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      January

      18. Jan. 1, 1989 - Courthouse's centennial
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 1, 1989
      Courthouse centennial in February
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      Next month will mark 100 years of official use of the Butler County Courthouse in downtown Hamilton. It was accepted and occupied by the county Feb. 4,1889.
       
      The four-story structure — the third building of its kind on the site — cost about $305,000.
       
      By contrast, a two-year restoration program completed in 1980 cost $1.8 million — or about six times the original sum.
       
      Five buildings, including a part of the fort, have housed courts in the county.
       
      The first Ohio General Assembly created Butler County March 24,1803, three weeks after Ohio became the 17th state. After consideration of several sites, Hamilton was chosen as the county seat July 15, 1803.
       
      The county's first court sessions and other government functions had to be held in existing buildings.
       
      The first term of the Butler County Common Pleas Court was conducted in July 1803 in a tavern operated by John Torrence at the corner of Dayton and Water (now Monument) streets.
       
      Later, courts were housed in a building which had been part of Fort Hamilton in the 1790s.
       
      In 1803 Israel Ludlow, the founder of Hamilton, donated land for a public square. But it wasn't until 1810 that a two-story, multi-purpose building was erected on the south side of the public square. Courtrooms were on the second floor, above the jail, an arrangement that lasted only seven years.
       
      In 1817 a second courthouse was built on the same square. It was the county justice center from April 1817 until June 1885, when demolition began.
       
      The Ohio General Assembly approved funding for the third courthouse Jan. 28, 1885. Plans were approved by the county commissioners, Thomas Slade, Eli Long and L. N. Bonham. The architects were D. W. Gibb & Co., Toledo, a company responsible for designing several courthouses in the nation.
       
      The cornerstone for the present building was placed in ceremonies Oct. 29, 1885. Construction required more than three years.
       
      Since completion in 1889, the courthouse has survived fire, floods, storms and other natural and man-made problems. It also has been altered several times.
       
      Some structural changes had to be made when fire hit the courthouse March 14, 1912. The blaze was believed to have started in defective wiring in a cupola atop the building. Three Hamilton firefighters were killed when the weakened courthouse tower collapsed.
       
      The tower had to be changed again in the early 1920s when it was damaged in a storm.
       
      Several times from the late 1940s through the mid 1970s the future of the building was in doubt. Some proposals were considered for replacing the overcrowded building, or enlarging It with modern additions.
       
      In 1975 county commissioners approved construction of a county administrative building on the north side of High Street, opposite the courthouse.
       
      When completed, non-court related county offices were moved to the administration building, making it possible to renovate the courthouse.
       
      Architect Gerald S. Hammond, in notes on the 1980 renovation, said the building's design "would not have been considered grandiose by standards of the time" (1885).
       
      But Hammond said details — including the use of imported granite, marble, plate glass and solid black walnut — "would be considered luxurious by today's standards."
       
      # # #
       
      19. Jan. 8, 1989 - Grand plans for riverfront
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 8, 1989
      Grand plans for riverfront: Anthony Wayne Hotel
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      Demolition is scheduled next month for the Anthony Wayne, Hamilton's 100-room showcase hotel of the booming 1920s.
       
      The Anthony Wayne Hotel and The Hamiltonian, its modern successor, have much in common. Both were results of determined civic campaigns and both overlook the Great Miami River.
       
      "Picturesque views of the river for miles in both directions and the interesting background formed by the western hills combine to make the travelers sojourn in Hamilton one of delightful interest," said an architect at the 1987 opening.
       
      The decade of the 1920s was one of expansion and refinement for Hamilton, then a city of about 51,000 people occupying 11,000 households. Local industrial employment in 1927 — when the Anthony Wayne opened — topped 22,600.
       
      In December 1924, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce named a committee to select a consultant to study Hamilton's hotel needs and evaluate possible sites. The report, released in March 1925, recommended 100 to 150 rooms and estimated the cost at $700,000 to 750,000.
       
