Thursday, October 17, 2019

Elementary Textbooks by Frank J. Prout and Other Sanduskians

Between 1924 and 1936, Frank J. Prout and other local authors produced several reading textbooks that were published by the University Publishing Company, which had offices in Lincoln, Chicago, Dallas and New York.

The book, Thought Test Readers, for First Grade students, is shelved in the Woolworth Bookcase in the Quiet Reading Room of the Sandusky Library. The authors were Frank J. Prout, Emeline Baumeister, and Nellie Mischler, with illustrations by Helen Renner. In 1930, when this title was published, Mr. Prout was the Superintendent of Schools in Sandusky, Emeline Baumeister was a second grade teacher at Campbell School, and Nellie Mischler was a first grade teacher at Barker School. Dr. Prout would later serve as president of Bowling Green State University.

The King's Drum was written in 1937 by Dr. Prout, and Ms. Baumeister, who by this time was the Principal of Campbell School in Sandusky. This title, another in the Thought Test series, was designed for use with students in Grade Four. Ruth Mary Hallock illustrated the book. The illustrations were done in shades of aqua, green, and orange.

Included in this book were fictional stories, tales from other lands, stories about numbers, citizenship, and animals. Chapter 10 was entitled “Song and Story” and featured background information about familiar songs. To view this title, which is located in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, inquire at the Reference Desk of the Sandusky Library.

Copies of books written by Frank Jay Prout, Emeline Baumeister, and Nellie Mischler are found at several colleges in Ohio, the Library of the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center, the Ohioana Library in Columbus, Ohio, and the Library of Congress. A Thought Test Reader is also housed at The Richard L. Venezky Collection of 19th and 20th Century American Primers and Readers at Stanford University in California.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Garment Care in Sandusky

The 1896 Sandusky City Directory lists a variety of businesses which advertised services that helped area residents maintain their clothing. While we not know the specifics of what types of renovation were offered, four individuals were listed as "Clothing Renovators": John Conley, Louis Dietz, John M. Fox, and Mrs. Otto Peter.  Businesses which offered to dye clothing in 1896 were: Burt Moskovits, C. F. Rathke, and Waibel & Knoebel. Three laundries appeared in the 1896 City Directory: Beilstein & Pfanner, Henny Frank, and Till & Wagner. Ten merchant tailors and dozens of dressmakers were also included in the 1896 Sandusky City Directory.

By 1919, C.A. Rathke had expanded his business to a dry cleaning and dyeing works. Mr. Rathke also made suits to order. Mr. Rathke was a tailor in Sandusky for many years.

In 1906 Henry Beilstein and Philip Pfanner were the proprietors of the Beilstein Steam Laundry at 630 Market Street. In later years, there were Dry Cleaning establishments owned separately by the Beilstein and Pfanner families.

The people in the photograph below are not identified, but notes on the back of the photo state that some of the last names of the people pictured are: McLaughlin, Ryan, McCann, and Conley. The Sandusky Dyeing and Cleaning Works was on East Park Street in the 1890s.

By the 1950’s, there were several dry cleaners in Sandusky. The Sun Way Dry Cleaners offered “One Hour Martinizing” at its East Market Street location in the Hubbard block.

There were many more laundries and dry cleaners in Sandusky for which we do not have photographs. The Mahala Steam Laundry operated in Sandusky for many years, with various owners and locations. Visit the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library to view historical city directories. The historical city and county directories will provide information about the citizens and the businesses of Sandusky and Erie County dating back to the nineteenth century.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Dedication of Cable Park Historic District

On October 8, 1989, the Erie County Historical Society dedicated a marker in the Cable Park neighborhood of Sandusky to commemorate the historic district on Wayne Street between Scott and Cable Streets, as well as the former Erie County Fairgrounds, at this location between 1865 and 1899. In the picture above, Mayor Mike Kresser is speaking to the group gathered for the marker dedication. Laurence Cable and his sons Frank and Edward planned the residential district.

