Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

Jan 18

Ernest Sidenstick: A Long Life Despite Early Illness by Amy Brickey

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 5:09 PM by Melissa Dalton

Some might think that combing through old probate records might be somewhat boring. However, all these records have stories to tell if one digs deep enough. While processing juvenile court cases from the early 1900s, one such story began to weave its tale. A yellowing postcard photo of a young man named Ernest Sidenstick, taken in 1916, was nestled between various court documents (Fig 1). The front features a picture of a very dapper looking Sidenstick while the back notes that the picture was taken Saturday, February 5, 1916 (Fig 2).

Picture postcard of Ernest Sidenstick from 1916 (front)
Fig 1. Photo postcard of Ernest Sidenstick. Text reads: "Parents live on Dayton Street in Yellow Springs 2" [2nd] house on right side as you go from Byron into Y.S. His father works for Drake at lumber yard." (Greene County Archives)

Back of picture postcard of Ernest Sidenstick from 1916
Fig 2. Top reads: "Call Charles Watts over Bell phone from YS. 4232 Xenia Ohio R.R. #3" (Greene County Archives)

Ernest Sidenstick was born on June 8, 1895 to Jacob Sidenstick and Emma Rebecca Sidenstick (née Winget). He was a Yellow Springs native and lifelong resident of his boyhood home at 545 Dayton Street. Although the picture shows a seemingly healthy and strapping young man, his early adult years were plagued with sickness. According to Sidenstick’s World War I draft card from 1917, he claimed exemption due to having an operation (Fig 3).
WWI draft card for Ernest Sidenstick, June 5, 1917
WWI draft card for Ernest Sidenstick, June 5, 1917 (side 2)
Fig 3. World War I draft card for Ernest Sidenstick, June 5, 1917. (Fold3 by

In February of 1918 the Xenia Daily Gazette reported that men were being called in for military examinations. Sidenstick was listed as one of the men being called, but doctor’s notes from March and April of that same year from Dr. F.C. Adams and Dr. L.L. Taylor, both practicing in Yellow Springs, indicate that Sidenstick was suffering from German measles, commonly known as rubella (Figs 4 & 5).

Doctor's note from Dr. F.C. Adams certifying illness of Sidenstick, March 15, 1918
Fig 4. Doctor's note from Dr. F.C. Adams. Note reads: "March 15-1918. This is to certify that Ernest Sidenstick has been under my care with measles [and] complications since Feb 20-1918. Resply [Respectfully] Dr. F.C. Adams” (Greene County Archives)

Doctor's note from Dr. L.L. Taylor confirming illness of Sidenstick, April 20, 1918
Fig 5. Doctor's note from Dr. L.L. Taylor. Note reads: "April 20-1918. To whom it may concern - This is to state that Mr. Ernest Sidenstick was confined to his bed and room from Apr 17 to Apr 20- by reason of German measles. L.L. Taylor, M.D." (Greene County Archives)

By August Sidenstick had been admitted to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton for intestinal trouble. An article from the Evening Gazette revealed that he had an operation for appendicitis two years prior (1916), but was now “getting along nicely” (Fig 6). He was not well for long, though, and was back in the hospital in 1920, this time in Springfield, Ohio.

The Evening Gazette, Wednesday, August 14, 1918
Fig 6. The Evening Gazette, Wednesday, August 14, 1918. (

Xenia Evening Gazette, March 22, 1920
Fig 7. Xenia Evening Gazette, March 22, 1920. (

After his stay at the Springfield City Hospital, Sidenstick seemed to be on the mend and did not appear in the papers again until 1967. The Xenia Daily Gazette reported a crash between six cars and two drivers, one of whom was Sidenstick. He was not at fault and uninjured in the accident, but the article stated that his car received $500 in damages. Despite this accident and a variety of health problems in his early adulthood, Ernest Sidenstick lived a long life, passing away February 13, 1985 at 90 years old. Forever a Yellow Springs resident, he now lies at rest in Glen Forest Cemetery (Fig 8).

Ernest Sidenstick Headstone
Fig 8. Ernest Sidenstick headstone (

Sources cited:
Greene County Archives.
The Evening Gazette,
Xenia Evening Gazette,
Fold3 by

Jan 10

H.H. Eavey and Eavey & Co., Part IV: The Eavey Building

Posted on January 10, 2018 at 2:38 PM by Melissa Dalton

H. H. Eavey’s death did not deter the family from continuing on with the wholesale grocery business (Figure 1).

1919 Sanborn Map of Xenia, Ohio (Eavey Building outlined in red)
Figure 1: 1919 Sanborn Insurance Map - Eavey Building outlined in red (OPLIN)

The business saw continued growth, and sometime between 1918 and 1935, the company joined with the Independent Grocers’ Alliance (I.G.A.). In 1935, an annex was added to the building to accommodate for cold storage, which included the addition of a basement and three stories. The basement and first two stories were constructed of cement and brick, while the third story was composed of structural steel and brick. The new space added roughly 38,000 square feet to the already massive building (Figure 2).

January 31, 1935 Xenia Daily Gazette article on Eavey building expansion
Figure 2: January 31, 1935 Xenia Daily Gazette article on Refrigeration Addition to Eavey Building (

After the addition was complete, The Eavey Company hosted more than 1,200 representatives from 300 – 400 retail I.G.A. stores from the Ohio and Indiana region for a meeting (Figure 3), and to highlight the new space.

