Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Alta Heiser Collection Index Vol. 2, January 6, 1940 & December 27, 1943. Importance of Tanners in Early Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio. Among the very early local occupations was that of the tanner. The shoemaker came first, and the tanners mad a living by supply them with leather. The tanner, shoemaker and saddlers were closely allied, but their trades depended upon the earliest of all pioneer–the woodcutters. Trees were felled ruthlessly for log cabins. After sawmills were established, the best of lumber was used for framed houses. Forest oak were sacrificed to make room for tillable soil, but the uncleared land was raided for its most valuable trees. The connection between the woodcutters and tanners is that oak bark is rich in tannic acid used in turning raw hides into leather. Very little is known about Hamilton tanneries earlier than 1814 when Captain John Caldwell, Joseph F. Randolph and James Wiedner are found. Andrew Stewart was an 1815 tanner. John Sutherland and William Irwin undoubtedly started their tannery soon after Rossville, Butler County, Ohio was laid out in 1804. Both families came in the 1790’s. All that is definitely known about the tanyard is that it was offered for sale in 1819. It was on the river “at Main Street”. There was a good dwelling house with a well at the door and a paled garden; also a bark house, shed, 46 vats and 300 cords of bark. In 1820, Sutherland and Porter were carrying on, and by 1825 Mr. Sutherland was alone.

John Sutherland, William Irwin tannery Rossville, OH 1804_0001John Sutherland, William Irwin tannery Rossville, OH 1804_0002John Sutherland, William Irwin tannery Rossville, OH 1804_0004

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