• The 2010 collecting trips were long overdue
  • Songnisan South Korea
  • Gone, But Not Forgotten Archives - DENISON ALUMNI …

Billy Joe Thorn, 74, a longtime area resident, passed away Monday, Sept

The Primrose Hill set is about to lose its most exotic bloom

T.J. Miller's 'The Gorburger Show' Canceled by Comedy …

Apr 27, 2017 · After a 362-day wait, the 2017 NFL draft is finally here
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Frank M. Betz was one of three sons and a daughter born to Frederick Christian Betz and his wife Barbara Frances Maphis who were married by the Rev. Jesse Kinsey on December 26, 1878. Daughter Annie Betz Geiger was born 21 Jan 1882 while the family lived on Phillipsburg Pike at Diamond Mill Road. Soon after, Betz' father bought 3 acres of land on the north edge of Salem (Clayton). All three boys were born in Clayton: Jesse Earl on 15 Jul 1883; Franklin Maphis on 13 Jul l885; and John Willis on 1 Jun 1890. Betz' father was a wagon maker, tobacco box maker, furniture maker and casket maker. His sons helped him in these pursuits until his untimely death on June 12, 1901. In his autobiography, Franklin Betz (now deceased) commented on other businesses and residents of Salem that he remembered from his youth. "Salem was set on two hills dividing the town, east and west, by a stream which was fed by three life-giving springs. The first at the head-waters was on the Jesse Kinsey farm on the NW corner of the old National Road. ..and the old Anthony Wayne Trail, which is now Route 49. A second spring was 1/4 mile north of Rt. 49 on the Diamond Mill Road. ...on the John Saylor Farm. The third spring was across the road from the Saylor spring and was called "Rattlesnake Spring." Possibly some 75 yards south of this spring on the south side of the stream, a mill-race or flume was built 1/3 of a mile along the side of the hill." According to Betz, a grist mill operated by George Reitz who emigrated from Virginia, was located at this site. He also mentions that the foundation of Hamilton Turner's whiskey distillery stood across from the grist mill. A large sawmill, operated by Emanuel Hubley, was on the west hill along Diamond Mill Road. " Across the street from this sawmill was a blacksmith shop operated by Samuel Lambert, who was a Civil War veteran." Betz tells how the boys stopped by the shop often to listen to his Civil War stories. "There was a slaughter house, as they were called then, on the west hill. It was operated by Harry and Hiram Jacobs, who processed mainly for their Jewish people in Dayton." Meat was cooled in the only ice house in town, on the John Saylor farm. "On Salem's east hill, business included the Clayton Post Office in the corner building of the Turner property [later known as the Turner Warehouse]. In this also were the confectionery and ice cream parlor, and over this, the Town Hall. Sometime later, when telephones came into being, the exchange was located in part of the second floor. " " A general store was just north of this, and over it was the I.O.O.F Hall. North of this was a blacksmith shop operated by Reuben Saylor, and later by his brother Lee. Across the street was a feed and flour store run by Amos Tobias. Amos Tobias had a team of almost white dapple-gray horses, which were the horses father used with his funeral hearse." "South of Mr. Tobias' feed store was the Salem tavern. Back of it was a livery stable, where one could hire a horse and buggy, or trade horses. ..There was a carpet-weaving shop in the home of, and operated by Rev. and Mrs. William Bucklew, Amish folks. They were parents of Mrs. George Reitz, the flour miller. These people were originally from Virginia." NOTE: More stories from Betz's autobiography can be read in the "Memories of Clayton-Then and Now" booklet available from the Society for a donation of $10.00 plus $2.50 postage. The booklet would make a good Christmas present for a friend.

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The Sinks Families of Butler and Randolph Townships
- by Sue Cummings

Since the life and photographic legacy of Edwin C. Sinks will be the focus of a special exhibit at the RTHS History Center in summer 2010, it seems only fitting that we trace his ancestral roots. It turns out that the Sinks can be traced back to the some of the earliest settlers in our region.

George Sinks, Sr. (1735-1819) was part of that early expedition led by Captain David Mast that traveled from Randolph County North Carolina to Randolph Township, Montgomery County, Ohio in 1801. Sinks bought and settled on lands east of the Stillwater River in Section 12 of Randolph Twp. (now in Butler Twp). George, Sr. had ten children by two wives, Rachel Hoover (d. 1782 and bur. in N. Carolina) and Mary Mast Waggoner (b. 1747-d. 1829). The fifth child (whose mother was Rachel) was George, Jr. (b. 22 Jan 1779-d. 21 Feb 1847).

