Tag Archives: dayton metro library

A few snippets of Harvey D. Little’s poetry

Harvey D. Little (1803-1833) was a poet and newspaper man in the Columbus, Ohio, area. He was married to Mary Howard (1809-1891), daughter of Horton Howard. (More biographical information on both of them can be found in the previous post. Or, read Coggeshall’s assessment of Harvey D. Little from The Poets and Poetry of the West (1860).)

I found some examples of Harvey’s poetry in the Forrer-Peirce-Wood Collection, and I just thought these were too cool not to share. (And I’m not even really a big poetry lover.)

I’ll post images and transcriptions. (Transcriptions were done by me.) To see the original handwritten poems, click on the images to view them larger on Flickr. (Also, notice the indentations in the originals; I typed them in, but they wouldn’t stay in the WordPress editor.)

All of these poems are from Sarah (Howard) Forrer‘s Album of “Original and Selected Pieces” of Poetry & Miscellany (Box 5, Folder 5), Forrer-Peirce-Wood Collection (MS-018), Dayton Metro Library (Dayton, Ohio).

Without further ado, here are the poems:

*****

This first one, Harvey wrote for his sister-in-law Sarah (Howard) Forrer, shortly after her marriage (1826) and the birth of her first child (Elizabeth, in 1827). I believe this poem was written in Harvey’s own handwriting, based on a few of his letters (also in the collection).

“To Mrs. Sarah H. Forrer” (1828)
By Harvey D. Little

I saw thee in thy maiden prime.– The rose of youth
Was freshly blooming on thy polish’d cheek,
Whose smile of innocence, and shades of meek
Expression mingled.– Even peerless Truth,
Was scarce more lovely in her pristine state.
Thou seem’d to us, some Peri from above,
That but to look on was to praise and love;–
Such was thy being,– such our changless fate.

Again I saw thee– when the bridal crown
Was gaily shining on thy polish’d brow,
And thy soft lips had breath’d the sacred vow,
That gave thee to another.– There stole down,
Thy cheek, a tear,– but not of sorrow,– no!
Affection’s fount was full to overflowing,
Thy heart’s warm rapture could not hide its glowing:
Thou didst not dream, for once, of future woe.

And yet again I saw thee.– Thy rich charms
Were heighten’d by a more majestic grace:
A lovely infant smil’d upon thy face,
As it lay fondling in thy guardian arms.
A mother’s hopes were in thy bosom; and her fears
Sometimes o’ershadow’d them,– as sombre care
Can cast a chill on all that’s bright and fear!–
Mayst thou ne’er have a real cause for tears!

Harvey D. Little
Columbus, Sept. 8th, 1828

To Mrs. Sarah H. Forrer, pg. 1 of 2

To Mrs. Sarah H. Forrer, pg. 1 of 2

. To Mrs. Sarah H. Forrer, pg. 2 of 2

Having the benefit of 150+ years of hindsight, I can’t help but be saddened a bit by the poem’s final line: “Mayst thou ne’er have a real cause for tears!” Sarah would outlive that baby by 13 years; she would lose two more children as children (her first son at age 8; a daughter at 1.5); she would lose her second (and by then only) son, as well as a son-in-law, within weeks of each other during the Civil War. Not to mention all the sorrow that befell the Howard/Little family in the years 1833-1834…

*****

I think the handwriting on this one may be Sarah’s. It’s a little hard to tell.

“Twilight Hour” (undated)
By Harvey D. Little

Twilight hour in month gray,
Herald of departing day,
Form’d by him who made the sun,
Ere creations work was done–
Oh! how dear thou art to me!
Clothed in vestal purity.

Twilight hour! thy pensiveness
Sooths my bosoms deep distress
Lulls to sleep each sordid woe,–
Gives to hope a brighter glow.–
Makes each passing scene appear
Far more pleasing, far more dear.

Twilight hour thy charms impart
A mournful sweetness to the heart,
By recalling smiles and tears,
Joys and griefs of far fled years:
Years that swiftly past away,
Joys that hastened to decay.