      The site and the name were chosen before the Nov. 17, 1925, kickoff of the drive to sell stock. In three days 746 people and organizations subscribed to $537,600 in shares.
       
      Incorporation was completed Dec. 3, the first stockholders' meeting and election of officers was held Dec. 9 and architects were chosen Jan. 5, 1926.
       
      Plans developed by Fred G Mueller and Walter H. Hair, local architects, and George H. Post & Sons of New York were accepted March 11, 1926.
       
      The site — which cost about $71,000 — extended 200 feet along South Monument Avenue and 85 feet on High and Court streets. Demolition of existing buildings began May 4, 1926.
       
      The F. K. Vaughn Bldg. Co. of Hamilton, the general contractor, began work on the $650,000, seven-story, 100-room hotel in September 1926.
       
      It was named for the general who won a frontier Indian war in Ohio (1792-1795) after two previous military campaigns (1790-1791) had failed. The hotel was built on a portion of the site of Fort Hamilton, which had been an important supply base for Gen. Wayne's army.
       
      The opening in the fall of 1927 was a three-day event, starting Oct. 27, with a banquet attended by 250 people. Among the attractions was the appearance of 50 Blackfoot Indians from Glacier National Park in Montana, who were brought here by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
       
      The Hamilton Community Hotel Corp., which included local investors, was the owner of the hotel.
       
      The Anthony Wayne was managed until Dec. 1, 1946, by the American Hotel Corp., which operated several hotels, including large units in New York, Philadelphia and Montreal. R. W. Witmer was the hotel's first manager.
       
      For most of its years, the Anthony Wayne was the first-class hotel which city leaders had sought.
       
      It opened just two years before the start of the Great Depression and never prospered. Original stockholders never collected a dividend. When the HCHC was liquidated, investors received $80.70 on each $100 of stock.
       
      It operated under different ownership after 1948 and — following an 11-month labor dispute — was placed in receivership in November 1963.
       
      The Anthony Wayne Hotel closed May 10, 1964, and a sheriff's sale Aug. 18, 1964, attracted only one bid, $136,667. The new owner remodeled and converted it into 54 apartments.
       
      Now the property belongs to the Star Bank of Butler County, which plans to build a $9 million, eight-story riverfront office center after demolition of the 60-year-old Anthony Wayne.
       
      # # #
       
      20. Jan. 15, 1989 - Butler County's First Lady
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 15, 1989
      Butler County's first lady, Caroline Scott Harrison
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      National attention this week will be on the inauguration of a new president. Sharing much of the limelight will be a new first lady. A similar transition 100 years ago attracted more than usual notice in Butler County, especially in Oxford.
       
      On a windy, rainy Monday — March 4, 1889 — Ben and Carrie Harrison became the nation's first couple.
       
      The new president — who was born Aug. 20, 1833, in nearby North Bend — was an 1852 graduate of Miami University.
       
      The new first lady was an Oxford native who completed her education in 1853 at Oxford Female Institute. Their marriage of 39 years also had started in Oxford, and their first child was born there.
       
      Caroline Lavina Scott was born Oct. 1,1832, in Oxford, a daughter of John and Mary Scott.
       
      Her father, John Witherspoon Scott, was a Presbyterian minister who was on the Miami faculty from 1828 until 1845. In 1845, Dr. Scott moved to College Hill — then north of Cincinnati — to teach at Farmers' College and to help establish the Ohio Female Institute.
       
      Carrie Scott met her future husband there while Ben was a student at Farmers' College.
       
      In 1849 Dr. Scott returned to Oxford as principal of the Oxford Female Institute, a move that also attracted Ben Harrison to Miami, where he graduated in 1852.
       
      The next year — Oct. 20, 1853 — Carrie and Ben were married in the Scott home in Oxford with her father performing the ceremony.
       
