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NW Ohio History: Agriculture & Light Industry 1900

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Agriculture | Blacksmithing | Hardware & Lumber | Light Industry

The foundation of the economy in northwest Ohio is agriculture. In 1900, nearly forty percent of Americans lived on farms, making products and services for farmers a vital part of the business community in Bowling Green. Windmills, wagons, machinery, and seeds were offered for sale. Some businesses combined home and farm products to provide one-stop convenience for their customers.


 F. E. Beebe, Implements, Vehicles, Windmills, Etc.

The above house occupies a conspicuous position among the best establishments in the city, though when founding about two years ago, Mr. Beebe probably never expected to realize the extent of the operations which now characterize his business. Located on South Main street he has a large quarters which are filled with a stock of great value, embracing, as it does most everything that is used on the farm. Here the farmer can get anything in the way of agricultural implements, including McCormick binders and mowers, engines, separators, plows, drills, cultivators, harrows, shredders, binder's twine, oils, etc. as well as buggies, wagons, harness, wind mills, and the like.

Then in connection, Mr. Beebe conducts a feed barn, where the farmer can have his team well cared for at a moderate price. The phenomenal success which Mr. Beebe enjoys is certainly an indication of what pluck and perseverance, backed by integrity and honor, can accomplish in this modern age, and he and his establishment are of great worth to Bowling Green.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 George Brothers, Implements, Vehicles, Seeds

This house is known to everybody in Wood county, and being always reliable it is thoroughly installed in the confidence of the public. The business was started five years ago, by Messrs Simon N. and Roscoe George, and they have built an enviable reputation for always giving the people the most satisfactory service, the most courteous attention, and the lowest prices possible. They own their business quarters at No. 73 and 75 South Main street and these, built especially for the purpose, are stocked with most choice and complete lines of farm implements of the best makes, all kinds of vehicles, the best grades of flour, feed, baled hay and straw, harness and horse-goods, and every variety of feed grown in this section, as well as coal and wood in great quantities.

The firm makes a point to handle only such goods as can be depended upon to be just as represented, and these they supply to their customers on the most liberal terms. They are well known and popular with a large trade extending throughout Wood county, and their store is the recognized headquarters for the many things needed on the farm.

Messrs. George Bros. are most reliable merchants, their transactions are noted for equity and fair dealing, and by their fellowmen they are held in high honor and esteem.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Empire Mills

In the above concern we have a most important factor to the success of the farmer, and it is the pride and boast of Wood county. The business was established 20 years ago, and now with a mill and two elevators in Bowling Green, and numerous elevators in Wood county and even Toledo, Royce & Coon rank as one of the most important grain firms in northwestern Ohio. They have handsome and well arranged offices in the Commercial bank, and their mill on South Main street, is fitted up with the latest and best machinery for the manufacture of kiln-dried table and granulated corn meal, buckwheat flour, and all kinds of feed stuff.

The mill gives employment to a large force of men, and its products being equal to any on the market, find a great and growing demand in all parts of the country. The company purchases supplies throughout this whole section of the country, and always offers the producer a ready market for his goods, at the highest cash prices. Their aim is to retain the confidence of the public by liberal business methods, and the Empire Mill is a most important industry to this section of the state.

Messrs. Royce & Coon are substantial and able business men, have succeeded in making their mill and elevators among the best producing and best paying in the country, and deservedly hold the high position accorded them.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Reider's Mill, Morris B. Reider, Prop.

Reider's Mills

This is one of the best known and most reliable industries of Bowling Green. It was established by Kramer & Reider sixteen years ago. Last year Mr. Kramer's interest was purchased by Mr. Morris B. Reider, the present enterprising proprietor, who built a new and larger mill and thoroughly equipped it with all modern machinery.

The products of Reider's mill have a wide reputation for general excellence and their

famous brand of "Our Favorite" flour is one of the very best on the market. They also manufacture corn meal, buckwheat flour, bran mill stuffs and feed, all of the very best quality.

Mr. Reider gives a special attention to farmers' custom, buys and exchanges their grain, and grinds their feed to order. Mr. Reider is one of Bowling Green's substantial and enterprising citizens, and any goods bearing Reider's trade mark is a guarantee of their reliability.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Blacksmithing, Horseshoeing

 W. B. Beach, Practical Horseshoes

Blacksmith at his forge, late 1800s

There is no part of a horse that requires more attention than its feet. Every time a horse is taken to W. B. Beach's shop its feet are closely examined and all defects in previous shoeing are corrected. Mr. Beach makes a specialty of horseshoeing and with expert knowledge in the art, he is enabled to quickly put the animal in good condition. He has had 38 years experience in the art, 14 years of which have been in Bowling Green, and his forge at Oak and Main streets, he is familiar to all the people of Wood county and round about.

