It’s finally spring!  That time of year when you start wondering what your ancestors were planting!  No?  That’s just me?  Well, anyway, if you WERE curious, you’re in luck!

A number of Peter Henderson & Co. catalogs, like the one below, are available through Internet Archive.

Peter Henderson & Co 1875
Peter Henderson & Co’s Seed Catalogue (New York: Munroe & Metz, 1875); Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/peterhendersonco18pete_0 : accessed 7 May 2018).

These catalogs were advertised in newspapers across the country.  One could write away for a free copy or, for the low price of 50 cents, the company would throw in five “beautiful colored plates.”  This was likely an appealing option for the young housewife looking to spruce up her home.

Everything for the Garden
Hancock Courier (Findlay, Ohio), 4 Feb 1875, p. 2, col. 7.

For the family historian, seed catalogs can serve a multitude of purposes.  Want to know why great-grandpa planted timothy?  Check out page 79 of the 1875 catalog.  Timothy was also known as “herd grass.”  According to Peter Henderson & Co., it would “produce a larger crop” and “more nutriment” than other grasses planted for feeding farm animals.

Your third great-grandpa’s estate inventory lists a “Wethersfield seed drill” and “two English bill hooks.”  Won’t the drawings on page 88 help bring history to life?

Was someone a passionate gardener who prided herself on growing plants no one else in town had seen yet?  The newest varieties of flowers for the year are listed on page 5.

Perhaps you’ll use the illustrations to help identify those flowers by your family’s doorstep in the reunion photo.

Keep an open mind.  Any tiny detail might add value to your family history!

Hancock County Happenings: Old Swinging Bridge Falls With Big Crash


With a crash that could be heard for blocks, the old suspension bridge, which crosses the river near Maple Grove cemetery, fell into the river twenty-five feet below, Sunday evening at 5 o’clock. There were about thirty people on the bridge at the time of the accident, but only a few were seriously injured. That many were not killed is considered a miracle by all who saw the awful accident.

The accident was caused by the breaking of one of the large cables which support the bridge super-structure. When the largest number of people were in the center of the bridge the strain on the cables became too great and the one on the east side of the bridge snapped about thirty feet from the south end of the bridge.

In falling the bridge turned completely over, throwing the unfortunates upon the rocks below. The river at this point is unspeakably filthy owing to the large sewer which empties into it about a quarter of a mile above the scene of the accident. It was with the greatest difficulty that some of the people, and especially the injured, were extricated from the slime and filth. Fears were entertained that many would be drowned before the work of rescuing was completed, although the river at this point is very shallow.

At the time of the accident there were on the bridge several women whose cries for help, while floundering around in the water below, were heart rending. With all possible haste they were taken from the water and removed from the scene of the accident.

The report that the bridge had given way spread rapidly over the city and in half an hour the streets at this place were crowded for hundreds of feet around. So anxious were the spectators to lend a helping hand or even to catch a glimpse of the fallen bridge that it was with the greatest difficulty that many were kept from being thrown over the steep embankment into the river, twenty five feet below.

The most seriously injured was Hilda Outfelt, an employe of the glove factory and residing o Putnam street, and George Davis, residing in Marion township, a son of Isaac Davis, of this city.

Miss Outfelt was carried into the home of J. E. Thomas, where medical aid was administered. It was at first thought that her back had been broken, but it was later determined that her back was severely sprained. In addition to this Miss Outfelt received a sprained knee and a badly bruised hip. She was removed to her home several hours later but was suffering intense pain.

Mr. Davis, who was near the south end of the bridge, hung on to the broken cable and was pulled beneath the wreckage as it turned over, being crushed beneath the flooring and a large stone on the bottom of the river. He received an internal injury and it was with the greatest difficulty that he was able to breathe. Mr. Davis also received many minor cuts and bruises and when taken to the home of his father, on Center street, he was in a very faint condition.

Mr. N. Deprez, the extent of whose injuries could not be learned. But it is reported that she is quite seriously injured.

