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A grocery and bakery in 1900 with 2 delivery wagons

This Main Street building now houses a CPA office



The J.L. Doty Grocery and Bakery was once a thriving Bluffton business operating in the building today housing Sielschott, Walsh, Keifer, Regula & Sherer, CPAs, 113 N. Main St.


Persons in this photo from left are William Peppell, Albert Lora, George Brobeck, Charles Dillman, William Herr and Albert Steinhauer. The photo is believed to be taken in the early 1900s.


Several things worth a closer examination: • The horizontal board was used as a hitching post for horses

• With a little imagination you can view the reflection in the Doty windows to see some images of building across the street.

• We assume that William Herr is a business owner of the building next to Doty’s and that he is standing inside his business with his arms posed on his hips.


A 1904 Bluffton News issue that featured many of Bluffton’s businesses include a story of the Doty business. That story follows: J.L. Doty of Bluffton’s most progressive and hustling business men, dealer in groceries and provision.


This well-known grocery business was founded many years ago and is probably the best know grocery house in this section of the state.

J.L. Doty



During all these years there have been a number of changes in ownership. Mr. J.L. Doty, the present proprietor, in connection with Mr. Paul Mann, bought out Bixel and Welty, in the year 1892 and carried on the business together as co-partners, which co-partnership last about one year, when Mr. Doty bought out his partner’s interest and has since carried on the business on his own account very successfully ever since.


Mr. Doty has also in connection with his grocery, a bakery where pies, cakes, bread, pastry and all manner of baked goods are manufactured, having in his employ as baker, Mr. John Russell, who is a practical and experienced baker of many years’ experience.


The premises occupied for the business in in a one-story substantially built frame building 22 by 105 feet, all of which are utilized in connection with the grocery and bakery business as the rear end of the store is partitioned off and fitted up with the most approved style and fully equipped with a bakery outfit.


2 wagons with deliverymen "constantly employed"

Groceries and baked goods are delivered to all part of the village, having two wagons, two trusty deliverymen are kept constantly employed, while in the grocery department there are four clerks to attend to the wants of his numerous customers, which is confined not along to a large majority of the citizens of Bluffton, but an exceptionally good surrounding country trade is had.

Mr. Doty carries a full line of selected groceries, including canned and bottled goods, cereals, fine confectionery and fruits, which are all the best grades obtainable

Full line of coffees and teas

He also makes a specialty of Chase & Sanborn’s line of coffees and teas. He has from the medium to the highest prices, including greens, blacks and Japanese; coffees in Mochas, Javas, Rios and blended goods, the latter in fine grades.


A full line of packages and bulk tea are also handled and the house has a good trade in this line as well as all kinds of table condiments, cereals, etc., sect. A full dine of domestic and foreign fruits and nuts in season; also all kinds of farm produce, including butter, eggs, etc., paying the highest cash market prices in cash to farmers. Smokers’ supplies choice confectionery and small wares, all of which are sold at moderate prices.


Queens, china and earthenware are here in all qualities, grades and prices. In fact J.L. Doty’s store is headquarters for all lines as mentioned above, call and be convinced as to quality and prices of this popular grocery and provisions store of Bluffton.


Personally Mr. J. L. Doty is a native of Ohio, born in Morrow County in 1848. His first business venture was in 1867, when, with is brother, he started up the business and was home with his father in Rockport, Ohio, for one year, and for six months he worked in Beaver Dam.


In 1873 he came to Bluffton, which will be 31 years ago on Aug. 18. He worked for a number of years in the dry goods and grocery business before going into business for himself as above stated in 1892.


He is the father of three children, two sons and a daughter. The eldest is a graduate of Bluffton high school. He is a fine penman and was for eight years a professor in different colleges throughout New York and Pennsylvania. He is now private secretary in the Fourth National Bank, New York City.


His daughter is at present a student in the public school here, while the youngest son is in the grocery with his father. Mr. Doty is at present one of the school board and was formerly clerk of the corporation. He is a member of the Masonic order, IOOF, and Royal Arcanum lodges in Bluffton.


William Peppell, Albert Lora, George Brobeck, Charles Dillman, William Herr and Albert Steinhauer.

113 N. Main St., today











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