Window to the Past
More news from early 1900s Delphos
By BOB HOLDGREVE
Public Pulse For Traction Line
About two months ago, W.F. Numan of the Lima Board of Trade was in Delphos feeling about to see what the sentiment would be toward the proposition to construct an electric railway from Lima, through Delphos and Van Wert and on to Fort Wayne. What was learned then was not satisfactory and Mr. Numan was here again today, accompanied by D.J. Cable.
They state that a line will be constructed from Lima to Ft. Wayne and that Delphos can either have the line or be missed by it, as the citizens desire. That’s plain talk, but if the line is really built it will pass through Delphos if the promoters can get right-of-way, as that is one of the conditions that will help Lima. If the company wants encouragement they will probably get it, and help in getting right of way, too, but if they want a bonus for bringing the tracks this way they will probably not get it so easily.
Delphos people are always willing to help a good thing along and have been hoping that the promoters of the north and south line would put in their appearance soon and ask for right of way through this section. A line in any direction is bound to do some good, even if it does some harm. Let ‘em come. Electric railways are a good thing and it will not do to try to exclude them.
Messrs. Numan and Cable are making a trip over the proposed route of the line between Lima and Ft. Wayne.
Delphos Herald, May 16, 1901
Rev. Raber Not in Favor of Traction Line and Tells Why
Sunday evening, at the Presbyterian Church, the pastor, the Rev. A.C. Raber, gave as a prelude to the evening sermon, a talk on "Electric Railways and the City Franchise." Some people are not in accord with the views of the Reverend, but he speaks from experience when he says that an east and west line from Van Wert to Lima would not be the proper thing for us. It might be for the individual, but it would not be for the business interests, and that should be the first consideration.
Rev. Raber said in part, "I believe that the electric railway as a system is in its infancy and as a means of transportation, would be of great benefit. Generally speaking, they are desirable, but I believe that Delphos is an exception to the rule. A line through Delphos to Lima, would work more to the benefit of Lima for the reason that Lima is larger and while the merchants there can not sell goods any cheaper, they may offer a little larger selection. Delphos merchants would consequently suffer. I do not believe that Van Wert is large enough to injure Delphos materially in that respect, however.
"A line from Toledo, through Defiance, Delphos, Spencerville and on to St. Marys I would hail with delight. Our obliging merchants have splendid stocks of goods and such a line would increase their trade and be of great benefit to the town."
Independent of the Reverend’s views, we have heard a matter spoken of by business men that is pertinent to this subject. The logical route through a town is through the Main street, but that has its foes. One gentleman who is conservative looks into the future and sees objections that are well founded. If the electric lines assume the proportions that the promoters hope for, it will not be a great while until freight and passengers will be hauled over the lines, and with the increased discoveries in electricity, science will soon make it possible for electricity to haul long strings of freight cars, which would be very undesirable on Main street and dangerous. The day is not far distant when electric lines will traverse the country in all directions, and all of them will not miss Delphos.
Delphos Herald, May 13, 1901
Interurban Comes To Delphos
The first interurban car ran through Delphos on Nov. 1, 1905, while the last car ran through town on June 30, 1932.
It cost 15 cents to ride from Delphos to Van Wert or Lima while the full ride from Lima to Ft. Wayne was $1.50.
At one period, Van Wert was voted, "dry," while Delphos was "wet," or allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. On the weekends some of the cars would carry people coming from Van Wert to Delphos, and on their return home they carried containers full of beverages, and they would be full also.
On straight stretches, an interurban car could reach 80 miles-per-hour. Some of the cars were powered by four 150 H.P. electric motors from overhead wires.
Traction Line a Thing of the Past
At a sale of all of the property, bids were received in eighteen divisions, totaling $68,575.00.
High bids were as follows:
Right-of-way between Ft. Wayne and State Line - B.P. Shearon $100.
Right-of-way between State Line and Lima, B.P. Shearon $100.
Convoy Station - The Convoy Equity Exchange, $575.
Van Wert Station - Ben Ireton, $1300.
Middle Point Station - Mr. McGinnis, $250.
Delphos Station - Mr. McGinnis, $525.
Elida Station - B.P. Shearon, $100.
All Electric Railway Cars and Spare Motors - The R.W. Marshall Transit Corp., $2,275. The offering included twenty-eight cars, including six fully equipped, all steal passenger cars. The original cost of the twenty-eight cars was $250,000.
All Sub-Station Equipment, located in any of Stations - The Hyman-Michaels Co. $550.
All Section Motor Cars, Tools, Equipment and Machinery not included in the above, - The Joseph Schonthal co., of Columbus, $100.
All Materials and Supplies, mainly poles, insulators, ties, wire and rails, not included in previously mentioned groups - The Joseph Schonthal Co., $200.
All Office Furniture and Fixtures - B.P. Shearon, $100.
W.G. Bell, stated that the work of removing tracks will be started as soon as confirmation of the sale is received from the courts.
Delphos Herald, May 16, 1933
(This was during the middle of the depression. R.H.)
Corn Brought One Cent a Bushel and Truck Sold For $10
Charles Lawhead, Van Wert County probate judge, has been asked to decide whether a sale of personal property which brought prices of one cent per bushel for corn and other similarly low prices shall be acceptable to the court. The request was filed by Howard Post of Spencerville, assignee in the estate of George P. Becker, late of Jennings Township.
A sale held on March 17, brought $355.15 for goods, valued at $1,630. Lack of cash among the large crowd in attendance was blamed for the low prices. A 2 1/2 ton truck brought $10. Cows were sold for $5.
