Yellow Springs Celebrates the Fight to Pass the 19th Amendment

Tonight, August 16, at 6:00 until 9:00 pm, the YSAC Gallery opens “Suffragists: And They Persisted! Art Quilts Celebrating the Passage of the 19th Amendment, Women’s Right to Vote” by the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network
On Thursday, August 22, at 6:30 pm in the Yellow Springs Community Library, Nancy Garner, Wright State Associate Professor of History, will present “Women’s Suffrage in the Miami Valley
and on Sunday, September 15 at 2:00 pm in the YSAC Gallery, Chris Zurbuchen along with other quilt artists will present a program in connection with the Suffragists exhibit, cohosted by the YS Historical Society and the YS Arts Council.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1870s Sketchbook — Part 9

The third one is of particular interest, since it shows the Antioch towers from an unusual viewpoint (and the second one may also show the towers in the far background).

Posted in Artifacts | Tagged | Leave a comment

YSLA History — Part 5

Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4

While the Library Association is no longer responsible for the day-to-day operation of the library, it still plays a major supporting role in the life of the library. Its stated purpose: to cooperate with the Greene County Public Library and its board to encourage and promote the widest cultural use by people in the community of the Yellow Springs Library.To this end, the Association assists the library in many ways.

  • It sponsors a variety of special programs throughout the year and provides funds for the purchase of some books, furnishings and equipment. The first public computer in the library, for instance, was purchased by the Library Association. The Association also contributed almost $17,000 for the 1999 renovation of the library.
  • The sculpture garden next to the library, with its centerpiece, the “Tree of Knowledge” sculpture
  • by local resident Jon Hudson, is a Library Association project. It was installed in 1993 after a three-year fund drive that raised $50,000 for the project. The “Tree of Knowledge” is now the Library Association’s official logo.
  • The Association is responsible for special collections, such as the Frances Knox Baldwin literary collection and the Local Authors’ section.
  • It also established and maintains the Corky Schiff circulating art collection.
  • Association members, some of them master gardeners, help maintain the grounds around the library.
  • The Association also publishes a monthly newsletter, exLibris.

“Tree of Knowledge” sculpture by Jon Hudson. Photo by Paul Cooper available as full-color postcard
at the front desk

Note: Since this history was compiled in 2001 YSLA has provided funds for many more projects and enhancements to the Yellow Springs Library’s services, including its most recent donation of money to fund the Story Walk.

Posted in Narratives, Places | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Yellow Springs in 1896 — Center

What is probably the most noted change can be seen at the south end of the big green block which represents the Mills property. Limestone Street had not yet been extended west of Xenia Avenue, and what we now know as the section of Limestone between Phillips Street and Dayton Street was then known as Pennell Street. Also, what is now Winter Street between Elm Street and Dayton Street was known as Locust Street.

Below the right-hand portion of the map showing Corry Street has been rotated to make the identifying labels easier to read.

Posted in Artifacts | Leave a comment

A Political Woman of Yellow Springs (and so much more…)

The passing of Jewel Graham means that the community lost not only a woman of rare political and social service accomplishment, but also a truly joyous spirit. This excerpt from Women of Greene County is told in her own voice, but those who wish to learn a little more can see her obituary in the Yellow Springs News and an Antiochian tribute.

Precious Jewel Freeman Graham

It was most likely sometime before 1800 that my ancestors were snatched from the west coast of Africa and brought to the Carolinas, where they toiled in the fields and houses of their “owners” until those families, taking their slave with them, moved westward to northern Georgia to occupy the land from which the Cherokee had been driven. After Emancipation they remained, for the most part, in Georgia in the segregated backwashes of subsistence farming and limited education. In 1922 my parents left rural Georgia to come to Ohio in search of the industrial jobs that southern Blacks were being recruited to fill. In 1925 I was born into a loving and supportive family—the sixth of seven children. Christened “Precious Jewel,” after a paternal aunt and a maternal aunt, I was presented early in life with the challenge to live up to that name.

I grew up in a town where everthing was segregated, except the schools. The career options for African-American young people were severely limited. The highest aspiration, held in one’s wildest dreams, was to go south to teach in a Black school. The more usual career for women was domestic service. It turned out that I was one of those children to whom book learning comes easily. Despite the reality, I always felt that I was included in the exhortations to the bright students to participate, to take academic courses, to go to college, to aspire.

