Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cite Your Sources!




We have all done it. We are rushing to leave the courthouse or library before the doors lock and we quickly make a copy of that last record, thinking " I will remember later where I got this." 

BUT WE DON'T REMEMBER! Then later, maybe years later, we pull that piece of paper out of our files and wonder, "Where did I get that??"

Recently, I have been helping a lady who is applying for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution -DAR. She has been researching her family for years! So why does she need my help? She is trying to retrace her research because she didn't cite her sources! So now she brings us a piece of paper and asks "Where did I get this?" Mostly, we have been able to find the copy in the library's resources. But now always. I am sure some of her research came from elsewhere.

So, when we relocate her original source, we put the citation on the back of the copy, in pencil.  So what information goes into a genealogy source citation? The minimum information should be:
  • The name of the resource. Its title. What it is called. Iinclude page number, volumes, publisher, & publication date. Examples:
    • Tombstone Inscriptions from the Cemeteries of Medina County, Medina County Genealogical Society. 1983.
    • Marriage Records of Medina County 1818-1965 (microfilm), include the volume and page number. If the film is numbered, you include that information.
  • The repository where you found the item. Examples:
    • Medina County District Library
    • www.ancestry.com (online database)
    • Medina County Court House
  • The url of any online resource.
  • The date you found the item.
So save yourself some headaches and put the citation on any item as soon as you discover it.


Sources for more information:

  • Cite Your Sources by Richard S. Lackey. 1980. This is the primer that emphasized source citation. Too old now to be useful now (no Internet back then), it still needs to be acknowledged.
  • Evidence! Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Her first book on genealogy citations was published in 1997. It does not include the comprehensive listings for online resources that her later book does. At 124 pages, it is also less intimidating.
  • Evidence Explained Citing Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace By Elizabeth Shown Mills is THE book on how to city any genealogy source you might use for your genealogy research. It is now on its 3rd edition and at over 800 pages, can seem intimidating. But if you want to know how to cite your Great Aunt Martha's wedding dress that has been passed down to you, this is the book!
  • Cyndi's List from the Grande Dame of online genealogy, she includes multiple links to online information for citing your genealogical resources. 
  • Dear Myrtle and if you want an alternative to Evidence Explained, or if you like stirring up controversy, this popular blogger has links to other citation styles.
These books are available for use inside the Franklin Sylvester Room
at the Medina Library

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dorothy Morris 1928-2015

Dorothy Morris in the Franklin Sylvester Library
Room at the Medina Library in January 2008.
Dorothy Morris was a great lady!

And now she is gone.

She would argue about her greatness, in her own very laid back, self effacing way.

She came to the Medina Library around 1990 to volunteer on the Medina Gazette obituary project. That meant slogging through reel after reel of the old newspapers, scouring the pages for death notices, obituaries and probate listing for the library's obituary index. When Dorothy first started work on this project, she also had to type up the data found on 3"X5" cards. REALLY! That was how it was done in those days.

In 1996, Dorothy came to me and explained that there was no more room in the card index drawers for any more 3"X5" cards. She volunteered to "clean it up" by consolidating multiple cards for the same person. That would be only a temporary solution. So the card files had to computerized. That entailed typing the data for each card into a computer database. Always up for the challenge, Dorothy gamely took on the project. And there were TENS OF THOUSANDS of those 3"X5" cards!

March 14 2006 Medina Gazette article where Dorothy was
interviewed about her work on the Medina Library's
obituary project.

Dorothy was quiet. And so I got to know her slowly. She was a retired librarian from NASA. Brilliant! She had been in the US Marines. She was on their women's marksmanship's team. She was active in the Sharon Township Historical Society and published three books on the early days of Sharon. She was intrigued with the early baseball teams and researched them diligently. She was a member of the Medina County Genealogical Society. These little snippets about her life we slowly teased out of her.

But as I read her obituary, I realized there was so much more that I needed to learn about Dorothy. I did not know that she could read FIVE languages! I did not know that she played the snare drum or played basketball on the Women Marine Corps Reserve basketball team!

When Dorothy's sister Marilyn became ill, Dorothy couldn't come in to volunteer at the library as much. She needed to take care of Marilyn. Then Marilyn passed away and Dorothy had to settle the estate.That was in 2009. While I believe Dorothy always intended to come back and volunteer with us again, she didn't make it in. After that, I only saw her occasionally, at a Genealogy Society meeting or at the annual Medina County Women of the Military luncheon.

