Ott and His Works

[More of Ott’s photographs will be on display at the Yellow Springs Historical Society’s “Family History Sharing Bee” program]

For many residents and guests, a visit to the Handcraft Shoppe (in the building between Tom’s Market and the Tavern) or later to Ott Shop (now a realty office next to Sunrise Café) was a special treat to find unusual imported gift items.

How many know that the owner was once a professional photographer and active in the Antioch College Shakespeare festival both as a performer and a photographer?

John/Jon (there’s some confusion, since the Social Security Death Index has him listed as “John”, but those who knew him and some newspapers use the alternative spelling) left numerous photographs, now in the archives of the Yellow Springs Historical society.

Handcraft Shoppe entry

Handcraft Shoppe entry

Ott Shop

Ott Shop


Ott in later years

In costume for Shakespeare festival

In costume for Shakespeare festival


Posted in Artifacts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

1910s Cemetery Record — Pages 14 and 15

These pages contain familiar surnames in the history of Yellow Springs — Carr, Jobe, Hamilton, Sroufe — but they also contain a few curious details which reveal the distance of the time from our own — an unusual name like Cleotis or Regenia, or another instance of acid poisoning as the agent of suicide.

The index to all pages can be found here.

page14_w page15_w

Page 14
February 14, 1914 — Jas. McDowell — Chronic nephritis — Chicago, Ill.
February 18, 1914 — Wm. Carr — Tuberculosis — Wisconsin
February 21, 1914 — Charity Bush — Intestinal nephritis — Xenia, Ohio
February 22, 1914 — Sarah A. Swanton — Paralysis of heart — Marion, Ohio
March 6, 1914 — Anna Love Garrison — Myocardial insufficiency — near Yellow Springs, Ohio
March 13, 1914 — Emmet Jobe — Pul. Tuberculosis — Springfield, Ohio
March 14, 1914 — Sarah Harris — Carcinoma of thigh & breast — [unreadable ]
March 21, 1914 — Louisa B. Hawkins — Sarcoma — Yellow Springs, Ohio
April 4, 1914 — Sarah Ann Bell Brewer — Bronco. Pneumonia — country near Clifton, Ohio
April 18, 1914 — Chas. W. Baker — Lobal pneumonia — Chicago
April 23, 1914 — Jacob S. Stimmel — Chronic myocardial — Dayton hospital
May 14, 1914 — Emily W. Roberts — Lobar pneumonia — Boston, Mass.
June 26, 1914 — Hannah Shoecraft — Acute pleurisy — Delaware, Ohio

Page 15
July 15, 1914 — Eliza Lillian Sutton — Tuberculosis — Yellow Spgs, Ohio
July 14, 1914 — Cleotis Mary Campbell — Cholera Infa[?] — near Yellow Spgs, Ohio
July 30, 1914 — Emma May McClain — Endo carditis — Xenia, Ohio
August 7, 1914 — Elizabeth Rix — Chollecystitis [sic] — near Hustead, Ohio
September 22, 1914 — Jerome Sanford — Pul. Tuberculosis — Springfield, Ohio
September 29, 1914 — Evelyn Taylor — Bronchitis — Springfield, Ohio
October 6, 1914 — Stillborn Hoffman infant — Still born — near Yellow Spgs, Ohio
October 12, 1914 — Regenia L. Hamilton — Pneumonia — Yellow Spgs, Ohio
October 19, 1914 — Ed. G. Sroufe — Acid poisoning suicide — Indianapolis, Ind.
November 9, 1914 — Mary L. Tate — Tachydhardia — Yellow Spgs, Ohio
November 18, 1914 — Florence May Randall — Heart trouble — near Goes, Ohio
December 18, 1914 — Noah Sipe — Senility arterial schlerosis — near Yellow Spgs., Ohio
December 18, 1914 — Harold Guy Fogg — Membranous croup — near Yellow Spgs, Ohio
December 22, 1914 — ‘[Dayton Ohio] — Ataxia — Dayton, Ohio


Posted in Artifacts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Historical Society Program October 30

Family History Sharing Bee – Yellow Springs and Beyond

On Sunday, October 30, at 2:00 pm in the Senior Center Great Room Dave Neuhardt and others will bring some YS surprises they found on E-Bay, but every so often the Historical Society also likes to turn the tables and learn the history of our audience members.
* Do you have a treasured object from your family’s past, like an iron skillet your grandmother swore by, a letter from a cousin from the front of a war, or a campaign pin from bygone elections?
* Do you have a story handed down about why your ancestors moved to where they last lived, how they earned their living or how different it was when they went to school?
It doesn’t matter if your mementos and stories are Yellow-Springs based or not, we still want to hear about them, and those who just want to listen are also welcome.
The meeting is free, and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment

Structuring a Society (1826) — Final Part

The final part includes at least one more strong expression of women’s equality, universal health care and some interesting discounts available to non-resident stockholders.