All of Mr. Beach's work is done on scientific principles, his shop is well-equipped, and the farmer has learned that it pays to drive many miles to have his work done here. Mr. Beach is not only capable and honorable in business,

Stationery Beach Co.

but is a popular, esteemed, and worthy citizen in every way.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Richard Biggs, General Blacksmithing

During 27 years' experience in the above business Mr. Biggs has given every evidence of being capable, proficient and honorable, and he holds a place in public confidence and esteem that but a few succeed in reaching. S a general blacksmith he has but few equals and is known throughout the length and breadth of Wood county for always doing all work in a prompt and workman-like manner.

As a public spirited citizen Mr. Biggs has always taken a lead, and he has always been among the first at the "plow handle" when any public enterprise was on foot. For four years he served as county sheriff, for five years as city marshal and for three years was chief of the fire department, which he was a leading spirit in organizing.

Mr. Biggs' shop at Main and Oak streets is equipped with all the tools and devices necessary for his line of work, and he serves his patrons with the same conscientious faithfulness that he served the public. Mr. Biggs had made many warm friends, enjoys an extensive trade, and is esteemed by all his fellowmen.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Frank Darr, Harness & Horse Goods

The vast amount of harness, saddles and general horse furnishing goods now in use invest this industry as one of great importance to any community. One of the leading houses in this line in Wood county is that of Frank Darr, who is generally recognized as one of the most skilled harness makers in the state. He has been in this line here for the past 13 years, and his business premises on East Wooster street consist of a well stocked salesroom and a nicely equipped workshop. Here is manufactured and carried every variety of light and heavy harness, saddles, bridles, collars, whips, robes, blankets, etc., while Darr's handmade harness has a wide reputation and a large sale. A specialty is also made of custom work and repairing.

Mr. Darr is a genial, whole-souled gentleman, honorable in all transactions, and is widely known and highly regarded in the community.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 J. C. Jackson, Horseshoeing

Have you ever given it a thought-the difference between skilled labor and that not skilled-or have you gone along without any regard for the fitness of things? It will pay you to consider this matter, for when it comes to horseshoeing you will want it done by someone who knows how to do it right. Mr. J. C. Jackson is an expert horseshoer, and makes a specialty of this line of work. In horseshoeing he will show you the difference both in results and prices between neat, skilled workmanship and cheap and shoddy labor.

Mr. Jackson learned his trade in Canada, has had 15 years' experience and has been located her for the past month. His shop on North Main street is a model of mechanical arrangement and you cannot regret having patronized him for he is a painstaking and honorable gentleman, and enjoys in a high degree the confidence of his fellowmen.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

More blacksmiths and farriers are listed under Transportation.

 Hardware Stores & Lumber Yards

 J. H. Bigelow, Planing & Sawmill

Bigelow Stationery

To most of the people of Wood county and vicinity it is useless to introduce Mr. J. H. Bigelow, the extensive lumber dealer who has been conducting business here for the past 23 years. Located at Clough and Summit streets his planing and saw mills are modernly

equipped, and his extensive lumber yards are stocked with all kinds of rough and dressed lumber, lath, shingles, flooring, sash, doors, blinds, mouldings and most everything in wood that could be called for. He has extensive sheds for keeping the lumber, etc. out of the weather and he is prepared to offer the most liberal inducements to customers, as he buys his goods in large quantities for cash.

By strict attention to details and honorable methods the house has been enabled to build up and maintain a large and profitable trade, which is having a steady growth throughout a large territory. Personally Mr. Bigelow is a wide awake business man, and is highly esteemed in social and commercial circles for his sterling worth.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Hankey Lumber Company, Lumber and Building Materials

This city, being so advantageously situated as the trade center for a large territory, has become a point of prominence in the lumber trade, and it is only natural that among the industrial and commercial enterprises of the city that the above cooperative company

Hankey Stationery

should be among the most important factors in the general welfare of the community.

This business was started in 1880 by Mr. J. R. Hankey who was succeeded ten years ago by the present company, which has a capital of $50,000 and of which J. R. Hankey is president, John O'Neil vice president, H. G. Hankey treasurer, Philo S. Hankey secretary, and W. H. Hoagland general manager.

Located at Clough and Prospect streets they possess every advantage and facility for transacting a large and lucrative business, and they manufacture doors, sash, blinds and building materials, as well as deal in pine and native lumber, and make a specialty of rig lumber for the oil field; also are sole agents for Wood county for the Wheeler self-fitting window screens. The machinery and appliances used in their mill are of the very latest and most improved patterns, and in its particular lines this establishment is prepared to meet all the trade, and a large business is done annually.

