Posts Tagged With: furniture business

Postcards from Port Washington | Ley Family History

Curtis Wiand Wall Safe Hardware Store Port Washington Ohio

Wallsafe from Curtis Wiand’s Port Washington, Ohio hardware store.


Port Washington Detritus: Family Artifacts Online

“Port Washington enjoys the enviable distinction of being one of the prettiest and most picturesque villages in the state….”

So begins a newspaper advertorial of June 1901, taken from the pages of the Uhrichsville, Ohio News Democrat, describing the home of our Ley ancestors. Maybe the description doesn’t jibe with the quaint, cloistered cluster of homes and stores we know more than a century later, lightyears after the town’s peak as bustling canal port. But consider it a record of what life was like for our great-great-great-grandparents and their families then.

With commendable zeal, her citizens have realized the beauty of the town’s delightful situation and have made neat improvements, commensurate with its natural facilities.

The town strikingly resembles in appearance the much admired villas of northern Georgia whose attractiveness is well known to northern tourists.

Well-kept lawns, smooth-shaven as a priest, spacious streets, an artistic arrangement of shade trees, some attention to floriculture and landscape gardening — all attest the love of the beautiful in the towns-people.

Environed by an excellent farming country, the business interests of the town have largely kept pace with its needs, but not to that extreme limit which excludes sociability and cleverness, which are distinguished features of the place –qualities which are better appreciated by those who have witnessed amid the incessant hum of machinery and dust of unceasing toil, the hopeless surrender of domestic pleasures to the all absorbing whirl of business.

Properly speaking, Port Washington presents a just mean between the extremes of these towns which are as dead as John T. Brush’s classification rules and those which are oblivious to all save insatiable greed for lucre.

The recent census shows the town’s population to be about 600. …

Trippy, right? And all a well-typed online search away to the curious and family-minded of 2015.

In the past few days, our latest newsletter installments have (re?)introduced us to our Sperling and Hammersley ancestors, neighbors and family to the Leys in bygone days of Port Washington.

For the pictures most recently shared of Abraham and Catherine Sperling, and Great-great-great Grandmother Harriet (Sperling) Hammersley Wiand, mother of Minnie (Hammersley) Ley (wife to Charles Ley), we have fellow genealogy sleuths at Kin-Connection to thank. They mined the best source of all — family records, photos, documents and memories.

But some of the additional ways we’ve filled in the blanks the last week — about the tragic death of Third-Great-Grandpa James Hammersley, and the remarriage of Hattie to hardware merchant Curtis Wiand — came from one of the central tenets of my original genealogy dare in summer 2008: that to dig up generations worth of stories on your ancestors, in today’s information-in-an-instant age, you need only a curious mind, tireless fingers and a hardy internet connection.

What a wealth of stuff there is online.

To conclude our series on the Port Washington Sperlings, Hammersleys, Wiands and Leys, here’s a few more tidbits a broad bandwidth away.


Town Life in Port Washington, Ohio, c. 1900

Hattie’s second husband, Christian Wiand, and their descendants through Curtis V. Wiand, kept up for many decades the hardware store in Port Washington he established shortly after their marriage. The above safe from that store — amazingly – was offered at auction three years back (2012) in South Dakota and sold for $50.

Similar to the ruby glass once gifted to Lizzie Foutz, there are countless family trinkets circulating out there. Kinda makes you want to watch the auction circuit, eh?

Christian’s family had first established themselves in Carroll County, Ohio, before residing in Clay Township, where he and Hattie were eventually married. A nice paragraph on the family can be found — through the wonder of Google Books search — eminently accessible, online.

Wiand Henry bio History of Tusc Co


Through free and paid archives, newspaper records paint a vivid portrait of the day. The gushing advertorial that begins this post actually appeared in different guises through a number of editions in the years around the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries.

Rolling back a couple years, we find a Port Washington where Great-great-great Grandfather Augustus Ley’s dry goods store also thrives. Unfortunately — and serving as a lesson of online research — the scanned copies available in as well as have the same big blot in the bottom corner of page 11 of the Nov. 30 1899 edition, marring what is undoubtedly a description of Ley’s store, leaving us to decipher:

… & Co. are located on…

…are. They are good

… (ca)rry a full line of the

…. (goo)ds, groceries, etc.

… have a fine trade and pay the highest prices for produce, etc.

