Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

Aug 11

A Call for Info on a Long-Lost Family Member / The Importance of Records Management

Posted on August 11, 2017 at 3:56 PM by Jessica Cromer

"Georgia Woman Searching For Long-Lost Sister"

2006-06-09_Kathe Newspaper Article Cropped
Xenia Daily Gazette, Friday, June 9, 2006

Since this article, Luanne is still looking for her sister Joanne. She has emailed, called, and visited the Greene County Archives in 2006, 2009, 2013, 2016, and recently again in 2017. We have searched time and again resulting in no relevant answers. We are asking for your help to pause and think about whether you or someone you know might know or have known anything about Joanne, and to help spread the word around to help Luanne find some answers.

Records Management plans are essential to records centers so that we know where records are located, what records we have, and therefore what records we do not have. Greene County Archives has had a Records Management plan for 21 years (ever since the Archives started). We have searched and exhausted the options here to assist Luanne. We very much want to find something for her but it is just not here. If anyone knows anything at all about Joanne, past or present, please let us know.

Without the management of records, and not just having retention schedules but also adhering to them, there would always be questions about what exists and where. This would also bring into question the decisions and judgements made within those institutions, having the potential for both moral and legal ramifications. Searches such as Luanne’s would always feel open-ended at every place she went for information. It should not have to be this way.

In Records Management, there are Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles of which we here at the Greene County Records Center and Archives follow:
  • Principle of Accountability
  • Principle of Integrity
  • Principle of Protection
  • Principle of Compliance
  • Principle of Availability
  • Principle of Retention
  • Principle of Disposition
  • Principle of Transparency

(Records Centers and Archives are much more than just a place to keep cool things!)

Until Next Time!

Aug 04

The 178th Greene County Fair

Posted on August 4, 2017 at 6:10 PM by Jessica Cromer

The last day of the Greene County Fair is tomorrow!

Tonight, Friday, August 4, you can still catch the OSTPA Truck and Tractor Pulls at 7:00pm, and The Motown Sounds of Touch at 8:00pm. Tomorrow, Saturday, August 5, is scheduled to include the Strongman Contest, Kiddie Tractor Pull, Cheerleaders entertainment act, ATV / Truck Drag Races, and Jessie Lyn Fischer and The TNT Band from the Lebanon Grand Opry House & The Shotgun Band, among other fair festivities.

These days, the fair generally takes place at the end of July / beginning of August.
The Greene County Fair is the oldest, longest continuously operating fair west of the Alleghenies.

Greene County Fair Brief Timeline:

1833 – The Greene County Agricultural Society is first mentioned in the Commissioners’ Journal in June

1834 – The Greene County Agriculture Society was officially organized on July 30

1837 – State Legislature made fairs possible

1839 – The first recorded fair was held in and around the Court House square

1840 – The fair was moved to land near Xenia on Columbus Pike

1886 – Land was platted and known as the “Fairground Addition" to the City of Xenia in April

2000 – A tornado hit the fairgrounds and destroyed 17 buildings and all the large trees on the property

2002 – The fair was rebuilt and up and running in July

Let’s journey through the years with some Greene County Fair Archives…

An 1867 Fair certificate
Fair 1867 Certificate

1961 Building permit for horse barns
Fair 1961 Horse Barns Bldg Permit

1963 Fair program
Fair 1963 Program

1968 (August) Country Living page 11
Fair 1968 Ad Country Living Aug p11

1968 (August) Country Living page 11 Fair advertisement
Fair 1968 Ad

Various Fair ribbons
Fair Ribbons

Now, to back up a little in time...
Below is the envelope front and back to the letter below it. Notice the date on the letter - 1942.

Fair Scans_Page_1

Fair Scans_Page_2

Fair Scans_Page_3

Also in this envelope was the contract that includes "NOTE: This contract subject to cancellation if fair cancels due to war conditions."
Fair Scans_Page_4
And finally, the "Plot of Trotting Ring on Xenia Fairground" by early Greene County surveyor Washington Galloway - our regular on #FieldbookFriday on Facebook and Twitter...
Fair Scans_Page_7

Fair Scans_Page_6

County Fairs – Encyclopedia of Chicago

Fair – Wikipedia (

History of Fairs – International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) (

@greenefairfun on Facebook for updates and information
#GCF2017 on Twitter

Hope you enjoyed this brief timeline of the Greene County Fair and a few archives...

