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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Jan 18

Ernest Sidenstick: A Long Life Despite Early Illness by Amy Brickey

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 5:09 PM by Melissa Dalton

Some might think that combing through old probate records might be somewhat boring. However, all these records have stories to tell if one digs deep enough. While processing juvenile court cases from the early 1900s, one such story began to weave its tale. A yellowing postcard photo of a young man named Ernest Sidenstick, taken in 1916, was nestled between various court documents (Fig 1). The front features a picture of a very dapper looking Sidenstick while the back notes that the picture was taken Saturday, February 5, 1916 (Fig 2).

Picture postcard of Ernest Sidenstick from 1916 (front)
Fig 1. Photo postcard of Ernest Sidenstick. Text reads: "Parents live on Dayton Street in Yellow Springs 2" [2nd] house on right side as you go from Byron into Y.S. His father works for Drake at lumber yard." (Greene County Archives)

Back of picture postcard of Ernest Sidenstick from 1916
Fig 2. Top reads: "Call Charles Watts over Bell phone from YS. 4232 Xenia Ohio R.R. #3" (Greene County Archives)

Ernest Sidenstick was born on June 8, 1895 to Jacob Sidenstick and Emma Rebecca Sidenstick (née Winget). He was a Yellow Springs native and lifelong resident of his boyhood home at 545 Dayton Street. Although the picture shows a seemingly healthy and strapping young man, his early adult years were plagued with sickness. According to Sidenstick’s World War I draft card from 1917, he claimed exemption due to having an operation (Fig 3).
WWI draft card for Ernest Sidenstick, June 5, 1917
WWI draft card for Ernest Sidenstick, June 5, 1917 (side 2)
Fig 3. World War I draft card for Ernest Sidenstick, June 5, 1917. (Fold3 by

In February of 1918 the Xenia Daily Gazette reported that men were being called in for military examinations. Sidenstick was listed as one of the men being called, but doctor’s notes from March and April of that same year from Dr. F.C. Adams and Dr. L.L. Taylor, both practicing in Yellow Springs, indicate that Sidenstick was suffering from German measles, commonly known as rubella (Figs 4 & 5).

Doctor's note from Dr. F.C. Adams certifying illness of Sidenstick, March 15, 1918
Fig 4. Doctor's note from Dr. F.C. Adams. Note reads: "March 15-1918. This is to certify that Ernest Sidenstick has been under my care with measles [and] complications since Feb 20-1918. Resply [Respectfully] Dr. F.C. Adams” (Greene County Archives)

Doctor's note from Dr. L.L. Taylor confirming illness of Sidenstick, April 20, 1918
Fig 5. Doctor's note from Dr. L.L. Taylor. Note reads: "April 20-1918. To whom it may concern - This is to state that Mr. Ernest Sidenstick was confined to his bed and room from Apr 17 to Apr 20- by reason of German measles. L.L. Taylor, M.D." (Greene County Archives)

By August Sidenstick had been admitted to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton for intestinal trouble. An article from the Evening Gazette revealed that he had an operation for appendicitis two years prior (1916), but was now “getting along nicely” (Fig 6). He was not well for long, though, and was back in the hospital in 1920, this time in Springfield, Ohio.

The Evening Gazette, Wednesday, August 14, 1918
Fig 6. The Evening Gazette, Wednesday, August 14, 1918. (

Xenia Evening Gazette, March 22, 1920
Fig 7. Xenia Evening Gazette, March 22, 1920. (

After his stay at the Springfield City Hospital, Sidenstick seemed to be on the mend and did not appear in the papers again until 1967. The Xenia Daily Gazette reported a crash between six cars and two drivers, one of whom was Sidenstick. He was not at fault and uninjured in the accident, but the article stated that his car received $500 in damages. Despite this accident and a variety of health problems in his early adulthood, Ernest Sidenstick lived a long life, passing away February 13, 1985 at 90 years old. Forever a Yellow Springs resident, he now lies at rest in Glen Forest Cemetery (Fig 8).

Ernest Sidenstick Headstone
Fig 8. Ernest Sidenstick headstone (

Sources cited:
Greene County Archives.
The Evening Gazette,
Xenia Evening Gazette,
Fold3 by


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