Monday, October 15, 2012

1543 Hawthorne Avenue - Norris House

1543 Hawthorne Avenue, March 2010
Lot 19 of L.B. Tussings Trustees Subdivision

Norris' bought the house from Odos M. and Mary Blose for $6,500 on December 6, 1906. Blose was a building contractor and he also built 1559 Granville Street for the Dornbergs in 1904 and several other homes in the neighborhood.

Walter Beebe Norris was born March 2, 1866 in Columbus, son of John Adams and Jeanette "Nettie" Beebe Norris. He married Alice "Allie" Johnson about 1893. Allie was born March 11, 1868 in Fayette County, daughter of James and Sarah Eubanks Johnson. They had a daughter Zella B. (1900).

Norris graduated from OSU about 1890. While a student from 1884-87 he lived at 174 East Long Street. In the 1890s Norris was a real estate and financial agent. In 1899 he was manager of Lang Livery and Boarding Stables. Starting about 1900 he sold newspaper advertising for the Columbus Citizen. In 1902 they lived at 343 North 20th Street. In 1908 the Norrises lived at 1505 Hawthorne. In 1920 they lived at 330 Taylor Avenue. Before 1929 the Norrises moved in with their daughter and son-in-law, Zella and Harold W. McKinney at 1320 West Third Avenue.

Allie died January 22, 1929. Walter died April 24, 1932. They are buried at East Lawn Cemetery.

Hazelton bought the house from the Norrises on September 14, 1907. He assumed a mortgage dated December 5, 1906 for $3,500 as part of the sale.

James P. Hazelton, circa 1909
James Perry Hazelton was born May 7, 1860 in Coal Township, Perry County, son of Harrison and Lovina Marlow Hazelton. He married Emma M. McKellar on June 17, 1886. Emma was born about 1864 in Ohio, daughter of George McKellar. They had nine children: Cordelia Lovina (1888-1934), Walter Wayne (1889-1891), Ernest E. (1890), Juliet C. (1891), May (1895), Thelma C. (1896), Lucile (1899), Helen (1901) and Kirk E. (1903).

Hazelton was President of The Standard Clay Company. In 1895 he was living in New Straitsville, Ohio. The 1910 Census shows James as an agent for coal lands and the house is rather full with James and Emma and their eight children.

The Centennial History of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio, Volume 2 (1909) has this biographical sketch of Hazelton. "While the field of business is limitless and its prizes are many, it is a well-known fact that they are to be won only through persistency of purpose and unfaltering diligence, and in the cultivation of these qualities Mr. Hazelton has gained a foremost place in business circles, his investments now yielding him gratifying profit, while he enjoys in full measure the admiration and respect of his colleagues and associates. He was born in what is now Coal township, Perry county, Ohio, May 7, 1860...James P. Hazelton was reared to the occupation of farming, working in the fields until he reached the age of twenty. When the farm labors were largely suspended, owing to the approaching winter season, he became a pupil in the district schools and later attended the high school at New Straitsville, Ohio. For two years in early manhood he engaged in teaching school and was later a book agent or canvasser. Subsequently he was given a position as a district agent for establishing agencies for different book houses and he continued in that business until 1884. In January, 1885, he formed a partnership with Henry Spencer under the firm style of Spencer & Hazelton for the purpose of operating in the coal fields, having a mine between Shawnee and New Straitsville, known as the Spencer & Hazelton mine. The also conducted a general mercantile store in New Straitsville and the partnership was continued with mutual pleasure and profit for twenty-two and a half years. Mr. Hazelton then withdrew but the business is still continued by Mr. Spencer. In 1890 Mr. Hazelton began the manufacture of paving brick, conducting that business until 1895, when the company began the manufacture of building brick. Int he winter of 1898 he organized the Columbus Face Brick Company, manufacturing what is known as "ironclay brick." Mr. Hazelton was vice president of the company and manager of the plant until 1900, when he severed his connections with the business, which, however, is still conducted under the name of the Iron Clay Brick Company.

