Dramatic Mystery

A photograph from the Howard Kahoe glass negative collection shows some sort of outdoor dramatic presentation, but there is no caption to indicate the event, the participants or the locale.

The tree at right certainly seems to have provided an excellent viewpoint for a daring few.

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Artists Don’t Really Retire

A newspaper clipping (without source attribution or dating) found in the papers collected by Mary E. Morgan features Robert Metcalf (featured as a bookplate artist in a previous blog post) along with his wife Gertrude on their plans after retiring from full-time participation on the Antioch faculty.

Metcalfs to Photograph Europe’s Stained Glass

YELLOW SPRINGS—After 45 years of service, an Antioch college couple are officially retired.

But for Robert Metcalf, professor of art formerly associatedwith the Dayton Art Institute, and his wife, Gertrude, assistant professor of art education and extramural association, “reitrement” means only more time to do what they like best—teaching writing, traveling and working in their stained glass studio on the outskirts of Yellow Springs.

The Metcalfs have begun a nine-week trip to Fr ance and England where they will photograph stained glass windows of the 11th through 17th centuries. They plan to follow that with a summer in Mexico photographing Mayan ruins.

The slides of the windows will be used by Metcalf next year when he becomes Kress Foundatoin Visiting Scholar and teaches at Ohio Wesleyan, Denison and Capital universities and at Kenyon and St. Mary of the Spring colleges.

Thirty years ago on a somewhat similar odyssey through Europe, the couple made 13,000 color slides of major stained-glass collections for the Dayton Art Institute, some of which served as models for European craftsmen recreating windows destroyed during Wolrd War II.

Metcalf also anticipates teaching two art classes a year at Antioch and his wife will offer an education course on arts and crafts for children from time to time. In addition, they must complete a book for the McGraw Hill Co. on the appeal, history and technique of stained-glass window-making.

LOOKING OVER their Antioch careers, the Metcalfs say that the major change they have noted in the college art scene through the years has been the increase in art majors.

“Although being an artist is hard,” remarks Mrs. Metcalf, “art seems to offer more personal involvement and satisfaction than many other careers.”

That many of their students have taken their view of the satisfaction of art seriously is evident in the number of alumni currently in the field. One alumnus, whom the Metcalfs helped steer into an artistic career and of whom they are especially proud, is Dr. August Freundlich, chairman of the art department and director of the art museum ar the University of Miami and author of a recently-published book on the American artist William Gropper.

Metcalf joined the Antioch college faculty in 1945, and was chairman of the art department most of the time. From 1934 to 1944 he was head of the decorative arts department of the Dayton Art Institute.

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1910s Cemetery Book — Pages 34 and 35

The first name on page 34 should be familiar to readers of this blog (see here, here and here) and that of Yellow Springs Heritage (not affiliated with the Historical Society but another organization focusing on the history of Yellow Springs and currently known for Saturday walking tours).

Another item of note is the danger of trucks, with accidental death due to truck on each page.

And finally, it appears that in the late 20s infants who died prematurely were recorded with names, rather than “infant so-and-so”..


August 4, 1920 — Thaddeus P. Carr — Pneumonia — St. Paul, Minn.
August 29, 1920 — [Ford/Fred?] Barrett — Killed accidentally by motor truck — Yellow Springs
October 4, 1920 — Edith Mills Indigestion — Yellow Springs
November 6, 1920 — [Jerusia?] E. Newson — Hemorage[sic] — Springfield
November 6, 1920 — Mathew M. Grimstead — Broncho Pneumonia — Springfield
November 8, 1920 — Benj. C. Husted — Cancer of Prostate — Springfield
November 22, 1920 — Adelpia Wallace — Cardiac Asthenia — Yellow Springs
November 11, 1920 — Adam Sanford — Premature Birth — Yellow Springs
November 29, 1920 —[ Eleza?] E. Taylor — Cancer — Springfield
November 29, 1920 — John Henry Mason — Cardiac Discompensation — Springfield
December 1, 1920 — Margaret Shawhan — Cerebral Apoplexy — Yellow Springs
December 9, 1920 — Sidney [Turmmire?] — Heart Failure — Springfield
December 14, 1920 — Carolina S. Edwards — Vaginal Carcinoma — Yellow Springs

