“…in attendance second only to that of C.L. Vallandingham”

On Tuesday, March 30, 1915, Bishop Milton Wright wrote these lines in his diary:

…Edward W. Hanley was buried to-day. It is said to have been in attendance second only to that of C. L. Vallandingham. Hanley was a Catholic; his wife a Protestant.

Edward W. Hanley is not a name frequently heard anymore when speaking of Dayton’s history. Not like Wright, Patterson, Deeds, Kettering, or any number of others.

Who was Edward W. Hanley? And what manner of prominence had he achieved that his death drew such a crowd of mourners as to be compared with that of Clement L. Vallandingham?

Vallandingham, a Dayton lawyer, was leader of the Peace Democrats, also known as “Copperheads,” during the Civil War, and editor of the Democratic newspaper the Dayton Daily Empire. Following the war, he was a leader in the Ohio Democratic party. He died in June 1871 and was buried in Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery. (Learn more about Vallandingham on Ohio History Central.)

Edward W. Hanley, ca. 1897, from Frank Conover's Centennial & Biographical Portrait (1897), p. 486.

Edward W. Hanley, ca. 1897, from Frank Conover’s Centennial & Biographical Portrait (1897), p. 486 (click to enlarge)

Edward W. Hanley was born in Dayton in 1858. In the earlier days of his life, Edward W. Hanley had been affiliated with several different Dayton firms, including W. P. Callahan & Co., Barney & Smith Car Works, Patterson & Co. coal dealers, and the Sunday World newspaper. He was at one point assistant postmaster for Dayton. In 1891, he began a long career with the Dayton Gas Company, of which he was director, secretary, and treasurer by 1897, and president at the time of his death.

Additionally, according to The Democratic Party of the State of Ohio (1913, p. 206):

For years Edward W. Hanley has been a leading Democrat of the state. He is a leader in Dayton and Montgomery County and the head of the local organization, is a chairman of all local committees and the director of the Party’s policies in local affairs. He has frequently served as member of the State Committee and is at present chairman of that body. He was Assistant Postmaster for Dayton for three years under Grover Cleveland, was delegate to the Democratic National Convention at St. Louis in 1904 and delegate-at-large to the National Convention held at Denver in 1908. In January, 1911, Mr. Hanley was a strong candidate for United States Senator from Ohio.

Anyone so active in state politics and even considered for U.S. Senator must have been a prominent and important individual indeed!

Dayton Citizens Relief Commission, list of original incorporators. From the Miami Conservancy District Records (MS-128), Box 1, File 2. (click to enlarge)

Dayton Citizens Relief Commission, list of original incorporators. From the Miami Conservancy District Records (MS-128), Box 1, File 2. (click to enlarge)

Following the 1913 Flood, Edward Hanley was one of the founders of the Miami Conservancy District. The document at left, from the Miami Conservancy District Records, is a list of original members of the Dayton Citizens’ Relief Commission, including Hanley. In addition to being a successful and powerful man, he was also obviously and actively concerned with the welfare of his community.

After Hanley’s death, Edward A. Deeds, Chairman of the Flood Protection Committee, was quoted by the Dayton Daily News as having said: “Every citizen in our flood-stricken valley owes a debt to Edward W. Hanley which cannot be repaid” (DDN, 28 Mar. 1915). The full testament of Deeds to Hanley can be seen in the article gallery at the bottom of this post.

It seems that Hanley was also a genuinely likable fellow, according to the following bit of an 1897 biographical sketch by Frank Conover (p. 485):

Mr. Hanley enjoys quite a reputation as a writer, and has contributed to numerous publications for the past ten years. He has written quite a number of humorous and sentimental songs. As a reciter and general entertainer he also has quite a reputation… Mr. Hanley, in each of his varied occupations, has made friends and built for himself a good and enduring reputation. His personal popularity grows not only out of his business ability and integrity, but from his unfailing geniality of disposition and sense of humor.

