Shining a new spotlight on Dr. William H. Wagstaff of North Lewisburg, Champaign County, Ohio

Dr. William H. Wagstaff of North Lewisburg, Champaign County,  Ohio has once again led me on another merry chase whisking me along through the many unexpected twists and turns that profoundly affected his life that I’m sure turned it upside down at times.  


Both Dr. John Milton Butcher (as well as his son Dr. John Calvert “J. C.” Butcher) and Dr. Wagstaff all belonged to the Central Ohio Eclectic Medical Association. 

Below is a wonderful newspaper clipping about one of their meetings that took place in 1886:

This information led me to move into a new direction taking a different path at this fork in the road of Dr. Wagstaff’s life where I also learned what the “H” stood for as his middle name – Harris!:



The Dr. John M. Butcher monument)


And, dare I say most recently learning that Dr. Wagstaff’s wife; had became his ex-wife by 1891.  

Melissa Josephine (AKA “Jose or Jose B.” was the daughter of Dr. John M. Butcher, a prominent physician in North Lewisburg.  

The cemetery carries Dr. Butcher’s name as its alternate and more popularly known name.  

The official name is Walnut Grove Cemetery.  



 Dr. Wagstaff’s residence caught on fire on November 20, 1899!:



There was once a Walnut Grove Cemetery Association that oversaw this cemetery that sits atop the hill on Tallman Street in the Village of North Lewisburg.  

After Dr. Wagstaff’s death in 1904, the cemetery essentially became an orphan because the Village of North Lewisburg did not receive (or did not accept!) a proper deed to the cemetery from Dr. Wagstaff before he died.  

Till this day it shows the cemetery as being owned by the Walnut Grove Cemetery Association (a ghost association!) with no living members.  

But all of those details are another story….

The final wishes and words from Dr. William H. Wagstaff who, to date, rests in what we hope is eternal peace — but sadly in an unmarked grave at the cemetery he once oversaw.:

The Will of William H. Wagstaff




 Above is the 1890 Veterans Census

showing Dr. William H. Wagstaff




The Eagles Building in Lorain, Ohio – A favorite historic building crumbling due to lack of restoration work.

A visit to my hometown of Lorain, Ohio on February 5th, 2019 brought an unanticipated scene – part of Broadway being cordoned off due to some loose structural pieces of the Eagles Building that had broken off near the top of the building and crashed down to the street and alley; thus alerting those in the area that there was a potentially serious problem.  


The Elyria “Chronicle-Telegram” has published an in-depth story about this incident with the Eagles Building on February 5, 2019 along with a video. 


Below are photos of the Eagles Building that I took. 

The top photo was taken November 23, 2012 – with a close up view of the upper left portion of the building, and the lower photo was taken February 5, 2019.  



Below is a close up of the left upper portion of the Eagles Building – November 23, 2012 –  showing more details of the structural deterioration.


KODAK Digital Still Camera




Dan Brady’s Blog Post about the Eagles Building – September 10, 2012

Spotlighting my grandfather, Winfield Scott Limes, and other Limes ancestors who made the news in the “Columbus Dispatch” in the 20th Century

My paternal grandfather, Winfield Scott Limes, has been among my most fascinating and personally rewarding ancestors to research.  I remember seeing him as a young child since he died when I was age eleven.  I remember sitting across from him at our dining room table on Sundays when he came over for a big Sunday dinner that my mother would make.  

He has been featured here in several posts, but not with exactly the same focus about his life. That’s because I just recently discovered a 1906 article in the “Columbus Dispatch” that my grandfather had submitted and they saw fit to publish.  My grandfather, “Scott”, had lived in Columbus a number of years when around 1905 he and his wife, Essie Lillian (Lombard) Limes, and 4 sons — Ernest, Albert, Tom, and Harry — all moved to Lorain (as it turned out it was a temporary move.  The family returned to Columbus around 1907.  Then later in the 1920s, my grandparents, my father Harry, and later Albert, all moved back to Lorain County and made it their permanent residence.)

Scott Limes was not only a member of the International Wood Wire & Metal Lathers’ Union, Local #1 in Columbus, Ohio, but he was one of the founders of the union itself in 1899. During his time in Lorain he changed his union membership affiliation to Local #171.

wood wire & metal lath pin 1899

In the November 26, 1906, with “Higher Wages Attract”, we find “Scott” Limes writing about the encouraging building prospects he saw in the city of Lorain.  As it turned out for him, those prospects rippled out to the wider area including Sandusky.  That is because he and his two brothers (John Warren and Thomas Limes) did lathing work on the grand original Breakers Hotel at Cedar Point that when completed was placed on the National Register of Historic Places — that was until sadly it lost that status years later due to modern upgrades made to the buildings. 

Scott also felt it important for the “Columbus Dispatch
to include how excited he was that Local #171 in Lorain County won a baseball championship in that city in 1906. He was a part of that team playing as a young 21-year-old.  I had known he played baseball with the team because of the two photographs I had inherited of him wearing his Local #171 baseball uniform.  This published article tells me that my two photographs could have been from 1906.  How unexpectedly excited it was for me learn the year he probably wore the baseball uniform in those photographs.  I was able to have one colorized, which I feel brings him back to life for me; sort to speak, because it is such a life-like version.

