«EARLY WHITEHOUSE HISTORY written by A. J. Bradley To the Most Loyal and Patriotic Citizen of Whitehouse, Mr. A. J. Bradley, we are grateful. Thru his ...»
EARLY WHITEHOUSE HISTORY
A. J. Bradley
To the Most Loyal and Patriotic Citizen of
Whitehouse, Mr. A. J. Bradley, we are
grateful. Thru his untiring efforts this history
was made possible for posterity.
Courtesy of "The Standard"
Published by Phillips Printing Co., Whitehouse, Ohio
in the year of 1937
Scanned and OCR from an original copy in my possession
John T. Nicholson, December 2005 electroscope.org A. J. Bradley was my Great Grandfather +++ CHAPTER 1 In my 77 years of a happy life time, mostly spent about Whitehouse and vicinity, I certainly have had and heard of some very interesting experiences, interesting to me and possibly to others.
However I hesitate to try to express myself for publication as I don't quite feel up to it, but have made up my mind to put on an extra crust, do my best on a subject that has always been very dear to my heart, "Old Whitehouse."
Some one said, "Mr. Bradley your people were old pioneers of this country." But I said "Oh no, when the Bradleys came to Ohio and Whitehouse from Vermont in 1854 they found many strong level headed people already established here."
I can't begin to tell you who, but the Slys were here four years earlier, 1850.
The Fosters, Obees and Sheplers came in about 1846. The Hollikers came in the thirties, and the Kriplivers came away back in the twenties.
I only wish I could give dates and particulars for many more real pioneers of this country, how interesting it would be to know when they all came, where they came from and what they came for. Maybe if we all get interested and compile what facts we know and can pick up, turn them over to the committee, who will arrange them, then we will have something that will grow more and more interesting as the years go by.
The Wabash railroad came through about 1854 and it was from the treasurer of that road, Mr. Edward Whitehouse, that our little town got its name.
This was an important point for the Wabash, owing to the splendid supply of water and a water tank and wood yard were established at once.
Mrs. Edward Whitehouse owned a tract of land in section 35, that is north and Captain John R. Osborn owned a tract in section 2, that is south, and they together furnished the land for the original plat of Whitehouse.
Captain Osborn laid out the town, and Mrs. Whitehouse donated the ground for a village green, and for years it was our circus grounds and athletic field, with turning pole and tumbling space and baseball diamond made of sawdust from the sawmill and lime from the lime kilns.
Then later it was turned into a park, and Yarnall Rakestraw plowed and harrowed and smoothed it up and John Jones and Jehile Castle get out a variety of native trees. Then for years we had to keep it fenced with strong board fence to protect the young trees from the village cattle that ran at large from N. C.
Halls on the south to Minerva Wells woods on the north One half of the people kept cows and very few pastured them but turned them out and they roamed at will. Almost every cow wore a bell and they were very sociable and got together in the morning and remained in a drove all day, and no one who ever saw the drove parade through town and heard the bells will ever forget it.
CHAPTER 2 About 1854 to 1858 it looked as if the Bradleys from Vermont were taking charge of this part of the country and grabbing the Openings. My father, Eber Bradley had been coming' to Ohio with French Merino (fine wool) sheep for three or four years for Bingham Bros., importers of Burlington, Vt. In 1854 he and his brother Harmon brought in a car load of sheep on their own hook by rail and water from Vermont, driving them up from Toledo to a point two miles north of Whitehouse in Monclova township, where they had bought 4 80 acre tracts of Openings land extending from Oak Grove Corners one mile west.
These two brothers founded a partnership at sheep farming and operated together for three or four years, during which time four more brothers, Chas., a Methodist preacher, John and Hiram, farmer boys, and Myron, a promoter. Also a brother-in-law, Josiah Farrington and his family all followed from Vermont and Wesley and Roscius Bradley, cousins, moved up from Tiffin, 0., and Cornelia Bradley dark, also a cousin, came in from Painesville, 0., all with families.
There, ten families of Bradleys moving in almost simultaneously. It must have looked like a Japanese invasion, but in a few years only Eber and Hiram, Wesley and Cornelia and their families of 25 were left, but they remained for life. So much for the when, why and how the Bradleys came here and enough for them.
I did not arrive in Ohio until Oct. 22, 1859, and when the fine wool sheep business failed and we moved into town in 1868. (The same year Daddy Lehmann moved in from Penn. and Henry Barker came in from Lorain county) from that time on I knew Whitehouse pretty well. Let me enumerate some of the old residents of that date.
