Wednesday, August 30, 2017

African American Students in Sandusky Erie County, 1854 - 1858







Above are scans of the cover and a record of students' attendance for the quarter beginning April 20th 1858 for the "Colored School" located in Erie County, Ohio. The ledger provides a record of students' attendance for the years from 1854 to 1858. Transcribed below are the names and ages of students listed on the above scan (April 20th 1858). Some names (not all) listed on this page appear as students for all all four years. Only a single teacher's name is given - E. Hastings. From the Sandusky Directory, the teacher of the "Colored School" was given as Eliza Hastings.

The ledger identifies the number of days attended by each student. Rather than quarters, classes seem to have begun each year in late April and continued through June. Classes then resumed once more in late August or September and continued through December.

According to A History of Sandusky and Erie County, written by the late Charles E. Frohman, "small schools for Negro children had been maintained at irregular intervals by Negro directors, but in 1853, at the request of the Negro people, these schools were transferred to the city Board of Education. In 1861 they were discontinued by the Superintendent of Schools, and the Negro students attended classes in the regular school system." Considering the dates of the attendance ledger, it appears this record was kept after the school was transferred to the Board of Education.

No information is given in the ledger as to the location of the school, but with much assistance from Dorene Paul, Reference Librarian at the Sandusky Library and her Sandusky History blog, it seems logical that the school was located near Neil Street in Sandusky, not far from the St. Stephen AME Church at 312 Neil Street. From 1873 to 1876. Reverend Thomas Holland Boston, born in Maryland in 1809, served as minister of the St. Stephen A.M.E. Church and lived on Hancock Street. Reverend Boston's three daughters by his second marriage appear on the attendance register. 



April 20th, 1858
Teacher, Miss E. Hastings



Susan Boston, 14
Sarah Boston, 10
Georgianna Boston, 7
Adaline Veecher, 12
Hannah Veecher, 7
Margaret Veecher, 10
Arminda Moss, 9
Sarah J. Johnson, 9
Lucinda Smith, 9
Antonette Smith, 11
Josephine Holley, 10
Cynthia Payne, 9

Rhoda Payne, 7
Fidelia Anderson, 15

Elijah Brown, 13
Arthur Harris, 9
Elijah Moss, 7
Thomas Holley, 12
Mark Holley, 7

Van Vector Harris (?), 11
Edward Veecher, 5

Edward Smith, 6
William Holley, 5
George Payne, 10
George Harris, 5
James Williams, 12
Gus Wingfield (?), 7
Edward Gleason, 10
James Smith, 8
John Anderson, 7
Robert Smith, 6



Neil and Hancock streets appear in the lower left hand corner a block north of the Fair Grounds. 
1874 Erie County, Ohio Atlas




Probable Location of First Settlement of African Americans in Erie County, Ohio
1874 Erie County, Ohio Atlas


According to an article by A. W. Hendry titled "History of a Vanished Settlement" appearing in the July 1878 issue of the Firelands Pioneer, African Americans had arrived in the area  before 1838. Known locally as "Africa" because of the African American settlement, Hendry described its location as "then about two miles from the city, in a southeasterly direction, and across Pipe Creek." Hendry believed that by 1843, more than 100 individuals resided at the settlement. This settlement no longer existed by the 1850s. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

MIKE GILBERT'S POPULAR HISTORY ROUNDTABLE BEGINS SEPT. 16TH !!




Educator and Local Historian Mike Gilbert’s popular series, History Roundtable, returns this fall! We are grateful to Dr. Mary Wonderly for once again making the sessions possible. Gilbert will offer six sessions on Saturdays Sept. 16 through Oct. 28 with the exception of Oct. 7. Pre-register with Nan Card or Julie Mayle by calling 419-332-2081
x 239.

All sessions except for the Sept. 23rd Oakwood Trolley tours will take place in the Museum auditorium from 10. A.M. to 11:30 A.M. The cost is $5.00 for each session or $25 for all five sessions. THE OAKWOOD TROLLEY TOURS SPONSORED BY GEORGE SCHRADER ARE SOLD OUT.

Sept. 16 Facts, Myths and Legends: Learn about the known and unknown history of Sandusky County as Gilbert explores facts, urban legends and myths of the area. Help unravel stories from the past that have generated local and national interest.

Sept. 23 Oakwood Cemetery Trolley Tours: SOLD OUT!

Sept. 30 Hangouts:
Mike will discuss the hot spots of local youth from the founding of the county to participants’ own high school days.

