Mr. Zoellner was a native of Germany, where he learned the jewelry and watch making business.  He arrived in in 1852 at New York city, where he worked his trade for ten months.  Later he came to Cincinnati, and in 1855 located in Portsmouth and accepted a position with John Clugsten.  In 1857 he commenced business for himself.  His business was locate in the three story building with 26 feet of frontage at 135 West Second street.  The first floor is devoted to his jewelry business.  His son Albert Zoellner is in charge of the optical Department and art goods.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
The interior of Ph. Zoellner jewelry Store in 1898
picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Mr. Stockman was born and brought up in Madison township and came to Portsmouth at the age of twenty and began business with M. R. Gilbert, clerking in the store and afterward went on the road for the company traveling.  He spent nine years for the company except for a short time in Texas.

He then began in 1876 a coal business on the corner of Front and Court streets, one block from the present location, buying out the firm of Murray & Micklethwait.  In addition to coal he handles a full line of feed, fruit and produce since he moved to this location in 1897.  He continued to conduct a coal yard at Tenth and Lincoln streets for the convenience of the East End citizens, having purchase ten lots at that place in 1892 and built the sheds and offices and put in necessary side tracts for handling railroad as well as river coal.  William Burk had charge of the East End yard.  In the office with Mr. Stockman was Richard Micklethwait, salesman and Bedelia Donahoe, book- keeper.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Located at 72 West Second Street, handled a superior quality of goods, being the only firm in Portsmouth manufacturing their paints.  Just recently in 1898 they had put in machinery for the purpose of grinding and mixing paints of any desired color.  The company was organized in February 1, 1898 consisting of O. D. Foster, Edward Clifton and Ora V. Foster.  Besides paint they also sold shades and brands of leads, varnishes, Japan, etc., as well as a fine line of wall paper and glass, making a specialty of heavy plate glass.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

D. E. Edwards coal dealer, was located at the corner Third and Chillicothe streets with telephone number 20,  was the headquarter in Portsmouth for Ashland Coal since 1884.  Mr. Edwards kept the following brands of coal: Ashland Lump, Ashland Nut, Clinton Lump and Steam Coal. Ashland Lumb and Clinton Lump was recognizes as the best coals infor grates and firep;;aces; while the Ashland Nut was par excelenc for the cookin range.

Steam coal was being furnished to a number of industrial plants in the city such as Drew, Selby * Co., The Portsmouth Structural Iron Co., The Star Shoe Co., and the Portsmouth Foundry and Machine company.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
Henry Prescott Flour & Grain was located on Market Street.

Shown is Henry Prescott patent extension ladders invented by a Yankee from Maine, Mr. Chaloner.  The ladders were made of No. 1 Pine, poplar, or any wood desired, being cut to order at the Planing mill n Portsmouth.  Mr. Prescott  was  recognized headquarters for Potatoes, Garden and Field Seeds, Hay, Corn, Oats, and Ground Feed of all kinds; besides Lime, Plaster, Cement and Fruits in their season.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Adolph Brunner was located on the corner of Second and Market Streets.  A. Bruner succeed R. Brunner some 40 years earlier.  The original building on the corner was 20 x 60 feet and three stories high and a basement.  Later on the room next door, 20 x 40 in the Corniell building, was used. and still later the upper floors of the same building was use. The north part was 20 x 60 feet deep only on the first floor. Above it was but 40 feet deep. Until the purchase of the Corniell building , Mr. Brunner was unable to increase the length of the upper two stories. Mr. Brunner in 1889 had just finished adding on in 1889.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
Grand Opera House in 1898
picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Sanford Varner & Company manufacturers of clothing for fine retail trade corner of Third and Chillicothe Streets in 1898

In 1898 they had been doing business for 18 years.  The members of the firm was A. L. Sanford, J. H. Varner. A. L. Sanford had charge of the wholesale department, Clay V. and Louis Sanford the manufacturing department, and J. H. Varner the retail.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
Portsmouth Street Railroad and Light Co. in 1898


Portsmouth Street Railroad and Light Co. was organized in June, and put in operation November of 1893. It operated five miles of road, having sixteen cars in active service.  The line started from the central portion of the city in close proximity to the ferry, steamboat landing and the B & O S-W, and passing up Second and Chillicothe streets extends to New Boston.  It serves the traveling public to the N. & W. depot, also to the C. P. & V., as well as caring for the resident portion of the city.

The power house located at Tenth and Offnere streets, was equipped with a thousand horse power dynamo, and has all the equipment and appliances necessary to care for the manufacturing and domestic wants of the city.  The capitol stock was $125,000, and claimed capacity necessary to care for future development of the River City and the hundred thousand inhabitants.

