Showing posts with label New Vienna History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Vienna History. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

1972 Wells Mfg WNJ Clipping -Jan31

Wells Mfg. Clipping
Wilmington News-Journal - January 31, 1972

Pictures Captioned:
  • Top: MANAGER – Harold Uible, manager of Wells Manufacturing, explains the production of plastic jump rope as tour of factory begins
  • Middle Left: COMPLETE OPERATION – Mrs. Richard (Arlene) Curtis, Mrs. Donald (Geneva) Osborn and Mrs. Floyd (Mina) Crabtree are busily making pinwheels.  They handle the entire operation.
  • Bottom Left: JUMP ROPE MADE – Mrs. Norman (Donna) Brown, foreman of the braiding room, is looking over the different colored spools of thread which eventually become jump rope.  In the far right, you can see the rope unwinding off the big wheel.  Mrs. Brown has been with the factory since it's opening 25 years ago.
  • Middle Right: WORKING RUBBER – David Trenary is working with synthetic rubber, making it more flexible and ready for the transformation into rubber balls.
  • Bottom Right: SHAPING RUBBER – Mrs. Clarice Reed is feeding the treated rubber into a machine which turns it into a cylindric shape; then is cut into sections.

New Vienna's Wells Plant is
Unique Toy Factory
by Mike Graham (News-Journal Staff Writer)
Wells Manufacturing in New Vienna is not just another factory.  Sure, there are machines with assembly lines, and all the smells and sounds that we find in a factory.  But imagine thousands upon thousands of rubber balls, jump ropes, and pinwheels.  That's their finished product.  Toys!

New Vienna's toy factory has been making these toys and many more for 25 years.  Today they manufacture over 100 different small toys that sell all over the United States and some regions of the world.  They even have a customer in Truth or Consequences, N.M.!  It's certainly a big operation and unique from the standpoint that there aren't many factories of its kind in southern Ohio.  Harold Uible, a practicing lawyer and manager of the plan, gave this reporter a first-hand look at their toy-making process.

ONCE BEHIND the office doors, we looked in on the making on pinwheels.  A pinwheel is a hand-made plastic wheel that spins on the end of a wooden stick when held in the wind.  It operates on the same theory as a windmill.  There were no machines in this section and just four women handled the whole operation.  Uible mentioned that the tree women busily cutting and putting together the wheels were from New Vienna; in fact all of the factory's 75 employes are from the New Vienna area.

The first machine seen was in a packaging section.  It was cutting and shaping plastic to be used as packaging for the jack sets.  All the labeling and packaging is done right there in the factory, in fact as Uible pointed out, the entire product is manufactured in the plant and made ready for distribution.

One of the most interesting rooms in the building was the braiding room.  Yard after yard of multicolored jump rope flowed from the dozen or more weaving machines.  To merely glance at the process, it would appear simple.  But to stop and study one machine in action changes your mind, for they are delicate, complex instruments.

We had almost forgotten that there was another large brick building across the street and a walk through it proved to be just as interesting.  There were many more machines making jacks, rubber balls, kickback paddles, and plastic jump rope.  Probably the most intriguing operation was the making of rubber balls, the factory's best-selling product.  Three people and three machines can turn huge chunks of synthetic rubber into 50,000 balls a day.  At full production 20,000 of these rubber balls can be painted in an eight-hour work shift.

We noticed as we continued through the plant that, just as in the other part of the factory, there were many women employes, and in each section there was usually one or two working.  The machines do most of the work but many of the toys, such as the pinwheels and jump ropes, require the feminine touch.

The really remarkable thing about the factory is that it doesn't take many workers to handle the massive production job.

The toy factory stays open year 'round for there is a constant demand for its particular type of toys.  Uible said that business is best the first four months of the year and feels that can be attributed to more people getting outside with the coming of warmer weather.  Like other manufacturers, Wells Manufacturing is not limited to the number and kind of toys it can produce.  Imagination is essential in the toy business.

In recent years, there has been much talk about the safety of many toys.  Uible commented that competition probably has much to do with marketing of unsafe toys.  For example the item which looks prettier, sells better.  One of the safety precautions which Wells is most concerned with is the use of non-leaded materials.

When George Wells of Dayton started the manufacturing why did he choose New Vienna for its location.  Why not the city?  Maybe he wanted to move away from the crowded city and the hundreds of industrial complexes sitting on top of each other.  Labor recruitment would be no problem for there weren't any big businesses in New Vienna.  And instead of drawing workers from all over who-knows-where, he was assured of dependable local help.

