Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sandusky Register Centennial Edition

On December 31, 1922, the Sandusky Register published a lengthy Centennial Edition of the newspaper. A bound copy of this edition is housed in the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, and is available on microfilm as well. The Sandusky Register began on April 24, 1822, as a newspaper called The Clarion, edited by David Campbell. The paper was called the Daily Register after Earl Bill and Clark Waggoner took over as editors of the paper in 1851. It was not until Isaac Foster Mack became half-owner in the newspaper in 1869 that the local newspaper in Sandusky was known as the Sandusky Register. The Centennial Edition of the Register covered several aspects of the history of the city of Sandusky, including its importance as a port, its many businesses, and Sandusky’s involvement in steam and railroad transportation. Also discussed in the special edition are music, entertainment, religion, and Sandusky’s rich military history.

President Warren G. Harding sent a letter stating that he was happy to be an old friend of the Register.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and former U.S. President, William Howard Taft sent greetings congratulating the Sandusky Register on its one hundredth anniversary.

Thomas A. Edison recalled his boyhood days in Milan. He recalled seeing prairie schooners that carried adventurers out west to hunt for gold.

The Rotogravure section of the Centennial Edition featured articles about people and events that were significant in Northern Ohio between 1822 and 1922. Visit the Sandusky Library if you would like to view the Centennial edition of the Sandusky Register.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sandusky Turn-Gemeinde Christmas Festival

On December 25, 1892, the Sandusky Turn-Gemeinde held their annual festival at the Turner Hall, which had formerly been known as Norman Hall. Tickets were twenty-five cents and the music was provided by the Great Western Orchestra.

The Turn-Gemeinde was an association made up primarily of German-American individuals, and whose primary objective was to promote physical fitness. It was formed by a merger of the Active Turnverien and the Social Turnverein clubs around 1888.

The last party of the Social Turn-Verein, before merger with the Active Turn-Verien

The December 26, 1892 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that the Turn-Gemeinde Christmas festivities were largely attended. Otto Baumeister had created a piece of floral art that was quite attractive. The article went to say that “The music of the Great Western Orchestra was exceptionally fine, fully maintaining the reputation of that well known organization of musical artists.” The Great Western Band and Orchestra entertained Sandusky residents for many years. To read more about the history of German-American citizens of Sandusky, see Sandusky Then and Now, by Dr. Ernst von Schulenburg.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas 1947 Edition of Hourglass Newsletter

The Hourglass was a newsletter put out for employees of the Apex Manufacturing Company. The Sandusky Library Archives Research Center contains a series of Hourglass newsletters published from 1943 to 1948. Apex manufactured washing machines in Sandusky in the 1930s and 1940s. During World War II, millions of dollars worth of materials were manufactured by the local Apex plant for the war effort. Miss Lillian Chapman from the purchasing department created the Christmas cover design for the December, 1947 Hourglass. The upcoming Apex Christmas party was a featured topic in this edition.

The party was to be held at the Sandusky Junior High School at 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 20, 1947. Elmer Rife’s “All-Apex Music Masters” was one of the groups scheduled to provide entertainment. Kay Lutes and her Million Dollar Dance Revue was another.

The Apex Manufacturing Company and its predecessor, Holland Rieger, provided jobs for hundreds of Sandusky area men and women for many years. Inquire at the Reference Services desk to view copies of the Hourglass newsletter from Apex.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Edmund H. Zurhost, Politician and Businessman

The front page of the December 21, 1923 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that Edmund H. Zurhorst was “one of the picturesque personages of partisan politics of Sandusky,” on the occasion of Mr. Zurhorst’s death in California.
Edmund H. Zurhorst was born in 1845 in Montreal, Canada, to William H. and Letitia  (McKenna) Zurhorst. In 1849 the Zurhorst family moved from Canada to Sandusky, Ohio. Edmund Zurhorst began his studies in the Sandusky city schools, but when he was age 14, he left school in order to obtain employment to help support the family. Before the Civil War, Mr. Zurhorst worked on lake and ocean vessels. During the Civil War, he was both a seaman and a surgeon’s steward. After the Civil War, he was connected with several business interests, including the Marblehead Lime Company, the Sandusky and Columbus Short Line Railway, the Columbus, Sandusky and Hocking Railroad, the Second National Bank, and the C. C. Keech Company. From 1898 to 1904, he served as the U.S. Collector of Customs for the Sandusky district.