Among the number slightly injured were:

Glenn Hardy, a twelve year old boy living on Shinkle street, who received numerous bruises and cuts about his limbs.

H D LaFever, an employe of the L. E. & W., who received a sprained leg besides several cuts on his head.

Will Young, a glass worker, who was bruised and scratched on a rock in the bed of the river.

A man named Goodman who had his right ear torn loose.

There were many others who received cuts and bruises too numerous to mention.

The people were returning from the west side ball park and but a few moments before it is reported that a much larger crowd was on the bridge than at the time when it went down.

An eye witness lays the blame on a crowd of young boys who were in the habit of swinging the bridge when a woman attempted to cross. As Miss Outfelt came on the bridge the boys saw a chance to frighten her and were in the act of swinging the bridge from side to side when the accident occurred.

This bridge has spanned the river for over twenty years, having been repaired but two weeks ago. Authorities state that it is their opinion that the bridge will not be rebuilt.

A very amusing incident occurred on the scene of the accident. A young lad whose name could not be learned, was caught beneath the wreckage near the south side of the river. The debris was quickly removed and a lifeless body was expected to be found. But instead the lad arose and began looking around in a bewildered manner. When asked if he was not hurt, he replied, “No, but darn it, look at my clothes.” This was a very fortunate escape from death, although it did not appear thus to the boy.

Hancock Courier (Findlay, Ohio), 19 Sep 1907, p 3 col 5.

Indexing: Wills of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 1860

If you need help navigating to the Pennsylvania probate records on FamilySearch, click here for guidance.

Today’s data is from “Wills 1839-1870 vol 3-5”. Check the first column of the table below for the image number. Type it into the box near the top of the page on FamilySearch (Image __ of 701) to find the desired image.

Image No. Name Township Date Proved
384 Susanna Steinberger Borough of Youngstown 14 Jan 1860
385 John Hohenshell South Huntingdon 16 Jan 1860
386 George Shrum Ligonier 14 Feb 1860
Mary Galbreath 14 Feb 1860
Barney Cole Borough of Latrobe 18 Feb 1860
387 Fr Richard Weidinger 12 Mar 1860
Adam Erritt Hempfield 26 Mar 1860
388 Abraham Brant Sr Ligonier 4 Apr 1860
Robert Elwood Franklin 7 Apr 1860
Clark Brant South Huntingdon 12 Apr 1860
389 Elizabeth Newill Mt Pleasant 12 Apr 1860
Andrew Arnold Burrell 13 Apr 1860
391 James Mitcheltree Allegheny 14 May 1860
David Stoops Salem 26 May 1860
392 John Craig Unity 28 May 1860
John Steel Salem 28 May 1860
393 John Watt Franklin 5 Jun 1860
394 Philip Long Sr Franklin 14 Jun 1860
Elijah Newlon Sewickley 15 Jun 1860
395 Abraham Rumbaugh Mt Pleasant 20 Jun 1860
396 John Parke Cook 27 Jun 1860
Elizabeth Davis Village of Murrysville 9 Jul 1860
397 Peter Keslar Donegal 23 Jul 1860
398 Robert Hamilton Ligonier 30 Jul 1860
Samuel Temple Salem 9 Aug 1860
399 John Goodman 14 Aug 1860
400 Benjamin Hill Salem 1 Sep 1860
Joseph Eisaman Hempfield 8 Sep 1860
Otho Brown Donegal 12 Sep 1860
401 Margaret McCreary Fairfield 18 Sep 1860
Nimrod A Gregg West Newton 24 Sep 1860
402 George Pifer Salem 28 Sep 1860
Mary Pool Hempfield 6 Oct 1860
403 David Lowe East Huntingdon 11 Oct 1860
Justin Loomis Greensburg 12 Oct 1860
404 Michael Miller Hempfield 19 Oct 1860
405 Elizabeth Reynolds Sewickley 24 Oct 1860
Robert McConnaughey Ligonier 2 Nov 1860
406 Nancy Patterson 19 Nov 1860
James Loughrey or Loughey Brookville, Jefferson Co., PA 21 Nov 1860
407 Sarah Jane Hall 15 Dec 1860
Joseph Byerly North Huntingdon 27 Dec 1860

Indexing: Wills of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 1859

If you need help navigating to the Pennsylvania probate records on FamilySearch, click here for guidance.

