I Found it in the Archives – Honorable Mention – pt. 3

C.C. Elder Trucking

Last May I visited the Ohio Historical Society / Archives Library to try and find more about my paternal Grandfather’s trucking business. I had his Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) license. I hoped the PUCO had published annual reports that gave when # 2239 was assigned to Grandpa.

I explained to Librarian A that I wanted to find starting and ending dates for my grandfathers business. The online catalog was searched but Librarian A couldn’t seem to find quite what I was asking about. Librarian A then asked Librarian B, and eventually Librarian C got involved. After several minutes of looking and discussing, Librarian C said she was going to check the stacks.

When the librarian came back she had a small book truck and 3 very LARGE bound volumes. She said this was the closest thing she could find and wondered if this would help.

She had found one of those fantastic things – a treasure that I didn’t know existed. As a child I would not have had any idea that my grandfather had to make and file an annual report to the PUCO. The 3 volumes first presented to me covered the 1950s. I was handed a volume that included the surnames that started with the letter “E”. In leafing through the “E”s – there it was C. C. Elder, Bloomdale, Ohio. And I certainly recognized the handwriting.

Bless their hearts, the staff pulled volumes going back in time until we found that the business started in April 1924.  The earlier reports were only 4 pages. And of course – I needed copies of these priceless pages. So I had one group of staff members bringing me the volumes. I would look through a volume, find grandpa’s report, stick in a small piece of paper as a bookmark, then put it on another truck to be copied by other staff members.

Then we worked forward in time until we found that grandpa sold the business in May 1964. I have no idea how many staff members ended up helping me with these reports. By 1964 they were 8 pages in length. They didn’t have enough time to finish the copying while I was there, but said they could be sent to me. Certainly a worthwhile endeavor and I’ll be back.

Leanna Elder Shaberly
Arizona

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