… F.H. Powell’s (undoubtedly related to us through Hattie Powell, Augustus’s wife — yes, another Hattie) general store is in the storeroom formerly occupied by A. Ley. He is a hustling young merchant and is doing a thriving business. He also has a millinery department in connection with his store.

But elsewhere on the page, we check in with Christian Wiand, c. 1899:

C. Wiand, the hardware merchant, keeps a complete line of hardware, tinware, cutlery, stoves, etc. He also has a nice lot of buggies and wagons on hand and carries a good line of cigars in connection. He is located on the Public Square.

By 1901, Augustus Ley has died, but his descendants are continuing their profitable trade along with their Wiand neighbors, as related in the June 11, 1901 edition of The News Democrat:

C. Wiand conducts the hardware store and has a very complete stock. Mr. Wiand is a gentleman of genial manner, apt business qualities and is thoroughly conversant with the public policies of the day. His son, Curtiss, who is employed with him, is a pleasing business man, held in high regard by all who know him.

Lewis Ley (son of Augustus), the gentlemanly traveling representative of Dies, Fertig & Co., is a resident of this place. Mr. Ley’s father, recently deceased, was a pioneer business man here, and all of the family are held in high esteem.

Flipping forward through the archival pages, to April 26, 1906 in The Daily Times of New Philadelphia, we read of the devastating San Francisco earthquake, and how relief efforts have hit home:

All of those who wish to show their sympathy to the people of San Francisco who are in need can place their money in the little tin box at Christian Wiand’s hardware store.

News accounts of the day are filed with notes on who’s coming, who’s going, who’s visiting whom, sometimes reprinted from previous editions. And that holds true in 1930, same as ever, when the Oct. 30 edition of The Daily Times records a 1920 visit of Christian Wiand and wife to their daughter, Minnie, in New Philadelphia. By then, sadly, both mother and daughter have passed away. But print marches on.

Some of the advertorials on Port Washington and other ancestral stomping grounds would close with train tables, departure and arrival times and the rates to get you across a country that, from these descriptions, is bright and full of life and beckons to us through time. If only it were as simple as punching a ticket and climbing aboard….

Port Washington, Ohio street scene c. 1870s

Port Washington, Ohio street scene, circa 1870s. Courtesy of Chuck Schneider, a descendant of the carriage shop owner.





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For the Record | Franklin Eli Weible, 1917 Obit

Franklin Eli Weible

Colt's great-great grandfather, Franklin Eli Weible, 1845-1917

Franklin Eli Weible | 1845-1917

This blog series explores the lives of Weible ancestors as revealed in their obituaries. Much of this information was gathered during a March 2011 research trip to Tuscarawas and Harrison counties in Ohio. A scan of the obituary is available at the bottom of this post.

From the Dover Daily Reporter (Dover/New Philadelphia), Tuesday, Feb. 6, 1917:

Dover Merchant Dies Suddenly




Franklin Eli Weible, aged 71 years, one of Dover’s best-known citizens and for many years one of its most active businessmen, died suddenly at 3:10 o’clock on Monday afternoon in his hardware store in W. Third Street.

Mr Weible has been ailing at times within the last year but recently was much improved. Monday afternoon he was apparently in the best of health. Seated in a chair he had been chatting with friends. After his friends left he attempted to rise and fell dying. He was dead almost instantly. George Alleshouse, a clerk, and his son, Morris, were the only others in the store at the time.

Mr. Weible was born in Dover, December 10, 1845, a son of the late Fred Weible. His forefathers came to Philadelphia, Pa. from Germany (actually, Switzerland — Colt) in the early part of the seventeenth (actually, 18th — Colt) century.

Reared in Dover, Mr. Weible with three brothers went to Henry County about the close of the Civil War, where they engaged in the lumber business with mills in Defiance and Henry counties. Here he met and married, in February 1869, Esther Goddard, who died less than a year ago (actually, more than two years prior — she died in January 1915 — Colt).

In 1870 Mr. Weible returned to Dover and lived here continuously ever since, except from 1892 to 1895, when he resided in Alexandria, Va.


In 1870 Mr. Weible built the block which still stands in Factory Street and started the Eureka Cash Store, a grocery business still being conducted by C.E. Kreiter. He also associated in the lumber business with the Wentz interests and with H.W. Enck.

