Walton’s Business Interests
Her Churches, Schools, Manufactories
And Material and Spiritual Growth Since King Alcohol’s Death
Walton, Ky., Nov. 28, 1904
Ed. Courier:--We thought a few items from our prosperous and wide awake little village would not be amiss to the many readers of the Courier who always welcome its coming every Thursday morning with a relish. We have always had a warm place in our heart for the Courier, as we have known and read her from her infancy, and glad to note her improvements from time to time.
Walton, lying midway between Williamstown and Cincinnati on the L. & N. and Q. & C. railways, and eighteen miles from Cincinnati, is one of the most flourishing and prosperous towns in northern Kentucky and is composed of about 800 as industrious, enterprising and God-fearing souls as you will find on the globe. About fifteen years ago King Alcohol held sway in Walton, and his subjects often held high carnival, thereby furnishing nearly all the criminal business for the Boone Circuit Court. When King Alcohol got his quietus in Walton the old crookers, whisky soaks and false prophets prophesied in season and out of season that local option would be a failure; there would be more whisky sold and drank here than ever before; that local option would kill the town and grass would grow in the streets, and such trite arguments as the advocates of the saloon usually advance. But the clinking of the classes in the last saloon had scarcely died out when Walton suddenly awoke from her Rip Van Winkle sleep and began to grow and grow and expand and improve until her growth has been astonishing during this time; and right here, Mr. Editor, we want to congratulate Williamstown and Grant county for their victory over King Alcohol and shake hands with her people over the bloody chasm, where the King met his defeat, and upon the strikes your people are now making to walk in the straight and narrow way. Since we have aroused from our lethargy, dropped knee pants and put on long breeches we are strutting around with as many airs as a town of much larger dimensions.
Our people are blessed with three churches, of the Christian, Baptist and Methodist faith, of which Revs. Buck, Ecton and Pollitt are pastors. These churches are well attended, with prosperous Sunday-schools.
Our railroad facilities are unequaled. Lying between these two great railroad systems our access to Cincinnati is of only 30 minutes duration at a cost of 60 cents for the round trip, and for a monthly ticket to the city on either road is only $5.00, making a travel of over 1000 miles at less than one-half cent per mile.
We had an occasion to call upon some friends with “Bud” Baker the other night (everybody knows “Bud”) and we couldn’t help but note the improvement our town council are making on our sidewalks. It reminded us of being on the boulevard of some metropolitan city by moonlight as we walked up town on those fine cement walks now being constructed from one end of the town to the other and crosswise. Thanks to our town council. Speaking about “Bud” Baker, he is one of those jolly, whole-souled fellows who wouldn’t sell rotten apples or small potatoes for a little price and then skimp you in measurement, but will sell you the best goods with measure well shaken down and running over, at a good fair price. “Bud” is an old bachelor—no, he is a widower of about ten years’ standing. He would make some girl a good living.
Mr. Editor, there are many Grant county people living here, and somehow or other after they once get here they always remain and are contented and happy.
Several manufacturing concerns have become firmly established here in the past few years. The J.D. Mayhugh Manufacturing Company has been established since 1892 and deals in lumber, sash, doors, blinds at lowest market prices, and will furnish all kinds of building material on short notice. R. I. Ratcliff is book keeper and salesman and Leslie P. Vallandingham foreman of the shops. Hon. John G. Tomlin is president on the company. The concern takes its name from J. D. Mayhugh, who is a prime factor in the establishment, which has been quite successful.
The Monogram Tailoring Shops, recently built, represent an outlay valued at $12,000, comprising all the machinery necessary to manufacture clothing, and are fully equipped with waterworks, electric lights and all modern conveniences. They now have in their employ 75 women and girls, and are manufacturing men’s coats exclusively at this time, and their output is from 500 to 800 coats weekly. They could use from 50 to 75 more hands.
The Walton Deposit Bank was organized in 1890, with Dr. Allen president and Robert Green cashier. Dr. Allen served four years as president, after which Dr. D. M. Bagby was elected the bank’s president and has served in that capacity ever since with entire satisfaction. The doctor is very popular with the bank and our people generally and it always does one good to meet him. Mr. Green has been the only cashier the bank has ever had, having served since its organization, and has made a popular, efficient and trustworthy custodian of the bank’s funds. The paid up capital stock is $50,000 with $5,100 surplus, and the dividends have always been good. The bank has twice been attacked by robbers, but each time they failed to get any money. The last attempt at robbery the save and vault were considerably damaged and The Fidelity and Casualty Company, of New York, paid its officers an indemnity of $400. The bank is on solid footing.
