A Francis Acrier - The Extraordinary Life of WACO Aircraft Company’s Vice President
From studying with Gustave Eiffel to studying UFOs, the life of A. Francis Arcier was certainly interesting
Read about this fascinating man and his work in this article by Judy Deeter.
When Pleasant Hill native Daniel W. Mikesell began selling dried beef and sausage in 1910, he probably had no idea that his company would one day be America’s oldest potato chip company or that people would travel long distances to try his products.
An old postcard at the Troy-Miami County Public Library Local History Library shows a nighttime view of what is referred to as the Court of Honor from the Dayton Homecoming Celebration for aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright. The event was held on June 17 and 18, 1909. Some sources say the Homecoming Celebration was the greatest party ever held in Dayton.
In section 11 of Troy’s Riverside Cemetery, there is a statue of a Union Civil War soldier shown standing in a position known as “parade rest.” It has been there for over 100 years. It is one of many such statues built throughout the Miami Valley in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A bit of forgotten history about this statue, however, is that it was placed in the cemetery by women.
The American Civil War (1861-1865) is sometimes known as the “boys war” because so many soldiers were teenagers and even younger. It has been estimated that between 250,000 and 420,000 Civil War soldiers were under the age of 17. Several such young boys from the Miami Valley served in the war as musicians—buglers, flautists and drummers.
We don’t usually think of people living in 1898 as having stressful lives. Yet, like us, many long ago residents yearned for a few days to get away to a lake, mountain resort or vacation spot for rest and relaxation. While some people back then were able to spend time away from home, others could not go away because of business concerns, family needs or they just could not afford it.
For generations, a majestic old hotel has stood at the heart of downtown Piqua. The building—no longer a hotel—is now is home to the Piqua Public Library, a community hall and a dining area. The postcards seen in this article show it as it was during two points in its history: in its very early years and in the 1930s. They are from the post card collection of The Troy Historical Society.
The Troy Country Club was founded a century ago in the summer of 1922. In June of that year, a property known as the Zeigler farm was sold at a sheriff’s foreclosure sale. Several local men believed that the land (87.56 acres) would be ideal for a golf course and Country Club. This article explores the history of the club and a fire that destroyed the first clubhouse on the property.
he Troy Historical Society has a collection of old postcards at the Troy-Miami County Public Library Local History Library in downtown Troy. Among the postcards, there are several that show the Hobart Manufacturing Company Administration Building as it was in the first half of the 20th century.
Old postcards tell stories of long-ago people and places. Such is the case of the postcard seen here with a picture of the Schmidlapp Free School Library on the front side and the faded words “Schmidlapp School Library." The building still stands at 509 N. Main St. in Piqua. This article looks at its history.
The Broadford Bridge crosses the Great Miami River on East Main Street in Troy. For a time in 1842, the land along the river at this location was filled with military troops that were ready to save Troy from destruction. It was a military encampment for what became known as the Broadford War.
In July 2018, an unusual ceremony was held at the Old Wesley Chapel Cemetery, located just north of Piqua in Shelby County. People from around the Miami Valley gathered there at the gravesite of Revolutionary War soldier Lewis Boyer to honor him on the 175th anniversary of his death. During the war, Boyer had served as a bodyguard to General George Washington.
Among the famous residents of Covington, Ohio is Joe Thompson, a former resident and inventor of the Flutophone. The Flutophone was one of a number of musical devices created by Thompson. He held 43 patents for mostly-musical related inventions—from a cymbal stand to a multi-tone whistle. His inventions literally changed the sounds of music throughout the world.
Tipp City is an historic town in southern Miami County. Founded in 1840, it has streets that are lined with wonderful old buildings and remnants of the past. The town has one historic site that is seen by multitudes of people every day, yet often goes unnoticed. That place is Hyattsville Park, a small park located on the northwest corner of Main Street (St. Rt. 571) and Hyatt Street. The park’s land was once the site of the town of Hyattsville.
Signs at the entrance to Casstown announce that the village was once the home of writer and poet Thomas Harbaugh. A century ago, his name and writings were known around the world. Now, few people remember him and his work.
Harbaugh, a prolific writer, was an historian, poet, novelist and newspaper political writer.
Towns throughout America have often changed their names. The names they started out with are not those they are known by today. Though the name of Covington, Ohio has remained the same since its incorporation in 1835, before that time it was known by a variety of names. With each long-ago name, there is a story. This article explores the story behind each of Covington's names.
Inside of the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center there is a small distillery museum where artifacts of the old Hayner Distilling Company are kept on permanent display. The room is filled with shelves of empty alcohol bottles from long ago. It is not just the glass bottles that are intriguing; it’s the way they were opened and closed.
