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Posted on December 5, 2017 at 9:02 AM by Melissa Dalton
A newspaper clipping from the
Xenia Daily Gazette reveals that the juvenile driving the car, Earl Carroll,
had been Kingsbury’s chauffeur. The article states that after Carroll had driven
Kingsbury to the train station, he took the car for a spin down the Bellbrook
Pike. Carroll lost control of the car and drove it into a wagon transporting
logs while driving at a high rate of speed. According to the newspaper, the
axle was badly bent and the fender had been completely torn off.
completed on Kingsbury’s car were performed at the Xenia Garage on S. Detroit
Street, close to where R.S. Kingsbury’s clothing stores were. The bills for
labor from the garage (Fig. 4) and the bill for parts, printed on Criterion
letterhead (Fig. 5), were included as evidence in the court case. The men took
only four days to work on the car in the Xenia Garage and were only listed by
their last names. The mechanics included Taylor, Jamison, Jones, Lowery, and
Hunt. For all their hard work, the bill for labor came to $32.70. The total,
parts and labor included, came to $82.70. An inflation chart (Table 1) details
the price differences between 1912, 1915 and 2017, revealing what Kingsbury
would have had to pay if he both bought his car and had his accident this year.
Figure 4: Labor bill from The Xenia Garage on S. Detroit Street.
Figure 5: Repair bill with The Criterion letterhead.
Parts & Labor
$0.40 per hour
$9.30 per hour
Peerless Motor Car
$4,000 - $5,200
$93,800 - $121,940
Table 1: Cost differences between 1912, 1915, and 2017.
The City of Xenia has changed considerably in the last 100 years since R.S. Kingsbury’s court case. Kingsbury, along with his father, George Kingsbury, and his mother, Sarah Stevenson Kingsbury, lie at rest in Xenia’s Woodland Cemetery. The area where Kingsbury’s stores offered hats, furnishings, and clothing goods to boys and gentlemen is now situated in Xenia’s Historic District. Although they have been altered slightly over the years, the buildings that once housed the Kingsbury Co. and The Criterion still stand, and they now house Johnson’s Fine Jewelry and A-1 Bail Bonds, Inc.
Automobile Catalogues, 1903-1915. New York Public Library. https://www.nypl.org/collections/nypl-recommendations/guides/auto-catalogs-vol-29.
Greene County Court of Common Pleas records. August 1855. Greene Co. Records and Archives.
Inflation calculator. http://www.in2013dollars.com/1860-dollars-in-2017?amount=1.
Xenia City Directory, January 1913. W.B. Chew & Son. Greene Co. Records and Archives.
Xenia Daily Gazette. 24 June 1915. Newspapers.com.
https://www.newspapers.com/image/89582318/?terms=R S Kingsbury
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