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Forest Clay Works


Gottlieb Ash was born in Berne, Switzerland, January 8, 1848. He came to Forest in 1868 and in 1872 engaged in the manufacture of brick and tile. The building of the tile factory was a very large structure. It large enough that its size was noted in the Forest News in 1878.He was succeeded in this business by his brother Peter S. when the Ash Brothers partnership was dissolved by mutual consent. He then engaged in the spoke and handle business at West Manfield and Farmland, Indiana. He was in Indiana 12 years. He married Louisa Schoenberger. He later bought the Forest Flouring Mill interest of Henry Merchantell & Douglas, the firm name being changed to Douglas & Ash. When Douglas died in 1900 Ash bought his interests and from that time the firm's name was G. Ash & Son. In 1904 he was in the process of selling his 40 acre farm northwest of Forest. It was just outside the corporation limits, but inside the Union school district. Gotleib died in January, 1916. At the time he had been living in Ada for 10 years. He was buried in Ada cemetery.

Around 1859 when Forest was first laid out the following had businesses in Forest:

  • Stockton & Cook (general store)
  • W.R.H. Sullinger (drug store)
  • A.B. Shafer (grain house)
  • V.A. Snow (merchant tailor)
  • Robert C. Wiley (postmaster)
  • T.S. Williams (hardware & lumber)
  • R.S. Wilson (agricultural implements)
  • Wise Bros. (meat market)
  • G.F. Nye (groceries)
  • S.D. Noel (stoves & tinware)
  • George Stevens (Shultz House)
  • S. Calvin (Scott House)
  • Mabbey & Son (boots & shoes)
  • A. Home (furniture & undertaking)
  • Andy Bechtel (harness & saddlery)
  • Mrs. M.A. Campbell (millinery)
  • Mattie Cellar (millinery)
  • W. Crooks (livery stable)
  • John Curtain (grocery & saloon)
  • L. Harmas (baker)
  • A.J. Hagerman (carpenter)
  • C.W. Wykoff (groceries)
  • Grange Supply House

The first newspaper published in Forest was the Forest News, published on August 6, 1875. J.J. Wilkins was the editor and publisher. The mayor was S. Fasic, the recorder, W.J. Rummell, the treasurer, John Heffernan, and the marshal, John Monk. The leading business men at the time were L. Merriman & Co., R.S. Wilson & Son, R.C. Wiley, W. McKean, C.W. Wikoff, J.S. hales, Wilkins & Stockton, Thomas Williams, J.T. Mabbey & Alex Hanna, S.D. Noel, Stockton & Cook, and Alex Shoemaker.

Some advertisers in the Forest News in 1876 were:

  • Stockton & Cook, dry goods
  • T.S. Williams, hardware
  • C.W. Wycoff, groceries
  • W.m. Dixon, groceries
  • Wilkins & Stockton, real estate
  • J.L. Shields, livery stable
  • W.R.H. Sulliger, grugs
  • Mrs. M. Campbell, millinery
  • B.F. Wagstaff & Son, wagons, carriages & farm implements
  • R.C. Wiley, insurance
  • W. McKean, furniture and undertaker
  • Alex Shoemaker, building lumber
  • BenjaminW. McCloskey, harness maker
  • W.T. Gemmill, medical doctor
  • J.M. Food, medical doctor
    City Officials
  • S. Fasig, mayor
  • W.L. Rummell, recorder
  • W.L. Rummell, recorder
  • John Heffernan, treasure
  • J. Monk, marshal

Benjamin McCloskey was in the harness business in the 1870s and sold harnesses to the Briggs and Higgins families, and to Thomas Hueston. He was good friends with I.N. Wright and S. Ropp and was a 20-year subscriber to the Forest Review by 1907. At the time he was living in Labelle, Missouri.


DEAR SIR:—We arrived here O.K. and are all well. We are in the oil field, about six miles from the city of Bakersfield. This is a great field—more than a thousand derricks, and all of them seem to be pumping oil, and everybody es at work. Dr. Rogers has ajob and has gone to work.

This is just one high sand hill after another, just up and down all the time. Nothing growing now only on irrigated ground. No rain now, nor will there be fore two months yet. The hot season is about over and the nights are just fine. We are anxious to hear from Forest. Please hurry the ADVERTISER and obligue,

Very respectfully,

In March, 1892 there was a business men's certificate to the Council with regard to electing T.S. Williams night watch instead of G. Hune. The matter was then tabled for a month.

J.S. Snow established a Bakery & Eating room in August, 1877 where by he was able to dish up ice cream by August 16th. Around the same time Sam Battenfield, known as "Uncle Sam," was a salesman for Stockton & Cook. Sam later moved to Henry county. The previous week Dr. Gemmill was leaving the residence of Henry Webb in the company of his wife when a spindle on one of his wheels broke, scaring the horse, and ejecting them from their buggy. And that same week, Levi Young's hand was caught in a wheel cog crushing it.

There was once a Rev. W.M. Cramer living in Forest. The people of Forest were happy when a grist mill in Patterson was purchased by Messrs. Calvin, Bell, and Purdy in December, 1877. It was moved to Forest in early 1878.

