As the Hartville Elevator Company celebrates its 100th anniversary, the yellow building remains a visible landmark in the village’s downtown district. Though the business has had to change its focus through the years, current owners Ed Ringer and Craig Wellspring say its original purpose is not forgotten.
The Hartville Elevator Company has been an active feed mill since Charlie Kannel and Louis Pontius opened it in 1909. Back then, local farmers brought their corn to the shop where it was dumped into a hammer mill to make the feed. The farmers then took it home for their livestock.
For Ringer and Wellspring, the company is more than just a village icon, it is also a longtime family business. In 1950 Virgil Ringer and Hubert Brumbaugh, Ed Ringer and Wellspring’s father and father-in-law, respectively, bought the mill. Thirty years later, the sons took over the business.
The mill is still in operation, though the type of production has drastically changed within the last two decades. Farmers hardly ever bring in their own corn to be processed; now the mill makes its own Just-Right bagged feed, which is sold in the store’s front office and is shipped to locations throughout Ohio. The feed is no longer used for just livestock, either. Today the business also makes special bird feed, some of which is created by veterinarians.
To give customers an even bigger selection, Ed Ringer and Wellspring have added heating oil, coal, farming supplies and domestic animal food to their list of merchandise. Regardless of what the future holds, the history of the Hartville Elevator Company will not be forgotten.