J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 15

All the J. Peery Miller Memoirs blog entries can be found by clicking the “Blog Multi-Part Series” tab above and scrolling down.

Don’t forget you’ll have a chance to hear more stories of our own artifacts and also to share your own this coming Sunday, November 17, at 2:00 pm at the Senior Center.

General Farm Equipment and My Association Therewith

During my time my father’s farm was well equipped with all the necessary wagons and carriages used at that period. A two-horse carriage and a one-horse rock-a-way were housed in a special building called the carriage house. Special carriage and buggie harness were hung up in this building as they were to be used for these purposes only, and under no condition were they to be confused with the plow ad wagon gears (harness) that were hung in the barn at the rear of the horse stalls.

Rock-a-way carriage

One heavy four-horse wagon was termed the log-wagon because it was made with low hind wheels, only a little higher than the front wheels. The front and back bolsters were built up to the height of the wheels as that a log could be rolled on these bolsters on a level, over skids about 12 or 15 feet long. Theses skids were made the proper length from hickory or oak saplings of sufficient thickness to sustain the weight of the logs to be loaded. One end of the skids was placed on the top rim or tire of the front wheel and another in the same manner on the rear wheel of the wagon, being anchored to the wheel by resting in a half-rounded iron ring, of horse-shoe’s shape, clamped over the tire. The other end of the skids were placed on the ground under the log to be loaded by being rolled up the inclined plane thus formed. A log chain was now hooked to the coupling pole of the wagon midway between the front and rear axis, and then passed back and under the log, thence over and back to the other side of the wagon. To this end of this chain a singletree was attached to which was hitched a steady pulling horse. As the chain was pulled the log would commence to roll. Of course it would take the direction of the skids, up the incline plane and over the wheels, on top of the log bolsters.


Strong standard were placed through staples driven into the sides of the bolsters to prevent the log from going clear over the wagon, if, perchance the pull was too vigorous at the time the log reached the bolsters, its supposed stopping place.

This was the method of loading saw-logs in my time. I learned it well when a small boy as I watched my father engineer the job. Later on I went to the woods by myself with a trusty team and successfully performed this work unaided. This was an achievement of which I was very proud.

Much depended on the steadiness of the horse when rolling the log up the skids. Stops must be made at times to adjust the direction of the movement if one end of the log should be of much greater diameter than the other. Any school boy knows that the big end would gain distance over the little end in its progress up the incline, which, if not corrected by sliding it back on the skid once or twice on its upward journey, disastrous results would follow. Both ends of the log must meet the wagon bolsters at the same time, therefore it was necessary for the loader to stand behind the log in order to watch the rolling, and the horse must be driven carefully and stopped suddenly at the loader’;s call of “get up” or “whoa”.

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Historical Society Program November 17

Although we don’t have an actual attic, we’re pulling items out of storage to share their stories and place in the fabric of Yellow Springs history.

Everyone who has lived in (or even visited briefly) Yellow Springs becomes woven into this fabric, and we hope you will share your own “threads” in the fabric.

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1870s Sketchbook — Part 12

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A Truly Intrepid Yellow Springs Woman

The photograph below was found in a collection offered on eBay, and the caption gives just a taste of the remarkable life of Alice G. Carr (daughter of William Wallace Carr and Mary Jane Ladley), a history ripe for novelization or television mini-series.

As she was traveling from Bagdad to Smyrna, Miss Alice Carr (above), Near East relief nurse, had her car break down on the brink of a precipice. Alone, Miss Carr fought off desert wolves for three days near Mosul, Iraq, before she was rescued by a British officer and Assyrian soldiers. Miss Alice Carr is a native of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and a graduate of Johns Hopkins Training School

What follows is her entry in Women of Greene County, and those wishing to learn more can go to several articles with ample use of photographs:

Alice Carr, WWI Red Cross Nurse” from the Wright State University Libraries” Special Collections and Archives (which holds her collected papers).

From Relief to Development, the Unstoppable Alice Carr” from the website of the Near East Foundation.

Alice Griffith Carr (1883-1968)

Alice G. Carr was born in Yellow Springs in 1883. Later family members include Odiorne, Harris and Pelzl names. She graduated from Antioch College in 1904. After teaching for a time, Carr trained in Cincinnati to be a beautician and then worked there and in southern Alabama until she went to the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. When the United States entered World War I in 1917 Carr joined the Johns Hopkins Unit which went to France in June 1917, under the auspices of the Red Cross, with the First Division immediately following Gen. Pershing.

In January 1919 she returned to Yellow Springs for a rest, but later in that same year re-enlisted with the American Red Cross foreign service. Arriving in Poland just as the outbreak of the Polish-Bolshevik War, strenuous service followed at the evacuation of Vilna, Poland. The Red Cross, with only four hours’ notice, succeeded in getting 800 orphan children and all hospital supplies out of the city and across Poland to a place of safety. A massacre of two thousand people followed the entrance of the Bolsheviks the next day.

