Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower



Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Jan 10

H.H. Eavey and Eavey & Co., Part IV: The Eavey Building

Posted on January 10, 2018 at 2:38 PM by Melissa Dalton

H. H. Eavey’s death did not deter the family from continuing on with the wholesale grocery business (Figure 1).

1919 Sanborn Map of Xenia, Ohio (Eavey Building outlined in red)
Figure 1: 1919 Sanborn Insurance Map - Eavey Building outlined in red (OPLIN)

The business saw continued growth, and sometime between 1918 and 1935, the company joined with the Independent Grocers’ Alliance (I.G.A.). In 1935, an annex was added to the building to accommodate for cold storage, which included the addition of a basement and three stories. The basement and first two stories were constructed of cement and brick, while the third story was composed of structural steel and brick. The new space added roughly 38,000 square feet to the already massive building (Figure 2).

January 31, 1935 Xenia Daily Gazette article on Eavey building expansion
Figure 2: January 31, 1935 Xenia Daily Gazette article on Refrigeration Addition to Eavey Building (Newspapers.com)

After the addition was complete, The Eavey Company hosted more than 1,200 representatives from 300 – 400 retail I.G.A. stores from the Ohio and Indiana region for a meeting (Figure 3), and to highlight the new space.

April 12, 1935 Xenia Daily Gazette article on hosting IGA meeting
Figure 3: April 12, 1935 Xenia Daily Gazette article on Eavey Co. hosting I.G.A. representatives (Newspapers.com)

The Eavey Company continued as a family business, with the grandchildren of H. H. Eavey succeeding in running the company. The last president of the company was John G. “Jack” Eavey, son of H. E. Eavey. Jack believed the space on Detroit and Third was no longer able to accommodate their needs, so around 1959, he decided to build a new facility on Bellbrook Avenue. According to various newspaper articles, the company faced financial strain after the construction of the new facility, and in 1961, The Eavey Company merged with Super Valu Stores, Inc., marking the end of an era (Figure 4).

Deed 331 p 480Deed 331 p 481Deed 331 p 482Deed 331 p 483
Figure 4: Deed transferring property from The Eavey Company to Super Valu Stores, Inc. (Greene County Archives)


The building on the corner of S. Detroit Street and W. Third Street sat empty for many years, with some small businesses occupying the space here and there. However, nothing lasted and the building fell into disrepair. The building went to auction in May 2016 and sold to The Eavey Exchange, LLC. for $65,700. The new owners are in the process of obtaining investors with the hopes of breathing life and vitality back into the historic building in downtown Xenia. We were lucky enough to be invited on a tour of the building in December, and to see the potential the building holds. We took many pictures and they are posted on our Facebook page, so click here to view!

This is where our journey ends, for now. As the process and work continues to bring the Eavey building back to its hay day, we will be sure to update along the way! We hope you have enjoyed learning about the Eavey family and their wholesale grocery business.

Until Next Time…

Sources:
Greene County Archives (various collections)
Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN)
Xenia Daily Gazette, Newspapers.com (various dates)


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