The Walton Graded Free School has been established three years and in successful operation during that time, and is an institution of which Waltonians speak with more pardonable pride than any other enterprise. Prof. W. P. Dickey, the principal, is a native of Mississippi and a young man with exceptional qualifications. His pupils say they have never seen him angry. His corps of assistants are unexcelled. They are Misses Mae Cram and Dixie Humlong, of Williamstown, Mary Rouse, Jeanette Chambers, Irene Hudson and Olive Robertson, of Walton. Miss Robertson teaches music and Miss Hudson elocution. This popular institution of learning has for its able Board of Trustees, Wm. Ransler, R. M. Hones, G. B. Powers, A. M. Rouse, T. F. Curley and Dr. A. N. Jones, president of the Board, who presides with dignified ability and popularity.
Edwards brothers, Dolph and Kirk, who have in no small measure added to the upbuilding of our town, have in successful operation a large hardware and agricultural implement store with furniture, stoves, tinware, saddlery, oils, paints, wall paper and a full line of vehicles. Undertaking and embalming a specialty. Besides they manage the Phoenix livery and sale stable, where they handle coal, buggies, wagons, &c. Dolph is proprietor of the stable while Kirk is proprietor of the store. Their interests have been growing with the town and are now among our most prosperous business men. Adolphus lives in a most magnificent residence south of town, which is a model of architecture. S. L. Edwards (Kirk) has been secretary of the Walton Perpetua Building and Loan Association for 17 years, for which time it has been in continuous operation quite successfully. This Association is deemed by its members to be only second in point of benefits to borrowers, to any similar institution in Kentucky. Moneyed men consider stock in this Association a safe investment and facilitates many a member in acquiring a homestead. Their rate of interest is six per cent.
R. M. Crisler has recently purchased a lot of Main street, upon which he will erect a large modern brick bakery store and dwelling combined, with all the latest improvements known the baker’s art, where he will supply the public with bread, cakes, pies and confections with greater dispatch than in the past. Mr. Crisler is a hustler, and if you have good teeth you will be sure to like his cookies, they are all O.K. He will run a delivery wagon.
Fossett & Rouse have now in operation one of the neatest butcher shops in Walton in the Opera House building. They keep a choice assortment of all kinds of fresh meats, also fruits and vegetables in season. Call on them when you need them. Their phone number is 24.
Hayes Abernathy is a Grant county boy who came here a few days ago and started a barber shop near the Phoenix stables. If you need his services call on him; the boys say he can make you feel like a peeled onion. Hayes known how to do the work and will get his share of trade.
J.F. Jump has recently moved from Grant county, near Hanks, into the Kentucky House and has four girls working at the Monogram shops. He is well pleased with the outlook for profitable employment. He will accommodate a few boarders.
Henry C. Diers, one of our enterprising and substantial citizens, is proprietor of Hotel Atlas and dealer in agricultural implements, wagons and buggies and is State agent for the Farmers Nursery Company. The Hotel Atlas will satisfy the hungry and tired man. Charges reasonable.
R. M. Jones is a member of the School Board, keeps a boarding house on Main street opposite the Opera House and is an all-around good citizen whose table is supplied with the best the market affords and prepared by Mrs. Jones, who knows just how to make things palatable and one feel at home while at their house. You will be entertained if you go to the Jones House for a good square meal.
Mrs. Lee Cleek, fashionable milliner, opposite the postoffice, has a nice line of millinery, notions and ladies’ furnishings. Her goods are new, of the latest designs. Mrs. Cleek endeavors to please her customers by selling them the best goods for the least money possible, and has built up a nice trade in her line. She has the confidence of her patrons.
William Ransler, contractor and builder, also member of the School Board, is one of our enterprising business men who is always busy looking after his contracts or the town’s interest in some way.
Brittenhelm Bros., dealers in general merchandise and coal, have been established about 11 years and have been doing a constantly increasing business and have the confidence of their patrons. They are among our substantial citizens.
Nicholas Sanning has been in the jewelry business here about seven years and has built up quite a nice trade in his line. Nick is an old bachelor, but is the same jolly fellow he always was and enjoys life for what it is worth. Leap year has not affected him in the least.