If the sale is held invalid, the court will consider issuance of a new order of sale. The sale had been advertised twice.
Delphos Herald, Mar. 23, 1933
Chief Warns Drivers As To Traffic Violations
Warning that traffic laws must be obeyed is being issued by the city officials. Chief of Police Glenn Ditto states that he received many complaints concerning violations and calls attention to the following portions of the local traffic ordinance:
1. There is to be no double parking on any street in the city.
2. The vehicle to the right has the right of way at an intersection except where traffic lights or stop signs govern and make the opposite true.
3. Pedestrians shall not make crossings against red lights.
Fines from $25.00 to $100.00 for violations of 1, 2 and 3. (This was in the middle of the depression and the fines would probably be equal to $250 to $1,000 fine in today’s dollars. They wouldn’t have enough jail room, as nobody could afford to pay the fine. R.H.)
5. No one under the age of sixteen shall operate an automobile or motorcycle in the city of Delphos.
6. No spotlights shall be used within the corporate limits of Delphos.
8. Speed limit in the city is 25 miles an hour in the business district and 35 miles an hour in other districts.
The officials call attention also to the fact that cars must be parked on the right side of the street.
Delphos Herald, May 22, 1933
More Relics For Museum
Many additions are being made each month to the collection of relics and other interesting articles to be placed in the museum to be established in the basement of the public library. These donations are being received by J.H. Wahmhoff and will be held until such time as the museum can be properly arrange and opened.
Following is a list of articles received by Mr. Wahmhoff during November, 1913.
Flat Indian stone and flax seutching knife, donated by Amadeus and L. Best.
Early laws and treaties of Ohio, donated by Mrs. Luella Smith.
Pair of Dutch oven hooks and old style fire tongs, donated by Emanual Baker.
Four mastodon teeth and beaver tail, donated by Shelby Harris.
Photograph of the home of ancestors of President McKinley donated by V.H. Nelson.
Spinning tool over 150 years old, donated by Frank Hummer.
Part of elephant tusk, donated by W.L. Shaffer.
Petrified plant life and Osage Hill akorns, donated by Chas. Hemming.
Indian - stirring spoon, donated by Dr. H.M. Viel.
Delphos Herald, July 3, 191
New Blacksmith Shop
Henry H. Kalt, who recently purchased the Stauterman property at the northeast corner of Franklin and Second streets, expecting to erect there a new blacksmith shop, has changed his plans, but will retain possession of the property. Instead of putting up a new shop, he has bought out the place of John Wunderle on West Second street and will assume possession of that place about the first of May.
Chas. Dienstberger and Mr. Kalt, who have been in business together on East Second street for some years, recently dissolved partnership. Mr. Dienstberger expected to handle only coal and iron, but has also changed his plans and will continue blacksmithing as well.
Delphos Herald, Apr. 8, 1901
Kaverman Lumber Plant Sold
The plant of the Kaverman Lumber Company on West Third street has been sold to John Horine, of Templeton, Iowa. Mrs. Henry Kaverman and Dayton parties were the stockholders. The new owner will take charge of the plant about April 1st.
Delphos Herald, March 26, 1901
Plenty of Ice
Fisher & Haller have housed away the largest quantity of ice ever stored in Delphos. Six or seven thousand tons of the product represent the winter’s work and they got off the third cutting of the season before the thaw set in.
All of their ice houses at the stone quarry are filled and about two hundred tons piled up outside to be used first. The houses on North Main Street are all filled save one.
Delphos Herald, Mar. 2, 1901
On the Move
W.G. Jones is moving his agricultural implement store to the Grand Orient building, which he recently purchased. He will use the Jettinghoff building, just west of the Grand Orient, as an office. Lewis Bro’s are moving their poultry packing business to the second floor of the Weible building, on Canal street, and may conduct business in the Sheeter building, west of the Opera House block. At various stages during its existence the Grand Orient building was used as a shooting gallery, bowling alley, photograph gallery and finally a poultry packing house.
Delphos Herald, Feb. 27,1901
Scherger Buggy Company Quits Business
The Scherger Buggy Company, conducted on North Main Street by John Scherger and his son Louis, is offered for sale. Mr. Scherger has been in business in Delphos for 27 years and has built up a splendid trade for his carriage manufactory and blacksmith shop. His son Louis has been associated with him for some time past and the business has been growing constantly until they now have quite a large plant and employ a number of men.
Mr. Scherger wishes to retire, and the health of his son is not conducive to active business, hence they offer the plant for sale. The carriage business, blacksmith shop and their brick and frame buildings are for sale.
Delphos Herald, May 11, 1901
A Creamery For Delphos
The Herald is pleased to announce the plans for another local industry that will be a splendid addition to the industries of Delphos. Due to the enterprise of Delphos people, a Creamery will be erected on ground just east of the Steinle Brewing & Ice Company and purchased from Felix Steinle. The Creamery Co. will be incorporated at $20,000.
A location just east of the brewery was decided on. The structure will be of brick, 30 x 70, with a frame interior, completed in the most modern style. The machinery will be of the latest type. The capacity of the plant will be 3,000 pounds of butter per day. An ice cream machine will have a capacity of 80 gallons per hour. A three ton capacity refrigerating machine will also be installed. The plant will be convenient to the Traction Line over which cream will be shipped to the plant.
Delphos Herald, Nov. 9, 1909
Compiled by Robert Holdgreve
Delphos Historical Society
August 18, 2007 Delphos Herald Newspaper