Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Myrtle Louise Meagher, Music Teacher

Miss Myrtle Louise Meagher was born in Sandusky in 1882, to John E. Meagher, and his wife, the former Margaret Lotz. Myrtle was of both Irish and German descent. Myrtle’s grandfather, Henry Lotz, ran a grocery store in from the 1850s until his death in 1887 at the northeast corner of Shelby and West Washington Streets, where Joe Sundae’s is now located. 

From 1900 through the late 1920s, Myrtle was a piano teacher, having been a student of well known local piano instructor Paul Browne Patterson. The advertisement above appeared in the March 21, 1908 issue of the Woman’s Endeavor, a locally published newspaper edited by Sandusky women. Below is an advertisement which was in the Sandusky Star Journal on October 25, 1922. 

Also appearing in the Star Journal of October 25, 1922 was a brief article by Miss Meagher about the value of music. She maintained that the family and friends of a music student would benefit from music instruction, as well as the individual who was receiving the training. She held many piano recitals in her home studio on Shelby Street.

 By 1957 her health was declining, and she moved to a nursing home. Myrtle Louise Meagher died on June 4, 1965. Miss Meagher’s funeral was held at the Frey Funeral Home, and burial was at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sandusky City Schools Report Card from 1848-1849

This  report card from  the arithmetic class of Miss L. A. Barney  for the term that met December 4, 1848 to March 17, 1849 was given to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center by the Dean family. Miss Barney was a teacher in the Grammar School department of Sandusky City Schools.  

Names of the boys in the class were: Samuel Belford, John Dean, Benjamin Gregg, Robert Matthews, John Monroe, Christopher Mores, Max Rhobacher, James Van Fleet, and Joshua Watson. The young ladies in the class were: Mary Clarkson, Eliza Fisher, Margaret Garvey, Sarah Jane Jenks, Sarah Stephens, Sarah Willston, and Sarah Withington. Beside each student’s name were “exceptions to morals” in several catagories, and  the number learned for preliminary defitions, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. At the bottom of the report card were the signatures of Miss L.A. Barney, teacher, and M.F. Cowdery, superintendent of schools. 

M.F. Cowdery was the first superintendent of schools in Sandusky, serving in that capacity until 1871. He wrote a history of Sandusky City Schools, entitled Local School history of the City of Sandusky, from 1838 to1871 Inclusive, published by the Journal Steam Printing House in February 1876. A copy of this brief history is found in the Schools Collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. In the early history of Sandusky Schools, Mr. Cowdery recalled that before school buildings were built, classrooms were rented in the Methodist Chapel, Presbyterian Church, Grace Church, and a brick building in the Western Liberties. 

In February of 1844, a committee consisting of Moors Farwell, Alexander Porter, and Zenas Barker, voted in favor of purchasing lots near the East and West Markets, and one in the Western Liberties as the sites of school buildings. A high school building was to be erected on the public square. The Academy building, pictured below, was originally built on the east public square as the high school, but was also used as an early Courthouse for Erie County prior to the construction of the new high school in 1869 and the Courthouse in 1874.

M.F. Cowdery was still serving as superintendent of Sandusky City Schools when the new high school building opened in 1869.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Fireman’s Ball Held in Sandusky in 1839

On March 6, 1839 a Fireman’s Ball was held at Bradley’s Cotillion Rooms in the city of Sandusky. While we do not have specific details about Bradley’s facility, most likely the ball was held in an upper floor of one of the two story buildings then in downtown Sandusky. 

On the list of managers for the Fireman’s Ball were F.M. Follett, L.B. Johnson, and E.B. Sadler. In 1839 Foster M. Follett was the chief engineer of the Sandusky Fire Department. Mr. Follett would later serve as the Mayor of Sandusky and the Erie County Auditor. Leonard B. Johnson was an early owner of Johnson’s Island, which was the site of a prison camp during the Civil War. E.B. Sadler was a well-respected judge in Erie County.

