Know Your Town — Health/ Recreation

The underlying questions when looking at this portrait of Yellow Springs of the early 1960s has to be what have we lost, and what improvements have we made? Know where your town has been, and know where it’s headed.

Public health facilities are available through the Greene County Board of Health, with headquarters at Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia, consisting of a physician, nine nurses, and five sanitarians. The work of the Board is financed by federal funds and county bond issues. Services are provided by some special volunteer organizations. The Board administers:

A Public Health Nursing Program which provides care for those with chronic and contagious illnesses, and for new others and infants.

A School Health Program including pre-school examinations, polio, diphtheria, and smallpox immunization; periodic ear and eye examinations, and health education.

A Yellow Springs Well-Baby Clinic, located at the Yellow Springs Methodist Church, 212 South Winter Street, and open on the first Wednesday of each month.

County Clinics: chest, hearing, heart, cancer, and dental; these are held periodically at Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia. Referral to the Hearing Clinic is by the school nurse and to all other county clinics by private physicians. For further information telephone the Board of Health.

A Crippled Children’s Program.

A County Sanitation Program.

Tabulation of County Vital Statistics.

The Greene County Child Guidance Center, located in Xenia, is supported by fees, Community Chest contributions, and the State Department of Mental Health and Correction.

The Village of Yellow Springs is fortunate, too, in having complete private medical facilities. The Yellow Springs Clinic, located on Xenia Avenue, consists of ten doctors, including a surgeon, internists, obstetricians, pediatricians, gynecologists, and a radiologist, using common facilities and equipment . In addition to the Clinic, the Village has two physicians in general practice, two dentists, and an optometrist.

The village’s recreational facilities reflect a strong interest in family fun and relaxation.

The Yellow Springs Recreation Committee has sponsored the following activities for youth:

Summer baseball program for boys 8-12, 12-15; softball league for girls. (Representation on Tri-County League —older boys)

Summer swimming instruction for boys and girls. Adult swimming program.

Summer Day Camp for 8 weeks with crafts and games at Mills House, for children 5-11 years of age.

Tennis instruction and tournament.

Folk dancing—twice monthly.

Saturday morning activities in Mills Lawn Gymnasium for boys and girls in the fifth to seventh grades. Eighth to twelfth grade boys at Bryan School. This includes a tumbling program.

Ice skating.

Open shop for adults in the evening.

Activities on an experimental basis in cooperation with other community organizations.

Ellis Park, site of the village water works, has been set aside as a recreational area.

Wheeling Gaunt Memorial Park, donated to the Village many years ago by an ex-slave boasts a municipal swimming pool (built by contributions and hard work by villagers), baseball diamonds, and other recreational facilities.

Village Farm, south of village, to be used for camping picnicking, and the pond for fishing, when developed.

Scouts and 4-H members have nearby area camps. Camp Birch, located near Bryan State Park, serves Boy Scouts. Girl Scouts’ Camp Greene is located on the Little Miami River.  4-H Club Camp Clifton nestles in the Clifton Gorge area.

Two and one-half miles northeast of Yellow Springs, adjoining Glen Helen, is Bryan State Park, 756 acres of picnic and recreation ground. Orton Pool is available to groups from the state, and to Yellow Springs residents at specified hours.

Glen Helen, along the eastern boundary of Yellow Springs, is a 950-acre primeval forest preserve. Antioch College shares its laboratory of recreation, conservation and land-use with the community. The Glen is the site of the mineral spring which gave the town its name. Hiking tails, interesting rock formations, streams, traces of the early history of Ohio (back to the Glacial Period) and a Trailside Museum offer their beauties at all seasons. Antioch students provide leadership for groups of children 5-8 years old, and for a Junior Science Club of older children. Bryan High School students plant and sell Christmas trees from its school forest in the Glen each year. In 1955 a school camp for the use of public school children from southwestern Ohio was built in the Glen—a unique experiment in group living and outdoor education.

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YS Oddfellows and the GAR Cannon

The Yellow Springs IOOF Lodge #279 has made possible the restoration of the crumbling base of the GAR memorial cannon in Glen Forest Cemetery.

On Sunday, May 27, at noon the Oddfellows will hold a rededication ceremony at the site of the cannon. The public is invited to come to the ceremony and see the fine work done to preserve a bit of Yellow Springs history.

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Remembering Jane Cape

At the recent program on the history of Yellow Springs schools, Jane Cape’s name came up in connection with the nursery school at Day House. A newspaper clipping from the Xenia Gazette circa 1974 with her as a subject was found among those collected by Mary E. Morgan and given to the Yellow Springs Historical Society (more on Jane Cape can be found here).

She’s active at 87

DAILY GAZETTE staff writer

Jane Cape makes women’s libbers look puny.

Her 87th birthday was observed yesterday in the office in which she works regularly at the third career in her life as associate curator of Antiochiana, Antioch College’s collection of memorabilia.

Miss Cape isn’t a women’s reform militant. She’s an independent person who has been “doing her thing” as she sees fit — and accomplishing much since coming to Yellow Springs 47 years ago.

After 26 years as professor of home economics at Antioch, Dr. Cape came to the usual age of retirement and left the faculty. But sitting around was not for her, and she departed for Baghdad, where she helped set up a home ec and nursery school at Aliyah College, then Iraq’s only college for women. During the five years she was there, she broke both arms and lived through the 1958 revolution.

