A History and Biographical Cyclopaedia of Butler County, Ohio
Lemon Township: Pages 632- 637
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The Harding Paper Company own the Excello Mill, which is three miles farther south. They manufacture first-class writing-paper. The officers of this company are A.E. HARDING, President; W. B. OGLESBY, Treasurer; and William MOORE, Secretary. The mill is furnished with six four-hundred-pound engines and on sixty-two inch Fourdrinier. The capacity is three thousand pounds of writing paper a day, or nine hundred thousand pounds a year. At the Excello Mill one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and thirty hands are employed, over eighty of whom are women, and the annual sales amount to two hundred thousand dollars a year. The mill was built in 1865, and the pay-roll averages one thousand dollars a week.

The magnitude of the paper interests of Middletown can be understood when it is known that about four hundred and forty hands are employed therein; that they put on the market annually about twelve and a third million pounds of first-class goods, and derive a gross revenue of one million one hundred and iniety thousand dollars each year. The paper manufactured here is not excelled anywhere in the country.

Ther are at present two paper-bag factories in Middletown, both doing a good business. Mr. R.E. JOHNSTON established the enterprise in 1873. The bags were then made by havd, one person being able to manufacture only about seven hundred a day. Mr. JOHNSTON took William WEBSTER into partnership this year, but at the end of six months this firm was dissolved. The WEBSTER patent, or hand-helping machines, are now used by both of these firms. The R.E. JOHNSTON Paper-bag Company employ fifty hands, have two power machines and forty hand helping machines, and manufacture two hundred thousand bags a day, or sixty million a year. The pay-roll is two hundred and fifty dollars per week. They manufacture the machine made satchel bottom paper bags that would make a column sixteen hundred feet high, or four and a half miles high in a year. They manufacture a million of bags each week.

WILSON & MCCALLAY have tobacco works that are 140x144 feet, three stories high. This business was established here in 1870, when they had a capacity of two hundred thousand pounds, and have now increased that capacity to three million pounds per annum, and furnish employment to from three hundred and fifty to four hundred hands. They have in all the enormous floor surface of 66,480 square feet, and a large and well furnished office. The kilns are two in number, 20x75 feet each, the floors fo which are laid with tousands of feet of steam pipe. The spinners' room is 50x100 feet; machine room. 50x70 feet; wrapping department, 60x100 feet, where all wrappers are put on by hand. The press room is 60x100 feet, containing twenty presses, and the large engine room, 60x60, containing an eighty-five horse power engine. The firm employs seven salemen.

P.J. SORG & Co. have also an immense establishment for the manufacturing of the best brands of plug tobacco. The building is located at the terminus of Third Street, at the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis depot, and was erected in 1879, the main building being 140x40 feet. In 1880 an addition was made, 50x115 feet, and in 1881 it had another addition of 50x14 feet, making in all a building of 140x395 feet, three stories high, and a basement. In 1881 they manufactured 1,800,000 pounds of tobacco. They employ from 275 to 300 hands, and pay an internal revenue tax of from $275,000 to $300,000 annually. The firm consists of P,J, SORG and John AUER.

The LING & LEVOY Buggy Company began operations in 1879, erecting at that time and subsequently a building 140x100 feet. It is now a stock affair, with William LING as president, and James JOHNSON as treasurer and secretary. They employ in all fifty hands, and keep two salesmen on the road. They manufacture the platform-bed, the three-spring bed, the Kinkin side-bar, also the Brewster side-bar. They also manufacture a new style of spring of their patent, now coming into general use. They make 1,200 buggies annually.

LA TOURETTE & Co., iron and brass founders, and manufacturers of paper and tobacco machinery, carry on a business of forty thousand dollars. This enterprise was established by P.P. LA TOURETTE before 1860, since which time the business has constantly grown until now the foundry consists of brass works, repair shops, and a general foundry for the accomodation of all kinds of job work in addition to the manufacture of their specialties. The Middletown Pump Company has now been absorbed in that of LA TOURETTE & CO. The firm consists of P.P. LA TOURETTE, C.F. GUNCKEL, and F.B. SEARAGE. They employ thirty hands.

