From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1980s part 9

As this group shows, deciding which bookplate designs to introduce in any given year was depended on appealing to a multitude of tastes, so in addition to more classical designs like B-242, pop culture and special interests were included.

Because Garfield designs had been successful, Far Side (B-243) and Peanuts (B-244) might hit the pop culture “sweet spot” (they did not).

Antioch bookplate B-242


Antioch bookplate B-243

B-243 Far Side

Antioch bookplate B-244

B-244 Peanuts


Antoch bookplate B-245

B-245 photo by Robert Vavra

Antioch bookplate B-246

B-246 photo by John Hornbaker

Antioch bookplate B-247


Antioch bookplate B-249

B-248 painting by Jim Harrison

Antioch bookplate B-249

B-249 by Izui Photography


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A Beacon of Research

Many thanks to Kate Mooneyham of Dark Star for passing along this newspaper clipping about the Fels Institute which continues the research, but has been shifted from the village  and Antioch College to Wright State University.

Many “Fels babies” still live in the area, and many still return from all over at intervals for measurement updates.

Note that the key to the photographs can be found at the end of the article. 

The Springfield News-Sun March 3, 1940



What makes Johnny go into tantrums when he is refused a second piece of candy, and brother Jimmy sulk in the corner when he is denied the same thing?

Why is little Mary eager to find playmates, and sister Ann content to look at a picture book?

What is the solution to this riddle that makes one individual different from another?

Since time began, man has sought the answer to the problem and has failed to produce satisfactory answers. What was once the subject of philosophers, however, has since been taken up by physicians, and most recently, psychologists, and the concerted attack is beginning to show results.

One of the most active center of this pursuit of the cause of individual differences is located in Yellow Springs, where physicians, psychologists, chemists, physiologists and nutritionists are working in a combined effort to explain individual differences.

* * *

Nearly 11 years agho the Samuel S. Fels Research Institute for the Study of Prenatal and Postnatal Environment was established at Yellow Springs under the direction of Dr. Lester W. Sontag. During the first year of its existence, the Institute was housed in a small frame dwelling and was managed by a staff of four persons.

Today the Institute occupies a 20-room brick structure on the edge of Antioch College campus, and an eight-room frame house is used as an observational nursery school and office building. Parts of two chemistry laboratories in the college building are utilized for work in nutritional chemistry.

The staff now consists of 19 full-time workers, including physicians, psychologists, a nutritionist, chemists and a physiologist. Five student assistants help with the work of the Institute.

* * *

The number of chilldren has increased from 15 or 20 during the first year to 150 in 1940. According to Dr. Sontag, approximately 12 new children are accepted by the Institute each year. They are selected from families whose residences are stable and who are able to cooperate with the Institute. Children from the same family constitute an interesting study. There are now two families, Dr. Sontag said, with four children each enrolled at the Institute; ten families with three children each, and approximately 35 with two each.

“The object of the Institute may be broadly defined as an investigation of the causes of individual differences in children,” Dr. Sontag said. “Obviously, heredity accounts for many such differences. Environment in its broader sense, including such factors as nutrition and illnesses, is also of great importance. In order to conduct the studt of such causes, it is first of all necessary that a group of children be available for study over a long period, in this instance many months before birth until the age of 18 years.

“It is also necessary that accurate methods be developed for measuring the progress of growth and maturity, personality characteristics and health in such a group. If an accurate appraisal of the significance of any influence is to be made, it is obvious that very specific measures of the child’s development must be available. It is not enough to say that a child does not do well after a case of measles. It is necessary to know whether his growth in height and weight are interrupted as a result of the disease. It is likewise necessary to know whether the disease proved a drain on the minerals of his skeletal system, whether the electrical conduction patterns of his heart were altered, whether any residual infection remained in any part of the body, or whether there was any slowing in his mental growth as a result of the interruption in his physical progress.

