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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Oct 01

Polarizing Issues and Resolutions: A Local Government Tale in Fairborn

Posted on October 1, 2015 at 10:02 AM by Elise Kelly


 As our country gears up for next year's Presidential Election, Americans are learning more about the candidates and the role of the federal government. This week's post will discuss the facets of local government and touch on a controversial issue that arose in Fairborn during the early 1950s. sdfsd
 Part of a mural entitled "The Government" located in the Library of Congress.

Public administration and governance can vary at the local level and can include: managing sanitary sewer services, fire protection, school districts, public transportation and maintenance, public libraries, etc. Legislative proposals are presented, discussed, and voted on. Petitions that are introduced can cause disputes but eventually, resolutions transpire. One such polarizing petition was proposed in Fairborn.

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Levittown, Pennsylvania image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
 After World War II, when thousands of veterans were returning to the states, many began to move to the suburbs as their families grew. Close to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base there existed a defense community. The community began to suffer hardships due to the influx of more families moving into the area after the War.

At the time, this location was unincorporated and included different plats and subdivisions. Residents of the area began to propose that the community become an incorporated village for various reasons including: (see image below)

                                  1953 Hearing on Wrightview Heights
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Additional features and services that the community lacked were stop signs, speed regulation signs and adequate water supply and sewage. Residents of the area presented a petition to the Greene County Commissioners calling for: (see article below) 

                    Article in the Fairborn Herald August 1953
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                                 Map of the Proposed Territory
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Citizens of the community had the opportunity to vote for or against the petition of incorporation. The final tally came to (544 Against Petition)  (264 For Petition). Subsequently, a hearing regarding the proposal was held in front of the County Commissioners on October 5, 1953. Several residents  voiced their opinion on the matter.

One resident made a point about the sewage and water problem in the area and how it affected the younger generations of the community.(See Report Below) 

                           1953 Hearing on Wrightview Heights
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Another resident pointed out that the community's tax duplicate was also very low considering the number of people living in the area. The individual suggested that the tax duplicate should be three times what it currently was.

Many of the people who were against the proposal included residents living in the Hamilton Plat, Country Acres and the Morgan Plat. Opponents of the petition believed the area was too small to be what they presumed heavily taxed. They ran an advertisement in the Fairborn Herald stating that "it would cost each property owner $1971.00 per lot to install water and sewage."

Perhaps several people read this ad and voted against incorporation. One resident in particular had strong views against the incorporation.(See statement below)

                     1953 Hearing on Wrightview Heights
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Another resident sent a personal letter to the County Commissioners voicing how he and others in his plat were against incorporation. They did not want to be "associated with Wright View" because they believed their "property values will decrease if we (next page) become incorporated." (See letter below)

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Next week we will find out whether Wrightview Heights became an incorporated village and how help from the federal government was sought.

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: Were you ever a resident of this area? Please share your experiences.

Last Week's Trivia Answer:
What were Ohio's "Black Laws"? - Enacted in 1804, Ohio's "Black Laws" restricted the rights of free blacks. These free blacks had to register their name when arriving to Ohio and had to show their manumission papers. Their children were not allowed to attend school and unless they provided their manumission papers, they were restricted from obtaining employment.

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