Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

The poet judges not as a judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing. - Walt Whitman......Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting.- John Russell.....Come away; poverty's catching. - Aphra Behn.....My anger rises and falls upon my own being.. -.rnt...............

December 7,  2019> OOC December 1, 2019


SHOPTALK: On both desks this week is the same pic: the grounds of the Olympic Outing Club on December 1, 2019. Just like life – one is positive and one is negative.

But seriously, I’ve been trying to get a pic of the whole club (mostly the cottages) in one shot that I like.

I’ve done several and will likely do several more as time passes until I get one, I like.

I know the reason this one isn’t it. So I will make an adjustment and see what happens.

Among the many things that are nice about living at the OOC is the quiet during the cooler months. We still can hear trains as they pass over the river upstream, and we can hear the hum of traffic on the Interstate some distance downstream. What we don’t get is the extraneous sound of cars passing the house at all hours. It is quiet, quiet, quiet. Occasionally the geese get rowdy. But that’s about it.

THE CLETUS DEWITT FAMILY: I received an email during the week from Cletus Dewitt’s grandson Dave. Mr. DeWitt, some may recall, was a long-time Vermilion educator. He and his wife Grace had two boys, Richard and Jack. He died in 1974 and Grace died in 1983 Son Richard died in 2015. The fella who contacted me was Jack’s son. He wrote to tell me that his dad died just last week. He was 86.

Several years ago Jack visited the museum. He told me that he had given the Ritter Library a portrait painted of his father some time before, but they had never used it – just placed it in storage. So he retrieved it. I’ve no idea what happened to it. And so long as it doesn’t end up in a flea market, I’ll be happy.

I was hoping that he’d give it to the museum, but that didn’t happen. What he did give the museum is a vintage Eastman-Kodak Six-16 camera. It is in its original box with the original instruction manual. I doubt that it has ever been used, but it does have Mr. DeWitt’s initials “CKD” on it. It’s not of any great monetary value. However, historically it is an invaluable artifact for our town.

SLOW SEASON: Things have been relatively slow at the museum over the last few weeks – which is not exactly a terrible circumstance. It affords me time to work on a billion different things I’ve been wanting to do, but ran out of time or the steam to do them. So now…

I have about 10 million color slides to scan along with a substantial number of glass and film negatives. I’d have been on it right now, but I was waiting for the window people to replace a new, but partially broken, window in the bindery room where I intend to move all my stuff before proceeding.

I guess I’ll quit waiting, and move along. Since my hip replacement – at least two years ago – I’ve been slow on the uptake. That’s a bad excuse. So I guess it’s time to get going.

Winter may be a real advantageous time.

MID-SHOP: Just playing with my camera the other day. I was using a wide-angle lens and trying to get things in focus. This is a nice shot of the interior of the print shop in the museum. I am happy with the clarity. You can see a good deal of detail. It’s a nice shot. [I pat myself on the back for it.]

I have written about nearly every photo in the shop and have researched many of the items and equipment. That doesn’t always help others who conduct tours etc. But I am making a recording that might help. I don’t expect everyone to read everything I’ve written. But it does exist.

One reason I have a good deal of material online is to insure there is a record beyond my computers, DVDs, CDs, hard drives, thumb drives and paper records. They’re readily available for all, myself included. [I actually use my archives quite frequently. I can access them online easier than I can most any other way.]

These are not the best records available. But they’re generally good ones. Hopefully, they will afford someone a starting place and direction for persons doing research in the future.


ALL MEN HAVE STARS: JERRY LEE FULPER: B. 3 MAR 1948 – D. 6 MAR 2002. I always found Jerry hard not to like. From my vantage point in life he appeared to be, in essence, an eager, a good, person – but like a plant with shallow roots he just kinda’ went wherever the wind blew him.

I will always remember him as he appears in this high school photograph. All men have stars that guide them, but they are not the same for everyone.

FEATURES THIS WEEK: At the history museum theatre this week is a video production I put together eight years ago. The featured personalities are Nuggie Cook, Dawn Full, Connie Dropko, Jim Hart, Jim Snell, Lucile Clark, Roger Watkins, John Tuttle, Genevieve Clark, Melba Walker, Tootie Reisinger, Bill Summers and Marie Tansey.

By and large this is an enjoyable piece. And as some folks know a few of those named above are gone now. So I’m glad I still have the video.

Somewhere, amongst all the stuff I have filed away I have entire clips of all the interviews. As soon as I find them, I’ll make them available.

This piece runs 22:08 minutes.

THE SECOND FEATURE: I also added another video / slideshow briefly following the First 200 years of the Congregational Church in Vermilion. This is a real nice historical documentary.