* * *

“It is equally important to know whether his changed environment during the period of illness (such as increased solicitude and care from his parents or the interruption of his school attendance) have affected his personality. Will he become more timid or more aggressive as a result of this experience? Will it interfere with qualities of leadership he may have developed, and tend to turn his personality in upon itself? How significant are any such changed which may occur, and for how long will they persist? The example cited, of a severe case of measles, is, of course, only one of hundreds of influencing factors, which include quality of nutrition, function of the endocrine glands, the nature of school environment\ and the home environment, etc. Each item of growth and maturity must be appraised individually if the measurement of its progress is to be accurate, and likewise each item of environment must be similarly appraised. It is only after breaking don individual items of growth and maturity of a child, and likewise of his environment, that a study of cause and effect may be made.

* * *

Various areas into which the work of the Institute has been subdivided include fetal behavior, prenatal and postnatal nutrition, physical growth, psycho-biology, skeletal appraisal, appraisal of home environment, personality appraisal at an experimental nursery school and an experimental play school maintained by the Institute, and appraisal of the child’s progress in grade school and high school.

Dr. Sontag emphasized the point that the study does not have as one of its functions the replacement of the services of the family physician, information regarding the physical state of either mother or child collected by members of the research staff is passed on to the family physician to use as he may see fit. Medical care is not furnished by the Institute.

* * *

“Many areas of the work are of particular interest to laymen,” said Dr. Sontag. “The psycho-biological measurements are designed to measure certain physiological changes in children which are actually a part of the changes in emotion. Minute changes in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rhythm, salivation and electrical skin resistance are also frequently associated with the emotional adjustment of individuals. It may be possible by a study of such factors to estimate the adequacy of the emotional adjustment of children by the repeated measurement of such physiological factors. The measurements are of interest also because of heightened emotional tension and failure to make satisfactory adjustment are usually considered to be major factors in the development of such adult degenerative diseases as peptic ulcer or high blood pressure.

“Standards of bone growth of considerable value to pediatricians, roentgenologists and orthopedists have been and are being developed. Such standards representing normal skeletal growth of children make it possible to appraise quickly from an X-ray picture of a single area of a child’s body the degree of general skeletal development which he has attained. Such formation is becoming increasingly important in estimating the function of the endocrine glands. Bone scars, fine white lines seen near the end of the long bones, and usually the result of growth retardation, appear in the X-ray studies. This retardation may be caused by the severity of the birth process, illness, malnutrition and other factors. Scars are also seen in the teeth,” Dr. Sontag said. “’Baby’ teeth are collected routinely as they are replaced by permanent teeth and are subjected to microscopic examination and chemical analysis.

“The study of fetal behavior is carried on by measurement of fetal heart rate and activity. Studies have shown that even du ring the fetal period differences are apparent. The heart responds to outside influences (such as vibratory stimulation) and to the mother’s smoking. In each instance the response is usually an increase in rate. Fetal activity has been measured in two ways, by means of a balloon which is sensitive to movement, strapped over the mother’s abdomen; and by having the mother record movements as she notices them. Records suggest that fetuses differ greatly in the amount of time that they are active. Furthermore, mothers with active fetuses also seem to demonstrate a slightly greater increase in basal metabolic rate during pregnancy. Infants who were more activities when fetuses, tend to show more advanced development at six months and one year postnatal age.”

* * *

The results of the work at the Institute are published in various scientific periodicals and are presented to various scientific societies at their meetings.

Usually some 20 to 25 research papers emerge each year. In addition to these reports, the information from all sources for each child is accumulated into an individual record book or case history book, for that child. In such books, growth and development in all the areas investigated is presented in diagrams and tables so that with a minimum of effort it is possible to trace relationships between various factors. It is possible in such records to see instantly whether bone scars resulted from a specific illness, whether the eruption of teeth has kept pace with the growth of the skeleton, whether a child with an unusual amount of tooth decay has had a diet adequate in minerals, and whether he has had a large or small amount of cod liver oil during his infancy. This portrayal of the life history of each child in graphic form, together with the longitudinal nature of the study, including both prenatal and postnatal environment, are features of the Fels Research Institute, which is one of the largest and most completely equipped organizations in this country for the study of the development of children, Dr. Sontag said.