Today’s data is from “Wills 1839-1870 vol 3-5”. Check the first column of the table below for the image number. Type it into the box near the top of the page on FamilySearch (Image __ of 701) to find the desired image.

Image No. Name Township Date Proved
358 William Barnes North Huntingdon 15 Jan 1859
Robert Gant Sewickley 8 Feb 1859
359 Susan Kuhns Greensburg 10 Jan 1859
Jacob Kiehl Sr Hempfield 13 Jan 1859
360 John Bennett Rostraver 13 Jan 1859
Joseph Barkley Donegal 14 Jan 1859
Adam Snyder Hempfield 5 Feb 1859
361 James Hewet Allegheny 7 Feb 1859
George W Painter 11 Feb 1859
362 Christena Horrell Fairfield 14 Feb 1859
Elizabeth Hunter Mt Pleasant 14 Feb 1859
John Stahl Sr Cook 22 Feb 1859
363 Jesse Walton 28 Feb 1859
Andrew Graham Fairfield 4 Mar 1859
John Feighlner Hempfield 7 Mar 1859
364 George McDivit or McDevett Bell 9 Mar 1859
365 William Sterling Sr Derry 15 Mar 1859
John Lobingier Borough of Mt Pleasant 22 Mar 1859
366 Hannah Ogden Fairfield 28 Mar 1859
367 Henry Rhodes South Huntingdon 2 Apr 1859
Nancy Pore Mt Pleasant 6 Apr 1859
368 Mary Thomas Unity 6 Apr 1859
George Kelley South Huntingdon 12 Apr 1859
369 Bela B Smith Rostraver 2 May 1859
David G Logan North Huntingdon 7 May 1859
370 William Gelson Town of New Florence 12 May 1859
John Neal or Neel Mt Pleasant 12 May 1859
Daniel Court West Newton 16 May 1859
371 John Woods Loyalhanna 17 May 1859
Michael France Unity 19 May 1859
372 Mary Henry Sewickley 20 May 1859
William Chambers Washington 24 May 1859
373 Richard Henry Smith 30 May 1859
Michael Moyer East Huntingdon 2 Jun 1859
374 Mary Huston Fairfield 14 Jun 1859
John Snyder Hempfield 18 Jun 1859
375 Nicholas Snyder Rostraver 16 Jul 1859
Joseph McKee Allegheny 29 Jul 1859
376 Alexander Pool Hempfield 30 Jul 1859
James Thompson Unity 8 Aug 1859
377 James McKillup Borough of Salem 11 Aug 1859
Michael Keener Salem 29 Aug 1859
Christopher Hepler South Huntingdon 30 Aug 1859
378 William Aspey South Huntingdon 30 Aug 1859
David Klingensmith Penn 1 Sep 1859
379 Magdalene Smith Franklin 15 Sep 1859
Jonathan Rosentell Hempfield 4 Oct 1859
380 Catharine Snyder Hempfield 11 Oct 1859
Cooper Marsh Sewickley 25 Oct 1859
Ann Elizabeth Markle Unity 4 Nov 1859
381 Maria Crisman Randolph 15 Nov 1859
William Thompson Sr 15 Nov 1859
Philip Waughaman Salem 15 Nov 1859
382 Andrew Hoffer Donegal 24 Nov 1859
383 Andrew Fry Salem 6 Dec 1859
Susanna Muma 13 Dec 1859
384 Peter Tash Ligonier 19 Dec 1859
George Pore Mt Pleasant 24 Dec 1859


Indexing: Wills of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 1858

If you need help navigating to the Pennsylvania probate records on FamilySearch, click here for guidance.

Today’s data is from “Wills 1839-1870 vol 3-5”. Check the first column of the table below for the image number. Type it into the box near the top of the page on FamilySearch (Image __ of 701) to find the desired image.