Lovina Marlow Hazelton,
mother of James Perry Hazelton
"For many years Mr. Hazelton has maintained an office in Columbus, although retaining his residence in New Straitsville. In September, 1907, however, he removed his family to the capital city. Since withdrawing from the field of brick manufacture he has given his time and attention to the development of his coal properties and leases and carries on extensive operations in this line. In 1903 he bacame president of the Dorr Run Coal Company, having properties located near Nelsonville, Ohio, covering and area of eight hundred and sixty-four acres. This coal field is all leased on royalties. In 1907 Mr. Hazelton organized the Starr Coal & Land Company, owning fifteen hundred acres of coal land near Starr in Hocking county, Ohio. He is also vice president and general manager of the company, which leases its lands on royalty. In 1908 he organized the Reed Coal & Land Company, having properties in the Pocahontas coal fields in McDowell county, West Virginia, along the Norfolk & Western Railroad. They have twelve hundred and seventy-one acres under contractor's lease yielding royalties and in this business Mr. Hazelton is also an active executive force, being vice president and general manager of the company. He is also interested in several other projects which are good dividend paying concerns but is perhaps most widely known in connection with his operations as a representative of the coal interests of the state.

"On the 17th of June, 1886, Mr. Hazelton was married to Miss Emma M. McKellar, of Wheeling, West Virginia, a daughter of George McKellar, a florist, who was born in Paisley, Scotland and came to this country with his brothers in the early '40s. Prior to going to Wheeling, he lived for a time at Chillicothe, Ohio, and was engaged as a florist and gardener. The mother of Mrs. Hazelton was descended from the Churchills of New Hampshire. The children born to our subject and his wife are Cordelia L., Ernest E., Julia, Mary, Thelma,Lucille, Helen and Kirk.

"Mr. Hazelton belongs to the various Masonic bodies, holding membership relations with the lodge at New Straitsville, the chapter at Nelsonville and with Mount Vernon Commandery, K.T., at Columbus. His rise in the business world has been gradual and has been the logical sequence of well directed effort and fit utilization of opportunities."

Hazelton died June 28, 1910. Emma died in 1948.

Mine fire, New Straitsville, Ohio. Hazelton Hill between Shawnee and New Straitsville. Perry County.

 This photograph shows smoke wafting from the New Straitsville Mine Fire in Perry County. The mine fires are said to have started November 13, 1884, when striking miners pushed burning cars into a mine, during a strike over wages between the New Straitsville Mining Company's management and mine workers. A small group of union members decided to sabotage the mines. Cars filled with oil-soaked timber were set on fire and were pushed into a mine owned by the New Straitsville Mining Company. The fire quickly spread to the coal seam underground. Reportedly, the coal seam was fourteen feet across and extended an undetermined distance into the Earth. It took several days for the fire to be discovered. By that point, it was too late to stop the fire's spread. As a result of the fire, the mine closed. The New Straitsville mine fire has raged ever since 1884. In 1936, the WPA began work to stop the spread of the fire by building barriers across burning veins of coal. In 1938, nearly 350 men were employed on the project, which then was estimated to cost less than $1, 000, 000. Under the direction of James R. Cavanaugh, a veteran mine fire fighter, tunnels were driven through veins in the path of the fire, and were filled with a clay-water mixture or similar non-burning material. The mines fires affected coal deposits in Hocking and Perry Counties in southeastern Ohio. It was estimated that by 1938 the coal destroyed, more than two hundred square miles, was worth fifty million dollars. In 2003, smoke began to emerge from the soil of the Wayne National Forest, 119 years after the fire began.

In April 1919 the Brisleys bought the house. Apparently the title wasn't completely clear and their are several deeds associated with the sale.

Edward Charles Brisley was born May 26, 1888 in Port Huron, Michigan, son of Robert and Rose Fisher Brisley. He married Marie Louise O'Niell in Detroit on October 20, 1915. Marie was born June 11, 1889 in Michigan, daughter of John G. and Emily Olwell O'Niell. They had six children: Virginia (1919) and John Robert (1920), Emily O. (1922), Alean (1923), Edward (1925) and Frank (1929).

Edward was vice-president of The Packard Columbus Motor Company founded in 1917. In 1918 they lived at 700 Franklin Avenue. In 1920 they lived at 1543 and had a servant, 26 year-old Stella Eikelberger. By 1930 they had moved to 2448 Sherwood Road in Bexley.

Edward died in late December 1934. Marie died in Newark, Ohio on August 3, 1975.

