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History of Darke County, Ohio, from its earliest settlement to the present time .. (Volume 1) online

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tation of fuel and supplies.

The Dorman farm, nicely situated on a rising knoll skirt-
ing the north bank of Greenville creek and facing the same
pike, had been offered as a site, but considerable objection
was raised on account of its proximity to the county seat, an
objection which is not now considered sufficiently valid.

On November 26, 1884, the commissioners appointed
three trustees : S. A. IHlostetter, to serve three years : John H.
Martin, two years; and Thomas McCowen, to serve one
year. By joint action of the commissioners and trustees it
was decided to build a structure of ample proportions with
all modern conveniences. The contract for the main building
was let June 8, 1888, for $17,000. The boiler house cost
about $2,000.00. the gas fitting, heaters and radiators about
$4,000.00 and the grading of yard and making of roads and
walks about $800.00 in addition to the above.

The main building is two stories high above the basement,
is built of red brick on a stone foundation, is one htmdred and
sixteen feet front length, ninety-one feet deep on the wings,
about sixty feet above grade to square, has tower, steep
pitched slate roof and dormers. The basement is cemented
and contains a large kitchen, dining room, pantries, grocery,
fireman's work room, besides fruit and coal rooms, and a
large furnace. An eight-foot hall penetrates this floor for
eighty feet. The first floor is intersected by halls running
both ways, has a large sitting room, dining room and pan-
tries, a commodious office with parlor and bed-room attached.



DARKE COUNTY 371

Girls and boys have separate large play rooms with attached
wash, bath, sanitary closet and press room, besides two sep-
arate bed rooms and closets, contains a large room used for
nursery and dormitory, a serving room, sev-en bed rooms, one
large bath room, and boys' and girls' dormitories each with
wash, toilet and bath room attached, and all connected by
cross halls. A hospital room was furnished in the attic but
has been condemned by the state inspector of public build-
ings. Besides the main building there is a two-stor}' brick
laundry building with slate roof, size twenty-four by forty
feet, equipped with steam-washer, extracter and drying room;
a brick slaughter house size fourteen by twenty-two feet ; a
two-story frame building, size eighteen by thirty-four feet,
built for a manual training shop ; a good barn forty by eighty
feet on the fondation, with basement, in which are kept
horses and cattle ; a hog house, and four large hen houses.
Uesides these buildings, a neat and commodious brick school
house with tower and two rooms, size twenty-five by thirty-
four and twenty-eight by forty, respectively, was built in 1895,
some distance north of the main building. On December 18,
1913, there were sixty-three children in the home, thirty-five
boys and twenty-eight girls, and eleven assistants were em-
ployed.

Thomas Teal was the first superintendent of the home and
served from April, 1889, to March, 1892. He was succeeded
by Thomas Monger and wife, who served as superintendent
and matron respectively until 1912, a period of twenty years,
in a very efficient and satisfactory manner. Mr. Albert Wag-
ner and wife served from ^larch 5. 1912. to March, 1913, and
were succeeded by Air. Alvin Gilbert and wife who are the
present incumbents.

S. A. Hostetter served as trustee for seventeen years, and
was succeeded by John Suter, who served eight years, who in
turn was succeeded by Elmer Studebaker, who now occupies
this office. John H. Martin served a short time, was suc-
ceeded by John C. Turpen, who served six or eight years, and
was succeeded by J. C. Elliott, who served eiight years,
since whose term the office has been filled for brief periods
by James W. Martin, and W. B. Hough, both deceased, and is
now filled by Ed Culbertson who was recently appointed.
Thomas McCowen was succeeded by Judge J. A. Jobes. who
was appointed to fill his unexpired term. Jacob M. Brown



372 DARKE COUNTY

succeeded Jobes in 1892, served eleven years, and was in turn
succeeded by W. D. Rush, who has served ever since.

When the number of trustees was increased from three to
four in order to make the board bi-partisan, Henry Bish was
appointed to this position and served probably six years,
being succeeded by John A. McEowen, who served about ten
years. The latter resigned in 1912 and was succeeded by J.
H. Dunham, the present incumbent.

During the quarter of a century of the home's history over
six hundred children have gone through its course of training
and been placed with responsible families or in promising
employment. The children are now kept in the home until
they are eighteen years of age.

