A Hamilton police officer and his childhood friend, now a District of Columbia attorney, looked at recent cases of black men who died after encounters with police and noted a common theme: failure to comply with the officer’s directions. They set out to write a pamphlet about how people should act during such encounters, and the pamphlet grew into a book: “Encounters with Police: A Black Man’s Guide to Survival.”
Hamilton’s first public fountain — and a familiar sculpture in the city before there was a City of Sculpture — has since 2013 resided in a pocket park at the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and High Street, a classical counterpoint to the modern “Hamilton Gateway” across the way.
This makes “Hebe, Nymph of Streams and Brooks” one of the City of Sculpture’s most visible works.
According to a history of the First National Bank prepared for its 75th anniversary in 1938, “Hebe” (pronouced HEE-bee) was a gift to the city in 1890.
After discussing the bank’s role in bringing electric lights to the city streets, the history says, “In addition to its many contributions toward the betterment of Hamilton, the First National Bank gave, for free public use, a very handsome drinking fountain, the first public drinking fountain in the city, much sought by man and animal. On the street side there was a large circular container for horses, while close to the street were small ones for dogs and other smaller animals. The fountain was on High Street, near the main entrance of the bank.”
Oddly enough, when that history was written, the fountain was no longer on High Street.
Local historian Jim Blount said that it was removed and discarded in 1928 to make way for construction of the new First National Bank building.
“For the next 47 years, it stood in the yard of a private residence on Haldimand Avenue on Hamilton’s West Side,” Blount said.
First National Bank re-acquired it in 1975 in preparation for observance of the United States Bicentennial. After restoration work at the Hamilton Foundry, it was reinstalled in 1976 on High Street in front of the bank.
The fountain was included in a 1994 Save Outdoor Sculpture initiative and is described in a Smithsonian Institution inventory: “The nymph Hebe stands atop a public drinking fountain. She wears a robe hanging from her shoulders and tied at her waist and her hair is tied behind her head. Her proper right arm extends down her side, holding a pitcher in her proper right hand. Her proper left arm is bent upwards at the elbow; her proper left hand is at shoulder height holding a drinking cup. She stands atop an ornamented base with water spouts within relief fish heads. The front and back spouts have basins underneath. A kerosene lamp may originally have been installed in her left palm.”
It is a replica of a fountain and statue in Copenhagen, Denmark, designed by a Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen (1774-1844). He also created a statue of Hebe which is in The Louvre in Paris, France.
As a young man, Thorvaldsen went to Italy to study classical sculpture and while living in Rome became a leading figure in the classical revival. His most famous works are allegorical reliefs and statues of classical subjects, such as Cupid and Psyche, which is located in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen).
His return from Rome to settle in Copenhagen was regarded as a national event in Danish history, Blount said.
A large portion of his fortune went to the endowment of a Neoclassical museum in Copenhagen designed to house his collection of works of art, the models for all his sculptures.
By his own wish, Thorvaldsen was buried there.
In mythology, Hebe was the daughter of Zeus and Hera and was said to have the power to make old people young again. In some sources, she was an attendant to Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, and a wife to Heracles.
Hebe has found her new home as a result of a deal struck in 2013 between First Financial and the City of Hamilton.
The bank agreed to demolish the building it owned at that corner to create a park and relocate the fountain in exchange for city-owned parking area off of Market Street.
Adults 18 – up are invited to free a business series at the Lane Community Technology Center.
Strengthening Your Online Brand
Tuesday, September 1, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Learn quick yet powerful ways to build your credibility online and strengthen your relationships with your customers.
Tuesday, October 6, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Whether it is researching a new territory or producing an email marketing campaign, we will show you how to use free library resources to help grow your business.
Tuesday, November 3, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Technology is not always the most efficient way to organize your workflow. We will discuss old school methods to boost your productivity and get more done.
