Monthly Archives: June 2012

99 Years of Dayton Photographers

How does anyone ever have an original idea anymore? Obviously, some people manage to do so, because new things still keep coming along. And yet, it seems like most of the time, whenever I think, “There really oughtta be X,” there already is X, and I just hadn’t found it yet.

A recent example of this phenomenon occurred to me recently, with regard to an historical listing of Dayton photographers.

For the past few months, I have been processing the Thresher-McCann manuscript collection. In addition to loose papers and scrapbooks, the collection includes 260 (yes, exactly 260 – I just finished numbering them yesterday) photographs, the majority of which are unidentified. From the very few identified ones, I have been able to “tentatively” identify some of the people in others. (I have become pretty adept at recognizing Mary and Laura Thresher, but that’s about it. I don’t know the rest of the people from Adam. Well, okay, unless it’s woman; then I don’t know her from Eve.)

However, many of the photographs have the photographer’s name, city, and sometimes street address printed on them somewhere.

Sometimes on the front:

Appleton and Hollinger (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0045)

Appleton and Hollinger (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0045)

.

Grossman and Owings (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0047)

Grossman and Owings (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0047)

.

Bowersox (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0046)

Bowersox (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0046)

Sometimes on the back:

A. Yount (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0176)

A. Yount (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0176)

.

Roger's Portraits (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0048)

Roger’s Portraits (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0048)

.

M. Wolfe (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0049)

M. Wolfe (Dayton, Ohio) (ms036_0049)

And sometimes, the photorapher’s name is not even on the portrait, per se, but is written on one of those horribly acidic, construction-paper-feeling folders that old photographs are often stored in. (So if the photo came in a yucky folder or envelope, check for — and record — any useful info before casting that awful thing aside!)

I’ve actually elected to organize the unidentified photographs according to state, city, and photographer’s name, because it seemed like the most logical way to hopefully get photographs that originally went together, to remain together, not knowing who any of the people are.

As archivists know, one of the tasks in describing materials is to (hopefully) identify the date(s) of the materials, either from a given date (woohoo! I love when things are already dated!) or to make an educated guess if possible (which you would either put in brackets and/or add some relative words — e.g., circa, about, approximately, before, after, etc.).

So, putting those last two paragraphs together, you get the thought that kept going through my mind : Man, it would be awesome if I had an index to Dayton photographers, where I could look up the photographer’s name alphabetically and get the listings (hopefully with the different addresses of their various studios over the years), along with the dates when they operated at each location —- which could then be used to establish an approximate time frame for the photograph(s) in question.

Once I finished organizing the photographs, I finally got around to checking the library catalog to see whether we already owned such a book. Failing that, I was going to ask around to my co-workers and Dayton archives colleagues, to find out whether such a thing existed (and maybe Dayton library just didn’t have it for some reason). And failing THAT, I was prepared to roll up my sleeves, cozy up with the Dayton city directories, and produce the thing myself.

Well, lo and behold — the thing does already exist. Of course. Ha!  I’m not sorry that someone has already done all that work for me; it’s just another one of those things — it figures that this awesome idea was already had by someone — apparently Richard D. Fullerton…before I was even born. Ha!

The index I am referring to is 99 Years of Dayton Photographers (1982) by Richard D. Fullerton.

We have several copies of the book at the Dayton Metro Library — unfortunately for you who may wish to borrow it, they are all non-circulating, so you’ll have to use it in the library (all copies live at Main) [but some other local libraries have it too] — so I retrieved one and set about trying to narrow down a time frame for some of the undated Dayton photographs (such as those above).

The book has a helpful introduction. Fullerton lists the sources that he used (including city directories, census records, photographs themselves, and others), and he also cites those sources throughout the book, to tell where he got a particular piece of information about a name, date, or location.

Fullerton also gives information in the introduction about the approximate years of use for different kinds of photographs, also identifying the photo process’s hey day, which can help with dating photographs as well.

Having archival training and a copy of Ritzenthaler & Vogt-O’Connor’s photo preservation book, aka my photo archives Bible, I already had a pretty good idea of those approximate time periods. But, it was a great idea to include them, since some photographers worked for many years in Dayton (*cough*Bowersox*cough*), and so simply having the dates of the shop didn’t narrow it down much.

Between knowing which types of photographs were popular when, and having access to Fullerton’s book, I was able to established somewhat more useful dates — okay, anything is more useful than “Undated” — for the Dayton imprint photographs. Now, unfortunately, most of the unidentified photos in the collection weren’t actually made in Dayton, so Fullerton’s book can’t help me with those.

I don’t suppose anyone knows of a book like this for Cincinnati? 🙂

In any event, I am pleased that I found the Fullerton book. It definitely saved me a lot of work. (Now, don’t get me wrong, a bunch of completely unidentified photographs don’t usually warrant searching all those city directories just to get a slightly-more-useful-than-“undated” date that I can stick in a finding aid. I mean all the work that I would have done creating an index of long-lasting usefulness — like Fullerton did!)

One more thing : Even having those narrower dates isn’t necessarily all that helpful to me, someone who doesn’t know the names or the faces of the unidentified people. I think it would be a lot more useful to genealogists — if you have a photo, and you know who it is, but you’re wondering, “How old is great-great-grandma in this picture?” Or, “Could that be Great-Uncle James? Was he even still alive then?” Or….you get the idea. But hey, sometimes having a place and an approximate date and a location could narrow down the other unknowns quite a lot for you, depending on how your family history played out.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this little jaunt into one of my “there should really be…if there’s not, I’m so going to…oh wait, there already is…okay, good…using that now” moments.

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Bio Sketch: Strickle Family (19th century), residents of Wilmington/Dayton, Ohio

Maria Emily (Strickle) Bickham was the wife of Dayton Journal editor William D. Bickham (see bio sketch) and mother of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Charles G. Bickham (see bio sketch).

Maria’s parents were Abraham Ellis Strickle (1807-1863) and Caroline Goodwin (d. 1867), of Wilmington, Ohio. Maria’s father Abraham was the director of the Clinton County Fair.

