National Women’s History Month Highlight – Pearl M. Graham

March is #NationalWomen’sHistoryMonth and we will be celebrating by highlighting some amazing women who have helped shape, change, and impact Warren County.

We would like to highlight these historic women by providing 5 fun facts about each, starting with Pearl M. Graham (1896-1982).

  • First Female Elected Official in Warren County, Ohio
  • Elected Warren County Recorder from 1941-1964
  • Served as Jail Matron from 1938-1941
  • Born in Menifee County, Kentucky, February 17, 1896
  • Married to Warren County Sheriff William E. Graham
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Pearl M. Graham, Ancestry.com


Unforeseen, Unpredictable, and Sometimes Unfortunate

Research in historic records can be exciting. You come up with an idea and a concept of where you think your topic will go. You start slowly piecing together the narrative and the more you discover the more exciting things get…until they take a very twisted and unexpected turn.

This situation happened while researching slides and scrapbooks we received from the Warren County Parks District Collection. The images, from the early 1970’s, revealed some great images of an old cabin along with some kind of celebration. We were able to tie these images to one of the newspaper scrapbooks regarding the discovery of a historic cabin that was slated to be demolished for the Caesar Creek Lake project near Harveysburg, Ohio.

The news coverage, from discovery to creation, of the Caesars Creek Pioneer Village and subsequent research of the outlying Caesars Creek area was exciting and compelling for the Warren County community because of ties that this area had to two prominent politicians of the time, Donald “Buz” Lukens and Richard M. Nixon.

These discoveries, though exciting for 1972, presented us with a clear problem when it comes to sharing the research found with the public because both of these politicians went on to a swift and despicable fall from politics.

So how do we present this research? We decided it is best to acknowledge that at the time of these familial connections of Warren County’s past to current day 1972, the tie to these two politicians would have been exciting. Clearly no one who was involved in the process of promoting these discoveries could have predicted what was to become of Lukens and Nixon.

No matter the level of unfortunate, capitalizing on the fact that this cabin had ties to someone who was respected and prominent at the time helped to preserve the structure and to create the village and should not be forgotten. So even though it is not the story we were expecting to tell when we began our research, nonetheless here it is in all of its unforeseen, unpredictable, and unfortunate glory!


2019 Year End Review

As we wrap up 2019 with our year end reports we wanted to reflect on our top 5 best moments of 2019. This very short list in no way completely summarizes how amazing our year was but it definitely highlights our peak moments! We hope you enjoy this list and continue to follow our journey into 2020.

#5 – Lunch & Learn at Warren County Historical Society and Spot on the Lebanon Channel

We have been so fortunate to be able to share the Records Center projects and discoveries with the public. Any opportunity we get to highlight what is available to patrons we take it!

#4 – Mary Haven Exhibit & Our Summer Interns

This summer was the first time we allowed our interns to completely take over an exhibit. Our three interns (Abbey Search, Dan Maharg, and Brandon Kot) had their work cut out for them when it came to tackling the Mary Haven Exhibit. They took a challenging subject with minimal resources and provided an exhibit that tells the history of the building that housed Warren County children while highlighting some of the ways in which the community has interacted with Mary Haven over the years.

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Memories of Mary Haven: Stories from the Warren County Children’s Home, Exhibit Opening, August 23, 2019

#3 – Jail Restoration Project

This year Warren County Facilities has begun the restoration of the Silver Street Jail. This is something we have been working on getting started since the opening of our Silver Street Jail exhibit in 2017, so the fact that it has started is beyond exciting! As of now we don’t know the outcome of this project but stay tuned for all the updates in 2020!

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FB LIVE Video Update – June 11, 2019

#2 – OHRAB Achievement Award

Receiving the Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board (OHRAB) Achievement Award for all of our online resources and providing more access to our records. This award wasn’t just cool to receive and be acknowledged by the archival community but it has put our Records Center out there as a contact for others interested in setting up something similar to what we’ve managed to create. It is very rewarding to be able to take what we have worked so hard to accomplish and help others make their historic records as accessible as possible.

#1 – Oral History Program & YouTube Channel

Preserving the history of Warren County Government and the people who have experienced being a part of it is our number one priority. Over the years we had talked about putting together a program that captures the living memories of people who have worked for Warren County or have spent time in one of the many buildings that have made up Warren County. This summer we were finally able to put together that program and to date have collected 11 interviews from various individuals involved in Warren County Government history.


#MorrowMonday – Shakers’ Trials and Tribulations at Union Village in Their Early History

Today we will be continuing our monthly #MorrowMonday article.

The article we are featuring is dated December 12, 1907, it highlights the many obstacles the local Shaker Community overcame within Warren County. The article details the many mob scenes that the Shakers were subjected to, including a particularly rowdy one that included upwards of 500 people in 1810. 

As the Records Center continues to process our court records, the court cases involving the Shakers are becoming easily available. These disputes range from divorce decrees involving abandonment to violence. Be sure to visit our online indexes to find all of the cases we have processed so far!

