Teaching With Township Maps

Recently we pointed out a large map cabinet that is located in our reading room. (If you haven’t seen it, be sure to go over and check it out on our Facebook page using this link: Warren County Records Center and Archives FB ) The outside is unassuming and seemingly just another piece of office storage. Contained inside though is a vast collection of the history of Warren County. One of our greatest reference tools for helping patrons and genealogists are the maps contained within our Records Center and Archives reading room.

One of our favorite uses of these township maps is to teach young students how to trace their local history by utilizing the information contained within the maps. We have been able to help these students create a real connection between where their schools and neighborhoods are to what was once there. What they have found are vast changes in the types of jobs that Warren County residents may have had, whether they lived in neighborhoods like we do today, changes in transportation within the county, and how the landscape has changed drastically in just a few short decades.

Creating this connection for patrons and students is always a joy to watch because it provides an understanding of how Warren County became what it is today. These maps also provide a quick reference point for old land records. We have helped people who were looking for old family plots of land or performing house histories to determine where and who owned the land! The maps included in our map cabinet date back to the early 1900’s and include township maps, Ohio railroad maps, cemetery maps, and even some county blue prints.


Clearcreek Township Map, Created in 1942 and approved in 1944


Hamilton Township Map, Created in 1942 and approved in 1944


Moldy #TBT

Today’s #TBT goes back to last Friday. Archivists Jen Haney and Jenifer Baker took a peek at the moldy materials that were pulled out of Warren County’s 1916 Infirmary Time Capsule in September.
These materials have been sitting in the Records Center’s climate controlled storage room for the past 4 months in hopes that they would dry out enough to salvage. Unfortunately upon inspection our archivists found that the photographs had not improved at all and had in fact grown more mold.
Our archivists were able to digitize each item front and back so that we have a recorded copy of each item extracted from the historic time capsule. While we were able to digitize these photographs it was with heavy hearts and much deliberation, in order to avoid the cross contamination of the County records, and due to the fact that the mold had eaten away at the once valuable images the decision was made to dispose of the moldy materials. Fortunately we were able to preserve the letter that we received from Leah Jones, who lived at the Infirmary with her parents at the time of the fire. We have included some of the documented images below. Please feel free to contact the Records Center and Archives direct to see the complete selection of documented images. 

Progressive Prohibition

Warren County went through many phases when it came to the prohibition of alcohol. In today’s exhibit preview we highlight the progressive view that Warren County had on outlawing alcohol. During the election season of 1908, the “Drys” launched a fierce campaign against the “Wets” of numerous Ohio counties. Headlines such as “Warren County Must Go Dry,” adorned the local newspapers and claims “To campaign against Warren County Saloons is glorious”. 
In looking at the article that was published shortly after the victory of 1908, against the “Wets” the Western Star tallied the votes for and against Prohibition within the county by Township. It appears even though the language used to describe the outcome of the election, the results were very close with the “Drys” winning by only 130 votes out of a total of 6,386 cast.
One of the most interesting items included in this portion of the exhibit is a very early court case, The State of Ohio vs. Ben Wallace. Mr. Wallace was “Indicted For Drinking Whiskey on a Car Propelled by Electricity” on April 7, 1913. If you look closely it claims that he was drinking said whiskey in a car that was not in a dining, cafe, or other car with buffet or cafe attachment. In our next installment of Prohibition: Gambling, Bootlegging, and Propaganda in Warren County, we will find that the victory of the “Drys” vs. “Wets” was short lived.


Based on a True Story…Bandit Killed in Franklin Bank Robbery

Have you ever wondered where the ideas for those “based on a true story” movies come from? Our Archives Technician, Tori Roberts, has been processing Coroner’s Inquests that date back to 1873 and during this project she has come across some interesting cases ranging from bizarre accidents to infamous murders from all over Warren County.

Today’s “based on a true story” movie includes a bank robbery, police pursuit, kidnapping, a shoot out, and escape! Continuing on with our celebration of William C. Schenck’s 244th birthday and his accomplishment of founding Franklin, Ohio, we are highlighting a bank robbery that occurred in Franklin. The Coroner’s Inquest found included information on a victim listed as Tony Ziano, alias Thomas Lee. The summary of his death was “by violence, being shot four times, the bullet which caused his death being thru the head from the right temple to the left.”