      In April 1854, after Ben was admitted to the bar, the couple moved to Indianapolis where he began a political career which climaxed in 1888 with his election as president.
       
      During Harrison's term, Carrie attracted her share of the Washington headlines as she brought public attention and new stature to the White House.
       
      "I am anxious to see the family of the president provided for properly, and while I am here I hope to get the present building put into good condition," she told reporters. Carrie supervised the details of White House remodeling, ranging from exterminating vermin to repairing floors and furniture, and installing electricity.
       
      The removal of an old china closet sparked an interest in tableware of past presidents. It resulted in Carrie's starting the White House collection of china which has become a major tourist attraction.
       
      It also led Carrie to design a new set, featuring a cornstalk-and-flower border.
       
      A publication of the White House Historical Association says her White House work "represents not only the first major effort to give the house new functions, but also the first to bring it an historic perspective."
       
      While first lady, she also was the first President General of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, organized in October 1890.
       
      But the first lady's varied activities ended when she became ill in the summer of 1891 and bedridden by that winter.
       
      She died of tuberculosis Oct. 25, 1892, at age 60, in the renovated White House, only days before her husband failed to win a second term.
       
      The Oxford native was only the second first lady to die before her husband's term ended.
       
      After a funeral in the East Room, her body was sent to Indianapolis for burial.
       
      Her father, Dr. John W. Scott, survived her by little more than a month. He died Nov. 29, 1892, in the White House his daughter had refurbished.
       
      # # #
       
      21. Jan. 22, 1989 - County's tie to Oval Office
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 22, 1989
      Lige Halford, county's tie to Oval Office
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      Elijah Walker Halford is an obscure name in Hamilton history. But 100 years ago he held one of the most powerful positions in the nation.
       
      Lige Halford — as he was known — in 1889 headed the White House staff of President Benjamin Harrison, controlling the visitors and the information which went into the Oval Office.
       
      His official title was private secretary to the chief executive. The comparable position today is White House chief of staff. In the new administration of President George Bush, that post was assumed this weekend by John Sununu.
       
      Halford's salary was reported as $3,250 for directing a 24-man White House staff -- much smaller than the hundreds who now handle similar details.
       
      In 33 years Halford had come a long way from his lowly first job in Hamilton during his austere youth.
       
      According to burial records at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Lige Halford was born Sept. 4, 1842, in Nottingham, England.
       
      His immigrant family settled in Hamilton early in the 1850s after a brief residence in Cincinnati. Here, the Halfords resided on Main Street.
       
      His father, a tailor, died in 1856, leaving 13-year-old Lige to support his mother and four brothers and sisters. Halford found a job as a printer's devil in the office of the Hamilton Intelligencer, a weekly newspaper.
       
      Those were the days of handset type, and Lige Halford inherited the composing stick of William Dean Howells, later a noted writer and editor, who also began his literary career at the Intelligencer.
       
      After a year, Halford became a writer. A contemporary said his first article urged the abandonment of the pioneer cemetery in the Fourth Ward Park and conversion of the land between South Third, South Fourth and Sycamore streets to a park.
       
      Halford left in Hamilton in 1862, the second year of the Civil War. He moved to Indianapolis to become a reporter for the Indianapolis Journal. In a few year he was managing editor.
       
      Later, he went to the Chicago Inter-Ocean as managing editor, but soon returned to his old job at the Indianapolis Journal.
       
      Halford, who specialized in political editorials, also was a private secretary to Sen. Oliver Morton of Indiana.
       
      The Indianapolis editor was active in the Harrison campaign of 1888 when the Indiana senator defeated Grover Cleveland, the incumbent president.
       
      Halford is said to have been a principal author of the 1888 Republican platform, collaborating with Ohioan William McKinley, a future president.
       
      Halford and President Harrison — a native of North Bend and an 1852 graduate of Miami University — became close friends and political allies as their careers rose in prominence.
       
