Saturday, August 31, 2013

F.D. Ketchum's Aid to Civil War Soldiers

On August 16, 1861 Company E of the 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was engaged in the Battle of Cross Lanes, (West) Virginia, during the Civil War. According to the History of Erie County, Ohio, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, several men from the Ohio 7th were killed, wounded or captured. Frederick D. Ketchum, a pioneer ship builder from Huron, Ohio, covered expenses related to attending to the wounded soldiers from the 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry after the devastating battle. F.D. Ketchum's son, George C. Ketchum, was an officer in Company E, of the Ohio 7th and he survived the Battle of Cross Lanes.

Listed below is a list of names of individuals who contributed to repaying F.D. Ketchum for the expenses he paid out for the care of wounded soldiers following the Battle of Cross Lanes.

Transcribed, it reads:

After the Civil War, both F. D. Ketchum and George C. Ketchum moved to Mackinac County, Michigan, where George C. Ketchum served as Probate Judge of Mackinac County from 1873-1877, and as Postmaster, from 1877-1880. Both father and son are buried in the Mackinac Island Protestant Cemetery.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School. . .

As students in our area head back to school, here is a look back at students in Sandusky and Erie County from the historical collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. In the picture below, the Sandusky High School football team can be seen on the practice field in the 1920s.

J.W. Dietz took this picture of the 1903 Sandusky High School orchestra on the steps of the old Sandusky High School.

Dr. Norbert Lange donated this class photo of the third grade class at Monroe School from about 1900. Clarence E. Thompson, who is number 38 in the picture, went on to become a doctor. He practiced medicine in Chicago for over forty years.

The students and teacher of the District 3 School in Oxford Township were photographed by commercial photographer E. H. Schlessman  in the 1910s.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ohio’s Lake Erie Vacationland Postcards

Several postcards published by E.B. Ackley, a popular musician and band leader in Sandusky, are in the collection of historical postcards at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. These four postcards are from the Ohio’s Lake Erie Vacationland series. Notes on the items indicate that they were Art-Colortone postcards printed by the Curt Teich Company in Chicago, Illinois. The Cedar Point pier is featured on the first postcard.

The Sandusky Yacht Club is the topic of this postcard.

Multi-colored lights enhance the water in the Boy with the Boot Fountain, in a night time view of Sandusky’s Washington Park.

A daytime view of the Erie County Courthouse and the Boy with the Boot Fountain is the focus of this postcard.

While we do not know the exact dates of these Ackley postcards, they were most likely created in the 1930s.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jacob M. Beecher, Civil War Veteran

Jacob M. Beecher, the son of Lines and Jane Beecher, was the nephew of prominent Sandusky lawyer and abolitionist Lucas Beecher. During the Civil War, Jacob Beecher served in three separate units. He enlisted as a Private on April 25, 1861 at the age of 18, in Company E of the Seventh Ohio Infantry, serving until August 22, 1861. Later he re-enlisted in Company E, 72nd Ohio Infantry. Because of "gallant service," Beecher was appointed Lieutenant in the 71st U.S.C.T. 

In 1904, Beecher became widowed after the death of his wife Mary. He eventually became a resident of the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, now known as the Ohio Veterans Home.  He died on January 20, 1919. He was buried in Section F of the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home Cemetery. Mr. Beecher left behind four sons and four daughters. Two of his sons served in France during World War I.

Visit the Sandusky Library and the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to find a wide variety of Civil War historical resources.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Air Progress Show Held in Sandusky in 1958

The Air Progress Show, sponsored by the Aviation Committee of the Sandusky Chamber of Commerce, was held in Sandusky on August 16 and 17, 1958.  Colonel Roscoe Turner was the Grand Marshal of the event.

Special events during the show included parachute jumps, a model plane contest, an F-86 military fly-by, a display of private aircraft, and an awards and recognition program. Major General Russell A. Ramsey was the Master of Ceremonies for the program held on Sunday, August 17, 1958. The first plaque awarded at the presentation program was dedicated to the memory of the “Early Birds.”  The August 18, 1958 issue of the Sandusky Register reprinted the inscription of the plaque:

Dedicated in memory of those early aviation pioneers "The Early Birds.” Between the years 1910-1917, aviators Weldon B. Cooke and Tom W. Benoist had aeroplane factories and flying schools in Sandusky which had a very important part in early aviation. Also, aeroplane engines, manufactured in Sandusky by the Roberts Aviation Motor Company, were used throughout the world. To these pioneers and others who helped produce and fly these early aircraft, we do herein give honor. Awarded by The Sandusky Chamber of Commerce, Sandusky, Ohio, August 17, 1958.
The plaque honoring the Early Birds is now located in Washington Park in downtown Sandusky. Plaques were also awarded to Reinhardt N. Ausmus and FrankP. Lahm, pictured below.

