Thursday, May 31, 2012

Commodore Denig Post, American Legion

In the summer of 1920, a silk flag was presented to the Perry Post, No. 83, American Legion, by Mrs. Herbert Farrell. The ceremony took place in the garden of Mr. and Mrs. Farrell at 414 Wayne Street. Pictured from left to right are: Lieut. Commander August Wilhelm, C.H. Richardson, Wesley Till, Norbert Hemmerlein, Lester Tebbutt, Earl Krueger, Post Commander, Norman Gagen, Mrs. Herbert Farrell, Lieut. Claud Zerbe, Lieut. Chester Teasel, Carl Ziegler, Russell Hetrick, and Commodore Robert G. Denig. By 1927 the name of Sandusky’s American Legion Post was changed to the Commodore Denig Post, No. 83.

Commodore Robert G. Denig had a long and successful naval career. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1873. Commodore Denig participated in a military expedition in Mexico in the 1870s, and later served in the Spanish American War. During World War I, Commodore Denig was an inspector of naval war materials. You can read a brief biography of Commodore Robert G. Denig, along with the biographies of several other World War I veterans, in the Erie County Edition, Honor Roll of Ohio, 1917-1918, housed at the Sandusky Library. Inquire at the Reference Services desk for more information.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Citizen Soldier, by John Beatty

John Beatty, grandson of the former Sandusky Mayor of the same name, wrote a book about his experiences as an officer during the Civil War. The book, The Citizen-Soldier; or, Memoirs of a Volunteer, was published in 1879 by Wilstach, Baldwin & Co. of Cincinnati. John Beatty started his military career as a private in the Third Ohio Infantry. By 1863 he was commissioned as a Brigadier General. Beatty led regiments at Perryville, Stone River, Tullahoma, Chickamauga, and Marion Ridge. After the Civil War, he served as a representative from Ohio in the U.S. Congress from 1868 to 1873.

The Citizen-Soldier was dedicated to John Beatty’s brother, Major William Gurley Beatty, who also served as an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War. In his introductory remarks, John Beatty states that he wrote his memoirs down so that future generations of the Beatty family would know the “thoughts, fears, hopes, (and) acts” of someone who lived generations before them. He closed his introduction with “Kinsmen of the coming centuries, I bid you hail and godspeed!”

In his book, Mr. Beatty frequently recorded full stanzas of songs that he heard soldiers singing. Through vivid descriptions, Beatty allows the reader to gain a sense of what the day to day life of a soldier was like. In January 1862, he tells about their New Year’s turkey tasting as tough as leather. When a pretty young girl waved the Union flag in the direction of the marching troops,

Beatty said that the loyal girl “captured a thousand hearts” as she raised the spirits of the soldiers.

In March 1862 near Murfreesboro, a Confederate lady by the name of Mrs. Harris, asked General Beatty for protection, as her husband and daughter were absent from home. She insisted that many of the Union soldiers she had encountered were quite rude. General Beatty assigned Sergeant Woolbaugh to stand guard at the Harris home, and to be on his best behavior. It turns out that Sergeant Woolbaugh and Mrs. Harris engaged in conversation in the sitting room long into the night, discussing the current issues between the North and the South.

The horrors of war are also recollected by General Beatty. After the Battle of Perryville, Beatty describes the scene as soldiers dug trenches for fallen soldiers, many of whom they knew quite well: “We hear convulsive sobs, see eyes swollen and streaming with tears, …. as our fallen comrades are deposited in their narrow grave…” One time when the food supply was running short, hungry soldiers cut chunks of meat from horses which had been killed in battle.

General Beatty ends his memoir on January 1, 1864. Before wishing a “Happy New Year” to any future readers, Beatty’s thoughts as he looks out over the land in Mission Ridge, Tennessee are:

“Looking on this panorama of mountains, ridges, rivers and valleys, one has a juster conception of the power of God. Reflecting upon the deeds that have been done here, he obtains a truer knowledge of the character of man, and the incontestable evidences of his nobility.”

Beatty’s book concludes with a narrative of General Harrison Hobart’s capture and imprisonment at Libby Prison.