      The appointment of Halford as private secretary was Harrison's first official act after his election.
       
      In moving to Washington, Lige Halford was reunited with a younger brother, A. J. Halford, also a journalist who was then a member of the Washington bureau of The Associated Press.
       
      Harrison served only one term as president, losing to Cleveland in the 1892 election.
       
      Before the end of his term, he rewarded Halford with a life-time appointment as a paymaster in the U. S. Army with the rank of major.
       
      The editor and public servant, whose formative years were in Hamilton, died Feb. 27, 1938, at the age of 95.
       
      # # #
       
      22. Jan. 29, 1989 - Evidence of the moundbuilders:
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 29, 1989
      Butler County haven for archaeologists; evidence of moundbuilders plentiful
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      "Butler County may truthfully be said to be one of the most interesting spots on the continent so far as its archaeological remains are concerned." said John P. MacLean in describing the area 110 years ago
       
      In his study of prehistoric Butler County. MacLean said that "with the exception of Ross County it contains more ancient earthworks or enclosures than any-other county in the state,"
       
      Mysterious moundbuilders occupied parts of Ohio for nearly 2,000 years, starting about 1000 B. C.
       
      "They have left no written history, and all that is known concerning them is gathered from the monuments consisting of mounds, enclosures, implements, etc., which they have left behind," explained MacLean m his book, The Moundbuilders, Archaeologhy of Butler County, Ohio. published in 1879 by Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati.
       
      But MacLean also warned in 1879 that "the monuments of Butler County are fast becoming obliterated."
       
      By 1879 Butler County had about 42,000 residents, mostly engaged in farming. Their plows -- and the steady growth of towns -- gradually were eliminating the prehistoric structures.
       
      After measuring and mapping many of Butler County's earthworks, MacLean concluded that "some other counties have more extensive enclosures, and perhaps more interesting, but do not present a greater variety, or a more complete system of protection" than these found here.
       
      About 13,000 mounds and enclosures were found in Ohio — with more than 250 in Butler County.
       
      "Within the borders of this county they erected 17 enclosures, eight of them within five miles of the city of Hamilton," noted MacLean.
       
      Archaeologists believe there were a variety of uses for the mounds, including worship and protection.
       
      Several mounds identified in MacLean's book as in townships now would be within Hamilton's corporate limits.
       
      For example. MacLean described an "interesting formation" in the northwestern quarter of section 29 of St. Clair Township on the estate of T. L. Rhea.
       
      He said it was "situated between the two forks of Two Mile" and "consists of a ridge about a quarter of a mile long, 100 feet wide at the base and 10 feet high. It bends in and out and rises and falls, giving the appearance of a serpent in motion."
       
      MacLean believed that some of the Butler County mounds were part of a prehistoric communications system.
       
      "Upon one of the highest hills in Madison Township stands the largest mound in the county. From it a fire on the Miamisburg mound could be easily seen," said MacLean. "The watchmen then lighting his fire could warn the watchmen on the other towers almost instantly."
       
      This mound — which survives in section 19, north of Trenton and east of Wayne-Madison Road — was one of 12 reported in Madison Township.
       
      "Its altitude is 43 feet with a circular base of 511 feet," noted MacLean, who estimated its contents at 824,430 cubic feet.
       
      "At 22 clinic feet per load, this would give 36,476 wagonloads, which, allowing 10 loads per day, would take one man nearly 12 years (not including Sundays) to remove the mound, say a distance of one mile, MacLean calculated. "This will give you some idea of the great labor bestowed upon this structure."
       
      "But when we consider that the most primitive methods were used, and the earth carried in sacks thrown across the shoulders, or else in vessels, the labor, at once, is seen to have been stupendous."
       
      "This mound has a commanding view of the country for 20 miles around," said MacLean, who believed it was part of a signal system extending along the valley of the Great Miami River."
       
