Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.- Harlan Ellison......When a man approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of putting it into practice. - Otto Von Bismarck.....What you do speaks so loud I can't hear what you say. - Ralph Waldo Emerson......I know what I know, you know what you know, but I won't know what you know unless you tell me -.rnt...............

March 28, 2020> Cartoon & Earl and Larry

People, places & things...

SHOPTALK: Ok, I’ll admit it. Life has become very strange due to the virus. The museum has been closed to the public for over a week – and I’ve spent a good deal of time at home. Actually, I do go out; to the (nearly empty) grocery store occasionally, the church (pantry because folks still need food) nearly every day and, of course, to the museum. I stay occupied. But I feel off balance. This is strange territory for all of us.

The pic on my shoptop this week is that of later Vermilionite Earl Tischer and (then) little Larry E. Howell. They appear to be working on an old push lawnmower at the tiny filling station that once occupied the southeast corner of Liberty and Decatur streets. Currently, the Vermilion Police Department sits on the site.

Persons familiar with the area will easily recognize the house across the street behind them; one of the Pelton places that at one time or another served as a hotel and later a nursing facility.

On my home desk this week is a cartoon characterization of the original computer. What they don’t show in the pic is the “hard drive” that made it work. I think if you look in a mirror you’ll recognize the brains behind it.

OUR HOUSE IS A VERY FINE HOUSE: As of late I’ve been investigating ways that I might be able to produce a virtual tour of the Vermilion History Museum.

One of the ways I’m looking at is producing a 360° video of each room on the museum. To do this I’ve acquired a camera that can be used to take 360° stills and video.

Ergo, the photograph above is a still shot taken in our Olympic Club home on Tuesday (03.24.20) afternoon. My hand is pictured at the bottom because that is how I triggered the camera’s shutter. Because it is a 360 portrait things appear somewhat out of kilter – but that is the entire room.

I’m just becoming familiar with the ability of the camera and the software – so this was a trial pic. When, at last, I do the museum tour things should appear as they actually are.

But it’s all very interesting.

I did succeed making a 350° video of the living room in the museum apartment on Wednesday (03.25.20). But I had a difficult time getting it anywhere online. However, I did finally get it placed on one of my “personal” Facebook pages. I don’t like Facebook much, so I don’t use it much. In short, the video is not where I intended to show it. But it did work.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to place it where I want it so that all can visit. [There’s always a glitch to everything I do.]


THE WAKEFIELDS OF MAIN STREET: Some years ago late Vermilionite Rick Copeland gave me this photo along with several others that I consider to be rare and unusual. I really can't identify everyone in this pic - but methinks the fella with the beard is F.W. Wakefield's father. The site of the portrait is obvious. I feel fortunate to have had Rick send this photo to me.

NOTHING NEW THIS WEEK: I've actually been very busy this week so I did not have time to put together a new video. But I promise that I will during the week ahead.

I am also about to do a virtual video of the museum. This will showcase the rooms to afford viewers a 360 degree look at each. You can see a preview of this at:

Stay close.

In the meantime all the video and audio files can be seen (depending on your browser) at:



FOUR WALLS WITH TOMORROW INSIDE: Records that document the beginning of formal schooling in (and around) Vermilion are both scarce and slightly obscure. But among the papers of Peter Cuddeback, the first village treasurer, is a hand-written register denoting it as the "Day Book of the First School of Vermilion". The book bears the name of George R. Ezra Sprague and is dated 1814.

While there were several schoolhouses in the township to the west and south the first known school building in the village proper was a log structure (c.1830) wherein records show that classes were taught by one Charity Smith during the 1840's. This school was likely claimed by the lake by the 1860s.

One of the town’s earliest schools was located on the site now occupied by the Vermilion Township Hall. Late Vermilion resident and author Phoebe Goodell-Judson (1832–1926) mentions this school in her autobiography, “Pioneers Search for An Ideal Home” (published in 1986). Another early Vermilion school known as the “Seminary” was located in Hanover Square on the southwest corner of Grand and Ferry streets (currently Vermilionite Mike Rini’s front yard). In 1903 the Seminary was removed to provide a place for the town’s first water tower. It was placed on a lot on the east side of Grand Street just two doors south of the railroad tracks. It was razed in the late 1960s.

