Flora Ohaver was one of the oldest residents of West North Broadway, and so she was selected to be one of 4 people to cut the ribbon dedicating the new Broadway bridge on December 1, 1939. She and her husband built their house at 263 West North Broadway in 1908. Her nephew Bob returned to live at this address on West North Broadway as well; his oral history is located on this web site. Bob passed away in June 2009.
Robert Ohaver (b. 1920) lived most of his life in Clintonville and on West North Broadway. He had many stories of old Clintonville to share with us. On September 12, 2003, several community members (Ann and Alan Woods, Barbara Hotchkiss, Nancy Kuhel) interviewed him and preserved the conversation on tape. Now you, too, can listen to Mr. Ohaver’s oral history.
Bob mother was Laura Ohaver and his father was Walter Harvey Ohaver. Bob also had an older brother named Jack Ohaver who lived in Clintonville at 116 E. Dunedin with his wife Clara Ohaver. Clara passed away May 24, 1993, and Jack passed away on June 14, 2000. Jack and Clara had two daughters. Sue Bowman was born May 8, 1940; she passed away January 4, 2000. Sandra Urban born July 30, 1945. [This family information came to me from Jack’s granddaughter and Sandy’s daughter, Lisa Adkins. Thanks, Lisa!]
Some technical notes about these recordings: each file is about 30 minutes long. You can use this player to listen to any of the segments listed below, or by clicking on the links below.
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Track 1. Brief Ohaver biography; origins of his family moving to West North Broadway; his World War II years; Clinton Theatre; businesses and homes at the interesection of North Broadway and North High Streets; drugstores and candy stores in Clintonville; the house behind 3391 North High Street; Dispatch carrier’s substation; Olentangy Park; the streetcar storage barn at Arcadia.
Track 2. Olentangy Park cont’d; street fair at North Broadway and High to celebrate Clinton Theatre, the opening of Clinton School pedestrain subway, and the paving of North High Street after a new sewer line had been installed; the Olentangy River; 3 canoe clubs; development of West North Broadway (“the Broadway Extension”) and the Scott farm; development of the area along the adjoining river bank; the Herron [spelling uncertain]/Zinn home at 285 West Kenworth; Bill Moose AKA “Indian Bill”; Chief Leatherlips.
Note: the “Dr. John Scott” is William H. Scott, president of OSU 1883-1895. See my book, page 17, for a photo of his house.
Track 3. Chief Leatherlips cont’d; house at 273 Erie Road and excavation of nearby gravel pit; the Fuller farm/Whetstone Park; rambling through the woods; Indian Springs golf course; Bill Moose AKA “Indian Bill”; Olentangy Park; North Columbus including the Ramlow Building; Picadilly Theatre; streetcars and interurbans.
Track 4. Southwick funeral home; Joy Hunt home; Graceland Shopper’s Mart and Patrick Murnan; Clinton Theatre; the Great Depression; Ohaver family; Brighton Road development; Ohaver’s WWII and postwar years.
Track 5. Ohaver’s return to Columbus from California in 1962; bombing of the Clinton Theatre in the 1930s.
The North Columbus Kroger location at 2579 North High Street became Jone’s Upholstery business. Charles M. Jones moved here in 1943 while his son W. Frank Jones was overseas serving in WWII. When Frank came home in 1946, he worked as a partner with his father until his father’s death. (Charles and Frank are the son and grandson of C. F. Jones.) This photograph was taken in 1945.
Frank continued the business until 1977 when Neocacia Masonic Lodge (which occupied the 2nd story of the building) sold the building. This photo was taken in 1951.
In 1947, here are: Jenny Mocabee, Charles M. Jones, Frank Jones, Ray Bennett, Dick Schaeffer, Bob Hill.
66 East Duncan Street, a house owned by Frank Jones, owner of Jones Upholstery. This house has since been torn down. (Photos courtesy of Frank Jones.)
One of Clintonville’s notables was George Sidney Marshall (869-1956). He was raised on a farm in Perry County and attended Ohio State University. He graduated from OSU in 1894 and then from its law school in 1897. He was active in local politics, and became mayor in 1910 on the Republican ticket. After his term of mayor, he returned to the practice of Law and retired in 1946. He and his wife had a longstanding interest in music, and formed the Clintonville Music Study Club. In his retirement (and after the death of his wife), Marshall wrote a history of music in Columbus, a thorough account of all the local nonprofit musical organizations across the city. His book, called The History of Music in Columbus, Ohio, covers the period from February 14, 1812 to July 1, 1953 and was published by the Franklin County Genealogical Society.
