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 22

The Moorehead House and the Snediker Barn

Posted on February 22, 2019 at 10:27 AM by Melissa Dalton

There are two buildings left from the sketches from the Xenia Daily Gazette, but they were part of the same property – the Moorehead House and Snediker Barn (Figs 1 & 2). These two buildings became part of the Greene County Historical Society in the 1960s, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Fig 1. Sketch by Richard L. Mauck of the Moorehead House featured in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated
Fig 1. Sketch by Richard L. Mauck of the Moorehead House featured in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated August 21, 1974 (Greene County Archives)

Fig 2. Sketch by Richard L. Mauck of the Snediker Barn featured in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated Au
Fig 2. Sketch by Richard L. Mauck of the Snediker Barn featured in the Xenia Daily Gazette, dated August 21, 1974 (Greene County Archives)

The Moorehead property, located on the corner of Detroit and Church streets, was originally part of the Warner & Addison Lewis military survey number 2243. It was parceled out over the years, and in 1854, the property was sold from Alfred Trader to A. M. Houston. At the time, there was a frame house on the property, but in 1860, Houston made improvements to the property, building a brick house. Houston also sold parts of the land, and it was around this time that the property took on its current boundaries.

Houston held the property until 1861, when he sold it to James Brown. Brown only owned the property for about three years, and there was no indications of improvements during that time. Brown sold to Daniel R. Harbine in 1864, and this is where we see more improvements to the property. The tax records indicate that there was a brick improvement in 1866, and from 1867 through 1869, this same improvement is listed. Harbine kept the property until 1875, at which time it was transferred to Margaret A. Fleming.

While Fleming owned the property, which was about ten years, we do not see any improvements listed in the tax records. Fleming sold to Hannah A. Seely in 1885, who in turn, sold to Elizabeth Moorehead in 1886. This is the family most people associate with the property, and it was in the family for almost eighty years.

Census records indicate that William and Elizabeth Moorehead (Fig 3), along with their two daughters, Mary and Margaret, lived on W. Church Street in 1880, but by 1900, they had moved into the house on N. Detroit Street (Fig 4), as well as welcomed a son, William. The Xenia City Directory also illustrates the Mary and Margaret were operating a business from their house (Margaret is listed as a music teacher on the 1910 census) (Fig 5).

Fig 3. 1880 U.S. Census record with Moorehead family outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 3. 1880 U.S. Census record with Moorehead family outlined in red (Ancestry.com)

Fig 4. 1900 U.S. Census record with Moorehead family outlined in red (JPG)
Fig 4. 1900 U.S. Census record with Moorehead family outlined in red (Ancestry.com)

Fig 5. 1901-1902 Xenia City Directory (JPG)
Fig 5. 1901-1902 Xenia City Directory (Ancestry.com)

Mary married William Mabon in 1901, and had a daughter, Helen, in 1906. Sadly, Mary died in 1913, at the age of 36. Neither Margaret nor William ever married, and both remained in the Moorehead home. When Elizabeth died in 1924, she left the property to Margaret, and all her stocks and bonds were divided amongst Margaret, William, and Helen as directed in her will.
In 1958, Margaret drew up a will leaving everything to William; however, in 1963, it was determined by the Greene County Probate Court that Margaret and William both needed guardians due to advanced age and senility. With Margaret’s approval, and the Court’s direction, Margaret’s guardian sold the Moorehead property (land, house, and stable). When the property became available, the Greene County Historical Society was interested in purchasing the property. Due to the generous donation of Charles Snediker, the Society was able to purchase the property for roughly $19,000 (equivalent to about $160,000 today).

Although the circumstances for the sale were rather unfortunate, it provided a wonderful opportunity to preserve some of Greene County’s great history. The Moorehead House (Fig 6) became a house museum, displaying life in the County, while the stable became the Snediker Museum (Fig 7), displaying agricultural artifacts. Both buildings provided a glimpse into early life in Greene County.

Fig 6. The Moorehead House after becoming part of the Greene County Historical Society (JPG)
Fig 6. The Moorehead House after becoming part of Greene County Historical Society (Greene County Archives)

Fig 7. The Snediker Barn & Museum after becoming part of the Greene County Historical Society (JPG)
Fig 7. The Snediker Museum after becoming part of the Greene County Historical Society (Greene County Archives)

These buildings served as the Society’s museum, but when the tornado struck in 1974, both the house and stable were damaged beyond repair (Fig 8). The Glossinger Cultural Center was a total loss as well; only the Galloway log house was able to be savaged (although it needed heavy repairs). A grant made restoring the Galloway log house possible, and the Society worked with the city of Xenia to make it possible to purchase another historic home to move to the property. In 1990, the Brantley Carriage House Museum was built and modeled after the Snediker Museum.

Fig 8. View of the Greene County Historical Society properties after the 1974 tornado (JPG)
Fig 8. View of the Greene County Historical Society properties after the 1974 tornado (Greene County Archives)

Today, you can visit all three structures – the Victorian Town House, Galloway Log House, and Brantley Carriage House, at the Greene County Historical Society’s complex. Although the original structures are gone, the current buildings still allow visitors to experience and learn the great history of Greene County. To learn more, or to find hours of operation, please visit the website.
This completes our series on the sketches by Richard Mauck of historic buildings in Greene County. We hope you enjoyed learning the history of each building, as well as some prominent families in the County.

Until Next Time…

Sources:
Ancestry.com
Greene County Archives
Hutslar, D. A. (1974). Crossroads: The Xenia tornado, a retrospective view. Ohio History, 83(3), 192-211.
Wilson, C. (2010). Historic Greene County: An illustrated history. San Antonio, TX: Historical Publishing Network.


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