The village of South Vienna
is located approximately eight miles east of Springfield, in Clark County,
Ohio. U. S.route 40 goes through the
south end of town, and Interstate 70 passes through the north end. The path of the old National Road,
(originally called the Cumberland Road), follows Main Street through the center
of town. It was built in the early to mid 1830’s by gangs of Dutch, German and
Irish workers. The Army engineers were in charge of the project, supervised by
the War Department. The project was the
brainchild of Albert Gallatin, whose idea was to extend the road from the
Potomac to the Mississippi through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and
Illinois. Pierson Spining was the chief
contractor for the construction of the National Road through Clark County. The men were paid .90 per day plus so many
“jiggers”. A jigger was a little tin cup
of whiskey, and the “jigger-boss” would go along with a jug during the day
pouring each man his “jigger” approximately every hour. Teams of oxen pulled high wheeled carts loaded with stone to designated locations during construction.
The village was originally platted by John H. Dynes (1799-1849)
in 1833, and he gave a plat of 32 lots to the village. At this time, the National Road had been
surveyed but not yet constructed in this area.
The road was finally completed in 1837, although it was opened through
Vienna probably in 1834. Toll gates were placed on this thoroughfare about ten
miles apart and tolls were collected until 1883. During this time, Conestoga wagons, ox carts, and lone horsemen, heading west, passed through town. Stagecoaches, loaded with passengers and baggage, and handled by boisterous drivers, were pulled over the National Road by spirited teams of from four to eight horses. Schedules were kept by changing horses at short intervals. Passengers were jarred and jostled about as the coaches made speed often rivaling that of the first railroads. The stage driver was a person worth knowing. He was the king of the road and was a welcome addition at the numerous inns along the road. He brought news from distant places, told lusty tall stories, and sometimes reminisced about his famous passengers.
In 1904 another plat was added by Charles
Arbogast on the east side of East Street south of the present park. In the same
year John Goodfellow platted an addition of 12 lots in the southwest corner of
Vienna was the original name of the
village, named for Vienna, Austria. The
name was then changed to Vienna Crossroads in 1840 because of a town with a
similar name in Trumbull County, and this name was retained until 1909 when the
residents of the town felt they had outgrown its country name. This is when the village changed its name to
the present name of South Vienna.
Vienna was, and the village still is, the center of a farming community, and trade with the farmers was its most important activity in the early days. The early settlers, with few exceptions, were descendants of Scotch-Irish and Dutch settlers from Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
The first house
built here was erected by a Mr. Taylor. It, like many buildings of the era, was
a log cabin, and it was built somewhere in the southwestern part of the
village. The second was constructed of
hewed log, and was built by Richard Watkins on a lot later owned by Jacob
Smith, on the north side of E. Main Street, not far from the main intersection.
Caleb Barrett was the first merchant in the village. He previously had a store in Windsor, on Old Columbus Road, as early as 1825, then moved to Vienna upon completion of the National Road through this area. He began business here on the southwest corner of Main and Urbana Streets in 1834, and continued for about twenty-three years. At about this same time, Emanuel Mayne built a two-story frame building on the southeast corner and established the first tavern in Vienna. It was known as Mayne’s Union House. This property was sold to Daniel Brown in 1836, the building was razed and a hotel and store was built in its place. This building, along with the hewed log house and the dwellings of W. T. Harris, James McCafferty, and James E. Johnson was destroyed by fire in the early 1870s.
this property Mayne built a building on the northwest corner of
Main and Urbana Streets and operated a hotel for a short period of time. He was succeeded by D. B. Farrington, who
operated both a hotel and a store at this location. He was followed by David Davis, who was the
occupant of the premises in December, 1839, when it was destroyed by fire It was then called the Vienna Tavern. Mayne then built another building at this
location and operated a hotel again for a time. Then, for the next few years, David Davis,
Andrew Ryan, William Johnson, among others, operated a nineteenth century
version of a night club on this corner.