J. J. Kipp, our only shoe maker, has been established here for 33 years. He lives in a splendid two story frame residence, centrally located near the Opera House, containing eight rooms, with cellar, cistern, delightful shade, grape arbor, three pear trees, six plum trees. Part of the first floor can be used for store room or offices, all in good repair. Cement walks in front and leading to the residence. Mr. Kipp desires to sell this property at the right figure. Call on or address him here.
We have one drug store in Walton, conducted by A. W. Smith, an unassuming gentleman of modest demeanor. He has been established three years and his store is a model of neatness. Mr. Smith is a native Kentuckians, and since his coming here has made many warm friends.
Dr. J. F. Cleek, our popular and handsome young dentist, besides having a lucrative practice at this place, has an office in Dry Ridge, at which place he will be found Mondays and Tuesdays of each week. The doctor is one of our most courteous and chivalrous young men. He will soon be at the head of his profession.
Dr. D. M. Bagby is one of our oldest practitioners, still in active service, whose reputation as a physician has long been established. The doctor has been active and influential in business circles, is president of our bank and has an interest in the Building Association and has always given his time and money when necessary for the upbuilding of Walton. He is now enjoying the fruits of his labors and the well-earned reputation of having spent as honorable and useful life.
Dr. B. K. Menefee, who is a member of a well-known Grant county family of doctors, has been located here for the past two years practicing his profession, and has gained quite a reputation as a successful practitioner. While the doctor is kept quite busy attending to his constantly growing practice he does not turn a deaf ear to the progressive spirit that has attacked Walton. We number him among our solid citizens.
Dr. A. N. Jones, a well-known and successful practicing physician in this and adjoining counties, has resided here for several years and has become a fixture as one of Walton’s most progressive and honored citizens as well as being one who has always had the welfare of Walton at heart. Besides attending his large practice he finds time to preside as chairman of the honorable School Board.
Now Mr. Courier, if we were to need a physician we would prefer the Walton doctors, for we believe they would let us die easier than any other doctors on earth.
Hon. John G. Tomlin, formerly of Grant county, practices at the Burlington and Warsaw Courts in most important cases and is an able and successful lawyer. He is identified with several business interests in town and is one of Walton’s most earnest supporters.
Hon. J. L. Vest, a young lawyer, has been practicing here for about five years and at Independence, is quite capable and very popular with our people, and especially the young ladies.
Hon. John C. Byland lives one mile below town in a modest home and enjoys a joke as well as the next one. He is cashier of the Richwood Deposit Bank, organized about one year ago with J. C. Hughes president—capital stock $15,000—and we are informed the bank has done a nice business. Mr. Byland was at the late primary nominated by the Democratic party of Boone as their candidate for the Legislature, an honor well bestowed.
Now, Tim (excuse us) Mr. Editor, if you want to build a house here you can purchase all the material, employ builders here, and if you want it painted you can employ George W. Fornash, who is a splendid house painter and paper hanger, who will do your work right. Then if you want your house furnished you need go no further than Walton merchants. Then after you get to house keeping you can get the best flour ever made from Mott and Rann Rouse, the holly, whole-souled millers, who have been in the milling business for years and who are well known for their generosity and good citizenship. Then for your groceries you will find what you want at Bob Jones’ at the right figures. He is in the business to sell and satisfy. Then if you are in need of a little money you can call on Louis Ford, a former Grant county citizen who will take delight in accommodating you, for he is a director in the Walton Deposit Bank and director in our Building Association. So you see, Mr. Editor, one can get anything he wants here.
We have a real nice postmistress, Mrs. Mettie DeJarnette, who handles Uncle Sam’s business with so much politeness and skill that it almost causes one to call for mail when he knew he didn’t have any.
Now, Mr. Editor, we have told you about Walton’s prosperity, her varied enterprises and industries, material and spiritual growth, and we would feel like we had not done the subject justice if we fail to make mention of our brace and noble women (God bless them) who have stood so nobly by us in our struggle for a better moral and spiritual life, and to them belongs the greatest praise for what Walton is today. We have noble women, brave and courageous women and handsome young women. Mr. Editor, we believe you are a married man, but should any of your gentlemen friends need a helpmate (God’s best gift to man) tell them they could go further and fare worse than at Walton. Anyway, come to see us, Mr. Editor, and we can assure you you will meet with the same cordial treatment as did the writer when he dropped in among them a few days ago.
published in The Williamstown Courier, Dec. 1, 1904