Business & Failures

Page last updated September 8, 2016

Farmer's Supply Business Managed by O. E. Johnson

Farm Life, February 1916, p. 1+.

It was accompanied by two photos depicting the building front with an inset photo of O.E. Johnson, the second photo is of Rufus Cline, the president of Farmer's Supply.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

Can a group of farmers get together and do at least a part of their shopping by wholesale.The simplest way to answer.[this question] is to tell what has been done during the last year by the Farmer's Supply Company of Spencer, Indiana. .The Farmer's Supply Company is a joint stock concern. The basis of organization is very simple. The stockholders made an agreement with a Spencer bank to stand good for their manager's notes up to $1,200. The manager, buys, either from other farmers or from wholesalers, and when money is needed he goes to the bank a makes a short-time note for a sufficient amount to pay for his carload or other purchase. When the goods are sold for cash, the money comes in and the note is paid off. .The bulk of the business is done in flour, feed, coal oil, salt, etc. No attempt is made to keep a regular stock of groceries though lubricating oil, binding twine and other articles are carried either the year round or in season. "We use about a car load of flour a month, at present, says Manager O. E. Johnson." The present directors of the company are: Rufus Cline, pres.; Robert Willoughby and D. N. Johnson, T. G. Straley is secretary. They are all farmers. E. O. (previously noted in the article as O. E.) Johnson, the manager, is also a farmer. At the request of the directors he came into town and took charge of the store leaving the farm in charge of his brother.


Jud Davis, "Glory of Past Restored to Tivoli," Bloomington (Monroe County, Indiana) Daily Herald Telephone, July 9, 1974, p. 1.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

In 1928, the Tivoli was in its heyday. The theater was built by Ernest M. "Dick" Viquesney and was quite elaborate. Through the next 40 years, however, and a succession of owners, the lights faded, the curtains fell and the theater became a target of vandals. Three years ago John Walker, a graduate of Butler University, and his partner, Rex Reed, an employee of the ITT Sheraton-Corporation who sat up dinner theaters in the firm's various facilities, bought the Tivoli and began its restoration.


Spencer Owen County (IN) Democrat, August 11, 1910, p. 1.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

Frank Wampler of Gosport, district superintendent, and J. L. Wayne of the engineering department of the Bell Telephone Company, were in Spencer Monday looking over the needs of that property here. The company is planning some extensive improvements on the local plant.


Bloomington (IN) Republican Progress, October 12, 1881, p. 1.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

Calvin Fletcher of Spencer has been appointed Commissioner of Fisheries for the State of Indiana. The distribution of carp spawn commenced on the 1st inst.


Bloomington (Monroe County, Indiana)Courier, July 13, 1899, loose clipping from the Monroe County History Center.(originally appeared in the Gosport Reporter)

Submitted by Randi Richardson

Charles H. Gates and Lewis P. Mood of Bloomington have taken over the sanitarium at this place and are fitting it up in a most elaborate styel. These gentlemen are noted for their push and energy and we feel satisfied that their efforts will not be in vain, and that they will make it a go. They will beautify the grounds and will strive to make it a home for the traveling public. They will opoen next Sunday with an elaborate dinner and will be prepared to serve any and all. --Gosport Reporter


Owen County (IN) Democrat, October 15, 1925, p. 1.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

E. M. Viquesney, owner of the Imp-O-Luck business, is bringing to Spencer the title of "The Home of the Doughboy" that has been in Americus, Ga., where this world statue has been manufactured since Mr. Viquesney moved back to Spencer. Mr. Viquesney's recent trip to Georgia seems to have been to complete arrangements that would make it possible for Spencer to have the handling of this statue from Spencer. It was accepted in competition held by American Legion that it was 100 per cent perfect. Forty life-size statues have been placed in different parts of the country within the last four years and small statues placed in almost every union. At the time the Doughboy business changed hands in 1921, there were 30 people employed, and Mr. Viquesney things this can be repeated. He hopes to have the factory working here by next spring.

