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Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

My family pride is something inconceivable. I can't help it. I was born sneering. -Sir W. S. Gilbert......A friend is a gift you give yourself.-Robert Louis Stevenson......... It used to be that people needed products to survive. Now products need people to survive. - Nicholas Johnson.........This week The Band is Up On Cripple Creek (a long one)....rnt............

September 13, 2014 -  Cartoon and Elberta Aerial

Emotion and Elberta

SHOPTALK: Atop the museum’s desktop this week is a beautiful aerial photograph over the area that would eventually become known as Elberta Beach. As indicated this came from local historian Al Doane’s collection. I believe the person who captured the pic had the last name of “Ewers” – or something like that. He took several aerials of Vermilion and surrounding communities (probably) during the 30s.

Elberta (the Inn, the beach, and the subdivision) acquired their name from the Elberta Peach orchards that one grew in the area. I don’t know who was responsible for them.

The Elberta complex - (circled) was much larger than many persons born in the years following the date of this pic remember. The dancehall still exists – in part. And as many persons already know the restaurant part of the complex burned to the ground just a few years ago.

Before both the restaurant and dancehall were moved several meters north of that seen in this photograph the hall was damaged in a tornado. While it was rebuilt (in part) it was never returned to its former glory.

The summer resort of Vermilion-on-the-Lake (as well as Elberta) was still in its infancy in this photograph. But neither area would remain empty for long.

On my home desktop this week is a cartoon rendering of me trying to keep up with things. I can only say that I’m not winning that battle. At least not at the moment.

SOMETHING OF INTEREST: Among the visitors to the museum this week were Jack and DeWitt and his wife. Jack is the youngest son of one of Vermilion’s former school superintendents, C.K. DeWitt.

I’m happy he stopped by to visit because it fills in some of the blanks – the things I didn’t know, but wondered about – regarding Mr. DeWitt.

Mr. DeWitt began working in Vermilion’s schools as a teacher and a coach prior to the time South Street School was built. He later became Principal and then Superintendent. He was one of those rare persons (like Paul Rigda, the Superintendent of the Elyria School System) who worked his way up through the system. Ergo, he knew the people in the town, the school board, the children, the teachers, and custodians, and school bus drivers.

When he retired in the mid 1960s his salary was a whopping $13,000. (And that was after he’d been given a $2,000 raise just a year or two earlier.) Even for a person in that position it was not an exorbitant salary.

I also learned that the house just south of the DeWitt “Lustron” steel home on Jefferson Street where Rev. Earl and Zella English lived after Mr. English retired as minister at the First Congregational Church was built by Al Schroeder for Mr. English. Mr. Schroeder, also a teacher and coach, later became a Vermilion High School Principal as well.

I know that factoid has nothing to do with the DeWitt family. However, I had coincidentally wondered if Mr. and Mrs. English were the first persons to live in that particular home just that morning. Now I know.

I often get more information from visitors than they acquire from me…

BOBBI RILEY: Several weeks ago Vermilion expatriate Bobbi Riley who now lives in Santa Maria, CA. emailed me asking for a copy of the 100th Anniversary booklet that was published by The News for Vermilion’s E&R Church in 1953. She told me that she had asked the current church for a copy of the book, and they had indicated they didn’t have one. I was surprised that the church didn’t have it. But it may be that they only have one copy and didn’t (understandably) want to part with it.

But not matter I re-published the booklet digitally (and Bobbi, of course, received a copy). In time I will try to do the whole booklet as it was originally done. (We still have all the original engravings at the museum.)

After I sent the book to Bobbi (wherein I discovered that I had omitted the last two pages of it) she sent me some very interesting material. This included numerous pix – some from the 50th reunion of the 1938 class of VHS – and some pix of members of that class that were probably taken in 1938. She also sent me programs from several school-type functions at Vermilion and Sandusky, as well as two full issues of the VHS newspaper, The Compass, from October and November 1939. The papers are in pristine condition (and very interesting).

