Thursday, March 31, 2016

Anna White Ferris, Mrs. B.F. Ferris

According to the Firelands Pioneer, Anna Damarius White was born on August 11, 1838 to Samuel M. White and his wife, the former Damarius Pendleton. Samuel M. White was a building contractor. He and his wife were pioneer settlers of Sandusky, Ohio. In 1861, Anna D. White married Benjamin F. Ferris, a hardware merchant. The steamer B.F. Ferris was named for Anna’s husband.
Mrs. Ferris was an early member of the board of the Library Association of Sandusky, serving on the board in 1878 and 1879. For many years, she took an active part in parish activities of Grace Episcopal Church. On October 9, 1901, Mrs. B.F. Ferris passed away in the very room in which she was born, at her home on Adams Street in Sandusky. An article in the Sandusky Daily Star of  October 9, 1901 read in part, “By her death, Sandusky loses a woman of sterling worth and character, who had many warm friends and who will be sincerely missed from among her associates.” Mrs. Ferris was survived by her husband, a brother, and three sons. She was buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. Her husband, Benjamin Franklin Ferris, died in October of 1912. A beautiful monument honoring the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin F. Ferris, as well as several members of the White family, is located in Block at Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Local Heroes: The Carnegie Medal Awarded to Sandusky Residents

Between 1904 and 1969, nine Sandusky area residents were awarded the Carnegie Medal for acts of extraordinary civilian heroism. The medal pictured above was awarded to Earl Thomas, who saved Rolland Smith, age 16, from drowning, after Rolland fell into deep water off the railroad bridge at Mills Creek. Though Thomas was not a good swimmer, he swam over thirty feet to bring Smith to safety, where both men were pulled out of the water by another young man. Though young Smith was unconscious, and Thomas suffered from exposure, both recovered. 

By performing a search for Sandusky, Ohio at the website of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, you can read a brief summary of all the awardees who were from Sandusky. In 1904, William C. Brune saved George P. Pfanner from drowning. Another water rescue took place in 1905 when baker Henry Schiller saved Wendell B. Tussing from drowning while at Lakeside, Ohio. When the Mahala Block burned on November 18, 1909, George B. Knopf made his way to the top of the fourth floor building to rescue Emma Keyes from the fire.

On October 29, 1920, Harry May saved Martin Maier from being killed by a train. The locomotive was only two feet from the men when Harry pushed Martin to safety. Hilda Hertlein was only twelve years old when she lifted four year old Viola Poock off the track as a streetcar was approaching. In addition to the Carnegie Medal,  Hilda received $1,600.00, which she used towards her studies at Ohio State University. Henry Sherman Potter, Jr., was also quite young when he earned a Carnegie Medal. Henry was age thirteen, when he saved  ten year old Omar E. Meyer, Jr. from drowning, after Omar fell through the ice while skating on Sandusky Bay. Henry broke through the ice, and finally threw his sweater to Omar to help pull him to safety. An article about the heroic act of Henry Sherman Potter, Jr. appeared in the July, 1929 issue of Boys’ Life magazine. Omar E. Meyer, Jr. eventually became the owner and president of the local company O.E. Meyer & Sons. 

While in Lorain in 1932, William G. Lang saved twenty-two month old Leila Smith from being struck by a streetcar. While at the helm of the streetcar, Lang quickly applied the brakes and drastically reduced the speed, after which he grasped the toddler to safety. During a severe rainstorm on July 5, 1969, Larry E. Smith rescued LoRene Limbard from drowning, after she was trapped in a fruit cellar in her home after a basement wall collapsed. Two men outside the home helped Mrs. Limbard out a small basement window, after Smith helped her find her way to the window. As Larry Smith himself exited through the window, the water had risen to the ceiling light of the basement. Sandusky can be proud of the many heroic actions undertaken by these nine ordinary citizens who helped save others’ lives while risking their own life.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Mrs. Charles Livingston Hubbard, Nee Jennie Matilda West

Mrs. Charles Livingston Hubbard was born Jennie Matilda West in 1855, to Sandusky businessman WilliamT. West and his wife, the former Lydia Mahala Todd. When Jennie married Charles Livingston Hubbard in 1877, it was reported as “grandest wedding of the season” in the October 20, 1877 issue of the Sandusky Register.

