Thursday, September 09, 2021

Jay Bogert, Livery Proprietor

The publication, History of Erie County, Ohio, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, reported that Jay Bogert was the owner and proprietor of the Sandusky Livery and Sales Stables. Jay Bogert was born in 1842 to David and Minerva Bogert, who settled in Erie County in 1832. Census records from the 1840 and 1850 census list David Bogert as residing in Perkins Township, but by 1860 the Bogert family had moved to Sandusky. The 1886 Sanborn Fire Insurance map below shows the livery stable business at 124 Jackson Street in downtown Sandusky. (Virtually every downtown block had a livery stable at its center during that era.)

In 1893, Jay Bogert was in partnership with a Mr. Hess. As you can see on the map, the Bogert & Hess Livery was close to the West House, as well as the St. Charles Hotel. Visitors to these hotels found it convenient to rent a horse and buggy from the livery nearby.

Pictured below is an advertisement for Jay Bogert’s livery business which appeared in the July 26, 1900 issue of the Sandusky Star. Carriage painting was a specialty of the business.

On April 5, 1916, Mr. Bogart died suddenly after suffering a stroke. He was at his place of business until noon on April 5, but he was sticken later in the afternoon. An obituary which appeared in the Sandusky Register of April 6, 1916 stated that he had been one of Sandusky’s oldest and most respected citizens, engaged in the livery and harness business for most of his life. Mr. Bogert was survived by his wife, a daughter Jessie, and sons David and Charles Bogert. Mr. Bogert was a veteran of the Civil War, serving with Company O of the 123rd Ohio Infantry. Mr. Bogert was buried in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, September 06, 2021

A Love Letter to Dr. Lauderdale

A letter and envelope once intended for Dr. Edward Lauderdale is now in the historical files of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Here is a transcription of the letter:

Gretna Green

My Dear Sir,

I sigh for thee, I sigh for thee,

And oh you may depend on me –

I’ll weep for thee, I’ll die for thee;

And that will be the end of me.

Long has this tender feeling dissolved my heart. Long have I sighed to call thee mine – can tears avail? Our ingon patch is broad and long – Can sweetness touch thy heart? Our lasses tub is deep and full -Have soft petitions power to move? Come to the mush pot on our stove.

And if with these I now can charm thee,

Come quickly with thy love to arm me –

That I may conquer every foe,

And call thee mine, while winds do blow.

Molly Sweet

Though Dr. Lauderdale never married, it appears that long ago a young lady was quite fond of him. The letter was from someone who called herself Molly Sweet, from Gretna Green. Learning more about Gretna Green and its symbolism, we have to wonder if there was a cryptic message that goes deeper than a simple love letter: the original Gretna Green is a location in Scotland along the border with England, where English couples would go to get secretly married to avoid certain restrictions in England (e.g., age limits, parental consent). "Gretna Green" eventually became adopted as a slang term for any location that allowed marriages for non-residents. Of course, "Molly Sweet" (if that was her real name) could have been writing from Scotland, but is that likely? We actually do not know if the letter was ever delivered, or what Molly's true motives were. 

Dr. Edward Lauderdale was a physician who became noted for caring for Sandusky patients who were stricken with cholera during the epidemic of 1849. Dr. Lauderdale’s office was in the old Post Office. In 1850 Dr. Lauderdale moved to Detroit, Michigan, and served as Detroit’s city physician, Wayne County Coroner, and later as Assistant Surgeon in the 24th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War. Dr. Lauderdale died in Pontiac, Michigan in 1883, and he was buried in the family lot in Temple Hill Cemetery in Livingston County, New York. 

Dr. Lauderdale’s name is included on the historic marker at the Cholera Cemetery which lists the names of the doctors who helped Sandusky residents during the dreaded cholera epidemic of 1849.

Friday, September 03, 2021

A "Found" Piece of Business History

Shortly after the June 23, 1924 tornado in Sandusky, Mary Louise Krupp, wife of Charles J. Krupp, found a small book labeled "Autographs." That same year, she donated it to the historical collections of the Sandusky Library. 

This book, although made for autographs, was used to record the sales of chromolithograph prints. In 1873, Apollos Huntington, father-in-law of Sandusky businessman John McKelvey, was an agent for “Middleton’s Oil Chromos.” Customers who purchased the prints for $7.50 each (about $170 in today's value) also received a frame, with hardware for hanging included. 

Chromolithography was a technique developed by Louis Prang for making colorful prints, with its roots in lithography. Various colors are added in layers, with the end product resulting in a print which was much less expensive product than an original oil painting.

