Tag Archives: Warren County

Spanish Influenza as Reported in Warren County

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War II, it also marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Flu. There was a great article written by Megan Huang on National Archives: Pieces of History Blog regarding the specifics of the Spanish Flu, including just how deadly it was overall.

We are going to focus on the peak of the outbreak and present how it was reported in Warren County in The Western Star. While searching through the papers ranging from 1917-1919 the majority of the articles span from October 10, 1918, through November 7, 1918. The articles include an order from the Mayor of Lebanon closing all public gathering places at the height of the pandemic, obituaries of Warren County citizens, and advertisements from local businesses capitalizing on the flu. Many of the deaths reported in The Western Star followed along the trend of this flu, which targeted middle aged and healthy individuals.

The surprising factor of our research is that, despite the deadliness of the Spanish Flu, there just was not a lot of coverage. Even the short time that the flu was covered, the headlines were minimal and were primarily focused locally. This fact does not seem to be unique to Warren County, this seems to be the norm for many news outlets.

Western Star - October 10, 1918 - Spanish Flu - 1

The Western Star, October 10, 1918

Western Star - October 17, 1918 - Spanish Flu (1)

The Western Star, October 17, 1918

Western Star - October 17, 1918 - Spanish Flu (2)

The Western Star, October 17, 1918

Western Star - October 31, 1918 - Spanish Flu (1)

The Western Star, October 31, 1918

Western Star - October 31, 1918 - Spanish Flu (2) - 1

The Western Star, October 31, 1918

Western Star - October 31, 1918 - Spanish Flu (2) - 2

The Western Star, October 31, 1918

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The Western Star, October 31, 1918

Western Star - November 7, 1918 - Spanish Flu - 1

The Western Star, November 7, 1918

Western Star - November 7, 1918 - Spanish Flu - 2

The Western Star, November 7, 1918

Western Star - November 20, 1919 - Spanish Flu

The Western Star, November 20, 1919

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

Lauren's 1st Blog Pic

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


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


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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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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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.

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Clearcreek Township Map, Created in 1942 and approved in 1944

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Hamilton Township Map, Created in 1942 and approved in 1944