      # # #
      18. Jan. 1, 1989 - Courthouse's centennial
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 1, 1989
      Courthouse centennial in February
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      Next month will mark 100 years of official use of the Butler County Courthouse in downtown Hamilton. It was accepted and occupied by the county Feb. 4,1889.
       
      The four-story structure — the third building of its kind on the site — cost about $305,000.
       
      By contrast, a two-year restoration program completed in 1980 cost $1.8 million — or about six times the original sum.
       
      Five buildings, including a part of the fort, have housed courts in the county.
       
      The first Ohio General Assembly created Butler County March 24,1803, three weeks after Ohio became the 17th state. After consideration of several sites, Hamilton was chosen as the county seat July 15, 1803.
       
      The county's first court sessions and other government functions had to be held in existing buildings.
       
      The first term of the Butler County Common Pleas Court was conducted in July 1803 in a tavern operated by John Torrence at the corner of Dayton and Water (now Monument) streets.
       
      Later, courts were housed in a building which had been part of Fort Hamilton in the 1790s.
       
      In 1803 Israel Ludlow, the founder of Hamilton, donated land for a public square. But it wasn't until 1810 that a two-story, multi-purpose building was erected on the south side of the public square. Courtrooms were on the second floor, above the jail, an arrangement that lasted only seven years.
       
      In 1817 a second courthouse was built on the same square. It was the county justice center from April 1817 until June 1885, when demolition began.
       
      The Ohio General Assembly approved funding for the third courthouse Jan. 28, 1885. Plans were approved by the county commissioners, Thomas Slade, Eli Long and L. N. Bonham. The architects were D. W. Gibb & Co., Toledo, a company responsible for designing several courthouses in the nation.
       
      The cornerstone for the present building was placed in ceremonies Oct. 29, 1885. Construction required more than three years.
       
      Since completion in 1889, the courthouse has survived fire, floods, storms and other natural and man-made problems. It also has been altered several times.
       
      Some structural changes had to be made when fire hit the courthouse March 14, 1912. The blaze was believed to have started in defective wiring in a cupola atop the building. Three Hamilton firefighters were killed when the weakened courthouse tower collapsed.
       
      The tower had to be changed again in the early 1920s when it was damaged in a storm.
       
      Several times from the late 1940s through the mid 1970s the future of the building was in doubt. Some proposals were considered for replacing the overcrowded building, or enlarging It with modern additions.
       
      In 1975 county commissioners approved construction of a county administrative building on the north side of High Street, opposite the courthouse.
       
      When completed, non-court related county offices were moved to the administration building, making it possible to renovate the courthouse.
       
      Architect Gerald S. Hammond, in notes on the 1980 renovation, said the building's design "would not have been considered grandiose by standards of the time" (1885).
       
      But Hammond said details — including the use of imported granite, marble, plate glass and solid black walnut — "would be considered luxurious by today's standards."
       
      # # #
       
      19. Jan. 8, 1989 - Grand plans for riverfront
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 8, 1989
      Grand plans for riverfront: Anthony Wayne Hotel
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      Demolition is scheduled next month for the Anthony Wayne, Hamilton's 100-room showcase hotel of the booming 1920s.
       
      The Anthony Wayne Hotel and The Hamiltonian, its modern successor, have much in common. Both were results of determined civic campaigns and both overlook the Great Miami River.
       
      "Picturesque views of the river for miles in both directions and the interesting background formed by the western hills combine to make the travelers sojourn in Hamilton one of delightful interest," said an architect at the 1987 opening.
       
      The decade of the 1920s was one of expansion and refinement for Hamilton, then a city of about 51,000 people occupying 11,000 households. Local industrial employment in 1927 — when the Anthony Wayne opened — topped 22,600.
       
      In December 1924, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce named a committee to select a consultant to study Hamilton's hotel needs and evaluate possible sites. The report, released in March 1925, recommended 100 to 150 rooms and estimated the cost at $700,000 to 750,000.
       