Twilight hour! in coming days,
Other bards may sing thy praise,
Love thy pensive charms which I
In the grassy tomb shall lie.
Far from sorrow far from pain
Far from every earthly stain.

There the storms of life are o’er–
There the wretched weep no more–
While the spirit wings its flight
To a world of endless light
Where bright orbs have ever shown
And in twilight hour is known.

Twilight Hour, pg. 1 of 2

Twilight Hour, pg. 1 of 2

.

Twilight Hour, pg. 2 of 2

Twilight Hour, pg. 2 of 2

I just love this one; it has a good rhythm, and I admit, I’ve always preferred poems that rhyme. In a way, it’s almost eerie, knowing as I do that within a few short years of writing it, the poet himself “In the grassy tomb shall lie. / Far from sorrow far from pain / Far from every earthly stain.” Harvey was taken by cholera in 1833 at the age of 30.

*****

This last poem I want to share is signed “M. Little,” which I’m pretty sure is Harvey’s wife Mary (Howard) Little. It doesn’t say “by” M. Little, but I can’t find this poem anywhere. So I’m not sure whether Mary wrote it herself or if it was simply one that she liked and requested to copy it into Sarah’s album. I believe the original handwriting is Mary’s, based on other examples and letters written by Mary.

Untitled (undated)
[Author not specified]

Cling to the world in rosy health,
And drink its sweet alluring pleasures
Bow at the golden shrine of wealth,
And worship time’s deceitful treasures.
But know the hour of pain will come
And sickness bring its cloud of sorrow,
To wrap in gloom our happy home,
And quench the sunlight of tomorrow.

Twine ye the green bay wreath of joy
And bind it on the brow of gladness,
And let no warning voice alloy,
No whispering spirit breathe of sadness.
For full should be his need of bliss,
Where hold on time so soon must sever:
Who wins no other world but this,
And with it loses all forever.

Pale sickness with its train of woes
Misfortunes, penury, and grief
The mournful fate which autumn throws
Ov’er the sere and faded leaf,
The good man’s doom on earth may be,
And he may struggle long with fate,
But sweet’s the rest his soul shall see,
When worlds lie wreck’d and desolate.

M. Little

Untitled poem

Untitled poem

Another somewhat gloomy poem, but again, I like it. It’s undated, so I have to wonder whether Mary copied this poem down before or after all the sadness that befell her little – er, Little – family.

“But know the hour of pain will come / And sickness bring its cloud of sorrow, / To wrap in gloom our happy home, / And quench the sunlight of tomorrow.”

In the summer of 1833, Mary lost her husband, two children, and both her parents in a cholera epidemic; the following spring, she lost her remaining two children to scarlet fever. She would eventually marry again and have 4 more children (one of whom died in the Civil War, but the other 3 grew to old age). I’m sure there were plenty of happy times in her life, too, but when I think of Mary (Howard) Little Affleck, I remember a woman who endured many, many sorrows.

*****

I hope you enjoyed the poems! I know I did. 🙂

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Ex post facto reference : Where can I find the Dayton Journal?

I love looking at the list of “search engine terms” in the stats section of this blog. It is a list of the phrases that people typed into search engines that led them to some section or other of this blog. You can view this information in various time increments, including today, yesterday, this week, etc. For instance, the “all time” most popular term to lead people here has apparently been “post mortem photography.” Geez, do I really talk about photographing dead people that much? Oops. Sorry! More likely, that is simply a topic I have written about that has been of interest to the broadest number of people.

But, getting back to my title. Sometimes, I look at the “search engine terms” list and wish I had a way to contact the person because it sounds like they have an interesting research topic. Or, they have searched for a topic on which I know I could have helped them find some great primary source materials — maybe something in the archives where I work! Hopefully, that’s what led them to my blog, and hopefully, I said enough in whatever static page they viewed, that they found those resources eventually anyway. But it still makes me wonder.