This postcard shows an aerial view of Troy’s Trojan Motor Inn. The card is thought to have been created some time in the 1960’s—long before Google aerial maps or photographs from drones. The Trojan Motor Inn was located where the Goodwill Store stands today next to I-75. It opened in 1957 as Troy’s first motel, where for the first time guests could step from the door of their car to the door of their room.
On the south end of Broadway Street in downtown Greenville there is a plaza honoring hometown heroine and world renowned sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The plaza features both a statue of Annie and an Ohio History Connection historical marker.
This century-old postcard has a picture of Piqua’s Ball Memorial Hospital, which was located at the corner of Park and Nicklin streets. The postcard has a handwritten date of September 8, 1909. The hospital was constructed in the early 1900s with a $20,000 gift from a New Hampshire woman named Mrs. Julia Ball Thayer. She gave the donation to honor her deceased brother, De Los C. Ball, who had once been a prominent Piqua resident.
As time passes by, places that meant so much to people of past generations are nearly forgotten by those living today. One such place is Camp Troy.
At one time, Camp Troy was a social “hot spot” for local residents, particularly those from Troy and Tipp City. It was a place for dining, recreation, and lodging. The scene in this post card shows Camp Troy as lovely and serene; actually, it was quite lively.
Winding along State Route 66 between Spencerville and St. Marys is the Miami and Erie Canal. For miles along the old waterway, a walk along its towpath or a drive along its banks can lift the spirits; it is truly a beautiful area. There is one spot, however, where you might want to walk or drive just a little faster—a place called the “Bloody Bridge.”
The history of World War II is preserved at museums, libraries and monuments throughout Miami County. Individuals wishing to learn more about Miami County’s role in the war - and its veterans - can find World War II information, historical markers and memorabilia at the following public locations...
This postcard has an image of the old Adams Street bridge in Troy. The card was made by the R.E. Wenger Company of Greenville, Ohio, probably between 1913 and 1920—the time period that the bridge was used. Though the bridge lasted only a few years, it has an interesting and unique history.
A few months ago (at the time this article was written), The Troy Historical Society received a gift of old Troy memorabilia—post cards, ink blotters and political advertisements. Included in the materials were two business envelopes with a printed logo of the Fairmount Nurseries, a Troy company that is believed to have ceased operations the first half of the 20th century.
This century-old Pleasant Hill postcard shows both the town as it was in the early 20th century and a bit of local railroad history. Its postmark date indicates it was mailed from Covington in 1910. It is from the private post card collection of Pleasant Hill historian Chuck Martin.
Troy’s history is filled with stories related to aviation. A nearly forgotten bit of Troy aviation history is found in an old newspaper story. It says that before American aviator Charles Lindbergh made an historic flight to Paris France, he flew over Troy.
This post card shows a parade in Wapakoneta for Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong on September 6, 1969. Just a few weeks earlier on July 20, 1969, the Wapakoneta-native had stepped on to the surface of the moon—the first person to ever do so. The card’s picture shows the parade in Wapakoneta that welcomed Armstrong back to his boyhood hometown.
Down through the years, the Troy Public Square has had a wide variety of Christmas displays. These photographs show one of its most interesting: a Christmas windmill.
The history of Troy is filled with stories related to aviation. Local residents are familiar with tales related to WACO (the Weaver Aircraft Company), B.F. Goodrich Company and pioneers of the field such as Clayton Brukner and Freddie Lund. Some aviation stories, however, are not well-known or forgotten. Such is that of Troy High School class of 1945 graduate Richard Howard “Dick” Delp.
On June 14, 1905, the Miami Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated an historic monument at the site of the old Dutch Station stockade near Staunton (east of Troy). The monument’s historical marker honors the birth of Jacob Knoop, the first white child born in Miami County. Much of what happened at that long-ago dedication ceremony and the history of the monument have been forgotten.
This 1912 post card shows an artist’s sketch of what would become the new Harr’s on the Square building in downtown Troy. Harr’s on the Square, located where Bakehouse Bread and Cookie Company is today, was a department store that sold clothing, general merchandise, kitchen items and glassware.
This is an early 20th century post card of Greenville Falls on Greenville Creek near Covington, Ohio. In 1908, it was sent by a person named Grace to her Aunt Alta (Mrs. Lawrence) Blacke in Indianapolis, Indiana. It has a Covington post mark of "3:00pm, June 3, 1908."
These post cards of Tipp City’s Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church were recently found in a local antique store. They show the church’s former building and parsonage, which were located at the southeast corner of Third and Broadway streets.
In 1921, nearly 5,000 catalpa trees stood on Harry Carver’s farm west of Troy. The trees were a source of frustration for Carver because they had become infested with worms. He watched as the leaves on his trees were eaten away. Eventually, he wrote a letter to the Wooster Experiment Station in Wooster to ask for their help.
