Early History of Findlay
The first store building upon the ground where Findlay proper now is, was built by George W. Mauzey in 1883, in the northwest corner of the north half of the northwest quarter of section 3, township 12, range 4 (George W. Mauzey died in January, 1946). He put in a stock of general merchandise and made application for a commission as postmaster, the mail to be carried by star route from Henton. The commission finally came in the shape of a special office. The store enjoyed a very generous patronage and was headquarters, as is usual in such cases, for the young men of the community, for a loafing place. Old Mr. Bare, father of Dan and Chris Bare, was a general helper about the store and was full of stories about his old time home in Findlay, Ohio. He entertained the crowds that flocked to this store of evenings telling of things that had happened “back yonder in Findlay.” Until the boys soon began calling the store Findlay, and when Mr. Mauzey made application for the post-office he gave it the name of Findlay, and thus it became known. Dan Bare was the first mail carrier, the first few months the receipts of the office were not enough to pay for carrying the mail and Mr. Mauzey cheerfully made up the deficiency in Mr. Bare’s salary. In 1884 Mr. Mauzey removed this building and put up a new and more commodious one which later was moved and was later owned by C.F. Spicer and used for a restaurant.
In 1885 O.E. Stumpf built a building on the opposite side of the street and put in a stock of general merchandise, but this burned the same year. He rebuilt it, however on the same site, and the building was later occupied by Coventry & Keim as a poultry house.
In the same year William Cain, father of Mrs. J.? Rhea, came here and set up a blacksmith shop and dwelling on the lots north of where Dickson’s store later stood. The Church of God people built a church which was dedicated in 1879 on the site where the U.B. Church stood (now the Standard Service location). All denominations were at liberty to worship there and it was a very popular place. It burned, however, in 1884 or 1885, and the United Brethren church was then erected in its stead. During the same year came a general influx of families and buildings. George Kelly built the house now occupied by Mrs. Hattie Mowry, George Mauzey built the house opposite of Dickson’s store. Dr. Whittacre built a small office just north of George Kelly’s house. Lafayette Leach moved here and built the house they occupied for years located on the east side of the park. The Leach House was later moved to the lot on which the Vernie Riley house now stands in the east part of town. The house later burned.
In 1889 George Mauzey sold his stock of merchandise to N.F. Keim (father of Thomas F. Keim) and went to Medical College at Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Keim then bought the stock of O.E. Stumpf and the two stocks were consolidated into one general store. Then in 1891 the railroad was built and the town began to assume the proportions of a village and soon the thought of incorporating was taken up. A petition was circulated and in a short time the necessary number of signers were secured and in the course of a few days an election was called and the following officers were elected for the first year: N.F. Keim, president; W.B. Wallace, clerk; G.M. Dickson, C.F. Spicer; W.S. Waters, W.H. Mauzey, Howard Francisco and William Cain, trustees. The meetings of the board during the first year were held in the office of the Gould Bros. Elevator (located where the Findlay post office now stands, the building being the one torn down at the Amos Patterson place a couple of weeks ago). The meetings were always interesting, for in that first year our ordinances were drawn up, passed, approved and published, and the business of the body was necessarily greater than it had been during the subsequent years.
(Sorry I do not have the source or date for this article. Will supply if I can learn it.)