W.R.H. Sulliger was a druggist and pharmist at No. 2, Odd Fellows Block. One story about Sulliger began when when Harry Gridley, a young man about 20 from Patterson, presented a dollar bill to the agent at Patterson for a ticket to Forest. Not able to pay for a ticket costing over a dollar, he promised the agent to pay the extra change the next day and went to Forest. When there he looked up the druggist, W.R.H. Sulliger. He asked for 25¢ worth of quinine, but got morphine instead. Sulliger proposed a trade, but Gridley refused and left. The following morning Gridley was found dead in his bed, the death caused by the morphine. Twice previous Gridley had tried to end his life, once with strychnine and another with a knife. Another story is that Sulliger purchased old relics and was particularly interested in the weapons used by Col. Crawford.

P.R. Moore had a Wagon & Carrriage Shop in Forest in 1878. It was located on the corner of Lima and Martin streets. There were four rooms; the first a blacksmith, the second a woodwork shop run by W.H. Harman, the third on the second floor front was a sample room, and fourth on the second floor rear was a paint shop.

In 1880-81, D.O. Young was the manager of the Scott House, a local hotel. In May, 1881 he moved to the Pierson House in Upper Sandusky. Edward Gilson (b. Apr 1858, WI) and his wife, Cora H. Gilson (b. Nov 1862, OH), also cared for an orphan, Charles Taylor (b. Apr 1881, OH)." Edward D. Gilson, a shoe merchant operated in the Dixon Block. He had been in the flour and feed trade at one time. He exchanged with Mr. Gilbert for the business known as the St. Louis Bargain House which sold boots & shoes.

Stockton & Cook operated a store in the village but the type of merchandise sold in the store has not been determined. Henry Merchantell attended a Grain Dealers Convention of Allen Co. during the week of August 18, 1883. At the time Mr. Merchantell was serving on the Rules committee. Henry was married to Sabina Merchantell who may have been previously married as she was listed as his step-daughter on the 1900 census. Her name was, Francis Elberson and she was born in Ohio in March, 1859. Sabina was born in Germany in June, 1834. Henry was also born in Germany but his birthdate is unknown. He was listed on the 1900 census as a miller.

The Pennsylvania RR was put through Forest in 1885. Railroad engineers saw there would be a town and bought some farms.

The Reverand Joseph D. Simms was the Methodist preacher for Forest in 1887. In 1886 he authored, Soul-Saving or Life and Labors of Henry M. Wills, Evangelist and Missionary, Emb... It was received at the Library of Congress in Washington at the time he was preaching in Forest. Earlier he was pastor of Hicksville's M.E. church in Defiance county. He officiated at the wedding of Charles R. Shepherd (Springfield, OH) and Carrie Timmons (Patterson, OH) in Patterson on Wednesday November 16, 1887. Shepherd was an advertising solicitor for the Daily Repuplic in Springfield at the time.

Big 4

Some parties from Marseilles opened a restaurant in the Fisher building in 1890.

Clark Green and his crew are seen in photograph Clark Green going west on Main street of Forest on their way to the sawmill. The photograph is c1890.

Clark Green

In October, 1890 forty-two tubes were taken out, cleaned, and replaced in the large boilers of the Forest City Flouring Mills. The repairs were made by C.H. Smith of the Smith & Company Iron Works in Kenton.

Harry Brookshire's father was employed in the C.A. Mettler Blacksmith Shop on the corner of W. Zimmerman street and Mad River avenue. The date is unknown.

Samuel Lehman was a butcher living in or near Vanlue, Ohio in 1890. He came regularly to Forest to sell and take orders. Born at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on August 29, 1832 he married Lydia Ann Dupler on January 29, 1856. Originally from Bainbridge, Canoy Twp., Pennsylvania Samuel had begun life as a farmer. The family were Pennsylvania Dutch who spoke high German, but by 1880 they were in Vanlue, Ohio where Samuel worked as a butcher. He died September 17, 1900 and was buried in Grove cemetery, Cary, Ohio.

Dr. W.J. Crampton, a dentist, maintained his office over the Pifer Bros store.

One of the gray ponies, of Lehman, the butcher, broke its leg.

The Moore & Co. of Forest sold Sunbeam washing machines. The washing machines were famous. Very little labor was required to do large loads giving the impression that it was the best machine on the market and it would make clothes white while making them clean. The claim was, using a Sunbeam "saved the user time and money" and getting a machine wouldn't be a problem as the Sunbeam was locally manufactured by the Moore & Co.

Caughey, McClurg & Co.

The Caughey, McClurg & Co. sold jewelry in Forest until 1890 when they left town for a short period. They had traded their retail stock of jewelry for a house and lot at Van Wert.

The Solver Bros. sold Davis Sewing Machines, organs, grinders, reapers and mowers, engines, etc. out of the Fitch building.

The following also occurred in 1890:

  • D.A. Conover had a new dwelling nearing completion
  • The Kenton Democrat was filled full of rosters in June
  • The Forest City Mills corn sheller worked nicely and there was no charge for shelling corn. They would exchange a bushel of meal for a bushel of corn in the ear.
  • Sundy school was organized at Mt. Olivet church
  • Some day there would be men in Forest who would read the Bible and tell the truth.
  • The Ohio Legislature passed a bill making 12 hours a working day for all railroad employees and prohibiting their being compelled to work more than 12 hours in twenty-four, with eight hours rest between each days service with a $150 fine imposed for each and every offense.

