Women’s History Month – Louisa Jurey Wright

March is Women’s History Month, and to honor its purpose of “commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history” we would like to showcase Louisa Jurey Wright.

Louisa contributed much to the city of Lebanon, Ohio. She attended the National Normal University, where she graduated and later became a teacher at Lebanon High School. Her biggest accomplishment came in the form of being the first woman Superintendent for the school from 1867-1868. Her accomplishment was summarized briefly in this article from the Western Star dated June 24, 1915:

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In addition to her teaching career and brief position as the Superintendent, Louisa led an active social life. She was involved in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and was known to have attended meetings for the Progressive Woman’s Club.

The Lebanon City Schools sought to honor her memory in the 1960’s by naming one of their schools after her. The Louisa Wright Elementary School was demolished in 2018.


Location of Origin: Ireland

In the past we have shared snip its of our collections of Naturalization Records in the form of celebrating various individuals who immigrated to the United States. For our Records Center, these records are extremely valuable but very difficult to research in because of their sporadic entries, lack of a major index, and the different media they appear in (paper & journal entries). Due to the hectic nature of these records we do not get many requests for them from the public, which is a shame because they could hold the missing piece in someone’s family history.

We are so very happy to announce that we have been able to upload an index to our Index Page where you can search these records by: Name, Type of Record, Court Recorded, Date, Location Recorded, Location of Origin, and Age/Birthdate. These records are so rich and full of amazing insights of the people they are about. Some include such information as: occupation, physical description, port of entry, etc.

Our top goal at the Records Center and Archives is to make our records as accessible as possible to the public and our online indexes are one of the ways we try to achieve this. We hope that these records help as many people as possible and we also hope to get digital images available to accompany these entries!3-17-2016, 3-17-2017 Naturalization - 13-15-2019 St. Patrick's Day



Cattle Running at Large…The He Said He Said Road Supervisor Story

Who knew that there was so much controversy surrounding the clearing of cattle from the roadway? Knowing that Warren County was primarily a rural county in the late 1800’s, it seems like this would be a very cut and dry instance where the cattle are rounded up and returned to their rightful owner. Well it appears that the cattle running at large on the roadway was the tip of the iceberg for a feud that had been ongoing between the Gustin family and Samuel R. Crane.

The first documented case we have found is The State of Ohio vs. Levi Gustin, where Levi is charged with  “Assault & Battery on Samuel R. Crane & Resisting/Obstructing officer Samuel R. Crane” dated January of 1876. The final case we have uncovered thus far is The State of Ohio vs. Jesse Gustin, where Jesse is charged with “Assault & Battery on Samuel R. Crane” dated September of 1886.

The instances that led to these Assault & Battery/Resisting charges? Cows. The case just before Jesse’s in 1886 is The State of Ohio vs. Samuel R. Crane in which he is charged with “Resisting Officer Jesse Gustin in execution of his duties as Road Supervisor from preventing him from taking up certain cattle running at large.

Although I do not think we will ever get to the heart of this story, it is clear that their feud goes much deeper than the removal and return of those free roaming cows.

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State of Ohio vs. Jesse Gustin – September 1886

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State of Ohio vs. Jesse Gustin – September 1886

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State of Ohio vs. Samuel R. Crane – September 1886

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State of Ohio vs. Samuel R. Crane – September 1886



Timeline of an Absconder: Auditor Al Graham

Last week we had posted a #whenwasitwednesday where we shared a story about  four Warren County Treasurers who were accused of embezzling roughly $127,000. Well it turns out that this story was much more complex than originally thought. It appears that the treachery extended to multiple representatives within the county, the guiltiest party being Auditor Al Graham.

What we have provided for your enjoyment is a newspaper trail that helps us put the pieces of this sordid affair together. In the caption for each picture is included the  source, date, and notes summarizing the speculation of his whereabouts while on the run leading up to his eventual capture, sentencing, and imprisonment.

Before the Chase…

On the Run…



The Dayton Herald, March 10, 1890 – Discusses how Al Graham returned to the area and was eventually discovered, disguised as a “Minister of the Gospel”



The Piqua Daily Call, March 10, 1890 – The absconding Auditor has been sentenced



The Marion Star, March 13, 1890


The Award We Won – OHRAB Achievment Award

Today the Warren County Records Center & Archives had the pleasure of accepting the OHRAB Achievement Award, awarded by The Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board. We won this award: for our work furthering the digital accessibility and archival preservation of Ohio’s public records, exemplified by the innovative use of its website to make its records easily available to researchers around the world.

We, as a department, have worked hard over the past few years to ensure the effort we put into digitizing, preserving, and indexing our historical records was not just for our use. It seems pointless to have these amazing records organized if they are not available to everyone. So thanks to our fearless leader, Jen Haney Conover, who made her vision for the Records Center & Archives a reality.

