The Birth of the Modern Stock Market

There are many things that Cincinnati is known for: Procter & Gamble, Kroger Corp., Gold-Star Chili and Graeter’s ice cream, to name a few. But hidden behind the façade of laundry detergent and bean-less chili is the untold story of a regional stock exchange that traded such companies as Delta Air Lines and American Electric Power Co.

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The Art of Automation: Nick Niehoff, Curator

Nick Niehoff, the mastermind behind the automation of the Cincinnati Stock Exchange (CSE) and the progressive business expert who changed the scope of the stock market forever, has a quiet but powerful way of mixing art and automation so seamlessly it seems easy.

Nick Niehoff at Dixie Terminal Nick Niehoff at Dixie Terminal
Early CSE Trading Procedures

As early as 1858, there was a stock exchange in Cincinnati located at 83-85 Walnut Street where members met every Wednesday and Saturday. However, the Cincinnati Stock Exchange (CSE) was not organized until March 7, 1885, when twelve brokers agreed to meet at the office of E.N. Laralde on 29 W. Third Street each day to buy and sell securities.

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Cincinnati Stock Exchange Timeline
CSE party early 1900s

Nearing the end of the year, Governors of the Cincinnati Stock Exchange decided to open up the Exchange floor for informal meetings, but not for record trading or official quotations. The Exchange was to have its first informal session the following Monday, to be held daily at eleven o’clock.

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Kroger and the Cincinnati Stock Exchange

Barney Kroger knew what he was doing. He started a company from scratch that competes toe to toe with every major food retail company in the United States. He built a company that survived the Great Depression, rationed food and employees for WWII and built a nationwide grocery empire

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Barney Kroger Profile
Barney Kroger

In the words of a Cincinnati Times-Star editorial, “Barney Kroger represented an era which the dominant political currents of our time have ended, perhaps forever. It was a rough-and-tumble era, which developed some very obvious faults but which had even more obvious merits. It was the era of free enterprise.”

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Control Data Corporation Historical Timeline


Control Data Corporation was incorporated in Minnesota, July 8, 1957, by Fremont Fletcher, Abbot L. Fletcher, and D.P. Wassenberg with 600,000 shares of stock sold at $1 per share. The first headquarters were located in the McGill Building, 501 Park Avenue, in downtown Minneapolis.

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The Sources

The documents on this page were culled from more than 100 boxes of research available for viewing at the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. They represent a sampling of the primary sources UC Journalism students used to construct narratives about the Cincinnati Stock Exchange. These archival documents offer a unique look into not only the history of the CSE, but also […]

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The Images
Members of the young Cincinnati Stock Exchange celebrate

The following images were collected from the Cincinnati Stock Exchange boxes at the Cincinnati Historical Society Library.

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