      The site and the name were chosen before the Nov. 17, 1925, kickoff of the drive to sell stock. In three days 746 people and organizations subscribed to $537,600 in shares.
       
      Incorporation was completed Dec. 3, the first stockholders' meeting and election of officers was held Dec. 9 and architects were chosen Jan. 5, 1926.
       
      Plans developed by Fred G Mueller and Walter H. Hair, local architects, and George H. Post & Sons of New York were accepted March 11, 1926.
       
      The site — which cost about $71,000 — extended 200 feet along South Monument Avenue and 85 feet on High and Court streets. Demolition of existing buildings began May 4, 1926.
       
      The F. K. Vaughn Bldg. Co. of Hamilton, the general contractor, began work on the $650,000, seven-story, 100-room hotel in September 1926.
       
      It was named for the general who won a frontier Indian war in Ohio (1792-1795) after two previous military campaigns (1790-1791) had failed. The hotel was built on a portion of the site of Fort Hamilton, which had been an important supply base for Gen. Wayne's army.
       
      The opening in the fall of 1927 was a three-day event, starting Oct. 27, with a banquet attended by 250 people. Among the attractions was the appearance of 50 Blackfoot Indians from Glacier National Park in Montana, who were brought here by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
       
      The Hamilton Community Hotel Corp., which included local investors, was the owner of the hotel.
       
      The Anthony Wayne was managed until Dec. 1, 1946, by the American Hotel Corp., which operated several hotels, including large units in New York, Philadelphia and Montreal. R. W. Witmer was the hotel's first manager.
       
      For most of its years, the Anthony Wayne was the first-class hotel which city leaders had sought.
       
      It opened just two years before the start of the Great Depression and never prospered. Original stockholders never collected a dividend. When the HCHC was liquidated, investors received $80.70 on each $100 of stock.
       
      It operated under different ownership after 1948 and — following an 11-month labor dispute — was placed in receivership in November 1963.
       
      The Anthony Wayne Hotel closed May 10, 1964, and a sheriff's sale Aug. 18, 1964, attracted only one bid, $136,667. The new owner remodeled and converted it into 54 apartments.
       
      Now the property belongs to the Star Bank of Butler County, which plans to build a $9 million, eight-story riverfront office center after demolition of the 60-year-old Anthony Wayne.
       
      # # #
       
      20. Jan. 15, 1989 - Butler County's First Lady
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 15, 1989
      Butler County's first lady, Caroline Scott Harrison
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      National attention this week will be on the inauguration of a new president. Sharing much of the limelight will be a new first lady. A similar transition 100 years ago attracted more than usual notice in Butler County, especially in Oxford.
       
      On a windy, rainy Monday — March 4, 1889 — Ben and Carrie Harrison became the nation's first couple.
       
      The new president — who was born Aug. 20, 1833, in nearby North Bend — was an 1852 graduate of Miami University.
       
      The new first lady was an Oxford native who completed her education in 1853 at Oxford Female Institute. Their marriage of 39 years also had started in Oxford, and their first child was born there.
       
      Caroline Lavina Scott was born Oct. 1,1832, in Oxford, a daughter of John and Mary Scott.
       
      Her father, John Witherspoon Scott, was a Presbyterian minister who was on the Miami faculty from 1828 until 1845. In 1845, Dr. Scott moved to College Hill — then north of Cincinnati — to teach at Farmers' College and to help establish the Ohio Female Institute.
       
      Carrie Scott met her future husband there while Ben was a student at Farmers' College.
       
      In 1849 Dr. Scott returned to Oxford as principal of the Oxford Female Institute, a move that also attracted Ben Harrison to Miami, where he graduated in 1852.
       
      The next year — Oct. 20, 1853 — Carrie and Ben were married in the Scott home in Oxford with her father performing the ceremony.
       
