Vermilion Ohio, A Good Place to Live

What was once thought can never be unthought. - Friedrich Durrenmatt.......I can't give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure - that is 'Try to please everybody.' - Herbert Bayard Swope....Five second fuses only last three seconds. - Infantry Journal.....Something once said aloud in public cannot be unsaid.............rnt...............

July 13,  2019> More Vermilion Younsters

..."I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."

SHOPTALK:Again: the schools. The pic on my home desk is hardly as clear as I’d like. I can only recognize a few of the faces therein. The one’s that pop (to me) are Carla Widdowson and Jimmy Kidd. I think I know a few more. But this one’s got me. It’ll take time. It’s from 1949.

The pic on my shop desk is fairly obvious given the fact that the names are with it. My sister, Nancy, is one of the youngsters and for one reason or another I recognized many of the others. You will note that there are 30 names and only 29 pix. The 30th person is named (i.e. T. Weiland) but there isn’t any image. Perhaps my sister knows the reason.

I have a good many of these group pix of Vermilion youngsters, and I think I’ll use some of them in the coming weeks. Perhaps you’ll be there.

TRYING TO RIGHT MYSELF: Because I really didn’t know what I was doing I spent an extraordinary amount of time doing some videos from the 4th of July to this past Monday (the 7th) playing with them. I did finish; and I did learn a lot about some technical things; but because it required of me (a slow learner) some intense concentrating it put my off balance and off my accustomed schedule. By next Monday I will hopefully be back upright. However – because the work interested me some, I’m trying another video project on my own sans deadlines.

Things have change so much from the time I began rudimentary coding for the net I’m at a loss as to how to use some of the technology. It’s a matter of readjusting and relearning how to do some things. I think a five-year-old might be way ahead of me when it comes to much of this stuff.

AMUSED: While recording the “Briefs” section of the page earlier this week I was very amused by the report of a fracas between an Amherst evangelist, his brother-in-law and his son. Truth is certainly stranger than fiction. And it is sometimes a great deal more amusing. Read on…

FOREVER 18: MWB paid a very brief visit to the museum during the week and handed me a copy of her new book “Tripping”. She thanked me for mentioning it a few weeks ago.

No problem.

Anytime someone writes a book about Vermilion or its people, I generally make some mention of it. I assume that persons other than myself might be interested.

Part of the reason she was in town was to attend the VHS Class of 1959 reunion. I’m astounded that 60 years has passed since that time. I remember it like it was yesterday. And as I mentioned to her, I tell everyone who will listen (to my nonsense) that I look today, just like I did when I graduated in 1963.

Her respectable response was something to the effect that we’re all only 18 (in our minds).

Fer shure.


FATHER FISCHER: Here’s an interesting pic. This is Fred Fischer father of Fred, Pauline, Emma, William, Edward and Albert (and I am sorry if I left anyone out). Mr. Fischer was born in Russia around 1865 and came to the U.S. around 1900 and was naturalized around 1910. His wife's name was Mary Tetzlof-Fischer. She was also born in Russia. Their natural language was German. His oldest son, Henry, was born in 1893 in Germany. The Fischer's lived on Liberty Ave. very near the place where the Ritter Public Library is today. He was a teamster and had a team of two horses, Patty and Buster. [F.Y.I. the term “teamster” is derived from the fact that he was a person who drove a team of horses that pulled a wagon. Today we call persons who do similar work truckdrivers.]

Mr. Fischer and his team of horses were a familiar sight around the village of Vermilion for many years. He hauled stone from the Linwood Park area to a block-building enterprise run by the Becker family that was located on the site of the present-day Vermilion Boat Club. He also hauled lime from the kiln near the mouth of the river to the ironworks near the corner of Darrow and Vermilion-Savannah (Rt. 60)) Roads, and then hauled slag back from the ironworks. Some of that slag was, incidentally, used to form the base of Vermilion's streets.

This pic of Mr. Fischer was taken when he was still living and working in either Russia or Germany. His grandson, David, really and truly resembles him - although Dave's moustache is much lighter in color. It's a very compelling photograph of an immigrant who came to our country and very literally helped build it.