An investigation into the Dayton Daily News microfilm revealed—in addition to further evidence of Hanley’s much-revered status in the community (based on the number of pages dedicated to his death)—the source of the Vallandingham comment as well. It would seem that Bishop Milton Wright was referencing what he’d read in the March 30th Dayton Daily News, rather than speaking from his own memory (although the Wrights were in Dayton in June 1871!):

Funeral of Vallandingham Recalled by Hanley Obsequies, Dayton Daily News, 30 March 1915 (click to enlarge)

Funeral of Vallandingham Recalled by Hanley Obsequies, Dayton Daily News, 30 March 1915 (click to enlarge)

Additional articles from the Dayton Daily News regarding Hanley’s death can be seen in the following gallery (click on an image to enlarge it):

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about who Edward W. Hanley was and why he was so important to the people of the Miami Valley in 1915!

Sources:

  • Dayton Daily News (microfilm): March 26-30, 1915.
  • Frank Conover, Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County, Ohio (Chicago: A. W. Bowen, 1897), pp. 482-486, SC&A call number F499.D2 C86.
  • Miami Conservancy District Records (MS-128), Wright State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives (view PDF finding aid).
  • American Gas Light Journal, vol. 102 (April 12, 1915), p. 238, accessed 16 Apr. 2015 via Google Books.
  • Thomas Edward Powell, The Democratic Party of the State of Ohio (Ohio Publishing Co., 1913), p. 206, accessed 16 Apr. 2015 via Google Books.
  • “History of MCD: MCD Founders,” Miami Conservancy District web site.
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Miami Valley School Materials Digitized

We are excited to announce the recent digitization of materials from the Miami Valley School Collection, including over 400 photographs and several additional documents. The Miami Valley School digital collection can be accessed through CORE Scholar, Wright State University’s Campus Online Repository.

MVS_COREscholar

The Miami Valley School is an independent, non-sectarian, college-preparatory day school for grades Pre-K through 12 in Dayton, Ohio. MVS is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States. The Miami Valley School received its permanent accreditation from ISACS in 1973, and it received its college preparatory charter in 1976 from the state of Ohio.

In the 1956 Dr. and Mrs. Fritz Marti came to Dayton, Ohio, and founded the Marti School. It was founded with the idea of providing experiential learning and a classical, liberal arts curriculum to prepare students for higher education. Eight years after the founding, the Marti School evolved into what is now the Miami Valley School.

The Miami Valley School Collection was donated to WSU Special Collections & Archives in May 2006 by headmaster Tom Brereton. The collection includes administrative materials, such as meeting minutes, Board of Trustees files, faculty and parents’ association information; development office materials, related to fundraising and special events; academics materials, such as course of study, student handbooks, academic programs, and commencement exercises; publications, such as the school newspapers, yearbooks, and other writings about the school; scrapbooks, mainly consisting of news articles; and photographs.

To help commemorate the school’s 50th anniversary, WSU and MVS collaborated on a special project to digitize select materials from the collection and create an online gallery on the school’s history. Materials currently available in the online gallery include documents, letters, and publications from the school’s early days; The Miami Valley School, 1956-2003: A Retrospective by Barbara A. Cleary, Ph.D.; and over 400 photographs, most of which date to the 1980s. Additional materials will be added over time.

The photograph gallery includes the ability for visitors to leave comments. While all of the photographs include a basic description, in many cases the date, event, or people depicted are unidentified. We would welcome any assistance from alumni or the public in gathering those details, so that it may be preserved.

In order to preserve the privacy of students depicted in the photos, please note that comment information identifying students or children in the photos will not be posted publicly. This information will be redacted from the published comment but will be retained confidentially by Special Collections & Archives.

Miami Valley School comment widget, using IntenseDebate

Miami Valley School comment widget, using IntenseDebate

The comments feature of the Miami Valley School photograph gallery is powered by the IntenseDebate comment system. All that is required to leave a comment is a name and email address, though users may also comment by logging into their IntenseDebate or WordPress.com account, if desired. Once submitted, comments are moderated by a library staff member before being posted publicly. At that time, any information identifying students will be noted for archiving purposes but redacted from the comment itself before it appears online.