The members of this company are energetic and enterprising business men, and are entitled to great credit and consideration for establishing an enterprise of so great importance to the interests of the community. As citizens none occupy more prominent positions or have aided more to elevate and extend the trade and reputation of the city.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Chaney & Kramp, Hardware

Chaney Stationery

Messrs. Jno. Chaney and Wm. G. Kramp have made a noteworthy success of the above business and are so prominently identified with the best interests of the city that it gives us pleasure to tell of them.

The firm began business here two years ago and their storeroom at 16 South Main street is filled with an extensive and most desirable line of hardware, stoves, ranges, paints, oils and the like. They handle a class of goods that cannot be excelled and which can be relied upon to be just as represented; and believing in "live and let live" they quote the most reasonable prices to everyone.

With a superior line of goods, asking only a fair profit and treating all customers courteously and fairly, they have gained an enviable reputation and a widespread patronage. And besides being prominent and successful business men, Messrs. Chaney & Kramp are most worthy and highly respected citizens, and are of much credit and benefit to the city.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 S. S. Cooley, Hardware, Notions, Etc.

Hardware Store on North Main, Bowling Green

The business man who does not persistently reach forward and add to his laurels, will become mummified, and fit only to be laid among the piles of things entirely forgotten. By dint of brain and hand Mr. S. G. Cooley has toiled through many weary years of faithful service to the requirements of the public, first in groceries and for the past year in the present line; and if, in so doing he has left the world of self-complacent business men behind, it is but the result and confirmation of the law of progression. The people have come to know that in hardware, woodenware, tinware, queensware, paints, oils, glass, and all kind of notions he leads and is always reliable. His store at No. 69 North Main street is headquarters for the best make of goods in the lines named, and his prices are liberal, and the same to all.

Mr. Cooley has been a resident of Bowling Green for 44 years, and an active merchant since 1870, and he is known as one of the most substantial citizens of the town, and is esteemed by all as a most honorable and straight forward man.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Goit & Son, Hardware, Implements, Vehicles, Etc.

The leading establishment of Goit & Son is one of the important features of the commercial interests of Bowling Green, and during the years since its founding 28 years ago, it has developed such capacity for promptly supplying all the requirements of the market as to have acquired a recognition that makes it a formidable competitor for business.

The firm utilizes the double room store on South Main street, and a large warehouse, while the equipage is equal to any in this section, and everything about the place is up-to-date. Besides handling a large and general line of shelf and heavy hardware, Goit & Son make special features of stoves, ranges, farm implements, carriages, buggies and light wagons, and perhaps it is no exaggeration to say that their stock is the largest in Wood County. The firm's business has ever been honorably and energetically conducted, and there is not a section of the county but that contributes to the success of this mammoth concern.

Goit & Son have won a measure of popularity, confidence and respect second to none, and they will ever continue to serve the public in the same faithful, prompt, liberal and courteous manner that has distinguished their long career.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Jones & Niver, General Hardware

There is probably no one branch of trade more important in its relations, influences and bearings upon the commerce of a city than the hardware business. The generic term hardware includes all the unclassified manufactures of iron and steel. There are few distinct specialties in this market and the various industries and demands of the trade are fully supplied by the enterprising house of Jones & Niver which is located at No. 21 South Main street. The stock carried is wonderful and complete, and includes every article entering into the general hardware trade, as well as stoves, and tinware, and the celebrated Round Oak furnaces, for which the house is exclusive agents. Of the firms dealing in this class of goods in this section none occupy a more prominent position or conduct their business with more enterprise and intelligence.

The business was established years ago by Messrs J. R. Jones and D. E. Niver, and with ample facilities and resources it has had a marked success, resulting in a trade which has steadily increased each year. The firm's place of business is conveniently located, is filled with a stock of great value, and here the people of Wood county can get everything they need in the hardware and kindred lines.

Messrs Jones & Niver are men of sterling integrity, noted for their business qualifications and for their unquestioned reliability in all the walks of life.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 George W. Loomis & Co., Hardware, Implements, Stoves, Etc.

Loomis Stationery

What is written between the lines is at all times the most convincing argument, for it tells the whole story with startling force and effect. This observation immediately suggests itself to one visiting the establishment of Geo. Loomis & Co., in the Opera House block.

