Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fountain at the Foot of Columbus Avenue

A public fountain was at the foot of Columbus Avenue in downtown Sandusky in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, not far from the waterfront.  In the picture above, the Post, Lewis and Radcliffe building, which dates back to 1866, can be seen just to the east of the fountain. Ellie Damm wrote in her book Treasure by the Bay, (Bucknell University Press, 1989), that the square where the fountain was located was often filled with activity as people gathered to meet the trains and boats as they arrived in Sandusky.  

The photograph below was taken sometime before 1903. The steamer "Arrow" is at dock; the "R.B. Hayes" is approaching (or leaving) the dock; another unidentified steamship is visible in the background, heading out into the bay. A fruit stand is at the lower right of the image; a newsstand/cigar shop is next to the dock; the Sandusky Fish Co. is slightly visible at the extreme left of the image.

We know that this photograph was taken in either 1903 or 1904:

Just past the railroad tracks, to the northwest of the fountain, the building with the large balcony was the Terminal Inn. This business opened in 1903 and was destroyed by a massive fire on June 21, 1904. Today a modern fountain at the Schade-Mylander Plaza welcomes visitors to historic downtown Sandusky.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Judge William Howard Taft’s Visit to Sandusky in 1908

Early in September of 1908, William Howard Taft gave a speech in Sandusky in 1908 that was generally regarded as the first speech of his active campaign for the U.S. presidency as the Republican candidate in 1908.  On September 7, after arriving in Sandusky aboard the Lake Shore Electric Railway from Fremont, Judge William Howard Taft, General J. Warren Kiefer, General Henry Corbin, along with Mrs. Taft and young Charlie Taft, were driven from the Lake Shore Electric station to the residence of Edward H. Marsh, where the visitors would spend the night.  A representative from the Sandusky Register met Judge Taft at the station, where he was greeted with the well known “Taft smile.” The party had dinner at the Marsh home at 6 p.m. Sandusky photographer W.A. Bishop took this picture of William Howard Taft, General Kiefer, Edward Marsh and Edward Lea Marsh, during Taft’s visit to Sandusky.

On the morning of September 8, 1908, Judge Taft, General Kiefer, and General Corbin, went to the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home, where they gave addresses of a non-political nature.

Judge and Mrs. Taft visited several of the residents of the Home who were too frail to leave their rooms to hear Taft’s speech in person. At noon, Judge Taft addressed a large audience at the Opera House in Sandusky. The theater was filled, with only a few seats left vacant.  Judge Taft spoke for thirty minutes, having his speech interrupted with applause several times. According to a lengthy article in the September 9, 1908 issue of the Sandusky Register, Taft stated that if elected “he would spend his time suggesting to Congress means by which the Rooseveltian policies might be clinched” After his speech, Judge Taft shook hands with several ladies and gentlemen who gathered around him on stage at the Opera House. Judge Taft departed from the Big Four station on the 1:40 p.m. train, on his way to make more speeches in the Cincinnati area. Pictured below is William Howard Taft in his top hat, surrounded by several people as he got ready to leave Sandusky.

Of course, William Howard Taft did go on to win the election in November of 1908, defeating William Jennings Bryan. To read more details about William Howard Taft’s visit to Sandusky, see the September 8 and September 9, 1908 issues of the Sandusky Register, available on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. The text of the speech presented by William Howard Taft in Sandusky was reprinted in the book Political Issues and Outlooks: Speeches Delivered Between August, 1908 and February, 1909, by William Howard Taft (Doubleday, Page and Co., 1909.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Judge E.B. King

Edmund Burritt King was born on a farm in July 4, 1850 in Medina County, Ohio to Cyrus and Harriet (Bennett) King. After attending the Oberlin Academy and Baldwin-Wallace University, Edmund studied law. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1873, and in 1875 he moved to Sandusky, where he practiced law for twenty years. He was associated with several attorneys at various times in Sandusky, including W.W. Bowen, S.F. Taylor, E.M. Culver, and Lynn Hull. From 1894 to 1899, Mr. King was Judge of the circuit court for the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Ohio. Judge King is pictured below with fellow circuit judges Robert S. Parker and George S. Haynes.

In 1899 Judge King returned to private practice with W.E. Guerin, and later, in a law partnership with Russell K. Ramsey. From 1880 to 1898, he was a member of the Ohio National Guard, attaining the rank of major. Judge King was a presidential elector in 1888 and was a delegate to the fourth constitutional convention of the state of Ohio in 1912. In 1916 Judge King served as president of the Ohio State Bar Association. An article in volume 62 of the Ohio Law Bulletin stated that at the thirty-eighth annual meeting of the Ohio State Bar Association, which met at Cedar Point, “Hon. E.B. King further distinguished himself as the presiding genius of the several sessions of the meeting, gracefully controlling and firmly pressing the business in hand to prompt conclusions.” 

