Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Esther Doster

ON A SNOWY SATURDAY in January, I talked with Esther Doster, 96, and her son, Howard, a Purdue University professor. They recounted a rich family history.

Esther was born and raised on the family farm on Brimstone Road near Harveysburg. Her parents, Daniel and Wilhelmina Underwood, were known throughout the area for their acres of fine apples. The farm land is on the north side of Ohio 73 and surrounds Jonah's Run Church. The boundary separating Warren and Clinton counties runs through the farm. "Most of Mom's life and her parents' life has been spent on the Clinton/Warren County line," Howard said.

Education has played a major part in the family history. About 1900, Wilhelmina Hahn was hired to teach at a one-room school east of Jonah's Run Church. She met Daniel Underwood at church and they soon married. Esther was the oldest of their four daughters.

As a child, Esther attended Haines School, a one-room school located about one-half mile north of her home. She attended Haines from the first grade through the sixth grade. The schools were then centralized and Esther attended Kingman School in Clinton County from the seventh grade through her senior year. She was transported to school each day in a horse-drawn school wagon.

During high school, she played basketball and was on the debate team. She graduated from Kingman as valedictorian in 1921.

"I won a scholarship of $25 to Wilmington College and thought I'd go to college for a long time," Esther said. "I planned to take science courses. Papa talked to the president of Wilmington College. I saw Papa's hand shake and I realized he didn't have as much money as I thought. I decided to make the best of it and not take the higher-cost science courses. I went one year to Normal School (teacher training at Wilmington)."

After Normal School, Esther taught for one year at White Chapel, a one-room school north of Wilmington near Xenia.

"I walked to school every day. Well, actually, I ran," she said. "There were three country schools within hearing distance of the bell and it was a matter of pride that your bell wasn't the last one to ring."

She lived with a family in the "nice community."

"I think I was paid $90 a month," she said.

She hired a boy to make the fire in the classroom stove, sweep the floor, and wash the chalkboard. He was paid $3 a month.

"When they trained us to teach in the country, they said you don't want to use anything to hit the students that will leave marks. Some teachers had used boards. We were told to use a rubber hose," Esther said.

"I think they meant like a garden hose size but I got one about the size of your little finger. I only used it once.

"I had a sore foot with a corn on it. I'd hung the hose up on the wall. We were getting ready to go on a field trip. I always felt the children should be marched out in some order - not fly out like geese. One student sitting close to the hose got out of line and stepped on my sore toe. I grabbed that hose and gave him a lick. We were all shocked."

As a student in a one-room school, Esther said she had a wonderful teacher, Inez Ridgeway Wilson, who taught her health practices that she used when she taught at White Chapel. One was to have the students make their own paper cups to drink water from the bucket. It was common practice at that time for everyone to drink out of the same tin cup from the well or the same dipper from the bucket.

She also had the children brush their teeth each day. Once a man from the county office came to observe her teaching.

"He told me that he could see I understood the problems," Esther said.

She also adopted from Wilson the practice of hanging the temperance motto, "Not too much of anything and some things none at all," on her classroom wall.

She had 25 or 30 students. "I had all eight grades," she said. "Some came that were 4 years old. The oldest was 16. It was a busy time."

After teaching a year at White Chapel, Esther returned to Wilmington College. While at Wilmington she played basketball, helped found a sorority and a dramatics honorary. She graduated with honors in 1926.

Next followed three years of teaching high school English at Highland. She also coached the basketball team and the class plays. In 1929 Esther received a high school life certificate for teaching English, history and home economics.

Although she had dated William Doster off and on since 1922, she postponed marriage because at the time most school boards didn't hire married women. Teaching jobs were scarce and boards chose to hire men or single women.

In 1930 Esther quit her teaching job and married William. They set up housekeeping in the house on Brimstone Road. They had four children: three boys and one girl.

William was elected to the Harveysburg school board and served for "perhaps 26 years," Howard said. He was president of the school board for many of those years.

When her children were in grade school, Esther and a friend, Helen Wall, taught monthly temperance classes in fifth through eighth grades. Her son, Howard, remembers learning the same temperance motto that used to hang on her classroom wall at White Chapel.

In 1960 Esther returned to teaching. She taught high school English at Harveysburg and then at Clinton-Massie when Harveysburg, Kingman, Adams Township and Clarksville schools consolidated.