I’ve often thought about writing posts in response to search terms I read on my list, especially when the “term” was phrased as a complete sentence, as a sort of ex post facto reference transaction. (If they looked for it once, maybe they’ll do so again. Or maybe someone else will, at least. And this will ensure that next time, that person finds at least one answer, if they didn’t before.)

So today, I’m finally going to actually write one of those ex post facto reference responses.

One of yesterday’s search terms was : “Where can I find the Dayton Journal?”

First a tidbit of history : The Dayton Weekly Journal was published in Dayton, Ohio, from 1826-1904. (There were also some earlier editions of various “Journal” newspapers in Dayton as well.) A daily edition of the Dayton Journal newspaper was published from 1847 until 1949. In 1949, the Journal merged with the Herald and was published as the Journal Herald until 1986, when the paper combined with the Dayton Daily News (which is now the only “main” newspaper in Dayton, Ohio).

Daily Dayton Journal, 14 Apr 1861

An original paper issue of the Daily Dayton Journal, 14 Apr 1861, announcing the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

The Journal was the Republican newspaper for much of its lifetime, whereas the Dayton Empire, Dayton Daily Democrat, and Dayton Daily News leaned towards the Democrats. This info about political affiliation might be pertinent, depending on the nature of the research to be conducted in the newspaper. For instance, the Journal might have been more likely to report the activities of a Republican political candidate—unless, of course, those activities were scandalous, in which case they might get more press in the Democratic paper! (If you are researching politics, it would probably be best to check both, no matter what. In any event, the politics of newspapers is something that should be kept in mind.)

Now, back to the original question : Where can you find the Dayton Journal?

The most complete run of the Dayton Journal available anywhere can be found a the Dayton Metro Library (where I work). We have a complete run of microfilm from 1862-1949, as well as many scattered earlier issues on microfilm.

Microfilm of the Dayton Journal at the Dayton Metro Library

Microfilm of the Dayton Journal at the Dayton Metro Library

We also have original paper copies for much of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (However, for preservation reasons, use of the originals is discouraged, and researchers are asked to use the microfilm instead.)

Bound volumes of the Dayton Journal at the Dayton Metro Library

Bound volumes of the Dayton Journal at the Dayton Metro Library

According to Guide to Ohio Newspapers, 1793-1973 (edited by Stephen Gutgesell, 1974), the Ohio Historical Society has quite a few issues of the Journal as well, and a few other places appear to have a smattering of issues. You can also check newspaper holdings online — and this works for newspapers across the country, not just the Dayton Journal — at the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America U.S. Newspaper Directory. For instance, here are the results of a search for “Dayton Journal”. Note that the database lists each individual masthead — every variation of the newspaper’s title — as a separate entry, which, while perhaps being the correct way to catalog it, does complicate the results page a little.)

Now, hopefully, that has rather thoroughly answered the question of “Where can I find the Dayton Journal?”

I could probably stop right here, but since as an archivist, I have a bit of a passion for manuscripts — and for telling people about them — I have to do you one better.

I’ve already told you that the Dayton Metro Library has an extensive collection of issues of the actual Dayton Journal newspaper — as well as the other newspapers I mentioned, the Empire, Democrat, and Daily News (and a whole host of others I didn’t mention).

But if you’re interested in the men behind the newspapers, you might also be interested to know that we have manuscript collections for both William D. Bickham (MS-017) (editor of the Republican Journal for 30 years in the late 19th century) as well as his counterpart at the Democrat, John G. Doren (MS-011, unprocessed), of the same era. For some reason, I find it a bit hilarious that Bickham’s and Doren’s papers are stored within a few feet of one another, when the two no doubt spent years engaged in politically-charged media sparring.

[Dayton Metro Library doesn’t have any of Daily News editor James M. Cox’s papers, so if you’re interested in him, you’ll want to check out MS-2 at the Wright State U. Special Collections & Archives.]

All in all, I suppose that was a really long way of saying, “You can find copies of the Dayton Journal at the Dayton Metro Library, OHS, and a few other places.” But if I haven’t made at least a handful of statements that start off “you might also be interested in…,” then I’ve only done my reference job halfway.

