Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

Success is a public affair. Failure is a private funeral. - Rosalind Russel......The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, HE was a genius.- Sid Caeser......A gentleman is a man who can play the accordion but doesn't. - Unknown.......What builds a wall, but doesn't...........rnt...............

February 16,  2019>THE AUTOIST  900


SHOPTALK:I find the pix on the computer desks this week to be amusing. Both are of my maternal grandfather, Pearl Roscoe, and his cars. I don’t know when he acquired his first one, but by the way he looks in both of these photographs it appears that he was an addicted autoist.

He looks like a gangster in the newer car (1924 Essex Coach Sedan) on my shop desk. I have no idea what he might be doing in the other pic. I am assuming that it may be his first auto (this may be the one in the driveway behind him in the newer pic). It appears that my Aunt Alice Roscoe-Lindsay is the gal in the backseat of the car. My mom might have been the gal next to her.

Both pix were, of course, taken on Grand Street in Vermilion. The newer one is in front of the print shop and the older one is in front of the Rudy Moc photo studio on the northeast side of the railroad tracks.

In the Moc Studio pic the First Congregational church is visible in the background. Unfortunately I have not been able to identify the make of the automobile in that pic. I am tempted to call it a Monroe, but I have not been able to find a Monroe that had a hardtop. The fenders on the car are what led me to this conclusion.

What surprises me further is the fact that there were so many different types of cars back in the early years of the 20th century. I guess everybody and his brother was trying to get into the business.

CRAZY WEATHER: I know the weather has been wacky all over the nation over the last few weeks. And here in northern Ohio we’ve been riding a roller-coaster of highs and lows, rain, snow, warm and cold.

Below is a wide-angle pic of the Olympic Outing Club almost three weeks after the river flooded. Since that time it got relatively warm, then intensely cold; the river froze slightly, then thawed again. But we didn’t get another flood (yet). Anyway, as you can see the ice still crowds the grounds at the club. It has thawed some, but not enough to make a big difference.

Just guessing, but it may be that the ice won’t disappear completely until March. Then again – it could snow, freeze up and stay that way until June.

This is unusual. These things happen along the river. But not like this.


RUGBY SCHOOL DISTRICT #8 – BANK & MORSE RDS: Someone contacted me via FaceBook several weeks ago asking me if I had a pic of this school. While I certainly did have a pic of it, it was much newer than the one in the accompanying these words. In fact, I’d forgotten I had this pic. As is obvious it was provided by Brownhelm historian Bill Cutcher. And more important, he provided the names of those pictured. They are L-R:

1. Mildred Reynolds 2. Gertrude Reynolds 3. Freed Bacon in back of 4. Gertrude Kneisel Portman 5. Nelson Newberry in back (hid with cap showing) 6. Elmer Kneisel 7. Fred Kreig in back 8. Clifford Philby in front 9. Aurel Peasley 10 Erwin Peasley in back of Aurel 11. Carl Schuster in front 12. Henry Leimbach with felt hat 13. Walter Miller 14. Freda Philby 15. Nettie Krieg in back 16. Hazel Nye 17. Mae Woodruff Claus 18. Clara Dalzell standing in rear beside 19. Lara Van Wagnen – teacher 20. Clara Leimbach Portman 21. Call Philby

I guesstimate that this pic was a c. 1910-11 photo. I also want to mention that persons wanting to contact me would do better by using my email address: It’s quicker. Facebook is not a favorite resource for me.


WHEN AN OLD HOME DIES: PREFACE: Right up front I will confess that I didn’t write most what follows. It was published in the town’s former weekly – The Vermilion News – on July 19, 1956. My mother, Ella Roscoe-Tarrant, likely wrote it. And whether you’re a local history aficionado or not, it is both an interesting and informative article. The difference between the first and this publication is that no photographs accompanied the first. But with or without the photos methinks you will find it an extremely compelling story:

“The bang of hammers and the straining creak of a board being pried away from its resting place for more than fifty years marks the passing of what at one time was one of the most beautiful old homes in Vermilion, to make way for the new Congregational Church on State Street. The house, known for more than fifty years as the “Wilber House,” was built more than a hundred years ago (c.1856) by the grandparents of the late John Thompson on what was then the Thompson farm.

