Most of these articles come from the scrapbooks
of Mary Fitz-Gerald Riddle. From New Jersey, she came to Ravenna in
1904 when she married a son of Henry Riddle I, Henry Riddle II, who
called himself Warner. She died in 1968.
& Hearse Co. history as it appeared online at http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/r/riddle/riddle.htm
Written in 2004 by Mark Theobald, this excellent article gives a clear
history of the company.
Riddle of Ravenna Published in The Automobilist in July
1960, this is the story of the Riddle Manufacturing Company between
1916 and 1926.
for the company that would become Merts and Riddle and then Riddle
Hearse and Coach and finally Riddle Manufacturing Company. This is
the oldest document in the archive.
1871 magazine articles about
the Merts and Riddle Company -.
of Riddle Manufacturing Company. From the book Golden Wheels,
The Story of the Automobiles Made in Cleveland and Northeastern Ohio,
1892-1932 by Richard Wager. Published June 1986 by Western Reserve
Merts and Riddle becomes Riddle Coach and Hearse. This article
appeared in the local paper on Nov 4, 1891. Below the article is a
hand-written letter detailing part of the dissolution of the Merts-Riddle
life at the factory in March 1908. Letters written from the head
office of Riddle Coach and Hearse to salesmen and clients. Anyone
who runs a business will appreciate these letters. The letters, being
masterpieces of salesmanship and flowerly language, also have some
Coach and Hearse becomes Riddle Manufacturing Company in 1919.
Article appeared in the local paper.
Riddle, in 1991, at age 75, recalls his boyhood memories in the
Riddle Company, the first motorized hearse, and the Palace Coach.
Beautiful, 1909. 128 pages, PDF, The booklet was reprinted in
2011 by Jack Schafer, a local historian, who wrote this in the preface,
One hundred years after its original publication by Hinman &
Stidsen, and K.T. Siddall for Old Home Week in 1909, this is a faithful
scan and reproduction of Ravenna Beautiful. This little
booklet, now quite rare, remains one of the most important sources
of information about the history of Ravenna, Ohio.
The year 1909 in many ways represented the apogee of Ravenna’s regional
economic power and influence. New manufacturing businesses in the
forefront of manufacturing technology were opening or about to open
in the city. These companies were involved with electric lighting
equipment, heavy machinery, steel, and rubber, in other words, the
backbone of early twentieth century American manufacturing. A local
man, William Day, had been recently appointed Justice of the United
States Supreme Court. Three main line railroads served the city
with daily passenger service to all parts of the country. Two interurban
streetcar lines linked the city with its larger neighbors. A modern
fresh water and sanitary sewer system was in place. The city had
an enviable public school system with several new school buildings.
Large new homes in the latest architectural styles were being erected
in town along with very substantial modern business blocks downtown.
Though Ravenna would continue to grow during the rest of the twentieth
century, it would never again achieve the same level of competitive
financial, cultural, and economic prominence among its peers."
A hard-copy of the book is available on Amazon.com.
History of Riddle Coach and Hearse. The unknown writer of this
article apparently worked in the factory. The writer mentions the
velocipede that Merts and Riddle manufactured. We also found a mention
of the velocipede in an early Merts and Riddle letterhead and in a
1938 article in the local paper.
In the article National
Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form is
a concise history of downtown Ravenna architecture.
beset by Hard Luck Fought Way Through Uncharted Wilderness to Become
First Ravennan, undated but early 20th century.
Fire in 1887 Removed
One of Ravenna's Old Landmarks, 1931.
New Riddle Block, A Solid Structure!, 1888. Article about
the dedication of Riddle Block 1.
First Graduate, June 2, 1938. Article
about the graduation of Emily Robinson in 1861.
Plant Swept by Fire, July 2, 1903
History of Merts and Riddle, undated, but probably early
1900s, by H. W. Riddle,
Have The Changes Been, 1906. Reminiscences of an early settler
in the Ravenna area.
Street is Riddle Avenue, 1908.
W. Riddle Presented with Loving Cup,
1910 This article is from the pages of the Portage Country Democrat
Banker Passes Away, Jan 27, 1910, the death of Charles Merts
Comes To H. W. Riddle, 1920
Henry” Riddle Was Forced to Surmount Many Obstacles in Climbing
Ladder to “Success”, 1925.
History of Ravenna Showing how Civic Organization Has Been Responsible
for Growth of the Community, by Maxwell Riddle, 1935
by Maxwell Riddle, about 1941.
Aircraft, Ward-Riddle Plan Open House, about 1960. Hugh Riddle,
the grandson of Henry Riddle I, started another manufacturing company
Hearses Carried The Famous Powerful, 1967
Trip to Barn
Loft Takes Him Back 30 Years, 1967. Maxwell Riddle remembers
Ohio winters in the 1910s and 20s. .
Buying Riddle properties The Riddle properties were sold
in June 1984.
Tom, Dick, Harry
gave Portage hospital gift, about 1980. The story of the
beginnings of Robinson Memorial Hospital.
Riddle blocks a vestige of city's past, 1989.