From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1980s Part 4

These bookplates show the continuing interest in licensed properties, and Garfield was always a bestselling character on many products. The Mercer Mayer design (B-166) shows an increasing interest in children’s book illustrators.

The unicorn and teddy bear designs were done by staff artist Linda K. Nelson.

Antioch Bookplate B-170


Test market failure – never sold

Antioch Bookplates B-168


Antioch Bookplate B-169


Antioch Bookplate B-171


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Public Art in the 1970s

Currently the Yellow Springs Arts Council is highlighting Yellow Springs tradition of public art via the Banner Festival, but murals have also been a Yellow Springs public art expression since the 1970s as shown in this newspaper article from the Xenia Gazette.issue of May 21, 1973.

How many of these murals have survived?

Bearing in mind that this article was written before the 1974 Xenia tornado, how many of those tempting blank walls in Xenia survived?

Did Jones and Kaye ever get their National Endowment of the Arts funding and continue to paint murals across America?

Yellow Springs Group offers unique murals

GAZETTE staff writer

Mike Jones and Melanie Kaye do strange things in the evening. Nights, too. Like the infamous Count Dracula, they prowl the Yellow Springs dark doing unusual deeds. But they do not inflict wounds upon the unsuspecting Yellow Springs populace; rather, they inflict drab buildings with paint.

It is not the “spray-paint art” that drives local constables, businessmen and insurance companies up walls every Halloween. It is real, honest-to-goodness 1970s style art. The pair, along with cohorts Michael Fajans and Tim Barrett, known about the village as the “Public Works Company,” paint murlas on otherwise drab and dreary walls.

The group first gained a flash of local notoriety last May when a large mkural mysteriously appeared on the wall of the Oddfellows Lodge on Xenia Ave. The mural showed the view that would meet one'[s eye if the Oddfellows Lodge were, in fact, not in the way.

Mike Jones remembers well the first effort that has led to four other wall murals around the village and started what the four hope will become a business.

“SOME GUY painted aa bill board over on Corry St.,” Jones recalled the other deay. “But the village fathers decided that it violated the sign ordinance and he had to take it down. The Oddfellows Lodge needed painting and we were approached about a mural, but we were afraid it might fall into the same category.

“We had another worry. As you know, there is a union on Antioch’s campus and they are supposed to do all of the painting on campus. Now, the Oddfellows Lodge is on college land. We knew that nobody could afford to pay them to do it.’

At this point Jones and company had to be sneaky.

“We got all of the paint and showed up on a Friday afternoon after the workers had gone home for the weekend. We knew we had to get the whole thing done by Monday,” Jones said. “We had done a regular painting and put it on a scale so that four inches on the painting equaled four feet on the wall. We gave everyone a section of the wall to do.”

“YEH,” ADDED Melanie. “We had over 40 people working on that and we went on all night.”

“By Saturday morning we had everything on except the tree leaves,” jones said. “By Monday we had it done. Mr. (Howard) Kahoe, the village manager, looked at it and he liked it. The only worry Plan Board and the village had was that some company would paint one to look like their product and call it pop art, liike a big soft drink bottle. But that hasn’t happened.”

Since then, the four have put on a mural on a wall down by Eddie’s Party Supplies showing the view one gets as he approaches the village on US 68 from Springfield. Another one has been put on the back wall of the Yellow Gulch Saloon on Xenia Ave. and another on Corry St., across from the Antioch power plant.

The four are currently putting one on the side wall of the Ehman Fire Equipment Disstributors on Corry St. this one shows a huge steam-driven locomotive coming into town. It also shows the old railroad depot that once stood where the firehouse parking lot now is on Corry St.

This one is where night work comes in, according to Melanie and Mike.

“We don’t do these freehand,” Melanie pointed out. “We take old pictures and alter them to get the right scale. Then we make a slide and come down here at night with a slide projector, put it on the wall, and outline it. That’s why we are out here at night.”

Jones admitted it has been cold work this month, but the style demands the suffering.

“I know you had ice on your windshields this morning,” he told Burnell Ehmann, owner of the business, last week. “I know because it was cold out here last night.”