Reinhardt Ausmus built and flew airplanes in his youth, and he trained pilots for the United States Army during World War I. He was named the first Erie County Veterans Service Officer in 1949, and served in that position until 1969. Frank P. Lahm was known as the “nation’s first military aviator,” having served with the United States Army Air Corps and Army Air Forces from 1916 to 1941. The Lahm Airport in Mansfield, Ohio was named for him. Following the presentation of the special awards, Colonel Roscoe Turner and Ohio’s Attorney General William Saxbe gave remarks. Several high schools bands performed during the Air Progress Show, and it was estimated that attendance for the two-day event was approximately 15,000. More details about the Air Progress Show of 1958 can be found in the Official Program, housed in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center,  as well as in several issues of the Sandusky Register from August 1958, now on microfilm. Inquire at the Reference Services Desk to view these items.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Miss Sandusky of 1939

Miss Dona Mae McAleer of Sandusky was chosen “Miss Sandusky” on August 14, 1939. The beauty contest was sponsored by the Sandusky Junior Chamber of Commerce and was held at Cedar Point. Judges included Mrs. Kenneth Zehner, Municipal Judge Ray F. Speers, bandmaster Charles “Buddy” Rogers, and Cole Keyes, manager of the Rogers band.  The Buddy Rogers band was appearing at Cedar Point’s ballroom in August, 1939. While Buddy Rogers was appearing at Cedar Point, his wife, Mary Pickford visited Sandusky. She is quoted as saying, “There should be a motion picture made with Sandusky as the locale. Sandusky is one of the prettiest port cities I have ever seen, including my trips abroad.”

The judging of the “Miss Sandusky” contest was based fifty percent on beauty, twenty five percent on presentation, and twenty five percent on applause. The results of the “Miss Sandusky” contest were announced on WTAM radio.

Dona Mae McAleer represented Sandusky and the Sandusky Junior Chamber of Commerce on a three day statewide Air Tour, sponsored by the Cleveland Junior Chamber of Commerce held in conjunction with the National Air Races. In the fall of 1939, she competed in the contest for the Ohio Grape Festival Queen, and was selected as a runner up.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sandusky Register Monument at Oakland Cemetery

In Lot 1 of Block 87 is a monument dedicated to the employees of the Sandusky Register. The November 28, 1885 issue of the Register reports that the proprietors of the newspaper, I.F. and John T. Mack, along with C. C. Keech (the Register’s “Moral Editor”) purchased a lot in Oakland Cemetery. It was adjacent to the G.A.R. lot, in which many Erie County veterans are buried.  The article stated “This lot is a part and parcel of The Register plant, to be handed down to each successive proprietorship with the presses and type and machinery of the office.” The future monument at this cemetery plot was to be “a befitting stone to mark the spot of The Register dead in the long, long future.”

Officers of the “Register Monumental Association” were: President, I.J.P. Tessier; Secretary, W. I. Jackson, and Treasurer, C. C. Hand.  Register employees were to set aside 10 cents from each week’s paycheck, until enough funds were collected to purchase a suitable monument. An article in the November 18, 1959 Sandusky Register tells us that the marble monument was erected in 1887.  The carved likeness of a printer’s mallet and composing stick appear on the monument, above the inscription:  “The dead who lie here toiled for the world’s enlightenment. Erected 1887 by the Sandusky Register Monumental Association in memory of Register employees.”

The first burial in the Sandusky Register lot was Clarence M. Brockway, the former city editor of the Sandusky Register, who died of typhoid. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery on November 7, 1885. Several former employees are buried at this site. The monument, having been in Oakland Cemetery for over one hundred years, truly remains a lovely stone which honors the memory of many Sandusky Register employees.

Friday, August 09, 2013

George Knapp and Knapp Dressed Beef

George J. Knapp, Sr. was born in Germany in 1849, and settled in Sandusky in 1867. Mr. Knapp started a meat business on Decatur Street in 1870. By 1886 Knapp had  moved his business to Camp Street. A listing in the 1898 Sandusky City Directory stated that George Knapp was a wholesale and retail dealer in fresh, salt, and smoked meats and sausages of all kinds. The meat market was at 509 Market Street  and the Knapp family resided at 522 Camp Street. In the early 1900s, the business was known as the People’s Meat Market.

In 1904 the name of the business became the Knapp Dressed Beef Company, with George Knapp,Sr. serving as president; Charles Knapp, vice president; and Emma Knapp, secretary-treasurer; and George J. Knapp, Jr. as assistant manager.

