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

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Arthur V. ^Miller, 1904; Robert B. Fissel, who had been a
member of the Sixth L^nited States Infantry, 1904; James R.
^Marker, September, 1905-1906; George A. Katzenberger,
April 13. 1910 to September 1, 1910; John T. Ferron. August
19. 1912.

The successive second lieutenants were: ^^'illiam .\.
Browne, Jr., 1901-04; Robert E. Fissel. who had been a priv-
ate in the war with Spain and served in the Sixth United


States Infantry in the Philippines. 1902-1904; Howard B.
Hoel, October, 1904-1906; Roy H. Jamison, December 5,
1908 — ; Joseph F. Hascher, April 5, 1910 to January, 1914;
David A. Dorman, present incumbent.

Company AI has always borne its part well and reflected
credit upon the city and county. At the annual tournaments
at Camp Perry on Lake Erie, the men have held their own as
marksmen, and at the manoeuvers with officers and regulars
of the United States army, our boys have lost nothing by
comparison. The company participated in the centennial
celebration at Eaton in 1908, and at the Wright Brothers
celebration in Dayton, July 16, 17 and 18, 1909, and partici-
pated in the exercises at the unveiling of the monument to
Admiral Stephen Clegg Rowan, at Pic|ua, Ohio, October 13,
1909. Reference has hereinbefore been made to the com-
pany's exacting duties during the disorders at Columbus in
1010. The longest tour of dut}' was rluriiig March and April,
1913. during the destructive floods in snuthern Ohio, Com-
pany 'M being on duty for a period of thirty days.

A newspaper clipping from a Dayton paper at this period
quoting Adjutant General W^ood, is to the eft'ect that the
Ohio National Guard is one of the best organizations of its
kind. The general states that since the troops have been
f|uartered in the city of Dayton not a single complaint has
l)een filed at headquarters against the conduct o" the soldiers
by civilians.

"This," said the General, "applying to hundreds of raw
boys, many of whom have had their first taste of authority
while doing guard duty at this place, speaks well for the
training they have had at the summer camps."

When asked if he considered military duty of the kind the
troops are doing at present as being good from a military
standpoint, as the experience derived from the summer mili-
tary camps. General Wood said : "The work done at Camp
Perry and other places is meant to fit the troops for just such
work as this. Without the practical training received at these
places the state could not have a body of men sufficiently
trained in the rules of military discipline to be competent to
cooe with a situation like the present.

Proud of His Men.

"I am proud of the Ohio National Guard. To a man its
members have done their duty well and faithfully. They



have been constantly on the job, day and night, and I am sure
that but very few men have passed through their lines with-
out the proper credentials.

"I am especially proud of the company from Greenville. I
am confident that a black cat could not have passed through
their lines on a dark night without losing at least three of
its nine lives. The commanding officer had as much trouble
getting past the Darke county lads as any one. Sometimes I
am inclined to think he had more.

"No guard from Greenville ever passed me in my car with-
out first compelling one of my aides to clamber out and be



The county is the poHtical and social unit of the state, and
around its seat of government the proud and patriotic senti-
ments of its citizens crystallize. It is well worth while to
preserve and cherish the early traditions that cluster about
the capital city of Darke county and to foster the fine senti-
ments aroused by the contemplation of its various religions,
social, utilitarian and public institutions. We have noted the
selection of the site of Greenville by the pioneers as a central
and desirable location for the county seat — a beautiful, ele-
vated, level plain with almost perfect drainage on three sides
and such natural advantages as contribute to make it the log-
ical and ideal situation for the capital of a rich and thriving
shire. The outstanding features of village life here have been
dwelt upon at length and we will now notice how Greenville
has developed from a small country town to a respectable city
of the smaller class. A directory of the town published in
1857 shows the following business and professional firms:

Merchant tailors and clothing — B. D. Dean & Co., and J-

Hats, caps and furs — W^illiam Mitchell.

Saddle and harness shops — J. Tomilson & Son, Alanson
Brown and W. Hart.

Tanneries and leather stores — Dawes & Taylor and J- W.

Banks — Farmers' Bank, by Winner and Frizell.

Furniture and ware rooms — Juddy & Miller.

Provision and Grocery stores — J. F. Bertsch, Charles
Nurmberger, G. A. Katzenberger, J. G. Fisher.

Distillers and brewers — Turner and Brother Distillerv and
Grist Mill, Piqua pike (now Martin street, just east of Plum),
T. C. Katzenberger, Water street Tat head of Sycamore).

