Daniel Toy was an interesting
character in Sidney history. Born in New Jersey, he walked to Mansfield, Ohio, then after
short stops in Warren County and Troy, finally moved to Sidney in 1847 or 1848. Mr. Toy
opened up a plow works on West Avenue between Court and Poplar Streets. He later went into
partnership with David Edgar at that location. It was there that he arguably became the
first person to manufacture a steel plow in the United States.
Daniel Toy subsequently moved to the Christian Kingseed blacksmith shop at the corner
of North Street and Ohio Avenue for a business venture with him, and after that, he
enjoyed business relationships with Ben Slusser, members
of the Haslup family,
and Philip Smith.
In "Memoirs of the Miami Valley", Judge
Barnes relates an amusing incident involving Mr. Toy. He was a man "of
extraordinary size and strength" given, "in the manner of the times, to
wrestling." A wrestling bout with his partner, David Edgar, was described as
follows: "The contestants wrestled themselves off the Court Street bridge and into
the canal, where the town marshall, to preserve his dignity in the face of a crowd of
onlookers, placed both men under arrest for quarreling. (After the bout they) delivered
their dripping persons to the strong hand of the law, were marched to the court and fined,
each paying the other's penalty, and shaking hands, to the marshall's discomfiture."
Mr. Toy brought his son, William Minor Toy, into the business in 1878 and they opened
up a new shop on South Main Avenue where the Big Four Bridge is now located.
written in January, 1998 by Rich Wallace