Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Remaking of a Nation

On February 27 and February 28, 1918 the film entitled “Remaking of a Nation” was shown at the Schade Theater in downtown Sandusky. The movie was six reels long, and featured army life at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio. The film followed the daily lives of enlisted men from the moment they arrived at camp and followed them throughout their military training.

The theater was crowded at its afternoon and evening showings. School children were admitted to a morning showing of the movie for the price of ten cents a ticket. Boxing champion Johnny Kilbane was at the theater during both days that the film was shown. Money raised through the sale of tickets to “Remaking of a Nation” was used for the needs of World War I soldiers serving in the 83rd Division. You can read about the showing of the “Remaking of a Nation” in downtown Sandusky in the February 27, 1918 issue of the Sandusky Register, available of microfilm in the Sandusky Library Archives Center.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Great Western Band Events in the Nineteenth Century

The Great Western Band Carnival was held at the Social Turner’s Hall on February 26, 1889. The February 27, 1889 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that 1,000 people attended the event, which was a Masquerade. Spectators lined the walls and gallery, and several local merchants were also at the big event. Dancers wore brilliantly colored costumes which represented hundred of various characters. Nineteen prizes were given out in a drawing.

Before the Carnival the prizes were on display at J. Krupp & Son’s Furniture Store on Market Street. The Sandusky Register printed the names of all the prize winners. The article began, “If there is one thing more than another that Sandusky prides herself on, it is the Great Western Band, a musical organization that has no peer in Northern Ohio and on the occasion of the band’s annual carnival, citizens attest their appreciation by turning out en masse.”

Ten years earlier, on February 25, 1879, the Great Western Band had sponsored its thirteenth annual Masquerade at Fisher’s Hall.
The program included twenty four numbers that were played, including waltzes, the Virginia Reel, polkas, the Mazurka, and Schottisches. The final number was the Fire Fly Galop.

While no sound recordings exist from the Great Western Band events in 1879 and 1889, by visiting the National Jukebox of the Library of Congress, you can hear examples of the Fire Fly Galop, the Virginia Reel, and several polkas and mazurkas.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Washington Ball in 1830

Miss Florence Victor donated an invitation to the Washington Ball held on February 22, 1830, to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Florence’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Victor, invited several individuals to the celebration, which was held in honor of George Washington’s birthday. The event was held at Obadiah Jenney’s Assembly Room in Norwalk, Ohio. Managers of the Washington Ball were: W.F. Kittredge, F.F. Hamilton, G.A. Boalt, B. Carkhuff, and D.A. Baker.

The back of the invitation indicates that Mr. Henry Victor did attend the Washington Ball.

Obadiah Jenney was an early hotel proprietor in Norwalk, Ohio, while Henry Victor operated a hotel in Sandusky in the 1820s. The son of Henry and Gertrude Victor, Orville J. Victor was an associate editor of the Sandusky Daily Register from 1851 to 1856. Orville J. Victor also wrote a four volume set of books entitled The Civil, Political and Military History of the Southern Rebellion, which is housed in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

1874 Sandusky City Directory

The 1874 Sandusky City Directory was published by I. F. Mack & Brother. The introductory remarks state that Sandusky “has become about as much a point of interest to summer travelers in search of health and recreation as Niagara Falls, the Mountains of New England, or the Adirondacks of New York.”

Included in this directory are twenty pages of historical sketches. City founders Zalmon Wildman and Isaac Mills are discussed in a paragraph about “Ogontz Place,” which was an early name for Sandusky. Several “firsts” are mentioned, including the first frame building, the first frame dwelling, the first stone dwelling, first jewelers, first tavern keepers, first bakers, and first butcher. The first doctor was Dr. George Anderson and the first lawyer was Eleutheros Cooke.

On page 14 of the 1874 Directory is a listing of the householders in 1829. This information is helpful for persons researching early area residents. Erie County was not formed until 1838, so these residents were living in what was then a part of Huron County.

An article about the first Sandusky newspapers appears on page 17. David Campbell, who settled in Sandusky about 1821, was associated with several early newspapers with varying names. The tombstone of David Campbell, at Oakland Cemetery, is pictured below.

