Monday, September 30, 2013

Remember the Eisenhowers?

An article from the Sandusky High School student newspaper The Sandusky Hi Lites from February 13, 1953 features a picture of four SHS students who wore hairstyles with bangs. The article began, “Any way it’s looked at, bangs seem to dominate the nation’s politics as well as hair styles this year. Whether they’re curled, brushed up, brushed down or just plain straight, it appears as if they’re here to stay.” The wife of newly-elected President Dwight Eisenhower, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower is pictured, along with Judith Maschari, Fran Sausser, Diane Williams and Kathy Murray. The photographer was Jerry Zellers.

Friday, September 27, 2013

William Hamilton, Book Seller

Here is a stereographic image, taken by A.C. Platt around 1880, of William Hamilton and his bookstore in downtown Sandusky. From about 1880 through the 1890s, William Hamilton ran this bookstore in the 100 block of Columbus Avenue. A listing from the 1882 Sandusky City Directory stated that Mr. Hamilton sold wall paper, window shades, and picture frames, besides books and stationery. For a time Peter Schumacher was in business with William Hamilton, but by 1890, Mr. Hamilton was the sole proprietor of the business again. In a closer view of the store, you can see portraits of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in the window.

According to the historical records of Kurt Boker, housed at the Sandusky Library Archives research Center, William Hamilton was born in Ireland to Samuel and Eliza Hamilton. The family emigrated from Ireland to the U.S. in 1851, and resided at Kelleys Island in 1870. In 1878, he married Julia E. Pool, the daughter of former collector of customs, John G. Pool. They had a family of three daughters. By 1900 William Hamilton no longer ran the bookstore in Sandusky, and he was working as an insurance agent. On April 7, 1907, he died at his Decatur Street in Sandusky, following a lengthy illness. His obituary, which appeared in the April 8, 1907 issue of the Sandusky Register, reported that during the Civil War, William Hamilton had served as the clerk of the steamer Island Queen, during the unsuccessful attempt to free prisoners at Johnson’s Island. He had worked on other Great Lakes vessels as well.

To read more about the plot to free prisoners at Johnson’s Island during the Civil War, see Rebels on Lake Erie, by Charles E. Frohman, housed with the local history books at the Sandusky Library.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

David Campbell, Founder of Sandusky's First Newspaper

David Campbell was born on May 8, 1794 in Cherry Valley, New York. He moved to Sandusky, Ohio in 1821, and in May of 1822 he founded the Sandusky Clarion, the first newspaper of the Firelands area. Originally Adonijah Champlin was to have been David Campbell’s partner, but because he was detained in New York, he never joined Mr. Campbell in the venture.

When the Clarion was  first published, Sandusky had a population of about three hundred, and there were only about forty buildings in the town. A portion of a letter from Eleutheros Cooke to David Campbell, reprinted in the Firelands Pioneer, said about the Clarion, in part: “…the publication of your paper has been hailed as an event conducive to the general advancement of knowledge and auspicious to the prosperity of the country.” In 1816, Campbell married Mary Jones Todd. They were the parents of three sons. After the death of Mary Jones Todd Campbell, he married Matilda West, the sister of W.T. and A.K. West. In 1828 he was elected a member of the Ohio Senate, where he served for two years. David Campbell labored earnestly in his twenty nine years at the Sandusky Clarion. In May of 1841, Mr. Campbell retired, and Earl Bill and Clark Waggoner took over the newspaper.

David Campbell died at his home in Sandusky on July 28, 1861, at the age of 68, after having been in poor health for the past two years. A lengthy obituary appeared in the Sandusky Register of July 29, 1861. The concluding paragraph stated about Mr. Campbell, “In private life he was scrupulously just; in his domestic and social relations, affectionate and sincere; in his daily intercourse, always amiable and unassuming; in his whole life a fit model for the imitation of the just, and in death, lamented and cherished with affection by all who knew him well.” He was buried in Block 24 of Oakland Cemetery. On his tombstone is the inscription, “An honest man.”

Saturday, September 21, 2013

J.F. Donahue and Company Hardware

From about 1900 through 1912, J. Frank Donahue was the president of the J.F. Donahue and Company hardware store, located at 735 and 737 Water Street. In the early 1900s, J.F. Donahue and Company sold Tribune and Pathfinder bicycles, and several varieties of paint.

An advertisement in the June 29, 1911 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal stated that the Donahue Hardware Company had the largest selection of lawn hose in the city of Sandusky. At that time, lawn hose sold for ten cents to eighteen cents per foot.