Ellie Damm noted in her book Treasure by the Bay that the city of Sandusky used horse-drawn equipment for fighting fires until 1919. Several early fire stations were built of limestone, with space for the horses at the ground level, and quarters for the fire fighters and their equipment on the upper level.  Pictured below are fire fighters are standing in front of the old Number Four Fire Station, located on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Osborne Street in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Sandusky’s Fire Department has been in operation since the 1830s. The very earliest firemen were equipped with substantial buckets filled with water, known as the “bucket brigade.” As time went by, fire engines were purchased, fire stations were built, and wells were dug throughout the city to supply water for the firemen. To read about the history of Sandusky’s Fire Department, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Exhibition of the Berlin Seminary in 1854

On March 17, 1854, under the leadership of Principal T.H. Armstrong, students of the Berlin Seminary in Berlin Township in Erie County, Ohio, gave an exhibition at the Congregational Church of Berlin Township. Over five hundred people attended the exhibition. 

Rev. F.A.  Deming from the Congregational Church opened the session in prayer. H.B. Luce gave a talk about education, and J. Kilburn spoke about industry. Other topics included beauty, self-made men, and several “ladies’ papers.”  As the evening progressed, H.C. Hill spoke about spiritualism (a very popular topic of the era), while M.M. Benschoter spoke about anti-spiritualism. Several women acted out a skit about human nature. A favorite number of the exhibition was given by a trio of young men, Orro Lovell, George Fowler, and John Tucker, who performed a ballad entitled “Sour Grapes.” 

An article which appeared in the April 15, 1854 issue of the Sandusky Register pointed out that Berlin had in its precinct those who could add to the community’s intellectual and moral enjoyment.  Students who attended the Berlin Seminary had the opportunity to board with area families. Tuition in 1853 was $3.00 for common English studies; $4.00 for higher level English studies; $4.50 for Latin and Greek languages; and a fee of twenty five cents was to be paid each term by all students for “incidentals.”  The Congregational Church at Berlin Heights is now known as the First Congregational United Church of Christ. A commemorative plate from the Congregational Church is found in the historical collections of the Follett House Museum.

Friday, March 08, 2019

The Study Club of the Presbyterian Church

In the Clubs and Organizations Collections of the Sandusky Library Archives Research are two early nineteenth century club calendars from The Study Club of the Presbyterian Church. The Study Club of the Presbyterian Church of Sandusky, Ohio was organized in 1896. The theme for the club in 1901-1902 was “Travels in Italy and Greece.” 

The ladies met on Monday evenings from October through April. They discussed the culture and history of Italy and Greece, with three or four presentations at each meeting. On March 10, 1902, Bell West discussed Athens: Its Topography; Maria Warren discussed the Present Reigning Family of Greece; Harriet C. West gave a talk on the Orthodox Greek Church, and The University of Athens was presented by Alida Ayres. In 1902-1903 the Study Club focused on the Victorian Era. Members studied Victorian authors, leaders, artists, and social reformers.

If you would like to view the Club Calendars from the Study Club of the Presbyterian Church, inquire at the Reference Services Desk.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Knute Rockne Addressed the Sandusky Kiwanis Club in 1925

Image from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
A front-page article in the March 6, 1925 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that football genius Knute Rockne gave the address at a Sandusky Kiwanis banquet which was held at the Elks Club on March 4, 1925.  The Register article stated, “With raptor like forensic thrust and fairly bubbling with the college athlete spirit, the man who last year coached the first national collegiate football eleven in the nation’s history, gave what was unanimously declared to be the best address scholastic athletes ever heard here.” 

Sandusky City Solicitor Edmund H. Savord, a Notre Dame alumnus, introduced Knute Rockne to the crowd of two hundred fifty people. In his opening remarks, Coach Rockne recalled his summers at Cedar Point, where his boss had been J.F. Singler. Rev. William F. Murphy, who had officiated at the wedding of Knute Rockne to Bonnie Skiles, sat next to Rockne at the speaker’s table. 

According to Rockne, there were five components of success needed in football. They included brains, ambition, hard work, dependability, and proper psychology. Knute Rockne stated that the ideals of college athletes also “make for better men and better citizenship.”  In his closing remarks, Coach Rockne quoted the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Don’t foul, don’t flinch; and when you hit the line, hit hard.”   

Members of the Sandusky High School football and basketball teams attended the banquet. Each of the football players have been identified in this picture from the 1925 Fram, which covered the school year of 1924-1925.

