Superior Facts

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[corresponds to front cover of Superior Facts booklet]




Copyright Paper Makers Chemical Corporation, 1930



Paper Making in Delaware County, Ohio

[photo: Old dam and mill site, Stratford, Ohio]


scenic spot on the

Olentangy River in

Delaware County,

Ohio, was once a thriving

paper mill village. Today

only shrub and vine

covered ruins of the old

mills and dam remain to

hint of its former paper

making activities. While

Stratford does not re-

semble that more famous

English Stratford-on-

Avon, for which it was

named, in natural beauty

the Ohio Stratford does

not suffer by comparison.

The earliest commercial

references obtainable state that a grist mill was built in Stratford about 1808.

The builder's name is not mentioned, but the record reveals that the property

eventually was purchased by Forrest Meeker. He rebuilt and enlarged the mill

in 1829 making of it a substantial structure of stone, and adding facilities for

carding and fulling wool. The first deed mentioning it as a mill property was

recorded August 15, 1832. This deed conveying the property from Forrest

Meeker to Forrest Meeker, Jr., for a price of $4,000.00. Samuel Lantz next pur-

chased the property at the same price, October 17, 1836, and he in turn sold it to

Hosea Williams and Caleb Howard for $5,500.00, June 5, 1838, describing it in

the deed as the Meeker Mill property.

A Delaware County history written in 1880 by W.H. Perrin and J.W.

Battle, gives the following account of the first paper mill on this property:

"Sometime in the early thirties Caleb Howard, an enterprising, speculative

sort of a man conceived the idea of establishing a paper mill at what is now

Stratford, and succeeded in interesting Judge Hosea Williams, a safe, cautious

business man in the project. (Judge Hosea Williams came of Welch parentage.

He was born in Berkshire County, Mass., August 3, 1792, was educated, and

clerked in a general store in Pittsfield, Mass. He came to Delaware County with

his parents in 1817. He died February 12, 1876.)

"In the Spring of 1838 the old flouring mill, with the mill privileges and

property, were bought, the old dam replaced by a splendid stone structure and a

paper mill put in operation October 1, 1839. John Hoyt was the first superin-

tendent. He gave the classic name of Stratford to the place. On October
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30, 1840, a fire badly

damaged the mill. In

three months it was re-

paired and improved."

[photo: Delaware Mill, Stratford, Ohio]


Artie Benson, William Cunningham, George Comode, Cora

Price, Frank Price, James Price, Joshua Stickney, Joe

Swartz, Jake Sherer, Davie Bauder, Abe Swartz, Enoch

Shelly, Vance Jaycox, Atwood Smith, Henry Sherer,

Frank Jaycox, John Jaycox, Albert Johnson, James

Osborn, Com Allen, William Osborn, Henry S. Breyfogle,

George Osborn, Jacob Allen, Edgar Anderson, Joe Wood,

Gib Harrington, Henry Heidman, Harvey Anderson,

Walter Osborn, L.H. Breyfogle, Dick Corbin, Charlie

Allen, James Allen, Captain E.M. Eastman, Mary Stew-

ard, Mary Pierce, Mary McClure.

Hiram G. Andrews, a

Delaware merchant, who

was born in Franklin

County, Ohio, July, 1813,

purchased half of Caleb

Howard's holdings in the

mill property for $9,000,

on September 5, 1843, and

the balance, for $10,000,

on April 25, 1845--in all,

a five-twelfths interest in

the business. In 1849 the

old flouring mill was

fitted for the manufac-

ture of half a ton of

wrapping paper daily.

About ten men were em-


On February 27, 1857,

the entire plant was

burned with a loss of

$25,000, the insurance not

exceeding $10,000. In

November, 1857, a two-

story stone building about

50x80 feet, with several additions was built at a cost of about $30,000. By this

time the mill was recognized as the most important paper mill west of the Alle-

ghany Mountains. At the time of the fire the firm had accounts of $10,000 due

from the State, and in 1861 they had a large contract with the State which, owing

to the unforeseen and extraordinary rise in the paper market, they were compelled to

ask to have rescinded. The main mill manufactured print and book papers

and the one on the site of the old flouring mill furnished wrapping paper. An

Artesian well sunk 210 feet through solid rock furnished water for purifying

purposes. Steam furnished power during low stages of water.


Wishing to retire from the business Hiram G. Andrews, on June 10, 1865

deeded "for $5.00 and love and affection" his five-twelfths interest in the business

to his son James. James Andrews then purchased a one-twelfth interest from

Hosea Williams for $2,000. Norman D. Perry, who was superintendant of the

mill, also purchased a one-twelfth interest from Williams for $2,000, and the

mill was operated as the Andrews and Perry Company.

In the late sixties, Abraham Dewitt and his brother-in-law, a Mr. Brown, with

his son operated the mill possibly by lease, as there is no record of ownership.

