Journal of J.B. Lightcap, pages 9 and 10

Lightcap Journal, Pages 9 and 10Clinton Station, Oct 18/57

Received new goods this week had a very good trade during the past week. Went to an apple pressing to Mr Joseph Kimeser’s lots of young folks there had a good time and enjoyed myself very well.

Got a new flush nest 1 pattern (?)which cost five dollars at wholesale.

Well I must get ready to go to the singing society at the brick church at 3 oclock this evening

Oct 25/57

Every day brings something new. This week that is just past has accomplished much. Ex Governor Chase is relected Governor of Ohio by a majority of two thousand. Death of J.S. Coats the great thread manufacturer. Return of J.S. Johnson from NY City. Times close money scarce. Banks closing up their businesses. Received a letter from Stark County from Jacob McGan (?) All in good health.

Wheat down. Sales quoted at 75@85 rye at 45 dull buckwheat small sales at 35 @ 40, apples 25 @ (?) for gird (?).

Oct 21/57 Attended a wedding of Mm Batorph to Miss Elisabeth Smith. Maryed by Brown Esq. Long may the young couple enjoy life.
And act both the part of man to wife.
May they harmonize together
And love one another for ever
May the live many long days
And spend their years in many busy ways

Today (?)Mr. S. Liggett to Miss Martha Sloan by the Rev M.W. Brown Maried Oct 29, 1857. Mr William Car to Miss Nancy Cammem by Rev Isahia Jones Maried Oct 29, 1857. Two wedings a week is very fine. This is the way it goes. Get maried get old get good. Many enter on the threshold of life without any previous preparations to make themselves comfortable in the world. Many would be excepted from the marriage state when trouble begins to cloud the minds of the young and thoughtless who have never had difficulties to encounter to such marriage is the (?)

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J.B. Lightcap Journal, Pages 7 and 8

J.B. Lightcap Journal, Page 7, Top.

J.B. Lightcap Journal, Page 7, Top.

September 20, 1857, Clinton Station(1), Wayne County, Ohio

Commenced clerking for J. S. Metzler & Co. at twelve dollars per month  (date of commencing, Sep. 7, 57) for three months at which time I am to increase my wages We have had a very good trade all week past ending Sep 12/57. For the commencing Sept 14/57, I bought one load of red what that .89 cts per bushel bought of Kiflon I think. We bought another very fine lot of red wheat of Joshua Sonagte (?) at 85 cts per Bushel.

Oct 11/57 Receive a letter from George Lightcap. They were all well when rote. Bought eleven notebooks of  J. H. Baumgardner & co Wooster, Ohio at .70 et a $7.70. The book was the Slacom (?). We are raising a signing at Clinton of which I am treasurer we hope much good may be done in peace. Mr. J.S. Metzler is gone to Cleveland Ohio.

W.M. Knox is also clerking for J.S. Metzler & Co.

J.B. Lightcap Journal, Page 7, Bottom

J.B. Lightcap Journal, Page 7, Bottom

Money matters down times hard. Money scarce and produce declining. Banks closing too.

J.B. Lightcap journal, Page 8, Top

J.B. Lightcap journal, Page 8, Top

Attended a celebration at Lafayett (2) Holmes County Sept 26/57. The day was fine many folks in attendance. Exercises opened by a short introductory by Rev. Green which was delightful to all who heard him. The exercises consisted of singing and speaking  Speaking by the schollars and singing by the quoir. the celebration consisted of four schools: Ripley No 1, Monroe No 2, Clinton No 3 and Lafayett No 4. The Monroe school were first singing and Lafayett school in speaking.

A fine dinner was prepared for the schollars of the different schools of which

J.B. Lightcap Journal, Page 8, Bottom

J.B. Lightcap Journal, Page 8, Bottom

every one helped themselves at the feast all with peace and harmony. Good order during the whole day.

Friends and neighbors in the vicinity were there to witness something that was instructive as well as entertaining. Many parents were delighted to see their children declaim in public on such an occasion.

