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Who Lived at 525 N. Wittenberg?

Headline from Marietta Paper in 1916

Headline from Marietta Paper in 1916

Biographies and profiles of various homeowners, their children, and how their lives intersected with Wittenberg College and Springfield are now upload. Explore the results of preliminary research by students enrolled in HIST 305 Archaeological Field Methods.

Explore the Amazing Individuals Who Lived at 525 N. Wittenberg from 1882-1960

Students from HIST 305 completed their biographies of some of the homeowners associated with Lot #3776, located at 525 N. Wittenberg, formerly 217 Ferncliff Avenue.  Please explore the results of their research. They used primary sources used by many historians of “nearby history:” university archives, alumni records from a college, census data, internment records, and county archives. We would like to thank Wittenberg University Thomas Library (Suzanne Smailes); Bayley Alumni House (Arianna Hamilton); Ferncliff Cemetery; Clark County Heritage Center (Natalie Fritz & Mel Glover ); and the Clark County Recorder’s Office.

Click on the links below to see the profiles.

1882 Board of Directors of Wittenberg College (by Samuel Troyer)

1882 Anna T. and John Chorpenning  (by Kaitlin Murray & Jake Kelly ’15 )

28 May 1889 Nora U. Graham and David F. Graham (by Cassie Wright ’15)

29 Sept 1894 John M. Knote & Lillie M. Knote  (by Carolyn Rockwell & Whitney Yarborough ’15).

  • The Knotes had three children (Anne Rosetta, John M. and Theodore W. Knote. All three were Wittenberg graduates. 
  • John M. Knote Jr. (by Travis Rodgers ’16)
  • Theodore W. Knote (by Tyler Strong ’14)

1904 William Wildman and Bertha M. W. Hickman (by Erick Collins ’15) 

28 August 1911 Nelly T. Clarke (by Heather Toops, SCE)

19 April 1928 Oliver Thomson Clarke Oliver was Nelly’s son and inherited the house upon his mother’s death. (by Tom Gariti & Becca Downs ’15)

21 October 1938 Blanche Gardner Clarke Blanche inherited the house after the death of her husband, Oliver, and she was a Wittenberg graduate.

10 November 1953 Caro Gray Bayley  (by Victoria Lester ’16)

  • Caro’s daugther, Caro Bayley Bosco, was a famous pilot and participate in Wittenberg’s aeronautical program in the 1940’s. Her profile is by Bob Johnson, SCE.

June 1978 Melinda McLenden Clement

27 May 1997 Board of Directors, Wittenberg College The house now functions as housing for undergraduates at Wittenberg University.


1882 Board of Directors Make History as Former Board Member Resides in this Home


Brick house built for the Chorpennings . John Chorpenning was the Treasurer for the Board of Directors for Wittenberg between 1859-1869. His wife, Anne, was granted the property by the Board of Directors for $1000 in 1882.. Shortly thereafter, they built this house on the property. 

Building a Nearby History of this House and Its Links to Wittenberg

Over the next week, students in HIST 305 Archaeological Field Methods will present biographical profiles of various homeowners of this brick residence spanning a period from 1882 until 2007. The biographies are just one part of a larger effort to build a social history of how Wittenberg’s campus changed during the late 19th century as lots on the Wittenberg Plat were sold to raise money for the college and to encourage Springfielders to live in the College Hill area. Faculty member Benjamin Prince was responsible for the selling of the lots, on behalf of the Board of Directors. The first purchaser for the lot (50 x 150) was John Chorpenning, a retired Board of Director member. Please explore the fascinating stories of the famous individuals who resided in this house. Behind this house is the 20 x 30 foot garage built at the turn of the century and the subject of our physical investigations into the history of this property.

2014 Excavation Team At Wittenberg

Members of the excavation team for Season 2 at the Nearby Archaeology Project

Members of the excavation team for Season 2 at the Nearby Archaeology Project

Ten Wittenberg students prepared the north end of the excavation area of W3776, a late 19th century garage built on Wittenberg’s campus in the early 1880s. They moved a layer of gravel placed by the demolition crew in 2013. With the site prepared for excavation work, we placed markers for three new units of excavation. Follow our progress as three teams begin their work. After morning fieldwork, the students will be gathering primary sources to write a social history of the homeowners for the property, first known as 217 Ferncliff Avenue.





2014 May Term Campus Archaeology Project Begins Soon

We will resume work at the 525 North Wittenberg Avenue site starting May 19th. As part of this historical archaeology class, we will continue to work on a 19th century garage that we were able to save for study and excavation. During the course, students will conduct archival work to reconstruct the social history of those who lived in the house or owned the property. Follow our work at this site over the new few weeks. P1190633

Metal Bucket and More Timber Beams


Volunteers from the “Digging for Our Past” course helped expose more of the north end of the garage today (above.) In removing the gravel from May, one student found the base of a metal bucket. Resting in a cut into the brick flooring, the bucket may cover a feature we can expose in the following weeks as we get closer to under covering the cistern further north.

P1200063 P1200028 P1200032

First Wittenberg Student to Participate in an Excavation Funded by the Nancy L. Benco Archaeological Research Fund

2013 Grantee for the Nancy L. Benco Archaeological Research Fund

Emily O. Hall


Emily O. Hall writes: “The expedition I went on in Greece was one of the best experiences, it was the first time I’ve ever went on a dig and I loved it! We worked in Kalamata, Greece at a site called Ancient Thouria, and it’s over 2,000 years old. We would go to the site at 8 am and stayed until 12:30pm. At the site we learned things such as stratigraphy, how to properly dig at the site, how to clean artifacts, take pictures of new finds and of the site, and draw our findings. We also met many greek students and archaeologist. After we were at the site we would have a break and then have an afternoon session where we would either have a class about archaeological methods, lectures or we would visit other archaeological sites around Kalamata. I learned a lot about the archaeological field and how important it is in developing history. I am glad I had this opportunity to go and wouldn’t have been able togo without the scholarship. Thanks for the opportunity!”


For more information on the funding and to apply, contact Dr. BH.