Then and now

Although the changes in the building at 111 West North College since the mid 1910s (photo from Kahoe glass negative collection) are not striking, the changes to the surroundings are remarkable (even taking into consideration the change of seasons.

Additional note by Dave Neuhardt: “Back in the ‘70’s, Old House Journal named this style of house as the “American Foursquare” (for obvious reasons!)”

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Life in the CCC Camp — June 1937

Excerpts from The Hooey

Cover for the June 26, 1937 issue of the Hooey


One of the most significant changes in Camp Bryan history occurred recently when, in response to a great demand, the John Bryan barn (“largest in Ohio”) was semi-officially annexed as a new camp barracks.

Of course; there was nothing formal or official about the move. Assuming that “Squatter’s Rights” prevailed and that “Possession is nine-tenths of the Law”, Assistant Leader Louis “Quixote” Quedeweit and Carpenter Melvin “Mitre Box” Craig showed great powers of leadership by boldly capturing the barn in two concerted assaults.

Rumor has it that “Quixote” Quedeweit , wearied by an evening of social activities won first rights by virtue of four snores and a grunt to every snore of “Mitre Box’s.” (Who had one too many cokes at a local drugstore.)

Each man staked out his claim in a pile of fresh, sweet-smelling hay, so pleasant and comfortable after the noon mess.

Things are quiet around camp now that our dear friend and comrade Bill “Walter Winchel” Barringer has gone to a Dayton horsespital.

Suffering from a broken finger which he received in a mad scurry for a cigarette butt, Bill will find it hard to keep up with his fan mail.

Here’s hoping he will be back with us soon again. It’s too darn quiet!


One of the most beautiful spots that I have ever seen and no doubt the most beautiful spot in John Bryan park is now being completed.

Anyone entering the Lower Area need not have someone point out the place to him; for the minute it comes into view its color and natural beauty holds the eye and one cannot help but admire the work of a certain group of our men. This group, under the capable direction of Mr. Bellison, have erected a toilet of which they are justly proud.

It is hard to tell which one thing attracts the eye. Certainly there is nothing to detract from its appeal. The beautiful trees and shrubs have added much. This work was done by George Blush and gang, under Mr. Mefferd.

The exterior of the building is the work of several of our carpenters and masons. Its design is well adapted to its environment.

As one enters the toilet, he is attracted by the cleanness and expertness of the tiling. This was done by Assistant Leader Shambach and Enrollee Donaldson.

When one usually thinks of a toilet he does not think of anything so clean and attractive. Surely seeing this building, it will not soon be forgotten.

There is another spot in the Lower Area which has little competition from other buildings of similar nature and that is the new Shelter House. A small group of men under skillful direction by Mr. Baker are working wonders at this spot and with additional landscaping by Mr. Mefferd this Shelter House has become another splendid bit of handicraft.

There is still another spot which, though far from completed, will add a great deal to the appearance of the park entrance and will be a pleasing sight to passersby. This is of course the stone portals.

There are many things being done at present which one does not notice. A disposal bed and cesspool are among these, but they are necessary if we are to have these spots of beauty.

No one, not even the men in the field will realize how much work and effort have gone into these jobs, but they will be appreciated for many years to come for the convenience these projects afford.

Under the same conditions no professional contractors could have done a better job. Truly one has not seen the best part of the park until he has seen these spots of beauty.


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Another Parade on Xenia Avenue

The father of one of the young lads in the picture in the previous post became a U. S. Senator, and once again Xenia Avenue was the location of political expression.

Campaign button for Simeon D. Fess
Simeon D. Fess campaign button
Xenia Avenue noting the Traction office
Xenia Avenue showing what is now the Little Art Theatre and buildings to the south of it
Weston-Fess House
Weston-Fess House

Xenia Daily Gazette, November 9, 1922


Friends of Dr. S. D. Fess, of Yellow Springs, Ohio’s newest Republican senator, as represented in the Fess-for-Senator Club, of which P. M. Stewart is chairman, members of which worked untiringly in behalf of their fellow townsman, will celebrate the victory of Dr. Fess Thursday night.

The celebrators will foregather at the traction office in the village with a band, and will march to the Fess home on Xenia avenue, where the band will serenade the new Senator and his wife. Dr. and Mrs. Fess are expected to respond by coming out on the porch and perhaps addressing a few words to the audience.

The parade is expected to start at 7:30 o’c;lock and friends of Dr. Fess from all other parts of the county and Xenia City are invited to the present and take part in the celebration.Friends of Dr. Fess Thursday were congratulating him at his home in Yellow Springs and were boasting of the honor done the village by having a fellow townsman elected to the U. S. Senate. Many said Yellow Springs is the smallest village in the country to ever send a candidate to the U. S. Senate.

