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Sidney School Furniture Company

The most famous wooden product made in Sidney, Ohio, was the school desk. John D. Loughlin (pictured below) came to Sidney in 1880. With T. D. Scott, Loughlin formed the Sidney School Furniture Company. The plant was built north of thesidneyschoolfurniturecatalog.gif (66242 bytes) canal between Main and Ohio Avenues. The 'fashion' desk was introduced after the factory opened in February of 1881. It was a marketing sensation. A company advertising piece of that era contained the following assertion: "No desk in the market is made with more care, nor of better materials than the 'Fashion,’ and none has met with a more popular reception, or gives better satisfaction."

Each desk carried the words 'Sidney, Ohio' entwined in the cast iron supports on each side of the desk. In addition to the text, there is a number from one to six which denotes the size of the child for which it was intended. Some of these desks are owned by collectors in Sidney today. The owners of the company realized an amazing $75,000 profit in the first year. The building was immediately expanded. Over the next two decades, the company also made a variety of chairs, blackboards, school bells, and other school products. The company produced 300 desks per day in 1883, according to Sutton's "History of Shelby County."

John Loughlin constructed Bonnyconnellan Castle on Walnut Avenue in the mid 1880s. He patterned it after a castle in Cork, Ireland. When it was completed, it was Sidney's most famous residence.

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John D. Loughlin
Bonnyconnellan Castle

Industry segment written in January, 1998 by Rich Wallace


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