Journal-News, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 1998
'Quill' became respected war reporter
By Jim Blount
The Civil War provided opportunity for Aquilla J. (Quill) Daugherty, a 19-year-old Hamiltonian who had recently attended Miami University in Oxford. Daugherty became a respected journalist in an era when battlefield correspondents often found their credibility doubted and their welcome worn thin.
It was a period of change as newspapers gained new importance with their anxious readers. "For four years it (journalism) would bring home to millions the drama and heartache of the Civil War, raise problems which no government had faced before, and lead to basic changes in the social function of the press," said Louis M. Starr in his book assessing the Civil War press (Bohemian Brigade: Civil War Newsmen in Action, 1954).
Daugherty -- who didn't return for his senior year at Miami because he lacked money -- was part of the transition. He was a "special" -- a war correspondent -- for newspapers in Cincinnati and Louisville.
Daugherty's first newspaper job had been in Columbus with the Ohio State Journal. A few months later, he went to work for Murat Halstead's Cincinnati Commercial as a war correspondent. Later he represented the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Louisville (Ky.) Journal on the Civil War battlefields, writing over the pseudonym "Quill."
Most Civil War correspondents became involved in controversy with military leaders. Daugherty was no exception.
While with the army at Murfreesboro, Tenn., the Louisville Journal published an article critical of Major-General William S. Rosecrans. It was signed "Quill."
Because the article carried his nom de plume, Daugherty was arrested and tried by Brigadier-General James A. Garfield (a future president). The Hamiltonian was about to be expelled from the war zone when his editor, George D. Prentice, came to his defense.
Prentice produced the original copy, testifying that an inspection had indicated it was not in Daugherty's handwriting, although signed "Quill."
An investigation confirmed Prentice's observation. The article had been written by an officer in Rosecrans army, who had added Daugherty's pen name before mailing it to Prentice in Louisville.
The incident seemed to give Daugherty new credibility with most army leaders, including Rosecrans. The Hamilton native was part of the general's entourage during the 1863 campaign from Murfreesboro to Chattanooga, Tenn.
"Quill" distinguished himself in reporting Major-General William T. Sherman's drive from Chattanooga to Atlanta in 1864, in covering the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and again with Sherman during his march through the Carolinas in the final weeks of the war.
After the war, Daugherty joined the Indianapolis Journal. He left journalism in 1868. Until his death in 1901, he held a variety of jobs, including teaching, railroading, grain agent and political posts, plus service in the Illinois state legislature.
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Journal-News, Sept. 6, 1998, Guest column for Labor Day weekend
What did cupola tender and emery hand do?
By Jim Blount
Labor Day -- a national holiday since 1894 -- is an appropriate time to reflect on Hamilton's impressive industrial history, especially the men and women who toiled in local shops, mills, foundries, factories, stores and offices.
On Labor Days past, Hamiltonians honored people working as blacksmith, brewer, butcher, carpenter, chauffeur, chef, dressmaker, electrician, fireman, laundress, locksmith, machinist, shoemaker, plumber, telephone operator, watchman, waiter⁄waitress and welder.
For more than a century, it has been a time to recognize the papermaker, paper coater, paper cutter, paper finisher, paper trimmer and sorter -- jobs at local paper mills.
Previous holidays also have brought attention to the efforts of the motorman, brakeman, conductor, switchman, car inspector, telegraph operator, station agent, ticket agent, baggagemaster, passenger agent, freight agent and yardmaster. They were employed on the railroads and interurban systems that once served the area, and provided hundreds of jobs.
Most readers can visualize the skills, chores and products of the previously mentioned occupations because many of them still exist.
But what about positions that have vanished, or are nearly extinct?
What were the daily routines of a coremaker, chipper, cupola tender, linotype operator, emery hand, sand cutter, tool dresser, lamp trimmer, upfitter and dryerman?
The linotype machine, for example, was once a fixture in every newspaper and print shop. Lines of type, made from molten metal, were cast one at a time from the typesetting machine. Thanks to computers, the linotype became a dinosaur about 25 to 30 years ago.
