Friday, August 31, 2012

A View of East Washington Row in the summer of 1955

A snapshot taken by Helen Hansen on August 20, 1955 shows several buildings in downtown Sandusky on East Washington Row. At the corner of East Washington Row and Columbus Avenue is the Western Security Bank building, just across the street from the old LaSalle’s store. The 1955 Sandusky City Directory lists the occupants of the upper levels of the bank building, which included several insurance agents, a title company, and offices for lawyers George A. Beis and Robert W. Beamer. Doctors William F. Burger, Carle Koehler, Emerson Hoyer, and Homer C. Fout also had offices above the Western Security Bank. The Walter L. Crusey furniture store was located at 117 East Washington Row. A Kroger’s grocery store took up 135 to 145 East Washington Row. Parking for Kroger’s was beside Mary’s Diner. The Washington building takes up the rest of the block of East Washington Row. On the street level of the Washington building were: Rosino’s Shoes, Singer Sewing Machine Company, and the Ohio Fuel Gas Company. There were a number of offices on the upper levels of the Washington Building, including accountants, insurance agents, the Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts of America, Judson Civil Engineering, Dr. Sheldon R. Hoover, and William E. Didelius, Erie County Prosecuting Attorney.

Prior to a massive fire in 1909, the Mahala Block took up a large portion of East Washington Row in Sandusky.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Italian Heritage in Erie County

Between 1884 and 1924 about 7 million Italians arrived in the United States. In Erie County Italian-Americans found work in the quarries, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, landscaping, fishing, and many other businesses. Local Italian restaurants were quite popular on weekend nights, and remain popular to this day. Four generations of the Balconi family have been in the monument business in Sandusky. “Mama Berardi” opened her well-known French Fry stands at Cedar Point in the 1940's. Pictured below is the grocery store of Ruggiero Riccelli around 1920.

Major Thomas S. Amato (third from right in the picture below) was born in Sicily in 1880. Major Amato served in the Sixth Infantry of the Ohio National Guard in World War I. His death in 1921 was directly attributed to his military service.

The Sandusky Register’s obituary of Thomas S. Amato states that “full military honors were accorded to the man who came to this country from Italy when a boy and so loved it that his life has been laid a sacrifice upon the altar of his adopted land.”

During World War II, many Sandusky young men of Italian descent served in the United States military, and some lost their lives. One of the most moving stories of sacrifice and honor is one of two Sandusky brothers of Italian descent who were honored in San Marino, a small republic within the borders of Italy. The front page of the Sandusky Register on April 5, 1961 features an article about a monument having been built in the cemetery in Fiorentino in honor of Leonello Berardi and Roberto Berardi. Leonello and Roberto were the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Adam Berardi, who emigrated from San Marino to the United States in 1927. Leonello died in Italy in 1944, and Roberto died in Holland in 1945. They wrote to their parents that they hoped to meet up in San Marino, but they never had the chance to do so. Though the young men were buried where they died, officials of the small republic of San Marino wanted to honor the sacrifice of Leonello and Roberto Berardi. Officials from both San Marino and the United States were present at the dedication of the monument. Dr. Frederico Bigi, of the Italian consulate, spoke at the dedication. He said the young men “took with them the spirit of liberty as they traveled to the world’s youngest republic, and showed their devotion to Liberty by laying down their lives to uphold freedom.” You can read more about the monument to Leonello and Roberto Berardi by accessing the April 5, 1961 issue of the Sandusky Register, on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. The names of Leonello and Roberto Berardi are also found on a plaque honoring several former students from Sandusky High School who lost their lives during World War II; the plaque is at the former Adams Junior High School.

A plaque that was donated to the historical collections of the Sandusky Library contains the names of the charter members of the Italian-American Beneficial Club in Sandusky, better known as the I.A.B.

You can read about “Little Italy,” a six-block area on Sandusky’s east side, in the May 18, 2003 issue of the Sandusky Register, now on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Hundreds of passenger records are available on the Ellis Island web site, accessible at home or at Sandusky Library. Consider donating historical family photographs or documents to the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library for future generations to enjoy.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

John F. Renner, Piano Dealer

For over thirty years, John F. Renner was associated with the music business in Sandusky, Ohio. On June 1, 1890, he began work in the music store of R.J. Rife, then worked for John Schoepfle after Mr. Schoepfle purchased Mr. Rife’s interests in the store. In 1897, Renner formed a partnership with George J. Doerzbach. They ran the music store for eight years, after which time Renner became the sole proprietor.