Late in 1933, Judge King began suffering from heart problems. He passed away from heart disease on December 30, 1934. Judge King was survived by his wife, the former Edith E. Hackett, daughter Cora King Graves, and son Clifford King. Funeral services for Judge E.B. King were held at the Masonic Temple under the auspices of the Thirty-third Degree Scottish Rite Masons, as well as at the Presbyterian Church with the Rev. A.J. Funnell officiating. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery. Shortly after Judge King’s death, Judge Roy Williams stated that “it will be a long time before Erie County again has a citizen of the outstanding principles of Judge King. His predominating character was his unselfishness. There was not a movement in the community that he was not to the fore in. Sandusky has lost one of its finest friends.” You can read Judge King’s history of the early years of the Erie County Bar Association in chapter 25 of Hewson Peeke’s book  A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio (1916).

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Program Announcement: A Day for Genealogists

“A Day for Genealogists” will be featured at the Sandusky Library on Saturday, September 20. From 10:30 to noon, learn how to get started in researching your family tree. From 1 to 5 p.m., the Sandusky Library will host a “Lock In” for genealogists. The library will open only to those registered for the Genealogy Lock In. Computers will be available, and you may search through the library’s holdings of local and family history books and microfilms. Call 419-625-3834 to register for all or part of the Day for Genealogist.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wallace C. Glenwright, Teacher, Coach, and Administrator

Wallace Glenwright’s long career with Sandusky City Schools covered over thirty years. He arrived in Sandusky shortly after his graduation from Mount Union College. He served as assistant to Sandusky High School’s head football coach Bob Whittaker from 1930 to 1940. Later he became the head coach in football, basketball and golf, and assisted in coaching track. For two years, Mr. Glenwright was the athletic director. He became assistant principal of Sandusky High School in 1946, and was named principal in 1948. In 1957, Mr. Glenwright served as assistant superintendent, and from 1958 to 1968, he served as superintendent of Sandusky City Schools. He is pictured below in about 1960.

When the Supplementary Education Center was opened at the high school in the late 1960s, Mr. Glenwright presided at the dedication ceremony.

Besides his many roles as an educator, he was active in numerous civic organizations. The picture below was taken at a Lions Club meeting about 1950. Wallace Glenwright is the man on the far right.

In 1991 Wallace C. Glenwright was inducted into the Sandusky High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Charles Wagner wrote in an article in the May 2, 1991 issue of the Sandusky Register that Mr. Glenwright was “a gentleman’s gentleman.” 

Wallace Glenwright died on September 4, 1997 at Firelands Community Hospital. A lengthy obituary honoring Mr. Glenwright appeared in the September 6, 1997 issue of the Sandusky Register. The article read in part, “Friends say his qualities overshadowed his honors. Honest, caring, genuine, and gracious were just a few of the words friends and family used to describe him.” To read more about Wallace Glenwright, and other local educators and coaches, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, to view historical school yearbooks and Sandusky newspapers on microfilm.

Monday, September 01, 2014

At Work in Sandusky and Erie County

The warm weather in the summer months in northern Ohio allows for workers in a variety of occupations to get work done that is not easily accomplished in the cold months of the winter season. Sandusky photographer W.A. Bishop took the photograph above on July 25, 1908. Employees of the Erie County Courthouse can be seen looking out at Case equipment used to improve roads in Erie County. About 1920, Joe Staffler, Henry Scheid, and Fred Staffler were working on an outside project with a wheelbarrow and shovels.

In the picture below, taken in the early part of the twentieth century, a group of six men are working on a handcart along the Lake Shore Electric Railway in Milan, Ohio.

In this undated postcard, several men can be seen alongside an engine of the New York Central Railroad.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view these and thousands of other historic photographs from Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Elmer J. Frank, Musician, Instructor, and Conductor

Young Elmer Frank, with his parents, Julius and Emma
Elmer J. Frank was born in Sandusky in 1904 to Julius and Emma Frank, both of German descent. As a youth, Elmer studied piano with Elmer F. Steuk, a well known Sandusky piano instructor. In 1931 he went to Austria to study piano under Madam Bree. He also studied composition, harmony, and instrumentation under Johanna Muller Herman, and choral and orchestra conducting under Professor Julius Katay. Mr. Frank’s musical studies took him also to Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Italy, and Tunisia. During the summer of 1939 he was on a scholarship in Poland to study folk and classical music, and while there, Poland was conquered by Nazi Germany. Luckily he made it home safely. During World War II, he served for two years in the Panama Canal Zone with the United States Army.