No 1.—One f the young Fels Institute children is measured during a regular visit to the Institute at Yellow Springs. His mother is at the left, and Margaret Anderson, of the physical growth division of the Institute is at the right.

No. 2.—The main building of the Samuel E. Fels Research Institute consists of a 20-room brick structure at the edge of the Antioch College campus. An eight-room frame house serves as an observational nursery school and office building, and parts of two chemistry laboratories in the college building are utilized for work in nutritional chemistry. [Note: this is G. Stanley Hall hall,  now torn down, but once used for the Fels Institute before the red brick building at the corner of South College and Livermore was constructed.]

No. 3.—Margaret Anderson weighs one of the Fels Institute children.

No. 4.—Dr. Lester W. Sontag, director of the Institute since its establishment in 1929.

No. 5.—A Fels Institute boy is measured for muscular resistance, and his ability to relax.

No. 6.—Staff members prepare to take X-ray pictures of various parts of the child’s body. Standards representing normal skeletal growth of children make it possible to tell from an X-ray of an area of a child’s body what degree of general skeletal development he has attained.

No. 7.—Dr. M. A. Wenger, chairman of the staff’s division of psychophysiology, examines the results of a child’s tests as recorded on the electric cardiograph.

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Memories of Growing Up in Yellow Springs

Many thanks to Mike Hughes, son of long-serving mayor of Yellow Springs Leo Hughes, for permitting the Historical Society to share his recollections.

The Forces at 132 North Walnut Street

One of my “most unforgettable characters” who influenced my childhood in Yellow Springs was born in 1862. She had a reputed checkered past which included entertaining wayward gentlemen, to becoming a derelict in her 80’s. On May 2, 1946, my father, Leo, rescued her from a certain demise. After six months of exhaustive rehabilitation, she again became a “respected” member of the community. This is her story seen through my eyes from my birth until I departed for college.

I knew but one home for my first 18 years. It was the place where I would learn to walk, to read, to drop bricks on my older brother John’s head and to play solitary 9-inning games of whiffle ball pitting the lineups of the Cincinnati Redlegs against their rival St. Louis Cardinals. Since I was a somewhat reclusive young lad, I spent more time at home with my imaginary friend, Chiefy Cocoa, than my kindergarten mates. When my brother left for Dartmouth College when I was 14, I became an “only child” even though I had already functioned as one for nearly a decade. However, thanks to a vivid imagination, our Federal-style brick house and small backyard which surrounded me, I was never lonely.

As I became interested in sports, in an effort to tag along with my older brother, I used all of the resources of our relatively diminutive backyard to hone my athletic skills as a solo participant. Our back yard became, during various sporting seasons: a high jump and long jump arena, a football field, a golf course with two closely mown greens and a pint-sized Crosley Field (Cincinnati’s famous baseball park). Most important of all was the basketball hoop mounted on our garage at the end of the driveway. From October to March, the incessant sound of a dribbled basketball could be heard up and down North Walnut Street.

Our front porch and foyer had quite a history as well. On nights long after I had climbed the stairs to my bedroom, there would be occasional visits from Chief of Police, Jimmy McKee. He would usually be accompanied by a citizen who had been involved in a domestic squabble or who had “disturbed the peace”. Rather than take the wayward parties to Court on Monday night, the Chief brought them to receive “counseling” from my father, the Mayor. From the top of the stairs, I listened to the low tones emanating from the porch or foyer which usually lasted about 30 minutes. Usually, I would find out the next morning at breakfast that another “case” had been settled without any need for sentencing or the payment of fines.

But it was the upstairs of the house that generated the most provocative stories. There were four upstairs corner bedrooms as is customary for a Federal architectural design. My bedroom was in the northwest corner. It had a view of the backyard and a clear view of the sky to the west. There were often Air Force planes from Wright Patterson AFB which were visible from my bedroom window. The recurring dream which always resulted in me awakening in a nervous sweat was probably inspired by Sunday night viewings of “The Twentieth Century” which was a weekly documentary of battle scenes from World War II, narrated by venerable Walter Cronkite. The footage that seemed to infiltrate my subconscious was the bombing of London and the retaliation of squadrons of Allied planes dropping bombs on German targets. My dream consisted of me looking out my window to see dozens of German bombers flying overhead about to drop bombs on Yellow Springs, a strategic target due to its proximity to Wright Patterson.

