Friday, February 28, 2014

February News from "4" Years

1874 Feb - Was the height of the southern Ohio Temperance Movement of which a significant amount of news came from New Vienna.  A separate post about the New Vienna Whiskey War can be found at this link:  New Vienna Whiskey War

1894 Feb 1 - An epidemic of diphtheria is prevailing at New Vienna and the schools have been closed. --(Hillsboro) News-Herald 01Feb1894p5

1894 Feb 22 - The scourge of diphtheria in New Vienna is abating with no new cases reported for the past week. --(Hillsboro) News-Herald 22Feb1894p5

1964 Feb 18 - Union Grange celebrated their 65th Anniversary since reorganization in 1899 [the original charter from 1874 was lost, and was reissued in 1899] and Ralph Carey and Mr. and Mrs. Everett Bernard received 50-year-membership pins, which made 14 members who have received such an honor, six of whom are still living. --Wilmington News-Journal 18Feb1964p10

1964 Feb 20 - Pauline Gibson, owner of Polly's Restaurant in Lynchburg, has announced the opening of another restaurant in New Vienna.  She purchased the fixtures and equipment of Hook's Restaurant at the corner of Main St. and SR-28.  --Wilmington News-Journal 20Feb1964p13

Links to February 1964 New Vienna news in the Wilmington (Ohio) News-Journal.
[Last month I included scans of all January 1964 New Vienna news.  This month it was almost impossible for me to keep up with the sheer volume of "news" that Mabel Davis produced.  Therefore, this month only included are the names mentioned with links to the clippings if you want to read further.  In future, will probably not even do that much, but only provide the highlights.  Let me know if you are looking for anything or anyone particular.]
  • 5 Feb 1964 in two parts: p.14 Names mentioned include: Durham, Bohl, Allen, Ridgeway, Kuntzman, Wright, Ames, McCoy, Matthews, Thornburg, Long, Barre, Parry, Calendine, Young, Garrison, Mongold, Carey, Roads, Blackburn, Roehm, Woods, Thompson, Cook, Saunders, McCoppin, Tolliver, Edwards, Seaman, Deininger, Jones, Mee, Sunders, Morton, Scott, Penn, Fawley, McKenzie, Canter, Mossbarger, Curtis, Rulon, Wiget, Hughes, Painter, Hutchens, Wilson, Croghan, and Swisher.
  • 5 Feb 1964 p.15 Names mentioned include: Croghan, Edwards, West, Brownlee, Faris, Cochran, Johnson, Tolliver, Compton, Ames, Hunt, Mongold, Brown, Roehm, Bennett, Saunders, Glancy, Mee, Miller, Babb, Wilson, Lytle, McDonald, Eaton, Hildebrant, Castle, and Penn.
  • 8 Feb 1964: Names mentioned include: Johnson, Uible, Bryner, Smallridge, Sheffield, Simkins, Cornelius, Davis, Long, Bernard, Carey, Clark, Cooper, Pence, Schultz, Moore, Swindler, Fleming, McKenzie, Storer, Foreman, Thornburg, Pierson, Selph, Whitmer, Akers, Stepp, Cluxton, Babb, Hutchens, Rice, Smith, Kibler, Terrell, Okey, Dunlap, Fleming, Campbell, Sullivan, Thomas, McKibben, Knauff, Puderbaugh, Edwards, Everhart, Barry, Weaver, Manuel, Miller, Boatman, Roberts and Penquite.
  • 10 Feb 1964: Names mentioned include: Uible, Bryner, Smallridge, Sheffield, Schwartz, Cornelius, Davis, Long, Bernard, Carey, Nischwitz, Irwin, Achor, Marsh, Clark, McCoy, Fisher, Fawley, Henderson, Ledford, McKenzie, Roush, Settlemyre, Preston, Hunter, Stratton, Rayburn, Bennett, Garman, Phillips, Packard, Roberson, Bohl, Pugsley, Hause, Davis, and Holmes
