Jannette Johnson vs. August Vogel, 1898 – Guest Blogger Keith

Records Manager and Archivist, Jen Haney Conover, recently helped a patron, Keith Gilbert, locate a historic court case for one of his ancestors. One of the things we love most about what we do is having patrons share their finds with us so we can share them with you! Below is a brief write up of the fascinating court case we found for him:

Jannette Johnson vs. August Vogel, Case No. 9274, 1898
On May 23, 1898, Jannette Johnson filed suit against August Vogel, Sr., and his children, August Vogel, Jr, Herman Vogel and Carrie Vogel, for selling intoxicating liquor to her husband, Michael H. Johnson, who is a habitual drunkard. Because of his drunkenness, he has been unable to support his family. On May 5, 1884, Jannette caused notice to be filed with the Hamilton Township Clerk in Warren County to give notice to all liquor dealers in the Township not to sell or give liquor to her husband. The notice has stood open to the present day of the suit. The court appointed a guardian ad litem to represent the minor children. The suit against the children was dismissed on November 14, 1898, since “the petition did not state a cause of action against” them. The case against August Vogel, Sr, was dismissed without record, May 26, 1899.
“This day this case (cause?) is compromised and dismissed without record at the costs of the defendant August Vogel.”
This is interpreted to mean that Jannette & August came to some sort of agreement and settled the case out of court, so the case was dismissed “without record”. August paid the court costs, probably as part of the agreement. The exact terms of the settlement agreement are not known, probably no money was paid to Jannette, but August likely agreed that he would no longer sell liquor to Michael.

Case No. 9274 – Johnson vs. Vogel
Case No. 9274 – Johnson vs. Vogel

A Fond Farewell – Intern Kirsten Dilger, Summer 2022

Every year we have the pleasure of hiring a summer intern to help us out with projects and to help them work towards bigger career goals. It’s always so much fun and we all learn so much from the experience. This summer we were fortunate enough to have Kirsten Dilger, a Wright State University student working on her Masters in Public History. We want to thank Kirsten for all of her hard work and to wish her well on all her future adventures! Kirsten wrote up a blog post summarizing her time while working at the Records Center and Archives:

My name is Kirsten Dilger and I am a master’s student at Wright State University studying Public History. I have worked as the Archiving Intern since May and done many different projects throughout the summer. I am originally from Dayton, Ohio and I received my Bachelors of Art in History from Ohio University (Go Bobcats!). I decided to pursue this career because I love making history more accessible to people no matter who you are, and Warren County goes above and beyond to do that. I didn’t know what to expect when I started working at Lebanon and with Warren County, but it has been a fantastic internship experience! 

My favorite thing about working for the Warren County Records Center is the variety of work I got to do while completing my internship here. I learned how to use many different scanners to digitize more of the Warren County collection, including photos from the Soil and Water Conservation Department. I also processed Tuberculosis records from the health department and rehoused them so that they could be preserved for longer. Community outreach is something that I am very interested in, so I helped with a classroom visit before the school let out and got to see what community outreach looked like with a records center. Many of the projects that I did over the last three months allow the history of Warren County to be shared with people all over the United States and across the world. During the typical day, there has been a handful of researchers that I would assist with my boss, Jenifer Baker with and hearing about the variety of research that they were doing was so fun. 

The biggest project that I did was help research for the 20th anniversary of the Records center and Archives. This required me to learn about not just the history of the records center and archives, but also about Warren County. Being from Dayton, I didn’t know much about Warren County so it was very enjoyable to learn something new. I got to sit down and talk to some of the past Records Managers and hear their stories, as well as talk to some of the volunteers at the Genealogical society about the experiences they had while they were building this new records center. It gave me a better idea of how important the records center is for Warren County, and how many people it took to create it.  

Although I am sad to leave, I am so thankful for the experience that I got at the Warren County Records Center and Archives. Soon enough, I will take these experiences will me when I graduate and go into this field. So, a big thank you to Warren County, and the staff of the records center and archive for making this possible! 

It’s Records Management AND National County Government Month!

