Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nettie Baumeister Buder, Popular Performer

Pictured above is Nettie Baumeister at the age of 21. Miss Nettie Baumeister was born on January 27, 1899 in Sandusky, Ohio to Albert and Laura Baumeister. She graduated from Sandusky High School in 1917. Nettie studied vocal music with Alma Harris Rogers, and she was a featured singer in several recitals. In the early 1920s Nettie was a popular performer in local amateur theatrical productions sponsored by the Kiwanis, Elks, church groups, and other civic organizations. At a large meeting of the Sandusky Chamber of Commerce in the spring of 1920, Nettie sang a solo, and she was forced to sing two encores, because the crowd enjoyed her performance so well! For many years Nettie was a secretary/receptionist for the Erie County Farm Extension Bureau.

On June 4, 1924, Nettie Baumeister married Edwin J. Buder. They had two sons, one of whom died while still in elementary school. Nettie Baumeister Buder was a lifelong member of Grace Episcopal Church, and she volunteered for forty years at the Grace Church Thrift Shop. She taught bridge, and was twice elected as president of the Women’s Association of the Plum Brook Country Club. Nettie was once honored for her many years of service in the former Memorial Hospital Guild. On November 30, 1996, Nettie Baumeister Buder died at the age of 97. She was buried at Oakland Cemetery, next to her husband Edwin, who had died in 1980. Nettie was survived by her son, Dr. Joseph Buder, four grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and a step-grandson. Nettie Baumeister Buder lived a rich life, having brought joy to hundreds through her musical talent and many years of community service.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Henry Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio

Henry Howe (1816 -1893) was an author, publisher, historian, and bookseller, the son of Connecticut publisher Hezekiah Howe. The elder Howe’s bookshop was a popular gathering place for scholars and authors of New England.

It was at his father’s bookstore that Henry saw a copy of John W. Barber’s book, Historical Collections of Connecticut. In 1840, Henry Howe made arrangements to assist John W. Barber in preparing a similar book for the state of New York. Henry Howe worked on histories of New Jersey and Virginia. Many consider Henry Howe’s most notable project to be his Historical Collections of Ohio. Henry traveled throughout the state interviewing residents to collect historical facts. First, Henry traveled on foot, but soon he purchased a horse named “Pomp” in order to travel throughout the many counties in Ohio. He often drew sketches in public areas, which helped create interest in his work. As he collected facts and drew sketches, he also solicited subscriptions for the future book. Howe’s first edition of Historical Collections of Ohio was completed in 1847. The Ohio Historical Society states that “Eighteen thousand copies of the first edition were sold and Howe's book became the standard history of Ohio.” The title was revised and republished in several editions.

In the summer of 1885, Henry Howe decided to update his original work. This time, he covered the state by rail, and Henry carried with him a camera instead of a sketchpad. The July 23, 1886 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Henry Howe was in Sandusky gathering information for his enlarged edition of the Historical Collections of Ohio. Though the first volume of the updated title appeared in 1889, Howe ran into financial troubles. The Ohio legislature purchased 1200 copies of the first volume of the history for $12,000, and eventually the State of Ohio purchased the plates and copyright to Henry Howe’s book. Henry Howe died, heavily in debt, on October 14, 1893. The State’s purchase of the copyright helped relieve his widow’s financial woes. The Sandusky Library was given a complimentary copy of Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes by Ohio Representative W. E. Guerin, who served in the 75th General Assembly of Ohio.

John Beatty wrote in volume 2 of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly:

“In brief, ‘Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio,’ next to the Bible and Noah Webster, should find a place under every Ohioan's roof-tree….”
Today, you can find a copy of the Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes at the Sandusky Library. A variety of editions of this title are also available online, through Google Books, Making of America, and historical websites. Brief biographical sketches of Henry Howe appear in Ohio Authors and Their Books and Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900, which are found in the Reference Services area of the Sandusky Library.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

WLEC's Holiday Cookbook

In November 1974, Radio Station WLEC (1450 AM and 102.7 FM) published a “Holiday Foods Edition” cookbook. Nat Marshall and several other staff members of WLEC compiled the recipes, which were sent in by area listeners. Recipes included main dishes, desserts, beverages and several unique side dishes. Here is a recipe for eggnog pie:

Local businesses ran advertisements in the cookbook, primarily in shades of green.