On November 8th the museum is going to have a “wine-tasting” event at the museum and I believe that one of the rooms in the museum will be dedicated to Vermilion School students and activities of the 20th century. These two publications will most certainly have a place in that room.

I really can’t thank Bobbie enough for her contributions over the years to our work in helping to preserve the history of our community for future generations. Though she lives in California her roots are in good ol’ Vermilion. Some folks might have tossed these items in the trash or sold them at a flea market. Thank you, thank you, thank you…

MUSUEM SCHEDULE: Beginning now the museum will be open six days a week from 11 AM to 3 PM. We will be closed on Sundays and Holidays. We are located at 727 Grand Street in Vermilion across the street from Vermilion's historic E&R Church. The museum is open Monday thru Saturday from 11 AM to 3 PM. A small admission donation of $3 (for adults) is requested. Children accompanied with an adult will be admitted free. For Special Tours call: 440-967-4555.

We are closed on Sundays and holidays.

Private tours during those hours and during the evening can be arranged by calling the museum, or stopping in to see us.

FIVE-OH-ONE-CEE-THREE: The museum is a 501(c)(3) organization. Consequently, all donations and memberships for the museum are tax deductible. This is retroactive to November of 2011.

Memberships for the VERMILION NEWS PRINT SHOP MUSEUM are always available. Funds generated will go toward the aforementioned renovations and maintenance of the shop.

A single membership for an adult is $15 a year.
A couple membership is $25 a year.
A student membership is $5.
And a lifetime membership is $100.

If you would like to become a member the VNPSM you can send a check or money order to:

Vermilion Print Shop Museum
727 Grand Street
Vermilion, Ohio 44089


LIKE US ON FACEBOOK:Take the time to visit us on Facebook. Click on the badge below and stop in. We'll keep adding pix as we go along. If you're in the area come on in. I try to be there in the a.m. most everyday. If you see a Chevy Silverado in the drive with the plate "MRCOOKR" stop by and see what's cooking.

Vermilion News Print Shop Museum

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Ms. K.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em...

AN INTERESTING PERSON: I shan’t say who this lady grabbing a smoke while she waits on a set of steps in Columbus, Ohio might be. I’ll leave that up to “Viewers”. But she was one of the most popular and unpopular teachers (depending on which side of the paddle you were standing) in the Vermilion School System way back when.

It seems so odd to see a teacher lighting up in public now. But back then few thought much of it.

Looking East on Liberty 


DOWN LIBERTY:Things have changed a good deal since my grandfather (Roscoe) captured these shadows. Looking east down Liberty Avenue during the 1930s.

Most of the buildings on the north side of the street are gone now. The Englebry house still exists and the Trinter building (i.e. the Old Prague Restaurant) are still there. And the interurban rails have also been consigned to history. Nonetheless the area is still recognizable.

Sid Simon 


SID SIMONS: If birds could talk logically pioneer grocer, Sid Simons', parrot Lindy (a.k.a. Polly) probably could have told Vermilionites of the 1940s a great deal more than they either should or would have wanted to know about their neighbors and friends. For more than 50 years the Simons family ran a local grocery business in our town. And though Polly wasn't around' all that time he was there long enough to observe and absorb all that he saw and heard in his domain on Grand Street. It is said that even the most innocent of passers-by during a summer evening stroll seldom escaped Polly's assaults on their character interspersed with an occasional compliment 'for a well turned ankle or two if a lady happened by. Such was the amiable atmosphere of the village in its early days.

Mr. Simons, Sid, was born in 1852 on a small farm south of town. That same year a story called Uncle Tom's Cabin was being published in an Abolitionist magazine call the National Era. It was a story that would help change the very course of American history. A man with the oddest of names, Millard Fillmore, had been thrust into the presidency of our nation due the untimely death of President Zachary Taylor. San Quentin Prison near San Francisco, California had just opened for business. The "Swedish Nightingale" Jenny Lind was on a singing tour of the country, A fellow named P.T. Barnum was her agent. A Shakespearian actor by the name of Brutus Junius Booth died leaving a son, John Wilkes, whose name would eventually live in historical infamy.