We are in the thick of April, and that means two things: the Records Center is celebrating Records and Information Management month AND National County Government Month. Each of these celebrations are held in April annually, and we want to highlight how our office promotes proficient records management within the county by helping agencies properly dispose inactive records in a timely fashion.

National County and Records Management Month, Warren County Admin Building, April 2022

This past Friday, we worked with our Board of Developmental Disabilities (BODD) on disposing over 320 boxes of records that have hit their records retention. You might be asking what that means. All county departments are required to keep a records retention schedule, or what we call an RC-2. This schedule determines how long all records are required to be kept and in what format. Once records have hit their retention, an RC-3 or certificate of destruction is needed to be approved for most records to be destroyed.  You can find more information on basic public records management on our blog from April 2018.

BODD and Records Center staff, Onsite Shred April 2022

Once given authorization for destruction, we worked with BODD HR Director, Bill Caplinger, to set up a time, date, and location for the records destruction. The collaboration with BODD took place at their East Street location over the course of 3 and a half hours, broken up into two parts with a NAID certified shredding company. Being NAID certified means they meet all the latest changes in laws and regulations pertaining to the shredding of sensitive documents.

Onsite shredding truck from April 2022 shred with BODD

The first section was onsite where we loaded documents into a toter, which is similar to the bins you use for trash or recycling. These toters are then lifted and emptied into a box truck and immediately shredded. Once full, the truck returns and empties the shredded material to be recycled.

BODD Shredding, April 2022

The second part of the shred was done offsite. We emptied the remaining boxes into the 96-gallon toters, which were then locked and placed into another large box truck. Once at the shred company’s facilities, they are confidentially shredded onsite, and the continents which will also be recycled.

Collaborative efforts such as this between the Records Center and county departments help ensure the proper steps are being taken to reduce unnecessary storage of inactive or duplicate records once retention is up or records have been digitized. We are proud of our working relationships such as this with county agencies.*

*Guest blogger: County Records Manager, Jen Haney Conover

The Lebanon Brewery – guest blogger Jeffrey Lucas

This spring a brewpub will be opening at the site of the former fire station in downtown Lebanon.  While researching family history I have discovered that this is not the first brewing operation to be located on Silver Street.  A combination of property deeds, lawsuits and newspaper advertisements have provided evidence of this business.

On May 1, 1815 Francis Lucas, my great-great-grandfather, purchased all of Lot 64 at the southwest corner of Silver and Broadway Streets for $2,500 from Matthias Ross.  I believe he bought this as an investment to lease or sell as he resided on a 160 acre farm between Utica and Ridgeville and sold the south half of the lot in September of 1816 to Eli Truitt for $700.  When he sold another part of the lot to John Dory on June 25, 1819 for $600, the mortgage deed described it as “beginning at the northwest corner of said Lot and extending with Silver Street forty nine feet six inches and extending south thirty nine feet six inches including the brewery” (Warren County Deed Records: Vol. 8, Page 317).  I have highlighted the lot at the bottom of this map.  The address of the northwest corner where the brewery was located is now 17 West Silver Street and across the street from the fire station.  Property records show the current building was built in 1860.

(Map created at:  https://maps.co.warren.oh.us/wcgis/webmap/index.html?config=auditor.json)

I have no evidence that Francis Lucas was directly involved in the brewing of beer in Lebanon but an advertisement in The Western Spy at Cincinnati on February 21, 1817 provides a clue as to who may have been.  I am making the assumption that this refers to a brewery in Lebanon, not Cincinnati, as the exact location is not given.  The “unexpired lease of the 3 and ½ years” offered for sale by Rees Price indicates that the Lebanon Brewery could have been in operation when Francis bought the property in 1815.  Another advertisement in the Western Star in December of 1822 shows that beer had been produced by John Dory since he bought the property and that he wanted to sell his businesses.

