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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Apr 07

The Attempted Ouster of the Infirmary Superintendent

Posted on April 7, 2021 at 2:27 PM by Melissa Dalton

We stumbled upon the story for this week’s blog after receiving a records request. While Robin was reviewing the Greene County Commissioners Minutes for said request, she learned of the attempted ouster, and subsequent reinstatement, of the Infirmary Superintendent in 1937. We were intrigued and wanted learn more, so we thought we would share it with our followers, too.

A. E. Kildow became the Superintendent of the Greene County Infirmary around 1925, and his wife, Mary, was named matron (it was commonplace for the superintendent’s wife to be named as matron). Kildow held the position for twelve years, but in 1937, several complaints were lodged against him and his wife for their alleged mismanagement the Infirmary. On April 5, 1937, the Commissioners signed a resolution requesting the resignation of the Kildows, with Commissioners Howard Batdorf and James Hawkins voting in favor of the resolution, and C. A. Jacobs voting against the measure (Fig 1). The Kildows refused to resign, and in August, the Commissioners signed another resolution for the prosecutor, Marcus Shoup, to prepare a removal letter (Fig 2).

Fig 1. Greene County Commissioners Minutes Vol 32 p 98 (JPG)

Fig 1. County Commissioners Minutes, Vol 32, p 98

Fig 2. Greene County Commissioners Minutes Vol 32 p 154 (JPG)

Fig 2. County Commissioners Minutes, Vol 32, p 154

If you are like us, you must be wondering what the Kildows did to cause the Commissioners to be so forceful in their attempts at removal. The Order of Removal provides the details we were missing in the early minutes. The Order makes several claims against the Kildows (Fig 3):

  • Mismanaged the stock room of the Infirmary, and their son, Forest, had stolen and sold groceries on a number of occasions
  • Removed provisions from the stock room to give to their daughter, Helen
  • Took several pounds of butter and cured meat, and had hogs slaughtered for personal use
  • Due to improper care, a considerable amount of meat spoiled and had to be discarded
  • Kildow was accused of immoral conduct with three female employees

Fig 3. Greene County Commissioners Minutes Vol 32 p 168 (JPG)

Fig 3. County Commissioners Minutes, Vol 32, p 168

Kildow denied all the allegations and filed an appeal with the State Civil Service Board of Ohio, claiming he was never given an opportunity to address the claims prior to the attempt of removal. The State Commission agreed to hear the case, and held a hearing on September 22, 1937 (Fig 4).


Fig 4. County Commissioners Minutes, Vol 32, p 172

Just a couple weeks after the hearing, the State Commission issued their ruling. The Commission agreed that there was sufficient evidence of the Kildows’ lack of proper attention and/or mismanagement of the care and use of meat purchased by the County, but the rest of the allegations were unsubstantiated. Therefore, they modified the order from a removal to an unpaid suspension, from August 25, 1937 to October 6, 1937 (Fig 5), with the Kildows being reinstated after the suspension.

Fig 5. Greene County Commissioners Minutes Vol 32 p 198 (JPG)

Fig 5. County Commissioners Minutes, Vol 32, p 198

However, the animosity did not end with the reinstatement. In November 1937, the Commissioners attempted to reduce the salary of two employees, one being Forest Kildow, from $40 a month to $1 a month. The two employees filed a complaint against the Commissioners. Prosecutor Shoup agreed with the complainants, and maintained the Commissioners did not have the authority to reduce their salaries; therefore, pay was restored (Fig 6).

Fig 6. County Board Must Restore Workers Pay, Xenia Evening Gazette, 30 Nov 1937 (PNG)Fig 6. County Board Must Restore Workers Pay, Xenia Evening Gazette, 30 Nov 1937 (PNG)

Fig 6. County Board Must Restore Workers’ Pay, Xenia Daily Gazette, 30 Nov 1937

In January 1938, the Commissioners passed another motion to reduce the joint salaries of the superintendent and matron, from $1800 a year to $1200 a year (Fig 7). The Kildows filed an injunction seeking a restoration of the $600 reduction in their salaries. The case went to trial in June 1938. Commissioner Hawkins claimed the reduction was not “politics” but solely to demonstrate the services provided (Fig 8). On July 27, 1938, the trial judge, Frank Clevenger, filed his decision in the matter. Judge Clevenger found that the reduction was for political reasons, and done without notice, making the action illegal. The Commissioners were ordered to restore the salaries (Fig 9).

Fig 7. Greene County Commissioners Minutes Vol 32 p 256 (JPG)

Fig 7. County Commissioners Minutes, Vol 32, p 256

Fig 8. Kildow Salary Cut Action Considered, Xenia Evening Gazette, 21 Jun 1938 (PNG)Fig 8. Kildow Salary Cut Action Considered, Xenia Evening Gazette, 21 Jun 1938 (PNG)

Fig 8. Kildow Salary Cut Action Considered, Xenia Evening Gazette, 21 Jun 1938

Fig 9. Greene County Commissioners Minutes Vol 32 p 373 (JPG)

Fig 9. County Commissioners Minutes, Vol 32, p 373

After this last incident, the actions against the Kildows appear to have ceased. A. E. Kildow remained the superintendent until 1942, when he retired at the age of 70.

It’s interesting to note that throughout the attempted ouster and salary reductions, one County Commissioner, C. A. Jacobs, abstained from all voting on the matter, but never publicly stated why. Also interesting is that Kildow made a run for County Commissioner in 1944, running against the two incumbents, Ralph Spahr and Charles Greer, but was unsuccessful in his bid (Fig 10).

Fig 10. Kildow is Commissioner Candidate-GOP Content Seen, Xenia Evening Gazette, 3 Feb 1944 (PNG)

Fig 10. A. E. Kildow is Commissioner Candidate; GOP Contest Seen, Xenia Evening Gazette, 3 Feb 1944

A. E. Kildow died shortly after his run for Commissioner. Kildow died on April 15, 1945 at the age of 73 and was buried at Woodland Cemetery. Two years later, on June 26, 1947, Mary died at the age of 76, and was buried next to her husband.

Until Next Time…

Sources:

Ancestry.com

Greene County Archives

NewspaperARCHIVE.com



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