In 1851 Vermilion formed its first Board of Education. In many respects its organization signaled the start of our present formal education system. The board set uniform rules and guidelines / standards and courses of instruction that were to be applied to schools throughout the township.

In 1873 the Vermilion school system was reorganized and an ample 4-room brick High School (upper photo) was built on State Street the following year - at the cost of a whopping $18,000. [Note: Given inflation it would have been about $350,000 today. So, it was, indeed, a major investment.] Students from rural areas that wanted to attend this school either walked, came by horse, or found board in the village. Youngsters in the lower grades continued their schooling at the "Seminary" until new rooms were added (lower photo) to both the back and front of the building to accommodate them.

While the school is recognizable in both accompanying photos there are some subtle, but significant differences. Probably the most noticeable difference is the stairway entrance on the upper / older photo. Looking closer it becomes obvious that when the building was updated to accommodate students in all grades the biggest addition was at the back of the building. However, the front of the structure was also modified eliminating the stairway outside the building. Each of the lower grades occupied one room in the building with one teacher. Gym classes and basketball games took place in a wooden outbuilding built later, directly east / behind the school.

Another big change to the school came in June of 1908 when fire escapes were added. The escapes were added after a March 4, 1908 fire at Lakeview School in Collinwood, Ohio on Cleveland’s eastside killed 172 students, two teachers. and one rescuer. It was one of the deadliest school disasters in Ohio and U.S. history. As a result, people in Vermilion, across Ohio and throughout the nation immediately recognized the necessity of installing fire escape exits on all multi-story buildings. It is also worthy of noting that fire escapes were also added to the Vermilion Town Hall at that time.

For reasons unknown [at least to me] no one graduated from State Street school until 1889 when a class of four young ladies, Edith Leimbach (Hageman), Alice Nieding (Reimenschneider), Georgia Brummet (Daley), and Martha Forwick (Moyer) received diplomas. However, graduation ceremonies were held before a large audience at the Town Hall Opera House. Most, if not all, graduation ceremonies were conducted at the Opera House until 1927 when South Street School was built.

Some State Street School Facts: The VHS Class of 1907, comprised of seven students, was the very first to complete a full 4-year curriculum. Four of these students became teachers, one became a commercial fisherman, one became a pharmacist, and one Ralph Gegenheimer died in 1909. Aside of the fact that there were no graduates in 1906 the smallest class to have graduated from our local high school was the Class of 1894. That year only three persons were in the class: Alice Kane-Jones, Albert Krapp and George A. Naegele. George Feiszli (VHS 1913) was the only local graduate to lose his life in France during WW1.

I don’t know what will eventually become of the old State Street School – or any of our old schools for that matter. But as late American artist Lon Watters (1914-1995) saw it: “A school is a building which has four walls with tomorrow inside.” Perhaps that’s really all we ever needed.

- Sunday, March 22, 2020

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

Vol. XV, No 43 - VERMILION, OHIO THURSDAY, March 28, 1912

Increase Capacity

A new, fast printing press, the capacity for small work, varying in size from a visiting card to letter paper, is being installed in the “News” office this week. It is a Pearl No. 11, one of the latest products of the Golding Mfg. Co., of Franklin, Massachusetts. Its speed is only limited by the ability of the operator and has been run at the rate of 3500 per hour.

For some time past the “News” job department has been crowded for want of press capacity, especially on small commercial work. After April 1st the new machine will be in operation in our capacity for job work increased twofold. This will enable us to turn out work promptly.

Look over your stationery and anticipate your wants by leaving your order now.

Mrs. Allen Dead

Maryette (Seeley) Allen, mother of Mrs. Upton Darby, died at the home of her daughter, Tuesday afternoon at 4 P.M. Funeral services Thursday at 2:30 P. M. At the residence. Burial at West Richfield, O.,


Absorption of too much liquor at the Milan dispensaries, and not the negligence of the county commissioners, caused the accident at the Milan bridge several months ago when Alfred Gard, of Findley, William Schoenegge, and Charles Stein of Milan township, were thrown from a buggy, according to the answer of the County commissioners, filed by prosecuting Attorney Hart Monday morning in the common pleas court. Alfred Gard, by his next friend, James Gard, sued the commissioners for $10,000 in damages.