(1) Clinton Station=Shreve

(2)Lafayette=Holmesville

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Millersburg City Hall and Opera House History

Millersburg, Ohio City Hall and Opera House

Postcard courtesy of Tina Zickefoose.

These articles are from the vertical files in the Local History and Genealogy Room of the Holmes County District Public Library:

(This piece doesn’t include a date, but Jane and Sandy’s Variety Store no longer exists)

By Lee Hunter
Special thanks to the Farmer-Hub.

Over the years, Holmes Countians have been able to amuse themselves in various ways. People could go bowling or roller skating in the building that Jane and Sandy’s Variety Store is now in. The Opera House was the most popular place in town, which was located just west of where the professional building now stands.

The Opera House was built just before the turn of the century. It was the city building but soon after construction the Opera House moved in. The building seated around 250-300 moviegoers, fitting them into a main seating section and a balcony. The theater specialized in first-run movies with the top-notch stars of the day. Occasionally, they ran plays.

The building shared quarters with a few offices and the Millersburg Fire House. the Fire House was on the west end of the building; it had sandstone pillars, wooden floors, and two large doors that provided access to Jackson Street.
In 1925, Hoy Russell, Holmes County Probate Judge, bought the Opera House and continue to show many fine movies while he owned it.

The Millersburg Council approved funds to redecorate the Opera House in 1928 with the “Fashionable and acceptable colors of 1928.”
The Opera House showed movies every day of the week. On Wednesdays, the merchants of Millersburg sponsored the movie and the doors of the theater were open so that moviegoers could watch a movie free of charge. Soon, inflation caught up with the merchants and the citizens had to pay six cents; then it increased to a dime.
The Opera House started out all of their shows with a cartoon, sometimes a short-short of Laurel and Hardy. It was later torn down in 1954.

February 10, 1955
Holmes County Farmer Hub

Council Plans to Raze City Building

May buy old ford garage for new municipal office; make old site into parking lot

Plans for razing the Millersburg City Hall were discussed at the Monday evening meeting of the village council.
Councilman Richard Kagey, Jr., announced to council members that the building committee has investigated repairs needed to make the roof of the building safe and found the building in such bad condition it would be impractical to try to repair it.
Mr Kagey said that the committee had contacted the Holmes Rural Electric owners of the old Ford garage building on West Jackson St. about the possibility of the village purchasing that location for the village offices, should the present city hall be abandoned and found it could be purchased.

Millersburg City Hall and Opera House

Postcard courtesy of Tina Zickefoose.

The present city building was condemned by the state fire marshall years ago and the opera house sec ion of the building has remained unused since that time. A bond issue for $125,000 for remodeling the building was voted down several years ago, and only a few essential repairs to the clerks office, council chambers and fire and street department sections of the building have been made, as needed.

Tearing down the old building will probably involve bonded indebtedness for the village Solicitor Raymond Miller pointed out as there is no surplus in the general fund for the purpose. The village will also have a large bond issue on its books when the sewage disposal plant is installed int eh near future he added. At present the village has no bonded indebtedness, however it has had to transfer funds from the parking meter fund to the general fund to meet current operating expenses in recent (?)

The councilmen also discussed plans for making over the city hall site into a municipal parking lot, should the building be torn down and the village offices moved to a new location permanently. It was estimated that 36 cars could be parked in the lot and relieve the parking problems of the village. Parking meters would be installed and add to the village income as well as assist business in the community through customer parking space.

No definite plans were made at the meeting. The building committee is to look further into purchasing the new building and Councilman David Stoner was to check with firms for estimates on razing the building.

Tearing the building down will be the loss of a land mark to some, the councilmen considered, however, they pointed out that they have little alternative, since the building has become a safety hazard and a financial burden.

Little else was discussed at the meeting. Payment of bills amounting to $2,582.81 was approved by the councilman and Clerk William Pyers reported that the Mayor’s January report totaled $253 received by the village, including $13 in permits, $140 in local fines and costs and $100 from State Highway Patrol Costs.

