Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Civil War Pension Files of Harrison Washington and William H. Johnson, African American Recruits from Sandusky
An article in the June 6, 1863 issue of the Sandusky Register reported on several African American recruits from
Sandusky who were
traveling by train to Readville, Massachusetts to enlist in the Massachusetts 55th Infantry. The
group included a large majority of
the able bodied men of color in the city of Sandusky ranging from 18 to 40 years
of age. The Massachusetts 55th
Infantry was a sister regiment to the Massachusetts
54th, the military unit featured in the film Glory. Fourteen
men from Sandusky
served in Company I of the 55th Massachusetts Infantry. They were
led by Captain George T. Garrison, the son of well-known abolitionist
William Lloyd Garrison. A previous blog post about these soldiers included pictures of the tombstones of two Civil War Veterans of the Massachusetts 55th who were buried in Sandusky at . Oakland
In the pension file for Harrison Washington from the National Archives, we learn that he enlisted in the Massachusetts 55th in June of 1863. At that time, he was 5 feet 6 inches tall and he had been born on May 15, 1833 in
Harrison Fleming County, Kentucky Washington was honorably discharged
in October of 1865. He returned to Ohio for
about thirty years, and then moved back to . Fleming County, Kentucky
Another page from Mr. Washington’s pension file provides the name of his wife, Frances Washington, whom Harrison married in 1890, his third wife. One of his previous wives had been the former Cordelia Winfield from
who died in 1866. The file also includes the names and birth dates of Harrison
Washington’s children, who were named Matilda, Charlie, Cordelia, and Mary. In
1898, Harrison Sandusky, Ohio Washington was still living in Kentucky.
A note in the pension file of Harrison Washington stated that he was dropped from the pension roll due to his death in September of 1917.
William H. Johnson was another
Sandusky resident who served with Co. I of the Massachusetts
55th Infantry. He enlisted when he was 22 years old, and his
occupation was listed as carpenter. He died from wounds
he received in battle on July 2, 1864 at James Island, South Carolina. On September
3, 1883, Mrs. William H. Johnson, the former Anna McGuire, applied for a
widow’s military pension. She stated that she had married Mr. Johnson on
December 25, 1861, in Augusta County, Virginia.
A Sandusky attorney, John E. Moore, presented
the widow’s claim, though at the time she had moved to . Cleveland, Ohio
A recent article in the Charleston Post and Courier reports on the unveiling of a historic marker at Folly River Park which honors the service of the Massachusetts 55th Infantry during the Civil War. In the 129th Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio House of Representatives passed H.R. No. 297, to honor the 511 African American Ohioans who enlisted in the 54th and 55th Regiments of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Charles Merz was born in Erie County, Ohio on February 23, 1893, to Dr. Charles H. Merz and Sakie (Prout) Merz. While at
, Charles Merz
worked on the school’s yearbook, the Fram.
During the summers, he was a cub reporter for the Sandusky Register and the Star
Journal. He graduated from Sandusky
High School in 1911. The
younger Charles Merz is pictured below with the Debating Team at Sandusky High
Charles Merz graduated from Yale in 1915 and moved to
to work at Harper’s Weekly, eventually being named editor of the magazine. In 1916, he became the New York Washington
correspondent for the , with a brief hiatus during World War I, when he worked in military intelligence. He and Walter Lippmann compiled a survey on the press coverage of the Russian
Revolution, and were very critical of the coverage by the New York Times. New Republic
In 1931 Charles Merz went to work for the New York Times, where he served as editor from 1938 to 1961. During the McCarthy era, Merz was known for his opposition to Senator Joseph McCarthy in his editorials. He also wrote several books, including: The Great American Bandwagon, The Dry Decade, And Then Came Ford, and
It is believed that Centerville, U.S.A. Centerville,
U.S.A. was based primarily
on Merz’s upbringing in . Sandusky,
Charles Merz passed away on August 31, 1977. He is still remembered for his long career in journalism and his devotion to the principles of American democracy.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
This cabinet file once used for storing medicine labels is now housed in the attic level of the Follett House Museum. It had been used at the Sloane House Pharmacy, which was on the street level of the Sloane House hotel in Sandusky, beginning about 1890. Several different pharmacists worked in the Sloane House over the years, including H.K. Henkelman, Henkelman & Bechberger; Bechberger & Brown; Bechberger & Kubach, and Kubach and Buderer. Some of remedies on the labels are for Epsom salts, cod liver oil, boric acid and liniment. The label below from a container of pine tar capsules was purchased when Bechberger & Brown were partners in the Sloane House Pharmacy.
