LOOKING BACK AT CARROLL

PART I

This article was written and contributed by Mrs. Joseph Gundy.  (Also known as Jessie E. Wilson, a former resident of Carroll, Ohio.)

The little village of Carroll,  Ohio, lies just off the new state highway leading from Columbus, the state capital, to Lancaster, thirty miles south.  Carroll is situated among the beautiful rolling hills of Fairfield County, of which Lancaster is the county seat , and is seven miles north of that latter town.  The pleasant little stream that flows through the valley just south of Carroll was called the Hock-Hocking by the Indians and has given the name of the Hocking Valley to the region.

 To the travelers hurrying by in a constant stream, the town was only a name on a signboard for the route of the highway has been changed so that it also, now by-passes the town. To the curious few who may take the time to go half a mile out of the way, there may seem to be little interest in the quiet little town. Occasionally, however, some stranger may become lost trying to get out of town and may wonder why the few streets are laid out at such unusual angles. If he she should stop to inquire directions from a native and should express interest in the peculiar plan of the village, he might learn some interesting bit of local history.  

Looking at Carroll today, it is hard to understand why a town was ever laid out in this location. There was no major cross road, the railroad missed the town completely, and the ft business houses catered only to the surrounding farming community. But our friendly native could tell the curious stranger, if he would pause long enough to listen, that Carroll was not always just a sleepy little village and that there was, indeed a reason for its existence. That reason was that the junction of the Ohio and Hocking Canals came at this point, and since the came together at an angle, the streets were laid out accordingly “on the bias." 

The story of the canal days is a colorful part of Ohio history. In the early part of the nineteenth century, the state of New York had built the Erie Canal, which proved to be a great success. The state of Ohio was the first one to follow suit. The Ohio legislature passed laws insure a system of canals for the state, which should extend from Lake Erie on the north to the  Ohio river on the south. The land required for the canals, about one million acres, was granted by Congress to Ohio to encourage this project.

 The need for the canals was acute. Ohio’s rich farm lands were capable of producing abundant harvests, but the farmer’s problem was transporting the crops to market. Unless there was a natural waterway nearby, the only means of transportation was by heavy and cumbers trading wagons drawn by four or six horses. Roads were very poor, having been carved from the wilderness, and were so full of stumps that one of the early laws required each able-bodied man to work two days at clearing stumps from the road before he would be allowed to vote. Overland transportation was so slow and uncertain that the price of wheat was from twenty-five to for cents a bushel. 

The Ohio Canal was begun in 1825 and completed in 1830. It extended from Cleveland on Lake Erie to Portsmouth on the Ohio River, and the first boat to be towed over the entire length, the Hebron, occasioned great rejoicing. Even before this canal was begun, the boom along the proposed route made the citizens of Lancaster realize they would soon be crippled by lack of transportation. So on February 8, 1826, they organized a company to construct a branch canal to Lancaster. This was known originally as the Lancaster Lateral and later became part of the Hocking Canal.

Selling stock in the new company at twenty-five dollars a share was slow work until the Ohio Canal was completed and Lancaster’s former trade went to Baltimore, Basil and other canal towns. After traffic began to flow on the Ohio Canal in 1831, it was only a year before all the stock was subscribed for the Lancaster Lateral and the contract was let. When it was completed and the first boat was towed into Lancaster on July 4, 1836, a cheering crowd often thousand turned out to witness the event. The celebration was accompanied by the booming of cannons, beating drums and waving of flags, with a free dinner of roast ox for all.

In the meantime, the state contracted to extend the canal from Lancaster to Logan, Nelsonville, Chauncey and Athens, fifty-three miles from Carroll. This portion of the Canal was completed on September 4, 1838 and in the same year the Lancaster Lateral was purchased by the state. The name of the canal from Carroll to Athens became the Hocking Canal.

One of the early subscribers to the stock of the Lancaster Lateral Canal Company was William Tong, who was a contractor on the Ohio Canal. He constructed the state dam west of Lockville and shortly after it’s completion, when the success of the Lancaster Lateral seemed assured, he laid out the town of Carroll. Little is known about Mr. Tong’s early life, but in May, 1805, a marriage license was issued at the Fairfield County Court House in Lancaster to William Tong and Rebecca Watson. William Tong had a brother Oliver who assisted him in laying out the town site, in 1829.

