Correction to Glen Helen Association Calendar

The Spring 2015 Calendar of Events recently mailed out to Glen Helen Association members contains an error involving the Historical Society. A list for a “History of the Glen Hike” for April 18th assigns the Historical Society as the event organizer and website for registration. The Historical Society is not involved with this event, and those interested should register with Yellow Springs Heritage.

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Looking Back at Center Stage — 1975-1976

YSCSLogo-CollageImages below taken from original program covers (a full set of programs can be found at the Antiochiana archives). Productions mounted in the gymnasium of the John Bryan Community Center.

1975 was a significant year in the history of Yellow Springs Center Stage, because the theater organization found its home at 136 Dayton Street (now the home of Atomic Fox), a former auto dealership with a small adjoining room (now converted to a separate storefront for used by Center Stage as a gallery.





February 7-8 and 14-16, 1975 (last production at John Bryan Community Center) by George Bernard Shaw. Directed by Jean Hooper


H.M.S. Pinafore

PinaforeJune 26-29, July 4-6, 1975 by Gilbert & Sullivan. Direct by Jean Hooper, with  musical direction by William Jones

Give It Up

Give It Up

August 21-24 and 28-31, 1975 an original musical by Peter Ekstrom and David Jaffe. Directed by Jean Hooper


A Thousand Clowns

A Thousand Clowns

October 3-5 and 9-12, 1975 by Herb Gardner. Directed by Ellen Malone.



GodspellDecember 4-7, 11-13 and 18-20, 1975 by Stephen Schwartz. Directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by William Jones



The Playboy of the Western World

The Playboy of the Western World

Playboy_04April 23-25 and 30, May 1-2, 1976 by John Millington Synge. Directed by Dinah Anderson




June 11-13 and 18-20, 1976 by Aristophanes. Directed by Paul TreichlerLysistrata_4


The Music Man

The Music Man

August 5-8 and 12-15, 1976 (produced at the Antioch Area Amphitheatre) by Meredith Wilson. Directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by William Jones


An Enemy of the People

An Enemy of the People

October 22-24 and 29-31, 1976 by Henrik Ibsen. Directed by Rubin Battino


The Real Inspector Hound/After Magritte

The Real Inspector Hound/After Magritte

December 3-5 and 9-12, 1976 by Tom Stoppard. Directed by Ed O’Brien

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Early Women Political Activists in Yellow Springs

Dave Neuhardt found another gem of a newspaper article:

The Highland Weekly News of Hillsboro, Ohio

Thursday, May 4, 1871

At the late election in Greene County some twenty ladies presented themselves at the Yellow Springs poll, and demanded of the judges of the election that their ballots be received. The judges declined, and invited the ladies into the room to discuss the matter. They complied, and for an hour it was argued pro and con. The ladies insisted that the Fifteenth Amendment repealed so much of the Fourteenth Amendment as would seem to refuse to women all the rights of citizenship. The trustees read the law, and said they must adhere to their oath. The ladies called upone a Professor of Antioch College to argue their case, which he did at some length, claiming that “citizen” meant both men and women. But it availed nothing. The trustees refused to admit the votes.


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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1930s/1940s part 4

Except for F-411 (a reworking of one of the first Antioch Bookplate designs in 1926), none of the following designs remained in the catalogs beyond 1950.

Antioch bookplate F-304


Antioch bookplate F-305


Antioch bookplate F-307/M-54

F-307 or M-54 by Gustav Uhlmann

Antioch bookplate F-308


Antioch bookplate F-312

F-312 by Isobel Sarvis

Antioch bookplate F-411

F-411 using a type ornament from the American Type Foundry

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From the Sunday Papers

Dayton Daily NewsAntioch Gymnasium Dedication

Joe Curl

Joe Curl. Photograph courtesy of Antiochiana

Information on Joe Curl may be found in his obituary as shared by Yellow Springs Heritage, the other organization dedicated to Yellow Springs history.








Columbus Dispatchnew theory concerning the Hopewell culture.


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Much of History Is Lost Family History

Honoring Black History Month in February usually means remembrances of notable black figures in history — world, national or local figures that have names and biographies.

Official archives and family attics, however, contain traces of figures without names or biographies, but who nonetheless helped build the communities in which they lived. The photographs below from the Antiochiana archives did not have any names, places or dates attached, but were presumably earlier in Yellow Springs history. If anyone recognizes these photographs from their own family’s collection, please let us know, so their history can be documented and honored.

