Tag Archives: butler county historical society

Historical wedding dresses subject of exhibition and lecture

Dr. Sara Butler, Miami University Art Department Professor Emeritus, will present “Reality and Fantasy: 150 Years of Butler County Weddings” at 7:00 pm on September 10 in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium at the Butler County Historical Society, 327 North Second Street, Hamilton.

The program is free to the public and highlights many of the wedding dresses worn by members of prominent area families including the Woods, Becketts, Fittons, Flenners, Griesmers, and Neilans.  A reception will follow the talk.

Butler created her presentation as a special program based on the exhibit she and her intern Marcus Gray developed for the society.  The exhibit, which runs through December 31, shows how brides, grooms and their families celebrated their nuptial days for over 150 years.  It features 18 wedding dresses including bridal veils as well as the attire for members of their wedding party including the groom, maid-of-honor and flower girl.

The highlight of Butler’s talk is the dress and veil first worn by Mary Woods when she married Cyrus Falconer on October 8, 1839.  “Family records indicate that this particular dress was worn by at least three brides and the veil used by eight brides between 1839 and 1990,” she said.  “I greatly enjoyed learning about all of the families and telling the stories of the brides who wore the dresses.”

The Butler County Historical Society, located at 327 North Second Street, Hamilton, is a private non-profit formed in 1934 to preserve and interpret the county’s rich heritage.  It owns and operates the Benninghofen House, a high-Italian style home built in 1863 that is filled with the furnishings of a wealthy family during the Victorian Era.  The society is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Group tours of the Benninghofen House Museum can be arranged by calling 896-9930.

PREVIOUS POST AND PHOTO GALLERY

The Butler County Historical Society exhibits more than 150 years of fashion tied to the weddings of local families.  “Reality and Fantasy: 150 Years of Butler County Weddings” will showcase 18 wedding dresses, along with veils, tuxedos and other accoutrements.

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Many of the dresses were worn by members of well known and prominent families including the Woods, Becketts, Fittons, Flenners, Neilan and Griesmers.  Also featured are wedding photographs and written records showing how brides, grooms and their families celebrated their nuptial days.

The highlight of the exhibit is the dress and veil first worn by Mary Woods when she married Cyrus Falconer on October 8, 1839.  The dress was worn by at least three brides and the veil used by eight brides between 1839 and 1990.

The exhibit was developed by Sara Butler, Miami University Art Department Professor Emeritus, and her intern Marcus Gray, now a Miami graduate.

“This exhibit was a real treat for us,” she said.  “My research interests have been on dress and human behavior, especially historical dress during the 19th and early 20th centuries.  So I greatly enjoyed learning about all of the families and telling the stories of the brides who wore the dresses.”

Kathy Creighton, executive director of the historical society, said they also made some exciting discoveries in the process.

“Sara and I were thrilled to be able to locate and reunite the original veil with the wedding dress worn by Mary Woods in 1839 after they had been separated for more than 50 years,” Creighton said. “We have to thank Marjorie Beckett Belew who wore the dress and veil at her wedding in 1953 for making that possible.”

Dr. Sara Butler and Marcus Gray will give a special presentation of “Reality and Fantasy: 150 Years of Butler County Weddings,” 7 p.m. September 10, in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium.  A reception will follow the talk.

The wedding dress exhibit is located throughout the Benninghofen House and lower Emma Ritchie exhibit area and will run through December 31.

Interested visitors can also view the ongoing Beckett Paper Company exhibit located in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium and the enclosed porch of the Benninghofen House.  The Beckett Paper exhibit which runs through November 28 was developed by Dave Belew, former company president and husband of Marjorie Beckett who wore the 1839 dress during their wedding in 1953.

Both exhibits are free.

The exhibits are in the Butler County Historical Society, 327 North 2nd Street, Hamilton, and are open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Group tours of either exhibit or the Benninghofen House Museum can be arranged by calling 513-896-9930.

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Famous and fancy wedding dresses on display in Benninghofen House

 

With PHOTO GALLERY

The Butler County Historical Society exhibits more than 150 years of fashion tied to the weddings of local families.  “Reality and Fantasy: 150 Years of Butler County Weddings” will showcase 18 wedding dresses, along with veils, tuxedos and other accoutrements.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Many of the dresses were worn by members of well known and prominent families including the Woods, Becketts, Fittons, Flenners, Neilan and Griesmers.  Also featured are wedding photographs and written records showing how brides, grooms and their families celebrated their nuptial days.

The highlight of the exhibit is the dress and veil first worn by Mary Woods when she married Cyrus Falconer on October 8, 1839.  The dress was worn by at least three brides and the veil used by eight brides between 1839 and 1990.

The exhibit was developed by Sara Butler, Miami University Art Department Professor Emeritus, and her intern Marcus Gray, now a Miami graduate.

“This exhibit was a real treat for us,” she said.  “My research interests have been on dress and human behavior, especially historical dress during the 19th and early 20th centuries.  So I greatly enjoyed learning about all of the families and telling the stories of the brides who wore the dresses.”