And now she is gone.

Medina Library staff remember Dorothy:


Dorothy always had a pleasant smile with a  quiet manner.  When one would converse with her, she always had something profound to say.  Dorothy felt like staff because she was always here volunteering and having her here felt good. It was an honor knowing Dorothy and having her being part of my day. - Renee

I am so grateful that I was able to attend the calling hours and memorial service for Dorothy. Family from both sides of the country, Medina County Women of the Military, old school friends and neighbors gathered to share time together celebrating this modest, many-faceted and talented lady who had the special gift of always putting others first.
Her canvas snare drum, in mint condition, was on display as were lucite-encased sharpshooter medals. Wonderful family photos were side-by-side with notebooks of photographs and letters from her decades in the NASA libraries. A poster with Big Bird (yes, that Big Bird) commemorated her award as a Big Birder for having recorded 426 different birds on 426 consecutive days! Tongue in cheek? Apparently, because family and friends enjoyed telling of her impish sense of humor.
Education was of paramount importance to her. In grade school, she made certain her younger sisters, Marilyn and Mary, got up on time to eat breakfast and get to school on time, which to Dorothy meant early. Dorothy, herself, stood to eat to be certain the whole morning kept moving. She was a hard-working student. Top grades were expected and received.
However, as mentioned earlier, there was that impish sense of humor.  One of her seventh grade classmates shared a story. It seems that a spelling test included the word “mayonnaise”. Dorothy, the perfectionist student, whispered to her friend, “I’ll just put salad dressing.” Do you suppose she really did?
There was a letter written decades ago by the head librarian at the Kennedy Space Center. He had heard of Dot Morris of Lewis Research but did not get to meet her until one early morning in a Washington, D.C. motel where they shared coffee before the bus picked them up to take them to their conference. He then wrote that meeting her and spending a bit of time meant more to him than the whole rest of the conference.
Those of us who were fortunate to know her as she worked so diligently in the library’s local history room can, along with her family and friends, treasure her memory. And remember her grin and her impish sense of humor! Thank you, Dorothy. - Elizabeth Nelson

Comments from the Facebook posting:
Medina Gazette 18 June 2015 page A-6





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Cannon on the Square

Generations of Medina's children have clambered over the cannon in the Public Square. Fess up! Either you or your kids are guilty of this desecration!


Have you ever wondered where the gun came from and how it ended up in the park?


If you have, the different plaques on the gun probably just confused you even more.


This plaque is underneath the back of the gun. The green patina of the aged metal is beautiful. However, everything on this plaque is wrong for the gun that sits above it.





This is the manufacturer's plaque. It tells us that the gun is a 57 mm carriage gun that was produced by International Harvester in Chicago in 1945. Now painted over, originally this label would have been black and silver.



This plaque is under the barrel of the gun. Accurate in all that it does say. It is what it doesn't say that I find puzzling.

When was it placed in the square? Where was it before it came to Medina? Why did it come to Medina? Who was involved?


And where do you go when you have these kinds of questions?  You go to the library!

Which is just what a library member did earlier this week. He came to me, asking these very questions. And I started pulling out resource after resource with no success. He had already been to the Medina County Historical Society, but no luck there. His next stop was going to be Post 202 of the American Legion.

But as often happens, I was left wondering, so I continued to dig. After all, another library member could come by any day with the same questions.

And look what I found!
Medina Gazette September 23, 1947, page 8.
This article explains that Charles Lawrence & Ralph Waite of American Legion Post 202 lobbied to get a "memento" of World War II to replace the gun from World War I that used to sit on the cement base. Being frugal Medinians, there was no need to pay for a new base when there was already a perfectly good base going unused. And the article tells that the gun had been at the Erie proving grounds before coming to Medina. The date of the article, 1947 tells us when the gun was moved.

In later articles found online, Ralph Waite says that originally there were three guns that came to Medina. http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2010/06/12/big-gun-goes-away/ 
  1. The one on Public Square.
  2. One in front of the VFW Hall on North Broadway
  3. One in front of the VFW on Pearl Road, north of Medina.
So the next time someone asks me about the cannon on the square...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Amos Carlton Mears

The Plain Dealer 2 Sep. 1962

 “We’re turning cow pastures & cornfields into factories.” So said Amos Mears in a 1961 Cleveland Plain Dealer article.

