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The Clermont Woolen Mills was established in Newtown, Ohio in 1855 by brothers Joseph and Henry Clasgens.

The Clasgens brothers moved their operations to New Richmond, Ohio sometime around 1862-1865 where they set to work building their woolen mill business.

The Clasgens brothers and their decendants constructed several factory mill buildings in Clermont County as they continued to grow their business and contribute to local employment and commercial industry in the region. The business operated five factory locations in Clermont County at its zenith and became the county’s largest employer.


The J&H Clasgens Co. produced yarns for industrial textiles and specialized industries including yarn used in glove liners and trigger finger mittens for the United States Military and the yarn that made up the core of baseballs used in the major and minor leagues as well as local knothole leagues. Lore has it that Clermont Woolen Mills produced wool leggings for Union Troops during the Civil War. Records verify that the mill supplied U.S. Troops from WWI through Viet Nam.

The Dormer Brothers Hosiery Mills moved their operations to the site located at 2383 and 2384 High Street sometime between 1897 and 1904. They expanded the main factory building at 2383 High Street in about 1915 joining it to the existing whiskey distillery bonded warehouse building.  The Dormer Brothers then constructed a second building at 2384 High Street in 1925 for warehouse and shipping operations.

The Dormer Brothers Hosiery Mills prospered through the roaring 1920’s until the onset of The Great Depression discontinuing operations in approximately 1933.

The J&H Clasgens Company moved their woolen mill operations to the site in 1934 bringing their number of factory locations to five in Clermont County. The Clasgens built a twenty thousand square foot addition to the building located at 2384 High Street in 1969 further expanding their manufacturing capacity.

The Clasgens Company and the people who worked there endured through civil war, two world wars, multiple fires, and two monstrous floods. Two factory buildings were destroyed by fire and a third was taken down for the ill-conceived four lane US52 expansion.  When fire finally destroyed their riverfront mill on October 31, 1981, operations were reduced to the two remaining factory buildings located at 2383 and 2384 High Street. NAFTA legislation added to pressure for the U.S. textile industry to move offshore and Clasgens operations were further reduced to wholesale finished yarn distribution.

When we think about our history, we are often drawn to the stories of those who stand head and shoulders above the crowd. The stories of everyday people and their contributions to our world can get lost and are often overlooked. We are fortunate to have preserved the birthplace of President Ulysses S. Grant just a few miles up the road from the Clasgens woolen mill factory buildings. However, the story of the “common” people who worked here is just as important. We must make sure their story is preserved and told. There are precious few buildings remaining in Clermont County, Appalachian Ohio, and the Ohio River Valley that can carry the story forward. The history these remaining buildings preserve is significant. It is important and worth saving.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about this project!