SINCE JOINING the Antiochiana staff on her return home, she has added considerably to the collection, drawing on her first-hand knowledge back to the presidency of Arthur E. Morgan. Surgery and hospital stays twice for broken hips have made her only pause in the pursuit of an active life and eyesight problems have not stopped her work.

Miss Cape — in the Antioch tradition not called by her degree title although she holds a doctorate in chemistry — is one of an independent family of Wisconsin homesteaders. She recalls the time her mother, on crutches at the age of 89, made the train journey from Wisconsin, alone, to visit her in Yellow Springs.

Her work and her associates always have been pioneering in the mental sense. At the University of Wisconsin, she worked under the discoverers of three vitamins. Seeing herself as a nutritionist, she nevertheless, at President Morgan’s request, set up the Antioch Nursery, one of the first two such schools in Ohio and one of the first 18 in America.

During World War II, she set up 10 day care centers in Dayton for that city’s board of education, to help mothers going to work in the factories and trained their staffs.

MISS CAPE remembers how difficult it was to get children enrolled in the 1926 nursery school. Skeptical mothers felt they were shirking their duty in leaving child care to others. The school was part of Morgan’s desire for college study of the whole child.

Education for women was not a popular idea in Iraq when Miss Cape went there a quarter-century later.

And now the education of women at Antioch is a special interest, as Miss Cape is looking for information, both written and oral, about the college’s women of days past to add to the historical collection.

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Yellow Springs Timeline — 1901-1930

Previous timeline sections: 1800 – 1870     1871-1900


1901     Pennsylvania morning trains in head-on collision, June 23.

1902     George H. Smith elected mayor. Theodore Neff built first dance hall in Glen. First trolley cars ran on Springfield-Xenia Trolley line. Old Folks’ Home, formerly Yellow Springs House, burned.

1903     T. S. Jobe elected mayor. Neff grounds reopened, and lake rebuilt by Theodore Neff. Central Union Telephone Exchange opened. Village stone quarry opened and stone-crusher purchased. First cement sidewalk laid for Adam Alig. Rural post office routes established.

1905     Miami Deposit Bank opened business. Constitution of Yellow Springs adopted.

1906     T. J. Ridenour elected mayor.

1907     First graduating class of Antioch held semi-centennial meeting. Simeon Fess elected president o f Antioch.

1908     Clarence Schlientz elected mayor. First year caps and gowns worn at Antioch commencement.

1909     Electric lights replaced gas. Simeon Fess starts Chautauqua in summer.

1910     Class of 1860 held 50th year reunion. Electric power is turned on in Yellow Springs by John Funderberg for 60 streetlights and Opera House on April 28.

1912     Thomas Conley elected mayor. Chewing gum factory established by Mr. Wurzell in his home, Simeon Fess elected to congress.

1913     Dayton flood.

1914     Towne Carlisle built auditorium in Glen. Antioch football team beat Wittenberg.

1915     Chautauqua held in Glen Auditorium. P. W. Weiss and R. O. Wead open food market. Old Fiddlers’ contest held. Henry Ford invited Dr. Weston to join his peace ship. Fire Department buys first auto-truck. Small electric plant in Cedarville from which Yellow Springs has been purchasing electric power is bought out by DP&L.

1916     R. R. Richison elected mayor. John Bryan gave 14 acres for Yellow Springs High School.

1918     John Bryan dies and leaves land to state and village in will.

1920     Arthur E. Morgan elected president of Antioch.

1921     Ohio Library Association met at Antioch — Henrik Willem Van Loon gave speech. Antioch School opened by Arthur E. Morgan, associated with College. Antioch Cooperative Plan inaugurated.

1923     Antioch College acquired Glen property through will of John Bryan. Antioch Press started.

1924     President’s House (Horace Mann’s home) burned. Erbaugh and Johnson started business as druggists. State accepts John Bryan’s Riverside Farm over governor’s veto.

1925     Antioch Library building occupied.

1926     Antioch College Community Government approved by Faculty. Antioch Bookplate Company starts business.

1927     Deaton Hardware Company opened business. Waterworks are approved and put into effect.

1928     Yellow Springs high school built — name is John Bryan High School. Senior class gave records for gift, started nucleus for present music library of Antioch. Curl gym erected. First water pumped at waterworks.

1929     Hugh Taylor Birch presented Glen Helen to Antioch in memory of daughter, Helen Birch Bartlett.

1930     Antioch Science building occupied. Rockford Chapel built. Frances Shaw Department Store opened business. G. Stanley Hall property bought by Antioch.

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Unusual Celebration

Among the documents given to the Yellow Springs Historical Society by Phyllis Jackson was a program booklet for an event at the Presbyterian Church on February 24, 1992 entitled “A Night with the 90s!” at which eleven church members age 90 or greater were feted. The program booklet contained biographical sketches where each of the subjects were interviewed by another church member with the disclaimer “Let me remind  you, this is not an historic project. Rather it is directed at helping us to know these people better and to enjoy them.”

What follows is one of the biographical sketches concerning a Yellow Springs resident who was also featured in the last section of Elsie Hevelin’s history of the Shakespeare Study Club. Among other things, it shows that housing was problematic in the 1920s as well.

Ruth Liddle

This interview was conducted by Dorothy Laming.