From the late 1890s until Mr. Renner’s retirement in 1929, the music store was located on the street level of the Odd Fellows’ Temple on Washington Row. John F. Renner sold pianos, organs, and musical merchandise. An advertisement in the June 28, 1911 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, stated that there is a “longing in every heart for music.” Mr. Renner’s store offered payment plans for musical instruments, so that families could play music or listen to music any time of the day or night.

In April of 1921, during National Player Piano Week, Mr. Renner ran an advertisment for player rolls for player pianos. “County Kerry Mary” and the “Missouri Waltz” were two of the many featured selections. Mr. Renner often sponsored community musical events. In February, 1922, concert pianist Herma Menth gave a program at Carnegie Hall at Sandusky Library under the auspices of John F. Renner. In the winter of 1924-1925, Renner supported the Cleveland performance of the dramatic production The Miracle, which played at the Cleveland Public Auditorium during the holiday season, after a successful run in New York City.

John F. Renner died on April 27, 1930. He was survived by his wife, the former Cora Feick, four sisters, one brother, and his mother, Mrs. Josephine Renner. Funeral services for Mr. Renner were held under the auspices of the Perseverance Lodge, No. 329, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Medicine in the Civil War: Part Three -- The U.S. Sanitary Commission

The United States Sanitary Commission was founded in 1861. It had doctors who would inspect Union camps and mess tents. The commission also produced eighteen pamphlets on proper sanitation in camp. This included everything from personal hygiene to where the best place to put a latrine was. Primitive conditions in camp were a problem. Sanitation did not exist, and camps were pitched on military strategy, not caring about good water or drainage. Camps had no garbage dumps, and had animal parts from slaughtering everywhere. Then flies came and spread disease. This changed with the Sanitary Commission being founded.

Shortly after the Sanitary Commission was founded, it ordered supplies for the troops from the Quartermaster’s Department. The Commission ordered three million yards of flannel, eight hundred thousand pairs of boots, eight hundred thousand pairs of wool socks, two hundred thousand felt hats, and two hundred thousand haversacks (which are bags with straps that soldiers can use to carry supplies). These supplies were given to soldiers who had lost their own supplies they had brought from home. Unfortunately, this did not stop a shortage from occurring altogether. Soldiers often had to wear the same clothes for weeks on end. In a letter to the Sandusky Register in 1862, Dr. McMeens stated he had worn the same pair of socks and shirt for three weeks.

Unsanitary conditions in camps led to the spread of disease. In a letter from Dr. McMeens in 1862, he discussed what happened to dead horses after a battle. They would lie on the ground for days. This would cause diseases to spread. Getting water was also a problem. Water sources often would have dead horses or cattle laying in them. This made the water undrinkable.

Women who could not leave home collected and made supplies. This included bandages, candles, and cooking. Relief associations were established to bring women together to make these items. The Sanitary Commission served as the head of these and helped orchestrate what supplies were needed and where they would go. In the April 27th, 1861, Sandusky Register, Captain H.G. Depuy of the Sandusky Guards wrote a letter thanking a Mrs. Wilkinson for a donation of 100 rolls of linen strip bandages. “Should we be called upon to meet the enemy in the field of battle many a youth will be saved to bless the donor.” Letters such as this appeared in the Sandusky Register throughout the war, as well as appeals for supplies such as fish or fruit, and appeals for donation drives.

There were also articles in the newspaper instructing women on how to make different medical supplies for the front. The most important one was cloth bandages for soldiers to carry with them to use when wounded and trying to get to a hospital. The instructions said that the cloth should be washed, boiled and ironed without starch; and that there should be no hem. There were three types of bandages that were used the most. The first was a “roller” that was two and a half inches in width, and made of cotton. It could be used for anything. This type of bandage had to be tightly rolled up for easy application. There was another cotton bandage that was larger and referred to as a “many tailed bandage”. It was typically 20 by 20 inches and was used for gunshot wounds. The last type of bandage was made of muslin, not cotton like the others. It was one square yard and could be used to bandage anything and make arm slings.

