A Lost Project

Among the miscellaneous documents donated by Phyllis Jackson to the Yellow Springs Historical Society was a copy of the questionnaire used in 2000 to compile oral histories of Yellow Springs residents.

Sadly, the rich trove of information gained is generally unavailable. The interviews were recorded on reel-to-reel tape, and even if those could be converted to a modern format, releases to share the interviews was not obtained at the time, and when the attempt was made to obtain them later, the interviewees were already deceased or incapacitated, and relatives either could not be found or outright refused to sign a release.

The questionnaire is shown here as an inspiration for a research project or personal genealogical study (get your relatives’ memories before it’s too late!). Even if no further use is made of it, some of the questions are fascinating as a spotlight on Yellow Springs concerns in the past (the 1930s Crime Wave???).


Date of Interview__________________________

Where Interview was conducted_________________________

Name of person being interviewed________________________

Interviewee resides at_____________________________

  1. Place of birth _______________________
  2. Date of birth _______________________
  3. Father’s name ___________________________
  4. His place of birth __________________________
  5. If deceased, age at death_____________________ Place of death _______________
  6. Father’s parents’ names ________________________________
  7. Father’s parents’ place of birth _____________________________
  8. Mother’s full name _________________________________
  9. Her date of birth __________________________
  10. If deceased, age at death_____________________ Place of death _______________
  11. Were father’s parents born in Ohio _______ If not, where __________________
  12. When did father’s parents come to Ohio ____________ Yellow Springs ___________
  13. Do you know the occupation of your father’s parents ________________ What ____________ Was your grandmother employed _________________ As _______________
  14. Where did your father attend school ____________________________ How far did your father go in school _______________ Do you know why ___________________
  15. Did father attend church _______________ Where _______________
  16. What was father’s occupation __________________________
  17. At what age did father marry _____________________
  18. What were your mother’s parents’ names _________________________________
  19. Where were her parents born ____________________________________
  20. If mother’s parents were not born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, then where ________________
  21. Her parents’ occupation _____________________________
  22. Where did mother attend school ___________________________
  23. How many years did she complete _____________________
  24. What church did you mother attend _____________________
  25. At what age did your mother marry _______________________
  26. Tell us what you remember most about your grandparents ____________________
  27. How many times have you moved _____________ Why _________________
  28. Do you have any brothers or sisters? Name them ____________________________
  29. Who were your playmates when you were growing up _______________________
  30. What was your house like when you were growing up? Was the house frame or brick, one story or two stories? What kind of heat, how was the washing done, did your family tell stories, sing together, read together, did you have family prayer, etc. How many slept in bed, etc.
  31. Did your family take in roomers or boarders?
  32. At what age did you first attend school ______________________
  33. How many years did you complete ___________________
  34. Describe some of your favorite teachers ________________________________
  35. Tell me about some of your most memorable experiences in school___________________
  36. At what age did you first take a paying job _______________
  37. What are some of the other jobs you have held ________________________
  38. At what age were you allowed to date ______________________________
  39. What did you do on a date ______________________________
  40. While growing up, did you ever use kin terms like “aunt” or “cousin” to describe nonrelatives? Who ______________
  41. At what age did you move from your parents’ home_____________Why ______________
  42. How did you meet your spouse ____________________________
  43. Name your spouse ________________________
  44. How many times have you been married _______________________ If more than once, name your other spouse _____________________
  45. How many children do you have ________________
  46. What are some of the major events in your life___________________ Illnesses __________ Accidents ______________ Deaths _______________ Fires ___________ Natural disasters (tornado, floods, etc.) ______________ Depression ________________ F. D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” ___________ Other ______________________
  47. What changes have you seen in Yellow Springs?

There was an instruction to see a second set of numbered questions particularly aimed at revealing the black experience, listed below:

