SHOPTALK: On my home desk this week is an old pic of the Ruggles Beach dance hall. This pic was later used as a hand-tinted postcard, so it may be familiar to many folks.
The laid-back atmosphere of the photo is very appealing. It is what I feel the Vermilion area was like way back when. There’s a pic of Cloudy’s Ferry that has the same effect – just a nice lazy summer day.
It not so noticeable in this photo but the L.S.E. interurban ran right by the hall so it was easy for young people from all over the area to get to the place. Like Crystal Beach – may a love story probably started here.
It burned during the 1950s and all that’s left are memories that are getting harder to perceive every day.
On the shoptop this week is a copy of an old advertisement for the Wickens Furniture Company in Lorain, Ohio. I assume that building is also long gone – destroyed in the 1924 tornado.
Descendants of the Wickens family currently have an successful law firm in Avon, Ohio called Wickens, Herzer and Panza. I think that the family also (a long time back) ran a mortuary business in Lorain.
I don’t know any of the family, but the name is historically significant in the area.
GRAB A SEAT: I used this pic on the page several years ago. It is, of course, a shot of the interior of the Vermilion Opera House over the Town Hall. When I took this pic we were looking through the place because it was being sold. It is really and truly an interesting place. It’s also being sold again.
Since the first sale some of the seats (pictured) were removed and sold to the public. I really wish that hadn’t been done. But…
If I had the wherewithal I would purchase the building – keeping in mind that it will require some further funds to renovate and update the building. The current owner has put money into the place. The roof has been replaced and there were likely a few more improvements. Still more would have to be done.
I hope the person or persons who purchase the property try to maintain its integrity. Historically, the building is a town jewel.
VHS FROM 1889 TO 1919, ETC.,ETC.: I had to pick and choose to make the composite photo that accompanies this week's column. I would've liked to show the entire booklet. However, I seriously doubt that everyone would find it as interesting as do I. So I opted to illustrate just a few bits and pieces of a small alumni booklet printed by the presses of The Vermilion News around 1919-20. The ring (inset) is a Vermilion High School class ring from 1918 that belonged to a girl named Audrey Troxel-Folk who was a member of that class. Audrey's daughter, Vermilionite Jane Smith, loaned the tiny ring to our local history museum.
The ring's owner, Audrey, was the second daughter born to William and Matilda Troxel of Vermilion in 1900. She had an older sister named Lottie who was eight or nine years her senior. In 1910 the family lived in a home on State Street. Mr. Troxel worked as a foreman on the railroad. After graduating from Vermilion High School Audrey met and married a Norwalk man named Donald Folk. I believe their daughter Jane was born when the young couple lived in nearby Norwalk. Given the size of the ring (It doesn't fit my little finger) Miss Audrey was obviously a rather slight person. But back to the booklet:
This particular publication, however mundane it may seem to some, is historically relevant as it pertains to both Vermilion at-large and our local education system not to mention family members of various graduates. That is due to the fact that there are, at least to my knowledge, very few records like it that are publically accessible. While this - it is quite informative. Aside from listing the names of those who graduated and the years they graduated it also notes where they were living when the booklet was printed; their married names and their occupations.
WHO KNEW: Who knew, for instance that Corrine McConnelly (VHS 1912) eventually married a fellow named J.R. Dall who later operated a well-known Ford dealership in Elyria; and who knew that Inez Williams (VHS 1914), the daughter of long time Vermilion Mayor H.R. Williams was once a stenographer in Washington, D.C? And who knew Wilmer Jump, who later owned and operated a department store in downtown Vermilion, started out as a realtor? Who knew that Albert Stone (VHS 1913) was just a mechanic before he had his own garage and auto dealership? And who knew that there was no graduating class in 1906?
SOME CLASS FACTS: The VHS Class of 1907, comprised of seven students, was the very first to complete a full 4-year curriculum. Four of these students became teachers, one became a commercial fisherman, one became a druggist, and one Ralph Gegenheimer died in 1909. Aside of the fact that there were no graduates in 1906 the smallest class to have graduated from our local high school was the Class of 1894. That year only three persons were in the class: Alice Kane-Jones, Albert Krapp and George A. Naegele. George Feiszli (VHS 1913) was the only local graduate to lose his life in France during WW1.