Were there any clauses that were missing that might have prevented the fairly rapid failure of the community?

Previous installments:     Part 1     Part 2


As it is important the the progress of the Community should not be clogged by an unproductive population, no member shall be permitted to commence his residence on its premises, until, in the opinion of the President and Council, such residence will promote the interest of the Community.

Every member shall be supplied with medical attendance and medicine at the expense of the community.

To accomplish these objects, we the undersigned have created, and now offer for sale, stock to the amount of $30,000, in shares of $50 each. Each share to entitle its holder to one vote in the election of officers, either in person, or by proxy.

The President and Council shall have power to appoint a Secreteary and Treasurer, and define their duties; and also in case of vacancy by death, resignation, or long absence of any officer of this Community, they shall have power to supply such vacancy.

A subscriber of one share shall deposit at the time of subscribing $25; if he take two shares, $20 on each; if three shares, $18 on each; if four shares, $16 on each; if five shares, $14 on each; if six shares, $12 on each; and for any greater number of shares, $10 on each. The residue of said shares to be paid for at four equal quarter yearly instalments. The failure of payment of any instalment, for 10 days after it is due, shall subject the holder to forfeiture of all claim upon the community for all monies paid, for the term of five years; and of the right to claim any further benefit of his stock.

All stock bearing interest shall be transferable on the books of the Community only.

Persons being stockholders to the amount of $500, and not residing in the Community, shall be entitled to accommodations at the public Hotel, during the watering season, at a discount of twenty per cent, from the common charges; and for the education of their children, in the boarding school, to a discount of ten per cent. And further, the stockholders shall be entitled, including their six per cent interest, to receive one half of the clear income of said community, after three years operation, until such time as said community shall redeem the stock. Capitalists, male or female, owing stock to the amount of $500, may be permitted to reside either in community, if members, or on its premises, if not members, under such arrangement and agreement, as may be determined between them and the President and Council, without engaging in the labours of the Community.

As soon as $2000 of the stock shall have been paid in, over and above the price to be paid for the land, a public meeting of the members and stock holders shall be called, by advertisement in the public papers; and those who shall attend at said meeting shall organize themselves for business, by choosing their officers.

Individual happiness being the object of the association, and the voluntary co-operation of women, being as necessary as that of men, for its success, every woman joining the association, married or not, must, individually, assent to, and sign these articles.

In testimony of our agreement to the above articles, and our determination to carry them to effect, we hereunto annex our respective names:


The books are now open for subscription at JOHN KEATING’s office, No. 68, Broadway, Cincinnati, and also at the Yellow Spring.

January 9, 1826

Posted in Narratives | Tagged | Leave a comment

Structuring a Society (1826) — Part 2

One notable aspect of this section of the Constitution of the Yellow Springs Community is the high regard given to the arts, and one curiosity is the “House of Entertainment” in the section on buildings.

[Board president Dave Neuhardt added some information about the “House of Entertainment” reference: ” I’m fairly certain that was referring to one of the buildings at the Springs (they said that they would “extend” the House of Entertainment to such limits, and in the shortest time practicable)—I assume it was probably the tavern itself, but it could also refer to some smaller outbuilding that existed at the Cascades, since we know the “Owenites” had a dormitory type building near the Cascades.”]

These will be performed in any manner, and by such persons, as each had of a family may direct; or as several families, agreeing to unite together, may determine; until at a future period, when a complete Community shall take place, and other arrangements of a general nature may be adopted, to reduce them in extent, and render them least burthensome.

Until the time when one side of a village is completed, (when the condition of every one shall be rendered so desirable, as to be a sufficient excitement to industry, by being held on that condition,)—the industry and good conduct of the members must be drawn forth, by a proportionate reward for labor, to be paid by the Community, to the extent and in the proportions the President and Council shall determine to be just: always taking into account the former habits and conduct of the party, as well as his or her actual services or earnings; and in every case, after comfortable supply to the individual, retaining a portion of the earnings to form a common stock. But so soon as one side of a village, as aforesaid, shall be completed, all inequality of the means of enjoyment shall cease: and the President and Council, as soon as possible, shall, in all its preliminary operations, assimilate their rules of proceedings to those at New Harmony, as far as circumstances will admit.

Innocent and rational amusements, at the leisure hours of the members, shall be allowed.

Any member wishing to devote the whole or any portion of the hours of daily mutual co-operation, to painting, engraving, sculpture, music, or any other branch of the Fine Arts, for the use, embellishment or amusement of the Community; or, for the general advancement of the study of nature, mineral, vegetable, or animal; or of chemistry, mechanics, or any other species of intellectual pursuit, may apply for the approbation of the President and Council, so as to devote the whole or any portion or his or her time, with full assurance of cordial encouragement in every useful pursuit, so far as consistent with their health.

