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.

Dec 07

When an Interesting Find Turns into an Interesting Story...

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 2:55 PM by Melissa Dalton

One of our volunteers, Kathy, found this inventory list in the Estate file of Roy C. Hayward (Fig 1). If you notice, it lists quite the collection of cigars, as well as some candy, drinks, and furniture items. We assumed this man owned a cigar store at the time of his death, so we decided to dig a little deeper… and weren’t we glad we did! Mr. Hayward was quite an interesting man.

Fig 1. Inventory from Roy C. Hayward Estate, Box 605, Case 1364 (JPG)
Fig 1. Inventory from Roy C. Hayward Estate, Box 605, Case 1364 (JPG) Fig 1. Inventory from Roy C. Hayward Estate, Box 605, Case 1364 (JPG)Fig 1. Inventory from Roy C. Hayward Estate, Box 605, Case 1364 (JPG)
Fig 1. Inventory in Estate file of Roy C. Hayward (Greene County Archives)

Roy Coffin Hayward was born on October 27, 1881 to Charles and Cora Hayward of Springfield, Ohio. Roy spent his early years in his maternal grandparents’ home in Springfield, but went to high school in Columbus. After attending some business college, Hayward returned to Springfield and took up a job as a motorman with the Springfield & Dayton Traction Railway. Hayward spent four years in this position, then got a job as a clerk at Frazer shoe store in Xenia (Figs 2 & 3). It was sometime after his move to Xenia that Hayward met Harriet “Hattie” P. Conklin, daughter of Henry and Mary Conklin. On October 16, 1906, Roy and Harriet married.

Fig 2. 1910 U.S. Census with Hayward family outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 2. 1910 U.S. Census with Hayward family outlined in red (FamilySearch.org)

Fig 3. 1915 Xenia City Directory (JPG)
Fig 3. 1915 Xenia City Directory (Ancestry.com)

Roy and Hattie had four children: Jane (b. 1908), Dora and Cora, twins (b. 1911), and Mary (b. 1913). In 1917, Cora contracted an illness that weakened her heart. Sadly, shortly after her sixth birthday, Cora’s heart failed and she passed away (Fig 4). [Be sure to read the notice. You’ll see that the newspaper claims that the excitement of hearing of a murder near her home was the likely cause of her death]

Fig 4. Notice of death of Cora Hayward in Xenia Daily Gazette, dated July 3, 1917 (JPG)
Fig 4. Notice of Death of Cora Hayward in Xenia Daily Gazette, dated July 3, 1917 (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

After almost a decade as a clerk/salesman, Hayward went into business with his brother-in-law, C. F. Taylor, purchasing the Wilkins & Snyder cigar store. Then in 1913, the same year Mary was born, Hayward tried his hand at local government, being appointed to the Xenia City Council to fill a vacancy. Then in 1915, he was elected to the same seat. Hayward enjoyed the work, and accepted a position as a clerk to the deputy state supervisor of elections; a position he resigned shortly after to become the first auditor of Xenia (Fig 5). Broadstone claims in his history that Hayward sold his interest in the cigar business to devote his time to the office of the auditor; however, we believe he was mistaken. It is possible that Hayward took a step back from the business, but he was still an owner at the time of his death (Fig 6).

Fig 5. Notice of Roy Hayward's Appointment to Council, dated January 7, 1914 (JPG)
Fig 5. Notice of Hayward’s Appointment to Council, dated January 7, 1917 (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

Fig 6. 1924 Xenia City Directory (JPG)
Fig 6. 1924 Xenia City Directory (Ancestry.com)

The Hayward family were members of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Hayward was a member of the Free Masons, Kiwanis Club, and the Eagles and Blue Lodge. There are several articles in the paper illustrating that Hayward enjoyed taking part in the variety shows hosted by the American Legion in Xenia, singing, dancing, and performing skits with other men of the Legion (Fig 7).

Fig 7. Miscellaneous articles in Xenia Daily Gazette about the American Legion Minstrels (JPG)  Fig 7. Miscellaneous articles in Xenia Daily Gazette about the American Legion Minstrels (JPG)
Fig 7. Miscellaneous articles from the Xenia Daily Gazette about the American Legion Minstrels (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

Hayward fell ill in 1925. Around Christmas of that same year, Hayward’s illness worsened, and he became bedridden. Unfortunately, Hayward never recovered, and on February 11, 1926, at the age of 44, he succumbed to his illness (Fig 8). Roy Hayward was buried in Woodland Cemetery next to his daughter, Cora.

