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Sorg Mansion

Sorg Mansion, 206 South Main Street, Middletown. Middletown's first millionaire, Paul John Sorg, built the $1 million mansion in 1887. Sorg was born Sept. 23, 1840, in Wheeling, then in Virginia (West Virginia was formed in 1863 during the Civil War). In 1852, he moved to Cincinnati with his parents, who were German immigrants. He apprenticed as a molder before entering Union Army during the Civil War. After the war, Sorg, age 30, came to Middletown in 1870. He became a dominant social and political figure while operating tobacco (1869) and paper (1899) companies and banking (1891). A Democrat, Sorg served the region in the U. S. House of Representatives from May 1894 until March 1897. He didn't seek reelection in 1896. Sorg died in Middletown May 28, 1902. The Sorg Mansion, now divided into apartments, is part of Middletown's South Main Street District.

A web site of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society says Sorg's "Romanesque castle," built in 1887, includes "a $100,000 addition [1902] comprised of a north wing with a ballroom, a front porch and turrets, a large carriage house and an imposing stone and iron fence around the five-acre property." In 1870, he established the P. J. Sorg Tobacco Company, "shortly to become one of the world's largest concerns of its kind," said the OHPO web site. "P. J. Sorg was active in tobacco, pumps, farm machinery, bicycles, naval equipment, gas and paper. He brought the Pennsylvania Railroad to Middletown.

. . . He bought and refurbished the U.S. Hotel, making it a fine meeting place for society; he built the Sorg Opera House in 1890 to bring culture to Middletonians; he and his wife gave impetus to the building of the First Baptist Church by donating money and the glass windows." OHPO says "Sorg put in a private electric lighting system supplying electricity to his home, the U. S. Hotel, the Sorg Opera House and other Sorg buildings."

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