The Borough Centennial Booklet was filled with ads from local and area businesses, some of which are long gone.  Three businesses had two-page spreads, one page for the ad and one for the history. 

The oldest of these was the Herbol, McMaster & MacEwen Insurance Agency.  It began its long history in 1870 with the name Aetna Insurance Company out of Hartford, Connecticut.  John M. Daggett was the first local agent.  Wallace B. Hicks became a partner in 1928 and the following year Hicks became the sole owner of the Daggett Agency.  Not long afterward he changed the name to the W. B. Hicks Agency.  In 1933 former high school principal and native of Fairview, Henry Herbol, purchased the business. 

Another agent, Fred H. Kibler, assisted, but left in the early 1950s to form his own company in Girard. Henry’s son Wesley (Wes) became a partner in 1955, although he was still on active duty with the U.S. Navy. When Henry died in 1958 Wes retired from active duty and took over the business.  Between 1961 and 1968 he added two partners:  Abner B. McMaster, who had purchased the Kibler Agency in Girard and Evan J. MacEwen, a Girard resident.  A few years before the Borough’s Centennial, the agency was incorporated as the Herbol, McMaster & MacEwen Insurance Agency.

The Fairview Evergreen Nurseries (FEN) also shared its history in the community.  For health reasons Frank Hetz of Erie needed a change of careers and in 1912 founded the business when he bought land in Fairview Township and planted evergreens.  With the expectation that it would take eight years for the trees to grow large enough to sell as Christmas trees, in the meanwhile he grew and sold garden vegetables, berries, made syrup and operated a small poultry and dairy business.  His various markets did well and in 1918 he bought more land in the township. 

Ten years later he formed a partnership with his three sons.  By 1961 the business was incorporated and selling wholesale greens only.  The Centennial Booklet noted that the company owned and/or leased 1,200 acres of land at that time.  Also by then some of the varieties were (and are) known and sold world-wide, earning a fine reputation for the Fairview Evergreen Nurseries.  

The newest of the three businesses to show two pages in the booklet was the Security Peoples Trust Company.  With a stretch, its history is traced back to the Battles Bank in Girard.  That bank outlived the Battles, Websters and the Kiblers who had owned and managed the bank from its beginning in the late 1850s. In 1946 the Battles Bank merged with the National Bank of Girard to become the Battles National Bank.  Several years later a branch opened in Fairview in a building across the street from the 1968 location. 

In 1965, after the merger with Security Peoples Bank, the name changed and the new building was erected.  (Since that time the building has seen many changes and mergers until the most recent merger when it became the PNC Bank and has since closed its doors.)

The booklet displays many full-page ads, as well as half- and quarter-page ads.  Some are still operating and some are from businesses that no longer exist. (Good examples are Norma Jean’s, Wohlgemuth’s Florist, Fairview Prescription Pharmacy, the Aqua Inn, Weislogel’s, Fairview Chrysler Plymouth and many more.) 

Even the ads reveal a great deal of history!

One thought on “Three Businesses in the Centennial Booklet”

  1. I remember those places well. Don’t forget the “Red and White Store, and Johnny Peepers Barber Shop.

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