But to the two, the suffering is worth the effort. They feel it livens up the walls and in the case of the mural showing the depot and train, it records a bit of the village’s history. Ehman said he had no objection to the project at all.

“I’ve seen it done on the West Coast and I’m all for it,” he said. “It’s better than bare walls and ugly signs. Besides, both my son and myself are railroad buffs, so I like the whole idea of the train and the depot.”

JONES SAID the four would like to branch out to other communities and he said they have tried to get into the Xenia area.

“We talked to a businessman in Xenia and we thought we just about had him convinced to let us paint his wall, but he changed his mind. It’s too bad,” Jones said, “but a lot of the businessmen in Xenia still seem conservative and hesitant to be the first business to do it.

“Xenia is ripe for this. It has a lot of bare walls that could be painted. If done right,l it can really add a lot to a downtown area, like it has in Dayton and Cincinnati.”

But the four may not have time to worry about Xenia, if their plans work out. They have applied to the National Endowment of the Arts for a grant that would allow them to travel from Greene County to the West Coast, stopping along the way to paint buildings.

“If we get this grant,” Jones said, “we would head west. When we see a building with a good wall, stop, ask the man if we can paint it, and it doesn’t cost him anything. It may seem strange, but the endowment is one area of federal funjding that has been increased instead of being cut back.”

But, regardless of whether it is Xenia or Davenport, Iowa, “Public Works” is going to be painting walls, night and day. So far, they say, that first critic hasn’t been heard from.

“Everyone seems to love it,” said Melanie as she went back to putting the finishing touches on the old railroad depot.

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The Story of Glen Helen — Chapter 1

Today’s post shares the first chapter of The Story of Glen Helen: the Enlarged Campus of Antioch College compiled by Lucy G. Morgan, a slim hardbound volume published by the Antioch Press in 1931.

Thanks to the the family of Ray and Charlotte Gorden for the donation of this book to the Historical Society.

The Story of Glen Helen


Towards the middle of the nineteenth century a great wave of idealism and a longing for cultural opportunities swept over the pioneer states north of the Ohio River. One expression of this was the founding of Antioch College. Horace Mann, who had achieved an international reputation as an educator and then had won a strong place in the national congress, gave up a promising political career to become the first president of this “Harvard of the West.”

Mann started a great tradition of freedom and of progress. For perhaps the first time in history he actually undertook by a practical program to present the aim of higher education to be the full and well-proportioned development of every phase of human personality. For almost the first time in the history of English peoples, women wer given recognition and opportunities in higher education entirely equal to those given to men.

From the Atlantic coast to the new states west of the Mississippi students heard of Horace Mann’s new college and came to study under him. Farseeing men and women brought their families and settled in the village to have the advantages of Antioch. Among these was Erastus Mitchell Birch, an idealist, friend of John Brown and of other liberals and pioneers. In payment for draining land along the Kankaakee River in northern Indiana he had received title to many thousands of acres, and was potentiallyh wealthy. He had known Horace Mann and had corresponded with him on educational matters, and later concerning the education of his own children. Mann strongly urged him to move to Yellow Springs and enroll them at Antioch. The result was that by the spring of 1857 Erastus Birch had reached Yellow Springs with his entire family, and had bought a house. This charming brick h ouse, at the corner of Dayton and Walnut Street, is still standing, and is occupied by aone of his grandsons.

Erastus Brich was born and spent his early years in Dutchess County, New York. Just acropss the state line in West Stockbrtidge, Massachusetts, he met Sally Milligan, a woman of rare character and ability, whom he married about 1831. Six of their children, four boys and two girls, lived to maturity and had families of their own. The youngest of these, Hugh Taylor Birch, was born August 2, 1848. At that time the family lived on the Des Plaines River, in Newport Township, Lake County, Illinois. The move to Indiana occurred two or three years later.

Although a boy of only nine years when the family came to Yellow Springs, Hugh Birch still remembers many interesting details of those early days, of work and play in the forests that surrounded the settlement. His usual companion was little “Benny” Mann who often would persuade him to come to dinner at “President’s House,” and he has a lively recollection of his barefoot, grimy-handed embarrassment in the presence of the dignified college president. Horace Mann’s nobility of character made a lasting impression on him.