The Tong brothers named the new village in honor of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, the last survivor of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The revered statesman was born September 20, 1737 of Irish Catholic stock and was highly educated in France and England. He died at Baltimore on November 14, 1833, at the age of ninety-six.  

The Tong brother’s respect for religion was not limited to any particular faith. They donated the land upon which the former Methodist Church and parsonage stood and, specifying only that it was to be used for religious purposes. They also gave the town its streets, laid out so as to take the most advantage of the canals. Opposite the plot set aside for a church was a triangular piece of land which the Tongs donated as the location for a market house, without which no village of those days was complete. However, the market house was never built and the tract has been used as a park, thus preserving the beautiful old maple trees which add to the attractiveness of the village.

William Tong’s house was the first to be built in Carroll, on High street at the end of Market street. William and his brother Oliver built the first mill in the community, placing it near the stream west of the village. They also built and operated the first hotel, later owned by Ellsworth Heller. Unfortunately, William did not live to see the completion of the Lancaster Lateral or the development of Carroll; he died soon after the Ohio Canal was completed.

The Ohio Canal entered Carroll from the east and formed the northern boundary of the town as it was originally laid out. The principal business street running along this waterway was named Canal Street. On the north side of this street the business houses were built facing the street and with the back doors opening on the canal, thus facilitating the loading and unloading of freight. Near the center of town, at the point where the Hocking Canal joined the Ohio Canal, the latter made a sharp turn to the north so that the canals were roughly in the shape of a spread out Y, with the Hocking Canal being the tail of the Y. The point where the two canals joined, which lies back of the former bank building, was called the Junction. Here stood a large business building, also called the Junction, with an outside stairway leading to living quarters on the second floor. Here the toll was collected and the team~ crossed the Ohio Canal. Just south of this location was the turn bridge, to allow traffic on Canal Street to cross the Hocking Canal. South of this bridge was the basin of the Hocking Canal, which lay just back of the present post office.

The boats were pulled along the canal by horses or mules, fastened two to the boat by means of a long rope. The path along which the animals and their drivers walked was called the towpath. The towpath of the Hocking Canal was on the east bank through the village, but changed over to the west bank at the southern edge of town.

At the northeast end of Canal Street was Lock number 9 of the Ohio Canal, also known as the Upper Lock, and just above this lock was the basin of the Ohio Canal. On the southeast bank this basin stood a mill built by J. C. Reynolds in 1849. This was run by water taken from the basin and dropped back into the canal below the Lower Lock. A.B. Kistler purchased this business, known as the Carroll Flouring Mills, in 1872. For a time it was the largest in the county, with a capacity of 125 barrels of flour daily. Charles Kistler, Carroll’s former banker and a son of A.B. Kistler, recalls that his father used four stands of stones for flour, one for grinding corn and one for feed. Bran was considered a waste product in those days and a farmer was allowed all he wanted. The mill burned three times at this location. On the site of the mill now lies one of the old millstones, almost the sole reminder of this business.

On the west bank of this basin A.B. Kistler at one time had two warehouses. On the eastern end of the basin stood a warehouse owned by Saylor and Ebright. This was the original mill building, which had been built by the town’s founder, William Tong, and moved to this location.

Mill Street ran northeastward to the basin of the Ohio Canal where the most of the grain trade was conducted. The old basin was also the headquarters of the state repair boat. A boathouse stood here as a shelter for the tools and the Dick Gorham, the state boat, lay up here during the winters. Mr. Gorham, for whom this boat was named, settled in this community in 1832 and for many years operated the town’s drug store.  

Carroll’s flourishing grain market brought much business to the town. Mr. William Breck, a pioneer businessman, built and operated the first warehouse as early as 1832. Mr. Andrew Saylor was associated with him, but in 1862 Mr. Saylor went into partnership with his brother-in law, Mr. Nimrod S. Ebright. The firm handled about 60,000 bushels of wheat and corn annually.