The purpose of making sure we share our work with anyone with internet access is because these records are typically hard to get a hold of. Many people aren’t comfortable trying to navigate public records, we are only open normal business hours so access can sometimes be an issue, and it can be extremely disheartening to reach out to us only to find out we do not have what you are looking for. Our end game result would ultimately be for as many people as possible to use our website for research and for each individual to find something truly unique to their story. By receiving distinguished awards such as this it helps put us in the eye of the County Officials and the eye of the public to help spread the word and for that we are truly thankful!

We hope you have had the chance to browse the indexes and images available on our website so far. If you haven’t please feel free to check out The Warren County Records Center & Archives County Index page.

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Warren County Archives Staff left to right: Jana Wells, Shayla Wheat, Jen Haney Conover, Jenifer Baker, Tori Roberts, and Ted Hitchens

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OHRAB Award Acceptance, Warren County Commissioners Meeting – January 15, 2019


Warren County OHRAB Achievement Award – Accepted January 15, 2019


The Miami Valley Park and Fair – Beginnings

Finding the start of the Miami Valley Park and Fair was much easier than it has been to find the middle and end. So what I am bringing to you today is the evidence of when it began.

There are books out there that discuss its existence in much more detail but unfortunately we do not have access to them at this time. What I was able to find in our records and which prompted this research is Exhibit A from The State of Ohio vs. James C. Governy, where James was charged with selling liquor within 2 miles of an agricultural fair.

I was also able to find a Western Star Article dated December 11, 1890, discussing  The Miami Valley Park and Fair’s picturesque setting and receipts totaling $8,000 for the first year. In addition to these resources, we were also able to find a write up in the Warren County Atlas, 1891, a map showing where the Fair Grounds were located in 1891, and a map labeling this property as Franklin Fair Co. in The Centennial Atlas, 1903. Stay tuned as we uncover more rich history from Franklin, Ohio’s history!



Spanish Influenza as Reported in Warren County

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War II, it also marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Flu. There was a great article written by Megan Huang on National Archives: Pieces of History Blog regarding the specifics of the Spanish Flu, including just how deadly it was overall.

We are going to focus on the peak of the outbreak and present how it was reported in Warren County in The Western Star. While searching through the papers ranging from 1917-1919 the majority of the articles span from October 10, 1918, through November 7, 1918. The articles include an order from the Mayor of Lebanon closing all public gathering places at the height of the pandemic, obituaries of Warren County citizens, and advertisements from local businesses capitalizing on the flu. Many of the deaths reported in The Western Star followed along the trend of this flu, which targeted middle aged and healthy individuals.

The surprising factor of our research is that, despite the deadliness of the Spanish Flu, there just was not a lot of coverage. Even the short time that the flu was covered, the headlines were minimal and were primarily focused locally. This fact does not seem to be unique to Warren County, this seems to be the norm for many news outlets.

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The Western Star, October 10, 1918

Western Star - October 17, 1918 - Spanish Flu (1)

The Western Star, October 17, 1918

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The Western Star, October 17, 1918

Western Star - October 31, 1918 - Spanish Flu (1)

The Western Star, October 31, 1918

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The Western Star, October 31, 1918

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The Western Star, October 31, 1918

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The Western Star, October 31, 1918

Western Star - November 7, 1918 - Spanish Flu - 1

The Western Star, November 7, 1918

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The Western Star, November 7, 1918

Western Star - November 20, 1919 - Spanish Flu

The Western Star, November 20, 1919

Woman Stabbed by “Ghost”…or was it a “Ghostwriter”

Case No. 6607: The State of Ohio vs. Mary Shannon

CRIMINAL(S): Mary Shannon

DATE OF CRIME: July 17, 1947

VICTIM(S): Florida Turner / Mrs. Floyd Turner

CRIME: Stabbing with intent to wound

DETAILS: While in the Blair Brothers Hospital for severe injury, Florida Turner reported that on July 17, 1947, she had been attacked. Mrs. Turner stated that as she was peeling potatoes in her kitchen in Red Lion, Ohio, her sister-in-law Mary Shannon walked in and stabbed her in the chest with a long bladed pocketknife. While in the process of being arrested Mary Shannon gave false information to the sheriff stating that her name was Mary Downing and she was a “ghost”, later found to be a ghostwriter. Once placed in the Warren County Jail, Mary Shannon was evaluated by Drs. Edward and Robert Blair and was found to be mentally unwell. Mary was sent to Lima State Mental Hospital to recover and after a period of time was returned to Warren County where she was sentenced.


