Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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May 12

Emil Planert and the Temperance Movement

Posted on May 12, 2017 at 3:31 PM by Jessica Cromer

In the late 19th century, Ohio was a hotbed of the Temperance Movement. The movement’s main goal was to restrict or prohibit liquor consumption. Despite the popularity of this movement, alcohol consumption was alive and well in Greene County.

One local saloon owner, Emil Planert, was born in Germany in 1857 and immigrated in 1881. He married in 1884 and by 1900 was living in Xenia running a saloon on West Main Street. He faced trouble when in 1886 the Dow tax was enacted which forced saloon owners to pay a large tax each year. While Emil and other saloon owners did eventually file suit against the county,
Emil was facing other liquor law-related troubles.

In 1897, a warrant for Emil Planert was made for selling liquor on Sunday and “not being a regular druggist and [was] selling without the written prescription of a regular practicing physician for
medical purposes only.”
Additionally, Mr. Planert was charged with “selling liquor contrary to law to 126,” including (to) several minors. Ultimately, Mr. Planert paid $13.45 for fines and court fees.

This was not the first time for Mr. Planert. In fact, a look in the criminal record indicates that Mr.
Planert was charged at least 11 times!

In 1903 the Xenia Daily Gazette reported that he was again charged with selling liquor illegally.
As the newspaper reported, Mr. Planert closed his saloon.

However, Mr. Planert had not learned his lesson and by 1911 the Xenia Daily Gazette was again reporting on Mr. Planert breaking liquor laws. Interestingly, this case took an unusual turn when Mr. Planert reported that he was blackmailed by someone posing as a detective who could get him out of the charges for “a certain cash consideration.” If Mr. Planert took the blackmailer up on the offer, it was unsuccessful because he plead guilty to the charges.

Emil Planert died in 1914 and was remembered as a “well known Xenia man”
who “conducted a saloon on West Main Street.”


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