Although Carroll had a population of only about 200 in those days, there were three hotels in the town to care for the transients brought in by the canal business. William Breck, a pioneer businessman, built the first warehouse, started the first store and opened the first hotel. Jim Harris, Col. Bope and John Azbell later owned this hotel. During the time of the canal’s closing years of activity it was known as Azbell House and had a tavern in connection which w popular with the boatmen. Later the ownership of this hotel passed to Mr. Azbell’s son-in-law, Ellsworth Heller, and his wife, Ida.

The Historical Atlas of Fairfield County, published in 1875, lists this hotel as the only tavern in town. It states also that Carroll at that time had about two hundred inhabitants, two stores and a fine two-story brick schoolhouse. Charles Breck, who is named as the first postmaster in Greenfield Township, had his office in Carroll about this time.

 The first brick house in Carroll was run as a hotel by Jacob Fenstermaker and later occupied by Mrs. Jennie Fenstermaker. The third hotel, on Canal Street, was operated by Thomas Manley, whose children were Bob, Eddie, Adaline and Katherine (Kit), Luella (Lee) and Frank. Elijah Winter’s family of nine children later operated this hotel. A daughter, Cora, married Frank E. Wilson, brother of Mrs. Joseph Gundy.

 Mrs. Wilson, residing in North Hollywood, California, recalled that Mother Daughterman owned the hotel at the time they lived there. She also recalled that the canal afforded the young people many pleasant experiences, such as fishing and boat riding in summer and ice-skating in winter. During the winter when the canal was frozen over, the state repair boat stayed in the canal at the center of town. She remembered a family by the name of Richardson who lived in the boat, and who were kind enough to allow the skaters to come inside the boat to get warm.

In 1880, when Cora Winter was five years old, there was a typhoid epidemic in the town. Her family was living at that time in the home of Dr. Nau, a widower, and her mother kept house for him. Across the Street lived Dr. Aldred, whose daughter, Emma, was Cora’s friend and playmate. Emma’s brother, Meredith and Cora’s brother, George, succumbed to the disease and the two girls barely survived.  

The Hocking Valley railroad, now the Chesapeake and Ohio, was dedicated July 4, 1825. As more and more freight was carried by rail, the canals were doomed. The last boats passed through the canal in 1897 and the state boat “DICK GQRHAM’ was abandoned in the basin at Carroll. Many of the present residents remember the rotting hulk of this boat as it lay in the weeds after the water had been drained from the canals. Alex Richardson, successor to Bill Paul as state boss, lived with his family in the stern cabin and the crew occupied the bow cabin. This boat was named for Dick Gorham, a one-armed saloonkeeper who had been one of the town’s early druggists.

The coming of the Scioto Valley traction cars in 1904, with hourly service between Columbus and Lancaster and a station much more conveniently located in the town, brought a new boom to the little community. Within a few years several brick buildings had been constructed to meet the community’s needs. The United Brethren Church was completed in 1910 and the Town Hall was built in 1911. In 1911 a new High School building was const at a cost of $26,000 which, with a new addition, is now a fine modem educational plant. The Methodist Church was built in 1912 and dedicated March 2, 1913, with modernization work having been completed within recent years.  

So this is Carroll... just another small town to the casual visitor, but to many people scattered throughout this broad land it is fondly called “my home town”. We hope this little history has recalled fond memories of other days. For history is nothing more than the facts recorded by inhabitants of a community, and when the present generation is gone there will be no one to recall the events of other years.   To all friend of Carroll.....GREETINGS!

PART II

We who have been brought up in a small town can hardly forget its many distinct characteristics. Progress removes many of them and puts the newer in their place, but memory carries the old with it throughout life.

 The “old hitching post” stores were all open at night as late as anyone wanted to shop, the horses tied side by side much like the autos beside a parking meter today, only it was all free. Also free was the wonderful water from the deep well at the east end of the square, where two tin cups were fastened by long chains to the town pump.

 Our town of Carroll was almost completely surrounded by all kinds of trees that bore nuts--beech, hickory, walnut and chestnut. They were free for the taking and everyone had all they needed for winter. Refrigerators and deep freezers were not dreamed of, but all you had to do was raise the window of any room not needed for daily use and you had both.

 Geese were raised by many people, even in Carroll, and by almost everyone on the surrounding farms. On the farm near Carroll where Mrs. Gundy lived as a child, the geese stayed on a lovely stream which ran through the place, so they were never around the house or yard. No one ate the geese; they were raised for the feathers. When they had all they needed for their beds, then the feathers were sold to the huckster who came once a week. The price was fifty cents a pound. Everyone had apples, cider and popcorn, also sweet corn. We made taffy two or three times a week.

