May 28, 2024

A Little Bit of History

The Old Commercial Bank building stands proudly at the southwest corner of Main and Third.  Built in 1912, it was patterned after the Flatiron Building in New York City and served as the Commercial Bank until the 1970’s.  But there is more in its history.


Using the 3rd Street entrance of the building, part of the Canal Commission museum complex, there is a glass display case as you go up the steps which contains a little history of Delphos.  The old Commercial Bank building is one of only a few 3-story buildings in Delphos and was built to house more than one business. The “little bit of history” is a hand-painted  directory of the businesses located on the second and third floors  and is most likely from sometime in the 1940’s. It shows that the Catholic Knights of Ohio and the Catholic Ladies of Columbia occupied the room that is now where church and school items are displayed by the museum, while the Knights of Columbus used the entire 3rd floor, now a dance studio.  Six of the 8 rooms off the wide second floor hallway were used by a chiropractor, Dr. W. E. Meyer, who had 3 connecting rooms;   a dentist, Dr. H. M.  Viel,  who had 2 connecting rooms and the Delphos Dental Laboratory which had one room.  The seventh room was shared by the law firm of John March Jr. and by W. H. Jauman Insurance.   An eighth room was apparently vacant.

Although the directory is caught in the 1940’s, the occupants did not remain the same.  A look at a 1957 city directory showed that Paula Minzing and J.H. Clark joined the law firm with John March and  now shared  two rooms with Jauman Insurance.  Dr. Viel was gone and  replaced by Dr. Ralph Best;  and J. H. Jones Realty was in the former  chiropractor rooms.  The City Solicitor and Delphos Chamber of Commerce were located here for a short time in the 1960’s, but by 1969, the only occupant left on the second floor was Jones Realty.

Today all those rooms are used for storage, but if the museum continues to prosper and grow they could become display areas in the future and once again be open for business.

Have you visited the museum lately?   We are open every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. and every Thursday from nine to noon or by appointment.

Published in the Delphos Herald August 14, 2016

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