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History of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) online

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between Celina and Green\ille, a distance of thirty-two miles,
and bids were received on this section at Greenville in 1858.
On June 2, 1858, fifteen miles of road were placed under con-
tract together with the trestle and culvert work of the entire
distance between Celina and Greenville. The remaining sev-
enteen miles were resurveyed with a view to alteration. Af-
ter a large part of the grading had been done the enterprise
was abandoned on account of the failure to dispose of bonds
in the European market. The Ci^-il \\^ar ensued with the
financial depression which followed reconstruction and the
re\-ival of industry and the enterprise lay dormant imtil
about 1880. Agitation was again revived and the road was
built through Greenville in 1883 after much difficulty. J.
L. Winner, J- W. Frizzel and Moses Hart took active part
in the original enterprise and John Devor and L. L. Bell in
the last. The road was finally completed from Jackson,
Mich., to Germantown, with connections to Cincinnati, under
the name of the Cincinnati, Jackson and Mackinaw Railway,
and was popularly known as the "Mackinaw." Later it be-
came known as the Cincinnati Northern Railway, and has
lately become an important part of the New York Central

Mr. Joe Hildebrand is the enterprising agent at Greenville
and reports an annual business of about $125,000.00 at this
station. On account of the road's direction and the rich ter-
ritory which it travels it is destined to become an increasinglv
important line.

The Peoria & Eastern Railway.

The Peoria & Eastern division of the Big Four, formerly
known as the I. B. & W. Railway, extends through the south-
ern part of the county in an east and west direction. It
crosses the eastern county line in the northern part of


Monroe township and runs directly west through Monroe
and Twin to the Greenville and New Madison pike in north-
western Butler township, then zigzags about in a northwest-
erly direction through northern Harrison and southern Ger-
man townships reaching the state line near the southwest
corner of the latter township. The stations along this line
are Pittsburg, Arcanum, Savona, Clark's Station and Glen-
karn. It was built in and affords an outlet to the south-
ern part of the county similar to that provided by the other
division of the "Big Four" in the northern part. It has over
twenty-two miles of main track and about four and a third
miles of siding in the county, and was listed for taxation in
1912 at $655,880.00.

C. H. & D. Railway.

The railway having the smallest mileage in the county is
a branch of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton system, for-
merly known as the "Narrow Gauge." It crosses the north-
ern line of the county near the northwestern corner of Pat-
terson township, runs almost due south through Patterson
and Wayne townships to Versailles, and then curves in a
southeasterly direction and crosses the eastern line of the
county near the southwestern corner of Wayne township.
The stations along this line are Osgood, Yorkshire and Ver-
sailles. It has a main trackage of twelve and one-fifth miles
and about a mile and a half of siding in the county. It was
constructed about 1881.

Ohio Electric Railwaj'.

The practical application of electricity to the purposes of
transportation developed about 1890. The next ten years
witnessed a rapid improvement in knowledge, and methods
of electrical control. By 1900 nearh' every large city in the
United States had displaced the old horse cars by electrically
driven cars and electrical traction lines were being projected
from these centers to the surrounding towns, especially in
the eastern section of the country. Dayton was one of the
most enterprising of the Ohio cities in this respect and soon
had about ten lines projected, with the object of increasing
local business. Among these, was one to Greenville and
Union City. This was fostered and vigorously pushed to
completion by Dr. J. E. Lowes of Dayton. It was completed


to Greenville in 1901 and to Union City in 1904, and has
proven a great boon to travelers, especially on account of
the many rural stops, and hourly car service. It was also
instrumental in quickening the service on the D. & U. Rail-
way, which it practically parallels. It had about thirty-one
miles of main track and about one mile of siding in the coun-
ty, when it was listed for taxation in 1912, at $639,820.00.
Thus it will be seen that Darke county has seven railways and
one traction line crossing it in various directions with a total
mileage of about two hundred and ten miles, exclusive of
sidings, and a total valuation for taxation of about $8,000,000.-

It will be further noted that these railways enter every
township of the twenty composing the county, except Missis-
sinawa, Wabash, York and Franklin ; that the county seat
is crossed by three steam lines and one electric, and that each
one of the larger towns in the county has at least two lines.