The tract of land lately owned by Baum and Whiteman, at the Yellow Springs, Greene County, Ohio, containing about 740 acres, shall be purchased for the Community; and a title in fee simple be made to a trustee for the use of the Community until a charter be obtained, fixing the title in the Community as a corporation. This land we will lay out and cultivate with the threefold view to health, abundant produce and embellishment.

[Again, from Dave Neuhardt: “The Constitution also refers to purchasing the property from [Martin] Baum and [Lewis] Whiteman [Benjamin’s son, I think]. Baum was overextended and was being pushed to sell by the Bank of the U.S. (which also effectively foreclosed on his new home in Cincinnati, now the Taft Museum). We also know is that the YS Association defaulted on their land contract with Baum and Whiteman within only about a year, and the property instead was sold to Elisha Mills, leading to the golden age of the resort.”]

We will extend the House of Entertainment to such limits, and in the shortest times practicable, as shall be deemed expedient; and immediately thereafter erect suitable buildings for a seminary of learning, with a boarding-house attached; and as fast as our means will admit, erect additional common dwellings, sufficient in extent, when added to those already built, to accommodate five hundred inhabitants. In the mean time always giving precedence to the erection of buildings for, and establishment of any of the useful and productive mechanic arts.

Monthly meetings for the transaction of business by the members shall be holden, at which this constitution may be amended or altered in any way not infringing on the vested rights of individuals, one month’s previous notice being given of the alteration proposed, in writing.

Notwithstanding all that is said in this constitution, no individual shall be entitled to become a member, without being elected by unanimous vote of John Keating, and such other three individuals as he may choose to associate with him; or afterwards by votes of all the members present at an election.

Part 1     Part 3 (Final)

Posted in Narratives | Tagged | 2 Comments

Structuring a Society (1826) — Part 1

Brief mention was made of the Owenites in the pages of Why They Came, and we recently ran across a photocopy of the Constitution of that Community signed by key members in 1826.

During the next month we will be flooded with exhortations by various candidates at various levels of governance as to their recommendations for structuring society, so perhaps 1826 makes for a useful contrast.

The Community did not last more than a few years, but were the seeds of its failure contained in its ideals or in the attempted execution?

One ideal expr essed in the document, surprising for its inclusiveness for the time was the section on “Rights of Women.”


Until the completion of one side of a village, to be built upon the plan and scale of Robert Owen’s village, about to be built at New-Harmony, the whole concerns of the Community shall be conducted and managed by a President to be elected once in three years, and the Councillors annually, by a majority of all the votes of the stockholders, at a general meeting. The President and the Council to hold weekly meetings, and in the intervals all authority to be vested in the President; and until an act of incorporation shall be obtained, the powers of the President and Council shall be limited and defined, by a power of attorney.

We agree, that such misunderstandings as may arise between the members of the Community, shall be settled by the President and Council.

We guarantee to each other, individual freedom of opinion on all subjects of human knowledge or speculation, moral or physical, particularly on the subject of religion; and we will respect the individual inclinations of each other in all cases, not incompatible with an established rule of action in the Community.

We guarantee to each other, liberty to leave the Community when we please; and we yield to the President and Council the self-protecting power of renouncing, after due deliberation, the co-operation of any individual.

All the members shall enjoy equal advantage, in accordance with other rules agreed upon, to visit their friends abroad, and to receive their visits in the Community.

To women, forming half the human race, equally capable of men of contributing to the common happiness, and equally capabel of individual enjoyment,—we guarantee eligibility, equally with the men, to every situation within the community, to which their individual talents and inclinations may adapt them. We guarantee to them, equal means of obtaining knowledge and social pleasures, and of individual freedom of opinion, as well as an equality of property, and of the physical means of enjoyment, with men.

We also guarantee to the children of the Community, the best education, at the expense of the adult population, that time and circumstances will admit; and as soon as possible, the best that is attainable by our species.

We guarantee to each other, that the young children of persons dying in the Community, shall be equally protected, educated and cherished, with the children of the living members; and entitled, when they become adults, to all the advantages and equal proprietorship thereof. In this Community, no child can be reduced to the destitute state of orphans, as in the old state of society.

From the time a member begins to reside in the Community, his or her whole time and talents shall be devoted to its benefit. The hours of the labor to be decided by a majority of the members, at a monthly meeting; but the particular employment shall be pointed out by the President and Council; each member, however, to be at liberty to choose any employment considered by the President and Council compatible with the general good.

We also all (male members) agree to learn, by mutual instruction, some branch of agriculture, orchard or gardening industry; and every agriculturist engages to learn some branch of manufacturing industry. But agriculture shall always be a primary object of the Community.

