Category Archives: Uncategorized

Preservation vs. Conservation

These words are often used interchangeably. Here at the archives we use these two methods together to provide the best future for the records that we maintain. To preserve would be to keep the records in their current state and prevent them from further deterioration, which is the primary method of maintenance that we use. To conserve many of these items to their original state is unfortunately just not time conducive and it’s costly. Our department, along with other county departments have taken on some large scale preservation and conservation projects.

I wanted to provide you with examples of both so you can see how the two can be different.

Preservation Efforts to Protect Original Volumes

Here are examples of original volumes that we have that have had no preservation efforts vs. volumes that have had a cover applied to them. Unlike conserving a book and taking it back to its original form, the cover simply preserves the book so that no further harm comes to it.

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Conservation Efforts to Restore 1856 & 1867 Historic Warren County Maps

The Records Center received the two wall maps pictured below in deplorable condition. Had we tried to utilize them for any purpose we would only have done further damage. Due to their historic significance, it was important to hire a conservator to come in and try to restore the maps to their original condition (or as close as the damage would allow). Unfortunately we do not have any images of what they looked like prior to work being done, but we have been told that they were filthy, folded up, and falling apart in pieces. All of the work done on them meets archival standards, including the framing.

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1856 Warren County Wall map

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1867 Warren County Wall map

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pre·serve 1. maintain (something) in its original or existing state.

April 22nd – April 28th is National Preservation Week 2018! We obviously take preservation very serious as archivists, so this week we will be sharing some of the projects we have worked on or are working on. These projects reflect how our department helps to contribute to keeping past and future Warren County records around as long as possible. In addition we will have a special edition of our blog post Friday that will help you learn how to better preserve your personal records!

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It’s Records and Information Management Month!

Did you know that April is Records and Information Management (RIM) Month? Here in Warren County we promote proper records management all year long, not just in April. Now, if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what that means, don’t worry! You’re not alone.

RIM month was started nationally in 2002 to promote records management standards and best practices while also emphasizing the importance of organized information. The archives and preservation side of the Records Center is much more visual to the public, whereas records management is much more behind the scenes, but just as important! As the county records manager*, outside of managing the department, records and information management is a big part of my responsibilities.


Records storage temporary storage for records

 

We keep all kinds of records for county departments. A record is defined as any document, device, or item, regardless of its form, that serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of an office.  Each record is recognized on a retention schedule, commonly known as an RC-2. This schedule then determines how long a record should be kept depending on whether it has administrative, fiscal, legal or historical value.

The county follows a general retention schedule (GRS) and each department has their own RC-2. These are especially important because not every record should or needs to be kept long term. By staying current with departments’ retention schedules, we save valuable tax payer dollars through the proper destruction of records after they have hit their retention period. In turn this reduces operating expenses and cuts back on the cost of unnecessary storage of inactive records.


Certificate of Destruction for Sheriff’s Department Records in 2017

Once records are ready for destruction, a certificate of destruction (RC-3) or court order for disposal  is required to be submitted to the Records Center for most items. Once this happens, then proper destruction of records can happen, which we conduct onsite.  All of these steps are instrumental in order to keep the flow of records and information management moving.

 


Onsite Records Destruction in March 2018

 

*Guest blogger: County Records Manager, Jen Haney Conover


Justice for Father O’Donoghue

Today’s post is a teaser for a future “Based on a True Story” story. We recently had a patron in who is writing an article about a murder case from Morrow that took place in the 1880’s. He was trying to tie up loose ends on the story following his extensive research using newspapers and other outside sources, unfortunately their stories just weren’t adding up. What we would like to present to you today is a preview of the article that we will be sharing with you as it comes available. We rarely get the chance to share the research that our patrons have completed, so it’s a big deal to make sure we highlight all of his hard work!

Characters:

  • Timothy Greene: Railroad Worker & Murderer
  • Father J. B. O’Donoghue: Reverend of the Morrow Catholic Church & Victim
  • Mrs. Greene: Murder’s Wife & Victim

Synopsis:

When his wife is publicly shamed it pushes Timothy over the edge. In this thrilling story of a local railroad worker turned murderer we find out if there is any justice for Father O’Donoghue. This tale is full of intrigue, thievery, murder, and plot twists that will keep you wondering!

Release Date:

  • To Be Announced
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State Record, Volume 10, The State of Ohio vs. Timothy Greene

 

 


A Wickedly Kidnapping

Even the mention of the Ullery boys would generate distaste to the citizens of Warren County in the early 1800’s. This wicked and notorious band of brothers had a string of illegal gaming, horse racing rings, and illegal taverns scattered throughout the area, capitalizing on the locals’ need for entertainment and socializing. Some may have even referred to them as local “gangsters”. Beginning in 1816, the law had put together enough evidence to formally charge them with causing an affray. The local law were going out on a limb that this brief stint with the law would rid the community of their dastardly business. They were very wrong.