Mr. John L. MARTIN and Joseph SUTPHIN built the flouring mill of Middletown (the only one in the place) in 1853. The mill has a capacity of one hundred and fifty barrels a day, and is managed by C. SUTPHIN. Joseph SUTPHIN & Son still own the property, and are supplying the trade, which extends over a vast area of country.

The American Color Printing Company of Middletown ws organized in 1880, with a capital stock of $18,000, and color printing made a specialty. Theodore MARSTON is president, and W.W. SULLIVAN is secretary of the company. They employ twelve hands, and are teh publishers of the Middletown Journal.

There are at present three newspapers in Middletown. Up to 1857 no successful efforts had been made in this direction, although many attempts preceded the one that finally attained success, but each in turn was short lived. The Journal, now published by the American Color Printing Company, is the oldest successfull paper in the town, and it dates its birth to the year 1857, and to Mr. C.H. BROCK, the grocer of Middletown, as its first proprietor. Mr. BROCK carried this paper on successfully for fourteen years. During the war he became postmaster of Middletown, but kept its management until 1871, when he sold out to Mr. HARKRADER, and after that it passed through the management of COLLINS, BOWMAN & COLLINS, George H. MCKEE, MCKEE & POWELL, MCKEE, James L. RAYMOND, who leased to WENDELL, then to TUCKER & TODHUNTER, the sold to TODHUNTER & BONNELL, who sold it to the American Color Printing Company in 1880. Mr. SULLIVAN is its editor. There are two others also. The Signal was brought to bear its influence for good on Middletown by L. F. BOWMAN in 1874. He kept the paper until 1881, when T.J. WARD took its management. It has always been a good, lively paper. The Middletown Herald was started in March, 1882. R.M. THRELKELD is proprietor and editor.

The private bank of Oglesby & Barnitz is the oldest bank in Middletown. It was started more than twenty years ago, being at that time simply a place of deposit. On account of the great credit they had among the business community, these deposits so increased on their hands that it was deemed advisable to start a bank. It is strictly private. The Merchants' National Bank was organized September 9, 1872, with a capital stock of $50,000, which has increased since to $150,000. The officers are Charles F. GUNCKEL, President, and G.F. STEVENS, cashier. The First National Bank was organized in 1865, with Mr. Joseph SUTPHIN as its president, which position he filled for many years. D.W. MCCALLAY is now president, and Joseph R. ALLEN cashier. Its capital stock was at first $100,000, but it is now increased to $150,000, with a surplus of $50,000.

The Union Loan and Building Association filed its papers with the secretary of state May 6, 1875, and the first payment of dues were made June 23, 1875. The first board of trustees were P.P. TOURRETTE, David NEWMAN, James H. JACOBY, J. MCFADDEN, Jacob SHAEFFER, I.N. FOOTE, Robert JOHNSTON, W. TODHUNTER, and Frederick SIEBERT. The capital stock of $1, 000.000 is divided into 5,000 shares of $200 each. The company has 750 members, a paid up capital of $124, 000, and have taken in and disbursed during the year 1881, $108,000. The association had been in existence 350 weeks, and has attained a magnitude second to none in the State. There are 4,700 shares held by 750 members, no one member holding more than twenty shares. It is entirely mutual and equal. The present officers are N. B. HATCH, President; DR. R. CORSON, Vice-President; R.E. JOHNSTON, Treasurer, and I.N. FOOTE, Secretary.

The building of the Hydraulic laid the foundation for the prosperity of Middleton. This enterprise was set on foot by Messrs. ERWIN, COOPER, and HENDERSON, the company organizing in 1857, at a cost of forty thousand dollars. It furnishes water power for six mills and for the Middletown water works. The organization consisted of J.W. ERWIN, President; Thomas SHERLOCK, Secretary; and J.B. OGLESBY, Treasurer, as the executive officers. Thomas SHERLOCK'S place is now supplied by J.B. OGLESBY, who is secretary, agent, and manager. The hydraulic is two miles in length.