C.L. Hubbard’s were Mr. and Mrs. Lester S. Hubbard. L.S. Hubbard was a prominent Sandusky banker. Rev. A.B. Nicholas officiated at the Hubbard-West wedding, which took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W.T. West at the southwest corner of East Washington and Warren Streets on October 18, 1877. The Register article stated that relatives and friends of the couple came from various parts of the United States. The bride wore a dress which was made of taille and satin, ornamented with rushes of silk illusion and scarves of satin. The dress was adorned with garlands of lilies of the valley and orange blossoms, and featured a long duchess train that was “a marvel of grace and elegance.” Jennie West’s bridal costume and trousseau had been purchased from Lord & Taylor of New York City. The West House was trimmed with evergreens, ferns, and beautiful flowers and lace, along with an arch and wedding bell. The refreshments “surpassed in elegance anything ever before given in this city.”  Two large bride’s and groom’s cakes were accompanied by all the delicacies of the season.  A long list of wedding gifts appeared in the Sandusky Register, including items of cut glass and silver, golden candlesticks, a marble mantle clock, several vases, and lovely art pieces.

Charles Livingston Hubbard worked as an attorney in Sandusky for many years. He and Jennie had four daughters, one of whom died in childhood. C.L. Hubbard died in May of 1904 when he was age 53. He was buried in the Hubbard family lot at Oakland Cemetery.  In 1935 Mrs. Jennie West Hubbard moved to Carmel, New York, where she lived until the age of 103. Mrs. Hubbard died there on December 31, 1958 and she was buried in the West family lot at Oakland Cemetery. Her obituary, which appeared in the January 1, 1959 issue of the Putnam County Courier stated that on her father’s side, Mrs. Jennie West Hubbard was descended from Sir Thomas West, Baron de Lawarr, who was once the Governor of the Virginia colonies, and for whom the state of Delaware derived its name. 

Mrs. Jennie West Hubbard is the third individual from the left, in the row of ladies seated in the front row in the picture below.

To read more about the Hubbard and West families in Sandusky, see the book At Home in Early Sandusky, available at the Sandusky Library.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Adam J. Rice, Early Sandusky Mail Carrier

Adam J. Rice was born in 1856 in Sandusky, Ohio, to Mr. and Mrs. Peter Rice. On December 1, 1882, Adam Rice was appointed as one of the earliest mail carriers in Sandusky.  During his almost thirty year career with the postal service, Mr. Rice served under seven different postmasters, retiring in October 1915. On his last day of work, Mr. Rice was called to the Post Office Annex where he was presented with a mahogany chair upholstered in leather. The chair was a gift from the Postmaster Charles Schippel, along with the mail carriers and postal clerks from Sandusky’s Post Office, which was then still in downtown Sandusky at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Market Street.

In an article which appeared in the January 24, 1923 issue of the Sandusky Register, Adam Rice told of a time when a change of party in the Presidency sometimes meant that employees at the Post Office could lose their job, due to the spoils system. He said after the United States Civil Service was established, postal workers could only lose their job if there were a valid reason.

An obituary for Adam J. Rice is found on page 223 of the 1946 Obituary Notebook at the Sandusky Library. Mr. Rice  died on November 21, 1946. He was survived by his sister,Mrs. August Weier, a nephew, J.Leroy Weier, and a niece, Mrs. Fred Bloker. Funeral services were held at the Charles J. Andres Sons’ Funeral Home, and burial was at Sandusky Library. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