This column is asking readers to help describe vanished Hamilton jobs, plus the companies that employed such labor.
Here are some of the titles gathered from city directories: assorter, bailer or baler, basketmaker, batteryman, bench hand, bleacher, boilermaker, bottler, boxmaker, buffer, canner, canmaker, carpet weaver, castermaker, casterworker, cigarmaker, color mixer, confectioner, cooper, coppersmith, core assembler, coremaker, chipper, cupola tender, crater, and cutter.
Driller, drill hand, dryerman, emery hand, enameler, engine hostler, film operator, finisher, fitter, flagman, floorman, floor walker, fresco artist, furnace setter, gang boss, grinder, gluemaker, hammerman, heater, hemstitcher, hingemaker, hostler, huckster, ironer, ironworker, iron straightener, lacquerer, lamp trimmer, lathe hand, lock setter, and loom fixer.
Machine hand, machine setter, machine tender, machinist, maltster, marble letterer, metal sorter, milliner, mill hand, millwright, molder, munitions worker, nailer, nitrate worker, ornamenter, oven builder, packer, paper ruler, pattern carrier, pattern maker, pipefitter, pipe man, planer, plater, polisher, porter, presser, press feeder, pump man, and punch hand.
Reelman, riveter, roadmaster, rodman, rubber, safemaker, safeworker, safe erector, safe plasterer, sand cutter, sawyer, screwmaker, seamstress, section hand, shearsman, signalman, solderer, spinner, stamper, steamfitter, stockkeeper, stonecutter, stovemaker, stove mounter, and sweeper.
Teamster, tester, timekeeper, tinner, tobacco caser, tobacco worker, tool designer, tool grinder, toolmaker, tool dresser, towerman, tracer, transferer, troubleman, upfitter, vault cleaner, vise hand, vulcanizer, weaver, weighmaster, winder, wireworker, wood carver, wool grader, wool sorter, wool washer, and wrapper.
If you can describe any of the jobs -- and where they earned pay checks in Hamilton -- drop a note to the writer at 524 Shultz Drive, Hamilton, Ohio 45013-5107. No phone calls, please.
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Journal-News, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 1998
German Village marks 25 years
By Jim Blount
They're celebrating this month in German Village, Hamilton's first historic district. The nine-block neighborhood north of Dayton Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the Great Miami River was declining in the early 1970s. Skeptics saw blight and decay among the 254 structures in the area. A few optimists envisioned historic buildings with valuable, productive futures.
The positive view prevailed and in 1973 Hamilton City Council acted to reverse the trend. The German Village Society formed that year, fueling 25 years of improvements by property owners and the city. Now, many buildings once unsightly are treasured showplaces.
German Village is considered Hamilton's first subdivision, but it was slow to develop. A small town grew around Fort Hamilton after a 1795 peace treaty with Indians. There were only 294 inhabitants by 1810.
In the late 1820s, the building of the Miami-Erie Canal encouraged Hamilton expansion, both industrial and residential. The canal promised relatively quick, cheap transportation for manufactured goods. Local entrepreneurs intended to take advantage of the waterway.
The anxious industrialists had the ideas, the determination and, in most cases, the capital to launch their businesses. They lacked the manpower to initiate their enterprises.
Business leaders sought craftsmen who were exact and reliable in working with wood, stone or metals. They attracted some of the needed labor from the ranks of German immigrants who had worked on building the Ohio canal system.
Part of the campaign to entice skilled Germans to Hamilton had an ecumenical twist. Protestant churches cooperated in buying a 200-foot tract at the southwest corner of Dayton and North Second streets. In 1832 they presented the land to the Cincinnati archdiocese for a Catholic church served by the Franciscan order. When St. Stephen Church opened, its services were conducted in German and its records maintained in the same language.
In the 1840s the opening of the Hamilton Hydraulic sparked another industrial boom -- and the need for more workers. Again, strong men and women of German ancestry answered the call. They located in the neighborhood bounded by various branches of the hydraulic canals.