The uniforms of the basketball players for SHS in 1924-25 were quite different from the high school uniforms we see today.

After Coach Rockne’s address, George W. Wiles led the group in singing. Sandusky High School’s “Victory” song was sung by the high school athletes first, and then sung again by all guests at the banquet. Lloyd Weninger, who wrote the words and music to the “Victory” song, was given an ovation. 


Saturday, March 02, 2019

“A Woman’s Club”

A poem titled “A Woman’s Club” appeared in the Sandusky Register on August 13, 1899. Written by Sarah Palmer, and originally appearing in the periodical Club Woman, the poem was said then to have been the best club poem ever written. The first twelve lines are:

What is a woman’s club? A meeting ground
For those of purpose great and broad and strong.
Whose aim is toward the stars: who ever long
To make the patient, listening world resound
With sweeter music, purer, nobler tones.
A place where kindly, helpful words are said
And kindlier deeds are done; where hearts are fed:
Where wealth of brain and poverty atones
And hand grasps hand, and souls find touch with soul.
Where victors in the race for fame power
Look backward even in their triumph hour,
To beckon others toward the shining goal.

Women in Sandusky and Erie County have met together informally as well as in clubs and organizations for many years. Hewson Peeke wrote about local women’s clubs in Chapter 23 of his book, A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio. During the Civil War, the Ladies Aid Society of Grace Church sent food to soldiers in need. The Ladies’ Library Association of Sandusky worked diligently to raise funds for the building of a public library in Sandusky.

Members of the Benevolent Society of the First Congregational Church of Sandusky are participating in a quilting bee in the late nineteenth century in the image below.

Here is a photograph of Mrs. Charles Emrich’s Reading Club:

The Pythian Sisters decorated a car with a patriotic theme in an unidentified parade:

Five Red Cross volunteers are pictured at the corner of Wayne and Jefferson Streets during World War One.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view historic photographs and documents relating to women’s organizations in Sandusky and Erie County. Included in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center are records from the Erie County Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Martha Pitkin Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Art Study Club, the Nineteenth Century Club, Business Women’s Club, United Ladies Sewing Circle, College Women’s Club, and the Catholic Women’s Study Club, and others.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Opera at Cedar Point

An article in the “Twenty Five Years Ago” feature of the Sandusky Star Journal of February 26, 1932 featured an announcement which had appeared in the February 26, 1907 issue of the Star Journal. Bradford Mills, after conferring with G.A. Boeckling, signed a contract to provide eight weeks of comic opera for the 1907 summer season. Mr. Mills was the director of the Toledo Conservatory of Music at that time. On August 16, 1907, the newspaper stated that “The Colonial Opera Company, under the direction of Bradford Mills of the Toledo Conservatory of Music will close a most successful engagement at the Cedar Point Theater.” One of the comic operas performed at Cedar Point in 1907 was Lecocq’s Girofle-Girofla. The opera was about the twin daughters of the governor of a Spanish province who was in financial difficulties. Miss Juanita Rush of Toledo, Ohio portrayed both the daughters. Costumes for the production were supplied by the Toledo Conservatory of Music, and the piano used at Cedar Point was supplied from the Starr Piano Company of Toledo. Opera didn't last very long at Cedar Point, however, because people were more interested in vaudeville at that time.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Plaza Theatre Advertisement from 1929

This advertisement appeared in the February 1, 1929 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, on the day before the old Sandusky Bay Bridge was dedicated.

The ad pointed out that with the opening of the bridge across Sandusky Bay, Ottawa County residents could now easily travel to the Plaza Theater on Jackson Street in Sandusky, Ohio. The manager of the Plaza was A.C. Himmelein, the nephew of John A. Himmelein, who was also connected with the entertainment industry. Tickets to the Plaza ranged in price from ten cents for children to forty cents for adults on Sunday and holidays. According to the advertisement, Sandusky’s finest “photo-plays” were shown at the Plaza, sometimes even appearing in Sandusky before they were shown in Cleveland or Toledo. The Plaza Theater opened in 1914 as the Ivonhoe, and was located in the 200 block of Jackson Street, next to what is now the Sandusky Register building. The theater was razed in the 1960s. 