The answer states that all three men became intoxicated in Milan; and that William Schoenegge, the driver of the rig, had consumed so much liquor that he did not even know his own name, or what he was doing. It is further declared in the answer that the buggy was driven across the bridge at a furious rate or speed, although the commissioners had posted up a warning on the bridge to the effect that vehicle should go across the structure on a walk.

The commissioners claim that going too fast caused the buggy to skid. The men in the vehicle say that loose planking made the horse stumble. In the accident, Gard sustained a broken leg, and the other men suffered minor injuries.

Joseph F. Wagner, a stockholder instituted a suit in the Court of Common Pleas Tuesday to compel the trustees of the West Huron sporting club, B. E. Taylor, W. E. Hughes, George Hollingshead, William Gordon, C. B. Dewitt, R. L. Ransom, and James Melville to grant the Cedar Point company right-of-way for its proposed automobile road from Rye Beach to Cedar Point, through land skirting the lake shore, owned by the club. The trustees, according to Mr. Wagner, have refused to make the grant, and as a result construction of the proposed auto Road is being held up.

A decree for the plaintiff was entered by Judge Stahl Monday in the case of Stewart F. Rathbun vs. Joseph Unser, an action instituted by the plaintiff to quit his title to lands in Vermilion township as against the claims of the defendant. Trial of the case was begun some time ago, the continuances were necessary several times, it was not until Monday that it was completed.

One day last fall Rathbun and his wife took several baskets of fruit from the premises involved in the controversy just adjudicated and was arrested upon the complaint of Unser. Institution of the title suit soon followed. In another suit Rathbun sued Unser for damages and this case is still pending.

Rathbun was represented by Judge E. B. King; Unser, by attorney George W. Ritter.

Mary A. Hill has brought suit in Common Pleas Ct. for divorce from Capt. Edwin A. Hill, on grounds of extreme cruelty. The parties are Vermilion residents and were married at Wakeman, May 22, 1882, and have three children.


A coronet that can be played by role of perforated paper, like

For the convenience of hunters an Illinois man has patented a decoy duck folds into a small compass when not in use.

In some parts of Mexico the natives hang the nests of large spiders in their homes to trap flies and other small insects.

A light bar be held against the upper lip by clasps fastened to the nostrils has been patented by a clergyman to prevent a sleeping person snoring.

Of the 11 presidents, beginning with Lincoln in 1861, all save Cleveland, a modern Democrat, have been Republicans. Before Lincoln the list includes 2 Federalists, (Washington and Adams), 4 old-line Republicans, 6 old-line Democrats and 3 Whigs.


BORN – to Mr. Mrs. Bert Schneider, a daughter, Sunday, March 24, 1912.

The storage shed owned by J. H. Plato was burned during the night Friday, with a loss of about $600.

Martin Malay, died at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Lorain, Sunday night from Lockjaw. He is survived by his mother, three sisters and one brother.

The funeral service over the remains of C.C. Hazel were held on Friday afternoon from the home of his niece, Miss Alpha Hazel. Rev. E. C. Snyder conducted the services and the remains interred in Kendeigh’s Corners Cemetery.

A. C. Field, believes he has the champion brood of laying hens in the county. For the 24 days this month his 16 hens have laid 292 eggs, a daily average of over 12 eggs or 3 – 4 of an egg to each pullet.


Mr. Fred Zurcher is still confined to his bed.

Several from this place attended the funeral of Mrs. Wm. Baxtine.

Mr. Frank Broughton is assisting the Leimbach brothers in trimming their orchard.

Mrs. R. Kelly, while visiting at her daughters, Mrs. R. Sanders at Milan, was taken with the stroke of paralysis, and is in bad condition. Dr. Boss has the case.