A newspaper advertisement from the Sandusky Star Journal of July 31, 1911, stated that employees at Knapp Dressed Beef  did their own slaughtering of livestock, so that the meat they sold was absolutely fresh.

George J. Knapp, Sr. continued in the family business until his retirement in 1922. Mr. Knapp passed away on September 17, 1926. He was survived by four sons and four daughters. Mrs. Barbara Knapp had predeceased her husband in 1909. Funeral services for George J. Knapp, Sr. were held at the Charles J. Andres Sons’ Funeral Home, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery. An obituary for George J. Knapp, Sr. is found in the 1926 Obituary Notebook at the Sandusky Library.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home

The Ohio General Assembly authorized the creation of the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Sandusky, Ohio in 1886. The home was created to provide for Ohio's honorably discharged veterans of the American Civil War. The first veterans to make their home at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home arrived in November of 1888. An early resident of the Home was Alvin Smith, a former slave who had served in Company H of the 27th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops.  In the mid 1880’s, Mr. Smith was passing through Sandusky looking for work. He obtained employment, helping to build the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home, and then became a resident there on December 5, 1888. Now known as the Ohio Veterans Home, this facility provides food and lodging for United States Veterans as well as nursing home care. Thousands of U.S. Veterans have made their home here. A cemetery on the grounds of the Ohio Veterans Home serves as a final resting place for many United States Veterans who served their county in the military.

The fiftieth anniversary of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home was celebrated on August 6 and 7, 1938. A two-day encampment of Civil War Veterans also took place this weekend. The August 6, 1938 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that four Civil War Veterans who resided in Erie County were expected to attend the festivities. They were: William Woodward, Henry Dwight, Charles N. Cooper, and Alvin Smith, who had been born into slavery.

The weekend began with a lake cruise to Johnson’s Island and Put in Bay. A parade, concert, and fish fry began at 6 p.m. on Saturday. More musical entertainment, group singing, and speeches by Civil War veterans continued throughout the evening. The Camp Fire rally was led by George Pfeiffer of Wooster.  On Sunday, there were church services, a concert by the Mansfield Sons of Unions Veterans, and a picnic luncheon on the lawn of the Home. A large parade passed in review before the Civil War veterans at 1:30 p.m.

The Betsy Ross Quartet sang at 2 p.m.

Speakers included Colonel John C. Volka, Commandant of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home; Comrade R.C. Miller, President of the Ohio Civil War Veterans Reunion Association; Frederick Pfiester, commander of the Ohio Department of the G.A.R.; Grace Ford, President of the Department of Ohio Woman’s Relief Corps. Greetings were extended from numerous patriotic organizations. Alvin Smith, who assisted in the early building of the Home, was introduced, as was George J. Doerzbach, who assisted in laying the first stone in the building of the Home, were both introduced. Addresses were given by Comrade Sol Zarbaugh, from the Ohio Department of the G.A.R.; Ohio Representative Gus Kelly; Ohio Senator A.D. Baumhart; Mrs. Margaret M. Allman from the Department of Public Welfare; Emil Marx, Adjutant General of Ohio; Ohio Supreme Court Judge Edward S. Matthias; and Ohio Governor Martin L. Davey. Rev. John A. Kaley gave the benediction.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives to view the Spies’ Gallery of Photo-Engravings, Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home, published  by August Spies in 1896. Another resource available at the Sandusky Library is Ohio Veterans Home Death Records, 1889-1893.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Aerial View of Sandusky in 1958

On August 3, 1958, photographer Thomas F. Root took this aerial photograph of Sandusky, looking toward the shoreline and Columbus Avenue. Several Sandusky landmarks which still stand can be seen in this picture. Saints Peter and Paul Church and Zion Lutheran Church are to the south of the Erie County Courthouse. Towards the east, the Feick Building and the Masonic Temple are visible. The familiar I.O.O.F. building, Stone’s block, and Hubbard’s block are located in Sandusky’s downtown. One building in this picture that no longer stands is the old City Hall, north of the courthouse, on West Market Street. (Two towers of different heights can be seen on the former city building.) City Hall was built in 1890 to serve as the city’s central fire and police station, and went to serve as Sandusky’s City Building from 1915 to 1958. An image of the old city building graces the cover of the Downtown Architectural Walking Tour of the Old House Guild of Sandusky. The Downtown Architectural Walking Tour features brief descriptions of 48 historic buildings in Sandusky. To learn more about the historic architecture of Sandusky, see Treasure by the Bay, by Ellie Damm, in the Sandusky Library’s local history book collection.