Here is a picture of the Plaza Theatre when the Walt Disney movie Snow White played there in the late 1930s:

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Exhibition of the Students of the Sandusky City High School in 1846

On Friday evening, February 6, 1846, students of the Sandusky City High School gave an Exhibition. Orations and compositions were presented throughout the evening. Julia Farwell, the daughter of Sandusky’s first Mayor, Moors Farwell, gave a composition entitled “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” An oration on the topic of slavery was presented by Francis E. Parish, the son of well-known Sandusky lawyer and abolitionist, F. D. Parish. Mr. F.D. Parish had been elected as one of the school directors in 1838.

Annette Tilden, seen below with her young son, after she had married Isaac Mills, was the daughter of pioneer physician, Dr. Daniel Tilden. Annette gave a talk on “Humbled Pride.”

Two of the students listed on the last page of the program are of interest. Edmund G. Ross went on to become a U.S. Senator for the state of Kansas. He is known for casting the vote which acquitted Andrew Johnson during his impeachment trial in 1868, and he was one of the subjects of the book Profiles in Courage, the book co-authored by John F. Kennedy and Theodore Sorensen in 1956. During the 1846 Exhibition, Edmund G. Ross gave an oration on capital punishment.  Richard R. Sloane, better known as Rush Sloane, gave his oration on the topic of the nineteenth century. Rush Sloane became a railroad official, Mayor of Sandusky, and was the owner of the Sloane House, a hotel that stood in Sandusky from 1881 until well into the twentieth century

It is interesting to note that the program for the Exhibition was published by D. Campbell and Sons, who also published the local newspaper in Sandusky. To read more about the early history of schools in Sandusky, see “Local School History of the City of Sandusky, from 1838 to 1872 Inclusive,” written by M.F. Cowdery in 1876, and housed in the Schools Collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Automobile Show at Jackson Junior High School

Sandusky’s 15th Annual Automobile Show was held at Jackson Junior High School on February 14, 15, and 16 in 1936. (The photo above is undated, but it was from the decade of the 1930s.) Details about the Auto Show in 1936 were featured in the Sandusky Register and Star Journal newspapers, now available on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.  Thirty new cars were on display, and there was entertainment and door prizes each night of the show. Admission fee was fifteen cents. 

The new Chrysler automobiles in 1936 had several new features, including more passenger space, stronger body construction, and a new ventilating system.

Some of the models of cars on display from the Ogontz Garage are no longer made today.

Appliances were also on display at the Auto Show.

The Erney Family had two performances during the Auto Show.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the history of Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Judge E.B. Sadler’s Memories in Rhyme

The Honorable Ebenezer Brown Sadler was Erie County Common Pleas Judge from 1845 to 1851, and he also served as Mayor and Postmaster of Sandusky, Ohio during his long years of public service.

In the Sunday February 14, 1885 edition of the Sandusky Register there appeared a poem by Judge Sadler entitled “Memories in Rhyme.”

Judge Sadler married Emily Webb in 1843 in West Bloomfield, New York. Mrs. Emily Webb Sadler died of cholera in 1849, and Judge Sadler never re-married. By reading Judge Sadler’s poem, it is clear that his love for Emily did not wane, though she died after they had been married for only a few years. A transcription of “Memories in Rhyme” reads:

Memories in Rhyme – Judge Sadler

Between Bloomfield and Lima, there flows a small stream.
Along a deep valley, from Lake Honeyeye [sic];
I remember the time when ‘twas like a sweet dream,
In its waters to bathe, when I was a boy.

I remember full well, the Hutchinson mill,
With all its surroundings, its bridge, and its race;
And oft do I wonder, it is standing there still;
Or have other structures been raised in its place.

Then there’s old Jockey Hill I can never forget.
Nor the beautiful maiden I there made my bride:
In my dreams, I oft fancy I see her there still,
Lovingly smiling, sitting close by my side.

She departed long since, through the shadowy vale,
The messenger, Death, having claimed her his own:
She ascended to Heaven, where joys never fail,
And left me to travel life’s journey alone.

The dear friends of my childhood have all passed away,
And left me alone in the twilight of years;
Then why should I linger, wishing longer to stay,
To drag out a life in this valley of tears.

Dear friend, please excuse this sorrowful strain,
So foreign to nature, so gloomy in tone;
But I often indulge in a mournful refrain,
When sitting and musing in my office alone.

