The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 - Part 1


Darrell E. Hamilton

       In January of 1906 Ashtabula High School moved back into the Park Avenue building from the old high school on Division Street. The old high school was once again used as a high school because a second floor was being added to the middle of the high school building of the fairly new school building.
       At the time of construction of the high school, the school did not contain a gymnasium. The high school did not even have its own football field. The high school did not have its own gym until the present high was opened in January of 1916.
       What did the school do before it had its own facilities? Most of the home football games were played at Viaduct Park in the gulf that sat below Spring Street Bridge. At one time there was a road that ran from the west side of the bridge from Collins Blvd. Now you would be hard pressed to find any evidence of a road or even a park.
       As far as a gymnasium Ashtabula High School used the old First Methodist Church building on Park Avenue as a gym. The picture is supplied by the courtesy of the First Methodist Church.

The old First Methodist Church sat at the northwest corner of Park and West 48th Street.

Picture is courtesy of the First Methodist Church

       Retiring Sheriff Carey S. Sheldon was presented with a gold watch on behalf of county officials from County Clerk Robert C. Ewing. Ex-Sheriff Sheldon would be retiring to his home on Lake Street in Ashtabula. Sheriff B. W. Peck took office following Mr. Sheldon’s retirement.
       On January 8, 1907 Peter F. Good sued the city for the up keep of Flat Iron Park. If you are not old enough to remember, Flat Iron Park was located at the intersection of Prospect and Center Streets. The bill was for mowing the lawn, planting grass seed, spreading manure, flowers and etc. The bill was for $29.50. The council quickly agreed to pay the bill before the city had to go to court over the matter.
       You don’t know how tempting this is to me. Of course I could not charge for the spreading of manure because certain member(s) already do a good job at that.
       The oldest person in Ashtabula County died less than three months shy of her one hundredth birthday on January 9, 1907. She was born in Dorset, Vermont on April 5, 1807. Melissa Warner  came to Ashtabula in 1867 after the death of her husband and lived with her only child a son, Loyal S. Warner. Her son preceded her in death and she had been a widow for fifty-six years. She was buried in Plymouth.
       In 1907 it was a lot more difficult to find a street or address in the city as it is today. There was no numbering system as we have today. There were also many streets that shared names that were similar. Some of the streets that shared similar names were Camp Street, Camp Alley, Haskell Court, Haskell Street, Lake Street, Lake Avenue, Ohio Avenue, Ohio Street, Park Avenue, Park Street and Park Place were just a few of the similar names. So if you are looking for a street before 1930 (when Ashtabula went to the numbering system we have now) make sure you have the right street.
      On January 14, 1907 South Main Street was finally opened for traffic. Instead the mud and dirt that many had been accustomed to, South Main Street became a beautiful brick street.

The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 - Part 2

Darrell E. Hamilton
       Official records were released for 1906 for the Ashtabula Harbor. Ashtabula was the greatest ore port on Earth with almost 8,000,000 tons. Ashtabula also lead with over 1.6 millions tons of ore sitting on the docks.
       Cleveland was in second place with Conneaut in third place for the world. Ashtabula was also the leader for 1905. Conneaut took the honors in 1904.
       There were two hundred burials for Edgewood cemetery in 1906 compared with sixty-three interments for Chestnut Grove cemetery. I’m sure this is a fact you were dying to know.
       Rev. J. J. Homi was called to Ashtabula about two years previously to pastor the Finnish Congregational church at the Ashtabula Harbor.
       Rev. Homi had a wife and five children. He had borrowed money to go to college in the amount of four hundred dollars to go to college to become a minister. It was to be repaid as soon as he received his own church.
       Being a man of God Rev. Homi could not and would not go back on his word to repay the loan in the amount of twenty dollars a month. The problem with the repayment of the loan was that Rev. Homi was only paid forty dollars a month. Once he paid rent of ten dollars a month he was left with but ten dollars a month to feed, clothe, pay utilities and what ever expenses that came in the day to day lives of two adults and five children in 1907 Ashtabula. On top of that two of his children were seriously ill.
       On Saturday January 12, 1907 Rev. Homi left home and took his oldest child with him to tour the saloons and a steam bath to get people in these places to repent and turn to God.
       After seeing these people with money to waste on alcohol and women of the night when he could not afford the basic necessities of life for his family, he became enraged at a local steam bath. The police came and locked up Rev. Homi. On Sunday morning about three o’clock while in jail Rev. Homi became a raving maniac. He was taken to the county jail in Jefferson where it took four men to handle him. He would eventually be sent to the state mental hospital in Cleveland.
       A committee was sent to his home from the church to check on his family. His five children ranged in age from eight years old down to a baby. They were suffering from hunger as there was absolutely no food in the house.
       A collection was taken up at his church and at the Lutheran and Second Congregational churches to support the family while Rev. Homi was away.
       However the out pouring of symphony did not end there. The Beacon-Record newspaper, as the Star Beacon was called in 1907, started a fund to help Rev. Homi pay off his debt of his education. They litterly begged the people of Ashtabula to help the Homi family out. The plan was if Rev. Homi did not have the debt to pay he would be able to support his family and his sanity might return to him.
       Donations began to pour in at the newspaper office. Most of the donations were for a dollar. However some of the better well off citizens of Ashtabula donated five and even ten dollars. The Beacon-Record started it out with a ten dollar donation. The names of all the donors were published in the newspaper everyday. Remember the average salary in Ashtabula in 1907 was under three dollars a day.
       By the time donations had almost stop coming in more than enough money was raised to pay off Rev. Homi’s college debt.
       Stay tuned for more on Rev. Homi and his family.
The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 - Part 3
Darrell E. Hamilton
       The Ashtabula High School boy’s basketball team traveled to Conneaut to play Conneaut on a dance hall floor. This was before most high schools had a gym.  Also high school sports were not as organized as it is today. Often teams would play each other without even practicing. This was the case with Ashtabula High School.
       On January 21, 1907 Ashtabula High School suffered what I could find so far the worst defeat in their history of the school. The team was defeated by a score of 56 - 0. 
       I’ve seen scores similar to this before. Often in a rematch I’ve seen the same team that was slaughtered by the other team turn around in the same season and slaughter the team that slaughtered them. I would be curious to know the score of the rematch. Wouldn’t you? Stay tuned.
       The Children’s Home which was located next to the Route 20 viaduct before the old bridge was built near where the YMCA sits now, was out of debt for the first time in its history.  There were eighty children at the Children’s home during the year. However twenty-five children were placed in homes or returned to their parents. Five children ran away and one died.
       The very first Ford automobile ad for the county appeared in the Beacon Record on January 29, 1907.