One of the mysteries which was part of the house’s lore were the numbers 1 thru 4 carved into each of the bedroom doors. My mother explained that the house had been used as a hotel when it was built during the Civil War. It was not until I was visiting our neighbor, Bobbi Marshall, after I was released from active U. S. Navy duty, that she showed me a recently published booklet about the storied houses of Yellow Springs which provided an alternate explanation for the rooms to be numbered. According to the story, the house had been a well-known brothel during the Civil War era and one of the mistreated women of ill-repute stayed on after her premature demise to torment male visitors with her ghostly presence. Apparently, my childhood innocence may have been dangerously close to sinister influences. I give thanks to my playmate Chiefy Cocoa’s strong Native American presence which may have been just the protective spirit I needed to keep me safe and sound at notorious 132 North Walnut Street.

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A Vanished Giant

Although these two newspaper clippings did not include the year the were published, a good guess can be made from the age of Samuel Cox in the first article, who would have been 90 in 1923.

Dutch elm disease wiped out most of the elms in the 1950s, and Yellow Springs is fortunate to have the Yellow Springs Tree Committee to advise on tree selection and care and assistance with planting tribute trees.


YELLOW SPRINGS, O., Nov. 17.—An elm tree declared by one botanist to be the largest known tree of the species in the world stands in Walnut st., Yellow Springs. Although the tree was there long before the town, the tree still retains its vigor, and today is a healthy, growing specimen.

Samuel Cox, 90, Yellow Springs’s oldest living citizen, who has lived here all his life, said the tree was old when he first remembered seeing it.

“That big elm tree,” said Mr. Cox, “was here long before Yellow Springs. There was nothing here much except the postoffice in 1846, when the railroad was built. The big tree was part of a timber line which marked the boundary of the old Yellow Springs Hotel place. This house, a summer resort, was owned by Elisha Mills, father of Judge William Mills, whose gift of twenty acres of land determined the location of Antioch college. Dr. Elihu Thorn bought the plot on which the tree stands and built the house in which John Birch now lives, in 1849. About ’53, while the college was being built, Walnut st. was opened up, and since then the big elm has been cared for by the town.”

Mr. Cox also said that although the tree was still in an excellent state of preservation and had never required much attention, the village council has had it trimmed several times and had cut away several other trees to enhance its prominence.

The council, however, did not know that it was the largest tree of its kind in the world. This fact was learned by accident. Elmer E. McCaslin, a former resident, who now lives in St. Louis, learned this when one of his children read it in a botany text book in use in one of the St. Louis high schools. It is believed that the measurements on which this statement is based were made by Prof. Crum, once connected with the department of botany at Antioch. The tree is about eighty feet in height and eleven feet in circumference.


YELLOW SPRINGS, O., Nov. 6.—Yellow Springs boasts the largest elm tree in the world.

Elmer E. McCaslin of St. Louis is authority for the statement. Mr. McCaslin, who is a brother-in-law of Dr. L. L. Taylor, local physician, says that one of his children, while studying botany in a St. Louis public school ran across the statement in a textbook that the largest specimen of the elm tree in the world was in Walnut st., in Yellow Springs, O. The McCaslins formerly lived here and knew the tree well. It stands in the parkway in Walnut st., adjacent to the house now occupied by Mrs. John Birch.

Some of the oldest citizens of the village say that the tree has been the same size as long as they can remember, and accordingly estimate its age as several hundred years.

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Know Your Town — Directory (Final)

The directory section put together by the League of Women Voters in the early 1960s is a good starting point of comparison for the local economy (and in the days before the Yellow Springs News‘ “Red Book”) was a handy tool.