December 17, 1920 — Thomas Woodford — Mitral Regurgitation — Springfield
December 18, 1920  — Charlotte Finney — Heart Disease Infirmity — Cedarville
December 20, 1920 — George Washington Parsons — Killed by  truck crushed head — Yellow Springs
December 22, 1920 — Carolina Rhodes — Cancer of Liver — Clifton
Deceember 22, 1920 — Rachael Johnson — Pneumonia — Columbus
December 27, 1920 — Marshall Garfield — Typhoid Fever — Yellow Springs
December 30, 1920 — Millie Smedly — Inanition — Springfield
January 11, 1921 — Lizzie J. [Young?] — Cerebral Apoplexy — Mad River Twp., Clark Co.
January 12, 1921 — Richard R. Randall — Pertitonitis — Springfield
January 22, 1921 — Mary Catherine Adams — [____?] {Sept__?] — Springfield
January 26, 1921 William Johnson — Birth Paralysis — Yellow Springs
March 8, 1921 — Martha Lord — [__________?] — Springfield
March 14, 1921 — Howard S. Adams — [Ex____?] [B____________?] — Springfield

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Grinnell Dam/Mill

With Hurricanes Harvey and Irma reshaping cities, we should remember that we are not insulated form the power of severe weather. Tornadoes are an annual concern, and floods, although not generally a threat to downtown, are not unknown.

The 1913 flood is usually associated with the devastation in Dayton, and Arthur Morgan’s efforts afterwards, but it was felt locally. Grinnell Mill’s water wheel was damaged.

The following photographs are from the Kahoe glass negative collection shared with the Historical Society by Dave Huber. The first shows Grinnell Dam circa 1904, and the second shows Grinnell Mill circa 1914.

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Passionate Issue in 1905

One of the clippings (actually, an incomplete photocopy) found in the papers collected by Mary E. Morgan was a partial page from a 1905 issue of the Yellow Springs News, in which the major discussion was on the actions of the Anti-Saloon League. Even though the language is more formal and the topic different, readers should find a certain similarity of approach to the controversies of today.

This Extra Edition

THE NEWS is issued this week in two editions. This is made necessary because of the Anti-Saloon League’s characteristic method of doing things. In buying space for their tirades against the liberal-minded people and against the saloons, they required that not one word of matter in rebuttal of their matter should be published in the issues in which it appeared. Hence, in order that you should have both sides to the matter, it has been necessary for us liberal-minded men to go to the extra expense of paying for this entire extra edition.

Do you remember when Yellow Springs was “dry” a number of years ago? That was a happy time wasn’t it? Everything in a continual turmoil and no good resulting for anybody.

The [statute] books of Ohio are full of laws regulating and abolishing disreputable saloons, and these laws could be enforced and are enforced in communities not ruled by fanatical extremists. Such laws are practicable and have the unanimous support of all classes, including the reputable men engaged in the sale of liquors.

Wet or Dry?

A ceertain few, who pay little or no taxes in Yellow Springs, have taken upon themselves the task of putting the four saloons of Yellow Springs out of business. They have thrown insult broadcast, not only to the saloon interests, but to all who do not meekly submit to their silly whims.

Do we have to take it?


I, who pen these lines, represent that portion of our citizenship which is made of that kind of stuff which allows no set of sissies to dictate what we shall do or when we shall do it. We are the solid, permanent class of men who do things in our own sweet way and through whose untiring efforts the wheels of commerce and industry are made to revolve.

Why should we keep silence under the abuse and maledictoins of a few men whose judgement is at best no better than our own?

Had their been any call for all this hubbub there would be some extenuating circumstances, but here we have it—one Parley Baker, who deserted the good old Methodist ministry in Columbus because he had heard a louder call (more salary) in the camp of the Anti-Saloon League, has a reputation to make as a saloon buster, or he will lose his job. He must keep doing something at any cost, so he gets our church people by the ears and sets them to preaching hell-fire, ghosts, snakes, and any old thing so that the ignorant and susceptible may be scared into voting the saloons out and thus placing another feather in his cap….

Look Out for Falsehoods.