Registration is required for these free programs. To register, call 785-2727 or visit www.lanepl.org/calendar. The Lane Libraries Community Technology Center is located at 10 Journal Square in downtown Hamilton.
For more information about these and other programs at the Lane Libraries, please call 894-6557 or visit the Lane Web site at www.lanepl.org.
The Department of Justice and Community Studies, College of Professional Studies & Applied Sciences is sponsoring a number of events aimed at exploring civic engagement and the rights, privileges and responsibilities of American citizens.
Sept. 14, Joyce Hulse Manko Memorial Lecture, 7 p.m. in the Harry T. Wilks Conference Center. Keynote speaker, best-selling author and founder of the Campus Election Engagement Project, Paul Loeb will explore the role of ordinary citizens in democratic life and how grassroots activism can lead to significant political and social change in our communities. Loeb is the author of Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in Challenging Times, The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear, Generation at the Crossroads: Apathy and Action on the American Campus, Nuclear Culture, and Hope in Hard Times. Loeb’s Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While each won the Nautilus Award for best social change books in their respective years of publication. A reception and question and answer session will follow the lecture. Funding for this event is provided by the Joyce Hulse Manko Memorial Lecture in Government endowment.
Sept. 15, Ohio Court of Appeals for the 12th District,10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the Harry T. Wilks Conference Center. Come and watch your government in action! Observe as the Ohio Court of Appeals for the 12th District hears oral arguments in a special on-campus session
Sept. 15, Hamilton City Schools Board of Education,7 p.m. in the Harry T. Wilks Conference Center. Take part in a special on-campus meeting of the Hamilton City Schools’ Board of Education.
Sept. 16, Social Justice Theater, 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. in Phelps Hall, Studio 307. In this interactive performance, students at Miami Hamilton will present a short piece of theatre designed to engender the sharing of ideas about social justice and injustice in our communities. Following the performance, audience members will engage in a lively discussion with the performers and other attendees about the themes presented in the piece.
Sept. 17, U.S. District Court Naturalization Ceremony,2 p.m. on the Campus Quad. Celebrate with approximately 75 new U.S. citizens. Miami Hamilton is hosting the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio for a formal naturalization ceremony at which new citizens will take their oaths of citizenship. Enjoy music provided by Miami’s Collegiate Chorale. Rain location is Parrish Auditorium.
These events are also supported by Miami University’s Departments of Justice and Community Studies, Political Science, Office of Community Engagement and Service, Miami Middletown’s Office of Community Engagement and Service, and Miami Hamilton’s Center for Civic Engagement, Theatre, Student Government Association and Student Association for Law and Politics.
These events are free and open to the public. For more information on these events, call 513.785.7702 or emailcriminaljustice@MiamiOH.edu. Miami University Hamilton is located at 1601 University Blvd.
The Michael J. Colligan History Project will continue its public history series focusing on “American Wars & American Life.”
Sept. 9, Witnessing the War on Terror in American Culture, 7:30 p.m., Harry T. Wilks Conference Center.John E. Bodnar, Distinguished Professor of History at Indiana University and Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, explores encounters with mass violence that horribly rupture people’s lives and extraordinary efforts to heal them, highlighting the trauma and pain caused by the 9/11 attacks and experiencing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sept. 30, Reconciling and Reuniting the Nation: How Americans Have Remembered the Civil War, 7:30 p.m., Harry T. Wilks Conference Center. Caroline E. Janney, Professor of History at Purdue University, Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, and President of the Society of Civil War Historians, discusses reuniting and reconciling the nation after the American Civil War, how civilians, veterans, women and U.S. Colored Troops understood that war, and how its meanings changed in later centuries.
Nov. 10, World War I and the Modern American Woman, 7:30 p.m., Harry T. Wilks Conference Center. Lynn Dumenil, Robert Glass Cleland Professor of American History Emerita at Occidental College and Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, shares popular visual imagery of American women during World War I that reveals a key issue of women’s history: the rise of the modern “new woman.” Learn how media attention to women who were engaged in war service at home and abroad helped consolidate the perception of a “new woman” who challenged boundaries that had previously restricted women’s lives.