In addition, consider this a reminder to cherish your own family history and make sure its members are recorded and remembered as fully as possible.

BlackResidents_1BlackResidents_2 BlackResidents_3 BlackResidents_4

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Historical Society Approved for Grant

Older section of Glen Forest Cemetery with Nancy Noonan in costume for a cemetery tour in 2004

Older section of Glen Forest Cemetery with Nancy Noonan in costume for a cemetery tour in 2004

The Yellow Springs Community Foundation has approved a grant to the Yellow Springs Historical Society for the purchase of PONTEM software for cemetery data preservation for the use of Miami Township trustees in their management of both the Glen Forest Cemetery in Yellow Springs and the Clifton-Union Cemetery in Clifton.

Besides being a major management improvement for the trustees in tracking grave locations and available gravesites, the software package will benefit families of those interred by allowing those families to attach photos and documents in a digital memorial app as well as providing searchable online material for genealogical and other history-oriented researchers.

Information on tombstones can be weathered away, and paper records alone can disappear, but the PONTEM package, currently the favored choice of the cemetery management community because of its flexibility and range of features, includes regular automatic backups to forestall data loss and 24/7 customer service and training.

The trove of stories of past residents buried in these cemeteries are scattered through various records and books; pulling these stories into one database will be a huge benefit to the legacy of our community.  Stories like those of Nathan Barkley who survived the Civil War in Andersonville prison only to die in the flames of the Sultana riverboat disaster; Simeon Fess who honed his skills as a senator by practicing on Antioch students; M. Thomas Tchou, the former secretary to Chiang Kai-shek of the Chinese Army; Stagecoach driver, Lodwick Austin, the first traffic fatality in Greene County; Wheeling Gaunt, who went from a Kentucky slave to become a Yellow Springs philanthropist; and the Civil War soldiers who lay at peace with the civil rights Freedom Riders–these are the stories that make Yellow Springs and Clifton families unique and important. Every time someone dies, a story dies with them. We are the Yellow Springs Historical Society. We look not only into the past, but into the future. We value those that came before us. As keepers of the community records and memories, we need to keep the stories for those who follow us.



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Carr Nursery Catalog — Ending at the Beginning

This is the final post on the 1898 catalog for Carr Nurseries and shows the front cover and inside front cover (which was used to promote “collections”).

(Previous entries in the series — (12345678910 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, inside back cover, back cover)

1898 Carr Nursery catalog inside front cover

Inside front cover

1898 Carr Nursery catalog front cover

Front Cover


Fifteen Pansy Plants, choicest strain, 50 cents.

Six best Abutilons, or Flowering Maple, 50 cents.

Twelve Mammoth Verbenas, will bloom all summer, 50 cents.

Three best Lantanas, all different, 30 cents.

Three Mexican Primroses for baskets, 15 cents.

Two Pæonies, sweet-scented, 50 cents.

Twelve best basket plants and vines of six different kinds, 50 cents.

Twenty pips of the Lily of the Valley, in best condition for blooming, 50 cents.

Twenty nice plants of the hardy Irish Jumper for only 50 cents.

Fifteen plants of Arbor Vitæ, Pyramidalis evergreen, hardy and beautiful, 50 cents.

Fifteen plants of Siberian Arbor Vitæ, splendid, hardy, ornamental evergreen, only 50 cents.

These evergreens will be six inches high, splendidly rooted, and by planting in your garden in two years you will have beautiful trees two feet high to transplant to your lawn, cemetery or yard without loss from transplanting.

Four Hardy Climbers, unsurpassed for verandas or trellis, as follows: One evergreen Honeysuckle, one Ampelopsis, one Wisteria and one superb Climbing Rose; all for 50 cents.

The choice of varieties must be left to us except when named.



These Tree Roses are imported from France and grafted or budded on Hardy Rose stalks, five or six feet from the ground, forming splendid heads of pendant branches filled with ever-blooming fragrant Roses. No branches grow below where they are budded. They are perfectly hardy, and no other plants give better satisfaction than a pair of them growing luxuriantly.

SPLENDID TREES, each $1.50; per pair, $2.50. BY EXPRESS ONLY.

Extra-large two-year-old Roses for planting in yard or lawn for immediate effect, our selection, Hybrids, each 40 cents. Climbers, each 35 cents, or four Hybrids and two climbers, all hardy and different named varieties, all for $2.30.