On October 1, 1822, Francis Lucas filed two lawsuits against him for failing to make payments on the property.  The first involved a promissory note from July 28, 1820 to pay $300 as the first “payment of the Brewery.”  It also sought $1,000 in damages which included $200 for hauling beer and barrels to Cincinnati for John Dory.  The other lawsuit concerned the second payment on the brewery of $300 due on May 1, 1821.  In January of 1823 Francis file a third lawsuit against Dory to foreclose on the mortgage.

Warren County Common Pleas Court Final Record: Vol. 9, Pages 407 to 409

Judgements in favor of Francis Lucas were rendered in March 1823 on the first two cases and he was to recover $854.68 in total.  In May 1823 John Dory defaulted on the third case and Lucas was awarded $499.23.

Warren County Civil Minutes Journal:  Vol. 4, Page 480
Warren County Civil Minutes Journal:  Vol. 4, Page 482
Warren County Civil Minutes Journal:  Vol. 4, Page 524

As a result of these lawsuits, the property was offered for public sale by the Sheriff on February 11, 1824 at an appraised value of $1,000 including the brewery.  Four days earlier there had been another Sheriff’s sale of his chattel due to the suit of another creditor.  Francis Lucas was the highest bidder for the real estate at $666.66or two-thirds of the appraised value.  The sale was approved by the Court and a deed was issued to Francis Lucas on May 20, 1824 (Warren County Deed Records:  Vol. 19, Page 282).

Despite his problems with his creditors, it appears that John Dory continued to brew beer at the location based on the following advertisement.

The Star & Gazette:  Vol. III, No. 8, Page 3

John Dory’s troubles with creditor B. Woods continued with another Sheriff’s sale of his chattel property at the brewery in 1825.

The Star & Gazette:  Vol. III, No. 38, Page 3

Even with all these financial setbacks it looks like he was once again able to start brewing beer that year.

The Western Star:  Vol. IV, No. 9, Page 4

By August 1826 the brewery was no longer in operation and John Dory was no longer a tenant.  The new tenant, Jesse Hutchinson, ended up establishing a distillery there and bought the property, including 25 feet of the northeast corner, from Francis Lucas on April 20, 1833 for $500 (Warren County Deed Records:  Vol. 19, Page 289).

The Western Star and Lebanon Gazette:  Vol. V, No. 4, Page 4

As an aside to the story of the Lebanon Brewery, John Dory also bought the northeast corner of Lot 64 from Francis Lucas on October 6, 1820 for $1,550.  There was a mortgage deed for that amount issued and four yearly payments of $387.50 were due each May 1st starting in 1822.  When Francis filed his first suit in October 1822 he tried to include the nonpayment of the first installment of this mortgage in his damages.  This was not successful, but after the judgements against him in March 1823, John Dory signed a warranty deed as if Francis had bought it back for $1,550 that April (Warren County Deed Records:  Vol. 19, Page 301).  Francis eventually sold the balance of the northeast corner to Aaron Pauly for $1,000 on November 23, 1836.

Included in the inventory of the estate of Francis Lucas after his death in 1843 were the three notes of John Dory “secured by mortgage on part of Lot 64”.  They each had accrued 22 years and 8 months of interest, totaling $2676.50, and were marked as doubtful of recovery; and they never were.

Warren County Will Record:  Vol. 9A, Page 534

Anthony’s Brief Story – #BlackHistoryMonth

Today is the last day of #BlackHistoryMonth and we wanted to take this opportunity to share a court case in our archives that pertains to a former slave named Anthony.

This is a Habeas Corpus case where a former slave named Anthony was locked up in the Warren County Jail while his fate was being decided within the courts. In the case State of Ohio vs. Samuel McCray (the Sheriff at the time), it points out that Anthony had travelled to Warren County with Abraham Levi, the son of his former master, Isaac Levi.

The case clearly states that there is an attempt by Isaac to “take him back to the State of Kentucky as a slave against his will and in order to do so has him now confined in Lebanon in the jail of the county of Warren.” As many of you know, slavery was never legal in Ohio, but that did not stop some people from attempting to capture and return runaway slaves.