       A Ford dealership had appeared in Ashtabula before but before the dealership could run an ad or sell a vehicle, it went bankrupt. The new dealership was Tinker & Gladding located on Fisk Street (West 48th Street) in downtown Ashtabula.
       In 1906 there were 1,289 males arrested and 41 females arrested.  Of the total of 1,330 arrests, all of the arrests except for sixty-one were for misdemeanors.
       Of the many things you could be arrested for in 1906, you can not or would not be arrested for the same crime today. Examples of some of some of the arrests in 1907 were for visiting a saloon on Sunday, slander, keeping a bar maid (I suppose that was legal in Dodge City), violating sidewalk ordinance (I suppose this included spitting on the side walk.), selling liquor on Sunday, violating screen ordinance (This was when the bars did not have their screens up so the policemen could see in a bar after hours.), being insane, keeping a saloon open after hours, vagrancy, using profane language or using obscene language. I’m quite sure that we would not be able to employ enough policemen to enforce the last two or have a big enough jail.
       It was also a felony in 1907 Ashtabula for bastardy. I won’t even go there for a comparison of today’s society.
       The Globe advertised paints for sixty-six and a half cents a leg. I suppose this was a good advertising gimmick in 1907. However I was wondering. What if a one legged man came into the store and he only needed one leg? Would the store have to sell him one legged paints?
       In Jefferson in February 1907 Judge Metcalfe awarded a woman a pig and hay for alimony. Apparently Jerome Perry was in jail at the time and had no means of support. The only property the man owned was a pig and some hay. So his wife Bertha got everything that he owned considering you don’t count the clothes on Mr. Perry’s back.

The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 - Part 4

Darrell E. Hamilton
       On February 7, 1907 the first bottle of Bula Beer was placed on the market.
       The Consumers’ Brewery Company had built a new brewery at the foot of First Street (East 14th Street).
       The brewery was one of the most modern breweries in the United Stares. Consumer’s Brewery was quite successful until Probation spelled doom for a lot of breweries. Only the older and more established breweries would be able to survive Probation.
       After Ashtabula suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Conneaut in basketball, Ashtabula High School defeated Painesville by over fifty-five points. Over fifty-five points is what the reporter stated in his column. Apparently most everyone left the game before the game had ended including the reporter. Basketball in 1907 Ashtabula had not reached the heights that football and baseball had achieved in Ashtabula.
       In February of 1907 John D. Rockefeller raised the price of crude as to put his nearest competitor (Pure Oil Company) out of business. Standard Oil Company had a monopoly on the oil industry in the world.
By the time anti-trust suits had broke up Standard Oil John D. Rockefeller was already a billionaire.
In today’s standards Bill Gates wouldn’t even come close to the money that John D. Rockefeller had.
My wife’s great-great-grandfather owned an oil company in New York. Rockefeller would offer to buy an oil company out. If you wouldn’t negotiate then Standard Oil would do their best to put an oil company out of business.
       My wife’s great-great-grandfather (Richard Henry Brumagin) saw the writing on the wall and sold out to John D. and company and moved to Geneva, Ohio.
       I wonder if I owe John D. Rockefeller anything for meeting my wife. After all if it hadn’t been for him, would I have met my wife?
       Anyway I hope you are still sitting and want your socks knocked off, here goes. John D. Rockefeller raised the price of crude oil from five cents a barrel to fifteen cents a barrel! The man became the world’s richest man with the price of oil at five cents a barrel for oil.
       In 1907 an ordinance was passed prohibiting the planting of popular trees in Ashtabula and the destruction of those already in existence. The reason being was that the trees would destroy the sewer system. With that piece of information in mind I wonder who planted the popular tree in North Park?
       On February 20, 1907 the City announced that all paved streets would be cleaned three times a week!
       On February 20, 1907 the Geneva Waterworks burned to the ground.
       The fire was started from an overheated coal stove in the basement. Since the protection fire hose company was also located in the building, calling the fire department was out of the question.
The pumps and gas engine were standing on concrete so they could be repaired. There was also enough water in the storage tanks to last about a week for village. However it would be a race to repair the pumps and engine before the village ran out of water. There was five hundred customers connected to the water lines and two hundred twenty-five of them that were connected to the sewers.
The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 - Part 5
Darrell E. Hamilton
       The old First Methodist Church on Park Avenue was sold at the end of February 1907 to the M. C. Robinson & Co for $5.000. The church was located at the corner of Park Avenue and West 48th Street.
       With the acquisition of the old church the new owners remodeled the church and utilized it as a warehouse for lime and cement previously located on Elm Avenue.
       The old church tower was taken down to the level of roof of the old church and the interior and basement was altered to meet the needs of the business. The church became a cement block factory which years later became just storage for M. C. Robinson And Company. It was later torn down during urban renewal.
       In the rematch of Ashtabula and Conneaut High Schools basketball teams where Ashtabula High School probably took their worst beating in history with a score of  56-0 that I talked about in part 3 of 1907, Ashtabula lost again at the old First Methodist Church by a more respectable score of 33-13.
       Are you wondering what Ashtabula High School will do for a gym being M. C. Robinson and Co. bought their make shift gym? Keep reading and stay tuned!
       The first talk of an overhead bridge across at the Prospect Street crossing of the J. & F. and Pennsylvania railroad tracks was brought up at a meeting of the city council by councilman George Aunger in March of 1907. I suppose talk is cheap as it took almost sixty years to get an overhead bridge at that location.
       Anson Munsell, a prominent resident of Ashtabula whose son was a local attorney, committed suicide. Mr. Munsell had threatened for forty years to do away with himself.
       Mr. Munsell who had been in the sitting room conversing with his wife in a calm matter got up and started walking back and forth between the sitting room and the dinning room. He then went into the dinning room and closed the door. A few moments afterwards Mrs. Munsell heard a shot of a revolver from the direction of the dinning room. She was horrified to find her husband lying motionless on the floor with a bullet hole in his forehead.
       Have you ever known someone who has ever committed suicide? Have you ever thought that you wish you have done something or said something to that individual that would have prevented his or her death?
       With that in mind think about what I said especially if you are in church today or next Sunday.
       Mr. Munsell was seventy-five years old and had been in ill health. None of the members of the family knew that Mr. Munsell even owned a revolver. He is buried in Chestnut Grove Cemetery.
       On March 6, 1907 Williamsfield passed by a large majority a proposition for centralization of their schools. The proposition had failed twice before. The proposition also included the planes for a new $9,000 school.
       In March of 1907 Commissioners rejected all bids for the paving of the Spring (West 46th) Street bridge with brick. Instead the Commissioners decided to repave the bridge with wooden planks.
       The first game of the season between the Ashtabula and Conneaut girl’s basketball teams was played on March 9, 1907 at the old Methodist church on Park Avenue.
       As you should remember the previous season was the very first Ashtabula High School girl’s basketball season. They went undefeated going 8-0.
       This time the two teams played to a 10-10 tie in regulation. The game was to be finished at a later date. Stay tuned.
       After the game the Ashtabula girl’s team treated the Conneaut girl’s team at the local the Sugar Bowl. The Sugar Bowl was a local candy and ice cream store.
The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 - Part 6
Darrell E. Hamilton
       In of 1907 Ashtabula township trustees decided to enforce a state law that forbids hunting in a cemetery.
       Apparently a lot of complaints were filed as to damage to headstones. Hunters were also hunting while funerals were going on causing a great deal of annoyance and danger to mourners in Edgewood Cemetery.
       In part 2 of 1907 I wrote about Rev. Homi who was paid so little he could not support his family and he went temporally insane and had to be committed. The Beacon Record started a fund to help him pay off his debts.
       By the time the donation had stopped coming in almost $900 had been collected for Rev. Homi and his family. Nine hundred dollars in 1907 was a great deal of money. A decent house could be purchased in 1907 for that amount.
       Rev. Homi would be discharged and he would return to his native Finland with his family through the generosity of the people of Ashtabula.
       Times have sure changed. Today if a person and his family are down it seems that some people will kick a person down even further regardless of the circumstances.
       Six men were injured at Simons, Ohio when a train jumped the tracks and was derailed.
       In case you are wondering where Simons, Ohio is, I’ll tell you. Simons was located just north of Andover. It was named after my wife’s great-great-great grandfather Henry Simons who gave land to United States government for a post office. He also gave the railroad land for a depot. In exchange he became the postmaster there and became the ticket agent.
       With advent of the automobile the train station eventually closed and the post office was eventually consolidated with another post office probably with the Andover post office.
       Henry Simons’ father, John Simons who came from Connecticut in the early 1800’s, was the first doctor in southern Ashtabula County.
       The United States Post Office raised post office box rental fees from 50 to 60 cents, 60 to 75 cents and drawers from 75 cents to a dollar for quarterly rentals.
       The salaries of the Ashtabula police force were raised by the city council. The police chief was to receive raise from $1200 to $1400, captain $1200 and patrolmen from $900 to $1000 annually. Before April of 1907 there were no captains on the Ashtabula police force. The newly created position was to replace the position of Assistant Chief Kane. Kane would become the new captain.
       In the April 2, 1907 Beacon Record Willard H. Morrison advertised his second hand Winton Phaeton with top; good running order, thoroughly overhauled last fall; one of the most durable cars ever built; tires in good condition, price $200.00.
       On April 10, 1907 the first ad in the local newspaper for the Post Brothers Lumber Company which was located on Fisk Street (West 48th Street) appeared in the Beacon Record. This year Post Lumber is celebrating one hundred years in Ashtabula. A biography on the Post family will be forthcoming before the end of the year. Stay tuned!