Holiday greetings from the staff of WLEC appear in the middle of the cookbook.

Here is the staff of WLEC about 1975:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Businesses on Tiffin Avenue

The 1855 Sandusky City Directory lists several businesses on Tiffin Avenue, including a barber, cooper, blacksmith, and a grocer. David Bruckner and Florian Ulmer had a blacksmith shop on Tiffin Avenue near Monroe Street in the 1880s.

Mrs. Conrad Frank’s bakery was located first at Tiffin Avenue, but later moved to Columbus Avenue.

The Kuebeler brewing plant was built on Tiffin Avenue near Broadway Street in 1893, after the previous brewery was destroyed in a fire. In 1896 the Kuebeler and Stang breweries merged to form the Kuebeler-Stang Brewing Company. Two years later the Kuebeler- Stang Brewery became part of the Cleveland and Sandusky Brewing Company. Most of the breweries in Sandusky closed during Prohibition. One of the Kuebeler-Stang plants survived by making soft drinks, but it too closed in 1935, and all remaining beer production moved to Cleveland.

The Industrial Nut Corporation, which began as the Brightman Nut and Manufacturing Company, has been located on Tiffin Avenue for one hundred years.

George J. Bing built carriages at his garage on Tiffin Avenue in the early twentieth century, before his untimely death in 1914.

Many businesses have come and gone (and many still remain) on Tiffin Avenue, including Kerber’s Marine Grocery, Pietschman’s Shoes, and a variety of restaurants, gas stations, drugstores, and other businesses. A major Erie County employer, Ford Motor Company, now known as Automotive Components Holdings, opened an assembly plant on Tiffin Avenue in 1955. The picture below shows local Ford employees working in the 1960s.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Louis Zistel, an Early German Immigrant

Louis Zistel was born in Germany in 1830, and came to the Sandusky in 1848 (during the time of revolutionary upheavals in Europe). Because of the cholera epidemic of 1849, he went back to Germany for a time, but returned to Sandusky in the mid 1850s. His first wife was Anna Rosenkranz. The couple’s first two children, Oscar and Louis, were born in Germany. Louis died in infancy. After moving to Ohio, they had several more children: twins Ottomar and Oswald, Wilhelmina, Herman and Hedwig. Mrs. Anna Zistel died in 1877, when several of the children were quite young. On May 12, 1879 Louis married Catherine Peters, whom the Zistel children fondly called “Grandma.”

Several members of the Zistel family are pictured below. The Platt Photograph Company made a stereographic image of the Zistel residence and boatyard.

According to an article in the March 7, 1899 issue of the Sandusky Register, Louis Zistel owned the first steam fishing tug in Sandusky Bay. He was connected with boats and fishing for many years. During the Civil War, he was issued a government contract to transport Confederate prisoners to the Union prison camp at Johnson’s Island. One of his steamers was named the Young Reindeer. In 1870, Zistel ferried Sandusky residents to Cedar Point, where there was a bath house, sand boxes and swings for children, and dancing for adults. The fee for the boat ride was twenty five cents.

Zistel operated the Atlantic Garden,  a boat house saloon, in the 1870s. For a time he also featured a large aquarium at the Atlantic Garden, as well as a bear and other animals.

Louis Zistel died on March 3, 1889, after a long battle with throat cancer. His four sons served as active pallbearers. Funeral services were held at the Zistel residence at 319 Meigs Street, and were largely attended. The Sandusky Register reported, “Old German citizens, whose ranks are being so rapidly depleted, paid their tribute to their deceased friend and fellow citizen.”

