Unknown Women

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, here are a few photographs with no identifying details of women in Yellow Springs’ past. If anyone can provide their names and stories, please let us know.

From a scrapbook at the Yellow Springs Senior Center

From a scrapbook at the Yellow Springs Senior Center

unidentified_woman_mink Unidentified-women

From the Welch family

From the Welch family

From the Carr collection

From the Carr collection

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Senior Center at the Opera House

This blog has referenced the Opera House several times in previous posts (here and here), primarily for its use as a theatrical venue, but it was also the home of the Senior Center before its current location on Xenia Avenue.

What follows is a transcription of an article from the Dayton Daily News of Monday, January 26, 1959 noting how the Opera House became, for a time, a center for local seniors.


First Nighters

Senior Citizens Take Over Yellow Springs Opera House

Daily News Greene County Bureau, 34

34 E. Main St., Xenia


YELLOW SPRINGS, Jan. 26—Dr. Arthur E. Morgan officially opened the old opera house here yesterday for use as a Senior Citizens’ center following a motion by village council last week to “give him the keys, turn on the heat; let him go and see what happens.”

Dr. Morgan is chairman of the Senior Citizens committee which asked permission to use the aging structure as a recreational center for about 400 older persons in Miami Twp. And a small section of Clarke[sic] County. Most of the building has not been used since village offices were moved up the street to an old school two years ago. Before that it had been used by the Yellow Springs theater. The rear of the building continues to house village street equipment.

Mrs. Hilda Livingston, program chairman of the committee, said the 4,000 square feet of space on the lower floor of the opera house would be used for furniture and clothing repair and will include a game area for the oldsters.

* * *

MYRON SHWARTZ, a Fairborn businessman, has contributed to the project by donating a storeroom he owns at 221 Xenia Ave., here, rent-free for six weeks. The committee will use this area as a swap shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for the items repaired and refinished at the opera house. Augustus King will be shop supervisor for the Senior Citizens program.

With the donation and installation of some equipment and raw materials to work with, the program will get under way within the next two weeks. Floors and walls of the opera house were refinished and redecorated in 1957 when it was used by the village and the roof is now being repaired by council to insure a dry working area.

Open house will be held in the Senior Citizens new headquarters Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., Mrs. Livingston said, when it is expected that several hundred persons will attend to give the program a send-off. She observed that several items of furniture have already been donated and stressed the need for more.

Dr. Morgan has outlined the purpose of the Senior Citizens committee as a means of meeting the needs of older residents in the community which are not met by individuals themselves or by other agencies. He has proposed that the opera house center be used not only for the repair work, but also as headquarters for a Golden Age club and as a place for counselling and administration for the needs of oldsters.


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Looking Back at Center Stage — 1977-1978

YSCSLogo-CollageImages below taken from original program covers (a full set of programs can be found at the Antiochiana archives).

Productions during 1977 and 1978 demonstrate the priorities of Center Stage for most of its existence: a mix of small and large casts, challenging dramas and popular comedies, musicals, original works and revivals.


Auntie Mame

Auntie Mame

Jean Hooper as Vera and Joanne Augenstein as Mame

Jean Hooper as Vera and Joanne Augenstein as Mame

February 25-27 and March 4-6, 1977 by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee. Directed by Jerry Boswell.





Pure as the Driven Snow

Pure as the Driven Snow

Curtain Call

Curtain Call

 April 29-30, May 1 and 6-8, 1977 by Paul Loomis. Directed by Dinah Anderson and William Farrell


Pirates of Penzance (REVIVAL)

Pirates of Penzance (REVIVAL)

June 16-19 , 23-26 and 30, July 1-3, 1977 by Gilbert & Sullivan. Directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by Charles Riesz



The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

July 21-24, 28-31 and August 4-7, 1977 by Oscar Wilde. Directed by Ed O’Brien




Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (REVIVAL)

Julie Steinhillber in Jacques Brel...

