Documentary History of American Water-works

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North Central States
Ohio Chillicothe

Chillicothe, Ohio

Chillicothe was founded in 1796.

The Chillicothe Water Company was incorporated in 1851 by N. W. Thatcher, Wm. McKell, Jacob Bonser, William Fullerton and Wm. B. Franklin "to supply the city of Chillicothe, and the citizens thereof, with
water." This company had been granted an exclusive charter by the Chillicothe city council in August, 1850, and the following June local citizens voted to subscribe $10,000 of the company stock.  Local voters approved borrowing $70,000 to aid the company in August, 1853, but the company was unable to proceed with construction, apparently due to local opposition.

The city council contracted with H. P. Clough & Company to construct a water works in 1877, but an injunction was issued blocking the work, and nothing was done.

The local gas light company amended its charter in 1881 to include water service, and became the Chillicothe Gas Light and Water Company. This company built a system that pumped water from the Scioto river into a reservoir.  The pumping station was flooded for several weeks in 1913, shutting off water service.  The company changed its name again in 1931 to the Chillicothe Water Company.

The Chillicothe Water Company was bought by the City of Chillicothe in January, 1940.

Water is supplied by the City of Chillicothe.

1850 "Proceedings of City Council," The Daily Scioto Gazette (Chillicothe, Ohio), August 5, 1850, Page 2.
Mr. Gilmore, from the committee to which was referred the subject of the "Chillicothe Water and Gas Company," reported an Ordinance, granting to N. W. Thatcher and his associates, certain exclusive privileges, contemplating the creation of said company.

1851 An act to incorporate the Chillicothe Water Company.  March 5, 1851.

1851 "Chillicothe Water Company," The Daily Scioto Gazette, June 16, 1851, Page 2.
We had barely time on Saturday, to announced that the vote of our citizens had just resulted favorably to a subscription, by the City Council, of $10,000, to the above Company.

1852 The Daily Scioto Gazette, September 18, 1852, Page 4.
Chillicothe Water Company.  The company chartered for the purpose of supplying our city with water, by an economical and thorough arrangement, is fully organized, and books of subscription for the capital stock are in the hands of the Secretary and each of the Directors.  July 24.  N. W. Thatcher, Sec'y.

1853 The Daily Scioto Gazette, August 24, 1853, Page 3.
An Ordinance for Borrowing Money for the Erection of Water Works.
Proclamation to the qualified electors of the city of Chillicothe.  Vote on August 31, 1853 to borrow $70,000 to be applied to the erection of water-works for supplying said city with water.

1853 The Daily Scioto Gazette, September 1, 1853, Page 3.
Water Works.  Decided affirmatively by a majority of 334 votes.

1853 "The Water Works," The Daily Scioto Gazette, November 3, 1853, Page 2.
On Tuesday next, the 8th, instant, the election of three Trustees of the Chillicothe Water Works will take place.

1853 The Daily Scioto Gazette, November 10, 1853, Page 3.
Trustees of Water Works elected.  D. K. Jones - 3 years, Wm. Waddle - 2 years, H. Massie -1 year.

1854 "Water Works," The Daily Scioto Gazette, Thursday, April 13, 1854, Page 3.
Engineers are busy, to-day, under the direction of the Trustees, making a preliminary surveys for reservoir, conduit courses, &c., necessary for the Chillicothe Water Works, of which we have read so much.

1854 Daily Commercial Register (Sandusky, Ohio), October 24, 1854, Page 2.
The Chillicothe Water Works when completed, will probably be the finest thing of the kind in the State, or even in the West.  The reservoir of water will be seventy feet above the level of the city; and thus the water, in seeking its own level, can be brought to the tops of the houses, into bedrooms, bath-rooms, or wherever needed about the highest building in the city.  We can indulge our taste in city fountains, sprinkle our streets, water our gardens, wash our windows and sidewalk and baptize things in general.  Water will then be as abundant with us as the ambient air; all we have to do is turn a faucit and the water of Paint creek will come tumbling after.  God speed the day when they shall be completed. - Scioto Gazette.

1877 "The Chillicothe Water Works," Cincinnati Daily Gazette, May 29, 1877, Page 2.
Restraining order preventing work by H. P. Clough & Co.

1881 Articles of Incorporation for The Chillicothe Gas Light and Water Company, January 25, 1881.

1881 "Chillicothe Water-Works," Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, July 29, 1881, Page 3.
Water-works ordinance passed by a unanimous vote.  The Company contracted with is substantially the present Gas Company.

1888 "Chillicothe," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Chillicothe," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Chillicothe," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Chillicothe," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1917 A Standard History of Ross County, Ohio: An Authentic Narrative of the Past, with Particular Attention to the Modern Era in the Commercial, Industrial, Civic and Social Development, Volume 1, by Lyle S. Evans
Page 107:  April, 1913 flood. The pumping station of the Chillicothe Water Works Company was flooded with twenty feet of water, and the city was without sufficient water for domestic use and fire protection for several weeks.
Pages 291-292: INITIAL STEPS TOWARD WATERWORKS. Five years before the fire, during the year of the great flood of 1847, it was proposed to buy the Hydraulic Canal and build a reservoir on the hills west of the city. The flood destroyed the aqueduct and the usefulness of the canal for power purposes, and its channel was afterward utilized for fire purposes. When the great conflagration swept over so large a portion of Chillicothe, the citizens were stirred over the necessity for better fire protection, and in September, 1853, its voters, by a majority of 334, expressed themselves in favor of a regular system of waterworks. It was voted to appropriate $70,000 to build them. Plans and surveys were made and, within a couple of years, the estimated cost had run up to $140,000. As the ravages of the fire were being rapidly repaired, and the general depression and panic had passed, the taxpayers blocked the building of the waterworks at that time, and the old makeshift of basins and cisterns, distributed at what were considered the chief points of danger, was continued for years thereafter.
The present waterworks installed at City Park, which cover about two-thirds of an acre, date from 1881. In January of that year the old Chillicothe Gas Light and Coke Company was reorganized and incorporated as the Chillicothe Gas and Water Company, with the following officers: William Poland, president; William T. McClintick, vice president ; Abram C. Kopp, secretary; William McKell, treasurer; and Fred A. Stacey, superintendent.  Mr. Poland was succeeded in the presidency by Mr. Stacey in 1889, and in 1908 Mr. Kopp was followed in the secretaryship by John A. Poland, son of the first president. Robert Herron has been superintendent of the waterworks for the past twelve years. The gas plant was closed in May, 1915.
The construction of the original waterworks covered the period 1881-83. The system now not only includes the power house, with a daily pumping capacity of 4,500,000 gallons, but two large open wells, with concrete domes, thirty-five feet deep, and thirty and twenty-six feet in diameter, and six artesian wells, sixty feet deep, also twenty-six miles of mains, from four to sixteen inches in diameter. The value of the system is, approximately, $364,000. So that Chillicothe has now as good a system, both from the standpoints of a sanitary domestic supply and of adequate fire protection, as can be found in any city of its population in the country.

1931 Amendment of the Chillicothe Gas Light and Water Company, March 31, 1931.  Name changed to Chillicothe Water Company.

1941 "Chillicothe Water Works Shows Profit," Columbus Dispatch, January 5, 1941, Page 7.

2016 Morris A. Pierce