The amount of service rendered to these unfortunate chil-
dren, and through them to society, is incalculable and justi-
fies, no doubt, all the care and expense invested in them.
The following extract from the report of the Board of County
Visitors filed December 14, 1913, with Probate Judge James
B. Kolp furnishes some interesting data :

Children's Home.

The Children's Home is situated two and three-fourths
miles northeast of Greenville on a farm of fifty-two and one-
half acres. Thirty-five are tillable, eight acres are in tim-
ber, and the remainder in orchard, garden, barn-yard and
lawn. The farm is valued at $125.00 per acre.

The products this year were twelve tons of hay, one hun-
dred and sixty-four bushels rye, a silo of ensilage, one hun-
dred twenty-five bushels of potatoes, ten bushels of beets,
ten bushels of onions, five bushels of sweet potatoes and the
usual garden supplies.

On the farm at the present time are the following; Eight
cattle, four horses, twenty-two swine, seven turkeys and two
hundred chickens.

The value of the products from this farm were estimated
at $1,100.00.

The estimated net annual expense, besides products, was
$11,873.29.

The management of the home was changed in March. 1913.
and Mr. and Mrs. A. Gilbert, who receive $1,000 per year sal-
ary, are now in charge.

A physician is employed at a salary of $100.00 per year.

While there are accommodations for one himdred chil-



UAKKi: COUNTY 373

dren, there are now only sixty-one children in the home. Of
these there is one crippled and one feeble-minded. The boys
and girls occupy different parts of the same building and each
department is in charge of a governess.

The girls' dormitory is fitted up with white iron beds and
the boys with wooden beds. These beds are equipped with
sheets, pillows, blankets, comforts and spreads.

A seamstress is employed to do the sewing for the inmates.

The older children, when out of school, assist with the work
of the institution. Some of the girls, who are musically in-
clined, are given instrumental lessons.

One teacher is employed to teach the home school.

The children have access to a library, the Youth's Com-
panion and Sunday school papers.

The children attend Sunday school at a church near the
home.

The clothing of the children is good and plentiful.

The brick building occupied by the superintendent and
family, the helpers and the inmates, is lighted by electricity,
heated by steam, and ventilated by windows.

The trustees have improved the building this year by
making a board floor in the children's dining room and the
kitchen, and by building fire escapes to the boys' and girls'
dormitories and children's dining room. They have repaired,
roofed and repainted the barn.

Carnegie Library.

One of the most popular and useful institutions in the
cotmty is the Carnegie library, located on the northwest cor-
ner of Fifth and Sycamore streets, Greenville, Ohio, on
grounds formerly comprising a portion of the West School
play grounds. The beginning of this excellent library- prop-
erly dates from the administration of Prof. F. Gillum
Cromer as superintendent of the public schools. Professor
Cromer became superintendent in 1888 and soon began to
plan for a library for the use of the school children. Wash-
ington's birthday entertainments were given by the scholars of
the public schools ("which then comprised the East (high)
school and West school) and the money thus earned was
used to purchase books and maintain the library, which was
then called the "Free School Library." As the library in-
creased in size it was deemed desirable to equip a centrally
located room and open up the library to the general public.