Fig 8. Notice of Death of Roy Hayward in Xenia Daily Gazette, dated February 12, 1926 (JPG)  Fig 8. Notice of Death of Roy Hayward in Xenia Daily Gazette, dated February 12, 1926 (JPG)
Fig 8. Death Notice in Xenia Daily Gazette, dated February 12, 1926 (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

After Hayward’s death, Hattie remained in Xenia. She raised her daughters, cared for her aging mother-in-law, and took in boarders at various times. Hattie lived a rather long life, and passed away in January of 1962 at the age of 85. She was buried with her husband and daughter in Woodland Cemetery.

Until Next Time…

Sources:
Ancestry.com
FamilySearch.org
Greene County Archives
NewspaperARCHIVE.com

Nov 30

Putting the Pieces Together: The Life of Loyd H. Curl

Posted on November 30, 2018 at 11:13 AM by Melissa Dalton

Articles in old newspapers can spark interest in a person or story. We have a folder of such items we find during other research, and keep for review at a future date. These are great as you just never know what you may learn about someone or something. This week, we explore one such item - the death notice of Loyd H. Curl (Fig 1).

Fig 1. Notice of Death of Loyd H. Curl in Xenia Daily Gazette, dated September 4, 1911 (JPG)
Fig 1. Notice of Death of Loyd H. Curl in Xenia Daily Gazette, dated September 4, 1911 (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

Loyd H. Curl was born in Kentucky around 1852/1853 to enslaved parents, Needham and Laura Curl. One article claims that the Curl family were the former slaves of Henry Clay. Not much is known about the family until they moved to Xenia, which was sometime before 1880. Needham became a well-known resident of Xenia, and Loyd retained a job as a porter at the local wholesale grocery warehouse, the Eavey Co.

Not long after arriving in Xenia, Loyd met a local school teacher, Cornelia Lamb. The two married on September 18, 1879 (Fig 2). The 1880 Census shows Loyd, Cornelia, and his stepson, William, living with Needham and Laura on West Main Street in Xenia (as was Loyd’s brother, Charles) (Fig 3). Shortly after marrying, Loyd and Cornelia moved to Chicago, making the city their home. Loyd is listed as working as a porter, and Cornelia did clerical work. The Xenia Daily Gazette has several entries after they moved indicating the Mr. and Mrs. Curl came back to Xenia to visit with family and friends (Fig 4). Also in 1896, there is a notice in the paper that Charles and Loyd bought almost 50 acres in Greene County, which may demonstrate that Loyd wanted to keep roots in Greene County (Fig 5).

Fig 2. Marriage Record of Loyd Curl and Cornelia Lamb (JPG)
Fig 2. Marriage Record of Loyd H. Curl and Cornelia Lamb (Greene County Archives)

Fig 3. 1880 U.S. Census with Curl family outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 3. 1880 U.S. Census with Curl family outlined in red (Ancestry.com)

Fig 4. Notice in Xenia Daily Gazette of Curl family in town visiting, dated June 18, 1900 (JPG)  Fig 5. Notice of Transfer of Real Estate in Xenia Daily Gazette, dated August 28, 1896 (JPG)
Figs 4 & 5. Notices in Xenia Daily Gazette: Curl family visiting family in Xenia / Transfer of Real Estate (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

Something we found very cool was that Loyd was a registered voter in Chicago. The 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870, guaranteeing the right to vote to citizens regardless of color, race, or previous conditions of servitude (women wouldn’t gain the right to vote until 1920 with the 19th Amendment). Loyd did not pass up the opportunity to exercise his right, and was listed on several voter registration documents for Chicago during his lifetime (Fig 6).

Fig 6. 1890 Chicago Voter Registration with Loyd Curl outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 6. 1890 Voter registration with Loyd Curl outlined in red (Ancestry.com)

Loyd and Cornelia never had children of their own. William, Loyd’s stepson, just seems to disappear from the records. We really aren’t sure what happened to William after the 1880 census as he is not listed as living with them in Chicago, and we’ve been unable to locate him in the records. However, there is a change to the census data between 1900 and 1910 that is telling. On the 1900 census, Cornelia is listed as having one child that is surviving; however, by the 1910 census, Cornelia reported she has no surviving children (Figs 7 & 8). If this information is correct, William passed away sometime between 1900 and 1910, but unfortunately, we could not find any further information about his passing or cause of death.