It used to be a common saying that the three greatest institu-
tions of society were the home, the church and the school.
In recent years another important institution has arisen which
exerts a formative influence on public morals and public op-
inion scarcely less potent than these. I refer to the public
press. If a man have but the rudiments of an education and
will thoughtfully and habitually peruse the daily newspaper
he may eventually attain a fair education and a comprehen-
sive grasp of public affairs. The railway, telegraph and tel-
ephone have stimulated intercourse and contributed immeas-
urably toward the unification of society wherever they have
been installed. The newspaper has been quick to utilize
these important factors in collecting and distributing the news
of the world for the benefit of the masses of civilized men.
The growth of the newspaper industry is a fair gauge of the
development of popular education, and the fact that there
were but thirty-seven newspapers in the United States in 1775,
while there are more than a dozen in Darke county today is
significant of the wonderful change that has taken place in
the short history of our country. As before noted the agri-
cultural and general development of Darke county was com-
paratively slow and gave little encouragement to the estab-
lishment of enterprises having a promise of profit.

The pioneers represented the average Americans of their
class in those days when illiteracy was much more prevalent
than it is today. Many families did not take any paper and
the more prosperous ones subscribed for the papers published
at Dayton. Piqua, Eaton and the older established towns.

The Journal.

However, a printer by the name of E. Donnellan, had the
temerity to start a weekly sheet entitled the "Western States-
man and Greenville Courier" on June 25, 1832. The sub-
scription price was $2.00 per year if paid in advance, $2.50 if
paid within the year, or $3.00 if payment was deferred. News
items of general interest were extracted from such publica-


tions as the Detroit Journal, New Hampshire Gazette, Na-
tional Intelligencer and the Boston Patriot, while the local
items and advertisements, no doubt, figured inconspicuously.
This paper seems to have been continued under various
names and proprietors and survives toda}- as the Journal.

About March 1, 1844, Edward B. Taylor, whose biography
appears elsewhere in this volume, took over this paper with a
list of 150 subscribers. In April, 1850, J. G. Reece was as-
sociated with Taylor. The latter retired for a while on June
1, 1851. On April 29, 1852, M. B. Reece became a co-partner
with J. G. Reece as editor and proprietor. Later the paper
again passed into the hands of Taylor, who published it until
early in 1860, when it passed into the hands of Messrs. E. W.
Otwell and James Craig. The latter retired in 1869. In 1873
this paper was enlarged from a seven column to a nine col-
umn folio making it the largest paper published in the county
at that time. In 1879 E. W. Otwell turned over the publica-
tion to his son Curtis, who continues its publication at this
time— over eighty years after its establishment. In 1846 the
paper appeared under the title "The Greenville Patriot." was
published every Wednesday at original subscription prices.
It contained the announcement that countr}- produce would
be received on subscription at cash prices. In the issue of
June 10, 1846, the advertisements were set in nonpareil type
with small headlines and were only one column in width.
News from Europe then came to Greenville in from four to
eight weeks late. Among the names attached to advertise-
ments, legal and otherwise, were Wm. Wilson, R. R. Sher-
wood, T. J. McDowell, D. R. Davis, Thos. Vantilburgh. W.
J. Birely, S. S. Arnold. D. K. Swisher, David Beers. Jacob
Wood, Chas. Morris, Taylor & Schlenker. John Hufnagle,
Henry Drinkwater. Wm. Arnold, Leah Vananker, Da\-id
Stamm, A. Scribner, J. Vanmater, H. Arnold, Sawyer &
Davis, Aaron Fleming, I. N. Beedle, James Boyd, W. B. Beall.
F. Waring, Elisha Dawes, Wm. C. Deerii, R. Gilpatrick, C.
Jaqua, Sarah E. Osborn, Carey & Tomlinson, Wm. R. Crozier,
L. R. Sample, B. Powell, R. Evans, J. B. Underwood. Haines
& Monfort, M. L. Harter, M. Spayd, A. C. Brown, Wm. Van-
tilburgh, L. A. LaMott & Co.

In politics the Patriot strongly advocated the Whig poli-
cies and struck a .strong patriotic note. In those days the
AA'higs and the Democrats divided the vote of some three
thousand nearly equally between them. ]\Iuch space was de-


voted to the currency and slavery questions and a strong cur-
rent of feeling was manifested in the columns. After the
formation of the Republican party the Journal became a
staunch party organ advocating the candidacy of Lincoln. It
continued steadfast in the advocacy of Republican principles
throughout the trying times of the Civil War and is today
aligned with those principles.

