It wasn't until General Anthony Wayne's rout of the red men that any semblance of a 'healthy' environments was brought about. From 1803 to 1806, the settler-farmers suffered from pinches of poverty and other conditions combined to discourage and avert good crops. The Indians even now were a problem, constantly begging for 'ochpon' (bread), 'monako' (milk), and 'quis-quish' (meat). The Shawnee tribe also liked the whiteman's 'fire water,' but it was refused to them, so as to avoid trouble.
In 1802, Conrad Darr, an early Butler County settler, purchased half of section 28 from the Symmes interests for .25 an acre and in 1818, he laid out that village that now bears his name, Darrtown in Milford Township.
Abram F. Darr was the first to settle here and kept a provisions store-inn for several years. 'Drovers' walking sheep, cattle, and hogs to Cincinnati markets would put up here for the night and rest. Mr. Darr opened Darrtown's first tavern in 1817 on Lot number 52, calling it the 'Hitching Post,' because of the large, crude, tying rail, in front of the tavern-inn, an important stop on the Hamilton-Fairhaven Stage Coach Line.
Here (in the Hitching Post) one could get a free drink, or a gallon of whisky for 50 cents in the customer's own jug, or 75 cents, if the tavern furnished the jug (as you can see, this was before the alcoholic industry became one of the principal supports of our government).
Distilling became an important industry in the vicinity. If it was a good corn year, whisky derived therefrom became legal tender in the area and a most popular medium of exchange.
Abram Darr opened his own distillery in 1832. Mitchell Marshall conducted a 15-barrel establishment from 1845 to 1852. James Bradberry owned a log still house as early as 1817, which, in later years, was replaced by a native stone building.
Members of the most respected families in the community were tavern keepers; Aaron Chamberlain, Stephan Kendall, and William Kirkpatrick kept taverns here in later years. All notices of town meetings, elections, newly passed laws and ordinances were posted in and outside the taverns to inform the citizenry, much as is done by the newspapers of today. Bills of Sale, notices of auctions, records of transfers were also posted. Everyone would flock to the tavern-inns, if they wished to know what was going on. There, too, one learned all the gossip or scandal that was bandied about the locality. These gathering places were truly the 'hub of community life.'
Perhaps your great grandfather - and maybe even your great-great grandfather hitched his horse to the rail outside the Hitching Post, Butler County's friendly tavern, the building that is almost a century and a half old (when this article was published in the 1950's).
Although tracing the various people who later claimed ownership of this spa is not quite clear, we find that Mr. Darr sold on Feb. 25, 1851, to Kiger and Kiger, they to John McMechan during the Civil War. On April 17, 1869, Charles Otto became the owner and on Jan. 15, 1872, Jacob Hinkle. Hannah Zimmerman purchased it on Sept. 22, 1877, selling to the Schuck family  in 1899, who held it until Feb 2, twenty-five years into the Twentieth Century, at which point, Oscar L. Irwin consummated purchase of the building. Mr. Irwin sold Jan. 20 to Pauline Wiley  and she to Earl F. Huber, the present genial host of the Hitching Post on August 6, 1949.
Earl F. Huber is perhaps one of the nicest men your writer has ever been privileged to know, interview, and talk with. A rugged individualist, a combination of the type of individual embodied in stories by Damon Runyon, Zane Grey, and some of Will Rogers and Irvin S. Cobb tossed in also."
Businesses | | | | |
Businesses | | | | |
Click the following links to access information about:
. Reeb's store; Bufler's grocery, Stevens' grocery, Francis' filling station, Wyckoff's grocery; Dees grocery and filling station; Glardon's grocery; and Don's Carry-Out and Eric's Pizza.
BUSINESSES 2. The Hitching Post
Shuck's General Store, Dick Martin's Pallet Cleaning Co.; and a 1992 newspaper article about Darrtown businesses.
The Darrtown Telephone Company; Bufler's Jewelry; Teckman's Trucking; Cartwright-Uhl Trucking; the Fisherman's Press, and the Dit-Dot Painting Company.
. The Milford House and the Darr Gas and Oil Company
1817- Abram F. Darr opened the Hitching Post, Darrtown's first tavern.
1817 to 1949 - There were at least eight owners; see "Chronology of Hitching Post Owners" below.
1949 through the mid-1970's; Earl "Red" Huber was the Hitching Post owner/operator.
Between the late 1970's and the first decade of the 21st century, about a half-dozen others ran the Hitching Post.
2008 - Sean Hurley reopened the tavern after it had been closed briefly.
2014 - Pat and Tasha Cain became the owners/operators of the Hitching Post.
HISTORY OF THE HITCHING POST - as told by the Buckeye Tavern magazine
RIGHT: This image shows the Hitching Post article that appeared in Issue No. 6 of the Buckeye Tavern magazine, which ran a series on "Ohio's Oldest Taverns."
