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‘1800s’ Category

J. Harvey Zinn & his “Innocent Lamb” Lillian

Monday, July 10th, 2017

The Zinn Lumberyard is always interesting; many people I met while researching my book remember it, yet I have never seen pictures of it. James Wells, long-time resident of the Olde North Columbus community has an abiding interest in it and has shared a couple items about the Zinns.

The first is a business card for Mr. Zinn when he ran for the school board in 1921. We’re not sure if he won or not, but it would be interesting to find those records. Don’t you love the directive, “Investigation of my Personal and Business Record Invited.”

The second is Lillian Zinn’s graduation photo from North High school in 1920. She was described as an “innocent lamb in a cruel world.”

You’ll find more information on the Zinns here.

By the way, James says he is “always interested in anything to do with J.H. Zinn and would appreciate any info about him and his family (or related subjects like his lumberyard, the North United Methodist church, where the family members were life-long attendees) or the Herron/Thornton families who lived across Tompkins street from the Zinn’s.

[Thanks for sharing these images, James!]

The Leggs

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

This is a reprint of an article by Mary Rodgers, originally appearing in the newsletter of The Clintonville Historical Society.

A brief history of Charles T and Sadie M. Legg–long time Clintonville residents–based on The Booster news article dated February 12, 1937, with additions

Charlie Legg was born on the Legg farm on April 23, 1871.  This farm, a dairy, was located North of Clintonville.  The lane leading to the Legg homestead would have been near where Webster Park Avenue is today.

Charlie’s mother was Orell E. Webster, daughter of Amazon Webster and a direct descendant of Noah Webster of American Dictionary fame.  His father was Lewis Legg, believed to be the son (or grandson) of Elijah Legg, a revolutionary war soldier from Massachusetts who settled in Ohio in 1815.

In 1937, Charlie reported that when his grandfather, Amazon Webster, moved to Clinton Township, Indians lived in the section now known as Indian Springs.  Those Indians raised cranberries.  Amazon told his grandchildren that the Indians would walk to Chillicothe to sell their berries.

Charlie’s grandmother was Mary Pinney of Worthington.  She was the daughter of Levi Pinney and Charlotte Beach.  Levi and Charlotte were the first couple to be married in Worthington, Ohio.  That was 1839.

Sadie Mitchell was born on January 27, 1874 in Circleville.  Her father was a builder.  She became Charlie’s blushing bride on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1892.  When she heard of the upcoming wedding, Sadie’s grandmother exclaimed, “Oh that name!”  Sadie’s response was that it was no worse than the last four letters of her present name!

The Leggs were married by Rev. Louis Postle and their first home was behind Dr. Burbacher’s Offices, which were located on the Southeast corner of Oakland Park and High.  The Mennonite Church stands here today.   It was reported that after a year, in 1894, they moved to into a building that had been a church at the Northeast corner of Walhalla and High street (Clinton Chapel–now Southwick-Good and Fortkamp Funeral Home).  They started a dairy farm.  After a year, they moved to property located west of the Olentangy River near what is now Lane Avenue.  Here they set up a “business” farm including the sale of corn to the Sells Circus.  Today, if you are driving north on Kenny Road from Lane Avenue, you will see a road called Legg.

When Charlie’s father could no longer care for his farm, Sadie and Charlie combined their operation with his and moved to the North Clintonville homestead.  In 1907, the Leggs sold the farm to developers Thompson, Johnson and Thompson.  The neighborhood called the Webster Park Addition was platted.  The Leggs built and sold three homes in this development.  Orell Webster Legg, Charlie’s mother, retain the portion of the farm closest to the river.  In 1909, a portion of her property was set aside for a bird sanctuary.  We call this area the Delta.

According to the 1914 records, 346 families, a population of 1,190, represented Clintonville.  The Clinton League Memory Book reports:

In 1913, a new two story brick building was erected on the corner of Dunedin Road and High Street.  It was haled with delight by residents of the neighborhood for at this place Mr. Legg opened a grocery store and Mrs. Legg had a department for notions-live-savers they were where you lived five miles from town.  There were two business rooms in this building so the post-office was moved to the one adjoining the store.  It remained there until 1917 when rural mail delivery was established.”  Today, this building houses Shim’s tailor and Melissa’s Incredible Edibles.

On July 4, 1916, Sadie’s dry goods business moved to 3339 North High.  That building was built in 1910 by J. C. Loren.  The Booster reported him as a well known contractor at the time.  He may have built some of the early homes on East North Broadway.   In fact, the home that was located at 615 East North Broadway, the carriage house for that home still stands and is know the Fisher home, was referred to as the Loren home in the Clinton Memory Book.  We know that the developer of North Broadway, James M. Loren, never lived on North Broadway, so perhaps 615 was J. C. Loren’s home.  Before Sadie, the 3339 North High building was occupied by Swope’s Grocery and Bilikam’s Grocery.  Bilikam’s later moved to North Columbus.  In 1918, the Leggs bought the building and Sadie operated her dry goods store at the site until February of 1937.  Later in life, Sadie lived in the apartment above the store.