The Sanitary Commission also helped soldiers return to life after they were out of the war. It would hold sanitary fairs for the public to learn about keeping clean. It also would help outfit ships to become hospital ships.

The Sanitary Commission ended when the war did. The remaining funds were used to purchase bonds. The interest from them was given to disabled soldiers to help support their families. The Commission was a precursor to the American Red Cross. Many people who were with the Sanitary Commission such as Clara Barton helped found the Red Cross.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Medicine in the Civil War: Part Two - Nurses

Nursing during the Civil War started out as a duty done by less sick soldiers in hospitals. Eventually women who were inspired by Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War came to hospitals to cheer up troops, and became nurses. This allowed soldiers to go back to the front faster, and concentrate on healing. On top of caring for soldiers nurses also helped entertain, assist in surgery, administer medicine, write letters home for those who could not, and search for supplies.

Before female nurses were allowed in hospitals, young women who lived near the hospitals would visit to help care for and entertain the wounded. They would bring food, alcohol, and flowers. They would also play the piano, sing, and read poetry. This was frequently done on Sunday. After the war had been going on for a while female nurses were more accepted, and recruited so male nurses could return to fight in the war. The nursing service had women from all parts of society.

Dorothea Dix was working as a copy clerk for the U.S. government in Washington D.C. in1862, when she noticed how bad the military hospitals were. She took it upon herself to walk into the office of Acting Surgeon General R. C. Wood and tell him that the War Department did not have adequate resources to treat its soldiers. There were only a few surgeons, not enough nurses -- which meant that soldiers were filling the nursing role -- and no permanent hospitals. She asked to put together a female nursing corps of volunteers under the War Department. She sought the help of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell to do this. She hoped to keep romance out of the army, so her requirements for nurses were very strict. Her requirements, which were published as an article in the Sandusky Register, included: only plain looking women over the age of thirty could apply, married ladies preferred; dresses must be brown or black; women’s clothing could not have any jewelry, and their hair could not have bows or curls; women could not wear hoop skirts. This was because hoops were cumbersome, and made movement in narrow wards difficult. The ban on hoop skirts was even published in the Sandusky Register as an order from the government.

Nursing was not yet a profession and most who took the role learned as they worked. Convalescent soldiers usually filled the role, before women were allowed to work as nurses. Ill soldiers were expected to take care of each other. Only wounded had special treatment from medical staff at the beginning of the war. Many women followed their male family members into service, and then by accident became nurses. Nuns were also nurses. Some doctors liked them the best because they did not question the doctor’s authority. Women nurses were also sought out when it was discovered that a soldier was a woman and she needed treatment.

Female nurses were new in the military. The position was open to any women no matter their class, although upper class women were looked down on if they became nurses. Nursing duties included administering medicine, distributing special diets ordered by the doctor, writing letters, and attending to visitors. In cases where a soldier was dying and he was alone, they would sometimes pretend to be the dying soldier’s relative to make him feel better. Another thing nurses did to make things easier was to fill out a card with the patient’s information and attached it to the head of the patient’s bed for staff to read.

Opponents to female nurses said that they were too weak to help. The strongest of these critics were male doctors. Nurses had to care for wounded not just in hospitals, but in tents, caves, under trees, in fields and in barns. Nurses would go out while the battle was still occurring to take care of the men. After battles the wounded would lie close together for miles. Clara Barton said, “The wounded laid so close it was impossible to move about in the dark. The slightest misstep brought a torrent of groans from some poor mangled fellow in your path.” This was her experience, and men thought that at the sight of such things women would faint. They were wrong.

Female nurses received twelve dollars a month while their male counterparts received twenty. Female nurses were well aware of the difference. Pay was not just an issue for nurses. Doctors had problems receiving their pay also. It would sometimes take months. In June of 1861, Dr. McMeens wrote a letter to the Register. In the letter, he stated that he had been in the Army for two months and had not been paid yet. He then went on to ask his patients who owed him money to pay his wife. They could pay the entire bill or only part of it.

