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The Henry County Historical Society was formed in 1970 to protect, preserve, and perpetuate the history of Henry County, Ohio, to learn about and preserve the artifacts of the county, and to generate interest in the past of the county.
Today the HCHS operates two historic sites in Napoleon, Ohio.
The first being the Historic Complex at the Henry County Fairgrounds. This site contains several historic buildings and structures include the Nathaniel Hartman Log Home c. 1860-1866, the 1897 Emmanuel Lutheran One Room Schoolhouse, the Ag Building, Smokehouse, and our most recent addition the c. 1910 Historic Gazebo.
The HCHS’s primary location is the beautiful Victorian Queen Anne style Dr. John Bloomfield Home & Carriage House Museum located at 229 W Clinton St, Napoleon, Ohio across from the Napoleon Public Library. The Home was built c. 1879 and has been totally restored and serves as the main museum for the HCHS.
All of the HCHS facilities have been restored to their near original appearance and house large collections of period furnishings, textiles, china, silver, and more dating from the early 1800s through the 1930s.
So what are you waiting for? Check out and enjoy our website and we hope you visit our sites in person!
The Henry County HIstorical Society is proud to display a WW I exhibit in the Dr. Bloomfield Home museum. The display features the uniforms and personal effects of Clarence Kemmer, Holgate, and Herman Frederick Haase, Okolona, Ohio. See the Events on the right of this page for hours of operation.
Previous home page stories:
Our mailing address is:
The Henry County Historical Society
P.O. Box 443
Napoleon, OH 43545
The Henry County Historical Society website is undergoing major renovation.
Please be patient while we add pages and images from the old site.
(This picture was taken in the early 1900’s of West Main Street, Elery, Ohio. Elery was actually bigger then than it is now.)
Herrtown or Elery as it is usually called now, had more business places years ago.
There were 2 grocery stores, one near the Monroe Twp. House, operated once by a man named Vogel. It closed years ago — 60 yrs.? Probably more. The other one just east of the R.R. track closed seven yrs. ago. A Flea Market occupies the building now. This store was owned by quite a few different people through the years. Some were, Mr. Long, Rollo Foor, Clinton Rettig, Will Hoff, Harvey Hoffman, Walter Franz, Leonard Dachenhaus and Larry Myles, Herbert Meyers — owns the building now.
Elery had a post office years ago in part of this store building Henry Dettmer was post master once. It was closed when rural routes started.
The saloon was owned by different people, some were Pete Sonnichsen, Ferd Dettmer, Geo Bortz, Harold Blue, Paul Fletcher and now Leonard Sizemore. It carries some groceries these last years.
The tile mill was started by August Honeck I, and is still in the Honeck family, now making plastic tile instead of clay tile and known as the Advanced Drainage of Ohio, Inc. James Honeck has an interest.
The grain elevator was owned first by farmers; then it was sold to Okolona Grain Co. around 1940. A fire damaged it some and destroyed or spoiled 9,000 bu. grain year — 1969. Forrest Clady purchased it then 1969. It’s now known as Clady’s Trucking and Elevator.
Barber Shop. I understand this was located in the house east of the saloon; the barber was Geo. Behrman? It was discontinued many years ago.
The church was not used for sixty years or more; it was converted to other use and made into a garage by owner.
School — I heard that high school was once held in the twp. house building
Milliner shop — One, started by Rose Moerder in the east end of town only lasted a few months (70 yrs. ago?).
The Dance hall (we don’t know when it was built) closed 35 years ago and was torn down. It was directly behind the saloon.
Schutzenfest was held there every year for many years; people came from near and far. I think there were more businesses. A man in Elery called Miller used to make wooden shoes. (E. B. E.)
About 1910 William Gerken, Harold Gerken’s grandfather, had a tavern and grocery in Elery about the location where the Township House is (1974). (H. W. G.)
Herman Behrman ran the tavern. Ferd Dettmer ran the tavern about 1925 to the 30’s. (E. E. B. H.)
Stave Mill: The stave mill was probably the very first thing at Elery. (Was it called Herrtown then?) In fact the stave mill must have been the start of the town. (I. D.)
The above article is from Henry County, Ohio, Volume Two, A Collection of Historical Sketches and Family Histories Compiled by Members and Friends of The Henry County Historical Society. Dallas, TX, Taylor Publishing Co., pp. 232-233.