Sunday, February 28, 2010

Transporting Baby in Sandusky

An image of a baby stroller appeared in Punch in 1847. An article found online states that the earliest carriages and prams were made of wicker or wood, and the infant would recline in the carriage. Strollers allow for a young child to sit up. Today a wide variety of baby strollers, car seats, and travel systems are available for parents of young children.

These images from the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center show examples of youngsters being transported around the turn of the twentieth century. The baby pictured below is in a wicker carriage in front of the Bock Barber Shop.
Children of Ferdinand V. Seibert are seen in a carriage in front of a residence on Third Street in Sandusky.
Ruth Beach is pictured below about 1905.
This vintage collapsible doll buggy can be seen in the toy room of the Follett House Museum.
A newspaper advertisement from the March 2, 1901 issue of the Sandusky Daily Star features a Sleep Go-Cart from Goebel’s Big Store. The product is upholstered, and contains a parasol to protect baby from the sun.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Miss Olive Logan’s Lecture in Sandusky

Miss Olive Logan gave a lecture on “Girls!” on February 25, 1870 at Fisher’s Hall in Sandusky, at the northwest corner of Wayne and Water Streets. The lecture was sponsored by the Van Tine Business College of Sandusky, also known as the Buckeye and Great Western Business College. Olive Logan was the daughter of actor Cornelius Logan. She was an actress, journalist, and author, and she was popular as a lecturer in the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Six types of girls were the subject of Miss Logan’s lecture. The November 18, 1869 issue of the New York Times featured a story about Olive Logan’s lecture on “Girls.” Speaking of the Yankee and Western girls, Olive stated: “The Yankee girl has strong opinions, and expresses them too. She has also a keen sense of humor. The Western girl is nothing but the Yankee girl let loose.”  Olive said that her favorite of all girls was the strong-minded girl, who “believes in the power of the ballot.” She concluded her lecture by mentioning her trip to England where she saw women performing vile songs and indecent dances. She encouraged her listeners to have “courage for the right.” Sadly, Olive Logan suffered from mental illness in her later years.  She was almost destitute at the time of her death in 1909 in England.

The building formerly known as Fisher’s Hall is now located at 163-165 East Water Street in Sandusky. Ellie Damm wrote in Treasure by the Bay, that John Fisher built this structure in 1866. The first floor was used as an express office for the railroad, and a theater was located on the second floor. Historical newspaper articles report that Fisher’s Hall was renovated in the 1930’s, and many wrestling matches were held here. Former  Follett House Museum curator and local historian Helen Hansen took the photograph below in 1991.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


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Birthday Party for Mrs. Julia Mills Chapman

Mrs. Julia Mills Chapman was born to William and Anna Elizabeth Marshall Mills on February 25, 1852 in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Nine of Julia’s friends held a surprise birthday party for her -- the date is unknown, but probably in the late nineteenth century.

Standing left to right are: Mrs. Mattie Barrow, Mrs. Frank Davis, Mrs. Kate Jenkins, Mrs. Libbie Butler, Mrs. Lib Livingston, and Mrs. Jennie Gurney. Seated left to right are: Mrs. Alice Mack, Mrs. Julia Chapman, Mrs. Jennie Hubbard, and Mrs. Emma Sadler.

Julia’s father William Mills was known as “The Yellow Springs Man,” because he was determined to bring national recognition to Yellow Springs. He helped to convince the sponsors of Antioch College to locate the college in Yellow Springs. He served on the Board of Trustees of Antioch College for many years. (He was a grandnephew of Isaac Mills, one of the original proprietors of Sandusky.)

