Auglaize County Historical Society

Auglaize County Historical Society The Auglaize County Historical Society collects, preserves, interprets, and shares the history of Auglaize County, enriching lives by connecting people and communities to the past and to each other.
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04/18/2019

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We thank our friends at the New Knoxville Historical Society for helping the community celebrate the Apollo 11 anniversa...
04/15/2019

We thank our friends at the New Knoxville Historical Society for helping the community celebrate the Apollo 11 anniversary They do a wonderful job sharing the story of New Knoxville and Washington Township!

The Historical Society is very happy to announce that, late last week, it was accepted into the Marketing Essentials "Pa...
04/14/2019

The Historical Society is very happy to announce that, late last week, it was accepted into the Marketing Essentials "Pay It Forward" program! Marketing Essentials, which is based in New Bremen, will be providing the Historical Society with much-welcomed assistance in marketing and social media efforts, expanding the reach of our mission to more folks in Auglaize County and beyond. We are so grateful to Patty Cisco and all the staff at Marketing Essentials for this opportunity, especially ACHS member Angie Klosterman!
https://mktgessentials.com/

The Historical Society is so proud to be part of the Apollo 11 Anniversary and commemorate such an important milestone f...
04/14/2019

The Historical Society is so proud to be part of the Apollo 11 Anniversary and commemorate such an important milestone for Auglaize County and the world!

On Friday Donna Grube and Rachel Barber conducted the first training session for step-on guides. We have several dozen charter buses visiting here this summer, and want to help all those folks understand "The Armstrong Experience." Our first group of trainees included Kay and Rollie Wellington, Nancy Freymuth, Dave and Rebecca Ingebo, Will Crawford, Kris Bowersock, and Melanie Fullenkamp. Thanks to St. Paul Church, the Wapakoneta Y, and all our new guides!

Because of many scheduling issues,  Trivia will now be held on Friday, April 26, 7:30 pm at the Wapakoneta Eagles.  Ther...
04/13/2019

Because of many scheduling issues, Trivia will now be held on Friday, April 26, 7:30 pm at the Wapakoneta Eagles. There's still time to gather a team and join the fun! Just contact the Historical Society. We have dozens of reat prizes for players and audience members alike. [email protected] or via this page.

The April 25 bus trip to Dayton is now sold out.  We will accept registrations from folks for the waiting list only. We ...
04/11/2019

The April 25 bus trip to Dayton is now sold out. We will accept registrations from folks for the waiting list only. We will alsobesending out an email in the next few days to those who have registered. Thank you for such great support!

The Wapakoneta Museum, 206 West Main Street, will be open Sunday, April 14, from 1 to 4 pm. Admission is free, but donat...
04/11/2019

The Wapakoneta Museum, 206 West Main Street, will be open Sunday, April 14, from 1 to 4 pm. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome. HVAC problems will prevent the Mooney Museum from opening this week. Thank you.

04/11/2019

This afternoon our friend and former ACHS trustee Stan Davis was surprised with the Greater Grand Lake Region Visitors Center's Ambassador Award at the organization's annual awards luncheon. The Ambassador Award is "dedicated to an individual honored for significant contributions to the tourism industry and support of the Greater Grand Lake Region Visitors Center." Stan is involved in many local organizations and is absolutely pivotal to the annual Walk with Nature held each fall in St. Marys. For the historical society Stan is still very involved as a volunteer and chief of care & maintenance for the Mooney Museum. Thank you, Stan, for all you do for our community--unselfishly and without thought of recognition. ACHS is proud to be your friend!

04/11/2019

This afternoon our friend and former ACHS trustee Stan Davis was surprised with the Greater Grand Lake Region Visitors Center's Ambassador Award at the organization's annual awards luncheon. The Ambassador Award is "dedicated to an individual honored for significant contributions to the tourism industry and support of the Greater Grand Lake Region Visitors Center." Stan is involved in many local organizations and is absolutely pivotal to the annual Walk with Nature held each fall in St. Marys. For the historical society Stan is still very involved as a volunteer and chief of care & maintenance for the Mooney Museum. Thank you, Stan, for all you do for our community--unselfishly and without thought of recognition. ACHS is proud to be your friend!

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04/08/2019

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First on the Moon
04/08/2019

First on the Moon

April 4, 1969--CBS bans the Smothers Brothers. Three days later, Walter Cronkite opens the evening newscast by confirming that the Smothers Brothers have been replaced by Hee Haw – effective immediately. But because it takes two months to assemble a typical Hee-Haw segment, CBS has to fill the time period with specials until Hee Haw premieres on June 15.
Join us Monday night, 6:30 pm at the Wapakoneta Library!