Fig 7. 1900 U.S. Census with Curl family outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 8. 1910 U.S. Census with Curl family outlined in red (JPG)
Figs 7 & 8. 1900 & 1910 U.S. Census with Curl family outlined in red (FamilySearch.org)

On September 2, 1911, at about the age of 60, Loyd H. Curl passed away. As Xenia was the home of the Curl family, his body was brought back to Greene County for burial. Mrs. Curl returned to her home in Chicago, where she stayed until her death on November 2, 1929. Cornelia Curl is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

We wish there was more we could tell you about the Curl family, but anything else would just be conjecture. There is only so much the records can tell us, but it is also interesting to see just how much one can learn by viewing the records. Piece by piece, you can put together the puzzle; however, some puzzles will never be complete.

Sources:
Ancestry.com
FamilySearch.org
Greene County Archives
NewspaperARCHIVE.com

Nov 26

Stephen Bell: A Pioneer and Founder of Bellbrook

Posted on November 26, 2018 at 8:54 AM by Melissa Dalton

Stephen Bell was one of the pioneer founders of Bellbrook, and a “mayor” of Springfield in Clark County, Ohio. Bell was born on August 18, 1774 in Sussex County, New Jersey. When Bell was about 20 years old, he moved to Pennsylvania. It was there that he met and married Hannah Scudder in September 1795.

Stephen and Hannah had eleven children – John, William, Charles, Aaron, Rebecca, Mary, Naomi, Permelia, Cassandra, Benjamin, and Franklin. In 1810, Stephen and his family moved to the new state of Ohio, settling in Xenia. When war broke out in 1812, Stephen served as a soldier under Captain Robert McClellan as part of the Volunteer Company of Ohio Militia.

After returning from the war, Bell continued his work as a millwright and farmer. Bell built many mills along the Miami River, and gained prominence in the county. Bell, along with Henry Updyke and James Clancey, laid out Bellbrook in 1816. Then in 1818, Bell was elected to the Greene County State Legislature. Bell also served as a county commissioner from 1822 to 1828 (Fig 1).

Fig 1. 1820 U.S. Census Record (JPG)
Fig 1. U.S. Census 1820 with Stephen Bell outlined (Ancestry.com)

In 1832/1833, Bell sold the family farm, buying the farm adjacent to his (Fig 2). Stephen and Hannah stayed there, but when Bell took ill in 1838, they planned to move to Iowa; however, Hannah’s death in 1839 changed his plans. Shortly thereafter, Bell married Wealthy Daugherty, moving to Springfield in Clark County, Ohio (Fig 3). Stephen and Wealthy had one child, Marcella in 1840. Again, Bell was a prominent figure in Clark County, and although Springfield was not a city until 1850, he served as the President of the City Council in 1845.

Fig 2. 1830 U.S. Census Record (JPG)
Fig 2. U.S. Census 1830 with Stephen Bell outlined (Ancestry.com)

Fig 3. Marriage Record of Stephen Bell and Wealthy Daugherty (JPG)
Fig 3. Marriage Record of Stephen Bell and Wealthy Daugherty in 1839 (Ancestry.com)

Stephen Bell passed away in November 1852 (Fig 4) and was buried in a mausoleum in Greenmont Cemetery in Springfield, Ohio. Not long after Bell’s death, a young girl was buried with him. The general belief is that the girl is his step-granddaughter. One article claims the girl is Wealthy Caroline Pelan, his step-granddaugther through his second marriage. However, her exact identity is unknown.

Fig 4. Will of Stephen Bell (JPG)
Fig 4. Will of Stephen Bell (JPG)
Fig 4. Will of Stephen Bell (Ancestry.com)

By 1927, Bell’s mausoleum had fallen into disrepair. When Bell’s granddaughter, Anna Anderson, learned of the shape of her grandfather’s burial site, she made arrangements to have Bell reburied in Bellbrook Cemetery. In 1961, a local Boy Scout troop placed a memorial stone at Stephen Bell’s grave to honor one of the founders of Bellbrook.

Until Next Time…

Sources:
Ancestry.com
Guy, S. C. & Minning, P. E. (2017). The two burials of Stephen Bell. Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly, 57(3), 259-264.
Robinson, G. F. (1902). History of Greene County, Ohio. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company.