The Ullery boys continued to plague Warren County. Petty charges were brought against them over the next two decades, resulting with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. It wasn’t until the spring of 1836, that the law finally got them on something they couldn’t get out of. The youngest Ullery boy, Stephen, was desperate to prove himself to his older brothers and to bring in revenue to their illegal endeavors. He had spotted a young mulatto boy passing through the area and he hashed a plan of capturing him and returning him to his home state of Kentucky with the claim that he was a runaway slave. Little did Stephen know, the local law enforcement had been tipped off to his plan. On May 30, 1836, Stephen and two of his friends took Commodore by force and were able to transport him through Cincinnati across the Ohio River to Kentucky.

This is when their foiled plan came to an end. Instead of being greeted by a local slave catcher, Stephen was greeted by law enforcement. The trial of Stephen Ullery vs. The State of Ohio was wrapped up within a year where he was found guilty of “unlawfully and wickedly kidnapping Commodore Perry, a free mulatto person in the state of Ohio and attempting to extradite said Commodore to the state of Kentucky.” This was the end of the Ullery boys ring of crimes that spanned over 20 years within the county.

Unlike many individuals, Commodore Perry managed to escape the fate that many people did not. He is found in later census records as a Tin Laborer in Troy, Miami County, Ohio, and he even served in the Civil War.

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

 

 


Those Who Bootleg Together, Stay Together

Ever heard that age old saying “Those who bootleg together, stay together?” No? Okay we made up this saying,  but there have been a number of historic criminal couples whose stories have stood the test of time. Did you know Warren County has their own historic crime couple? The hard evidence we have for today’s short historical fiction story are the court documents, marriage license, and death records for Andrew Dudley and Rhoda Dudley (Lynch, Linch).

Andrew and Rhoda’s story begins in the progressive town of Harveysburg. These two love struck individuals were struggling to make ends meet. Andrew’s wife had died not long before he met Rhoda and he was desperate to find someone who could fill her shoes when their fateful relationship began. The two hashed out a masterful plan of how they could provide for themselves and Andrew’s family. Posing as a happily married couple, they began selling bootlegged liquor in their “house of public resort” that they smuggled in from contacts in their home state of Virginia.

Struggling to reach their target audience and a store room full of illegal alcohol, Andrew and Rhoda became desperate. This is when their criminal activity turned sloppy. The two were blinded by their ambition and began selling to minors and known alcoholics in the area. This is when their brief stint with the law began. The State of Ohio was able to put together a substantial list of clients in order to charge the two and ultimately their criminal activity came to an end.

Although Andrew and Rhoda didn’t make a life long career bootlegging and keeping a house of public resort, their story didn’t end there. They did go on to get married and raise a family together. They can be found in the 1880 census as married and living with their adult children, nieces and nephews, and even a grandson. The couple died in Harveysburg within a year and a half of each other, Andrew in October of 1889, and Rhoda in January of 1890.

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State of Ohio vs. Andrew Dudley & Rhoda Linch (Lynch) – November 15, 1866

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State of Ohio vs. Andrew Dudley & Rhoda Linch (Lynch) – November 15, 1866 (edited)

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Marriage Record – Andrew Dudley & Rhoda Lynch (Linch) – December 15, 1866

 


Murder & Mystery in a Small Town – “Based on a True Story”

Today’s “Based on a True Story” is one of intrigue, adventure, and the untimely demise of  a local celebrated Civil War hero. What we are presenting are images of county records regarding Captain William R. Hoel along with a short historical fiction story based on the events that led up to his death on May 23, 1879.

William Hoel had led an adventurous life prior to the inheritance of his father’s farm “Kildere”.  He began his career as a Steamboat Captain upon the Mississippi River and on October 19, 1861, William joined the Navy and was eventually promoted to Captain. Following the Civil War and his father’s death, Captain Hoel became a farmer in the quiet village of Waynesville Ohio. Here he fathered two children with his young and beautiful wife Elizabeth. This fairy tale of the celebrated war hero turned local socialite and doting husband and father was anything but. Captain Hoel put on a great face of enjoying his domestic and stationary life, but deep down he longed for the days where he was able to move about freely. This longing soon turned into anger and abuse towards his young wife. He blamed their supposed domestic bliss for his inability to live the life he truly dreamed of.

In the desperation to rid herself of her abusive husband, Elizabeth hashed out a plan with her close friend and confidant Dr. J.B. Hough. The local doctor was well known in the community and it wasn’t uncommon for him to visit the farm and attend to the hired help. Knowing Hoel’s rage and jealousy over his young and beautiful wife, she and the doctor planned a meeting and let slip to the hired help of their plans. Upon hearing this Captain Hoel hashed his own plan to interrupt their tryst with his pistol. What he didn’t know is that the intentions of Elizabeth and Doctor Hough were anything but romantic; they were prepared for his assault upon finding them together on that fateful day.