Rev. Williams & Scouts

NO TRIVIAL PURSUIT: I wasn’t really looking for it. I just found it. It was a 1913 article from a Pennsylvania newspaper headlined: “Rev. W.K. Williams Carlisle Boy, Is Rising High”. His name in most the historical archives I’ve come across appears as it does in the headline. I eventually discovered that the “W” stood for Willis and the “K” for Kissinger. Born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in January of 1887 he came with his wife Marie Gaye to Vermilion in 1912. He was the thirty-fifth minister to serve what was then known as Vermilion’s First Congregational Church (NKA: the United Church of Christ Congregational).

Rev. Williams had first come to my attention about twenty years ago when I found that he was responsible for organizing the town’s first scout troop. He organized and chartered Vermilion Boy Scout Troop #2 in 1912. Considering the fact that Boy Scouts of America had been formally incorporated barely two years earlier Vermilion’s troop was likely among the first of those to be chartered in our nation. And though Rev. Williams only pastored in the community two years his legacy (i.e. that of scouting) has proven to be extremely resilient. Today Troop #447, led by Vermilionite Larry E. Howell, is the great-grandchild of that first troop. I thought that both a significant and very impressive accomplishment and have written and talked of it several times and in numerous places in the past [ad nauseam]. There were reportedly some 32 boys in that first troop. And although there are only around 27 in some of the accompanying photos of the troop it was still “a big deal”. At least it is from my perspective.

What I didn’t know until I found the aforementioned article was that the troop was just one of his accomplishments during his service in Vermilion. Within the Central North Association of the Congregational church of Ohio he was chairman of the nominating committee of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Conference and was also one of only two ministerial delegates to represent the association at the triennial National Council of the Congregational church in the United States. And when he wasn’t doing that he welcomed 38 new members to the Vermilion church; organized a vested choir of 34 boys and girls; and organized a 36 member Camp Fire Girl group.

But the accomplishment that really caught my attention was this: In 1913 Rev. Williams organized and coached Vermilion High School’s first football team. He coached them for two seasons. One small article regarding the team said that they enjoyed his initial tutelage “and are improving each season.” It went on to say that they had developed a “strong schedule and are booked to play some of the fastest high school teams in the state.”

While I would like to say that the VHS team he coached was a winner it was not. I am amused some by the following notice that appears in the 22 December 1913 edition of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram: “Amherst High Opens Grid Season By Trimming The Vermilion Eleven 18-0”. It seems that the Amherst team made two touchdowns in the first few minutes of play in a game that was played in a downpour. The report went on to say,

It was obviously a route and a rather facetious report. But to be fair the team was new and the coach, however adequate a clergyman and community leader he may have been, likely knew very little about coaching a football or any other sport team. Methinks the sportswriter for the Chronicle might have viewed Rev. Williams’s abilities with a good measure of skepticism, writing toward the end of the article, “Here’s hoping that the reverend, his coterie of rooteresses [sic] and his gallant (?) warriors will march to war better prepared when the next battle at Vermilion is staged.”

In any case, the tenure of the Reverend W.K. Williams at the pulpit in Vermilion may have been brief (1912-1914), but his impact on our community was lasting. The scout troop and the football team he organized still exist. After taking leave of town he went on to serve God in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois churches. He must have done well because he died in Orange City Florida in January of 1960. I don’t know what he did in other communities, but his work in Vermilion was certainly no trivial pursuit to him or us.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

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

Vol. XV, No 6 - VERMILION, OHIO THURSDAY, July 13, 1911

Chamber of Commerce Meets

The Vermilion Chamber of Commerce met in regular session Wednesday evening President Wakefield in the chair.

After the reading of the minutes of previous meetings the various standing committees were called on for reports. There were no reports. The subject of marine and harbor was mentioned but it was concluded to leave it until more members were in attendance.

Under the call for reports of special committees, Mr. Coen gave his report on the taxation question. As the subject has been fully covered several times previously, we will not give it you. The report of the committee was accepted and the committee discharged with the thanks of the chamber. In addition Mr. Coen stated figures representing evaluation of the real estate of the village would be found upon the map at the bank and a map in the office of the Township clerk.

Mr. Decker reported that everything was progressing in the band reunion matter and that the special committee had collected nearly all the funds promised.