Erastus Birch helped Horace Mann in many ways. He was one of the early trustees of the college. With an intimate knowledge of the struggles and needs of Antioch, he gave a considerable sum of money in gold, and ten thousand acres of Kankakee land.

Horace Mann’s strength failed under what he had to endure, and he died in 1859 with his work only well begun. With his passing America lost the greatest of her pioneer educators. Thomas Hill took up the load, but in 1861 when the war broke out most the the students and faculty members went to the front, the boys as soldiers and the girls as nurses, and the college was temporarily closed. The father and brothers of the Birch family, except little Hugh, all enlisted. He and his sister helped the mother at home until her death in 1863.

Before Hugh Birch came to Yellow Springs his mother had been his teacher, and he remembers that when he started to the Elm Street school he was advanced beyond his years and therefore a great favorite of his teacher. From the Elm Street school he went to the college preparatory department of Antioch,m of which Edward Orton was the head, assisted by Rebecca Rice. The college had opened again with George W. Hosmer as president and with a faculty of men and women of marked ability, among them Suliot, Weston, Craig, Orton, Hosmer, Anthony, Howell and Chandler.

The personal regime of Hugh Taylor Birch was a forerunner of the modern work and study program of Antioch. He supported himself all through his college years by working during the holidays and over the weekends. He says he had a reputation among the students for being rich because his bills were always paid and he had money in his pocket.

He entered the college in the autumn of 1866 with the firm intention of making the four-year course in three years. He had accumulated a small sum by work on the nearby farms and in the woods in winter. Against the strenuous objection of the faculty, he succeeded in substituting Natural History for the required course in Greek. As a result of his efforts Natural History was made an alternative to Greek in the college program. His knowledge of plants and animals, of the rocks and the stars, which has been a constant source of interest and pleasure throughout his life, has justified this rebellion.

During Hugh’s senior year Antioch was again a pioneer, this time in starting College Dramatics in America, and the innovation was very widely discussed and criticized. The first play to be given was “The Taming of the Shrew,” adapted to the necessities of the occasion by James Hosmer, professor of English Literature and son of President Hosmer, with Hugh Birch in the role of Petruchio, and Jennie Jones in that of the Shrew.

The last year in college was very difficult. With the faithful help of the strong boys he had guilt up a splendid ball team which proved to be equal to any surrounding teams, except the professional club of Cincinnati, the first professional baseball organization in America. Hugh was captain of the Antioch team, and in this picture is the central figure.

His fondest recollections of the college years center in “the Glen,” whose springs and cascade and giant trees fed his love of beauty. Professor Orton, already a naturalist of rare quality, often took him to the unfrequented parts on scientific expeditions. Sometimes as he wandered in the Glen by himself, a tespasser on forbidden ground, he dramed of a time when it should belong to the colloege, so that the students might go there at pleasure without danger of being ordered away. The hope sprang up that someetime he might be able to give it to Antioch.

Years later, in 1914, he brought his daughter to see his boyhood home. She already felt acquainted with the Glen from his accounts o its loveliness. It was there they spent most of their time on this visit, and she saw in it the beauty that had made such a deep impression on her father. Therefore, it is appropriate to that rare woman that Glen Helen is dedicated to her memory.

By taking advantage of the short and long vacations he managed to keep himself in funds and well up in his classes, until the last term of 1869, when, due to the necessities of self support and to his preoccupation as pitcher and main reliance of the baseball team, he failed, in analytical geometry. The president was inexorable, and so his dream of a degree in three years faded away. By this time he had determined to go to Chicago and study law in a large practicing firm, and to spend another term in making up this deficiency did not seem worth while. Professor Orton had formed a great liking for Hugh and gave him letters to his sister, Mrs. Thomas Orton, who was living in Chicago, and to Elliott Anthony, a classmate of Orton’s in Hamilton College,who was attorney there.