In the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center are The Reminiscences of Herman Zistel and The Childhood Memories of Hedwig Zistel, two of the children of Louis Zistel. These reminiscences are a firsthand account of growing up in Sandusky in the nineteenth century. They include stories about the loss of their mother, family pets, childhood pranks, and favorite pastimes of members of a very lively family. Ask at the Reference Desk if you would like to view The Reminiscences of Herman Zistel or The Childhood Memories of Hedwig Zistel.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Played in Sandusky in 1928

From November 14 through November 17, 1928, the motion picture Uncle Tom’s Cabin played at the Schine’s State Theater in Sandusky, Ohio. An advertisement which appeared in the November 14, 1928 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that the movie cost two million dollars to produce, and took two years to complete. The motion picture had a score of star principals, a cast of hundreds, and “three great human dramas of passion, in a story that will live forever.”  An extra attraction at the movie was singing and dancing by “Uncle Tom’s Harmony Boys.”  The cost for the matinee show was twenty five cents for adults and fifteen cents for children. Evening performances cost forty cents for adults and twenty cents for children.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Military Family: Commodore Robert Gracey Denig and Jean Livingston Hubbard Denig

Robert Gracey Denig was born in Columbus, Ohio on May 22, 1851. After high school, he attended and graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. Robert Gracey Denig had a long and distinguished naval career which spanned thirty five years. During the Panama Revolution, Denig served on three different vessels, the Saranac, Tuscarora, and Benicia. Before that, when the U.S.S. Huron was wrecked off the coast of North Carolina on November 24, 1877, Denig was one of the few survivors.

Robert Gracey Denig's wife was the former Jane Livingston Hubbard, whom he married in 1878. Jane was the daughter of Lester Hubbard and Jane Livingston, prominent pioneer residents of Sandusky.

Mr. and Mrs. Denig had two children, a daughter Garcia, and a son named Robert L. Denig. Commodore Robert Gracey Denig retired from the Navy on June 30, 1908. He died on April 9, 1924, and he was buried with full military honors in the Arlington National Cemetery, Washington. D. C. Mrs. Denig died in 1945 in the same home in which she was born, at 134 East Adams Street in Sandusky.

Commodore Denig’s son, Robert L. Denig, who was born in 1884, became a Brigadier General with the United States Marine Corps. He served with the Fifth Marines, 3rd and 2nd Divisions in the American Expeditionary Forces in World War One and in Nicaragua in 1930-1931.

Brigadier General Robert L. Denig was the first Director of Public Relations for the U.S. Marines in 1941. The September 2007 issue of the Leatherneck magazine features an article about “Denig’s Demons.” Robert L. Denig recruited hundreds of reporters, photographers, artists, and radio men to inform the American public about the role of the Marines during World War II. Brigadier General Robert L. Denig passed away in 1979.

Several members of the Denig family are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, including Commodore Robert Gracey Denig and his wife Jean; their son Brigadier General Robert L. Denig, his wife Maud, and their sons Charles Alfred Ely Denig and Robert L. Denig, Jr.

Another son of Brigadier General Robert L. Denig, a Marine tank officer named James L. Denig, lost his life during World War II.

To learn more details about the military careers of Commodore Robert Gracey Denig and Brigadier General Robert L. Denig, see volume IV of History of Ohio, by Charles B. Galbreath, available in the section of genealogical books at the Sandusky Library. (Page 301-303 are devoted to the Denigs.) See Article 2 in Helen Hanson’s book At Home in Early Sandusky, for more information about the Hubbard and Denig families and their Sandusky home at the corner of Adams and Wayne Streets.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Program Announcement: Brown Bag Lunch Series - If Louisa May Alcott Visited Sandusky

As part of the Louisa May Alcott program series at the Sandusky Library, we will hold a special Brown Bag Lunch on Wednesday, November 16 at 12:00 noon in the Library Program Room. Join us as we take a look back to 1860s Sandusky through the eyes of a visitor to our community. What would Louisa May Alcott have done in Sandusky? Who would she have visited? What sites would she have seen? Museum Administrator Maggie Marconi will take you on a journey to 1860s Sandusky. Registration is requested but not required. To register, call the Library at 419-625-3834.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