Beginning' with our old neighbors, Bartons, Cowlings. K"e.nigseckers, Billings, Ginters, Weckeriys, F^nrs. narks, Kings, Dickensons, Eices, Cooks, Calkins, Murphys and Dorens, John and Henry Obee, ^ck Foster, John Kripliver, Henry Winslow, Samuel Pavi's. John Burts, Con Noble, Rev. John Foster, Frp.rl Butler, John Holt, Henry Haynes, Don FrankI'TI. Bobby Moore, Jake Erb, Joe Burnham, Geo.
Cable, Daddy Childs, Pius Shepler, J. C. and Ealph Wales.
Joseph Coombs, Eseck Dyer, John and JoaB and Charles Jones, Carlos Bathrick, A.
J. Hufman, Perry Russell, Henry Dart, Henry Bull, Bill Younct, Charles and Wm.
Burnett, Christy Gaghau, Yarnall Rakestraw, George Aumend, and sons Jim, Harry and Oley, Henry Miller, Mahlers, Mayors, and any number of Demuths, Dishers, Hellers and Crosbys, McConell Miller, Granny Karis, Minerva Wells, Adam Shearer, Christ Shultz, Otis Taft, Aunt Sally Miller, Chas. Weigle, S. W. Griffith, John Kershner, Smith Jenkins.
Sam Wagoner, Johnny Niece, Conrad Miller, Wes. Bradley, Ed. Gilson, A. J.
Eldridge, John Whitaker, John Emery, Frank Heath, Gotlieb Grou, David Vogleman, Aleck Walp, Chas. Diem, John Disher, John Stoker, Grandma Ruby Shields, Gco.
Sheets, Bill Roberts, John G. Schneider, John and Geo. Williams, Nick Hitzler, Peter Emore, Dan Lahr, Jehile Castle.' IIH Steve Brogan, N. C. Hall, Dr. Leech, Duke Pray, Shapleys, Preacher Scott, George Spath, Jacob Rupp, Christ Moser, Michael Goodman, Dr. Reifsnider, J. U. Fauster, Peter Fiscus, Harmon Hockman, Sam Jewell, Daniels Furst, Fredric and Isaac Kent, J. F. C. Burnett, John Holliker, Jacob Keener, Nicholas and Christ Rupp, Nicholas Roth, Fredrick Bucher, Bone Pray, and Fred Finzel.
Well, now I must have missed some very important people, but did not mean to. We will gladly add names or facts.
CHAPTER 3 What were these Whitehouse folks mentioned in our previous installment doing in 1868? Well, coming in from the North we first come to the sawmill on the corner of Lenderson avenue and Sheplar street. A steam sawmill, built and owned by Dan Franklin, who came from Lorain county, but soon sold out to Yarnall Rakestraw, who added an iron foundry, manufacturing Rakestraw plows and land rollers. Back North on Section Line street beyond the log yard Mr. Rakestraw built a substantial two story building to be used in the manufacture of soap. The soap factory with its furnace and kettles was not used very extensively for making soap but the building became a handy rendezvous for boys who were not allowed to play cards at home, but practiced what we called the hay mow game.
Just across the street East of the sawmill Henry Haynes lived in a little cabin and in the rear had a tannery, and on the West side of Providence street where W. K. Jones home now stands, Bobby Moore had the best shoe shop in town for boys, for uncle Bobby did like to cut out whiplashes for his boy friends.
Then J. C. Wales, mayor and justice of the peace, had his office where Dr.
Babcock is now located. Crossing Maumee street on same side was Butler & Holt's blacksmith shop and next was J. C. Wales wagon shop. From there to the alley was a swamp and plenty of water for rafting or boating for the boys and puddling for the ducks and g'eese, in fact covering the greater part of the Childs lot that Jess Jones now occupies.
Christ Schultz had a hotel, grocery and saloon business where Schmids Furniture Store now stands. Across the street east and between Toledo avenue and the Wabash R. R. there stood a large hotel built by J. C. Wales, but it burned in about 1869 or '70.
East of the hotel was the pump house and the eight sided brick water tank house of the Wabash R. R. Pages could be written about the "Old Pump House." John Whitaker was station master and owner of the old blind horse that pulled the sweep, that turned the wheels, that made the power, that pumped the water for the engines of the Wabash.
George Walp was Whitaker's first driver, and the late 0. W. Bradley drove a long time. It was an immense improvement over the old pump when Levi Demuth and Aleck Walp first pumped by hand and kept busy night and day.
