Journal-News, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2000
93rd OVI regimental flag restored
By Jim Blount
A regimental flag that Butler County soldiers fought under in the Civil War has been restored and preserved, thanks to a grant from the Michael J. Colligan Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation. Work on the deteriorating standard of the 93rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment was directed by the Ohio Historical Society and the Ohio Historical Foundation.
The 93rd's banner, said Gary C. Ness, director of the Ohio Historical Society, "embodies and symbolizes the sacrifices of Ohioans and other Americans toward the successful outcome of the Civil War."
The 93rd OVI faced some of the most deadly Confederate assaults of the war. Few men in the regiment escaped the 1861-1865 conflict unscathed. It suffered significant casualties at Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, during the Atlanta campaign and in December 1864 fighting around Nashville.
There were 968 officers and men in the 93rd when it left Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 23, 1862. About 275 to 300 were from Butler County, most of them in three companies.
Company C was recruited by 37-year-old Captain Henry H. Wallace in Hamilton, Seven Mile, Oxford and Darrtown.
Company D was formed by 33-year-old Captain Daniel Bowman in the Middletown area. Bowman eventually rose to lieutenant colonel and commanded the 93rd after December 1863. After the war, Bowman was an engineer and building contractor in Middletown and eventually elected the city's mayor in 1895.
Company F was organized in the Ross Township and Morgan Township area by Captain Robert Joyce, 32, who rose to the rank of major.
Two of the regiment's original officers -- Wallace and Major Alfred A. Phillips -- had been county officeholders. Wallace had been county recorder, 1854-60, and county auditor, 1860-62. The 37-year-old Phillips was sheriff, 1860-64, and resigned from the army March 3, 1863, to complete his term.
The 93rd was mustered out June 8, 1865. A total of 249 members had been discharged earlier because of medical disabilities. It suffered 110 deaths in battle or as a result of combat wounds. Another 107 died of disease. The fatality rate -- 217 out of 968 -- was 22.4 percent.
Add 290 wounded -- including 30 men wounded twice and eight three times -- and the casualty percentage jumps to 52.4
Only 112 men (11.6 percent) weren't among those listed as disabled, killed or wounded when the 93rd Ohio completed its service.
The last Butler County member of the 93rd to die in combat was Sgt. John H. Atherton, 23, who fell Dec. 16, 1864, at Nashville.
The OHS said the restoration project included "designing and fabricating a high quality replica of the 93rd OVI flag which will be made available for display and other appropriate uses within Butler County." Plans are to display the replica at the Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers Monument.
The Colligan fund is based on a bequest by Michael J. (Mickey) Colligan, a Hamilton funeral director, who died in 1994. Colligan, a native of Hamilton, served in the U. S. Army in 1945-1946. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.
Colligan founded the Captain John P. Bruck unit of the Sons of Union Veterans. The group was named in honor of Colligan's ancestor, who commanded one of the first local volunteer organizations in the early days of the Civil War in April 1861.
The Colligan fund -- administered by the Hamilton Community Foundation -- was established to promote patriotism, citizenship and history, especially military history. It funds bands for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day parades; grants scholarships to veterans; conducts an essay contest in Hamilton junior high schools; maintains the Colligan history chair at Miami University-Hamilton; subsidizes local flag displays; assists local veterans organizations and has helped finance several projects, including the courthouse bandstand, a 20th century veterans memorial and restoration of the lodge at Veterans Park; and restoration of the windows at the Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers Monument.
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Journal-News, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2000
Lazard Kahn's influence continues
(This is the first in a five-part series on the Kahn family and the Estate Stove Co.)
By Jim Blount
Lazard Kahn's name has faded from prominence in Hamilton, but his influence on the community continues. With his brothers, he brought the Estate Stove Company to the city and, during the 61 years the family operated the plant, employed thousands of local people. He helped convince other industrialists to locate here and shared his knowledge, leadership and wealth with local organizations and causes.
He was born Nov. 22, 1850, in Ingveiler, in the Alsace region of France. He was one of 18 children of David and Gertrude Caroline (Meis) Kahn.
At age 15, his father gave him 40 francs and sent him to the United States. The young Frenchman -- with limited command of the English language -- found menial work in several places, including Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Marshall, Ill., Nashville, Tenn., and Selma, Ala.
In the two southern cities, he was introduced to the stove business. In 1869, about three years after he had arrived in the U. S., a senior owner of a stove store retired. Kahn acquired his interest and assumed management of the firm.
One of the store's suppliers was Martin, Henderson & Co., a stove manufacturer at Hanging Rock, Ohio, near Ironton. In 1873, the proprietors invited Lazard Kahn and a brother, Felix -- who had recently arrived from France via Brazil -- to become partners and direct the business. In 1882 the brothers purchased the remainder of the firm and began considering relocation.