Feb. 9th, 1891

Mr. H. Merchantell, please pay to John Miller the sum of five dollars, $5. He got word his father was sick, and I had no money by me, so you pay him and I will call an dsettle tomorrow, and oblige.


On Monday, February 8, 1891 a young man went to the Flouring Mill and presented an "Order" from John Lafferty. The man presented that he had been working for Mr. Lafferty for two or three weeks, and receiving word that his father living at Upper Sandusky was sick, Lafferty had given him the order in payment of what was due him. Merchantell knowing Laffety well, and thinking it would be an accommodation to cash the order, paid Miller the five dollars, after requesting the man to endorse the order, which he did in a poor and cramped style of writing. About an hour later Merchantel learned from Lafferty that he had never seen the man and that the order was a forgery. A search was made, but he was gone.

Eggs for Sale

The following were also operating in Forest in 1891: Forest Flouring Mill, Dupree & Bowman, Pifer Bros., Campbell & Wikoff, S.M. Lehman (butcher), C.R. Warwick, C.E. Phillips, D.R. Wise, Morris Meyer, J.W. Young (hardware merchant), T.M. Young (hardware merchant), W. McKean, Dull & Chase grocery, W.F. Pierce, Z.T. Gilbert, J.F. Nye, D.L. Rummell, R. Price, F. Lansdown, J. Crampton, M.E. Cellar, H.F. Schott, W.H. Stoddard, M.W. Gage, C.A. Mettler, J.L. McKean, Peter J. Spracklen, Hugh B. Caughey, Samuel W. Waltermire (merchant), Edward T. Sipes, W.P. Mapletoft (hardware merchant), B.J. Woodard, D.L. Harmon, J.C. Garver, Rhodes-Dickelman, H. Muchelnous, George W. Nelson, Mabbey Bros. S.H. Reilly, Dick Young, John C. Young, Joe Pearson, Eva Dyer, Floyd F. Swimley, and Denice Asire.

Floyd F. Swimley or William A. Swimley, or both, may have operated a drug store in 1891. They were listed as physicians on the 1900 U.S. census. Wilson McKean operated a furniture store and was an undertaker. His wife was A. Mary McKean and his daughter, Bertie M. McKean.

Dull & Chase operated a grocery store. Hawk operated a poultry business. S.H. Wess sold eggs. Mrs. C.A. Mettler sold baby products. Frank Lansdown (b. Nov 1865, OH) was the town barber. His wife was Florna L. Lansdown and his children were; Max F., Fred H., and Forrest C.

J.L. McKean was a tailor who sold clothes. Morris Meyer, T.M. Young , and Dr. __ Crampton helped to organize a base ball club named the Winners. Dr. Crampton had earlier played in the Canadian League. The Dupee & Bowman company operated a hardware store. Stoddard ran a feed store.

B.F. Paul, The Jeweler
A.N. Mick

B.F. Paul was a jeweler. A.N. Mick ran a grocery and advertised for farmers' products.

Tinware, Stoves, Pumps
W.P. Mapletoft
C.R. Warwick

The Rhodes, Dickelman & Co. operated a manfacturing plant. Ed Detray worked for them. H. Merchantell was the proprietor of the Forest City Mills. Their product was feed, corn meal and flour. W.F. Pierce & Son operated a grocery. D.L. Harmon operated a restaurant by the Big Four railroad. When he had some trouble with burglary he worked with the marshal, B.F. McGinnis, to set a trap which led to a hearing with Mayor B.F. Paul and a stay in the Kenton jail for Elmer Thrush. Mr. C.R. Warwick, the merchant tailor, operated in the Hale & Burkey block. He would make pants for $3.50 and $4.00. He claimed to be the best pants maker in the county. The Scott House was the local hotel. It was located on the northeast corner of the crossing of the Mad River & Big Four railroads. It is believed that the crossing was the first of its kind in America. This has yet to be proven.

Calvin & Bell were buying and shipping large numbers of sheep to eastern markets in June, 1892. During election day, 1892, business was generally suspended, but the Hardin County Bank paid out for a car load of hogs in the afternoon for Calvin & Bell.

Our Forest City Flouring Mill is turning out some of the best flour it has since its location here. this week more new reparis are being put in. large quantities of flour is shipped to this market that rightfully belongs to our home trade, and people who used to wish for a mill to locate here now turn their trade in other directions. Is this right?

J.C. Douglas bought an interest in the Merchantell & Douglas Flouring Mill in 1892. It operated until 1903 when G. Ash bought out Merchantell, the name changing to Douglas & Ash.

Henry Rothrock was the agent of the Adams Express Co. in 1891. By 1900 he was working in hardware. His wife was Ella L. Rothrock and his children; Elta G. Rothrock, Fern S. Rothrock, Florence E. Rothrock, Clifford Rothrock, Harry A. Rothrock, and Bertha M. Rothrock.

