Monday, November 13, 2006

The Wayne Novelty Works Co. ~ A Business that Failed in Waynesville

A healthy economic indicator in the late 1870s for the northeast corner of Warren Co., Ohio was the planning for and establishment in Waynesville of The Wayne Novelty Works Company.

It was reported in the Miami-Gazette Weekly Newspaper on December 17th, 1879 that “The Wayne Novelty Works Co. will be in active operation by the first of January. They have a number of orders already on file. The engine and boilers are now being placed in position, with other machinery necessary to carry on the work. The foundry building is completed, as is also the cupola, and the prospects of the enterprise are very flattering."

It would open at the end of 1879 and would make cast iron novelties, e.g. dark green frog doorstops, until 1885. Although the prospects had looked good for this industry, it was closed by May 26th, 1880 with little prospect of re-opening. It did, but only survived until 1885.

The large frame building which housed the foundary was later bought by William H. Thorpe, the son of Andrew J. Thorpe and his wife Mirriam Fallis. On April 7, 1900 around 10:30 A.M., a fire broke out in the old foundary building. By the time it was over, all the buildings on the west side of North Main Street between North and Chapman Streets had been destroyed, all but two. Photographs of the destruction have surrived: The Great Fire of April 7th, 1900.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

William "Henry" Heighway and Family ~ Connections with the Jacob Family

William "Henry" Heighway

Charles and Charlotte "Eliza" Heighway Jacobs are living in Waynesville on Third Street in 1880 according to the Federal Census. They have two small children. Unfortunately, the Census does not list Charles' occupation. Charles E. Jacobs was the son of Enoch Jacobs ~ Business Man, Civil War Hero, Public Servant, and United States Consul to Montevideo, in the Republic of Uruguay, South America.

Charlotte "Eliza" Heighway Jacobs is one of the children of William "Henry" and Julia von Salis Heighway who lived in Waynesville. "Henry" was a horticulturalist (That is what he is listed as in the 1870 Census.). Henry was the grandson of Samuel Heighway of Shropshire, England who founded Waynesville in 1797. Henry was born Feb. 5, 1817 in Ohio and died 1893 in Cincinnati and is buried in Miami Cemetery across the The Little Miami River from Waynesville. He married Julia von Salis, daughter of Ulysses Salis who was born in Switzerland and Charlotte Enszline who was born in Stuttgart, Wittenberg, Germany. Julia was born in 1826 in Germany and died in 1903 and is buried beside her husband in Miami Cemetery. Ulysses Salis was a Methodist Episcopal traveling preacher who lived with his daughter's family. He is buried in Miami Cemetery, also.

Henry Heighway owned and operated a brass foundry and later grocery and rectifying business. He retired in 1866 and moved to Waynesville from the Cincinnati area. He was a horticulturist and one of the first to cultivate flowers in Cincinnati; and for a time was engaged as a florist. The India Crepe Myrtle that he had shipped from India to New York to Cincinnati can still be found in Cincinnati and his country home near Waynesville that he cultivated. His home near Waynesville was on Wilkerson Lane. See,
(This map is located on our website at:,%20Ohio.htm). See on the map that the Henry Heighway farm just outside of town (southern edge) abuts the Jacob property.

Charlotte E. "Eliza" Heighway was born on January 30, 1854 and married on June 3, 1874 Charles E. Jacobs, born in 1845 and died in 1894. He is buried at Miami Cemetery. They had a daughter Lettie Jacobs who lived in Mt. Airy.

In the late 1870s the Jacobs and Heighway Cabinet Works Building, formerly the Keys Building on North Main Street, Waynesville (Lots 4 and 5 in Harrison Square), was purchased for $2700.00 by a group of stockholders and converted it into an Iron Foundry, The Wayne Novelty Works Company. Crews of men were brought from Pennsylvania to set up the equipment. Obviously, the Jacob and Heighway families were united by both marriage and business.