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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]

Baseball at the Zoo

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

The zoo in Beechwold may have been one of the earliest sites of the Columbus Clippers!

According to Joe Santry, Historian at The Columbus Clippers, “In 1895 the Columbus Statesmen opened the season playing at The Zoo Baseball Grounds. The grounds were owned by the Zoological Garden company. Could this be the old zoo grounds in Clintonville? …The team played at the Zoo Grounds for a couple of months before moving to Recreation Park in German Village…

“In 1895, according to the local papers, Columbus played at ‘the Zoo Grounds’ (May 21), ‘Zoo Baseball Park’ (May 4), ‘Zoo Park’ (May 5). There are stories about temporary grandstands, then a ‘new grandstand’ (May 12).

“By June 1, however, the OSJ reports that the club now ‘holds the lease on the Schiller street grounds’ and the club ‘will play the last game on the Zoo grounds this afternoon and the work of removing the grandstand, bleachers, and fences to Recreation Park’ will follow.

“The problem is how inconsistently the papers reported the games that season. The more I research this the more I think the Zoo Grounds park was in or near some type of amphitheatre on the zoo grounds. The park had other smaller attractions prior to 1905.”

Scott Caputo, librarian at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, found this article in the 8-8-1904 Ohio State Journal. It mentions a drill field and a ball game used by several masonic groups at the Zoo. This, shortly before it closed down.

Also linked here is a image/map of the old zoo, courtesy of Mary Rodgers of the Clintonville Historical Society.

Post Office

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Clintonville was never platted as a formal village. Alanson Bull, the son of Thomas Bull, sold several small lots to tradesmen for their shops. Located at the northwest corner of High Street and Orchard Lane, a post office opened in 1847, in a two-story frame building on the northwest corner of High Street and Orchard Lane, and was given the name Clintonville because it was located at the center of Clinton Township. (This building has since been torn down.) The postmaster conducted a rag rug business upstairs. High Street at that time was a dirt and plank turnpike connecting Columbus with Worthington and Sandusky. In 1913 a new two-story brick building was erected on Dunedin at High. Mr. Legg operated a grocery store; Mrs. Legg sold notions. The post office moved there and remained until 1917—when, according to one source, RFD was offered, and according to another source, because the area was annexed by the city of Columbus. (I believe this second post office was a small building behind the corner building.) (Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society)

The answer to today’s hard economic times

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

“The Dominion Land Company has purchased the Whipp and Ingham farm containing 90 acres of land, Stop 15 C.D. & M. on North High Street. The ground was purchased by the company to supply numerous customers with large lots where the soil is rich. It is to be platted into extremely large lots and will be sold on easy terms so as to enable a great number of people to follow their regular work in the City and at the same time, have lands where they can have a nice garden and keep a few chickens and thus help the problem of the high cost of living…The name of this sub-division will be Highland Gardens.” –from The Dominion Land Company Columbus Home News, May 1913, Volume 1 Number 2.

(This photo is Louise Corp on Tulane Road, but I’m sure the chickens of Highland Gardens looked much the same.  Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society.)

Longview Barber Shop

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

In 1918, after serving in WWI, Tom Pletcher came to Columbus hoping to find a job as a barber. Jimmy Kinnaird, a pharmacist at the corner of Brighton and North High Street, rented Pletcher a store room at the rear of the pharmacy. Pletcher ran the barbershop on Brighton (above) from 1919, and in 1921 moved to larger space at 3311 North High Street. After becoming ill, he sold the business in 1943 to a long-time employee named Bill Morgan. The barber shop moved again, in 1980 to 3325 North High Street. (Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society)

In 1945 Pletcher recovered and purchased a red brick building at the southeast corner of Beechwold and High, and opened another barber shop. Pletcher died in 1963, and that barbering business was subsequently sold.

Crestview Presbyterian grows

Friday, September 26th, 2008

This is the newer Crestview Presbyterian Church, built in 1922 at Tulane and Esmond. (Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society)

The Park

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Around 1880, Robert Turner founded the Olentangy Villa Tavern. It was a small picnic grounds and offered boating and swimming, perhaps a couple rides. By 1895 the park came to be owned by the Columbus Railway, Power and Light Company; enabling the electric company to earn money from both its electric streetcars and from electricity at the park, and ensuring streetcar traffic (with its use of electricity) not only during weekdays when commuters traveled to their jobs in the city, but also on weekends when residents traveled by streetcar to the park. In 1899, brothers Joe and Will Dusenbury purchased about 100 acres of the park and built it up into a state-of-the-art amusement park with nationally renowned entertainment in a lovely, picturesque setting. They offered rides, a pool, bowling alley, canoeing, an amphitheatre, even a Japanese Village purchased from the St. Louis Exposition. Many long-time residents recall happy and exciting days spent at the park.

Eventually the park began to decline, and was eventually sold, and then sold a couple more times. In 1937 L.L. Leveque purchased the park and in 1939, built the Olentangy Village Apartment Community in the park’s place. (Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society)

Bartlett’s Garage

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Tom Bartlett was a leading Clintonville businessman. His garage at Kelso and High existed for many years. (Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society)

Korn family

Friday, September 26th, 2008

David and Alta Korn built a home at 4891 High Street, in old Beechwold, in 1920. They had an adopted son named William. The family was adversely affected by the Great Depression and lost their Old Beechwold house in 1932. This photo shows Alta and a child along the river. William raised his family in Clintonville and died in 1986. (Photo courtesy of the Clintonville Historical Society)

Gordon Brevoort’s Clintonville

Friday, September 26th, 2008

brevoort-mapIn another post, I mentioned that Gordon Brevoort had given a presentation to the Clintonville Historical Society on the history of Clintonville. He also made a map of the community as he remembers it in the 1930s.

You’ll find other information on this web site about the Brevoorts by clicking here.

(Map courtesy of Gordon Brevoort and the Clintonville Historical Society)