It worked for Wells as it as for so many other plants that establish themselves in small towns.  The atmosphere is right.  As Uible said, "I try to know the first names of all my employees."  The people look like they enjoy their work and it shows by the thousands of quality toys the factory turns out each day.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

1942 Coupon for Gasoline

Published in the New Vienna History Blog is the complete transcript of the Vienna Viewpoints of December 3, 1942.  Here's a coupon of special interest to our family.  Transcription follows.
1942 - Ad & coupon for Pure Oil Store in NV, CJ & Harold H. Uible, Props. - Dec 3 in Vienna Viewpoints (school newsletter)


The opening of your new Pure Oil Store in New Vienna 
and to commemorate the rationing of gasoline, we are 
making you this special offer:


See us for your Anti-Freeze, Thermo-Royal non-rust, 
no poisonous fumes, ceiling price $1.40 per gallon.  

OUR PRICE $1.10.

                                C. J. & Harold H. Uible, Props.

                                  Be SURE with PURE

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fealy: Hotel and GHU Neighbor

Hotel Fealy, New Vienna Ohio [later Wells Mfg.] Corner of Main & South St., Built in 1883, diagonally across from Train Depot.  c1910
Harold Hiestand Uible (~9) and Katherine McCabe Fealy (~69, born 1865) at back of her house which was next door to CJ Uible house on Main St., New Vienna, Ohio c1934

Katherine (1865-?) and her husband, William Fealy (1864-?) were both born in Ohio, though their parents were all from Ireland.  In 1900 they lived in a rental house in New Vienna along with Katherine's widowed father, James McCabe (1830-?).  Their neighbors included Ray Gilliland, Dudley & Cora Borden, Mary Leverton, Roy Brown, Pleasant & Pearl Wright, William Ruble and the Chaney family which included Harry, Clarence, and Benton.  William is listed without a occupation in the 1900 census.

William Fealy's parents, William Sr. (1829-1914) and Ellen (1833-?) and two of their ten children, Ellen (1862-?) and Mary (1874-?) are also shown as living in Green Township.  William's occupation is listed as Hotel Keeper, though he is shown as living in a rental house.  Four boarders are also shown as living in that residence, a landlord - Thomas Rodgers (1824-?); Machinist - George Sharp (1873-?); Typesetter - Thomas Ludlen (1871-? from Ireland) and Druggist Proprietor - John Bettatas (1844-?).  The William & Lydia Fox family lived next door.  William Fox was a saloon-keeper, probably at the hotel.  A Fox family was later associated with the hotel and saloon.

In 1910 Katherine is listed as living with her 12-year-old niece, Agnes McCabe.  In 1920 Katherine is living alone on Main St. in New Vienna.  Her neighbors include: Charles & Sarah Williams, the Merrill family, Jane & Jennie Woodmansee, Ellen Honline, Isaac & Hallie Pendall, and Edward and Olive Brown.  (Olive 1862-?) is an author of an early version of New Vienna history.


  1. Catherine Uible Morgan Tue Apr 24, 11:35:00 AM 2012
    From HH: That hotel had one bathroom upstairs, it was in the farthest room from the RR station . The two front rooms of the Hotel were double rooms. As I recall CJU bought the building for $900.00 in 194?.
    From Catherine: Here's the link to the article with more history of the building: And a quote from that 1952 article:  "The company purchased the old Fox building at the railroad crossing in New Vienna at public auction in Sept. 1950. The building had gone through a disastrous fire and had to be almost entirely rebuilt. This was done with Vaughn Huffman as contractor and Mr. Uible as supervisor. Fifty-two thousand face brick were used in reconstructing the walls.  The original building was was erected in 1878 [Another source says 1883] by Truman Peale, who operated a general store in the downstairs rooms. The upstairs was used as a city hall and for roadshows, dancing, etc.  It was later remodeled and was known as the Phaley [Picture above clearly shows Fealy] House and later the Elton Hotel. In recent years the Fox Restaurant was located there and Leo Dodds had apartments upstairs. It was hit by fire in March, 1950, and Mr. Dodds' widow sold the building at public auction to Mr. Uible."

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Vienna's Railroad Ave. in 1958

Two houses were demolished in New Vienna on Railroad Avenue when Wells Mfg. added a paint building.  The 1957 Chrysler was our family car.  Parallel parking in this car was a challenge.  I drove it to my summer job at the Wilmington Public Library in 1965.
1957 Chrysler.  House torn down for Wells paint building (Railroad Ave.)

1957 Chrysler in New Vienna with machine shop in background (Railroad Ave.)

See the New Vienna History Blog for more details about who was living on Pearl Street and Pass (Railroad?) Avenue in the 1930s.

