Category Archives: Local History

Our Most Famous Locals

Somebody posted an article on Facebook listing the most famous person from each of Ohio’s eighty-eight counties. Going down the list I came across lost of familiar faces and stories. Rather than reprinting the entire article, I decided to cull out just those regarding Highland and surrounding counties. While there may be disagreement here’s the judge’s choices.

HIGHLAND COUNTY: Donald Eugene Lytle played bass and steel guitar for country legend George Jones. But he changed his name to “Johnny Paycheck” and struck out on his own for a successful solo career that included several top 40 hits. He was born in Greenfield.

FAYETTE COUNTY: Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter started all four years of his tenure with the Buckeyes, but is perhaps best known for throwing the pass that was intercepted by Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman in the 1978 Gator Bowl. Buckeye coaching great Woody Hayes punched Bauman at the conclusion of that play, ending his career. Schlichter was drafted into the NFL by the Colts in 1982. But his career was cut short by legal and personal problems brought on by compulsive gambling. He was in and out of jails frequently between 1995 and 2006 on various fraud and forgery charges related to his gambling addiction. In 2012, a federal judge sentenced him to nearly 11 years in prison for scamming participants in a sports ticket scheme. He was born in Washington Court House.

ROSS COUNTY: Nancy Wilson released more than 70 albums spanning genres such as blues, jazz and soul, and won three Grammies throughout her career. Wilson was also an actor. She was born in Chillicothe in 1937.

Runners-up: Cartoonist Billy Ireland and Shawnee chief Blue Jacket

CLINTON COUNTY: Charles Murphy — who began his professional career as a sportswriter for the Cincinnati Enquirer — bought the Chicago Cubs in 1905 with a loan from Enquirer owner Charles Phelps Taft. He owned the franchise when it won its only two World Series championships in 1907 and 1908. Murphy was born in Wilmington in 1868.

Runner-up: General James W. Denver, for whom Denver, Colorado is named.

PIKE COUNTY: Branch Rickey is best known for helping to break baseball’s color barrier as an executive of the Brooklyn Dodgers by signing Jackie Robinson in the 1940s. Rickey’s career in Major League Baseball also earned him a place in the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame. He was born in Stockdale.

ADAMS COUNTY: Jack Roush is the chairman of the board of the engineering firm Roush Industries, but most readers probably know him as the owner of NASCAR team Roush Fenway Racing. He’s known as “The Cat in the Hat” because he is rarely without his trademark Panama Hat. Roush was born in Kentucky but grew up in Manchester, Ohio.

Runner-up: Cowboy Copas, the country singer who died in the plane crash that killed Patsy Cline

 

Clyde Beatty – Bainbridge’s King of the Big Top!

NOTE: I originally published this collection of memories on February 12, 2004. It mostly consists of input from people who knew or knew of Clyde Beatty. 

NOTE X 2: I mentioned on Facebook that I’d recently observed a Clyde Beatty Exhibit or Museum in a Bainbridge storefront. A friend sent me this link to the exhibit and its hours of operation. Click HERE.

Bainbridge’s Clyde Beatty

My wife is a black and white game show addict. During the night, when she can’t sleep, she often watches old reruns of What’s My Line, I’ve Got A Secret, etc. When she sees something that I may be interested in, she will frequently record it for me. Last night she was watching a rerun of What’s My Line and the featured “Mr. X” turned out to be Bainbridge’s own Clyde Beatty. If you’re too young to remember Clyde, he was a renowned animal trainer who appeared in several movies and with the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus for many years. I did a little Internet snooping and came up with the following information:

Continue reading Clyde Beatty – Bainbridge’s King of the Big Top!

The Charity Newsies?

I’ve been cleaning junk drawers and came across three envelopes, each containing a money folder and a crisp new “Christmas Dollar.” Apparently, they were a money making project of a newspaper related charity out of Columbus called, Charity Newsies.  It seems that the Big Bear chain of groceries, which I think is now defunct, had something to do with sponsorship.

It appears the deal was to take a factory fresh dollar bill and paste the face of Santa over George’s. Wrap it all in a nice bundle and sell it for more than a dollar.

We have no recollection of when or where we acquired these but maybe some of you can shed light on it.

CHARITY NEWIES’ CHRISTMAS DOLLARS

August West, Alexander Beatty, & Abolition Lane

There are some great stories regarding African American History in and around Greenfield. When I first returned to teach in South Salem I began to learn about the area’s involvement in the Underground Railroad. I drove a school bus route and there were several homes along the route that were reported to have once been so-called stations on the road. Same thing in Greenfield. My cousin lived in a home on Jefferson St that had been a stopping point for slaves escaping the South. Books have been written and the Greenfield Historical Association has substantial files regarding the village’s role in the movement. The area had been, maybe because of a sizable Quaker population, a hotbed of abolitionist activity.

Continue reading August West, Alexander Beatty, & Abolition Lane

Patterson v. Board of Education of Greenfield, 1886

I originally published this as part of Black History Month in February 2009. I’ve since forgotten the source but thought it interesting enough to reprise for the 2019 event. While many may know of the Patterson family’s association with early transportation they may not be aware of their helping to change the laws regarding education in Ohio.