  1. What are some of your memories of the Churches?
  2. Tell me about some of the church socials…..a) Musicals, b) moonlight picnics c) box suppers d) etc. Can you remember any of the preachers?
  3. Were there many black farmers in our area when you were growing up?
  4. Were any of these farms considered prosperous?
  5. Were black people served in white restaurants in Yellow Springs?
  6. Where were the black restaurants?
  7. Did white people patronize the black restaurants?
  8. Who were some of the first people to own automobiles? Black of white?
  9. Did World War I affect your life?
  10. Do you have any memories of the Powder Mill? The Explosions? Who were some of the people employed there?
  11. What was the social life like for blacks in Yellow Springs before the Depression hit?
  12. What programs did you attend at the Opera House?
  13. Did you attend the movies at the Opera House?
  14. What other facilities were housed in the Opera House? Fire Department, Jail, Municipal Offices, other?
  15. Who sponsored the Black Entertainment?
  16. Do you remember black resident students attending Antioch and staying in the Dormitory. Name them….
  17. Do you know anyone who borrowed money to purchase a home or farm? Who was the money borrowed from?Do you think very many black people had money in the bank?
  18. Where were most blacks employed…..(Antioch College, Saw Mill, Stone Quarry, Powder Mill, railroad, Canning factory, Tobacco Factory, or as Farm Help)
  19. How did most Young Adults entertain themselves? Sports…Softball, Horseshoes, checkers, croquet, cards, other?
  20. Was softball a local competitive game? Were the teams interracial? Were there more than one black men’s team in town? Did you play on any of these teams?
  21. Do you remember Joe Curl playing ball? Did he play on a Black Team of just manage a team? Tell me about Joe Curl.
  22. When you were in school, did your teachers ever talk about outstanding Blacks in history? Which ones?
  23. If you did not learn about these black heroes in school, where did you learn of them?
  24. Tell me about your social life. (Parties, Dances, Hayrides, etc.)
  25. What Black Lodges of Fraternities do you remember? Elks, Odd Fellows
  26. Did these organizations have their own buildings?
  27. Were there parades and celebrations? Tell me about them.
  28. Did you remember Billy Thompson as a Grand Marshall? Who else was a Grand Marshall?
  29. Did you ever hear of any Klu Klux Klan activities in the area?
  30. What affect do you think Arthur Morgan had on Antioch and the community? Particularly the black community?
  31. On what occasions did you visit Wilberforce campus? Commencement. Homecoming. Do you remember any faculty members of Wilberforce University living in Yellow Springs?
  32. Were you aware of Bootlegging in Yellow Springs during Prohibition? Was liquor made here or brought here for resale? Did many people make Homebrew and wine?
  33. Who were the black heroes in the twenties and thirties? Douglass, Carver, Booker T., W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Jack Johnson, or others?
  34. Did most stores in Yellow Springs offer credit to Black Families. Do you know of any merchants who did not? Were there any epidemics in Yellow Springs such as Influenza, Typhoid, T.B., Diphtheria or other? How did you feel about medical care available to blacks. Who was your family physician? Was your family worried about not being able to pay the doctor’s fee?
  35. Tell me about the following individuals: Alfred Henry, Daniel Bell, Edward Brooks, Richard Grant, Wheeling Gaunt, William Johnson, J. T. Hornaday, Harrison Johnson, Joe Curl, Armstead Stagner, Rev. Jas. Smith, Sandy Pettiford Sr., Richard Herod, Henry Talbot, Henry Tate, Maggee Dunn, James Easter, Anderson Duncan, Jim Logan, Jim Johnson, John Childs, James Coffee
  36. Was the so-called 1930 Crime Wave that hit Yellow Springs really pushed by gangsters?
  37. What do you remember about deputy marshalls? Bales_________Merrill Dawson ________ Oscar Day________________Tom Donley _____________ Herb Ellis ____________
  38. Temm me about how you celebrated the victories of Joe Louis. Did you listen to the fights on the radio at home or elsewhere?
  39. When did your family get their first radio?
  40. What goals did you have for yourself? Were they achieved?
  41. When you were in school, were teachers generally racist? Or did you notice? Do you feel teachers used a caste system of catering to students’ needs? Did your classmates discriminate against you? Were any of your teachers sincerely interested in helping you achieve?
  42. Wre most of your teachers college trained or just high school graduates? Some had two year teacher training certificates. Did you know which ones?
  43. At what grade did most black males fail?
  44. At what grade did most black dropouts leave school and leave school and go to work full time. Were they coaxed into leaving school? Did you study Latin or German in school? Did you take algebra and high math?
  45. Dio you think black students were geared toward home economic and manual training?
  46. Today, how do you feel about growing up in Yellow Springs?
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1910s Cemetery Record — Page 8

One of the main reasons to share documents like the 1910s cemetery record online is as an assist to those doing genealogical research, but the information is also of interest in a broader area.