Simons was inclined to look back at his early years with some regret. Yes, there were the hardships and troubles, but there were also good times on the farms he once worked and owned. He would often state "I'd rather be on the farm than in the store."

He married his wife, Algra, when he was 21 and she was but 15 years of age. Their children, Gertrude (b.1882) and Cortland (b.1885), were born on their 38-acre farm. After a time he left farming and came into the village to work on the coal docks. Later he went into a partnership in a store at Berlinville, Ohio just a stone's throw southwest of Berlin Heights. Shortly after this time the Simons family opened their first store in Vermilion.

The family lived in the back of the first grocery. It was located immediately south of the railroad tracks on Grand Street. Several years later Mr. Simons built a new store on the same street with living quarters above it that would serve as the family home for a number of years afterward. It was in this store that Sid Simons would spend the next 50 years of his life weighting out sugar and standing behind the counter ready to serve his customers.

Polly, the bird was a gift brought to him by the local dog warden some time after the death of Sid's wife. It. was not intended to take her place but it certainly did one thing; silence was not a problem. The bird took up residence quickly without giving any though of leaving, and Mr. Simons appeared to enjoy the company. Polly even had a chair and a place at the dinner table.

I, unfortunately, never knew Mr. Simons. I did, however, know his son Cort. Cort and his wife Myrtle lived in the old brick house on the southeast corner of Ohio and Grand Streets. I remember both as being very friendly people. The Vermilion News office being so close to their home, I saw them with some regularity. If my memory serves me well, Myrtle helped us at the print shop. I believe Cort was, among other things, a volunteer fireman. I also remember that our old fox terrier, Mr. Chips, was inclined to stop at their house every morning for a treat as he made his rounds about town everyday.

As it is obvious, Vermilion was a village of enterprising and very friendly characters. Sid Simons, his store, and his parrot were but a few of them. They are truly unforgettable.

Ref: The Vermilion News; 11-21- 1940; Ancestry com: 1900 U.S. Census, Vermilion, Ohio; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 04/22/14.

The Pelton wheel=

Page 9

AGAIN - ANOTHER NEW (NOW OLD) THING: Initially I said that "This will not take the place of the "Macabre" stuff all the time - but will supplement whilst I search for more macabre stories to tell." But methinks that it's carved out a niche for itself and the "Macabre stuff" with have to find another.

So stay tuned...

Vol. X – NO.20 – October 25, 1906.


George Fischer has filed in the court of common pleas a petition for the appointment of a receiver for the a property of the Maudelton Hotel Co. J.J. Fey was appointed receiver by Judge Reed and gave bond on Thursday.

The petition states that the defendant which is an Ohio corporation organized for the purpose of operating the hotel in a question has an authorized capital stock of $10,000, of which 20 per cent has been subscribed and paid for, and plaintiff is the owner of eight shares of stock of the par value of $800, and he is a director and officer of the corporation. He is also the owner of the real estate upon which the hotel Maudelton is located. He says that by virtue of an agreement made with the defendant corporation immediately subsequent to its organization, plaintiff executed and delivered to the defendant a lease of the real estate and certain personal property located upon the premises. The consideration expressed in the lease to be paid by the defendant corporation was the sum of $200, per month: that defendant accepted the lease and entered into possession of and has continued in such possession and has operated therein a hotel for the accommodation of the public. The corporation expanded for furniture and equipment the sum of $4,000, $2000 of which was realized from the sale of stock and $2,000 from money borrowed which is secured by chattel mortgage and its personal property. Fischer says that at present time the corporation is indebted in the sum of more than $3,200 in excess to the sum of $2,000 due upon the note secured by said chattel mortgage in all a sum of about $5,200; that the total assets of said corporation do not exceed $4,500 and if sold at their fair market value would realize a much smaller sum of money, that during the time the corporation has operated the hotel it has been run at a loss and the money paid in by plaintiff and the other stockholders has been lost and the corporation is insolvent and cannot longer continue in business. It is indebted to the plaintiff for rent and by virtue of the terms of the lease between the plaintiff and the defendant, plaintiff did on the 15th day of October 1906, put an end to the lease and takes possession of the real estate and the personal property so leased, and the corporation is no longer in possession thereof nor has it any place to remove its property, nor any use to which to put the same, nor has it any funds by which to cause the same to be removed. Creditors are pressing for their claims and have commenced suit thereto and unless the court takes charge of the property and cause the same to be administered, some creditors by judgement and lien will obtain preference over others and thereby prevent a fair and equitable distribution of the property among all the creditors. Plaintiff prays that a receiver may be appointed without notice to take charge of the property and cause the same to be properly inventoried and report thereof made to the court, and with the usual and customary powers: that said property may be disposed of and the proceeds applied in accordance with the orders of the court; that upon a final hearing, the corporation may be wound up and that all other relief may be granted as to the court may seem proper.

