Politics in a Gentler Mode

Many current residents may not be aware that we used to be able to renew drivers’ licenses and purchase license plates here in Yellow Springs where the Yellow Springs News now has its offices.

An article from the Dayton Daily News issue of January 5, 1971 describes the rather unusual setup.

Republican or Democrat, It’s Still in the Family
Daily News Staff Writer

YELLOW SPRINGS — For more than 20 years, F. Faye Fluke and his wife, Edna, haven’t discussed politics. It’s the only way they can keep their jobs.

In 1950, when the Democrats captured the statehouse, Fluke [was] the man who sells license plates and issues drivers’ licenses. He’s a registered Democrat.

His wife, however, is a rock-ribbed Republican—and when the GOP took over in Columbus, it’s Mrs. Fluke who got the nod to sell license plates.

The two have alternated jobs for 20 years, and have survived, Mrs. Fluke says, only by not talking politics at all.

In the ordinary course of things, F. (for Franklin) Faye Fluke would return to the deputy registrar’s job when John Gilligan takes the governor’s office.

Fluke, however, has been ailing lately. He spent some time in the hospital, and over the holidays entered a nursing home.

So Yellow Springs Democrats, led by committeewoman Mrs. Berger Mayne, have decided to reappoint Mrs. Fluke to the post—even though she’s a Republican.

“Some of the Democrats thught we ought to give the job to one of the party,” Mrs. Mayne explained this week “but the Flukes have had it so long, and have done such a good job, in a convenient place, that I can’t see any reason to change, especially with Faye sick the way he is;.”

Mrs. Fluke is obviously pleased with the Democrats’ decision. “After the election people came in and asked me what I’d do,” she said: ”I figured I’d have to give it up, and really I would have if a Democrat wanted it, but I’m glad to be able to stay on.”

The cluttered deputy registrar’s office on Xenia Ave., this village’s main street, doesn’t have a picture of Gov. Rhodes on the wall, and, says Mrs. Fluke there won’t be one of Jack Gilligan, either.

“In 20 years we’ve never put up the governor’s picture,” Mrs. Fluke explains.

“No room,” she adds, pointing to the old license plates, papergback book exchange, 1958 calendar, notary public commissions and schedule of fees for licenses which covers the walls.

Mrs. Fluke says her job is more than just selling license plates. ‘I have a mailing list of about 300 people,” she says, “who want special initial plates. We get SS and ST numbers here, and people in Cincinnati, Columbus, Fostoria and other places write in for them.

“One company in Cincinnati, whose initials are SS, has been getting SS plates for its salesmen from me for years,” she added.”

Some people, though, Mrs. Fluke notes, are particular about numbers in another way. “They won’t take the same one twice.

“They say they don’t want people to be able to recognize their car or know too much about them—especially the police.”

Picture of Fluke from the Xenia Gazette article of January 3, 1968 when he lost the election for township clerk.
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This photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection shows the original Baptist church (now a residence) at the corner of Xenia Avenue and Whiteman Street. Note that even Xenia Avenue was at that time a dirt road.

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A Yellow Springs Woman Who Made a Mark in Many Areas

The reopening of Glen Helen and the current state of food insecurity make it an appropriate time to share the entry in Women of Greene County for Lucy G. Morgan.

Two of the books mentioned in the article, Pioneering Days at Antioch and The Story of Glen Helen, have previously been shared on this blog, and the posts are indexed under the “Blog Multi-Part Series” tab.

Lucy Morgan (photo courtesy of Antiochiana)

Lucy Middleton Griscom Morgan (1877-1972)

Lucy Middleton Griscom Morgan was born April 4, 1877, in Woodbury, NJ. She was one of the first women students at the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated in 1903 with a major in biology after she was barred from a chemistry major because of her sex — she later earned her master’s degree in the chemistry of nutrition from the university. She taught at South Carolina College for Women and at Wellesley College where she also served as head of a cooperative dormitory and was the school’s wholesale buyer.

After her marriage in 1911 to Arthur Morgan, they lived in Memphis, TN, while his engineering company worked on land reclamation in the Mississippi valley. They moved to Dayton when he was asked to head what became the Miami Conservancy District flood control program following the disastrous 1913 Dayton flood.