They reorganized the business as F. & L. Kahn & Bros. Saul (or Sol) Kahn, another brother, moved from California to Ohio to become a partner. He died about five years later and was succeeded by a fourth brother, Samuel, who had been a shoe salesman in Cincinnati.
In 1884 the Kahns closed the Hanging Rock plant, reestablished their stove works in Hamilton and opened a sales office in Cincinnati. The factory site was on the west side of East Avenue in South Hamilton, adjoining the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad.
Lazard Kahn had visited Hamilton as a salesman. According to his obituary, Kahn was "warmly greeted" by Jacob Matthias, operator of a stove store on Main Street. That favorable impression was a factor in his decision to move the business to the city.
In 1890, Kahn joined other civic leaders in forming the Hamilton Improvement Syndicate (HIS) to promote industrial growth. The group bought about 300 acres east of the Miami-Erie Canal (now Erie Highway, Ohio 4) and adjacent to the city's eastern and southern corporation line. HIS completed streets and bridges and built houses in the area as they sought other industries to locate in East Hamilton.
Among the firms taking advantage of the development were the Mosler Safe and Lock Company, the Fred J. Myers Manufacturing Company, the Hamilton Foundry and Machine Company, and the Albert Bess Company. Kahn was a key figure in securing the new jobs and businesses for Hamilton.
Kahn's leadership skills caught the attention of the Democratic Party, but he declined its invitation to become a congressional candidate in 1894.
One his outstanding contributions was service on the board of sewer commissioners when Hamilton developed a sewer system. He was instrumental in the development of Lindenwald and the street railway system. Kahn also was a founder of the Chamber of Commerce in Hamilton.
As a director of the Inland Waterways Association, he urged creation of a Miami and Erie Barge Canal along the Great Miami River and the route of the Miami-Erie Canal. The barge canal, a project that never materialized, would have placed Hamilton and Middletown industry on an inland waterway system that included Lake Erie and the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
There will be more on Lazard Kahn's contributions to Hamilton in a future column.
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Journal-News, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2000
Lucian Kahn continued family standard
(This is the fifth in a five-part series on the Kahn family and the Estate Stove Co.)
By Jim Blount
For 60 of its 77 years in Hamilton, the Estate Stove Company operated under the ownership and management of the Kahn family, starting in the 1880s with brothers Lazard, Felix, Samuel and Saul, and followed from the mid 1920s until 1945 by a second generation.
Saul Kahn (or Sol) died in 1887, Felix Kahn in 1924, Lazard Kahn in 1928, and Samuel Kahn in 1929. Company direction gradually passed to their offspring -- David and Albert, sons of Felix; Bertrand and Lucian, sons of Lazard; and Myron, the only son of Samuel. Both generations, while providing industrial leadership, also contributed to Hamilton civic affairs, most notably Lucian L. Kahn.
"His name is on the roster of practically every worthwhile endeavor in Hamilton," noted the Journal-News in reporting his death.
Lucian Kahn was born Sept. 21, 1886, while his parents resided at 323 North Third Street, the offices of Butler County United Way for more than half a century, thanks to the generosity of the Kahn family.
He was educated in Hamilton schools and attended the University of Cincinnati. Before joining the family business in Hamilton, he ventured west, working in a lumber mill in Washington, toiling in gold, silver and lead mines in Utah and Colorado and representing the Estate Stove Company on the road in Texas.
In 1914, he married Clara Maltman. The Kahns, the parents of one daughter, resided at 375 South D Street in Hamilton for many years.
During World War I, he was an infantry captain. Kahn showed pride in his military service when he helped organize two American Legion groups in Hamilton -- Frank Durwin Post 138 and, for black veterans, Lewis Whittaker Post 520. When Post 138 outgrew its Hillcrest headquarters, Kahn headed the campaign to finance the April 1945 move to a new location on North Second Street.
Kahn helped establish the Hamilton Community Chest (now Butler County United Way) in 1920 and, among many assignments, headed fund-raising campaigns in 1924, 1925, 1928 and 1929. A tribute said Kahn "probably gave his greatest service, as was typical of him, at the time when it was needed most. In the years 1930 to 1935 [Depression years], while money was the hardest to secure for any purpose" . . . he "worked unceasingly to secure money enough to meet the greatest needs . . . ."
His support of the Hamilton Chapter of the American Red Cross also extended over many years. Lucian and a brother, Bertrand, were responsible for acquiring and donating to the community the octagon house at 319 North Third Street. Now known as the Lane-Hooven House -- and headquarters of the Hamilton Community Foundation -- it originally housed the local Red Cross office.
