From the Past


A brief history moment…

Built in 1847 by John Wiley and Silas Glover, the “Old Red Bridge” stood for almost 100 years just north of Fairhaven, Ohio spanning Four Mile Creek. Originally painted red, the two-lane bridge was constructed by local contractors (Wiley and Glover). The bridge was such a marvel it inspired a local poet to write a poem that was posted on a sign near the southern entrance:

“The genius of man

No one can discover;

This bridge was built

By Wiley and Glover.”

Early traffic crossing the bridge was horse and buggy, and with little need for both lanes, Israel Township Trustees decided to use a portion of the bridge to help raise funds, so one lane of the bridge was rented out to a local farmer. The farmer used the bridge to his advantage and reportedly used his side of the bridge to quarter his hogs, making it a common occurrence for travelers to share the bridge with the local livestock.

In describing Four Mile Creek, teacher Susan Pierce wrote, “We all admire her, but every few years there comes a time when in place of admiring, we fear her”, spring rains could cause massive flooding of the area and in the early 1900’s flooding caused damage to the bridge. With abutments loosened, or washed away completely Preble County Commissioners ordered the bridge to be painted white once repaired. The “Old Red Bridge” now white, Miss Pierce stated, “Never again did it seem like the same old bridge.”

In the early 1940s, the driver of a semi-trailer carrying 12 tons of potatoes, lost control of his truck and went through the east wall of the bridge and into Four Mile Creek. The “Old Red Bridge” was destroyed. The driver of the truck was fined five dollars along with the cost of a reckless driving charge. The covered bridge, forever gone, was then replaced with an iron bridge.

25 years ago…

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1998

The Leonberger Club of America will provide Preble County with a special look at this unique breed of dog this weekend.

According to Emily Shank, a local member of the club, this will be the first time dog owners from around the county will travel to this area. She is expecting members from as far away as Dallas, New York, and the tri-state area.

50 years ago…

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 1973

An event that many people waited and worked for the past year will be held this weekend.

Thousands of people are expected to visit Eaton for the Third Annual Preble County Pork Festival with activities slated in Eaton and at the fairgrounds on South Franklin Street.

Festival board members and committee chairman report that all is ready for the event expected to be bigger than the 1972 festival which resulted in crowds unsurpassed in the city’s history.

75 years ago…

Wednesday, Sept. 15, 1948

Popex, Inc. of West Alexandria has gone into its initial production phase incident to the commercial production of home popcorn poppers. The new firm has been organized for some time and is operating in conjunction with the Sight Feed Generator Company, using part of the latter plan’s manufacturing facilities.

100 years ago…

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 1923

An interesting trio passed through Eaton about noon Monday, on their way to San Francisco, Portland and other western points. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hoff and their three-year-old daughter, Marguerite, are walking from New York to the western seaboard, but the child is being conveyed over the intended route in a baby carriage.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoff spent Sunday night at West Alexandria and expected to be in Richmond by Monday night.

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