Be on your guard or you will be unwittingly trapped into believing some of those cleverly concealed half-truths and prevarications handed out in clever little anecdotes, incidents, and other prize packages, studied up, dreamed over and rehearsed with dramatic effect for your especial benefit. In the conniving to make a point, many a man ordinarily well thought of, has gone beyond the pale of truth, thinking himself justified by what he hopes to accomplish.

Remember, prohibition never has and never will prohibit.

If you feel yourself growing weak-minded and cannot trust yourself longer, go and have one of your friends appointed your guardian. Don’t let a set of Anti-Saloon cranks get the best of you.

Do you know that prohibition in all shapes ia a well meant crime, a conspiracy in the interest of men against manhood. Our cranks do not understand that a man may not approve of prohibition without being a drunkard.


To hear the Anti’s talk wou would think that if you did not vote to put the saloons out Monday it would be the last you would ever see of a happy home. Happy homes exist now and we have saloons. Happy homes have exited for ages and we have had saloons. And the greatest per cent of these happy homes have been consumers of liquors in one form or another.

Unhappiness results from intemperance. Intemperance in eating, as well as drinking. Intemperance in dress, manners, laws, thought—in fact, anything. Be temperate in all things.

The statement given by the State Auditor in his January, 1905, settlement showed 12,800 saloons, as compared with 11, 475 in January, 1904. The increase in the number is largely due to the discovery of “speakeasies” in “dry” homes by the Dairy and Food department.

And this in the heyday of local option. By the time the Anti’s get through with the “doomed” saloons in Ohio the number will be doubled.

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Why They Came — Pages 50 – 53

(Previous entries herehere, herehereherehereherehereherehere, here, and here)

These pages reflect village organizations of the time. Are there ones we would do well to revive?


Thirty-five volunteers consider it a privilege to belong to the Miami Township Fire Department and are proud of their excellent training program and modern equipment. James Dalrymple is chief.

An outgrowth of the Little Peace Conference, the Community Council includes delegates from all civic organizations in the village, coordinates commmunity projects, and administers the Community Chest. The informal meeting at left includes: Arthur Landes, Steve Nehez, Mrs. John Birch, Henry Federighi, Margaret Mercer, secretary, and Stanley Wise.

The League of Women Voters helps to distribute vital information to voters and sponosors many civic projects. They contrributed much to the town’s success in turning its dump into a recreational park. A typical league meeting is shown above.


The young stalwart at left is a cleat-digging member of the Little League, one of Community Council’s major recreational activities. In this league, everybody gets a chance to play in the scheduled competitive series.

A “couldn’t-be-done” project, the swimming pool was proposed by the Jaycees, who sparked a community wide effort to raise $40,000. The drive succeeded and the pool was officially turned over to the village in June, 1956. Free swimmming classes for all ages are sponsored by Community Council.


The Arts Association, in connection with the Yellow Springs Apple Butter Festival in the fall, sponsors shows presenting works of local artists. The one above was displayed under the carport of the Miami Deposit Bank on Short Street. A similar art show is shown above, at Birch Hall, sponsored by Antioch.

Another Yellow Springs custom is church benefit sales, like this one, on the lawn of the Presbyterian Church.


It’s always a pleasant surprise to find home-made pastries at a hardware store, a favorite spot for “Bake sales.” This one is at Deaton’s.

The Yellow Springs Apple Butter Festival has grown from an idea in 1945 to an all-out big day for the whole community, on Mills Lawn, with pony rides, singing, dancing, dinner at the Grade School, and apple butter. This Festival is part of the Centennial.

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Some Things Stay; Some Things Go

Two newspaper clippings:

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1980s part 2

Most notable in this group is the introduction of Garfield designs, reflecting the increased interest in the use of licensed characters on Antioch products.

Licensed properties introduced a new level of complexity in the cost of producing bookplates (and other products). Whereas previously, it would not be unusual to produce a bookplate from a design from an outside source, it was mostly a one-time purchase of a piece of art. Licensing involved continuing royalties, often at different rates or different products and contract term limits, so that products could no longer be sold once the contract had expired.

Antioch bookplate B-150


Antioch bookplate B-152

B-152 NASA photograph

Antioch bookplate B-153


Antioch bookplate B-154


Antioch bookplate B-155

B-155 by Jean Rudegeair

Antioch bookplate B-156


Antioch bookplate M-800


Antioch bookplate M-801


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Who Were the “Melon Slicers?”