[VV. Ed. Note: This an interesting development. Earlier in 1906 the hotel had a grand opening advertising new furnishings, etc. Obviously, the owners (I’ve no idea who managed the corporation) over-extended themselves. Also note that the plaintiff, George Fischer, – businessman / owner of the real estate and minority stockholder – was, among other things, an attorney. It will be interesting to discover who was appointed receiver and who eventually acquired ownership of the hotel itself. I was always under the impression that Fischer owned the Hotel – but I was mistaken. He, wisely, owned the property on which the hotel was located. It will be interesting to see who ended up owning the hotel.]


The sum of $1,870 is the tribute paid to thus far to the law by vice and lawlessness in Lorain County, says the Lorain Times-Herald. This sum was paid in fines by those caught in Prosecutor Stevens’ dragnet, and in addition, many hundreds of dollars have been paid as costs. And this sum represents only a comparatively few cases in which pleas of guilty were entered.

Thirty arrests for selling liquor on Sunday. Eleven sentenced to pay fines aggregating $970.

Six arrests for operating slot machines and permitting gaming devices operated in their places. Three sentenced to pay fines aggregating $150.

Six women indicted for operating houses of ill fame. Three fined and three driven from the county.

Eighteen indictments in the prize fight case.

This is the result of Stevens’ crusade in abbreviated and concise form and show precisely what the crusade has accomplished thus far, in addition to the moral effect which the crusade will exert.

[VV. Ed. Note: And we all know how effective Prosecutor Stevens’ efforts were…l]

Death of George Smith

Geo smith was born in Vermilion township Feb. 20, 1863. Not far from the scene of his birth at the old homestead, he breathed his last Oct. 19, 1906 at the age of 43 years 7 months and 29 days. On Dec. 26, 1901, he was united in marriage to Belle Thompson.

His life with the exception of a few months spent in Cleveland, was lived and about Vermilion. By his death the community has lost a most respected and valued citizen, and his family a most kind and devoted husband. Of his immediate relatives there are left to mourn his loss a widow, a mother, four sisters and two brothers.

Funereal services wee held at the homestead Sunday noon, rev. Geo E. Merrill officiating, and was largely attended. At the grave the impressive M.W. of A. committed services were held. Mr. Smith was interested in the Duplex Stamping Co., and had recently purchased controlling interest in the concern but failing health compelled ceasing operations.

[VV. Ed. Note: Mr. Smith’s death explains the reason the Duplex Stamping Co. in Vermilion failed. It was not apparent in all the litigation surrounding the failure of the company.

Nuhn’s Saloon Robbed

Sunday about noon Nuhn Bros. saloon was entered and the till tapped and nearly $50, in checks and $100 in cash taken. Entrance was gained through a window in the Wooden Market next door and through a window, which opens into the restaurant from the market. From here it was easy enough to get into the saloon. The thief left by the back door leaving it open.

