Local History


Genealogy "Look-up" Service

Are you searching for your family tree, for your roots, or just looking for records of someone dear to you?

We Can Help ...

If you are from out of the area and need assistance obtaining an obituary from our local newspaper or other resources, please email the Reference Department at refdept@seolibraries.org or send a letter to the Reference Department, Carnegie Public Library, 219 E. Fourth Street, East Liverpool, OH 43920. 
Please make your request as specific as possible as it will be researched and processed for up to 30 minutes.  Open-ended and "needle-in-the-haystack" requests are highly discouraged.  Researchers seeking inquiry for such questions should consult a researcher for hire. There is a list of genealogists at the Board for Certification of Genealogists website.
We also have subscriptions to HeritageQuest and Ancestry Library Edition available through library computers.  Stop by to search for your family's information!
 If we have not been able to help you please try contacting one of the following web pages:
If you want to learn more about the Tri-State Area of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania please take a look at the Local History section of the Library Home Page.
Here are some additional genealogy websites.

East Liverpool

East Liverpool, Ohio, is rich in history and today, in the 21st century, you can still see homes and scenes from the 19th century. Many scenes have changed or disappeared with the times. Here is a link to  just a few of those pictures that will stir the memory and bring back recollections of a bygone era.

East Liverpool in its earlier times was known by the native inhabitants of the area, the Onandagas, Oneidas, Mohawks, Cayugas, Senecas and Tuscaroras as a prime hunting ground along the Ohio River valley. Later they were succeeded by the Delawares, Miamis and Shawnees.

A great treaty was made between the five nations on one side and the eastern and western tribes on the other. This meeting took place at a flat rocked area, on the beach of the Ohio River a short distance from the mouth of the Little Beaver Creek. At this great council it was agreed that war would cease and that peace would extend from the Alleghenys to the Mississippi. To confirm the treaty each chief drew a symbol in the rock. The Onandagas drew a spider, the Cayugas an eagle, the Oneidas a forked stick, the Mohawks a bear, the Shawnees a turtle and the Senecas a wild goose.

From the time of the treat until 1775 this area was held by the Mingoes and the Cayugas.

In May of 1758 Col. George Washington captured Fort Duquesne, renamed it Fort Pitt and later that year (June or July) made a short voyage down the Ohio camping on what is now known as Babbs Island. Stories say that encumbered with too many provisions he buried a barrel of crackers there to keep them from falling into the hands of the Indians.

On October 17, 1770 George Washington again returned to the area, this time camping on the upper east side. (It is believed this location was close to the Museum of Ceramics).

East Liverpool sits on what is now the State Lines of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. This are was in 1787 "The Point of Beginning" for one of the new nations most major undertakings- the survey of the territory west of Pennsylvania and north of the Ohio River. This survey known as the NorthWest Ordinance was to have a major impact on the States now known as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. The main idea behind the survey was to bring government to the frontier country.

The first settlement in Columbiana County was made in 1792 by John Quinn, a hunter and trapper who built a cabin in the area now known as Calcutta. The first settlement made in Liverpool Township was in 1795.

In 1798 Thomas Fawcett purchased 1,100 acres of land along the Ohio River, paying $3,651. He believed that the area was a choice location and would attract settlers because of the abundance of natural resources. He also laid out plans for St. Clair, named after Governor St. Clair, which would become the foundation of the city we know today. The residents renamed it Fawcettstown which it remained until 1816 when it was changed to Liverpool. The town was eventually renamed East Liverpool when it was incorporated on January 4, 1834 to prevent confusion with another Ohio City called Liverpool.

Area Myths and Legends

Every small town has its myths and legends that grow from mere tales of events   or acts into even taller tales embellished over the years into stories that blur together and become obscure in their origin. East Liverpool is no different from any other and this is an attempt to bring together a few of those tales in one place.

Here you will find the stories of famous people and stories of strange happenings in and around the East Liverpool, Tri-State area, like:
Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Well renowned  1930's gangster who was shot here in the East Liverpool area. The legend that has built up around Floyd is that he was a "Robin Hood" who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. There are also several stories of his death.
The surrender of General John Hunt Morgan near West Point.  A telegraph sent by Major General Rue said: "I captured John Morgan today at two o'clock P.M, taking 336 prisoners, 400 horses, and arms."
In an area of Beaver Creek State Park there are several legends.These stories take place in and around Sprucevale, a small community once a thriving village along the Sandy and Beaver Canal. Alas today, all that remains are an old mill, an old building and the remains of a couple of locks from the canal. The Legend of Gretchen's Lock along the Sandy & Beaver Canal, The Bride at the Bridge in Sprucevale (Esther Hale) and the Boy who hung himself at Sprucevale.
Fredericktown, Ohio has several legends and tales. Ira Mansfield a banker from Cannelton Pennsylvania once stated of Fredericktown in his book "Reminiscences", "It is noted for rapids, tragedies, and Hamilton Falls, eighty feet high, enrapt with legends of witches and picturesque cliffs". At the turn of the 19th to 20th Centuries Fredericktown was known as a vacation spot for weekend travelers and day trippers who spent much of their time in and around the beautiful valley of the Beaver creek. Here are just a few of the stories that center in the Fredericktown area. Hamilton House, Diamond Falls and the Lost Silver Mine.
There have even been tales of sightings of Bigfoot in this area.
Many people are interested in the myths and legends of our area if you have any other legends that you know of please contact us at the Library or you can e-mail us.  We will research the stories and include them on this page.


Columbiana County, Ohio

Yes there have even been sightings of what would seem to be Bigfoot in this area. Chris Woodyard in Her book "Haunted Ohio II" (1992) interviewed several people concerning sightings of strange and unusual human-like creatures in the area.

"Craig Young of Harmony Hills Stables in Columbiana County went on a trail ride on a March afternoon with a friend. When they got to a frozen creek crossing, they saw what they thought was "a guy in a black parka fishing". When the thing looked up it had "a flat face like a monkey, all wrinkled looking". It stuck something under its arm and ran up the hill like a man with very long arms. It stayed up on its legs too long to be a bear. The men couldn't get their horses to cross the creek to follow it."

Craig's wife Nanette related another experience, "Late August, early September in 1991 we had gone out on a two-hour trail ride, when suddenly it became very dark. The horses stopped dead. We heard something, we didn't know what, coming through the woods. Whatever it was was breathing heavy; you could see the trees parting as the thing pushed them aside. We didn't hear any footsteps, like the thing was floating.

"I couldn't imagine anything that would frighten the horses so bad as to freeze them. We urged them on and finally we kicked them. they wouldn't move. Real soon that thing was going to be on top of us. It was high as the horses' heads--past six foot. It was definitely hair-raising. Whatever it was, it was not touching the ground. I thought we were dead. Finally one of the girls screamed and that unfroze the horses. We rode so hard out of there, I thought sure one of the horses would go down. When we got back to the barn we slammed the door shut. We were lying against the door; nobody said a word. I could hear my heart."

"When they went back the next day, branches and shrubs were broken where the creature had come crashing through the forest."

Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd

Robin Hood of the Cookson Hills

You can see the whole story of Pretty Boy Floyd by visiting our pages about his life and death.

Here you will find some of the myths and legends that abound about this 1930's gangster from Oklahoma who became "public enemy # 1" and met his demise here in the East Liverpool, Ohio area.

Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd was born out of the trials of being a poor farmer in the times of the Great Depression. He was raised in a small farming community of Akins, Oklahoma, close to the Cookson Hills which later would become his refuge from the arm of the law.

The people throughout the area were losing their farms to the banks. The banks wanted the land for the expansion of farming and its profits. Small farms were unprofitable. The people had done everything that they could to keep their homes even holding off the bank's tractors with shot guns, daring then to take what was rightfully theirs.

Into this story comes Charles Floyd, poor, out of work, with a young family. He would take odd jobs but that did not help. Many of the younger generation would not go hungry. They became armed bandits. Floyd was one of such people. He would rob the banks that were robbing them and whilst he was in the banks taking their money he would destroy or steal the mortgages to the local farms. With no record of a mortgage how could the banks take the land? He would also use his ill gotten money by buying food and distributing it to the members of the community. In return they protected him, became his communication system, fed him and welcomed him to their homes when he "dropped by".

Of all the bandits who hung-out in the Cookson Hills, some of whom were Ford Bradshaw, Troy Love, Aussie Elliott and Ed Newt Clanton, Charles "Pretty-Boy" Floyd's name is the best known. He was never called "Pretty-Boy" by any who knew him well, most called him "Chock". In 1931 and 1932 he robbed so many banks in Oklahoma that the bank insurance rates doubled. He even robbed two banks in one day at Paden and Castle, Oklahoma on December 12, 1931. He used a submachine gun and a bullet proof vest. Most of the time he worked alone but occasionally had one companion or fellow thief. He rarely concealed his identity and often introduced himself to his victims. Often it was said that when he left the scene of a robbery he would make the bank officials ride on the running boards of his car so that he was protected.

During his crimes however he did manage to get 10 notches on his lucky piece which always carried with him. He was so well thought of by the community that he could walk around in public unmolested and even went to church in Earlsboro.

The newspapers called him the "Robin Hood of the Cookson Hills". He was pleased with this nickname and once stated that, " I have robbed no-one but moneyed men"

Charles Floyd always hated the nickname "Pretty-Boy".

The Kansas City Massacre: Was Floyd there or not?

"Dear Sirs,
I----Charles Floyd---- want it made known that I did not participate in the massacre of officers at Kansas City.
Charles Floyd"

Captain Higgins received this message on a plain business postcard in the mail. It was post marked, Springfield, Missouri.

The debate still rages about whether or not Floyd took part in what was the event that would make him "Public Enemy # 1".

In his book "The Bad Ones" (1968) Lew Louderback writes about this major event that would change Floyd's reputation. Floyd was wanted for a possible murder in Oklahoma (it is thought that he killed John Mills, the man who was tried and then acquitted of the murder of Floyd's father.) so he set out for "Tom's Town" (Kansas City) where he quickly disappeared into the criminal underworld. He moved around the country his reputation growing as a violent criminal even though it is thought that some of the events that are attributed to him were not of his doing.

In 1933 Frank Nash, a veteran bank robber, had been arrested in Hot Springs, Arkansas by FBI agents and was being transported via train through Kansas City back to Leavenworth, from where he had escaped three years earlier. Word was fast spreading through the "underworld" of what was happening. Verne Miller decided that he would try to facilitate his escape before Nash reached his destination.

Floyd and Adam "Eddie" Richetti were also traveling toward Kansas City with two hostages in the back of their car, Sherriff Killingsworth and Walter Griffith. Upon arriving in the city they stopped and Floyd confered with some people. Upon returning to the car he told Richetti to get their guns and change cars. He told the hostages to drive to Lee's Summit, eat dinner and then head home.

The next day, June 7, the train, the Missouri Pacific Flyer, was to arrive at Union Station at 7:15 am. Later a Lottie West was to describe the events that would take place. She arrived for work and found a man sitting at her chair in her booth at the station. She described him as "round-faced, rather fleshy, weighing about two hundred pounds." He yielded the chair to her and was later seen loitering at the entrance as if he was waiting for someone. Outside a car carrying Special Agents Raymond Caffrey and R.E. Vetterli arrived. They would be taking Frank Nash to Leavenworth. There was also an armored police car with two city detectives, W.J. "Red" Grooms and Frank Hermanson.

Around 7:20 am the police and Nash were spotted coming up the stairs from the platform wearing a white shirt and his hands cuffed in front of him. She said, "That must be Pretty-Boy Floyd." The man who had been waiting around darted across the station ahead of the group of police. Outside the station they headed for the green Chevrolet driven by the FBI agents. Three men came by on the running boards of a car, each with a Thompson submachine gun. They opened fire on the men.

If this had been an attempt to rescue Nash it was a dismal failure as he was killed along with many of the police involved. Some have wondered whether it was not an attempt at rescue but more likely retribution in pay-back for events that had transpired throughout Nash's colorful criminal career. Agent Lackey was seriously injured, Vetterli was shot in the arm, Caffrey, Grooms, Hermanson, Chief Reed and Nash were dead and Agent Frank Smith escaped unharmed. It was called the "Kansas City Massacre" and the unidentified gunmen the "MadDog Killers of KC."
Into the investigation Sheriff Thomas B. Bash of Jackson County interjected his theory that Floyd and Richetti were involved because they had arrived in Kansas City the night before and their hostages had seen them talking with two other men and they had driven off with them. Kansas City Captain of Detectives, Thomas J. Higgins, scoffed at the idea. He had been tracking Floyd for 4 years and felt that he knew him fairly well and that this was definitely not Floyd's style.

Bash would not be deterred and during his investigation he interviewed Lottie West and showed her photograph's. She identified Floyd as the man who was sitting in her chair and whom she had seen across the street operating a machine gun. By morning every newspaper in the country was running a headline that Floyd was part of the Massacre. However much he protested Floyd was never able to shake the suspicions and accusations of his part in the event. Many historians now believe that he was not involved although he may have been in Kansas City at the time.

Blackie Audett even named the killers as Verne Miller, Maurice Denning and Solly Weisman. He stated." I knowed better, (that it wasn't Floyd and Richetti) because I seen with my own eyes who was in that car. Both of them that was in it got clean away." At another time he said, "Me and Mary McElroy watched the whole thing from less than fifty yards away." Being the right-hand man of Johnny Lazia, the man he says recruited the men for the job, he had advanced notice and was on hand to watch. Blackie also states that the mob hunted down and killed the men involved because they "botched" the job. Floyd and Richetti were left alone and able to live peacefully amongst them for at least a year after the event. Solly Weisman was built like Floyd and could have been confused with him.

Floyd and Richetti parted ways for a while but were later spotted in Wellsville, Ohio. Richetti was shot but not killed and Floyd was killed a few days later in the area of the Beaver Creek near Sprucevale. (But that's another story).

Early Life: Charles Arthur Floyd, soon to be called "Chock" Floyd, was born on February 3, 1904 in Georgia, one of seven children, but moved to a small farming community in Oklahoma, which he was to call home. His parents had a small farm, they were dirt-poor. His father spent most of his time trying to stay one step ahead of foreclosure. Droughts, plagues and dust storms brought farm production down to a crawl. In an attempt to help keep themselves fed, the family became involved in the bootlegging business.