This information of course peeked our interest and upon further investigation it was discovered that Tony was part of a trio who robbed the Franklin National Bank on December 5, 1935. It appears that following the robbery the three bandits exchanged fire with a Marshall, which led to the death of Tony and the non-fatal injury of the Marshall. The other two bandits managed to escape this exchange in a stolen vehicle where the owner and her sister were tied up in the car! According to articles in The Western Star the body of Tony Ziano had not been claimed following his death and the trail of the escaped bandit’s went cold after they escaped north past Columbus.


Coroner’s Inquest, December 5, 1935


Western Star Headline, December 5, 1935


Western Star Article, December 5, 1935


Western Star Article, December 16, 1935

Franklin Birthday, Plat Maps, and Transportation Expansion

“The town of Franklin was laid out in the year 1796 by W.C. Schenck and D.C. Cooper as they thought…” – Recorded 12th August 1802

Continuing our celebration of William C. Schenck’s 244th birthday we would like to highlight some plat maps that we have here in the archives. The first of the two plat maps is dated 1802, originally platted in 1796. The second plat map we have is dated 1877, and proposes new corporation limits that will expand on the town.

In the less than 100 years between these maps there are significant differences in the layout of the town. William C. Schenck was a huge proponent of the Miami Erie canal prior to his death in 1821. As you can see the canal in 1877, cuts directly through the center of town. This advancement in transportation through the city led to the growth of Franklin and very likely led to the expansion proposed in the 1877 Plat Map. Another big change is the suspension bridge that crosses the Great Miami River. One change is that is not as obvious are the modifications to the river itself, in the 1877 plat map there is an addition of a hydraulic basin and hydraulic race.


Transcription of Original Franklin Plat Map, Recorder’s Deed Book dated 1802


Franklin Plat Map, Proposed expansion of corporation limits dated 1877


Transcription of Original Franklin Plat Map, Recorder’s Deed Book dated 1802


Franklin Plat Map, Proposed expansion of corporation limits dated 1877


“I Consent.” Invaluable Historical Records

The Warren County Records Center and archives receives a number of research requests each year. One of our favorites to handle are the marriage consents. These consents accompany our marriage record and marriage license issued records and date back to 1803.

Generally the requests that we receive regarding these relatively unknown records come from genealogists or people conducting their own family history. Early in the 1800’s the information included in a typical marriage record was: Groom’s name, Bride’s name, Date of marriage, County Clerk who issued paperwork, and sometimes the officiant name. For those people who are trying to trace their lineage back through earlier generations it is extremely inconvenient when there are no birthdays or parent’s names included in the paperwork. The reason the consents are so valuable and cool is because if someone were underage at the time of their marriage, their parent or parents would have to sign over their consent for the marriage to take place. With this additional information, researchers have been able to find family information that might forever be lost otherwise.


Marriage Consent, August 25, 1803


Marriage Consent, August 25, 1803


Marriage Consent, October 22, 1816


Marriage Consent, October 22, 1816

Vote Counting Controversy…

As we have seen in the past, the election results are not always as cut and dry as they seem. This Court of Common Pleas case “Conrod Snyder vs. John Hopkins,” following the election of Sheriff in 1823 is the perfect example!

The declared winner for Warren County Sheriff was John Hopkins, which would be the 4th year in a row in which he served as Sheriff. Prior to Mr. Hopkins, Conrod Snyder had held the position from 1817-1820. These two men, along with Allen Wright, were on the ballot of 1823.

Following the election, Mr. Snyder claimed that he was the rightful winner and accused the Clerk of Common Pleas Court along with two Associate Judges of counting the votes without waiting for the required amount of days to pass. The Clerk along with the Judges counted the votes four days after the election as opposed to the required six days. As a result they had failed to receive the poll books for Franklin Township.

As we can see from the images below, Mr. Snyder was the clear winner over Mr. Hopkins. Following the controversy, Mr. Hopkins submitted his resignation as Sheriff of Warren County. Conrod Snyder would serve just this one additional year, John Hopkins was elected to the post of Sheriff the following election season.