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was one of the most popular movies of 1969.  Learn more about this fascinating year M...
04/07/2019

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was one of the most popular movies of 1969. Learn more about this fascinating year Monday night, 6:30, Wapakoneta Library, with Dr. Matt Donahue from Bowling Green State University! Support was generously provided by the Ohio Humanities Council.

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04/06/2019

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Schedule Change:  ACHS' friend, the Columbus Maennerchor,  was originally scheduled to appear on April 28. Because the c...
04/06/2019

Schedule Change: ACHS' friend, the Columbus Maennerchor, was originally scheduled to appear on April 28. Because the choir wanted to present an extra thematically-appropriate concert, the concert has been moved to SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2 pm, still at the First Church in New Knoxville. All are welcome to enjoy the music of Neil Armstrong's ancestral home (on his mother's side)!

LOTS of things happened in the world in 1969, including the first inauguration of President Richard Nixon.  Learn more a...
04/05/2019

LOTS of things happened in the world in 1969, including the first inauguration of President Richard Nixon. Learn more at Monday's fascinating presentation, “Pop Culture and its Place in 1969,” by Dr. Matt Donahue, Bowling Green State University, 6:30 pm at the Wapakoneta Library. Made possible by the Ohio Humanities Council.

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04/02/2019

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Last but certainly not least:  Katie Horstman  (b. 1935)Katie Horstman was born on a farm east of Minster.  When she was...
03/31/2019

Last but certainly not least: Katie Horstman (b. 1935)
Katie Horstman was born on a farm east of Minster. When she was young, she played barnyard ball with her five brothers and two sisters. Katie played in her first organized fast-pitch softball for CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) in the 6th grade. She had played in CYO for four years when she was spotted by a scout at the age of 15. “Within a week, her dream of playing ball every day became a reality.”
During her first season with the American Girls Professional Baseball League, she pitched and played right field and established a .256 batting average.
By 1952 her strength had developed enough to become a third baseman as well as a pitcher. She played in 90 games and helped the Fort Wayne Daisies with their first pennant.
The AGPBBL disbanded in 1955, after which Katie played for the All American Girls touring team, which vied against minor league men’s teams. The team won 90% of its games “because we knew how to play good fundamental baseball.”
After her career in baseball ended, Katie went to college, became a nun, and earned a degree in Physical Education. She later left the convent and taught, in the process, earning five consecutive state track championships.FINN

Sibbell Dressback (d. 1882)In this, the only known photograph of Sibbell Dressback, she “strikes a proud, serious, dis...
03/31/2019

Sibbell Dressback (d. 1882)
In this, the only known photograph of Sibbell Dressback, she “strikes a proud, serious, distinguished-looking pose in her 1880s-style black taffeta dress.” An herbal healer and successful midwife, Sibbell was known as the “Indian Woman Doctor” of Kossuth.
She was born in Champaign County, and is thought to have been a member of several American Indian tribes. She married a white man, Dr. Zebedee Dressback, with whom she had two sons.
Sibbell died of tuberculosis on January 7, 1882. She is buried just outside the Kossuth cemetery. Her stone is inscribed, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”
--from an article in the Dayton Dayton News by Steve Bennish

Only about a dozen seats remain for our April 25th trip to Dayton's aviation sites, including the National Landmark Wrig...
03/31/2019

Only about a dozen seats remain for our April 25th trip to Dayton's aviation sites, including the National Landmark Wright III flyer. Plan to join us!

We still have time to honor a few more of Auglaize County's innumerable outstanding women.  Here is Ruby Long, 1909-1997...
03/31/2019

We still have time to honor a few more of Auglaize County's innumerable outstanding women. Here is Ruby Long, 1909-1997:
Under her class picture as a 1926 graduate of Blume High School, yearbook editors describe Ruby Long as “one who is able to accomplish great things by perseverance.” Ruby received a bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University, then taught 14 years in Auglaize County schools and 31 in Wapakoneta schools. She compiled the history of the First United Methodist Church for the congregation’s sesquicentennial in 1988. A volunteer with the American Red Cross Bloodmobile, Ruby was recognized as the first 10-gallon blood donor in Wapakoneta. After she retired from teaching, Ruby volunteered at the Wapakoneta Manor and Auglaize Acres.
Ruby was a recipient of many awards, including Woman of the Year (Business and Professional Association), Service to Mankind (Sertoma), and Citizen of the Year (Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce). In 1991 Ruby was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, the first resident of Auglaize County to receive this honor.
Above all her awards and accolades, we know that Ruby would most cherish Barbara Wibbeler’s statement: “Miss Long was a wonderful influence on my life.”

