Louis G. Croft
"History of Shelby County, Ohio"
by A.B.C. Hitchcock; Sidney, Ohio; 1913
Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co.; Chicago, IL.
LOUIS G. CROFT, proprietor of Croft's Steam Laundry, the largest, most modern and best equipped laundry in Shelby county, is an experienced man in this business, in which he has been concerned for twenty-six years. He was born at Anna, Shelby county, O., November 2, 1871, and is a son of Christian and Mary Croft, who came to Sidney when he was a babe of six months.
Mr. Croft's career is an interesting one to consider in that it shows how a poor boy, left an orphan at the age of eight years, managed, through his own inherent sterling qualities, to secure an education and to maintain himself in the respect and confidence of those with whom it was his lot to live. After his parents died he resided with an aged man by the name of H. Enders, who was a potter and also worked at gardening, and the otherwise homeless youth worked for him for about seven years and shared his fortune. He then became an employe of the Sidney Steam Laundry, where he continued for four and one-half years, after which he worked in a similar place for nine
months at Findlay. From there he went to St. Mary's, O., and there invested in a hand laundry, which he conducted successfully for six months and then started a steam laundry, admitting F. M. Smith as a partner. After three years he sold out to Mr. Smith and started a laundry at Piqua, O., which he operated for two years and then returned to Sidney. It must have afforded Mr. Croft considerable satisfaction to be able, at this time, to buy the Sidney Steam Laundry, the same concern in which he had been first employed, and afterward he changed the name to Croft's Steam Laundry, which he has since conducted with great success. In 1907 he erected his fine cement laundry building and has installed all modem equipments including the Troy and American laundry machinery, and here steady employment is afforded from fifteen to eighteen men and women, and in delivering and collecting both a wagon and an automobile are used. This laundry is a monument to Mr. Croft's industry. He knows every detail of the business and has forgotten nothing and in times of great stress does not disdain to once more work the shirt ironing machine or other laundry device with his well-paid employes.
Mr. Croft was married first to Miss Minnie Salm, of Sidney, who died January 14, 1904, leaving four children: Frederick, Martha, Leo and Edna. His present wife was formerly Mrs. Mary Stolle, and they had one son, Edward. Mr. Croft belongs to the Elks, the Red Men and the Knights of Columbus, and is a leading member of the Ohio State Laundrymen's Association. He is a consistent member of the Roman Catholic church. He is serving at present as a member of the city council, being councilman at large.