I Found it in the Archives Contest

archives21The Clark County Historical Society is sponsoring a local I Found It In The Archives essay and video contest to raise awareness for archives and to show how the items and information found in the nation’s archives touch peoples’ lives. We are seeking entrants who have found something special in our collections here at the Heritage Center in our library and archives.

Did your research here help you break through a brick wall? Did you uncover a really awesome story worth sharing? Was there a particular record, document, photo, or artifact that meant a lot to you? If you answered yes to any of these, you’ve got a great entry in the making!

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To Enter: between June 1-30, 2015, we ask that you submit either:
• A 400 word essay describing your quest for information and explaining why finding it has made a difference for you, along with a color photograph of you, OR
• A video of no more than 2 minutes in which you describe your quest for information and explain why finding it has made a difference for you. Please also include a color photo of you with your video submission.

This downloadable  entry form and waiver must accompany your entry and can be submitted with the essay or video as an attachment to clarkcountyhistory@gmail.com. You may also mail your entry and the entry form and waiver to our offices at the Heritage Center: Clark County Historical Society ATTN: Archives, 117 S. Fountain Avenue, Springfield, Ohio 45502.

Essays and videos of the finalists in this competition will be posted online for a public vote on our Facebook page. The entry with the most votes will be declared the winner and will receive a prize package:

  • One year annual family membership to Clark County Historical Society.
  • One year family membership to the Clark County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.
  • Heartland, our museum exhibition catalog and county history.
  • Behind-the-scenes tour of the Clark County Historical Society’s collections area and archives.

RULES

You may submit only one entry.

You may submit your entry by email to clarkcountyhistory@gmail.com or mail your entry and entry form and waiver to:

Clark County Historical Society
ATTN: Archives
117 S. Fountain Avenue
Springfield, Ohio 45502

Your entry becomes the property of the Clark County Historical Society. We reserve the right to post your essay and photograph or video online. Materials will not be returned.

TIMELINE

Entries must be received by June 30, 2015.

Finalists will be notified by July 8, 2015, and their essays or videos posted online for a public vote.

The close of online public voting will be August 1, 2015. The winner of the competition will be notified on August 4, 2015.

The winning entry will be sent on to compete in a statewide competition. The statewide winner will be hosted at the Society of Ohio Archivists Fall Conference during the first week of October 2015.

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WHERE is it Wednesday for September 10, 2014

On our Facebook page on Wednesday, September 10, we shared this sketch of an early Clark County home to see if anyone could guess where it was.

Where could this be?

                                                              Where could this be?

This was a tricky one! It showed a sketch of a home from the 1875 Clark County Atlas, the home of Jacob Thomas. It was formerly located on the northeast corner of N. Limestone and E. McCreight at 1206 E. Limestone and it was the home of Jacob and Sophia Thomas, who came here from Maryland in 1851. Jacob Thomas and his sons owned quite a bit of land farther north on Limestone and it appears that the home pictured in the 1875 atlas was built around 1870 according to the Springfield City directories. The corner where the house was built was right on the corporation line for the city of Springfield at the time, so until the late 1800s it was JUST outside the city limits.

1882 Atlas showing the corner of Limestone and Cooper (later McCreight) where the home stood.

     1882 Atlas showing the corner of Limestone and Cooper (later McCreight) where the home stood.

The last Thomas in the home was Jacob’s son Thomas. The house was torn down around 1923 and was later home to a gas station and is now where Muffler Brothers is located on North Limestone.

Our archives didn’t yield a lot more information on Jacob Thomas, but one of his sons, John H. (J.H.) Thomas was a very prominent Springfield citizen. John founded the Thomas and Mast Company with industrialist P.P. Mast in 1855 and the specialized in Buckeye grain drills, seeders, and cider mills.

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John Thomas left the company in 1872 and in 1874 he formed the Thomas Manufacturing Company with his two sons, William and Findley. The company made a variety of products including hay rakes, steam engines, lawn mowers, pumps, disc harrows, bicycles, grain drills, and seeders.

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We have a grain drill and a Thomas bicycle on display in the museum along with a few products from Thomas and Mast. John Thomas was a major philanthropist in the community, serving on city council and the Snyder Park board. He and Ross Mitchell gave a large financial gift that allowed for the establishment of the Mitchell-Thomas hospital on E. Main street, which was in use from 1887-1904.