The Wabash depot was across the railroad tracks and an old freight car answered for a freight house.
A. J. Eldridge lived where Henry Sipher now lives and where Farrington's store had been. Eldridge had built a large store across the street where the Pythian Castle now stands, but fronting north to the railroad and with a large warehouse east where the M. E. church now stands. Eldredge later built a small residence south of the store and beyond that on the alley was a small cottage where John Disher, Eldredge's clerk and son in law lived. Oscar Dyer was second clerk there.
On the corner where the drug store now stands, Grandma Ruby Shields had her residence with a hall above, where dances, shows and public meetings took place.
Around the corner west was David Vogleman's shoe shop and on the corner where our bank now stands John Stoker had a general store and Edgar Dyer, just starting in as clerk, began a contact that lasted many years.
Turning east from that corner to that now occupied by the Johnson Service Station, stood George Spath's large white house with many windows. Mr. Spath was the first undertaker to locate in Whitehouse and many will remember "Barb", the old chestnut sorrel mare, and the open spring wagon, that did duty for a hearse for many years and until the late Henry Schmid's time.
A little farther east was Mrs. Jacob Rupp's store, "clothing, boots, shoes and notions." On the north side of the street opposite was Christ Moser's boot and
shoe shop. Three shoemakers in our little town:
Moser, a German, Vogleman, a Switzer and Bobby Moore, Scotch or Irish. Why so many? Well they not only did the cobbling of the town but made the great share of our boots and shoes from hides.
Farther east on the south side of Waterville street was our post office and feed and flour store, with J. U. Fauster and wife acting post masters for M. W.
Goodman, whose residence was on north side of the street and where it still stands, and is still the good old home of Clara and Lewis—69 years that we know of. Shall we stand with our faithful friends in spirit and sing a verse or two of our old school song "Hold The Fort."
Mr. Goodman had a blacksmith shop on the next corner where he worked with Daddy Childs and Met Jones and liked that better than being post master. Then across the big ditch Peter Fiscus had a wagon shop and a short distance southeast towards Duke Pray's lime kiln stood a brand new two story school house with a belfry and a bell that could be heard for three miles in the country.
CHAPTER 4 In the three previous installments of Old Whitehouse we mentioned mostly facts and people that were here in 1868 when we moved into town, from Monclova township, where the Bradleys had settled 14 years previously.
Now we have picked up a few facts as to what had happened about here in the years prior to our moving to town.
Mr. John W. Rupp of Toledo (Rupp and Bowman, druggists) who is now about 85 years of age was raised a Whitehouse boy, spent many years of his young manhood as a druggist in Waterville and all his later years in Toledo, wrote us a splendid letter in 1932 when he was unable to attend our Whitehouse Annual Homecoming personally.
"Friend Albert: Some time ago I read your Whitehouse Memories in the Chub DeWoIfe column of the Blade and was very much interested and will recall a few more memories which you may have forgotten, overlooked or maybe did not know of.
"I wonder how many will remember Miss Howard's Summer School, Tom Crosby's Glove factory, Rakestraw's Lime Kilns, Rev. Frink's meetings, Honus Meyer's saloon with deer antlers on peak of roof, Rakestraw's plow works, or when Captain Osborne was clerk in A. J. Eldredge's store, later succeeded by John E. Disher and J. C. Wale's Sunday school. Aleck Walp was the first postmaster I think, or was J. A. Farrington?
"Joab Jones started the first drug store in Whitehouse. The old Wabash water tank, how us boys prized the job of driving the old horse around the arena, and how Whittaker used to rout the boys out of the Wabash depot.
"Brogan's stone quarry and Fiscus wagon shop.
"A great shipping point for huckleberries— hundreds of bushels daily. And the old Sly swimming hole. Oh! What a mecca, clear running water all summer. A golden sandy bottom, banks flanked with willows, there is not now, there never was, and there never will be another such swimming hole.
"When we had to attend Burnett's school one mile east of town before we had a school building of our own.
"These memories and the ones you sent to Chub DeWoIfe will make very interesting reading at our Whitehouse Homecoming. I'll leave it to you. Yours truly, John W.
Answer to question: Jimmy McCabe was the first post master and the first justice of the peace. His office was in the first frame house built in Whitehouse.
(.Uncle Jack Foster said that when they drove V. ^in here in 1846 from Springfield, Ohio, with one \A ^U'101'®® an(^ ^lgm' '^S'on loaded with household goods \^fyt•a•nd the family, he was then a ten year old boy.