Back in the United States, Elmer Frank was the organist and choir director for several churches. He also taught music for several years, having studios in the Odd Fellows Hall and later in the Feick Building. He organized the Sandusky Choral Society and the Sandusky Male Chorus, and served as the director of both organizations for many years. Later he was the director of music at the International School of Art, which was at 507 Wayne Street. 

Mr. Frank is the conductor in the group picture of the Sandusky Choral Society, taken around 1940 by photographer William Mound.

On April 14, 1961, Elmer J. Frank died at Good Samaritan Hospital. He had been hospitalized after an automobile accident six weeks prior to his death, but he died from an underlying illness. Funeral services were held at the Quick’s Funeral Home, where Christian Science Services were held. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery. On November 4, 1962, a Memorial Concert in honor of Elmer J. Frank was held at Adams Junior High School. Jay Perine, Tenor, provided musical performance, with William E. Didelius accompanying, assisted by Beryl Beckwith Dureck.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Postcards of Sandusky

In the historical postcard collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center are several postcards of Sandusky from years gone by. The first three postcards are from the early part of the twentieth century. This “bird’s eye” view of Columbus Avenue was created by the Alexander Manufacturing Company. The view in this postcard scans the eastern side of Columbus Avenue from the Cooke block to Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

This black and white postcard from the Pesha Postcard Company, owned by Louis James Pesha, also features Columbus Avenue. Several people can be seen along the busy business district of Sandusky’s downtown.

In this postcard, taken on East Market Street, looking east from the Cooke building, Sandusky’s Big Store was a key business in this section of town. Several horse drawn vehicles are visible along Market Street, as well as two youngsters standing near a cart.

Moving forward several decades, this postcard from the Rich Holt Company shows Sandusky’s downtown in the late 1960s.


Stores that were well known to many area residents are pictured, including Lasalle’s, J.C. Penney, the Gray Drug Store, and the Manhattan men’s clothing store.  

Monday, August 04, 2014

Floral Mounds in Washington Park

Floral mounds have been a popular feature of the parks in downtown Sandusky for decades. The mound pictured above, which was located near the Erie County Courthouse in 1910, contained an urn and was entitled “Flora.”  

This patriotic themed floral mound, sponsored by the Perry Post, No. 83, American Legion, was in the park sometime between 1910 and 1920. In the 1920s, the Perry Post of the American Legion was re-named the Commodore DenigPost, No. 83.

In 1917, another floral mound with a patriotic theme featured an eagle atop the globe, with a floral flag of the United States on the main portion of the mound.

OLEIDA (Ohio Lake Erie Island District Association), which promoted tourism in the 1930s, sponsored the floral mound in this picture.

In 1960, a mound honoring the 125th anniversary of the American Crayon Company was located in Washington Park, facing East Washington Street.


Local residents and tourists from all over the U.S. (and beyond) enjoy Sandusky’s beautiful parks every summer. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to see more historic photographs from Sandusky and Erie County.

Friday, August 01, 2014

A Look Back at the Hotel Rieger

The Hotel Rieger was opened by businessman John Rieger at the southeast corner of Jackson and Market Streets in downtown Sandusky in 1912. (The former hotel is now undergoing renovations in order to provide affordable housing units for area seniors.) The postcard pictured above shows the fifth floor addition which increased the room count of the hotel. In the postcard, you can see the former Third National Bank building on the east side of the hotel, and to the south of the hotel is the Odd Fellows TempleThe image below shows the hotel in 1917, before its expansion.

In this postcard below, from the Rich-Holt Company, the Hotel Rieger is pictured along with the Sloane House and the Boy with the Boot fountain in Sandusky’s Washington Park.
The picture below was taken in the lobby of the Hotel Rieger in 1926, shortly after renovations had been made to the hotel.

The Buckeye League Band marched past the Jackson Street entrance of the Hotel Rieger in the 1930s.

This picture shows an improved entrance at the Hotel Rieger in 1942.

According to an article in the October 17, 2004 issue of the Sandusky Register, Kermit Price bought the Hotel Rieger in 1964, and converted it to the Sandusky Nursing Home. The nursing home closed in 1989, and in 1992, Mr. Price reopened the building as the Sanduskian Hotel.. The building was sold in 1995. Since then the property has had several different owners, and currently the former hotel is under renovation by The Douglas Company. To read more about the history of hotels in Sandusky, read the StreetWise column, Hotels Rotated through Downtown Sandusky, which appeared in the July 13, 2013 issue of the Sandusky Register.