Below is an example of a State Case that we have included in our online indexes. Richard McNemar was charged along with Samuel Rollins in August 181 of Assault & Battery against John Davis, a Union Village Shaker.

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Western Star, December 12, 1907

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State of Ohio vs. Samuel Rollins & Richard McNemar, August 1818

You can read the article in its entirety over at Ohio Memory You can find the indexes for Warren County Records Center and Archives by visiting our Index Page.

Josiah Morrow (1838-1928) was a Warren County native and grandson to the famed Jeremiah Morrow. He took great pride in preserving the history of Warren County and wrote a weekly column in the Western Star from 1907-1928.


Naturalization Records…The Story of a Russian Immigrant

On October 26, 1907, Eli Rutmann disembarked the vessel “The Chemnitz” . Born in Streshen, Russia, October 16, 1881, this 26 year old shoemaker made his way from his home in Fedossia, Russia, travelling through Bremen, Germany, and arriving in the great port of Galveston, Texas.

Eli would eventually find his way to Ohio where he settled with his wife Goldie in Lebanon, Ohio. He and Goldie had a son named Max who was born in New Richmond on February 4, 1912. Renouncing all allegiance and fidelity to Russia, Eli became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America on August 2, 1917.

This is the short version of the story we could tell using Eli Rutman’s Naturalization Records that reside at Warren County Records Center and Archives. This particular record includes all of the above information along with a physical description of Eli, various addresses he lived at during the processing of his paperwork, and so much more.

We wanted to highlight this record because we are in the process of digitizing these records to pair with the online indexes we already have available on our website. Be sure to like and follow our Facebook Page for updates on our progress!

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#MorrowMonday – More About our Names

Today we will be continuing our monthly #MorrowMonday article.

The article we are featuring is dated October 21, 1909, it highlights the “origin and meaning of certain family names and why they were first used”. This article showcases Josiah’s love of history in all forms and facets. Many of the articles we have featured so far are focused on local and regional history but this article takes it farther in order to satisfy his many readers curiosity. 

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The Western Star, October 21, 1909

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The Western Star, October 21, 1909

You can read the article in its entirety over at Ohio Memory or you can read Henry Howe’s book in its entirety over at Archive.org .

Josiah Morrow (1838-1928) was a Warren County native and grandson to the famed Jeremiah Morrow. He took great pride in preserving the history of Warren County and wrote a weekly column in the Western Star from 1907-1928.


#MorrowMonday – Henry Howe, The Historian

Today we will be continuing our monthly #MorrowMonday article.

The article we are featuring is dated September 9, 1909, it highlights an early historic book about Ohio titled, “Historical Collections of Ohio” written by Henry Howe. This book had a huge impact on Josiah Morrow at an early age. The article provides some history on Henry Howe, how Henry became involved in these books, and the success of his book on Ohio. Here are some highlights from this article:

  • “When he was eleven years old Henry used to carry the proofs of the first edition of Webster’s Dictionary from his father’s printing office to Noah Webster’s home.”
  • Henry was impressed by the book “Historical Collections of Connecticut” by John W. Barber. “Seeing this new book about his native state Mr. Howe calls his “life-directing incident.””
  • “In the spring of 1840 the young man surprised Mr. Barber by proposing to join him in making a book on the state of New York on the same plan. His offer was accepted, and the two men traveled over the the whole of that great state.”
  • “Ohio was the fourth state over which Henry Howe traveled for the purpose of making a book upon it.”
  • “In Warren county he drew views in Lebanon and Franklin only.”
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Western Star, September 9, 1909

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Historical Collections of Ohio, Henry Howe

You can read the article in its entirety over at Ohio Memory or you can read Henry Howe’s book in its entirety over at Archive.org .

Josiah Morrow (1838-1928) was a Warren County native and grandson to the famed Jeremiah Morrow. He took great pride in preserving the history of Warren County and wrote a weekly column in the Western Star from 1907-1928.


What’s The Final Word…A Final Update from Brandon

As my internship comes to an end and I begin to reflect upon my time working in the archives, I can’t help but feel grateful for the experience. I had the chance to meet some very wonderful people during my time, in and out of the archives, who have given me a great deal of memories to cherish. During my internship, I worked with two other interns on a project that eventually led to the creation of our Memories of Mary Haven Exhibit that just recently opened in the main lobby of the Warren County Administration Building that illustrates the history of the Mary Haven Children’s Home. The time I spent with the other interns working on this project was a great experience and I always enjoyed having our weekly meetings to discuss what new information we had found pertaining to the Children’s Home. My favorite part of working on this project was reading through all of the old newspapers, such as the Lebanon Western Star. It was very interesting to see what journalism was like back in the day and life in general during the late 19th and into the early 20th centuries through reading the newspapers. It was a fun project and I learned a lot about the local history.

