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"Down by the Old Mill Stream" is a song written by Tell Taylor. It was one of the most popular songs of the early 20th century. The song was written in 1908 while Taylor was sitting on the banks of the Blanchard River in northwest Ohio in the city of Findlay. Reportedly, Taylor's friends persuaded him not to publish the song, believing it did not have commercial value. Two years later in 1910, however, the song was published and introduced to the public with performances by the vaudeville quartet The Orpheus Comedy Four. After the group performed the song at a Woolworth store in Kansas City, it became so popular that the store sold out all one thousand of the copies of its sheet music Taylor had brought with him. Since then, over four million copies of its sheet music have been sold, and it has become a staple for barbershop quartets.