St. Mary’s 1939 Basketball Team

Former newspaper reporter C. Weston Dash donated this picture of the 1938-1939 Sandusky St. Mary’s basketball team. Notes on the original picture indicate that the photograph was taken on March 19, 1939. This team was runner-up for the Class A High School state championship in 1939. Coach Lee Zierolf is on the right, in the back row. Team members were: Leroy Riedy, Howard Thompson, Art Link (team captain), Ken Smith, Wayne Stamm, Joe Riccardi, Charles Stanley and John Thompson. You can read more about this team in the March 19, 1939 issue of the Sandusky Register. Coach Lee Zierolf was a teacher and coach at St. Mary’s from 1932 to 1953. Under his leadership, the St. Mary’s basketball team won the state championship in 1936, and were state runners-up from 1937 to 1940. Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to read more about your favorite local sports teams in issues of the old Sandusky newspapers, now on microfilm.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lucile Dehnel Burch

Lucile Dehnel was born on July 14, 1895, to William Dehnel and Annette Kuebeler Dehnel. William Dehnel was a jeweler in Sandusky, and Annette was the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. August Kuebeler. Mr. Kuebeler was active in the brewery business in Sandusky with his brother Jacob.  In 1900, Lucile was listed in U.S. Census records as residing in the Kuebeler mansion on Tiffin Avenue, with her parents and maternal grandparents.

On June 26, 1909, Lucile was chosen to christen the G.A. Boeckling with a bottle of Hommel Champagne. She is seen below, beside George A. Boeckling, the namesake of the ship.

In early September of 1922, Lucile Dehnel married Albert C. Burch. The wedding took place at the Dehnel home on the Cedar Point Chaussee, officiated by Rev. E.G. Mapes of Cleveland. Lucile’s attendants were her close friends, Mrs. C.W. Hord and Mrs. Albert H. Uhl. A lengthy article about the wedding appeared in the society pages of the Sandusky Star Journal of September 2, 1922.

Below is a picture in which Lucile is surrounded by family and friends on her wedding day. Several other pictures from the Dehnel-Burch wedding are housed in the biographical collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center.

Lucile’s husband, Albert C. Burch, died in 1948. Lucile did not remarry after her husband’s death.  She passed away on June 4, 1979, at the age of 83. She had lived a full life, having helped in the management of the Dehnel Jewelry Store, and she had been an active member of Grace Episcopal Church and several community organizations. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Caroline Cady, Christian Worker

This obituary of Mrs. Caroline Cady appeared in the Sandusky Register on April 25, 1905. A transcription of her obituary reads:

Mrs. Caroline Cady
Mrs. Caroline Cady entered into rest at her home, 115 Bell Street Monday morning, April 24th at 5 o’clock, aged 77 years and 8 months, after an illness of several weeks. Only for one week was she thought to be critically ill, pneumonia having developed.
In the death of Mrs. Cady Sandusky has lost one of its pioneer Christian workers. For 25 years past she has proclaimed the gospel of Christ to the prisoners at the jail, police station and hospital at the Soldiers’ home, distributing hundreds of Bibles in which she had marked God’s loving promises to those that see Him, and has seen many give up their ways of sin for a holy and happy life. She has rendered assistance to many, given wise counsel and encouragement. Homes have been made happy in times of sorrow and need. Always remembering the words of our Lord: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.” About two years ago she lost her sight but still worked the Master, sending out God’s word in leaflets, well knowing it would not return unto Him void but accomplish that whereunto it was sent. The end of her life was like an ideal setting of the sun to rise again in a perfect day. She realized and said underneath her were the everlasting arms. “On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.”
She leaves three daughters, Mrs. Lewis Lea, Mrs. W.G. Myers and Mrs. Minnie Kelley; one sister, Mrs. Josephine J. Couch, and three brothers, J.W. Jennings of New York, J.T. Jennings of Seattle, Wash., and H.C. Jennings of Fostoria.
The funeral services will be held at her home, 115 Bell Street, Wednesday at 2 p.m. Burial private.
Dearest mother, thou has left us.
Here they loss we deeply feel.
But ‘tis God that has bereft us,
He can all our sorrows heal.

Caroline Cady was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hector Jennings, and the widow of William Cady, a Civil War Veteran. In her younger days she operated a millinery shop in downtown Sandusky. 

