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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.

Mar 16

Your Tax Refund Can Help Preserve Ohio History!

Posted on March 16, 2017 at 12:06 PM by Robin Heise

It’s that time of year again—Tax Time! Are you an Ohio resident who loves the history of our state? Will you be receiving a refund on your state tax return this year? If you answered yes, please consider donating to the Ohio History Fund.

Continue Reading...

Mar 10

Statehood Day 2017

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 9:30 AM by Robin Heise

On February 19, 1803 President Jefferson officially endorsed Congress’s decision to create the state of Ohio.  Although the decision was approved by the President, the first official act of business for the state did not occur until March 1, 1803, when the Ohio General Assembly met for the first time in Chillicothe.  It is this day of the “first official” state business that is officially celebrated as the anniversary of the state’s founding.

Every year the Ohio History Connection, the Ohio History Local History Alliance, the Ohio Archaeological Council, Heritage Ohio, and several other professional organizations sponsor Ohio Statehood Day on or about March 1st.  This is a day for history advocates, across the state, to come together to advocate the importance of Ohio’s history and the organizations that help to preserve it.  It is also a day to celebrate the rich and diverse history of the state and reach out to legislators to advocate the importance of our profession.






This year several Greene County Archives’ employees attended Statehood Day on March 1st in Columbus.

Pictured to the right are: Erix Infante, Wright State University Intern and Robin Heise, Records Manager & Archivist.
 Statehood Day 2017

This years’ legislative priorities all focus on the theme of “Strengthening Ohio Through Heritage”.  Most of these priorities focus on how history, and history related sites, not only tell the stories of our rich and diverse history, but also bolster local economies. We need to continue to support the Ohio History Connection, the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit, and TourismOhio in a continued effort to preserve our history, culture, and heritage.  One other legislative priority pertains to taking active measures to ensure that digital records are preserved for future generations. This is becoming increasingly more important, as we move to a more “digital” world. 

This year marks the 214th birthday of the great state of Ohio! Let’s make sure that Ohio’s historical records and artifacts continue to be preserved for at least another 214 years!  Continuing to celebrate our rich and diverse heritage can only make us stronger!


Trivia question: Ohio was the __ state admitted to the Union?


Feb 28

A Xenia Man's Long Criminal Record

Posted on February 28, 2017 at 8:25 AM by Elise Kelly

This week's blog post is written by our intern, Kristina Richey.

In the late 19th century, Ohio was a hotbed of the Temperance Movement. The movement's main goal was to restrict or prohibit liquor consumption. Despite the popularity of this movement, alcohol consumption was alive and well in Greene County.

One local saloon owner, Emil Planert, was born in Germany in 1857 and immigrated in 1881. He married in 1884 and by 1900 was living in Xenia running a saloon on West Main Street. He faced trouble when in 1886 the Dow tax was enacted which forced saloon owners to pay a large tax each year.


While Emil and other saloon owners did eventually file a suit against the county, (See Image Below)

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                                     Xenia Daily Gazette, June 14, 1902

Emil was facing other liquor law troubles.

In 1897, a warrant was issued for Emil Planert. Planert was selling liquor on Sunday, was “not being a regular druggist and [was] selling without the written prescription of a regular practicing physician for medical purposes only.”
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                          Greene County Criminal Records - Probate Court

Additionally, Mr. Planert was charged with “selling liquor contrary to law 126,” including selling to several minors. Ultimately, Mr. Planert paid $13.45 for fines and court fees.

This was not the first time for Mr. Planert was in legal trouble. In fact, a look in the criminal record indicates that Mr. Planert was charged at least eleven times!
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                         Criminal Appearance Docket - Probate Court

In 1903 the Xenia Daily Gazette reported that he was again charged with selling liquor illegally. As the newspaper reported, Mr. Planert closed his saloon.
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                                     Xenia Daily Gazette, April 1, 1903

However, Planert had not learned his lesson and by 1911 the Xenia Daily Gazette was again reporting on Planert breaking liquor laws. Interestingly, this case took an unusual turn when Planert reported that he was blackmailed by someone posing as a detective who could get him out of the charges for “a certain cash consideration.” If he did take the blackmailer up on the offer, it was unsuccessful because Planert plead guilty to the charges.
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                           Criminal Appearance Docket - Probate Court

Emil Planert died in 1914 and was remembered as a “well known Xenia man” who “conducted a saloon on West Main Street.”

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                             Xenia Daily Gazette, November 19, 1914

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: What former Greene County Surveyor reported on the Greene County women who were members of the Temperance Movement in his diary?

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question: Name another old cemetery in Sugarcreek Township. Hint: It's located on Little Sugarcreek Road. Answer: Fallis Pioneer Cemetery.