Mr. Minium was called upon in regard to the comfort station and stated that the contract was ready to sign and the ground had been staked out, then the contractor had refused to sign on account of the time limit Mr. Boland coming in at that time stated that the contract had just been signed which received much satisfaction.

The subject of the curb and gutter work was brought up it having been reported that the Council intended to postpone the work until September 1. Messrs. Minium and Miller explained several of the Council had been talking the matter over that on account of amount of business during the summer and the number of teams hitched on the streets there had been some doubts as to whether the contractor could complete the work properly before the band reunion or not and that rather than have a poor job of the streets torn up during the affair some have talked of postponing the work but that no official action had been taken.

The meeting adjourned.

Market Opens Again

That meat markets of the town will open Sundays as usual this decision was arrived at after many complaints and even talk of starting the third market.

Born Without Brains Shoots Self In Head


“Born without brains, tired of life and everyone is now down on me. So I am ready to die. So take care of mother, I cannot. You will find my deposit book in an inside pocket.”

After having written a note farewell while his mother looked on, supposing that he was writing a letter, William Hoffman, 36, a farmer living at his mother’s home 1 mile north of Shinrock, and about 2 miles from Berlin Heights, went upstairs to a hallway at 6 o’clock Monday evening and blew out his brains with a shotgun. His mother heard the shot and summoned help. The man had died instantly.

The only reason for the act is that Hoffman’s health was poor. Evidently, he had been worrying and his note indicates dementia. He had worked during the day and said nothing to arouse suspicion. Seated in the hallway on the second floor, he placed the muzzle of the shotgunto his temple and fired. The top of his head was almost torn off and brains were scattered on the wall and into an adjoining bedroom.

Hoffman owned no real estate but is said to of had about $4000 deposited in the bank. Besides his mother, three brothers, Charles, John and Henry, survive him. Justice Rhoades viewed the body as acting coroner.


It has been reported to us that a number of adults are acquiring the habit of running around our streets in near-to-nature garb. Common decency demands that those wishing to bathe should provide themselves with some wrap covering such as a rain coat while on their way to and from the lake beach. It is also reported that if this practice is not stopped other means than mere warnings will be used.

Broke Grade Record

Thomas H. Bottomley, member of the class of 1907 of V. H. S. passed the recent state examination in pharmacy with an average grade of 97 ½ percent, the highest yet attained in the state. The previous highest grade reached is 95.



BORN – to Mr. Mrs. John Nicholl, Saturday, July 8, 11.

August Krieger was overcome by heat Thursday his condition is considered quite serious.

Miss Carrie Axtell Cleveland, spent the past week with her cousin, Miss Jeanette Axtell.

L. J. Henes greenhouse was partially destroyed by fire Thursday. He places his loss at about $800 with no insurance.

A barn belonging to Mr. Harry Courts was destroyed by fire Saturday night.

Miss Vera Armstrong was overcome by the heat Sunday while on her way to work at the telephone office. She is reported better.

A new barn belonging to A. Eppley, which was completed a few days ago was struck by lightning Sunday afternoon and burned with the large quantity of hay and grain also a number of farm implements were destroyed.

Mrs. H. A. Finnegan and her five children who live in the old Plato residence at Amherst had narrow escape from being burned to death when fire broke out in their home Tuesday morning. Her five-yr. old son awakened the family and they were forced to flee for their lives through rooms filled with smoke. The damage will be about $2000 and is covered by insurance.

Rev. Charles F. English and his son Leland, of Amherst, were discharged from custody by Justice Neiding, Thursday afternoon, there not being sufficient evidence produced at their hearing to warrant the court binding them over to the grand jury on a charge of assaulting Dr. George Quigley, with intent to kill
Rev. English who is an evangelist, admitted that he slapped Quigley, his brother-in-law, in the face, but that he was justified in his action as a result of the epithets applied to him by Quigley.
It also developed that Leland English did beat the doctor with a baseball bat, but it was when he feared Quigley would kill his father whom he had down on the ground beating him with his fists. – Elyria Tel.

[NOTE: This is among the oddest pieces I’ve seen in the old paper. I don’t know what happened to the ol’ Turn the other cheek adage.]

