Our County History
by County Historian Marion W. Coplen

Ralph Fifer of Warsaw has a number of very interesting collections in his possession. One of these is a display of old fashioned shaving mugs.

Many of our readers can remember the day when it was the practice to order your own personal shaving mug through your barber. When your "mug" came in, it would be placed on a shelf in the barber shop, to be taken down and used whenever you came in for a shave. Most men would not only have his name on his mug, but also some design or illustration depicting their business or profession.

For a number of years George Essig ran a barber shop under Phillipson's Clothing Store. When this shop was disbanded, Mr. Fifer purchased the equipment and with it many of the shaving mugs which are in his collection. Fifer has the old cash register which was used in this shop. also he has the first barber chair ever used in Packerton; for years it was in the Charley Fisher barber shop there.

In Mr. Fifer's collection can be found shaving mugs which belonged to John Collins, Bill Baxter, Walter A Kintzel, Heavy Smith, Fran T. Webb, George W. Polk, H. C. Milice, and many others. For a number of years, Collins ran an ice plant in Warsaw. bill Baxter was a tinner at Leesburg. Kintzel was the man most instrumental in establishing the Warsaw City Park. The others were all prominent local men. The shaving mug of Heavy Smith, a shoe maker, had a picture of a foot inside one of his "form fit shoes."

The most prized item is the shaving mug of W. A. "Billy" Sunday, presented to Mr. Fifer by Mrs. Sunday shortly after the famous evangelist's death. Two symbols, a cross and a crown, are on the side of this shaving mug.

Warsaw Times-Union Wed. July 1, 1953