Thursday, October 17, 2019

Elementary Textbooks by Frank J. Prout and Other Sanduskians

Between 1924 and 1936, Frank J. Prout and other local authors produced several reading textbooks that were published by the University Publishing Company, which had offices in Lincoln, Chicago, Dallas and New York.


The book, Thought Test Readers, for First Grade students, is shelved in the Woolworth Bookcase in the Quiet Reading Room of the Sandusky Library. The authors were Frank J. Prout, Emeline Baumeister, and Nellie Mischler, with illustrations by Helen Renner. In 1930, when this title was published, Mr. Prout was the Superintendent of Schools in Sandusky, Emeline Baumeister was a second grade teacher at Campbell School, and Nellie Mischler was a first grade teacher at Barker School. Dr. Prout would later serve as president of Bowling Green State University.


The King's Drum was written in 1937 by Dr. Prout, and Ms. Baumeister, who by this time was the Principal of Campbell School in Sandusky. This title, another in the Thought Test series, was designed for use with students in Grade Four. Ruth Mary Hallock illustrated the book. The illustrations were done in shades of aqua, green, and orange.


Included in this book were fictional stories, tales from other lands, stories about numbers, citizenship, and animals. Chapter 10 was entitled “Song and Story” and featured background information about familiar songs. To view this title, which is located in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, inquire at the Reference Desk of the Sandusky Library.

Copies of books written by Frank Jay Prout, Emeline Baumeister, and Nellie Mischler are found at several colleges in Ohio, the Library of the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center, the Ohioana Library in Columbus, Ohio, and the Library of Congress. A Thought Test Reader is also housed at The Richard L. Venezky Collection of 19th and 20th Century American Primers and Readers at Stanford University in California.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Garment Care in Sandusky


The 1896 Sandusky City Directory lists a variety of businesses which advertised services that helped area residents maintain their clothing. While we not know the specifics of what types of renovation were offered, four individuals were listed as "Clothing Renovators": John Conley, Louis Dietz, John M. Fox, and Mrs. Otto Peter.  Businesses which offered to dye clothing in 1896 were: Burt Moskovits, C. F. Rathke, and Waibel & Knoebel. Three laundries appeared in the 1896 City Directory: Beilstein & Pfanner, Henny Frank, and Till & Wagner. Ten merchant tailors and dozens of dressmakers were also included in the 1896 Sandusky City Directory.

By 1919, C.A. Rathke had expanded his business to a dry cleaning and dyeing works. Mr. Rathke also made suits to order. Mr. Rathke was a tailor in Sandusky for many years.


In 1906 Henry Beilstein and Philip Pfanner were the proprietors of the Beilstein Steam Laundry at 630 Market Street. In later years, there were Dry Cleaning establishments owned separately by the Beilstein and Pfanner families.


The people in the photograph below are not identified, but notes on the back of the photo state that some of the last names of the people pictured are: McLaughlin, Ryan, McCann, and Conley. The Sandusky Dyeing and Cleaning Works was on East Park Street in the 1890s.



By the 1950’s, there were several dry cleaners in Sandusky. The Sun Way Dry Cleaners offered “One Hour Martinizing” at its East Market Street location in the Hubbard block.


There were many more laundries and dry cleaners in Sandusky for which we do not have photographs. The Mahala Steam Laundry operated in Sandusky for many years, with various owners and locations. Visit the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library to view historical city directories. The historical city and county directories will provide information about the citizens and the businesses of Sandusky and Erie County dating back to the nineteenth century.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Dedication of Cable Park Historic District



On October 8, 1989, the Erie County Historical Society dedicated a marker in the Cable Park neighborhood of Sandusky to commemorate the historic district on Wayne Street between Scott and Cable Streets, as well as the former Erie County Fairgrounds, at this location between 1865 and 1899. In the picture above, Mayor Mike Kresser is speaking to the group gathered for the marker dedication. Laurence Cable and his sons Frank and Edward planned the residential district.


There were specific guidelines for the homes that were built at Cable Park, listed below in the August 9, 1914 issue of the Sandusky Register.