Nurses, because they were so close to patients, could often discover things about the patient that the doctor had missed. This occurred to one local soldier who had received a scalp wound in battle. He said, “She (the nurse) had been engaged in washing the blood from my head and face when she discovered that what had seemed on a superficial view to be the most desperate wound of the head, including the skull was but a mere scalp wound which bled profusely and doubtless made a most unpromising case for surgery at first view.” Cases like this were common. Sometimes because of the circumstances of the war and the way medicine was practiced at the time, things were overlooked and people were not treated properly.

Nurses also served an important function in letter writing. They would write for soldiers who could not. They would also write letters trying to find information about soldiers. One such letter appeared in the Sandusky Register in June of 1863. Sarah L. Porter wrote a letter about a soldier named Joseph Cramer who was in her care at a hospital in Washington D.C. She could not get much information from him before he died, except that he was from Sandusky. After his death, she wrote a letter to the Postmaster of Sandusky, and it was published in the paper. She asked that his friends and family contact her. Medical professionals did this so that personal belongings of soldiers could be sent home, and so people could get closure.

The author Louisa May Alcott was a nurse during the Civil War. Not only did she recount her experiences in a book, she also wrote for newspapers. One article that appeared in the Boston Commonwealth was reprinted in the Sandusky paper. It recounted the story of a soldier who was sick and dying. He had her write a letter to his mother for him, and the article also talked about how his comrades who were in the hospital could not stand to see him die. This article also gave an impression about how female nurses were treated.

As stated before, a lot of soldiers in the hospital were sick, not wounded. Alcott noted in her book Hospital Sketches, “I spent my shining hours washing faces, serving rations, giving medicine and sitting in a very hard chair with pneumonia on one side, diphtheria on the other, two typhoid’s opposite.” Typhoid was one of the more prominent illnesses. Treatment for it was quinine, whiskey, and turpentine. Sometimes all nurses could do was comfort the patient.

By the end of the war, women had helped heal the sick and inspired soldiers to fight. They applied for pensions, and some received medals. Many published their memoirs. Some even went on to start the campaign for women’s rights and the right to vote. The Civil War was a starting point for women to move towards equality.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Medicine in the Civil War: Part One - Doctors (Including Dr. McMeens of Sandusky)

At the beginning of the Civil War, medicine was in a transitional period. Before this time people did not have to go to medical school to become a doctor. They simply had to be a doctor’s apprentice for a period of time. In the 1860’s, medical schools were being founded. Doctors had to attend these schools and then be an apprentice for a time with an already practicing doctor in order to practice medicine. There were several Sandusky residents who were in the medical field during the Civil War. One of these was Dr. Robert R. McMeens (pictured below). He kept up a correspondence with the Sandusky Register describing battles and camp life until his death in late 1862, while serving in a Military hospital.

Shortly after the war started in 1861, Bellevue Hospital Medical College  in New York created a chair devoted to military surgery. The medical establishment knew that disease was the main culprit in war deaths. They wanted to create more qualified surgeons to prevent needless deaths. A handbook for military surgeons also came out around this time. The book was 120 pages long. However, people who wanted to become military surgeons still needed more training than the book offered. In an effort to recruit more surgeons, the Sandusky Register often published the location and times when the Military Surgeon Exam was offered. The paper also printed the requirements. The candidate had to be certified, in good standing, and have five years experience for a surgeon’s mate, and ten years of experience for a surgeon.

Union surgeons captured by Confederate forces were treated well and soon released. This was because the Confederate forces did not have the necessary accommodations to take care of the surgeons. The surgeons usually had their boots taken if they were in good shape. The Confederate army was not well supplied and usually took uniform parts from prisoners or the dead. When the war first started there was one surgeon in a regiment of twelve hundred men on both sides. There were female doctors in the Union Army, including Dr. Mary Edwards Walker. The Confederate Army had no female doctors.

