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Ohio Valley Printing preparing to celebrate 100 years in business

T-L Photo/J.D. LONG Phil Wallace, owner of Ohio Valley Printing, will be celebrating his 47th year operating the printing business while also observing its 100th anniversary.

MARTINS FERRY — No matter the location some businesses will just come and go, but that’s not the case for Ohio Valley Printing, which will be celebrating its 100th year in business this June.

For Phil Wallace, the third owner since the shop’s inception back in 1922, this will be his 47th year in the business and he’s loved every bit of it. The former mayor of Martins Ferry said he couldn’t imagine doing anything else; he’s been affiliated with the printing business since 1957.

“I love it,” he said. “They’ll have to carry me out of here.”

Orwin Krinke began the business at 801 Springhaven Drive in Martins Ferry 100 years ago. Second owner Carl Perry sold it to Wallace in 1975. After high school, Wallace worked in the lithography section of The Intelligencer newspaper from 1957-66 then moved on to other companies, eventually settling in Chillicothe, Ohio, for nine years.

When his father told him OVP was being sold, he jumped on it. He said he mostly benefits from the small, mom and pop business customers but does serve several larger ones as well. One of the largest jobs he’s had came from the Adena Lions Club printing a booklet that turned out to be “a pretty good-sized project.”

His primary service area covers five counties: Tuscarawas, Harrison, Ohio, Monroe and Belmont. He described the changes in technology over the years, noting he started out with an old-fashioned letterpress. It then moved on to offset, which he still uses, then to the digital age that dominates the business now.

“It was a test for me,” he said of transitioning, but noted he mostly taught himself new techniques. But, he’s been in the business for so long that nothing really surprises him anymore. The only jobs he hasn’t been able to do are large posters and banners that he’s had to refer elsewhere.

The Wheeling native, though, found a home in Martins Ferry and calls it a nice town with nice people.

Wallace has also served the community in many capacities, including on the Belmont County Corrections Planning Board Committee for 18 years, as well as the Belmont County Family Dependency Treatment Court and Juvenile Drug Court. He was also a chairman of the Belmont-Harrison Juvenile Detention Facility, among many other things.

Wallace has also been applauded for his generosity in helping others, including neighbors, by doing things such as shoveling snow or cutting grass when they needed help.

Ohio Valley Printing is an old-fashioned place doing business the old-fashioned way – no credit cards, just checks and the occasional cash. Wallace has around 2,200 square feet to work with and is open five days a week and sometimes even after hours.

“It keeps me busy all day long. I love it,” Wallace said.

As for the 100th anniversary? It will be business as usual. No big celebration is planned, but Wallace said, “Maybe I’ll take the wife out to dinner.”

Wallace can be reached at 740-633-6173.

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