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 31

William Wallace Carr: A Nurse of a Different Kind by Amy (Brickey) Czubak

Posted on May 31, 2019 at 10:19 AM by Melissa Dalton

The Wright State University Special Collections and Archives has in its collections the papers of Alice Griffith Carr (Fig. 1), a Red Cross nurse who served during World War I, and also worked to improve and encourage better health in places like Greece, Poland, Lithuania, Turkey and Syria. While processing estate records at the Greene County Archives, I came across the estate of her father, William Wallace Carr, a Yellow Springs resident, who died on May 7, 1930.

Fig 1. Alice Griffith Carr (JPG)
Fig. 1: Alice Griffith Carr, courtesy of

William Wallace Carr was born in Fayette County, Ohio, on June 5, 1843 to William and Sophronia Carr. A resident of Yellow Springs since 1857, Carr was also a nurse of sorts. A tree nurse. Carr established Carr’s Nurseries in Yellow Springs in 1870. A receipt from his estate on the company’s letterhead states that the nurseries’ office and tree packing grounds were a “ten minutes walk from the depot one hundred yards from traction line terminus of South High Street” (Fig. 2). It also states that they are “evergreen specialists.”

Fig 2. Receipt written on Carr's Nurseries letterhead (JPG)
Fig. 2: Receipt written on Carr's Nurseries letterhead, courtesy of the Greene County Archives.

To support the nursery, Carr owned several lots in the Village of Yellow Springs: lots #305-307, #523-549, #588-608, #645-685, 11.12 acres of land outside of the village proper, and 168 acres of land in Miami Township. All of this real estate was valued at $30,000 at the time of Carr’s death in 1930 (Fig. 3). That value today, with inflation calculated, would be a little over $454,000.

Fig 3. Valuation of William Wallace Carr's real estate (JPG)
Fig 3: Valuation of William Wallace Carr's real estate, courtesy of the Greene County Archives.

William Wallace Carr was not just a tree nursery manager, however. Michael A. Broadstone’s History of Greene County Ohio lists Carr as having filled several official Yellow Springs offices including: mayor, justice of the peace, council member, and school director. While Carr’s Nurseries no longer exists, the Carr family home still stands in Yellow Springs on Xenia Avenue, and there are many wonderful artefacts both at Wright State and at the Yellow Springs Historical Society that further examine the illustrious and industrious Carr family.

Until Next Time!

"Nurse Alice Carr, Near East Relief and Near East Foundation." Near East Relief Historical Society. August 24, 2016. Accessed March 16, 2019.
Broadstone, M. A. History of Greene County Ohio: Its People, Industry and Institutions. Indianapolis, IN: B.F. Bowen & Co., 1918.
Heise, Robin. "William Wallace Carr." Yellow Springs Heritage. October 21, 2014. Accessed March 16, 2019.
“William Wallace Carr.” Probate Court Estate Records, Box 685, Case 2034. Greene County Records Center and Archives.


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