SHOPTALK: On the shoptop this week is a pic of the DeMuth farm house that was hit by a tornado on Stanley in early June of 1953. I remember the storm taking place as we sat on our front porch at our Perry Street home that summer evening. Without television or radio reports we suspected that a tornado had struck. But we weren’t psychic. We just thought it would be the case due to the severity of the storm and the looks of the sky to the south and west of town shortly after the deluge. (Times were different.)
On my home desk this week is a pic (I’ve used before) of the small bridge over Edson Creek being constructed c.1950. This opened up what was then Thompson street (now Edson) between Decatur and Adams streets.
For especially the young people living in what some used to call the “Allotment” this provided a safe and clean way to and from school. It also made it nice for the rest of the folks living on either side of the creek. This took place when Fred Fischer was Vermilion Mayor.
The name change (from Thompson to Edson) came later. That may have happened during the very late 1960s or very early 1970s.
Some people have forgotten or never knew how isolated that part of town was for years and years. Also, it was not until 1912 that there was a formal rail crossing at Adams street. It was like these people lived on an island.
But they still paid taxes.
A NEW PARKING LOT: Like the razing of the old Wakefield home at the foot of Main Street making the empty lot where the Fulper Auto Parts and filling station used to sit into a parking lot appears to have been in the proverbial cards right from the very start. And so it is with both properties.
No one was seriously interested in bringing commerce to town – period. There’s not been anyone doing that since F.W. Wakefield was actively pursuing businesses – 100 years ago. The tourist thing is good and interesting, but the income derived from it will not pave streets in Vermilion-on-the-Lake or the Valley View subdivision, etc.
The term “green space” in conjunction with this parking area is a laugh. It actually means a bit of lawn, some flowers and a tree or two surrounding a large paved area where cars pollute the landscape with oil and gasoline fumes.
If those in charge of civic affairs were waiting for someone kind soul to come along and purchase the space, they got exactly what they put into it – nothing. And now it will cost the taxpayers to construct and maintain the site in perpetuity.
AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF TIME: On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I spent a good deal of time trying to activate an “Echo Dot” at our home. At first, I tried to contact help via the telephone but…
I don’t think of myself as being prejudice when it comes to persons from non-English speaking countries but…
I am easily frustrated when trying to do some technical tasks directed by a person who can’t really speak legible English.
By Wednesday I had my suspicions about out internet connection at home – which plays into this whole scenario. So, I finally called tech support at Amazon once more. This time I lucked out, and received help from a person without an accent.
It was concluded that our home network was not really protected. This led me to calling my providers and changing to a protected network and…
Everything works just fine. But I still spent more time with it than I might have if my first call had been more productive.
THE REASON WE NEED NEWSPAPERS: It is difficult (at least it is for me) to grasp the fact that when August of 2020 rolls around sixty-one years will have passed since the first edition of the Vermilion Photojournal appeared in our pretty city. The Vermilion News - the predominant weekly prior to the establishment of the Journal - was published for only 67 years when it was put to bed. Time most certainly does fly when you’re having fun (or, to be quite honest, not really paying attention).
I, of course, believe that newspapers play a vital role in the life of our nation. As Jerry Coleman (1924-2014), former Major League Baseball second baseman and, at one time, a play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres, put it, "A day without newspapers is like walking around without your pants on." I’d say that’s pretty vital.
The people of the community of Vermilion, Ohio have managed to keep their drawers on since about 1876 when the “Vermillion Bugle” became their primary news source. It was printed by the “Amherst (Ohio) Free Press”. It is said that another weekly published by a Mr. Ruggles called “The Vermillion Times” may have helped secure the trousers of local citizens between the demise of the “Bugle” in 1879 and the first publication of “The Vermillion News” in 1897. But thanks to the “News” and the “Photojournal” the metaphorical trousers of the community have remained safely in place for over a century now without a hitch.