The new six-roller corn meal and fee mill, recently added to the Forest City Flouring Mills, has now been running for over a week and gives the best of satisfaction. Everybody wanting meal or chop feed can now be accommodated with the best than can be made.


Forest Flouring Mills

Merchantell & Douglas

Have the pure Buckwheat Flour, and the best granulated Meat, made from new corn, and reocmmends itself when used once. Our Flour is gueaanteed the best in the market. It has all the good qualities combined, and quality also. Give the new firm a trial.

In June, 1892 W.P. Bowman and Ed. Gilson put up new awnings on the fronts of their respective stores in Forest. A.N. Mick's grocery was paying 14 cents a dozen for eggs. He was located on the north side of West Lima street. During that year, C.A. Mettler, was selling buggy, surrey, and road wagons. Wagon smithing and blacksmithing at the time was almost identical with the methods used in the trade 300 years earlier.

The Forest City Mills' corn-sheller is working nicely. No charge for a bushel of meal for a bushel of corn in the ear.

Born in Ohio in December, 1854, Lester H. Caughey, a druggist from Deshler, Henry county, Ohio purchased a jewelry merchandise firm from the Caughey, McClurg & Co. of Forest. He later expanded the stock to include furniture. In 1909 an advertisement indicates a goodly stock of furniture and household items. Lester was married to Miss Ruelma Dull, in 1878. Ruelma was born in October of 1854 in Ohio and had a brother named, Alvin G. Dull, who was a saw mill engineer. A sister, L. Dull, was a teacher in Henry county. Lester and Ruelma had a daughter, E. Vere Caughey, who was born in April, 1892.

The Forest City Mills had a "free use" corn sheller.

E.N. Howe

Edwin N. Howe operated a photography business. And he seemed to have a wit. Here is one advertisement he used in December. On the left is the ad as it originally ran and one the right turned 180' so it can be read. E.N. Howe had two U.S. Patents in his name for 1890

  • No. 427,766: "Means for Printing Backgrounds", May 13, 1890
  • No. 439,512: "Background for Photographs" October 28, 1890.

The invention for photographs ". . . relates to certain new and useful imporvements pertaining to photography; and it has for its object the production of an imporved photographic printing film for printing the backgrounds, the novelty residing in the peculiarities of construction and the combinations, arrangements and adaption of parts, all as more fully herinafter described, shown in the drawings, and then particularly pointed out in the appended claims. The other patent to which quot;invention relates to certain new and useful improvements pertaining to photography; and it has for its object to provide a changeable background for employment in taking photographs. The novelty resides in the peculiar construction or formation of a band, which is preferabley mounted upon rollers in a frame and so arranged as to be readily changed to alter the character of the background to conform to the wishes of the party whose picture is to be taken."

December, 1892 found a new business in Forest; Hempy & Curl. O.E. Hempy went into the restaurant business with Curl who had been associated with the Rhodes, Dickelman & Co. Purdy and Hempy were names representative of the pioneer families in Forest along with Pisel, Ketch, Higgins, Ropp, Naus, Cook, Hueston, Wilson, Zimmerman, DeWitt, Trissler, Briggs, Price, Barlett, Bowers, Craiglow, Carson, and Shoemaker.

In 1893 the following occurred:

  • Conklin & Steinman invited people to get the correct time from their large regulator and to come in a examine their stock of clocks, watches, spectacles, and sivlerware
  • The Pennsylvania Railroad introduced the block system
  • D.R. Wise (grocer) paid 18¢ per dozen for eggs and 6¢ per pound for poultry
  • Burt Jaquith brought from the Columbian Exposition a small dodger, printed on a press, which was 151 years old
  • Morris Meyer announced that he had owned the Hardin County Bank for three years

In March, 1903 Gaster & Calvin shipped a car load of cattle; where to unknown and O.M. Anderson, G.W. Spar, J.A. Hagerman, James W. Marshall, W.A. VanHorn, W.S. Hempy, W.E. Spohn, Frank Ekleberry, and M.E. Hagerman were painters.
Forest Clay Works (1913)

Forest Clay Works operated in Forest in 1903. Fred O'Brien was the superintendent. In July, Moore & Briggs, Detwiler & Calvin, and Gaster & Son shipped several carloads of sheep, cattle, and hogs.

Simpson General Merchandise
Merchantell & Douglas operated in Forest until 1903. In December Etta Calvin was working as a sales lady in C.S. Simpson's General Merchandise store.

The Pontius Quartet of Mansfield performed at the graduation ceremony for Class of 1904. Operated by C.A. Livingston the Big 4 restaurant & lunch room served good meals and had quick service with an abundance of confectionery, cigars and tobacco. But, Livingston was trying to sell at the same time. He claimed over $75 per month and that it would be a bargain for a quick buyer. Mckean & Mick Furniture also operated in Forest in 1904.

The roof over the brick kiln of the Forest Clay Works caught fire on September 15, 1905. Superintendent Fred O'Brien and John Rall were present. The fire was too warm, and the roof, dried out an inflammable, was instantly in a blaze. Both men work to extinguish the fire only after a 16-foot square had been consumed.

