Two Startling Articles

The following two articles from the Xenia Gazette are startling for different reasons. The first has some startling descriptive details, and the second is a startling case of déja vu on topics of immigants.


Xenia Gazette, March 11, 1920

The picture above is John Bauser, who met death Wednesday morning when the charge house of the Aetna Explosives Company at Goes, blew up. The large picture shows all that remains of the charge house, in which the two men met their death. Below is Thomas Mehaffey, of Railroad street, this city, the other victim of the explosion.

The charge house blew up at 8:47 and was followed a few minutes afterward by the wheel mill, in what is called a “green” explosion. There were 300 or 400 kegs of powder, which had accumulated there from the night work, in the charge house with Bauser and Mehaffey. Ollie and “Red” Woods, outside the charge house, saw a fire near the end of a truck they were repairing and shouted a warning. “Red” Woods jumped into the old race nearby while Ollie Woods ran and was blown several feet, but uninjured.

Bauser and Mehaffey were found 120 feet from the mill caught in a bush. Mehaffey had his right leg blown off below the knee and both died instantly. A horse that was standing near the building was blown 250 feet over the race. All four steel shoes and the harness were torn to bits.

Bauser is survived by his wife and two sons, Floyd and Edgar. His funeral services will be held at his home in Yellow Springs at one o’clock Friday afternoon. Mehaffey leaves his wive and four children. The children are, Daisy 19, Alice 13, and G[____] 9, and one son, whose whereabouts is unknown. The family has resided here two years. The funeral arrangements have not yet been made.


Xenia Gazette, September 13, 1920

JAPANESE QUESTION GROWING MORE SERIOUS DECLARES CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR

“The Japanese question is California’s now, but it will be yours soon,” declared Governor William Stevens of California, speaking to an audience at the Presbyterian church in Yellow Springs Sunday night.

“With the Japanese coming into this country rapidly through Mexico, the situation is becoming serious,” the governor declared. “They are not assimilated into the life of this country. They have their own merchants, their own banks, they do not even use American money when they can avoid doing so,” the governor continued. “Farming, is the chief business of the Japanese in California, and in this work, the women do as much as the men, carrying their infants into the field with them, and allowing them to remain in their basket while the mother works. The Japanese woman’s housekeeping is so simple that she is able to do the outside work without interfering with household duties.

Women have made politics clean in California according to Governor Stevens. The state has had universal suffrage for ten years.

“My wife and I go to the polls together and cast our votes,” said the governor.

The beauties and excellence of California as a state were extolled by the governor, who said that long with an ideal climate, everything can be raised in the state that is produced in any other state in the union.

Governor Stevens was elected in 1917, and is serving his second term as governor. He spoke of the dynamiting of the governor’s mansion a few years ago, when he and his family narrowly escaped death. Ten thousand dollars was required to repair the damage caused by the bombs the governor said. The executive was introduced by Congressman S. D. Fess.

Governor Stevens is a native of Eaton and spent several days there visiting scenes of his boyhood. He will be at the home of his sister, Mrs. C. C. Stephenson in Yellow Springs for several days before returning west.

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1980s part 10 (Jim Henson)

From very early on the Antioch Bookplate Company included designs specifically designed for use in children’s books, often ordered as a gift to parents of newborns — see here, here and here for examples.

With the increased interest in licensed properties, Jim Henson’s Muppets were a natural choice to increase bookplate choices for children’s books.

Antioch bookplate B-143

B-143

Antioch bookplate B-144

B-144

Antioch bookplate B-145

B-145

Antioch bookplate B-146

B-146

Antioch bookplate B-147

B-147

Antioch bookplate B-148

B-148

B-271

B-272

B-273

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Western Yellow Springs in 1902

Old maps are usually full of mysteries, and there are this map section showing the western portion of Yellow Springs in 1902 is no exception.

Notice the street running vertically about midway on the map. On today’s maps it would be an extension of Limestone Street where it connects to Dayton Street, but in 1902 it was Pennell Street. When did it change and why?

Although there are a number a familiar names – Pettiford, and Perry, for example – there are a number of property owners lost to history – “Phinick Abby” and “John Delwick” are not even noted on census forms, although “Zelphia Coffee” not only was recorded on census forms, but left a will.

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Downtown Explosion

This was touched on in an earlier post, but is worth exploring further since it had such an impact.


