FIITA: Kables and Cox mill records, old Osborn

Two items of interest to Greene County history came to my attention a few weeks ago, in our collections. Both of these record books begin in about 1843, and both are related to the firm of Kable(s) and Cox, which had mills and a still house near old Osborn [now part of Fairborn – but that’s another story!], Greene County, Ohio.

Being curious who Kable and Cox were, I did a little investigating. According to Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio (Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1890), pp. 205-206, early Osborn residents John Cox, and James and Samuel Kable “built and were the original owners of the mills at Osborn, which were put up many years before the town was built; they were rebuilt by Samuel Stafford, and later by Joseph Harshman.”

When I found the answer, I felt like I hit the jackpot. How cool is this? Original records from one of the earliest mills in the area! This is the kind of thing reinforces the wonder and awe of my job…

The area in question was near the Mad River, near present-day Haddix Road at the north end of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Area A. That area was owned by S. Stafford in 1855 and by J. & J. Harshman in 1874, according to Greene County atlases.

And now, without further adieu, some pictures of the records themselves:

Kables and Cox, stillhouse book

Kables and Cox, stillhouse book

(Oh, I guess I should mention — the reason I ran across these books is because they were being stored in some old-style boxes that weren’t up to snuff, so having noticed them on the shelf, I pulled them and took them down to Conservation to make some nice, new 4-flap enclosures for them – part of which are visible in the pictures.)

Kable and Cox, stillhouse book
Kable and Cox, stillhouse book

The “still house book” or “Day Book : Still House Business, 1843-1854” contains the following records:

  • Cash Account: Smith and Kable, 1852-1854;
  • Stillhouse Book: Kable and Cox, 1843-1845;
  • Cash Account: Kable and Mayer, 1849-1851;
  • Cash Account: Kable and Kane, 1851-1852.
Kable and Cox, stillhouse book, Memorandum of Whiskey and Beer in the Still House

Kable and Cox, stillhouse book, Memorandum of Whiskey and Beer in the Still House

The above image shows a “memorandum of whiskey and beer in the still house” on the particular morning of January 7, 1842. I guess they were taking an inventory!

Kable and Cox, milling business
Kable and Cox, milling business

The “milling business” book contains records for: Day Book : Milling Business, 1843-1864; Kable and Cox, Kable and Mayer.

Kable and Cox, milling business

Kable and Cox, milling business

These two record books are a valuable piece of Miami Valley history, and I’m so glad to have come across them. They were donated by one Mrs. F. G. Szonnell – I’m now a little curious how she fits into the picture. Sometimes it’s obvious how or why donors have the things that they donate; not in this case. Perhaps I will do a little digging…

To see more pictures, click on one of the above images or click here to go to my Flickr page.

For more information about these wonderful primary source materials, feel free to contact me, or call/email/come on down to the Dayton Metro Library Local History Room, where the originals are located. After all, I found it in the archives at Dayton Metro Library, Dayton, Ohio.

One response to “FIITA: Kables and Cox mill records, old Osborn

  1. Thanks for posting the article, was certainly a great read!

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