March 1955
Holmes County Farmer-Hub

City Building is Condemned
Village Given Ninety Days to Raze Building

An order from Charles R. Scott, state fire marshall, condemning the present city building and fire station as unsafe and ordering that it be torn down in ninety days was received by Mayor Oscar Miller Wednesday morning by registered mail.

An inspection of the building was made by Fire Inspector Ralph W. Andregg on March 9, the order stated and his report listed:

“The following conditions to exist:
“This large old opera house building is in very poor repair; the roof poor and the leaking has caused the beams to rot away the ceiling to sag; wiring very poor; outside walls cracked and in bad condition; brick loose in the chimney and mortor out; the foundation bad in places
“Therefore by reason of the premised and pursuant to the authority vested in my by virtue of my office…you are hereby ordered within ninety (90) days from the date of service of this order, the above mentioned building shall be torn down and all rubbish and debris removed from the premises.”

Mayor Miller pointed out that the village council could protest the order and the protest would be investigated by the state fire marshall. However, it is not likely that a protest would avail a change in the order, since the recent investigating of the building brought an order for tearing the building down and not repairs.

Should the village fail to comply with the order, the fire marshall may have it done at the expense of the village with a 25 percent penalty should the village not pay the cost. Revised Ohio Code also provides for a penalty of from $10 to $50 for each day’s neglect of the order.

There’s more information about the Millersburg Opera House, including a full timeline of its history, in the vertical files of the Holmes County District Public Library’s Local History and Genealogy room.

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Historic Downtown Millersburg Photos

This series of posters was posted by Darwin Boyd to the Our Town: A Holmes County, Ohio Local History Project Facebook page. It depicts downtown Millersburg, Ohio from the early 1900’s through the 1950’s. If you have photos of downtown Millersburg from this angle that you’d like to see added to this page, please send them along and we’ll get them posted!

Downtown Millersburg, 1906ish

Downtown Millersburg, Ohio, early 1900’s.

Downtown Millersburg, around 1916

Downtown Millersburg, Ohio, 1916.

Downtown Millersburg, 1924

Downtown Millersburg, Ohio, around 1924.

Downtown Millersburg, 1941

Downtown Millersburg, Ohio, around 1941.

Downtown Millersburg, 1945

Downtown Millersburg, Ohio, around 1945.

Downtown Millersburg, 1950ish

Downtown Millersburg, Ohio, around 1950.

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Vilma Pikkoja, Head Librarian 1958-1963

Vilma Pikkoja in front of Patrick Memorial Library with the Dorothy Canfield Fisher award

The following is an excerpt from A Brief History of the Holmes County Public Library by Fred W. Almendinger about former head librarian Vilma Pikkoja.

“It would be quite difficult and certainly much too lengthy a task to mention ALL the many able people whose interest and tireless efforts over the years have made the Holmes county Library the important community institution which it has become. The various librarians who have administered the library, the many persons who helped with financial aid especially during the ‘lean’ years; the employees who for a very small compensation devoted countless hours in service to the library. All these and many more have by their sincere and unselfish devotion to the cause brought the library to its present highly regarded position as a center of information and culture in Holmes County.Bookmobile, 1958

There is one person however who, because of her most unique background and by reason of her untiring service over and by doing the call of duty, should be given a special place in this or any future history of the Holmes County Library. I refer to Mrs. Vilma Pikkoja who assumed the duties of head librarian in April of 1958. Mrs. Pikkoja was born in Estonia, one of the three small countries bordering on the Baltic Sea, which have (much against their will) been absorbed into the Soviet Union. Her father was manager of a textile mill, chairman of the town council, and for a time mayor of their native city. A man of such background obviously would be interested in education for his children. After graduation from the local high school, Mrs. Pikkoja attended Dorpat University where she majored in library science and was in due time certified to be a public Patrick Memorial Librarylibrarian. She was about to begin study for a master’s degree in library science when World War II began in the late summer of 1939. Russia invaded Estonia in 1940. For the next four and one half years the tides of war swept across the little country during which it was estimated that 120,000 Estonians were deported from their homes and were replaced by Russians. Other thousands became refugees and sought homes in other countries.