It runs 12:40 minutes.


MY “GREAT” GRANDMA BESSIE: Several days ago while searching for something else (as usual) I happened upon an envelope addressed to my maternal grandmother, Miss Bessie Bottomley, in Milan, Ohio. It is postmarked March 8, 1896 and was sent from one John Fletcher Greene (1844-1903), Clerk Erie County Board of School Examiners in Sandusky, Ohio. Inside was a Teacher’s Certificate (Third Class) that, in this case, would be valid for two years from the Board of Examiners. It is dated 29 February 1896. She was born in Minnesota on 19 February 1879. You do the math. And as some are wont to say, “Cool beans.” While I was generally aware of the fact that Bessie (Note: I have been told by my eldest sister that our grandmother did not like anyone to refer to her as Elizabeth or “Bess”. It was always “Bessie”, Miss Bottomley or Mrs. Roscoe.) had started teaching school when very young. And as this certificate illustrates, that certainly was a fact. But wait…

Inside the envelope was also another Third Grade Certificate both sides of which are pictured. This one surprised me. It, as one can see, is from Howard Lake in Wright County Minnesota and is dated 1 March 1892. Passing tests in Reading, Writing, Geography, Grammar, Orthography, Hygiene, Physiology, Arithmetic and U.S. History would have earned such a certificate. A Third Grade Certificate was the lowest ranked and was good for only 3 months, about one school term. For those people who came within 10% of passing the examination for the Third Grade Certificate there was a probational one. To renew it one had to score higher on subsequent tests or not be allowed to teach. However, that being said, these requirements were generally left up to the county superintendent to enforce as seen fit.

It may be of interest to some to note that the certificate “classes” did not refer to teaching first, second or third grades. A First Grade Certificate indicated that one had passed more difficult courses like Algebra, Geometry, Botany and Natural Philosophy and would allow the holder to teach older children. It was valid for one year. The “Second Grade Certificate” allowed a person to teach the primary grades for a six month term. And, as indicated, the “Third Grade Certificate” was the lowest ranked classification (aside of the probational one). What really surprised and impressed me however was Grandma’s age at the time the Minnesota certificate was issued in 1892. She was 13. I don’t know about you, but when I was 13 all I could think about was becoming the next Bob Cousy (#14) on a basketball court and learning how to dance without stepping on my partner’s feet. I have found, however, that very young teachers were not really seen as unusual during the 19th century. Prior to the American Civil War, a majority of teachers were male. When the national economy became difficult for American families during and following that conflict many of the men left teaching for the military or higher paying jobs. Women understanding the importance of education for children quickly filled the void. As a result, many girls barely older than fifteen years – or a few like my then 13-year-old grandmother – stepped up to the task. After moving to Ohio Grandma continued to teach school in a one-room schoolhouse (pictured) in the Berlin-Milan, Ohio area until she married my grandfather in 1901. Although I could find no law that disqualified married women from the teaching profession during those years, I did find the following: The reason for the (unspoken) rule prohibiting married women from the profession appears to have been founded on the logic that marriage would naturally be followed by pregnancy. In short, it was thought that a married female teacher would most likely be unable to finish the term if she were to become pregnant and it would be difficult to replace her. This rule apparently held true until the Sex Disqualification Removal Act was passed in 1919. While the act should have, at least theoretically, led to greater equality for women entering the profession, even as late as the 1920s, married working women – especially teachers – were still frowned upon by many. And change came slowly.

But no matter. Grandma went on to assist Grandpa in the printing and newspaper business here in Vermilion, eventually opening a small gift shop on Liberty Avenue near the theatre. And though she would never actively teach in a school again she and my grandfather busied themselves by raising two daughters. And always mindful of community affairs, actively promoted the establishment of a public library, along with consistent improvements in the schools and their church. Bessie was a library trustee from 1918 until her death in 1946.

Unfortunately, I never knew my grandparents. Grandma died at the tender age of 66 years shortly after my birth and my grandfather followed only 3 months and 10 days later. But as I look back and review their lives, I know one thing, as grandmothers go, my grandmother was not only an interesting person; she was really a “Great” grandma.

December 1, 2019

YESTERYEAR'S NEWS: The following clips are dictated transcriptions from past issues of The Vermilion News. I think you will find them both interesting and fun...

Vol. XV, No 27 - VERMILION, OHIO THURSDAY, December 7, 1911

Council Meeting

The Village council met in regular session Monday evening with his honor, Mayor Williams in the chair and members present, Bolen, Minium, Miller, McConnelly and Wahl present, absent Mattison.

After the reading and approval of the minutes of the last meeting the committee reports were called for, but very little developed.