Abraham E. and Caroline (Goodwin) Strickle had 10 children:

  1. Elizabeth Ann Strickle (1831-[after 1900]), who married John W. Dunham in 1859, then John C. Deuell in 1869.
  2. Maria Emily Strickle (1833-1924), who married William Denison Bickham in 1855.
  3. Mary Gano Strickle (1836-1897), who married George K. Farquhar in 1858.
  4. Katharine Jane Strickle[1] (1838-1919), who married Rodney Foos in 1856.
  5. Caroline Margaret “Carrie” Strickle  (1840-1923), who married Captain John W. Clous[2] in 1874.
  6. Rebecca Harriet Strickle (1843-1933), who never married.
  7. Frances Williamson Strickle (1845-1894), who married Col. Henry C. Corbin[3] in 1865.
  8. Charles Rockwell Strickle (1848-1863).
  9. Alnetta Clark Strickle (1851-1851).
  10. Isaac Strickle (1852-1852).

Abraham Strickle died in July 1863 as a result of a fever contracted near Vicksburg during the Civil War.[4] His wife Caroline died in 1867. Afterwards, their unmarried daughters Carrie and Rebecca lived with their sister Maria Strickle Bickham and her family. Carrie Strickle Clous and Katherine Strickle Foos later lived with Maria again after their husbands had passed away. Rebecca, who never married, lived with her sister Maria Strickle Bickham, and later with her nephew Charles G. Bickham, for the majority of her life.[5]


[1] Katharine Strickle Foos is the source for the majority of the information included here about the Strickle family. See: Katharine S. Foos, The Ellis Family (Dayton: United Brethren Publishing House, 1900), pp. 49-59. [LPR]

[2] Captain John W. Clous had a notable career in the military and is featured in several articles within the Bickham Collection (see index of original finding aid). [LPR]

[3] Colonel Henry C. Corbin had a notable career in the military and is featured in several articles within the Bickham Collection (see index of original finding aid), particularly in relation to the military career of Charles G. Bickham. [LPR]

[4] This collection contains an album commemorating Abraham; see Box 2, Folder 16. [LPR]

[5] Rebecca’s “autograph album” is included in this collection; see Box 5. [LPR]

*****

This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey in April 2011 for the Bickham Collection (MS-017) finding aid at the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, Ohio, 45402; phone (937) 496-8654. Additional information about the sketch’s subject can be found in that collection and in the citations below. Please contact the library or this blog’s author for more information about how to access the original finding aid or the manuscript collection.

[This sketch was modified slightly from its original version to facilitate its separation from the larger Bickham Collection sketch.]

*****

Bibliography & Further Reading

Foos, Katharine S. The Ellis Family. Dayton: United Brethren Publishing House, 1900. Dayton Local History B92 E47F.

Santmyer, Helen Hooven. A Calendar of the Bickham Collection: Letters, Documents, and Mementoes of Possible Historical Interest. Dayton:Dayton Public Library, 1956. Dayton Local History 016.091 D276C.

MS-017 Bickham Collection:

  • Box 2, Folder 15: Genealogical Notes on Bickham and Strickle Families.
  • Box 2, Folder 16: Abraham E. Strickle Memorial Album & Civil War Documents.

Bio Sketch: Charles G. Bickham (1867-1944), soldier in Spanish-American & Philippine wars

Charles Goodwin Bickham was born August 12, 1867, in Dayton, Ohio, the youngest son of William D. Bickham and Maria (Strickle) Bickham (see also: W. D. Bickham sketch).

Charles G. Bickham, 1891

Charles G. Bickham, 1891

Charles G. Bickham was a career soldier.[1]

He served as a Colonel on the staff of Ohio Governor [and later president] William McKinley. During the Spanish-American War, he served as a Private in Company G, Third Regiment, Ohio National Guard, and later a Captain in the Ninth Regiment (Immunes), U.S. Volunteer Infantry.[2]

He served as a Captain during the Philippine Insurrection in the Twenty-eighth Regiment, U.S. Volunteer Infantry, under Col. William Birkhimer. After receiving his commission in the regular army as a Lieutenant, he served again in the Philippines with the Twenty-seventh U.S. Infantry under then-Captain John J. Pershing.[3]

C. G. Bickham was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor in 1904 for “distinguished gallantry” at the 1902 Battle of Bayang, Mindanao, Philippines. However, after twice failing the professional examination required for promotion to captain in 1909 and 1910, he was honorably discharged from the army in June 1910.

During his time in Cuba and the Philippines, Charles wrote several letters to family and friends, many of which his brother Daniel published in the Journal. Brother Abraham also served during the Spanish-American War. It is also worth mentioning that both Charles and Daniel Bickham were members of the Buzfuz Club.[4]

Charles G. Bickham died December 14, 1944, in Dayton, Ohio, and was buried in Woodland Cemetery. He never married.

Grave of Charles G. Bickham, Woodland Cemetery

Grave of Charles G. Bickham, Woodland Cemetery


[1] This collection contains scrapbooks with articles and memorabilia from Charles’ time in Cuba and the Philippines; see Boxes 4 and 5. For information on Charles’ military career in general, see Box 2, Folders 12 and 13. [LPR]

[2] The 9thRegiment,U.S. Volunteer Infantry was an African American regiment as well as an “Immunes” regiment. The Immunes regiments were made up of men from southern states, who were inaccurately believed to be immune to tropical diseases. [LPR] See: Brad K. Berner, The Spanish-American War: A Historical Dictionary (London: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1998), pp. 185-86; also, “9th U.S. Volunteer Infantry,” Spanish American War web site, http://www.spanamwar.com/9thUSvolinf.htm.

[3] John J. Pershing eventually rose to the rank of General and led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. [LPR]

[4] For more information on the Buzfuz Club, see: Charlotte Reeve Conover, Dayton, Ohio: An Intimate History (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1932), pp. 244-48.Dayton Local History 977.173 C753DAY 1932. [LPR]

*****

This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey in April 2011 for the Bickham Collection (MS-017) finding aid at the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, Ohio, 45402; phone (937) 496-8654. Additional information about the sketch’s subject can be found in that collection and in the citations below. Please contact the library or this blog’s author for more information about how to access the original finding aid or the manuscript collection.