August 11, 1900 was a red letter day for Grand Rapids, Michigan; for that was the birth date of a very special lady, known to us as Ruth Liddle. She joined two sisters and three brothers to make the family complete. Sadly, her mother died at age thirty-nine, when Ruth was only a year and a half old. Three years later her father, a Methodist minister, found a younger woman who took on the family of children and made a wonderful home for them all—sewing their clothes, and making happy childhoods possible for all five children. Being in the ministry, the family moved a great deal. After leaving Michigan for the state of New York, the family spent many years within that state. One of the benefits of being children of a minister came each summer when for ten glorious days they were in the camp meeting grounds. They made new friends, renewed old friendships and had a wonderful time doing it.

Ruth was sent to boarding school and then on to the Finch Finishing School in New York City. One of our own townspeople, Martha Rankin, also went to this school. This was the seat of happenings that brought romance to Ruth.

For the sequence of events we must turn for a moment to her older sister and her graduation from Syracuse University. Ruth’s sister traveled to a small Scottish town in New York state called Argyle. There she taught high school for a year and one of her pupils, a senior, was a young man named Albert Liddle. Ruth’s sister kept in touch with Albert through correspondence as he went on to Cornell College, then to Annapolis and on to join the Navy. He was made ensign and was assigned to the Admiral’s Flagship- during World War I. In correspondence, Ruth’s sister, now married and living in Argyle, suggested that Albert look up Ruth at Finch’s when he was in the city. It was an exciting time!

This young man in his uniform took her to wonderful places to eat, to the theatre and so it follows that, after the war, they were married on February 16, 1919. Albert went back to Cornell to complete graduate work and Ruth stayed at Ithaca with her family. In January 1920 Dorothy was born and in 1921 Albert finished the PhD. Each summer the family spent in New York State near Argyle, working on Albert’s father’s farm.

Now with a degree in English literature, Albert moved his family to Princeton. They all loved it and it was there that Jeanie was born. After two years in Princeton another move brought the Liddles to New York University and the third daughter, Judy, joined her family.

In the academic world, Albert was hearing more and more about Antioch. He admired Arthur Morgan and his ideas on the work/study program and wrote to him asking for more details about Antioch.

To his delight he was invited to lunch with Arthur Morgan in New York City and was evidently offered a job at Antioch there and then. Arthur Morgan obviously was impressed with this young man who had already taught at Princeton and New York University and was a Phi Beta Kappa as well.

So, one hot, hot day in August, in 1927, the new chairman of the English Department of Antioch College rolled into town in a Model T Ford with his wife and three babies. Because of a polio epidemic they were fearful of staying in hotels so they had camped their way across the states from New York. They were hot, tired and thirsty and looked forward to a quiet peaceful. Home awaiting them. The family pulled up in front of a store owned by Nellie Alexander. (The Star Bank is now on that site.) The children were crying and everybody was exhausted. This kind lady brought out cold water to help their thirst and cookies for the children and suggested they have lunch at DeWine’s Cafe.

After some time they began to hunt for Dean Nash to announce their arrival and to get settled in their new home. After much difficulty they finally located the Dean in his white tennis outfit on the tennis court.

To their dismay, there was no place to settle into, no plans had been made, no home available.The Comfort Inn was suggested. (The Comfort Inn was then located where Mr. Fub’s now resides.) The Comfort Inn was full! In desperation, Albert said he had a tent; he would camp out again — just tell hiim where to pitch his tent.

So, following directions they drove to the Glen and chose the spot to pitch their tent. It was the exact spot that later was chosen by Hugh Birch for the big boulder to rest in memory of his daughter, Helen.

Albert got water to bathe the children from the Cascades. Judy was five months old, Jeanie was 2 years old and Dorothy was 7. As Albert hurried off to the Yellow Spring for drinking water he was accosted by a formidable woman who announced he could go no further. The Girl Scouts were camping there and no one could come in that area. Somehow, Albert persuaded her to relent and managed to bring back drinking water to comfort his exhausted wife and family.

The Day nursery school took children in while the parents scoured the Village. After two weeks of hard work, they were rewarded with a house and promptly moved in. Lloyd and Mary Kennedy are the present tenants of the Liddle’s first house in Yellow Springs.

In the meantime, however, their tent was home and college persons came out to the Glen to find the new English Department Chairman’s tent. They left calling cards when they found no one at home. A farmer came by to warn them of an unfriendly bull of his that shared their present space. So with Dorothy beginning her school world at the Antioch School; the others started their lives in Yellow Springs and Albert took over the English Department – all in the year 1927.

Ruth, a former Methodist woman, was not active in any church until one day Lila Jones came to call. She wanted to take Dorothy to Sunday School at the Presbyterian Church. That’s when it all began. Albert joined a Sunday School class taught by Mr. Erbaugh, Bill Erbaugh’s father.

Reverend Lee was pastor at the time that Ruth became active (Lee was here 1937-44). Actually, it happened after Dorothy and Bob were married in the church and when Granddaughter Judy (Dorothy’s daughter) was baptized. She has been a deacon twice but never got close to the actual “running of the church.” She was really deeply involved with the college, the faculty and her family.

Ruth has just returned from a visit with her daughter, Jeanie, in Florida. They spent a lot of time after dinner, talking about the years past and the changes that she was witnessed in her 92 years. Ruth remembers her father’s first car, a Chevrolet, her first in a car. When there are would stall, people would chant, “get a hoss, get a hoss!”

In the early year after their move to 903 Xenia Avenue the children had horses. They would often pack a lunch and, with other friends, ride to the Glen and spent hours their with their horses, playing and exploring all day long.

