Jacob Hammel was one of Moraine’s earliest settlers. He was born near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 1820. For five years after reaching his maturity he drove a six-horse team hauling freight from Chambersburg to Baltimore and then back to Chambersburg as there were no railroads in operation then.
In 1846 he moved from New Orleans to Montgomery County, Ohio. He was employed one season on a brickyard in Alexandersville (later West Carrollton) and the following year worked as a teamster. In 1848, Hammel purchased a canal boat and trafficked on the Miami-Erie Canal for three months. He then started his own company engaged in the manufacture of bricks for over five years. The brick company was known then as the Crume Brick Company, the oldest known industry in Moraine. After quitting the brick company, Mr. Hammel devoted his attention to farming making a specialty of tobacco.
Hammel owned a large parcel of land in southern Miami Shores in Moraine where the current Moraine Airpark and runway is located. Photo #2 is an aerial view of the land Hammel once owned which was surrounded on two sides by the Miami River which occasionally flooded but created rich soil. Photo#3 is a map showing his parcel of land. He set aside 25 acres for farming and averaged as high as 86.5 cases of tobacco (400 pounds to the case) – a success seldom achieved in this area by the other tobacco growers. According to a publication at that time, “No farmer in Miami Township stands higher in the esteem of his neighbors than Mr. Hammel and few have been more successful in their particular lines of industry”.
Mr. Hammel was married three times and had five children by his second wife Catherine. He died in December 1903 at age 83. His grave marker is located at the Zion Memorial Church Cemetery on South Dixie Drive (Photo#4). The Moraine Historical Marker for the “Crume Brick Company” is located at the southern dead end of Elter Drive.