At the very beginning of the booklet someone (I suppose we should assume it was a member of the Class of 1919) wrote at the top of page in longhand: Little children should be seen, not heard and as we are the youngest ones here I'll keep still. I'm not sure if that was written by someone to poke fun at those who preceded them or if it was done out of respect. Perhaps it was a bit of both.
Ref: Special Thanks to: Jane Smith; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 05/04/2017.
YESTERYEAR'S NEWS: The following clips were orally transcribed from past issues of The Vermilion News. I think you will find them both interesting and fun...
Vol. XII, No.49. - VERMILION, OHIO, THURSDAY, May 20, 1909
How Decoration Day Will Be Observed In Vermilion
In the forenoon of Monday, May 31, the several organizations in the G. A. R. Band will go to Maple Grove Cemetery and decorate the graves. After dinner a parade will be given by all the organizations of the village, schoolchildren, and citizens, headed by the band. After the parade there will be music, and speaking. The full program will be given in next week's issue of the NEWS. Watch for it.
G.O. Green has been sued by the Diamond Cheese Company in the Common Pleas Court to recover $281.70 of a promissory note dated April 7, 1906. The original note was for $357.12 but there was one credit of $75.42.
An application to probate the will of Martin Wenzel, deceased, who was a resident of Vermilion, occupied the attention of Judge Sloane of the Probate Court, Wednesday. The reapplication was filed in the Probate Court, April 12 1908 and has been pending since that time. When the matter came up for hearing judge these filed a motion to determine the case on the grounds, first, that the testator was under restraint when the will was written and second, that the will was not properly signed. After a lengthy argument, during which much law was cited, the court took the note matter under advisement. The will in controversy was first offered from for probate 23 years ago – in 1886. The matter came up before probate Judge Merrill who refused to probate the document.
Edward Rothfuss, sent to the penitentiary from Lorain County in April 1907 on the charge of felonious assault, has been paroled. Rothfuss was charged with assaulting a 15-year-old girl on a farm near Amherst and received a five-year sentence.
Taken To The Infirmary
Mrs. Katie Fey Beatty was taken to the infirmary at Sandusky yesterday. Mrs. Beatty is unfortunate in being alone in the world, and ill health together with other infirmities has made it impracticable for her to be left alone. Mrs. Anna Nieding accompanied her there and left her feeling quite happy and satisfied with the change.
The marriage of Joseph Kasauff took place in Kent last Saturday.
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Belden, Wednesday, May 12, son.
The Florence theater has been closed permanently is undergoing some improvements.
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Herman Witte of Quarry Street, Thursday, May 13, son.
The funeral of Antone Graph former resident of Amherst who was killed in Massillon, was held here Friday.
Mrs. Alfred Standen is reported very ill.
Mrs. George G Herne is reported quite ill.
Mrs. George Hearn who has been ill for the past week is considered to be in a very critical condition.
The annual commencement exercises of the Amherst high school will be held at the Opera House, Thursday, May 27. The baccalaureate sermon will take place at the Congregational church on Sunday evening, May 23, Rev. P. E. Harding will deliver the sermon.
The funeral of Mrs. Eva Herman who died at her home at 34 East Ave., Elyria was held at the church of Christ Elyria Sunday at 2 o'clock. She has suffered several months from the cancer being the cause of her death.
Class day exercises next week Thursday evening. A comedy will be given full description of which appears elsewhere.
Mrs. Elizabeth Kane has the young folks in training and we may rely on having something good. The graduation proper will be held Friday evening the 28th. A small admission fee charged to cover the expenses of the exercises.
A man apparently about 35 years old was picked up in an unconscious condition a short distance west of Amherst on the Lake Short tracks Tuesday morning. From letters found in his person he is thought to be Wm. Rodeick of Galion.
Young Valentine Fries, who several months ago married Miss Hazel Brockett of Cleveland and whose mother, Mrs. Fries-Chapin has been trying to separate from his wife, has disappeared and it is thought that he and his wife have gone to Canada. Mrs. Chapin was given custody of son several weeks ago by the order of Judge Reed and took him to her home at Fries landing, where his wife was a to be allowed to see him Saturday afternoons. She visited him there Saturday and he returned to Cleveland with her and Monday morning called on Judge Reed who told him he had violated the order of the court in going to Cleveland. That was the last seen of him. Inquiry at the Brockett home in Cleveland elicited the information that Hazel was not there so the conclusion is that they have gone together - and as no crime has been committed it is probable that the young people cannot be brought back.