George Sinks, Jr. and his wife Sarah Plummer (b. 1780-d. 1841) had three children – Mary, Daniel and John. George and Sarah helped establish Polk Grove Church in Butler Twp., and are buried in Polk Grove Cemetery. Son John had one son by his first wife, Lydia Ratchins (or Hutchins), i.e., George W. Sinks (b. 28 Aug 1832-d. 29 Aug 1894). John, his second wife, Julia Ann Bear, and some of their children are buried in Minnich Cemetery in Union.

George W. Sinks (grandfather of Edwin C. Sinks, the photographer) married Susan Coate (b. 1835(7)-d. 10 Feb 1928) in 1853. George W. Sinks was a blacksmith in Union, Ohio. He and wife Susan are buried in Fairview Cemetery in Englewood. They had two children, Theodore Franklin (b. 8 Aug 1854-d. 4 July 1921) and Florence (b. 5 Nov1857-d. 16 Oct 1915). Florence never married, but Theodore F. Sinks married Edna Herr (b.20 Dec 1855-d. 16 Aug 1950), daughter of Samuel L. Herr, one of the founders of Harrisburg (now Englewood). They had two boys, Edwin Clemens (b. 26 Oct 1877-d. 20 Nov 1917) and Walter Herr (b. 5 Sep 1883-d. 7 Dec 1971). Theodore was a butcher in Union, Ohio.

The younger son, Walter Sinks, married Elizabeth Kearney (b. 29 Dec 1882-d. 27 July 1973). They had four children, Harry, Orville, Nura and Ralph. Walter and Elizabeth married in China while doing missionary work and Harry was born there. Walter and his son Harry were both ministers in the United Brethren Church and over the years served congregations in various states and in different parts of Ohio. Members of this branch of the Sinks family still live in the area.

Edwin C. Sinks, the main subject of this column, never married and lived with his parents at 305 N. Main Street in Englewood. His neighbors were the Berrys, Rasors, Fetters, Nills, and Lowes. Sinks was an 1898 graduate of Randolph High School, attending classes in what today is the Heck Center. In the 1900 and 1910 Census records, Ed Sinks is listed as a farm laborer and a shader at a carworks. In poor health for much of his life, Edwin Sinks may have turned to photography as a less physically demanding occupation. His earliest identifiable photos date to 1905-1906, with the bulk of his work dated 1912-1915. Sinks did no studio work, but used his camera to make postcards and matted prints of local sites, streetscapes, and family and school gatherings. Sinks died at age forty from tuberculosis, but left a legacy in photographs.


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Jim Oren relates that his grandparents, Harvey and Minnie Denlinger Engle (m. 1896) first owned a 50 acre farm on land on Rt. 48 now occupied by the Stillwater Center. They sold that farm when the county expanded the Stillwater TB Sanitorium and Harvey built a new house south of Little York. Before the family could move, the 1913 flood wreaked its havoc and even though the new house was not damaged, Minnie refused to move there in fear of another flood! Harvey then bought about 37 acres on the south edge of Englewood and built a frame and stone farmhouse and outbuildings. The family moved there about 1915 and continued to farm the land and stand market in Dayton for many years. The house is gone now but the Villas of Englewood Apts. (previously Canterbury Runn) now occupy the site at 507 S. Main St.