I got my real start by participating in my church, and in the Friendship Club, the Girls Reserve Club at the colored YWCA. I acquired organizational and leadership skills, honed social skills, and became a person confident about her knowledge and abilities. A neighbor who was a college graduate encouraged me to go to college—and I was on my way. I went to Fisk University, a Black college which at the time attracted the best Black students from all over the United States. There I learned about the experience of African-Americans in the United States; what it had been and what it was. I learned from the “greats” among African-American professionals—artists, writers, musician, social scientists. From there I went to my first jobs; in the YWCA in Grand Rapids, MI, which was trying to be an integrated organization, and later, after earning a master’s degree in social service administration from Western Reserve University, the YWCA of Detroit. I left to marry Paul N. Graham.

Seven years and two children later, I went to work for Antioch College, first as administrator and counselor in the Antioch Program for Interracial Education, then as faculty, teaching social welfare. At the age of fifty I went to law school, graduated and passed the Ohio Bar. Along the way I joined that National Boarda of the YWCA, became president, was elected to the Executive Committee of the World YWC, and became president. The World YWCA afforded me the opportunity to travel widely and to work with women from many countries. I have been active in numerous civic organizations—some political and commerical ones as well. I have received many honors, among them the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame.

As an African-American woman, I have been fortunate and I have always felt the obligation to give back to society. Presently retired, I am working with various Unitarian-Universalist organizations.

Posted in Narratives, People | Tagged , | 1 Comment

From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1990s Part 12

Figuring out what new to introduce to booksellers and other retailers was a constant process of experimentation. One of the more unusual projects is exemplified by the next group of bookplates.

The Antioch Publishing Company made a business arrangement with Largely Literary Designs, in which Antioch Publishing acquired their stock of T-shirts and ceramic mugs featuring cultural caricatures by Steven Cragg. Nine of the caricatures were then also featured on Antioch-produced journals and bookplates.

Posted in Antioch Bookplate Archives | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Excerpts from “The Hooey”

An editorial (including instructions on where to spit), an illustration and more Little Theater coming attractions from the mid-1930s at the CCC’s Camp John Bryan.


Why did the Federal Government spend $28,000 in building Camp John Bryan? Surely not to be just a blot on the landscape. We hope the members of Company 553 have enough pride to help make this camp one to be noticed and respected. Within the last few weeks, we have noticed many things that have improved the general appearance greatly. Probably the most important and one to be thankful0 for, is the improvement in the food. The potatoes are peeled; garlic is the thing of the past; the variety is greater; and the china makes you feel at home. We all appreciate it.

The appearance of the barracks is not to be passed by. Arrangement of clothes, bunks, barracks bags, shoes, etc. help to give a neat appearance. A neatly arranged barrack does not strike the eye unless it has a clean-swept floor. Clean, neat appearing barracks are to be respected. The officers quarters, dining hall, orderly room, first aid room and the forestry quarters have undergone a painting. This gives them a much better appearance. We only wish that all the buildings could under-go the operation.

A neat appearing camp must have a clean camp area. A clean area is one of the first things that strike the eye. The policing of the area has been very good. Every man should help keep it that way. With Winter here, the camp grounds will be swept with winds, rain, and snow. A wind-swept area, dotted here and there with paper and rubbish gives a sluggish, dingy appearance. A clean grounds with a nice lawn, flower beds and shrubs, give a very striking reflection of the camp’s general appearance and pride. Boot tracks, torn up grass and holes are objectionable. The cleanliness of the shower house and the latrine are noticeable. The hot water problem is practically nil. The improvements in the reading room, not the “recreation hall” nor the “school house”, is a boon to all readers. The recreation hall the the area around it should be given every enrollee’s attention and time when necessary, to make it give an impressive appearance. Keep to the walks going and coming from reveille and retreat. Protect the flowers and shrubs. When in the recreation hall do not sock your shoes against the walls. Take a couple of steps to spit in a bucket or trash barrel and you will be respecting your neighbor. There are a lot of noticeable improvements and there can be some more made with the cooperation of all the enrollees.

Friday & Saturday, Jan. 17-18.
ANNIE OAKLEY (*** Liberty)
with Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster.
Also Home Work and News.

Sunday & Monday, Jan. 19-20.
with Ginger Rogers, George Brent.
Also Return Engagement – Smart Set, and News.