According to information gleaned from Vermilionites who have lived in the State Street area all their lives, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ball, the latter being a daughter of the Thompson’s, occupied the home many years ago. They remember the lovely white house and especially the fountain and pool stocked with turtles in the front yard. At that time Mr. Ball sold windmills for waterpower throughout the district and a windmill, which stood near the barn, furnished the water for the pool. After Mrs. Ball’s death the place passed into other hands.

Tom Ball will be remembered by many older residents as an enthusiastic boatman and as co-founder of the Vermilion Boat Club and was its first Commodore. He was a Civil War veteran and active in the GAR [i.e. the Grand Army of the Republic] Post and founded the GAR Band here, which was very well known throughout the state. It was his request that the band would play at his funeral and escort the funeral procession to the Nickel Plate tracks on its way to the cemetery.

Early in the 1900s Mr. and Mrs. Miller Wilbur purchased the old house. Mr. Wilbur operated the hardware store located where the Ray Miller Hardware now is. [The store is currently – in 2019 – a flower shop.] The Wilbers had lived in the beautiful Colonial house that was located in the Vermilion River valley at Swift’s Hollow. [This refers to the Joseph Swift house called “Rosedale”.] They were the parents of four lovely children and in less than a week, their happy home was struck by sorrow and tragedy, when all four of the Wilber children were stricken with the dreaded diphtheria and died within five days. This was a crushing blow from which the Wilbers never fully recovered. [The children died at the home of relatives in Berlin Heights, Ohio in 1893.]

After the Wilbers came to live in the house, porches were added, the yard landscaped and the pool filled in, became a flowerbed, bright with tulips each spring, and the place became a thing of beauty once again. We are indebted to Mrs. Elton Fischer, a grand niece of the Wilbers for much of the information concerning them.

Children and their welfare were always close to the hearts of the Wilbers. Although most of their own children’s things had been burned, a room in the home was always kept as “the children’s room.” They were very fond of their niece and nephews and loved to have them come for a visit, but Mrs. Wilbur never wanted them to stay in the house too long, although her own children had never lived there, she was always leery that some germ had clung to something. In letters written by Mrs. Wilber to her niece Mrs. Goodsell, she always called her home “Sunshine House” and most of them were written in poetry.

Many of the Wilbur’s kindnesses to children are unknown to any but the children she helped. One incident, which, stands out, occurred many years ago when Cincinnati suffered a bad flood. She worked early and late and sewed, alone, over one hundred garments for children for the Red Cross to distribute in the disaster area. They always gave their support to orphanages and crippled children, and on his deathbed Mr. Wilber’s last thoughts were expressed in his words, “don’t forget the poor and crippled children.”

It was the dearest dream of the Wilbers that their home be used after their deaths as an Orphanage. In their will the proceeds from the sale of their other property was bequeathed to area orphanages, and trustees were named to set up the home as an orphanage, but as there were not sufficient funds to run the home this was never done. When the property was at last sold the money went to child welfare.

Operation “Down You Go,” started last Saturday morning [07/14/1956] by men of the church under the guidance of Carl Russell, has been turning up some interesting things, but so far, no hidden money.

As the front roof was torn off, Ernie Bowen came across burned and charred rafters. The whole front section must have been badly burned at one time. Bob Moeller discovered a shingle dated August 1914. On it was the name of Tischer, and a message that they had built this dormer on that date.

From the amount of nails used, one could guess that Mr. Wilbur had owned a hardware store. Some roofing boards had as many as seven or eight nails on one end. These were standard round nails, but in most of the rest of the house are old square nails. At this point you can see the mergence of the heavy hewed beams, notched and wooden pegged, that form the structure of the house. Two solid black walnut hewed posts were found in the structure.

