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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Sep 23

How History Comes Alive

Posted on September 23, 2016 at 11:16 AM by Elise Kelly

This week our "I Found It In the Archives" Contest winner visited the Archives. Arriving from Maryland, Allan Hogue and his lovely wife Loralyn, had the opportunity to get a "behind the scenes" tour of the Archives.

The Hogues were excited to see the manumission record that documents Allan's ancestor's enlightened beliefs that slavery was immoral.

(Right Image: Allan Hogue looking at the manumission record).

History came alive for the Hogue's when they read that Frederick Bonner (Allan's great-great-great-great grandfather) had written down that he had "possessed....Slaves and from clear conviction of the injustice & criminality of depriving my fellow creatures of their natural right, do hereby emancipate and set free from a state of slavery the following negroes..."
              Greene County Emancipation Record of Free Blacks 1805-1845

Allan's winning essay documented the history of how former Virginia slave owners (including Allan's ancestor) migrated to Greene County to establish the Union Methodist Church and an abolitionist society.

Frederick Bonner, one of the earliest pioneers in Greene County, built the county's first brick house.

     Deputy Hook is leading us up the stairs of the clock tower.
 After the "behind the scenes" tour, Allan and Loralyn went on a tour of the historical county courthouse. Built in 1902, the Hogue's had a chance to see the beautiful walls and staircase made of imported white Italian marble.

They walked on the mosaic floors made of glass tiles and studied the murals and stained glass. They sat in on a court hearing and went up the 145 feet high clock tower.

To conclude the day, Allan told his story to the County Commissioners during the Commissioners Meeting. The Commissioners were thrilled to hear Allan's account and how the Greene County Archives helped Allan with his family research. It was a wonderful day for everyone involved.

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: Does the Union Methodist Church that Frederick Bonner and several other families help establish still exist today?

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question: What was built over a nineteenth century potter's field in Cincinnati, Ohio? - Answer: Cincinnati Music Hall


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