In 1845, Julia Mills married William E. Chapman, son of Sandusky business man William P. Chapman and Eliza Pendleton Chapman. William E. Chapman eventually moved the family to Cleveland, Ohio where he was involved in the shipping business. William and Julia had three children: Winifred, Margaret, and Mills Chapman. Mrs. Julia Mills Chapman died on February 5, 1917. She was buried in Oakland Cemetery. One of Julia’s friends, Mrs. Jennie Hubbard, lived to be 103 years of age.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Georgia Excursion of 1891

On February 26, 1891, about one hundred residents of Sandusky and the surrounding area boarded a special B & O train for a trip to Georgia. The trip was sponsored by the Erie County Board of Agriculture and the Lake Erie Fruit and Wine Growers Association. Most of the men on the trip were farmers and fruit growers, but several Sandusky community leaders went as well, including Judge E. B. King, W. T. West, Judge Merrill, Jacob Kuebeler, U. T. Curran, J. G. Strobel, and Clark Center. The purpose of the trip was to examine southern vineyards, orchards, mills, and factories. The February 27, 1891 Sandusky Daily Register reported that Judge King, Judge Merrill, and City Clerk Miller had hayseed scattered on their hats, and Councilmen Bing and Nielsen carried corn cobs in their pockets. Several containers of “Hommel’s Extra Dry” wine bottles were on the train, reportedly to give the Georgia residents a sampling of Erie’s county’s liquid agricultural products.

John T. Mack was the main organizer of the southern trip. (He did not go on the trip, however.) He coordinated the agenda with W. T. Glessner, a railroad executive from Americus, Georgia. Mr. Glessner, often called Major Glessner, had previously brought a group of farmers and newspaper men from Georgia to visit Northern Ohio’s many fruit farms, vineyards, and wine cellars. While here, the Georgia men visited the Confederate Cemetery at Johnson’s Island. As a result of the trip, it was arranged for slabs of Georgia marble to be placed at the gravesites of the Confederate soldiers interred at Johnson’s Island Cemetery.

During the trip, J.F. Greene and Clark Center wrote articles for the Sandusky Daily Register, reporting of the experiences of the excursionists. Members of the group saw Kentucky bluegrass, southern mountain ranges, and the sites of Civil War battles. They visited cotton mills, and learned how soils and fertilizers differed from those in Ohio. Clark Center reported that Georgia peaches grew in “beautiful perfection.” At Americus, Georgia, all the men received badges that said “Welcome Citizens of Ohio to Americus, Georgia, March 5th, 1891.” The northern visitors were given a reception by the city’s businessmen in Columbus, Georgia.

After leaving Georgia, the Erie and Ottawa County visitors went to Jekyll Island and Cumberland Island. On the trip home, visits were made to Lookout Mountain and the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Sandusky Daily Register gave reports on the Southern excursion from March 2 through March 18, 1891. Shortly after his return home, J.F. Greene gave a resume of his trip to the Perkins Methodist Church Ladies Home Group, followed by remarks by George Ransom, C. F. Steen, Charles L. House, and Will C. Dewitt.

Prior to the 1891 Georgia excursion, another group of Sandusky residents visited Georgia. In this undated photograph, W.T. West (number 1), W .V. Latham (number 2), and George Barney (number 3) are pictured in a group photo in Albany, Georgia.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

John A. Loeffler, Auto Body Manufacturer

John A. Loeffler was born in June 1875, to Lucas and Catherine Loeffler. Lucas Loeffler was a native of Germany, and he came to the U.S. in 1869, according to the 1900 U.S. Census for Erie County. By browsing through several years of Sandusky City Directories, we read that John A. Loeffler was in business in Sandusky for over fifty years. Starting as early as 1902, he was employed at his father’s blacksmith business at 131 Tiffin Avenue. By 1910, John was listed as wagon maker, with his business and home located at 101 Lincoln Avenue. Later, John’s occupation was “Manufacturer of Automobile Bodies.” He had a shop at 1412 Lincoln Avenue for many years, but from 1925 through 1936, the business was located at 1102-1104 West Washington Street. The 1954 Sandusky City Directory finds John A. Loeffler as a blacksmith again, at 1412 Lincoln Avenue.

Below is Margaretta Township School bus Number 7, built by J. A. Loeffler.