Reesidents of Yellow Springs since 1919 when her husband became president of Antioch College, the Morgans shared the challenge of building the “new Antioch,” with the cooperative program and their innovations that made the college internationally known. One of Morgan’s many interests was house planning and design. She made creative and practical changes in the architects’ designs and placement of houses built for the Miami Conservancy Project’s workes and for worker’s houses at Norris, TN when Mr. Morgan headed the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1930s. She worked with architects to plan Morgan House, the Glen Helen House, faculty homes on West Davis and Limestone Streets as well as Rockford Chapel. Morgan gave the chapel to Antioch College in memory of her favorite aunt and uncle. Her initiative in befriending Hugh Taylor Birch, a wealthy Antioch alumnus, inspired him to give Glen Helen, a 1,000 acre nature area to Antioch College.

A birthright Quaker, Morgan was active in the Friends Meeting in Yellow Springs. Her emphasis on simple living and opposition to ostentation influenced the Yellow Springs community, setting many of the patterns that have often departed from conventional practice. Morgan often attended to her shopping on a bicycle and placed high value on frugality, useful citizenship, and character.

One of her innovations at Antioch was the establishment of a “meal co-operative.” Students planned, purchased, and prepared their own meals, which were served at the Morgan’s Limestone Street residence. This not only helped students budgets, it provided a lively social time. It was the Depression and Morgan reminded them that they could eat all the bread and vegetables they wanted, but only one serving of meat. Her own no-knead recipe for whole wheat bread was shared with many in the village.

In 1945 Morgan worked on a project using whole-grain cereals for relief work in post-war Europe. Following her initiative, the Ralston-Purina co. developed Ralston-Purina Special Relief Cereal,” which was sent overseas in large quantities.

Morgan was the author of Finding His World, a biography of her husband’s early years, Pioneering Days at Antioch, telling of the first years of the “new Antioch,” and The Story of Glen Helen. In addition to her many other activities, Morgan reared four children.

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Then, But Not Now?

This photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection has only “Johnson house” for the catalog note. Does the house still exist? The posts supporting the porch roof are certainly distinctive.

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 2000s Part 4

This group introduced a new packaging option – a sleeve of 6.

0488-X (sleeve of 12)/3549-1 (sleeve of 6) — by Brenda Walton

0489-8 (sleeve of 12)/3550-5 (sleeve of 6) — by Julia Nightingale

3501-7 (sleeve of 12) — by Brenda Walton with “All Things Bright and Beautiful”

3502-5 (sleeve of 12) — by nature artist Daniel Smith with 2 Timothy 1:7

3524-6 (sleeve of 12)/3526-2 (sleeve of 6) — by Julia Nightingale

3525-4 (sleeve of 12)/3527-0 (sleeve of 6) — by Steve Butler, gold foil highlights

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Life in the CCC Camp — August 1937


Carrying on despite the slurs and scoffs of envious enrollees, the so-called “Goldbricking Crew” keps on the job, working ever, loafing never.

The HOOEY reporter found the Chairman of the Bored, Mr. Joseph Felder, reclining in the shade of a tree. With eyes on a scratch pad, with mind miles away, Joe was busily working his pencil up and down and across his pad. We looked over his shoulder—he had not heard us approach—and this is what we found:

“Roses are red, violets are blue
The sun is bright, and—”

Suddenly Mr. Felder noticed us. He asked us to sit down. We did. But we had seated ourselves for only a few minutes when a noise above startled us. Looking up, we saw someone dressed in O.D’s sliding down the tree trunk.

‘”How do you do,m gentleman,” Mr. Howard Scott had introduced himself.

‘Once again we sat down. This time there were no interruptions—for a minute. Then a car, bearing an Indiana license drove up. Mr. Felder, excused himself, and with pad in hand, stopped the car. We watched him enter the official number of passengers; heard him answer eight questions shot at him like bullets from a machine gun.

Joe returned, saying, “They asked me if they could fry steaks in the park.” He yawned perceptibly.

We finally got down to business and asked Mr. Felder and Mr. Scott for some statistics on the use of the park.

In June, we learned, there were 14,755 people and 3,985 cars. Of this number, 11,705 people lived within 50 miles of the park; 310 lived out of the state.