Eight years before the war Mrs. Pikkoja was married to August Pikkoja, at that time a school administrator in Estonia. The turmoil of war separated the young couple from their families and eventually even from each other. After many terrible experiences, which included for Mrs. Pikkoja walking entirely across Germany, the Library Sketch of the Patrick Memorial Librarycouple were almost miraculously re-united and were given employment by the United States military government in Germany.

In 1949, a representative of Church World Service interviewed the Pikkojas concerning the possible residence in the United States. they passed the tests and arrived in the U.S. and more specifically in New Philadelphia Ohio, in September of 1949.  A month later, she obtained a position the New Philadelphia public library. She did extension work at Geneva College in Pennsylvania and at Kent State University in Ohio. In April of 1958 she accepted the position of head librarian of the Holmes County Library.

When Mrs. Pikkoja took over her duties in Millersburg the library was at a low ebb.  Circulation had dropped from 101,000 in 1950 to about 56,000 in 1957. In her first year as head librarian, circulation increased to 82,000 and by 1959 reached a total of 134,000. It was through her efforts that the five branch libraries discussed earlier Vilma Pikkoja and Nancy Farverwere set up as was the bookmobile, also mentioned earlier. The idea of having each of these branches emphasize some particular phase of library service was part of her plan.

In 1959 Mrs. Pikkoja prodded some 26 different groups to raise a fund of about $700.00 to enable the county library to join the Central Ohio Film Circuit which brought to the library some two dozen films each month for loaning to individuals and organizations. A total of 61 films were shown to 2,125 persons during the first two weeks after the service was inaugurated  Another of her achievements was to persuade the County Commissioners to allot the entire intangible tax to the library. Along with her regular duties she set up a German story hour every Thursday at the Chestnut Ridge Branch. This was primarily for Amish children, thus giving her a chance to use her fluent German in her work. However, the two most important projects in which she took part were, FIRST: the plan, including fund raising for the new location of the library in the Patrick building, and SECOND: the securing the library the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.

The new library building was bequeathed by Mrs. Daisy Patrick (who died in 1954) to her niece, Mrs. Sadie Close and Patrick Memorial Library completion date setniece’s husband the late William Close, with the provision that after the death of Mr. & Mrs. Close it should be given to the Holmes County Library Association to be used for library purposes. The Association rented the building from Mrs. Close and began plans to move the library from the basement of the Court House ( where it had been located for 24 years  into new quarters. For months, under the guidance of Mrs. Pikkoja, there was a continuous round of activity in preparation for the move. A sizable fund was collected by an organization calling itself ‘Friends of the Library’ to help defray the cost of rehabilitating the room sin the Patrick Building  a cost which Patrick Memorial Library remodelingeventually totaled about $12,500.00. Other people throughout the county also contributed time and labor to make the move possible. Amish women scrubbed floors, 4-H groups helped with the furnishing, and the Millersburg Branch of the Flexible Company donated furniture. The target date for dedication for the new facility was set for Saturday, April 15th, 1961.

Meanwhile, a plan was going forward to secure for the library the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award which in addition to the prestige involved, would give t

o the library the sum of $1,000.00. This was an award established by the Book-of-the-Month-Club in honor of Dorothy Canfield Fisher in recognition of the critical need of funds for the purchase of books by small libraries throughout the U.S.A. Only ten libraries in the entire United States were chosen to receive the award; so it was a signal honor that it brought to the Holmes County Library  On Saturday April 15 1961, in a ceremony at the new library, two events of great importance in the history of the library were celebrated. The new building was dedicated and the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award was received. Holmes county Common Pleas Judge W.W. Badger was the emcee for the occasion. Dr. Harry Duncan, vice-president of the Library Board and long time supporter of the library, officiated atIntangible Taxes the dedication of the Patrick Memorial Library Building. The chief speaker for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award presentation was William Donahue Ellis, president of ‘Editorial Service, Inc.’ and author of historical novels on Ohio. It was indeed a memorable day in the history of the Holmes County Library and one not to be forgotten by any who were present on the occasion.