Oct. 7 NO SESSION SCHEDULED!

Oct. 14 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry: The beginning of the Civil War was a tumultuous time for the men and women of Sandusky County. Discover how the soldiers of the 72nd brought a sense of pride to their hometown as they fought their way through Shiloh and Vicksburg. Relive their agony at Brice’s Crossroads and Andersonville Prison as they made the long march back home.

Oct. 21 Native Americans: Sandusky County has a rich tradition concerning Native Americans in the area. Learn about the history of the tribes and the shaping of the community. Hear the stories of Chief Tarhe, Peggy Fleming, James Whittaker and others.


Oct.28 Ghost Stories: Mike brings back one of his most popular presentations. Just in time for Halloween, he will share local, state and national hauntings. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

S/Sgt. Charles Holcomb, Jr. B-24 Nose Gunner During WWII


Crew of the WWII B-24 Bomber
L to R standing) Lt. W.J. Toczko, co-pilot; Lt. E.H. Patterson, pilot; Lt. K.W. Verhagne, navigator; Lt. Doug Reid, bombardier

(Kneeling) T/Sgt. H. Dodd, engineer; Sgt. Web Brown, gunner; S/Sgt. Serradell, w/gunner; S/Sgt. Higgs, tail gunner; S/Sgt. Edgar, radio; S/Sgt. Holcomb, nose gunne



S/Sgt. Charles Holcomb, Jr. of Helena, Ohio enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942. After completing his training, Holcomb was assigned to the 389th Bomb Group as the nose gunner aboard a B-24 bomber.  He completed 17 successful missions before being shot down near Berlin, Germany on June 21, 1944.  Charles was captured that day and became a prisoner of war until April 29, 1945.  

Pictured below is the hat that he knitted prior to a forced march in the winter of 1945 from the Stalag Luft IV prison camp located in Pomerania, near the hamlet of Gross tychow.  Mr. Holcomb recalled watching a fellow POW knit the hat after they had only received coats from the Red Cross. His comrade eventually taught him how to knit his own cap.

Cap knitted by Sgt. Charles Holcomb, Jr. while a prisoner of war during the winter of 1945 at Stalag Luft IV.

The B-24 was produced in greater numbers than any other bomber in aviation history. In all, five plants built 19, 256 Liberators between May 1941 and the end of WWII in 1945. The Ford Motor Company built 6,792 at its Willow Run plant in Michigan. 

By the end of the war in Europe, 3,800 B-24s had become part of the Eighth Air Force. A third of these were lost in action over enemy territory.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Governor Rutherford B. Hayes and the Lincoln and Soldiers Monument at the Ohio Statehouse

Guest Post by
David Boling, Ohio Statehouse Tour Guide

In early January,1872  Rutherford B. Hayes was completing his term as Ohio's governor. He wrote in his diary a list of what he believed were his most important acts of legislation and accomplishments since coming into office in 1868. Nestled between the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and creation of an ''Asylum for the Inebriate"  in Mansfield, he lists item number 12,   The Lincoln Memorial - T. D. Jones (See Diary entry, January 9, 1872)


What memorial to Lincoln? Where is it? Does it still exist? What role did Governor Hayes have in its creation? Perhaps most important why was this so important to Governor Hayes?

I am a tour guide at the Ohio Statehouse. On our daily tours of the Ohio Statehouse, one of our stops in the Rotunda is a large marble tableau (pictured below) that honors Abraham Lincoln and the soldiers who fought at the battle of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863.





Standing 14 feet tall, from floor to the top of the bust of Abraham Lincoln, the Lincoln and Soldiers Monument stands in the same spot as it did when it was dedicated on the evening of January 19, 1871. The dedication itself was quite the event, Here is how it was described in the Cincinnati Enquirer the next day. 
                                                                            

'An immense crowd attended the unveiling, music by the Quintet Choir of First Presbyterian Church was magnificent. Governor Hayes presided. Mr. Galloway, representing the Association spoke first, followed by General William H. Enochs of the House and General Durbin Ward of the Senate. When Mr. Jones unveiled the monument, the crowd gave unequivocal demonstrations of applause.'

'
Governor Hayes presided. As chairman of the Ohio Monument Association, the contracting agent for the memorial. As governor and as a veteran he would have been within his rights to give his own speech, but as Hayes writes the next day in his diary, he chose 'a meritorious thing'.