Mr. Legg, after selling his grocery, was a city salesman for the E. E. Shedd Mercantile Company and then worked for the L. E. and C. W. Medick Co., Ford Dealers in the Clintonville community.  In fact, at her retirement in 1939, Sadie said that to get full enjoyment from her upcoming vacation, she would need a new V8 Model Ford.  Charlie commented that he wouldn’t be receiving a commission on the upcoming sale.

The Leggs told The Booster that they recalled when a saloon existed at what would now be the southwest corner of Orchard Lane and High Street (the Kroger parking lot).  The story is that while there were a dozen saloons in North Columbus, there were none in Clintonville.  Then a man was elected mayor of Columbus who closed the saloons on Sunday.  This drove the liquor dealers to move outside the city.  In those days there was a “one-mile limit” law which meant that city police could arrest people within one mile of the city limits.  So the new saloons were set up, including the one here.  The local place did a “land-office business. ” The mayor found out however that the Clintonville saloon was a few feet inside the one mile limit. (The city limit at the time was Mock Rd–now Arcadia Ave.)  So, on a Sunday morning he sent the “Black Maria,” as it was called in those days, to get the drunkards and the proprietor.  A new mayor reopened the City saloons on Sunday and the Clintonville establishment failed.

When interviewed by The Booster in 1937, the Leggs recalled the tollgate that used to block High Street just north of Arcadia.  The gate had a 3 cent per rig fee.  They also recalled when “…there was no such a thing in those days as cross streets coming into High Street, except North Broadway.  So the cars stopped at numbered stops…a pleasant memory when one thinks again of Stop 6 (now Pacemont–once known as Jason Avenue); Stop 7, (now Como); Stop 8 (North Broadway); Stop 9 Clintonville (Oakland Park).  And then the stops were farther apart, and little used until one reached Cooke’s Corners (Cooke Road).”

Charlie and Sadie are buried in Walnut Grove cemetery on the south side of Worthington.  Charlie passed in October of 1946 and Sadie in November of 1957.

Side note:  One of Charlie’s sisters, Emma, married James Harvey Zinn, born 1 October 1871 Ohio, in 1895. J. Harvey Zinn was the President of the J. H. Zinn Lumber Company of Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Zinn was reported to be an ardent fisherman who followed his favorite sport in practically every part of Canada, as well as in Florida waters. His attractive estate “Edgewater,” was located on the Olentangy River just north of West North Broadway. This estate still exists in Clintonville; for more information listen to Robert Ohaver’s oral history.

[Article courtesy of Mary Rodgers and the Clintonville Historical Society]

And More Markers!

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Ron Irick recently alerted me to the Historic Marker Data Base. In it are photographs of several additional markers covering Clintonville’s notable people, places and events. The database includes the marker for Rand Hollenback, on Hollenback Drive at Whetstone Park, the Nat’l Register of Historic Places marker for East North Broadway Historic District, and the marker (currently in Powell) for the Grand Carousel which was formerly at Olentangy Olentangy Park.

Ron recently posted the Clinton Township/Clintonville Historic Marker.

Though not in this database, there is also a marker for the Old Beechwold Historical District. I believe there is also some sort of marker for the former home of the Republican Glee Club at 57 Weber Road.

Underground Railroad in Clintonville

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Debbie Shaw, retired CML librarian, recently provided some local resources about the Underground Railrooad in Clintonville and surrounding area. Thanks for agreeing to share this information, Debbie!


Here’s Debbie’s summary:

    This link has a short video as well as text below it from WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhood series on Clintonville; both discuss the Underground Railroad.

    and this video from the same series on Downtown/Franklinton shows another area involved in the Underground Railroad here in Columbus.

    This link is from the Clintonville History site by Shirley Hyatt. The October 2008 issue discusses Thomas Bull and his family and includes a brief section about the Underground Railroad. [Shirley adds: see my book Clintonville and Beechwold here (to buy it) or here (to borrow it) for a smidgen more information.]

    Article from the OSU Lantern Feb. 7, 1999.

    Historic Marker on OSU Campus.

    Another historical marker.

    Excerpt from the book The Underground Railroad: An Encyclopedia of People, Places and Operations by Mary Ellen Snodgrass.

    For a broader look at the Underground Railroad in Ohio, you can read the full text draft of The Mysteries of Ohio’s Underground Railroad by Wilbur H. Siebert here.

    And of course, the Columbus Metropolitan Library has a lot of this history. Right now during Main Library’s renovation, Local History & Genealogy services are available at a temporary location in the former Whitehall Branch at 4371 E. Broad Street. CML’s web site says to call (614) 645-2275 to learn more. You can still get to a lot online at the here.

Debbie also notes, “This material was easily Googled. As a former librarian, I know that there is a lot of info that is not online. By the way, if you do an advanced book search on books.google.com and limit to full text only and content = books, there are quite a few. I put underground railroad in the ‘with the exact phrase’ field and Ohio underground railroad in the ‘with all of the words’ field. Laws, history, etc. come up, including Ohio Before 1850 and Ohio History Sketches. Of course, some of it is a very brief part of the book. If you add Ohio into the search’s ‘subject’ field, this narrows it a lot.”

