Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Homer Goodwin, Attorney and Conductor on the Underground Railroad

In 1896, Homer Goodwin was the oldest practicing attorney of the Erie County Bar. He was born on October 15, 1819 in Burton, Ohio in Geauga County, the son of Doctor Erastus Goodwin. Before entering the practice of law, Homer Goodwin was a teacher in the public schools of Sandusky, and was an 1844 graduate of the Western Reserve College. He married Marietta Cowles on October 3, 1849, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Rush Sloane wrote in the July 1888 issue of the Firelands Pioneer that Homer Goodwin was a conductor on the Underground Railroad in Sandusky. He was among a group of individuals who gave money and personal aid to help fugitive slaves escape to freedom. A brochure which gives details about the Underground Railroad in Sandusky, available from the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Visitors Center, lists the former home of Homer Goodwin, at 327 Hancock Street, as a “safe house” for those individuals seeking freedom via the Underground Railway.

On July 6, 1896, Homer Goodwin died suddenly at his home on Columbus Avenue in Sandusky. A physician was called to his assistance, but nothing could be done, and he died at 6:15 a.m. The funeral for Home Goodwin was held at his residence on July 8, 1896. Burial was in Oakland Cemetery. Mr. Goodwin was survived by his brother Lewis H. Goodwin, a judge of Erie County Probate Court; a sister, Mrs. Ross of Wabash, Indiana, and a daughter, Mrs. Denver J. Mackey.

The Follett House Museum owns a suit that once belonged to Homer Goodwin.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bessie Taylor, Teacher at Sandusky High

Miss Bessie Taylor taught at Sandusky High School for thirty four years. She began teaching Latin in 1904. In 1917, Miss Taylor was selected to become the dramatic coach. During her years at Sandusky High, Miss Taylor directed at least forty graduation plays and several other student dramatic productions. Below is an article from the January 20, 1920 Sandusky Star Journal. Miss Taylor was to direct the play “She Stoops to Conquer” at the February commencement exercises. (In the early years of the twentieth century there were two graduation ceremonies held at Sandusky High School, one in the winter, and one in June.)

The newspaper article reported, “The comedy is dainty and charming, abounding in humorous situations, and the lines are clever and give wide opportunity for the young actors.” Appearing in the cast were: Milton Schiller, Carl Appell, Glenn Rose, Harold Homberger, Ernest Dean, Roland Schemenauer, Sydney Knehr, George Hertlein, Albert Esch, Esther Knupke, Inga Nielsen, Elizabeth Schaub, Viola Bing, and Rae Frohman. Similar accounts of many of the plays directed by Miss Bessie Taylor are found in the microfilmed copies of the Sandusky Register and the Sandusky Star Journal, available in the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library.

On July 30, 1960, Miss Bessie Taylor died at Good Samaritan Hospital, following a lengthy illness. An obituary for Bessie Taylor was carried in the July 30, 1960 Sandusky Register. An account of Miss Taylor’s long career as an educator was given. Miss Taylor was also very active in her church, Trinity Methodist Church, where she served as the financial secretary. Miss Taylor was a former member of the board of Trustees of the Library Association of Sandusky, and was active in the Red Cross during World War Two. Bessie Taylor was survived by two brothers, a sister, and several nieces and nephews. She was buried in the Union Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

Miss Taylor is pictured below with fellow faculty members of Sandusky High School in the 1930’s. The photograph was taken on the steps of what is now the Adams Junior High School.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Don't Forget. . . .

. . . to bring your historical photos (you can drive or walk) to the Quality Inn (Greentree), 1935 Cleveland Road -- on Saturday, June 27 from 10AM to 4PM, Sunday, June 28, from 1PM to 4PM, or Monday, June 29, from 10AM to 7PM -- so they can be scanned for inclusion in the fourth volume in the series presented by the Sandusky Register and the Sandusky Library, A Pictorial History: the 1800s - Today, Erie County & the Erie Isles. In this volume, we will include pictures from any era that didn't make it into the previous three volumes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sandusky Boys and Girls Band

On the evening of Monday, June 25, 1928, the Sandusky Boys and Girls Band presented a Concert at Cedar Point’s Coliseum. The band is pictured on the steps of the Erie County Courthouse on the day of the concert.
G. A. Boeckling, president and general manager of Cedar Point, arranged for the Sandusky Boys and Girls Band to also take part in the pilgrimage of the Sandusky boosters of Congressman James T. Begg to the Republican State Convention on June 28. According the June 26, 1928 Sandusky Register, Mr. Boeckling funded the band’s entire trip.

The Sandusky Register reported that Mr. Boeckling gave each of the young musicians a five dollar bill, for spending money during their trip to Columbus. Then he gave each youngster another five dollar bill “to keep.” The band was to meet at the Erie County Courthouse on the morning of June 28, “resplendent in their red, white, and blue uniforms for the Columbus doings.”

