|126 North 15th Street
Sebring, Ohio 44672
|George (1834-1915) and Elizabeth were married October 2, 1856 at Smith's
Ferry, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. George's ancestor, Jan Raelofse Sebring,
came to the Americas from the Netherlands' Province of Drenthe around the year
1652 aboard the ship 'De Bonte Koe' (The Spotted Cow). His exploratory and
trading voyage took him to New Amsterdam, which is the present day New
York. For several decades, the Sebring's' pioneered the new areas on Long
Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Father of the Sebring Family,
George relocated his family from the Netherlands to Pennsylvania. They then
settled in East Liverpool where in 1885 they ran a grocery store. He soon
became a salesman for 'yellow ware' and on that slender thread of destiny,
Sebring was to become an important pottery city.
George and Elizabeth were parents to 10 children. By the time of their 50th
anniversary, their home was crowded with 35 grandchildren and five
great-grandchildren. The boys had acquired a taste of dinnerware manufacturing
by purchasing a small one-kiln plant. In 1887, in East Liverpool, Ohio, he and his
sons opened a pottery with George Ashbaugh, Samson Turnbull, with Frank A.
being the leader of the brothers. They took over the Agner Fautts (or Gaston)
Pottery for $12,500 in 1887 and changed its name to Sebring Brothers Pottery
Company. The Sebring's bought the shares of their partners soon after for
$11,000. By the 1897 they owned 3 East Liverpool potteries. Later they went
into business on a larger scale in East Palestine, Ohio.In 1898, the brothers
purchased the Klondike pottery, a five kiln plant in East Liverpool. About this
time, the East Palestine pottery, a similar enterprise, failed and the management
of that plant was offered to George E. Sebring if he would pay the interest on the
money invested. The surplus, if there was any, was to be his own. He managed
the plant so well that he placed it on a paying basis that was very profitable. In
1901 they helped form the Owen China Company in Minerva and Bradshaw
Pottery in Niles, Ohio. They then sold this property to move. While working
together on the bench and kilns, one of the boys had a dream...Why not found a
pottery city that would one day stand as a monument to their enterprise? Their
mother said, 'why not?' Father responded, 'this is America. Why not?' And so
the delegation made frequent excursions to Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania in
search of the most desirable site upon which to plant their ambitions.
In April, 1898, the family selected 200 acres near the Mahoning River which had
a Railroad running through it. This property was formerly owned by George S.
and Sarah J. Atkinson, 31 and 57/100 acres for $600, Lizzie C. and Stephen B.
Gray, 70 and 23/100 acres for $3,200. The real estate agents made it known that
the family was going to have a huge stock farm with pure blood strains. Articles
of Incorporation were filed in 1899. One of the most important caveats was a
ban on liquor. The brothers had a dim view of conditions in East Liverpool in
the late 1890's and sought to go where they might find more level ground for
expansion and conditions more likely to provide sober workmen. Atty. Kennedy,
an ex-congressman was commissioned to draw up a form of deed thereby the
town would be 'dry'. All deeds issued by the Sebring Land Company had the
same statement. This was undone when FDR passed a 3.5 beer, and the
government refused to sign a deed with restrictions for the new post office. No
one remade the effort to change it back.
The first Sebring home was the former farm home of the Grays.
Sebring grew, and was once known as the Pottery Center of the World. George
briefly operated a grocery store on Ohio Avenue. On their 50th wedding
anniversary in 1906, they celebrated with 35 grandchildren and 5
great-grandchildren. Elizabeth lived from 1836-1910. When the 'Mother of
Sebring' died, the bell on the village hall tolled 74 times. George died five years
later at the home of Emma Albright, at the age of 81. They are buried in
Grandview cemetery, south of Sebring.
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