Officers of the company were: L. D. York, President; H. S. Grimes, Vice President; S. P. Baird, Superintendent; S. B. Timmonds, Secretery and Treasurer.


picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
Stoves made by the Portsmouth Stove and Range Company

The Model Steel Range was available in 175 styles and sizes.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
T. M. Patterson Book Binder located at 159 West Front Street


The company made blank books, paper boxes and steamboat stationery, employing 50 operatives. By 1889 Mr. Patterson had been in business for 57 years.  Born in Steubenville, OH 13 December 1826 he learned his trade at the James Turnbull bindery at the age of 14.  In October 1850 he came to Portsmouth and was employed at Stevenson & Co., booksellers and binders.  In 1855 he purchase half interest in the bindery, and in 1864 a half interest in the store.  The store proved unprofitable and was closed out.  He became sole owner of the business in1866.

 The building was a three story plus basement giving a floor space of 9,800 square feet in the 20 foot wide by 120 foot deep building. 

 A large percentage of the boxes were made are for shoe factories, whose products were cut to order and labeled.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Portsmouth Stove and Range Company 1898

The company started in 1889 and the pant was doubled by 1898 giving a smelting capacity of twenty-five tons and boasted of being the busiest foundry on earth.

Officers of the company were F. V. Rnauss, President; G. W. Baker, Vice President; and W. S. Todd, Secretary and Treasure.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Central Grocery former by the partnership of J. F. Menke and George J. Schmidt in January 1 , 1985 was located in the Kricker building on Gallia street.

They ran three wagons and employed five employees.  They carried a fine line of fancy groceries of the choicest importation or home brand.  "Club House," Edom and Roquefort, leaders in Cheese, imported sardines, fish and table sauce were in stock of the best grades,  "Central Star" floor was made expressly for their trade, of Spring and Winner wheat, combined well with all requisites of a pastry and bread product.  The sales room was fitted with very modern convenience.  A electric plant furnishes heat in winter and drives a combination of breezy fans to cool the room in summer.  It also furnished the motive power to run the coffee mill, and a modern refrigerator was on duty.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
Kaps Brick Plant

The business of making brick and doing contracting was begun by the Kaps Brothers, Peter and John, in 1866.  John in 1898 had carried on the business for several years at the corner of Tenth and Court streets.  Pioneers in the brick business in Portsmouth, some of the buildings using their bricks include: the Biggs House, the Elk Building, the Damarin Block, The Blade Building, the Gillett Art Studio, Massie Block, churches, schools houses and other public buildings.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

The most extensive Red Brick Yards in the city was those of Clyde E. King, situated on the river about a mile east of the city proper, on in the hamlet locally known as Earlytown or the village of Kendall.  The picture show the workman making brick.

In 1895 Mr. King purchased the Harper farm adjoins the city and began making brick from the excellent quality of clay found there, removing his operations from Fullerton, KY.  15,000 bricks could be made per day.  The brick, a little larger than standard sizes, wee pronounced by contractors and builders to be a very satisfactory article, had a sale of one million for the season if he can make that many.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

The Portsmouth Pressed Brick Company manufactures of paving and building brick with daily output of 25,000 bricks.

Located on Scioto Road near the C. P. V. and N. W. Railroads.  Officers were H. S. Grimes, President; S. P. Baird, Vice President; and W. A. McFarlin, Secretary and Treasure.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten


Chillicothe Street looking North from Second Street 1889
picture courtesy of Sherry Staten
Portsmouth Hat and Glove Company 1889 at 124 West Second Street.


Conducting business since 1894 was /captain Creed Milstead, Martin C. Linck, and J. H. Blankemeyer. The salesrooms were presided over by Blankemeyer and assisted by Dave Edwards.  The other members of the company looked after the out of town interest of the company.  One unusual thing about these men is that they all weighted over 200 pounds.  The combined weight of the trio was 665 pounds.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Portsmouth Public Library 1889

picture courtesy of Sherry Staten

Elk Building 1889 corner of Second and Court Street


Note The Portsmouth National Bank in the corner of the building.  This bank was organized in 1846. The late Colonel Peter Kinney being the first President. George Johnson and Jno. G. Peebles have also been head of the institution. Mr. Peebles, age 85, was president in 1889.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
Masonic Temple Building 1889
picture courtesy of Sherry Staten
picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Taken on the morning of its departure for Columbus April 26th, 1898 to participate in the war with Cuba.  The line of march formed at Market square, and marched up Second street to Chillicothe, thence north to the N. & W. depot.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Taken on the morning of its departure for Columbus April 26th, 1898 to participate in the war with Cuba.  The line of march formed at Market square, and marched up Second street to Chillicothe, thence north to the N. & W. depot.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

H. Lett & Co.'s Planing Mill--corner of Ninth and Washington Streets


Some eight acres are occupied by this mill and they had a branch yard at Winchester, OH.  The raw material was by purchase and from their 700 acre forest in KY.  Additional in 1886purchased the Brushart Lumber Company located on Fourteenth Street.  The annual output was near four million feet of rough and dressed lumber, five million shingles, from one and half to two million lath and from eight to ten car loads of doors, sash and blinds