  • 12 Feb 1964: Names mentioned include: Cook, Ross, Carey, Michael, Anderson, Grimsley, Fels, McKenzie, Woodmansee, McKamey, Stanfield, Simkins, Davis, Whitmer, Sears, Mahanes, Walls, Roush, Stratton, Fisher, Mohr (or Mohn?), Baker, Albrechtson, Deafner, Miller, Kinzer, and Pendell.
  • 13 Feb 1964: Names mentioned include: Roberts, Ferguson, Minzler, McKamey, Smalley, Farringer, Garen, Cluxton, Regan, Linkhart, Germann, Precht, Moore, Eckler, Huffman, Evjen, Achor, Curtis, Matthews, Croghan, West, Newbrey, Parshall, Kier, Wylie, Anderson, Collier, Garman, Hutchens, Hempstead, King, Shoemaker, Blackburn.
  • 14 Feb 1964: Names mentioned include: Uible, Smallridge, Bryner, Burton, Drake, Streber, Croghan, Kuntzman, Bohl, Simkins, Chestnut, Fisher, Fawley, Woods, Powell, Penn, Waits, Thornburg, West, Rudisill, Davis, Flint, Hibberd, McKamey, Walls, and Brite.
  • 18 Feb 1964: Names mentioned include:Davis, Corzatt, Uible, Smallridge, Bryner, Burton, Drake, Streber, Croghan, Kuntzman, Bohl, Simkins, Chestnut, Fisher, Fawley, Woods, Powell, Penn, Waits, Thornburg, West, Rudisill, Flint, Hibberd, McKamey, Walls, and Brite.
  • 18 Feb 1964 - Kindergarten classes go on field trip to the Post Office. Mrs. McKamey’s Kindergartens tour Post Office - makes the newspaper as part of the Feb. 18 New Vienna news. Bill Flint, postmaster and his assistants Mrs. Glenn Fisher and Glenn Purtee explained the mail system to the students.  [Later in the month the students toured Minzler Market.]
          The morning group consisted of Judy Ames, Jerri Baker, Lora Ballinger, Jimmy Bernard, Kevin Croghan, Jana Curtis, Ricky Davis, Charles Flint, Elbert Fox, Eric Keltner, Brian Knisley, Karol Kuntzman, Brett Laymon, Kimberly Long, Betty Ann Lovell, Luitina Mahanes, Cindy Murphy, Larry Penn, Cindy Jo Stoops, Randy Thompson, Rhonda Turner. Mrs. Mckamey, Mrs. Ronald Ballinger and Mrs. Wendell Mahanes furnished transportation.
          The afternoon group consisted of: Bill Allen, Judy Caplinger, Jimmy Custis, Cathy Daye, Phillip Dean, Debbie Ferguson, Stevie Johnson, Bryan Linkhart, Connie Lucas, Tina Mongold, Kimberly Murphy, Sammy Terrell, Cindy Tolle, John Uible, Nickie Wallen, Doug Woodmansee, Debbie Young and Doug Young. Transportation was furnished by Mrs. McKamey and Mrs. Estel Daye Jr.
  • 19 Feb 1964 - Farmers Road News.  Names mentioned include: Reunion of 1926 classmates from a one room school, Mt. Vernon (Greasy Hill) NE of Blanchester on Reeder Rd., north of Second Creek Road, met together. Their teacher at that time was HOMER WILLIAMS of New Vienna. Other names mentioned include: Butts, Lister, Quigley, Reveal, Speaight, Scott, Worrell, Moon, Mooney, Dale, Custis, Carey, Behymer, Hagemeyer, King, Holt.
  • 19 Feb 1964 - New Vienna Village Annual Report for 1963 Includes line-item expenses and receipts. Total tax valuation of $1,548,682. Indicates 1960 Census of 858 residents within village limits. John P. Joy, Village Clerk.
  • 19 Feb 1964 - Names mentioned include: Kuntzman, Streber, Salisbury, Hughes, Perry, Fawley, Croghan, Allen, Bryner, Chestnut, Larrick, Holmes.