Julie Steinhillber in Jacques Brel…

August 18-21, 25-28 and September 1-4, 1977 by Jacques Brel, Eric Blau & Mort Sherman. Directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by William Jones







Victor Ayoub as William Shakespeare in Bingo

Victor Ayoub as William Shakespeare in Bingo

December 2-4 and 8-11, 1977 by Edward Bond. Directed by Jean Hooper





Diary  of a Scoundrel

Diary of a Scoundrel

March 10-12 and 16-19, 1978 by Ostrovsky. Directed by Leon Holster




Trial by July and the Bab Ballads

Trial by July and the Bab Ballads

May 4-7 and 11-14, 1978 by Gilbert & Sullivan. Directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by Charles Riesz






The Big Game

The Big Game

Cast of The Big Game

Cast of The Big Game

June 22-25 and 29-30, July 1-2, 1978 original musical by Tim Rowe & Jerry Boswell. Directed by Jerry Boswell



The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd

The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd

September 8-10 and 14-17, 1978 by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley. Directed by Jerry Boswell with musical direction by Suzanne Grote

The Amazons

The Amazons

October 20-22 and 27-29, 1978 by Arthur Wing Pinero. Directed by Jean Hooper




Right You Are (If You Think You Are)

Right You Are (If You Think You Are)

December 1-3 and 8-10, 1978 by Luigi Pirandello. Directed by Rubin Battino




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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1930s/1940s part 5

All these designs did not last in the sales catalogs beyond 1950 except for F-421 (which lasted until about 1960).

As before, there are few descriptive notes for these designs from the 1930s and 1940s.

Antioch bookplate F-412 or A-412


Antioch bookplate F-414


Antioch bookplate F-416

F-415. “G.U.” in lower left corner is likely Gustav Uhlmann

Antioch bookplate F-420

F-420 from a type ornament

Antioch bookplate F-421

F-421. One of the ATF Calendar Typecuts issued in the late 20’s or early 30’s by Howard Allen Trafton

Antioch bookplate F-422

F-422. The is an indistinguishable artist’s imprint at lower right.


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A Brief History of the Bryan Center Tract — Part 1

Compiled by David Neuhardt

1855 map

1855 map showing the tract

The tract of land bounded by US 68, the Little Miami Scenic Bike Path and Cemetery Street, through which Yellow Springs Creek runs, is one of the most historic parcels in the Village of Yellow Springs.

Historic Crossing of Yellow Springs Creek

The point at which US 68 crosses Yellow Springs Creek next to the Bryan Center is the first spot upstream on the creek from the Little Miami River where it can be crossed without encountering limestone cliffs on one or both sides of the stream. The first state road from early Dayton to Franklinton (Columbus), which received official status in 1804 when the General Assembly appropriated $650 for “opening and making a road,” took advantage of this fact and forded the creek here “near the Yellow Springs” (as described in legislation mentioning the state road a few years later).

It is likely, however, that the ford had been in common use as a crossing place much earlier, by native Americans and likely by English traders going to and from the Miami village of Pickawillany (near today’s Piqua) in the 1750’s. Christopher Gist reported in his journals travelling south from Pickawillany via the “broad ford” on the Mad River to a connection with the Little Miami River, and it is likely that the trail he was following crossed Yellow Springs Creek at this point. The current Cemetery Street on the north side of the tract was initially known as the Broad Ford Road, because it led, by way of today’s Polecat and Tecumseh Roads, directly to the major crossing of Mad River near George Rogers Clark Park, west of Springfield.

Later, this same trail was used by George Rogers Clark’s army of more than 1,000 Kentuckians (including Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton) during their 1780 campaign to destroy the Shawnee villages at Chillicothe (Oldtown) and Piqua (Springfield) at the end of the American Revolution and, 10 years later, by General Josiah Harmar during his ill-fated campaign from Fort Washington (Cincinnati) against the Miami villages at today’s Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Although little specific information is available, several sources also report that a man named Palmer built a grist mill near the Yellow Springs Creek crossing in the early days of settlement. Noted Greene County historian William Galloway showed this mill as having been located on the Bryan Center tract.