SENTENCE: Placed on probation for the period of three (3) years and required to report regularly to Sheriff Gerald W. Couden once every two months

Robert M. Blair - Sanity Opinion

Common Pleas Case File #6607 – Sanity opinion, Dr. Robert M. Blair


Common Pleas Case File #6607 – Sentencing

Woman Stabbed By Ghostwriter - The Time Recorder - Zanesville, OH - July, 18, 1947 - pg. 1

The Time Recorder – Zanesville, OH – July, 18, 1947 – pg. 1

License to Drive…to Your Local County Courts: A Guide to the New Ohio Drivers License Requirements

I’ve added a new line to my resume, expert in State of Ohio ID requirements. Okay maybe that’s taking it a step too far. What I do know is that the Warren County Records Center and Archives has had a major influx of people seeking out their Public Records in order to obtain either the Standard DL-ID Card or the Compliant DL-ID Card. If you don’t know the difference you can check out all of the information, including deadlines and requirements, at the Ohio BMV Website.

What many people do not realize is that the changes in requirements for these new Compliant IDs are to comply with federal regulations and the process should be approached with a new level of preparation. Here are the key elements that you will need to prove in order to obtain your new Compliant ID:

  • Full Legal Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Legal Presence in the US
  • Social Security Number
  • Ohio Street Address

There is a long list of documents you can provide that will prove these requirements for you. Where it gets tricky and where we get involved are in the following records:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Certified Copy of Marriage
  • Certified Copy of Divorce Decree

While the Warren County Records Center & Archives may house many of these historic documents, we are not qualified to certify them and we are also not permitted to provide any records that are newer than 100 years old (there may be some exceptions). This rings true for many of the Records Centers across the State of Ohio.

What do I mean by a certified copy? – A certified copy is a copy that has been signed and sealed by the qualifying department, think of a fancy embellished seal or imprint on the record. This is what makes the record official and proves that it is not counterfeit.

So why do you need these records and where do you go to get them?

Birth Certificate:

Why do I need it? – In order to prove your legal presence in the US, if you were born in the US, you will need to provide an Official Certified copy of your Birth Certificate. This is a state issued record so you will be able to obtain a copy of this in any Ohio County.

Where do I get it?Warren County Health District

Marriage Record or Name Change:

Why do I need it? – If your name appears different from that on your Birth Certificate you will need to provide a Certified Copy of your Marriage Record or a Certified Copy of Name Change. This record is kept at the Probate Court at the county in which you received your original record. So for example if you were married in Warren County, you can only obtain a Certified Copy from Warren County Probate Court.

Where do I get it?Warren County Probate Court

Certified Copy of Decree of Divorce, Dissolution, or Annulment of Marriage:

Why do I need it? – If you have been married more than once and have changed your name with each marriage, you may have to provide a Certified Copy of each Marriage Record along with a Certified Copy of each Divorce Decree. The reason once again is to prove the legal name changes from what is listed on your Birth Certificate. This record is kept at the Clerk of Courts at the county in which the event took place. For example, if your divorce was finalized in Warren County, you can only obtain a Certified Copy from Warren County Clerk of Courts.

Where do I get it?Warren County Clerk of Courts

My hope in providing you this information is so that you are able to obtain your new license with less headache, because let’s be honest it can be extremely frustrating waiting in those long lines only to be told you do not have what you need! Although we cannot provide these records for you, our department is always happy to help point you in the right direction in order to find the correct location to obtain them! Please share this with anyone you believe may benefit from this information. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at archives@co.warren.oh.us or 513-695-1815.

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Guest Blogger Series: Words From Our Intern, Lauren – Post 4

Now that I am at the final week of my internship, I have to say that I had such a wonderful time here. Once I got to know everyone and knew what projects I was expected to do, I had no problems. Everyone here is nice and welcoming, with a dash of light-hearted sarcasm that I really enjoyed. Come and visit them! I have had many jobs in the past and I was glad to leave every one of them, simply because it was not what I wanted to do with my life. This time around, it will be tough leaving a job that I thoroughly enjoyed.

From working on chronologically and alphabetically organizing Child Services, re-housing blueprints of highways, researching the Foster family and putting together their family tree, to processing estate dockets, I have completed a variety of tasks. Now that we finished the Foster, Ohio exhibit, I feel honored having worked on something that will stay up in the reading room for two years. Pictures do not do the exhibit justice so I hope that you consider going to see it. (All of my panels are on the top shelf, excluding the property map that Autumn did (not in picture)).

8-24-2018 Lauren's Final Blog

While I liked some projects more than others, I pretty much loved everything I worked on. I gained experiences that I can take with me when I find a place where I can start a career, so every new experience I could get was helpful. Again, I am thankful to everyone here at the Warren County Records Center and Archives for this opportunity and one of the best summers I have had since my archaeology days. I cannot wait to share my experiences when school starts up again! And, in the words of Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”