In 1921 he married 16 year old Ruby Hargrove, they eventually had a son, Jack Dempsey Floyd. Money was scarce. Looking for a better life he left his home and traveled north looking for harvest work. Many nights were spent in hobo camps.

Charles was ready to work but there just wasn't any available. Eventually he gave up looking and brought his first gun. It wasn't long after that, at the age of 18, he pulled his first crime. He held up a post office for $350 in pennies. This was "easy money". He was arrested on suspicion of the crime but his father gave him an alibi.

He took the train to St. Louis where he robbed a Kroger store of approximately $16,000. The money kept them for a few weeks but after spending it on expensive clothes and big meals they were broke again. He was arrested because local police found it suspicious that he had new clothes and a new Ford. When they searched his house they found some of the money still in it's wrapper. He was sentenced to 5 years in the Jefferson City Penitentiary. During his incarceration his wife gave birth to their son, Jackie, and divorced him. He was released after 3 years and vowed never to be locked up again.

Later life and criminal history: On a visit to his parents farm he discovered that his father had been shot to death in a family feud with J. Mills. The accused was acquitted of the crime. Charles took his father's rifle went into the hills and J. Mills was never seen again.

In the mid 1920's Floyd lived and operated in the East Liverpool, Ohio area as a hired gun for the bootleggers and rum-runners along the Midland, PA and Steubenville, OH stretch of the Ohio River.

He became most notorious after he left the East Liverpool area. He headed west and found refuge in "Tom's Town" ( now Kansas City ), a town run by Tom Pendegast. Hired guns, murderer's and successful gangsters hung out here. It was here that he learned to use a machine gun and acquired the nickname "Pretty Boy". It was a name given him by a madam, Beulah Baird Ash, in a brothel and he hated it. However, it stuck and made him into a colorful criminal. Floyd is reputed to have maintained relationships with both Ruby and Beulah throughout the rest of his life even posing as their husbands under assumed names.

During the next 12 years he robbed as many as 30 banks, killing 10 men. During his crime sprees in Oklahoma the bank insurance rates doubled. He filed a notch in his pocket-watch for everyone he killed. His first bank robbery is reported to have been the Farmers and Merchants bank in Sylvania, Ohio. Floyd was arrested at his Akron, Ohio hideout for this crime. He was tried and convicted but escaped by jumping out of the train window near Kenton, Ohio while on his way to the Ohio Penitentiary.

The first person he killed was a police officer, Ralph Castner, who stopped him from robbing a Bowling Green, Ohio bank on April 16, 1931.

At this time Floyd was accompanied by William (Willis) Miller, known as "Billy the Killer", Beulah and her sister Rose. A clerk in a store recognized them when they were purchasing dresses for the women. The clerk alerted the police who arrived as the group were walking down the street. As they ordered the group to stop, Floyd and Miller opened fire. Castner was killed, Chief Carl Galliher dropped to the ground, killing Miller and injuring Beulah, 21. Rose Baird, 23 was captured but Floyd escaped in a car.

On June 17, 1933 Floyd and an associate, Adam Richetti were reported as the culprits behind the " Union Station Massacre " in Kansas City where 5 men including FBI agent, Raymond Caffrey were gunned down in an attempt to free Frank "Gentleman" Nash a notorious underworld figure. Floyd maintained to his death that he was never involved in this crime.

During the next 17 months Floyd and Richetti were hunted by every law enforcement officer in the country. After the capture and death of John Dillinger, Floyd was named as Public Enemy No.1 with a $23,000 dollar dead or alive reward on his head.

Floyd's reign of terror brought him back to the East Liverpool area.

Folk Stories and Quotes about his life:

Jack Floyd, although he saw his father infrequently, said in an article for the San Francisco Examiner June 20, 1982, "He was a fun guy to be around. He was like a regular father. He always had some puppies or other presents for me. What I knew about him didn't keep me from loving him."

He was a folk hero to the people of Oklahoma who perceived him as a "Sagebrush Robin Hood" or the "Robin Hood of the Cookson Hills", stealing from the rich banks to help the poor eat by buying them groceries and tearing up their mortgages during the robberies.

He has been written into legend through song, in Woody Guthrie's "Pretty Boy" Floyd.

He was never part of a gang. He worked with a few trusted accomplices. Boldly entering banks in broad daylight and never wearing a mask. He was a gentleman even in his crimes, always well groomed, immaculately dressed and courteous to his victims.

Final Days: On October 19, 1934 he was spotted after three men dressed as hunters and carrying shotguns robbed the Tiltonsville Peoples Bank. Both Adam Richetti and "Pretty Boy" Floyd were positively identified as two of the men involved. Police and FBI were put on alert throughout Ohio for the suspects. The following day a shoot-out between two criminals and the Wellsville, Ohio Police ended in the capture of Richetti. Floyd escaped, kidnapping a Wellsville florist and stealing his car.

On October 22, 1934 things would finally come to a fatal end for "Pretty Boy" Floyd. The local police were called out, including Chief McDermott and patrolman Chester Smith. Firearms were issued, but Smith refused a weapon, instead, he kept his 32-20 Winchester Rifle. He told everyone that if they found Floyd he would be running. They checked all the back-roads in the area that Floyd had been reported. Finally they came to the Conkle farm on Sprucevale Rd.

Floyd had knocked on the Conkle farm door posing as a lost hunter and had asked for a ride to the bus line. Ellen Conkle took pity on him and welcomed him into her home, feeding him a meal for which he paid $1. After eating, Mrs. Conkle volunteered her brother, Stewart Dyke, to drive Floyd to the bus station. The Dyke's and Floyd were getting into the car when two police cars were spotted speeding along the narrow dirt road. Floyd jumped from the car to hide behind a corn crib.

As the police approached the farm they spotted a man behind the corn crib. Chester Smith recognized the face. Floyd started to flee. After being told to halt and not doing so Smith fired a shot from his rifle hitting Floyd in the arm. Floyd dropped his gun, grabbed his right forearm where he had been hit, but still jumped up and continued to run, darting for cover in the wooded area nearby. After another call to halt which also went unheeded Floyd was shot again, in his back right shoulder. The federal agents and local police all started firing at this time. Floyd fell to the ground, his gun by his side.

Smith checked the body, he was not yet dead, and noticed that Floyd had another weapon in his belt. He had two Colt .45 automatics but never fire a single shot. Patrolmen Smith, Roth and Montgomery carried Floyd to the shade of an apple tree. "He was alive when we carried him to the apple tree. But he died then within minutes." Smith said. A call was placed to J. Edgar Hoover. Smith recalls, "Floyd was dead before Purvis returned (about 4:25 p.m.). We put Floyd's body in the back seat of the local police car, propping him up between me and Curly. That's how we hauled him to East Liverpool and turned him over to the Sturgis Funeral Home." Floyd had $120 in his pockets.

There is much speculation about the actual events of the fateful day. One report states that Agent Purvis of the FBI ordered Floyd shot whilst he was sitting under the apple tree because he refused to answer when asked if he was involved in the Kansas City Massacre.

Smith's daughter said that Smith took the days events in a matter-of-fact way, coming home late for supper and just stating that he didn't have time to eat because he had just shot "Pretty Boy" Floyd. He washed up, changed and went back to work.

At the Funeral Home: Although Floyd's mother did not want her son's body viewed by the public, by the time Chief McDermott had received her wire there were thousands of people wanting to view the notorious criminal. He would be later shipped back to Oklahoma but in the mean time over 10,000 people passed by the body from 8:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m., about 50 per minute. The mob had stormed the Funeral home and in the space of three hours, the porch railing had been torn off, shrubbery trampled and the lawn completely ruined.

Final resting place: At 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday October 23, 1934 Charles Arthur " Pretty Boy " Floyd's body left East Liverpool in a baggage car. One year before at the Akins Cemetery in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, Floyd had told his mother,
"Right here is where you can put me. I expect to go down soon with lead in me. Maybe the sooner the better. Bury me deep. " 20,000 people attended his funeral. His head stone has been desecrated by souvenir hunters and was stolen in 1985. A new headstone now marks his grave.

Marker Erected: A marker along Sprucevale Road between East Liverpool and Rogers, Ohio has been erected in the location of the Conkle farm to mark for all time the place where America's Public Enemy No.1 was shot. This marker, erected in 1993 by the East Liverpool Historical Society and the Ohio Historical Society was stolen in August, 1995 and recovered about two weeks later in a wooded lot on Bank Street, East Liverpool. It was later re-erected on the same site.

Resources: Most of the material for this page are from existing old papers and microfilm on record at the Carnegie Public Library of East Liverpool and from Records and Photographs in the possession of the Dawson Funeral Home.  Michael Wallis has also written a very good in depth book called "Pretty Boy" if you would like more reading.

Pictures of "Pretty Boy" Floyd

Map to "Pretty Boy" Floyd's Marker

Found in Columbiana County Ohio the place of "Pretty Boy" Floyd's death is designated by an historical marker.

Traveling South
The Marker is located 5.9 miles south from the light at the intersection of St. Rtes 7 & 154 in Rogers, Ohio, on County Road 428 (Sprucevale Rd.).

Turn left off Rt.7 onto 428 at the Y-Inn.

Traveling North
The Marker is located 3.8 miles north from the light at the intersection of St. rte 170 and St. Clair Ave. in Calcutta.

Turn left off Rt. 170 (looks like you are going straight) onto 428 by Calcutta Elementary School.




Pretty Boy Floyd by Woody Guthrie

Come gather 'round me children, a story I will tell
Of Pretty Boy Floyd, an outlaw, Oklahoma knew him well
Was in the town of Shawnee on a Saturday afternoon
His wife beside him in the wagon as into town they rode
A deputy sheriff approached them in a manner rather rude
Using vulgar words of language and his wife she overheard
Well, Pretty Boy grabbed a long chain, and the deputy grabbed a gun
And in the fight that followed, he laid that deputy down

Then he took to the trees and rivers to lead a life of shame
Every crime in Oklahoma was added to his name
Yes he took to the trees and timbers on the Canadian river shore
And the outlaw found a welcome at many a farmer's door
Yes, there's many a starving farmer, the same story told
How the outlaw paid their mortgage and saved their little home
Others tell about a stranger who came to beg a meal
And underneath the napkin left a thousand dollar bill

It was in Oklahoma City, it was on a Christmas day
Came a whole carload of groceries and a letter that did say
Well, you say that I'm an outlaw, and you say that I'm a thief
Here's a Christmas dinner for the families on relief
Well, as through the world I've rambled, I've seen lots of funny men
Some rob you with a six gun, some with a fountain pen
As through this world you ramble, as through this world you roam
You'll never see an outlaw drive a family from it's home

Diamond Falls

Fredericktown, Ohio

This story is taken from the book, "The Enchanted Village" by Roger Scharf and Gary Winterburn, 1992

"About three quarters of a mile downstream from Fredericktown is a towering waterfall. A small spring-fed stream lunges 80 feet over a sandstone cliff. The site is a picturesque scene of quiet serenity."

The falls at one time were on the property of Andrew and Margaret Stewart who lived in the stone house which once stood on the hill east of the village of Fredericktown overlooking the Beaver Creek Gorge. The Stewart's had a daughter born in 1832 who was given her mother's name of Margaret. Young Margaret's search for happiness was destined for failure. She fell in love with a young man early in life and married him. The life of married bliss only lasted a few short months as he was stricken with an unknown ailment and died. She remained with her parents in widowhood many years. At the age of 30, when her hopes were fading of ever leaving her status of widowhood, Margaret met and fell in love with a young Union officer who was on leave from his duties in Pittsburgh. their favorite place for their trysts was in the shaded privacy of a glade at the head of the falls. It was here that he proposed marriage and Margaret accepted. It was here that they declared their love for each other and made their plans for the wedding which was to take place as soon as he was discharged from his country's service. He placed a diamond ring on her finger as a binding promise of his love and returned to his unit for further assignment."

It was in July of that same year that Margaret received the crushing news. Her husband to be was killed in the battle of Malvern Hill in Virginia. The battle had lasted six days from June 25 to July 1 and ended with the retreat of the Union forces. It is said that grief stricken and broken hearted Margaret went to the waterfalls where they had spent their wonderful hours together. She took the diamond ring off her finger and as she cast it over the falls into the eddies far below said, "Love for me can never be, I shall never marry." Margaret remained the rest of her life a grief stricken widow."

From that time forward this tryst place for lovers became known as Diamond Falls.

Esther Hale: The Bride at the Bridge

Sprucevale, Ohio. Beaver Creek State Park

There are of course several versions of this tale. Many blend the tale of Esther with the Legend of Gretchen's Lock because they took place within approximately 1/2 mile of each other.

The tale of Esther Hale, also known as the Bride at the Bridge took place in a small canal community known as Sprucevale. All that is left of this area is an old Grist Mill (Hambleton's Mill), an old building and the remains of two locks on the Sandy and Beaver Canal.

When the community was alive and busy Esther Hale was to be married. In the book "Spooky Ohio" (1995) and "Haunted Ohio II" (1992) Chris Woodyard describes the story:

"On the morning of August 12, 1837, Esther Hale hummed happily to herself as she put on her white dress and veil. It was her wedding day. The table in the parlor was decorated with flowers and vines. The cake was in the kitchen, covered with cheesecloth to keep off the flies. The wedding was set for ten in the morning.
But by half past ten the groom had not arrived and the guests and parson were beginning to fidget. At half past twelve, they climbed into their wagons and drove away. The messenger Esther sent could find no trace of the bridegroom. His cabin was deserted, said the man, and the ashes in the stove were cold.

"When Esther's friends tried to help her to bed, Esther shook her head, the tears running down her face. Finally they left her alone in the dark by the window in the parlor. When they returned the next morning, the curtains were drawn, as if for a funeral. They were never again opened in Esther Hale's lifetime.