The germ theory of disease had not yet been understood in 1861. Operations were done the same way they had been for the previous fifty years. Surgical instruments were dipped into well water and that was all the sanitizing they received. Wounds were sewn up with unsterilized silk. Sometimes surgeons would moisten the thread with saliva when threading the needle. Doctors would stick their bare hand in a battle wound to feel around for shrapnel or bullets. Because of these practices, death rates were high. For example, 87% of soldiers with abdominal wounds died, 60% with skull wounds died, and 62.6% with chest wounds died. Shoulder wounds were less often fatal, with a 33% mortality rate, and wounds that involved a broken bone usually led to an amputation. There was no anesthesia as we know it today. Whiskey was used to sedate people and help take away pain. It was also thought to help people get their senses back. Another problem was that disease transmission and prevention was not well understood, and many patients in the hospitals were there because they were sick, and not because they were wounded during a battle. Diseases swept through camps and killed soldiers who saw little fighting.

Many hospital workers would contract the illnesses of their patients. The author Louisa May Alcott caught an illness this way while serving as a nurse during the war, and Dr. McMeens caught dysentery while working in a hospital. Workers also suffered from exhaustion that required hospitalization. Dr. McMeens died in October of 1862. Originally attributed to heart disease, later it was believed that his death was caused by exhaustion. He as well as other doctors were known to work through the night treating battle wounded soldiers by candlelight. After his death, his wife continued on the mission of helping soldiers and became deeply involved in aid societies.

In addition to problems with medical supplies, and conditions in the camps, food was a constant problem for the Union forces in the Civil War. Northern rations were hardtack, beans, salt pork, and coffee. Everything was fried in bacon fat over a fire. Fresh local vegetables were rarely available because of price gouging by local farmers. Diet was something that was not always considered, so both sick and healthy people got the same rations. Union hospital staff would go out into the community to find donations of the proper nutritious food for the patients. Sometimes they would encounter Confederate sympathizers and be in danger of being shot at. People back home would be appealed to for supplies. Food problems accompanied by diseases spreading prompted Dr. McMeens to write this in a letter in 1862:
“Young volunteers who left home in robust health, who had comfortable homes surrounded by relations and friends, now on their way back mere skeletons of their former selves.”

To help with rations, notices were put in the Sandusky Register, asking community members to donate food to soldiers. They could drop them off with a member of a unit who happened to be in town. Potatoes, onions, sauerkraut, chicken, butter, and dried or canned fruit were all wanted. Doctors would ration these out to troops, and the soldiers who were in the worst shape received more rations. Dr. Sexton also put a notice in the paper requesting specific items. When rations were cut short the soldiers and hospital staff would hunt in nearby fields. Sometimes local people would come in and sell produce.

Multiple doctors from the area served in the Civil War. They helped soldiers from the area by having donation drives. Some died helping others after battle. They kept up correspondence with the newspaper about events. Patients were subjected to both new and old treatments. Doctors also struggled like the rest of the soldiers with illness, money, and the hardships of war.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Program Announcement: Brown Bag Lunch Series -- Orchards of Erie County

A different kind of history. . . .

Wednesday, August 15, at noon:

Tim Malinch, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, OSU Extension-Erie County, will take a look back at the peach, apple, and pear orchards of the area and how they have changed over time and how they will likely evolve in the future. Registration is requested.

Monday, August 13, 2012

J. M. Frisbie, Daguerreotype Artist

In the 1850 U.S. Census, John M. Frisbee was residing in the household of Sandusky lawyer F.D. Parish in Portland Township, now known as the city of Sandusky. His occupation was listed as Daguerreian artist. The advertisement below appeared in the January 16, 1851 issue of the Daily Sanduskian:

A biographical sketch from Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900: A Biographical Dictionary states that J. M. Frisbie was born in Guilford, Connecticut in 1802. He came to Ohio in 1842, and was active as a daguerreotype and ambrotype artist from the mid-1850s until at least 1874.

This page from the 1855 Sandusky City Directory places J.M. Frisbie’s Daguerreotype Rooms at 155 ½ Water Street. Mr. Frisbie kept up with the latest technological advances and business practices in his long career as a photographer in Sandusky. He used sky and side lights in his studio, to give every possible advantage of light. He used Voigtlander cameras and processed his photographs using superior chemicals. And as was common among photographers of the time, Mr. Frisbie took pictures of sick or deceased persons, even going to the person’s home if necessary.

