Sandusky County Historical Articles
- Sandusky County Fair Contest 2023
- Sandusky County Fair Contest 2022
- Sandusky County Fair Contest 2021
- Captain Guy H. Emerson
- Ralph Pomeroy Buckland: Unsung Civil War Hero
- Fremont Native Charles Stilwell: Inventor of the Self-Opening Sack
fair, the winners of the “What is It?” were Elina Lopez from Helena and Helen Duquette from
Fremont. From the correct answers, their names were drawn for a free year of SCHS
membership. The item was a pewter ice cream mold manufactured by the Eppelsheimer Mold
Manufacturing Co. Molded ice cream was a popular treat in the U.S. from the 1870s to 1950s.
Before the invention of refrigeration, ice cream was considered a treat for the wealthy due to the
time-consuming and costly process. Ingredients were placed into a thin drum then sunk into a
larger container holding a mixture of ice and salt. Although water freezes at 32 degrees, milk
and cream will not freeze until they are down to 20 degrees. The salt melts the ice and produces
a brine around 17 degrees. It is this freezing brine which provides the refrigeration.
Cadot, a French company, began producing ice cream molds around 1832. This was a two-piece
hinged apparatus made of pewter. The ice cream could be spooned into both sides of the mold.
The mold was then closed and both sides were pressed firmly together. The heavy pewter kept
the cold inside keeping the ice cream firm and in the shape of the mold. When the mold was
opened, the ice cream would be served on a plate.
The first person in the U.S. to receive a patent for an ice cream mold was Alfred Cralle in 1897.
He called it the “Ice Cream Mold and Disher,” but it looked more like an ice cream scoop.
A prominent American company making pewter molds was Eppelsheimer Mold Manufacturing
Co. located in NYC. They created molds of every theme and design imaginable and were
celebrated for the details. Each piece displayed their signature E & Co, NY which was stamped
on one side of the mold. The catalog number was also stamped on each piece. The molds were
produced in a variety of shapes including animals, fruit, flower and holiday figures and symbols.
The likeness of George Washington, who loved ice cream, was often used.
Another American business, Schall & Co., made similar molds identifying their pieces with S &
Co. and catalog numbers. Later Schall & Co. became Krauss. V. Clad & Sons of Philadelphia
also produced ice cream molds. An estimate of 2,500 mold designs were made by the
The era of ice cream molding faded by the 1950s due to technological advancements in ice cream
manufacturing and its widespread presence in grocery stores.
Ice cream molds are both collectible and affordable. They should be used for decoration only
because they could contain traces of lead.
The “What is It?” items from past county fairs were: an egg carrier, a transom adjusting rod, a
bee smoker and two pieces of Early American Pattern glass–a celery vase and a spooner.
The Sandusky County Fair Contest 2022
At the Sandusky County Historical Society booth located in the Historical Barn during the county fair, the winners of the “What Are They?” were Robin Durnwald and Mark & Linda Larrick, both from Fremont. From the correct answers, their names were drawn for a free year of SCHS membership. The two glass forms were: CELERY VASE and SPOONER (spoon holder). These are representative of Early American Pattern (pressed) Glass.
EAPG was mass-produced between 1850 to 1910; the majority was produced in the 1880’s. It was produced in many different designs, imitating expensive brilliant cut glass, for everyday use. It was made to be very durable and at the same time, attractive.
Once designed, a pattern was patented along with its name. Over 3000 known patterns were produced.
EAPG was produced in both Canada and the U.S. with American companies outnumbering Canadian factories. Patterns were designed then duplicated into a cast iron mold. The mold was then fired at an extreme temperature. Pieces of the mold were pulled away from the glass which was left to cool.
Hundreds of different manufacturers made EAPG. Due to the natural gas supply at the time, many glass companies were located in Ohio. That includes U. S. Glass Co. in Tiffin, Fostoria (later located to Moundsville, WV), Cambridge Glass in Cambridge, A. H. Heisey in Newark and Imperial Glass Co. in Bellaire.
