Photographer’s Challenge

The photographer for this item from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection, bearing the note “Group Johnson?” faced a daunting prospect in capturing all members of this large group and was not entirely successful, since most of the y9ungest were evidently wriggling. At least the family dog in the lower left corner seemed cooperative.

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Congressman Fess Explains

This article from the September 6, 1918 issue of the Lima Times-Democrat illustrates the passion generated about the idea of religious exemption.

Logan and Champaign County Citizens Are Active

A meeting of great interest in this part of the state, owing to the large number of Mennonites residing to this section, was held at Yellow Springs, Wednesday. Three hundred indignant Champaign county citizens drove to the home of Congressman S. D. Fess, in Yellow Springs, to discuss the future handling of the Mennonites, who are charged with steadfastly refusing to take any part in the war, either financing or fighting the actual battles.

Dr. Fess, who is an Allen county boy making the incident doubly interesting here, is known as one of the best posted men in the country on the constitution and the laws of the country, and the citizens of Champaign county received more information about the Mennonite subject than they had ever obtained before.

Dr. Fess Explains

He explains that the sectioin of the constitutioni so often quoted which reads “Congress shall make no oaws respcting as establishment of religion or prohitibing the free exercise therof,” was drafted originally for the benefit of the old Quaker sect that has been in this country since the very beginning; that their exemption from participating in war was recognized in both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, but that they had worked in other lines, which to some extent compensated for their inactivity on the battle line. He agreed with the first speaker that there is nothing in the constitution which gives them any right to shirk military duties in any form but if they have any rights it is by reason of a legislation passed by the present congress. He further made it very plain that he would like to have all of the facts tabulated so that he might take the matter up with the war department and if he did not succeed in getting relief he would then present the mattr to congress.

Dr. Fess, after hearing the complaints against the Mennonites, gave it as his opinion that there was not a law on the books that could be construed to mean that the Mennonites should not aid in the war.

Very Emphatic

Dr. Fess was very emphatic in his denunciation of anybody or any sect that would take advantage of a situation in times like this to shirk from their real duty. He stated in unmistakable terms that Mennonites were no better than anybody else, regardless of their profession; that he had two boys in the service and that they were as good as anybody else’s boys but no better, but that every boy like them and every man within the draft age had his duty toward his country and so far as he was able he would see that it was done.

He further cautioned those present to avoid any irregularities so that the matter could be put before the war department and congress and with clean hands so far as he and the people he represents are concerned.

Resolutions will be drafted by Champaign county citizens and the matter taken up with the War Department by Congressman Fess.

Some Instances

The Urbana Democrat cites the following instances which have caused added indignation to Champaign county:

An aggravating circumstance which had more to do with this indignation meeting than anything else happened just a few days since in Salem township. A young man bv the name of Humphreys was working for Jacob Kenaga. His father and mother being dead he was contributing toward the support of a little brother and sister. He was called by the government in the last draft. The Mennonites went to Camp Sheridan and brought home a Mennonite soldier boy to take Mr. Humprey’s place on the Kenaga farm. The soldier boy has nobody depending upon him and it does indeed seem cruel that he be permitted to stay at home and the boy who was doing something worth while in the world doing the work of a real man, should be compelled to leave his little brother and sister and take the place of this so-called conscientious objector, whom the people claim are using their religion as a cloak to shirk the duties and responsibilities that should now rest upon the shoulders of every American citizen


Another Incident

Another peculiar incident that has much to do with the indignation of these people brought out at the meeting, is as follows:

At the time Archie Yoder was arraigned for his preliminary hearing before United States Commissioner West at Bellefontaine, the Mennonites put a little girl ten years of age on the witness stand and she testified that she could not conscientiously salute the American flag. Every right-minded man and woman knows that on the subject of conscientiousness his child could not at so tender an age have formed any definite ideas. Every man and woman that thinks knows that this was a subterfuge which was a scheme and plan to shield a father who was arbitrarily leading his children in the wrong direction on the question of patriotism.

Another incident which happened within the last few days, the Mennonite minister, it is said, went to a young man who is not of his congregation and said to him “If you willing to join our church I will keep you out of war.” This in itself looks to the people of that neighborhood like a direct effort on the part of this minister to interfere with the government and the draft system and is clearly within the purview of the espionage act.

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Yellow Springs Touched by World War I in 1918

Dayton Daily News, March 10, 1918


Special to The Sunday News

XENIA, O., March 9.—One-third of a cake made of wheat flour substitutes sold to the highest bidder for $12 at an auction sale held at Yellow Springs Saturday afternoon, in which $1400 was realized by the Yellow Springs branch of the Greene county chapter of Red Cross. Every thing offered for sale at the auction had been donated by citizens of the community.