 Mrs. Gundy was sixteen before she saw a dentist’s chair, in the office of Dr. Frank Struckman, Carroll’s only dentist. His office was on the second floor of the brick building, now the Carroll Community Center owned by Carroll Lions. It was across from the post office, now the location of North American Taxidermy. Dr. Struckman later practiced in Basil, then in Lancaster until his death at the close of World War I. He was a bachelor and was born and raised east of Carroll.

 In 1878, when Mrs. Gundy was nine, she was allowed to go to Carroll to attend school. She boarded with Scott Courtright.  Scott was a telegraph operator for the Hocking Valley railroad and his wife’s name was Cora. There were six trains a day at that time and when Scott had to be at the station at night, Cora was glad to have company.

The south end of town was called Stringtown because the houses were strung out along the road. Next to the Courtright home lived Henry Hartsough, the superintendent of the Carroll school. Beyond this house was a covered bridge leading to the section of town called Galesburg, so named because the wind blew so much there.

At that time, Carroll’s second school was located at the beginning of High Street, near the covered bridge by which the highway crossed the Hocking Canal. The school was housed in a two-story brick building containing the primary department on the first floor and the upper grades on the second floor.

The primary teacher was Daniel Danahy who later taught in the Lancaster schools. He married the daughter of Mr. Wolf, for many years the superintendent of Lancaster schools, and later went to New York, where he became an attorney. His three Sons also became attorneys.

The upper grades, including high school, were taught by the superintendent, William Henry Hartsough. Although this was not a recognized high school and there were no graduation ceremonies, the quality of Mr. Hartsough’s instruction was such that the pupils were qualified to take the county teacher’s examinations and become teachers. Many of the girls went to the Granville Female Seminary, while other students were accepted by such institutions of higher learning as Ohio University and Ohio State University. Several of the boys became telegraph operators by studying with the operator at the Hocking Valley, Scott Courtright.

The school term started about October first and ended about the first of March, so the boys could help with the farm work. After the regular term ended there was a spring term lasting six weeks. At this time the spring term was taught by Miss Rose Sapp.

After Jessie spent one year in the Carroll school, she returned to the farm at Chaney’s Crossroad and again attended the school at Number One, also called the Chaney School because of its location near the farm of her grandfather Chaney. Two or three years later, she, her brother Frank and sister Lillie were all enrolled in the Carroll school and the three of them walked a mile each way every day.

Two more rooms were added to the brick schoolhouse, one upstairs and one downstairs. At this time it was not in the Carroll School district, so it was necessary to pay tuition of $1.25 apiece per month for high school and seventy-five cents per month for grammar school.

During her first year in high school, Jessie Wilson met Joe Gundy, who later became her husband. He drove from the farm of his father, Isaac Gundy, 2 and 1/2 miles southeast of Carroll and paid the same tuition as the other high school students and an additional $1.25 to stable his horse and buggy in the barn of John Gierhart, the veterinarian.  When the new schoolhouse was built in 1912, Willard Sands of Columbus, who had been a pupil in the old school, bought the schoolhouse and surrounding grounds. Here he built and sold two frame houses.

 Carroll’s first schoolhouse , which served from the founding of the village to the 1860’s, was a small frame building on West Market Street. This building also housed the first church and Sunday school, organized by the Methodists. This denomination, known as the Methodist Episcopal Church at that time, continued to meet in the schoolhouse until 1854. At that time, a small frame church was built on the site of the former Methodist Church. In this church the first graduation class of Carroll High School (of which Mrs. Gundy was a member) held commencement exercises on May 27, 1887. This first graduation class was composed of three girls and five boys.

 The first Methodist Camp Ground was one mile south of Carroll in a woods owned by the Meason family. This was a beautiful spot for a camp meeting. Everyone lived in tents and in the center of the grounds was a tabernacle made of canvas. There was plenty of room for hitching the horses of those who came for the day and they could buy feed for the horses. John Azbell, a prominent Carroll hotelkeeper of those days, ran a hack to the grounds. The fare was five cents for a one-way trip, or six tickets for twenty-five cents. If you wanted to travel this way, you went to the hotel and waited on benches. Many of the young people walked and enjoyed it.