Middletown became and incorporated village in 1837, its first mayor being T.T. GIBSON. A magnificent city building was completed by November 1, 1880, at a cost of $10, 031.90. In 1874 the town put in the Holly works at a cost of $72,000; and in 1881 introduced the electric light, abandoning the use of gas for municipal purposes. In 1879 permission was granted to the Middletown Street Railsay Company to build a road on Third Street, to connect the two depots of Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton, and Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis roads. The present officers of the town are W.B. Hedding, Mayor; Robert A. P. KASER, clerk; Jacob SHAFFER, treasurer; William FROST, marshal; Nicholas GRAFF, William LING, James H. CUNNINGHAM, Joseph NEIDERLANDER, AND Joseph NAUGHTON, councilmen; A.W. HILL, chief of fire department; W.B. OGLESBY, A.W. HILL, P.J. SORG, trustees of water works.

The Holly Water works are quite an addition financially, as well as a benefit otherwise to the town. They were put in at a cost of $72,000, but it supplies the city with water, runs the fire department, and clears several hundred dollars over and above all expenses annually. The water is furnished from a large well, thirty-five feet deep and fourteen feet in diameter, and furnishes an exhaustible supply of good, cool, clear and pure water. The pressure is sufficient to throw water one hundred feet high.

The fire department is furnished with a four wheeled reel, Caswell make, costing $600. It has the patent drop harness, and carries 1,00 feet cotton knit hose of Chelsea manufacture. There are also 2, 000 feet of rubber and leather hose is reserve. Besides this there are a hook and ladder truck, a hand reel, and a hand engine. The team can be hitched up and ready to leave the building in twenty seconds after the alarm of fire has been given. The pressure of the awater is ninety pounds, and twenty-one streams can be brought into requisition. It will trow eight streams on hundred feet high.

The Brush electic light was substituted for gas in the Summer of 1882. The company has put up a wrought iron tower, made of boiler iron, 210 feet in height, on which are placed eight lights, each having 4,000 candle-power, and also five other lights in different protions of the town, each having 2,000 candle-power, and two street lights. Thsi is at a cost of $2.000 per year, and ten dollars per month for each additional street light. The whole is run by a forty-horse-power engine of P.J. SORG & Co.'s tobacco works, which operates tow machines, one of ten lights, each having a 4,000 candle-power, the other sixteen each having 2,000 candle-power. The brilliancy of these lights, with its sources, renders them very desirable.

The lights on the large tower can be seen for miles, and the power is sufficient to read large print several squares off.

The first school in Middletown was a pay school kept by Mr. BEERS, who afterwards became Judge BEERS, of Darke County. He started in 1805, and had for a schoolroom a room in a woolen-mill standing near the present location of the river bridge. Another school was taught by Martha WILSON, in 1806, in a log house, one part of which was used as a dwelling. It was located on what was called the "Smoothing Iron," the present premises of J. K. THOMAS. For some time afterward Ephraim GRAY taught in the same house, and at a later day Joseph WORTH. Mr. WARD had a school in a cabin near the site of the machine shop. Mr. PERRY and Mr. PIPER were also teachers of an early day. Subsequently Ephraim GRAY built the house on Broad Street now owned and occupied by James WICOFF, and taught in the same for some years.

In 1815, the first school-house was built on the east part of the lot, south-east corner of Main and Second Streets. It was twenty by thirty feet in size. In this house were day-schools, singing-schools, and religious meetings on the Sabbath. One of the first teachers was Jeremiah MARSTON, who taught from 1821 to 1824, inclusive. He was subsequently associate judge, and his son, Theodore MARSTON, is well-known here. The first school entirely free, was taught by Joseph GAILBREATH, a native of the neighborhood, in 1837, but the schools did not continue without the aid of funds from private sources.

Before 1839, the district school had grown too large for one room, and under its auspices a Mr. ELLIOTT taught the younger pupils in a brick building then known as the "Juniata Iron Store," and still standing on Third Street, south side, and west of the bank of Messrs. OGLESBY & BARNITZ. In the Fall of 1839, in this room, Mrs. MITCHELL, then Miss Josephine S. ANDERSON, carried on this school, with Mary J. GIBSON as assistant, now Mrs. BOWEN, of Chicago. Mrs. MITCHELL has been identified with the schools of Middletown since that time, and her record made of forty-three years in school work is one herself and friends may feel proud of. This part of the school, above mentioned, was soon moved to the barracks, then standing on the present site of the Odd Fellows' building. The barracks are now on the northeast corner of Water and Fifth Streets.

