FAMILIES - FILLAGER
The images and notations below were provided by Harry and Sueann Fillager.
Fillagers and Orchards
For many who lived in Darrtown and vicinity during the 20th century, the Fillager name was automatically associated with orchards. As noted in the following narratives and images, caring for and harvesting crops from fruit orchards was ingrained in the lives those who resided and worked on the Fillager farm.
This arial photo of the Fillager farm was featured in the
Oxford Press in 1958.
Oxford-Milford road runs from the bottom center to the left (north and south).
Harris Road runs from the bottom center to the right (east).
The origin of this photo is explained in the "Oxford Press Features Arial Shot of Local Farm" story below.
Oxford Press Features Aerial Shot of Local Farm
According to a handwritten note on a news clipping, the image shown above appeared in the July 24, 1958 edition of the Oxford Press. The article was titled "Whose Farm Property is This?"
During the late 1950's, the Oxford Press ran a series of arial photographs of Oxford area farms. Each issue included a different image and invited the owner of the photographed farm to claim the original photograph.
The caption of this photo read as follows: "This is a picture of a nearby farm taken from the air. The owner of this photo may have the original of this photo free by calling at the Oxford Press office, 32 W. High Street, and giving us information for a story about his family and farm house. Readers of the Press will want to test their knowledge of the local rural scene by watching for the identifying stories about the farms."
Farm seen in aerial shot (above) is identified
The following article appeared in the July 31, 1958 Oxford Press (Page Eight - Section One).
"Feature Fillager Residence In Mystery Photo Series
The widely known Fillager farm, one of the largest fruit farms in southwestern Ohio, was identified this week as the Press' Mystery Farm featured in a picture appearing on the editorial page of last week's Oxford Press.
Although not used as a fruit farm since 1953, the Fillager place was popular autumn mecca for apple and cider lovers for many years.
According to a historic sheepskin deed, signed by James Madison and still in the possession of Harry Fillager, the land was deeded to Samuel Bard on January 20, 1814,  and when first settled, included 160 acres. Since then, additional land has been taken in, including a 134 acre tract purchased last year, until the Fillager farm today covers 350 acres along the Oxford-Milford and Harris Roads, just north of Oxford at the end of Bonham Road. Mr. and Mrs. Harry F. Fillager reside in one residence, and Mr. Fillager's mother, Mrs. Fred Fillager, and a sister, Miss Elsie Fillager , a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati, reside in the other.
Previous owners included the late Clint DeWitt, from whom the Fred Fillagers purchased the farm in 1916.
Now farmed by Harry Fillager,  the principal crop is 350 acres of soybeans and about 50 acres of corn, with a few chickens on hand, too. Using all liquid fertilizers, Mr. Fillager says that the pump saves a great deal in the amount of labor needed.
Mrs. Fillager is the former Ruth Leslie,  and they have a son, Harry, who is 14 and who recently completed his studies at Stewart School and will begin at Talawanda High this fall.
The Press is happy to present the Fillagers with the original photograph from which the Press Mystery Farm cut was made and to congratulate them on their agricultural contributions of more than 40 years. Another in the Mystery Farm Series appears on Page Two, Section Two, of today's Oxford Press."
Before moving to the farm on Oxford- Milford Road in 1917, Harry Fillager's family lived on the Rt. 177 farm that is the first farm north of Nichol's Road, on the west side of the road.
 Historical perspective; the Fillager farm, on Oxford-Milford road, was deeded two months before Conrad Darr platted Darrtown.
 Elsie Fillager taught school at Somerville and Darrtown, before joining the UC faculty.
 &  Harry Fillager and Ruth (Leslie) Fillager both graduated from Darrtown High School; see images of their diplomas below.
Train with Freight Car Full of Peach Baskets Arrives at Oxford Railroad Depot
LEFT: This image shows Harry Fillager's father, also named, Harry, standing beside the truckload of peach baskets that is the focus of two (undated) Oxford Press news items.
"Shipment of Peach Baskets
A very unusual shipment of freight was received in this village yesterday - a car load of peach baskets. These are for the Fillager farm, east of town - the largest fruit farm in Butler county. This farm this season has produced a wonderful crop of white and yellow peaches, which is attracting the attention of people throughout western Ohio and eastern Indiana."
"Peach Farm Now Most Interesting
The Fillager fruit farm, three miles east of Oxford, is one of the most interesting places about here, just at this time. Harvesting of both white and yellow peaches has begun and the crop is said to be a magnificent one, the largest ever raised on the farm, although, in the past as many as 3000 bushels have been produced.
There are 65 acres in the peach orchards, with about 125 trees to the acre.
Yesterday, a full car load of bushel baskets arrived by freight and were being trucked to the fruit farm."
ABOVE: During a seven-year bus-driving career, Harry Fillager's father used this bus to transport Milford Township students. When school was not in session, Mr. Fillager removed the body of the bus and used the chassis to transport fruit around the orchard.
ABOVE: A handwritten note on the back of this photo read, "Digging basement of our home August, 1933." The crawler tractor is pulling a "slip-scoop" to excavate the dirt. Harry Fillager's grandfather, Fred J Fillager, is seen in the background, with a wagon and a team of three horses.
LEFT: This photo shows the excavation for the Fillager home. Fred J Fillager is the man seen with the team of horses. The letter "J," without a period, is not a typographical error. Harry Fillager explained that his grandfather was not given a middle name. At some point, Harry's grandmother encouraged Fred Fillager to adopt a middle initial. For reasons unknown, the letter "J" was chosen. (While relating this bit of information about his ancestor, Harry mentioned that, coincidentally, he, also, was not given a middle name.)
ABOVE: A handwritten note on the back of this photo read, "Building storage house, 1938"
ABOVE: Orchard workers at Fillager's
ABOVE: Ruth Leslie
ABOVE: Wedding photo of
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Fillager
Married: April 20, 1932
This image shows the diploma that was awarded to Harry Frank Fillager, on May 14, 1920, from the "Milford Darrtown High School."
Signatures on the diploma include:
County Superintendent: Clyde Hissong
Principal: Harry E. Zubar
Board of Education President: W. F. Weiss
Board of Education Clerk: C. L. Young
This image shows the diploma that was awarded to Ruth Leslie, on May 18, 1929, from the Milford-Township High School.
Signatures on the diploma include:
County Superintendent: Joseph W. Fichter
Principal: W. Hobart Ogden
Board of Education President: Charles H. Hansel
Board of Education Clerk: Hugo J. Kinsinger
ABOVE: Undated image of Fillager family.
ABOVE: Undated image of Tillie and Fred Fillager
Undated image of Fred Fillager holding Harry Fillagar
in his arms.
Undated image of Fred
and Elsie Fillager in
ABOVE: Fred Fillager.
ABOVE: Elsie and Fred Fillager.
ABOVE: Elsie Fillager graduates
at 90th birthday.
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