In 1912, J. Frank Donahue left his leadership role at the Donahue Hardware Company, and became president of the Easiest Way Manufacturing Company. For several years, Frank’s brother, C. Faber Donahue, served as the president of the Donahue Hardware Company. The Easiest Way Manufacturing Company made washing machines. The washing machines were sold at the Donahue Hardware store and other locations locally and throughout the U.S.

In January 1921, the Easiest Way Manufacturing Company moved its operations to the northeast corner of Adams and Harrison Street, at the former site of the Diamond Wine Company.

In the article above, which appeared in the January 8, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, it was stated that “efficiency, system and workmanship” were the outstanding features of the Easiest Way Manufacturing Company’s new plant.  On June 30, 1930, J. Frank Donahue died from an accidental drowning. He was survived by his wife, the former Caroline Sadler, and three children. He was buried at Oakland Cemetery.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

George and Freeland T. Barney

George Barney and Freeland T. Barney were both sons of Mr. and Mrs. Throop Barney. Another brother, Charles Barney, died during the cholera epidemic of 1849. Both George and Freeland T. Barney were well known pioneer businessmen in Sandusky, Ohio.

George Barney was born in the state of New York in 1814. In 1842 George married Caroline Stebbins Lawrence in Michigan. After residing for a a time in Milan, Ohio, George and Caroline Barney moved to Sandusky in 1855. By 1860, George Barney was a member of the firm, Horning, Pringle and Company, which was a brass foundry and machine shop. Later, Barney and his son, George L. Barney, ran a hardware store in the Hubbard Block of Sandusky. From about 1869 to 1888, George Barney and Joseph F. Kilby were the proprietors of Barney & Kilby, a machine works and foundry. According to the Sandusky City Directory, Barney & Kilby manufactured stationary and portable engines, rolling mill machinery, circular saw mills, woodworking machinery, and mill furnishings.

George Barney was also vice president of the People’s Electric Railway and the Sandusky Savings Bank. Mrs. Caroline Barney died in 1891, and George Barney died in 1898. They were buried in the Barney family lot at Oakland Cemetery. An obituary which appeared in the November 19, 1898 issue of the Sandusky Star stated about George Barney, that he for years he was one of Sandusky’s “most substantial and progressive businessmen.”

Freeland T. Barney was born in New York in 1805. He married Mary Moore in 1836, and moved with his new wife to Sandusky, Ohio. In the 1860 Sandusky City Directory, F.T. Barney was associated with three different businesses: Barney and Barber, which was a dock and warehouse; Barney and Cowdery, a hardware store; and the banking company of Barney, Hubbard and Durbin. By 1867 the hardware store was known as Barney and Ferris, operated by F.T. Barney and B. F. Ferris. Freeland T. Barney was known as the “father” of the Sandusky Wheel Company. In its day it the Sandusky Wheel Company was one of Sandusky’s largest factories, and employed many local residents.

Freeland T. Barney died on September 9, 1875. An obituary which appeared in the Sandusky Register on September 13, 1875 reported that the Rev. W. W. Farr, rector of Grace Episcopal Church, gave a fitting tribute to F.T. Barney, “who fulfilled his mission well and whose days were crowned with the honors of the good and successful business man.”   F.T. Barney was buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetry. To read more about the Barney family and other pioneer families of Sandusky and Erie County, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Walther’s Peptonized Port Sold in Sandusky

In August of 1903 the Sandusky Register featured several advertisements for Walther’s Peptonized Port.  

The ad above stated that Peptonized Port was helpful for “people who are nervous, cannot stand noise, start at the least unusual sound” and “get that fly-to-pieces feeling often.” The ad below informed consumers that the remedy was a combination of port wine and pepsin, with no added drugs or chemicals.

The remedy was considered a good tonic for dyspepsia, indigestion, and recommended for nursing mothers, invalids, and older people. Two sizes were sold in 1903, one for fifty cents, and a larger size for one dollar. Two drugstores that sold Walther’s Peptonized Port in Sandusky were Henkelman & Bechberger and L.A. Biehl. Henkelman & Bechberger operated their drugstore on the street level of the Sloane House hotel in downtown Sandusky.

L. A. Biehl’s drugstore was located at the corner of Hancock and East Monroe Streets.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

John G. Pool, Collector of Customs

John G. Pool was born in Pennsylvania in 1813. His family moved to Ohio in 1818, where they resided in Perry County. Later they moved to Fort Ball, near Tiffin. After the death of his parents, he moved to Port Clinton where he ran a general store, and in 1838, he moved to Sandusky. In the business directory of the September 22, 1852 issue of the Sandusky Daily Commercial Register, John Pool was listed as a partner in the Pool & Peck dry goods store. The business sold dry goods, groceries, boots, shoes, and hardware on Water Street. From the 1850s through the early 1870s, he was a flour dealer. According to the July, 1888 edition of the Firelands Pioneer, Mr. Pool was active in the Underground Railroad, aiding fugitive slaves on their way to freedom in Canada. From 1873 to 1881, he served as Collector of Customs, after having assisted Colonel Haines as deputy collector. His office was on the second floor of the old Post Office and Customs building in downtown Sandusky at the southwest corner of Columbus Avenue and West Market Street.
Sandusky's early Post Office