Bio Sketch: Col. Robert Patterson (1753-1827), early settler in Dayton, Ohio

Robert Patterson was born March 15, 1753, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, a son of Francis and Jane Patterson.

Col. Robert Patterson by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr

Col. Robert Patterson by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr

Col. Patterson, one of the earliest settlers of Dayton, Ohio, was well-known as a pioneer of the Northwest Territory and officer in the American Revolution. He was one of the founders of Georgetown and Lexington, Kentucky, in 1776, as well as Cincinnati in 1787, before coming to Dayton.

[Col. Patterson built a cabin in Lexington, Kentucky, about 1780. About 1901, his grandson John H. Patterson bought the cabin and had it removed to Dayton (exterior photo, interior photo). The cabin was later returned to Lexington about 1939.

Here is a more recent photo of the Patterson log cabin on its current location on the campus of Transylvania University, which Patterson helped charter:

Patterson Cabin (2011) by Bear^, on Flickr

Patterson Cabin (2011) by Bear^, on Flickr. (Used with permission.)

Find out more about the cabin here and here.]

Col. Patterson purchased some land in Clifton (Greene County), Ohio, in 1803, but later decided to move to Dayton instead. He purchased a farm just south of Dayton and moved his family there in 1804; he named the homestead “Rubicon Farm.” He later purchased more land adjacent to the original tract, and his farm eventually occupied 700 acres.

Patterson Homestead, Dayton, Ohio by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr

Patterson Homestead, Dayton, Ohio by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr

[Here is a more recent photo (2007, by Matthew CT, on Flickr) of the Patterson Homestead.]

Patterson Gristmill, Dayton, Ohio by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr

Patterson Gristmill, Dayton, Ohio by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr

Patterson Farm by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr

Patterson Farm by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr

Col. Patterson was a participant in several expeditions against Native Americans on the western frontier. He fought with the Pennsylvania Rangers in 1774. During the American Revolution, Patterson was with General George Rogers Clark on the Illinois Expedition in 1778, and he was a captain under Clark when he fought the Shawnee on the Little Miami and Mad Rivers in 1780. He was second in command at the Battle of Blue Licks (Kentucky) in 1782 and, now a colonel, subsequently accompanied Clark on his second expedition into the Miami Valley. Patterson also served as a colonel under Col. Benjamin Logan against the Shawnees in 1786. He also participated in the Battle of the Wabash, also known as St. Clair’s Defeat, in 1791.

Robert Patterson received the commission of colonel from Virginia Governor Patrick Henry in 1787. Robert Patterson served as a delegate to the Virginia legislature in 1790; after the state of Kentucky was formed, he served as a representative to its first state legislature, in 1792.

During the War of 1812, Robert Patterson served as a quartermaster, transporting supplies from Camp Meigs (located near Dayton on the Mad River) to troops located north of Dayton.

ignature of Col. Robert Patterson, 1813, Dayton, Ohio by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr

Signature of Col. Robert Patterson, 1813, Dayton, Ohio by Dayton Metro Library Local History, on Flickr (Dayton Metro Library, MS-015, Box 1, Folder 11)

Robert Patterson married Elizabeth Lindsay on March 29, 1780, in Pennsylvania. They had 11 children, all born in Lexington, Kentucky:

  1. William, who died as an infant.
  2. William, who died as an infant.
  3. Rebecca (1784-1858), who married Dr. John Goodlet and died in Kentucky.
  4. Margaret (1786-1861), who married three times, to Dr. Samuel Venable, Rev. James Welsh, and Samuel Caldwell, and died in Iowa.
  5. Elizabeth (1788-1827), who married James I. Nisbet.
  6. Francis (1791-1854), who moved to Missouri.
  7. Catharine (1793-1864), often called Kitty, who married Henry Brown, then after his death married Andrew Irwin and later Horatio Gates Phillips.
  8. Jane (1795-1876), who married John Steele.
  9. Harriet (1797-1822), who married Henry Stoddard.
  10. Robert Lindsay (1799-1833), who died of cholera during the epidemic of 1833.
  11. Jefferson (1801-1863), who married Julia Johnston, daughter of the Indian agent John Johnston of Piqua, and inherited Rubicon Farm. Two of Jefferson and Julia’s children, John H. Patterson and Frank J. Patterson, founded National Cash Register Company in Dayton.