Cynthia Mee contributed the article, which is reproduced below.
"The tide of empire followed steadily westward, beginning shortly after the Revolutionary War. The intrepid colonists blazed trails through the wilderness, which gave way to roads, crude, but passable, over which creaked and bounced the brave, ambitious people who were to settle Butler County, Ohio.
Ft. Washington became the City of Cincinnati and in the 1790's, the settlers had a small city in Hamilton (Ohio). Farms were spread about the county and the farmers cleared the land and tilled the soil, when they were not fighting the Indians.
The Earl "Red" Huber Era of the Hitching Post History
Any history of the Hitching Post in Darrtown, Ohio, would be incomplete without acknowledgment of Earl "Red" Huber, who owned and operated the village tavern, during the 1950's, 60's, and 70's.
Among his many fine qualities, Earl Huber was especially known for his generosity and friendliness. Earl Huber's generosity is best demonstrated by his hosting of annual Hitching Post Christmas parties for area children.
Earl Huber's friendliness came naturally to him and he displayed a knack for making friends.
One of Earl Huber's best friends was Walter "Smokey" Alston. As evidence of their friendship, "Smokey" frequently participated in the Christmas parties that "Red" hosted for area children.
The friendship between "Red" Huber and "Smokey" Alston probably was the reason that "Red" distributed copies of a song (show at the right) that celebrated the success of Walter Alston as manager of the 1955 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers.
In late May, 2012, Carolyn Russell contributed a copy of the song that Red promoted in Smokey's honor.
The name of the song writer is not known.
The refrain of the song suggests that the song was to be sung to the tune of "Davey Crockett."
More info about Earl Huber is available on Mr. Huber's biography page.
1950 Hitching Post Menu Discovered
During the 2008 renovation of the Hitching Post, a menu was discovered that includes the phrase, "at this half-point of our century." Thus, we infer that the menu was used in the 1950's and is now over a half-century old.
The menu is reproduced below in four images. The price of sandwiches ranged from a 25-cent grilled cheese to a 40-cent grilled steak. A choice steak, with french-fried potatoes, bread and butter, was priced at .50. Alcoholic drinks ran from about .45 to .60 cents each.
The final paragraph on the back page of the menu displays this message: "Your grandfather - and maybe even your great-grandfather hitched his horse outside Butler County's Friendly Tavern. The building housing the Hitching Post is 127 years old. It has been operated for over 100 years as an inn or tavern."
Using the dates contained in this menu, it seems likely that it was printed around 1956. The menu mentions that the tavern is 127 years old and the cover (erroneosly) cites 1829 as a starting point. 1829 plus 127 equals the year 1956.
The 1950 Hitching Post menu offers this concluding thought: "Today, we like to feel that we are the same genial hosts that tended to the needs of our forefathers. We are proud of our friends and neighbors and salute them at this /half-point of our century."
Token triggers talk about how George Lentz was connected to Hitching Post history
In early April 2009, a man from Tennessee sent an email to the Darrtown webmaster that included the two images at the right. The Tennessee man had seen the these two images on the E-Bay website and, in his email, he inquired about the nature of the business that George Lentz may have operated in Darrtown.
That email inquiry led to the discovery that George Lentz was associated with the Hitching Post, before the Earl Huber era. However, as noted in the "History of the Hitching Post" (above), George Lentz is NOT listed as an owner of the Hitching Post.
Three developments have since clarified how George Lentz was connected to the Hitching Post:
1. A few of the older individuals, who attended the April 18, 2009 Darrtown "Gathering" and possessed personal memories of the Hitching Post in the 1940's, recalled that George Lentz worked in the Hitching Post.
2. Another confirmation of the Lentz - Hitching Post connections was offered by Andy Popst in his June 16 2009 E-mail (see Andy's comments below, left).
3. On November 10, 2011, Ron Wiley, grandson of Hitching Post proprietors, William and Pearl Wiley, sent an email to the Darrtown.com webmaster to clarify that the Wiley's employed George Lentz in the Hitching Post (see Ron's comments below, right).
Andy Popst shares memories of George Lentz, Red Huber, and the Hitching Post
Ron Wiley shares information about the ownership of the Hitching Post from 1932-1949
"I remember my dad talking about Geo Lentz running the Hitching Post prior to Red Huber. Dad was there when the present bar was ordered from a wood smith from Cincinnati and there was quite the argument over the price and square or round corners.
Dad said George won out in the end and got the round corners for the same price. I don't know the exact years he operated, but I hope this helps out.
The Hitching post had gas lamps before electric was installed and in the 60's they still worked. Power was out and Red turned them on!
Red also removed a chimney that divided the two rooms and installed the large I-Beam, over the bar. It was installed to remove a support post that was behind one of the bar stools. If a patron had a few too many, he might turn on the stool and hit the post head-on.