Although disease is once again the most common cause of death, there are a few intriguing details:

Just what was the accidental strychnine poisoning that laid Wm. H. Esterline low?

The powder mill explosion that did in Chas. Wm. Kerns was not a unique event. See a previous post and an early Dayton Daily News article for more information on the Goes powder mill (the local access TV library may have a video of a program on the mill given by Historical Society president Dave Neuhardt).


[Pages 6-7 Missing]

The index to all pages can be found here.

Page 8

Apr. 9, 1912 — Thomas M. Clayton —Pneumonia — near Yellow Spgs., Ohio
Apr. 19, 1912 — Wm. H. Esterline — Strychnine poison accidental — near Yellow Spgs., Ohio
Apr. 20, 1912 — Elizabeth Esterline — Chronic endocarditis — near Osborne, Ohio
Apr. 25, 1912 — Reuben Railey — Apoplexy — Springfield, Ohio
May 19, 1912 — Mary Hurbert — Asthma — Osborne, Ohio
May 20, 1912 — Frank S. Moss — Cardiac syncope — Cleveland, Ohio
May 20, 1912 — Mary Elizabeth Cathers — Heart failure — Yellow Springs, Ohio
May 18, 1912 — Lusima H. Lewis — Bronchitis age 90 — Yellow Springs, Ohio
May 27, 1912 — Rachel [Poumell? } — Tuberculosis — Columbus, Ohio
May 31, 1912 — Chas. Wm. Kerns —Accidental powder explosion — Goes, Ohio
June 3, 1912 — Mary Thomas — Cerebal hemorrhage — Yellow Springs, Ohio
June 5, 1912 — Lavinia E. Wallace — Pulmonary tuberculosis — Yellow Springs, Ohio
July 8, 1912 — Leon D. Ford — Pulmonary tuberculosis — Yellow Springs, Ohio

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Spring Street Fair 2016 – Afterwards

Because there is no physical museum location, the several programs done each year, this website and our presence at the Yellow Springs Street Fair are the only ways we currently have of letting the public know about the Yellow Springs Historical Society.

Without the willingness of volunteers (usually board members) to set up, run and tear down the Street Fair booth the Historical Society would lose an important point of contact and an opportunity to share some of the books and gift items produced under the Historical Society’s imprint.

Not shown is Jean Payne, who undertook display boards in addition to her other work with the Street Fair booth.

The waiting public (photo provided by Dave Neuhardt)

The waiting public (photo provided by Dave Neuhardt)

Street Fair - Chris Zurbuchen and Peggy Erskine (photo provided by Jean Payne)

Street Fair – Chris Zurbuchen and Peggy Erskine (photo provided by Jean Payne)

Street Fair 2016 - Cindy Mucher, Gillian Hill and Dave Neuhardt (photo provided by Jean Payne)

Street Fair 2016 – Cindy Mucher, Gillian Hill and Dave Neuhardt (photo provided by Jean Payne)

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Portrait of Commerce 1888

Now that Street Fair, one of the main commercial events of Yellow Springs, is over, it might be amusing to contrast the commercial landscape of 1888 as revealed by ads placed in the June 1888 Antiochian magazine donated by Phyllis Jackson to the Yellow Springs Historical Society.

The background color of the original is more of a dark beige and has been lightened for legibility.

Inside front cover

Inside front cover

Lower portion of page 18

Lower portion of page 18

Inside back cover

Inside back cover

Back cover

Back cover

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Street Fair Spring 2016

Once again you can find the Yellow Springs Historical Society booth in front of the Yellow Springs News building, and we have something special to offer this year.

Sherryl Kostic donated souvenir posters by Kristin Dam— The Signs of Yellow Springs — which will be offered at a special Street Fair price of $10.


There will be plenty of other merchandise to purchase as gifts or collectibles:

Haunted Houses: Spooky Tales of Yellow Springs — $10.00
William Mills: The Yellow Springs Man — $20.00
Antioch: An Episodic History — $20.00
Teddy B and Teddy G Visit Yellow Springs (limited copies) — $5.00

Antioch Publishing Company Merchandise
Journals — $3.00
Advent Calendars — $3.00
Notepads — $1.00
Bookmarks — you choose what to pay to the donation jar

Other Items
Yellow Springs Historical Society Mugs — $5.00
Yellow Springs Historical Society Cloth Tote Bags — $10.00
Historical Yellow Springs Post Cards — $0.50 each


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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1960s part 4

Bookplate catalogs (in which bookplate designs were illustrated full size) during the 1960s covered three years, and the following designs were introduced for the 1966-1969 catalog issue:

Antioch bookplate B-57

B-57 – Painting by Canadian artist William McLaughlin (Mt. Albert, Ontario)

B-58 - The prize-winning design from a field of 70 entries by art students at Ohio University about 1955.