[This sketch was modified slightly from its original version to facilitate its separation from the larger Bickham Collection sketch. In its original form, C. G. Bickham’s birth and death information were included only in the W. D. Bickham sketch under the list of children.]

Important Note: I personally re-posted a large portion of this biographical sketch (including the photograph) on Charles G. Bickham’s Wikipedia page. Therefore, any similarity between this blog post, the original finding aid bio sketch, and the Wikipedia page, is due to the efforts of the original author (me), rather than an act of plagiarism.

*****

Bibliography & Further Reading

Bickham, William D. A Buckeye in the Land of Gold: The Letters and Journal of William Dennison Bickham. Edited by Randall E. Ham. Spokane: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1996. Dayton Local History 979.404 B583B 1996.

“Charles G. Bickham,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_G._Bickham.

Conover, Charlotte Reeve. Dayton, Ohio: An Intimate History. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1932. Page 245. Dayton Local History 977.173 C753DAY 1932.

Conover, Frank. Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., 1897. “William Denison Bickham,” pages 403-404. Dayton Local History 977.172 C753C 1897.

Drury, Augustus Waldo. History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago; Dayton: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1909. Volume 1, pages 400-401. Dayton Local History 977.173 D796.

Foos, Katharine S. The Ellis Family. Dayton: United Brethren Publishing House, 1900. Dayton Local History B92 E47F.

Santmyer, Helen Hooven. A Calendar of the Bickham Collection: Letters, Documents, and Mementoes of Possible Historical Interest. Dayton:Dayton Public Library, 1956. Dayton Local History 016.091 D276C.

MS-017 Bickham Collection:

  • Box2, Folder 15: Genealogical Notes on Bickham and Strickle Families.
  • Box2, Folder 14: C. G. Bickham: Letters concerning Military Career.

Bio Sketch: William D. Bickham (1827-1894), editor of the Dayton Journal

William Denison Bickham was born March 30, 1827, in Riverside (near Cincinnati), Ohio, the eldest of seven [surviving] children born to William Ard Bickham (ca. 1798-1845) and Eliza Dennison (1802-1893).

[The other children of William A. & Eliza Bickham were: John C. Bickham, who died in Evansville, Ind., but is buried in Dayton, Ohio; Thomas H. Yeatman Bickham (usually called “Yeatman”), who died in Findlay, Ohio; Emily Bickham, who married Austin Glazebrook and lived in Louisville, Ky.; Angeline Bickham, who married John W. Chapin and lived in Columbus, Ohio; Eliza Lida Bickham (often called “Lida”), who married Dr. John A. Lair, lived in Dayton some years, and died in Washington, D.C.; Mary Ella Bickham (usually called “Ella”), who married Abram Darst Wilt, Sr., and lived in Dayton, Ohio; and one who died in infancy.]

W. D. Bickham

W. D. Bickham

William D. Bickham attended both public and private schools in Cincinnati, as well as Cincinnati College and Bethany College (in present-day Bethany, West Virginia). However, William’s formal education ended abruptly in 1845 when his father died and he had to return home as head and financial supporter of the family.

At that time, William started a two-year apprenticeship with the Cincinnati Gazette, where he learned typesetting, and thus began his career in journalism. Afterwards, he worked as an editor at the Louisville Courier, but his family’s finances forced him to return to Cincinnati in 1848.

In the fall of 1848, William took a flatboat journey from Cincinnati to New Orleans and back with his brother John. In 1849, William worked as a clerk at a mercantile business.

Then, in March 1850, William set out for the California gold rush. He spent more than a year in the mines near Grass Valley in Nevada County, California; then, in 1852, he represented El Dorado County, California, at the state’s first Whig convention. Eventually, he settled in San Francisco, where he was a customs officer; one of the founders of San Francisco’s first public library and its first librarian; and was, at different times, an editor of several San Francisco newspapers: Picayune, Evening Journal, Evening Times, and Morning Ledger. Meanwhile, he also still wrote home to the Cincinnati Gazette, describing life in California.[1]

William did not strike it rich in the gold rush, and he returned home to Cincinnati in April 1854. For a time, he worked on the Cincinnati, Hamilton, & Dayton Railroad as a brakeman and later a baggage master. Before long, he was involved in journalism again. He was a correspondent for the Cincinnati Daily Columbian and later the Cincinnati Evening Times.

On December 27, 1855, William D. Bickham married Maria Emily Strickle (b. Dec. 1833) at the home of her parents, Abraham Ellis Strickle (1807-1863) and Caroline Goodwin (d. 1867), of Wilmington, Ohio (more on Strickle family). Maria’s father Abraham was the director of the Clinton County Fair, and William had most likely met the family while covering county fairs for theCincinnatinewspapers, which was one of his usual assignments.

By 1856, William had become city editor of the Cincinnati Commercial, under editor Murat Halstead. In this capacity, William was a correspondent of political news in Columbus and Washington, DC. This afforded him opportunities to meet many public figures who would later rise to even greater prominence as governors, congressmen, senators, cabinet members, and even presidents, several of whom remained in correspondence with him for years.[2]

When the Civil War broke out, William spent two years as a war correspondent on the front, sending his dispatches back to the Commercial. He was first assigned to General William Rosecrans’ army, where he was a volunteer aide-de-camp with the rank of captain.[3] He also spent several months with General George McClellan’s army, before being transferred back to Rosecrans. He was present at the Battle of Stones River, and Rosecrans’ praise for his actions there earned him the rank of major.[4]

Bickham's Civil War album and one of Bickham's first issues of the Journal

Bickham’s Civil War album and one of Bickham’s first issues of the Journal

While William was reporting from the field, matters on the home front in southwest Ohio were heating up. On May 5, 1863, General Ambrose Burnside arrested congressman and Dayton resident Clement Vallandingham on charges of sedition.