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Deaton’s Hardware History

Taken from a large ad in the 1956 special Centennial edition of the Yellow Springs News:

The History of the DEATON Hardware Company

Yellow Springs was just entering its 70th year of official birth when an ambitious clerk at Tuttle Bros. Hardware, located in Springfield, Ohio, felt that progress in his present job was somewhat limited. Something should be done—not overnight—but some better means of providing for a wife and child should be found. Almost every man dreams of owning a well-stocked hardware store with all the various fascinating tools and Glenn Deaton was no exception. Two factors lead Glenn Deaton to Yellow Springs and opportunity: (1) the interest and help given by Mr. P. M. Stewart (father of Russell B. Stewart) and (2) the prodding of a close acquaintance and true friend for the rest of his life—Ernest Shaw, who was then the Springfield ticket agent for the Springfield-Xenia Traction Line. Mr. Stewart, knowing that the Anderson Hardware Store on Dayton Street was for sale, interested Mr. Deaton who investigated and later purchased the business that was operated by Mr. Clarence Anderson. The building at that time was owned by William and Edward Downey; today, it is occupied by the A-C- Service Company.

Opened Jan. 24, 1927

So it was that on January 24, 1927, the name of the store was changed to Deaton Hardware Company, single proprietorship, starting inventory of $2,697.00, approximately $1,500.00 in debt, but topped with a lot of optimism, hope, courage and best wishes from his many friends. First day says were about like the weather at that time—mighty poor. The cash register didn’t exactly hum with the first day’s receipts of $3.92 but with mouse traps at 3c each, pocket watches at 1.00 each, lunch boxes at 85c each, and cakes of shaving soap at 7c each, it took quite a few sales to add up. As all things go, business got worse before it became better. Three days after opening, according to the record, more snow fell and so did sales. Sales on January 27, 1927 dropped to $1.67! The next ten years showed quite a bit of improvement. Newer and fresher merchandise was added, ideas from helpful jobbers were welcomed, and full advantage was taken of the facilities of the Ohio Hardware association. Mostly the struggle and burden was carried alone by Glenn Deaton during the first 10 years of existence; however, some help was obtained from a faithful, unpaid and unofficial employee, John Confer who now at the age of about 90 resides at the IOOF home in Springfield, Ohio. His assistance took the form of opening shipping boxes, sweeping a little, and serving as unofficial and sometimes disputed moderator of political and economic confabs between the loafers. It was often assumed that John was an employee because of his many years of regular attendance. It was with sadness that his failure to report was noted not long after the removal of the pot bellied stove.

The Pot-Bellied Stove

The stove, the Saturday might loafers, the checker games, the predominant smell of binder twine and rope plus many other modes of the old time store seemed to disappear with the trend of modern merchandising. Due to expanded lines, additional selling space was mandatory. So, in 1936, the building at our present location was purchased from Mrs. Lillian Adams, Xenia, Ohio. Since it had not previously been utilized for retail selling, much work was necessary to remodel the premises then occupied by Axel Bahnsen, photographer. A new store front was added, the floor was lowered four feet, and a 25 foot extension was built to the west. As always before, when earnings were made, they were plowed back into the growing business so that the people of Yellow Springs could have a well stocked hardware store. In addition to the regular builders hardware, tools and paints, other items were added such as small electrical appliances, kitchen ware, sporting goods, gifts and home laundry equipment.

Tragedy Struck

Yellow Springs had seven more years to wait for its centennial when tragedy struck on Xenia Ave. directly in front of Deaton’s Hardware. Called from his home on a Saturday evening, March 5, 1949, to open the store for some badly needed merchandise, Glenn Deaton was struck and killed by an automobile operated by an intoxicated driver. Friends of his—even unknown to the surviviors—came to pay their respects. In the words of the Yellow Springs News (March 10, 1949), “. . . needless to say the community will miss him . . . his interest in all public enterprises was a valuable contribution to the community during the more than two decades in which he was in business here. We will not attempt a full list of the commendable things Mr. Deaton stood for, for those who have known him longer would immediately appear to point out something that we had missed . . .”