In 1937 the Liddle’s embarked on a boat to Europe where they spent some months. After 13 trips abroad, Ruth sighs over the loss of that mode of transportation — the ocean liner and the wonderful leisure of a boat trip over the ocean.

Albert sang Gilbert and Sullivan at the old Opera House. He was in three productions and the children went to see all the rehearsal and learned the songs. After a performance they would all come out of the building to walk home, singing the Gilbert and Sullivan songs. It was depression times, but there was no depression in their lives, only lots of laughter and family love.

Ruth speaks of her interest in everything that goes on, especially in the political world. “Talk to me, tall me what’s happening out there,” she says to her grandson [Mike DeWine], soon to run for the Senate. And that’s the key to her charm as you meet her. Ruth wants to be informed. Her ability to focus on her past life, her memory of people, places and events let the two hours I spent with her fly by – and I cherish the moments.

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The Glen before Helen

Here is another newspaper clipping without date or source attribution, but it is certainly prior to 1929, since the location is referred to as “Antioch Glen.” Spelling has been corrected, but no attempt was made to deal with the dizzying disregard for punctuation.


In order that statements be of value for future reference, it is necessary that they should be as nearly accurate as possible; but when the waves of time have swept over unrecorded events and almost obliterated their trace exactness is a difficult matter. In regard to the first ownership of the now Antioch Glen (or Yellow Springs Glen) once the “Neff Ground” there is a slight variation among those who have written of it, some putting the time at 1799 others a few years later. At all events it was close to the [beginning] of the new century, that Lewis Davis a wandering surveyor and adventurer withal, was as is thought attracted to the place by the reports of Indians that he met in this part of the country. Judge Mills told that after he came to this place with his father the Indians from the Old town settlement and those from the one on Mad River went back and forth a great deal over their regular trail which, coming from the south, leads some distance to the north of the College and on through the Glen to the spring where they unloaded the Indian ponies, turned them to grass and where the Indians themselves would stay hunting and resting before they went on.

This Judge Mills said he saw after his father came to the spot in 1827. So, as has been said, it may well be true that the Shawnees led by Lewis Davis to the great spring. At any rate, he had sufficient good [sense] to procure for himself a patent, becoming this the first owner of the soil very near the time that Ohio became a State. He laid aside his roving backs woodsman habits to build a long house on the spot, and near the center of the place where the famous hotel of early times later stood the “Old Neff House”. Here for a time Lewis Davis lived but the beauty which may at first have appealed to him could not long restrain his wandering tendencies so after a few years when Elisha Mills, the father of Wm. Mills came and offered to buy the land he gladly accepted and with the restlessness of his kind, was off for new scenes. The story is told that he died a psuper and was buried near Belle Fontaine but one authority also states that he was buried near the Miami river not far from the old stone house which was the former residence of General Whitman, his brother-in-law. His grave can not now be in both places but in which ever one his ashes lie it is to be hoped that “after life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.”

When Elisha Mills came to the “Spring” he did not tear away the log house put up by Lewis Davis but added to it by building beside it on either side. The first hotel was located north east of the spring. The outlines of the foundations could be easily traced a few years back, beginning at the Cliff north of and in line with the spring and running to the east some 300 feet. Beginning in the center of this length, where the Davis log house stood Mr. Mills built a two story house of some dimensions and then added to the east end of it rooms one story in height; on the west side he built a [dining] room 100 feet in length. It also served as a ball room this was followed by kitchens, pantry and other rooms carrying the building to within a few feet of the Cliff. There were deep and commodious porches which ran the whole 300 feet of length on the south side of the house continued around the west end and part of the north side. The peculiar way in which this house was constructed; some parts high and some low gave it a very quaint air and the dark color of the exterior gave it a desirable look of antiquity.

Under the management of Elisha Mills it became in the 30’s and early 40’s one of the most noted hostelries in the west, having as its summer guests many of the most prominent families in Cincinnati as the Bourns, Ewings, Longworths, Tafts, Endersons, Guilfords, Gaithers, Neffs Olivers and many others. Seveal families from Kentucky were its regular guests. Here during the recess of Congress came Henry Clay, Jesse Abel and Tom Marshall from Kentucky Judge [McLain] Judge Burnett and others here discussed the affairs of the nation under the fine old trees some of which still stand.

The two story addition which Wm. Mills, who had received the property from his father, [had a porch added] on the second story and, abutting on the cliffs as this addition did, the view from this second story porch was fine, commanding a view of all the north part of the Glen and part of the south portion.

This old hotel was not burned down as had been said, but was torn away in the early 70’s at the time the new hotel was built.

In 1844 Judge Wm. Mills sold the property to Mr. Peter Neff of Cincinnati, and the place became generally known as the Neff grounds. For several years the building erected by Mr. Mills was rented of Mr. Neff by different persons for a hotel.

Taking it down was a great mistake, it should have been left as a monument of early times. Dr. Hosmer who was president of Antioch at the time it was being destroyed said I regret to see that quaint and venerable building go.”

Illustration of Neff House from 1855 Cone Map

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Know Your Town — Government and Voting/Elections

In a nice bit of accidental timing, the next portion of the League of Women Voters-published Know Your Town has to do with those areas of village life in the forefront of many residents’ minds..

A lot has changed, in ways big and small, in the 50-plus years since this booklet was printed.

It was standard in the early 60’s to use masculine pronouns only in such publications, particularly ironic today, since the mayor, village manager and a majority of Council members are women.