There were specific guidelines for the homes that were built at Cable Park, listed below in the August 9, 1914 issue of the Sandusky Register.

There were to be only residences, and no commercial properties in Cable Park. The house lines were to be no less than forty feet from Wayne Street. No two-family homes were allowed. The planned residential area was to have a park-like atmosphere, and it was close to public transportation routes.

Cable Park Historic District was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. You can read more about Cable Park in the Sandusky Register of February 24, 1988.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Andrew J. Biemiller, Member of Congress

Andrew J. Biemiller in High School

Andrew J. Biemiller was the son of Andrew Frederick and Pearl (Weber) Biemiller, born in Sandusky, Ohio in 1906. (A Biemiller family member of an earlier generation founded the Biemiller Opera House in Sandusky in 1877.) Young Andrew was a member of the Sandusky High School Debating Club during his senior year at Sandusky High School, in 1921-1922.  According to the 1922 Fram, he was an outstanding orator. After graduating from Cornell University in 1926, he taught history at Syracuse University and the University of Pennsylvania. For a time he was associated with the Socialist Party, serving as a campaign manager for Norman Thomas, Socialist candidate for President in 1932. But in 1944 he was elected as a Democrat to serve as United States Representative for Wisconsin’s Fifth District. He lost the election in 1946, but was returned to Congress in 1948. After serving in the U.S. Congress, Mr. Biemiller became the chief lobbyist for the AFL-CIO. The Truman Library features an oral history in which he mentions Sandusky several times. 

Andrew J. Biemiller died on April 3, 1982. He was buried in Ellicott, Maryland.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The Century Buffet

This full page advertisement for the Century Buffet appeared in the book What: Souvenir of Sandusky and the Islands of Lake Erie, published by Hill and Bolly in 1903. According to the Sandusky Evening Star of October 14, 1902, William C. Klaes took possession of the Century saloon and café on Columbus Avenue, taking over the business from Fred Volk. Mr. Klaes is pictured in the center of the page. An advertisement from 1903 indicated that the business was thriving.

One of the favorite beverages on tap at the Century was Atlas Beer. An article in the December 31, 1903 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that Mr. Klaes had been secured to be the manager of the African American boxer Jim Watts. 

By 1907, Charles T. Wolfe was the proprietor of the Century. Mr. Wolfe went out of business in 1909, due to poor business in general, as well as high liquor taxes. Because of its prime location in downtown Sandusky, a variety of businesses have been in operation at the site; Daly’s Pub now occupies the spot on Columbus Avenue that was once home to the Century Buffet.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Letter to Private Lehnhard Winkler in 1864

On her fifty-third birthday, September 26, 1864, Mrs. Justina Winkler of Sandusky, Ohio wrote a letter to her son, who was serving in Company I of the Third Ohio Cavalry. Mrs. Winkler told her son Lehnhard (sometimes spelled Lenhart; later he was called Leonard) about a recent plot to free some prisoner’s at the Johnson’s Island prison. She told her son how the Winkler home was saddened without Lehnhard’s presence, and that she and the family wished him well. John Schwab, another Civil War soldier who had recently returned home from war, also sent greetings to Lehnhard.  The Winklers’ neighbor’s son was unable to adapt to the rigors of life in military service. Mrs. Winkler assures Lehnhard that the family back home was well, and she was most anxious to be re-united with her son.

Dr. Norbert A. Lange translated Justina Winkler’s letter to her son from the German:

Private Winkler did return safely from the Civil War. He was discharged from the service on August 4, 1865. He brought home with him a photograph album which contained several tintypes of soldiers that he had met.

In 1871 Leonard Winkler married Theresa Weber.