There is also mention of Abraham and Isaac Vought, who were related by mar-

riage to Perry, having been interested in some way. On August 25, 1870, John H.

Mendenhall, a successful Delaware merchant, purchased the half interest of James

Andrews for $20,000, and the name of the concern was changed to the Delaware

Paper Company.


The first edition of Lockwood's Paper Mill Directory, 1872, lists the mill as

having one 42" and one 48" cylinder machines making newsprint, book, tea wrap-

per and tissue papers in one mill and straw wrapping in the other. The business

evidently was prosperous for Mr. Mendenhall purchased another mill at this time

in Henry, Ill., on the Illinois River. This Mill made a ton of newsprint daily on a

54-inch cylinder machine. Associated with Mr. Mendenhall were two sons of his

Stratford partners, Hiram R. Andrews and Albert Perry. These young

men managed the Henry mill. In 1873 and 1874 Norman D. Perry, Jacob

L. Klein and Andrew J. Clark purchased small interests in the Stratford

mill. On August 1, 1874, Andrews sold his interest in the Henry mill to Isaac
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Vought, of Stratford. Shortly after, the Henry mill burned. Unfortunately the

insurance had been allowed to lapse and Mr. Mendenhall was a heavy loser. He

was obliged to pay indorsed notes held against the company. The Stratford mills

were operated as a partnership and Mr. Mendenhall, being a man of means, was

held for its obligations. An assignment was made by Perry, Klein and Clark for

the benefit of the creditors. The assets were not sufficient to meet the claims of

the creditors. Mr. Mendenhall's claim was a personal one for notes given when

he sold his stock. Those loses practically ruined him financially, and coupled with

a general business depression the mills suffered accordingly. Lack of orders

and run-down equipment made operating expensive. Operations were finally sus-

pended in 1876. The organization was bankrupt and an assignment was made by

Perry, Klein, and Clark on behalf of the creditors. After a hard fight by Mr.

Mendenhall the courts established a value of $36,540 on the property. About this

time the Hill Brothers, Frank A. and Fred P., successful farmers and stock

raisers of Delaware County, and grandsons of Hosea Williams, one of the

original owners of the mill, were anxious to reopen the mill. They obtained the

property at the court sale on April 10, 1877. With them in the enterprise were

their father, Chauncy Hill, and a nephew, Velorus T. Hill.


This new organization operated the mills under the management of Fred P.

Hills. Frank A. Hills was in charge of manufacturing, but having no working

knowledge of the business he was obliged

in 1879, to secure the services of Solomon

Wagg as superintendent. Mr. Wagg had

been running a machine at the L.L.

Brown Mill of North Adams, Mass. Mr.

Wagg soon left Stratford to run the mill

at Woodsville, Ohio, William Osborn

succeeding him. Mr. Osborn also came

from the L.L. Brown Mill.

The Hills were not successful as paper

manufacturers and sold the mill on March

13, 1882. Joshua R. Randall of Elkhart,

Ind., a paper salesman with some prac-

tical knowledge of papermaking, induced

Charles W. Edsell, and Nelson W. Mills,

merchants of Ostego, Michigan, to invest

with him. They formed a partnership

known as Randall-Mills and Edsell.

[photo: Another view of Stratford Mill Hills Paper Co.]


The new owners took over the mills, Mr. Randall acting as manager and

superintendent. Matters went poorly and Mr. Edsell moved to Delaware and

took over the mill management. Adam Glass, a salesman of Buffalo, N.Y.,

joined him and together they purchased the interests of Randall and Mills.


The property was sold for $60,000 to the Glass-Edsell paper Company, Incor-

porated, December 18, 1884, the incorporators being Adam Glass, Charles W. Ed-

sell, Amasa Burch, Edward Fowler and William Corner. Mr. Corner, or Connor

as some of the records give it, was superintendent. Many improvements were

made. A mile spur track was built off the Hocking Valley Railraod to the mill,

eliminating the three-mile trucking to and from Delaware. In 1884 they installed

a 60-inch Black and Clawson Fourdrinier machine and in 1885 a second 48-inch

Fourdrinier was installed, replacing the clylinder machines. Owing to lack of

power for competitive production the buisness again proved unprofitable and re-

sulted in a total loss to the stockholders. An assignment was made on December 7,



This company was incorporated February 24, 1894, and started to make straw

wrapper on the two Fourdriniers, but soon changed them over to cylinder ma-

chines. Lockwood's 1894 Directory lists the mill as having one 12,000 lb., three
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800 lb., one 400 lb. and one Hoyt engine; one 62 inch and one 44 inch cylinder

machines making 16,000 lbs. of straw wrapper in twenty-four hours. Julius

Cohn, president and Max H. Lowenstein, secretary and treasurer.