By the time the 1860-1861 Sandusky City Directory was published, Frisbie’s ad stated that he had a Photographic and Ambrotype Gallery at 135 Water Street, and that his was the oldest such establishment in the city of Sandusky. The ad read, “Likenesses taken in every style and in all weather, at prices with the read of all.”

During the Civil War, Frisbie produced this carte de visite in Sandusky:

J.M. Frisbie died in February of 1880. He was buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. A large monument with the name of Mr. and Mrs. Frisbie, along with four of their children is found in Block 32 of the Cemetery. 

To see photographs taken by J.M. Frisbie and other early Sandusky photographers, visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Friday, August 10, 2012

F.A. Riedy, Manufacturer of Fine Cigars

Frank A. Riedy was born in Baden, Germany in 1843 to John and Frances (Webber) Riedy. As a young man he came to the United States, and settled in Sandusky, Ohio. On August 12, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company L in the Third Ohio Cavalry. During his military service in the Civil War, he was promoted to Full Farrier, a specialist in equine hoof care. On August 4, 1865, he was mustered out with his company. After working briefly as a blacksmith, Mr. Riedy went on to work in the cigar business in Sandusky for thirty years. The 1880 Sandusky City Directory listed F.A. Riedy as employee of Diehl and Riedy, a cigar manufacturer located at 1025 Market Street; by 1886, he was sole proprieter of this business. He also sold cigars, pipes, and tobacco at his store. In an advertisement which appeared in the 1908 Sandusky City Directory, F.A. Riedy stated that he was “the only pipe doctor in the city.” Smokers came from miles around to have their treasured pipes repaired by Mr. Riedy.  After 1915, when Sandusky changed its street numbering system,  the address of the business became 807 West Market Street.

Frank A. Riedy died on February 20, 1922. He was a member of the McMeens Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, and St. Mary’s Church. Mr. Riedy was survived by wife, a son, Leo; two daughters, Mrs. Leo A. Sacksteder and Mrs. Leo A. Butler; and seven grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Leo A. Butler, with Father W.C. Zierolf officiating, and burial was at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Mr. Riedy was involved in a business that has a rich history in Sandusky. To read more about the manufacturing of cigars in Sandusky, see this blog post.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Dr. J.T. Haynes, Surgeon at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Home

Dr. John T. Haynes was born in Butler County, Ohio in 1864, to Dr. and Mrs. Moses H. Haynes. Dr. J.T. Haynes first attended Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. In 1889 he graduated from the Miami Medical College of Cincinnati. After practicing medicine briefly at the Cincinnati Hospital, he became the assistant surgeon for the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home in Sandusky, Ohio in October of 1889. In August of 1891, Dr. Haynes was named the Chief Surgeon at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home. Also in 1891 Dr. Haynes married Miss Olive Ashton, who was also the child of a physician. Dr. and Mrs. J.T. Haynes were the parents of six children. Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton wrote in The History of the Western Reserve that Dr. J.T. Haynes saw the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home “grow literally from the ground up.” He took pride in the construction and development of the hospitals. Dr. Haynes planned for the construction of both the interior and exterior of the hospitals at the Home. Besides working at the Home, he also was married and reared his children on the grounds of the Home.

During the years Dr. Haynes spent working at the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home, it is estimated that he treated more than 15,000 men. Some suffered from wounds received in battle, and some suffered from ailments that came in peacetime. The residents of the Home held him in the highest esteem. Dr. Haynes had a special interest in the aging Civil War veterans. He felt that they were “in a class by themselves.” During his tenure at the Home, Dr. Haynes was recognized as the historian of the institution. He authored a chapter on the Home in Hewson Peeke’s 1916 book, A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio. He also wrote several articles in the Firelands Pioneer. On November 3, 1932, Dr. Haynes passed away, after suffering a stroke. Funeral services were held at Oakland Cemetery on Saturday, November 5, 1932. Hundreds of U.S. veterans attended his funeral. Honorary pallbearers were the members of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Home, and representatives of the State Welfare Department. Dr. Haynes was survived by his widow, four sons, and a daughter. To read a lengthy obituary of Dr. John T. Haynes, see the 1932 Obituary Notebook.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Cornelius and Frank Schnaitter, Tailors in Sandusky

