Tag Archives: Ohio

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

 

 

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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…

Capture…

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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”

Sentencing…

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

Prison…

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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

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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!

 

 


Guest Blogger Series: Words From Our Intern, Lauren – Post 1

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Since starting my internship at the Warren County Records Center and Archives early May, I have already been involved in a few projects. I have alphabetically organized over seventy boxes from Child’s Services with the other intern, Autumn; cleaned documents and placed them into folders; read through various ledgers and documents from the early 1800s and mid-1900s; indexed information from the ledgers (one of which is the Black and Mulatto Record Book that is now online); also researching and looking through microfilm reels of the Western Star while preparing for two upcoming exhibits. Yet, I know this is just the beginning of what it means to work in an archive.

This internship is not my first experience in an archive. I have also worked at Wright State University’s Special Collection and Archives, back in 2016. Having completed my first year in the Public History program at Wright State, I already had an idea of what skills I would need to be an effective archival intern. Getting to apply those skills at the Warren County Records Center and Archives has been a completely amazing experience! It is a very humbling experience to work with such important documents, such as the Black and Mulatto Records Book. This is because I am learning about people who lived in a very different world than what we live in today.

Also, we are currently researching the Board of Elections and Foster, Ohio for upcoming display cases. I have lived in Greene County all my life and have never heard of Foster, Ohio. Learning about the history of that town from its beginning as Foster’s Crossing in the 1800s to what it is today, even actually taking a field trip there, is incredible. Foster is not a place that, with a simple Google search, people can learn everything about. Therefore, after looking through old newspapers, like the Western Star, and finding something fascinating about Foster’s history is a very rewarding feeling and I am so excited for this exhibit!

I am very thrilled to have my internship here and I cannot wait to see what else I will be able to work on and where this experience takes me in the future!

*Guest blogger: Archival Intern, Lauren Lyon


#ThankfulThursday at the Archives

Today is #thankfulthursday at the Warren County Records Center and Archives.
 
We are thankful today for having our Common Pleas Record of Black and Mulatto Persons (1804-1840) index and images available to researchers online and House Bill 139 passed the house!
 
Recently the Warren County Historical Society was kind enough to loan us the original Common Pleas Record of Black & Mulatto Persons book to scan. Because Ohio was never a slave holding state, freed people of color were required to register, which is the origin of this book. Their registration would have been of extreme importance due to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 and 1850. We want to make researching these historic, and often difficult to find, records as easy as possible. Please go over and check out the index and images, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us directly.
 
 
House Bill 139 will help our Archives and other county Archives to make historic records available to the public, whereas now they are closed. For more reading be sure to go over and check out The Ohio Legislature website for the most recent version as passed by the house.
 

Unsolved Mysteries from the Archives

While processing miscellaneous Clerk of Court State cases, our Archives Technician Tori Roberts came across these beautiful house drawings. We wanted to see if we could locate this house within Warren County, so we put the information out to our Facebook page to see if the community might know. Unfortunately no one recognized the house but we did get some great feedback about where to share the image and a suggestion about the fact that the house may have never been built!

Upon further review of the case of Hartman vs. Lindsay we determined that Charles Hartman was contracted to perform work to the foundation and cistern on the property to be paid by the architect Joseph R. Lindsay. There  was a dispute of whether the work was completed and money still owed to the plaintiff. Unfortunately the case went on for almost 2 years and there is no mention of the property address or owner. We are looking for any clues or suggestions for where this house could have been. The case dates from November 1910 through 1912.

 


Broken Down: Our Biggest Preservation Project

Continuing our discussion of preservation during Preservation Week 2018, we would like to highlight the biggest preservation project we’ve taken on to date, our Estate Records. This is an ongoing project that includes multiple step rehousing, removing materials that will further deteriorate the records, and finally scanning what we can so that we no longer have to physically access the oldest records.

What we’ve done is broken down each step in the images below:

Step #1 – Rehouse the files from wooden shelving units to cardboard boxes. This step was done years ago. It is always best to store like items together, so moving paper records from lacquered wood boxes was the first step of preserving them in their current condition.

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Step #2 – Refile the records from their original accordion style non archival quality folder to new flat archival quality folders. This doesn’t seem like it would make much of a difference but the ideal way to store paper is flattened and in paper based folders that are designed to absorb some of the acidity of the paper to keep it from deteriorating further. While we are transitioning the documents we are also flattening them as best we can, we let time and the environment they are stored in do the rest.

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Step #3 – Digitize as many of these records and make them available to search online. This is the final and most time intensive step in the process because of the fragility of the records and we don’t want to expose them to more light than necessary. This step helps people who are unable to visit the archives access these historic records and if they are needing copies of the record all we have to do is hit print, as opposed to copying it and exposing it to light multiple times.

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I refer to this as the largest project based on the sheer volume of records we have. We are duplicating these efforts for many of the other records we house including our historic court records and smaller collections within each county department.

If you would like to view the digitized images we have uploaded thus far, go over and check out our website. We will be uploading additional images as they become available, so if there is a record you would like to view and there are no images please contact us direct. Warren County Old Common Pleas Estate Packets Index

 

 


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


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