A young man by the name of Peter Klein is suspected of the crime and the authorities are on the look out for him. He had been at work in Birmingham and came to the saloon and asked to leave his valise, which he did. Sunday he started up the street with John Nuhn to go home with him but after going a short distance said he was too tired to walk and would go back and take the car. It is supposed he went back and entered the building as above described and taking his valise left for parts unknown. Several saw him going east and a young man was seen on the Electric Railway track going toward Linwood Park siding and it is supposed he took the car but which way is not known. Marshal Delker went to Lorain but found no trace of him. The boy came here from Lorain on a wagon and went to work for Geo. Baumhart. He claimed to have run away from some house in Cleveland. He had been in the employ of several while here.


For some time past several of the Lorain Italians have been greatly excited over threats from the mysterious Bland Hand society. Of one a demand was made for the payment of $200 and the man retaliated by deliberately drawing a revolver and shooting a fellow countryman just as he descended from a street car while on his way home from work. The man who fired the shot fled and cannot be found. About all the police can do is to make surmises as to the cause but it is supposed the man who was shot was a member of the society and their victim strove to protect himself the best he could from their demands. The wounded man will probably recover.

Another Italian was forced to leave town sacrificing his property in order to escape from the dreaded band.

Lorain claims much as a city of thrift. It has also to contend with some of the most dangerous element especially among its foreign population.


The catch of fish is reported good.

The Berlin St. Bridge was swung nearly all day Thursday to allow the dredging of the river. People transferred by ferry.

Seven of the crew of one of the boats in port here Friday made things lively for a time. They were treated to a night in the village lockup and fined on Saturday.

A new business block is one of the possibilities of this town in the near future.

Berlin Heights

Born – Wednesday, Oct. 17 to Mr. and Mrs. Ira Van Thorne, a son.

Prof. C.M. Davis Supt. Of the Berlin Heights schools has tendered his resignation to the school board to take effect Dec. 31st. Mr. Davis wishes to enter the University of Chicago the first of the year for the purpose of further fitting himself for his chosen profession.


Miss Edna Trinter is ill at her home.

D.E. Thompson is in readiness to give his patrons good satisfaction in the way of cider making.

Mr. Rudolph Buss, our enterprising young cheese-maker has purchased a fine new Edison phonograph.

The pupils and teacher of our school wish to announce to you that on Thursday evening Nov. 1st. they will give a social at the schoolhouse. Some of the features of the evening entertainment will Drills, Marches and Pantomime. Mr. Buss has kindly given his consent to be in attendance with his Phonograph. Refreshments will be served; the price of the suppers is 10c. Come and enjoy yourself.

Dr. E. Beeman, a famous chewing gum man of Cleveland, is a wreck mentally and physically and has been removed to a sanitarium. Dr. Beeman formerly resided at Wakeman and Birmingham.

[VV. Ed. Note: Ironically, there is some history pertaining to Dr. Beeman in the Artifacts section of “VV” this week. I put that together before I saw this article. Anyway, the good doctor died in Cleveland and is buried in Harvard Cemetery in that city. I tried to find out what was ailing him, but have yet to uncover that information.]

Coroner McClelland holds both Motorman Moody and the L.S.E. Ry. Co. responsible for the wreck here on August 4th, in which three lives were lost and 105 injured. He holds moody responsible because he violated the rules in passing the east bound car. The company is held contributory to the accident in permitting the overloading of cars.

[VV. Ed. Note: This is the conclusion I arrived at also – after reviewing all I knew about the mishap. I’m glad someone agreed with me.]


BORN – To Mr. and Mrs. El Harris Friday, October 19, 06, a son.

Mr. and Mrs. Worley Houseman and daughter Clara, were guest of Mr. and Mrs. E.T. Bottomley over Sunday.

Officer Meister of Lorain police force was here Sunday evening looking for an Italian was [sic] shot a fellow countryman Sunday afternoon.