Col. Robert Patterson died August 5, 1827, in Dayton. He was originally buried at the old graveyard on Fifth Street, as was his wife Elizabeth, who died October 22, 1833. Both were later moved to Woodland Cemetery, which is adjacent to land previously owned by Patterson.

The remains of many members of the Patterson family, including Col. Robert Patterson, are in the Patterson Knoll, at Woodland Cemetery.

The remains of many members of the Patterson family, including Col. Robert Patterson, are in the Patterson Knoll, at Woodland Cemetery.

*****

This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey in May 2010 for the Brown-Patterson Papers (MS-015) 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.

*****

Bibliography & Further Reading

Conover, Charlotte Reeve, Builders in New Fields (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1939). Dayton B P318C 1939.

Conover, Charlotte Reeve, Concerning the Forefathers (New York: Winthrop Press, 1902). Dayton B92 P318C.

Conover, Charlotte Reeve, Dayton and Montgomery County Resources and People (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., 1932), vol. 3: 11, 84. Dayton 977.173 C753D 1932.

Conover, Charlotte Reeve, Dayton, Ohio: An Intimate History (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., 1932), 28-30, 58-59. Dayton 977.173 C753DAY 1932.

Conover, Charlotte Reeve, The Patterson Log Cabin (Dayton: The Press of the N.C.R., 1906). Dayton B P318CP.

Conover, Frank, Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio (Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., 1897), 913. Dayton 977.172 C753C 1897.

Drury, Augustus Waldo, History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio (Chicago and Dayton: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909), vol. 1: 109-10, 119-23, vol. 2: 912-36. Dayton 977.173 D796.

Edgar, John F., Pioneer Life in Dayton and Vicinity, 1796-1840 (Dayton: U. B. Publishing House, 1896), 88-91, 94-99, 172. Dayton 977.173 E23.

History of Dayton, Ohio (Dayton: United Brethren Publishing House, 1889), 77-78, 132-33, 697-98. Dayton 977.173 H673.

History of Montgomery County, Ohio (Chicago: W. H. Beers & Co., 1882), 370-84, 560-63. Dayton 977.172 H673.

History of the Patterson Log Cabin (S.l.: s.n., 19–). Dayton T77173 H673.

Hover, John C., and Joseph D. Barnes, Memoirs of the Miami Valley (Chicago: Robert O. Law Company, 1919), vol. 3: 476. Dayton 977.1 M618.

Steele, Robert W., and Mary Davies Steele, Early Dayton (Dayton: U. B. Publishing House, 1896), 32, 82-83, 96-97. Dayton 977.173 S814E 1896.

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.

Bio Sketch: Thomas Dover (1829-1881), druggist in Dayton, Ohio

Thomas Dover (1829-1881) was born February 24, 1829, in a log cabin five miles north of Dayton, on the Old Troy Road (now OH-202), though the family removed to Dayton in the early spring of 1839. Thomas was the son of Henrietta Maria Van Cleve (daughter of Benjamin Van Cleve) and Samuel Best Dover; Thomas was a nephew of John W. Van Cleve, who was his mother’s brother.

The other children of Samuel B. and Henrietta Van Cleve Dover were: Mary Ann Dover (1825-1903), who married Jacob Andrew Drill; Robert Best Dover (1827-1841), who died as a teenager; Henrietta Sophia Dover (1830-1911), who married Silas M. B. Simpson; Phoebe Maria Dover (1833-1876), who married Emory B. Belden; and Serah Greenham Dover (1836-1879), who married Ebenezer S. Allan.