[NOTE: And I hope they lived Happily Ever After.]
Miss Matilda Wagner was in Cleveland Monday replenishing her stock.
Postmaster, E.M. Kane was an Amherst visitor Sunday.
A. Buell and Miss Alice Copeland were Cleveland visitors Saturday and Sunday.
A large party of Oberlin gentlemen are enjoying a fishing outing here.
Norwalk will celebrate its 100th birthday in July by a Homecoming Week.
The many friends of A. McGregor will rejoice to learn that he is on the high road to recovery.
Miss Carrie Boss was the guest of her brother Dr. Boss and family at Birmingham one day last week.
The many friends of Capt. Morrison will be interested in the following:
The George D. Morrison brought in about 2600 lbs. of fish on Thursday of last week. It is reported to be in a be the best catch of the season.
– Kincardine Review.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bowen of Saddleback, Mrs. Bowen was formally Ms. Louise Shoff and a resident of Huron.
Henry W. Field, representing a Texas Land Co., formerly connected with Lorain Times-Herald, made the NEWS office a pleasant call Tuesday.
Don't forget the Baccalaureate sermon at the Opera House Sunday evening by Rev. Lohmann.
The county commissioners let contract Wednesday for the painting of Hillsberg in Vermilion Bridges to John Englebry of Vermilion. The award on the Hillsberg bridge was $80 and the Vermilion $75.
Rural carriers William G. Krapp Ed Wittmer are now wearing the regulation U.S. Carriers uniform. They surely mean to be up-to-date as well as faithful in the performance of their duties.
J. J. Fey is improving his house on the corner of Ohio and Division streets in making preparation for the erection of a new one.
Dan’l Thompson is preparing for the erection of a house on Grand Street between William Englebry’s and the railroad and possibly another one to the rear of this.
Mr. Kothe has opened his ice cream parlor, next to Krapp’s Meat Market and is prepared to furnish the public with drinkables, smokables etc. Give him a call.
A new double house is soon to be erected on Jefferson Avenue, M. A. Edson is the promoter and Mr. Gegenheimer or has the contract. This will be a welcome addition to the Avenue.
[NOTE: My thought is that this is one of the double houses on the northwest side of Jefferson and South Streets. I was unaware that those houses are so old.]
George West until recently proprietor of the West House in Sandusky, was taken to the county jail early this morning pending a hearing in probate court. Mr. West went to a sanitarium in the East last week but returned this week and was taken into custody on an insanity charge.
Quite a number party of Vermilion young people attended the dance at Ruggles Beach Friday evening.
Miss Alice Kane is again improving and her many friends hope for a complete recovery.
Mrs. Philip Englebry who is been quite ill the past week is reported better this morning.
William Troxel had the misfortune to slip on a stone while up the river on a fishing expedition Saturday and severely sprained his leg. It was at first thought to be a fracture.
We're sorry to report that Mrs. Sarr, wife of the operator at the Nickle Plate is not gaining very rapidly. She has been very ill for a long time.
Mr. Chas Bristol had a fine addition put on his barn and the boys all think it is nothing like a good Barn-raising.
Mr. Earl S. Welch who has been a very sick young man is on the road to recovery. His friends are all wishing for his speedy recovery.
Our painters, Mr. Orma Washburn and Myron Frisby just finished painting Mr. Eugene Pelton's and Mrs. George Pelton's houses which certainly give them a bright cheerful appearance. Nothing like having the right painters. They can also pick a crow on the wing trying to catch little chickens as quickly as the next one, if need be.
DIED – at his home on the corner early Monday morning, L. W. Champney quietly passed away after a siege of great suffering. The neighbors and his many friends join as one with their most sincere sympathy for those left to mourn his loss.
His smiling face and good word for all, will make him a greatly missed person. He was a most honorable and worthy Officer who always saw that peace was maintained at Axtel and vicinity.
He leaves a wife and four children to mourn their loss with a host of other relatives.