The Democrat.

The Democrat is the second oldest newspaper in Darke
county with practically a continuous history. The demand
for a local paper advocating Democratic principles caused the
launching of the '"Democratic Herald" in April, 1847. This
paper was published by Mehaffey and Adams, and advocated
popular sovereignty, state rights and a simple government.
Mehai¥ey soon sold his interest to Wm. Allen, then county
prosecuting attorney, who with Thomas Adams, both well
known and highly esteemed Democrats, continued the paper
under the title of "The Greenville Telegraph." Dr. J. L.
Sorber bought out Adam's interest in June, 1851, and con-
ducted the paper until the fall of 1852. when Rufus Putnam
became the proprietor. The name was soon changed to
"Mad Anthony," and it appeared as an independent news-
paper edited and published by R. and J. H. Putnam, with an
office ovev Beedle & Devor's tin shop. In the summer of
1854, the press was removed to Union City to start a paper
in the interest of the '"American Party." Nothing daunted
a few active Democrats raised a small fund in the fall of
1854, purchased a new press and type, and made Thomas
Perry publisher of a new paper under the title of the "Green-
ville Eagle." After a few months Perry became tired of the
unpleasant treatment accorded him by the "Know-Nothings,"
who were quite active and persistent at that period, and the
paper was again discontinued for a short time. In the spring
of 1855 the "Darke County Democrat" was launched by A. G.
Clark, of Hamilton, Ohio, who sold it in July, 1856, to Henry
Muller. The office was then located over Weston & Ullery's
hardware store on the southeast corner of Broadway and
Third streets, and Muller continued to edit and publish the
paper in a very satisfactory manner until March 20, 1851,
when he was succeeded by J. B. Price and George D. Farrar.

The political upheaval just prior to the Civil War threw


Darke county from the Whig to the Democratic column and

in 1857, the entire county ticket was elected, giving the party
organ increased prestige, in the winter of 1863-64 the office
was sacked by a party of soldiers at home on a furlough and
the type was thrown into the street. The proprietorship of
the paper changed twice in the next two years until in 1866,
j\lr. Chas. Roland removed from Lancaster, Ohio, and took
over the property. From that time until 1910 the Democrat
was retained by the Roland family, being ably edited by
Chas. Roland, Jr., and Edward until July 11, 1910, when the
property was purchased by Martin B. Trainor, a prominent
attorney and real estate man of Greenville, who is the able
and progressive editor and publisher today.

The Democrat prospered and became highly influential
among the members of that party, being the sole official
organ of said party, fearlessly, ably and entirely advocating
its principles until the establishment of the "Advocate" in
1883, since which time the patronage has been divided. Air.
Roland pro\ed himself to be a trenchant writer and a suc-
cessful proprietor, and the present editor and proprietor is
establishing for himself a large reputation for virile editorials,
broad news treatment, and aggressive policies.

At first the Democrat appeared as a four page publication
in blanket sheet size, but under the proprietorship of the
Roland Bros, was changed to a paper of twelve pages 15x22
inches in size. A daily eight page morning paper known
as the "Morning News" was started by the Roland Brothers
in 1908, and published in a very creditable manner, but proved
unsuccessful from a financial standpoint and was discon-
tinued Alay 25. 1910. The office was located in the Roland
building- on the west side of Broadway between Third and
Fourth streets from the time of its erection until March,
1914, when it was moved to the new Trainor building on
South Broadway, just north of Fifth street. Under its pres-
ent management it promises to grow in power and influence
and increase in prestige as the vears go bv.

The Courier.

The Courier was started May 22, 1875, by George W. Cal-
derwood under the title of the "Greenville Sunday Courier."
On December 10, 1876, the ownership was transferred to
Calderwood and .Studabaker with A. R. Calderwood as edi-


tor. Later it passed to the proprietorship of his son, John
Calderwood, who publishes it at this time. Air. Calderwood,
besides continually giving much space to the discussion of
party measures and party principles, has published an ex-
ceptionally large amount of local historical material, includ-
ing probably two thousand columns of personal reminiscences
and interesting letters from the "Darke County Boy," cop-
ious extracts from which appear in this volume. Besides
this, Mr. Calderwood has been a fearless and persistent ad-
vocate of temperance and prohibitory legislation, following
the motto of his paper — "Hew true to the line, let the chips
fall where they may." Regardless of patronage he has con-
tinued this policy throughout many years and has become
a clear, strong and convincing writer on these topics. From
1880 to 1883 the Courier was published in the new Wilson
and Hart block on Broadway just south of Third street.
For several j'ears it was located in the Huddle block on \\'est
Fourth street, and is now in the \A^esrerfield building on
.South Broadway.