    Wednesday, June 01, 2011

    Wells Mfg. History

    The following was written in early 2000 by HH Uible and was originally transcribed by Serena.  

    Since 1947 Dad [CJ Uible] had become involved in a Wells Mfg. (started by George Wells in Dayton in 1945) and in which I was also active.  The first location in New Vienna is the present Senior Citizens building where the rent was $100 a month.

    The original owners had several fast talkers in the organization who were paid a commission of sales and soon the company was broke.  They moved to Milwaukee and started a company called Jak Pak.

    In 1949 Wells bought the old hotel at the corner of SR-73 and Main Street for $900 as there had been a fire in the building and it needed help.  The going wage rate then was 55 cents an hour and I was lucky enough to get on the payroll at $35 a week.

    In 1950 Bill Horton [CJ's son-in-law] and family moved to Florida and I became more active in sales work.  At that time Wells did not make anything, they bought the jackstones, the balls and put the items together.  Then a small set retailed for 5¢.  The only sales organization was a rep from Barr Rubber in Sandusky from whom we bought the balls.  He carried the Wells line and through contacts eventually had reps in most of the areas.

    Every year we would got to the Toy Show in New York City which then ran for ten days and is now (in 2000] down to three days.  In the early 1950s hotels in NYC were $4/night and we would eat hot dogs from street vendors.  Every year we would make the rounds of the major chains in New York and then swing out through Kansas, Oklahoma City, Dallas and back through Nashville to home, a two week trip.  As we all know the little guys have gone out of business and the big guys are so powerful they tell you what they will pay, so was quite happy to sell the business in 1999.

    In those days we had to punch the holes out of the jack cards where the balls went.  The only material handling equipment was a two wheel truck, so when a 40,000 pound load of zinc came in, that had to be unloaded one bar at a time.  (Each bar was 20 pounds.  We bought the zinc from a firm in Chicago that had apartments in the John Hancock Tower and we all enjoyed a number of visits there.  Catherine had an intern job at Marshall Fields while in college.)

    Some of the earlier Wells products included lawn sprinklers -- they were too good as they never wore out; key chains and coin holders (with the advent of parking meters); bond boxes where one kept valuable papers (really no more than a metal box about the size of a small safety deposit box); yo-yos, flying saucers where there were two balls on the end of a rubber string and when in motion the balls would go in opposite directions; cyclone spinners -- a plastic disc that had holes and when pulled by the two strings would make a noise.  Later on we made plastic bats and balls.

    About 1960 we got into the bubble business and eventually had a complete packaging line consisting of a bottle unscrambler (which put the correct end of the bottle up), a filler, capper, labeler, etc.  The 8 oz. was the most popular seller and it would sell by the truckload.  Also had a 4, 16, 24, 32 and 64 oz. bottle size, all of which we made on the four blow molding machines.

    Our biggest step was to start making rubber balls, and as Goodyear said it was a challenge, which we never fully mastered 100%.  Besides the rubber mill, there was an extruder to get the rubber into rope like shape and then a cutter for the slugs and finally the 21 presses where the actual balls of different sizes were made.

    Over the years we had employment as high as 70 people and a lot of very loyal people, like Phyllis J. Tilton White who was there for 35 years, Donna Brown for 33 years, Esther Salisbury for 20+, Mildred Storer, Gene Williams and Fred Hughes who came for a couple of weeks and stayed for over 20 years.  Elvis Wiget who started at $2/hour and went up.  In 1999 the basic wage rate was $6.50/hour.  Not much but too much to make a profit at the selling price that competition required.

    In selling jacks one of the customers suggested that we put information about obtaining the rules on the back of the card, which we did.  At the peak of business we would receive around 50 letters a day requesting the rules.  Mother [Gladys Hiestand Uible] seemed to enjoy answering these jack letters, especially after CJ's death [1969] and would mark in the atlas book where the requests came from.  Children were requested to send a dime to cover the cost which was adequate in the early days when postage was two cents.  Sometimes children would send 10 pennies which resulted in postage being due.

    As it became increasingly hard to make a profit, even though I drew no salary, I announced in the spring of 1999 that we would close.  Easier said than done for I really didn't want to have an auction.  Thanks to John and his connections the business and property was sold to Grant and Glenn Douglas of Columbus who formally bought Wells in November of 1999.  Hopefully they will make a success of it.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    NV Firm [Wells] is Moving (2 of 2) - May 15, 1952

    Part Two of the Leesburg Citizen May 15, 1952 article on Wells Mfg. moving into their new building.  See Part 1 at this link.
    Wells Manufacturing New Building, C.J. Uible, Leesburg [Ohio] Citizen May 15, 1952

    Wells Manufacturing Company to Hold Open House Friday
    The Wells Manufacturing Company, New Vienna, will move from the Carter building to its new $40,000 home this week and will hold open house on Friday afternoon and evening.