Thankfully in this case the Warren County Court and State of Ohio recognized Anthony as being a free person and rightfully released him from the jail. Unfortunately when we attempted to find more regarding Isaac Levi, Abraham Levi, or even Anthony, we were unsuccessful. While we do not have the remainder of Anthony’s life story, we are forever grateful to have these court documents that help to tell this part of his story.

If you are interested in researching black history within our court records you can key word search our court record indexes that have been uploaded to the Warren County Records Center and Archives website.

State of Ohio vs. Samuel McCray, 1811
State of Ohio vs. Samuel McCray, 1811

Ministers License Books – January Record Series Highlight, 2022

For our first record series highlight of 2022, we would like to showcase our “Minister License” books. The Records Center and Archives houses 3 volumes of these ministers license records in our reading room. The official title on the first volume of these records was stated as “Record of Licenses to Solemnize Marriage January A.D. 1823” and follows with the heading “Record of Licenses to Ministers of the Gospel to solemnize marriages”.

Minister Licenses were kept locally under the County Courts, more specifically the Probate Court following it’s establishment in the mid 1850’s, until June 4, 1976, when they were transferred to the Ohio Secretary of State and remains to this day. These records hold immense history for both the citizens who were ordained in Warren County but those who were ordained in multiple counties and for the history of the local churches.

The first entry is for one Reverend Joshua Carman who “produces a license from the Court of Common Pleas within and for the County of Green to solemnize marriage which said license is under the hand & seal of the clerk of said Court for the County aforesaid ad dated the 2nd Day of August A.D. 1823”

Ministers License Volume 1, 1823-1876

One of the first female entries is for one Mary Emma Spencer who “is a Minister of the Gospel of the Orthodox Friends Church” dated December 26, 1888.

Ministers License Volume 2, 1875-1934

The final entry is for the 3rd volume of the series is for one Charlie W. Whetsel who “on the 25 day of October A.D. 1965 a Minister’s License, issued from the Probate Court of Greene County, Ohio, to Charlie W. Whetsel, a Minister of the Gospel of the denomination usually called Methodist Church, was presented in the Warren County Probate Court is hereby allowed.”

Ministers License Volume 3, 1934-1965

“Shop Local” – Holiday Shopping in Warren County, 1903 Edition

These days we love to talk about shopping local. Many of the small towns here in Warren County are known for their local shops and artisans and many of them are destinations for holiday shoppers. This week we are taking our followers on a shopping trip through Warren County where shopping local was the only choice for many in 1903.

The first items on our shopping list this year are going to be items to spruce up our houses before we host our many Christmas get togethers. The best locations within the county to find such things would be in Lebanon at the Business block of Suemening & Sieker on Broadway for wall paper & carpets, Unglesby & Sons for new furniture (second location in Franklin), O.W. Morris & Co. for new chinaware, and finally the Racket Store who are known for their tinware.

Today’s shopping list consists of all the fixings for Christmas dinner. Our first stop will be to get our Christmas ham at E. J. Ehle Meat Market located in Lebanon at the Brandon & Burr Block. Next will be the very important cranberry sauce and stuffing from Val. E. Dombaugh’s grocery in Mason. Finally for dessert we will visit Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Merrit in Harveysburg at their confectionary for pies and cookies. Don’t forget to get your last minute Christmas cards sent out and grab those final items that you forgot at the Post office and grocery in Pleasant Plain at W. H. Kenny’s.

Wrapping up our local shopping trip, we finish up our last minute Christmas present shopping. Our first stop is Randall & Shimp’s Store and J.H. Holzlin’s Shoe Store in Lebanon for the perfect outfit for the men in your life. Then we stop in at C.H. Creighton’s jewelry store in Morrow to find the perfect earrings or mantle clock for the women in your life. For the kids in our life we will be swinging by Frank Sherwood’s General Store in Oregonia where they have a vast selection of toys. Lastly we will head over to Waynesville National Bank to get out money for those hard to buy for teenagers!