Arrest of Clement Vallandingham, 1863

Arrest of Clement Vallandingham, 1863

Vallandingham was one of the most vocal leaders of the Copperheads, a group of Democrats who opposed the war. In response to his arrest, a Copperhead mob burned down the Republican, pro-Union Dayton Journal newspaper office.

A group of pro-Union Daytonians formed a committee to restore the Journal and sought help from Cincinnati Commercial editor Halstead in finding a new editor for the Journal. Halstead recommended William D. Bickham. The committee offered Bickham the job, and he accepted, moving his family to Dayton.

Bickham took over the Journal on May 11, 1863, printing a small issue for the next several weeks until the main press was repaired. A sum of $6,000 was offered to Bickham as a gift to get the newspaper up and running again; he refused the gift but accepted it as a loan, which he paid off in less than 3 years.

First Brick house in Dayton (built in 1808) was converted to the Journal Office in 1863

First Brick house in Dayton (built in 1808) was converted to the Journal Office in 1863

The first regular issue of the Dayton Daily and Weekly Journal reappeared on July 28, 1863.

Of the delay and the reopening, Bickham wrote in his “Salutatory” in the July 28 issue:

The delay between the destruction of the old office and the issuance of the Journal in its present form, was unavoidable. Circumstances not within the publisher’s control retarded operations. Some of the conditions were of a private and afflicting nature—with which the public have no concern.[5] Explanations would therefore be superfluous. Suffice it that the Journal is once more before the community, and in handsome form. Let it be hoped that it will move forward uninterruptedly in a career of usefulness and prosperity…

The publisher begs leave to say further, that being desirous to rebuild the Journal upon the foundation laid by the former able Editor, Wm. F. Comly, Esq., he purchased the press of the old Journal office which the wretches of the Vallandingham tribe did not succeed in fully destroying, and the handsome Journal which you now read was printed upon that splendid machine, rebuilt and put into working condition since the fire…[6]

When the Journal reopened in July 1863, its offices were protected by two loaded cannons. Bickham himself was reportedly threatened with bodily harm on numerous occasions through the end of the war. Nevertheless, he stood firmly behind his Republican opinions and his newspaper, throughout the Civil War and through the end of his life.

Journal Office in 1876

Journal Office in 1876 – note the banner supporting (Republican) R. B. Hayes for President

William Denison Bickham died on March 27, 1894, at his home on Monument Avenue[7] in Dayton. On March 30, he was buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton. His wife Maria Strickle Bickham lived 30 more years, dying on October 17, 1924, in Dayton; she was also buried in Woodland Cemetery.

Maria and W. D. Bickham graves, Woodland Cemetery

Maria and W. D. Bickham graves, Woodland Cemetery

William D. Bickham and Maria E. Strickle had six children:

  1. William Strickle Bickham (born Nov. 22, 1856; died June 16, 1912), who moved toSpokane,Washington.
  2. Victor Hardy Bickham (born July 4, 1858; died June 22, 1865), who drowned.
  3. Abraham Strickle Bickham (born Aug. 28, 1860; died Jan. 7, 1929), who married Amelia Herr in 1900.
  4. Thomas Burns Bickham (born May 13, 1863; died June 19, 1863).
  5. Daniel Denison Bickham (born Oct. 31, 1864; died Mar. 3, 1951), who married Anna Stout in 1888, then later married Sylvia.
  6. Charles Goodwin Bickham (see sketch) (born Aug. 12, 1867; died Dec. 14, 1944), who never married.

After W. D. Bickham’s death, his sons Abraham, Daniel, and Charles continued to operate the Journal, until October 1, 1904, when the Journal’s ownership was transferred from private ownership to a stock company.

[Items in brackets are additions to this blog post that were not written in the original finding aid biographical sketch.]


[1] For a more thorough description of Bickham’s time in California, see: William D. Bickham, A Buckeye in the Land of Gold: The Letters and Journal of William Dennison Bickham, edited by Randall E. Ham (Spokane: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1996).Dayton Local History 979.404 B583B 1996.

[2] Some of their correspondence is included in this collection. [LPR]

[3] Whitelaw Reid of the Cincinnati Gazette was also a war correspondent with Rosecrans at that time. [LPR]

[4] For more information about Bickham’s time with Rosecrans and the battle of Stones River, see: William D. Bickham, Rosecrans’ Campaign with the Fourteenth Army Corps: or, the Army of the Cumberland: A Narrative of Personal Observations with…Official Reports of the Battle of Stone River (Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstach, Keys, & Co., 1863).Dayton Local History 973.7416 B583R. [LPR]

[5] Bickham is probably referring to the birth and death of his son Thomas Burns Bickham, who was born May 13, 1863, two days after Bickham had purchased the Journal, and died a month later on June 19, 1863. [LPR]

[6] W. D. Bickham, “Salutatory,” Dayton Journal, July 28, 1863.

[7] W. D. Bickham purchased the home at117 W. Monument Ave. from Dickenson P. Thruston in 1872. It remained in the Bickham family until 1927 when it was purchased by the Dayton YMCA, which demolished both the Bickham house and the Thresher house next-door to build a new YMCA building. [LPR]

W. D. Bickham residence (right), 117 W. Monument Ave.

W. D. Bickham residence (right), 117 W. Monument Ave.

.

Dayton YMCA (now the Landing), 2012

In 1927, the a new YMCA was built on the site of the homes of W. D. Bickham and E. M. Thresher on Monument Ave; the YMCA is now known as The Landing. (Photo 2012)

*****

This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey in April 2011 for the Bickham Collection (MS-017) finding aid at the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, Ohio, 45402; phone (937) 496-8654. Additional information about the sketch’s subject can be found in that collection and in the citations below. Please contact the library or this blog’s author for more information about how to access the original finding aid or the manuscript collection.

I have written a few additional blog posts about W. D. Bickham, including: “Bickham and the presidents” (Feb. 21, 2011) and “Civil War case exhibit, Bickham’s cartes de visite album” (Nov. 21, 2011).