Mrs. Pikkoja continued to make the library a real service institution for the county. Among her many activities and projects should be mentioned here was the creation of an Archives committee for the purpose of publishing books pertaining to the history of Holmes county. Two such books were eventually published: AN HISTORICAL STUDY OF HOLMES COUNTY  by Fred W. Almendinger in 1962 and FLASHES FROM THE PAST by Donald C. Egger in 1963. Although in an indirect way the library encouraged and supported the production and sale of these books, no library funds were used to cover the expense of publication.

Patrick Memorial Library, Interior

It was perhaps inevitable that a person with the ‘drive’ possessed by Mrs. Pikkoja should eventually move on to new fields of endeavor and so it was with regret that her resignation was accepted by the Library Board in October 1963. Hers was indeed a record of great accomplishment for the library and the entire community. “

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J.B. Lightcap Journal, Pages 5 and 6

Lightcap, Page 5, topI worked for him till December when I took a school in District No 12 Clay Township Kosciusko County Ind. For the term commencing Dec 10 1856 a term of sixty five days and concluded March the 3 1857. Public funds 50.00 Other funds 28=$78.00. Making per day $1.20 clear. Boarded at F. Templins all winter. worked for my board had a good time all the term. No of schollars(sic) enrolled was 33. Branches taught were Orthography Reading Writing Arithmetic and Geography. Miss Mary Ellen Kline was the best looking lady that tended school.

Lightcap, Page 5, bottom

After I got my school matters arranged I started for home. lots of snow on the ground but not cold. Walked 14 miles to Warsaw, Ind. got my super (sic) at the Hotel. Meal .25. Stared about eight oclock that evening took the cars for Ft Wayne Ind got there about eleven oclock that night Stayed at the Meyers (?) house next day till midnight When I started for Cresline (sic) Ohio. Fare at Ft. Wayne 1.25. Fare from (?) to Ft W 1.20. From Wayne to Crestline 3.95.

Fare from Crestline to Clinton Station (1), Wayne Co 1.30. Bought books in Ft. Wayne to the amount of $5.00. Got in company with Mr. Joseph Kimerer after leaving Mansfield had quite a chat with him at dinner that day with them. Went home and found my folks all well. George Lightcap being in our house we had quite a good time of it. I must close for today Aug. Sunday 23.

Lightcap, Page 6, topMarch I stayed at for a few weeks visiting my old associates Spent much time in giving discriptions (sic) about the country. I then went to Wooster to clerk for Israel Gray commencing Tuesday April 14 1857. Stayed with him till August the twenty ninth making in all four months and a half at the rate of $11 per month Settled with Mr. Gray on friday of 29 ints paying me a difference on account $11.00

(1) Shreve.Lightcap, Page 6, bottom

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J.B. Lightcap Journal, Pages 3 and 4

Journal of J.B. Lightcap, top.

Journal of J.B. Lightcap, top.

Ohio: 1855, March 12-16: Got home about 5 oclock in the afternoon was glad to see my friends glad to receive me. Spent a few days in visiting the neighbors. I then worked at home for about one month.

April: Then took a school in No (?) District in Riply Township Holmes county Ohio. Taught at the rate of 75 cts per day and boarded myself. Taught 41 days that being all the public money in the district at that time. Amount $32.35.

May: Boarded at home all summer. Had 3 miles to go to school. Worked about home ni the fall and commenced teaching again in the same district. Got $1.00 per day taught four months amount $96.00 Ended March 13 1856. Stayed about home for about two weeks then went with John Lightcap to the great state of Indiana. I took charge of his goods. Got through safe and sound. Found every body in good spirits.

Journal of J.B. Lightcap, page 3, bottom.

Journal of J.B. Lightcap, page 3, bottom.

1856: April 16:  I then worked about among the farmers. Rolling logs burning choping [sic] plowing and every kind of work usually done by farmers.

Page 4; Indiana

Journal of J.B. Lightcap, Page 4, top.

Journal of J.B. Lightcap, Page 4, top.