The barracks were vacated in 1849, to occupy the better rooms made vacant by Mr. FURMAN's removal to Hamilton. These rooms were on the west side of Broad Street, a few steps north of Third Street. In this branch of the district school Mr. MITCHELL taught continuously, excepting a year or two, and with the help of her assistants, she had the first graded schools. Her assistants, after Miss GIBSON, were respectively Miss Alice T. KETCHUM (now Mrs. LAMBRIGHT); Miss Eliza MARTIN (subsequently Mrs. STORMS); Misses Virginia HOWLAND & Susan MCQUIETY.

In 1855 the organization changed from three directors to a board of education composed of five members. The board consisted of William B. OGLESBY, Stephen E. GIFFEN, Edward JONES, Joseph SUTPHIN, and William E. MARSHALL. In 1872 the present noble school-building was completed and furnished at a cost of $61,000. The Middletown people are proud of it, and with reason. There is no finer structure of the kind in Ohio. It is situated in a campus of six acres of ground, beautifully laid off, and ornamented with trees, walks, and shrubbery. The house is magnificently furnished. The pupils have a library parlor, in which they have the choicest literature in the way of periodicals and books, etc. This last commendable feature was inaugurated by the present efficient superintendent, F. J. BARNARD.

The growth of the public schools is shown by the following table:

No. youths enumerated 472 673 834 1,319 1,393.....
No. pupils enrolled275365660 568 834710
No. pupils daily averaged220229 349824574512
No. of teachers679101518

The expenditures were, in 1860, $2,464.69; 1865, $5,514.45; 1870, $5,958.56; 1875, $8,170.05; 1880, $11,195.64. The value of school property was, in 1855, $6,250; 1860, $6,250; 1865, $6,250; 1870, $6,250; 1875, $75,000; 1880, $75,000. The board of education consists of Dr. John CORSON, president; George H. HINKEL, secretary; J. G. LUMMIS, treasurer; James B. HARTLEY, I. C. FARRIS, C. A. BAPST.

In the Spring of 1842 a few noble-hearted men conceived the idea of instituting an Odd Fellows' lodge at Middletown. Preparatory to that end I. F. HAND, S. F. HAILMAN, Lewis YOUNG, W. W. LITTELL, and Joshua HUNT, made application for and were admitted to membership in Warren Lodge, No. 11, I. O. O. F., at Franklin, and after taking degrees in that lodge all applied for and were granted dismissal cards, when they and brother David OLDEN, Sen., petitioned the Grand Lodge of Ohio for a charter to establish a lodge in Middletown, with the name of Hope Lodge, No. 16. Odd Fellowship was then so much in its infancy that the Grand Lodge of the State could transact all its business in one evening.

The lodge was instituted on the evening of October 25, 1842, Charles THOMAS officiating as grand master, the place of meeting being the second-story of a frame house standing on Third Street. On the same evening there were three applicants initiated,---Anthony NOBLE, James BUTLER, and Frederick SHAFER. About the sixth applicant accepted was brother Aaron RODGERS, who afterwards made a present to this lodge of a beautiful lot in the cemetery for the express purpose of burying indigent or transient Odd Fellows. It, however, happened by an over-ruling Providence that he was the first one buried on the lot. The lodge commenced under very flattering prospects, considering the size of the town, which then was not over one thousand inhabitants, the first year initiating twelve members. A little carelessness is discovered in the way the lodge did the business during those first years. If a brother was behind with his dues, his note was sometimes taken instead. The initiation fee then was six dollars.

In April, 1843, the lodge rented a room on the north-west corner of Broad and Third Streets, where they stayed ten years, working successfully and in loving harmony. They then rented a room of Jacob LEIBEE, in his three-story building built on the same ground on which the lodge had been instituted, where they stayed until the lodge moved into the building on Main Street they now occupy. The lodge at first elected their officers every three months, but in 1846 the time was changed to six months. During the Winter of 1846 the lodge purchased the lot their building now stands on, it being bought first as private property by brother A. NOBLE and James BOWMAN, who afterwards sold it to the lodge for six hundred dollars, the same sum that they had given. They also repaired the house at an expense of one hundred dollars, and rented the property, from which they received considerable income.