April 5, Ernie Pyle & Americans at War, Jim Blount History Educator Award Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Harry T. Wilks Conference Center. James Tobin, Professor of Media, Journalism and Film at Miami University, considers the famous journalist Ernie Pyle as the nation’s eyewitness to World War II, who as its most popular war correspondent left a lasting imprint on the way Americans perceive that war, all U.S. wars since, and the image of the American soldier.
The Michael J. Colligan History Project is a partnership of the Colligan Fund Committee of the Hamilton Community Foundation and Miami University Hamilton. Its goals are bringing the past to life, creating historical thinking, and building community identity. For more information call (513) 785-3277 or visit www.colliganproject.org. Miami University Hamilton is located at 1601 University Blvd.
Image: Ernie Pyle (second from right), famed war correspondent, prepares for takeoff with the crew. Via Ancestry.com
“Things change,” said owner Joe Wright, “so we’ll close up, plywood the windows and move on down the road.”
According to a 1975 newspaper article, Alex Robertson founded the First Ward Cigar Store on North B Street where J. Austin’s Riverbank Cafe’s parking lot is now. It moved across B Street, now the bridge ramp, for a time before moving to the corner of Main and B, then to 107 Main Street.
Owners through the years included Drewery Pace, John Burns, Bob Wheelright, Cliff Kern and Stuart Curtis.
Then Tom Eggleston started coming around.
Eggleston had worked at Beckett Paper after the war and started buying and selling things as a sideline, would often take items to the First Ward Cigar Store to make a deal, then ended up buying the place, Wright said. That was in 1948.
In 1958, Eggleston moved the shop a bit further up Main Street to the storefront that became the Rossville Inn after Eggleston made one final move to the current location in January 1966 and put his first name on the sign, too.
Eggleston took on his son-in-law Joe Wright as a partner in 1965 to get ready for a move into the the final location, which had been built in 1959. Until the Family Dollar Store moved in across the street, it was the newest building in the neighborhood, Wright said. It was first an office building, home to the engineering department for the Bendix Corporation, then a pool hall for a while. There are still remnants of the light fixtures over the tables. Then a restaurant supplier did business there just before the First Ward Cigar Store moved in through a hole that Wright and Eggleston cut in the wall to eliminate the need to open and close doors or negotiate the sidewalk.
“It was built strong enough to add two more stories on,” Wright said, so it was no problem making the move.
The store’s sales were mostly cigars and newspapers until Eggleston got hold of it.
“Tom was your original entrepreneur,” Wright said. “He would buy and sell just about anything if he figured he could make a buck on it. Back in the day, they ran jar tickets — a jar with a bunch of tickets in it, you could draw one and win all kinds of stuff. Back in the Fifties you could get by with that stuff. He’d go to auctions and bring stuff in. Sometimes, somebody instead of having an estate sale would just call us and we’d just go out and buy the whole mess, drag it in here and sell it. Used tools. We had a table in the corner all was ever on, used hand tools. At one time we bought and sold guns until somebody broke in and stole them all a third time, then I quit that. It takes a lot for me to learn a lesson.”
The word around Hamilton used to be that if Tom’s didn’t have it, you didn’t need it, and you never knew what you might need until you went in and looked around.
“One time, I drug two big aerial cameras out of an Air Force plane and brought them in here,” Wright said. Military surplus was a Tom’s staple. “I thought two guys were going to have a fist fight over them.
The store still sold cigars and newspapers, and in the Sixties was the only place in town to find a Louisville Courier Journal if one wanted to keep up with the horse races.
“We used to have a big magazine collection, but that went away when grocery stores started selling them,” Wriht said. “We’d sell 200 Cincinnati Enquirers on a Sunday back in the day when you still had to stuff all the ads inside. I remember coming in here at 5 a.m. on a Sunday to stuff the papers before we opened.”