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Why They Came — Pages 58 – 64 (Final)

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

Page 58

Page 59

Page 60

Page 61

For the most part, the promoters, builders, farmers, merchants, and educators were rugged individuals. Today Yellow Springs retains much of the pioneering spirit. One of the first towns in Ohio to desegregate its schools, Yellow Springs today is proud to recognize human dignity, regardless of creed or color. Proud of its manager-council government, which functions effectively by keeping little problems from getting big. Proud of its educational facilities, of an atmosphere favorable to initiative in business.

This is a town in which quality of work can be more important than quantity; where people do not need to be caught in a race for bigness, where neighborliness promotes tolerance and understanding.

If Yellow Springs is to maintain its personality, and those qualities which distinguish many small towns in America, it will be because its plans are well-f0unded and because its children chose to work at it.

We hope they do.

[Followed by three pages of acknowledgments and credits]

Page 62

Page 63

Page 64

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Yellow Springs by Gail Kort — Part 3 (final)

The last group of Gail Kort’s pen-and-ink Miami Deposit Bank calendar illustrations featuring Yellow Springs buildings (the other two sets can be seen here and here). Thanks to Perry Stewart for sharing them.

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Yellow Springs by Gail Kort — Part 2

The second set of illustrations from the Miami Deposit Bank calendar (the first set can be seen here).

Although  most of buildings illustrated in these drawings still exist, sometimes the trees which surround them have been cut down.

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Yellow Springs by Gail Kort —Part 1

It was with sadness that we noted the obituary for Gail Kort, whose artistry captured a moment in time for many Yellow Springs buildings.

We thank Perry Stewart for sharing with us drawings done by Gail Kort for a Miami Deposit Bank calendar.

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Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot…

[Note: other pages in the Cemetery Book are indexed from the Blog Multi-Part Series tab above.]

The end of the year seems an appropriate time to share the last two pages of the 1910s Cemetery Book.

There is one rather startling cause of death – “exhaustion from acute mania” – there must be quite a story behind it.

Page 36

March 15, 1921 — Jasper S. Beal — Encephalitis — Yellow Springs, Ohio
April 9, 1921 — Laird C. Dye — Mitral Insufficiency — Yellow Springs, Ohio
April 14, 1921 — Laura E. Maylor — Hopkins disease — Springfield, Ohio
April 11, 1921 — Eleanor Brady — Arterio schlerosis — Dayton, Ohio
April 19, 1921 — Mark H, Young — Exhaustion from acute mania — Buckwood, Ohio
April 28, 1921 — James M. Rix — Osteo sarcoma —Clark Co., Ohio
April 23, 1921 — Sarah Jane [Generman?] — Cerebral apoplexy — Yellow Springs, Ohio

Page 37

May 7, 1921 — Angeline Layton — Asthma dropsy — Springfield, Ohio

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Early Health Recommendation

The following newspaper clipping did not have a date, but the mention of “Druggist Ridgway” makes it clear that it was during his tenure as a businessman (a previous post gives some of the Ridgway history).

Della Miller certainly knew the Ridgway establishment, and one wonders if she and her friends partook of the “Laxakola” product.


How a discussion of Beauty Led to a Surprising Discovery

A few days ago a group if the best informed people about town were discussing the comparative beauty of the many charming women in Yellow Springs,

One if them expressed curiosity to know why the standard of female loveliness is rising so rapidly in this locality – why complexions are so much clearer, eyes so much brighter, and more cheeks blushing rosy red with health and vigor than were ever seen in olden days. It was finally decided to refer the matter to Druggist Ridgway for his opinion. “Why, I can tell you, said the druggist promptly. It is all the result of a certain prescription — the most wonderful I have ever known in all my long experience. The remedy is a gentle laxative that contains valuable tonic and cleansing properties, together with certain other alterative effects that tend to clear up the skin. Pimples or a blotched, sallow or muddy skin simply cannot exist where Laxakola Tonic Tablets are used. This is, so sure that I am authorized to positively guarantee it, and the many who have tried it are uniformly delighted with the result. I am selling it at 25 cents a package and pay the money back if not satisfied.

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Season’s Greetings from the YS Historical Society

…and whatever other holiday you celebrate at this time of year…

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