There were to be only residences, and no commercial properties in Cable Park. The house lines were to be no less than forty feet from Wayne Street. No two-family homes were allowed. The planned residential area was to have a park-like atmosphere, and it was close to public transportation routes.


Cable Park Historic District was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. You can read more about Cable Park in the Sandusky Register of February 24, 1988.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Andrew J. Biemiller, Member of Congress

Andrew J. Biemiller in High School

Andrew J. Biemiller was the son of Andrew Frederick and Pearl (Weber) Biemiller, born in Sandusky, Ohio in 1906. (A Biemiller family member of an earlier generation founded the Biemiller Opera House in Sandusky in 1877.) Young Andrew was a member of the Sandusky High School Debating Club during his senior year at Sandusky High School, in 1921-1922.  According to the 1922 Fram, he was an outstanding orator. After graduating from Cornell University in 1926, he taught history at Syracuse University and the University of Pennsylvania. For a time he was associated with the Socialist Party, serving as a campaign manager for Norman Thomas, Socialist candidate for President in 1932. But in 1944 he was elected as a Democrat to serve as United States Representative for Wisconsin’s Fifth District. He lost the election in 1946, but was returned to Congress in 1948. After serving in the U.S. Congress, Mr. Biemiller became the chief lobbyist for the AFL-CIO. The Truman Library features an oral history in which he mentions Sandusky several times. 

Andrew J. Biemiller died on April 3, 1982. He was buried in Ellicott, Maryland.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The Century Buffet



This full page advertisement for the Century Buffet appeared in the book What: Souvenir of Sandusky and the Islands of Lake Erie, published by Hill and Bolly in 1903. According to the Sandusky Evening Star of October 14, 1902, William C. Klaes took possession of the Century saloon and café on Columbus Avenue, taking over the business from Fred Volk. Mr. Klaes is pictured in the center of the page. An advertisement from 1903 indicated that the business was thriving.


One of the favorite beverages on tap at the Century was Atlas Beer. An article in the December 31, 1903 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that Mr. Klaes had been secured to be the manager of the African American boxer Jim Watts. 

By 1907, Charles T. Wolfe was the proprietor of the Century. Mr. Wolfe went out of business in 1909, due to poor business in general, as well as high liquor taxes. Because of its prime location in downtown Sandusky, a variety of businesses have been in operation at the site; Daly’s Pub now occupies the spot on Columbus Avenue that was once home to the Century Buffet.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Letter to Private Lehnhard Winkler in 1864


On her fifty-third birthday, September 26, 1864, Mrs. Justina Winkler of Sandusky, Ohio wrote a letter to her son, who was serving in Company I of the Third Ohio Cavalry. Mrs. Winkler told her son Lehnhard (sometimes spelled Lenhart; later he was called Leonard) about a recent plot to free some prisoner’s at the Johnson’s Island prison. She told her son how the Winkler home was saddened without Lehnhard’s presence, and that she and the family wished him well. John Schwab, another Civil War soldier who had recently returned home from war, also sent greetings to Lehnhard.  The Winklers’ neighbor’s son was unable to adapt to the rigors of life in military service. Mrs. Winkler assures Lehnhard that the family back home was well, and she was most anxious to be re-united with her son.

Dr. Norbert A. Lange translated Justina Winkler’s letter to her son from the German:


Private Winkler did return safely from the Civil War. He was discharged from the service on August 4, 1865. He brought home with him a photograph album which contained several tintypes of soldiers that he had met.



In 1871 Leonard Winkler married Theresa Weber.


Mrs. Justina Winkler passed away in 1877. She was buried at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Her son Leonard died on May 29, 1893, and the G.A.R. conducted burial services for him at Oakland Cemetery. Theresa Weber Winkler lived well into her 80’s; she died on January 5, 1935 and was buried in the Winkler family lot in Block 76 of Oakland Cemetery. Leonard and Theresa (Weber) Winkler named one of their daughters Justina, in honor of Leonard’s mother.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Photographic Postcard from the Perry Centennial



This photographic postcard was taken at the time of the Perry's Victory Centennial which commemorated the one hundredth anniversary of Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory at the Battle of Lake Erie. Sandusky’s celebration took place on September 8 and 9, 1913. Columbus Avenue was decorated with flags, lights, banners, and patriotic bunting. Visitors to the Perry Centennial arrived by the interurban electric railway and automobiles, and then boarded boats to travel Put in Bay on South Bass Island.