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Mr. Thomas has the distinct honor of having THE tallest monument at Ferncliff cemetery.

Sources:

Springfield City Directories

Beautiful Ferncliff: Springfield, Ohio’s Historic Cemetery and Arboretum by Paul W. Schanher, III and Anne E. Benston

Health and Care Category – Medical Collection – Mitchell-Thomas Hospital

Manufacturing Category – Thomas Manufacturing Co.

1875 Clark County, Ohio Atlas

1882 Springfield Atlas

WHO is it Wednesday for September 3, 2014

On Wednesday, September 3, on our Facebook page we shared a WHO is it Wednesday photo of this woman here:

Who could this be?

Who could this be?

She had a familiar face to a few who made guesses; her horn rimmed glasses seemed to give her away as a teacher! This is Thelma A. Dunn, Wittenberg associate professor of education who taught from the time she graduated from Wittenberg in 1924 until her retirement in 1966. She was a 1921 graduate of Springfield High School and received her master’s degree from the Ohio State University. During her more than 4 decades at Wittenberg University, she supervised the practice teaching of over 2,500 students. It was her aim, she said, to impress upon her students that teaching is a job to be done and not merely a time clock to be punched. Several of our own retired teacher volunteers at the Heritage Center remember studying under Miss Dunn; one recalls her saying, “If you must yell at your students, be sure to lower your voice.” Thelma was honored with the Golden W award from Wittenberg in 1974. She died in 1979 and is buried in Ferncliff Cemetery. Thelma’s collection of materials in the historical society archives contains a wide range of items including a fair amount of artwork done during her earlier school years at Central school. Items pictured here out of her collection include more pictures of her from high school and college, her Wittenberg freshman grade card, a response from President Richard Nixon, school work, her mileage ration card, and a ticket for Ferncliff Cemetery.

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Sources:

Biographical Category – Thelma Dunn Collection

WHAT is it Wednesday for August 27, 2014

On Wednesday, August 27, we shared a photo of an archival item from the Geneva Fath Brown Collection on our Facebook page to see if anyone could identify it.

What could this be?

                                                What could this be?

A few people recognized right away that it was some sort of game and a couple knew it for what it was: a fortune telling game!  This fortune telling alphabet game is from around 1910. We came across this several years ago with processing the Geneva Fath Brown Collection, mixed in among some really powerful (and sometimes humorous) correspondence between a young Geneva Fath and soldier friends in World War I. As near as we can tell, the way this game worked was that you had a list of words from A-M and a corresponding list of boys (or girls) and you would count randomly down the list to assign the people to the words. For example, on this list Ralph H. wants to Marry you, Harry G. Adores you, Will C. thinks you’re Cute. This was a fun find because we started reminiscing about similar games like the origami fortune teller (Cootie Catcher), and M.A.S.H seen above. It goes to show the while things change, some things stay the same!

We looked through some of the materials in our Educational Materials Collection to see if there was anything else fun to share and found some Dick and Jane paper dolls from the 1960s.

Dick, Jane, and Sally paper cutouts used with a 1960s curriculum guide for Kindergarten and 1st Grade students.

In 2008 exhibit we put together a large exhibit on Education in Clark County that showcased a lot of the photos and artifacts in the historical society’s collections.  We built two model classrooms as a way to display some of the neat educational materials and nostalgic artifacts in the historical society’s collections.

Turn of the century replica classroom.

                                     Turn of the century replica classroom.

1950s replica classroom.

                                              1950s replica classroom.

There’s a lot of great stuff in our collection: text books, yearbooks, report cards, diplomas, TONS of class photos, school building dedication programs, desks, cubbies, maps, games, toys, and more. For more info on our school related collections in the archives: http://heritagecenter.us/education.cfm. For more pictures from the 2008 exhibit “Education in Clark County”.

Sources:

Biographical Category – Geneva Fath Brown Collection

Education Category – Educational Materials Collection

WHERE is it Wednesday for August 20, 2014

This week on our Facebook page we shared a photo to see if anyone could identify the location in Springfield.

Where could this be?

Where could this be?

We had quite a few good guesses and several guesses that were correct!  Coincidentally, the photo that we submitted to the Springfield News-Sun newspaper for Monday’s “Looking Back” photo was a photo from the same disaster file: the 1886 Flood.