The Daily Tribune.

The first daily newspaper started in Darke county was
"The Greenville Daily Graphic," published in 1879 by Ed-
ward Hamilton, now city editor of the Daily Advocate, and
William Collins, late dramatic editor on the Sacramento
Daily Bee. Shortly after the starting of this daily venture
Mr. Collins moved with his father's family to Chico, Cal.,
and after some six months publication, the paper was discon-
tinued. George W. Calderwood published a daily paper
during the exciting times of the Roberson trial and execu-
tion in the summer of 1880. This was a short lived venture
as was also the "Daih^ Xews" published by \\'ni. Linn aljout
1886, and the "Morning Sun" published by Dow Bell during
the exciting school board contest of 1892.

The Daily Tribune was started by Samuel R. Kemble in
1890, and is the oldest daily having a continuous history
since its establishment. Mr. Kemble came to Greenville
from Arcanum, where he had published the Weekly Tribune
since 1880 and opened up an ol^ce in the Huddle block where
the Daily Tribune made its debut in 1890. Later he pur-
chased a room on West Fourth street adjoining the Huddle
block and established his office there where he issued the
paper until 1913, when it was removed to its present loca-


tion in the Thomas building on South Broadway. Mr. Kem-
ble had had a varied experience in life as a soldier and a typo,
having seen service in the Civil war as well as on the plains
of the west, and having set type on some of the leading city
papers of the country. When he returned to Greenville he
was well qualified for his task and by industry, tenacity and
shrewd financial management succeeded in establishing the
first permanent daily paper. In 1892 he resumed the pub-
lication of the Weekly Tribune, which has appeared regular-
ly ever since, increasing in pretige and circulation. It now
has eight pages 18x24 inches in size.

Mr. Kemble was a clear, concise, able and forceful writer,
and a keen newspaper man. He died on January 25, 1913,
and the Tribune property passed into the hands of George
Grosshans, an experienced newspaper man and estimable
citizen. Mr. Grosshans is stanchly Republican, liberal in
policy in the publication of news items, broad in sympathy,
aggressive in public affairs and friendly to advance moral
causes. The daily is published with from four to six pages,
size 17x24 inches. The office is equipped with a linotype
machine and a good rotary press. In June, 1914, as the result
of foreclosure proceedings, the Tribune was restored to the
Kemble heirs, who now publish it at the new office on South

The Advocate.

The Democratic Advocate was established by Wm. A.
Browne, Sr., formerly of Covington, Ohio, and Wm. Linn,
of Versailles, as a weekly Democratic paper in 1883, the first
issue appearing on May 23, of that year. The county had
been strongly Democratic since 1857, with majorities mostly
varying from 1,200 to 1,500, but a faction Had arisen in
the party on the question of the election of Chas. M. Ander-
son to congress. The Democrat refused to favor the elec-
tion of Mr. Anderson, and as he represented a strong follow-
ing it was decided to establish a new paper with the result
that the Advocate was started as above stated. From its
appearance it became a formidable rival of the older paper
and continued so to this day. Mr. Linn retired from the
partnership in about two years, since which time the paper
has continued in the Browne family. The Daily Advocate
was started January 3, 1893. as a four page daily and soon
grew in favor and prestige, proving the advantage of pub-


lisliing a daily and weekly paper from the same office. It
is especially noted for the large number of local news items,
featured articles and aggressive policy on local questions.
The office is one of the best equipped in Darke county, con-
taining two modern linotype machines and a large duplex
flat bed perfecting press with a capacity of 6,500 per hour.
Each machine is run by an individual electric motor. The
daily now has eight pages 18x24 inches in size, and the week-
ly is of the same size. The latter appears each Thurs-
day. Air. Browne has been associated with- newspapers
since he was twelve 3'ears of age, and knows the
business like a book. His sons, William and Walter
E., have likewise had extended experience in the busi-
ness, and are able assistants in editing and publishing
both papers. The office was first located on the upper floor of
the Alatchett room on the corner of Broadway and Third
street. Later the paper was issued for several years from
the Meeker building on East Third street near Walnut. In
1909 Mr. Browne purchased the two-story brick room at 307
Broadway in order to get proper accommodations for his
large presses and increasing equipment and the papers are
now issued from this excellent office.