      In April of 1907 a move was started to annex the Bunker Hill district. The move was started so that section of town could receive city sewers. Since the city signed a sewer pact with the city in the 1980s, the city has been land locked. We have no bargaining power with the surrounding townships.
The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 - Part 7
Darrell E. Hamilton
       In the fall of 1906 a proposition to place a bond issue was placed on the ballot for the purchase of Harmon Park (fifty acres) for a township park for $25,000. This park would later on be known as Lake Shore Park.
       The bond issue was placed on the ballot by the Township trustees.
       Many controversies came out about the purchase of Harmon Park. 
       First of all the Lake Shore Club had a lease on the property for fifteen years with an option for twenty-five more years. Second of all some people believe the park should be west of Harmon Park on the lake shore. Others thought that the gulf should be fitted for park purposes while some suggested Sulphur Springs. Some thought that a farm should be bought on North Ridge East and fitted up as a park. Still others thought that the money should be used to pave the unpaved streets in the township and other things more important than a park.
       The controversy over the park was to strong as the proposition was defeated 1,368 to 593.
       So what happened next? Well, I’ll tell you!
       The county commissioners decided to intervene. The commissioners had the power to level a one mill levy much as they do today without voter approval. A one mill levy was equal to about $6,000 a year. They decided in May of 1907 to levy the tax on the people. This sounds familiar doesn’t it? Anyway boys and girls this is how Lake Shore Park got its start. However there is more to the story. Stay tuned for further developments.
       A new roundhouse was started in June of 1906 when eight houses were moved from Griswold Street. The houses were moved to a new street just south of Griswold Avenue. The new roundhouse was built because the old roundhouse burned down and they were using a temporary round house. Many of you should be able to remember the roundhouse that was located just off of West Avenue.

       The new roundhouse would employ three times the men as in the old roundhouse. In March of 1907 the Lake Shore Railroad moved into to their new roundhouse.
       On July 1, 1907 Prof. Elmer A. Hotchkiss became superintendent of Ashtabula  City schools.
       On April 2, 1907 a grade crossing accident occurred on Fisk Street (West 48th Street).
       Nester C. Warren was going west with an empty wagon in tow of a gray mare. He did not see the two big hill pusher engines coming south on the tracks around the freight cars that were sitting near the crossing.
       When the engines hit the horse and wagon Nester was thrown from the wagon onto the tracks. Lester was attempting to get up three times but was knocked down three times by the engines. Those who were watching thought that Lester would be ground to pieces by the engines.
       However each time Lester would meet certain doom the old gray mare's body which was underneath the wheels of the engine pushed Lester out of the way of the engines. The third time the gray mare’s body pushed Lester off the tracks.
       The engine did not come to a stop until it reached the depot at the Center Street crossing. The horse’s body by that time was underneath the tank of the first engine and was badly mutilated. Lester sustained several bruises and a severe concussion of the brain. No bones were broken.
       The United States Government and the City of Ashtabula were still at odds over the draw bridge which the United States government ordered taken out over two years before. The fine for not obeying the orders of the United States government was $5,000 a month which would come to $120,000.
       The county which owned the bridge did want to tear the bridge out without having the money to replace it. So the County Commissioners waged an on going war with the United States Government. Stay tuned for further developments.
       Russell C. Humphrey became the billiards champion of Ashtabula County in April of 1907.