This building was finally acquired by Dr. J. B. Lingle, and it was occupied by him as a residence until his death in 1878. His widow, Hulda Lingle, continued to live here and eventually converted the house into a hotel. It was called The Lingle House, and the corner was called Huldy's Corner. Dr. Lingle was born in Springfield in 1813, and settled in Vienna as its first physician in 1836, then married Hulda Laird in 1837. He also served Harmony Township as Justice of the Peace, Treasurer, and Clerk.
followed Dr. Lingle in the 1800's included Harry H. Young, James Sprague, Dr.
Norris, Dr. Hunter, William E. Banwell, Elza Anderson Dye, and E. H. Smith.
Dr. Smith started practicing medicine in
the village shortly after graduating from medical school in 1878. He married Ida M. Ellinger, of Vienna, in
1879. His first office was upstairs in
the building on the northeast corner of Main and Urbana Streets. He later had the house at 28 W. Main Street
built, where he lived until his death in 1927.
While it was being built, he resided in the small brick house next
door. His office was eventually moved to
a location somewhere on West Main Street.
Dr. Dye was born in Morrow County, Ohio,
July 13, 1871. He graduated from Ohio
Medical College of Cincinnati in 1897, and came to Clark County in December,
1899. He set up his office in Vienna,
and married Nina Smith, daughter of Amos and Catherine (Wirt) Smith on April
In 1837, D. W. Hinkle built a tannery in
the northwestern part of the village, where he conducted business until 1852,
and about 1848 William Golden and Garner McIntire built a brick building on the northwest corner of
Main and East Streets, where they operated a tannery for a few years. For a short time there was a small grocery
behind this building, and since the tannery closed the brick building has been
used as a residence. For many years it
was a single family residence, but it presently contains two apartments.
this same time, the coopering business (the making or mending of casks or
barrels) was quite an industry here.
Samuel Sullivan came here in 1837, and with his son-in-law, Zachariah
Jones, carried on the business as late as 1880.
John McCoy also worked in the coopering business with his father here
until 1870. He then began building
houses in the area.
In 1850, the village was scourged with cholera, and more than a dozen residents died as a result. Jasper Clark, a local carpenter, made boxes to bury the dead. Most were buried in a cemetery in the north end of town, and the bodies were later moved to the present South Vienna cemetery.
The Odd Fellows Lodge erected their building on West Main Street in 1850, and it was remodeled in 1870. The original building burned in the early 1900s, and the present building was built on the same site in 1910. The lodge has occupied the upper story ever since, and the first floor has been rented to numerous tenants over the years. The I. O. O. F. Lodge was actually chartered on June 10, 1859, and known early members included James Sprague, George Jones, William Simpson, Nathan Brooks, James Wallingford, A. H. Spence, and George Marshall. On December 5, 1952, Catawba Lodge #349 merged with South Vienna Lodge #345.
A brick building on the opposite side of the street, at 7 W. Main, was built in 1849 by W. S. Funston. He conducted business here until after the Civil War, when James Bennett started operating a general store in the building. The building was destroyed by an explosion of powder in August, 1871, in which nine persons were severely injured. The building was rebuilt the same year, and the business was resumed. Some years later, the property was sold to William T. Harris, who operated a store here for many years, selling dry goods and groceries, before selling out to Wallace Jones, who continued the business for a time. Mr. Harris also served as justice of the peace and was postmaster from 1889 until 1892. Frank Goodfellow and his son, Guy, operated a bakery in the building for several years after that. The building was finally purchased by the Farmers Deposit Bank, and it was remodeled for their use, first sharing the building with the bakery, then occupying the entire building until the bank president, H. Marlin Saylor, was murdered in a holdup attempt in 1934. Shortly thereafter, the bank was permanently closed. Dr. J. F. Doyle then purchased the building, and practiced medicine there until his retirement in 1987. It was then sold to Kyle McGraw. There was, and still is, an apartment upstairs, and the first floor is presently just being used for storage.
Thomas Carlton Busbey married Anne Botkin in 1838 and operated the Busbey Hotel at the southeast corner of Main and Urbana Streets in the early days (about 1850-1860). Sometime later, there were two hotels in Vienna Crossroads. In addition to the Busbey Hotel, there was the Lingle House, which operated at the northwest corner after 1878.