Disgraceful Outrage in Warren County – guest blogger Jeffrey Lucas

With the Gubernatorial election between Unionist John Brough and Democrat Clement Vallandigham approaching in October of 1863, mass meetings for both parties were held in communities all over the state of Ohio.  Lebanon was no exception.  The Unionists held one at the Fairgrounds on September 15th and included speakers Lewis D. Campbell and John Sherman.  The following excerpt from the Cincinnati Enquirer describes the one held by the Democrats on Friday the 18th and the tensions at the time.

According to the Cleveland Daily Reader, on the evening of this meeting, an arrest attempt was made at the Lucas house in Deerfield for an assault on their Post Office earlier in the day.  During this confrontation William Trump was shot twice with a revolver and killed.  This newspaper article states that the shooting was done by George Lucas, son of “the old man Lucas.”

The Warren County court records show that George Lucas and his son, James K. Lucas (age 19), were arrested for this incident.  On the 21st of September George Lucas was bonded out by Granville Stokes, former state senator, and James was bonded out by his father for $2,000 each.  An indictment of second degree murder was made against James and in April of 1866 the prosecuting attorney did not further prosecute that charge.  At that time an indictment for manslaughter was made against James for the killing.  On March 2nd, 1867 a jury found him not guilty of this charge.

As a descendant of George Lucas, the discovery of this information was very enlightening.  I would like to share some details about the Lucas family relating to this incident that I have gathered during my research in Warren County.  This map shows the Lucas property in Union Township in 1856.  George had 70 acres, his brother Aaron had 48 acres and his sister Christina Dill (heir of James H Dill) had 52 acres near Deerfield.  You can see William Trump’s father, John Trump, on the map as well and I believe he is near the Post Office that was attacked.

Warren County Wall Map, 1856

At the time of the incident, George was living with his wife Mary (who was 7 months pregnant with my grandfather), their ten children and one grandchild.  This included their eldest daughter Susanna married to Hezekiah Barr, who had been serving in the 35th Ohio Infantry Regiment since 1861.  George’s brother Aaron also had a son Caleb serving in the 35th Infantry for the same period.  My grandfather was born in Deerfield two months later on November 22, 1863 and apparently named after the Democtratic supporters:  Granville Vallandigham Lucas.  Three days later Susanna’s husband was wounded in battle at Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga, was wounded again at Atlanta in July 1864 and survived to be discharged in December 1864.  Aaron’s son Caleb also survived his term of duty.

George Lucas sold all his land in Warren County in March of 1864 and moved his family to La Porte County, Indiana on land he had bought from his father’s estate twenty years earlier.  He died there on Christmas Day in 1878.

George Andrew Lucas

James Lucas stayed in Warren County to answer the charge against him and I believe he lived with Granville Stokes in Clearcreek Township.  In December of 1864 George sent his permission for James (age 20) to marry Granville Stokes’ daughter, Virginia Pocahantas Stokes, the “Goddess of Liberty” at the mass meeting the day of the killing.  They married on January 9, 1865.  After his acquittal in 1867 they stayed in Warren County and had a son, James Brent Lucas, in 1868.  By 1870 they had moved up to La Porte County near his father George.  In 1880 he was living in Effingham, Illinois working as a railroad engineer when I believe these pictures were taken of them.

William Trump was buried in the Danberry Cemetery in South Lebanon.  George’s parents (Francis Lucas and Christina Keever), his mother-in-law (Susanna Ullery Monfort) and her second husband (Jesse Cousins, murdered in December of 1864 with the Roosas) were also buried there.  Ironically these headstones were moved to the Deerfield Cemetery in the 1950’s and are located on the land that George Lucas had owned and where the William Trump killing took place.  It is my understanding that only the headstones were moved, not the remains.  Here is a picture I took 15 years ago of the headstones of Jesse and Susanna Cousins not knowing that the one behind them on the far left is that of William Trump.