As a young man, Thomas learned the drug trade at the firm Van Cleve & Newell, with his uncle John W. Van Cleve . Thomas was with Van Cleve & Newell from 1843 until 1847, when after a bout with typhoid and a trip to Rising Sun, Indiana, he came home to find himself out of a job there.

From 1851 until about 1862, Thomas worked for several druggists in Dayton, Ohio, as well as in Centerville, Indiana, and Muscatine, Iowa. He also worked with his father in the gas pipefitting business, as well as planting peach trees on his uncle John Van Cleve’s farm. In the spring of 1862, Thomas purchased a tract of land at the corner of Fifth Street andWayne Avenue in Dayton and opened his own drug store, which he operated until his death.

Drug Store and Residence of Thomas Dover, southeast corner Fifth and Wayne

Drug Store and Residence of Thomas Dover, southeast corner Fifth and Wayne, Dayton, Ohio

Thomas Dover married Louisa Jane Donavan on July 2, 1857, in Springfield, Ohio; Louisa had been born May 13, 1836, in Springfield. Thomas and Louisa had five children: Robert Fay Dover (1858-1897), who married Jennie Lehman; Samuel B. Dover (1860-1928), who married Clara Rice; Anna Maria Dover (1863-1942), who married Edwin E. McKnight; John James Dover (1865-1944), who married Bertha _____; and Harry Thomas Dover (1870-1877).

Thomas Dover died April 21, 1881, being killed instantly upon falling from a stepladder in his drug store. He was buried inWoodland Cemetery, Dayton. His wife, Louisa, died March 5, 1896, in Dayton, and was also buried in Woodland.

Tombstone of Thomas Dover in Woodland Cemetery

Tombstone of Thomas Dover in Woodland Cemetery

 *****

This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey and Jared Baldwin in April 2010 for the Van Cleve-Dover Collection (MS-006) 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.

As an addition to the finding aid, it is interesting to note that Thomas Dover’s sons were active in the Stillwater Canoe Club and can be seen in several photos of the club in the Dayton Metro Library’s photo collection.

*****

BIBLIOGRAPHY & FURTHER READING

Drury, Augustus Waldo. History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago; Dayton: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1909. Vol. 2, pp. 1074; Vol. 1, pp. 93-94. [Dayton 977.173 D796]

Edgar, John F. Pioneer Life in Dayton and Vicinity, 1796-1840. Evansville,IN: Unigraphic, 1976. Pp. 32; 179. [Dayton 977.173 E23P 1976]

History of Dayton, Ohio. Dayton: United Brethren Publishing House, 1889. Pp. 179; 287. [Dayton 977.173 H673]

The History of Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago: W. H. Beers & Co., 1882. Book 2, p. 273. Book 3, p. 83. [Dayton 977.172 H673]

Steele, Robert W., and Mary Davies Steele. Early Dayton. Dayton: W. J. Shuey, 1896. Pp. 58; 169. [Dayton 977.173 S814E 1896]

Obituary of Thomas Dover, Dayton Daily Journal, April 22, 1881, page 4.

See also: Thomas Dover’s brief biography in Notebook 22 of the Van Cleve-Dover Collection.

Bio Sketch: John W. Van Cleve (1801-1858), early settler and mayor in Dayton, Ohio

John Whitten Van Cleve (1801-1858), son of Benjamin and Mary Whitten Van Cleve, was one of the first white children born in Dayton. John was born on June 27, 1801, five years after his father had arrived at present-day Dayton. John would become locally noted for his literary, scientific, and artistic achievements, and his life-long and unpaid work for the public good.

John was a born scholar, endowed with a vigorous intellect and a facility for acquiring knowledge of both mathematics and languages. John entered Ohio University at Athens when he was sixteen years old. He established quite a reputation for his scholarship at the university; he was a teacher of Greek and Latin at the university before graduating.