Esther has retired from teaching and now lives in Wilmington. She has often returned to her birthplace on Brimstone Road where she has been heard to say, "This is the one place in the world where everything is in its right place."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Glaze Family

  • April 9,1989

    • Easter Sunday plays a special role in the lives of the Glaze family.
      The day represents both a holy day in their religious faith and the time when their homestead in rural Wayne Twp. returned to the family. Travis and Anne Glaze's home radiates a family's love and strong religious faith that has kept them strong through bad times.
      The house was built by Anne's great-great-great-great-grandfather, Moses McKay, in 1818. McKay was a Quaker from Virginia and a strong abolitionist.
      Just before McKay left Virginia, he freed the slaves he had purchased. Twenty-two of the freedmen followed him to Ohio to help build a brick transitional Greek Revival farmhouse.
      An 1836 addition included a two-story porch and a fireplace with a false hearth, which concealed a room large enough to hide eight people. The house became a station on the Underground Railroad.
      In 1900, the McKay family lost control of the house when the Gons family bought it. It was later purchased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and slated for demolition to make way for Caesar Creek Park.
      Through the efforts of several people, including McKay relatives, the house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The corps was persuaded to spare the house, which was sold via sealed bids.
      After several more owners, the house was bought back in 1996 by Howard Doster, the great-great-great-grandson of Moses McKay and the father of Anne Glaze.
      "I first heard about the house about 20 years ago when it was owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I visited the house and entered through a hole in the basement wall," Doster said.
      "Four years ago I revisited the house and found that the owner was the manager of a Cincinnati auto factory.'
      Knowing that plant managers were frequently transferred, Doster kept an eye on the house for two years "watching for the inevitable `For Sale' sign to appear," he said.
      "I saw it on Easter Sunday afternoon, April 7, 1996. The next day I made an offer and bought the Moses McKay house without even getting inside to see it again."
      The Glaze family moved in in mid-May 1996, and celebrated the wonder of two triumphs: the return of the McKay house to family ownership and the survival of their first-born son, Nathaniel.
      Nathaniel had been born on Jan. 28, 1996, just 5 1/2 months into the pregnancy. He weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces.
      "When his weight dropped to a mere 1 pound and 6 ounces during his first week, we prayed hard," Anne Glaze said. "It took him 31 days to get back to his birth weight."
      They turned to others for help.
      "We were used to helping other people. This time we had to ask for help. It was hard to do," Travis Glaze said. "Our (South Dayton Church of Christ) family was extremely helpful."
      During the health struggle, the family obtained a large wooden stick that they notched for each day that Anne and then Nathaniel were in the hospital.
      The heavily-notched stick is proudly displayed in their home "to remind us to trust in God," Travis Glaze said. "It is so easy to forget when you get back into a normal routine."
      Nathaniel went home from Miami Valley Hospital on May 9, just 2 1/2 weeks before the family moved into the ancestral home and 101 days after he was born.
      On Jan. 10, the family was blessed with a second son, Eric Joshua. But this pregnancy also developed complications.
      Anne Glaze went into preterm labor midway through the pregnancy. A premature birth was averted through the use of bed rest, prayer, and anti-contraction drugs. Eric Joshua arrived months later weighing 8 pounds.
      The family realizes the magnitude of their blessings.
      "We've seen God work miracles," Travis Glaze said.

      Wednesday, June 3, 2009


      John Hivling

      By Rosalie Yoakam

      John Hivling was born on July 14, 1779 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and later moved to Maryland. He married Sally Ankney in 1799. In 1809, the Hivling family moved to Greene County where Hivling purchased a mill which he operated for about two years.

      When he was elected sheriff of Greene County, Hivling sold the mill and moved his family into Xenia. He served as sheriff for four years, from 1812-1816. In this office, by order of the court, he administered the last public whipping. Robinson's History of Greene County says of the incident, "…the degrading punishment was well deserved, as the crime of which the rascal had been convicted was of the vilest order,…(Hivling) fairly carried out the sentence of the court in spirit and letter as the scamp hugged a small sugar tree on the public square."

      While serving as sheriff, Hivling bought a corner lot at Detroit and Main Streets in Xenia. A log building was on the property. From this building he operated a hotel called the Hivling House, which became the foremost hotel of the town.

      Hivling next bought a thousand acres outside of town and lived there for a short while. His property was north of present day Church Street and extended as far as the current Fair grounds.

      In 1815 Hivling entered the mercantile business when he bought out a storekeeper named Davis. He purchased all of the store stock as well as a lot and building on Main Street.

      Hivling was an early supporter of the Little Miami Railroad locating in Xenia and was made a member of the first board of directors.

      When the Xenia Bank was organized, he was appointed President of the bank. It later became the State Bank of Ohio and he was one of the largest stockholders. He also served on the state board of control of the bank.

      Hivling was a charter member of the Xenia branch of the Masons.

      Broadstone's History of Greene County, Ohio states, "He was interested in the first bank, …Little Miami Railroad, and in every feature of the life of Xenia which promised to make it a better and larger city."

      Robinson's says, "In all his business connections, in banking, in railroad management and in mercantile matter, he was noted for his clear practical good sense."

      The Hivlings' had thirteen children, eleven girls and two boys. Oral history says that when the daughters married the parents gave them a cameo pin, a gold watch and chain, and a new house as wedding gifts.

      John Hivling died on November 4, 1860 and is buried in Woodland Cemetery, Xenia, Ohio. Broadstone's claims that, "At his death…he was the wealthiest man in the county."