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Miamisburg Historical Society

Miamisburg Historical Society
PO Box 774
Miamisburg, OH 45343-0774


Built 1851 on the public square set aside by the founding fathers, the Market Square building's closed arches were once open to provide a market for local farmers. In 1873, council established two rooms facing Main Street, reserving the rest of the building for council rooms, and the jail. Town Hall meetings were held on the second floor. This is now the home base of the Miamisburg Historical Society.

These are articles & bits and pieces about the Market Square Building that came from back issues of the Miamisburg Bulletin.

August 30, 1872, editorial calling for the removal of the jail from the building and suggests that the building be remodeled to include a permanent post office.
The necessity of improving City Hall and the Market Street station house is daily becoming more urgent. The cell should be removed from City Hall and the entire lower floor of the building remodeled and devoted to the post office. In the present condition of the station house, prisoners cannot be confined there but a short time, because there is no ventilation and the cells at times are [as] hot and close as bake ovens. In winter they are too cold and officers are compelled to discharge prisoners, sacrificing justice to humanity. What we need on Market Street is a strong, comfortable station house, susceptible of abundant ventilation in summer and warmth in winter. Officers would then be encouraged to make arrests that are now avoided and the order of that important part of the city would be improved 75 percent. Let our active council encourage the present era of enterprise and improvement in the city by providing a building for the permanent location of the post office. As it is the P. M. (Post Master) may turn up a store box, in any remote quarter of town, and with a saw and a few nails, in short time, construct a post office.

November 8, 1872-Gossipy sort of news item-
A highly intellectual and profitable entertainment attracted an enthusiastic audience to the vicinity of City Hall yesterday afternoon--a dog fight! Two, small rat-terriers struggled and furiously tore each other's throats while their owners and the select circle of admiring bipeds, applauded with savage delight. It became necessary for Mayor Miller to leave his office and put a stop to the performance and he did it with a zeal that was cheerful to witness.

December 6, 1872-council report...I'm only including sections about City Hall
Council-Regular session, Wednesday evening. Mayor Miller presiding; present; Messrs. Rison, Lyons, Groby, Kauffman and Recorder Bevenger. Minutes of previous meeting read and approved.......Committee on Public Buildings recommended the removal of station cells from City Hall and improvement of the building for the accommodation of the post office. On motion the committee was instructed to report at pleasure plans and estimates for the improvement.

December 6, 1872-Editorial by Mr. Blossom
We are pleased to notice that Council has taken practical steps toward the improvement of City Hall and the permanent location of the post office therein. The town has steadily improved, during the last four years, in every desirable feature except the post office department; this has remained in contracted quarters and an inconvenient location subject to removal at every change in the Administration or Congress, or the whims of a few individuals interested. As a consequence of this state of affairs it has seemed necessary, heretofore, to depose incumbents of the office in order to effect its removal; now if Council will carry out the designs of its late action the people will be rid of this annoyance, and retain for a longer time the satisfactory services of such officers as have become adept, by experience in the duties of the office.
With the present rapid growth of our city, every day adds to the urgency of the demand for a central and permanent location of the post office and no measure which the Council could now adopt would render more satisfaction to citizens and real benefit to the city. An old bone of contention the non- progressive issues between "up" and "downtown"--would be for ever buried; the unoccupied first floor of City Hall, heretofore a notorious public nuisance, would be abolished; the appearance of the city would be improved with an imposing post office edifice, and the people would swear by instead of at the Council every time they have occasion to visit the post office. The present opportunity for making this improvement is too propitious to be lost and we have no doubt that Council, in accordance with the wishes of the people and its good judgment, will see to it that the enterprise may not be delayed.

January 10, 1873-Council notes
Committee on public buildings presented a verbal report of plan and estimate for the improvement of City Hall and station houses, and was continued with further instructions.