 The Methodist Association bought the Lancaster Camp Ground property three miles north of Lancaster, which has been enjoyed by Methodists from far and near, among them the southern orator, Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan, William McKinley (Governor of Ohio at that time), singers and many returned missionaries. This place of beauty now has many modern comforts which we never dreamed of in those early days at the old location, including a good hotel, cafeteria, swimming pool, natural gas, water tanks and comfortable cottages. You could reach these beautiful grounds in the early days by the Hocking Valley Railroad, later also by the Scioto Valley Traction cars.

Among the early business houses of Carroll was the dry goods store operated by the Saylor brothers, Andrew and Roberts, in the Weaver building. They brought their supplies from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They later sold the store to Wesley Holmes and during his ownership the store burned twice. Mr. Holmes rebuilt the store then Bill Beaty had his real estate office and barber shop at this location.

The Post Office was in the Holmes store, in charge of Meredith Aldred, son of Dr. A. T. Aldred. Above the Holmes store was Fred Oberle’s tailor shop. Mr. Holmes carried the yard goods on the first floor and several of the town girls worked there.

In this same building, Richard (Dick) Gorham had a drug store, which he later sold to A.Z. Converse. Mr. Converse’s son worked with him. Mrs. Converse was an artist and writer. They had a young son, Clarence. Mr. Converse later had the post office. He retired about 1894 and went to Chattanooga, Tennessee to live.

After the death of Wesley Holmes, Harry Holmes Brandt, a nephew who had been a clerk in the store, became the owner and manager of a business, which flourished until a fire left the business a complete loss. Because of ill health he did not rebuild, but became township clerk, also town clerk and treasurer.

The Nathaniel Havens shoe shop was also in this Weaver block. Sergeant Rowe had a cobbler shop in the barber shop next to this building. There were two barber shops at this time. Carroll had plenty of barber shop music at this time. After them came the Tibbs brothers, Fred, George and Roy, black gentlemen of the “old school”. The Tibbs brothers sold out to the Kiner brothers. Chester, the owner, assisted by Elmer, Clarence and Isaac. They were also black gentlemen and good singers and musicians. They were the brothers of Jim Kiner, the famous ball player of his day with the Carroll Blues. One by one these brothers died of tuberculosis. Chester went to Denver, Colorado in hope of being cured. He died in March 1908 and his body rests in the Carroll Cemetery.

At the close of the Civil War, the Kiner family, the grandparents of Jim, came to Ohio and settled near Carroll. His name was Bennie and her’ name was Anna. Their home was close to the 

Coonpath. John was a son and Mrs. Emily Black a daughter. They had a large family and they, also, most of them, died of tuberculosis.

The Black family, Emily and John and their daughter Minnie, were all members of our Methodist church. Anna Kiner and her daughter, Mrs. Emily Black, were wonderful cooks and always were present at all weddings, funerals and parties to do the cooking. They were very emotional, especially in matters of religion. Mrs. Black and her husband John, would shout and shout in church. They delighted Rev. Sam Jones, a southern evangelist who made many visits to Lancaster Camp Ground in the eighties.

About 1880, the first hardware store was built and operated by Joseph Green, a prominent farmer out in the Slough settlement. A large hail above this was used for a dance hall and shows of all kinds. An organized group called the Minstrel Men gave a show once a year which was excellent.

Joseph Green sold his hardware store to Hermy W. Showalter, who with his wife Ann, lived for years in the home previously owned by Forrest & Mary Glick, Forrest was manager of the Pure Oil Garage.  Mr. Showalter retired from the business, selling to Jake Bowman, who sold to Howard Bowman and George Morehart.  In 1914 they sold to Samuel Kull and his  brother Frank. This building burned and was not rebuilt, and the brothers bought the building where Mr. and Mrs. Bill Ridgeway used to operate a hardware store.   Mr. Samuel Worrell had a harness store and lived where the Charles Norris family now reside.  