As families realized success and stability, they encouraged and helped relatives and friends in the German states of Europe to emigrate to Hamilton.
It wasn't unusual for recently-arrived laborers to reside in a small cottage within a few yards of the mansions of the men who owned and managed the shops where they worked. Often, their paths crossed or converged as they walked to and from work.
Influential Hamiltonians of the 19th century who once resided in the German Village included Clark Lane, John W. Erwin, John C. Skinner, William Ritchie, John W. Benninghofen, Samuel D. Fitton, Frank X. Black, John M. Long and Robert Allstatter.
Long and Allstatter were partners in producing farm machinery. They not only worked together, but lived side-by-side in the Victorian Italianate structure at 341-343 North Second Street. Long's family lived on the north side of the double mansion; Allstatter's on the south side.
The most unique buildings in German Village are two constructed for Clark Lane, who came to Hamilton as a blacksmith in 1844. The successful industrialist moved into his octagon Gothic Revival house in 1863. (At 319 North Third Street, it now houses the offices of the Hamilton Community Foundation.)
Three years later, Lane moved his collection of 2,000 books across the street into a library, also featuring octagon design. Later, he donated it to city. It is still a library, the recently restored home of the Lane Public Library system that serves Hamilton, Fairfield and Ohio.
The best way to appreciate German Village is to visit the district the weekend of Sept. 18-20 during the 25th anniversary celebration. Also, take a walk with an updated edition of Walking Tours of Historic Hamilton, available free from the Greater Hamilton Convention & Visitors Bureau, located in the Hamiltonian hotel (telephone 844-8080).
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Journal-News, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1998
Looking at Hamilton, 1950-1953
By Jim Blount
Hamilton changes probably will be a topic this weekend as members of the Hamilton High School class of 1953 gather for a reunion at the Hamiltonian, itself part of the town's continuing transformation. If asked 45 years ago the likely location of their 1998 reunion, most graduates would have predicted the Anthony Wayne Hotel, which closed in 1964.
As students, the 1953 grads shopped at Wilmurs and Robinson-Schwenn downtown, socialized at the YWCA open house, Jonson's Restaurant and the Townhouse, and cheered Big Blue football and basketball teams coached by Chuck Thackara and Warren Scholler, respectively.
Few students in the early 1950s had cars. The city bus system -- at a nickel a ride -- provided mobility for shopping, dates, movies, games and other events.
During their 1950-1953 high school years, a television set was still a luxury, priced beyond the budget of many parents. Programs were in shades of black and white, not color. Somehow, they also survived without cable TV, computers, VCRs, video games, CDs, pagers, answering machines, boom boxes, e-mail and microwaves. Polio vaccines came too late for several unfortunate classmates.
Students advanced to Hamilton High from either Roosevelt or Wilson junior high schools. There was no Badin High School then. Instead, male friends attended Hamilton Catholic (across N. Sixth Street from HHS) while females went to Notre Dame (on S. Second Street). Miami University held a few extension classes in Hamilton, but there wasn't a campus until the late 1960s. The 1953 grads had to leave town to attend college.
Immediately after graduation, many class members went to work at Champion, Beckett, Mosler, Herring-Hall, Fisher Body, Armco, Bendix, Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton, Black-Clawson and other industries that departed years ago.
From June 1950 until July 1953, the Cold War was hot and deadly in the form of the Korean War. Older brothers and acquaintances were being drafted for service. Casualty reports were too frequent. Older relatives found plenty of jobs available in local industries booming with war work. Industrial employment in Hamilton reached 20,680. A month after 1953 graduation, a truce ended the Korean War.
In 1951, the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission reported it would build a plant on the county line between Fernald and Venice (Ross). Construction started on a long-planned riverside boulevard in Hamilton. The first part of Neilan Boulevard opened later that year.
Also in 1951, the state began planning the widening of Ohio 4 between Hamilton and Middletown, converting it from a treacherous two-lane road to a divided four-lane highway.
