Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mystery Photo -- Solved! (Steen Leroy Parker)

This portrait was taken about 1911 by C.W. Platt in Sandusky, Ohio. It was filed in a collection of unidentified photographs at the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library, but was recently identified as being a photo of Steen Leroy Parker, by a family member.

Steen Leroy Parker was born January 30, 1908 in Sandusky, Ohio, to Leroy and Ada (Steen) Parker. His first name was the family name of his mother’s family of Irish heritage. Steen’s siblings were Glenn, Janet, and Paul Parker. Steen Parker’s family had a farm in Perkins Township, which had to be vacated when the U.S. Government built the Plum Brook Ordnance Works in Perkins Township in 1940. Besides working on the family farm, Leroy Parker was also a concessionaire at Cedar Point, fondly remembered for working many hours at Noah’s Ark, one of the attractions operated by the Concourse Amusement Company.

In the 1920’s Steen graduated from Sandusky High School. He served in the Seabees during World War Two. Steen Leroy Parker is pictured below with his first wife, Doris Wheeler Parker.

After the death of Doris, Steen married Ruth Renwand. He died in 1949, leaving his widow, five children, and two grandchildren.

If you have vintage photographs of your family members, consider donating them to the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library for future generations to enjoy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Winter Sports in Sandusky -- Tom Root Photos

In the spirit of the season, here are a couple of views of winter sports in Sandusky Bay in January 1958. These photos also serve as an introduction to a recent acquisition by the library of the Tom Root Aerial Photographs, a collection of images taken by local photographer Thomas Root from 1949 to 2000. The collection is in the early stage of processing, but we can show you a sample here of scenes in Sandusky.

The first image shows ice boaters on Sandusky Bay, January 12, 1958.

The next image, from the same day as the one above, shows many ice skaters along the shore.

Mystery Photos Bonus: Can you identify exactly where these scenes are? One of these should be relatively easy; the second is more difficult -- you'll probably need a really good monitor on your computer to help you figure it out. Feel free to post your answer in comments. (The answer is now posted in the comments.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bill Mallory, Hall of Fame Football Coach

Bill Mallory, a 1953 graduate of Sandusky High School, had a long successful career as a college football coach -- just as he predicted. The caption of his graduation photo in the 1953 Fram yearbook (pictured above) stated that he "will coach the athletes of tomorrow," and he lived true to that message. (How often does a yearbook message match the future accomplishments?)

Graduating from Miami University (known as the "cradle of coaches") in 1957, Mallory eventually became head coach of his alma mater in 1969, compiling a 39-12 record in five seasons at Miami, including an undefeated record and a victory over Florida in the Tangerine Bowl in the 1973 season. After a successful five-year stint at Colorado, and four years at Northern Illinois, Coach Mallory moved on to Indiana University in 1984, becoming IU's winningest football coach in a 13-year tenure with the Hoosiers. He took an Indiana football program, seldom known for its quality of teams, and led them to six bowl games (when bowl games were still significant accomplishments). He came one game shy of making the Rose Bowl in the 1987 season, losing to the Michigan State Spartans at the end of the season; he is still remembered for his gracious speech in the winning team's locker room, with a pep talk for their upcoming Rose Bowl game.

Coach Mallory is a member of both the Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

Monday, January 25, 2010

J.L. Bonn & Son Grocery

J. L. Bonn operated a grocery business during the late 1800’s at the northeast corner of Adams and Decatur Streets. After Mr. Bonn retired, two of his family members continued in the grocery business. The 1910 Sandusky City Directory lists Jacob Bonn operating a grocery store at the original Bonn Grocery location, while J. Bonn had a grocery store at the southwest corner of Hancock and Monroe Streets in Sandusky.

The Bonn family originated in Bavaria. By 1870 the family had emigrated to the United States. The 1870 U.S. Census for Erie County, Ohio, listed the children of J. L and Caroline Bonn as: J.L. Jr., Eugene, Josephine, William, Jacob, and Helen Bonn. All the Bonn children had also been born in Bavaria. J.L. Bonn, Sr., died on April 21, 1899. He was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Sandusky. Mr. Bonn’s obituary, which appeared in the April 22, 1899 issue of the Sandusky Star, stated that J. L. Bonn had been one of those who “laid the foundations of Sandusky’s success.”

Church music played a key role in the Bonn family. Son J. L. Bonn, Jr., known as Louis, was a professor of music in New York. Jacob Bonn, who died in 1944, was considered an authority on Gregorian chant. Eugene F. Bonn was a composer of liturgical music, and a professor of music at St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries in New York State. Professor Eugene Bonn received the Papal decoration “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” in 1930 in Rochester, New York. Helen Bonn Fox, the daughter of J. L. Bonn, Sr., taught music in Sandusky for 75 years, and she was the mother of the members of the well known local singing group the Fox Sisters.