Deerfield Cemetery 2006

During that first visit to the Warren County Genealogical Society in 2006 I was told to go into the Records Center and ask for some files for George’s father, Francis Lucas.  I was amazed when I was presented with all the original documents from his estate settlement which lasted from 1843 until 1854.  That really got me hooked on genealogy and they have provided a multitude of records concerning my family since then.  A recent lucky search on the internet led me to the newspaper article that connected this case to my family.  I wish transcripts were available to fully understand what happened that night but without them we must draw our own conclusions.  You never know what you may find when you dig deep and pay attention to the details.  And sometimes you may not be comfortable with what you find.

Morrow Brewing Company

When tipped off about the Morrow Brewing Company by our Archives Specialist, Tori Roberts, I did not know how popular this old stone structure would be or the history we would uncover! What started as a few cool pictures discovered on someone’s FLICKR account has turned into some new discovers of this historic property.

Google Image, Morrow Brewing Company

The easily accessible information we gained from the internet gave us the simple run down of how this building was once a brewery began by John Scheer in the mid 1800’s. Scheer had immigrated from Baden, Germany, and learned the trade of brewer while living in Cincinnati. He continued to operate the brewery until at least the late 1800’s when a Mr. Rauscher took over the business. In 1902, the brewery ceased to produce alcohol and switched to soft drinks after the county went dry. After the building no longer brewed drinks, it opened up to other businesses, including growing mushrooms.

From what we were able to locate within the archives, this history is not all wrong, the early information was just incomplete. It appears that John Scheer did not enter into the brewing business alone. When reviewing the 1856 Warren County wall map there is no John Scheer listed on that site in Morrow, nor is there a John Scheer listed on the Morrow directory. Instead it lists “L. Durain’s Brewery” and “L. Durain – Brewer & Grocer”.

Warren County Wall Map, 1856
Warren County Wall Map, 1856

Upon further research, it turns out that together Louis Durain and John Scheer purchased the property where the brewery was built from Thomas Ireland in March of 1854. We believe they entered into this partnership because Louis married a relative of John Scheer, a Miss Barbara Scheer. Based on Barbara’s age, we would assume that it was John’s sister, but we unfortunately are unable to definitively determine that based on our records alone.

Marriage Record, Louis Durain and Barbara Scheer, April 28, 1850
Image courtesy of Family Search

It appears that Louis Durain and John Scheer continued to own and operate the brewery together until Louis and Barbara sold the property to Scheer in May of 1867, after which Scheer operated the brewery with a multitude of additional partners. John Scheer is listed on the Warren County 1867 wall map Morrow directory as the “Brewer” and Durain is not listed at all. On the Warren County Atlas, 1875, map of Salem Township it lists the brewery name as “Scheer Thompson & Co. Brewery” and then on the Warren County Centennial Atlas, 1903, the brewery name is listed as “Morrow Brewing Company”.

Warren County Wall Map, 1867
Warren County Atlas, 1875
Warren County Centennial Atlas, 1903

While we were unable to find any of the later history of the brewery in the records here at the archives, we did find a newspaper notice that the brewery had been sold to firm from Xenia in 1904. History In Your Own Backyard did a wonderful job of sharing the history of this interesting and cool historic property.

The Western Star, October 20, 1904, Image Courtesy of Ohio History Connection

Transcription Tuesday – Intern Edition

Check out the update from our summer intern, Melissa Kelhoffer:

As an intern for Warren County Records Center & Archives, I have been working on quite a few projects the last couple of months. I have learned to process records that have come into the center. This means to remove all harmful materials like staples, paper clips, tape or other adhesives that may degrade the record. Next I place the records into archival safe materials like a photo sleeve, paper and manilla folder to give it the best conditions for preservation. 

I have been transcribing Warren County Land Record Indexes as well.  I have over 5600 entries and I am just on book 2 – 1823! These records can be difficult both to read and handle. They are generally large books, the paper and bindings are delicate, and the handwriting can be difficult to read at times.  

Warren County Land Record Index

I am working on a special project, with several other employees, that will be on permanent display in the Common Pleas Court. My part required that look through all of the Commissioner’s Journals for information on the Common Pleas Court houses. We spent some time in the second courthouse, The Silver Street Courthouse. It is a truly beautiful courthouse, although now it is used to house Ohio Means Jobs.