There is no discount on these. Fifty cents will buy any of the collections named below, delivered by mail, postpaid, to any address. The collections are all fine, strong plants of the best varieties and very cheap. We can only afford to sell them at the prices named, by growing them in large quantities. The choice of varieties must be left to us, the purchaser simply naming the number of set or sets desired. Every plant is plainly labeled, and there are no two varieties alike in the same collection.

Collection No. 1.— Ten choice double or single Geraniums.

Collection No. 2.— Three double Geraniums, three single Geraniums, three fragrant and one Ivy Geranium.

Collection No. 3.— Two silver-leaved Geraniums, two double and two single Geraniums, two fragrant and two Ivy Geraniums.

Collection No. 4.— Ten Chrysanthemums of the large flowering kinds.

Collection No. 5.— Twelve choice Carnation Pinks, large, double and sweet-scented.

Collection No. 6.— Five beautiful kinds of Rex Begonias, well grown, splendid plants.

Collection No. 7.— Eight of the new flowering Begonias. A choice collection.

Collection No. 8.— Ten Coleus, the most distinct of the old varieties and the best of the new.

Collection No. 9.— Ten ever-blooming Roses, all colors of best varieties.

Collection No. 10.— Thirty Strawberry plants, in five varieties. Largest, best and most productive. These plants will yield enough luscious berries for small family. Largest berries, the strongest growers. The best we have.

In ordering, say 50 cent collection.



Special Offer No. 1.— We will send you one extra fine plant of Dodds’ Prolific Gooseberry for 50 cents. Remember that this glowing wine-colored Gooseberry is the largest and most prolific ever grown. Our bushes have produced berries one and three-quarter inches in diameter. The berries are as large and as good as plums, and all of them ripen. Neither drouth, nor cold, or worms injure them. The greatest acquisition to the garden ever produced.

Special Offer No. 2.— One fine plant of the Dodds’ Prolific Gooseberry, five named assorted Geraniums, and four best blooming hardy Roses, all for $1.00.

Special Offer No. 3.— Five Dodds’ Prolific Gooseberries and one Latania Palm, for only $2.00.

Special Offer No. 4.— Six fine plants for hanging baskets, with superb center piece, for 50 cents.

We will send the above Gooseberries and plants and six Chrysanthemums and six double Carnation Pinks extra for $3.50. No further discount on this offer.




Any person sending us $1.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $1.15.

Any person sending us $2.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $2.30.

Any person sending us $3.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $3.50.

Any person sending us $4.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $4.65.

Any person sending us $5.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $5.80.

And for each $1.00 sent above $5.00 you may select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of 20 cents.


Any person sending us $2.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $2.50.

Any person sending us $3.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $3.75.

Any person sending us $4.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $5.00.

Any person sending us $5.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $6.30.

Any person sending us $6.00 is entitled to select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of $7.60.

And for each $1.00 sent above $6.00 you may select plants or bulbs (at price per single plant or bulb) from Catalogue to the value of 30 cents.

We strongly advise all our customers to have their plants sent by Express, as the liberal discounts we offer you will about pay expressage on them, and then you usually get larger plants and valuable extras. We call your attention to the new low express clubbing rate, which is a reduction of twenty per cent from the regular rate, and also that packages less than one hundred pounds are billed at one hundred pound rates.

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One Hundred Years with the Shakespeare Study Club — Part 3


(Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 here)

Elsie Owen Hevelin

Elsie Owen Hevelin

Where We Are Now

When ladies meet twice a month for one hundred years for the purpose of reading and studying, they probably learn a lot and have much pleasure, but they do not, as  a group, make waves such as history sees fit to record. And yet, over those years, the ladies endured the aftermath of two world wars, assassinations, poverty, famine and depression, the advent of flight and trips to the moon, as well as radio, television and the recent world of computers. None of these things are mentioned in the club minutes. It is as if Shakespeare’s world took over center stage, dimmed the lights on daily sorrows and distress, and provided a brief escape from reality.

