Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Pogue's of Park Avenue

Cincinnati's Park Avenue in East Walnut Hills was once a prestigious place to live. In the mid 1800's, well-to-do families made the move out of the Cincinnati basin to their mansions on the hills.

This story is the same for Henry Pogue. He was born May 5, 1829  in County Cavan, Ireland and emigrated to the United States in 1850 and arrived in Cincinnati in 1851, working as a clerk in a dry goods store, along with his brothers Samuel, Thomas and William. By 1855, Henry became part owner of the Pogue and Jones dry good store on Fifth Street.

In 1865, Henry Pogue bought the business of his future father-in-law, John Crawford, a dry goods store on Fifth Street and brought his brother, Samuel into the business. H & S Pogue was born. Brothers Thomas and William also joined this family business. The store changed locations in 1878 to Fourth Street near Race.
1869 Titus Map
The house on Park Avenue was purchased by H & S Pogue in 1871 from David J. Williams, who appears to have built this home around 1865.
1870 Census showing neighbors Joseph Rhodes, David Williams and Hugh Kemper
The Cincinnati Daily Enquirer (1852-1872); May 12, 1871;
On October 24, 1878, Henry Pogue married Mary Isabella Crawford in Fort Hamilton, New York, where her family had moved after Henry purchased her father's business. They returned to Cincinnati and lived in the home on Park Avenue.
1880 Census
Henry and Mary had eight children, two whom died in infancy. Henry died in 1903 and the business passed onto his brother and his sons. They continued to build a prosperous business and a new building was built in 1916 at the corner of Race and Fourth Street. The department store continued operations into the 1980's. More information on the store can be found on this wonderful blog - The Department Store Museum

Henry Pogue
Mary Isabella Crawford Pogue
 Mary Isabella Crawford Pogue passed away in 1934 and the family is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery. The home had transferred ownership some years prior to their daughter, Natalie Pogue Gates, who married John L. Gates. The home remained in the Gates family until John's death in 1973. John L. Gates was the owner of the Precision Equipment Company, a radio receiving manufacturer, and he built and operated one of the first radio stations in Cincinnati. He later sold this station to the Crosley Radio Corporation.

The home is currently the offices of Vivian Llambi & Associates and was featured as part of the Cincinnati Preservation Association's Walnut Hills House Tour in 2010. The restoration won an award from CPA in 2009.
The following interior detail pictures were taken by the Cincinnati Preservation Association and donated to the DAAP program at the University of Cincinnati:

One more curious side note - The home just to the south, at 2306 Park Avenue, was built in 1900 for Henry and Mary's daughter, Blanche, who lived there with her husband, William Walker Smith and they named the home "The Columns". Natalie Pogue Gates and John Gates also lived in this home in the 1920's before moving to the "big house" next door.
2306 Park Ave
Hamilton County Auditor 2005

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The History of Hostess in Cincinnati

I began to be intrigued with the history of the Hostess Brand in Cincinnati with the closing of the plant on 5th Street on November 12, 2012. This picture in particular inspired me to learn more:

Photo Credit - JGR Images
How did a former police station become part of a bakery? I started with my favorite maps.

1891 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The Police Patrol Station Number 4 was built between 1887 and 1891 on Fourth Street. To the east also stood a fire engine house at the corner of Fourth and Carl Alley. However, there is no sign of a bakery!
Photo taken in front of the police patrol station - Source
 In 1911, the Domestic Science Bakery bought land on Fifth Street and began construction on a two story building. The following article from the Cincinnati Enquirer on September 11, 1911, describes interesting items placed in the building's cornerstone:
Go Into Corner Stone
Of New Home of Domestic Science Baking Company - Elaborate Ceremony Planned.
Many curious things have been placed in the corner stones of buildings since the corner stone of an institution came into use, but it will remain for Cincinnati to add pies to the list.
No, gentle reader, this is not a joke. Six big pies, like those that mother used to make and which the small boy so delights to stow away in his stomach, will be placed in an airtight case and be set in the corner stone of the new building of the Domestic Science Baking Company on West Fourth (sic, should be Fifth) avenue, opposite the Fourth District Police Station. The pies go in to dedicate the new structure as a pie factory and as an evidence to future generations of the ability of the people of to-day to make good pies.
The new plant of the company will cost $100,000, and is being constructed of concrete and steel. Yesterday Simon Hubig, one of the officials of the company, made arrangements for an elaborate celebration of the sealing of the corner stone, which takes place next Tuesday afternoon. He has invited the members of the One O'Clock Club, an organization whose purpose is to salute by lifting the hat to every pie wagon that passes, to luncheon on that day at the Business Men's Club. They will be taken to the scene in pie wagons and wear pie pans as badges.
The six pies will be prepared for their long sojourn by being wrapped in paraffined paper, upon which will be written in indelible ink the history of the pie: the date of its birth and its burial. The six will then be sealed in a metal container, which will be airtight, and this goes in at the bottom of the corner stone receptacle. A history of the company, the building, a list of stockholders, a description of the dedication ceremony and a roster of the members of the One O'Clock Club, will be put in to keep the pies company, after which the concrete man will cover it up by making it a part of the Fourth (sic, Fifth) avenue wall.
The One O'Clock Club ... are duty bound to buy pie for each fellow member upon an increase in the family, or any kind of an anniversary, and are fined a round of pies when they fail to tip their hats to a wagon laden with the same.
Cincinnati Enquirer, September 20, 1911
Cincinnati Enquirer, April 3, 1912