This apothecary bottle came from the pharmacy of Charles A. Lehrer, who had his business at the corner of Central Avenue and Decatur Street for several years in the first quarter of the twentieth century. He was the son of former Zion Lutheran Church pastor Rev. J. George Lehrer.
The compound of licorice powder is from the pharmacy of J.H. Emrich, an early Sandusky pharmacist.
This bottle of medicinal oil came from the E. J. Windisch Quality Pharmacy, which was in business in the 800 block of Hayes Avenue from about 1908 to 1925.
From 1898 until about 1930 Daniel Schaffer manufactured liniment. Advertisements claimed it to be the “greatest pain killer on earth.” This advertisement for Schaffer’s Wonderful Liniment appeared in the Sandusky Star Journal on November 17, 1920:
Mihalovitch’s Hungarian Blackberry Juice was manufactured by a liquor dealer in Cincinnati, but was sold locally by nine different pharmacies in Sandusky in 1887. The juice was said to be a remedy for diarrhea, dysentery, cholera morbus (gastroenteritis), and all disorders of the bowels.
Friday, February 17, 2017
Around 1900 the photographer L.C. Sartorius took pictures of employees of the Hinde and Dauch Paper Company. in the first photograph above we can see that several women worked at the company during this time. The man on the far left is holding a cart that contains a corrugated paper product manufactured at the Sandusky plant.
In the image below we see men posed in a field near a pile of straw. These men might have been responsible for gathering the straw that was used to make the corrugated cardboard in the factory.
This advertisement from Hinde and Dauch appeared on page 20 of the souvenir booklet entitled What, published by Charles M. Hill and William F. Holly in 1903. Hinde and Dauch products revolutionized the shipping industry in the early twentieth century.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Several Valentines created by the Buzza-Cardozo Company of Hollywood, California, are now in the historical collections of the Follett House Museum. The Valentine above is from the “Heart to Heart” line of Buzza-Cardozo greeting cards, which were popular in the 1940s and 1950s. The Valentine pictured below is a Valentine's Day birthday card.
Another combination birthday card and Valentine is shaped like a book.
This Valentine features a three dimensional rose when opened. It was a Valentine from a husband to his wife.
The ordinary items in our daily lives can provide family history clues. We know that the recipient of these lovely cards was a female whose birthday coincided with Valentine’s Day, and that she valued the cards enough to keep them for several years. To learn more about ephemeral items of our daily lives see the book Encyclopedia of Ephemera: A Guide to the Fragmentary Documents of Everyday life for the Collector, Curator, and Historian, by Maurice Rickards (Routledge, 2000), available for loan at the Sandusky Library.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Ceylon is a small unincorporated community north of Berlin Heights in Erie County, Ohio, along Route 61 and just east of Old Woman Creek. It was a stop for the
and Michigan Southern Railroad, and later was a station on the Lake Shore Electric Railway route. A small refreshment stand served both automobile
and interurban customers. Aldrich’s History of Erie County stated that in 1889
Ceylon had “two stores, two saloons, a hotel, a post office and a sawmill.” The May 6, 1881 Sandusky Daily Register reported that Lake Shore Ceylon was “one of the leading
shipping points on the Northern division of the Lake Shore Road.” In the fall of 1880, twenty five thousand
bushels of wheat were shipped out of Ceylon. There was a Post Office in Ceylon
until September 14, 1904. (It was established as the Berlin Station Post Office
in 1858, and the name was changed to the Ceylon Post Office on Oct. 2, 1871.) Mail was delivered by stage coach for many
is located just
east of the intersection of Peake
Road and Route 2. The cemetery was named after the
Peake (sometimes spelled Peak) family which resided in the Ceylon area in
the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. An obituary for Oliver
Peak, one of Ceylon’s
earliest settlers, is found in the July 1878 issue of the Firelands Pioneer.