For that reason, I have chosen to concentrate on the characters involved, instead of the story. First characters first, and then a few of the more recent ones, who may have “strutted and fretted,” but are now seen no more. Let us begin with our founding members:

First Lady…Edna Carr, who proposed the club to Anna Hirst Groves following the production of “Midsummer Night’s Dreams,” in the front room of Ella Humphrey’s home. (This was the production where they wore men’s clothing and felt very daring indeed.) Edna attended Antioch College, and acted in many plays. In 1900, she was married, “the evening of the new year,” to Charles Ladley Carr. Bride and groom gave well-wishes the slip and escaped (through a well-planned maneuver) the planned shower of rice. Rumor has it that the groom’s brother, Ed, who was boarding a train at that time, received in good measure the rice intended for Edna and Charles.

Edna remained a member of the Shakespeare club until her death in 1938, a total of thiry-four years. Only nine days before her death, she asked who would be reading “The Tempest” at the next meeting, and said she would keep a copy by her bed to read along with them.

The Yellow Springs newspaper tells us “Edna’s love of the poetic beauty and keen philosophy of the lines of Shakespeare’s plays grew deeper and more discerning through those thirty-four years.”

Second Lady…Anna Hirst Groves, who became a founder at once when asked. It was she who paid tribute to Edna at a club meeting when Edna died. Mrs. Groves lived on Glen Street with her disabled son. Her sister Clara taught music in the local schools, and her other sister, Edith Wead, was married to a lawyer in Xenia. All three members were early members of the club.

In a letter dated March 7, 1934, Anna told Dean Birch, another member, that Anna had a deeper interest in the Yellow Springs Shakespeare Club than in any other club or group with which she had ever been associated.

Third Lady…Ella Humphrey was the second wife of Dr. W. H. Humphrey. When they married, he sold him home on Xenia Avenue and moved into her home on Elm Street. Each weekend, (presumably after the death of Dr. Humphrey) another club member, Mary Deis, sent her chauffeur from Xenia to get Ella for a weekend visit. Ella painted china, and took classes in Xenia. Mary Deis was her cousin.

Mrs. Humphrey sometimes opened her home to paying guests “as a kindness.” She didn’t need the money, and probably welcomed the companionship. One of our present club members, Miriam Dickinson, while in Yellow Springs for a job interview at Anttioch College, went to Mrs. Humphrey’s for a week, and stayed for twenty-six years.

Mrs. Humphrey’s stated ambition was to live to be one hundred years old. She made it, with three months to spare.

Fourth Lady…Jane Deming Chambers was “stricken from club rolls” in 1910. She was born in 1834, and lived in a peeled log house on a farm near Cincinnati. She was the middle one of nine children, a feminist at heart, though she would not have known the term. She was seventeen before she ever saw a train.

Jane taught school for ten dollars a month, saving to further her education. When she learned that a man doing the same work, in a school of the same size, was earning twenty dollars a month, she was incensed, and complained, at which, she was told, “a woman’s time isn’t worth any more than a hen’s time.” She was furious, but she continued to save, and at the age of twenty she entered Antioch College…the year after Horace Mann arrived. She earned her AB and her MA, and gradutated in the same class as Rebecca Rice.

During Jane’s six years at Antioch, she encountered many remarkable people. Horace Greeley, she says, was “smart, alert, wiry looking.” Edward Everett Hale was a trustee and frequent visitor, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, friend of Horace Mann, visited Jane’s economy class and held a rewarding conversation with her. Jane didn’t care much for the arts, but she was much interested in economics.

She married a fellow Antiochian, Robert Milliken, and when he died, she tutored and taught school and assured the education of her husband’s two sisters. Later, she married Andrew Chambers, and came back to Antioch, where she taught, and eventually became Dean of Women.

Jane never wore a corset (one of four women at Antioch who did not), but she said the small hoop skirts were nice when they came in…they were cooler than the old narrow skirts. She never drank coffee or tea or liquor, and never smoked tobacco. Because Horace Mann was very health conscious, there was a gym in every dormitory, and Jane learned to take care of her health. At ninety-three years of age she could still do her daily mile.

I was amused to learn that she called Arthur Morgan’s marvelous Miami Conservancy District, with its five dams and associated parks, “a big drainage ditch in Dayton, Ohio.”

Fifth Lady…Bessie Totten was an early member of the Shakespeare Study Club, born in Springfield on January 11, 1876. Bessie’s grandfather, the Reverend D. F. Ladley, was the first minister of the Christian Church in Yellow Springs. He was a member of the subcommittee which chose the site on which to build Antioch College, and he signed the “articles of incorporation “ in 1852.

