By JANET KEHRES
Daily Globe Correspondent
SHELBY - The Shelby Genealogical Society met Thursday evening in the multi-purpose room of the Marvin Memorial Library. Joe Blum from New Washington presented the program by sharing interesting and unexpected facts about Shelby, Richland County, and Crawford County.
Blum taught History at Buckeye Central for 37 years. He is a member of the Crawford County Historical Society and the New Washington Historical Society. Blum stated, “I started by collecting news clippings of births, weddings and obituaries from the late 1800's. Currently I am up to 1911 and have recorded my findings on ancestry.com.”
A fun fact Blum shared was about a watch found encased in a 4 1/2 pound cabbage head. Joyce Graves had the watch in her pocket when she was planting her garden that year and lost it. The watch must have dropped close to the cabbage plant and it grew around the watch. It must have been a Timex because it was “still ticking,” Blum noted.
Misspelling was common in the earlier days of newspapers, Blum said. One example he gave was a gentleman whose name was Big Gust passed away. The headline said “Big Gut Passed Away.” Another headline was about the K of C Hall in Bucyrus. The newspaper headline read KMC Hall.
Obituaries usually stated little about the deceased, Blum noted. A small personal paragraph would be found followed by poetry or religious verses. Some unusual headlines were: “Wife Died at His Side.” The wife passed away one day after her husband. One obituary stated Mrs. Peter Scherer probably was the oldest person in Ohio. The name was in error and had to be corrected later. The obituary would also state how old the deceased was by giving the age by years, months and days.
Animosity could be found between small towns, Blum said. Editorials such as “Too many drunks on the streets in New Riegel. Too many human hogs.” This was found in the Bloomville Gazette.
He pointed out a story in The Shelby Globe that reported J.J. Metzger purchased timber from a local farmer and while cutting the timber, he lost a valuable diamond. Three months later Mrs. Metzger had a dream that the diamond was in a pile of sawdust. The next morning both Metzgers went to the sawdust pile and found the diamond.
In other stories, Blum noted it was reported Jacob Hoover captured a two headed rattlesnake. It had a head on each end. Jacob captured the snake and donated to a local bar for display.
Other interesting facts included an Indian skeleton found near the Hanna farm east of Tiro.
A cornerstone of a large building in Upper Sandusky was removed for repair, Blum noted. He said workers found a bottle of whiskey and a deck of cards behind the cornerstone.
A gas well was the headline in New Washington at one time, Blum shared. The only problem was the well only lasted a day and a half.
Blum also told of a Moses Pugh who came home from the war with a wounded leg. It caused so much pain, the doctor decided the leg must be amputated. The story continued that Pugh was a Methodist and did not believe in drinking and alcohol was the anesthetic in those days. People from all over New Washington claimed they heard Moses scream when they amputated his leg.
Blum told about The Dostal Brothers Brewery that was in Bucyrus and numerous advertisements could be found regarding beer and how good it is for the body. One such advertisement stated “Beer-the Drink for Athletes.”
He said in a lot of the newspapers you could find one column written in German for the immigrants.
In a final story, Blum said in 1890 there was an editorial about the “incorrigible lads running wild in the streets, shooting birds and showing no respect for the law. These lads should not be molly coddled!”, the editorial stated.
The members of Shelby Historical Society meet on the second Tuesday of each month at Marvin Memorial Library. MML currently is offering a 4 month genealogy class.