Red also installed the inside bathrooms in their present location. Before that, it was a long walk out back."
"I can add some clarification on ownership of the H-P: Abram Darr ran the building as a provision store/inn for drovers walking sheep, cattle, and hogs to Cincinnati markets to put up for the night. Darr opened the first tavern in town in 1817, calling it the 'Hitching Post,'
because of a crude tying-rail in front. This was a stop in the Hamilton-Fairhaven Stage Coach line.
George Lentz is sometimes shown as owning the H-P. He never owned it; but, worked for my grandparents, William 'Bill' Wiley and Pauline 'Pearl' Wiley, who owned it from 1932 to 1949.
Andy Popst is correct, as stated on the website [left], that Lentz 'operated' the H-P, for my grandparents in the mid-40's. During the time that my grandparents owned and operated the H-P, John Dillinger frequently came in to buy bread, meats, cheeses, as it was sort of a deli during prohibition. Can't speak for what went out the back door, however."
Andy Popst provided the following recollections in a June 16, 2009 email message:
Ron Wiley, grandson of William and Pauline Wiley, Hitching Post proprietors, offered the following information, in a November 10, 2011 email message.
1977 Hitching Post Sign Welcomed Visitors to Darrtown
The image at the right shows the "welcome" sign that was located in the northeast corner of the Main Street and Schollenbarger Road intersection, during the late 1970's.
The view is looking from south to north and the HItching Post is visible as the red structure on the left (west) side of Main Street.
The photo was contributed by Terri (Baumann) Klippenstein in March of 2012
Connection Between Miami University and Earl "Red" Huber's HItching Post
Many Hitching Post patrons, who lived in and around Darrtown during the middle of the 20th century, recall that "Red" Huber's establishment was frequented by "regulars" from Oxford, Ohio, the home of Miami University. Faculty, staff, and students routinely mingled among the locals to imbibe and interact within Red Huber's friendly tavern.
At the time, it seemed logical to assume that those who traveled five miles, from the university town of Oxford to the unincorporated village of Darrtown, did so in pursuit of stronger alcohol. Indeed, Oxford was, at that time, known for its voter-imposed regulation that limited beer to 3.2% alcoholic content. However, it was more than stronger alcohol that kept pulling Oxford people back to "Red's place," as noted in the narrative below, which is collection of quotes from the Epsilon NU Chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity website.
The camaraderie, fellowship, and all-around good times that existed in the Hitching Post, during Red Huber's reign as proprietor, were appreciated then and remembered now.
Miami University's Sigma Nu Fraternity Remembers the Hitching Post and Earl "Red" Huber
"Earl 'Red' Huber (left; notice the EN paddle, far right) serves up a shot to Brother Wash at Turkey Bowl 1978
Earl 'Red' Huber was the owner of The Hitching Post from 1949 until his death in 1982. The Tavern had been in uninterrupted operation from 1829 until Red took ill in 1980. Red was a unique and colorful individual. A lifelong bachelor, he took up residence above the tavern. His mint condition, 1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk could be seen parked in his garage.
Red’s best friend was Darrtown native, Walter 'Smokey' Alston, a Miami graduate and Hall of Fame manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1954 - 1976.
He was loyal supporter of Sigma Nu and helped to relieve the friction between the fraternity and the local Darrtown residents when both were in his establishment. Red was in his mid-70’s when we were frequenting his Hitching Post. Although he may have helped to tend bar on occasion, he usually had a bartender serving beers. Normally, Red would be found standing at the south end of his bar, sipping whiskey from a shot glass.
It was Epsilon Nu etiquette to say 'Hello' to Red when we entered The Post. We would walk up, shake hands or say 'Hello, Red. How are you?' The common response was 'Good, Good, Better, Better.' A man of few words, if you bought Red a shot, he might engage you in some terrific conversation.
Red was held in high regard by the Chapter and he returned the respect. It was common practice for Sigma Nus to clear the place of all empty bottles and glassware and wipe down the tables after an evening of beers and bowling.
The Post might have had 12-15 tables, and 10 stools at the bar. Although old, the tavern was in impeccable condition, and immaculately kept. Compared to the uptown Oxford bars, The Post was five-star. The bar top and the tables were lacquered with what seem to be ½” of polyurethane. The back bar displayed about 40 highly valued collector decanters obtained from Jim Beam and other whiskey purveyors. On the bar was a jar of hard-boiled eggs one could purchase for 25 cents. The eggs were consumed with the aid of Worcestershire sauce and salt. The floor, always spotless, was wood and sported a bullet hole rumored to have been the result of Red’s attempt to quell an unruly crowd. The walls contained historical Darrtown photos, and a variety of baseball memorabilia from Red’s best friend and Darrtown’s favorite son, Walter Alston, Hall of Fame Manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. One would also find several Sigma Nu composites and paddles that Red proudly displayed on his walls in gratitude for our patronage.