The fella who started this 122-year old journalistic expedition came to Vermilion from Greensprings, Ohio in 1897. His name was Robert Whitmore. He set up a press in a building known as the “Wells Building” (aka. The Seminary) on the east side of Grand Street just north of the railroad tracks. That historic landmark disappeared from our cityscape sometime in the 1960’s or 70s.
By November of 1898 Robert grew tired of the business and his father George (inset photo) - who had been drawn to Vermilion because of the glowing recommendations of his son - took over the operation. For whatever reason George named H.A. Haven as the publisher. “H.A. Haven” - a fairly distinguished looking / sounding name - was actually George’s mother Hattie.
At the very beginning of the 20th century Whitmore sold the business to a newly married couple, Pearl and Elizabeth “Bessie” Roscoe, for just a few hundred dollars. The newspaper was located on the 2nd floor of the pictured structure. The paper consisted of a five column 8-page sheet. In the beginning four of the pages were printed in Cleveland, and the other four were printed on a "Gordon Jobber" in the shop one page at a time. (Note: A “jobber” press is a platen press that prints small jobs – less than a full sheet. The jobber was used to print things like billheads, business stationary, handbills and personal stationary.) This explains, in part, the reason 4 pages were initially printed in Cleveland.
In September of 1904 the Roscoes purchased a property further south on Grand Street, and in November moved the business to a new building on that lot. A year or so later the “entire” newspaper was written and printed in the Vermilion shop. The Roscoes and - then their eldest daughter’s family - the Tarrant’s’ kept the information and ink flowing until 1964 when the family abruptly shut the lights off and retired their big Stonemetz newspaper press. Fortunately, local citizens did not find themselves without any local news resource altogether. Thanks to the existence of the Photojournal Vermilionites were rescued from the prospect walking about - as late Jerry Coleman had indicated - in our underpants.
The internet may very well be a wonderful invention / resource. But for many persons there’s just nothing like sitting down in a favorite chair with a cup of coffee to read the local newspaper. Moreover, if the power should fail, you can still read it by candlelight. Trousers are optional.
Ref: VPJ 04/12/09; Rev. 02/09/20.
Vol. XV, No 37 - VERMILION, OHIO THURSDAY, February 15, 1912
Lady Member of School Board Sworn In
The Vermilion Village Board of Education held its regular meeting Monday evening with misters Leimbach, Beagle, Coen and Davis present. Shortly after the meeting had been called to order, Mrs. F.V. Pelton arrived and was sworn in. Mrs. Pelton was appointed to fill the vacancy made by the resignation of Mayor Wakefield.
Superintendent Irey gave a statement of the eligible applicants for the position made by made vacant by the resignation of Mrs. Willard. After some consideration it was decided that the superintendent should secure a teacher if possible.
In regard to hiring a music teacher it was decided to hire Miss Andrews for the balance of the school year.
Mr. F. W. Wakefield asked the board for permission to erect a flag staff upon the school grounds and furnish a flag for the same. The pole to be made of steel. The permission was granted and location to be left to the committee on grounds and buildings. It seems that the present staff on the building is hard to reach and the placing of the staff in the yard will be very acceptable.
Mr. Irey then asked about commencement. Whether the board would approve of a class play or whether the class should each have some subject or line of thought to give instead. It developed that the board did not think as much of the play as of the latter. If a play be given it is to take place sometime before commencement. It was also suggested – whatever exercises were held they could be before the commencement proper so as not to take too much time required for the school work.
It was decided that the superintendent should endeavor to secure some good speaker to deliver a class address.
After providing for the payment of bills the meeting adjourned.
Notice to Water Takers
The Board of Trustees of Public Affairs hereby serve notice to all patrons of the Vermilion Water Works, that hereafter they are strictly forbidden under penalty to allow the water to run from hydrants and taps all night. All leaks must also be repaired as soon as possible. This warning is imperative as the water pressure becomes so low during the night as to greatly impair our fire service.
By Order of the Board.
