Tower Hill Photo Album

Selby's General Store

The exterior of Selby's General Store about 1912-1915 before the gas pumps were installed. The horse and wagon are the store's delivery wagon. Right to left are: Bart Nichols, John Selby, Elizabeth Guinnee Selby. Horse was named "Pet".

The store carried a variety of food—canned food, meats, milk, fresh fruit such as bananas and oranges. The store was equipped with the items to keep the food from spoilage—note the ice cabinets on the rear wall. In the summer, huge blocks of ice were delivered weekly by a truck from Pana. It is a little difficult to see, but there is a large bunch of bananas hanging on the right side of the ice cabinets. The fresh fruit such as the bananas,oranges, grapefruit, apples, etc. were obtained from the Campbell HoltonProduce Company in Decatur. As a young boy, I often went with my grandfather or one of his drivers on trips to this company in Decatur—and I still have the memory of the sweet smell of bananas stored in a cool room of the produce warehouse. The store also sold fresh oysters whenever they could be obtained. And, of course the store had the traditional candy counter and also sold Coca Cola in those small bottles kept cold in a cooler holding water and ice.

The items sold in the store included such a variety to supply the needs of persons living in Tower Hill and the nearby farming community. These items included school supplies, sewing material including bolts of cloth, (much of the clothing was home-made in those days) but the store did carry a variety of men’s overalls, farm utensils such as milk buckets and 3 legged milk stools, metal bathtubs, wash tubs, wash pans, dippers, pots and pans, dishware, silverware, hardware items such as hammers and nails and screws, miner’s tools such as pick axes, shovels, coalbuckets and graphite miner’s head lights, toys and quite a variety of dolls as shown in the photo. They also carried a small selection of those early electric toasters which toasted on only one sideof the bread—requiring one to rotate the toast.

They sold both kerosine and gasoline—had a gasoline pump out in front of the store where gasoline was pumped by hand into a glass container at the top of the pump. The glass container had only a capacity of 10 gallons with the numbers of gallons printed on the side of the container—there was only one type of gas sold. There were 2 reasons why the gas was pumped into the container at the top of the pump—first was to see the amount of gas put into a car's tank; and the other reason was because there was no electric motor to pump the gas, so the gas flowed by gravity from the tank above downward through the hose. The date of the photo is probably circa 1922/23. I can identify 5 of the persons in the photo. John Selby, my grandfather, is standing behind the cash register and in front of the telephone on the wall. Elizabeth Guinnee Selby, my grandmother is the lady behind the candy cases on the right side of photo. My aunt, Audrey Selby Whitney, is the young girl holding a doll and sitting on the right side of the bench. My mother, Leah Selby Crum, is wearing a hat and coat on the far left standing behind the counter. My father, Ernest Crum, is sitting at the far end of that same counter, wearing a cap--and is partially hidden behind a box sitting on top of the counter. I do not know he identity of the other persons.

Heating large rooms was difficult in those days before insulation--almost everyone is wearing a coat or jacket; and there are two stoves indicated by the stove pipes.

As an item of interest, I once asked my father why there were so many small towns, many of which were only 5/10 miles apart. He said that the towns were placed that close to provide service to the farmers. With that distance from town, a farmer could usually drive his horse and buggy to town—get supplies, and be back on the farm within 3 or 4 hours. Of course, the change in the mode of the farmer's transportation to the automobile, has also resulted in the decline of most of the small towns.

Photos and information contributed by Bob Crum

Tower Hill Band

Third from right, back row is Trevor Longwell.

Contributed by Sue Tolbert and Judy Conrad

Strange's Saxo Band

Third from left, back row is Trevor Longwell

Contributed by Sue Tolbert and Judy Conrad

Ladies of Tower Hill c. 1889

Ida Conrad Longwell is second from left, back row

Contributed by Sue Tolbert and Judy Conrad

Charles A. Conrad Store

Plummer Longwell is back row right under the "C" on the window

Contributed by Sue Tolbert and Judy Conrad

Red Brick Mill 1887

The Old Red Brick Mill, built after Red Frame Mill burned in 1883. Those in the picture are Warren Weeks, Fred Stumpf, Chase Weeks, Boyd Weeks, Homer Runkel, Charles Sibbett, Cliff Stumpf, Cully Guinnee, Jane Runkel, ?, ?, Taylor Goden, ?, ?, on S &L walk, Homer Eiler, Ida Conrad, Margaret McIlwain, Lou Andes, Farmer on platform and family in Spring wagon unknown.

Contributed by Sue Tolbert and Judy Conrad

Shelby County Courthouse

Contributed by Sue Tolbert and Judy Conrad

War Bond Drive 1917

1917 War Bond Drive 1917 Downtown Tower Hill. The purpose was to raise money for World War 1. The auto on the far right is John Selby's car and my grandmother, Elizabeth Guinee Selby is sitting in the front seat. Just ahead of that car are two men wearing hats and holding an umbrella. John Selby is the man holding his daughter Audrey Selby. The other man with the hat and holding the umbrella is John Selby's brother, Walter Selby who owned a mortuary in Livingston, Montana. My mother, Leah Selby Crum is the young lady whose head appears at the lower end of the flag rope.

Contributed by Bob Crum

Main Depot

The main depot looking towards the West from Main Street. Also shows the top of the grain elevator. I note on the photo that the name often given to the railroad was "The Big Four". I don't know why it was called that. The B &O (Baltimore and Ohio) Railroad ran parallel to these tracks, one block south.

Contributed by Bob Crum

Baltimore and Ohio Depot

Contributed by Bob Crum

Leighty's Store

Contributed by Sue Tolbert and Judy Conrad

Mixed Chorus 1933-34

Mixed Chorus Group--Tower Hill Grade School. The year is 1933 or 1934. I am the boy in the front row, right side. There are other names listed on the back of the photo but I could not identify them. The names are Mary Dell Simpson, Dorthea Twiss and Betty Curlin, Bob Lee.

Contributed by Bob Crum

Daniel Crawford Ward
Born: 18 Nov 1846
Died: 23 Jun 1931
Buried in Tower Hill Cemetery

Contributed by Don Markwell

Templates in Time