Image No. Name Township Date Proved
333 Johnathan Deal Fairfield 18 Jan 1858
John Rowan Borough of Youngstown 20 Jan 1858
334 John Wiester Washington 2 Feb 1858
Joseph Wible Hempfield 10 Feb 1858
John S Adair Salem 20 Feb 1858
335 Allen Stoop Salem 24 Feb 1858
Benjamin Elliott St Clair 2 Mar 1858
Solomon Horner Ligonier 13 Mar 1858
336 Sarah Hill Salem 15 Mar 1858
337 Stephen Pounds Derry 16 Mar 1858
John Welsh Derry 23 Mar 1858
338 duplicate image
339 Abraham Myers St Clair 23 Mar 1858
George Zimmerman Hempfield 1 Apr 1858
340 Sarah/Sera Cowan North Huntingdon 2 Apr 1858
Elizabeth W Logan Penn 3 Apr 1858
341 John Sampson Rostraver 3 Apr 1858
Thomas B Campbell 5 Apr 1858
342 Richard McClure Burrell 6 Apr 1858
Simon Newlon Sewickley 3 May 1858
John Jackson Salem 4 May 1858
343 LaFayette Morris North Huntingdon 19 May 1858
344 Fredrick Hains Hempfield 31 May 1858
William L Scott East Huntingdon 2 Jun 1858
345 Samuel Patterson South Huntingdon 4 Jun 1858
William McQuaide Sr Salem 26 Jun 1858
Josiah Morison Brawdy or Brady 3 Jul 1858
346 John Graham 5 Jul 1858
Gen James Murry Murrysville, Franklin Township 12 Jul 1858
347 William Linn 29 Jul 1858
348 Jane Kennedy 14 Aug 1858
Mary Newel Rostraver 17 Aug 1858
349 John Rugh Hempfield 3 Sep 1858
Benjamin Carpenter Versailles Twp., Allegheny Co. 27 Mar 1858 (recorded 25 May 1858)
350 Christian Houser Hempfield 8 Sep 1858
351 John Altman Borough of West Newton 18 Sep 1858
Augustus Drum Greensburg 20 Sep 1858
352 Col John Harrell Loyalhanna 23 Aug 1858 (recorded 20 Sep 1858)
353 James McCune Lockport, Fairfield Twp. 29 Sep 1858
James Lands 13 Oct 1858
354 Cathrine Smith Salem 8 Nov 1858
Michael Moyer Mt Pleasant 23 Nov 1858
Lenn Young Salem 4 Dec 1858
355 John Carothers South Huntingdon 14 Dec 1858
John Moorhead Fairfield 16 Dec 1858
357 George Mumma East Huntingdon 23 Dec 1858
Boyd Ward Stewartsville 28 Dec 1858
John Miller Burrell 30 Dec 1858

The Family Photo Album: Lincoln School, 1930-1931

Below is a photo of Lucia Arras’s second grade class at Lincoln School in Findlay, Ohio.  It was taken in early spring, 1931.


Lucia is visible just over her teacher’s shoulder in the light-colored dress.

The boys are wearing the typical outfit of the day: dress shirt, sweater and tie, knickerbockers and long woolen socks.  It wasn’t until they were older that most boys would graduate to long pants.

Of particular interest are the shoes worn by two young men in the front row:

1930-31 shoes

Look familiar?  They’re early Converse athletic shoes!  Within the next year or so, the Chuck Taylor name was added to the badge visible on the inner ankle.

converse ad 1931
Marion Star (Marion, Ohio), 9 Sep 1931, p 6 col 7.

At the time, a pair of these shoes cost about $1.101.  A loaf of bread cost roughly 7 cents and a pound of cheese, 20 cents2.

Several other children in Lucia’s class are recognizable when compared with her 6th grade photo.

