This Week in Dayton History: NCR Golf Club opens, Maid Rite Sandwich Shoppe and more stories to remember

Dayton has a fascinating history, which the Dayton Daily News has been there to chronicle since 1898.

Each week, we’re going into the archives for stories both important and interesting that happened this week through the years.

Here’s a look at some stories from the week of May 26-June 1.

May 28, 1944: Daytonian builds machine to plow, plant in one operation

A farmer’s dream — to plow, prepare the seedbed and plant his crop all in one operation — came true with a 27-foot machine invented and built in Dayton.

The machine was the idea of C.H. Chambliss, a retired farm manager. With the help of the Chambliss-Lieninger Manufacturing Co., he built the model at a cost of between $10,000 and $12,000. He said retail cost would be closer to $2,000.

The machine was powered by an 80-horsepower tractor with rolling coulters on the front, followed by 12 14-inch plows, a double cutting disc and a roller with steel spuds.

Drills or planters could be installed at the rear of the tractor to complete the crop planting job in one operation.

Chambliss said he visualized the need for the machine while managing several farms in Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Minnesota and the Dakotas. At the time of the original story, Chambliss had been living in Dayton for 17 years, working as the president at Power-Plant Co.

Chambliss’s model was five years in the making, having been built and rebuilt 85 times.

May 30, 1954: New National Cash Register Golf Club officially opens

Dayton’s newest sports playground — The NCR golf club — was officially opened on Saturday, May 29, 1954.

As a matter of historical record, S.C. (Chick) Allyn, president of NCR, hit the first ball.

Afterward, a crowd of 3,000 watched as five nationally known professionals staged an 18-hold exhibition on the “South” course. The club also had a second set of 18 holes known as the “North” course.

The “South” course was considered the “championship” course and the reporter said it was “one of the most scenic of any in the entire nation.”

Jimmy Demaret, Toney Penna, Louise Suggs and Marlene Bauer played the round with trick shot artist Paul Hahn tagging along.

At the time, the NCR club had 2,400 members, all of which were NCR employees or members of their immediate families.

May 31, 1974: Metropolitan Life picks Dayton, will employ 900

The Dayton economy got a major lift in 1974 with the announcement that the nation’s largest life insurance company wanted to build a regional headquarters here. The company was expected to pump an estimated $6 million a year into the area in actual payroll.

The first phase was to include the construction of a $5 million building on 50 acres 11 miles south of downtown.

The initial building was to be four stories high and include dining and lounge facilities and parking for 600 cars.

The company was to hire 450 local employees with clerical and secretarial skills in high demand. There was also a need for people with “computer training.”

The Dayton office was to serve 85 sales offices in the multi-state region which included about six million policyholders.

May 26, 1984: A golden moment for Maid Rite Sandwich Shoppe

The Maid Rite Sandwich Shoppe, a popular drive-in in Greenville, was celebrating 50 years in business.

Louise Maher, 70, had bought the business for $500 when she was just 20 years old.

All that time, she had kept the recipe for her famous Maid Rite sandwich a secret. It was described as “on the order of a hamburger, but better meat.” The beef, which was ground on the premises, was “cooked loose” rather than being shaped into patties and had a special blend of seasonings.

One customer at the golden celebration claimed the secret ingredient was a touch of Tabasco sauce. Another said it was beer. A third simply said, “It’s magic.”

Served with mustard, onion and pickles, the Maid Rite sold for 80 cents. When she first opened in 1934, they were much larger and cost just 10 cents.

On weekend nights, traffic at the drive-thru window sometimes backed up for a block or two, with enough business to justify staying open past midnight.

“It’s a tradition in Greenville,” said one longtime customer, “You haven’t been to Greenville until you’ve eaten at Maid Rite.”

Maid Rite is still open and the sandwiches now cost $2.80.

May 26, 1994: Ponderosa breaks camp

After 26 years in Dayton where Ponderosa built its national chain, the steakhouse company’s headquarters was moving to Dallas.

The change was costing Dayton 120 executive, managerial and clerical jobs, with half the employees being offered new jobs in Texas. Reports indicated that workers were stunned by the news.

Ponderosa’s ultra-modern headquarters building at the entrance to the Dayton International Airport was going up for sale.

Michael Kaufman, president of the company said, “We recognize that the Ponderosa heritage is in Dayton. but business realities happen along the way.”

At the time there were 747 Ponderosa restaurants in operation around the country.

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