Dayton JOURNAL-HERALD May 3, 1954

Blast, Fire In Yellow Springs Ruins 2 Stores, Lodge Hall

1954 fire that changed that block of Xenia Avenue

YELLOW SPRINGS—An explosion and a sudden fire swept through a building housing this community’s oldest and largest grocery, a department store and the Yellow Springs Lodge 21, FAM.

Fire Chief James A. Dalrymple said the blast was caused when an overhead heater-blower set off an accumulation of gas from a leaky pipe in the basement.

The blast, about 3 p.m., hurled glass, fruits and vegetables through the front display window of the Weiss food market.

Heavy traffic on Route 68 was threatened and two cars narrowly escaped the blast.

Volunteer firemen, aided by departments from Xenia township, North, of Greene County, Clifton and Antioch college, battled more than 90 minutes before gaining control.

The fire was the biggest to hit this community since the Antioch college dormitory blaze on Feb. 22, 1953.

Also occupying the building, which is owned by the Masonic lodge, is the Frances Shaw department store.

Exact damage could not be estimated tonight. Chief Dalrymple called the building a total loss, saying he thought it was damaged beyond repair. [The article about the explosion/fire in the Dayton Daily News added that the east and south walls were bowed out.]

Edwin H. Luttrell, owner and operator of the grocery, said 75 per cent of his stock was damaged. Stock in the department store was damaged by smoke and water. Also damaged from smoke, fire and water were the rooms of the Masonic lodge and Antioch chapter, 445, of the Eastern Star.

Luttrell has made arrangements to operate in another location temporarily.

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Special Local History Reference

A similar project to the Women’s Park and generated by some of the same women (notably Imogene Trolander)  is a small reference work available to check out in the Yellow Springs Community Library and as a reference work in other branches of the Greene County Public Library system on local women: Women of Greene County, published by the Women’s History Project of Greene County in 1994.

The book has three sections, with a few paragraphs of biography for each of the women included. This post focuses on the entries for Yellow Springs, but there are biographies of women of note for all of the communities of Greene County.

The first section is  “Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame Honorees 1981-1992,” and the following Yellow Springs Women are included:

Ruth Braden Aschbacher, Kathy Parker Gillespie, Precious Jewel Freeman Graham, Betty Garnett Hairston, Virginia Hamilton, Jean Goff Hooper, Jean Elizabeth Barlow Hudson, Shirley Strohm Mullins

The second section is “Greene County Women of the Past 1758-1990 with entries for the following women:

Susie A. Brown, Jane Cape, Alice Griffith Carr; Margaret Elsas (Ebershein) Ebert, Glynna Marie Garrett, Tsuchino Koishihara Kakehashi, Hilda Mayes Livingston, Mary Peabody Mann, Lucy Middleton Griscom Morgan, Rebecca Mann Pennell Dean, Rebecca Rice, Louise Soelberg, Caroline Foulke Urie, Maria Holland Wing

The final section is devoted to organizations rather than individuals – “Greene County Women’s Organizations 18761-1994” with entries for the following active in Yellow Springs in 1994:

American Association of University Women, The Bones Writing Group, The Friendly Gardeners’ Garden Club, The League of Women Voters of Yellow Springs, Readers Voracious, VI Silhouettes, Social Culture Club – Yellow Springs Library Association, Women, Inc., Women’s Voices & The Feminist Writers Guild, Writers Group of Yellow Springs

The following entry for Maria Holland Wing” is an example of a typical entry (the photos for other entries, however, are of much better quality):

Marie Holland Wing (1868-1953)

Maria Holland Wing was born on a farm near Wilberforce, OH. Her father had been brought to Ohio by his father, a Welsh slave owner from Charleston, SC. During that period, some slave owners settled their bi-racial children with their slave mothers near Wilberforce and manumitted (freed) them. After attending to the comfort of his family, Daniel Holland returned to South Carolina to oversee his estate and to head his family there. He made frequent trips to Ohio to visit his Greene County family and to enroll his sons in Wilberforce College. While Andrew Jackson Holland was a student at Wilberforce he met and married Sara Bell Griffin, one of the first Wilberforce graduates, who later taught in the Xenia school system. Following the Civil War his family moved from the Tarbox-Wilberforce area to a farm near Goes Station.. There, in what is now known as the Galloway Cabin, Wing’s mother educated her children prior to sending them to the school at Wilberforce.