Cincinnati Enquirer, April 18, 1912
By 1914, Simon Hubig sold the Domestic Science Baking Company to Schulze Baking Company of Chicago, which operated four bakeries in that city as well as Peoria, IL and Kansas City at the time of the purchase. The article from the Cincinnati Enquirer, February 3, 1914 states the Domestic Science Bakery made the well-known Tip-Top and Butternut breads.

Seen at Local 127 on Vine Street
Source - Digging Cincinnati History
Cincinnati Enquirer, March 19, 1917
1904-1930 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The Schulze Baking Company (misspelled on this map) can be seen on both 4th and 5th Street. The police station had not yet become part of the business.
Control of the Schulze Baking Company was sold in 1921 to Ralph Leroy Nafziger and in 1930, through the merger of Schulze Baking and Western Bakeries of Los Angeles, Interstate Bakeries was formed. In this same year, Hostess Brands was established by Interstate Bakeries. More information can be read here.

1950 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The former police station is now listed as storage for the bakery.
Buildings continued to be added over the years, joining existing buildings. In the picture below, you can see the all the buildings which have been combined. And yes, the original Domestic Science Baking Company building is still standing on Fifth Street, although the facade has been altered over the years.
Google Aerial View
Google Streetview
Original Domestic Science Baking Company
I wonder if those pies are still buried in the corner stone...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Avondale Athletic Club to Xavier University

As a student as Xavier University, I pass this sign in front of the Cintas Center when walking to class:
Source - Author
So I just had to know what the heck the AAC was. The little sign at the bottom gives a bit more information - AAC was the Avondale Athletic Club, once on the campus of Xavier. But what was this club, where was it located and what happened to it?

The Avondale Athletic Club was founded in 1897. The following article from the Cincinnati Enquirer details more about the club:
The members of the fashionable circles on the hilltops are very much interested in the organization of the Avondale Athletic Club. The clubhouse is now an assured fact, and a large force of men are at work on the grounds purchased by the club from Mr. C.C. Bragg.
The accompanying cut (picture) conveys an excellent idea of the magnificent clubhouse which is being built. The clubhouse is the design of Mr. Matthew Burton, a Cincinnati boy, who has already attained a reputation here and throughout the country as an architect. The Avondale Club is one of the best examples of his ability to combine thorough convenience and comfort with a design entirely artistic and pleasing.
The membership of the club is limited to 200, and already 158 members have signed the club roster.
The club grounds will afford ample facilities for all out-door sports, such as golf, football, baseball, tennis, croquet, bicycling, shooting clay pigeons, and a large swimming pool, which is now being built, will be ample in size to accommodate all who desire to swim in summer and skate in winter.
The entire valley in the back of the clubhouse will overlook the fields on which the out-door sports are to be held.
The club building will have large billiard rooms, four bowling alleys, shower bathe for athletes, lounging rooms, reading rooms, cardrooms for games without stakes, while the second floor will be a large auditorium capable of seating 500 people, and will be equipped with stage, scenery, &c., for entertainments such as lectures, plays, dances, card parties, &c.
A dancing school for children of members will also be maintained.
The by-laws of the club are framed on a liberal basis, and gentlemen in good standing in the community over 18 years of age are eligible to active membership. Each member must own at least one share of stock, par value $50, while the annual dues will be $25, payable semi-annually. Furthermore, sons of members between the ages of 15 and 20 years can enjoy the privileges of the club on the payment of $5 per year, and those between the ages of 20 and 25 on payment of $10 per year.
Tournaments of every description are to be given, and the Avondale Athletic Club’s flag and cups will no doubt be contested for in many future events…
Cincinnati Enquirer; Aug 15, 1897
Cincinnati Enquirer; Aug 15, 1897
The Avondale Athletic Club was the first location of the Cincinnati Master tennis tournament, now known as the Western & Southern Open. It is the oldest tennis tournament played in its original city in the United States.
Unfortunately, the club only lasted for six years and in 1903, it went into receivership after a dispute between the Club's Board of Governors and Mr. C.C. Bragg, who owned the land rented by the club. The clubhouse and the golf course was used by the Avondale golf club until 1911, when St. Xavier College purchased 22.5 acres and the building for $85,000.