‘June 20 was a busy day: 2,059 persons in 508 cars entered John Bryan Park. Mr. Scott spoke up: “That makes an average of 4.1 persons per car, but I don’t see how a tenth of a person can get into a car.” We tolerantly overlooked this wise crack, for Mr. Felder was patiently waiting to go on.

In July there were 12,370 people and 3,176 cars. The biggest day was July 11 when 1,529 persons I 456 cars used the park.

‘When we asked about the charge that car-checkers were goldbrickers, Mr. Scott indignantly blew up.

“That’s a blankety-blank lie,” said Mr. Scott, heatedly. “If anyone earns his -pay, we do. Why just think of the foolish questions we have to answer—and they’re always the same: “is the water in the fountains good to drink?” “Is it O.K. To have picnics in the park?” and so on, ad nauseam.”
“And think of the wear and tear on our arms. On a busy day we can’t write fast enough.”

Just then Mr. Stanley Littel and Mr. Paul Ferris walked up to the bench.

“Here comes the relief,” sighed Scott and Felder in unison.

There was a look of gratitutde in their eyes.

Like soldiers in the first-line trenches, relieved at last, and furloughed to quiet behind the line of fire, they said good-bye and plodded slowly across the grounds to camp.


Our Assistant Ed, Advisor B. Maue must be “that way” about some sweet young thing. It’s bad when he tries to smoke a cigarette, fire-end first.

The Boys are wondering why Scott has become ambitious in helping Brantley with his work. Working for a quill, eh Scotty?

The problem to date is, “why does John Newman hang around the park every night?” Especially around the numerous campfires.

It has been hinted that a swell romance broke up when Mrs. M. G. quit the job here at camp. Right, J.F.?”

Dear Mr. Manges:
What kind of job do your want?????? You say you get plenty of offers. Why, then, don’t you take one of the best and grab a good job. You don[‘t belong in a three-C camp: you’re too good for that. Why waste your life in the CCC?
The I. R.

Mr. Ferrin:
Why do you want your name in HOOEY? A little free publicity? Also whose photograph are you planning to have encased in a ring or slave bracelet?


What is the attraction at the Glen Cafe that “Red” Blodgett can'[t stay away after 8:30 PM? Could it be that good-looking girl that works in Xenia? (Maybe WE have the “wrong number.”

Brantley is so much interested in his education that he’s been going with a Yellow Springs school marm all summer.


In the last few weeks several jobs have been started. Although some are rather minor in nature each will add, in its own way, to the usefulness of John Bryan Park.

The one of greatest importance perhaps is the new Foot Trail.

This trail starts near the Up-per Shelter House and crosses the ravine where a small foot bridge is being constructed. Stone falls are being built in order that the water will form a cascade as it flows down the ravine.

Because of the possible traffic hazard, considerable care was taken in order that this trail might cross the road at the proper point.

The section of trail which crosses the park road at the upper picnic area is proposed to carry foot traffic to the new parking area and river-gorge area. This should stop the pedesestrian traffic which usually follows the park road in order to reach the river.

Signs are now being constructed which will indicate the direction and definite location of the Park Road, Trails, Toilets, different parts of the arboretum and other interesting places in the park.

A Tool Box is being built to hold fire-fighting tools and equipment.

A Cistern is being dug at Mr. Skinner’s residence. This cistern is quite large and should be big enough to hold plenty of water to carry over even during the driest season.

Something of interest to all of the men who intend to re-enroll is the proposed swimming pool which will probably be built in the near future.

The proposed pool is to be 120 feet by 45 feet;. A bath house and refreshment stand are also proposed in connection with the pool. Nearly all of the men in camp like to swim, especially on hot mid-August days.

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Then and Now — “Howell House”

“Howell House” was the note on this photo from the Kahoe glass negative plate collection.

Ralph Howell at the time of his death at age 98 in December of 1955 was noted as the oldest resident in Yellow Springs. He and his wife Evelyn had moved to Yellow Springs in 1920 after retiring from life as a Clark County farmer. That same year he was a delegate to the World Council of Friends in London, Englad.

He had attended Antioch College and served for a time as Antioch College trustee. He was active in the Socialist party since the 1890s, running for numerous public offices as a Socialist candidate, yet he was a good friend of Republican Senator Simeon Fess.

