Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Woodbridge Letter

The Marietta Intelligencer, April 8, 1858

Chillicothe, April 3, 1858.

William R. Putnam, Esquire, and others of the committee:

Gentlemen - Your invitation to the celebration of the seventieth anniversary of the landing at Marietta has served to revive memories of the past, which had slept for years.

My earliest recollection is of becoming lost in the thicket of bushes and grape vines that then covered the "Point," a brother two years my senior, and myself having wandered a few rods from our cabin.

Some eleven years later, the native growths of the soil had given place to the varies materials used in ship building; the point was no longer a forest, but a ship-yard, where was built the brig St. Clair, and from whence she sailed under the command of Commodore Whipple, freighted with some of the surplus of land, cleared and cultivated for the most part, with rifle in hand, giving thus a foreshadowing of the energy and enterprise which have ever characterized the inhabitants of that place -- astonishing the commercial world by an arrival from a town scarcely if at all, heard of, and by a route not yet dreamed of.

After the Commodore's return, he was heard to say that he had achieved two things that no man could again do - fired the first gun, on shipboard, of the revolutionary war, and navigated the first sea vessel down the river Ohio.

My intervening memories are fraught with incidents, some sufficiently startling at the time, others ludicrous.

The surrounding country was traversed daily by spies.  This dangerous duty was undertaken by volunteers, going usually two together.  When signs indicated the presence of Indians, timely notice was given, sometimes by the discharge of a gun, that all occupied abroad might retire within the pickets.  These alarm guns were sometimes heard in the night, when the women would dress hastily, and the children were hustled up, preparatory to taking refuge in the blockhouses.  At other times, when all else was still, the calls of the sentinels were heard during each hour of the night - "look out sharp," with the response, "All's well," from the guard houses, one on the bank of each river, the other at the inner angle of the picketed enclosure.

Several lives were lost in broad day, notwithstanding this vigilance.  Robert Warth was killed whilst working in his "truck patch," on the Fort Harmar side.  Those who sallied out at the report of the Indian's rifle, reached the field in time to see the Indian leap the fence on the opposite side, having secured the scalp of his victim.

Rogers, one of the spies, was shot down by the side of his comrade.  Henderson, after discharging his gun, with what effect was not known, had no chance for his life but to flee.  In doing so he vowed to avenge his comrade by taking the scalp of one of their enemies.  This he accomplished, and it was borne in triumph through the streets, followed by a numerous procession.

The death of Mr. Carr was attended with yet more aggravating circumstances.  He was quite old and was, at the time, on the island, safe, as was supposed, from his insular position.  He was, however, approached, so stealthily as to be overtaken and tomahawked, no gun being fired, but his cries were heard, and the Indians were seen to escape to the main land in a canoe.

His son, Hamilton Carr, at once offered his services as a spy, or ranger, as they were sometimes called, and that he might be the sole avenger of his Father, he insisted on going alone, although the greater hazard of doing so was strongly urged in opposition.  He succeeded, and not satisfied with the usual trophy, he bore the head home with him, and that too, elevated on a pole, was the ghastly processor of the triumphal march.

It is known that Indians will hazard their lives to conceal their slain, saving the scalp being with them a point of honor.  Hence the whites, long engaged in Indian warfare, scalped the slain, not to secure a trophy, but as a means of striking terror into their savage enemies.  I am not informed whether the practice obtained precedence on either side in the Indian wars of New England.

Mr. Coquet, a Frenchman, excited, no doubt, by the acts of bravery, and hair-breadth escapes that were so frequently occurring, to become himself the hero of some adventure, was seen running at full speed, hat in hand, from an improvement near the first run below Fort Harmar.  A crowd soon gathered around him, to whom he exhibited his hat, perforated in the crown by a bullet from the gun, as he said, of an Indian.  Congratulations for his narrow escape were poured in upon him under great and increasing excitement, when an elderly person, who was cool, examining the hat, asked Mr. Coquet to put it on.  To the astonishment of all, the holes were found to be a considerable distance below the top of the head!

The men of that day, the actors in those scenes of toil and danger, have no doubt passed away, and I could hardly hope to meet those who in childhood had set foot on the soil so early as the spring of 1789.  Even St. Clair Kelley, to whom was donated a hundred acre lot in honor of his being the first born male, is said to be no more.

There are, however, many friends and acquaintances of later years, whom it would afford me great pleasure to meet, and by whom I hope still to be held in remembrance.

Trusting that the celebration of this year will be so pleasant as to be long remembered.

I remain, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
J. Woodbridge.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Winter in Marietta

The Marietta Times, December 29, 1864

The holidays, so far as we know, are passing off pleasantly and agreeably to all.  Fine dinners and social gatherings are numerous among the older persons, while urchins throng the streets with their Jackson crackers, torpedoes, and other articles of amusement.  A good many country folks have come into the city during the week, and they all seem to partake of the general good feeling and hilarity which the annual return of the holidays is sure to bring.

