(Note: The number 65 is at the bottom of the page 513.)
The first members of this society were men of enterprise and sound judgement. They were Dr. G. W. KEELY, Daniel BROOKS, John P. CLOUGH, Isaac H. HARMON, I. W. MACLAIN, B. F. STEELE, Ebenezer WARNER, I. I. KEELY, John E. CHATTEN, Edward H. BACON, Mahlon BACON, W. B. BONNEY, R. S. CAMPBELL, John ALEXANDER, Robert A. FINKBINE, Christian SHEELER, Albert ADAMS, John C. LINDLEY, WM. H. MCCHESNEY, Thomas WARNER, Allen CLUTE, Joseph H. MERRIDITH, and others, all before 1850. Jacob T. FEBER, Isaac COOPER, and Dr. Robert C. HUSTON joined in 1852, and are now prominent as they were thirty years since. John WRAY, Erza BOURNE, M. W. DUVALL, dead; G. W. SADLER and George ADAMS joined in 1856. J. E. CHATTEN, W. B. BONNEY, Samuel GATH, Jr., and Sutton C. RICHEY became members in 1860. P. H. CONE, who came from CT, and who died March 15, 1882, became a member on the presentation of his card. W. L. LANE identified himself with this lodge in 1866, from St. Charles Lodge. This organization owns the third story, which, together with the society furniture, is valued at $3,000.
There is also an Encampment of Patriarchs, No. 119, instituted on the 4th of June, 1869. The charter members were R. C. HUSTON, J. E. CHATTEN, S. C. RICHEY, A. P. COX, G. W. MURPHEY, Joseph MCCLOSKEY, A. J. OWENS. For present officers: C. P., R.W. DEWITT; S.W., M. H. BECKETT; H. P., Dr. H. M. LOGEE; S., H. C. HUSTON; Treas., J. E. CHATTEN. This organization meets in the Odd Fellows' Hall the first and third Thursday evenings of every month.
Oxford Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, No. 67, was organized June 18, 1823. The charter members were Abraham J. CHITTENDEN, Joel COLLINS, Anthony BUTLER, Charles NEWHALL, James R. HUGHES, Alpheus SHERMAN, James M. DORSEY, THomas WALTON, and Abner STILSON. Mr. CHITTENDEN was made a Mason in CT; Messrs. HUGHES and COLLINS, in OH; Messrs. SHERMAN and BUTLER, in VT; Messrs. NEWHALL and WALTON, in MA; Mr. DORSEY, in MD; Mr. STILSON, in NY. Peter H. BUTLER was the first Mason made in this lodge, 1822. He was followed by Sylvester LYONS. Among the other first members were Herrick BURDSELL, John CLARK, Asa NEWTON, Edward NEWTON, Henry POWERS, Asher FIELDS, Charles W. H. TEMPLE, Asabel MOORE, Mr. ANDERSON, Jacob MARKLE, and Samuel GLEASON.
Abraham J. CHITTENDEN was the first Master, James HUGHES, the second, and Alpheus SHERMAN, the third, In 1876 Sylvester LYONS was the oldes surviving member, having been made a Mason in 1823.
The first meetings of this society were held in the second story of a frame building, where Chatten's store now stands. Some time thereafter the society made the second story of Anderson's building, on South Main Street, a point of metting. From there, in 1851, they took up their quarters in the present hall, which cost $1,100. Below we give a list of the three principal officers since 1843:
1843-P. P. TAYLOR, W. M.; Alpheus SHERMAN, S. W.; Charles NEWHALL, J. W.
1844-Wm. T. EMMETT, W. M.; Alfred LUCE, S. W.; Sylvester LYONS, J. W. The others will be given in the same order.
1845-Alfred LUCE, David FAGAN, John R. KERWOOD.
1846-David FAGAN, William KENNEDY, John R. KERWOOD.
1847-Alfred LUCE, William KENNEDY, Wilkerson HIGGINS.
1848-Alfred LUCE, William KENNEDY, Peter H. BUTLER.
1849-Alfred LUCE, Wm. H. CRUME, Chas. W. H. TEMPLE.
1850-Wm. H. CRUME, CHas. W. H. TEMPLE, Christopher SOUDERS.
1851-Wm. H. CRUME, David P. NELSON, Christopher SOUDERS.
1852-Christopher SOUDERS, Abraham G. ELLIOTT, R. L. REA.
1853-William H. CRUME, Abraham G. ELLIOTT, Silas ROLL.
1854-Silas ROLL, William KENNEDY, Samuel WRAY.
1856-Silas ROLL, Willis R. DEWITT, S. A. KENNEDY.
1857-Willis R. DEWITT, W. W. CURREY, Gideon WILKINSON.
1858-Alfred LUCE, Gideon WILKINSON, Wm. R. CRUME.
1859-Willis R. DEWITT, Silas ROLL, Chas. W. H. TEMPLE.
1860-Willis R. DEWITT, Silas ROLL, Allen CLUTE.
