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.


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

WHAT is it Wednesday Artifact for June 25, 2014

On June 25 we shared this image of an artifact in our collections to see if anyone could guess what it was.  Our curator Kasey came across this artifact while working on the NEH and History Fund grant funded Collections Management Project in our second floor storage area.

What could this be?

What could this be?

There weren’t a whole lot of guesses….seeder, grinder….thing-a-ma-jig (always a good guess!) and as usual, we revealed the answer the following day.

This was one of four motors that controlled the faces of the clock on our building’s clock tower. The motors were replaced in 1984 when Carl Everingham repaired the clock and got it chiming and working properly for the first time since the 1950s (around the time the two tower steeples were removed). Mr. Everingham offered his expertise to repair the clock free of charge and received help from Harry Laybourne and his sons, Bill, James, and Rick. In honor of his service, December 3, 1985 was declared Carl Everingham day.

Proclamation for Carl Everingham Day - December 3, 1985

Proclamation for Carl Everingham Day – December 3, 1985

Carl Everingham behind the clock face.

Carl Everingham behind the clock face.

More than a decade later, once preparations began for the Clark County Historical Society to move into the building, Phillip Wright of the Tower Clock Company in South Charleston did repairs on the Seth Thomas clock and bell to return it to working condition. (Pictures of the restoration:http://on.fb.me/Vr62MD

Phillip Wright of the Clock Tower Company, Springfield News Sun article, undated, c. 1999.

Phillip Wright of the Clock Tower Company, Springfield News Sun article, undated, c. 1999.

When the City Hall/Marketplace first opened in 1890, the tower was designed to accommodate a clock, but until 1924, there was just a decorative clock-like motif on the tower in place of an actual working clock. At the end of 1924 the clock was installed, a gift to the city from Howard Diehl in memory of his wife. The steeples on the tower were replaced with lighter fiberglass steeples around 2000 before the opening of the Heritage Center.

Postcard showing tower prior to 1924 clock installation.

Postcard showing tower prior to 1924 clock installation.

Twice a year, at least one of our staff members has to make the 166 step trek straight up the narrow tower to change the time on the clock for daylight savings. A couple of years ago our curator, Kasey documented her experience with moving the hands of time!  For pictures: http://on.fb.me/Q12zk3