Obituaries in newspapers in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century were filled with descriptive language, and pointed out the character of the deceased. They were generally written by someone who had known the deceased well, and often included Bible verses and poems. Below is a postcard of the old hospital on the grounds of the Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home (now the Ohio Veterans Home) where Mrs. Cady frequently paid visits to provide counsel and encouragement to the patients.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Flatiron Building at the Corner of Elm, Hancock and Monroe Streets

Known as a flatiron building, because of its unique shape that is similar to a flat clothes iron, this limestone building was constructed by the Kuebeler and Stang families in 1909. It sits on a triangular lot at the intersection of Elm, Hancock and Monroe Streets. You can see the shape of the lot in an early twentieth century Sanborn Fire Insurance Map.

The side of the building that faces Monroe Street features a rising sun on the pediment of the building.

Decorative stone is found along the top of the side of the building that faces Hancock Street. If you look closely at the second floor windows, you can still see signs from the dance studio which once occupied the top floor.

Commonly known as the Kuebeler Block, this building was built for businesses to occupy the street level, and a social hall on the upper level. Several business on Hancock Street comprised a small business district that served Sandusky’s residents on the near east side. In 1916,  the Spiegel Brothers had a barber shop on the lower level, next to Robert Fingerhut’s merchant tailor shop. The “Social Seven Hall” occupied the upper floor of the Kuebeler block at this time. Gilcher and Wallen once ran a hat shop at this location.

In 1948, Kay Lutes opened a dance studio in the Kuebeler Block’s upper level. In the 1980s and 1990s,  Barb’s Dance was also at this location. In 2016, this property has a consignment shop on the street level.  “If those walls could talk,” they could tell many stories about this historic Sandusky building.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The Cassidy Home: Site of Early Catholic Church Services in Sandusky

A room in the home of the Cassidy family at 221 Hancock Street (no longer standing) was used for Catholic Mass in Sandusky, Ohio, before Catholic churches were built in the city. 

Edward and Robert Cassidy were immigrants to the United States, having been born in Ireland. The Ohio Historic Places Dictionary states that Robert Cassidy built Holy Angels Church in Sandusky between 1841 and 1845. In the 1855 Sandusky City Directory, both Cassidy men listed their occupation as mason. Edward Cassidy and his wife Bridget had a total of twelve children. An early plat map from the Erie County Auditor shows the exact location of the Edward Cassidy home, though by the time of this map’s publication, it may have been Edward Cassidy, the son of Edward and Bridget Cassidy who resided here. The house sat on the west side on Hancock Street between Market Street and Washington Street, in Sandusky’s Second Ward.

It is believed that this is the room in which the early Catholic church services were held when they met at the Cassidy home.

Ernst Niebergall this picture of a dresser in the Cassidy home in the 1920s, though its use as an altar for church services took place in the 1840s.

When Edward Cassidy died in 1893, a front page article of the Sandusky Register stated that he had been a “city father.” Edward and Robert Cassidy built many of the stone buildings in early Sandusky, including the first jail, the U.S. Customs House, and the shops of the Mad River Railroad and the Sandusky, Mansfield & Newark Railroad. Over fifty individuals with the surname Cassidy are buried in the St. Joseph Cemetery in Sandusky. 

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Roosevelt Days in Sandusky

On March 4, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his first inaugural address to the nation. The U.S. was in the midst of the Great Depression, and referring to the country’s condition at that time he famously stated, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The merchants of Sandusky, Ohio celebrated the inauguration of FDR by sponsoring “Roosevelt Days” on March 3 and 4, 1933. An article in the February 27, 1933 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that “the greatest merchandise value-giving event in the city’s history will be afforded.” Every merchant was to offer one super special item at a reduced cost. All the streets in the downtown district were decorated in the national colors of red, white and blue. A full page in the March 2, 1933 issue of the Sandusky Register was devoted to the “red hot bargains” to be offered during Roosevelt Days.

During Roosevelt Days, the Perry and Bretz men’s store were selling Gold Medal hats for $3.50 and Fifth Avenue hats for $5.00.

The J.H. Herman store’s ad stated that they were offering a “March of Miracle Values at their furniture store.

Many of our ancestors lived through the Great Depression, and Sandusky merchants were making an effort to offer affordable products for Sandusky area residents in 1933, to ease the financial woes so many were facing at that time.