Three years later Carr joined the staff of the Near East Foundation, doing relief work, helath and welfare work in Greece and Turkey until 1941. This work was terminated by the invasion of Greece by Italy and Germany.

In 1923 Carr wrote from the west coast of Greece where she had gone to fight typhus, “In the last two weeks I have set up two hospitals and got them running. It is hard working with people who do not even know what a hospital is…It seems incredible that a great crowd of men and women can stand before you and not have even a piece of bread to eat, and are so weak from hunger that many are sick and dying…I am rather proud of my hospitals because they are nice, large buildings. The spacing is good…It is a great thing to get these filthy cold bundles of rags off the floor into decent beds and have some food served at regular intervals, and cleanliness enforced.”

These same buildings, and much of her life’s work, were wiped out by bombs and shells at the beginning of World War II. She felt her work was hopeless since there was no food or medicine with which to work, and declared that the situation was worse than it had been twenty years before.

On of Carr’s most conspicuous activities was the part she played in ridding Greece of malaria. For her work in their country she was decorated by the government of Greece three times, including a gold medal presented in 1933 for eleven years of continuous service in the Near East; she also was awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of Phoenix in 1937 for her fight against tuberculosis. These were some of the highest honors presented by the Greek government.

During the ’30s and ’40s, she became well known internationally for her work in public health. She retired to Melbourne, FL, where she died at age eighty-five.

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1990s part 15

Continuing the interest in media properties and well-known illustrators.

0206-02 (box of 30) and 0214-3 (sleeve of 12) —

0207-0 (sleeve of 12) and 0215-1 (box of 30) —

These two designs were licensed from Mike Peters, a nationally-known cartoonist who had been a longtime resident of Dayton.

0208-9 (sleeve of 12 only) — a reproduction of a Jessie Wilcox Smith illustration.

0209-7 (sleeve of 12 only) — Michael Hague illustration from A Child’s Book of Virtues.

0210-0 (sleeve of 12 only) — Jane Dyer illustration from The Random House Book of Bedtime Stories.

0211-9 (box of 30 only) — “Town Mouse, Country Mouse” by Jan Brett.

0206-2 and 0214-3
0207-0 and 0215-1
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October Life in the John Bryan CCC Camp

Illustrations from the October 30, 1937 issue of The Hooey.

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Early Business

In one of the photos from the Howard Kahoe glass negative collection an unidentified family has stopped in front of a Towne Carlisle Lumber which once stood on the corner of Glen and Corry Streets. If you enter “Towne Carlisle” in the search box, you will get an idea of how influential a businessman he was .

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J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 14

In which J. Peery Miller describes sleds and sleighs used in his time…

Sleighing was a popular sport much enjoyed by the young people. Nearly every farmer had some kind of outfit on runners prepared for the snowy season. I recall three at our home. These were not all intended for sport, however. A log-sled was made from two heavy pieces of timber about five feet long and six inches thick, selected from a tree twelve or fifteen inches in diameter. Sometimes a tree could be found that had a natural bend that would serve for the front turn-up of the runners when hewed into shape with an ax. If a tree with a natural curve could not be obtained the farmer or his mechanic beveled the front end of a straight piece of timber into sled-runner shape. The two runners were held in their proper place by cross ties or bents about three and one-half or four feet in length pinned firmly into mortised out cuts in the tops of the runners. The pins were made of hickory or oak driven into inch and one half augur holes. The front was arranged to attach a tongue with double-trees to which two horses could be hitched as to a wagon. If more power was needed additional horses could be hitched to a chain with double-trees at the end of the sled pole or tongue. This bob-sled was used for sledding heavy saw-logs either directly to the sawmill or to a level place outside the woods where, at the farmer’s convenience, they could be easily loaded on a log wagon and hauled to the mill in warm weather. In loading, one end of the log was rolled on the back bent of the sled and firmly chained fast. Thus connected the log was dragged sled like to its destination. When I was too small to be of service as a helper I well remember the thrill enjoyed when I was permitted to ride astride the log when everything was ready for the start and the slipping was good.

Log Sled

For gaity and speedy motion something lighter and of better finish must be contrived. My brother Milton was ingenious and quite skillful in the use of tools. He fashioned the woodwork of a regular sleigh patterned after the best in use in our neighborhood in the early 50’s of the 19th century. The Donnelsville village blacksmith did the iron work, after which it was brought home to be painted and varnished in regular shop-work style. The threshing floor of the barn was swept and dusted as the best place to display artistic ability in painting. I can now say without fear of contradiction, that this vehicle, with its shiny yellow coat of paint and dashing red and white stripes, out classed every thing in the sleigh line in our neighborhood. Its lasting qualities were scarcely surpassed those of the deacon’s “One horse shay” of historic fame. I fact it was in use every winter with favorable snows from my earliest recollection until the final break-up by sale of all of our personal property after the death of my father (1863). I remember that its strength was tested in several horse run-a-way-fracases, coming out unscathed save a few minor breaks and scratches.