Before stock market transactions became highly mechanized, groups of friends and neighbors often banded together in investment clubs.

One such club in Yellow Springs was profiled in a Dayton Daily News article (date not included in clipping).


Melon Slicers Tackle Bulls, Bears; Rarely Pick Lemon

Daily News Staff Writer

“Hindsight is no sight at all when it comes to investing,” philosophized Blanche Bean of Snively Rd., Xenia.

She reminded herself of this truism every time she was tempted to steal a look at Texas Instruments during the hectic days it was topping 200.

Miss Bean and her 10-woman investment club had considered this stock when it sold for 35.

The Melon Slicers, as they optimistically called themselves, take such things in stride. They’re old hands at the ups and downs of the stock market by now.

SHOULD THEY agree to separate they would slice a melon that has grown to about $8,000 according to a recent reckoning.

Actual investment came to $6,540 at $10 a share.

The club came into being in September, 1956, at the suggestion of Rebekah Dunning and Jan Janis, both of Yellow Springs. It grew to 10 and acquired a constitution (at the suggestion of a broker).

But is may be the only club in the world that delayed taking any action until all members ad gone to school. The 10 Melon Slicers took a course in investing at night school in Yellow Springs. The course was presented by George Humm, head of the Dayton branch of Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith.

By February, 1957, the Melon Slicers were ready to write their first check.

Each member contributes $10 month or $100 a year.

“We wait until we have $300 or more before we buy a stock,” Miss Bean explained. “And we balance our stock.”

Miss Bean acts as agent for the group. Her job is to contact the broker and order the stock. Dividends are plowed back.

The constitution calls for no more than 10 members. Members can invest more than $10 a month. But no one can own more than 25 per cent of the stock.

Actually the monthly sum goes to buying a share in the Melon Slicers — for it operates like a private mutual fund.

WHAT DO the Melon Slicers buy?

“We have a wide range,” explained Miss Bean. “We’re interested primarily in growth.”

The portfolio, heavy on growth stocks contains electronics shares, a merchandising stock (that has doubled in value) a drug stock, oil, computer and a chemical-photo stock.

The members meet once a month over dinner or coffee and cake to discuss their choices. They do research, subscribe to advisory services, consult with friends and their broker. Their stakes range from three shares to 40 or 50.

Most members have little experience in business. And they regard their club as an education as well as a stake in the future.

THEY NEVER buy on margin.

“We’re not opposed to quick money,” explained Mrs. Jeannette Drake, warmly.

But buying on margin might call for a sudden decision. And it might be hard to get all members together.

Ruth Ricket and Mrs. Fressa Inman are associated with the admissions office at Antioch college. Mrs. Warren Drake is a homemaker. Mrs. Mildred Keenleyside, who gave3 the club its name is associated with Antioch. President Clara F. Zell works at Wright-Patterson Air Force base.

The women have a lot more in common than their stock.

One of their problems—getting down to business.

“I guess you could say our motivating force is profit,” admitted Miss Bean, an ex-English teacher. “But we are getting an education. I think everyone in America should own at least one share of stock.”

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Union Schoolhouse as a School

Union Schoolhouse

Former Union Schoolhouse

With the Union Schoolhouse building up for sale there has been increased interest in its history. Serendipitously, one of the miscellaneous newspaper clippings collected by Mary E. Morgan turned out to be one of a series written for the Yellow Springs News by late local historian Julie Overton on the history of the building. (The handwritten date is faint, but may be January 3, 1979 .)

Within the article is a mention of the sculpture “Washington Crossing the Delaware.” This piece is now on the walls of the Yellow Springs Community Library, and there was a previous blog post on it here.

It is unknown if “johnny johnstrike” was a strictly local term for the dangerous piece of playground equipment.

Previous posts with information about the Union Schoolhouse building can be found by using “union school” as the term in the search box.

Local History: School Days on Dayton Street

Continuing her historical biography of the Village Building on Dayton Street, local historian Julie Overton conducted interviews for this week’s chapter with Andy Benning, Catherine Dillon, Donna Fulton, Bob Grote and Howard Kahoe. Another chapter in this history will be published next week.