A Minister's Wife Arrested
Mrs. Koehler, wife of Rev. Koehler of Norwalk and son were arrested Sunday morning charged with forcing the lock to the Lutheran Church of that city. There is been a church quarrel on there for the past several months, between the trustees and the pastor. He refused to resign when asked to, claiming to be hired until September. The trustees locked the church, the pastor opened it and held service – the trustees then changed the lock, the pastor again entered and held service with five members. Again the lock was changed and again the usual service held. Last Saturday the lock was again changed in the trustees engaged a watcher. At about 5:30 Sunday morning it is alleged that the pastor's wife and son were caught in the act of breaking the lock and their arrests followed. At a hearing before the mayor the trial was set for Friday in a couple allowed to go on bonds.
[NOTE: Herein is an article for “Knuckleheads in the News”.]
THIS SCRAP: I just want to point-out a few things about this scrap. Of interest herein (at least to me) are the notes about the Vermilion boys who were attending Berea (later Baldwin-Wallace) College. George Fischer eventually acquired both a business and a law degree. And then there is the blip about Dave Liberman purchased a cigar stand from Wm. Krapp on the corner of Liberty and Division streets. That store was located where the Vermilion City / Mayor’s office are today (2017) – in the old Erie County Bank building.
In the pic of the Lake House that appeared in Views last week part of that cigar stand is visible in the lower right corner.
VHS CLASS 1967: From Trudy Tischer Archer: The reunion of the Class of 1967 will be at Vermilion Boat Club on August 12. They are searching for classmates far and wide. Susan Backus is heading this up. Ellen Koachway O'Hara, Peter Hart and Marie Agen are assisting. They also have a Facebook page: Class of 1967
Trudy can be contacted at: email@example.com
GOLD STARS & COD LIVER OIL - INTRODUCTION: As mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been looking into Vermilion’s war casualties of a yesteryear at the behest of Vermilionite John Vargo. Though I am a war veteran (or rather because of it) it’s highly unlikely that I’d have pursued the subject on my own – because it’s an ugly business any way you cut it. Nonetheless, I’m glad Mr. Vargo asked for the information; because these things didn’t happen to someone else. They happened to us. And we would do well to know, remember, and never forget it. Consider it to be a little dose of “cod liver oil for the hometown soul”.
All in all there are over 26 persons included in this survey. Not all of them were residents, but are included because they either married a native Vermilionite, or spent a good deal of time in the town during, what in many cases were, their short lifetimes. As a good nurse would not have anyone drink the entire bottle of cod liver oil in one sitting these brief extracts of history will appear in the “Yesteryear” only in small doses – as needed.
GOLD STARS IN VERMILION: During First World War, American mothers who had family members serving their country wore a blue star around their left arm. As the conflict progressed and the number of dead escalated, mothers wanted to express their loss. A suggestion was made of sewing a gold star over the blue star. The idea was presented to President Woodrow Wilson and the practice was adopted in 1918.
A bold headline in the February 6, 1919 edition of The Vermilion News reporting the death of Private First Class George Feiszli in France read, “VERMILION’S FIFTH GOLD STAR”. The count, at that time, included another WW1 casualty, Archie Birch, as well as Vermilion’s Civil War casualties. But as generous as it was to include the men lost in the Civil War (albeit retroactively) for gold star status it was in error. For, in fact, PFC Feiszli was Vermilion’s seventh.
The first was Private Eugene Frankenberg. He was but 20 years old when he became a part of the 72nd Ohio Infantry. A member of the family told me, “The sad truth is that he did not want to serve in the army and ran away and was caught in Port Clinton and sent to Mississippi where he was captured on 11 June 1864.” He was interred at Andersonville Prison Camp in Ripley, Missouri. Starving and suffering with a terrible case of diarrhea he died on 28 September 1864. He was only 21.
The second star was Private John Riblet (Note: In some places he is erroneously listed as being a Major). Private Riblet enlisted in the Union Army on 5 August 1862 at the age of 26. He was killed at Utoy Creek, Georgia on 6 August 1864. Utoy Creek was part of the Atlanta Campaign.