Busbey's son, T. A. Busbey, also a resident
of the village, served four terms as mayor (1910-1916), and four years as state
senator, under Gov. James M. Cox. The
Busbey homestead was at 507 E. Main Street, and was built about 1847.
The north-south road through town was the
McArthur Free Pike, and it ran from Lisbon to Catawba, via Plattsburg and South
Vienna. It was built by John McKinney in
1868, and is presently the route followed by state route 54.
The first phone company to operate in Clark County was the Bell system. It was organized in July, 1880, and had a branch exchange in Vienna Crossroads.
The Springfield and Columbus Traction Company Line, which was completed in 1901, went through the village. The line ran parallel with the National Road, but left the road a short distance west of town, going south, and shortly afterwards it came back to the road. It operated through the village until 1938, and had a ticket office and ice cream shop located at the northeast corner of the National Road and Urbana Street. After the traction line stopped operating the village was served by Greyhound Bus Lines until it was no longer a profitable venture.
The Knights of Pythias building, south of the traction line, was built about 1893, and was first remodeled in 1907. After the demise of the K of P Lodge in South Vienna the building was purchased by the village and became the town hall. It was used for various purposes, including basketball games ( the players had to play around a row of cast iron posts down the middle of the floor and miss the coal fired furnace which sat in the corner of the room. They also had to watch out for spectators coming in the front door, which was directly under the west goal.) The east end had an elevated stage, which was used for several amateur stage productions such as "The First Day of School" and "Womanless Wedding". Also, in the early 1900s, the Bartones Medicine Show would arrive for a two week engagement and would use the building. When Plattsburg High School was remodeled, the class plays and graduation ceremonies were held here. The Civic League and the Junior Civic League met here during World War II. The Junior Civic League held ping-pong tournaments and square dances and presented at least one minstrel. During the 1940's the Boy Scouts met upstairs, and annual Halloween masquerade parties were held downstairs. The building was complete with "his" and "hers" indoor privies backstage, a kitchen with kerosene stoves, no water, and surprisingly, a carbide lighting system. The carbide tanks were located under the wooden stairs that went upstairs, something that would not be approved of by our fire department today. There were also weekly movies shown here about 1950. It seemed as though most of the early village activities were centered around the K of P Hall. This ended when Roger Aukeman purchased the building and operated Hollandia Supply Company there for several years. It was then purchased by Crossroads Furniture and it was used as a warehouse until the business closed in 2007. The building is presently not in use.
About 1898, Charles Snyder built a
storeroom on the northeast corner of Main and Urbana Streets. John McCoy was probably the first to operate
a grocery and general store in this location.
He was followed by Clark and West, who took over in 1908 after a severe
fire on the night of October 23, 1907 destroyed their store across the street
on the northwest corner. During this
same time, there was a town well located in front of the store. The legend is that the men came and sat on
benches in front of the store and exchanged stories and smoked cigars while the
women came to the well to get their necessary water. This is the same building that stands there
Also, during the early 1900’s, a
slaughterhouse was located at the rear of 134 N. Urbana Street.
There was also a livery stable located behind the building on the southeast corner of Main and Urbana Streets. It was operated by T. Stites, and faced Urbana Street. A creamery station was also located in the same building. After the livery closed, a Mr. Beard bought and sold wool in the building, and after the businesses closed the building became a residence.
The Enterprise Manufacturing Company,
composed of John McCoy, John Goodfellow, and Dr. E. H. Smith, started business
in 1904. The business was primarily a
manufacturer of comforters, and employed ten to twenty people. It was located east of the traction line
office, which was located on S. Urbana Street, just north of present route 40,
which was the approximate route of the traction line. John Goodfellow bought out his partners in
1907, and operated the business until about 1910, when he relocated to
At the same time, McCoy and Goodfellow operated an implement store, and James Rice was operating a saw mill in the east end of town.
village enjoyed quite a bit of prosperity during the stagecoach days,
but after the railroads were built, much of the business was transferred to
Plattsburg. After the construction of
the traction line in 1901, business improved in South Vienna once again. Also, many residents of Catawba drove their
horses here and continued their journey to Springfield on the traction cars,
leaving their horses at the livery stable.