“We had sidewalk sales in Hamilton. We would get ready for that for six weeks and I’d have employees come back who had worked for us when they were kids in high school and beg to work sidewalk sales because they had so much fun,” he said. “We did all kinds of crazy stuff. We put Kevin Loving in a casket on the sidewalk with the sign ‘Tom’s Is Burying High Prices’.”
“Things change,” Wright said. People quit coming to Main Street to do business. Magazines and newspapers are all but gone. People are not smoking as much. Now business is just cigarettes and lottery tickets.
“There’s no profit in tobacco,” Wright said. “We have to sell at state minimums, so we have a profit of 14 percent. The lottery you work on 5 percent.”
Then there’s the vandalism and the thefts. The store was broken into three times in 2014, twice this year, Wright said. Although he’s got some long-time, loyal employees, he’s fired three people this year for stealing. The front windows get broken so often that Scofield’s keeps the glass on hand, cut and ready to go.
“Then the city came down on me. They wanted me to put a new roof on here, a new ceiling. They want me to do about sixty or seventy thousand dollars worth of work on this place. I don’t have the money to do that. I haven’t take a dime out of here in ten years. I kept it open to sell it or to take care of the employees. I have employees who have been with me for thirty-plus years.
“I kept the place open thinking that somebody would come along and continue it.”
That hasn’t happened, and there aren’t any real prospects.
“After a while, it just gets to be too much,” he said. “The place has got a lot of history.”
Now it is history.
“I worked here eight years, a week short of nine,” said Theresa Jenkins quietly as she closed up one recent evening. “I love these people, but it looks like I need a new job.”
Emily Simer Braun contributed to this report.
Additional information: “Tom’s Cigar Store: Open 365 Days a Year Since 1917,” Hamilton Journal-News, June 29, 1975,
Ma Crow and The Lady Slippers is an all-female band from Cincinnati and a 2013 Cincinnati Entertainment Award nominee featuring Bluegrass, Americana, and Old-time Mountain music. The Lady Slippers include Ma Crow (vocals and guitar), Trina Emig (banjo and mandolin), Margie Drees (vocals and fiddle), and Vicki Abbott (vocals and bass). Each member brings decades of professional experience, creating a unique blend of superb instrumentation and vocals.
The rapidly growing field of Health Information Technology will be the topic of a series of talks to be hosted by Miami University’s Regional locations. The series will begin on Aug. 25, with additional talks scheduled through November. All talks will be held in Room 312 Mosler Hall at Miami Hamilton, from 5:30-6:50 p.m.
The series begins on August 25 with a presentation on Meeting User Needs – Addressing the Generational Divide by Carolyn Young of the Kettering Health Network.
The series will continue in September with Using Technology to Improve Public Health with Tim Ingram, A Drug Dealer in Health IT? from Steve Motil of Kettering Health Network, and Modernizing Military Health IT with John Beighle of Wright Patterson’s Medical Center.
In October the series spotlights 3D printing for Biohealth Applications with Jessica Sparks of Department of Chemical, Paper, and Biomedical Engineering at Miami University, and Telehealth – One pediatric organization’s experience with building a sustainable program by Jennifer Ruschman of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
The series concludes in November with Past, Present and Future of Healthcare IT from Ajay Sharma of Healthcare IT Advocate, Victor Simha of The Christ Hospital, Alex Vaillancourt of Physician Technology Partners, and Better Data, Better Care by JD Whitlock of Mercy Health.
“We developed this series for our students, but were so pleased with the caliber of the speakers that we decided to share with the community” said Miami Computer and Information Technology Lecturer Donna Evans. “Anyone interested in the field is welcome to join us.”
These lectures are free and open to the public. For more information on the series, visit regionals.miamioh.edu/hit-speakers. Miami University Hamilton is located at 1601 University Blvd.