Amos was born Amos Carlton Mears in November 1902 to James & Ethel Mears in Kansas. He was one of 13 children born to salesman father and homemaker mother. From 1905 through the 1920 Censuses he is living with his parents. He has not been located in the 1930 census. By the 1940 Census, Amos is married with one child and living in Georgia. But by 1943, he was in Cleveland, Ohio where he built a number of businesses.

Mears moved to Medina in the 1950’s after retiring from his successful businesses in Cleveland. He bought a farm and started raising cattle. But that life must have been too quiet for him. Or maybe Medina was too quiet. In the 1950’s, Medina was languishing with no industry.

Mears became very involved in the economic development in the city of Medina and turned things around.  He served on a number of Medina organizations, including the Medina Area Chamber of Commerce, Area Development Committee, Medina Rotary Club, was the director of Old Phoenix National Bank, and was on the Board of Trustees of the Medina Community Hospital. 

He created the Medina Corp. to develop Industrial Real Estate.  By 1962, 13 new industries had moved to Medina and Mears expected to have another 50 in 5 years.

Among Mears accomplishments:
  • Medical Arts Building on East Washington 
  • 500 acre Industrial park in the southwest part of the city
  •  The Professional Building on West Washington 

For the rest of his life, Amos Mears maintained his interest in Medina County, summering here until his death in 1990.

What would Medina be like without a progressive thinking man like Amos?

Edward Mears 

Edward Mears, his son, developed the Rustic Hills Country Club and homes on the farm his father bought when he first came to Medina. He also built the Granger Lakes Condominiums in Granger Township. 

Edward, left his entire estate to The Friends of the Cemetery, a non-profit group dedicated to preserving and improving Spring Grove Cemetery. They are in the planning states of building the Amos C. Mears Memorial Building at Spring Grove and are funding a documentary on the life of Amos Carlton Mears.

Mears family stone at Spring Grove Cemetery
From www.findagrave.com 

A thank-you goes out to John Gill who acquainted me with Amos Mears.

Thanks John!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Genealogist is IN!


Every Tuesday afternoon, one of the Medina Library's staff genealogists assist members with their local history and genealogical research. The NEW hours starting this June are 1- 3 p.m. every Tuesday.




Lisa and I really enjoy helping library members with their questions. We get just as excited as the researchers when we discover new ancestors and often continue looking even after the member has left.

The questions we get from the public challenge us in ways our own research doesn't. For example, most of my family has lived in Ohio for the last 6 generations. So I know a lot about Ohio records and resources. So when someone asks for help with their Polish ancestors or their Michigan relatives, it makes us s-t-r-e-t-c-h as researchers. It makes us better researchers.

I have helped a member track down the descendants of man whose naturalization and marriage records she had inherited from a relative. The man was not her relative, but she desperately wanted to get the documents back into the hands of his people.

One of the most rewarding was when I was able to use a combination of death records and the process of elimination to find the maternal grandparents for an 80 year old woman. Her mother was orphaned as an infant and no one could tell her anything about them.

So come visit us some Tuesday afternoon and s-t-r-e-t-c-h along with us!

If you can't make it to the library on Tuesday afternoons, we also offer Genealogy One-on-One. Call the Medina Reference desk and set up an appointment to meet with us for an hour at a time that is convenient to you!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Discover Medina

Medina Historical

Have you seen this site?  http://discovermedina.org/  


Created by Shannon Conley's history classes at the Medina High School, this mobile app puts a lot of Medina's history right at your fingertips, literally. Just tap your smart phone or mobile device and away you go!

Every spring, Ms. Conley tasks her students to a historical research project and add it to the app. Focusing on the people, buildings, institutions and places of Medina County, the following are just a few of its offerings:

  • Ralph Waite
  • Dan's Dogs
  • Letha House
  • Spring Grove Cemetery
  • St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
  • Austin Badger
  • The Farmer's Exchange
  • Rufus Ferris
  • The Medina Square with links to the Medina Court House, Cool Beans Cafe, Ormandy's Trains
  • Ella Canavan

The Smucker Building on Public Squareby Owen Ferris 







You can search the site from a box at the top of the page, or just browse the links on the map of Medina. Zoom the map in or out to see more selections.