Stone Bridge

Stone bridge across Yellow Springs Creek

By the late 1840’s, a stone bridge had been built at the ford for William Mills’ Clifton, Yellow Springs and Byron Turnpike Co., which was built to steer commodities from the mills of Clifton and Byron to the pioneer Little Miami Railroad (which served as the western border of this tract) in Mills’ new town of Yellow Springs. This turnpike, which eventually replaced the old road to Clifton along the Little Miami River, is present-day State Route 343.

The shape of the tract was changed in the 1940’s when Dayton Street (the modern successor to the old Dayton-to-Franklinton state road) was relocated slightly to the south in front of the property so that it would intersect an extended Xenia Avenue (which previously had dead-ended into Dayton Street), which then crossed the creek at the same location, but on a raised embankment built to eliminate a portion of the steep hill from the Yellow Springs Creek bridge going north towards Springfield (the top of the hill at Whitehall Farm and Glen Forest Cemetery also was cut down at the same time). The grade of the original road can plainly be traced in the front yard of the Bryan Center today.

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One Hundred Years with the Shakespeare Study Club — Final Part


(Part 1 can be found here, part 2 here, and part 3 here)

Elsie Owen Hevelin

Elsie Owen Hevelin

This is the point where I will stop giving numbers to the ladies who have formed our club over the years. From here on, I will give readers the biographies of members as I can collect them. They will not be in any particular sequence, as I no longer have access to the club minutes. In addition to these biographies, as I manage to accumulate them, will com the few biographies of guest speakers which I can manager to attain. It is my hope that some other club member will decide to continue gathering brief stories about our members for future reference.


In 1953, while Antioch College was celebrating its one hundredth birthday, the Antioch Area Theatre was presenting its second summer of Shakespeare-Under-The-Stars. A stage was built over the steps on the east side of Mann Hall, outside President McGregor’s office, and chairs were set up on the lawn before it. Beyond that was Glen Helen. With the towers of Mann Hall as a backdrop, and multilevel staging built against it; with acres of lawn and wooded glen behind the audience; the Shakespeare Festival began to draw visitors from great distances. It was a nice place to escape the heat and enjoy exceptional theater.

According to “Gerry” Feil, Antioch student, who produced a radio show to celebrate the occasion, more than twenty-five thousand people from “at least thirty-nine states and three foreign countries” attended the plays. Needless to say, several of the ladies of the Shakespeare Study Group were enthusiastic participants in the plays, four of which had never before been produced professionally in this country. These were “Troilus and Cressida,” “Pericles,” “Timon of Athens,” and “Titus Andronicus.” All these were of interest, but one of the most popular plays of the 1953 repertory was “Julius Caesar,” directed by David Hooks and featuring Arthur Lithgow as Brutus and Meredith Dallas as Mark Antony. So far as I know, David Hooks never addressed the ladies of the club, but Meredith Dallas and Arthur Lithgow did. They will be discussed later on, along with club members who participated in the actual productions.

* * *

Ruth Perkins Liddle was born August 11, 1900, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. According to the information she gave to fellow club member Dorothy Laming, she was one of six children, but according to her obituary (in 1995) she was one of eight children. Ruth’s own mother died when Ruth was very young, and her father, Franklin Perkins, a Methodist minister, remarried. The family moved frequently, as minister’s families often did, and eventually spent many years in New York State.

Ruth attended a Methodist boarding school and then Miss Finche’s Finishing School, in New York City. While there, she met a young naval ensign named Albert Walker Liddle, who had been a student of Ruth’s older sister, a school teacher in Argyle, New York.

Albert, (who spoke to the Shakespeare Study Club about Fossil Expressions in Everyday Speech,) was married to Ruth in 1919, and then went back to complete his work at Cornell, earning his BS and his PhD in English. He and Ruth spent summers in his father’s farm near Argyle.

