GEO. B. SPROWLS, BUSINESS MAN AND CONSTRUCTIVE CITIZEN, DEAD
The death of George B. Sprowls, who came from a farm in East Finley township a half century ago, established himself in the hardware trade, built up a successful business and became nationally known, occured at his home on Church Street at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, 1941. He went for an automobile ride and with a companion walked from down town to his home. During the day he suffered a heart attack, from which he quickly rallied.
In the evening he suffered another attack that closed his life span. The funeral service is to be held in the United Presbyterian Church at ten o'clock this afternoon, Friday, Feb. 28, in charge of his pastor, Rev. H.L. Henderson. Interment will be in Claysville cemetery. He had served as secretary of the Claysville Cemetery Association nearly four decades.
Mr. Sprowls was born March 5, 1862, in East Finley township, son of Simeon and Mary Montgomery Sprowls, of the fourth generation of his family in that township. He attended a local school, attended a private normal school in West Finley, and taught a term of country school, when he got a taste of salesmanship of vehicles and implements, so successfully that his future
business course was marked. Mr. Sprowls attended W.& J. College and graduated in 1884. Oct. 8, 1890, he was united in marriage with Miss Caroline Stillwagen, of West Finley township, who proved a loyal helpmeet. Their earliest home here was in part of the Elizabeth Woodburn property, thence to a home on the site of the City Garage, to the residence west of C.H. Somerlade's, to the Ralph Miller house and finally to the present property, enlarged and improved. He established himself in a store room in the D.M. Campsey office building, and as his trade developed it became necessary to store his stocks in half a dozen locations. His trade in buggies and wagons was very extensive. He covered Greene county many times as his own salesman, besides having capable men engaged upon that work. As the automobile developed he took up two types to handle, and from the beginning had clung to those makes, the average folk and the folk in better circumstances - Buick and Ford, with intermediates added. He housed his automobile business in a 100x200 foot plant providing show rooms, repair shop, storage, etc., constructed by home labor. The location formerly used as the Rogers & Snodgrass hardware store and the H.O. Campsey furniture store was used by Mr. Sprowls in the construction of a two floor and basement building, 50 foot front and 150 deep. For several years he conducted Sprowls' parties which were events of their time. In those days there was a huge trade of farm equipment and even terms of mail order houses were met and improved upon. Outlaying storage was secured in the former Oliver Martin lumber buildings, the buildings at the rear of the Greene street lots, and others. As his acquaintance grew Mr. Sprowls became a member of the Pennsylvania and Atlantic Seaboard Hardware Association, served on committees, became its executive and was a member of the executive committee. The organization is the largest of its kind in the nation.
Portrait and obituary, Claysville Recorder, February 28, 1941