The map of precincts has totally changed, and those who have lived here long enough will remember that the single-digit system of precinct identification was changed to a three-letter system before the current three-digit system. In addition, the polling places have been consolidated into one (currently Antioch University Midwest).

One of the advantages of living in a small town is that the citizen may be close to his government and play an active art in it. Meetings of the school board, Village Council and Planning Commission are open to the public. Public officials are always aware of the attitudes of the people.

An indication of the alertness of the town is the fact that it has a charter form of government—not copied from a textbook but developed by a commission of local people to fit the particular needs of Yellow Springs.

The Preamble to the Charter is:

“We, the people of the Village of Yellow Springs, Ohio, in order to secure maximum benefits of local self-government and to promote our common welfare by efficient organization for the management of our village affairs, adopt the following Charter”—November 7, 1950.

The government of Yellow Springs is the kind of representative democracy which makes it easy for any person to discuss a problem face-to-face with any of his representatives, and to make his opinion heard at official level. The diagram on the opposite page shows the close relationship of the voter to the elective bodies of the village.

The chief policy-making group is the five-member Village Council, elected every two years. The Council elects one of its members president and he presides at Council meetings and executes legal instruments for the village. Councilmen are paid $5.00 for each meeting attended.

THE COUNCIL has the power to:

  1. appoint and remove the Village Manager.
  2. establish, change, and abolish administrative departments and define their powers, duties and responsibilities.
  3. set pay for officers and employees of the village subject to right of appeal.
  4. adopt the budget of the village.
  5. borrow money and authorize the issuance of bonds and notes by ordinance.
  6. enter into contracts and franchises.
  7. inquire into the conduct of any agency of the village and make investigations as to municipal affairs.
  8. appoint the members of the Planning Commission and all other boards or commissions.
  9. appoint the Solicitor, Treasurer and Clerk of Council.
  10. adopt, modify, and carry out, map, play, zoning, and other plans proposed by the Planning Commission.
  11. provide for an independent audit.
  12. accept gifts and grants.
  13. publish an annual report to the electors prepared by the Manager.

THE MAYOR is elected and is the official head of the village for all ceremonial purposes, for military purposes and for serving civil process. He had jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases as provided by Ohio law. He is elected for a term of two years and is paid a yearly salary of $900 by the village. The Mayor’s court meets regularly to try violations of local ordinances and state law. A defendant in the Mayor’s court has the right to appeal his decision and request a jury trial.

THE VILLAGE MANAGER is the chief executive of the village. He is appointed and may be removed by a majority vote of the Village Council. He need not be a resident of the village or state at the time of his appointment, but must live within the township during his tenure of office. He is a full-time employee and is paid $9,750 a year. He has the direct responsibility to:

  1. enforce the laws and ordinances of the village.
  2. appoint and remove all subordinate officers and employees of the village on merit and fitness alone.
  3. make engineering and other assistance available to the planning commission.
  4. operate utility services of the village.
  5. attend all meetings of the Council and Planning Commission with the right to take part in discussions, but not to vote.
  6. recommend adoption or repeal of legislation.
  7. keep the Council advised of the financial condition and needs of the village, and submit an annual report on the state of the village and a budget. (These are always available to the public at the city building.

THE PLANNING COMMISSION, authorized by the Village Charter in 1950, consists of five members appointed for five years by Council, who serve without pay. This commission undertakes studies of the probable future growth and needs of the village, and administers the zoning and kindred ordinances. It also acts as an appeal board when rulings of the Village Manager in administering the zoning ordinances are disputed. The Planning Commission is the agent of the Village Council in approving annexations of areas contiguous to the village limits for which annexation to the village is desired, and in approving any subdivisions or plats of land areas within the corporation limits.


The Village operates a number of public-service enterprises. The water supply is plentiful. In 1963 plans were placed in operation for removal of iron from the water at a water treatment plant. Six wells provide an adequate supply to meet the demands of normal growth. The water is now fluoridated. At the present the Village buys electricity from the Dayton Power and Light Co., and provides distribution and servicing. A new sewage disposal plant was completed in 1962 providing adequate treatment and service. Garbage is collected and disposed of by two village trucks. Streets are hard-surfaced and regularly maintained. The Village Manager has a complete topographic map of the town to assure proper road grades, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks.

A Chief of Police, 3 patrolmen, and 4 emergency helpers give Yellow Springs 24-hour protection. This is better than the national average of one policeman for every 1000 people. The departments in 1962, with the aid of Civil Defense, placed in operation 2 base stations and 12 mobile radio units. The police office is in the city building. Occasional prisoners are given lodging in the Greene County Jail in Xenia. Crime prevention is as important to the department as crime detection.

Being a fireman in Yellow Springs is a privilege, just as it was in the old days. The fire department, located on Corry Street, is operated with money derived from a tax levy and no charge is made to local residents for services. The 38 volunteer Miami Township Firemen, using the department’s five pieces of equipment, train themselves as intensively as any professionals. When necessary, the department, which is a member of the Greene County Fire Fighters Association, can get emergency help from neighboring departments or from fire fighters of Clark County. Antioch College also maintains two trucks manned by students on 24-hour call.

The Metropolitan Housing Authority, established in December 1961, is a political subdivision established by the State of Ohio having all political powers except taxation. It spreads across both village and Miami Township. Its purpose is to provide low rent housing for senior citizens where need is demonstrated. At present 20 units are authorized having a cooperation agreement with the Village for police and fire protection. The site is a four-acre plat on the west side of town currently owned by Senior Housing Corporation of Yellow Springs. The hope is to complete the housing units by 1964.


be a citizen of the United States
be 21 years of age by November election day
have lived in Ohio one year
have lived in Greene County and your precinct 40 days
be registered with Greene County Board of Elections.

