Article from The Cleveland Plain Dealer 1935

View original newspaper clipping here


Old-Time Blacksmith, 76 Takes Miles in Stride


By George Davis

            C. W. Kaighin thinks little of walking out to Rocky River and back downtown or both ways between Public Square and Euclid.

            This is at age of 76

            Edward Payson Weston, another oldster, won fame walking a yet greater distance daily on long tours.  But Charles Kaighin for his ages seems to top all pedestrians in Cleveland.

            Maybe the fact he has been a blacksmith nearly all his life explains why now he can walk so far and like it.  For smithing doesn’t only develop arm muscles.  Holding horses’ legs in one’s lap all day while shoeing them strengthens the knees of a blacksmith.

            Mr. Kaighin has worn out many leather aprons since he first was an apprentice while still going to grade school.  That was when the West Side was Ohio City.

            Sparks flying from an anvil fascinated him.  He ran all the way to the smithy when told an apprentice would be engaged.  Then he changed to another shop which did no carriage repairs and he could spend all his time helping shoe horses.

            Mr. Kaighin later on had two shops of his own on the flats, one of them for horses from the lumber yards at Stone’s Levee.  He continued working as a blacksmith until a half dozen years ago, when he was shoeing trotting horses at Randall.

S. Fix’s Sons is a boiler tube welding works on Columbus road near where it was established in 1860.

            The blacksmith worked there a half century ago when the works included a shoeing forge.  Now he values the privilege of cooking some of his meals at the works.  For he feels more at home there than in any restaurant.  He still feels strong enough to work at a blacksmith, but contents himself with odd jobs, taking his long walks when he can’t find work.

Mr. Kaighin letters motto cards beautifully, makes pictures for missions.  He used to write songs to the beat of his hammer on an anvil.  Two ballads he published are “Freedom for Ireland” and “Twilight With Mother.”

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Copyright 2004, 2005, Gregory D. Kaighin, All rights reserved