January 20, 1871, -- I did an unusual, and, I think, a meritorious, thing last night, Tom Jones' memorial to Lincoln and the Ohio Soldiers was to be inaugurated in the rotunda of the Capitol. I presided, I had a fairish little opening speech, which with my good lungs I could make go off well.  But there were three speakers to give addresses. I knew that the little, pretty, pet things to be said were not numerous, and that my speech would more or less interfere with the success of theirs. I accordingly swallowed my speech and introduced the various actors without an extra word. Who has beaten this? 


The Speech I Didn't Make 
Fellow Citizens: -- We have assembled this evening to witness the inauguration, the unveiling of the Memorial -- the work of an Ohio sculptor, Thomas D. Jones, of Cincinnati -- placed here in the rotunda of the State House,  to remain, we trust, as long as the building itself shall stand in honor of the brave sons of Ohio who in more than a thousand conflicts on land and water poured out their lives for Liberty and Union; and in honor also of him who "strove for the fight as God gave him to see the right," and who "with charity for all and malice towards none," "Ascended Fame's ladder so high from the round at the top he stepped in the sky.  


The Lincoln and Soldiers Monument stands in the southeast niche of the Statehouse  Rotunda where it was originally placed, although it was moved to other locations, and the monument and bust were displayed removed and stored for some time. Starting at the top of the 14-foot monument, there stands a bust of Lincoln, done by T.D. Jones in Springfield, Illinois, during the winter months of 1861 after Lincoln's election, but before his inauguration in March. It is one of five known to be in existence for which Lincoln sat. .
 
The surrender of the Confederate army at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863 fills the center tableau (shown below) of the monument.  On the left, General John S. Bowen, Colonel M. C. Montgomery and General John C. Pemberton, who is seen handing over a list of his troops to General Ulysses S. Grant. Standing next to Grant on the right, is General James B. McPherson and General William T. Sherman. All three of the Union generals were from Ohio. On each side there is an orderly holding the reins of a horse to honor all those on both sides who had served.



Just below this scene is a quote from Lincoln's second inaugural address, "Care for him who shall borne the battle and for his widow and his orphans." Use of the words appear to have been a compromise as Governor Hayes had written to his Uncle Sardis Birchard on February 3,1868 that not enough money had been collected to include the 'uprising of the people when Fort Sumter was taken.'



Personally, I think the words are a better choice for they cause us to pause and remember the more than 620,000 Americans, from the North and the South, who lost their lives in the Civil War, and especially the 35,475 who were from Ohio.

The Ohio Statehouse in Columbus offers free tours of the capitol building and of the grounds during the summer. Open seven days a week, I hope you will come and view the monument yourself and learn more about 'the people's house.'



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Captain Charles L. Hudson, 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and 4th U. S. Cavalry


Charles L. Hudson
72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry
4th U. S. Cavalry



Army and Navy Journal
March 7, 1874

Lieutenant Charles L. Hudson was born in Brantford, Canada West, January 17, 1843.  In 1859 his parents moved to Ohio,  first settling in Huron County, but two years later making their permanent residence near the beautiful village of Clyde. In 1861, Colonel Eaton, recruiting a company for the Seventy-second Ohio, found young Hudson, yet but a boy, at work in a corn field and without any difficulty secured him for his command. "He proved at once a worthy and brave soldier.  His intelligent performance of duty and faultless conduct in camp and in the field made him a favorite with officers and men and step by step he ascended in rank from his original position as private.  In 1864, he was made adjutant of the regiment which position with the rank of first lieutenant, he held till the end of the war, when he was commissioned a captain.  

.                                                                              
Inscribed Sword Presented to Charles L. Hudson by his 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Comrades
(privately owned)
                                                                           


He was in nearly every engagement with his corps, and wounded at Shiloh in the hip, and a second time very seriously at Tupelo, Mississippi, a musket ball entering below the waist in the abdomen, and after passing half round the body, lodging near the backbone.  

After the war Hudson’s original idea was to study medicine, but in 1866 he was persuaded to adventure as a cotton planter in Louisiana. This enterprise proving disastrous, he returned to Clyde, when the summer of 1867 found him a law student. 
                                                                            

                   
     National Cemetery San Antonio. Texas

In December of that year, through the influence of appreciative friends, he was commissioned second lieutenant in the U. S. Army and assigned to the Fifteenth Infantry, joining his regiment at Mobile in January, 1868. He was shortly assigned to the Fourth Cavalry, promoted to first lieutenant and breveted captain. For three years, the headquarters of the command was at Fort Clark, and it is hardly necessary to suggest that a company thus located, which accompanied Colonel McKinzie [ Randall McKenzie] in his famous raid ‘over the border’ and was in the successful expedition of December last, against the Indians has seen pretty trying and constant service.