Jeanne Anne Athey:

jeanne anne athey 1941
Jeanne Anne Athey in the Findlay High School yearbook, Class of 1941

James Quinlan:

james quinlan 1941
James Quinlan in the Findlay High School yearbook, Class of 1941

Twins, Marian and Mildred Saller.


mildred and marian saller 1941
Marian Saller in the Findlay High School yearbook, Class of 1941


mildred and marian saller 1941
Mildred Saller in the Findlay High School yearbook, Class of 1941

Oddly, when the Arras family sold their home on Joy Avenue to move to 519 W. Lincoln, it was the Saller family that moved in!  Lucia always remembered the neighbors there at Joy Avenue, George and Minnie Gayer, with great fondness.  It was they who gave her her first (and only) doll.

1 Evening Independent (Massillon, OH), p 1, col 2
2 Brazil Daily Times (Brazil, IN), p 6, col 1 & col 6.

Indexing: Wills of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 1857

If you need help navigating to the Pennsylvania probate records on FamilySearch, click here for guidance.

Today’s data is from “Wills 1839-1870 vol 3-5”. Check the first column of the table below for the image number. Type it into the box near the top of the page on FamilySearch (Image __ of 701) to find the desired image.

308 James Marshal Elder Derry 8 Jan 1857
Elizabeth Husband 23 Jan 1857
309 Peter J Eiseman Hempfield 28 Jan 1857
Michael Fink Franklin date not given
310 James Ogden Fairfield 11 Feb 1857
William C Clark Greensburg 12 Feb 1857
James Johnston Fairfield 18 Feb 1857
311 Hugh Peoples Fairfield 18 Feb 1857
312 Robert Piper Ligonier 20 Feb 1857
Isaac Decker St Clair (formerly Fairfield) 9 Mar 1857
James Parke North Huntingdon 11 Mar 1857
313 Daniel Gallatin East Huntingdon 25 Mar 1857
314 Joseph Lash Sewickley 4 Apr 1857
Samuel Jack Salem 4 Apr 1857
315 Mary Smith Unity 17 Apr 1857
Philip Fisher Sewickley 12 May 1857
316 Sarah Davis Franklin 13 May 1857
John Campbell Sr Cook 2 Jun 1857
317 Luke Beazle Rostraver 10 Jun 1857
Elizabeth (Gelvin) Mathews St Clair 16 Jun 1857
318 F B Lobengier 11 Jun 1857
James Magill Derry 23 Jun 1857
319 Samuel Barr South Huntingdon 24 Jun 1857
Daniel Coyle Salem 25 Jun 1857
Jacob P Kunkle North Huntingdon 26 Jun 1857
320 William Dunlap Allegheny 27 Jun 1857
Benjamin Thomas Rostraver 2 Jul 1857
322 Jane Crosby North Huntingdon 27 Jun 1857
George Row Sr Salem 6 Jul 1857
James Brown Rostraver 8 Jul 1857
323 Henry Eyler Burrell 1 Aug 1857
Alexander W Hicks South Huntingdon 25 Aug 1857
324 Robert Caldwell Burrell 24 Aug 1857
Nancy Power “Monongehale Citty”, Washington County, PA 24 Aug 1857
John S Parker East Huntingdon 28 Aug 1857
325 William Finley Rostraver 31 Aug 1857
326 Frederick Holtzer Unity 1 Sep 1857
John Cairns Cook 2 Sep 1857
327 Elizabeth Wilson North Huntingdon 11 Sep 1857
James H Johnston Derry 12 Sep 1857
328 William Tweedy Salem 24 Sep 1857
George Kintz Unity 30 Sep 1857
John Burrell Cook 10 Oct 1857
329 Jacob Kepple Hempfield 13 Oct 1857
Isaac McLaughlin West Newton 23 Oct 1857
330 Solomon Waggoner Sewickley 28 Oct 1857
John Shale Sr Ligonier 20 Nov 1857
331 David Potts Sr 20 Nov 1857
Francis Andrews Mt Pleasant 1 Dec 1857
332 John Deeds Hempfield 2 Dec 1857
Mary Kuhns/Hannah Kuhns 5 Dec 1857
333 Samuel Walton Washington 10 Dec 1857

Indexing: Wills of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 1856

If you need help navigating to the Pennsylvania probate records on FamilySearch, click here for guidance.