1861-Silas ROLL, Gideon WILKINSON, Charles WRIGHT.
1862-Willis R. DEWITT, Allen CLUTE, Robert H. RIGGS.
1863-Willis R. DEWITT, Allen CLUTE, Sutton C. RICHEY.
1864-Willis R. DEWITT, Sutton C. RICHEY, Robert RATLIFF.
1865-Alfred LUCE, Sutton C. RICHEY, John W. ROLL.
1866-Willis R. DEWITT, John W. ROLL, Edward L. HILL.
1867-Willis R. DEWITT, Charles WRIGHT, George STORK.
1868-Willis R. DEWITT, Gideon WILKINSON, SIlas WARNER.
1869-Edward L. HILL, George STORK, Henry SAUNDERS.
1870-George B. ROHRER, Gideon WILKINSON, Robert RATLIFF.
1871-George B. ROHRER, Gideon WILKINSON, Kartl MERZ.
1872-George B. ROHRER, Karl MERZ, Robert RIGGS.
1873-Karl MERZ, George STORK, Sutton C. RICHEY.
1874-Karl MERZ, Robert RIGGS, Moses DECAMP.
1875-Karl MERZ, A. BEAUGUREAU, W. L. JONES.
1876-A. BEAUGUREAU, W. L. JONES, James T. GRAY.
1879-Gideon WILKINSON, S. W. HIGGINS, Caleb SHERA.
1880-S. W. HIGGINS, Caleb SHERA, A. TRUCE.
This lodge ceased working for a few years, but retained their charter. In 1843 they asked permission from the Grand Lodge to resume work, which was granted. The early records of the lodge are lost. The oldest living member is Wilkinson HIGGINS, who joined in 1844. The leading members at present are Adrian BEAUGUREAU, Samuel GATH, L. E. GRENNAN, S. W. HIGGINS, Wilkinson HIGGINS, Edward L. HILL, George W. KEELY, Karl MERZ, Caleb A. SHERA. Since the reorganization this lodge has had over two hundred and fifty members.
In 1869 the leading citizens of Oxford organized what was known as the Co-operative Loan, Building, and Savings Association. This institution continued in force until 1877, when the society was practically disbanded. Among the members we find W. H. JOHNSON, P. H. CONE, R. BUTLER, G. W. KEELY, W. H. SMITH, John FERGUSON, G. W. MURPHY, John MILLER, J. E. NEWTON, J. M. D'ARCO, J. T. LANGSTROTH, S. C. RICHEY, R. C. HUSTON, and J. D. RINGWOOD. P. H. CONE was their last president. F. J. CONE is the present treasurer. The organization meets but once a year. It holds but one house in trust, or as its proprietor.
Immediately after the above organization went into partial non-existence the Oxford Loan and BUilding Association was formed. This society had for its leaders R. H. BISHOP, president; H. M. LOGEE, vice-president; S. C. RICHEY, secretary; F. J. CONE, treasurer; and P. W. SMITH, solicitor. P. D. MATSON, O. F. GARROD, G. W. KEELY, and William TUCKER are the trustees, the latter being the only one who has not served since its organization. There are two thousand shares; sixteen hundred in force are taken. The amount loaned is ninety thousand dollars in cash. There are now nearly three hundred members. Both these building associations were chartered by the State.
In the year 1827 the Erodelphian and Union Literary Societies of the Miami University purchased a printing-press, and in June commenced the publication of a journal entitled the Literary Focus. It was edited by and under the superintendence of a joint committee of young men belonging to each of the societies. It was published monthly, in octavo form, of sixteen pages in each number. At the expiration of the first year, the form and title of the paper was changed, and it was published weekly, in quarto form, of eight pages, and called the Literary Register. The editorial department was under the superintendence of the faculty of the college. At the expiration of the year, the publication was discontinued for want of sufficient patronage, as well as a want of leisure on the part of the faculty to attend to the publication. The last number issued bears date of June 27, 1829. The press remained in Oxford in 1838, and was used for job printing. A book- bindery was also attached to the office.
In 1854 a paper was placed before the public by the name of the Oxford Citizen. Charles BINGHAM, a young man, was the projector of this enterprise. The paper continued with some degree of prosperity, and was finally sold to RIchard BUTLER, who edited the paper for ten or twelve years. He is now in Clinton, IL, as postmaster, and editor and proprietor of the Clinton Public. Mr. BUTLER was very successful with his paper.
After various changes in management, the HILL brothers-Charles, who was eighteen, and Hewitt, who was sixteen-became proprietors in 1877. These two young men at once began to build up the paper. They have since established a paper at Liberty, known as the Union County Democrat, which has a circulation of nearly one thousand subscribers. The Citizen is an independent journal, and is popular with the people.
In 1869 Thomas MCCULLOUGH and J. S. SMILEY began the Citizens' Bank of Oxford as a private institution. These men continued until March, 1872, when Mr. SMILEY bought out Mr. MCCULLOUGH's interest, continuing in the business himself until 1878, when he died. The heirs of the SMILEY estate are now the propietors, with W. L. LANE as president. Mr. Jewett E. RICKER, the present efficient cashier, has been connected with the institution ever since it first opened its doors to the business public.
