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Richard Willer (U. S. Marine Corps, WWII) Interview 2013
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Return to News from the Manuscripts Division Archives

News from the Manuscripts Division


Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

Spiegel Grove

Fremont, Ohio 43420

Nan Card

Curator of Manuscripts



The past several months have been a busy time for the Hayes Presidential Center Manuscripts Division.

Members of the Firelands Civil War Roundtable enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Manuscripts Division. They had an opportunity to see firsthand the many collections of Civil War records, memoirs, correspondence, and online resources available at the Hayes Presidential Center. Among them were the recently acquired records of Fremont’s Eugene Rawson Grand Army of the Republic Post. The purchase of the Rawson Post records - including the organization’s minutes - was made possible through the donations of loyal supporters of the Hayes Presidential Center Manuscripts Fund. Your support is greatly appreciated! Listed below you will see the names of new donors as well as those who have continued their loyal support. To each of you we say THANK YOU! YOU HAVE MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

Barbara Stager

Stan W. Filhart

Zoe Titchener

Ronald L. Stuckey, Ph.D.

Jon James

Nan Card

Firelands Civil War Roundtable

Ron and Pam Tripp

Marianne Punshon

Suzanne Darr

Wallace Eberhard, Ph.D.

Karen Meissner

During October, more than 40 Fremont High School students explored Sandusky County’s past by using dozens of the Hayes Center’s local history collections. In the process of learning about the area's people, places, and events, students gained a greater appreciation for their community’s unique history.

This fall 35 Northwest Ohio teachers are participating in Expanding America, a U. S. Dept. of Education Teaching American History grant conducted by Bowling Green State University and the Hayes Presidential Center. The grant is designed to deepen teachers’ understanding of traditional American history. During three Saturday workshops participants connected national themes to this region’s resources by working with documents, records, letters, pamphlets, newspapers, and photographs – all a part of the Hayes Presidential Center’s Manuscript Collections. Three more Saturday workshops are scheduled for 2006.

Old Soldiers Never Forget: Brice’s Cross Roads, Andersonville, and Dr. Gessner’s Campaign to Unseat General Sturgis is the title of a paper presented by Dr. Wallace Eberhard of Athens, Georgia, at the Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Dr. Eberhard’s paper is based largely on his research of the Gustavus Gessner Collection at the Hayes Center. He details the media campaign launched by Dr. Gessner against General Samuel Sturgis, Union commander at the Battle of Brice's Cross Roads. In the postwar years, Sturgis was appointed head of the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, D.C. Gessner, like hundreds of his comrades who suffered defeat, death, or imprisonment as a result of the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads, believed Sturgis unworthy of the appointment and they fought to have him removed.

After discovering a description of the Thaddeus B. Hurd Collection on the Hayes Center's web site Marianne Punshon and Ron and Pam Tripp of Victoria, Australia, ordered photocopies of documents and photographic prints of their Tripp and Baker ancestors. Yet it was not enough! They knew they had to make the trip to the United States and research for themselves!

The collection was compiled, preserved and then donated to the Hayes Center by the late Thaddeus B. Hurd, architect and local historian of Clyde, Ohio. During their visit, Marianne not only discovered new information about her Tripp and Baker ancestors and the family bible, but also she unearthed a photograph of her Tripp ancestor who left the United States for Australia in 1855. In the words of Marianne, "That great find made my long journey worth every minute of it! The trio also visited the Clyde Heritage Musem and then traveled to Watertown, New York for more research. You will enjoy reading their story in the current issue of the Statesman.

Congratulations to Matt Bloom, who completed his thesis earlier this year at Bowling Green State University. He used many of the local history primary sources at the Hayes Presidential Center to document “ Mudhole to Mudhole:” Roads, Canals, and the Rise and Decline of Economic Centers of Northwestern Ohio: 1808 – 1860. Matt plans to expand his research about the early settlement period in Northwest Ohio in preparation for his dissertation.



Nan Card

Curator of Manuscripts