Robert Scanlon operated the mill in 1897 and 1898 as the Stratfrod Paper

Mills, making straw-rag and manilla lining paper. The Stratford Mills were

succeeded in 1899 by Westcott and Scanlon, operated a short time and closed

permanently. A success was never again made of the mills. The machinery was

sold to Seromlin and Westcott and Herbert Peck purchased the real estate for

$2,000, according to records, February 11, 1899. Herman Reidel was the last

superintendent to operate the mill.

In 1900 Robert Scanlon was active in organizing the Brownstown Straw Board

Paper Company, who purchased the two machines in the Stratford mill, equipping

a mill at Brownstown, Ind, now the Kieffer Paper Company, where these original

machines are still in operation.

In 1902 the Columbus, Delaware, and Marion Electric Railroad Company pur-

chased the Stratford Mill property and converted the buildings into a carbarn

and repair shops. On December 15, 1927, the buildings were totally destroyed by

fire and never rebuilt.

The big flood of 1913 destroyed the waterpower and as there is not the volume

of water that formerly flowed through Olentangy River, there is little possibility

that this will ever be developed again for power or manufacturing purposes.

Of the people formerly associated with these mills, Charles W. Edsell, after

failing to make good at paper making, returned to Otsego where he has been very

successful as a real estate operator. He is in good health and with his wife cele-

brated their fifty-first weddng anniversary in Florida last winter.

Fred Palmer Hills, former manager of the mill, is now associated with the

Delaware Savings Bank. James Price, an old time employee, is living retired at

Stratford. Geo. Hesser, former superintendent of the Riverside Paper Company,

Appleton, Wis., but now retired was once a machine tender at Stratford. Harman

Breyfogle, the first backtender on "The big 60-inch Fourdrinier" is now living at

White Pigeon, Mich. Herbert A. Breyfogle, a former cutter boy at the Stratford

Mill, now has an M.D. added to his name and is a successful physician of Kansas

City, Mo.

Roy Breyfogle, son of Harman Breyfogle, who also started at the Stratford

mill is now superintendent of the Eddy Paper Company at White Pigeon, Mich.,

and Charles McClellan, former Stratford machine tender is now superintendent

of the Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company, of Kalamazoo, Mich.

Our thanks and credit for much information in the foreging history are

tendered to Bert White, Recorder of Delaware County, O.; Miss Della Weiser,

Librarian, Delaware Public Library; C.C. Moyer, of the Columbus, Delaware

and Marion Electric Railroad; Charles Edsell, Otsego, N.Y.; and E.S. Menden-

hall, son of John H. Mendenhall, who has an abstract office in Delaware.--Editor.

Chain, Chain, Who Made the Chain ?

In July Number of Superior Facts we told how Lime Rock, Conn., forges

were said to have produced the chain that was stretched across the Hudson

River in Revolutionary days to prevent British warships from reaching West


George Gammie, assistant superintendent of the Rolalnd Paper Company, St.

Jerome Quebec, tells us that while he was superintendent at a mill in Moodna,

N.Y., he heard similar claims for the forge at Moodna.

Since publishing the Lime Rock item we have heard similar claims of forges

in Saratoga and Columbia Counties, N.Y. From what we learn this famous

chain was hurriedly put together and every available forge was pressed into the

service of making portions of it for the emergency.

We will be pleased to receive and publish any definite facts regarding the

actual making of this chain from our readers.--Editor.
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"Lou" Breyfogle's Autobiography

[photo: L. H. Breyfogle]

I was born in Stratford, Ohio, and started

my career in the paper industry at the age of

thirteen as a cutter boy in the old Stratford

Wrapping Mill which was then owned by the

Randall-Mills and Edsell. Later came my pro-

motion to backtender and three years after I was

assigned as machine tender at the daily wage of

$1.25. Six months later I became machine tender

for the Hastings Paper company, Enon, Ohio,

under S.W. Sroufe, who is now superintendent of

the Dresden Paper Mills Company, Dresden, Ohio.

I worked there for about two years, saving sufficient

money meanwhile to take a course in a business

college. I next secured a machine tending job in

the F.J. Diem and Company mill, Dayton, Ohio.

Two years later this mill was taken over and closed

by the Columbia Straw Paper Company. I then

went with the Nixon Paper Company, Richmond,

Indiana, set up an old Fourdrinier and started

on lightweight bag paper. I was with this mill

until it closed.

In 1893 I returned to Stratford to work for the then new Delaware Paper

Company. From there I went to Steubenville, Ohio, to run a machine for Hartje

Brothers under Tom Bygot, superintendent. I was with this Company two and

a half years. The Tarentum Paper Mills installed a new machine and I joined

them as a machine tender for one year. From this mill I went with the Harvey

Paper Company, Wellsburg, West Virginia, to run a machine that the Black and

Clawson Company had removed from a Louisville, Kentucky, mill and rebuilt.