* * *

There was fine skating for a few days, last week, on the ice which had formed over the back water on Second street, between the Court House and the new Methodist Church.  The sudden change of weather and the moderating rays of Old Sol, however, soon put a stop to that healthful exercise.

* * *

Mud! Mud! Mud! wherever you go, is found dirty, sloppy mud.  A city of as much pretension as Marietta should be kept clean and neat.  If it can be done in no other way, let the streets be Macadamized.  The authorities should be ashamed to see the streets in the condition they are, looking as they do, like highways through marshy places.  We trust something will be done to abate the nuisance.

* * *

"Light, more light," is needed in Marietta.  For a week past, the street lamps have not been lighted at nights and pedestrians have been compelled to pick their way through slushy mud and midnight darkness as best they could.  On Christmas eve, business houses were lighted up with common candles - a source of great annoyance to merchants and grocerymen, as on that evening, they were unusually thronged, and the fine things they had fitted up for the holidays showed to very little advantage. We know not the cause of these things.  If it be the fault of the gas company, we hope they may soon be able to supply the city with sufficient gas; but if the contract for supplying the city is ended, by virtue of limitations, then it should be renewed without further delay.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Santa Claus Welcomed by Large Crowd

Marietta Daily Times, December 13, 1929

Santa Claus brought pleasure to hundreds of children on Thursday afternoon when he jumped from the clouds and landed in Marietta. It was the annual Christmas party staged by Marietta merchants.

The idea of having Santa Claus travel by airplane, instead of in the time-honored sledge drawn by reindeer, proved a popular innovation, and established a precedent that may be made the rule of the future.

Many thousands of people thronged the streets to welcome the visitor.

Soon after 3 o'clock on Thursday afternoon "Old Kris" came out of the North in his plane and, flying at an altitude of about a half-mile, soared over the city announcing his arrival by exploding aerial bombs. He "stunted" across the city, turned back toward the fair grounds and, carrying his pack of good-will, dropped with his parachute to a pretty landing. Many were on hand to welcome him and there was a scramble of little folks to grasp his hand.

The landing ceremonies over, the bright-clad, bewhiskered visitor was taken into an automobile and driven to the Front Street armory on the steps of which a party had been arranged. Crowds packed the grounds about the building, jammed the street for almost a block and fought for a closer view of the city's guest.

Harry E. Schramm of the Chamber of Commerce presented Santa Claus to the crowd and the old fellow got busy at once with his program. He made awards of gifts on behalf of 98 Marietta merchants and two numbers were drawn for each of them. The first number has been posted by the merchant offering the prize that it awards and it will hold until 10 o'clock on Saturday night. If it is not presented by that time, the second number will be posted as the winning one.

Following this ceremony Santa Claus, with boys and girls all but mobbing him, started on a tour of the business district. He carried a large mail sack and many letters that had been mailed to him in recent weeks were gathered from the boxes in the stores. With these safely tucked away for future reference he left for the landing field to continue his journey to the homes of other waiting children.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Prizes Awarded in Christmas Window Contest

Marietta Daily Times, December 5, 1929

Otto Brothers store won the grand prize in the Christmas window contest conducted by the Marietta Advertising Club and was awarded the silver cup.  They scored a total of 110 points. The W. A. Sniffen Company and the Becker Brothers Company were tied for second place, each receiving 105 points in the scoring.  Forty-five Marietta mercantile establishments competed. Awarding of prizes followed the Advertising Club dinner at the Hotel Wakefield on Wednesday evening.  More than 60 persons attended.

The Otto Brothers display made a perfect score. The following scale of points was used in judging:  Originality, 25; balance and arrangement, 25; color harmony, 15; special lighting, 5; neatness, 15; Christmas spirit, 25.

Winners in the 10 classes, each of whom will receive an autographed photograph of his window suitable for framing, follow, the number of points scored and the name of the decorator being given in each instance:

1 - Department Stores - Otto Brothers, 110, George Bengel.
2 - Hardware - The A. M. Swan Company, 60, J. L. Johnson.
3 - Drugs - Kuehn & Sells, 85, Shirley Radekin.
4 - Jewelers - Baker & Baker, 90, Carl Dyche.
5 - Furniture - Stanley & Grass, 95, Mrs. Lottie Simpson.
6 - Miscellaneous - Glines Paint Store, 85, E. W. Glines.
7 - Clothing - The W. A. Sniffen Company, 105, Carl Jackson.
8 - Shoes - Kestermeier & Son, 90, Albert H. Kestermeier.
9 - Automobiles and Accessories - Becker Brothers Company, 105, Robert Otto.
10 - Chain Stores - Montgomery Ward & Company, 85, A. L. Peterson.