The family later moved to Yellow Springs, away from the Miami Powder Mill in Goes Station, where there were frequent explosions. Their children were enrolled in the Yellow Springs schools which had been integrated in 1887. In addition to assisting her mother in household chores and caring for her younger siblings, Maria was employed as a dressmaker. At age forty-five she married John W. Wing, a local laborer whom she had known for many years. Wing as widowed in 1929.

Mae Wing, as she was known, was the real founder of that Yellow Springs institution known as the Goods Exchange. For many years people brought her their outgrown clothing. She carefully washed, ironed, mended, and quietly passed on the clothing to others. During the Depression, Wing insured that many little girls would have a pretty dress to wear the first day of school. Their mothers would relate that the beautiful clothing had been left on hangars on the door knobs overnight. Many would remark that they had never accepted charity, but they did not know where the clothing came from. Others knew that Wing had been the donor.

Around 1935 the Home and School Association made Wing chairman of the Welfare Committee, but this was not so much an appointment as a recognition of the work she was already doing. She had never made race or personal glorification a criterion for her giving—only need. She always disclaimed personal credit for what she was doing, declaring that she was passing it on, forgetting to mention the love and thoughtfulness as well as the work that went into many garments before she thought they were nice enough to “pass on.” She also pieced quilts, and made baby clothes and rugs from scraps of material left over from outworn portions of garments.

By November 1941, with declining health and insufficient storage space, this task had become somewhat overwhelming for her. At that time, Hilda Livingston and Sarah Adams, with Wing and Georgia Pettiford’s cooperation, rented a room which became known as the “Goods Exchange.” Here, secondhand clothing was exchanged.

In 9146 the Home and School Association presented her with a scroll in recognition of her devotion to the schools. Until her health would no longer permit it, Wing represented the AME Church on the Community Council. She served her church actively. She was devoted to Wilberforce University and never missed a commencement. She was a member of the committee that decided the issue when the Church and State Schools separated into Wilberforce University and Central State University.

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Yellow Springs Adventurers

Another undated clipping without source attribution introduces the Coffmans (one-time owners of the funeral home) and their unusual hobby.


 

The Kenneth Coffman family owns two Cessna airplanes, with Mr. Coffman and daughter, Carol, doing the flying as licensed pilots. Mrs., Coffman and daughter, Nancy, are student pilots. Marilyn, age 12, who is too young for lessons, will probably join the rest of the family as soon as she is old enough. A solo flight may not be taken before age 16, and a private pilot’s license can not be obtained before age 17. Standing in front of one of their planes are (left to right) Carol, Mrs. Coffman, Nancy, Marilyn and Mr. Coffman. The Coffmans think nothing of flying off to Mexico or Florida for vacations and recently flew to northern Canada. Today’s “flying families” have come a long way from the Sunday afternoon “rides in the country” in the old Model T.

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The Remarkable Life of Joe Sutton

The opening of the Greene County Fair this coming week is an opportune time to note the life of Joe Sutton, fair aficionado extraordinaire and horseman of note (how many people know that there was once a racetrack in Yellow Springs?).

The following articles from the Xenia Gazette highlight Joe Sutton’s accomplishments and interests.


Xenia Gazette, May 26, 1975
By RAY HIGGINS

Joe Sutton Has Many Memories

If you lived across the road from the Miami Powder Co. at Goes, explosions, sometimes tragic, became a way of life.

That was the experience of Joseph Sutton, who was born in a brick house that faced the buildings of the now-defunct powder works and not far from the James Galloway cabin which eventually reached historical importance in the county.

In fact he recalls eating meals there as a guest long before Dr. W. A. Hammond bought the powder “farm” from E. H. Hunt and, because of his interest in the Greene County Historical Society which he headed, had the log building moved to Xenia.

Here it became a part of the historical complex in the first block west on Church St. that was tormented by the tornado of April, 1974 leaving only the first floor of the cabin standing, with hopes it can be rebuilt, and perhaps, moved to a new historical site.

JOE SUTTON talked about these things reminiscing in the wake of his 99th birthday recently. He was excited and pleased at the birthday remembrances and the visitors he received at the lovely old home on 68S where he has lived the last 11 years with Mrs. Josephine O’Brien.

Joe is a keeper of memories and treasures pictures and artifacts that remind him of a past that included a career in farming, breeding and training harness horses and draft horses. He exhibited draft horses at the county fair in 1946, the last year the category was programmed and he still recalls with pleasure the fine trotter Terry Averill that was the prize of his racing stable.