Born in Bavaria, Germany in 1830, Cornelius Schnaitter settled in Sandusky in 1849, after living briefly with his family in Canada. During the Civil War, Cornelius Schnaitter served as a musician with the Fourth Michigan Infantry. Following the war, Cornelius Schnaitter and Anton Buderus were in the merchant tailor business in Sandusky, Ohio for twenty six years. Mr. Schnaitter was associated with a military group in Sandusky known as the Jaeger Company, as well as the Jaeger Band, an early Sandusky band comprised mainly of German immigrants. Hewson Peeke wrote in his 1916 edition of A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio, about Cornelius Schnaitter, “there were few functions in Sandusky during the early days at which his services were not in demand for musical entertainment.” Cornelius Schnaitter died in 1919. He and his wife, the former Susanna Krantz, were the parents of five children, Frank, Antoinette, Cornelius, Sarah, and Hattie.

 Frank Schnaitter followed in his father’s footsteps. The Frank Schnaitter Tailoring Company was located in the 100 block of Columbus Avenue in Sandusky in the early part of the twentieth century. Pictured below are two men at Schnaitter’s shop in 1915.

Dozens of bolts of fabric are on the tables, and on the walls are hung pictures of stylish men’s suits and vests. The dressing room is made from a curtain hung on a rod, next to the glass front cabinets. A vintage telephone can be seen in the back of the room, close to the U.S. flag.

In the picture below, taken by J. A. Hawkins of Mansfield, you can see the reflection of the West House in the windows of Schnaitter’s Merchant Tailors. It appears that the Sandusky Lake Ice Company may have also had offices at the shop in the 100 block of Columbus Avenue in downtown Sandusky.

Frank Schnaitter died in an ice boating accident on February 13, 1928. He was survived by three daughters, and a son, his wife having died in 1922. Frank Schnaitter’s son, Edward Cornelius Schnaitter, married Winnifred Harriet Platt, the daughter of former Sandusky photographer Clayton W. Platt. Edward and Winnifred Schnaitter’s daughter, Allene Schnaitter became a librarian. She was a college librarian in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Director of the Washington State University Library, before she retired to Santa Fe, Mexico.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Isaac F. Mack, Civil War Veteran and Newspaper Publisher

Isaac Foster Mack, Jr. was born in Monroe County, New York on August 1, 1837. He moved with his family to Decatur, Wisconsin in 1848. While attending school at Oberlin College, Mack enlisted in Company C of the Seventh Ohio Infantry. At the battle of Cross Lanes, West Virginia in 1861, Mack was taken prisoner. He was imprisoned at Libby Prison in Richmond, Old Parish Prison at New Orleans, and also at Salisbury, North Carolina. After the war, I.F. Mack, Jr. returned to Oberlin College and completed his education. He read law in Janesville, Wisconsin, and practiced law for a short time. He became associated with the Broadhead Independent newspaper in Wisconsin, and then he moved to Washington D.C. where he worked as a correspondent for several Chicago newspapers. In March, 1869, Mack moved to Sandusky, Ohio where he purchased a half interest in the Register. After two years, he became the sole proprietor of the newspaper. In 1874, his brother John T. Mack joined him as a partner in the Register. This partnership continued until 1909 when Isaac F. Mack retired due to failing health. I.F. Mack, Jr. was a charter member of the Western Associated Press, which went on to become the Associated Press. It was largely due to the efforts of Isaac F. Mack, Jr. that the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home was located in Erie County, Ohio. The Ohio Veterans Home Museum is now housed in the I.F. Mack Building on the grounds of the Ohio Veterans Home.

In 1892 I.F. Mack, Jr. was elected Commander of the Ohio Department of the Grand Army of the Republic. and for several years he served as president of the Ohio Editorial Association. On September 12, 1912, Isaac F. Mack, Jr. died at the age of 75. He was survived by his wife, the former Mary Foote, and a son and daughter. Burial was in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. In 1995 Isaac F. Mack, Jr. was inducted posthumously into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. To read more about the life and career of Isaac F. Mack, Jr., read Sandusky's Editor, by Charles E. Frohman, available at the Sandusky Library.