Don Lima and George Showalter found an old print in the first floor along with a wooden spoon and pestle. Bill Burt and John Maiden came across a few old books dating in the 1800s. All ages from Junior High to 70 were working Saturday. Some twenty-six workers plus Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Burrows coffee and donuts helped things along. Russell feels that two or more such Saturdays will finish the job.

When an old home dies, one begins to wonder about the hope sand dreams of the families who have lived there, and if they came true. We feel that Mr. and Mrs. Wilber would be happy to know that at last their dream of helping children will be realized, for with the passing of their lovely home, a beautiful new House of God will take its place, and the lives of many children will be made richer and better for having passed that way.”

Ref: Special Thanks to Roberta Riley, Santa Maria, CA.; revised 02/10/2019.

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. XIV, No 36 - VERMILION, OHIO THURSDAY, February 16, 1911

Post Office to Move

Postmaster Kane informs us he has made arrangements with the premises between Blattner’s Hardware and the Telephone Building and the Telephone Building will be repaired and fitted up in a suitable manner for the Post Office. He has purchased a complete new outfit of fixtures including the latest keyless lockboxes. More commodious accommodations will be arranged for the R. F. D. Carriers and it is contemplated having the lobby open until nine 9 p.m., so those having lockboxes can get their mail after the main office closes.

Electric lights will be installed. The department for some time past has been urging the necessity of more room and as only six or 8 feet more could be had in the present location, Mr. Kane finally decided to change location.

The work of refinishing the room has been commenced and is expected that the office will be moved to April 1st.

Vermilion will then have one of the finest post office equipments which can be found in a town of its size state.

[NOTE: Somewhere I have a pic of the front of this office when it was the Post Office. I had no way to substantiate my thought that the P.O. was located in this place until I came across this article. Good to know I was right.]

School Board Meeting

The Vermilion Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting Monday evening.

The matter of the truancy of three boys was brought up and it was determined to enforce the law. If the boys cannot be made to attend school here regularly, means is to be taken to place them where they will receive the necessary instructions to make them useful citizens instead of street loafers.

Another matter concerning the welfare of the school was discussed. There were some complaints concerning some of the rooms being cold Monday morning and the janitor was instructed to fire up earlier Sunday if necessary.

The question of taking charge of the books of the subscribers library was discussed to some length but no conclusion arrived at and the matter left over until next meeting.

After ordering payment of the bills the meeting adjourned.


In full settlement of possible claims for damages the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Ry. Co. has [paid] to the administrator of the estate of James McCann a total of $5000. Mr. McCann [was] assistant roadmaster of this division and fatally crushed between two cars at Amherst last August.

Nick Braont [sic], arrested some weeks ago on complaint of Harry J. Mason of Avery, charged with stealing numerous articles from a barn belonging to the complainant, was bound over to the grand jury Monday afternoon by Justice Dietrich, on a charge of petty larceny. Bond fixed in the sum of $100 was furnished.

E. L. Coen has been appointed executor of the last will and testament of the late Margaret P. Black of Vermilion Tp. The value of the decedent’s personal property is estimated at $8500 and her real estate, $2500.

Chamber of Commerce Notes

For the accommodations of any members who desire to pay their yearly dues arrangements have been made whereby they can leave same at Trinter & Unser’s. A receipt will be mailed without any delay acknowledging same to all following the above course.
Respectfully yours,

Opera House

The Bennett stock company has been at the Opera House this week. It is a very clever little company and their plays are of a clean and refined nature.

The most surprising features their prices of admission, one wonders how such a show can be produced at those prices.

An entire change of program for each evening has been the rule, and on Friday night, in addition to the regular show Mr. Roll Zimmerman of Huron and Mr. George Herkey of South Lorain will wrestle for a purse of $25 winner to take all, best two out of three falls.

A special school children’s matinee will be given on Saturday afternoon, when “School Days” will be repeated.

The Bennett Stock Co. certainly deserves the patronage of the people of Vermilion the balance of the week, as they are company of clever ladies and gentlemen. – Adv.