I still worked on at everything till harvest worked out all harvest commencing July 1 1856 for John Martin helped him 2 day at 75 cts per day. I then went from there to Daniel Swanks Stayed about 5 day I think at 87 1/2 (?) cts for some days and some $1.50 got done there and helped (?) Calhoun better than 1 day this being the tenth of July and harvest about over.

July 12: Commenced clerking for F Templin got $5.00 per month

Dr. and Mrs. L.B. Boggs

Dr. and Mrs. L.B. Boggs

washing and mending free my companion was Dr. LB Boggs Stayed with Mr. Templin till Sept 22 when he sold out to Charles O Barrat and Brother Traded his store and property for a farm 8 miles from North Manchester in Kosciusko County Clay Township Ind. Moved with him to his farm.

Journal of J.B. Lightcap, Page 4, bottom.

Journal of J.B. Lightcap, Page 4, bottom.

Oct: Worked for himby the day and at the reate of 75 cts per day. Worked about 52 days. I cut up corn for him Rolled logs and readup a very bad swamp before the house of several acres and made it look as nice as a garden.

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J.B. Lightcap Journal, Page 2:

A list of towns Lightcap traveled through on his way "west."

A list of towns Lightcap traveled through on his way “west.”

“I forgot to state the names of towns & villages which we passed while traveling to the west. Nashville Holmes Co Ohio.
Next was Loudonville, Mansfield, Richland, Small village Ganges. Went on and came to “Planktown (1), Plymouth, Newhaven, Greenfield (2), Monrowville (3), Bellview, Clide (4), Freemont (5), Mysville (6), Woodville, Perysville (7), Maumee City (8), Bridge across Maumee River is 650 feet long, Swanton, Delta, Berlin (9), West Unity (10). This was the last town that we went through. We reached our destination about 3 oclock in the afternoon.

Well, I must now return to my traveling home (11).

March 8-12 Left Striker at 7 oclock in the morning. This was my first ride on the RailRoad. Fare from Striker to Wauseon (12) was one dol and ten cts.

This is not correct it was from (error?) $1.60Page 2, top half
Striker to Toledo $1.60
Fare from Toledo to Mansfield $2.70.
From Mansfield to Clinton .90″

(1) Around the time Lightcap traveled through Planktown, between 1947 and 1957, the town was experiencing some strange happenings–murders and disappearances–which were eventually attributed to tailor and Eagle House innkeeper J.M. Ward who was tried, convicted and hanged in Toledo on June 12, 1857, just two years after Lightcap traveled through the area. Before the hanging, Ward confessed to three gruesome murders for monetary gain.

(2) According to the Greenfield Historical Society’s website, “Greenfield was an important stop in the Ohio River to Canada route on the Underground Railroad. Newspaper accounts report slave catchers attempting to collect runaway slaves. Only in the generation after the Civil War did people begin to speak about what they had seen, or heard or done to aid runaway slaves.”

Detail of Lightcap Journal, Page 2(3) Monroeville.

(4) Clyde, home of Sherwood Anderson and setting of the book Winesburg, Ohio.

(5) Fremont.

(6) Not sure what town this would be.

(7) Perrysville

(8) Lightcap would have been in Maumee about the time the city lost it’s place as the Lucas County seat.

(9) Williams County

(10) Founded in1842 by John Rings and William Smith  just shortly before Lightcap traveled through the city in 1855.

(11) Referring to where he left off before he started listing the cities and towns they traveled through along the way.

(12) Here’s something I find fascinating: Some say the tracks to Wauseon were built in 1854 (though the depot was built in 1853). Others say it didn’t stretch all the way to Wauseon but stopped at Lamb’s crossing,  about a mile short of Wauseon, until “early spring 1855.”  Lightcap rode on it on March 7, 1855.  So, if you believe  A Standard History of Fulton County, Ohio by Frank H. Reighard, the first passenger train coming into Wauseon was in “early spring of 1855,” which would have made Lightcap one of the very first passengers to ride the train into Wauseon’s new station, which has since been replaced, then moved, and is now home to the Fulton County Historical Society.