*****

Bibliography & Further Reading

Bickham, William D. A Buckeye in the Land of Gold: The Letters and Journal of William Dennison Bickham. Edited by Randall E. Ham. Spokane: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1996. Dayton Local History 979.404 B583B 1996.

Bickham, William D. From Ohio to the Rocky Mountains: Editorial Correspondence of the Dayton (Ohio) Journal by William D. Bickham. Dayton: Journal Book and Job Printing House, 1879. Dayton Local History T78 B583.

Bickham, William D. Rosecrans’ Campaign with the Fourteenth Army Corps: or, the Army of the Cumberland: A Narrative of Personal Observations with…Official Reports of the Battle of Stone River. Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstach, Keys, & Co., 1863. Dayton Local History 973.7416 B583R.

Conover, Charlotte Reeve. Dayton, Ohio: An Intimate History. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1932. Page 245. Dayton Local History 977.173 C753DAY 1932.

Conover, Frank. Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., 1897. “William Denison Bickham,” pages 403-404. Dayton Local History 977.172 C753C 1897.

Drury, Augustus Waldo. History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago; Dayton: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1909. Volume 1, pages 400-401. Dayton Local History 977.173 D796.

Foos, Katharine S. The Ellis Family. Dayton: United Brethren Publishing House, 1900. Dayton Local History B92 E47F.

Hamilton, William J. Dayton Newspapers and their Editors: Selected from the Dayton Public Library Newspaper Files. Dayton:Dayton Public Library, 1937. Dayton Local History 071.7173 D276.

Santmyer, Helen Hooven. A Calendar of the Bickham Collection: Letters, Documents, and Mementoes of Possible Historical Interest. Dayton:Dayton Public Library, 1956. Dayton Local History 016.091 D276C.

The History of Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago: W. H. Beers & Co., 1882. “Maj. William Denison Bickham,” Book 3, pages 191-192. Dayton Local History 977.172 H673.

MS-017 Bickham Collection:

  • Box1, Folder 5: Loyal Legion of theUnited States.
  • Box1, Folder 7: W.D. Bickham: Biographical Notes – OhioStateUniversity’s Schoolof Journalism Hall of Fame. Daniel D. Bickham, “Tribute to Wm. D. Bickham, Civil Wartime Editor,” The Ohio Newspaper 17:4 (Jan. 1937), pp. 5-7.
  • Box2, Folder 15: Genealogical Notes on Bickham and Strickle Families.
  • Box2, Folder 14: C. G. Bickham: Letters concerning Military Career.

Dayton Local History Resource (LHR) File. Dayton Metro Library.

Dayton Pamphlets File. Dayton Metro Library.

Save your digital photos, Part 3: Why you need to do it (Photo Reprise)

Okay, so Part 2 was a bit verbose. Sorry. I suppose you could say I am nothing if not thorough?

I warned my husband that it had gotten a bit long, and after he read it, his comment was: “You were right. It does make you sound a bit insane!”

To which, I replied: “Better insane than sorry.”

And I stand by that.

However, if you made it this far in the series, I want to remind you simply about why I posted that seemingly endless outline for my digital photo preservation strategy: to help you preserve your own digital memories.

And since they say that “a photo is worth 1000 words,” I thought I’d drive the point home by simply sharing a selection of digital memories that I personally wouldn’t want to see lost.

(All photos below are either from my own personal collection or those of my friends/family, used with permission.)

If this doesn’t impress upon you the reason I wrote Parts 1 & 2 — and why I want to burn the bottom-line concept of LOCKSS (lots of copies keeps stuff safe!) into your brain — I don’t know what will.

And, go:

grad1

Lisa

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grad2

Gina

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grad3

Sara

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wed1

The Aisle

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wed2

The Kiss

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wed3

Out the Doors

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wed4

Cakey Kiss

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wed5

The Wind

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fam1

The WHOLE family

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fam2

Dancing with my 90-year-old grandfather (who died in 2008)

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fam3

Seeing the house where grandpa was born (in Italy)

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fam4

57 years and 7 kids later

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travel1

Forum at Rome, Italy

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travel2

Smoky Mountain Honeymoon

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travel3

Erectheion at Athens, Greece

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travel4

Cades Cove, TN

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baby1

New Family

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baby2

Meeting Mom and Dad

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baby3

Day 1

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All photographic moments that can never — NEVER — be replaced.

If that thought doesn’t make you want to make an active effort to preserve your digital memories (and the print ones, too), then no amount of words from me can help you.

Thanks to my family and friends who gave me permission to use their photos.

Save your digital photos, Part 2: How I do it

In Part 1 of “Save your digital photos,” I listed a number of reasons why you should be backing up your digital photos.

And I mentioned LOCKSS, which I will reiterate and emphasize again here, is the TLDNR take-away message I want you to get from both Parts 1 and 2. If you read or remember nothing else, please just always remember this rule of thumb in regards to your digital files, and (assuming you follow it) you should be good to go:

LOCKSS = Lots of copies keeps stuff safe.

Also in Part 1, I mentioned this OHS blog post with “Tips for Saving Your Digital Photographs”. My own personal digital photo preservation routine seems to fall within the parameters they recommend, so I thought maybe I would share the specifics of it here, to give an idea of what a home user might do to ensure that their digital photogrpahs will both exist, and be accessible, for a long time.

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And now, for some minutiae.

The following are the details of my own personal digital preservation regimen. (So, to be clear, this is what I do at home, not in my professional capacity as an archivist at the library.)

My way is certainly not the only solution or even necessarily the best. But I feel that it has served me well in the past. I can confidently say, “If my laptop died tomorrow, I really wouldn’t be that upset about it, because I know all my stuff is safely stored in multiple places.”

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Here is what I do, roughly broken down into steps:

Step 1: Download the photos.

At least once a month (I have a reminder set), I download the photos from my smart phone and my digital camera onto my computer’s hard drive. I usually leave the photos on the camera’s memory card, also, for about a month. For instance, at the end of May, I would copy all of May’s photos onto my hard drive, leave the a copy of the May photos on the camera, and delete the April photos still left on the camera. I usually dump this month’s photos into a virtual holding tank, a folder called (creatively enough) “New Pics,” until I am ready to organize them. (Don’t worry; I do the organizing pretty soon after the data dump. But I usually have to collect the images from two cameras and an iPhone before I start organizing, to make sure I have everything.)