State of Ohio on relation of C. R. Patterson vs. The Board of Education of the Incorporated Village of Greenfield, Ohio, and W. G. Moler as Superintendent

Much has been written about the Patterson family and their work in the carriage and automobile business. Here is little-known information about the Pattersons. It shows the importance that C. R. placed on education and how Frederick came to be the businessman that he was.

Continue reading Patterson v. Board of Education of Greenfield, 1886

The Marching Mothers of Hillsboro

Click photo for info about The Hillsboro Story.

Several years ago we went to Southern State Community College for a performance of Susan Banyas’ play, The Hillsboro Story. It was about a protest by Hillsboro, Ohio’s black community regarding segregation of the town’s schools. In going through my records I came upon a series of photos I took and among them was one of two ladies who I think played some part in what became known as the Marching Mothers. Can anyone tell me more about this and the two women? I believe one’s name is Goodrich and the other Young.

 

Highland’s Bicentennial

The village of Highland will be marking its bicentennial in September of this year. Since many of us have connections to there it’s important that we share with them in their celebration. Here’s a flyer with all the details. I’m sure more will be made known as the date nears.

highland celebration poster

Wanna’ learn some local history?

The Arc of Appalachia is holding a series of programs regarding the ancient peoples who once inhabited much of our area. The Mound Builders who constructed such places as Seip Mound, Fort Ancient, Fort Hill, and the Great Serpent Mound.

Complete information may be found at their website:

http://arcofappalachia.org/events/summer-lecture.html

arc of appalachia logo

The Melungeons of Carmel

Larry 'n NassauA few days ago there was a Facebook discussion between two individuals whose ancestors lived in the area around Carmel, Ohio. Back in 2002 I did a little research on that area, specifically about the Melungeon or Carmelite population that once were so common there. The result was published as a column in the Times-Gazette newspaper and raised a little stink because several Melungeons descendants, having never heard the term, thought I was calling them a name. In fact, I unknowingly was calling them a name by using the term Carmelite, which they perceived as being a derogatory term. Anyway, I decided to reprise the article which was based on a statistical study of these people and interviews with primary sources. Here’s the column as it was published eleven years ago.

“It would have been difficult growing up in this area and not heard of the Carmelite Indians who lived in and around the Highland County village of Carmel. I had always heard of these peoples but like many others, never knew much about them.

Continue reading The Melungeons of Carmel

Life in Lynchburg, Parts 1, 2, & 3

I got to looking around for information about a theater in Lynchburg and came across three YouTube videos of life in that fair village during what I’d guess to be the late 1930s. Even though I don’t recognize anyone it is a great flashback to a time and way of life long gone. Something any up and coming geezer could Continue reading Life in Lynchburg, Parts 1, 2, & 3

Jeff’s Corner, Where Everybody Knew Your Name

The walls were covered with carpet remnants donated by Dave Cokonougher, and the floor covered with peanut shells. It was a dark little room, formerly a barbershop operated by “Red” Barr. But it was a little lighter when the nail keg-covered lights were turned on, as well as a couple of beer signs and the small TV.

Table tops were old wooden spool ends placed atop single-leg, four-footed table bottoms that never held the tops level, and the L-shaped bar accommodated only seven tall bar stools purchased on Water Street in Chillicothe. Under the bar was a three-tap keg cooler purchased from Marian Wise, and one of the taps spewed “dark” beer mandated by Larry Chapman and a few other beer connoisseurs. Continue reading Jeff’s Corner, Where Everybody Knew Your Name

Dave Miley’s Greenfield

Dave Miley

A former Greenfield resident, Terri Bergen Robledo, recently began a group page on Facebook called Greenfield Ohio Friends Forever (GOFF). It has become very popular and much of the discussion focuses on remembrances of days gone by in our version of small-town America.

Several years ago long-time Greenfield resident, Dave Miley, penned a series of stories about his days growing up in our fair village. They were originally published on the now deactivated Greenfield-Ohio.com site where they remained archived.

With the interest shown by the GOFF group in reminiscing about the past I thought this might be a good time to reprise Miley’s stories. Hopefully they will bring a smile to anyone’s lips who ever grew up in a small, close, community.

Click HERE to read Dave’s stories.

Lynchburg a Tough Gig for the Pickers!

Dave Shaffer with pickers Mike & Frank

Many of you watched our Highland County neighbor, Lynchburg, be featured on last week’s episode of American Pickers. The pickers toured Lynchburg resident, David Shaffer’s, collection of all-things dusty but failed to pry Dave’s fingers from any of his prized possessions. One item in Shaffer’s collection is a Vincent motorcycle from the 1940s. He was offered $30k but decided it couldn’t be replaced and apparently didn’t need the cash. If you’ve ever been in Lynchburg, Dave’s store, more of a warehouse, is a downtown storefront with large glass windows. It is a kick just to press your nose against the glass and relive your transportation past. I’ve done it a couple of times and Continue reading Lynchburg a Tough Gig for the Pickers!