From 1887 to 1895 he was engaged in the furniture manufacturing business as secretary of the Deitz-Bissman-Kurtz Co. of Dover and afterwards as secretary treasurer of the Deis Mfg. Co. at Alexandria, Va.


Later he became manager and treasurer of the Sugarcreek Salt Co., operating wells immediately west of Dover. Following that he again was connected in various capacities in furniture business until 1912 when he and a son, the late Otheo Weible, established the Weible Hardware Co.

Mr. Weible was a past exalted ruler of the Dover Lodge of Elks and present chaplain.  Although not a member of any church he led an exemplary Christian life.

Mr. Weible was well known as an ardent baseball fan and was an enthusiastic supporter of local sports of all kinds. He never missed a high school game of any kind if it was at all possible to attend and even last fall braved all kinds of weather to see football games. Only recently the Dover Athletic Association voted him an honorary member and presented him with a life pass which he used for the first time at the basketball game last Saturday night.

Last summer Mr. Weible made a trip to Cleveland with a party of baseball fans to witness a big league game. He was the oldest in the party and stood the strenuous trip, which was made in one day, better than most of the young men.

Mr. Weible is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Ella Weible Lambert, of Alexandria, Va., and by three sons, Albert L., Frank A., and Robert O., all of Dover.

He also leaves the following brothers and sisters: Joseph B. Weible, of Lima; Lydia Weible Schear, of Westerville; Simon Weible, of Defiance; A.J. Weible, of Fayette, Miss.; and Mrs. Elizabeth Intermill of Dover. The late David Wible, father of city treasurer E.F. Wible, was a brother.


Funeral services will be held on Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock from the home. The services will be in charge of the Dover Lodge of Elks and Rev. R.H. Brennecke of the Moravian Church. Burial will be at Maple Grove.

Weible F E Obit 1917 FRONT PAGE 1

Weible F E Obit 1917 FRONT PAGE 2

What else was going on in the world on Feb. 5, 1917? The Mexican constitution was adopted on that very day. A week earlier, the first jazz record was recorded, and Germany warned the U.S. that U-boats would sink any merchant vessel they came across. On Feb. 3, Germany made good on its threat, sinking the U.S. liner Housatonic. Diplomatic relations were severed, and the U.S. moved closer to entry in World War I.

Weible home at 505 N. Wooster in Dover, Ohio

The former home of Franklin E. and Esther B. Weible, at 505 N. Wooster Ave. in Dover, as it appears in July 2011 (100 years later).

Weible Franklin Eli Maple Grove Dover 1917

The final resting place of Colt's great-great grandfather, Franklin Eli Weible, in Maple Grove Cemetery in Dover.

Categories: Ley, newsletter, Weible | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Last Word on Weibles (for now)

Business was booming for Colt's great-great grandpa in Canal Dover from 1880-82.

Hot off the Press, from Your Local Dover Argus…

I thought I’d round out this week’s Weible Lovefeast with a neato find.

Earlier, I shared Hortense Wible’s contention that it was her uncle, Franklin Eli (my great-great grandfather), and not her father, David, who first changed the spelling of the family’s name, a move that caused no uncertain tension between Franklin and his father, Frederick Weible.

Funny thing was, David’s descendants kept the “Wible” spelling, on down to “Scoop” Wible, of my grandparents’ generation, and well beyond, while Franklin Eli and his descendants were politely buried under the proper Weible.

But tonight I uncovered printed evidence of what Franklin Eli may have been up to with altering the family name, at least when it came to public relations.

Below are two newspaper advertisements from the Dover Weekly Argus. The first, from 1880, ran in several editions that year, and advertises his business as a dealer in lumber.

The second, from 1882, also ran frequently, and announces his new furniture business, in partnership with a Mr. Hard.

I found them both on’s extensive — though never as extensive as I need it be — newspaper archives.

As for playing fast and loose with his surname’s spelling — Franklin Eli, you’re busted. But it appears as though business, back then, was booming.

Check back on for the full newspaper pages.

Tomorrow — life sketch of Grace (Foutz) Chaney, daughter and seemingly only long-term survivor of my great-grandfather’s oldest brother, Sherman Foutz, who appeared in more than a few newspapers himself.

from the Dover Weekly Argus, May 1880

from the Dover Weekly Argus, 1882

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