland Lost an"a" because there wasn't room for all those letters in the headline.

My response: Of course Steel could have been misspelled in the WNJ where I got the info on Steel(e) Rd and Hooktown. Which remind me of "Huff" town. I need reminded of the history of that term. Was that the same section of NV that was also sometimes called "Canada"?

There is a Henry Leeka mentioned as a member of the 149th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the "War of the Rebellion", and it's Jonathan Leeks (according to the Clinton County History of 1890) who bought the land encompassing (?) Snow Hill. However in checking the census records, there is no mention of any Leeks in Green Twp or Clinton County in the 1800s so that is a misspelling. Very good!

The 1880 Census records show a Jonathan Leeka as a farmer, age 59 with 3 sons, Harvey (29), Alphonse (27), and Sylvanus (23) and a daughter Ellen (16), all at home on the farm in Green Twp.

Sylvanus is shown as living in Logan County in 1900. The 1920 Census shows 4 Leeka's in Clinton County (3 in Green Twp), but they are all age 65+, so younger ones must have moved away....

Mary Uible Crowson said...

Catherine--
Very likely they are the same person...I've found (especially in the older census records) that spelling of names can be sketchy: either the taker was in a hurry, wasn't sure how to spell or possibly didn't care? Of course, there's always the assumption they knew how to spell a name and really didn't. If it's only off by one letter, I'd say you got the right person.

Items from Uible photo album