Perhaps Edmund H. Zurhorst was best known for his years as a keen politician in which he gained the confidence of state and national leaders of the Republican party. The Register article stated that Mr. Zurhorst often said “They called me a boss, but I wasn’t. I used to have the boys gather around me and then I’d tell ‘em how I thought things out to be done. They just generally agreed with me, that was all there was to it.” Mr. Zurhorst was personal friends with President Chester Arthur, President William McKinley, and Senator Mark Hanna.

On December 20, 1923, Edmund H. Zurhorst passed away in Hollywood, California. His wife, the former Harriet West Keech had predeceased him in 1890. Mr. and Mrs. Zurhorst had three children, Christopher C., William K., and Mary Louise. Mrs. Mary Louise Mitchell was the only surviving child of Mr. Zurhorst. Funeral services were attended by many, and burial was at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Edmund H. Zurhorst is the gentleman on the left in the picture above. He and an unidentified man are seen reading the December 9, 1914 issue of the Sandusky Register. Biographical sketches of Edmund H. Zurhorst can be found in Hewson Peeke’s A Standard History of Erie County and History of the Western Reserve by Harriet Taylor Upton, both available at the Sandusky Library.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Messenger from the R.M. & C.B. Wilcox Company

The Wilcox Company department store in Sandusky was located on the 100 block of the west side of Columbus Avenue in Sandusky from 1886 until it closed in December, 1929. A publication entitled “Holiday Messenger” was mailed to Sandusky area residents during the Christmas season of 1921 from the Wilcox Store. Nostalgic illustrations, stories and riddles appeared throughout the publication, along with information about the many items available for purchase at the R.M. and C.B. Wilcox Company for Christmas gifts.

In 1921, the R.M. and C.B. Wilcox Company sold everything from bloomers to sweaters, along with many household items. Merchandise came in a wide variety of prices, and claimed to offer “the right present for the right person at the right price.”

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fox Family Portrait

The Allen Fox family is pictured below, around the turn of the twentieth century. Though difficult to read, the names of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Fox have been written on the picture. Standing are: Mary, George, Emma, Joe, Fanny, Dick, and Martha Fox. Seated are: Polly, Allen Fox, Eliza Catharine, and John Fox.

A brief biographical sketch of Allen Fox is found in the  History of Erie County, Ohio (1889), edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich. Mr. Fox was born in Perkins Township on July 11, 1826, to Roger and Polly Weatherly Fox. In 1851, Allen Fox married Eliza C. Bartlett, and they had a family of ten children. A lengthy obituary for Mrs. Fox appears in the February 6, 1903 issue of the Sandusky Register. The article said that Mrs. Fox had been widely and favorably known, and the large gathering of people at her funeral indicated the respect and esteem of her family and friends. “Those who knew Mother Fox best, speak in cordial praise of her goodness, sympathy and service in times of sickness. By day or night, she was ever ready to respond to the call from the sick room, and many were the sick and dying cheered by her ministrations.” The funeral for Mrs. Fox was held at the Perkins Methodist Church, and burial was in Perkins Cemetery.

Not pictured in the family photo was Ida Fox, who died on October 30, 1873, as a young person.

Mrs. Fox’s surviving children were listed as: Polly Mackin, John R. Fox, Joseph A. Fox, George Fox, Emma Strong, Sylvester D. Fox, Mary Louise Hess, Martha Richards, and Kate Lucy Frances Morris.

Allen Fox died on November 27, 1906. His obituary was in the December 5, 1906 Sandusky Register, which reported that the old log house that remained on the Fox farm was also the place of Mr. Fox’s birth. Mr. Fox was survived by nine children, twenty two grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two brothers.

The citations for the obituaries of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Fox were obtained by accessing the Obituary Index from the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center. Obituaries can help add human interest to your family history, as you gather data about your ancestors from vital records, family Bibles, and other sources. While the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center is located in Fremont, Ohio, hundreds of obituaries of persons who resided in Erie County have been indexed. If you find a citation in the Hayes Obituary Index that cites its source as a Sandusky newspaper, you can find the actual article on the microfilmed copies of the Sandusky Register and other Sandusky newspapers in the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library.