Murphy & Fry began the Oxford Bank in 1870-- also a private depository. These persons continued for a few months, when Mr. J. J. FRY, one of the original owners, bought Mr. MURPHY's interest, in which business he continued alone for one year. The firm then became known as Fry & Munns, who will have been partners eleven years in December, 1882. The capital stock invested was $20,000; business for each year amounts to $80,000. This firm own the first and second story of the Bank Block.
Many of the younger as well as the older citizens of Oxford will remember the carding-mill which stood in the south half of the town. This fulling-mill, for it was such, was built by Alanson ROOTS, who was from New England, in 1840, or about that date. His sons, who were in partnership with their father, established a similar concern at Connersville at the same time. The Oxford carding and fulling mill was a frame building, two stories high, and forty by sixty feet. At the death of Mr. ROOTS, in 1851, the enterprise was abandoned, and from that time to 1877 was used for various purposes. At the latter date the building took fire and was destroyed.
Twenty years after Oxford was laid out the village was incorporated. The incorporation papers are dated February 23, 1830. Isaiah LEIGH was the first president. Russell HASELTINE was the clerk and recorder for the same year. On the 12th of March, 1832, the election for borough officers was hold, which resulted as follows: Edward FOSTER, president; Peter SUTTON, recorder; James P. HUGHES, Joseph WOODRUFF, and John MCGONIGLE, trustees. On the 19th of the same month the town council met and appointed these officers for the ensuing year: Treasurer, Isaiah LEIGH; marshal, Warren W. WETHERBY; market-master, S. S. GLEASON; assessor, Russell HASELTINE. The old market-house stood on the public square. It was a frame building two stories high, about thirty-two by fifty feet, and AHD a hall above where the mayor's court was held for many years, meat stalls below or on the ground- floor, which were rented, and other fixtures, such as lamps, peanut stands, and so on. The present town hall is a handsome brick building, combined with the fire-engine rooms, mayor's office, and other conveniences. The necessity for a market-house passed away with the old frame.
Among the curious relics of ancient Oxford, we find an ordinance concerning marble playing:
"Section 1. Be it enacted by the town council of the town of Oxford, that from and after the 4th day of July next, any person or persons of three years old or upwards, found playing at marbles on any street, alley, sidewalk, or public ground within the bounds of the lots of the town, shall forfeit and pay the sum of twenty-five cents for the first offense; fifty cents for the second, and one dollar for each subsequent offense; to be collected on the complaint made to the president or any of the citizens thereof, and by him paid over to the treasurer for the use of the corporation.
"Peter SUTTON, Recorder.
"Edward FOSTER, President. "Oxford, O., August 30, 1833."
Mr. FOSTER filled the office of president from 1832 to 1842. Reuben E. HILLS was recorder in 1837; Watkin WILLIAMS from 1839 to 1842. From 1842 to 1844 William H. SMITH was president. From 1842 to 1844 C. W. H. CRAWFORD was town recorder. Philip D. MATSON was president in 1845; S. R. MOLLYNEAUX, in 1847; Peter SUTTON, form 1849 to 1855, six terms. From 1845 to 1852 James CRAWFORD was recorder. Hiram OSBORN served as recorder from 1853 to 1855. The town officers for the year 1855 were Peter SUTTON, mayor; Hiram OSBORN, recorder; P. D. MATSON, treasurer; S. M. SKINNER, marshal; David OLIVER, G. W. KEELY, J. M. STERN, Thomas MCCULLOUGH, trustees. From 1856 to 1859, H. A. SMITH filled the office as recorder. On the 4th of April, 1859, the election was held. The result was Peter SUTTON, mayor; C. A. BURGOYNE, recorder; P. D. MATSON, treasurer; S. M. SKINNER, marshal; W. HIGGINS, P. D. MATSON, and E. A. SMITH, fire wardens; Benjamin WRIGHT, J. M. STERN, P. H. CONE, G. W. KEELY, and James E. NEWTON, trustees. For 1861 H. B. MAYO was president or mayor, and C. A. BURGOYNE, clerk. James CRAWFORD was mayor in 1867, and A. H. WEBB, clerk. CRAWFORD was also mayor in 1868. The present mayor is B. B. DAVIS, who has held the office continuously since 1869, with the exception of a few months. Samuel RICHEY was elected recorder in 1868, and served four years. James KENNEDY has held the office continuously for ten years-since 1872.
Oxford seems to have early considered the question of having a fire company. The first mention we find in the records of such an organization is under date of December 7, 1833, when the office of fire warden was created, with power to examine all chimneys, and in other ways prevent the spreading of fire. This resulted in the first meeting, on the 19th of the above month, at the house of L. WELLER, and on the 20th a hook and ladder company was formed. Officers were also elected, and the time fixed that their offices should last.