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 15

Our Valuable Volunteers and Interns

Posted on April 15, 2016 at 1:39 PM by Elise Kelly

In this week's blog post, we would like to highlight the wonderful work that has been performed by our valuable volunteers and interns.

Our Volunteers

Throughout the winter and early spring months, Kathy Haller and Karen Furcon have been re-filing our Probate Estate Records. Some of the duties entail re-filing multiple accounts, removing rusty staples and copying tarnished papers.

The Probate Files Kathy Haller is working on.

Karen Furcon
 Kathy and Karen dive into the work and perform their duties like pros by preparing the records for microfilming.

Microfilming documents ensures that future generations for up to five hundred years will have access to these valued historical records.

Interesting Discovery

One of Kathy's first assignments was to work on a very large estate account belonging to Alberta S. Kelly. Through Kelly's estate records, Kathy learned that Alberta was a widower living on W. 2nd Street in Xenia. With the help of census records, the Archives discovered that Kelly's husband, George, had been a rope manufacturer.

He served as president of the R.A. Kelly Company (See Below).

                          Page from the 1937-1938 City of Xenia Directory

George's father, Robert A. Kelly, was an immigrant from Ireland who started the R.A. Kelly Company in Xenia. Before Kelly established his own company, he was employed with another cordage business in the Xenia. While working there, he installed the first rope making machine in the city.

The Kelly's Monetary Value
When Alberta passed in 1948, the total value of her stocks totaled $237,709! Today that would be an equivalent of almost 2.5 million dollars. The family did very well for themselves after leaving their native country of Ireland. Let's take a look at the value of some of Alberta's jewelry (See Below).

               Kelly jewelry11.jpg
                                       Alberta Kelly's Estate Record

 sharon Another one of our volunteers has been processing a collection of miscellaneous records. As a graduate of Wright State's Public History Graduate Program, Sharon Wilson (pictured on the left) has been a tremendous help with organizing the various records that include: commissions for railroad policemen, sheriff affidavits and oaths of office.

The records have now been placed with their proper department.

Our Interns
In 2015, the Ohio Senate passed  Bill 227, which names the second Tuesday of each April as "Internship and Co-op Appreciation Day." In honor of this special day, we thanked our interns, Paul Dority, Nina Herzog, and Daniel Watts for all their hard work. They had the opportunity to attend a Greene County Commissioners' Meeting where they informed the Commissioners of the things they have learned as interns for the County Archives.

 During the meeting, Daniel Watts (pictured on the right) emphasized that the most important thing he has learned is to care for and preserve Greene County's older records. As a U.S. Veteran, Daniel has experienced both life and death and he has come to realize that life is short and preserving the records of our past is imperative. dan 

Some of these records housed at the Archives are the only existing records of past generations. By caring and preserving these records, Daniel believes that we are caring for the people who created them.

paul   Paul Dority (pictured on the left) spoke about how his internship has provided him with invaluable experience. He has gained a very intimate understanding of Greene County's community and how it has developed through time.


Nina Herzog (pictured below, third from left) discussed the abundant  and unique documents that are available to researchers at a county archives. During Nina's internship she has gained a tremendous insight on the development of Bellbrook/Sugarcreek Township and the City of Xenia. In addition, our records have helped Nina with her own personal genealogical research.


After each intern spoke, the Commissioners presented a resolution proclaiming Internship and Co-op Appreciation Day for April 12th (See Below).

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question:
What famous film director started his career as an intern at Universal Studios when he was 17 years old?

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question: What is Greene County's total population? Answer: 163,204


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