"All Summer Esther moved like a ghost through the house. In the kitchen, beetles tunneled through the cake. The wedding flowers withered under the spider's veils in the parlor. Esther's friends coaxed her to eat and drink a little, but when they tried to get her to change her dress or remove the wedding decorations, she flew at them with claw-like fingers. Finally they left her alone.

Broken hearts kill slowly. Four months later, a neighbor noticed that the door to Esther's house was open, banging back and forth in the December wind. He told the sheriff and the doctor who took a party of men to the dark house. Snow had drifted throughout the house like a white shroud.

"Esther was slumped over the parlor windowsill, her veil over her face. Someone held up a lantern. The doctor drew back the shredded lace. Esther had been dead for several weeks. When they saw the horror beneath, they silently covered her over again. She was buried so, shrouded in her wedding clothes.

"But burial did not put an end to Esther Hale. It is said by the locals that you can still see her, dressed in white, looking for her bridegroom on the bridge over Beaver Creek in Columbiana County. She waits there every year on August 12, a hideous figure in tattered white satin and lace. And if she touches you she will become young and beautiful again----but you will die."

Hamilton House

Fredericktown, Ohio

This story is taken from the book, "The Enchanted Village" by Roger Scharf and Gary Winterburn, 1992.

"George Hamilton and his wife, Isabella, and father George Sr., came from Ireland, a place known for leprechauns, disenchanted souls and haunted houses. In 1818 Hamilton purchased a 68 acre tract of land at the top of Beaver Hill east of the village of Fredericktown and built there a beautiful mansion which was considered to be one of the grandest in St. Clair Township.

"It was a common practice in those days, due to the lack, of public cemeteries, to establish a family burial plot on the farm. The Hamilton family cemetery was located on a knoll of a field about a hundred yards from the rear of the house. The first burial here is believed to be that of George Hamilton Sr., who died in 1824. Over the years the graves increased with markers dotting the site.

"By 1890 the Hamilton heirs had moved to other places to further their own ambitions and dreams and the farm was sold. The cemetery due to neglect of the new owners, who had little interest in the burial grounds, became overgrown with weeds, briars and trees. Eventually, the grave markers were removed and the burial site was incorporated into the plowed field which surrounded it.

"It was shortly after this hallowed ground was desecrated that strange events began to take place within the Hamilton Mansion. Footsteps were heard in the middle of the night going slowly up and down the back stairs without any apparent destination. In one instance an ethereal figure of a woman was seen at the foot of the stairs. The apparition materialized and vanished when one of the family members was investigating a disturbance. Cupboard doors would open and shut noisily, dishes would rattle and were found to be rearranged the next morning. Over a period of time these unnatural occurrences began to concentrate in a back bedroom on the second floor which was purported to be the room where Isabella Hamilton died on a blustery March night in 1867. Frequent cold blasts of air would sweep through the room without any indication of their source. The bedroom door would suddenly open and the bed covers would be violently pulled off the bed and thrown in the hallway which would send the slumbering occupant into a panic. Eerie tunes from a stringed instrument frequently could be heard. the sound would be soft and faint as though coming from a far distance.

"Could all of these unexplained happenings be the result of the restless soul of Isabella Hamilton who was disturbed by the violating of her final resting place?

"All of the grave markers had been placed temporarily by the corn crib near the house and in due time were removed to an undiscovered location. One stone , however had been left near the crib and remained there for many years. In the mid 1980's the stone was discovered amidst the debris of the long collapsed building. It was a beautiful white marble marker proclaiming the death of Isabella Hamilton who died in the 74th year of her life on March 19th 1867. The stone was lying on its back with the carved wreath and lettering facing skyward. It was decided by the Vodrey family, the owners of the property, to provide a proper resting place for the stone. Since the original plot of the cemetery could not be determined, the marker was brought into Fredericktown and erected at a beautiful, quiet spot under shady trees overlooking the forks of the Little Beaver Creek at Laurel Point.

"Once the stone was in place, peace returned to the Hamilton House. No more footsteps in the night, no ethereal music and no ghostly figures, only the natural sounds of an aging house could be heard."


Morgan's Raid into Ohio

Ohio seemed far away from most of the strife of the Civil War. The state had not been forthcoming in establishing a militia because it was felt that Ohio just wasn't close to the heart of the War. The young able bodied men had volunteered to fight and had gone to war leaving the old and very young at home. The militia had been established but was not functioning in a very organized fashion. In July of 1863 General John Hunt Morgan was to show Ohio just how unprepared they were.

General Morgan, a Kentuckian, conceived his ill-fated plan in June of 1863. He was commanded by General Braxton Bragg to take his men and raid anywhere in Kentucky that he wanted and to make an attempt to capture Louisville. The scheme was meant to keep General Ambrose Burnside diverted at Cincinnati and to delay his impending invasion of Eastern Tennessee.

General John Hunt Morgan was already, at the age of 38, a hero to the South, known for his courage, resourcefulness and his dignity. To the North who had suffered from his hard hitting cavalry raids he was a freebooter-guerrilla-horse thief, a "blackbeard" with a bridle.

On July 2, 1863, Morgan's men, numbering 2,460, launched their operation near Burkesville, Kentucky. At Brandenburg, on the Ohio River, they commandeered two steamboats and on July 8, crossed the river into Indiana. By this time they were well ahead of General Edward H. Hobson and his pursuing cavalry.

morgan imageMorgan had been ordered NOT to cross the Ohio. However, He had predetermined to travel into Indiana and Ohio scouting possible places to ford the Ohio. He and his forces struck out northeastward across Indiana. General Burnside felt that they would try to recross the Ohio to the south of Cincinnati. With this in mind he declared martial law in the city and called out the militia in 32 southern Ohio counties. That afternoon Morgan neared Harrison, a small community west of Cincinnati, but after resting his men they disappeared into the night. During the night they skirted the north of Cincinnati, skirmishing with the pickets at Camp Dennison and burning a number of wagons.

They rode on through Batavia to Williamsburg, 28 miles of Cincinnati, by 4 pm that afternoon. They had covered 90 miles in only 35 hours. The men from Camp Dennison pursued as far as Batavia where they halted and felled trees across the road to prevent Morgan's return that way.

The Ohioans prepared the best they could for his advance but they were ill prepared and Morgan and his men found little resistance as they pressed on in search of a place to ford the river. The inexperienced untrained militia were no match for Morgan's men seasoned and hardened by the battles of war.

Colonel Richard Morgan, the General's brother led his troops to the south through Georgetown, to Ripley then back through West Union to Locust Grove where he rejoined the main force. Together they advanced on through Jasper, Piketon, Jackson, Vinton, Cheshire, Pomeroy and Chester, plundering, pillaging and ransacking stores on the way. It must be said that Morgan and his men kept mainly to the businesses and left personal homes, property and farmland alone.

Reaching Buffington Ford, their previously scouted place to ford the river, about 40 miles south of Marietta, late on Saturday the 18th of July he found that the ford was guarded by 300 union men. These men abandoned their earthworks in the night. Morgan still elected to cross the next day and they were quickly ambushed as they began to ford the river. They were overtaken by Hobson's cavalry and were soon pinned down by gunboat fire and overrun by the Seventh Michigan Cavalry. Eventually 700 would be captured, including Colonel Richard Morgan and Colonel Basil W. Duke, the General's brother-in-law. The rest narrowly escaped back into Ohio. They attempted to cross again fifteen miles up river but only 300 reached West Virginia before they were again under gunboat fire. They doubled back inland and for the next week were dogged every step on the way. They traveled northeastward through Zaleski, Nelsonville, New Straitsville, Cumberland, Old Washington, Hendrysburg and Wintersville.

General J.M. Shakelford's cavalry caught up with them at Salineville on Sunday morning July 26. Morgan and some men eluded capture for a short time. It is said that he finally surrendered to a local militia captain in Columbiana County, on the road between Lisbon and West Point, on the condition that he and his men would be paroled.

This was not to be the case as Major General George W. Rue, of the 9th Cavalry, arrived a short time later and took them into captivity. A telegraph sent by Major General Rue said: "I captured John Morgan today at two o'clock P.M., taking 336 prisoners, 400 horses, and arms." Morgan and his surviving officers were taken, by order of Major General Henry W. Halleck, to the Ohio Penitentiary at Columbus. The men were treated more like criminals than prisoners of war, even undergoing the indignity of having their heads shaved. Four months after his capture, on November 27, 1863, Morgan and six companions escaped through a tunnel they had dug through a 4ft thick stone wall and 20 feet of dirt. They scaled the prison outer walls and made a clean escape into the night.

Morgan arrived safely in the South only to be killed less than a year later, on September 4, 1864 at Greenville, Tennessee.

The Impact on Ohio

More than 200 northern lives were lost in the two week period of Morgan's Raid of Ohio with at least 350 casualties.

4,375 people in twenty-nine counties filed claims for damages and were awarded $428,168. The Union forces were also charged with damages totaling $141,855, the militia being held accountable for $6,202. Upwards of 2,5000 horses were commandeered and collected by Morgan. There were 49,357 militia men called to duty costing the state $450,000. The cost to the state was more than $100,000.

The biggest impact on Ohio at the time was the realization that they were truly unprepared for the war to be in their own "backyard". They had felt secure by the distance from the south and had not put much effort into preparations for defense. The fact that Morgan was able to almost traverse the whole state, from Harrison in the west to West Point in the east (only about 10 miles from Virginia (WV) and Pennsylvania, with little or no resistance is testimony to this fact.

In West Point, Ohio, there stands a stone monument to the events of July 1863. It was erected in 1909 by Will L. Thompson of East Liverpool. It states:

"This stone marks the spot where the Confederate raider General John H. Morgan surrendered his command to Major General George W. Rue, July 26, 1863, and this is the farthest point north ever reached by any body of Confederate troops during the Civil War."

The events in Ohio day-by-day.

The Events of Morgan's Raid through Ohio July 12, 1863- July 26, 1863

Military Involved

Sunday July 12, 1863


Anticipating Morgan's attack on Cincinnati General Ambrose E. Burnside declares martial law in the city and Governor Tod calls out the militia.  
Monday July 13, 1863


Morgan is sighted near Harrison in Hamilton County and passes through Glendale north of Cincinnati in the night.  
Tuesday July 14, 1863


At dawn he rests the horses in sight of Camp Dennison, he skirmishes there and was in Williamsburg by 4pm that afternoon. Camp Dennison---Ohio Militia


Wednesday July 15, 1863
After dividing for some pillaging the forces converge at Locust Grove.  
Thursday July 16, 1863
Morgan reaches the Scioto River and ransacks Jasper and Piketon.  
Friday July 17, 1863


Morgan and his raiders enter Jackson after riding 45 miles during the night. He clashes several times with Ohio forces. Berlin---Ohio Militia
Hamden---Ohio Militia
Centerville---9th Michigan Cavalry
Saturday July 18, 1863


At 1pm he arrives at Chester on the Ohio River near Pomeroy and runs into a skirmish there. Pomeroy---23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Sunday July 19, 1863


Whilst attempting to cross the Ohio at Bluffington Island he is ambushed by the combined Judah-Hobson forces in the rear and 2 gunboats to the front.


Buffington Island---14th Illinois Cavalry, Henshaw's (Illinois) Independent Light Infantry, 5th Indiana Cavalry, Kentucky 1st, 3rd,8th,11th & 12th Cavalries, Ohio 2nd & 7th Cavalries, 45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 2nd Mounted Tennessee (Federal) Infantry, Ohio Militia & 2 Federal Gunboats.
Monday July 20, 1863


Skirmishes as he tries to flee and find another crossing of the river.


Hockingport---23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Coal Hill---45th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Cheshire---65th Indiana Infantry
Tuesday July 21, 1863
Morgan and his men ride all day and are becoming extremely weary.  
Wednesday July 22, 1863


Their horses are falling in exhaustion and the men are falling from their horses asleep. The Infantry is waiting at Eaglesport. Eaglesport--- 86th Ohio Volunteer Infantry


Thursday July 23, 1863
They crossed the Muskingham River in darkness. Rockville--- Ohio Militia
Friday July 24, 1863


Morgan and his raiders reach Campbell Station east of Cambridge on the National Rd. and run into skirmishes throughout the day. Morgan doubles-back toward Antrim, rests a couple of hours before heading east toward the river where he has to fight again Old Washington---Ohio Militia
Hendrysburg---Ohio Militia
New Athens---Ohio Militia


Saturday July 25, 1863


Clashes in Wintersville with the military, the citizens in New Springfield and spend the night in Bergholz. Wintersville---44th Pennsylvania Militia
New Springfield---Citizens
Sunday July 26, 1863 Routed by his pursuers they flee north to Salineville. By 8 am they are overtaken with 30 killed, 50 wounded and 200 taken prisoner. Morgan escapes but surrenders 6 hours later in a field near West Point, Columbiana County. Salineville---9th Michigan Cavalry
West Point--- 15th Indiana Independent Battery of Light Artillery, Kentucky 1st, 9th, 11th & 12th Cavalries, 8th Michigan Cavalry.
Morgan surrenders after 24 days in the saddle, riding and fighting through Indiana and Ohio.

Note: This was not the first time that Confederate soldiers had been on Ohio Soil. Almost a year earlier on September 3rd & 4th 1862 Brigadier General Gallatin Jenkins invaded Ohio as part of Kirby Smith's move on Cincinnati.. General Jenkins attacked 2 Union garrisons in Western Virginia (now WV) and crossed the Ohio River with 350 Cavalry at Bluffington Island. He moved south to Racine, possibly along what is now State Route 124, crossing back to Virginia (WV) at Wolf's Creek below Racine.

Museum Echoes, September, 1961
Ohio Book of the Civil War, 1961
Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio

The Boy Who Hanged Himself

Sprucevale, Ohio, Beaver Creek State Park

In the Sprucevale end of Beaver Creek State Park close to a derelict lock of the Sandy & Beaver Canal stands a building, the remains of a business from yesteryear. It is said by the local people that no-one can photograph this building without an anomaly in the photograph because in the past a young boy hanged himself from the rafters of the building and that his spirit will not allow a photograph of his place of death to be taken.

