Editor, The Messenger:

Best wishes to the Cornwells, featured in a recent article in The Athens Messenger.

I knew them as a child. On South Court Street they operated the jewelry store, near Athena Movie Theatre, and “Cornees Corn Crib Pop Corn” next to the Berry Hotel. I knew a younger member of the Cornwell family, a member of my Army Reserve Unit.

We shared, with the Cornwell family, as being the oldest businesses in Athens. Our Josten family, with my grandfather, Conrad, owned and operated the “Josten Carriage Factory” at 20 E. State St., where the Bus Station was later, and a restaurant business at 21 N. Court St., dating back to the 1800s. Also, we operated farms across from St. John’s Church, Dutch Ridge, Guysville, as well as an orchard on Angel Ridge, where I now live.

Our family is quite historical, as we had landings in Hockingport for some 75 years. (“River Road” is still named “Josten Lane.”) Also, my family members began Sheltering Arms Hospital on Clark Street, and my uncle James Josten originated the Coca Cola bottling works on West Washington Street and later the Pepsi Cola bottling company at the same address. He distributed those products by truck throughout Southeast Ohio. He also owned and perated numerous rental properties in Athens.

C.J. Josten


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