The Mayor read a communication from the U. S. Engineer, saying that his department had investigated the conditions at the L. S. & M. S. Bridge, also the obstructing timbers at Mr. Fischer’s and both had been advised to remove the obstructions as soon as possible.

Complaint was entered in regard to the electric lighting system being in bad condition and the clerk was asked to write Mr. Coen of the People’s Electric Light and Power Co., to have a representative at a meeting of the Council to be held Thursday evening. There were several matters brought up regarding the electric railway. It is the practice to run the baggage car onto the V, the forward part of the car blocking the sidewalk while loading and unloading freight. This matter will be brought to the attention of the electric officials.

The clerk was instructed to write to the L. S. & M. S. Co.’s officials that the drain for taking off the water on the company’s property between Division and Grand street was blocked or broken and should be repaired.

[NOTE: I was under the impression that this drainage had been previously repaired. Last week the NEWS editor even commented about the good quality of the work.]

The clerk was instructed to issue the proper sidewalk notices to Messrs. Youngs, Darley and McConnelly for sidewalk on East side of Jefferson Street. They to be given their choice of building for themselves or paying their apportionment for the walk on the west side of the street.

Detention was again called to the condition of the roads east of town and it was concluded to wait until the County Commissioners could be consulted on the matter as they were expected to be in town Tuesday afternoon. On the matter of the Sandusky Street sewer, it was found that the tile under Liberty Street were in bad conditions and the commissioners would probably have iron pipe laid in their stead.

After discussing other matters and ordering the payment of bills, the Council adjourned until Thursday evening.

Among the visitors for the evening were two of the councilman elect, Messrs. Phil Englebry, M. A. Friday and Mayor–elect, Wakefield.

Mrs. Church Dead

Passed away Friday morning December 1, at the home of her son, Harry W. Church at Vermilion O., Mrs. E. L. Church, age 78 years, after a brief sickness with pneumonia. Funeral Saturday morning. Burial at Holly N. Y., Sunday, Dec. 3rd. Two sons, Harry W. Of this city and Luther S. Of Wellsville, N. Y., and one daughter, Mrs. E. H. Vaughn, Kettle Falls, Wash., are left to mourn her demise.

Henry Rumsey Injured

The baggage car on the Lake Shore Electric struck the wagon in which Henry Rumsey was riding at this place Wednesday afternoon, and he was thrown off, severely injuring him. He was rushed to the hospital at Lorain and his cuts and bruises attended to by Dr. Cox. Fortunately no bones were broken and Mr. Rumsey will probably be able to be out in a short time.

Pete Comes Back

P. J. Kothe, some time ago discontinued his business on Liberty St. in the Boland block has decided to reenter the business arena and will about Dec. 15 enter into a similar business in the Baumhart building which is soon to be vacated by M. L. Seeley. In addition to the rental business just mentioned Mr. Kothe will also pursue the bottling business to the fullest capacity.

[NOTE: I don’t know if the last part of this article was intentional, but it’s rather funny.]

Fishing Season Closed

The fishing from this port is practically close for the season. The storm Sunday was a dangerous one for the tugs but all made harbor in safety after having a trying experience. The Comet went into Huron for safety any Ames to Fairport.

Crystal Theater Sold

Chas. Wilkes who for some time has conducted the Crystal Theater Picture Show has sold his interest to A. D. Baumhart, whose aim is to run at least three times each week and special features each night. This week the show is booked for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.


The funeral services of Charles Cowley, 47, who died after a two-week illness from lung trouble, was held on Sunday afternoon.

Funeral services of Fred Kline were held Sunday afternoon at 1:30 from the Congregational Church, Rev. Lindemeyer of St. Peter’s Church officiated. Interment was made in Evergreen Cemetery.

Although just recovering from an attack of typhoid fever, F. A. Shearer, general manager of the Ohio Cut Stone Co. plant did not forget his employees, and gave to each of the married men a turkey and a box of cigars to the unmarried men.

Mrs. Minerva Shupe was seriously injured Friday afternoon while visiting at the home of B. Richmond. She tripped on a rug and fell, breaking no bones but causing internal injuries and on account of her advanced age her condition is considered extremely serious.


The Broughton boys took in the hop at Birmingham Saturday night.

Adam Kneisel and family had the pleasure of spending Thanksgiving in their new home.

Ray Sherwood spent Wednesday night with his sister down at Geo. Risden’s on the shore Road.