    Founded in Dayton in 1945, the firm was brought to New Vienna in May 1947, through the financial backing of Mr. C.J. Uible, New Vienna.  In June, 1948, Mr. Uible purchased the firm outright and has since operated it in the Carter building.  [The Carter Building is now the Senior Center.]

    From 18 to 20 persons were employed the past winter.  Officers are C.J. Uible, president and treasurer; Attorney Harold Uible, vice president and secretary.  Charles Thompson is production manager.

    The company manufactures and assembles novelties for variety and 10 cent stores and makes nearly 20 items, including jack sets, yo-yos, paddle balls, return balls, key chains, etc.  Its largest buyers are Woolworth, Kresge, and Sears-Roebuck.  Its products are shipped all over the U.S., Hawaii [not yet a state in 1952], South America, South Africa and Sweden.
    Wells Mfg. Employees - May 15, 1952, Leesburg Citizen clipping.  Captioned: Charles Thompson production manager of the Wells Mfg. Co., left, is standing by Atty. Harold Uible at rear.  Front row shows three office employes [sic], Miss [Reatha] Hakes, Mrs. [Joann Rulon] [Damon] Hughes, and Mrs. [Donna] Brown.
    May 15, 1952 - Leesburg Citizen Clipping.  Atty. Harold Uible in New Office and Wells Mfg. Office Girls.  Captioned: Attorney Harold Uible, vice president and secretary of the Wells Mfg. Co., New Vienna, is shown at this desk in the new office of the company.  Office employees of the Wells Mfg. Co. in the front office of the Wells Mfg. Co.  Left to right: Miss Reatha Hakes, Mrs. Donna Brown and Mrs. Joan Hughes.

    Some Wells Manufacturing Company Products. May 15, 1952, Leesburg Citizen Clipping. Featuring a Jacks Set, Flying Soss-Ers, and a metal lock box.
    Wells Mfg. Company Products - May 15, 1952, Leesburg Citizen clipping, featuring Twin Jack Set, Cyclone Spinner.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    New Vienna Firm [Wells] is Moving to New Building (1 of 2) - May 15, 1952

    The Leesburg Citizen, run by locally famous Mack Sauer [note the ad for "Breakfast at Sauer's" on WPFB in top left corner of front page of newspaper], ran a 4-page special edition on Thursday, May 15, 1952 in honor of Wells Mfg., moving to their new building on West Main Street, New Vienna. Besides talking about the company, the open house and the $40,000 remodeling job, there is also a section on the history of the building (below the fold).  See below for transcription of history.  
    Part 2 will feature pictures of products and office employees. 
    New Vienna [Ohio] Firm [Wells Mfg.]is Moving - Leesburg Citizen, May 15, 1952

    New Vienna Plant to Hold Open House Friday

    The Wells Mfg. Company, New Vienna, will hold open house in their new $40,000 plant Friday, May 16 from 1 to 5 and 7 to – P.M.

    The new headquarters contain 10 rooms, including 3 offices, assembly rooms, storage rooms, etc.  It is modern to the minute.
    The Buckeye Ramblers, Wilmington, will play for round and square dancing in the assembly room Friday evening. Dancing will be free to everyone.  There will be roses for the ladies and toys for the children.
    Mr. C. J. Uible, president, extends a cordial invitation to everyone to attend the open house.
    Hotel Fealy, New Vienna Ohio [later Wells Mfg.] Corner of Main & South St., Built in 1878, across from Train Depot
    Leesburg Citizen clipping from May 15, 1952 about Wells Mfg.

    Building History
    The company purchased the old Fox building at the railroad crossing in New Vienna at public auction in Sept. 1950.  The building had gone through a disastrous fire and had to be almost entirely rebuilt.  This was done with Vaughn Huffman as contractor and Mr. Uible as supervisor.  Fifty-two thousand face brick were used in reconstructing the walls.

    The original building was was erected in 1878 [Another source says 1883] by Truman Peale, who operated a general store in the downstairs rooms.  The upstairs was used as a city hall and for roadshows, dancing, etc.

    It was later remodeled and was known as the Phaley [Picture above clearly shows Fealy] House and later the Elton Hotel.  In recent years the Fox Restaurant was located there and Leo Dodds had apartments upstairs.  It was hit by fire in March, 1950, and Mr. Dodds' widow sold the building at public auction to Mr. Uible.