The Citizen-Soldier; or, Memoirs of a Volunteer is part of the “Local Authors” collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. It is also available to be read full-text at Google Books. General John Beatty is buried at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

The Diary of John Beatty, edited by Harvey S. Ford, is found at the website of the Ohio Historical Society.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Vince Edwards Visits Sandusky

On May 27, 1962, the actor who played “Ben Casey” on television, Vince Edwards, visited Cedar Point on Esmond Dairy Day. The actor is pictured with the 1962 Dairy Princess from Columbus, Ohio. Before his television career, Edwards had an Ohio connection, as he had been a champion swimmer as a student at Ohio State University in the late 1940s.

The front page of the May 28, 1962 Sandusky Register reported that 9,000 fans mobbed the popular actor, including two women who fainted. Thirty-five patrolmen from Cedar Point, as well as Mr. Edwards’ personal bodyguards were all on duty at the time. Edwards was quoted as saying, “I’ve seen larger crowds, but this was the wildest.”

Mr. A.C. Routh, Jr., manager of Esmond Dairy, and a Cedar Point official are pictured here with the famous actor.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sandusky High School Band in 1925

Here is the Sandusky High School band from the academic year of 1924-1925. The band is seated in front of the steps at Sandusky High School, now Adams Junior High. Mr. Byron Aldrich served as the director of Sandusky High School’s band from 1923 until his retirement in 1955. Below is a picture of the band from the 1925 Fram.

On Monday, November 3, 1924, the Sandusky High School band led a parade of over two thousand students through the streets of Sandusky in support of an upcoming levy. The band gave a concert at the high school auditorium on Friday, December 12, 1924, to a near capacity crowd. The musical numbers played by the 58-piece were so popular, that several encores were requested. Special numbers included a baritone solo by Wayne Pfaff, a coronet duet by Arthur Lange and Richard Smith, and a clarinet trio consisting of Marion Bailey, Wade Miller, and Charles Fettel. Though they didn’t place, the Sandusky High School band went to a State High School Band Contest in Akron, on May 21 and 22, 1925. The Sandusky Star Journal of May 23, 1925 indicated that “Sandusky gave a splendid account of itself” at Akron. Fostoria’s band took first place, with West High School of Akron finishing second. Earl Cheetham, a sousaphone player in the Sandusky High School Band, was selected to perform with the All-Ohio High School, which performed at the Ohio State Band in the summer of 1925 under the direction of Professor Wainwright of Fostoria, Ohio. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the history of past residents of Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Photograph Album of Sandusky High School Graduates, Class of 1902

In 1902, C. W. Platt had a photographic studio at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Water Street in downtown Sandusky, which had been started by his father, A.C. Platt. C. W. Platt’s daughter Winifed H. Platt and her future husband Edward C. Schnaitter were both graduates of Sandusky High’s Class of 1902.

Miriam and Oliver Rinderle donated a photo album to the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center which features individual portraits of each of the graduating seniors from the Sandusky High School class of 1902.

Unfortunately only four of the students’ pictures were identified in the album.  They are:

W. Leroy Slate

Alice Judson

Norma Zistel

and Frank Prout, who would later become Superintendent of Sandusky City Schools, from 1921 to 1939, and would serve as President of Bowling Green State University from 1939 to 1951.

Two African American females graduated from Sandusky High School in 1902: Emeline Gilkeson and Iona Scott.

Other noteworthy students from Sandusky High’s class of 1902 were Dr. Walter Rieger, a physician who resided in Cleveland, and Mary Klingbiel, who became a nun and observed fifty years as a parochial educator in northern Ohio schools in 1957. After entering the Notre Dame order, Mary was known as Sister Mary Josephine. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to view these and other vintage photographs of residents of Sandusky and Erie County, Ohio.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gertrude Victor’s Tribute to the Month of May

The essay below was a tribute to the month of May by Gertrude Victor. Gertrude Victor, born Gertrude Nash, was the wife of Sandusky tavern keeper, Henry Victor. She was the mother of author and editor Orville James Victor. Gertrude Nash Victor died in 1882, and is buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Hail lovely maid!