Mrs. Justina Winkler passed away in 1877. She was buried at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Her son Leonard died on May 29, 1893, and the G.A.R. conducted burial services for him at Oakland Cemetery. Theresa Weber Winkler lived well into her 80’s; she died on January 5, 1935 and was buried in the Winkler family lot in Block 76 of Oakland Cemetery. Leonard and Theresa (Weber) Winkler named one of their daughters Justina, in honor of Leonard’s mother.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Photographic Postcard from the Perry Centennial

This photographic postcard was taken at the time of the Perry's Victory Centennial which commemorated the one hundredth anniversary of Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory at the Battle of Lake Erie. Sandusky’s celebration took place on September 8 and 9, 1913. Columbus Avenue was decorated with flags, lights, banners, and patriotic bunting. Visitors to the Perry Centennial arrived by the interurban electric railway and automobiles, and then boarded boats to travel Put in Bay on South Bass Island.

On the west side of Columbus Avenue, one of the shops on the street level of the West House hotel hung a banner promoting their services for the developing of Kodak camera prints.

A café and restaurant on the east side of the street were open for business to serve meals to the many visitors to Sandusky and the Lake Erie Islands region.

The Lake Shore Electric Railway Co. transported people to Sandusky from all points on the system, which included Cleveland, Lorain, Elyria, Norwalk, Bellevue, Fremont, Toledo, and many stops in between, while the steamer Arrow made two trips daily to Put in Bay, Lakeside, Kelleys Island, and Middle Bass. 

Taking a closer look at this postcard allows us to see the energy and excitement that was associated with the celebration of this historic event. To learn more about the event, view the Official Souvenir Program of the Perry’s Victory Centennial, available online at the Internet Archive.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Funeral Notice for David Adams

The funeral notice for David Adams invites friends of the young man’s parents, Thomas P. and Eliza Hurst Adams, to his funeral, to be held at the Adams residence on September 8, 1853.

At the top of the notice is an image of a tombstone next to a willow tree. Bertram S. Puckle wrote in his book Funeral Customs: Their Origin and Development that: “The weeping willow, by reason of its form trailing and bowed in grief, as its name suggests, caused it to be frequently planted in such a position where it might overhang a favoured tomb, like some perpetual mourner.”

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Adams may not have lived  in Erie County, or lived here only briefly, as their name does not appear in the 1850 or 1860 U.S. Census for Erie County. Unfortunately, we do not know the location of the David Adams residence.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Bouncing Owl Club on a Boat in the Bay

Several men and women were on a small boat near Meigs Street in Sandusky on September 20, 1908. The picture was entitled “Bouncing Owl Club.” What this club was and who its members were is unknown. In the background, the city water works plant is visible. (It appears that the water works plant was having some work done to the roof.) At this time, Theodore Roosevelt was nearing the end of his term as President of the United States. Sandusky had almost 20,000 residents, while Perkins was home to about 3500 people. Looking at the microfilmed copy of the Sandusky Register for September 20, 1908, the weather was fair on this date. The new Herb and Myers store announced its grand opening, and both Jessie Meenan and Carrie Freyensee advertised that their stores had recently received shipments of their new fall hats. Baseball games were being played at League Park, and members of the Shamrocks Baseball Club were going on an excursion to Leamington, Canada.

But we don't know anything about the Bouncing Owl Club. Do you?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Convention of the Erie County Women’s Christian Temperance Union in Sandusky

The ninth annual convention of the Erie County Women’s Christian Temperance Union was held on Wednesday, September 20, 1916 at the Congregational Church in Sandusky, Ohio.

The History of Erie County (1889), edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, states that a number of well known ladies of Sandusky met to organize a temperance league in 1879. Their object of the society was: “combating intemperance and kindred vices through Christian influences and Christian work.”  By 1928, during the Prohibition era, there were several area groups of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in the various communities of Erie County, which were under the leadership of a Union Board.

Mrs. Imogene Dauch, sister in law of J. J. Dauch, was active in the W.C.T.U. from 1911 through the 1930s, often serving as an officer of the West Huron chapter. She was the Erie County delegate to the Ohio W.C.T.U. Convention in 1929, held at Findlay. At the local convention of the Erie County W.C.T.U. in 1916, Mrs. Dauch opened the convention with prayer and Bible reading, and gave a welcoming address as well as the annual President’s message. Her daughter, Cynthia Aulda Dauch presented a piano solo to the attendees. Cynthia A. Dauch would later become the executive director of the Visiting Nurse Association of Los Angeles. 

