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Investment/Society Levels

paul Sorg

Although his name is synonymous with paper, Sorg came to Middletown in 1869 as a businessman in the tobacco industry. In 1898 he sold the then third largest tobacco company in the US, to the American Tobacco Company. As the P. Lorillard Co., it lasted into the 1950s. He founded the Miami Cycle Co. in 1895 and it became the largest bicycle company in America. This was later the Miami Carey Co.  In 1899 he, along with Benjamin F. Harwitz and others, was responsible for convincing George M. Verity to locate to Middletown to start his new steel company.  Also in 1899 he bought the small, bankrupt Jacoby Paper Mill for his son, Paul A. Sorg. This is what would later become Sorg Paper Co. in 1931.

In 1900 founded the American Rolling Mill Company to make steel and to manufacture roofing products. When the first heat was tapped in February 1901 the “Mill” had around 150 employees. By 1910 when “East Works” was finished they employed over ten times that many.  Armco, as it was later named, continued to be Middletown’s major employer through the 20th century and its successor is still third.  Verity was very involved in the community and was the driving force for starting or supporting many organizations in Middletown such as the YMCA, the public library, and the hospital built in 1917.  He also was instrumental and very supportive of the founding of the “Middletown Chamber of Commerce” in 1917.

george verity
charles hook

Came to Middletown in 1902 to be the night superintendent of the American Rolling Mill Co. He later became president of Armco and began expanding its facilities and markets worldwide. He was involved in virtually every civic activity in the community and was directly responsible for increasing participation of people, young and old, in organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, Junior Achievement and Veterans Service. These three were his personal favorites.

After graduating from Yale University in 1897, Tytus returned to Middletown to work in his family’s paper mill. When his father passed away his family sold the business and Tytus went to work for a bridge builder in Dayton. In 1904 he left the bridge builder to return to his hometown as a spare hand for a steel mill. After 18 months of working there, Tytus became assistant of the sheet mill superintendent, Charles Hook. In 1906 he was promoted to superintendent of the new mill in Zanesville, Ohio. In 1909, Tytus was chosen to plan and initiate Armco’s East Works plant as chief of operations. In 1921, Tytus presented his blue prints and plan for a new plant for incorporating new techniques for continuous steel rolling.  His continuous steel rolling mill, that he designed and built, began operation in 1924 in Ashland. In 1927 Tytus was made vice-president of Armco. In 1935 he was awarded the Gary Memorial Award from the American Iron and Steel Institute.

john tytus
colin gardner

In 1900 he started the Colin Gardner Paper Co. making paperboard. He consolidated several paper and folding carton companies and by 1924 was known as the Gardner Harvey Co. In 1957 merged with the Diamond Match Co. and then became the Diamond Gardner Co.

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