John G. Pool died at his home of West Washington Street on October 10, 1888. A lengthy obituary appeared in the Sandusky Register on October 11, 1888. The article was filled with the flowery language of the late nineteenth century. It read, in part, “During his busy life he was ever ready to serve gratuitously in any good cause for the benefit of the community. Being a man of deep thought and strong convictions, he was never known to falter in the path of duty…In public and in private life he commanded the respect of friends and foes, if foes he had.”  The article ended with, “Why should we mourn the departure of one clothed in robes of righteousness and panoplied with the fruits of a well spent life?” John G. Pool was survived by his wife and five children. He was buried in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery

Monday, September 09, 2013

Conrad Leonhiser Grocery

From 1873 until the late 1890s, Conrad Leonhiser operated a grocery store at the northwest corner of Reese and Hancock Streets. During some of its years in business, a saloon was also connected to the grocery store. You can see the exact location of Mr. Leonhiser’s business in the 1886 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map. The saloon was at 733 Hancock Street, and the grocery was at 735 Hancock Street. (Street numbers changed at least twice during the years of operation of the grocery store.)

Notes on the original picture identified the individuals. From left to right are: Conrad Leonhiser, Mrs. Gundlach, and Mrs. Conrad Leonhiser. On the wagon are Henry Leonhiser (left) and Mr. Heinzerling (right.)

Brooms and produce can be seen in the front of the store, while lamps, bottles and other items line the shelves inside the store. Acme soap was one item sold by Conrad Leonhiser.

 On August 1, 1896, Conrad Leonhiser died at the age of 63. His funeral took place the family residence at 731 Hancock Street. The Odd Fellows and Druids attended the funeral of Conrad Leonhiser. An article in the August 4, 1896 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Mr. Leonhiser’s funeral was largely attended, and friends and family remembered him with beautiful floral arrangements. He is buried at Oakland Cemetery.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Early Years of the Erie County Humane Society

According to Hewson Peeke’s book A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio, the Erie County Humane Society was organized in 1882, with George Marsh as president. The directors were: I.F. Mack, A.E. Merrill, J.C. Hauser, and John C. Zollinger. By 1889, Albert E. Merrill was serving as president of the Erie County Humane Society. Albert E. Merrill was a physician and a lawyer, and he served as Erie County Probate Judge from 1878 to 1890.

A lengthy description of the Erie County Humane Society was featured in an article in the June 1, 1896 issue of the Sandusky Daily Register. The article reported that, “The general objects of the society are to prevent cruelty to children and rescue them from vicious influences and remedy their condition, and to prevent cruelty to animals.” The Erie County Humane Society had been chartered under the law of the state of Ohio, and was authorized not only to prevent cruelty to children, but also to punish those who are guilty of such cruelty or neglect. The article continued, “The Humane Society calls upon teachers in the public schools to inculcate humane sentiment among the children. It urges clergymen of all denominations to advocate kindness to animals. It urges newspapers to keep before their readers the importance of humane treatment of both children and animals.” The society hoped to extend its membership into all portions of Erie County. Some of the inhumane conditions that the Humane Society hoped to prevent included: dog fights, cock fights, overloading horse cars, mutilation and underfeeding of animals, driving disabled animals, and tying the legs of calves or sheep in wagons to market. According to the February 16, 1911 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, a meeting of the Erie County Humane Society had recently met at Carnegie Hall at the Sandusky Library.

Discussed at the meeting was the situation in which several men left their horses on the street unattended for hours, while they frequented saloons. Letters of warning were issued to the offending parties. Human officer Mrs. Fannie Everett presented a total of forty-two cases of cruelty to children or animals in her quarterly report. While we do not have extensive historical documents related to the Erie County Humane Society, it is clear that Erie County leaders have been concerned with the well-being of animals (and in its early days, of children), for many decades. To read the complete articles mentioned in this post, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, where past issues of Sandusky newspapers are available on microfilm. 

Monday, September 02, 2013

Labor Day

In honor of Labor Day, we would like to share some images of workers, from the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.
Lay Brothers, 1905
Sandusky Tool Company, circa 1880
Beilsten Steam Laundry, circa 1895. Note the child laborers.
Another example of women at work: Jackson Underwear factory, 1906
The men who built the Jackson Underwear factory, 1899

A meeting of the Bartenders' Union, 1940