  • 20 Feb 1964 -  Names mentioned include: Michael, Drake, Terrell, Minzler, Little, Cochran, Daye, Smalley, Ferguson, Shaw, Achor, Irwin, Sheffield, Curtis, Saunders, Farringer, Allen, Osborn, Clevenger, McKibben, Roberts, Smith, Simbro, Briggs, Davis, Grabill, Gordley, Armstrong, McCune, King, Cline, Hunt, Trenary, Quigley, Woods, Barrett, Fisher, Thornburg, Walker, Gordon, Stegman, Anderson, Urtel, Hughes, Foster, Kester, Haynie, Pendel, Decelle, Dodd, Wright, Stratton, Rayburn, Waits, Thornburg, Creed, Myers, Gordley, Salisbury. On same page: Simon Kenton Junior Class play, starring Gary Curtis and Monty Rankin.
  • 22 Feb 1964 - Names mentioned include: Davis, Blackburn, Roehm, Ames, Hunt, Bohl, Manuel, Miller, Roads, McVey, Waddell, Morton, Caplinger, Anderson, Jury, Hull, Hutchens, Conklin, Larrick, Bond, Garman, Sweringen, Croghan, Bortocci, Dove, Flint, Allen, Penn, Tolle, Knauff, Ramsey, South, Hause, Huffman, Kuntzman, Hughes, Eaton, Michael, Custis, Drake, Terrell, Greene, Gammell, Gibson, Mongold, Roush, Smith, Porter, Pennington, Harris, McDonald, Linkhart, Gordon, Walker, Rollins, Gillam, Wilson, Simbro, Kelley, Clevenger, Vance, Fender, Johnson, Kendall.
  • 25 Feb 1964 - Names mentioned include:  Farringer, Kuntzman, Hause, South, Outcalt, Penn, Matthews, Thompson, Nash, Brodfield, Southerland, Johnson, Holmes, Berry, Manuel, Grimsley, West, Parshall, Newbrey, Smalley, Dunlap, O’Briant, Hetzler, Ingersoll, Miller, Shoemaker, Davies, Demas, Bryner.
  • 26 Feb 1964 - Boy Scout Hike to Fallsville. Names mentioned include: Larry Akers, Gary Akers, Donnie Achors, Ricky Orebaugh, David Myers, Vic Bernard, Mike Williams, Gene Williams, Gary Orebaugh, Vic Bernard, Doug Hutchins, Larry Priest, Mark Allen, Mickey Wilkinson, Larry West, Garry Edison, Lloyd Tolle, Harold Wallen, Billy Akers, Greg Prickett, Jery Shiffer, and Mrs. Roy Myers.
  • 27 Feb 1964 - Names mentioned include: Salisbury, Achor, Young, McKenzie, Ledford, Mongold, Garrison, Hildebrant, Behling, Curtis, Wolfe, Thompson, Simkins, Long, Davis, Huffman, Drake, Custis, Cook, Streber, Carey, Fisher, Deck, Bohl, Smalley, Robinson, Thornburg, Waits, Hause, Preston, Saunders, Nischwitz, Joy, Achor, Roush, Crothers, Edgington, Lindenmouth, Johnson, Martin, McCune, Martin, Roads, McVey, Woodmansee, Henderson, McCoy, Bernard, Wright.
  • 29 Feb 1964 - Names mentioned include: [half the phone book practically] Kuntzman, Moon, Outcalt, Cooper, Bohl, Simkins, Curtis, Robinson, Bernard, Wolfe, Hildebrant, Hughes, Eaton, Hause, Farringer, Briggs, Cochran, Brown, Saunders, McKamey, Leach, Shaw, Barker, Hieronymus, Bernard, Harner, Carey, Fels, Anderson, McKibben, Smith, Selph, Custis, Fawley, Henderson, Polk, Smallridge, Davis, Minzler, Croghan, Thomas, Hess, Williams, Wise, Caplinger, Thornburg, McDonald, Jones, Stroup, Borchers, Wilder, Drake, Saunders, Mee, Glancy, Haines, Bashore, McVey, McKenzie, Linkhart, Ross, Mason, Beair, Musser, Greene, Demas, Miller, Woods, Harris, Wilson, Smalley, Davies, Musser, Caplinger, Miller, Wright, Swingley, Williams, McCune, Fleming, Ludwick, Ray, Kibler, Hurst, Dolphin, Achor, Roush, Pohlman, Brewer, Nischwitz, Tolle, Merkle, Vance, Fisher, Curtis, Ruble, Wilson, Creig, Faris, VanPelt, Dunlap, Hamilton, Langley, Malone, Pope, Hewitt, Roush, Woodmansee, Nicely, Taylor, Hatcher, Bryan, McVey, Roads, Hixson, Seaman, Butts, Donohoo, Frump, Purtee, Ridgeway, West, Yates, Myers, Palmer, Waits, Keever, Sturgeon, Murphy & Knisley.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

