February 8, 2007


And the man behind the brand is...
D.E. Mead

Like many young men of his time D.E. Mead grew up hungering for the west. He left Cooperstown, New York at the age of 21, riding toward the sun. Mead discovered a tiny, growing town called Dayton in Ohio and stayed on as a bookkeeper in a hardware store. By 1846 Mead was a partner in the venture.

Shortly thereafter the Dayton Hydraulic Company tapped the power of the Miami River bringing industry to Dayton. Mead invested promptly in the company and became a financial partner in Ellis, Chaflin & Company, a paper-making concern.

Over the years Mead made his name the most prominent in Dayton. When he died in 1891 he was president of a bank, an insurance company and the power company that had started Dayton’s wheels turning. But most of his later years were spent nursing along the paper business, known as the Mead Paper Company since 1881.

Each sheet of paper was a point of personal pride with Mead, generating steady profits. The year before he died he was able to buy another paper mill. But like many businesses the following generation was not a passionate as the founders. Mead’s son let the mills run down; by 1904 they were in the hands of bankers. Fortunately for the Mead Paper Company George Mead, the founder’s grandson, and reshaped the business into a powerful going concern.

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