Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

The road to hell is paved with adverbs. - Stephen King ....I am a deeply superficial person. - Andy Warhol......A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience - Doug Larson.....Aye, tis a great day for the Amish......rnt...............

March 17,  2018>Abstract & V educators 900


SHOPTALK: On the shoptop this week is an unusual abstract photo painting of my nephew and his sisters.

I’ve acquired some new software and was (as usual) experimenting with it using a pic I took of my nieces and nephew a year or so ago. I actually like the results.

Below is another pic I developed with similar software. This one is that of Liberty Avenue in Vermilion around 1935. Pictured is the corner of Liberty and Grand streets. I like the colors. The true photo is black and white.

I may try printing and framing some of these pix – I like them so much.

On my home desk this week is an old snap of a colorful gathering of several of the teachers (and the superintendent) of the Vermilion Schools, along with Rudy Moc and his father Rudy Moc. The pic was probably taken in the living room of the elder Moc’s home on Darrow Road in June of 1949. On the wall behind the group is a portrait of the VHS Football Team. Robert “Bob” Braden was the coach.

I believe that many readers will recognize everyone pictured: L-R: (seated) Tom Utter (below), C.K. DeWitt, Sarah Welker and Harold Flanders; (back row standing) Willis Gebhardt, Rudy Moc Jr., Robert Braden and Rudy Moc Sr.

Among the things I wonder about while looking at this pic is who took it. The way all the folks are looking (especially Braden) I’m guessing that it was the Mrs. (Esther Moc).

Although I never knew Mr. Moc I have become very familiar with his photographs. But I do know that after college the younger Moc became a well-known Lorain County physician. I think that he and his wife owned a nice home in Vermilion’s Edison Estates (behind Drug Mart – west of V.O.L.) He died in 2012 at the age of 81.

I really like this portrait – even if father Rudy is distracted in it. The men’s neckties and shoes are real spiffy. Somewhere on this planet there is very likely a companion pic where Mr. Moc is facing the camera.


SOPHIE: Some called her Sophie, some called her Sophia and some said Sopha. I doubt that anyone will ever really know which was correct. But in any case, she was born in Vermillion in October of 1874 to Henry and Anna Ries who migrated here from Hessen, Germany. She was one of six children born to the couple. Her father was a carpenter.

On Christmas Day 1894 she married one Theodore J. Curtis. Curtis, born in Cleveland in 1874 and grew up in St. Mary’s Ohio. His father was a railroad engineer. When he married Sophie he operated a barbershop in Vermillion.

By 1910 the couple had moved to Lorain where he continued working as a barber in a shop on Broadway of that city. He died (cause unknown) on 24 August 1924.

On 23 September 1934 Sophie had moved back to her hometown (Vermilion) and married a local fellow named Jeremiah Nathanial “Jay” Stephens. Stephens’s first wife was Grace Corbin who died in 1933. Stephens died after an illness of about a year while living at Hall’s Rest Home in March 1958. He was interred at Maple Grove Cemetery next to his first wife. He had been the superintendent of the Vermilion Water Department for 31 years and had retired just one year prior to his death.

Jay and Sophie lived in a large house at what was then designated as 410 Decatur Street. The house was just across the street from Kyle Motors – now the Vermilion Police Department / Court and City council chambers.

About the time of Jay’s death I (at 13 or 14 years old) remember Sophie to have been an odd-looking “bag lady” type person who used to walk around town wearing a full overcoat. She’d go to Okagi’s, the White or one of the other several downtown restaurants, get a meal and take it to the Liberty Theatre under her coat. And there she would enjoy dinner and a movie.

I can always remember laughing about it, but I never said anything to her. I just thought it oddly amusing. I know that some of my contemporaries were not as kind. But it is my understanding she would scold them some – and carry on.

I don’t remember when she disappeared from the landscape. And I’d almost forgotten about her until just this week when I was doing some background research before conducting an oral history interview with a retired local minister named Rev. Glen Coleman at the Ritter Library. I found an old newspaper obituary for Mrs. Stephens from 1974. Rev. Coleman had presided at her funeral.