Liquor stores — Wm. Crandall and G. W. Bloom.

Saloon — A. Gutheil.

Hotels — Broadway Hotel, W^m. C. Fitts proprietor (Farm-
ers' National Bank") : Cottage House, James Parrish, proprie-
tor: Mansion House, T. A. Corbin, proprietor.


Livery stable — J. C. Arens.

Attorneys-at-Law — John Wharry, E. B. Putnam, W. Allen,
D. L. Aleeker, A\'. 'SI. \\'ilson, Benjamin Hubbard, J. R. Knox,
J. A. Corbin, Charles G. Matchett and David Beers.

Physicians — I. X. Gard, C. Otwell, G. Miesse, A. Ayers,
O. E. Lucas, E. Lynch, Z. M. Lansdowne, F. Loewen.

Dentist— W. C. Porterfield.

Barber shops— G. R. Bell, W. Kipp.

Gunsmith — John Sweitzer (South Fourth street).

Fanning mill manufactory — Kerr & Hart (East Third

Carriage and wagon makers — J. Greenawalt, E. Bond, John

Blacksmiths — Jeremiah Reis, John Fettery, Wm. Oswalt.

Joiners and builders — F. H. McCune, George Ullery, J. M.
McGinnis, Thomas McGinnis.

Bakeries and confectionery shops — J. R. Clark, D. E. Van-

Newspapers and job printing — Greenville Journal, E. B.
Taylor, editor and proprietor ; Darke County Democrat, H.
Miller, editor ; Crystal Fountain, J. G. Jones, editor.

Books and stationery — N. Webb, J. Vanmeter.

Jewelry store — N. Webb.

Tobacco manufactory — L Bornstein.

Daguerrotype artist — A. Yount.

Drug stores — Schmidt & Schlenker, Glines & Hubbard.

Dealers in general merchandise — Workman & Daily, Ar-
nold & Davis, F. and J. L. \'N'^aring, John Hufnagle, F. Crider.

Hardware — S. W. Ullery.

Stoves, copper and Tinware — S. Allen, L N. Beedle.

Boots and Shoes— J. R. Challis, Biltemier & Co., G. W.

Fur trader — .\. LaMott.

Meat markets — Daniel Zimmerman, Eli Helm.

Bricklayer and plasterer — John Essick.

Miscellaneous — H. Arnold, S. Bachman, C. Biltemier, W.
H. Daily, D. R. Davis, E. Dawes, David Erwin, J. D. Farrar,
J ^^^ Frizell, Moses Hart, W. Kerr, Kuntz Bros, saw mill,
J. C. Lines, S. F. Perrine, W'm. Schmidt, S. Schlenker, J. .\.
Schmermund, J. Tomilson, J. Taylor, Charles W. Tait. J. L.
^^'inner, T. H. Workman, F. Waring, J. L. Waring.

Postmaster — C. H. Long.

Justice and mayor's office — J. W. O'Brist.


County officials — Auditor, J. C. Shepherd ; recorder, D. M.
Stevenson ; treasurer, J. AIcKhann ; clerk, S. H. Robinson ;
probate judge, A. R. Caldervvood ; prosecutor, D. L. Meeker ;
sheriff, Joshua Townsend ; surveyor, John Devon

The map of the town at this time showed the built up por-
tion largely confined between Greenville creek on the north,
Fourth and ]\Iartin streets on the south, Warren and Mul-
berry (Ludlow) streets on the east, and Vine street on the
west. There were four 'or five houses in "Mina Town" (North
Greenville) and about twenty in "Huntertown." From Mar-
tin street and the West school ground southward to Sater
street and from Central avenue to the Greenville and Miami
railroad extended the Armstong land of one hundred and
eight acres. The porter tannery showed north of the bridge
on the west side of Broadway ; Dawes and Taylor's tannery
on the north side of Water street between Sycamore and Elm
streets ; a foundr}' and machine shop on the northwest cor-
ner of Main and Elm streets ; Sweitzer's gunsmith shop on
the west side of South Fourth (now Sweitzer street) street
near present end of Fourth street ; a pottery just west of the
present site of the ^I. E. church ; a school house just west
of the pottery : the court house in the public square with a
market-house a few rods to the north ; the Greenville and
Miami (D. & U.) railway machine shops near the present
site of the East school building: the Christian church on the
west side of Walnut street, between Third and Fourth streets,
and a school house almost opposite ; the M. E. church on Syca-
more, between Third and Fourth streets ; the Baptist church
on the east side of Elm street, between Third and Fourth
streets ; the Episcopal church on the northeast corner of
Third and Walnut streets; the Presbyterian church, at its
present location ; the Second Presbyterian church, where St.
Paul's Lutheran church now stands,, on East Fourth street ;
the German M. E. church on east Water street. The jail ap-
pears on the west side of Broadway between Third street and
the first alley south. The business houses clustered about the
public square and extended down Broadway to Third street
with a few scattered establishments as far south as Fourth