Because Ruth and Albert shared life together until his death, I will discuss them as a couple, representing the caliber of man who occasionally addressed the ladies of the club, and the kind of husband the ladies attracted. Surely that demonstrates the quality of the ladies themselves.

In August, 1927, Ruth and Albert rolled into Yellow Springs in a model-T Ford, having camped their way to Ohio to avoid staying in motels or hotels because of a polio epidemic. They brought with them their three daughters, Dorothy, 7, Jeanie, 2, and Juliet, 7 months.

After leaving Cornell, Albert was instructor of English at Princeton for two years and then instructor of English for another two years at New York University. He then sought an interview with Arthur E. Morgan of Antioch College, and was given a one-year “replacement” job as Associate Professor of English, and head of the English department. He ended up staying for thirty-four years!

In addition to teaching, Albert was served on the editorial board of The Antioch Review, and because he was fluent in French, German and Italian, he began to handle the foreign correspondence of a local business (the DeWine and Hamma Feed and Seed Company) here in Yellow Springs.

The faculty wives met every Friday afternoon for tea and conversation. The teas, held in various faculty homes, were fancy affairs, with flowers and lace tablecloths, polished silver and tiny assorted sandwiches. Lucy Morgan, wife of the college president, Arthur E. Morgan, deplored “wasting time,” so the ladies brought handwork to do while they visited. They mended socks, and knit baby clothes, and did other sewing while they chatted and kept abreast of all the news. Ruth and her friends made these meetings a major part of their life, and Ruth was a gracious hostess on many other occasions. She joined the Xenia Women’s Club and the Shakespeare Study Club and the Yellow Springs Library Association, as well as the League of Women Voters. She became a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs, despite the fact that she had been raised by a Methodist minister father. And she kept a journal for most of her life. I’m sure the ladies of this club would dearly love to see the contents of that journal.

When Ruth and Albert first arrived in Yellow Springs, they found to their dismay that no plans had been made regarding a place for them to live. They camped out in Glen Helen for two weeks. They bathed in the cascades and took their drinking water from the Yellow Spring. The Day House School (one of the first nursery schools in the nation) took the children while Ruth and Albert scoured the town for a place to live. College personnel went to the Glen when they needed the new chairman of the English department.

Ruth was not the only one interested in theatre. Albert sang Gilbert and Sullivan at the old opera house … in at least three productions.

In 1937 the Liddles went to Europe, by ship of course. In all, they made thirteen trips, and regretted the eventual loss of ocean transportation which was such a pleasant, leisurely way to travel. They visited many of the customers of the seed company for which Albert had translated correspondence. And after Albert’s death, Ruth continued to travel with friends.

Arthur Morgan said of Albert: “Where there is quality, understanding, friendship and cooperation, dependableness and human friendship, there human society has roots. Albert Liddle had those qualities.” And again: “He was modest, never putting himself into conspicuous positions … he knew his subject thoroughly and intimately … he had a sense of excellence. He lightened the time with friendly humor. What it was appropriate for him to do, he did, and did well.”

The editor of Holiday Magazine remembered him as “shrewd but always gentle, amused and amusing, with a deep streak of generosity.” And said: “I often had the strong impression that as he smiled and talked about the characters … he was telling oblique stories about people … It made him seem a man of wisely kept secrets about humanity, and I liked and respected his kindly wisdom.”

This writer is reminded of William Shakespeare as described by some of his contemporaries.

* * *

Edith Aileen Harvey Owen, known to friends as Ede, was born August 2, 1901, in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, and baptized in the Moravian Church. She was the daughter of Chester Adelbert Harvey and his wife the former Mary Earle Sterling, and she told the family she was “Scots, Irish, English” in descent. Her maternal grandfather was the first police chief of Buffalo, New York. Or was it fire chief? Edith was not quite sure which.