This 1924 vehicle was built by J. A. Loeffler for the Erney Tire Company in Sandusky. Norbert G. Erney was the President and General Manager of the Erney Tire Company, located at 919 W. Washington Street in 1930.

When the Loeffler shop was on Lincoln Avenue, Mr. Loeffler offered Spring Service.

John A. Loeffler died in 1955, and is buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Sandusky.

Program Announcement: The Underground Railroad (Brown Bag Lunch Series)

Rescheduled for Thursday, February 18, at noon.
Bring your lunch and join us in the Library Program Room (Terrace Level) as we explore topics in local history. On Thursday, February 18, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. explore the Underground Railroad.

Join Museum Administrator Maggie Marconi as we examine the pivotal roles played by local residents in the Underground Railroad. This program is co-sponsored by the Sandusky Underground Railroad Education Center (SUREC). Registration is requested. To register, call 419-625-3834 and press 0 to speak with a switchboard operator (10-5, Monday-Friday) or press Option 6 to leave a message.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Miss Ruth Beach

Ruth I. Beach was the only child of Samuel and Harriet Beach, born on February 14, 1902. Samuel Beach was employed by Feick Builders for many years. Ruth is pictured below as a young child.

During her years at Sandusky High School, Ruth Beach followed the Commercial Course. She graduated in 1920. This is a photo of her with her graduating class.

Here is a photograph of Ruth with her automobile.

In February of 1964 Ruth Beach retired from the Citizens Banking Company, after having worked there for forty four years. Miss Ruth Beach passed away on June 18, 1975. She was buried in the family lot at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Following the death of Ruth Beach, several photographs from the Beach family were donated to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. If you have vintage family photographs or documents from the Sandusky or Erie County area, consider donating them to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center for future generations to enjoy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mary Elizabeth Johnston, Librarian and Educator

Mary Elizabeth Johnston is pictured with her brother about 1892. Mary was born in Sandusky on August 22, 1890 to David H. and Mary Phillips Johnston. After David died in 1890, Mrs. Johnston and her three small children moved to Oberlin. The widowed Mrs. Johnston worked as a domestic to support her family.

Mary Elizabeth Johnston attended Oberlin College for two and a half years, but she had to drop out due to financial problems. Mary taught English at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina, for 26 years. She then served as a teacher and the Dean of Women at a Manual Training School in Bordentown, New Jersey, and later worked as a librarian at the Thomas Edison High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

After studying at Oberlin College and Kent State University during summer sessions for many years, Miss Johnston obtained her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin in 1937 and she received an M.A. in Library Science in 1952 from Kent State University. In 1955 after taking a trip to the British Isles, and Mary retired in Cleveland, Ohio.

An article in the February 25, 1983 issue of the Elyria Chronicle Telegram reported that Mary Elizabeth Johnston lived in poverty, but left an estate of $60,000 to Oberlin College when she died. Mary Elizabeth Johnston passed away on January 30, 1982, and is buried in the family lot at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery in Section 66.

Ellen NicKenzie Lawson, while working on The Women’s History Project, wrote a biography of Mary Elizabeth Johnston. Entitled “Across a Stage: The Extra Clap,” the 24 page biography of Mary Elizabeth Johnston was distributed to 30,000 alumni of Oberlin College.

Visit the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library to read Dr. Lawson’s biography of Mary Elizabeth Johnston. Miss Johnston’s papers are held at the Archives of Oberlin College.

Mary Elizabeth Johnston is the first person on the left in this 1898 Johnston family picture.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Records of the Library Company of Eldridge Township

In 1938 Mrs. James Douglas donated the Record Book of the Library Company of Eldridge Township: 1825-1830 to the Historic Room of the Sandusky Library. (Eldridge Township is now known as Berlin Township.) It appears that this early library was a subscription library, which unlike today’s public libraries, was supported by subscription fees assessed to individual users. Persons who had a membership in the Library Company of Eldridge Township had their names listed on separate pages, and columns indicated the date they checked books out, and also the amount of “shares” they used for each check-out. The Record Book also contains minutes of the meetings, and gives details of fines charged and transfers of memberships.