    Mr. Uible spared no expense in rebuilding.  Offices have hardwood floors, sound proof ceilings, venetian blinds, and are modern to the minute.  The rest rooms have tile walls and are equipped with showers for the employees.

    An elevator shaft has been installed and later an elevator will be installed between the first and second floors.  [This never happened, I think for structural reasons.] The first floor has 10 rooms, including 3 offices, assembly room, storage rooms, stock room, etc.  The upstairs is not yet completed, but assembly rooms will be finished there at a later date.

    The building is 170 by 44 feet.  The new addition at the rear is 78 feet by 44 feet.

    Mr. Uible, retired contractor, is one of New Vienna's most prominent businessmen.  He has served on the village council for many years and has always been one of the town's most loyal boosters for every improvement.

    He is warmly congratulated by the citizens of New Vienna on the fine, modern home he has constructed for the company he heads.

    See Part Two of the Leesburg Citizen May 15, 1952 article on Wells Mfg. moving into their new building at this link.

    1 comment:

    1. John Levo adds: I barely remember my parents going to the grand opening of the new building. I think I was given a green yo-yo.
      The article makes mention of the Fox Restaurant. It was run by Georgia Fox and her mother. When they relocated, they went to the building next to the village park. Georgia had her restaurant and her brother lived upstairs and ran a card game in the front room. I think he also did some work for the township or village. I never heard him called anything but Bullger. My parents bought the building in 1965 from Georgia and moved the trophy business from our den at home to the building. In addition to the trophies, he and Doc South sold a line of pet and animal health supplies. Hard to believe that it has been 50 years since Red Dot was established.

    Monday, May 09, 2011

    Harris Hotel Apartments and Feed Mill map

    Some preliminary work on the history of feed mills in New Vienna has found a connection between the Elroyd Collier family, John and Marie Cooper family, and the Uibles who all lived in the same Harris Hotel/Apartments building on the Corner of SR-73 and SR-28.

    Harris Hotel Apts. c1950 - one time home of Colliers, Uibles, John Cooper family, Mrs. Pierce family among others. Photo above and below courtesy of Carolyn Collier Taubenheim.

    HH Uibles lived in downstairs apartment 1951-56 as did John Cooper family 1957-? in white part on right,, Colliers lived in upstairs closest to SR-73 c1945-50, corner of South and West Sts, New Vienna Ohio. Torn down for Jim Mitchell's Sohio Station, later Ralph's pizza, in 2010 Dollar Store. Originally Harris Hotel/Apartments.  This photo from Uible collection, taken just prior to demolition in 1967.

    The white part where we lived had a porch around the front with the main entrance being on the east side next to the small yard area.  There was a separate entrance to an office closest to the brick part of the building where HH had his law practice.  CJU owned the apartment building during part of this time.

    As for the feed mills, here is a rough map of where they were located.
    A: Originally Boden Flour Mill, later New Vienna Milling Co. - now demolished
    B: Farm Bureau (branch of Wilmington Farm Bureau)
    C: Unknown name, was probably located further west but on south side of RR tracks, behind Smith Funeral
    D: New Vienna Grain, run by Benson West and his son-in-law Glenn Southerland - demolished
    E:  Near where cannery was, now near plastic factory, run by Mac Laughlin, possibly from Lynchburg

    View Larger Map
    Corrections and additional information on mills in New Vienna still being collected. Thanks for any help you can provide!

    1 comment:

    1. HH reports that "E" the mill by the cannery is north rather than south of the RR tracks.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Huffman Clothing, Bill Huffman and the NV Class of 1948

    The recent discussion of Bill Holmes brought lots of comments and questions about the history of the store, most of which were answered by the following ad/article from a 1960 clipping from the Wilmington News-Journal.  [Transcription follows.  To read the full article on Bill Holmes, click here.  (Comments are at the bottom of the article.]
    Huffman Clothing (History) New Vienna Ohio  - WNJ 1960
    1960 [exact date unknown]
    Shown above is one of Clinton County's most famous clothing stores.  For 62 years, this store was known as the Phillips Bros. Clothing Store.  Owned first by Harley Phillips.  Later Harley and his brother Cliff formed a partnership.  People from all over the county came to buy their clothes at this store.  In 1958, this store was purchased by William Huffman, former star athlete for New Vienna High School.  "Bill" as he is known by his many friends, is married to the former Gretchen Fullerton and they have two fine sons, Mark, age 3 [or 8?] and Scott, age 4.  A staunch figure since 1917 in the store has been Bill Holmes, who has been associated for 43 years, with both Phillips and Huffman.