George Sidney Marshall’s son, George B. Marshall, was also an attorney and served as a Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge for 26 years. He retired in 1980 and died in 1981.
E.A. Fuller was a prominent Clinton Township horse trader at the turn of the century. I found the Clinton Township records for the late 1800s and early 1900s, and his name was frequently mentioned as buying or selling horses. I assume that the so-called “Fuller Farm”—where Calvary Bible Church, Whetstone Park, Clintonville Women’s Club, and The Church of Christ, Scientist are today—once belonged to this man. (Photo courtesy of Calvary Bible Church)
The vacant farm has been put to many uses. During World War II, the land used for victory gardens. (There were also victory gardens near Riverside Hospital.) Children put the area to their own purposes, scrambling through the undergrowth and playing by the river. Many long-time residents recall a family that lived in the farm house—some have called it a log cabin, others say it was a chicken coop–of the old Fuller Farm. Some say the family was partly Native American; others say partly Romani; in any case, the family’s race added to their mystique and exoticism in the minds of the Clintonville children of the time. The family’s surname was Windsor; Mr. Windsor was a professor at OSU, and many of the people fondly recall daughter Zolithia [or Zelitha] (back row, 4th from left) and her brother Romanus (3rd rw, 2nd from right).
During or shortly after World War II, Rand Hollenback (founder of The Booster) lobbied for remaining land to be converted into a park, and the City of Columbus purchased the 161 acre farm. It became Whetstone Park. From early on the park has included a casting pond, softball diamond, tennis, picnic and playground, and archery field.
Chester Nicodemus is a favorite Clintonville person of mine, in part because he lived on my street. I was delighted when Joe Motil shared an old 1978 Nicodemus Pottery price list with me. The pottery was dear, even back then! (Document courtesy of Joe Motil)
Jan Bradley Zenisek shared these two family pictures with me. Her father, Dr. D. H. Bradley, operated his veterinary clinic on the ground floor of the home originally built by Henry Cooke and shown in my book and here. The Bradley family lived upstairs.
The picture on the right shows Jan’s father (Dr. Bradley) holding Jan’s cousin Neal Cooper, and Jan’s grandfather George Cooper with Jan, outside the clinic/house in 1943. (Photos courtesy of Jan Bradley Zenisek.)
The house was later destroyed to make way for a car dealership. Jan salvaged the lovely arched windows and they now adorn her Riverlea home.
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.)
In 1954 Nancy Blanchard, a 16-year-old student at Mifflin High School, became the first winner of Maiden of the Roses competition. The pageant, a yearly event held each June at the Park of Roses and sponsored by North Columbus Civitan, was held from 1954 until 1974. Thanks to Nancy and her cousin Joyce Schatz, we have Nancy’s clippings file from that era, and that newspaper articles are linked to the thumbnail images below as PDFs. [Clippings courtesy of Joyce Schatz.]
Chester Nicodemus (1901-1990) was a potter, known for his small clay birds fashioned from variously colored, high-iron-content Ohio clays. Several Clintonville residents showed me some of his birds as well as commemorative plates made for the Clintonville Women’s Club. He made teapots and pitchers, robins, eagles, and other wildlife.
Nicodemus earned a degree from Cleveland Art School in 1923 and then taught art at Dayton Art Institute and Wittenberg College. In 1932 he became dean of Columbus Art School, now known as Columbus College of Art and Design. He later taught at Ohio State University and served as president of the Columbus Art League.
Nicodemus lived and had his studio (Nicodemus Ferro-Stone Ceramics) on Clinton Heights Avenue. There he produced more than 1,000 molds in his basement workshop. He had two home-made kilns in the garage, which also housed a showroom. Nicodemus pieces are known for their translucent glaze highlighting the clay’s red tint and producing russet brown undertones. Upon Nicodemus’ death and at his request, all the molds and glazes were destroyed. (Photo courtesy of Darrell Nicodemus)