- - - INDUSTRIES - - -


March 11, 1898
The Shelby Water Works Company represents an enterprise that originated
with Mr. J.C. Fish who, about three years ago, in conjunction with
Mr. M. H. Davis, began to take steps to furnish Shelby with a first-class
water works system. The company was incorporated February 10th, 1896,
under the laws of Ohio, with a capital of $80,000. The following officers
were appointed.
M.H. Davis, president; G.M. Skiles, vice-president; J.C. Fish, superintendent;
J.W. Williams, secretary and D.V. Wherry, treasurer; the other stockholders
being W.W. Skiles, B.J. Williams and W.E. Miller.
A year was spent in developing the water supply; 20 wells sunk, some to a
depth of 400 feet, without results. Finally, the Wagner Water Supply Company,
of Dayton, succeeded in getting an underground reservoir at the present location
of the plant. Here 12 wells were sunk to a depth of 67 feet, the last 30 feet of
which is a bed of coarse gravel – the best known filter for water. Supply is
apparently inexhaustible. Machinery used consists of two compound duplex
pumps, furnished by the John H. McGowan Co., of Cincinnati, of two million
gallons daily capacity each, and a battery of two boilers of 60 horse power each.
Each of these pumps has a capacity to meet the requirements of a city three
times the size of Shelby.
Direct pressure may be applied by these pumps to the mains in case of fire,
up to 150 lbs to the square inch, as was shown at the test made when the
plant was accepted by the village in 1897.
Post card ca. 1907
Shelby Water Works & Stand Pipe
The standpipe is 140 feet high by 10 feet in diameter, is always full
of water, maintaining a constant pressure on the mains of from 50 to 60 pounds
to the square inch. It was demonstrated at the test that this was sufficient to
throw six streams simultaneously a distance of 200 feet. The standpipe is of
steel, quadruple riveted at the base, weighing nearly 100 tons, with a foundation
of solid masonry 350 tons in weight. No town in Ohio Shelby’s size has such
perfect water works, which would supply a city of 50,000 people with water.
There are nearly 12 miles of mains, from 14 to four inches in size; 104 fire
hydrants, affording ample fire protection to all sections.
The contract enables the village to buy the plant outright within 20 years.
Improvements will be made in the plant as the village grows.
The company has 300 subscribers, and they will probably number 600
before the end of present year.
Analysis of the water shows it to be absolutely free of any organic matter,
thus proving it to be far superior for drinking purposes to ordinary well water.
For steam purposes it is far superior to river water, since it contains but a small
percentage of scale producing elements.
The rate as to consumers are much less than in much larger cities, so that it
is possible for them to have the purest water at a cost less than well water.
It is to be hoped that the owners of business blocks as well as citizens generally
will avail themselves of the privileges of the abundant water supply Shelby now
possesses, to the end that we may have our sidewalks and streets kept clean and
free from dust.
Cheap water, beautiful lawns and cleanly thoroughfares are possibilities
enjoyed by few cities the size of Shelby. With an installation of a complete
sewer system, the full benefit of our water works system will be more
thoroughly appreciated.

Article contributed by Ruby Bonecutter

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