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

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Do the Archives Shuffle!

Last week we closed the library and archives on Thursday and Friday so that we could do a grand shift, lift, move, and shuffle back in the archives in order to free up more space for recent donations that had previously been homeless and to create room to grow as we receive new donations in the future.  The Archives Shuffle is something that we have to do every once in a while as our collection grows.  The last time we called “all hands on deck” and dragged in as many volunteers and interns we could get was back in the summer of 2006.  Eight years and many many new donations later, we have since filled much of the space we had freed in 2006 and had to do some creative thinking to free up more space!

Natalie, our curatorial assistant, is the one who spends most of her time in the archives overseeing volunteer and intern projects and helping researchers, so she had a good idea about our space needs.  She spent time back in the archives walking up and down and the aisles and brainstorming, trying to figure out where and how to shift collections around to create more usable shelves to accommodate “homeless” collections.

We set aside these two days in July because we knew we’d have the strength of our three interns and put a call out to any volunteers, with the promise that we’d have a selection of projects that wouldn’t involve heavy lifting!  We started early on Thursday morning with plenty of carts for moving, ladders, and two delicious strawberry pies (courtesy of volunteer Flossie) and a dozen Schuler’s donuts for fuel.

Schuler's Donuts....delicious motivation!

Schuler’s Donuts….delicious motivation!

We had a very long and daunting looking To Do list, but we tackled it in style and manged to complete nearly all of the projects by around 3:00pm on Thursday afternoon!

Our "To Do" List, complete with information about who worked on each task.  We had a busy couple of days!

Our “To Do” List, complete with information about who worked on each task. We had a busy couple of days!

Ruth boxing up duplicate books and creating lists.

Ruth boxing up duplicate books and creating lists.

Adam and Georgia moving boxes of family bibles to the library.

Adam and Georgia moving boxes of family bibles to the library.

Flossie shifting boxes to make room for more!

Flossie shifting boxes to make room for more!

On Friday we set the entire day aside just to sort through our rolled blueprints and maps collection. For the past year and a half two of our volunteers, Bill and John, have been inventorying our blueprints: wrapping, tagging, and creating lists, but NOT sorting and organizing by categories because we didn’t quite have the room to do all of that. Last week Mel and Georgia spent some time adding in extra shelves in the blueprint storage area so that we would finally  be able to properly sort out and store the prints.

Georgia helping Mel install new blueprint shelves so that we could make better use of our vertical space.  With extra shelves added, we freed up an entire shelf rank for other collections!

Georgia helping Mel install new blueprint shelves so that we could make better use of our vertical space. With extra shelves added, we freed up an entire shelf rank for other collections!

We spent most of the early morning Friday checking tags and sorting into categories all over the library! It was a big project to tackle, but we’ve made major headway and will share the updated inventory soon…there’s really great stuff in the collection!

We created space to sort each blueprint category on every available surface in the library.

We created space to sort each blueprint category on every available surface in the library.

Cart of blueprints ready to be sorted.

Cart of blueprints ready to be sorted.

Pat, Sara, and Georgia checking blueprint tags and sorting onto tables and shelves.

Pat, Sara, and Georgia checking blueprint tags and sorting onto tables and shelves.

Thanks to everyone who helped( Georgia, Sara, Adam, Bill, Flossie, Virginia, Pat, Irene, Ruth, Don, and Melissa), we couldn’t have done it without you!

Collections mentioned above that have finding aids:

Associations Category – Rotary Club

Biographical Category – Family Bible Collection

Biographical Category – Sylvia Olson Collection

Government Category – Roger Baker Collection

Manufacturing Category – Bayley Window Collection

Photograph Category – Moores Collection, Laybourne Collection

Small Collections Category – Gertrude Stein Collection