T.C. Adams, Civil War Veteran and Merchant

Thomas C. Adams was born in England about 1839 to Thomas and Catherine (Cooley) Adams. When quite young, Thomas C. Adams came to the United States with his parents, and they settled in Edmeston, New York. During the Civil War Thomas C. Adams enlisted with the 121st New York Infantry. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant, but was seriously wounded in battle. Notes in the 1890 Veterans Schedules, accessible at Ancestry Library Edition, indicate that he lost his left arm during the war. In the early 1860s Thomas C. Adams married Emily Bower. Their first two children, Nelson and Robert, were born in New York State. Mr. and Mrs. Adams had several more children after they moved to Erie County, Ohio. The Combination Atlas Map of Erie County, published by Stewart & Page in 1874, shows that the Adams family resided close to Cold Creek, just west of Depot Street in 1874.

According to the publication Margaretta Township, Castalia Village, Past and Present, put out by the Cold Creek Girl Scouts in 1976, Mr. T.C. Adams, along with several other businessmen, formed Castalia Milling Company in 1875. The mill could produce 125 barrels of flour a day. Eventually T.C. Adams and his son ran a wholesale flour, fruit and produce business in downtown Sandusky. For most of his life, T.C. Adams resided in Margaretta Township, but he did move to Sandusky for a few years, and then returned to the Castalia Area. T.C. Adams and Son provided supplied flour to the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home for the year 1896. T.C. Adams retired from active business about 1901, and his son took over the business. On November 13, 1903, T. C. Adams passed away while visiting with the Quinn family in Sandusky County. Thomas C. Adams left behind a widow, five daughters, and two sons. Rev. C. L. Johnson of Trinity Methodist Church conducted services at the Adams home, and burial was at Castalia Cemetery.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Samuel and Fredericka Tebbutt

Samuel and Fredericka Tebbutt were married in Erie County, Ohio in October of 1875. The former Fredericka Zanger was the daughter of John and Louisa Zanger. She was born in New York State. Samuel Tebbutt was the son of Samuel and Ann Tebbutt, who were both natives of England. The elder Samuel Tebbutt came to the United States in the 1860s, where he worked as a house painter. Ralph Smalley Tebbutt, another son of Samuel and Ann Tebbutt was a well known painter in Sandusky. The younger Samuel Tebbutt worked as a professional sign painter, but he painted landscapes as a hobby. This painting of a stone powder magazine from Johnson’s Island, by Samuel Tebbutt, can be seen at the Follett House Museum.

These New England scenes were also painted by Samuel Tebbutt.

Fredericka Tebbutt died in 1926, and Samuel Tebbutt died in 1939. They are buried in the family lot at Oakland Cemetery.

The book Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900: A Biographical Dictionary features brief biographical sketches of hundreds of artists from Ohio. To see this book inquire at the Reference Services desk at the Sandusky Library.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Garage at the Corner of West Washington and Jackson Streets

In 1916 and 1917, the Sandusky Motor and Vulcanizing Company operated at the corner of Jackson and West Washington Streets. The business was run by Charles B. Spencer and Linden Scheid. (A portion of the Erie County Courthouse is visible in the background.)

One of the signs on the building advertised “Hupmobile Service.” The Hupmobile was built between 1909 and 1940 in Detroit, Michigan. At the garage repairs were made to automobiles and tires, and oil and grease were sold.

In 1917, Mr. Spencer and Mr. Scheid dissolved their partnership. At least two other garages were in business at this location, until 1925. Sandusky’s third Post Office was built here between 1925 and 1927. The Customs Office and U.S. Weather Bureau also had offices at the Post Office. The Post Office was at this location until 1986, when it moved to 2220 Caldwell Street. In July of 1990, the Merry Go Round Museum opened in the former Post Office building. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. An historic marker was placed at this site in 2001.