The third star was Captain Henry Delker (VPJ 05/25/06). Capt. Delker was a member of the 41st Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. During the last minutes of the Battle of Nashville (December 12 through 16, 1864) he was seriously wounded in the left arm and side. Though he survived the war the bullet that wounded him on the battlefield had never been removed. It finally felled him in late December 1890. While he was originally an Amherst / Brownhelm native, after the war he lived, and ran a popular dry goods store, in Vermilion. The local chapter of the G.A.R. veterans organization was named after him.
The fourth star was an 18-year-old Army Private by the name of Michael Delker whose home was in Brownhelm. Michael enlisted in the Union Army on 26 February 1864. He was the second oldest son in a family of nine. His father, Jacob, was born in Baden, Germany and was a farmer. His older brother, Henry (see above), also joined the Army. Michael never lived to be 19. He was killed at Pickett’s Mills, Georgia on 27 May 1864.
The fifth star, also a Brownhelm native, was Private Thomas Gallaudet Wells who enlisted in the Union Army as a Private on 11 June 1861 at the age of 20 years. He was killed on 14 September 1862 at South Mountain, Maryland. The Battle of South Mountain was fought on the mountain at Crampton's, Fox and Turner's gaps during the Maryland Campaign in 1862. Wells is generally believed killed at the Battle of Antietam. However, the Antietam campaign didn’t begin until April 16th of 1862 two days after his death.
Well, methinks that’s quite enough literal cod liver oil for now. Keep in mind that these snippets do not reflect the enormity of the sacrifices made by these men nor their families – not by a long shot.
Ref: Ancestry.com; American Civil War Soldiers data base; The Vermilion News, 11/18/1918 and 02/06/1919; Special Thanks to John Vargo; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 08/09/2012.
HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY
Wilcox, pomona; Mrs. C. C. Roscoe, flora; Mrs. E. W. Hughes, L. A . S. Present membership thirty-eight.
Perkins Grange No. 637, was organized March 2, 1874, with thirty-five charter members. Since its organization five have died. Its present membership is thirty. Its present officers are: J. D. Parker, M.; A. A. Storrs, O.; J. F. Greene, L.; Theron Goodwin, S.; C.W. Hill, A.S.; Henry Jarrett, chap.; W.F. Gurley, sec'y; Henry Milner, treas.; H. C. Norton, G.K. Mrs. C. W. Hills, ceres; Mrs. J. D. Parker, pomona; Mrs. W. F. Gurley, flora; Mrs. Henry Milner, L. A. S.
Berlin Heights Grange No. 345, was organized in this town hall January 7, 1874, with twenty-four charter members, fourteen males and ten females; J. W. Barrack, deputy, officiating. The officers elected were: Henry Hoak, master; S.O. Kellogg, overseer; L. S. Chapin, lecturer; L. B. Chapin, steward; A. Pearl, assistant steward; James Douglass, chaplain; J. M. Stahl, treasurer; J. P. Lesley, secretary; G. L. Sands, gate-keeper; Mrs. H. T Smith, ceres; Mrs. S. O. Kellogg, pomona; Mrs. J. S. Milliman, flora; Mrs. James Douglass, lady assistant steward.
The following, by Master J. M. Stahl of Berlin Grange—a history of the workings of Berlin Grange—is a fair sample of the history of other granges of the county:
"Much interest was taken in the new organization, and the membership in a short time began to rapidly increase, there being at the end of the first year sixty members. Meetings were generally held weekly, and many lively discussions were entered into on the various topics that seemed to come within the sphere of grange work.
"The purchasing of goods at wholesale prices was much discussed, and was made the leading object of the order, though nothing much was done practically. When the first year closed our grange was considered a success.
"The second year opened with high spirits and a continued increase in membership. Much time was spent in discussing methods of purchasing and distributing goods, as the money feature of the grange was still looked upon as its main object and attraction. Some few goods were purchased which generally gave good satisfaction, but as there was no convenient place to store goods the transaction was attended with more trouble and expense to those handling them than the profits amounted to. A storehouse was often talked of, but never was made a practical reality.
"At the end of the second year our grange numbered ninety-eight members, nearly all in good standing. Meetings were generally well attended, but were not held weekly as often as they were the first year. The social feature began to be looked upon as the leading feature of the grange. An organ was purchased and music became a prominent part in the exercises of the meetings. The year ended as it began, full of hope and interest; and so far as the social feature was concerned, may be called the golden year of the grange.