The sale was opened shortly after noon by County Commissioner R. E. Corry and aside from the high price paid for the “war cake,” another cake brought $11.50; a colt $75; hogs sold anywhere from $25 to $45; maple syrup, which ordinarily brings around $1.25 a gallon sold from $4.75 to $5 a gallon and other articles brought proportionately high prices.

Auctioneers who offered their services gratis at the sale were R. E. Corry, Carl Taylor, Harry Wilson and Harry Cannon of Yellow Springs and John Webb and R. R. Grieve of Xenia.

Dayton Daily News, April 13, 1918

Pupils of the Yellow Springs high school put themselves “over the top” in their Y.M.C.A. War work subscriptions by their entertainment Thursday night. The school pledged $150 toward the fund, $25 of which had been paid. The school packed the house at its performance, making enough money to pay its subscription. The school rendered an excellent program consisting of music, instrumental and vocal, and readings.

Lima Gazette-Republican, Jun 7, 1918


SPRINGFIELD, June 6.—Hopes entertained by Floyd and Edward Hauser of Yellow Springs, Ohio, twins, that they might go to France together and fight side by side in the war have been shattered with the recent departure from Camp Sherman of Floyd Hauser for overseas service. His brother hopes to follow him to France within a short time. The brothers were drafted at the same time and assigned to the same company at Camp Sherman, and with Floyd’s departure, are separated for the first time in their lives.

Akron Beacon-Journal, July 29, 1918


COLUMBUS, O. , July 29 — “The man who urges peace today is the most un-American person under the sky,” declared Congressman S. D. Fess, of Yellow Springs, during a patriotic address here. He said there will be time to arrange peace terms with Germany after the American Army reaches Berlin.

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This photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection bears the caption “Family,” and the child seems almost lost among the somber adults.

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J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 37

In which J. Peery Miller becomes a family man in Yellow Springs.

Now it is necessary for me to go back to the period which I spent in Olney, Ill. as maanger of our branch store at that place, in order to relate a few facts connected with the most important event of my life. Olney was then a beautiful little town of about three-thousand inhabitants. The people were busily engaged in life’s pursuits along all lines with earnest endeavor to do their best. Society functions in church and civic organizations gave the young people opportunity to meet and enjoy those social features so necessary in all well regulated communities. Naturally I soon found myself in association with friends and I made many acquaintances among the good people of the city.

On one of these pleasurable occasions I met and conversed with a young lady whose manners and common sense view of conduct appealed to my understanding of a true lady. Renewed acquaintanceship with this lady ripened into mutual friendship, love and our marriage,—the latter on the evening of March 15, 1870. My wife, Elizabeth Ellen Stone, was a daughter of Robert Sanford Stone, Brownsville, Pa. Our marriage took place at the home of my wife’s brother, Thomas J. Stone, where she was temporarily residing.

Our wedding trip consisted of a parlor-car ride via the Ohio and Mississippi railroad to Cincinnati, Ohio. After visiting the many points of interest in the city, we went directly to Yellow Springs via the Little Miami R.R., where we were hospitably entertained for two weeks at the home of my brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Wise. During this interval I purchased property on south Xenia avenue for our future home Thus in two weeks’ time after our marriage we were happily settled in a home of our own.

Our house was plainly furnished with the principal necessities for housekeeping. Elaborate and expensive equipment with people of moderate means fifty or sixty years ago was not common. Pay at once for what you purchase and add to your stock as you are able to pay was the rule. Buy and pay on the installment plan is a modern idea not in vogue fifty years ago.

As above stated, after settling up the Judy and Miller business affair, my principal financial asset was this little home occupied by myself, wife and two children, Elsie and Della. It was now plain to me that a business career was not for me, at least for a time. An ordinary clerkship, though highly respectable, was not remunerative enough to meet my expenses. Naturally I turned my mind to school teaching as an employment best suited to my attainments, especially at this critical turn in my financial career. My experience in county school teaching in Illinois was encouraging, and the district schools near by Yellow Springs were numerous and the work inviting, especially to teachers with college training. I had no trouble in securing a school to teach. The salary was small but payments were regular. Ella and I confined our expenditures to our income and the wolf was kept far from the door by strict economy and close application to business.

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A Pair of Contemplative Gentlemen

This photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection actually has a morsel of identifying informaton: “Joe Fawcett on left Livermore + E Herman?