I was amazed to discover that she had lived to be 100 years old. She’d passed into the next life at the Pythian Sisters Home in Medina, Ohio.

Now – 44 years after the fact I am surprised to finally discover just how deep her roots were in our little town. It is something I would’ve never guessed – not in a million years.

YOU REALLY SHOULD’VE BEEN THERE…: It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a parade – locally or anywhere else. Anyway, it seems like it was a million years ago, when I watched a Vermilion Decoration / Memorial Day parade like the one in the accompanying photograph. Pictured here in one of those parades of a yesteryear are members of the Vermilion Saddle Club. [The horses were always at the end of those processions of course.]

This photo was taken sometime around 1950 when I was about six years old. I loved everything about those horses. How well I recall the odor of leather saddles; the sound of their shoes “clip-clopping” on the hard pavement; and the snorting of the big animals as they passed along the street. How beautiful they were; and how I envied those who rode and took care of them.

In the accompanying snapshot the cowboy riding the pinto at the front of the group was my oldest brother, William Roscoe “Billy” Tarrant. The fella beside my brother with his hand over his mouth was a Vermilionite named Tony Kudela. The little guy behind my brother was Jimmy Nuhn. And the gentleman behind him was Jimmy’s father Bob.

My brother was my hero. That is he was my hero after Roy Rodgers, Tex Ritter and Gene Autry. At six years old I had dreams of someday having my own steed. It was a palomino, the most beautiful horse in the whole darn world. I rode it to school, to church and on my paper route. But, alas, my dream never came true. I walked to school and to church. And I rode a bike to deliver newspapers. But, I digress; back to the snap.

Tony Kudela lived with his family in an older home on West River Road between Larchmont and Beechview (before those streets existed). There was a small pond at the back of the property. [I believe it may still be there.] Tony eventually left Vermilion and Ohio and ended up in Arizona where he passed just a few years ago. He actually became a real cowboy. On his tombstone there is an etching of a cowpoke sitting in front of his horse aside a cactus. Inscribed beneath the image are the words Just Restin’.

Bob Nuhn was an ambitious Vermilion entrpreneur. His day job was at U.S. Steel in Lorain. At night he and his wife Lucille (Leidheiser) operated Vermilion’s wonderful Liberty Theatre. Later the couple would invest in local nursing homes. I believe they were involved in the operation of the Victorian Nursing Home in Sandusky, and later the Riverview Nursing Home (the former George Fischer mansion) that sat just to the west of what is now the Vermilion Boat Club along the river. Eventually the couple retired to Florida where Lucille passed in 1986. Bob followed in 1989. Their son, Jimmy, born about 1942 is, to my knowledge, still living in the Sunshine State.

This photo was taken at the corner of Liberty and Grand streets. In the background the Gulf service station and Kaiser-Frazer (1947-1951) dealership occupied the northwest corner. Kaiser-Frazer was the only new automaker to achieve success following the Second World War. They manufactured some very sleek-looking cars. But the dealership didn’t last very long after these shadows were captured. Today the corner is the site of Vermilion’s Friendship Park. The name certainly fits because that particular site – that piece of real estate – has a very intriguing history.

(Sigh.) There was a time when horses were not so uncommon about Vermilion. Both my older brother and sister had horses. They stabled them in a barn on Darrow Road and used to ride them into town on occasion. When they rode them to our home on Perry Street they drew every kid in the neighborhood to our yard like magnets. The Saddle Club members also held horseshow / rodeo type events during the summertime way back when. One I recall was held at a farm just north of Axtel Corners. There was even a stagecoach. Those were great, great times. (You really should've been there...)

Ref: Sandusky Register 03/14/1986; U.S. Census data; VHM photo archive; Special Thanks to Nancy Alice Emery.

NEW BOY SCOUT PATCH: : Pictured is the new Boy Scout shoulder patch for the Lake Erie Council of Boy Scouts of America. Featured on the patch are the Vermilion Light on the left, the Cleveland Light in the middle, and the Light at Conneaut on the right. The lights were chose for the patch because “Scouting, just like the lighthouses, are a guiding light.” says Mark Ryan Scouting executive of the Lake Erie Council. Local Pack #447 Scout Leader Larry Howell provided the patch for the photograph.

