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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Jan 05

H. H. Eavey and Eavey & Co., Part III: The Death of H. H. Eavey

Posted on January 5, 2018 at 2:48 PM by Melissa Dalton

H. H. Eavey was a prominent man in Xenia during his lifetime. Not only did he establish and own a successful wholesale grocery business, but it was because of its success that the business grew, with several other stores opening in Ohio, and one even in Indiana. Although not all the businesses lasted, according to an article from the February 11, 1908 Xenia Daily Gazette, Eavey & Co. was doing “more than half a million dollar business annually”. Additionally, the family owned three businesses, Eavey & Co., Huntington Grocery Co., and A. H. Perfect & Co., and these three businesses had a capital of over $125,000, and were doing business of over $1.5 million annually. Eavey and his sons, along with several others, also opened a canning/packing factory on Washington Street in Xenia called Eavey Packing Co. (Figure 1).

1905 Partnership Certificate for Eavey Packing Co., pg 11905 Partnership Certificate for Eavey Packing Co., pg 2
Figure 1: 1905 Certificate of Partnership for the Eavey Packing Co. (Greene County Archives)

H. H. Eavey was very active in the community as well and invested much of his time to various boards and committees. In 1865, H. H. Eavey, along with J. D. Edwards and W. R. McGervey, incorporated the Citizens’ National Bank in Xenia. Eavey held the post of vice president for ten years and in 1897, was elected president – a post he held until his death nearly 22 years later (Figures 2 & 3).

July 31, 1896 Xenia Daily Gazette advertisement for Citizens' National Bank
Figure 2: Xenia Daily Gazette, July 31, 1896 article advertising Citizens' National Bank (

June 1, 1914 Xenia Daily Gazette article for Citizens' National Bank
Figure 3: Xenia Daily Gazette, June 1, 1914 article of deposit at Citizens' National Bank in new location (

H. H. Eavey also saw the value of education and decided to run for the Xenia school board. In 1880, Eavey was elected to the school board, serving as both Treasurer and President throughout his tenure (Figure 4). Eavey also served on the Woodland Cemetery board, was an elder of the Reformed Church, a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (see Figure 5), as well as a member of the local Free and Accepted Masons.

March 14, 1883 Xenia Daily Gazette - H. H. Eavey for School Director
Figure 4: Xenia Daily Gazette, March 14, 1883 – Eavey candidate for reelection as School Director of the School Board (

April 9, 1897 Xenia Daily Gazette - H. H. Eavey addresses G.A.R. Post
Figure 5: Xenia Daily Gazette, April 9, 1897 – Eavey addresses G. A. R. Post (

Sometime in the 1910s, H. H. Eavey’s health began to fail and he became very ill. According to his obituary, his wife and daughter were “self-sacrificing” caregivers throughout the duration of his illness. On April 18, 1918, Henry H. Eavey died at the age of 77, with the cause of death listed as posterior spinal sclerosis (Figure 6). Eavey’s will shows that he left his vast wealth, property, and shares in the family businesses, including Eavey & Co., to his wife and children (Figure 7). Eavey made it clear that all his personal property, including the house, furnishings, vehicles, horses, and stable were left to his wife, and if his children decided to live there with her, they were required to pay their fair share of the upkeep of the property. The excerpt below illustrates his desire that his shares in Eavey & Co. be divided fairly, and in accordance with his will, to his children.

H. H. Eavey death certificate dated April 18, 1918
Figure 6: Death Certificate of H. H. Eavey (

Excerpt of H. H. Eavey Will
Figure 7: Excerpt of Last Will & Testament of H. H. Eavey (Greene County Archives)

After Eavey’s death, his children continued on with the family business, operating as wholesale grocers until the late 1950s… but more of that will be discussed next week in our final installment of our Eavey journey. Next week we will look at the evolution of the Eavey building after the death of H. H. Eavey, and what the future may hold for the building that once housed Eavey & Co.

Until Next Time…

Broadstone, M. A. (1918). History of Greene County Ohio: Its People, Industries and Institutions. Indianapolis: B.F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Greene County Archives (various collections)
Xenia Daily Gazette, (various dates)


James Eavey
January 9, 2018 at 6:57 PM
Nice article

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