1874 New Vienna Whiskey War

February of 1874 was the culmination of temperance battles in New Vienna.  The "Wickedest Man" in New Vienna and the Women's Temperance made national and international news in newspapers in at least 18 states and Great Britain carrying the story. Pennsylvania and Illinois seemed the most interested.  Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and London were among the cities whose readers were "entertained" by the stories originating in New Vienna.

Below are two more recent articles about New Vienna's Whiskey War, though neither is dated or sourced the second one appears to be from late 1988 or 1989.  More information on sources and links to newspaper clippings from February 1874 are included at the end of this post.

(1874) When New Vienna 'Went Dry' by Helen M. White
Unknown Source, unknown date

A wise old man once said, "Beware of women banded together in determination.  They can accomplish any goal and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them."

This statement certainly applies in the case of poor John Calvin Van Pelt of New Vienna in Clinton county, who at one time proudly wore the title, the wickedest man in Ohio."  He wore it, that is, until the good ladies of the community took matters in charge during the winter of 1873-74.

Van Pelt was a large, square man noted for his bulldog pluck.  He kept the Dead Fall Saloon when that strange phenomenon in the temperance cause known as "The Women's Crusade" broke out and ran like a fever over Southern Ohio.  Fierce and exciting while it lasted, the movement ws short-lived and passed into history in a few months.  But in New Vienna the battle of the crusaders and Van Pelt was fought to a finish.

Following the pattern set, the women assembled outside the Dead Fall Saloon and, kneeling in the muddy snow, started singing hymns and praying.  Whereupon Van Pelt, brandishing a club, drove them off and threatened "to hang, draw and quarter them if they returned."

Undaunted, about 50 of the ladies returned the next day.  This time they serenely entered the saloon, knelt in their voluminous skirts on the dirty, sawdust covered floor and again begain their pious efforts.

Driven by the frenzy of frustration, Van Pelt seized buckets of beer slops and soundly soaked the unresisting and determined group.  On finishing their devotions, they calmly arose and departed to find outside nearly 200 men, their brothers, fathers, and son, bent on avenging them and hanging the raging saloon keeper.

Van Pelt was taken to the local lockup to cool him off and keep him safe, but upon his release he swore fearful and public vengeance to the undoers of his once-peaceful domain.

Unimpressed, the ladies in bands entered as they wished, prayed, sang and departed.  Van Pelt jumped with rage at each excursion upon his property, losing both face and customers at every encounter.

In desperation he finally offered to sell out, lock, stock and barrel, for the rediculously low price of $95 – but he had no takers.

About a week after his offer to sell, he rolled the barrels into the street, broke them open and sloshed his merchandise into the gutters.

Perhaps the rugged, bullying Van Pelt had heard the saying, "If you can't whip them, join them, for he then announced that he wished to join the cause he had fought so bitterly.