Chamber of Commerce Meeting
The Vermilion Chamber of Commerce meeting which was to be held Wednesday evening was postponed on account of the band concert, and will be held on Wednesday evening, Feb. 21. All members should be present. Officers will be elected.
Samuel Bachnak, 30, who is employed at the Cleveland Stone companies quarry was instantly killed Thursday afternoon by being struck on the head by iron bar.
Alfred Premer, who is been held as a witness in connection with the killing of William Uckinick here, Jan. 14, was released from the county jail, his friends furnishing bond of $1000.
While blasting stone at the Ohio quarry, Friday, a large window in the Central School at S. Amherst was shattered. The pupils were terrified by the force of the exploding powder which shook houses in the vicinity. Jacob Ebersol, fully two 250 feet away was struck on the head and shoulder with a 31 pound rock, but will recover. The lives of several workmen were put in jeopardy.
Harry Persing of Clyde, a milk dealer, was badly gored by a mad bull at his farm Thursday night and his injuries are considered serious. He had just returned from town and entered the barn when the bull attacked him. His hired man came to his assistance and dragged him to a place of safety but only after he had sustained four broken ribs, a broken collarbone cuts about the face and body. Drs. Hunter and Griffin attend to him and Hunter remained at the bedside all night. In leaving the next morning Dr. Hunter’s horse became frightened and kicked itself loose from the buggy fortunately the physician was uninjured.
Elon Parker, aged 80 died suddenly while cutting wood at his home near Birmingham Wednesday morning he was a well-known farmer and ginseng grower. Five sons survive.
Olin Frederic Hatch, was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Sept. 11th, 1839, and died at his home in Vermillion, O., February 7th, 1912, at the age of 72 years, five mos in 25 days, after a long season of ill health.
Mr. Hatch lived with his parents until March 25th, 1867, when he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Lynn of Greensboro, N. C. The following April, he and his bride left the sunny Southland which had been devastated by the war, and came to Vermilion where they have made their home ever since, with the exception of one year at Henrietta.
Mr. Hatch had seen the growth of the great system of railroads now known as the New York Central lines, having been employed in bridge department, which he quit after 25 years of faithful service. For a number of years he was gateman and served at the Grand Street crossing until failing health demanded a change.
He last served as night watchman at the Wakefield Brass Works.
A wife, two daughters, Mrs. Mary H.L. Stark of Conklin, N. Y., Mrs. I. W. Nicholas of Vermilion and six grandchildren survive. He leaves three sisters in the South. Three sons preceded him.
Mr. Hatch was a quiet, unassuming, God-fearing man; a good citizen and greatly loved and respected by his many friends.
He served in the rebellion faithfully, for his native state as he saw his duty, but was happy to live in a reunited country and knowing that the North and South now stand as one. He was intensely loyal to both state and national governments.
He was a charter member of the Ely Lodge, No. 424, F. & A. M. But one of the original members now remains.
Funeral services were held at the residence Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. T. H. D. Harrold of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who spoke from Rom. 8–18. Burial was at Maple Grove Cemetery.
[NOTE: The Civil War must still have been on the minds of many in 1912 or comments about Mr. Hatch’s loyalty to the country would not have been necessary.]
Mr. A. B. Appeman and his son went to the woods to cut wood and on cutting down a hollow maple they found a large quantity of honey which they carried immediately home after extracting it, they had 14 quarts. No more wood was cut by them that day. They feel mighty happy over the find.
Mr. Albert Somers is having a large pile of wood buzzed.
Everyone is making good use of the snow in the way of coasting in sleighing. Sleigh bells are making merry music all the time, but spring will soon be here in Old King Winter will have to go.
C. R. Nichols of Norwalk ate Sunday dinner in this place.
Mrs. Harry Strickler has returned to Cleveland after two weeks visit here.
Mrs. Smith who had the misfortune to fall and sprain her wrist a week ago is much better at this writing.