At the start of the 20th century, community entertainment in Troy was done by human performers. There were no films, television shows, radios or stories/information on computers. Entertainment came to local residents by live theatrical productions, musicians, great speakers, and the circus.
Many of us have wonderful memories of long ago Christmas seasons. One memory is shared by thousands of people throughout the Miami Valley: seeing lights over Ludlow Falls at Christmas time.
These decades-old post cards show Christmas scenes from yesteryear at the falls.
This post card shows an image of Piqua’s Atlas Underwear Company plant. It is from a set of 16 post cards distributed by the Piqua Leader Dispatch newspaper. The photo is believed to have been taken in 1920; the date the newspaper distributed the set of cards has not been confirmed.
At one time, the Troy City Building on South Market Street had a tall clock tower, a fire bell and, believe it or not, an opera house on the second floor.
This photograph of Miami County’s Horseshoe Bend Road (with the "bend" located just west of the entrance to Brukner Nature Center) was taken over 100 years ago. The unique bend in the road steps down from the hills above the Stillwater River, which is located at the bottom left of the picture.
In January 1916, as enrollment numbers began to grow in the Tippecanoe Village School District, the board of education decided to build a new high school at the corner of Fifth and Dow streets. Construction began shortly after and the first classes started in September of 1917.
A quote sometimes associated with Samuel Kyle says that he came to Miami County in 1803 “with a Bible and an ax, and was one of the county’s most sturdy and God fearing pioneers.” He began a family legacy that continues to echo in our community.
Piqua native William Pitsenbarger was killed in action on April 11, 1966 in Cam My in the Republic of Vietnam. But not before he saved 9 men from the battlefield. This would earn him the Medal of Honor. Learn the story behind this true-life hero.
Troy would be a much different place if weren't for the life and legacy of Augustus G. Stouder — a man who started the Troy Foundation, paid for the first hospital in Troy, and operated some of the most successful businesses in the city's history. His legacy continues to live on to this day.
The historic Coleman-Allen-Saidleman building on the northeast corner of the Troy Public Square will soon have a beautiful new look. Built to be the largest department store in Troy, this building has had many tenants and lots of history.
In the early 20th century, the Village of Phoneton in Bethel Township was one of the most important hubs for the nation's young telephone system. It was said by some Tipp City residents that "at one time, all long distance calls made in the United States passed through Phoneton".
There is a unique tombstone in Troy’s Riverside Cemetery. It doesn’t honor a person or a pet, but rather a company: the WACO Aircraft Company. The tombstone is in Section 1 of the cemetery on the west side of a road named Woodbine Drive. It can be seen from the road.
As a way to sell shoes at his new shoe store in downtown Troy, this business-man decided to build a mechanical elephant. The contraption went over so well that he began building and shipping them throughout the United States.
When "Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ" author General Lew Wallace visited Troy in 1887, he was apparently unaware that in 1807 his grandfather, Andrew Wallace, surveyed and laid out the "new town of Troy" including what we now refer to as "the Square." (Pictured here)
An historical marker on Main Avenue in Sidney marks the spot where a man was believed to be buried inside one of the columns of the Big Four Railroad Bridge. He may have fallen in during construction in 1924, but no record was made!
It's one of the most recognized structures in Miami County. In this feature article, historical writer Judy Deeter explores the history of Eldean covered bridge, why it's named "Eldean" and much more.
Miami County history books have many stories about recreation along the Great Miami River—boating, fishing, camping, and picnics. During the 1890s and early 1900s, many such good times were created by a group in Troy known as the Island Outing Club.
A secluded monument on U.S. 36 near Fletcher marks the gravesite of two settlers killed by a Native American man on their farm in 1813. Known as the Dilbone Massacre, in this article, historical writer Judy Deeter explores what happened that day so long ago...
Local architects said the octagonal design would never last. But 130 years later, the Roundhouse in City Park still stands. It has been used as a dance hall, stood at the center of a horse racing track and continues to be the focal point of community celebrations and activities.
This photograph from the Pleasant Hill History Center shows the Civil War monument located in the middle of town from 100 year ago! The museum has an area dedicated to the monument, as well as exhibits about the amazing residents who have called Pleasant Hill home.
In the 1920s, a Holland windmill decorated the Square during the holidays. It was constructed in secret and first lit on the evening of Dec. 15, 1928. In the 1930s, a world globe 20-feet in diameter graced the Square.
For more than 100 years, the City of Piqua was known for its underwear production. During the early 1900s Piqua had six different plants producing garments that supported and comforted the nation. Up until a few decades ago, the City also hosted an annual festival to honor its place in underwear history.