Upon his graduation, John studied law with Judge Joseph H. Crane, and was admitted to the bar in 1828. John’s political career included serving elected terms as recorder in 1824 and 1828, as well as three terms as Mayor of Dayton between 1830 and 1832, and he was several times the city engineer. In December 1828, John purchased an interest in the Dayton Journal, which he edited until 1834. John was also involved in the drug business, in partnership with Augustus Newell, their firm being Van Cleve & Newell. Van Cleve & Newell was on the north side of Third Street, just east of Main.

In his later years, John W. Van Cleve became an accomplished musician, painter, engraver, civil engineer, botanist, and geologist. John was a founder of Woodland Cemetery, being president of the Woodland Cemetery Association from its inception in the early 1840s until his death. In 1847, John also became one of the founders of the Dayton Library Association, which would eventually become the present-day Dayton Metro Library system.

John W. Van Cleve died from tuberculosis on September 6, 1858, in Dayton. His funeral was held the following day at the Phillips House, and he was buried inWoodland Cemetery, Dayton. He had no spouse or children.

Tombstone of John W. Van Cleve in Woodland Cemetery

Tombstone of John W. Van Cleve in Woodland Cemetery

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This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey and Jared Baldwin in April 2010 for the Van Cleve-Dover Collection (MS-006) 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.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY & FURTHER READING

Conover, Charlotte Reeve. Dayton, Ohio: An Intimate History. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1932. Pp. 95-98. [Dayton 977.173 C753DAY 1932]

Conover, Frank. Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago: A. W. Bowen, 1897. Pp. 177. [Dayton 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. Vol. 1, pp. 167-168. [Dayton 977.173 D796]

Edgar, John F. Pioneer Life in Dayton and Vicinity, 1796-1840. Evansville,IN: Unigraphic, 1976. Pp. 72-76. [Dayton 977.173 E23P 1976]

Hall, Agnes Anderson. Letters from John. S.l.: S.n., [n.d.].  [Dayton B V2224H]. (This source gives extensive information about John W. Van Cleve’s relationship with the Charles R. Greene family.)

History of Dayton, Ohio. Dayton: United Brethren Publishing House, 1889. Pp. 643-644. [Dayton 977.173 H673]

The History of Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago: W. H. Beers & Co., 1882. Book 2, pp. 755; 756. [Dayton 977.172 H673]

Steele, Robert W., and Mary Davies Steele. Early Dayton. Dayton: W. J. Shuey, 1896. Pp. 67-76. [Dayton 977.173 S814E 1896]

Van Cleve, John W. A Trip from Dayton to Chicago by Water in the Year 1847: Described in Verse. [Dayton,Ohio: H. Lowe], 1911. [Dayton 811 V222T]

Obituary of John W. Van Cleve, Dayton Daily Journal, September 7, 1858, page 2.

Bio Sketch: Benjamin Van Cleve (1773-1821), early settler and county clerk in Dayton, Ohio

Benjamin Van Cleve (1773-1821) was one of the earliest European settlers of what would later become the city of Dayton, Ohio.

Benjamin Van Cleve

Benjamin Van Cleve

He was born February 24, 1773, to John Van Cleve and Catherine Benham Van Cleve inMonmouth County, New Jersey. In December of 1789, John and Catherine Van Cleve headed west with their family, including 16-year-old Benjamin, and arrived at present-day Cincinnati on January 3, 1790. Less than two years later, on June 1, 1791, John Van Cleve was murdered by Native Americans while tending his fields. For a number of years after his father’s death, Benjamin carried the burden of supporting his mother and siblings.

Benjamin Van Cleve was one of the first settlers of Dayton,Ohio, when he arrived with a small group of others at the present site of downtown Dayton on April 1, 1796. Benjamin Van Cleve’s other important roles in Dayton history include teaching at the first school in the city, being the first postmaster of Dayton, and serving as the clerk of courts for Montgomery County. He was also a surveyor.

In 1805, Benjamin Van Cleve was among the founders of the first library incorporated in the state of Ohio; the library was located in Van Cleve’s log house in Dayton. Benjamin himself wrote down his memoirs in his Memoranda, which contains, among other things, the most accurate and detailed description of General Arthur St. Clair’s defeat and the only reliable account of the settlement of Dayton in 1796.

