Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Miller's Milwaukee Beer

Fred Zander was the manager of the Sandusky branch of the Fred Miller Brewing Company of Milwaukee, according to the 1906-1907 Sandusky City Directory. The building was located at the southwest corner of Warren and Monroe Streets. By 1912 the business moved to 722 Market Street, and the agents for the company were Fred W. Zander and Edward H. Hanson. Miller’s “Buffet” beer claimed to be the purest tasting bottled beer.

An article in the May 23, 1916 Sandusky Star Journal reported that Mr. and Mrs. Zander had moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From Toledo, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois, they followed the signposts for the Lincoln Highway. They had a pleasant trip except for 75 miles of muddy roads in Ohio.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Knapp’s Balsamic Cough Syrup

The advertisement above appeared in the Sandusky Register on February 8, 1875. John Knapp was associated with the Sandusky Medicine Company, which had its offices in the Sandusky Register building on Water Street in 1874 and 1875. Knapp’s Balsamic Cough Syrup was recommended for colds, sore throat, laryngitis, and all diseases of the throat.

Edwin Cutter, of Cleveland, Ohio gave a testimonial in the newspaper. He said he had tried a hundred remedies for asthma, but Knapp’s Balsamic Cough Syrup gave him the quickest and most effectual remedy of any other product. Mrs. E. Husted of Norwalk, Ohio stated that she was afflicted with a distressing cough for many years, but she found immediate relief with Knapp’s Balsamic Cough Syrup. The Sandusky Medicine Company seems to have gone out of business shortly after 1875, and by 1900, John Knapp was residing in Cleveland, Ohio with his daughter and her family. Patent medicines were very popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Sandusky’s drug stores sold many patent medicines before the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Frances Lockwood Davis, Civic Leader and Suffragist

Frances Lockwood was born in Elyria,Ohio in 1849, the oldest daughter of Judge and Mrs. William F. Lockwood. She married Thomas H. B. Davis, a successful businessman, in 1872. They had two children, Thomas H. B. Davis, Jr., and Edith Davis, who later married Clifford M. King.

In 1900, T.H.B. Davis died, at the age of 57. Mr. Davis’s obituary stated that “a son and daughter, together with the wife now left to tread life’s winepress alone, survive him.”

Mrs. Frances Lockwood Davis lived a very full life following her husband’s death. Her obituary, which appears in the 1933 Obituary Notebook, listed her many accomplishments: “Mrs. Davis was active in civic affairs, was the first president of the local Women’s Suffrage association and a member of the Library Building Fund association and of the board of the Sandusky Library association. She was one of the organizers of the Children’s Day Nursery, which later led to the founding of the Erie-co. Children’s Home.” Mrs. Davis passed away on January 22, 1933. She is buried in the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemetery in the family plot.

Mrs. Edith Davis King, daughter of Frances Lockwood Davis, is pictured below. Edith was also the daughter in law of Judge and Mrs. E. B King. Edith was the Assistant Librarian of the Sandusky Library in 1930, according the U.S. Census records for Erie County.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Platt's Cemetery Stereographs

An article appearing in the May 20, 1875 issue of the Sandusky Register read:

Those who neglect to have stereographs of their cemetery lots taken while Mr. Platt is on the grounds will regret it when they see the beautiful pictures he is taking. Notice at Mr. Platt’s gallery some taken last week of Mr. Pitt Cooke’s and Mrs. Judge Caldwell’s grounds.

In 1875 A.C. Platt operated a photographic studio at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Water Street in downtown Sandusky. Mr. Platt created a series of stereographic images that featured tombstones at Oakland Cemetery. The image above is a stereograph taken of the Townsend family lot in Block 9 of the cemetery. During the cholera epidemic in Sandusky in 1849, pioneer Sanduskian William T. Townsend, his wife Maria Lamson Townsend, their daughter Sarah, and a sister of Mrs. Townsend, all died from cholera between July 23 and July 31, 1849.

Friday, April 17, 2020

D.C. Powers, Pioneer Merchant

Dewitt Clinton Powers was born in 1844 in Jefferson County, New York. After he came to Sandusky in 1865, he began working as a clerk in the dry goods store of Charles E. and George A. Cooke. After working with C.L. Wagner in dry goods, he began a partnership with William Zollinger. The Powers and Zollinger dry goods store was located at 142 Columbus Avenue and 629 Market Street, in the Cooke block of downtown Sandusky.

