More Ohio Newspapers Added to Chronicling America!

The Library of Congress has added another 9,000 pages of historic Ohio newspapers to Chronicling America!

Through efforts by the National Digital Newspaper Program in Ohio, these papers that were once only available on microfilm are now digitized, full text searchable and freely available on the Library of Congress website.  They are filled to the brim with interesting and unique stories about our state and local history, and below are just a couple stories that I found while perusing some of the newspapers listed above.

A Jail Break in Kalida!

A $125 reward was offered to any person who could arrest and deliver three men who had escaped from the Putnam County Jail on December 1845.  Major Curtis, Nelson Curtis and William Holmes, imprisoned for murder and counterfeit, “made their escape by cutting through a wall two and a half feet thick, besides a two inch plank inside.”

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In the rest of this article, the Sheriff provides physical descriptions of the men and their clothing. Major Curtis is reported to have a “sinister countenance.” (Kalida Venture, December 30, 1845, Image 3, col. 4)

According to a separate article, their “escape was ingeniously planned,” and “the Sheriff is no way to blame—as the cells of the jail are above ground, with single walls, it is almost certain that a desperate villain will get out.” (Kalida Venture, December 30, 1845, Image 3, col. 1, 4).

Ravenna’s Shakespearean Fundraiser

In March 1891, the students of Ravenna High School presented the drama “The Shakespeare Water Cure” in order to raise money to purchase books for their school library.  This comedic performance featured characters from some of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays (Lady Macbeth, Romeo and Shylock, to name a few) gathered together “and engaged in their old tricks and intrigues” (Democratic Press, March 25, 1891, Image 3, col. 4-5).  The event raised $31.20 in net proceeds (approximately $840 in today’s money!) and “the stage of this fine hall was never graced by more talented amateurs” (Democratic Press, April 1, 1891, Image 3, col. 3).

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A review of the students’ performance. (Ravenna Democratic Press, April 1, 1891, Image 3, col. 3)

These stories join countless others from the over seven million newspaper pages and more than 1,200 newspapers from all over the nation, including over 50 from Ohio, that chronicle United States history from 1836 to 1922.

Visit Chronicling America now to search and browse through Ohio’s history as it was told by its local newspapers.  What stories will you find?

Chronicling America is brought to you by the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities, Library of Congress and state projects to provide enhanced access to United States newspapers published between 1836 and 1922.  National Endowment for the Humanities awards support state projects to select and digitize historically significant titles that are aggregated and permanently maintained by the Library of Congress at Chronicling America. As part of the project, the Ohio Historical Society contributed over 200,000 newspaper pages to the project between July 2008 and August 2012 and will contribute an additional 100,000 pages by the end of August 2014.

Jenni Salamon, Project Coordinator, NDNP-OH

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