By Julie Overton

Interviews with several village residents have produced information both about  the physical facilities of the Union School building on Dayton Street and about activities that went on there during and after school hours.

Although the outside of the building has remained essentially the same since it was opened in 1873, the inside configurations have undergone several changes, some during the time the Dayton Street building was a full-time school. For instance, the original stairway was a double one, one section going up to the middle from the front area, the other section going up to the same point from the back door. Where the two stairs joined was a platform 12 feet wide; this platform area served as the central point for doors to classrooms, and to the upper hallway.

The principal’s office (that’s where you got all the paddling!) was located approximately where the police dispatch office is now housed. The basement was large, and had in addition to two large coal furnaces two other rooms which, although not apparently used very much during the school hours, were used by Yellow Springs groups at various times — the Girl Scouts met in one of those rooms during the late 1930’s, while the other room was used at least for a time as a “sculpting” room.

Accessories mentioned were items such as the coat hooks (not hangers), which were on one wall of each classroom; once all the coats had been hung, the movable blackboard was shifted to the space in front of the coats. There were special shelves for “brown-baggers” to keep their lunches until noon (this was also a chance for kids who didn’t bring a lunch to “borrow” from others).

There were no curtains or “decorations” but the building is recalled as being cheerful. The main exception to the “no decorations” was the sculpture of “Washington Crossing the Delaware.” Donated apparently by the Class of 1922, the  large work of art was hung in the front hallway, and was the first thing to catch your eye as you entered. The fondly-remembered piece was taken down, in one piece, about 1951, but vandals apparently broke into the building later and broke several parts of it. There were plans to have it restored by Amos Mazzolini, but due to the latter’s death, the project was never started. “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” however, is still with us, although in storage; many would like to see it restored.

The plot of land on which the school building stood, some 200 by 300 feet in size, was also mentioned in several interviews I conducted with local people. The front yard was for a time graveled and equipped with the normal type of playground structures, such as swings, slides, monkey bars and sandpiles. The piece of equipment “credited” with the most injuries, however, was the “johnny johnstrike,” a sort of metal Maypole, with rings on the end of metal chains to swing around on and get thrown off of because of centrifugal force.

The back yard was remembered largely as the softball field, with home plate being just west of the back entrance. Also gracing the back yard until about 1930 were the two privies; these were the target of Halloween pranks, getting tipped over at least once (the pranksters got caught, but no one could prove anything!).

* * *

Memories of occurrences during school hours abounded during my interviews. Special things which came up during my conversations covered the gamut from the fascinating to the scary. One person remembered the thrill of getting a chance to run down the heavy metal fire escapes from the second floor during fire drills. Another remembered the scary feeling of having to use the newly-installed bathrooms in the basements, the latter a dark and gloomy place to be.

There were of course many teachers during the life of the Union School on Dayton Street, but some who were mentioned (not necessarily in any order) were Marion Oster (taught high school Latin), Harold Little teaching algebra, Mary Fralick presiding over geometry, and in the lower grades people such as Leah (Wolford) Menn, Theresa (Oster) Grote, Florence (Paxton) Gray, Mrs. Thompson, and Max Livingston.

The principals often did “double-duty,” serving as principal when needed, and generally teaching one of the grades. Helping out with the teaching load were students from Antioch College, although these students often taught for only three or four months at a time. Some names which are remembered as student teachers are “Slim” Dawson, Herb Shanks, Tony High, and Wally Edwards.

However, in all of my interviews, the name which came up most frequently was that of Catherine Dillon. She attended the school after attending the Confer school on Fairfield Pike at East Enon Road for the first eight years of her schooling; she went to high school in the Dayton Street building, attended what is now Wittenberg University for two years, went back to teach at the Confer school for four years, and then tried going to business school (she calls that the longest six months of her life!). She started teaching at the Dayton Street school in the fall of 1928, and stayed with the Yellow Springs school system as an elementary school teacher (with her heart with first graders) until she retired in 1963. Thirty-nine years of teaching in the Yellow Springs system must be a record of some kind!

* * *

The Dayton Street school building was finally closed as a teaching institution after Mills Lawn School was opened in 1951, since Bryan High School had already taken a large share of the pupil load. The building was used for about five years by the American Legion, about which I hope to tell you in next week’s column.

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