No More Woman Calligrapher’s for Ohio

I.N. Miller, Cincinnati, district commercial superintendent of the Western Union Telegraph Co., has sent out a notice which means that there will be no more women telegraph operators employed in Ohio. They will be replaced as fast as possible on account of the passage of the Green nine-hour law for women.

[NOTE: The Green nine-hour law provided that no woman over 18 years of age should work for more than 10 hours in any one day or for 54 hours in any one week.]

The Harvester, a 545-foot boat building for the Wisconsin Steel Co. will be launched at Lorain Saturday morning.

After spending 10 days in Elyria working among the girl and men employees of the McQueen & Vonda skirt factory Cleveland garment workers strike pickets say they have succeeded in inducing all but three of the men tailors and pressers to quit work and return to their homes in New York and Chicago, from which places they were brought by the proprietors of the plant. The desertion of these men practically ties up the plant, pickets say.

Mr. Mrs. Alfred Ries and son Paul spent the fourth with Ed Erbskorn and wife.


The hot weather is drawing people from the cities to the exhilarating breezes of Lake Erie.

The proprietors of the different cottages at Linwood Park are making things as convenient as possible for the campers.

Rev. Goetz and family of Cleveland have come to Linwood Park for the summer.


The lightning struck the M. E. Church at Florence Monday and was burned to the ground. The contents were saved and also the sheds.


Mr. Harry Miller accepted a position as head gardener for Mr. E.B. Welch.


Mrs. Wm. Troxel and daughters Lottie and Audrey went to Fremont yesterday to visit relatives and friends.

Thomas H. Bottomley guest Mr. Heyman of Payne, O., were Cedar Point visitors Tuesday afternoon.

Mrs. P. J. Havice who has been very ill for the past nine weeks was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital Lorain last week, but Monday underwent an operation. Word received from the hospital Wednesday was to the effect that she was getting along as well as can be expected.

Farmers picnic will be held at Crystal Beach, August 5. A big crowd and a big time is anticipated.

During the storm Monday afternoon lightning struck the flagpole on F. W. Wakefield’s residence splitting it. No serious damage is reported.

Mrs. H. L. Edson is reported quite ill.

C. Roscoe spent several days last week among relatives at Milan.

Benedict, the great mind reader Man of Mystery and the Great Heines are guests at the Maud-Elton.

Mr. Otto Knott and sister Mrs. Anna Hoffman attended the funeral of the latter’s brother-in-law at Shinrock yesterday.

DIED – at her home over Christian’s store on Grand St. last evening July 12, 1911 Mrs. William Maxfield after a long illness. Funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon at 1 o’clock at the M. E. Church.

Mrs. Ray Brossmer of Cincinnati Ohio and Mrs. Geo. Aerski of Seattle, Wash. Arrived here this morning called to the bedside of their mother, Mrs. Benham who is very ill at the home of her sister Mrs. T.H.D. Harrold.

Rev. Harrold will conduct funeral service for Mrs. Lucinda Maxfield, wife of Mr. William Maxfield who died yesterday, in M. E. Church, Saturday 1 o’clock, July 15, 1911. [sic]

Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Irey and children accompanied remains of their little baby to Ada, O., Friday. Mr. Irey will return to Chicago, and Mrs. Irey and children will spend several weeks at Ada.

The people are promised a good show for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening this week at the Opera House. The Great Haines, dramatic soprano and Benedict, the Man of Mystery also the Human Fish, Guy M. Dailey, will appear as the attractions.


Mr. Robert Jarrett of Norwalk with his new auto took his mother Mrs. Jane Jarrett and Mrs. Myra Bailey Florence Saturday to visit the latter’s sister, Mrs. Melissa Jarrett is in ill health.

The Methodist Episcopal church at Florence was struck by lightning Monday afternoon. The cupola was terribly shattered and the church was burned to the ground. Those first on the ground were able to carry out the organ and a few chairs. The library and bookcase, lighting plan, seats and carpets etc. were all destroyed. The carpet and lighting plan were new within the last few years. The church was newly papered last year. This means a great loss to the church and its friends. The building and its contents were partially covered by insurance. Preparations will be made for building. For the present trustees of the Cong’l church last kindly tendered use of their church which will be used for services.