A chastened John Calvin Pan Pelt wholeheartedly entered the field as a temperance lecturer.
* * * * *
 1874 New Vienna's Wickedest Man accompanying illustration
Captioned: This picture is from a tin-type taken at the time by a traveling artist.  The women of the village of New Vienna, Ohio are laying seige [sic] to the saloon of Van Pelt, the wickedest man in Ohio.
 Article Titled: The Women's Temperance Crusade Meets the Wickedest Man in Ohio
Unknown magazine, c1989

In the winter of 1873-74 (there) arose in Southern Ohio that strange phenomenon in the temperance (movement) cause known as the 'Women's Crusade.'

It began in Hillsboro (Ohio) on the last of December, and in the course of a few months extended into adjoining States.  In the large cities it was not anywhere successful, but in the small villages, the results were often surprising, the Crusaders in some cases closing every saloon and for the time entirely suppressing the liquor traffic.  The manner of conducting their operations was in this form; the women daily assembled and marched in solemn procession two by two, sometimes to the number of 50 or 100.  On coming to a saloon they halted in front and sent in word for permission to enter and hold religious exercises within.  If this was denied they held them outside.  They opened with singing two or three hymns, and then all kneeled on the pavement regardless of the condition of the weather and the streets; sometimes kneeling in the mud or snow.  In every case the ladies pled [sic] with the saloon keeper to induce him to sing [sign?] the pledge, and in this way every saloon was visited.  In the larger places the ladies organized in separate bands so as to simultaneously visit different saloons.

The excitement soon died away, and at the end of  few months the crusade had passed into history.  While it was in progress the public prints were filled with anecdotes of the experience of the Crusaders with the saloon keepers.  Those of the New Vienna, (Ohio) ladies in Clinton county were particularly interesting with John Calvin Van Pelt, reputed to be the "wickedest man in Ohio."  He kept a saloon near the depot, known as the "Dead Fall."  He was a tall, solidly built man, with a red nose and the head of a prize fighter, and noted for his bull-dog pluck.

The ladies assembled and proceeded to Van Pelt's "Dead Fall," when he threatened to hang, draw and quarter them if they came to his saloon again, and the next day he decorated one of the windows of his saloon with flasks of whiskey.  Across the other was an axe, covered with blood; over the door empty flasks were suspended, and near them a large jug branded "Brady's Family Biters."  Over all wave a black flag, while within Van Pelt was seen brandishing a club, threatening and defying the temperance band to enter at the risk of their lives.  This had no effect, however, as about fifty ladies entered and, kneeling, one of them began praying, when he seized a buck of dirty water and threw the contents against the ceiling, from which it came pouring down upon the kneeling supplicants; at the same time he hurled the vilest invectives at them, but they heroically stood to their posts until thoroughly drenched with dirty slops and beer, when they retreated to the outside.  Without were about 200 men, husbands, fathers, and brothers of the ladies, and it was only through the earnest entreaties of the women that they were prevents from mobbing Van Pelt.  He was, however, arrested and languished in ail several days before getting bail.  In the meanwhile his brother officiated at the saloon, permitting the ladies to enter and carry on their devotional exercises.

Upon Van Pelt's release, he became more bitter and determined.  He boldly attended the meetings of the ladies at the Friends' Meeting House, and publically argued the question with them, and being a man of quick wit provided a formidable disputant.

But at length he gave evidence of weakening by offering to sell our for five hundred dollars and eventually dropping to ninety-five dollars (the amount of his legal expenses), and agreeing to quit the town on the payment of this sum.  Many were in favor of accepting this proposition, particularly the ladies, one of who said that she had forgiven the insults heaped on her and, although refusing to acknowledge any indebtedness, was willing to make him a present of the amount to compromise with Van Pelt on any basis, and held that "he might be thankful to get off with his life."