It was a mighty big pair of boots to fill. Since that fateful day, with the forward inertia already given and with the help of faithful customers, friends and employees, Deaton Hardware Company has continued to grow. Since that time, still more lines have been added together with newer modern fixtures a basement sales room was built, and store hours changed to keep abreast of modern shopping trends.

Those Who Have Worked Here

This period of almost 30 years of growth could not be done withouthelp and after searching out all sources, we have found that in addition to the help given by Mrs. Glenn Deaton over a score of men and women at one time or another helped either in the capacity of sales clerk, bookkeeper or stock clerk. Each contributed his share to what we are today so tribute is paid to each in the approximate order of their employment: Mrs. Erma Dennison Harley, Charles Spillan, William Beatty, Lyle Goode, N. Pugh, David Jenkins, George Stockrath, Miss Jean Taylor, Anton Holm, Mrs. Grace Onderdonk, William Nickoson, Raymond Hasser, James Jordan, Keith Carpenter, Donald Hutslar, Robert Phillips, Leonard See, Mrs. Leroy Loe, Kenneth Coffman, John Dawson, Warren O”Neil, Lynn Augsburger, and James Amundson. The long time employment record is continually being lengthened by David Jenkins who officially went on the payroll in January 1939. Present emloyees also include Robert Phillips, Kenneth Coffman and James Amundson.

 The past was plotted—the future can be projected. We have grown with the community from a small one-room building to a large modern business establishment. We believe that our past methods will contribute to our future growth so we hereby rededicate ourselves and pledge for the following 100 years—

We depend on quality merchandise for your repeat business. We mut and will satisfy our customers’ demands for high-grade merchandise.

Because of our location in Yellow Springs, we are not saddled with high overhead. Consequentl.y, you can be sure that you p0ay only fair prices for quality goods.

We do not endeavor to specialize in “best sellers” alone. We make every effort to keep a complete stock that will serve our community in the best way.

Many repair or household problems are brought to us daily; we endeavor by constant study and work to keep abreast of the new products being introduced daily so that we can save our customers possibly hours of unnecessary work and worry.

Being a friendly neighbor in Yellow Springs is quite easy and enjoyable but your hardware dealer as well as all employees are also engaged in community enterprises. We all feel that the people here in Yellow Springs are responsible for our livelihood; we are concious of the fact that a better community is a more desirable place to live and to conduct a business.

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1980s part 8

Another teddy bear design, and a different version of Whisper the Winged Unicorn, as well as a new Garfield design repeat favorite themes.

Robotman (a character from a children’s animated TV series, not the DC Comics Universe superhero) and Ghostbusters pick up on a few science fiction media projects claiming public attention in the mid 1980s.

B-216 is a variation of a perennial favorite for institutional use.

B-230 and B-232 were examples of inspirational poems of anonymous source favored by the Christian bookstore market, but there was always the possibility that someone would claim authorship of a particular poem, and the product containing the poem would have to be withdrawn.


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Miami Township in 1874

The Yellow Springs Historical Society was recently given a map print of Miami Township drawn by A. C.  Chesler,  on the reverse of which are four drawings of buildings in Xenia.

Since Xenia is not in Miami Township, this is somewhat curious, but the explanation is that the print is taken from the 1874 Greene County Atlas.

These early atlas maps are useful because they show the property owner names, and the drawings are full of details of gardening, transportation, fashion, etc.

Thanks to John Kelly of Winter Springs, Florida, for the donation of the map.

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A Summer Kingdom in 1981 (the rest of the court)

(Don’t forget about the Historical Society’s program on gunpowder manufacturing south of Yellow Springs Sunday afternoon…)

See the first part of this photo retrospective of the 1981 Antioch College Shakespeare Festival revival here.


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A Summer Kingdom in 1981 (part 1)

Recently the Historical Society received a donation from Sue Parker of an album of photos taken by Bob Parker of the summer Shakespeare Festival of 1981 when Arthur Lithgow returned to Antioch College to direct a sequence of history plays, the three parts of Henry VI and Richard III, on a special stage constructed behind Birch Hall.

Although there were no captions, some of the participants will be familiar to Yellow Springs residents.

Thanks to Sue for sharing the memories of this event.

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