The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 – Part 8

Darrell E. Hamilton
       Mrs. Sarah S. Scoville died at her daughter’s home on Walnut Street at the advanced age of 87. Mrs. Scoville was a pioneer citizen of Ashtabula. She was born in a little old log cabin just on the other side of the city limits on Prospect Street which would be now inside the city limits. She was the daughter of Jabez Strong, one of the original Connecticut pioneers who settled Ashtabula. She was one of five children.          
       When Mrs. Scoville was a little girl Ashtabula was covered with a deep forest. Ashtabula was nothing but a hamlet with an outlet on the lake to ship and receive merchandise which was carried by boat and stage.
       One day Sarah was followed by a bear on her way to school. The little girl thought nothing of it as she thought the bear was a dog. She eventually told her dad about the dog that would follow her to school and sometimes home again. When her father investigated and found out it was a bear he became frightened for his little girl. How ever little Sarah was never frightened of the young bear.
       It was not unusual for her to be followed to school by wolves. Her school was located where the old city hall sat on West 44th Street.
       Mrs. Scoville was survived by daughters, Mrs. Harry W. Dorman, whom she made her home with and husband was a local physician, Mrs. E. E. Cook and a son Rev. E. E. Scoville.
       General James F. Wade returned to his home in Jefferson after 46 years in the Army. He entered the Army in May of 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War. He served through the Civil War, in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, the Dakotas and the Spanish American War. He retired at the age limit of 64 years at half pay.
       Returning to Jefferson with him was his wife, his married daughter Mrs. Jenkins whose husband was on duty in the Army of the Philippines as a captain and her four children.
       General James F. Wade was the son of United States Senator Benjamin F. Wade.
       Viaduct Park, a baseball park, was bought by Howard P. Reed from Lucius J. Fargo to make it an attractive residential district. A new street was to be cut through the center of the ball park from east to west to be known as McGovern Avenue (West 47th Street).
       With the purchase of the Viaduct Park to be turned into a residential area, annexation of the east side was brought up so water could be run to the east side.
       On May 7, 1907 all of the public schools were dismissed for the afternoon session so the children could go to the circus.
       The city council proposed to increase the salary of the Mayor of Ashtabula from $1,100 to $1,800 per year. However Mayor Pfaff said the Mayor’ job is really only worth $500 a year. However council McDonald noted that conditions were coming to be such that the policeman of the city were receiving larger salaries than the Mayor and the Police Judge. The council also favored a salary increase for the police judge from $900 to $1,200 annually. The solicitor was instructed to draw an ordinance making those provisions.
       In May of 1907 the first proposal to rename some of the city streets and renumber all the lots in a uniform manner was proposed by Postmaster Prine. However it would not be until 1930 before any major changes on renaming the streets and renumbering the streets would be initiated.

The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 – Part 9

Darrell E. Hamilton
       Isaac C. Chamberlin, one of the most prominent residents of the village of Geneva, died at his home at the age of 79 years of age.
       The deceased was born in North Hampshire, England on February 1, 1828, and came to Geneva at the age of 13.
       In 1864 he became engaged in the clothing business. His business became one of the largest establishments of the kind in the county. He continued his establishment for 31 years then retired in favor of his two sons Charles and Albert.
       Isaac Chambers was the first president of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce. He left a wife and five children behind.
       A new street across from Edgewood Cemetery was being laid out in 1907 by Frank Gregory from his farm. The new street was to be known as Maple Avenue (now East 39th Street). The street was 1,250 feet long, improved with sidewalks and contained fifty-two building lots.
       Clarence S. Cleveland filed bankruptcy which involved his hotel in Conneaut the Cleveland Hotel in May of 1907. The action will not have any real effect on the hotel as the hotel has been in the hands of the court and the Conneaut Loan Company for some time. 
       In the county field meet of May of 1907 Geneva was the winner with Jefferson in a strong second and Ashtabula High School coming in third.
       In June of 1907 Merrill Dorman of New York, a young man of twenty years, was incarcerated in Ashtabula for selling obscene postal cards. The crime was considered a felony punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.
       Now before you get your dandruff up, the postal cards were of ladies in their underwear. Can you imagine the type of underwear the ladies wore in 1907?
       If you took some of the obscene material today and tried to sell it back in 1907, you probably would have been executed right on the spot.
       On May 27, 1907 the Ashtabula Carriage Bow Company will no longer be known as that name. It will be known as the Ashtabula Bow Socket Company.
       The first sermon held in the new First Presbyterian Church chapel was held on May 26, 1907. It was followed by a week’s series of meetings. Rev. W. F. Weir was the pastor of the church in 1907.
       An ordinance was passed the City Council of Ashtabula against spitting on the sidewalks. Anyone who violated the new ordinance would be liable to arrest and fined from one dollar to ten dollars.
       On June 4, 1907 Rev. Paul G. Miller was ordained to the ministry and installed as the pastor of the Prospect Street Presbyterian Church.
       Rev. Paul G. Miller graduated with honors at Princeton University and stood second in his class of twenty-five in the Western Seminary at Allegheny, Pa. His father was also a minister in Uniontown, Pa.
       Mrs. F. J. Crawford became the first woman appointed by the United States Government to become a light house keeper for a fog signal and perhaps at any light house station in the United States. She would become assistant light house keeper under her husband, Captain J. F. Crawford. The action was taken after a period of activity in helping her husband without pay.
       T. H. Paine resigned as Fire Chief of the Ashtabula Fire department effective July 1, 1907. He would be replaced by George E. Ducro.
       On June 13, 1907 Ashtabula High School graduated a class of twenty-two young men and women.
       The first annual commencement at the Ashtabula General Hospital was held on June 7, 1907 at the First Congregational Church. The class embraced three graduates, Mrs. Nettle Clark of Ashtabula, Miss Anna Gessler of Indianapolis and Miss Anna Phillips of Akron.

The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907  Part 10


Darrell E. Hamilton


       In June of 1907, A. H. Talcott, sexton of the Edgewood Cemetery, heard what seemingly to be that of a child. He went toward the river bank from which direction the sound was coming from. He was terribly horrified to discover a baby lying partway down the bank between two logs, wrapped in clothing and crying lustily. He picked the baby up and hurried home with it where he gave it to Mrs. Talcott where Mrs. Talcott gave immediate attention, washed it, placed dry clothes on it, fed it and warmed it.

