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 09

Family Farm Celebrates 100 Years

Posted on December 9, 2016 at 8:54 AM by Elise Kelly

This week's blog post was written by our intern, Erix Infante.

The Greene County Records Center and Archives recently received a property abstract from a local Greene County family. This document traces the history of the property from 1799 through 1889.

When Greene County was established in 1803, it was not uncommon for families to own parcels of land which would include hundreds, if not thousands of acres. With time, parts of these massive farms were sold off, and the historical family lineage would end after a decade or so.

That being said, thanks to the property abstract given to the Greene County Records Center and Archives, we have been able to trace back the history of one Ross Township farm. Just off of Federal Road, Francis Brock built a brick house in 1839. This historical home still stands today (See Below).

Francis transferred his land back and forth to several individuals during the mid-1800s. The property was finally sold to one of his sons, Russell Brock. After only a few years of owning the property, Russell’s father passed away, and was buried in the family graveyard.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with the Koogler family, who currently reside on this land, and had an opportunity to visit this graveyard. Walking through a quarter mile of corn, I found Francis’ grave underneath a tree. Unfortunately, after 150 years of exposure to environmental elements this cemetery has been taken over by Mother Nature.



Today, most abstracts pertain to parcels of land, and are a collection of property deeds, wills, court records, mortgages, and releases. Typically, an individual interested in doing research on land parcels are called title abstractors.

Abstractors will conduct research for personal interest, local governments, real estate companies and oil and gas businesses. If you are wondering who previously owned the parcel of land you live on, the Records Center has developed a helpful online guide for researching your property. Your property research will begin at the Greene County Recorder’s Office. Not a Greene County resident? No problem! All counties throughout the United States have a Recorder of Deeds office, and no matter what your interest is, all documents are public record and are accessible to the public! (Picture of any Recorders Office)

The Brock abstract, contains handwritten copies of the original deeds for this parcel of land. This record has been preserved for the past one hundred and twenty-seven years; documenting early Ross Township and Greene County history.


Now you might be asking yourself, “why are deed records so important and why did the Greene County Records Center and Archives obtain this abstract?” Back in June of this year, Randi and Carolyn Koogler brought in the abstract, which they had found in their attic. Looking through the deeds, I learned that in 1906 the Anderson family (the maternal grandparents of Carolyn Koogler), purchased this property from the Brocks. The farm has been in the Anderson/Koogler family for over one hundred years and is now listed as an Ohio Century Farm.

Interested in having your farm listed as a Century Farm? Only after careful consideration and proper historical documentation will the Century Farm Organization award the family an heirloom certificate signed by the Governor of Ohio and the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. If your family has lived on a farm for the past 100 years, and can support proper documentation proving so, there is a possibility your farm could be considered too! sdfs 

To most, history might not seem relevant on a daily basis. It might be hard to understand the historical significance of this Century Farm and others like it. Sometimes it’s only when an artifact is rediscovered that we understand the importance and value of history.

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: In what year was the Virginia Military District opened for settlement?

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question:
Name one of the books William Maxwell printed. - Answer: Laws of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the Ohio.


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