He was carried, a babe in arms, to the county fair for the first time and was taken there annually by his folks until he was able to make the excursion on his own. Thus began a lifelong love affair with the fair expressed by his devotion to annual attendance. God willing, he will keep the record going this year.

IF YOU approach Joe expecting an old man in his dotage, a quavery voice, haphazard appearance you will be amazed that this man’s physical appearance, alertness of mind and depth of conversational qualities are those of a man much younger. A cane is his only concession to an arthritic hip which has bothered him the last four years.

His keen recollections of the past embrace names and places with accurate recall. W. B. Bryson, who enjoyed considerable reputation locally as a horse breeder, told him once that he had conducted the best-managed horse sale he had ever witnessed. Joe disposed of 20 animals for cash with auctioneers R. R. Grieve and John Webb crying the sale.

He’ll show you, among his mementos, a little advertising promotion gadget that was common at the turn of the century. It is a dollar-size token of white metal centered by a penny.

His was distributed by the men’s clothing firm of Brady & Steinfels and bears the admonition: “Keep this and you’ll never go broke.” The advice may be realistic. His token contains and Indian head penny minted in 1902.


Xenia Daily Gazettte, August 3, 1978
By ROSANNE BROOKES
DAILY GAZETTE staff writer

It’s Special Day for Joe Sutton

Joe Sutton says this year has been the greatest county fair ever for him, because “all my friends are doing everything they can for me.”

Why not? This is the 103rd year Sutton, 102, of 550 US 68S, has attended the fair. That alone qualifies him for special treatment.

Born May 15, 1876 on the family farm between Xenia and Yellow Springs, Sutton saw his first fair as a babe in his mother’s arms. Over the years he has viewed the annual events as a farmer, horse breeder and trainer.

And he recalls a Fourth of July horse race at Yellow Springs in 1900. Sutton and his grandmother rode up the track behind a horse that had never raced. The field was one horse short, so Sutton borrowed a sulky — and won.

He exhibited draft horses at the county fair in 1946, the last year for the animal that was once the mainstay of farm muscle.

When he was a lad of 100, Sutton lamented the way of life in Greene County had changed from the years of his youth.

“Farming was a good life,” he said then. “You were out in the free, fresh air. People used to go back and forth visiting, and lived near family.

“Now, people live too fast — they can’t keep up with themselves.”

On Wednesday, officially Joe Sutton Day at the fair, Sutton was honored at brief grandstand ceremonies between the harness races he loves. He received a plaque citing his attendance record — not unlike the one he got 10 years ago marking his 93rd straight year.

Sutton enjoys the attention, to be sure. He spent the evening across from the grandstand in the infield, chatting with reports, photographers and Greene County well-wishers. But after 103 years, he knows there’s more to the county fair than that.

Maybe that’s why he was there Sunday night, before all the commotion, to attend the vesper services conducted by county youth groups. And back again, in the front row seat for the first Old Fashioned Fiddler’s Contest Tuesday night in the FFA tent.

He really enjoyed that. “It’s something they never did here in all the years I attended.” And that’s saying something.


Xenia Gazette, January 23, 1980
By ROSI MACKEY
Daily Gazette staff writer

306 Years: County centenarians reminisce

 [Excerpt]…Another centenarian is Joe Sutton, also a thankful man. He is thankful that at age 104 “I still have my mind.” He said he doesn’t even mind going blind, but that he’d rather be dead than lose my mind.”

His mind is still clear, although he forgets exact dates. (He does not forget to find them. He recorded them in family Bibles upstairs, in the house, he say.)

He was born near Goes Station May 15, 1876, just in time for the Centennial celebration. He has quite a reputation going to fairs and has never missed a Greene County Fair in his life. He explained the reason he went to all the early fairs is that his father played in a band and his mother went to see his father.

Later, Mr. Sutton made a name for himself as a showman of horses and owner of race horses. He farmed until he was in his 90s, and was never in a war. He was 43 when World War I ended, and could have legally retired in 1941.

His wife, Anna, died at age 87. He was 90 then. They had no children. He attends church and is a member of the Yellow Springs Methodist Church.

His formula, if there is one, for a long life is no drinking or smoking. He says he chokes on whiskey. But, he said, he never really thought about living a long time. He was so busy and involved with his animals and the farm that time passed very quickly until he was suddenly there.