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...



Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Shaffer of the village celebrated the 60th anniversary of their marriage today, March 17.

Mr. Schaffer was born in Florence Township, Erie County, Ohio on July 4, 1828. His great-grandfather, Lambert Shaffer was a soldier of the American Revolution and fought under Washington. He was one of that "immortal band" that wintered at Valley Forge. Every schoolboy has heard now of those soldiers, during that dreadful winter, were shoeless and with bare and bleeding feet trudged the frozen grounds, inspired by love of liberty, fighting and suffering for the independence of the United States.

In 1810 this hero of many battles, with his wife, three sons and one daughter (one of the sons being grandfather of C. S. Shaffer) left Cobbleskill, Schoharie, County, New York, and traveled by ox team to Buffalo, and at Buffalo when aboard a sail vessel for Cleveland, and from there by ox team to Florence Township, then a part of Huron County, but now of Erie.

Here they settled and endured the hardships of pioneer life. Here Mr. C. S. Shaffer was born. They were not allowed to live in peace very long before the war of 1812 forced them to flee from their homes to a fort near where Painesville now stands.

After the war the Shaffers returned to their home in Florence and here Mr. Shaffer, the subject of this sketch, grew to manhood on a farm and knew the hardships peculiar to that date. He well remembers the Indians, and how his father often killed game for the family support. In one winter he killed 80 deer, and Mr. Schafer remembers his father killing a bear that weighed 800 pounds.

The maiden name of Mrs. Schafer was Whiting. She was the daughter of Nathan Whiting who came from, Connecticut in 1829 and settled with his family in Elyria. Here in 1830 Mary Whiting (Mrs. Shaffer) was born.

She and Mr. Shaffer were united in marriage in 1850 at Florence by Rev. Goodale, a Congregational preacher (two couples were united in marriage at the same time). And parentheses

The first year of their married life they lived in Florence, and then moved to Wakeman and resided here for three years; then to Camden, Lorain County on a farm for four years; then back to Florence for eight years; in Amherst for 20 years, and in 1886 came to Vermilion where they have resided ever since.

For 40 years Mr. Shaffer has been in the insurance business, and is now agent for six companies and non-withstanding the weight of more than four score years, he still writes policies for his companies.

Time has wrought great changes; the happy couple who joined hands in marriage in 1850 have grown to more than four score years. The raven locks of the youth have changed to the silver threads of age. Friends of other days have left them one by one; and they linger in the evening twilight of life in full possession of their faculties, watching the glorious setting of the sun that shone upon their day of life. They received the congratulations of their many friends on this eventful 60th anniversary of their married life.

Wreck On The Lake Shore

At an early hour Wednesday morning one of the monster L. S. & M. S. Railway engines was ditched a few rods east of the N. P. Crossing. Several cars of the freight were smashed up and traffic somewhat disrupted for a time. The wreck was caused by running into a derail on the new third track. It is claimed by the crew that the cross over switch light was out and the train was run into the derail beyond before they knew they had passed it. The engineer, fireman and brakeman were on the engine when it went over but were not injured. The wreck was soon cleared away, but it was late in the afternoon when the engine was placed on the track.


Hattie Ritter, daughter of the late John and Mrs. Ritter was born December 21, 1880, in Vermilion, O., And died at Denver, Colorado, on March 6, 1910, at the age of 20 years two months and 15 days.

The latter part of last August, the deceased accompanied by her brother Carl, had gone to the state of Colorado, in search of health, thinking that a change of climate might possibly aid much in effecting a recovery and speedy return to health again. All was done that possibly could have been done to continue the young life once so cheerful, happy and full of hope. For no one possessed a more buoyant spirit or had brighter prospects than she. Hopeful until last that she would regain her health, become strong and returned to her friends and loved ones, but, alas! Infinite Wisdom had otherwise destined. Time passing on, the body wasting away as the disease continued its deadly work. At last the end came without a murmur, apparently among strangers, except for her brother Carl; yet kind, tender and sympathetic were her newly made friends of whom she had many, who were interested in, and cared for her. The Holy Scriptures had become very dear to her, having read them herself or had others read them almost continued continuously. The 27th Pa. being her favorite chapter, it was read by the officiating minister is a part of the funeral service.