The Legend of Gretchen's Lock

Sandy & Beaver Canal. Sprucevale, Ohio
Beaver Creek State Park

Gretchen Gill the daughter of Sandy and Beaver Canal engineer E.H. Gill has been the focus of a legend at Lock # ?? for many years.

I am including here several different versions of the story that persist even today.
From "The Sandy & Beaver Canal" by William H.Vodrey Jr. & R. Max Gard. 1952.

One such legend is of E.H. Gill, canal engineer and his daughter Gretchen. According to the legend E.H. Gill, his wife and daughter were traveling from Europe to the United States, his wife died on the way and was buried at sea. The grief stricken father and his little daughter, Gretchen, completed the journey. At the time the lock above Sprucevale was being built, Gretchen contracted malaria and died. A crypt was prepared in the masonry of the lock and Gretchen was entombed there for a while. When Gill resigned during the panic of 1837 and decided to return to Europe Gretchen's casket was removed from the crypt in the lock and taken aboard ship to be returned home for burial. On the trip, a storm at sea took the ship and all were lost. E.H. Gill and Gretchen joined their wife and mother in the waters of the Atlantic.

Chris Woodyard has written some very popular books called "Haunted Ohio I, II & III" and "Spooky Ohio". In these books she recounts the tales of ghosts and superstition from various areas throughout Ohio. Whilst these books are popular they are also a good example of how legends change and become entwined with others.

In "Haunted Ohio" she states concerning Gretchen's Ghost, " A network of canals built in the early 1800s opened up the Ohio Territory to commerce and statehood. At Beaver Creek State Park in Columbiana County there survives part of a lock and canal system from 1836.. One of the locks is names "Gretchen's Lock". A charming tribute to a family member, one might think, but the place has a macabre history.

Gill Hans, the engineer who built the lock, brought his family over from Holland. His young daughter Gretchen pined for the Low Country until, weakened, she contracted malaria and died August 12, 1838, raving about going home. Distraught Hans had Gretchen's coffin temporarily entombed in a vault within the lock's stone work until the family could return to Holland together. He made arrangements to sail; Gretchen's coffin was loaded onto the ship and the entire family sailed into oblivion. The ship went down in an Atlantic storm with all hands.

Yet even death could not take Gretchen home. On the anniversary of her death, the young Dutch girl can be seen walking along the lock that bears her name.

In the Chris Woodyard book you can read the story of Esther Hale, The Bride at the Bridge and see quite a few similarities between it and the legend of Gretchen's Lock.

Those who have studied the history of the Sandy & Beaver Canal have a completely different story to tell.

The Lost Silver Mine

Fredericktown, Ohio

This story is taken from the book, "The Enchanted Village" by Roger Scharf and Gary Winterburn, 1992.

"Following the Civil War a family living in section 12 of St. Clair Township employed a hired hand named Jacob. Jacob was half Irish and half Wyandot Indian. He was a quiet individual and kept much to himself. Jacob would often be observed making a trek up the north fork of Beaver Creek. He was always alone and would appear several hours later carrying a canvas sack filled with crushed rock. One evening his benefactor, being somewhat curious as to Jacob's mysterious jaunts entered his sleeping room in the barn. Jacob lay quite intoxicated beside an open box containing silver nuggets. This interruption caused the excited Indian to ramble loudly in his native Wyandot tongue to attempt to explain his treasures. His employer was able to interpret the story."

"An ancestral tale had been passed down to Jacob of the location of a silver mine located three hollows up the north fork of Beaver Creek from the falls at Fredericktown. The directions then lead one quarter mile up the third hollow on the left side of the stream to the mine entrance. The explanation was vague yet the evidence in the open box attested to the existence of such a mine."

"The next morning Jacob was nowhere to be found nor was the box of silver. He was never seen again. Many have searched the area for its hidden treasure but to this day the mine has never been found."


While there is some evidence of the existence of some minor pottery works in the East Liverpool area prior to 1840 there is no doubt that James Bennett was truly the beginning of what would turn East Liverpool, Ohio into "The Pottery Capital of the World".

bottle kiln imageBetween 1840 and 1940 there were so many potteries of all shapes and sizes in and around East Liverpool that it is impossible today to pinpoint the location of but a fraction of the number. Names and locations changed with such frequency that one cannot be completely sure that similar names are not just variations of the same name. Thus, in any list of potteries there must be some inaccuracy. However, even a partial list of potteries for this area shows clearly why East Liverpool earned its nickname.

Today, although there are only a few potteries in and around East Liverpool they are well established and World renowned for their wares and clearly live up to the heritage left behind by the pioneering potters who flocked here from the poverty stricken "Midlands" of England to use their skills to establish themselves in a new land with the hope of new prosperity, wealth and independence.

James Bennett, from Derbyshire, England, a worker in a pottery making yellow ware, was journeying from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. While on this journey he stopped in East Liverpool and found that it had a wealth of clay suitable to the making of yellow ware and decided to settle in the area. With the help of four men, Anthony Kearns, Benjamin Harker, George Thomas and George Hollingsworth he built a small pottery (20ft x 40ft) with one kiln by the river at what is now the bottom of Jefferson and 2nd Streets. They produced their ware and traded it up and down the Ohio. That first production netted the men around $250.

Soon Benjamin Harker decided to go into business for himself and ran his own pottery from an old log cabin. James Taylor and Henry Speiler, who worked at the Harker Pottery would leave that employ and be the first to establish a pottery in Trenton, NJ.

A two story building, originally built to be a hotel, was instead converted to a pottery by Salt, Mears, Ogden and Hancock. The pottery was always known as "the Mansion House". Indeed many of the potteries were truly "home potteries". Converting home, property and all to the industry as it boomed and brought prosperity to the town and the people.

In 1841 Bennett went back to England to get his three brothers. On their return to East Liverpool they worked at the pottery until 1845 when they closed the business and moved to Birmingham, PA (now part of Pittsburgh) where they built another pottery and would eventually become wealthy men. In 1853 Isaac Knowles purchased the pottery and dismantled it, moving it to "Old End" at the Knowles, Taylor, Knowles plant.

A letter sent to England from a potter in 1843 stated that although the pottery industry had just made a start it was possible to make ware in East Liverpool as good as made in England and encourages all who can to come and join the growing industry.

Most workers were paid in produce or whatever the owners were able to trade their wares for, whether eggs or leather or fabric. This was still better than they had fared in England. In 1853 when John Goodwin paid his workers with $5 gold pieces many were unsure whether to accept it as payment or not. However, the economic base for the Western United States at this time was changing swiftly from a barter system to a cash based system. Better transportation by road, river, canal and eventually rail was opening up the industry to cheaper and easier access to markets on the East Coast, The Great Lakes, the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast and eventually the ever expanding West. For the first time workers had their own money to "buy" products for themselves. This in itself stimulated economic growth.

There was however, one major obstacle to the transportation of pottery-- the packaging. With roads rough or virtually nonexistent and river transportation not much smoother breakage during shipping was high. The crates in which the ware was shipped were expensive and the custom was to return them after unpacking. Samuel Orr, a crate repairman for John Goodwin, suggested that he could make a large barrel in which ware could be safely shipped. These barrels, made at a fraction of the cost of the crates, were so successful that they became an industry in themselves and drove the crates out of the pottery business. With the production of these large barrels the ware was able to be shipped safely by road, river, canal or rail.

The industry grew so fast that potteries that had started with one kiln fast became bigger and bigger sometimes as large as 32 kilns, covering over ten acres of land. The industry grew along the banks of the Ohio River, covering not just the banks in East Liverpool but down to Wellsville. N.V. Walker built a plant in 1842 between the two communities where there was an abundant supply of coal and clay to produce the ware and run the kilns. As the industry boomed, time would indeed show that East Liverpool would become so overcrowded with potteries and homes that the larger potteries wishing to expand were forced to build across the Ohio River in Chester and Newell, WV. Most of the larger potteries moved over time across the river into Chester and Newell, West Virginia. By the 1970's all but one of the larger potteries, Hall China, were in West Virginia. Today most of the land once occupied in East Liverpool by potteries has been taken by the Ohio River as it makes a sweeping bend on its way to the Mississippi. What was 1st St. and a good portion of 2nd St. no longer exist except in the history books or on an old map.

In 1870 Isaac Knowles invented the "pull down" or "jigger" revolutionizing potting which until this time had been done entirely by hand. Knowles, Taylor & Knowles were the first to introduce the production of stone china. Times for the pottery industry were not to become truly prosperous until Americans realized that the home made ware was just as good as the English ware they were used to buying. Many of the potters in East Liverpool invented time saving machinery to make production of ware more uniform and of a better quality. C.C. Thompson once stated that there would come a time when a great part of the work done in potteries by hand would be performed automatically. At this time a single tea cup cost 3c, took four weeks to make and was handled by 20 people.kiln image

By 1906 the potteries extended for over 3 miles along the Ohio River and the North American Manufacturing Company was building a new state-of-the art plant in Newell, WV with 30 kilns. This new plant was on the site of the old Larkins Pottery. It was designed to have a continuous decorating kiln, buildings five stories high and 600 feet long. In 1907 the Homer Laughlin China Co. moved into the new plant. It was the largest pottery in the World. The Wells-Clarke China Co. took over the former Homer Laughlin plant in East Liverpool. Newell also had the Kenilworth Tile Co., the first tile manufacturer in the area, illustrating that the industry was diversifying into its various related industries.

Until 1873 the predominant ware produced was yellow ware. At this time K,T,K, in operation since 1852, changed their production to white granite. In 1872 Homer Laughlin and his brother Shakespeare came to East Liverpool from New York City and built the first pottery to exclusively produce white ware. The production of white ware was an instant success. Born in 1843 in "Little Beaver", Ohio and educated at the Neville Institute, a building that still stands in East Liverpool at the corner of Pennsylvania Ave. and Elizabeth St. He had built a pottery in New York City after the Civil War. In 1877 Homer purchased his brothers portion of the business. In 1876 they were awarded a medal for the best white ware at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and in 1879 they were awarded a gold medal at the exposition in Cincinnati.

A listing of potteries in the East Liverpool area clearly shows how the City gained the nickname, "Pottery Capital of the World". There were hundreds of potteries, from large companies (some of which are still in production today) to small home businesses (that may have only survived a short time). At one time you could not look anywhere in East Liverpool without seeing the bottle kilns and the smoke that accompanied them.

Do you have questions about a specific piece of pottery? The Museum of Ceramics may be able to help. Contact information for the museum is at www.themuseumofceramics.org/contact.html.

Alphabetical List of Pottery Industries in the East Liverpool Area

This list will never be fully complete as many small potteries opened, closed and disappeared without a reference appearing in the history books. Most early ware was not marked and was hard to attribute to any specific pottery. This list is compiled from a listing in "The City of Hills & Kilns", "Bulletin of the American Ceramic Society" 1945, "Crockery & Glass Journal" Dec 18, 1924 and the East Liverpool City Directories.