On February 8, 1858, there was a committee appointed, consisting of W. G. BALL, George FOSTER, and John HUNT, to received donations and to ascertain what money could be raised among the members for the building of a new house. A committee, consisting of I. C. FARIES, J. B. CECIL, and C. H. BROCK, was appointed to as donations of sister lodges. On November 11 the building committee were instructed to contract for the erection of a building and to have a town hall over the two north store-rooms. James B. CECIL erected the new building, which cost seven thousand three hundred dollars, and the lodge moved into its new quarters about February 1, 1860. The number of shares at first reached two hundred, which was afterwards reduced to one hundred and seventy, and as soon as the house was paid for the stock was purchased for various prices, from fifty dollars to eighty-three dollars, the last to sell being C. W. SUTPHIN, who received the last named amount. With the exception of eight shares, owned by the Home Encampment, the lodge now owns the building. The lodge is handsomely furnished.

The minutes of the lodge since 1842 have been carefully examined by I. C. FARIES for the notes from which this article was taken, and there it is found the lodge has paid out $7,302.61 for the relief of the distressed, education of orphans, and the burial of the dead. This does not include many private donations made by members of the lodge. The lodge shows a healthy and steadily growing increase, having taken into fellowship some three hundred members. The present officers are John HUSS, N.G.; James STEWART, V.G.; W. B. ANDREWS, secretary; S. C. HARTLEY, permanent secretary; H. G. CROWLEY, treasurer; trustees--David NEWMAN, president; Charles SUTPHIN, secretary; R. S. JOHNSTON, I. F. HAND, and Frank BANKER.

The Presbyterian Church dates back to 1819. On the 6th of April in that year a petition was presented to the presbytery asking for an occasional preacher and liberty to form a Presbyterian Church. The petition was granted, and the Rev. Francis MONFORT was appointed to preach. On the 14th a meeting was held as preliminary to an organization, and a collector and clerk chosen. On the 29th of July, 1820, it was judged that sufficient progress had been made to form a society, and a meeting was accordingly held, at which Mr. MONFORT and the elders of New Jersey Church were present by invitation. A sessional meeting was constituted, which was adjourned to the 6th of August, and received applications for membership. The whole number of those who applied were twelve. Five of these--Mr. Archibald CAMPBELL and his wife, Sarah CAMPBELL; Moses W. KARR and his wife, Ann KARR, and Mrs. Jane ROBINSON---came by certificate from the Presbyterian Church of Dick's Creek; four--Nathan PEPPARD and Mrs. PEPPARD, David POTTER, and Miss Jane MALERY--by certificate from the Presbyterian Church at Mt. Pleasant, Kentucky; three--Mr. John M. BARNETT and his wife, Jane BARNETT, and Ruth FISHER--by examination. The meetings were probably in a school-room that occupied a part of the present site of the public school building, on the corner of Main and Second Streets. Here the first Sunday-school in the town had been organized on a union basis. Of this the Baptist Sunday-school is the legitimate successor.

