Does anyone out there have a picture of the Clintonville Bridge Club, which met in the basement of the Olentangy Village Tavern for perhaps 50 years until the 1970s/1980s?
On February 4, 1939, six Clintonville ladies met at the house of Mrs. Frank Hiatt to discuss the need for a cultural, charitable, and civic group in Clintonville. The women were Mrs. Walter H. Ives, Mrs. Herman O. Williams, Mrs. Frank Hiatt, Mrs. Russell Kennett, Mrs. Harry Mesloh, and Mrs. Rand P. Hollenback. Each woman made a list of representatives of all the local organizations and churches, and recruited them. The result was a list of 40 charter members. Their objective was “to encourage wholesome community life, to promote acquaintance among women of varied interests; and to secure cooperation in social, educational, civic, and welfare work in Clintonville.” They met in small groups, rotating the meetings between member’s houses. They also had 18 special interest groups. The annual dues were $3, $1 of which was set aside to build a club house. They achieved that goal through the generosity of the Kiwanis Club, which in 1951 gave the women’s club land on which to build at 3951 North High Street. Ground was broken in 1964, and in 1965 the building was dedicated. The club is still vibrant and the clubhouse can be rented special events. (Photo courtesy of the Kerchner family)
Because of gas rationing during World War II, many gas stations closed. In 1942, Clintonville Community Council (an umbrella group of Clintonville’s organizations) transformed this vacant gas station at 4070 North High Street to be a civil defense center and canteen for soldiers. It was furnished with first aid station, chairs, and a piano, and light refreshments were served. (Photo courtesy of the Kerchner Family)
There are a couple more pictures here.
A. B. Graham (Albert Belmont Graham) was an educator from Springfield OH. He had an idea: to get young people together to learn about agriculture and develop skills for farm living. He formed an organization to enable such practical learning. He originally called it the Boys and Girls Experimental Club, and then, the Boys and Girls Agricultural Club. By 1905 there were over 2,000 young people in sixteen Ohio counties participating in Agricultural Clubs. Graham was named Superintendent of Extension of the Ohio Cooperative Extension Service and the clubs were expanded nationwide. In 1916 the Boys and Girls Clubs officially became the 4-H Clubs.
A.B. Graham eventually worked for the USDA in Washington DC. After his retirement in 1938 he moved back to Columbus. He lived in his home on Clinton Heights Avenue until his death at the age of 91 in January 14, 1960. These photos show him at his Clintonville home. Happily, today I live in that very same house.
What do the 4 H’s stand for? Well, originally, there were only 3 H’s and the insignia was a 3-leafed clover. The H’s stood for head, hearts, hands. Then a 4th H was added and the organization’s clover became 4-leafed. That last H stood for hustle. But “hustle” didn’t stand up to the test of time and was eventually replaced by a tamer “H,” that is, health.
(Photos courtesy of OSU Photo Archives, Drawer #213.)
I love this picture of the Kiwanis Club of Northern Columbus, the oldest service club in the area, with some members of the Jet League, a baseball team the club sponsored. Over the years Kiwanis has held pancake breakfasts, fish fries, garage sales, peanut sales newspaper sales, and hosted a concession trailer for activities at Whetstone Park. They use the funds to sponsor teams, provide scholarships, sponsor the annual Whetstone Park egg hunt, and to contribute to Easter baskets for Children’s Hospital. One of their largest projects was to raise $50,000 for the lodge at Highbanks MetroPark. (Photo courtesy of Kiwanis of North Columbus)
Here are more pictures showing a few of Kiwanis’ contributions to Clintonville–
World War II memorial to fallen soldiers at Union Cemetery;softball team sponsorship; scholarship program; Easter egg hunt at Whetstone.
I’m enthralled by pictures of the Maiden of the Roses pageant, held at the Park of Roses each Father’s Day from about 1954 until 1974. The pageants were sponsored by North Columbus Civitan. They evoke an era which is now gone. The celebration included floats, a dance, and the beauty competition, with the award given to the Franklin County girl who “made the greatest contribution to the community and who has worked most in her school.” The 1964 Maiden was Lynn Wilson, from Upper Arlington High School. (Photo courtesy of Glenn Williams)
From 1954 or 1955 until 1974, North Columbus Civitan (along with Columbus Parks & Recreation) sponsored a Maiden of Roses Festival at the Rose Garden. While rummaging through Civitan’s archive for the festival, I came across a written composition of music, clearly intended to be played at the festival and perhaps at the award event. I don’t know who composed it (does the sheet say, “Al Werlon”?). My musician friend and technical advisor Mark Bendig played and recorded the tune for me and now you, too, can listen to it. You can click the button below to stop/play the music. (Access to Civitan’s archive courtesy of Glenn Williams, music courtesy of Mark Bendig.)
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In the summer of 1912, a book agent promoted an 11-volume set of books entitled The Foundation for Young People. Buyers were entitled to a Certificate of Membership in the Child Welfare League of America. Twenty-five local women pledged, and 11 of them came to the first local meeting. In the early days they met in the guild room of Saint James Episcopal Church. They held readings and had discussions on predetermined topics. They supported Columbus’ Baby Camp; they held Minstrel shows to benefit the Belgian Relief Fund; they sponsored a hot lunch program in the local schools. Clintonville was outside the city limits in these early days and had no city library service, and so club members established a branch of the state library within Clinton School from 1914-1915, and when that was deemed impractical, they had a lending library at Cummings Drugstore located at Clinton Heights Avenue and North High Street—another idea that proved to be impractical. Eventually a Columbus Public Library branch was put into Clintonville, and when the local group became aware of the local library’s need for books, they held a “book shower” to bring in book donations. They engaged in war relief work in 1917. They advocated getting rid of some dirty carriage sheds at the Clinton school. In 1915 they were also able to convert two vacant lots owned by J. E. Pierson on Dunedin near Beach Hill Avenue (now Calumet Street) for use as community tennis courts. The club contributed to the community through World War I, the flu epidemic of 1918, the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Over the years their name changed from Clinton Child Welfare League to the Clinton Social Welfare League (1913) to the Clinton Welfare League (1915) to the Clinton League (1925). The group disbanded around 1977. Their papers can be read on microfilm at the Ohio Historical Society.
From 1945 to 1953, they donated books to the Clintonville Library. In this photograph, Mrs. Miller presents books to the children at the Clintonville Library, on behalf of the Clinton League. (Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society)
Until I worked on this book project, I didn’t know what the Charity Newsies–those guys wearing white jumpsuits asking for donations on street corners in December –did and why they did it. But after becoming acquainted with the organization I am so impressed with the group’s charitable accomplishments. Just in case you are as ignorant as I was about the group, here’s what they do: each year they equip needy schoolchildren—about 14,000 of them– with a wardrobe of new clothes for the school year. Every child in the program receives individual attention from a Charity Newsie member. The organization is totally independent and does not receive government money for their effort; they spend the year collecting money for the endeavor. And, they’ve been doing this for 100 years. This photo shows the Newsies when they first moved their headquarters from South High Street to Indianola Avenue (1995). (Photo courtesy of Charity Newsies)