Tiffin, Ohio, Seneca County


"Tiffin is a city of good homes and shady avenues; its downtown streets are narrow, and the stout stone and brick buildings stand close together.  Most of its larger factories are situated in the northwest corner of the city. Erastus Bowe saw the site during an expedition in the War of 1812, and returned in 1817 to build Pan Yan Tavern, which later because a stagecoach stop.  Around the Pan Yan a settlement called Oakley sprang up.  In 1820, Josiah Hedges purchased a section of land on the south side of the river opposite Oakley, and established a new settlement, calling it Tiffin, after Edward Tiffin, first governor of Ohio.  Until 1850, when the two villages were united, there was much rivalry between them.

Tiffin progressed indifferently.  The main traveled road ran through Oakley (called Fort Ball after 1824) and there was no connection bridge.  One was built in 1834, but a flood promptly carried it away.  In 1883 the natural gas was discovered in the vicinity in 1888 and Tiffin boomed, attracted new enterprises, and became the diversified industrial city it is today.  Glass tableware, sanitary pottery, abrasives, conveyors, transmission machinery, and machines for making nuts and bolts are the leading products."  ~ Historical Collections of Ohio" by Henry Howe.


Tiffin Glass Company

In July 1888, it was announced that the A. J. Beatty & Sons glass factory of Steubenville, Ohio, would be relocating to Tiffin, Ohio.  The city of Tiffin offered five years of natural gas, $35,000 in cash, and land valued at $15,000.  While other factories within the United States Glass Company were forced to close during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Factory R managed to survive.  On May 19, 1979, the factory was sold for the last time to Towle Silversmiths and operated as Tiffin Crystal, a division of Towle Silversmiths. The furnaces were shut down on May 1, 1980, the date considered by collectors to be the end of the Tiffin Glass Company. The Outlet Store and a decorating shop remained open until October 1984, when the facility permanently closed. Towle later donated the factory and land to the city of Tiffin in exchange for a $1.1 million tax write-off. The city offered the property free to any company that would bring 100 jobs into the city. Unable to find a tenant, the city demolished part of the factory in late December 1985, and January 1986.


Photographs are of William "Duke" Greiner working at the Tiffin Glass Company.


The Advertiser-Tribune

Tiffin, Ohio

21 Oct 1963

William Greiner Taken by Death; Rites Wednesday


William O. "Duke" Greiner, 71, of 206 1/2 South Washington street died at 12:55 a.m. today, Oct. 21, 1963 in Mercy hospital.  He had been seriously ill for a year and had been in the hospital since Sept. 26.


A glasscutter in Germany before he cam to the United States 30 years ago, Mr. Greiner was a craftsman of the highest skill.  There were said to be only five or six other workmen in this country capable of putting the type of free hand designs which gave many at his pieces  the quality of museum pieces.


Born in Halbar, Germany, July 2, 1892, Mr. Greiner was a son of Emil and Emma (Usler) Greiner.  He was a veteran of World War I.  There are no known surviving relatives.


Services will be held in the Pahl-Nemeth Funeral home at 10 a.m. Wednesday , with the Rev. Leland Wiley officiating.  Burial will be in Fairmount cemetery.  Friends may call at the funeral home after 8 p.m. today.





St. Francis Orphanage 1869-1936

The St. Francis Orphanage home began in 1869 by Father Joseph Bihn and Elizabeth Schaefer who found a need in the community and served this ministry.  Originally the home took care of orphans after the Civil War but today the Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin, Ohio minister to the elderly care.  


Genealogy Links:

1913 Tiffin Flood

The Advertise-Tribune

Heidelberg College

Historical and Biographical Delineation of the Family of Emanuel Michael Lonsway

History of Seneca County, Ohio

History of the Tiffin Glass Company

Rutherford B. Hayes/Obituary Index

Tiffin Glass Museum

Tiffin-Seneca Library/Genealogy



Question, comments, and submissions can be sent to Tiffin@digginguproots.com

  Page created August 2010