I have passed through life’s journey with my share of bliss,
And thankful that I’ve ‘scaped its troubles so well;
Will my life in the next world be pleasant as this,
I ask myself often, but no mortal can tell.

My journey of life will soon come to an end,
Its pleasures and sorrows will soon pass away;
There is much in my life I would gladly commend,
And some to condemn, I am sorry to say.

Our progress through life is midst trouble and care;
And God’s Golden Rule should be well understood.
If the greatest enjoyment in life we would share,
We must strive to do right and seek to be good.

Judge E.B. Sadler passed away on March 25, 1888, just a few years after he penned this rhyme. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery, next to his beloved wife Emily.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Valentine from 1856

This charming Valentine with scalloped edges is dated February 14, 1856. It was donated to the former historical room of the Sandusky Library by George Anderson, and now is in the historical collections of the Follett House Museum. Inside the oval decorated with flowers is this inscription:

A bouquet of flowers
already press'd
Fresh from the bowers
with this single request.
That reading each one
by the language expressed.
The secret you'll have
that lives in my breast. 

The above is original,
Jane, so get your language
of flowers and translate them. 

While we do not know who wrote the verse on the Valentine, it was given to a female named Jane. In looking at the 1920 U.S. Census, we see that Jane Coan was residing in the household of her nephew, George F. Anderson. Most likely, George F. Anderson donated the Valentine to the Sandusky Library’s historical room after his Aunt Jane died in 1920. Jane Coan’s great grandmother was Abigail Kelley, who was a part of the Kelley family for whom Kelleys Island is named. 

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Heslet’s Academy of Dancing

This advertisement for Heslet’s Dancing Academy appeared in the February, 1902 edition of the Fram. By looking at each illustration more closely, we can read the words that appear in each section of the ad. Professor William Heslet had 500 pupils enrolled in the 1901-1902 course year. Beginner’s classes met on Monday evening at 7:30. Beside the dancers is written: “Have you learned to dance without taking lessons and dance like this?”

A phrase in the next illustration reads, “Or have you learned from an incompetent instructor and dance like this?”

“Or will you be a wallflower” is the phrase in the illustration at the bottom left portion of the advertisement.

The concluding sentence reads, “Or would you dance like this and be a credit to yourself and friend?”

“Professor” William S. Heslet conducted a private dancing academy in Sandusky from about 1898 through 1921.

During the 1898-1899 season, Professor Heslet gave classes on the third floor of the Lea Block on Market and Wayne Streets.

By 1908, he had moved the dancing academy to the Cable Block, at the northeast corner of Market and Jackson Streets. In 1921, Mr. Heslet moved to Detroit, Michigan where he served as the dance manager of the Bob-Lo resort. Hundreds of former Sandusky students were sad to see their dance instructor leave Sandusky.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Basketball Team Pictures from the Sandusky Business College

Sandusky photographer W.A. Bishop took two pictures of the Sandusky Business College basketball of 1913-14. The varsity team is pictured above and the junior varsity is below.

Several individuals have been identified in the team picture of the 1920-21 Sandusky Business College basketball team. Seated in the front are: Willard Grathwol, Fred Meinzer and Art Wintersteller. The second individual in the back row is W.O. Loudenslagel, president of the college at that time. Mr. Loudenslagel was once a student at Sandusky Business College, and later became an instructor.  In 1918, he purchased the college, and he served as president until it ceased operations in 1949. Harry Miller is also in the back row, but it is not known which of the other three men he is. 

Below is the 1928 basketball team. Though none of the students have been identified in this picture, President Loudenslagel is the man in the suit and tie at the far left.

We have one photo of the women’s basketball team from the 1922-23 season in our collection; none of the women are identified, however.

There are several names written on the back of the original photograph of the 1930-31 men’s basketball team of the Sandusky Business College. The team players were: Paul Scheid, Edward Hinde, Duane Rogers, Burrell Braver, Charles Zimmerman, Robert Smith, Abe Grathwol, Ralph Rhodes, James Kelley, Robert Holzmiller, and William Bluhm.  W.O. Loudenslagel is at the far left of the picture.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the people and businesses who have made Sandusky and Erie County home.