The story goes that Captain Hoel surprised the lovers and during a scuffle with the Doctor, Hoel was accidentally shot with his own pistol. There was a makeshift investigation where Elizabeth and Dr. Hough’s stories stayed consistent. No one truly knows what went down that fateful day, all that is known is Elizabeth spent her remaining days raising her two children on Kildere Farm in peace and quiet.

Be sure to tune in next week and find out what new “Based on a True Story” we come up with!

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Initial Verdict – Clerk of Courts – Coroner’s Inquests, Box 1 Folder 1 – In this record, the acting Coroner (Justice of the Peace, William Mannington) determines the cause of death was “a pistol ball fired from a pistol (in whose hands said pistol was I am unable to say)”

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Witness Testimony – Clerk of Courts – Coroner’s Inquests, Box 1 Folder 1 – In this testimony the witness claims to have seen Mrs. Hoel and Dr. Hough embracing and kissing, which led Captain Hoel to unlock the parlor door and storm in on the two

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Captain William Hoel’s Last Will & Testament – Volume 21 Page 221

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Captain William Hoel’s Last Will & Testament – Volume 21 Page 222


Historical Fiction: Based on a True Story

Historical Fiction has played a major roll in all modern cultures. People are fascinated with retelling stories that feature characters from history or recreating “the better times” by entering fictional characters into historically accurate events. The genres of entertainment that this topic covers includes movies, plays, books, music, and operas to name a few. We also like to refer to these as the “Based on a True Story” fictions. Examples of these in modern day would be series or movies such as The Crown, The Greatest Showman, and Braveheart to name a few.

What we would like to do is take some key characters and settings from the Warren County Records Center & Archives material and come up with our own historical fiction short stories. This series will debut on Monday and a new story will be featured each Monday in March of 2018. We encourage you to follow along with various characters, situations, and landscapes from our very own history!

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Who Wore It Better?

The legacy left by President Abraham Lincoln has inspired generations since his assassination on April 15, 1865. Today we are focusing on one in particular, his beard.

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Image of Abraham Lincoln courtesy of Library of Congress, Image of Professor Alfred Holbrook, donated by Jeanne Longmuir

While visiting a group of first graders in December I shared some photographs donated to the Records Center from the National Normal University. We were discussing the changes over time of people’s needs vs. wants and how style has changed over time. These inquisitive young minds were quick to point out that Professor Alfred Holbrook (President of NNU from 1855-1897) resembled President Lincoln, and they are right.

The story behind his beard was that 11 year old Grace Bedell wrote to the Presidential candidate encouraging him to grow a beard because it would help fill out his very thin face. The history behind men’s facial hair is as long as it is fascinating and this story just adds to the interest of how one mans choice can influence a generation. The image of Holbrook dates long after President Lincolns death and it must be noted that the students at the National Normal University do not share this facial hair style with their elder counterpart. So although the trend had moved on, those who lived during Lincoln’s Presidency kept this trend alive.

For further reading check out the following links:

Library of Congress

Lincoln: A Beard Is Born


The Elusive House History

As the keeper of the historic Warren County Records, we get a lot of requests for the history on houses, properties, and previous property owners. Through our time spent with these records over the years we have found that this is no easy feat. We find ourselves wishing there was a database that existed where we could just type in the address and receive the information. Unfortunately this is not the case so we thought we would give you a glimpse into our best process in which to narrow down a date for your old house at a county archives.

The best first step is to check with any existing online databases within your county. It’s a far reach that if your house was built in the 19th century that the information will exist, but it’s worth a shot. In addition you can always google your address and see what pops up.

There are two best second steps to determine who owned the property before you. Sometimes if your county has old maps and you can narrow down where your property is on those maps, you can see who owned the property in that year. Many times these maps will also indicate whether there was a structure on the property. If this effort is fruitless you can contact whichever county department that keeps the historic deeds. For example in Warren County the historic deeds are kept in our Recorder’s Office. Have as much information ready when starting your search, such as: parcel id, your date of purchase, current property owner, and address.

Once you have determined who previously owned the property, the third step can be to research through the historic tax duplicates. In the case of Warren County, these are available through the Records Center and Archives. Our tax duplicates are organized by year, township, and property owner. By researching previously paid taxes, you can narrow the information down to when the property owner paid taxes on land and when taxes increased indicating a structure being built on the property.

Included below is a link from The National Trust for Historic Preservation titled “10 Ways to Research you Home’s History.” This list is a great way to aid your search outside of official county records.

10 Ways to Research Your Home’s History – National Trust for Historic Preservation

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Image The Centennial Atlas, 1903