Below are a handful of the 400+ photographs from the gallery; click on a photo to view it in CORE Scholar and leave a comment if desired:

Boys' basketball game (MS358_53_02_009)

Boys’ basketball game (MS358_53_02_009)

Bulletin boards with cutouts of staff (MS358_53_02_103)

Bulletin boards with cutouts of staff (MS358_53_02_103)

Students at graduation (MS358_53_01_099)

Students at graduation (MS358_53_01_099)

Students in a play (MS358_53_01_041)

Students in a play (MS358_53_01_041)

Students dressed in white (MS358_53_01_261)

Students dressed in white (MS358_53_01_261)

The materials published in CORE Scholar represent just a fraction of the original materials that can be found in the Miami Valley School Collection here at Special Collections & Archives. To learn more about the collection’s full contents, view the Miami Valley School Collection online finding aid.

This digital project was a collaborative effort between the Miami Valley School, the University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives, and the University Libraries’ Digital Services Department, which provided the digitization, metadata encoding, and uploading of this digital collection to CORE Scholar.

Please visit the Special Collections & Archives’ CORE Scholar page to browse additional digital collections.

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“Alas, that he must fly on Sunday!”

On Sunday, March 14, 1915, Bishop Milton Wright wrote the following lines in his daily diary:

…Lincoln Beachy fell 7,000 ft to his death in San Francisco Bay, to-day, in his second flight, on a monoplane. Alas, that he must fly on Sunday! A monoplane cannot be as strong as a biplane.

Lincoln Beachey (1887-1915) is often called the first great American stunt pilot. He was the first man to fly upside-down and performed the first loop-the-loop in America. In addition to being quite the daredevil, Beachey is credited with finding a solution to the dreaded tailspin.

Lincoln Beachey seated at the controls of a Curtiss aircraft at the Harvard-Boston Aero Meet, Sept. 1911. From Harvard Boston Aero Meet Collection, photo #MS338_01_09. More on CORE Scholar.

Lincoln Beachey seated at the controls of a Curtiss aircraft at the Harvard-Boston Aero Meet, Sept. 1911. From Harvard Boston Aero Meet Collection, photo #MS338_01_09. More on CORE Scholar.

Beachey began learning to fly at the Curtiss Flying School in 1910. Soon after, he became a star member of the Curtiss Exhibition Team. Some of his most exciting demonstrations were at Niagara Falls in 1911 and San Francisco in January 1915.

Lincoln Beachey flying a Curtiss aircraft over the racetrack at Saugus, Massachusetts., during the  Harvard-Boston Aero Meet, Sept. 1911. From the Harvard Boston Aero Meet Collection, photo # MS338_03_12. More on CORE Scholar.

Lincoln Beachey flying a Curtiss aircraft over the racetrack at Saugus, Massachusetts., during the Harvard-Boston Aero Meet, Sept. 1911. From the Harvard Boston Aero Meet Collection, photo # MS338_03_12. More on CORE Scholar.

On August 1, 1914, Beachey made an exhibition at Dayton, Ohio. On that day he is said to have made what turned out to be a prophetic statement: “I want the bands playing and the crowds cheering when I die…”

Harold Snyder, Luzern Custer, & Lincoln Beachey at the Dayton Fairgrounds, August 1, 1914. From the Ivonette Wright Miller Papers, photo # MS216_08_01_01d.

Harold Snyder, Luzern Custer, & Lincoln Beachey at the Dayton Fairgrounds, August 1, 1914. From the Ivonette Wright Miller Papers, photo # MS216_08_01_01d.

In the short span of time from learning to fly in 1910 and his death in 1915, Beachey actually retired from the exhibition business three times. Unfortunately, he was once again performing fantastical stunts on Sunday, March 14, 1915, when Death ceased to be defied.

As Beachey performed his stunt over the San Francisco Bay that day, he was unfortunately too close to the water to complete his desired maneuver. He attempted to change direction, but in doing so, the strain caused both wings on his monoplane to snap, and he plummeted into the Bay. When the wreckage was retrieved from the Bay, Beachey was still firmly strapped into his harness. The daredevil pilot’s actual cause of death was drowning.

Beachey article, Dayton Daily News, March 15, 1915

Beachey’s prophetic statement — “I want the bands playing and the crowds cheering when I die” — at Dayton in 1914. Dayton Daily News, March 15, 1915

More sources on Lincoln Beachey:

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