    From this article we learn that the Phillips Bros. store opened for business in 1896 and that Bill Holmes started working there in 1917 when he was 33 years old, prior to that Bill was a clerk at the M.R. Harris Grocery in the Iron Building [later Daye Hardware].  Bob Johnson later bought the store from Bill Huffman.  Not sure when it closed.

    Moving on to Bill Huffman, he was a 1948 graduate of New Vienna High School and an athlete as mentioned above.  The following pictures are from the New Vienna High School Memory Book 1881-1963.
    New Vienna Ohio High School - Class of 1948.
    Top Row: Margaretha Baumann-Fac, R.W. Fenwick-Supt, Thomas Rudisill-Fac and Kathryn Tolle-Fac.
    Fourth Row: Daryl Hunter-Fac, Sara Swartz-Fac, John Hughes-Fac, and Martha Tolleson-Fac.
    Third Row: A.F. Roush-Fac, Richard Carey-Pres, Jean Rolfe-V.Pres, Mary Lou Berwanger-Sec'y, Robert Streber-Treas and Glenn Bernard.
    Secord Row: Harold Burns, Donald Hite, Jack Hoopingarner, Bill Huffman, Jacque Laymon, June Pence and Kathryn Mobley.
    First row: Jean Rachford Barrett, Joellen Rulon Streber, Carolyn Saunders Thornburg, Betty Smith (Hoffer?), Harold Thornburg and Della Turner.

    Many of these names are familiar.  I know there were at least two weddings – Joellen Rulon married Bob Streber, and Carolyn Saunders married Harold Thornburg.  Please help me out with who else married who and what happened to them.  Here are links to obituaries: Jean Rachford Barrett (2010),  Glenn Bernard (of Parkinson's in 2010), Carolyn Saunders Thornburg (2011)
    1946 Basketball Team - Homecoming Queen & Attendants - New Vienna Ohio High School.
    Top Row: Bill Flint, Glenn Bernard, Carey Streber, Donald Hite, Carrie Custis, Carolyn Saunders Thornburg, Esther Roush, Raymond Walls, Oren Butcher, James Akers, Robert Minzler and Glenn McElwee-coach.
    Middle Row: David Blackburn, Jack Preston, Herbert McKenzie, Harold Burns, Tom Carey, Dan Fox, Andy Cluxton, Roger McKenzie, Lowell Prickett and Bill Huffman.
    First Row: Dale Cluxton, Donald McKamey, Hugh Heizer, Hoyt Penn, Jimmy Allen-manager, Leonard Sword, Howard Thompson and George Stevenson. [Picture from the NVHS Memory Book 1881-1963, page 76]

    1947 Baseball Team - New Vienna Ohio High School.
    Back row: Glenn McElwee-coach, Lowell Prickett, Dale Cluxton, Glenn Bernard, Roger McKenzie, Raymond Walls, Howard Thompson, David Blackburn and Hoyt Penn.
    Kneeling: Tom Carey, Herbert McKenzie, Jim Mongold, Dan Fox, Jim Allen-manager, Bill Huffman, Bill Flint and Donald McKamey. [Picture from NVHS Memory Book 1881-1963, p.76]

    1946-47 Track Team - New Vienna Ohio High School.
    Standing: Lowell Prickett, Glenn Bernard, Bob Streber, Mr. McElwee-coach, Alfred Kendall, Melvin Rhoades and Danny Fox.
    Kneeling: Andy Cluxton, Harry Allen, Don Hite, Bill Huffman, Harold Burns, Tom Carey and Roger McKenzie. [Picture from NVHS Memory Book 1881-1963, p. 75]

    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

    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

    * * * * *


    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.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Bill Holmes of New Vienna Ohio

    Many of us remember Bill Holmes (b. 1884) as the ultimate "it's a perfect fit" salesman at Huffman Clothing, downtown, Main Street, New Vienna Ohio.
    Huffman Clothing, New Vienna Ohio c1960 (Sesquicentennial Display) - Image courtesy of Mike Whited

    Here's pictures of him at two different stages of his life:
    M.R. Harris Grocery, Iron Building c1915, New Vienna Ohio, later became Daye Hardware.  Pictured Harry Curtis, Bill Holmes and M.R. Harris - Image Courtesy of Mike Whited
    Bill Holmes, Huffman Clothing c1970? - Image Courtesy of Mike Whited

    The 1910 Census shows William H. Holmes (26), wife Norma E. (29), son Harold G. (8), Daughter Thelma J. (6), and son Burdette (3).  Bill is listed as a grocery clerk.  

    In the 1920 Census W.H. "Bill" Holmes  was 36, clothing store clerk, wife Norma 39, daughter Thelma, "very brilliant" 15, son Burdette 13.  Thelma later became a teacher in Columbus.  [No mention of Harold, who would now be 18, in Ohio.]

