Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Record Book of the Commissioner of Insolvents, Erie County, Ohio

In the early years of Erie County government, the county kept records of the proceedings between debtors and their creditors. The record book shown below was given to the Sandusky Library from the estate of Rush R. Sloane, former Mayor of Sandusky. In 1841, John Sloane, Rush’s father, was the Commissioner of Insolvents for Erie County; he also served as the Mayor of Sandusky from 1840 through 1843. 

The ledger book was purchased from D. Campbell & Sons in Sandusky, Ohio who were the publishers of the local newspaper of that time, the Sandusky Clarion (now the Register). 

Pictured below is a portion of the liabilities of Jonathan Mordock. He appeared before Commissioner  Sloane, regarding debts that dated back to March 12, 1831.

Following the itemized list of debts is a transcript of questions and answers between Sloane and Mordock. Evidently Mr. Mordock gave Asahel Fox some horses, a wagon, and a harness. Mr. Sloane was trying to determine whether the items that Mordock gave to Fox covered his indebtedness. It turns out that Ashael Fox was the son-in-law of Mr. Mordock, and Mr. Sloane determined that Jonathan Mordock was destitute, and qualified for the provisions of the March 1831 “Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors.”

Some of the phrases that appear in the affidavit are very familiar, such as “not to my recollection,” and “not that I know of.” While much of the Record Book of the Commissioner of Insolvents may not be very interesting to read, one can get a sense of which businesses were doing well in the 1830s and 1840s, by noting the names of the creditors. Some of the businesses to whom debtors owed money during this time included: lawyers Parish and Sadler, real estate agent John Beatty, grocers Johnson and Simpson, and the stone mason Ogden Mallory.

The Record Book of the Commissioner of Insolvents, Erie County is a two volume set that is housed in the “Sandusky and Erie County History” collections at the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Caroline Sadler Donahue Remembers


When Caroline Sadler Donahue was in the hospital in 1953, she took time to write down some of her childhood memories, which was printed into a booklet. Caroline was born in 1878 to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Webb Sadler. She married J. Frank Donahue, and they lived in Sandusky for many years.

In the booklet, It is Fun Remembering, Caroline recalls that there was a horseshoe shop near her house, and that the Marsh family stables were located behind St. Peter and Paul church. She tells of workers harvesting ice on Sandusky Bay. In the evenings, her father read from Dickens novels to the children, and for Christmas one year, Grandpa E. H. Marsh gave bicycles to the grandchildren. Caroline’s sister Emily played violin after family dinners.

Judge E. B. Sadler was Caroline’s paternal grandfather. He was a personal friend of Jay Cooke, the Civil War financier, and they once took a western trip to sell war bonds. It took the men twenty days to cross the country.

You can find Caroline’s booklet of memories in the Archives Research Center at the Sandusky Library. Consider recording your own memories, so that your family and friends can learn more about your personal history. Your remembrances could be recorded on paper, on a personal computer, or by making an audio recording or video recording. If you have a family scrapbook or memory book, think about donating it to the Archives Research so that others can learn of the personal histories of everyday people in our area.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Dr. Hess Products were sold by Hoffman Coal


Dr. Hess products were claimed to help produce healthy flesh and milk in the animals consuming them, and hens were supposed to be more productive in laying eggs.  In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a local place to purchase Dr. Hess goods was  Daniel Hoffman, Dealer in Coal and Wood. The Hoffman family in Sandusky was in the coal business for over sixty five years, beginning in the late 1880s. The advertisement below was from December 5, 1896. At that time the business was on Scott Street, between Hancock Street and the B & O Railroad crossing. By 1897 the business was known as Daniel Hoffman, Dealer in Flour, Feed and Coal.

Some of the products with the Dr. Hess brand were Poultry Pan-A-Ce-A and Instant Louse Killer

In 1911 the name of the business changed again, to Hoffman Coal & Milling Co., Dealers in Flour, Feed, Seeds, Coal, Salt, Etc. At this time Dr. Hess had changed its logo to a colorful illustration with cattle and poultry, as seen at the top of this post.