Mr. and Mrs. Fowl who left Elyria in October for Houston, Texas, report very favorable of Texas. Mr. Fowl has a fine job of running a big engine which does the plowing with a gang plow on a big demonstration farm, for which he gets $5.00 per day and only works from 8 to 5 for a day’s work. They say it is a beautiful place, the roads are made of ground oyster shells, they call it the shell boulevard and there are roses and palms and other flowers and shrub all along the road, they like it there very much. Mrs. Fowl is a daughter of Mr. John Stevenson.


Mrs. Jessie Greene who is been very sick for the past week is reported much better.

Mose Jenkins of Berlin is putting in a lighting plant for Melvin Mason.

Mr. E. A. Penny is having a lighting plant put in his building which will add very much to the comfort and appearance of his place of business.


The fellow that took a line and whip from the rig hitched in front of the a certain Brownhelm residence Saturday evening, return them at once, and avoid further trouble, as it is known who did it.


Chas. Day of Geneva, 73, formerly a teacher in Vermilion and a brother-in-law of Mrs. Ed. Pelton, was struck by a Lake Shore train, and died in the Ashtabula hospital, on Dec. 4. A brother, Oscar Day, was killed by a train at Vermilion a number of years ago.

Wrestling Match

The athletic young men of Vermilion have billed another wrestling event to be held at the Town Hall, Tuesday, December 12. Ray Vincent will contest with Geo. Baxter the pride of the Cleveland Westside and one of Gehring’s training partners and is counted as one of the best boys in the business. He has wrestled Otto Suter and stayed the limit. Admission 25c, stage.50c, ladies 15c.


Mr. Martin Hohmann is none better at this writing.

Quite a few from Ceylon attended the dance given at the K. of P. Hall at Berlin Heights, Thursday evening.


A history of Sorosis as given at a recent meeting will be published in the news next week.

[NOTE: This should be of some interest to some Vermilionites.]

Frank Bond has again entered the services of the Western Union and left for Toledo today.

A boarding car on the L. S. & M. S. Ry., caught fire this morning and was destroyed.

F. C. Wilmore one of our city draymen lost one of his horses on Wednesday. The animal dropped dead “on-duty.”

BORN – to Mr. Mrs. Pearl Roscoe, Friday, December 1, 1911, a daughter.

[NOTE: The child born was my Aunt Alice Roscoe-Lindsay. This may also explain the reason the newspaper seemed rather thin to me over the last month or so.]

Norris Welch left for Oberlin Monday to attend the Oberlin Business College.

A.D. Baumhart is having two small cottages erected on the property on Lake Street between the Rick place recently purchased by F.J. Englebry and the Hart residence. These houses are such as are badly need in Vermilion.

[NOTE: I wonder if these houses still exist?]

BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Moes, a son, Sunday, Nov. 26, 1911.

Word has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Henry T. Baxtine that their grandchildren Wells and Helen are ill with diphtheria at their home in Chicago. The children are well known in Vermilion as they usually spend the summer months here with their grandparents.

JUST ARRIVED – A new lot of Sewing Machines and Gasoline Lamps. Geo. P. Wahl, Office at residence Vermilion, O.

Wm. Englebry commenced work Tuesday for the basement of his new residence which is to be on his lot on Grand St., at the rear of the Reformed Church.

[NOTE: I find this note to be somewhat confusing.]


Miss Alice Faust is on the sick list and at present is confined to her bed.

BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Leon Ayres, a daughter to cheer their home.


Miss Evelyn Shattuck is reported ill.

Howard Shattuck has been absent from school this week on account of sickness.


a large crowd turned out on Tuesday evening for the Victrola concert. A well-arranged program was rendered and the evening was enjoyed by all. The proceeds being $8.80.

Don’t forget the Xmas supper at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Croll on Friday night Dec. 15th. Supper 15c and 10c. Everyone come and enjoy the social evening and good supper.





that city. Dr. Buck was for the first eight or nine years professor of physiology and registrar of the faculty. Since that time he has been dean and professor of theory and practice and clinical professor of throat and lung diseases. He was president of the State Homeopathic Medical Society in 1876. Dr. Buck has a large and lucrative practice at Cincinnati, and is one of the leading men of the homeopathic school of the State. A man of pleasing address, robust health, extremely social and attractive in his intercourse with his patients, and the public; studious by nature; gifted with strong mental powers, he is an honor to the profession and would be an ornament to any society where his lot might be cast.

Dr. Geo. A. Gordon succeeded to the practice of Dr. J. Buck in 1871, on the removal of that gentleman to Cincinnati, O. Dr. Gordon was born in Washington county, Pa., in 1841. He followed farming until the spring of 1864, when he enlisted as a soldier in the Union army and remained until the close of the Rebellion. He graduated from Iberia College, O., in 1867, when he began reading medicine with R. B. Rush, M. D., of Salem, O. He graduated from Cleveland Homeopathic College in February, 1867, and settled in Sandusky the following June, where he is still actively engaged in his profession. The doctor is one of our most popular and successful physicians. He has few superiors as a prescriber.