If you are a new resident of Ohio and were qualified to vote in the State from which you have moved, you may vote for the President and Vice President of the U.S., without having to meet the above residential requirements. Consult your local Board of Elections for procedure, and secure application form not earlier than one year, nor later than 40 days before the day of election.


Qualified citizens must register with the County Board of Elections, Court House, Xenia, at least 40 days prior to the election. The Board is open Monday through Saturday, 9:00-11:30 a.m., 12:30-4:00 p.m. (closed Wednesday and Saturday afternoons). This schedule is after Labor Day. In the summer the hours are Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00 to 4:00, and Saturday, 9:00 to 12:00.

Anyone who has changed his street address or name since the last voting must re-register.

Primary—first Tuesday after the first Monday in May.
General—first Tuesday after the first Monday in November
Special—to be announced by the Board of Elections.

POLLING PLACES open 6:30 a.m. To 6:30 p.m.
Precinct 1—City Building
Precinct 2—City Building
Precinct 3—Mills Lawn School Annexation
Precinct 4—Mills Lawn School Annex
Miami Township East—Clifton Fire House
Miami Township West—Yellow Springs Township Fire House


The constitution of Ohio was amended in 1949 to change the form of ballot for the General Election. Ohio now has the Office Type Ballot and each candidate must be voted for separately. This type of ballot is used in all instances in which the party column ballot was formerly used. At the Primary Election a separate primary ballot is provided for each political party.


Any qualified voter who will be unavoidably absent from the county and more than ten miles from his precinct, or who is physically unable to reach the polling place, may use an absent voter’s ballot. Written application for such a ballot must be made to the Clark of the Board of Elections on a form furnished by the Clerk. The application shall not be delivered to the Clerk prior to the 30th day before election, nor later than 12:00 noon of the fourth day before the election. Application of a disabled voter must be accompanied by a physician’s certificate. The Voters’ Service Chairman of the League of Women Voters will deliver proper application forms for disabled voters.


Any member of the armed services who will be 21 by election day, who is a citizen and has been a resident of Ohio prior to entering the armed forces for one year (or if the time he resided in Ohio before entering the service plus the time spent in service equals one year) may vote by armed service absent voter’s ballot. He may either make written application himself or a near relative may apply on his behalf. The application, having been marked in the presence of an officer or non-commissioned officer of the grade of sargeant, and may be mailed any time after January r1 of the year of election and must be received by the Clerk not later than 12:00 noon of election day.

Voters’ service bulletins for primary and general elections containing the qualifications
of each candidate
registration information
absentee and disabled voting
registration information from other states
free baby-sitting
free taxi service to the polls
candidates’ meetings
telephone reminders on registration and election eves

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Yellow Springs Timeline 1801 – 1900

Previous timeline section: 1800 – 1870


1871     Commencement play of Antioch, Much Ado About Nothing. First play given here, considerable criticism and daring.

1872     Union School building erected; — H. Scudder first Superintendent. T. B. Jobe started first carriage shop.

1873      Edward Orton elected president of Antioch.

1874     Antioch College joined “The Ohio Collegiate Association.” The Antiochian started.

1875     Antioch College girls started Antioch Archery Club.

1876     Samuel C. Derby elected president of Antioch. 250 evergreens and 204 maples and other trees planted on campus. New lawn mower drawn by one horse. Little Miami Natural History Society begun. E. E. Hale gave degrees at Commencement in Latin formula. Name of Preparatory department changed to Antioch High School.

1877     E. E. Hale gave Baccalaureate address at Antioch Commencement.

1878     Governor Richard M. Bishop and Judge Advocate General Samuel F. Hunt with Governor’s Guards spent week at Neff House. Grand Excursion to Nebraska. Oyster dinners popular. J. D. Hawkins bought store from Hirst Brothers. Anxiety because snow plow used at night instead of morning. Yellow Springs Cornet Band organized. W. W. Carr elected mayor.

1879     24 degrees below 0. January thaw damaged houses. Surprise parties popular. Yellow Springs Cornet Band giving benefits to buy uniforms. Many revivalist meetings. J. D. Hawkins and Hirst Brothers laid fine brick sidewalk in front of their stores. Streets sprinkled, but dust two inches thick. New picture car – get your “dog-type” taken. Attempt to deepen city well to get cooler water. Farmer reported 40 bushels of wheat to an acre.

1880     J. W. Hamilton elected mayor. Yellow Springs Review started.

1881     Christian Education Society of Yellow Springs organized to help reopen Antioch. First telephone installed. Grand Army of the Republic organized.

1882     J. J. Hirst elected mayor. Orin J. Wait elected president of Antioch. 68 gasoline lamps installed for street lights.

1883     Daniel A. Long elected president of Antioch. Sweeping Democratic victory in elections — reign of free whiskey and no Sundays. Antioch baseball game — Antioch, 42; Greene County, 21. Buffalo Bill Cody at Xenia Opera House.

1884     C. E. Adams elected mayor. Horace Mann monument on front Antioch campus dedicated. Seventh Day Adventist church organized. H. Routzong started grocery. George J. Drake succeeded J. C. Littleton in a general store.