A few days later he proved indisputably his title of the "Wickedest Man in Ohio."  When the ladies called at his saloon he told them they might come in and pray if he were allowed to make every other prayer, which condition was accepted, and after the opening prayer by them he commence a long and blasphemous harangue in the form of a prayer.  He classed women as brutes and asked the Lord to be merciful to them and teach them wisdom and understanding.  Women, he said, first caused sin and were in great need of prayer.  The Lord operated the first distillery, or at least made the fist wine, and he was following the Lord's example, etc.

Before the services ended three prayers of this description had been made.  The women were amazed at such depravity, and disheartened at any prospect of his reformation, but a week later he surrendered, took up the cause he had fought so desperately, and became one of its most ardent disciples.

About noon of the day on the surrender it got noised about that it was about to take place, bells were rung, boys rushed through the streets with handbills, crying, "Everybody meet at Van Pelt's at two o'clock and hear his decision."  After singing and prayer by the ladies, Van Pelt appeared and made a complete surrender of stock and fixtures.  He said he yielded not to law or force, but to the labor of love of the women.  One barrel of whiskey, another of cider and a keg of beer were then rolled out, and seizing an axe he said, This is the same weapon with which I used to terrify the ladies; I now use it to sacrifice that which I fear had ruined many souls!"  Whereupon he drove in the heads of the barrels, and the liquor ran into the gutters.  Prayer was then offered, a hymn sung, and he made a few more remarks saying: "Ladies, I now promise you never to sell or drink another drop of whiskey as long as I live, and also promise to work with you in the cause with as much zeal as I have worked against you."

There was great rejoicing throughout the town, and in the evening a thanksgiving meeting was held at the Christian Church, at which Van Pelt spoke.  He was a changed man, with his eyes fully opened to the evil of liquor traffic, very repentant and humble, and zealous in this efforts to induce others to quit the business, and a week later he entered the field as a Temperance lecturer."

(The above was seen in Vol. 1 of "Historical Collections of Ohio" which was published in 1888.  Jim Teal collection.)

* * * * *
Newspaper Articles:

"Obdurate Van Pelt." Chicago Daily Tribute 5 Feb. 1874: 1. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <>.Temperance Battle continues in New Vienna. Incorrectly identifies New Vienna as being in Clark County.
"Some Time Ago . . ." Decatur Weekly Republican 29 Jan. 1874: 3. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <>.Women's Temperance 1874 --New Vienna news starts to spread. Van Pelt Temperance article about New Vienna.
"Temperance Crusade." Vermont Phoenix [Brattleboro VT] 30 Jan. 1874: 1. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <>.
"Temperance Whirlwind in the West." Harrisburg Telegraph 5 Feb. 1874: 1. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <>.Van Pelt, incorrigible and combative, saloon keeper, continues the battle against temperance. Incorrectly identifies New Vienna as being in Clark County.
"Thursday, February 5, 1874." Bucks County Gazette [Bristol, PA] 5 Feb. 1874: 2. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <>.New Vienna's Signal Victory in Temperance Campaign
"Whisky [sic] War in the United States." The Times [London, England] 25 Feb. 1874: 6. Web. 26 Feb. 2014. <>.New Vienna's Whiskey War makes London news
"Women's Praying Anti-Liquor Association." Los Angeles Herald 7 Feb. 1874: 3. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <>.New Vienna Women's Praying softens heart of wickedest man.

Other Sources:
"Arthur's Illustrated Home Magazine, Volume 42." Arthur's Illustrated Home Magazine 42 (1874): 278-80. Google Books. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
"Crusade Meets The Wickedest Man in Ohio." Unknown 1989: 22-24. Print.
Durant, Pliny A. "The Women's Temperance Crusade." The History of Clinton County, Ohio, Containing a History of the County; Its Townships, Cities, Towns, Etc.; General and Local Statistics; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; History of the Northwest Territory; History of Ohio; Map of Clinton County; Constitution of the United States, Etc. Chicago: W.H. Beers, 1882. 428-29. Print.
Teal, Jim. Historical Collections of Ohio. Vol. 1. 1888. Print.
White, Helen M. "When New Vienna 'Went Dry'" Unknown (n.d.): n. pag. Print.
Wittenmyer, Annie, and Frances Elizabeth Willard. "New Vienna, Ohio." History of the Woman's Temperance Crusade. A Complete Official History of the Wonderful Uprising of the Christian Women of the United States against the Liquor Traffic, Which Culminated in the Gospel Temperance Movement .. Boston: J.H. Earle, 1882. 79-83. Print.