Kathy Creighton, executive director of the historical society, said they also made some exciting discoveries in the process.

“Sara and I were thrilled to be able to locate and reunite the original veil with the wedding dress worn by Mary Woods in 1839 after they had been separated for more than 50 years,” Creighton said. “We have to thank Marjorie Beckett Belew who wore the dress and veil at her wedding in 1953 for making that possible.”

Dr. Sara Butler and Marcus Gray will give a special presentation of “Reality and Fantasy: 150 Years of Butler County Weddings,” 7 p.m. September 10, in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium.  A reception will follow the talk.

The wedding dress exhibit is located throughout the Benninghofen House and lower Emma Ritchie exhibit area and will run through December 31.

Interested visitors can also view the ongoing Beckett Paper Company exhibit located in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium and the enclosed porch of the Benninghofen House.  The Beckett Paper exhibit which runs through November 28 was developed by Dave Belew, former company president and husband of Marjorie Beckett who wore the 1839 dress during their wedding in 1953.

Both exhibits are free.

The exhibits are in the Butler County Historical Society, 327 North 2nd Street, Hamilton, and are open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Group tours of either exhibit or the Benninghofen House Museum can be arranged by calling 513-896-9930.

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Are there fossils in your backyard?

Children and their parents and grandparents are invited to a fun and educational morning session of the Butler County Historical Society’s summer series of Saturday programs.

On July 11, Greg Courtney of Dry Dredgers, Inc., to learn how to better explore the fossils that can be found in your backyard.  Find out why there are so many fossils in Butler County and how you can identify what you have found.

The “Fossils in Your Backyard” program is free and will be held at the Butler County Historical Society’s Benninghofen House museum at 327 North Second Street, Hamilton.  It will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will last approximately two hours.

Courtney is the education director for the Dry Dredgers, an association of area amateur geologists dedicated to understanding and enjoying fossils.  The group was founded in 1942 and works to stimulate interest in geology and encourages the collection and identification of fossils.

Kathy Creighton, executive director of the historical society, said she expects the children and their family members will have a good time.

“The kids, parents and grandparents that attended our June program on the history of chocolate enjoyed the program, especially the taste test of American Heritage Historic Chocolate.  The fossil program is another fun hands-on event for kids and adults to share.”

Weather permitting, there will be a fossil hunt.

For more information, call 513-896-9930.


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History of Beckett Paper Detailed in Exhibited Booklet

BUTLER COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

“The history of the Beckett Paper Company is intimately involved with the early development of the Ohio territory from a forest wilderness into today’s great complex of farms, highways and cities. The progenitors of William Beckett, the founder of the firm, were among the first to arrive from the East and settle here, and they contributed materially to the establishment of communities and productive enterprises in the valley of the Great Miami River in southwestern Ohio, where the city of Hamilton is located…”

beckett 175 19Beckett, an exhibition of photos and artifacts from the Beckett Paper Company, is on view through the end of November at the Butler County Historical Society, 327 N. Second Street.

The exhibition includes a 36-page booklet  published in honor of the 125th anniversary of the company, detailing its founding and history.

CLICK HERE to view a slideshow of the booklet…

CLICK HERE to view on a single page (graphic heavy, may take a minute to load)…


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What Butler County Looked Like in 1855

In 2005, the Butler County Historical Society was given a unique gift from an anonymous donor.

When staff members unfurled the gift to see exactly what it was, they were amazed. Before them was an original 1855 Map of Butler County, Ohio.

The significance of this map was immediately realized; only one other original is known to exist within Butler County.

Because of its rarity, the 1855 Map of Butler County, Ohio has never before been reproduced. The informational value of the Map is a prized attribute. The Map identifies land owners and acreages associated with each plot.

Go to the Butler County Historical Society website to view and download high-resolution images of the map and individual townships prepared by Brown Photography ….


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“Beckett” Exhibition Explores Hamilton’s Papermaking Past

“Beckett”, a new Butler County Historical Society exhibition opening June 9, showcases the 164-year  history of Hamilton’s Beckett Paper Company.

The company began operations in 1848 when William Beckett, Adam Laurie, Francis D. Rigdon, John Martin, and Frank Martin started the Miami Paper Mill.The company went through several name changes until it was incorporated as the Beckett Paper Company in 1887.  A member of the Beckett family managed the company for 126 years, from 1848 to 1974.  More than 550 employees worked at the Beckett mill to manufacture the company’s line of high-quality colored cover paper and other products that were exported to as many as 35 countries.  The mill was the third oldest paper mill in America when it was closed in 2012.

The exhibition has been designed and organized by Dave Belew, president of Beckett Paper from 1974 to 1992, assisted by Mike Dobias of Miami University Hamilton.  It will run through November 30 and is free to the public.

It is the largest exhibit ever presented by the Butler County Historical Society and fills three rooms with hundreds of photographs of Beckett employees going back to the 1860s, “Life at Beckett” employee newsletters, samples of company advertising, marketing materials prepared for customers, historic company documents and items saved from the company’s community activities.