374 DARKE COITNTY

Appreciating the benefit conferred upon a community by the
possession of such an institution, Mr. Frank M. McWhinney,
a public spirited citizen, donated the use of the lower floor of
his brick business room on West Fifth street, opposite the
Christian Tabernacle, for the housing of the growing library.
This room was nicely furnished by the board of education
and in 1892 the books were moved into it. Mr. Henry St.
Clair, a wholesale grocer and far-seeing citizen, added an ex-
cellent reference library, comprising dictionaries, atlases, cy-
clopedias, theological, historical and reference books gen-
erally and furnished a secluded alcove for the especial use of
the ministers, professional men and literary club women.
Miss Josie Ford was employed as the first librarian. She
was succeeded bv Aliss Callie Biltemier. The library in-
creased in size and usefulness and in the early spring of 1901,
Mr. D. L. Gaskill, representing the board of education of the
city of Greenville, wrote Andrew Carnegie asking whether,
if the city of Greenville would pledge itself for the support
of a library, he would not make a donation for a library for
that city. Within three days an answer came back from Mr.
Carnegie stating that if the city of Greenville would provide
for its support in the sum of $1,500.00 per year, he v>-ould be
glad to give $15,000.00 for the erection of a library. Imme-
diate steps were taken by the board of education and the city
council of Greenville to pledge that amount of support for the
library and Mr. D. L. Gaskill, Mr. L. C. Anderson and Mr. A.
H. Brandon went to Pittsburgh to .get ideas on library con-
struction. After looking over libraries in that city and con-
sulting with Mr. Anderson, librarian of the libraries of
Pittsburgh, the latter advised that Greenville should have a
better library than $15,000.00 would build, and in reply to a
question put to him by Mr. Gaskill, he .stated he would be
very glad to write a letter advising Mr. Carnegie to that
efTect. He ga\'e the committee such a letter and upon their
return ^Ir. Henry St. Clair gave the committee another let-
ter stating he intended to maintain the reference library as he
had been in the past. These letters were forwarded to Mr.
Carnegie in Xew York, but owing to the fact that Mr. Car-
negie had gone to Scotland, they were forwarded to Skibo
Castle and in about two months an answer was received
from Mr. Carnegie that if the citv of Greenville would in-
crease the amount which they pledged for its support to
$2,500.00 he would be glad to give $25,000.00 for the library.



DARKE COUNTY



375



The board of education immediately altered the plans and
called for bids on a library that could be built for $25,000.00.
When the bids were received, however, it was found that it
would require close to $30,000.00 to construct a library in
accordance with the plans as made and Mr. W. S. Kaufman,
who was the architect of the building, was instructed to
modify the plans. A few days later Mr. Gaskill, when in con-
versation with Mr. St. Clair, stated that the plans had to be
modified in order to reduce the cost and Mr. St. Clair, who
was familiar with the plans, stated that it would be a great
pity to alter the plans from what had been originally in-
tended and that if the board of education would proceed to
build it as originally planned, he would make up what mone}'
Mr. Carnegie lacked in building it. The architect was imme-
diately notified not to change the plans and the work was
undertaken on the original plans. Mr. D. L. Gaskill was
chairman of the building committee, and took personal
charge of the construction. The members of the school board
at that time were: L. C. Anderson, D. L. Gaskill, George W.
Mannix. Jr., H. C. Jacobi, A. F. Markwith and F. T. Conklin.

There is no building in the city for beauty and excellence
and benefit to the citizens that exceeds the Carnegie library.'
Mr. St. Clair contributed to its building and erection the
sum of $3,610.50. Mr. Carnegie gave $25,000.00, and the
board of education, from the library fund, contributed suffi-
cient to make up the remaining cost, which totaled $31,177.50.
At the time the construction was made, building material and
labor was low, and the same building to be constructed ten
years later would have cost probably $45,000.00.

This building is about ninety feet in length and seventv
feet in width, and is two stories in height. The outside con-
struction of the first, or basement story, is of Bedford stone,
while the second story is of bufif pressed brick, trimmed in
oolitic stone, and the roof is covered with red tile. The li-
brary' is entered by wide steps under a portico. A dnorwav
leads from the portico into a vestibule finished in marble.
A rise of ten steps leads to the lobby, finished in quartered
oak and encaustic Mosaic tile. The librarian's desk is placed
midway in the lobby and is octagonal in form. The chil-
dren's reading room, twenty-five by thirty feet, is situated
on the right of the lobby: the adult's reading room, of the
same size, on the left. The St. Clair reference room is in
the rear of the adult's reading- room, and the stack room in



376 DAKKIC CdUNIV

the rear of the children's reading room. In the rear of the
lobby is the librarian's office. Large, plate-glass panels sep-
arate these rooms from the lobby, but give excellent vision
from the librarian's desk over the whole of the library. Cases
are arranged around the wall with alcoves in stack room.
The St. Clair room is elegantly furnished in Vvalnut, has a
beautiful Shakespeare memorial window separating" it from
the adult's room, a stained memorial window of the donor, a
beautiful marble statuette from Paris, besides heavy and cost-
ly furnishings and a tile floor. The whole interior is taste-
fully and appropriately frescoed, the librarian's office being
done in quaint Egyptian design and colors, while the lobby
shows portraits of distinguished literary men and appropriate
mottoes.