Magnitude of operation is expressed in the large quarters at the above address, in the four large warehouses occupied, and in the store conducted at Luckey, Ohio, where shelf and heavy hardware, stoves, ranges, paints, oils, farm implements, wind-mills, vehicles, harness, guns, ammunition and bicycles reign supreme. Here will be found as complete a husbandry in these goods as you can possibly find anywhere else, and every article is warranted to be first-class and reliable in every respect. One of the special features of this house is its stock of harness and horse-goods, and their leading brand of hand-made harness, "The Stryker," is equal to any on the market.

This firm, composed of Messrs. Geo. W., Roy. E. and Darley I. Loomis, commenced business here ten years ago, and increasing sales are unmistakable evidence that their enterprising methods are receiving popular appreciation and recognition. In volume of trade, select patronage and superior facilities this house is equal to any similar concern in northwestern Ohio, and the firm of Messrs. Geo. W. Loomis & Co. has the endorsement of the people generally.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 Light Industry

 American Foundry & Machine Co.

Almost every city has a line of predominating interests peculiar to itself, and Bowling Green is no exception to the general rule. Here the larger interests are oil, flour, grain, lumber and banking, while comparatively little attention has been directed toward general manufacturing enterprises; there is however one institution of the latter kind that deserves more than a passing notice. We refer to the AMERICAN FOUNDRY AND MACHINE CO., which, as its name indicates, does a general foundry and machine business, making a specialty of tools and appliances used in the oil fields, and employing in the prosecution of this branch of its business a corps of skilled mechanics, each of whom is an expert in his particular line of work-thus insuring not only the very best oil well tools that can be produced, but also the proper methods of repairing such as require mechanical attention and skill.

Equipped as this factory is with a large steam hammer which is capable of cracking a nut deftly, or striking a blow of twelve thousand pounds; with lathes, planers, pipe thread cutting machine, drill presses and the numerous appliances that go to make up a complete blacksmith shop, machine shop and foundry, nothing seems too small or simple, or too large or difficult for its mechanics to build or repair.

In fact, in addition to its general line of machine work the company builds several lines of farm machinery, such as plows, land rollers, clod crushers, feed cutters, patent plow points, etc. and in addition to its own lines of manufacture, is exclusive agent for Wood county of the celebrated Ajax Gas and Steam Engines, and Brennan Steam Boilers, all of which are specially adapted for use in the oil field.

The factory is located on Lehman Ave., at the crossing of the T. & O. C. R. R., and is under the superintendence of Mr. A. L. Slager. Its officers are among the best known financiers of Bowling Green, viz: Hon. J. R. Hankey president, Mr. J. G. Hickox secretary, and Mr. A. E. Royce treasurer.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

Bowling Green Bottling Works, Wilcox Bros., Props.

The manufacturing and bottling of ginger ale, lemon sours, cider, soda water and soft drinks, has become an important industry, and since they have received the endorsement of the medical profession, the demand has greatly increased.

The Bowling Green Bottling Works, located near the C. H. & D. depot has been successfully conducted by Wilcox Bros. for about three years, and here is manufactured and bottled all sorts of soft drinks, of the purest quality and most delicious flavors, which are much in demand throughout this section.

Messrs. Wilcox Bros. have also been agents here for one of the leading breweries of Ohio for about ten years, and they have built up a magnificent trade. All goods sold by them are kept at a uniform standard and are never allowed to deteriorate, thus serving to place this house, which is fully equipped with the latest appliances, foremost in the bottling and beer trade of this section. They are most popular and estimable gentlemen, whose success is well merited, and they are representative citizens of Bowling Green.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900

 C. M. Cramer, Marble & Granite Monuments

In spite of blazing suns and fierce onslaughts, the Pyramids and the Sphinx stand in their strength, facing the burning Egyptian deserts, in superb disdain of the attacks of time. The hand of man may some day level them; the forces of nature never. Such characteristics distinguish the work done by Mr. C. M. Cramer, and if you contemplate the purchase of a memorial, it will pay you to consult him.

Last year Mr. Cramer, who for nine years was located at Pemberville, succeeded C. G. McCauley, who established the business 20 years ago, and he has the benefit of years of experience. He is a designer of much ability and all his work is distinguished for artistic beauty and expert workmanship. Mr. Cramer manufactures monuments, tablets, headstones, baptismal founts, and every description of marble and granite work, and like the mighty Pyramids, they will withstand the assaults of centuries.

At his place of business there can be seen many handsome designs, and the merit of his work, and the fairness of his prices have gained such widespread reputation that he receives orders from all parts of the surrounding country. Mr. Cramer is a most worthy citizen, and is meeting with the success his skill and fair dealings deserve.

--Wood County Democrat, February 16, 1900