January 17, 1873-news item
Important Action of Council--Special meeting Wednesday evening, 15th inst., to receive a report from the committee on Public Buildings instructed to present plans and estimate for remodeling City Hall.
The Mayor being absent, Dr. T. V. Lyons was called to chair. Present, Messrs., Groby, Lyons, Allen, Rison, Kauffman, Emiuger and Recorder Bevenger.
The Committee presented plan and specifications for remodeling the hall with estimate of the cost, from Spangler & Weaver, amounting to $1,500.
On motion the plan presented by the Committee was instructed to propose plan and specifications including all necessary repairs, except the stage, and report at next meeting.
On motion the Committee on Public Buildings was instructed confer with the Township Trustees in reference to arrangements for the new station house on Market Street and report at next meeting of Council. Adjourned.

January 17, 1873--editorial
Our readers will lean with satisfaction that our live Council has determined to remodel City Hall. The old station house, which has so long disgraced the building, will be removed to more retired quarters. The ground floor of the hall, so long a stench and public nuisance, will be converted to business rooms, one of which is designed for the permanent location of the post office. The hall will be furnished with chairs and the stage will be improved. The Council chambers and Mayor's office will be located on the ground floor in the rear of the building. All this will be accomplished at a cost so trifling that, were the price a consideration, it sinks to utter insignificance when compared with the benefits which will ensue with the removal of the post office; this is the most important feature of the measure, and will be hailed by our citizens with universal satisfaction. "Up town vs. downtown" will no longer be use as a war cry to defeat public enterprise---there will be no more wheeled post offices to fight over, and it will not be necessary to chop off the heads of post masters in order to have the office trundled to this or that end of town. Harmony will prevail among our business men, and they will unite to develop a mutual interest in the business of our city. Our Council is working in full sympathy with the active spirit of progress which is just now sending our town ahead at a booming rate. Let us congratulate ourselves.

February 14, 1873-Council notes
Special meeting, Wednesday evening, Present Messrs. Groby, Lyons, Kauffman, Allen, Eminger and Recorder Bebenger; Mayor Miller presiding........Committee on Public Buildings reported the Township Trustees unfavorable to building station house on township property.
The written opinion of Messrs. Clay & Clay, attorneys, relating to proposed changes in City Hall was presented and on motion transferred to minutes of the meeting. The opinions of the eattorneys are favorable to the improvement contemplated.

March 7, 1873--Council notes
Council--Regular session, Wednesday evening; Mayor Miller presiding. Present, Messrs. Groby, Rison, Kauffman, Lyons, Eminger and Recorder Bevenger.
Committee on Public Buildings presented plans and specifications for remodeling City Hall, which were tabled for next meeting.
[And just for fun] Mr. Groby created quite a sensation by reading the following extraordinary communication: To the City Council:--I am a poor widow, and I wish the Council to help me through the winter by giving me some money---as much as they can--for I am compelled to stay at home and nurse a young baby and I hate to tell about it but the fact is the father of my baby is one of the members of Council. You may know who it is. At any rate Council ought to help me. "A lone widow"
Dr. Lyons pertinently inquired, "who will cast the first stone?"
Perfect silence prevailed for a time after the petition was read, [well I guess, lol] and the members regarded each other suspiciously until Mr. Groby was caught smiling, when the joke was greeted with roars of laughter.
On motion adjourned to Wednesday evening 12th inst.

March 14, 1873--new about the remodel
At a meeting of Council, Wednesday evening, the Committee on Public Buildings presented plans and specifications for the improvement of City Hall. After a few alterations were offered, and accepted by the Committee, the plan amended was adopted. Two rooms 40 feet deep will front Main Street; entrance to the hall will be effected by two stairways in the rear of the building; the Council chamber will extend entirely across the building and adjoin the business rooms; a station house and cells will be located in the rear of the building.
On motion the Clerk was instructed to advertise for sealed proposals to forward the work.