My next move was to the Ford Manufacturing Company, Clinton, Iowa, and

soon after I went to Alexandria, Indiana, to run machine for the Alexandria

Paper Company, where I remained for eighteen months. Wehn the Wayne Mill,

Hartford City, Indiana, installed a new machine, I went with them to start it up.

Next I joined with John and Al Wiley in a lease of the old National Paper

Company, Waterloo, Iowa, and ran it a short time. I next went with the Chicago

Coated Board Company. Tom Harvey, now manager of the Gardner Harvey

Paper Company, was superintendent. I moved on to the Beveridge Paper Co-

pany and ran a machine for them, leaving to go with the Franklin Manufactur-

ing Company, Franklin, Pa. W.D. Boyce had purchased this mill and J.E.

Daley was superintendent. Mr. Daley hired me to dismantle the mill and after

it was shipped to Marseilles, Illinois, I set up the machinery and started the

mill. From there I went with the Marion Paper Company, and then with the

Ohio Boxboard Company as superintendent. I was with this company thre

years, after which I joined the Western Board and Paper Company as super-

intendent. I built and started up this mill. Later I went with the Oscar Felt

and Paper Company, and rebuilt it as a board mill, the name being changed to

the Michigan Box Board Company. From this mill I went to Kalamazoo,

Michigan, as superintendent of the Standard Paper Company. I was with them

about three years. After this I went with Mr. G.H. Nood, president of the

River Raisin Paper Company, as general superintendent of the Bogalusa Paper

Company, and was with them during the building and starting up of this mill.

My father, Henry S. Breyfogle, started to work as a teamster for the Andrew,

Perry and Mendenhall in 1858. He later became a machine tender, and the

most of this time as beater engineer.

I can remember old Joe Phillips when he ran a machine at Stratford, but only

for a short time as he was noted as being "the tramp paper maker." I also

remember when Jack Simington worked in this mill, and both of them have had

many meals at my home.


Nosey Hill, one very cold winter, when jobs were hard to get, came to Strat-

ford pooly clothed, hungry, and jobless. A watch had been stolen in the com-

(Continued on Page No. 8)
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Our Rogues' Gallery

[photo: Adult Book Louse About fifty times natural size]

For future identification we present the

picture and life story of another criminal in "the world of paper."


This pest is probably more disgusting

and annoying than it is destructive. It only

feeds on the paste and glue used in binding

books or the animal or vegetable substance

of surface sized or coated papers when they

are damp.

A. E. Back, Entomologist, in Farmers

Bulletin No. 1104 of the United States De-

partment of Agriculture, tells us in part:

"Book lice or psocids are the tiny white

or grayish-White insect-, scarcely as long as

the width of an ordinary pinhead, and often

much smaller, that scurry across the pages

when old, musty books are opened.

"They appear in houses in greatest num-

bers during late summer and early fall, and

are more abundant in damp, well-shaded

rooms not in general use, and in houses long

closed. Very few are found in bright, sunny,

dry rooms in constant use.

"Book lice run in a halting fashion over

everything in the house. They feed on all

sorts of vegetable and animal matter. It is not often that they become abun-

dant, and when they do, they attract attention more by their annoying presence

than by the actual damage caused. They injure man in no way and are there-

fore unlike the true lice.

"The book lice that occur in houses have no wings and are seldom one-

sixteenth of an inch long, often much smaller. They are pale colored, almost

white when young, hut as they grow older are darkened somewhat by the food

they have eaten, for this shows through their more or less translucent bodies.

When old, musty books are opened suddenly, the book lice may be seen scurry-

ing across the pages in a halting and uncertain fashion, and frequently they

are noticed upon door screens, window panes, furniture, books and photographs

or upon almost any object in the room.

"Book lice thrive best in closed rooms that are warm and damp. Seldom

are they noticed in light, airy rooms in constant use. They are found in houses

that have been closed all summer. They die off during cold weather, but may

leave behind them eggs which hatch the following spring to furnish the infesta-

tion for the succeeding year. Ordinarily they do not become abundant enough

to attract attention until late summer or early fall.

"Upholstered furniture and mattresses Stuffed with straw, husks, hair,

feathers or moss are especially favorable places for their multiplication, and

in the worst cases of infestation on record the psocids have come from such

sources. They have been found in myriads in straw in barns and stables, in

the straw coverings of wine bottles in cellars, and in rooms in which tow

used in the manufacture of upholstered furniture is kept.

