Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Washington County's Temple of Justice Stands a Vane

Sunday Morning Observer, December 2, 1917

The first court held in the County was that of the Court of Common Pleas at Campus Martius, September 2, 1788. A procession was formed at the Point, where most of the settlers resided, in the following order:

The high sheriff, with drawn sword; the citizens, the officers of the garrison at Fort Harmar, the members of the bar, the supreme judges, the Governor and clergymen, and the newly appointed judges of the court, General Rufus Putnam and Benjamin Tupper. Rev. Dr. Manasseh Cutler, one of the directors of the Ohio Company, opened the court with prayer; and Colonel Ebenezer Sproat, the sheriff, made official proclamation that "a court is opened for the administration of even-handed justice, to the poor and the sick, to the guilty and the innocent, without respect of person."

There was no suit, either civil or criminal, brought before this, the first court.

The northwest blockhouse of Campus Martius was used for a court house for a number of years. In 1792 the Court of Quarter Sessions submitted estimates for a court house and jail, $1,000 each.

In 1793 Thomas Lord was directed to take a log house near Campus Martius and fit it up for a jail. At this time a log building at the Point was being used as a court house. In December 1797, repairs were made on it.

In 1799, Griffin Greene and Timothy Buell were appointed Commissioners to build a jail and court house. They estimated the cost to be $3,001.81. Contracts were made with Joshua Wells to frame and raise the building. With Joshua Shipman to weatherboard and shingle the house, make the doors, lay the floors, etc. With James Lawton to do the mason work and with Gilbert Devol, Jr., to furnish 3,000 weight of good iron, manufactured into spikes, bolts, grates, etc., for which he was to receive sixteen cents a pound.

The building was located on the corner of Second and Putnam where the German Bank and Turner-Ebinger now are. It was completed in 1800.

The court room was in the second story, being forty feet by twenty broad. The walls of the jail on the first floor were three feet thick, and the whole was built in the most substantial manner and was known as one of the strongest prisons in the state.

The subject of a new court house was agitated in 1819. At a meeting of citizens held September 13, that year, a committee consisting of Governor R. J. Meigs, Hon. Levi Barber and D. H. Buell, Esq., reported in favor of a new building to be located at the corner of Second and Putnam streets, the present site. The next day the County Commissioners passed a resolution to the same effect.

The matter seemed to rest for two years, when the Commissioners appointed Joseph Holden, the County Treasurer, to superintend the delivery of the materials.

In November, 1821, they advertised for a plan, the building to be 48 feet square, with a fireproof office 16 feet square in each corner.

In the Winter of 1822 there was no little excitement as to the site of the new Court House. Many were opposed to the corner of Second and Putnam as too low, and favored a higher location. Some advocated the elevated square on Washington street. Others wanted it on Fifth street near the Mound. Petitions and counter-petitions were sent to the Commissioners.

On March 6, 1822, they decided to locate it on Fifth street, south of Mound Cemetery, provided a better subscription could be obtained than for any other location. Three weeks later a public meeting was held and a majority voted for the Thierry lots, the old Ewart home were Ed. Flanders now lives.

At a meeting in April the Commissioners resolved upon that location, but in the same month they reconsidered their action, and again and finally, decided in favor of the corner of Second and Putnam streets.

The edifice was completed in 1823. In 1854 an addition on the north side was built in which was located the office of the Probate Court. In 1876 another addition was built and more was added to the front of the building on Putnam and as well to the height of the structure.

A new brick jail to take the place of the old log jail on the southeast corner of Second and Putnam was built in 1848, according to plans furnished by Hon. R. E. Harte. It was proposed to place the jail on the same lot with the Court House, but in consideration of $500 paid by Dr. S. P. Hildreth and Mrs. Martha B. Wilson, who lived on adjoining lots, the Commissioners agreed to erect it on the old site.

The land on which the old jail stood was given the county by Dudley Woodbridge. That on which the present Court House stands was given by Col. Ebenezer Sproat.

This Court House served till long in the late 1800's when the subject of a new Temple of Justice became a leading topic. The question of location again caused friction. The old "Ice Harbor Lot," Fifth street near Putnam, the elevation where now stands the public library, and Camp Tupper were discussed.The Commissioners finally decided on the old site and after much discussion as to plans, the contract was let for the present building.

The old jail and lot were sold and the jail provided for in the third floor of the new Court House.