A hastily made run-about on runners which would be quickly constructed with little or no expense was sometimes used by men and big boys. It consisted of two runners obtained by splitting a small hickory or dogwood sapling of sufficient length to serve as both side runners and shafts for the horse. The runner section was about four or five feet long from the rear end to the front at which point the timber was shaved thin enough to permit it to be bent up to form the shaft not detached from the runner. The bed of this run-about was nothing more than a cut of a round piece of timber about eight or en inches in diameter and three or four feet long, held in place in the center of the vehicle, by four up-right standards two and one-half or three feet long anchored to the runners at the lower ends and to the center log at the other, or top ends, being pinned at the points of insertion in augur holes of sufficient size to insure strength. This arrangement served to hold the runners in their proper places and support the center log at a proper height to be used as a seat for the driver and one or two other fun desiring passengers. In case the rider’s legs were too short to reach the runners as he sat astride this log seat, his ability to stay put would depend greatly on the grip his hands could sustain. Thus it is plain to see that this style of joy riding was principally confined to men or long-legged boys.

Box Sleigh

For milling and general farm hauling a sled of suitable length to accommodate our two-horse wagon bed or box was constructed. The wagon bed, with tight floor and broad sides, made a suitable rig for the family to take long distant rides in very cold weather, if the snow was of sufficient depth and well packed. My sister, Elizabeth Hance, lived near Casetown, Miami County, O., and used to visit the old homestead in a sled of this kind in bitter cold weather. Plenty of straw or hay in the bottom of the box, warmed with well-wrapped heated stones or bricks, and warm comforts for lap robes, insured a nice comfortable ride of twenty or thirty miles in the most bitter cold. A return visit in a like vehicle was a delight to me in my early childhood.

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1870s Sketchbook — Part 11

Serendipitously, the next three sketches in the book were done in October.

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A Woman Finds Yellow Springs a Haven

This profile from Women of Greene County highlights one woman’s experience as immigrant in a time when war had nourished a national sense of distrust (see also this post).

Tsuchino Koishihara Kakehashi (1881-1964)

Tsuchino Koishihara Kakehashi was on of the thousands of Japanese Americans on the west coast who was forced to leave her home and live in an interment camp following the United States’ entry into World War II. People of Japanese heritage were shipped to one of ten internment camps because of a distrust of their loyalty to the United States. On the West Coast there was fear that some might aid in a Japanese invasion. (About forty-five years after World War II, Congress tried to rectify such a gross denial of civil rights by giving each person interned a $20,000 settlement.)

Kakehashi lived in Japan until 1917. She was a midwife. She married a ship’s chef and early int their marriage they immigrated to Seattle, WA. She continued her work and had three sons. As with so many immigrant women, she did not go to language school. However, when her husband opened a dry cleaning service, she worked with him there. Thus, she came into contact with English speaking people daily.

Her husband died when their sons were in their teens. Then came the war and internment. The two older sons volunteered for the army. George, who had studied Japanese, was put into Special Services where his language skills were needed. John was in the famous 442nd Regiment Combat Team. This Nisei group was the most decorated United States unit during World War II.

In the Idaho internment camp Kakehashi was informed that she and their youngest son could leave…go into the interior of the country if a sponsor could be found for them. On the sponsor list was a Yellow Springs family who had worked in Japan as missionaries. They needed child care. Kakehashi felt comfortable about the sponsors’ having lived in Japan and being Christians. In Seattle, Kakehashi had become an active Episcopalian.

The arrangement was made. In Yellow Springs, Kakehashi worked for the Fredrick Lemke family who had two small children. Lemke became the Greene County Engineer; his wife, Frances, taught at Antioch College. Sam, Kakehashi’s youngest son, went to high school and was president of the senior class. After high school graduation Sam joined the Navy. All sons got some college studies. George and John worked at Vernay Lab in Yellow Springs after being in the service. Sam became a dentist. In time, George had a family of three daughters—Kakehashi was will family again.

Kakehashi had abundant energy and initiative. She filled her days with work, and enjoyed arranging flowers. On Sundays she took the bus to Xenia to attend the Episcopal Church. After an absence of fifty years she visited her homeland. There was much good feeling between Kakehashi and many of her relatives.

Kakehashi is to be admired for her strength in building a productive life for herself and her family in the face of great adversity.

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