Mr. George Mayers [sic] is on the sick list. Dr. Boss is attending him.
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Brewer, a daughter, Monday, Feb. 5, ‘12. Newport
BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Albert C. Hofrichter, Monday, Feb. 12, a daughter.
Order Coal before your yard breaks up.
C. F. Decker.
The waterworks engineer reports that there has been as much water pump during the cold snap this winter as during the dry spell last summer. Users should be careful not to waste water.
Mr. and Mrs. George E. Whitmore were called to Euclid Saturday noon by the serious illness of their daughter, Mrs. Lyle Osborne. Mrs. Osborne slipped and fell on the ice at her home receiving injuries of which threatened her life. At last report she was somewhat better.
Mrs. Harry Trinter is reported quite ill.
The first signs of spring. Some of the Oberlin students were in town making arrangements for boats and canoes for spring vacation.
Word was received here this week by the relatives of the illness of Mr. W. B. Sweeney, at a Coshocton hospital. Mr. Sweeney was stricken on the street.
M. B. Schmidt, who has conducted a picture show successfully at Huron, has leased Crystal Theater here and will operate it every evening. The admission has been changed to 5c for all. New, and first-class films will be shown. The show commences tonight.
Dr. Swisher Resigns
At the conclusion of the morning service last Sunday, Dr. Swisher presented his resignation to the congregation. This was done that he might except a unanimous call to the First Congregational Church of Streator, Illinois. He asked that the pastoral relations be severed not later than May 1.
Dr. Swisher came to the church from Kelly’s island almost three years ago and has enjoyed a very profitable and pleasant pastorate in our midst. All departments of the church work has prospered under his leadership and his church is loath to have him leave…
[NOTE: While this has some historic relevance in general, it is likely more relevant to me than most others so I didn’t include the entire article.]
Attorney Geo. Ritter and wife of Sandusky spent the first of the week with Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Fowler.
Mrs. Henry Grooms is very critically ill in her home. She was reported a little better Wednesday morning, but still little hopes of her recovery.
The coasting at the west end of town near the ravine has been fine for the past few weeks. It is estimated that the sled would cover a distance of one half mile in one minute 45 seconds. Going at that rate of speed a full sled load of young people had a head-on collision with Mr. Neu of Berlinville, who was on his way home from Huron. The result was that joints were stiffened, limb sprained, eyes blackened, and noses enlarged, but very fortunate that no one was seriously hurt.
A very dangerous accident occurred on last Thursday afternoon when Mrs. C. V. Snyder and little daughter Esteen were thrown from a sled in the business part of the village. Supt. Snyder was driving and one bob of the sled following the rail of the Cleveland and Southern Western Electric track gave the other a quick jerk when the two were thrown violently on the frozen snow and ice. The little girls forehead was badly bruised and cut requiring several stitches. Mrs. Snyder’s arm side was badly bruised. Fortunately they were not hurt so seriously as was at first anticipated that both are nearly recovered.
Mrs. Samuel Bacon is confined to her home by illness.
Mrs. Raymond Fairchild was brought home Friday afternoon from St. Joseph’s Hospital, Lorain. She is recovering nicely from the effects of an operation for appendicitis.
About six couples of Oberlin students were in town coasting last Saturday.
Walter Mr. Walter Malone Jr, returned to the orphanage last Friday after a few days visit with his parents at Cleveland.
Mr. F. Stephenson who has been staying with his niece, Mrs. J. W. Fraze this winter, has been removed to the Soldiers Home in Sandusky.
Mr. Harry Ennes who has been laid up with rheumatism at Milan is now at home and able to be about.
John Zurcher spent Sunday the guest of his sister and family.
Don’t forget the Leap Year dance at Forest Hall in South Amherst February 16, 1912.
Leimbach brothers have purchased three great trotting horses, and expect to race this season.
Mr. Seymour Leimbach and sister Miss Blanche made a flying trip to Amherst Saturday with their trotters.
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