The G. and M. railway was the onh' one reaching the
county seat at this date. By the outbreak of the civil war
four turnpikes had been constructed, connecting Greenville
with outlying villages, greatly increasing its trade facilities


and making it independent of Piqua and Dayton .or shipping
advantages. During the Civil war, no doubt, the town made
little progress but it was at this time that the Panhandle rail-
way was constructed and the old Baptist and U. B. church
structure on Elm street was purchased and remodeled by the
Catholics. A few years after the close of the war the town
took on new life, old structures were remodeled or torn down
and replaced by new ones, a foundry and machine shop, and
a steam planing mill were constructed, a large three-story
brick school building erected, streets graded and improved,
and interest quickened in the cause of education. The open-
ing up of large tracts of land and the increased market facil-
ities of Greenville greatly stimulated trade and caused many
business changes.

As an illustration of the activitv and progress of this period
it is said that in May, 1869, there were more than sixty build-
ings being built or remodeled. In 1870 Greenville had 2,520
inhabitants. The next decade was to witness probably greater
improvements, for in 1872 the Reformed church was built, in

1873 the ]McWhinney (Trainor) opera house was built, in

1874 the new court house was dedicated, having been erected
at a cost of some $175,000.00, in 1875 the new city building
was erected in the public square on the site of the old court
house, besides the beautiful residence of Charles Roland, Sr.,
E. C. Shade (Daniel Henne) and the foundation for the then
palatial home of Judge D. L. Meeker, recently torn down.

An important event during this decade was the selling of
sixteen acres ofif the Armstrong commons in 1877, in the
south central part of town for $15,000.00. This was soon
platted and graded and within three years was half built upon
with good residences. Building operations continued during
the next decade with unabated zeal.

In 1880 Greenville had 3,535 and the county 40,833 inhabi-
tants. In that year a substantial three-stor}' brick building
was finished on the southwest corner of Broadway and Third
street by Dr. John Matchett and Wilson and Hart, being by
far the best business room constructed up to that date.
Henry St. Clair opened up a wholesale grocery about 1880.
In 1883 the beautiful and commodious East school building
and the three story, four room, pressed brick Ohio block, lo-
cated on the east side of Broadway between Third and. Fourth
streets were completed. The Winner block, a little further
south on the west side, the Anderson block corner Broadway


and Fourth street, soon followed. The Mozart Theater
and skating rink on ^Vest Fourth street was also
erected. The four-story Union block (now Westerfield build-
ing) on South Broadway, opposite Martin street was com-
pleted about 1891. During this same period the Armstrong
plat continued to be built upon, and the new Christian Taber-
nacle (1888) on West Fifth street. Besides the Mackinaw
(Cincinnati Northern) Railway reached Greenville during
this period. By 1890 the town was fairly well built as far
south as the Panhandle railway with a string of houses con-
necting the suburb of "Huntertown."

In 1890 Greenville had a population of 5473. During the
decade from 1890 to 1900 the beautiful new Presbyterian,
Lutheran, and ^lethodist churches were built on Fourth
street, the Universalist church on Fifth street, the U. B.
church on \V'ayne avenue, the St. Clair and Bickel residences.
It was during this period that the water works and electric
light plants, and the North school building (1899) were con-
structed, the Mozart department store opened and the Daily
Tribune and Advocate started.

In 1900 Greenville had a population of 6,237. Between 1900
and 1910 greater public improvements were made than in any
previous decade — putting Greenville out of the class of a
backwoods town and into that of a modern city of the smaller
class. In 1900 Broadway was paved with vitrified brick from
the bridge to ^^'ashington avenue, and the cross streets —
AVater, Main, Third, Fourth and Fifth — one square each way
■ — over a mile in all. at a cost of $66,000.00. Washington
Avenue was pa\ed with asphalt blocks as far as the Penn-
sylvania Railway in 1901 : West Fourth and Switzer streets
to the Pennsylvania railway : East Third to Locust street,
and South Washington avenue to Sater street, in 1903: East
Fourth and East Fifth streets soon after; North Main and
North Broadway (Minatown), East Main. East Third and
West Main about 1907; Central avenue to Sater street and
Martin street to the D. & U. railway in 1910: and :\Iartin
street from the D. & L^. railway to the corporation line and
West Third street to Chestnut street in 1911, so that at this
time (1914) there are nearly six miles of paved streets in the
citv. When the first paving was put down in 1900. about
eighteen miles of sanitary and nine miles of storm sewers
were also put in at a cost of $73,000.00. The citv now h^s
.some thirty-five miles of improved streets and prnbablv twice