Imogene Dauch died in Sandusky in 1975 at the age of 92. Besides her work in the W.C.T.U., she was also a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, the Daughters of 1812, the National Order of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Huron Grange.

To read more about temperance activities in Sandusky, see this previous blog post.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Photographic Postcards of the Sandusky High School Football Team of 1920

Several postcards in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center feature the 1920 Sandusky High School football team. The team is pictured above outside the former Sandusky High School, which later became Adams Junior High. Below are eleven key players for the 1920 team.

In the back are, left to right: Abe Cohen, Joe Dise, Jim Kelley, Ray Baker. In the front are: Matt Lauber, Arden Krebs, Hank Krebs, H. Dean, unidentified, Carl Borders, and Axline Dewitt. 

Matt Lauber was the team’s captain.

The Sandusky High School Fram of January 1921 stated that the Sandusky High School football team in the fall of 1920 was not very successful. In league play, Sandusky won two and lost three games. An article in the October 24, 1920 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that though Lorain beat Sandusky on October 23 by a score of 7 to 0, many people felt that referee Tommy Neill had made a bad call during the game, which gave Lorain its only touchdown. Sandusky’s Coach Mackey felt that if a protest were to be made, it would not be in the best interest of the league, so no formal protest was initiated.  

To learn more about Sandusky High School's football rivalry with Fremont Ross, look for Vince Guerrieri's book, The Blue Streaks and Little Giants: More Than a Century of Sandusky and Fremont Ross Football, which covers the long standing football rivalry between the Sandusky Blue Streaks and the Fremont Little Giants; it is available for check-out at the Sandusky Library.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Sandusky Boosters: 100,000 in 1920

In 1912 two men from Cleveland spoke to a group of fourteen Sandusky businessmen. Charles F. Laughlin and Stanley L. McMichael, president and secretary of the Cleveland Real Estate Board, were in Sandusky on the evening of September 19, 1912. They encouraged the local men to consider the possibility of trying to increase the population of Sandusky to 100,000 by the time of the next U.S. Census, in 1920. According to a Sandusky Register article, Mr. Laughlin stated in part, “You people in Sandusky must anticipate the time when you will have 100,000 or 200,000 population. You will not always remain a small town. You are too geographically well located. You have the greatest prospects of any town in the state.”  The speakers felt that by Sandusky men becoming affiliated with the Ohio Association of Real Estate Exchanges that the community could experience significant growth.

The men who committed to starting a new organization to promote growth in Sandusky were:
Philip Buerkle, A. C. Lermann, A. C. Close, C. C. Bittner, T. E. Risk, D. E. Weichel, James Flynn, Jr., C. W. Sadler, H. J. Schiller, Lawrence Frandsen, C. H. Stubig, and J. C. Hauser.

While Sandusky’s population did not achieve the goal of the population reaching 100,000 by 1920, at the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the City of Sandusky, Ohio, held in the August of 1924, a poem entitled “Boost” appeared on the title page of the Official Souvenir Program. (Figures from the U.S. Census indicate that the population of Sandusky in 1920 was 22, 897.)

Sunday, September 08, 2019

The Ladies Fair Show Comes to Cedar Point in 1951

In conjunction with Erie County’s Fall Festival, two performances of the “Ladies Fair Show” took place at Cedar Point on September 7, 1951. Tom Moore, a radio personality with the Mutual Broadcasting System, was the host of the show. Tickets were sold for $1.00 and $1.50. The “Ladies Fair Show” was a radio program that was broadcast during the morning hours by the Mutual Broadcasting System in the early 1950s. The program featured music, games, and quizzes for the ladies in the audience. When the “Ladies Fair Show” came to Sandusky, two thousand dollars worth of prizes were awarded during the program. The Fall Festival was held in Sandusky, Ohio from September 6 to September 9, 1951. The festival featured a beauty pageant, band concert, square dancing, marksmanship show, and a steer auction.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Honorable Discharge of a Squirrel Hunter