As I continued with my research of the “Columbus Dispatch” I found additional stories or ‘tidbits’ with references to other Limes family members including the first marriage of my uncle Albert Limes.

Below are some of the stories I found that help round out the lives of some of my Limes relatives and ancestors who lived in Columbus, Ohio.

scott limes collage of 1906 columbus dispatch story and lather baseball photos - 3

winfield scott limes local 171 baseball in bent position - restored & colorized - 1-23-2019 with text and frame - new




Soul searching: Could 86 bodies still be buried on farm site in Perrysburg?

PERRYSBURG — A dedicated group of people has grave concerns about a former parish cemetery that they believe has not been properly cared for over the years.

Source: Soul searching: Could 86 bodies still be buried on farm site in Perrysburg?

Epitaph – Clay Henry Cooper

via Epitaph

From Eli Allen.:

“We think of cemeteries being conveniently located open spaces. Places where passers-by would contemplate their mortality and family members would commune with those gone before, but the places and how we travel has changed much in the last century. Folks once navigated the ridge lines instead of the valley floors, and there they buried their dead. Shawnee State Forest has many of these burial grounds. Here they were placed not because it was unfarmable waste ground because hillsides and tops were farmed as well, but because the ridges were free of flooding and were the highways of their time. Here is the Clay Henry Cooper burial ground, high above the valley in Shawnee State Forest. “


Clay Henry Cooper (1858 – 1913)

Behold ye stranger

As you pass me by

As you are now

So once was I

As I am now

So you must be

Prepare for death and

Follow me.

Thus reads the epitaph of Clay Henry Cooper of Upper Twin Creek whose memorial obelisk and grave is located on the ridge top, high above the old Cooper homestead.

When Clay Henry died in 1913, he was buried according to his wishes. Buried in a pine box with his “squirrel riffle,” Cooper’s death, according to popular telling, would lead to another round of conflict on Upper Twin, one that pitted the younger Cooper brothers against the older Cooper brothers. His burial became the opening scene of a feature-length article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, which published “The Coopers of Twin Creek: The Story of a Hill Feud in Ohio in 1929.” Written by Wilmer G. Mason and subtitled, “A Page Plucked Out of History, ’20 Miles and 100 Years From Portsmouth,’” the Enquirer’s article played upon popular stereotypes of Appalachia as “relic culture,” and described Clay as the “King of the Cooper Clan” and the Twin Creek region as “the place where hill history still lives and breathes and hates.”

Clay Cooper died of natural causes, not from a gunshot or knife wound, as would a number of his neighbors, relatives, and children.  That’s not to say he didn’t have his own stories of moonshine and near brushes with death.  In July 1897, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on a fight between Clay Cooper, Thomas and J.R. McGraw and William and Thomas Lewis.  “Rocks, clubs, knives and a rifle were all used. All were more or less hurt. Tom McGraw placed a rifle against H. Clay Cooper’s head and pulled the trigger. Luckily the cap failed to explode. Warrants have been sworn out for the arrest of the two McGraws and the two Lewises, who have all taken to the woods.”

Clay Henry Cooper died before Prohibition was enacted throughout Ohio and the rest of the nation. The conflict, violence, and death that followed his ridge-top burial had more to do with the intrusion of the state’s law enforcement powers and expanded efforts to crack down on illegalities.  Prohibition in Ohio coincided with the creation of the Shawnee State Forest, which came to include large tracts of land in the watersheds of Lower and Upper Twin Creeks. As the old hillside stone quarries that had once provided work closed after the turn of the century and the ridges had been largely stripped of timber for the manufacture of railroad ties and other timber products, tax delinquencies grew and the state moved to add these so-called “unwanted lands” to their new state forest lands. Thus, in addition to new local, state, and federal prohibition related law enforcement efforts, the introduction of State Forest Rangers, with an eye for moonshine operations on state land, added to the increased presence of state power in the region.

When Clay Henry Cooper died in 1913 the old ridge-top roads were still commonly used by residents of the area.  The all-weather forest roads constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the WPA in the 1930s had yet to open up the region to the automobile and the location of Cooper’s memorial obelisk would have been known by everyone on the creek.  It marked the ridge road address of the Cooper homestead on Upper Twin, and its message to the passing stranger would have reminded many that life is short and that we will all one day follow Clay Henry Cooper in death.

On the 26th of January, 2018, Brian Richards, a longtime resident of Twin Creek, led an outing to locate Cooper’s grave and document the site for inclusion in the Ohio Historic Inventory (OHI). Richards, whose Elliot family tree traces back to one of the earliest settler families on the creek, first stumbled upon the obelisk back in the early 1970s.  He memorized the epitaph and would recall it near verbatim some forty years later when we struggled to read the original carved sandstone memorial.

Derrick Parker, an Ohio History Service Corps (AmeriCorps) Community Surveyor, accompanied Andrew Feight, the local site supervisor for the OHI Survey. The Cooper Memorial Obelisk and its associated history will be entered into the inventory, which is maintained by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) at the Ohio History Connection.

Eli Allen, the President of the Scioto County Genealogical Society, joined the outing to Cooper’s Obelisk in hopes of adding the site to the Society’s records of lost and forgotten cemeteries. Allen brought along his 360-degree camera and uploaded an image of the historic site to Google Maps and Streetview.