On August 28, 1800, in Dayton, Benjamin married Mary Whitten, who was born February 17, 1782. Benjamin Van Cleve had five children with his first wife, Mary Whitten Van Cleve; she died on December 28, 1810. On March 10, 1812, Benjamin married Mary Tamplin, by whom he had no children. Benjamin died on November 29, 1821; his second wife Mary died in 1825 or 1826. The remains of Benjamin Van Cleve and both of his wives were interred in their final resting place in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, on February 29, 1844.

Tombstone of Benjamin Van Cleve

Tombstone of Benjamin Van Cleve in Woodland Cemetery

The five children of Benjamin Van Cleve and Mary Whitten Van Cleve were: John Whitten Van Cleve (1801-1858), who was unmarried; William James Van Cleve (1803-1808); Henrietta Maria Van Cleve (1805-1879), who married Samuel Best Dover and later married Joseph Bond; Mary Cornelia Van Cleve (1807-1878), who married James Andrews; and Sarah Sophie Van Cleve (1809-1839), who married David C. Baker.

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This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey and Jared Baldwin in April 2010 for the Van Cleve-Dover Collection (MS-006) 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.

*****

BIBLIOGRAPHY & FURTHER READING

Bond, Beverley W., Jr., editor. “Memoirs of Benjamin Van Cleve.” In Quarterly publication of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio. vol. XVII, no. 1-2, January-June [1922]. Cincinnati: The Abingdon press, [1922]. [Dayton B V222BO]

Conger, William R., compiler. Benjamin Van Cleve (1773-1821). Fort Worth,TX: American Reference Publishers, 1968. [Dayton B V222AAB]

Conover, Charlotte Reeve. Dayton, Ohio: An Intimate History. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1932. Pp. 21-22; 52; 53; 57; 58. [Dayton 977.173 C753DAY 1932]

Conover, Frank. Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago: A. W. Bowen, 1897. Pp. 176, 177, 862, 1277. [Dayton 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. Vol. 1, pp. 40; 66-70; 93-94. Vol. 2, pp. 871; 272. [Dayton 977.173 D796]

Edgar, John F. Pioneer Life in Dayton and Vicinity, 1796-1840. Evansville,IN: Unigraphic, 1976. Pp. 29-32. [Dayton 977.173 E23P 1976]

Fillers, Mildred, compiler. Extracts from Benjamin Van Cleve’s memoirs, Colonel Robert Patterson’s memoranda and Colonel J. F. Hamtranck’s letters, 1775-1804 / [copied by Dayton Public Library]; maps copied by Mildred Fillers. Dayton,OH: Dayton Public Library, 1951. [Dayton 977 E969 1951]

History of Dayton, Ohio.Dayton: United Brethren Publishing House, 1889. Pp. 36-44. [Dayton 977.173 H673]

The History of Montgomery County, Ohio. Chicago: W. H. Beers & Co., 1882. Book 2, pp. 272-273. [Dayton 977.172 H673]

Jillson, Willard Rouse, compiler. Harrod’s Old Fort, 1791, as described and platted in Benjamin Van Cleve’s manuscript biographical memorandum dating from the year 1773. Frankfort, KY: KentuckyState Historical Society, 1929. [Dayton 976.9 V222h]

Starr, Christine. What They Wrote in Their Diaries. New York: [n.d.]. [Dayton B V222S]

Steele, Robert W., and Mary Davies Steele. Early Dayton. Dayton: W. J. Shuey, 1896. Pp. 34-50; 57-58. [Dayton 977.173 S814E 1896]

Van Cleve, Benjamin. The Memoirs of Benjamin Van Cleve. [S.l.: s.n., 1778-1819]. [DaytonB V222AA]

Van Cleve, Benjamin. Memoirs of Benjamin Van Cleve. [S.l.: s.n., 18–?]. [Dayton B V222AB]