During the late 19th century, Middletown, Ohio had become a small town since its founding by Daniel Doty over 100 years prior. Tobacco and paper where “King” in those days. These industries were driven by men such as the great Paul J. Sorg. During these times, localized industries were being bought, centralized and controlled by out of town interest. Concerned locals formed the Middletown Industrial Club to bring back and strengthen industry. With no city funds used, the towns people and those of the M.I.C. scored a major victory by gaining the interest of a little-known preacher’s son, George M. Verity. Verity decided to plant the roots of his start up steel company here in Middletown. July of 1900 saw the ground breaking for one of the integrated largest mills in the country.
Over many decades, Verity’s company in Middletown would grow into one of the most innovative and community oriented steel manufactures the industry had ever known. The town’s population ballooned as many came to find work. Kentucky and Appalachian families found more than a job and a means to survive. They found a way of life . During this time, industrial leaders in Middletown fostered a divinely inspired spirit as heavy industry grinded by day after day. Regardless of the struggles encountered in paper and steel manufacturing, life in Middletown was marked by familiarity, place, and stability. This was no accident. Commitment, loyalty, and selfless service were core principles of early leaders such as Verity. Today this spirit lives in many of our towns residents. There is a longing by many in Middletown for renewal and a returning to our roots.