Hedrick Considers Moving Shoe Store

Owen County (Indiana) Democrat, March 17, 1892, p. 1.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

S. E. Hedrick went to Anderson Monday in the interest of his shoe store which he intends to locate at that place in a few weeks.

Indiana Wood Product Company Destroyed By Fire

Owen County (Indiana) Democrat, March 18, 1915, p. 1.

Submitted by Randi Richardson

The Indiana Wood Product Company, known to Owen County people as White's Mill, caught fire Sunday night shortly after eight o'clock and completely gutted the largest portion of the factory entailing a loss of $40,000 with only about one-third that amount in insurance. No one in authority seems to know exactly how the flames originated, but the consensus of opinion seems to be that they caught from a dynamo, as the factory had its own lighting system... The hottest and most dangerous portion of the building were the handle and clothespin departments where thousands of well seasoned handles and a few million tinder-like clothespins were piled and boxed ready for shipment. The big streams of water would put out the fire in one place only to scatter the fragments to other places and then flames would break forth in greater volume and that portion of the big factory became a seething, hissing mass of whirling flames and smoke...

New Mercantile Business

Owen County Democrat; March 10, 1892

Submitted by Randi Richardson

John Lee of White Hall has built a new business house and stocked it with goods and is now engaged in the mercantile business. Mr. Lee is in poor health and unable to follow any other vocation.

Spencer Mercantile Company

Owen County Democrat; October 4, 1906

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

The Spencer Mercantile Company closed the largest apple deal ever known in Owen County the first of this week when they purchased the entire products of the orchards of Gen. T. A. McNaught, James Hyden and Robert Rice. They bought the apples on the trees as they come. In Gen. McNaught's orchard there are 650 trees; in Mr. Hyden's 350 and Mr. Rice's 1600, in all 2600 trees which are expected to produce at least 8000 bushels of apples. The apples which are almost all the Improved Ben Davis, will be picked and placed in cold storage. The Mercantile Company folks are hustlers of the variety that wins and since they have been in business here have done much to waken things up and liven up business.

Miss FENDER Manager

Owen County News Journal; August 10, 1921

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Henry SCHLOSSER of Indianapolis was here last week on business connected with the local cream station. While Ross JOHNSON had been the actual head of the local station, yet he was absent a great part of the time in his duties as field man and the management of the plant had been in the hands of Miss Amanda FENDER. Mr. JOHNSON'S death made necessary the selecting of a new manager and Mr.Schlosser placed the plant in Miss FENDER'S hands. This move will be pleasing to the patrons of the station who had come to look upon this young lady as an important part of the personnel of Schlosser station.

Owen County News Journal; May 5, 1930

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

The day of wooden suction pumps seems about at an end. The North Vernon Pump and Lumber company which has operated a plant at Sparksburg for several years will not manufacture any more of the wooden pumps. The scarcity of large poplar logs makes it impossible to keep their pump department running steadily.

Owen County People; December 9, 1880

Submitted by Kathy Bargerhuff

Monday the county commissioners met and they have been transacting considerable business this week. License to retail liquors in Spencer was granted to WM. M. JUST, and also to LORENZO SIMS to sell at Freedom.

The Democrat, Owen County, IN, July 28, 1898; Gosport

Submitted by Debbie Jennings

Ed. Wooden will move his stock of gents' furnishing and shoes to Hope, Ind.

Thomas Harris, of Spencer, cried the auction sale for Dr. McKelvey last Saturday.

Dr. McKelvey, after closing out his Sanitarium business, will move to Patricksburg, this county.

Bloomington (IN) Telephone, January 30, 1891, p. 1.

Submitted by Glorianne Fahs

The business of Harrison Hight, one of the leading grocerymen of Spencer, has been closed by his creditors. About two years since Mr. Hight was defeated in his second race for town treasurer and, on making a settlement, his accounts fell short. This and other debts amounting to $2,800. The creditors, however, believing that bad management had caused the failure rather than a desire to be dishonest, allowed him to conduct the business as usual until the present.

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