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.

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Nov 01

Spooky Tales from the Greene County Archives!

Posted on November 1, 2019 at 12:21 PM by Melissa Dalton

Yesterday was Halloween and we held our inaugural Spooky Tales from the Greene County Archives program! We had a wonderful turnout (Fig 1), and would like to thank everyone that braved the dreary, albeit fitting, weather. For those unable to attend, here’s a bit about the program, and what you can expect for future events…Yes, you read that right! We plan to make this an annual Halloween program!

Fig 1. Melissa telling the Hamlet's Ghost in Osborn story (JPG)
Fig 1. Melissa telling the Hamlet’s Ghost in Osborn story

Spooky Tales follows Harold Igo’s ghost stories, which were published in the Yellow Springs News in the 1940s. Igo interviewed residents to learn the various legends and stories that spread throughout the Greene County region. The Yellow Springs Historical Society compiled the stories and published them in 2001.

For this event, we examined four stories: No. 6, House of the Fiery Ferns; No. 13, Hamlet’s Ghost in Osborn; No. 15, The Ghosts of Frogtown; and No. 20, The Senator Walks at Midnight. We read Igo’s story, and then dug into the details (Fig 2). We used census, cemetery, deed, court, will, and estate records to learn what really happened. In many instances, the “real” story is even more intriguing than Igo’s!

Fig 2. Robin relaying The Ghosts of Frogtown Story (JPG)
Fig 2. Robin relaying The Ghosts of Frogtown story

The first, House of the Fiery Ferns, is about the murder of a Yellow Springs resident, Denman Duncan (Fig 3). We published a blog about this story in October 2018, so if you are unfamiliar with the story, check it out to learn all the details!

Fig 3. Elise telling the House of the Fiery Ferns story (JPG)
Fig 3. Elise telling the House of the Fiery Ferns story

The second, Hamlet’s Ghost in Osborn, is about the murder of Billy Fletcher and the subsequent acquittal of the killer (who happened to be his step-son). This is another story in which we published a blog, and this story has many parts, so you definitely need to read about it.
As for the remaining two stories, we have not published any blogs. However, you can read both of Igo’s stories below (Figs 4 & 5), and we’ll work to get our findings published in some upcoming blogs!

Fig 4. No. 15 The Ghosts of Frogtown by Harold Igo (JPG)
Fig 4. No. 15 The Ghosts of Frogtown by Harold Igo (JPG)
Fig 4. No. 15 The Ghosts of Frogtown by Harold Igo

Fig 5. No. 20 The Senator Walks at Midnight by Harold Igo (JPG)
Fig 5. No. 20 The Senator Walks at Midnight by Harold Igo (JPG)
Fig 5. No. 20 The Senator Walks at Midnight by Harold Igo

As part of this program, we displayed records and newspaper articles for each story to allow the attendees to see what we used to separate the fact from fiction (Fig 6). And, of course, you cannot have a Halloween program without some Halloween treats (Don’t worry, our Archives friends! We made sure the treats were in a separate location from the records).

Fig 6. Attendees reviewing the records used in our fact-finding mission for each story (JPG)
Fig 6. Attendees reviewing the records used in our fact-finding mission for each story

As stated above, we do plan to make this an annual event, so if you have heard any interesting or juicy spooky tales of Greene County, we’d love to hear them! Maybe they will be featured in the future.

Until Next Time!

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