Today’s data is from “Wills 1839-1870 vol 3-5”. Check the first column of the table below for the image number. Type it into the box near the top of the page on FamilySearch (Image __ of 701) to find the desired image.

283 Mary Baird Salem 3 Jan 1856
Thomas Hanna South Huntingdon 18 Jan 1856
Peter Bridge Unity 21 Jan 1856
284 George Kepple Sr Hempfield 30 Jan 1856
James Horrell Fairfield 11 Feb 1856
285 Jacob Kepple Salem 13 Feb 1856
Matthias Saxman/Soxman Derry 14 Feb 1856
286 John Borland 21 Feb 1856
Jacob Ebersole Borough of Mt Pleasant 26 Feb 1856
287 Margaret Culbertson Derry 29 Feb 1856
William Seese Allegheny 10 Mar 1856
Sarah M Smith Hillside 12 Mar 1856
288 Mary Baum Greensburg 13 Mar 1856
Augustus Vogel Borough of Greensburg 14 Mar 1856
Jacob Dry Sr Hempfield 26 Mar 1856
289 duplicate image
290 Peter George Washington 8 Apr 1856
John S Kunkle 11 Apr 1856
Frederick Wilyard/Williard Salem 12 Apr 1856
291 John Rutledge Village of Livermore 22 Apr 1856
John S Scholl South Huntingdon 23 Apr 1856
Christopher Sandels East Huntingdon 8 May 1856
292 Peter Byerly Burrell 9 May 1856
William Hughes Derry 26 May 1856
293 Jacob Krepps Rostraver 30 May 1856
Samuel Calhoun Salem 12 Jun 1856
Martha E Baldrige Borough of New Alexandria 19 Jun 1856
294 Robert West Borough of Youngstown 29 Jul 1856
295 Daniel Shaw North Huntingdon 4 Aug 1856
Joseph Warren Borough of West Newton 6 Aug 1856
Henry Hess Donegal 16 Aug 1856
Jacob Potser Hempfield 13 Aug 1856
296 Samuel Kennedy Sr Fairfield 15 Aug 1856
John Gilmore Fairfield 15 Aug 1856
297 Thomas O’Brian Unity 16 Aug 1856
298 Frederick Kintz Unity 18 Aug 1856
Nathan Cope Rostraver 18 Aug 1856
299 John Harr Borough of Ligonier 18 Aug 1856
John Hill Fairfield 1 Sep 1856
300 Peter Earnest Borough of New Salem 2 Sep 1856
John Gill Washington 20 Sep 1856
301 Moses Gillespy Unity 26 Sep 1856
William McDowell Ligonier 1 Oct 1856
David Shryock Salem 7 Oct 1856
302 Martha McGeary Allegheny 17 Oct 1856
Samuel Sloan 31 Oct 1856
303 Hugh Corrigan Derry 29 Oct 1856
Caleb Davis Fairfield 29 Oct 1856
304 George Fisher Rostraver 5 Nov 1856
305 Cornelius Campbell Cook 7 Nov 1856
Ludwick Kepple Hempfield 22 Nov 1856
306 Anthony Ruff Mt Pleasant 22 Nov 1856
307 Edward Henry Sewickley 28 Nov 1856
Thomas Johnston Loyalhanna 27 Dec 1856

Stanley Robert Smith: Taken To Toledo

On March 15th, 1933, Stanley and his two young co-conspirators were turned over to federal agents1 who transported them the roughly 50 miles from Findlay to Toledo.  The very next day2, they were taken to the federal courthouse, located at 1716 Spielbusch Avenue.