    Further information on Huffman Clothing can be found here.  


    1. From Chuck Collier: Great job Catherine & we ALL love it!! Mike Whited....i have to look you up this summer & see all of those pics!! We have a bunch of NV historians on the [email] list. Help me out here gang.........but the pic of Bill Holmes has got to be in the 1970's. we didn't wear wide ties in the 60's & Bill looks very old in that photo. I'd heard that when he was in his 90's, a dog caused him to fall over at the Shell station & that was the beginning of the end. If you remember, he lived right across the street. The Huffman pic can't be from 1930. Bill didn't buy it until maybe the mid--late 1950's. Penny or Gretchen could tell you. it was Phillips Clothing before....remember was Harley Phillips who ran it. He was an old gentleman who'd had throat cancer & talked through the hole in his throat.

      [Editor's Note: I'll change the dates when we get a consensus.]

      From Mike Whited: Didn't Bill always call everyone Honey?! I remember when Dad bought my first suit; it was from Bill.
    2. THAT'S the Bill Holmes I remember with the coke bottle glasses!
    3. I adjusted the dates and am publishing a new post on Bill Huffman. Here are more comments I received by email:

      From Chuck: [slightly edited] Bill Holmes was something else!! I can still hear that gruff, staccoto type voice & as i remember, he was chewing gum quite often. A true "character" of NV. avon theater, post office, dr. fullerton's, faris implement, the bank, carey's/john earl's barber shop, streber's, phiilip's/huffman clothing, noble's drug store, master's/sweeney's/minzler's grocery & pete demas' restaurant/jim chaney's barber shop.....a great row of shops in NV. i have abouit 6 of the NV bank calendars. there are some great pics in there....mostly from jo williams, homer's wife. one of the pics is of gleason streber in the 1930's......yes, catherine, they were there a long time!! what fun this is!! mike, a get together would much fun this summer.....we'll be in touch!!

      From Nancy H: Yes, I remember Harley Phillips. I had forgotten all about him until Chuck talked about him. I remember Bill driving VERY slow around town as did Doyle Wright and you had to watch out for them. It drove Dorothy Wright Johnson Bernard and Thelma crazy. They didn't want to take their keys away from them! I remember Thelma wearing red lipstick and she didn't put it on right. She was a lot fun to be around. I know she was a great teacher. I remember Mom talking about her brother Burdett in Columbus, but I don't remember her mentioning Harold. I have such fond memories of NV, but when I go back now it makes me so sad, because it has changed so much. I love all the stories and pictures that all of you have sent thru the e-mails. They bring back fond memories!! I think all of us need to take a day and get with Mike Whited and look at his pictures of NV!! Keep the stories and pictures coming. I will help you anyway I can. I can alway ask my brother David. He remembers things about NV that I have forgotten.

      Catherine adds: What did happen to Harold Holmes??

      Chuck adds: great memories nancy....LOVE IT!!!! and bill as i remember drove a black & white 1956 ford at one time & went, like nancy said, no more than 12 miles an hour......tom greene pulled him over once & said "bill, speed it up a bit"!!(just teasing)...

      From Marvin W: Oh the memories.....I don't remember the car he (Bill Holmes) was driving at the time, but I do remember watching him drive up and double park in front of the clothing store. The strange part about the situation was he didn't have to open the drivers door to get out. You see, there wasn't any door. I was told Bill lost the door in an accident and chose not to replace it. It just made it a lot easier for him to get in and out I guess. I have to admit it was a strange sight to see him drive through town.
    4. And more comments received by email:

      John U adds: I will guess the last picture of Bill Holmes was closer to 1970 as I remember him well from delivering the New Journal to the store in the late 60's and early 70's. And I do not recall him loooking as old as he does in that photo. This brought back some great memories for me. The paper route was some solid good business experience from an early age for us.

      From Jim S: I remember getting my first pair of regular basketball shoes at Huffmans and Bill took care of me they were the RED BALL JET SHOES I think KEDS made them. I also used to buy a lot of shirts from the store after I got out of High School. Like Marvin said I also remember Bill driving that car with the drivers door off. Bill sure was a salesman he sure could talk.

      John L adds: Did Bill Huffman buy the store from Harley Phillips and then later sell it to Bob Johnson or was it the other way around? I kind of think Bill still had the store for a while after he moved to Hillsboro. I can remember being up town well after Bill Holmes would have closed the store only to see him drive up, double park and go to the door of the store to make sure he had locked up. I guess that was rather common.