By 1890, Mr. Powers was in business on his own with D.C. Powers and Company. He continued in this business until his retirement in 1914. Hewson Peeke wrote in his book A Standard History of Erie County (Lewis Publishing Company, 1916), that D.C. Powers and Company “was recognized as a landmark in the shopping industry of Sandusky.” Mr. Powers is the third individual from the left in the picture of the interior of the D.C. Powers and Company store, according to notes on the original photograph.

On April 23, 1919, Dewitt C. Powers died at the age of 75, after suffering a heart attack. His wife, the former Mary Alvord, had died in 1909. Mr. Powers was survived by a son, Royal A. Powers, and a daughter, Mrs. M.J. Bender. Funeral services were held at the Powers residence, with the Rev. R.J. Beard and A.H. O’Brien officiating. Burial was at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Clara Bock, Restaurant Proprietor

Clara Halawachs was born to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Halawachs in Germany in 1856. She came to the United States in 1865, according to U.S. Census records. On October 27, 1874, Clara Halawachs married Joseph Bock, who was also a native of Germany. Joseph Bock died of consumption (aka Tuberculosis) in 1895, leaving Clara a widow with four children.

From about 1908 until 1938, Clara Bock ran a home restaurant at 312 West Water Street. Besides running the restaurant, she also catered dinners for the Sandusky Yacht Club and the Kiwanis Club. In 1930 on the occasion of Judge E.B. King’s eightieth birthday, Mrs. Bock presented him with a birthday cake at the July Kiwanis meeting.

On April 1, 1939, Mrs. Clara Bock passed away after a brief illness. Funeral services were held at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Henry Reutler. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery. Despite leaving her homeland at a young age, and losing her husband when she was just a young woman, she was the embodiment of the American success story.

While we do not have any photographs of Mrs. Bock’s home restaurant, below is a picture of the J. and F. Bock Barber Shop in the 1880s, at 812 Water Street, the address of Mrs. Bock’s restaurant prior to the 1915 street numbering changes in Sandusky. Most likely the children in the picture are extended members of the Bock family, and the man may be her husband Joseph.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Judge George Morton and Dr. George Morton

In the 1800s, there were two well-known gentlemen, both named George Morton, who called Sandusky home. This excerpt from a page from the 1855 Sandusky City Directory lists both George Mortons along with their address and occupation.

George Morton, the civil engineer, resided at 49 Franklin Street. George R. Morton, the physician, resided at 14 Adams Street. Below is a portrait of Judge George Morton, the former civil engineer in Sandusky, from the Bishop Collection of photographs.

Judge George Morton was born in 1803 in Pennsylvania. He and his wife, the former Ruth Fifield, had a large family of six children. Mr. Morton worked as a civil engineer in Sandusky for many years. From November 1861 to November 1863, he served as Judge of the Erie County Probate Court. After serving as Judge, Mr. Morton went on to work as the Sandusky City Engineer. On June 4, 1888, Judge Morton passed away in Conneaut, Ohio. The Sandusky Register printed a copy of the telegram that had been sent to I.F. Mack & Brother, publishers of the Sandusky Register:

I.F. Mack & Bro:

George Morton died today in the 85th years of his age. Burial at Conneaut, Wednesday.

E. Chapin

We do not own a photograph of Dr. George R. Morton, but we do know that he is buried in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery, where he has two grave markers. The tall monument provides his dates of birth and death. Dr. Morton was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 13, 1806. He died on April 9, 1875 in Columbus, Ohio, while visiting his daughter’s family.

A flat stone is adjacent to the tall monument that honors the doctor's memory. (While one stone lists Dr. Morton’s birth year as 1805, the other states he was born in 1806.)

Dr. George R. Morton first practiced medicine in Coshocton, and then he moved to Sandusky. His later years were spent residing on North Bass Island, where he was involved in the growing of grapes.

Tip for researchers: When you find yourself researching two names that are the same, and the individuals lived in the same county in the same time period, gather all the census and vital records that you can find, and compare the occupations and the names of other family members. Make two separate files with the information you have found, and eventually you will most likely end up with solving the case of the two individuals with the same name.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Signs, Signs (A Preview of an Upcoming Library Program)

Before television, the internet, and even radio, we still had advertising. But how did advertising reach its potential customers without the media we take for granted today? Newspapers, of course, had plenty of ads, but the only way to see them was to buy a newspaper. Businesses wanted to bring the ads to the people, instead of waiting for them to go look for the ads. So why not make use of the large empty spaces on the sides of buildings that people walk (or ride a trolley) by every day?