1885     Sandy Pettiford started barbershop and restaurant.

1886     Antioch granted its first B. S. degree. Highest stage of the Yellow Springs branch, May 12.

1887     C. A. Little opened a sawmill — H. H. Puckett cashier.

1888     Citizen’s Bank established.

1889     Mutual Saving Association organized.

1890     Thos., E. Stewart elected mayor. Yellow Springs Opera House built. Wilson Bachert, mechanic and carriage builder, opened business.

1891     John Hughes started clothing store.

1892     Neff house dismantled and shipped to Cincinnati. J. E. Lynn elected mayor. J. A. Young started meat market. Fire on Dayton Street November 3.

1893     Lime kiln opened by Ervin and Co.

1894     Little elevator erected. Charles Hamilton is elected mayor. J. S. Harshman established grain exporting concern.

1895     The “Flatiron Block” consisting of seven buildings burned out completely May 6. Three buildings on Xenia Avenue burned July 25. E. Hackett, horse shoe shop, succeeded Samuel Cox. Mrs. Mary Downey was the first lady in the corporation to cast her ballot at the election on April 1.

1896     Two residences on Xenia Avenue burned January 5. Chemical fire engine purchased by town council February 6. George H. Smith succeeded Dickman Brothers in hardware store. Miss J. C. Recks started millinery shop.

1897     Yellow Springs Public Library organized. Four fire cisterns built. Cornerstone of Riverside Park big barn laid — later John Bryan State Park. Hamma and Halstead started grocery.

1898     T. B. Jobe elected mayor. Oratorical Association of Antioch College reorganized.

1899     William A. Bell elected president of Antioch. Yellow Springs News bought out and consolidated with Yellow Springs Review.

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Opera House Contrast

The long-gone Opera House has been covered in previous posts, including this program.   A couple of additional Opera House clippings were found in those collected by Mary E. Morgan.

One (the newspaper ad, date and paper unknown) expanded the attendees’ vision of the world

The other (newspaper source not known, but the date of “26 Nov. 1915”) essentially demonstrates a narrowness of vision (particularly troubling in the week when the National Memorial for Peace and Justice was opened in Montgomery, Alabama. There’s an obvious missing piece of this piece of history: did the black residents attend this program, and whether they did or not, how did they feel about it?


The event of the Thanksgiving festivities was the Firemen’s Minstrel held at the Opera House on Wednesday and Thursday evening of this week. This was the third annual Minstrel that has been held by this organization and it was bigger and better than ever.

Several weeks have been spent in preparation and rehearsal to bring the performance up to a professional standard and the audience showed its appreciation by generous attendance and applause.

Promptly at eight o’clock the curtain rose on one of the neatest stage settings the company has ever undertaken to display.

The stage was enclosed with a woodland scene, while palms and evergreens were banked in convenient corners, several rows of lighted Japanese lanterns swung from above blending with the colored bulbs of the foot lights in a soft warm color and azure, much to the beauty of the setting.

The orchestra in white face wearing black neat fitting costumes were placed at the rear of the stage on two tiers of raised platform. Miss Bell Middleton presiding at the piano at right of the other musicians. The minstrel circle proper consisted of twenty black faced artists and Mr. Charles Jacobs as Interlocutor in white face who sat on a raised [dais] in the center. The end men wore red and blue silk plush costume and the chorus and soloist black tuxedo suits, while Mr. Jacobs was neatly dressed in black.

The opening overture consisted of old plantation melodies and was so arranged that it gave good opportunity to both chorus and solo work. Mr. Faye Kershner, Warren Sparrow and Sumner Fess in the rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home” “Old Black Joe” and “Suwanee River” won the audience to the closest attention and the chorus work of the circle was a medley of melody.

It is really surprising what a number of good voices Yellow Springs possesses.

The opening overture was followed by Faye Kershner who sang one of the late popular songs, “When the Dream of a Dreamer Comes True.” This was Faye’s first appearance as a minstrel soloist and his song selection seemed just fitted to his voice. The words, the melody and the charm of his voice brought a good reception from the audience.

Then followed Russell and Howard Young in lively witticism that soon had their listeners in a wave of good humor, closing with that popular rag hit, “We’ll have a Jubilee in My Old Kentucky Home,” sung in a way that made you want to join in with them.

Herbert Ellis brought down the house with his line of “cullud” jokes.

Then followed Earl Littleton’s rendition of “Love Moon” that beautiful song from the musical Fantasy Chin-Chin. We think Earl surpassed all his former efforts and his hearers were delighted with his rich baritone voice.

Then Pierre Drake got the undivided attention of humor lovers with his original local hits. Pierre makes an ideal end man both in his stage appearance and style of bringing the good points in what he has to say.

You can’t say that Herbert Ellis isn’t a comedian after hearing his parody on Billy Sunday. Herb sang it and talked it and acted it and everybody laughed and laughed and are still laughing. He was one of the hits of the show.

The introduction of Wead and Wolford brought a round of applause that spelled popularity.

Ralph Wead’s inimitable poetry included about all the funny events of the past year in Yellow Springs, his lines were almost entirely local and of course original and that’s why his fun is so fresh and lasting, while we are still laughing over his last year’s hits he comes forward with something later and better.

We never hear Francis Murray sing but what we fell that his voice would win applause from any people, anywhere, there is a sweetness about it that holds you in its grip and you are always sorry when he has finished. He sang “When I Leave the World Behind,” a beautiful song beautifully sung.