High Street Bridge Collapse - Published in the Springfield News Sun August 18, 2014

High Street Bridge Collapse – Published in the Springfield News Sun August 18, 2014

The photo we shared on Facebook showed Eastern School, located at the corner of E. High Street and Penn Street following the collapse of the E. High Street Bridge on May 12, 1886. Around 6:30pm on May 12, 1886 “ominous storm clouds” gathered and delivered a deluge of rain to the city of Springfield. By midnight “the wrath of waters” had flooded streets and homes throughout the eastern and southeastern parts of the city. A drainage sewer on York Street burst in the early hours of the morning, causing the water to surge more, creating a raging torrent beneath the E. High Street bridge, which eventually gave way as the embankment below washed away, leaving behind the destruction seen here.

The eastern part of the Eastern School yard closest to the railroad had washed away and it was feared that continued use of the building would be unsafe. There were a few emergency meetings with the School Board and consultation with local architects F.H. Penfield and Charles A. Cregar (he designed the City Hall/Marketplace/Heritage Center in 1890). Although the architects assured the board that the building was sound, on May 15, 1888 the Board voted to “forever abandon the building” and distribute the pupils throughout the city to other schools. A new Eastern School was built in 1887 farther up on the south side of E. High near Freeman Street (across from current Catholic Central), it was later known as McKinley School.

It is not clear exactly when the original Eastern School building was torn down, but it sat abandoned for a number of years. Later, the Centennial Cabin, a replica of James Demint’s cabin, was moved to that site. The Centennial Cabin was built for the 1901 centennial of the city of Springfield and was originally located at the county fairgrounds on Yellow Springs Street. During the centennial celebrations the cabin was open as a museum run by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The following pictures show the site of the bridge collapse, more photos of the May 1886 flood from our Disaster Collection in the archives and the Centennial Cabin in 1901, 1943, and 1975.

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Sources:

May 12-25, 1886 Springfield Daily Republic

Photograph Category – Residential – City – A-L – Centennial Cabin

Photograph Category – Disasters – May 12, 1886 Flood

Education Category – Springfield City Schools – Eastern School

Springfield City Directories

WHO is it Wednesday photo for August 13, 2014

Yesterday’s WHO is it Wednesday photo was kind of unfair…there was virtually no chance that anyone would know who the handsome young gentleman was! Actually, we chose the photo because we just happened to run across it in our collection of identified local men and the picture was so striking, we just couldn’t resist trying to learn more.

Who could this handsome gentleman be?

Who could this handsome gentleman be?

We’ll take you through our long and winding detective process:


The back of the photo said “Rich Hackett, 1886-1891, CCHS 7487 Item 8.” The first stop was the city directories, where Richard was listed as a painter in a house on Main Street with his mother and siblings from 1886-1891. Next we jumped to our clipped obituary card file and found a Richard Hackett who died in 1983. While that particular Richard seemed very interesting (he worked at Crowell Collier, headed the Hackett Trio), his 1896 birth date and 1983 death date told us he was clearly NOT the correct person. Our next step was Ancestry.com for census records where we found Richard (b. about 1867) with his widowed mother (Eliza)beth and siblings (Mary, Patrick, and Charles) in the 1870 and 1880 census records.

1880 Census showing the Hackett children with their mother and grandfather.

1880 Census showing the Hackett children with their mother and grandfather.

His mother showed up in the 1900 census with Charles, who was listed as an elevator operator. A quick search of Familysearch.org turned up a death record for brother Charles in 1913 and said he was buried in St. Raphael Lagonda Cemetery. So, we grabbed the index to St. Raphael burials off the library shelf and found that the entire Hackett family, parents Charles and Elizabeth with children Richard, Mary, Patrick, and Charles are ALL buried with one stone (and no dates) at St. Raphael’s.

Hackett Listings in St. Raphael's Cemetery, Springfield, Ohio

Hackett Listings in St. Raphael’s Cemetery, Springfield, Ohio

With still no sign of Richard and no death date, we turned back to the census, where we found a Richard Hackett, who appeared to be around the right age, married to a Katie in Greene County. Mystery solved, we thought, he moved! Then we found the same Richard Hackett in Greene County in 1870 and 1880 with different parents…so definitely not our guy.