The following people did work for Forest in 1905. They were:

  • Josiah Chestnut, lighting street lamps
  • Peter Jacobs, work on the street
  • D.F. Conover, draying
  • Mapletoft & Ernest hardware
  • Earl Eklebery, crowbar
  • W.E. White, hauling fire engine
  • John Beaver, hauling fire engine
  • Forest Gas & Oil Co., street lamps
  • Milo Robinett, hauling dirt
  • Leva Young, work on the streets
  • R. Flowers, work on the streets
  • Crum Bros, meals for prisoners

At the same time completed concrete work on the floor of the engine house was accepted and paid. Also the People's Telephone Co. granted the village use of telephone company poles and the telephone exchange for a new fire alarm system free of charge. After that the operator would sound the alarm for fires, giving the district where the fire was occurring.

McKean & Mick were in the undertaking business in Forest in 1906. Mick sold his interest in the business to George Hempy in March of that year. Thereafter they were operated as McKean & Hempy. The livery barn of Zimmerman was wired for and lighted by electricty in May, 1906. In October, John Zimmerman bought out half of the Lehman & Zimmerman Meat Market. He remained in the same location, but operating under the name, John Zimmerman.

S.M. Brown was the funeral director located one door east of the Big 4 restaurant in 1907.


Kenton, Ohio.

The Forest Review, Forest Ohio


We wish to announce thru your comumns that we have made arrangement to take possesion of the Forest Creamery the first of May and will begin the market for all cream and milk that we can get. As to prices of same, we guarantee our prices to net you as much as Chicago or any one else in busness. We will pay cash for cream twice per month. Geo. O'Brien will ahve charge of the Forest creamery and we expect to begin operation the 1st of May.

Yours truly,
American Farm Products Co.
Alfred G. Wessling, mgr.
General Offices 25 Broad St., N.Y.,
and Ry. Exchange bldg. Chicago, Ill.

McKean & Hempy Funeral Directors operated in Forest in 1907. They were located in the room over Mann's Music and Furniture Store.

Samuel Ash narrowly escaped an accidental death at the Forest Creamery on July 17, 1907 when he almost drank strong sulphuric acid in a container thinking it was water. Having already had some in his mouth George O'Brien "stayed his hand" keeping him from drinking more of the liquid. The container was clearly labeled and quite dusty, but Ash picked it up and began drinking anyway. His lips and tongue were burned and some had gone down his throat so he was given a quart of cream as an antidote. He later stated that the incident cause him no lasting problems.

The Zimmerman Simpson Livery Barn operated in Forest in 1907. Thomas Brown worked for them.

When A.E. Mann's Furniture Store vacated the McKean room in July, 1908 a new floor was put in place for the Forest Cigar Company was moving into the room. The old location of the Forest Cigar Co. would be used for the new Hygienic Scrap industry. Mayor Vaughn stated that the McKean room would be occupied by August 1 if at all possible. It was said that the leasing of the McKean room to the Forest Cigar Co. was a means of keeping a new grocery out of town.

The Forest Creamery was booming in 1908. Weekly payroll was $230 and community sales were at $6,000 monthly.

In December, 1909 George O'Brien was selling tile out of the Forest Creamery.

In July, 1909 Levi Young moved Thos. McQuown's barn from one location to another. D.H. Dome opened a shoe store with his son on October 9, 1909. It was to be known as Dome & Son.

A large team of mules belonging to Jesse H. Calvin became frightened by a dog near City Hall and bolted. The team was hitched to a heavy wagon driven by David Hinebaugh, who lost control and was thrown to the ground. The mules ran through Robert Shaffer's door yard and jumped over the iron fence at the same time colliding with a tree which stopped them. No damage was done except to the fence. At the end of the year Jess. H. Calvin informed the Forest Review that revenues for 1909 exceeded 1908 by 75%.

Looking West

By January, 1910 George O'Brien had diposed 30 car loads of tile, mostly Hoytsville. In August a new office was constructed on the west end of the "flat iron" next Judge Donovan's office and occupied by Jesse H. Calvin. Calvin's office was then turned over the the Rock Island Butter Co. for their office. In the c1910 photograph of Looking West the following business on the south side of Main (Lima) street were operating:

  • White Mountain Cream Station
  • Pfeiffer Garage
  • H.D. Shields' Drug Store
  • City Market

When Douglas of Merchantel & Douglas died in 1910 G. Ash bought his interests and from that time the firm was G. Ash & Son.

In 1910 the following had businesses in Forest

  • E.D. Fishburn
  • P.D. Lehman (grocery store)
  • M.A. Shoemaker
  • H.F. Shields
  • J.F. Studer
  • A.E. Snider
  • Chick Nye
  • J.H. Zimmerman
  • A.N. Mick
  • R.A. Liles
  • H.D. Shields (drug store)
  • C.S. Simpson
  • W.A. Mapletoft
  • S. Campbell
  • _ Hollenbed
  • J.W. Olm (sp?)
  • Harry Lehman (meat market)
  • Berton _
  • D.H. Dome (shoes)
  • Cartin A. _
John Pfeiffer in a Model-T

George W. Hempy went into the undertaking business with his father-in-law, Wilson McKean, in 1910. McKean died in 1912 and Hempy carried on the business. Joseph W. Shields purchased George W. Hempy's undertaking business in May, 1939 and was then after known as the Shields Funeral Home.

