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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.

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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)

                                     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.”
                          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!
                         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.
                                     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.
                           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.”

                             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.


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