Will Be Annual Affair

This is the first of such contests to be held in the city and announcement was made by Harold Becker, president of the Marietta Advertising Club, that the contest is to be made an annual affair. The handsome silver cup presented as the grand prize must be won for three years (not successive) to become the property of any one concern. It is planned to hold the contest each year in conjunction with the unveiling of the Christmas windows, and Marietta merchants have shown a lot of interest in the project.

In his address before the club and its guests on Wednesday evening, President Becker said that show windows are the eyes of any business city, and have a large part in influencing visitors as first impressions are the ones that count with strangers. He congratulated the business men of the city on the fine spirit in which they have availed themselves of the opportunity to compete in this important field.

In order that the contest might be impartially judged and to procure worth-while criticism, the club decided to bring in an outside judge. They conferred with the national organization of decorators and E. W. Quintrell of Dayton was recommended. He has worked in like capacity in numerous other cities and is a recognized authority.

Praises Local Decorators

Mr. Quintrell is connected with the Elder & Johnson Company, one of the larger department stores at Dayton, and is a former officer of the national organization. He spent most of Wednesday in the city and worked tirelessly in scoring the 45 competing windows. In announcing the winners he spoke highly of the attainments of local decorators and congratulated Marietta on the calibre of its retail stores and upon the progressive spirit that dominates its merchants. 

He said that the one general criticism that should be applied - and he declared that it is common in all cities - is that most decorators try to display too much merchandise in their windows. He urged that they use fewer pieces, grouping their displays in complete units and using spotlights to bring out the specials.

In Marietta, he said, there is a tendency to omit backgrounds from display windows. "The background is the same to a show window that the foundation is to a house," he told his auditors, "and it affords a base upon which to build a telling and appealing display."

Omit the Dead Colors

In decorating, especially for the holidays, Mr. Quintrell urged that black and dead colors be omitted. He would use green with a liberal use of holly and poinsettias and would let the Christmas spirit dominate. Cards should be used to explain or bring out the message that the decorator would get across. Above all else posters or foreign advertising must be eliminated.

He explained in some detail the grouping of displays into units. The larger the window the greater number of units that can be used although this is not necessarily essential. He praised one Marietta window of rather pretentious size where-in a single radio is displayed.

"Remember," he enjoined his auditors, "you don't have to use every inch of space in your window. Don't crowd."

Mac Henry, vice president of the club, made the presentation of the silver cup to Mr. Bengel of the Otto Brothers Company, then introduced the class winners, in each instance presenting the person who had arranged the display.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Marietta Register, January 14, 1890

As every reader knows, Beverly was known as "Plainfield," the 2nd association of pioneers settling here from Marietta.  It consisted of 39 members.  The first outside one was at Belpre.  The settlement here was east of the river.  The old fort (Frye) stood on the bank of the river about a half mile below.  I saw a rough drawing in an old family here.  The front rested on the bank of the river and was 200 feet in length.  It was triangular and had a blockhouse at each corner and, I have often thought, with due respect to my grandfather, who was an inmate thereof through the Indian war, that it was filled with block-heads, though brave.  There was no necessity for rigging out ox teams and with women and children, leaving eastern farms and happy homes to climb over mountains of snow to settle among savages, to build mills in the Wolf Creek wilds and suffer and die and be buried on lonely knobs away up the valley of Wolf Creek, as I saw to-day.  

Here are three inscriptions on stones three miles from the river.  Two were of the 48 original settlers at Marietta:  "Peleg Springer, who endured many privations, encountered many hazards and hardships during five years Indian blockade in the first settlement at Marietta, died Sept. 28, 1828, aged 63 years."

"Maj. Haffield White served in the Continental Army," etc., born at Wenham, Mass., 1739, died Dec. 13, 1818, aged 80 years."

"Pelatiah White - " (about same inscription) died Feb'y 17, 1832, aged 63, from Rhode Island.

These burials, with Asa Convers, are near the old mill, on a bluff.  A huge cedar eight feet in circumference stands mournfully by the graves of all three.  These men were part of the "Plainfield" force detached to build the mills under the protection of the fort and commanded by Maj. Dean Tyler and which supplied food for even the Belpre settlement by prorogue and canoe.

But what of the Indian? Who sheds tears for Pontiac or Tecumseh.  What of the "six nations" which fought for their native heath.  Who mourns for Logan and Black Hawk?  No Beverly man!  The custom of these later days is to weep only over the greenest grave, and pass along into the great jostling crowd.  Nobody cares who settled London, whether Saxon or Norseman, Goth or Vandal.

The world is getting so infernal wicked that the people will once more be swept away, and the new race of people will wonder, not at the mound-builders, but at water-works, dikes, railways, telephones, &c., which some strange people had built and left to rot!

Beverly, O., Jan. 13.