"One record on file indicates the usual history of infestation. In a new

house kept by very neat occupants a mattress of hair and corn husks which

had been purchased not more than six months before was found in a badly

infested condition after the house had been closed about six weeks. It was so

covered with psocids that a pin could not he stuck into the mattress without

piercing an insect. The side of the sheet next to the mattress was likewise

covered, and a further search showed the walls and the entire house to be

swarming with the tiny pests. A sweep of the hand over the walls would

gather them by the thousands.
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"Where only a few book lice are present, a thorough cleaning, airing and

drying of the room is all that is needed, provided the source of infestation

is within the room itself. As many as possible of the objects in the room should

be removed and thoroughly sunned on a bright day. The room should be heated

to a temperature of from 120 to 140 degrees F.'. for several hours.

Psocids are soft-bodied insects and succumb to a long drying due to heat. Where rooms are

located on the ground Hour in loosely constructed buildings in shaded and damp

situations, as are many summer cottages, so many psocids come in from the

outside that almost no treatment will entirely rid a room of them.

"When book lice swarm in alarming numbers over and throughout a room

the breeding places should be located at once. If the source is old straw or

husk fillings of mattresses, these should he removed and burned wherever pos-

sible. Thorough fumigation with the fumes of sulphur,* 1 pound of sulphur

being burned for each 1,000 cubic feet of space, is effective. Where other pests

are present, such as bedbugs, and where the bleaching effects of the fumes can

lie disregarded, as in barracks, .5 pounds of sulphur will prove effective. During

fumigation the rooms should he kept closed as tightly as possible, and after

five or six hours opened from without and thoroughly aired. Fumigation with

hydrocyanic-acid gas is very effective, hut dangerous in the hands of inexpe-

rienced persons.(See Farmers' Bulletin 699.)

"Closets, boxes, trunks and sometimes even entire rooms, where infested ob-

jects are kept near the floor, can he fumigated satisfactorily with carbon disul-

phid. (See Fanners' Bulletin 799.) In addition to cleanliness and plenty of

sunlight, licit or fumigation, wherever it can be applied, will yield the best

results, if the source of infestation has been removed."

The Cambridge Natural History book on insects says: "One specie of the

family of Psocidea, Clothilla Pulsatora, is widely known as the 'Death Watch'

owing to the belief that it is able to make a peculiar ticking noise supposed to

be prophetic of the decease of some individual (human not insect). The Rev.

W. Derham, who two hundred years ago was rector of Upminster in Essex

(England) gave an account of the ticking of the dentil watches to the Royal

Society. He said: 'I am now so used to and skillful in the matter as to be

able to see and show them beating almost when I please by having a paper with

some of them in it, conveniently placed, and imitating their pulsations which

they will readily answer.' He said he could only hear them when it was done

on paper and that the death watches would tick for hours at a time resembling

the ticking of a watch."

"*Before resorting to sulphur fumigation the householder should be warned that

sulphur fumes can unite with moisture in the air to form sulphuric acid, thus having

a bleaching effect upon wall paper and other articles, as well as tarnishing metals

of all sorts. The damper the house, the greater the bleaching. In houses thoroughly

dried by heat very little

bleaching occurs. (Householders possessing homes furnished

with rare or valuable articles should never use sulphur.)"



[photo: Left to right:?"Count" Kuppers of Arabol Mfg. Co., E. J. "Ted" Pope

and J. J. Sullivan. Taken at Delaware Water Gap, Pa., 1900.]
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Paper ? How She's Made?

From "Consolidated News," published by the Consolidated Water Power

and Paper Co.

God bless these tourists that come from far and near, wanting to go through

a paper mill. "I came all the way from Iowa just to see how paper is made,"

they say. Others happened to see the smoke stack and thought they would

drop over.

We enjoy the college eo-ed or schoolma'am, studying industrial problems,

getting ready to write an article on "From Logs to Paper" or something

like that.

Recently a not bad looking dame in her middle thirties appeared and uttered

a wish to visit the mill. She was getting information for a thesis so we took

her at her word and also took her by the arm and guided her hither and thither.

"I will send you a copy of my thesis," quoth she,--and here it is:

WOOD comes into the paper mill in rafts, gondolas or hookahorns and

dumped into a pond containing hot water. In the wood room there are

a large number of men engaged in sawing the logs in two and throwing

them into huge revolving tubes which scrape off the bark and broom the

ends sufficiently to permit it to be ground into chips. The chips travel on a

belt to the sulphite mill where they are put into a rotating device called a

sulphur burner. Here the wood mixes with sulphur and then the chips are

cooled off in the cooler, ready for making paper.

Some of the wood goes to the grinder room and ground Op, where a high

pressure water pump forces the wood from the bins to the grindstone, resulting

in a pulpy substance which is pumped to the suction presses. The free stock

flows freely, while the slow stock travels more slowly. Before the pulp gets to

the paper machines, it is passed through screens which take out the foreign

material from Canada.

The paper machine is a huge device consisting of a lot of rolls which revolve

at the rate of 500 to 1,000 feet per minute. The pulp first goes through a copper

screen called a wire, then into a wire pit where the fibres are criss-crossed by

the machine tender.The back-tender takes care of the backside of the machine.