Oh! Ever thus from childhood hour,
I've seen my fondest hopes decay;
I never loved a tree or flower
But 'twas the first to fade away.

I hear the speak of a fearless land,
Thou callest its children a happy band;
Oh mother, where is that radiant shore,
That I may seek it and weep no more.

The funeral was held from the home, which was filled with sympathetic friends, on Friday morning, conducted by Rev. A. G. Rupert of Berlin Heights, O. The floral tributes were many beautiful, several pieces having been sent by friends where the deceased spent the last few days where life.



The remains of Robert Hageman were taken from the vault and entered in the Cleveland Street cemetery Friday.

A number of Lake Shore officials were here last week trying to get a strip of land for the third track. They are anticipating some trouble.

The right-of-way case between the L. S. & M. S. and Mr. Mendeljohn [sic] has been settled. The latter will receive $1400 for a strip of land 30 x 200.

Mrs. Catherine Myers died Friday at Brownhelm age 90 years. The funeral was held Monday and interment was made at Huron.

Harry Booth of Amherst met with a painful accident while at work in Elyria Friday afternoon. He was at work in the Elyria yards, and stepped in front of an electric speeder. The tibia bone of his right leg was splintered and his hip was injured and internal injuries are feared. He was taken to the Memorial hospital.


Mrs. Eliza Morse is very ill.

Mr. Peter Skinn was very unfortunate to lose a valuable horse.

The Broughton Brothers cut wood for Byron Wellman last week.

Mrs. L. Woodruff is attending Mrs. Eliza Morse who is quite ill.

Mr. Fred Morse is running his sugar bush which keeps him very busy.

George Broughton has brought a fine young team of horses.

The Bay at Sandusky is still closed and a fair catch is reported at Huron.

The gas wells in the vicinity of Berlin Heights which have been dried recently are giving entire satisfaction.

Port Clinton fishermen are forced to defer the opening of the fishing season owing to the ice.

Geo. C. West formerly proprietor of the West House, Sandusky, died yesterday from pneumonia at a Chicago hospital at the age of 49.

Dr. E. J. Emerick, superintendent of the feebleminded institution, has discovered a law, never enforced, which would save the state $175,000 a year. It requires counties to pay the cost of maintaining at the institution all inmates over 15 years old.


Next Sunday is Palm Sunday.

Walter O. Buckley died at the Memorial Hospital Friday morning from typhoid fever. Mr. Buckley was a young man of 19 employed at the Perry-
Fey Company as inspector. He was the son of John Buckley and was a member of a family of eight children, two brothers and six sisters, all of who are living. The funeral services will be held at the home of his sister, Mrs. Bieslich at 8:30 Monday morning and at 9 from St. Mary's church. – Elyria Telegram Saturday.

Mr. Ben Witt has rented part of Mrs. Miller's house on Exchange Street and will move into it in the near future.

Mr. Ben Horton of Cleveland visited his father here Saturday. Mr. Horton Sr. is in very poor health at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Franc Parsons.


James Quigley of Lorain took A. R’s. Auto to Cleveland Tuesday.

Say Charly Phelps we are glad to see that Teddy smile that you have been wearing since you have become grandpa to that little Columbus girl. Don't ever let it wear off.

Former city sidewalk inspector G. W. Nellis and Mrs. Nellis within a few days expect to take up their residence on a farm several miles south of Vermilion. Mr. Nellis looked after the moving of the household effects Tuesday and Mrs. Nellis expects to follow to their new home within a few days. – Lorain News.





Roster—Field and Staff.

…Edwin H. Butler; reduced to ranks from corporal; discharged January 20, 1863, at Washington, D. C., on surgeon's certificate of disability.

William H. H. Bemis; discharged October 27, 1862, at Newark, N. J., on surgeon's certificate of disability.

