- - - MERCHANTS - - -

Duncan & Post Store
(& New England Hotel)


 "Charles Post, from Pennsylvania erected a small frame building on the northwest corner of what is now the West Side Square (Main and Gamble), and within a few months John A. Duncan built another small frame building across the street east. There he opened the New England Hotel, the appearance of which most assuredly did not tend to induce one to being a guest. Later thesae two men formed a partnership and called their establishment Duncan & Post's Store, and a crude sign nailed to the front advertised to all who looked that they did a business there."

"As a sort of proof of their prosperity the merchants laid a narrow width of planks before their store. They were perhaps the very first to display such elegance, and their strip of boards achieved the highest popularity. Not as a walk as intended, but rather as a loafing place, for the loafers took it over at once. Whenever the opportunity presented itself they made their way to Duncan & Post's, and weather permitting they sat on their haunches, with their backs to the wall, and argued politics, or anything else of a local nature that interested them at the moment; all the while dotting the ground before them with dark, round blobs of juice as they rolled their cuds of tobacco between stained teeth."
"The Duncan & Post store was a large room, unevenly divided by a rough partition running crosswise, as were all the early stores on the frontier. The large room was the store room, while the smaller one was the bar room. Were we able to go back into time all would have been surprised at the stock of goods those early stores carried. A few bolts of rough cloth were always on sale, these kept by the early merchants to entice the wife of some pioneer to part with a few of her precious coins. On sale was molasses, the kind from across the ocean, that had been wagon-hauled for hundreds of miles along with all the other goods to get them to their destination."
On the rough floor lay chains and axes, and a few heavy hammers, all scattered about in profusion. The crude shelves displayed clay pipes, cream of tartar, sugar, Rio coffe, pimentoes and not too be overlooked was the fancy Ne Plus and Meyers tobaccos, the favorite smoking and chewing tobacco of the time. Stacked high was double XX black gunpowder, and boxes of percussion caps."
"Standing alone, were bottles of Brandt's medicine, highly touted to cure the ague, swap chills, fevers, stomach pains, dysentery, and dizziness. It was the cure-all of all cure-alls. The magical liquid of Brandt's medicine was composed of about 30 per cent alcohol so it wouldn't freeze in winter. Thousands of less informed Ohioans, in a day when labeling practice did not require the listing of bottle contents, took the tonic in all good faith. But they had to be careful how big a drink they took as an eye-opener, for if they took too large a dose they got dizzy while trying to eat breakfast. While dysentery was perhaps the most prevalent complaint at the time, and that complaint might invade any part of the body, a bottle of Brandt's medicine stood ready to do battle, for what bread and meat was to the body, it was said Brandt's medicine was to the sick."
"However, quite a few strong men still drank the old Trade Whisky, the drink the hard-nosed fur traders had brought in with them when they followed in the soldier's footsteps as the country was opened. It was quite a concoction, and it was cheap to make, the recipe being:
1 qt. alcohol
1 lb. black chewing tobacco
1 qt. black molasses
Bottle of Jamaica Rum
Good handful hot peppers
Fill to measure with crick water
Those were the ingredients that went into the most potent ammunition the whites had, and at their first coming they had used it to barter the Indians out of their birthrights."
"The majority of all pioneer women abhorred hard drink, and in regards to health matters they knew from past experience that salted meats should never be fed as long as a fever lasted. To be fed instead was plenty of god fruit and vegetables; such as, onions, apples, and blueberries. Since the earliest days the use of herbs had been known and recognized for their value in treating the sick." *

* The Story of Early Shelby - Raymond Wilkinson

We would be very interested in any information concerning John A. Duncan (perhaps John A. Dungan) and / or Charles Post who were the proprietors of the Duncan and Post Store. The Oakland Cemetery book lists many Posts and Duncans, but not this Charles or John. The early census for Richland County shows a David Post living in Springfield Twp. in 1820 and 1830 and a Daniel Post living in the Shelby area by 1840. There is a Daniel Post born 1786, listed in the Oakland Cemetery book. Could he be related to Charles?? There was a John Duncan living in Worthington Twp. in the 1840 and 1840 censuses. Could this be our John Duncan?? If you have information about these two families, please contact us and we'll share your info on this page.

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