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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Jun 28

1969 Greene County Jail Time Capsule Opening!

Posted on June 28, 2019 at 10:30 AM by Melissa Dalton

Friday, June 21st was an eventful day for us here at the Greene County Archives! Our staff, along with several county officials, hosted an event for the opening of the 1969 Greene County Jail Time Capsule (Fig 1). This event took place exactly 50 years from the laying of the jail cornerstone!

Fig 1. Program from the 1969 Greene County Jail Time Capsule Opening (JPG)
Fig 1. Program from the 1969 Greene County Jail Time Capsule Opening

We had several elected officials join us for the event, including: Sheriff, Gene Fischer; Commissioners, Robert Glaser and Tom Koogler; Engineer, Stephanie Goff; Juvenile Court Judge, Adolpho Tornichio; Prosecuting Attorney, Stephen Haller; Treasurer, Kraig Hagler; and Clerk of Courts, Andrew Williams. We were honored to have former Prosecuting Attorney, Reynold Hoefflin, as our special guest! Mr. Hoefflin recited the same speech he gave during the laying of the jail cornerstone in 1969 (Fig 2). The event garnered great interest from the community, and we had roughly 100 attendees, plus over 2000 views on our live stream! To say we were happy with the event is an understatement!

Fig 2. Former Prosecuting Attorney, Reynold Hoefflin, speaking at event (JPG)
Fig 2. Former Prosecuting Attorney, Reynold Hoefflin, speaking at event

As part of the event, we emptied the time capsule, item by item, examining and identifying each as it was removed (Fig 3). In total, there were 21 items, with some having multiple components (Fig 4).

Fig 3. Archives staff removing items from Time Capsule (JPG)
Fig 3. Archives staff removing items from Time Capsule

  1. Photograph of Ohmer Tate (GC Sheriff January 1927-January 1931)-Photograph taken by Wheeler Photography, Xenia, OH;
  2. Sheriff’s badge belonging to Ohmer Tate;
  3. Sheriff’s badge belonging to Russell Bradley;
  4. Photograph of the signing of the contract to build the jail taken April 6, 1968. Photo by Bob Burns, Xenia Gazette;
  5. Campaign fingernail file, “Re-elect Ray Durnbaugh, Greene County Commissioner”;
  6. Campaign fingernail file, “Vote James A. Ford, Sr., Greene County Commissioner”;
  7. Seed from Red Buckeye transplanted to the Court House lawn, April 1969;
  8. 1964 nickel;
  9. 1969 penny;
  10. Story of the Jail Campaign;
    1. Photographic slides of old jail (36), 1966;
    2. History of the Jail campaign, written by Roger W. Brucker, Advertising Director, 2 pages;
    3. Organization of New Jail Campaign;
    4. “Shocking Old Jail” by Greene County Council on Community Services;
    5. Facts about Greene County’s Jail by Greene County Council on Community Services, 2 pages;
    6. Jail Committee Organizational Chart and position descriptions, 14 pages, February 8, 1966;
    7. Quit Claim Deed for Greene County Jail, circa 1966;
  11. Auto Title holder, Russell E. Gearhart, Clerk of Courts;
    1.  Russell E. Gearhart’s history on Clerk of Courts letterhead, June 20, 1969;
    2. School photograph of Rickey Allan Gearhart, 1960-1961;
  12. Jail History-from the Office of the Sheriff;
    1. History of Jail #6, written by Sheriff Russell A. Bradley, 2 pages, June 21, 1969;
    2. Campaign card, “Re-Elect “Russ Bradley for Sheriff”, 1968;
    3. Deputies’ addresses and phone numbers, 1969;
    4. 1965 penny;
    5. 1969 penny;
  13. List of Greene County elected officials, 1969;
  14. Poem, “Our New Jail”, by Thomas E. Kelley, June 21, 1969;
  15. Greene County Township Trustees and Clerks, 3 pages, 1969;
  16. Reynold Hoefflin’s handwritten speech for the Laying of the Cornerstone Ceremony, 7 pages, June 21, 1969;
  17. Greene County Road Map, 1969;
  18. Jail Committee Members, 3 pages, 1965-1966;
  19. Fairborn Daily Herald, June 19, 1969;
  20. The Xenia Daily Gazette, June 20, 1969;
  21. Beavercreek News, June 18, 1969.
Fig 4. List of 1969 Time Capsule Contents

As we knew many were unable to attend the event, we held an open house Thursday and Friday of this week to allow members of the community an opportunity to view the items in person (Fig 5), and you have until 2pm today to see them!

Fig 5a. 1969 Jail Time Capsule Exhibit (JPG)
Fig 5b. 1969 Jail Time Capsule Exhibit (JPG)
Fig 5c. 1969 Jail Time Capsule Exhibit (JPG)
Fig 5d. 1969 Jail Time Capsule Exhibit (JPG)
Fig 5e. 1969 Jail Time Capsule Exhibit (JPG)
Fig 5. 1969 Jail Time Capsule Exhibit

We want to take a moment to thank all those involved, and to note that without the support from our Greene County officials and community, we could not have made this event happen.
We are in the process of uploading the images of the items to our Flickr page, so be sure to check it out! Along with the 1969 Greene County Jail Time Capsule, we’ll be adding images from the 1901 Greene County Courthouse Time Capsule as well!

Until Next Time!


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