Why do Step 1? Copying your photos from your camera devices onto your hard drive gives you a second copy of them and protects you from losing the photos if you lose your camera or phone. (I know some cell phones have “cloud” backup, but I bet your digital camera probably doesn’t.) However, this only works until the memory in your camera or phone fills up. You will need a more long-term solution (see Step 4+), also, but this is good for starters.

Step 2: Create & utilize named folders.

I have folders for each month (e.g., “2011-10 Oct”), with descriptively named folders for each event in that month. I usually use the ISO 8601 date and then a descriptive name, such as: “2011-12-25 Christmas.” If I have random pictures (no particular event), I just toss them into the appropriate month’s folder.

Why do Step 2? It’s easy to accumulate a lot of digital photos (since they are cheap and easy to create!), and they can become a jumbled, unmanageable mess pretty easily. Also, if you have photos from the same event but different cameras, the potentially different sequential file naming schemes might not keep them next to each other in your “All My Photos Ever” folder. Step 2 does not technically do anything to help preserve the images themselves, but it will help preserve the meaning of the photos. (Ever found a bunch of old photos and thought, “Gee, I wonder what was going on here?” or “Grandma looks so young; I wonder what year this was?” Yeah, thought so.)

Step 2b: Cull the collection.

Once you’ve got all the photos from a certain event in front of you, take a few minutes to delete any you don’t need or want. Delete pocket shots (the camera equivalent of “butt dialing“). At least consider deleting blurry ones and ones with really unfortunate facial expressions. If you have several shots that are nearly identical, consider choosing the best one and deleting the rest.

You could do this culling after Step 1 (file download) or after Step 3 (filenaming), but I think it makes the most sense after you’ve filed by event (so you can see everything together) but before you go to all the trouble of renaming everything.

Why do Step 2b? There are two good reasons to do this: #1 digital storage is pretty cheap these days, but it’s still not free; and #2 you won’t have to wonder “now which 2011 family Christmas photo did I decide was the best one?” every time you want it. (If you really want to keep all the shots even though it looks like a flipbook, you could mark the best one as “BEST” (so creative, I know) when filenaming (see step 3), but that doesn’t help you save storage space.)

A word of caution about Step 2b: On the flip side, don’t delete photos you actually want just to save space, unless you are really desperate. My husband fully supports my mass proliferation of photographs, reminding me: storage space is cheap.  So, if you really want it, find a way to keep it. (You can buy more CDs or a bigger hard drive; but once those photos are gone, they’re gone.)

Step 3: Create meaningful file names.

I change the generic photo filenames assigned by the camera to something more descriptive, which helps me find the image I want without having to look at every file. Again, I like the ISO 8601 date, the event, then the generically assigned file name (most cameras use a sequential numbering system so this keeps the photos in chronological order), and then sometimes info about the subject. For example: “2011-12-25 Christmas IMG_0099 opening gifts.jpg” or “2011-12-25 Christmas IMG_0100 Lisa Matt.jpg.” (Note: You should try to keep the file names short, because some operating systems have trouble with longer file names. I am not always good about keeping things short — you’ve read my blog, right? — so I am guilty of not doing this. But I still thought I ought to mention it.)

Meaningful folder and file names

Meaningful folder and file names

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Okay, so you’ve got your photos from all your digital devices (go you!); you’ve organized them in relevant folders and given them meaningful filenames (woohoo!). Now, you want to make sure all that hard work doesn’t go to waste. You need to protect those image files against the many ways they can be lost (see Part 1).

If all else fails, remember LOCKSS: Lots of copies keeps stuff safe.

Step 4: Do regular external backups.

When I say “regular,” I mean pretty often. I do my backup of photos (as well as other files) once a week (another reminder is set).

And when I say “external,” I mean to another physical location besides your the hard drive to which you downloaded the photos in Step 1. I mean, create a regularly-updated second copy of your stuff somewhere. That “somewhere” could be an external hard drive, CDs, DVDs, cloud storage, USB drives, etc.

Personally, I don’t recommend CDs, DVDs, or USB drives (and do I even need to address floppy disks?) because they can go bad over time, and you have to remember to check them periodically (and possibly refresh them – which means, making copies on new disks/media to replace the old ones). I recommend using an external hard drive of some sort, because if you keep using the same drive every time to backup things, you will realize immediately when it goes bad because you are accessing it every week to make those backups. If you put your photos on a CD and throw it in a drawer, thinking, “Okay, there’s my backup for 2011,” then in a few years when your computer crashes, you might find that CD can’t be read anymore either. Then what? You just lost 2011’s photos.

By using a hard drive, which I will access frequently to make additional backups (thereby acting as a check to make sure it’s still working, without having to remember to check it for no other reason than checking it), I don’t have to remember the CDs (or DVDs or USB sticks or SD cards or whatever) that I stowed away years ago and hope they still work when I need them; or to remember to check them every 6-12 months or so.

Nevertheless, any backup media you choose to use is better than none at all. Because if you make any backup copies, there’s at least a chance they’ll still work when you need them. If you make no copies at all, I guarantee you will lose those photos when your computer/phone/camera dies.

In my case, I use an external hard drive system called a NAS — Network-Attached Storage — which has a two-disk RAID (redundant array of independent disks) configuration.

NAS (Network-Attached Storage)

NAS (Network-Attached Storage)

Without getting too technical, this means that I can backup my files over our home network to this little box that has two identical hard drives in it (in our case, 1 terabyte each). Although the box technically contains 2 TB of space, you can only fill up one disk’s worth of space – in my case, 1 TB – because the second disk exists solely to backup the first. So, in this way, I actually have a double backup going on. If one of the two disks goes bad, I still have a backup.

Why do Step 4? You need an external second copy of your files in case your first copy gets lost, stolen, destroyed, corrupted, or otherwise killed in some way.

Step 5: Keep an off-site backup.