News of Nearby Towns


Philip Braun is on the sick list.

Only three deaths occurred in Amherst during the month of January.

BORN – to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Zeroll all, a daughter, Friday, Feb. 10, 1911.

Lewis Clark of Brownhelm is reported to be very sick with but little hopes of his recovery.

The funeral of Mrs. Caroline Hoey who passed away Monday was held today from St. Peter’s Evangelical church Rev. Lindenmeyer officiated. The deceased was 80 years of age.

Strong’s Corners

Elder Heussner or butchered for market Monday.

Miss Jennie Austin was married Wednesday at Elyria, Feb. 9, 1911.

Edith Reinhart was absent from school last week on account of sickness.

Miss Blanche Leimbach assisted Mrs. Kingsley with her work last week, on account of sickness.

Mr. Earl Leimbach and Clyde Huessner took their grain to market, at Elyria, Wednesday and Thursday.


Ben Fisler of Florence is under Dr. Boss care.

Mrs. Eva Saunders is again at Lakeside Hospital.

Mae DuRand was unable to work Saturday or Sunday night on account of a very sore eye.

Barbara Hillberg is unable to attend school, she is under doctor’s care.

Our Township went dry two one last Saturday which shows that public sentiment has not changed during the past twelve years.


The wet weather of late has made our roads almost impassable.

A large number of our residents attended to play at the opera house in Vermilion Saturday night.

D. Gunn of Berlin Heights is working in this vicinity with his wood buzzing machine.

Gene Yarrick ex-editor and ex-mayor of Berlin Heights was in Norwalk Thursday inspecting the early spring styles in men’s toggery. The ex-mayor sets the fashion for swell dressers in his town. – Norwalk News.


Miss Lyda Wakefield entertained the Cheer-up Club at her home on Exchange Street, Tuesday evening. The house was prettily decorated in honor of St. Valentine. Thirteen were present to enjoy the amusements and a dainty lunch.

The dog ordinance is now in full force. Take care of your dog. Several were gathered in today.

The California girls burlesque at the Opera House, Saturday night is reported as being first-class.

Mrs. Charles Delker went to Cleveland today to visit her husband at Marine Hospital.

A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Schade of Cleveland, Wednesday, Feb. 8th.

Mrs. S. W. Simons who is been quite ill for the past two weeks is reported better today.

Mr. George Andrews is still confined to his home by illness. His many friends anxiously await his recovery.

M. Wilber is contemplating enlarging his hardware store by removing the partition which divides it from the room formerly occupied by W. B. Bailey.


Ben Gunn, the city marshal is confined to his bed with Grippe.

The new library will be located for the present in the director’s room of the Citizens Banking Company.

The body of Mr. Kessler was brought here from Wakeman for burial Monday. Rev. Burnett officiated at the grave. Burial at Riverside Cemetery.

Funeral of Mrs. William F. Wilbur [sic] of Berlin Bill was held in Grange Hall at Berlin Bill Sunday afternoon February 12. The services were conducted by Rev. A. G. Rupert of this village. Mrs. Wilbur [sic] was 82 years old. She was a good neighbor, a kind mother and upright citizen.


Anson Pease is reported quite ill in his home.

E. B. Welch finished the six weeks job on this farm Friday.

E. J. Aubil purchased a speedy horse of Walter Wasem recently.

Wm. Gegenheimer is reported on the sick list.

Mrs. A. G. Risden has been spending a few days in Sandusky with her mother who is very ill.

The funeral of Almon Chapman was held from the late home on Monday afternoon, Rev. Harding officiating. The deceased was born on July 4, 1816. He leaves descendents extending into four generations. Interment was made in the Brown Hill Cemetery.





…that time the paper has been called The Register. In 1874 John T. Mack became a part owner, and for fourteen years the paper has been published under the firm name of I. F. Mack & Bro. In 1882 a Sunday edition was started, and since that date has been published every morning in the year. In 1869, when the present editor took charge, the Register was an evening daily, but he changed it to a morning paper in May, 1869.