More for Women's HIstory Month:  Hazel Shannon moved with her parents and brother to Wapakoneta in 1913, but this was no...
03/29/2019

More for Women's HIstory Month: Hazel Shannon moved with her parents and brother to Wapakoneta in 1913, but this was no ordinary family. They were “The Four Original Shannons,” a stage act that had performed on the same bill as “The Three Keatons” and “The Four Cohans.” The Shannons formed their own road company and played throughout Ohio and states beyond. All the while they maintained a winter home on West Auglaize Street in Wapakoneta. Hazel would later marry and move away from Wapakoneta, but she probably never wore a bigger hat than she did in this photograph.

The Historical Society will host the presentation “Pop Culture in the Context of 1969” with Dr. Matthew Donahue on M...
03/27/2019

The Historical Society will host the presentation “Pop Culture in the Context of 1969” with Dr. Matthew Donahue on Monday, April 8, at 6:30 pm at the Auglaize County Public Library, Perry Street, Wapakoneta. Presented in conjunction with the First on the Moon/Apollo 11 anniversary, the event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Matthew Donahue is a lecturer in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University, specializing in topics related to popular culture, popular music, film, media and culture and popular culture and the arts. He has lectured on such topics regionally, nationally and internationally and has served as an authority on popular culture topics for national and international publications.
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Donahue is also a musician, artist, filmmaker and writer. As a musician, he has released sound recordings in a variety of rock and roll genres. His academic and creative efforts can be viewed at www.md1210.com.
Space exploration occurred within the context of everything else going on in America and around the world. Think of it—Woodstock happened in 1969, as did the tragedy during the Rolling Stones' concert at Altamont. Sesame Street debuted in 1969, as did the movies Midnight Cowboy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Easy Rider. The FCC banned all cigarette advertising on television and radio in 1969, President Nixon was inaugurated, and the Stonewall Riots occurred, launching the Gay Rights Movement. The year 1969 would have been memorable even without the Apollo 11 Moon Landing!
Dr. Donahue's appearance in Auglaize County is made possible by the Ohio Humanities Council.

Another great Auglaize County woman, as Women's History Month draws to a close: Louise Miller (1905-2003)Louise Miller w...
03/27/2019

Another great Auglaize County woman, as Women's History Month draws to a close: Louise Miller (1905-2003)
Louise Miller was born and raised in Wapakoneta. She studied piano, violin, and voice extensively, and was considered a child prodigy. Louise, her mother, and their friend Edna Crawford formed a trio, which Louise recalled for the county oral history project:
“Two violins and a harp. We played, here, there, and other places….During World War I they tried to drum up interest so that people would pay money into a fund they had. They decided to have a parade, Our trio was on a flatbed truck with a wooden solider on some kind of cot and a Red Cross nurse by him….”
After graduating from Blume High School, Louise earned certificates in violin and public school music from the Cincinnati Conservatory. From 1925 to 1938 she performed (as a soloist and an actress) with the Shannon Players, the theater troupe based in Wapakoneta that traveled throughout the Midwest.
After her return home Louise began working at the Blume Library. She served in many capacities, but may be best remembered as the Bookmobile Lady. In 1961 she achieved the position of Head Librarian. She was associated with the library during the construction of the current Wapakoneta building, as well as the development of the village branches. Louise retired from the library with more than three decades of service.
After recovering from near-fatal bout of meningitis, which left her almost deaf, Louise went to live at the Wapakoneta Manor, which became her home for 17 years. She served as the postal carrier there, delivering mail to the other residents.
Her friend Tootie Rickert provides the best testimonial for Louise’s life: “She was a sweet, loving, tender person, who was kind to everybody.”

The Historical Society is still seeking the stories of Auglaize County men and women, living and deceased, involved in a...
03/25/2019

The Historical Society is still seeking the stories of Auglaize County men and women, living and deceased, involved in aviation and/or space. Please contact [email protected] or this page. Thank you/

Join the historical society on its special aviation-focused bus trip to the Dayton area on April 25.  We have a very ful...
03/25/2019

Join the historical society on its special aviation-focused bus trip to the Dayton area on April 25. We have a very full day planned!

Here is an amazing photograph that John Zwez sent us of what is now St. Paul UCC in Wapakoneta.  The church faces Perry ...
03/24/2019

Here is an amazing photograph that John Zwez sent us of what is now St. Paul UCC in Wapakoneta. The church faces Perry Steret. The steeple in the background on the left, while the steeple/tower in the background on the right is Williamson School. We've included the illustration of St. Paul from the 1880 county atlas for comparison. Thanks, John!

Less than one week remains to register your team for Trivia 2019, to be held on Friday, April 5, 7:30 pm at the St. Mary...
03/23/2019

Less than one week remains to register your team for Trivia 2019, to be held on Friday, April 5, 7:30 pm at the St. Marys Eagles! Don't you and your family and/or friends and/or coworkers wanted to be known as the Smartest People in Auglaize County? More than $1500 in great prizes await, including a score of door prizes just for showing up! Register today! All proceeds benefit the Historical Society.

The Mooney and Wapakoneta Museums will be open on Sunday from 1 to 4  pm.  Admission is free, but donations are welcome....
03/22/2019

The Mooney and Wapakoneta Museums will be open on Sunday from 1 to 4 pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Stop by and visit!

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03/20/2019

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More from Throwback.  We appreciate all the support!
03/20/2019

More from Throwback. We appreciate all the support!

Thanks again to all who made last week's Throwback Thursday such a success. Here are our celebrity bartenders, Cindy Wal...
03/20/2019

Thanks again to all who made last week's Throwback Thursday such a success. Here are our celebrity bartenders, Cindy Walkup, Mike Burkholder, and Tom Vehorn!

Thanks to the nice group that came out last night for our 1st Quarter Membership Meeting at the Lockkeepers House, New B...
03/19/2019

Thanks to the nice group that came out last night for our 1st Quarter Membership Meeting at the Lockkeepers House, New Bremen. We all enjoyed learning about the history of the space program and learning about what's new at the Armstrong Museum from executive director Dante Centuori. And thanks to the Southwestern Auglaize Chamber for allowing us to use this convenient and beautiful space.

Another Outstanding Auglaize County resident for Women's History Month: K.C. Geiger.A 1923 graduate of St. Marys High Sc...
03/19/2019

Another Outstanding Auglaize County resident for Women's History Month: K.C. Geiger.
A 1923 graduate of St. Marys High School, Kathryn C. “K.C”. Geiger (1905-1975) was employed at the Evening Leader newspaper from shortly before her graduation until her retirement in 1974. She served as editor from 1944 until 1974, and was then named editor emeritus.
Geiger was also St. Marys News correspondent to the Lima News, Dayton Daily News, Dayton Journal-Herald, Toledo Blade, and Columbus Dispatch. “Instrumental in the formation of a number of local and countywide groups and organizations,” Geiger even served a stint as St. Marys treasurer. She was a charter member of the St. Marys Soroptimists and the Auglaize County Historical Society.
“It is almost unbelievable that for a full one-third of our existence that this remarkable person has recorded the births, marriages, deaths and ‘goings on’ of Saint Marys. Her keen memory for details is matched by the wisdom of her editorials. She has guided her community with a firm and benevolent hand. Saint Marys owes her a great debt of gratitude.” (from “The Saint Marys Story,” published as part of the 1973 sesquicentennial of the community)

Thanks to our celebrity bartenders, Cindy Walkup, Mike Burkholder, and Tom Vehorn, and all those who supported the Histo...
03/16/2019

Thanks to our celebrity bartenders, Cindy Walkup, Mike Burkholder, and Tom Vehorn, and all those who supported the Historical Society by attending Throwback Thursday! And thanks to the Wapakoneta Daily News for covering this and all our events!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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03/15/2019

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Another of the greats for Women's History Month:Elizabeth Yahl Kuffner (1905-1993) was born on her parents’ farm north...
03/13/2019

Another of the greats for Women's History Month:
Elizabeth Yahl Kuffner (1905-1993) was born on her parents’ farm north of St. Marys. After graduating from St. Marys High School, she attended Fort Wayne Business College. She then returned home and worked in the medical offices of the Noble family.
Elizabeth Yahl moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the Department of Agriculture. She met and married Fred Kuffner, with whom she had two children, Jack and Betty Ruth.
Kuffner then attended medical school at George Washington University, graduating in 1937. Dr. Kuffner completed her internship at Women’s Hospital of Medicine, Cleveland, after which she opened a practice in St. Marys.
During World War II, Dr. Kuffner volunteered to serve as Medical Director of a U.S. Army Ordnance Depot in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. During the Korean War, she enlisted in the army, becoming the second woman commissioned as an officer, and earning the rank of major. She was stationed in Japan during the war, as physician in charge of the emergency department at Tokyo Army Hospital.
After her tour of duty with the army, Dr. Kuffner returned to St. Marys. She was instrumental in the establishment of Joint Township District Memorial Hospital, and served a term as chief of staff. She delivered the first baby born at the hospital, as well as its first sets of twins and triplets.

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206 W Main St
Wapakoneta, OH
45895

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