While the handwritten names on the Fox family photograph did indeed help us identify the individuals pictured, it is not a good idea to literally write on a photograph. You can write on the back of the photograph with a soft pencil, preferably in the margins of the photograph. Another method would be to store the photograph in an acid-free sleeve, and on a separate piece of paper, identify the people and places that are pictured, using archival quality paper and pens. To read more about using photographs in your family history, see Maureen Taylor’s book entitled Uncovering Your Ancestry Through Family Photographs, available at the Sandusky Library.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Local Advertisements in the December 1939 Fram

Along with several original works of prose, verse, art, and photography by students at Sandusky High School, several advertisements from Sandusky area businesses appeared in the December 1939 Fram. Students embellished the advertisements with block prints, as seen below in the ads from Farrell-Cheek Steel and the Ohio Public Service Company.

Page 33 of the Fram featured advertisements from the Simplex Radio Company and the William S. Frankel Company, a “women’s gift store.”

On another page, a figure is shown dancing with a milk bottle in the ad from Esmond Dairy, while the Denzer’s ad was accented with a stick figure holding an oversize pen.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Ludwig Altstaetter’s German Music Books

In the Archives Research Center at the Sandusky Library are two books of handwritten music. The books were prepared by Frederick Altstaetter for his son Ludwig Altstaetter. One book, entitled Practische Klanierschule, includes scales and other musical segments intended for a student who is practicing piano skills.

The other book contains several musical pieces. All the musical notes, clefs, and tempos were meticulously handwritten. Below is a portion of the piece entitled Air de Ballet de Guillaume Tell de Rossini (using the old style of the first 's'). It appears to be a ballet based on the opera William Tell.

Louis Altstaetter, the Americanized name of Ludwig Altstaetter, was born in Germany on June 21, 1832. He married Matilda Steuk. Louis and his brother William Altstaetter are listed in the 1880 Sandusky City Directory as being the proprietors of a grocery store at 836 Market Street in Sandusky. Louis Altstaetter died on March 1, 1900, and he was buried at Oakland Cemetery. Mr. Altstaetter’s obituary, which appeared in the March 2, 1900 Sandusky Register, stated that he had lived in Sandusky for a number of years, during which time “he won the respect and esteem of all.” He was survived by a son and five daughters. Later, his son Edward Altstaetter would become the Mayor of Sandusky.

The name of Louis Altstaetter’s father, Frederick Altstaetter, would be familiar in Sandusky, Ohio for many years. Louis Altstaetter’s grandson was named Frederick Altstaetter, and Louis had a great granddaughter named Frederica Altstaetter.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

1931 Calendar from Lord & Schmitkons, Inc.

Boy Scout Memories was the theme of the promotional calendar from Lord & Schmitkons, Inc. from 1931. Inside the booklet found at the top of the calendar are the twelve points of the Scout Law, instructions for making backpacks and rover packs, as well as blank pages for Scouts to keep a record of meetings, hikes, and other events. Lord & Schmitkons, Inc. was incorporated in February of 1929, with officers George C. Schmitkons, president; Bert H. Lord, vice-president; and K. B. Lord, secretary and treasurer. The company was the distributor for Studebaker and Pierce-Arrow Motor Cars, at 212 Hancock Street. According to Sandusky City Directories, Lord & Schmitkons was only in Sandusky about two years, from 1929-1931.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Oakland Cemetery Deed from 1856

On December 13, 1856, a deed for Lot 8, Block 9 of Oakland Cemetery was issued to H. H. Eldis. The burial lot was purchased at a cost of $15.00. The document was signed by Sandusky Mayor Charles Cross. It appears that Samuel Lewis, Recorder, signed the document on May 12, 1854. (This date may be a clerical error.)

Henry H. Eldis was the son of early German settlers Martin and Louisa Eldis. According to According to the History of Erie County, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Martin Eldis settled in Portland Township, Sandusky, and opened a bakery and provision store on Water Street in the Spring of 1828. Martin Eldis died on November 28, 1852, "leaving to his wife and children an abundant share of earthly goods."

Mrs. Eldis (pictured above) told of her early years in Sandusky:

"We were not welcomed. On our arrival sixty years ago [1828], we were advised to better move on; if it had not have been for the steamboat trade, we never could have made a living in the first year or two. By and by though, the inborn element became more friendly to us, and learned to respect our ways. For nearly four years we were the only German family in this hamlet, and in all probability in the county."

The death record of Henry H. Eldis states that he died on August 16, 1892, at the age of 63. He had been employed as a railroad clerk. Henry H. Eldis was buried in Lot 8, Block 9, of Oakland Cemetery in the family lot, near his parents Martin and Louisa Eldis. To learn more about the early German settlers in Sandusky, read Sandusky Then and Now by Ernst Von Schulenburg.