A Brief History of Amelia Village

An Irishman, Daniel Kirgan (or Kergan), may have been the first settler, on the western edge of Amelia in 1809. The first homes within the village were log cabins built by David Jernegan and John O. Butler, from Massachusetts. They also built a sawmill in 1826 or 1826. Other mills were built in the village, causing the area to be called Milltown, a name soon slurred into Milton.

The post office established Feb. 25, 1836 was named Amelia, after Armilla "Amelia" Bowdoin, the well-known, popular operator of the Ohio Turnpike tollgate. Her home stands at 94 W Main St., across the street from where it stood when it served as the tollhouse.

Main Street is the Ohio Turnpike (SR 125), built in 1831 by E. G. Penn. His home stood along the turnpike (29 E Main St.). U.S. Congressman (1915-31) Charles Cyrus Kearns married Lena Penn, E. G.'s daughter. U.S. Speaker of the House Nicholas Longworth and his wife, Alice Roosevelt (daughter of Theodore Roosevelt) visited the Kearns at their home at 66 W. Main St.

The Cincinnati, Georgetown & Portsmouth Railroad served Amelia from 1878 to April 29, 1935, crossing Main Street just east of its station at 81 W. Main.

The Interurban Railway & Terminal Co. was in operation from 1903-18. Nicknamed "The Black Line" because of its dark green cars, it ran along the middle of Ohio Pike.

Nellie Mattox, Clermont County's last Justice of the Peace, held court in her home, the second house east of the NE corner of Main Street and Hopkins Avenue. 119 W. Main St., the Mid-Maples or Thomas-Fuller House, is said to have been a speakeasy during the days of Prohibition (1920s-30s). The Knights of Phythias building (41 W Main St.) was built in the 1850s. It has served as the village hall, Amelia High School's graduation hall and first gymnasium, a motion picture theater, a war munitions factory, and hosted Farmers' Institutes among its many activities.

Frank Hitchock had what was believed to be the United States' largest gold fish farm, the Glen Mary Fish Farm, beginning in 1913. It was on 35 acres at the end of the street named in his honor. The Pommert family owned and operated one of the largest gladiola farms in the nation on the south side of Main Street.

Aaron Cleveland operated a stagecoach line from Georgetown to Cincinnati with the offices on the SW corner of SR 125 and SR 132. A round trip took about eight hours and cost $1.25. Cleveland served in the U.S. Postmaster General's office under his cousin, President Grover Cleveland.

The first preacher was Henry Smith, a Methodist circuit rider arriving in 1799. The early churches were Methodist (1808), Church of Christ (1828) and Baptist (1868).

The first school was just north of the Methodist Church on Church Street. John McGrew taught as early as the 1820s. John Robinson donated a portion of his land in the center of Amelia to build a school in 1870. A memorial to that building (torn down in 1962) is in the yard of Amelia Elementary (5 E Main St.). The 1870 school stood on the present front parking lot. The first graduating class of five seniors was in 1893. Amelia Schools merged with Glen Este to form West Clermont Local School District in 1956, the largest district in the county. A new elementary school is presently (2009) being built directly behind the current elementary school on Main Street and the High School and Middle School were built on Clough Pike in Batavia Township in 1961.

The Amelia Village Council bought the Victorian

house, 3.9-acres, several outbuildings and overlooking

a small stream in October 2014.

New Village Municipal Building At 119 West Main Street

Capt. Thomas, owner of Thomas Art Manufacturing, built his Victorian home on a 27-acre lot at 119 West Main Street, Amelia in 1898.

The second owner (1913) was Harvey Fuller who worked in the lumber business in Amelia.

The house has a hidden closet/room, hidden shelves and cabinets which have lead to the
legend that the house was a speakeasy during the Prohibition Era of the 1920's and 1930's.