We thy fond even passions

now before thee with humble reverence bearing flowers we approach

thee for they are first emblems of your own freshness and bloom; yet although

at present like these, we fondly hope that your fate may not be as evenot ___

& transient as theirs – for the evening sun shining on them, their tints &

colors will be fading’ wilst the morrow’s sun will see them with

ired and dead forever – but for you, fondly do we hope that the future may

but add new grasses to the changes of the present and that the fruit

may e’en be fairer than the flower. With faces bedecked with smiles

and wreathed with flowers we salute thee our melody created sovereign.

True sovereign of our hearts, for thou art the sovereign of our love. Isle

among sovereigns dost thou sustain they power, and by force but by the

soft voice of kindness & charity which, as the warm rays of the sun do

melt by their soft and genial influence, the icy mounts which but presented

a firmer & more solid frost, as the ____ of North writing blast razed in

___ jury against them, but which, losing their rugged temper before the

mild & insinuating embraces of the genial sun, repent, after and dissolve

themselves into tears of sorrow for their own ungovernable temper, penetrate

and instill into our hearts the soothing feelings of love’s youth is the

season of flowers and with us all is gaiety and joy. The dark clouds of adieu

____ may in the future lower over our paths – but even so why trouble the

happiness of the present with dark forebodings of the future – why dim the

mirror of childhood with the shadow of age – Nay! Nay! Far from us let us drive

all such chilling thoughts for in nature also it is the season of happiness

and bloom. Removed alike from the chilling frosts of winter and

the arid beats of summer nature himself is bedecked and wreathed with

flowering smiles; - and the earth sends up her flowery messengers to

welcome the advent of spring in as she comes tripping along

thousands of perfumed harebells & primroses & daisies spring forth

to catch our glance of her bewitching eye, and to inhale the cheering

incense of her fragrant breath. Thus in the season of Nature’s

bloom, have met to enjoy our innocent pleasures and to

check our queen of May- Then bend your head sweet maid

and on our your fair brows, I will place in the name of my companions,

a flowery crown, that which there are none less weights &

less free of care, and which we fondly hope will be as it

has been in the past & present, the emblem of your future life – and thus crown

thee queen of May –

Salute, dear friends, our beauteous queen,

The fairest I know that e’er we’ve seen:

Crowned with flowers and wreathed with smiles

The ___ of Nture the fairest child.

May the bloom in thy cheek n’er fade

May sorrow n’er visit the dear Maid

But as the sparkling rays of a sunny day

So mays’t they future be, the Queen of May!

G.H. Victor

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Bazar and Frankel’s

In 1890 Alexander J. Scheuer and Henry J. Lehman took over Hammond’s Bazar, located on East Market Street in downtown Sandusky. Their store stocked everything from mirrors and baby carriages to fine cut glass. Shoppers who visited Sandusky could purchase souvenirs at the Bazar or buy clothing for any member of the family. The Bazar even stocked lamps, swings, oil stoves, and hammocks. The Bazar can be seen in the picture below of the parade honoring the returning Spanish American War soldiers from Company B of the Sixth Ohio Regiment in May of 1899.

After the death of Mr. Lehman in 1911, A. J. Scheuer and his brother Henry J. Scheuer operated the store. By 1915, the Scheuer Brothers moved to the 100 block of East Market Street. In 1919, William S. Frankel acquired the interests of A. J. Scheuer, and the store became known as the Scheuer-Frankel Company. Around 1929, William S. Frankel, Sr. became the sole owner of the business, and it was known as the William S. Frankel Company. After William S. Frankel, Sr. passed away in 1949, his son William S. Frankel took over the business. Frankel’s was a popular department store for area residents until the mid 1960’s.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Judge Lewis H. Goodwin