Last year when J. N. Wolford unloaded his package of fun that almost made the audience roll off their seats, we thought he had about reached fun’s limit, but this year he came back with a bigger scream in his parody on “Mayor Richardson’s Inaugural address” a three minute speech of fun and laughter at the expense of the successful candidates of the recent election.

Charles Jacobs all through the first part by versatile manner, splendid voice and easy stage presence gave great interest and support to the comedians.

The flag effect was a pretty and timely conclusion to one of the most entertaining first parts the Firemen have given.

Between the first part and Olio the orchestra played a selection.

Yvonne Humphrey and William Hamilton were the first number of the Olio in a sketch entitled the Music Studio in which both characters appeared to great advantage.

A Yellow Springs audience is always eager to hear Yvonne in solos and the playlet was a pleasant surprise addition. William Hamilton as the “first pupil” fitted the part and proved himself a violinist of no mean ability.

The “Mysterious house” by Ellis, Groves & Co., got everybody guessing as to what would happen next. Willis Groves is always funny in black face and in this act was especially so.

All the characters of the act got their full share of interest and applause.

Then came Wolford and Wead in an automobile skit. The make-up and outfit without another word would have been entertaining but when you heard the dialogue that was engaged in, it became a riot of fun and an up-to-the-minute act bristling with original comedy.

Russell Young always comes forward with something good in a musical sketch and this year his “An evening in Dixie” was on par with former years. The principals were Chas. Jacobs and Belle Middleton. Mr. Jacobs gave a touch of pathos to his lines and acting that held the audience to the closest attention and Miss Middleton in her part ably supported him. Howard Young, Faye Kershner, Francis Murray and Russell Young as the Cotton Pickers quartet gave a delightful treat in plantation songs, while little Miss Doris Coffman did the picininny kid to perfection.

The followed the comedy sketch “Engine House No. 23” with Pierre Drake as chief and principal fun maker. There wasn’t a second without a laugh and every laugh followed a laugh and every laugh followed by a greater one. The lines, the acting, the selection were all ridiculous, par excellent.

We question if any audience ever left the Opera House better pleased than the audiences, that attended these performances.

The performers worked long and hard to produce a good show and the Yellow Springs people show their appreciation by so generously patronizing them.

Show Receipts

The receipts of the Firemen’s Minstrel are very gratifying to the company. The total will reach about $240. The expenses have not yet been totaled, but will probably be about $70. This is a gain in receipts over last year, but the expenses this year will be more

The bonds on the fire truck engine that the money goes to pay are in $200 denomination, payable yearly.

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More on the Glen

As a follow-up to the recent series transcribing Lucy Morgan’s The Story of Glen Helen, here are couple of newspaper clippings collected by Mary E. Morgan also dealing with Glen Helen:

[Clipping without source attribution and dated only June 26 without a year, but the events, typography and writing style suggest it to be fairly old.]

After almost 70 years of litigation, Bryan Park, now known as “The Antioch Glen”, a beautiful tract of 103 acres, has been deeded to Antioch College.

The park will be converted into recreation grounds for church, clubs and fraternities and anybody who wishes good grounds for picnicing, swimming, boating, etc., according to an announcement by Ulmar H. Allen, director of the property.

This statement came recently as a denial of an announcement which appeared some time ago that the park would be used for school purposes only.

This historic grounds are located at Yellow Springs and have been know for years as one of the most picturesque spots in this section of the state. Lewis Davis, an adventurer and surveyor, is thought to have been the first white man to enter the glen. Attracted by the tales of the Shawnee Indians which told of the wonderful “medicine water” (the yellow spring), Davis and his wife moved there in 1807, building a cabin near the spring. It is said that as late as 1830 Indians encamped on this ground, still attracted by the medicinal value of the water.

The beauty of the grounds combined with the medicinal value of the springs, caused Edward Everett almost 95 years ago to say, “This is a lovely spot where everything seems combined that can delight the eye, afford recreation and promote health.”

Photo in the upper left hand corner shows the Cascades, a beautiful waterfall typical of the natural beauty of the property.

In the upper right hand corner, Pompey’s pillar, a peculiar formation about which is considerable tradition.

In the lower left hand corner, the summer house is shown where Henry Clay and Daniel Webster made political addresses during the campaign of 1840.

The lower right hand corner shows the Yellow Spring, so named because of the rich mineral deposits of the water.

[Newspaper without source attribution with handwritten date “Dec. 29th 1948”]

Restoration of Famed Yellow Spring in Glen Helen Planned

A display relating to the history of the “yellow spring,” located in Antioch College’s Glen Helen and from which the adjoining village derived its name, is being featured this week at the Yellow Springs Library.

Arranged by Walter Rybeck, Antioch student, the exhibit is being held in connection with a plan to restore the Spring to its original beauty.

Photographs and old newspaper clippings have been placed on display so that contemporaries may know how the spring looked in the days when it was a well-known health resort. The pictures also show the Neff House, a hotel once located near the spring.

An old iron dipper, used at the Spring during its days as a resort, has been loaned for the exhibit by Miss Olivia Cox, 111 Center College St., Yellow Springs.

Also featured are a painting by Robert Whitmore, Antioch art professor, indicating how the spring will look when restored, and a landscape sketch by Mrs. Louise Odiorne, Yellow Springs.

A suggestion box has been placed near the exhibit so that citizens may make suggestions relating to details of the restoration plan.

The yellow spring is located on the east side of a small lake in Glen Helen, about one quarter of a mile from the center of town.

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