Wednesday & Thursday, Jan. 22-23..
with Helen Broderick, Hugh Herbert.
MARCH OF TIME #7, Also Molly MOO COW and the Butterfly – Cartoon.

Friday & Saturday, Jan. 24-25.
with Rochelle Hudson, Caesar Romero.
Also Kinock-Out Drops, Frolics of Life and News.

Sunday and Monday, Jan. 26-27;
with Gene Raymond, Margaraet Callahan.
Also Mismanaged and News.

Wednesday & Thursday, Jan. 29-30.
with Victor Jory, Florence Rice
Also Cannibal Capers and March of Time #9, Krazy Kat

Friday & Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
FRISCO FIB (*** Liberty)
with James Cagney, Margaret Lindsey
Also Regular Kids, Broadway Bevities and News.

Sunday & Monday, Feb. 2-3.
with Richard Arlen, Charlotte Winters
Also Hoi Polloi, Broadway Bevities and News.

Posted in Artifacts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 11

More school games, followed by a list of students.

“Ante-over” was known by a number of names: Eenie Einie, Auntie Over, Andy Over, Anti-Over, Annie I Over, Ante-I-over, Annie Annie Over, Annie Over, Annie Over the Shanty, Antony Over, Antny Over, Anthony Over, Andrew Over, Ankety Over, Eenie I over…l

And speaking of names, there’s quite a mix of origins in the list of students. Many are obviously of Biblical origin, but what was the source for “Dunreath”, “Price” or “Sylvenus”?

The complete list of posts taken from the J. Peery Miller Memoirs can be found under the “Blog Multi-Part Series” tab above.

The balls we used were generally home-made. The material was obtained from old worn-out stocking tops which we boys would unravel and then wind tightly into a ball. Sometimes a few strips of an old rubber shoe was used in the center to give both solidity and elasticity – the former an essential quality in the game of bull-pen, the latter in town-ball.

The ball was covered with leather from an old, worn-out boot top. It required much practice to acquire the skill necessary to cut a leather cover the proper shape to make a perfect ball after the parts were sewed together over the rounded surface. I spoiled many pieces of leather in trying to learn the art. But I finally succeeded in making some fairly good balls. When I was a boy and wanted to play things I made them myself or did without.

Ante-over was the name of another game played with a ball that furnished great amusement. In this game the whole school could take part if they desired. One half of those playing would form on one side of a building, the other half on the other side. (At Bethel school the Baptist church which stood nearby was used.) At the command “ante-over” the ball was tossed over the roof of the building to be caught by the other side. Whoever catches the ball must run around the building to hit someone of the other side and claim him as his victim. When the person who has caught the ball starts to run to the opposite side, all on his side follows suit but not necessarily around the same end of the building. This division of the runners confuses the opposite side so that it is difficult to determine who has the ball and which way to run to avoid being hit. In changing sides of the building in this manner it is “no fair” to hit any one after he passes the corner of the building on the run. So the catcher has to make quick work of it to get around in time to catch a victim. The smaller children were placed near the corners to watch and give the cry “Here they come”, when the rush commences, but they are not sure which fellow has the ball. The excitement is intense and the fun most enjoyable.

The well known games of “Blackman”, Prisoner’s base”, “Drop the handkerchief” and “Buttoner, buttoner, who’s got the button?” gave variety and choice to suit the weather.

Sometimes in the absence of the teacher during the noon hour the scholars would keep a rough house, having little regard for the sacredness of the furniture or the building.

Schools were seldom opened with singing as is the custom now-a-days. A period of fifteen or twenty minutes study by the whole school generally preceded recitations at the opening of the morning and afternoon sessions. When the teacher so ordered, we studied our reading or spelling lessons aloud. Then there was noise enough surely. It was expected that each pupil would pay strict attention to his own lesson and that the vocal practice would be beneficial. Later on this noisy method of study was discarded for obvious pedagogical reasons and the silent mental process prevailed. Aside from the questionable benefit of the out-loud study, there was too great a tendency on the part of the frivolous, fun-making to take advantage of the inharmonious din to play some mischievous trick, viz., stick his neighbor with a pin, or flip a paper wad in the face of some unsuspecting victim. Personally I rather enjoyed the out-loud study. It had the merit of exercising the vocal chords and in some way lessening the mental strain which might result from the sudden change of outdoor play to indoor study. This I mention as an after thought – a long way after. I seriously doubt that at the time either the teacher or his pupils were much concerned about any over-mental strain.