He remembers Ray Higgins, long-time historian and The Daily Gazette editor who wrote “Cracker Barrel” columns, working at the newspaper 61 years. He remembers Ray as a “young reporter.” He also remembers horse races with sleds in the streets of Xenia, and many people that are long gone.

He spends most ofhis days thinking “about things I have done and things I would like to do if I could, and people I’ve known.”

Another think he likes to do is listen to music. “I like the modern music pretty well,” he says. “Lawrence Welk has good music.” But Lawrence Welk, even in his 70s, is just a kid to Joe Sutton…


Xenia Gazette, March 26, 1980
By RANDY BLACKABY
Daily Gazette news editor
and ROSI MACKEY
Daily Gazette staff writer

Oldest person in county dies

A Greene County legend is dead. Joe Sutton, 103 years old, died at 11;45 p.m Tuesday at Greene Memorial Hospital.

Sutton was the oldest person in Greene County.

Probably best known for his unparalleled loyalty to the Greene County Fair, he was born May 15, 1876 bear Goes Station, between Xenia and Yellow Springs.

JOE NEVER missed a Greene County Fair. In fact, he attended more of them than he was years old, counting the first time he was taken in his mother’s arms before he was a year old.

A farmer and well-known horse breeder and trainer, Sutton exhibited draft horses at the fair until 1946, when that even was suspended.

He liked to recall a horse race in 1900 in Yellow Springs that he won, taking an untrained horse at the last minute.

Sutton was 43 years old when World War I ended and could have legally retired in 1941. Yet he farmed until he was in his 90s. And through it all, he never fought in a war.

HIS WIFE, Anna, died at age 87. He was 90 at the time.

Having lived near Goes Station and the Old Miami Powder Mills, Sutton could tell about the many explosions that were commonplace and fatal until the firm was sold and disbanded in the 1920s.

Often he lamented the loss of the slower pace of life on the farm in Greene County, once remarking, “Now people live too fast — they can’t keep up with themselves.

Once asked if he had any secret to his longevity, he told a reporter he didn’t drink or smoke.

Joe Sutton aged well, not suffering many of the infirmities common to others. Yet, he once said he wouldn’t mind that much going blind but he’d “rather be dead than lose my mind.”

And Joe never did. At 103 he was still alert.

HE RESIDED at 333 Sutton Rd., and had been a patient at GHM the last eight days.

Mr. Sutton was the son of William and Augusta Paxton Sutton. He married Anna Neff in 1909, and she preceded him in death on May 13, 1961.

He was a member of numerous horsemen’s associations and the Yellow Spring United Methodist Church.

Survivors include two nieces, Ada Hopping of Xenia and Mrs. Pauline Quinn, Steubenville, three nephews, Clarence and Robert Hopping, Xenia, and Roger Sutton, Wallingford, Pa., a number of great and great-great nieces and nephews.

Services will be Friday at 1:30 pm at the McColaugh Funeral Home with Rev. Marvin Paxton of the YSUMC officiating. Burial will be in Glen Forest Cemetery.

Visitation will be Thursday, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. At the funeral home.

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A Double Celebration for the Yellow Springs Women’s Park

One of the lovely surprises along the Bike Trail that lures passersby to pause and reflect is a sinuous brick path bordered by lush flower beds and commemorative tiles devoted to women of Yellow Springs past and present.

This blog was remiss in failing to note the 20th anniversary celebration of the Yellow Springs Women’s Park, which both celebrates and and is in the process of creating history in Yellow Springs, but the announcement that the Women’s Park is to receive a Village Arts and Design Award from the Yellow Springs Arts and Culture Commission on August 1 gives us a chance to rectify the error.

Collection of photos taken at the Women’s Park

For those wishing to learn more about the Women’s Park, in its June 21 issue, the Yellow Springs News provided an article giving the history and thinking behind the park’s creation and its current maintenance. There is also a book published by the Women’s History Project of Greene County (sadly no longer in print but occasionally available in used-book sources) about the park’s creation.

A belated but heartfelt “Congratulations!” to the Yellow Springs Women’s Park and its supporters and especially Imogene Trolander, whose vision got the project going. Would that she were still alive to see its development.

 

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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

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

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

WHY ARE CHILDREN DIFFERENT?

FELS FOUNDATION SEEKS ANSWER TO QUESTION BY RESEARCH BEFORE AND AFTER BIRTH

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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