March 28, 1873-- The Post Office
The rapid and substantial growth of Miamisburg, during the last few years, has been the subject of much speculation and surprise at home and abroad. Having been a citizen for many years, and thoroughly identified with the place, its growth and prosperity has been to me a matter of more than ordinary interest. There are few towns where the spirit of enterprise predominates so largely over prejudice, selfishness, jealousy, and non-progressive elements generally, as here. A community without a few 'slow coaches,' however, would be something truly original, and Miamisburg is no exception. This brings me to the subject upon which I started to write-- the improvement of Town Hall Building, and the central location of our postoffice. I am aware, Messrs. Editors, that you have submitted this matter at various times to the public, and that it has been thoroughly discussed, and is generally understood and approved. But the fact that a number of individuals have set themselves in opposition to the enterprise...seems to call for something in addition to what has already been said. Many of my old friends, in this neighborhood, well remember the extravagant threats, and fierce resistance, encountered when the present school house and Town Hall were proposed, and in later years, the 'bridge war.' Nevertheless these improvements were completed, and the men who are laughed at, now for their absurd and unreasonable opposition to wise improvements in our early history, are today making wry faces at every enterprise. Like the provident toad which sheds and swallows its skin, they believe in keeping all they have, and getting all they can and their enterprise consists principally in 'chin music…

Now these 'objections' are so frivolous that they are scarcely worth answering; businessmen should unite to promote a common interest by encouraging every improvement calculated to stimulate the general prosperity of the town. The people are waiting to see the present Council put the work fully and irrevocably under contract and the members will be abundantly sustained in a work so clearly beneficial and impartial to the whole community, signed; FAIR PLAY."

Hopefully, there is no resistance to renovating Town Hall (Market Square) today, but this obviously passionate editorial does show how the majority of our citizens are in support of expansions and renovations in our town that will enhance our businesses and community in general.

Let's all keep the tradition of community support alive by volunteering our time, efforts or monetary contributions to the renovation of Market Square and the revitalization of downtown Miamisburg.

March 28, 1873--advertisement for bids
Sealed Proposals
WILL BE RECEIVED at the office of the clerk of the incorporated village of Miamisburg, O., until Wednesday, April 2nd, at 7 o'clock, p.m., for remodeling Market House and Town Hall. Plans and specifications may be seen at the Ranking House of H. Groby & Co.
Council reserves the right to reject any or all bids.

April 4, 1873--contract awarded
The last act of the present Council was to award the contract for the improvement of City Hall. It was an appropriate measure with which to close a term of faithful and excellent service rendered the people. The prosperity of our city is due largely to the careful and enterprising management of those gentlemen, and through without pecuniary reward to them, it is fully and gratefully appreciated by the citizens. We mean just what we say, and if any town in the valley can produce a more judicious, enterprising Council, with a better record, we'll agree to eat our own words. We have to thank the members for their uniform courtesy and consideration shown our representative at their meetings. May their paths always lead in pleasant places.

April 4, 1873--Council meeting notes
............The Sergeant at arms then cleared the galleries, and Council went into secret session to consider proposal for the improvement of City Hall.
The contract was awarded to Gephart & Wagner, they being the lowest bidders, at $2,250,00. [I assume this is a typesetting error and the proper amount should read $2,500.00]
On motion the Committee on Public Buildings was instructed to draw up contract, in accordance with plans and specifications adopted, and have the work completed under its supervision.

April 18, 1873--item
The work of remodeling City Hall has been commenced, and soon the unsightly ground floor of that respectable structure will be made creditable and profitable to the city.

May 2, 1873--Work on the City Hall Building is progressing rapidly. The plasterers will probably commence operations sometime next week.

May 9, 1873--Council notes
......Finance Committee was authorized to procure funds to defray expense of City Hall improvement......

June 6, 1873--
City Hall has received a new roof.

July 18, 1873--Council notes
Committee on finance reported $844.90 paid to Gephart & Wagner, and note given to Grover & Cartrow for the amount, with interest at 8 per cent. [followed by other financial matters]
On motion, the Committee on Public Buildings was instructed to ascertain and report at next meeting the amount of money due or paid for rents of town property.
On motion, renting and collection of rents for town property was placed in the hands of the Committee on Public Buildings.

July 18, 1873---
Gebhart, the jeweler, has moved his establishment to new and commodious quarters in City Hall.











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