The property’s existing clubhouse, built in 1898, was hastily renovated into a makeshift school building, complete with classrooms, a chapel, and a dining hall, while retaining the old bowling alley from the Avondale Athletic Club. Archbishop Moeller dedicated it in December of 1911, christening it Xavier Hall. It opened its doors with 87 students as a replacement for the Branch High School in January 1912, now under the name of Xavier Academy. Though the academy represented a bright hope for St. Xavier’s future, the pre-secondary and college students, as well as many of the high school boys, remained downtown.  "1911: A New Beginning Paper" by Mary Margaret Fletcher Source

Circa 1898 - Source
Financial difficulties and World War I delayed construction of buildings on the Xavier Avondale campus, but finally in 1920, Hinkle Hall and Alumni Hall (now Edgecliff Hall ) were completed.  Over the next 10 years, additional buildings were added to the campus and in 1930, St. Xavier College became Xavier University.
1950 Sanborn Insurance Map. Red box outlines the location of the Avondale Athletic Club building, then used as a dining and recreation hall. - Source

Many more buildings were added, especially in the 1960's and in 1965, the old Avondale Athletic Club building, known as the "Red Building" came down and was replaced with University Center, now know as Joseph Hall. But the memories of the "AAC" live on in the little mural in front of the Cintas Center.

More information on XU's history can be found in this presentation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Bell House - East Walnut Hills

Another find from the wonderful collection of photos given to UC's DAAP program from the Cincinnati Preservation Association.
1869 Titus Map - Source
This home was built on a parcel of the original Scarborough property, between 1902 and 1904 for Charles Walter Bell, son of John E. Bell, the once wealthy owner the Cincinnati Tin and Japan Company. The home was designed by A.O. Elzner and George M. Anderson, prominent Cincinnati architects who also designed the Ingalls Building downtown.
1904 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The Bell family only remained in the home until 1912, when it was sold to a wealthy bachelor, Jefferson "Jeff" Livingston. It was noted in the papers that it sold for $50,000, the largest amount in the city that year. Articles in the Cincinnati Enquirer documented the beauty of the home:
It is the brick colonial type of architecture and contains about 12 rooms. On the second floor there are five bedrooms and several baths. The improvement is of the three-story type, with a finished third floor, where are located the quarters of the servants. The house is said to be the best equipped for its size in the Cincinnati market… November 30, 1912
 There is no house in town so perfect in colonial architecture as Mr. and Mrs. Bell’s, and its Georgian furniture and superb marble mantel pieces, magnificent types of their period are unsurpassed in this part of the county… Mrs. Bell gave infinite thought to the building and furnishing of the house, and her artistic sense never served her to better advantage, for the result was impeccable, a house so distinctly colonial, its appointments so perfectly in keeping with its period that it stands unique. Some of Mrs. Bell’s splendid pieces of mahogany are heirlooms, others were gathered together from many parts of the country, years of effort being devoted to this delightful mission before the house was built... December 8, 1912
Mr. Livingston, it seems, never lived in the home, and the following year he sold it to John M. Wright for $40,000. Mr. Wright was with the Raleigh Coal & Coke Company. He and his wife, Carrie, and their two daughters, Marjorie and Virginia, took up residence here. Unfortunately, Mr. Wright passed away at the early age of 58 in 1928. Carrie and her daughters remained in the home until 1940, when Carrie sold the home to the Lee family. It remained in their family until 1968. Since that time, there have been just three owners, with the current owners purchasing it in 1989.

