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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Dec 31

Staff Favorite Records, Part II: Immigration Records

Posted on December 31, 2020 at 11:53 AM by Melissa Dalton

We had a brief hiatus of our blog, but we'd like to share the favorite records series from our 2020 Newsletters! This week, we learn about Elise's favorite record, Petition for Naturalization.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I have had time to slow down and reflect on the things that are most valuable to me. Without a doubt, family has always been the most integral part in my life. I recently learned some information about my great-grandfather, Steven Pettas. Great-Grandfather Pettas was born in Greece, immigrated to the United States in 1911, and was naturalized a U.S. citizen in 1933. What a joy it was to hear and learn this story. Using, I find my great-grandfather’s naturalization record. Through my family’s story and this record, I have been able to develop a more emotional connection to my ancestor.

Here at the Greene County Archives, we house and preserve several Petition for Naturalization records (Fig 1). These valuable and historical resources provide a plethora of information including: the immigrant’s place of birth and year; their present nationality; their physical description; their current address; the name of the vessel they traveled on to get to the United States; their occupation; their spouse and children’s names, places of birth, and their current addresses.

Greene County Archives Naturalization Record Books (PNG)
Fig 1. Greene County Archives Naturalization Record Books

One of these Petition for Naturalization records documents the naturalization of Marie Treuer (Fig 2). Upon examination of the record, I learned that Marie was a Jewish woman from Czechoslovakia. She, her Austrian husband, Fritz Treuer, and their son, Robert left Vienna, Austria in the beginning of 1939. Nazi Germany had invaded Austria in March 1938. This Jewish family probably left Vienna in order to escape Nazi persecution. According to the petition which was dated in 1945, Marie Treuer was employed as a bookkeeper and lived with her husband in Yellow Springs (Fig 3).

Photograph of Marie Treuer (PNG)
Fig 2. Photograph of Marie Treuer

Petition for Naturalization for Marie Treuer (PNG)
Fig 3. Petition for Naturalization record for Marie Treuer

These records serve as a vital link to our past and illustrate the importance of preserving and sharing historical records. Here in Greene County we are dedicated to this service.

Until Next Time!


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