Business & Money Matters in Willshire, 1904

Today, more about Willshire, Ohio, in 1904, from information taken from the 5 May edition of the 1904 Willshire Herald.

From this newspaper I learned that Willshire once had a canning factory, which was mentioned several times in the paper. They were trying to convince local farmers to grow tomatoes or sweet corn for the factory:

The Willshire Canning factory now has over 150 acres of sweet corn and tomatoes contracted. Better get into the band wagon while there is yet a chance to toot a lead horn.


Farmers, Attention!
All persons desiring to avail themselves of the opportunity to raise sweet corn or tomatoes for the Canning Factory for the coming season, can contract with the processor, Chas. Nachbauer, on or after March 10, at the Hardware Store of Hurless & Brown, Willshire, O.

Professor Catchpole is going to put in his summer vacation superintending and caring for fifteen acres of corn and tomatoes, for the Canning Factory. How much better such a course is than to sit around like a bump on a log and croak against the Canning Factory and its success, as a number of our citizens are doing.

A couple testimonials:

Another Testimonial
This is to certify that I had out eight acres of tomatoes and raised 420 bushels to the acre, which made a profit of $52.00 an acre. This crop I raised in Lewis township, Clay County, Ind., in 1903, for the Clay City Packing company. I intend to raise another crop this year for the same company, as I consider it the most profitable kind of farming. If there is anyone who desires to inquire into this statement, I refer them to the Clay City Packing Co., Clay City, Ind. Yours truly, L. Phegley.

Willshire Herald, 1904


Read this statement from men who have raised material for canning factories and then ask yourselves this question: DOES IT PAY NOT to RAISE VEGETABLES for the CANNING FACTORY WHEN YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY? Following is the statement of one of them:

Clay City, Ind., April 19, 1904.
“We made a little over One Hundred dollars an acre off our tomatoes. So, you see, it paid us well for raising them. There are a number of others here who did as well. I will give you a few names of farmers around here who say that it paid them to raise tomatoes for the factory.

Wm. Liechty
George Williamson
Robert McKee
Mr. Phegley

And there are many others who would willingly add their testimony, but I think that it is not necessary to mention the names of others.

Yours truly, J.P. Scherb, Clay City, Ind.”
The above letter was written to Chas. Nachbauer, processor for the Willshire Canning factory.

Willshire Herald, 1904

One final item about the canning factory:

C.E. Detter is now at Oklahoma City, working up a $15,000 canning factory proposition. He says that city is a hustling, bustling place.

I wonder where the canning factory was located? Perhaps someone knows.

Willshire had a bank in back in 1904:

Willshire Bank
Willshire, Ohio

Henry Altheon, President
Alex Beall, Cashier
Do a General Banking Business
Collections Promptly Attended to
Banking Hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Willshire Bank, 1904

The following ad gives you an idea of home prices in 1904. William G. Hoffer was the man to see if you needed a home loan:

Who Has Money to Loan?
We can place at once $2,500 on First Mortgage.
$400 on a good residence property, located on a good street, worth $700.
$150 on a good residence property and one and a half acre of ground, worth, when house is completed, $900.
$600 on a good building lot, and house when completed, worth $900.
$500 on a good building lot, worth when house is completed, $900.
We have for sale, one residence property for $550.
Another for $1,000.
Another for $600.
Still another for $900.
And yet another for $1,350.
Wm. G. Hoffer,
Willshire, Ohio.

Wm. G. Hoffer, 1904 Willshire Herald

And William G. Hoffer could also set you up with property insurance:

Why Insure Your Property?
Because it is a business proposition.
Because the rate on residence property and household goods—three years for one per cent—is cheaper than you can carry it yourself.

Let Us Place Your Insurance
Because the commission don’t go out of town—you get a chance to get part of it back. You never do if you insure with an outside agency.

We represent the Anchor, Glens Falls, Connecticut, American Central, National, Commonwealth—all as good as the best and licensed to write fire insurance in Ohio—and James Watkins & Co., general insurance agents, Chicago, Illinois.

Place your next order for insurance with us.

Your truly,
Wm. G. Hoffer

Hoffer was a very busy man. He was also the publisher of the Willshire Herald.

Finally, the Willshire Markets in 1904:

The prices are much different than today’s prices, with some different items mentioned.


    • Craig Cabot Storer on March 22, 2019 at 4:38 am
    • Reply

    Thanks for the interesting post!

    1. Thank you!

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