In 1911 the following had businesses in Forest

  • J.S. Campbell (dry goods)
  • Berlien & Berlien (groceries)
  • Allyn & Hempy (hardware)
  • L.H. Caughey (furniture)
  • Crum Bros. (bakery)
  • H.D. Shields (drugs)
  • Arthur Hall (pianos)
  • Geo. Hafer (billiards & barber)
  • C.H. Coble (jeweler & optics)
  • Mick & Edwards (clothing)
  • O.B. Durfee (photography)
  • Harry Lehman (meats)

When the Pfeiffer garage moved into the new Pfeiffer building Allyn & Hempy occupied the garage room with the hardware stock carried by the Calvin building which was across the railroad. When the Calvin building was vacated Jesse H. Calvin moved his hay and straw commission offices into it.

The O'Brien & Liles circus minstael and all 'round show did a big business on Patterson strest [sic] last week. To show that they know the eternal fitness of things they advertise "Admission One Cent, pay in advance."

Ford Model-T

Emmett Glenn Lehman is riding while John Pfeiffer drives in an early Ford Model-T. The reflection in the window indicates that Morgan & Wright had a tire business across the street, Forest, Ohio. c1912. The Pfeiffer Garage was opened after John Pfeiffer purchased the old David Harmon saloon site. Pfeiffer was reported wanting to erect an automobile garage and warehouse at the time.


Calvin Buck operated a blacksmith shop next to City Hall in 1913. He did general blacksmithing; shoeing horses, repairing plows, wagons, and buggies. At the same time the following had businesses in Forest:

  • G Ash & Son (City Flour Mills)
  • A. Almy (Hardware)
  • F.P. Allyn (Shoes
  • clothing and furnishings)
  • H.D. Shields (City Drug Store)
  • J.A. Clinger (Groceries)
  • E.H. Cook (Real Estante and Insurance)
  • J.M. Cline (Groceries)
  • L.H. Caughey (Furniture)
  • Curtin & Monce (Dry Goods and Clothing)
  • J.S. Campbell (Dry Goods)
  • L.D. Crum (Confectionery and Bakery)
  • C.H. Coble (Jewelry and Optical Goods)
  • C.E. Emery (Grain and Coal)
  • E.D. Fishburn (Shoes
  • Clothing and Furnishings)
  • G.W. Fox (Lumber and Coal)
  • Harry Lehman (Meat Market)
  • P.D. Lehman (Grocer)
  • A.N. Mick (Grocer)
  • Wm. Mapletoft (Hardware and Implements)
  • H.C. Nye (Meat Market)
  • Geo. O'Brien (Cream Station)
  • R.S. Palmer (Shoes and Furnishings)
  • H.F. Shields (Druggist)
  • J.F. Steinman (Jeweler)
  • A.E. Snider (Grocer)
  • J.L. Shields (Harness and Saddlery)
  • J.F. Studer (Clothing)
  • L.V. Snider (Confectionery and Lunch)
  • H.F. Schott (Dry Goods)
  • C.S. Simpson (General Merchandise)
  • C.W. Welch (Buggies
  • Harness and Implements)
L.V. Snyder Token


Early car buffs of Forest and the surrounding community showed off their automobiles at the John Pfeiffer Garage in Forest. The garage was an early Ford assembly plant with parts stored on the second floor and with assembly on the ground floor. The "Ford GARAGE" sign in the Pfeiffer Ford Garage photograph replaced the "Garage" sign in the Garage photograph. A later fire which destroyed the second story of the building. Emmett Glenn Lehman can be seen sitting in one of the cars in the Garage photograph.

Pfeiffer Ford Garage

The garage was later a Ford assembly plant according to, Betty (Thompson) Miller, and the upper floor stored parts which were assembled on the lower floor. There was a fire at some period which caused some destruction requiring the upper floor to be removed. Currently it is vacant. The building stands just west of the Forest-Jackson library on the north side of Lima street.

John Pfeiffer Ford Garage, West Lima street, Forest, Ohio, circa early 1915-1925. This housed the Forest Hardware from 2003-2008 and is a single story currently due to an earlier fire. The viewer might notice that an additional single-story is attached to the two-story building.

Price & Hune

William B. Price owned a Ford garage in the early twentieth century. At the time of the Price & Hune advertisement Price was in business with Hune, but more information is unknown. The C.W. Fox & Co. sold out to W.H. Thornhill of Richwood, Ohio in November, 1914. Thornhill took possession the week of November 8, 1914.

On September 27, 1915 J.H.Hendryx wrote on a picture postcard Lima Street, North Side to his wife in Washington C.H. telling her that he was on his way to Sandusky, but that the ticket agent in Springfield had given him the wrong routing. On the front of the postcard it shows the north side of Lima street around 1915.

Lima Street, North Side

The Rock Island Butter Co. was managed by B.F.Briggs. In March, 1915 they had moved to the west room of the Big Four Hotel, two doors east of their previous location.