On page 18 is an interesting article about homicides in Sandusky. Lester Cone was murdered in 1835. A tailor named Evans shot Mr. Ritter, a saloon keeper, in 1840. Azo Philo was killed in 1848, by a man named Gilchrist. Mr. Gilchrist committed suicide shortly after being sentenced to the penitentiary.

Many interesting items can be found in early city directories. The following acrostic poem also appears in this directory:

S andusky City- in Ohio State -

A history claimeth but of modern date:

N obler by far – she ever strove to rise

D ependent on her peoples’ enterprise-

U ntil she now stands forth a city made,

S econd to few, so young in build and trade

K eenly alive her interests to defend,

Y ears yet to dawn shall see her high ascend.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Program Announcement: Sandusky's (Digital) History

This Saturday, February 18, at 2:30PM, in the Library Program Room

Learn about local history resources on the internet. Archives Librarian Ron Davidson will give an overview of primary and secondary sources covering the history of Sandusky and Ohio that are freely available online. See views of original documents of Sandusky history from the 19th and 20th centuries (and some from even earlier!) that are presented on websites such as Ohio Memory, Cleveland Memory, and Google Books. Discover more about these sources and their history. You will learn about ongoing digital history projects at the Library, including the Sandusky History Blog and an online database of archival collections. Registration is requested.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Winter Views of the Erie County Courthouse

To remind you that it's winter. . . . The picture below shows the Erie County Courthouse before it was remodeled in the 1930s.

These picture postcards were created just after the sleet storm of February 14, 1909:

There were considerably more trees in Washington Park in 1909 than in the 21st century. Trees and utility lines were laden with ice all throughout Sandusky.

To read more about the history of the Erie County Courthouse, see Article 20 in From the Widow's Walk by Helen Hansen and Virginia Steinemann.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sandusky High School’s Mid-Year Commencement, 1909

Sandusky High School’s second mid-year commencement ceremony was held at Sidley Memorial Hall on February 12, 1909, on the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. The class presented anecdotes of Lincoln. Edna Holzaepfel gave a talk on “The Private Life of Lincoln.” Marjorie Anderson, who later became a college professor, spoke about “Lincoln in Literature.” Mary Daly spoke on “America’s Debt to Lincoln.” Charles Feick’s presentation was on “Other Great Men of 1809.”

Graduates of the February 1909 class were: Marjorie Anderson, Elizabeth E. Butler, Mary R. Daly, J. Charles Feick, Edna A. Holzaepfel, Norman R. Holzaepfel, Leona E. Ohlemacher, Chester S. Schoepfle, and Anna M. Soutar. Among the faculty members were E. L. Moseley and E. B. Ackley, who directed the SHS Orchestra. George C. Dietrich was the principal of Sandusky High School in 1909, and H. B. Williams was the superintendent.

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to see this and several other historical commencement programs, yearbooks, and photographs which cover a span of several decades of students and faculty of Sandusky High School.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

1836 Letter from Freeman Whitman to Orrin Bryant

On January 13, 1836, Freeman Whitman wrote a letter to his friend Orrin Bryant in Licking County, Ohio. Below is a transcription of the first page of the letter.

Sandusky City Jan. 13th 1836

Dear brother,

Your letter came to hand on the 11th inst. We were very glad to hear from you. We are all in health have another daughter about six weeks old. Sister Sarah is with us. Mary is teaching school in the place I am engaged in singing six evenings in the week two nights at this place at $2.00 per night the rest of the time at $1.50 per night. Much RailRoad business going on two roads in progress from this place one to Tiffin the other to Monroeville. These roads are causing a good deal of speculation in real estate in this place. Lots sell at from $1000.00 to $4000.00. Brother Bryant since your wrote to me I have been thinking that this place would afford you a better business for a few years than any I know of. I am told that at present there are upwards of 100 buildings under contract for the ensuing season and that there are wanted some for 300 more and as the building is mostly stone and brick it calls for a great amount of masonry and as there is more work than help to accomplish labour is necessarily high. Carpenters get during the winter from a dollar to 10/ a day and found some $34. Per month and find masons work is higher. Now why will it not be best for you to come immediately to the place…

The second page of the letter continues:

The transcription of the second page of the letter reads:

And spend some time with me and some time in the city and see what the prospect is for yourself. I can introduce you to the principal men in the place who would place some confidence in me respecting you and I would have no doubt you would before spring engage in business as extensively as you which. I have just now conversed with F.D. Parish, Esq. who has probably as much knowledge of the place and influence in the place as any other man he tells me there is but one contractor in the place in whom the public places much confidence and thinks the encouragement would be good for a master workman. Please write me as soon as you receive this and let me know your feelings about coming. If you think of coming probably you would be well to come and spend some time as soon as you can. Hannah sends her love. Hortensia is very well grown finally and talks very plain. If you write to Mayo soon tell them we are all well etc.

