Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
North Central States
Ohio Massillon

Massillon, Ohio

Massillon was founded in 1812, incorporated as a village in 1853 and as a city in 1868,

The Massillon Water Company was incorporated on September 22, 1853 with a capital stock of $50,000 by John F. Karthaus, John E. McLain, Alexander T. Skinner, Charles K. Skinner and Marshall D. Wellman. The company obtained a twenty-year franchise and built a system distributing water through cement-lined wrought-iron pipes from a reservoir east of the then town limits, near the south end of Prospect Street (now 4th St.).  The company was bought in 1886 by Samuel R. Bullock & Co. of New York, who built a new system pumping water from Sippo Lake into the reservoir using two 2 MGD Blake pumping engines, and also built a new 150-foot standpipe, shown in the following 1905 picture:

Bullock & Co. developed more than 30 water systems in the 1880s, but the Massillon company fell into financial difficulties during the Panic of 1893, and was sold at auction to a large shareholder, who formed the Massillon Water Supply Company.  This company operated until it was bought in 1918 by the Passaic Consolidated Water Company, which sold it in 1926 to the Federal Water Service Company, who changed its name to the Massillon Water Service Company and then in 1928 to the Ohio Water Service Company. 

The Ohio Water Service Company was sold to Ohio interests in 1945 by order of the SEC, and in March 1957 the company gave the City of Massillon the reservoir site, containing 7 acres of land and 18 acres of water,
as a park site. This will make it possible for the city to develop park facilities which it could not do as long as it was privately owned.

The Ohio company merged in 1973 with the Consumers Water Company of Portland, Maine.  In 1999 Consumers merged with Philadelphia Suburban Corporation and was renamed Aqua America, Inc. in 2004

Water is supplied by Aqua America - Ohio.

1853 "Massillon Water Company," Wooster Republican, September 1, 1853, Page 2.

1854 "Water Works Cement Pipe," by Alexander T. Skinner, Cleveland Leader, July 18, 1854, Page 2.

1886 "Proposition from the Water Company," Repository (Canton, Ohio), May 20, 1886, Page 5.

1886 Cleveland Leader, June 9, 1886, Page 5.
Massillon - A sight draft for $50,000 was given last night by Samuel R. Bullock & Co., of New York, in exchange for the franchise and property of the Massillon Water Company.  The new company organized by electing the following officers:  president E. Waltman, New York; vice president, Colonel J. Walter McClymonds, Massillon; treasurer, Hon. John G. Warwick, Massillon; secretary, Hon. Ellis Morrison, New Castle, Pa.; directors, the above officers and Hon. William A. Schultze, Lancaster, O.  The company proposes to expend about $150,000 in constructing a general water system.

1886 Repository (Canton, Ohio), August 24, 1886, Page 5.
Water Works News. The Massillon Water Works Company has purchased a duplex Blake compound pump for the new works.  There are two pumps, each one having a condenser and pump, and with a capabity of 2,000,000 gallons every twenty-four hours.

1886 The Republic (Columbus, Indiana), September 25, 1886, Page 1.
Massillon, O., Sept. 25.- One hundred and fifty men employed on trenches for the Massillon Water company have struck for an advance from $1.25 to $1.50 perday.  The company refused to accede and telegraphed to Pittsburgh for 200 men.  Trouble is anticipated if other men take their places.

1887 Massillon Water Company, First Mortgage Six per cent. Thirty Year Sinking Fund Gold Bonds. Fahnestock & Co. April 1887.

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

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

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

1893 Repository (Canton, Ohio), August 5, 1893, Page 1.
At Sheriff's Sale.  The Massillon Water Works Plant is Sold - A Heavy Stockholder Buys it.  The Massillon water works, including plant, franchise and everything connected with the property, was sold by the Sheriff at 1 o'clock this afternoon at public auction from the court house.  There was only one Bidder, W. A. Lynch, of this city, representing W. G. Snow, one of the big stockholders in the institution.  The property was but in by Mr. Lynch for $77,000, which is just a little over two-thirds of the appraisement.  The appraisement was $115,000, so Snow evidently got a bargain.

1893 "Water Company Incorporated," Wellington Enterprise, September 29, 1893, Page 2.

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

1926 The Cincinnati Enquirer, June 7, 1926, Page 20.
The Federal Water Service Corporation has announced the acquisition of the Massillon Water Supply Company, of Massillon, Ohio.  The name of the new subsidiary will be changed to the Massillon Water Service Company.

1945 The Evening Independent (Massillon, Ohio), March 23, 1945, Page 18.
Federal Stock Offered Soon.  Owner of Local Company to Sell to Public.  Federal Water and Gas corporation, the controlling interest of the Ohio Water Service company through ownership of approximately two-thirds of the Class "A" common stock of that company will shortly sell the stock to Ohio interests.
The company was organized in 1926 as the Massillon Water Service company, the present title having been adopted in 1928, at the time the Mahoning Valley Water company, of Youngstown, was purchased.

1958 The Suburban Era 1917-1958, Volume 4, Part 2 of The Stark County Story, by Edward Thornton Heald.
Pages 253-257:  History of the Massillon Water Supply.

2002 Towpath to Towpath Massillon, Ohio, A History by Margy Vogt
Page 55:  Water Service:  Reservoirs to Wells. When the Massillon Water Company incorporated the same year as the city, local leaders Alexander T. and Charles K. Skinner, John E. McLain, Marshall D. Wellman, and J.K. Karthaus were among the principals. They first developed a new reservoir on Wellman Avenue.
In 1886, Massillon Water Supply Company organized and hired Rhode Island waterworks engineering expert Augustus W. Inman as superintendent. They constructed the present dam, backing up a thirty-million-gallon reservoir in the upper Sippo Valley. The one-hundred-fifty-foot standpipe housed five hundred fifty thousand gallons of water lifted by a steam engine in the pumphouse at the reservoir's edge.  In 1891, city council contracted with the Massillon Water Supply Company to pipe water from their system through iron pipes to local residences and industries.
During the early years of the twentieth century, the water company relegated the standpipe to backup duty and use for street sprinkling, railroads, and industry.  A crane lowered its riveted panels to the ground piece-by-piece in December of 1982 -but not until decades of daredevil young men had climbed its exterior spiral stair to dive into the water tower for a swim. Since the obsolescence of the standpipe, Massillon's water supply has come from wells tapped into a huge aquifer, the Little Indian River, two hundred feet beneath the bed of the Tuscarawas River.  The water company built a new brick pumping station in a park-like setting on Water Street when it moved from the reservoir pumping facility.

2016 View from the Standpipe, Massillon Museum. 

2017 Morris A. Pierce