Around the 1920’s, pressed glass lost its popularity and crystal became the “in thing.” During the Great Depression, people could no longer afford crystal and returned to pressed glass becoming known as “Depression Glass.” It was produced the same way but in different patterns and colors to brighten the day.
The “What is It?” items from past county fairs were: an egg carrier, a transom adjusting rod and a bee smoker.
Did you guess correctly?
THE SANDUSKY COUNTY FAIR CONTEST 2021
At the Sandusky County Historical Society booth located in the Historical Barn during the county fair, exactly 100 people correctly guessed the “What is It?” item as a BEE SMOKER. From those entries, three names were drawn for a free year of SCHS membership. Winners were: Julie Jaeger and Tracy Michael from Fremont and Carol Schalk from Tiffin.
This bee smoker was manufactured by the A. I. Root Co. from Medina, Ohio. Amos Ives Root was inspired by a swarm of bees that landed on his window to begin his very first business–beekeeping–in 1869. He was behind many advances in beekeeping, leading the movement to standardizing beekeeping equipment. When asked by a local priest to supply beeswax candles, A. I. Root’s son, Huber, developed a superior beeswax candle using hand rolled strips of beeswax from Root’s own hives wrapped around a wick. Now in its fifth generation, the family-owned company is now named Root Candles.
The “What is It?” items from past county fairs were: an egg carrier and a transom adjusting rod.
Captain Guy Emerson, ( September 3, 1876-February 12,1931 ) was the third son of Mr. and Mrs. James Emerson. He served in Company K, Sixth Regiment in the Spanish American War. After leaving Cuba he re-enlisted and reached the rank of Captain. Early in his military career his interest and ability in rifle shooting was recognized and he was made an inspector of small arms practice for the Sixth Regiment.
The National Matches were established at Camp Perry in 1907 and Emerson became a familiar figure, not only as a participant, but also as an instructor.
His accomplishments include several Sea Girt Championships, 1908 Thurston Trophy Match Winner ( Long Range ), 1909 Coast Guard Rapid Fire Match Winner, 1912 Marine Corps Cup Winner, 1913 Nevada Trophy Match Winner, his score of 221, was “match high” for the Palma Team Trophy at Camp Perry in 1913, member of the winning Herrick Trophy Teams in 1907-1909-10-11, and the only three-time winner of the Wimbledon Cup at 1,000 yards, 1910-11-12. Captain Emerson was a member of the winning Sir Thomas Dewar International Postal Challenge Match Team in 1922
Among his trophies is the Winchester Trophy, designed by Frederick Remington, hung up for a match at 200 yards offhand. To win the trophy it was necessary to win three consecutive yearly matches. Captain Emerson won the first two matches in 1911 and 1912 at Sea Girt, New Jersey, while posting 15 consecutive bull’s eyes each year, a world record. At the 1913 match none of his competitors would enter against him. He was declared the winner, receiving the trophy and $250 in prize money.
Captain Emerson died Thursday, February 12, 1931 in Fort Myers, Florida and is buried in the family plot, Section 2, at Oakwood Cemetery, Fremont, Ohio.
Ralph P. Buckland had no military training whatsoever. Evidently someone forgot to tell Buckland he knew little of military matters. Based on all accounts of his service in the Civil War, Buckland proved himself to be a cool, and confident, soldier and leader.
Buckland was appointed by Governor William Denison to recruit volunteers in the Sandusky County area to form the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Buckland was successful in recruiting a large number of volunteers, the largest contingency from Sandusky County. In January of 1862, Buckland was mustered into service in the United States Army as a colonel in the 72nd OVI. Buckland and the 72nd OVI embarked by rail to Columbus, and they marched to Camp Chase where Buckland was placed in command of the 72nd.
