Reflections: Cahoon: A Cardington business entrepreneur


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I have referenced W. C. Cahoon in previous columns. I realize there is a dwindling number of people who remember him but others have responded with their memories after reading those columns. I recently found a story in the Morrow County Independent detailing Mr. Cahoon’s business acumen, which I find admirable.

Mr. Cahoon (Bill) and his wife came to Cardington Nov. 4, 1904 from Carrington, Ohio, where they operated the Sunday Creek Coat Company.

They wanted a store of their own and acted on the advice of a salesman for Tracey and Avery Co, Columbus, who told them about the closing of the Dean Store in Cardington, which stood west of the railroad tracks in the old Brundage Building.

The Cahoons opened the business and ran it from that site until 1908 when they moved into the new building on South Marion Street constructed by the IOOF Lodge. They made this dry goods store into an institution known for miles around and it kept the country atmosphere in spite of up to date merchandise. His major sale was wall paper, samples found upstairs.

His business attracted customers from a 25-mile radius and he was dubbed the “wall paper king.”

In 1925 the Cahoons built a store facing on East Main Street and connected his South Marion Street store with the new one. This side featured “five to a dollar” merchandise — and even children could find something to buy for a nickel or a dime.

When the Cahoons came to Cardington from Jackson County, it was horse and buggy days and the only “piked” or surfaced road was part of the Marion Road. There were gas lights in the business district and in the business places. The town pump was near the public square and a spring flowed constantly across the railroad from the Brundage building, their first business building.

The Cahoons had one son, Leland, a 1926 Cardington High School graduate.

The charities of the Cahoons were many and generous. They were active in the Methodist Church and he with the local Lodge. Following the death of his wife, a constant helper in the store, Mr. Cahoon decided to step aside in December, 1951.

The store was sold to Sterling Brothers of West Jefferson in November, 1951 with Mr. and Mrs. Howard Boone of Waynesburg, Pa., in charge.

The Cahoon store was a fixture in Cardington with employees always ready to help. I remember my mother purchasing dress material and wallpaper.

As youngsters, we strolled those aisles of the store fronting on East Main Street looking at coloring books, toys and school supplies every fall. A nickel or a dime could make a purchase in those days.

I wonder what Cardington might have been without the Cahoon’s Store for 47 years.

70 years ago: The new East Main Street bridge, closed for two months since it collapsed under a semi-truck, opened February 23 at 4:30 p.m.

60 years ago: Dottie Haycook of Cardington, a member of the Capital University concert band, played in a concert at Galion High School. She was a member of the percussion section.

50 years ago: Melvin Maceyko offered a three-bedroom partly furnished modern home, garage and garden space for rent for $75 per month.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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