Monday, February 17, 2014

1964 Linda Hughes Peace Corps Ethiopia -Feb15

A 1964 aerogramme letter from Linda Hughes, serving in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, has a space removed where the stamp would have been.  Lines of the letter in which these missing words have been written are marked by [...]

Additional information about Linda Hughes Wilson (NVHS'59) and an October 1963 letter was published in the New Vienna Memories Blog on Oct. 26, 2013 and can be found at this link:  Transcription follows.

1964 Linda Hughes Peace Corps letter from Ethiopia -Feb15

February 15, 1964
Dear Uibles,
Thank you for the Christmas greetings, and now it's almost Easter.  Here in Keren it is definitely like Easter with afternoon temperatures up to 100ยบ and the hot season isn't here, yet.  I'm sorry that I haven't been able to find out the name of the author or publisher of the history book.  Rather hard to track it down that way, isn't it?

I wish all of you could have gone visiting with my roommate & I yesterday.   We went to the homes of several of our students and celebrated their Moslem holiday of "Ed-El-Fatar" – the breaking of their 30 day yearly fast.  All the girls & women were dressed in vivid colored nylon dresses, their black hair was shinny [sic] with oil, their pierced ears held gold dangly earrings and I couldn't help but noticed the air of pride which they carried as we walked through the dirt alleys to their houses.  The father was out visiting his friends, the mother always eat in the back room, and we were entertained by the school girls.  Always they brought in the baby of the house usually [...] 6,7, or 8, and we begged to hold it.  The babies under [...] were the best for us, because if they were older they [...]ry at the strange white face staring at them.  Even the  [...]t babies had on eye make-up; that is a black line [...]g the entire shape of the eye.  It's purpose – beauty.  The same as the circles of gold hanging from their mother's ears & nose.  For the same reason the redish [sic] brown tatoo-like markings on the women's hands, feet, neck's & throats.  And those 3 lines on the side of their faces made by cutting the cheek with thorns when they were very small children, these are partly as a tribal marking, but also beauty.  We were served hot spiced tea, peanuts, dried dates, cookies, and hard candies wrapped in cellophane.  As we left each home the girls took a bottle of strong smelling perfume and poured it into our cupped hands.  You can imagine how we smelled after 3 houses & 3 different perfumes!

They are always so kind & gracious; usually the set the things on the table then sit back and watch us eat.  "Eat, Miss Linda.  You must have another sweet – More tea – Please take more!"  So I came home last evening at 7 P.M. much too ful to eat any supper.  I enjoy doing these simple things just as much as last year and perhaps more, because now they aren't strange customs.  There is a reason & purpose for all ways I once found so strange and backward.

Goodness, how will I recognize your grown children?  Maybe I'll be teaching one of them, as I'm hoping for a position in the New Vienna School next year.

Until September....

Sincerely, Linda

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

1972 Wells Mfg WNJ Clipping -Jan31

Wells Mfg. Clipping
Wilmington News-Journal - January 31, 1972

Pictures Captioned:
  • Top: MANAGER – Harold Uible, manager of Wells Manufacturing, explains the production of plastic jump rope as tour of factory begins
  • Middle Left: COMPLETE OPERATION – Mrs. Richard (Arlene) Curtis, Mrs. Donald (Geneva) Osborn and Mrs. Floyd (Mina) Crabtree are busily making pinwheels.  They handle the entire operation.
  • Bottom Left: JUMP ROPE MADE – Mrs. Norman (Donna) Brown, foreman of the braiding room, is looking over the different colored spools of thread which eventually become jump rope.  In the far right, you can see the rope unwinding off the big wheel.  Mrs. Brown has been with the factory since it's opening 25 years ago.
  • Middle Right: WORKING RUBBER – David Trenary is working with synthetic rubber, making it more flexible and ready for the transformation into rubber balls.
  • Bottom Right: SHAPING RUBBER – Mrs. Clarice Reed is feeding the treated rubber into a machine which turns it into a cylindric shape; then is cut into sections.