Mrs. Gust Nuhn is very ill and is under the Dr’s. care.

Frances Ruggles and mother returned home Friday Florida where they spent the winter.


Mr. Price Supt. of high school is moving his family to town.

Mr. Jack Patton has resigned his position at the barbershop being under the weather.

Mr. Martin Denman of Chicago, Illinois, is on his farm south of town where he expects to be for at least a week to set things in order for the coming crops.

On account of the disagreeable weather the dance of last week was postponed until Friday, March 29. Try and turn out and also invite your friends.


Carl Hauff is on the sick list.

Mrs. Susan Smith who has been sick for the past eight weeks is no better at this writing

Sustained a Broken Leg

Mrs. Lewis Englebry fell yesterday in the yard at her home and broke her right leg just above the ankle. Dr. Buell was called and reduced the fracture.



Mrs. Witty is reported seriously ill at her home on Washington St.

He Miss Alice Mehnert who was called home by the death of her father last week, returned to her studies at Cornell Monday.

T. H. Bottomley and A. H. Heart will be guests at an alumni banquet of the college of pharmacy that Ada, O., tonight.

Sorosis met Friday evening at the home of Mrs. J. M. Delker with twenty-one members present. Current events on Women’s Suffrage were read by Mrs. Lewis Englebry followed by a reading by Mrs. George Naegele and a vocal solo by Mrs. A. E. Beeckel. Then came the debate. The question, Resolved that Man’s Intellect is Superior to Women’s, Mrs. Elizabeth Kane very ably upheld her argument to prove the assertion by facts and figures drawn from both secular and biblical history. Mrs. Franc Parsons just as ably defended the negative. A vote by ballot resulted 14 the affirmative six for the negative in one valid thrown out. This was followed by a nice lunch social hour. Mrs. Geo. Harris very ably assisted the hostess.

[NOTE: I found this altogether amusing.]

E. T. Bottomley of the NEWS, who has been very ill the past two weeks is considerably better and although it will probably be some time before he is able to work, his complete recovery is expected.

[NOTE: This is one of my g-grandfathers.]

Charles H. Delker, who entered St. Joseph’s sanitarium at Mt. Clemens, Michigan, last week, underwent an operation Sunday, in which a pressure from the spinal cord was removed. He was on the operating table nearly 2 hours, but rallied from the effects nicely and is now expected that he will recover the use of his legs.


Harold Shinn is gone west to take up a claim.

P. A. Sperry & Co. have purchased the hardware and grocery business of Henry Hull.

Claude Shinn who recently underwent an operation is at home again.

Birmingham Lady Violently Insane

So violently insane that required several men to hold her, and screaming at the top of her voice, Mrs. Amelia Parker, aged 25, wife of Lee Parker, of Birmingham, was taken to the Toledo State Hospital

Brooding over the recent death of a relative is believed to have brought on the insane attack, which was first evidenced at Elyria Sunday, where Mrs. Parker was visiting relatives. The authorities there were notified and Deputy Sheriff Cook Sunday afternoon, brought the unfortunate woman to this city. She struggled so fiercely that it took the assistance of several men on the Lake Shore train together into, in which she was conveyed to the county jail.

At the county institution, Mrs. Parker labored under the delusion that someone was attempting to kill her, and kept calling out for help. Her cries were so piercing that a crowd of about 50 persons gathered in front of the jail about 9 o’clock Sunday night, and a policeman entered the building to see what was the matter.

It was deemed best not to take Mrs. Parker to the probate court, Monday so Judge Sloan, after she had been examined by physicians, pronounced her insane at a hearing in the county jail. –Star Journal.

Eight men are dead and six seriously ill at the Huron County Infirmary at Norwalk. Ages range from 53 to 85. The fourteen men slept in a room in the second story and lack of ventilation is given as the cause.


Emil Oscar Maynard was born in the Kingdom of Saxony, Germany, Oct. 5, 1859. He came to Vermilion 22 years ago, and has resided here ever since. He was joined in marriage to Anna Kaufmann in the year 1891. To this union were born nine children, six boys and three girls, all of whom, together with the wife remain to mourn their loss.

