Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Dec 28

H. H. Eavey and Eavey & Co., Part II: The Beginning of Eavey & Co.

Posted on December 28, 2017 at 1:39 PM by Melissa Dalton

We stopped last week right when H. H. Eavey’s story was getting interesting. He had ventured out on his own, starting a grocery store in Xenia in 1865. Eavey’s business was an instant success and on July 1, 1869, H. H. Eavey, M. C. Allison, and James Carson established a wholesale grocery business, with a capitalization of $18,000 (that equates to roughly $330,000 today!), which was housed on East Main Street. Here we have an interesting side note - the Greene County Archives has a connection! We were housed in that very same building from 1996 to the end of 2011. However, the building was in disrepair, and in July of 2012, the structure was razed.

Eavey and Company Building on East Main Street
Figure 1: Building on East Main Street, sometime after Eavey & Company moved in 1908

In 1880, both Allison and Carson withdrew from the business to start grocery businesses of their own. It was at this time that J. D. Steele and W. B. Harrison joined with Eavey, creating Eavey & Company. The building on East Main Street could no longer house the ever-growing business, so in 1881, the new partners erected a brick structure on West Main Street (see Figures 2, 3, & 4). Steele and Harrison stayed with the business for eight to nine years each, but both decided to invest in the twine/cordage industry. At this time, S. F. Evans bought into the business, but only stayed a year or so, opening up an opportunity for H. H. Eavey’s sons, William E. and H. Early, to join their father in the family business.

Advertisement listing Eavey & Co. building for rent in Xenia Daily Gazette on December 12, 1882
Figure 2: Advertisement for rent of East Main Street building in Xenia Daily Gazette from December 18, 1882

Eavey & Co. Building on West Main Street
Figure 3: New Eavey & Co. building on West Main Street

Advertisement for Eavey & Co. in Xenia Daily Gazette on September 29, 1883 (part 1)Advertisement for Eavey & Co. in Xenia Daily Gazette on September 29, 1883 (part 2)
Figure 4: Advertisement for Eavey & Co. in Xenia Daily Gazette from September 29, 1883

It wasn’t long after his sons entered the business that his wife and sons’ mother, Catherine, passed away in 1891. Five years later, in February 1896, H. H. Eavey married Alice Galloway of the now famous Galloway family of Greene County.

The business continued to grow and prosper. However, in February 1908, there was a tragic fire, decimating the building (To read more about the fire, read our blog from January 22, 2016). The building was a complete loss, but H. H. Eavey did not let that stop him. Almost immediately, he began construction on a new building on the corner of S. Detroit Street and W. Third Street (which is still standing today). The first two stories were built in 1908, with each level housing about 22,000 square feet of space, and the front entrance housed the office space for Eavey & Co. The Eavey sons gradually took over the day to day operation as H. H. Eavey took a step back. However, that did not mean that H. H. Eavey was stepping back from an active life.

Read on next week to learn more about H. H. Eavey!

Until Next Time…

Broadstone, M. A. (1918). History of Greene County Ohio: Its People, Industries and Institutions. Indianapolis: B.F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Fairborn Daily Herald, November 21, 2001
The Evening Gazette, April 19, 1918
Xenia Daily Gazette, December 18, 1882
Xenia Daily Gazette, September 29, 1883


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