Members of the band included: Elsworth Gilbert, Bob Schillig, John Ging, Roy Leibach, Dick Stradtman, Richard Heinz, Frank Booth, Bill Seymour, Mary Brentgartner, Jack Kotz, Rosemary Corso, Kenneth Appel, Bill Appel, Verne Tieche, Richard Baker, Jane Hutter, Jack Rentsch, Wilbur Fleming, Naomi Gilbert, Bob Close, Louis Brengartner, Jack Beilstein, Elsworth Reiter, Paul Stoker, Fred Hoffman, Jr., Consetta Vassallo, Frank Kleinfelder, Charles Bahnsen, Paul Smith, Birgil Gilbert, Emmett Brengartner, Alvin Brengartner, Chris Therkelsen, Wilvert Knauer, Thelma Brengartner, Des Brown, Chet Gilmert, Fred Hoffman, Sr., Josephine Beilstein, Ada Crandall, Florence Brengartner, Lona Schillig, and “Professor” W. Rosati

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Woodcut Prints in the 1930 FRAM

During the 1929-1930 school year, Miss Yocum’s art students at Sandusky High School assisted the members of the Journalism A Class in the publication of the 1930 FRAM. Several woodcut prints are found at the beginning of the various sections of the yearbook. Charles Sallee, Aloys Sacksteder, Dorothy Lonz, and Elinor Alvord, four of the young artists who contributed prints to the yearbook, appear in the FRAM photograph of the Art Club. The woodcut prints reflect the Art Deco style which was popular from 1925 through 1939.
Six woodcut prints are pictured below in the order in which they are found in the 1930 FRAM. Visit the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library to view historical yearbooks from Sandusky High School, St. Mary’s High School, and Perkins High School. While we do not have a complete set of yearbooks from these schools, there are five shelves devoted to the yearbooks. By browsing through the old yearbooks, you can learn details about the high school activities in which your ancestors may have participated. It is interesting to view the changes in hair styles and clothing throughout the years.
Charles Sallee, Jr. went on to become a mural artist for the WPA. His many achievements have been discussed in an earlier blog post. Elinor Alvord Little Sidnor studied art at Ohio Wesleyan University, and she was known as a local artist and art collector. Elinor donated a significant portion of her art collection to the Cedar Point Center of Firelands College. Elinor also gave many artifacts to the Follett House Museum.

Aloys Sacksteder was known for her work in sculpture, design, and ceramics. Her art work was on display at the National Arts Club and in Paris Salons, according to the website AskArt. Dorothy Lonz married Norbert Keeley, and she taught ceramics in Lucas County.
Louis Lombardy, who was only a freshman in 1930, enlisted in the Army Air Corps in World War Two, and moved to California. Karl Kruger’s obituary appeared on the front page of the Sandusky Register shortly after his death on May 6, 1966. Karl had been a standout athlete at Sandusky High School, and he was a Veteran of World War Two.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Elmer Steuk, Piano Instructor

Elmer Carl Steuk was born in Sandusky on July 29, 1883, to Edward Leopold and Julia Harms Steuk. Both the Steuk and Harms families were connected with the business of growing grapes and the manufacturing of wine. For forty years, Elmer C. Steuk was a piano instructor in Sandusky. His obituary in the 1942 Obituary Notebook (in the library's genealogy section) stated that Elmer Steuk was “recognized as one of the city’s outstanding musicians.” Elmer spent many years studying music, studying in Europe under those considered masters of the piano.

One of Elmer Steuk’s teachers was Theodor Leschetizky. The August 12, 1911 Sandusky Register reported that Elmer Steuk was to sail to Europe on September 19, to continue his studies under Leschetizky, who was considered “the world’s most celebrated teacher of the pianoforte.” The article continued “Mr. Steuk is truly an artist and since his study under the great master, has achieved an enviable reputation for himself. His playing is brilliant and his interpretations, artistic, beautiful and soul satisfying. Sandusky should be proud of one so talented.” The Arts Collection of the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library has a file containing several programs from the piano recitals of the students of Elmer Steuk.
Elmer’s younger brother, Edward F. Steuk, was also a music instructor. Edward Steuk’s obituary, which appeared in the June 22, 1964 Sandusky Register, indicated that Edward was regarded as “one of Sandusky’s leading pianists, both as an instructor and accompanist.”

Theodor Lescheitizky’s motto was: “"No life without art, no art without life.” The Oakland Cemetery tombstones of both Elmer and Edward Steuk bear the inscription of Theodor Lescheitizky’s motto.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Woolsey Wheel Company

The Woolsey Wheel Company was located for many years at the northwest corner of Water and Fulton Streets. Harlan Hatcher wrote in his book The Western Reserve, that Sandusky wheel factories “turned out more carriage and wagon wheels” than the factories of any other town in the Western Reserve. In the 1850’s, the business began as Pierce, Woolsey & Co. The company manufactured components for wagon and carriage wheels. In the 1860’s, Charles and Rollin Hubbard joined the firm and it was then known as Hubbards and Woolsey.

In 1875, when Fred Woolsey, son of Johnston V. Woolsey, joined the company, the named changed to J. V. Woolsey & Son. Later the business name was changed to the Woolsey Wheel Company, and even later, the business was known as the Woolsey Spoke and Wheel Co. Eventually the business moved to the foot of First Street. The company ceased operations after a fire in 1905.

J.V. Woolsey was listed as the president of the J. W. Woolsey Wheel Company in the 1882-1883 Sandusky City Directory. He was born in New York State, and moved to Sandusky about 1851. J. V. Woolsey died in 1893. He is buried with his wife Ann in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.
J. V. Woolsey filed for several patents. Patent Number 156449, for An Improvement in Wheels for Vehicles, was filed on May 16, 1874. A search for Woolsey and Sandusky in Google Patents will result in several patent applications filed by J. V. Woolsey between 1867 and 1880.

Picture below is the home of Fred M. Woolsey, around 1890, at the southwest corner of Huron Avenue and Adams Street. Though they are barely visible, Lee and Lucille Woolsey are in the horse and cart with their neighbor Jenna Hubbard, and Leontine Woolsey is on the bicycle. Lee, Lucille and Leontine are all children of Fred and Ida Woolsey, and grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. J. V. Woolsey.