In September of 1862, General Lewis Wallace (of Ben-Hur fame) was ordered to prepare to defend Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio, following the capture of Lexington, Kentucky by Confederate forces.  Martial law was declared in Cincinnati, and local civilians were called in to help defend the city against an attack. Governor David Tod ordered the Adjutant-General of Ohio to send any available troops. Several counties around the state offered to send civilians to Cincinnati. Only men who had their own weapons were to respond, and the railroad was to provide transportation to the volunteers at no cost to the men. Eventually these men became known as Squirrel Hunters.” 

One of the men who answered the call to go to Cincinnati was John McCardle, from Erie County.  In 1863, he received an honorable discharge by Governor Tod. The document was also signed by Charles W. Hill, the Adjutant-General of Ohio, and Malcolm McDowell, Major and acting Aide de Camp. In 1908 Ohio legislators passed a resolution to pay each surviving Squirrel Hunter a sum of thirteen dollars, as pay for serving as an Ohio militia man. You can read more about Ohio’s “Squirrel Hunters” in an online newsletter from the Oberlin Heritage Center.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Sandusky High School Students Circa 1939

Pictured above are Sandusky High School students about 1939. Social Studies teacher John R. Kahler can be seen in the center of the group. Notes on the back of the original photograph have identified most of the people in the picture.

Many of these students were graduates in June of 1940. Student Jay Leibach would go on to become the chief engineer at WLEC Radio. His obituary in 1986 stated that Jay Leibach was responsible for getting WLEC on the air on December 7, 1947. Mr. Kahler eventually left the education field, and he had another long career with Sandusky Foundry and Machine (now MetalTek); he also served as Sandusky’s ex-officio Mayor in 1948-1949.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Fourth Grade Class at Monroe School in 1897

Mrs. Norman Scherer donated this classroom picture of the fourth grade class of Monroe School in 1897. Though not pictured, Miss Beilstein was the teacher for this class. Several of the students have been identified.

Originally known as the Ninth Ward School, Monroe School was built in 1894.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Fishing Outings on the Major Wilcox

The Major Wilcox was a company boat for the Booth Fisheries Company, which was in operation in Sandusky from the early 1900s through the early 1960s. In the undated picture above, the only individual who has been identified is J.J. Schrank, who was a longtime employee of Booth Fisheries. He is the fourth individual from the left, in the back row. 

In August of 1914 and 1915, Erie County officials went aboard the Major Wilcox for a fishing outing. A “Looking Backward” column of the Sandusky Register of August 11, 1935, stated that on August 11, 1915, the Erie County Courthouse appeared to be a “deserted village” because so many county officials were out of the office on the annual fishing party and outing. Below is a photograph taken by E.H. Schlessman of the Erie County Officials annual fishing outing on August 26, 1914.

The boat was the namesake of prominent Sandusky business man Clinton B. Wilcox, who also served as a Major in Company B of the 16th Regiment, Ohio National Guard.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

“Ye Oak Meadow” Farm and Gun Club

Between 1907 and 1919, Mr. and Mrs. Ira C. Krupp lived on South Hayes Avenue, on the property formerly owned by the Palmerton family. (Ira Krupp’s mother Ida Palmerton Krupp was the daughter of J. E. Palmerton.)  The Palmerton property in 1896 is pictured below:

Ira C. Krupp, son of local undertaker Charles J. Krupp, operated a dairy farm at this location in the 1910’s. 