Peart Repair

Harry W. Peart did expert work in tractor and auto repairing at E.C. Dunham's barn. During World War I he served in the U.S. Army enlisting in Kenton July 20, 1917.

In August, 1919 for Chautauqua Week H.C. Taylor compiled a group of articles about community businesses. The articles consisted of the following:


In 1919 the Forest Review had a write-up about the following businesses:

  • LeRoy Snider's
  • J.S. Campbell
  • I.H. Asire
  • E.D. Fishburn
  • The Gray & White Co.
  • W.E. Beagle & Son
  • Rock Island Butter Co.
  • The City Drug Store
  • J.F. Steinman
  • Ed Albert
  • The Dickelman Mfg. & Lumber Company
  • The O.E. Hempy Estate
  • The Hardin County Bank Co.
  • H.F. Shields' Drug Store
  • W.F. Switzer
  • A.N. Mick
  • John N. Pfeiffer
  • Lehman's Big Brick Grocery Store
  • J.M. Cline
  • Ash & Poling
  • The First National Bank
  • Earl Stevenson
  • Simpson's Variety Store
  • Bert E. Moore

L.D. Crum sold his lunch room and ice cream palor to Chester "Chet" Cook in June, 1920. Crum had operated the restaurant for 21 years. Cook was from Mt. Blanchard and the son of Mayor James W. Cook of Forest.

C.S. Simpson and Ed Fishburn had their respective store fronts painted in August, 1923. Ira Gonwer bought the J.H. Calvin building, located between the old hotel and Basinger's Studio and painted and fitted it for a pool and lunch room.

Levi Young was a night watchman for Forest. He discontinued his job in August, 1925. Forest had the following businesses at that time:

  • Farmer' Co-Operative (Grain and Seed)
  • Troemmler's Grocery
  • First National Bank
  • Forest Flour Mill (Flour and Feed)
  • Hardin County Bank
  • The O.E. Hempy Estate (Big Implement House)
  • Burk & Fox (Sanitary Plumbers)
  • Peart & McDaniel (Automobile & Tractor Repairing)
  • Fishburn's Store (Clothes and Shoes)
  • Lehman's Quality Store (Corner Grocery)
  • Wm. Ingledue (Clothier and Shoe Merchant)
  • J.A. Ropp (White Line Dairy)

In February 1927, Mrs. Barrick wrote to Mrs. E. Williams in Tiffin. On the front of the postcard Main Street, Looking East are the buildings on the south side of Lima street starting with the City Market at the right.


James Harris moved his hay office into the room formerly occupied by Jess Calvin. It was in the building occupied by John Farmer. In late August, 1929 a row of building on the north side of Lima street east of the Big Four were removed by W.B. Price to make room for a new Standard Oil Station operated by U.C. Felty.

A new restaurant open in Forest in 1929; Southward's Lunch Room. It was operated by Mrs. A.E. Southward who had previously conducted a restaurant in Wharton.

Among the advertisers who advertised in the July 10, 1930 issue of the Forest Review were:

  • R.S. Wilson & Son, agricultural implements
  • C.W. Wikoff, grocer
  • L. Merriman & Co., general store
  • J.S. hales, drugs
  • Stockton & Cook, general store
  • R.C. Wiley, insurance
  • W. McKean, furniture and undertaking
  • Thos. Williams, hardware
  • J.T. Mabbey, boots & shoes
  • S.D. Noel, sheet metal, stoves, etc.

On September 1, 1931 the coal yards on Lima street and west of the Big Four was turned over to the Wilson & Turner Coal Co. United Grain and Coal Company were the previous owners. In October Levi Young acted as Marshal and Street Commissioner during the absence of Marshal Gemmill's leave. And in November he was elected to the position of Constable, beating out Joe Rudolph.


Hardin County Health Commissioner Continues Effort To Check Disease.
Special to the Star

KENTON, O., Aug 28' Health Commissioner, J.H. Holcomb of Hepburn today closed a bathing pool in Gormley park at Forest after receiving a report from the state department of health that an analysis of the water in the pool had disclosed it to be "unsatisfactory" for bathing. The water contained typhoid fever germs, Dr. Holcomb was quated as saying.
. . .
Lincoln Lodge Jaquith, 18, of Forest, the other victim, had bathed in the pool in Gormley park, Dr. Holcomb said.

Four Typhoid fever cases have been reported from Forest.

KENTON, Aug. 29. Hardin county health authorities closed the Gormley park swimming pool at Forest, near here, in an effort to prevent a threatened typhoid fever epidemic which has caused two deaths. four cases of typhoid have been reported in Forest and four in Kenton.

The Big Four railroad built a new street along their right-of-way in late November, 1933 connecting Main and Washington streets.

In June, 1936 Harry Peart opened up the Forest Super Service Station opposite the K. of P. Building. It was formerly run by Peart at the Davidson welding works. The business was then to be conducted by "Cappy" Musgrave in connection with his garage and used car sales room run by Chas. Wells. One year later a new ice plant was opened on the grounds of Harry Peart's garage when the Crystal Ice & Fuel Co., of Kenton, moved a building near his place. Before the end of the month the ice house had been repainted. In September, Harry sold the service station to I.T. Rowlands and Cloyd Lawrence. They then ran an acticle inviting the people of Forest to give them a "trial of doctoring their cripplecd automobiles and administering to their needs." Harry then went to work with Jess Davidson at the old Ford garage. In March, 1938 Robert Stephan bought Harry Peart's residence on W. Zimmerman street and Harry bought Jeff Davidson's building on W. Lima street which had held Davidson's welding ship and Harry's garage.