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More Family Solemnity

This photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection bears the note “Family Old Johnson House N68,” thus giving two targets of identification.

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Life in the C.C.C. Camp September/October 1938


It seems that too many of the enrollees of this company take the idea of FRIDAY NIGHT PASSES as a casual thing that seems to come automatically.

On the contrary, the Commanding Officer has the discretion to issue or refuse these passes. A FRIDAY NIGHT PASS is ONLY given as a reward for good work, in the field and in camp, for participation in the educational and recreational program, and for personal efforts toward self-improvement. It is NEVER a routine which comes at the end of every work week just for putting in full time on the job.

The enrollees of this company can indeed consider themselves fortunate in being located in a camp so centrally located that “home” is just a short distance away, and in being granted FRIDAY NIGHT PASSES as regularly as they receive their pay.

There are a great many camps in this District which authorize week-end passes only ONCE or TWICE a month,–and the men are mighty glad to get them. I think, therefore, that the enrollees of my command should realize that they are getting somewhat of a special reward in receiving FRIDAY NIGHT PASSES, rather than a more automatic pass which is taken for granted.

I sincerely hope that I won’t have to cut these passes to one or two a month as is the practice in most camps in the Fifth Corps Area, but I will do just that if I must. By all means, if you DO get a pass, please don’t come back on Monday or later AWOL, as this will reflect on the rest of the company. The only recourse in that case is to give up the FRIDAY NIGHT PASS entirely.

LINDEN CHASE, 2nd Lieut., FA-Ros., 401st FA, Commanding


Everything is in our favor to hold our Superior rating which we got last month. In order to have a superior rating everything must be above standard. Our kitchen heretofore hasn’t been quite that way. Now our future has brightened with the addition of two veteran cooks and a baker. These new cooks are Albert Niedenfuhr and Venard King and the baker is :Pop” Calhoon. All have had a number of years experience in cooking and pastry work and will work our Junior cooks and teach them the old tricks in cooking.

Lets take a look at their lives. Niedenfuhr served seven and on-half years in the United States Marine Corps (he is not another Sowers though, boys). There he saw the hard knocks of life and did a lot of traveling. He can tell of many interesting happenings across the pond. After leaving the Marines the Government sent him to their pastry school from where he has a certificate of graduation. He is a veteran of the World War. He entered the CCCs about four years ago and has been in quite a number of camps in Ohio and some of the Southern States. He has served as first cook, chief baker, and mess steward. His home town is Mt. Victory, Ohio.

Venard King is also a World War Veteran. He spent two years in service in the Machine Gunners Division. There he was wounded and sent to the hospital for six months. He won high honors while in service. He has been in the CCC for two years. He worked six months in the field and the remainder of the time he has been in the kitchen. He has served as second cook, first cook, mess steward, and baker in different camps that he has been in.

“Pop” Calhoon was one of the men transferred here from the West. He has been in our midst but a short time but we can say that his baking has been a great help to our daily menus. He has had quite a number of years experience in the baking business with some of our countrys leading bakeries.

All say that our eats will be better from now on. Have you noticed the difference? The food is better prepared and we have more of a variety. Keep up the good work, boys, and I’m sure that everyone in camp will be your friends and respect you. We only hope that our Junior cooks will follow in your footsteps and make our kitchen second to none in the Fifth Corps area.



2—Divisions into which Districts are divided in the CCC.
11—What an enrollee should do with his socks, if they have holes. (P1)
12—A sound of surprise (Not “OH!”)
13—A utensil you fry things in (Also an enrollee’s mug).
15—You catch fish in this. (A woman sets one over her hair).
16—A professional (as in golf).
17—A boy’s school in England.
18—Precious stones.
19—A rodent (you call fellows this when they tell on you).
20—A snake.
22—A grain (also a kind of whiskey).
23—Past of have.
24—Not on.
25—Feminine pronoun.
27—Often (poetic)
29—Not young (often used in reference to your father as “the _ man”).

32—What your girl did with the letter you wrote asking for forgiveness.
33—A song by three people.
34—Open (poetic)
35—To decay
37—What you do to the mess hall. (You do it with rags and along handle).
38—North East (abbr.).
39—When you break your razor this is the result.
41—Same as 38.
42—A subdivision. CCC camps used to be divided int them: __ & __.