In February, Buckland and his regiment were ordered to report to General W.T. Sherman at Paducah, Kentucky. Upon arrival, General Sherman placed Buckland in charge of the Fourth Brigade, First Division of the Army of theTennessee. Buckland and his brigade boarded steamers and traveled up the Tennessee River to Fort Henry reporting to Major General C.F. Smith. From here Buckland’s brigade and the rest of Sherman’s division went to Pittsburg Landing. From here they traveled some fifteen miles north on a mission to cut the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Due to major rainfall the mission had to be aborted due to extremely high water. Many of the men had become ill due to bad water and very unpleasant living conditions. Morale among the men was very low. Being away from home, sick, and certainly worried about their fate, it stands to reason that the men would look for someone to blame for their circumstances. Most were aware that Buckland had received his office through political channels and had no military experience to speak of. Naturally, the men began to speculate as to the military worthiness of Buckland.
However, Buckland’s chance to prove himself worthy of his responsibilities came very soon at the Battle of Shiloh. Buckland’s character, and determined resolve under fire became evident when he was ordered to advance his brigade during heavy fire from the enemy. Buckland gave the order to advance, but his men hesitated. Buckland immediately rode toward one of the color bearers, grabbed the staff, and escorted both the color bearer and the flag to the desired point while the rest of the brigade cheered and advanced with him. In his official report of the battle, General Sherman had this to say: “Colonel Buckland managed his brigade well. I commend him to your notice as a cool, intelligent, and judicious gentleman, needing only confidence and experience to make him a good commander.” Buckland himself was keenly aware of his lack of military training, and showed his concern in a letter home to his wife: “As I have said before my greatest fear [is] that I shall commit some great blunder by which men will be sacrificed and our success endangered. But I shall do the very best I know at whatever risk to myself.”
General Buckland again displayed his coolness under fire and leadership capabilities during Forrest’s Raid on Memphis. Union forces had taken Memphis and were occupying the city. General Forrest was being pursued by troops under the command of General A. J. Smith. Forrest managed to escape his pursuers and circled back for a quick night raid on the city of Memphis. Forrest’s goal was to swoop in and kidnap the three Union Generals known to be in the city; General Washburn, General Hurlbut, and General Buckland. Forrest and his men captured the troops on patrol outside the city and began their nighttime assault on the city. General Washburn was rousted out of bed and managed to escape capture wearing only a pair of pants. Buckland’s sentry abruptly awakened him as he pounded on the door while firing at the approaching enemy. Buckland immediately realized the dire circumstances, but he was not going to be captured without a fight. Buckland quickly ordered rapid firing of an alarm gun to wake up his troops and cause his enemy concern. Buckland rallied some men and quickly attacked the Confederate forces, which had congregated around Washburn’s headquarters. Buckland took the lead in the charge and was soon met with reinforcements. Buckland’s counter attack was so swift and sure that within an hour the Confederates were all chased out of Memphis. A little later that morning, a fierce battle took place between Buckland and the Union forces under his command and the Confederates under Forrest. Forrest’s forces were soundly defeated and soon were in full retreat.
Many more instances during the Civil War point to Buckland’s leadership skills. Suffice it to say that General Buckland and the 72nd OVI served their country with valor and determination. Although not trained for battle leadership, General Ralph P. Buckland proved himself more than worthy of the challenge.
Sandusky County enjoys a diverse history. Several state and national leaders come from Sandusky County; Fremont was once known as the “Cutlery Capitol of the World;” Sherwood Anderson, astronaut Tom Henricks, WWII hero Roger Young, and many more all hail from Sandusky County. Sandusky County has been a great contributor the nation’s historical fabric. Perhaps no more so than an invention that may seem trivial at first glance, but further thought would lead you to the conclusion that the invention of the “self-opening-sack,” could very well have as much impact on the history of our society as any other contribution from Sandusky County.
Charles B. Stilwell was born in Fremont, Ohio on October 6, 1845. He was the oldest of five children born to Dr. Thomas and Jerusha A. (Boughton) Stilwell. The elder Stilwell was a pioneer physician, and settled in Fremont (then Lower Sandusky) in 1839. Charles grew up in Fremont and received a good education in mechanics while working for the railroad in the Lake Erie and Western shops. When the call to arms rang out for service in the Civil War, young Stilwell joined up with the 169th O.V.I. It is believed he ran away to join because he was only 17 years old at the time.
