Twinsburg businessman remembered for enterprising nature
TWINSBURG -- The former owner of several Twinsburg businesses has been remembered fondly by his friends and family.
Sheridan Morgan, a longtime resident of Twinsburg, died at 96. He is possibly best known for owning Sheridan's Bar and Restaurant, formerly the Brass Horn on Route 91. Greg Davis, Morgan's son-in-law, said that he "was still running the bar when he was close to 80." The restaurant burned down in 2003.
"He wanted to rebuild the bar, but he couldn't," Davis said.
Dale Diersing, a cousin to Morgan's six children, said that Morgan was born Aug. 1, 1924 in Springfield Township. After he graduated from high school, Morgan worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. In early 1943, he married Margaret Stone of Akron. As well as the four daughters -- Cynthia, Linda, Beverly and Marnie - they also had two sons. Sheridan III and Donald both served in the Navy, with the younger Sheridan serving from 1966 to 1969, and Donald from from 1979 to 1981. Both Sheridan III and Donald died before Morgan.
Sheridan's Bar may have been Morgan's best-known business, but it was far from his first enterprise. Marnie Davis, one of Morgan's four daughters, said her parents opened a grocery store in the 1950s, Morgan's Market and Dairy Bar, in part of a Sohio station that was operated by her mother's sister Evelyn and brother-in-law Ray Diersing. This was off the northeast corner of Twinsburg Square.
In addition, Morgan started buying property on the southeast corner of routes 91 and 82.
"He acquired the Masonic Lodge and four houses," Marnie Davis said. "Two houses were relocated to vacant lots, a house behind the IGA store was demolished, and the Morgan family lived in the fourth house. Their IGA Grocery Store opened shortly after."
The original plan was to move the former Masonic Lodge on the property and convert it to apartments, but local officials rejected the idea so the building was demolished, Marnie Davis said.
By 1957, the family built Morgan's Dairy Bar next to the Freeman Barn, which is now the Twinsburg Historical Society Barn, Marnie Davis said.
"I have many fond memories playing, working, and growing up in the store and custard stand right off of the square," Marnie Davis said. "From a young age me, my brothers and sisters would help run the store and custard stand. We would work the counter, run the custard machines, serve burgers and fries through the drive through window. My dad would take us on trips to Cleveland’s produce market to buy fresh produce for the store. We would sit in the back of the car on top of the Banana crates on the way home, occasionally seeing large spiders that hitched a ride on the crates from South America."
Marnie Davis said that her father would treat Sheridan III, nicknamed "Ed," and his football team, to free shakes and burgers when the team won.
In the 1960s, the property was sold for redevelopment, Marnie Davis said. The IGA Market was replaced by a new Dairy Queen and a Lawson Store, which would later become Starbucks. The former Morgan Dairy Bar was updated and expanded into what is now Mr. Chicken.
Greg Davis said that Morgan also owned a custard stand, complete with a drive-through, where the Mr. Chicken is located. The grocery store building was moved twice, and is now a dermatologist office near the Giant Eagle.
Morgan also proposed opening a trampoline park; that idea, however, was rejected by officials at the time, Greg Davis said.
Marnie Davis said her father purchased the former Twinsburg VFW Hall property, which had been across the street from Crown Hill Cemetery. In the former hall, he opened Sheridan's Brass Horn in 1972.
"My brothers and sisters helped him run it in the 70s," Marnie Davis said. In the 80s, Morgan renovated the structure and renamed it Sheridan's. "From the eighties on, I helped run the bar, bartending and waitressing, my sister Cynthia ran the kitchen, cooking dishes and specials that were prepared fresh daily and my brother Eddy helped, cooking or serving at the bar."
When he was operating Sheridan's Bar, workers from the Chrysler Plant were frequent patrons at lunch and after work, Greg Davis said. In addition, Morgan ground his own beef for the bar. Marnie added that her dad learned how to butcher meat from a Sugardale salesman.
"My father's training as a butcher came into use, as he ground the beef fresh every morning that was used to prepare the burgers daily," Marnie said. "We served many employees from the Chrysler plant and surrounding businesses over the years. He hosted many parties, and events."
After the bar was closed, the the building was razed. The property was purchased by the Cleveland Clinic hospital which now has its Twinsburg facility there.
"He always regretted not re-building even though he would have been in his late seventies," said Marnie Davis.
Marnie Davis recalled a time when someone tried to rob the bar.
"He chased the robber across 91 and tackled him in Crown Hill," Marnie Davis said. "He held the robber until the police arrived."
After the fire, Morgan moved to Garrettsville, and also spent time in Florida, Greg Davis said. Davis added that Morgan moved in with Greg and Marnie, who live in Twinsburg, for the last three years of his life.
Marnie said that his many grandchildren had fond memories of Morgan.
"They all remember the generosity of their grandfather," Marnie Davis said. "Trips to ballgames, sharing grandpa's favorite butter pecan ice cream, entertaining his grandkids at his lake or in Florida." She added that they also loved "hanging around his business, getting to know many fun, interesting people."
Marnie Davis said her two sons remember summers at Morgan's lake, where their grandfather taught them to fish.
"Many visitors and my children enjoyed swimming, fishing, camping with bonfires, and riding golf carts, ATVs and dirt bikes at his property," Marnie Davis said. "I know they learned many things from him from spending time at his bar, and got their first taste of work ethic by helping wait tables, wash dishes, and learning how to use the grill and fryer to cook the best burgers and fries from him. He loved to garden and passed that onto his daughters and grandkids especially Linda. He had a large plot he tended, growing tons of peppers, pumpkins, sunflowers, tomatoes and other vegetables."
Morgan "was still fairly active" in his years when he came back to Twinsburg, Marnie Davis said.
"He kept busy helping my sons with their online business, packing items for sale and folding boxes," Marnie Davis said. "We usually couldn’t keep up with him because he always was looking for more to do. He was proud of how healthy and active he was in his later years. He regularly rode his bike even into his 90s. He enjoyed heath shakes, exercising, and still enjoyed a beer almost nightly up until he passed."
In addition to his two sons, Morgan was preceded in death by his wife Margaret, and brothers George and Bob.
Friends and family are encouraged to share their memories and photos of Morgan on a memorial page dedicated to him on Facebook.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at email@example.com