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Anderson-Shaffer House

Anderson-Shaffer House, 404 Ross Ave., Hamilton, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The web site of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society says the "home was built in 1859 by Daniel Rumple, a local farmer who moved to Hamilton after buying a half interest in a hardware store. P. H. Gilbert, a local carpenter and brickmason, was identified as the actual builder of the house from his personal stamp on the stairway banister. At the same time this building was going up Rumple had a large brick structure built on Main Street [northwest corner of North B and Main streets] for his store. This became known as Rumple Block." After Rumple died in 1864, the land was sold at sheriff's auction to William and Rachel Anderson. His businesses included a saddlery, tannery, boot and shoe factory and a store to sell his products. The OHPO says "in 1853 Anderson, along with B.W. Tanquary, entered the milling business. They erected a new mill at Second and Mill streets with a daily capacity of 150 barrels. . . . When a fire destroyed this mill in 1864, Anderson, apparently undaunted, immediately rented an older mill which he eventually purchased. This became known as the Hamilton Mill." The OHPO says "George H. Shaffer joined the firm in the 1880s after marrying one of Anderson's daughters and moving into the Ross Avenue home. The company became known as the Anderson-Shaffer Co. at this time. Shaffer's advent in the company heralded its expansion and improvement. In 1882, the old Hamilton Mill was remodeled and new machinery of a roller mill type boosted the capacity to 300 barrels a day. A new elevator was constructed only a few blocks from the home. The items handled by the firm were also enlarged. The company became one of the largest wholesale dealers in southern Ohio in coal, flour, corn, oats, wheat, feed, salt, shingles, lumber, cement, tile and posts. The rail yards beside the new mill were large enough for 60 cars and the warehouses there held 50,000 bushels of grain. The coal, stockpiled in several large yards, was sold by the company primarily for domestic usage, but during periods when normal transportation was interrupted, such as the 1913 floods, the firm also supplied the factories of the area. Besides this business, Anderson was one of the largest stockholders and eventually became director of the Second National Bank in Hamilton. By 1873 he assumed the vice presidency of the bank, a position he held until his death in 1897. Anderson willed the home to the three children of George Shaffer, all of whom eventually took over control of the Anderson-Shaffer Co. until its activity was restricted in the 1940s and later sold. The home remained in the hands of the Shaffer family until" transfer to Charles Stinger." The OHPO said "this home, with its proximity to one of the old family mills, serves as the focal point of a historically important, tranquil residential neighborhood on the west side of Hamilton."

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