Now, if you opted to go with cloud storage for your Step 4, where your photos are backed up over the Internet, then you may not need to do Step 5 also. Theoretically, anyone with any business running a cloud storage service should have your files protected in multiple ways, and obviously this storage is off-site because it is stored on the company’s servers in who-knows-where. So, if you used cloud storage for Step 4, you are probably covered on Step 5 also.

I do use online storage for part of my Step 5. I have an account at Smugmug, where I am able to backup an unlimited number of photos for $40 per year. The site has lots of cool features (and no, they aren’t paying me to promote them), but I mostly got the account for backup purposes. However, I have since implemented another off-site backup solution, since the cost for restoring all my images from Smugmug would be pretty high.

As my other off-site backup solution, I have a second pair of external hard drives (in addition to the ones in the NAS). I keep one of the drives at my house at any given time and make weekly backups to it, just like I do the NAS. The other drive is at my parents’ house, 100+ miles away. Whenever I visit my parents (usually every few months), I swap the two hard drives.

One of my off-site backup solutions

One of my off-site backup solutions

Why do Step 5? Keeping an off-site backup gives you an additional layer of protection against more types of loss. Let’s say you do Steps 1-4, but your backup is stored at your house, along with your computer. What if someone steals your computer and your external hard drive? What if your home is destroyed by a fire or natural disaster? If it’s a house fire, then storing your off-site backup at a friend’s house nearby will save you, but what if it’s a major disaster such as a hurricane, earthquake, or flood? Odds are, if your friend’s house is in the same metro area, it will be affected also. Ideally, you would want your off-site storage several hundred miles away. This is another plus to cloud storage, because odds are, those servers are going to be hundreds of miles away from you and probably spread across many different locations.

My swap-a-hard-drive-at-Mom-and-Dad’s-house method is pretty good, but it might be a couple of months out-of-date. But at least I can get those last couple of months’ of picturse off of Smugmug. It’s a lot easier to copy the files from a hard drive than to get them back from the Internet either through download or ordering CDs (which would be expensive and I don’t even want to think about how many CDs I would need to order from them).

Step 6: Print out the pictures.

Any photos that I want to be accessible for many years, I have printed. Yes, this costs money. Do it anyway. I don’t recommend printing your photos at home; photo print services have better machines, processes, and inks. Just leave it to the pro’s. Personally, I use Shutterfly (and no they aren’t paying me), but there are many good ones.

Another plus to using an online photo printing site is that it can be an off-site backup, depending on how long the photos are stored there. You can order photo CDs if you need to. In fact, as I was fact-checking to write this, I learned that Shutterfly now has unlimited free photo storage; they didn’t used to, which was part of why I got Smugmug, among other things. Anyway, the point is: free online photo storage – with the option to order your photos on CDs (if you need them later) – does exist, so there’s really no good excuse not to do it. If you don’t have Internet access, go to the public library; furthermore, if you don’t have Internet access, how are you even reading this?

I like Shutterfly because the pictures look good, they aren’t too expensive ($0.15 per 4×6, currently), and (perhaps the biggest factor why I use them) they print the filename on the back. Remember all that filenaming you did? Yeah, here’s another way it pays off. Not necessarily having to rewrite all that again on the back of your prints. Although, you might want to write on them; that the pre-printed filename may rub off eventually. Without going off on a tangent about the best way to archivally label your photos, just please make sure your prints are labeled in some way (Step 6b) – or else you’ll still have the whole, “What was going on here and when?” scenario years later, if you don’t transfer the descriptions to the prints also.

Why do Step 6? For all the time I’ve spent developing and implementing my plan for how to keep my digital photos safe, I must admit, I still don’t 100% trust digital-only. I could write a whole separate blog entry about why that is, but suffice it to say that anything digital is always going to be technology-dependent, meaning you will need certain equipment and software in order to access it.

You know what’s not technology-dependent? Hard copy. That’s why you can still rummage through Grandma’s box of photos, even though the camera or even the negatives may be long gone. Back in the Day, the only option for enjoying your photos was to have prints made. And as long as those prints exist and you’ve got eyes to see, you’ll be able to enjoy them. You won’t be rooting around looking for a way to access that old hard drive or disk — assuming the media hasn’t gone bad — in 2050. You can just kick back with an album or box of pictures. Old School.

No special equipment required.

No special equipment required.

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Okay, I know that was very long and involved and full of details. Part of that is because I’m verbose. But part of that is because actually managing to effectively preserve your photo memories in this day and age is involved. You must make a conscious effort to do it. And for some people, simply telling them, “You need to backup your photos,” is not really all that helpful. So I thought perhaps sharing something a little more step-by-step might be helpful.

This post is an example of one possible plan for keeping your digital photos safe. There are many options. And, like I have said, the way described here (“my” way) is not the only way or even necessarily the best way. But I think I have all the major bases covered. I can say with some degree of confidence that if my laptop kicked the bucket tomorrow (again, knock on wood), all my photos are safe because they exist somewhere else (in some cases multiple somewheres). I would even go so far as to say that if my house burned to the ground with all my physical belongings inside (WAY knock on wood), I could replace all of my digital photos except maybe the last week’s worth.

So while some might call all of this “overkill,” I call it “peace of mind.”

Bio Sketch: Thomas O. Lowe (1838-1922), lawyer and Copperhead in Dayton, Ohio

Thomas Owen Lowe was born February 11, 1838, in Batavia, Clermont County, Ohio, the eldest son of John W. Lowe and Manorah Fishback.

Beginning in 1851, Tom attended Farmers College, until his father’s financial situation forced his withdrawal from the school in 1854. For a short time thereafter, Tom worked briefly as a bank clerk at Ellis & Sturges bank in Cincinnati. Then, in 1855, he accompanied his father to Dayton.

