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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Industries In Lebanon Eighty Four Years Ago, Some of Which No Longer Exist in the Town

Dallas Bogan on 28 September 2004
The following is taken from Dallas Bogan's book, "The Pioneer Writings of Josiah Morrow."
Return to Index to see a list of other articles by Dallas Bogan

When Lebanon Was Only Half as Large as Now and was Without a Railroad or Turnpike, It Had Important Manufacturing Establishments--Woolen Factories,
Iron Foundries and Plow Making.

April 6, 1916

Many readers will be surprised at the number of industries in Lebanon carried on in 1832 which no longer exist in our town. This will appear all the more surprising when it is stated that Lebanon was at that time a little village of about 1200 inhabitants, and without a railroad, a turnpike or a canal.
Two Woolen Factories--William Russell announced as in full operation the "Lebanon Steam Woolen Factory" where all kinds of woolen goods commonly made in this country will be made on easy terms by the yard or shares. On September 13, 1832, he announces that he has commenced fulling and was prepared to do work in that line in the best manner and on short notice.
Wood & Boyd, of the "Lebanon Woolen Factory"--a name differing from the other only in the omission of the word steam--announce that they have at great expense procured machinery of the most approved construction for the manufacture of double-width cloths of the finest texture, and both wide and narrow cloths, satinets, cassinets, jeans, flannels, wide and narrow blankets, etc., either on the shares or for cash. Wool carding and fulling would also be done, and the finest merino wool would be carded.
In 1839 there were still two woolen factories in Lebanon which employed thirty hands.
Iron Foundry--In January, 1833, William Alloways announces that he has extablisht in Lebanon, one square above the new court house, an iron foundry where he could furnish castings of any pattern.
Plow Making--Samuel Paxton announces he continues the plow making business at the old stand of Obediah Hackney on Mechanic street, north of the Market House. He would also make edge tools on short notice.
In 1839 there were three plowmaking shops and one iron foundry in Lebanon.
Chair Making--Richard Bornen's factory was opposite Wood & Boyd's woolen factory, and he kept on hand an assortment of chairs. George Cretors carried on chair making at the same time. In 1839 there were still two chair-making shops.
Cabinet Making--E.A. Wiles & Co., carried on this business on Main street in the shop formerly occupied by Wm. M. Wiles. They also made and painted sign boards. There were three cabinet-making shops in 1839 employing 15 hands.
Bookbinding--James Hopkins carried on this business on Broadway, a few doors north of Mr. Share's hotel (now the Ownly) and would faithfully attend to books sent from a distance to be bound and orders for blank books. In 1833, Hopkins gave notice that a good blank-book binder would find constant employment in Lebanon and that a boy was wanted to serve as an apprentice at book-binding.
At Hopkins book-store in 1833, a list of books for sale, filling nearly a column, does not name a single work of fiction. For schools, he had common school books, slates, pencils, quills, writing paper, black sand, sealing wax, wafer stamps, ink-stands, steel pens, etc. This (July 19, 1833) is an early mention of steel pens which did not come into general use until many years later. "Cyphering copy books" also appear in one of his advertisements. These were books for copying with pen and ink arithmetical problems and their solution as learned by pupils.
Coach--William Sellers announces that a coach will on April 1, 1833, commence running between Lebanon and Cincinnati, leaving Lebanon at 8 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and arriving at Cincinnati on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 9 a.m.; Fare, $1.25. The coach would stop at Graham's Hotel, Sharonville, for dinner and change of horses.
Paper--.James S. Duvall, Jr., of the Millgrove paper mill announces January 1, 1833, that he had establisht a wholesale and retail paper house with Samuel Nixon at Lebanon, where paper of the best quality would be kept.
Clock Making--John Probasco (father of Judge John Probasco), announces that he "will repair watches and clocks of all kinds and will make brass clocks at the shortest notice." By brass clocks were meant clocks with brass wheels. Thomas Best also carried on the business of clock and watch maker.
Mill of Millgrove--Jas. S. Duval, jr., of Millgrove died of cholera August 6, 1833, and Thomas Corwin as agent advertises for rent the property formerly occupied by him, consisting of 600 acres well improved, a good flouring mill, a paper mill and a large steam distillery. "This property is situated on the Little Miami river, seven miles from Lebanon, on the stage road to Lancaster."
Leather Store--Tobias Bretney on November 1, 1833, announces that he has opened a leather store on Broadway a few doors north of the hotel. In 1839 only one tannery was reported in Lebanon. Thomas F. Baldwin, proprietor of a leather store in Cincinnati, offers for sale his large tanning establishment at Roachester, with a fine bark mill, bark sheds sufficient to hold 175 cords of bark, and $200 worth of bark on hand. "The town of Roachester is situated on the road leading from Cincinnati to Columbus, 9 miles southeast of Lebanon."
One Barber Shop--Only one barber shop in the town is advertised. It was on Broadway and carried on by Thomas Chub (a colored man) whose advertisements appear in both prose and poetry. "His shop will open on Sunday only until 9 o'clock, after which he wishes to spend the day in going to church and reflection." In 1839 only one barber shop in Lebanon employing three persons was reported.
One Show--In more than a year succeeding September 21, 1832, no lecture, concert, play, or circus in the town is announced. The only exhibition to which an admission fee was charged announced to be given in Lebanon was the "American Menagerie" of Raymond, Weeks & Co. on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 25 and 26, 1832. That the show was not a large one is evident from the fact the exhibition was to take place on one of the small lots of the public square. The menagerie consisted of one elephant, one camel, an African lion, a performing Asiatic lion, two Brazilian tigers, and a number of smaller animals. There were also to be equestrian performances on Shetland ponies. Admission 25 cents.

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This page created 28 September 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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