In Sandusky, E.B. Ackley is fondly remembered as a band leader. He led a rich life that took him all over the country before finally settling in Sandusky. He was born November 1, 1871 in Illinois. Ackley came from a musical family, and took up the cornet at 12. He studied with Carl Kaltenborn of New York who had been the solo cornetist with Gilmore’s famous band for 12 years. At one time, Ackley enjoyed the reputation of being one of the best B flat cornetists in the country.
Before arriving in Sandusky, Ackley traveled the continent with different groups. He spent a season with the Hattie Bernard Chase Company and a season with the Great Eastern Show, a season with the Floyd Concert Company. He spent a season in Omaha, Nebraska with the Farnham Street Theater, as well as a season in Youngstown at the Grand opera House. When he came to Sandusky he spent several seasons at the Nielson Opera House.
As a young man, he worked for the Gorman Minstrel Show and traveled all over the country. Fred Baumann, of the Great Western Band, heard Ackley Perform and brought him to Sandusky. This was shortly before the Great Western Band dissolved. Ackley then created his own band. He arrived in Sandusky in 1893 and worked as the director of music at Cedar Point and as the instructor of the Sandusky Band and Orchestra. He wrote the Cedar Point March in 1902, the first piece of music dedicated to the resort.
In 1898, Eugene Ackley joined Professor Leon’s Military Band of Toledo and took part in the inaugural exercises in Columbus at the State Capital for the inaugural exercises of the second term governor Asa Bushnell.
E.B. Ackley married Ida Frohman in 1904. For many years, he ran a successful billiard parlor equipped with twelve tables. At the time of his death in 1957, he was the chairman of the board of the Western Security Bank. He is buried at Oakland Cemetery.