April 12, 1935 Xenia Daily Gazette article on hosting IGA meeting
Figure 3: April 12, 1935 Xenia Daily Gazette article on Eavey Co. hosting I.G.A. representatives (

The Eavey Company continued as a family business, with the grandchildren of H. H. Eavey succeeding in running the company. The last president of the company was John G. “Jack” Eavey, son of H. E. Eavey. Jack believed the space on Detroit and Third was no longer able to accommodate their needs, so around 1959, he decided to build a new facility on Bellbrook Avenue. According to various newspaper articles, the company faced financial strain after the construction of the new facility, and in 1961, The Eavey Company merged with Super Valu Stores, Inc., marking the end of an era (Figure 4).

Deed 331 p 480Deed 331 p 481Deed 331 p 482Deed 331 p 483
Figure 4: Deed transferring property from The Eavey Company to Super Valu Stores, Inc. (Greene County Archives)

The building on the corner of S. Detroit Street and W. Third Street sat empty for many years, with some small businesses occupying the space here and there. However, nothing lasted and the building fell into disrepair. The building went to auction in May 2016 and sold to The Eavey Exchange, LLC. for $65,700. The new owners are in the process of obtaining investors with the hopes of breathing life and vitality back into the historic building in downtown Xenia. We were lucky enough to be invited on a tour of the building in December, and to see the potential the building holds. We took many pictures and they are posted on our Facebook page, so click here to view!

This is where our journey ends, for now. As the process and work continues to bring the Eavey building back to its hay day, we will be sure to update along the way! We hope you have enjoyed learning about the Eavey family and their wholesale grocery business.

Until Next Time…

Greene County Archives (various collections)
Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN)
Xenia Daily Gazette, (various dates)

Jan 05

H. H. Eavey and Eavey & Co., Part III: The Death of H. H. Eavey

Posted on January 5, 2018 at 2:48 PM by Melissa Dalton

H. H. Eavey was a prominent man in Xenia during his lifetime. Not only did he establish and own a successful wholesale grocery business, but it was because of its success that the business grew, with several other stores opening in Ohio, and one even in Indiana. Although not all the businesses lasted, according to an article from the February 11, 1908 Xenia Daily Gazette, Eavey & Co. was doing “more than half a million dollar business annually”. Additionally, the family owned three businesses, Eavey & Co., Huntington Grocery Co., and A. H. Perfect & Co., and these three businesses had a capital of over $125,000, and were doing business of over $1.5 million annually. Eavey and his sons, along with several others, also opened a canning/packing factory on Washington Street in Xenia called Eavey Packing Co. (Figure 1).

1905 Partnership Certificate for Eavey Packing Co., pg 11905 Partnership Certificate for Eavey Packing Co., pg 2
Figure 1: 1905 Certificate of Partnership for the Eavey Packing Co. (Greene County Archives)

H. H. Eavey was very active in the community as well and invested much of his time to various boards and committees. In 1865, H. H. Eavey, along with J. D. Edwards and W. R. McGervey, incorporated the Citizens’ National Bank in Xenia. Eavey held the post of vice president for ten years and in 1897, was elected president – a post he held until his death nearly 22 years later (Figures 2 & 3).

July 31, 1896 Xenia Daily Gazette advertisement for Citizens' National Bank
Figure 2: Xenia Daily Gazette, July 31, 1896 article advertising Citizens' National Bank (

June 1, 1914 Xenia Daily Gazette article for Citizens' National Bank
Figure 3: Xenia Daily Gazette, June 1, 1914 article of deposit at Citizens' National Bank in new location (

H. H. Eavey also saw the value of education and decided to run for the Xenia school board. In 1880, Eavey was elected to the school board, serving as both Treasurer and President throughout his tenure (Figure 4). Eavey also served on the Woodland Cemetery board, was an elder of the Reformed Church, a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (see Figure 5), as well as a member of the local Free and Accepted Masons.

March 14, 1883 Xenia Daily Gazette - H. H. Eavey for School Director
Figure 4: Xenia Daily Gazette, March 14, 1883 – Eavey candidate for reelection as School Director of the School Board (

April 9, 1897 Xenia Daily Gazette - H. H. Eavey addresses G.A.R. Post
Figure 5: Xenia Daily Gazette, April 9, 1897 – Eavey addresses G. A. R. Post (

Sometime in the 1910s, H. H. Eavey’s health began to fail and he became very ill. According to his obituary, his wife and daughter were “self-sacrificing” caregivers throughout the duration of his illness. On April 18, 1918, Henry H. Eavey died at the age of 77, with the cause of death listed as posterior spinal sclerosis (Figure 6). Eavey’s will shows that he left his vast wealth, property, and shares in the family businesses, including Eavey & Co., to his wife and children (Figure 7). Eavey made it clear that all his personal property, including the house, furnishings, vehicles, horses, and stable were left to his wife, and if his children decided to live there with her, they were required to pay their fair share of the upkeep of the property. The excerpt below illustrates his desire that his shares in Eavey & Co. be divided fairly, and in accordance with his will, to his children.

H. H. Eavey death certificate dated April 18, 1918
Figure 6: Death Certificate of H. H. Eavey (

Excerpt of H. H. Eavey Will
Figure 7: Excerpt of Last Will & Testament of H. H. Eavey (Greene County Archives)

After Eavey’s death, his children continued on with the family business, operating as wholesale grocers until the late 1950s… but more of that will be discussed next week in our final installment of our Eavey journey. Next week we will look at the evolution of the Eavey building after the death of H. H. Eavey, and what the future may hold for the building that once housed Eavey & Co.

Until Next Time…

Broadstone, M. A. (1918). History of Greene County Ohio: Its People, Industries and Institutions. Indianapolis: B.F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Greene County Archives (various collections)
Xenia Daily Gazette, (various dates)