Here’s a piece by Beryl Frank from the Bull Sheet Monthly talking about the Wauseon railroad and depot, along with a photo of the depot in 1860:

The history of Wauseon, Ohio, began before the Civil War, about 1853. That was when surveyors L.L. Barber, S.H. Sargeant and two other partners (names unknown) bought 160 acres of farmland in Fulton County, Ohio. They then laid out a map of the land which began and became the town of Wauseon.

In 1850 the Airline Railroad planned to lay train tracks from Toledo through Fulton County. At the same time Barber and Sargeant were selling lots to settlers, and the town of Wauseon was growing.

The first railroad depot was built in 1853, before the rails even reached the town. The structure was made of wood and sandstone. Another year passed before the tracks were laid to Wauseon. The growth of the railroad and the town then ran along together.

Credit: Don and Joan Merrill

Credit: Don and Joan Merrill

In 1854 tracks reached Wauseon. One year later, a train a day was stopping there – one day it was westbound, and the next day it was headed east. From 1854 to 1891 the depot at Wauseon had enough traffic that a second line was built. Then trains could travel to the East Coast and back.

When the steam-driven locomotive was a big event, people from the town were on hand to watch its arrival and departure. The train traveled between 15 and 20 miles per hour, which was very fast in the early days of the railroad. This seemed a real speed demon to the early settlers of Wauseon.

Like so many other towns in the United States, the name Wauseon came from the Indian tribes who settled the area. Some say it was an Ottowa Chief’s name. Others say it was for the tribe of Potawatomies. Whatever, the town became Wauseon in the early 1850’s, and it is still named that today.

In 1896 the wooden station was replaced with a sandstone and brick depot. The replacement building was on Depot Street between Fulton and Brunell streets. It was in use from 1896 through World War I and II when trains moved U.S. troops all around the country.

As of 2006 the present depot is no longer used for train travel. It is home for the Fulton County Historical Society and railroad artifacts, photos and maps as well as assorted other memorabilia. There is also an operating model railroad courtesy of the Historical Society with assistance of the Swanton Model Railroaders Club.

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Memorandum of J.B. Lightcap

Page one of J.B. Lightcap's Journal.

Page one of J.B. Lightcap’s Journal.

Memorandum of J B Lightcap.
1854 Sept 7
Left home and went to Williams County Ohio. With A & J Oberlins (1) Age 19 years 7 months and 26 days. It took us 7 days to move there a distance of 180 miles.

14 We found everything in tolerable order. Hired with them at the rate of $12.00 per month. Worked about 3 months made about 3,000 rails for which I got 25 cts per hundred.(2) When I left home I had in money $13.50. And when I returned I had $31.50 I think.
Taught school out there in District No 12. Commenced on the 4 of Dec 1853 at the rate of twenty dollars per month. Boarded at Adam Oberlins all winter had a very pleasant time of it all winter. Had 2 3/4 miles to go to school. Allways on hand at the usual hour of taking up school. Had 41 enrolled average in daily attendance.

23 Feb Taught 66 days for a quarter. My school terminated on 23 of Feb. 1854. Weather very cold.

March 7 Left for home on the 7 of March. A Oberlin took me as far as Striker (3). Stayed there till morning.

The bottom half of page one of J.B. Lightcap's journal.

The bottom half of page one of J.B. Lightcap’s journal.

Attend a show sleigh of hand that night was more entertained at the concert admission fee 15 cts.
Fare at the Hotel at Striker .50.

(1) A&J Oberlin could have been brothers Adam Oberlin  1813 – 1888  b: December 05, 1813 in Ohio  d: October 20, 1888 and Jacob Oberlin  1816 – 1895  b: March 26, 1816 in Ohio  d: January 15, 1895 in Williams County, Ohio.

It looks like the Oberlins were related to the Lightcaps through his mother, Elizabeth Gilbert Lightcap (b: February 07, 1813 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania  d: July 29, 1893 in Holmes County, Ohio), based on this information.