The Register, from the time of its establishment to the death of that party, was an ardent advocate of Whig principles. It became Republican in 1856, and has so since remained, being all these years the recognized organ of that party in this county,

From the office of the Register are now issued four separate editions—daily, Sunday, tri-weekly and weekly. The business department is in charge of John T. Mack; Isaac F. Mack is editor-in-chief; C. P. Caldwell has the charge of the Sunday edition, and Charles Kline is in charge of the city department of the Daily Register.


Second in the order of founding in the county was the newspaper carrying the above head line. The paper was established at Milan in February, 1830, under the editorial management and proprietorship of Warren Jenkins. Its publication continued at that place for a single year only, after which the proprietor moved to the county seat for the purpose of starting an anti-Masonic paper. As to what end this last venture finally came we have no reliable in formation, but it seems to have failed of its main purpose in extinguishing Free Masonry, judging from the present popularity of that order throughout the county.


The Standard came into existence as a weekly publication at Sandusky in the year 1832 through the efforts of E. and J. H. Brown, and was intended to be the “organ" of the Jacksonian Democracy, and especially to advocate the cause of “Old Hickory." But the Standard proved to be a short-lived journal, and was soon discontinued.


On the 17th of January, 1837, the first number of the Advertiser made its appearance, issuing from an office at Huron, and from the editorial management of H. C. Gray. During the succeeding year the office was destroyed by fire, but in March, 1839, the paper again appeared and was published regularly until the year 1842, at which time the office was moved to Sandusky and a new weekly paper issued under the heading of the Commercial Advertiser, the publishers being M. H. Snyder & Co. Sandusky seems to have been, at that period at least, a no more profitable field for journalism than was Huron,…

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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A SURPRISE: I don’t recall precisely where I came across this relic, but as you can see it’s old. What took me by surprise is the fact that it is relatively valuable. However, before anyone goes leaping to conclusions re: its value, it may help to understand that because it’s not in “excellent” condition it’s unlikely to pay the proverbial rent for more than one month – if that. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting artifact of America’s past. It likely belonged to one of my great-great grandparents. It’s in a display case at the Vermilion History Museum. There are a plethora of little artifacts like it throughout the museum.


A man who had just undergone a very complicated operation kept complaining about a bump on his head and a terrible headache. Since his operation had been an intestinal one, there was no earthly reason why he should be complaining of a headache.

Finally his nurse, fearing that the man might be suffering from some post-operative shock, spoke to the doctor about it. The doctor assured the nurse, "Don't worry about a thing.

He really does have a bump on his head. About halfway through the operation we ran out of gas and the anesthetic nurse had to bean him with the fire extinguisher."

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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.

Rich; it is our 60th reunion and will be very informal. It looks like this at the present time; Tuesday, JULY 9, 2019.

-4pm Boat ride Vermilion River and Lagoons (Parsons)

-5:30pm Drinks and music on the Patio-Vermilion Boat Club

-6:30pm Dinner - order off the menu Vermilion Boat Club

Replys can be sent to;

Roger Boughton
2205 1th Ave. SW Ausitn, MN. 55912

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 "The Private War of William Styron" is available in paper back for $15.00 with tax and can be purchased locally at Buxton and Buxton Law Office in Urbanna, ordered from any book store, or Brandylane Publishing Company. A signed, hard back edition may be purchased from Mrs. Buxton directly for $30.00 by writing her at Box 488, Urbanna, VA 23175 and including $6.00 for tax, postage and packaging.

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

Links to additional Vermilion Ohio pages:

For Persons who would like to donate to the cause (to keep these "Views" on-line you can send whatever you would like to me at the following address. And THANKS to everybody who has already donated to the cause. I doth certainly appreciate it):
Rich Tarrant
P.O. Box 437
Vermilion, Ohio
Telephone: 440-967-0988 - Cell: 440-522-8397

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"They certainly give very strange names to diseases." - Plato

Vol. 16. Issue 50 - February 16, 2019

Archive Issue #831

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