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‘People’ Category

J. Harvey Zinn & Family

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

J. Harvey Zinn, owner of the Zinn lumber yard, lived in Clintonville and was a civic leader and philanthropist. 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 at 285 Kenworth on the Olentangy River just north of West North Broadway. This estate still exists in Clintonville.

J. Zinn died in 1957. Attached are some obituaries from The Columbus Dispatch and elsewhere.

The Zinns were very active in the North M. E. Church. Though the church is not, technically, in Clintonville, I’ve also posted some information about the church.

[Photos and clippings courtesy of John Clark]

North M.E. Church

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

The North M.E. Church, located at East Ave and Tompkins, has a long history, which–thanks to John Clark, a descendant of the Zinn family–can be found here.

The church was located very close to the Zinn Lumber Yard (and the Zinn family residence), and the church was damaged in that business’ November 1925 fire. Then the church had its own fire in March 1928, which necessitated a complete rebuilding of the church. Scott Caputo at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, was kind to send us this article about the fire.

The church was slowly but surely rebuilt and enlarged and improved. J. H. Zinn paid to have a children’s wing built, dedicated in memory to his two boys (who died in their youth) in April, 1953. The sons in whose memory the wing was built were Clyde Webster Zinn (22 Oct 1895 – 07 Apr 1912) and Walter Curry Zinn (12 Jun 1898 – 30 Jan 1903). What you see here photo of Clyde Webster Zinn (with his sister Lillian Mae Zinn). The family does not have a photo that they are confident of, for Walter. Here is an article about that philanthropic contribution. [Photo courtesy of John Clark]

Around October 1956, North M. E. Church held a celebration of their “oldest members,” by which they meant those members who had belonged to the church at least 50 years. J. H. Zinn and his wife were among them. (See photo to the right.) You can read more about that event here and see some of the other members in the photos below. [Photos and news clippings courtesy of John Clark]



There’s more information about the Zinn family and the Zinn Lumber Yard elsewhere on this web site.

Zinn Lumber Company: Perfection Millwork

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

When I was working on my book, several old-timers remembered the Zinn Lumber Company at the corner of North High and Hudson. At last we have photos! Lauren Clark who is married to John Clark, the great grandson of J. Harvey Zinn, shared some of John’s family photos of the Zinn Lumber Company as well as other items related to J. Harvey Zinn. These show the lumber yard after it was rebuilt in 1926. I’ve tried to arrange the photos in geographic order from the Zinn Lumber Company’s showroom on North High Street, moving eastward along East Hudson Street to East Avenue. [Vintage photos courtesy of John Clark.]


Some additional background information on the yard and the Zinn’s can be found here.

And here are some pix of that intersection today, taken by Terry Miller. Note the North M.E. Church in the background; it was damaged in the Zinn Lumber Yard fire of November 14, 1925, and then had its own fire in 1929.

Legg Family

Friday, September 15th, 2017


Here are two wonderful pictures of the Legg family. Emma Legg married James Harvey Zinn, born 1 October 1871 Ohio, in 1895. J. Harvey Zinn was the President of the Zinn Lumber Company located at Hudson and North High Streets. Emma and James lived at 285 Kenworth, located on the Olentangy River just north of West North Broadway. (Their house still exists in Clintonville.) [Photos courtesy of John Clark. Thanks also to his wife Lauren for sending them to me.]

For more information on the Leggs see here;
For more information on the Zinns see here;
and/or listen to Robert Ohaver’s oral history.

128 Crestview

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Isn’t it wonderful when you discover that your old house holds a treasure trove of old artifacts from previous owners!? Matt Earley recently found some very old documents in his attic from the original residents of his home at 128 Crestview Rd.

Probably the most interesting thing is this handwritten will directive from the original owner of the home, J.W. Montague. It was written in pencil, and found under a vent pipe in the attic of the house.

The Earleys also found several items from the family who rented the home during the 1930s and early 1940s, the H. R. Townsend Family. The home was a rental during this time period. Matt has spoken with a member of the family of he Townsend family, and she said that the Townsends lived in the home during the school year, but then moved back to a farm they owned near Hamilton, Ohio during the summer months. The gentleman, Horace Raymond (H.R.) Townsend, had been principal of the Hamilton High School until he assumed the full-time position of commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA, which is currently located in Clintonville at 4080 Roselea Place, Columbus, OH 43214). He was the first commissioner of the organization, and held that post from 1925 until his death in 1944.

H.R.’s initials written on the inside of one of the attic walls:

Here is a 1939 Newspaper blurb about an event H.R. Townsend and his wife were hosting at 128 Crestview (“Entertain College Club”, 3rd column).

And, here is a 1936 article about their daughter Esther and her activities (“The Daily Grist”, Column 2).

Here are some Hamilton High School yearbook pages from 1925, the last year Townsend was principal:


And a spread of the dedication to H.R. in the yearbook, along with his photo:

This was a photograph randomly inserted into one of the pages of the aforementioned yearbook. The Earleys are not sure who it is, but have confirmed that it is not Mrs. Townsend:

A children’s poetry book found in the attic:

The Earleys found some of their daughters’ (Elizabeth’s and possibly Esther’s) schoolwork in their attic as well, and you can see those here. (I sure hope no one finds my school work 75 years later!)

Matt has done extensive research on the history of the home and its owners, and has spoken with most of the previous owners or their extended families. He is still looking for any photographs of the home from before the 1980s (about the oldest he has been given to date). The King family (of Nancy King fame) was the longest resident of the home, but Matt has not yet obtained any photos of the home from when they lived in it (1957-1979). If anyone happens to stumble upon anything older than that around 1985 at some point, Matt would be very interested in seeing it.

Remembering Algy McBride

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Algy McBride, who died in 2015, was a long-time president of the Clintonville Historical Society. His dedication was felt throughout Clintonville and the Franklin County community. At his funeral, his family shared this article which I thought I’d re-share with you. [Article courtesy of the McBride family and reprinted from SeniorSource Winter 01/02.]

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 Mr. Zinn’s daughter Lillian’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!]

We All Love Weiland’s Market

Monday, May 15th, 2017


…and so we were delighted to see Weiland’s Market featured in Edible Columbus, Winter 2016, pp 58-61. Weiland’s Market, with its multiple generations of owners John Williams, Jennifer Williams and Scott Bowman, and its staff, have been exemplary and generous citizens of Clintonville and the community, and fed us all to-boot. [Booster ad courtesy of Jennifer Williams. Article courtesy of Edible Columbus with apologies in advance for not linking directly to their web site.]

Moseying with Rick Pfeiffer through Clintonville

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Columbus City Attorney Rick Pfeiffer, who grew up in Clintonville, does a wonderful job giving an informal tour of the Clintonville community. (He has done this for the other neighborhoods of Columbus as well!) Thanks Rick! and we wish you well in your 2017 retirement.
Part One: http://bit.ly/CMosey1
Part Two: http://bit.ly/CMosey2

Solved: The Mystery of Grace Backenstoe

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017


Thanks to Jeff Berichon, we now have a picture of Gracie! And he has agreed to share it with us. Thanks Jeff!