(2) Could Lightcap have been making rails for  Michigan Southern Railroad Company? This entry about Stryker, Ohio says that  “the first timetable for the railroad took effect on Monday June 8, 1857. The route ran from Toledo to Elkhart, stopping at 17 villages along the way. Stryker’s first railroad depot was a freight depot on the south side of the tracks.”

The folks from the Holmes County Genealogical Society say it’s likely that Lightcap was making fence rails, not steel rails, based on his pay.

(3) This would likely be Stryker, Ohio. I’m currently attempting to get in touch with the Stryker Area Heritage Council to see if they have any information about the hotel there or the place where Lightcap would have taken in a “sleigh” (sleight?) of hand show and a concert.

Categories: Local History Journal | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The Journal of J.B. Lightcap

End paper of the journal of J. B. Lightcap

End paper of the journal of J. B. Lightcap

Vintage journals can range from the fascinating to the utilitarian. Finding a pre-Civil War journal written by a young man who had a heart for words is a treasure, indeed. The Holmes County District Public Library has such a journal, and, over the next several weeks, we’ll be looking at it in-depth, with photos and annotations wherever possible.

The memorandum of J.B. Lightcap, a Civil War soldier and one-time resident of Holmes County, Ohio, begins with these endpapers, christened with Lightcap’s sweeping script noting the following:

“Book bought in Wooster
Wayne Co Ohio
Price 50
July 25, 1851”

"JB Lightcap, Mansfield, Jan. 20th 1865"

“JB Lightcap, Mansfield, Jan. 20th 1865”

It seems that, at first, Lightcap intended only to record births, deaths and marriages in the book, which looks as if it were designed to be an address book of sorts, with alphabetized tabs running along the right side of the lined journal. But there are very few of any of these events simply recorded in the opening pages (we’ll get to those that are listed in a future entry). Instead, beginning on September 7, 1854, Lightcap begins his memorandum with these words:

“Left home and went to Williams County with A&J Oberlins. Age 19 years 7 months and 26 days. It took us 7 days to move there a distance of 180 miles.”

Showing Jacob B. and Martha Lightcap and their three daughters, Addie M., age 17, Lilly S, age 13 and Rosa S, age 13.

1800 Richland County, Ohio (Mansfield) Census Showing Jacob B. and Martha Lightcap and their three daughters, Addie M., age 17, Lillian S, age 13 and Rosa S, age 13. Jacob is listed as a draysman.

Based on the 1880 and 1890 census records, the dates Mr. Lightcap gives and the information here,  this J.B. Lightcap is Jacob B,  son of Jacob and Elizabeth Lightcap, born in Pennsylvania in December, 1835, raised in Holmes County, Ohio, married to Martha  and settled in Richland County, Ohio where they had three children, Addie, Lillian and Rosa and an adopted daughter, Helen A. Maser.

1900 Richland County, Ohio (Mansfield) census showing  Lillian, born June 1867 and Rosa, born June 1869. Jacob's listed occupation here is "carpenter."

1900 Richland County, Ohio (Mansfield) census showing Lillian, born June 1867 and Rosa, born June 1869. Jacob’s listed occupation here is “carpenter.”

According to this research, Jacob B was the son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Gilbert) Lightcap, who moved to Holmes County, Ohio and owned and livd on a farm near Bigelow Church in Ripley Township and had 12 children, three of whom, Martin, Jacob and Saul Lightcap were in the Civil War. The information says Saul died serving aboard the S.S. Sultana. The Sultana exploded just after midnight on April 27, 1865 and is known as ” the greatest maritime disaster in United States history.” But if Saul’s birthday was 1854, as it says in the research, he would only have been 11 years old.

Announcement in the Holmes County Republican, November 29, 1860, of Jacob Lightcap Sr.'s estate.

Announcement in the Holmes County Republican, November 29, 1860, of Jacob Lightcap Sr.’s estate.

For the upcoming posts, we’ll look at Lightcap’s journal entries and follow some of the rabbit trails and places his writings points to throughout Holmes County and some of the surrounding areas. We’ll also look a little more closely at his travels, activities, family and companions.

Categories: Local History Journal | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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