While assisting the students with their research can be challenging, I always look forward to seeing what they have produced. 

Each topic includes a history, pictures and often, audio  or video snippets too! The app is available at the iOS App Store or at Google Play

Let me know which is your favorite topic!




UPDATE

The students came into the library for several weeks working on their projects. We were happy to help them, but sometimes were overwhelmed by the number of students coming in and the more intense research they were doing.  But, as you can see below, they appreciated our efforts!







Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Who am I?





















  • Although I have been dead for almost 100  years, my name is still very well known throughout Medina County.
  • During the 1870 fire, I lost $4,200 in property, when my jewelry store caught fire.
  • I loved to ride bicycles. I would ride as much as 70 miles in one day.
  • I owned the first automobile in the city of Medina.
  • My first job was as a traveling showman, exhibiting the wonders of electricity.
  • I used a windmill in my backyard to power my printing press.
  • I was a school teacher for a short time.
  • I was president of the Board of Education for a number of years.
  • I was a member of the Anti-Saloon League.
  • I corresponded with Helen Keller.
  • The afternoon of my funeral, all of the businesses in Medina closed down. The schools were dismissed early.
  • I am included in a new book by best selling author, David McCullough.
  • The company I founded still ships its products around the world.
  • I wrote the first account of the Wright Brothers successfully flying their airplane. The world did not believe me!

Who am I?


Please send your answer in the comments section below. Comments and the answer will be posted in 2 days.

 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War

Military history is fascinating! At least it is when you have relatives that actually fought the battles, marched those trails, and suffered those privations. 

As I have been working a lot on my ancestors who served in the U.S. Civil War, I thought I had a decent idea of what those men endured. Until I read this book:
Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War  by Brian Matthew Jordan.

This book blows away old misconceptions and tells what it was truly like for the soldiers trying to return to civilian life. 

No one at the time understood what they had gone through and most didn’t want to believe just how horrible it was. 

The soldiers themselves had very mixed feelings, impatient to get home to loved ones but unsure of how to return to civilian life without their army comrades. 

And when it came time to ask the government to take care of their bodies & minds that were mangled by the war, they met resistance & disbelief every step of the way. 

Some parallels are drawn between the vets of 150 years ago and today’s veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Your mind will draw many more comparisons. Heavily recommended for anyone interested in U.S. military history, the Civil War, or how the US treats its veterans.

Reserve a copy here: 
http://bitly.com/1yP2Hna

Thursday, May 7, 2015

1940's House of the Future

Typical Lustron Home
World War II was over. All the GIs were returning home. They wanted jobs, families and HOMES of their own. But there aren't enough houses to fill the need. What America did have was a surplus of steel that had been put aside for the war effort.

 An entrepreneur dreamed of putting these things together and in 1948 they started production of the ceramic-coated steel, pre-fab houses at the Lustron  factory in Columbus, Ohio.

These Plain Dealer  pages from27 June 2004 detail some of the special features and challenges of living in a Lustron Home.


Steel walls make hanging things easy, with
 just a few magnets





















Most of these homes have since been re-sided and have lost the unique rectangular-siding appearance. The company only lasted a couple of years and went bankrupt in 1950.

Medina Gazette 16 Augutst 1949 p. 2

A gentleman involved in the assembly locally said 8 of these homes were built in Medina.
















Only 3 are now known, two of which have been re-sided.
Medina Gazeette 8 Nov. 1949





















The Ohio History Connection has been highlighting this little known part of the post war era in their publications and in their exhibits in Columbus.

http://www.ohiohistory.org/visit/exhibits/ohio-history-center-exhibits/1950s-building-the-american-dream

If you are adventurous, travel down West Park Boulevard in Medina and see if you can find any of the Lustron homes there!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lock-In Wrap Up

We had a very nice time at the Lock-In on Friday. We had 28 people attending, and one service dog.  Good doggie!
Photos courtesy of Keith on Facebook

Photos courtesy of Keith on Facebook

Besides the fantastic $35 gift certificates from Family Tree DNA that arrived via overnight express, we also had some nifty gift cards courtesy of the Medina County Genealogical Society.  Thank YOU so much!!  We had 23 other door prizes that were quickly snapped up during the intermission at 8 p.m., leaving one lonely participant empty handed. But Liz came to the rescue and found her a nice door prize also.

