WHO is It Wednesday photo for September 24, 2014

We shared a photo of a serious looking you man on our Facebook page on September 24 to see if anyone could guess the name of the man he grew up to be.

Who could this be?

Who could this be?

Guesses included James Leffel and Jonathan Winters, but the newspaper clipping actually shows a young Harry S. Kissell when he was about 12 years old. Harry Seaman Kissell was born on September 25, 1875 to Cyrus Broadwell (C.B.) and Lucretia Caroline McEwen Kissell. Harry graduated from Wittenberg in 1896, studied law for a couple of years, and worked as a newspaper reporter before entering the Kissell Real Estate business started in 1872 by Harry’s great grandfather Emmanuel and grandfather C.D. Harry married Olive Troupe, the daughter of drug store owner Theodore Troupe and they had two children: Roger and Mary Lucretia (Mary Lu).

Olive Troupe Kissell

Olive Troupe Kissell

Olive, Harry, and Mary Lu Kissell during their 1st trip to the White House, 1924.

Olive, Harry, and Mary Lu Kissell during their 1st trip to the White House, 1924.

Harry’s involvement in the local community and beyond was extensive. In 1907 Harry helped to organize the National Association Real Estate Boards (he also established the Ohio and Springfield Board of Realtors). He was one of the original organizers of American Trust and Savings, which merged with First National Bank, directed the Clark County Chapter of the American Red Cross, served on the Ferncliff Cemetery Association, on the Wittenberg executive committee, and was a founder of Ridgewood School. Harry served as the first chairman of the Springfield Community Fund, helped establish the Springfield Rotary Club (which just celebrated 100 years). He was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, the Springfield Polo Club, Springfield Country Club, Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and Sons of the American Revolution. He was elected Most Worshipful Master of Mason in Ohio in 1910 and headed a half a million dollar effort to construct a Masonic Temple in Springfield.

KissellRotary1944 copyOne of his most notable ventures was the development of Ridgewood, which is discussed in great detail (along with a fantastic history of Springfield as a whole) in the book “Ridgewood in the Country Club District” by Tamara Dallenbach.
Harry was stricken by a fatal heart attack during a business meeting in Cincinnati on February 14, 1946. He is buried in Ferncliff Cemetery.

Harry Kissell's Residence on N. Fountain Blvd, 1939

Harry Kissell’s Residence on N. Fountain Blvd, 1939

Ridgewood Ad, 1921

Ridgewood Ad, 1921

More from the Kissell-Noonan Collection:

Harry Kissell, Age 12

Harry Kissell, Age 12

Harry Kissell, 1925

Harry Kissell, 1925

With Teddy Roosevelt (on his left) during Roosevelt's 1918 visit to Springfield.

With Teddy Roosevelt (on his left) during Roosevelt’s 1918 visit to Springfield.

With President Roosevelt, 1933

                                                              With President Roosevelt, 1933

Sources:

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

Ridgewood in the Country Club District by Tamara Dallenbach, Orange Frazer Press, 2011.

Biographical Category – Kissell-Noonan Collection

Biographical Category – Harry Kissell Collection

Commercial Category – Kissell Ridgewood Collection

Biographical

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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

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

WHO is it Wednesday Photo for July 23, 2014

On Wednesday, July 23, we posted a new WHO is it Wednesday photo on our Facebook page of this gentleman here:

Who could this be?

 

There were several good guesses, but no one recognized this as former Clark County Fair Manager Bryan “Putt” Sandles.  (Actually, one of our volunteers, a former Fair Board member herself saw the picture in person and recognized him right away!) The photo shows Mr. Sandles atop a tower at the fairgrounds advertising the 1953 county fair. The photo was taken by Howard Weber Jr. (better know as Howdy) of the Springfield Daily News at a time only 5 years after the relaunch of Clark County’s annual fair. Bryan Sandles was credited with developing the fair into the best of its kind in the nation. Considered to be a master showman (he was former manager of the Ohio State Fair), he was invited to Springfield to run the fair in 1948 when it first came to its current location on Route 41. Before that, the fair, formerly located on Yellow Springs Street, hadn’t been open in almost 25 years.

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The fair has its roots in the 1840 formation of the Clark County Agricultural Society, who first met to organize a annual exhibit of livestock and produce. That original society only lasted for a few years before disbanding, but luckily the reorganized in 1853 and held the first annual fair on Yellow Springs Street (now Davey Moore Park). The tradition last until 1925 when it was discontinued due to financial burdens. For 22 years there was no official fair as we know it today, but 4-H clubs in the area still held an annual “achievement day.” In 1947 the old city airport was secured as the new site for the fair and it has been held there ever since.

Since this is the week of the Clark County Fair (tomorrow is the last day!), we wanted to share a few photos from our collection to look back at past fairs. The recently donated Springfield News-Sun collection contained an entire box of fair photos, articles, and special newspaper sections and we also have premium books from dozens of years in our Social History Category Fair Collection! The fair is a great and longstanding tradition!

1978 Fair Poster

1978 Fair Poster

1976 Fair Queen Candidates

1976 Fair Queen Candidates

1953 Fairground Aerial

1953 Fairground Aerial

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Phil Dirt & the Dozers, 1994

1979 Fair

1979 Fair

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George Berkhofer in the Clark County Historical Society artifact barn, 1976

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Fair poster, 1977

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Fair Queen Candidates, 1994

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Sack Race, 1977

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Herman the Magician, 1979

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Fairground Maps, 1978

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Fair Queen Candidates, 1979

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Fair, 1994

WHO is it Wednesday for July 2, 2014

Earlier this week on our Facebook page we shared this delightful picture of a Springfield woman who was vital to our local history.

Who could this be?

Who could this be?

There were a few guesses (Clementine Buchwalter, Lillian Gish, Mrs. Jeremiah Warder, and Orpha Westcott), but no one got the answer….

This is Miss Zoe Johnson, a name associated with much of the county’s history found in the historical society’s archives. A lifetime Springfield resident, Zoe was born in 1879 to Ortha and Mary Helen (Randolph) Johnson. Aside from the scant information found in her 1962 obituary and her listings in the Springfield city directories, very little is known about Zoe, but to those of us who have been through many different collections in the archives, her helpful essays and spidery scrawl are well known. Her occupations listed in the directories over the years included seamstress, secretary, stenographer, and clerk, but it was her time as a research worker for the W.P.A. Historical Records Survey and as part of the Federal Writers’ project that helped to preserve much of our county’s history. 

1938 Springfield City Directory Listing

1938 Springfield City Directory Listing

Between the years of 1936 and 1941 she collected bits and pieces of historical information on all sorts of local subjects, yet she gained very little (if any) acknowledgement. For more than 30 years Zoe’s research papers sat untouched with the historical society until they were surveyed and organized by David M. Butera in 1972. Her papers include typed essays on dozens of subjects, , news clippings, transcripts, W.P.A. survey sheets on cemeteries and churches, handwritten notebook pages (some in undecipherable shorthand), and hundreds of scraps of paper, littered with more of her notes. Much of Zoe’s collected historical information was used in the 1941 Springfield and Clark County W.P.A. guide.

Rockway Church WPA Survey Sheet

Rockway Church WPA Survey Sheet

We truly appreciate Zoe Johnson’s hard work to record our local history! The delightful 1899 photograph of her at Antioch is the only image we have. To give you an idea of the breadth of the topics she covered, here is a link to the archival collections the contain portions of her research materials:http://bit.ly/1jOe33x.