       The indications from the condition in which the child was found were that whoever left the baby in the cemetery had attempted to kill it before deserting it. The face was cut with gravel and gravel was lodged in its ears and down its neck. There was no gravel where it was found, so it had probably been thrown over to the bank and allowed to roll in gravel before it landed between the logs stopping from going down into the gulf. Further evidence was found in the fact that a cloth was found wrapped tightly around its mouth and nose as though to smother it.
       After the baby had been found Mrs. Talcott recalled having seen a women come along and stop  in front of the Talcott home two evenings before after which she went on and entered the cemetery through the lower driveway nearest to the bank. She was carrying a baby with her. Mrs. Talcott did not give the incident much thought until the baby was found.
       Two other neighbor women remember the woman leaving the cemetery but she did not have a baby with her.
       The baby had remained there for almost two days without food or water and no protection from the elements or wild animals. It was remarkable the baby even survived.
       Mr. and Mrs. Talcott informed the police of their find. Officers Bixler and Hoffelfinger went to work immediately on the case.
       One of the articles of clothing worn by the baby bore a peculiar mark which it was found out was that of one of the wards of the Ashtabula General Hospital. With this fact established the officers were very positive the child had been born at the hospital on June 4 and was the baby of a Finnish girl about eighteen years of age.
       She left the hospital to stay with some friends on second street in Ashtabula. She left the house Tuesday afternoon saying she was going to Boston. However she was seen by a neighbor man at the Lake Shore Depot that evening and she told him she was going to Boston where she had come from six weeks before but she did not have the baby with her. He asked her where the baby was and she told him it was at the Smith house. However when she boarded the train the neighbor noticed that she boarded a westbound train to Cleveland.
       The baby was positively identified by Dr. Burroughs. He was the physician who delivered the baby.
       Even though the mother was positively identified and the fact that she was located in Cleveland, no attempt was made to go after the mother of the child for the devious crime that she committed. I wonder if she was a celebrity?
       The child ended up in the infirmary in Kingsville. As to what happened to the child after that the newspaper never mentioned it to what I could find. I will do my best to find out what happened to this child. If I find out anything I will let you know.
       On June 25, 1907 the old Strong homestead on Lake Street was torn down to make way for storage yard for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
       The farm house and barn was built by Jabez Strong, father of the late David Strong. Jabez Strong was one of the earliest settlers of Ashtabula, Ohio. He sat out the sugar bush. It was a favorite picnic grounds with a spring and maple trees to provide shade for many people of Ashtabula.
       Strong Avenue is named after the Strongs. Jabez Strong’s great-great grandson, David Strong 88, still lives in Ashtabula. He attends Trinity Presbyterian Church on Prospect.
       An ordinance had been passed that prohibited automobiles from traveling faster than eight miles an hour in Ashtabula. The ordinance hadn’t been enforced until Ashtabula Police officers Bixler and Coursen decided to enforce the ordinance on Tuesday, July 2, 1907 at 5:00 p. m.
       If you are wondering how the officers checked an auto’s speed in 1907 without the use of radar, well I will tell you. Police officers Bixler and Coursen went to Station Street and marked off a distance between Tod Street and Prospect Street. It was a distance of 762 feet. They were armed with a stop watch.
       The very first auto to come up the hill towards Prospect came at a very slow rate of speed. However the second auto to come up the hill was “clocked” at 25 4/5 seconds which translated into twenty miles an hour, more than double the speed allowed by law.
       The first citizen of Ashtabula to receive a speeding ticket in Ashtabula was a prominent Ashtabulan. Of course in 1907 Ashtabula only the more prominent people of Ashtabula could afford an automobile.  It would only seem logical that the first person to receive a speeding ticket would be a prominent citizen unless it would be their chauffer. There were only about seventy-five automobiles in 1907 Ashtabula and some of these families had more than one automobile.
       Who was the first person in Ashtabula to receive a speeding ticket in Ashtabula? It was no other than Willard H. Morrison. He was the father of Robert Morrison and grandfather of Richard Morrison of Molded Fiber Glass fame.
       On July 3 Willard Morrison pleaded not guilty. A hearing was set for July 9 with his attorney J. H. McGiffert and the Ashtabula Auto Club which he was a member of went to bat for him.
       The original hearing was delayed while Ashtabula Auto Club met with the City Council to try and get the speed limit raised. However to no avail a new ordinance was not passed.
       Finally on July 23 Willard Morrison pleaded guilty in front of Judge Starkey. The agreement was made that if Mr. Morrison pleaded guilty that the ordinance would be revised to be fair and equitable. The City Solicitor had ask the Judge to take in consideration that this was Mr. Morrison’s first offense and it was the first case to be prosecuted for speeding by the City. The Judge agreed and fined Willard Morrison fifteen dollars and costs. The ordinance provided for a fine from five to fifteen dollars. What did the Judge agree to? Let me remind you that in 1907 fifteen dollars and costs would have been the average man’s wages for a week.

The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907  Part 11


Darrell E. Hamilton

       In July of 1907 the city of Ashtabula installed seven drinking fountains throughout the city. They were located at North Park, South Park, corner of Center and Main Streets, Point Park, corner of Bridge and Water Streets and at the corner of Columbus and Pacific Streets. Now days the water fountains would be vandalized if they were placed today. Water fountains have been placed in the recent years but now sit waterless because of vandalism. South Park is one good example. If the truth hurts well I am sorry but the truth is the truth!
       “Buffalo Bill” (Col. William F. Cody) probably the most gazed at man in the world in 1907 came to Ashtabula in July of 1907 with his Wild West show. They came to the circus ground that was located where Station Ave. School is located today. If Buffalo Bill was around today do you think they would even bother coming to a city such as Ashtabula as it is today? It is truly doubtful. If the truth hurts well I am sorry but the truth is the truth!
       The very first chase Ashtabula policemen pursued a thief in an automobile was on July 16, 1907. No the Ashtabula Police Department hadn’t purchased an automobile. What happened was that a pickpocket lifted the wallet of Howard Riley of Andover while he stood behind him on a street car near the corner of Main and Center Streets. Realizing the man had picked his pocket he turned and the man jumped off the trolley ran down an alley. Mr. Riley gave chase and chased the man down to Park Street where he cornered the man and he threw the wallet back to Mr. Riley giving the man a chance to get away. Mr. Riley gave the alarm to the policemen nearby. The policemen chased the man near Tinker’s garage where they commandeered an automobile. They chased the man to the railroad crossing at Center Street but a freight train blocked their paths and the man got away. It would be another three years before the police department obtained their own vehicle.
       Two more policemen were appointed to the police department by Mayor Pfaff to bring the force to sixteen men. The council had passed an ordinance to raise the police department force to nineteen men. In case you are wondering, there are 31 policemen on the police force today in Ashtabula.
       M. M. Warren, a sexton at the Chestnut Grove Cemetery, was backing his horse to the edge of the Gulf with a loads of stones and refuse he had picked up in the cemetery to throw into to the Gulf. Mr. Warren backed the horse up to a rise in the ground then the horse gave a hardy push to get the wagon over the rise but pushed to hard when the rear wheels of the wagon went over into the gulf. The momentum carried the wagon, the horse and Mr. Warren into the one hundred foot drop into the Gulf.
       About fifteen feet down was a drain that Mr. Warren was able to grab a hold of it. However the horse and wagon weren’t so lucky. The horse and wagon did a complete summersault over each other before they hit bottom. The wagon was smashed to smithereens and the horse was instantly killed. Mr. Warren was able to pull himself to safety.
       The proposed new Elks Home was first purposed in the July 20, 1907 Beacon-Record. It was to sit where the old Hubbard homestead sat next to the James Hotel (Park Haven Home) on Park Avenue.
       Two more automobilists were arrested on July 30, 1907 for speeding since Willard Morrison was arrested for speeding. One driver was arrested for going sixteen miles an hour and the other was arrested for going fifteen miles an hour in eight mile an hour speed zone. Both drivers were from out of town but the one from Pennsylvania was let go because he said did know about the speed law of Ashtabula. The other one was set for trail. As both were from out of town their names were not revealed in the Beacon-Record.
       A Finnish man was arrested for driving a horse too fast through Ashtabula. He was arrested and held but he came to court he could not speak any English and was held until an interpreter could be secured. The policemen also arrested bicyclists.
       Judge Starkey made the comment that the speed limit was unfair and that some could not drive that slow. He said he had no choice but to enforce the ordinance. Policemen of Ashtabula continued to give out tickets at a very fast pace.
       Willard Morrison was fed up with the action of the city council not to take any action on posting any speed limit signs. Ashtabula had become a speed trap in 1907. He stated the law was unfair to motorists who come from out of town and do not know about the ordinance. Willard hand painted signs and placed one at west entrance and one at the east end entrance of the city on Prospect.
       In August of 1907 the east side of Ashtabula asked to be annexed into the city of Ashtabula. They wanted sewer and water. In 1907 only a small part of the East side of Ashtabula was located in Ashtabula city limits. If the City of Ashtabula hadn’t signed a sewer pact with County in the 1980’s and owned the water company the city would have barging power. The City of Ashtabula today has NO barging power with the neighboring townships or the county. Why? The City of Ashtabula gave away her barging power. If the truth hurts, so be it!