In June of 1911 Ira Krupp was a founding member of  “Ye Oak Meadow Gun Club,” which was organized at the Sunyendeand Club. The officers were: August Kuebeler, President; Lea Marsh, Vice President; W.A. Magoon, Secretary; Dr. J. K. Douglass, Treasurer; Ira Krupp, Manager; and Dr. J. D. Parker, Captain. According to the June 6, 1911 Sandusky Register the membership was made up of the best trap shooters in Erie County. Roy Parker, also known as Leroy Parker, had the high score at the regular shoot at the Gun Club on August 26, 1911.  He was an Erie County Commissioner from 1920 through 1924. 

C. Webb Sadler was also a member of  the club.

He was the grandson of Judge E. B. Sadler, and was associated with many other area clubs, including the Blue Hole, Castalia Farms, and the Rockwell Trout Club. According to Helen Hansen’s At Home in Early Sandusky, C. Webb Sadler was the driving force behind the development of Battery Park. 

A large turkey shoot was held in November 1911. By this time the grounds included a club house and a firing range. Mrs. Ira Krupp, the former Emeline Moss, was hostess for a bridge party and luncheon in December 1911.Around 1919 news articles about Ye Oak Meadow Gun Club ceased, and in the 1920’s  Mr. and Mrs. Krupp moved to Connecticut. While they were in Erie County, however, they were very active in the social and agricultural circles of the area.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Marriage of Mr. Albert Brownworth and Miss Theresa Casper

This ornate marriage certificate was issued to Albert Brownworth and Theresa Casper on August 12, 1903. The couple was united in marriage at St. Mary’s Church in Sandusky, Ohio by the Rev. Joseph S. Widmann. Several verses of scripture are found on the certificate, and at the bottom of the certificate is a phrase often used in marriage vows, “What therefor God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.”  

An article in the August 12, 1903 issue of the Sandusky Evening Star reported that Albert Brownworth and Theresa Casper were married at 7:30 in the morning. Theresa was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Casper of 519 McDonough Street. She wore a gown of white mousseline de soie and carried a white prayer book. She was attended by Miss Louise Casper. Mr. Jacob Casper served as best man. A dinner was held in honor of the newlyweds on the evening of August 12, for relatives, close friends, and guests visiting from out of town. 

Albert Brownworth worked in the transportation industry for over fifty years. He was superintendent of equipment for the Lake Shore Electric Railway and the Lake Shore Coach Company. Mr. Brownworth died on June 8, 1962, and he was buried at Calvary Cemetery. Mrs. Theresa Brownworth passed away in October of 1967, at the age of 89. 

While we do not have a wedding picture of the happy couple, below is a picture of Albert Brownworth while he was at work. He is the man in the center of the picture.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Smith and Schnaitter Families Had Fun Along the Shore

In a previous blog post, we learned that Freeland Smith and his wife, the former Nettie Schnaitter, lived on Perry Street in Sandusky, and that they had a large family of five children. In the picture above, taken about 1910, we see Freeland Smith at the left side of the photo. Next to him is his son James. Moving from left to right, we see Betty Smith and an unidentified woman. Seated on the sand in the middle of the picture is young Frank “Pink” Smith, his uncle Frank Schnaitter, Frank’s wife Helen Schnaitter, and his sister Gertrude Schnaitter. 

Though the children in the picture below have not been identified, it is fun to see the styles of clothing that people wore to the beach in the first half of the twentieth century.

Frank “Pink” Smith and his sister Margaret “Polly” Smith are in the water in this summertime picture.

Members of the Smith-Schnaitter families are enjoying the lovely weather in this picture as well. Most likely the three children are James, Frank “Pink” and Betty Smith, children of Freeland and Nettie Smith.

You can see the skyline of Sandusky in the distance, as a few members of the extended family fishes from the rocks along Sandusky Bay.

We can only imagine that the photographer who took this picture was hoping that the youngsters did not take a tumble into the water, as they gaze at the waves along the shoreline.

We are grateful to the descendants of Mr. and Mrs. Freeland Smith for their generous donation of Smith-Schnaitter family photographs. Because we have these items, we can have a glimpse of what summertime along the shores Lake Erie was like in the early 1900s