      Chuck adds: Bill bought it from harley...pretty sure. Does anyone other than me really remember harley & the esophageal speech he used due to his laryngectomy?? It's been a very long time ago. Also, no one seems to remember agin's furniture. Carl Agin had a furniture store next to the locker (where don mill's restaurant was later). As a kid, I spent much time in the locker with my aunt blanche. The furniture store wasn't there very long. They had a couople of kids.. skip & pam, I believe...we're talking 1955 or so. The store was not very wouldn't buy a sofa there. On the downward side of the locker was thorne's & later our store, if I remember correctly.

      Mike W - found an historical article from a 1960 WNJ, with the history of Huffman Clothing which is being posted soon. [To summarize – Bill Huffman bought it from the Phillips in 1958, the store originally opened in 1896 and Bill Holmes started working there in 1917.]

      Chuck: thanks mike.....mystery solved & a great piece of NV history. for more stuff like this, i ask you all to some time go to the CC library on n. south st. & go thru the WNJ micro films......they'll help you run the machines. it's really simple. if i can do it, any one can. i've spent many hours in there on my summer vacations in the past years. the films go back into the late 1800's. thanks again'll be great to see you this's been way too many years!! i have fond memories of you & your dad!!

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Snow Hill Pictures and Future Posts

    Snow Hill Country Club, Wilmington Ohio [New Vienna] Aerial view 1924 - Image Courtesy of Mike Whited
    Sunday, November 9, 1924 – Snow Hill Country Club, Wilmington, Ohio.  This picture was taken during the opening exercises, attended by 1,500 residents of Wilmington and vicinity.  Snow Hill, the early home of Mrs. George Dent Crabbs, Cincinnati, was built by her great-grandfather in 1820.  She had the homestead restored and gave it to the club.  Captain John W. Pattison* and Lieutenant Wright Vermilya*. 

    In the interest of sharing more pictures sooner (and getting ahead of my self-appointed deadlines), I'm sharing pictures without much historical research to go with them.  I love the research part (or I wouldn't be doing it) but it can be a big drain of time; fascinating, but time consuming.
    Snow HIll Country Club, October 13, 1924, New Vienna Ohio - Image Courtesy of Mike Whited

    Therefore, some subjects for which I have not yet even started research, I'll go ahead and post some pictures in and around our current ongoing stories – Pictures and family memorabilia from the 1950s and prior, Europe 1954 Tour, etc...  In case you are interested and/or have something you would like to share – pictures, stories, memorabilia, information, anything would be welcome.  Here's a list of what is currently in progress:

    Coming up but still being researched:
    • Blacksmiths of New Vienna (soon)
    • Bill Holmes (sooner)
    • Young Ho Kim (where are the pictures?) (late April?)
    • New Vienna (Ohio) Methodist Church History (May)
    • Wells Article from 1952 (mid-May)
    • History of New Vienna in the 1920s - (late May)
    • Report Cards? - boring, but of historical interest? (late May) 
    • CJU & GHU's 99th Anniversary (June) -- still have postcards from them not yet posted
    • Auburn (Careytown), Highland, and West Chapel Churches possibly included in an article on other New Vienna (and area) Churches
    • Friends (Quakers) in New Vienna Area, National Headquarters of Pacifist Movement post-Civil War
    • New Vienna Bank (next year with the 1960s?)
    • New Vienna Flour Mill, Bodens
    • New Vienna Business District - pre 1960
    • Early Citizens of New Vienna
    • Hiestands
    • Browns
    • Westboro
    Snow Hill Country Club, Wilmington, Ohio [New Vienna] c1925 - Image Courtesy of Mike Whited

    Snow Hill Country Club, from the Golf Course, New Vienna, Ohio c1950? - Image Courtesy of Mike Whited

    *And because I can't resist doing some research, Captain John W. Pattison (1884-1957) was a WW1 Air Force Veteran, and was active as an aerial photographer and a leader in civil aviation who lived in the Milford area. He was also the son of Ohio's 43rd Governor, John M. Pattison.
    **Lieutenant Wright Vermilya was the pilot of a Spartan C4-300 according to the first United States aircraft registry in 1927.
    According to the 1916 History of Clinton County, [in 1820] "Charles Harris built the "Snow Hill house," and opened a tavern there, probably the first opened in the county. Mr. Harris's brother-in-law, Samuel Wasson, built a house about the same time and near the Snow Hill house and commenced to entertain travelers."

    Charles Harris is the father of Elisha Harris (b. 1808) who in the 1850s and 1860s lived and worked in New Vienna as an "Innkeeper," possibly running the Harris Hotel at the intersection of what later became SR-73 and SR-28.

    Items from Uible photo album