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By the city's quadrangular houses--in log huts, camping with lumber-men,
Along the ruts of the turnpike, along the dry gulch and rivulet bed,
Weeding my onion-patch or hosing rows of carrots and parsnips,
crossing savannas, trailing in forests,
Prospecting, gold-digging, girdling the trees of a new purchase,
Scorch'd ankle-deep by the hot sand, hauling my boat down the
shallow river,
Where the panther walks to and fro on a limb overhead, where the
buck turns furiously at the hunter,
Where the rattlesnake suns his flabby length on a rock, where the
otter is feeding on fish,
Where the alligator in his tough pimples sleeps by the bayou,
Where the black bear is searching for roots or honey, where the
beaver pats the mud with his paddle-shaped tall;
Over the growing sugar, over the yellow-flower'd cotton plant, over
the rice in its low moist field,
Over the sharp-peak'd farm house, with its scallop'd scum and
slender shoots from the gutters,
Over the western persimmon, over the long-leav'd corn, over the
delicate blue-flower flax,
Over the white and brown buckwheat, a hummer and buzzer there with
the rest,
Over the dusky green of the rye as it ripples and shades in the breeze;
Scaling mountains, pulling myself cautiously up, holding on by low
scragged limbs,
Walking the path worn in the grass and beat through the leaves of the brush,
Where the quail is whistling betwixt the woods and the wheat-lot,
Where the bat flies in the Seventh-month eve, where the great
goldbug drops through the dark,
Where the brook puts out of the roots of the old tree and flows to
the meadow,
Where cattle stand and shake away flies with the tremulous
shuddering of their hides,
Where the cheese-cloth hangs in the kitchen, where andirons straddle
the hearth-slab, where cobwebs fall in festoons from the rafters;
Where trip-hammers crash, where the press is whirling its cylinders,
Wherever the human heart beats with terrible throes under its ribs,
Where the pear-shaped balloon is floating aloft, (floating in it
myself and looking composedly down,)
Where the life-car is drawn on the slip-noose, where the heat
hatches pale-green eggs in the dented sand,
Where the she-whale swims with her calf and never forsakes it,
Where the steam-ship trails hind-ways its long pennant of smoke,
Where the fin of the shark cuts like a black chip out of the water,
Where the half-burn'd brig is riding on unknown currents,
Where shells grow to her slimy deck, where the dead are corrupting below;
Where the dense-starr'd flag is borne at the head of the regiments,
Approaching Manhattan up by the long-stretching island,
Under Niagara, the cataract falling like a veil over my countenance,
Upon a door-step, upon the horse-block of hard wood outside,
Upon the race-course, or enjoying picnics or jigs or a good game of
At he-festivals, with blackguard gibes, ironical license,
bull-dances, drinking, laughter,
At the cider-mill tasting the sweets of the brown mash, sucking the
juice through a straw,
At apple-peelings wanting kisses for all the red fruit I find,
At musters, beach-parties, friendly bees, huskings, house-raisings;
Where the mocking-bird sounds his delicious gurgles, cackles,
screams, weeps,
Where the hay-rick stands in the barn-yard, where the dry-stalks are
scatter'd, where the brood-cow waits in the hovel,
Where the bull advances to do his masculine work, where the stud to
the mare, where the cock is treading the hen,
Where the heifers browse, where geese nip their food with short jerks,
Where sun-down shadows lengthen over the limitless and lonesome prairie,
Where herds of buffalo make a crawling spread of the square miles
far and near,
Where the humming-bird shimmers, where the neck of the long-lived
swan is curving and winding,
Where the laughing-gull scoots by the shore, where she laughs her
near-human laugh,
Where bee-hives range on a gray bench in the garden half hid by the
high weeds,
Where band-neck'd partridges roost in a ring on the ground with
their heads out,
Where burial coaches enter the arch'd gates of a cemetery,
Where winter wolves bark amid wastes of snow and icicled trees,
Where the yellow-crown'd heron comes to the edge of the marsh at
night and feeds upon small crabs,
Where the splash of swimmers and divers cools the warm noon,
Where the katy-did works her chromatic reed on the walnut-tree over
the well,
Through patches of citrons and cucumbers with silver-wired leaves,
Through the salt-lick or orange glade, or under conical firs,
Through the gymnasium, through the curtain'd saloon, through the
office or public hall;
Pleas'd with the native and pleas'd with the foreign, pleas'd with
the new and old,
Pleas'd with the homely woman as well as the handsome,
Pleas'd with the quakeress as she puts off her bonnet and talks melodiously,
Pleas'd with the tune of the choir of the whitewash'd church,
Pleas'd with the earnest words of the sweating Methodist preacher,
impress'd seriously at the camp-meeting;
Looking in at the shop-windows of Broadway the whole forenoon,
flatting the flesh of my nose on the thick plate glass,
Wandering the same afternoon with my face turn'd up to the clouds,
or down a lane or along the beach,
My right and left arms round the sides of two friends, and I in the middle;
Coming home with the silent and dark-cheek'd bush-boy, (behind me
he rides at the drape of the day,)
Far from the settlements studying the print of animals' feet, or the
moccasin print,
By the cot in the hospital reaching lemonade to a feverish patient,
Nigh the coffin'd corpse when all is still, examining with a candle;
Voyaging to every port to dicker and adventure,
Hurrying with the modern crowd as eager and fickle as any,
Hot toward one I hate, ready in my madness to knife him,
Solitary at midnight in my back yard, my thoughts gone from me a long while,
Walking the old hills of Judaea with the beautiful gentle God by my side,
Speeding through space, speeding through heaven and the stars,
Speeding amid the seven satellites and the broad ring, and the
diameter of eighty thousand miles,
Speeding with tail'd meteors, throwing fire-balls like the rest,
Carrying the crescent child that carries its own full mother in its belly,
Storming, enjoying, planning, loving, cautioning,
Backing and filling, appearing and disappearing,
I tread day and night such roads.