The present building was erected in 1901 and is one of the most beautiful and substantial stone county Court Houses in Ohio. It is three stories and a basement high, with huge cupola and town clock.

Marietta had the first Court House and jail in Ohio and today boasts the "last word" in such a building.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

First White Christmas Here in Twelve Years

The Marietta Daily Times, December 24, 1929

Remember the red sled that Santa Claus brought you years and years ago? Can't you just feel the thrill of it now? And you could hardly wait until breakfast was over and you could go out on the hill and try it.

Well, your children and grandchildren are going to have that same experience tomorrow morning - thanks to a genuine white Christmas.

It has been a long time since there has been as much snow for Christmas as there is this year, and few boys and girls of 15 can recall a real white Christmas. There has been one in the last 15 years, but it was so long ago that most 15-year-olds were too young to remember it.

To make sure The Times appealed to the U.S. Weather Bureau for the record and Forecaster Howe supplied it.  Two years ago, on Christmas Day, 1927, there was a trace of snow but not enough to make a white Christmas.

Five years ago, on Christmas Day, 1924, there was more snow and the official measurement showed four-tenths of an inch of the white and beautiful. But that wasn't enough to make a real white Christmas, much less to make coasting possible.

Christmas Day, 1917, was the last real honest-to-goodness, snow-bound white one of which there is record in this section of the United States. It was cold, with a lot of snow - something of the same sort that we are promised this year.

That was 12 years ago.

Today there is more than six inches of snow. The weather man promises moderating temperatures for Wednesday. But the snow is here and a genuine, old-fashioned white Christmas is assured.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When the Snows Were a Pleasure

Sunday Morning Observer, December 30, 1917

The snows that came to blanket the earth a week ago and the cold weather that followed to harden the crust of Old Mother Earth and make the roads an even pathway that created a certain pleasure to traverse them, brought to mind the days of ye olden time in and about Marietta, the good old days, a time which, looking back, seems far away in the misty past when a fall of snow such as that of the other day would have completely filled the bill of winter delights.

There are a few of us still who can recall the sleighing carnivals when streets and roadways were not so encumbered with trolley tracks, and paved streets had not yet come to mar the pleasures of a real sleigh ride. The sport was fast and furious all day and well after the cold, gray shades of night had settled down, and there were many who were loathe to give it up even then.

There were trotters in those days that were snow horses and there were quite a number of horsemen and horse enthusiasts who spent many a pleasant hour behind the prancing steed. Lovers joined in the merry throng and the livery stable keepers reaped a harvest in the sleighing season. If the sleighs were not engaged in advance, there were none to be had for days.

A big bus-sleigh was owned by Reckard's livery, and this was used to carry parties to and from dances that were held at places throughout the country. The wheels were taken from wagons and "bobs" put under and in these a hay wagon picnic was put to shame.

Everywhere it was jingle, jingle, jingle; there was a steady stream of sleighs leaving the city; business men took a half holiday, for sleighing did not come so frequently that it could be neglected when it did come. Nearly every man who drove a sleigh had one of the fairer half of humanity, either his wife or sweetheart, by his side. In almost all cases the females were models of gentle grace and loveliness. The solitary jingle of bells could be heard in the most out of the way parts of the town, like the rippling of small brooks in lonely fields, and hastening to join the jingling river of bells, rushing on through all the avenues and out upon the highways. 

Sleighs could be counted by the hundreds, and from parents to infants there was the rejoicing and merriment that sleighing always brings in its train. The roadways furnished pompous equipage indeed, whips fluttering with rainbow-hued ribbons, gorgeous lap-robes, streaming and glossy manes, switching tails, huge overcoats, fur caps, sealskin sacques, blushing cheeks and sparkling eyes, little clinging gloved hands, the whole bright procession stretched on and out of the city, and the air danced again with wild sweet music of the bells.

The man with the best horse was the best man on the road in those days. The hard-working artists behind the roadhouse bar put unusual care into the mixing of the cocktails; the ladies sipping lemonade behind the portieres. There was bliss in the snow in the olden days.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Business Booming Despite War

Sunday Morning Observer, December 23, 1917

Shoppers Crowding Stores Show Tendency To Concentrate On Gifts To Soldiers And Children.

Mariettans are crowding the shops just as in the piping days of peace, though this is the first Christmas with the United States at war since 1864.