Hansberger and Doomy Dry Goods store was operating when Mrs. Gundy first saw Carroll, in the brick building across from Dr. H.A. Brown’s office. The partnership was later dissolved and Harmen Doomy became the owner of the business. Mr. Hansberger returned to Baltimore, Ohio with his family. Otto Bethard of Chillicothe bought Mr. Doom’s business and later sold it to Alva Buchanan. The latter sold his stock after a few years and this dry goods and grocery store went out of business. 

Aaron B. Kistier had the first flouring mill, run by water from the canal, next to his home on the southeast side of the canal. He was assisted by his five sons. This mill burned in August, 1896, and he started to rebuild but passed away before its completion. The boys finished and operated the mill until it burned again in 1899, after which they rebuilt at a new location on the Hocking Valley Railroad. Silas was the manager of the elevator and also built the funeral home which was owned and operated by Chester Thomen.

Harvey J. Knisley built the Carroll Elevator. Ill health compelled him to sell the business to Isaac and Joseph Gundy, Mrs. Gundy’s husband. Later, Joseph was sole owner of the firm. In 1904 this elevator was completely destroyed by fire. Joseph rebuilt and soon after erected a flowing mill. He enjoyed the largest trade of any dealer on the Hocking Valley, shipping to points in Southern Ohio and West Virginia. He also dealt in coal and seeds of all kinds. This business was wiped out by fire on April 16, 1914, except for the office. Joseph sold the business the same year to Frank Phipps of Pleasantville, who was also a prosperous business man. The large brick house near the elevator belongs to the Phipps heirs. This house was built many years ago by Daniel Boyer who had an elevator down by the depot. This elevator was not in use when Mrs. Gundy was a child, as it had been destroyed by a fire that occurred one summer night during Camp Meeting, in August.

Mrs. Gundy’s early memories of Carroll include a shop on Market St. which was built over the sidewalk like a covered bridge, the way they were built in Germany. Joe Plogerman lived here. He was a fine cabinet maker and also made wagons. Later he became Carroll’s Mayor.

Next door lived Richard Holmes with his wife, her mother and sister. The two sisters were the leading dressmakers and milliners of the town. Next door, at the corner of Market and Lock S.S. Was a two story, two family apartment with an outside stairway and a grocery store in front. The store was owned and operated by Dennis Danahy, the father of Mrs. Farrell. The Danahy home burned in 1892 and Mrs. Charles Stroth resided in a home built in this location.

Wesley Holmes was a Christian gentleman that was always public spirited and loved to help the church or community. He was one of the main promoters of the Farmer’s and Merchant’s Banking Company in December, 1906. For more than fifty years this important financial institution of Carroll had enjoyed the confidence and patronage of the whole county. Mr. Holmes, it’s first president died in 1910. Charles E. Kistler was cashier at that time. Lebeous T. Martin was the bank’s second president, Edward Alspaugh, third, William Coffman, fourth, and Charles Kistler, fifth. John Kistler was cashier, Alice Schmidt, assistant, Alice Benson bookkeeper and Judson C. Kistler, the attorney.

Charley Oberle, son of Fred, started Carroll’s first ice cream parlor in his home, later to be the residence of Lester Blackstone in “Brooklyn”, the popular name for Oberle Avenue. After several summers, he rented a building where the Clyde Blackstone store stood. It was very small at the time, but he later enlarged it and turned it into a department store with an opera house roof garden. Here, open air concerts would be given each Saturday night. In winter, the opera house was used as a dance hail and for holding fanner’s institutes, lectures, graduation exercises and other entertainments. Charley Oberle also had an order and delivery service. This was before the days of telephones and his brother Jim would come to the house and take orders for ice, milk and groceries to be delivered on the following day. Later, Charley became interested in silent movies, sold his store and moved to Logan where he operated a picture show. After his retirement, he moved to Columbus where he died.

 Fraternal orders in the early days of Carroll were the Masons, Knights of Pythias, Grand Army of the Republic and the Ezra B. Ricketts Post of Good Templars. The last named was the forerunner of the W.C.T.U. to which all over sixteen years, both men and women, were eligible to belong. Later, the Ezra B. Ricketts Woman’s Relief Corps was formed and years later the Woodmen of the World and Royal Neighbors. The last two were benefit organizations and both had insurance. Mrs. Gundy was a Royal Neighbor and they had a large membership. It was organized about 1905.