The paper is then pulled through perforated rolls, called suction rolls, by

means of vacuum pumps. These pumps are kept in a vacuum. In order to get

the paper in good shape for printing it must be dried and then wound on reels

where it is rubbed thoroughly with clay, alum, chlorine and jordans.

In the boiler house there are large stokers filled with tubes and super heaters.

The coal is emptied into a hopper on the roof and let down to the boilers, first

passing through the preheaters and then through stokers and economizers.

Attempt is made at all times to keep water in the boilers, otherwise the fireman

would he put to considerable inconvenience.

In the power plant are the generators which are filled with coils, volts and

switch panels. The water rushes through the generators, causing them to revolve

and produce thousands of kilowatts. These kilowatts are used in the process of

paper manufacture.

Story of Osborns Soon

Limited space prevented us from publishing the history of the Osborns in

this issue. In our October issue, we will carry a brief story on William Osborn,

his son, George Osborn, and his grandson, Clarence Osborn. William and George

Osborn were closely associated with the early days of paper making in Strat-

ford, Ohio.


munity, and although Nosey was innocent, he was blamed for the theft. When

arraigned before the Judge, Nosey said: "I plead guilty, Judge, but I did not

steal the watch." Thus Nosey obtained three meals a day and a lodging place

for the winter.

Mr. Breyfogle is now Western representative of Draper Brothers Company,

manufacturers of paper makers felts, with headquarters at Kalamazoo, Mich. To

him we are obligated for much of the information regarding the Stratford Mills.

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E. W. Howard, An "Old Guard" Veteran

[photo: Edward W. Howard in 1885]

In his own words and style, Mr. Howard

relates the following highly interesting

side lights of his career in paper

making and the history of the old Strat-

ford Mills.

To old friends, Mr. Howard will be

better known as Edward W. Hougawout,

the later name having been changed in re-

cent years for the sake of brevity and

clarity. Mr. Howard now resides at Kau-

kanna. Wis., and we wish to credit and

thank him for much of the information used

in our story of Stratford.

"I was born in Andover Township, Sus-

sex County, New Jersey, of Colonial Scotch

Irish and Dutch stock. My maternal grand-

father did costume weaving. My paternal

grandfather owned and operated a saddlery

?harness shop, we would call it. Before

railroads were so common all heavy freight

was carried across the country by great

canastoga wagons drawn by four, six, or

eight heavy mules. The great demand for

saddles and harness made the saddlery busi-

ness very important and profitable.

"I do not remember much about home

or conditions there before the Civil War

since I was only five years old when the war broke out. My father enlisted on

the first call, leaving his little mason contracting business which his business

friends absorbed during his absence. That made it necessary for us to strike

out for ourselves as soon as we were old enough.

"My mother's folks were interested in a paper mill at Stratford, Delaware

County, Ohio. Before I arrived in 187J the old owners had died or sold out.

This mill was three miles from any railroad, on the west side of the Olentangy

River about twenty-five miles north of Columbus. It had a good stone dam

with water power six or eight months in the year. This company owned a straw

wrapping mill up near the dam, which was operated when there was surplus

water power. That old wrapping mill was a relic of tile middle ages. The

machine was hand made?that it, built up of scraps, odds and ends from the

machine in the lower mill. It was tied up and wired from stem to stern. The

two beaters were driven by a spur gear off a water wheel, one beater being on

either side of tile spur from which both were driven. The lower, or 'white mill,"

as it was called, had been built originally for a writing paper mill and had been

operated as such for many years.

"When I arrived on the scene they were making newsprint entirely of rags,

on a little machine a man could reach across. In Delaware, two and a half miles

from the mill, there was man named Blackwell who ran twenty-five tin peddler

wagons out into the country trading tinware for rags, brass and copper. Black-

well sold those rags to the nearest paper mills. Stratford mill employed forty

to sixty girls in the rag room. They made nineteen sorts of these nice clean

country rags. They sold new white cotton cuttings, new white linen cuttings,

new brown linen cuttings, new brown cotton cuttings, soft wool, hard wool, all

wool blankets, half wool blankets, number one all white no seams, number two old

white with seams, and light calicoes. I have forgotten how to classify them

now. My first job was baling up the sorts that were sold. The new cuttings

were shipped to Massachusetts and the woolens to Philadelphia. I managed to

work through the mill in a year or two.

"The machine was one of the first cylinder machines with six dryers, pro-

ducing in twenty-four hours about twenty-four hundred pounds of all rag

paper used for print. If they had stuck to writing paper or tissue it would not

have been so bad, but to use such stock for print was a crime. But what would

Superior facts (p. 10)


Superior facts (p. 10)


[page 10]


you expect, there was no modern paper maker in

sight. The stock was bleached with powder instead

of liquor, colored white with ultramarine blue, mea-

sured up with a tin cup instead of being weighed.