The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 Part 12

Darrell E. Hamilton
       Jeff Jenson of Ashtabula, an immigrant from Denmark (the country), retired after driving a milk wagon for the Fargo Brothers for twenty-seven years without missing a day. In all that time whether he was sick or injured he never missed a day. It was quite a feat especially at the turn of the century.
       Ashtabula Township had been trying for a full high school for the past few years. They had a three year high for the 1906-07 school year and were hoping for a full high school for the following school year. However there was only one student who was eligible for their senior year so the township thought it was more economical to pay the student’s tuition at Ashtabula High School than hire an additional teacher for one student. Over the years Ashtabula Township tried in vain to have a four year high school but it would not be successful until the 1930’s but that is another story.
       On August 14, 2006 Geneva passed a speed ordinance for the first time. The speed limit was set at ten miles an hour. A statement was made that if the speed limit was set at eight miles an hour like the City of Ashtabula that people in automobiles would avoid Geneva and that would hurt the businesses of Geneva. It was noted that sixty people in Automobiles came to the Tuttle House in Geneva to eat Dinner on Sunday.
       Well I guess the politicians of the City of Ashtabula were trying to kill business almost a hundred years ago as they do today.
       H. T. & L. T. Carlisle bought out the firm of Bugbee & Moore in August of 1907. Bugbee & Moore was the a pioneer store at the Harbor and the oldest dry goods store succeeding A. J. Beckwith store at the Harbor.
       On August 19, 1907 the Y. M. C. A elected its board and chose its officers electing Samuel F. McDonald the first president of the Ashtabula Y. M. C. A. Elected vice-president was R. H. Cowdery. A. H. Pontius was elected Recording Secretary. Edwin Goddard was elected Treasure and C. G. Laughlin was elected Secretary.
       Several sites were considered for the building of the new Y.M.C.A. building but the board decided on the location at Park and Tombes Alley (Progress Pl.). The lot was purchased from John L. Wilson for the sum of $6,000.
       The Swing Bridge at the Harbor swung open a 109 times on August 23, 1907. During the summer months the bridge opened on an average about a hundred times a day during the summer months. The Ashtabula Harbor was a very busy harbor at the turn of the century.
       Gasoline in Ashtabula on August 24, 1907 was going for twenty-four cents a gallon. Today if the retailers gave away their gas, the tax alone would be a lot more than that. In 1907 gasoline was not a widely distributed product. There were no gas stations in 1907 Ashtabula as we know them today. Gasoline prices would decrease believe it or not!
       The Lake Shore Roundhouse off West Avenue built their own power plant to supply power to their railroad company in the Ashtabula area so they would not have to depend on city power plant. Electric from the power plant were connected to the Lake Shore Depot in August of 1907.
       On August 29, 1907 Mayor Pfaff stated the ice men were ignoring the law that prohibited them from washing the saw dust off their ice in the streets. Mayor Pfaff stated that this practice was clogging up the sewers and that the law would be enforced.
       More than twelve hundred people came from near and far on August 28, 1907 to Lenox to celebrate its one hundredth birthday. Rev. William L. Asque came from Gates Mills, Ohio for the celebration. Rev. Asque was the great grandson of Lisle Asque, the first settler in Lenox. He had built a crude bark-covered shanty for his wife and four small children on June 10, 1807 making him and his family the first settlers in Lenox Township.
      On August 31, 1907, F. E. Smith the Center Street plumber exchanged his automobile for a Jefferson Street house and lot. William Orris, also a plumber became the new owner of the automobile. The article never told what make of an automobile was traded for the house. Let’s hope for Mr. Orris sake the auto was a Cadillac. Plumbers must have really made the bucks back then too.                                                                
       In August of 1907 the Lake Shore Railway advertised round trips to Niagara Falls for $2.50, to Erie for $1.15 and to Youngstown for $1.00.
       On Sunday, September 8, 1907 four men in a touring automobile drove an automobile from Main Street to Division Street (44th Street) up the old City Hall steps probably on a dare. I’d liked to have that on video!
       I always thought that a tennis team was first organized at Ashtabula High School in the early 1960’s by no other than Bob Walters. Was I ever surprised to find out that a tennis team was organized by the Ashtabula High School Athletic Association in September of 1907. No coaches were named or no real schedule was released. I will keep you posted on any up dates.
       A new Cartercar, a five passenger touring automobile was advertised for $1350. This was about the price of a house at the turn of the century. This was the first reference that I could find of an automobile being referred to as a “car” (Cartercar). A car had always been referred with a train or trolley.