We learned how useful  DNA testing can be, depending on what you are looking for. And Lisa did a great job covering the FamilySearch.org web site. I use this site daily, but still I learned quite a few new tricks.

Kudos also go out to Lisa for being SO-O-O adaptable with the technological glitches. First, our DNA presenter's laptop refused to work. Lisa quickly set him up to use her laptop. Luckily he did have his presentation on an USB drive. Good to go! Then after the intermission, Lisa's laptop decided to do over 100 updates, even though she has it programmed to do updates at 3 a.m. SHEESH! But again, being very adaptable, Lisa quickly moved her program into the computer lab. What a trooper!

Lisa and I looked at our files and realized that this was our 13th Lock-in and we are in our 7th year of offering them. Truly, it does not seem to be that long ago!

We hand out surveys at every lock-in asking for ideas of what programs to offer in the future. We really depend on these surveys to give us ideas. Some of the more popular requests were for  topics that we have offered in the past, including German Research, Medina County Research or Computers and Genealogy, all of which we have offered in the last 3 years. Thank you to everyone who filled out the survey. And THANK YOU for your input.

For the September 18th Genealogy Lock-In, we hope to offer sessions on Researching Your Polish Ancestry and Writing Your Family History.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 24, 2015

EXCITING NEWS!!!


https://www.familytreedna.com/
Yes, I am SHOUTING! Because thanks to the generosity of the folks at Family Tree DNA we have two $35 certificates toward DNA testing to give away as door prizes at tonight's Genealogy Lock-In! 

WOO-HOO!

And we still have spots available if you want to come in for a chance to win one of the certificates or any of the other nifty door prizes we will be giving away! 

Oh, you can learn about genealogy research too!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

DNA Testing: Hype or Help?

Have you ever wondered if  DNA testing is the answer to all of your genealogical prayers?

DNA Testing: Hype or Help?  is one of the educational sessions at this Friday's Genealogy Lock-In at the Medina Library.

Popular TV crime shows and genealogy programs all tout the miracles that DNA testing can accomplish.

But what is the reality??

Richard Spector of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Cleveland will  teach us the finer points of DNA testing for genealogical research.
  • What are the realistic expectations? 
  • What can you learn? 
  • What isn't possible with DNA testing? 
  • Which companies offer which DNA tests?
Several years ago, I received a DNA test as a Christmas gift. I can't tell you how thrilled I was! 

Yep! That's me!!
My daughters had given me National Geographic's DNA test called Geno 2.0. This test reveals your DEEP ancestry. As in Neanderthal. Which I have 1.8% Neanderthal DNA, just slightly lower than the average of 2% for people of European descent. (I LOVE telling people I am 1.8 percent Neanderthal! Most people just nod their heads. As in "That explains so much!") With this test, you learn how your ancient ancestors came out of Africa and traveled across the Middle East and Europe, eventually covering the whole planet. Fascinating stuff.  

But not very useful for genealogy research.

So I had my results transferred to FamilyTree DNA. And while it was also very interesting and has helped me to connect with distant cousins, none of my brick walls have come tumbling down. But I just did learn the name of my 4th great grandmother on my Dad's side. I wasn't looking for her name just yet. But that still counts as a breakthrough, right??

But I am not sure I am getting everything out of my tests as I should, and I am hoping for some guidance from Friday's class.Want to join me, Lisa and Liz at the Lock-In??  Call 330-722-4257 to register. Or register online at: http://bit.ly/1yP2Hn9 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Have you seen this???

HUGE u-shaped iron embedded in the sidewalk on Smith Road
When walking around Medina, have you seen this in the sidewalk on Smith Road, right next to Castle Noel's parking lot??
Have you wondered what it was and why it was there?
Did you wonder if it was some kind of utility marking?
Or some relic from the Civil War?
Or did you wonder if it was a giant horseshoe and just HOW BIG was that horse??

Did you know there is another one in town? Do you know where this one can be found?


I have to admit, I wondered about this curiosity a lot on my lunch time walks around downtown/uptown Medina.  Until last fall when I went on the South Court Historic Neighborhood Tour. 

If you haven't ever taken any of the historic home  tours in Medina I can highly recommend them. We toured around 15 homes in the neighborhoods south of Route 42. They covered a range of architectural styles and decades. One of the last homes we toured was this one:

514 South Broadway
http://www.historicholbenhouse.com/
I have always admired the house for its cheery seasonal decorations along the picket fence.