The founder of the company was Mr. H. Lett was born May 1818 in Pennsylvania, and although nearly eighty years old was still active in the company. He came to Portsmouth in the early 1850s and embarked in the lumber business.  Phelps C. Leet, junior member of the firm became associated with his father in 1892.  Educated as civil engineer, he spent one year in Mexico in this profession.  He was married in June 1894 to Miss Louise Grosvenor, the daughter of Hon. C. H. Grosvenor, Leader of the House in Congress.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Cuppett & Webb Lumber yard was located at 209-215 W. Front street owned by H. H. Cuppett and David L. Webb.  They were manufactories of Door and Door and Window Frames, Beveled Siding, Flooring, Ceiling, Shingles and Inside Finish. They also owned a large tract of timber on Turkey creek and had a sawmill there for which Mr. Cuppett has supervision. Mr. Webb came to Portsmouth in 1872 and is assisted by his two sons. J. T. Webb is yard superintendent and salesman, David L. Webb, Jr. has charge of the accounts.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

The Ackerman Planing Mill was located at the corner of Thirteenth street and the crossing of the Cincinnati, Portsmouth and Virginia Railroad.  Mr. Ackerman, the head of the institution, was for a number years the practical man with Carl Lehman, and later, with the Brushart Company. Subsequently he organized The Portsmouth Planing Mill Company and operated their plant on Gallia street until 1895, when he began business for himself.  In 1898 he was contemplating the erection of a lager plant, extending fro the railroad on the west to the extreme limit of his lot on the east but was so busy with customers that he had not been able to get underway with the project.

He had a standing contract with the C P & V RR to supply all the building material in his line for them.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten


Burgess Steel and Iron Co. in 1889


The company was incorporated in 1872 with a capitol of $150,000. Officers of the company are Levi D. York, President and General Manager; J. E. Jones, Vice-president; B. P. Vincent, Secretary and Treasurer.  Incorporators were John R. Williams, Charles Burgess, b. f. Perregrin, M. H. Ball,  Fred Thompson, w. E. Williams and T. R. Ball  At the time of incorporation the "Burgess process" was an improvement on the old process.  In 1878 the open hearth process was introduced and the Burgess process abandoned.  The output is steel and iron, the latter being high-grade tension iron, used by manufactures of chains.  Also they made open-hearth and crucible steel, use in manufacture of plows, tanks, springs, etc.  A composition metal is constructed for safes and jails, and center steel for agricultural purposes

In 1889 the capacity was upwards of 59,000 tons per year.  Over six hundred operatives were employed and works was running around the clock. The works was located at the foot of Third street, near the Ohio river, and covered some seven acres.

On June 7th 1889 the works were totally destroyed by fire.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Portsmouth in 1898

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Post office under construction 30 Sep 1891

Post office under construction and note the 6th Street church did not have the steeple yet that is showing the previous picture.

G. W. Anderson 1898

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

The Horr Block

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

M. B. Gilbert & Co Wholesale Grocers 50-54 W 2nd St.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten

Located in a four story brick building at Third and Market streets, Stahler Brothers were wholesalers and retail dealers for Bicycles, Harness, Farm Implement and Hardware.  They also had a business in Waverly. established in 1866 by David Stahler, Sr. ,deceased,. father of David and Louis F. Shahler.  The Portsmouth business was started in 1893 and was in charge of David assisted by C. D. Jones, George Hasselman and Oscar Trimmer; and Miss Clara White, stenpgrapher.  The Waverly store was run by Louis. and assisted by Edward Allen, August Teichert and William Rheinhart. 

Among the leading makes of bicycles handled by the firm was the Stearnes, the Dayton, the Stormer and some half dozen other more moderate priced wheels.  Oscar Trimmer, a professional rider, superintended the bicycle repair room.

Buggies, phaeton and carriages of the latest styles, an at prices commensurate  with the high quality of the workmanship and material occupied one whole floor of the building.

Among farm equipment handled was Brown farm wagons, the Osborne binder, harness, saddles, whips, pleasure carriages other framer supplies, and hardware.

David Stahler was manager of the bicycle road race that was run annually from the city, and his name was widely known in the bicycle world.

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
Portsmouth Grand Opera House
The Opera house In late 20s became Kresge's 5 & 10 and is now occupied by the Diamond Gem Pawn Shop
Portsmouth Water Works
picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten
Ohio Valley Interurban Station

 PORTSMOUTH STREET RAILWAY & LIGHT CO.
Sold 1923 to Portsmouth Public Service Co.

Controlled 1926-1929 by American Gas & Electric Co.

Interurban line:
Portsmouth-Sciotoville (completed 1893)
Abandoned 1929

picture and information courtesy of Sherry Staten