139 E. Limestone in the early 1900s
139 E. Limestone today
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J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 23

Within ten days from thye first call our regiment was reorganized, consolidated and ready for marching orders. The following statements taken from the diary of comrade L. W. Pemberton, a member of Co. C, written at this time, gives the route taken from Camp Dennison to Paw Paw Station, W. Va.:

Paw Paw Station

“May 12, 1864 – Left Camp Dennison over the B. & O. R.R. Passed through Loveland, Blanbchester, Chillicothe and Athens, arriving at Parkersburg, W. Va. at 9 .00 a.m.; stayed at Parkersburg all that day and night; received arms and clothing; were quartered in a freight depot; started east on train (B. & O.) May 14th at two o’clock; arrived in Cumberland, Md., Sunday the 16th; slept in the cars that night at Cumberland; arrived at Paw Paw Station at noon, May 16th”.

I vividly recall this trip as one of the most thrilling events I had ever experienced. There were no Pullmann or even plain passenger coaches provided for the able bodied Civil War soldiers. Plain freight cars (sometimes the open, flat variety) were good enough. Not a murmur of complaint was heard. In the southland our soldiers were compelled to march hundred of miles on foot, constantly subjected to attacks by the enemy, why should we complain of a ride in a respectable hog car in Ohio, out of danger of the enemy’s rifle shots.

But when we crossed the Ohio river into West Virginia we were nearing the seat of war. In fact both Virginias in 1864 were practically battle grounds. Raiding parties from both sides of the contest were liable to clash one knew not when or where – there was always danger of surprise attacks, and prudence dictated watchful care at all times.

Paw Paw station on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad was of little consequence in itself save that it was located near the Potomac river at the end of a much traveled road leading south into Virginia.

In the afternoon of May 16th, we pitched out little dog-tents in this valley in camp-like order and prepared to live after the manner of veterans long endured to service., This camp, however, was soon abandoned for a much more commanding position situated on a high elevation about one-half mile south. This position was named Camp Kelley after the name of the 8th corp commander to which our Regt. (133rd O.V.I.) was assigned. General Kelley’s headquarters was at Cumberland, Md., about thirty-five miles west of this point.

General Benjamin Franklin Kelley

Camp Kelley was supposed to be the head-quarters of our regiment for the entire period of our service, but our duty consisted in guarding the B. & O. railroad from Green Springs east to Martinsburg, hence entire companies were detailed to perform this service and located at advantageous points along the line. This broke up the unity of our organization but did not in the least decrease our activities.

Before separating the regiment, as above indicated, thorough training was given us in company and regimental drill, especially in the manual of arms. The latter was much needed because as National Guards at home we were not completely armed, our drill being confined principally to company and regimental movements. However, our marksmanship was good. There were but few of us that could not bring down a squirrel from the top of the tallest tree with a shot from our old-fashioned rifles.

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Women’s Equality Day Celebrated

Even though the pandemic is still limiting our interactions, there are still online opportunities to celebrate Women’s Equality Day for the passage of the 19th Amendment on its centennial tomorrow.

The Miami Valley Art Quilt Network collection of quilts on the theme of the suffragists can be seen here, and a video of the program they gave for the Yellow Springs Historical Society a year ago can be viewed here.

A live Facebook event, “Women Vote: A Centennial Commemoration” will be held at 7:00 pm on August 26 – “A virtual festival of music and history to commemorate the 100th anniversary of woman suffrage. Special performances by the music duo–and event emcees–the Troubadours of Divine Bliss.”

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Events of Interest in Local Black Culture

Next Saturday will have two events for those interested in Black history in Yellow Springs, and Black culture locally.

The 365 Project will hold the next of its online Black history tours at 1:00 pm on August 29, this one featuring the history of Blacks at Antioch College. To see the tour, check out their Facebook page at 1:00. Remember you can always catch up to the tour later (and catch up with earlier tours).

The same day the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center will have an exhibit opening for its annual juried art show “Art of Soul!” For museum hours and entry fees, see here.

For history in the making, every Saturday at 11:00 on Mills Lawn a rally and march are held for Black Lives Matter. Today’s theme is “Antiracism in Yellow Springs.” Participants are reminded to wear mask and practice recommended social distancing.

And on a much sadder note, Isabel Newman, a woman with deep roots in Black Yellow Springs history left us. She was truly a force of nature and a joyous spirit, and the Historical Society extends its condolences to her family and other loved ones.


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