One of the members of the Library Company of Eldridge Township the great-grandfather of Mrs. James Douglas, Noah Hill.

By 1818 Noah Hill was a farmer in Berlin Township, after having been a shipbuilder in Connecticut, and living briefly in Pennsylvania. He married Sukey Butler, and they had ten children. Two of their sons became physicians, and another was an Ohio legislator. His son Dr. Benjamin Hill was appointed as U.S. Consul at Nicaragua under President Lincoln. Mr. Hill served as a Justice of the Peace for several years. His obituary in the June 1865 Firelands Pioneer states that “the qualities of his heart will ever be held in remembrance by his relatives and acquaintances. He was noted by his love of home, and his attention to the wants and needs of his family…” Noah Hill was considered one of the few remaining original pioneers of the Firelands at the time of his death.

Rev. True Pattee was an early Methodist preacher in Huron and Erie Counties. The History of Ohio Methodism indicates that in 1824 Rev. Pattee was preaching in Sandusky in a frame building on Columbus Avenue where the Sloane House was later located.

Rev. William Gurley in his memoir says that Rev. True Pattee was distinguished and dignified. He continues to say that Rev. Pattee would “throw before the audience some pleasing truth, strew around it some flowers of rhetoric, and leave his hearers delighted with both it and himself.” Rev. True Pattee and his family moved to Indiana. He died in Allen County, Indiana in 1867. Burial was in the Old Harlan Cemetery.

If you or your family members have old records of historic organizations or businesses from Sandusky or Erie County, consider donating them to the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library to be preserved for future generations.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Ira C. Jordan, Hotel Proprieter

An article in the August 14, 1919 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that the Hotel Laural at Wayne and Water Streets was to open on Saturday, August 16, under the management of Ira C. Jordan. Formerly affiliated with the Employees' League of Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Jordan was one of the best known caterers in the state. The conclusion of the newspaper article stated: "For some time Afro-Americans of Sandusky have felt the need of a first class hotel and their need will be realized when Mr. Jordan opens the Hotel Laural to the public." The Sandusky Register featured an article about Mr. Jordan and the Hotel Laural in its March 28, 1920 issue. While every employee from the manager down to the clerk was a person of color, Mr. Jordan welcomed customers of any race.

In October 1921, Ira C. Jordan advertised a one-half fried chicken dinner at the Hotel Laural to be served every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Regular lunch every day cost thirty five cents.

Below is an advertisement from the Hotel Laurel which appeared in the December 9, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Register. Ormonde A. Forte, a Cleveland newspaper man was to be the speaker at a banquet at the Hotel Laurel.

Ira C. Jordan’s wife passed away in February of 1920. While Mr. Jordan is listed as the proprietor of the Hotel Laural in 1922 newspaper advertisements, it appears that he moved away from Sandusky in the mid 1920’s.

The Hotel Laural was known as the Steamboat Hotel in 1842, when Charles Dickens stopped to spend a night in Sandusky. Other names the hotel was known as include: Porter House, Verandah Hotel, Scott’s American Hotel, Hotel Crystal Dome and the Ideal Hotel. (The frequently-told story that the porterhouse steak had its origins in Sandusky is a myth. According to an article in the New York Times, the name of the porterhouse steak had its origins in an establishment located at 327 Pearl Street in New York City in about 1814.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

An Old Time Party

On February 2, 1910 the Garfield Company No. 13 of the Knights of Pythias Lodge had an “old time party” in Sandusky. In 1910 there were three Knights of Pythias Lodges which met in Sandusky. The Western Reserve Lodge No. 128 met on Thursday evenings. The Courtesy Lodge No. 252 met on Monday evenings, and the Garfield Co. No. 13 met on the first Wednesday of each month.

A history of the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal order that began in 1864, is found at the website of The Order of the Knights of Pythias.