While there is no longer a grocery store at the corner of Decatur and Adams Streets, in the photo below, an advertisement for Gold Medal Flour is still visible. The ad was painted on the building when Fred Schweinfurth operated a grocery store at the same location as the former Bonn Grocery.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Through the Years at the Northeast Corner of West Market and Jackson Streets

The Majestic Theatre was located at the northeast corner of West Market and Jackson Streets in 1908. The theater was not damaged in the fire which broke out in the Andres and Frey furniture store and undertakers building on January 10, 1908. The Sandusky Star Journal reported that the stone wall construction of the Market Street buildings helped prevent more serious fire damage to the adjacent buildings.

In 1925, Eugene B. Ackley had a Billiard Academy at the northeast corner of West Market and Jackson Streets in downtown Sandusky. Mr. Ackley was also the director and manager of Ackley’s Band and Orchestra. E. B. Ackley was associated with area bands from the late 1890’s through the 1903’s.

In the 1955 photograph below, Hills Supply Company, Martin’s Restaurant, and the Ohio Theater can be seen on West Market Street.

Currently, a municipal parking lot is located at the site of these former Sandusky businesses. If you would like to learn more about the history of Sandusky and Erie County, visit the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library. Historical atlases, city directories, local history books and hundreds of historical photographs can help you learn more about the people and businesses that have contributed to the rich history of Erie County.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

C. Weston Dash, Reporter and Photographer

C. Weston Dash was born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 7, 1914. Learning the printing business from his father as a young man, Mr. Dash was the editor and reporter for his high school and college newspaper. Later, while he was a correspondent with the International News Service, he covered the 1936 Republican National Cenvention in Cleveland.

He lived in Sandusky from June of 1937 through October 1940. While in Sandusky, Mr. Dash was a reporter and editor with the Sandusky Register and Star Journal. He also served as Sandusky School Superintendent of the Methodist Church, and worked on set construction for the Harlequins. He was the publicity chairman for the Ohio Grape Festival, 1939-1940.  In the summer of 1938, C. Weston Dash married Anne Elizabeth Chamberlain Warren, and they were wed for 62 years. Mr. and Mrs. Dash made lifelong friends with Sandusky residents during their years in Ohio.

In 1990, C. Weston Dash donated several negatives to the historical collections of the Sandusky Library. Below is a photograph from the 1940 Grape Festival held at Sandusky September 19-22, 1940.

During the March 31, 1939 fire in downtown Sandusky, Dash took photographs of the fire and fire fighting efforts for several hours.

C. Weston Dash passed away at the age of 89 in Maine on January 30, 2004. A quotation cited at the end of Mr. Dash's obituary gives us insight into his personality:

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter

-- E. E. Cummings

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Frank Rittmann’s Funeral Card

Frank Rittman died on March 19, 1901, at the age of 72 years, 9 months, and 22 days. Under the phrase “Gone but not forgotten” appears the following verse:

Tis hard to break the tender cord,
            When love has bound the heart.
Tis hard, so hard, to speak the words:
            “We must forever part.”
Dearest loved one we must lay thee
            In the peaceful grave’s embrace,
But thy memory will be cherished
            Til we see thy heavenly face.

Frank Rittman (sometimes spelled Rittmann) was born in Germany about 1828. He came to Ohio before 1850, and settled in the Cincinnati area. According to records found on the Family Search website, Frank Rittmann married Catherine Kiebler in Hamilton County on July 11, 1856. By the late 1860’s, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rittmann had moved to Sandusky, Ohio, where they lived in a house at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Scott Street.  U.S. Census records list their seven children as: Frank, Louisa, Charles, Christian, George, William and Kate.  During the Civil War, Frank Rittman served in Company D of the 128th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. This unit was assigned to guard Confederate Prisoners at the Johnson’s Island Prison.

Frank Rittman died at his home on Columbus Avenue. Funeral services were held at the residence on March 19, 1901 at 2:45 p.m. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery, under the auspices of Ogontz Lodge, No. 66 of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows. The Rittman Family lot is in Block 59 of Oakland Cemetery.

Pictured below is the Rittman home at Columbus Avenue and Scott Street about 1870.

Dr. Walter Frank Rittman, the grandson of Frank, and son of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Rittman, became a well known chemical engineer.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

John J. Molter, Civic Leader

John J. Molter was born in Sandusky on July 16, 1854 to Mr. and Mrs. John Molter, who were both natives of Baden, Germany. As a young man, Molter lived for ten years in Danville, Illinois, but he spent most of his life as a resident of Sandusky, Ohio. He was elected to the 69th and 70th General Assembly of Ohio. While serving as a legislator, he fostered a bill to make “physical education” a branch of the curriculum of the public schools of Ohio. In his youth, he had been active in the “Turners,” an athletic association whose members were primarily of German descent. In 1887, he earned the National Turn Verein swimming title during a competition in Covington, Kentucky. Walking was a favorite pastime of Mr. Molter, and he was known to hike daily, even in inclement weather.

Appointed by President Cleveland, John J. Molter served as Sandusky’s postmaster from 1894 through 1898. He was elected Mayor of Sandusky from April 1901 through January 1910. He was active in the Elks Lodge, and the Knights of Pythias, and for a time he was in the wholesale liquor business with August Guenther.