An Edison Phonograph is a valuable acquisition to any home. A.D. Baumhart an supply you.

Geo. Frazer who was one of the principals in the Oak Point “prize fight” was fined $200, and costs Wednesday. Several who were in attendance were assessed $5 and costs. Others were let go without further punishment.

When looking for hors blankets and lap robes inspect my line. There are no cottons in my stock. – J.A. Klaar.

S.C. Myers has commenced tearing down the old church steeple prior to removing the building to Grand street where rumor says he is going to fit it up for a dry goods store.

[VV. Ed. Note: This one rouses my curiosity. I wonder what building this may have been?]

Coroner McClelland was here Saturday to investigate the cause of the death of George Smith. Cancer of the liver was found to be the trouble.

[Mr. Smith’s obituary can be found above. Nonetheless, I wonder as to the reason someone thought an autopsy was in order. Maybe someone thought his death suspicious because of the financial problems of the Duplex Stamping Company. These, of course, are things no one will ever know. But, again, my curiosity is piqued. Someone may very well have thought that he committed suicide.]

Ralph Hazelton is seriously ill at the Lakside Hospital, Cleveland. Grave fears are entertained for his recovery.

Capt.’s Bell and Gegenheimer spent Friday at home.

J.S. Ream of Greensprings is the guest of Mrs. H.A. Haven.

[VV. Ed. Note: H.A. Haven was George Whitmore’s mother. Both Whitmore and Mrs. Haven were the first publishers of The Vermilion News. I don’t know who J.S. Ream was. But I wonder if that person was related to our “Doc” Howard and his son, Bill, Ream?]

Capt.’s Blattner, full and Walper were among those who visited their families here this wee.

S.W. Simons has brought suit against the proprietors of the Maudelton Hotel and the hearing will take place Saturday. This is probably but the forerunner of a number of similar actions.

[VV. Ed. Note: This note refers back to the request made by local entrepreneur George Fischer to have a receiver appointed to oversee the apparent bankruptcy of the Maudelton corporation. Mr. Fischer was apparently trying to head-off complications and insure an orderly and equitable payment of debts incurred by the corporation.]


Wakefield workers

Wakefield Lighting Workforce c.1940

VERMILION IS THEIR TOWN AND WAKEFIELD IS THEIR COMPANY: In November of 1940 the F. W. Wakefield Company formally unveiled a new addition to the plant that would double its capacity for the storage of new products and parts, and to allow increased space for assembling light fixtures. The additional space, designed and built by the Austin Company, was necessary to handle the rapidly growing business in the manufacture of fluorescent lighting equipment. Fifty-five percent of Wakefield's business during the year had been in fluorescence. Just a year prior it had accounted for only 3 percent of that business. And although 1939 had been the best year on record for the company since it was established in 1907, indications were that a full forty percent volume increase in business would be experienced in 1940.

Prior to adding this addition the company warehoused materials in rented facilities in various locations throughout the village. This situation was unacceptable to the growing concern. At least six years earlier the pioneer electric lighting company had begun to investigate and experiment with the development of a new unit that would replace glass and metal reflectors on lighting fixtures. Company officials recognized an increasing need to craft an attractive, light weight, shock-resistant reflector unit for this purpose. By 1939 such a unit had been developed, and its manufacture had begun. This innovative design, which offered "a wealth of glareless light for better seeing", married to a national advertising campaign in trade magazines that would reach over one and a half million businesses and institutions of learning resulted in a substantial increase in demand for the fixtures throughout North America. The F.W. Wakefield Company had really put Vermilion, Ohio on the map as its home.

For those who are interested, the material of which this new reflector was made was called Plaskon (after the name of the company that developed and made it). For the sake of simplicity the reflector was made of a new plastic material capable of being effectively used in a 200 to 1500 watt reflector and of withstanding temperatures of 300 degrees plus. A 300 to 500 watt reflector was successfully marketed under the name "Commodore". More than a few schools and offices in Vermilion were fitted (and remain fitted) with Wakefield lights.