It appears he only sold two selections, “The Mount of Olives” and “Garden of Gethsemane.” Between May and September of 1873, the following individuals purchased one or both of the chromolithographs from Mr. Huntington:

Rev. H. N. Burton, minister of First Congregational Church

Rev. Martin K. Holbrook, minister of the Congregational Church at Kelleys Island

Rev. Ernst Von Schulenburg, minister of Emmanuel Church

I.F. Mack, publisher of the Sandusky Register

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Starr & Dewitt, Dealer in Boots and Shoes

The owners and staff of Starr and Dewitt, dealers in boots and shoes are pictured in front of their business at 130 Columbus Avenue in downtown Sandusky about 1882. The proprietors of the business were Merrill L. Starr and Edward W. Dewitt. Mr. Dewitt later was active as a real estate agent in Sandusky.

Before entering into the shoe and business, Merrill L. Starr served as Erie County Sheriff from 1876 until 1880. He was also a veteran of the Civil War, having been with Company E of the 8th Ohio Infantry. In the 1884 Sandusky City Directory, M.L. Starr was in business with Howard C. Frederick at 130 Columbus Avenue. At this time the listing stated that Starr & Frederick manufactured and sold boots and shoes.

See our previous blogpost to learn more about Columbus Avenue, which has been home to a variety of businesses in Sandusky throughout its entire history.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Christopher Reeve’s Connection to Sandusky

Most of us remember Christopher Reeve as the not-quite-original movie Superman. But what's more interesting from our perspective is his "relationship" to Sandusky: Christopher Reeve’s maternal grandfather was a native-born Sanduskian. Horace R. Lamb, was born in Sandusky in 1892, the son of Burt I. Lamb and Harriet “Hattie” Davis Lamb. Before he married, Horace Lamb lived in Huron County for several years, eventually settling in Connecticut.

In the late 1890’s Burt I. Lamb advertised his tailoring business in the Sandusky Register.

Mr. and Mrs. Burt I. Lamb are buried in the North Ridge of Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Hattie Davis Lamb was the daughter of Ira T. Davis and Eunice Woolsey Davis Lamb.

Ira T. Davis came to Sandusky in 1852. He had a grocery store on Columbus Avenue and later was involved in the real estate and limestone business. He married Eunice Woolsey in 1856, and the couple had five children born and raised in Sandusky. Mr. & Mrs. Davis are also buried in Oakland Cemetery. You can read more about the family in Article 30 of Helen Hansen’s At Home in Early Sandusky and in Hewson Peeke’s Standard History of Erie County.

Christopher Reeve mentioned Sandusky in his biography Still Me: A Life. He wrote about his grandfather Horace Lamb’s roots from a working class family in Sandusky.

Visit the Sandusky Library’s Archives Research Center to learn more about Christopher Reeve’s Sandusky ancestors, and perhaps your own ancestors as well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Printers in Sandusky in 1900

An unidentified print shop, probably early 20th century

 Listed in the 1900-1901 Sandusky City Directory are eight businesses under the heading “Printers, Book and Job.” They are:

Alvord –Peters Company, at the northwest corner of Water Street and Columbus Avenue

C. C. Bittner at 622 Market Street

C.E. Chaney at 513 Market Street

I.F. Mack and Brother at 626 Water Street

Sandusky Printing Company, at 618 Water Street

W. & W.F. Senn at 742 Water Street

Star Publishing Company at 602 Market Street

Several of these print shops published newspaper as their primary business.

A.J. Peters and F.E. Alvord would go on to own and publish the Sandusky-Star Journal, which was a merger of three newspapers: the Sandusky Journal, the Sandusky Local, and the Sandusky Star. When A. J. Peters died in 1929, employees of the Star-Journal served as active pallbearers at his funeral.

In 1900, C. C. Bittner was the publisher and proprietor of the Sandusky Daily and Weekly Journal and Local. C.E. Chaney and the Sandusky Printing Company were primarily job printers. The Sandusky Star was published by the Star Publishing Co. in 1900, whose officers were Charles Bang, President, and E. C. Tierney, Secretary.

I.F. and John T. Mack were the proprietors of the Sandusky Register, but the company also did printing jobs, binding, and sold stationery. I.F. Mack was associated with the Register from 1869 until 1909, when his brother John T. Mack took over as the editor and publisher. 

(In 1972 Charles E. Frohman chronicled I.F. Mack’s years as editor in the book, Sandusky's Editor: Isaac Foster Mack's Blazing Forty Years as Editor of the Sandusky Register.)

Philip Buerkle and William F. Senn published the Sandusky Demokrat, the last German language newspaper in Sandusky.