The first floor is occupied by the public museum, stack
room for government reports, etc., heating plant and janitor's
work room. Toilet rooms, finished in marble and tile are on
both floors.

The corner stone was laid with impressi^■e ^lasonic exer-
cises on October 30, 1901, and the new building was dedicated
March 19, 1903, the books having been transferred from the
"McWhinney building by the school children. Miss Isabelle
M. Rosser and Miss Lucy Gard Arnold served as librarians
for several years. Miss ]\Iinnie J. Routzong has been librar-
ian and ]\Iiss Minnie Bertram, assistant librarian, for some
time. Besides the two librarians, a janitor and museum at-
tendant are employed with a monthly pay roll of .?145.00.
The library and museum are under the control of the city
board of education, being regarded as an adjunct to the city
schools, and are maintained largely by a local tax le\y. The
librarian's report for the year ending December 31, 1913,
shows a total of 13,731 volumes, of which 11.631 are for
adults and 2,100 for children. Besides these boo'cs sixty-five
current periodicals are received. Two thousand one hundred
and twelve patrons have cards on file. A charge of one dol-
lar per year is made for non-residents and twenty-one cards
are held by country borrowers. The pupils in the public
schools are the largest patrons and probably derive greatest
benefit from this institution, although professional men, ckib
women and the public generallv constantly patronize it also.



DARKE COUNTY Z77



The Public Museum.



The building of the Carnegie library in the count}- seat
suggested the propriety of establishing a puldic nuiseum
wherein might be gathered and properly exhibited the relics
of Indian occupancy, and the St. Clair and Wayne campaigns,
pioneer implements, minerals, manuscripts and other mate-
rial of an educational nature. For probably thirty years pre-
vious to this time, Messrs. G. Anthony and Charles Katzen-
berger had purchased and secured a large number of the most
valuable stone and iron implements of early days, firearms,
coins, and curios which they kept displayed in a room above
their brick grocery on the public square where the new post-
office building is now located. Upon the death of Anthony
Katzenberger in 1894, the collection became the property of
his brother Charles,, who in response to public sentiment,
agreed to transfer the same to the new librarv building upon
its completion, where the public might have free access to
same. The Greenville city board of education gladly ac-
cepted the generous ofifer of this public spirited citizen and in
the fall of 1901 appointed three trustees to take charge of this
collection, solicit and receive other similar collections and
objects and provide for their proper exhibition. These trus-
tees organized in October, 1901, by electing Frazer E. Wilson,
president ; George A. Katzenberger, secretary, and A. C.
Robeson, treasurer. These trustees petitioned and secured
from the board appropriations for constructing and securing
neat and substantial oak and glass wall cases, flat cases and
tables from time to time in which the collections were neatly
arranged according to kind and classification so that upon the ■
dedication of the librar}' in March, 1903, a fine exhibition was
made of articles collected at that time. Since that time the
museum has grown steadily. New collections have been
added, new cases installed and the collections arranged and
rearranged many times by the hand of the veteran collector,
Mr. Charles Katzenberger, who has constantly donated his
services for that purpose without charge. Among the rarest
and most valuable collections added was that formerly belong-
ing to John Slife, an old citizen of Mercer county, who li\-ed
a short distance out of Fort Recovery near the site of the
encampment of the I^Zentucky Militia on November 3, 1791.
This man had been an energetic and tireless collector frr
years and had assembled the largest and most vakial)le ml-



378 DARKE COUNTY

lections of firearms and military relics of St. Clair and Wayne
armies ever gotten together on the site of St. Clair's defeat.
Upon the suggestion of Mr. Calvin Young and Mr. F. E. Wil-
son, Mrs. F. M. McWhinney generously agreed to donate
$125.00 for the purchase of these relics which are now con-
sidered worth many times the price as they represent prob-
abh- the most disastrous conflict that ever took place on Ohio
soil. On Tuesday, January 10, 1905, Mr. George Katzen-
berger, Mr. Wilson and j\Ir. Allen Murphy drove to Fort Re-
covery and secured this priceless collection which comprises
several flint lock muskets, separate locks, musket barrels,
bayonets, knives, tomahawks, musket balls, small shot, can-
non balls, military buttons, stirrups, a camp kettle, United
States steel yard, besides many small but intensely interest-
ing pieces. One of the most highly prized objects in this
collection is a United States officer's sword, said to have been
found in an old log in 1859. and having the name Arthur But-
ler scratched on the blade. Dr. George I. Gunckel, an oral
surgeon in the United States army, former^ of Greenville,
where he married Miss Rome Turner, a descendant of Dr.
Gabriel Miesse, the veteran collector, has made valuable
loans of local relics from time to time, besides a wonderful
collection of implements and curios from the Philippine
Islands, largely pertaining to the Spanish-American war. This
is said to be one of the most valuable collections of the kind
in the United States, and occupies some six or eight of the
three by eight foot cases. In addition Dr. Gunckel has loaned
a Revolutionary cannon and numerous relics of the Civil
war, including the cannon from Mobile harbor, four large
pointed shells fired at Fort Sumpter and a large mortar shell
fired from Fort Pickens, the latter objects now being mounted
and displayed on the library lawn.

