It’s Time to Celebrate Preservation Week 2015!

pw_bannerAmerican Library Association started Preservation Week in 2010 to raise awareness and promote preservation of individual, family, organizational, and community archives. If you are just starting to think about preserving historical materials in your care, here are a few tips that have the most impact in prolonging the life of your historical papers, media, and objects.

  •  Store the materials in a cool, dry, clean place with good air circulation.
    • Avoid storage locations that experience large fluctuations in temperature and humidity (the attic, basement, or garage, for instance). Instead, opt for a location where temperature and humidity are fairly stable, such as an interior closet.
    •  In most cases, the cooler the temperature, the better. Within a home or work environment, 68° – 70° F and 30% – 50% relative humidity is a good range.
  •  Avoid exposing the materials to light.
    • Light damage is cumulative and irreversible.
    • Keeping the materials in the dark when not in use, will help prevent slow deterioration.
    • Putting items in a protective box, turning of lights, and closing blinds when a room is not in use, will go a long ways.
  •  Handle your historical materials with clean hands.
    • Our own handling of items can be the most detrimental source of damage.
    • Handle photographs by the edges, and avoid touching the image side.
    • Label documents and photographs in pencil, lightly on the back so the indentation does not show through to the front.
  •  Make copies.
    • When possible, make a copy by digitizing an item and letting the original stay in supportive and protective housing.
    • Copies provide the enjoyment of the original, and allow you to share the document or image without harming the original.

If you have boxes of family materials in the basement, garage, or attic, this is a good week to take a little time and clear some room in an interior closet where the temperature, humidity, and air circulation are more stable. Take this one step and “pass it on”. As always, if you have questions or would like advice, please let us know!

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Upcoming Event: Huffman Prairie Aviation History Society Meeting on May 4, 2015

The next meeting of the Huffman Prairie Aviation History Society will take place this coming Monday, May 4, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.

At this month’s meeting, we will view and discuss the film “Flying the Feathered Edge” (The Bob Hoover Project) (view PDF flyer).

The meeting and presentation will take place at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center at 2380 Memorial Road (intersection of State Route 444 and Kauffman Road), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There is ample free parking, and light refreshments will be provided.

You can view the upcoming schedule of meetings and speakers anytime at :

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“…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!


  • 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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