Pottery--Years in Business in East Liverpool Area
A.B. Beck 1879
A.C. Blair China Studios 1945-1960
A. J. Marks Co. 1866-1871
A. Viney & Co. 1870
A. Webster & Co. 1857-c1862
Acme Artware Corp. 1941-c.1945
Acme Craftware Inc. 1945-1970
Adamant Porcelain Co. c.1909-c.1924
Agner, Foutts & Co. 1863-1883
Agner & Gaston 1883-1884
Albert Corns c.1898
Alcock & Shields 1882
American Ceramic Art Co. 1902
American Chinaware Corp. 1929-1931
American Decorating Co. 1923
American Limoges China Co. 1949-1955
American Porcelain Co 1914-1932
American Vitrified Products Co c.1910-c.1968
Anchor Hocking Inc. 1972-1982
Anderson, Curry & Co. 1878
Anderson, Porcelain Co. 1903-1915
Ardyth Arts c.1945-c. 1961
Artistic China Co. unknown
Babcock & Wilcox c.1921-c.1930
Baggott Brothers (Eagle Pottery) 1853-c.1897
Ball & Morris 1846-1856
Barnhart Pottery Co. c. 1955
Belman Pottery Co. unknown
Belmonte China c.1952
Bel-Mar 1950
Belmar China Co. 1912
Bel-Mar Pottery Co. c.1932-1935
Benjamin Harker 1840-1846
Benjamin Harker & Sons (Wedgewood) 1877-1887
Bennett Brothers 1841-1844
Benty Brothers (Oakwood Art Pottery) 1900-1906
Bisque Novelty Man. Co. 1917-1919
Boch & Metsch Porcelain Co. c.1919
Booth Brothers 1854-c.1865
Boulton & Co. 1882-1883
Brunt & Bloor 1848-1853
Bulger, Starkey & Co. 1877
Bulger, Worcester & Co. 1877-1880
Bullock & Anderson 1850
Bullock & Garner 1847
Burford Bros. Pottery Co. 1979-1904
Burgess & Co. 1890-1893
Burgess, Webster & Viney 1867-1869
Burton & Williams c.1901
C.C. Thompson & Co. 1870-1889
C.C. Thompson Pottery Co. 1889-1938
California Pottery Co. 1898
Cameo China Co. c.1949-c.1952
Cardinal Someware Co. Inc c.1975
Cartwright Bros. Co. 1896-1927
Cartwright Bros. Pottery Co. 1880-1896
Ceramic Specialties Co. c.1933-c.1944
Chester China Co. 1920
Chic Pottery Co. 1937-1945
China & Vitreous Products Corp. unknown
The Colonial Co. 1903-1929
Columbia China Co. 1910
Continental Kilns 1944-c.1953
Corns China Co. 1928-1932
Craven Art Pottery Co. 1905-c.1910
Croxall & Cartwright 1856-1888
Croxall Brothers 1844-1852
Croxall Pottery Co. 1898-1914
Curby, Starkey & Co. 1875
D. E. McNicol Pottery Co. 1892-1954
Davidson-Stevenson Porc. Co 1914-1932
Dennis & Outrim 1879-1880
Douds & Burns c.1851
Douds & Foutts c.1872
Douds & Moore 1866
Douds & Sebring 1857-1860
Douds & Welch 1869
Dovey, Webster & Co. 1848
Dresden Pottery Co. 1925-1927
E. Fox & Co. 1880
E. H. Sebring China Co. 1908-1929
East End China Co. 1908-1909
East End Pottery Co. 1894-1901/1903-1907
East Liverpool Art China 1898-c.1908
East Liverpool China Co. 1947-?
East Liverpool China & Enamel Co. c.1910
East Liverpool Crockery Co. c.1911
East Liverpool Electric Porc. Co. 1903-c.1918
East Liverpool Encaustic Tile Co. 1878
East Liverpool Pottery Co. 1894-1901
East Liverpool Potteries Co. 1901-1907
East Liverpool Sanitary Man. Co. 1913-?
Edward O'Connor c.1885-c.1894
Edwin M. Knowles China Co. 1900-1963
Elijah Webster 1858-c.1861
The Empire Co. c.1850
Enterprise Art China Co. 1896-?
Ephraim Gaston 1881
F. R. Cross & Co. 1884
Flentke, Harrison & Co. 1874-1877
Flentke, Worcester & Co. 1874-1877
Foster & Garner c.1856-1859
Foster & Rigby c.1866-1868
Foster & Rowley 1860-c.1866
Fowler & O'Connor 1871-1972
Frederick, Shenkle, Allen & Co. 1881-1888
French China Co. 1898-1929
French-Saxon China Co. 1935-1964
Fritz, McClure & Co. 1869
G.F. Brunt Porcelain Co. c.1900-1914
Gamble & Surles c.1878
General Porcelain c.1912-c.1916
George Buxton 1884-1891
George C. Murphy Pott. Co. 1897-1901/1903-1904
George F. Humrickhouse 1877-c1883
George Monroe & Co. 1880
George Morley & Son 1884-1891
Globe Pottery Co. 1888-1901/1907-1912
Godwin & Flentke 1878-1882
Godwin Brothers Pottery Co. 1875-1893
Godwin Pottery Co. 1893-1913
Godwin Pottery Co. (different) 1936-1946
Gotham & Locke & Co. 1903
H. L. Pottery ??
Hall China Co. 1903-present
Harker & Smith 1853-1855
Harker China ?
Harker Pottery Co. 1890-1972
Harker, Taylor & Co. 1854-1890
Harker, Thompson & Co. 1851-1854
Harmon 1955-1960
Harvey, Green & Co. 1851-1853
Hayden & Lycett 1879
Henderson Pottery c.1849-c.1854
Henry Brunt & Son unknown
Henry Schmidt 1901
Henry Willot & Co. 1870-1872
Herman Feustal c.1900
Hill, Brunt & Co. 1867-1869
Hilton China Co. c.1915
Homer Laughlin 1977-1896
Homer Laughlin China Co. 1896-present
Horton Specialty Co. c.1932-1938
Hoyt Brothers China Co. 1919
Hoyt China Co. 1919-?
Humrickhouse & Gallagher 1881
Isaac Knowles c.1865-1870
J.R. Phillpis 1853
J.W. Croxall & Sons 1888-1898
Jackson Brothers 1868-1870
James Bennett 1840-1841
James H. Baum 1888-1896
John Boch 1907-c.1919
John F. Steele 1878-1891
John Goodwin 1843-1853/1863-1865
John Goodwin & Sons 1872-1875
John Patterson & Sons Pottery Co. 1882-1900
John Wyllie & Son 1874-1893
Johnson China Co. 1931-1937
Jones Pottery 1867-1880
Joseph Dennis 1875-1886
Joseph Wells c1826-c.1856
Kass China c.1935-1972
Kenilworth Tile Co. 1921
Keramos Pottery Co c.1921
Keystone China Co. c1946-1954
Knowles & Harvey 1854-1865
Knowles, Taylor, Knowles 1870-1929
Lamond & Jones 1870
Larkins Brothers c.1848-1861
Laughlin Brothers 1873-1977
Less Work Manufacturing Co. 1914
Limoges China Co. 1900-1949
Louthan Manufacturing Co. 1901-?
Manley & Cartwright 1864-1880
Manley, Surles & Gamble 1881
Manton & Albright c.1892
Mayer & Geon 1865
Mayer, Ross & McDevitt 1864
McDevitt, Cochran & Co. 1868-1870
McDevitt, & Moore 1874-c.1900
McDevitt, Moore & Curby 1872-1874
McDonald Decorating Shop c.1945
McGillvray & Moore 1855-1857
McGillvray & Orr 1855
McNicol, Burton & Co. 1869-1892
McNicol-Corns China Co. 1912-1928
McNicol-Smith Co. 1889-1911
McQuliikan & Curry Porcelain Co. c.1905
Meric Art Studios c.1931-1939
Metsch Refractories Co. 1922-?
Miles & McClain 1888
Miles Porcelain Co. 1923
Monarch Dinnerware Co. 1937-1972
Morley & Co. 1878-1884
Morley, Godwin & Co. 1874-1878
Morley, Godwin & Flentke 1855-1874
Mountford & Co. 1891-1897
N.J. Eisenhuth Novelty Works 1903
N.M. Simms & Co. 1868-1874
National China Co. 1899-1911
Nentwick & Larkin c.1886
Newell, Larkins & Co. 1848-c.1852
Novelty Clay Forming Co. c.1907-c.1918
O.Ritter 1853
Oakwood China Co. 1912-c.1921
Oakwood Pottery Co. 1900
Ohio Brass Co. c.1966-?
Ohio Porcelain Co. c.1908
Ohio Valley Stoneware 1975-1976
Oliver China Co. 1899-c.1908
Olnhausen China Co. 1902
Owen-Wilson Porcelain Co. 1927
Pan-American Electric Porc. Co 1901
Patterson Bros. Co. 1900-1907
Patterson Refractories Co. c.1930-1934
Patterson, Russell & Co. 1882
Peach Porcelain Co. 1931
Pearl China & Pottery Co. 1931-present
Pines Pottery Co. c.1939-1953
Pioneer Pottery Co. (Wellsville) 1896-c.1900
Pioneer Pottery Co. 1935-present
Pittsburgh Tile Manufacturing Co. 1912-c.1922
Porcelain Manufacturing Co. 1928
Potter's Co-Operative Co. 1882-1925
Purinton Pottery Co. 1937-1942
R.G. Phillips 1852
R. Thomas & Sons 1873-1957
Ralph Scragg c.1879-c.1887
Reston Art Ware Co. 1928-c.1933
Richard Harrison & Co. c.1853
Royal China Co. 1933-?
Salt & Mear 1842-c.1852/1856-c.1860
Sants & Barlow 1878
Saxon China Co. 1911-1929
Scores China Co. c.1907
Sebring Pottery Co. 1887-c.1940
Sevres China Co. 1900-1908
Shields & Wilson 1882
Simms & Ferguson 1872
Simms & Starkey 186601868
Sinclair Art Pottery 1903-c.1905
Smith, Foster & Co. 1857
Smith-Phillips China Co. 1901-1929
Smith, Plunkett & McClure 1881
Specialty Porcelain Co. 1923
Sprucevale Pottery c.1852-1859
Standard Porcelain Co. 1923
Standard Pottery Co. 1886-1927
Starkey & Ourby c.1870-1872
Sterling China Co. 1900-c.1902
Sterling China Co. (Wellsville) 1917-present
T.A. McNicol Pottery Co. c.1913-1929
T. Rigby & Co. 1868-1872
T.V. Milligan Porcelain Co. 1915-1929
Taylor, Lee & Smith 1899-1901
Taylor, Smith & Taylor 1901-1972
Thomas Haden 1874-1889
Thomas China Co. 1900-1905
Thompson & Herbert 1868-1870
Trenle Blake China Co. c.1942-1966
Trenle China Co. 1909-c.1942
Trenle Porcelain Co. 1923
Union Co-Operative Pottery Co. 1894-1900
Union Potteries Co. 1900-1905
United China Co. c.1921
United States Decorating Co. 1922
United States Pottery Co. 1898-1901/1932
Usona Art Pottery c.1932-c.1952
Viney, Thompson & Co. c.1868-1869
Viney, Webster & Co. 1869-1872
Vitreous Novelty Works 1901
Vodrey brothers c.1864-1896
Vodrey Pottery Co. 1896-1928
W.C. Bunting Co. 1947-present
Walker (N.V. Walker) 1842
Wallace Brothers 1856-c.1861
Wallace & Chetwynd 1882-1901
Wally Brothers & Co. 1853
Warner-Keffer China Co. 1908-1912
Webster, Campbell & Co. 1881-1888
Webster & Phillips c.1848-1850
Wellsville China Co. 1902-1959
Wellsville Novelty Pottery Co. unknown
West End Pottery Co. 1893-1938
West, Hardwick & Co. 1867-1883
White Brothers China unknown
William Bloor 1860-1862
William Brunt & Bros. 1856-1859
William Brunt & Co. c.1885
William Brunt Jr. & Co. 1860-1877
William Brunt Pottery 1892-1911
William Brunt Sr. 1859-?
William Brunt Sr. & Son ( Great Western) c.1868-1874
William Brunt, Son & Co. 1878-1892
William Burton unknown
William Colclough c.1850/1879-1881
William Flentke 1882-1886
William Higginson c.1897
William McCullough unknown
Woodward, Blakely & Co. 1848-1857
Woodward & Vodrey 1847-1848
Woodward, Vodrey & Booth 1848
Worcester, Bulger & Co. 1872-1884
Worcester & Co. 1880-1882
World Pottery & China Co. 1874-1893



Hall China Company, 1903 - Present

The former partners in the inoperative East Liverpool Potteries Company assembled together on July 7, 1903 at the home of Robert Hall to settle and distribute the assets of the company. At this meeting Robert Hall accepted as his share ownership of the plant located on the S.E. corner of E. 4th St. and Walnut. This was the plant previously known as the West, Hardwick and George Pottery. Thirty eight days later, on August 14, 1903, he formed the Hall China Company. Three kilns were fired and 33 potters began work at the plant making bedpans and combinets (sic).earlyhall.JPG (19873 bytes)hall pitcher image

The company had a slow start. It suffered from lack of capital and was in competition with more than 20 other small potteries.

Robert Hall was not to see the developments and successes of his fledgling company as he died in 1904 only a year after forming the company.

Management of the company was taken over by Robert Taggert Hall, the son of the founder. It was not long before he began investigating the possibility of developing a glaze that would withstand the extreme heat needed for a bisque firing. This process would make it possible to fire ware in one single firing. There was little to go on. The history books stated that it had been done in ancient China but the process and formulae had been lost.

Single Fire Process

From 1905-1911 Hall and his Superintendents experimented to develop the single fire process and also to keep the struggling company afloat. It was soon evident that the glaze would have to be lead free because it was the lead that could not withstand the high temperatures of the bisque firing kiln. During this period they produced combinets, bedpans, mugs and jugs. In 1908 they introduced dinnerware which was made in small quantities until 1914. Hall became associated at this time with Francis Simmers and the partnership between the two kept the pottery in business. Simmers kept the orders coming in. These were lean years and often the management had trouble meeting the payroll.

Disaster struck in 1910 when vandals entered the plant on Memorial Day and did over $3,000 worth of damage to equipment. This could have proved a catastrophic loss to the company but Hall became more determined to perfect his single fire process.

Early in 1911 they were to see the fruition of their efforts. The first successful lead-less glaze was mixed in a pestle and mortar and was just enough to cover half a mug. It was fired at 2,200*F. Results were good but not great. They mixed a larger batch and eventually did a full kiln of ware with the glaze. The ware in the hottest part of the kiln was perfect the other was not. It was determined to raise the temperature to 2,400*F and maintain the temperature throughout the firing process. When the kiln doors were opened they knew they had found the right combination of glaze and temperature. The ware was strong, hard, non-porous and craze-proof.

Simms loved the quality of the ware and vowed to sell so much that they would have to double his plant. Within a few months production had increased from 2 dozen pieces/day to 16 dozen pieces/day.

Growing Opportunities

In 1914 the company was faced with a great opportunity to establish themselves in the American market. W.W.I in Europe meant that ware could not be shipped or sold in the

U.S. Hall China put all its efforts into making casseroles, teapots, coffeepots, coffee urn liners and other ware used by restaurants and institutions. Hall Chinas reputation for the quality of its ware grew so much during this period that when the war was over, even when the cheaper European ware became available, the institutions did not buy it because it was less expensive over the long term to invest in the Hall ware. European ware was fragile, soft, porous, and absorbent with a rough finish. Hall ware was strong, smooth, non-porous, non-absorbent and glistened when new and was still so after extended use.


With the combination of Hall and Simmers, now partners and sharing the presidency of the company, alternating a year at a time the fate of the company seemed assured.

In 1919 they purchased the Goodwin Pottery at E.6th St. and Broadway and started making gold-decorated teapots for the retail market. Hall was soon the largest producer of decorated teapots in the world.

In 1920 Robert Taggart Hall died from a heart attack and Simmers took full control of the company.

The company continued to expand. The research and development departments to this day work to improve the process and the ware. Early developments were under-glazes of various colors.

In 1927 a third plant was added producing soda-fountain jars and then in 1928 decorated cooking china to be sold on the retail market.

By 1929 it was obvious that it would be a wise move to consolidate the production of ware under one roof. Twenty three acres of land were purchased in the East End of East Liverpool. The new facility was 250 feet wide by 680 feet long, all on one floor, covering 170,000 square feet. The open plan allowed for continuous and progressive movement of the production. There were three tunnel kilns for firing. The plant saw as many as eight additions in the '30's and '40's as production boomed.

In 1933 Hall China produced decorated cooking china, teapots and coffee-pots. In 1936 they expanded the line again to include dinnerware.

pottery imageToday

Recently joining Homer Laughlin China, Hall China continues its mission as the largest manufacturer of specialty dinnerware. It has adapted to the trends and growth of the market. A few years ago it had a line of ware for the Longaberger Company which they sell in conjunction with their baskets.





Homer Laughlin China Company, 1877 - Present

In 1872 the East Liverpool, Ohio City Council, foreseeing the demise in popularity of yellow ware offered $5,000 to anyone that would agree to build a four kiln pottery producing white ware.