In 1952, Hamilton City Council approved a one-way street system for much of downtown, and pedestrian walk lights were introduced. In June, the new Eugene H. Hughes Memorial Hospital opened (now part of the Fort Hamilton-Hughes complex).
President Harry S. Truman spoke from the rear of his special train stopped on the B&O at Fourth and High streets Oct. 31, 1952. That was the last time a president visited Hamilton.
The list of popular entertainers during the early 1950s included Doris Day, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Perry Como, Tony Bennett, Nat "King" Cole, Johnnie Ray, Rosemary Clooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Gene Kelly, Marlon Brando, Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Vivien Leigh, Red Skelton, Arthur Godfrey, Gregory Peck, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, the Mills Brothers, Louis Armstrong and Marilyn Monroe.
The era's Academy Award winning movies were All About Eve (1950), An American in Paris (1951), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and From Here to Eternity (1953). Those and other films were seen at the Paramount, the Rialto and the Palace downtown, and the Linden and Rossville in neighborhoods. Local theaters had only one screen each in the 1950s.
The 1950 census reported Hamilton population at 57,951 people, a 14.5 percent increase in a decade. In the 1950s, it jumped 24.9 percent to peak at 72,354 in 1960 before declining to 67,865, 63,189 and 61,368 in succeeding censuses.
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Journal-News, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1998
Morton witnessed Spanish surrender
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is the 11th of a series covering Hamilton and Butler County participation in the Spanish-American War of 1898.)
By Jim Blount
"I tell you it was one of the grandest occasions I ever saw when the stars and stripes were hoisted over the city," said Private Jake Morton in describing the Spanish surrender at Santiago, Cuba. "I cheered for a while, but at last broke down and cried like a baby," Morton confessed. "Here I was cheering and then began to think perhaps I would never get back (home) and it was too much for me to bear."
Morton -- who was among about 4,000 Americans who witnessed the event -- said Spanish troops "were coming for four hours and walking down to the beach (where) they stacked their arms and surrendered individually." He shared his experience in a July 18, 1898, letter to his family in Hamilton. Morton was one of at least five Hamiltonians in the Sixth U. S. Infantry Regiment. The Sixth participated in the July 1, 1898, U. S. attack on San Juan Hill, a pivotal encounter in the Spanish-American War.
Combat lasted only a few weeks. It started May 1, 1898, in the Pacific when Commodore George Dewey's squadron destroyed the obsolete Spanish fleet anchored in Manila harbor.
In the Caribbean, the key American land victories were the battles of El Caney and San Juan Hill July 1. Two days later, when Spanish ships tried a dash for the open sea, new U. S. battleships and cruisers sank most of the Spanish ships in less than four hours. Spain suffered 474 casualties to one dead and one wounded for American forces.
July 17, Santiago and Cuba's 24,000 Spanish troops surrendered. Spain sued for peace nine days later, while fighting continued on Puerto Rico from July 25 through Aug. 13.
Missing all the action was the First Ohio Infantry Regiment, whose Company E included about 75 men from the Hamilton area. Company E had left Hamilton April 26, 1898, a day after the U. S. had declared war on Spain. After a few days in Columbus, the First Ohio camped at Chickamauga, Ga., May 17, and moved to Tampa, Fla., June 3.
Twice the First Ohio had moved onto transport ships, the men believing they were headed for combat in Cuba. Both times the troops were unloaded and sent back to their camp.
July 28-29, the regiment moved north from its hated Tampa location to a camp near Fernandia, Fla., (pop. 4,000). For half of the soldiers, the usual 12-hour trip turned into a 36-hour ordeal because of railroad breakdowns.
When the First Regiment settled down, it was camped within sight of the Amelia Lighthouse on the Atlantic coast, and 60 miles south of St. Augustine. At Fernandia, while awaiting orders to either go home or ship out to a war zone, the regiment was transferred to the 7th Army Corps.
At first, the change seemed awkward because the Ohio sons, nephews and grandsons of Union army veterans found themselves under the command of Major-Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, who had held the same rank in the Confederate army during the Civil War. The general -- a nephew of Robert E. Lee -- had been the U. S. consul-general in Cuba before the Spanish-American War.
Any doubts about the 1856 West Point graduate quickly disappeared in the ranks of Company E. He won their favor when they realized Lee was an officer considerate of his men in regard to food and other personal needs.
Meanwhile, Private Morton and other Butler County soldiers in Cuba were fighting another enemy -- an invisible one.
When the Spanish surrendered in mid July, American forces there were dwindling because of yellow fever, malarial fever, dysentery and other ailments. The health hazards, both in Cuba and Florida, didn't end when the fighting stopped.
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Journal-News, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 1998
Disease major enemy in 1898 war
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is the 12th of a series covering Hamilton and Butler County participation in the Spanish-American War of 1898.)
By Jim Blount
By one count, 362 Americans died in battle during the Spanish-American War in 1898. More than seven times that number -- 2,621 -- succumbed to illness, including malaria, typhoid fever and yellow fever.
These deaths, the majority coming after the fighting had stopped, were attributed to spoiled food, bad water, sanitation lapses, inadequate medical treatment and improper uniforms. Complicating the situation was the tropical environment of Florida, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Another factor was the "negligence of the soldiers themselves in (not) taking proper care of their health," noted Karl W Heiser in his book, Hamilton in the War of '98.
"The ravages of dread disease did more to wreck the American army than all other causes combined," Heiser said. "More soldiers died from the effects of unnecessary exposure to disease or improper treatment after contracting it than were cut down by the enemy's bullets," Heiser explained.
By mid August, at least two Hamilton soldiers had died of disease.
William Reynolds of Company E, First Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, died at Fort Thomas, Ky., of typhoid fever. Reynolds, originally from Richmond, Ind., had been employed at the Howald Hotel before enlisting. He was buried at Fort Thomas with members of the Hamilton Citizens War Committee attending.
Yellow fever claimed William Morganroth, of Hamilton, a member of the Sixth U. S. regulars. He was stricken and buried in Santiago.
July 28-29, the First Ohio -- including about 75 Hamilton area men in Company E -- moved to northern Florida. A Cincinnati newspaper said "the health of the troops was the first consideration in moving them out of the swamps of Tampa." The report said "sickness in this camp is on the increase, and its tendency to hang on is regarded with concern by the surgeons, who had been confident of being able to stamp it out in a short time."
"It is nearly three weeks since the troops came (to Fernandia, 60 miles south of Jacksonville), and it was thought the fever would be mastered inside of that time. New cases develop every day, and, while they are in the majority light cases, still the fever is becoming more and more malignant."
Sixty men in the First Ohio were reported ill Aug. 17, and "surgeons are still working short-handed and are with the hospital stewards and nurses feeling the effects of the long strain." Six days later, a Hamilton newspaper said "Surgeon H. E. Twitchell inspected the rations issued to the First Ohio today and recommended that they be destroyed."
Private Joseph Werble of Company E -- sent home early on a hospital train --said "the hardtack the troops got was awful stuff. When broken in two, worms would crawl out on your hands."
"Just wait until the boys are mustered out of service and are free to talk and you will hear the real horrors of the camp," the Hamilton soldier added. "The boys are afraid to talk now. They don't want to be arrested. I don't want to be arrested, and don't want to say anymore now." Another account said army-issued "oatmeal took wings and flew away when the tops of the barrels were knocked in."
Hamiltonians saw evidence of the health problem Wednesday, Sept. 7. That day a hospital train stopped in the city, bringing home six local soldiers. There were 17 coaches and a dining car on the train when it arrived on the Pan Handle (Pennsylvania) Railroad. Seats had been removed and cots installed in the passenger cars.
There were 320 patients aboard when it left Florida. Ninety had been returned to their hometowns before the train reached Hamilton. It was staffed by 18 surgeons and 33 nurses.
A Dayton doctor who commanded the hospital train said it was the longest hospital train, and made the longest and most successful trip on record in America.
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