POTIONS TO CHICKEN FEED - Calhoun Businesses Thrive By 1900 (Part Two)


By Bob Weaver

Introduction: This is part two on early business and professional ads published in late 1800s, through early 1900s in Calhoun County.

During Calhoun's pioneer days, early settlers maintained their family by subsistence farming, but it wasn't long before businesses and services began to spring up, small stores, grist mills, blacksmith shops, businesses that provided those things that could not be provided by farm life.

Professional services started arriving in the remote area, often provided by individuals with "shaky" credentials, but none-the-less serving as doctors, lawyers and teachers. Several, however, had legitimate degrees or credentials.

The economy expanded eventually to include government services and the extraction of natural resources from the earth, mostly gas and oil.

The battle of where the county seat was to be located raged for several years prior to the Civil War and after.

The Civil War wreaked havoc on the economy, but it took off in full force by 1870.

Mail service came to the county at Arnoldsburg in 1837 and to Grantsville by 1850. The first newspaper in the county was "Warren's Sunbeam" about 1880.

It is fascinating to note that telephone service came to the county in 1882, only six years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the phone.

By the mid to late 1800s, virtually every small community or village had its own store, grist mill, blacksmith shop, one-room school and church. Many had their own physician and attorney.

Here is part of our collection of logos from professional letterheads or business ads, spanning the late 1800s through the very early 1900s: