Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ohio Family History Site Visits to Wright State U Archives and Mansfield Reformatory Spring 2015

 After a refreshing visit to Deerfield IL at the Chestnut Lodge on Sunday,  I drove down to the Dayton area even driving through Pendelton IN, as the magnolia's, daffodils, and even a red bud, were seen with the opening of flower buds, ah more colors and the surging of the life force reaching to the warmth of the sun!    I had been working on Noah Elwood Weaver's extensive photographic albums, and met Geno Pasi, an archivist at the Paul Laurence Dunbar library at a Tuesday morning meeting to hand over five of NEW's albums ( or "scrapbooks") as Geno referred to them.  So here I am at the door with a container carrying a gift to support the research on the history of the Miami River Valley area that NEW documented so well, through the loving lens of his cameras for the first half of the 20th Century. 
 Here on the table in the archives, I have two flash drives, on top of the box, with the name Oerlikon, 4 gig hard drives that are a advertizing gift from Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum, one of the vacuum components and systems manufacturers, we represent at Torvac in the Twin Cities. Grateful I could provide Geno and the staff with digital back up copies, many in tiff format for stability to supplement that hard copy photos.  I was informed that likely a "processor" would be found by Sept of this year to work with me to develop the "finding aids" that a search engine like "Google" would lead people to find their family members.  One example I used was the Tom Roehm Family with Gladys Cotterman Roehm whose adopted son Laurence "Tim " Riechenderfer traveled together with Paul Henry, Edna and Noah Elwood Weaver in 1928, in two cars down through KY, and TN to the Great Smokies in NC, driving to the peak of Mt Mitchell, then into VA's Natural Bridge site and finally to U of Virginia and  Mt Vernon, then Camping in Washington DC, driving and walked up the the portico of the White House with no fences in view!  A drive back to Ohio on the National Hwy through MD, PA, into Ohio and back home, are documented in two black albums I left at the Library.

Mansfield Ohio State Reformatory  - Hans Hansen who married a Brandt, began working here to teach men about furniture building in 1911.   Here are some of  the evocative 1914 - 22 images that inspired me to visit Mansfield, where Hans was a reformer of young men! 

 1914 Hans Hansen with Henry Eicher (my great grandfather) in front of the Mansfield Ohio State Reformatory.
 1917 at Hansen Home in Canton Ohio -Discovered on the back of some of the photos,  733 Lawrence St, Canton OH, and looks like built into a hill.  Will research the city directory for Canton.  Looks like a considerable commute to Mansfield.  (about 60 miles on the Lincoln Hiway)
 1917 Noah Elwood looking at Hansen family car. and washing it!
1917 Noah Elwood Weaver and Paul Henry, age 7 with Hansen car in front of 733 Lawrence, Canton
 1917 on cement stairs.  Niel Esburn Hansen (age 27), Edna Weaver (behind age 32    ), woman may be Helen Sanders, (age 26 )whom Niel married in 1919?), Paul Henry Weaver (age 7) , Josephine "Phinnie" Brandt Hansen (age 51), sitting man ?, Henry Eicher (age72)
 1917 Hans and Phinnie Hansen Home, 733 Lawrence, Canton OH, Lower garage with porch,  Paul H Weaver and Henry Eicher on porch.   Noah Elwood Weaver, 1912-20 large black album.

1917  Ring throw game, Paul H Weaver next to board, with unidentified boy ready to throw on chair.
Noah Elwood Weaver photo.  Large Black 1912-20's Album

It appears that Noah Elwood and his son Paul Henry visited the Mansfield Reformatory again in 1922.  On a page with 4 images, Paul Henry is feeding ducks at the pond in front where on the same page a walk way to a gazebo is featured.   The imposing building is captured in 1922 from the front and side to see how much of the structure has been preserved for the 21st Century.

1922 Page with "Uncle Hans" talking with Edna Eicher Weaver, and "Phenie" Josephine Brandt Hansen below on the steps to the Office of the Reformatory.  Henry Eicher is standing with the straw hat with 11 year old Paul Henry Weaver on the right.
1922 Paul Henry Weaver, Mansfield reformatory pond feeding ducks.  By Noah Elwood Weaver

 1922  Walkway to gazebo on the pond in front of the Mansfield Reformatory.

 1922 View of the Mansfield Reformatory Campus, looking from the south east, by Noah Elwood Weaver cousin of Hans O Hansen through the Brandt lineage.
 1922 view of the front of the Mansfield Reformatory, when my father PH Weaver was still alive, he identified Hans O Hansen as "Uncle Hans", when I wrote this in white, CA 1981 the years before my father died.

Connection of Hans Hansen, who married Josephine, "Phenie", Brandt, to the Ohio Reformatory in Mansfield - current history of this iconic building, made famous in the film Schawshenk Redemption, released in 1994.

I met with Paul Smith, the current executive director of the site yesterday, April 14, 2015 and he related that this building was ready for the wrecking ball, at the time a crew came to film the Schawshenk Redemption, released in 1994.  For more info.
And here are my current wheels, my 2005 Dodge Caravan along with my bike outside of what remains of the building.  View from the south east that one can compare to the 1922 image above.

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