Xenia people were being urged Thursday to attend the celebration. Many it is thought will leave here for Yellow Springs on the 7 o’clock car.

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Summer Sport

One of the things that the first day of summer brings to mind is long afternoons spent on the baseball field.

This photograph from the Howard Kahoe glass negative collection shows a young team in the 1910s, with a note that Red Fess is at the left and J. Garlough at lower right. At a guess, “JAC” stands for “Junior Antioch College”.

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J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 21

This part marks a major change in J. Peery Miller’s life. All posts from J. Peery Miller’s Memoirs can be found in the third section under the “Blog Multi-Part Series” tab above.

Gravestone of J. Peery Miller’s father in the Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery


The death of my father in the month of April, 1863, brought about many changes in our home life at the old homestead. In the interest of his heirs all his property, both real and personal, must be appraised, then sold or divided that each might receive his proper share of the estate in accordance with the law. Of course, my mother retained the homestead and enough land surrounding it to equal in value one-third of all – her legal right. Brother Clinton and I were minors and the county court appointed brother Milton our guardian to look after our interests until we came of age (21 yrs.). Our shares of the real estate were set off in separate tracts in a just and equitable manner, seeing that each of us was provided with a strip of the wooded part that we might have timber for coal and fuel.

The details of the divide relating to the other heirs (there were eight children) have passed out of mind, but it is sufficient to say that the affairs of the estate were settled strictly in accordance with law and all concerned were perfectly satisfied.

I was fifteen years old at this time and the responsibility of the farm work for mother and myself was largely on me. My experience under my father’s direction well fitted me to assume this responsibility, but there were many times when I missed his guiding hand and friendly advice.

My two older brothers, Harrison and Samuel, had each bought portions of the place and built homes thereon some years before father’s death. They now increased their acreage by purchasing shares of my three sisters, Elizabeth, Catharine and Charity. As they lived near mother they were supposed to exercise a general oversight of her interests and that of the minors, but in general they were too busy with their own affairs to be of much help in a practical way except in times of emergency.

Brother Clinton was now (1863) ten years old, a vigorous youth, always willing to lend a hand to the extent of his ability.

Note thatl in the year 1863 our country was in the midst of the Civil War the history of which is fully recorded and need not be made part of this writing. Suffice it to say that the Bethel community was loyal to the core and responded liberally to Lincoln’s calls for troops. The boys as well as the men were fired with patriotism and military zeal. School boys formed companies for drill like the enlisted soldiers at the nearby military camps. If we were too young to fight we were not too young to prepare. We were thrilled by the music of the fife and drum, and inspired to imitate the grown-ups in every thing pertaining to war.

The Bethel schoolboys, with few exceptions, were exceedingly patriotic. A company was formed for regular military drill. I was distinguished by being elected Captain, a position of great honor, but I was poorly fitted to carry out its functions and I knew nothing of military tactics save what I remembered hearing the commands of the officers at the few military camps I had visited. I got busy, however, and secured a copy of Casey’s Infantry Tactics from which I learned the Company movements and the manual of arms. Having acquired this knowledge my authority as commander was better respected. With this book as a guide all disputes as to right command and manner of execution were quickly settled. We learned quite a little of military tactics and had lots of fun besides years of war just past was full of sad events. Scarcely a week passed but a skirmish or battle somewhere within the vast field of the war was reported wherein Ohio troops were engaged. The list of casualties was eagerly scanned to see if any of our near relatives or friends were there. I was not too young to appreciate the awfulness of war and the constant suspense of the homefolks for the fate of their loved ones engaged therein.

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A Yellow Springs Woman of Supreme Literary Achievement

Portrait hanging in Yellow Springs Community Library
Custom hooked rug at the Yellow Springs Community Library designed from moments in Hamilton’s life and work

The next highlight from Women of Greene County features someone whose name is familiar to every librarian and bookstore owner in the country, if not the world.

Virginia Hamilton

Virginia Hamilton of Yellow Springs is one of today’s most distinguished writers for children and young adults. She has received nearly every major award and honor in her field, including the 1992 Hans Christian Anderson medal, the most prestigious international award in children’s literature. The author of more than thirty books for young readers, Hamilton is a powerful force and contemporary pioneer in African-American literature. Her novels, biographies, and folklore collections have been widely praised and honored. Critic Betsy Hearne wrote in Twentieth Century Children’s Writers that Hamilton “has heightened the standards for children’s literature as few other authors have.” Booklist says, “Her stories are thrilling and heroic…and make us all want to know much, much more.” And Entertainment Weekly calls her “a majestic presence in children’s literature.”