Yours in haste

F. Whitman

According to U.S. Census records, Freeman Whitman and his family lived in Lyme Township of Huron County, Ohio in 1840, and the family had moved to Cuyahoga County by 1850. Peter Orth wrote in the book A History of Cleveland, Ohio, that Freeman Whitman was known in Cuyahoga County as a builder of vaults and monuments. Freeman Whitman died when his son Bryant Freeman Whitman was age eleven, about 1857. Orrin Bryant (sometimes listed as Orren Bryant) worked as a builder in Licking County, Ohio. It does not appear that he took Mr. Whitman’s suggestion to move to Sandusky, Ohio. Sandusky did indeed become involved with the railroad, as ground had been broken for the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad on September 17, 1835. Hortensia, the youngster spoken of by her father in the letter, later was known as Ortentia Whitman. Records at Family Search indicate that Ortentia Whitman became of the wife of Justus L. Cozad in Cuyahoga County, Ohio on March 1, 1858.

Monday, February 06, 2012

M.J. Bender, Sandusky Grocer

From about 1896 to 1902, M.J. Bender, Jr. operated a grocery store at the southwest corner of Hancock and Monroe Streets. A large quantity of canned goods can be seen in the windows of the Bender grocery, and signs on the building advertised teas, spices, crockery, tobacco products, and H-O Buckwheat. Around the turn of the twentieth century, the interurban railway traveled down Hancock Street, making shopping easy for area residents.

In 1908, M.J. Bender had moved his business to the southeast corner of Hancock and Water Streets. By 1910, Mr. Bender went into business with W. W. Woodward. M.J. Bender was the president of the company, and W. W. Woodward was the Vice President. (Mr. Woodward had previously been associated with Hoover-Woodward.) The Bender-Woodward store, which operated as a wholesale grocery business, was in operation in Sandusky until 1939.

In the 1920s Benwood brand food products were canned by the Bender Woodward Grocery. In an advertisement in the January 23, 1926 issue of the Sandusky Register, Hunt’s Quality Market carried several varieties of Benwood canned vegetables that had been processed at Bender Woodward. Benwood foods carried by Hunt’s market included canned peas, corn, kidney beans, wax beans, and two different types of canned tomatoes.

Martin J. Bender, Jr. passed away on September 23, 1948. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery. Mr. Bender was survived by his wife Helen, a son, daughter, and three grandchildren. An obituary for Martin J. Bender, Jr. is in the 1948 Obituary Notebook, housed with the genealogical books of the Sandusky Library.

Program Announcement: Dickens in Ohio

Tuesday, February 7, 6:30PM.

On April 1, 1842, Charles Dickens embarked on a trip down the Ohio River. He Traveled from Cincinnati to Columbus by coach, and then throughout Ohio -- including a stop in Sandusky. Join us on the anniversary of Dickens' 200th birthday, as actor and historical impersonator Roger Jerome presents his one-man performance, Dickens in Ohio. (Registration is not required.)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Christ Miller, Farrell Cheek Employee

In the November, 1920 issue of the Farrell-Cheek News, a biographical sketch about Christ Miller stated that he was the oldest worker employed at the Farrell Cheek Foundry at that time, at the age of 76. His job was to fire the Core Ovens and keep them in “ship-shape” order. The article said that Christ showed so much pep and ambition, that he made some of the young men feel ashamed.

Christopher Miller was born in 1844 to Edward and Lida (Merm) Miller in Connecticut. During the Civil War, he enlisted in Company I of the Third U.S.C.T. Christ fought in battles at Morris Island and Honey Hill during the Civil War. On September 23, 1914, Christ Miller was admitted to the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in Erie County, Ohio. He died on January 14, 1932 at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home, and was buried at the veterans cemetery located at the Home, now known as the Ohio Veterans Home. According to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, the name of Christopher Miller appears on Plaque A-9 of the African American Civil War Memorial.