Edith, her younger siblings Sterling Lockwood and Elsie Mathilda, lived for a while in Marcellus, New York. Their mother died when Edith was eight years old, and the children then lived with their father and his sister Samantha, whom the children called Aunt Mantie. This was not a happy time, and Edith never spoke of it until her own children were middle aged. Eventually the family moved to Easton, Pennsylvania, where life was happier.

Edith left school at sixteen, to teach a required course at the Hay Conservatory of Music, and it was there that she met Gwilym Emyr Owen, a young physics student from Lafayette University, who was studying violin at the Hay School and taking the required courses Edith taught.

Edith and Gwilym were married July 1, 1922, after he graduated from Lafayette and began working asw a graduate assistant in physics at Williams College. She wore a white dress embroidered with daisies, and had to button it up tightly (in spite of the hot July weather) to avoid the shower of rice when it came. She was greatly embarrassed when they stopped for the night and a cascade of rice descended while they were checking in.

In 1929, when Arthur E. Morgan recruited Gwilym to head up the physics department at Antioch College, here in Yellow Springs, the family drove to their new home over U.S. 40, then under construction. Edith was appalled by the flat countryside and “all that dust,” but she soon grew to love her new home town. With them came their daughter, Elsie Jane, and their son, Thomas Harvey. Eventually a third child, Gwilym Emyr, Jr. joined the[m.]

Edith and her husband built a camp on Manitoulin Island, in Canada, along with other faculty members, Magruder, Henderson and Carlson. They went there every possible summer for the long college vacation, and after Gwilym’s death Edith continued to go there, taking her children and grandchildren to share what she loved so much.

When her husband, Gwilym, received an exchange-professorship to the University of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Edith and her family spent a year in Wales, where she dearly loved meeting Gwilym’s Welsh relatives (or, as Christopher Robin would say, “relations”) and seeing the place where he was born.

Edith was a member of The Shakespeare Study Club, the Woman’s Club of Xenia, the League of Women Voters, and the Yellow Springs Library Association. She joined the Yellow Springs Presbyterian Church, where she eventually became the first woman Elder of the Church.

There were other travels, too, many with Gwilym, and later on with other friends and relatives. Ruth and Albert Liddle traveled with Gwilym and Edith on more than one occasion.

When World War II came along, Edith worked with another faculty wife, Mrs. Austin Patterson, who headed the area Red Cross. Edith and Elsie Jane took first aid courses and other courses needed in order to feed large groups during major disasters. They manned the flight-line canteen at Wright Field, making soup and sandwiches, coffee, tea an cocoa, and serving tired and lonely servicemen who were headed overseas or were returning home from military hospitals after having seen the worst of their own personal war. Edith was busy on the home front while her son, Tom, and her son-in-law, Max Liming went to war. She also took a job in the college offices under Miriam Dickinson, who was a fellow member of the Shakespeare Club.

Edith lost the sight on one eye when she was in her forties. Her children never knew this until she began to lose the other eye as well, forty years later! Eventually macular degeneration cost her all but the peripheral vision of both eyes, and she spent her last fifteen years with audio books for the blind, so marvelously supplied free of charge by the Untied States government, and distributed by the Library of Congress.

Stricken with pancreatic cancer at the age of ninety-four, Edith remained in her own home, with her daughter as primary care-giver, and Hospice of Dayton providing comfort and assistance. She was visited daily by friends and family, and told them all she had had “a wonderful life” and was very grateful. Two weeks before she died, when she found she could not stand up to get the the restroom, she slapped her fist into the palm of her other hand and said, “I really thought I could beat this.” Then she cried, and so did Elsie Jane.

Edith maintained her membership in the Shakespeare Club and the Woman’s Club of Xenia until her death at the age of ninety-five. A celebration of her life was held in the Presbyterian Church the following spring, and the church was decorated with daffodils and leeks to celebrate Edith’s complete absorption in the Welsh background of her husband and his family.

Note: Ill health prevent Elsie from continuing her history.

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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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