New Vienna's Wells Plant is
Unique Toy Factory
by Mike Graham (News-Journal Staff Writer)
Wells Manufacturing in New Vienna is not just another factory.  Sure, there are machines with assembly lines, and all the smells and sounds that we find in a factory.  But imagine thousands upon thousands of rubber balls, jump ropes, and pinwheels.  That's their finished product.  Toys!

New Vienna's toy factory has been making these toys and many more for 25 years.  Today they manufacture over 100 different small toys that sell all over the United States and some regions of the world.  They even have a customer in Truth or Consequences, N.M.!  It's certainly a big operation and unique from the standpoint that there aren't many factories of its kind in southern Ohio.  Harold Uible, a practicing lawyer and manager of the plan, gave this reporter a first-hand look at their toy-making process.

ONCE BEHIND the office doors, we looked in on the making on pinwheels.  A pinwheel is a hand-made plastic wheel that spins on the end of a wooden stick when held in the wind.  It operates on the same theory as a windmill.  There were no machines in this section and just four women handled the whole operation.  Uible mentioned that the tree women busily cutting and putting together the wheels were from New Vienna; in fact all of the factory's 75 employes are from the New Vienna area.

The first machine seen was in a packaging section.  It was cutting and shaping plastic to be used as packaging for the jack sets.  All the labeling and packaging is done right there in the factory, in fact as Uible pointed out, the entire product is manufactured in the plant and made ready for distribution.

One of the most interesting rooms in the building was the braiding room.  Yard after yard of multicolored jump rope flowed from the dozen or more weaving machines.  To merely glance at the process, it would appear simple.  But to stop and study one machine in action changes your mind, for they are delicate, complex instruments.

We had almost forgotten that there was another large brick building across the street and a walk through it proved to be just as interesting.  There were many more machines making jacks, rubber balls, kickback paddles, and plastic jump rope.  Probably the most intriguing operation was the making of rubber balls, the factory's best-selling product.  Three people and three machines can turn huge chunks of synthetic rubber into 50,000 balls a day.  At full production 20,000 of these rubber balls can be painted in an eight-hour work shift.

We noticed as we continued through the plant that, just as in the other part of the factory, there were many women employes, and in each section there was usually one or two working.  The machines do most of the work but many of the toys, such as the pinwheels and jump ropes, require the feminine touch.

The really remarkable thing about the factory is that it doesn't take many workers to handle the massive production job.

The toy factory stays open year 'round for there is a constant demand for its particular type of toys.  Uible said that business is best the first four months of the year and feels that can be attributed to more people getting outside with the coming of warmer weather.  Like other manufacturers, Wells Manufacturing is not limited to the number and kind of toys it can produce.  Imagination is essential in the toy business.

In recent years, there has been much talk about the safety of many toys.  Uible commented that competition probably has much to do with marketing of unsafe toys.  For example the item which looks prettier, sells better.  One of the safety precautions which Wells is most concerned with is the use of non-leaded materials.

When George Wells of Dayton started the manufacturing why did he choose New Vienna for its location.  Why not the city?  Maybe he wanted to move away from the crowded city and the hundreds of industrial complexes sitting on top of each other.  Labor recruitment would be no problem for there weren't any big businesses in New Vienna.  And instead of drawing workers from all over who-knows-where, he was assured of dependable local help.

It worked for Wells as it as for so many other plants that establish themselves in small towns.  The atmosphere is right.  As Uible said, "I try to know the first names of all my employees."  The people look like they enjoy their work and it shows by the thousands of quality toys the factory turns out each day.