To read more about newspapers in Sandusky, see the chapter about Erie County Newspapers in Hewson L. Peeke’s book A Standard History of Erie County.  Also available at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center is a bound copy of the Twin Anniversary Celebration edition of the Sandusky Register-Star News, from November 24, 1917, which features an article about the history of newspapers in Sandusky, beginning from David Campbell and the Sandusky Clarion and continuing through 1947. Ask at the Reference Services desk to view this item.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

C. L. Derby & Company

Chauncey Lyman Derby was the youngest of four Derby brothers involved in nineteenth century book publishing. Born in central New York state (probably in the 1820s), by 1850, he ran the C. L. Derby & Co. bookstore in Sandusky, Ohio, in the Phoenix Block, the recently-demolished building on the 100 block of East Water Street. According to a 1948 article in the University of Rochester Library Bulletin, he sold pianofortes and melodeons along with books and stationery at the shop. C. L. Derby was also closely associated with the Cosmopolitan Art Association. Subscribers received a periodical subscription, as well as a chance to win an art object through a yearly lottery.

Pictured below is an advertisement from Derby’s column in The Daily Sanduskian, a predecessor to the Register newspaper, published by David Campbell & Son.

The advertisement features a person reading a book entitled C. L. Derby & Co. Booksellers & Stationers. Another book entitled Sandusky, O., is below the open book. This poem also appears in the ad:

This books can do-nor this alone; they give

New views to life, and teach us how to live:

They sooth the grieved, the stubborn they chastise,

Fools they admonish, and confirm the wise.


Derby’s column contained several small ads for specific book titles he was selling at his shop. Titles included: The Great Harmonia!, Laugh and Grow Fat, When Doctors Disagree, and Hearts & Homes.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Advertisement for Miss K. Fox Company


This stylish ad for Miss K. Fox Co. appeared in the Official Illustrated Guide and Souvenir of the Islands and Sandusky (Register Press, 1901). Katherine Fox was the daughter of John M. Fox and his wife, the former Pauline Rheinegger. From about 1898 until 1906, Katherine ran a shop that sold millinery, dry goods, linens and fancy goods. The store was located at 730 Hancock Street in Sandusky. This advertisement suggested that when ladies read this ad, the staff at Miss K. Fox Co. was busy at work trimming hats for them. Another advertisement which appeared in the September 13, 1900 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that Miss Fox sold dry goods and millinery at the “lowest prices ever heard of” at her shop. 

On August 1, 1901, Katherine Fox married George C. Thomas at the residence of Father Joseph Widmann. The occupation of the groom was machinist, and the occupation of the bride was listed as “proprietress of the Hancock Street millinery parlors.” Sadly, Mrs. Katherine Fox Thomas died at the age of thirty on August 4, 1906. After Katherine’s death, her mother and sisters ran the business on Hancock Street for several years.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Poems of Eternal Value by Elizabeth Browning Kelham


Elizabeth Browning Kelham was born in 1893 to William and Sarah (Durkee) Kelham of Sandusky, Ohio. She graduated from Sandusky High School in 1913. Miss Kelham was a teacher with the Sandusky City Schools for thirty-seven years. In the 1930s, Miss Kelham taught classes for visually impaired students at Barker School. She made soup or cocoa for the students to have with their lunches during the cold weather months, according to an article in the Sandusky Star Journal.

In 1939 she wrote a book entitled Poems of Eternal Value. It was dedicated to her mother Sarah D. Kelham, and in memory of her father, William R. Kelham. The small book was printed by the Stutz Printing Co. of Sandusky, Ohio. The poems were inspirational, with topics such as faith, peace, friendship, and prayer.

Miss Elizabeth B. Kelham lived until the age of 90. She died in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and was buried at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. Below is a picture of the Sandusky High School Bible Class from 1911-1912, of which Elizabeth Kelham was a member.

Friday, August 13, 2021

The Vincent Kerber Family

Vincent Kerber came from Germany to the United States in 1849. For a number of years he worked as a building contractor in Sandusky. Later he worked with his sons in the ice business, as well as a flour and feed business. Pictured below is V. Kerber & Sons feed and flour store, located at 619 Water Street around 1890. Some of the brands they carried were Pillbury’s Best and Gold Dust Flour. Vincent’s sons Edward and John Kerber continued in the ice business for several years.

Vincent Kerber and Constantina (Eckert) Kerber had a large family of four sons and two daughters. Mrs. Kerber died in Germany in 1889. After Constantina died, he married again, during a trip to his homeland in Baden, Germany. Vincent Kerber died in September 1898.

Peeke’s A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio contains biographies of John and Edward Kerber. Vincent Kerber’s obituary is found in the September 18, 1898 issue of the Sandusky Daily Register. The article says that he was “one of the best known and most highly respected of Sandusky’s residents.” It continues “his works, in and about the city, bear silent testimony of his skill and the thoroughness with which he did whatever he undertook.”

At St. Mary’s Cemetery, an angel adorns the monument in memory of Louise Kerber and Pauline Kerber Heiberger, the two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Kerber.