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The Mary Haven project that I assisted with, along with the other interns, wasn’t the only thing I worked on during my time in the archives. The majority of my time went into digitizing land deeds and military survey records. I have now come to realize the amount of time it takes to digitize some records depending on their condition and size. The record books I digitized would usually vary between five-hundred to seven-hundred pages in length. And at the end of my internship, I am finishing up digitizing my twenty-seventh record book.

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Other things I got the chance to do during my time as an intern was going to the Warren County Historical Society to look at a collection of letters that pertained to the Mary Haven Children’s Home, learning how to splice and examine microfilm, and learning how to conduct oral histories. My time at the Warren County Records Center and Archives was well spent and I will truly miss the wonderful people I have had the chance to work with.


What’s The Final Word…A Final Update from Dan

It’s a bit strange to sit here writing this blog post on the last day of my internship, if only for the fact that it feels like just yesterday that I was beginning it. In actuality it has been a full three months of work, but it hasn’t felt that long at all. During my time here I’ve gotten the chance to work on a number of interesting projects that encompass a wide range of topics and dates. As I write we are putting the finishing touches on our exhibit we have created about the Mary Haven Children’s Home, entitled “Memories of Mary Haven: Stories from the Warren County Children’s Home”. We began work on the project at the end of May, and since then it has gone from a collection of handwritten scribbles and jumbled assorted of Word documents containing vague ideas about our direction to a full-fledged exhibit that not only educates on the broader history of the building but also contains many assorted stories and tidbits from Mary Haven’s 100+ years of existence.

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In regards to my own work on the exhibit, outside of the general sense of satisfaction at the exhibit as a whole, I am most proud of the research I did on the superintendents and matrons who were in charge of running the home from its opening in 1874 until it became a county home for juvenile boys in 1977. Although it was a long and winding process I was able to fully link the two periods together and compile a complete and thorough list, through the use of records we held here, newspapers (both through the Western Star and Newspapers.com) online resources from the Warren County Genealogical Society, and (to fill in the last, more contemporary, few) a little boost from Ancestry. If you are reading this and have not seen the exhibit yet I urge to come and look at if you have the chance; it’s located in the lobby of the Warren County Administrative Building and it is a great showcase of an important institution in the county’s history (as well as of the hard work of everyone involved in creating the exhibit themselves).

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While the Mary Haven exhibit was certainly the most all-encompassing project I worked on these past few months it was not the only one. I spent quite a bit of time working with probate records concerning estates and wills, sorting them into proper order in the boxes they were contained in, removing any brads, staples, and other old fasteners attached to them, and then refiling them into new folders for easier access. Not only was this a great opportunity to work directly with older records (as most were from the 1870s through the late 1800s) but it also gave me a neat perspective into some of the little quirks and mindsets held by our forbearers in the past, whether it was the occasional doodle interspersed in the various documents and vouchers or the prices and items reflected in said vouchers. Fast-forwarding one hundred years, I also got to work with a number of photographic slides from the 1970s onward, which was a chance to continue to hone my skill at that work (since I had done so in a previous internship) as well as see what contemporary life was like in Warren County at that time. With that all said, although I am sad that my time at this internship is finally coming to an end, I am happy that I got the chance to experience it in the first place, and grateful to everyone at the records center who has helped me grow throughout.


What’s The Final Word…A Final Update from Abbey

As I finish my internship, there are many things that I am excited to have been able to be included in. The first is the Mary Haven Exhibit which opened August 23, 2019. The exhibit was an interesting experience, because it was just the interns working on all the research and the main content. We, of course, were able to ask questions and get edits from the experienced staff when we needed it. The exhibit covers more than just the basic building history of Mary Haven Children’s Home. It highlights interesting stories of the community, the children, and the staff. It displays a range of stories from abduction and runaways to aliens and Santa Claus. This exhibit was helpful for me because it gave me more of an inside look into the many steps there are in creating an exhibit. We had to come up with the theme, the layout, the articles, sources and everything needed to fill the case while highlighting the collection itself. I hope the exhibit is liked well enough by everyone else because I think we did a good job!

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Outside of the exhibit, I worked on some smaller projects like processing, oral histories, and analyzing a recently received collection. These smaller projects were a choice given to me by the staff. I could do them to gain more experience in all that is the archive or I could continue to work on the two big projects I was responsible for. Each small project was just as impactful as the large projects. I got more practice processing and using a different system. I got to remove staples, brads, and pins. I also updated a spreadsheet with the processing that I did.

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The large scanning project had the most impact on me. I had no idea how much went into digitizing a collection or even just a document. I only scanned and edited the documents and it took me the entire internship to get through six small “boxes” of material that was actually only two archival boxes. There is even more that needs to be done before the material is available to the public. As archives get more digital, this was a much needed project for me to work on and get to figure out how much really goes into transferring to digital from paper documents and records. I will definitely miss the people at Warren County Records Center and Archives, they were very welcoming and they made my long drive to my internship worthwhile.