Local business focus of Milton Memories


By Susie Spitler

For the Weekly Record Herald

WEST MILTON — The Oct. 13 history recording session of Milton Memories again covered West Milton businesses.

Tom’s Pizza

Carol Haworth shared about Tom’s Pizza and Lifestyle Realty. Her mom and dad both grew up in West Milton. Her dad, Tom Manning, started Tom’s Pizza in 1973 behind the Lawson’s Store (now Dr. Ginn’s office). From there they moved to the where the NAPA store is now. There were three businesses there at the time, with the North Woods Realty on the north end. When Owl Drug’s moved into their spot 1997 they moved into the north end, their present location.

Carol’s family is keeping it going in honor of her dad. They have two girls that have worked for them for twenty years. Tom loved West Milton and had many stories to tell of the characters and history of the community. He and his brother, Calvin Manning (who owned the Dairy Queen the south end of town), ate breakfast together around 6-6:30 every morning.

Besides Tom’s, Carol is in partnership with Dottie Tyson and Donna Clark at Lifestyle Realty. They have 10 agents.

She loves the West Milton small town atmosphere.

Amber and Jody’s Hair Boutique

Jody Rolf shared about Amber and Jody’s Hair Boutique. Jody and Amber and their husbands all are Milton-Union graduates. They have been business partners for seven years.

Their present location is on the Wilson property across from Mr. Deal’s. She previously worked in Englewood for twenty years. Being located in West Milton has allowed her to be close to family, who have helped out in various ways.

Sunset Cleaners

Brenda Minnich shared about Sunset Cleaners. In 1967 the Minnich’s bought two laundromats. The first one located in Milton was at 111 N. Miami (previously the Roxy Theater). It was a self serve coin laundry. In 1972 they bought the present building and bought out Dickey’s Cleaners. That is when they started the dry cleaning business, hiring employees from Dickey’s to take care of the dry cleaning and laundromat, being open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In 1994 they purchased two establishments in Piqua, one on Downing Street and one in the Sunset Shopping Center. In 1973 Brenda worked in Milton for six months, then in Piqua for six months. She then returned to Milton for thirteen years.

When her son Jason was born, she would take him to work and for entertainment she would put him in a sorting basket and set him in front of a dryer that was in use. He now manages the Piqua business.

In 1981 they built a Sunset Cleaners on Elm St. in Troy. In 1998 Ron began the carpet cleaning business. In 1990 there was a fire in the Milton facility, amounting to over $100,000 in damages. In renovating they decided to discontinue doing the dry cleaning locally so it is now all done in Troy.

Wertz Stores

Wes Wertz shared about Wertz Stores, Inc. In 1926 his great grandfather, Herbert Wertz Sr., was a ticket agent for the traction line, across from the present store. When the traction line moved out, he started his own store selling cigars and housing a pool hall. Hence the Wertz name on the building.

Potaski started his business in the present Wertz Store. He and Wertz decided to switch stores and rent from each other for tax purposes. And that is why Wertz Variety is not in the Wertz Building.

In 1979 when Huston was ready to sell his hardware store, their common accountant arranged for Wes’s dad, Kay Wertz, to purchase the business and building.

Wes manages the hardware store and his sister, Georgia manages the Variety Store. They provide merchandise and services that are hard to find now days. They are fourth generation owners but Wes feels they may be the last. They appreciate all of their regular customers but people choosing to frequent the big box stores is taking its toll.

Netzley Roofing

Bill Netzley of Netzley Roofing graduated from Milton in 1952. He worked for a contractor in Troy for two years, learning the trade.

He started his own business here in Milton in 1954. He roofed anything under three stories, including out houses and tree houses. The first three story building they did was in Dayton and they did not have a power lift to raise the roofing. Shortly after he purchased one.

He also has purchased a number of rental properties. One is the old Miller Department Store where The Gleaning Place is now located. That has been an asset to the community as it brings people into town. While closed so he could replace the ceiling a lady from Germantown stopped by to shop there and was very disappointed to find it closed.

Misty Brown

Misty Brown has lived in West Milton for 12 years and her three teenagers have enjoyed attending Milton-Union Schools. Her field is counseling allowing her to work in the corporate world as well as youth ministry. Bill Netzley purchased the building at 11 S. Miami St. next to the Buzz Theater. This has allowed her to fulfill her dream of providing a community center where art and music can be taught. They have a renovation sale going on to dispose of items left in the building. It is now open just on weekends but when the renovations are complete it will provide a family friendly atmosphere where a variety of classes will be taught.

D.W. Kendall Insurance Agency

David Kendall of D.W. Kendall Insurance Agency has his roots in West Milton, where he played in what he called the best football seasons ever played for Milton High. He graduated in 1961, going on to play college football. 1969-1971 he worked for an All State Agency.

In 1971 he started his own agency in a friend’s garage in Huber Heights. In 1973 he moved to Needmore Road. In 1985 he purchased and merged with the Gene Kleather Agency in West Milton. In 1986 he moved his business into the present location on S. Miami St. He has since purchased agencies in Pleasant Hill and Englewood.

In 1989 he became involved with Sports World. It is a program to get pro athletes into the schools to help kids to make wise choices. They have reached over 200,000 kids. Several of his family members have become involved in the business. Dave’s real focus at this point is helping others and seeing lives changed.

NAPA Store

Todd Lewis shared about the NAPA Store. In the 50’s it was located at 47 N. Miami (now the Cozy Cottage). It then moved across the street to where the Hen’s Nest is now. Later it was moved to Emerick Rd. where the veterinary clinic is now. For a time it was in the Wertz Building downtown. Todd and his wife lived in Indiana and were looking for an auto parts store to buy. The NAPA stores in Tipp and Milton were for sale. They bought the Milton one and it was moved to the present location on S. Miami St. At one time the NAPA Store was greatly supported by the several auto agencies in town. When they moved to Milton they felt they had moved to the boonies. Turns out they have felt it a privilege to have raised their kids here and have made so many good friends. One of their well remembered employees was Mike Burke, known to all their customers before he passed away. Todd feels the future lies with two present employees, Tyler Shroyer and Ben Woolery.

Clark’s Pizzeria

Patty Angle shared about Clark’s Pizzeria. The building on S. Miami St. was built in 1979 as a dance studio, later becoming Diana’s Pizza. Gary Barga bought it in 2001 and in March of 2015 he sold it to the Angles. Clark’s in Bradford was started by Patty’s parents in 1987. She worked there in her teens. She became a nurse. As their children are now grown, Gary approached them about purchasing Diana’s. The decision was made to do so and they took over this summer. Unfortunately, her mom passed away before they were able to be open for business.

To hear many more details and memories and watch the complete session tune into the local access station, listen on You Tube, purchase a DVD or borrow one from the M-U Library. For further information call Barb at (937-698-6559).

The next session will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The topic will be The Fifties.

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