VERMILION ARTIFACT #253
ALTA-LOU’S F.Y.I: Vermilionite Frank Homitz stopped by during the week with an envelope full of little goodies and some information about Alta-Lou’s Cabins, etc.
According to Frank this resort was located on the north side of Liberty about a half-mile east of Sunnyside Road. As near as I can tell it would’ve been on the northwest corner of Liberty and Helen Drive.
Over the years things have changed a great deal in that area. The spot where the bar-type place would’ve been located there is a larger building that has over the years served as a saloon and a restaurant. Currently, I think there’s a karate studio in the building.
Frank described the original bar to have been quite small. He also said they sold (I guess) a good deal of wine. That doesn’t sound so unusual today, but some years ago it was rather unusual for most bars to be selling much wine.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM
Magdalena spent some months serving God in Kenya. On her final visit to a remote township Magdalena attended a medical clinic. As the Maasai women there began to sing together, Magdalena was deeply moved by their hauntingly beautiful harmonies and wanted to always remember this moment and recorded it to share it with friends after getting home.
With tears flowing down the cheeks, Magdalena turned to a local and asked, "Can you please tell me the translation of the words to this song?"
The local looked at Magdalena and solemnly replied, "If you boil the water, you won't get the shits."
LOCAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: After giving it much thought this link has been "put-down". During the last year most of the folks who used to use this page as a bulletin board have acquired their own and, consequently, no longer need this forum from "Views". I have, however, kept links (in the links section) to Larry Hohler's "Hope Homes" in Kenya - and to Bette Lou Higgins' Eden Valley Enterprises sites. They are historically and socially relevant projects. I suggest that you visit these sites on a regular basis to see "what's shakin'".
Pay particular note to the "Hope Homes" page during the next few months / years. They are constantly improving the lives of their youngsters and those around them. This is an exciting project accomplished by exciting people.
Although this Vermilion High School Class of 1959 reunion is over classmates may want to stay connected with each other through organizerROGER BOUGHTON. Ye can connect by mailing him @ 2205 SW 10th Ave. Austin, MN. 55912 or you can just emailRoger.
Persons interested in the history of the Lake Shore Electric Railway (which was the subject of a recent past podcast series) - "the greatest electaric railway system on the planet" may want to go to Amazon.com and purchase a book called "Images of Rail - Lake Shore Electric Railway". It was put together by Thomas J. Patton with the help of my friends DENNIS LAMONT and ALBERT DOANE. It'd make a nice gift.
Another great book with Vermilion Roots is, "Grandma's Favorites: A Compilation of Recipes from MARGARET SANDERS BUELL by Amy O'Neal, ELIZABETH THOMPSON and MEG WALTER (May 2, 2012). This book very literally will provide one with the flavor of old Vermilion. And ye can also find it at Amazon.com. Take a look.
MARY WAKEFIELD BUXTON'S LATEST BOOK "The Private War of William Styron" is available in paper back for $15.00 with tax and can be purchased locally at Buxton and Buxton Law Office in Urbanna, ordered from any book store, Amazon.com or Brandylane Publishing Company. A signed, hard back edition may be purchased from Mrs. Buxton directly for $30.00 by writing her at Box 488, Urbanna, VA 23175 and including $6.00 for tax, postage and packaging.
THE BEAT GOES ON: This page is generated by a dreaded Macintosh Computer and is written and designed by (me) Rich Tarrant. It will change weekly ~ usually on Saturday. Bookmark the URL (Universal Resource Locater) and come back at your own leisure. Send the page to your friends (and enemies if you wish). If you have something to share with those who visit this page, pass it on. And if you see something that
is in need of correction do the same. My sister, Nancy, is a great help in that respect. It only takes me a week to get things right. And follow the links. You might find something you like. If you experience a problem with them let me know. Also, if you want to see past editions of this eZine check the new archives links below.
If you're looking for my old links section (pictured) I've replaced it with a pull-down menu (visible in the small box next to the word "Go"). If you're looking for links to more Vermilion history check that menu.
How the old links menu looked
For Persons who would like to donate to the cause (to keep these "Views" on-line you can send whatever you would like to me at the following address. And THANKS to everybody who has already donated to the cause. I doth certainly appreciate it):