This photograph from the Howard Kahoe glass negative collection was labeled “girl Dean Birch wedding.” It turns out that Edna Dean Birch is the daughter of J. Peery Miller and the sister of Della Miller (who provides her baby picture in her memoirs here).
The wedding report from the Xenia Gazette of July 10, 1913, which follows indicates that the girl in the photograph is one of the bride’s nieces, although it is not know which of the two she is.
The marriage of Miss Edna Dean Miller, youngest daughter of Prof. And Mrs. J. P. Miller, to Mr. John Birch, was solemnized at the bride’s home in Yellow Springs at 4 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, the Rev. George D. Black officiating. Thirty-five guests, including only near relatives and close friends of the bridal pair were guests at the simple, but pretty wedding. Lovely pink and white hollyhocks and feathery asparagus fern were used in the decorations, the stately flower stalks forming a pretty background for the marriage scene.
The bridal pair mingled with the guests until the time set for the service, when, with the flower girls, little Misses Dorothy Hopkins of Kent, and Lois Cottrell, of Columbus, the bride’s nieces, they took their places before the officiating clergyman. The bride was lovely in a gown of white voille , lace trimmed, and instead of the customary bouquet, she carried a single long stemmed pink rose. The flower girls wore white embroidered frocks, with blue bows on their hair, and carried baskets full of pink rose buds, the handles tied with pink tulle.
Following the service, supper was served, and later in the evening Mr. and Mrs. Birch started on their honeymoon which will be spent on the great lakes. They have their home ready in Yellow Springs, where Mr. Birch is a well known young grocer. His bride has for a long time taught in Antioch college, assisting her father, who is a member of Antioch’s faculty. Mr. and Mrs. Birch belong to two of Yellow Springs best families, and the marriage is of interest to many relatives and friends.
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Little, Mr. and Mrs. Asa Little, Miss Mary Dodds, were at the wedding from Xenia. Others who attended from a distance were: Mrs. Lewis Hopkins and daughter, of Kent; Dr. and Mrs. Cottrell and children, Columbus; Mrs McCaslin and daughter, Miss Ruth, St. Louis; Mrs. Wiley, Delaware; Mr. Clinton Miller and Miss Olive Miller, Springfield.
In another entry from Women of Greene County we recognize Ruth Braden Aschbacher, who passed away June 16, 2013.
Ruth Braden Aschbacher’s quiet activism is based on her belief that standing by her principles, no matter what, is of the utmost importance. That belief was shaped by three strong women in her family.
Her grandmother, Florence Braden, was a woman of strong religious faith and a great sense of humor, who as a young widow, worked as a midwife to support her family. Great Aunt Rhettie took in washing—boiling clothes over an open fire in the backyard to support her thirteen children. She later left her husband and scrubbed floors at the YMCA until she was in her seventies.
Aschbacher’s most important model was her mother, Elizabeth Kiefer Braden, who demonstrated her convictions through action. She was at her husband’s side as they picketed during the railroad strike. The consequence was the loss of his job. When the Ku Klux Klan was active in the 1920s, threatening a shop owner in town, the family openly demonstrated its support for the owner. The untimely death of her father, when Aschbaher was sixteen,, meant her mother had to support the family by nursing and midwifery. Adversity was taken in stride and dealt without complaint.
Aschbacher’s belief in one’s inherent ability and responsibility to encourage positive change is evident in her activism within the community of Yellow Springs. Her retirement from her job as administrative executive at Vernay Laboratories for thirty-one years was followed by her election to the Vernay Foundation’s Board of Directors.
As president of the Vernay Foundation Aschbacher developed a system of awarding scholarships to high school juniors and seniors in recognition of their outstanding non-academic abilities. Her personal caring and individual effort did much to encourage students’ future hopes and dreams.
Aschbacher’s dedication to her community was reflected in her untiring work to define the need for a nursing home in Yellow Springs. She helped organize the successful fundraising effort that led to the opening of the Friends Care Center. Her continuing involvement includes working for a retirement community in Yellow Springs, serving on the board of the Opera Guild in Dayton, working on various committees for the Friends Care Center, and assisting the Yellow Springs Public Library and the local school libraries obtain funds for books. In 1984 she was recognized for her work as a humanitarian by her inclusion in the Green County Women'[s Hall of Fame.
I was not put in the first reader class until the regular drill lessons in the speller were discarded, which was after I could rattle off with accuracy words of four or five syllables, pronouncing each syllable after naming its letters, thus: R,e-re; s,p,o,n- spon, respon; s,i- si- responsi; b,i,l- bil- responsibil; i responsibili; t,y,-ty—responsibility. O what a responsibility was off when the finished product was delivered! Note that each syllable was pronounced separately, and each part of the word must be pronounced as the syllables are added, and so on until the entire word was built up. All this seems to be nonsense to the modern teacher, never-the-less, good spellers and good readers were produced by these primitive methods.
I think I had a little paper back primer with pictures and easy reading, but I do not remember of using it in school. I learned it at home and was cocked and primed for the first reader when that spelling class was promoted. It must be remembered that the first reader in use at that time contained as difficult reading as the revised 2nd readers of today. I regret that I have not an old copy of Mcguffey’s 1st for comparison.
watching the 2nd
hand book stores I fortunately obtained copies of the 2nd
readeres used in the Bethel school while I was a pupil. I still
possess my own copies of the 4th
of this sweries which are on file for consultation and comparison. In
th early 70s the McGuffy sweries of readers was revised to meet the
more modern methods of up-to-date teaching.