Funeral was conducted by Rev. T. H. D. Harrold of the M. E. Church at the home Saturday, March 23, 1912. The K. O. T. M. Also had a brief service. Burial at Maple Grove Cemetery. The floral offerings from businessmen and K. O. T. M. And friends were beautiful.




…twelve children, five are now living: Martin, Joseph, Mrs. Margaretha Embse (widow), Johann, and Mrs. Maria Fitzpatrick. Mr. Zimmerman was a weaver, but did not follow his trade in this country. His first home was located on Wayne street, where L. Herb's livery stable is located at present. For years he worked in Hollister's warehouse, established himself as a drayman afterwards, and retired from work in 1860, having run a saloon on Wayne street for several years. He died on December 14, 1884. His wife, Margaretha, preceded him in 1881. John Fisher and the Guenther family in the German settlement, Perkins township, all came to this country in the same boat.

The Schuck family consisting of father, Jacob, and two sons, Jacob jr., and John, emigrated to America in 1833. Their former home was in Essweiler, Rheinpfalz, Bavaria. In Albany, N. Y., they parted. Jacob jr., the older of the two brothers remained with his wife in Albany, intending to make it his future home; his father and brother, John, went west. Their path was not strewn with roses. A few weeks of hard work in a trench and Jacob broke his leg and to fill the measure his wife died in the same year and was buried in Albany. Left in a strange country, without means or funds he had only one desire, to meet again his father and brother, who in the meantime had directed their steps to Buffalo, N. Y., and in their nomad wanderings to Kenton, Massillon and Seneca county, O., where they finally had stranded. Here they met again in the summer of 1834 and kept council. It was decided to give Sandusky a trial, and with the royal fortune of fifty cents in their pockets did they walk all the way to the Bay City. A small house on Jackson street, near where Biemiller's Opera House is located now, gave them their first shelter. They went to work the next day. The building occupied at this writing by Barney & Ferris on Water street, was then in course of construction and they busied themselves carrying up bricks, the father for seventy-five and John for fifty cents per day. It would occupy too much space to go into detail, but it is sufficient to say that perseverance and faithfulness received a proper reward. The father, Jacob, born in 1781, lived long enough to see his children well provided for in life. He died in 1861. Jacob jr., the oldest son, was born February 22, 1802, and married his second wife, Magdalena Benz, in 1834 in Sandusky. He worked for six or seven years in a warehouse and became engaged afterwards in the dray business. He died March 11, 1879, at his homestead on Adams street. His wife, Magdalene, died June 12, 1875. His four children now living are Mrs. Marie Pietchman, Mrs. Julia Schumacher, Mrs. Wilhelmine Fisher and Mrs. Christine Schumaker. A son by the first marriage is now living in Minnesota. John Schuck, born April 22, 1817, and married in 1840 to Louise Knerr, is the representative of the family in Erie county. He is the oldest German settler in Sandusky with the exception of one. His wife, Louisa, died in her seventieth year, May 9, 1883. Mr. Schuck retired from active life about 1871, having accumulated considerable property.

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


CURIOUSITIES: My sis and her husband, Ginny and Dave Wilkes, are in the process of moving from their home of many years to a smaller environment (i.e. downsizing. That move has, however, been delayed – like many other things – by the pandemic.) But in any case, readying for their move they contributed the items seen in the above pic.

These consist of two old volt meters (right); a telegraph signal amplifier and telegraph key that were once used on the local Nickel Plate railroad on the south end of town; and last, but not least, an antique fire alarm (the wooden box at the back left).

While it is now an antique, fire alarms such as these were installed in the homes of the town’s volunteer firemen. They went off / rang to alert each fireman when there was a conflagration in town.

All are very nice additions to the local museum.


A little girl became restless as the preacher's sermon dragged on and on.

Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered, "Mommy, if we give her the money now, will he let us go...?

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

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

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

How the old links menu looked

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)

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser." - John Gardner

Vol. 18. Issue 4 - March 28, 2020

Archive Issue #889

Vermilion Views Search Engine


© 2017 Rich Tarrant