The Rev. Francis MONFORT became the pastor of the new organization, laboring one-half of his time for two years. In June, 1821, fifteen more persons were added, and three elders were chosen,--William MCCLANE, Nathaniel PEPPARD, and Moses W. KARR. In August, 1828, two additional elders, Archibald CAMPBELL and Ephraim GRAY, were chosen. The Rev. Samuel SMITH, shortly after, ministered to them, and in 1828 they began the erection of a church. A site was purchased of Daniel DOTY in the southern part of the town, and in 1832 the work was begun under the supervision of William MCCLANE, William JUDD, and Moses W. KARR. The building was of brick, forty-five feet long and thirty-five feet wide. The builder was Meeker S. MORTON, and he received for it $789.53. Other expenses brought the cost up to about eleven hundred dollars. This edifice still stands, and is occupied by the German Lutheran Church. The pastors after Mr. SMITH, who left about 1832, were John HUDSON, Alexander GUY, and J. S. BELLEVILLE. The latter was a very eloquent and effective preacher, and at the close of the first twenty years of existence the Church had ninety-two members. G. B. CRAWFORD was ordained an elder, April 15, 1837. The Rev. John B. MORTON came to Middletown in June, 1840, and well performed his work. He remained until 1847, also preaching a part of his time at other churches in the neighborhood. He was succeeded by S. M. TEMPLETON. Mr. MORTON, who had not removed far, preached here a portion of his time, and in 1853 supplied the pulpit for six months. At this time the Church became entirely self-sustaining. In 1854 it began a new building, which was finished in 1856. Its probable cost was from ten to twelve thousand dollars, the building committee being Dr. G. E. WAMPLER, Thomas WILSON, John L. MARTIN, and William S. YOUNG. About this time Mrs. James BROOKFIELD died, leaving the Church five hundred dollars and a baptismal bowl of silver, which was made in the year 1747.

Mr. MORTON continued to supply the Church until 1856, when he was again called to be its pastor, remaining until 1865. He then resigned his charge, and the Rev. G. I. TAYLOR acted as stated supply. In 1867 the church was remodeled, and a pipe organ added. Joshua L. RUSSELL was made pastor in January, 1867, and on the 29th of July, 1870, the Church celebrated its semi-centennial. In May, 1873, the Rev. J. W. CLOKEY became pastor. Those who have been chosen as elders since 1841 are Nathaniel FURMAN, Patterson MITCHELL, William MITCHELL, Dr. Samuel R. EVANS, Dr. Peter VANDERVEER, William H. MILLS, Stephen E. GIFFEN, David MUMMA, Horace P. CLOUGH, Alexander URE, Thomas WILSON, J. G. CLARKE, and R. K. MCILHENNY. The Church is in a flourishing condition.

The St. Paul Evangelical Church of Middletown was erected in 1877. The society was organized in 1876, with G. RATHMAN president; William SEBALD, secretary, and Jacob BORGER as treasurer; D. FRISCH, Philip SATTERNER, William SCHULTZ, Steve HEMBRANDER, and Jacob GRADOLPH, trustees. The present officers are G. RATHMAN, president; G. HUFF, treasurer; and Chris. SEBALD, secretary; Christ. MULLER, David FRISCH, Stephen HEMBRAUDER, J. P. WEBER, and John STIEBER, trustees. The church building is a fine structure, costing about $11,000. This Church was formerly a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Middletown was organized August 6, 1854, by Rev. E. A. SHULTZ, Hiram HENKEL, Frederick SIEBERT, Frederick BERK, and Adam HEILAND. The Rev. Mr. SHULZE, after staying tow years, went to Columbus, Ohio, and the pulpit was filled by Messrs. RITTER, G. H. TREEL, Theis BUCHOLS, and C. HUEBNER. The latter is the present pastor. The society occupies the old Presbyterian Church building which was erected in 1829, and consists of a membership of fifty families. The present officers are C. SATTERNER, C. DENNER, J. SIXT, F. SIEBERT, J. G. NICHOL, H. BEHRENS, G. KIRSCHBAUM, and J. FRISCH. H. BEHRENS is Sabbath-school superintendent.

The Holy Trinity Catholic Church of Middletown was built about 1851, when there were very few Catholics in the place, since which time it has gradually and steadily grown by natural increase until it now reaches some two hundred families, with excellent parochial schools attached.

The first pastor was the Rev. M. OCONNER, who preached from 1851 to 1855; Rev. T. SMITH, to 1859; Rev. T. J. BOULGER, to 1873; Rev. J. BOWE, to 1874; and F. C. MALLON, to 1875. The Rev. W. F. M. OROURKE has filled the place since that last named date. Among the old members are the CUNNINGHAMs, CUMMINGSes, CURRANs, COYLEs, CLANCEYs, DOWDs, FAYs, FERRISes, GOLDRICKs, HANNEGANs, KELLEYs, KANEs, LOGANs, MCCUEs, MCCURRYs, MULLENs, ROACHes, RANEYs, SULLIVANs, and TOOLEYs.