Monday, September 21, 2020

“The Most Approved Toilets”


One of the definitions of toilet, according to The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1993) is: the articles required or used in applying make-up, arranging the hair, dressing, etc. A handwritten booklet entitled The Toilet was a gift to Louise Newton in 1827. It appears to have been written by Elizabeth Marie Kemper, and was presented to Louise by her cousins in Ohio. The words Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church appears on the title page of the booklet. The booklet discusses virtuous qualities that a young lady should have, comparing these attributes to rouge, lip salve, and other accessories that a girl or woman would use in getting dressed. 

On the page entitled “The Enchanting Mirror” is the verse:

This curious glass will bring your faults to light

Present your virtues more transcendant bright,

Your neighbour’s failings gently cover o-er

And on your heart a sweet reflection pour.

Under the glass in the mirror is the word: Humility.

On page 4 of the booklet is a drawing of a decorative container holding a “Universal Beautifier.”

Under the container is the verse:

With this choice liquid gently touch the mouth,

It spreads oe’er all the face the charm of youth.

If you lift up the lid of the container, you will find the words good humor.

A drawing of earrings in the shape of two bunches of grapes are found on page 11 of the booklet.

At the top of the page is the heading A Matchless Pair of Ear Rings. This verse appears below the drawing:

With these dear drops appended to the ear

Instructive lessons you will gladly bear.

The words Attention and Retention are found under the clasp of each earring.

The Toilet takes us back to a time when virtuous living was a key component of child rearing. 

According to the book, Newton Genealogy, Eunice Louise Newton was the daughter of Daniel and Eunice (Clemons) Newton. She was born on July 1, 1826. In 1847 she married Orlando Ransom. Sadly, Louise Newton died young, on November 12, 1851.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Convention of the Erie County Women’s Christian Temperance Union in Sandusky

The ninth annual convention of the Erie County Women’s Christian Temperance Union was held on Wednesday, September 20, 1916 at the Congregational Church in Sandusky, Ohio.

The book, History of Erie County, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, states that a number of well known ladies of Sandusky met to organize a temperance league in 1879. Their object of the society was: “combating intemperance and kindred vices through Christian influences and Christian work.” By 1928, there were several area groups of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in the various communities of Erie County, which were under the leadership of a Union Board.

Mrs. Imogene Dauch, sister in law of J. J. Dauch, was active in the W.C.T.U. from 1911 through the 1930’s, often serving as an officer of the West Huron chapter. Mrs. Dauch was the Erie County delegate to the Ohio W.C.T.U. Convention in 1929, held at Findlay. At the local convention of the Erie County W.C.T.U. in 1916, she opened the convention with prayer and Bible reading, and gave a welcoming address as well as the annual President’s message. Mrs. Dauch’s daughter, Cynthia Aulda Dauch presented a piano solo to the attendees. Cynthia A. Dauch would later become the executive director of the Visiting Nurse Association of Los Angeles. Imogene Dauch died in Sandusky in 1975 at the age of 92. Besides her work in the W.C.T.U., Mrs. Dauch was also a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, the Daughters of 1812, the National Order of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Huron Grange.

To read more about temperance activities in Sandusky, see this previous blog posting.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

S.S. Hosmer, Early Sandusky Merchant

Sidney Smith Hosmer was born in LeRoy, New York in 1808. As a young boy he moved to Buffalo, and was active there in business until 1838, when he moved to Sandusky. He was listed as a wholesale grocer on Water Street in the 1855 Sandusky City Directory. In the May 17, 1851 issue of the Daily Sanduskian newspaper,  he advertised new arrivals of several varieties of whiskey, cognac, gin, and rum. By 1880, his stated profession was as a miller. 

Mr. Hosmer's first wife was Elizabeth Camp, the daughter of Major John G. Camp. Elizabeth Camp Hosmer died in 1857. Mr. Hosmer then married Ann Brokaw, who was from Indiana. Alex C. Hosmer, a son from his first marriage, died in the Civil War. Another son, Theodore Hosmer, was the first mayor of Tacoma, Washington. 

S.S. Hosmer died on August 3, 1888. He was buried in the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemetery. An obituary for S.S. Hosmer appeared in the August 7, 1888 issue of the Sandusky Register. The article reported that “this city lost one of its oldest citizens.” 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Recipe Booklets and Other Helps for the Homemaker

 A local resident donated several booklets of recipes and other household hints, ranging in dates between 1915 and the 1940’s, to the historical collections of the Follett House Museum and the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. The Commercial Banking & Trust Company distributed this promotional item in 1922:

The fruit jar markers contained adhesive-backed labels with the names of ingredients such as blackberry jelly or raspberry preserves. The labels could be easily attached to jars of home canned goods. The introduction of the booklet stated that canned fruits, pickles, and jams could easily “brighten the table” if the lady of the house had a very busy day.