Of course, advertising methods (and buildings) have changed over the years, but many of these signs live on as "ghost signs," faded images barely visible but surviving as pieces of urban (and rural: "Mail Pouch"?) history.
Who remembers Betsy Ross bread?
There are several ghost signs in Sandusky and undoubtedly many in other communities as well. In a library program this summer (date TBA), Special Collections Librarian Ron Davidson will share images of many of these signs, and discuss the history of the businesses and locations portrayed, including historic views of signs when they were "living." 

In the meantime, can you find ghost signs in your neighborhood? (Don't forget to practice social distancing while you're out!) Feel free to share your images in comments here or on the related Facebook post. If you'd like, we may even present your image at the library program.

Sometimes we can't read them, but know that something was there!

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Dairies in Sandusky

Ohio dairy farms have been providing milk and milk products to residents for many years. In the nineteenth century, milk was made primarily by local farms and delivered to homes. Lewis Neill, Jr.'s milk delivery truck is seen below behind St. Mary's Catholic Church around the turn of the twentieth century. After milking the cows, the farmer poured the milk into large containers and then transferred the milk to individual families' smaller milk containers from his delivery truck.

There are dozens of listings for dairies in the historical Sandusky City Directories, many which represented individuals who operated large dairy farms. Eventually there was enough demand and technology for milk and milk products to be mass produced. Esmond Dairy was begun by Elmer Otto in 1907, and was incorporated in 1920. After starting on Washington Street, the company moved to the 1600 block of Campbell Street by 1919. Delivery trucks operated by the Esmond Dairy improved greatly as technology advanced. Esmond Dairy continued operating in Sandusky into the 1970's.

This truck delivered Esmond Dairy products in 1915.

A red “Quality Checked” mark was a popular advertising logo used by the Esmond Dairy in this 1960 photo:

Pictured below is a promotional item given away by the Leake Dairy, which was located on Seneca Street and was owned by Vere Leake. It appears to be the cover to a sewing kit which was given to Leake Dairy customers in the 1950s or 1960s.

In 1923 the Sandusky City Directory listed these businesses in the Dairies section: August Arheit, Ralph Rodisel, Cloverleaf Dairy, Esmond Dairy, and the Windau Dairy. By 1925 Elmer Otto was manufacturing milk products and ice cream on his own, and A.C. Routh had taken over as president of the Esmond Dairy.

The Toft family had a dairy farm in Erie County since 1900. Toft's Dairy began its retail operations in 1935. In 1937 the business was on the south side of Neilson Street just east of Campbell Street. Later it moved to East Adams Street, and many Sandusky residents will recall Toft's long standing location at 2434 West Monroe Street. In 2003 Toft's Dairy built a large facility at the corner of Venice Road and Edgewater Avenue on Sandusky's west side, with both a manufacturing plant and a retail store. Toft's remains a popular destination for both local residents and tourists.

Historical Sandusky City Directories housed at the Sandusky Library provide listings of dairies and hundreds of other Sandusky businesses throughout history. Article 54 of From the Widow's Walk features an excellent article about "Horse Drawn Milk Delivery," by Helen Hansen and Virginia Steinemann. Read about early developments in the American Dairy Industry in this article from the Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

William H. H. Herbert, Businessman and Civic official

William Henry Harrison Herbert was born on April 24, 1839 in Hagerstown, Maryland. As a young man, he moved to Paw Paw, Virginia where he made his home with his sister. When the Civil War broke out, he fought for the Confederacy, enlisting in the 12th Virginia Cavalry. He spent time in a northern prison camp at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio. 

After the war ended, Mr. Herbert left his southern home, and moved north to Sandusky.  He married Elizabeth Davis Lea on November 15, 1877, and by the 1880s was engaged in the lumber business with J. D. Lea. In 1893, he was appointed collector of customs at Sandusky. He also served as a city councilman and on the board of the Water Works at Sandusky. 

On March 28, 1906, William H. H. Herbert died at the residence of his brother-in-law, Edward H. Marsh, on East Washington Street.

An article in the April 16, 1906 issue of the Sandusky Register said about Mr. Herbert, “He left his southern home and came north to engage in business and from that time to the day of his death conducted himself as a high-minded and honorable man of business, taking at the same time an active part in politics and also showing himself ready at all times to bear his share of any public burden connected with any enterprise for the good of the community in which he lived.”

Funeral services were held at the Edward H. Marsh home, with Rev. A.N. Slayton of Grace Church officiating. Members of the Elks and the city council and city officials were in attendance. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery. The pallbearers, all associates of Mr. Herbert were: Judge Thomas M. Sloane, C.W. Sadler, Fred Pickering, T. Pitt Cooke, C.T. Wight, Dr. John T. Haynes, W.H. Gilcher, and Alex M. Wagner.