Travel in the early days was by oxen and horseback because the roads were too poor for any other means of transportation. Later, as the roads were improved, carriages and buggies were used. In winter they had plenty of snow and used bobsleds and sleighs. Mrs. Gundy recalled that the sleigh was her favorite way to travel. Then came the bicycle, the real high kind. There were just two in Carroll, owned by Hugh Saylor and Oliver Ruble.

The coming of the horseless carriage brought a new means of transportation to Carroll. The first high automobiles, from Sears and Roebuck, were owned by Dr. H. A. Brown, Dr. Harry Bounds, George Gloyd and Jacob Benson. These were followed by Buicks, white with no top, owned by Frank Sherrick and Harry Brandt. Joe Gundy owned the first Ford. Clouds of dust were raised by every passing car and both women and men wore long linen “dusters” to protect their clothing. A favorite song of the time was “Get Out and Get Under” because a trip almost always meant either engine trouble, a flat tire or both.

Soon, automobiles began to appear everyplace, tearing along at the frightening speed of fifteen or twenty miles an hour.  The automobile brought new kinds of business to town. Joseph Shaeffer and sons were associated in business in a tire shop. The firm sold the business to Shaeffer and his wife. Ill health caused this business to be sold to Huston and Swope from Amanda. Orwell Noecker was its manager until his death.

At the corner of Center and Market S.S., facing the park, was the home of Andrew Saylor and his wife, Elizabeth Ebright Saylor. The Ebrights and the Saylors were both early settlers in Carroll. Mrs. Saylor related many stories about the town as she remembered it to Mrs. Gundy. In the early days, it was almost completely surrounded by woods. Mrs. Saylor died at age 84 in 1912. The Saylor house was converted into a double. The man who built this house also built our Greenfield Township and Fairfield County Courthouses.

Mrs. Gundy told of the old lamplighters who were so faithful in lighting the gas street lamps. Robert Wiley, Joe Uhl, Thaddeus Wade, John Webb and later Charles Ell and his son Thornton were lamplighters over the years. Richard Williams was also a lamplighter and also carried the mail and hauled the freight from the Hocking Valley depot.

When the Scioto Valley Traction Company was built and operated in 1904 , electricity came to Carroll. Carroll has always been fortunate in having good doctors. Dr. John H. Nau was here as early as 1846. Dr. Nau and his wife both contracted tuberculosis and passed away within the same year. His brother, Dr. J. C. Nau, who graduated from medical school at this time, moved into the house and took over the practice. Five years after the death of his first wife, he remarried and built the house later owned by Bill and Mildred Ridgeway, hardware merchants. 

Dr. Adam T. Aldred and his wife were also here in the early days. They lived in the house later remodeled by his son-in-law, Jesse Kindler and the doctor’s office was a small building next door on the alley.

In 1897 after the death of David Brobst, the house he had built for his daughter and Dr. John Nau was sold to Dr. Barr who came from Minnesota. He owned and operated the first X-Ray machine in town.  Later doctors were Dr. Gage, Dr. H.A. Brown and son, Dr. A. A. Brown, Dr. C.A. Barrow, and Dr. Harry Bounds.

In the eighties, typhoid was a dreadful disease. Typhoid was common all over Greenfield and Bloom townships as long as the canals were here. Smallpox was another terrible disease in the early days. Mrs. Gundy remembered two smallpox epidemics during which Carroll was quarantined. Once in 1898 and again in 1903. Dr. Gage was the doctor at this time.

Now, as we have looked back over the last hundred and more years, we see the many changes that have taken place. Not only in the Village of Carroll, but in our lives. Some changes are good, some are not, but should we long for the days of old? Not really, we might want to replace the fast pace of our lives of today with the quiet, peaceful, slow and easy paced days of yesteryear, but would we want to give up the advances in medicine, and technology, the conveniences and comforts of our everyday lives and the opportunities given us to better ourselves, our lives and the lives of our children, grandchildren and all future generations, we believe we would not, but to hold dear, instead, the memories, traditions and gifts given to us by those that have gone before. In our modem lives of today, let us be happy with the memories of the past.

Thanks to the contributions from the memoirs of Mrs. Joseph Gundy.

(Updated version done 1996.)