Homer and Shakespeare Laughlin won that competition and proceeded to build a pottery in East Liverpool. They were natives of the area being born on Beaver Creek near East Liverpool and the Ohio River. After the Civil War Homer and his brothers had worked in the pottery industry in production and sales but were not expert in technical aspects of making ware.

pottery imageThey accepted the Council's offer on September 1, 1873, broke ground for the plant on October 1 and opened for production one year later on September 1, 1874. The plant with only two kilns struggled due to a lack of capital and lack of experience. White ware had not been produced in the area before this time. It is said that the first batch of ware out of the kilns was cups and that when the ware cooled all the handles fell off. Undaunted they persevered, calling themselves, "The Ohio Valley Pottery" and "Laughlin Bros. Pottery". By 1874 they had 100 employees. Their work finally paid off when in 1876 they were awarded a medal for best white ware at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They were now established as a quality producer in the market.

In 1877 Homer bought his brothers share of the company and renamed the business "Homer Laughlin". In 1896 it was renamed "The Homer Laughlin China Company".

At this time there was stiff competition with European and especially English China. The public perceived that the American ware, which was more expensive, was of lesser quality. Many potteries disguised their ware with marks reminiscent of English marks or named their ware "Royal" to give the connotation of English ware. Homer Laughlin however, designed a mark that showed the American Eagle on top of the British Lion. He wanted to show his confidence in the American ware.

Homer Laughlin was aware of the conditions of his employees but safety standards were non-existent in industry at this time. The hazards of the job were many, mostly from the inhalation of the dusts associated with the production of the ware. In 1877 he was paying his employees more than their European or Asian counterparts. A skilled worker earned $2.33/day, an unskilled man $1.29/day, boys 0.82c/day and women and girls 0.75c/day. In 1880 he took 300 of his workers and their families by chartered train to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for an exposition in the afternoon and the opera in the evening. Laughlin was mindful of his workers and saw quality in them. In 1880 Homer hired W.E. Wells as bookkeeper. He would eventually become the general manager and today his descendants are still managing the company. He hired the first female secretary in 1888. Later in the companies history the plant would include a recreational park.

Throughout the 1880's Homer Laughlin produced a variety of ware, mostly of a basic white which could be used in hotels and other public institutions. Today many former Homer Laughlin workers can still recognize the ware by style and quality wherever they may be in a hotel or restaurant throughout the country and even the world. In 1886 he had truly made what could be termed genuine American china. After a demonstration of its translucence and vitreous qualities Jere Simms editor of the local newspaper said, "It is no longer a question of doubt that the finest, thinnest and most translucent of china can be produced in America."

In 1897 Homer retired from the business to pursue business interests in California. Wells, Louis, Marcus and Charles Aaron purchased interests in the company with Louis Aaron as president and Wells as secretary and general manager. They decided that they needed to expand. In 1899 they built a new plant east of the original pottery (plant # 2). Two years later they built plant # 3 beside plant # 2. They also traded the original plant for another in the East End. After this expansion there were 32 kilns. Still unsatisfied and prompted by the extreme growth in the demand for their wares they wanted to expand again. However, there was no available suitable land in the East End of East Liverpool; therefore they pursued the purchase of a 3 mile tract of land in a small community that would become known as Newell across the Ohio River in West Virginia. The location had access to fuel, railroad and river transportation. Forming the North American Manufacturing Company to develop the property into a usable industrial site, the Homer Laughlin Company set about developing what until this time was a relatively inaccessible area of the West Virginia panhandle. The only way to get to the property from Ohio was by ferry. By 1904 they had begun construction of a metal suspension bridge. Now called the Newell Bridge it is still in operation as a toll bridge across the river. The first traffic moved across on July 4, 1905. Newell grew rapidly from a small community of but a few homes to a prospering community with 130 additional homes by December 1907.

The plant, at that time the largest in the World, covered 10 acres, extended 700 feet along the riverbank. Standing five stories high it had a total floor space of 15 acres. Connected with the plant to the south was a 100 acre park with a spring-fed stream, lack, zoo, formal garden and outdoor theater. The park was the idea of George Washington Clarke, a great innovative salesman for the company. He spent much of his time and money on the park. He died in 1911 not long after the park was built. With the addition of the new plant, in January 1907, there were 62 kilns and 48 decorating kilns capable of producing 300,000 pieces of ware per day.

In 1914 they added plant # 5, with 16 kilns, just to the north of plant # 4, the Newell plant. By 1919-1920 they were ready to expand again. The industry was changing greatly at this time. New technologies for better and more efficient production required the introduction of science and scientists into the business. The Homer Laughlin Company hired Albert Victor Bleininger, a scientist in ceramics. Bleininger would remain with the company until his death in 1946. His first task was to build plant # 6. This plant was built across the valley to the south of plants # 4 and was the largest pottery ever constructed in the world. It was to be a leader in the worldwide manufacturing of ceramics. The plant was state-of-the-art. A major innovation was the construction of tunnel kilns. The tunnel kilns unlike the bottle kilns were of continuous operation. The plant also had other technological advantages, streamlining the process of making the ware. The plant was 290 feet wide, 800 feet long with a basement 80 feet by 800 feet where the clay, flint and feldspar were mixed.

In 1927 they built plant # 7 and replaced the bottle kilns in plants # 4 and # 5 with tunnel kilns. The three older plants in East Liverpool were soon obsolete and were abandoned in 1929. To replace them, in 1928, Laughlin's built plant # 8 just south of plant # 6. This new plant was 1,200 feet long and 300 feet wide and employed 900 people, equal to the combined numbers at plants # 6 and # 7. At peak employment The Homer Laughlin China Company employed 3,500 people.

In 1927 they hired one of the world’s foremost ceramists, Frederick Hurten Rhead. Rhead would stay with the company until his death in 1942. Rhead's first job was to update the catalog, most of which had been in production for decades. The newest ware was called Yellowstone and was a cream, light-yellow. Introduced in 1926 it was advertised as, "possessing a warmth of tone that appeals to many persons of good taste more strongly than the dead white body that has ruled the market for so many years". He slowly changed the product over a space of several years. In 1935 he created Fiesta ware which would become the companies most popular and most collected line of Homer Laughlin China. Fiesta was discontinued in 1959, replaced with Fiesta Ironstone which was discontinued in 1973. Fiesta ware with new colors was reintroduced in 1986 to celebrate to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Rhea also created Harlequin which was the Woolworth Companies biggest seller. It was reintroduced into the line in 1979 to celebrate Homer Laughlin's Centennial.

Peak production for the company was in 1948 when they produced 10,129,449 dishes.

In 1959 plant # 6 was adapted to produce heavy vitreous ware for restaurants. Hundreds of restaurants across the country now use Laughlin restaurant ware, including the Marriott Hotel chain.

In 1930 W.E. Wells retired from the company. His son, Joseph Wells succeeded him. In 1960 his son Joseph Wells Jr. became general manager and his son Joseph Wells III executive vice-president. In 1986 Joseph Wells III would become general manager. In 1911 Marcus Aaron took over as president of the board from his father, Louis Aaron. In 1940 Marcus Lester Aaron becomes president retiring in 1989 after 65 years of service. His son Marcus Aaron II would succeed him.

The Homer Laughlin China Company is still, today, the U.S.A.'s largest producer of china. Some of the plants have been abandoned and closed but the company still operates at the Newell, West Virginia site.


Homer Laughlin Production Timeline

1872 White ware
1884 Victor
1896 Golden Gate & Shakespeare
1899 American Beauty
1901 Colonial, Seneca, Niagara
1903 King Charles
1907 Angelus, Empress
1912 Hudson, Genesee
1914 Majestic
1920 Republic, Kwaker
1926 Yellowstone
1929 Liberty
1930-1933 Wells, Century, Jade, Ravenna, Virginia Rose, Marigold, Nautilus (Regular) and Georgian/Craftsman
1935 Fiesta, Coronet
1936 Brittany, Harlequin
1937 Eggshell Nautilus, Eggshell Georgian
1938 Swing, Carnival, Riviera, Tango
1939 Theme, Kitchen Kraft, Serenade
1940 Picadilly
1948 Jubilee, Skytone, Suntone and Debutante, Kraft Blue, Kraft Pink
1949-1959 Rhythm, Cavalier, Triumph, Kenilworth, Epicure
1959 Hotel and Restaurant china introduced
1986 Fiesta reintroduced as a lead-free china product

Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area Pre-1845

Date of
Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool, OH
unless specified.)
Ware Years in Business
1826   Joseph Wells     c. 1826-1856
1830   Longs Run Pottery N.W. Corner Sec. 15. St. Clair Township Rockingham & Yellowware  
  1852 Sprucevale Pottery ---------"----------- ---------"----------- c.1852-1859
1840   James Bennett S.E. Corner 2nd &
Jefferson Sts.
---------"----------- 1839-1841
  1841 Bennett & Sons ---------"----------- ---------"-----------  
  1844 Thomas Croxall & Brothers ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1844-1852
  1852 -----plant destroyed by flood-----      
1840   Benjamin Harker Sr. River Road E. of Old
Homer Laughlin Plant
---------"----------- 1840-1846
    Benjamin & George S. Harker-
Etruria Pottery
---------"----------- ---------"-----------  
  1846 Harker, Taylor & Co. ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1846-1851
  1851 Harker, Thompson & Co ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1851-1854
  1854 George S. Harker & Co ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1854-1890
  1879 -----change of product------ ---------"----------- White Granite  
  1890 Harker Pottery Co ---------"----------- Semiporcelain 1890-1972
  1931 -----moved to Chester, WV----      
1842   Salt, Mear, Ogden & Hancock N.E. corner of 2nd &
Washington Sts.
Rockingham & Yellowware 1842-c.1852
/ 1856-c.1860
    Salt & Mear---Mansion House ---------"----------- ---------"----------- ---------"-----------
  1850 Harker & Smith ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1853-1855
  1857 James Foster & William Garner ---------"----------- ---------"----------- c. 1856-1859
  1863 Croxall & Cartwright ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1856-1888
  1888 G (J). W. Croxall & Sons ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1888-1898
  1898 Croxall Pottery Co. ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1898-1914
  1912 -------business suspended-------      
1844   John Goodwin S.E. corner 2nd & Market Sts. ---------"----------- 1843-1853
/ 1863-1865
  1845 ------change of product-------- ---------"----------- Rock., Yellow & Knobs  
  1853 S & W. Baggott---- Eagle Pottery ---------"----------- Rockingham & Yellowware 1853-c.1897
  1890's ------plant closed--------      
  1902 Mountford & Co. ---------"----------- Stilts,Pins & Spurs 1891-1897



Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area 1845-1849

Date of Changes Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool, OH unless specified.) Ware Years in Business
1845   Ball & Morris---Union Pottery S.E. 2nd St & Cherry Alley Rockingham & Yellowware 1846-1856
  1855 McGillvary & Orr ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1855
  1857 Croxall & Cartwright ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1856-1888
  1898 Croxall Pottery ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1898-1914
  1914 American Porcelain Co. ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1914-1932
  1932 -------business suspended------      
1846   George Garner n/a n/a c.1846
1847   Bullock & Garner n/a n/a 1847
1847   William Brunt Sr. W side Market St. at 1st St. Rock., Yellow. & Knobs ??
  1852 William Brunt & William Bloor ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1848-1853
  1853 William Brunt Sr. ---------"----------- ---------"----------- ??
  1881 Henry Brunt & Son--Riverside Knob Works ---------"----------- clay & porcelain knobs ??
  1895 William H. Brunt ---------"----------- ---------"----------- n/a
  1911 Riverside Knob Co ---------"----------- ---------"----------- n/a
  1917 General Porcelain Co ---------"----------- ---------"----------- ??
  1930 Riverside Knob Co (John C. Miller) ---------"----------- ---------"----------- n/a
  1891 Henry Brunt & Son--Riverside Knob Works ---------"----------- Electrical Porcelain ??
  1895 George F. Brunt & C. F. Thompson ---------"----------- ---------"----------- n/a
  1907 G. F. Brunt Porcelain Co ---------"----------- ---------"----------- c.1900-1914
  1911 General Porcelain Co ---------"----------- ---------"----------- ??
  1930 Riverside Knob Co (John C. Miller) --------"----------- Knobs ??
1847   Woodward & Vodrey-- Herculaneum Pottery S.side E. 4th St. from Walnut to Elm Rockingham & Yellowware 1847-1848
  1848 Woodward, Vodrey & Booth ---------"----------- --------"----------- 1848
  1849 Woodward, Blakely & Co ---------"----------- Rock., Yellow & Terra Cotta 1848-1857
1847   John Henderson-- Salamander Pottery Works S. corner Broadway & St. Clair Ave. Rockingham & Yellowware c.1849-c.1854
  1857 Morley, Godwin & Flentke ---------"----------- ---------"---------- 1855-1874
  1870 ---------moved----------- E.side Broadway & 5th & 6th Sts. ---------"-----------  
  1874 -----change of product----- ---------"---------- White Granite  
  1878 Godwin & Flentke ---------"---------- ---------"----------- 1878-1882
  1882 William Flentke ---------"---------- ---------"----------- n/a
  1886 Standard Co-Operative Co ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1886-1927
  1890 ---------"----------- No 1 ---------"---------- Semiporcelain  
  1926 --suspended-- moved to New Cumberland, WV as Cronin China Co      
1848   Larkin Brothers n/a n/a c.1848-1861
1848   Newell, Larkins & Co n/a n/a 1848-c1852
1848   Dovey, Webster & Co n/a n/a 1848
1848   Webster & Phillips n/a n/a c. 1848-1850
1848   Wyllie Brothers      
  1854 ---- discontinued business--  