There was a juke box that featured an eclectic mix of pop, country, Sinatra and The Mills Brothers. 'Glow Worm' was a popular Mills Brothers selection, while Linda Ronstadt’s version of 'Livin’ in the U.S.A.' was on the regular playlist. The juke always played the traditional song below at closing time:
'Show Me the Way to Go Home”
I’m tired and I want to go to bed,
Oh I had a little drink about an hour ago,
And it went straight to my head….'
The main attraction to The Post was its 'Big Ball Bowling Machine'; an arcade game. [See image below] Originally, we thought the machine was a relic of the 1950’s, but further research tells us the machine was a 1971 Chicago Coin 'Monte Carlo'. Bowling was a Thursday night ritual for us (Fridays and Saturdays, too, if we didn’t have other social functions) often drawing the entire house out for the evening. It was not uncommon for sorority girls and other fraternity guys to show up at The Post, but bowling was strictly reserved for Sigma Nus.
The Post remained a regular spot for us until about 1980 when Red took ill and the Post was shut down. It eventually reopened in 1982, three days after Red’s passing. There have been several ownership changes and closings since that time, and every now and then a Sigma Nu alum has thoughts of buying the place. It is currently open, but we don’t know if The Machine still resides against the north wall."
Chronology of Hitching Post Ownership
The following chronology of Hitching Post ownership was compiled from the article that appeared in the November 1957 issue of the the “Buckeye Tavern” (see the magazine article below). The Buckeye Tavern was a newsletter disseminated by persons associated with the tavern business in Ohio.
1817 - Mr. Abram F. Darr opened the Hitching Post.
1851 (February 25th) - Mr. Darr sold Kiger and Kiger.
circa 1861-1865 - Kigers sold to John McMechan during the Civil War.
1869 (April 17) - Charles Otto became the owner on April 17, 1869.
1872 (January 15) - Jacob Hinkle purchased the property.
1877 (September 22) - Hannah Zimmerman assumed ownership.
1899 - The Schuck family bought the establishment.
1925 - Oscar L. Irwin bought the Hitching Post from the Schucks.
1932 (January 20) - Pauline Wiley bought the property from Mr. Irwin.
1949 (August 6) Earl F. Huber bought the property from Mrs. Wiley.
Chronology of Hitching Post Ownership - expanded
Thanks to the research of Marvin Russell, we now have the record of Hitching Post ownership that appears below, The link between Earl Huber and George Brockman is not documented; however, it appears that George bought the property sometime after Mr. Huber's death.
circa early 1980's - George Brockman purchased the property, following the passing of Earl "Red" Huber
1997 (January 10) Martha Bowling bought the tavern from George Brockman.
2000 (May 30) Lawrence W. Plants purchased the Hitching Post from Martha Bowling.
2000 (June 20) Martha Bowling assumed ownership from Lawrence Plants.
2001 (March 8) Nancy Pitman and Glenda Hall purchased the tavern from Martha Bowling.
2012 (March 16) Sean Hurley bought the Hitching Post from Nancy Pitman and Glenda Hall.
2014 (In the fall) Pat and Tasha Cain bought the Hitching Post from Sean Hurley
From the pages of the Epsilon Nu website
The image at the right depicts the "Big Ball Bowling Machine" that is described in the Sigma Nu article above.
After major renovations, owner, Sean Hurley re-opened the Hitching Post on Wednesday, April 23, 2008. One of the oldest taverns in Ohio, the Hitching Post saloon is the oldest business in Darrtown.
2008 - The Hitching Post reopens!
Hitching Post owner, Sean Hurley appears in the image at the right during the 2008 Grand Re-Opening Week.
[This photo, taken April 25, 2008 was contributed by Ron Wiley. The view is north to south, down Main Street.]
The white, two-story, house that appears in the background of the above photo was the Kirkpatrick home and tavern that is referenced on several occasions throughout Darrtown history.
• See the reference to the
• Also see the
Among the patrons at the April 25, 2008 re-opening of the Hitching Post:
Clockwise from the left:
Ron Wiley, Betty Daniels, Jack Daniels, Fred Lindley, Deborah Lindley, Patti Quinn, Kevin Quinn, and Kathy Wiley
Five "Gatherings" were conducted at the HItching Post between its April 2008 reopening and the Darrtown Bicengtennial in 2014.
Images of those five gatherings are available at
2014 - The Hitching Post is under new management
In the fall of 2014, Pat and Tasha Cain assumed ownership and operation of the Hitching Post.
The image at the right shows Tasha and Pat standing in the doorway of the storied tavern on the day of the grand re-opening - Saturday, October 25, 2014.
Images from the 2014 Re-Opening of the Hitching Post