A Look at the Village of Milford Center's History
Over the life of the Village, seven Christian congregations have called Milford Centre and Milford Center home. Currently there are two, a Church of Christ in Christian Union and a United Methodist Church. Gone are a Church of God, the Christian Church, a Baptist Church, a Roman Catholic Church, and a Presbyterian Church. The remains of the Presbyterian building now houses Chris Kise’s garage. Today’s ‘downtown’ is a faded memory of yesteryear. Where the present Marathon Station is located the Richter Hotel once stood. The hotel served visitors to the Village, especially salesmen who arrived on the Big 4 Railroad from Columbus and hired local livery transportation to cover their surrounding territories. In the 1960s, the hotel building housed apartments, the larger of two grocery stores, a beauty salon, a dress shop, a ‘five and dime’ store and a tavern. Until the larger grocery remodeled to add a ‘locker plant’ (home freezers were rarities) the hotel building also housed The Luxmar Movie Theater. In the 1950-60s, in addition to the second grocery, there were two hardware stores, a machinery repair shop, a hatchery, a shoe store, a shoe repair shop, an electrician’s business, a plumbing and heating business, a second tavern, a jewelry store, an insurance agency, a restaurant, a doctor, a dentist, two barbers, an auto repair shop and four service stations (they checked your oil and cleaned your windshield) in the Village. Bulk candy can still be purchased at the Marathon station from the same display case that once tempted folks in the ‘five and dime.’ The population of the Village was 210 in 1850, grew to 372 by 1870, and almost doubled to 718 by 1890; thereafter the numbers declined until gradual growth resumed in 1940. At the census of 2010, there were 792 people, 299 households, and 220 families living in the Village. The current population of Milford Center, Ohio is 971.
The Milford Center Lumber Co.
John H. DeVoss bought the Milford Center Lumber Co. in 1927. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were married in Greenfield, Ohio in 1922. They had 3 children, Louise Annette, Helen Adair, and John D. The Milford Center Lumber Co. had 2 piles of different size gravel and 1 pile of sand out front on West Center. DeVoss said it was "free if you are dishonest."
Dedicated employees of the lumber yard included Tom Shoemaker and Glenn Coe.
The lumber yard was sold in 1962 to James Michael and torn down shortly after.
The DeVoss Family recently shared this 1940 article about the family lumber yard with the village. The article also details owner John DeVoss' many civic duties, as well as his leisure activities. Click on the article to download a larger, easier-to-read version. Additional notes on the Milford Center Lumber Co. were also included in a note from the DeVoss family.
Clover Dale Creamery
Fred Neer, prominent businessman of Milford Center, was the owner of the former Clover Dale Creamery.
He resided in our community for twenty years prior to his time in Mechanicsburg.