The little son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Smith who had his leg broken recently is recovering nicely.


Mr. Ruggles cow was killed Friday night by a streetcar.

Farmers are busy threshing.





…and A. M. He then read the law under the instruction of Judge Peter Hitchcock, a well known and able lawyer of Geauga county, but during his legal studies Mr. Goodwin was, for a time, engaged in teaching school. After two years at Columbus, O., he was admitted to the bar. This was in 1846. He at once commenced practice at Burton, but in June of the following year, 1847, came to Sandusky and became a member of the Erie county bar. During his forty-two years of practice in this county Mr. Goodwin has been connected with many of the most important cases tried therein.

Hon. John Mackey. Judge Mackey was born in Warren county, New Jersey, on the 7th of January, 1818, and became a resident of Milan township, to which place his parents and family moved in the year 1837. Our subject was educated in the common schools and the academy at Milan, and commenced, in 1843, the study of law with Lucas S. Beecher, of Sandusky, still devoting, however, a portion of his time to the school room and to farm work. At Fremont, in the year 1846, he was admitted to practice law by the Supreme Court on circuit. After his admission to the bar and before he commenced practice, Mr. Mackey engaged in an enterprise wholly outside the profession. He, with others, established a daily and weekly newspaper, known as the Sandusky Mirror. This was the first daily paper published in Erie county. Mr. Mackey's connection with the Mirror was continued up to the latter part of the year 1849, at which time he opened an office for the general practice of the law. His first partner was O. C. McLouth, but later years found him professionally associated with Hon. Joseph M. Root, and afterwards with Homer Goodwin, esq.

From the year 1852 to 1856 Mr. Mackey held the office of prosecuting attorney of the county. In the spring of 1830 he was appointed judge of the Common Pleas Court to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Cooper K. Watson, and at the next general election he was elected to fill Judge Watson's unexpired term. He was, upon the expiration of that term, re-elected for a full term of five years. After his last term upon the bench had expired Judge Mackey resumed his practice, to which his time has since been devoted.

Horatio Wildman was a grandson of Zalmon Wildman, who is well remembered as having been one of the proprietors of the town of Portland, afterward Sandusky, and of those proprietors he was the largest owner. Horatio Wildman was a native of Connecticut, and was born at Danbury on the 10th of April. 1828. His parents were Frederick S. and Julia Wildman, and of their five children, Horatio was the oldest. At the age of twenty years young Wildman came to Sandusky, at which place his father had an extensive land interest, and here the young man believed was a good opening for business and professional engagements. Prior to his coming here he had graduated from Yale College, and had also read law with Charles Hawley, of Stamford,…

HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY OHIO - With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. - Edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich - Syracuse, N.Y. - D. Mason & Co., Publishes - 1889.

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CEYLON JCT: In years past Ceylon Junction depot was a popular shipping place for local farmers..


A minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building.

Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute.

The substitute wanted to know what to play. "Here's a copy of the service," he said impatiently. "But you'll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances."

During the service, the minister paused and said, "Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected, and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up."

And THAT is how the substitute organist became the regular organist.;

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LOCAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: After giving it much thought this link has been "put-down". During the last year most of the folks who used to use this page as a bulletin board have acquired their own and, consequently, no longer need this forum from "Views". I have, however, kept links (in the links section) to Larry Hohler's "Hope Homes" in Kenya - and to Bette Lou Higgins' Eden Valley Enterprises sites. They are historically and socially relevant projects. I suggest that you visit these sites on a regular basis to see "what's shakin'".

Pay particular note to the "Hope Homes" page during the next few months / years. They are constantly improving the lives of their youngsters and those around them. This is an exciting project accomplished by exciting people.

Although this Vermilion High School Class of 1959 reunion is over classmates may want to stay connected with each other through organizerROGER BOUGHTON. Ye can connect by mailing him @ 2205 SW 10th Ave. Austin, MN. 55912 or you can just emailRoger.

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
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Vermilion, Ohio
Telephone: 440-967-0988 - Cell: 440-522-8397

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If you want to know what God thinks of people with money just look at those he gave it to." - Dorothy Parker

Vol. 17. Issue 19 - July 13 2019

Archive Issue #852

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