Business is actually better than usual, and all indications point to a really lavish celebration of the Yuletide.  Yet the people as a whole are by no means reckless in their expenditures.  There is a tendency to concentrate on the children and the soldiers.

More toys are being sold this year than ever in the history of the Marietta stores. Everybody seems bent on "keeping the kiddies out of the war," and the youngsters are certainly in for a glorious time.

Then, too, all hearts have gone out to the soldiers, not only the boys in France, but the young rookies in the National Army training camps.  Thousands of gifts have been sent to the men of General Pershing's Army, and to the cantonments where the selected service men are learning to fight the Hun.

Besides sweaters, warm flannels, military greatcoats, wrist watches, rubber boots, rubber ponchos, and fur-lined corduroy coats, there have been plenty of miscellaneous gifts sent. Of course tobacco in every form, pins, candy, jams, jellies and marmalade and fruit cakes have been sent by the thousands.

Banjos, ukuleles, phonographs, and other musical instruments have moved out of the shops in a steady stream, headed for the training camps.  Big boxes of books have also been forwarded to the Y.M.C.A., Knights of Columbus and other organizations working to keep the new soldiers amused.

Efforts to send inappropriate gifts have been discouraged by the stores. For instance, few people know that sailors, soldiers, and marines are forbidden to carry umbrellas.  It's true, though. The regulations put a ban on them. So it was necessary to persuade many loving relatives that it would be much better to send Johnny a pipe or a poncho.

They tell a tale in the Army of a young officer who came into the service from civil life, and was appointed to a certain famous regiment. A day or so after he arrived, being off duty that morning, he strolled over to watch guard mount, sheltering himself from a gentle shower under a large umbrella.

Even afterward that regiment was known as the "Umpty-third Umbrellas," instead of by its real designation, and the unfortunate young officer was never allowed to forget the disgrace he had brought upon his fellow officers.

Among the other things to which the general public has been treating itself this year are jewels, furs and pianos.  Of course such articles are really an investment, for the chances are that the cost of all three will go jumping within the next six or eight months.

Christmas shopping began earlier than usual this year.  And the daily volume of business has been increasing steadily, reaching the proportions of a rush last Saturday,  and keeping up the pace this week. The indications are that the final rush will be a record breaker.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Name Change Effected By Local Firm

The Marietta Register, November 28, 1923

After operating for a period of nearly twenty-one years under the name of The Marietta Mantel Company, this firm has changed its name to The Brickwede Brothers Company.

The name was no longer representative of the business.  About twenty-one years ago the present firm started the manufacture of cabinet mantels, which line they still manufacture at their lower plant at the corner of Gilman and Wood streets.  Six years ago they built a new furniture factory in the new Westview Industrial Addition, and the furniture business has grown by such leaps and bounds until at present the furniture business is several times as large as the mantel business.  Therefore, the name was no longer representative of the business.

C. O. Brickwede and F. M. Brickwede having been in charge of the active management of the business since its beginning, and having a wide acquaintance with the trade, the board of directors by unanimous vote have changed the name to the Brickwede Brothers Company.

This business was started nearly twenty-one years ago in a small frame factory at the corner of Harmar and Lancaster streets where it operated for about five years.  They then purchased the plant known as the Lawrence Piano Company, which was later occupied by the Marietta Paint and Color company, from whom the purchase was made, where they have since operated their mantel factory, and this line is recognized throughout the country as the strongest line of mantels being made in the United States.

In 1917 they built one of the most modern furniture factories to be found in the country at the new Westview Industrial Addition where they manufacture a very high class line of period dining room suits, which includes buffets, tables, china cabinets, serving tables, and chairs, and this line has found a ready market in every state in the Union.

They compete successfully with the well established factories in Grand Rapids and Jamestown, and in fact, display their line twice a year at the Grand rapids furniture market in competition with five hundred other furniture factories.

C. O. Brickwede is in charge of sales and has as his assistants eighteen other salesmen who travel from coast to coast and from the gulf to the lakes.

F. M. Brickwede has been the general manager for the past twenty-one years and with Mr. A. J. Shircliffe, a highly successful furniture manufacturer and designer, as general superintendent and in charge of production, the firm is assured of a successful future under its new name.  The directors of the firm are as follows:  C. O. Brickwede, F. M. Brickwede, W. W. Trout, C. F. Strecker, B. F. Strecker, W. T. Hastings, and A. J. Shircliffe.