Building a Social History of Wittenberg’s Campus: Ongoing Archival Research of Owners of 217 Ferncliff Avenue, now 525 N. Wittenberg Ave.

1882 Board of Directors of Wittenberg College by Sam Troyer (Sam Troyer investigated who served on the Board of Directors and what role the men played in making the decision to sell plats to Springfield individuals.)

1882 Anna T. Chorpenning  by Jake Kelly ($1000) (In 2014 Jake Kelly traced why Anna Chorpenning purchased the land and what led her and husband, John, to sell seven years later and move elsewhere in Springfield. In 2015, Kaitlyn Murray explored the Chorpenning’s connection to Wittenberg to include serving on the Board of Directors, members of the First Lutheran Church, and parents of a Benjamin Chorpenning, the first member of the family to attend Wittenberg.)

28 May 1889 Nora U. Graham and David F. Graham by Cassie Wright ($1,850) (Cassie Wright followed the creative genius of David Graham, an inventor and draughtsman, who left Ohio to find his fortunes on the East Coast. Why did he and his wife sell their house after only five years?)

29 Sept 1894 John M. Knote & Lillie M. Knote by Carolyn Rockwell ($7,500) (The Knotes were an important family in Springfield and their children all went to Wittenberg and had exceptional careers. In 2014 Whitney Yarbrough looked at how John and Lillie Knote established the Globe Clothing Company in downtown Springfield and why they moved to Fox Hollow Farm. In 2015, Carolyn Rockwell focused on the Globe’s successes and the family’s ties to Wittenberg. In 2014 Tyler Strong examined the Knote’s youngest son, Wittenberg alum Theodore Knote, who was a successful professor, decorated veteran, and a world-traveler. Travis Rodgers investigated John Knote, Jr., who also graduated from Wittenberg and moved to New Jersey to build a successful career as a chemist.)

10 June 1904 Springfield Building and Loan Association of Springfield, Ohio ($7,000)

1904 William Wildman and Bertha M. W. Hickman (Erick Collins investigated why William Wildman and his daughter Bertha M. W. Hickman. Both were widowed and purchased the property together. Why did they select Springfield and this house?) 

10 May 1911 Hamill Realty

  • James K. Hamill, President; Fred S. Mosteller, Secretary

28 August 1911 Nelly T. Clarke by Heather Toops (In 2015 Heather Toops investigated the life of Nelly T. Clarke, wife of Hiram F. Clarke. Their son, Oliver T. Clarke would inherit the house upon the death of this mother and reside there with his wife, Blanche Garnder Clarke).

19 April 1928 Oliver Thomson Clarke (In 2015, Tom Gariti explored the professional training of Oliver Thomson Clarke and his life with his spouse, Blanche Gardner. In 2014 Becca Downs documented Oliver’s employment as a draughtsman. He worked for numerous companies in Springfield and took ownership of the house after his mother, Nelly, died.)

21 October 1938 Blanche Gardner Clarke

  • Upon her husband’s death 4 July 1938, the filed will and testament went to the Probate Court and she was identified as the executrix of the estate on 12 July 1938.
  • Blanche, Oliver Clarke’s widow, received the property after becoming executor for his estate. She would sell the property, while living nearby at 221 West College Avenue.

10 November 1953 Caro Gray Bayley (In 2015, Victoria Lester traced the journey of a North Carolina born Caro Gray from Raleigh to Springfield, where she became an important part of 20th century Springfield life.)

  • She was living at 221 West College Avenue at the time of the sale of property from her friend, Blanche Gardner Clarke.
  • Read about Caro Gray Bayley’s daughter, Caro Bosco Bayley, a famous pilot and researched by Bob Johnson in 2014.
  • Widow at time of sale of the house to Melinda McLenden Clement.

June 1978 Melinda McLenden Clement

27 May 1997 Board of Directors, Wittenberg College

2 Replies to “Property Owners of 217 Ferncliff, later 525 N. Wittenberg Avenue”

  1. Melinda McLendon Clement, my aunt, married Floyd Barmann, former Executive Director of the Clark County Historical Society. As of 2016 the Barmanns reside in Marietta, Ohio.
    Michael Schulsinger, ’84

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