MOUNT VERNON -- Not a lot of people know that one of the founding fathers of Mount Vernon was a black man.
ASHLAND -- Jeanne Griffin doesn't recite Loudonville's history from a book. The 94-year-old volunteer at the village's Cleo Redd Fisher Museum has lived it since 1939 when her family moved to the area from Connorsville, IN.
LOUDONVILLE -- On April 15, 1912 (the same day the RMS Titanic sank), Loudonville hosted famed orator -- and former three-time Democratic nominee for President -- William Jennings Bryan.
In the surviving photo, Henry Fawcett stands at the door of the Pipesville post office — the only commercial building in evidence — as if waiting for something to happen.
UTICA -- A reader recently asked me, “How do you find this stuff?”
The Loudonville area was once home to possibly the world's oldest person. The following was written for the Mansfield Shield and Banner newspaper, and reprinted in the Loudonville Times (Sept. 26, 1901).
BRINKHAVEN -- With the recent onset of bitter cold weather, perhaps now is a good time to reflect on the classic days of summer camp.
Overshadowed by the contributions of Charles Kettering, Loudonville native Robert Bacher was considered one of America's most brilliant minds, who eventually helped bring an end to World War II.
FREDERICKTOWN -- It pays to keep a sharp eye out for potential material for a local history column.
Although Loudonville is now known as the "Canoe Capital of Ohio," it once held the moniker "The Switzerland of Ohio."
LUCAS -- It was the second time I talked to Ellen Bromfield Geld that a chill ran up my back.
Around 1937, Wilbur Corell and his parents opened Corell's Potato Chips in Strasburg, Ohio. The business did well, but Wilbur went off to World War II, and when he returned he settled in Mansfield while his parents and brother continued the family operation.
The last time I did a talk for the amazing 'Elixir Presents' Chautauqua Series in Mount Vernon, members of the audience specifically requested me to look into the infamous murder that happened on the grounds of the Maplehurst mansion in 1905.
Long before America's love obsession with McDonald's and other fast food began, one restaurant chain dominated the Midwest and perhaps the country: Isaly's.
MOUNT VERNON -- No period of Knox County's history was more volatile than the extraordinary period of seven months in 1905 where the county saw five murders, two assaults, a suicide, and an accidental death that made international news.
In 1947, Irvin Mumper introduced Loudonville to the self-serve supermarket when he opened the Red & White store.
DANVILLE -- One of my favorite photographs from the Knox Time collection on Facebook is this one, featuring Dr. David A. Shaffer and his car.
ASHLAND -- Ashland’s original courthouse was used for 75 years after being opened in 1853 at a cost of $20,000.
In 1896, a triple-murder was committed in Pleasant Valley that still lingers with a haunting chill that traditionally arises again this time each year as a true-life Halloween tale -- although it took place in the heat of summer, and with a matching passion.
MOUNT VERNON -- At the Knox County Agricultural Museum, there is a wealth of displays featuring artifacts from rural life.
PERRYSVILLE -- The Mohican area has raised a number of politicians and military officers, but perhaps the highest ranking was a Perrysville native born on Nov. 18, 1835.
GAMBIER -- The first glance might make you blink your eyes. It looks like a little British church from long ago, inexplicably dropped down on a Knox County hill surrounded by cornfields and woods.
One gold mine for these columns has been the excellent collection of community photos housed at the Knox Time page of Facebook.
Reader David McKay recently alerted me to a little-known historical incident from the Civil War.
MOUNT VERNON -- A couple years ago, I was with a group of friends visiting Gallia County, Ohio.
There's nothing better than poking around in small town museums.
ANKENYTOWN -- I had a great time Thursday night talking to folks at the Butler Historical Society. Their president, Lonnie Beveridge, invited me to come talk to them about Ankenytown, which I have written about here previously.
MOUNT VERNON -- What is it about humans that makes us gawk at anyone different? And if the difference is different enough, it can become fodder for not just a proverbial, but a literal freak show.
LOUDONVILLE -- In 1818, War of 1812 veteran Isaac Wolf came to Ashland County and settled on 160 acres in the northwest quarter of section 25 of Green Township.
Mount Vernon resident Frank B. Hanger went gray young. Aged only 42 at the time of his death, a photograph that appeared in local media showed him sporting white hair over brightly attentive eyes.
LOUDONVILLE -- By now many in the area are familiar with the story of Charles Follis, and north central Ohio's role in it.
MOUNT VERNON -- The phrase “cracking the whip” still registers in our language, though flogging as a corporal punishment was given up many years ago in most western countries.
If it weren't for the small metal sign on the gate that says “Bangs Cemetery,” you'd miss that the green lawn on Johnstown Road is anything other than a yard.
MILLWOOD -- Recent reports on the history of accidental drownings in the Kokosing River near Millwood have brought a lot of response from readers and a resolution from officials to increase the signage in the area to help warn people about the dangers of the river as it enters the hills of e…
MOUNT VERNON -- It was 100 years ago, just after the Independence Day celebrations, but Mount Vernon was not quite ready to settle down to the usual activities of summer.
MOUNT VERNON -- One year ago, this weekend, History Knox debuted on this site with a small, quiet column about a mail carrier's buggy from Danville.
MOUNT VERNON -- Even in an area rich in history, the Knox County Agricultural Museum, located at the Knox County Fairgrounds, is a standout gem.
The Kokosing River in Knox County has been the site of a drowning and a missing person in a pair of incidents over the past week. At least 10 victims in the last 100 years this powerful river, no matter how calm its surface may seem.
MOUNT VERNON – According to noted historian and author John Ellis, “On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote two letters to his beloved Abigail exuberantly reporting that history had been made: One day earlier, the Continental Congress had voted to declare American independence from the British Empire.
MOUNT VERNON -- Did you know that in the years preceding the Civil War there also many abolitionists in Knox County and the region served as a stop on the Underground Railroad, assisting many runaway slaves?
DANVILLE -- One rainy day in 1871, Jacob Ross annoyed the people of Danville one time too many.
The infamous Sternbaum murder case was — at that time — the longest murder trial in Ohio history. It took place during the weeks of February in 1954 in Mansfield, with a couple of shocking twists and a not-guilty verdict in the end.
JELLOWAY -- Other than its odd name, there's not much about Jelloway to slow down the traveler on US Route 3 in northern Knox County. The hamlet features a few old shop buildings, one of them a service station from decades long past.
MOUNT VERNON -- The husband and wife detective team of Jane and Dagobert Brown were followed for many years by fans of the novelist Delano Ames, who was based in England.
CENTERBURG -- The evening of Monday, Dec. 18, 1911, Hilliar Township constable Samuel Gould was upset about something at the Foster house in Centerburg, standing in front of the house making a scene.
MOUNT VERNON -- I love writing historical columns. I get to play detective, trying to piece together forgotten stories and bring them once again to life.
MOUNT VERNON -- The afternoon of Friday, April 15, 1955, was a typically busy one in downtown Mount Vernon, as people moved from store to store, some stopping to socialize along the way.
BLADENSBURG -- Digging recently into the history of the tiny southeastern Knox County town of Bladensburg, I came across an intriguing murder case, completely forgotten today.
MOUNT VERNON -- A recent spate of tornadoes in Ohio may serve to remind us that April is the most dangerous month for twisters in the United States.
Part of what I do as a historical storyteller is follow hunches. When I was studying the Milford Township area of southwestern Knox County, an odd surname caught my eye.