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100 Years Ago

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Philip Smith Manufacturing Company

The Philip Smith Manufacturing Company (it was located on North Main, between Canal and Shelby streets), in addition to producing corn shellers and elevator supplies, also ran an extensive foundry and machine shop for their own and custom work.

They cast bells, sugar kettles, stoves, lard presses and large quantities of hollow ware. Among their other products were cast iron architectural elements; cornices, window hood molds and particularly storefronts. Builders of the late 1800s could almost ‘catalogue shop’ for a variety of pre-fabricated cast iron designs for their structures. As "The Sidney Journal" reported in 1872, the "...Messrs. Smiths...belong to that class of men who believe in doing with their might all that their hands find to do."

During the 1890s, Shelby County residents began a well-organized campaign to lure industry to Sidney, Ohio. It included the involvement of the town council, the Board of Trade, the Board of Improvement, the Progressive Union, and the local newspapers, primarily "The Journal." In a special election on April 7, 1890, voters approved a $100,000 bond issue earmarked to lure industries to Sidney.

In 1903, businessmen formed a Commercial Club to "promote the best interests of Sidney, Ohio..." The Club published a series of booklets, such as "Sidney, A City Noted for Its Manufacturing" [1910], which in pictures and text put forth the ‘advantages of Sidney.’

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'Downtown' segment written in October, 1998 by Sherrie Casad-Lodge 


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