Her mother’s family lived in southern Ohio since the late 1850s, when her grandfather, Levi Perry, escaped from slavery on the Underground Railroad. Both of her parents were enthusiastic readers and gifted storytellers. Hamilton recalls that her mother “could take a slice of fiction floating around the family and polish it into a saga.”

Hamilton received a scholarship to Antioch College in her hometown of Yellow Springs and continued her education at The Ohio State University in Columbus and the New School for Social Research in New York. There she met and married poet and writer Arnold Adoff in 1960. They have a daughter and a son. Hamilton’s first book for children, Zeely, was published in 1967.

In addition to the Hans Christian Anderson Medal, Hamilton is recipient of the National Book Award, the John Newbery Medal, the Edgar Allen Poe Award, the Coretta Scott King Award (twice), the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award (three times), and many other honors. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Bank Street College of Education and the Doctor of Humanities degree by The Ohio State University. An annual conference on multicultural children’s literature has been established in her name at Kent State University.

Hamilton has said the she finds “words that make worlds are magic for me. The miracle of words is that the language they convey can be meaningful in terms of human desires. Language is magic, has always been magic, since the time sorcerers uttered their incantations…I am a believer in language and its magic monarchy! To bind its boundless spell is why I write.”

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 2000s Part 1

A pattern has been established of special-interest designs being made available only in a sleeve of 12 and more general designs made available in both the box of 30 and sleeve of 12

0323-9 (sleeve of 12) — X-Files

0325-5 (sleeve of 12) — logo for Animorphs, a children’s science fiction book series cowritten by married authors Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant, with cover illustrations by David Burroughs Mattingly.

0327-1 (sleeve of 12) and 0333-6 (box of 30) — illustration by Elizabeth King Brownd.

0328-X (sleeve of 12) and 0334-4 (box of 30) — licensed from Giordano Art

0329-8 (sleeve of 12) — licensed from SMcB & AJ illustration also used on German coffee mugs

0331-X (sleeve of 12) and 0336-0 (box of 30) — painting by Penny Feder

0332-8 (sleeve of 12) — unusual mosaic treatment of Garfield

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Little Art Theatre 70 Years Ago

For this reminder of when the Little Art Theare was a different kind of theater thanks to Steve Lord for permission to use images of the photograph and program. His father Milt Lord was in the cast but did not make the photo call.

The Yellow Springs Historical Society is always glad to share individual family stories and artifacts. Since for most of history documentation can be hard to come by, each individual contribution of such stories and artifacts is like a tile in a mosaic, and the more tiles that are added, the better a picture of the whole.

Today the Little Art Theatre is one of the downtown businesses appealing for support in the “Uplift Yellow Springs” initiative:

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Echoes of 1964 in 2020

Those Yellow Springs residents old enough to be in the coronavirus at-risk group can’t help but be reminded of a major news event in 1964 where downtown Yellow Springs was pelted with water from fire hoses and tear gas to disperse a protest against racial inequality with regards to service at Gegner’s Barber Shop.

Although an African-American middle-class had been well-established in Yellow Springs (as an example, see the creation of the Omar Park Estates), it was not the whole picture (the 365 Project is a good source of impressions and recollections, as well as being a general source of local black history).

Antioch’s collection of photographs of the event can be found here.

The protest received national attention (New York Times).

Photo courtesy of Antiochiana
Photo courtesy of Antiochiana
“THIS IS THE LAW”—Officers armed with riot equipment move up Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in front of the barber show where the last of the students held out against fire hoses and tear gas. The demonstrators dispersed shortly after the riot act was read, the sign for these men to move into action.—Antioch College Record Photo by Jay Good..From a fuil-page pictorial in the Pittsburgh Courier
From a full-page pictorial in the Pittsburgh Courier
2020, photo courtesy of the VIllage of Yellow Springs
2020, photo courtesy of the Village of Yellow Springs

A local television report of the Yellow Springs protest in honor of George Ffloyd is here

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Temporary Tranquility

This photo from the Howard Kahoe glass negative collection is identified as the “Wolford Family Home, Short & Walnut” and was probably taken a few years before the 1918 flu pandemic (although the gentleman at the left does seem to be “socially distancing”).

Being a block away from downtown, this house has been witness to much social movement, and it cannot be forgotten that at the time the photo was taken, Yellow Springs was quite segregated.

139 South Walnut
The house as it looks today, taken from the Greene Co. website
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