      In April 1854, after Ben was admitted to the bar, the couple moved to Indianapolis where he began a political career which climaxed in 1888 with his election as president.
       
      During Harrison's term, Carrie attracted her share of the Washington headlines as she brought public attention and new stature to the White House.
       
      "I am anxious to see the family of the president provided for properly, and while I am here I hope to get the present building put into good condition," she told reporters. Carrie supervised the details of White House remodeling, ranging from exterminating vermin to repairing floors and furniture, and installing electricity.
       
      The removal of an old china closet sparked an interest in tableware of past presidents. It resulted in Carrie's starting the White House collection of china which has become a major tourist attraction.
       
      It also led Carrie to design a new set, featuring a cornstalk-and-flower border.
       
      A publication of the White House Historical Association says her White House work "represents not only the first major effort to give the house new functions, but also the first to bring it an historic perspective."
       
      While first lady, she also was the first President General of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, organized in October 1890.
       
      But the first lady's varied activities ended when she became ill in the summer of 1891 and bedridden by that winter.
       
      She died of tuberculosis Oct. 25, 1892, at age 60, in the renovated White House, only days before her husband failed to win a second term.
       
      The Oxford native was only the second first lady to die before her husband's term ended.
       
      After a funeral in the East Room, her body was sent to Indianapolis for burial.
       
      Her father, Dr. John W. Scott, survived her by little more than a month. He died Nov. 29, 1892, in the White House his daughter had refurbished.
       
      # # #
       
      21. Jan. 22, 1989 - County's tie to Oval Office
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 22, 1989
      Lige Halford, county's tie to Oval Office
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      Elijah Walker Halford is an obscure name in Hamilton history. But 100 years ago he held one of the most powerful positions in the nation.
       
      Lige Halford — as he was known — in 1889 headed the White House staff of President Benjamin Harrison, controlling the visitors and the information which went into the Oval Office.
       
      His official title was private secretary to the chief executive. The comparable position today is White House chief of staff. In the new administration of President George Bush, that post was assumed this weekend by John Sununu.
       
      Halford's salary was reported as $3,250 for directing a 24-man White House staff -- much smaller than the hundreds who now handle similar details.
       
      In 33 years Halford had come a long way from his lowly first job in Hamilton during his austere youth.
       
      According to burial records at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Lige Halford was born Sept. 4, 1842, in Nottingham, England.
       
      His immigrant family settled in Hamilton early in the 1850s after a brief residence in Cincinnati. Here, the Halfords resided on Main Street.
       
      His father, a tailor, died in 1856, leaving 13-year-old Lige to support his mother and four brothers and sisters. Halford found a job as a printer's devil in the office of the Hamilton Intelligencer, a weekly newspaper.
       
      Those were the days of handset type, and Lige Halford inherited the composing stick of William Dean Howells, later a noted writer and editor, who also began his literary career at the Intelligencer.
       
      After a year, Halford became a writer. A contemporary said his first article urged the abandonment of the pioneer cemetery in the Fourth Ward Park and conversion of the land between South Third, South Fourth and Sycamore streets to a park.
       
      Halford left in Hamilton in 1862, the second year of the Civil War. He moved to Indianapolis to become a reporter for the Indianapolis Journal. In a few year he was managing editor.
       
      Later, he went to the Chicago Inter-Ocean as managing editor, but soon returned to his old job at the Indianapolis Journal.
       
      Halford, who specialized in political editorials, also was a private secretary to Sen. Oliver Morton of Indiana.
       
      The Indianapolis editor was active in the Harrison campaign of 1888 when the Indiana senator defeated Grover Cleveland, the incumbent president.
       
      Halford is said to have been a principal author of the 1888 Republican platform, collaborating with Ohioan William McKinley, a future president.
       
      Halford and President Harrison — a native of North Bend and an 1852 graduate of Miami University — became close friends and political allies as their careers rose in prominence.
       