Both Bessie’s parents attended Antioch, as did Bessie, who won her Bachelor of Philosophy in 1900. After that she served as Assistant Librarian, Librarian, and Associate Librarian Emeritus until she retired in 1941, at which time she became Curator of Antiochiana. In 1953, Bessie received one of the few honorary degrees ever offered by Antioch College. President James P. Dixon said ofher, “She had infinite faith in the capacity of education to help people create a better world, and a rare capacity to express concerns of the present, always taking into account the history of the past.”

Thanks to Bessie and the archivists she trained, we have a very good collection of memorabilia concerning Antioch College and the village of Yellow Springs, including the several seasons of Shakespeare-Under-The-Stars.

Sixth Lady…Eva Fess, wife to United States Senator Simeon D. Fess and mother to State Senator Lowell Fess, wrote from Washington, at one time, that she saw Forbes-Robinson and Gertrude Elliott in “Hamlet” and found it “intensely interesting.” She wrote: “Forbes-Robinson is rather a sickly looking many. He looks tired and worn out. The veins stand out on his face and neck, but he seems to fit the place as no other man could….” It is plainly shown that (He) Hamlet loves Ophelia, for after he tells her to go to a nunnery, he slips behind her, when her head is bowed upon the table and kisses the hem of her scarf…He did not want her to know he loved her.”…”The scenery is beautiful, especially the orchard scene with Elsinore Castle in the background.”

That was in 1914. Through the years, while in Washington, away from her home, Eva wrote a weekly column for the Yellow Springs newspaper.

Well, while returning to Washington from Yellow Springs, near Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the Fess car skidded on a rainy road and zig-zagged into a culvert. Eva Fess broke her pelvis. Nobody else was injured.

After two very painful weeks in the hospital, Eva was able to take a few steps each day, and said she felt like a baby just learning to walk. A week later, she wrote a cheerful letter to the Yellow Springs paper, thanking all her friends for candy and flowers, and giving the latest news from her hospital room.

1. “Mr. Hess of the Botanic Gardens sends flowers often and one day sent me an aquarium containing six goldfish.”
2. Her son, Lehr, “fixed up a radio” for her. Probably this was a crystal radio, though she did not say.
3. One friend twice sent “a fine squab” with other good things to eat.
4. And the President’s wife, Mrs. Coolidge, visited.

Eva wrote, “I can see the Washington Monument, the Museum and Smithsonian in the distance, and a little farther away the Potomac, the trains crossing on the bridges over the river, sometimes a dirigible and an airplane.” And she says their car has come in from Uniontown “looking fine as a new one, and now as soon as I am mended, everything will be well and we shall try to forget it all.”

She wrote sitting in the sun parlor looking out over the wall just east of the White House. The grass looked green and beautiful.

Ten days later, on a snowy winter afternoon, they held her funeral at 2:00 p.m. In the Methodist Episcopal Church here in Yellow Springs. She had contracted pneumonia. Pall bearers were:

H. S. Kissel and Homer Corry
P. M. Stewart and Philip Nash
Dr. Ben McClellan and George Little

A quartet sang at the funeral, among them Earl and Mrs. Littleton, and “Miss Kaye Kershner,” according to the paper. We, of course, know Faye Kershner to have been a man.

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Looking Back at Center Stage — The Gondoliers

Before moving on to what was produced in 1975 and beyond, let us pause for a moment to consider a few special details associated with the 1974 production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers at John Bryan Community Center.

Gilbert & Sullivan operettas had a special place in the history of Yellow Springs Center Stage, since it was one of the few community theaters ever to perform the all of the operettas. As one might imagine, they were large productions, calling on the skills of many different participants, both on- and off-stage.

Gilbert & Sullivan's The Gondoliers curtain call

In the photo of the curtain call (jagged white line across the center is damage to photo), one thing to notice is the costumes of the contadine (the women’s chorus). These costumes consisted mainly of a muslin underdress with burlap wrap skirt (extremely itchy) and laced vest. The muslin underdresses would be re-used many times, particularly in other G&S productions.

Scene from The Gondoliers

A second shows at least a portion of one of the most challenging set designs ever built at the Bryan Center, including the moving gondola.

Gondoliers; Center Stage; Yellow Springs; designed by David Battle

Finally, the silk-screened poster was an international graphic design prize winner, produced for Center Stage by David Battle with the assistance of Julie Steinhilber and was one of a series.


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