No red was used. Rosin was put in the beaters in

paste form instead of being dissolved in water. It

looked dark red like soft soap made with wood

ashes. The paper was hard and strong. It should

have been since it was made by strong, hard-boiled

people. That Stratford was a hard joint at that

time. After I had been there a year or two the

company went bankrupt and was bought out by

Hills Brothers, local men in the town of Delaware.

One of the Hills, Frank, was a gentleman farmer.

[photo: W. Howard today]

He was made manager. He was a fine person but

knew nothing about the business. They put a

teamster on to run a machine. The young man was

all right as a teamster hut knew nothing about paper

making. Two or three of the machine boys and

myself were the only old men in the mill. We had

a lot of sport with the new machine tender. One

day we pursuaded him that the dryer bearings were getting hot, burning. He

shut the machine down and tried to cool them off by pouring water on them.

"I worked pretty much all through the mill?rag room, heater, steam engine,

tiring, and even filled the rotary and cut rags. When I left I was running the

beaters. They had two two hundred fifty-pound beaters and one six hundred-

pound beater nd two three hundred-pound washers. The mill was then in very

bad repair. It was no unusual thing to shut down two or three hours for repairs.

One day the main three-inch line shaft broke, and had to he taken down to a

blacksmith shop to be fixed. We shoved one end through the front door and

the other one in the back, got the two ends together in the forge fire, put the

heat on, jammed the two ends together, smoothed it up, straightened it out and

put it back. It ran without ever going into a lathe. That was some job even

for this day.

"My next jump was to Ohio, with Woodsdale Chatfield and Woods of Cin-

cinnati. Next I went to Batavia, Illinois, July 1, 1880. The Van Nortwicks had

converted the old Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad shops into a paper

mill. It had three machines and just started a new ninety-two inch Four-

drinier, the largest in the west at that time. They were making straw print,

eighty-five per cent, straw and five per cent, rag, and about ten per cent, ground

wood. It had five large digestors using straw from nearby farms. They did not

buy and store the straw at that time. The farmers brought it in under contract

and there seemed always to be a surplus. The help were a wild and wooly lot.

Whiskey was cheap and lots of it was consumed. I only stayed there four

months. The job was too much for any one man. They emptied from forty-two to

forty-five beaters and four washers, and there were no Jordans in the mill.

We were at it all the time. The beaters were never all furnished at one time.

"The beater helpers had to help fill straw digestors three or four times at

night. That put the beaters back and altogether it was a rush job, a two man

job. On October twenty-eight, I had a row with the boss about one of the

machine tenders who would be drunk all day and try to work his night shift. I

was the goat for his lessened production, or smaller rim of paper. On the

train into Chicago on the morning of November 1, 1880, the boss jollied me and

tried to have me return to work because he had found out where the trouble

had been in his mill. But I did not go hack; I had had enough of that stuff, and,

let me add that during my forty-eight years in the mill my only serious trouble

came from drinking mates, drinking helpers, and also drinking bosses, the last

being the worst of all. Prohibition may not function as some believe, but the

drunken boss is a rare bird in the year of Our Lord 1930, while in 1880 he was

only too common.

"My next job was in the Mead and Nixon Mill, Dayton, Ohio. John Luke,

one of the founders of the West Virginia Paper Company, was superintendent

of the mills. One machine was on hook and one on manila wrapping paper made

of pine and spruce. They had the pulp made in their own pulp mills just

Superior facts (p. 11)


Superior facts (p. 11)


[page 11]


across the street. I got a lot of experience here for John Luke was a first class

paper maker.

"I left Dayton and went to work for the Miamisburg Paper Company at

Miamisburg. Boss Hughes, a Scotch-Irish boy, was superintendent. One day

he told me to go out and help fight ice on the racks, and I told him to go to

a warmer place. That was in February, 1881; I bad been there since December,

1880. There I met Cuningham, Johnson, and other old timers from the other

mill, the Ohio Paper Mill. I did not get along very well with my boss so I left

the Miami Valley and went to South Bend, Indiana.

"I found the South Bend mill more modern, three machines, all water power,

but no Jordans yet in my experience. Before I left South Bend they had in-

stalled a Brightman refining engine. It was cone shaped about four feet long

and three feet across at the big end and tapered to about eighteen inches at the

small end. It was failure; no more of that type were built as far as I know.

The first time they shut down after I went there was January 20, 1883. John

Bolton and I went to the Franklin Paper Company at Franklin, Ohio. We

remained there till May, 1883. The South Bend Company reorganized and sent

for us so we went back. They got a superintendent from Ohio to run the mill

in mid-summer. He cut every man's pay on September 1, 1883. I quit along

with every other paper maker in the mill and went to the new mill at Eau Claire,

Wisconsin, which had been promoted by the same William Beach who built the

South Bend Mill.