Upon his return to Fremont after service to the Union in the Civil War, Stilwell continued his interest in machinery and mechanics. His life’s work was as a mechanical engineer and inventor.
It was on June 12, 1883 that Stilwell was issued patent number 279,505 by the U.S. Patent Office for a machine that manufactured a square-bottomed paper sack that folded flat for storage. His invention put him a whole new category of inventors. His invention of the pleated, square-bottomed sack is an invention that has stood the test of time. As everyone knows, Stilwell’s invention is still in wide use today, over 120 years later. Prior to Stilwell’s invention, the paper sack was merely a paper tube glued at the bottom; they were similar to a large envelope. Stilwell’s new “Self-Opening-Sack”, or S.O.S. could hold more items, folded flat for easy storage, could be easily snapped open, and stood up on their own for easy filling.
Stilwell did not become wealthy with his innovative invention. His patent was issued for the machine that made the bags, not the bags themselves. His invention was sold to the Union Paper Bag Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
When Stilwell invented his paper bag machine he was living in Waterton, New York. Soon after this he moved to Philadelphia, married and had three sons. Stilwell was a student of many pursuits. He was said to have been very well read, and very interested in the possibility that Frances Bacon actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays. Stilwell was so intrigued by the idea that he traveled to England to research the works of Shakespeare.
Charles Stilwell passed away in 1919 at the age of 75, while in Wayne, Pennsylvania. He is buried in Fremont in Oakwood Cemetery.
Charles Stilwell simply expanded on an idea and ended up with an invention that has stood the test of time. His S.O.S. is still pretty much the same today as it was when it was an idea on an inventor’s notepad.
EARLY AMERICAN PATTERN (PRESSED) GLASS
The Elizabeth Kreilick Timmons collection includes berry sets (consisting of a master
bowl and individual sauce dishes), goblets, celery vases, spooners (spoon holders), nappy dishes and individual sauce dishes. EAPG was mass-produced between 1850 to 1910; the majority was produced in the 1880’s. It was produced in many different designs, imitating expensive brilliant cut glass, for everyday use.
It was made to be very durable and at the same time, attractive. Once designed, a pattern was patented along with its name so that it could not be duplicated unless patents or molds were sold to other companies. Often competitors would produce similar patterns or names if the pattern proved to be popular with the public.
Over 3000 known patterns were produced. Some of the patterns were produced as
full table settings, while others were produced only in goblet form or single tableware
A table set (breakfast set) consisted of a creamer, covered sugar, spooner and
covered butter dish.
EAPG was produced in both Canada and the U.S. with American companies
outnumbering Canadian factories. Patterns were designed then duplicated into a cast
iron mold. The mold was then fired at an extreme temperature. Pieces of the mold
were pulled away from the glass which was left to cool. Mold seams were sometimes
well hidden in the pattern.
Hundreds of different manufacturers made EAPG. Among the best known and the
most prolific included Bryce Brothers, McKee & Brothers, U.S. Glass Company,
Fostoria, Hobbs Bruckunier & Company, Cambridge Glass, A. H. Heisey and
Imperial Glass Company. Due to the natural gas supply at the time, many glass
companies were located in Ohio. That includes from the above list: U. S. Glass Co.
in Tiffin, Fostoria (later located to Moundsville, WV), Cambridge Glass in
Cambridge, A. H. Heisey in Newark and Imperial Glass Co. in Bellaire.
Around the 1920’s, pressed glass lost its popularity and crystal became the “in thing.
Affordable crystal was shipped from Europe.
During the Great Depression, people could no longer afford crystal and returned to
pressed glass. This new period of glassware became known as “Depression Glass.”
It was produced the same way, pressed into a cast iron mold, but in different patterns
and colors to brighten the day.