The owners of the house are very enthusiastic keepers of the history of their home. It was built by Jabez Holben  in  1884.

Jabez lived from 1852 until 1933. He doesn't show up in the county histories, but by tracking him in the U.S. Federal Censuses from 1870 through 1930, we see that his occupation is listed as....

BLACKSMITH!!

His blacksmith shop was located on Smith Road and the horseshoe embedded in the sidewalk there marks where his shop once stood. The other one is placed in the sidewalk in front of the house he built.

Jabez' obituary states that he was "known by thousands" in Medina.

P.S. Bob Hyde grew up in the area of the Holben House and tells me that Jabez Holben built at least 5 houses in the area of South Broadway and Wadsworth Road.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Locked Up!!


Medina Library Staff, Lisa Rienerth & Kathy Petras

Or Locked-In?


Please join Medina Library staff and members of the Medina County Genealogical Society for a Genealogy Lock-In on April 24th from 6:30-10:30 p.m.  Two educational opportunities will be offered:

DNA Tests- Hype or Help?

and 

FamilySearch.org - Best FREE genealogy site


As always, help will be available for personal genealogy research.

Refreshments & Door Prizes will be provided.


Register online at: http://bit.ly/1yP2Hn9​ 
or by calling 330-722-4257


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Year's Resolution Update


How is your genealogy New Year's Resolution going??  I hope it is going as well as mine.

If you don't remember what my resolution was, you can read about it here:
http://mcdlgenealogyspot.blogspot.com/2015/01/genealogy-new-years-resolutions.html

So, I organized, cited & numbered all of my documents, filled out the application to be a member of the Civil War Families of Gallia County, Ohio and sent it all in. And waited...
Logo
And then, I received an email from Henny Evans saying I have been accepted!! YAHOO!! I have been invited to attend the Lineage Banquet on October 11th!! I am very excited about this as my father's family has extensive roots in Gallia County.




Lineage Society Application, Part Two:
Apply for the Society of Civil War Families of Ohio -- the application is nearly identical, but their criteria for acceptance is more stringent. I am a little nervous about this one.








A nice aspect of both of these lineage groups is that I can add additional ancestors at no additional cost!


Closed during renovation
Columbus Metropolitan Library - Main Library
As of Monday, April 13, the building will be closed to the public.
On April 20, our Local History &  Genealogy division will open in the old Whitehall Branch at 4371 E. Broad St. while Main Library is being renovated. Once the renovation is complete, the division will return to Main Library. In the meantime, you can email our Local History & Genealogy staff at history@columbuslibrary.org.
Full services at Main Library will be back and better than ever once the transformation is complete in August 2016.
http://www.columbuslibrary.org/buildings/main-library

Cuyahoga County Archives
The Cuyahoga County Archives will be moving during the months of June, July and August of this year.  Therefore the Archives will be closed.    If you happen to be working with a researcher/patron who needs to go there they need to do it before June or they will have to wait. This information is not yet on their website:  http://publicworks.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/Archives.aspx 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Elsie Bennett Wilson



Elsie Bennett Wilson



Elsie Bennett was born in the 1890’s in Medina to THE Bennett family. You know the ones that Bennett Lumber was named after.  Coming from a family of doers and achievers, Elsie did not let her gender hold her back in a day when women were considered “the weaker sex”.  She attended Mather College in Cleveland. She actively campaigned for women’s right to vote, believing it was important to maintain her dignity and femininity while doing so. She was a popular speaker on the Suffragette circuit. After passage of the 19th Amendment, she joined the League of Women Voters and became active in the Republican Party.  She served as a delegate to the 1932 Republican National Convention.

In 1925, she became a member of the board of trustees for the Franklin Sylvester Library and served until 1975. For those who aren’t “in the know”, the Franklin Sylvester Library is now known as the Medina Library. When the library expanded in 1975, the new addition was known as the Elsie Bennett Wilson Wing.  Her portrait hung in that wing until the library underwent renovation and expansion in 2006.

She also was a member of the Ohio Library Trustees Association and served as the group’s president from 1939 to 1947. In 1947 she was appointed to the State Library Board and served on that board until 1968. She was the first Hall of Fame Trustee inductee honored by the Ohio Library Council in 1970 and she has been inducted into the Medina City Schools Hall of Fame. She passed away in 1975.