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100 Years Ago

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The 1870s saw the development of another interesting industry.  The first cigar factory belonged to Herman Tappe, Sr.  In 1874, he would organize perhaps Sidney's best known early band called the Tappe Silver Star Cornet Band.  It was composed of teen-age boys/young men losramosadvertisement.gif (15389 bytes)and was quite successful in its day.  The band played at the dedication and laying of the cornerstone for the Monumental Building.  According to "The Sidney Daily News," music by Tappe's Band was the climatic item on any public program of the time.  It was felt that if Professor Tappe's cigar manufacturing and health had been equal to his personal popularity and real ability as a musician, "more might have been written." Herman Tappe, Sr., died in 1883 at the age of 33 and his body was accompanied to Graceland Cemetery by his band, 'New Orleans style."  His son, Herman Patrick Tappe, would become one of the nation's leading clothing designers.  The Tappe Cigar Factory was located where the Bank One drive-in window now stands on North Main Avenue.

The Deisel-Weimer Company of Lima opened a branch business here in 1912, continuing its operations until 1925. They manufactured the ‘San Felice’ brand of cigar. Over 200 Sidney employees, including many women, wrapped cigars for the company in the Woodward building which was located where Mutual Federal now stands on Ohio Avenue. When the Deisel-Weimer plant closed, local investors founded the Los Ramos Cigar Company at the same location. Its advertisements boasted the company made "the cigar you can inhale." After a fire destroyed the Woodward building, Los Ramos moved to the structure in which Sidney’s Ace Hardware is now located (320 North Main Avenue). Charles Neville, Sr. was the manager. The A. W. Knauer Cigar Factory produced cigars at 618 Ohio Avenue. Sidney's last cigar business closed in 1949.

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Industry segment written in January, 1998 by Rich Wallace


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