Until Next Time!
Jul 28

Victims of the 1886 Xenia Flood

Posted on July 28, 2017 at 4:39 PM by Jessica Cromer

The May 12, 1886 Xenia Flood was one of Xenia’s worst disasters. At least 28 people died including entire families. Some of the sources below name these unfortunate people. Here at the Archives we can look in sources such as death records to match names, dates, and causes of death. Several images of those records will be shown here as well.

The May 15, 1886 Cincinnati Enquirer mentions seven Morris family members; a Mrs. “Lizzie” Anderson; Mr. and Mrs. William Powell and “four” children; Mrs. Sam “Cochran” (different from the Mrs. “Lydia” Anderson; five Powell children; and Mrs. Samuel “Corchoran” below). These early reports were not yet final accounts and missing people were still being determined.

May 15, 1886 Cinci Enquirer- Cropped
“Storm Flashes” The Cincinnati Enquirer, May 15, 1886.

The book Cracker Barrel Vol. I by Raymond A. Higgins (Greene County Historical Society, Xenia, OH, 1982) is a collection of Higgins’ articles from his column of the same name in the Xenia Daily Gazette. “Flood – 1886” on pages 91-93 are originally from his column in the Sat., May 17, 1958 issue. On page 92, it reads, “… The paper listed the dead finally at 28: Mr. and Mrs. Matt Evans and one child; Mrs. Samuel Corchoran and two sons; Stephen Donton; Mrs. Ed Lindsay; Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Anderson; Mrs. Angeline Casey; Mrs. Lydia Anderson; Mr. and Mrs. Orrin Morris and five children; Mr. and Mrs. William Powell and five children; Mrs. Henry Brazzleten and child.”

Higgins Vol1 p333
Cracker Barrel Vol. I
(Greene County Historical Society)

Cracker Barrel Vol. II by Raymond A. Higgins (Greene County Historical Society, 1984) contains the “Xenia’s Worst Disaster of Nature Occurred 75 Years Ago” article from the original Sat., June 10, 1961 Xenia Daily Gazette news column.

Higgins II p154 photo
Cracker Barrel Vol. II (Greene County Historical Society)

The book Greene County, Ohio – Past and Present by Arthur R. Kilner (Heritage Books, Inc., 1997) has a section called “Xenia’s Great Flood.” “Huge Funeral Procession” on pages 332-335 was reprinted with permission from the May 12, 1986 Xenia Daily Gazette but more describes the flood itself than accounting for individuals. (This source mentions eight Powell family members rather than seven but still with a total count of 28 people dead.)

Kilner p333-2
Greene County, Ohio – Past and Present

Some of the names of the people lost to the flood can be found in cemetery records, as shown here in these Woodland Cemetery, Xenia, Ohio, Register of Interments.

Woodland Cemetery Xenia Register of Interments_1 Woodland Cemetery Xenia Register of Interments_2
Woodland Cemetery, Xenia, Ohio, Register of Interments 1847-1986 (Greene County Archives Microfilm)

We also have here at the Archives Probate Court death records from 1886 where you can see the date of the flood, causes of death, and the names of the flood victims. Usually the primary cause of death is drowning but in some cases there were secondary causes, as in any situation. Keep in mind that in general, not all vital life events such as birth and death during this time period were always recorded. Records can also be easily lost to time if not preserved properly. This book that contains 1886 death records has had its pages encapsulated to slow the effects of degradation. (Encapsulation is a safe, reversible process for preserving documents. Lamination is not reversible, it is damaging, and we never want to laminate anything.) Here is a look at some of these records:

Death Record Book Cover Death Record Book Spine

Death Record 2 1881-1893 Greene County Probate Court Book Cover and Spine

Powell Family wtitle1 Powell Family wtitle2

The Powell family of seven died in the flood and are listed above with those pages enlarged below.

Powell Family x7 closeup-1

Left of page above and right of page below. (Notice the glare from the archival encapsulation sheeting.)

Powell Family closeup2

You never know what you might find in the Archives!

Until Next Time!