On the west side of Columbus Avenue, one of the shops on the street level of the West House hotel hung a banner promoting their services for the developing of Kodak camera prints.


A café and restaurant on the east side of the street were open for business to serve meals to the many visitors to Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands region.




The Lake Shore Electric Railway Co. transported people to Sandusky from all points on the system, which included Cleveland, Lorain, Elyria, Norwalk, Bellevue, Fremont, Toledo, and many stops in between, while the steamer Arrow made two trips daily to Put in Bay, Lakeside, Kelleys Island, and Middle Bass. 

Taking a closer look at this postcard allows us to see the energy and excitement that was associated with the celebration of this historic event. To learn more about the event, view the Official Souvenir Program of the Perry’s Victory Centennial, available online at the Internet Archive.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Funeral Notice for David Adams



The funeral notice for David Adams invites friends of the young man’s parents, Thomas P. and Eliza Hurst Adams, to his funeral, to be held at the Adams residence on September 8, 1853.

At the top of the notice is an image of a tombstone next to a willow tree. Bertram S. Puckle wrote in his book Funeral Customs: Their Origin and Development that: “The weeping willow, by reason of its form trailing and bowed in grief, as its name suggests, caused it to be frequently planted in such a position where it might overhang a favoured tomb, like some perpetual mourner.”

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Adams may not have lived  in Erie County, or lived here only briefly, as their name does not appear in the 1850 or 1860 U.S. Census for Erie County. Unfortunately, we do not know the location of the David Adams residence.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Bouncing Owl Club on a Boat in the Bay



Several men and women were on a small boat near Meigs Street in Sandusky on September 20, 1908. The picture was entitled “Bouncing Owl Club.” What this club was and who its members were is unknown. In the background, the city water works plant is visible. (It appears that the water works plant was having some work done to the roof.) At this time, Theodore Roosevelt was nearing the end of his term as President of the United States. Sandusky had almost 20,000 residents, while Perkins was home to about 3500 people. Looking at the microfilmed copy of the Sandusky Register for September 20, 1908, the weather was fair on this date. The new Herb and Myers store announced its grand opening, and both Jessie Meenan and Carrie Freyensee advertised that their stores had recently received shipments of their new fall hats. Baseball games were being played at League Park, and members of the Shamrocks Baseball Club were going on an excursion to Leamington, Canada.

But we don't know anything about the Bouncing Owl Club. Do you?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Convention of the Erie County Women’s Christian Temperance Union in Sandusky



The ninth annual convention of the Erie County Women’s Christian Temperance Union was held on Wednesday, September 20, 1916 at the Congregational Church in Sandusky, Ohio.


The History of Erie County (1889), edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, states that a number of well known ladies of Sandusky met to organize a temperance league in 1879. Their object of the society was: “combating intemperance and kindred vices through Christian influences and Christian work.”  By 1928, during the Prohibition era, there were several area groups of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in the various communities of Erie County, which were under the leadership of a Union Board.

Mrs. Imogene Dauch, sister in law of J. J. Dauch, was active in the W.C.T.U. from 1911 through the 1930s, often serving as an officer of the West Huron chapter. She was the Erie County delegate to the Ohio W.C.T.U. Convention in 1929, held at Findlay. At the local convention of the Erie County W.C.T.U. in 1916, Mrs. Dauch opened the convention with prayer and Bible reading, and gave a welcoming address as well as the annual President’s message. Her daughter, Cynthia Aulda Dauch presented a piano solo to the attendees. Cynthia A. Dauch would later become the executive director of the Visiting Nurse Association of Los Angeles. 

Imogene Dauch died in Sandusky in 1975 at the age of 92. Besides her work in the W.C.T.U., she was also a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, the Daughters of 1812, the National Order of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Huron Grange.

To read more about temperance activities in Sandusky, see this previous blog post.