Waynesville in the 1950s
Samuel Heighway from Shropshire, England founded Waynesville, Ohio in 1797. His settlement was honed out of the woods and clung tenaciously to the side of a steep hill overlooking the flood plain of the meandering Little Miami River. It was a tiny hamlet of a few log cabins and a tavern encircled by a dense and undisturbed wilderness. However, Waynesville’s growth, and the settlement of the surrounding area, would be phenomenal during its first decade due to the influx of pioneers.
FARR AND WHITE, GROCERS. “Industries come and go,” and a gentleman recently, “but the firm of Farr & White moves along as surely and steadfastly as ever.” The business of this old and successful house was established by Mr. A. L. Farr in the year 1868. With a small stock of groceries, and a good large capital, not of cash, but of American energy, he laid the foundation for the splendid business enjoyed by this firm.
In the year 1878 Mr. J. W. White, who had held the position of salesman, became a partner and during all the years that followed, the firm of Farr & White has maintained its reputation for first class goods and honest prices and have been enabled to always retain a large patronage.
Their storeroom built in the year 1886, is one of the largest in the County devoted to the business of retailing groceries, hardware, Queensware and notions. Some very kindly suggestions were made by good friends when the location was chosen for this establishment. “A Little too far from the business center,” some said then, but twenty years has brought the center of business very much nearer this firm. “Too large a building for the size of the town,” others said ~ but the best investment they ever made was in the new storeroom.
It contains over 6,000 square feet of floor space devoted to merchandise, and their large and comprehensive stock comprises a fine line of the best brands of teas, coffees, spices, flour, canned goods, vegetables, fruits and oysters in season. Also, a line of shelf hardware, nails, steel goods; as well as English and American china and glassware. Portland cement, lime and salt are also on their list of specialties.
A blind business man once entered this store and after spending a little time caught the spirit of activity and industry, so easily recognized by those who even pass that way, said, “You have a fine stock of goods and certainly enjoy a fine business.”
Mr. White who has had charge of the business since Mr. Farr’s retirement from active business life is thoroughly posted in theis line of trade and by giving his personal attention to the business insures the utmost reliability and satisfaction.
Frank Farr's sister Amelia married his father's business partner J. William White. Their son Horace Fred White married Bessie A. Cook (1880-1944), the sister of Dr. Mary L. Cook of Waynesville, a physican and founder of The Mary L. Cook Public Library. Bessie and Horace had two children: Geraldine (March 29th, 1905-June 12th, 1968) and Horace (b. December 8th, 1908).
From left to right: Frank Farr, George Mills, Jesse Molatt Robitzer,
Up White, Curt Hisey, Joe Mendenhall and Fred Henderson.
The Waynesville Academy was incorporated in 1844 by Friend Dr. Sylvanus Fisher and the stockholders of the Waynesville Academy Company. The land was owned by Friend David Evans (The Evans Family of Waynesville).
Sylvanus Fisher was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1797 but moved with his parents and siblings to Columbiana County, Ohio in 1807. He attended medical school in Lexington, Kentucky and began his practice in 1828. He was also a noted teacher in Columbiana County. In 1843 his first wife, Ann Wallahan, died. Dr. Sylvanus Fisher and many of his siblings moved to southwest Ohio two of whom also practiced for a while in Waynesville and Lebanon. Sylvanus had married again to Mary E. Hartman on October 24th, 1844 in Columbiana County. The 1850 Census of Waynesville in Warren County (Microfilm roll 266, page 346) mentions Sylvanus and Mary living in Waynesville, most likely in The Waynesville Academy building itself. Dr. Fisher was the designer, builder and principle stockholder of The Waynesville Academy. Eventually the Sylvanus Fisher family moved to Lebanon, Ohio in 1850. They would later move to Center Township, Rock County, Wisconsin where it is know that he was practicing in 1856. Sylvanus Fisher died in Wisconsin on April 2nd, 1860.
Even though distance divided the family, Sylvanus still had a connection to Waynesville through his brothers, Drs. Isaac and Elias Fisher. Sylvanus’ sister Ruth Fisher was married to Eli Harvey and lived in Clinton Co., Ohio (See,The Eli Harvey Homestead, article by Christine Hadley Snyder). His sister Sina Fisher married John Stichel of Clark County, Ohio.
Four of his children attended Miami Valley College: Isadora, J. Tressler, Idella and Ruth Anna.