In 1853 a new brick school-house was built on the north side of the lot which was given for school purposes by my grandfather in the year 1821. Later (1831) my father enlarged the original lot to include one acre and five poles. On this plat ground was reserved for a church and neighborhood burying ground. (See copy of deed for same on file)
This new school building was of the same conventional type of all country school-houses throughout the state. There has been but little change in architectural design from that day to this. A glance at the Kodak views on separate page gives an idea of the outside appearance common to all of them – a one-room building of sufficient size to accommodate single seats with desks for 50 or 60 pupils.
The Bethel school-house had no belfry for the reason that bells for school calls were not used at that date. The scholars were called to book at the opening of school and at the close of recesses by the teacher’s vigorous rapping on the window sash. Later on the school board was prevailed on to furnish a small hand-bell for the teacher’s use and the sash-rattling ceased.
I distinctly remember my first day in school in the new building. It was late in the season- perhaps in the month of November of 1853. The teacher was William Tennant, a tall, muscular man of Irish descent. My father was one of the school directures at this time and had borne a large share of the management of building the new building. As we lived but a short distance from the school-house I frequently went with him on his inspecting visits. I therefore received a fair idea of the inside arrangements, especially the plan for seating. The teacher’s platform was a one-step rise from the level of the main floor, being about five feet wide and extended clear across the room. Around this platform next to the wall the carpenters had permanently fastened a low bench-seat, about eight or ten inches high and twelve inches wide. From some remarks that I overheard I got the impression that this bench was intended for the children, so I picked my place before school commenced.
On the opening day I was placed under the care of Miss Margaret Wise, a sister of brother Harrison’s wife, who was spending the winter with her sister and had elected to take advantage of a new school in a new school-house during her visit. I well remember how I was dressed on this occasion. I wore a new wamme (coat) made of red wool cloth, with brass buttons. When we arrived at the school-house, school had already commenced. After disposing of my hat and dinner bucket I suddenly left my escort and made a bee-line for the low bench on the teacher’s platform. I knew where to go without further instruction. When I got seated I found that I was the only one occupying that place of distinction. The teacher smiled at my attitude of self assurance but said nothing. Some of the scholars tittered which was certainly impolite if not impudent. I realized that I had made a mistake but I held my ground.
Pretty soon the teacher came to me and asked if I did not want to take a seat nearer the stove where it would be more comfortable. I consented and he gave me a seat with the small boys in the main section of the room.
The big Irish teacher was a kind hearted man, though a vigorous disciplinarian. He could wield the rod on the back of a rebellious pupil with a vengeance when occasion demanded it In those days teachers were employed partly for their physical ability to govern. This being a qualification as essential as scholarship. In face, in many sections the former was considered more important.
The Yellow Springs Library Association is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) organizations in Yellow Springs. In 2001 Amy Harper compiled its centennial history, the first part of which is shown below.
Following the history section information on the YSLA Spring Tea can be found. Currently YSLA holds teas twice a year with a guest speaker or speakers. You don’t have to be a YSLA member to attend.
The year was 1899, the place Yellow
Springs, and the women in the Social Culture Club were on a mission.
They wanted to encourage people, and especially young people, to
read. But there was no place to do that. The school libraries were
inadequate, and the Antioch College library was closed to the public.
What Yellow Springs needed, felt the Social Culture Club, was a
public reading room. So, “with no funds at hand but only an abiding
faith that what should be could be,” the club, according to a 1935
history, “undertook to supply that need.”
They rented a room in a corner on the first floor of the DeNormandie Building (now Deaton’s Do It Best Hardware). The Women’s Christian Temperance Union offered its furniture in exchange for use of the room for its bi-monthly meetings. With the space secured, the Social Culture Club turned its attention to a more literary pursuit: filling the shelves of the reading room. With club president Leora Bowyer Davis in the lead, the women went around the village knocking on doors, soliciting magazines for the fledgling library. And the day the reading room opened for business, everyone who came to the festive reception had to bring a book for the permanent collection.
Thus was born the child that would grow
into the Yellow Springs Library.
When Mrs. Mary Ellis Tucker was
appointed the first librarian on March 31, 1899, the library, she
reported, was already “a good sized child, with 77 volumes waiting
to be placed upon the shelves,” as well as a few old magazines and
Most of the reading material in the library’s early years was donated. But a penny-a-book rental fee, fines and donations by Social Culture Club members provided the library with enough income to purchase subscriptions to six new magazines that first summer “to give the reading table a taste of literature.” It also purchased its first installment of books, 19 in all, at a cost of $3.40; an encyclopedia and a dictionary were purchased on time. The library also subscribed to the Traveling Libraries offered by Ohio State University, which provided books, “many of them among the best in the english [sic] language,” on a rotating basis. By 1901 the library had purchased 120 new books and the book collection had grown to 860; magazines and papers numbered around 4,000. Among the 15 magazines the library subscribed to were Harper’s Bazaar, Ladies’ Home Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, Scientific American, Critic and Cassell’s Little Folks.
In preparation for his part in presenting the April 7 program on the CCC work in the Yellow Springs area Dave Neuhardt discovered that the local CCC camp had a locally produced mimeographed newsletter known for most of its existence as “The Hooey.” In addition to announcements, advice and gossip, most issues had a cartoon page, one of which is shown below.
Introduction to The Book of Antioch and illustration of upper left map corner in Part 1.
This post features the upper center portion of the map, showing perhaps some of the greatest differences with present-day Antioch (a tennis court on the east lawn?). For some reason Main Building has been turned 90 degrees.