1900 Census from Greene County, Ohio showing a Richard Hackett and wife Katie

1900 Census from Greene County, Ohio showing a Richard Hackett and wife Katie

Since the photo had an old CCHS inventory number on the back, we checked the index card files that were used for artifacts and archival material at the historical society in the 1970s and 1980s to see if finding out about the donor might give us a clue. Recently, two of our volunteers, Ruth and Marguerite, spent several months organizing the boxes of old inventory index cards so that we can access the information more easily whenever we find an item labeled with a CCHS inventory number.  The card told us the donor’s name (Mrs. Frances McKee), but a brief search in that direction did not appear to yield any obvious connection.

Donor card from index card filing system, used at the historical society 1970s-1980s

Donor card from index card filing system, used at the historical society 1970s-1980s

Finally, it dawned on us to check the Probate Court and Health Department death records that we have in the archives and there he was. Sadly Richard Hackett died at a very young age on August 25, 1891 at age 24. The cause of death listed was heart failure. Now, with a date, we turned to the 1891 newspaper microfilm and found a death notice on August 26. Interestingly, we noticed that a benefit for his brother Charles, the city building’s elevator operator, was scheduled for October 12. The benefit was to raise money for an artificial limb for Charles….a story that we’ll have to investigate more later!

Death notice for Richard Hackett, August 26, 1891

Death notice for Richard Hackett, August 26, 1891

Benefit notice for Charlie Hackett (brother of Richard), ran September 15, 1891; benefit held October 12, 1891

Benefit notice for Charlie Hackett (brother of Richard), ran September 15, 1891; benefit held October 12, 1891

With all of this information put together, we decided to go a bit deeper to determine if Mr. Hackett was related to the W.R. Hackett who started the wholesale fruit and produce business in Springfield. The 1860 census gave us our answer: Charles Hackett Sr. was the brother of Peter Hackett….who was the father of William R. Hackett. It appears that Richard and William Hackett were cousins!

1860 Clark County Census showing Charles Hackett (Sr.) with his mother Bridget and siblings.

1860 Clark County Census showing Charles Hackett (Sr.) with his mother Bridget and siblings.

This foray taught us some lessons, namely, don’t always go with the first match you find just because the name is the same!

Sources:

Photograph Category – Identified Men

CCHS index card files

Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org

Springfield Township Cemeteries Listings Volume 1 – St. Raphael/Lagonda Cemetery

Health Department Death Microfiche, September 1891

WHAT is it Wednesday artifact photo for August 6, 2014

On Wednesday, August 6, we shared a new WHAT is it artifact photo on our Facebook page to see if anyone could identify what it is.

What could this be?

What could this be?

This was a tough one and there were a lot of great guesses, and only ONE right answer. This is a pen. But not just any pen, it’s a push button retractable Arrow dip pen, made by the Eagle Pencil Co. of New York. At first glance, upon seeing the clickable end, a few staff members here did this this was a pen, but when we clicked, nothing happened. Our curator Kasey stumbled across the pen while working on the inventory of room 6 on our second floor. She says she was puzzled and clicked it off and on for a few moments while holding it vertically…it wasn’t until she tipped it at just the right angle that the bottom detached and the pen tip dropped out. The piece the drops out of the bottom clicks into place to hold the pen tip. It’s really pretty neat!

ArrowPen ArrowPen ArrowPenJust for fun were pulled some other more modern writing utensils from the collection, representing several local businesses, schools, campaigns, etc.

See any you remember?

See any you remember?

In the archives we have several handwriting primers in our Educational Materials Collection. Here are a few pages from two different 1948 Zaner-Bloser books. Look familiar to anyone? We also have quite a few student desks that contain spaces for inkwell, including the one here. Our fanciest inkwell by far is Asa Bushnell’s crystal number shown here, given to him by his staff in 1896.

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Student desk with hole for inkwell.

Student desk with hole for inkwell.

Crystal inkwell given to Governor Asa Bushnell by his staff, 1896

Crystal inkwell given to Governor Asa Bushnell by his staff, 1896

Inkwell

Inkwell

Rayburn Neff Inkwell

Rayburn Neff Inkwell

Sources:

Bartley Collection

Education Category – Educational Materials Collection