that in length of cement sidewalks. The Dayton and North-
ern Traction (Ohio Electric) line was also built at this time.
During this decade the Carnegie Library (1901), the govern-
ment building (1909), the new Catholic church (1902), the
new Episcopal church (1906), the JNIasonic Temple (1908),
the new Armory, the Breaden, \\\ L. Meeker, D. W. Bow-
man and C. J. Herr residences erected and a large part of
the Armstrong addition lying between Central and Grey
avenues, and the Pennsylvania railway and Sater street was
built up. Besides these the new Anderson, Irwin and
Weaver Blocks, the Lohman Carriage and Telescope Works,
the Ross Supply Co., the J. Waller Cannery Co., the new
Hollinger Fence building, the Western Ohio Creamery Co.
plant, the Gem Incubator building( now Knitting Mills) be-
sides several large tobacco warehouses were built up and the
Richeson and Nelson tile plant greatly enlarged and equipped
with new machinery and appliances. Vast improvements
were also made in grading and improving lawns and removing
unsightly sheds, fences and obstructions. The new concrete
Broadway bridge was constructed in 1908-1909 at a cost of
some $40,000.00.

Since 1910, the beautiful St. Clair memorial building, the
Coppock residence, the new Krickenberger, Thomas and
Trainor business rooms, besides many artistic and substantial
residences have been constructed and the city continues to
expand in all directions. The population of the city is now
about seven thousand, the number of separate plats and addi-
tions included is about seventy and the amount of territory
embraced in the corporate limits, about 1,035 acres, or one
and six-tenths square miles. It is probably the most solidly
and subsequently built up cities of its size in the state of Ohio.
While reviewing the city's progress a brief sketch of the es-
tablishment and growth of the various public utilities and city
institutions is in order.

As the county seat grew into the proportions of a city the
question of an adequate suppy of wholesome water, both
for domestic use and as an additiona precaution in case of
fire, agitated the citizens, and much discussion, pro and
con, was engaged in by the press and the people. As a
result a board of trustees was appointed and an election
called in the summer of 1892 at which the citizens voted
favorably on the proposition to issue $75,000.00 in Ijonds
to construct and install a proper water works system,


including wells, pumping station, stand pipe, fire hydrants,
mains, etc. A bond issue of $5,000.00 passed the coun-
cil November 30, 1892, and one for $75,000.00 on De-
cember 12, 1892. A tract of 7.58 acres, being a part of
the bottom land of the John 11. Alartin farm, about one-hal;
mile west of the city, was purchased December 12, 1892, and
a tract of 2.69 acres afterward for the total sum of $1,145.50.
It seems that this place was decided upon on account of the
body of water above the site which could be made available
in case of fire, and the comparative proximity to the city.
Nine six-inch wells were sunk at first. In the summer oi 1893
a neat and substantial brick pumping station was erected a
short distance from the south bank of the creek, two com-
pound, duplex, condensing pumps with a capacity of 1,500,000
gallons each were installed and proper connection made with
the wells at a total cost of some twentj^-three thousand dol-
lars. About eleven and a half miles of pipe were laid at first,
which has since been increased to eighteen miles. For emer-
gency use a large brick tower with superimposed water tank
with a total height of about one hundred and twenty-five feet
was constructed on a lot near the northeast corner of Chest-
nut and West Third streets. There are now fourteen wells
in service with an estimated capacity of 800,000 gallons.
The water was examined by the state bacteriologist in 1905.
The analysis showed "a ground water of good quality as re-
gards its pollution from organic pollution. The number ot
bacteria was very low, intestinal bacteria were absent, and
chemically there was no evidence of any sewage pollution."
A report from the state board of health issued about this
time, showed the water safe, and, except for iron and hard-
ness, satisfactory for domestic and municipal use."

