By RAY LEISY
President of Wayne County Historical Society, project manager at Sonnenberg Village
During the Civil War small coinage was in short supply, so some merchants in Wayne County had small metal tokens made to circulate as change. It was illegal to do so, but the government did not raise the issue since the practice actually helped the government by supporting commerce. One enterprising merchant in Dalton issued paper tickets for redemption.
After the war ended, the government notified that such practices would no longer be tolerated. However, many merchants throughout Wayne County, and the rest of the nation, discovered that tokens seemed to increase their business as they had to be redeemed only at the establishment that issued them.
To avoid trouble with the government when local merchants revived the practice of tokens in the 1880’s the tokens were called “good for’s”. The tokens were not issued to replace change or circulate as change but were usually styled as “Good For 5 cents off at the bar for your next drink or your next purchase”. This would be the forerunner of our paper coupons we use now.
Metal tokens were generally discontinued in the 1950’s as being too expensive. The tokens are widely sought but are inexpensive. Many have either been lost or destroyed over the years as being worthless. Dalton collectors are aware and have found tokens from seven different merchants. They suspect that there are more to be discovered, or more likely lost to time. At a local sale, a new Dalton token has been discovered issued by Albert and Daniel Tieche. This is their story.
In the 1850’s Julius Tieche Sr. arrived in Mt. Eaton from Tavannes, Switzerland. He had left his home in the French speaking part of the Jura Mountains to find a new life. He soon settled in with whom we believe is his cousin Augustus Tieche in Mt. Eaton. In 1866 he married Rosina Schurch, also from Tavaness, and moved to near Dalton where he took up farming.
The following children soon arrived: Paul Tieche, Alcide Tieche, Martha Tieche, Jules Tieche, Julius Tieche, Albert Tieche, Daniel Tieche and Caesar Augustus Tieche. It is hard to keep track of the names within the two families because they honored each other by using the same names often within each family.
Albert Tieche was born in 1884 and his brother Daniel was born in 1886, so they were close in age. They both moved to Dalton in 1907 and opened the Tieche’s pool room having bought the W.S. Jolliff pool room and seemed to flourish in the business until February 8, 1909 when the local paper reported on February 9 th : “What’s this? Burglars at Tieche’s pool room? The burglars broke in on Thursday night and robbed the penny machine of about $13.00 in pennies and about fifty cigars are missing.”
It was the same year, 1909, that the Dalton Newspaper reported another burglary of the Tieche Poolroom. This time, late on a Saturday night, burglars got away with $20 in small change, cigars, tobacco and the contents of the gum ball machine. It was not reported if the burglars of either event were ever captured. It was noted that Dalton citizens should report anyone who seemed to have a large number of cigars and tobacco products for sale or gifts.
In the 1930’s the Tieche brothers sold the pool room and entered a business for which they are better remembered. They opened Tieche Gardens to supply Dalton residents with all kinds of plants and seasonal garden material. It was widely reported that they were very successful in their new venture and welcomed by the citizenry for their quality plants and cuttings for bouquets for special events.
They closed the Tieche Gardens in the late 1940’s because of the failing health of Albert Tieche who died in 1952. Daniel moved to Orrville and died there in 1964.