On December 19, 1934, John J. Molter passed away in Good Samaritan Hospital, after an illness of two months. His obituary, which is found in the 1934 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at the Sandusky Library, reads in part, “No citizen was better known; none was more honored and respected….Molter was a man of unquestioned honesty and exemplary habits and enjoyed the confidence and friendship of citizens of all classes.” Mr. Molter was survived by a brother and a sister. His funeral was held at the Elks Lodge on East Adams Street, and was largely attended. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery, with the Knights of Pythias in charge of the gravesite services.

John J. Molter is pictured above in the Mayor’s Office on West Market Street in Sandusky, about 1908.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Edna Holzaepfel Foley, Librarian

Miss Edna Holzaepfel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick J. Holzaepfel, is pictured in her graduation dress in a photograph taken by W. A. Bishop in February, 1909.

In the summer following her graduation, Edna Holzaepfel became the Assistant Librarian at the Sandusky Library. By 1916, Miss Holzaepfel was the Librarian of the Sandusky Library. An article in the November 7, 1916 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that after attending an annual library association meeting in Cincinnati, Edna Holzaepfel wanted to engage in an advertising campaign to urge Sanduskians to “appreciate the benefits to be derived by a more extensive and systematic use of the Carnegie library.” In February 1917, Miss Holzaepfel reported record breaking circulation numbers, having loaned out 10,480 books from the library in January. It was the largest circulation number in the history of the Sandusky Library to that time. Attendance records for the library in January 1917 broke records as well.

A Sandusky Register article in September of 1919 stated that Miss Edna Holzaepfel had moved to Buffalo, New York, where she was in charge of the branch libraries of that city’s libraries. By 1943, Edna had become Mrs. Timothy Foley, a veterinarian. Edna Holzaepfel Foley retired after thirty years of library service in Buffalo, New York in 1951. In the 1950’s, Dr. and Mrs. Foley moved to Sandusky, Ohio. Edna Foley was very active in the community. She was a member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Senior Women’s Fellowship Club, the Erie County Historical Society, Erie County Republican Women’s Club, and the American Library Association. Mrs. Edna Holzaepfel Foley passed away on April 18, 1969. She is buried in Oakland Cemetery next to her husband Timothy, who had died in 1965.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Recent Addition to the Library's Collections: Records of the Art Study Club

The Art Study Club has operated in Sandusky for over one hundred years, serving as a source for women to share their interest and knowledge of art with other members, and with the community at large. It was founded in 1901 by ten women who wanted an organization that supported “the study and discussion of art and the promotion of good fellowship among its members.” In the past century, members have shared their love of art through lectures, group discussions, tours, and public exhibitions in various community locations, including the Masonic Temple and the Follett House. The club is still active today.

Recently, the Art Study Club donated its historical records to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, where they are available for public research. Included in these records are meeting minutes, club yearbooks, photographs, and ephemera describing events of the club. These records provide a view of social activities of women in Sandusky, and offer us a glimpse of the evolution of American culture in the twentieth century. We are grateful to the Art Study Club and its president Rhonda Watt for their generous contribution to the archives of our community.

If your community organization has historical materials to be preserved, please consider the Sandusky Library.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Dr. Ebenezer S. Lane

Ebenezer Shaw Lane was born in August, 1819, the oldest child of Judge Ebenezer Lane and his wife Frances Griswold Lane. He graduated from Kenyon College, and studied medicine at the Ohio Medical School and also in Paris. Ebenezer S. Lane married Pallas Anderson, the daughter of Sandusky’s fist physician, Dr. George Anderson. During Sandusky’s cholera epidemic in 1849, Dr. Ebenezer S. Lane helped care for the sick, but he too became ill. Luckily, Dr. Lane survived his illness.

Dr. Lane and his family moved to Chicago. He eventually left the medical field and worked in real estate and finance, and had some interests in the railroad. Dr. Lane continued in his father’s hobby of collecting books and autographs. His collection totaled 9,000 volumes, and contained books about history, art, and literature. Eventually, Dr. Lane’s children, a son also named Ebenezer Lane, and a daughter, Fannie G. Lane, donated the Lane Collection to the University of Chicago. The collection now has been dispersed throughout the Special Collections of the University of Chicago Library. In 1983 Dorothy C. Drucker’s Masters’ Thesis was entitled: The Ebenezer S. Lane Library: A Study in Nineteenth-Century Reading Taste.

Dr. Ebenezer S. Lane died in Chicago on January 3, 1893. He is buried in Block 11 of Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. Dr. Lane’s tombstone lists his name as Dr. Eben S. Lane. He probably was known as Eben to avoid confusion with his father, Judge Ebenezer Lane.

Several members of the Lane family are buried in Block 11 of Oakland Cemetery. The Lane family made significant contributions to Sandusky in its early years. Helen Hansen wrote in her book At Home in Early Sandusky that Dr. Ebenezer Shaw Lane was “a true pioneer of this locality.”