       Author’s note: I sometimes throw in little tib bits that you may not consider history. My purpose of writing this is not just to give you a history lesson but to give you an idea on how the people of the time era actually lived.
The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 Part 13
Darrell E. Hamilton
       A help wanted ad advertised for ten men wanted to work at Woodland Beach Park for a $1.75 a day.
       The auto Shop on Park Street advertised a used Cadillac touring car for $500 and a used Olds runabout for $275.
       Williamsfield started its new high school on September 30, 1907 with fourteen pupils. Classes were being held in the town hall until a new centralized building was completed.
       The First Spiritual Temple of Ashtabula located on Main Street was dedicated on October 6, 1907. It was the very first Spiritual Temple ever built in the state of Ohio. It still stands today at the corner of Main and West 43rd Street.

First Spiritual Temple - Main Avenue & West 43rd Street

       In October of 1907 Rosso Porell put his arm around a girl’s waist in public and was immediately arrested. His rude behavior was classified as assault and battery in 1907. He was fined ten dollars and costs. If some were arrested for what they do in public today, many would just be executed on the spot if they went by 1907 standards!
       A nearly new six room house on Bunker Hill was advertised for rent for fifteen dollars a month. A seven room house on Strong Street was advertised for fourteen dollars a month.
       A large new eight room house on Main Street near Grove Avenue can be bought for $3,000.
       Mrs. Margaret McGuire died at the age of seventy-six. Mrs. McGuire had moved in with her daughter after her husband had died about seven years before. Her daughter lived a few blocks from Lake Erie. In all that time and throughout her life, Mrs. McGuire never saw Lake Erie.
       C. O. Tinker who purchased the Phoenix Iron Works in March of 1873, retried after thirty-four years of business. Mr. Tinker sold the plant to the Swedenborg Brothers. The Phoenix Irons Works is probably the oldest continuing business in the County of Ashtabula. It is presently located on West 48th Street. The present building was erected in November of 1874.

Phoenix Iron Works - 1878 (Fisk Street (West 48th Street))

       Mr. and Mrs. Charles Frary and their horse were instantly killed when their buggy they were riding in was struck by a train at the North Bend Road crossing. They were on their way home from Ashtabula and were only a few rods from their home.
       A. W. Johnson and F. T. Clark, who live close to where the accident occurred, were working out of doors and Mr. Johnson looked toward the train just as the horse was in the air. Then they saw the train pass with two bodies and the greater part of the buggy on the pilot of the locomotive. The train was unable to stop for a half mile beyond the crossing. The horse was thrown three hundred feet from the crossing. Charles was 81 years of age and his wife Lucy was 75. They were buried in Saybrook Cemetery.
       Hiram D. Cook was elected Mayor of Ashtabula in November of 1907 along with every single Republican candidate in the City and Township.
       In 1907 every single office came up at the same time. Not only were the solicitor, councilmen, Mayor and  Vice-Mayor elected but the treasure, auditor, assessor and police judge were all elected at the same time.
        A romance that began in Europe ended happily in Ashtabula.
       John Balla of Hungary had met Miss Teresa Schestak of Moravia while he was in the soldier in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire while he was stationed at Vienna. They fell in love but with his proposal of marriage to Miss Schestak her family objected to the marriage along with his family. They then decided as soon as his three year term in the army was up they would elope to America and get married.
       When the couple arrived in New York City they were married. Tersesa only knew of one person in America. The only thing that led them to Ashtabula was the fact that the girl lived in the same town in which John Zikovsky (John the Tailor) was reared in. The girl and John did not know each other. John the tailor had come to this country fourteen years ago. However the girl did know his family and the fact that he had came to Ashtabula. With that fact, they decided to come to Ashtabula less than a week after arriving in New York City. Shortly after arriving in Ashtabula, John was able to find employment with F. C. Geralds, the Saybrook meat dealer. Wouldn’t you like to know more about this couple and what happened to them? Well, I will elaborate more in my book.
       In November of 1907 Mrs. Theodore Hall and Warner Wolcott donated the four lots of land to the Ashtabula General Hospital just south of the hospital on Rogers Street. A dwelling for the nurses was built on that site and it still stands today.
       The ministers of Ashtabula decided at a ministerial union held at the First Presbyterian Church that they would ask the ladies of their congregation to remove their hats during the service. Ladies hats at the turn of the century were often quite large.
       In November of 1907 the basketball game between Ashtabula High School and Harbor High School was called on account of darkness. No boys and girls, the lights did not go off at the gym. You see in 1907 very few schools even had a gym. The game was played behind the old Harbor high School and their were no outside lights. The first half lasted twenty minutes while the second half was called on account of darkness lasted only ten minutes. The game was awarded to Ashtabula High School. The score was 8-5. Remember defense was the big game plan for teams at the turn of the century and most of them did that very well.
The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 Part 14
Darrell E. Hamilton
       Edward Payson Weston came to Ashtabula walking. Now lots of people have came to Ashtabula walking. That certainly is not unusual. What is unusual is that he walked from Portland, Maine and he was sixty-nine years of age at that time. He was on his way to Chicago.
       Now this was not the first time he had made the walk from Portland to Chicago. He had made the trip many times before, the first time being just being just over forty years ago when he was just twenty -nine. However Mr. Weston was on a mission this time. He wanted to break his old record he sat when he was just twenty-nine being more than 1.300 miles in less than twenty-six days.
       The Beacon-Record described him as follows in the November 16, 1907 edition:
        “Despite his 69 years, which makes his 1,300 mile tramp a most remarkable undertaking, Mr. Weston walked into the city Saturday erect, and does not look his years indicate him to be bearing.”
        “Weston is slight of build and not over-tall, has a gray drooping mustache and gray hair. He wears a black slouch hat and dark coat with riding breeches and boots. He carries a short stick or whip in his hand.”
       Many people of Ashtabula can remember when Weston made the trip over forty years ago and many were there to greet him. George Belknap, who was a night watchman at the Ashtabula Bow Socket in 1907, met Mr. Weston in the city in 1867 and taking up the trail accompanied him as far as Geneva tramping along with him enjoying the experience greatly.
       George and Charles Stimson, the Spring Street Barbers, were at that time boys of about eight years of age. They lived on the East Side and walked into town with him from that point.
       Horace Streeter, clerk at Ducro’s store, was also a small boy and he walked up Mill hill and into town with Weston. He has a photograph of the great pedestrian such as he sold at the time which he prizes very highly. It shows the walker as a young man with an equestrian outfit, derby, boots, riding breeches and a short whip.
       A Beacon-Record reporter walked with Weston from Kingsville to Ashtabula to get an interview. As Weston entered Kingsville he was cheered by rows of people to what seemed to be the entire population of Kingsville and North Kingsville.
       Weston possessed a good sense of humor. When he was a few miles east of Ashtabula City, a little old lady interrupted him on his walk to tell him that she had saw him forty years ago when he went through the first time. Weston responded, “Impossible lady. I’m only thirty-nine now!” Apparently Edward Payson Weston was doing Jack Benny before Jack Benny was!
       Edward Payson Weston arrived in Ashtabula at 3:15 Saturday afternoon, November 16, 1907. He was ahead of schedule to break his record he sat over forty years ago.
       Below is part of a song that was famous all over the country in 1867 when Weston sat a record in his walk from Portland, Maine to Chicago, a record that hadn’t been broken in over forty years.
                               “From Portland to Chicago, see Little Weston push.”