Dr. Edwin Gillard was born at Venice, Erie county, O., in 1845; attended the High School in this city; and Oberlin College; served in the 145th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, usually known as the One Hundred Day troops. Returning to civil life he engaged in teaching school for five years and then entered Dr. J. D. Buck's office as a medical student, beginning practice at Bellevue in 1870. In 1871 he became a partner of Dr. I. B. Massey, and attended the Cleveland Homeopathic College where he graduated the following year. In 1882 he established the sanitarium at his present location No. 927 Washington street. Dr. Gillard is favorably known as a practitioner of skill, and occupies a front rank among the physicians of the city. As a student or practitioner, nature has endowed him with a degree of industry, perseverance and pluck, that when supplemented by adequate professional knowledge always constitutes an energy that thrives by opposition; and while accident or superior force may hinder or delay, they seldom utterly defeat.

Dr. Gillard was coroner of Erie county for one term, and is a prominent member of several secret societies.

Dr. Clarence Eugene Stroud was born in Bloomfield, Ontario county, N. Y., January 14, 1847; was educated at Palmyra, N. Y., and entered his father's dental office in Sandusky, in 1865, where he remained as student or partner until 1871. Then he entered the homeopathic medical department of Michigan University and remained one year, when he entered the Detroit Homeopathic College, graduating in 1872. His first location in practice after grad-…

HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY OHIO - With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. - Edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich - Syracuse, N.Y. - D. Mason & Co., Publishes - 1889.

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OF SOME INTEREST: I always knew there was something about the old Irishman that I liked.



"Now, how many of you would like to go to heaven?" asked the Sunday school teacher. All the eager children raised their hands except Little Billy.

"I'm sorry, I can't. My mother told me to come right home after Sunday school," explained Little Billy.

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LOCAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: After giving it much thought this link has been "put-down". During the last year most of the folks who used to use this page as a bulletin board have acquired their own and, consequently, no longer need this forum from "Views". I have, however, kept links (in the links section) to Larry Hohler's "Hope Homes" in Kenya - and to Bette Lou Higgins' Eden Valley Enterprises sites. They are historically and socially relevant projects. I suggest that you visit these sites on a regular basis to see "what's shakin'".

Pay particular note to the "Hope Homes" page during the next few months / years. They are constantly improving the lives of their youngsters and those around them. This is an exciting project accomplished by exciting people.

Although this Vermilion High School Class of 1959 reunion is over classmates may want to stay connected with each other through organizerROGER BOUGHTON. Ye can connect by mailing him @ 2205 SW 10th Ave. Austin, MN. 55912 or you can just emailRoger.

Persons interested in the history of the Lake Shore Electric Railway (which was the subject of a recent past podcast series) - "the greatest electaric railway system on the planet" may want to go to and purchase a book called "Images of Rail - Lake Shore Electric Railway". It was put together by Thomas J. Patton with the help of my friends DENNIS LAMONT and ALBERT DOANE. It'd make a nice gift.

Another great book with Vermilion Roots is, "Grandma's Favorites: A Compilation of Recipes from MARGARET SANDERS BUELL by Amy O'Neal, ELIZABETH THOMPSON and MEG WALTER (May 2, 2012). This book very literally will provide one with the flavor of old Vermilion. And ye can also find it at Take a look.

MARY WAKEFIELD BUXTON'S LATEST BOOK “Tripping: A Writer’s Journeys.” Signed copies of her new book can be purchased for $15.00 at the Southside Sentinel office or by mail by writing Rappahannock Press, Box 546, Urbanna, VA and adding $6.00 to cover mailing costs and tax.

THE BEAT GOES ON: This page is generated by a dreaded Macintosh Computer and is written and designed by (me) Rich Tarrant. It will change weekly ~ usually on Saturday. Bookmark the URL (Universal Resource Locater) and come back at your own leisure. Send the page to your friends (and enemies if you wish). If you have something to share with those who visit this page, pass it on. And if you see something that is in need of correction do the same. My sister, Nancy, is a great help in that respect. It only takes me a week to get things right. And follow the links. You might find something you like. If you experience a problem with them let me know. Also, if you want to see past editions of this eZine check the new archives links below.

If you're looking for my old links section (pictured) I've replaced it with a pull-down menu (visible in the small box next to the word "Go"). If you're looking for links to more Vermilion history check that menu.

How the old links menu looked

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Vol. 17. Issue 40 - December 7, 2019

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