Part 2     Part 3 (Final)

Posted in Narratives | Tagged | 2 Comments

Fro the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1970s part 4

The designs in this group are all letterpress.

M-783 and M-785 were both reproductions of work from the Thomas Bewick school of late 18th century woodcut engravings.

According to Ernest Morgan, M-784 was developed from a cut that Walter Kahoe pulled from the scrap bin of the William Edwin Rudge Company when he was an apprentice circa 1924. This design was originally made in a narrower version printed in teal as A-301 or F-301.

The text of M-789 was taken from “Desiderata” by early 20th-century author Max Ehrmann.

Other letterpress designs printed in black introduced at the same time but shown in previous blog posts:

M-781     R-58/M-782     M-787     M-790     M-791

Antioch Bookplate M-780


Antioch Bookplate M-783


Antioch Bookplate M-784


Antioch Bookplate M-785


Antioch Bookplate M-788


Antioch Bookplate M-789


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

We’ll Be at Street Fair

snowballgirl-graphicsfairyGet a jump on your holiday shopping this Saturday, October 8, downtown Yellow Springs for the October Street Fair, starting at 9:00 am.

The Yellow Springs Historical Society will have books, maps, mugs, gift bags and Antioch Publishing Advent Calendars available. Check us out!

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

1942 High School Publishing Opportunities

Page 20 of the 1942 Bryan High School annual described both the staffing and activities of the annual itself (“Bryannual”) and the school newspaper (“Chitter Chat”).

Has the ascendance of online activity already rendered  obsolete print publications in high school? Will there still be opportunities for students to polish journalistic skills and have a particular activity to add to a resumé?

And as a side note, high school annuals are a rich source of revealing names popular at the time.




The senior cla ss voted last fall to keep up the tradition of the last few years, and have a Bryannual. They got their heads together one day, and elected Mary Adams as editor, and Phyllis Mathiason and Janet Clutter as Assistant Editors. Melvin Onderdonk was chosen Business Manager, and Keith Carpenter, Assistant, but Melvin was unable to keep the position after two or three weeks. All the ink drawings in the Bryannual were done by one of the Seniors, Peggy Riegel. Charlotte Drake and Harold Grinnell were our Circulation Managers.

The 1942 Bryannual is strikingly different from any other annual ever produced at Bryan. It is photographed by a special process, consequently we hope you will find it very interesting. Needless to say we of the staff enjoyed our part of it very much.

This is the first year the Bryannual has been made outside of Yellow Springs. Two years ago the Antioch Press printed it, and last year, as you remember, it was mimeographed.

The articles in the Bryannual were all written by members of the Senior class. Soon after the staff was elected the articles were assigned to different members of the class. They all cooperated very well in produiction of their yearbook, and I am sure they all enjoyed working together on it.

The Senior class hopes that each of one you enjoy reading this annual, and that you will want to keep it. We also hope that the success of this Bryannual will make fhe future Senior classes of Bryan produce bigger and better books.


Early last September a small group of Bryanites got their heads together one night after school and organized the Bryan Chitter Chat for another year. Mary Adams filled the spot as Editor, taking Marianna Grimes’ place from last year. The Chitter Chat started off with a bang by selling every copy of the very first issue. Through the capable management of Mary Jean Tibbs, our Circulation Manager, we have sold 90 copies practically every issue.

About a week before the Chitter Chat is on sale, we start to collect the articles. On Friday a small group of typists stays after school, puts the articles into columns, and lays [out] the paper for the next issue.

Monday and Tuesday evenings the paper is stenciled, mimeographed, and assembled, and Wednesday, at noon, the Bryan students pay three cents for a copy of their school paper. They read about school sports, biographis of Seniors and teachers, class news, birthdays, Student Board and F.H.A. news, and, of course, special features.

Charlotte Drake was a very capable and efficient business manager, and after Christmas, Eric Baklanoff became our Assistant Editor.

During the whole year, the Bryan students have been very cooperative. Betty Shellhaas was the best helper and typist and editor could hope to have. Other people who wrote or stayed after school and worked on the paper were: Elton Arment, Mary Ellen Brannum, Lois Buchanan, Janet Clutter, Barbara Figgins, Edith Ann Fink, Grace Fitgerald, Carolyn Gray, Patty Grote, Nina Hamilton, Natalie Harris, Mary Hull, Mary James, Jeannie Liddle, Phyllis Mathiasen, Maurice Pemberton, Peggy Riegel, Betty Shellhaas, Robert Treuer, Patricia Williams, and Anna Wilson.

Posted in Artifacts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Another View of Early Antioch College

This stereoscope card shows the president’s house built for Horace Mann at left and Main Building at right of early bare-bones Antioch College.

The Mann house was lost to fire.

Steroscope card front

Steroscope card front


Stereoscope card reverse


Composite from stereoscope card

Posted in Artifacts | Tagged , | Leave a comment