The final line of Mr. Peak’s obituary says that “The deceased was an industrious farmer for many years, a man of sterling qualities, genial spirits, and went down before the Great Reaper as a shock of corn ripe for the harvest.”
Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Levi Till was born in Staffordshire, England in 1826 or 1827. (Sources vary.) He studied architecture in England, and later with an uncle in Mansfield, Ohio. By 1849, he was residing in Sandusky. Mr. Till is credited with designing and building the former home of Thomas C. McGee at 536 E. Washington Street in Sandusky.
While in some census records Mr. Till listed his occupation as carpenter, in the 1870 U.S. Census he stated he worked as a “builder and architect.” At this time, he and his wife Anna had four children in their home, ranging in age from 9 to 18.
An article which appeared in the Sandusky Register of August 9, 1873, reported that “One of the finest jobs in iron work to be found in this or any other city” had just been completed at the residence of Rush R. Sloane. Mr. Sloane’s home had built in the 1850s by Samuel Torry, and was sold to Rush Sloane in 1854. In 1873, Levi Till designed the tower, cornices and piazza of Rush Sloane’s residence, with the construction work carried out by J.B. Weis and Company, of Sandusky.
In 1878, Levi Till designed of the former home of William Robertson, Jr., a Sandusky grocer.
Helen Hansen wrote in At Home in Early Sandusky, that “Neither time nor money was spared” in the building of this house. Charles Bauman painted each room in a different color, and the newel post and stairway came from Cincinnati. The original home had chandeliers made of cut glass and the hardware on the doors was made from triple plated silver.
Another building that Levi Till designed was the old Number Three Fire Station on Meigs Street, which is now a law office.
To read more about the many historic buildings and homes in Sandusky, Ohio, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.
Sunday, February 05, 2017
Charles G. Cayhoe created this charcoal drawing of his children, Paul and Clarabelle Cayhoe, around 1909. Mr. Cayhoe was trained at the Zanerian College of Penmanship in
He was a teacher of penmanship for thirty years, serving as supervisor of
penmanship and drawing at Sandusky City Schools from 1910 until his retirement
in 1919. Columbus, Ohio
Paul and Clarabelle Cayhoe can be seen in this family picture, along with their parents, aunt and grandmother.
Thursday, February 02, 2017
On February 11, 1928, several members of management and staff of the Lower Lock Dock Company met for a dinner at the Hotel Rieger in Sandusky. The celebratory dinner was held in honor of the crews who staffed Heyl and Patterson dumpers at the Lower Lake Docks in Sandusky.
On May 6 and 7, 1927, 1254 coal cars of the Pennsylvania Railroad were unloaded, resulting in 73,987 tons of coal being dumped. This feat broke all previous unloading records at the dock.
|The invited guests were treated to a dinner of steak and baked potatoes with all the trimmings.|
At that time, C.H. Hampe was the superintendent of the company. He would go on to have a career that spanned over fifty years of dock service, having worked in Ashtabula and Sandusky. In 1950, officials of the Lower Lake Dock Company and the Pennsylvania Railroad honored Mr. Hampe with a celebration of his fifty years of service by hosting a party in his honor at the Odd Fellows Hall.
Now the company formerly known as the Lower Lake Dock Company is owned by Norfolk Southern and is operated by the Sandusky Dock Corporation. This firm still uses equipment made by Heyl and Patterson. To see more pictures of the coal docks, see a previous post at Sandusky History’s website.