One thing that should never be ignored in any discussion of this company is its workforce. At least 99.9 percent of that crew, here photographed by local photographer Rudy Moe on October 22, 1940 outside the new plant addition, were native Vermilionites. Vermilion was their town and Wakefield was their company. A.F. Wakefield, company President 'and General Manager in 1940, commented that "these people guide the factory toward lighting progress.". They, in short, were the F. W. Wakefield Company.

Therein were men and women with names like Alice Fazey, Russ Darley, Edna Mae Maurer, Russ Nieding, Tony Beursken, Orson Kuhnle, John Trinter, Amos Feiszli, Ray Crosier, Flora Hollister, Fred Friday, "Tug" Wilson, Don Hoffman, Eva Krapp, Alf Buell, Art Copeland, Harvey "Buck" Rodgers, and Carl Shroeder. These are but a few of the names of those in this photo. All were an important part of the company and our little village; our schools, our churches, our government.

Townsfolk could set their watches by the whistle that called these people to work in the morning and sent them home to their respective families every afternoon. Life was good. It was very good - in that Vermilion of yesteryear.

Ref: The Vermilion News; 11-7-40; 2- 24-38; Special Thanks to: Amos Feiszli and the Vermilion Photojournal; Published in the Vermilion Photojournal 04/15/2004.

"The township was named after the principle river
emptying into the lake through its territory..."

THE FIRE-LANDS: I found the following information re: the early inhabitants of our area to be extremely informative. Methinks you will also.

I am getting better at transcribing these passages so there are fewer mistakes. But I like to read as I go - and sometimes I fill in the blanks. So tread carefully this trail through yesteryear.

The following series will take thee to the townships south of Vermilion. Methinks you'll find this history quite fascinating.



…active members, its charter was surrendered in February, 1874. During its existence nearly one hundred persons became members of it.

On January 20, 1872, an organization of this order was effected at Bloomingville, by A. M. Collins, with W. M. Hills, W. C. T. During the subsequent spring, rooms were prepared in the upper part of Mrs. Mary James residence. We understand this society has also passed out of existence.


The first doctor to locate in the township was Waitsell Hastings, who came, as before stated, in 1811. He eventually removed to near Parkertown, in Groton township, where he died a few years since. Dr. Strong succeeded him, and practiced some years. He is now deceased. Dr. Carpenter came next, and was the only physician in the township for many years. He moved west and died. His son, Samuel B. Carpenter, succeeded him. Dr. George Carpenter came next. Dr. Isaac Rogers was the first practitioner of the botanic school; he lived in the township some twenty years. The present physician is M. J. Love, recently removed from Monroeville.


The improvements, if they deserve the name, made by the first settlers, were of the most primitive kind: a rude, ill-constructed log cabin, covered with shakes, as they were called, with stable, etc., of the same order of architecture, together with a few acres of land enclosed for cultivation, did, in most cases, constitute the sum total of improvements. The procuring of a bare subsistence made a large draft on the time of the pioneer. Until nearly the close of the war most of the meal (little flour being used), consumed by the inhabitants, was transported by water from Cleveland to the mouth of Huron river, and thence conveyed on pack-horses to its place of destination. Tea, coffee and sugar were almost entirely unused.


The early settlers of this part of the Fire-lands suffered more from sickness than all other causes. During the months of August and September, in every year, bilious and intermittent fever, and ague and fever, prevailed to a great extent. The change of climate, water and mode of living, created a general predisposition to disease, and all were affected, some years more than others, so much so that long afterwards, one year in particular was referred to as the sickly season. Whole families would be prostrated at the same time, and not one in the house be able to give another a glass of water.


