Documentary History of American Water-works

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

Xenia, Ohio

Xenia was founded in 1803.

The Xenia Water Company was incorporated in 1848 by John W. Merrick, John B. Allen, Cornelius Wilkins, Samuel Paterbaugh, Thornton Marshall, David Medsker "for the purpose of constructing reservoirs, and conveying water to and from the same, or in such manner as may be found most expedient for supplying the town of Xenia, in Greene county, and its inhabitants, with water."  No evidence has been found that this company constructed a system.

The Xenia Water Works Company was incorporated on May 1, 1883 by Jacob H. Harbine, John P. Martin, A. S. Frazer, John Litle, Lester Arnold, T. L. Magruder, John S. Ankeney, and L. H. Whiteman.  This company successfully competed against W. S. Kuhn & Co. to secure a water works franchise, which voters approved by 761 to 38.  The city agreed to a 20 year franchise with rights to purchase after 1897, and to to pay $7,500 per year for 200 hydrants, additional ones at $35 each.  Martin was the principal owner of the company, and after he was unable to finance the construction he sold the franchise to Goodhue & Birnie of Springfield, Massachusetts, who built more than 60 water works.  They built a system that began service with a massive celebration on October 1, 1887.  George F. Cooper of Springfield superintended the construction and remained as operating head until the company was to the city.  

After 15 years, Goodhue & Birnie sold the company to James & Phillips of Scranton, Pennsylvania, who operated it until 1904 and then sold it to Frank M. Green of Washington, D. C.  The Xenia Water Company was formed in 1907 to acquire the property, and operated it until the city bought it in 1919 for $230,000.

Water is supplied by the City of Xenia.

1848 An act to incorporate the Xenia Water Company.  February 14, 1848.

1883 Xenia Daily Gazette, May 2, 1883, Page 3.
Water Works.  The First Move in an Important Enterprise.  The Xenia Water Works Company, With a Capital Stock of $50,000, Incorporated.

1883 Xenia Daily Gazette, May 12, 1883, Page 3.
Xenia Water Works Company has been organized.

1883 Xenia Daily Gazette, May 12, 1883, Page 3.
Mr. Little, one of the incorporators of the Xenia Water Works Company, was present and given permission to make a statement to council, after which the matter was referrd to the Street and Fire department committees.

1886 Engineering News 15:156 (March 6, 1886)
Xenia has accepted the proposition of John P. Martin & Co. to erect water works in that city.  The system adopted is the direct pressure and standpipe systems combined.  The company agrees to lay 15 miles of pipe, put in two compound duplex pumps, with a capacity of 3,500,000 gallons per day, establish not less than 200 double delivery non-freezing fire hydrants, and furnish water for the hydrants, fire department buildings, city buildings, all public and private schools, churches, flushing the sewers and gutters, and two fountains for $7,500 per year.

1887 "Xenia Water-Works. Immense Crowds Witness Their Inauguration," Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, October 2, 1887, Page 6.

1887 "Xenia's Water Works," Springfield Daily Republic, October 3, 1887, Page 3.
The opening of the new water works was celebrated by a monster procession which almost encircled the city.

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

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

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

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

1907 "The Water Question Up In Council," Xenia Daily Gazette, January 19, 1907, Page 8.

1907 "Xenia Water Company Now Owned in Xenia," Xenia Daily Gazette, February 16, 1907, Page 8.

1907 "City Gives Xenia Water Company a Ten-Year Franchise," Xenia Daily Gazette, February 16, 1907, Page 8.

1907 "An Ordinance Granting Unto the Xenia Water Company, Its Successors or Assigns a Franchise for the Privilege of Maintaining a Water Plant in the City of Xenia, Ohio," The Xenia Daily Gazette, February 25, 1907, Page 2.

1914 "Report on Proposed Temporary Additional Water Supply and Disinfection Plant for Xenia," approved July 9, 1914, 29th Annual Report of the State Board of Health of the State of Ohio. (1914)

1918 "In the Matter of the Appeal of the Xenia Water Company From an Ordinance Passed by the City of Xenia, February 23rd, 1917, fixing the Maximum Public and Private Water Rates in the City of Xenia, for a Period of Ten Years," October 31, 1918.  Ohio Public Utilities Commission, in Department Reports of the State of Ohio, Volume 9.  (1918-19)

1918 "Waterworks," from History of Greene County, Ohio: Its People, Industries and Institutions, Volume 1, by Michael A. Broadstone

1919 "Xenia Asks a Reheating in Controversy with Water Company," Fire and Water Engineering, 64:424  (December 11, 1918)

1919 "City Water Plant Urged.  Xenia May Take over Property for $260,000," Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 30, 1919, Page 21.

1919 "People of Xenia Invited to Discuss Water Question," Fire and Water Engineering, 66:452 (August 27, 1919)

1919 The Sandusky Star-Journal, September 26, 1919, Page 15.
Xenia -- Bond issue of $325,000 for extension of water works carries by small margin.

1919 "In the Matter of the Application of The Xenia Water Company of Xenia, Ohio, for the Consent to and Approval of the Sale of its Property and Assets, Except for its Book Accounts, to the City of Xenia, Ohio. Prayer Granted," October 30, 1919.  Department Reports of the State of Ohio, Volume 11.

1920 Wilmington News-Journal, June 5, 1920, Page 1.
Xenia will send $65,000 to improve the present water system in the city, it is accounced.  Sealed bids are now being advertised for.

1972 "John P. Martin," Xenia Daily Gazette, December 26, 1972, Page 2.  History of the water system.

2002 Greene County, Ohio: Time Capsule of 1901, by Gillian Hill and Deanna Ulvestad
Page 112:  The Xenia Water Company

2016 Morris A. Pierce