Dainty Desserts for Dainty People was published by the Charles B. Knox Company in 1915.

The introduction of this booklet claimed that Knox Sparkling Gelatine was made under the very best sanitary conditions, and from the very best materials. While many cold desserts were featured in the booklet, there were also several recipes containing meat, seafood, and vegetables. Tips for setting the table and other suggestions for serving guests were included in the front of the publication.

Several of the recipe booklets offered help in stretching the household budget, while still providing healthy meals for the family. Eggs at Any Meal contained recipes for breakfast, lunch, supper and dessert, and pointed out that eggs provided a very efficient form of protein. The leaflet was written by Lucy M. Alexander, and was issued by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Several historic cookbooks can be accessed at the Feeding America online exhibit from Michigan State University.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

A Funeral Notice from 1853

This funeral notice for David Adams invites friends of the young man’s parents, Thomas P. and Eliza Hurst, to the funeral of David Adams, to be held at David Adams' residence on September 8, 1853.

At the top of the notice is an image of a tombstone next to a willow tree. Bertram S. Puckle wrote in his book, Funeral Customs: Their Origin and Development, that: “The weeping willow, by reason of its form trailing and bowed in grief, as its name suggests, caused it to be frequently planted in such a position where it might overhang a favoured tomb, like some perpetual mourner.”

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Marjorie Anderson, Professor, Librarian, Poet and Author

 Dr. Marjorie Anderson was born in 1892 to George F. Anderson and Mary Kingsbury West Anderson. She was the great granddaughter of Dr. George Anderson, an early Sandusky physician who died of cholera in 1834.

Marjorie Anderson graduated from Sandusky High School in 1909.

Marjorie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in 1913, and her Master’s degree from Columbia University in 1916. She then studied at Johns Hopkins University, and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago in 1923. 

Dr. Anderson taught in the Department of English at Hunter College from 1927 until her death in 1954. She was considered an expert in Chaucerian literature, and wrote several magazine articles on Chaucer. Marjorie collaborated with Blanche Colton Williams in writing An Old English Handbook, published in 1935.

In 1920 Marjorie was an Assistant Librarian at the Carnegie Library in Sandusky.

Below is a poem entitled “In a Public Library,” from her book A Web of Thoughts.

In a tribute to her in the New York Times, Lillian Gottesman said that Dr. Anderson was as great a teacher as she was a scholar. She continued “I shall always remember the brilliant mind, gentle voice, smiling face and sweet humility which combined to make the beloved Marjorie Anderson.”

Dr. Anderson’s book is part of the local authors collection of the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library.

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Elementary School Photos in Front of the Old High School

Two group pictures, taken by the Pascoe Gallery in the 1880s, are housed in the Schools Collection of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Students are posed in a group in front of the old Sandusky High School on Adams Street, before it was expanded in 1910. Notes on the photographs indicate that the students in each picture were taught by Miss Horn. Unfortunately, we do not know which Miss Horn was the teacher of these youngsters. There were three different teachers named Miss Horn, who were employed at different times by the Sandusky City School system. In 1886, Augusta and Clara Horn were both listed as teachers in the Sandusky City Directory. The 1908 Sandusky City Directory lists Augusta Horn and Stella Horn as school teachers. In this close up, in the middle of the front row, one young lady has her arm around her classmate.

Many of the students have quite serious facial expressions.

The students in this group picture appear to be from an early elementary grade level.

Miss Augusta Horn was associated with the Sandusky City Schools from 1881 to 1928. She taught at Osborne School, serving as the school’s principal for the last eight years of her lengthy career. After her death the Sandusky Star Journal featured a tribute to her in the November 22, 1938 issue. It read in part:

In giving 47 years to the teaching profession in our city, Miss Horn taught in the day when the teacher molded the life of her pupils and many men prominent in the civic life of our town have repeatedly said that they owe to her unfailing interest in them much of the success they now have achieved. 

Visit the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center to learn more about the history of Sandusky City Schools, and its many teachers, administrators and students.