In April, 1937 a new restaurant opened up in Forest in the K. of P. building. Called the "Stop Inn," it was run by Harry phillips and W.J. Schnaudt of Kenton. The new restaurant, with its clean appearance, probably caused the redecoration of Crum's restaurant. The Forest City Roller Mills became the property of Poling Bros, in August. S.H. & W.O. Poling were established in Forest in 1873. In 1875 Henry Merchantell became the owner and in 1881 needed to add on and make alterations.

Hempy Garage?

Did the Hempy Garage sell Sampson Tractors? The tractors can be seen in the undated photograph of the Hempy Garage?


COLUMBUS, O., Dec. 17 (UP) The State Supreme court today denied review of a judgment [sic] of the Third District Appeals court against Ray O. Hempy in favor of the McCaskey Register Co. The court of appeals had reversed a Hardin-co common pleas court decision in favor of Hempy in a transaction involving exchange of business machinery, and granted a judgement of $136 to the register company.

In 1937 Ray O. Hempy sold, Fence ... Harness ... Wall Paper ... Radios and Supplies ... Farm Equipment ... Electric ... and Gas Refrigerators ... Stoves ... Ranges ... Floor Covering ... Welding and McCormick Deering Farm Equipment , and had been in business since 1912. And Leo T. Jones, owner & manager, of the Star Theatre in Forest, constructed a New Star Theatre in Upper Sandusky at a cost of $65,000, giving Wyandot County a New, Modern, Cooled and Air Conditioned Theatre which opened on March 6, 1937. Ray O. Hempy made a Real Estate transfer from Inland Rubber Corp. in 1959 for lot 9967 and part lot 9968.

Hunt Sharing

When Levi Young died in December, 1938 he was the Superintendent of the village water works. After his death he still made news in Forest when his house burned in April, 1939. It was the 100th fire since the organization of the fire company at that time. And in 1940 his widow, Clare A. Young, filed for the state workmen's compensation fund against the Industrial Commission of Ohio charging that Levi died as a result of a fall from a barrel while in the employ of the Forest water works department suffering a broken rib and internal injuries which directly caused his death.


Dr. H.D. Campbell, a veterinarian, moved into the old Harry Peart house on W. Zimmerman from the Meyer block. The home was then currently owned by Robert Stephan who had purchased in in 1938 from Harry. Dr. Campbell then published an article telling Forests residents how he could be contacted. Harry Peart was caught driving while intoxicated in early 1940. He was fined $50 (half remitted) and had his driving privileges revoked for three months.

Late that year Harry sold his business. His garage equipment, accessories, tools, show cases, and other articles were put up for auction on December 14th.

Hamilton Motor Sales operated at the west end of Lima street, west of the New York Central railroad, in Forest in 1940. Though the war in europe had begun Chevrolet sold over a million cars that year.

Harry Peart and his wife held a September, 1943 wedding dinner for Mr. & Mrs. Robert E. Inman who had been married earlier that month at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD. In March, 1945 Pvt. Robert "Bob" Inman was killed in action in Germany.

The Home restaurant was located in Forest and changed hands to Harkless Crase of Marion in January, 1947. The new owners expected the restaurant to be operated by professional bakers and to be known as Hark's restaurant; open seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Chat & Chew restaurant was located on E. Lima street. It changed ownership in August, 1950. Fred Hagerman purchased the eating place from Jury & Kear who had conducted the restaurant for some previous years. Mrs. Hagerman had been employed in the restaurant before the sale.

United Aircraft Map of Forest

United Aircraft produced a map of Forest in 1950. Listed on the map were

  • Mary's Place restaurant & bar
  • SaveMor Super Mkt.
  • The Village Inn
  • Wright Motor Service
  • Forest Plumbing & Heating
  • Shield's funeral home
  • Hamel insurance agency
  • Don's Sohio
  • Forest Farm Service
  • Simpson insurance agency
  • The Lois Shoppe
  • Thompson Music Service, Inc.
  • Forest Implement Store
  • The First National bank
  • Forest Lumber Co.
  • Forest Grain & Supply Co.
Chat & Chew

The Chat & Chew, located in west room of the Odd Fellows building, was sold to William H. & Marciel Cavinee in February, 1952. Mrs. Cavinee, the former Marciel Hayes, was to manage the restaurant.

Forest Farm Store

Violet Eatherton worked for the Forest Farm Service in 1954. Ralph Tracey was manager of the farm store since its purchase by Howard Walton from Robert Spencer. Robert Kin took his place as manager in January, 1955. Tracey stayed as Shop Superintendent.

In 1958 the Forest Farm Store enlarged its service department by annexing the Mapletoft room of the Hempy building on E. Lima street. New openings were made between the two buildings, a new heating and lighting systems were installed, and work benches and equipment were relocated alton the east wall of the new addition.