At this time, the West Milton Community Garage Sales are still scheduled for Aug. 6-8. The West Milton Rotary Club has resumed meetings every Monday at noon at the UCC Church on South Main Street.
Hoffman United Methodist Church’s Wednesday evening meal, Grandma’s Kitchen, is set to open up in September, depending on circumstances. Hoffman had to cancel its annual June garage sale. It will return next year.
On Nov. 8, at 2 p.m., Hoffman will again honor Union Township veterans and their families. A video will be created, along with stories submitted about each veteran featured. Anyone who wishes to include family members in this video should send pictures and stories, as well as the member’s branch of service and years served, as soon as possible. Submitted pictures will be returned. All information should be sent to Hoffman United Methodist Church, 201 S. Main St., West Miton 45383, Attn: Nancy Studebaker.
The M-U Public Library has some special programs coming up. On Aug. 14 and 28, a bi-weekly Zoom meetings will be held for teens, ages 13 through 18. On Aug. 18, at 6:30 p.m., a Pop Up Book Discussion will be held, weather dependent. The featured book will be “The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green.” This will take place on the front lawn of the library. Bring your own lawn chair and drink. Social distancing between seats will be implemented, and masks are recommended.
Wednesdays in August will feature Tween Time on Zoom for ages 8-12. Each week will involve a different fun theme. Pick up a sheet to track Milty sporting a face mask in 15 different locations around town. Entries must be submitted by Aug. 30. Circumstances are constantly changing due to COVID-19, so always phone ahead, at (937) 698-5515, or visit at www.mupubliclibrary.org, for the most up to date information.
This Union Township history focus is on the village of Frederick. Information is from the “Miami County Ohio 1981” history book, and a little booklet by Curt P. Walker titled “Millers Grove.” Also used is the DVD of the Frederick oral history recording session from November 2011, which can be viewed at the M-U Library. Those on the panel were John Wheelock, Steve Boyd, Don Anderson, Allen Werts, and Dorothy Jean and Richard Smith.
Frederick is the only village in Miami County that lies in two counties, Miami and Montgomery, and three townships, Union, Monroe and Butler. Its first citizen was Joseph Bowman, a peddler of notions and later owner of a small store, in about 1820. By 1850, there were factories, hotels, businesses, saloons, a still house, flour mill, tanyard, and more. When the steam railroad was built, from Dayton along the Dayton-Covington Pike, the village was by passed by, causing the beginning of its decline. By 1981, there were only two general stores and the Miller Family businesses. The three-room school was absorbed by centralization of the schools causing students to be spread out between the three townships.
In 1904 or 1905, J.P. Miller and family moved to Frederick and purchased from John Engle the former Bowman Store, which was the beginning of a number of family enterprises. In 1916, he started a limestone business. Miller’s Grove opened in 1916 and featured a swimming pool and picnic grove covering 40 acres. In 1935, he sold his interests to his sons, William H. and Dale, who expanded the sand and gravel business. In 1949, they built one of the nation’s finest drive-in theaters with a capacity of 500 cars.
J.P. Miller was the postmaster when the village was known as Fidelity. It was so named because there was a Fredericksburg in eastern Ohio and there was fear of a conflict. Sometime between 1910 an 1916, the post office was closed and the rural route was served by Tipp City and West Milton. In 1910, J.P. was elected to the ministry, became an Elder in the Church of the Brethren, serving the Middle District Church and the West Milton Church of the Brethren.
Steve Boyd has lived in the area since 1949. The building where he now has his machine shop took two and a half years to build. The cement blocks were made along the Stillwater River and had to be carried up to the site. He remembers a baseball diamond and a football field behind the drive-in.
Don Anderson shared numerous funny stories and pranks that went on at the service station he and his partner, Norman “Slim” Curtis, owned in downtown Frederick. Allen Werts lived in Kessler but married a Frederick girl in the home in which they still resided in 2011.
Dorothy Jean Smith grew up on her family farm near Frederick. She walked to school in Frederick until she was incorporated into the Tipp City system. She also walked to the pool and playground. She and her husband, Richard, were married 64 years in 2011. He stated that Frederick was bigger than Tipp and West Milton until the canal came through Tipp and the traction line went through Milton.
Bud Snell had a grocery and asked John Wheelock to help him butcher his New Zealand Beef, half of which weighed 300 pounds. A steak could be up to 18 inches long, which he sold for 10 or 12 cents a pound. The store was always full and people came from all over. They also ground up beef and mixed it with ice for the drive in concession stand. People said it served the best hamburgers ever.
The Snell and Miller families were the heart of Frederick. All those on the panel praised Bill and Dale Miller for all the many ways they helped people and supported the community. You can hear and read so much more from the DVD and the Miller’s Grove booklet.
Growing up in Tipp City, it was always a really special treat for us kids to get to go to Miller’s Grove for the day. And I understand the West Milton Band used to hold their band camp there.