Benjamin F. Bemis; killed November 25, 1863, in battle of Mission Ridge, Tenn.

Lewis Bauer; transferred to company D, Fourteenth Veteran Reserve Corps, July 31, 1863.

Jack O. Burch; no record found.

James M. Chaffee; wounded July 3, 1863, in battle of Gettysburg, Pa.; mustered out December 2, 1864, on expiration of term of service.

John Connor; drafted; mustered out June 9, 1865, at Washington, D. C., by order of war department

William Collier; drafted ; died February 23, 1865, at Savannah, Ga.

William Coultrip; wounded August 30, 1862, in battle of Bull Run, Va.; mustered out October 16, 1864,'on expiration of term of service.

Thomas Carr; discharged January 1, 1863, at Washington, D.C, on surgeon's certificate of disability.

William Cowell; wounded August 30, 1862, in battle of Bull Run, Va.; transferred to company H, Seventh Veteran Reserve Corps, January 12, 1864.

John Diehlman; drafted; absent, sick at New York since April 30, 1865 ; mustered out May 19, 1865, at McDougall General Hospital, New York, by order of war department,

David Dennis; drafted; absent, sick at Camp Dennison, O., since December 6, 1864; mustered out July 19, 1865, by order of war department

Peter Diemer; drafted; discharged to date July 11, 1865, by order of war department.

Albert Drury; drafted; discharged December 19, 1874, by order of war department.

William Dourian; discharged September 4, 1862, at Columbus, O., on surgeon's certificate of disability.

John H. Eschman; drafted; discharged May 22, 1865, at Savannah, Ga., on surgeon's certificate of disability.

Henry C. Ellis; discharged September 8, 1862, at Camp Dennison, O., on surgeon's certificate of disability.

Oscar F Fuller; discharged January 3, 1863, at Columbus O., on surgeon's certificate of disability.

Wesley C. hay; transferred to company C, Veteran Reserve Corps, May 20, 1864.

William A. Gibson; mustered out with company July 11, 1864.

Richard Green; drafted; mustered out June 9, 1865, at Washington, D. C. by order of war department.

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.

Visual Verification Image
* Required

Bulah Beach spacer=



Hi Rich,
Here's a gem. This was taken by my Great Uncle Clell Myers, Rheas Meyers Koontz's brother, from the second story of her house in Beulah Beach. Her house was the first house on the right as you entered the park from 6 & 2. It backs up to old Rte 6 & 2 and was directly across from my grandfather lumber yard which, you know, is no longer there. The house is is still there. Not sure if the house is first or second on the right now as there was a vacant lot on the left that could have been developed. Anyway, the cars in and trucks are 1920s vintage. The photo looks similar to today's panoramic photos you can take casually on you phone but this was taken in the 1920'S. The road in front of the house is straight running east to west, not curved live in a pano. In the pic, my grandmother's driveway is on the right. The actual photo is about 4" by 12.5".

BTW my great uncle Clell Meyers was an inspiration for my father to get into photography.

Best regards,
Richard Koontz

NOTE: Richard is a Vermilion expatriate currently living in Oregon. His father – also Richard – was one of Vermilion’s premier photographers.


A blonde's car gets a flat tire on the Interstate one day So she eases it over onto the shoulder of the road. She carefully steps out of the car and opens the trunk. Takes out two cardboard men, unfolds them and stands them at the rear of the vehicle facing oncoming traffic.

The lifelike cardboard men are in trench coats exposing their nude bodies to approaching drivers.

Not surprisingly, the traffic became snarled and backed up. It wasn't very long before a police car arrives.

The Officer, clearly enraged, approaches her yelling, "What is going on here?"

"My car broke down, Officer" says the woman, calmly.

"Well, what the heck are these obscene cardboard pictures doing here by the road?!" asks the Officer.

"Oh, those are my emergency flashers!" she replied

Subscribe to the Views mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

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 "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

or you can use PayPal: (NOTE: IT WORKS NOW)

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.."- Aldous Huxley

Vol. 16. Issue 2 - March 17, 2018

Archive Issue #783

Vermilion Views Search Engine


© 2017 Rich Tarrant