Personal memorabilia of the Beckett family including founder William Beckett’s desk, the piano from Thomas Beckett’s home, and the door from a company chapel are also featured in the exhibit.

The Beckett Paper Company exhibit is housed in the Butler County Historical Society, 327 North 2nd Street, Hamilton.  It is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Free parking is provided at the society.

The Butler County Historical Society is a private non-profit formed in 1934 to preserve and interpret the county’s rich heritage. It owns and operates the Benninghofen House, a high-Italian style home filled with the furnishings of a wealthy family during the Victorian Era.  Group tours of the Beckett exhibit and Benninghofen House Museum can be arranged by calling 896-9930.

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Inter-Generational History Programs Set for the Summer

The Butler County Historical Society has scheduled three fun and educational morning sessions as part of a summer series of Saturday programs for children and their parents or grandparents.

  • The first Saturday program on June 6 will explore “The History of Chocolate.”  Participants can find out where cocoa trees are grown, how chocolate is processed and trace the history of chocolate from the time of early explorers of the Americas up to today. The event includes a taste test of American Heritage Historic Chocolate.
  • On July 11, Greg Courtney will discuss exploring fossils in your backyard.  Find out why there are so many fossils in Butler County and learn how to identify what you have found.  Weather permitting, there might be a fossil hunt.
  • On Saturday, August 8, participants can explore the Native American cultures that called Butler County home by examining  various artifacts that tell about how they lived, including arrow heads and cooking utensils.  We will also “meet” some of the famous Native Americans from the area.

All programs are free and open to the public.  They will be held at the society’s Benninghofen House museum at 327 North Second Street, Hamilton, and begin at 9:30 a.m. and will last approximately two hours.


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Local Legend: John C. Elliott, U.S. Marshal and Slave Chaser

By Richard O Jones
For the Butler County Historical Society

A few weeks ago, I was toasting the last episode of the television series “Justified,” based on characters by the crime writer Elmore Leonard. The hero is a federal marshal, Raylan Givens, and in the seven year run of the show, he became my favorite TV tough guy.

Not John C. Elliott, but Timothy Olyphant, who played U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens in the recently-completed series “Justified,” based on characters created by Elmore Leonard. FX Network promotional photo.

A day or two later, I was looking something up in Stephen D. Cone’s Biographical and Historical Sketches: A Narrative of Hamilton and Its Residents (1896) , and stumbled upon a passage reminding me that Hamilton had its own tough guy marshal back in the day, a slave chaser named John C. Elliott.

His earliest claim to fame was as the man who most likely killed the founding Mormon prophet Joseph Smith while his tribe was making its way West. Having been expelled from Ohio and Missouri, the Mormons founded the city of Nauvoo in Illinois in 1839. By 1844, the city had grown to over 15,000, bigger than Chicago at the time, and Smith’s popularity was such that he decided to make a run for the Presidency of the United States.

CLICK HERE to read more about John C. Elliott….

Richard O Jones is the founder and editor of HEY! Hamilton! and secretary of the board of trustees for the Butler County Historical Society.

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History of the First Butler County Historical Society

By Richard N. Piland

It was surprising to learn recently that there was an earlier Butler County Historical Society.  On June 14, 1901, a call was issued to people interested in forming a historical society to attend a June 18 meeting held at the county courthouse.  At that first meeting officers and directors were elected and several committees were formed to develop a constitution, secure meeting space and lobby for the support of county commissioners.

The six men who formed the first Butler County Historical Society were community leaders of such stature that it is surprising the organization was not continued.

CLICK HERE to read more about the First Butler County Historical Society…

Spring Programs at Butler County Historical Society

The Butler County Historical Society has scheduled three presentations as part of its spring series of local history programs.
The first program on Thursday, March 26 will present the development and significant role the Hamilton and Rossville Hydraulic played in making Hamilton a manufacturing center during the 1840s and into the 1890s.  Carl J. Ruther will discuss the people who created the man-made water system that flowed through the city to power early industries and manufacturing plants.  He will present several of the major companies and the products they made and highlight the social and technical aspects of the hydraulic.
Marjorie Bowers will discuss the life of Caroline Scott Harrison and the role of the First Lady of the United States on Thursday, April 2.  She will present information about the contributions made by the Oxford-born wife of President Benjamin Harrison and her accomplishments during her years in the White House from 1889 to 1892.
On May 7, Kathleen Fox will present her experiences while researching her family ties to three of the most prominent Butler County families.  She will discuss the contributions to local history made by several members of the Woods, Neilan and Gard families in building Hamilton and the county.
All programs are free and open to the public.  They will be held in the Emma Ritchie Auditorium located in the society’s Benninghofen House museum at 327 North Second Street, Hamilton, and begin at 7 p.m.

The Butler County Historical Society is a private non-profit formed in 1934 to preserve and interpret the county’s rich heritage. It owns and operates the Benninghofen House, a high-Italian style home filled with the furnishings of a wealthy family during the Victorian Era.

The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Group tours of the Benninghofen House Museum can be arranged by calling 513-896-9930.
Image: Caroline Scott Harrison, White House portrait.