The building was constructed just a year prior to Stanley’s arrival there.  In 2007, it was dedicated as the James M. Ashley and Thomas W. L. Ashley United States Courthouse.  During the Civil War, James Ashley was the first member of Congress to call for a constitutional amendment outlawing slavery; he authored the forerunner of the Thirteenth Amendment.  His great-grandson, Thomas W. L. Ashley, served thirteen terms in Congress.3

Surprisingly, given the building’s large size, it was built to house a single district judge.  A $104 million construction project, planned to begin in January 2018, will update the existing building as well as create a large annex more suitable for current needs4.  The only dedicated courtroom, built in 1932, can be seen below:

Ceremonial Courtroom in the U.S. District Courthouse, Toledo5

The Arraignment

The three men were taken before U.S. Commissioner John C. Budd.  All three pled guilty to charges of violating the Dyer Act (i.e., transporting stolen vehicles across state lines).  Each was held on $1000 bond pending a hearing before the grand jury6.

U.S. Commissioner John C. Budd

At the time, Commissioner Budd had been serving in this role for nearly six years.  Born in 1891 in Perrysburg, Ohio, John C. Budd was one of fourteen children born to a German father.  He grew up helping on his parents’ farm and it was in this manner, hiring himself out as a farm laborer in his neighborhood, that he earned the money to put himself through business school.

After graduating from law school at Toledo University, Budd spent nine years working as the private secretary to federal judge John M. Killits (pictured below), who would later appoint him to the position of U.S. Commissioner.7

John M. Killits, editor of Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio, 1623-1923. S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1923.

In 1933, Commissioner Budd’s office was located in the Produce Exchange Building8 at the corner of Madison Avenue and North St Clair Street, just over half a mile from the federal courthouse.

produce exchange bldg

The building was demolished in 1984 and has been replaced by a parking lot, across the street from the present-day PNC tower.

location of produce exchange
Former Location of Produce Exchange Building, Toledo, Ohio

1 “3 Turned Over to Federal Officers,” Findlay Morning Republican (Findlay, Ohio), 16 Mar 1933, p 3 col 7.
2 “Three Admit Guilt in Federal Court,” Findlay Morning Republican (Findlay, Ohio), 17 Mar 1933, p 9 col 4.
3 House Report No. 110-455 (2007).
4“Designer, construction manager named for U.S. courthouse in Toledo”, Toledo Blade, 18 Nov 2016. <http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2016/11/18/Designer-construction-manger-named-for-U-S-courthouse-in-Toledo.html&gt;, accessed 31 Oct 2017.
5 Ibid.
6 “Three Admit Guilt in Federal Court.”
7 Story of the Maumee Valley, Toledo and the Sandusky Region, Vol. III. S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929, pp. 14-15.
8 Polk’s Toledo (Ohio) City Directory. Toledo Directory Co., 1932, p. 1363. Entry for John C. Budd.

Stanley Robert Smith: Who Knew?

As much as I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, it seems unlikely that certain portions of the family were oblivious of Stanley’s actions leading up to his arrest for violations of the Dyer Act.

The barn on Park Street that Stanley and his cohorts used to store and work on their stolen vehicles was most likely on the property of his wife’s parents, the Foremans.  How else would the police have known to look there first?  The lot was not a particularly large one as the Foremans lived in town.

I’ve never removed and replaced a car’s engine before, but I would guess it is neither a quiet nor a clean job.  It is hard to imagine that no one in the family ever heard metallic clanging from the barn or saw people move cars and car parts in and out.

My own great-grandparents, Oliver Arras and Clara Viola Smith, also likely suspected that something was going on.  Suddenly, during the Great Depression, two of their college-aged sons had cars of their own.  From the stories told within the family, money was tight enough that meat was not often on the table during this time period.  A lot of our favorite family recipes–noodles and mashed potatoes, potato soup with rivels–have their source in the Arrases’ lean times.  My grandma would not eat milk gravy as an adult because her family had had to rely on it so many times when she was a child.

Even today, when these financial considerations don’t apply, I cannot imagine my children suddenly appearing with cars of their own.  I’d probably worry that they were selling drugs.

Perhaps, then, the question is not, “Did the family know?”, but “Why did they stay quiet?”

Maybe the money that Stanley and his nephew brought in was helping to support their families.  Both families had young children at home.

Perhaps they just couldn’t bring themselves to report their own relatives to the police.

What do you think?