Butler County is full of history and interesting stories. Did you know that Butler County has its own historical collaborative? After speaking with the members at the January meeting, you’d be surprised what little known facts are stirring in the Butler County history books. So put aside the notion that history isn’t exciting, it’s alive and present all throughout the county.
Information provided by the Butler County Historical Society
Ever wondered what the home of a self-made millionaire from Butler County’s home would look like? To check that off of your bucket list, plan on a visit to the Benninghofen House in Hamilton. Built in 1863, three different families made 327 N. Second Street their home.
The house survived the 1913 flood. The basement was totally flooded and the water was over three feet deep on the first floor, and the first floor is over four feet above street level. The kitchen, which had been located in the basement, was moved upstairs after the flood.
Portraits of notable people from Butler County adorn the walls, and the house is filled with Victorian style furniture and accessories. Indian relics from the five tribes that inhabited this area can be found in the basement of the house and in the adjoining research library located behind the house.
Seen the movie, National Treasure? Remember the part when the Declaration of Independence is stolen from the National Archive? Did you know that Mosler Safe Company of Hamilton
Interest peaked? Make sure that a visit to the Butler County Historical Society, 327 N. Second Street, Hamilton is on your bucket list. There will be special exhibits opening late this spring highlighting the Beckett Paper Mill and wedding fashions from the early 1800s through the 1950s.
Information provided by the Friends of Chrisholm
The Chrisholm Historic Farmstead has had very interesting and famous people descend from their modest Amish Mennonite farming roots including Esther Price, of Chocolate Candy fame, Nobel Prize winner in Physics, 1927, Arthur Holly Compton, for "The Compton Effect" and Charles Richter, who developed the "Richter Scale", the traditional technique used for measuring the magnitude of earthquakes.
The Friends of Chrisholm, who will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year, will be hosting "An Earth-Shaking Weekend" from April 24-26, beginning with Richter's birthday celebration and featuring speakers addressing the link between fracking and recent Ohio quakes and the importance of two of our precious natural resources, soil and water.
Information provided by Judge Randy T. Rogers
“We have steps … almost,” reports Butler County Probate Judge Randy Rogers. Work on the current l North Steps reconstruction project at the historic Butler County Courthouse began last fall, but weather and other unforeseen circumstances delayed completion of the project. The venerable Butler County Courthouse opened in 1889 and has survived a deadly fire, a devastating flood and an improbable hurricane. The Courthouse was added to the Natural Register of Historic Places in 1981. This extraordinary building remains the home of the Butler County Probate Court, and also houses the Butler County Area II Court.
The cost to restore the steps on the High Street side of the Courthouse is $91,994, and Coon Restoration and Sealants, Inc. and Lithko Contracting, Inc. are doing the work. With good weather the project should be complete before Valentine’s Day, which will warm the hearts of those who value this durable symbol of local government.
Information provided by the Liberty Township Historical Society
The Liberty Township Historical Society, formed in 1975, was started by a group of residents with an interest in preserving and restoring the one-room Hughes Schoolhouse. The brick structure on Princeton Road adjacent to Liberty Elementary School was falling into disrepair and was destined for demolition. The research, design, funding as well as the labor was the society’s primary mission for many years. Upon completion of the restoration, the group was successful in having the school placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Information provided by the MidPointe Library System
Children's Day, August 18, 1913, was a special day for the children of Middletown. It was the first time after the 1913 Flood that a special day was set-aside for them. This very interesting photograph was taken looking east from the corner of Broad and Third (Central Avenue) Streets. It states that 3,000 were in the parade. The children got to ride in automobiles – many for the first time. There was also a band concert and a picnic – all for the children. Seen in the background is the superstructure of the old lift bridge that was across the Miami-Erie Canal. Some of the buildings on the right, as well as the City Hotel building, still stand.
Information provided by the Morgan Township Historical Society
The now Plâs Cadnant Bed & Breakfast in Shandon, which opened in 2001 was built by Welsh immigrants who founded Paddy's Run, the first Welsh settlement in the state of Ohio, and still maintains the Welsh heritage of Shandon. In the late 1890s – early 1900s, the building was a home, post office, grocery and dry goods store. Between the years 1931-1939, the building served as the Ross School annex with home economics, industrial arts, business and science classes housed there. Through the years other uses included library, restaurant, Shandon Post Office, multi-family home and antique shop.
Information provided by the Oxford Visitors Bureau
Originally named the Oxford Theater, the Oxford/Talawanda Theater movie house was built in 1911 with Arts and Crafts style elements. It was called the Talawanda Theater from 1950 until the 19802 when it was substantially enlarged and renamed the Princess. Unfortunately, the Princess closed in March of 2014 due to a fire.
For many years the most prominent feature of the West Park was the bandstand that served the community from 1874 to 1936. Names of local men and women in military service were listed on Honor Boards that stood on the southeast corner of the park during World War II. At different times, veterans were remembered with a flagpole, naval cannon and a small raised plaza. The park was named for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1992 and completely redesigned in 2000. The Oxford Memorial Park now has a pavilion and is the location for numerous Oxford events throughout the year, including the annual Oxford Summer Music Festival each Thursday evening in June, July and August.
14 West Park Place is office to the Oxford Visitors Bureau, however, between the 1920s and 60s, a bowling alley and hall for skating and dancing occupied the West Park buildings, giving the location of the Visitors Bureau a unique and fun piece of history.
Information provided by the Reily Township Historical Society
Built around 1858, the now the Indian Creek Tavern, was an old coach stop between Cincinnati and Indiana. The building also has quite an interesting history of being a brothel, restaurant, and hotel and had an attached livery stable.
Also in Reily Township, the now Reily Township Fire Department building stands on the site of the Reily Opera House. On July 17, 1894, the school director deeded a lot in which an old school house stood for the purpose of building a new Township Hall and Opera House, the first play took place on January 17, 1895. These photos depict the cast from Princess Bonnie Operetta c. 1911 as well as a concert poster from 1912.
Information provided by the Smith Library of Regional History
Items from the Smith Library of Regional History were used on the C-SPAN cable television show, First Ladies: Influence and Image. For the episode about Oxford native “Caroline Harrison,” Smith Library provided visual images to depict her Oxford girlhood. Those images included a picture of her as a girl, the house where she was born, the house where she was married, her graduation program, and the Oxford Female Institute where she attended school. Her school building was later enlarged and remodeled and is now the Oxford Community Arts Center.