      The appointment of Halford as private secretary was Harrison's first official act after his election.
       
      In moving to Washington, Lige Halford was reunited with a younger brother, A. J. Halford, also a journalist who was then a member of the Washington bureau of The Associated Press.
       
      Harrison served only one term as president, losing to Cleveland in the 1892 election.
       
      Before the end of his term, he rewarded Halford with a life-time appointment as a paymaster in the U. S. Army with the rank of major.
       
      The editor and public servant, whose formative years were in Hamilton, died Feb. 27, 1938, at the age of 95.
       
      # # #
       
      22. Jan. 29, 1989 - Evidence of the moundbuilders:
       
      Journal-News, Sunday, Jan. 29, 1989
      Butler County haven for archaeologists; evidence of moundbuilders plentiful
       
      By Jim Blount
       
      "Butler County may truthfully be said to be one of the most interesting spots on the continent so far as its archaeological remains are concerned." said John P. MacLean in describing the area 110 years ago
       
      In his study of prehistoric Butler County. MacLean said that "with the exception of Ross County it contains more ancient earthworks or enclosures than any-other county in the state,"
       
      Mysterious moundbuilders occupied parts of Ohio for nearly 2,000 years, starting about 1000 B. C.
       
      "They have left no written history, and all that is known concerning them is gathered from the monuments consisting of mounds, enclosures, implements, etc., which they have left behind," explained MacLean m his book, The Moundbuilders, Archaeologhy of Butler County, Ohio. published in 1879 by Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati.
       
      But MacLean also warned in 1879 that "the monuments of Butler County are fast becoming obliterated."
       
      By 1879 Butler County had about 42,000 residents, mostly engaged in farming. Their plows -- and the steady growth of towns -- gradually were eliminating the prehistoric structures.
       
      After measuring and mapping many of Butler County's earthworks, MacLean concluded that "some other counties have more extensive enclosures, and perhaps more interesting, but do not present a greater variety, or a more complete system of protection" than these found here.
       
      About 13,000 mounds and enclosures were found in Ohio — with more than 250 in Butler County.
       
      "Within the borders of this county they erected 17 enclosures, eight of them within five miles of the city of Hamilton," noted MacLean.
       
      Archaeologists believe there were a variety of uses for the mounds, including worship and protection.
       
      Several mounds identified in MacLean's book as in townships now would be within Hamilton's corporate limits.
       
      For example. MacLean described an "interesting formation" in the northwestern quarter of section 29 of St. Clair Township on the estate of T. L. Rhea.
       
      He said it was "situated between the two forks of Two Mile" and "consists of a ridge about a quarter of a mile long, 100 feet wide at the base and 10 feet high. It bends in and out and rises and falls, giving the appearance of a serpent in motion."
       
      MacLean believed that some of the Butler County mounds were part of a prehistoric communications system.
       
      "Upon one of the highest hills in Madison Township stands the largest mound in the county. From it a fire on the Miamisburg mound could be easily seen," said MacLean. "The watchmen then lighting his fire could warn the watchmen on the other towers almost instantly."
       
      This mound — which survives in section 19, north of Trenton and east of Wayne-Madison Road — was one of 12 reported in Madison Township.
       
      "Its altitude is 43 feet with a circular base of 511 feet," noted MacLean, who estimated its contents at 824,430 cubic feet.
       
      "At 22 clinic feet per load, this would give 36,476 wagonloads, which, allowing 10 loads per day, would take one man nearly 12 years (not including Sundays) to remove the mound, say a distance of one mile, MacLean calculated. "This will give you some idea of the great labor bestowed upon this structure."
       
      "But when we consider that the most primitive methods were used, and the earth carried in sacks thrown across the shoulders, or else in vessels, the labor, at once, is seen to have been stupendous."
       
      "This mound has a commanding view of the country for 20 miles around," said MacLean, who believed it was part of a signal system extending along the valley of the Great Miami River."
       
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