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100 Years Ago


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Recruiting Industry

One other key factor is important: Over a century ago, community leaders decided that they must go to other towns and recruit industry for Sidney, Ohio. A volunteer group known as the Board of Improvement began the task in the summer of 1890, overseeing a city bond earmarked to lure industries to Sidney.

Over the next few years, William Bimel was induced to move the Bimel Buggy Company back to Sidney from St. Marys, the Buckeye Churn Company (below) relocated here from Carey, Ohio, and the Underwood Whip Company moved from Wooster, Ohio. An incentive package (including such things as tax rebates and a free building site) was created for each new company.

The only notable failure was the Bimel Buggy Company. A $100,000 bond issue was passed in 1897 by the citizens to aid the company in its construction of a new plant on North Miami Avenue, just south of the canal. With the rapid advent of the automobile, the buggy business turned out to be a bust. By 1904, Bimel was a victim of outdated technology. The new building, paid for by the taxpayers, stood empty.

The Sidney Commercial Club was established as a successor to the Board of Improvement in 1903. It continued the aggressive recruitment of new businesses. With I. H. Thedieck at the helm as its first president, in just two years the Commercial Club secured the Mutual Manufacturing Company and the Sidney Machine Tool Company for Sidney. Members of the club provided the backing for I. H. Thedieck to form the Monarch Machine Tool Company in 1909.

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Industry segment written in January, 1998 by Rich Wallace

 

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