Lucian was a director of the Hamilton YMCA for 15 years. A favorite project was the Worthy Boy Committee, which solicited money to send young men to Camp Campbell Gard. As a member of the Hamilton Rotary Club, he served on the student loan committee that assisted less fortunate youth with tuition payments.
His interest in youth extended to the Boy Scouts. Starting in 1929, he held a variety of volunteer posts with the Fort Hamilton Council. In 1942, as chairman of the board of trustees he formally presented Camp Myron Kahn to the council. The camp was a gift from the family and named in honor of a deceased cousin.
Kahn also was generous with his time and money with Mercy Hospital in Hamilton, serving on advisory boards and providing leadership for financial campaigns. As a director for several years and president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce from 1928 to 1930, he championed a variety of civic projects, including highway, waterway and airport development.
Lucian Kahn died Aug. 5, 1947, while visiting his daughter in San Francisco. Later, during a community salute, it was said that "it is doubtful if a more civic and community-minded person ever lived in Hamilton. He shared and shouldered other persons' burdens."
The Hamilton area continues to benefit from the unselfish service and philanthropy of the Kahn family.
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Journal-News, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2000
Kahn legacy evident in community
(This is the second in a five-part series on the Kahn family and the Estate Stove Co.)
By Jim Blount
When Lazard Kahn and his brothers began moving their stove-making business to Hamilton in 1884, their first challenge was finding skilled workers for an operation that soon would employ 200 people. The company -- known later as the Estate Stove Company -- had left Hanging Rock, Ohio, for a new factory on East Avenue in Hamilton.
"Owing to the scarcity of skilled labor," a contemporary source said, the Kahn brothers decided to train "unskilled men and boys" residing in Hamilton. "By the employment of special teachers" the company "succeeded in a comparatively short time in making first-class mechanics out of this raw material. This was the foundation to which may be ascribed the high character of their present employees," said the 1894 account.
Later it was noted that Kahn won popularity with his workers as he made almost daily trips through the Hamilton plant, greeting employees by their first names and asking caring, intelligent questions about their families.
Lazard Kahn -- who was joined in the business by three brothers, Felix, Saul and Samuel -- married Coralie Alice Lemann of Donaldsonville, La., May 17, 1881, about three years before moving to Hamilton. They were the parents of five children -- a daughter, Mrs. Marie Kahn Heyn, and four sons, Milton, Bertram, Lucian and Jerome, who were involved in the business.
The French native, who arrived in the U. S. in 1866, directed the production of cooking and heating devices under the Estate and Heatrola brand names in Hamilton for 44 years. He died Wednesday, March 7, 1928, at age 77, at his residence in Avondale in Cincinnati.
"Our city has lost one of its most distinguished and brilliant citizens," declared a Journal editorial. "The success that he achieved came not by chance, but by hard work, by devotion to the principle of honesty and by an integrity of character that knew no bending. While he worked, he also read and thought and became a man of most unusual scholarly attainments. He thought straight, wrote well and was an orator of no mean ability."
Those admirable traits weren't reserved for his business pursuits. Kahn was generous with his time, talent and money in the community.
After his death, his sons founded the Lazard Kahn Foundation, which supported a variety of local civic and charitable organizations and causes, including the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra, United Way and "Operation Pumpkin," a Halloween program for Hamilton children.
Fifteen years after his death, in the midst of World War II, the Lazard L. Kahn Memorial Community House was established in his honor.
The property at 319 North Third Street was purchased April 23, 1943, by Bertrand B. Kahn, vice president of the Estate Stove Company. Kahn said the house, a memorial to his late father, would be controlled by a three-member board -- Cyrus J. Fitton, Walter S. Rowe and Lucian L. Kahn, a brother of Bertrand and a also son of Lazard Kahn. It was to be used by the Hamilton Chapter, American Red Cross, for the duration of World War II, then later by other community organizations.
From 1885 until 1897, Lazard Kahn and his family had resided in the house immediately north -- at 323 North Third Street. His sons also presented that property for community use in 1943 and it has housed the offices of Butler County United Way and its predecessor organizations.
The Kahn Community House at 319 North Third had been built in 1863 by Clark Lane, who a few years later donated his private library to the city, the basis for the Lane Public Library system.
In December 1951, seven men formed the Hamilton Community Foundation, a non-profit corporation to receive and distribute charitable funds for the health, education and welfare of the people of Hamilton. During its formative years, the foundation shared the offices at 323 North Third with United Way.
For more than 20 of its nearly 50 years, the Hamilton Community Foundation has performed its mission from offices in the former Kahn Community House, better known in recent decades as the Lane-Hooven House. The Lazard Kahn Fund continues and is one of the dozens of permanent funds administered by the foundation.
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