Judge Lewis H. Goodwin was one of the most honored members of the Erie County Bar. He was born in Geauga County, Ohio, to Dr. and Mrs. Erastus Goodwin on December 29, 1833. Judge Goodwin started his education at Western Reserve University, but he completed his studies in law at Marietta in 1854. He practiced law in Ohio for two years, but moved in Wabash, Indiana in 1858. When the Civil War broke out, Goodwin enlisted as a private in Company B of the 47th Indiana Infantry. In October, 1862 he was elected Captain of his company, and later was promoted to the rank of Major. During the war he took an active part in the campaign around New Madrid, and he also took part in the Vicksburg campaign with General Grant and in the Red River campaign with General Banks. At the battle of Champion’s Hill he was severely wounded. After being furloughed for a time, he rejoined his command at New Orleans. Major Goodwin mustered out in January, 1865. At the close of the Civil War, he returned to Wabash, Indiana where he practiced law for ten years. In 1874 he entered into partnership with his brother Homer Goodwin. By 1892 Mr. Lewis H. Goodwin went into practice for himself. He was elected Probate Judge of Erie County in November 1893, an office he held for two terms. Lewis H. Goodwin is the fourth individual from the right in the row of men standing at the back of the courtroom at the Erie County Courthouse in the 1874 stereographic image created by A.C. Platt.

On March 5, 1906, Judge Lewis H. Goodwin died at his home on South Columbus Avenue, after a lengthy illness. He was survived by his widow, the former Hattie Smith, a daughter Nina, and a son, Walter. Two daughters had preceded him in death. A lengthy obituary appeared in the March 6, 1906 issue of the Sandusky Register. The article read, in part: “Judge Goodwin’s army record was excellent. Twice he received promotion for bravery and merit. In his many years of service at the Erie County Bar he had formed a vast circle of friends who deeply mourn their loss.” Members of the McMeens Post of the G.A.R. attended his funeral. Burial was at the North Ridge section of Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Broom Brigade

Here is a group of young ladies (names and location unknown) who participated in a drill team known as the “Broom Brigade” in the 1880s. Mark Twain wrote in his book Life on the Mississippi of a "new institution" in the west and the south: young ladies who dressed in uniforms, and went through infantry drills. Instead of a musket, they carried a broom. Joseph H. Barnett wrote a book entitled Broom Brigade Tactics, in which he gave instructions for broom drills that were suitable for “exhibitions, roller rinks, and social and church entertainments.” An early advertisement for Mr. Barnett’s book about broom drills appeared in the Scrap Book Recitation Series, a publication edited by H.M. Soper in 1879.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Marie Lenz Bergman

Marie Lenz was born in 1859 in Kitzingen, Bavaria, Germany to Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Lenz. In about 1870, Marie Lenz married Christian Bergman. According to Volume 44 of Germans to America, Mr. and Mrs. Christ Bergman, along with their infant son Otto, emigrated to the United States. They traveled from Le Havre, France to New York City aboard the ship France, and they arrived in New York on August 16, 1882. By the time of the 1900 U.S. Census, Christ Bergman was employed as a contractor and the family resided on Shelby Street in Sandusky, Ohio. Marie and Christ had a large family at that time, which included four sons and a daughter, ranging in age from 1 to 19 years of age. Mrs. Bergman was active in the Ladies Aid Society of St. Stephen’s Evangelical Church, now known as St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ. Marie Lenz Bergman passed away on October 21, 1933 at the age of 75, thirteen years after the death of her husband. Mrs. Bergman was survived by her five children, five grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and two brothers and a niece. Funeral services for Marie Lenz Bergman were held at the home of her son and daughter in law, Mr. and Mrs. Anton Bergman. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery. The portrait of Marie Lenz Bergman was taken by Sandusky photographer W.A. Bishop.

If you would like to learn more about your ancestors, visit the Sandusky Library and the Sandusky Library Archives Center, where a wide variety of print and digital resources can assist you in your genealogical research.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Views of the Steamer Arrow

The steamer Arrow was built by the Detroit Dry Dock Company in Wyandotte, Michigan in 1895. Her first captain was George A. Brown. The Arrow was 165 feet in length, and 28 feet wide, with a net tonnage of 182. From 1895 until 1922, the Arrow sailed on Lake Erie taking passengers from Sandusky to Kelleys Island, Middle Bass, North Bass, and Put-in-Bay. Her cabin was furnished in light mahogany, and a grand piano was featured in her salon. Round trip fares in 1912 cost fifty cents. There were several steamers on the Island route in the early twentieth century.

Visitors to Cedar Point and the Lake Erie islands often arrived at the docks in Sandusky by passenger train.

The photograph below by Ernst Niebergall captures the Arrow vividly as it travels across Lake Erie.