On February 14, 1924 they sold the house to Robert K. McAllister and Robert S. Dingledine, partners in Robert McAllister & Company, real estate and builders. McAllister lived at 1603 Clifton Avenue in 1924. A little over six months later on September 30, 1924, McAllister and Dingledine sold the house to the Longs.

Charles Ford Long was born January 10, 1880 in Jackson, Ohio, son of Stephen J. and Emily Ford Long. He married Mary L. Sheldon March 30, 1910 in Franklin County. Mary was born about June 6, 1887 in Columbus, daughter of Frederick B. and Harriet Thrall Sheldon.

Long was a graduate of Miami and Ohio State Universities. Long was a chemist and for three years, starting in late 1903, he was chief chemist of the Globe Iron Company, of Jackson, Ohio doing coal analysis. He opened a laboratory with two partners in July 1909. Burgess, Kimberly & Long had offices in the Columbus Savings & Trust Building. In 1910 the Longs lived at 1300 East Long Street. The May 13, 1920 issue of Engineering News-Record reports, "Philip Burgess and Charles F. Long, of Columbus, Ohio, have dissolved partnership. Mr. Burgess has entered into a new partnership with Chester A. Niple and Warren F. Hopkins, under the firm name of Burgess and Niple, with offices at 141 East Broad St., Columbus, Ohio."

In 1930 Charles was working as a chemical engineer for a fertilizer company. He also did chemical analysis of the evidence in a famous Columbus unsolved crime. An article in This Week newspaper in December 2010, recounts, "The Bexley minister (Christ Lutheran Church) summoned his children to an upstairs room and broke the news thusly: "Mama's in the furnace," he said.

Rev. Clarence Valentine
Sheatsley, circa 1920
"Among the odd and intriguing cases dealt with in the new book "Historic Columbus Crimes," written by the father-daughter team of David Meyers and Elise Meyers Walker is the 1924 death of the Rev. Clarence Sheatsley's wife. (Addie Sponseller)

"It was on a Monday that the whole family had lunch together before scattering, leaving the mother behind alone. Later that day, Clarence Sheatsley returned to observe acrid smoke rising from the chimney, Meyers said.

"Upon discovering his wife's body incinerated in the furnace, the minister, instead of calling the police, went next door to get his neighbor, a professor at Capital University, evidently to verify the startling find.

"Then he called the children together and uttered the words that would, 80 years later, became part of the subtitle of a tome about not only the historic but also the just plain strange in terms of crimes committed in Columbus.

"What so intrigued David Meyers about the "Mama's in the Furnace" episode was that the children didn't seem particularly shocked. In fact, one of the daughters had investigated the smell and thought someone had thrown rabbit skins into the furnace, and one of the sons had looked in and realized it was his mother in there, dead, Meyers said. He responded by taking a nap and later going outside to play football.

"It's just the way the whole family reacted to this," Meyers said. "The case was never solved, but there was a coroner at the time named Murphy and even though they called in several scientists at the time and they declared she had been dead when she went into the furnace, he said she was alive."

Longs ad in the Annual Chemical Directory
of the United States, 1920.
Chemist Long and pathologist H.M. Brundage concluded that Mrs. Sheatsley "did not breathe after her body entered the furnace."

In 1942 Long had his own business, the Charles F. Long Laboratories at 8 East Long Street.

Charles died in Columbus on March 6, 1958.

The Longs sold the house on March 24, 1954 to Henry M. and Grace J. Hancock. Though the Hancocks were living there as early as 1951.

Henry Moses Hancock was born December 12, 1912 in Virginia. He married Grace Jeanette Karshner before 1951. Grace was born March 17, 1914 in Ross County, Ohio, daughter of John Franklin "Frank" and Josephine "Josie" Davis Karshner.

In the 1951 City Directory the Hancocks are living at 1543 Hawthorne Avenue and Henry is a city policeman. In the 1953 City Directory he is working as a house cleaner.

In 1957, Henry bought lots 20, 21 and 22 adjoining 1543 Hawthorne Avenue which he sold in 1963 to William T and Bonnie L. Binns of 1963 Maryland Avenue.

The Hancocks later lived at 8221 Flint Road.

Grace died in Columbus on February 20, 1993. Henry died on August 25, 1999 in Gahanna, Ohio.

Lela M. Boykin purchased the house on March 10, 1981.

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