In the Katzenberger collections are included a very select
case of rare polished stone implements,, a case of iron imple-
ments and relics of the St. Clair and Wayne expeditions, a
fine case of old and new firearms, a case of old books and
manuscripts, a case of rare and old coins, besides mixed col-
lections of rare and interesting objects. Portions of the re-
mains of various mastodons discovered in recent years in
various localities in the county and the tooth of a mammoth
are shown, besides a large and representative assortment of
pioneer implements, selected mineral specimens, collections
of local insects, and bird nests, collections from Mexico and



DARKE COUNTY 379

the Holy Land, etc., etc. On the walls are exhibited various
interesting pictures and prints including fine oil paintings of
St. Clair, Wayne and Little Turtle, painted and donated to
the Historical Society by Kitty Matchett Vaughan, a photo-
graph of the original document of the treaty of Greenville,
and a deed for the townsite of Greenville. The museum now
occupies three of the largest rooms besides the wide hall in
the basement of the library, and probably contains three or
four thousand separate articles exhibited in some forty glass
cases. It is probable that this is the finest local museum
operated by anv city of the size in Ohio or even in the United
States. Its value to the students in the schools of the county
and to the public generallv as a stimulant to the study of
local history and traditions is almost inestimable. For its
educational and sentimental value it should continue to re-
ceive the hearty support and patronage of our citizens for
many years.

At this time Mr. Charles Katzenberger is still acting as
Curator, in which capacity he exhibits decided talent and a
fine enthusiasm. Prof. Frank M. White, for many years in-
structor in German and Latin in the high school, is acting as
usher in the afternoons, and Messrs. George A. Katzenberger
and F. E. Wilson are trustees.

Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall.

Through the kindness and public spirit of the late Henry
St. Clair, the people of Greenville and the citizens of Darke
county have received one of their most valuable public insti-
tutions in the way of a fine modern building in wdiich are
housed the new departments of the public schools and in
which is provided a large, finely constructed and equipped
auditorium for all sorts of public gatherings. For some years
prior to his decease, Mr. St. Clair had in mind the construc-
tion of just such a building as this, which he hoped to com-
plete and present to the city of Greenville during his life-
time. His untimely death on October 7, 1908, however, in-
terfered with these plans as far as his personal participation
was concerned. When his will was read, among the manv
benefactions therein contained was the following:

"I will and bequeath to the board of education of the citv
of Greenville. Ohio, and its successors in office perpetually,
Ihe sum of $100,000.00, to be used hv said board of education



380 DARKE COUNTY

and its successors for the purpose of erecting a memorial
hall for the use of large and small assemblies and for the use
and betterment of the public schools in any manner in which
said board mav think most practicable and beneficial to the
public."

Acting upon this generous bequest the board of education,
of which Mr. St. Clair had been a member, planned a building
in conformity to his expressed wish, which, when completed,
was one of the most beautiful and best equipped of its type
in the state of Ohio. Before erection various sites were dis-
cussed and considered, and it was finally decided to place the
building near the center of the West school grounds on ac-
count of its central location and proximity to the Carnegie
library and the high school building, to which latter institu-
tion it was to be a valuable adjunct. In order to place it on
this site it was necessary to move the three-story brick high
school building which had stood partially on this spot since
its erection in 1868 and originally contained over seven hun-
dred thousand bricks. This building had originally cost
$25,000.00, exclusive of the heating plant and gas fixtures, and