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Feature Article on historic Sidney. Topic: DOWNTOWN/BUILDINGS & EVENTS
By Sherrie Casad-Lodge in November, 1999

Taking a Wonderful Trip Through Sidney's Past

More than 1,200 people celebrated the holiday season in 1998 by touring the resplendent homes of some of Sidney’s wealthiest 19th and 20th century residents during ‘Christmas in Historic Sidney.’ Sponsored by the Gateway Arts Council, this event is designed in part to generate an interest in Sidney’s older homes. Five structures have been added to this year’s tour, including the William Haslup house, opening in January 2000 as the William A. Ross, Jr., Historical Center. This article offers you a brief look at the history of some of the homes featured on the December 5, 1999 tour.

Kilborn Residence

421 North Ohio Avenue
Owned by Rod & Nancy Mitton

Built in 1912 by Wilber E. Kilborn, this English Tudor home represents an uncommon architectural style in Sidney. Distinguished by its timber and stucco exterior finish, it sits tucked into the hillside just south of GreatStone Castle. Mr. Kilborn served as treasurer and general manager for American Steel Scraper, a company owned by his prominent neighbor, W.H.C. Goode. This home was a popular stop on the tour in 1998, with its 15 rooms in the main living area, 4 baths, 2 half baths, 8 fireplaces, and a ballroom attic.

The home is well-preserved due to the loving care of a previous owner, a well-respected community physician, Dr. Lee Weis.

Born in Vermont, Mr. Kilborn (at right) came to Shelby County when he was eight years old. He attended school in Sidney and then later taught here for several years. In 1875, Kilborn became cashier of the Citizens Bank, leaving that firm in 1881 to work for Mr. Goode. He married Anna Hendershott, daughter of George W. Hendershott, a long-time Sidney tradesman engaged in the local leather business. Her father’s shop was located on North Street across from what is now the Ross Historical Center, on the northeast corner of Main Avenue and North Street.


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421 North Ohio Avenue, Sidney

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American Steel Scraper Company

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Wilber E. Kilborn

GreatStone Castle

429 North Ohio Avenue
Owned by Frederick & Victoria Keller

This castle can be seen looming above an impressive expanse of lawn in a park-like setting amid four city lots on North Ohio Avenue. With its 30+ rooms and 17,000 square feet, the home was completed in 1895 by W.H.C. Goode for approximately $35,000. This year’s historic tour features the Keller’s latest renovation, a spa and retreat center.

The modern-day spa, constructed in an old-world style, is housed in the basement, which formerly served as the kitchen and servants’ quarters. Entrance is gained by passing through Goode’s former office area. Guests can enjoy whirlpool baths, massages, and beauty services from an aesthetician. The floor is heated. Protective of their historic home, the Kellers built the spa inside the existing basement walls, avoiding alteration of the permanent structure.

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Two of W.H.C. Goode's children, Frank and Charles Goode.


Amos House
519 North Ohio Avenue
Owned by Bruce & Kathryn Toal

This early Gothic Revival 1-1/2 story stone and brick cottage was constructed by city attorney Edmund Smith in 1856. Smith served as prosecuting attorney in 1848 and practiced law through the 1860s. The property was valued at $1,840 in 1880. Smith’s heirs sold the home to James O. Amos in 1884. Amos had moved to Sidney in 1876 and was the owner of the Shelby County Democrat newspaper.   According to Sutton’s History of Shelby County, under Amos’ management, the newspaper largely increased its circulation and "...has always been true to the principles of the Democratic party." Family descendants, including Oliver and Peg Amos, continued to own that home for many years.

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James O. Amos is shown at the far right in this undated photograph. 


William Haslup Home
201 North Main Avenue
The Shelby County Historical Society

Long used as a funeral parlor, this structure was built in 1902 as a personal residence by early Sidney industrialist William Haslup. Born in Maryland, Haslup came with his parents to Sidney at the age of 10. He learned the machinist trade from his father who owned a factory in town. He went into business with his brothers George and Robert in 1875 but, by 1880, he partnered with his brother-in-law J.H. Doering to establish the Sidney Steel Scraper Company.

This business expanded quickly and at one time had 14 sales offices located in countries such as Hong Kong and South Africa. He became sole owner of the firm in 1902 when Doering sold out his interest in the company. A competitor in the business was also a relative — his brother-in-law, W.H.C. Goode, who established the American Steel Scraper Co. the same year that Sidney Steel Scraper was formed.

Haslup built his two-story frame home on a stone foundation and the central entrance has beveled, leaded glass sidelights. Haslup did not live many years in his home, passing away at his residence after a short illness in 1912. Survived by his wife and three children, he was editorialized in the newspaper as "leading a life given always to the side of right, justice and humanity."

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William Haslup Home/William A. Ross, Jr., Historical Center.  Photo Courtesy of Todd B. Acker.

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William Haslup


St. Paul's United Church of Christ
707 North Ohio Avenue
Pastor:  Dr. Keith Wagner

St. Paul's United Church of Christ has been an active congregation in Sidney, Ohio, since 1868. The church is rooted in the Evangelical/Reformed tradition and the original members were German-speaking people. As a matter of fact, until the 1930s, all of the worship services were conducted in German. The first service was held in a frame building at the corner of Lane and Miami streets with the congregation remaining there until 1886. Two men are generally credited for keeping the church together in the early years — Charles Timeus and A.R. Freedman. For a brief period, the congregation met in the Odd Fellow's Hall in the Shelby County Courthouse. In l887, the engine house on Water Street was purchased and remodeled into a church. The congregation met there through September 1908, when they dedicated a new building at the corner of South Main and South streets. The church was constructed for a total cost of $20,000. Half of the money for the new pipe organ was donated by Andrew Carnegie.

In l936, the church established a special fund to build the present facility which is now located on 707 North Ohio Avenue. In January 1951, during the annual meeting, the congregation adopted the report of the planning board to build the new church. Completed in 1955, the total cost of the building was $250,000. The church is known in the Shelby County area as "the church on the hill."

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Charles Timeus
St. Paul's United Church of Christ. 
Photo by Todd B. Acker.


Freytag & Associates
226 North Miami Avenue

This residence is located northeast of the courthouse square and sits on a city street near the Amos Memorial Public Library. The Ohio Historic Inventory lists the two-story brick home’s period as 1877, featuring an Italianate design. Courthouse records indicate that Meranda H. Murray owned the land the building now sits on and the assessed value of these lots rose almost 10-fold in a 4-year period from 1874 to 1878 ($510 to $4,700).

This building has served as home to the local architectural firm of Freytag & Associates, Inc. for more than a decade and they offer a perfect example of how to modify a historical building for public use. Visitors will marvel at the modern computer systems discreetly housed in the various rooms. The building incorporates and highlights as many of the original characteristics as possible, but also features items saved from structures slated for destruction in the community.

The facility is surrounded by a black, wrought iron fence and a sidewalk which leads to the large front door. The building is in excellent condition. Freytag added additional floor space which blends seamlessly with the rest of the structure. It features high ceilings, a curving staircase, tiled bathrooms, unique furniture, and much, much more!

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Freytag & Associates.  Photo by Todd B. Acker.


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