In the summer of 1855, Tom abruptly moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he worked as a bank clerk at the W. B. Shepherd bank. He eventually took a clerk position at a different bank, the Bank of Middle Tennessee in nearby Lebanon, where he remained until the summer of 1857.[1]

Upon his return to Dayton in July 1857, Tom again obtained employment as a bank clerk, at the Harshman and Winters Bank. Tom had corresponded regularly with Martha Harshman, daughter of one of the bank proprietors, during his time in Tennessee. And on November 10, 1857, Thomas Lowe and Martha Harshman (born October 1837), daughter of Jonathan Harshman Jr. and Abigail Hivling, were married in Montgomery County, Ohio. The newlyweds lived with the bride’s parents for a few months until their new home at 105 Main Street was ready; they moved into the house at 105 Main on May 27, 1858, according to Tom’s “Miscellany.”

Tom and Martha would live at 105 Main until sometime shortly before 1871, when they moved to 29 W. Fourth Street, where they lived until about 1877. From about 1877 to about 1880, they lived at 326 W. First Street. From about 1880 to about 1883, they lived at “Old No. 5 Main” (225 N. Main), and from about 1883 to 1885, they lived at 316 W. Monument Avenue.

Thomas and Martha had four children:

  1. Abbie Lowe (born October 7, 1858; died October 25, 1860);
  2. John Williamson Lowe (born October 4, 1861; died September 27, 1917), who never married and lived in Chicago;
  3. Jeannetta Lowe (born April 20, 1863; died October 5, 1869); and
  4. Nora Lowe (born March 1869; died January 20, 1958), who married Ralph Rappe McKee and lived in New York.

Although he worked in banks until the age of 34, Tom was long a student of law, first studying under his father John Lowe. He roomed with a law student while living in Lebanon, Tennessee, and he continued his law studies upon returning to Dayton. Thomas Lowe was admitted to the bar in February 1859 but continued in the banking business until May 1862, when he began his law practice.

During the Civil War, Tom disagreed with the war on several grounds, for which reason he was considered a “Copperhead,” or “Peace Democrat.” Fellow Daytonian Clement Vallandingham was the best known Copperhead. After Vallandingham’s arrest in May 1863, Tom decided that it might be prudent to spend the summer in Europe, lest he meet the same fate, since his views were also widely known. Tom returned to Dayton in the fall of 1863.

Letter from Thomas O. Lowe to the Dayton Journal, May 1863

Letter from Thomas O. Lowe to the Dayton Journal (the Republican newspaper), May 1863. (See also pg 2.)

On January 1, 1864, Tom was appointed to fill a vacancy as Montgomery County Auditor; he remained in this post until March 1865, at which time he returned to his law practice. He continued to practice law until he was elected Judge of the Superior Court of Montgomery County in October 1870. When his term expired in July 1876, he again resumed his law practice at the northeast corner of Third and Jefferson.

Tom was a member of the Presbyterian Church from his early life onward. In the early 1870s, he became increasingly active in religious activities, especially in the YMCA. In April 1884, Tom became a licensed minister of the Presbyterian Church, and at that time he seems to have given up his law practice and was solely a clergyman thenceforth.

The 1884-1885 city directory is the first entry to list Thomas O. Lowe as “Rev.” and without any other occupation. Tom is not listed in the 1884-1885 Dayton city directory or thereafter, so it may have been about that time that he and Martha moved to Richmond County, New York, where their daughter Nora Lowe McKee lived.

Thomas O. Lowe died September 2, 1922, at Staten Island, New York. His wife Martha Harshman had died March 2, 1900, at New Brighton, New York. Thomas and Martha Lowe are buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.

Thomas Lowe family is listed on the back of Jonathan Harshman's marker (Thomas's father-in-law)

Thomas Lowe family is listed on the back of Jonathan Harshman’s marker (Thomas’s father-in-law)

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Thomas Owen Lowe and Martha (Harshman) Lowe on Harshman tombstone

Thomas Owen Lowe and Martha (Harshman) Lowe on Harshman tombstone

 

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Thomas Owen Lowe, Woodland Cemetery (individual headstone)

Thomas Owen Lowe, Woodland Cemetery (individual headstone)

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This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey in July 2011 for the Lowe Collection (MS-009) finding aid at the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, Ohio, 45402; phone (937) 496-8654. Additional information about the sketch’s subject can be found in that collection and in the citations below. Please contact the library or this blog’s author for more information about how to access the original finding aid or the manuscript collection.

I have written a few additional blog posts about Thomas O. Lowe, including: “Tom Lowe considers Civil War Service” (13 May 2011) and “Tom Lowe on Becoming a Father” (17 May 2011).

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Bibliography & Further Reading

Becker, Carl M. “The Genesis of a Copperhead.” Bulletin of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio 19, no. 4 (Oct. 1961): 235-253. [Dayton B L913B.]

Becker, Carl M. “John William Lowe: Failure in Inner-Direction.” Ohio History 73, no. 2 (1964): 75-89.

Becker, Carl M. “Picture of a Young Copperhead.” Ohio History 71 (1962): 3-23. [Dayton B L913BP.]

Becker, Carl M. Tom Lowe: A Lesser Angel. [Oxford, OH]: Miami University, 1958. [Dayton B L913BT.]

Broadstone, Michael A., editor. History of Greene County, Ohio: Its People, Industries, and Institutions. Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen, 1918. Vol. 1, pp. 653-656. [Genealogy Reference 977.174 H673B.]

Drury, Augustus Waldo. History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago; Dayton: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1909. Vol. 1, pp. 479, 781; Vol. 2, pp. 937-938. [Dayton 977.173 D796.]

The History of Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago: W. H. Beers & Co., 1882. Book 3, pp. 222-223. [Dayton 977.172 H673.]

Lowe, John W. [Letters of John W. Lowe] [microform]. [Dayton B L9134AA.]

“Lowe Papers.” LHR File. Local History Room, Dayton Metro Library.

“Lowe, Thomas Owen.” LHR File. Local History Room, Dayton Metro Library.

Obituary of Thomas O. Lowe. Dayton Journal, September 10, 1922.


[1] It has been argued that Thomas Lowe’s time in the South contributed to the evolution of his opinions and attitudes that would later label him as a “Copperhead.” (See Bibliography: Carl M. Becker, “The Genesis of a Copperhead.”)