The house faces the Cincinnati Tennis Club, which its own unique history is documented here.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Schaller Bros' Main Street Brewery

This brewery came to my attention because of this photo posted on Facebook. The poster asked if the remains in the middle could be part of a brewery tunnel, so prevalent in Over-the-Rhine:
This pic was taken on the vacant lot between Hughes and Rothenburg School. - Urban Properties OTR (Facebook). See their page for a video clip as well!
So I went off digging through the old maps, comparing them to present day maps. First, I checked for any vacant lots near Rothenberg School, a beautiful public school built in 1914, at the corner of Main Street and Clifton Avenue.
Rothenberg School - Flickr User oldohioschools
Check out more detail pictures
2012 CAGIS Map - Main Street Brewey was located at 1622 Main Street
According to Robert Wimberg's book, Cincinnati Breweries, the first brewery was at this site around 1851, and run by John A. Schaefer until 1869. At the time, the establishment was purchased by John S. Schneider and John G. Elsenheimer, with Schneider becoming sole owner in 1870.

Michael Mueller joined the business in 1871 and in 1875 bought out Schneider. At that time, the brewery employed twenty-five men, producings 5,000 barrels per year. August Froekling became a partner in 1879, but in 1882, the Schaller brothers, Michael, Peter and William, bought the Main Street Brewery. Peter left the business in 1891.
1891 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
In 1900, J. Edward Sohn and his son joined the Schaller Brothers' Main Street Brewery, while Michael Schaller, Jr. also joined the family business. Michael Keck was the brewmaster and developed such beers as "Old Gold" and "Eclipse". Prohibition should have closed the brewery, but they continued to produce beer until legal action closed it in 1922.
1904-1930 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The brewery did reopen after the repeal of Prohibition but finally closed again in 1941. It was demolished sometime before 1950. In it's place was built a bake shop, in business until the 1970's.

1950 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The land and the remaining buildings are now owned by the Cincinnati Board of Education and being demolished for a parking lot for the Rothenberg School.

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Elsa" - Another Werk Home in Westwood

Continuing the series of Werk family homes, "Elsa" on Fleetwood Avenue is also commonly know as the Werk Mansion.
Fleetwood Avenue - Source
Casimir L. Werk Sr. was born in 1844, the eldest child of Michael and Pauline LaFeuille Werk. He followed in his father's footsteps, becoming director of the M. Werk Company. In 1878, he married Pauline Herancourt, daughter of George Herancourt, president of the Herancourt Brewing Company.

Original Sketch of C.L. Werk's home, published in 1880. Source
Biography of Casimir L. Werk, as published in The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography in 1922:
WERK, Casimir Louis, manufacturer, was born in Cincinnati, 0., July 4, 1844, son of Michael and Pauline (LaFeuille) Werk. His father, a native of Alsace, was the founder of the M. Werk Co., manufacturers of soap, candles and glycerin at Cincinnati, also founder of M. Werk & Sons, manufacturers of native wines, Cincinnati. After completing his education at Polytechnicum, Karlsruhe, Germany, the son entered his father’s soap business, and upon the latter’s death, in 1893, took the management of the business. He had formerly been a director in the Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co., and at his death was a member of the directorate of the Cincinnati Union Stock Yards Co., Dayton & Michigan Railroad Co., and Foulds Milling Co., Chicago. Being a good violinist, he found his chief recreation in music. He held membership also in the Business Men’s and Western Hills Country Clubs (Cincinnati). Politically he was a Republican. A man of large vision and high ideals, his dominating personal characteristics were unlimited capacity for work, a surplus of energy, keen foresight, and minuteness in detail. During his long residence in Cincinnati, he was an essential part in every movement and undertaking that had for its purpose the improvement of the Queen City or the betterment of the people. He was married in Cincinnati, 0., Feb. 27, 1878, to Pauline, daughter of George Herancourt, president of the Herancourt Brewing Co., and left six children: Casimir Michel, vice-president of the Herancourt Brewing Co.; George H., a physician; Emil E., secretary and treasurer of the M. Werk Co.; Casimir L. Jr., a broker; Pauline L., wife of Arthur Kleve, and Lillian E., wife of Edwin C. Price. He died in Cincinnati, 0., Nov. 8, 1919.
After Casimir L. Werk's death, the home transferred ownership to Casimir L. Werk, Jr. and his wife Elsie Haberthear, and they did not have any children. Casimir, Jr died in 1955 and Elsa, for whom the home is named, remarried. She passed away in 1986.

Living Room redecorated by Elsa Werk - Source

Circa 1960's - Source
The home then went through some several owners until 2009, when it was foreclosed upon. Luckily, the current owners of making strides towards its restoration. The following pictures are from the real estate listing  by Ron Schaible in 2009.