Sewer pipe factory, and The Mystery of the Pond

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

John Krygier found a few maps that he was kind enough to share with us: 3 Sanborn maps of the sewer pipe factory (and later, brick yard) formerly occupying the area where old North High currently sits at 100 Arcadia. Interestingly, the ravine behind the factory was apparently dammed, making a significant (and the only?) pond in Clintonville (not sure if the one in Whetstone counts). John requests that if anyone knows of any other sources documenting this pond, to let him know. You can do that by commenting on this post and I will send it along to John.

John also found a map showing the rail grade that connected the sewer pipe factory to the main RR line to the east. The interurban (Columbus, Marion and Delaware) used part of that spur (north of Glen Echo Park) as a bypass.
This Worthington Bypass went from Indianola Ave, east along the top of Glen Echo, then north up what is now the alley along the RR track, then curved west at North Broadway over to and running parallel along Indianola. This curve is preserved in some of the lots around Oakland Park–in particular, the odd orientation of the IndiaOak Tavern is the result of it being built on a curved parcel, part of the old RR right of way. A map of current parcels (with the approximate route of the RR grade) is also attached.

There are 7 photos of this Worthington bypass around the time it was built, showing the eastern end of C-ville at the time, at this web site.

Thanks, John!

(Photos courtesy of John Krygier)

Weisheimer Mill

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Another great image of Weisheimer Mill! The verso of this photograph says, “Looking east across the Olentangy River at the Weisheimer Mill N. of Henderson Rd Columbus, Ohio. House and shed are still there at end of Weisheimer Road. (Photo courtesy of Galen Gonser)

Beginnings

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Balser Hess, a cordwainer, tanner and Revolutionary War veteran, was one of the first pioneers to arrive in Clinton Township. Hess came to Ohio with his family and bought 320 acres of land along the west bank of the Olentangy River. His first house, a log structure, was a common stopping place with travelers. Balser died in 1806 and was the first to be buried on the grounds that became Union Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Terry Miller.)

David Beers

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

David Beers was another early pioneer with an exciting life story of having been captured and released by the Native Americans. Beers came to Ohio in 1802. Descendents of David Beers still live in the area to the present day. (Photo courtesy of Terry Miller)

Beers had a log house near the intersection of Dodridge and North High Street. The cabin still exists but has been moved to Norwich Avenue. This photo appeared in the December 29, 1904 Dispatch, on the house’s centennial. The people included friends, relatives, and associates of the cabin’s next owner, Conn Baker, and they were reminiscing with him about early Columbus and marking the 100th anniversary of the cabin after the its move and reassembly to E. Norwich.

The Beers family operated a mill which existed until the early twentieth century. For many years the father of the well-known poet John James Piatt operated it. The future poet spent his boyhood days playing about the mill, and some say that the impressions made by its surroundings found expression in his work. The mill was considered to be one of the most picturesque spots in Ohio. Built around 1810, the mill burned in 1902.

There are still vestiges of the mill (foundation stones) below North Street, at the river.

The reason for this gathering is unknown, but it includes several Beers descendants (and likely many who are not related) and was taken about 1905, probably at Olentangy Park. (Photos courtesy of Marty Cottrill)

Eliza Rathbone Wetmore, 1791-1853

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Eliza Rathbone Wetmore’s father, John Rathbone, acquired 4000 military land grant acres including all of Beechwold and much of Clintonville. John Rathbone gave Ohio a loan to build the Ohio canal and bequeathed 262 acres of land to his daughter Eliza. Eliza married Charles H. Wetmore, a physician, and the young couple settled in Clinton Township in 1819. Her land would eventually be purchased by the Columbus Zoological Company and would eventually become Old Beechwold. Some say that the stone pillars are the remains of the Wetmore driveway. (Courtesy of Columbus Metropolitan Libraries.)

A Lot of Bull

Friday, October 31st, 2008

People like to say that the story of Clintonville starts with the story of Thomas Bull Jr., who came to this area in 1812 with his family from Vermont, by way of Worthington. Bull purchased about 680 acres in Clinton Township, and bequeathed land to his children when he died in 1823. Bull and his family were Methodists and abolitionists. The family graves were moved in March 1910 to Union Cemetery, section “new”, lot 176, across from the flagpole. (Despite the section name, this is in the old area of Union Cemetery on the east side of Olentangy River Road.)

This is the Thomas Bull residence which stood on the east side of High Street between Dunedin and Piedmont. Some of the information about the house is conflicting, but Nancy Pendleton states that Alonson Bull helped to build the house around 1821 and lived there until the mid-1860s. The local Methodist congregation held services in this house until Thomas Bull’s death in 1823. Elias Pegg purchased it, along with its farm, in 1862 and raised his children there. The house was torn down in August 1931. This photo is from the Sunday edition of Cols Dispatch March 5, 1950.