                               “And hurly-burly, in his way, the crazy public rush.”

                               “The whole Yankee nation have taken to his heels;”

                               “The very locomotive cars are running off their wheels.”

                                “Then walk, walk, walk; everybody walk.”

                                “Don’t hop, skip. Nor jump, but vigorously walk.”

                                 “Steam’s too slow; riding’s not the talk.”

                                 “Don’t sail, don’t ride, but everybody walk.”

       As Weston walked on Main Street in Ashtabula, the street had taken on the appearance of a circus day just before the parade.
       Weston stopped at the Stroll House in Ashtabula to take on nourishment consisting of two poached eggs on bread and a cup of coffee while resting on a bed. He stayed less than an hour in Ashtabula.
       Weston reached Painesville Saturday night. He reached Freemont, Ohio on November 21 but became very ill. Whether Freemont became ill from some clam chowder he had eaten in Clyde, Ohio, the muddy roads, or it was just from age. Weston was forced to stop and rest. He was barely able to go up the steps of the hotel at Woodville where he stopped and had to rest for the night. Weston slept for eight hours. It was the first time he had slept that long since he started his trek to Chicago. The next day Weston felt refreshed. It had been feared that he would not be able to go on. Even with the long rest, Weston was still several hours ahead of schedule.
       On November 22 Weston reached Toledo however he became ill again with a severe attack of indigestion and started throwing up. This time he was inclined to seek the help of a physician. After several hours of rest Weston did not want to loose any more time and he wanted to break his own recorded if not for anyone else but himself.
       Edward Payson Weston arrived in Chicago on November 27, 1907. He walked to the main business center in Chicago to the main post office. He delivered a letter which he had borne from the postmaster at Portland. This acted signaled that his walk was done. He had hoped he had made a lot better time but he still managed to break his old record sat forty years ago by several hours. He made the trip from Portland, Maine to Chicago in twenty-five days.  
The Twentieth Century of Ashtabula 1907 Part 15
Darrell E. Hamilton

       Frank C. Moore died at his home in Ashtabula on November 19, 1907. He was a son of Mr. and Mrs. John Ducro Sr. and the half brother Messrs, John and Edward Ducro of Ashtabula and Mrs. John C. Crosby of Pittsburgh.

       Frank C. Moore had lived in Ashtabula nearly all of his life. He was the Mayor of Ashtabula from 1890-1893. As a young man, Mr. Moore entered the photograph establishment of F. W. Blakeslee and later he became a partner. You might have an old photograph in your possession that bears his studio’s name. In 1885 he was elected clerk of the city of Ashtabula. After serving four years as clerk he was elected Mayor of Ashtabula. He served two two-year terms. (Then an elected official of the city served from January 1 to December 31 of the following year.)
       During his term in office as mayor the old Alert Hook and Ladder Company was reorganized and given the name of F. C. Moore Hook and Ladder Company.
       After Frank left office he sold his photograph partnership and went into the insurance business which he was doing he died.
       Frank is survived by his wife Belle and two sons; Percival of Detroit and Francis at home. He was buried at Chestnut Grove Cemetery.
       The Crosby Hardware Company, having a store on Main Street and one in Swedetown, the Adams Hardware Company at the Harbor and the Mitchell Hardware Company of Conneaut was consolidated under one head and would be hereafter be known as the Mitchell Hardware Company as of December 13, 1907.
       The headquarters of the company would be changed from Conneaut to Ashtabula. The change was in name only as the same parties owned the stores.
       For the first time in Ashtabula a movie was shown in a commercial theater at the Lyceum Theater. The movie was two hours long which was really about a dozen “movie shorts” which were in reality news reels. The “shorts” ranged from “The Grand Prix Automobile race at Dieppe, France” to “The Elks’ Parade in Philadelphia”. There was also a reel of comedy cartoons. Ashtabula was very lucky  to have received this treat from the company that went around to different cities showing moving pictures. The company usually just stopped in larger cities such as Boston, Philadelphia or Cleveland.
       Property owners in downtown in Ashtabula, most notably Division (West 44th Street), and Fisk Streets (West 48th Street) went to a city council meeting and had a hot discussion with council. Their streets were paved with asphalt and were breaking up after only two years. Even though some of the property owners wanted asphalt originally, they now wanted the streets to be paved with brick. The property owners also ask the base for the brick pavement be a concrete foundation. The base for the streets in Ashtabula that were paved with brick had originally a gravel or even a dirt base.
       Without going through the rest of the newspapers and seeing if the streets were paved with brick, I can tell you first hand that the streets of downtown Ashtabula are most assuredly paved with brick with a concrete foundation underneath the asphalt. Some places you can see the brick where the asphalt has broken away. It appears to me that the brick after a hundred years is still in better shape than some of the asphalt that was laid just a few years ago.
       On Saturday, December 30, 1907 Mrs. A. L. Case died at her home in Plymouth.
       Nancy E. Smith-Case was born on December 16, 1821 in Groton, Connecticut to Dr. and Mrs. John Smith. When she was eleven years old her parents moved to Genoa, New York and three years later fell in with the tide to the westward to help open up the new Connecticut in Ohio.
       They came by boat from Buffalo to Ashtabula Harbor and then rode by wagon forty miles to the south and located in Mecca where Nancy grew to womanhood. On April 8, 1846 she was married to A. L. Case who at a very advanced age survives his faithful wife of nearly sixty-two years.
       Mrs. Case was never a rugged woman. In her girlhood she was never real well and the family had many misgivings regarding their decision to start out to establish a new home in the west fearing that their daughter would not stand it well. However strange to relate on the lake trip from Buffalo, she was the only in the party who was not a victim of seasickness.
       Forty years ago Mr. and Mrs. Case came north to Plymouth and purchased a farm and have since been their home.
       During the past six years she had been failing physically but it was not until December 16, on her birthday, that she was obliged to take to her bed which resulted peritonitis that caused her death.
       Three children, Mrs. Angie C. Hillyer of Ashtabula, Clarence V. and Miss Edith Case of Plymouth survive along with her aged husband.

The End of 1907