On the morning the 4th of January, just returned from a fight with the Comanches and resting from his fatigue, Lieutenant Hudson received his death wound from the accidental discharge of a Winchester carbine, dropping from the hands of Lieutenant Tyler. The ball entered the body a little below the third rib in the back of the left side, and passed through the cavity of the abdomen ranging downward and passing out on the right side of the stomach.  He lived till the 5th, at dark, conscious and suffering very little. He received every attention from his comrades, officers and men hoping almost against hope that the wound might not prove fatal, but about noon, it becoming evident that death must be the result, he was able to give an hour  to such partial arrangements of his affairs as one almost in extremis but retaining his mental faculties, is capable of.  

A friend writes, with true “soldierly pathos” he full realized that he was dying and went down to the brink of the dark river with the same calm composure that he had so often shown when death shots were falling thick and fast. The message which reached his widowed mother in far off Ohio, at noon, of ‘Charley’s’ successful skirmish with the Indians, was followed the same afternoon by a telegram announcing his death.

The friend to whom we are indebted for the foregoing details adds: “No words of encomium could ever rate the many excellent qualities of Captain Hudson. I knew him long and well, and do not believe he had an enemy. He was brave, generous, and just. As a soldier few equaled him. It is not too much to say, that in the Army and at home, he was universally respected and beloved. As an Indian fighter and leader of cavalry, Hudson was the  Bayard of the Border, not more popular with his command than idolized by the frontiersmen.  

General Sherman had recommended him for promotion shortly previous to his sad taking off. The body of Hudson was embalmed and laid in the National Cemetery at San Antonio,Texas.  Economy and retrenchment just now do not recognize the value of a soldier’s life, and it is hardly strange that they refuse to pay the usual respect to his remains. Thus the department was forced to respond to the request of one of Captain Hudson’s friends, to have his body forwarded to the little Ohio hamlet, whence some of the States’ best soldiers went to the war, and where McPherson’s remains were buried, ‘I am compelled to return a negative answer to your request.’






Thursday, June 15, 2017

General Ralph P. Buckland at Vicksburg

The 4th of July 1863, marked the culmination  of the long land and naval campaign by the Union forces to capture the key strategic position of the Civil War - Vicksburg on the Mississippi River. President Abraham Lincoln stated that "Vicksburg is the key, the war can never come to a close until the key is in our pocket." Capturing Vicksburg severed the Confederacy and opened the river to Union traffic along its entire length. Brigadier General Ralph Buckland commanded Tuttle's First Brigade made up of the 114th Illinois, 93rd Indiana, 72nd Ohio, and 95th Ohio. 
Ohio decided that instead of a single monument devoted to all of the Ohio veterans who fought at Vicksburg, it would erect a monument to each of its 39 generals. This brochure, created in 1912, was used to solicit funds from veterans for a monument for General Buckland at Vicksburg Military Park's Union Avenue . 


General Ralph P. Buckland Monument at Vicksburg as it appears today


Vicksburg Battlefield as it appears today

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Huntington Family Members Research Their Ancestor's Collection


Mr. and Mrs. William Huntington, Jr. of Maryland joined their cousin Sally Sparhawk of Colorado for a day's research of the papers of their  mutual ancestor Dwight Huntington, lawyer, artist, editor, and wildlife conservationist. Some of Dwight's correspondence, photographs, and watercolor landscapes are a part of the George Buckland Collection. (George Buckland, originally of Fremont, Ohio married Huntington's sister.) 

In 1898, the Cincinnati Sportsman’s Society published In Brush, Sedge, and Stubble: A Picture Book of the Shooting Fields and Feathered Game of North America. It was to be the first of many books Huntington would write and illustrate on wildlife conservation.





Huntington gave up the legal profession in 1900. Passionate about nature and wildlife conservation, he moved to New York and became editor of the Amateur Sportsman and the Game Breeder Magazine. .

Huntington wrote the nation’s first game breeding bill. With the assistance of Franklin D. Roosevelt, then head of New York’s Forest, Fish, and Game Commission, his bill became law in 1912. 


Sally and Bill were so pleased to learn that much of Dwight's material is preserved at the Hayes Presidential Library and Museums that they decided to donate two additional watercolors by Huntington and the galleys to In Brush, Sedge, and Stubble.