Three engineers are now employed at the pumping sta-
tion, two at $65.00 per month each, and one at $66.00 per
month, one superintendent at $1,000.00, one superintendent's
helper at $720.00 and one clerk at $480.00 per year, to operate
and maintain the plant, and attend to the collection of charges
from consumers. There are now 1,703 services, and 1,500
consumers with an annual estimated consumption of one hun-
dred and twenty million gallons. Much of this water is used
to operate the automatic flush system attached to the city
sewers, and to supply the public drinking fountains operated
in the business section of the city. On account of the short-
age in the supplv in exceputionally dry summer seasons


Steps have been taken by the city to secure an increased
water supply, by installing a filtration plant, and utilizing the
water from Greenville creek. Johnson and Fuller have drawn
plans for a settling and purifying plant with a capacity of
3,000,000 gallons daily and it is the intention of the depart-
ment to have this installed this season. The result desired is
to secure a supply of two thousand gallons per minute, or
three million gallons per day, which will be ample for fires
or any purpose.

Mr. John P. Lucas is the efficient superintendent of this ex-
tremely valuable public utility having held this important
office of public trust since January 1, 1896. During this time
the system has been greatly enlarged and extended and Air.
Lucas has striven to make the plan adequate to the increasing
public demands, and conduct it in a thorough and business-like
manner. Air. Karl Schmermund is clerk of this department.

The Greenville Electric Light & Power Co.

On the 19th day of January. 1894. the Greenville Electric
Light & Power Compau}' was incorporated. Its incorpo-
rators were A. W. Rush, A. J. Klinger, A. E. Bunger, Z. T.
Dorman and Charles E. Wright. The amount of capital stoc":
included in its corporation was $15,000.00. On the 21st day
of Alarch, 1894, the organization was completed and the fol-
lowing stockholders and citizens of Greenville elected as its
first board of directors: A. J. Klinger. D. L. Gaskill, A. C.
Robeson, J. AI. Bickel. Charles J. Herr, W. A. Hopkins, L. C.
Anderson, Z. T. Dorman and A. F. Alarkwith. The board or-
ganized by electing D. L. Gaskill as president, E. C. ^^'right
as secretary and Charles E. \\'right as treasurer.

No action was taken by the company in 1894 but in the
spring of 1895. a contract was made with the city of Green-
ville for the lighting of the streets, in which the city of Green-
ville took seventy-six open arcs at a cost of $84.50 each per
year, and made a contract with the companv for that light-
ing to run for ten years. The stock of the company was in-
creased ao $30,000.00, and the company at once proceeded to
the erection of its plant in the city of Greenville. Thirty-two
thousand dollars were spent in its construction at that time
and the plant began operation in October of 1895.

From time to time the stock of the company was increased
as the growth of the company required, until at present it has


$115,000.00 of stock fully paid up and has one of the largest
and best generating statoins in western Ohio. Its lines now
cover seventy-five miles of long distance transmission in addi-
tion to the lines within the city of Greenville, Ohio. It has
one thousand kw. capacity and furnishes current for Brad-
ford, Gettysburg, Ansonia, New Madison, Eldorado, West
]\Ianchester, Lewisburg, Brookville and Union City.

The company has followed the plan of keeping its officers
so long as they were willing to serve and of the original board
of directors, D. L. Gaskill, J. M. Bickel, Z. T. Dorman and A.
C. Robeson still remain on the board. D. L. Gasrkill has
served continuously as president since its organization, and
in 1896 ^^'. S. Meeker was elected secretary and has continued
in that office since that date. Vacancies on the board of direc-
tors have only arisen by the sale of their interest in the com-
pany or b}' death.

The company has kept apace with the progress of the elec-
trical industry and its reputation is national for good service
and progressive ideas.

The present executive officers are D. L. Gaskill jiresident.
A\'. S. Meeker secretary, \\'. G. Bishop treasurer and S. ^I.
Rust superintendent. Some of the employees of the company
have been with the company since its organization.

.■\s a public utility it feels the responsibility that a utility
should have in advancing the interests of the city in which it
is located and stands readv with its means and its business to
assist the city of Greenville in everv way possible.

The Greenville Home Telephone Company.

The telephone company was organized June, 1900; capital
stock $100,000.00. During the first year, 240 telephones were
installed with a few miles of toll line. In January. 1914, the
company operated ten exchanges with 4,400 subscribers' sta-
tions, with several miles of iron and copper toll line circuits
connecting with U. S. Telephone Co. and Central Union Tele-
phone Co., and A. T. & T. for long distance service.

Number of employees in office of exchange, 75 ; wire chief,
inspector and linemen, 15. Names of present directors: J. A.