A German newspaper was established in Greenville about
1886, under the title "The Deutsche Umschau," and contin-
ued to be issued for some twenty years. It was published
for some time by a Mr. Feichtinger and later by A. T. Knorr
and Wm. Triebold. The paper contained eight pages size
13x22 inches and was put forth in a creditable manner. On
account of the rapidly decreasing number of citizens who
read German only, the paper was finally discontinued and
the office and equipment moved to Toledo, where there was
a larger German constituency.

Temperance Papers.

Papers advocating the cause of temperance and prohibiti-
tion have been published in the county at different times.
Probably the first of these was the "Crystal Fountain," a
semi-weekly publication of eight pages about 8x12 inches
in size, started in JMay, 1857, by Joseph G. lones, at 50 cents
per year, with the motto "Moral suasion for the drunkard —
legal suasion for the drunkard maker." The "Sons of Tem-
perance" flourished and great changes were effected in public


sentiment on the drink question. The temperance move-
ment of 1877, resulted in the enlistment of many new advo-
cates for the cause, probably the most prominent of whom
was George Calderwood, who, in the fall of 1879, started the
"Daily Gazette" in behalf of the cause with beneficial eiifect
on the following spring election.

"The American Prohibitionist" was also issued for a few-
months from Calderwood's office, but was later removed to
Columbus, O. "The Transcript," a weekly paper advocating
the principles of the Prohibition party, was established by
Frank H. Jobes in February, 1891. It was published in the
Jobes room, South Broadway. The paper was ably edited
and neatly printed, but the limited field of circulation made
the venture unprofitable and it was discontinued after two

"The Ohio Populist," edited by W. B. Cline and P. J. Fish-
back, was issued from this office for a while beginning in
May, 1896. It championed the free coinage of silver and the
Populistic propaganda of the Omaha platform.

Newspapers Published Outside of Greenville.

'"The Versailles Policy" — The oldest and largest weekly
paper published in Darke county outside of Greenville is the
Versailles Policy, which was founded in 1875 by Cook and
Wade under the name of "Versailles Independent." Later
its proprietors were Hathaway, then Bidlack and Linn, who
changed the name to 'The Versailles Policy." About 1883
Wm. Linn came to Greenville and entered into a partnership
with \\'. A. Browne, Sr., to publish the new "Democratic
Advocate." and the Policy passed into the hands of \\^ J.
Swisher, who published it until August 1, 1889, when it came
into the ownership of D. W. K. Martin, the present pub-
lisher. At the time Mr. Martin became owner of the Policy it
was a five column quarto, but under his ownership it has
been enlarged from time to time to meet the requirements
of a growing community so that now it is an eight page
18x24 inch, seven column paper built on modern lines and
having a large subscription list. In almost a quarter of a
century ownership Mf. Martin has proved himself an excep-
tionally good editor and proprietor, and his paper has proven a
valuable factor in promoting the business, social and general


interests of the thriving village of Versailles and vicinity as
well as the interests of the Democratic party.

"The Versailles Leader" was established in 1903 as an
independent newspaper by Nathan F. Fahnestock. It is an
eigth page 15x22 inch paper, and is published on Tuesday
and Friday of each week at $1.00 per year. Mr. Fahnestock
is a virile writer and aggressive publisher and his paper has
attracted considerable attention and won praise from patrons
who desire an independent and public spirited advocate. The
fact that such a paper has been published for more than
ten years in a strongly Democratic community indicates that
the editor is aggressive, persevering and determined to serve
the public needs.

Arcanum has had the benefit of a local press for over thir-
ty years. The Arcanum Visitor, an independent weekly,
was printed about 1876 to 1878 by a man named Wasson and
in 1880 Samuel R. Ivemble founded the Tribune which he

Online LibraryThe Hobart publishing CompanyHistory of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 36 of 57)