Conrod Snyder vs. John Hopkins


Conrod Snyder vs. John Hopkins

German Speaking Citizens and Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

In celebration of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati beginning today, we have shared one of our records that references the German population in Warren County.
Ohio experienced large migrations of German immigrants and German descendents from its infancy in the early 1800’s. Many of these German citizens came to the state from Pennsylvania. By 1860, there were 328,249 German immigrants living in Ohio. This number increased significantly by 1900, to 458,734. During the early migration the General Assembly of Ohio established a resolution to distribute German Laws in German for all of those living within the different counties who could not read English. For Warren County there were 20 copies sent and all 20 were distributed amongst the varying townships.


This entry from the Warren County Commissioners Journal, dated June 6 1832, details the approximate households within the county of those citizens who could only speak German.
“The County Commissioners being by resolution of the General assembly of Ohio requested to distribute the German laws among the inhabitants of the several counties and twenty copies being forwarded to the county of Warren the Commissioners thereof direct that the said twenty copies be distributed as follows
To Clearcreek Township 4 Vols
Franklin 4
Deerfield 2
Union 1
Turtlecreek 2 Del’d to James Cowan one of the townships trustees August 17th, 1832
Wayne 1 Forwarded by Noah Haines to township Clk August 17th, 1832
Salem 2
Hamilton 3
Washington 1
And direct the Auditor to forward the same to the Trustees of the several Townships to be by them handed to such of the German inhabitants (if any there be) as can read German and not english”
Fun facts about Oktoberfest Zinzinnati:
~First held in 1976
~Largest Oktoberfest held within America, more than 500,000 people attending annually
~Held in September, according to its origins as a wedding celebration  of Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen (1810)
~The event is kicked off with a “Running of the Weiners” race where dachshunds are dressed in bun costumes
For more information make sure to check out:

Fascinating Finds in the Archives

To coincide with our “I Found it in the Archives” contest, we have included some of the coolest items we have within our archives. The Federal Land Office in Cincinnati distributed certificates to those citizens who purchased federal lands recently acquired from the Northwest Territory and the Northwest Ordinance. These records are fascinating because they contain some notable signatures including President Thomas Jefferson, President James Madison, and first Governor of Ohio Edward Tiffin. Another fascinating fact is that one of these certificates was issued to General William C. Schenck, the founder of Franklin, Ohio.

(For more information regarding our “I Found it in the Archives” contest, please check out our facebook page: Warren County Records Center & Archives Facebook)

Presidential Files -0006

Certificate of the Register of the Land-Office at Cincinnati, Daniel Antrum, signed by President Thomas Jefferson, October 23rd 1806

Presidential Files -0004

Certificate of the Register of the Land-Office at Cincinnati, Colbert Watson, signed by President James Madison & Governor Edward Tiffin, July 12th 1813

Presidential Files -0002

Certificate of the Register of the Land-Office at Cincinnati, General William C. Schenck, signed by President James Madison & Governor Edward Tiffin, August 20th 1812

History and Primary Documents in the Classroom: Our Experience with Educational Outreach

Educational Outreach success! We would like to thank all of the teachers from the 2015-2016 school year who invited us into their classroom and gave us the chance to interact with their students. There is no greater success than knowing you are reaching out to younger generations to share your passion for history and for these primary documents. It was incredibly rewarding to see and hear their reactions to the content provided and to answer the many questions they formed around these historically rich documents.

During the summer of 2015, our intern Shelby Dixon established our Educational Outreach program. In the process of creating lesson plans and activities, that are free and accessible to teachers, she also reached out to a number of teachers in regards to in-class visits. Our first brave soul Emily Roewer requested that we come to her 3rd grade social studies class to help them out with their local history. This visit was so great! We were able to tailor Emily’s requests as far as the materials we brought for her students which included: large aerial photographs, maps dating 1875-2004, and estate packets for important local figures.

Once we got our feet wet with this first visit other teachers quickly came on board and we ended up visiting with 2nd, 4th, and 6th graders. This being our first year with the program we appreciate all of  the teachers and schools who provided us with this invaluable learning experience. We look forward to revisiting many of these schools and improving the curriculum provided for the students.

Please stay tuned for new lesson plans this summer and feel free to reach out to us if you are interested in having us become a part of your classroom. Have a great summer!