Pottery Industries in the East Liverpool Area 1850-1859

Year Esablished Date of Change Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool, OH
unless specified.)
Ware Years in Business
1850   Empire Co. n/a n/a c. 1850
1850   Bullock & Anderson     1850
1851   Douds & Barnes n/a n/a c.1851
1851   Harvey, Green & Co n/a n/a 1851-c.1854
1852   R.G. Phillips n/a n/a 1852
1853   J.R. Phillips n/a n/a 1853
1853   O. Ritter n/a n/a 1853
1853   Richard Harrison & Co n/a n/a c. 1853
1853   Larkins, Newell & Co n/a n/a 1853
1853   Wally Bros. & Co n/a n/a 1853
1853   Knowles & Harvey---plant # 1 Old End. E. Liverpool Pottery Works N.W. corner 6th & Walnut St. Rockingham & Yellowware 1853-c.1865
  1867 Isaac W. Knowles ---------"----------- ---------"----------- c.1865-1870
  1870 Knowles, Taylor & Knowles --plant # 1 Old End ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1870-1929
  1872 ------changed product----------- ---------"----------- White Granite  
  1890 ------changed product----------- ---------"----------- Semiporcelain  
  1929 American Chinaware Corp---plant E ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1929-1931
  1932 ---------business suspended-------      
1854   Booth Brothers     1854-c. 1865
1855   McGillvary & Moore n/a n/a 1855-1857
1856   Joseph Foster & George Garner N.E. corner Broadway & 6th Sts Rockingham & Yellowware c. 1856-1859
  1860 Joseph Foster & James Rowley ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1860-c. 1866
  1865 Foster & Rigby ---------"----------- ---------"----------- c. 1866-1868
  186? T. Rigby & Co----Broadway Pottery ---------"----------- ---------"----------- n/a
  1872 John Goodwin ---------"----------- White Granite 1843-1853 / 1863-1865
  1876 Goodwin Brothers ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1875-1893
  1893 Goodwin Pottery ---------"----------- Semiporcelain 1893-1913
  1913 Davidson & Stevenson, lessees ---------"----------- Electrical Porcelain 1914-1932
  1919 Hall China Co. ---------"----------- Semiporcelain 1903-present
  1930 ------moved to Klondyke Plant----      
1856   William Brunt & Sons n/a n/a  
1856   Wallace Brothers n/a n/a 1856-c.1861
1857   Douds & Sebring n/a n/a 1857-1860
1857   Smith, Foster & Co n/a n/a 1857
1857   Vodrey Brothers----Pallisy Works S.E. corner 4th & College Rockingham & Yellowware 1857-c1864
  1896 Vodrey Pottery Co ---------"----------- ---------"----------- 1896-1928
  1928 -----business suspended-----      
1859   William Bloor---East Liverpool Porcelain Works--U.S. Pottery Wrks N.E. corner Walnut & 3rd Sts. Porcelain & Novelties  
  1862 William Brunt Jr & Co--Phoenix Pottery Works ---------"----------- Rockingham & Yellowware  
  1878? William Brunt Son & Co ---------"----------- White Granite  
  1894 William Brunt Pottery Co ---------"----------- Semiporcelain  
  1926 Hall China Co ---------"----------- ---------"-----------  
  1930 -----moved to Klondyke Plant----      
1859   William Brunt Jr & Co--Phoenix Pottery S.E. corner Walnut & 4th Sts. Rockingham & Yellowware  
  1865 Thompson, Jobling, Taylor & Hardwick--Lincoln Pottery ---------"----------- ---------"-----------  
  1867 West, Hardwick & Co ---------"----------- ---------"-----------  
  1879 ----changed product---- ---------"----------- Cream-colored  
  1882 ----changed product---- ---------"----------- White Granite  
  1884 George Morley & Son--Lincoln Pottery ---------"----------- White Granite & Majolica  
  1890 -----discontinued business----      
  1894 East Liverpool Pottery Co ---------"----------- White Granite  
  1896 ----changed product----   Semiporcelain  
  1903 East Liverpool Potteries Co ---------"----------- ---------"-----------  
  1905 Hall China Co ---------"----------- ---------"-----------  
  1913 ----changed product----   Porcelain  
  1930 --moved to Klondyke Plant--      
1859   Elijah Webster---A. Webster & Co E side Jackson & 1st Stoneware  
  1864 Manley & Cartwright--Industrial Pottery ---------"----------- Rockingham & Yellowware  
  1872 Manley, Cartwright & Co ---------"----------- ---------"-----------  
  1880 Cartwright Brothers Co ---------"----------- ---------"-----------  
  1887 ----changed product---- ---------"----------- Yellow & cream-colored  
  1890 ----changed product----   White Granite  
  1891 ----changed product----   Semiporcelain  
  1924 ----business suspended----      


Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area 1860- 1869

Year Established Date of Changes Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location(all sites E. Liverpool, OH unless specified.) Ware Years in Business
1860's   William Colclough N.E corner  6th & Sugar Porcelain, clay pipes & novelties c.1850/ 1879-1881
1863   John Goodwin--
Novelty Pottery
S.E. corner Broadway & 6th Sts Yellowware & novelties 1843-1853/ 1863-1865
  1865 Marks, Farmer, Manley & Riley---A.J. Marks & Co --------------"----------- Rockingham & Yellowware n/a
  1869 McNicol, Burton & Co --------------"----------- Rock, Yellow & White Granite 1869-1892
  1892 D.E. McNicol Pottery Co --------------"----------- Yellow, Cream-colored & White Granite 1892-1954
  1930 moved to Clarksburg, WV      
1863   Agner & Foutts-- American Pottery Works N.E. corner 2nd & Market Rockingham & Yellowware 1863-1883
  188? Agner & Gaston --------------"----------- --------------"----------- 1883-1884
  1887 Sebring  Pottery Co --------------"----------- White Granite 1887-c. 1940
  1900 Sevres China Co --------------"----------- Semiporcelain 1900-1908
  1908 Warner-Keffer China Co --------------"----------- --------------"----------- 1908-1912
  1910 ----suspended operation---      
1864   Mayer, Ross & McDevitt n/a n/a 1864
1865   Mayer & Geon n/a n/a 1865
1866   Starkey & Simms--Star Stone S.E. corner Dresden & 8th St Stoneware 1866-1868
  1868 Laughlin & Simms --------------"----------- --------------"----------- n/a
  1868 Ferguson & Simms --------------"----------- --------------"----------- 1872
  1868 N.M. Simms & Co --------------"----------- --------------"----------- 1868-1874
  1875 Brunt, Bloor, Martin & Co-- Dresden Pottery --------------"----------- White Granite 1875-1882
  1882 Potters' Co-Operative Co --------------"----------- --------------"----------- 1882-1925
  1890 ----change of product---- --------------"----------- Semiporcelain  
  1925 Dresden Pottery --------------"----------- --------------"----------- 1925-1927
  1927 ----discontinued business--      
1866   Douds & Moore     1866
1867   Jacob Morton n/a n/a 1867-1870
1867   Hill, Brunt & Co S.W. corner 5th & Walnut Rockingham & Yellowware 1867-c.1869
  1874 John Wyllie & Son---Great Western Pottery --------------"----------- White Granite 1874-1893
  1891 Union Pottery Co --------------"----------- --------------"----------- ??
  1896 ----change of product---   Semiporcelain  
  1904 ---discontinued business--      
1867   Jones Pottery n/a n/a 1867-1880
1867   Burgess, Webster & Viney --Webster, Viney & Co S.side W. 8th St Stoneware 1867-1869
  1871 Starkey & Ourly--Star Pottery --------------"----------- Rockingham & Yellowware c. 1870-1872
  1872 Samuel Worcester & Son --------------"----------- --------------"----------- n/a
  187? Bulger & Worcester --------------"----------- --------------"----------- 1872-1884
  1886 ----discontinued business--      
1868   William Brunt Sr. & Son--Great Western n/a n/a 1868-1874
1868   McDevitt, Cochran & Co-- California Pottery California Hollow Rockingham & Yellowware 1868-1870
  1871 McDevitt & Moore --------------"----------- Majolica & Jet ware 1874-c.1900
  1900? ---discontinued business--      
1868   Viney, Thompson & Co n/a n/a 1868-1869
1868   Thompson & Herbert River Rd E. of Sugar Alley Rockingham & Yellowware 1868-1870
  1870 C.C. Thompson & Co --------------"----------- --------------"----------- 1870-1938
  1884 ----change of product----   Yellow & cream-colored  
  1890 ----change of product----   Cream-colored & White Granite  
  1918 ----change of product----   Semiporcelain  
  1938 --suspended business--      
1868   Jackson Brothers N.E. corner 7th & Jefferson Sts. China & Parian 1868-1870
1869   Douds & Welch n/a n/a 1869
1869   Fritz, McClure & Co. n/a n/a 1869


Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area 1870-1879

Year Established Date of Change Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool, OH unless specified.) Ware Years in Business
1870   Lamond & Jones n/a n/a 1870
1870   A. Viney & Co n/a n/a 1870
1870   Henry Willot n/a n/a 1870-1872
1871   Fowler & O'Connor n/a n/a 1871-1872
1872   Douds & Foutts n/a n/a 1872
1872   R. Thomas & Sons Co N. side W. 7th St. Clay Knobs 1873-1957
  1884 ------------"------------ American Knob Works ------------"------------ Clay & Porcelain Wiring Knobs  
  1885 R. Thomas & Sons Co ------------"------------ Low-voltage Porcelain  
  1897 ------------"------------ ------------"------------ High-voltage Porcelain  
  1927 ----moved to Lisbon, OH-----      
1872   Worcester, Bulger & Son n/a n/a 1872-1884
1872   McDevitt, Moore & Curby n/a n/a 1872-1874
1873   Laughlin Brothers---Ohio Valley Pottery River Rd, E. of Thompson Pottery White Granite 1973-1877
  1879 Homer Laughlin Pottery ------------"------------ Porcelain 1977-1896
  1897 ----change of product---- ------------"------------ Semiporcelain  
  1903 National China Co ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1899-1911
  1911 Harker Pottery Co. plant # 2 ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1890-1972
  1931 ----moved to Chester, WV--- ------------"------------ ------------"------------  
1873   Emmanuel Booth n/a n/a 1873-1876
1874   Morley, Godwin & Co n/a n/a 1874-1878
1874   Flentke, Worcester & Co---Buckeye Pottery Works S. corner St. Clair & Broadway Rockingham & Yellowware n/a
  1877 Flentke, Harrison & Co ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1877-1884
1874   Thomas Haden n/a n/a 1874-1888
1874   Golding Sons Co S.side W.4th St Flint & Feldspar 1874-1939
1875   Curby, Starkey & Co n/a n/a 1875
1875   Joseph Dennis n/a n/a 1875-1886
1877   Goerge F. Humrickhouse n/a n/a 1877-c.1883
1877   Bulger, Starkey & Co     1877
1877   Benjamin Harker & Sons--- Wedgewood Pottery River Rd. E. of Harker Pottery Cream-Colored 1877-1881
  1881 Wallace & Chetwynd--- Colonial Pottery ------------"------------ White Granite 1881-1901
  1896 ----change of product---- ------------"------------ Semiporcelain  
  1903 East Liverpool Potteries Co ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1901-1907 (1933)
  1905 Colonial Pottery ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1903-1929
  1929 ----operation suspended---      
1878   Morley & Co n/a n/a 1878-1884
1878   Anderson, Curry & Co n/a n/a 1878
1878   East Liverpool Encaustic Tile Co n/a n/a 1878
1878   Gamble & Surles (Surles & Gamble) N.E. corner Buckeye Alley & Bradshaw Ave Rockingham & Yellowware 1878
  1882 Flentke, Harrison & Co ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1877-1884
  1885 Knowles, Taylor & Knowles- Plant #3, Buckeye ------------"------------ White Granite 1870-1929
  1890 ----change of product----   Semiporcelain  
  1929 American Chinaware Corp, - Plant E ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1929-1931
  1931 ---production suspended--      
1878   Sants & Barlow n/a n/a 1878
1878   John F. Steele n/a n/a 1878-1891
1879   Dennis Outrim n/a n/a n/a
1879   Hayden & Lycett n/a n/a 1879
1879   A.B. Beck n/a n/a 1879
1879   Ralph Scragg n/a n/a 1878-c1887
1879   Burford Brothers N.W corner Green Lane & E. 7th St. Floor & Wall Tile 1879-1904
  1881 ----change of product--- ------------"------------ Cream-colored & White Granite  
  1896 ----change of product---- ------------"------------ Semiporcelain  
  1905 Standard Pottery Co # 2 ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1886-1927
  1920 Potters Co-Operative Co # 2 ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1882-1925
  1925 Dresden Pottery Co # 2 ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1925-1927
  1929 ---discontinued business--  


Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area 1880-1889

Year Established Date of Change Name of Pottery & Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool, OH unless specified Ware Years in Business
1880   George Monroe Co n/a n/a 1880
1880   Worcester Co n/a n/a 1880-1882
1880   E. Fox Co n/a n/a 1880
1880   Cartwright Brothers Pottery Co n/a n/a 1880-1896
1880   Robertson & Co-- Diamond Stilt Works N.W. corner Union & 1st St. Stilts, Pins & Spurs n/a
  1882 Rowe & Mountford ------------"------------ ------------"------------ n/a
  1891 ----change of product-- ------------"------------ Potters supplies & White Granite  
  1894 George C. Murphy Co ------------"------------ White Granite 1897-1901/ 1903-1904
  1896 ----change of product-- ------------"------------ Semiporcelain  
  1903 East Liverpool Potteries Co ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1901-1907
  1904 -discontinued business-      
1880   Knowles, Taylor & Knowles--Plant # 2 New End W.side Walnut St. North Potters Alley White Granite 1870-1929
  1890 ---change of product---- ------------"------------ Semiporcelain  
  1929 American Chinaware Corp. --Plant E ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1929-1931
  1931 --operation suspended--      
1881   Webster, Campbell & Co n/a n/a 1881-1888
1881   Manley, Surles & Gamble n/a n/a 1881
1881   Smith, Plunkett & McClure n/a n/a 1881
1881   Humrickhouse & Gallagher n/a n/a 1881
1881   Frederick, Shenkel, Allen & Co-- Globe Pottery River Rd. E. of Colonial Pottery Rockingham & Yellowware 1881-1888
  1888 Globe Pottery Co ------------"------------ Semiporcelain 1888-1903/ 1905-1912
  1903 East Liverpool Potteries Co ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1901-1907 (1933)
  1905 Globe Pottery Co ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1888-1903/ 1905-1912
  1913 T.A. McNicol Pottery Co ------------"------------ ------------"------------ 1913-1929
  1926 ---production suspended--      
1882   John Patterson & Sons Pottery n/a n/a 1882-1900
1882   Shields & Wilson n/a n/a 1882
1882   Alcock & Shields n/a n/a 1882
1882   Patterson, Russell & Co n/a n/a 1882
1882   Boulton & Co n/a n/a 1882-1883
1884   F.R. Cross & Co n/a n/a 1884
1884   George Buxton n/a n/a 1884-1891
1885   William Brunt & Co n/a n/a 1885
1886   Nentwick & Larkin n/a n/a 1886
1887   Potters Mining & Milling Co N. side Railroad St. E of Boyce St. and E. of Trenle Pottery Flint & Feldspar 1887-
1888   Miles & McClain n/a n/a 1888
1888   James H. Baum n/a n/a 1888-1896
1888   Knowles, Taylor & Knowles --Plant # 4 -China Works N.side Bradshaw Ave, E of plant  # 3 Porcelain & Lotus 1870-1929
  1898 ----changed product---   Semiporcelain  
  1929 American Chinaware Corp-- Plant E --------------"----------- --------------"----------- 1929-1931
  1931 ---closed-----      
1889   McNicol & Smith n/a n/a 1889-1911
1889   C.C. Thompson Pottery Co     1889-1938


Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area 1890-1899

Year Established Date of Change Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool,OH unless specified) Ware Years in Business
1890   Potters Supply Co W.side Washington St Stilts, pins, spurs etc. 1890-
1890   Burgess & Co--American China S. side W. 8th St Bone China 1890-1893
  1893 West End Pottery -------"-------- Semiporcelain 1893-1938
  1938 ---production suspended---      
1890   Burgess & Co--American Stilt Works S.W. corner 4th & Cherry Alley Stilts, pins & spurs 1890-1893
  1894 --plant dismantled---      
1890   Corns Knob Works Laura Ave Door & Furniture knobs n/a
  1900 Benty Brothers -------"-------- Artware 1900-1906
  1906 Craven -------"-------- -------"-------- 1906-1910
  1910 ---suspended operation---      
1893   Burton & Garner S. side Ravine St. between Blakely & Bradshaw Pins, stilts, spurs & knobs n/a
  1898 Corns & Williams -------"-------- Specialities n/a
  1903 ---operation suspended---      
1894   East End Pottery Co N. side Railroad St. E of Boyce White Granite 1894-1901/ 1903-1907
  1903 East Liverpool Potteries Co -------"-------- -------"-------- 1901-1907(1933)
  1905 East End Pottery Co -------"-------- Semiporcelain 1894-1901/ 1903-1907
  1910 East End China Co -------"-------- -------"-------- 1908-1909?
  1915 Trenle China Co -------"-------- -------"-------- 1909-c. 1924
  1917 Trenle Porcelain Co -------"-------- Electrical Porcelain & Porcelain n/a
  1937 ---moved to Ravenswood, WV      
1894   Union Co-Operative Pottery Co n/a n/a 1894-1900
1895   Edward O'Connor E.side Starkey St. Rockingham & Yellowware n/a
  1902 D.E. McNicol Pottery Co -------"-------- -------"-------- 1892-1954
  1927 Hall China Co -------"-------- Porcelain 1903- present
  1930 ---moved to Klondyke plant----      
1895   French China Co W.side Pearl St at Michigan & Elizabeth Semiporcelain 1898-1929
  1901 Smith-Phillips China Co -------"-------- -------"-------- 1901-1929
  1929 American Chinaware Corp-- Plant F -------"-------- -------"-------- 1929-1931
  1931 Johnson China Co -------"-------- Semiporcelain & Porcelain 1931-1927
  1937 Specialty Porcelain Works (Boch) -------"-------- Electrical Porcelain c1910-1949
1896   Enterprise Art China Co n/a n/a 1896-?
1896   Pioneer Pottery (Wellsville)     1896-c.1900
1897   Willian Higginson n/a n/a 1897
1898   California Pottery Co n/a n/a 1898
1898   East Liverpool Art China n/a n/a 1898-c.1908
1898   Manton & Albright n/a n/a n/a
1899   Oliver China Co n/a n/a 1899-c.1908
1899   Taylor, Lee & Smith n/a n/a 1899-1901
1899   National China Co N.side Railroad st. Between Virginia & Boyce Semiporcelain 1899-1911
  1903 Homer Laughlin China Co-- Plants # 1,2 & 3 -------"-------- -------"-------- 1903-present
  1929 ---moved to Newell, WV--      


Pottery Industries In East Liverpool Area 1910-1919

Year Established Date of
Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool,OH unless specified) Ware Years in Business
1910   American Vitrified Products Co n/a n/a 1910-1968
1910   East Liverpool China & Enamel n/a n/a 1910
1910   Columbia China n/a n/a 1910
1911   East Liverpool Crockery Co n/a n/a c.1911
1911   Saxon China Co n/a n/a 1911-1929
1912   McNicol-Corns China Co n/a n/a 1912-1928
1912   Bel Mar China Co n/a n/a 1912
1912   Oakwood China Co n/a n/a 1912-c.1921
1912   Pittsburgh Tile Manufacturing Co State Line n/a 1912-c.1914
1912   Dresden Pottery Works 774 Dresden Ave n/a 1912-1914/ 1925-1927
  1914 Potters Mining & Milling Works -------"------- n/a 1914-c.1924
1913   East Liverpool Sanitary Manufacturing Co n/a n/a 1913-?
1914   Less Work Manufacturing Co n/a n/a 1914
1915   Hilton China Co n/a n/a c.1915
1919   Boch & Metsch Porcelain Co n/a n/a c.1919-?
1919   Hoyt China Co n/a n/a 1919-?
1919   Hoyt Brothers China Co n/a n/a 1919


Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area 1900-1909

Year Established Date of
Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool,OH unless specified) Ware Years in Business
1900   Oakwood Pottery n/a n/a 1900
1900   Patterson Brothers Co n/a n/a 1900-1907
1900   Sterling China Co n/a n/a 1900-1902
1900   Thomas China n/a n/a 1900-1905
1900   Limoges China Co Sebring, Ohio n/a 1900-1949
1900   Edwin M. Knowles Co N.side Harrison foot of  5th St. --Newell, WV Vitreous Porcelain 1901-1924
1901   Pan- American Electric Porcelain Co n/a n/a 1901
1901   Burton & Williams n/a n/a 1901
1901   Henry Schmidt n/a n/a 1901
1901   Taylor, Smith & Taylor     1901-1972
1901   Trentvale Pottery n/a n/a c. 1901
1901   Vitreous Novelty Works n/a n/a 1901
1902   American Ceramic Art Co n/a n/a 1902
1902   Wellsville China Co n/a n/a 1902-1959
1902   Olnhausen China Co n/a n/a 1902
1903   Sinclair Art Pottery n/a n/a 1903-c.1905
1903   Gotham, Locke & Co n/a n/a 1903
1903   Ohio Silica Co n/a Flint 1903-1924
1903   East Liverpool Electrical Porcelain Co W.side Boyce St. between Mapletree & Elmtree Electrical Porcelain 1903-c.1918
  1912 General Porcelain Co --------"------ --------"------ 1911-1916
  1916 Bisque Novelty Works (George S. Thompson) --------"------ Novelties, Doll Heads etc. 1916-1919
  1919 D.E. McNicol Pottery Co --------"------ ------"------ 1892-1954
  1931 Trymore Clay Products --------"------ -------"------ n/a
  1933 Bellmar Pottery Co --------"------ --------"------ 1933-1935
  1935-1937 Goodwin Pottery --------"------ --------"------ 1939-1940
1903   N.J. Eisenhuth Novelty Works n/a n/a 1903
1904   Anderson Porcelain S.side Harvey between Myrtle & Putnam Electrical Porcelain 1903-1915
  1911 General Porcelain Co --------"------ --------"------ 1911-1916
  1916 Louthan Manufacturing Co --------"------ Elec & Gas Porcelain 1901-?
1905   McQuillikan & Curry Porcelain Co n/a n/a 1905
1907   Adamant Porcelain Co N.side W 6th St. Electrical Porcelain 1907-c.1924
  1912 ---change of product--- --------"------ Sanitary ware  
  1915 T.V. Milligan Porcelain Co --------"------ Electrical Porcelain 1915-1929
  1929 Peach Porcelain Co --------"------ --------"------ 1929-1932
  1932 Ceramic Specialties Co --------"------ --------"------ 1932-c.1944
1907   John Boch n/a n/a n/a
1907   Novelty Clay Forming Co n/a n/a 1907-c.1918
1907   Scores China Co n/a n/a c.1907
1908   Ohio Porcelain n/a n/a c.1908
1908   E.H. Sebring China Co n/a n/a 1908-1929
1908   East Liverpool Sagger Co 210 E. 2nd n/a 1908-c.1914


Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area 1920-1929

Year Established Date of
Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool,OH unless specified) Ware Years in Business
1920   Chester China Co n/a n/a 1920
1920   General Pulverizing Co S.E. corner Minerva & Walnut Sts. Feldspar 1920-?
  1920 ----plant burned------      
1921   United China Co n/a n/a c.1921
1921   World Pottery & China Co 410 Market St. n/a c1921-c.1934
1921   Babcock & Wilcox E.end of Harvey Ave. Bricks 1921-1030
1921   Kenilworth Tile Co n/a n/a 1921
1921   United States Feldspar Co S.E corner walnut & E. 6th Sts. Feldspar 1921-c.1928
1922   United States Decorating Co n/a n/a 1922
1922   Metsch Refractories n/a n/a 1922-?
1923   Standard Porcelain Co Walnut & 3rd Sts. n/a 1923
1923   American Decorating Co n/a n/a 1923
1923   Miles Porcelain Co n/a n/a 1923
1924   American Porcelain Co 220 E. 2nd St n/a 1914-1932
1924   Electric Clay Forming Co n/a n/a 1924
1926   Smith-Phillips China Co--"Princess Dinnerware" corner Elizabeth & Michigan Ave n/a 1901-1929
1926   Standard Pottery Co N.E. corner Broadway & St. Clair Ave. n/a 1886-1927
1927   Owen-Wilson Porcelain Co n/a n/a 1927
1928   Corns China Co n/a n/a 1928-1932
1928   Porcelain Manufacturing Co n/a n/a 1928
1928   Reston Artware Co Park Rd. near Pennsylvania Ave. n/a 1928-c.1933


Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area 1930-1949

Year Established Date of
Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool,OH unless specified) Ware Years in Business
1930   Patterson Refractories Co 1250 St. George St. n/a 1930-c. 1934
1930   Hall China N.E. corner Elizabeth & Michigan Ave.   1903- present
1931   Meric Art Studios 462 W. 8th St. n/a c.1931-1939
1931   Pearl China Co 828 Lisbon St. n/a 1931- present
  1951 -----moved----- foot of Market & W. 1st St    
1931   Johnson China Co 1798 Michigan Ave n/a 1931-1937
1932   Horton Specialty Co n/a n/a c.1932-1938
1932   Usona Art Pottery 146 Church, Chester WV n/a c1932-c.1952
1933   Ceramic Specialties Co 444 W. 6th St n/a c.1933-c.1944
1933   Royal China Co n/a n/a 1933-?
1934   Bel-Mar Pottery Co 1081 Elmwood n/a c1932-1935
  1937 Goodwin Pottery Co ------"------- n/a 1936-1940
1935   French-Saxon China Co n/a n/a 1935-1964
1935   Pioneer Pottery Starkey corner W. 8th n/a 1935-present
1935   Kass China 909 Vine St n/a c.1935-1972
1937   Monarch Dinnerware Co n/a n/a 1937-1972
1937   Chic Pottery n/a n/a 1937-1945
1937   Purinton Pottery Co n/a n/a 1937-1942
1937   Davidson Porcelain Co Newell Rd, nr city limits n/a n/a
1939   Specialty Porcelain Works 1700 Michigan Ave n/a c. 1939
1939   Pines Pottery Co n/a n/a c.1939-1953
1942   Acme Artware n/a n/a 1941-c.1945
1944   Continental Kilns n/a n/a 1944-c.1953
1945   Acme Craftware Inc n/a n/a 1945-1970
1945   McDonald Decorating Shop 149 Virginia Ave, Chester, WV n/a n/a
1945   Ardyth  Arts 401 Elizabeth St n/a c.1945-c.1961
1945   A.C. Blair China Studios 917 Phoenix Ave, Chester, WV n/a 1945-1960
1946   Keystone China Co Park Way nr High n/a c.1946-1954
1947   Cameo China Co 2007 Main, Wellsville, OH n/a 1947-c.1952
1947   East Liverpool China Co n/a n/a 1947-?
1947   W.C. Bunting Co Globe St. n/a 1947-present
1948   Belmonte China 1441 Etruria St n/a c.1948-1950's
1948   Emil J. Durant 1104 Oliver St n/a n/a
1948   Harmon Pottery Co 1177 Erie St. n/a n/a
1948   Riverside Pottery foot of Jackson St. n/a n/a
1949   American Limoges China Co n/a n/a n/a
1949   Walter Skidmore Co 2260 Harvey Ave. n/a n/a
1949   White Bros 202 1/2 W. 2nd St. n/a 1949-?


Pottery Industries in East Liverpool Area 1950- Present

Year Established Date of
Name of Pottery & Their Successors Location (all sites E. Liverpool,OH unless specified) Ware Years in Business
1951   Betteridge China Co 411 palissey St n/a n/a
1953   Archies Pottery 409 Palissey St n/a n/a
1954   East Liverpool Pottery Products Inc Webber way n/a n/a
1966   Ohio Brass Chester, WV n/a 1966-?
1972   Anchor Hocking     1972-1982
1975   Cardinal Stoneware Co n/a n/a c.1975


Ohio History Central

Ohio History Central is a readily accessible, online resource that documents Ohio's natural history, prehistory, and history through encyclopedic-style entries that are complemented with multimedia elements.  This is an external page and is not sponsored by the library.

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