Names of scholars attending Bethel school (sub-district, No. 6) Bethel Township, Clark County, Ohio, from 1860 to 1865

Samuel Smith, Jr. family: Harrison, Ozias, Oscar, Minerva, Israel, Mary, Dunreath, Jasper, Albert, Amanda, Scott, Irving..

David Miller family: Smith, George, Ira (later a teacher).

Daniel Miller family: Tyler, Eliza, Clara, Kemp James.

John Miller family: Samuel, as teacher, Catharine, teacher and pupil, Charity, John Peery, George Clinton, William Donnel.

Harrison Miller family: John W., David Warren, Annie Mary, William H.

Samuel S. Miller family: Orion P., Cyrus I.

Smith Wallace family: Malissa, Ellen, Hush, Charley, Emma, William.

Hardacre family: George, Milton, Elizabeth, Harrison as teacher, Blair, Ellen.

Babb family: John, Jacob, Jane, Joanna

Neff family: Joseph, Rosetta

Kerns family: Levy, William, Mary.

Trumbo family: Rebecca, Elizabeth, Silas H., Wesley

Jerry Leffel family: Andrew D., Lida Jane, Elizabeth

Shellabarger family: Samuel and Catherine as teachers and probably pupils in log school house

David Roller family: Lizzie, George, David.

Keplinger family: James, Rebecca

\Peter Ebersole family: Daniel, Phoebe, Sophia, Salome

John Ebersole family: Martha, Sabina, Clark

Michael Quyott family (names forgotten)

McMann family: Pat, John, Mary, Sarah.

Abraham Martin family: Soctt, Cassius, Minerva, Mary

David Gordon family: Price, Mary

Aaron Gaines family: Edward

Kemp Gaines family:

Others: Margaret Wise, J. M, Knote, Lewis Myers, Peter Huffman, James Young, Harriet Museleman, Sylvenus Snyder, Hannah Corwin, Laura Corwin, Eddie Perrine.

Posted in Narratives | Tagged | Leave a comment

1870s Sketchbook — Part 8

The first in the set of sketches is an oddity, and one wonders what was the inspiration – a class assignment? The rigidity of the plaid is a contrast with the relaxed natural forms of most of the sketches (links to all sketches shared in the blog can be found under the “Blog Multi-Part Series” tab above).

Posted in Artifacts | Leave a comment

YSLA History — Part 4

Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

A month after the new library opened the Yellow Springs Board of Education moved its offices to the old library building, which it occupies today. The Yellow Springs Library is also still in the same place; it hasn’t yet outgrown the Xenia Avenue home the community
built for it in 1965. A major interior renovation in 1999 provided much needed space for the library to expand. During the renovation project the library set up temporary quarters in the Village Council room in the Bryan Community Center. The Yellow Springs Library collection that began in 1899 with 77 volumes has grown to one that included 58,861 items in 2000.

Following are some other figures for 2000 that speak volumes about the Yellow Springs Library’s importance in the community.

Current library under construction in early 1965
  • Circulation in Yellow Springs was 195,763,
    which works out to 34 items per capita, as
    compared to 8.8-17.6 for the rest of the Greene
    County libraries.
  • The number of borrowers per capita in Yellow
    Springs was .59; in the rest of the county
    libraries, the number was .186-.298.
  • The number of library visits in Yellow Springs
    amounted to 117,875 in 2000, or 23 visits per
    capita. That compares to 5-15 visits per capita
    for the rest of the county.
  • The Yellow Springs Library in 2000 answered
    about 20,462 reference questions, or about 4
    questions per capita; the libraries in the rest of
    the county fielded .9-1.5 reference questions
    per capita.

People in Yellow Springs, it’s clear, get a lot of use out of their library. The library of today is no longer dependent on the pies, cookies and bread that sustained the library of 100 years ago. The Greene County Public Library system is responsible for its operating expenses, and the Village of Yellow Springs is responsible for the building as well as major maintenance projects. At one time the Library Association served in an advisory capacity to the Village Council; today the Library Commission, a separate board, fulfills that function. Its charge is to coordinate the efforts of all interested parties in maintaining the library building. The Commission includes a member of Village Council, the head librarian, the director of the Greene County Public Library, and Council as well as
Library Association appointees.

Posted in Narratives | Tagged , | Leave a comment