B-58 – The prize-winning design from a field of 70 entries by art students at Ohio University about 1955.


W-22 – Originally done in four colors as a part of the Ecclesiastical Series, by John Huchthausen in the 1940s







Antioch bookplate W-23









Antioch bookplate W-25












Other designs newly introduced in the 1966-1969 catalog have been covered in previous blog entries:

B-71 through B-76 Harmony series
F-204/M-204 and F-205
Scherenschnitte by Walter van Gunten W-26 and W-27

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Program Series of Historical Interest

The Yellow Springs Arts Council will be presenting a series of programs focused on historical clothing in June and July.

Press release for Who Wore What, When & Where

Registration Form for Who Wore What, When & Where

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Public Records Curiosities — Cemetery Records (page 5)

Although it’s clear that the majority of deaths were from various diseases, there was the occasional accidental death, as witnessed by David Hughes’ “fall from tree”. The one piece of information missing from the records is the age at time of death, so we have no idea if David Hughes was an adventurous child who miscalculated or an adult doing some sort of work like pruning or dealing with an errant bee swarm. (The genealogist researching this relative would likely have the answer from the obituary or death certificate.)

The index to all pages can be found here.


Page 5
April 30, 1911 — John H. Benning — Hepatitis & com. [complications?] — Yellow Springs, O
May 4, 1911 — E. G. Ziegler — Chronic Bronchitis — North Hampton, O
May 5, 1911 — [Orey?] Bell Gudgel — Spinal Meningitis — Yellow Springs, O
May 6, 1911 — Rebecca S. Rice — General Paresis — Yellow Springs, O
May 8, 1911 — Adam Allison Rahn, Jr. — Apoplexy — Near Yellow Springs, O
May 13, 1911 — Charles C. Tibbs — Apoplexy — Near Yellow Springs, O
May 27, 1911 — Edna Brown — Exhaustion — Yellow Springs, O
June 21, 1911 — Lida M. Ellis — Cancer — Yellow Springs, O
Aug. 11, 1911 — Marion Snell — Tuberculosis, Pul. & Larynx — Wilmington, O
Aug. 12, 1911 — Infant, German Leffel family — Still born — Country near Yellow Springs, O
Aug. 17, 1911 — Ruth G. Kaiser — Brights Disease — Springfield, Ohio
Aug. 26, 1911 — Charles H. Kalbfus — Debility from Old Age — Yellow Springs, O
Aug. 27, 1911 — David Hughes — Accidental fall from tree — Yellow Springs, O

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Memorial Day, 1916

Memorial Day, even though it has recently become associated with early holiday travel, picnics, sporting events and other entertainment, still retains some connection to its original purpose in honoring departed members of the armed forces.

Dave Neuhardt shared an entry from the minutes of the local Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) post of a Memorial Day celebration in 1916, when such celebrations were more extensive and for mal:

“Headquarters Burkholder Post No. 115 G.A.R. Opera House Hall – Yellow Springs, Ohio. June 4, 1916

Post met and opened in due form. – Members present: McCullough, Miller, Abby, Goetz, Rex, Hirst, Hopkins, Brewer, Warner. Adjutants report of last meeting was read and approved. Quartermaster reported amount on hand $4.83; report approved.

Comrade A. F. Hopkins moved that a check for ten dollars be forwarded to Hon. Chase Stewart for services as Memorial Day orator; the motion being duly seconded and put to vote, was carried unanimously; but as that amount was not at present in the hands of the quartermaster, it was kindly advanced by Comrades Hopkins and Rex until such time as the Post had sufficient funds on hand to refund it to them. The Adjutant was then instructed to draw an order on Quartermaster for ten dollars, which ordeer being complied with, the check was duly forwarded on June 5th.

It was moved and seconded that the delegates from the Burkholder Post to the State Encampment at Marion, Ohio; be instructed to work and vote for Comrade Wm. H. Surles of East Liverpool, Ohio for Department Commander, which being put to vote was carried unanimously.