"Eau Claire was at that time a lumber town with eight large saw mills. The

paper mill was on the Chippewa Lumber and Boom Company's dam. They had

one seventy-six inch Fourdrinier machine, two six hundred-pound beaters,

washers, Jordan, and four Datvon wood grinders. They made print from rag

and ground wood. There was a surplus of water power at all times; the best

power I ever worked on. I went there as a beaterman, then they put me in

the rag room as foreman. Ted Pope became manager and Elmer Pope foreman.

The mill was a wooden shell stuck up on the bluffs so near the dam that they

tapped the dam with the forehay within twenty feet. We were never bothered

with ice. The water wheels were set too high and when water went down, the

steps would burn out. That was how Ted Pope lost his big toe, going after

the men when they were putting in new steps. When they had fooled along for

a year or two putting in new steps they finally lengthened out the draft tubes.

Here was a good chance for a mill, good water, plenty of money, and every-

thing necessary but it was not a success. The Davises of Neenah bought it and

rebuilt the whole plant.

"When I arrived in the Eau Claire mill things were not in such good shape.

Drainers were all filled with rags that were not cooked. The half stuff was full

of colored threads which could not he bleached out so it made specks in the

paper; the color was off, and the wood pulp showed slivers which made the

sheet rough. We got the rags cooked by putting a padlock on the steam valve

of the rotary. They fired with wet green slabs and when the steam went down

the firemen would shut off the rotary to save shutting down the paper machine.

There was nothing in Eau Claire for me hut trouble.

"I jumped from there to Rockland, Delware. Went to work for William

Luke in the Rockland mill, Jessup and More Paper Company. This was October,

1886. I was thirty years old. I stayed with Mr. Luke for four years and learned

many things from him, how to make stuff on time and a lot about coloring paper.

This was an up-to-date concern; everything in good running order and the dis-

cipline in the mill was perfect. In March, 1890 we moved to Appleton, Wisconsin,

to work for the Fox River Paper Company. The Lincoln Mill had just been

finished. We started on all rag bond, fine, and superfine. It ran the first seven

years without a jordan. In all those years we dragged along with ice and low

water. The power never was sufficient. From 1890 to 1915 it was h?l, one long

nightmare, when I look back at it all. I worked from one job to another and

when I quit in 1920 I was honored with the title of assistant superintendent.

Ernest Timm was my boss. I was sixty-four years old.

"I don't think paper making has been much of a trade since the jordan and

sulphite pulp came into use; nor is the paper the same. New standards are

being established by young men coming into all branches of the production and

selling departments of the game, making for many radical changes. But who

cares? Who knows the difference?"
Superior facts (p. 12)


Superior facts (p. 12)


[page 12]

[corresponds to back cover of Superior Facts booklet]




Twenty-three Superior Plants with Ocean Transport, Railroad,

Rolling stock, and 200,000 Acres Rosin Producing Forests

The Most Extensive Organization of its Kind in the World Pro-

ducing, Distributing and Servicing Chemical Products

for the Pulp, Paper and Coating Trades

Paper Makers Chemical Corporation

Easton, Pa. Kalamazoo, Mich. Holyoke, Mass.

Savannah, Ga. Portland, Ore. Atlanta, Ga.

Albany, N. Y. Milwaukee, Wis. Marrero, La.

Carthage, N. Y. Jacksonville, Fla. Stoneham, Mass.

Lockport, N. Y. Pensacola, Fla. Boston, Mass.


Erith, Kent, and St. Austell, Cornwall, England


Freeman, Ontario


Forest Headquarters, Fargo, Ga.


Easton, Pa. St. Austell, Cornwall, England


East Point, Ga. Marrero, La.


Easton, Pa. Emeryville, Cal. Malaga, Spain


East St. Louis, Ill.


Fal Valley, Anchor and Kerron, Cornwall St. Austell, Cornwall, England


St. Austell, Cornwall, England


St. Austell, Cornwall, England


Boston, Mass.

"There is a SUPERIOR PLANT Near You"


Dublin Core


Superior Facts


Buildings--Historic--Village of Stratford--Delaware County--Ohio
Mills--Paper making--Village of Stratford--Ohio
Village of Stratford--History--Delaware County--Ohio


The September 1930 issue of Superior Facts (vol. 4 no. 3) containing a history of paper making in Delaware County, Ohio. Specific focus is on the paper mills in the Village of Stratford. This item is held by the Delaware County District Library.


Ralph M. Snell, Editor


Superior Facts (vol. 4 no. 3)









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Ralph M. Snell, Editor, “Superior Facts,” Delaware County Memory, accessed May 22, 2024,

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