A sense of mutual dependence, their solitary mode of life, and perhaps other causes, produced a friendship and hearty good will for each other among the early settlers, that never exists in the older and more densely populated settlements. The latch-string was always out, and the traveler was received with the most cordial welcome, and partook of the best the cabin afforded, generally pretty coarse fare, “-without money and without price." The raising of a building collected most of the men from a wide circuit; and if a settler, from sickness or other cause, was unable to plow, plant or harvest in season, his neighbors would collect and do his work for him; those living six or eight miles apart even, were considered as neighbors. In all their gatherings, and they were frequent, the most perfect equality and good will prevailed.


Among the most prominent evils and hardships incident to the settlement of the Fire-lands, was that of procuring bread, even of the coarsest kind. Even as late as 1820, there were not mills sufficient to supply the wants of a rapidly increasing population. Ebenezer Merry had erected a mill at Milan, Major Frederick Faley one at Cold Creek, near the present village of Venice, and I believe there was one near the head of the creek, and a man named Powers had built one on Huron river, in Greenfield township. These were all small affairs, with one run of stone. The machinery and dams were rude, ill constructed, and out of order a great portion of the time. The roads were almost impassible for wagons, and even dangerous for a single horse, with a bag of grain and a rider on his back.

Mr. Drake says: "I was of that age when not large enough to do a man's work on the farm, but still large enough to go to mill, and is was a duty I was generally detailed to perform. The following expedition to Powers mill will show how it was done. The mill stood in the woods, and resembled an old fashioned tan house. The basement, containing the machinery, was unenclosed [sic], the upper story boarded up barn fashion, and constructed inside with more regard for convenience than beauty. The presiding genius of the establishment was constructed on the same principles — one leg being much shorter than its mate. He was old and cross. Millers were then as absolute as the 'Autocrat of all the Russia’s.' There was no appeal from their decisions, and as it was a matter of bread, if not butter, people were willing to submit to a great deal to secure so desirable a consummation. The state of the roads and the distance most persons came, made it necessary to spend one night at the mill. The night I was there I found some ten or twelve others, and we all camped down wherever a vacancy could be found among the bags. The regular clicking of the hopper, the surging, gushing sound of the water, as it escaped from the mill wheel, the noise of people talking and traveling around hunting for bags, and the singing of mosquitoes, produced a concert of discordant sounds that precluded the possibility of sleep. Still there was no complaining: it was considered as a necessary evil. The next night when I lay "down at home on a comfortable bed, I could have…

Excerpts from: The Fire Lands, Comprising Huron and Erie Counties, Ohio; W.W. Williams - 1879 -
Press of Leader Printing Company, Cleveland, Ohio

Beemans Gum


BEEMANS (A BEWITCHING STORY): Beeman is a chewing gum invented by Ohio physician Dr. Edward E. Beeman in the late 19th century. Beeman originally marketed the gum, which is made of pepsin powder and chicle, as an aid to digestion. Pepsin was discontinued as an ingredient many years ago.

The brand has changed hands over the years and was discontinued in the late 1970s due to low sales. The Cadbury Adams Company is currently making the gum in a single batch every 2 to 3 years.

Edwin Eugene Beeman was born on the 27th of March 1839 in LaGrange, Ohio. He married Mary Orilla Cob on 6 Nov 1862 in Birmingham; they had two sons – Harry and Lester. Edwin was the only son of Julius Beeman, Jr. and his first wife Laura Gott; Julius Jr. was the son of Julius Beeman (b: 28 Jan 1773) and Charlotte Broughton (b.17 Oct 1780); Julius is the son of Parke Beeman (b.1737) and Anna Keeney. Parke is the son of Thomas Beeman and Phoebe Parke (b.1692). The family is descendants of Thomas and Phoebe and research indicates that they are descendants of Alice Young who married Simon Beeman. Alice was the daughter of the first witch hung in Connecticut, Alyse Young, who was married to one John Young.

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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 years Vermilion High School Class of 1959 reunion is over classmates may want to stay connected with each other through organizer Roger 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 Amazon.com 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, "Grandmas’ 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 Amazon.com. 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, Amazon.com 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):
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Vol.12, Issue 27 - September 13, 2014

Archive Issue #601

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