It was also moved and seconded that the Adjutant and Quartermaster be appointed a special committee on memorial bills, and be authorized to audit and pay all bills relating to Memorial Day of May 30, 1916. Which being put to vote, was carried by a full vote of the Post.

The Adjutant was instructed to write a card of thanks and have it printed in the Yellow Springs News, expressing our appreciation for all the kindness received from citizens, for use of autombiles to transport members of the Post and Relief Corps, to and from the Cemeteries of Memorial Day; also to all who participated in the exercises and the parade and thus assisted in observing this sacred day. — These instructions were duly complied with and a copy of same can be found on page 206.


9:30 A.M.—Decoration of Soldiers’ Graves at St. Paul’s Cemetery

2:00 P.M. Opera House, . . . . Yellow Springs, Ohio

E. B.Hopkins, Chairman

Invocation……………………………………………………………………………Rev. C. Harold Clerke
Reading of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Addresss………Capt. Wm. H. Warner, 40th New York Volunteers
Messrs. P. W. Drake, Earle Littleton, Warren Sparrow, Fay Kershner
Reading — Rufus King, Private………………………………..Charles Jacobs
ADDRESSS……………………………………………….Hon. Chase Stewart, Springfield, O.
Flag Drill………..,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,…………Public School Pupils

Decoration of Soldiers’ Graves at Glen Forest Cemetery

All soldiers and members of Relief Corps are requests to meet at the G.A.R. Post Room at 8 a.m. so as to proceed to St. Paul’s Cemetery to decorate the graves of soldiers buried there. Conveyances will be provided for those who wish to ride.

T. C. Hirst, Adjutant                                               George W. McCullough, P.C.

Memorial Day 1916

Headquarters, Burkholder Post,
No. 115, G.A.R.,
Yellow Springs, O., June 15, 1916

On behalf of Burkholder Post, we desire to most earnestly thank all our kind friends who so generously donated the use of their autombiles to transport the members of the G.A.R., the Relief Corps and the children on Memorial day, May 30th, 1916. It was a generous and patriotic act, which we greatly appreciate and will long remember.

Those who so kindly donated the used of their cars were Mr. Ned H. Straus, Dr. H. F. Baker, T. W. Neff, A. I. Drake, Earle Littleton, Morris, Littleton, Dr. R. R. Richison, Chas. Cox, Charles Birch, Dr. H. Davidson, Grant Hopping, W. C. Lacey, Dr. L. L. Taylor, C. C. Beam, Archie Crist, John DeWine, P. M. Stewart, George H. Drake, P. W. Drake, Frank Hughes, Prof. Wm. Dawson and Edward Carlisle. We also wish to thank Mr. David Hilt for the efficient manner in which he conducted the parade of those handsomely decorated cars during the day. We wish to thank Mr. Riley Corry for special donation of flowers; also we wish to sincerely thank Rev. C. Harold Clerke and members of the M. E. Church for services so kindly rendered on Memorial Sunday; and to members of the vocal quartette—Messrs. Drake, Littleton, Sparrow and Kershner, for their beautiful patriotic music. To Mr. Charles Jacobs, for his life-like reading of “Rufus King, Private.”
To members of the Relief Corps and those who took part in the magnificent Flag drill, and all members of the I.O.O.F., and Junior Order, who participated in the parade.

To all those mentioned we wish to express our sincere and grateful thanks. Geo.W. McCullough, Post Com., T. C. Hirst, Adj’t.

Capt. Wm. H. Warner
Capt. Wm. H. Warner, a veteran of the Co. E. 40th N.Y. Volunteers, who served valiantly in the Army of the Potomac for more than four years, and was twice dangerously wounded and fought through the battle of Gettysburg in Gen. Sickles’ corps, was called to the stage on Memorial day and read Lincoln’s Gettysburg address with deep feeling, and received great applause.

G.A.R. Civil War Memorial in Glen Forest Cemetery, from  the Howark Kahoe glass negative collection

G.A.R. Civil War Memorial in Glen Forest Cemetery, from the Howark Kahoe glass negative collection

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A Big Change in 1941

This picture from the 1930s was taken in downtown Yellow Springs. How many can guess what opened on this lot in 1941? (Hint: the business was originally across the street.)


Photo by Axel Bahnsen

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