1—What the editor is in charge of. Also you write on it, etc.
3—Head of the camp paper (Abbr.).
4—Tin container (you also call the rear parts of the enrollees by this name).
5—You plant these. Forest camps work with them (there’s a poem on them).
6—Ontarion (Abbr.).
7—18th and 19th letters of the alphabet.
8—Past tense of choose.
10—Facts; a collection of information.
12—The organization that runs the CCC (Every country has one).
14—Two words meaning “you can’t do it here” (this is two words).
16—To act.
20—Fuss, bustle (“Much ___ About Nothing”)
21—A utensil to cook in. (Farmers have china ones under the bed.
25—A rock.
26—While there is life there is ___ (Missing word in “Faith, ___, and Charity.”).
28—To ride on top of the water.
30—King of beasts One growls at you from every MGM movie.
31—Name of one of the 7 Dwarfs in Snow White (Means dizzy).
35—Recreation Hall, short form (___ Hall)
36—Three (as in ___ motor airplane).
39—To exist.
40—to perform something.

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Solemn Group

Instead of a photo of an anonymous “house,” this photo from the Kahoe glass plate negative collection is of an anonymous “family.”

The masses of ivy against a brick wall suggest that the setting was a building on Antioch’s campus. Does this also suggest that the family portrayed was connected with the college, or was it simply a favorite backdrop for the photographer?

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J. Peery Miller Memoirs — Part 36

In which J. Peery Miller winds back up in Yellow Springs after several job changes…

This winter (1867-68) passed quickly and very pleasantly. By the first of April I was ready and quite willing to resume class work again at Antioch. The teaching experience was excellent training and the money received for it was much needed to pay term bills and other college expenses.

Fifty-five years later (1923), on a visiting trip back to the scenes here described, I passed by this school house which is still in use. I assured a kodak snap-shot to commemorate the spot of my first teaching endeavor (See pg. ).


As previously stated, I continued my college course of study to the junior year when circumstances advised another stop. I again returned to McLane county, Illinois, and labored as a farm hand with Elias Garst, who had moved from our Bethel, O., neighborhood to that county about the same time that brother Harrison vacated his Ohio home. Mr. Garst had been one of our neighbors and also a soldier comrade in the Civil War.

I agreed to work for Mr. Garst, for a few months only, at twenty dollars per month, the top price for farm hands at that time. I had in mind something more remunerative as soon as that something turned up. In the meantime I must not be idle. Twenty dollars a month and board was not bad pay. No certificate of competency was demanded, a relief to be appreciated. My experience in farm work at Bethel under my father’s competent tutelage was sufficient guarantee that I could do the work unless my five years at Antioch had made me lazy. Mr. Garst was very willing to give me the job.

In the middle of the summer 1869, I went from Mr. Garst’s to Sumner, Ill. to investigate a proposition to join my brother-in-law, Holiver Judy, in the tinning and stoveware business. Mr. Judy had been in this business in Sumner several years before his marriage to my sister Catherine, December 24, 1868. He now thought that a location somewhere in eastern Kansas offered a better field for money making. I went with him to this region for the purpose of investigating future prospects.

Typical Tinware

We found the country wild for speculation, rents enormously high, – too high for us with our limited capital. Prudence dictated that we return to Sumner and study a plan to increase facilities for a larger business at that point. Sumner was then a lively, growing town of five or six-hundred inhabitants, situated at what was then the Ohio and Mississippi railroad (broad gauge from Cincinnati to St. Louis). Olney, the county seat of Richland county, was twelve miles west of Sumner. I joined with Mr. Judy in establishing a branch store at this point simply as a try-out. If it did not prove profitable, the stock and fixtures could be shipped back to the Sumner house.

Stove of the Time

After a few months’ trial we decided to unite all business at Sumner again. In the early spring of 1870 we sold our entire stock and interest in the business to a local firm at a fair profit, having decided to move back to Yellow Springs, O.

The superior advantage of living in a college town with its excellent school and church privileges, in the midst of our relatives and old fiends, were strong factors in inducing us to make this change. Then, too, an opening for a stove and tinware store in Yellow Springs looked attractive, especially if a line of household furniture could be added to the business. This last was the thought of B. Judy, who was an excellent cabinet mechanic. I did not much approve of the furniture addition because of the location of the place it being so near Springfield and Xenia, both cities of competitive strength.

However, the experiment was worth trying, but many things contributed to its failure. It was now five years after the close of the Civil war. Prices slumped until people bought at wholesale war prices, as in our case, soon dropped on the market and could not be sold at retail for the first cost. Our losses were heavy and in two years’ time we found it necessary to close our entire stock at a great loss. This left me in a serious condition financially. However, I still possessed my home on Xenia avenue, which I had purchased soon after my return to Yellow Springs.

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